Health During Pregnancy

When you find out you are pregnant, there are so many things to worry about and consider. The main one being your health and the baby’s health. It is important to do your best to fuel you body with the best so that the baby gets exactly what it needs. Everything from what you eat to what products you use, and even what is in your home can affect you and the baby.

FOOD

Everything that is put in your mouth is shared with your unborn child. It is important to think twice when eating because you are sharing with them and building a human being. You may not be a believer in organic food purchases but now is the time to change your stance. When pregnant it is imperative to give your baby the most quality food and avoid chemicals at all cost and make the best choices. The food you consume and purchase should come from a reliable source and give the vitamins and nutrients your child needs. There are products that are proven to be helpful during pregnancy.

There are many foods that pregnant women are asked to avoid. Things such as lunch meat, unpasteurized cheeses, raw seafood, shellfish.

Another element that is important during pregnancy is vitamins. It is important to take the proper prenatal vitamins to ensure that your baby is getting the right nutrition regardless of your eating habits.

BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Every human being uses toiletry products and think nothing of it. What everyone should know is that there are a lot of chemicals in our products. It is so bad that the US allows the use of certain chemicals that are banned in other countries. Do you want to use that on your body, and most importantly do you want your baby to be exposed to that as well? Everything from lotions, face wash, toothpaste, body wash, makeup can be found in safe/non-toxic formulas to allow everyone to be safe.

CLEANING PRODUCTS

Just like your food and toiletry products, cleaning products around your home often contain harmful chemicals. It is best to choose the products at the store that say they are chemical free or free from dyes and fragrances. All of those things can seep into your system and affect the baby.

EXERCISE

Exercise and keeping your body at a healthy weight is extremely important during pregnancy. At the beginning of your pregnancy, your doctor will tell you what a healthy weight gain for you is and it is important that you follow it. A lot of people think pregnancy is the time to eat what they want but that just isn’t true, consuming dead end calories can be harmful. Too much weight can put stress on the mom and in turn stress on the baby. Later in pregnancy it is hard to stay active so a lot of people turn to yoga or walking that is less high pace. There are certain circumstances that may cause a mom to gain more weight, such as gestational diabetes or a twin pregnancy. Even then there are still ways to be healthy and exercise.

Overall, your health as a pregnant woman is very important to you and our baby. It is best to read up and research all of the ways you can do your part.

6 Ways to Save Money by Going Green at Work

Tesla’s hyper-sexy cars and expensive solar roofs may have you believing that going green is only for the rich and famous. But don’t let Musk convince you that being environmentally-friendly needs to cost a fortune. Here are six simple ways you can go green whilst actually saving money for your business:

1.  Government subsidies

The government is trying to incentivize going green, and there’s a good chance you’ll get a rebate for being environmentally friendly at work. If you’re short on cash on a rebate approved investment, a good idea may be to get a small grant, or a cash advance from Cash Stop to install the technology required to go green. Considering how these newer and sustainable technologies are cheaper to operate, you can expect some considerable savings over time.

2.  LED costs less

There’s no doubt that LED bulbs cost more upfront. However, they are designed to last nearly 25x longer than other bulbs. Over time, these smart LED lights can cost nearly a third of what incandescent bulbs would cost you.

Switching all your bulbs to LEDs could save your business thousands of dollars each year, and the government estimates it could save the country a total of $30 billion by 2027. LEDs look better and are more customizable, so there’s really no good reason not to get them.

3.  Upcycle furniture

Used or recycled furniture will probably cost less to buy and is great for the environment. Old chairs and desks can easily be refurbished for use in your office.

4.  Save money on travel by working from home

A report from 2013 found that nearly half of all the staff at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) worked from home. This is because the department responsible for conserving the environment knows what’s best for it.

Working from home cuts out the single biggest pollutant – vehicular emissions. It also costs the business less to provide heating and lighting for employees when they turn up to work. Large firms like IBM and Microsoft have saved tens of thousands of dollars per employee who chose to work from home.

