Take Control Of Your Personal Finances

Take Control Of Your Personal Finances

I have been working in finances since I was about 18 years old, most of the time I was just guessing at what I was doing. Then one day I woke up and knew that I had learn the in’s and out’s of finances if I was to be successful. I found out early in my career that people that are financially successful at the ones that take the time and energy to regularly budget and plan out their finances. Most of them like myself have taken the time to get a financial education and continue to expand their knowledge over their lifetime.

Some of us go through life with no formal financial education and then there are others of us that have received a education in finances and receiving a education is a primary component of financial success. Here are some steps that will help you gain the financial foundation to help you to be financially successful.

 Mark your calendar to spend a few hours a week on your finances. 
Millionaires spend, on average, 8.4 hours a month managing and planning out their finances, according research by business theorist, Thomas Stanley. To be financially successful you need to dedicate time and energy just like the millionaires do. When I started my career I found out early that it takes dedication and time to regularly plan out my budgets and my road map to financial success. Don’t think it happens overnight like winning the lottery.

Set up a recurring date on your calendar to study your financial road map weekly and dedicate an hour a week just to your personal finances. Take a look weekly at your budget, look at your upcoming expenses and make sure you have the money in the accounts to cover your bills, then pay your bills which should already be automated to your accounts. Take a look at all the transactions for the week to make sure no one is siphoning money from your account and check to make sure that your accounts are accurate. Be consistent with this weekly money date and make it a fun time don’t think of it as a chore.

 

Commit 30 minutes a week to study about personal finances.

There are plenty of reading material on personal finances and financial education. The more knowledge you have the more you will feel comfortable with your finances. Don’t burn yourself out trying to learn everything overnight, break up your education sessions in to 30 minute increments. I love reading about personal budgets and financial secrets, but like  I said there are thousands of topics when it comes to finances.

Ask for advice from successful people that you know.

Talk to mentors, ask successful people to help mentor you. Seek out advice from people you know that are successful in business. Most of these people have made the mistakes that you will want to avoid, this is why it is best to get advice from them so you do not go through the same troubles that they have lived through. Take their advice to heart and make sure you thank them for sharing their information.

Gather information and put it to work for you.

Now that you have studied some different ideas and asked successful people for advice. Take these things that you have learnt and try them out for yourself. As you have done your research you have seen that there are lot’s of examples and strategies out there on the web, you need to look at these examples and strategies and see which ones best fit your finance goals and give them a try. If you try something and it does not work, don’t get discouraged look for something else that will fit your goals and keep looking till you find the one that best works for you. The key is don’t give up.

Hire a professional.

If at the end of it all you are still not comfortable about your finances then hire a professional to help you get your financial affairs in order. Sometimes we all need that helpful hand from a professional just to get started on the right track, and then there are those that just don’t have the time to dedicate towards their finances.

Conclusion.

Where ever you are in your financial path remember it takes dedication, time, energy and continued education to be successful with your finances. To be a master it takes a person to devote the time and practice consistently to sharpen their skills. If you devote the time to study and commit the dedication to honing down your skills with your finances one day you will be a master of your financial success.

 

Posted by Tom in Finance
Food Prepping For Emergecy

Food Prepping For Emergecy

Prepping for changing times

If you are like a lot of people, you have already responded to much of what you see in the news about being ready for the coming crisis by storing up food. The signs of the times are everywhere, one would have to live in a cave not to notice them. The good news is that many people have already started to store food for the future but if it is not stored properly then it will be money down the drain. You will want to make sure that you have good food and plenty of it for those emergency times.

 

The Shocking Truth About Food Prepping

When storing food for emergency times vigilance is the key. Be careful when you purchase your food, read the expiration dates, look at storage issues, check supplies, take inventory you do not want to much of one thing. It does not hurt to purchase a little extra of one item over another as long as you know it will be eaten. Just make sure that you and your family will use the items and that you are not wasting good money on things that will not be used. Here are a few simple guidelines that may be helpful to you.

Don’t Trust Generic Plans

It doesn’t take long being a prepper before you are faced with the problem of competing suppliers, each telling you that their food prepping plan is the best. Further, these plans often boil down to telling you to buy X pounds of rice, X pounds of beans, etc., multiplied by the number of people you have in your family, and how many days you are planning for. The truth is that it’s an easy trap to fall into. After all, nobody wants to be caught unprepared. Further, how can anyone realistically determine what is best for your family?

