Green Christmas: Feel the nature's essence with Santa at less

Green Christmas

It can be a real nightmare to shop for Christmas gifts especially if you haven’t invested time in shopping in advance. Besides, you should think if the gifts that you’re buying are actually harming the environment. If you want to leave a ‘green world’ for your kids, then it’s time you embrace the ‘green’ theme this Christmas. Wondering what exactly you need to do to celebrate Green Christmas? Read the full story.

Green activities: What you can do while hunting for gifts

Check out the 5 green activities you can indulge in while buying gifts in this Christmas.

1. Look for durable gifts

You should consider those gift items that have a long life span. They should definitely be of good quality if you want them to last. There is no use gifting something that has no longevity.

2. Avoid big brands

You must give good and durable gifts but it is not necessary that these gifts have to be from big branded shops. Try to avoid super market chains and big brands when shopping for Christmas gifts. You can look for gifts at craft stores or at co-operatives where you may get the same items but at lower prices.

3. Try unique ideas

You can look at second hand book stores or you can even gift some antique items on Christmas Eve. Try out new and unique ideas that can add that special touch to your gifts. You can also gift items that have disappeared from the current trends; this would make your gift stand out in its own unique way.There are many green gadgets that can be solar-powered devices, eco-toys or water clocks. Go for gifts that are eco-body care products. These products are organic and free from harmful chemicals.

4. Go for battery free gifts

Try to buy battery free gift items because discarded batteries are very harmful for our mother earth.Try to buy naturally powered such as kites, wooden push toys, white-wings Gliders for our environments sake. Rechargeable batteries are not advisable as these are also harmful.

5. Use DIY cards

Utilize your creativity and help the environment. Try to make homemade invitation card to invite friends. Thus, you can save money on expensive cards. Your own creation will make your guests happy as well.

Green decoration: What you can do to enjoy eco-friendly Christmas

Check out the 3 steps you can take to enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas.

1. Grab a live Christmas tree

As plastics last for long time, you tend to buy plastics made Christmas tree that are reusable. Buy it will loose it’s color and glamor over time. Besides, discarded plastics are very harmful for our landfills. So, if you pick a live tree, then it can serve lot of purpose. You can sell a well grown tree with handsome amount of money and you can avoid shipping cost of a plastic tree. Above all, a live tree will help you to feel a fresh Christmas. It will be a real fun to decorate a live tree with young kids. Your kids will love a live tree. Consider buying live potted tree that you can reuse over the year.Moreover a live decorated Christmas tree will enhance your yard’s beauty. Decorate the tree to attract birds. Use black oil sunflower seed, suet, to attract birds.

2. Save energy with LED lights

Try to use small sized outdoor bulbs to cut down the electric bills. LED lights are good to reduce energy cost and decoration as well. Turn the lights off at the bed time. It doesn’t make sense to waste energy when everybody is sleeping.

3. Choose alternative way of gift wrapping paper

Metallic gift wrap papers are also harmful . Try to use hemp, recycled content to wrap gifts. Moreover, you can switch to old calendars, maps, posters, fabric gifts bags, comic strip wrapping paper, news print roll-end while wrapping gifts.

Recycling is the key

According to the study. “Each year, 50 million Christmas trees are purchased in the U.S. Of those, about 30 million go to the landfill.” If you want, you can reduce such massive environmental pollution. Your simple effort can make your place better. Try to keep the gift wrappers and bubble wrap and give them to shipping center to reuse them. Keep any pricey and special gift wrap with you for second use. Recycle your electronic good as well.

What are the things that you must not buy?

When you are choosing green gifts for Christmas, these are certain things that you must try and avoid.

  • It is not at all advisable to buy items that have been overly packaged.

  • Buying anything that is made of endangered wood is not advisable

  • You must also try and avoid goods made of plastic, PVC or goods that are unsustainable.

Christmas is time for merriment. But its your duty to experience the joy in a way that favor our mother earth. Teach your kids about nature’s value. Your kids will enjoy live birds on live Christmas tree. Take your old binocular to see local birds at local park during Christmas. Your determination and little effort can make this Christmas different and remarkable for ever.

Written by admin

December 19th 2014 12:01:13 am

Posted in christmas

Tagged with green christmas

Cyber Monday shopping: Antidote to ward-off web imposters

Save on Black Friday shopping

Shopping is always fun, especially on Cyber Monday, when you can get so many attractive deals and discounts online. Both retailers and shoppers can get benefits on this special day. But, all good things have a bad side as well. And, the bad side is cyber scams and cyber criminal activities. So, both of you (retailers and shoppers) need to be more careful on this busiest online shopping day (Cyber Monday) to avoid becoming a victim of cyber criminal.

