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Make Money Selling on eBay Today

eBay (traditionally known as bazee.com) is the no.1 online auction and shopping website. Many internet users are making use of this website for buying and selling large varieties of goods and services. It is primarily a consumer to business (C2B) site where millions of consumers are trading daily. Due to its increasing popularity, it has become a money making option for various users.

Making money on eBay is very easy. If you have any product with you to sell, you can list it on this website. Say for example you are a painter and you are having some paintings which you want to sold, you can put them on eBay and bazinga also declare the price on which you want to offer them. As soon as any customer visits this website who is interested in buying your painting, it will sell it to them and pay you the price of the same.

So you have seen that making money on eBay is very simple. Usually we have seen in traditional business practices that people possess a lot of talent and experience but they are still not able to sell their products in the market at reasonable prices at which they want to sell or they do not get the customers who will buy their products at the right price.

Here at eBay.com, you are assured that you will get the best price for your product. It has a vast list of categories which includes Antiques, Electronic items, books, cell phone and PDA’s, sporting goods and many more. It has millions of customers who are using it for business purpose and earning huge amount of money. You can visit this website and check positive feedback’s of many customers and sellers. You will also see that many of them are earning more than their expectations.

So what are you waiting for? Join today and become a part of all those who are getting huge amount of benefits from this website. You just need to register yourself with this website. For this, it charges a very nominal amount as registration fees. After you register with us, you can list all those items with this website which you want to sell. As soon as any interested customer visits this website to buy your products, it will sell them and make you the payment by charging very nominal amount as our commission.

eBay has secured means for making and accepting payments from its customers. For this, an individual needs to create account on PayPal.com, half.com etc listed on the website. So go ahead and grab this amazing opportunity of making money.

Want to learn more? Edson Buchanan is an eBay PowerSeller and trades on eBay under the username digitaldirect4u. He earns $1000s every month selling digital products on eBay. To learn more about starting your own eBay Business visit

 

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5 Quickest ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium

Title:
5 Quickest ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium

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342

Summary:
Are you looking for ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium? Auto insurance rates can spiral depending upon factors that include your age, past driving record, and other factors such as credit history.
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Keywords:
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Article Body:
Are you looking for ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium? Auto insurance rates can spiral depending upon factors that include your age, past driving record, and other factors such as credit history. However, the trick is to find ways to lower the annual pay-off. We have pulled up for you the 5 quickest ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium.

Tip 1: Hike up your deductible

Stop trying to get the ‘lowest deductible’, instead go in for a comfortably higher out of pocket payment plan. ‘Deductible’ is the amount that you would pay before your insurance policy kicks in. This is an easy way to reduce your periodic premium amount, however, be warned, in such a case, if something happens to your vehicle – you need to shell out more to cover the initial expenses, prior to going in for a claim.

Tip 2: Park your vehicle in a garage

One of the simplest ways to cut down on insurance premium is to park your vehicle in a garage, personal or commercial establishments. This helps in knocking off, in some cases, close to 20% of the premium. In a garage, the chances of your vehicle getting stolen or sideswiped are considerably lower. From a transaction perspective, parking in a garage could mean a difference between a preferred rate and a standard rate.

Tip 3: Shop around and bargain

Nothing beats the traditional ‘shop around to bargain’. Make sure you at least have three to four price quotes with you, prior to fixing on the service provider. Ensure that you are not shopping for price alone, but the whole deal.

Tip 4: Take a Defensive Driving Course

Not many people are aware of this. By volunteering for a state-approved defensive driving course, you can avail discounts in premium of up to 10%. However, do cross check with your insurer on this.

Tip 5: Downsizing Coverage

Well, downsizing coverage is perhaps the easiest way to lower your auto insurance premium. However, we suggest you to be careful and prudent, while taking this decision. This might save money, but, would also limit coverage.

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3 Ways To Get Approved For A Business Credit Card

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3 Ways To Get Approved For A Business Credit Card

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357

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If you run your own business–whether it’s a retail store, direct sales, hobby shop or freelance consulting–chances are you’ve thought about getting a business credit card. It’s probably a good idea, since it makes it easy for you to separate your business expenses from your home expenses, a task that helps keep your paperwork organized and simplifies things at tax time. When you’re ready to apply for a business card, follow this checklist:

1. Choose a card

Some cards …

Keywords:
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Article Body:
If you run your own business–whether it’s a retail store, direct sales, hobby shop or freelance consulting–chances are you’ve thought about getting a business credit card. It’s probably a good idea, since it makes it easy for you to separate your business expenses from your home expenses, a task that helps keep your paperwork organized and simplifies things at tax time. When you’re ready to apply for a business card, follow this checklist:

1. Choose a card

Some cards offer special deals, financing or rewards for small business owners. For example, some rebate cards offer you a percentage back on everything you buy at a certain store, like a warehouse store or online store. Other cards offer cash rebates when you spend at supermarkets, gas stations or home improvement stores. If you travel often, a frequent flier or travel rewards card might get you the best and biggest bonuses. Choosing the right reward card–depending on the type of business you operate and the expenses you incur–can mean extra money in your pocket all year long.

