The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

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Monterey Financial Services Rip Off Can Be Avoided In 3 Steps

When it comes to the most difficult decisions in life, you can be sure that the financial matters are involved. In order to be sure that you can make the right choice you need worthy and dependable Monterey financial services to help you. While you are trying to use these services to come out of a problem you also need to be sure that the Monterey financial services rip off can be avoided so that you do not fall into further trouble. There are obvious steps that you can take in order to ensure that the rip off can be avoided, you can use the following 3 steps to make sure that you have a reasonably good vendor to help you.

The first step is ensuring that you search for the right vendor. You can search directories or newspapers or even online in order to find Monterey financial services. It is seen that most companies that have a higher ranking in most of these are mostly dependable. Since financial services are very subjective and complicated there will always be some small negativity about any company but that is fine as long as you are getting a good deal. There are a lot of resources that you can get in case you want to find a good company and be sure that you are not subjected to Monterey financial services rip off.

Secondly, you have to look at the range of financial services that the company offers. In case there is a host of different services that the company offers, Monterey financial services rip off can be avoided. Since the company has a wide range of services, their exposure to the markets and customers will be higher which means that the chances that they will maintain their image and avoid mishaps will be higher. This will but you on the safer side as well.

Finally, you have to be careful while you get involved in the paperwork. In most financial services, paper work is of most importance as it can be confusing and complicated. Most companies don’t mind playing around with words and therefore you must be alert and careful before you sign any piece of paper. With the above 3 steps you can be sure that Monterey financial services rip off can be avoided.

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Tips And Ideas For Better Home Improvement

The time often comes in your life when it is necessary to attempt a home improvement job. You may have purchased a new house and it needs a little facelift or it could be that niggling house job you keep putting off. Follow some simple rules and the task can become a little easier, even enjoyable.

Always take time to prepare. Have a plan of action in the form of a manual or instruction leaflet and do the necessary preparations for the job. Do not forget to protect or shield any expensive items, furniture and flooring that might get damaged or accidentally stained in the home improvement process.

Always make sure that you have good ventilation when doing any home improvement project especially when using paints and some glues. Use your electrical devices with adequate safety protection and keep your tools away from children. If you plan to do any outside home improvements like varnishing or painting check the weather forecast to make sure it is not going to rain.

Although all the previous suggestions are extremely relevant the most important measure for you to take before starting a job is to make sure you have the right tools, and the best quality of tool you can afford. This suggestion should not be ignored. Reference your manuals to get the necessary tools for the job beforehand.

If you just fancy having a go at a home improvement activity begin with a renovation type job. Take a room, for instance the living room, and see what could be done to enhance the beauty or functionality of the room. It may need wallpapering or you may want to change the floor from carpet to wooden floorboards. The furniture may need to be reupholstered or a stray crack in the wall may need to be filled in. In the kitchen a table may need re-varnishing or a cupboard handle replacing. But a word of warning, if you are unsure ask the advice of a trained contractor. Also when you are deciding what home improvement to do think carefully if the alterations would fit into the theme or color scheme of your house.

After you have attempted some minor renovations and repairs this should give you more confidence to try a bigger project, for instance an outdoor patio or decking job. Remember to plan and prepare your home improvement jobs, use the right tools and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

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Vocational Education, Right Choice For Your Future

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is also called Vocational training and Career and Technical Education (CTE)). It gets learners ready for careers based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and those related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation; hence the term, in which the learner participates.

Oftentimes, it is called technical education, since the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology. Vocation and career are usually used interchangeably. Vocational education may be compared to education in a typically broader scientific field. This may focus on theory and abstract conceptual knowledge, characteristic or tertiary education. Vocational education is usually at the secondary or post-secondary level. It, normally, interacts with the apprenticeship system of skills enhancement.

Till the end of the 20th century, vocational education concentrated on specific trades such as, for instance, an automobile mechanic or welder. Hence, it was related to the activities of lower social classes. As a result, it was associated with a sort of stigma and vocational education got linked to the traditional and conventional apprenticeship routine of learning. But as the labor market got more focused and economies started to stipulate higher levels of skill, governments and businesses started increasingly investing in the future of vocational education.

This is done through publicly funded training organizations and financially supported apprenticeship or trainee schemes for businesses. At the post-secondary level vocational education is normally provided by institutes of technology, or by local community colleges. In the 20th century Vocational education got extremely diversified. It now exists in industries such as retail, tourism, information technology, funeral services and cosmetics, as well as in the traditional crafts and cottage industries.

Online Education

There are several terms for online education. A few of them are: virtual education, online education, distance education, Internet education, web-based education, and education via computer-mediated communication. Essentially, online education is characterized by:

1. The separation of teachers and learners that differentiates it from one on one education
2. The impact of an educational organization that differentiates it from self-study and private tutoring
3. The use of a computer networks to provide or dispense educational content
4. The offer of two-way communication through a computer network so that students may profit from communication with each other, teachers, and staff

E-learning

E-learning is classified as interactive learning. In this type of learning the content is made available online and gives automatic feedback to a students learning activities. Online communication with real people might or might not be included. However, the aim of e-learning is normally more on the learning content than on communication between tutors and students.

