Dumb Little Man

12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity

Positive thinking has been often used in a wrong connotation. People abuse the power of this great practice and suggest that it will attract you money, wealth, and abundance.

“Be positive and you’ll have anything you want!”

No, you will not.

That’s nonsense and that’s not the purpose of exercising your mind to think this way. This is exactly one of the main criticisms for the movie The Secret. Just by feeling good, you can’t have anything you want.

The benefits of thinking and feeling positive emotions, however, are actually very beneficial and they will trigger other positive phenomena in your life. You’ll put both your spirit and body in a phenomenal vibration.

Happiness and joy will radiate from you everywhere you go. Life will seem much better. Your attitude will improve immensely and in turn, it will improve the world’s attitude towards you.

The reward is a blissful life full of enthusiasm and inspiration.Also, it will certainly help you in your financial endeavors. However, just the positive thinking alone won’t earn you any money.

These are some of the great practices that will put you on the right track in life:

Start Singing Even If You’re Bad Singer

Whenever life hits you hard or you experience a disappointment, start singing. Pick a song that really makes you feel great and start playing it in your head until all worries and stress go away.

The song can be one which makes you feel happy. It can be one which provokes laughter and joy in your heart.

Is there any song that you can think of which simply puts a smile on your face every single time you hear it? Probably a song you used to love when you were young child?

Good music has always been and will always be a great tool for changing the mood. It will never fail to make you more positive so consider singing whenever you can.

Turn “Belly Breathing” Into a Habit

Did you know that our consciousness is highly connected to our way of breathing?

Yogis and monks have discovered a long time ago that our thoughts are directly connected to the way we breathe.

When we start breathing slowly and deep in our belly and by exploiting 100% of our lungs capacity, our thoughts seem to slow down and we become more relaxed. Therefore, this is used in almost every meditative technique. Life simply slows down, all stress leaves both the mind and body, and the individual who breathes this way gains clarity and mindfulness.

This practice will not only calm you down, it will affect your health and your overall blood circulation, too. It will boost the activity of your brain and it will never fail to improve your mood.

Breathing is the essence of life, so start doing it properly.

Simply start exercising this until it becomes a constant habit. Breathe deep in your belly and fill it like a balloon. Instead of inhaling shallow breaths in the chest only, expand your belly as much as you can.

The longer you practice this technique, the deeper and more effective your breaths will become. Your consciousness will clear and clarity and inner peace will take place.

Smile and Laugh More Often

Assuming that smiling and laughter are the opposite of crying and feeling bad or negative, just by forcing this into your life, you can’t avoid not feeling good.

Our body is the instrument of our mind. However, it it is also true that our thoughts and attitude are very much related to our body because of the way we operate. We tend to think and feel by what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.

So if you smile, you can instantly feel it and your mind will respond to this. You will start feeling good and positive. It will not only lift up your mood, but it will also affect everyone else that comes in contact with you.

You can decide to smile just for the sake of it or you can think of a situation, an event, a person or literally anything that puts a big smile on your face. Either one of them will work very well.

You can just go over to your mirror, look at yourself and force yourself to laugh. This works extremely well. Very soon, it will become contagious and you won’t be able to stop it.

Let’s try this right now…

Think of a little toddler trying to walk. He is learning to walk outside in the yard of his parent’s house and there’s a little puppy waiting for him just a few meters away from him.

As he is walking, he is pointing to the puppy with his tiny little fingers and he suddenly falls like a ball on the grass. He tries to stand up but he simply keeps falling down again and again. Everybody laughs and enjoys the picture.

Finally, our little toddler manages somehow to stand on his tiny feet and starts walking like a penguin towards the puppy. The moment he comes to him, he tries to kiss him with his little lips. Again, as he bends down, he loses control and falls on the ground next to the puppy. The puppy even gets scared and jumps from fear.

Now, I just totally made all that up. I couldn’t think of anything else that could make me smile at the moment. If you’re like most people, you’d probably smile when having the picture of the little toddler learning how to walk.

After thinking about this, I feel very good and very positive. You can do the same.

Smile more often and your positivity will keep increasing more and more every time you do it.

Make Your Surroundings Highly Positive

have fun with friends

What are your friends and the people you associate with like? Is their nature positive? Are they being fun and humorous or not really?

Good company always helps!

If you happen to be around negative and depressive people, you can afford to change your lifestyle. It is very important that your surrounding is highly positive, because you will receive this energy.

It will affect you every single time!

Engage in Meditation and Yoga

These two activities will never fail to boost your positivity. They will help you to gain control over your thoughts and your awareness will be heightened.

You will become aware of the present moment and what’s going on in your mind. Positive thoughts will become natural as you practice these skills.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Make Walking Outdoors a Habit

Although very simple, the effect of this single activity can be powerful. I am working from home and most of the time, I am in front of my computer.

Sometimes, this can get overwhelming and the first thing I do is go outdoors.
I walk for 40 minutes in the nearest park and just observe the people, birds, trees and so on. When I come back, I am a completely new person.

I have two times more energy and I am working 3 times more productive. Just do it and see the results!

Be Helpful To Others

You know, it’s not all about you. I realized this not very long time ago. While I’ve never been too much egoistic in nature, I always cared for my feelings and my interests.

When I tried for a moment to completely shift my attention to other people’s needs and really try to help them (from the bottom of my heart), what came back to me was quite shocking.

Help other people and truly care. Don’t do it just for the sake of it, but really show some empathy and compassion. Try putting yourself in their skin and view the world through their perception. Then, do your best to help them.

You have no idea what this can do for you…

Some ideas to help you get started can include:

• Visiting the orphanage and do something special for the kids. Make them happy and prepare some intriguing surprise.
• The next time you go to the subway or when you’re on a bus, be kind and give your seat to a person that needs it more than you do.
• Go to the local supermarket buy some bread, some salami and cheese. Get some fruits and bottles of fresh water and perhaps some extra ingredients you’ll need. Prepare some tasty sandwiches and then go to any shelter with homeless people and give it to them wholeheartedly.

Express Gratitude 3 Times a Day

Create your gratitude journal or simply write on a sheet of paper 10 things that you’re grateful for. Then, read this list 3 times in the day – in the morning, at noon and at night.

The more things you can include in the list, the better. These things should make you feel good and positive about yourself and life in general.

Gratefulness is the secret to a peaceful, happy and positive lifestyle.

Understand that You’re Responsible for Everything That Happens To You

You cannot blame others for the results you get in your life. All our results come as a direct result of our actions and behavior in life. Our actions and behavior, on the other hand, is the direct result of our thoughts and feelings.

Only you have the power to control your attitude. You choose what you give your attention to. So instead of whining and complaining, stop blaming the circumstances, the government, the economy and God knows what else not.

It is your fault that you’ve let these things, people,and events influence you.

The good news is that you can stop it. Take full responsibility and your life will become much more positive.

Make a Contribution and Start Volunteering

Think of the ways you can improve your community. Perhaps help in cleaning the streets in your neighborhood? What about helping individuals in the local library?

This one will be bizarre but certainly interesting:

How about you visit prisoners and just help in making contact? Perhaps you’ll befriend them and make their day better?

Remember,  the more you give in life, the more it comes back. Life will always reward you tenfold for every good thing you do. Decide how you can give back to the community, and then just do it!

Positivity will become your natural mindset that seems to make you company at all times.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

Give Compliments On a Regular Basis

If criticizing makes people feel bad, then the opposite which is giving compliments has to make them feel good. Not only will it make the person you compliment feel amazing, it will come back to you as well.

When was the last time you gave a sincere compliment to someone which comes straight from the heart?

If you can’t remember it, maybe it is about time to consider doing this the next time you see someone on the street.

Remember, if you’re looking for the good sides in others, this is a reflection of the good sides in you. And please don’t do this just for the sake of it. Be really genuine and honest when you compliment people.

Exercise and Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

partner to exercise

Yes, this is important. Pick any activity that you love and exercise regularly.
You can run, hike, go to the gym or take classes in martial arts. Your imagination is the only limit.

Not only will you be more fresh and energetic, but your mood will change accordingly as well There’s no way how this activity cannot make you feel positive. Just do it!

To Conclude

Most of the time, we are being surrounded with a ton of negativity in our lives. We’re constantly being bombarded with pressure and stressful situations, but it is our choice how we are going to respond to them.

We can choose to take responsibility and decide to be in full control over our attitude or we can live day by day and let the waves of life take us wherever they want to go.

I certainly won’t recommend the second option!

Choose to live your life the way you want to live it! Stop being a victim of outside circumstances and decide to gain a positive outlook on life.

And remember, it is the small things that make all the difference! So take a deep breath right now and say how grateful you are for everything in your life!

The post 12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Yoga Breathing Techniques For Weight Loss You Need to Try

It can be a complicated process to lose fat from our bodies as it is very stubborn. Apart from making individuals look bad, this fat can also bring about several health hazards like hypertension, heart attack, diabetes, and more.

A fundamental way to reduce fat is by hitting the gym. However, some people do not have access to it while others do not want to pay costly membership fees. For such individuals, a great choice would be to perform yoga breathing techniques for weight loss.

How To Get Started With Yoga Breathing

Breathing exercises may help increase metabolism and digestion. They also bring an enormous supply of oxygen to the different body parts. This additional oxygen can assist in burning the extra fat in the body. It is also possible to get toned abdominal muscles.

Yoga Breathing Techniques For Weight Loss

A study in the USA focused on studying the differences between yoga breathing and workout sessions over six weeks. The workout sessions lasted for just eight minutes.

After the conclusion of the study, users who were into yoga breathing lost around 5 kg. There was also a 6% drop in body fat levels.

It is possible to experience a similar drop by doing specific exercises. Below are some of the most effective yoga breathing techniques for weight loss you can try:

Pranayama

pranayama
Via yogauonline.com

It is one of the basic yoga belly breathing techniques. Its primary function is to regulate the quantity of oxygen that goes in and out of the body. This action reduces tiredness quite significantly.

Surya Namaskar

It is capable of working on the nervous and endocrine systems. If any metabolic issues are present within the body, it can also be corrected. These issues are quite strong reasons behind weight gain.

There are 12 steps within this technique and each is accompanied by sequential breathing. This needs to be practiced over several weeks to get it right.

Pawan Muktasana

pawan muktasana
Via natural-cure.org

This pose can be achieved by lying down and taking a deep breath. The knees should be brought close to the chest and the hands can be used to hold it together.

Now, the knees should be pressed towards the body. At the same time, the head should be lifted so that it goes towards the knee. Now, regulate the breathing posture by going down the pace and holding your breath for a while.

Why is breathing important in yoga?

This activity is responsible for controlling oxygen levels which controls metabolic activity.

Setu Bandhasana

This technique is popularly called as the bridge pose. It focuses primarily on the chest, neck, and spine.

After starting by lying down on the back, the feet should be kept near the hips. Even then, the feet should be kept away from each other. The torso should be slowly lifted while keeping weight balance through feet, arms, and shoulders.

At the same time, one should inhale slowly. The pose should be held for around 60 seconds before returning back to the original position.

Bhujangasana

bhujangasana
Via parenting.firstcry.com

One of the foremost yoga breathing benefits is obtained by making the body flexible, regulating oxygen levels, and increasing metabolism. All these functions are done by this yoga technique, which is also called as the cobra pose.

You can start by lying down on the stomach and placing your hands just behind the shoulders. Now, breathe in and lift the torso so that the back forms an arch. The extension should be done until the hands are straight. Now, the pose should be held for a few seconds before getting back to the lying down posture.

Conclusion

It’s up to you to find that yoga breathing technique for weight loss that will work best for you. Just make sure you try them all and that you execute it correctly and with focus.

What are your thoughts about yoga breathing techniques? Have you tried them before? Let us know in the comments!

See Also: Yoga Helps You Love Yourself

Author’s bio: Anthony Hibbs is a psychologist who dedicated his entire life to understanding the relationship between the mind, body, and universe. He been practicing yoga since 2004 and has even made retreats in Nepal. And he’s improving the new techniques with massagers for necks.

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Essential Tips for an Effective Budget Plan

Money makes the world go round. We work for money so we can afford a high quality of life; that’s just how it is. Given money’s importance, you don’t want to be blind to your own financial realities.

With proper planning and budgeting, you can get the most out of your hard-earned money, and you can attain a certain level of security where you are aware of your revenues, expenses, and general financial situation.

This quick guide will help you better understand how to create budget plans that work for
you.

Time and Money

Typically, you’ll want to budget on a monthly and yearly basis. Income and expenses are likely to change after a year, so longer-term budget projections aren’t very useful for much other than getting a very general idea of what the future may look like.

A budget plan template is a great way to visualize the complexities of your budget over time. Tools like budget planner books can help organize your monthly and yearly budgets in a way that makes sense.

Benchmarks of a Realistic Budget

Obviously, you want to earn more than you spend and save something, but that’s not as simple as it sounds. As you put your budget together, it is necessary to be brutally honest with your expectations.

At the very least, a realistic budget satisfies all of the following:

  • Accounts for all costs and revenues
  • Is not overly generous
  • Dedicates a certain amount of money to savings
  • Accounts for potential emergencies and surprise costs
  • Includes plausible costs for food, shelter, and utilities
  • Determine Your revenue

What are your income sources, and how much do you expect to receive? When and how often are you paid? Your boss may have promised you a raise in a month, but until that actually happens, you should not budget for the future as if you’re certain to get that raise.

Do you work full-time, part-time? Are you a salaried employee? If you work hourly and are not a full-time employee, assume that you won’t get the best hours at any job you work at. This way, you’ll have budgeted for the worst-case scenario.

If you end up getting more hours, that’s great! Just be sure to quickly cycle any extra money into your budget and put it towards something productive. The best way to get ahead is to invest in yourself by clearing your debts and adding to your savings.

Figure Out Your Costs

budget planning

To put it simply, your cost is your expenses. In order to better understand your costs in the context of your entire budget, it’s important to break your costs down into fixed costs and variable costs. With this information, you can better understand your cash flow and identify points where you can save.

Fixed Costs

Your fixed costs are the costs that are recurring and consistent.

Major fixed costs include:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Health insurance payments
  • Vehicle payments
  • Property taxes
  • Car insurance (barring accidents or changes in rates)
  • Internet bill
  • Student loans and other loans

Your fixed costs are unlikely to change in the short-term, but may in the long-term. For a yearly budget, it’s safe to assume these costs will be stable. If you rent on a monthly lease, then your rent may change over the year, so budget for an extra 20% for your total yearly rent just in case.

Variable Costs

These are the costs that are set to change each month.

Variable costs are made up of essential and non-essential costs. Essentials costs are the things that you really need, and non-essential costs are the extra things that you can securely live without.

Essential costs include but are not limited to:

  • Gasoline consumption
  • Home heating
  • Phone bills
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Home maintenance
  • Food and groceries
  • Medical treatment and copays

Here are some examples of non-essential costs:

  • Subscriptions
  • Extra clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Eating out
  • Snacks
  • Vacations and trips

See Also: How to Budget Using the 50/20/30 Rule

Don’t Forget to Budget for Emergencies!

No one prays for an accident, but accidents happen, and you want to be in a position where you’re financially covered. After initial and essential expenses, put at least 20% of your income into a savings account. If you total your car or get injured and can’t work for a month, you’ll be glad that you have some savings to fall back on.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For

Cutting Costs

effective budget plan

Your non-essential costs probably bring you a lot of joy, but these things cannot take priority over your essential costs. It’s easy to cut some of these costs without sacrificing your quality of life.

Trying to save money? Instead of dining out twice per week, try dining out once every other week and cooking a luxurious meal at home. You’ll save money, and you’ll have a great culinary experience in the comfort of your own home.

Groceries are an essential cost, but by making adjustments to your habits and consumption, you can decrease these costs. Instead of buying canned soups and premade meals at the grocery store, you can cook these things cheaper. Instead of going for the name brand, buy the store brand. They’re almost like the exact same thing, but it costs less.

Streaming is all the rage, but those services can add up. Oftentimes, people have so many services that they go for days, weeks, or months without using them, but all the while, they’re still paying! Honestly examine your app and subscription use. If you find that you hardly use that streaming service, unsubscribe. That $15 per month will really add up.

Those are just a couple of examples, but you can use the same logic to cut most of your non-essential costs and some of your essential costs

The Bottom Line

Cutting costs is good, but try not to cut costs that will lead to poor health outcomes. You can reduce your grocery expenditures, but you shouldn’t starve.

If you’re cutting all of the costs that you can, but you still aren’t making enough money, it’s time to look at your options. Some government-assistance programs may be able to help. Family members, charities, or food pantries can ease some of your food costs if you’re in a rut.

Your finances can help you get the life you desire if you plan. What useful tips and tricks help you budget towards your life goals? Let us know in the comments.

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How to Improve Business Website: A Guide for Wholesale Business Owners

With the competition among wholesale and distribution businesses getting heavier each day, being one step ahead in everything – from production to marketing – is a must. And knowing how to improve business website can take you ahead of the competition.

B2B customers are expecting more from their wholesale partners, demanding a high level of service like B2C customers. Gone are the days when wholesalers simply transact and close a deal. These days, there’s a need to connect more and bring positive experiences to retain and attract clients and boost their revenues.

On-Site Changes for Better Online Presence

It’s not enough that you have a website. Remember, your competitors have websites, too. Your goal is to know how to improve business website and create a virtual place to sell your products or find distributors. You need to create a better online presence.

And no, you don’t need a website overhaul to achieve this.

Here are some proven on-site changes you can implement in your current wholesaler website to improve your online presence.

Provide an e-commerce platform

In case you haven’t heard yet, B2B e-commerce sales are expected to top $1 trillion by 2020. Adopt eCommerce functions on your websites, such as streamlined ordering systems, information-rich product listings, and up-to-date inventory data.

Since you’re targeting corporate clients, added features like order histories and subscriptions will definitely help you gain more customers and boost your sales.

Keep a blog that provides helpful and up-to-date information

Your B2B audience definitely appreciates the detailed information you give about your products and services through your blog. If you’re selling wholesale tarps, for instance, you can talk about the different types of tarps, their uses, and some other technical info that people may need more understanding about.

Keep your blog updated. Make your wholesaler website a reputable resource people can go to for answers. It’s one way to gain trust and credibility.

Make ordering, delivery, and billing as seamless as possible

improve business website

Make use of a flexible invoice tool that makes the payment, billing, and shipping options as easy and as quickly as possible. Give your customers a variety of payment options to cater to their individual needs. Also, make it easy for existing customers to log-in, give new ones an option to create an account or check out as a guest, and put checkout calls-to-actions in locations (top and bottom, usually) and colors that stand out.

Ensure easy navigation

The reason is pretty obvious. The overall structure, presentation, and labels of your website have a huge impact on your business. They affect traffic (how you rank) and conversations (lead-customer conversion).

Be descriptive with your labels. The fewer the items in your navigation, the better for SEO. Keep your design simple, fresh, and clean. Make sure your products are no more than three clicks away. Your goal is to help your visitors find what they need as quickly as possible.

Add relevant and high-quality visuals

Connect closer to your B2B customers by opening up yourself to them.

What are the business practices that make your company stand out? How do you do it? How about you invite them for a virtual tour to your production house?

Through a short, high-quality video clip, show them the tarp weaving process, for instance, featuring the high manufacturing standards and quality control your company adopts. Or perhaps, post a video about the relevant industry updates to showcase your subject matter expertise.

See Also: How Using Live Video Can Boost Your Business Dramatically

Make your website mobile-friendly

improving business website

Having a mobile-friendly website is not just a good practice to adopt. It’s required! 2018 is all about mobile-friendliness. Most likely, the majority of your potential business partners communicate and transact via their mobile phones. Create a mobile version for your site, install a mobile plug-in, or better yet – create an app.

Target the right keywords

Behind each successful wholesale website are careful keyword research and analytic process. If you’re not targeting the right keywords, you could be putting all your efforts to waste. It’s not enough that you base it on the search volume and adopt the highest-volume keywords. It’s important to understand your own website, create hypotheses, test, and repeat – the classic formula for internet marketing. The great thing, there are keywords research tools that make this process easier.

In this tech-heavy world, a big part of your success depends on your website. If you want to be ahead of the competition, convert leads to customers, and ultimately grow your business, take time to analyze your website and identify the things you can make better. With these on-site changes you can implement, you won’t just know how to improve business website, but you’ll also be one step closer to creating a website that ranks and a website that sells.

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Parent Child Interaction Therapy in Developing Parent-Child Relationship

Raising a child is one of the most important aspects of a parent’s life. Although the road can be tough, it is quite rewarding to see your child grow up as a wonderful person. The bond of a child with the parents start since birth as the child is dependent on the parent for every need.

Parents have a big responsibility to care for their children from birth to maturity.

The key to best raise a child is through social interactions. Children learn nearly all things in their youth from their parents and the environment they get at home. They start to interact and play with other kids their age when they reach 3 or 4 years of age.

Parents are the first teachers of every child.

This is why the relationship between them should always be positive. Children learn many things while interacting with parents, such as social skills, sharing, respecting and obeying the elders, and helping other people.

During their interactions, children learn to develop communication skills and motor skills. In an ideal world, nearly every parent wishes that their child not only behave in an excellent manner, but be a quick learner and perform well in school.

But, unfortunately, there are times when the relationship between a parent and a child is not always on good terms.

Even if parents are busy with their work routine, they have to take the time to address their children’s problems.

therapy for parent child interaction

The Parent Child interaction Therapy

There are certain techniques and sessions that help counsel both the parents and child. One such purposeful technique is Parent Child interaction Therapy or PCIT. It is a short-term behavior-based family therapy that may improve the relationships between parents and children.

