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.

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.

Surviving the Sandwich Years: Smart and Secure Financial Steps to Take in Your 40’s and 50’s

In the normal scheme of things, when you reach your 40’s or 50’s and have a family, you are most likely going to be looking at funding some college expenses for your children, and that need will be immediate or not so very far away.

Add in medical bills, helping them onto the housing ladder and funding a wedding, and you can soon see why this life period is often referred to as the sandwich years.

Developing a survival strategy

Different periods in your life will present changing financial challenges along with milestones in your career and personal life, so it makes sense to try and anticipate these events well in advance.

None of us ever knows exactly what the future holds, but if you have children for example, you can at least map out some financial events that are going to happen along the way.

There will always be some unexpected expenses, which is why resources like www.kingofkash.com/payday-loans are there to offer a short-term solution. One of the best strategies to employ if you can, is to have access to some cash reserves. In an ideal world, having access to anywhere between three and six months of monthly cash needs, should help you ride out most financial storms, but with everything else to pay, it is not always that easy to accumulate that sort of spare cash.

Another key point to remember that is often used in business, but applies to your personal financial planning too, is that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Not having some sort of financial plan and a list of priorities, could leave you exposed at key points in your life.

Every little helps

It is often surprising to see how even a small amount of money put away on a regular basis, can build into a decent pot of cash, before you know it.

One of the reasons why a lot of people don’t start building up their cash reserves and saving for the future, is that they don’t think they can put enough money aside to make it worthwhile.

Any amount of money put away regularly is going to help. Never think that you don’t have enough spare cash to justify starting some savings. Skipping on your regular coffee on the way to work each day for example, is one way of generating some extra cash. Simply put what you would have spent each week aside instead, and see how quickly that small sum can add up.

Make clearing debt a priority

The vast majority of us have some sort of debt obligations, some more than others of course.

Credit card debts, student loans and medical bills can all eat away at your financial stability and it would be a good idea to make clearing debt a priority, so that you can then put that monthly money to good use, by saving and making some investments that should help you to secure a better future.

A good strategy would be to work out exactly how much debt you currently have and how much spare cash each month to work with. Allocating some of that spare cash to paying down debt and the rest to savings, will help put you in a stronger financial position quicker than if you just keep making the normal payments.

Make the most of your employee benefits

As your career develops, there is a good chance that not only will your salary increase, but you will most likely also be offered some increasingly attractive employee options.

It can often pay to take full advantage of these employee benefits. Retirement plans are a clear example of why it may be rewarding to max out your employee benefits, as the amount your employer contributes to your 401 (k) each month is a tax efficient- way of saving for when you retire.

It is often worth looking at matching their contribution with your own money, and you may want to find out what the maximum contribution you can make is, so that you can make the most of the opportunity.

It often pays to get professional advice when you think you need it. If you want to see what options you have or what you need to do to make the most of your money, spending some cash to get an educated opinion, can often be justified if it saves you making mistakes and boosts your earning potential.

Molly Peters writes about personal finance. She is a personal finance advisor with years of experience and enjoys helping people to master their money.

 

Here’s why it is important to document your finances for your family

Life is unpredictable and being healthy today does not guarantee you the same tomorrow. Death and incapacitation are common occurrences that take place on a daily basis and thus one needs to have a plan. Documenting your finances does not mean that you are predicting own death as many people tend to think. It just shows that you are smart and responsible enough to direct others how to use your estates when you are gone. The following are reasons why you should document your finances.

  1. Appoint your beneficiaries

The government shares property among the immediate family members according to the laws and regulations regarding inheritance if there is no valid will. Such property is not given to charity or friends unless there is a will that directs so. You can distribute your finances among family, friends and other noble courses through writing.

  1. Avoid conflicts among family members

Family feuds and fights over property often happen due to lack of documentation. The government in such a case appoints a lawyer to handle the sharing. Inheritance disagreements can lead to enmity and mistrust among family members. The only way to ensure that family members protect and respect your decisions is putting it in writing.

  1. To cater for emergencies

Accidents are inevitable, and you can become ill or incapacitated such that you cannot make logical decisions. You can designate someone to handle your finances in such instances for smooth running. You can draft a Power Of Attorney to deal with all your legal and financial matters. You can also prepare a living will that dictates how to handle your medical health when you cannot speak for yourself.

  1. Avoid losing property to the government

The crown takes all the assets when someone dies with no valid will or family. The process of inheriting unclaimed assets is tedious because one has to prove that he/she is an entitled relative. Friends can also fraud your loved ones after your demise.

  1. Plan ahead for a decent send-off

You can direct the family members on how to conduct your funeral service, particularly if you want specific things to happen. Funeral plan companies like Golden Charter are also worth checking out, considering the considerable cost of a funeral. The last thing you want is to lumber your family with debt. Paying into a plan will stop that problem from happening.

