How to Assess if You’re Ready to Buy a House

Becoming a homeowner is a dream most people have and consider it a crucial milestone in adulthood, whether it’s to provide for the family or set oneself up for a productive, independent life. Of course, there are a lot of things to think about before making the leap to buying a house. After all, it is a long-term commitment that comes with its own challenges. A good starting point is to give yourself a quick self-assessment to see if you’re ready to start looking into properties.

Here are some key questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Do you have the income to sustain a household?

In terms of finding an affordable place that you can start with, there are plenty of low-cost housing options, so it comes down to if you can get a mortgage loan and afford to pay it off on time. You should also consider whether you can handle all the utility bills that will come with your home and other maintenance needs on top of your lifestyle.

Will you be living alone, or will you be providing for others? Will expenses be shared? These considerations have to be done before taking up that loan offer so that you don’t end up having debts and late payments piling on top of each other. A suitable way to compute this is by checking your monthly debt-to-income ratio and the amount you have in savings.

  • Are you prepared for the upkeep that follows?

Houses come with a lot of maintenance needs, and that is not only another financial cost to consider but also a logistical one. Do you have the time, resources, and energy to take care of your home? Repairs may be needed, and consistent cleaning is required.

You should also think about any changes you might be planning on doing to your house down the line. Recent data shows that in the US,90% of new homeowners plan to remodel their home after buying it (even if they don’t plan on doing it immediately). It would be better to make sure you’ve adequately assessed whether you can handle this with the kind of property you’ll get and if you have a well-thought-out schedule and budget.

  • Have you mapped out the next five years?

One of the most important things about making such a major purchase, like a home, is figuring out how it can serve for years to come. Whether you are buying it for personal use or leasing out, make sure that it is in good physical state. Its location should not make it a regrettable place to be in at least five years down the line. Furthermore, you need to match your purchase with the lifestyle you plan to maintain. If you’ll be moving around a lot, consider whether it’s worth it to buy a house and if it will still feel like a functional space in the future.

These pointers should help you think things over and figure out whether it’s a good time for you to purchase your new home finally. Doing so will ensure that it won’t become a regret in the future.

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The Approaches To Finding A Creative Career (Without The Financial Hardship)

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We all feel frustrated on occasion with our current career. We find that we are dissatisfied or we need to do something that gives us more fulfillment. As a result, we start to think about a more creative career. But before you leave your current job and dive into something that you are incredibly passionate about, you have to remember the importance of financial stability. Many people would love to do something creative but in the current climate, and in general, it can prove to be a struggle. But is there a balance to maintain? Can you choose a creative career that doesn’t involve you being a starving artist?

Taking The Opportunity To Research

There are so many courses out there that can point you in the direction of a creative career but this is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s crucial to do your research but even if you decide to do a degree in movie producing does this mean you will actually start being a producer when you finish? There are plenty of careers that have a structure but also gives you the opportunity to be creative. Marketing is a very good example. Because there are so many aspects of the marketing industry, from designing products to promoting, that you can find an entryway that suits you. You could partake in a product design masters course or learn the ropes in terms of social media marketing or PR. There are so many different opportunities out there that will rely on your ability to be creative to a certain extent. You need to find the right level for you.

The Importance Of Harnessing Your Skills

If you are looking to be creative in a certain area but you don’t necessarily have the skills you don’t have to jump ship on your career. In fact, you could turn this into a hobby rather than anything else which means you have the stability of a career. It’s a very hard balance to get right. You need to be earning a regular wage but you also need to feel that you are being challenged. And this is why you have to take a long hard look at your current skills and see where these can apply in another creative outlet. For example, if you are a people person and you like working in groups there are creative careers that you may not have considered to be traditionally creative. Being a teacher is a good example. These days there are so many online opportunities to teach English as a foreign language that you can harness your creative skills in a more traditional sense. Because if you’re not willing to start all over again and undertake a new course it’s important to look at what you already have that you can sell. This is a very important thing to bear in mind when you are looking to change your career. Careers can be creative without being an art designer or working in the theater!