Here are the 6 tips to raise your awareness and protect your identity on this biggest shopping day.

1. Install antivirus software to secure your computer

Don't forget to install antivirus and anti-spyware before cyber shopping. Thus, you can secure your computer too. Keep updating the antivirus software and install the most secured version in your computer. Moreover, install second opinion malware scanner in your computer before browsing shopping websites. Generally, in shopping season, people tend to browse many shopping related websites. So, this is the golden time for scammers. Finally, the choice is yours. The more you opt for secured options, the better you experience hassle free Cyber Monday shopping.

2. Hit the retailers' website directly

Browse directly to the retailer's website instead of searching anonymously in search engine. Thus, you can avoid scammers who are waiting to steal your credit card information. These days so many "preview ads" are their online posted by the stores itself. And scammers are using this opportunity and they are very active in creating phishing and malicious websites to offer fake mails to the consumers on the occasion as Cyber Monday, Black Friday etc. They are offering tempting price to attract customers as well.

3. Take safety measures when you surf social media

Scammer can easily trapped you in social media sites. They can easily find out your information from your social media account. As example, scammers may post links of tempting Cyber Monday deals in facebook accounts. And you'll get this post as news feeds in your facebook account. Once you click the link or repost this, the scam will spread very fast. Many people will like your post and also repost it without checking it properly. There are chances to get coupons ads on any shopping related Facebook groups. So, check properly before you repost any news feeds. If your web browser provide warnings such as "Warning: Potential phishing threat", "Warning:Visiting this site may harm your computer", then close the site as early as possible in order to secure your personal data as well as your computer.

4. Be careful when you get email and pop-up coupons

You'll get lots of coupon mails from legitimate retailers. But, don't get excited about it. The emails are fake and their main motive is to steal your credit card information. Beware of cross site scripting attacks. Scammers may use this trick to make you sure that you're on the right retailer's website. And once you click on the link or pop up message, you're actually heading towards the "cross site scripting attack" and may lose your private information. So, be very careful while browsing for shopping. Try to directly visit the retailer's or store's website. When you're visiting via any link, there are chances to fall into scams.

5. Beware of shipping scams

You're providing your information to the unknown shippers and they can easily misuse your information. Shipping scams are very popular before the holiday season. These days, big shippers are now alarming their consumers about this type of scams. According to Jason Pongratz, owner of PC Help Services in Carmel, "I would say probably 75 to 80 percent of what we see are virus infections or security concerns based upon phishing scams. It's not surprising for this time of the year. The shipping companies are well aware of it." As per him, the main problem is your mails. Once you click the mail, the scammer will get succesfully all your passwords and personal information. Moreover, he said the main medicine against this malpractice is our awareness and concern. You need to be more updated about the technology to fight back with scammers in order to secure your online purchase.

6. Use a reliable Internet connection

Don't opt unreliable Internet connection. Make sure your Wifi connection is secured enough to do any online financial transaction. Don't turn on your wi-fi connection at public places such as coffee shop, railway station, library, etc. Do close the tab once you purchase the item and make sure the website is secured before putting your credit card details on the website.

Cyber Monday shopping tips

Checkout some more basic tips to fight with the cyber scammers.

  1. Try to use credit card instead of debit card. Because credit cards have more security protection option than debit cards.
  2. Do check the legitimacy of the charity websites.
  3. Check the privacy setting before online shopping. Install security apps.
  4. Don't click on unsolicited mails in your spam box.
  5. Be sure your mails are authentic. Try to avoid filling out the forms asking about your personal information.
  6. Try to log into the official websites of shops and retailers.
  7. If any pop up message is showing last minute chances or any "click right now otherwise you may lose the chance" then it is surely a scam mail.

So, if you put your small effort to identify the scams and fake mails, you can easily get a fun filled cyber shopping experience this Cyber Monday. So, take your time to install required software and keep yourself updated about all these malpractices. Have a happy shopping on this Cyber Monday!

Written by admin

December 01st 2014 03:00:21 am

Posted in personal-finance

5 Steps to save on Black Friday shopping and 4 types of deals to take advantage of

Save on Black Friday shopping
Again it is that special shopping time of the year for which you might be eagerly waiting. Yes, it is Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping which marks the onset of the festive season. This Friday you can score probably the best deals of the year; however, before you splurge yourself into shopping, do some homework so that you get the best deals without forcing yourself into financial problems in near future.

5 Steps to save and purchase items you need

Here are 5 steps which will help you purchase items you need at the lowest price possible.