PCIT is best for children who have disruptive behaviors and those who easily lose their concentration either while studying or interacting.

It was developed by Sheila Eyberg in the 1970s who specialized in designing techniques for children’s behavior and play therapy. She further enhanced the two-way behavioral approach given by Constance Hanf. Today, PCIT is considered as the most effective and goal-oriented therapy to improve parent and child interactions.

The Two Stages of PCIT

PCIT involves two stages — relationship enhancement and discipline and compliance.

The therapist will first speak with the parents and let them know about the process of the two stages. The therapist will then use a one-way mirror or a live video display to see the parents interact and play with the children. The parents will have a listening device so that the therapist can give live coaching. The behavior of the parent and child are tracked and graphed to show the progress.

The relationship enhancement stage teaches the parent to minimize any negative feelings within the relationship. This stage also encourages the parents to develop new communication skills and learn how to boost their children’s confidence.

The discipline and compliance stage, on the other hand, deals with improving the conduct of the kid. It addresses the symptoms to prevent any negative behavior.

PCIT approach is ideal for children between the ages of 2 to 7. It helps the children to learn and adapt good behavior.

parent child interaction therapies

The relationship enhancement stage is also called child directed interaction. It helps improve the shared bond between the parent and the child. The child has the option to choose the toy or activity that he/she will use and the parent will play along using the instructions given to them by the therapist.

The skills are denoted by the word ‘pride’ where:

  • Praise- The child should be appreciated for good behavior.
  • Reflection- The words of the child are repeated and discussed by the parents which encourages communication.
  • Imitation- The parents teach their child by mimicking and showing approval of what the child was doing.
  • Description- The parents describe what the child is doing so that the child can learn new words and build his/her vocabulary.
  • Enjoyment- The parents show enthusiasm and happiness on the activities and playfulness of the child.

What Happens In A Session

During the session, the parents need to remember to ignore any negative behavior or remark which is not serious. The parents also need to avoid using negative or sarcastic words when interacting with the child. Once the parents and child are comfortable in the first stage, then they progress to the second stage.

In the discipline and compliance stage, the parents give easy-to-understand instructions to the child with a clear message if the child ignores or disobeys the instruction. If the child complies with the message, then the parents need to use words such as ‘thank you.’

The PCIT approach has the potential to address many behavioral symptoms, such as short temper, disobedience, aggression, and defiance.

Benefits of PCIT

PCIT is quite helpful in:

  • Building better and positive interactions between parent and child
  • Developing useful strategies to help with the negative behavior of the child
  • Reducing the likelihood of bad habits that the child may grasp such as verbal and physical abuse
  • Reducing the negative behavior of the child such as anger, aggression, and defiance
  • Helping the child to interact and communicate within the family easily

The children who take part in PCIT sessions may develop more self-esteem, show less anger and frustration, possess better social and interpersonal skills, feel safe, and communicate effectively. Parents also take much positive influence from PCIT sessions as they learn about the different behaviors of their child.

The sessions are a weekly event. Mostly, a family may take 14 to 20 sessions until the restoration of the strong bond between the parent and child happens. PCIT started with treatment of only disruptive behavior of children, but it gradually expanded. Now, this therapy is widely used to treat certain disorders which include autism, selective mutism, trauma, anxiety, and abusive parents.

See Also: Five Things I Learned From Working With Autistic Teens

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10 Ways to Encourage More Women Into Your Workforce

Female participation in the labor market across the globe is declining. According to a World Bank research report, the women’s labor force participation rate is 48.5%, whereas the rate for men is 75% in 2018.

In this article, I will deliberate upon ways to minimize this gender gap and sexism in the workplace by allowing more female employees to join the workforce.

Offer flexible working hours

By allowing flexible working hours to women, companies can help them maintain a work-life balance and enjoy a fulfilling career. In a global culture that is rapidly becoming 24/7, this initiative will result in better well-being, reduced absenteeism, and enhanced productivity.

Remote working, a form of flexible working schedule, is also gaining momentum. It has grown 140% since 2005.

It is interesting to note that women have more leadership roles in remote companies as compared to traditional brick and mortar ones. According to a study conducted by Remote.co, 28% of remote companies have women CEO and presidents.

Eradicate sexism in the workplace

female in the workplace

Sexism in the workplace (both overt and subtle) is the most blatant irritant for female employees. From sexist remarks to workplace sexual harassment and gender bias, obnoxious sexism takes a toll on female workers’ retention.

According to PewResearch.Org, 42% of working women in the USA say they have faced job discrimination because of their gender.

It is, therefore, vital to create zero tolerance for any type of gender discrimination and sexism within the organization. Promote this as one of the most positive attributes of your company’s culture and that will surely result in the female talent pool and higher women workforce retention.

Provide a clear path to advancement

If you claim to be a company that offers equal opportunities for both sexes, it should be reflected in your career development policy with a good number of female employees working in senior management positions and leadership roles. On this front, the corporate sector has still to do a lot.

The following stats from McKinsey & Company 2018 report about women in the workplace depict a sad picture.

  • 29% of women believe their gender will be an obstacle to advancement.
  • A quarter of women (unlike only 8% of men) believe that their gender has actually played a role in missing out on a raise or promotion.
  • Men hold 62% of managerial positions whereas women hold only 38% and it gets worse higher up. (Women are just 22% of C-suite executives).

The companies should have strengths of both the genders by putting women at its executive boards. Susan Lucas Conwell, the Global CEO at Great Place to Work® say that women tend to lead from an interactive and cooperative style, bringing different perspectives based on a different set of life experiences. This broadens the executive board’s insight and making it more agile.

See Also: Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

Make sure the women are paid fairly

A discriminatory salary structure that results in lower pay to women for the same task performed by their male counterparts is downright obstructive. It’s a waste of talent and skills from equally capable women with such an unjust system. The salary structure for female employees must be competitive and based on performance.

Have a hiring model that engages female talent

Your hiring methodology should never send negative signals for women applicants. If you are conducting an informative session about your company to prospective female employees, you need to consider following points seriously:

  • The session should be led by both women and men. More importantly, women should not be appearing in supportive roles only, such as welcoming participants on the entrance or distributing brochures and leaflets.
  • Try to include women speakers in the panel of speakers, explaining the core functions of your business.
  • Don’t project images with only men as active players like soldiers, technicians, pilots, etc. The women will be less engaged with these types of presentations.

Hiring good female talent is like fishing. If you can’t fish, it is not the fish to be blamed but your lack of good technique.

Avoid gendered job description

Women perceive a job from the language used to describe it. If you want to establish a more gender-balanced workforce then try to avoid using male-oriented titles like “Super Hero” or “Rock Star”. Instead, use descriptive titles that sound neutral .i.e. Project Manager, Developer, etc.

A Hewlett Packard report reveals that women apply only if they meet 100% of the job requirements. Men, on the other hand, apply when they meet only 60% of the qualifications.

The companies should therefore only include must-have requirements rather than too many nice-to-have requirements.

Hunt female talent through colleges and professional organizations

Every organization wants the best of the talents. In this pursuit, the best female talent can be hunted at professional organizations and colleges. A Harvard and Tel Aviv University studies revealed that companies that recruited from targeted women’s colleges managed to increase their number of women managers by 10% within 5 years. This targeted hunt will provide you the high performers.

Does your business name need to be changed?

This question is more pertinent to startups.

The mistakes when naming a business startup often hinder its growth, let alone annoy prospective employees. Take Reebok’s women’s running shoes brand ”Incubus”, for instance.

It failed miserably because, in mythology, Incubus is a devil that rapes women in their sleep. Hence, it is crucial for startups to revisit their name. If it has an obscene or negative connotation in some other culture, change it before your operation and hiring process begins.

Arrange mentoring for female employees

sexism workplace

The mentoring must be made a priority if your company wants to attract more women applicants, as well as to retain them after being hired. Assign some senior managers and executives to conduct grooming sessions at lunches and breakfasts.

During these sessions, women should be encouraged to ask questions about personal and career-related issues. The mentors will then provide guidance about best management practices and developing the necessary skills to perform a job.

Provide the right information

More often, one-size-fits-all information about the job does not work. HR needs to provide other information points to attract female applications. For example, informing about the proportion of female employees is helpful to show that diversity is encouraged in your company. Also, it influences how women employees rate the company in terms of the work environment. This micro-targeting will result in better response from female job seekers.

The post 10 Ways to Encourage More Women Into Your Workforce appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Quick Tips On Taking a Social Media Break

We often call the next generation and children today as “digital natives”. They’ll grow up being more familiar with social media and the digital landscape instead of interacting with other kids. Some of them may even be considered addicted to internet.

We often show disdain at such an idea but we ourselves don’t necessarily give up our dependence on social media, especially given how it affects our daily life.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we should remain dependent on social media forever.

In fact, there are actually ways in which we can start to “de-stress” and take a break from our social media habits. A lot of this can seem overwhelming at first, but this is actually a very plausible idea that has its merits.

So, how exactly do you start taking a social media break?

Genuinely think about the benefits you’ll reap.

Reflect and think about the benefits you’ll be receiving once you start taking a social media break. Try listing down the things you’re missing out on or things you’re not enjoying because you’re too engrossed with social media.

Then, try checking if there’s something you can do to remedy the situation. That way, you can justify yourself — in a way you understand and accept — that taking a social media break is possible and necessary.

Remind yourself of the goals you want to achieve.

Once you’ve started to feel like social media has been occupying your head, you might need to take a step back. Look at how social media affects your goals, personal or otherwise.

How is social media affecting your goal to get that dream job? How is social media affecting your goal to spend more time with family and friends?

Start reconnecting with your personal values and see how you can change your social media behavior to reflect it.

Once you feel like social media is becoming overwhelming, try to assess and realign your personal values.

Why are you using social media? Do you think you’re becoming a better person because of it? How can you use social media to help support your goals and help you become a better friend or family member?

The above two tips might not be directly related to a social media break, but they can definitely help convince you to take one.

Disguise it as another non-digital activity.

If you can’t deal with the idea of taking a social media break, you can always think of it as “something else” entirely. It can be in the form of a hobby, exercise or even just spending time with pets or your friends. This only works if it’s an activity that doesn’t involve using your digital devices.

Sometimes, if you’re having a hard time stomaching the idea of a social media break, you need to disguise it as something else so it feels “justified”. And while it might seem like “cheating” the idea, it does make a lot of sense. This is important if you’re also using said activity for a particular benefit other than just “having a break.”

take a social media break

Try to set no-phone zones inside the house.

If you feel like your social media activity is becoming too intense, try to establish places at home where you can’t use gadgets. These can be in the bathroom, the dining area, your bedroom or even in the backyard. This allows you to slowly realize, even in small time frames, that you can “live without social media”.

Try to pursue other activities

Consider working out, jogging, playing board games or even talking with your friends and family (personally!) instead of doing things related to social media.

You can even go out and do journaling in a quiet park. The point of this is to establish that you can do far more productive things even when not using your phone.

Integrate your breaks into your routine.

One of the reasons why we can’t get a break from social media is because we’ve relied on it as part of our routine so much. So why not do the same with a social media break?

Think of resting from social media in the same way you take a break when you eat or when you need to sleep. It has to become a seamless part of your routine so it doesn’t seem like it’s “intruding” in your day-to-day affairs. And interestingly enough, forcing yourself to adopt such a mindset may be able to help you see the relevance of taking a social media break.

Start thinking of your breaks as a necessary part of your daily life.

In the same way that you “automatically” go down to eat during mealtimes and when you “automatically” go to the bathroom for breaks, you can start forcing yourself to actually take your social media break as though it’s a normal part of your life. The key here is not to think “you’re transitioning to a break” but rather “just think you’re already doing it for the past years”. You’d be surprised at how quick your body adapts to such a mindset.

Create opportunities for your body to automatically go to a social media break.

For instance, you can have your charger placed in a location you have to walk to. That way, you’d feel lazy to pick it up whenever you’re downstairs talking with family. The same thing should work if you’re eating dinner and want to stay away from your phone. Put it somewhere far and you’d be surprised that you’d rather finish the meal and talk with family than check notifications.

Start playing game or watch videos.

You’d be surprised to realize that you can do a lot more things with your social media time than pursuing ‘likes’ and checking notifications.

social media break

See Also: 7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

Actually include it in your schedule.

If you think you can’t get a social media break because there’s “no time in your schedule”, then now might be the time to actually make time for it.

In today’s society, everything is important for as long as it’s on a schedule. And we often forget that our mental well-being is also just as important as our work and being able to pay the bills.

If you find it hard to get a social media break, you might need to convince yourself that taking a break is advantageous to help you perform your obligations correctly.

Try creating a “schedule” for social media breaks that coincide with other things you’re already doing.

Do it when you eat with family and friends, while you drive or during the commute. These short breaks can give you time to think about things you want to pursue or thoughts you might have been “hiding” or repressing.

Enforce your schedule to yourself.

In the same way you’d force yourself to stay focused when attending meetings or when you need to pay attention to your work tasks, you need to treat your social media breaks from the perspective of necessity.

Remember to tell yourself it’s necessary to take breaks so you can feel energized and more focused. Applying this mindset will constantly remind you of how these breaks can affect other important things in your life, so you may get motivated to take these breaks more often.

Social Media Break: Destress From the Pressures of Digitalization

With the above tips in mind, you’ll hopefully be more acquainted with yourself and your capacity to enjoy life to the fullest without having to rely on social media. Given the sheer complexity of the dynamics that social media has with our life, it’s understandable how getting a social media “detox” can be scary. However, it’s also extremely manageable and possible with the right planning, research, motivation, and execution.

If you have tips in mind you want to share with others and fellow social media users, feel free to comment them below!

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Making A Financial Plan: How to Set Financial Goals To Live Your Best Life

Financial planning is a crucial part of adult life, yet 40% of Americans have never had a budget.

Sticking to a budget can help prevent you from falling on hard times. It can also help you achieve your goals in life.

However, contrary to what most people are thinking, financial planning and budgeting aren’t just for retirement. It’s not just the practice of foregoing the occasional latte.

Making a financial plan can give you peace of mind and, eventually, the life you’ve always wanted.

Why Is Money So Stressful?

make a financial plan

People who have a financial plan are two times as likely to meet their financial goals as those who do not have such a plan, yet two in five people have never had a budget. More than one in three people spend more than they save, and two in three say they easily overspend when using a credit card.

But it’s not all bad news. 48% of Americans say they save at least 5% of their income, 65% say they have emergency savings, and 79% are either debt-free or they are actively paying down their debt.

Of consumers who report having a budget:

  • 62% say they are in control
  • 55% say they feel confident about their finances
  • 52% say they feel secure about their financial situations

Of consumers who do not have a budget:

  • 19% feel out of control with money
  • 18% are constantly worried about their finances
  • 17% report being stressed about money

When it comes to retirement, even though many people are saving, they still don’t know why or how much. In fact, 75% of Americans aren’t sure how much they should be saving, while 40% of those with retirement savings have no idea how their money is allocated. It’s no wonder the thought of budgeting and saving money is so stressful for so many people – even when we know that we are supposed to be doing it, we still often have no idea how.

See Also: GenZ and Money: How GenZ Faces Their Financial Fears

Setting Financial Goals And Sticking To Them

how to make a financial plan

If you are at a point in life where you are able to save money, congratulations!

Now, it’s time to ask yourself why you are saving money in the first place. Sure, everyone should be saving money for emergencies. But once you get past your emergency savings, there are all kinds of other savings you should be doing, from retirement to enhancing your quality of life.

So how do you want to live and what financial goals can you set to get to that point?

Sometimes, setting financial goals starts with reinventing yourself.

What kind of career would get you out of bed every day? How would you spend spare time if you had it? Is there something you would like to learn or a new educational goal you’d like to meet?

Last year 39% of Americans said they wanted to save more money and for many, that means making a career change.

Setting goals for yourself helps you to understand what steps you need to take to meet them. 97% of parents say they want to pay all or part of their child’s college tuition, yet few understand just how much money that is or how much they should be saving right now in order to accomplish that goal. Currently, only 27% are on track to meet those goals.

Setting goals and then figuring out what action you need to take now in order to achieve them is critical.

Once Basic Goals Are Met, Make Your Life Worth Living

The main reason for financial planning is that someday you will want to be able to live life on your own terms. The better your financial planning, the sooner you will be able to live the life you want because of it.

Once you have enough to cover all of your financial goals, it’s time to figure out how to buy back some of your time. There are apps and tech gadgets that can take over your daily tasks like cutting the lawn, cleaning the pool, and hiring a handyman. Using these services can help you feel like your hard work has been rewarded when you are able to do the things you want instead of having to do the things that need to be done.

Financial planning is an important first step toward the life you want. Learn more about freeing up time, reducing stress, and living your best life through financial planning below!

The post Making A Financial Plan: How to Set Financial Goals To Live Your Best Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Critical Life Lessons You Can Learn From Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is an animated movie that teaches several interesting life lessons, embedded in a predictable storyline. It is highly entertaining, done in a Dreamworks storybook fashion.

Even though we first watched the movie over a week ago, my kids can not stop talking about it.

In the show, the panda, whose name is Po, was chosen by a wise old turtle, Ooguay, as the dragon warrior to defeat the enemy. Unfortunately, Po was an unlikely character for he was fat and clumsy. He was viewed with much skepticism and doubt by his martial-arts teacher, Shifu, and the Furious Five: Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper, and Crane.

The highlight of the show, at least in my opinion, clearly belonged to the numerous spouts of wisdom and quotes cleverly delivered by the various characters. Animated or not, wisdom can be found anywhere. All you have to do is look and listen with an open mind.

Here are 5 of the wise sayings that I picked up in the movie:

Living In the Now

Ooguay: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

beat self doubt

We don’t need to read Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” to learn the importance of the present moment. We can simply watch this movie to learn from Ooguay about how necessary it is to let go of our past, doubts, and fears if we want be happy.

Thoughts of the future or baggages of the past take away your joy in the most significant moment which is now. What matters is not what has happened or what is going to take place.

Hence, be faithful to what you are doing. Treat each moment as a gift and you will live life fully!

See Also: Live Life to Its Fullest: 39 Ways to Live and Not Merely Exist

You Can’t Run Away From Your Destiny

Ooguay: “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.”

Ever had that tingling sensation that you are meant to do something else? Perhaps it is a dream that you have had since you were young. Or it may just be a recent awakening, like in my case.

I have always thought I would pursue my grand idea of being an accountant or banker. Yes, I know. It sounds like a boring profession, but the thought of having an iron rice bowl appealed to me then.

Even when I first started exploring opportunities on the web, making a ton of money was my first concern. Along the way, someone directed me to watch The Secret movie on Youtube. Well, the rest is history.

I never quite thought that I would be writing articles on self help and personal development. I didn’t imagine that I would be interested in a coaching or healing profession. I’m convinced now that I am threading on the right path since I love what I do passionately. Each day of living this purpose feels so right to me intuitively.

Hence, if you find yourself experiencing that sense of discomfort, that inner knowing that you are in the wrong job or a purpose that you need to fulfill, perhaps it is time to ask yourself what your destiny is. Oddly enough, no matter which way you turn, this destiny calls out to you.

Things Happen For A Reason

Ooguay: “There are no accidents.”

If events do not go according to your expectations, then learn to stop fretting over your suffering and misery. Things often happen for a reason. It may just be a life lesson that you need to take.

As we all know, life is never a bed of roses. If you do not recognize the lesson for what it is, you will find yourself continually stuck or attracting more of the same. You are in a vicious cycle, unable to break out. Step aside, take notes, and learn from there. Then, you will find yourself moving on, becoming a more evolved and higher Self.

Your Passion Keeps You Going

Tigress: “It is said that the Dragon Warrior can go for months without eating, surviving on the dew of a single gingko leaf and the energy of the universe.”

Po: “Then I guess my body doesn’t know I’m the Dragon Warrior yet. It’s gonna take a lot more than dew, and, uh, universe juice.”

Admittedly, it sounds a little far fetched – to be able to survive without eating. But haven’t you experienced several times when you were so absorbed in what you were doing that you forgot to eat?

It is true that our passions can keep us alive. Even in the most challenging of times, they have us going.

A friend I came to know lately shared that her volunteer work in an Aids Organization helped sustained her during a time when she went into depression herself. If not for the patients who needed her and if not for the passion to help others, she would not have survived that period.

You Can Be the Most Unlikely Hero

Po: “There is no charge for awesomeness – or attractiveness.”

At the heart of the story was a character with no apparent gifts or talents. He had to fight feelings of low self-esteem and confidence. He had to endure snide remarks by the Furious Five. Plus, he had to undergo rounds of brutal martial arts training, that kept him from eating.

Towards the end, Po unraveled the secret of the Dragon scroll from a meeting with his father. His father had tried to cheer him by telling him the secret ingredient of the family’s noodle soup: nothing. Things become special, he explained, because people believe them to be special.

As you probably guessed by now, Po saved the day. He realized that he could be awesome if he chose to believe so. And he was indeed the Dragon Warrior, after all!

What you can take from the movie, Kung Fu Panda, is this:

Take action to fulfill your destiny, even if at first you think you suck.

You just need to believe that you are special. And in pursuing your path, you may just discover that awesomeness or attractiveness is being who you really are. There is no charge for that!

Written by Evelyn Lin, the creator of a blog named Attraction Mind Map.

The post 5 Critical Life Lessons You Can Learn From Kung Fu Panda appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Companies Should Handle Office Romance

We spend more of our waking day at work than anywhere else. Throughout our careers, we come across many new faces and form strong connections with those we work with.

Spending so much time with the same people leads us to build strong friendships and for some, more than that. Office supply company Viking has conducted research to find out how common romance in the workplace is and what effect it has on those who have been involved with someone at their office.