These two components will serve you well. It’s important to remember when choosing a creative career that if you have an aptitude for a certain type of career you may feel drawn to it but you still need to check if you have to get the relevant qualifications. And this is what will give you the edge.

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Power to the Filipina: Investments for Every Young Filipina Professional

Keeping up with every trend is the modern woman’s downfall. While you’re busy updating your social media, you miss out on the opportunity to invest your time and finances on what will truly make an impact on your future.

There’s no better time than today to step up your game by focusing on the more relevant things in life. This means long-term investments to yourself, your relationships, and your financial security.

Your Own Place

Many assume that investing in real estate when you’re young is for generating passive income. While it’s an opportunity that comes with buying a property, there are better reasons to do it. This is especially true if you’re getting one for the first time.

Scout for a condo unit for sale in Makati to establish your independence. Housing options like condominiums are best for those who are new to living alone.

The size of your property doesn’t end all your challenges, though. You might still fall into bad habits like eating out all the time or neglecting to clean. There’s also the strenuous task of keeping track of your bills and paying them on time. Consider these a test to your character and an excellent opportunity to grow. Nothing matures a person like surviving in the world alone, especially when you’re a woman. You’ll discover it makes you a more competent person, partner, and parent in the future.

Your Personal Network

Relationships are what makes life fulfilling. This is true in your social and professional circles. With the world a smaller place today, thanks to technology, you must grow your network to get ahead in life.

“Getting ahead” doesn’t always mean staying competitive in the workplace. It’s by building relationships with people from different demographics, races, and world views that you mature.

If you’ve always found it challenging to engage strangers, sign up for personal development skills training. Join a volunteer organization. Dare to go to events alone even if they make you uncomfortable. Expanding your network might mean trying new things and spending on membership fees, but they’re investments that guarantee many returns.

Your Own Business

Starting a business, no matter how small, is daunting. Even investing in somebody else’s company can leave you restless. The reason you need to dare anyway is that entrepreneurship gives you better chances of gaining financial security. While you can achieve it with high-paying jobs, there’s more freedom and opportunities when you’re the boss.

It’s not unheard of for young female entrepreneurs to rise in the ranks and create names for themselves. Consider Melanie Perkins, the CEO, and co-founder of Canva. She pitched the idea behind the platform at nineteen years old. A little over a decade since she’s grown the business to one billion dollars

Whatever you want to invest in, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. You might not get it right the first time, and it’s rare to make it big soon after starting. What’s important is you’re setting the momentum for an endeavor that can change your finances five to ten years from now.

No Time to Wait

Buying your own place, meeting new people, and starting a business might not be things you’ve considered doing alone. There’s a popular notion that women should reserve these for later in life or after marriage.

Don’t let these dated opinions stop you. They haven’t stopped the many women who are already headed in the direction you’re aiming for.

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Why Stainless Steel Is The Choice For Commercial Sinks?

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When buying a sink for commercial purposes you need to give a greater level of contemplation to the decision you make. After all, a commercial sink is likely to be used a lot more frequently than one that is found in the home. Therefore the need for high levels of quality and durability are evident if you wish to benefit from a sink that is going to withstand excessive use and last for a long period of time. 

Your main area of concern should be regarding what type of material the sink is made from. In general, the main options at your disposal include; stainless steel, cast iron, glass, granite, stone, plastic, marble, ceramic, and terrazzo. Nonetheless, despite the vast selection, when it comes to commercial sinks stainless steel is the clear winner.

One of the main reasons why commercial stainless steel sinks, strainers, and sanitary tubing are the first choice for businesses is because of their low price tag. In comparison to most of the materials mentioned, you will find that stainless steel sinks are cheaper in cost. This is obviously particularly important when dealing with commercial use as businesses aim to keep their costs as minimised as possible. 

