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Jan 18, 2010 - Stuff    No Comments

Top 6 Mindless Money Wasters

Most people will say they are interested in saving money. Money saved from one area can be spent in another area. Or even better, the money can actually grow as an investment for the future like its doing for me with physical gold ira rollover. But despite the benefits of putting some money away, most people take a passing interest in actually doing it. As young adults, they don’t think much about retirement; then, as adults, credit card debt becomes a way of life.

It may take a bit of work to get your creditors to agree to your debt management plan but for the most part, if the only other option is insolvency, they’ll be willing to accept some kind of adjusted payment plan instead.

If you’d like to make regular saving a part of your life, read on to find out how to conquer the first step: finding that extra money.

You can begin by paying attention to these top money wasting activities.

1. Convenience Stores

Many people don’t think about the mark-up they pay for convenience store items. Such as the popular cat drinking fountains. Here’s a hint: it’s huge. This is because these stores don’t purchase food in the large quantities that a grocery store does and also because they make you pay more for the convenience they provide. So, unless it’s an emergency situation, avoid shopping at convenience stores. The premium you pay for convenience is not worth the assumed convenience you get. For example, a Coke at a convenience store might cost you a dollar, while you can go to the grocery store and buy a 12 pack for $4. If you tend to pull over for a drink, buy a 12-pack and keep it in your car. If you visit convenience stores often, the annual savings of cutting out these visits can be tremendous.

2. Cell Phone Plans

Take the time to check your monthly cell phone bill – you may be paying more than you need to. If you are using fewer minutes than your monthly plan allows, switch to a lower-rate plan. If you are using more minutes than your monthly allotment, then upgrade to a higher minute plan. Before making any changes to your plan, sit down with a list of your cell phone company’s offerings and compare and determine which plan provides the most value based on your needs. Most cell phone companies charge 40 to 50 cents per additional minute, so going over your allowed minutes by 100 minutes one month will cost you $40 to $50 in that month alone. With many minute plan upgrades costing $10 to $20 a month, they’ll easily pay for themselves.

You should also scan through your cell phone plan for added features like text messaging and mobile internet. If you aren’t really using these features, get rid of them – they’re costing you money each month!

3. Soft Drinks

This one is a sneaky money waster. Not only does ordering beverages along with a restaurant meal boost your total expenses, but soft drinks also have one of the highest markups of any restaurant item, and thus provide lower value for your money. Consider a typical family of four that eats out twice a week at fast casual restaurants (typical for a middle class family even today). Assuming an average price of $1.50 for a fountain soft drink, that totals $12 a week, $48 a month, $624 a year. Just cutting out this one item from your meal could mean significant savings that could go into something much more productive, such as a retirement savings plan. If you invest $624 at the market average of 9% a year every year, you would have almost $32,000 at the end of 20 years. So dine out, but opt for water!

4. Unnecessary Bank Fees

Many people unknowingly pay a lot to their banks in the form of fees. If you don’t know what fees your accounts are subject to, spend a few minutes finding out. Some banks charge ATM fees for using another bank’s ATM, for example. These can be as high as $5! This amounts to a 25% one-time fee for a $20 withdrawal. The key with this type of fee is simply knowing about it. You would be better off using a credit card to make the purchase.

Go back and examine the rules governing your checking and savings accounts. Many people have accounts with a fixed number of withdrawals and deposits per month. You would be better off with an account maintenance fee of $10 a month than getting hit with two or three different fees a month.

Also consider consolidating bank accounts, as often one account with a larger minimum can eliminate numerous fees that might otherwise exist.

5. Magazines

If you’re the type of person who likes to occasionally pick up your favorite magazine from the local grocery store or newsstand, consider getting an annual subscription. Even if you don’t want the magazine every month, a couple of issues at the newsstand are enough to cover the entire annual subscription. For example, a 26-issue subscription to Forbes Magazine will cost you less than $25, while one issue at the newsstand costs $5.

6. Annual Credit Card Fees

Unless you have a poor credit history, there is no reason to pay annual credit card fees. A host of Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards have no annual fee, yet many people pay up to $100 a year for the privilege of holding a credit card. Unless you’re an ultra-wealthy, exclusive holders of an elite-level credit card with exclusive perks, most people should not be paying annual credit card fees.

And speaking of credit cards, please read the review of cherry trade scam and make sure you make a payment on time every month, even if it’s the minimum. Many credit cards charge $39 monthly late fee charges, charges which accrue interest along with your existing balance.

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Dec 31, 2009 - Stuff    4 Comments

7 year old Picasso : Kieron Williamson

Although he knows who Picasso is, he doesn’t want to become the next Picasso, but replies “Monet or Edward Seago”.

Living in Holt, Norfolk, Kieron has become quite the noticeable artistic phenom.  How many 7-year old kids do you know sell out an exhibit in less than 14 minutes?  Or even have a waiting list of over 600+ people to grab an original Kieron masterpiece?  Let alone, buying it for £900 and up.  Could probably say not many at all, but that’s where Kieron Williamson comes in and takes the spotlight.

His dad Keith, a former electrician, was victim to a serious accident about 2 years ago which affected his ability to be as mobile as he once was.  This forced him to take up new hobbies, one being collecting art which then influenced his son Kieron to start taking it up.