Is Office Romance Becoming More Popular?

to deal with office romance

From a single kiss to marriage, 5,000 workers across Europe were quizzed on their experience of office romance. In the UK, over two-thirds (68%) said they have been involved in an office romance. This shows how common it is in the workplace.

Of the 68% who said they have experienced office romance, 20% were lucky enough to say it ended in marriage or a civil partnership. With so many people finding that someone special in the office, it’s important employers address this to ensure the best outcome for employees and the business.

Viking’s research shows a rise in office romance among the younger generation. 24% of 25 to 34-year-old employees said they have had or are in a long-term relationship with a colleague. That’s compared to 12% of over 65s. Over half (53%) of the same age group also said they would consider a romantic relationship with a colleague in the future. This makes it even more important that businesses know how to deal with office romance.

The Effects of Office Romance In the Workplace

To shine some light on the effects office romance can have on employees during work hours, Viking questioned those who had dated a colleague about how this impacted office life.

There were some positive responses. However, those who have been in a relationship in the workplace voiced mainly negative opinions on how they felt the relationship affected their time at work.

A full list of the positive and negative effects of romance on workers is included below:

Increases productivity & creativity – 11%
Decreases productivity & creativity – 37%

Reduces stress levels – 17%
Increases stress levels – 21%

Positive impact on wellbeing – 22%
Negative impact on wellbeing – 20%

Boosts work motivation – 12%
Reduces work motivation – 7%

Improves focus – 5%
Is distracting – 26%

Positive effect on your career – 6%
Negative effect on your career – 16%

As you can see, people had different opinions on whether office relationships have a positive or negative effect on those involved.

But the two most popular responses were that office romance decreases productivity (37%) and can be distracting (24%).

How to Deal With Office Romance

To limit any negative effects on the workplace from office romances, below are some guidelines managers and HR departments can follow.

Train Management on Office Romance

It can be as simple as creating an environment where employees are comfortable openly discussing office romance.

42% of UK workers said the worst thing about their relationship with a colleague was being the subject of gossip. A further third (33%) felt they needed to keep it from HR.

If employees are familiar with office romance and feel confident approaching their peers or managers to discuss their relationship, there is less risk of it being either a secret or a subject of gossip.

To help encourage an environment where business can operate as usual around the natural social relationships formed between colleagues, providing training to managers and HR on office romance is advisable.

Relationships are likely to be stressful when it influences employee’s ability to do their job. If managers are aware and have the correct training, then they can help employees remain professional and leave the personal things at home.

As shown by Viking’s study, relationships can improve well-being and boost motivation. It’s important for employers to ensure they don’t decrease productivity and cause distractions.

Introduce a Romance Policy

A vital part of communicating when it comes to office romance is having a policy that clarifies the companies’ attitudes toward internal relationships. As mentioned before, it wouldn’t benefit employees or the business to forbid employees from engaging in relationships.

However, setting out a romance policy can help protect the business against potential HR issues. It can also help outline the conduct expected from those in a relationship.

This is something that needs addressing by companies around the UK as just 33% of employees are aware of their employer’s policy on office romance. If employees understand how they’re expected to behave, it will stop their relationship from impacting their work life and those around them.

Without a policy, behavior in the office when involved in a relationship is left to the judgment of employees. This could lead to distractions and unwanted arguments. The differing opinions on what’s acceptable could cause friction between employees.

A fair office romance policy is the obvious solution. It’s down to you to include what you feel will best benefit the business.

dealing with office romance

Keep Your Door Open

Office romance can harm employees’ ability to do their job. This is why it’s important that it doesn’t slide under the carpet.

Giving time to employees who want to discuss confidential subjects is important. It gives you a clear understanding of the happenings in your team. Turning a blind eye won’t solve anything. Relationships can turn sour and you should be on the lookout to protect your employees and the business.

An office romance that isn’t going so well is far more likely to lead to the negative impacts highlighted earlier on. Showing you understand and doing what you can to support employees if needed will build trust and help maintain productivity.

This handy guide on how to deal with office romance will help you keep your employees happy while taking care of your business’ interest. People spend more time at work than anywhere else and see no one more than their co-workers.

Therefore, romance is expected in the workplace. Finding ways to increase the positives and decrease the negatives caused is the secret to success for businesses around the UK.

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

The post How Companies Should Handle Office Romance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Measure Influencer Marketing Impact

The rise of social media in the last decade has altered the way we live, work, buy, and do business.

Millennials and Gen Z that have the most purchase power spend most of their time online. This is why it has become indispensable for organizations to have a robust presence on social media platforms.

Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept that has really caught on. It is perceived to be more personal as it comes from individuals whom customers trust.

Due to the massive expansion in the influencer market, authentic content created by influencers has taken the center stage.

Before diving in to understand how to measure influencer marketing impact, you must know that influencer marketing is not just about selling.

Marketing through influencers has become synonymous with creating a community of like-minded target audiences and growing it organically. That is the reason why brands commission influencers to create scalable content that has the power to spike interest among the target audience. In fact, consumers trust online influencers far more than a newspaper ad or a radio commercial.

What is Influencer Marketing?

influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a means to bridge the gap between social media users and your brand.

Influencers on social media are individuals who boast a substantial following and are considered subject-matter experts among their niche. Built on trust and face value of the influencer, this type of marketing could help you in many ways, including increased brand recognition.

You must select influencers by conducting a thorough study. Based on your end goal and budget, you may choose from various mega, macro, and micro-influencers to promote your products or services.

See Also: From Baby Bump to Social Bump: The Rise of Mom Social Media Influencers

The Impact of Influencer Marketing on Consumers

Influencer marketing may not bring immediate results, but it definitely ‘influences’ online users to subconsciously explore the product, if not buy it.

Whether you choose an established actor with a following of over 7 million or a micro-influencer with high engagement, your influencer marketing plan is bound to impact prospective customers.

Here are some of the most prominent results of influencer marketing:

Brand Exposure

Influencer marketing helps create brand awareness and exposure. This could be highly beneficial for new brands.

Perception

Marketing programs created with influencers can help create a brand image among users. For this reason, choosing influencers that speak the language of your brand is a must.

Sparks curiosity

Influencer marketers can spark interest among the target audience by just giving a sneak peek through their profiles.

Builds trust

Influencers are regarded with high respect and considered experts in their field. So, they help build trust by being a representative of the brand.

How To Measure Influencer Marketing

how to measure influencer marketing qr code

The ultimate goal of marketing is to generate sales and the same is true with influencer marketing. Setting online goals and measuring their success is naturally the first step.

What you want to do is analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) of the influencer. These KPIs could include the number of followers, reach, impressions, traffic data, etc.

But, more often than not, the real dilemma arises when you need to analyze the offline effect of an online campaign.

But there is a way around this too!

You can make a dynamic QR Code and use it to measure the offline success of a digital campaign.

How does that work?

Have influencers share coupon codes or discounts in the form of a QR Code as well.
This QR Code can be saved to Apple Wallet or as an image and then, later on, used at a store.

Once the salesperson scans this code, the sale gets attributed back to the influencer campaign.

The data gets stored in the linked program, which you could further use to analyze the overall impact generated on all offline mediums.

Influencers are here to stay. Therefore, the world of influencer marketing will keep evolving.

See Also: How To Nail Social Media and Influencer Marketing: The SME Edition

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The Connection Between Sugar and Cancer You Might Not Know About

In its simplest form, the body uses calories provided by sugar for energy. There’s also the pleasurable aspect is has on many foods. And it’s rather surprising how frequently it appears in savory foods like sauces, processed meats, and vegetable products. When purchasing processed foods, it’s wise to assume that sugar is an additive.

Sugar as a food substance

There are many forms of sugar. There are simple carbohydrates, ‘saccharides’, fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar), glucose, and maltose (malt sugar).

All of these forms are relatively sweet to a varying degree and all provide energy.

The simplest type of sugar is glucose. It may be considered as the currency for living cells, at the higher animal level at least.

Basically, our cells ‘burn’ glucose to generate energy which creates ATP in the presence of oxygen.

Most carbohydrates are broken down by the body when we eat to produce glucose. The glucose can be used for energy. When carbohydrates are unavailable, it’s possible for the body to ‘burn’ fat (ketone bodies). However, the body will always burn glucose first, should it be available.

Lactose, sucrose, and maltose are disaccharide sugars. They are digested to then release glucose and various other saccharides to make energy. When complex carbohydrates (starch) in foods like potatoes, bread, and rice are broken down, sugars are likewise released.

We utilize the term sugar in this article to describe sucrose.

The human digestive system rapidly digests simple sugars such as sucrose which allows them to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This works to sustain blood glucose (blood sugar) at a certain level.

We’ll consider how this is relative to cancer. Also, we will explore four key perspectives to the following question:

Does sugar feed cancer?

First linked to higher rates of cancer, consuming more sugar is also linked to weight gain. Second, more consumption of sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes developing and that too is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

There are two additional potential effects that sugar has on cancer and those are still questions:

  • Is sugar responsible for directly fueling cancer cell growth?
  • In what way does dietary sugar impact microbe balance in the human digestive system?

It’s merely a suggestion, but is sugar responsible for directly feeding cancer? This, understandably, is a topic that is very hotly debated.

Sugar and Body Fat

Research that has been carried out has been proven to link the amount of sugar consumption with weight gain. In populations that have a higher sugar consumption, obesity is more prevalent.

Nevertheless, it’s factual that the overall diet contributes to obesity while low physical activity, likewise, is responsible for a rise in obesity rates.

The bottom line here?

It would appear from research carried out on sugar, in relation to body fat, that consuming higher amounts of sugar, sweetened beverages, and processed foods is linked to obesity.

Sugar, Insulin, and Diabetes

sugar and diabetes

When we consume sugar, it can be rapidly taken into the blood. This is why athletes use glucose as fuel for intense physical activity.

Sucrose, lactose, fructose, and various other sugars also rapidly release glucose into the bloodstream. So foods such as candy, cookies, and others offer a rapid boost to levels of glucose in the blood.

Starchy foods that are highly refined and processed, like breakfast cereals and white bread, are quick to deliver sugar. On the other hand, unrefined starches found in brown rice, oatmeal, and wholegrain bread deliver sugar far more slowly. This is because such foods are high in fiber, which causes the body to take much longer to extract sugar.

And when blood sugar increases, the hormone insulin gets to work.

Those that have high levels of insulin, including those with type 2 diabetes, face a far greater risk of developing different forms of cancer.

But even when diabetes is not diagnosed, higher levels of insulin in the body may be correlated with a more rapid progression of some cancers. A study of 2,000 people that were affected by colorectal cancer demonstrated that in those with lower insulin levels, the prognosis was better.

Sugar and Cell Metabolism

There’s a hotly contested debate surrounding the idea that sugar feeds cancer directly. While most of us believe that to be true, it’s not the whole story.

There’s a further argument:

If sugar is not available to a cancer cell, the cell will find an alternative fuel.

Research groups on the other side of this debate are looking for drugs that will block cancer cells’ access to sugar. There are clinicians currently studying specialized diets that consist of very low sugar. This type of diet will reduce sugar as the primary source of fuel for cancer cells.

Sugar and the Gut Microbiome

Over the prior decade, a very revolutionary aspect of cancer research has opened up. The microbiome is the microbe collective that lives on us and inside us.

There is a collection of microbes that reside in the digestive system. These microbes have a valuable influence on our health.

It is believed that some species from within this microbiome have some form of interaction with the blood cells that circulate inside the intestine walls. It’s this interaction that impacts the immune system.

The microbiome is little understood. However, there are studies involving cancer patients that were introduced to newly available immune therapy cancer drugs. These studies suggests that  a healthy high-fiber diet seems to have helped bring about a positive response in some cancer patients to these treatments.

A Healthful Eating Plan

healthy eating plan

Perhaps, the best approach is to consider how your overall diet and your sugar intake affects your own body weight.

Think about blood sugar levels.

Sugar and ‘carbs’ (foods high in starch) are responsible for the highest contribution to blood sugar levels. So try to reduce your added sugar intake and reduce starchy foods to smaller-sized portions. Starchy foods in your diet should be made up of vegetables and whole-grain foods.

If you do wish to cut back on starch intake further, it’s wise to get professional advice. And remember that unprocessed plant-based foods are very helpful in feeding yourself, as well as the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

See Also: The 11 Most Important Rules For Healthy Eating

In Summary

The connection between sugar and cancer is a relationship that is filled with complexity. There is strong evidence of a robust relationship between sugar and cancer shown by some research while in other areas, there’s still plenty of exploration and debate to be done.

Nevertheless, it is clear that in most populations, sugar consumption is high. This sugar consumption has clearly been linked to various health issues, including cancer.

While there is a need for more evidence that definitively says sugar is responsible for promoting cancer growth, we now have enough evidence to say that for those wishing to reduce cancer risk and for those that wish to improve their current situation, it would be prudent to reduce sugar consumption.

We believe that patients should take action even when the information is far from perfect. There should be no need for scientific certainty before action is taken. Even more so when the action to be taken comes with few or potentially zero side effects.

Author: Jedediah Coleman CEO of Curve.life
Website: https://curve.life/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/curve_life
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/curve.life

The post The Connection Between Sugar and Cancer You Might Not Know About appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A House-Buying Guide For Millennials

Buying a house can be an exciting time in anyone’s life, and it’s a huge milestone that you should celebrate. Millennials buying houses is nothing new, but there’s a new surge of younger homebuyers throughout the United States.

If you’re one of them, read on for a few great tips to help you get the home of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Pay Off Your Debt First

Before you go out and get into more debt, consider paying off any you already owe. Student loans, personal loans, and credit card debts are the big three that come to mind. When you pay them off, you have more money available for your mortgage, down payment, or savings. Work to pay your debt off as quickly as possible, so you’re free and clear to buy a house.

Look for a House that Fits Your Lifestyle

millenial house buying

Buying a house can be a lengthy process, but don’t be tempted to rush into a home that doesn’t match your lifestyle. Purchasing the wrong one–whether it’s a mismatch for your needs or leaves you financially overextended–can lead to problems later on, and you may even end up selling prematurely, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to build equity. Instead of focusing exclusively on what’s inside the house, consider the its distance from work and family, the outdoor space (especially if you have kids or pets), and the overall carrying costs–not just the monthly payment. You can find yourself stuck and stressed out if you don’t.

Buy With the Future in Mind

What will your future self want in a house? If you’re young and single, buying a house in the center of a city by thriving nightlife may seem like a dream, but what happens when you settle down? If you buy a small house, what happens when you have kids if you plan for them? Take a few minutes and think about your longer-range plans, and see how your house falls into them.

Consider the Current State of the Property

So many videos, blogs, YouTube channels, and television shows make home improvement seem so easy. The truth is, it can be a big time and money suck if you’re not sure what you’re doing. It’s usually worth it to buy a home that is in good repair instead of saving a few thousand by buying one that isn’t in a good state. Those few thousand you initially save will be gone very quickly on renovations.

Save for a Down Payment

Many young people forget to put money aside for a down payment, and it comes back to haunt them later. The more you can put down for your down payment, the more affordable your payments will be. Ideally, you should have at least 10% of your home’s purchase price on-hand and ready to use, if not 20%.

Shop in a Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market is when there are more houses available than meets demand, so the sellers compete with lower prices. The homebuyer has the advantage here, and you can shop through an area and see how the prices differ. If the house has been available for a while, the seller may be willing to reduce the price just to get it off their hands.

Calculate How Much Home You Can Afford

millenials house buying

Before you start shopping, consider how much home you can afford. This way, you don’t get your hopes up on a house that is way out of your budget. Ideally, you want to keep all of your housing-related expenses like mortgage, insurance, and any HOA fees to no more than 25% to 30% of your monthly take-home pay. This amount will leave you with enough money to fix up your home or build savings.

Get Preapproved for a Loan

This point goes back to knowing how much home you can afford. Millennials buying houses tend to skip this step, and it can set the home search back. For example, you can’t make an offer on the house without a pre-approval letter, and the letter can take a week or two. In this time, the home you had your eye on could be long gone. Start home shopping with a pre-approval letter in your hand, and stay in your budget.

What is Your Exit Strategy?

Normally, the first home you buy isn’t your forever home. When it’s time to move on, how will your home fare with your exit strategy? Will it be easy to rent out or sell? Is it big enough for a couple to start their own family in? How is the local school district? What are your neighbors like? Keep all of these things in mind when you’re on your search.

Keep the Process Moving

Once you start the homebuying process, see it through. Stay in the loop so you can stay on top of your agent or any other third parties, like the inspection company. If you can avoid it, never make a seller wait during the contingency period. You want to get the deal done as soon as possible, without tempting the seller to explore backup offers from buyers willing to move faster than you.

Be Honest and Authentic with the Seller

For many people, selling their home is a very emotional process. You can try to connect with them by sending them a short, handwritten note that explains why the home would be perfect for you. This letter can give you an emotional connection with the seller, and make them more likely to entertain your offer.

Buying a home can be a rewarding but overwhelming process, especially if you’re not prepared. Use our 11 tips to help streamline your home buying process and find your dream home.

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

The post A House-Buying Guide For Millennials appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

11 Remedies For Menstrual Cramps You Need To Try

Dysmenorrhea or painful menstrual periods is a common concern for a lot of women. Most of them have mild abdominal cramps while others experience intense pain that greatly affects their daily activities.

If you are dealing with this kind of pain each month, here are some of the most effective remedies for menstrual cramps you can try.

Exercising

Believe it or not, any kind of physical activity can ease your belly pain. Exercises, like brisk walking and aerobic routines, can help release endorphins. They are your body’s natural painkillers.

So, exercising four to five times a week can help keep your menstrual cramps at bay.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Carrot Juice

Carrot juice contains a lot of iron.

Drink carrot juice without fail for 3 months and you’ll see good results for sure. You can mix carrot juice with other vegetable juice as well.

Turmeric Powder

Mix a spoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and drink this daily.

Turmeric stimulates the menstrual flow and balances the hormones. Taking it every day can greatly reduce your menstrual cramps.

Applying Heat

The main cause of menstrual pain is the contraction of your uterine muscles. Applying heat can help relax those muscles.

There are many heating pads and patches you can try. If you don’t have a heating pad, you can just pour hot water into a plastic bottle and apply it to your abdomen. Just make sure that you have a clean fabric in between the bottle and your abdomen to avoid burning your skin.

Mint

For irregular periods, mint is one of the best natural remedies. It relieves and soothes menstrual cramps.

Mix one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of dried mint powder. Take it 3 times a day and continue for a few weeks.

Unripe Papaya

Unripe papaya is another easy and effective solution to painful menstrual cramps. It helps in the proper contraction of the muscle fiber in your uterus. It’s a great help for delayed menstrual cycles associated with menopause or stress, too.

Consume unripe papaya for two months. Be sure to eat it before your menstrual cycle.

Grape Juice

Consuming grapes or drinking grape juice once or twice a day can get rid of the menstrual pain you experience every month.

Having an Orgasm

Yes, you heard it right.

Orgasms can greatly reduce menstrual cramps.

The uterus is more relaxed before an orgasm and there’s increased blood flow, too. Those two conditions can soothe your pain.

In addition to that, orgasms release endorphins as well. They can help your body relax so you can rest and sleep without any discomfort.

Bitter Gourd

Most people don’t like having bitter gourd because of its taste. It is, however, extremely good for the health.

Chop the bitter gourd into pieces and churn it in a mixer. Once it turns liquid, you can add a teaspoon of sugar and drink it.

Ginger

If your menstrual flow is light and the periods are late, you require ginger in your life. You can eat it raw or drink its juice. Both methods greatly help with painful and abnormal periods.

Asafoetida

Asafoetida is a famous ingredient that has a lot of medicinal value. It is helpful in getting rid of hormonal disorders because of the chemical compounds it contains.

Fry little amount of powdered asafetida in clarified butter and add it to goat milk and some honey. 200 to 500 mg of asafoetida is recommended for a single day.

Conclusion

While these remedies for menstrual cramps are highly effective, you shouldn’t rely completely on them. Make sure to visit your doctor to find out the real reason why you’re experiencing so much pain at that time of the month.

With proper diagnosis, your doctor will be able to find and provide the best possible treatment for you.

The post 11 Remedies For Menstrual Cramps You Need To Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Essential Tips On How to Manage Work Emails Without Losing Productivity

Did you know that an average professional receives close to 121 emails a day? Now if this is the number of emails an average professional receives, what about your work email? Hundreds of emails, right?

So how do you manage your work email with the huge number of emails coming to your inbox every day?

Chances are that you spend almost an hour or even half a day managing your work email. But look, it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this article, we are going to share with you some essential tips on how to manage work emails.

Designate Time to Process Your Mail Each Day

Here is the thing:

Your work email is perhaps the busiest mail you deal with every day. This means you have to check your mail multiple times daily.

However, while you will need to throw your eyes to see the latest email in your inbox, you should designate time to process emails received every day. If you decide to process your emails as soon as they come into your inbox, you will spend more time in your mail than at work.

The best thing to do is to decide whether to process your mail as soon you get into your office or before you leave the office.

And as you set aside time to process your emails, make sure you deal with the most important emails first. The idea is to avoid spending too much time managing your work email and less time doing what you are supposed to accomplish for the day.

See Also: Why You Shouldn’t Check Email in the Morning And What To Do Instead

Delete Unimportant Emails

Truth be told, not all emails you receive are worth reading or opening. Once you open your email, check the subject line or the sender.

If it’s a promotional email, a friend inviting you to a party that you don’t have the time to attend to or just junk mail, just hit the DELETE button.

You can simplify things by selecting all the unimportant or irrelevant emails and deleting them at once. Once you empty unimportant emails from your inbox, you will be able to see the important ones much faster.

