From the category archives:

Managing Money



If you drive a car then you’re legally obligated to have auto insurance. But if only finding and buying an auto insurance policy were that easy. Auto insurance policies have many features, some are really important and others not so much. That’s why it’s important to master the art of comparison shopping, says Bankrate. One of the websites you can do this with is CoverHound, a one-stop shop for all auto insurance compare questions and curiosities.

But regardless of the means you use to shop and compare auto insurance, you should keep the following things in mind to get the best insurance possible.

The Must Haves

There are certain things you have to have in an auto insurance policy and a good policy will include them. They are:

  • Windshield coverage. This ensures that your windshield will be replaced or repaired if damaged. A good policy will make sure you get up to the market value for your windshield replacement, but you may want to check if windows or sunroofs are also included.
  • Personal Belonging coverage. This covers the damage or loss of personal items in an accident or due to theft or fire when they are in your car. A good policy will insure your belongings for $300 or more, but this normally doesn’t include items like money, debit or credit cards and tickets. Plus, if you’ve left things in an unlocked car or convertible with the top down, they may not be covered.
  • Theft or Loss of Keys. A good policy will insure the loss or theft of the keys to the car, alarm, steering lock or garage door is covered up to a certain value.
  • Protected no claims discount. This protects a no claims discount and ensures that you don’t lose it following a claim. A good policy will give you the choice of adding this to your policy or include it standard for up to two claims in a three year time period.
  • If you are in an accident and your car is not drivable from the scene. A good insurance policy will include removing your car from the accident site to either the junkyard or to a shop for repair.
  • Rental car. If your car needs repairs due to an accident, then a good policy will make sure that you have a reasonable replacement until the repairs are finished. This can be included or be an add on.
  • If your car is in an accident and needs to be repaired then a good insurance policy will guarantee repair work at an approved shop.

The Should Haves

These are items that should be included or at least available as an add on in a good insurance policy. They are:

  • New car replacement. In the event that your car is stolen or damaged in an accident and deemed a total loss.
  • Stereo and navigation coverage. This ensures that your stereo or navigation system is covered for damage or loss.
  • Accident transport. A good policy will provide transportation for you and any passengers if you are in an accident and your car is not in drivable condition.
  • Hotel expenses. If you are in an accident away from home, the insurance company will pay for a hotel for your passengers.
  • 24-hour hotline for help. If you have an emergency, your insurance company should have a number you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Legal expenses. If you are in an accident that is not your fault, your provider should offer legal help to assist you in any recovery of uninsured losses.
  • Breakdown coverage or roadside assistance. If you’re out and about and your car has a mechanical failure, you should be able to call for a tow.

The Could Haves

These are not often standard on an auto insurance policy, but could be included or at least offered as at an additional cost.

  • Driving abroad coverage.
  • Children’s car seat replacement, if it is damaged in an accident.

What to Watch Out For

These are things that you should look at your insurance policy for as an indication of how good your policy is. They are:

  • Accidental damage excess. This is how much money you will need to pay in the event of an accident. If it seems like a large amount, you may want to go shopping for new insurance.
  • Windshield replacement excess. This is how much money you will need to pay if you have to replace your windshield.

These are guidelines for what to look for in an auto insurance policy. The best thing you can do to make sure you’re getting the best deal is to comparison shop, and not just when you’re looking for a new policy. It’s also a good practice to shop around every couple of years to make sure you are really getting the best deal you can.


Foreign currency trading is an art more than a science. Just like an art there is always a talent involved to achieve perfection, currency trading also needs a skillful approach to achieve success in the long run. It is the talent and hard work only which will take you as far as you want to go in trading online. Sincere traders in Forex trading always perform self analysis and learn tips to drive their trades and learn how to keep all the obstacles away from a disciplined trading. Here we will discuss some of the best tips which novice currency traders should adopt that will help them to make smarter and more profitable trades.