2. Gather up paperwork

You’ll need basic information about your company’s financial situation, including the name of your business, the tax identification number, the business address, the number of years you’ve been an owner, the number of employees, the nature of the business, the business’ average annual income, and the amount in the business’ checking account. You’ll also need to know the legal entity of your business, such as whether it’s a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a partnership, a non-profit, etc.

3. Fill out the application

You can find applications for almost all business credit cards online, although in most cases you can also call and apply over the phone (a good idea if you have any questions). Depending on your credit rating, you may have to provide extra documentation of your business’ current financial status, so be prepared to mail or fax information if requested. After you fill out the application, approval can take anywhere from thirty seconds to a month.

To find business credit cards online, do an Internet search or check the websites of major credit card companies.

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0% Apr Credit Cards: A Way To Eliminate Debt

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0% Apr Credit Cards: A Way To Eliminate Debt

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554

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Credit cards are one of the most useful tools in today’s world. With a credit card, you can purchase anything you want without actually carrying any money at all. A credit card works like a loan. Once you purchased an item using your credit card, you will automatically agree to pay the loan once the billing statement arrives.

However, aside from the fact that credit cards can ohttps://deals1.promo/
ffer you a lot of advantages, you should be aware that credit cards also have some disadvantages….

Keywords:
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Article Body:
Credit cards are one of the most useful tools in today’s world. With a credit card, you can purchase anything you want without actually carrying any money at all. A credit card works like a loan. Once you purchased an item using your credit card, you will automatically agree to pay the loan once the billing statement arrives.

However, aside from the fact that credit cards can offer you a lot of advantages, you should be aware that credit cards also have some disadvantages. People who own credit cards tend to uncontrollably purchase items they don’t really need. Besides, with a credit card, you can really purchase a lot of things without having any money at all. With this feature, people tend to purchase items more than they can afford.

With this kind of spending, many people get into credit card debt that will seem very hard to pay off. Every month that you don’t pay the bill on time, you will see that the interest rate will rise and you will eventually end up paying more for the interest rate rather than the debt.

One way to pay off your credit card debt is through 0% APR credit cards. This kind of credit card started out as a marketing gimmick in the US. But today, it is now considered as part of the credit card industry. 0% APR credit card plays a very important role to help people get out of debt or at least reduce it.

First of all, you need to know what a 0% APR credit card is. APR is short for Annual Percentage Rate. APR is a reflection of the cost of credit. Therefore, a low or 0% APR is better than standard APR that you will usually see in credit cards today.

0% APR credit cards are very useful if you know how to handle it. This kind of credit card is usually used by people who want to reduce or end their credit card debt, if you have a credit card debt that seems hard or impossible to pay off. For example, if you are 10,000 dollars in debt and you have an APR of 20%, you will end up paying 2,000 dollars in interest payments. With a 0% APR credit card, you can use those 2,000 dollars to reduce your credit card debt instead of paying it for the interest alone.

Now that you see the benefits of a 0% APR credit card, it will truly be wise if you transfer you credit card balance to this kind of credit card. Once you transfer it, you can pay off your debt much more easily.

However, you should keep in mind that a 0% APR credit card is usually only an introductory offer by credit card companies to attract new cardholders. Usually, the 0% APR offer will only last for a minimum of six months to a maximum of one year, depending on the introductory offer.

You should choose a 0% APR credit card that offers a longer introductory period for you to be able to pay off your debt effectively. Also, you should keep in mind that you should keep an eye on the expiration date of the introductory offer in order to avoid a high APR after the 0% APR introductory offer is over.

These are the benefits and the things you should remember when getting a 0% APR credit card.

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South Africa to Face India in the Midlands International Polo Tournament

South Africa to face India in the Midlands International Polo Tournament

South Africa will face India in the main match in the first International Polo Tournament at the Lions River Polo Club in the KZN Midlands. The match will be preceded by three curtain raisers and is set to thrill all fans and spectators on 6th May.

“We are delighted to be hosting the Indian team and have been overwhelmed at the level of interest from the public in this event. Both teams will be at the 15-goal level and this balance in handicaps will ensure a very hard-fought and closely contested match.” Said Mark Davies, President of the South African Polo Association.

