Get Control Of Your Personal Finance With A Budget

It is fairly common knowledge that money matters can be simplified and controlled with a budget. One of the keys to personal finance management is creating and using a household budget. It is not a really hard task, but one that many people avoid. The reason is that it can often be hard to avoid overspending and having a budget really puts spending problems out there.

A budget is basically a list of expenses and income. It should include all expenses, even the seemingly little expenses like a morning coffee purchase. The budget can be made out weekly or monthly, whatever way is best for the household. For someone who gets paid once a week, a weekly budget may be best. For someone who gets paid once a month, a monthly budget would work nicely. Although, it is really a matter of personal choice as to how the budget is made out.

The income section of a budget is usually fairly simple. Most people can easily track their income. Some people choose to list their income after taxes, while others list the income before taxes and include taxes as a expense. That is strictly a matter of choice.

The expenses section is where most people have trouble. It can be hard to see our spending habits in black and white. It is really important, though, to be honest and list everything. You may find it is helpful to keep a spending log for a week. Your spending log is where you will write down every purchase you make. This can be a good way of tracking all the little expenses you incur throughout a week.

Your expenses section of your budget should also include utilities and housing expenses. If you have a car payment, include here as well. You need to include money spent on gasoline, bathroom items, food and any other thing you spend money on. You do not have to include large, one time purchases, though, as they are not a routine part of your expenses.

Once you have your income and expenses listed you need to add each up. The total of your expenses should not exceed the total of your income. If it does then you need to cut back on your expenses. You may have to stop some spending or try to find creative ways of reducing your spending.

The whole idea of a budget is to ensure that you are not spending more then you are earning. Your budget is a blueprint for how you should be spending your money. Once you have your budget made out and it is balanced you need to stick to it. Only spend as much as you have allotted in your expenses and you should find your personal finance situation becomes much easier to deal with.

Expressing Your Personality Though Home Improvement

Home improvement through renovating and redecorating is one of the core preoccupations for most of the people and, currently, the Maryland home improvement market as well as Washington DC magazine offer a variety of materials and solutions.

House decorating is a perfect way to express your personal style and individuality. Although it can be a discouraging experience for some of us, it finally proves to be an experience requiring enthusiasm, time and money. A house should not be exclusively a functional area; it can be at the same time, an enjoyable, relaxing and battery-charging spot, reflecting aspects of our personality and sending messages to the entire world.
Abound
Nowadays, Maryland home improvement market thrives with goods for home and garden use, as well as with countless pieces of advice and information on decorating premises. This information might be accessed by reading books and the mass media, for instance Washington DC magazine, by watching TV programs or, last but not the least, by waving on the net, searching on specialized websites like welcomehomewashington.com. Still, despite so many informational sources, finding the proper decorating style or themes can be a difficult task.

Decorating activities are usually indispensable when moving into a new house, but they can be done whenever we feel like or we no longer like the old style. When decorating or redecorating a room, the leading question should be: what is the function of this area? One room should not be associated with one single function, one particular activity; it should also signal a certain emotional state. For instance, the main function of a dining room is, obviously, to provide enough space for people to gather around the table and eat. True indeed, but the secondary functionality of the same room would be to make the family members or the guests feel comfy and relaxed, generating pleasant conversations. Likewise, the function of a bedroom is to offer a place to rest, but at the same time, it could be a sanctuary of serenity, where people can relax, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Usually, the secondary function of a room may vary depending on its initial functionality.

When you made up your mind about the each room’s functionality, get to the next level: deciding for modeling or remodeling style, furniture and accessories. Visiting Maryland home improvement dedicated shops would be a start point and a very good method of discovering your preferences and personally testing different models. In order to fruitfully combine your personal style with the function of the room look through the decorating section of publications and magazines. One reliable and constant source of inspiration in terms of lifestyle and decorating fashion would be Washington DC magazine.