Define your goals for foreign currency trading

When you start any journey, you always have an idea of your destination and how you will reach there. Similarly in foreign currency trading, you should have clear idea about the level you want to reach and how will you reach that level. You should be clear about your trading goals and what you want to achieve with trading online. Know your trading personality and select the style which suits your personality. Create a full plan for how you will perform the Forex trading and this brings confidence in you when you start trading.

Always choose a broker with which you are comfortable and offers a suitable trading platform for you

It is really important to choose a Forex broker who is reputed and have policies with which you are comfortable. The trading platform provided by the broker should be suitable for you and should match your trading style. You should also be able to make analysis with the platform provided by the broker and all the required tools for analysis should be there. A good broker with a poor platform or a good platform with a poor broker, both can be of problem for you.

Choose a trading online strategy and be consistent with it

Choosing a methodology or strategy in foreign currency trading is important to be successful. Forex trading is not a gambling game and only those succeed in the long run who follow a strategy and be consistent with it. There are many strategies used by the currency traders who use for trading online.  Every trader chooses the strategy matching the style and personality of the currency trader. But always be sure that your strategy is adaptive and with time you may need to change your strategies. The system should be adaptive to the dynamic changes in the market.

Maintain a diary for trading analysis

Yourself-analysis is very important in foreign currency trading online and you should always maintain a diary which keeps track of all the trading orders you have executed with the reasons listed for every trade. Doing this you can always analyze your trades, learn from your mistakes and adapt the successful strategies.

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When it comes to career paths available to someone with a law degree, the initial thoughts probably settle on the most traditional applications of the degree: lawyers joining firms or working for the government. While these are classic and well-respected applications of a legal education, it doesn’t mean those are the only possibilities available when you begin planning a career in the legal sector.

Alternative career paths

The education that law school gives its students encompasses a variety of skillsets that careers outside of traditional law paths can benefit from. The knowledge and experience gained in obtaining it is what makes a law degree such a sought after qualification. A student who has thoroughly learned these skills has a saleable asset when pursuing a career, even if it does not typically fall in the scope of the legal field. The expertise that gives law graduates an advantage in the business world and other fields includes the ability to defend and justify statements orally and in writing, presenting and contextualizing information, and accurately evaluating facts. While these are commonly taught as part of a law degree, remembering that these are proficiencies in their own right with uses outside law is important when considering alternate career options.

You can find a demand for your education in law across many different fields, utilizing marketable skills you learned in new ways. The ability to communicate clearly whether on paper or verbally, combined with experience in understanding the interplay of different elements in a complex issue lends itself well to a continued career in journalism after law school, while the ability to understand contracts and negotiation is valuable in entrepreneurship. If you have a desire to turn your attention to politics, there’s a precedence of high-ranking politicians with law degrees with representation from senate, congress, and even previous presidents. This is no surprise when you consider that a law degree teaches how to examine both sides of an argument to see the merit of opposing viewpoints, in addition to learning how to approach issues with critical analysis.

Operating internationally in the legal sector

Studying law and choosing to pursue a career in the legal sector can seem like the most standard choice but even then there are diverse possibilities where you can find a path that suits your particular interests. If you have an interest in international affairs, operating internationally as a lawyer could be a fulfilling choice in your career. International law can be separated further into specializations such as international treaties and agreements or multinational litigation, giving you more options to choose from when you consider the possibility of a career in international law.

Successful international lawyers, like Shahram Shirkhani can benefit the economy of their country by helping negotiate legal trade documents or assisting in commercial arbitration. The companies that Shahram Shirkhani has represented range from small private entities to multinational corporations, and he has even arranged loan facilities between the United States and Iran during his time as international legal advisor to Iran’s Foreign Investment Authority.

Choosing to obtain an education in law school opens the doors for exciting opportunities both inside the legal sector and outside of it. Whether you choose to follow a career that focuses on international law or elect to follow your passions elsewhere to a field such as politics, the education that you receive with your law degree gives you a skillset that employers across a range of industries prize, making it a valuable investment when you begin planning for your career.

