How to Get the Most Out of your Credit or Debit Card

Ccard

These days, credit and debit cards are accepted forms of payment just about anywhere. However, if you use a credit or debit card on a regular basis, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of simply signing up for the first credit card that they find, not realizing what they could be missing out on by doing so. Here are a few tips to ensure that you get the most out of your card by earning rewards, avoiding fees, and enjoying other perks.

 

Choose a Rewards Card

These days, most banks offer free enrollment in rewards programs, which earn you points every time you use your card. For example, some credit card companies will give you 1% back on all of your fuel purchases. If you do a lot of driving, using your card each time you fill up could save you a significant amount of money down the road. The key, however, is researching different rewards programs to find the one that’s right for you.

Some rewards programs offer cash back on every purchase you make. For example, you may receive 1% back on everything and 2% on select categories, such as dining or fuel. On the other hand, some cards will offer cash back only in certain categories. Be sure to consider what kinds of purchases you’ll be using the card for to determine which rewards program is best for you.

 

How To Choose The Best Credit Card

 

 

Avoid Fees

Unfortunately, some banks these days still try to get away with charging their members random fees. For example, many credit card companies will apply an annual fee of $50 or more simply for being a member. Furthermore, some banks will charge $0.50 every time one’s debit card is used to make a transaction. These are exactly the kinds of fees you’ll want to avoid if at all possible, as these can add up quickly over time. Fortunately, there are plenty of banks out there that don’t charge any annual fees, so it’s just a matter of finding the one that’s right for you.

 

Look for Other Perks

Aside from finding a credit or debit card that offers a lucrative rewards program and doesn’t charge you additional fees, you may want to look for some other perks in your card as well. For example, having a card from some banks may automatically make you eligible for certain types of loans, such as auto loans or personal loans online by United Overseas Bank. Going with a bank that offers this kind of pre-approval on certain loans you may need down the road can save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes to applying for such a loan later on.

As you can see, there are many considerations you’ll want to keep in mind as you search for your ideal debit or credit card. This way, you can enjoy the conveniences of having a card while earning some additional perks in the process.

 

Read more

What to Consider When Looking for a New Office

officelocation

No matter the reason for your move, looking for a new office can be a daunting task. Depending on the age of the buildings and type of architecture, you may be confronted with some unusual options. If you are working with a realtor or property manager, he or she may show you buildings ranging from a boring old edifice from the fifties with dusty, cramped cubicles to a decommissioned church cut into loft spaces to bright and airy refurbished warehouses. No matter what strikes your fancy, here are some considerations to keep in mind when hunting for the perfect new office.

 

Traffic and Work Flow Concerns

No matter what kind of business you run, there are definite traffic patterns among those who work there. In some offices, workers hunch at their computers and work until breaks and meal times before congregating in the lunch room or outside areas. In other environments, employees get up and down from their seats all day long to share documents or drawings, fetch needed supplies or get clarification from the supervisor about a task. Think carefully about those traffic patterns in your current office and how they would work in the potential space. Would your employees be forced to climb stairs or ride the elevator to see other departments with whom they work closely? Would everyone fit inside the break room at one time, if everyone eats together? Will some employees be forced to traverse the length of the building or disrupt others’ workspace to get to a restroom? While it may seem trifling, foot traffic and work flow patterns are integral to the efficiency of your business and need to be considered.

 

Acceptable Utility Loads and Outlets

In today’s high-tech world, most office spaces come standard with an enormous amount of electrical outlets, phone lines and Internet cable outlets. Take the time to ensure that there are sufficient outlets for all the necessary utilities. Using a power strip to plug in far too many electronics at once can cause a devastating fire. Having insufficient phone lines can lead to tripping hazards as phone cords run across the floor, or employees may begin to rely on cellphones that will need to be charged as well. If you are unsure, sketch a few diagrams to make sure you and your employees will have all of the utility outlets they will need.

 

Parking and Outside Area Availability

If you employ a lot of cigarette smokers, a non-smoking office building with no cover anywhere outside is not going to be popular. Additionally, the best office in the city is not going to work smoothly if your employees have nowhere to park or the parking available is expensive. If your employees like to eat outside in fair weather, they will likely want to continue doing so in the new office. Consider the entire property, not just the interior, before making a final decision.

