How to Live in Luxury… Even on a Budget

How to Live in Luxury… Even on a Budget

Maybe you’ve been in this situation before: you feel like you deserve a lifestyle upgrade, either because you are overworked or you just need some luxury in your life, but the only issue is your income isn’t aligned with those aspirations. Conventional wisdom would say that you need to save up – demarcate certain luxury goals, like a vacation, new vehicle or fancy dinners, and start putting money toward them.

The only problem there is that you want to live in luxury now, not later when you have the money. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to add a little luxury in your life without emptying your wallet. Consider these your hacks for living like a rich person while you earn a normal wage.

Lease Your Luxury Car

You may not be able to buy a Benz or a Bentley, but you may be able to lease one, especially if it’s used. Because leases only make you pay monthly for the cost of depreciation during the lease term, and because a car does a significant amount of its depreciating in the first couple years, you can find used luxury cars at industry-leading lease prices for low monthly payments.

Learn to Cook

When eating out at fancy restaurants, the vast majority of what you pay for is the service of the wait staff and the time and expertise of the chef. But if you learn to cook like a chef, you can eat restaurant-quality food, with fantastic ingredients, every night of the week. You’re probably saying, ‘that sounds too hard’, and no one can fault you for being sceptical, but there is a wealth of resources online – through YouTube tutorials, recipe and technique blogs and forums – that can help you fast track becoming a better cook.

Consider Product Testing

Get paid to get things. That sounds way too good to be true, but it is the exact job description of an at-home product tester. Through a product testing agency, you are given a number of different products to test that correspond to your demographic – could be electronics, could be games, could be beauty products. You use the products, review them, photograph them, and then (usually) you get to keep them. Plus, it pays a competitive rate and you can do it while you’re doing your other job. It really is a good hack for getting free stuff.

Join a Mistake Fare Finder

Need a vacation, but can’t justify spending an exorbitant amount on international flight? Luckily, every so often, airlines will post what is called a “mistake fare” – essentially, a fare they post in error that is far cheaper than the normal price. For instance, New York to Shanghai might be $1300 normally, but reduced to only $700. These fares are notoriously hard to find in the wild, but there are “mistake fare finders” that use computer programs to comb for low prices. You can sign up for mistake fare finders online, either through an email newsletter or by joining a Facebook group.

Who says you need to spend lavishly to live luxuriously? With a few clever hacks, you can live like a king on the pay of a pauper.

How to Get Your Whole Family on Board with Tackling Debt

How to Get Your Whole Family on Board with Tackling Debt

Source: Unsplash | Sabine Peters

Debt is an issue that affects the lives of many people in the U.S. Sometimes, problems related to debt are made much worse because family members aren’t all in agreement on what to do about it. Here’s how to get your whole family on board with tackling debt.

Helping Your Children Understand Student Loans

Student loan debt is more prevalent now than it has ever been before. While there are plans being thrown around about it potentially being wiped clean by certain presidential candidates, it’s not a good idea to bet on that idea.

There’s now more student loan debt than credit card debt. And while student loans are often considered to be one of the better forms of debt, as education can boost your employability, the payoff doesn’t always make up for the massive cost.

It’s important for families to understand what it means to have student loans. A lot of young people go off to school without thinking too much about their loans. Times were different for their parents. Plus, if everyone else is doing it, there must be a reason, right?

Families should come together to do some math and get a clearer picture of what it’s going to take to pay off that debt after graduation. Doing this might play a role in determining where you ultimately decide to go to school, and when. You can also come up with a plan for how it makes most sense to tackle this debt if it ends up seeming like the right choice.

Making a Full-Family Budget

Budgeting shouldn’t just be the responsibility of one person in every household. After all, everyone spends money. Shouldn’t everyone play a role in determining how it gets spent?

This doesn’t have to entail the kids getting to determine the candy budget for the month. But there are a few benefits to having everyone come together to build the family budget.

First, this can be a learning opportunity—for everyone. The children will get to see how to make a budget and why it’s important. The parents will get to see what kinds of things everyone is spending money on. And everyone can come together to decide what areas it might make sense to cut back a little.

Getting Your Spouse on the Same Page

It’s always a tough situation when you’re having a hard time getting a spouse to see the importance of reducing your debt. This is something that can drive a major divide in your relationship if not addressed and resolved the right way. This is why it’s so important to come up with a plan, together.