The Indian side will be captained by the 5 goaler – Colonel Ravi Rathore, who has represented India in five successive World Cups. Gaurav Sahgal (4), Salim Azmi (3) and Siddhant Sharma (3) will play alongside Ravi Rathore for the Indian team.

“The Indian Army consists of an incredible 1.4 million soldiers and the 61 st Cavalry Regiment is one of the last fully mounted active fighting bodies in the world. Most Indian polo players learn their equestrian skills from this elite Regiment of which Col Rathore is Commandant” said Davies.

The programme for the day will start at 10 in the morning with a curtain raiser between youngsters which will be followed by a match between Ngunis & Ankoles. The teams from schools comprising of current and old boys will play at noon before the grand international event.
The match between India and South Africa will start at 1330 hrs and will conclude at 1500 hrs and will be followed by a live band performance.
l Rathore is Commandant” said Davies.
Thrilling and exhilarating international polo will be coming to the midlands area of Kwa-Zulu Natal on 6 May this year! The SA Polo Association has invited a 15-goal team from India to play against a South African team at the Lions River Polo Club in the inaugural action-packed Midlands International Polo on Sunday 6th May 2018. This date has been chosen to coincide with the enormously popular Hilton vs Michaelhouse schoolboys rugby clash which will be held the day before, Saturday 5th May, at Michaelhouse. This International promises to be a fun-filled and exciting day of entertainment. The day will kick off with a kids match between the Elands and Bushbuks at 10h00 which will showcase the younger generation who will be the future stars of South African Polo. This will be followed by a curtain raiser match between the Nguni and Ankole teams at 11h00 and then in keeping with the weekend’s rivalry at 12h00 there will be a Hilton vs Michaelhouse curtain raiser polo match. The main match between South Africa and India will take place at 13h30 which will be followed by prize-giving. There will be a live band (Angus) playing for a couple of hours from the conclusion of prize-giving to end off a fantastic day of polo and fun.

Tickets are available in the form of pre-sold picnic sites or general access which can be purchased at the gates on the day. Details of these can be seen below. You are welcome to bring in your own food and drinks but there will be public caterers, coffee and public bars available on the day (listed below).

The SA Polo Association would like to thank Grindrod Bank, Jonsson Workwear and SMG Jaguar Land Rover Pietermaritzburg for their support for this event.

 

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Prepare For Long Term Travel

Preparing For Long Term Travel

Traveling abroad is an art. It requires intellect to plan, courage to enact, and perseverance to endure. When planning your dream trip, you must walk a fine line between over- analysis and not-so-blissful ignorance (summer in Sudan, anyone?).

There are several things you should consider before booking your travel, and the most important will be deciding where and when to go.

Where to Go

After working in a cubical and day dreaming about traveling around the world, most people already have a pretty good idea where they want to go. It’s a personal choice and there are amazing places to see and experience all over the globe. If you intend for your systems to pay for your travels, the main factor in deciding where to go is your budget.

How Much the World Costs
These numbers assume a few things. Firstly, you travel slowly (no more than one out of every four days). Second, you stay in clean, basic accommodations. While it’s certainly possible to rent a $3 room in Cambodia, most people mature enough to run a business want a little more comfort. We’re talking rooms with a bathroom, hot water, shower, towels, a bed, and a TV… but not much else.

The prices below are for two people and include food, room, laundry, toiletries, visas and overland (usually local) travel:
o Southeast Asia: $50
o UK and Ireland: $100
o Australia and New Zealand: $80
o South America:$55
o Africa: $60
o Western Europe: $90
o Eastern Europe:$65
o Indian subcontinent:$40
o Japan: $90
As you can see, expenses can be very reasonable, far more reasonable than what you may be currently paying back home. However, you will want to travel somewhere that your systems can afford.

You can escape home faster and live better if you visit third world areas such as Southeast Asia and India. Though we’ve visited the UK several times, my wife and I are still a long ways away from living it up in London! There’s another more powerful reason for going third world initially: a new perspective. Chances are, if you’re reading this you are probably raised in the Western world. When you board that plane, you will no doubt be ready for a change, and the transition from first to third world will be as eye opening as the transition from worker to entrepreneur.
All in all, their calculations have been fairly close to my personal experiences.

