Tips to prepare yourself for a holiday that’s a month away – Enter a stress-free New Year


As yet another Gay Uncles Day is here, we all are reminded of the roller-coaster of excitement which we have every year. On the first thought of the Holiday Season, the idea that conjures up in our mind is to be showered with gifts from your friends and family members. As per the National Retail Federation, the holiday season during Christmas represents 20-40% of the yearly sales done by the retailers. China is considered as the new North Pole of America and it is deemed to be the biggest supplier of Christmas trees, tree ornaments and artificial toys. More than 20 billion cards, packages and letters are delivered by the US Postal Service during the days of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Amidst all this, it is indeed tough to stay within your budget limits. But as none of us wish to enter into a New Year saddled with debt, we have to rein in our finances. Here are few ways in which we can prepare today for the holidays that’s just a month away.

? Type a list and check it time and again

What is the amount of money that you can spend on Christmas in 2017? This should be decided way back in the month of August when you’re planning for a merry Christmas. Although this task is equally boring as stringing Christmas lights but if you wish to stay within your gift budget, this is the only way out. Compute the total gift-giving budget for each recipient.

? Decide whether to maintain or discard your family traditions

If you’re someone who continues family traditions, you will still feel like spending Christmas like Santa Claus did when Christmas morning was the most exciting day of the entire year. Now that times have changed and budgets are tight, you have to decide whether or not you want to follow the tradition or change it.

? Shop for Christmas during holidays

There’s still another month and half of the entire peak travel season is still there. When you are already equipped with the list of gifts and the recipients and you also have your budget at hand, choose to buy those out-of-season gifts from afar when you go out for some vacations to distant places. Make your loved ones know that you thought of them when you went out for a vacation.

? Go plastic but not the type of plastic

Buy the discount gift cards from the favorite stores and use the gift cards to purchase those main gifts. For instance, get a $100 gift card and get another $25 gift card along with it. There are different sites which rotate promotions for different gift cards through the year.

Therefore, when you’re wondering about the different ways in which you can stay on track during the Holiday season, make sure you follow the above mentioned tips and strategies. The ultimate thing that you have to keep in mind is to take action in such a manner that you don’t fall in financial trouble in the New Year.

Host a Christmas party within your budget – Surprise your invitees


If we have to be honest, who doesn’t love to throw a good party, particularly during Christmas? It is during the holiday season that we want to show how much we care about our loved ones by busting our household budget. We all strive to make our Christmas celebration the ultimate talk of neighborhood. But if you’re someone who is already struggling to get out of debt, it can be a real challenge to host a Christmas party.

Though it’s true that you want to be just as festive as your next-door neighbor but if your pockets are tight enough, you shouldn’t get carried away. Ultimately you shouldn’t take any step that derails your money goals. Here are few budget-friendly Christmas party ideas for keeping down costs but keeping high the Christmas spirits.

#1: Make a party budget for Christmas

Think of how much money you may need for hosting the Christmas party that you’re planning. In case you wish to find out surplus cash in your budget, cut down on few categories like restaurant cash and fun money. Keep aside a realistic budget for Christmas party so that you know how much exactly you should spend.

#2: Make the right priorities

Before you begin spending, make sure you jot down everything which you wish to buy. Begin with whatever is most important. Main dishes, paper goods, desserts, appetizers, decorations, drinks and tablecloths are few of the things which you will definitely need to host a Christmas party. You can cut down expenses from the bottom of the list if you run out of funds.

#3: Keep the party manageable

When you are already tight on your budget, you need to control your expenses and avoid an over-the-top party. If you invite 10 friends, how about opting for a potluck dinner? A potluck can save a lot of dollars and also reduce the level of stress of your Christmas party. The smaller the group is, the more you can hang out with your guests.

#4: Shop generic instead of going brand-conscious

Sugar is sugar and chips are chips. Cherries will also remain cherries irrespective of whether you get it from a brand or you buy generic things. You can save your dollars for the best quality cheese or to get that better cut meat. Spend less on those things which get mixed with soups and into casseroles.