Normally, any person has an idea about the kind of interior design or furniture style she or he would like to have. But it rarely happens to know exactly, from the very beginning, how your home should look like. Sometimes, there might be two or more options to oscillate in between. At this point Washington DC magazine might be a real help providing pictures, interviews with architects and designers or celebrities and their houses. The moment you gather several design ideas, but you don’t have a clue on how to combine them in order to create a pleasant outlook and also a functional setting, it’s high time you get in touch with a Maryland home improvement designer. The designer will shape up your thoughts, creating a setting and an atmosphere as personal as you can describe them.

It’s very tempting to get along with the up-to-the-minute Maryland home improvement trends in terms of accessories and decorations or to apply all the tips and recommendations found in Washington DC magazine, but this predisposition will lead to frequent and expensive redecorating sessions. On Maryland home improvement market there are long-lasting home improvement trends, as well as short-lived home improvement trends, dying as quickly as a candle in the wind.

Love And Sexuality

Love may it be as sexuality that leadeth bodies to acts of carnality
strokes, touches that maketh the spirit take rise though they be merely of the flesh
all for committing the body and our souls to be inspired to take flight
going beyond the frame work of what we know to be our corpulent self

however may we question if love not
haveth strength sufficient to stand on its own axis
fore if adoration exclusively be a phenomenon of mind
caused by a being whose qualities we place above ourselves
then need there be contact of a physical nature
other then what passes the eye

Be it love by necessity sexuality?
Need there be this contact
which perhaps lends loam to our bodies
evading the essence of the sentiments
that of own strength suffice to gallantly declare love?
would not the force created by the sentiments of the mind find themselves
susceptible by the more lethargic crude matter that allow us not to transcend
to luminous beings of grace
Is it be our nature be too base
for higher emotions of the spirit to dwell in us
thus it be via contact which arriveth in the form
of comic acts that serve no further purpose
then delight of the moment.

For if love be truly of a higher tonality then all other known to us
capable of ennoblement of our spirits
then can our corporal secretions purely degrade this
which our minds have conceived
with intent of elevation the basic soft tissue that
composeth our earthly souls?

if ever there be queries that haveth not counters
fore their rhetoric not grant their blessing this be one
for whose acumen be up to decide for others?
Fore constantly be the ways of adoring that shalt seekth
same vocation as yee whose adoration beth thy guide
to rapture of the sanity
yet be it that some might intend to don
it is not the wisdom of the erudite
that be apt to resolution of what love might behold

Juggernaut Or Not: Card Games To Select From

Cards is an ancient pastime that over the ages has only picked up popularity and fans. During childhood simple games such as War are explained and then used as a learning tools for helping totters appreciate the world of numbers. As people grow up they begin to play more complicated games that rely on strategy and skill to determine outcome. I have surveyed some of the more popular ones and compiled a list of the toughest and the easiest to learn.

Snap Your Fingers, Soak Them Up:
1) Full and Complete Attack
Based on simple arithmetic, this game using all the 52 cards (including as many jokers as you wish), is one of the all time favorites of children. Neither does it need any strategy nor does it require any particular skill! Full and Complete Attack is generally the first game that children are taught because it not only improves their numerical skills, but adds enjoyment and action to this process.

2) Liar:
Here, all cards lower than eight are removed from the deck, and then seven cards are dealt. The remainder is placed down and one card is placed face-up. According to that card, the player in turn places cards facing down on top of that card. He has to state what card it is, but he can lie. If someone thinks is has lied, they can challenge him and reveal the card. If the player lied, he has to pick up all the cards, if not the challenger does the honors. The goal is to finish all the cards in your hand.

3) Johnny 5:
Johnny 5 is a little more difficult then the first to games but still is very simple to learn. Each player is dealt 5 cards. The left over cards are placed in the center of the table face down the player to the dealers left the may put down a pair of cards or a r 3 card run of cards. If you do not have any the player must take a card. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards and to have you last one or 2 cards total 5.

