Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to Save Money to Buy Your First Car

 
 
I was 18 years old when I bought my first used, but new-to-me car. I was so proud of that little car: it was black, as all good cars should be, and what made it even more exciting was the fact that I paid for the car myself. I didn’t know that other 18 year old weren’t buying cars - I just thought that was what young adults did: Get a job. Buy a car. Turns out, people go their entire lives and never have enough money to buy a car, as you may well know. But if buying your first car is on your to-do, here are a few tips on how to save money to buy your first car.
 
The first thing you want to do is do some research on what kind of car you want to buy: new or used. I started looking at new cars at first because they were shiny and smelled good inside, but when it came down to dollars and cents (and sense!), used was the way to go for me. Back then (yes, I am old enough to say “back then”), we didn’t have Craiglist or Kijiji to just look up cars that were for sale. I spent hours driving around used car lots looking for the perfect car. If you are looking for some advice on a good quality car, check out Richard Hammond’s website. You know, the guy from Top Gear? He knows his stuff.
 
Once you know whether you are going to buy a new or used car, determine your budget by breaking down your weekly take home pay (net pay, after taxes and deductions), and determine how much you can set aside each week toward the purchase of your car. You might want to start a separate bank account just for your car money so you don’t spend it when it’s starts to get to an amount that can be inviting to you. I gave my money to my mom so I wouldn’t spend it.
 
Get a second part-time job if you need to. I worked extra weekends and evenings for an entire year to save enough money to buy my car. I had a part-time job already, but because the option for full time wasn’t there, I went out and found another part-time job. Together, the two part-time jobs gave me a full time income. And, obviously, I was living at home with my mom because I was 18 - so my bills were not that much to begin with. But as you know, when you are 18, it is easy to just blow through your money. I wanted a car more than I wanted to spend that money on other things.
 
The other thing I did that helped me save quite a bit of money was sell some of the things I owned. I was able to accumulate a few hundred dollars, which was enough to cover the cost of my licence and registration - which people tend to forget when they are pricing their vehicles. Again, before the time of Craigslist, selling stuff was not easy. Now it’s so easy.
 
So, set your sights on a car you like, determine your budget, get a part-time job if you need to, set up a savings account, commit to saving for the car, and sell some stuff if you need to - that car will be yours before you know it!
 
 
 
*Guest Post


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Best Music Festivals to Attend This Summer

Best Music Festivals to Attend This Summer

This is the year you are going to do it: you’re going to set out on the open road and take in as many music festivals are possible! Okay, so that is probably not realistic for most of us. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t schedule our lives around music festivals this summer, because they are going to be epic this year! Music is such a huge part of our lives and it’s always playing in the background. Now it’s time to put the music front and center with millions of other people and have the summer we’ve always wanted. Here are is a list of the best music festivals to attend this summer.

Bonnaroo

A music festival that needs no introduction! Bonnaroo is happening this year from June 8 - 11th in Tennessee. Hoards of people flock to Bonnaroo each summer and have an amazing music experience. For less than $400 per person, you can take in endless musical entertainment for artists from every genre imaginable. This festival does not disappoint. Make it a yearly tradition with your crew by making a road trip to the festival grounds. It’s worth the drive.

Bonanza Campout  

This. Is. Going. To. Be. Awesome. Seriously, if you love music, even a little, you need to check out this amazing festival. It is as it says: a campout. Thousands of people will make their way to Heber, Utah from June 23 - 25th this year and see an incredible line up of artists. It’s amazing that they can fit so many talented people into one giant valley. Load up the car and the cooler and set out for a great time!

Great Blue Heron Festival

Did someone say farm? The landscape for this festival is homegrown and welcoming. There’s plenty of room for everyone who is making their way to Sherman, New York from June 30 - July 2nd this year. You get a lot for your money with this festival. At less than $100 a ticket, you are going to love it. Plus, this festival prides itself on patron sponsorship so they don’t have flashy signs everywhere pushing big brand products. It’s just a free range festival on a farm. So fun.

