Re-use wasted paper and contribute to conserving the environment.

Last year when Leonardo DiCaprio won his much awaited Oscar; all of us around the world were emotionally moved by his speech on environment. We all for a brief moment thought about all the terrible things that we were doing that harm nature and how we’re terrible at maintaining our beautiful environment. Knowingly or unknowingly we are ruining what is remaining of this beautiful planet.

We don’t actively think but at time we all feel like contributing in some way. We mostly don’t know how to do that. Nowadays, we waste lot of our time especially during the day. Whether sitting in front of the television all day, going out to party all night, or using our money and time on games like poker or online casino – this has become our life. Not to say that this is wrong, but we could devote some of our time to environmental conservation too!

There are a lot of fun activities out there that one can engage in which will not only help conserve the environment but will also entertain you. Today we’ll talk about how one can re-use waste paper. There is so much wasted paper around us and it contributes to so much of the garbage lying all around the world. If everyone around the world starts to re-use this paper, imagine the amount of garbage that would be eliminated?
Let’s look at some fun things to do with old waste paper:

  • Make beautiful paper Mache with used newspapers and papers from notebooks.
  • Paper Mache as most of you created during school time are decorative items that are made using water and glue. Old newspapers and used papers from notebooks can be used to create this. This can also be a fun activity for children in your house. You can also use this to make small paper Mache bowls and plates to hold small things like keys, pen drives, or artificial jewelry.
  • Use up old newspapers and papers from old books for baskets.
  • You can make medium sized newspaper holder baskets using old paper. These baskets are good for holding magazines or newspapers. These also make for a nice decorative piece of art in your living room. You can also make carry bags using this.
  • Turn this into a fun drawing game for children.
  • You can involve your children and their friends into a creative gaming activity. Get small children to use paper & ice cream sticks to make bookmarks, or small dolls. Allow them to get creative with this. Little girls can make paper jewelry with this as well.

Why do kids have all the fun?

If you are a grownup this is the time to put your creative mind to work. You can make wall hangings and lamp shades which can be used around the house. You can also get together with your friends and start a small business of water based artifacts. This will make for a great success story. Won’t it?

You should understand why it’s important to re-use waste paper. Firstly, it takes a lot of water and cutting down of trees to make paper. The same paper is wasted and left to be useless. Instead of wasting the paper that has been made through a long process and letting it rot into garbage you should pledge to re-utilize it today.

Top Money-Saving Environmental Tips

Most people think that living an eco-friendly life is boring and somewhat expensive. But the truth of the matter is that being green is cheap and saves the environment. Reducing your consumption, reusing items and recycling helps keep unnecessary waste out of the landfills. So what are some of the eco-friendly money-saving tips to consider? Here is a look.

Using cloth napkins and durable silverware

It is hard to resist the temptation of not having anything to wash after meals, which is why some people will opt for disposable items. Abandoning disposable napkins and going for cloth napkins will help you save plenty of cash and keep the environment clean. Cloth napkins are more durable and can be washed after use and be used over and over again. The same goes for utensils—saying no to disposable plastic forks, spoons, and knives not only reduces the money you spend on them, but reduces your waste and also your contribution to the pollution involved in the manufacturing process.

The planet and your pocket will be at risk when you increase the pile of garbage left after a meal. It is common sense: the less you throw away, the less you spend. Especially for people who are on a budget, cutting paper towels, napkins, and utensils off the grocery list can save a lot by the end of the year.

Make use of a pressure cooker

You can actually save a lot of time, money and energy if you make use of a pressure cooker. One thing that makes this a must-have is the fact that they are versatile and they can cook almost anything. They use less energy and take up to 70% less time to cook a meal. Imagine the things you can do with that extra time!

Install a low flow showerhead

We spend a lot of water when we hit the shower for a few minutes. If you have a bigger household, it’s even worse. But installing a low flow showerhead is an easy way to save 25 to 60% of the water we normally use in the shower. This is the best way to preserve water and also save on the water bill.

Use energy saving bulbs

Energy-saving bulbs are normally expensive upfront compared to ordinary bulbs. However, they use a quarter of the energy that ordinary bulbs use. But part of environmental sustainability is about investing. The initial expense will pay itself over time. Plus, you’ll have fewer lightbulb changes to make!