#5: Forget those fancy invitations

You can keep the invitation process as simple as it can be by sticking to an email invitation. Send the invitation with enough notice as scheduling gets pretty crazy during the Christmas season.

#6: Be wise about delegation

No, it is not possible to do everything when you’re hosting a party and you will definitely need some amount of help. You may seek help of your spouse’s best friend or may be your best friend. Delegate the stuff which you don’t prefer doing and enjoy the remaining tasks.

Therefore, now that you know how to plan a Christmas party within your budget, follow the above mentioned tips and strategies to save your dollars.

Few of the common mistakes committed by shoppers during Black Friday weekend


Black Friday shopping can well be considered as Olympic sport. It is not only strategic and competitive but also takes away a lot of energy. Nevertheless, if you do the right research and planning on Black Friday, things won’t seem as scary as you may think it to be. More than 7 among 10 Americans stock on holiday gifts over the entire Thanksgiving weekend, as per the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Black Friday occurs on one day but the discounts and deals continue through that specific weekend. There are many attractive deals that you can get during this weekend and without enough research, you can never settle down with the best deal. The concerns of this article will tell you about the different mistakes that are committed by shoppers during Black Friday.

1. Not making a list to follow

There are many shoppers who don’t have an idea of the things that they’re looking for during Black Friday and this is when they tend to hurt their budget. You should be able to decide on the types of products that you want to buy, identify the products online and compare among the retailers who offer such products. Who are you buying the things for? Where can you end up with the best deals on such products? Are you looking for clothes or electronics? Or are you looking for home furnishings or toys?

2. Unknowingly paying for full prices for the add-ons

Another common mistake committed while shopping for electronics is paying the entire price for the add-ons. These add-ons might include cables, batteries, chargers and other things which will help the big things to work. But one thing you should remember is that you won’t get such add-ons at the same place and on the same day. Hence if you wish to heighten your savings, you should know where you can get such items like electronics at the best possible price. Regardless of the place you buy them from, the quality should be the same.

3. Succumbing to the temptation of purchasing toys

During Black Friday, it is indeed tempting to avail the sales and discounts on toys. It is during the first 2 weeks of December that the toy sales are extended and this is the time when the toys are given away at a very cheap rate. Hence if you see that extra discount written on the price of the Moschino Barbie doll, don’t rush for it.

4. Selecting the wrong time to shop

Do you think Thanksgiving is the new Black Friday? There are several stores that remain open on Thanksgiving, providing the shoppers a nice chance to beat the crowds of Black Friday. Studies reveal that 55% prefer staying at home during Thanksgiving. If you wish to save your dollars, it is always better to hit the store way before the actual time.

So, now that you’re familiar with the mistakes people commit during Black Friday shopping, don’t repeat them when your time arrives. Steer clear from them and grab the best deals.

Prevention Is Best For Workplace Fraud

protections in place

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Businesses are constantly evolving at a rapid rate, and part of that evolution is minding how your employees conduct themselves. When you own a business, you are naturally protective of your interests and assets and have placed the highest insurances protections in place. Unfortunately, employee fraud is still a significant problem faced by businesses of all types, both large and small. We never hire employees believing that they will do anything but be an asset to the business itself, but we must be prepared for this not to be the case.

minimize fraud

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Prevention is always the best option when it comes to employee activity and it is absolutely crucial to reducing the losses faced by fraud. There has to be fraud prevention in place, even if your business has minimal staff and assets. You still have a business and you need to protect it as much as possible. Ideally, you want to have a secure legal team to go against an affordable criminal defense attorney, because that would mean they have a need to defend themselves. In an ideal world you never have to come across any type of fraud in your business. There are plenty of ways you can minimize fraud as much as possible and we’ve put together some of the ways you can help yourself and your business to avoid it as much as possible:

  • Know Your Staff. There are some behavioural traits that are common within those who commit or intend to commit fraud. Knowing your staff, listening to them and their concerns and getting to know them on a personal level can help you to weed out anyone you feel may be unsuitable for a place in your organisation. Pouncing on internal business issues early can help you to avoid retaliation and ‘revenge’ from employees.
  • Train Well. You should always have transparency with your staff, and full training is an absolute must. If there are measures in place to let staff know that you fully intend to clamp down and act harshly toward those with questionable business practices, you have likely set up a really good deterrent.
  • Internal Controls. One of the best ways to minimise workplace fraud is to limit access to sensitive information. By limiting access to certain systems such as financial information and banking, you can prevent anyone accessing personal and private information that could be manipulated.
  • Monitor Time Off. Generally, if someone is committing fraud at work they are very careful not to spend an extended period of time away from the office just in case someone discovers their activities. Keep employees on their toes by rotating computer stations and such regularly!

Not every employee goes to work with the idea of how to take advantage of your business, it would be a sad state of affairs of that was the case. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant at all times about those you hire and protect your business at all costs.


Indonesia, And All Its Fascinating Facts

Indonesia Cultures


If you’re planning on travelling to a new country for a new experience, Indonesia may not be your first choice, but it’s in fact a hidden gem that not many people realise until they see it for themselves. It’s an extremely big place, but this only makes it better because there are more areas to discover – a lot more.

You can expect to see a lot of English speaking people in Indonesia as it’s a very popular place for tourists to visit, even being nicknamed ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ because of this. It offers the biggest tropical forests, along with pristine beaches with stunning sites to dive, surf and snorkel in the vast ocean. As well as scenic hikes around active volcanoes. And that’s all without mentioning the amazing wildlife that surrounds you.

Because it is such a large size, there are many different cultures that exist in the area, as well as a vast amount of myths, including stories of the Balinese spiritual Komodo Dragon. One reason why Indonesia has so many myths that are still talked about in today’s society is because the country is very much off the radar. Other than Bali, maps don’t tend to give you much information on the area, so there aren’t many new developments in the geographical area, which means there are a lot of local tribes that are still able to exist today without being taken over and westernised. This also means that backpackers are able to enjoy the thrill of exploring the unbeaten tracks in true style.

Indonesia is an incredible place with so much history and beauty. Here are some interesting facts to enlighten you a little more.