Country Jam USA

What’s a music festival list with a country music festival listed? Whether you like to admit it or not, country music has one of the biggest followings in the world! And with so many crossover artists making a name for themselves in pop music, you are sure to know some of the names on this epic line up of artists. If you find yourself near Eau Claire, Wisconsin between July 20 - 22nd, you should go to this festival. It’s jam packed with talented country music artists and the price is less than $200 for two full days of entertainment. Some of these country artists charge that for one ticket to just one of their shows.

Wherever the road may take you this summer, make time to take in a music festival. You get a lot of bang for your buck when you get tickets to these events. It’s really fun to spend time outdoors and you get to meet a lot of exciting and interesting people. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

DIY Backyard Ideas: Spring 2017


With spring right around the corner, one of the best ways to gear up for the season is by sprucing up your backyard. Spring is recognizable by the colors, the flowers, and the endless DIY opportunities and today we’ll be going through a few of our favorites for the 2017 spring season. It’s a great time to open up your doors and get outside.


Garden


Gardens are a classic staple for the warmer seasons, and with the blooms expected in spring 2017, gardening is a perfect tool for revamping the outdoor areas of your home. Whether you’re planting a raised vegetable garden, creating a colorful door wreath out of homegrown flowers, or adding colorful marbles into the fencing around your garden – these projects are a perfect starting place for your spring creativity. Our favorite garden project for spring 2017? Decorating an outdoor fence with colorful marbles – here’s how!


·         Marbled Fences
Begin by finding your favorite marbles at your local craft stores. We recommend using newer marbles that are somewhat transparent. Next, determine the bit size you’ll need to bore a hole in whatever fencing you’re decorating. You’ll want the drill hole to be slightly smaller than the marble so it’s snug and less likely to fall out (we recommend practicing on scrap pieces of wood until you get everything just right). Next, go to town! When the sun hits your newly set marbles, it will create beautiful colorful lighting throughout your yard or garden!


Décor


As the nights get warmer and the sun stays out longer, there is nothing better than decorating your outdoor patio areas to make get-togethers even more enjoyable! A few of the trends for spring 2017 are Mason Jar lights, rope swings for the kids, and DIY outdoor chalkboards! The best and easiest outdoor décor idea that we’ve found this year? Rope swings – here’s how!


·         Rope Swing
Head over to your local hardware store and stock up on about 20 feet of “natural” rope (it won’t stretch like nylon will), a carabiner, and a packaged piece of round pine. Drill a hole through the center of the pine and weave your rope through. Knot the rope (we recommend a tree-climbing knot) through the seat and at the top. Wrap the rope over a sturdy branch, clip the carabiner to the hanging rope, and swing away!


Flowers
Flowers are the biggest sign that spring is around the corner – and we recommend utilizing these blooming beauties as much as possible! There are endless amounts of creative DIY projects for this – however for Spring 2017, we’ve narrowed down our favorites to converted colander planters, dried flower candles, and zinnia pine cones! Our favorite? Zinnia Pine Cones – here’s how!


·         Zinnia Pine Cones
Pine cones are abundant this spring, and there are plenty of fun projects to use them for. If you’ve ever flipped a pine cone upside down, it resembles a beautiful Zinnia flower. Collect up some pine cones from your backyard, flip them upside down, and paint them with your favorite acrylic paints. Display them in a centerpiece or hang them with some outdoor lights, and your back yard will be beautifully decorated this Spring!


Spring 2017 is bound to be a great season! Utilizing some of these ideas will help you revamp, redo, and fall in love with your backyard area all over again. Start off the warmer seasons in style!

Friday, March 3, 2017

How to Choose the Right Charity for You


Finding the right charity to make a donation to is a difficult task indeed. There are so many stories of fraud and trouble with well-known charities that you can’t be sure where your money is going anymore. According to dial2donate.org, the best way to start your search for a good charity is to start with a broad search. There are many good recommendation websites online that you can refer to when starting out. Use these sparingly to try and narrow your list of possible charities down a little. Don’t be too dependent on these websites, though.

Start Conducting Phone Interviews

You can either call the charity you have selected from the bigger list and ask them questions, or you can request a meeting to get a general idea of how it operates. Charities have special departments called development departments. The personnel in these departments have the job of fostering a relationship with potential donors. If you plan on making donations in the long term, you should do research, and do as much of it as possible.
While you are at it, take a look at the annual report of the charity. This report is public domain and will be a good indicator of how dedicated the charity is to its overarching mission and principles. Does your charity of choice have an aura of courage in its annual report or one of caution? Does the message it delivers inspire you? Always check the hard facts before making a decision.