Insulate your home

Not only do uninsulated homes just lose heat and cool air but also waste money and energy. The upfront cost may be hefty but the long-term savings can make a significant impact on personal finances. When you reduce energy expenditure you will, most definitely, reduce the bill. It is important to consider insulating the attic and basement first to be effective in your personal finance quest.

Install solar panels

Most governments now offer tax credits to home owners who wish to install solar panels to supplement their energy expenditure. This is to encourage people to go green and save the environment. There are also companies that are willing to take the risk most homeowners dread to pay the initial cost. You stand a chance of saving at least 10% of your electricity bill.

Don’t pay for what you throw away

Did you know that product packaging makes up more than 30% of waste stream in the developed world? According to the EPA, even more of that waste comes from actual food being thrown away. By buying only the food that you will consume, and making sure that you opt for environment-friendly packed items, you can both reduce waste and reduce the amount of money that you waste.

Grow Your Own Food

Though gardening can require a bit of work and upfront investment, making your own garden and growing your own food allows you to save money and also know what you are eating. Without the harmful chemicals and GMOs used by many large companies and manufacturers, your own garden can provide a fresh, homegrown alternative for you and others in your community.

Reuse and resell old furniture and appliances

Your furniture is one of the things in the entire house that will last longer. However, sometimes they get damaged or outlive their original purpose. When this happens, you don’t have to throw it away. You can repaint, reuse, and repurpose. Give your splintering, chipping chair a good sanding and a new look. Turn your old coffee table into a storage ottoman. Make a play kitchen for your kids with that old TV stand. Reusing and repurposing reduces environmental pollution and is financially smart.

Then again, you may be having some things in the house that you just don’t want anymore. One of the most monetarily effective tips is to resell. If you are environmentally conscious, then you will realize that reselling them not only earns extra money but also keeps the environment cleaner.

Be Green and Save Green

You don’t have to make a lot of money or spend a lot of money to live a life that is sustainable for both your finances and the world you live in. A few lifestyle changes can go a long way and make a significant impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

Budget Priced Gifts for Travel Enthusiasts

We all have people in our lives who love to travel and buying them gifts can be a nightmare, especially when you’re on a budget. When all they would really love to receive would probably be flights for another trip abroad or an amazing weekend away, finding them a gift they’ll love can be tricky. Here’s some budget priced gift inspiration to help you put a smile on their face:

Travel Colouring Book

A great gift that sure to inspire wanderlust, Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel Colouring Book is a must have gift and available for under £10 making it super budget friendly. It features 100 of the world’s greatest places and full descriptions of each place so you can learn a little bit about it too. They’re ranked in order of their brilliance so friends can look forward to colouring in some of the world’s greatest landmarks whilst waiting to jet off on their next adventure.

Scratch Off Travel Map

A gift that’s certain to go down well is a scratch off travel map. Your travel enthusiast can hang the map on their bedroom wall and scratch off all the places they’ve been and then look at all the bits left to scratch off and plan where they’d like to visit next.

Suitcase Packing Cubes

A gift that’s inexpensive but sure to be incredibly useful, suitcase packing cubes help to make make packing stress free by separating all your essentials. Some suitcase packing cubes even come with a dirty laundry bag too, making it especially easy for your travel loving friend to keep their suitcase organised whilst they’re on the move.

Handy Homeware

Travel lovers will be pleased with the selection of flight themed gifts that are available at Flight Store to shop. From aeroplane themed chopping boards, to drink stirrers and flight themed coasters, there’s tons of budget friendly travel themed homeware gifts you can give to your friends this year.

Tech Tacos

Whilst this might not be the most exciting of gifts for your travel loving friend, tech tacos are seriously handy and they’ll definitely really appreciate them later down the line. Taco shaped organisers for your headphones, phone charger and USB cable mean that you’ll never have to waste time untangling all your wires before popping your music on for a flight.

With all these budget friendly gifts available for under £15, you won’t have to break the bank to spoil your friend or family member this birthday or Christmas time.

Faster & Greener: The Advantages of Modular Construction

Modular construction today doesn’t resemble the temporary trailers and mobile homes of the past.  There are now countless applications for modular construction solutions, both for permanent housing and for commercial and industrial space.  Modular construction is fast becoming the construction method of choice in some regions and industries, and for good reason.  Here are the financial and environmental advantages of using this building method, whose popularity is taking hold around the globe.