  1. Indonesia comes from the Latin word ‘Indus’, which means Indian, and the word ‘Nesos’, which is Greek meaning Island.
  1. Indonesia is the largest country in the world that is solely made up of various islands. It has 17,508 of them, and only 6,000 of them are inhabited.
  1. Indonesia has 238 million residents, making it the fourth most populous nation in the world, so if you’re looking to meet people and have an interesting social life, that’s the place to be.
  1. Indonesia has over 400 active volcanoes that could erupt at any moment, and there are at least 3 earthquakes that happen every day. Here’s more information on https://www.universetoday.com about how volcanoes work.
  1. The local residents most commonly speak Bahasa, but believe it or not, the country recognizes over 700 different languages.
  1. Some people call coffee java, and this term comes from the fact that the coffee beans are grown on the island Java, which resides in Indonesia.
  1. The Japanese invaded and overtook the country during the World War II from 1942 to 1945.
  1. Indonesia has 3 out of the top 10 largest islands in the whole world. These are Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua/New Guinea.
  1. Nutmeg is native to the Banda Islands, and because of this, Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of the product.
  1. Houses are very cheap to buy in Indonesia, especially considering what they offer. You can see an array of properties on sites like http://rumahdijual.com/bekasi/perumahan-murah and see what your money can buy you in cities like Bekasi.
  1. The local residents of Indonesia are very superstitious people, so much so that they believe that when women are startled by a loud noise, it’s actually Latah which makes you jump and then shout out bad language or even fall to the ground. It is supposed to be the soul that is escaping the body after a sudden fright.
  1. When we usually think of red sauce, we call it ketchup. This actually originates from the Indonesian word ‘kecap’ which is their own sweet soy sauce.
  1. Indonesians don’t speak openly about sex and intimacy as we might. In fact, male and female sexual organs are both called ‘kemaluan’, which is a Bahasa term that means shame and embarrassment.
  1. A place in Indonesia called Jakarta (find more info on http://www.indonesia.travel/index.php/en/destination/area/jakarta), is the most popular centre in the world, but with no metro train station, it holds some of the worst traffic jams you could ever imagine.
  1. Indonesian men greater aspire to have success with women than anything else. They have a term ‘jago’ which translates to rooster, and they look up to men that have had reputations with women like Presidents Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy.
  1. Indonesian society is very accepting of gender expression. It is very common to see men that dress up as women walk around in public, and no one will think twice. The term they use for this is ‘banci’.
  1. Indonesians don’t kiss the way we do. Instead, they call it ‘cium’ which means ‘to sniff’. Their way of greeting each other is by sniffing the other person’s cheeks. In other villages, they rub noses as a way of showing their affection with family and close friends, but it can also be used on a more intimate level too.
  1. On the Islands of Borneo and Sumatra, it is said that the adult male orangutans are eight times stronger than any human being. These monkeys are incredibly intelligent as explained on http://www.orangutanencounter.com/history.php.
  1. Pepper was found in around 600 BC. Black pepper is actually created by picking unripened fruit and sitting them out to dry in the sun. While white pepper is left on the vine until it is ready to fall off naturally.
  1. Komodo dragons are only able to be seen in the wild amongst their pure habitat in Indonesia. This is the only country that you’ll be able to see them like that, unless you visit a zoo or animal sanctuary.
  1. The Rafflesia arnoldii is the world’s largest flower, and it can only be found in Indonesia. It is known for its famous smell which isn’t a very pleasant one at all. While the Amorphophallus titanum is the world’s most tallest flower.
  1. Palm oil is made in Indonesia, and this is a very popular oil that is sold in most supermarkets and drugstores around the world. It’s an ingredient that resides in almost everything from soap, lotions, makeup and even peanut butter.
  1. There are only six religions that are accepted in Indonesia – Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Protestantism. It is the law that every citizen must follow one of these, regardless of whether they are religious or not. And two people are not allowed to marry unless they both share the same religion.
  1. The world’s largest volcanic lake is situated on the Sumatra island in the same place the super volcano erupted around 69,000 to 77,000 years ago.
  1. A lot of people consider frogs legs to be a French delicacy, but Indonesia actually supplies France with their export, as well as a few other countries in Europe.
  1. Hinduism only really resides on the island of Bali as it is said that royalty began a fascination with it, and so many others followed too. One superstition from this religion is that a baby must not put their feet on the ground until the first six months of their life has passed. This is so the devil cannot enter the child.
  1. Most of the population in Bali have their teeth filed down because they believe that the top six teeth are where the six bad traits are held – jealousy, greed, anger, desire, drunkenness, and confusion. By filing them down, it is supposed to rid these things away.
  1. It is said that Indonesian girls aged from 12 to 16 are to be imprisoned and forbidden to leave the walls of the family house. This is because they are said to be at the hormonal stage of their lives where they are more likely to run into trouble.
  1. Feathers such as the stunning Bird of Paradise were often used in Papua to create traditional dresses that became very popular – so much so that the bird almost became extinct. Because of this, the trade of the bird’s feathers became illegal in Indonesia in the year 2000.
  1. Hobbits are said to have existed in Indonesia when archaeologists found a skeleton of what looked to be of a 3 year old boy, while the bone structure and the worn down teeth were that of an adult.
  1. When the Krakatoa volcano erupted in Indonesia, is was said that the sky was full of so much ash that it turned the sky dark for days, and the global temperatures went down by 12 degrees for a good few years.
  1. The orang pendek (also known as short man), is a myth in which a very small man exists and has feet that face backwards all so that it can’t be tracked when walking through the forests.