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The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!

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How To Find Top Financial Services

Finding top financial services may sometimes feel like a daunting task. When it comes to your money, you want to be sure that you’re working with a company or an individual that you trust. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you’ve been placing your money in the wrong hands. Since there are many different types of financial services, there are many ways to find the top financial services. Before you start looking, you should educate yourself on the area of financial services that you are looking for. If you can figure out what you should be looking for it will be easier to find it. Self education is the best step that you can take in your own financial management.One of the most important types of financial services that most people will use is their bank or credit union. Since a bank or credit union will provide a wide variety of services, from checking and savings accounts to loans, it makes sense to take some time to choose the right institution for your needs. A lot of people choose their bank based on their commercials or a small piece of the puzzle, like free checking.For an accurate review of the aspects of a particular bank, you can search online for reviews. People aren’t afraid to share their opinions on a bank that has mismanaged their money. These days, thanks to the internet, you can see how a bank really treats its customers and make an informed decision.A good resource for evaluating your financial services options is Bankrate.com. This website has detailed information on the interest rates of checking and savings accounts from a variety of different banks. It’s also a good place to find out about mortgage loans, auto loans, CDs, investments and credit cards. You can use this resource to thoroughly investigate your options before making a decision. It will make it easy to find the top financial services.Besides banks, loans and investments, there are many other types of financial services. If you are going to be investing in the stock market, you’ll need a broker. If you want an expert to do your taxes, you’ll need an accountant. Some people even opt to talk with a financial advisor to help them with a wide variety of financial needs.These types of professionals can be found in your local community or online. Since they work directly with you and your money, you’ll want to take some time to find the right option for you. The best way to start finding these types of financial service professionals is to ask for referrals. Talk to your friends an family about what you are looking for. Many of them may use the type of financial professional that you are looking for.In addition to referrals, you can also use the Better Business Bureau’s website to find reputable professionals in your area. If a company or individual professional has complaints against them, the BBB’s website will let you know. The site is located at www.bbb.org. It is a fast and easy way to find top financial services in your area.

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Some Of The Most Popular Card Games For Kids

It may surprise you to hear that kids can be entertained by products other than high-tech, high-dollar video game systems, DVDs, and television. They don’t have to spend their game-playing time blasting aliens, swinging digital golf clubs, and blowing up buildings. Amazing as it may sound, kids really do enjoy traditional games like board games and card games. Card games are a great way for you to spend more time with your children and get them away from the television. In addition to being fun, card games can be educational.

One such fun, educational card game for children is CardWord. The CardWord deck consists of cards with letters on them instead of numbers. The object of the game is to spell words. It’s challenging and educational.

Another fun, thought-provoking card game for kids which you’ve probably played yourself is Concentration. This can be played with a conventional deck or you can purchase specially made decks which feature fun pictures, words, numbers, etc. The cards are laid out face-down and the object is to find the matching cards. This game, of course, develops concentration, and almost every kid loves it.

Some other old favorites are Old Maid or Go Fish. Probably the most loved of all card games for kids is War. Kids of all ages can learn the simple rules to this game which can keep them occupied for as long as any video game.

One of the more acclaimed card games for kids is Apples to Apples Jr. This game consists of cards that on one side have red or green apples on them, and on the other side they have a word with its definition. The object of the game is to match the word on one card that best fits with the word on another. For example, if the word “beach” is laid down, then the winning card will likely be “sun” or “ocean”. The winner is determined by a player acting as judge. This allows for a lot of leeway.

Uno is a game almost everybody has played. Uno is great because it can be tailored to suit children of all ages. If your child is very young and not able to comprehend complex rules, you can ignore the cards which involve skipping turns, drawing extra cards, and you can ignore the wild cards. With older children, you can utilize the entire deck and you’re likely to find yourself in quite the Uno battle with your progeny. Be assured that even if you’re playing your best, you’ll lose to your kids sometimes, and they’ll love it!

Card games provide a wealth of educational and entertainment possibilities for children. Even at their most formative stages, children can learn about words and numbers from card games. Card games will improve their concentration and enhance their logical reasoning abilities.

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Loads Of Enjoyment With Online Games

The internet has become a major source of gaming content with the passage of time. Just like the games that can be installed and played on the computer, the online games also need a computer to run. The main reason why online games are now taking over the local computer games includes their wider range and easier availability. It is possible to enjoy racing games like truck games and car games to even bike games and unicycle racing games. Then there are traditional classics like card games, casino games and highly popular arcade games which give a hint of the days of gaming long gone by.

The thing that is important to know about online games is that online games are not just about playing. There are complete communities built around these games. You can find blogs and discussion forums about online games which are extremely helpful in enjoying the game to the max. In case you are stuck somewhere and need some help or if you have developed some nice trick or strategy that you want to share, these forums and blogs are just the place. Above all, you can find reviews about the games that you should play and the games that you should avoid.

Playing online games is extremely exciting and at the same time, extremely challenging. The adrenaline pumping that you can receive by playing online games can not be paralleled by anything else. There are a number of people who are involved in playing games online. You can easily find competition and you can also find allies for your games.

