4 lessons from the Navy SEALs for a better life

The U.S. Navy SEALs are one of the world’s most elite special forces units. Oftentimes, the SEALs are tasked with executing the most difficult missions in some of the most challenging conditions all around the world. The acronym for SEAL actually stands for United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land Team.

Thus, whether you’re looking to join the world’s toughest special forces unit or just trying to get a leg-up in life, here are some things that we can learn from the Navy SEALs.

1. Make your bed everyday

During the 2014 University of Texas commencement, Admiral William H. McRaven; SEAL and ninth commander of the U.S Special Forces had this brilliant piece of advice to give; make your bed every day.

This is a deceptively simple habit that has been ingrained in soldiers all over the world. As part of their morning routine, soldiers are required to make their beds. Doing so instills a sense of discipline in yourself while also helping you achieve the first task of the day.

From here, you’ll be able to gain the momentum to continue throughout the day. Whether it’s meeting clients or showing up for work on time, making your bed sets the standard for the rest of the day. Also, if you’ve had a particularly bad day, coming home to a neat and well-made bed can be a source of comfort.

2. Build up your mental strength

For those brave enough to attempt it, BUDs or Basic Underwater Demolitions Training lasts about 24 weeks where candidates undergo some of the most grueling tests imaginable. From sleep deprivation to brutal water competency tests in freezing water, less than 30% of candidates attending training pass selection. 

With such an intense training regime and a nigh-on impossible selection, there should be no doubt that SEALs are some of the toughest soldiers in the world. Successful candidates have stated that mental fortitude and tenacity have gotten them through BUDs training.

While the outside world may not be as brutal as BUDs training, being able to face up to mental hardship and challenges are essential if you want to live a happy, sustainable life. Athletes in top ranks of football odds have also to endure similar tests, that make the body and mental resistance to maximum.

In life, there will definitely be times when you feel down and out. Whether you’re stuck in a dead-end job or things just can’t seem to work out, all you have to do is to persevere and keep on going. At the end of the day, your success is determined only by you and you alone.

3. Recognize failure as a part of life

As anyone who’s ever been in the military will tell you, uniform inspections are a part of life and failing an inspection will likely result in punishment. This is no different during BUDs and candidates who fail uniform inspection are ordered into the freezing ocean to get good and wet. 

After that, they will be forced to roll around on the beach until they’re covered from head-to-toe in fine white sand i.e. resembling a sugar cookie. In his speech, U.S Admiral William McRaven states that “some days, no matter how much you prepare, you’ll just end up a sugar cookie”.

He uses this to illustrate the fact that sometimes failure is just a part of life. Even if you’ve done your best and give it your all, failure is unavoidable. Stand up, clean yourself up and keep on moving forward because that’s just how life is. When we accept failure as a part of life, we’re that much more ready to deal with setbacks. 

4. Never ever give up – don’t ring the bell

The previous 3 points have built up to this; never giving up even in the face of impossible odds. Throughout SEAL training, candidates are actively encouraged by their instructors to throw in the towel and quit the course. When a candidate quits, he has to ring a brass bell in the middle of the compound.

Given the harsh training conditions, it’s no surprise that nearly 80% of candidates drop out from the course or fail. Instructors intentionally make quitting easy in order to weed out candidates who lack the mental toughness to become SEALs.

Those who remain until the end are usually running on sheer willpower alone. This illustrates how only through perseverance and persistence are we able to achieve our dreams. Giving up may be easy but it also prevents us from reaching our goals.

While you may not be parachuting onto the battlefield or infiltrating deep behind enemy lines, the lessons imparted by the Navy SEALs can also be brought in the real world. Discipline, tenacity and courage will help you succeed in life.

This post was written by Benjamin Lee.

Things to Save For

Most adults are commonly concerned about their expenses and budgets. Money is a big topic in most marriages and households. Why is this the case? For starters, you and your family need money to survive, so it is a major responsibility to take on. If you have children, they rely on you for their existence and everyday living. Again, this is a major task. It is a responsible thing to do to be proactive and save your money as much as possible. Save money for known and upcoming expenses as well as the possibility of unforeseen sudden expenses that may be thrown at you and your family. Below is a list of things you should save for.

Unexpected Expenses

Life can throw curveballs, so you need to save for these sorts of events. Things can happen with your home that you may not expect. Repairs such as a leaking roof, sewer problems, plumbing issues, air conditioning or heating repairs, gas leaks, appliance replacement are all examples of things that could come up unexpectedly but are also inevitable for all homeowners. Same thing goes for car owners, cars come with financial baggage. You could come upon repairs that can cost a pretty penny. If you get in an accident than you will need to remedy the situation. These are two large areas of concern but things like legal fees, parking tickets and driving violations, health expenses and emergency room visits are all things that could come your way that could cost a lot and should be planned for.