  1. Make a list of the items you want to buy - To take the best advantage, first of all, make a list of the items you need to buy. This is because if you do not make a list, you'll be easily enticed by the deals offered at the stores and will eventually end up buying more. Therefore, stick to your list as far as possible. After you make the list, check it twice or thrice and prioritize it; on its basis, plan your budget - a guideline which you'll follow to shop for items.
  2. Check out the most suitable deals -It is advisable you start looking for deals early. However, it is not too late yet. Check out your e-mails, coupons, newspapers, leaflets, etc. and look for deals which will benefit you. You can also check them online. One of the best ways to do it is look for the deals at your favorite stores online.
  3. Compare price with quality - After you check suitable deals, it is the time to compare price with quality. You will find that an item is offered at a comparatively lower cost at some other stores which you're not aware of. Therefore, utilize the time in the Black Friday morning to prepare yourself with the list and the name of the stores so that you are ready by evening. Make sure you also compare the quality and not check only the price tags. Also, make a note of the time till when the discount will be available, since some stores offer discounts for a certain period of time.
  4. Use coupons for extra savings - Do not forget to take into account your coupons and rewards while comparing price. By using coupons, you may get further discount on the already discounted price items. If you use them, you may also be eligible for a certain percentage of cash back or discount on your next purchase. Whatever be the type of discount, every penny counts when the question is to make savings, either on Thursday and Friday or sometime later. Whatever be the scenario, it will affect your personal financial situation positively.
  5. Make your action plan - Now it is the time to make your action plan. After you are sure with the deals you want to go for and identify the stores, from where you want to purchase, make a plan of your action. Make sure you take into account the time; it may be due to the fact that discounts are available for a certain time period or the products will sell like hot cakes. Keeping all these factors in mind, plan at what time you need to visit the stores or plan to stand in the queue beforehand, if required.

Apart from above, be prepared. Carry the advertisements which you want to use. This is of utmost importance if you're going to a store where you want to price match. Another important thing is make yourself ready to avoid distraction by carrying snacks with you; most of the stores have water fountain so you may not have to worry about it.

4 Types of deals to look for this Black Friday

There are certain deals which you can take advantage of if they are already in your shopping list or you might have forgotten to enlist. Check out whether or not the following deals will benefit you.

  1. Discount on clothing - Some branded stores like Loft and Ralph Lauren are offering a certain percent discount on selective clothing. So, check out online whether the items in your list are offered at discount rates, either at shops or online.
  2. Electronic items offered at reduced price - You can get good deals in the form of flat discounts on electronic items at certain websites like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. You will get good deals on televisions and tablets. Therefore, take out time to save a significant amount on these items.
  3. Significant deals on grocery items - The superstores and supermarkets usually offer certain discount when you buy two or more of one item or you may also get a discount/free gift card when you buy items worth a certain amount. You can look for such deals at Target, Walmart, K-Mart, Marsh along with such similar stores, which keep a variety of items.
  4. Household goods at bargain price -Certain stores offer discounts at household goods, too. You can check for such offers in stores like Marshalls and T. J Maxx, from where you can purchase household necessities of your choice along with clothing. You can look for two similar priced items offered at the price of one.

While making purchase during Black Friday, make sure you check out the return policies of the items purchased. Do not get swayed away by the prices and check out if there's any catch - the popular one being that they are final purchase items, which means that you won't be able to return or exchange them. If an item is not available at the stores, or you need a different size, you can request whether or not the items can be shipped at discount rate if you place request at the store. All these things will help you get the items you require at best price and in turn, help you save your hard-earned money.

Written by admin

November 27th 2014 12:25:13 am

5 Financial tips for the last week of January 2014

Here are the last 5 financial tips for the first month of January 2014.

Tip no 1: Simply say no to your friends when they force you to have a meal at an expensive restaurant.

Make smart excuses when your friends force you to have meals at costly restaurants. If your financial situation is bad and you need to save money, then stop going to pricey restaurants. In case you're tired of making excuses, then state the fact to your friends. Don't feel shy as it won't help you to save money. Real friends will understand your situation and cooperate with you. Others will laugh at your back for a few days and then forget the matter completely.

Tip no 2: Debt settlement is just like a business. So, take the emotion out and be practical.

Be strong and practical when you're negotiating with creditors to settle debts. Don't be ashamed to reveal your true financial situation to creditors. Don't feel guilty because you couldn't pay your bills on time. Banks are well aware of the fact that a certain number of creditors won't be able to pay debts on time. If you feel too much guilty, then creditors will just take advantage of your situation and try to grab a meaty deal. Be bold, strong, polite and resolute. Negotiate smartly so that you can get out of debt by paying only a fraction of what you owe to your creditors.