The best thing about online games is that you can find free online games. You have to look for them though. Most of the online gaming sites provide you a subscription model. In this case, you would get a free trial membership that would last for anywhere between a week to a month. After this, you would have to cough up money to keep on playing games online. Creating a new account would not help because you would not be able to transfer your game levels and statistics from the old user account to the new user account. The thing is that free online games are available. While they are not exactly free because they are being sponsored by advertising on the site. You would have to look for the games that are completely free and not just a ‘free trial’.

There is an endless variety of online games that you can play – from games as simple as Texas Hold’em Up Poker that allows you to gamble against other players to games like Chess where you pitch you gray cells against the power of a computer or the brains of other people. After you have finished a long and tiring day of work, online games can be the perfect way to vent your frustration and make yourself fit and free for another day at work. With online games, you can easily get fast track entertainment at almost no cost.

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Gambling Industry Expanding And Players Who Use Gambling Strategies

What does the word Gamble” mean to you?

For the average player the word gambling” means much more than a risky bet. It can stand for just about anything from vacationing, Las Vegas, and even fun. Devised earlier than 3000 years ago, gambling was well documented to have existed in many civilizations. The games we know today are the incarnations of former ones, with adjusted rules. For the length of time gambling was invented, players have always seemed obsessed with trying to use various gambling strategies for games. However, Casinos have always had the mathematical advantage along with an adamant need for stopping the smart player. It has forever become a vicious cycle of exploitive players vs. casinos catching up.

Today, gambling doesn’t even need to be played at Las Vegas or any other casino chains.

Now for those of you who live under rocks or live in a time warp may say, Wait….outside of Casinos?”

Well you see…

1.In-flight Gambling: Eflyte has been developing in-flight gaming and continues to spread its influence on many airlines. Currently they have the world’s first Multiplayer Poker Tournament along with over 60 games for airplanes. Ceo of Ryanair will also attempt use in-flight gaming by next year. Now casino gambling may be common on cruises, but it’s a breakthrough for airlines.

2.Mobile phones can also be used to buy lotteries and sports betting nowadays. If certain restrictions are lifted, it could even mean much more growth in its use.

3.Internet Casinos are also another medium in which gambling doesn’t seem to stop growing; despite being forced to open offshore from the US. This isn’t necessarily bad of course.

The gambling industry is on a growing trend and it doesn’t seem to stop anywhere in sight. Of course, this naturally means that more and more people will be hooked and continue losing to the casinos.

Even the strategic players are screwed over at times with certain technologies being developed. Some casinos even started to implement tracking devices in chips to catch card counters. Those days of Ken Uston and counting machines are getting harder to come by since casinos already know about the gambling strategies used. New mediums such as electronic gambling can stop card counting dead in it’s track.

Winning through strategy can still be done, just as internet marketing can still make some rich. Yet being particular savvy to news and gambling strategy alike can immensely help the professional gambler. That is, unless gambling is only treated as a simple recreation. Otherwise, the best a player can do is to read up on forums and reference news sources for any changes in their gambling strategy.

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Mental Health

Fifteen percent of the population suffers from some form of mental health issue. Nearly 2/3 of individuals who have a mental health disorder do not seek any form of treatment. Perhaps some of these individuals don’t even know that they have any mental health ailments that can be treated and controlled. They simply think that it is normal to feel anxious or depressed throughout life. Some of the 2/3 of people don’t seek treatment because they feel embarrassed. They don’t want to feel like a failure or feel that they are helpless. Others don’t seek treatment because they simply do not have the finances to be able to do so.
What people need to understand about mental health issues and disorders is that they are not the result of social misunderstandings or mistakes that they’ve made in their lifetime. They are legitimate medical illnesses that are treatable and very much real. Many people will never accept the fact that a mental illness exists. They’ll tell you that if you’re depressed, you can get over it. They’ll say that if you have a fear of leaving your house, face the fear head on. Those individuals don’t have a clue what they are talking about. They are unaccepting of anyone that is not in the norm. There are many mental health disorders that cannot be overcome by simply wishing them away or facing your fears. They are treatable with therapy and sometimes medication.
There are so many different diagnoses of mental health disorders. Some are much more severe than others. The severe ones may not be curable or improve with therapy. However, medications can help to regulate them and they can be monitored. Other mental health disorders that deal with anxiety or depression can be helped with therapy, medication or both. Insurance companies, most likely, will help their members out with paying some portions of therapy. However, many times the co-pays are high or they only pay up to a certain amount. Taking care of mental health issues can be quite costly, but can be priceless when it is gotten under control.
Some of the most famous names throughout history have suffered from various mental health disorders and issues. Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Sir Isaac Newton are only some of the famous names that we all know who lived with their mental health being stable. As we all know, their names are famous because they accomplished some brilliant and amazing feats. This only goes to prove that mental health doesn’t have to be a hindrance. It is simply something that needs to be discovered and dealt with properly. Life is entirely too short to spend it being miserable or confused. Take control of your life – don’t let it take control of you.

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