Savings

Every family saves for the unexpected as well as the expected. Every adult needs to save for their retirement. This can be done many ways through various financial instruments like 401k, brokerage accounts and general savings accounts.  If you have a job with a business, you most likely are given the option to contribute to your 401k directly out of your paycheck which makes it easier. Besides retirement, you need to think about education expenses for either yourself or your children. If you would like to continue education that can be costly so would require savings. If you have children, they will most like go to college or maybe even an accredited high school that would need to be saved for. Besides these two responsible savings topics, you may also want to save for family fun. Things like vacations or events could be saved for so you can enjoy them.

Bottom line is that you need to think about money and make sure you have your bases covered in the event these things come your way.

How to Budget Around Essential Expenses

Even for experienced professionals, forming a budget can be difficult. Indeed, determining how best to save money and avoid unnecessary costs is something that nearly everyone struggles with from time to time. Unfortunately, some people make the mistake of forgoing essential expenses when creating a personal budget and face terrible consequences as a result. Though it may be difficult, it is possible to form a working budget that accommodates everything a person needs to live a happy, healthy life. Here are a few tips you can use to accomplish this for yourself:

Define “Essential”

These days, many people don’t know how to separate things that they want from things that they need. While it’s not easy to pass up fun products like fancy air fresheners or novelty coffee mugs, the reality is that if you’re working on a tight budget, you can’t afford to spend capital on frivolous items.

On the other hand, it’s also important not to go over-the-top and to cut out a service or product you truly need. Some of those expenses –– such as ones related to living arrangements or food –– are obvious. However other essential services, like medical costs or health insurance, may seem less necessary when a person faces financial trouble. Skipping trips to the doctor’s or forgoing certain important preventative tests, though, could leave you vulnerable to a number of potentially dangerous health conditions like STDs. (You can visit samedaystdtesting.com for more information on this subject.)

It may take some time, but making these tough calls and setting the parameters of a budget now will save you time and money moving forward.

Eschew Name Brands

Groceries, prescription drugs, clothes –– these are indisputably essential items. However, smart budgeters can manage their expenses more effectively by avoiding “name brands” that come at a premium. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice style for substance in this regard.

Pick up a Side Hustle

If you’ve got free time, then you have a myriad of options to supplement your income. Signing up for a rideshare service, taking surveys for cash, –– even walking neighborhood dogs can help you earn extra cash quickly

Look for Long-Term Value

Essential expenses aren’t likely to go away with time. After all, people will always need somewhere to stay, food to eat, etc. Capable budgeters can use this knowledge to their advantage, though. For instance, it’s often possible to apply for a mortgage on a home purchase that actually costs less than the rental payments of an equivalent property. Finding opportunities to exploit long-term value can help you get out of debt and make budgeting easier with time.

Important Facts About Land Erosion and How to Prevent It

Land erosion is a naturally occurring process involving natural elements such as water, ice, wind, and gravity that end up removing the fertilized soil on the upper surface of the earth exposing the rocks.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to not only identify signs of land erosion but also prevent it from happening using methods such as an erosion control blanket. Below is some useful information you might want to know about this natural phenomenon:

What Areas Are Most Likely to Be Affected by Land Erosion?

There are quite a number of places that are most affected by land erosion. It is, therefore, a great idea for you to be knowledgeable about the subject so that you can know the right way to protect your soil from losing its fertility by means of rigorous erosion. The first place most affected by erosion is the valleys or slopes.

This is because of two things – gravity and rainwater. The same also goes with areas along rivers. This happens because of the constant rush of water which will, in the long run, loosen the soil around the banks and will result in massive erosion.

You’ll also realize that areas with aggressive winds, as well as snow, will be most affected by land erosion. This applies to areas known for constant snowing since ice has the same effects as water. That said, it’s important for you to note these areas and find the best ways to eliminate the issues effectively.

What Are the Courses of Land Erosion?

There are quite a number of causes of land erosion, one of them being poor farming practices. Farmers who are always tilling land near river banks or valleys are strongly advised against tilling near the edges as it encourages land erosion due to running water as well as gravity.

As mentioned before snowing and wild winds can be incredible sources of land erosion. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways one can reduce these elements from damaging the soil as we shall discuss below. Another rather notorious cause of land erosion is deforestation.

Trees play a very important role when it comes to curbing land erosion thanks to their roots that hold the soil firmly together. They also can break the speed of the water as well as winds. That means cutting down the trees will end up doing more harm than good.