Tip no 3: Give up the temptation to have movie theater foods to cut down expenses and save money.

Who doesn't like to watch to munch delicious foods while watching movies? Everyone does, but you've to pay a good amount for having snacks and drinks. The cost of the movie theater foods is almost as much as the movie tickets. Instead of spending a sizable amount upon movie theater foods, bring your own snacks discreetly and eat them while watching the movie.

If you have kids who love to eat movie theater foods, then feed them well before heading to the cinema.

Tip no 4: Read money saving blogs to get fresh ideas on how to thrive on a frugal lifestyle.

The web world is flooded with blogs on frugality and different ways to save money. If your financial life is not going well due to bad spending habits, then just type "blogs on frugality" or just plain "frugal tips" in a popular search engine box. You'll get hundreds of blogs on frugal living tips and ideas. Just go through the blogs and get some tips on how to thrive on a frugal lifestyle.

If you need more inspiration, then just buy books on money-saving tips and strategies. Read the book in your free time and follow the tips in your real life.

Tip no 5: A judgment can make you go through hell for several years. Be wise and pay it off quickly.

A judgment can create significant problems in your life. Creditors will start garnishing your wages once judgment is issued against you. They'll levy your bank account and debit money till the judgment is paid in full.

Apart from wage garnishment, judgment may pose problems when you're trying to obtain a credit card or a rental apartment. Judgment stays on your credit report for 7 years. Lenders check your credit report before approving your loan or credit card application. They'll be skeptical to lend you money after seeing that judgment has been updated on your credit report.

Written by admin

February 05th 2014 08:13:07 pm

Posted in financial-tips

5 Financial tips for the fourth week of January 2014

Check out the 5 financial tips for the fourth week of January 2014.

Tip no 1: Repay the costliest debt and take steps to lower your interest rate to attain financial independence.

Check out the interest rates on all your debts and list them from highest to lowest. Pay the maximum amount on the debt with highest interest rate. Make sure you keep on making the minimum payment on the other debts.

If you feel that the interest rate on the debt is too high, then what you need to do is take steps to lower it. You can transfer the balances from a credit card with high interest rate to a card with low rate. You can just go to another bank and transfer the balance to a card having low rate. In most of the cases, these cards are offered at low rate for a certain time period. Shop for a card which gives you the longest time to pay the interest rate.

Tip no 2: Live on brown rice and beans when your funds are tight but you don't want to compromise on nutrition.

You can get a pound of dry beans at $1. You can purchase beans in bulk from the store and save dollars. The best part of dry beans is that you only need to cook a very small amount. This is because the volume of dry beans increases at least 3 times after cooking. You can add some spices and herbs to have a delicious and nutritious meal.

Brown rice is again very cost effective and good for health. Brown rice contains some essential elements such as vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals. Moreover, it keeps you satiated for a long period of time.

Tip no 3: It's great to be an entrepreneur. Just make sure you don't go over the limit. Start small and grow gradually.

It takes time to fulfill your dreams as an entrepreneur. You'll make mistakes and fall. You may not even reap profits at the beginning. You need to be committed towards your business and be patient. Don't go over the limit or overcommit at the beginning. Take one step at a time and grow your business gradually.

You'll need money to start and develop your business. Don't borrow a very huge amount. Your business may not reap huge profits in the initial years. This may make it very difficult for you to pay off the loan.

Tip no 4: Don't skip mortgage payments to pay down your credit card debts. It will open the door to foreclosure.

Mortgage is a secured debt and it should always get preference over credit card debts. If you stop sending payments to a mortgage lender just to keep a credit card company happy, then you're doing a big mistake. The lender can initiate the foreclosure process anytime. You can lose your dream abode just for the sake of a few plastic cards. On the other hand, credit card companies are likely to quickly terminate the accounts when you stop making payments to them. This is comparatively a small sacrifice since you won't be evicted from your home after going through hell for several months.

Tip no 5: Treat emergency fund as a bill on which you have to make a payment every month. This will help you build a financial cushion.

Here's a good financial tip. Treat your emergency fund as a credit card or utility bill. Make a list of the bills that you have to pay every month. Add emergency fund in that list too. Since you're the owner of the emergency fund, so it is your responsibility to determine the amount you need to save every month. Set aside an amount from your paycheck and save it in your emergency fund. This fund will be extremely useful when you're in a financial trouble.

Written by admin

January 27th 2014 01:49:07 am

Posted in financial-tips

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