Also, if there are emails that have been in your inbox for a long time, chances are that even the sender has forgotten that they sent you an email, just delete.

And if you notice an unfamiliar email, report it as spam. You can also archive emails which you think you will need later.

Understand that Not All Emails You Receive are Worth Your Replies

Look, some emails you receive aren’t worth your time to reply to. In fact, not replying to an email is a reply. They say “silence is an answer” and it applies here as well.

Just imagine how many emails you receive in your work email and the time it would take you to reply to each one. That would mean every day goes wasted because even though some of the emails you receive are about work, you still have other things to do.

Besides, if you decide to reply to every email, you will end up drained out by the end of the day.

Just don’t stress yourself and stop spending too much time replying to every email you receive. Choose those that need your reply and ignore the rest. After all, if someone really needs your reply, they will follow up. If not, why bother yourself too much?

Group Your Emails into Labels, Folders, and Categories

how to manage work email

If you are using Gmail, you can group your emails into folders and labels. The same way applies if you are using Outlook.

At the left sidebar menu in your inbox, there is an option to “create a new label”. Every label you create forms a folder where you can group your emails. Name the folder according to the content of the email so that the next time you want to retrieve the email, you don’t scratch your head trying to figure out where you sent it to.

Gmail even allows you to give your labels different colors.

Create a Reply by “Specific Date” Folder

If you have emails that you must reply to, then you can group them into a reply by “specific date” folder. The specific date is the date when you will have the time to reply to the emails or the time when the sender needs your replies.

You could designate around two days or three to reply to emails. This will relieve you from the stress of replying to every email you receive as soon as it gets into your inbox.

Read Worthy Emails

As mentioned earlier, not all emails in your inbox are worth reading. Some are for promotional purposes and some are just junk. If you decide to open every email and read it, then you will waste a lot of time you could have used to do other productive things.

Just read what’s relevant at the moment and archive what you think is relevant but not at the moment.

Apply the 1-Minute Rule

Some emails don’t take more than 1 minute to reply to. Just reply to these emails immediately to avoid letting them sit in your inbox for so long. The more they pile up, the more you will spend time replying to them.

Just make sure you don’t take more than one minute replying to such emails. This way, you will clear the huge batch of emails faster.

Limit the Time You Spend in Your Mail Inbox

manage work emails

Aside from following the 1-minute rule when replying to emails, you also need to limit the time you spend in your mail inbox.

First of all, gauge yourself to know the time you spend reading an email and replying to it. Once you know this, try to find how you can reduce the time spent as much as you can.
Well, some emails you receive are way too long, but you can just scan through and then process them within a short time.

If you are required to reply to such emails, follow the 1-minute rule and archive it if you are planning to reply later.

Ideally, you want to minimize the time you spent in your mail inbox as much as you can.

Designate Time to Declutter Your Inbox

You must have set time for general cleaning at your house where you stop everything you are doing and get to cleaning work. The same applies to your work email.

The good thing about your work email is that you don’t have to spend the whole day doing it. Cleaning your inbox can take a few minutes but you must set aside time for it. Otherwise, you may not get the time to do it.

Turn off Email Notifications

Understandably, you don’t want to miss that important reply from a client or business associate. However, a study has shown that once you have been disrupted by an email notification, you can take about 23 minutes to get your mind back to the task you were working on. Just imagine how much time you can waste if you get hundreds of notifications every day.

Invest In Email Management Tools

Inbox clutter can be demotivating and can ruin your productivity. Besides, as you work on limiting the time you spend in your inbox, you also need to avoid affecting your communication with clients, business associates, co-workers, etc.

The good thing is that there are effective email management tools out there. You can use them to take out the hectic work out of your hands.

Here are a few of the best email management tools we can recommend:

Boomerang

Similar to the Mailbox’s snooze feature, Boomerang is a powerful tool that will help you write good emails, schedule meetings with a single email, schedule emails to be sent later, get notified when emails you sent have been read or not so that you can send follow-ups.
The good thing is that you can download Boomerang on your Android device and manage your inbox from your mobile device even when you are out of office.

Sortd

Sortd is also another powerful tool designed for Gmail users. With this tool, you can organize your inbox in a way that you don’t lose important emails.

The good thing about Sortd is that it allows you to sort emails by lists. For instance, you can sort emails by reply later, to-dos, follow-ups, etc. You can try the tool with the free plan before you upgrade to the premium plan.

Batched Inbox

In case you don’t want to receive new emails within a specified time, Batched Inbox is the best email management tool for that purpose. This tool works for Gmail users and the good thing about it is that it suspends all your incoming emails until the time when you need them in your inbox.

This means that you can specify your new emails to come in only in the evening when you are done with work. This way, you can get the time to process the emails you already have rather than being interrupted by new emails.

The Email Game

The Email Game is a sister tool to Boomerang since the two are from the same developers.
Once you receive an email, you have multiple options. You may want to reply immediately, reply later, or just skip. This tool does it the way you want.

Choose What Works For You

Honestly, there is no one best way to manage your work email. A trick might work for someone and not work for you.

Managing emails is a habit that you develop over time. Just choose what works for you and give the habit time to develop.

The post Essential Tips On How to Manage Work Emails Without Losing Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt

We all have moments of self-doubt.

Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or moving to a foreign country, it’s impossible to escape the little voice in your head that questions your decisions. Not all self-doubt is bad though. Self-doubt can help identify areas that we need to improve. The problem arises when you live in constant state of self-loathing.

In this article, we offer 5 strategies for overcoming self-doubt.

Observe your self-doubt through meditation

beat self doubt

Understanding self-doubt requires an ability to observe our own internal monologue and behaviors. The objective of self-analysis is to look inwards in a constructive way, without being too hard on ourselves.

Meditation is a helpful practice for learning to observe your thoughts without judgment. Set aside just 5 minutes everyday to watch the ebb and flow of your thoughts. The trick is to learn how to detach from your thoughts instead of constantly identifying with them.
The more you practice meditation, the easier this process of detachment will become.

Check out the Headspace app if you are looking for an easy way to get started with meditation.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Take action and learn by doing

The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh once said:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Sometimes our thoughts of self-doubt can cripple us from taking action. When in doubt we suggest to take action! You might stumble, but that’s better than doing nothing.

Each mistake is a learning opportunity and each mini-milestone builds confidence. So next time you catch yourself mired in self- doubt, ask yourself “What actions am I avoiding to take right now?” and then take them.

Identify and overcome limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are those entrenched modes of thinking that prevent us from getting what we want. Because they run deep into our psyches, and are often formed in early childhood, limiting beliefs can be hard to identify.

A good example of a limiting belief is “People like me never end up rich.” Journaling is a great way to start to identify your limiting beliefs. Try writing for 10 minutes in a journal every day and start to observe the themes that emerge. Once you begin to identify your most common self-limiting beliefs, write them into a list.

Now, write a new list of positive statements to replace the negative ones. For example, “I believe in my abilities, and can make good money doing what I do.”

Be kind to yourself

Kindness and compassion are great antidotes to insecurity and self-doubt. Talk to yourself in the same way that you would talk to a close friend.

Be honest, compassionate, and encouraging.

Avoid self-judgment and focus on empathy instead. Try writing yourself a positive and encouraging message on a post-it note. Stick it somewhere you will see it every day and refresh the message every week with positive self-affirmations to keep you inspired.

Nourish your body and mind

beating self doubt thru food

Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between mental health and a well-balanced diet.

Make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, seafood, nuts and plant-based fats. If you are experiencing a low and stressful moment, you could also consider adding adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha or a supplement like L-Tyrosine.
Some studies suggest that Ashwagandha helps ease anxiety and L-tyrosine has been shown to improve concentration and attention during stressful periods.

See Also: Eating Mindfully: What It Is and What It Can Do To Your Body

The bottom line

Self-doubt should be seen as a normal and necessary part of self-improvement. However, it needs to be thoughtfully managed. As you begin to develop the right tools and understanding on how to beat self-doubt, you’ll have more confidence to take on life’s obstacles with a feeling of excitement rather than anxiety.

The post 5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Reinventing the Office Experience: How Office Design Has Changed

As technological innovations continue to change the nature of work, business owners and professionals work on creating a space that encourages productivity and business prosperity. To this day, many businesses continue to experiment and push the limits on what a productive office design should be like.

But where can success be found?

As the old saying goes, those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

We are led to believe that workspaces aren’t always like this: rows of cubicles or desks containing computers connected in an open space. However, the open office setups and co-working spaces aren’t as new as we think.

The Evolution and History of Office Design

office design history

In the 1950s, open offices were at the height of popularity. It’s attributed to “management experts” like Frederick Taylor who provided insights to companies from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

However, despite initial intentions to create a workspace that promotes collaboration and exchange of ideas, these office spaces only served to fit as many employees possible. This layout, with its shared long tables filled at max capacity, was reminiscent of factory lines. It made it easier to see who was doing their job and who was slacking.

From this, German professionals began experimenting with office design. They came up with the first flexible office layout. The result was Bürolandschaft or “Office Landscape”, which allowed for accommodating privacy and solo work. It was flexible enough for collaboration. While this movement did not quite take off, cubicles were created to try to capture this duality of space.

Unfortunately, this gave rise to the “cube farm” phenomenon in the 1970s. It featured rows upon rows of identical cubicles, defeating the purpose of its flexibility. However, this privacy allowed employees to express themselves and personalize their workspace. It was also in this period that computers started seeing use in the workplace, taking up roomfuls of space.

See Also: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Office Space Caters To Each Stage Of A Business Journey

Adapting to Technology

Technology further pushed the changes in office design, as the workforce move from the large and clunky computers of the 1980s to cellular phones in the 1990s and accessible internet connection of 2000s.

The employees’ means of working became more compact. It gave way to the shift from bulky equipment housed in equally cumbersome office spaces to open and co-working offices with more ergonomic features. The 2000s were also a time when home offices became feasible. As long as you had a stable internet connection, you can get work done. It gave back the sense of flexibility and mobility to workers.

At the forefront of this decade, tech offices are redefining workspaces by putting the employee’s well-being at the core of their changes. Remote work and home-based jobs have taken off, given that tasks can be completed through laptops and digital collaboration tools.

Tech giants, like Google and Apple, have designed their offices to allow employees to engage in non-work activities. It helps improve their work-life balance. The open office plan, on the other hand, affects productivity positively.

Tailor-fitting the Workspace Based on Your Employees’ Needs

office design

Companies are more informed now. They now know that the key to making office spaces effective is identifying what is needed from a workspace.

An ideal workspace prioritizes opportunities for workers to connect and collaborate. It strikes a balance between open collaboration and privacy and stimulates creative thinking. These ideals should be grounded in the reality of the space: size, the overall flow of the design, energy consumption, brand image, and, most importantly, company culture.

A common error is to simply copy an office design without taking into consideration your company’s unique culture and needs. It’s a costly renovation that’s just not worth it. When executed correctly, a modern ideal workspace can make all the difference in attracting potential employees. It can help in keeping existing ones around, too.

Your business stands to see an increase in wellness, productivity, reinforcement of company culture and values, more flexible working options, a chance for employees to interact and build relationships, and a good impression on possible clients and business partners.

At the end of the day, while tech continues to drive the changes we make to our working spaces, we need to remember what these changes should really be about. We need to learn more about the history of office design.

Any great space is a waste if the interests of your employees, and to an extent, your business, is not aligned with it.

See Also: 10 Things That Are Essential For A Great Office Environment

The post Reinventing the Office Experience: How Office Design Has Changed appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Deal with Toxic Relationships?

Dealing with toxic people can be challenging, especially when you are not even able to identify their toxicity. Instead of helping you evolve, these energy vampires bring you down and make you feel less confident in your abilities. The interesting thing is that most “victims” do not even see through what these individuals are doing.

So, they get up caught into this circle of unidentifiable pain, unable to make changes and always feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and emotions. It’s important to mention that toxic partners or friends can be highly manipulative, meaning they can affect your life in ways you might not identify as manipulation. They can play with your mind without you knowing. So, great job being here – that means you are taking the first step in the right direction.

Here are some ways in which you can deal with this toxicity.

First step: admitting it is true

deal with toxic relationships

The first thing you must do when you are in this situation is to realize the problem that you’re having.

Without admitting the cause of your pain, you will not be able to solve anything. To do this, you must accept that it affects you first. Denial is a pain in the bum, so make sure that what you are thinking of is actually true. Here are some ideas that you could work with, in case you might be in denial but might have not figured it out yet:

  • Be patient and kind with yourself – if you are not sure where you stand or if you’re experiencing denial, being patient and honest with yourself will help a lot. However, don’t be too harsh, it will only aggravate the negative feelings you might be feeling.
  • Avoid ignorance and understand how it differentiates from denial. With ignorance, you know that something is going on but choose to ignore it. With denial, on the other hand, you deny the fact that something might be going on. Make sure you have someone close to talk to about your issue.
  • Remain calm. Try to meditate, do yoga, take a walk, and think about it. Do not overthink though! Relax as much as you can.

You should not get stuck, keep on moving

Toxic people will make you feel that you cannot do better than them. You must wake up! This is not the best that you can do. Usually a great way to detect whether someone is doing this or not is to ask yourself: how many (other) friends/family members are you still engaging with? Do you contact people who used to be in your life regularly now? And if not, why so? Has this toxic person influenced you in one way or another?

Understand that this feeling might come from fear and it is usually promoted by an inferior
complex. If you think you are not good enough to accept what is best for you, you might be more inclined to search for those toxic relationships. This happens because as people, we find it challenging to get out of our comfort zones, so staying in the safe areas (engaging with people who make us feel the way WE feel about ourselves) is easier than accepting healthy people in our lives.

Make sure you do not continue this ongoing circle. Contemplate on your emotions and always ask why. What is the reason you are thinking whatever is that you are thinking? What is the reason you are engaging in the same addictive behaviors that you are engaging in? Even if questioning ourselves can be challenging, not doing it makes us ignorant. So, start questioning everything.

Take responsibility for your actions

It’s important to understand that, even if you let other people help you, they will not be able to change you. You are the only person who can do that, so start taking responsibility for your actions, emotions, and thoughts. Yes, it’s true that toxic people can easily get to you, but it would be false to say that you cannot choose the way you react. You have the freedom to do it; and that is because you create your own reality.

So, if you realize that there are some issues going on with someone in your life and would like to withdraw, start making active changes. Do not wait for someone else to intervene. There are two questions we need to ask ourselves when something affects us negatively.

  1. Do I like the situation that I am in or would I need to change it to feel better? And if I don’t like it;
  2. How can I change the situation which I find myself in?

Look for the reason

how to deal with toxic relationships

If you can understand the reason why certain things happen or why some people cross paths with you, it will be easier to understand their situations and change yours. Whenever two people meet, there is a reason for it – nothing is coincidental. Why do you attract these types of people? Are you looking for something you do not have in your own life? Often, people around us mirror what we fear the most, so ask that question as well – do you fear becoming toxic, addicted, dependent? Also, what do you think their life lesson is? Why did they have to cross paths with you? What could they learn from you?

Maintain boundaries and be specific

When you finally realize that some people are toxic for you, you will want to make changes. So, the first thing you should do is draw boundaries. Being able to communicate properly is important, so try not to make the other person feel guilty. When expressing yourself, use “I” statements – for instance, “I feel that this relationship does not bring me the benefits that I thought it would”, or “I do not feel prepared to continue seeing you”. Do not put the blame on them for how you are feeling, ever. That will make them defensive and unable to communicate with. If, however, you choose to use personal statements, they will not be able to invalidate that.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

Conclusion

Our lives are highly influenced by the people we choose to spend time with, so make sure you are choosing healthy relationships within your life. Make sure you truly connect with your peers/partner and understand that they are not your responsibility. Good luck!

Author bio
Emma Johnson is a digital marketer and a blogger at best essay writing service and professional college essay writers company. She is also perfect at writing and talking about self-improvement, social media and communication. Find Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

The post How to Deal with Toxic Relationships? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Build A Minimum Viable Product

In the era of constantly churned out applications, the only thing that can make you stand out from the crowd is a Minimum Viable Product.

An application is hardly ever a one-person job. It is a lot of people coming together and putting their heads together to create a product that will, in turn, be accepted by the market.

There is always this risk hanging on top of your head, one that implies what if your application isn’t as great as what you believe it to be. For dispelling all your doubts and reducing the risk of your investment, it is a good idea to create an MVP.

An MVP is a product that provides the basic core functionality to its users without any of the sophisticated trimmings on top.

Every big application in the market once started as an MVP. Amazon initially started as an online marketplace that only sold books. It later diversified into the e-commerce giant it is today.

At the same time during the E-revolution, there were hundreds of websites that began but then failed, never to be heard about again.

Your MVP is what creates your initial user base which can be further worked upon once you know your product is feasible enough to survive in the market.

An MVP is also important to secure funding for your project as an application requires manpower and resources, which are both next to impossible to get without adequate funding.

But there is no point in building an MVP if you’re planning to go in guns blazing. A successful MVP is a collection of right steps taken in the right direction in the absence of any kind of preconceived notions.

So here is a guide on how to build a minimum viable product.

Do Your Research

build a minimum viable product

The leading problem with most MVP is the startling lack of research. A product can be built simply by sharing the wireframes with your developer and them creating a running application.

However, just the existence of an application is not the basis of a successful application.

Research needs to be carried out. Your target audience needs to be defined and their needs understood. Your product also needs to be useful to them and add value to their life.

You also need to carry out competitor research that clearly states how you are better than what exists in the market. Even in the absence of a direct competitor, just the fact that your product is the new kid on the block will not be of much help.

Your Idea Needs Definition

It cannot be stressed enough but your product needs to add value in your customer’s lives. Your product needs to have the intention behind every aspect of its working.

Understand the functions that are part of your application’s core functionality. Don’t add features just for the sake of bulking up the application.

Decide On The Design And User Flow

building a minimum viable product

Once you have managed to figure out the ideal market, it is time that you begin to design your application.

Everything you do should be done with the user in mind. It does not matter what you think about it as long as the users are happy.

Begin with designing user flows (User Journey maps are good, too) to describe the stages of the process. That would help you chart the path that a typical user would take while completing a task on your application.

This in-depth detailing is essential as it lays out the necessary steps that are required to be taken by the user. It also allows you to improve their experience.

See Also: Integrating User Experience Design and Internet Marketing Successfully

Decide on the features

You have finally completed building your process. Now, you move on to in-depth detailing. You determine exactly what are the features that you want your application to eventually incorporate.

See the process list and then jot down the features that you believe will work with them the best. Prioritize these features next.

Once you have finished organizing the features, define their scope for the first iteration of your application. Then, you’re good to move on to the next step.

Build the MVP

Welcome to the final step of your journey, the actual iteration of your dream. Remember that your MVP is not a low-quality render of your final application. Yes, it is stripped back but by no means is it anything less than what you have decided to release in the market.

An MVP is not the end goal, a full, functioning application however is. Once you have an MVP, it is time to test it. You now need to test it with real audiences to ensure that there are no kinks in the product.

Your customer perception is the only thing that can make or break your product. It is essential that you take their views into account before figuring out whether or not your product is market-ready.

The post How To Build A Minimum Viable Product appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Nutrients for Healthy Hair You Should Have In Your Diet

Gorgeous hair can only grow on a body that is healthy from within. While reducing stress and exercising properly are important for your health, you need to keep in mind that your hair needs nourishment from within. You need to eat the right types of food and get the right nutrients for healthy hair.

If you are wondering what those nutrients are, here’s a short list for you.

nutrients for healthy hair to eat

Protein

Your hair is essentially made up of keratin which is basically a protein.

Naturally, if there is not enough protein in your body, your hair will not be able to rejuvenate or be healthy. Hair growth will be inhibited, too.

Iron

Hair follicles need oxygen and they get it from the iron that is present in your red blood cells.

If you are diagnosed with anemia, your hair will not be healthy. As a matter of fact, this condition cause people to lose more hair than others.

Low ferritin levels can also make your hair more vulnerable to damage.

Biotin

The interaction process of biotin with the enzymes in the cells of your hair produces amino acids. These acids form the proteins that are imperative for hair growth. So, without sufficient amounts of biotin in your body, there is no way you will have healthy hair.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Found in the cell membranes of the scalp, Omega 3 acids help boost the natural oils in the scalp.

When you have enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, your scalp will stay nourished and with minimal chances of dryness.

Vitamins

There are two vitamins that are absolutely crucial for your hair – B vitamins and vitamin C.

Vitamin C can help absorb iron, help with the formation of collagen, and increase the overall immunity of the body. B6, B12, and folate, which are all B vitamins, are necessary for the creation of red blood cells in the body. They are essential for the transportation of oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles.

Zinc

This is the mineral that strengthens the hair follicles from within. When the hair is strong from within, the chance of hair loss is less.

Zinc also helps with the proper functioning of the oil glands in your scalp. If you don’t have enough of this mineral, you might end up with really dry hair.

Water

Without proper hydration, your body and hair will suffer.That is why in order to maintain your hair’s moisture, it is imperative that you drink plenty of water every day.

See Also: 5 Things Your Hair Can Tell About Your Overall Health

nutrients in food for healthy hair

Eggs

Eggs are good sources of protein. That is why people have been applying eggs to their hair to make them stronger and shinier.

Regular consumption of eggs can ensure better keratin deposits in your body. Eggs are also a good source of biotin, zinc, and selenium.

Fatty fish

Fatty fishes, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. When there is sufficient fatty acid in the body, you will notice less hair loss. You’ll find your hair longer and stronger, too.

Oysters

Oysters can help promote hair growth because of their zinc content. However, you need to be careful with zinc consumption. Too much of it could lead to hair loss.