So now you have an idea of the kind of places, cultures, stories and images that you’re going to experience, all that’s left to do now is pack your bag and get the next flight there. Who knows, you may even end up staying.

Motoring Costs: Why It Pays To Be A Safer Driver


Many of us enjoy driving, but being on the road can be expensive. From the rising costs of fuel to expensive insurance premiums, drivers face a lot of financial pressure as they seek to maintain their motor vehicle and keep it on the road.

We have already covered ways you can cut down on your motoring costs, but for your financial security, the biggest way to save money is to drive safely. In 2016, the National Safety Council estimated around 40,000 people lost their lives on the road, with millions more who were seriously injured. The cost to society was huge, with $432 billion paid out, which included medical expenses and property damage.

Accidents and fatalities can be avoided when we take responsibility for our actions on the road. You will also save money. Below are some of the ways safer driving connects with your financial security.

Road accidents

We have already seen how the cost to society was high. However, at an individual level, you will make a significant loss due to repair costs, and possible medical bills. Your insurance company should cover some of the damage, but you will need to prove you weren’t negligent. Motorcyclists often come out worse, as they are often unfairly blamed for accidents. Companies such as Parnall Law Firm specialize in helping those who are shortchanged in the insurance process, so you should always find decent legal advice. After an accident, you are also likely to see your insurance premium rise, and it may take years before you bring the premium down again.

Be rewarded

Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with after an accident. However, safer driving is rewarded through a range of discounts. For example, drivers with a clean record will often get the best rates on their premiums. Considering you can get as much as 50% off with the right company, you will save hundreds of pounds on your car insurance. The flipside, of course, is that you will pay higher premiums, not only for having had an accident but for proven unsafe driving, such as speeding. It’s clear that when it comes to dealing with insurance companies, it pays to be a safe driver.

Taking care of your car

Unfortunately, there are many drivers on the road using motor vehicles that are unsafe to drive. So while your driving may be impeccable, you are still at risk of an accident if your car is a potential deathtrap. For starters, you need to be a responsible buyer. Not many of us can afford a new car, but care should be taken when buying something used. You should always hire a qualified technician to check a car before purchase, as you need the peace of mind that you aren’t buying something that will prove costly to your bank balance as well as your life down the line.

Whatever car you drive, make sure you get it serviced every year. Repair costs can be high, but they will be even higher if you fail to maintain your vehicle before an accident.


4 Unexpected Cases of Fraud

Of all the categories of criminal action, fraud might allow the most room for creativity. Defrauding others involves psychology and manipulation, financial sleight of hand, and trickery. Some fraud cases are interesting because they are so masterfully conceived, but the ridiculous failures are also entertaining. Here are four fascinating fraud cases you might not have heard about.

The Jury Is Out

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Joseph Winstead, a postal worker from Washington DC, claimed he was serving jury duty on a lengthy federal trial for nearly five months. He was excused before the deliberations began but collected wages from the U.S. Postal Service the entire time, using fake court paperwork to support his reimbursement. Winstead actually got away with his crime, collecting over $30,000 in unearned pay, then got caught when he tried the same trick again three years later. Ironically, he was tried for fraud in the same courthouse where he claimed to have served on a jury.

Inside-Out Insurance Fraud

When we talk about insurance fraud, the insurance company is usually the injured party. But in the 1960s, Equity Funding of America was the perpetrator of a massive hoax. In 1964, the company had a computer problem while it was working on its annual report. The company’s CEO chose to make fictitious accounting entries to meet the deadline. The company then continued the fraud by creating fake policies to substantiate the false revenues, then it reinsured the phony policies and faked the deaths of some of its “customers” to collect on the reinsurance. In the end, the fraud reached into the billions of dollars and resulted in charges against 22 executives and employees. The case is considered to be the first major computer crime, and also resulted in some early insider trading charges.

