25 June 2019

Play It Safe - 5 Ways to Ensure You Protect Your Income

Image: Nattanan23/Pixabay.com

Life is unpredictable, and even the most carefully designed plans can go haywire if an unexpected event occurs. This is why protecting your income is vital to your financial and emotional health. Here are five methods to secure your finances, no matter how many lemons life throws at you.

Eliminate Debt--

It can be hard to get ahead in life without accruing some debt, but it’s important to know which debt is helping you and which is causing you trouble. Shop around for every loan you take out, including student loans, mortgages, and small money loans. This way, you’ll get the best rates and know what you’re signing up for. 

Create an action plan for how and when you will pay off the debts to avoid feeling out of control of your finances. Pay with cash when you can, especially for things like cars which depreciate the second you drive off the lot. 

Plan Ahead--

You can’t know the future, but you also can’t get what you want without a plan in place. A good place to start is with a six-month savings buffer that can cover your living expenses in case something unexpected happens, like a layoff or an accident. This will give you ample time to get back on your feet or apply for the assistance you need without bills rolling over and forcing you into debt. Only 61% of Americans could pay for even an unexpected $400 bill. This is astonishing but can easily be avoided with an emergency fund. 

Next, establish financial goals. Paying off debt could be one. Investing the right amount of your paycheck to retire by your target age could be another. By planning, you are able to feel cushioned if things make a turn for a worse. 


To protect your financial progress, you have to think of your income as a bratty child and you as its overbearing parent. Make it your business to know where it’s going and what it’s doing. You’ll never know if impulse buys and random expenses are causing you to spend more than you make if you don’t evaluate the numbers and ensure they line up in your favor (to learn more about how to make a budget and why it’s important, click here).

Create Multiple Streams of Income--

To protect your income, you might want to avoid putting all your eggs in the same proverbial basket. If you were to be laid off, what would be your first step? You could apply for unemployment benefits, but this can be a long process in which you aren’t guaranteed help. 

By establishing other streams of income, whether it be investment dividends, real estate, or even a good side hustle, you’re able to relax if one stream dries up as you know you can just put more effort into growing the others. Even passive incomes that start small can give you peace of mind when the fan gets hit.

Regularly Reflect on Your Goals--

By revisiting your financial goals, you’ll be better able to see the progress you’re making toward them. You can then reevaluate your spending habits and debts to see if you can attack them more aggressively or lean back while in a season of higher bills. To protect your income, you need to know if your expenses are getting too high, and that is done by revisiting the handy-dandy budget.

No one likes to plan for things to go wrong, but we know disasters happen. These can include company closures, accidents, and recessions. To protect your income, practice these five methods, and remain confident about the future, come what may.

The Final Veneer - 4 Clever Ways to Make Dental Veneers More Affordable

Photo by Vinicius Wiesehofer from Pexels
Veneers are hot right now. More and more people, from celebrities to the regular Joe, are seeking out this procedure thanks to its reputation for being able to craft you the perfect smile. Promising a whiter, brighter grin and perfectly shaped teeth, dental veneers are all the rage. 
If you’ve thought about getting dental veneers but know that affording them might be a problem, you’re in luck. While most dental insurance policies don’t cover such cosmetic procedures, there are ways to make dental veneers more affordable. Let’s take a look at a few clever tricks you can use to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of without breaking the bank. 

#1 - CareCredit 

Going to the dentist is never cheap. Just getting a simple cleaning can run a hundred dollars or more. If you want dental veneers but aren’t in a position to pay for them upfront, the CareCredit card can give you the affordable payment plan you need to achieve the healthy smile you desire. 
In addition to porcelain and composite veneers, the CareCredit card may be used for other dental procedures such as root canals, braces, implants, and more. It’s important to check with your dentist to find out if they accept CareCredit before having anything done. 

#2 - Call Your Insurance Company

As mentioned before, most dental insurance companies won’t cover cosmetic procedures like dental veneers. However, if your teeth were damaged in an accident, it’s worth mentioning to your insurance company as they may cover at least some of the cost of fixing your teeth. The more your veneers will improve your health rather than just your appearance, the more likely your insurance company will cover at least part of the cost. 
A word of advice: Don’t rely on the dentist to find out if your insurance company will cover the dental veneer procedure. Call them yourself so there is no question and no surprises after the fact. 

#3 - Shop Around

Just like everything else that costs money, the price of dental veneers varies from dentist to dentist. It pays to shop around to find the best deal on the type of veneers you want. 
It’s important to also take time to research the dentists as well to ensure you aren’t sacrificing quality and safety for a cheaper price. Check the internet for reviews from previous patients. Look for a mix of positive and negative reviews, which tells you they are honest. If you find a dentist with nothing but outstanding 5-star reviews, it could be that he’s paid for them to bring in more patients. 

