Free “Art Of Woodworking ‘ Guide

wood-projects-collectionAs a woodworker, you may have realized that finding the right detailed plans to build some custom projects to meet specific needs can be very difficult. This is among the most common problems woodworkers face today, but luckily for you, this and other related problem shouldn’t bother you.

At Teds Woodworking, Ted Mcgrath, a certified master woodworker, trainer, and author gives more than 16,000 plans, with step-by-step blueprints for various woodworking projects.

So what’s Teds Woodworking all about?

Building complex projects or even the simple ones to meet specific needs can be very difficult even to experienced woodworkers especially when you can’t find a detailed plan. And most of the so-called “step by step” guides found online and in various magazines make building some projects harder than it should be. This is because the plans are sometimes not specific enough or their instructions leave out crucial information assuming that you have enough experience to know what to do.

In addition, often, such plans don’t have enough detail. For instance, some don’t include pictures or the pictures they have don’t match what they are telling you. Still, some don’t even include cut sheets, so you are forced to “guesstimate” materials.

Ted Mcgrath spent over 25 years studying these problems and finding solutions. He put together a comprehensive collection of wood-working plans. Tedswoodworking.com is his website which offers woodworkers solutions to various woodworking problems, especially those related to finding the right plans for various projects. The site has detailed plans for over 16, 000 projects. Every plan comes with a step-by-step blueprint to make it easier for you to create stunning, professional wood-working projects hassle-free, quickly, and easily.

Who is TedsWoodworking for?

If you are a woodworker looking for detailed plans to start building your dream projects, or if you want a variety of plans for various unique projects, then tedswoodworking.com has you covered. The website has helpful insights for both beginner woodworkers and the more experienced ones.

Why you should check this out

Occasionally, you are presented with a challenging project, for instance, a customer comes and wants something custom-made for them. Without having a detailed plan, it may be very difficult to build such projects quickly and be able to meet your customer’s needs. TedsWoodworking comes in handy, providing you with a variety of plans with complete easy-to-understand instructions.

You will also get new insights and learn new tricks of completing projects even if you do not have expensive tools or a large woodworking workshop. And given the wide range of projects and complete plans available on the website, you no longer need to spend days or months looking for someone to complete a project for you. You will build even the most challenging projects yourself.

Here are a few things the site has to offer:

  • Easy-to-understand step by step instructions; Every plan has simple “hold-you-by-the-hand” instructions that will assist you to complete your projects quickly.

 

  • Materials and Cutting lists ensuring that you get the right materials and make correct cuttings. This saves you a lot of money. 

 

  • You get sharp, colorful and detailed schematics. No guesswork is involved, you will know what to do and how to do it and complete your projects within the shortest time possible.

 

  • The plans give you views from all angles. You will see how everything should look like before you start building. The intricate details for every joint, angle and corner make sure you are not left guessing.

 

  • Various lists of plans (16,000+). In addition, you will also get new plans every month for free.

 

  • The plans cover all levels of competence and skills. You don’t have to be an expert wood-worker or have expensive tools and machinery to use the plans.

 

  • Whether you are a pro woodworker, an amateur, or a beginner with hand tools, you will find several projects suitable for you.

 

What You Won’t Like about Teds Woodworking?

Although Teds Woodworking has a lot of good things to offer, it has also some flaws. Since this contains thousands of plans, it takes time to download it, particularly if your internet speed isn’t up to mark.

Nevertheless, this advantage may be nullified if you choose the DVD version of Teds Woodworking. You’ll have every plan in a portable DVD and you don’t need to spend time in front of your computer to download the pack.

But, if you pick the DVD version, you’ll have to wait several days for the shipping. Aside from that, organizing a total of 16,000 plans isn’t a simple task. You do need to utilize the search option to locate the plan you’re looking for.

Why Should You Choose Teds Woodworking?

If you are planning to purchase 16,000 plans individually, it’ll cost you loads of money. However, Ted is offering everything for a limited Launch Price of Only $67.

Thousands of woodworkers are using his plans to create awesome stuff out of wood. It’s now you turn to get in on the action

So check it out with the links below:

Get the FREE Art Of Woodworking Guide PLUS 40 FREE Plans. 

OR……………………

Get Teds Woodworking, Containing Easy To Understand Instructions and 16,000 Plans.

Monthly Dividend Income

space grey ipad air with graph on brown wooden table

I’ve been interested in making money with dividends for a while (in a casual way), but I didn’t really look into the details until recently. I had an idea that by buying stocks that have a good dividend payout, I could receive a monthly income was intriguing. This does work but the drawback is that you have to watch the stocks that pay dividends because the dividend yield can go down. It all depends on the company.

Unfortunately, the more money that you can invest, the more you can make. I have received dividends but my investments are so small that they are not worth claiming and I just reinvest the dividends back into the account. The reason that I have small account is that I am very risk averse, so it is my own fault. I bought some stocks in a Canadian company a few months ago, while they were cheap. The price per share has increased 102% since I bought the stocks. I had an instinct that the value would rise significantly but I didn’t invest enough money. If I was 100% certain (and less risk averse) I would have been willing to borrow as large a sum of money as I could, used it all to buy stocks in the company, sold them today and doubled my money in a matter of months.

The news being circulated in the mainstream news outlets regarding stocks and shares is not always accurate and could lead a person to make bad decisions. It is better to research this subject in a more detailed way with information coming from less mainstream personalities.

The way to generate dividend income is by building a portfolio of high yield dividend stocks that pay out at different times throughout the year, ideally getting a worthwhile income every month. The stocks that you pick should also have a history of raising their dividends regularly. To get a worthwhile monthly check would require a substantial investment. I saw one plan that claimed to return $1000 per month, throughout the year but it required a $50,000 investment and if that accounts for your total savings, then I expect that you would be too risky for most people. According to a 2018 GOBankingRates survey, 58% of Americans had less than $1000 in their savings accounts.

The basic idea of dividend income is sound and you can always start the process in a small way and reinvest the dividends that you receive. It will be a learning experience.

Americans love These British Foods

Big Ben, London

Here are some favorite British foods and sauces that Americans love. I have personally tested these with my American relatives and friends. There are certain items that are loved by all and some that are loved by enough people that they are worth adding to the list.