Married couples struggling with thousands in debt can consider utilizing a debt relief program. Looking at Freedom Debt Relief reviews shows they’re a highly reliable resource for this. Many enrollees who leave reviews even mention they decided to try settlement for their family’s benefit following an event like a spouse losing a job or unforeseen medical bills.

It’s always tough when one partner has incurred a significantly higher amount of debt than the other. If you’re the one with more debt, it’s best to address the situation as soon as possible and be open to solutions. When your partner is the one with more debt, it can make things more complicated. You should try to avoid making it seem like you’re putting all the blame on them. Do this by mentioning some of the errors you’ve made when it’s come to debt, too.

Another kind of spouse-debt scenario is when one partner has been hiding debt from the other one. This can have huge financial and relationship ramifications if not addressed in a timely manner. When you’re the one with the hidden debt, get it out in the open as soon as possible. You might think that you’re going to pay it off without them knowing, but this is much harder said than done. You’re also not going to address the root causes of that debt if you continue keeping it under wraps.

Try to establish a team mentality so your family can tackle debt together.

You’re not going to get out of debt if your family isn’t on the same page about it. Sitting everyone down to address any issues will bring you closer together and solve problems.

Simple Ways to Cut Back on Unnecessary Spending

Simple Ways to Cut Back on Unnecessary Spending

Money is a major source of stress in our lives, and it just never feels like there’s enough to go around and cover costs. Looking for ways to cut back on unnecessary spending to gain some financial freedom? Ready to make small lifestyle changes to increase your savings and pay off debt? Read on.

You’re Dealing with Debt

One of the reasons that someone might look to cut back on their spending is to increase the amount of money they put towards their debt repayment. For those with large sums of student or credit card debt, the knowledge that you need to make these payments can be stressful. For one, you don’t know how to handle all your payments.

What’s more, debt collectors can be aggressive and sometimes downright intrusive. For financial assistance from qualified financial professionals like Licensed Insolvency Trustees (formerly known as bankruptcy trustees) and credit counsellors, click here for more info about the steps you can take to address and eradicate your debt. With their help, you can establish a debt recovery plan and put a stop to those debt collection calls.

Use Public Transportation

There’s an unsavory quote from the “Iron Lady” herself, Margaret Thatcher, about public transportation. She once said that, “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.” For many of us today who are concerned about carbon emissions and saving the planet, taking public transportation can be a smart and socially conscious way to travel.

Some cities have more established transportation systems than others, so using public transportation is relative to your location. Still, taking public transportation is an easy way to save money on transportation while also relieving yourself of the costs that comes with car ownership.

Carpool or Use a Rideshare Program

If driving makes more sense that taking public transportation, then consider alternative ways of using a car. These days, people are getting creative with the ways that they share things like cars and homes, with a boom in the sharing economy seen through recent business booms from Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB.

To cut back on the costs that come with regular car payments, insurance, parking, gas, and maintenance — try using a ride sharing program that lets you easily rent a car whenever you need it. You can also carpool with coworkers or friends and split the cost of gas with each other, another way to reduce the amount of money you spend on a car.

Change Your Cell Phone Plan

Do you really need a phone that lets you check social media every hour? Are you paying for phone series that you don’t actually need, but simply use because you have them? You can save a lot of money by going for a bare-bones cell phone plan.

Look for minor carriers with good service that offer contract-less service. After all, we’re constantly hearing about all of the ways cell phones are bad for us. Scaling back on your mobile use will save your money while improving your health and happiness, too.

How To Get Life Insurance Entirely Online

How To Get Life Insurance Entirely Online

Once you reach adulthood, life insurance is necessary. It doesn’t matter whether you’re married, single, divorced, etc. — all that matters is that your loved ones will be covered should the worst case scenario occur.

However, just knowing that you need life insurance doesn’t always translate into practice. Because life can get so hectic, because you seem to be in perfect health, or because it’s too morbid to think about, you may find yourself in a situation in which you’ve been pushing off getting life insurance for some time.

But not anymore. In today’s day and age, when getting life insurance can be done entirely online, there’s no reason to procrastinate anymore. 

How Can You Get Life Insurance Entirely Online?

