Make it Cheap This Christmas

chocolate santaA common problem for Americans at Christmas is overspending, especially when you consider that most families are living paycheck to paycheck and don’t really have much money.

So should you cancel Christmas this year, or maybe not buy any gifts? Luckily, you don’t have to take such drastic action, as long as you read every word in this article and follow the money saving ideas below.

Buy online

If you are prepared to spend some time shopping around then you can find some real bargains online, which work out a lot cheaper than the high street.

Best of all, many online stores will gift wrap your items in Christmas boxes and wrapping paper, meaning you don’t have to do any work at all.

Buy second hand

Who says that Christmas gifts have to be brand new? In order to make it cheap this Christmas you might want to consider buying second hand gifts that you find on an auction site such as eBay.

There are many great second hand items out there that are a fraction of the price of what you would pay in the shops, and with a bit of a cleanup they look brand new.

Wait until the sales

Does Christmas really have to be all about the 25th of December? Instead of giving presents on Christmas morning you could wait until the sales begin in January and then take your family and friends out to buy them gifts.

This works especially well if you plan to buy clothes, as these kind of items are always significantly discounted in the sales.

Keep Christmas dinner simple

It’s very easy to get carried away when shopping for Christmas dinner, and in no time at all your grocery bill can be in the hundreds of dollars.

That’s why it’s recommended you keep Christmas dinner extremely simple this year. Forget about all of the trimmings and look to serve a straight forward meal that won’t break the bank.

For example, you can buy frozen vegetables in bulk to save money, as well as swap turkey for chicken if the price of a turkey is too high.

Be prepared for next year

The earlier you start preparing for Christmas, the cheaper it will be. Many people now pick up Christmas presents throughout the year when the prices are low and a particular store is having a sale.

You can also stock up on tinned goods while they are on special offer at your supermarket, and then store them away until the end of the year.

Read This if you are a First Time Home Buyer…

homeIf you are fed up with throwing your money away renting a house or apartment and you want to start investing in your future, then buying a home is the best way forward. Not only do you get your foot on the property ladder, but you also have an asset that could be profitable in the future if the market conditions are right.

So how exactly should you approach buying your first home? Luckily, we have consulted with real estate experts such as Than Merrill and many others to bring you solid advice that will ensure you don’t get ripped off or lose money.

Be patient

You’re no doubt ready to find your first home as soon as possible, but a bit of patience goes a long way when looking around your local area.

Ultimately, you have to find a property that provides you with the right things for your situation, as well as being within your financial means. If you act too fast and buy something out of your means, then you could be in financial despair for the next few years.

Get pre-approved

Let’s face it, if you are a first time home buyer then you are probably going to need a mortgage in order to complete the deal, as not may people have a bag of cash under their bed.

In this type of scenario it’s a good idea to get pre-approved before you start looking at homes, so you know exactly how much money you have to play with and are not searching for the wrong kind of properties which are out of your budget.

Homes that need work

A common tactic among first time home buyers is to buy a cheap property that needs work, with the intention of fixing it up and then having a house that is suitable for living in. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the amount of time and money that goes in to these kind of projects, and it’s not uncommon to half finished homes that have been abandoned.

For this reason, make sure you know exactly how much it is going to cost for repairs before buying a house, and also have a reliable contractor that can do the work.

Choose the right area

Many times, it’s worth paying a bit extra to buy a home in the right area, rather than going down the cheaper route but finding yourself in completely the wrong place.

As an example, if you are planning to have kids in the near future, then purchasing a property close to a good school is important, as not only will the commute be short, but you also ensure they get a good education.

Start a Landscaping Business in 5 Simple Steps

landscaperThere is much to admire about the landscaping business. Not only are you outside in the fresh air and getting plenty of exercise, but it’s also a very profitable venture when you get it right and know what you’re doing. You might not become a millionaire, but 6 figures a year is definitely possible, as well as having a few employees to do all of the hard work.

With this in mind, it’s important that you have a few simple steps to follow in order to get your new landscaping business off the ground. Here are 5 for starters…

Choose an area

The landscaping industry is quite broad, and trying to be a “jack-of-all-trades” is not usually the best way to go.