Some of the items are somewhat expensive, because they have to be imported. Some of the items can be bought in large grocery stores where you will regularly find them on special offer cheaper than you can buy them online.

After 20 years, I can find many goods in the store that are an acceptable substitute for UK foods, such as “ShowBoat” baked beans. These beans are cheap and are a good substitute for Heinz baked beans. Other items are specific to the UK. There is no US substitute for HP sauce, OXO cubes or Bisto. There is no substitute for parsley sauce either, this is a big hit with my US family.

 

Popular 

Bisto Gravy Powder. Mix water with the powder as instructed on the packet. Crumble an OXO cube, or 2, depending on the amount of gravy you are making. Simmer in a pan while stirring continuously until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and serve. If you are cooking meat or chicken, you can add a little of the meat dripping to the gravy mix.

OXO Cubes. These are easy crumble stock cubes that come in a variety of flavors such as beef, chicken, vegetarian. I normally use the beef stock cubes for every type of meal. They can be crumbled into the Bisto gravy mix, or used as an additive to a meat preparation. I always add 2 cubes to 1lbs of ground beef and 3 cubes to 2lbs of ground beef when preparing Shepherd’s Pie. 

HP Sauce. This type of sauce is called brown sauce in the UK and it goes well with most pork and beef dishes. It is also good for breakfast with bacon and sausages. It is vaguely similar to A1 steak sauce. If you like A1 you will like HP sauce.

Parsley Sauce. This is a savory cream sauce seasoned with parsley. It is probably the most popular sauce in my circle of family and friends. It has even been given the thumbs up from a Columbian friend. I don’t make it from scratch, I buy Colemans Parsley Sauce mix. You mix it with milk, heat the mix and serve with ham or fish dishes.

Kerrygold Irish Butter. Very popular and it can be found in large grocery stores. It is expensive, and I only buy it when it is on special offer. The specials sometimes bring the price down to the cheapest of domestic butters.

Irish Sausages. Irish sausages are normally made with ground pork, though they are sometimes made with a ground pork and beef mixture. They normally include raw eggs and breadcrumbs. My favorite sausage for breakfast or sausage and mash meals. The drawback is that if you buy them online, they are expensive and I have only found them to be available in stores in places such as New York. An acceptable substitute that I use is to buy the basic breakfast sausage, but they are still a little spicy.

Some Like It, Some Hate It

Branston Pickle.  A sweet, spicy chutney, containing chunks of vegetables in a thick brown sauce.  It is commonly served as part of a ploughman’s lunch, which is basically crusty bread, butter and chunks of cheese. I like it, but I have found that its popularity is a 50/50 split with American born people. It is an acquired taste I think.

English Mustard. This is a very strong yellow mustard which is vaguely similar to the yellow Chinese mustard found in restaurants. Many people find it too hot. I like it and normally spread it on ham sandwiches to give them a bit of a kick. I tend to buy the powdered mustard because it seems stronger and I can mix a small amount when I need it. The powder lasts longer than the ready mixed variety.

Beans On Toast. I still can’t persuade many American born people that this is a wonderful snack, most people won’t even try it. They associate baked beans with BBQ.

 

Favorite Meals and Snacks

  • Ham, boiled potatoes, peas with Parsley sauce.
  • Shepard’s Pie.
  • Sausage and mashed potato, with Bisto and OXO gravy.
  • Bacon, fried eggs, sausage, fried tomato, baked beans in tomato sauce, all accompanied by HP sauce.
  • Ground beef prepared with OXO cubes,  with boiled or mashed potatoes.
  • Fresh Cod with boiled potatoes and parsley sauce, (no batter on the fish).
  • Roast chicken dinner, with roasted potatoes, roasted zucchini, peas, cauliflower and a Bisto and OXO gravy.
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese with Branston Pickle.
  • Ham sandwich with Branston Pickle.
  • Cheese sandwich with Branston Pickle.
  • Ham sandwich with English Mustard.

 

Naturally, I like fish (Cod) and chips (fries) but I haven’t managed to make it to the UK Fish and Chip Shop standard yet and I can’t get the required standard in restaurants here, they use too much batter, the batter is not crispy enough and they usually don’t use Cod. The chips are not the same either. The chip shop must fry their chips in the same oil as the fish, maybe that’s the difference.

 

I get most of my items online from Goodwoods British Market. I don’t know if they are the cheapest, but they are reliable and the expiry date on the foods are good. I buy some of the items, such as Kerrygold butter in the grocery store when it is on special offer.

Think And Grow Rich

One of the most reccommended self help books ever

The Napoleon Hill Foundation received many requests from people wanting the original, unedited, 1937 copy of Think and Grow Rich. To satisfy those customers the Foundation reproduced Napoleon Hill’s personal copy of the first edition, printed in March of 1937. The book has the notation, not to be loaned, and signed: Annie Lou Hill (the wife of Dr. Hill). This personal copy of Dr. Hill’s was given to me by Dr. Charles W. Johnson, Chairman of the Napoleon Hill Foundation and a nephew of Napoleon Hill. It was Napoleon Hill who sent Dr. Johnson to medical school, and today he is a practicing cardiologist. Charlie refers to Napoleon Hill as Uncle Nap, and will often makes the statement, Uncle Nap would be proud of the Foundation today. The original 1937 manuscript was written and edited with the assistance of Napoleon’s wife. In later years, the existing document was again edited by Dr. Hill. For example, the Foundation owns a 1958 edition that Hill edited personally. This did not lessen the books value in Hill’s judgment. Hill made the editing remarks in his own handwriting and the resulting 1960 edited edition has sold over 100 million copies making it the most read self-help book of all time. Think and Grow Rich sells more copies today than before Dr. Hill died in 1970. Now, a new and authoritative recording of this original, unedited, one-of-a-kind work, authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation is available. By purchasing this audio edition, you will be supporting the nonprofit Napoleon Hill Foundation. The entire philosophy of Napoleon Hill is based on the Golden Rule. The Foundation deeply appreciates the support of those of you who only purchase Napoleon Hill authorized books. You can identify these materials by the Foundation Logo and by looking inside for Napoleon Hill copyright.