Faster Construction Time

The way that we build homes hasn’t changed much in the past 40-50 years. Unfortunately, the construction industry has been reluctant to embrace and adopt some technology advances. There are a few companies, however, like ConXtech that are shaking up the industry with their new approach to modular construction, which is proven to save significant project time.

New modular construction technology allows architects to design a new building using software like AutoCAD or Revit, the auto-populate their design with steel framing sizes to create a “dimensionally accurate model of the frame early in the design phase.”

Once the structural design is ready, data files are exported to the CNC machines manufacture building components. The components are then assembled on site, with the entire process saving months over traditional construction methods. Multiple tradesmen can ready their parts and components simultaneously, using the dimensionally accurate model as a guide.

Lower Project Costs

These faster build times reduce overall labor costs on projects and make buildings ready for occupancy sooner, which becomes a revenue base for a commercial property.  Modular construction is also more precise, so there is less materials waste, which reduces the overall project cost.

Better Quality Control

One of the reasons that modular construction is gaining in popularity is the assurance of a quality product every time.  The manufacturing process itself is standardized with tight quality control to ensure the best product.  Unlike traditional construction projects that are exposed to the elements, modular construction takes place in a controlled environment, where problems like warped materials can be eliminated.

Customizable Designs

Increasingly, modular construction and design companies are able to customize projects to tailor the building to the client’s exact specifications.  The use of AutoCAD in design makes it simple for companies to make adjustments that require extra space or to customize a room for multipurpose use.

Durable Materials

Modular buildings are constructed with the most durable materials available, ensuring that each structure is built to last.  Materials are carefully selected to be economical, lightweight, safe, and durable.  Modular structures are also constructed to be airtight, which ensures their energy-efficiency.

Less Environmental Impact

There are several ways that modular construction benefits the environment.  Many modular construction buildings are built with eco-friendly materials, and this mode of construction is a market leader in the use of recycled materials.

Because modular buildings are constructed in an assembly line environment, the process uses less energy than traditional construction.  As we stated before, there is also less waste.  Many modular construction facilities also store their unused materials and recycle them for use in future projects.

Modular construction offers a more sustainable solution for both residential and commercial development.  These innovative designs are delivering environmentally-friendly projects that don’t sacrifice quality or style. Not only does this method of building bring projects to completion faster, but they will also come in at a lower price tag and last longer than those built with traditional construction methods.

Top Schools To Become A CFA

Are you considering pursuing your CFA alongside your bachelor’s or master’s degree? While CFA self-study materials are highly helpful, you may consider a school that will allow you to study for the CFA alongside your other degree. Here are some of the top schools for CFA certification:

Cornell University: Well known for its MBA program, Cornell University offers the opportunity for a CFA study program. Before attending, you should consider your options, CFA vs CPA certification. One may be a better fit than the other depending on your future career goals. Even with a university such as Cornell, you may still need to invest in CFA self-study materials.

IE Business School: Located in Madrid, Spain, this school gives you the opportunity to live abroad as you obtain your MBA and work through your CFA self-study materials. Madrid is a beautiful, historic city, and if you apply yourself, you can certainly pick up Spanish, and have a chance to network with the international business community.

Indiana University Bloomington: Located in Indiana, the university offers an MBA and a BS in Business along with the CFA study program. While pursuing multiple disciplines is challenging, it is certainly manageable.

Tulane University: Located in New Orleans, Tulane holds a strong reputation in the area of finance and can help you get connected with a variety of firms after graduation. You will still need to work hard to establish yourself, but having a well-connected network is always helpful.

There are many well rated schools both in the US and abroad that offer CFA certification alongside other areas of study. Websites like Crush The CFA Exam will help give you the training material to help pass your classes and the final CFA exam.  The school you choose will vary depending on your areas of study and other things that you may want to accomplish. The best course of action is to start with your specific list of goals and look for the top rated schools that meet your specific qualifications.

Do you own a small business? Here are 10 questions you should be asking your insurance agent.

If you own a small business one of your largest expenses is commercial insurance.  In most states general liability and workers’ compensation are required by law.  Other coverages are dependent upon the industry you operate in and the amount of risk your business is willing to take on.  There are many aspects that go in to this decision and partnering with a trusted and experienced independent insurance agent can help you save immensely on commercial insurance.  Taking some extra time to speak with this agent about all aspects of your business is important as well.  Here are 10 questions you should ask any potential insurance agent.

What is your experience and do you have any credentials? 