If you are taking oysters in your diet, consider removing other zinc-based supplements.

Shrimp

This delicious shellfish is a great source of B vitamins, zinc, iron, and protein. Even though shrimps don’t contain as much fats as other types of seafood, they can still provide a small amount of Omega 3.

Spinach

Spinach can provide you with folate and vitamins A and C, which are helpful for healthy hair growth. Vitamin A helps with the production of sebum. It’s the substance that keeps the hair moisturized and nourished.

Berries

Berries have several nutrients that can help promote hair growth and ensure that you have stronger and healthier hair. Berries have plenty of antioxidants which will help protect your hair against damage. They are also a great source of vitamin C which is helpful for keeping a healthy body.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are easy to add to your daily diet.

Nuts provide a range of B vitamins and zinc. They are also a good source of essential fatty acids and vitamin E. These vitamins and nutrients are important for both your body and hair to stay healthy.

Similarly, flax seeds and chia seeds are also great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, and selenium.

See Also: Hair Treatment: 6 Foods To Prevent Hair Loss

The post The Nutrients for Healthy Hair You Should Have In Your Diet appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Netflix Metaflow Framework Is Different Than Other Python Frameworks

Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages in the world today. It is already being used by 8 million developers across the world.

It’s hard to say that when Guido Van Rossum first laid the foundation of Python in the 1990s, he would have imagined the extent to which people would adore the programming language.

But, the fact is, organizations from all across the world love to implement Python in their business processes. In the data science industry, for example, Python is being utilized like no other programming language.

Who Uses Python?

Tech and cloud titans are not shying away from using Python for their organizations. Dropbox is a very astonishing and one-of-a-kind move that’s able to write down 4 million lines of Python code. Similarly, Facebook is using Python as its configuration language for its container development system Tupperware.

More and more organizations are shifting their code to Python in recent times and there are many reasons for it. Python is one single language but serves plenty of purposes.

Whether you want to use it as a scripting language, for machine learning development or for data science projects, Python is full of surprises for every use and purpose. It is easy to learn and start implementing which is why it catches the attention of both beginner and professional developers.

Python is scalable, too. It consists of abundant libraries that reduce the burden of coding something from scratch. These, along with many other reasons, contribute to the widespread use of Python across the data science industry.

The Origin of Metaflow

netflix python metaflow

The cloud-based video streaming giant Netflix is one organization that uses Python in almost everything that it does. The organization is a classic example of how Python can be utilized to its full potential for business-critical processes along with real-world data science projects.

Netflix uses a mixture of already existing libraries and in-house frameworks of Python development. Not only this, Netflix also has its very own Python framework for data science known as Metaflow. Ever since its inception a few years ago, it is the first time that Python has turned it into an open-source framework.

But the foundation stone of Metaflow wasn’t laid because Netflix wanted to reform the way data scientists work today. Around two years ago, the entire machine learning team at Netflix gathered just to understand the most robust challenges faced by data scientists while carrying out their tasks.

The answers expected for this question were supposed to revolve around data models and GPUs of massive scale. Instead, what came out as an actual fact was surprising.

Data scientists faced a lot of challenges involving projects and their initial versions which took a significant amount of time to get produced.

Data scientists were found to be more excited about off-the-shelf machine learning libraries. However, these couldn’t be completely utilized because of the issues caused during dependencies in a production workflow. As a result, the entire task of a data scientist became a hassle-filled affair.

The result was this: almost everything could be performed using the existing data science libraries in the world.

The only issue was that there was no such thing as easy. Owing to this reason, Netflix set out to develop Metaflow. They did it to allow common operations in data science to become as easy as pie. The entire focus was to channel the energy with the sole focus of increasing the productivity of data scientists. As a result, metaflow was made with a humancentric fanatic in mind.

How Metaflow Improves the Job of a Data Scientist

netflix metaflow

Models are only a miniature part of a complete end-to-end project. In other words, production-grade projects rely heavily on a thick stack of infrastructure. Even for the smallest of projects, businesses need data and a way to perform computation on top of it.

When it comes to Netflix’s typical data science project, scientists touch almost every single layer of their business stack.

Data scientists at Netflix basically love the freedom of being able to choose the most befitting modeling approach for their projects. Even though they understand that feature engineering is fundamental to several models, they do not want to be limited by this fact.

Put differently, in the modern world, data scientists want to express their business logic through Python code, but don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the engineering issues behind it. These issues include factors like object hierarchies, packaging issues, and dealing with dubious APIs that are not closely related to their work.

Most data scientists don’t have anything against the Python code. They just want the foundation components to work when they don’t display messages that are clear and understandable. To solve all these issues, Metaflow provides a unified approach to navigating the stack.

It allows data scientists to write models and business logic with idiomatic Python code and leverages existing infrastructure whenever feasible. It is conveniently integrated into full-stack with humancentric APIs as its core proposition.

Even though Metaflow might not feel very different from what one could easily achieve in R or other Python frameworks, its main feature lies in quickly putting the existing workflows to the cloud. Metaflow quickly snapshots the code along with the data and dependencies automatically in a content-addressed data store. This is typically backed by S3 or a local file system as well. Therefore, it helps scientists resume workflows along with reproducing past results and inspecting almost everything about the workflow in a notebook.

Conclusion

Even though Metaflow only supports Amazon Web services today, but soon another could be supported, too. Quite some engineering has gone into developing Metaflow. This is why being open source can help plenty of organizations up their data science projects and ease the lives of their data scientists. Ultimately, it is making the data speak to solve the toughest business problems.

See Also: 5 Awesome Tools To Help You Newbie Geeks With Your Open Source Project

The post How Netflix Metaflow Framework Is Different Than Other Python Frameworks appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Netflix Metaflow Framework Is Different Than Other Python Frameworks

Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages in the world today. It is already being used by 8 million developers across the world.

It’s hard to say that when Guido Van Rossum first laid the foundation of Python in the 1990s, he would have imagined the extent to which people would adore the programming language.

But, the fact is, organizations from all across the world love to implement Python in their business processes. In the data science industry, for example, Python is being utilized like no other programming language.

Who Uses Python?

Tech and cloud titans are not shying away from using Python for their organizations. Dropbox is a very astonishing and one-of-a-kind move that’s able to write down 4 million lines of Python code. Similarly, Facebook is using Python as its configuration language for its container development system Tupperware.

More and more organizations are shifting their code to Python in recent times and there are many reasons for it. Python is one single language but serves plenty of purposes.

Whether you want to use it as a scripting language, for machine learning development or for data science projects, Python is full of surprises for every use and purpose. It is easy to learn and start implementing which is why it catches the attention of both beginner and professional developers.

Python is scalable, too. It consists of abundant libraries that reduce the burden of coding something from scratch. These, along with many other reasons, contribute to the widespread use of Python across the data science industry.

The Origin of Metaflow

netflix python metaflow

The cloud-based video streaming giant Netflix is one organization that uses Python in almost everything that it does. The organization is a classic example of how Python can be utilized to its full potential for business-critical processes along with real-world data science projects.

Netflix uses a mixture of already existing libraries and in-house frameworks of Python development. Not only this, Netflix also has its very own Python framework for data science known as Metaflow. Ever since its inception a few years ago, it is the first time that Python has turned it into an open-source framework.

But the foundation stone of Metaflow wasn’t laid because Netflix wanted to reform the way data scientists work today. Around two years ago, the entire machine learning team at Netflix gathered just to understand the most robust challenges faced by data scientists while carrying out their tasks.

The answers expected for this question were supposed to revolve around data models and GPUs of massive scale. Instead, what came out as an actual fact was surprising.

Data scientists faced a lot of challenges involving projects and their initial versions which took a significant amount of time to get produced.

Data scientists were found to be more excited about off-the-shelf machine learning libraries. However, these couldn’t be completely utilized because of the issues caused during dependencies in a production workflow. As a result, the entire task of a data scientist became a hassle-filled affair.

The result was this: almost everything could be performed using the existing data science libraries in the world.

The only issue was that there was no such thing as easy. Owing to this reason, Netflix set out to develop Metaflow. They did it to allow common operations in data science to become as easy as pie. The entire focus was to channel the energy with the sole focus of increasing the productivity of data scientists. As a result, metaflow was made with a humancentric fanatic in mind.

How Metaflow Improves the Job of a Data Scientist

netflix metaflow

Models are only a miniature part of a complete end-to-end project. In other words, production-grade projects rely heavily on a thick stack of infrastructure. Even for the smallest of projects, businesses need data and a way to perform computation on top of it.

When it comes to Netflix’s typical data science project, scientists touch almost every single layer of their business stack.

Data scientists at Netflix basically love the freedom of being able to choose the most befitting modeling approach for their projects. Even though they understand that feature engineering is fundamental to several models, they do not want to be limited by this fact.

Put differently, in the modern world, data scientists want to express their business logic through Python code, but don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the engineering issues behind it. These issues include factors like object hierarchies, packaging issues, and dealing with dubious APIs that are not closely related to their work.

Most data scientists don’t have anything against the Python code. They just want the foundation components to work when they don’t display messages that are clear and understandable. To solve all these issues, Metaflow provides a unified approach to navigating the stack.

It allows data scientists to write models and business logic with idiomatic Python code and leverages existing infrastructure whenever feasible. It is conveniently integrated into full-stack with humancentric APIs as its core proposition.

Even though Metaflow might not feel very different from what one could easily achieve in R or other Python frameworks, its main feature lies in quickly putting the existing workflows to the cloud. Metaflow quickly snapshots the code along with the data and dependencies automatically in a content-addressed data store. This is typically backed by S3 or a local file system as well. Therefore, it helps scientists resume workflows along with reproducing past results and inspecting almost everything about the workflow in a notebook.

Conclusion

Even though Metaflow only supports Amazon Web services today, but soon another could be supported, too. Quite some engineering has gone into developing Metaflow. This is why being open source can help plenty of organizations up their data science projects and ease the lives of their data scientists. Ultimately, it is making the data speak to solve the toughest business problems.

See Also: 5 Awesome Tools To Help You Newbie Geeks With Your Open Source Project

The post How Netflix Metaflow Framework Is Different Than Other Python Frameworks appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Innovative On-Page SEO Tactics to Increase Ranking on Google

Search engine optimization tactics are often grouped into on-page and off-page. On-page SEO tactics cover all the processes that go into optimizing your site pages to make sure they rank higher on Google. While the most important of all on-page SEO techniques seems to be keyword optimization, and people can often pay undue attention to it at the expense of others, there are other innovative strategies, too.

There is no single factor responsible for a site’s position on Google. A combination of techniques is responsible. To rank first on Google, begin with these 10 strategies and see how much you can achieve in a short while. Here are the on-page SEO tips checklist for 2019.

Meta title and meta description

Ensure that your main keyword appears in the article title, preferably closer to the beginning. Let it appear once or twice in the meta description, too. There are apps like Yoast SEO on WordPress that help determine if your titles and descriptions are optimized. Also, keep titles to less than 60 characters for the best shot.

Permalinks

Keep URLs short, straightforward and free of unnecessary characters, especially special symbols. You can separate different items in the URLs with only a dash. Search engines read URLs, too; optimizing your URLs improved your chances at ranking first.

Site speed

on page seo tip

There are different sides as to whether site speed affects rankings. But the only side that really matters is Google’s. Google itself has claimed that its algorithm has site speed as a factor. The justification of this is that faster sites increase user satisfaction and improve engagement. To increase site speed, consider reducing image and video sizes, optimizing images for web and using Content Distribution Network (CDN). To determine if your site’s loading time is right, use Google’s Page Speed Insights.

Keywords!

SEO isn’t all about keywords but keywords have a high position. Among other available platforms, you can count on Google Ads to make your keywords research. Include the keyword in the title, meta description, first paragraph of the main article and other places in a natural form. There is no hard and fast rule concerning keyword density (amount of times to use a keyword) but be sure not to make it spammy, lest you annoy Google.

Action words

By ‘action words’, I mean that there are certain words that guarantee a high click-through rate (CTR). Such words include now, free, today, simple, easy, guide, DIY, step-by-step. Generally, ‘how-to’ articles generate high CTR. Use this to your advantage. Also, use numbers in your titles. An article titled ‘5 Ways to…’ will get more engagement than one that just says ‘Ways to…’ The difference the number makes is that it makes your article appear more straightforward.

SSL Certification

This refers to getting the ‘https’ on your URL. The additional ‘s’ means your site is secure and is a sort of badge proving your authenticity. Many sites ranking first on Google have this and lack of it might what’s holding many sites back. Google’s algorithms favor authenticity and authority to give users the best.

Multimedia

Using multimedia such as images and videos increase user engagement on your site, which in turn proves that your site’s content is useful. That subsequently increases rankings. When using multimedia though, be careful not to use too much or make them too heavy. That can be a drag on site speed.

Mobile Optimisation

page seo tips

Google takes mobile optimization seriously. This is not unexpected since the majority of internet users access the web through their mobile phones. Optimizing the UI and UX of your site for mobile devices is another of on-page SEO tactics that increase engagements. Upon discovering your site drags on mobile, users find their way out more quickly. And that ultimately hurts your rankings.

External and Internal Linking

In your posts, ensure you have up to 3 or 4 links to external websites especially ones that are considered an authority in the topic written on. These outbound links help give your site more authority. On the other hand, internal linking works, too. That is where you add links to other pages on your site. Take a cue from Wikipedia for this. Use both external and internal links to push your site all the way.

See Also: 10 Link Building Strategies That Deliver

Engaging Content

This is probably the most important factor here. That’s because, even if you apply all the above and have distasteful content, your site won’t reach anywhere. If there is anything SEO experts have learned from Google’s algorithm, it is that it’s pretty smart. Write content that is actually useful and engages site visitors. Lengthy articles have an edge here, as they keep visitors engaged for a longer time.

See Also: Effective Content Marketing: 8 Ways to Get Your Content Noticed

Conclusion

I’ll end with saying that your on-page SEO techniques should not just be about getting around the algorithms. It should first and foremost be focused on providing engaging content for people. Relevance to actual users would bring you to the top faster than any technique. Have this in mind when implementing any strategy.

The post 10 Innovative On-Page SEO Tactics to Increase Ranking on Google appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Easy Ways To “Stay Hungry” and Always Be Motivated and Inspired

“Stay hungry” is a great motto, a great way of living your life. To stay hungry means to remain determined, motivated, and competitive to achieve all your dreams, goals, and ambitions.

It also means never to be fully satisfied with less than you know you can potentially achieve. But the question is: how does one stay hungry all the time?

For some of us, it merely comes naturally in the form of curiosity to know more, be more, and do more. But for the rest of us, it comes with a dose of conscious effort. Having the willpower in order to be proactive and overcome challenges can come in handy as well.

While staying hungry is a great way to live your life, and leads you to prosperity in more ways than you can count, you have to remember that life isn’t a competition. It’s merely a journey.

Therefore, you are allowed to rest, to take some time off, and take a well-deserved break and enjoy the beauty of this world from other points of view.

Remember, to stay hungry is a fantastic lifestyle, but it has to be completed and perfected by other amazing aspects of life.

But today we’re talking about how one accomplishes this state of constant hunger for knowing more, doing more, and being more; where one finds the right motivation, inspiration, and drive to hop on this exciting way to live your life.

Find Your Inner Motivation

When you think about the concept of staying hungry, you should know that motivation is its foundation. Motivation is that one thing that has the power to push you forward even in the darkest of times.

There are two types of motivation: internal and external. Your inner motivation is the only thing that can only fuel this hunger. Your internal motivation is actually your drive.

The internal motivation can’t be fulfilled by external factors. It is a feeling, it is a state of being, and it is a way of life. But mostly, intrinsic motivation is the reason why you’re doing something to fulfill your inner world.

Therefore, prosperity, knowledge or wisdom are aspects that can fulfill your inner world to find your internal motivation. But, most importantly, this also helps you find numerous external factors to help you feel whole.

Once you find your inner motivation, all your actions will head towards reaching your goals and desires, so staying hungry will come almost naturally.

Consume Motivational Materials

finding motivation

Life would be too easy if all we needed to do was find our inner motivation to achieve all our goals. In reality, life is complicated, and sometimes it can bring us down like nothing and no one else can.

Therefore, you have to surround yourself with materials that resonate with your purpose to stay hungry. You have to consume motivational and inspiring articles daily to make sure you are staying connected to your world.

When you surround your universe with information that serves you not only as knowledge but also as reasons to push yourself further and be a better version of yourself, you feel more responsible for enacting your goals.

But it’s not always positive vibes for us. Sometimes the worst of life happens. It brings you down and makes you feel like the world is a mean place and that your struggling for nothing. During those trying times, it is important to remember that there is hope — always. If you set a good example, you can make a real change and help make the world a better place.

See Also: 7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

Surround Yourself with Hungry People

finding inner motivations

You probably heard the phrases “you are what you eat” and “you are what you do,” but today, we’re going to focus on “you are who you surround yourself with.”

Honestly, these three sayings couldn’t have been more accurate. Jim Rohn once said that we are “the average of the five people we surround ourselves with”.

Therefore, take a closer look at your family and friends, and at what they’re manifesting in this world. If they don’t march your goals, you have to look for new company.

To stay hungry requires surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals and aspirations as you do; people who can inspire you to stay on track no matter how hard it gets sometimes. We all need to surround ourselves with people who understand us.

For instance, assignment writers that seek to be the best out of the best surround themselves with people who have the same aspirations as they do; usually, people who have already achieved the goals they’re aiming towards.

Understand and Demolish Your Demotivating Habits and Beliefs

Last but not least, you have to deal with all your demotivating habits and beliefs. To truly set in the hunger state, you have to demolish all your beliefs and habits that pull you out from that path.

Of course, you will have to be aware of them and understand the reason behind your actions and beliefs. And this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

You’ll have to take some time to spend with yourself — to pay attention to your instincts and to manifest something that doesn’t resonate with your purpose. Every time you notice something, try to understand why you’re doing it and replace your behavior with one that matches your hunger.

The same way goes with your beliefs. Take some time to observe your thoughts, and whenever you notice something that will step you down, understand it and replace it with something proactive.

This process is a long-term one that should start as soon as possible. It will end as soon as you truly understand yourself and when you’re in full control of your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Conclusion

Once you find your inner motivation, which is the passion that’s always burning inside of you, everything will seem easy. It’s because it gives you the right drive and the desire to make things work.

Maybe there are some other easier ways to achieve it, but I believe in the aforementioned ways to be a very efficient. The ones discussed above work in very complex yet effectual ways, ensuring that you won’t just stay hungry for a limited period but for as long as you want to.

The post Easy Ways To “Stay Hungry” and Always Be Motivated and Inspired appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Academic Writing Tips to Help You Earn The Highest Grades In Class

If the task of completing a research paper in time seems too daunting to you or you just can’t get that A grade for your thesis, this article will be of help to you. Below are 5 great academic writing tips to help you get that top score in class.

Understand the deliverables

The first step involves reviewing and understanding the requirements. Make sure you understand the questions asked and all the requirements of your research. If you do not understand the task given to you correctly or if you misinterpret it, all your hard work will go down the drain.

Once you understand the question, make a list of all the topics and sub-topics, which you need to explain in the paper. You should make a list to make sure that you have enough topics and relevant terms, which you can summarize later and combine with other related topics for your readers.

Research your topic

academically writing tips

Once you are done with your list, it is time to do to some brainstorming. Go and do your research on your shortlisted topics.

You must keep in mind all the subtopics and points which need to be answered in your report so that you can explain them better. Include both qualitative and quantitative types of research to support your paper.

Give reference to sources of any surveys and statistical data that you have used in your research.

You should look at previously published papers and research materials for inspiration and build upon that.

You should never copy someone else’s research. If your teachers find out that your work is plagiarized, it can have serious repercussions on your grades.

If you use certain parts of previously published research materials in your paper, use citations whenever necessary.

Plan your work

Now that you have figured out what you are supposed to write in your academic article, it’s time to decide how you’re going to write it.

Always keep in mind the date by which you have to submit your assignment. This will help you properly manage time for each section.

Figure out the sections which are going to take the most amount of time and the sections which would take the least amount of time. Plan accordingly.

Start writingacademic writing tip

Writing translates your research and findings into readable content.

Before you actually start writing, you must first read previous papers to get an idea about the proper format. Make sure to use terminologies related to your research topic.

Most academic articles have an introduction, discussion, and a conclusion.

With that in mind, decide how much time you can dedicate in writing each of them. Most people follow a pattern of 10-80-10. 10 per cent to the introduction, 80 per cent to the body, and the remaining 10 per cent of your document to the conclusion.

You may follow the same or decide according to the needs and format of your chosen topic.

The introduction should be concise but intriguing enough to keep the reader interested in reading further. It should state all the questions and the argument which you are going to put up.

The body section of your article is one of the most important sections of your academic paper. It should mention all the relevant questions and your answers. It should represent your point of view in an argumentative manner. You can use references with proper citations to give your point some strength or to put emphasis on certain points.

The conclusion is the summary of all the topics and points you have in your article. It should give a brief explanation of the answers you have provided and the areas where further research can be done.

Finalize your work

You have almost completed your work and now there is only one thing left to do and that is the final proofreading. You must always proofread your work for typographical errors and to check the final format of your research paper before submitting it to your teachers.

It is best to set your final draft aside and take a break to clear your head before you start  proofreading your work. If you don’t have enough time to take a break, you can ask a friend to do it for you.

Proofreading is critical to your work and the score you’ll get. Once you submit your work to the teachers or the review panel, you can’t make any changes in the document after that point.