Think and Grow Rich (1937 Edition)

Create Your Own Furniture And Wood Crafts For Fun Or Profit

man hold wood planer

Whether you are thinking of starting a hobby, or gaining skills for a business, being able to create wooden furniture is an absorbing and potentially lucrative way to spend your free time. A practical skill is a wonderful thing to develop and working with wood could even be seen as artistic. This skill could set you free from the employment rat race if you want it to, although if you are a beginner, it takes time to develop the skill.  Woodworking skills need attention to detail and patience. If you already know that you are a practical person, then you have an excellent chance of developing the skill set fast. If you aren’t sure that you can master the skills……..you will never know unless you try

“Whether you think that you can, or you think that you can’t……..you are right” (quote from Henry Ford).

To help you get started, check out FurnitureCraftPlans

What Is FurnitureCraftPlans All About?

The package contains over 9,000 premium woodworking furniture and
craft plans that you can easily follow at home. These projects
cover a variety of different projects you can work on at home; –
mostly focusing on furniture and small crafts.

It contains all the necessary info which includes drawing out clear
diagrams, accurate dimensions and gave detailed explanations on the
plans design .

We think this is extremely important because we have seen plenty of
free woodworking plans on other sites that are created
recklessly.

Some have inaccurate dimensions, some did not explain what
tools are needed during the woodworking process while some only
provide the diagrams without proper step by step instructions
on how to do it. You know what I mean if you’ve paid for those
lousy woodworking plans in the past.

Well fortunately, these flaws and mistakes are hardly to be seen
in FurnitureCraftPlans

The good stuff:

– All materials and tools needed for a project are properly listed.
– Diagrams are clear and with accurate dimensions.
– Photos are also included; nothing was left to the imagination.
– Detailed explanation of plans will guide you from the beginning
to the end.
– Everything is ready to be printed, with proper categorization

Bad stuff:

Only thing I could complain about is that there are too many plans.
After downloading, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed. But as you
can imagine, it is difficult to go through over 9,000 plans.

My suggestion is to focus on the projects you want to work with first.
As it is categorized, all you need to do is to search and/or go to the
category you want. Eg: I started with a simple birdhouse so I went to
the “outdoor small crafts” section to look for related plans.

In Conclusion:

I highly recommend this package if you already enjoy working with wood or you are interested in exploring the possibilities. It offers fantastic value for money. The woodworking plans are not complicated, they are straightforward and extremely easy to follow .
Even a complete newbie is able to master the woodworking skills and
techniques within minutes by following the clear and concise
instructions.

One thing I really enjoy are the free updates. From what I’ve seen,
they are consistently updating their members’ area with new woodworking
plans, all for free without additional charges.

As of writing today, the site is giving away a free bonus called
“Woodworking Made Easy”. So if you want to grab the free offer, click
here to visit the site now.

Naked Retirement

A Different Way To Earn

blackboard business chalkboard concept

Why would anyone want to downsize their job from full-time work to part-time?.

There are several good reasons: –

Less stress

Less time spent at work

More time to do things that you want to do

The career/job isn’t what it once was, disillusionment

Concentrate on building a business

More time for hobbies, (that may, or may not turn into a business)

The list can go on and on, and each person who takes this approach has their own reasons. Of course, there are also disadvantages, such as: –

 

Less money (at least initially)

Possibly starting a new job, including the application process and all that it entails

Less prestige, in certain professions

Loss of identity for people who have been in one field for a long time

Possible loss of benefits, such as medical/dental/vision

Loss of seniority, influence and authority

 

Sometimes, a career field that a person started in, changes so much over the years that it is no longer attractive. If you find that this is you, then consider doing something different. This is mainly written with the older person in mind, as a younger person doesn’t need to downsize, but rather completely change career tracks and  a younger person may not have the resources to consider downsizing anyway. It would still be wise for a young person to have more than one source of income though.

However you feel about money, you need it to survive in the world. Before downsizing from full-time to part-time, whether in the same field, a completely new field or just an easygoing part time job to supply a bit of cash and maybe some benefits, you need to evaluate your finances.

I went from a high prestige career to a part-time job and some online contract work. What enabled me to do this was mostly a pension that I could claim several years before the normal retirement age of most people.

I had an idea that I would move several hundred miles from where I was working, to a more rural area and continue in  the same field there, maybe with less pay, but I expected the pension to cover the shortfall. I succeeded in this, but not long after starting, I found that it was not what I thought it would be and I left. I then went to what would be seen as an unremarkable part-time job. This job however, was enjoyable in a strange way. It was simple enough, it required a reasonable amount of physical exertion and I could finish work every day without having to think about it anymore until I went to work the following day.

I am lucky enough to be in good physical condition and I like to work out, so the part-time job is an extension of my workouts with the added bonus of getting paid for it. The pay isn’t as much as I am used to, but the people who I work with seem to think that the pay is quite reasonable for the area.

I have found over the months that the amount of money flowing into my bank account from all sources,  equals and generally exceeds my previous full-time net monthly income. I haven’t quite got to the stage where I do exactly as I please, but it gets closer every day.

I have found that the loss of status is a minor issue and it does not bother me, but that is because I always knew that it was coming and I have prepared myself over the years. I have never really been one for completely buying into  an identity that has been manufactured for me by someone or something else. I once did when I was younger, but it was so difficult to re-adjust after leaving the job that I was determined never to allow it to occur again, and I have been successful in that.

If you have other resources to draw on and you feel that it is time to do something different, I would do it. Resources such as pensions, business income, contract work, investments, expectations of future pensions etc are very liberating. Nobody should rely on one entity for their income, it is very precarious, especially in today’s work environment. The world of work is not the same as it was in the 1950s, 60s, 70s or even the 80s. No employer has a duty to you. Many good employers do feel and act in a responsible manner towards employees, which is admirable, but sometimes they find that they have no choice but to let employees go. It is wise to not put all of your eggs in one basket, don’t rely on only one source for your income.

 

My income percentages from various sources is –

Pension – 46%

Part time employment – 31%

Online contract work – 15%

Business interests – 8%

 

Some of the income can be called passive, about 54% if you class a pension as passive. It is passive income now, but it has to be earned over time.

My aim is to increase the online work and business interest percentages to at least 70% and get the part-time employment and pension percentages down to about 30% of total income, and have at least 7 sources of income while investing as little of my time as possible. This will also result in more money flowing in.

