Thursday, February 25, 2021

Why Sourcing Information Carefully Is Vital On Social Media

Over the past few years, social networking has experienced a mass boom. Websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, have become integrated as a routine part of our everyday lives. The introduction of innovative communication technology raises questions regarding how media will adapt as a result. This is especially the case for journalism and the sourcing of news.

The popularity of social media websites is rather astonishing. Nevertheless, journalists cannot merely take everything they see on social networking websites as the truth. On Twitter, rumours fly around every day regarding the death of famous people, and to falsely report a death would severely damage a news organisation’s credibility and even lead to a legal fall-out. Thus, journalists must take extreme care to authenticate a story before it is posted. This is something that legal experts like Rockwell Legal Group will testify to. 

Finding the balance between making sure your information is fact and breaking the story as quickly as possible is often a tricky one. Whilst social networking websites may be problematic for journalists with regards to the credibility of the material they find, there is no issue if the information comes directly from the source’s mouth. A lot of stories are created around things celebrities have said on Twitter. Celebrities are easily identified by the tick on their Twitter account, which shows they’ve authenticated their account. 

A common use of celebrity Twitter accounts is when a famous personality has died. News organisations often run stories with celebrity tributes that have been posted on the social networking site. This makes the journalist’s job a lot easier because instead of having to ring up representatives for a quote they merely have to check the celebrity’s Twitter feed.

Articles are not only aided through Twitter, but stories can also be created via things celebrities post. There are controversial celebrities, such as Rihanna and footballer Joey Barton, who are well known for saying ‘too much’ on Twitter, this alone can be the source of a story.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of online social media is that it gives journalists access to information and material that they otherwise wouldn’t have. The first obvious occurrence of this was during the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.

This is especially helpful in countries that have tight media restrictions, such as Iran. During the Iranian election protests in 2009, there were a very minute number of journalists who were allowed to report independently inside Iran. As a result, Twitter in particular seemed to be a huge source of information.

This post has touched upon the need to validate stories, use journalistic judgement and of course name the source of your stories. However, when covering a unique situation in a country with massive press restrictions, such as the one in Iran, doing the first two proves very difficult. The Iranian election protests proved to be a massive headache for news organisations; they had an influx of information, videos and pictures coming from outside contributors, but no way to validate the stories nor piece together an entire picture of what was happening in Iran.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

How Can You Turn Yourself Into a Leader?


You may have a handful of skills under your belt in a professional sense. You can keep productive and run a household while also doing a job, but does this mean you are qualified to be a leader? We all think about it sometimes, because we are in charge of something, and we like how it makes us feel, we may want to turn it into some form of career. But it's not just about being in charge. There are many people who become leaders, and then turn out to be completely ineffective, and become terrible people as a result. How can you turn yourself into a leader without this happening?



Trust and Inspire

We talk about trust and inspiration as these buzzwords with regards to leadership. But they are buzzwords for a reason! from business bloggers like Paul Ognibene to motivators like Tony Robbins all speak about the importance of trust and inspiration. A leader is someone who isn't just in charge, they are someone who can chat people's talents to meet bigger goals. Many people feel that in order to be an effective leader they have to shout louder than everyone else. And it's a great leap of faith as a leader to step aside and put trust in the people you are in charge of.



Utilize Big Picture Thinking

Do you find yourself going with the trends? It's so easy for us to be distracted by new and shiny things. This means that we lose sight of the bigger picture. If you are someone who is struggling to see the bigger picture, you can start to incorporate certain practices into your life. Because distraction and following trends are much like taking yourself down a long road to get to the end. You may find that going down this root is good in the short-term, but detrimental in the long-term. And you can do this in life by learning to hold your nerve. We can find challenges in every single aspect of our lives, and when we start to think about the bigger picture, it gives us a far better goal to aim for.



Use Powerful Body Language

Finally, if you want to be a leader, you have to look the part. There are many ways for you to use powerful body language, and many people just feel they do not have what it takes to be a leader. But the fact is that leaders aren't fully formed, they learn how to become like this. And one of the first things that you can do is to use a fake it till you make it approach. Body language comprises three key areas: eye contact, smiling, and posture. Get these three right, and you are putting across the right image. And the great thing about body language is that you can practice at home. There are so many principles out there that you can utilize, like the Alexander Technique, but sometimes it helps to get an understanding of the importance of body language.


How To Make Effective Use of Solar Energy at Home

Solar energy has become increasingly popular these days. It’s a great option to help you save money around the home despite how long it can take for you to recuperate the costs. In addition, it’s a fantastic way to start living a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. However, solar energy is often misunderstood in what it can and can’t achieve.