Traditional life insurance policies require a lengthy application, a visit to the doctor, and then a wait time ranging between a few weeks to a few months. It’s no wonder you’ve been procrastinating — who has time for all that?

The good news is that there are numerous no exam life insurance policies that you can apply for entirely online. No exam life insurance is exactly what it sounds like —  a life insurance policy that you can get without a medical exam. Once you don’t have to worry about scheduling a doctor’s appointment, you can simply go online and complete your entire application.

Is No Exam Life Insurance Legitimate?

No exam life insurance is 100% legitimate; it’s not a loophole that you have to worry about; it’s a real type of life insurance that’s offered by many respected insurance companies.

In fact, no exam life insurance is the preferred type of life insurance for many. It’s optimal for people:

  • Who need life insurance quickly, either for a business loan or because they’re going through a divorce
  • Who are afraid of needles
  • Who don’t have time for doctor appointments, long forms, and waiting months for the underwriting process
  • Who are in good health and want to get life insurance quickly and easily
  • Who have a chronic health condition or job and can get coverage easier through no exam life insurance

Benefits of Getting Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam

The benefits of getting life insurance without a medical exam are many:

  • There’s no need to leave the house to get it — the whole process can be done entirely online
  • Get approved in days as opposed to weeks or months
  • It’s easier to get approved
  • You get the coverage you need

What’s the Catch?

If you think no exam life insurance sounds too good to be true, you’re only half right. These kinds of policies come with all the benefits listed above and can be great for many people. But the catch is, the cost is typically higher than that of traditional insurance policies.

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get a no exam life insurance policy. When you use Sproutt, you can get the best quotes for exactly the type of life insurance you’re looking for. Sproutt isn’t affiliated with any insurance company, and therefore offers real, unbiased advice about which policy is best for you. Plus, it lets you compare rates so that you can get the best deal.

So if you’ve been pushing off getting life insurance until now, today is the day to say, “No more!” Today is the day to apply for no exam life insurance and make sure that your loved ones will be cared for should the worst happen. Once you check “Get life insurance” off your to-do list, you can focus on the more important things in life, like living and enjoying it.

3 Ways Your Restaurant Can Make More Money, Today

3 Ways Your Restaurant Can Make More Money, Today

Restaurants today face a steep uphill battle: it’s always been a tough industry, but it’s only getting harder. Foodies have never had more choices of where to eat between the explosion of new restaurants and food trucks, so there’s a crowded field competing for their attention and food dollar.

Here are three things you can do which will help drive profit for your restaurant today.

1. Employee Scheduling Software

New employee scheduling software creates schedules all staff will love, and in up to 80% less time than it would otherwise take. This makes a frustrating task easier to perform, but also keeps your employees focused on the tasks that are most useful to the restaurant. It also helps with labor compliance, and saves your restaurant between 1-3% in labor costs, often one of the biggest financial drains restaurants face.

Employee scheduling software lets managers receive feedback from employees after every shift, so they might suggest menu pricing tips to increase your profits or other ideas that you can incorporate right away.

It’s important to let your frontline workers tell you about their perspective; they have unique and invaluable insights nobody else in your business is positioned to see. Employee scheduling software lets your staff submit their feedback anonymously if they chose, so they feel more comfortable speaking candidly.

2. Smart Promotion

Social media has given restaurants a free and powerful tool they can use to let the neighborhood and beyond know what’s going on inside their kitchen. Every restaurant is different, and how you choose to present yourself online needs to be based on your own identity and other circumstances unique to your restaurant.

But once you have your voice, it’s an invaluable tool for gaining public exposure for your restaurant. Be sure to depict your restaurant and food accurately — you don’t want people to leave your restaurant disappointed at the mismatch between your promotion and reality. On the other hand, you want to attract the people who really will love the restaurant once they’re inside it. Give them an accurate preview, so they’re motivated to try your restaurant.

3. Create a Fitting Digital Presence

The trend now for restaurants is undeniable: people are most likely to order food if they can do so through their phone or their computer. Maybe people are just used to doing everything through their phone, but whether it’s to consult a review before dining, calling or booking a reservation through a website or app, or actually ordering the food itself to your door, any restaurant is sinfully negligent if they don’t have a strong online presence.