4) Joining the Fray:
One of the more entertaining games (especially for children), it requires basic colour and number combinatory skills only. You have to match numbers such as by collecting all fours and all aces, and then release all your cards onto the game deck. The focus of this game is not that much on winning, but on not losing and that is what adds the extra spice to it. It does not matter who throws his cards down first, but the player who notices it last and his cards are the last to hit the table: loses.

List of Most Difficult Games to Learn
1) Bridge:
An old but still popular game, here, you partner with someone and decide before playing how many hands you will win. The complexity of bridge lies not in the rules, which are relatively easy to pick up, but in the intricate game plans and maneuvers one has to master to play well.

2) Dragon Poker:
Dragon Poker is not totally unlike poker. Any of the different variations of poker can be used as the base for the game, but the general rules are very different. There are no official rules for dragon poker, they must be thought up and written down by the group of people you are playing with, and it is the duty of each player to memorize the rules, if you forget a rule it goes against you and if someone else does not remember a rule that can hurt you, do not worry you do not have to remind them. The best games have the most rules. An example of a rule can be if the date ends in an odd number and the dealer is wearing a shirt that the color of the shits spelling is an even number, then each player must pay the dealer 100 dollars. This rule can only be used once and whoever is the first to call out the rule during their deal gets it.

3) Baccarat:
Just like in poker, you have to study and memorize the value of certain cards such as that tens and face cards (Jack to King including Ace) are zero. In addition, you need to learn specific rules such as that if you get an eight or nine no more cards are dealt. To conclude, this game is not for beginners.

Five Home Improvement Tips To Help You Transform Your House Into A Stylish Home

When deciding to transform your house into a stylish home, you can use different approaches to the various parts of the house in order to minimize your renovation costs.

- The Interior Design Approach

1. One approach that you can employ is by focusing your renovation design towards your staircase. You can change the design of your staircase to make it appear more cozy and modern or use wooden materials with carving designs to have a more traditional and yet stylish look. Redesigning your staircase would also depend on which part of your house, it is located.

2. Once you have redesigned your staircase, the part of the house where it is located should also follow to match with it. If it’s in the living room, then the living room should be redesigned as well. In renovating your living room, you can repaint the walls to match the color of your staircase railings. If the railings are made of wood, then it would best to have a wall paint colored beige or other variants of earth colors. If you still prefer a light colored wall, you can repaint the base of the wall with a darker tone of brown.

3. Aside from transforming the staircase or the ceiling you may also redesign the flooring of your house. A quick and easy way of doing this is by replacing your old flooring with laminate floorings. You can choose from the variety of materials that are used for laminate flooring. For example, if your theme is the more traditional look, then you may use the laminate flooring which resembles wooden parquet flooring. If you are looking for a more environmentally sound floor, then one of the incredibly stylish and durable bamboo flooring options currently on the market may well be a better choice.

- Transforming by Changing the Furniture

4. If renovating the entire interior of the house is too costly for your budget, you may opt to buy new furniture to replace those old and tired looking pieces that are an eyesore. You can purchase new designs of living room sofas with matching sleek and modern center and side tables. 5. You can also purchase a made to order bar if your living room has more space to accommodate this. A living room bar adds excitement and style to any boring traditionally styled living rooms.

So there you have it, five simple yet extremely effective tips for transforming your house into a stylish home. Have fun!

Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Dublin: A Nirvana For Folk Music Fans

Dublin is often referred to as the party capital of Europe; full of pubs, clubs and Irishmen extolling the virtues of ‘the craic’. One thing you will find in abundance in the Irish capital is traditional folk music and you certainly won’t have to travel very far around the streets of Dublin to find a place to have a jig and a swig!

Whelan’s in Camden Street, central Dublin is the place to visit for traditional and folk music. This exciting venue has had most of Ireland’s folk talent perform on its stage at some point. Just a stone’s throw away, also in Camden Street, is The Village another vibrant music venue, that’s well worth a visit.

