4 Unwise Financial Decisions to Avoid this Quarter

4 Unwise Financial Decisions to Avoid this Quarter

No small business owner deliberately mismanages their money. Indeed, even the worst financial decisions are made with the best of intentions. The unfortunate truth is though, plenty of entrepreneurs simply make mistakes when it comes to investing their working capital. However, there are ways you can mitigate against fiscal catastrophe –– and ensure your business stays on the right track. Here are four investment plays you should avoid like the plague:

Rapid Expansion

If your business has experienced substantial gains over the past couple of months, you may be tempted to expand your operation quickly. Opening up a new location, hiring new staff, or adding onto your current setup might sound great now during a period of high profits. But before you begin your expansion in earnest you need to be certain of your company’s sustainability. Jumping into new markets and spreading yourself too thin is one of the fastest ways a successful business can go bust.

Fads and Flavors-of-the-Month

The stock market –– like nearly everything else in our society –– is subject to fads and unpredictable trends that fluctuate wildly. One of the latest and most prevalent was the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency boom of the past few months. So though you may be intrigued by such an investment, understand that often your chances of striking it rich this way are slim at best.

Utilizing Personal Savings

You shouldn’t treat your savings account like a checkbook. If your business experiences a cash-flow problem, resist the urge to dip into your personal accounts before considering all other options first. Note that there are a wide variety of secured business loans that can benefit your company, and provide you with the funding you need. Plus, this way you can avoid gambling with your own personal funding.

Uniform Investment

No smart entrepreneur would put all their eggs in one basket. That’s why it’s essential to diversify your investment portfolio. Otherwise your entire financial standing could collapse with one bad turn. Make sure to spread your chips around to ensure you’ll never go bankrupt because of one bad decision. No matter how certain you are of success, always be cautious about an investment that could sink you. Because one day –– it might.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your financial standing, you can always make wise decisions to improve your own situation –– and your business’s –– even while on a budget. Just remember to stay objective, calm, and avoid making any of the above mistakes. Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to fiduciary stability in no time!

Turn your hobbies into side hustles

Turn your hobbies into side hustles

It can be challenging paying all of your bills, your debt, or anything else related to your home or car. Especially if you’re young, you might find that navigating through all of these expenses and actually budgeting on your own can be very baffling. That’s why you should consider getting a side hustle almost as soon as you get your first job.

Side hustles can help you put some money into your emergency fund so that you can use it whenever you’re left without a job, for instance. In theory, you should have enough money raised to keep you for as many as six months, because you never know how hard it might be for you to find another job.

But how do you go about finding the right side hustles?

Do what you love

This note is particularly important because there are millions of people out there who have jobs and they hate them. If spending nine hours in front of the computer at a desk in some corporate building in some town doesn’t seem appealing, you might feel more attracted to things that are a tad more creative.

For example, if you like working with your hands and you have your own garden, you can start selling spices, herbs, and even vegetables to some of your friends. If you’ve always liked to make your own jewelry, you can start doing just that and then use sites the likes of etsy.com to sell it. For finding the right microscope for jewelry making, reading a buying guide might come in handy.

The point that we are trying to make is that you should choose an activity that really gives you pleasure. If you don’t see yourself doing this and that twenty years from now, choose something else because it might not be the right thing for you.

Use any resource you can find

Sometimes, it can be a little confusing telling just what you want to do. If you’re having trouble making up your mind, we can recommend a website that’s packed with creative courses ranging from social media marketing to the jewelry making we were mentioning before. It’s called CreativeLive and it is one of the most extensive collections of online courses.

Basically, this site can help you learn anything unless coding — although who knows when it might also offer that, too?

Invest in yourself

Most hobbies don’t call for big investments unless you like fishing or hunting, in which case you are going to spend a lot of your bucks on getting the right equipment. Do a little research and find out what financial moves you need to make to improve your skills and get more clients.

Use platforms like Upwork to sell your services, especially if you specialize in areas like online marketing or copywriting. Spending money on a course or a certification is not a waste. In fact, it’s one of the few things that can let others you are good enough at what you’re doing and that you’re worthy of being hired by them on a part-time basis.