#4 - Borrow the Money

Dental veneers cost on average $900-$2,500 a tooth, depending on which dentist and which type of veneer you go with. If you can’t afford to pay for your veneers on your own, another option is to borrow the money. 
You can always ask friends or family to help you fund your veneer dreams, but if that’s not feasible, applying for a loan with a reputable lender is another option. If you already have an account with a bank, try there first. They already know you and your deposit history, which is a step in the right direction. 

Dental veneers are a popular option for fixing uneven, broken, and discolored teeth. The procedure can be expensive, and most insurance companies won’t cover it because it’s usually classed as cosmetic. If you want to get dental veneers but can’t afford them on your own, the above-mentioned ways should help you make them more affordable. 

22 May 2019

5 Simple Things That Will Make Your College Experience Better

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

College can be a complex time. There are lots of deadlines, frustrations, social changes, new people, material you don’t understand, and way more.

College will also be great, and you will learn a lot and meet amazing people. I have found that there are some things that will make the experience better. They are simple but have made my college experience more enjoyable.

Laptop/Flash Drive--

A good laptop makes a huge difference. You will be doing a lot of assignments and so you need great speed, lots of storage, and good RAM. This all essentially governs how fast your computer will go, how much memory your computer has, and how much you can download. If you have a cheaper laptop, it will likely be another source of frustration, as you will constantly be waiting for things to load and clearing up space.

This is where a good flash drive comes in. You should have all important information backed up in multiple places. A Flash drive allows you to store lots of information off of your computer. If you have less important items, you can copy them to your flash drive and delete them from your computer, freeing up precious space.

It is important to note that you don’t need to break the bank for a great laptop. There are many affordable options that are still quality computers. Asus is a great example, and you can even find some surprisingly good deals on Macs.


This seems kind of basic, but I did say these are simple things right? A good pair of headphones is a lifesaver. You can listen to music while doing homework, exercising, sleeping, or being in common areas without affecting others. You need to be respectful of your roommates, and headphones allow you to be respectful if they need silence. It also allows you to not be bothered as most people will not approach you while your headphones are in. Being social is great, but sometimes you need your peace.

People use their headphones all the time. Pro tip: when walking to class and using headphones, make sure you are aware of your surroundings. You would not be the first person to not hear an incoming bike or person and get run over.

These first two items go together perfectly for the most commonly done activity at college: Netflix!


These aren’t something you can really prepare when you come to school, but they are awesome. Whether you find a paper coupon to a restaurant or store or use an app to find coupons or deals, it will make you happier than you can comprehend right now. You may not feel joy when you get a coupon for a discount on milk and cereal right now, but once you are a college student I promise you will.


This next one may not apply for those who go to school in places like Florida, California, Arizona, and Hawaii. They get great winter weather. For us peasants who don’t attend school in perpetually warm climates, a good jacket is a life saver.

You will do a ton of walking as a college student, even if you have a car. Keeping warm is key to a happy you, so make sure you get a quality jacket that will keep the winter woes away.


This is crucial. Different apartments have vastly different atmospheres and reputations. You should look carefully to find out what apartment will be right for you. Find one you like, and that seems to match your personality.

Some apartments have very social atmospheres and people. Other apartments have quieter, laid back feels to them. Find the vibe that is appealing to you. Student living is a very important part of college because when you go to your apartment, it should feel like home.

Conclusion: Life is full of simple, yet important things. These things helped me find peace, relaxation, success, and belonging. Look into these things, but also know that just about anything can do this for you. Attitude is everything after all. Good luck in school my friends!

Common Bed Bug Myths Busted

For many years it was believed that the menace of bed bugs was reduced over time mainly due to an improvement in hygiene standards. However, bed bugs have made a comeback and the menace is only going to grow. If you notice even a single bed bug around you, take action immediately. There are certain myths about bed bugs which can fortify you against an infestation. Here are some common myths busted for you.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Bed Bugs Can Fly--

Bed bugs are really fast but on the ground. Their speed is more than one meter per minute and they cannot fly. It would be an absolute nightmare if bed bugs started flying. You might feel like they are everywhere which is why you have an illusion that they can fly. They easily adjust to different living conditions and temperatures.

Bed Bugs Multiply Very Quickly--

Bed bugs are difficult to locate and they live longer on other insects. This is why there is an illusion that they multiply faster. They actually reproduce slowly. Their life cycle will span out over a couple of years. A female can lay only one egg in a day and the eggs take about 10 days to hatch and about 6 weeks to mature into an adult. This is pretty slow as compared to other insects.

Bed Bugs Are Only Visible at Night--  

You are right, the insects are nocturnal but they can also be visible in the day. Light does not keep bed bugs away and they will come out if they are hungry. If bed bugs are present in your house, you can expect to be bitten at any time.

