Young Female Freelancer Working on Laptop

How Freelancers Benefit from Using a Virtual Office

Freelancing is big business in the world today. Forbes reports that an increasing number of freelancers are making six-figure earnings every year. Many young professionals fail to see the need for being chained to a desk during regular working hours and have opted instead for a more leisurely pace of doing things. However, with this newfound freedom comes several attached problems. Luckily, freelancers can count on the virtual office to offer them several advantages over their competition.

Competitive Freelancing is about First Impressions

Freelancing is something that consultants of almost any field can do. All it takes is demonstrable skills in performing a service for an individual to profit from freelancing. The most significant benefit of freelancing is also its biggest downfall. It can be more about making the right first impression and letting appearances speak for themselves.

For many freelancers that have an established practice, this isn’t too much of a problem. However, for new freelancers, it can be a fight to get respectability to a point where clients don’t try to take advantage of them. A virtual office is a good start in building a brand and a reputation.

A Physical Address tied to a Brand

As many professionals who work as consultants can attest, having a physical address linked with a portfolio can go a long way towards landing lucrative clients. Businesses, in particular, prefer to deal with a brand identity rather than an individual.

Having a branded virtual office space that can handle incoming calls and serves as a place for mail to come to adds a bit to the reputation of the professional. Your mail can be safely kept until you pick it up or forwarded to you depending on your preference and location.

In addition the business address of your virtual office can be used on your business cards, websites and any other form of marketing material to further support your professional business.

The Psychological Benefits of Office Work

Lifehacker notes that while all people have a problem managing time, freelancers are in the unenviable position of losing earnings if they can’t manage time properly. Despite the drive for many professionals to leave the office behind, the fact remains that people are more productive in an office environment.

Virtual offices in most cases offer distraction-free spaces that can help get work done by keeping one’s focus on a single task. An article published in the journal Personnel Psychology mentions that workers in a virtual office environment experienced better flexibility, productivity, and work/life balance. Those benefits alone are enough to make a freelancer consider having a virtual office space available.

The Neutral Meeting Ground

While some professionals are comfortable meeting clients in their home office, others prefer a more centralized area. The virtual office provides such a space for a freelancer who needs to have face-to-face meetings with clients but doesn’t have a home office or doesn’t feel comfortable bringing clients home because of their separation of work and home life.

Furthermore, the virtual office serves as a backdrop for video meetings. In some teams, telecommuting workers need to attend at least one session per week via voice and video conferencing. The virtual office provides a work environment that is conducive to a video meeting and limits the number of interruptions and background noise that would be out of the control of someone operating out of a home office.

Cost Management for a Freelancer’s Budget

Some freelancers consider hiring out an entire office space for their business, but in most cases, this isn’t necessary. A virtual office serves as the physical address and mailing address of a professional’s company with having the added benefit of costing far less than renting an entire office space.

Additionally, virtual offices sometimes include costs like a phone number along with an answering and call forwarding service, something that would require a freelancer to invest in their own secretary if using traditional office space.Having your business phone calls answered live in your company name by highly trained receptionists associated with your virtual office will allow you to never miss a call again.

The Difference Between Co-Working Spaces & Virtual Offices

According to Life Wire, co-working describes when two or more people are working within the same area, but for different employers or even in entirely different fields. Co-working spaces have developed to cater to this type of clientele, and they vary in ambiance from offices that feel like an upscale coffee house to those that feel like a corporate lounge. They tend to focus more on working in a relaxed environment and offer some of the same services as a virtual office.

However, they don’t usually provide private office spots and are just as bad as a coffee shop for telecommuting. While there is the potential for networking, there is a far more prevalent opportunity to get distracted from what one is doing, ending up inadvertently wasting time. It may be useful for some people, but serious professionals tend to avoid office spaces like these.

Who Benefits from a Virtual Office the Most?

New business owners and solo entrepreneurs will tend to be the best fit for a virtual office. People that fall within this category include freelancers just setting out on the path to claiming back their time as their own. In many cases, professionals who need to meet their clients in a face-to-face setting that is convenient can benefit from having a virtual office in an urban center.

Primarily, freelancers who haven’t quite gotten the hang of home offices or who need a change of environment of scenery to be productive stand to benefit the most from a virtual office arrangement.

The New Face of Freelancing?

One of the things that stands out to new independent professionals is how unique each worker is. Some thrive in messy, loud environments while others require complete silence to focus on what they’re doing. While the virtual office provides a handy utility for freelancers, on the whole, some may not see the need for spending money on it.