Money Saving Tips

These are some tips I’ve learned from both working as a travel agent and personal experience. There are many, many ways to stretch your budget:

o Purchase tickets ahead of time, or last minute. So many people lament over rising flight costs, when they should have bought the damn thing months ago and saved a bundle. Here is my rule of budget travel: purchase tickets ahead of time if you know where you want to go, purchase last minute if you don’t. For example, there is currently a special discount flight to Hungary from San Francisco for three hundred dollars, last minute. Did you plan on going to Hungary? No, but when the opportunity arises, you should take it.
o Slum it, then go all out. My wife and I cycled across Ireland without breaking the bank, and yet we stayed in quality bed and breakfasts (including an old Irish castle). How did we do this? Simple: for every one night in a great location, we camped two nights. Once we arrived at our room for the night, we cleaned up and had a good time. The next morning we showered and hit the road. Following this approach you only miss a shower for one day at a time…
o Change your drinking habits. One of my largest grievances with budget travel writers is their silly notion that you should sacrifice a cold beer in the name of saving money. There are far better ways to save a dollar while you’re traveling. What you should avoid are bars. You can drink cold beer or local spirits for cheap from bottle shops (or oddly enough, 7-11’s). I found myself contemplating buying a can of Guinness in Thailand for more than it cost back home! True, it was an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day, but come on…

Health: Avoiding Problems

Vaccinations

You need to start getting some of your vaccinations at least two months before departing on a trip. Several inoculations require three or four visits, spaced two to three weeks apart. Here’s a short list of the most common vaccinations required (or highly recommended) for global travel:
o Hepatitis A and B. (if possible, get the combined vaccine)
o Japanese encephalitis
o Polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis
o Rabies
o Tetanus
o Typhoid
o Yellow fever

Malaria

While there is no vaccination for malaria, there are a number of anti-malarial tablets you can take to help combat the disease (though none of them is 100% effective). Check with your doctor to see which prescription is right for you. You can also learn more at www.malaria.org.

To get these vaccinations, visit your local travel clinic or speak with your physician. If you’re currently employed, check if your benefits will cover vaccinations. I was able to save over $700 on vaccinations thanks to the health insurance provided by my previous employer. Talk about a severance package!

Food
When it comes to food, I follow a few simple rules:

1. Eat at restaurants with a lot of people and high turn over. It probably means the food is fresher.
2. Eat cooked food. Try to avoid any raw vegetables and raw fish. Fruits and vegetables that you can peel are a safer option. Consider bringing vitamin tablets if you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables.
3. Don’t over eat. If you stuff your face with contaminated food, you’ll feel a hell of a lot worse than if you ate a smaller portion. The only two times I’ve been sick abroad were shortly after a three or four course meal at a high end steakhouse.

Water

Depending on where you travel, you might need to bring a water purification system. I use The Steripen Adventurer UV purifier. The same size as a screwdriver, this wonder tool can purify one liter of water in one minute using an ultra violet light bulb and lithium batteries. Though it isn’t cheap- retail is about $130- the Steripen is both lightweight and effective. Keep in mind it doesn’t work with ice, a common cause for getting sick among travelers.

If you’re planning on buying bottled water over seas, keep in mind that many merchants refill used water bottles with local water and resell them. If the plastic seal is broken- and it often is – you probably don’t want to drink it.

Traveler’s Diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea claims 30-50% of tourists abroad within the first two weeks, and is often accompanied by vomiting. In other words, don’t be surprised if you’re leaking out both ends… it’s natural. The best thing to do? Take over the counter anti-diarrheal medicine or antibiotics (rather than something that just plugs you up), drink lots of water, lay low and let the good- or bad- times flow. Symptoms should clear up within a few days. Any more than that, contact a doctor.

Tying Up Loose Ends
Before you hit the road you’ll need to close up shop. While most of these steps aren’t necessary for short term travel, they are imperative for long term wandering.

o Three – Six Months Out:
o Get a passport (if you don’t have one).
o Book your airplane flights.
o Visit your doctor or travel clinic to get vaccinations. Check if your employer’s health insurance covers them before you quit!
o Determine how to handle your living situation. Consider renting out your residence furnished. This saves you the hassle of storing your belongings, and moves you one step closer to paying off your mortgage. Most people interested in furnished accommodations are working abroad for a year or more: perfect for your intentions.
o Book a dentist, doctor, and optometry appointment for one month before you go to make sure you have a clean bill of health. This gives you time to handle any cavities before you leave.

o One Month Out:
o Set cancellation dates for all insurance policies, credit cards, and other miscellaneous items.
o Close any unnecessary accounts (e.g. banking accounts and department store accounts).
o Sign up for Online Banking (if you don’t already have it).
o Set up a forwarding address with the post office to a friend or a P.O. Box in your name.
o Find someone to rent your car while you’re gone. Make sure they get insurance and to draft an automobile leasing contract.
o Go to your dentist, doctor, and optometry appointments.
o Get travelers insurance.

o Two weeks out:
o Give your two weeks notice to your employer.
o Email yourself copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance policy, credit card, and any other important information you might need while you’re away.
o Get travelers checks and email the security numbers from those to yourself.
o Notify your bank that you’ll be making purchases in a foreign country with your credit card.
o Have a garage sale. If you don’t manage to sell the majority of your belongings, have another garage sale following week. My wife and I made over $1,500 of two days work selling our stuff- worth over a month of travel in Southeast Asia. If you can’t sell your stuff, look into a storage unit.
o Get a visa if applicable for your first country.