So in this post, we’re going to take a look at a few ways to make effective use of solar energy around the home if you’re planning on investing in a system in the future.




For cost savings, consider if there are community solar incentives available


One of the biggest obstacles to investing in solar is the cost. Thankfully, there may be options for you to use services like https://www.choosesolar.com to save money on solar investments by gathering local interest. Group solar or community solar allows you to take advantage of tax credits and other solar-related benefits without having to invest in solar yourself.


By minimizing the cost, you’ll have a much easier time switching to solar for certain energy uses around the home. While it does require a little planning to take advantage of community solar, it’s well worth the time and effort spent in the long run.


Understand what solar is and isn’t capable of


Solar panels are a great way to make our roof more environmentally friendly, but we need to understand what they are and are not capable of. It's important to understand that solar isn’t going to produce nearly enough energy to run your entire home. In addition to adding solar panels to your roof, you need to reduce energy consumption and consider other ways to cut down on electricity usage if you truly want to save money.


When using solar energy, you can expect that certain aspects of your home will be much cheaper to run. For example, you might save a lot of money in lighting or heating water, but you won’t see savings in terms of electricity usage for entertainment.


Solar panels are a long-term investment that you need to adapt to


One of the quirks about solar is that in order to make effective use of it, we need to understand that it’s a long-term investment. It’s not designed to quickly replace traditional energy sources and you can expect to pay a lot of money to have solar panels installed. This article from https://www.mentalfloss.com/ shows that solar panels can easily take anywhere from seven to 20 years to cover the initial cost from savings alone.


If you don’t plan to stay in your current home for a long time then you’re not going to have time to adapt to solar energy usage, and you might find yourself struggling to make it worthwhile. As such, you should understand that solar panels are a long-term investment and you will need to adjust your life in order to adapt to the benefits that it offers.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Importance Of Saving Money

Throughout your life, you should always try to save a significant portion of your income. Saving is important as not only could it help you in an emergency, but it also allows you to purchase big-ticket items like your first home, or a new car. It doesn’t matter what type of job you do, whether you work for a law firm like boulder legal group, or are a teacher, you can always save a certain percentage of your salary. Below are four reasons you should consider saving if you aren’t already. 



In Case Of An Emergency 

Unfortunately, accidents do happen and they tend to happen when you least expect them. Having an emergency fund can help protect you. If something is to happen that will have a financial impact, you can feel rest assured that you have the money saved in your bank to cover the costs. Maybe your boiler at home breaks and you need to fix it, or you have a car accident and need to repair your vehicle? There are many apps that you can use to help save more money and keep track of your savings. 

Buy Your First Home 

Buying your first home is a big achievement at any stage of your life. More often than not it involves you saving for many years and putting a set amount behind. A house deposit can be a lot of money which is why the sooner you start saving, the sooner you will be able to buy a property. If you haven’t done so yet, why not set up a separate savings account and a direct debit that will take a certain amount of your wages into your savings account each month?

Helping Others 

Being financially stable and able to help others is a really rewarding thing. By putting in the effort of saving, you can feel rest assured that you can help your friends or family should they have any financial difficulties. Alternatively, by saving you know that you have more of a spare income to donate to charities and help worthwhile causes. There are many charities out there that need the support of the public to keep operating and doing the fantastic job that they do. 

Big Purchases 

By saving you open the door to being able to purchase big items that may make a difference in your life. Is there a car that you have always dreamed of having? Well by saving you can achieve this dream. Maybe you want to buy your partner a wedding ring and get married? Again, without savings, this is not possible. There are so many doors that open when you have some money saved. 


There are so many reasons to save money. Not only will it reduce your stress but also help open new doors and reduce the chances of you getting into debt. Why not try and put a plan in place to save a small amount each month. Once achieved you can up this amount and keep saving until you reach your goal. 


What are you like at saving? What reasons do you like to save money? Let me know in the comment box below, I would love to hear from you. 

Useful Tips for Moms Who Run Businesses


Running a business and taking care of your kids effectively means that you have not one, but two full-time jobs and that can get pretty overwhelming even if you are superwoman, which is why I’ve put together some useful tips to help you juggle both roles and do a great job of it.


Create a quiet space to work

If you run your business from home, finding a quiet space to work is vital. Then you don’t have to worry about the kids saying something embarrassing on a conference call or the baby painting all over your important paperwork. This could be a corner of your bedroom, a shed in the garden, or if you can afford it, you could even think about finding temporary office space to ensure you have somewhere safe and quiet to work. If you really can’t find a totally family-free space to work, then at least let the family know your working hours and ensure they keep away during meetings and when other work is going on - a sign you can hang up, to let them know, may work well.