How A Weak Dollar Policy Makes Money For Silver Investors

How A Weak Dollar Policy Makes Money For Silver Investors

The U.S. has shifted gears and is now following a weak dollar policy. At least, that’s what economists believe following Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comments in January 2018 welcoming a weak dollar, saying that it’s great for American businesses and will help reduce the U.S.’s trade deficits. With trade deficits a top priority for the Trump administration, it looks like the U.S. government is out to weaken its dollar against other currencies to help improve manufacturing competitiveness and boost exports.

What does the weak dollar policy have to do with silver prices? Over 50 percent of silver demand comes from industry. Silver may be the most widely used precious metal in industrial applications. If a weak American dollar means more exports, it also means more industrial activity. Only about a quarter of silver is used in coins and medals, including silver collectibles, collectible silver coins, and silver bullion coins.

The largest industrial uses for silver are in computers and electronics, medical uses, silver brazing and soldering, chemical manufacturing, engine manufacturing, solar panels, and glass and mirrors.

Electronics accounted for 5.9 percent of U.S. manufacturing shipments in 2012 while chemical production was more than $767 billion in 2016. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing is another major U.S. manufacturing sector. As all of these sectors use silver as a key component in many consumables and devices, silver demand will see gain thanks to stronger exports.

Keep an eye on the latest price of silver in the coming months and years to see how industrial demand becomes great news for silver investors. Would-be silver investors should start buying silver sooner than later if they want to take advantage of increased industrial demand spurred on by a stronger U.S. manufacturing sector.

The silver market is not easy to predict, but there are more factors than just industrial demand playing into silver price predictions. An uneasy stock market and rising interest rates are also factors that could contribute to rising silver prices in the near future. Supply is another concern as there could be silver shortages down the pipeline due to present under-investment from mining companies.

You can start investing in silver online from sources like Silver Gold Bull, precious metal distributors who connect consumers with silver bullion from around the world. Silver coins, silver rounds, and silver bars are some of the most common silver bullion products you can invest in. Silver coins like the Silver Maple Leaf and American Silver Eagle are not available for purchase directly from national mints. You will have to buy the from silver dealers like Silver Gold Bull, which are also convenient sources for silver products like privately refined silver bars. Privately refined silver bullion often comes at much lower premiums than silver coins, but there are restrictions on which silver products can be purchased as part of an RRSP portfolio. Do your research into which silver products qualify for tax advantages and whether or not it makes more sense to buy at a lower premium. Silver investors are about to see major gains in their portfolios. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Steps to Working from Home in 2018

Steps to Working from Home in 2018

The future of work is remote. Or so say many of the most influential and forward-thinking minds in the business world today, at least, which means that when it comes to working from home you need to put your right foot forward in order to make it happen. This can mean a bit or hard work and determination on your part.

So, keep this in mind when it comes to starting a working from home career in 2018.

Find the Right Job

The right job at the right time doesn’t always just materialise. But, when it comes to working from home you need to at least be in the right field of work to make that happening. Good choices for this include design work, marketing and even tutoring. You could even try the new and exciting world of being a virtual assistant. Research your options, decide what is best for you depending on your skills and make sure you have the right resources in place in order to make it happen.

Of course, you should also consider simply choosing a job that you love first and foremost. It could even be fostering Liverpool if you have a passion for helping children in need. It doesn’t matter, so long as you are happy with the choice in your career at home.

Don’t Get Conned

There are plenty of people who have been burnt when it comes to the working from home set up. They will be offered a job, do the work and then never receive a penny no matter what they do in order to chase the payment down. A situation that can be experienced through either a fake ‘employer’ or simply from a client who refuses to pay for services rendered.

As such, as someone who wants to work from home you need to take everything with a slight grain of salt. Always ask more questions than you need to when it comes to finding jobs and ask for a partial payment up front. It may not seem trusting, but it saves your bank account if the client or supposed new ‘boss’ becomes reluctant to cough up payment after the work has been completed.

