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Don’t Live Cheap – Live Smart

SaleThe credit crunch and global economic crisis push many people to live cheap and below their mean. Although sometimes doing so is not a choice, in most cases, people do actually have choice.

Why people tend to life cheap?

One of the most common routes people take to tackle any negative financial issues is live cheap. This is a simple human behaviour. People tend to act cautiously, often in paranoid-like ways, whenever they hear negative issues, especially those that involve money.

As you might already know, the fall or stock markets worldwide is mainly caused by negative sentiment and outlook on the economy. This is a strong indicator that people these days are more sensitive to any movements in the economy, in a negative way – they are tend to be overreacted to negative news, and overly cautious to positive news.

Why live cheap is not a good idea

Living cheap might hurt your ego and drown you in negativity even more. People do need a form of achievement in their life, and these days, maintaining their lifestyle is arguably the best achievement of all.

Living cheap might also worsen your state of personal finance. For example, if you ‘skimp’ on your daily meal, you might get sick – you and I know that getting sick these days is the least thing you want to have.

Ultimately, you have to stay healthy and pumped up to face the current money problems and issues.

Ways to live smart, not cheap

There are actually ways to live smart, not cheap today.

Smart shopping

Retails hit hard in recession today. The logical action? They do prolong promotional campaigns and release coupon codes to keep consumers ‘near’.

You can easily access money-saving codes from many sites on the Net, that allows you to shop online and off line for less.

With the high season of Christmas nearing, you can expect more promo and discounts from retailers. Again, you can access Christmas Sale news from the Net to learn what kind of perks you can have from your favourite retailers.

Smart traveling

With the rise of gas prices, traveling costs you considerable amount of money. You can invest in a scooter that consumes extremely less gallon per mile than any other motorised vehicles. If you also want to better your health, you should consider bicycle.

Related to smart shopping, not only promo codes, many retailers online can have your purchased items and goods to be delivered to the comfort of your home. This service will dramatically cut your traveling cost.

Smart living

In everything you do to survive today’s recession, I suggest you to keep this words in mind:

Your health is your money.

Living cheap and in constant insecurity will eventually bring your health and morale down. They will definitely affect your personal finance, either now or later. So, take any benefits of today’s situation to maintain your physical and emotional welfare.

Image by timparkinson.

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity TheftAre you being paranoid?

Some people consider being paranoid is normal if they deal with anything that involves the share of personal info.

That is particularly a case in online shopping and financial service applications.

Regarding online shopping – although sometimes considered as technophobia – the fear of technological advances, including the Internet – the paranoid of stolen private information is more often reasonable than not, particularly today.

Identity theft

One of the reasons people being paranoid about anything involving the share of personal info is identity theft.

According to Wikipedia, Identity theft is basically a term used to refer to fraud that involves stealing money or getting other benefits by pretending to be someone else.

This fraud causes damages beyond money – your reputation, both online and off line.

There are four type of identity theft, according to Wikipedia:

  • Financial identity theft: using another’s identity to obtain goods and services.
  • Criminal identity theft: posing as another when apprehended for a crime.
  • Identity cloning: using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life.
  • Business/commercial identity theft: using another’s business name to obtain credit.

All causing reputation damage, and most cause financial problems for the victims.

What identity thieves can do to you

Most commonly, they will use your identity to buy goods and services, as well as applying for credit.

The latter often causes severe problems, because your identity is linked to your credit report – when identity thieves apply for a credit (and of course, they will not pay when it’s due), it’s your name linked to the credit; Not paying the credit will not only cost you money, but also problems with the collection agents and ultimately, leaving ‘red marks’ in your credit report, decreasing your credit score.

Being paranoid, on lesser extent, actually helps you to deal with the risk of identity theft

Although being paranoid is obviously unhealthy, it does arguably help you being cautious is a good way to protect yourself from identity theft.

Many people who are victims of identity theft thought that it would not happen to them – unfortunately, they realise it when it strikes them.

There are ways to help you deal with identity theft, some of them available online.