Whatever solution you find, make sure that you do find some quiet space, or running your business could be tougher than it needs to be.


Make time for yourself

It may seem like an impossible task, but if you want to be an effective mom and mompreneur, you need to avoid that executive burnout, and the way you do that is by scheduling some time for yourself. By spending a couple of hours at the spa or curled up reading a good book, you give yourself the headspace that you need to be an effective adult. Fail to make time for yourself and you’ll make mistakes at work and snap at home and that won’t do anyone any good.


You can say no

A lot of mompreneurs think that they need to say yes to every business opportunity that comes their way. They also feel like they need to say yes to every school event that they’re asked to attend. Neither is true. As a mompreneur, you can say no. Not every opportunity will fit into your life and that’s okay. You need to work out which opportunities are the most important; the most likely to be lucrative, and which are not worth it in the long-term. The same goes for school events and the like - work out which things will matter when you look back on them and which won’t and start saying no more often.




Outsource everything

Okay, so you probably won’t be able to outsource everything for both practical and financial reasons, but you can outsource a lot. From work stuff like bookkeeping and organizing your schedule to home tasks like cleaning the house and walking the dog, there are so many tasks that you can hand off to others, and doing so could help to make your life a whole lot more efficient and more importantly, give you a much better work-life balance.

 

Network

Being a mompreneur can leave you feeling isolated if you aren’t careful. Your whole life can end up being consumed by nothing but work and looking after the kids and it can leave you feeling deflated, which means you won’t be the best you can be at work or home. That’s why it’s a really good idea to network with other mompreneurs who get what you’re going through, and who can offer friendship and support. As well as being good for your mental health, you may meet some people who can put more business your way, and you could even end up creating your own childcare pools and the like, which will make your working life so much easier.


Be flexible

When you’re a mompreneur, it pays to have a flexible schedule and a flexible approach to your working life because you never know when the kids are going to get sick and need you or a million other things are going to go wrong. Being able to shuffle things around without too much drama will really help you out when these kinds of disasters hit.


Take it seriously

A lot of moms who run businesses look at their jobs as little more than hobbies. This is really sad and you should never undervalue yourself like that. If you want your business to be a real success, start treating it like the important corporate company it is and act accordingly.


I hope you find these tips useful for running a business while being a mom! 

The Benefits Of Home Relocation

Whether you want a better social life, have been offered a better job, or want a change of scenery, relocating can be a good option. 


Relocating is a pivotal moment when you are committed to self-improvement, want to seek out new opportunities to change your perspective, understand diverse points of view, or cultivate compassion and empathy. Today, you will discover the benefits of relocating and what it can do for you and your life.



Maximize Your Money

The great thing about relocating is that you may be able to afford a property in the luxury real estate market. Depending on the location and the profit from your previous property, you may have a bigger deposit to put down for a bigger property. Thus, relocating can result in you living in your dream home and maximizing your money. 


Instead of staying in the same home for years and it not being worth what you paid for it, your money will be better spent elsewhere. You may find an affordable property in a new town or even a new country for less than what you paid for your current home. Price often depends on location, and sometimes your money may be better spent on a luxury property abroad. 


In a new home, you may witness reduced living costs. Newer more are more energy-efficient, with reusable energy features and less need for heating due to better insulation. Thus, you will save on household and energy bills, which will help you save money and maximize your earnings.


More Job Opportunities

Relocating can increase your number of job opportunities available to you. This is especially the case if you move to a city with a lower unemployment rate. You may also have limited opportunities in your career in your hometown and more in a bigger city. 


Whatever the case, decide which city you want to move to. Conduct an online job search for the type of job you want. Compare the number of job listings in your target city with those where you live now and it might give you the answer to whether or not you should relocate. 


Or, it might increase the security of your current job. If your company is relocating to a new city or country, a home move can save your job. Top managers will also recognize your willingness to leave with them, which may increase your chances of getting a promotion at some point. For example, some employees, including your boss, may be unwilling to relocate. Consequently, the move could expedite your promotion to replace your boss. 


A Better Social Life

When you relocate where you live, it may do wonders for refreshing your social life. You may relocate to a new city with better nightlife, better places to visit, or closer to your loved ones. Either way, you could improve your social life. 


A good social life contributes to improved happiness. As humans, social interaction is essential to every aspect of our health. Having a strong network of support or strong community bonds fosters both emotional and physical health and is an important component of adult life. Thus, if you want to move to have a better social life, then go for it. Your mental health and happiness will thank you for it.