Remember, you don’t need half of what you may think you do, a truism that applies to a crucial step in preparing: packing for long term travel.

What (Not) To Pack
Prior to departure: create a checklist of items you need to take. At a maximum you should include:
Passport
Drivers license (international if possible)
Airline/train tickets
Credit cards, travelers checks and US dollars
Photocopies of important documents
Youth hostel card
Scuba diving certification (if applicable)
Passport photos (1 or 2 per country)
Money Belt
One small day pack
Sunglasses
A good book
Pen and notepad
Laptop and headset for Skype
Two pairs of light weight pants
One pair of shorts
Three shirts (one for going out)
1 Pair Sandals
1 Pair Shoes or Boots
Underwear
Swim suit (if applicable)
Toiletries
Silk sleep sack (not a sleeping bag)
Sewing kit
Nail clippers
Ear plugs
First aid kit
Swiss army knife

Possessions will only tie you down. For example, let’s say you purchase a brand new digital camera before your trip (chances are you will). Sure, it’s a great way to document your experiences, but it weighs you down a lot more than you think.

You have to think twice about swimming in the ocean for fear someone will steal it. Crossing a river could potentially destroy it. Strangers become potential threats.

And these are just the tangibles. The worst, and most common, is that it prevents you from truly experiencing a place before reaching for your camera. This effectively removes you from your surroundings, preventing you from ever really gaining anything at all.

Why Einstein Was Wrong – How to Travel
The theory of relativity states that time slows down when as speed increases. For example, imagine a friend whizzing across or solar system in a spacecraft while you remain here on the Earth. Einstein proved that your friend’s clock would seem to tick more slowly than your own.

Sadly, the opposite is true when traveling. People who travel near the speed of light- or at least sound- arrive home seemingly unaware of where they had just visited. Locations become nothing more than a check box on their itinerary, an experience not to be savored, but shown off to others. They develop the classic “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Rome” syndrome. Speed is not better, which is why you shouldn’t try to travel at the speed of light.
My advice is to travel at the speed of smell.

As I write this, there is a large Vietnamese market going on less than five meters away. The smell of pho boiling over and the sounds of locals conversing is something I wouldn’t have noticed on a five day whirlwind tour of Vietnam.
In order to really experience your surroundings, you must slow down. While guidebooks may offer walking tours that allow you to “do” a city in a day, it takes much longer to “feel” it out.

Somewhere along the line, we lost the point of travel. People visit pagodas, temples, churches, museums, and art galleries not out of personal interest, but out of some misplaced obligation. If you aren’t interested in art, skip the Museum of Modern Art. If you don’t like sports, forget the Superdome. Can’t stand witnessing first hand poverty? Don’t go to India.

It’s not about seeing the most acclaimed sights. It’s about experiencing those that affect you the most.

Your First Night Abroad: Make It a Soft Landing

Your first two days in any new region should be seen as a transition period. Don’t throw yourself into the mix right away; book your hotel prior to departure and stay there for at least two nights. This will help you acclimate to your new surroundings, and sleep comfortably for the first few days. Your first few nights shouldn’t be concerned with travel plans, budget, or any other logistics… just unplug and rest while your body adapts to the new sights, smells and time zone.

Lunch at 4AM? How to Deal With Jet Lag
There are several ways to combat jet lag, a common problem among travelers. It certainly hits some people harder than others; it takes me over a week to adjust, while my wife takes it in stride. Here are some ways to battle jet lag:
o Don’t eat. Studies have shown that your liver takes longer to adapt to a new time zone than any other part of your body. By not eating for 12 hours or more, your body will adjust much more quickly. If this seems like too much, try eating on your intended destination’s clock a few days before departure (dinner at 10 AM, anyone?).
o Sunshine. The sun helps you set your circadian clock, so the more the better. Exercise also helps.
o Pop some pills. There are additional over-the-counter pills that claim to help with jet lag. Though I have no personal experience with them, several people I’ve spoken to swear by No Jet Lag.

Staying Connected
Now that you’ve freed up your time and location, you’ll need to monitor your systems and stay in touch with loved ones. Here are several crucial tools to maintain your systems abroad.

Poste Restante
A great way to pick up care packages from home. Get the address of the main post office in whatever town you’re in (or will be shortly) and have people address your mail to the following:

LAST NAME, First Name
Poste Restante, General Post Office
Town, Country

When you arrive at the post office, simply present your passport as identification and you’ll be able to claim your mail. Generally post offices around the world will hold mail up to two years.