Freelancing will continue to grow as a profession as more and more people realize the earning potential and the better quality of work/life balance that it offers. As more people move to telecommuting and working from remote locations, the virtual office provides a critical link with clients that need to have a physical space linked with the professional’s services.

Author Bio

Vanessa Madison is a Success Manager at YourCityOffice and in her spare time writes about traveling, real estate and everything about small to medium sized businesses.

Asian Girl on Couch with Laptop

5G: Should You Really Be Excited About It?

Many people have 5G internet connections in their home, and phones are built to prefer 5G networks over 4G options. Why? 5G is a huge deal, and the technology industry is proud of its latest accomplishment.

But it comes into question whether this excitement is just a one-time hype that will slowly die out or if it’s worth all the buzz. Decide for yourself.

A Giant Leap Forward

Immediately you might have noticed that 5G networks are incredibly fast. These networks are outperforming 4G options by approximately ten times over. A 5G network can achieve record download speeds of 4gb per second.

Not only do they far outpace 4G networks by approximately ten times over, but in some areas, it outperforms recent internet options by 100 times over in speed.

Currently, 4G and home networks typically have download speeds ranging between 4 and 12 mbps. Testing your speed regularly can help you identify where your fitting into this range.

Download a full movie in less than a minute, watch videos online with zero buffering and play games without loading. It’s all possible because of 5G, and the leap is so significant it seems impossible.

In the past, internet users went from dial-up to high speed, to DSL, to fiber optics, to 4G and each increment was only a bit faster than the prior technology. 5G’s performance difference compared to 4G, is somewhere in the realm of comparing fiber optics to dial-up.

While the tech community was building hype about the 5G speed difference before it was released, it seemed like something too good to be true. Now we know that’s not the case.

Quality of Service and Speed

There are two major industries impacted by 5G. The content and communications industries. While Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all offer 5G service now they’re simply the bridge or the access point.

Once you get past the communications companies, you get to the content. Webpages load faster, videos stream faster and more seamlessly, because of 5G. The use of 5G networks can help resolve issues with both bandwidth and handling high a high volume of requests from numerous devices. Now, 5G does have limitations. It has data speed restrictions, and it has to perform within the confines of hardware and adjacent technology such as bandwidth.

How can users tell the difference even when using old hardware or systems? 5G essentially makes the data being transferred more efficient and compact. The infrastructure of the data is different, and thus, it transfers differently.

Content companies such as YouTube, Netflix, and even small blogs can run more content on their sites knowing that 5G users won’t have a problem with speed.

5G is paving the way to improved service, higher quality video formats, and fewer interruptions in service or content.

Cellular Tower

Advertising Improved and Seamless

Until recently, advertisers would only put small amounts of their marketing budget into advertising online. Because Facebook, YouTube, and Google make it fairly inexpensive to advertise most companies have a “take what you get” approach to mobile ad-based marketing.

5G is changing that as advertisers are now able to run seamless ads that tie directly with their operators. Mobile formatted ads make ads less aggravating on users, more responsive to mobile design, and faster interaction response in the mobile environment.

As marketers are starting to care about their mobile ads and building environments specifically for mobile ads, you’ll see better campaigns. Get ready to say goodbye to pop-up ads and opt-in requests every time you jump onto a site. With 5G marketers can implement new experiences for mobile shoppers.

Marketers can take advantage of higher network speeds to enhance video play and personalize the ad experience. Advertisers will be able to see higher conversion rates when they adopt any campaign for an exclusively mobile experience.

Efficiency & Utilisation

The ultimate goal of 5G services is to decrease business expenses and drive revenue through the presence of a greater resource. Is this possible? For users, you might see the tradeoff of seamless advertising for speed as a fair deal. For business owners, 5G is a step into the future.

Technology with 5G access is more efficient in data handling and in energy consumption. 5G is also more reliable meaning fewer interruptions or data barriers, and it promotes low latency communications. Working with 5G technology is vital for any business that operates online in any way.

Even if you’re only working with a cloud for storage or allowing employees to telecommute 5G can change the strain on your other resources. Similar to past advancements in network speeds, 5G is faster and more efficient because of using multiple frequencies to impact bandwidth.

When it comes to utilization of 5G, it comes down to infrastructure. Overhauling the communications system, 5G offers advanced communication technologies specifically with machine to machine communications.

For companies that are exploring the opportunities of driverless vehicles, mobile app hosting, edge computing, or even data center based business models, 5G provides a vital function.

The ability to provide advanced functionality of machine-to-machine communications will continue to promote the Internet of Things. Wireless communication from one machine to another would not have been possible on the prior communications system. It’s made possible now through clear compartmentalizing, which is how 5G is so efficient — allowing these communications to take place without impeding on the other uses such as streaming, remote access or even web browsing.