See Also: Effective Tips for Writing Assignments You Probably Didn’t Know About

The post 5 Academic Writing Tips to Help You Earn The Highest Grades In Class appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security

Not that long ago, the only way to communicate with someone across the office was to get up and walk over. Then, it became calling one’s phones with individual extensions being widely used. Eventually, those phone lines were used to link computers together and someone got the idea that you could send messages to a specific person in a network. That was when email was born.

Because computer networks were so small and used by few people, email was not built with security in mind. The thought that one day there would be more than 4.3 billion email addresses worldwide never occurred to anyone. This oversight first led to spam and then email phishing.

How can understanding the evolution of email help us to understand how to fight back against phishing and scam?

The History of Email

future of phishing and spam

MIT developed Compatible Time Sharing in the mid-1960s. It allowed users to log in to a terminal and access files from a shared server remotely. ARPANET joined together a series of networks to create the first intranet, the predecessor to the internet.

The @ symbol was introduced to send messages to a specific user, the predecessor to modern-day email. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth became the first Head of State to send an email.

It wasn’t until 1977 that the standard email format we know today – with fields for ‘To’ and ‘From’, as well as the ability to forward emails, was developed.

The Birth of Spam

Just a year after email was developed, Gary Thuerk got the idea to send a mass message to everyone in the ARPANET network – all 397 of them. The mass email was about a presentation at a hotel.

The move was so wildly unpopular that no one would try to send such an email again for over a decade.

Mass emails only became a method of attack in 1988. It was the time when online gamers sent massive amounts of email to rival players in order to crash their systems and render them unable to play the game.

It was in 1993 that unwanted emails were called ‘spam’. It’s a name that was chosen as an homage to the Monty Python skit about a character’s dislike of the canned meat of the same name.

The second attempt at mass marketing spam emails took place in 1994.

From Spam To Scam

By the 1990s, scammers had found a way to capitalize on all those unwanted emails landing in inboxes. Sending their own mass emails that contained malicious links or phishing attempts blended right in.

They would pose as system administrators and pretend that there was a problem with a person’s account. They would try to gain access to their login credentials and then send more dangerous emails to the people in that account’s contact list.

In 1996, the term ‘phishing’ was coined. It was after a series of attacks on an AOL message board involving someone asking if anyone knew ways to gain access to the internet for free.

Email attacks became more frequent and more damaging. The ILOVEYOU virus infected 45 million PCs after unsuspecting users opened emails and unknowingly downloaded and forwarded computer worms. Later, the Sircam virus infected one in 20 PCs, causing them to lose critical operating system files.

By 2002, both the U.S. and the E.U. had passed laws prohibiting people from sending marketing emails unless the recipient had previously expressed consent to receive them. Unfortunately, these laws have proven to be largely ineffective.

Modern Email Challenges Need Modern Solutions

the future of phishing and spam

Because the way we use email has changed so much, securing communications now requires newer and more advanced tactics. There’s yet another form of phishing to contend with these days. It’s called smishing in which phishing messages are sent through spam text messages.

With each new attack comes new security challenges.

Now that email is mostly in the cloud, that means security needs to be there as well. Today, more than a quarter of those online have been affected by data stolen from the cloud and there are more than 4.7 billion phishing emails sent every day. Cloud-based activities require a new level of security.

See Also: The Cost of Email Phishing

Learn more about the history and future of phishing and spam below.

 

The History and Future of Phishing [infographic]
Courtesy of Avanan

The post The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security

Not that long ago, the only way to communicate with someone across the office was to get up and walk over. Then, it became calling one’s phones with individual extensions being widely used. Eventually, those phone lines were used to link computers together and someone got the idea that you could send messages to a specific person in a network. That was when email was born.

Because computer networks were so small and used by few people, email was not built with security in mind. The thought that one day there would be more than 4.3 billion email addresses worldwide never occurred to anyone. This oversight first led to spam and then email phishing.

How can understanding the evolution of email help us to understand how to fight back against phishing and scam?

The History of Email

future of phishing and spam

MIT developed Compatible Time Sharing in the mid-1960s. It allowed users to log in to a terminal and access files from a shared server remotely. ARPANET joined together a series of networks to create the first intranet, the predecessor to the internet.

The @ symbol was introduced to send messages to a specific user, the predecessor to modern-day email. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth became the first Head of State to send an email.

It wasn’t until 1977 that the standard email format we know today – with fields for ‘To’ and ‘From’, as well as the ability to forward emails, was developed.

The Birth of Spam

Just a year after email was developed, Gary Thuerk got the idea to send a mass message to everyone in the ARPANET network – all 397 of them. The mass email was about a presentation at a hotel.

The move was so wildly unpopular that no one would try to send such an email again for over a decade.

Mass emails only became a method of attack in 1988. It was the time when online gamers sent massive amounts of email to rival players in order to crash their systems and render them unable to play the game.

It was in 1993 that unwanted emails were called ‘spam’. It’s a name that was chosen as an homage to the Monty Python skit about a character’s dislike of the canned meat of the same name.

The second attempt at mass marketing spam emails took place in 1994.

From Spam To Scam

By the 1990s, scammers had found a way to capitalize on all those unwanted emails landing in inboxes. Sending their own mass emails that contained malicious links or phishing attempts blended right in.

They would pose as system administrators and pretend that there was a problem with a person’s account. They would try to gain access to their login credentials and then send more dangerous emails to the people in that account’s contact list.

In 1996, the term ‘phishing’ was coined. It was after a series of attacks on an AOL message board involving someone asking if anyone knew ways to gain access to the internet for free.

Email attacks became more frequent and more damaging. The ILOVEYOU virus infected 45 million PCs after unsuspecting users opened emails and unknowingly downloaded and forwarded computer worms. Later, the Sircam virus infected one in 20 PCs, causing them to lose critical operating system files.

By 2002, both the U.S. and the E.U. had passed laws prohibiting people from sending marketing emails unless the recipient had previously expressed consent to receive them. Unfortunately, these laws have proven to be largely ineffective.

Modern Email Challenges Need Modern Solutions

the future of phishing and spam

Because the way we use email has changed so much, securing communications now requires newer and more advanced tactics. There’s yet another form of phishing to contend with these days. It’s called smishing in which phishing messages are sent through spam text messages.

With each new attack comes new security challenges.

Now that email is mostly in the cloud, that means security needs to be there as well. Today, more than a quarter of those online have been affected by data stolen from the cloud and there are more than 4.7 billion phishing emails sent every day. Cloud-based activities require a new level of security.

See Also: The Cost of Email Phishing

Learn more about the history and future of phishing and spam below.

 

The History and Future of Phishing [infographic]
Courtesy of Avanan

The post The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Plan a Simple Engagement Party On a Budget

Throwing an epic party doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. After all, it should be about creating lasting memories and not the amount of money you and your partner spend. To plan the most awesome engagement party on a budget, here are some tricks you might want to try.

Use Candles

budget engagement party

Candles are the tiniest and cutest decorations one can ever have! They are traditional, symbolic, and fulfilling.

Using candles instead of lanterns cuts your budget in half and still gives all the romantic feels. If you decide to use candles for the table decorations, you don’t even need to do other table decors. One or two candles and a few flowers are enough to throw super positive vibes. You can also try balloons to decorate the walls. The best part of using candles is that it pairs well with any lush arrangement.

Have an Informal Dinner

There are many people whose only concern is to have a lavish dinner at engagement parties. Well, if you want to provide that, you can do so without compromising your budget.

There are many eating options available that are delicious and cost-effective. You just need to think out of the box and try varieties.

Instead of cumbersome menus, arrange some seasonal juices, light appetizers, and moving snacks. You can also avoid serving champagne and settle with cocktails or mocktails.

If you want to get rid of the whole dinner stuff, you can arrange the party after dinner hours. After all, it’s your engagement party and not theirs. The choice should be yours.

See Also: An Easy Guide to Food And Wine Pairing

Try Local Entertainment

Try to find local artists who can perform at your engagement party. There are many talented people out there who genuinely wish to be heard. They need a platform so give them a chance.

If you want to cut your budget even more, simply share your best playlist and opt for some light music. It will give your party a personal touch and keep the mood upbeat throughout the time. You can also request some of your close friends or family members to set the pace.

Invite Wisely

Always remember that this party is just an engagement party and not your wedding. So, you don’t need to invite everyone. Keep the extra ones on the list of wedding guests.

Make your engagement exclusive for your near and dear ones. Keep it more intimate and throw a small party. This step alone can literally cut your cost a lot.

If you invite wisely, you can even spare a few more bucks for decorations, wine, and food. Don’t forget to invite fun people who judge less and dance more.

Pick an Inexpensive Place to Throw the Party

engagement party on budget

A restaurant or farmhouse is definitely one of your best choices to throw a party. But if you really want to cut the cost, then try having a cozy party in your home or backyard. This way, you can save the entire budget of the place. You don’t need to pay the rent, allowing you to utilize that amount in other activities.

These are some of the best tricks you can apply to make an engagement party on a budget possible. If you have any other ideas, you can share them here with us. Let us know and help other people plan their engagement party.

The post How to Plan a Simple Engagement Party On a Budget appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Historical Analysis of Headphones

Headphones have become one of the most reproduced tech gadgets in history and our relationship with them will continue to grow as headphones evolve. It’s assumed that Americans generally spend more than 32 hours a week listening to their favorite music.

If you do the math, that’s about the same time a person would spend working full time.

Considering that, to have a set of headphones handy, regardless of quality, is a given these days. Headphones can be found at the dollar store, in luxury forms or even included as a complimentary item when purchasing a new cell phone. Saying this, analyzing the history of headphones is something essentially everyone can relate to, as there’s no doubt in my mind a set had been around your ears before. Let’s dig in.

The earliest trace of headphones dates back to 1895 in the United Kingdom.

To paint a better picture, this was a time where King George VI ruled. Along with this time came The Electrophone. Residents of the United Kingdom could order an electrophone to their home, along with a paid subscription where they can listen to live performances. These subscriptions cost around 5 euros per year.

Today, that would equate to roughly 631.14 euros per year (2018). As we are in the streaming era, of course, this would not be practical or appealing to most. However, this option would be more than 6 times the cost of a 2019 Spotify subscription.

Things picked up for headphones in 1910.

This was when Nathaniel Baldwin began hand-making corded headsets in his kitchen.

In fact, Baldwin sold his hundred pairs of headphones to the U.S. Navy. It eventually caused the Navy to purchase the manufacturing rights once demand grew too strong for Baldwin to continue developing headsets in his kitchen. The only stipulation with this manufacturing deal was that Baldwin could never increase the price of headsets sold to the Navy.

nathaniel baldwin corded headphones
Via alchetron.com

The Beyerdynamic DT-48 became the first dynamic headphones sold for domestic use.

In fact, the wired-model became so popular it was continuously produced for 75 consecutive years until 2012. Between this time, the Koss SP-3 stepped onto the scene, providing the first stereo headphones catering to an audience listening to more music than radio.

In fact, the HiFi headphones became extra famous among soldiers returning home. With the help of advertising from a range of celebrities, like the Beatles and King Kong, Koss remained on top of headphone sales throughout the ’60s and ’70s.

As we continue to journey down the timeline of the headphone, we reach a point where headphones intertwined with portable players. This was first seen in 1968, when the Sennheiser HD 414 used an “Open Aire” design. This allowed headphones to be more portable and lighter to carry, increasing their ease of accessibility.

These headphones were known to allow external sound to channel through them rather than isolating sound.

In 1979, the Sony Walkman became the first portable cassette player.

This ultimately changed the game for headphones, allowing music to be portable in a technologically stationary era. During this time, you could see people roaming the streets with their headphones, taking them to class, work, the gym or even on planes.

history of headphones sony walkman

The Sony Walkman was so incredible because it was the first cassette player that allowed shared listening. This is because it had two headphone jacks.

Imagine that picture-perfect movie scene: the euphoric tension of young love after school or at a picnic, when a lover offers to share the sound of music. This led to a boom in lightweight, inexpensive headphones, as the last thing you want is to have a portable music-playing device with bulky headphones to lug around with.

The invention of the compact disc (CD) came in the 1990s.

Portability was monumental for the music realm because it made music and headphones universal. This was a fast-paced era, with quick changes that provided a variety of listening options through the use of MiniDiscs, MP3s, and more. Music took a major shift, becoming associated with artists, rave culture, and DVDs rather than its previous purpose for ensuring privacy.

The implementation of Bluetooth and wireless headphone capabilities around the late ’90s and early 2000s.

That leaves us where we are today: Monster Beats By Dr. Dre and the latest cultural phenomenon AirPods.

55% of people use their headphones regularly. Some use the device for privacy or isolation while others use it to reduce interruptions. There are people who use headphones for increasing focus.

The history of headphones is multi-faceted and their use is ultimately up to the user. Continue reading the infographic below as it explains not only how we got to where we are today with headphones, but also why people use them and how they help.

See Also: How To Choose Headphones That Best Suit You

The History and Future of Headphones
Source: Rave Reviews

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An Easy Guide to Food And Wine Pairing

There are no hard and fast rules in pairing food and wine. Nevertheless, it’s easy to get confused about how to create the perfect pairing of food elements with certain wine flavor notes. This easy guide to food and wine pairing will not only give you great wine like those you can purchase online from Sokolin.com, but we’ll give you a host of items that pair beautifully with it.

Cabernet Sauvignon

guide to food and wine pairing cabernet sauvignon

This wine is one of the most popular in the United States for its bold fruity and tannin flavors. It pairs well with very heavy and filling meals, but there is also a much lighter side that goes excellently with cheeses.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – tomato, black cherries, broccoli
  • Cheese and Nuts – walnuts, Gorgonzola, cheddar
  • Desserts – bittersweet chocolate
  • Herbs and Spices – juniper, rosemary, lavender
  • Meat and Poultry – beef stew, rib eye
  • Sauces – tomato, brown
  • Seafood – grilled ahi tuna

See Also: 8 Straight Benefits of Red Wine

Chardonnay

guide to food and wine pairing chardonnay

Chardonnay comes in several styles, and each style pairs differently with food. However, this wine features a sensual body and decadents that stands up to most flavor combinations and dishes where other wines may not. It has excellent acidity, and this helps cut through richer dishes.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Mango, squash, apple, potato
  • Cheese and Nuts – Unoaked Chardonnay goes best with semi-soft and mild cheeses, Oaky Chardonnay goes well with Havarti, Asiago, or Stilton. Both go well with almost all toasted nuts and almonds
  • Desserts – Vanilla pudding, banana bread
  • Herbs and Spices – sesame, tarragon, basil
  • Meat and Poultry – Chicken, veal, pork
  • Sauces – pesto, cream sauces
  • Seafood – crab, shrimp, lobster

Riesling

In the United States, Riesling is an extremely sweet wine, but European Riesling is minimally sweet. It has an excellent balance of sweetness and acidity that makes it great for food and wine pairings. It does wonderfully at balancing out spicy foods as well.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Chili peppers, apricots, pears
  • Cheese and Nuts – Gouda, Havarti, candied pecans or walnuts
  • Desserts – Caramel sauce, apple pie
  • Herbs and Spices – ginger, rosemary, Indian or Thai spices
  • Meat and Poultry – Duck, smoked sausage Foie Gras
  • Sauces – Chutney, BBQ, spicy
  • Seafood – Trout, sea bass

Pinot Noir

This odd wine can have some truly bizarre combinations that seem to work very well. You can find cherry listed alongside mushroom or “forest floor” flavors and get a wonderfully fragrant and tasty wine. It’s a lighter body wine that can withstand some meat dishes.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Figs, mushrooms, dried fruits, strawberries
  • Cheese and Nuts – Brie, goat cheese, walnuts
  • Desserts – white chocolate, creme brulee
  • Herbs and Spices – Nutmeg, cinnamon, truffle, clove
  • Meat and Poultry – Sausage, lamb, chicken, filet mignon
  • Sauces – light to medium red sauce, mushroom sauce
  • Seafood – Salmon, ahi tuna

Sauvignon Blanc

guide to food and wine pairing sauvignon blanc

This lighter, crisp white wine has a very high acidity level with a lot of citrus notes. It’s excellent for pairing with lighter but flavorful dishes. The wine’s herbaceous taste can enhance any herbs in the dish as well. This makes it a popular dinner wine.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Green apple, citrus, asparagus
  • Cheese and Nuts – Goat cheese, feta, pine nuts
  • Desserts – Key lime pie, sorbet, mango, meringue
  • Herbs and Spices – Tarragon, chives, cilantro
  • Meat and Poultry – Turkey, chicken, pork
  • Sauces – Light cream sauces, citrus sauces
  • Seafood – Oysters, shrimp, lobster, sushi, fatty white fish

Merlot

guide to food and wine pairing merlot

Although Merlot’s popularity has gone down in recent years, it’s a staple in the wine industry. You’ll get berry and grape flavoring with a beautiful eucalyptus note. You can use this note to play of elements of your dish.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Tomatoes, caramelized onions, plums
  • Cheese and Nuts – Pecorino-Romano, Parmesan, walnuts, chestnuts
  • Desserts – Berries, dark chocolate, fondue
  • Herbs and Spices – Juniper, rosemary, mint
  • Meat and Poultry – Steak, grilled meat
  • Sauces – Bearnaise, bolognese
  • Seafood – Ahi tuna, grilled meatier fish

Syrah

Syrah is very difficult to pin down, but it’s popular around the world. One of the biggest selling points is that it have a very smooth but peppery finish. There are usually enough fruit notes to balance the spice, and it goes great with a variety of herbs.

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Stewed tomatoes, currants, beets
  • Cheese and Nuts – Roquefort, sharp cheddar, walnuts, hazelnuts
  • Desserts – Rhubarb pie, black forest cake, coffee-based desserts
  • Herbs and Spices – Sage, oregano
  • Meat and Poultry – Pepperoni, roasted meat, braised pork shoulder, spicy sausage
  • Sauces – Heavy red sauces, BBQ
  • Seafood Salmon, ahi tuna

See Also: 5 Best Wine Regions To Visit Before You Die

With this guide to food and wine pairing, you should now be confident enough to create some truly fantastic dishes. Experiment, mix and match, and find your new go-to food and wine pairing!

The post An Easy Guide to Food And Wine Pairing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Best Kitchen Gadgets for Healthy Cooking You Should Own

We all know that cooking at home is better for our health than dining out. Considering that a full sit-down meal has 1,200 calories on average, we see the reason why. However, our social media feeds are filled with over-the-top recipes that are just hard to copy, particularly if you aren’t an expert in the kitchen.

Staying on track is easy if you stay away from recipes that you know are not good for you and will not make you feel better. It also helps to stock on healthy ingredients. Having the right tools can make cooking a lot easier for you, too.

Although you might already have the essential tools in your kitchen like baking pan and measuring spoons, it doesn’t hurt to add a few kitchen aids. When we say additional kitchen gadgets, these are the tools that can make food preparation faster, easier, healthier, and more fun.

Below is a list of kitchen gadgets for healthy cooking you should consider having in your kitchen:

Spiralizer

Ever heard of Zoodles?

Well, there is a kitchen gadget that can turn your humble fruits and veggies into curly toppings, garnishes, and noodles. These foods taste good and provide an excellent base for whatever sauce you want. Plus, they are also packed with nutrients.

With a spiralizer, you can turn your fruit or veggie into thin curls which you can use in making soups, pasta dishes, and salads. You can use carrots, apples, pears, cabbage, broccoli stalks, and many others.

Salad Cutting Bowl

If you are used to buying salads from the drive-thru and vending machines, here is a good news for you. You can prepare your very own healthy salad with a salad cutting bowl.

You’ll only need to put your favorite combination of vegetables to the bowl-like container. You can use lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, celery, and many other veggies.

With this gadget, you can rinse your vegetables and slice them with just a few turns. In a matter of minutes, you can have your salad ready.

Air Fryer

air fryer
Via reviewed.com

An air fryer is a kitchen gadget that uses convection to circulate the hot air or oil around the food to cook them. One of the claims of the air fryer is that it can fry things with only a fraction of the oil that you need than with traditional deep fryers.

This is a natural and healthy alternative to cooking your favorite fries and chicken fingers.

Grill Cooker

A grill cooker is a versatile kitchen appliance that you can use to cook everything from chicken breasts to vegetables and sausages. The result is healthier because it has less fat, making it an excellent substitute for frying.

The grill cooker can help you cook your meat as you would with a charcoal grill. It has an integrated thermostat, a non-stick surface, and a removable container for the juices. These features make it easy to operate and clean the appliance.

The Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is perfect for whipping up a hearty one-pot meal complete with healthy ingredients like beans and root vegetables. It is also ideal for cooking the more robust and less expensive cuts of meat into tender goodness.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, slow cookers don’t use plenty of energy. It actually uses the same amount of energy as your light bulb.

Aside from the high and low settings, it also has a warm function. You can come home from work with a perfectly healthy home-cooked meal with your slow cooker.

Herb Scissors

Herbs are a healthy alternative to salt and it adds a dose of flavor to any meal. Therefore, instead of reaching for the salt or dried herbs, why not use fresh herbs?

It’s hard to ignore what fresh herbs can do to improve the taste of any dish, like roasts, soups, eggs, salads, and stir-fries. However, chopping with a kitchen knife can be a bit cumbersome.

With a specially designed herb scissor, it is much easier and faster to cut your herb. The 5-stacked blades are made with stainless steel and ergonomic handles. It is easy to snip herbs into the size you want and they won’t be ripped, bruised or crushed. Your herbs will remain flavorful and fresh.

Cast Iron Skillet

kitchen gadget for healthy cooking

It takes a couple of tablespoons of oil or a few pads of butter to grease an ordinary pan. This means extra hundreds of unnecessary calories to your meal, even if you have a healthy cooking dish.