 

A younger person can take this approach but will normally have to become an entrepreneur as opposed to working several low paid part-time jobs, because you still have to invest at least 40 hours a week total in your part time jobs to make a living wage. The whole goal is to generate as much money as you want,  but also minimize time spent working for someone else and maximize time spent on doing what you enjoy. Also, a younger person won’t generally have the bonus of a pension.

 

Work out your figures and see if it is possible for you. You don’t necessarily need to equal the money that you are earning at present (initially) if you are willing to make do with less, smaller house, cheaper car etc.

 

Let me know what you think.

Benefits of DIY

beige wooden d i and y freestanding letters

There are many jobs that we once did ourselves but find that we now pay people to do for us. Assuming that you are in reasonable health, there may be some good reasons to go back to completing these tasks yourself.

 

There are some tasks that we come across where we have a knowledge/skill barrier but by using books, and especially the internet, just about any small task is achievable. From a knowledge perspective, large tasks are also possible in theory, as long as we have enough people to assist or enough time and money to rent or buy the required equipment to take the place of helpers.

 

The internet, especially YouTube is a wonderful resource for gaining the required knowledge to complete a physical task. Completing tasks yourself increases your knowledge, independence and skill level. Doing the job yourself also saves you money in most cases but sometimes when you count the time spent on a task, materials needed and time spent learning a new skill, it may not be as much as expected.

 

The best example I can think of here is changing the oil in your vehicle. You need to buy the oil, a drain pan, a ramp or jack, an oil filter and an air filter, and tools that will do the job. This will all cost more than the quick oil change garage, but the upside to this is that when you have done it once you will have the knowledge, and the next time, you will be faster. The tools (hand tools are all that are needed), drain pan and ramps are a one time expense. You will also be confident that your oil has actually been changed, your oil and air filters have really been replaced and the threads on your oil plug haven’t been stripped.

 

Another example is taking care of your own yard. The advantages are that you will get some exercise and at the most basic level of cutting and edging the lawn, it is not hard and the initial outlay is worth it as lawn care companies are very expensive now. Maintaining the lawn mower can also become “interesting”. I have a gas operated walk behind mower that has powered wheels, front and back. The wheels are powered by drive belts and they tend to stretch, fray and sometimes break, this results in no power being transferred to the wheels and you end up with an extra heavy human driven push mower. The first time that this happened, I went online to see if there was any information on fixing the issue as I hadn’t come across the problem before, because I used to pay a lawn service. I found all the information that I needed to replace a drive belt and gained knowledge. It doesn’t take me any time at all now to replace a drive belt because I know how it works and what bolts and screws to remove to get to the parts that I need. My most recent front and back yard is modest but not tiny, the quote I got from a local lawn care company for cutting the lawns and edging  was $130 twice a month and that is just too much when I am able-bodied and I can easily do it myself. I have never been a garden enthusiast but it does seem to give me some sort of satisfaction to do it myself. I am also increasing my knowledge about plants and landscaping topics to make the property attractive.

 

A while ago, I took on a project that took me some time to research. I built a new shower stall in my bathroom. There was an existing stall, but the base was leaking and it was getting moldy. The tiles were also getting moldy too quickly and were not very attractive. The glass shower door was about 20 years old and did not look good at all. I had to research the project in stages as I hadn’t completed this task before. I found all the information that I needed online.

The job began by ripping out the old stall, down to the wall studs and then rebuilding it, stage by stage. It did take a while, but it was completed 100% by myself, so it was slow going.

The end result was very attractive and while there were places that could have been better on the tile work, I was the only one who noticed. I increased my knowledge and skill level and I was very pleased.

As for the money saved, I may have saved a few hundred dollars by doing it myself and I also know that I could do the job faster and better if I had to complete another similar task.

 

Any task around the house can be completed by the homeowner with the knowledge that is freely available online. The only things that I will not tackle at present are electrical rewiring and work involving gas lines. I have confidence in my abilities but I will leave those to the professionals due to liability issues.

 

There are other topics that we can look at, such as stop ordering carryout or going out to eat all of the time and start cooking. Once again, if you aren’t very knowledgeable about cooking there are plenty of books on the subject and a load of information online. You will be able to choose your own menus and ingredients for health and taste reasons. Everyone has a cooker and refrigerator in the house and if you use it, you will be getting your money’s worth out of it.

 

I have also been my own plumber, plasterer, drywall installer/repairer, concrete work repairer and more. I didn’t know much about any of these issues until I researched them and then put that knowledge into action.

 

The main point of the topic is not so much “saving money”, although completing tasks yourself will achieve that in many cases, it is more a quest to increase knowledge about practical work and become more self-sufficient. Other benefits are that it gives a person a sense of achievement, which is good for mental health, and practical issues involve physical exertion, which is always good, especially if you earn your living in a sedentary occupation.

The Credit Score

master card visa credit card gold

The truth of the matter is that everyone should strive to use as little credit as possible because credit equals debt. Having said that, most people find that they need to use credit on high ticket items such as vehicles, buying a house, home air conditioning systems, furniture, home repairs etc.

 

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S.A.  are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and the  Creditors and lenders will normally use one of these bureaus to check your credit rating when you apply for credit. The credit bureaus operate by collecting and continuously updating a consumer’s credit rating and then selling that information to businesses in a credit report. Each credit bureau operates independently and issues it’s own rating. Consumers normally know this as their credit score, one number that represents your reliability as a borrower.

 

Credit scores generally range from a low of 300 (poor)  to a high of 850 ( excellent) and the score has a major impact on your credit options. Each individual business has their own model of credit score generation but the final ratings usually fall within a few points of each other. A lower credit score will put you at a disadvantage. You will find that you have less credit options, and the options that are available to you will come with a high interest rate and normally give you less time to pay the loan off. I think that it is always a good idea to get as high a credit score as you can, because you never know when you may need it.

FICO

The Fair Isaac Corporation formulated FICO credit scores. They are an amalgamation of the information found in the major credit bureau files on you. These scores are used by more than 90% of lenders when it comes to granting loans. They are also used when setting the interest rates, monthly payments, terms of each loan and loan approval. The FICO score is something that is normally supplied to many credit card holders on their monthly statements.

 

How To Get And Maintain A Good Credit Score

The first thing you will need is a credit history. If you have never used credit, you will have no credit rating and you will probably find it hard to get a loan.