Experience and credentials can be used not only as a litmus test, but they can tell you a little about the experience and the knowledge of your broker.  You should not discredit a young or inexperienced agent automatically.  An agent with limited experience can make up for that with enthusiasm and energy.  A more established agent might not be as hungry for your new business and as a result they may not give you the specialized attention you need. The main thing is to get to know your broker beyond the basic information on her card or website.

Do you personalize policies?

Depending upon your industry this can be extremely important.  Many insurance carriers offer cookie cutter business owner packages and they do not deviate from those packages.  This is good for some businesses because carriers have insight through their history of claims what policies each industry may or may not need.  If you are a start-up or you have no employees this may not be necessary.  For instance, if you are a photographer who works from home you may not have a need for workers compensation coverage.  If you are in another industry where you do not own or operate any vehicles you do not need commercial auto.  Some agencies and carriers are more flexible with you when it comes to adding or subtracting coverages.  This is important to know before you purchase coverages you do not need.

Are there flexible payment options?

Pay as You Go Workers Comp Insurance Coverage is one option that can help businesses pay for their coverage monthly based on payroll instead of in one lump sum.  Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation benefits businesses by freeing up cash for more immediate business needs, by preventing over or under paying and by drastically lowering the likelihood of a mid-term audit by your insurance carrier.  This is especially helpful for cash strapped or seasonal businesses.

How much does my policy cover?

What you are actually asking your agent is, “What are my policy limits?” A limit is the total amount your policy can pay out. For General Liability Policies there are two ways in which limits are paid:  Aggregate limit is the most your policy will pay in a single year for all claims.  Occurrence limit is the amount your policy can pay for any single claim.  Which type of policy you want for your business really depends on the types of risks you face and how much risk you are willing to take on.  Taking on more risk will help lower your premium, but will make you have to foot more of the bill when a claim does occur.  This is why it is important to take some extra time to speak long and honestly with your agent about your business and what types of risks you are comfortable with.

Can I get more coverage?

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is the best way to supplement your General Liability Coverage.  This policy will kick in when the limits of your other policies have been reached. You can purchase Umbrella coverage in increments of $1 million, and it’s often a cost-effective way to fulfill liability insurance requirements in client contracts.  It is crucial to understand that an umbrella policy only kicks in for a covered loss.  If you live somewhere with a common risk of natural disasters, like hurricanes or tornadoes, those disasters have to be covered separately. An umbrella policy will not kick if the claim is not covered by the initial policy.

Is it worth my time to implement an in-depth safety program?

The simple answer to this question is yes, it is always worth your time and effort to implement and effective safety program.  Having a safety program in place will cut down on the number and severity of injuries to your workforce.  The safety of your workforce should always be at the heart of your businesses mission.  A healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce.  This program can also keep down what your business pays for workers compensation premium.   The program does not have to be excessively time consuming.  Including this in a weekly or monthly huddle can make a difference in the injury outcomes of your employees.

Do I really need Commercial Auto Insurance?

The answer to this question really depends on the operations of your business.  If you own and operate cars as a part of your daily business than yes, you absolutely need commercial auto coverage.  If you have employees who use their own cars for work or who drive rental cars from time to time you can cover them with a hired and non-owned auto policy.  If you have employees who drive their own car as part of their job duties, their personal auto policies will cover the damages to their car, but not the liability to other cars if the accident is there fault.  That liability falls on the business because the reason the car was at the location of the accident was because of an action of the business.

Do I really need Cyber Insurance?

Again this policy completely depends on the operations of your business.  It is important to speak long and honestly with your insurance agent about all of the electronic devices any of your employees use.  There may be risks hiding in places you might not realize.  The great thing about a good insurance agent is that they not only interact with small businesses when they purchase insurance for their business, but they also speak with business owners when bad things happen.  They can use those experiences to help you prepare for those times when bad things happen to your business. They should be able to prepare you for risks you do not even know you face.

Am I classified properly for workers’ compensation?

This is extremely important for your business cash flow. Especially, if you operate in an industry with several different areas of operation.  If you do, you need to ensure the agent classifies your business properly.  They are in the business of analyzing risk.  If you do not tell them all of your risks, then it is in their best interest to assume your business is taking on more risk.  If you do not give your agent enough information they may place your business in a riskier classification code.  This can have an enormous impact on what you pay for general liability and workers compensation insurance.   Taking just a few extra minutes to explain exactly what your business does and does not do, can save you immensely when it comes to premium.