One look at his work and it’s hard to even fathom what Kieron will be creating in the next 5 years and more, if he even decides to stick with it.  I’m sure like every other kid with an amazing talent, will come either over-demanding parents or media who will taint this kid’s passion to do what he’s ever so good at.  Let’s hope that doesn’t come to be, and I could blog another piece about this kid in the next number of years to highlight even more new and amazing masterpieces

Some of his work

After Gliman by Kieron Williamson

Figures at Holkham by Kieron Williamson

Boat at half way house by Kieron Williamson

Original Article here :


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Dec 3, 2009 - Entertainment    No Comments

Getting Uglier


Friction builds as Raptors blown out by Hawks

ATLANTA – Maybe Sam Mitchell was bored: On the eve of the one-year anniversary of his firing as Raptors coach, Mitchell spent his Wednesday night watching his former team play his hometown Hawks.

He found out soon enough that little has changed for the better since he left. With the former coach sitting in the second row across the court from the Toronto bench, the listless, fight-less Raptors lost their fifth straight game in a blowout, 146-115.

Meanwhile Mitchell’s successor, Jay Triano, awoke Thursday morning on the one-year anniversary of his promotion to head coach facing his first public crisis on the job. After an unconscionable defensive effort that saw the Raptors surrender the second-most points in franchise history, more than one player openly criticized the coach’s schemes in the game’s solemn wake.

And more than one veteran voice said Triano is failing to call out the players who are making the most egregious defensive mistakes.

“Every time something happens it’s always, `It’s okay, it’s all right.’ It’s not all right,” said Jarrett Jack, the reserve guard. “Problems go by without attacking them or challenging them or bringing them to the forefront and getting them solved. We can’t keep keep putting them to the back of the bus and just saying, `That’s okay.’ It’s not all right. Everybody can’t walk on eggshells around here and say, `We’re playing good basketball.’ We’re not.”

Said Antoine Wright: “You’ve got to address (the defensive issues) and you’ve got to show people on tape. It’s not personal. If you want to win, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices.”

Wright, who has criticized Triano’s schemes previously, was the only Raptor not to see the floor on Wednesday. He said Triano has failed to “call out” under-performing Raptors because unnamed teammates are “too sensitive” to criticism. And although he and Jack were the most explicit in their post-game assessments, their sentiments weren’t unique. After Triano gave a post-game press briefing in which he said he couldn’t fault his team’s effort – “I can’t say I (saw players) not trying out there” – other eyes remembered it another way.

“The defensive effort hasn’t been there for a while. We didn’t magically appear last on the charts defensively,” said all-star forward Chris Bosh, who, after scoring two points on two field-goal attempts, didn’t seem thrilled with the offence, either. “I mean, tonight was just a total embarrassment. We couldn’t stop anybody. We haven’t stopped anybody all year.”

A year to the night the Raptors dropped a 39-point loss in Denver that got Mitchell fired, perhaps the only difference was that on Wednesday, Mitchell had the option of retreating to a luxurious lounge for a glass of red wine after his old employer fell behind 24 points in the first half and never made a rally.

Triano, meanwhile, is left to figure out how to snap the Raptors out of an early season malaise. That the locker room is filled with public suggestions cannot be a good thing. In Mitchell’s four-plus seasons it’s difficult to remember more than the occasional moment when his strategies were openly questioned – and it was usually by Bosh, an all-star with the right to vent.

If the beef is that Triano isn’t being tough enough on the defensive weak links – and a large percentage of the starting lineup pops to mind – it rings true. Even Triano’s allies in the organization – and he is such an agreeable man he doesn’t possess a known enemy – have quietly wondered about his ability to impose discipline on self-interested multi-millionaires. With no previous experience as a pro head coach before this, certainly he deserves time to figure out the art.

But he’d best do it soon.

“You can keep talking about it and talking about it and talking about it. It’s time to act,” said Bosh.


** taken from [ here ]

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Dec 2, 2009 - Entertainment    No Comments

Bosh: ‘We’re Just Not A Good Team’

ChrisBoshPhotoChris Bosh was visibly upset after his team was embarrassed 146-115 in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

“Our defensive effort hasn’t been there for awhile,” Bosh said. “We got to be honest with ourselves. Tonight was just an embarrassment. We couldn’t stop anybody. We haven’t stopped anybody all year.”

Bosh was held without a field goal in the game and told RealGM that he couldn’t remember the last time that had happened.

Bosh went on to say that “the past few games, we’ve been outworked in every aspect. We don’t get on the ground. We don’t consistently get rebounds. We give up a lot of points in the paint. No coverage is good for us. We’re just not a good team.”

The loss was Toronto’s fifth in a row and dropped their record to 7-13 on the season.

** taken from RealGM.com

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Oct 9, 2009 - Stuff    No Comments

Hands-Free Law – October 26th


Ontario Hands-Free Law to Take Effect on October 26

Ontarians who use cell phones, MP3 players and other electronic devices while driving will have to change their habits soon. The Ontario Minister of Transportation has announced that the ban on in-vehicle cellphone use will be enforced starting on October 26.

That doesn’t mean that Ontarians won’t be allowed to talk and drive at the same time. But they’ll have to do so hands-free, which they can if they’re wearing a hands-free headset or have installed a hands-free speakerphone in their car.

It’s not just talking that’s covered by the hands-free law, which was passed last April. Texting, e-mailing and dialling also fall under the restriction, as do the use of other electronic devices such as MP3 Players and navigation systems that are not securely attached to the car’s dashboard.

Fines of up to $500 will be handed to any driver caught, but Ministry Officials said traffic officers will comply with a three-month education period with tickets not being written until February 1, 2010.

For more info please visit: http://seanparklaw.com/location/nashville/dui-attorney.

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