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Cutting Costs by Ensuring Your Home Appliances Run Smoothly

An appliance in disrepair can crack a gigantic hole in your budget, while seriously adding major inconveniences to your daily routines. Buying replacements are costly, so setting money aside for these unseen events is smart, but preventive strategies are even smarter. Simply giving your appliances some tender loving care will extend their lives and increase their performances, while saving you both money and energy in the long run. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep the appliance blues at bay.

Check Refrigerator Seals Regularly

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Image via Flickr by Polygon Homes

Check the seals, or gaskets, on the doors for damage and keep them clean. Damaged seals allow cold air to leak out of the fridge, wasting precious energy, and forcing the unit to work unnecessarily hard. Dirty seals that have accumulated grease and grime can make the doors stick when opening, making them easier to tear.

Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils

About once a year, or more frequently if you have pets, clean the condenser coils in the back or bottom of the fridge using a stiff bristle brush and vacuum hose attachments. Dust, pet hair, or lint that collects around the coils can cause them to overheat, forcing the unit to work harder to cool down. Remember to unplug the refrigerator before cleaning the coils.

Clean Up Food Spills on the Stove and Oven

Food buildup raises the heat level in the oven, which adds undue stress to the appliance. Food that has accumulated on or around gas burners can obstruct their performance. Cleaning up food spills as quickly as they happen also prevents damage to the appliance exterior and finish.

Handle the Dishwasher With Care

Like your fridge, your dishwasher has seals that can cause leakage when torn or damaged. Check them occasionally and keep them clean to prevent sticking. Use the recommended dishwasher detergent, and run the machine only when you have a full load. Handle trays carefully to prevent damaging the wheels they rest on.

Service Your Heating/Air Conditioning Unit

Check and change filters in your unit as often as recommended. Clean filters maximize the performance of the unit and ensures the best air quality circulating through the home. Also get the unit serviced annually by a licensed HVAC service to make sure more complex maintenance tasks are completed regularly.

Follow Manufacture Guides for Your Washer

Don’t overload washer and use the recommended type and quantity of laundry detergent. Avoid packing the machine with bulkier or heavier items like bed comforters or jeans. Instead divide these types of clothing and bedding between loads to prevent straining the machine.

Clear Dryer Filter and Vents

Clean the lint filter in your dryer before every load. This maximizes the dryer’s energy use. Also clean the dryer’s vent system, making sure the vent outside the house is free of debris.

Appliance care doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple maintenance tasks on a regular basis over the years is the most frugal way to maximize the performance and life of your appliances, while keeping your household efficiency at a warm healthy hum for longer periods.


Cybercrime and Finance Companies: Are you being targeted?

CyberSecurityAccording to latest reports, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting small businesses in the UK, USA and India by trying to steal money from them by sending over infected mails to accountants and fund managers. These mails are socially engineered and consist of archive file attachments with .zip extensions. Reportedly, India has received 56% of these mails, US 23% and UK 21%. Notably, these crooks are not targeting specific industries or companies but small businesses, in general – quickly turning from one company to the other, if they fail to secure a sign of compromise from a company.

Small businesses: What is the status of cybercrime?

It has been claimed that there is hardly any business which can completely ignore cybercrime. It has been estimated that cyber attacks cost the global economy around $445 million every year!

Cybercrime is rampant. And, the aforementioned news only goes on to substantiate this fact. One of the most potent ways to amp up your efforts to fight cybercrime is to educate yourself about more about the nature of attacks. What are the things that small and medium sized businesses must know about cyber attack? We will find out here.

How do these cybercriminals attack finance companies or professionals?

The obvious way to befool finance directors or for that matter any other finance professional is to ask for urgent transfer of funds via fake e-mails. Now, the entire act of bluff is backed by a solid systematic approach. These crooks will ransack the company website and social media profiles to find out the e-mail ids and send you mails as is described above. The most common bait used to hasten the process is to mention that the need at hand is urgent and that it must be kept confidential. Owing to the ease offered by e-mail technology, it becomes very easy for attackers to spoof genuine e-mails.

The way to combat this evil? Do spread the word among your employees that you will NEVER ask for money via e-mails. Make them aware of the persistent problem (i.e. cybercrime) and place strict restraints over one-off payments as well.