The easiest way to begin your credit history is by getting a credit card. My suggestion is to use the card and either make sure that you pay it off every  month or keep a low balance on it. The credit history uses data from you “on time” payments, use of the card and length of credit history. You normally find that if you pay off the whole card balance in full every month, you will not be charged interest, but that depends on the individual lender and you should read the small print on your agreement.

After you create a credit history, make sure that you make all of your loan payments by the payment “due date” and keep your debt to 30% or less of the total credit available to you.

The categories generally used to determine your credit score is:-

Payment History – 35%

Credit Utilization – 30%

Length of Credit History – 15%

Mix of Accounts – 10%

New Credit Inquiries – 10%

 

The two most important factors, according to the above figures are the payment history and the credit utilization. Payment history is self explanatory – pay on time, every time. Credit utilization is a calculation of the total available credit you have versus your total debt. If you can keep the ratio of debt to credit below 30% then you should be in good shape.

Example –   Total Available Credit = $30,000

                     Total Debt = $9000

                     Credit Utilization = 30%

 

You never know when you may need credit and it doesn’t hurt to build yourself a good credit score for potential use.

If you can build and maintain a good score you will be able to take advantage of the best offers, such as:-

0% interest  finance loans for several years with no prepayment penalties

18 month + 0% interest credit card offers

9% or less APR credit cards

4% or less mortgage loans

And more

 

People with bad credit can still obtain credit but the interest rates are normally extortionate. Unfortunately,  the people who pay the most interest on loans are the people who can least afford it, or the people who have neglected to cultivate their credit score.

I once saw a 70 point drop in my credit score due to one minor monthly payment that I forgot about. The minimum payment was so small that I could have easily paid the amount many times over. The payment was to a store type credit card, and I paid the forgotten payment the following month. I had been an account holder for several years, and I had used it, and got to a zero dollar balance several times over that time. This was the first time that I had missed a payment. This didn’t matter to the company. It took about a year to rebuild the credit score to a very good level. The company involved, was so fast to react to this one missed payment in my history of being a reliable customer that I payed off the whole thing the month after that and shredded the card, never to be used again. These things happen and it is inconvenient, try not to let it happen to you.

 

Yes, the system has the advantage. I am not advocating the system and I am not advocating borrowing money, but if we are diligent, we can use the special offers that are available to a person with an excellent credit score as a useful financial tool.

Home Security

pexels-photo-1166415

A person who has their house burglarized feels violated. Their oasis from the crazy world has been breached and many victims never feel the same sense of comfort when in their home as they did before the burglary.

Burglary is considered a property crime and it is therefore not very high on the agenda of law enforcement, especially in large Cities. The headline grabbing shootings, stabbings robberies etc are what law enforcement concentrates on because they are crimes against persons and they are a threat to lives.

Everyone should take some security measures in order to prevent burglary. The harder the task seems to a burglar, the less he/she will target your home. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you because you are poor, appear poor or have nothing to steal, many burglars are chancers and are willing to take a risk on breaking into a house or apartment that is easy, in the hope that something of value will be obtained.

You don’t want to find yourself in a burglary/home invasion situation. Technically, this situation occurs when a burglar enters your home and you or another authorized person is in residence. It is very dangerous and if you have never considered what you would do in such a situation, you will be at the mercy of the criminal. You may end up at their mercy anyway, but if you have a plan, you have a better chance of a favorable outcome. The best thing to have in your home for such a situation is a firearm, although the usefulness of the firearm depends on the particular laws in your State of residence. Bats and clubs can also be a good defence tool.  If you do possess a firearm for such a situation, make sure that you know the law pertaining to this situation, you are sufficiently familiar with the weapon that you can use it and most importantly, if the situation dictates, be mentally prepared to use it in defence of yourself and family. I know many people are anti gun and that is ok. It’s your personal choice if you want to take the chance of becoming a helpless victim. The criminals don’t have these negative feeling about guns, or any weapons. Just remember that even if you manage to call 911, the police response time is going to be measured in minutes, not seconds. If you do have firearms in the house, don’t tell anyone about them.

 

Security Measures

Starting from the outside, get some light on your front yard, motion sensor flood lights are good. Trim any bushes so that people cannot hide behind them, trim the bush from the base, up to about 2 ft, so that you can clearly see the base. You could consider planting thorny bushes and hedges around the perimeter of your back yard, if the bushes are large and thorny enough, they may be enough to make a burglar think twice. Motion sensor lights in your backyard are also advisable.

Because most people like a private backyard, they fence the yard with fencing that blocks the view of people looking in from outside. This achieves privacy, but is also attractive to the burglar, as he/she can break into your house in privacy. The rear of a house is a popular entry point for burglars. With apartments, unless it is on the ground floor, there is only one way in, the front door. Many people would be surprised at how quick and easy it is to kick in a front door, or pry one open. I prefer a reinforced door frame which will withstand a lot of force. The door frame is normally the weak point.

Windows are also a favored entry point for burglars, they are easy to force and as a last resort, the burglar can just break the glass to gain entry. I think that windows are the weakest part of the house. There really isn’t very much you can do about this situation except to fit security bars on your windows. Many people don’t like security bars because they are ugly and they also stop you using the windows as an emergency exit, in case of fire etc.

Security cameras, recording to a DVD, can be fitted to your house internally and externally. These systems can now be self installed reasonably easily, many work on WiFi and they are not too expensive. The cameras can be motion activated and will record the burglar. Cameras will not give any specific protection against burglary unless you place signs or stickers in your yard. The cameras should really be covert, so the burglar doesn’t know about them. The recordings can be used for the apprehension and prosecution of the burglar. Catching a criminal after the event is not as desirable as preventing the burglary in the first place.

Alarms may put some burglars off, but most know that they have a few minutes to get in and out before any response to the alarm activation, but it does place a limit on their time. If the burglar has planned the crime, they will know exactly what they want to get and where it is, so they can be quick. This is why you should limit your visitors to highly trusted friends and family and people carrying out essential work on your house only.

When you are in your house, you can use devices like security door wedges and door braces to give extra security to you doors, or place the devices on all doors giving access to the outside, except the front door of course.  If you have windows that lock, keep them locked when not in use, consider installing security glass and consider having ground floor windows alarmed.