Curbing Land Erosion and Conserving Natural Resources

The first effective way to stop land erosion is by planting trees, as well as grass, on the areas most affected. Doing so will prevent erosion from happing since the cover and the roots will end up consolidating the soil together thus preventing the water from collecting it all downstream. Farmers can also stop cultivating land on sloppy areas as well as near riverbanks. This way, they won’t have to worry much about the silt running down with the water and depleting the natural resources in the soil. You can also use an erosion curbing blanket which will protect the soil from the adverse effects of erosion. These blankets will keep the topsoil intact while the seedlings are taking root and protecting them at all times.

You can also reduce the dire effects of land erosion by adding more rocks or mulch in and around the edges of your farm. Mulch and rocks also happen to be very efficient absorbers of water and will reduce the speed of running water which will, in turn, spare the topsoil from being washed away and the natural resources with it.

Land erosion, if not put in check, can lead to a lot of unfortunate circumstances. For starters, the land will lose all of its fertility and there is also a likelihood of accidents occurring in the form of landslides or mudslides. Thankfully, following any of the above-mentioned methods can end up saving you a lot of problems by simply putting a stop to erosion altogether.

There is no shame in asking for help when it comes to curbing soil or land erosion. Thankfully, there are specialists out there who will be more than willing to be of assistance. That said, feel free to use the Internet to find much-needed assistance before the situation gets worse.

Shopping Around in the Digital Age

We all love a bargain and, thanks to the internet, there’s usually always a host of deals to be had somewhere, all just the click of a mouse button away. What’s more, ease of browsing through search engines allows us to find multiple locations to buy exactly what we want, quicker than it’ll take you to read this article.

Focus on the Time of Year

Convenience and reputation often tend to attract the most custom, along with a vast range of diverse products, which is undoubtedly why the leading internet shopping sites in 2018 were Amazon, eBay and Walmart. However, just because they’re the biggest and most famous, offering a one-stop-shop for practically everything you could want, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better than other online stores.

Any savvy shopper will always make a point of comparing prices between stores as a matter of principle and, sometimes, the bigger name stores can offer some of the best prices and discounts. However, price shouldn’t always be the deciding factor when buying something online, given there are lots of other factors one should perhaps consider when deciding what constitutes a good deal.

Image Source: @knowledge_18 via Twitter

One interesting approach is to plan for the year ahead, given that certain products can fluctuate greatly in price depending on the season or month of the year. We’re all familiar with Black Friday in November, although, it might not always be the best time for a good deal. For example, if you’re shopping for home decor and furnishings, big-box stores frequently offer some of their best deals around Memorial Day in May. Likewise, a good time to buy home appliances can be September and the week leading up to Labor Day, with many retailers offering great clearance deals.

Articles of clothing are also affected by the seasons, as brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers alike rotate their inventories. If you’re looking for a bikini for the summer holidays or some garden furniture, then you’ll usually pay more for them when demand is highest, from June through August. Buy them during the springtime with early deals or, even better, wait until autumn and think of the following year, when retailers want to clear their stock at knockdown prices.

Smarter Gambling

While it’s fair to say that online gambling might not be considered the most financially sustainable pastime, it’s a popular pursuit that many of us do still enjoy. Indeed, placing bets and playing casino games via the internet has become so popular that the global online market is expected to generate revenues in excess of $74 billion by 2023 according to marketwatch.com reports, with the online gambling industry growing consistently by around 10% year on year since 2017.

Along with traditional table games such as poker, blackjack and roulette, amongst the most popular are the slots games and they can be promoted in a variety of different ways. While some casinos offer deposit bonus deals, crediting new user accounts with a free cash bonus based upon the first amount they deposit, others offer free spins for their slots, without the need to place an initial deposit after signing up.

Image Source: @gBitcoincasino via via Twitter

Getting something for nothing may seem too good to be true but Oddschecker has compared and listed online casino deals, highlighting those with free spin no deposit offers, how they can be used and how such offers vary from casino to casino. For example, some of the free spins are limited to very small stakes, must be used in one particular slot game, or used by a certain date; although it is possible to play without spending a single cent.

Nevertheless, always read the terms and conditions carefully, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Shop around to find the best offer that suits the way you play and for the kind of games you enjoy playing, whether it’s free spins or cash bonus, when opening a new account. Likewise, never deposit more than you can afford and are willing to lose, because while the chance of winning is always enticing, and the games can be great fun, it’s always sensible to set yourself a limit and stick with it.