Non-stick pans also serve the same purpose, but the iron skillet does not release cancer-causing toxins much like what these pans do. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should throw out all your non-stick pans away. It’s just better to be safe than sorry.

These are just some of the most important kitchen gadgets for healthy cooking. You can get one or all of them depending on your needs and preferences.

See Also: Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

The post The Best Kitchen Gadgets for Healthy Cooking You Should Own appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Top Reasons Why Employees Leave Their Jobs

People quit their jobs for a lot of reasons. They may do it because they are relocating to a new place or they simply want to change careers.

According to a Mercer study, a whopping one-third of all the new employees plan on just quitting their job in the next 12 months. This is a huge number and is astronomically way higher than our parents’ or grandparents’ time. The culture, work environment, relationship with co-workers all affect why you do not want to pursue that job anymore.

To sum it up, here are the top reasons why employees leave their jobs.

No Work-Life Balance

According to a Washington Post contributor, she knew she would quit the job and two months later, she left it.

But what drove people to resign from their positions?

It is because they have no work-life balance. When you have your family responsibilities and you want to keep doing the job, then you need to have some work-life balance. Without it, everything spirals and you have no option but to prioritize your responsibilities over your job.

Too Much Work Pressure Or No Work

reasons why employees leave their jobs

A lot of employees keep quitting their jobs because there is so much pressure at work or there is no work at all. Thus, the level of capability and productivity can fluctuate. Before you know it, you’re already planning to quit.

It is just tougher to go forward when you hit a roadblock. You can’t do anything but experience burnout. Going through ultimate boredom or an extremely toxic environment can be enough to make you quit.

No Promotion for a Long Time

One of the main reasons why people quit is when they do not have any mobility upward.

When there are no opportunities for growth or advancement into higher-paying positions, some people do not find any point in staying and working for a company any longer.

Poor Management at Work

When you are working in a coveted project in a company, you need to have a great manager who is excellent in communications. Managers need to be an expert in communication and also interpersonal skills.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of managers out there who aren’t trained enough to solve managerial level problems. No explicit communication and lots of expectations can leave both the employee and employer unhappy with how things shape up in the work environment.

Toxic Environment at Work

When you are looking at how not to lose good employees as an employer, maybe you need to check the kind of environment you are building up for the employees. The situation becomes too toxic when there are:

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Too much of office gossip
  • No positive encouragement from the team leads
  • Recognition-grabbing co-workers who haven’t put enough hard work

These things can make good employees stop caring. They leave to find a better place to grow and work. Hence, as an employer, try to make the environment much more positive and have a few flexible options without being too penalized.

Improper System of Rewards

If you have done the management program, you know that employees look for some motivation to work productively. This is why there should be paid holiday leaves, raises or bonuses.

When you notice that employees are leaving in waves, then check up on the reward system you have in place. Perhaps one of the main reasons  why employees quit their job is because there isn’t enough motivation to make them work in a way that is effective and productive.

Benefits that Don’t Benefit!

top reason why employees leave their jobs

If you are offering stingy benefits to bloat the package, then it won’t help. Employees know what they deserve, like the right health insurance, generous sick days, flexible hours of work, and maternity and paternity paid leave.

See Also: Preventing Employee Turnover With Better Benefits

Change in Career Goals and Growth

One of the reasons why great employees quit is because they have to change their career goals. If they find that one career is not fulfilling, they will look for other opportunities.

There are different ways you can convince them to stay and that is to help them improve their skills. This works well in high-performing individuals.

Conclusion

These are the top reasons why employees leave their jobs. As the famous billionaire said, if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys. As an employer, try and improve your relationship with your employees. Remember to support and respect their needs and work.

Reward and give recognition to the ones who perform well or take a day out with all of them to enjoy!

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

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8 Flea Home Remedies You Should Totally Try

If you’re a pet owner, it’s likely you’ve had to deal with fleas in the past. Or, if you haven’t, don’t count your lucky stars quite yet. It’s very possible you may face them in the future.

The thing about fleas is that they reproduce amazingly fast. If you don’t take care of flea issues, they can infest your home in a short time. This will make it more challenging to get rid of them.

Whether your pet has fleas now or you just want to prepare in case they catch fleas down the road, here are some great flea home remedies.

DIY Flea Trap

This is one of those flea home remedies that require almost no supplies and works surprisingly well in getting rid of fleas.

Get a bowl and fill it with warm water mixed with dish soap. Put one bowl in every room where fleas tend to be most active. If you want to increase the effectiveness, place a lit candle in the middle of the trap. Fleas are attracted to light and will jump into it.

The fleas that jump into the bowl will get stuck in there due to the thick water/soap solution. Repeat this every day until you feel the fleas are gone or combine this method with another DIY solution.

Baking Soda and Vacuuming

flea home remedies baking soda

Did you know that the majority of flea infestations are in the carpet? This is exactly why vacuuming can help reduce the number of fleas like nothing else can. Add some baking soda to vacuuming and you’ll reduce the number even more.

Simply sprinkle baking soda onto your carpet and use some sort of brush to rub it down into the carpet fibers. Then, vacuum thoroughly.

Once you’re finished vacuuming, take the vacuum bag out of the vacuum and put it in the outside trash.

Lemons

Create a lemon spray to apply to your floor and pieces of furniture. Boil some water and add a sliced lemon. Turn off and let it soak in there for the night.

In the morning, put the citrus liquid into a spray bottle and start spraying the areas in your home most affected by fleas.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

When fleas come in contact with the powder, its active ingredient grabs hold of the exoskeleton of the flea, causing them to dehydrate.

Be sure that you purchase the food-grade diatomaceous. Wear a face mask when applying it as it can irritate your throat or eyes.

Simply sprinkle the powder over areas that have a lot of fleas. Just put a little bit of the powder down. Let it sit there for two days and then vacuum thoroughly.

Borax

Borax works a lot like DE.

Apply as you would DE, sprinkling it on the carpet, letting it set, and vacuuming thoroughly. Keep the area ventilated and wear a face mask as the powder is dusty.

Please note that you should not use Borax on your pet because it’s toxic.

Salt

Some people use salt to dry out flea eggs and kill fleas, though results do vary. Some people mix in some baking soda as well to reduce the number of fleas.

Sprinkle some table salt in areas of your home where fleas are most active. Rub it down into the carpet fibers, let it set for a couple of days, and vacuum thoroughly.

DIY Flea Solution Spray

Creating an herbal spray is a great option as well. Before you spray your home, do a thorough vacuum of each room and furniture. Get a spray bottle and combine ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of water, juice of one lemon, and ½ cup witch hazel. Spray the solution to your floors, furniture, windowsills, and any beds you have for your pets.

Essential Oils

flea home remedies essential oils

Some people find that the scent of certain essential oils repel fleas, such as the citric fruit oils. Try lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, cedarwood, citronella, and tea tree for starters. Apply to various areas around your home, but be careful about applying it directly into your pet.

Most essential oils are not recommended for cats or dogs. A great way to use oils is to have a diffuser or use a spray bottle to spritz the home with the aromas. It may smell good to you, but fleas may not dig the smell at all and evacuate your home.

See Also: 10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home

Give these wonderful flea home remedies a try and see what works for you. If you find that your flea problems don’t go away, consider calling a pest control professional. They may be able to take care of your flea problem in no time and for a very affordable price. Fleas are actually one of the easier pests to get under control in a home, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

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3 Ways to Reduce Customer Acquisition Costs

Have you ever stopped to think how much it costs to get a person to buy one of your products?

Then you’re in the right place.

Customers come with a price tag called customer acquisition cost (CAC), and it’s one of the most important pieces of information for business owners who want to get more customers without breaking their marketing budget.

So, how do you get more customers without breaking the bank? We’ve broken things down into three categories:

  1. Streamline your customer’s shopping process
  2. Optimize your marketing tactics
  3. Embrace customer relationship management

Let’s dive right in!

What is customer acquisition cost?

Your customer acquisition cost is defined as how much it costs your business to attract a new customer.

How to calculate customer acquisition cost

reduce customer acquisition cost

CAC is calculated by adding up all your marketing and sales costs and dividing them by the number of new customers acquired for a certain period of time. Here’s the formula:

customer acquisiition cost

For example:

Let’s say you spent $5,000 on marketing and sales expenses this October. That same month, you got 1,000 new customers (meaning only customers that have never previously visited or made a transaction at your store).

Sum of all marketing and sales expenses = $5,000.00
Total newly acquired customers = 1,000
CAC = $5

In this example, it costs you $5 to acquire a new customer.

The next question you should ask is “what is my average transaction value?” If your point of sale system’s sales reports tell you that your average transaction value (ATV) for October is under $5, that means you’re effectively spending more than you’re making per sale. Not good. Your ATV should ideally be higher than your CAC.

How to reduce customer acquisition cost

Let’s say you fall into the above category: Your CAC is higher than your ATV. How do you lower your CAC?

Streamline your customer’s shopping experience

A great way to lower your acquisition cost? Remove as many barriers to purchase as possible.

Make it easy for customers to find and buy what they’re looking for either in your store or on your website. The easier it is for them to find and complete a purchase, the more transactions your store stands to make (that’s why online vendors are developing one-click to purchase technology).

The same can be said for brick-and-mortar transactions: Every retailer’s goal should be to remove as many friction points from their purchasing process as possible.

Imagine being a customer ready to buy something, only to find yourself in a lengthy lineup to pay. Most customers will abandon their purchase entirely if the wait time is too long. Research from Irisys found that Americans will leave a checkout line after waiting just six minutes.

The best way to stop losing sales from long checkout lineups? Eliminate them altogether.

Barbara Thau, a contributing writer for Forbes, suggests that brick-and-mortar retailers “banish the wait in line, once and for all” to avoid losing sales.

A cloud-based point of sale effectively removes the need for lineups and traditional cash registers. Sales associates can ring up sales from anywhere in the store and accept any type of payment. Only If the transaction is in cash do you need to move the transaction to your cash register, but consumers are using cash less and less these days.

If you want to increase your average transaction value, we suggest refreshing your store merchandising and point of purchase displays to cross-sell more items. For a deeper look into how you can increase in-store sales, check out a list that Lightspeed curated with other retail experts, How to Increase Retail Sales – 11 Tips.

Make your business easy to find online by local customers

reducing customer acquisition cost

The next step is to get more customers to find your store or website for free. To do this, we suggest doing the following:

  • Create a Google My Business (GMB) profile
  • Include your store’s contact information on its Facebook and Instagram Business Profile
  • Use the right keywords to describe your business on your Facebook and Instagram Business Profile

The concept here is simple: focus your marketing on people that live close to your business. If they can find you online, see your inventory and get directions fast, the likelihood of them paying you a visit increases substantially.

That’s why we created a step-by-step guide to creating a GMB profile and optimizing your business’s Facebook and Instagram profiles so that you get found online by more local customers entirely for free. With a little work, you can attract customers for $0.

Embrace customer relationship management

If you consistently have what customers are looking for in stock and your customer service is personalized, friendly and helpful, customers are likely to come back to your store again and again.

The more they come, the more they buy. Commonly known as customer lifetime value (CLV), the metric looks at the estimated revenue you make from a customer over the duration of their relationship with the company.

We mentioned ATV earlier, you can think of this as a micro view of your sales. CLV, on the other hand, is the macro view—the big picture.

In an ideal world, you want a 3:1 CLV to CAC ratio. In a nutshell, this means that you generate three times more revenue from a customer than what it cost you to acquire them.

But how do you achieve that ratio? In part, by leveraging loyalty programs, referral programs and customer retention.

Loyalty programs

A loyalty rewards program incentivizes members to make more purchases, eventually getting points they can exchange for exclusive rewards. In a nutshell, it motivates repeat visits and purchases. The more purchases they make, the more points they get to exchange for exclusive offers, promotions and gifts.

For the retailer, the loyalty program helps grow their CLV. It’s a win-win scenario.

See Also: Will Your Customers Buy From You Tomorrow?

Referral Programs

Your existing customers are your store’s biggest brand ambassadors. If they’re happy, they’re more likely to recommend your store to friends.

Believe it or not, brand ambassadors and referrals are one of the most effective ways to bring in new customers. 77% of customers are likely to buy from a business that they’re introduced to by friends.

Rather than sinking tons of cash into marketing to acquire customers, the most cost-effective (and financially sustainable) way to acquire new customers is for your happy customers to spread the word and recommend your business for you.

It’s an authentic trust signal that marketing alone simply can’t replicate.

Consider incentivizing your customers to refer your business to friends and family. For every customer they refer, they get more points they can use as part of your rewards program.

Customer retention

Did you know that it’s up to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one?

This means one thing: If you focus on keeping your existing customers happy (happy enough to recommend your store to friends), you can get them to find new customers for you. It’s cheaper and more effective.

Want to know what your business’s current customer retention rate is? Just use this formula:

customer retention rate

Retaining customers brings in a ton of ROI:

  • Affordable: It’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. (HBR)
  • ROI: Just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s revenue by 25-95%. (HBR)
  • Loyalty: Retained customers buy more often and spend more than newer customers (maybe in part to the loyalty and rewards programs they offer). (American Express)
  • Referrals: Satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to refer their friends and family—bringing in new customers, without having to spend anything on marketing. (American Express)

See Also: 12 Tips That Build Customer Loyalty And Boost Sales

Improve your customer acquisition cost

Improving your customer acquisition cost is a process that should start from the inside out.

Before you focus on finding new customers and launching fancy marketing campaigns, you need to make your existing customers happy. When your customers are happy, they’ll voluntarily recommend your business to friends and family. Your customers turn into brand evangelists; walking trust signals that find new customers for you, free of charge.

The next step is increasing your customer’s lifetime value. With Loyalty and referral programs, you can increase how much your customers spend in store and achieve that coveted 3:1 CLV to CAC ratio we mentioned earlier in the post.

But it all starts with customer happiness. When customers are happy, businesses don’t need to spend as much on marketing to convince people that their shop is worth going to and spending their hard earned money.

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Life Lessons You Can Learn From Driving A Stick Shift Car

“Fall seven times, stand up eight” – Unknown

For me, this is more like “kill the car seven times, start it up again eight.” The process of learning and actually driving a stick shift car has been such a process. I really battled with even setting foot in the car, knowing that I was about to mess something up. Still, the lessons that it gave me are ones that I hope to carry with me throughout the rest of my life.

These lessons include:

You always have the option to start over

Life, for the most part, is a bunch of people struggling, trying something new, finding out they hate it, and then starting over. Realizing that, it becomes a whole lot less intimidating and immeasurably more exciting. You’ll feel that freedom and strength when facing the unknown.

Check your blind stop constantly

how to drive a stick shift car

A blind spot is a scary, scary thing. It’s when your view, often of something important, is obstructed.

No matter how hard you try, your ability to be fully aware of a situation or someone’s intentions is close to impossible. So, checking your blind spot, either in life or when driving, is really important.

Give yourself grace to fail

One of the biggest things I would tell myself while learning how to drive is “Mia, I am allowing you to mess up.”

This one simple sentence brought overwhelming peace to me and it continues to do so. Those around you are often more empathetic to you than you are to yourself. You have to face the sometimes harsh reality that you are not capable of being perfect and that is perfectly fine.

See Also: 15 Tips On How To Live A Fulfilling Life

Practice, practice, and more practice

drive a stick shift car

When I first started driving a stick shift car to work, I would wake up all too early on the days that I’d open. That meant setting an alarm for 4 am, getting ready, and driving the stick around.

I had comfort in knowing that close to no one was going to be on the road and that I could mess up without any serious consequences. I would drive for fifteen to thirty minutes in a circle, practicing going up little hills, stopping and starting. You know, things that you take for granted in an automatic.

Simply put, you’re doing okay, you’re doing your best, and that’s all that matters. So, the next time you get knocked down, don’t hesitate to get up and get going again.

See Also: 10 Areas of Your Life That May Need A Boost

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How to Deal With Employee Resistance During Agile Implementation

The modern workplace is a combination of people from different generations who have varying workplace ideals. Some people prefer to strongly believe that the traditional method is the best way to work. The younger generation, meanwhile, mostly believes in a flexible work environment that is more inclined towards ‘agile’.

With vast differences in the way of working between individuals, it can be a tough problem to introduce the agile way of working. Before we talk about employee resistance in the workforce to become agile, let’s see how agile benefits the organization.

How Agile Triumphs Over Traditional Way of Working

employee resistance workplace

The traditional team typically consists of a manager under whom you can see different employees with numerous roles like Java developers, analysts, testers, etc. The functioning of this traditional team will follow the hierarchical approach, where the manager sits at the center and has total control of the whole operations.

On the other hand, agile teams are self-managed, where cross-functional working among different teams is the key. Instead of a single person sitting at the top and giving out orders or supervising the work, the team players also take part equally in the decision-making process. They decide who the best fit for the role is and determine the tasks everyone needs to play.

In the end, everyone is involved in the project as a whole instead of just having a partial vision of the project from their working scope. This also improves the accountability of the team members. It will motivate them to get involved better in the project and improve their performance, as well as the project results.

The Need for a Flexible Workforce

According to the workplace trends prediction by Dan Schawbel in Forbes in 2017, he pointed out that there is going to be a high demand for a flexible work environment and that the organizations will face pressure from the young employees to embrace flexibility.
Also, he pointed out the flexibility is the top employee benefit over healthcare in the years 2015 and 2016, but only one-third of the organizations are implementing it seriously. Further, the organizations that do focus on agile systems do so to align their working to match the customer needs.

The reason for some organizations that don’t enforce an agile way of working can be due to the traditional mindset of top management. However, one of the most common reasons is the fear of resistance among employees.

Employee Resistance towards an Agile Approach

While implementing agile in a workforce, things don’t go as planned. Some may face unexpected resistance from certain sections of employees, which could affect the performance at the initial stages. There can be clashes, miscommunications, and issues between employees due to the resistance from some.

This behavior is mainly due to the employee’s misinformed notions about agile practices. The employees may have difficulty in accepting the new changes in the working systems when they don’t understand how they can be benefited from it. For some who are familiar with the same system, it can be difficult to come out from the years of familiar working methods and embrace the new system of agile.

However, such resistance from employees doesn’t mean the end of agile. With a few help from the top management, the employees can be convinced to look at all the advantages agile brings.

Here are a few ideas to overcome employee resistance and bring a coordinated agile way of working in the organization.

• Anticipate and Manage Resistance Before It Crops Up

When you break the news about the changes in working methods, you’ll have an idea of the people who will oppose them the most. There can be a few who are on the fence – not very happy about the change but open to accepting it. But the few who are steadfast against the agile implementation may easily turn those people, too.

To avoid the increased resistance, talk with the managers and identify the few people who are totally against the opposition and address the issue with them first. When you can neutralize these few instances, then you can minimize and manage the resistance from other employees easily.

• Avoid Overnight Transformation

Understandably, you want to incorporate the agile systems as soon as you can. But, asking the employees to wake up one day and suddenly start working the agile way isn’t going to work.

It is necessary to incorporate the agile processes incrementally. Start slow and ask the employees to make a few changes. Once they become familiar with it, proceed to the next level. Break down the agile implementations into different phases and gradually ease the employees into it. This will give them a practical idea of how much an agile system helps them to complete their work efficiently. It’s one way to lessen employee resistance, too.

• Be Open to Address Questions

Employees will have many questions in their minds about how this implementation could influence their work life. It is the responsibility of the organization to answer the questions in the best possible and convincing way. It is their duty to encourage more employees to be open towards agile.

You can have an open session with the employees. Let everyone have their chance to ask questions or even just to talk about how they feel. This is a crucial primary step to show the employees how much you care about them and make them understand that the first people who would benefit from the new system is them – the employees.
If you have any people in the organization who have previously worked in the agile environment, you can also encourage them to talk about its advantages and let the employees see how it can impact their work life.

• Address the Gaps in Technology

You need to provide the employees with the required technologies if you expect them to stick to agile. The agile system depends a lot on the flexibility of the employees to work from anywhere they want and includes the freelance workforce, too. When your technology doesn’t support your intentions, then the employees will crawl back to the only other working system – the traditional way.

When you have decided to implement agile, it is vital to do property research and analysis on the technologies your organization has and the additional ones it may need. You can either slowly start including some before you implement agile or break the news of agile with the good news of the beneficial technologies.

• Include Routine Checks and Weekly Assistance

employee workplace resistance

Not all employees can understand the essence of agile easily. They may get some doubts once they start working. Therefore, there should be someone in the organization they can talk to and clear their doubts.

After implementing agile, make sure to include routine checks to see if everyone is working properly. The checks should also identify employees who are struggling to change their way of working. Offer them unlimited assistance until they are entirely comfortable to work with the agile system.

There are no do-overs when it comes to agile implementation. When you do it, make sure that you are doing it right. Employee resistance is a part of any change. Making the employees see the new system’s advantages lies with the organization. If that’s done successfully, then the agile processes can revolutionize the organizational performance.

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

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Body Image Awareness: How to Talk to Your Kids About Body Image and Health

Did you know that your children might already be thinking about dieting and feeling insecure about their bodies?

Cultural influences are strong and in a world where social media creates unrealistic body image standards, children as young as six years old can be sensitive about their weight. Eventually, this can lead to severe problems, like low self-esteem and even eating disorders.

With that said, it’s important for parents to encourage their children to maintain healthy habits. That means teaching them to respect their bodies, have a healthy relationship with food, and encourage regular physical activity. It also means setting a good example by modeling a non-judgmental attitude toward your own body while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Talking to your kids about body image and health isn’t always easy. Modeling healthy behavior can be even harder. But making an effort to do so is absolutely crucial to their long-term mental and physical health.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to talking about body image awareness and healthy habits.