Fighting cybercrime

One of the biggest deterrents on its way is ignorance. Many in the higher authorities are not aware of the scale of the problem. Even if they are, they don’t take proper measures against the same– simply thinking that they will somehow never be attacked. However, it is very important to understand that any company primarily based on the internet is vulnerable to cyber attacks. It is not that reports of high profile breaches are not published every day. However, there are companies that still believe that they don’t have valuable data which can be targeted by cyber attackers.

Please make sure you’re not undermining chances of you being targeted by cyber crooks as well. Take steps today! And, leave no stone unturned to emerge a victor in your struggle against one of the most needling challenges faced by finance companies today!

Hope this post will help. Good luck!

 


EARLY BOOKEEPING AND ITS DEVELOPMENT INTO ACCOUNTING

Saving accountThree main phases of the journey of accounting have been found out, although the dividing point between them is not so clear. The early stage is known as record keeping and refers to the practice of preserving and inscribing documents which served as evidences for particular transactions in a business.

The intermediate stage is known as bookkeeping and consisted of examination, classification and recording of transactions, all according to a plan which has already been conceived earlier. This served as the foundation for reporting the financial condition as well as the results of operation of a business organization.

The final professional development is known as accounting, which can very well be defined as a refined bookkeeping with the features of control functionality and financial summarizations added to it.

Save moneyWhen the records started to be maintained in terms of money, the responsibilities and the duties started to get assigned, the functions of a bookkeeper came into work. When these transactions started to get more evolved and numerous in numbers the requirement for specialized experts came into view to maintain the records in such a way which would be comprehensible for both the record keeper as well as the other people. Therefore, the businessmen who were incapable of performing the function of bookkeeping themselves hired specialized individuals. Moderately several professional individuals came into rise with experience in several companies. This widened experience accompanied with standardized and refined techniques provided a better perception of the financial and business transactions and hence, facilitated the transition of accounting from the traditional bookkeeping.

Towards the beginning of the 16th century, the record keeping developed to be called bookkeeping services. A bookkeeper was required to maintain the permanent financial records, an account of the assets and also the revenues produced from the assets. The systematic bookkeeping revolution had commenced when a set of specific was no longer required to be produced while the settlement between parties were going on. Hence, the first steps involved in this system took place gradually. Improvements were made when the accounts prepared by one person were to be used by another. Better bookkeeping procedures came into existence due to the growth of commerce and the formation of joint ventures as well as partnerships. The volumes of transactions kept on increasing and the bookkeepers had to find orderly methods to efficiently maintain the accounts.

Although there was a fully developed system of bookkeeping services by the end of the 15th century, most of them were limited to trial balances. A great deal of controversies has taken place regarding the emergence of accountancy from bookkeeping. One of the critical milestones is when during the late 16th century the feature of joint ventures known as limited liability came into emergence.

The major developments in bookkeeping took place after the noticeable changes after the year 1000 took place in Europe. Towns were constructed from manors and villages; increase in specialization took place in manufacturing and crafts; the guild system gained ground and prospered and trade flourished. The dynamic and rapid changes in the environment paved way for the necessity of new bookkeeping hence, accounting.


Does Mercedes-Benz Offer Value for Money?

Mercedes-Benz have built a reputation on creating premium vehicles over the course of the company’s history. For the price-conscious consumer, though, they’ll want to know whether or not they’re going to feel the benefit of paying out these higher initial costs. Will this work out better for you over the course of ownership?

Fuel Efficiency

Seeking a vehicle with a respectable fuel economy should be one of your major priorities for any car purchase. WhatCar recently ran a study the most economical executive cars. While the Mercedes C300 Hybrid fell more than 20 mpg short of its official fuel economy (78.5 mpg), it still ranked second with 57.8mpg just behind the top-ranking Lexus IS 300h’s 59.6mpg.

However, this wasn’t the only vehicle from the Stuttgart-based company to make the list, with the Mercedes-Benz C200 Bluetec AMG (55.0 mpg) and Mercedes-Benz E300 Hybrid (54.6mpg) also making an appearance. It’s worth noting, though, that the BMW 5-Series (54.5 mpg) can almost equal the E300 Hybrid with diesel-only engine. It also costs nearly £10,000 less up front, though the lower CO2 emissions of the Mercedes-Benz may make it cheaper to run for company car drivers. Although if fuel costs are no issue you can always go for a Mercedes AMG GT?