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Restaurant owners will tell you that there are never enough bags for when you need them. Whether you need bags to put your takeout orders in, or you need a reliable trash bag, you know the importance of having bags that you can trust and having a lot of them. When shopping for bags it is important to keep a few things in mind.

Anyone in the service industry knows that having trash bags on hand and ready to go. Obviously, you will want to have your restaurant outfitted with heavy duty trash can liners. These need to be able to withstand anything that busy restaurant can throw at it, from full plates to liquids and everything in between. Your bags need to be able to hold up to stretching, tears and much more. Dark bags may be preferable to lighter bags, as you may not want people seeing the trash through the bag. A distributor like Restaurant Discount Warehouse has trash bags that will get you through the busiest of shifts.

Another area that you will need bags for is when you are dealing with takeout orders and leftovers. These bags can be small and portable, just enough to get the orders in and out. It may be a good idea to order semi-transparent bags as well, so customers at least have a general idea of what they are receiving when you hand them their order. The great thing about buying these bags is that you can buy in bulk, so you won’t need to be ordering more every week, unless your takeout service is truly tremendous!

Being a restaurant owner means that you have to think about things that other stores and businesses don’t have to. One of those objects is bags and no matter where you need them, chances are that you don’t have enough of them.

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Regardless of your age, it’s always important to think about your retirement and how you’ll be able to support yourself financially as you get older. Taking the proper measures can give you an extra financial cushion so that you hopefully won’t have to worry about covering expenses after you’ve stopped working. Here are a few things you can do to maximize your savings for your retirement.

Minimize Your Taxes

There are ways you can reduce the amount you owe the government so that you can invest the extra money into your retirement savings. You may qualify for certain deductions that can dramatically reduce your tax bill. You’ll likely have to do some extra footwork to take advantage of these deductions, but doing so may prove to be a wise financial decision on your behalf.

Hire a Wealth Management Specialist

Wealth management specialists can advise you on how to invest your money and manage your funds so that you can enjoy some additional financial stability when you’re ready to quit working. Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch is just one of many high-profile wealth advisors who helps people make the most of their money. These professionals can even assist you with trust and estate planning as well as stock management.

Invest in a 401(k) Plan

This type of investment plan is specifically designed for people to set aside money for retirement. Many companies offer these plans to their employees, and your employer will likely match a certain percentage of your investment. If you’re no longer employed with the company but have already invested into a 401(k), you can roll that money into an IRA or other type of retirement account without having to pay a penalty for an early withdrawal.

Increase Your Contributions

If you want to have as much money as possible for when you retire, you should consider maximizing the contributions that go into your retirement accounts. Most plans will only let you maximize your contributions up to a certain amount, so you’ll want to choose a plan that will allow you to invest as much as possible.

Avoid Touching Your Retirement Savings

Although it may be tempting to access your retirement funds to pay for certain expenses, it’s best to leave them in your accounts and look for other alternatives. In addition to potentially dramatically increasing the amounts in your retirement accounts, you may have to pay stiff penalties for taking any withdrawals before your retirement age.

Consider Your Social Security Benefits

Social security benefits allow you to receive monthly payments from the government for when you retire or are no longer able to work because of a debilitating physical or mental condition. You can find out how much you can expect to receive when you retire in advance so that you can get a better idea of how to plan your spending. One of the best parts about receiving these benefits is that they are usually not taxable.

Cut Your Spending Today

What you save today can be invested for tomorrow, and this philosophy could prove to be highly valuable for your golden years. Some of the best ways to cut expenses is to eat out less frequently, splurge less on entertainment and buy clothing at cheaper prices. You can also cut expenses by switching to phone and Internet plans that are less expensive.

When you prioritize the notion of saving for your retirement, you’ll be able to invest in your future more wisely. Taking the necessary steps to maximize your savings can save you a lot of worries when you’re ready to quit working for good.