Digital vs Traditional Purchases

Remember when video games, computer software and movies came in a box? Well, the internet and faster-than-ever connection speeds have forever changed how we consume digital products. Back in the old days, we went to a retailer and got a physical product in a box, something we could hold in our hands, usually with a neatly printed and detailed instruction manual, and perhaps even some other gimmicks such as collectibles or accessories thrown in.

These days, few want DVD cases, software or game boxes cluttering up their homes, aside perhaps from the most ardent collectors. True, doing away with needless packaging removes the environmental footprint left by the plastic and paper waste. However, one would assume that might also mean a reduction in price given there’s no packaging required, though if you’ll forgive the pun, it isn’t always the case.

Image Source: @pcgamer via Twitter

Many movie, game and software prices have actually risen, instead of falling, with online retailers and publishers citing the increased cost of servers to host the library of their products, or bandwidth needed to meet the volume of download demands. The main convenience for the buyer is they can get what they want “on demand” pretty much instantly, downloading their product whenever they want, without the need to leave the comfort of their home and visit a traditional retail store.

Yet, many video games, software and movies can still be purchased at traditional retail stores, in boxes and on disc, cheaper than their digital download equivalent. That would appear to defy all logic but nonetheless, it’s still true for even some of the latest releases. For now, that is, because the future points towards more digital downloads, online streaming, and even software as a service, requiring a subscription rather than a one-off purchase. The option of buying boxed products cheaper is looking like it’ll head the way of the dinosaurs in the next few years, so grab your bargains while you can.

Whether it’s shopping around for physical products, making digital purchases or gambling online, shopping around is just as important as it was when we used to walk down Main Street, peering through store windows at the offers and sales. As ever, keep browsing and don’t plump for the first deal you see, as there could well be a better on just around the corner.

How To Finance Your Car Purchase

Whether you are a seasoned car buyer or a first-time car buyer, the process can be daunting. Not only do you have to find a car that works for you with make and model and style, you need to find one you can afford. In most cases, people are financing the purchase of their vehicle. This is because they don’t have the cash on hand to pay for it in full. Financing your car purchase is doable, below we have outlined a few key tips that will help with the process.

Knowledge of Lending

Before going to shop around for either your car or for car loans, it is important to understand what you are doing. Learn about auto loans and get to know all the terms and items that may be thrown at you when meeting to discuss your financing. If you don’t understand it, you may end up signing a contract that isn’t in your favor and you will be locked in for its duration. This could put you in financial trouble.

There may be a benefit to earning money with swagbucks to put a larger down payment.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a key factor when it comes to lending. If you have bad credit history than you may not get the best offers from lenders. This means you may have to pay higher rates for them to take on the risk of giving you a loan. If you have a good credit score than it may be in your favor because you will get a better deal. This means you may be offered more money with lower interest. Either way, it is important to understand where you stand when it comes to your credit score before you shop around.

What is available

Shopping around for a car loan is in your best interest. Check out comparison tools that put different loans side by side and allows you to filter the results to see exactly the type of loan you are looking for. You can also apply online for most loans. This allows you to find the best financing deal. This would mean you are getting the lowest rate and the most favorable terms for your situation. Besides finding loans online or with financial institutions, you can get offers from a car dealership directly. See what the dealership where you want your car says you are qualified for and be sure to pick the best one.

Finalize the Loan

Once you have negotiated a deal that is acceptable to both you and the seller, it’s time to sign the paperwork. Make sure you read between the lines and don’t just sign on the dotted lines. Lenders and Dealerships are known to include things in the fine print like additional fees and penalties. Things like turn in fees or over mileage fees can creep up on you. Don’t let anyone try to weasel their way into making you sign. Politely ask them to go through each page with you so you understand what you are signing and don’t regret it later.

When making such a big purchase as buying a car, it is most likely you will be financing. Be sure to follow the steps above to make the best of the experience and get exactly what you are looking for.

Essay about The Importance of Personal Finance

This is a sample essay on the importance of personal finance. Students can use it as an overall guide on how to organize and structure your own essay on the same topic. If you have problems with such writing, turn to an essay writing service for help. In this case, you will get a professional to write the paper for you. This option is of much importance for those who want to see how real experts work on such pieces of writing.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that money is one of the most important aspects of living life. Many people spend the entirety of their lives needing money, training to make more money, or actually making it so they can afford all of life’s many expenses. That said, one cannot deny that the modern days numerous expenses call for personal financing and management for almost everyone, but especially students. It’s no secret that many college students struggle with their finances, and while this scenario can be somewhat attributed to the rising cost of a college education, there have also been many arguments supporting the notion that students simply do not understand the importance of managing their finances. This sample piece discusses the value of personal finance in a student’s life.