Resale Value

While the cost of fuel is likely to be one of your largest day-to-day expenses, it’s the cost of depreciation that hit your wallet the most in the long-term. Put simply, depreciation is the difference between a car’s value when you buy it and when you come to sell it. This drop in value varies between makes and models, but you can typically expect it to fall between 15-35% in the first year and between 50-60% after three years of typical use.
Luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz are still seen as desirable, though, and on used markets like Ridgeway.co.uk, they typically feature on the lower end of the depreciation scale. In a 2014 study by Glass, Mercedes-Benz were ranked 12th overall, with an annual average depreciation of 20.60%. This was ahead of competing brands like BMW (21.50%), Lexus (22.10%), and Jaguar (23.20%), but behind first place MINI (16.40%) as well as rival company Audi (19.50%).

Mercedes-Benz fare favourably to the competitors in their class range, but at the moment they aren’t the market leader. Compared to others, they often lack behind in certain key areas. When you consider the fact that they’re known for charging a premium over even other luxury manufacturers like BMW, you’re money may be better spent elsewhere.


Storing Fuel Safely, Securely, And Legally

Whether you’re setting up your own taxi firm, run a racing team, or store fuel for any other reason, you need to ensure that you store it safely and securely, while also complying with legal regulations and requirements. Buying fuel in bulk enables you to save money, but you shouldn’t overlook the value of investing in good quality storage equipment. A jerry can is a viable means of storing a very small amount of fuel, and for a relatively short space of time, but isn’t suitable for larger volumes or longer periods of time.

Storage tanks and drums are made from different materials. Biofuel tanks tend to be made from a low density MDPE plastic. This material is resistant to the biofuel stored in the tanks, and capacities of tanks, from companies like Commercial Fuel Solutions, can vary from 1,000 to 10,000 litres.

Steel tanks tend to be used for the storage of a large amount of fuel, while MDPE plastic may also be used. MDPE plastic has become a popular choice because it is lighter and easier to work with than steel, but resistant to the materials that are placed inside.

In some cases, it may be a legal requirement that you have a bunded tank. This means that there is an additional layer of tanking around the outside of the primary tank. This helps ensure that spillage and leakage does not seep out of the tank and into the surrounding ground, and it can also prevent noxious fumes from the fuel getting into the local atmosphere. Even where a bunded tank is not a legal requirement, for example in some domestic storage cases, it is worth the additional investment in order to enjoy total peace of mind.

Running your own generator, converting machinery to run on alternative fuel sources, and even storing your own fuel for use with machinery and other items can save you money over the long term. However, you should be prepared to invest in appropriate storage equipment that is not only safe but that ensures the integrity of the fuel inside.

Some storage solutions offer additional safety and other features. Gauges can tell you how much fuel remains, while dispensing equipment makes it easier and safer to dispense the fuel when it is needed. A locking lid, inspection points, and security measures like tank alarms and bund alarms can also be fitted and these offer even greater security and peace of mind.


Ways to Improve Your Content Creation Process

If your profession or hobby requires you to create content or hire a content creation service you know how difficult it can be. More than likely you have a process that you follow. It is always good to improve your content creation process and today we will give you five ways to do just

Use Tools When Brainstorming

Google docs and Evernote are great tools to use when you are brainstorming. Adding a little organization to the brainstorming process can save you loads of time, especially if you specialize in creating content for one niche. When brainstorming with a client, always use Skype or Google Hangouts. You can even use ToDoist to ensure that you schedule in time to brainstorm each day or week.

Automate Social Shares

After you publish content, you may share it immediately after it goes live. However, when you write content you want to receive views on the post for the life of the website. This can be hard to do when you are publishing hundreds of articles each year. Tools such as CoSchedule make social sharing of old posts easy. For a low monthly price, you will be able to install a plugin that allows you to schedule out posts far into the future. If you link out your posts on other blogs for more exposure, you can keep track of your backlinks by using a tool such as Majestic SEO.content_creation-e1437684731206

Use Trello to Keep Article Ideas Available

Content creators usually have article topics come to them throughout the day. Trello allows you to keep all of the ideas available so when you begin writing you have numerous titles available to choose from.

If you sell content as a provider, it can be a great way to keep track of your clients. With Trello you can put due dates on the cards, which allows you to make sure that you are never late delivering content.

Keep Track of Your Metrics

Each month you should see how many views your content has received and which content was the most read. This will allow you to adjust your content topics to what readers want to read and continue to grow your website.