Every family has its own needs, likes and desires. It’s that easy. And the only likes you have to satisfy in an emergency situation is your own, not satisfying what others say you will need. Let’s say that a member of your family has an allergy to peanut products, but the prepping experts say that since peanut butter is such a good foodstuff to stock up on because it will keep for a long time, you should do so? What good will that do the family member who is allergic to peanuts? The plain truth is that it will do far more harm than good.

Another problem with a generic food prepping plan is that it is entirely likely that following such a plan will create shortages of one type of food while you have a surplus of any other. This is just as bad a situation as if you had a shortage of everything. In an ideal situation, you will want to keep a balance of nutritious food that will continue to be in as similar supply as all the others, for as long as needed.

Admittedly, this is a difficult trick to pull off, but it can be done. Perhaps the most difficult part of the problem is dealing with so many different unknowns when you are planning. For example, how many days is it realistic to plan for you to be in such a situation? How can anybody really know with any great degree of accuracy? In most cases you will need to rely on rules of thumb, but with other factors such as what percentages you will need of different sorts of products, it is much easier to estimate what you would need as opposed to what you will need less of.

A Workable Plan

The best guide you can use to determine what you will need in a given future situation is to rely on the past. What, for example, have you eaten in the past two weeks that could be repeated in a crisis situation? This is as good a place to start as any.

Once you have your list, look at it carefully to decide what might not be available and/or affordable in a crisis. Meat is a good example. If you don’t have a stockyard in your backyard, you probably will not have access to fresh meat in a crisis. If so, it will probably have such a high price tag that it would be better to make a staple of something else.

Variety is the spice of life, whether you’re in a crisis or not, so make sure that everything you think you could use is accounted for. You will reap the benefits for some time to come.

Posted by Tom in Off The Grid
Money Management Tips For Your Finances

Money Management Tips For Your Finances

Money management for your financial dreams

Money management is so much more than a few simple math equations and then you’re done. Math does play a part in money management but also does discipline and emotion and goal setting. The simple rule of money management is to spend less money than you bring home and to invest the leftover money wisely. If everyone lived by this simple rule then there would be no financial issues in families.

I remember when I was young (a long time ago) some of the greatest advice that I received was, take $20.00 a week and put it into some investment that compounded interest and forget about it till you’re ready to retire. At the time I thought wow $20.00 is a lot of money, this is money that I play with I cannot do that. To this day I kick myself in the rear-end for not taking that advice to heart. If I would have followed this simple piece of knowledge at the time I would have over $50,000 plus interest in my nest egg.

Of course I was a lot like other young people in my generation, I did not listen to wise old men and I took every penny I made and wasted it on foolish items. Today I wish I would have listened to people that were wiser than I was at the time and not have followed my emotions and wasted my hard earned money on foolish items.

The past is the past and I need to only look at the future now since I am fifty plus years old and I want to retire in ten years.


Obstacles get in our way.

About twelve years ago I had a major setback in my financial situation that was a wake-up call for me. My wife at the time wanted to have a new life and asked me for a divorce. Going through a divorce is a life and financial changing experience that I wish on no one. If you are not psychologically, emotionally and financially prepared then it will be like getting hit over the head with a baseball bat. Divorce can put you in such a financial tailspin that it can ruin your life for many years.

This was a difficult time for me, but God had other plans for my life and he took me out of that situation and today I am able to help others that are in that same boat that I was in. Since that life changing curve ball that I was given, today I am writing and teaching others how to reset you’re financial goals and take steps to get you back on the right path to financial freedom. Let’s now take a look at a couple of steps that you can start with to get you started.

Be Content.

First you need to understand that you will not find happiness in materialism and spending money on things you do not need. You must stop believing that money buys happiness. I remember the days of bringing home $25,000 a year and how I wished I could bring home $50,000 a year, I would so much happier. Well when I did hit that goal of making $50,000 I was no happier than when I brought home $25,000.

 

You need to learn to be happy with what you are given each day, when you make more money and you are not content you will not find happiness. There are no shortcuts and secrets to be financially set. What you need to do is learn how to mentally be happy with what has been given to you and learn to live within your means.

Learn to say no.