The Chance To Build Your Own Home

If you have lived in your current property, or several, and do not feel entirely satisfied, building your own home could be the answer. Although it takes a lot of time and money, the money you have saved or make in profit from your current home will be a huge contribution. If you move country, building a home may be cheaper than the home you are currently in. 


Building your own home seems like a dream that cannot come true. But, with the help of an architect, lawyer, and construction team, it can be more straightforward than you might think. Once the land is purchased, the legal team will sort the insurance and finances, and then it can be built. Relocating to a cheap town or more affordable country will maximize your money, satisfy your living needs, and create more opportunities for socializing or jobs. 


If you have been trying to make your mind up on whether to relocate, this guide may help you make the decision. You have to do what is best for you, your family, and your priorities. Sometimes, change is what everyone needs to grow and refresh.


How To Decrease Your Expenses During a Pandemic

 The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the economy into turmoil, with millions of people losing their jobs and thousands of businesses shutting down. So now, more than ever, decreasing your household expenses is a priority. Resonate, a data marketing agency, conducted a study using 5000 Americans as the sample size. From the results of the survey, 80% of the respondents had grave concerns about their current finances.


Examine your spending habits



Taking a close look at your spending habits before and during the pandemic should give you a clear idea of the stuff you don’t need to help you reduce your spending. Some financial experts advise you to organize your expenditure into four broad categories. These are fixed non-discretionary expenses, variable non-discretionary expenses, fixed discretionary expenses, and variable discretionary expenses.


After separating your expenses into these categories, you should focus on the necessities such as rent, heat, internet service, healthcare, and phone. These are the fixed non-discretionary expenses. The next thing to do is to prune all the variable discretionary expenses such as new clothes and takeout. After doing this, you should have a surplus on your budget; if not, you must find ways to cut down on your variable non-discretionary expenses.


Prioritize expenses

Choosing needs over wants is the best way to cut down on expenses. There is always something that you can do without. When cutting out costs, be sure to trim every category of expenses and put your prime focus on your priorities. For example, if you’re planning a wedding this year and your spouse is a non-US citizen who lives outside the US, your top priority becomes paying for their k1 visa cost. This essential cost must be factored in and cannot be avoided. Therefore, look to cut expenses in many other aspects of your wedding planning process. 


Make use of mobile apps

If you need help to deal with your expenditure, several mobile apps can help you categorize your spending and help you trim and track your expenses. Others will serve as virtual financial counselors based on your current expenses.


Save whatever cash you can

This may not sound easy, but you should hold onto any cash you have at the moment and spend it only when you need to. You can cut down household expenses if you are smart about it. Identify the opportunities to save and plan out your costs. If you plan your meals, you could save on groceries. Staying at home more also means that you can save on gas, travel, and outside entertainment. You can keep any money spent on non-essential expenses somewhere safe, and it will add to your savings.


Reconsider your saving strategy

It is laudable to make payments into your savings account regularly. But you might want to reconsider it if you need more cash in hand. To offset current expenses, you could reduce the contributions you make to your savings account. It is an effective savings strategy to ensure you always have cash on hand. When you are in a better financial situation, you can go back to the previous contributions or increase the contributions to make up for the lost difference.


Get creative

Sometimes you just need to get creative when cutting out expenses such as those for entertainment. For example, when paying for streaming services, just settle on the essential and not the full package. After all, how often do you make use of the complete package? Another option is just to go for the cheapest option, or you could stick to just a single streaming service and forget the other ones in the interim. If you are internet-savvy, there are options on the web that will suffice your streaming needs.


Make the calls



List all your basic expenses and make the calls to negotiate your payment terms. This includes lobbying for reduced charges or a deferment altogether. This option should work great with credit card companies, insurance companies, and for your rent. Make the calls and tell them your situation while offering a payment option that will be favorable for both parties. The endgame is to reduce your expenses as much as possible during these challenging times.


Although times are tough and everyone is concerned about their welfare and finances, there are also opportunities to save some money. The best approach is to use the time you have on your hands to critically assess your household expenditure and then draw up a plan to reduce it. Then ensure that after lowering your expenses, you draw up a budget and stick to it. This should help you save some money that will tide you over until things get better.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Personal Finance Strategies That Yield Long-Term Returns

Understanding your financial needs and establishing clarity in decision-making is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The truth is, neither intelligence nor correct predictions guarantee success in financial investments. 


Adopting the right personal finance strategies defines a clear roadmap for you while nurturing the principles that will drive you to optimum levels. 


Think about it. The reason why you go to work every day is to maintain a steady income. But does this guarantee financial safety in the long run?