A proper documentation gives your inheritors an easy time when managing your estates. It is only through writing that you can direct your loved ones on how to use the property.

How Volvo is Doing Their Part to Promote Sustainability

In recent years, Volvo has been breaking its own sales records, with more than a half-million cars sold in 2015 alone. As the brand expands its automobile and parts manufacturing and distribution efforts, many are wondering what steps the automotive giant is taking to reduce their carbon footprint and limit pollution. The Volvo Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department is in charge of handling the company’s efforts to have a positive impact on the environment and the global economy. Here are a few ways the Swedish automobile manufacturer is doing its part to promote sustainability:

volvo

Photo by Karl Baron

Producing Even Longer Lasting Volvo Parts

In addition to focusing on lower emissions and responsible manufacturing, Volvo is also reducing automotive waste by designing, producing and offering genuine Volvo parts with longer lifecycles. Volvo parts already have a strong reputation for being some of the most durable and well-designed, so even third-party (aka aftermarket) parts – designed to simply mimic OEM Volvo parts – actually last longer than those same aftermarket parts made for many other brands. In fact, on average Volvo has the second-longest lifespan of any brand, behind only Mercedes Benz. There are a number of Volvo cars that have lasted for more than 1 million miles, and one is even registered with more than 2.6 million miles on the odometer and still running.

Publishing Annual Sustainability Report

Every year since 2007, the Volvo Group has released an annual sustainability report. By maintaining such a high level of accountability and transparency, they’re motivating other automobile and parts manufacturers to follow suit. The report outlines the company’s effort to develop sustainable infrastructure, highlighting key statistics that illustrate the ongoing efforts put forth by its CSR team. Each year, between February and April, the report is released to the public in PDF form, outlining key goals and achievements that do and will contribute to a cleaner and brighter future for society and the planet.

Spearheading the Sustainable Transport Movement

Volvo is also known to invest a great deal of research and innovation into developing more sustainable global transport systems. The Volvo Group currently co-chairs the United Nations High Level Advisory Group, partnering with policy makers to ensure the entire automotive industry is on board with striving for more socially-responsible business practices. Facing the challenge of transporting its genuine OEM Volvo parts and automobiles around the world has led the automaker to develop some of the best policies regarding low emissions for transport vehicles and tracking fleet performance.

Societal Engagement Program and Other Efforts

Volvo is also running a program called Moving Business and Society Forward, which focuses on promoting societal engagement with and awareness of the ongoing push for sustainability in the auto industry. These efforts are intended to be mutually beneficial, creating value for shareholders while also motivating consumers to get more involved in the smart and strategic environmental initiatives. Volvo is facilitating important changes in a sector that has the potential to have profound environmental impacts. As we inch closer to 2020, and every major car brand and parts manufacturer starts feeling more pressure to participate in the eco-friendly movement, Volvo has not shown any reluctance to being a leader in the field.

Upcoming Coupons for 2017

When 2017 rolls around, it is time to start thinking about how much you can save while online shopping. MyFavDeals has the best promo codes on the internet. Coupons for everything from vape pens to vitamins. And the upcoming coupons for 2017 will cover even more stores and products.

Once we get into the new year, it is time to start thinking about a new beach chair. You know your old one is super sandy and very musty from spending the whole winter in the back of the garage. This coupon site has great deals on stuff from EverywhereChair.com. The beach chairs, director chairs, quad chairs and backpack chairs. Are you going to a bunch of baseball games in 2017? Make sure you have the best tailgating chairs and stadium inserts in the world.

It is super easy to use www.myfavdeals.com. Just to the homepage and you can start by browsing through featured coupons, which will include incredible upcoming coupons for 2017. You can also peruse the product reviews sections which will give you the lowdown on the best TVs, computers, kitchen mops, vacuum cleaners and pretty much anything that you can think of.

The mission of the site is to help people save as much money as possible, while offering products and services that the moderators have used and enjoyed themselves. The team gathers the best coupons, promo codes and discounts that they can find, so they can help regular people save tons of money and tons of time researching for the most effective online coupons.

No matter what kind of product you are looking for, you will find a discount for in on www.myfavdeals.com. And the list of upcoming coupons for 2017 is stellar. Every kind of product is available. Laptops, furniture, light fixtures and even all the products featured on Shark Tank. The team at MyFavDeals has it all.

And the site has its very own blog, which breaks down great products and things you can do with them. There are posts for every kind of shopper.

When you start searching for upcoming coupons for 2017 during this December, make sure to check out www.myfavdeals.com. You will be sure to find what you are looking for.