Inquire About Their Goals and Progress

When you talk to the representatives at the charity, ask them to provide you with actual data and analytics that support their claims of progress towards their mission objectives. Ask them what metrics they use to measure their success and whether they would call themselves successful. If the charity doesn’t have the slightest idea about the data they collect, they probably won’t be a good option for you.
Sometimes, though, it can be an issue because the organization’s effectiveness won’t be directly related to the problems they solve. For example, if their mission is to solve a problem that will take a while to resolve, they might seem like they aren't making any real progress. In cases like these, ask for their short-term goals and statements of what they have accomplished so far.
A good example of this is if a charity has a mission to provide better education to children in Mogadishu. They may not be able to completely solve the problem but ask for statistics of students who have passed exams due to the schooling given by charity funding.

Charities Need Some Business Sense


Most charities try to appeal to your softer side. Many people donate without a second thought when shown an image of a starving person. By bringing business strategies into the decision-making process when selecting a charity, you gain some useful insights into which companies are doing work that matters and which are doing nothing to achieve their goals.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Advantages of Laser Hair Restoration

Do you know what laser hair therapy is? It is one of the most quickly rising new technologies available in the field of hair regrowth and restoration. Back in the days before this technology,  the only way to treat hair loss was by applying a topical treatment or through surgery. Such as the one described on  http://hairlossable.com/irestore-laser-hair-growth-system/, it came to light. While the surgery wasn’t too risky, there was always the risk of infection or complications developing.
    1. How Does Laser Therapy Work?

In laser therapy, one of the biggest differences is that it isn’t invasive, unlike surgery. To remedy your hair loss problems, a soft laser light that uses low amounts of energy is shined onto your scalp to treat your hair loss problems. It can be used to treat baldness, thin hair, and many other issues that arise with your hair and head.
The light causes the circulation of blood in your scalp to increase, which in turn prompts your hair to grow faster and thicker, due to the energy transferred to your scalp cells. Since the procedure uses a special low-energy laser light, you aren’t at risk of damage to sensitive organs either. Some older technology would use heat to stimulate circulation. While this worked to a limited extent, it would still be rather risky.
    1. What are the Benefits of the Laser Therapy?

There is an extensive list of bonuses from using laser hair treatment over traditional methods of treating damaged or lost hair. It significantly reduces the number of treatment sessions as huge advantages. In fact, a single session has been shown to increase your circulation by 50% of what it used to be.  
In addition to this, the results differ from conventional treatment methods – hair that grows due to this form of therapy is glossier, softer, and has more volume. It is also more elastic and resistant to breakage. If you go to a salon for hair treatment after growing hair through laser therapy, you gain the added benefit of increased protection against the ravages of chemical scrubs and dyes on your hairs.
    1. Can Everyone Benefit From Therapy?

According to the statistics, over 80% of people who get their hair treated in this manner see their hair loss issues come to a stop. You can’t do one session and hope that your hair loss stops, though. If you want to see the best possible results, it becomes necessary to go through multiple sessions with a specialist. Always talk to your doctor about potential risks to yourself, if you go through with such a therapy session. Remember that not everyone is viable for treatment, too.

No two people are the same. Your scalp doesn’t work or react in the same way that another person does. While laser therapy works for most people, it is highly possible that it won’t work for you individually. However, the typical time frame over which you can see results is about one month after your first treatment. Just remember that no matter what the outcome is, you are as beautiful as you believe you are!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Forbes Debut

I never thought I would see my name in a Forbes article, my less my face, but that is exactly what I woke up to this morning. I am beyond excited and can't stop smiling. Please read and share!

Navigating Self-Publishing Or What Two Successful Business Women Call Indieworld



"If you want something done right, do it yourself."
~Charles-Guillaume Etienne
“A funny thing happened on the way to my retirement…” It’s the first sentence in Julie A. Gerber’s and Carole P. Roman’s book, “Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book.”

Read the rest of the article HERE!