Vicar Street – despite its confusing name – is not a street but a fabulous traditional music venue and can be found in Thomas Street in the heart of Dublin. This prestigious venue opened in 1998 promising to give Dublin a mid-size venue that would ‘punch above its weight’. It presents bands and solo artists that play all types and genres of music including traditional and folk, with big-name Irish bands such as the Dubliners appearing at this venue. Other artists that are slated to appear at Vicar Street include Dara O’Briain, Fionn Regan and Brendan Grace proving that it is living up to its promise to deliver quality acts.

Plus, you’ll find many more places where you can enjoy traditional folk music at most times of day or night. Bars, cafes and hotels in Dublin are all places where you can find Irish Folk Music being performed by eager and talented local musicians. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy just about any other genre of music in Dublin that takes your fancy, from rock to classical. So, if you are planning to visit Dublin, or just toying with the idea, make sure that you are prepared for ‘the craic’!

And if you are in any doubt as to how much the Irish love their music, take note of the following example. The Irish Post Office has recently started selling a series of stamps that pay tribute to four iconic bands whose roots are based in traditional Irish folk music; The Chieftans, The Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and Altan. The bands have been chosen because of the success they have had in taking traditional Irish folk music to the world. The inclusion of Tommy Makem is quite poignant as he recently passed away, and these stamps make a fitting tribute to his life-time contribution to making Irish music popular throughout the United States. They are sure to become collectors’ items, so be sure to pick some up when you visit Dublin.

Gambling And The 20th Century Rulers Part4

Robert Mugabe
(1924)
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on the 21st of February, 1924 in the town of Kutama on the territory of current Zimbabwe. Before coming to power in 1987 he had spent 11 years in prison for participation in the national liberation movement. Robert Mugabe is famous, firstly, for his anti-American claims, as well as for the fact that in 2005 he the inflation reached the record 502% in the new 21st century.

Interestingly, but at the peak of inflation growth speaking in front of the journalists the president of Zimbabwe declared that the population of his country was very happy”. What it meant to be very happy” the president knew not through hearsay. A few years ago Mugabe won the state lottery’s main prize in the amount of 2 639 dollars. Curiously, but only those citizens took part in this lottery who had accounts in the National Bank of Zimbabwe, at this for every 135 dollars there was only one lottery ticket. Naturally, under the name of the current president there was registered the record number of tickets, that is why the prize did not keep him waiting for a long time. They say, the results of the lottery upset the citizens of Zimbabwe very much.
Robert Mugabe is a very temperamental person and a typical gambler by nature. A lot of his statements are made in a burst of passion and excitement. By the way, the attitude of the president towards gambling industry is not in the least bad: there are several casinos opened in the country, as well as race tracks with the totalizator, left to the Zimbabwean from English colonizers.

Augusto Pinochet
(1915)
Augusto Pinochet was born on the 25th of November, 1915, in a Chile resort town of Valparaiso. In September 1973 he organized a putsch against the president of Chile Allende and after his murder took the post of the head of the state. Like many other heroes” of the 20th century, he was distinguished by mass terror in relation to the otherwise-minded”.

General Pinochet was quite a cruel and ruthless person, but under his rule hyperinflation was stopped and economic growth began.

The Chilean dictator had a negative attitude towards gambling industry, and there were no gambling-houses in the country during his rule. However, he had rather a loyal attitude to holding a state lottery. Maybe it was because the control over profits from lotteries was entrusted to his daughter Lucia Pinochet Hiriart?

Only after a few years upon retirement of Pinochet under the president Eduardo Free a new casino was opened in the country in 1997.
At present Augusto Pinochet is in Chile under house arrest and is awaiting the trial for evasion from tax payment. The trial, by the way, perhaps, will not even take place because of his age and extremely bad heath.