Learn to say no, every parent has problems with saying no to their kids, especially when it comes to purchasing back to school items and when it comes to the holidays. Right now is the time of year when families are running around and purchasing items for their kids to go back to school and I am hearing horror stories of families spending hundreds of dollars for new clothes and equipment like tablets, computers and new cell phones to go back to school with This is absolutely crazy. There is no need to purchase these items and go deeper in debt just to make your kids happy. You need to learn to say no, our parents did and we survived and so will your kids.

And It is not just kids that we need to be saying no too, it is us adults also. Many of us want to purchase new adult toys even when there is nothing wrong with what we have now. We need to be looking at cutting expenses and not getting deeper into debt just because we want something new. If you have the cash and you really feel the need to purchase that item them go for it, but do not purchase the item on a credit card or use money that will be going for another bill, only purchase the item if you have spare money laying around.

Use technology to your financial advantage.

When it comes to saving for your retirement use technology to help you stay on track. Computerize you savings and retirement accounts, when you set up monthly payments to come out of your check to go directly into a 401k account or some other savings account you will not miss the money since you don’t see it come from your paycheck. I set my retirement account to come directly out of my earnings and I was amazed at how quickly that account grew over time.

Computerize your spending habits in order to keep track of where you are spending money. Using software like bill pay will help identify where you are spending your money. At the end of the month take your statement and look it over to see where you have wasted money. Take for example, how many times did you go to Starbucks to purchase coffee, how many times did you purchase fast food during the month, and etc. Software like bill pay can shine a light on where you may be wasting money.

Take action now!

Nobody cares about your money and your future more that you do, so don’t procrastinate on getting your retirement started or work to get out of debt. Another thing is; don’t make excuses and blame other for your financial situation. Your financial condition may not be entirely your fault, but stop complaining and fix your situation now. You have the brains and no-how, take your expertise and fix what needs fixing with your finances.

Passion

Make money management a passion, when you do this it will give you the motivation to keep working harder to save and get out of debt. A wise person once said “”I like entrepreneurs who decided to solve a pain point that affected them personally,” says Vasu Kulkarni, Courtside Ventures. “The conviction to solve a problem is always stronger when you are passionate about it, and generally that tends to stem from issues that you can relate to personally.”

If you goal is to build for your retirement or get you and your family out of debt, take time right now to light the passion in your home with your family to be as passionate about this as you are. The larger the support group you have the stronger you will be to break your goal.

 

Posted by Tom in Finance
Why Must You Be Financially Literate

Why Must You Be Financially Literate

Why you must be financially literate

Usually April is Financial Literacy month but we are going to take a look at it now since we are a little over halfway through the year. Financial literacy is not just knowing and understating how to manage your personal financial matters but actually taking what you know and putting it into action. To be totally financially literate you need to understand how to manage debt, do financial planning / budgeting, and learn profitable ways to save the money you earn. Learning these principles and applying them is what is needed to gain financial confidence and financial independence.

To be financially literate.

There are several steps for a person to have financial literacy which include key skills in making and keeping a budget, track your spending habits, learn simple ways to pay off debt, and plan for your future. Being educated in these areas from a financial expert can be very beneficial in achieving your financial goals and give you and your family peace of mind and financial confidence which leads individuals to be self-sufficient.

How financial ignorance can affect you.

Based on a report by National Financial Educators Counselors Council in an article that was published in Cardtrak.com the lack of financial knowledge is costing Americans more than $2.3 trillion dollars over their lifetime. The lack of knowledge cost people money, bank charges, high interest, credit card debt, losses on investments and it can hurt you from getting your dream job if your credit is poor. Also based on this report, financial ignorance affects all ages and demographics levels. The lack of knowledge can lead to owning large amounts of debt, which can lead to poor credit, bankruptcy, and or foreclosure.

Now I am not close to being financially perfect myself. I have had money troubles in the past and at one time I was close to living out of the back seat of my car. This was the wakeup call I needed to get my act together with my finances. I have worked extremely hard in the past ten years at applying financial principles and strategies to get myself out of debt and get ahead of the financial curve and become financially independent.

Here are a couple of excellent resources on how to become financial literate:

Rich Dad Financial Education

Financial Literacy

PBS – Financial Literacy

A statement that I read not too long ago makes perfect sense. “The key to building great wealth is having great knowledge to act on and great wisdom to know which course of action is the best”.