 

Evolution of office

 

The Neighboring Businesses

A daycare center that cares for infants is not going to do well right next to a loud, screeching machine shop. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be limited in where you should set up office space. While most loud or otherwise obnoxious businesses may be limited to industrial parks, it always pays to do some investigation. Be alert for foul smells that may emanate from beauty salons and allergens that may waft from floral shops. Consider the impact these unfortunate circumstances may have on your employees.

Searching for a new office space can be a challenge. By considering all of these issues ahead of time, you can avoid some nasty surprises after the big move.

 

Read more

4 Tips to Better Bike Rides

Bike

Hitting the road with your bicycle is a great way to stay physically active, without having go worry about overcrowded gyms or monotonous exercise routines. And while learning to ride your bike is a personal journey that you’ll expand upon on your own, there are also plenty of tips that seasoned riders can give to their novice comrades. If you are new to the cycling circuit, here are some tips to keep in mind while riding.

 

Use Interval Training Help You Develop Muscle Strength
When you are first beginning to ride, interval training can do wonders for helping you develop the muscle memory needed to be a better rider. Interval training consists of you setting timed goals for yourself –typically a short sprint followed by a calmer pace – and keep them up at a continual pattern. As you go back and forth from easy to hard, your muscles will adjust and build strength, which will help you increase the amount of time that you can spend at the tougher parts of the interval.

 

Avoid The Same Routine
If you find a really great trail, you may be eager to ride it frequently and enjoy what it offers. However, it’s important that you switch up your routine in order to keep your body changing and adjusting to different types of terrain. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ride your favorite trail more than once, but you should look to mix it up enough to get a good mix of riding in.

 

Have The Right Bike
Whether you love hitting the open road or climbing steep mountains, the type of bike that you have will greatly affect the ease and comfort of riding. Therefore, it’s important that you get a bike that is perfect for you and the type of riding you’ll be doing. You can click here for mountain bikes or find a road bike that is best for the type of riding that you’ll be doing.

 

bike-infographic

 

 

Be Prepared
There is nothing more frustrating than starting out on a long ride, only to have something happen to your bike once you get going. This can be even more demoralizing if you are miles from home and have no way to get back. To avoid this, be sure that you have an emergency pack with you while riding. This will help you easily fix flat tires or other small problems that you may experience while on the road.

Whether you are just starting out riding or you have been doing so for years, there is always something more to learn about the sport. Be sure to keep the tips mentioned here in your mind before you hope on the saddle and you’ll have a more enjoyable experience while riding.

 

Read more

5 Best Foods for All Day Energy

bean

Lasting energy is something that many people strive for in their daily lives. If you have been feeling fatigued during the day, there are many nutrient rich foods to try that will keep you energized. Foods rich in water, protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals are all crucial to maintaining a healthy level of energy and activity.

 

Melons

Hydration is the key to staying energized and fighting off fatigue. There have been several studies completed that have claimed even mild dehydration can reduce energy level by a significant percentage. Melons such as watermelon and cantaloupe are made of up to 90% water, so eating these nutrient rich foods is sure to help keep your energy level up.

 

Walnuts

Walnuts are a good source of melatonin, which is your body’s natural sleep aide. How does a sleep aide increase the amount of energy you have? Well, when you get a good night sleep you are bound to be more energized for longer periods of time the following day. Eating this healthy food will increase the melatonin in your body without the need of a vitamin supplement.

 

Brown Rice

Not only is brown rice packed with carbohydrates, but it is also a great source of magnesium, which is found in many vitamin supplements (get one at MyLifeInc). Magnesium is important because, without it, your body’s energy metabolism is much lower. Just one cup of cooked brown rice provides a quarter of the daily recommended amount of magnesium for women and a fifth of the recommended amount for men.

 

Foodfight

 

 

 

Edamame

It is important to eat a snack every three to four hours to maintain your blood sugar. Sometimes it can be hard to find a snack that will keep you full and is also a healthy mixture of complex carbohydrates and protein. Edamame is the answer! With 16 grams of protein per cup and only 200 calories, this snack will have you re-energized in no time.