Blog
A great way to keep in touch is to start a travel blog. You can do so with free services such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com; both are free and can be set up in a matter of minutes. By creating a travel blog, you are able to avoid sending out group e-mails, which always come across as forced and rather generic. This way, people who were really interested in your trip can check up on you whenever they like, leave comments, and engage other people visiting your blog.

Also, blogs allow you much more creative freedom than sending emails. You can include pictures, video, polls, international clocks, maps and a whole host of other customizations, all of which provide a great scrapbook after your travels.

Word of the Year: Wifi
Wireless is the name of the game. As time progresses, connecting to the Internet will only become increasingly important, so you might as well get used to ranking “free internet” higher than amenities such as free breakfast, swimming pool, and massages. Let’s face it: you’re now able to create systems that pay for your lifestyle, completely free of employees. Free of fax machines, cubicles, commutes, and water coolers… so logging into your accounts to make sure the money’s coming in doesn’t seem like too much of a hindrance, does it?

Expect internet cafes to run around $1-2 USD an hour. Seeing that your business is Internet based, you may want to consider traveling with a laptop depending upon your goals.

Laptop: Luxury or Necessity?
If you intend to develop more systems while traveling, a laptop is necessary. You will need to upload webpages to your sites, conduct phone interviews with prospective freelancers, and keep tabs on your expenses and revenue streams. If you intend to just monitor or expand your existing systems, you can use internet cafes, though working amidst Chinese computer gamers ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Laptops also provide more security. You don’t know what kind of spyware (programs that remember your keystrokes for future use) might be on some random computer. To paraphrase sex ed teachers, a trusting, monogamous relationship is one of the best ways to avoid viruses.

Cell Phone
Though I personally don’t use one, cell service is getting better all the time, and can save you a lot of time if you need to call people who don’t use Skype. For example, I spent thirty minutes in search of an international phone to call my bank for a phone call that lasted two minutes.

Skype
You can’t go wrong with free international phone calls, and Skype provides just that. Get your friends and family back home to sign up and you can chat through your laptop for free. More and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, though banks and credit card companies are still behind the curve.

An additional feature that may be of some use is the ability to forward calls from a US based phone number to your cell phone abroad. If you handle customer service questions, it pays to list a domestic number. After all, would you buy a product from a company that requires you to call East Timor with questions?

Dragon Naturally Speaking
If it wasn’t for this software, this book would never have been written. For less than thirty bucks you get a microphone, headset, and the ability to dictate to your laptop. I’m able to “write” at about 120 words per minute. An added bonus is that you can use the microphone and headset with Skype.

USB Card
An absolutely essential tool. There will be times when you won’t be able to access the Internet with your laptop, and a handy USB allows you to backup your work.

Other Technological Marvels for Working Abroad
o GoToMyPC : This software allows you to access your home computer from any other computer in the world. If you are abject to traveling with a laptop, this is the way to go. Just remember, you’ll have to pay for internet connection along the way, making this a better solution for short term travel.
o World Electronics USA: Get information on global phones. Good explanation of which GSM frequencies and “bands” function in which countries, which will determine the phone you purchase for travel (and perhaps home).
o Universal Plug Adapter: I’ve purchased adapters in several countries in order to power our digital camera and laptop, though it can be a hassle if you’re exploring several different regions. This universal adapter works wonders around the world.
o World Electric Guide: This site is a life-saver when it comes to handling electronics abroad. It breaks down voltage, wattage and a slew of other technical requirements by country.
Use what you’ve learned and hit the road!

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Seeking VA Home Loan With Bad Credit: The Major Considerations

Veterans are not immune to financial difficulties. In fact, they face arguably more difficult challenges than we do since they must first adjust to life outside the military, establishing a new career etc. So, when it comes to seeking a mortgage, the challenge can be very big. Thankfully, the ability to secure VA home loans with bad credit offers a solution.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) was established to help military veterans returning from conflict to return to civilian life, and finance is a major part of their efforts. With their support, veterans have a far better chance of getting approval, despite bad credit scores, and to ultimately buy the home they want.

What is more, because of the terms available, they are much more affordable than their civilian equivalent. Remember, the VA does not issue mortgages, only underwrites them. Nevertheless, a VA home loan still offers veterans and their families highly attractive options.

Qualifying for a VA Mortgage

It is no surprise that those seeking to secure a VA home loan with bad credit need to be former members of one of the branches of the military – either the US Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force, or the Home Guard, Reserves or Coast Guard. But there is more to it than that.

Applicants also need to have at least a respectable credit history. For example, prior to the date of the application, they cannot have defaulted on a loan for 12 months, or have been declared bankrupt for at least 24 months. To secure approval despite bad credit, the veteran needs to convince the lender, but the lenders is not the VA.