Aside from this, you will fail to find another sink with the vast levels of durability that stainless steel offers. This is extremely beneficial if you own a business, such as a restaurant, whereby the sink is going to be used non-stop throughout the majority of the day. You need not worry if you accidentally chuck pots and pans in the sink whilst in a rush. Your sink won’t chip or dent. If that wasn’t good enough, stainless steel is also stain-resistant too. Thus, you can rest assured you won’t need to experience the hassle of a repair or replacement anytime soon. 

In addition to this, commercial stainless steel sinks are really easy to maintain. You don’t need to buy any special cleaning products nor do you need to embark on extensive upkeep. This is especially advantageous when dealing with commercial sinks as it is unlikely you will have the time to spend time cleaning excessively. 

And let’s not ignore the aesthetic beauty of a stainless steel sink in your commercial kitchen. There is a wealth of different sink styles available in this material. Nonetheless, they all share the same qualities of looking sleek and shiny. Not only this, but they are easily matched with other commercial kitchen appliances and with the decor of the kitchen too.

Before concluding, there are different types of commercial stainless steel sinks available. You can differentiate based on obvious qualities, such as size. However, in order to reap the gains of the highest quality sink, you need to look for a higher percentage of nickel and chromium in the steel. Thus, seek a sink with either 18-8 or 20-10 printed on the product information.

If you are looking to purchase a sink for commercial purposes then look no further than one made from stainless steel. Not only are commercial stainless steel sinks affordable, but they are also highly durable, easy to maintain, pleasing on the eye, and versatile too.

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The top FOUR reframes for looking at Time, Money, and Success

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As I marched into the living room grabbing my laptop to begin tackling just one more project, I barked at my husband, “I don’t have enough time.” After all he did was so kindly offer a suggestion for my business. This was the stark reality of what my life was becoming when I entered my first business. I truly believed that more time in the business was the only vehicle to more income and more success.

Luckily, I was able to disarm this lie pretty quickly and I will preface this with, if I had not disarmed this immediately, I would not own a business today.

MORE TIME DOES NOT EQUAL MORE SUCCESS

Believing that more time spent in the business equals more success is a lie. Yes, time is certainly a factor, but working smarter not harder is truly the secret sauce. From then on I decided to lead with simplicity and intentionality in all that I did.

Now I want to share with you the top FOUR reframes for looking at time, money, and success differently.

These are rooted in simplicity, aren’t glamorous, but I promise, will help propel your success that much faster.

1. BELIEVE THERE IS PLENTY OF SUCCESS TO GO AROUND

Believe there is plenty to go around (abundance mindset) and do not say yes out of scarcity because it will bleed into the next tip.

I see so many entrepreneurs at varying stages in their businesses say yes to a project, contract, collaboration, basically any type of opportunity because of FOMO.

Let me just say that often these clients and opportunities are enticing and maybe they “could” be that stepping stone in getting you to where you want to be. However, here is a question I offer my clients to help them say yes from their best mindset, “if you were in the place you wish to be in six months, would you say yes to this client or opportunity?”

I am all for taking what you need to take to get started and seeing opportunities as stepping stones, but people tend to forget that opportunities are endless and that just as quickly as that one came, another will be on its way.

I say this because I want you to know and believe that you don’t have to take the breadcrumbs. There will always be another and better opportunity. Take some time to say yes. Often if you wait even just a few days, another one will have already presented itself, which could be even more ideal!

2. DON’T SCALE SO QUICKLY

This one is part two from the first tip. Here’s something to chew on, when you do your work with excellence, word will spread quickly—people will start talking about your ethic and happily share with others. 

And unfortunately, I see so many talented business owners have difficulty setting limits with themselves. They set out to take on a set amount of work, but they begin getting word-of-mouth referrals and rather than set a limit and say “I am booked solid at the moment and can put you on the waitlist or I’d love to offer you a referral,” they instead say YES and later shoot themselves in the foot.