Stop being paranoid, start being cautious

You can actually start a simple measure to protect yourself from identity theft – never, ever share your personal information with non-trusted and questionable third-parties, either in online shopping or financial service applications.

However, to ensure your reputation and credit report protected, you might want to consider the help of identity theft protection service providers. They are more than ready to help you protect your identity, both online and off line.

Some of the big names providing such services are Lifelock and TrustedID.

Which one is the most suitable solution for you? You can learn about Lifelock VS TrustedID from the Net.

I also suggest you to read Lifelock Reviews and other identity theft protection reviews to learn others’ experience with the service provider.

Last but not least, don’t apply for any credit cards or credit applications on sight! Managing your personal finance closely will naturally decrease the potential of identity theft.

Image by CarbonNYC.

What You Can Do to Improve Today’s Economy

With the recent developments on global economy, especially in Asian region, I suspect that recession will peak soon – we are certainly not there, yet.

The news on Asia stock sink and the similar situation in Dow Jones, New York confirmed that we are not at the recession peak.

Again, it’s all about mindset and psychology

People are paranoid and anxious these days with the economic turbulence and uncertainty worldwide. Every single news item can shake the entire region economic stability, causing (another) breakdown in stock markets.

The money problems and the pressure of negative outlook of economy and life is mounting, leaving people stressed, uncreative and unproductive. This alone affects businesses, and eventually the stock markets.

How you and I can affect the global economy

The butterfly effect – a small action in your local area can affect the bigger community overseas, and eventually worldwide. This is how the recession started and will end someday.

The stressed you will affect your relatives, friends, and colleagues. Your relatives, friends and colleagues will affect theirs, and so on. Soon, your local community is affected, and eventually the wider community is affected.

And who do you think start the recession in your region? That’s right – You and I.

You need to learn to cope in stressful times

Colin Allen of Psychology Today wrote an interesting article about the story of a woman who step up to cope with the stressful times, due to recession and the inability to achieve what she has been planning and envisioning about.

The idea behind Colin’s article is that in tough times, like today’s massive recession, people have to learn to accept uncertainty in order to cope and marvel life challenges.

Recession will end, eventually, and will start again later on – the cycle will always present as the place we live in is not an ideal world. There will be another war, there will be another shortage and again, there will be another recession.

You and I need to move on. Otherwise, the economy won’t rebound if the community and the government didn’t do anything positive and creative to cope the recession.

Again, it is simply a butterfly effect, as a small (positive) act can affect the global community in a good way. What’s more, confidence is contagious. You can start to cope your life’s pressure, and start affecting the people around you. Soon, you will see the economy, at least your local community’s economy, will be better somehow.

Image by polandeze.

Know About Money and Finance More May Help You Beat Today’s Recession

I am a firm believer that recession is more a mind game than a fact. Of course, the impact is real, but the real battlefield is in your mind.

Outlook and mindset play a major role in how well you get through today’s recession.

Are you poor because of today’s recession?

Outlook and mindset operate just like the vague and highly relative statement, such as “I’m poor” or “I’m rich.” To the ones who make such statement, the right question to ask is “Are you satisfied of what you have right now?”

We all know that the rich-and-poor issues are focused on one thing – money. To modify the above question, “Are you satisfied of how much money you have now?”

I rarely see someone who loses his/her wealth and/or lifestyle can accept his/her condition well. Not because one doesn’t have any money, but because of the drop in lifestyle.

To make my point, consider this recent story of a recession victim in China – a billionaire lost two-thirds of her money, from approximately 8 billion dollars to 3 billion dollars due to the recent stock market crash. What do you think of this? Is she poor? no. Is she rich? yes. But she might not see the way you see the 3 billion dollars left on the table.

Indeed, many people are personally bankrupt because of the recession. But many more claim that they have gone ‘bankrupt’ and ‘poor’, which, in fact, they actually don’t – they just unsatisfied of the dropped lifestyle and net worth.

Learn more about money, survive recession better

Outlook and mindset can be influenced by the information and knowledge you acquire about finance, money and the economy.

The more you know about money and recession, the more you prepared. The more you understand them, the more you can do to face recession.