There are special circumstances considered too, with bankruptcy that was brought on by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant not viewed as seriously as bankruptcy caused by poor money management. A debt settlement does not affect the chances of getting a VA home loan.

Credit Scores Are Limited

Of course, there are ways to greatly improve the likelihood of securing a VA home loan with bad credit, with increasing the credit score one of the most effective. Taking out some smaller personal loans, and repaying them in full very quickly, has a definite benefit to these scores. Each time a loan is cleared, regardless of the amount, it pushes the score upwards,

If a bankruptcy exists on a credit record, as soon as the discharge is received, notify the credit rating agencies so they can remove it from the record. They will then increase the score to reflect the removal of that debt. Remember that getting approval despite bad credit is easier with a higher score.

Also, opening two secured credit card accounts, each with just small balances is another way to vastly improve credit ratings. Of course, paying the balances immediately after they are used is essential. Then getting better terms on a VA home loan is possible.

Secured Credit Cards

As mentioned, secured credit cards can help in securing a VA home loan with bad credit. But it is worth noting that the terms available from a VA mortgage make approval despite bad credit much more probable.

VA home loans come with terms where 25% of the mortgage is guaranteed by the VA. Because just 75% of the mortgage is unsecured, the interest rates are lower, and the repayments are more affordable. So, even with a slightly improved credit score, the savings compared to a normal mortgage deal can be huge.

 

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THE GREAT GATSBY – A New Film Review

THE GREAT GATSBY-A Film Review

This is a great movie about a great novel, THE GREAT GATSBY, by the author F. Scott Fitzgerald. It tells the tale of one who’s forced to fake his past-and then flush his life now with stupendous financial wherewithal. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an outstanding role as Jay Gatsby. I just marveled at his acting-his moves, his voice intonations, the way he always looked. I cannot think of an actor with whom I marveled as much with his performance. Yes, his given lines were fine, yet: whatever  bazinga he would say went far beyond the lines.

LOTS OF MONEY

Toby Maquire does a fine job as the film’s narrator of this mysterious character, Jay Gatsby, and his rollicking, frolicking Roaring Twenties’ parties. There was much new wealth in those days (made in those slick modern ways no one quite believes); and this film shows when it began. Folks made money fast, and spent it furiously.

A LOVE STORY

There’s also an unrequited love story between Jay Gatsby and a sweetheart, Daisy, played by a fine actress, Cary Mulligan. Jay’s motivation for his acquiring his wealth and renowned extravagant lifestyle stems from his boyish hope he’ll impress her and the whole world. Both she and Maquire are two sides of the bookends.

A WONDERFUL FILM

I must admit that when the first scenes opened up, I crouched in my seat with my hands on my forehead– vulgarly bent from all those garish lights and aimless erotic goings-on of the multitudes- but once the characters started to come alive, I really felt honored to see this wonderful movie. The funny thing is that with all of the extravagant overindulgence which Gatsby exhibited- deep down I was keen to believe in him and his reckless pursuit to gain Daisy. (He had class but no diploma.)

PRAISE FOR PRODUCER

I give a lot of praise to Baz Luhrmann, the guy who stuck his neck out to reframe the book in a way which produced a better film. When you’re treating a masterpiece like this great novel, you’re treading on holy grail- and it would be easier to play it safe than do what your instincts tell you to.

THERE’S A LESSON HERE

I think most folks will enjoy this film: as a tale about how the Roaring Twenties produced the age we are still in– when news began showing men (falsely) how they could live a fuller more exciting life if they could only acquire great wealth and true love with it. It always looks great to outsiders, who never learn till later that real work in life starts within.

HIGH MARKS

I’m happy to say that this film merits an Eight. One way or the other– it works.

Happy Movie Going!

Humbler Acts, Creator, THE WIZARD’S OUTRAGEOUS SCHEME FOR STOPPING SMOKING, reviews one film every week as a relaxation from his speaking and writing on stopping smoking: through dream use and Seven Forces. He’s American and English educated, residing in St. Louis, MO. He can be reached: humbleracts@aol.com or telephone: 314-574-7681.

 

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Grief – Moving Toward Acceptance

Lynne, my wife of 31 years, lost her life to glioblastoma in 2010. Her death followed a battle lasting almost four years against the deadly disease. Glioblastoma is a stage 4 brain tumor, known for its fast-growth and recurring properties. As her primary caregiver, I learned the issues surrounding the care of someone facing a life-threatening illness. This article covers grief and one lesson that I learned. I hope this will help someone else when faced with a significant loss.