It all sounds like living a life under siege and I understand the feeling. You should evaluate your local crime maps (they can normally be found online, try the local police website) and decide what measures you think you need. Being prepared is better than being a victim. Don’t be afraid of reporting suspicious people in your area. The suspicion begins with strangers seen walking slowly along the street, casually looking at the houses as they go. The walk appears aimless and there should be no reason for a person who doesn’t live in the area to be shuffling along the street, glancing around at houses. If you see one of these shufflers suddenly start to walk towards a house with a purpose and disappear into the back yard, call the police. Sometimes the suspicion is generated by seeing an unknown vehicle cruising slowly in your residential neighborhood, especially during the day, after people who work the traditional 9 AM to 5 PM have gone to work. If you are wrong, don’t worry, you have a right to be suspicious. The police should respond, and maybe that alone will encourage burglars to find somewhere else to target.

The 40 Hour Work Week

gray scale photo of gears

The 40 hour work week is not a permanent fixture.. Although it is now commonly accepted and people are so used to it that anything less is seen as part time when working for an employer, and  is penalized. Lower pay, no benefits, no sick time, no vacation time, no overtime pay and the list goes on.

 

The 40 hour work week came into being during the industrial revolution, when people were previously working up to 100 hours per week  on tedious, dangerous, repetitive tasks while being paid a pittance. The 40 hour week was seen as wonderful.

 

Before the industrial revolution, people worked a more nature based schedule, because many were involved in agriculture and there was also a lack of good artificial light. The work day would begin at first light and finish at last light. The work conditions were physically intensive, but at least people could work surrounded by nature rather than the miserable, dangerous, depressing and unhealthy conditions of the industrial revolution factories. When I read of the conditions that many people had to live and work in, “living death” is the only thing that I can think of.

 

There seems to have been a golden age of the employee, roughly between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. Well paid work was plentiful and while not always satisfying, it would offer a good lifestyle to many, one person could support a whole family of 4 or 5 on their pay and people seemed happier with the 40 hour work week model. I don’t know what happened, but that age is long gone. Real wages have been stagnant for a long time, while prices have risen and job security is a thing of the past. Something has messed up the benefits system where you now find that your employee medical/dental/vision insurance is becoming worthless but premiums have risen dramatically.

 

It seems that we have been in the tech revolution for a while now. Since the advent of computers, many jobs that were once considered industrial are now technology based and require fewer people and less or different skills. A good example is  the printing industry which was very labor intensive and was seen as a skilled and well paid occupation not so long ago. It required many people who specialized in different skills such as typesetters and book binders, machine operators etc. Technology has led to a 43% drop in print industry employment in the last 20 years alone. Part of this decline can be attributed to digital books and digital methods of communication, desktop publishing, where a person can now produce his/her own business cards at home, direct to press typesetting systems where a computer operator can design the print job on screen and then send the job direct to a printing press, cutting out several jobs in the process. The industry was very unionized, but even the powerful print unions couldn’t disrupt advancements in technology.

 

It seems that some time soon, we will be forced to rethink our relationship with work and the 40 hour work week. The technology to shorten the work week exists now in many areas of work but the issue is that in today’s society,  less hours mean less paycheck. Artificial intelligence and robots are developing rapidly and once an android type of machine like “data” in Star Trek can be built, it will be able to put a lot of humans out of work. There is already a lot of speculation about driverless vehicles, personal, taxis, trucks and the like. Some testing is already underway. One could speculate that a passenger aircraft could now fly itself but the public is not ready to trust such a machine yet. Pilots, don’t get too complacent and elitist about job security.

 

What can replace the 40 hour work week? What can replace work itself?.  It is not so much a question of what activities will replace work but what will allow us to earn money. Many European countries already have a less than 40 hour work week, generous vacation allowances of  a minimum 25 days and they still find that business can be profitable. A universal basic income is attractive in theory, but because humans are human, they will find a way to mess that up somehow for the benefit of a few, to the detriment of many.

 

The 40 hour week model is at least 100 years old now and probably needs to be revised. Most people dislike work and dislike being there, although there are plenty of people who can convincingly lie that they like their work, very few do. I haven’t got a solution yet,  but I think that earning money will not look like the current 40 hour week model 100 years from now. As for the androids, we will have to discover their limitations and exploit those limitations to earn a living.

 

I think that the two words that sum up the current trend is “greed” and “need”. The ones that “have” are greedy and the ones that don’t have, still need to earn that pittance in order to survive. It is up to the individual to find his/her solution to this. If you are waiting for politicians, (of any flavor) to find a solution for you, you will be waiting forever.

 

An additional thought, I acknowledge that the industrial revolution sweatshop system of production still exists in many parts of the world and I feel for them. Part of the blame is us in the developed world wanting and buying the products that are produced, and ignoring the fact that these companies have offshored their operations for only one reason, to maximize already record profits….are there any limits to greed?.

Sulky Sunday

woman in red lipstick opening her mouth

This is a little rhyme that I wrote for my wife because she used to sulk so much on Sundays about having to go to work on Monday.

I am not a poet, I don’t know how to formulate poetry and I am not about to learn any time soon, it is what it is.

She seemed to think that it was funny.

 

 

The big day is here, it’s called sulky Sunday,

It’s not too much fun but it’s better than Monday,

 

The day starts off well, but the clock moves so fast,

She wants time to slow, she wants it to last,

but in the blink of an eye, the day has now passed.

 

To bed she must go, with feelings of sadness,

This Monday feeling is total madness,

 

She closes her eyes and before she is rested,

She is torn from her slumber by the number so detested,

 

It’s 6am, the alarm is ringing, and the ears are stinging,

 

With one thought in her mind, she crawls out of bed,

It’s another DAMN Monday, she screams in her head.

What Is Money? How Can You Attract It?

business close up commerce conceptual

What is money?

And how can you attract money?

Is money is just paper, metal or figures that give a person the ability to obtain goods and services or is there more to it?.  