The Queen of Slip-and-Fall Claims

Suing a company for a faked slip-and-fall injury on its property is a common insurance fraud, but 72-year-old Isabel Parker has taken the old scam to a new level. Parker has thrown herself to the ground in stores 49 times and collected $500,000 in claims over the years. Parker was supporting a gambling addiction by gambling on insurance claims. Some organized groups of scammers have taken a page from Parker’s playbook, filing claims at dozens of businesses each year in hopes that each business will be covered by a different insurance company and no one will notice the pattern.

Phishing by Phone

In 2014, the FTC stopped a massive telemarketing fraud scheme, but not before the scammers had bilked senior citizens out of millions of dollars. The crooks used a variety of bogus telemarketing companies as fronts to call consumers and collect their bank account information over the phone. They then used the banking details to withdraw money from their victims’ bank accounts. Telemarketing is an industry that is rife with fraud, so people are wise to be cautious about phone sales reps.

These cases are only the tip of the iceberg. Swindling others with fraudulent business practices is probably as old as commerce itself, and it continues to grow and change with the times.


Auto Tuning Tips To Save You Megabucks At The Pumps

save you a lot


If you spend a few hours every day in your car, it’s a depressing experience when it comes to buying – and consuming – gas. No matter how much you fork out, it’s never long until the tank is running low, and you are back at the pump station for a refill.

There is some good news, however, and a few tweaks here and there can make all the difference to your car’s performance and efficiency. And if you are prepared to learn some very basic mechanics and invest a few dollars here and there, you can save a fortune at the pumps with a few changes.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to tune your car that cost a little but will save you a lot. Read on to find out more.

Ditch the garbage

First of all, something that requires zero mechanical knowledge – have a big clear out. Unnecessary stuff that you are carrying around in your auto is also an unnecessary expense, so have a good clear out and remove anything you don’t need for an emergency. For every 100 pounds of gear you remove from your car, you will see fuel efficiency savings of around 2 percent – that’s a few hundred dollars a year if you are driving a good distance every day.


Change the wheels

The car you buy from your local dealer will be fitted with good tires, but not great ones. In the vast majority of cases, upgrading your tires can make a huge difference in your fuel efficiency, and it’s something anyone can do with a jack and the ability to remove some wheel nuts. There are serious upgrades to consider, such as the Mickey Thompson range. But ultimately, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get the benefit of more efficient tires. And even if you don’t upgrade your current set, you can still keep your tires tuned by making sure they optimally inflated to the correct air pressure. Check them every couple of weeks, and before and after long journeys.

Swap out the air filter

Most mechanics will swap out dirty air filters for you when you get a service, but it’s easy to do yourself. It’s a cheap tuning upgrade that makes a massive difference, too. For the sake of ten or twenty dollars, a new air filter will improve the airflow in your car, keeping your engine nice and cool and ensuring it is running efficiently.


Get new spark plugs

A new set of spark plugs can also make a difference, and as every car tuning aficionado will tell you, it’s one of the cheapest upgrades you can get that gives you the most bang for your buck. Spark plugs are vital for your car’s fuel combustion system and the higher quality you have, the better they work. Ideally, you should be changing your spark plugs regularly, and if you notice your vehicle starting to stall a lot, you know it’s time to make a change.

Hope these tips have helped – good luck!

Psychological Productivity Hacks

What is it that separates a truly productive company from one that is languishing in the doldrums? Usually, it’s productivity: the amount of output they can get for a unit of input. For some companies, sellable products emerge quickly. They’ve got tight pipelines, talented people and a committed work ethic. But other companies lag behind, usually because they have failed in some way to eek the most they can out of their staff.

Often the problems aren’t obvious why productivity is down. Sometimes the reasons have deeper psychological roots which lie beyond the attention of most founders and managers. It should be noted though that psychology is just another tool in your company’s arsenal to help it out-compete its competitors and to turn a decent profit.

Here’s how to use psychology to up your productivity.