What are some of your financial goals that will help you to become financial literate and independent.

 

Posted by Tom in Finance
How To Decide What To Blog About

How To Decide What To Blog About

What to blog about when you have multiple things you love?

Many of us are passionate about many things, it can be hard to pinpoint a few ideas to write about. And it can be worse even if you have not even started a blog yet. You will be beating your head against the desk trying to figure out where to start.

Have no fear, we are going to go through some ideas and look at some topics that you will love to write about.

How to pick a blog topic you can profit from?

Many of us have hobbies and interest that we all love to do, some of us we have to many hobbies. If you are like most beginning bloggers you want to write about them all. I am sure that you have read how important it is to choose a niche at stick to it in order to monetize your blog and start making money.

The question still is how do I pick that one niche market to blog about that will make me a profit?

It can feel impossible, you can do research, study other blogs, read books on writing, and talk to friends or family but the jest of it is you just need to start writing. Just Do It!!!! When I started this blog, I first started to write about budgeting and finances and it did not take long before I realized that my focus was more on small business ownership and marketing. Now if I did not start writing and blogging then I would not have narrowed down my niche. The time and effort that I had already put in on my previous post was not a waste of time. Every business needs to start somewhere and there is no better way to learn than by doing.

I feel that the time I spent working and creating by blogs was time well spent. It takes time to figure out the in’s and out’s and techy stuff to set-up a blog. A large majority of blogs use WordPress as their base, creating and crafting WordPress is not something you learn over-night. WordPress has many variable called plugins and it takes time and practice to design and create a professional looking blog.

I am not a computer or blogging nerd. I have been involved with computers since the key punch card days of COBOL programming but I am not a nerd. Over the years I have written several blogs, some self-hosted and others on Google Blogger, these were my learning blogs.

How to decide which topic will fit your blog?

First find a relevant topic to talk about. Google some phrases and topics and see if they are relevant today. Then the key is to write your blog post that are related to the topic that you choose.

For Example.

Let’s pick cooking for an example. You can post about recipes, cookware, kitchen gadgets, food groups, slow cooker recipes, bar-b-que ideas or recipes, dieting, kitchen organization and anything else that has to do with cooking. As you can see this all has to do with cooking. Then you monetarize your blog with cooking advertisements.

Do not make the cardinal sin of picking a topic that you cannot write about daily.

You need to have a topic that you can come up with 500 to 1000 words every couple of day that is relevant to the main topic of your blog. Usually you will have a passion for your main topic so coming up with articles to write about should not be a problem. For me it is business and an entrepreneurial mind. One of my current blogs is about computers and computer repair. Computers change every day, so there is always fresh new content that I can write about daily. I have had that blog up and running for about 3 years now.

When you are deciding what to write a blog about, you need to think about long term. When I was contemplating about writing about computer repair I knew that this would be one subject that I could write about for many years.

Please keep this in mind when you are asking yourself if this is really what I want to do or what I have a passion for.

Posted by Tom in Business, Lifestyle
Can A Copy-Writing Service Benefit Your Company

Can A Copy-Writing Service Benefit Your Company

What is a copy-writing service and what do they offer the people.

We first have to look at the definition of what is a copy-writing service. Copy-writing is the use of words to promote a product, a service, a business or an idea to the general public. In essence copy-writing can be summed up to be the promotion in any sort of form, it could be television, newspaper, magazine, social media, or the internet. With social media and the Internet copy-writing has gained popularity significantly over the last several years with using materials produced by a copywriter more people are touched through this medium than any other form of promotion.  The business of copy-writing has gained great popularity over the past decade do to the advancement of technology, copy-writing services can be done through businesses, freelancers, or by ghostwriters. There is a great market of clients that are looking for individuals to help them promote their work or their businesses.

A business cannot survive without getting the word out to the general public and in today’s business market companies need to aggressively promote their business in order to stay ahead of the competition. Many businesses hire copywriting freelancers to assist them in writing promotional material that will promote their company in a positive light to the public.

Many companies have marketing and public relations departments that are assigned the task to promote the business. Some department’s hire freelancers to write the promotional material for them because they do not have the time or knowledge to do the writing for themselves. Marketing departments get stretched so thin with other task it is just good business sense to hire freelancers to handle the writing for them.