Bed Bugs Can Go up to a Year Without Feeding--

Bed bugs easily adapt to temperatures and to the lack of food. Even normal room temperature is ideal for them. Bed bugs thrive in the same environment as humans do and in reality, they can survive about two to three months without feeding. However, their metabolism slows down in the winter and they can survive on their last meal up to one year in the cold. It is mainly because they are cold blooded and show such behavior.

Bed Bugs Live in Mattresses--

Bed bugs are believed to be only found in bed because of its name. However, they are not only found in beds but can be found anywhere. You can pick them up from public transport, from other people, public places, others’ houses, and pets. Bed bugs are small and they can crawl into very tiny spaces like cracks in the walls. Even luggage gives them a lot of folds to hide in. They are not only found in mattresses but any place that is warm.

Bed Bugs Are Unsanitary--

Even if your house is the most sanitary place in the world, you can have bed bugs. They are hardy and very undiscriminating. They tend to infest poorer homes more often because of the dense population that translates to more food sources for them.

Bed Bugs Can Travel on Us--

This is a big myth that needs to be busted right away. Bed bugs do not like the heat in your body and they do not travel on the body. They like areas away from body heat and you will never find them on your skin or hair unless they are feeding. However, they do travel in clothes. Hence, you need to check thoroughly before wearing your clothes and shoes.

Removal of bed bugs is necessary and is very tricky. If you notice that there are bed bugs in your home, you need to call professionals for a thorough inspection of your house. Professionals at bed bug control Seattle use the latest tools for an inspection of the house. There are certain steps you can take to treat bed bugs. It starts with cleaning the place where bed bugs live. This includes bedding, curtains, and linens. Wash them in hot water and dry them. Put all the items that cannot be washed into a dryer and run it for 30 minutes. You need to use a stiff brush in order to scrub the mattress seams in order to remove the bugs before vacuuming.

Never ignore the presence of bed bugs in your home because it can cause a menace in no time. You need to understand that proper treatment is necessary for removal of bed bugs and if you are unable to clean your home, you might have to seek the assistance of a professional for the same.

07 May 2019

Home Haven – 6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Home Security

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Security, it's something we all strive for; in our jobs, our relationships, and our homes. When it comes to the first of these areas of our lives, the responsibility for security rests mainly with us. Sure, there are other factors that could impact it, but at the end of the day we maintain the majority of control over our performance, and therefore, the job and relationship security outcomes.

Our homes, on the other hand, are largely affected by factors we have no say in. The best way to deal with this is to be prepared and take control of every aspect your can, which is precisely what this article is all about.

Lock It Up--
Since the best way to protect what's in your home is to keep threats out, the first thing you're going to want to do is to invest in upgrading your locks. Traditional deadlocks still have their place, but thieves and those who wish you harm are getting better at circumventing them. For optimum security, installing a smart door lock is a far more sophisticated choice. These devices carry all the traditional benefits with an added layer of tech that makes it easier for you and your guests to access the house while making it harder for unwanted visitors to get in.

Fence It Off--
Likewise, upgrading your fencing can be beneficial in stopping those with dubious intentions entering your premises. While this won't be permitted in all neighborhoods, if you're allowed to, it's worth looking into what kind security fencing would be a good fit for your property. You may have to sacrifice some of your views but the trade-off for peace of mind is worth it.

Lighting Is Key--
If you're looking for something that can add convenience as well as security, sensor lights can both literally and figuratively light up your life. Forget scrambling for your keys in the dark or trying to figure out whether that shadow in the backyard is an intruder or just a tree; any type of significant movement will set them off, so you'll know exactly what's going on in and around your home at all times.

This one may seem a little strange but owning a pet can, in some cases, deliver the same security benefits as always having someone home. Many thugs will target properties which seem unoccupied so an animal can act as a deterrent and if anyone does try to come inside, your new friend can raise the alarm.

Scream It from the Rooftops--
Speaking of alarms, if you don't have one, you really should. You can try your hardest to keep intruders out but if anyone manages to get in, you're going to want to know and an alarm is the easiest way to achieve that. Many systems also come with the added benefit of being able to autonomously alert the police or a security company for you. This can be a literal lifesaver in some situations.

Hit Record--
Another successful deterrent that will also be quite beneficial if anyone does ever get inside is a network of security cameras. Clearly visible cameras can scare malicious individuals away from your home, but if they decide to brave it anyway, you will at least have clear footage to give to the authorities.

While no-one can ever guarantee complete safety, taking these steps can significantly improve the security of your premises. Have a look at what's on offer and install the options that best fit your situation. You may never need them, but that’s a game of chance it’s really not worth gambling on.