About six years prior to Lynne’s illness, I enrolled in a course covering counseling topics because of my responsibilities as a deacon at the Sun Valley Church of Christ. As a people helper, people often approached me to share personal struggles. I desired a better foundation of knowledge to help me guide them through their struggles. Some of the classes helped to prepare me for what was ahead in my own life. The importance of that learning helped me to understand the emotional turmoil that I was facing and some techniques to help me manage my way through the pain.

Grief is a process that causes psychological pain, creating emotional turmoil with feelings of guilt, depression, anger, sadness, helplessness, rage, loneliness, resentment, and hopelessness. I learned that the emotions that swirled within me were a normal part of the grieving process. Recognizing that early, helped me to be easy on myself as I worked through the grieving process. I believed that I moved to the acceptance phase of the process more quickly than most, in part because of the training I had received.

Another source of strength at that time was my spiritual upbringing and lifestyle. This was also a big part of Lynne’s life. With this similar outlook on life, we were able to be in tune with one another. I reflected on one biblical passage frequently, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, New International Version). Despite this tragedy, I believed that God had a plan. His eternal nature, unrestricted by time, enables Him to see what we refer to as the past, as well as into what we refer to as the future. Time limits me, by allowing me to see only the past and the immediate. Because I cannot see into the future, I reasoned that God could see some future event in Lynne’s life that might be much worse than glioblastoma. To me, there could be no worse event but that might simply be due to the limitations placed on me by time and the inability to see into the future.

After Lynne’s death, I read a grief recovery book that helped me understand why the depth of grief for one person might be different when compared to the depth experienced by another person. Recovery from grief suggests the ability to recall the good memories you hold fondly while minimizing those feelings of remorse or holding on to the regrets that you are harboring (James & Russell, 2009). I see this as key to understanding the relatively short duration of my personal grieving period.

Lynne and I were very compatible and truly enjoyed our 31 years together as a married couple. We had our fair share of disagreements and disputes along the way. However, we did enjoy a marriage that others recognized in positive ways. The enjoyment of our marriage increased dramatically during Lynne’s illness. This may seem very strange to you, so please allow me to explain this phenomenon.

Throughout the early years of our marriage, I appreciated and was grateful for Lynne’s concern for others, her willingness to help others, and her support and care for me and our children. Lynne impressed me with her ability to run our home, her industrious nature and attention to details, and a slew of other traits. Yet in the last four years of Lynne’s life, I witnessed a courage, vision, and personal strength that I had underestimated in our earlier years together. During those final years, we also discussed topics that most people try to avoid such as death and dying. We discussed what we hoped for one another. She shared her desire that I find another woman to love and care for after she passed. A topic like that may seem like a ridiculous discussion when in health, but it is not whenever someone faces the last stages of life. Lynne shared her appreciation of my care and love for her and her acceptance that I would love and care for another woman in the future. Even before her death, she released me from the anxiety of the considerations concerning moving on with life, after she passed. In that discussion, she released me from the anxiety or guilt associated with moving forward in life.

 

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Has Your Beach Shell Collection Turned Into a Sorry Looking Rock Collection?

Well, you may be too young to remember all this, but decades ago, the shells on the beach were much more prevalent and they were quite a bit bigger as well. Let’s say you live by the beach and you take walks each day – well, perhaps by now you’ve started a little shell collection, but you have probably noticed that you have fewer shells and more rocks these days. The reason is simple, those cool multi-colored rocks are quite common, but most of the shells have been removed and the larger ones just are not around much anymore – plus there are more people out treasure hunting, so even if there were more, your chances have been significantly reduced.

Now then, let’s say you want to find more shells and not come home empty handed with more colored rocks, if so what should you do about that? Well, you need to understand a little more about tidal action, currents, and high and low tides. You also need to consider where those rip-tides are which take things back out again, and where the greatest point of debris gets washed ashore. Since the beach is vast and the landscape ever slightly changing, you might want to get a GPS system and start documenting where you found the best sea shells, sand dollars or multi-colored rocks, then as time goes on slightly adjust these coordinates to allow for what you’ve found.

If you do this, you will easily outperform your fellow beach combers all vying for the best find of the week. Using simple tools like this can immediately change your positive success rates and ratios in finding the best stuff. A computer scientist acquaintance of mine has done just this, and he has shown me his charts of the sea shore. He uses a very sophisticated mathematical formula and a derivative equational approach to it. He did explain however that the key was not just in the data, but the tools of the trade – his trusty Garmin GPS portable system with long-lasting batteries.

He has switched from metal detecting gear to sea shell hunting, albeit using the same general strategies with his GPS unit and mathematic probability schemes. He assures me that you hardly need to be a computer scientist nerd (self-proclaimed) like him to win the game when it comes to finding the best shells. This simple methodology and GPS technology will get it done every time, even if you are completely computer illiterate on odd-even days. Please consider all this and think on it.