For you to be able to work, save, invest, and have fun comfortably, you should consider improving your financial literacy and unlearning the habits that set you off your desired trajectory. 




Benefits of Having a Solid Financial Plan


Refined Goals


A financial plan saves you the torment of choice by helping you define realistic short-term and long-term goals. In return, this gives you a sense of direction and provides a definite focal point.


Finances are an intimate aspect of your life, and as such, a solid plan helps in taking calculated risks and aligning your goals with the fundamental values. Ultimately, this gives you purpose and an objective mindset.



Informed Decision Making


The only way to get your desired financial outcomes is by making the right decisions most of the time, if not all the time. Controlling your spending habits and avoiding impulse purchases can only be achieved through a well-defined plan. 


Understanding the impact of your decisions and performing your due diligence goes a long way. A plan helps you become conscious of your financial position and breeds coordinated actions geared towards attaining long-term returns. 



Improved Commitment and Motivation


A trustworthy financial plan makes you more optimistic about the future and generally elevates your mental health. Close to 90 % of people with a clearly-written financial plan feel better about their lives within 12 months. 


It translates to renewed commitment and motivation towards the defined strategy and reduces uncertainties surrounding financial decisions. 



Personal Finance Strategies


Understand Your Assets and Liabilities


If you want to get long-term returns, it is crucial to understand how assets, liabilities, debts, and income play a key role in determining your financial position.  


Simply put, you should always strive to increase your asset column and reduce your liabilities. Whether you are looking to buy a rental or invest in stock and cryptocurrencies, you should know how to leverage your equity to produce long-range returns. 


For this to happen, you should understand your credit score, make calculated decisions, operate on where the law favors you, and avoid bad debt. In the end, this nurtures your analytical thinking and decision-making process. 


Get a Classic Budget


The idea behind budgeting is straightforward: To help you know how you spend. With the current explosion of money markets and digital tools, organizing your spending is as simple as making a few taps on your smartphone. But beyond what current technologies have to offer, adopting classic strategies gives you a grasp of the concepts. 


Some of the most suitable budgeting options include:


The Traditional Budget


The zero-balance budget is a way of listing all your expenses in their specific categories, alongside the amount you wish to spend on each. Not only is this method thorough in allocating money for your expenses, but it also paints a clear picture of your spending habits. 


The Pay-Yourself First Budget


On the contrary, you could choose this strategy that capitalizes on making long-term investments first, then living off what is left. It is rewarding if you have trouble saving after spending. By paying yourself first, you choose to create a better future at the expense of your current status. 


The Rule-of-Thumb Budget


The 50/30/20 rule is suitable if you are currently new in the labor force or have no hefty debts to pay. This rule suggests spending 50% of your earnings on expenses and bills, 30 % on leisure and fun, and 20 % purely on savings. Overall, it is a useful model for developing discipline. 


Get Advisors and Spending Buddies


Besides creating a budget, limiting debt, and monitoring your credit score, you should consider consulting someone with more experience. Learning about personal finance becomes easier when you have someone to hold your hand. 


Get friends with better spending habits than you, and with a little patience, you will pick up some of their traits. But if you feel a bit unsure or overly cautious about your finances, then you should consider outsourcing a professional.


Through this, you will gain invaluable advice on the correct spending habits, investment options, and how best to go around taxes. Most importantly, it will help you discover the loopholes in your financial plan. 


Love Yourself and Develop Discipline


Systematic saving and monitored spending may sound easy on paper but quite hard to follow, especially with a family to support. In essence, everything here requires a lot of discipline and consistency. 


If you love yourself and want to see the best out of your life, you will do whatever it takes to hold on to the set plan and work your way up the ladder of success. Over time, this discipline molds your investment skills and gets you emotionally detached from financial transactions.

 

Mistakes to Avoid in Personal Finance


  • Avoid setting too many goals. Instead, prioritize and focus on specific goals.

  • Don't spend everything on paying debts. Make incremental payments while leaving something for your essential expenses (food, housing, utilities, and transportation).

  • Avoid spending more than you earn or more than you can pay off.

  • Not having insurance coverage is risky. Protect your financial assets at all times

  • Plan for taxes, risks, miscellaneous, and emergencies. Have something extra at all times. However minimal. 

  • Don't be rational or emotional when making financial decisions. Take a breath and consider the implications. 



A well-grounded strategy helps you understand the nuts and bolts of your finances. With the above options, you should control your cash flow without necessarily cutting down on expenses.


Beyond managing your finances, you should make sound investment decisions and manage your risks when things go south. In any case, you are better off with all these tips in mind. The ball is now in your court. 

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