I see this happening more often than you would think and it’s that fastest way to lose your business.  They are excited to see all the work come in so they do one of two things, take it all on themselves and spread themselves so thin, or begin contracting work or hire on someone to take on the work because they don’t want to miss out on an opportunity.

Then what happens next? They can’t keep up. They’ve maybe had a business just a few years, have never had employees, and realize they can’t keep up on their work, their contractors work, and the quality plummets.

Those loyal and happy customers are no longer happy anymore and decide to find someone else to replace you. Just as quickly as word of mouth spreads from happy customers, unhappy customers spread twice the speed. Now you are stuck paying a contractor or employee with no customers to serve. I know this may sound harsh, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen.

So in a nutshell, don’t scale too quickly. Grow a solid base of happy and loyal customers. Serve them and serve them well. Keep that waitlist. Once you’ve got a good handle on running a FULL business, time management, and really have some trustworthy people you might be able to slowly pass some work to (not out of scarcity), then slowly scale.

3. SET REALISTIC INCOME GOALS

Set realistic income goals where you won’t burn out. This also plays off of the last point, don’t set an income goal for yourself just because.

It’s so important you are intentional with your reasoning behind your money goal. I hear so many new entrepreneurs say, “I want to have my first 10k month before Q2 for the year.” Ok that’s cool, but why? And how?

You made 3k in your business each month so far and now you want and need to make 6k extra starting next month? Just doesn’t make sense!

How about we first look at how long you’ve been in business, how much time you have to pour into your business, what type of resources you already have set up in business, then ask yourself, do I have the capacity to take on that much extra work right away (without burning out)? And lastly, where will this money go?

If there is no intention behind why you want to make it and you set that number only because you think you should or it sounds successful, you will not hit it.

Here is a reason to want to hit a specific goal, “to have enough money leftover that I can make a big dent in my student loans or to have enough saved up for our dream honeymoon.” When you can visualize where the money will go, it makes it more tangible.

But then ask yourself, “realistically, how long will it take me to pay off my student loan or save up for that honeymoon without burning out?” Set little mile markers based off of your past earnings, time available, and resources to help support this goal. Set yourself up for SUCCESS friend!

4. BET ON YOURSELF FIRST

I see so many entrepreneurs reinvest all of their money into ads before they fully understand what their business even is. Even in year FOUR of my coaching business, I’m hiring an agency for the first time to set up ads for my book launch. I’ve dabbled with them in the past and have only lost money.

I think it’s crucial those first few years to really understand the buying behaviors of your customers. Get to know who these people are. Who is saying yes to that discount code you are offering? Who is engaging with you on social media?

Really jump into the trenches. Get dirty. Learn who your people really are and learn their buying behaviors.  Yes, it may take a little longer to grow your business this way, but it’s a heck of a lot safer betting on yourself than some ads that could possibly bring in a potential customer or a small sale. Friend, trust me on this one!

If you can keep these four reframes top of mind, I assure you that you will feel more confident, fulfilled, and at ease throughout your business journey!


This article by Kate Crocco was originally published at honeybook.com

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Life in the Stimulation

Originally posted on March 26, 2020 on changeroots.com.

What’s the latest?

  • Cases / Deaths: US : 80,857 / 1,163;  Italy: 80,589 / 8,215; World : 524,010 / 23,670
  • U.S. health response: Testing and tracking are crucial to curbing the spread; the U.S. isn’t doing enough of either.
  • Economic response: The Senate passed a stimulus bill twice as large as one from the 2008 financial crisis. The House votes on it tomorrow, Friday March 27th.
  • Bottom line: The more COVID-19 spreads, the more people die, the more drastic actions the government must take, and the more economic damage occurs.

Economic Impact

  • How bad is it: The initial economic decline from the COVID-19 will likely be sharper and more painful than during the 2008 financial crisis. Unemployment could reach 20%, compared to 10% in the 2008 crisis. 
  • Gov response: The Senate just passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill. This is in addition to $8 billion for vaccine research and $100 billion in economic aid already passed. Tomorrow, Friday, March 27, the House will vote on it.
  • Compared to 2008: The 2008 stimulus and industry bailout bills totaled $1.4 trillion.