The main function of the copywriter is to promote the business in a positive way using words that will engage the audience to take action steps. The copywriter may need to work or meet with personnel of the business in order to set a base of demographical information to begin the process of forming a promotional package for the business. Some of the information that a copywriter would gather to begin making a promotional package would be; identify the potential customer base, earning income of the customers, the spending habits, and etc. This information provides you a base to know who you are trying to reach when promoting a business.

If you are looking to hire a copywriter it is always good to look at some sample work or ask the copywriter if they have a portfolio that can be viewed. Also ask the copywriter if they have a testimonials from other clients that they have done work for. A copywriter needs to be flexible and open minded for any suggestions or ideas and input from you since you are the one hiring the copywriter.

The copy-writing industry is a tool that can be a great resource and benefit for a company. The industry is growing and offering a wider variety of services to businesses and organizations. Most companies hire people that offer copy-writing services to help build and promote their business in order to drive up revenues and profits for the company. If you are looking to expand and grow your business then I would recommend looking into seeing what a copywriter can do for you and your company.

Posted by Tom in Business, Freelance
Should I Be Feeding Chickens Table Food

Should I Be Feeding Chickens Table Food

Feeding Chickens Table Scraps

Feeding chickens table scraps is a topic that many people on the internet debate about. We will take a look at some of the pros and cons of feeding chickens table scraps and offers some suggestions if you decide to spoil your flock with human food.

Most experts agree that feeding your chickens properly is a key to their overall health and longevity and will produce more eggs from your hens. For most backyard hobbyists, feeding your chickens a high quality commercially produced chicken feed is all you really need, but chickens are like other pets they love a treat now and then. These feeds are specifically designed to meet the needs of your chickens depending on the stage of development your hens and roosters are in. A good quality chicken feed is not that expensive and can be purchased at any store that sells animal feed and supplies.

However, I personally do feed my hen’s food scraps especially fruit and vegetable scraps. I do not feed them any meat products or bones. Believe it or not chickens do love potato peels and they love egg shells. I find feeding them fresh vegetables like spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and watermelon seems to be their favorite fruits and vegetables they love to eat. Most green’s like spinach and collard greens keep the yolk of the egg a deeper shade of yellow.

Table scraps should never take the place of your regular chicken feed, however. Table scraps simply do not contain the needed nutrients your flock need’s in order to keep them healthy and to live longer. As an occasional treat giving them scraps is fine, but you should never try to sustain your flock over a long period of time with just table scraps.

It is very important to also understand many forms of table scraps can actually be harmful. For example, feeding your chickens table scraps that contain a lot of spices or salt can be very harmful to their overall health. I never give my flock any sort of fish since there can be hidden bones in fish that could injure the birds. Also, like dog’s I never give them any chocolate to eat.

It is important to monitor your flock after feeding them scraps. If there is any leftover food on the ground, you can be sure they do not enjoy that particular meal. You should clean left over table scraps up as soon as possible as this material is almost surely going to spoil and will most likely attract wild animals that could hurt you birds.

Conclusion

Feeding your chickens is ok to do (In my opinion), just be careful not to give them anything that could harm them. That is why I stick to mostly fruit and vegetables. Chickens are pets just like dogs and cats, so you do not want to harm them by giving them something that will make them sick. Make sure that if you give them table scraps you only do it as a treat and not in place of chicken feed that contains the nutrition they need to be healthy and produce good quality eggs.

Posted by Tom in chickens
Should I Raise Chickens In My Urban Neighborhood?

Should I Raise Chickens In My Urban Neighborhood?

To Raise Or Not to Raise Chickens in the City

Should I or should I not raise chickens in my urban area?

For everyone that cannot decide whether or not to raise chickens in my local ne9ighborhood, let me assure you, it is not only beneficial in that you can get free eggs and other nice benefits, like free fertilizer, and keeping the yard bug free, it is also tons of fun as well as easier than one might think. All it takes is a little bit of research and some planning to get started. One of the first things that should be kept in mind and considered is that chickens are social animals and require the company of other chickens so, if you do decide to raise chickens in the city, you should get at least two chickens.

Here are some of the questions that you will need to answer first, and probably the most important, do the city ordinances, in the city I live in, allow me to raise chickens in the city limits? If the ordinances do not allow for chickens you will end up having to try to get rid of the chickens you have purchased, so before you purchase anything check the ordinances of not only your city but if you live in a deed restricted community you will need to check with the home owners association.