Instead, choose an area to specialize in, whether it’s installing garden sheds in nz or caring for lawns in America, finding your niche is essential.

Buy the necessary equipment

When you’re first starting out and on a limited budget then you will only want to buy equipment that is essential.

Typically, a good lawnmower and a few manual tools is all you need, although it depends on what area you are specializing in. If money is tight then you might want to hire equipment until you see some cash flow.

Get the word out

You can’t start making money if nobody knows about your business, which is why getting the word out should be a top priority.

How do you achieve this in a cost effective manner? The easiest way is to get a few thousand cheap flyers printed up with a good offer that will entice customers. This helps to get your foot in the door, and then once you do a good job and build trust they will want to hire you again and again.

Have the appropriate licenses

In some areas of the world you require certain licenses to operate a landscaping business. Obviously, in this article we don’t have the space to list what all of these licenses are for each country and state, which is why checking with your local authorities is the best way to find out exact and up-to-date information.

Never be tempted to move forward without the appropriate licenses as this could get you into trouble with the law.

Keep accurate records

You must treat your landscaping business like a real business right from the start, and this includes keeping accurate records about the jobs you do and the money that comes in, as well as any expenses.

The easiest way to achieve this is by hiring an accountant, so you are able to focus completely on your business without getting distracted with paperwork.

What are the Highest Paid Legal Jobs?

judgeIf you are thinking about enrolling in an Online College to study law, then it’s natural to wonder what the highest paid legal jobs are? Let’s face it, we all know that being involved in the legal profession commands a large salary, but what specific jobs should you be aiming for when you want to rake in a lot of cash? Let’s take a closer look…

Trial lawyer

As you might expect, a trial lawyer is one of the highest paid legal jobs in the world, with many of the top lawyers being millionaires after only a few years working on the job. For this reason, it’s not surprising to learn that competition in this area is fierce, and if you want to be successful you not only require a lot of determination, but also a natural flair for communication and understanding law.

You won’t start off with high profile cases though, as the vast majority of people begin at the bottom, earning a modest $100,000 a year to learn the ropes and see if being a trial lawyer is really the right choice.

Chief legal officer

The need for legal representation among large companies is huge these days, and that’s why many of the leading corporations hire an in-house chief legal officer to oversee everything. This is a tough job though, and requires a good understanding of all aspects of law in order to get the position.

However, it is very well compensated, especially if you become a chief legal officer of a multi-million, or even multi-billion dollar company. Expect to receive a 7 figure salary, as well as many perks such as performance bonuses, stock in the company, and a dedicated team.

Judge

Another high paid legal job is that of judge, where you are required to attend court and preside over proceedings, and then ultimately deliver the verdict of a jury. While the salary of a judge does vary depending on what type of court you work for, it’s good to know that the top earners in this profession earn on average around $250,000 a year.

You shouldn’t just focus on the salary, as many judges get excellent additions to their base pay, such as expense accounts, excellent retirement plans and numerous other benefits to make the job attractive.

Conclusion

Now that you know the highest paid legal jobs, you must realize that it means nothing if you don’t get a law degree. That should be your main focus right now, and then you can start looking at earning a lot of money once qualified.

First Time Home Buyers – Furnishing and Decorating Tips

bedroomBuying your first home is an exciting and scary experience both at the same time. Making sure you choose the right area and are getting the best price are your main goals initially, but once the keys have been handed over to you then it is time to start focusing on furnishing and decorating to make the home truly yours.

Many people say this is where the real work begins, and they are right, as getting things just the way you like them takes time and effort…as well as more money.

Below we have included some of our top furnishing and decorating tips:

Make the living room cozy

You’ll be spending a lot of time in the living room, as well as entertaining family and friends there as well. For this reason, you should make it your top priority to get this room sorted as quickly as possible.

The main aim is to make it cozy, by having a comfortable couch and chairs, some scatter cushions or bean bags, and a relaxing color scheme for your walls.

Invest in a good bed

It’s important that you always get a good nights sleep and are well rested, but you can’t do this if you have a hard mattress or are just generally uncomfortable in some way.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to invest in a good bed, even if it does cost you a bit more than you were initially thinking of paying.