Money has been described as energy, the transfer of energy, energy storage and many more definitions. People have different ideas on what money actually is, but it is a fact that money is a convenient form of exchange for services and goods. Money is more convenient than a direct exchange of goods or services between people. Having as much money as you need is good, having more money than you can use is freedom.

money pink coins pig

Money is a form of energy storage, nobody can obtain it without some effort, expending some energy. People don’t exchange their energy for pieces of paper or cheap metal disks, they exchange their energy in order to acquire the items that they need or desire. The paper, metal disks and numbers showing a credit on a bank account store the energy until the owner is ready to exchange it for goods and services. There are of course, positive and negative energies that one can choose to use to accumulate money, and if you believe in the big picture principle that what you send out into the universe is what you will receive (reap what you sow), then it would be wise to expend good, honest energy in your quest for money.

bullion gold gold bars golden

Money was once aligned with gold and the value of money was dictated by how much gold was held to validate the currency. For various reasons, this is no longer used and is seen by many people in the financial world as a limiting factor. There would have been no “quantitative easing”  if the value of the dollar was backed by gold.

 

What we have now is the fiat system where a government orders that a currency is legal tender and makes it law that the currency must be accepted as payment for goods and services with no underlying commodity of value to back the currency. When other countries also agree to accept each other’s currency for exchange, you have the current global system. The value of one currency to another varies daily for many reasons, and to give an example, not so long ago you would get two U.S. Dollars (USD) in exchange for every Great Britain Pound (GBP) that you exchange, but at present, you may get around $1.30 for every pound. This is a very simplistic explanation.

 

Whatever you think of money and it’s systems, you need it to survive in the world, if you think that you don’t, then someone is supporting you and you only need to look at the reason that they are able to support you for your answer. You will find that money is being supplied to you by someone.

sky space dark galaxy

Quantum physics suggests some very interesting theories on many topics. The basics are that at their core, all things and living beings are vibrating frequencies which give the illusion of solid objects, and give form to the universe. Along with this goes the theory that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body and world, and that we can influence our environment by what we think. The phrase  “ what you think about is what you become” springs to mind.

 

If the above theory is true, then money is just a frequency and one must harmonize with the frequency of money in order to attract it. The world that we live in demands that we have to give something of value in order to receive money in exchange. It is believed by many, that the act of giving money to people in need of it will ensure that the donor will receive money in return somewhere down the line, and not necessarily from the person who originally received the money.  There is a theory that we live in a kind of elaborate computer game or matrix, created by our spiritual selves in order to give us experiences and teach us lessons. The theory suggests that we can “will” anything that we desire into existence by the power of the mind but we just don’t know it and we have been stripped of the memory of this ability because if we knew of it from birth, then life would be too easy and it would not fulfil it’s function of furnishing experiences and lessons.

 

Money is not good or evil, it just “is”. People can use money for good or evil and some of the acts that various individuals will commit in order to accumulate money may be evil in certain cases. Money does not cause people to act in a bad way, people decide to act in bad ways for themselves. Gold fever is really greed and fear.

 

I see money as a convenient method of exchange for goods and services. There are people who do manipulate the system for personal gain but if you allow yourself to be negatively influenced by hearing, reading and thinking about such people, you will not attract any yourself. Accumulate money for yourself and do good with it.

person holding string lights photo

We all want money, so what is the frequency of money?

Well, it’s not so much about the frequency of money as the frequency that you broadcast from your mind in order to attract it. Your brain produces an electrical field and it would not be so far fetched to believe that you thoughts are a sort of radio broadcast that interact with other frequencies outside of your body.

It is generally accepted by practitioners of the use of thought to manifest desires, that in order to attract your desire, you must go as far as to  truly believe that you already have your desire. To use you mind to “want” something is to attract the “wanting”, so you will be left continually wanting your desire. If you use manifestation techniques to make yourself believe that you already have your desire, then you will attract the desire. The theory is that the “universal field” will pick up on your broadcast, it will see that you believe that you already think that you have your desire and will therefore be obliged to supply the desire.

There is also a belief that people limit themselves financially by the way that they think. A person who earns $50,000 a year and believes that this is the maximum amount that he/she is worth will never earn more than that. Unconsciously, they will limit their job searches to $50,000 as a ceiling or maybe they won’t attempt to start a business because they “know” that they won’t make any money.

 

Many people who study manifestation techniques suggest that a mindset of general abundance already attained and gratitude for that abundance are the correct approach to get to be on the frequency that attracts money.

 

Do something positive to achieve abundance. Some people believe that nothing is required in order to attract abundance except to get into the mindset, but the mindset produces ideas and ideas put into action (brought into physical being) are what produces results.

 

Conclusion

Don’t let yourself believe that money is bad and that it is not attainable by you. Have faith in yourself, develop your skills and go and get some. The existing system is not perfect but it is what we have to work with. We need to find ways to achieve wealth honestly, from within the system.

A person must have faith in their ability to earn an abundance of money in order to make money.

 

The ideas discussed here are all elements of large areas of study in their own right and there is an abundance of information about all of the ideas online and in books. Each idea would be worth further investigation. I can’t say whether manifestation produces results, but most of the alternatives are not positive, and practicing some of these ideas would not do any harm and may produce something positive.

Organizing Your Finances

person holding coins

Everyone needs to have some type of system for their finances. Everyone (almost everyone) has monthly bills to pay, and missing a payment is a bad thing as it can affect your credit rating. The credit rating is very important as it affects the interest rates that you are eligible for when applying for a loan, mortgage or a credit card.

 

Bill Payment Systems.

One system that can be used is to set up automatic payments from your bank to your creditors. You don’t have to keep up with due dates and everything is automated. The problem is that if you have an unexpected payment that you have to make then you may end up with an overdrawn account or the bank may not honor the payment due to insufficient funds. This could also be an issue for a business person, contractor or freelancer who does not get a regular set amount deposited into their bank every month. The system is not good for a person who does not have regular scheduled payments into their bank account.

Another system, preferred by myself, is to receive paper bills/invoices. I organize the paper bills by stacking them on top of each other after sorting them by date, with the closest date to the present on top. Keep the stack in a place that catches the eye regularly and get into the habit of checking the top bill frequently, not a very high tech system, but it is a system, and it works. This system allows a person to either wait for the “due date” to pay the bill or pay it early if sufficient funds are in the bank at the time that the person checks the stack. It may not work for everyone and I suppose that the system relies on habit and a good memory, but it is useful when you have income that is not received on a regular date, the system also aids the cash flow. Cash Flow is not the same as a general lack of cash.

I have noticed that some banks and credit card companies are attempting to charge for paper bills. When that becomes common, I will probably go to a paper stack of printed email reminders.