Be sure you have a website or app that matches the needs and wants of your clientele. If you give them a means of interacting with your restaurant in the way that suits them best, you’ll love the financial return that inevitably follows.

If your restaurant can use modern technology like the latest employee scheduling software, social media, and website or an app, you’ll get the important boost your restaurant needs to stay competitive in this notoriously difficult industry.

Journey to Financial Freedom

Journey to Financial Freedom

Source: Unsplash | Bram Naus

Have you been working for a while to reduce your debt? Many people around the world continuously have debt stare them in the face day after day. While this is a common problem for most people, maybe you are one of the relatively few people that are working on getting your debt under control.

Keeping on Track Despite Obstacles

Even the best-laid plans have obstacles from time to time. For example, one family was just about out of the hole of debt. They had been working at their goal for several years.

Once they got the initial shock from the amount of self-discipline that it takes to get out of debt out of their system, the family slowly but surely climbed their way out of the hole.

They were at the surface of the black hole and almost free. The dad was driving on I-80 coming home from work and was involved in a car accident. He was injured and hospitalized for a little while. All their years of hard work of getting out of debt made the situation a bit easier, but with him not bringing home a paycheck, the debt was starting to mount up quickly.

While it was a huge disappointment for the family, they did look for personal injury lawyers Utah drivers trust and chose a good one. This lawyer helped them recover some of their losses. It took some time, but they did get back on their feet again and finished their climb out of debt.

As you can see from the experience of this family, unexpected things happen in life. It is important not to let the unexpected take control of your financial situation. Seek out whatever legal remedy you can and keep the goal of being debt-free in focus.

As with any project in life, the project of reducing your debt takes a lot of self-discipline. You need to continually analyze what is essential to buy or not. Let us consider a few tips that may help to lessen your debt even faster.

  • Put away the credit cards.Carrying around credit cards can encourage debt because you do not see the cash leaving your wallet.
  • Stop going through the drive-thru.The drive-thru at a fast food restaurant is very convenient. The convenience makes us not realize how much money we are spending. Take a drink and snack with you from home to save money.
  • When you are eating out, order water to drink.It is not really possible for most people to banish all eating out, so on those special occasions where you choose to eat out save a few bucks and drink water.
  • Know where your money is going.It is essential to keep your receipts and add the expenses to a spreadsheet. In this way, you will know exactly where your money is going and can make adjustments to your spending habits.

These are just a few suggestions to help you climb out of debt. As you are taking the momentous climb up the mountain, set little goals for yourself. Once you attain your goal, have a small, inexpensive reward system in place. This reward system will give you the encouragement you need to keep going.

Financial Freedom and You

The burden of being in debt can be very overwhelming and depressing. Going through the process of climbing out of the hole of debt is very educational and worth the climb. The slope of your climb may be steep and very uncomfortable, which may leave you feeling distressed at times. However, you do well to keep the hope of being debt-free alive. Remember, the feeling of being debt-free is uplifting, builds confidence and it is financial freedom from the enslavement of debt.

No matter where you are in the process of climbing out of your mountain of debt, keep going. If you are just starting your journey to financial freedom, lace up your bootstraps and get ready, it is a long walk. Whenever you are tiring out, remind yourself of the goal, and you are closer now than when you started. Keep going! You are going to make it to the top and have financial freedom.

How to Make Money While Making Space in Your Home

How to Make Money While Making Space in Your Home

Minimalism is one of the big fads taking over cities around the world — it could be because people tend to live in smaller homes as cities become more dense, or maybe because physically eliminating what’s unnecessary in our life feels good. It could be a combination of the physical and psychological.

But in either case, here are some ways that you can make money by cleaning out your apartment.

Sell What’s Valuable

Do you have valuables that you don’t actually use? It could be anything from old jewellery you don’t wear, antique coins, or even designer hand bags. If the cash is worth more to you than these physical objects, sell them.

Look to find a gold buyer that has been in operation for years — this is an indication that they’re trustworthy and reliable. They should make it a point to be transparent about the market rates for gold or for whatever you’re selling, and should give you the highest rate possible.

Quality gold buyers will offer you free appraisals, so even if you don’t want to sell your valuables now, at least you’ll know how much it’s worth. You can click here to learn more about how gold buyers operate, and about all the other valuables they purchase aside from gold, such as watches.