Be Decisive

Making your own way in the world will mean that you need to have a decisive attitude and a sure grasp of the direction you want to take. It also means that, for the most part, you need to ensure that you do not get taken advantage of. It’s similar to not getting conned, but more in the sense that you don’t do more work than you are getting paid for. A confident attitude and decisive business dealings are the only way forward when you work at home.

Create a Routine

Having a specific time to start and stop work is vital for your health as a home worker. Not having a routine, working throughout the day no matter if you should or shouldn’t be, can leave you being overworked and stressed. Make sure you get up and start work by a certain time, then finish at a healthy hour of the day. You may be working from home to escape the 9 to 5, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep to a similar routine in order to maintain your sanity.

Remember to Socialise

When you work at home, you may find yourself alone a lot simply because everyone else is out at work. It’s not like you can lean over and talk to a coworker whenever you are starting to feel slightly stir crazy. This is where going out at night, speaking to your friends and even taking a small Facebook break become integral to stop you becoming lonely.

If you do feel like working from home is becoming too isolating, then you can always choose to start working in a coworking space. These are a rent-a-desk type of setup and mean that you could make friends, see people on a regular basis and basically have somewhere to be that isn’t home at the end of the day.

Final Thoughts…

Working from home can offer a lot of freedom, fun and give you the working flexibility that you have been dreaming of. However, you need to also ensure you are doing something that you love and can actually motivate yourself to get up and do every morning.

Not to mention, keeping simple things from a normal job like a routine and actually seeing people in order to keep a healthy attitude in place without getting lonely. Keep these things in mind and you should find working from home a delight that the typical 9 to 5 never was!

Side hustles that could be big in 2018

Side hustles that could be big in 2018

If you’re looking to supplement your primary form of income, you may be interested in taking on a series of small side jobs, which will dramatically increase your bank balance. If you’re in need of a little inspiration,, simply continue reading to discover 3 amazing side hustles that ShiftPixy suggests could be big in 2018.

Side hustles that could be big in 2018:

  1. Part-time web designer

If you have the necessary skills to build professional looking websites, it’s well worth considering freelancing as a part-time web designer as there are no shortage of clients looking for a professional web designer who can create a stunning, functional website for a competitive fee. After all, in today’s technology-obsessed society every single business requires a professional website.

You may also want to consider diversifying your services in order to sell personalized websites or blogs to professional bloggers, whose earn their bread and butter from their websites and blogs.

If you’re interested it’s well worth creating a few example websites, which you can show off to your potential clients, in order to close a deal.

  1. Part-time fitness and well-being coach

If you’re passionate about leading a healthy, lifestyle and are confident that you can help others achieve their health and fitness goals, you may want to consider becoming a part-time fitness and lifestyle coach.

In order to find clients, you may want to start off your part-time business by creating a website and a blog, which you can use to post regular articles, which will help potential clients get into the best possible shape of their lives. Another way to create a name for yourself as a lifestyle coach is to post photos from some of your workouts on social media accounts, which you set up for your new business!

  1. Part-time virtual assistant

As small to medium-sized online businesses are becoming increasingly more common, the demand for part-time virtual assistants has skyrocketed. So if you’re looking to bring in extra money, from the comfort of your own home, it may be worth applying for a potentially lucrative position as a part-time virtual assistant. As there is no shortage of online businesses, which don’t have a physical premise but are keen to hire a remote virtual assistant, in order to help answer emails and phone calls on behalf of the business’s owner.

Better yet, you should be able to negotiate your own hours. As an example, if you plan on hanging on to your day job, you may prefer to work as a virtual assistant in the evenings or during the weekends.

One of the bonuses of this particular opportunity is that you don’t require a particular skill set, in order to apply for a position as a part-time virtual assistant. If you’re able to complete basic administration tasks such as sending and receiving emails, you’ll have a high chance of finding a suitable position.

So if you’re interested in picking up a lucrative side hustle, in order to get you one step closer to obtaining financial freedom, it’s well worth considering becoming a part-time lifestyle coach, a part-time virtual assistant or a part-time web designer. All of which have the potential to explode in 2018.