 

Another option is to have no system and hope for the best. This doesn’t work and usually results in missed payments, late fees and a less than impressive credit score. Many people think that they will not have to borrow money and that the credit score is of no interest to them, but it is always wise to be prepared for the unexpected and ensure that your credit score will allow you to get a good interest rate, just in case you need it.

People qualify for interest rates on loans based on their credit score. It is very unfair, but the bottom line on this is that the people who need credit the most and who have the least amount of wealth, end up being offered loans with the highest interest rates as their only option.  I have seen credit cards offered with a great 6% APR (only with an excellent credit score), but I have also seen credit cards with a crazy 25% APR, these are generally the store charge card types of deals. I would not take that deal, I would rather walk around in worn out clothing (or whatever else they are offering at the store).

 

Should You Use Savings or Credit on an Unexpected Expense.

It would be nice for a person to have enough cash reserves to be confident that they could cover any eventuality, but for most people, this is not reality. The use of cash or credit depends upon the credit deal that is being offered and the cost of the unexpected expense. I have used credit when there has been a 0% deal on offer for the amount that I require, but before I accept the offer, I always check the APR on the loan, in case I don’t finish the payments in time. I always calculate the minimum monthly payments that are required to pay the loan off before the 0% APR expires.  I have sometimes ignored the 0% deals in favor of a low interest rate when the expense is so large that I know that I will not pay it in time. Most of the time I will take a 0% loan offer on an expense even if I have the reserves to pay cash, as long as I can be sure of paying the loan off before the interest takes effect.. Taking a loan helps with cash flow, and I suppose that some of it is psychological, because I still have all my reserves in place for emergencies.

Sometimes the offer is very good, such as an 18 month 0% APR for purchases. The thing is, you must be aware of the “ 0% for 18 months, then 22% (example) APR” statement in the offer.  The interest usually encompasses the whole loan amount after the special rate expires, not just the outstanding balance, which means that you will have to pay all of the interest if you don’t pay off the loan in time. If you are considering a credit card offer, make sure that you start with a zero balance, because your monthly payments are usually applied to your original balance first, until it is paid in full. The original balance will still be subject to your normal APR, so you could end up making purchases under the 0% offer but never actually enjoy that offer because your monthly payments will go to something else. As long as you can be sure of paying off the loan in time, the 0% APR deals are worth taking advantage of and they will also help to build an excellent credit score.

Using loans in this way takes a lot of discipline and a constant awareness of what you are doing. If you lose track of things, you will be worse off in the end. Sometimes people have no reserves and have absolutely no option but to take a loan for an emergency, to buy a car (to get to work), new HVAC system to stay warm or cool , medical bills, help a family member etc.

APR is Annual Percentage Rate of Charge.

Credit is a bankers game, either avoid it or learn to use it to give you as much benefit as you can squeeze out of it. Have you ever wondered why you are offered 1% interest on your savings account, with banks advertising this as a great rate,  but their best offer to you is a loan with 15% interest on the total value of the loan? I sure have, but most of us have to play this game at some time.

 

Achieving a Good Credit Score

Achieving a good credit score is not that hard, and a payment system helps greatly.  Try to keep your outstanding balances on credit cards low. You must pay the monthly bills on time, even if you can only afford the minimum payment, make sure that you pay it somehow. The same goes for all bills. Beware of small medical bills and store charge cards that can easily be overlooked, they will report a person to the credit agencies in the blink of an eye for one missed payment, even if you have been making regular payments for months. Once reported, a late payment could result in a loss of 60 points or more on your credit score. I don’t advocate this credit score system, but play the game, to give you more options and a good interest rate just in case you do need a loan at some stage.

 

Live Within Your Means

The best option for having enough money and avoiding credit is to live within your means. I have read that many wealthy people do this, maybe this approach helped them to become wealthy. Don’t spend money that you don’t have on a flashy new car, be happy with a reliable one (for now). Don’t feel the need to keep up with other people. I have never understood people who feel forced to buy things just to keep up with neighbors, friends etc. If someone thinks less of you because you don’t spend a crazy $200 on a pair of already ripped jeans, so what. The tennis shoe fad is really puzzling. I refuse to pay more than $60 for a pair of tennis shoes, and when I do buy a pair, they need to be well designed running shoes. I also know that a $60 pair of running shoes is overpriced but I have found that this is about the cheapest quality shoe available for running at this time in the U.S.A.

Don’t be influenced by advertisements. This is hard because ads are specifically designed by some very clever people to have a psychological effect, that effect being to get you to buy what you don’t need or sometimes don’t even want.

 

Save Money

This is a good habit to acquire. The act of saving will help you to feel better and it is the starting point for building a cash reserve. Set a figure or percentage for yourself to save every week, pay period or month and don’t break into it except for extreme emergencies. Buying stocks or shares with savings is ok, but one needs to be aware that they can lose value as well as gain value and it is really a long term strategy, unless you have a significant amount of money to invest.

 

Insurance and Pensions

I would suggest that it is wise to get life insurance of some type while you are still young. The younger a person is, the cheaper the rate and the more coverage you can get. Ideally, life insurance should cover 2 people such as a husband and wife  in a mutual agreement. The actual product does not have to be the same one, but the benefit amount should be equal for both parties (to be fair). If the worst happens, the person left here will not have so many financial problems. There are plenty of different products available with various rates and terms.

Pensions are not usually a high priority for young people but this is the best time to begin planning. You don’t know what you will be doing in the future and the work that you do may not offer anything other than a 401k. The longer you invest in your own scheme, the more you will have when it comes time to claim the pension. If you are young and you are reading this, take a few hours over the next few days to investigate this. Normally, the employer contributes a certain amount of cash into a 401k, which makes it more valuable and a 401k is portable from one job to another, but you will have to work for an employer for a certain amount of time to be able to keep the employer’s contribution. This is called vesting and each employer has their own time period for the employee to be fully vested. Once you are fully vested, you can get another job and take 100% of the employer’s contributions with you in the form of the 401k. From the employer’s point of view, the vesting period encourages employee longevity, from the employees point of view, if they want to keep that employer contribution to their 401k, they will have to stay with the company for a set period of time. You could have to spend between 3 to 8 years or more with a company before you are fully vested.

Planning for  pensions too late could result in a person relying on social security alone in retirement. Pensions are seen as an old person’s issue, but early consideration of this topic is advisable.