The next question, which will determine along with your local ordinances (some city’s limit the amount of chickens you can have), will determine how large a coop you can build or purchase. If you haven’t guessed it, the question is “How much space, do I need for a chicken coop?” The size of your coop will partially determine how many chickens you can keep because, overcrowding your chickens will adversely affect them, especially if you are raising chickens in the city for their eggs, unhappy or crowded chicken’s will not lay eggs on a regular basis.


Speaking of eggs brings us to the next question, “Why, do I want to raise chickens to begin with, is it for their eggs or is it for meat?” This question is important when determining what breed of chicken is best for you. Chickens bred for meat will reach slaughter weight in about twelve weeks and as with most chickens, will lay eggs at around six months old however, since bred for their meat the egg production may be spotty at best. Now on the other hand a chicken bred for her eggs will begin to produce around six months old and if kept happy and stress free, will lay at least one egg per day for many years to come.

Now you are probably asking yourself do I really have the time for taking care of chickens if I do decide to raise chickens in urban neighborhood? For my wife and I the chickens take less time to take care of them does my family dog or cat.  If you allow your chickens to roam freely in your backyard, they will keep the yard bug free, between feeders that will have to be refilled every two to three days and the bugs in the backyard, feeding is fairly easing. The only thing left is to make sure they have plenty of fresh water, we usually will give them fresh water every day. A clean place to bed down for the night that is secured so they do not get attacked during the night from wild animals. In our case we have two guard dogs that keep wild animals out of the yard from harming the chickens.

Conclusion

Chickens are fun and economical to raise. Just check all the ordinances where you reside to make sure you will not be breaking any laws. My friend lives in a gated home community and she was told that she could not have chickens, she has 10 chickens on her property and the way she has their coop designed no one in the community even know she has chickens. So if you are thinking about raising chickens just do a little research and if your city or home owners association frowns on the idea of raising chickens do some research I bet you can find a way to have chickens without anyone knowing you have them.

IF you have any ideas or thoughts on this drop us a comment.

 

Posted by Tom in chickens, Urban Homesteader
Eat Healthy To Prevent Dementia

Eat Healthy To Prevent Dementia

Eating healthy for your brain

Is it true that Alzheimer’s and dementia could be linked to what we eat? If it is true then I am in serious trouble as I put a piece of pizza in my mouth. As I am approaching the age of being in my mid 50’s I am becoming more aware of what I eat and how much stress I am under. You see my father and uncle both had early onset Alzheimer’s when I was only 15 years old and they were in their mid-fifties when they were diagnosed. Back then there was not much known about the disease so we had nothing really to contribute to why my father and his brother came down with this terrible disease.

While doing some research on another article I came across several articles about this new fad diet called “The MIND diet”. Seeing these articles peaked my interest since I am constantly thinking about what are my chances of getting Alzheimer’s since it can be passed down through the jeans. Research has shown that dieting, exercise, keeping the mind active, getting plenty of rest, and stop smoking or using anything with nicotine in it will help significantly reduce the odds of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia diseases.  As I was reading these articles I found that the one diet they all talked about was “The Mediterranean Diet” or a combination of this diet along with “The Dash Diet”. The combination diet called “The Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay” diet or (MIND) diet relies on banning five unhealthy food groups; red meat, butter or margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and of course everyone’s favorite food which is fried and fast food.

This past week some new research was released during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference which took place in London that older adults that followed a eating plan of plant based diet like the Mediterranean or MIND diet lowered the risk of dementia by a third.

What is the MIND or Mediterranean diet?

First off the Mediterranean diet is not a typical traditional form of Western eating. Say goodbye to red meat, pork, butter, refined sugar, flour and fats. The true diet is very simple, the majority of the meal is fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

People that follow the MIND do not reject everything that the people reject in the Mediterranean diet but they stay pretty close to Mediterranean diet but add in a few other key ingredients. The MIND diet consist of six servings a week of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards broccoli and other green vegetables that are packed with vitamins A and C. This along with other forms of vegetables made a difference in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. The MIND diet also recommends at least five servings a week of whole grains and nuts is a must. Nuts contain healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants which help to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Along with this they add in at least three servings of beans, two servings of berries, two servings of chicken or turkey and at least one serving of fish per week. Too top things off the MIND diet also includes one glass of wine per day. Wine is considered part of the top 10 brain healthy food groups that works in conjunction with the foods above to help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.