If you sell content you should keep track of the number of articles that you sell each month. This way you will know if you are making enough money to live off comfortably or if you need to change your marketing approach.

Stay Up to Date with Your Industry

If you feel as though it is hard coming up with content ideas, set up a Google Alert so you can stay in the loop about what is going on in your industry. You can receive weekly emails about content that has been published in your niche for inspiration. This shows everyone that you are informed about new happenings and you will be the go to source when they want to know something about the industry.

Closing Thoughts

Improving your content creation process is simple. With a few changes, you will find that your process goes a lot smoother.


Can a Financially Savvy Person Gamble Online?

The answer is yes, but you’ve got to have a plan. Gambling has a stigma among the financially literate. But many forget that investment of any kind involves risk. Many kinds of gambling involve as much (or more) skill than your average stock investor has. It also has the potential for much greater payoff. I’m not here to suggest that gambling should be looked at like an investment. But because of the skill involved, and it’s potential returns, I’m not going to say it has no place at all.

We all spend a lot of money on entertainment. Of course, we don’t have to spend any money at all, on things to pass the time, but almost nobody can pull this off. So we go to movies, pay our Netflix bill every month, and go exciting new places. The difference between online gambling and these activities, is that gambling has the potential to bring in more money than it takes out. Of course, you can lose money too but, viewed as entertainment, gambling can be carefully budgeted. Worst case scenario, you lose your set monthly expenditure, just like you do when you pay to go to the beach. At best, you gamble, you have a great time, and you walk away with a lot more money than you put in.

Caesar’s is one of the best providers of gambling in the comfort of your own home. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself betting more than you planned, but for the careful budgeter, it’s good entertainment just like any other. I particularly enjoy Caesar’s traditional table games, like Craps. I am also learning a couple more variations of poker, of which Caesars seems to be adding more all the time. If you enjoy pure chance games, like slots, Caesars has these aplenty, but I tend to enjoy games with some measure of skill.

  • Gambling is stimulating for a lot of reasons, but one of these is that many of these games require skill to do well. Poker, craps, blackjack, each of these offers more financial payoff to skilled players than to those betting randomly. Many veteran players take these games to the level of intellectual pursuit. They compete with other, highly skilled players. And the jackpots are enormous.

Caesars offers these skill-based, high stakes offerings alongside low-stakes games, for every kind of player. I am drawn to the study of poker in the same way I’m drawn to the complexity of the stock market. I enjoy the simplicity and convenience that Caesars provides. I don’t live close to a casino, so I’m able to keep my game sharp when I’m not able to make it out to real live competition. I think a lot of other players feel like me, and I can encourage people who enjoy working with money to take on budgeted online gambling as a stimulating way to be entertained and profit.

Caesars is constantly upgrading their services. In my few months using their platform, I’ve seen more games available, better graphics and sound, easier processing and payouts, and a more transparent experience overall. I think a lot of people will enjoy the low barrier to entry that Caesars provides, making it easy for gamblers at all levels to enjoy the casino experience from the comfort of their own homes. Budgeted correctly, the online gambling experience can be both entertaining and profitable.

 

 


The Benefits of a Virtual Office

If you’re an SME, then you’ve probably already considered a virtual office. While for a long time the image and concept of working often revolved around a physical hub to work in, usually an office, this is changing. There are still reasons why many businesses choose to work in a physical place, such as face-to-face meetings.

However, the concept of flexible working is growing, and especially as new technology allows instant communication, and the prevalence of progressive management techniques.

imahrthrwhgesWhat are Virtual Offices?

Virtual offices allow business owners to reduce the cost of production and utilize a prestigious address to optimise networking. It also allows access to a professional meeting area.

It is an ideal set up for a wide range of different types of companies, whether they are medium, small or start ups.

A virtual office allows an office address and office communications without having to rent actual office space.

What are the Advantages of a Virtual Office Space?

There are many advantages to having a virtual office. You can have an address at a well known building without actually having to rent any office space there. The virtual office will forward any mail or parcels that are sent there. The same goes for communications, as the virtual office provider can have receptionists answering your phones and forwarding any calls.

A virtual office often has physical space too that can be rented out temporarily to businesses that need a desk or room to work for a while, or for face to face client meetings.