We can continue mentioning great dictators and rulers of the 20th century and argue about their attitude to gambling industry. Iosip Broz Tito, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Idi Amin, Joseph Desire Mobutu, Muammar Gaddafi, Suharto, Thieu, Somoza, Marcos, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Bokassa, Hissene Habre, Chombe, Franco, Duvalier, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Batista, Salazar and many others had different attitude to gambling. Some, like Marcos and Batista, liked it a lot, while others, like Gaddafi and Ceausescu, didn’t give it even a chance for existence.
While in Spain all power was in the hands of the general Franco Bahamonde Francisco, people were even afraid of talking about gambling-houses, but as soon as he died and the royal throne was occupied by Juan Carlos I, there were at once opened a number of casinos in the country. While Batista favoured gambling games, Fidel Castro, who substituted him, banned them at once. And it is clear. Batista was an American protg, and Fidel was the one who fought against American imperialism. That is why casinos simply lost favour.

A lot of rulers of the 20th century were quite venturesome personalities having revealed their excitable skills in politics, and not on the cloth of the gambling table in the gambling-house. Who knows, if their passion had been connected with visiting of gambling establishments, perhaps, our planet would be quieter.
Total struggle against gambling in the 20th century was under way only in one, at this the most democratic” country the USA. And after repressions, which failed, gambling industry there not only continued to exist, but started to flourish. The ideas of Marxism-Leninism did not give the right of existence of gambling establishments in the countries that chose the way of rise to radiant future in the form of communism, since the norms of the given ideology prescribed earning money by way of labour, and not in the hours of entertaining pastime. Countries practising traditional Islam do not allow gambling industry on their territory in accordance with their religious dogma. Despite this, Muslim Egypt, Tunis, Morocco and Lebanon have opened gambling-houses. The same was done by the Korean Republic, having demonstrated that ideology is ideology but if the country needs to earn money for the budget, gambling industry won’t hinder it.

Totalitarianism and gambling are not connected with each other in the least. The basis of struggle against gambling industry in 99 cases out of 100 is not the desire to protect the rights and interests of the citizens and the society, but the most trivial desire to win votes of people which any party, striving to come to power, pursues. Politics is rather a subtle thing.

Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Creating A Personal Finance Spreadsheet

One of the biggest challenges we face as adults is balancing a budget. Creating a personal finance spreadsheet can be one of

the most valuable steps you can take to tackling this challenge head on. Even if you start with a simple format and a few details you can be well on your way to financial organization which can lead to financial security in the long run.

There are different methods for creating a personal finance spreadsheet and the decision on which to choose depends greatly

on your personality in general. Many people like to keep record in a computer program like Excel. This is a wonderful way to

stay organized while making a sound personal financial spreadsheet that is professional grade quality.

The Excel program is great because it allows you to work from a clean template. You have control of the input and you can

cater your personal financial spreadsheet to your needs. Many of us have no idea how to use this program but it really takes

just a few minutes to master and the results are great.

You can also use a program like Quicken to create a personal finance spreadsheet. This kind of program comes highly

recommended for any individual who is serious about keeping track of all of his incoming and outgoing funds. The personal

finance spreadsheet that you can produce from a program like Quicken will put your accountant to shame.

Many of us love the idea of keeping strict records of our spending habits and we really like the idea of a sound budget.

However, we don’t like to work on the computer any more than we have to. If you spend all day at work at the monitor the last

thing you want to do is go home and work on a personal finance spreadsheet on your personal computer.

There are those of us who are just not likely to keep things up to date when using this kind of personal finance spreadsheet. These individuals may embrace more traditional, hands on approach to keeping a budget record up to date. There are many items available at office supply stores to meet the traditional needs as well.

One thing to remember when it comes to your personal finance spreadsheet; if you are in a partnership or a marriage it is

crucial to keep the lines of communication open. No personal finance spreadsheet will help you become clairvoyant. Good