5.  Conserve Water

Even a relatively small office can save nearly $300 a year by using water-efficient appliances. You can probably go a step further and replace your toilet and heaters with the latest technology to conserve even more water each year.

6.  No More paper

Paper isn’t expensive, but larger firms use a ton of it and much of it is wasted. Over time, the costs add up. Digitizing completely means less waste and substantial cost savings, depending on the size of your business. Some large firms have saved millions in paper costs alone.

Going green isn’t always expensive. These are just some of the sustainable moves you can make to cut costs while saving the planet.

Popular Cruising Myths Debunked: Why Cruises are Ideal for the Adventure Holidaymaker

Cruise holidays have, over the years, become surrounded by a number of misconceptions, myths and stereotypes. That’s why we’ve decided to debunk some of the myths and explain why cruises are still great for all types of holidaymakers, including those looking for an adventure.

I Can’t Afford a Cruise Holiday

Granted, some cruises can be expensive, but this doesn’t mean all cruises are out of your price range. In most cases, a cruise holiday will cost the same as a package holiday to a beach resort, while sometimes, you may even find that they’re more affordable.

A lot of cruise companies, like Bolsover Cruise Holidays, for example, include a variety of things within the total price, such as meals, evening entertainment and tours. Furthermore, when you’re on a cruise, you aren’t limited to one destination, which provides you with far more value for money than a single-destination holiday.

I’ll Be Bored While We’re at Sea

Even though some cruises do involve a lot of time at sea, this by no means implies that you’ll be bored. Cruises have been specially designed to cater for a whole host of needs, offering entertainment, shows and activities throughout the day and night. That’s not to mention the added bonus of leisure activities, sun loungers, bars, spas and much, much more.

Every ship provides its cruisers with unique entertainment, which is why you’ll want to investigate this before you go so you’re choosing something that’ll entertain you throughout your trip. And don’t forget that, when you’re sailing along on your cruise ship, you’ll often be taking in a lot of the sights that you’re passing along the way.

We’ll Only Stop Off at Beach Resorts

This is another huge myth surrounding cruises because even though many Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises will visit beach destinations, some cruises will offer you other unique destinations. For example, you could choose to sail to the Middle East, sail along the Mexican Rivera or take in the sights of Asia. Cruises definitely aren’t limited, which is why any you’re sure to find a holiday that feeds your sense of adventure.

I’ll Find the Food Options Limited

Our final myth couldn’t be further from the truth because the majority of cruise liners come complete with their own on-board, high-quality chef. This tends to mean that the restaurants on the cruises liners give many dry-land eateries a run for their money. Not only do they offer a variety of food but it’s all freshly served to you throughout the day.

Many years ago you may have found cruises limited, boring and expensive, but today, they’re a favoured holiday for all types of travellers, with cruises to suit everyone.

 

What You Need to Know About Setting Up an Office

All businesses of some sort end up needing an office. This can be as small as the corner of your den, an office in your home, or actual space that you lease to run your office out of. Why you need this office will depend on the nature of your business. Most offices are taking care of the administrative and financial aspect of your business. Before you decide to open an office, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.

What Size Do You Really Need?

Determining who is using the office is going to give you an indication of what size you need. If it’s just you so that you can handle your bookkeeping and emails at the end of a work day, then a simple home office will do. If you have human relations, accounting, IT, and marketing, they will indicate the leasing or purchase of your space. If you are going this large, make sure you have plenty of space for growth and stay well within your budget.

Shop for Internet

No matter what you are doing in your office, you will need internet. There are a slew of office internet providers and it takes some time to find the best ones. You are looking for a reliable service in all manner of weather. You also want a fast service so that you can get through your tasks with efficiency. It also helps to find fiber optic service rather than cable or DSL. Fiber optics are simply faster and ensure transfers of data over long distance without degrading the data. Fiber optics are not available everywhere and can be expensive to install. Be sure you can get fiber optics and that it’s within your budget.