One of the main advantages to a virtual office is the savings that you can make without losing out on the prestige of a well known area or building. For a start up it is particularly advantageous, as it makes you seem like a bigger company than you are.

It is also often a service used for geographical reasons. If you have employees spread across the country, then permanent space for every member of staff doesn’t make sense. One location used as a central address for client meeting and access to a PA makes much more sense, as well as saving on costs.

Finding the Right Virtual Offices for You

To find a virtual office that’s right for you, first you’ll have to do some reflecting on why you think you need one, what services you need, what your budget is and where you’d like to have an address.

Then, it’s time to do some shopping. Look at a few different companies, including Landmark PLC to ensure that you know what’s available and your ideas at what you might want are realistic.


Interpreting A Financial Aid Award Letter

Seeing a financial award letter for the first time can be very overwhelming, but understanding the different components are very important to your finances and future. Once you have completed the FAFSA, your financial aid award letter from your university or college will list which scholarships and grants you are eligible for and whether they are federal, state, or private student loans. Each option has its own benefits and considerations, and understanding the letter can help make your transition to higher education easier.

Additionally, a number of schools offer unique assistance for students applying for financial aid. Take the University of Dayton, for example. They have their own financial aid department that is designed to assist students with their unique academic needs. This school also offers students help through their financial advisor, who can be reached via phone. Aside from this, they offer state grants, as well as federal and external assistance. Additionally, this particular University offers online classes, which are another great way for students to save money while attaining their educational goals.

The infographic below from Citizens Bank breaks down the financial award letter in an easy-to-understand format, helping you to make the best decisions for your individual situation.

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5 High-ROI Ways to Connect With Clients in 2014

What’s the first thing you do after just meeting someone for the first time? You probably ask them to be your friend on Facebook or begin to follow them on Twitter or Instagram. If you don’t do any of those things, you are a part of an increasingly small group of individuals.

Today everyone is on at least one social media site. In January of 2014, Facebook reported more than 1.2 billion users and the amount of time people spent on Facebook each month was 700 billion minutes. This makes different mediums of social media imperative when small businesses are looking for new and better ways to connect with clients.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

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Image via Flickr by Rosaura Ochoa

Connecting with your customers is all about expanding your reach in unique and more personal ways. Social media allows businesses to do this through ease of accessibility. It is highly likely that a major percentage of your business’s customers are using platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Therefore, if your business has created a Facebook page, it would help communication to be more immediate and direct. Many people go to a business’s Facebook page to post complaints or to praise that business. Facebook makes it easy to share this sort of activity as well which helps to expose your business to potential customers. The same holds true for Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and even Instagram.

Engage in Online Listening

Online listening tools make it easy for you to hear when negative or positive things are being spread about your business on the web. This tool is fairly new, seeing that only 22 percent of marketers used it in 2013, and only 24 percent plan to use it in 2014.

The online listening tool looks out for keywords specific to your business and your company’s name by using Google alerts or other websites like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. This tool makes you more aware of the conversations going on about your business allowing you to react in a resourceful way and benefit your customers.

Elevate Your Game with Data-Based Marketing

With the social listening tools listed above, data-based marketing would not be possible. Most of you have probably noticed that sometimes things you have recently searched for will appear in the sidebar while you are on your Facebook page and sometimes it will even pop up in your news feed.

This is due to algorithms that are collecting information from the search engine and using it to better benefit the consumers. This makes it easier for customers because solutions to their most frequent wants and needs are appearing right before their eyes.

Make the Most of CRM Software

The most important part of a business is its relationship with its customers. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform helps to manage this relationship by keeping tracking of marketing efforts. It lets the business know what is being more successful concerning customers and what is not. With a better idea of what emails, mail, and social posts create better results for your business, you will have a greater chance of pleasing more customers.

Develop More Personal Connections

With all of this social media, we think it makes it harder to connect on a personal level with customers when really it’s making it easier. Customers are gaining more and more access to forms of instant communication with businesses.

Customers want to feel unique and individual among the thousands of other clients. Social media allows businesses to keep in contact with customers anytime anywhere making it easy to foster a relationship and keep the customer satisfied.

So how well do these techniques work? Depending on your specific base of consumers, it can be hard to tell. With a master of science in analytics (or some similar degree), you’ll have the tools to help you figure out how well these various methods of connecting to clients are working, allowing you to adjust at any time.

Now it’s time to have your say. Have you used any of these techniques? What results did you experience?


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