Don’t go it alone

For the first few weeks in your new home there will be a lot of tasks to complete, and if you want to get them all done then you should consider getting help.

This could mean hiring a contractor to do some decorating work or a gardener to mow the lawn and trim the hedge. Also, you can draft in family and friends to help you with a few tasks. The more the merrier.

Lick of paint

Sometimes, the easiest (and cheapest) way to decorate a room and leave it looking great is to give it a quick lick of paint.

Don’t be too concerned with getting it perfect. All you need to do is buy some paint cans and a few rollers, and then get to work painting those walls and the ceiling.

Enjoy the process

Being a first time buyer is not always an enjoyable experience, especially when things go wrong. Ultimately though, you should try to enjoy the process as much as possible, and realize that the list of tasks and jobs will never be complete.

How to Give Your Customers and Clients That “WOW” Factor

wowIt doesn’t matter what kind of business you operate, without customers and clients you don’t have a business. With this in mind, it’s essential that you try and “WOW” them as much as possible, so they enjoy buying from you and want to do so again and again.

So what kind of steps can you take to ensure that people are amazed and very happy when they deal with you? Here are a few things you might want to try out.

Give small gifts

There is no better way to give that “WOW” factor to your customers and clients than by giving them unexpected small gifts.

Best of all, these gifts don’t need to be expensive, and it can be something as simple as a few chocolates and a bottle of wine. Put the chocolates in black gift boxes and that is all you need to show how much you appreciate their custom

Have excellent customer service

When you consider that the vast majority of businesses out there have lousy customer service, it doesn’t take much for you to go in the opposite direction and really stand out from your competition.

If you have excellent customer service with fast responses and friendly staff then it will really be appreciated by your customers, and lead to them sticking with you and buying more of your products.

Speak with them

The sale doesn’t have to end when you receive their money. Smart business owners find a way to keep the conversation going after the sale, by giving customers a ring and speaking with them, or communicating through post or email.

This gives you the chance to find out how the purchase is going for them and if there is anything else you can do to help.

Reward loyalty

If you want customers and clients to keep on buying from you month after month, and year after year, then rewarding loyalty is the good strategy to follow.

As an example, a loyalty card where the customer gets points everytime a purchase is made is a solid tactic for getting them through the door and spending money on a regular basis.

Over deliver at all times

Nothing gives people that “WOW” factor more than just simply over delivering with products and services at all times and exceeding their expectations.

So many companies over promise and under deliver, which means if you work hard at doing the opposite then you will become their number 1 choice.

5 Tips For Buying a Fancy Dress Costume Online

green costumeGetting an invitation for a fancy dress party can be slightly intimidating, especially when you’ve never been to one before. Not only have you got to choose what to wear, there is also the hassle of buying the actual costume.

The good news is that most fancy dress costumes can now be purchased online, which means you don’t have to go hunting for a fancy dress shop in your local area. However, the not so good news is that buying a fancy dress costume online is not always straight forward, and if you’re not careful then you could end up wasting both your time and money.

Follow these 5 tips and you will be fine:

Find the right style

Obviously, before you go any further you must choose the style of fancy dress costume you want to start searching for. To give you an example, TV costumes are very popular right now and there is a huge amount of choice online.

Read the description

Make sure you read the description very closely before taking out your wallet and buying a fancy dress costume with your credit card. Understand exactly what is on offer, and be 100% certain that what you are purchasing is the whole costume and not just a part of it.

Check sizing

It’s a good idea to know roughly what size you are before buying any type of clothing online. Sure, you might not get a perfect fit, but if the costume is way too small or big then you probably won’t be able to send it back and get a replacement in time for the party.

Look at customer reviews

Most sites now include customer reviews for you to look at in order to get a better idea if the costume is worth the money or not. As an example, if the material is not very good or the price doesn’t represent good value for money, then you can be sure that previous customers will let you know about it.

Shipping options

Once you get to the checkout page then you’ll be presented with a range of shipping options such as “next day delivery” or “regular delivery.” Which one you choose depends completely on how quickly you need the costume. If the party is tomorrow and you need it fast then next day delivery really is your only option, even if it does mean you have to pay more money for the privilege