Although not all information is positive in nature, you can always benefit from others’ struggle in facing recession, and how they finally ace it.

Where to look for money information

I prefer blogs and forums to look for money information, because they are often offbeat and personalised – this will help me better personally.

What about news sites? I read the news, but only on a need-to-know basis. I prefer blogs and forums because they opinionate the news, which help me enhancing my outlook and changing my mindset.

TalkMoneyBlog.co.uk is one of the blog I stumble on searching for money info, offering blog posts, forums and resources on money. Although the forums and resources are useful, I particularly enjoy reading the blog posts.

Here’s some of my favourite posts from the blog:

Wherever you look for money info, just make sure one thing – you can beat today’s recession by knowing more about your money. Learning will opens up new thinking, and like it or not, it will emerges opportunities to benefit from.

All is coming back to you – will you ‘capitalise’ the information and knowledge you acquire?

Internet Marketing Neurofinance

Internet marketing in make money online industry is inseparable. The following are some common question marks that every Internet marketer and website owner have in mind in considering financial decisions to adopt Internet marketing strategies and tactics.

What is Internet marketing is all about?

Basically, people making money online are trying to make more money by selling more. And selling more is possible if their websites are visited by many. And to be visited by many, the websites need to be placed better in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Why would people do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay for such service?

People want to rank better in the SERPs – SEO help this becoming a reality. Learning about SEO from authority sources, such as SEOmoz.org, allows you to have better understanding about SEO and make sense the SEO service and its fees.

What $1000 SEO company fee different from those that offer $100 for the same SEO service? Money get results. Business-wise, you can calculate the investment and its return by hiring an SEO company.

I believe that $1000 has more reach and better tactics than the $100 counterparts. Whenever your budget allows, hiring the top SEO service provider, such as Chicago Search Engine Optimization, will eventually paid off.

Can you Do-It-Yourself SEO?

Yes you can. However, from my experience with this site, DIY SEO will only take you to site optimization, nothing more, as the real SEO for SERPs needs you to spend a lot of time and effort to take your site to rank better.

Here is another reason for you to hire an SEO service provider, such as Search Engine Optimization Chicago: How does submitting this article to hundreds or directories and social media sound to you? If you think it is a hard work, the I definitely suggest you to hire an SEO service provider.

Suggestions

I suggest you not to seek the cheapest SEO service offers, as everybody claiming to be the cheapest SEO service is often translated into ‘incompetent’.

Seek SEO partner that offer you value for money and excellent support – beware of those SEO companies that use illegal tactics, as they might damage your website reputation and position in SERPs.

Why US is Consumer Debt Ridden?

US is well known as one of the biggest creditors, as well as debtors in the world.

Although US helps funding other countries, especially developing countries, it own people is debt ridden.

Why such a contrast? In my opinion, culture and opportunities are the main culprit.

Taking consumer debts, especially with the ever-present of very interesting credit cards offer has been a trend, if not a culture in every American life.

Credit card, a major part of the cashless society movement, offers convenience to its holder. It’s unbelievable today if we know someone without having at least one plastic in one’s wallet.

Nothing wrong with the credit card – it’s the holder that cause the problems

Credit cards are basically useful and convenient. You don’t have to carry cash with you, bringing convenience in your daily life, as well as minimising the risk of, say, pick pocketing.

With low interest cards being offered these days, with additional perks, such as 0 APR or interest free period for a limited time, consumers are attracted to sign for one.

No matter how much information on credit cards benefit available, the debt-ridden US today is suffering simply due to the nature of human being – spend what they see, and spend even more what they don’t see.

For example, if you had a $100 in your wallet, you have the tendency to spend it recklessly when you go to the supermarket. This ‘genetic’ problem is amplified by the availability of credit cards. Suppose you were given a limit, say $500. You will always have the tendency to spend more than you should, because you don’t ‘see’ the money you have in your pocket. This is amplified by the sense of ‘you-can-pay-the-bill-later’.

Credit cards can actually deliver you from debt

Here’s a good news for responsible and well informed credit card holders – you can actually clear your debt with the help of credit cards, as well as helping you raise your credit score.