How can I lower my premium?

If lowering your premium is a priority than tell that to your agent.  Agents interacting with a lot of people who operate in a lot of different industries and who have a lot of different priorities.  Some business owners just want their policy and they want it quickly so they can get back to running their business. To that business owner price may not be at the top of their priority list.  Other business owners may want to insure their business to the absolute largest limits possible, while other business owners are comfortable taking on more risk.  Where ever you are on this spectrum, tell that to your agent.  Let them know what is important to you and they can better serve your needs.

Bio

Mitchell Sharp is a Marketing Associate for Workers Compensation Shop.com. Mitchell is a Missouri Boy and a Carolina Man. He has a deep passion for social media and content marketing. Mitchell would like to use his knowledge of these subjects to benefit small business owners.

How to Decide Whether You Should Hire a Financial Advisor

With the onset of the New Year and tax season quickly approaching, you may be wondering to yourself whether you can handle your finances on your own this year.  You may feel like you are in a precarious financial situation, or perhaps you just want to reap the most benefit out of your finances this year.  No matter the position you are in there is a financial advisor can offer services that can turn your life around. With the help of a financial advisor, you may find yourself reaching goals you never dreamed you could achieve. Here are a few reasons you may want to hire a financial advisor:

You Need Help Establishing Goals

If you have difficulty establishing and keeping goals for yourself, you are not alone.  A financial advisor is essentially a coach who is schooled in helping reach your goals.  If you have an idea in mind, such as lowering your debt, a financial advisor can collect data on our accounts and create a feasible plan to help you get through it.  Likewise, if you are looking to create your own business or buy a house in the foreseeable future, an advisor will create a plan for you to make that happen.  Financial advisors see the “big picture.” They are able to project what you can achieve based on factors like your current status and even the state of the local or national market.

You Need Someone to Hold You Accountable

Let’s face it: some of us get a little more spend-happy than others.  Not everyone is money-minded, and that is okay.  If this sounds like you, using a financial advisor as a resource can help you with your monthly and yearly expenditure.  They will show you how to budget, how much you can and need to save, how to set up an emergency fund, and a whole host of other useful bits of knowledge that can keep your spending in check.  Some people may find that the presence of a financial advisor in their life is enough motivation to stay within spending boundaries and help with personal budgeting.

You’ve Experienced a Life-Changing Event

Whether you have lost your job, experienced the death of a spouse, have taken on elderly parents, or you or someone depends on you experiences health issues, there are times in your life where you will experience change.  Ease the burden of anxiety, depression, and frustration, by hiring an advisor to keep your budget in check.  No matter how complicated the situation, an advisor will be with you every step of the way to keep you motivated to push through to the other side in good financial shape.

You Can’t Navigate a Low Market

Markets rise and fall—for better or worse, it is a fact of life.  Do not feel overwhelmed that you do not understand the green and red numbers that tick across the New York Stock Exchange queue every day, a lot of people are right there with you!  Fortunately, a financial advisor’s forward-thinking skills can help devise a strategy to put you in a secure position should something happen.

Basic Education in Stocks, Bonds, and Investment

Maybe you are looking to expand and strengthen your assets.  You can go about it alone and educate yourself on the way, but some find it useful to consult with an expert.  As mentioned before, financial advisors are trained to see the big picture.  They can look beyond your budget and see big investment opportunities that you may be in the position to take advantage of.  If you are interested in buying real estate, owning stocks, or researching other investment opportunities, speak with an advisor to get expert advice on the topic to reap the most out of your endeavor.  On the other hand, you may not know all about the investments you already have.  For instance, you may not believe you pay into a 401(k) plan, but you certainly pay for the cost of the investments.  Sound confusing?  An advisor can put you at ease and lay everything out on the table for you so that you can understand.

Determine Your Needs

Before hiring a financial advisor, consider whether you need an analyst or accountant’s help. Financial advisors are well-suited for situations of investment options and money analysis. If you’re looking for help with tax resolution, a CPA might be the best bet. These individuals are well-versed in accounting practices and record keeping; they’ve taken rigorous CPA prep courses, passed the difficult CPA exam, and received their designation to practice accounting for the general public. Consider your needs before investing in financial assistance to ensure you make the right selection.

You need not feel at a loss to secure your finances, so invest in assistance to give you the confidence to move forward.