Furnish It with Necessities

Shopping for office furniture can cause anyone to get caught up and swept away. Keep it simple and takes care of your needs. If you are leasing or purchasing a space, all of your furniture should match among the departments. For storage, get what you need plus one year’s worth of growth so that you are not constantly purchasing more filing cabinets. All chairs should be comfortable and provides support so that no matter how long you are seated, you are not straining your body too much. If your office space is carpeted, floor mats at the desks will allow for rolling chairs to move easily. If you have overhead lighting, you can avoid desk lamps.

Keep Office Equipment to a Minimum

Purchasing office equipment is yet another expense that is easy to get carried away with. Get exactly what you need to perform your duties. If you are in a home office and travel a lot, skip the desktop pc and opt for a laptop. If you are leasing/purchasing office space, desktops are more efficient for your employees. Sales teams of course would benefit from laptops rather than desktops. Printers for a home office should only include extras you use. No need to get a scanner option if you will never use it, unless the printer with the scanner is a less expensive option! Printers for a larger office space often need more bells and whistles but you can minimize how many printers you obtain. Many can be hooked into a network and folks can share the printer. One other option you can consider is leasing equipment, rather than purchasing it.

Office Supplies Are Your Friend

Office supplies can be your most costly expense in an office. Of course, you should buy exactly what you need and keep them plentiful in the supply closet. No matter what size office you have, getting a rewards card to your local office store will be greatly beneficial to help you save on your supplies. Look for those deals and watch how much waste you create. If you can avoid printing on paper, you should.

Hopefully, your endeavor into opening an office is an exciting time for you and your business. Take these extra steps to pay attention and make the most of your space without breaking your budget!

What to Do if You Owe the IRS Money

Let’s start with this: the IRS is the biggest, best resourced, and more powerful collection agency in the world. So, while I’m not suggesting that you’d otherwise try and avoid a debt to any person or organization, if you’re typically the procrastinating type that needs things to get serious and urgent before you’re motivated to take action, then please allow me to be your wake-up call: this is serious and urgent. The letters and calls won’t stop, and when the IRS threatens wage garnishment, tax levies and other collection action, they mean it. It’s not an empty threat.

With that being said, you shouldn’t feel as though your (financial) world is coming to an end, and that it’s only a matter of time before black tie and sunglass-wearing IRS Special Agents show up at your door and haul you to debtor’s prison.

According to Jeff Kahn, principal of the Tax Law Offices of Jeffrey B. Kahn and host of a weekly ESPN radio show that covers tax law and audit-related issues, here are two things to do if you owe the IRS money:

  1. Confirm that the IRS’s math adds up.

This just in: the IRS makes mistakes (and in other breaking news, water is wet, the sun is hot, and sarcasm never goes out of style). As such, start by confirming that the amount that you allegedly owe is indeed correct. Keep in mind that a single missed checkbox on a tax form can result in a deduction being denied.

  1. Minimize penalties and interest.

If you confirm that you do, in fact, owe Uncle Sam some money, and presuming that you cannot pay the full amount by the due date, your next step is to minimize penalties and interest. There are a few options here that may be applicable to your situation, including: asking for an abatement, seeing if you qualify for an installment plan, and seeing if you qualify for an offer-in-compromise (this is basically asking the IRS to settle for less then the amount owed because full payment is unlikely). Keep in mind that the paperwork required for each of these options — especially the offer-in-compromise — is complex, and most people who try the do-it-yourself route get things wrong and have their application or petition rejected.

Some Final Words of Warning

Before wrapping up: be very, very careful when speaking to IRS agents. Once again, I’m not trying to freak anyone out. But facts are facts, and you need to know that speaking with an IRS agent to get more information on your tax situation isn’t the ordinary call center “how can I help you today?” conversation that you’re used to. While you aren’t under oath or giving a deposition, anything you say — including the questions you ask — can and will be used to trigger a deeper examination of your filings (the IRS can go back much further than three years if they suspect fraud or tax evasion). And in extreme cases, your matter might be referred to the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division for potential prosecution.

 

So yes, it’s fine to simply ask ordinary questions (e.g. “where can I find this form?”), but anything else should be handled by your tax attorney — not by your accountant, whose conversations with you and work product isn’t protected by attorney-client privilege.