Clearing debts – Using credit cards smart and cautiously will allow you to have 30-day interest free loan. The key is to pay your bills before it’s due, and pay them in full.

Raising credit score – Choose reputable credit card issuers, and use your plastics as usual. The key is never pays your bills late. Do this regularly will give you a ‘shining’ report.

Choose your credit cards wisely, and they will help you in your personal finance.

Corporate Advertising Cartoon for Branding and Viral Marketing through Social Media

Corporate, most notably financial institution, are slow in incorporating new mediums and techniques to communicate their messages to their target audience.

With the premise to create a better hook in audience minds through cartoon advertising, companies are encouraged to use the new way to brand and market better.

Advertising Cartoon Creates a Hook in Audience Mind

Human minds are known to understand image better than text. The use of images to communicate and transmit ideas has been amplified by the ever presence of social media.

Social media main benefit is that it often amplifies buzz – this is achievable through the use of cartoon in adversiting.

New media advertising is typically aim to create buzz through the use of social media. One of the new media advertising ways is custom cartoons for corporate advertising purposes.

Companies, such as Vantage Internet, try to break the barrier and insist for corporate to follow the ‘trend’ of viral marketing, especially in social media.

How advertising cartoon works well to create buzz

Corporate advertising cartoon are typically smart and attract discussion among audiences.

Smart, catchy, cartoon will be bookmarked by site visitors and might end up on the first page, which means more exposure and buzz. This is what every business hope for – viral effect and leveraged branding.

Example of smart advertising cartoon is as follow:

Cartoon advertising

Advertising cartoon is cost-effective

Money-wise, advertising cartoon is cost-effective. You don’t have to endorse anything and anybody but your own brand name, and you can stand above the rest in a cost-effective way.

If you are keen to have your brand name sink and hooked in your audience mind, consider the different approach advertising cartoon offers you.

Information Liberates You from Your Mind Burdens About Money

Do you know that money is related to how much information available to you about any issues in your life?

Human loves things that are predictable. People trust what is seen rather than not – it’s humane. That’s why clairvoyant and fortune tellers are often two of the most interesting figures in our society – and many people in our society today believe them.

People worries about money – partly because of their mindset and knowledge on their situation is somewhat limited.

Information availability on money issues, such as how to get out of debt fast, how to get rich quick, how to save money, and so on, is important to a large group of people. The more you know, the more you understand and worry less about money.

Or is it?

Know more, worry more – but revelation is liberating

Unfortunately, the wealth of information that you acquire or enconter during your search for answers on money issues might put more question marks and worry in your life. This is due to the fact that if you learn more, you know more; if you know more, a great chance that you are becoming more worry than not.

However, once the newly-acquired information you have ‘settled’ in your brain, you start to shed a light on your money problems. Revelation does liberate you from yourself – your belived myths, your mindset, and your ignorance about money issues.

For example, you want to renovate your home, but you don’t have a strong DIY skills. You might want to look on the Net for information on your personal interest, such as Home Improvement and learn a great deal. The wealth of information overwhelm you, and you start to think that DIY is not for you and consider that it’s better to pay somebody else more money than save money through DIY. However, not for long, the information about home improvement sink in your mind, and create a new understanding and mindset about DIY – you CAN save money.

Another example of higher importance – suppose you were suffering from a certain illness, and worry that it could be cancer. You can seek info on the Net about Cancer Signs, and learn whether your illness is a possible cancer or not. The new-found information shocks you, and shake your view of your future and the money involve in any medications, but you soon gather yourself up and start check yourself up to GP, then look for second opinion while start budgeting about financial issues of your illness. Financially ready, now you can fight your illness – thanks to the knowledge you’ve just acquired.

Money and information – almost all information is funneling into one issue: money

You notice from the examples – can be real life situations – that almost all information is eventually end up to one issue: money.

Again, I would like to insist you this statement: Money is not everything, but everything needs money. Not entirely accurate, but you can get the point. Referring to the examples above, from home improvement to cancer signs, all information leads to to one action: manage your personal finance better (and more strict).

Seek knowledge (information), as knowledge will set you free.