Hold a Garage Sale

Holding a garage sale is a classic way to give your old possessions a meaningful second life! It also helps the community, because it gives them a chance to buy things at a much lower rate than they’d find at a store.

If you live in a house you can simply arrange all the objects on the lawn, with either a sticker indicating the price or some kind of storage. If you live in an apartment building or a condo, you can post signs in communal areas advertising your wares, and how much they’re selling for. Leave your phone number, so your neighbours have a way to reach you.

Sell Online

Sometimes what you find in your home isn’t gold, but it’s worth the price of gold to someone else! Before you throw out something that doesn’t hold value to you, consider what it might be worth to somebody else.

The internet has many websites that let you sell things, and that’s a very simple way to connect with somebody looking to buy what you have. When you post an object for sale, describe it fully and accurately, especially about what condition it’s in.

If a prospective buyer finally comes to your home to buy what you’re selling only to balk because it’s in worse condition than the advertisement conveyed, it’s just a waste of everybody’s time. Never misrepresent what you’re selling.

Getting rid of unnecessary things in your home gives you more space to live, and encourages feelings of calmness and serenity. If you follow these tips, not only will you be living in a home with less clutter, you’ll also have more money in your pocket.

Adapt Your Investments to Capitalize on the Crash

Adapt Your Investments to Capitalize on the Crash

A strong portfolio is a diverse portfolio. If you’re going to get ahead of the crowd in today’s economy, you need an investment portfolio that can handle the shocks and surprises that the world is coming to expect.

Since the 2008 recession, investor confidence in the global financial system has remained low. Stock markets have been bullish for years, but many have their doubts about the strength of the economies underpinning that growth. Many believe that bad auto loans in the US could trigger another debt crisis, while growing household debt, stagnant wages, and increasing worker precarity could prove to be even bigger issues across Western economies that haven’t yet seen a recession in the new economy.

Diversification means allocating assets in a way that decreases exposure to risk, protecting your money from uncertainty. But is that all diversification should do? With the right moves, you can adapt your investments to grow during times of crisis. It just might mean taking a more active interest in your money, and thinking hard about your goals. What can you do to protect and grow your finances even in the midst of a crisis?

1) Invest in Gold

Gold prices correlate negatively to share prices; when share prices go into a tailspin, investors move their money into gold as a safe haven. The pressure pushes gold up, and if you want to enjoy the benefits, you need to own gold ahead of the crowd. Gold is very much influenced by the perceptions and sentiments of investors.

Generally speaking, gold is not going to be the money-maker in your portfolio, but once it does move into that position, the benefits can be huge. Gold bull markets tend to happen when inflation is out of control or stock markets are too volatile to make money.

You can buy your gold from a proper online dealer conveniently and securely.

2) Buy Shares After Crashes

Gold’s negative correlation to shares should be your secret weapon to wealth building. As share prices fall and gold prices rise, their proportion in your portfolio will become imbalanced. Rebalancing after a crash will put you in a position not many other investors will get to enjoy; capitalized to buy shares at low prices.

While other investors, still nervous about the volatility that follows market crashes (it can take years for markets to recover), you will now have excess gold that others will be eager to buy at higher prices. You can use that cash injection to snap up shares at low prices and enjoy better returns from the recovery that follows.

3) Use Dollar Cost Averaging

Sometimes you wind up with a windfall, such as a holiday bonus or a tax return. It can be tempting to invest all at once, but there is always a risk associated with timing your investments. Prices could fall six months from now, or they could be higher in a matter of weeks.

Dollar cost averaging means investing a fixed amount of a particular investment on a set schedule. This spreads the risks of timing your investments.

With these strategies in hand, you should have no trouble diversifying the smart way.

Duplex vs Penthouse: Which is better?

Duplex vs Penthouse: Which is better?

As real estate prices are going down, some people are buying homes as an investment option, hoping the value will appreciate. If you want to buy a home to live or invest, you should consider buying a penthouse or a duplex.

What is the difference between a duplex and a penthouse?

Essentially, a duplex is a building with separate living units which can be side-by-side to each other or separated by the ground and upper floor where each unit has its own entrance. On the other hand, a penthouse is a residential unit placed on the uppermost floor or floors of a building. Penthouses are differentiated from other types of residential units by luxury features.