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We all love Christmas time, but we all are not very happy about the fact that it costs tons of money too. But some people, who are the real masters of budget stretching, made some pretty useful tips you can use as well to make this holiday season a lot cheaper. And bellow I am going to share my personal favorite five of them!

Buy family gifts

One of the first things you can do to save money this holiday season is to start buying presents not for each member of the family, but for the whole. For example, buy tickets to the theater or concert rather than buy each and every child and parent a separate gift. In fact, this way you hit at least two spots – firstly let that family spend some time altogether, and save big time because that is usually a lot cheaper than buying separate gifts and wrapping it all out.

Alternative wrapping

You can also save a lot if you choose to wrap your presents in everything else that is not gift wrapping paper. Clothing materials, newspapers, magazines or even your child’s drawings can be quite a perfect way to wrap a gift. And the best part is that it won’t cost you money at all! Gift wrapping paper is so unuseful because it all will be ripped and thrown away in a second. So you are spending money on trash. Don’t do that and use materials easy to find at home to wrap your gift in a truly unique way.

Hit e-stores

Shopping online during the holiday season is a dream come true. There are no rows in stores; the assortment is always full, and the pricing is also like a cherry on top of the cake. Moreover, even the most expensive stores tend to host massive holiday sales you can use to get your selected gifts cheaper. Combined with some only online deals (like these coupons for JCPenney!), you can make holiday shopping even more inexpensive and pleasurable. So definitely go out and try shopping online. You can always find something special and one of a kind on the web and at an incredible price too.


Make priorities

I know it would be nice to gift something for all your co-workers, but that also means huge spendings as well. So maybe stick to only your closest friends and family members and pamper them with better value gifts? Getting tons of small and cheap gifts means nothing but the gesture, and some people don’t even consider that as gifts too. Better sort your budget in the way that only the most important people in your life will get presents. So you can spend a little bit more on their gifts and make them even more special!

Skip unnecessary traditions

And by that I totally mean Christmas cards! It is a great tradition showing good manners and gestures, but that is so pricey and so unneeded! Some people throw away those holiday cards as soon as they get it while some put them somewhere in the back of their closet and never look at them ever again. So why spend so much on something so unnecessary? On the other hand, if you just can’t deal with the fact that this is such expensive tradition, make those cards by yourself. Or ask your kids to contribute. It won’t cost you anything, and it will be a nice and budget friendly way to show good manners during Christmas.


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Black Friday is over. If you haven’t found the ideal gift during the largest shopping event of the year (at a massive discount, of course), you still have almost a month to buy the perfect one for your loved ones. People usually tend to spend a lot during this time of the year, but there are ways in which you can reduce the bills and spare some change for the new year. These tips might help you do just that.

Start saving early to ease the pressure in December

Oops… it’s a bit late for this tip to influence your budget this year. But it’s OK – Christmas will come next year, at the same time, right? You can start planning – even shopping – for the holiday starting on New Year’s Day, so that when the time comes, you’ll have reserves to go to.

You can start to set aside a certain amount – a couple of hundred, for example – in September, October and November, and you’ll have a bigger budget in December.

Order online, cheaper

You can save yourself the fuss of running around and hunting down gifts by using a price comparison website to find the best deals for your target products. And you can do it easily while listening to music or playing online casino games: load the website, search for the product and find the one with the lowest price. But make sure you choose the one with the most advantageous terms, too – sometimes shipping fees can raise the price of a product above what you would expect.

Make your dinner costs thinner

The Christmas dinner is one of the richest, but also the most expensive, meals of the year. On this night we celebrate with meats and gravy, pies and cakes, and whatever else your tongue might desire. But rich doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive – you can save on the Christmas dinner without compromises.

You might think that some ingredients you need taste much better when fresh – but frozen is just as good, sometimes even more nutritious. Peas, for example, are frozen within an hour from the moment of harvesting, while the so-called “fresh” ones spend days, maybe weeks, in warehouses and on the road. Brussels sprouts, green beans, some other fruits and vegetables are just as good – maybe even better – when you take them out of the freezer.