Sandy Petrocelli: Call a Professional Electrician for These Electrical Issues

Sandy Petrocelli: Call a Professional Electrician for These Electrical Issues

Your home’s electrical system is like the body’s circulatory system. It has a controller that sits at the heart of the system all an electrical panel, it has wires instead of veins and arteries running through the entire length of your home, and although it does not have blood, it has electricity that runs through those wires feeding every part of your home.

Although electricity is not as vital to you as blood, in terms of keeping your house running, electricity is probably the most important thing. Nearly every Appliance in every home in the United States depends on electricity therefore having a fully functioning electrical system in your home is very important.

The do-it-yourself craze has taken over the country and gotten homeowners to take on many jobs around their home that were previously done by professionals. Everything from small redecorating and remodeling jobs, to building a backyard deck, and even installing a new sink and vanity are now more likely to be done by the homeowner then a licensed professional. This DIY approach as also filtered into electrical areas of the home. Homeowners are now putting in new light fixtures, and even adding electrical boxes in rooms throughout their homes.

DIY Projects

The goal is simple, do it yourself and save money. It is definitely true that doing your own minor electrical fixes and upgrades can save you lots of money. A license electrician will charge anywhere from $75 to $150 an hour for even the smallest job. But homeowners must be cautious about what they take on and what they actually call The Professional to handle.

This is because electricity is dangerous and there is always a chance that the homeowner being a novice, might get injured. With this being said there are some jobs the homeowner can definitely do. But electrical contractors like Sandy Petrocelli on New York, NY ward that there are some jobs that the homeowner should never undertake and instead should call a professional electrician immediately.

Here’s a list of some of the electrical issues that may occur in the home where homeowners should immediately call a licensed electrician

Electric Surges or Power Loss

The electricity flowing through your home should be continuous and steady. You should never have surges when you notice lights and other appliances are fed more and then less electricity.  If this happens it could be a number of issues that are causing it. If it’s occurring throughout your home it could be a major problem in the wiring or with your electric panel.  Either problem can turn into a fire without notice. So don’t delay, get an electrician out to your home and have him check both to determine where the problem is coming from.

Circuit Breakers Will Not Stay Engaged

Which part of your home has a circuit breaker install that will trip and immediately cut electricity, if there’s a problem somewhere along that circuit. The circuit breaker will trip for many reasons some of which are benign while others are dangerous.  Benign reasons include if there is an electrical surge, or you plug-in add electrical and appliance that has a short.

If this is the case, by unplugging electrical Appliance and giving the system a minute, the circuit will no longer trip. It can also be tripped if there’s a wiring problem in the system. This is a dangerous problem because it can lead to a fire. A quick examination of that circuit and testing it a few times will tell you if it is a benign issue or dangerous one. If it is dangerous you should call a licensed electrician immediately.

3 Strategies for Organizing Your Finances

3 Strategies for Organizing Your Finances

If you struggle with saving money and paying your monthly bills on time, you are not alone. In 2017, the employment site CareerBuilder reported that eight out of ten Americans live from paycheck to paycheck and have little to no money set aside. However, you may be able to change your financial circumstances with a bit of effort and insight. Organization can be key when it comes to managing money, and there are several strategies you can use to build your confidence as well as your savings account.

1. Start With Your Net Worth

Discovering your net worth can be an important step in organizing your finances because once you know what this figure is, it may help you build a more effective budget. Your net worth is the number of assets you have, minus the debt you owe currently. For example, if you own your home, you have more net worth than someone who is paying a monthly mortgage. Seeing your net worth on paper can provide you with a springboard for creating a more viable budget.

2. Be Detailed When You Track Spending

Today’s mobile banking apps come with a variety of pros and cons, and while they may offer some tracking features, they might not give you the big picture when it comes to your spending. Detailed tracking can bolster your budget and help you see where you might be wasting money. Track your spending manually and divide your expenses into different areas, such as what you spend on gas, groceries, lunches out, and monthly bills. You may be able to see where you can cut costs when you look at these expenses individually.