Tailor To Your Demographic

It’s worth making the point from the outset that different psychological strategies are going to work differently depending on which demographic your business primarily employs. If your business is crammed full of millennials, then there’s a good chance that your staff will be what are being called “digital natives.” In other words, they grew up in an environment where computers were everywhere, and they understand how they work. This means that they usually have a lower requirement for things like office space and prefer remote working.

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Baby boomers, on the other hand, have spent a lifetime working in offices with cubicles. This is what is familiar to them. Businesses like Arnold’s Office Furniture provide an insight into the type of office equipment on offer to suit to suit the needs of different demographics. It turns out that the furniture system in your office can be tailored to fit whatever demographic you employ.

Make Work Mean Something

It turns out that monetary compensation isn’t what most people are after when they go to work (although it does help). Instead, what most people want is to feel as if they are making a meaningful difference in the world. It turns out that workplace perks and benefits simply aren’t as important to most workers as a sense that they made a difference.

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According to Deloitte University Press publications, meaning in work is a big driver of productivity. In the factory setting, it’s really easy to keep an eye on how much effort an employee is putting into the task that they have been assigned. But in knowledge-based businesses, keeping track of an individual employee’s productivity is difficult, if not impossible. What is needed are employees who are self-motivated to do well out of a sense of purpose. This purpose can’t be forced on somebody: it has to come from within. Workers who have the greatest sense of purpose, according to Deloitte, are those who feel most in control of their work. The more ownership a person has over their job, the harder they will try.

On a final note, Deloitte cautions businesses from going down the Google route and installing lots of fun toys and gadgets in their offices. The firm says that perks like free food are important, but only once you’ve generated the right culture. Otherwise, they go to waste.

Why The Cost Of Driving Is So High, And What To Do About It

According to recent data, the annual cost of running a car is well over $5,000, even if you buy a cheap car. When you factor in things like the money spent on insurance, fuel, tax and maintenance, the figures are astronomical – way out of whack of what people should be paying, frankly.

Most of this increase in the cost of motoring has to do with the government. A lot of things, like car insurance, gas and cars themselves, have their prices inflated because of tax. And all taken together, these taxes make driving almost unaffordable.

The good news, however, is that there is a lot that you can do to bring your costs down. Here are some tips.

Don’t Skimp On Insurance

Most people think that “third party” insurance is the cheapest because it only covers the cost of the other cars on the road, not the one that you own. And while this might seem logical, since it’s covering less, it’s often not correct. The problem is that by taking out third-party, you’re signalling to the insurer that you’re a high-risk driver. Usually, people who take out third party cover tend to also be those people who are at higher risk of having an accident, meaning that the insurance company will increase premiums based on your product selection.



Even if the insurance premium winds up being slightly cheaper, those on third party deals lose out in other significant ways. One important way they lose out, for instance, is because of the fact that they are paying nearly as much for significantly less cover. On a “bang for the buck basis,” these policies are bad deals. The other way they miss out is that they have no cover for things that could make them money in the case of an accident, like hiring a personal injury lawyer. Most fully comprehensive schemes come with legal cover, whereas some third party policies don’t.

Use Hidden MOT Centers
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The cost of MOTs is limited by the government, and so mechanics only usually make money by charging for repairs on top of the MOT work. If you take your car down to a regular garage that offers both MOT and repairs, the chances are you’ll end up paying a lot more than you bargained for. You average mechanic will keenly tell you what needs replacing at a certain mileage, and will often replace things in your car that are functioning well as a “preventative measure.” It’s a good idea, therefore, to send your car to a hidden MOT centre run by the council. Since they’ve usually got no equipment to repair your vehicle, they’ve got no incentive to charge you extra. That’s good news.

Don’t Buy Premium Fuels

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There’s not much you can do to reduce the cost of fuels unless, of course, you’ve got a penchant for buying premium versions. In general, there’s no point buying premium fuels, unless you think you’ve got a clog in your engine that needs cleaning out. Yes, you might get higher performance, but otherwise, they’re a waste of money.

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