Which is better between a duplex and a penthouse?

Advantages of owning a penthouse

  • Unobstructed Views

One of the most alluring features of a penthouse is the unhindered scenic views. Since most of them are placed in high-rise buildings, they cannot be obstructed by other buildings.

  • Quiet

Penthouses are placed high above the busy streets. So, residents are away from the traffic and other loud noises. Residents of penthouses live in a more peaceful environment.

  • Natural air

Other buildings do not obstruct penthouses. As a result, there is plenty of natural light that flood the property.

Drawbacks of a penthouse

  • Long way up

For those living in a penthouse, a lift is not a luxury but a requirement. Therefore, the lift must be functioning at all time in order to reach the unit. If the lift is not working, residents will have to climb the stairs.

Advantages of a duplex

  • Affordable

Compared to penthouses, duplexes are located in affordable neighbourhoods. If you cannot afford a penthouse unit, a duplex is an excellent option.

  • Earn income

In a duplex, you can live in one unit and rent out the other. This could be appealing if you took a loan or a mortgage to buy the house. The rent collected can be used to repay the mortgage or loan.

Drawbacks of a duplex

  • Getting the right tenant

It is very difficult to get the right tenant to rent out the other unit.  A wrong tenant can cause disputes or compromise your privacy.

If you are looking forward to buying a property in Dubai, you should consider Emaar off-plan projects in Dubai. Here, you will get a variety of property types at favourable prices and terms. Alternatively, you can also consider City walk apartments for sale in Dubai or the rich selection of apartments for sale in Downtown Dubai too.

Getting Your License to Drive a Motorcycle

Getting Your License to Drive a Motorcycle

With the warm weather quickly approaching, you may be itching to get outside more often. One of the best ways to enjoy the warm weather is by driving the roads on a motorcycle. Motorcycles offer you the freedom that you want while driving with the style and sophistication that you’re looking for. However, in order to operate a motorcycle, you need to sit for a special road exam and test. This ensures that you are knowledgeable enough to operate this vehicle and are safely driving on the road. Before sitting for the actual exam, it’d be nice to have a practice test for the Permit that has all of the questions you’d be asked when taking the test at your local DMV.

How to Get a Motorcycle License

In order to ride a motorcycle legally, you need to get a special license to operate this specific vehicle. You will need to sign up for an exam at your local DMV. In order to actually receive the license, you must pass this test. This proves that you are knowledgeable about driving a motorcycle and will be able to safely operate the vehicle. There are many study programs that you can utilize when you are looking to go for your motorcycle license. These help you to prepare for the actual test and know what to expect when you are going to be taking the exam. You will then be able to receive your new license and will be equipped and ready to take that bike out of the garage and go for a ride.

Taking a Practice Test Online

The issue that a lot of drivers have is that they don’t necessarily know what to look for when sitting for the exam. By taking a practice test on the Internet, you can become aware of the different questions that might be on the actual exam. These tests use real questions that the DMV will be using, giving you the chance to see what will be asked and how to go about answering the questions. These practice tests are important for when you need to sit for an examination and know that you are going to be getting a motorcycle license when and if you are able to pass. These tests are easy to take and can be taken right in the comfort of your living room.

Understanding What to Expect

Once you have done several online practice tests, you will be able to take the actual exam as provided to you by your local DMV. When you are able to pass, you will receive your new license and will be able to take that bike out of the garage for a test drive. By being able to take several tests online before sitting for the actual exam, you can be more prepared and will know what it is that you are able to experience when you are going to be receiving the license in question. This makes it easier than ever for you to get the license that you need and want without it becoming a problem and without you having to worry that you are going to be failing the exam. If you fail the exam, you may need to pay more money just to be able to sit for it again.

Driving in Style

Thanks to taking several online practice tests, you will be able to drive around on your new motorcycle and won’t need to worry that you are having to take exam after exam or not knowing what to expect when you go to your local DMV. By being able to prepare for the actual exam, you can feel confident in what is being given. This is the reason so many people have chosen this as an option and are noticing it to be quite helpful in what it is able to do for them.  These practice tests are easy to take and are convenient for when you want to practice for the exam without having to go to a local test center. So dust off your bike and get ready to ride!