3. Have a Bill Tracking System

Even if you pay your bills online, it may help you to stay organized if you develop a quick and simple bill tracking system. Whether you write them down on a calendar and keep them on your desk or keep an online day planner you can access at any time, tracking your bills can be helpful for avoiding late fees or missed payments.

For example, if you pay your car insurance online or through an app, you can still track your payments in several ways. Note the amount, when you paid it, when the payment was posted, and whether you use auto debit or pay it manually. The more you know about your monthly bills and how they relate to your budget, the more efficiently you can handle them.

Managing your money and building a savings account, whether you want money set aside for emergencies or a major purchase later, can be challenging. However, if you work to organize your finances, it can help you discover paths to savings you might never have considered.

Make a difference with your corporate donations

Make a difference with your corporate donations

These days it’s increasingly important for businesses to be seen as socially and environmentally responsible, by donating time or money (or both) to meaningful campaigns and institutions. Not only can these financial gifts be advantageous in the business to which you’re donating, but they can also be beneficial to your own business by raising your profile or the perceptions of the work you do. Next time you go to make a corporate donation, consider if there’s a charity or worthwhile cause whose values, ethos or ambitions match your own.

If you work in education: donate to a school

Education is fundamental to success, and if you work within the field of education few people will respect that more than you. That’s why, when looking for a beneficiary for your corporate donation, finding a school who could make use of your money would be a great place to start.

Reach out to schools in your local area; it maybe you can donate to a collection of schools across the country or indeed the world. For example, Cognita Schools has a portfolio of educational establishments in three continents including Clifton Lodge School based in London and encourages students to strive academically.

If you work in manufacturing: invest in a product of the future

As a company at the forefront of modern solutions, using your CSR budget to invest in small, trailblazing innovations could be a savvy move on your behalf; it will reflect well on you and help push the industry forward. Of course, you should ensure that the product you’re funding isn’t a competitor, or threat, to your own manufacturing first!

If you work in the medical world: sponsor a fitness event

Corporate sponsorship can be big business, offering a magnitude of publicity opportunities. There are many organized fitness events, such as marathons or triathlons, often looking for sponsors. Generally speaking, you’ll need to put some money in for finishers’ packs and some other branded merchandise, but the pack in terms of visibility can be enormous. Additionally, you’ll be promoting a healthy lifestyle, which is likely important for your brand. 

If you work in hospitality and events: fund care for the homeless

Modern cities are often an image of polarization, such as makeshift tents lining the world-famous Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. As such, organizers of high-end events would do well to donate money towards homeless shelters and other charities looking to help those on the streets. Beyond financial aid, there’s often a large amount of food remaining at the end of an event, which doesn’t need to be thrown in the garbage if there’s somewhere that will make better use of it.

Meaningful donations: a ‘win-win’ for your business

It’s time to be smarter about where you spend your corporate donations. If planned properly, corporate sponsorship or funding can be a strong strategic tool for your business; look for beneficiaries with whom you share a common goal, or team up with a company in a parallel field. It may be the start of a long-lasting, mutually advantageous arrangement.

How to throw perfect children’s birthday parties

How to throw perfect children’s birthday parties

Throwing a great birthday party for your son or daughter can be a daunting task. There are so many themes to consider and the amount of resources you should check out is practically endless. You need to make sure that everyone is having a good time, which means that both the adults and the little kids have to be entertained in some way or the other.

To make it slightly easier for you to get rid of the stress that a birthday party can involve, we have created a short list of tips and tricks you may want to bear in mind. Check them out below.

Who’s coming?

First off, you need to know the age of those who are invited to the party, both because your child might be friends with someone who’s either two years younger or older than them, and because the kids are likely accompanied by their parents or another family member that acts as a chaperone.

The reason you ought to know the age of those that are coming to your house or the location of the event is that they have different preferences in terms of pastimes and foods. It goes without saying that adults like regular food, but kids would more likely gorge on soda and snacks.

Try to keep it short

This goal is pretty much impossible because everyone should be able to have fun and shouldn’t be pressured by a curfew. However, you should keep everything as realistic as possible and explain to the accompanying adults that you would like to organize a party that ends in two to three hours top.