What’s in the stimulus bill?The stimulus is an attempt to boost employment and economic output through grants, loans, and tax breaks to state and local governments, individuals, and businesses both large and small.

Who gets what? Source Politico

  • Individual Americans: 
    • Single Americans who make under $75,000 would get $1,200
    • Married couples who make under $150,000 would get $2,400
    • Parents would see $500 for each child under age 17
    • People who are unemployed would get an extra $600 per week for up to four months (in addition to state unemployment) 
  • Airline and other industry loans: $500 billion
  • Hospital Industry: $100 billion 
  • State and local governments: $150 billion

How does it compare to the 2008 stimulus 

The 2008 stimulus and industry bailout bills totaled $1.4 trillion. 

  • Individuals would receive up to $600
  • Married couples would get up to $1,200
  • Those with children would be sent $300 per dependent child

Did the 2008 stimulus bill work?

The recession ended in July 2009, five months after Congress passed the stimulus. Economic growth immediately improved. It expanded 1.5% in the third quarter of 2009 after shrinking 4.4% in Q1 2009. Within 18 months, the economy added 4.1 million jobs, after losing more than 500,000 jobs a month during the recession.

Our Post-Partisan Take

This crisis is forcing both parties to remember that everyone’s common goal should be serving the American people. The Senate voted unanimously on this bill with aspects of it that each party had to compromise on. Hopefully, this can carry forward in tackling problems beyond COVID-19 and result in more prompt legislation.

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Hacks To Save On Your Auto Insurance

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What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance is essentially a contract that offers protection if you have an accident or your car is stolen. You pay a set premium, and then your insurance company will pay out your losses, as stated in the policy. Auto insurance offers coverage for liability, for example, if you injure others or their property. You’ll also get coverage for medical expenses, for instance, the expense of treating any injuries you sustain. Auto insurance also covers costs associated with damage to your own vehicle or theft. Of course, there are plenty of different auto insurance policies out there, and not all are the same price. To save money on your auto insurance, try the following hacks.

1. Improve your credit rating 

Many auto insurance companies will check your credit rating to determine which kind of policy they can offer you. Supposedly, auto insurance providers view an excellent credit rating as an indication of a responsible person, who is not a risk to insure. Now, this may not be the case in all circumstances; however, improving your credit rating is one way to get yourself a good auto insurance deal. There are a few sites online where you can check your credit rating for free.

2. Look for discounts 

Some Auto Insurance providers offer discounts under certain circumstances, so when you’re looking to bag yourself a good deal, it’s useful to know which discounts are available. Low mileage discounts are available for drivers who habitually keep their mileage average or below average, so if this is you, it’s worth checking if you qualify. Another discount available is a ‘multi-policy discount,’ meaning that you will pay less if you buy another policy from the same provider. The second policy could be life insurance or home insurance, for instance.

3. Compare costs

It’s impossible to save money unless you compare prices first. You might be tempted to renew your current auto insurance policy, but if you don’t shop around, you could be missing out on a better policy elsewhere. There are several handy price comparison websites online which will allow you to suss out the best deals!

4. Increase your deductibles

When you are looking for auto insurance, you can generally pick a deductible that suits you. A deductible means the amount of money it will cost you to get your insurance provider to payout ( if your vehicle is stolen or you’re in an accident). Usually, deductibles range from around $250 to $1500. If you put your deductible up, then you’ll benefit from paying a lower premium.
With plenty of motoring costs to pay out for, you’ll be glad to keep your auto insurance costs down. While you’re at it, look at other ways you can save money on your car expenses. One thing you can do is to use apps like ‘Gas Buddy’ to check the price of fuel stops nearby. When you check the app beforehand, you can find out the cheapest deals and drive on if you’re not happy with the price!

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