 

Lentils

This power packed healthy food provides more protein than an egg in just a half of a cup. Lentils are easier to use than beans because they don’t require soaking prior to use. Add these legumes to salads, soups, and veggie burgers for an energy boost that will keep you going for hours after you eat.

In conclusion, these power foods will help keep your energy level up throughout the day. It is important, however, to visit your doctor if you suffer from severe or persistent fatigue that doesn’t resolve itself by changing your diet or lifestyle habits.

 

Read more

5 Other Practical Uses for Corrugated Boards

corrugated

Finding a constant supply of corrugated boards is not difficult. Many grocery stores in the U.S. dispose of tons of corrugated boards each year. Most purchases that people make probably come in corrugated boards that they can save. You can take advantage of the availability of this material because it allows you to save money and prevents the material from ending up in landfills. There are many practical uses for corrugated boards; it always pays to keep some on hand.

 

Art

Corrugated boards can be useful resources for art and craft projects. You can lay corrugated boards on your workspace to protect the floors and tables from coming in contact with messy materials. Corrugated boards are particularly useful in protecting materials and surfaces from splatter when spray painting. Set the item being spray painted inside corrugated boards to shield other materials and surfaces from splatter.

You can also create various works of arts by painting on large, flat strips of corrugated boards. Cut the board into large, fun shapes, decorate them and hang them on walls. Alternatively, you can put the boards together to make sculptures, models and other types of decorations.

 

Corrugated board art

 

 

Storage

Corrugated boards make useful storage materials. They offer cheap storage boxes and are widely available and convenient. Corrugated boxes can be used for drop box organizing in your bedroom, study room or garage. Arrange the cardboard boxes in shelves and label the boxes according to the items that fill them. This will make item retrieval much easier. You can also cut the boards into small pieces and use them as dividers or for storing things upright.

 

Corrugated Board Storage

 

 

School

Corrugated boards are suitable for making affordable display boards for school projects. Such display boards can make excellent visual aids for classroom projects. Once you finish presenting your project using the visual aids, all you have to do is fold the board nicely and store it in your closet for future presentations. In addition, corrugated boards can be used to design inexpensive props for school plays.

 

children painted in acrylic on corrugated board

 

 

Furniture

Corrugated boards are sturdy enough and can be used to make furniture. Many creative and innovative people are turning corrugated boards into tables, chairs, beds and other types of furnishings. Such furniture can be used in your living room, college room or kid’s room. When built in the appropriate manner, corrugated board furniture can be quite sturdy.

 

Corrugated board furniture

 

 

Gardening

Corrugated boards can be used for many gardening functions. You can use it as mulch to discourage the growth of weeds, place them over tender seedlings to protect them from the summer sun and strong winds and shred them into compost bins.

There are many practical uses for corrugated boards. In case you have innovative and creative ideas for using corrugated boards, you can find corrugated boards here.

 

Corrugated Board Garden

 

 

Read more

How to Get The Best Rate on a Fixed Deposit

fd

When looking to open a fixed deposit account, you need to take your time and research your options. Not only that, when opening an account, you will want to get the most out of the experience. Otherwise, when heading to the bank, you will end up making mistakes or not getting the best deal on your fixed deposit. With this in mind, here are three fixed deposit tips you need to follow.

Shop around: First and foremost, when you want to put some money away, you will want to shop around and find the best rate. To do so, you should learn more on fixed deposits here. Think about it, when you look at five or six banks, you will enjoy the best rate, all with a minimal amount of work. On the other hand, if you simply take the first offer, you will miss out on a lot of money in the long run.

 

Imoney.my Fixed Deposit Rates Comparison

Imoney.my Fixed Deposit Rates Comparison

Ask a few questions: Without a doubt, when you put money away, you are taking a slight risk. To alleviate any concerns and feel good about the transaction, you should ask a few basic questions. For starters, when opening the account, ask the bank for a list of the terms and rates. Then, make sure you feel comfortable speaking with an account manager. If, at any point, you feel unsure, walk away and find another bank. Remember, you have options and you will want to ask a few basic questions.

Penalty: All-too-often, a person will open an account and need the money in the future. When this happens, the customer will end up paying a hefty penalty to remove the money. To avoid this, you will want to only put money away that you won’t need in the near future. Fortunately, if you do this and avoid penalties, you will maximize your returns. On the other hand, if you think you may need money in the future, take a long and hard look at the penalty amounts. If high, you should consider other options. On the other hand, if there are no penalties or they are minimal, you can open a deposit account without fear or trepidation.