Think of it this way. When everything’s over, and everyone’s gone, you might have to spend another couple of hours to clean your yard or living room, depending on where the party has taken place.

Themes

For birthday girls, you can go for themes that range from Peppa Pig to baking parties. For boys, you can do the same with superheroes, animal themes, as well as minions.

But that doesn’t mean that the party should have to speak to a particular gender. If your kid likes creepy stories, you can rent a couple of vampire costumes for girls or boys and maybe let them have fun with several spooky board games.

Zombies are particularly popular with children, but so are ghosts and other supernatural or paranormal creatures. Being afraid can be fun, under certain circumstances and when an adult is always present to make sure that everything is all right.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a son or daughter who was born around Halloween, you can get all of these supplies for cheap every year.

Decorations

It goes without saying that you can purchase decorations and create a unique design in any room where the birthday party is going to happen. But you can also let the kids decorate their own faces if you buy some face paints, hand stamps, or washable tattoos.

Many children like to be as creative as possible, so even though they were invited to the party, they might have to color their own hats or put stickers on them.

10 Things Thieves Love to Steal from Cars

10 Things Thieves Love to Steal from Cars

When people think about car theft, they typically think of shattered glass, screeching tires, and a missing car. But what is a lot more common is for thieves to steal things from the inside or the outside of the vehicle rather than resorting to grand theft auto.

This is important for drivers to understand, because most people carry some very valuable items inside their car. If and when thieves strike is annoying at best and devastating at worst.

There are a number of things you can do to deflect and deter car thieves. First, however, it helps to understand what kinds of things thieves target. These are the top 10 items according to a study of more than 800,000 incident reports:

  1. Car stereos
  2. Shopping bags
  3. GPS devices
  4. Cell phones
  5. Clothing
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Vehicle badging
  8. Wallets
  9. Wheels
  10. License plate

Some of those are pretty obvious – shopping bags, wallets, cell phones. But others might come as a surprise. For instance, car stereos are still a hot target even though the technology is passé. Vehicle badging, like hood ornaments, has a surprisingly strong appeal to crooks. And car thieves are more than willing to use tools to steal a nice set of wheels.

To add insult to injury, a theft from a vehicle might also lead to a broken window, a vandalized interior/exterior, or damage to some mechanical component. The cost and consequence can extend beyond the missing item itself.

For reasons that are both obvious and obscure, drivers want to deter thieves at all costs and limit the damage if they do fall victim. Here are some strategies to safeguard your car:

Choose the Right Vehicle

Certain features of the vehicle itself can help to deter thieves. For instance, tinted windows make it harder to see if valuable items are left out in plain sight. Now obviously not every vehicle has tinted windows. So, try to think of other safety features. For example, a vehicle with a locking trunk that has no windows to see inside also helps to obscure valuables. A lockable glove box is another fantastic option. Finally, traditional keys tend to be harder to duplicate or steal than smart keys that rely on electronic signals to unlock doors or start the ignition.

Protect Valuables

If you must leave valuables inside your vehicle, try to put them on the floor where they are harder to see, such as the truck. If you don’t have a trunk, at least put your belongings under a blanket.

If you have a nice stereo unit, remove the faceplate and put it somewhere safe. If you do the same for a GPS unit, be sure the suction cups are not still stuck to your windshield and tipping off thieves that valuable are inside. Last but certainly not least, don’t attract thieves by leaving cash money sitting out or change in a cup holder. All it takes is one enticement for thieves to target your vehicle and ransack it entirely.

Park Smarter

Everyone understands how risky it is to leave doors unlocked or windows cracked, and yet almost everyone does it at some time. Make it a habit to close and lock every window and door. Better still, take anything you can’t afford to lose with you when you leave. Where you park is also important. Busy, well-lit areas attract fewer thieves and tend to have regular police presence.

Insure Correctly

You can be compensated for the cost of stolen items as long as you have the right kind of auto insurance policy. A quality auto insurance rate comparison tool makes it relatively easy to find the right kind of coverage at the best possible price. It’s still up to drivers to be diligent but being backed by good policy provides a lot of peace of mind.