Things You Should Shop Around For

Every little bit counts when it comes to money. It is so important to save when you can because that money you are saving can eventually add up to something. Besides cutting  back on spending or analyzing your monthly budget, there are some big ticket items that can be shopped around for to help you save.

Insurance

Insurance is needed for many things. There are many brokers who offer these products. To save money, it is best to shop around to find the best possible price so you can get cheaper car insurance . The trick I have used is to take your current policy and just provide it to multiple agents and ask them if they can beat it. Send it around and you will be sure to get your current policy for cheaper. Unfortunately this business is just like many others and the agents are just trying to make the most they can. If they know they can win your business they will be happy to offer you a competitive price.

Credit Cards

Credit Cards are definitely a product that should be compared for optimal benefit. Do not settle on just any one. Often times offers can be sent in the mail or you can simply google the type of credit card you are looking for and look for the best offer to meet your needs. The Best ones, depending on your needs, may offer good reward incentives, low interest rates, free balance transfers, etc. Many cards out there offer great rewards from travel, to cash back that you could benefit from. Be sure to shop around.

Cars

The car industry is known for their negotiations. People can experience both extremes of the business, they can either get themselves a really good deal or totally be worked by a dealership. Car salesmen are good at their jobs and will do anything to meet their sales numbers. The most important tip for buying a car is to be able to walk away. They do not like to lose deals so you are at an advantage if you simply walk away and shop around. I have literally had agents follow me out to my car and almost chase me out of the parking lot trying to get me back in the showroom. You can’t shop with your heart, you need to shop with you head. If you do this you will be able to save some major cash.

Furniture

Most people may not think of furniture as a negotiable item but it is. Any time I have bought furniture I have negotiated. Similar to cars, it is best if you are able to walk away. They do not want to lose your business and rather make the sale with less profit. I have even been to a showroom that said they didn’t negotiate their pricing but they ended up doing it for me. If you want to purchase a piece of furniture from a furniture chain, it is best to call around to different locations to see what their prices are. Each location has a different price and you will certainly get the best deal that way.

 

Hopefully these tips can help you save some and lead to further savings for your family.

Thinking of Buying a New Car? 3 Tips to Keep it in Great Shape

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new car? It’s kind of exciting making a big purchase but also a little overwhelming too. Making the decision to spend this much money is not something anyone does lightly. You want to be sure you are doing so sensibly and that you get the most for your money now and over the long term.

You can visit Cars.com to review cars and autos you are thinking about, to help decide which one is best for you and your family. They have a great Reviews section, where you can actually read what real car owners and leased car drivers think about the specific car models that you are considering getting. It’s kind of like talking to a friend or neighbor who has the car you like, before you go to the dealership to take a test drive. Cars.com also has a Videos section so you can see everything about the car right from the comfort of your home.

One of the first things you can do is to find an auto mechanic that you can trust. While you are going through the car shopping process, start to ask family and friends for recommendations to get a great auto mechanic. Remember that you want someone who isn’t too far from you, so that if the car has something wrong with it you don’t have to drive too for long.

When you get the car, actually sit down and read the car manual. Get to know how the features work. Most cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles but what should you know about other maintenance for your car? Avoid mishaps and confusion by learning as much about your car as possible. If you need to, bring your car and the manual to your mechanic to ask questions – before any problem arises. Because this will save an awful lot of time and hassle.

Be a safe driver at all times. Don’t speed and treat your car with extra TLC. Treating your car properly is part of good care and maintenance. You’ll be glad that you don’t overwork or overstress your car, as this can lead to damage or unnecessary repairs. Driving too fast can also make you use gas quicker and run the risk of causing a car accident, which is dangerous.

Remember that it is a lot easier to catch a repair while it is small than to ignore something and take care of it when it becomes bigger. So taking your car in if you notice something is not typical may take up a bit of time, but likely will save you time, money and a lot of hassle in the end.

Buying a car is an exciting time and you should be proud that you have made this major purchase. In a young adult’s life this is certainly a milestone event. Be safe and enjoy driving your new car!