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Having a financial advisor can make a huge difference to your life. Choosing the right set of financial goals and then making the right decisions about how to handle your money so that you can meet those goals can be complicated and difficult, especially if you don’t have a financial background and are not familiar with all the jargon. A financial advisor can help you through the thicket into the clearing.

What to Look For

There are several criteria to keep in mind when choosing a financial advisor.

  1. Chemistry: you need to be able to trust this person as much as you trust your doctor. This includes your sense of the advisor’s professionalism, knowing that you can be honest with each other, feeling completely comfortable in the advisor’s office and not hesitating to share personal details.
  1. Background and experience with clients similar to you: you want someone who not only knows the financial world, but also knows how to deal with clients in your particular situation. Someone who teaches elementary school and plans to do this until retirement is in a very different set of circumstances from a commodities market broker, and their financial advice should be different as well.
  1. Focus on you: you won’t necessarily have to talk to your financial advisor every day, but when you do need to talk, you should be able to gain access quickly. No waiting for return phone calls for a week, no unanswered emails, no missed appointments. Your advisor may have lots of clients, but you should always feel that you are at the top of the list.
  1. Certification: your financial advisor should have the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, indicating a lot of initial specialized schooling as well as on-going education. There are other certifications available, but the CFP is the most difficult to obtain, and therefore, the most valuable.

How Will the Advisor Be Paid?

No matter how the advisor is paid, you should be completely confident that the advice you are receiving is always in your best interests. Fee-only advisors are usually paid by charging a percentage of the portfolio they manage for you, which includes giving you advice on what should be in the portfolio. Advisors who work on commission are paid when they sell and buy investments on your behalf. A wealth management bank that provides regular banking services can be a good option as well. Each of these types has its advantages, so when you’re doing your search, make sure you are clear on this point and choose the one that best fits your overall goals.

Don’t Go It Alone

You could make it your business to become a financial expert, but chances are that you have better things to do with your time. Working at a full-time job, raising a family, and having a little fun now and then are the things that rightfully occupy the lives of most people. No matter what stage of life you are in, no matter how much money you have now or want to have in the future, you should have a financial plan of some kind.  An effective financial advisor will help you create a plan that is specifically tailored to your goals and objectives, and then work with you to follow the plan through all of your life’s stages. Overall, your advisor will relieve you of this large burden.

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It is hard enough to even get a mortgage, car loan, or personal loan with bad credit, let alone decent interest rates, but what if your monthly bills are now affected.  With risk-based pricing, companies such as your mobile phone, internet, cable, or even insurance are using your credit report to decide which terms they will offer.  You might be wondering how they are able to do this, but as long as you are informed, probably somewhere in the small print of your contract, it is completely legal.  If you find yourself in a risk-based pricing model, and you have bad credit, you need to now find a way to improve to get better pricing.

Check Your Credit

If you receive notice that the less favorable terms you received are based on negative information from your credit, the first way to see how your credit is affecting you is to pull your credit report.  Every year you are entitled to a free copy of your report from the major credit bureaus where you have the right to dispute any errors that you notice.  Credit scores are not given on these reports, however, but now most of the major credit card companies are offering your free credit score just by logging on to view your statement.

Have a Plan of Attack

Once you verify that your poor credit is accurate and you face the facts, the next step is to improve it.  This does not happen overnight, it takes months and years to have a solid score.  Start by making sure that all of your monthly payments are made on time and have a solid payment history.  Do not open up a lot of new credit as each pull will lower your score.  Pay down the accounts with the highest interest first so that each monthly payment will go towards less interest eventually.

Stay Disciplined

A monthly budget is the best way to reduce unnecessary spending habits so that more money comes in each month than goes out, therefore reducing the debt that can pile up each month.  Using debit cards instead of credit cards will allow you to only spend what you have, instead of the seemingly endless amount of credit available to keep spending on.  It is not easy, it does not happen overnight, it takes planning and discipline, but if you are dedicated on improving your credit, you will see results.

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