The primary reason many students suffer financially throughout their college years is that they are often impulsive, mostly due to being young and relatively inexperienced in living on their own. Most students do not fully understand the true extent of expense when living solo, often leading them to put less value on money for necessity rather than amenities. A lack of inhibition is to be expected to some extent, and there’s not much that can be done about it outside of life experience itself. Personal financing is an excellent alternative, due to its inherent nature of bringing money to the forefront of the student mind. The first step to solving any one problem, in this case, a student’s lack of awareness or experience on an issue, is to make the issue obvious so that it can be studied and accounted for. In this light, personal finance is important to students simply so that they may realize just how vital financial management is when living on your own.

Naturally, personal finance serves a very important functional purpose for students as well. Once the need for personal finance makes itself obvious, that usually equates to budgeting. Budgeting one’s finances is one of the most effective ways of countering the impulsiveness of youth, primarily by not condemning it outright. Being able to spend money on things one does not need but does enjoy shouldn’t be criticized, so long as it is done in moderation and secondary to necessities, which budgeting helps facilitate. By taking the time to partition one’s resources according to their needs, not only does a student learn the details of their living expenses, but they ensure that they can be met. Furthermore, this partitioning of money lets the student know exactly how much they have left over to satisfy their secondary wants following their primary needs. In this way, personal finance, and the budgeting it entails accounts for a student’s needs but does not punish them for also satisfying their wants, within reason. Not only does this lead to greater financial stability for them, but it helps keep them content as well.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, personal finance helps facilitate fiscal responsibility in students that have, for the most part, been able to rely on the financial abilities of their parents throughout most of their lives. There is much to learn about the financial world, especially once you are living on your own. Many students do not know the true value of an investment, saving money on a monthly basis, or the dangers of relying on credit, despite how important it is to build that credit. To call the financial world complicated would be an understatement, which is exactly why personal finance is such a broad term; and why learning its intricacies is valuable for anyone, not just students. In truth, the value of personal finance cannot truly be ascertained since it includes such a broad spectrum of knowledge, skills, and tricks, but that value also cannot be overstated enough. It is a valuable life skill that will serve any individual for as long as they live, but students, who are usually facing the world alone for the first time, can reap more benefits from personal finance than nearly anyone else.

In short, the value of personal finance to students is potentially even more significant than it is for the average member of society. There’s no real specific reason for why other than the simple fact that knowing how to manage your finances in useful no matter who you are or what you do. All other factors notwithstanding, there’s truly no argument to be made against an individual learning as much as they can about personal finance. But for a younger person that has less life experience than others, the benefits of learning and mastering the many facets of personal finance are great. Aside from teaching them more about managing their own money in a way that still allows them to indulge to an extent, they will also learn the value of many different financial tactics and the risks of relying too much on riskier financial alternatives. Going into full detail on the values of personal finance for a student is not possible in this brief discussion, but in reality, it doesn’t need to be. That personal finance is a valuable skill to learn is obvious, regardless of what member of society is in question.

References:

  1. Basu, Sudipto. “Personal Finance for College Students.” One Cent At A Time, 30 Dec. 2017, onecentatatime.com/personal-finance-for-college-students/.
  2. Clark, Sophia. “Why Personal Finance Education Is Important.” TechBullion, 18 Feb. 2018, www.techbullion.com/why-personal-finance-education-is-important/.
  3. https://www.BlueShoreFinancial.com, BlueShore Financial: “Ten Reasons Why Financial Planning Is Important.” Ten Reasons Why Financial Planning Is Important | BlueShore Financial, 2018, www.blueshorefinancial.com/ToolsAdvice/Articles/FinancialPlanning/TenReasonsWhyFinancialPlanningIsImportant/.
  4. Joy, Devin. “Personal Finance for College Students | Lesson Plans and Workbooks.” InCharge Debt Solutions, InCharge Debt Solutions, 2018, www.incharge.org/financial-literacy/resources-for-teachers/college/.
  5. “Personal Finance Lessons: Budget Planning for College Students | SunTrust Resource Center.” SunTrust, 2018, www.suntrust.com/resource-center/personal-finances/article/personal-finance-lessons-budget-planning-for-college-students.
  6. Sherman, Brad. “The Importance of Personal Finance Knowledge.” Sherman Wealth Management | Financial Planning in MD and DC Metro, 1 Nov. 2016, www.shermanwealth.com/the-importance-of-personal-finance-knowledge/.
  7. Zucchi, CFA Kristina. “Why Financial Literacy Is so Important.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 19 Mar. 2018, www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/100615/why-financial-literacy-and-education-so-important.asp.