With these three fixed deposit tips, you can save yourself plenty of trouble in the long run. Otherwise, if you don’t understand your wants and needs, you will end up in a bad situation in the future.

 

Read more

4 Tips to Get Teaching Jobs at Private Schools

Teacher

Whether you are just graduating or have been a teacher for many years, you may find yourself drawn to the possibility of leaving the public school system behind for a private institution. Private schools have numerous advantages over their public counterparts, possibly including smaller class sizes, religious affiliation, and the opportunity for professional development. How do you get a private school teaching job? Keep reading!

 

Present a Polished and Professional Image

The first step in this process is to collect all of your application materials, including your resume or CV, and make certain that they pass muster. If you are seeking a high profile job or intend to apply at prestigious schools (such as Prince of Wales Island International Private School), then it is worth the extra time and money to use a professional resume writer or reviewer for your materials. The initial fee will come back to you once you have that perfect job. For parochial private schools, you may want to have a member of the clergy take a glance at your materials to avoid any red-flags.

 

Be Willing to Relocate

In a job market that continues to favor the employer, a willingness to relocate can offer additional opportunities and demonstrate commitment; however, managing your teaching credentials can be difficult during an out-of-state or -country move. If you opt to follow opportunity wherever it leads, make sure you research areas thoroughly prior to applying, including cost-of-living. A good salary in Atlanta would hardly pay the bills in Seattle, for example. Always articulate to employers your authentic desire to relocate.

 

Social Media and Networking

Who you know is important. Your presence in social media, including accounts at Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, are not just subject to scrutiny, they are also a great way to develop and maintain your professional ties. Two important factors here are to update regularly and don’t be afraid to reach out to other teachers and administrators online. They might surprise you!

 

facebook-and-teachers

 

 

Gain Experience First

For teachers just entering the field, you may need to consider getting your first taste of professional experience in a different environment prior to finding a job teaching at a private school. Experience goes a long way in terms of making the cut between applicant and interviewee. While this may not be ideal from the standpoint of accomplishing your goals, it can give you the chance amass classroom success stories that will help you later to land that private school teaching position.

Read more

8 Unique Diet Tips To Keep The Weight Off

Diet Thumbnail

It’s common knowledge that you should eat less and exercise more if you want to lose weight. But what if you’re hoping for more specialized dieting tips? Here are eight secrets straight off the runway to drop those pounds and keep them gone.

 

1: Drink Flavored Water

Unlike diet sodas, which still contain sugar and chemical carbonation even if they’re calorie-free, flavored water only has a few minor additives for taste. It’s a much better alternative to other drinks.

 

2: Stock Up On New Snacks

Instead of punishing yourself by taking away the cakes and cookies, find something quick and convenient that you can snack on regularly. Fat-free popcorn is a good choice. So is sugar-free jello.

 

3: Eat Three Meals A Day

The current fad is to eat 4-6 small meals a day, but that will only condition your stomach to expect food on a near-constant basis. Stick with three square meals at set times to give yourself a routine.

 

4: Put Off Your Cravings

It can be hard to resist the siren song of doughnuts being passed around the office. Instead of trying to deny the craving, however, tell yourself that you can have one in an hour. By the time the hour is up, you’ll probably be working on something else and not even thinking about them anymore.

 

5: Use Smaller Plates

If you’re having a problem with portion control, kid-sized plates will give the illusion of holding more food. You can also wash the plastic containers from TV dinners and use them to serve yourself healthy, appropriate portions.

 

6: Chew Gum

Do you wander into the kitchen when you’re bored? How about when you’re stressed or unhappy? “Emotional eating” is a well-documented phenomenon, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to cure. An easier alternative is to replace your stress binging with gum chewing.

 

7: Eat Better Vegetables

Don’t force yourself to eat broccoli just because it’s healthy. That’s a surefire way to lose interest in your diet and backslide into bad habits. Instead, focus on the vegetables you actually enjoy and the various ways you can incorporate them into your favorite dishes.