The Obesity Problem in America

body image awareness obesity

At this point, most Americans know that the childhood obesity epidemic is reaching crisis levels. The Centers for Disease Control classifies over 20% of the U.S. youth population as obese. Factors like poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and too much sugar are playing a role.

States like Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana have some of the highest rates of childhood obesity. Some of the largest causes of obesity for high schoolers in Louisiana are lack of a healthy diet with vegetables, excessive soda, and lack of sustained physical exercise.

Childhood obesity sets kids up for a huge number of health problems that can affect their growth and future health. Additionally, children who are overweight are often bullied or excluded by their peers, often leading to isolation, low self-esteem, and mental health disorders.

American adults are also struggling with obesity, which can eventually lead to chronic health problems and a shorter lifespan. There are also social stigmas attached to being overweight, leading many people to develop eating disorders or extremely unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to control their weight.

Body Image Awareness: Addressing the Topic With a Sensitive Touch

Talking about weight, health, and body image requires a sensitive touch because kids can easily interpret your words to mean that you think they should focus on losing weight.

It’s important to emphasize health and body positivity over numbers on the scale. Always keep the conversations positive and monitor your language to ensure that you’re not unintentionally creating feelings of shame around weight, food, and exercise.

When addressing health and body image with your child, think about approaching it as a “we”-focused initiative. It shouldn’t involve simply ordering them to get off the couch and get moving. It should include creating family-focused activities you can do together, like hiking, yoga, cooking, and gardening.

Body image, weight, and health hover in a delicate balance, especially when it comes to kids. They will pick up on cues from you and detect any negativity in your words. Take some time to prepare for the conversation to ensure that you approach the topic with sensitivity.

Having the Conversation

Before you can move on to addressing topics such as spending less time online and more time outdoors, you’ll have to make your case. Instead of attempting to convince your child with logic, recognize that you need to have a two-way conversation where you’ll likely listen more than you’ll talk. The idea is to get your kids thinking about their health.

They might not realize that they eat more when they’re upset or how many hours they spend staring at screens. You can start the conversation by asking questions that will help them really start to think about their own habits. Then, talk about ways you can improve your health as a family. Don’t talk about weight loss. Instead, talk about how you can all be healthier together.

If your child is already saying things like “I feel fat”, it’s important to address the issue right away. Ask why they feel that way and try to get to the bottom of the issue.

Have they been bullied or have they seen something that made them feel ashamed?

Once you know why they’re making negative comments about their body, you can start to reverse the damage.

Opening Up Communication and Making Habits Sustainable

awareness body image

Communication is key when it comes to creating healthy habits and body image attitudes as a family. Making habits sustainable when your child is young will help set them up for a positive, healthy future. Serving healthy food and encouraging regular exercise from a place of positivity is crucial for both physical and mental health.

It’s also important to remember that treats are fine occasionally, and can even help make habits more sustainable long-term. A kid who is completely deprived of sweets or never gets the chance to stay inside and watch TV might feel resentful and rebel against their healthy habits when they get a bit of freedom. Moderation is what’s key.

Weight and health are emotionally-charged subjects in our society. As parents, we have the difficult job of helping our children to build a healthy lifestyle while ensuring that we don’t damage their body image and unintentionally teach them to associate food and exercise with negative emotions. It’s a tall order, but caring parents can rise to the occasion and set their children up for a happy, healthy life by promoting proper body image awareness.

See Also: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Eating During the Holidays

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How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action

After discovering a property representative, preparing your home for sale, and staging the house, you and your realty representative require to create remarkable real estate listing descriptions.

The initial step that 42% of purchasers require to buy a home is to look for listings online. 95% of purchasers utilize the web to eventually discover a home in their search.

You might lose these purchasers permanently if your listing pictures and story do not mesmerize home hunters browsing online. One research study revealed that listings with one image took over double the time to offer than listings with 20 pictures.

That’s why you and your realty representative need to develop the very best property listing in your location.

Here are some of the best ways to do that:

No Smart Device Pics Allowed: Your Photos Should Be Sensational

Imagine that you’re really in the market for a brand-new home. There are two homes on the very same street, comparable flooring strategy, and rate point. However, they have hugely various pictures.

According to CBS News, homes marketed with a leading quality expert listing images offer for 47% more than homes with low-quality photos. Images can likewise assist your home sell 32% faster.

Online users invest 60% of their time taking a look at the pictures on a realty listing page, and 20% on residential or commercial property information and the listing blurb. That indicates that if your images do not blow purchasers away, then there’s a likelihood they’ll never see your home.

How to Get Great Listing Photos

real estate listing description

Whatever you do, don’t take your listing pictures yourself.

Your property representative must contract out your listing images to an expert photographer who will modify and improve every photo or take the pictures themselves.

To find the right contractor for the job, you need to do your research. Inspect websites with impartial evaluations like Yelp or Angie’s List to discover leading professional photographers near you or you can just delegate the task.

Whatever is in the image ought to be brilliant and noticeable

For interior shots, you must be able to see the view out of all windows. Professional photographers can accomplish this using specific techniques.

The picture needs to make the area look big as possible

Do the images all look cropped or was a large-angle lens utilized? All photos must be shot with a large-angle lens and the space must never feel confined.

Images need to be straight

All images must be level. Your photographer can go free-hand or he can use a tripod as long as he’s able to make every shot appear straight and perfect.

The order of your listing images is crucial. You should go first with the dining space, living space, and household space. After those areas, you can cover the master bedroom and the other rooms in the house.

Another smart method to encourage a prospective purchaser to come to see your home personally is to leave “Easter eggs” or little within jokes or concealed messages of home functions in the listing description. These should not be noticeable in pictures.

Tips for Composing the Perfect Listing Description

creating real estate listing descriptions

The listing description is your only chance to discuss anything about your home that purchasers can’t see in the images. For that, you need to:

  • Utilize words most likely to appear in search engine result
  • Display high-end and brand-name functions like your Viking range
  • Point out superb features of your community
  • Promote special services

Your representative will compose the listing blurb for you. However, you can ask to see it before the listing gets released online.

How to Compose a Fascinating Listing Title

Some property representatives will publish your home on sites like Craigslist. These sites use a “list view” which suggests that you’ll require an appealing title for your listing. Many property representatives will do this for you as part of their marketing strategy. However, it never harms to come up with some recommendations.

Unlike other marketing platforms that arrange by image, a list view sorts just by the listing title. It’s less likely that potential purchasers will click through to your listing if your claim is not as good as the other titles before and after yours.

One method to do that is to use power words in your listing title. We’ll compose 2 noting titles together, one with power words and one without.

Title A: Good home for sale in SF Bay Location.

Title B: New: Zen Retreat With Sensational Views in Laurel Heights

Can you think which listing title has the power words? That’s right — Listing B is a terrific example of what your listing title should look like.

We utilized the power word “brand-new” to get the attention of the purchaser. If a listing is brand-new, it’s most likely something she hasn’t seen before. It produces a sense of seriousness.

We utilized the power word “zen” to stimulate harmony and serenity. This power word falls in the “joy” classification, which is what every potential purchaser ought to feel when she discovers an appealing brand-new listing.

We utilized the power word “sensational” to stimulate a sense of splendor and to make the purchaser wish to click through to see pictures right now. “Spectacular” falls under the “charm” classification.

How to Utilize Buzz Words in the Listing Blurb

Buzz words or power words appeal more to purchasers than other generic words like “relaxing” or “adorable” since they paint a picture of your home. Inspect out these listing descriptions from an expert real estate copywriter if you ‘d like a couple of examples of well-written listings.

If you desire your listing to stand out in search outcomes, you’ll wish to utilize local keywords.

Prevent Buzzkill Words

Throw away words like “charming” or “relaxing” and expressions like “priced to offer.” These words have ended up being white noise in property listings and do not suggest anything to potential purchasers.

Instead, be as particular as you can about your home. Even if you do have a comfortable den, consider what makes it healthy.

Do not state: The home has a relaxing den off the living room.

State: The den is the ideal area to unwind with a cup of tea as the sun shines in through brand-new Pella windows.

You also need to check the listing blurb over and over to get rid of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Any error in spelling or grammar can suggest that the real estate representative invested little time producing the listing.

Leading representative Caponigro informed us that terms like, “this will not last” are absolute no-nos. It appears that any listing that has 100 or more market days!

Keep a careful eye on different terms like “en suite”, “wrought iron fence”, and other similar terms. They might quickly (and incorrectly) be noted as “on suite” or “rod iron fence”. These little mistakes can send out purchasers running for worry of more significant errors in your home.

Your listing should never break the Fair Real estate Act which indicates that there shouldn’t be discrimination in gender, race, background, color or specific location.

Display Community Distance

Throughout your listing blurb, you need to make it clear that your home is located in a secure area.

Walkscore is a tool you can utilize to assist in determining what hotspots are instantly available to your home. The machine has a brand-new function called “Time Travel Map” which reveals to you how far you can stroll, drive, bike or take public transit in your location within 20 minutes. It will likewise show you how walkable the place is and the popular areas close by.

Other good ideas to keep in mind are: pure beach gains access to, fast highway gain access to, charming coffeehouse, and hassle-free shopping mall near to the property.

Reference Swanky Appliances and Cool Style Characteristics

This is among the locations in your property listing where you can best assist your realty representative. Caponigro asks all of her customers to supply her with a “function sheet” that details whatever the home needs to provide.

You can produce a function sheet for your real estate representative. It may consist of details regarding restrooms and spaces, lot size, square video, and so on. You may also want to include unique functions, like a double automobile garage, white wine cellar, kitchen area island, and any upgrades you have done.

Purchasers value high-end home appliances in a house, so you need to drop high-end brand names regularly.

If you have any high-end cooking area devices, windows, lights, home security systems or heating/cooling systems, make sure to include them in the listing.

Did a well-understood designer style your home? Current upgrades are as essential to your home’s worth as they are to purchasers. Market brand-new marble or granite countertops, a rejuvenated restroom, cooking area, yard, and any other high-end touches you included.

See Also: How to Decorate Your Home

Your Remarkable Property Listing

Above all, make sure that the listing records what you enjoy most about the home. The more distinct the description is and the more eye-catching the images are, the quicker it will be for your home to sell.

See Also: A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State

The post How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action

After discovering a property representative, preparing your home for sale, and staging the house, you and your realty representative require to create remarkable real estate listing descriptions.

The initial step that 42% of purchasers require to buy a home is to look for listings online. 95% of purchasers utilize the web to eventually discover a home in their search.

You might lose these purchasers permanently if your listing pictures and story do not mesmerize home hunters browsing online. One research study revealed that listings with one image took over double the time to offer than listings with 20 pictures.

That’s why you and your realty representative need to develop the very best property listing in your location.

Here are some of the best ways to do that:

No Smart Device Pics Allowed: Your Photos Should Be Sensational

Imagine that you’re really in the market for a brand-new home. There are two homes on the very same street, comparable flooring strategy, and rate point. However, they have hugely various pictures.

According to CBS News, homes marketed with a leading quality expert listing images offer for 47% more than homes with low-quality photos. Images can likewise assist your home sell 32% faster.

Online users invest 60% of their time taking a look at the pictures on a realty listing page, and 20% on residential or commercial property information and the listing blurb. That indicates that if your images do not blow purchasers away, then there’s a likelihood they’ll never see your home.

How to Get Great Listing Photos

real estate listing description

Whatever you do, don’t take your listing pictures yourself.

Your property representative must contract out your listing images to an expert photographer who will modify and improve every photo or take the pictures themselves.

To find the right contractor for the job, you need to do your research. Inspect websites with impartial evaluations like Yelp or Angie’s List to discover leading professional photographers near you or you can just delegate the task.

Whatever is in the image ought to be brilliant and noticeable

For interior shots, you must be able to see the view out of all windows. Professional photographers can accomplish this using specific techniques.

The picture needs to make the area look big as possible

Do the images all look cropped or was a large-angle lens utilized? All photos must be shot with a large-angle lens and the space must never feel confined.

Images need to be straight

All images must be level. Your photographer can go free-hand or he can use a tripod as long as he’s able to make every shot appear straight and perfect.

The order of your listing images is crucial. You should go first with the dining space, living space, and household space. After those areas, you can cover the master bedroom and the other rooms in the house.

Another smart method to encourage a prospective purchaser to come to see your home personally is to leave “Easter eggs” or little within jokes or concealed messages of home functions in the listing description. These should not be noticeable in pictures.

Tips for Composing the Perfect Listing Description

creating real estate listing descriptions

The listing description is your only chance to discuss anything about your home that purchasers can’t see in the images. For that, you need to:

  • Utilize words most likely to appear in search engine result
  • Display high-end and brand-name functions like your Viking range
  • Point out superb features of your community
  • Promote special services

Your representative will compose the listing blurb for you. However, you can ask to see it before the listing gets released online.

How to Compose a Fascinating Listing Title

Some property representatives will publish your home on sites like Craigslist. These sites use a “list view” which suggests that you’ll require an appealing title for your listing. Many property representatives will do this for you as part of their marketing strategy. However, it never harms to come up with some recommendations.

Unlike other marketing platforms that arrange by image, a list view sorts just by the listing title. It’s less likely that potential purchasers will click through to your listing if your claim is not as good as the other titles before and after yours.

One method to do that is to use power words in your listing title. We’ll compose 2 noting titles together, one with power words and one without.

Title A: Good home for sale in SF Bay Location.

Title B: New: Zen Retreat With Sensational Views in Laurel Heights

Can you think which listing title has the power words? That’s right — Listing B is a terrific example of what your listing title should look like.

We utilized the power word “brand-new” to get the attention of the purchaser. If a listing is brand-new, it’s most likely something she hasn’t seen before. It produces a sense of seriousness.

We utilized the power word “zen” to stimulate harmony and serenity. This power word falls in the “joy” classification, which is what every potential purchaser ought to feel when she discovers an appealing brand-new listing.

We utilized the power word “sensational” to stimulate a sense of splendor and to make the purchaser wish to click through to see pictures right now. “Spectacular” falls under the “charm” classification.

How to Utilize Buzz Words in the Listing Blurb

Buzz words or power words appeal more to purchasers than other generic words like “relaxing” or “adorable” since they paint a picture of your home. Inspect out these listing descriptions from an expert real estate copywriter if you ‘d like a couple of examples of well-written listings.

If you desire your listing to stand out in search outcomes, you’ll wish to utilize local keywords.

Prevent Buzzkill Words

Throw away words like “charming” or “relaxing” and expressions like “priced to offer.” These words have ended up being white noise in property listings and do not suggest anything to potential purchasers.

Instead, be as particular as you can about your home. Even if you do have a comfortable den, consider what makes it healthy.

Do not state: The home has a relaxing den off the living room.

State: The den is the ideal area to unwind with a cup of tea as the sun shines in through brand-new Pella windows.

You also need to check the listing blurb over and over to get rid of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Any error in spelling or grammar can suggest that the real estate representative invested little time producing the listing.

Leading representative Caponigro informed us that terms like, “this will not last” are absolute no-nos. It appears that any listing that has 100 or more market days!

Keep a careful eye on different terms like “en suite”, “wrought iron fence”, and other similar terms. They might quickly (and incorrectly) be noted as “on suite” or “rod iron fence”. These little mistakes can send out purchasers running for worry of more significant errors in your home.

Your listing should never break the Fair Real estate Act which indicates that there shouldn’t be discrimination in gender, race, background, color or specific location.

Display Community Distance

Throughout your listing blurb, you need to make it clear that your home is located in a secure area.

Walkscore is a tool you can utilize to assist in determining what hotspots are instantly available to your home. The machine has a brand-new function called “Time Travel Map” which reveals to you how far you can stroll, drive, bike or take public transit in your location within 20 minutes. It will likewise show you how walkable the place is and the popular areas close by.

Other good ideas to keep in mind are: pure beach gains access to, fast highway gain access to, charming coffeehouse, and hassle-free shopping mall near to the property.

Reference Swanky Appliances and Cool Style Characteristics

This is among the locations in your property listing where you can best assist your realty representative. Caponigro asks all of her customers to supply her with a “function sheet” that details whatever the home needs to provide.

You can produce a function sheet for your real estate representative. It may consist of details regarding restrooms and spaces, lot size, square video, and so on. You may also want to include unique functions, like a double automobile garage, white wine cellar, kitchen area island, and any upgrades you have done.

Purchasers value high-end home appliances in a house, so you need to drop high-end brand names regularly.

If you have any high-end cooking area devices, windows, lights, home security systems or heating/cooling systems, make sure to include them in the listing.

Did a well-understood designer style your home? Current upgrades are as essential to your home’s worth as they are to purchasers. Market brand-new marble or granite countertops, a rejuvenated restroom, cooking area, yard, and any other high-end touches you included.

See Also: How to Decorate Your Home

Your Remarkable Property Listing

Above all, make sure that the listing records what you enjoy most about the home. The more distinct the description is and the more eye-catching the images are, the quicker it will be for your home to sell.

See Also: A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State

The post How to Develop Property Listings that Make Purchasers Take Action appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Personal Loan vs Credit Card vs Debit Card: When to Use Each

You’re working hard every day to provide for your family and you’ve got a steady source of income. Frankly, you know you’re doing everything you can to get by, but you’ve also got personal necessities to buy, a pantry to restock, and hungry mouths to feed. The bills just keep piling up every month!

When is the best time to get a personal loan, swipe a credit card or use a debit card to consolidate debt? How do you manage your finances without hurting your pocket too much?

Understanding the differences among these three options will help you confidently manage your expenses and become more financially literate.

Choosing whether to get a personal loan or credit card depends on your spending habits, the status of your credit score, the amount of money you need, and the time it will take for you to repay the debt.

For instance, your credit score highly influences your chances of loans, credit cards, or mortgages getting accepted. It reflects how likely you are to pay back your loan or credit within a certain period. If your credit score is high, your credit card or loan application will likely be approved.

Below is a look at the differences between personal loan, credit card, and debit card, as well as when you can use each of them.

Personal Loan or Credit Card

Getting a credit card sounds like taking out a personal loan. Both types allow you to borrow money and pay it back in a certain period.

You can pay a personal loan in installments. You receive the whole amount and then make fixed monthly payments for a specific period. It can take anytime from 12 months to five years.

Lenders that provide personal loans generally place interest rates that range from 6% to 36%. Borrowers with good credit score, however, may qualify for lower interest rates. The limits of a personal loan can be up to $100,000, depending on the borrower’s credit score.

Meanwhile, a credit card is a revolving form of credit that allows the owner to repeatedly access funds. Unlike a lump sum of cash, a credit card has a credit limit you must abide by. If you choose not to pay it back immediately, you will begin to carry a balance.

The minimum amount of monthly payments is about 2% of the balance. However, if you pay back the credit in full on or before the due date, you can avoid getting charged with interest rates.

The difference here is that a personal loan is a better option for financing a large expense or settling high-interest debts while a credit card is good to use for smaller expenses. A personal loan is a fixed loan that you need to pay back in equal installments for a certain period, while a credit card is a line of credit that you can borrow from at any time. It needs to stay within the credit limit.

When to Choose a Personal Loan

When should you choose to get a personal loan?

If you need to finance large expenses or pay off debts, choosing a debt consolidation loan with fixed payments is the best option. It will even be better if you can get a lower rate on the loan than the rate for the existing debt.

What makes personal loans a good option for borrowing money is that interest rates are low and borrowing amounts can be high, with fixed repayment terms. The rate you receive will depend on your credit score. Your credit history, income, and debt-to-income ratio will also be assessed by lenders.

See Also: Personal Loan Approved? Here’s What To Do Next!

When to Choose a Credit Card

credit card

If you need to pay off a smaller amount of debt, a credit card is the best option for you. Since credit cards have higher rates and risks of carrying a high balance, they are best used for short-term purchases that you can pay off in full. This can include daily expenses and monthly bills for gadgets, appliances or furniture.

With credit cards, you can max-out your credit limit, which could keep you stuck in debt. On the other hand, with personal loans, you can be certain that your balance is at a fixed amount. You can’t keep borrowing money unless you’ve already paid off your loan.

See Also: 9 Valuable Credit Card Perks

Credit Card vs Debit Card

What’s the difference between credit and debit? Both debit cards and credit cards are accepted when purchasing in-store and online and they both offer the same convenience. However, the difference between these two cards is the source of the funds.

A debit card is connected to a checking account or savings account. It usually requires a PIN number or signature for every transaction.

When you make a purchase, debit cards draw money directly from your account and place a hold on the amount you purchase. The merchant sends the amount you bought to their bank and it is then transferred to their bank account.

Some people may argue that it’s best to use a credit card because of the credit card reward programs. However, this could only work if you pay off the balance in full every month. If you don’t, whatever amount you borrow will incur interest charges and fees.

Still, using a credit card has its benefits. A credit card is safer to use for online transactions than debit cards because it offers more protection against unauthorized transactions. When travelling, it’s also best to use a credit card for bookings, flights, and hotel accommodations. You could even enjoy travel perks such as air miles, travel assistance, travel insurance, and airport lounge access.

When to Use a Debit Card

debit card

If you want to keep your finances in check, it’s best to use a debit card. To make sure that you don’t overdraw your checking account, it’s better to keep a record of your running balance. A debit card isn’t advisable to use when traveling because you may end up short of money for your daily expenses. However, it’s the best option to use when buying small purchases like medicine or groceries.

Whichever of these three options you choose, it’s important to avoid drowning in credit card debt or else, you might experience financial ruin. With that, a debit card with limited balance can help you develop financial discipline and curb bad spending habits. With a debit card, you won’t be spending money that you do not have.

The post Personal Loan vs Credit Card vs Debit Card: When to Use Each appeared first on Dumb Little Man.