With the MIND diet you do not cut out all red meat but they limit the consumption to no more than four servings per week. Butter and stick margarine is limited to only a tablespoon per day and use extra virgin olive oil in place of butter. When it comes to cheese, if you want to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s than only eat cheese once a week. Sweets and pastries not only are  bad for the waistline but they are terrible for the brain. The MIND diet says to limit your consumption to no more than five treats per week.

Conclusion

It has been noted and published that people that consistently eat by the MIND diet will be healthier and reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Even if you slip up on the diet once in a while researchers still say it can still be beneficial to you and will continue to reduce your risk of developing this terrible disease.

Three great articles about dieting and dementia:

The MIND diet

CNN – Mediterranean style diet to prevent dementia

Dementia News


Posted by Tom in Lifestyle
How To Become A Freelance Writer

How To Become A Freelance Writer

Writers are artist with a passion for crafting words into a picture.  People that are looking to make a living from writing can make a serious income from writing at home or anywhere there is an internet connection. The writing industry has many people that have become successful from writing, one of the most successful careers that a person can have working from home is writing.  What is stopping you from being one of these people that have given up the corporate world in order to become a freelance writer?

How to start?

This is probably one of the biggest questions that most people ask. Most people do not know how to get started especially if they are starting from scratch.  First you need to know what your goals are, for me I wanted to replace my full time income as a General Manager with a large corporation. I needed to do this because I was the primary bread winner for the home. Let’s take a look at 4 questions that you need to ask yourself.

  1. What are your long term goals?
  2. What are you willing to do or give up in order to become a freelance writer?
  3. How much money do you need to make the first year, the second year, and etc?
  4. HWhat will be your driving force to make this dream come true?

Many new people in this business tend to have no understanding on how to get started.  You do not know where to start first even if you have plenty of ideas in your head. For me it was like a scrambled mess of enthusiasm and great topics to write about but I had no outlet to share my topics with. What you and every writer needs to have is a blog. This is a great way to get started and recognized in the writing industry.

Start a Blog.

Every writer needs to have a blog. A blog is one of the best places to share your work, develop your skill for writing, and to find an audience and establish an online presence.  A blog is a great place to express your passion for the business of writing. It does not matter whether your blog is about business, finances, cooking, politics, news, photography, or a lifestyle blog, blogging gives you the connection to likeminded people who also share the same passion as you do.

When you start a blog don’t just write a few articles and walk away from it. Many people will sit down and hammer out twenty to thirty articles and stop. Most successful professional bloggers write on a regular basis and will try to put out three to five fresh articles a week.

Writing consistently will help to fine tune your writing skills. Even the big dog high profile bloggers did not have good writing skills when they first started. Many of them pro-claimed to be terrible writers in the beginning, this is why they tell the message of “If I can do it, so can you”. Here is a great article from the Huffington Post of why people blog – Article.

Where do I find clients?

You will need to seek out clients to find writing jobs, clients will not come to you in the beginning you must go search for them.

There are individuals, companies, bloggers, magazines, and website companies that hire freelancers on a regular basis to write for them. This is why having a blog is one of the first areas to focus on getting started. With a blog you will be able to show off your writing skills to these potential clients.

Here are some places to find additional information or freelance opportunities.

  • Upwork – A great place to match up your writing skills with businesses that are looking for freelancers.
  • Simply Hired – A simple job board but you can find many writing opportunities on this site.
  • com –  has many writing jobs on this frequently updated job board.
  • Flexjobs – Great place for writers looking for freelance work.
  • Contently – a place to show off your portfolio. This site shows off your work to businesses who may want to recruit you.
  • Writers Market – This site charges a small fee of $5.99 a month. This is a small price to pay for the connections that you will gain.

Conclusion

Stay positive and don’t give up. Many people start out with a lot of enthusiasm but they lose that drive after a few weeks. Remember that you are doing this for your dream, do not let anything get in between you and your dream. If you are just starting out then now is the time that you are building a foundation to become a freelancer.  Freelancing will give you the resources and opportunity to show people that you are a professional writer.


Posted by Tom in Freelance