 

8: Take Your Time

Don’t gobble up a meal. Don’t eat absentmindedly, either, with one hand holding a fork and another rifling through reports from work. Sit down with your food and really appreciate it to feel full, well-fed and satisfied.

 

Dieting Case Study: What London Weight Complaints About Vegetables Diets.

 

food-diet-infographic-research

Read more

4 Great Travel Tips That Will Save You Trouble

Travel Thumbnail

Whether you are a seasoned world traveler or you are simply a tourist with an urge to see the world, you’ll find that travel can be as fascinating as it is troublesome. Make sure that you keep these travel tips in mind as you wander!

 

PassportPhotocopy Everything

If you are leaving the country, you will find that it is always a good idea to have proof of who you are on you at all times. However, given that travel documents are hot commodities on the black market, you may not always want to have the papers themselves on you. This is where photocopies come in. Leave the real deal in the hotel’s safe and bring the paper copies instead.

 

Carry a Cardhello

If you are going somewhere where you do not understand the language, it is a great idea to make sure that you have a card with a lot of the things you need to say on them. For example, if you are a vegetarian, it helps to have a card on you that reads, “I do not eat meat. Please bring me something with no meat in it” written in the local language. Then you can offer the card to people who are waiting on you and make sure that your needs are met.

 

PhoneGet a Local Smartphone

One of the last things that you want is to be abroad and to come home to monstrous roaming charges. Given the way that the billing works, you may find that your charges can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars! One way to get around this issue is to look into getting a smartphone when you make it to your destination. Smartphones that are rented or leased to travelers can be amazingly inexpensive, and it can keep you feeling safe when you are seeing the world.

 

hotballoonTravel Off-Season

If you can handle it, travel when the other tourists aren’t. While Paris in springtime is beautiful, there are few who doubt that this amazing city is also beautiful in fall and winter too! This can help prevent you from spending an arm and a leg to see some amazing sites only to find that they are too crowded to enjoy.

When you are traveling, also remember to check those reviews. Good travel reviews are worth their weight in gold, and they can prepare you in a way that general tips can’t. Every location on this planet is different, so get the inside scoop, and make sure that you are in good shape!

More safety travelling ideas by Alain Fanaie.

 

Travel Safety Infographic

Read more

Tips to Help You Save Money While Shopping For Groceries

Saving Grocery Bill

Grocery shopping is something that everyone has to do on a regular basis. Grocery bills can become a significant portion of your household budget especially when raising a family. Fortunately, there are ways you can start to reduce grocery bills. A few tips will help you to save money while shopping for groceries.

 

Eat Before Shopping

Shopping on an empty stomach can cause you to make poor decisions. Not eating could lead to confusion, impatience and tiredness. Additionally, not eating will make it easier to grab snacks or other impulse items to eat right away after getting home. Eating first will allow you to make to better choices while grocery shopping.

 

Eat Before Shopping

 

 

Check Unit Prices

The unit price is the amount highlighted in orange on shelf labels under products. This is how much something costs per pound, ounce or liter. The unit price should be used to compare costs. Some items with a low retail price are actually far more expense per pound or ounce than other options.

 

Price per unit

 

Look At the Top and Bottom of Shelves

Grocery store retailers place items strategically so that the most expense products are right in front of your eyes. You should look at the top and bottom shelves for items that could be a much better deal. Beer on the bottom rack is usually far less costly than premium brands in the middle.

 

Grocery Shelf

 

 

 

Consider Generic Brands

The reality is that generic brands are usually identical to name brands. The same companies often make both and just package them differently. You should seriously consider generic or store brands for different products since they cost much less than premium and name brands.

 

Buy In Bulk When Prices Are Low

If you find an item that is far below the normal price, then it is usually a good idea to buy in bulk. This should be done with items like beer @ RedMart, canned goods or hygiene products that will not go bad in a few days. Although buying in bulk might cost you more up front, it does save a significant amount of money over time.

 

Bulk buying

 

 

 

Watch the Register during Checkout

A final tip is to be attentive at the register during checkout. It is important to watch the prices of each item that is scanned. The rate of errors during checkout at grocery stores is very high. You should immediately alert the cashier that something is wrong if a price looks incorrect. You should also not be afraid to question the total if it seems off.

Read more