5G is the first network that caters towards communications goals and businesses rather than consumers. While end-users clearly benefit from the speed, the advancements from this technology make it something that is very different from anything we’ve seen in the past.

Author Bio

Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org. She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.

Map of Europe

Fifteen Places in Europe that Are Often Overlooked

Are you getting tired of hearing about all the same old holiday destinations in Europe? Paris, Rome and London are all great in many ways, but there is only so much to see and do in each of them and if you have been before it is time to try out some other places.

If you have visited the timeless classic cities and are looking for new city break options then here are fifteen ideas to get you started planning your next trip. Some you may have heard of, others you may not, but all of the following are either too little known or unfairly overlooked in favour of more famous cities in their respective countries – which one will you decide to visit next?

Porto, Portugal

Porto is an ancient city with its roots in Roman times and a rich cultural history still reflected in the city’s oldest districts, such as the Ribeira. It is known for being the home of Port wine, though it should also be well known for its contemporary arts and music scene. Often people will go to Lisbon instead, though cheap flight options are making more people consider Porto as an alternative option

Gothenburg, Sweden

This is both cheaper and more on trend than Stockholm. Hip cafés and art venues dot the city’s charming and elegant streets and hipsters throng the artisan shops. There are a variety of museums and historic attractions for that cultural fix, and islands nearby to satisfy the explorer in you. This is a great place for artists and eccentrics to come to soak up the creative atmosphere.

Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg is the sunniest town in Germany and one of the smartest. This is not just a University town, this is also one of the most eco towns in Europe. Bicycles and solar panels are everywhere and the city’s historic core and surrounding woodland make this the perfect place for a holiday on foot. So leave the car behind and travel by public transport to this greenest of German cities.

Maastricht, Netherlands

This pretty university city is youthful yet sophisticated. There are are number of fascinating historical sites here including a Cathedral and a range of tunnels below the ground. Maastricht also has a range of fine restaurants and plenty of bars. As you would expect of a University city, Maastricht has a respectable nightlife and enough going on to entertain even the most avant guard and urbane of visitors.

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is very much a modern city but the bustle of modern life has a very historical backdrop. Here you can see the Gravensteen Castle, the Belfry and St. Peter’s Abbey and walk along the canal to see some very charming architecture in the city centre. This cosy little city is one with which it is easy for visitors to fall in love.

Granada, Andalucia, Spain

The Andalucian city of Granada is most famous for the Alhambra, an ancient Moorish palace and citadel. Outside this tourist hotspot, the rest of Granada is a youthful city with a complex multicultural history and a vibrant mix of people, all of which makes this a very interesting, cosmopolitan city – a melting pot of cultures and people in which it is enthralling to spend some time.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest was once called ‘Little Paris’ and with its wide boulevards and elegant facades it is easy to see why that was the case. This is, today, a big, bustling city with some of the country’s best museums, plenty of nice green spaces and a buzzing nightlife.

Genoa, Italy

This port is a little rough around the edges and that unpolished aspect is a big part of its appeal. Genoa is a hilly maritime city with colourful buildings from a variety of time periods, narrow cobbled streets and palm trees. While some parts of the city are thoroughly modern, other parts will transport you back to the Middle Ages.

Chisinau, Moldova

Few people known anything about Moldova, let alone its capital city. Moldova is, unjustly, the least visited country in Europe with fewer than 20,000 people visiting, on average, each year, and often far fewer than that. Chisinau’s buildings are mostly soviet era and unpreposessing but the city has plenty of green spaces and parks and is a good base from which to explore this pretty, largely rural, wine producing country.

Bratislava, Slovakia

The delightful historic city centre of Bratislava features a castle and an unspoiled 18thCentury old town with a number of quaint, cosy cafés, bars and restaurants. The River Danube flows picturesquely through the city.

Odense, Denmark

This quirky little city is the capital of Funen, the third largest island in Denmark. This story book town is famous as the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, which just makes this place even more quaint. Visit the open-air Funen museum here, or the zoo, or simply wander the picturesque streets

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is often overlooked by visitors from abroad. Perhaps they have only heard of the capital city of Edinburgh, though Glasgow is in fact the largest city in the country. Glasgow today is a vibrant cultural powerhouse of a city with a huge number of museums, entertainments and other attractions.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lovely Ljubljana is a quirky and pretty city that melds several cultures together, including elements of the Germanic, Slovenian and Mediterranean cultures. See the quaint and picture perfect streets all nestled beneath an imposing mediaeval castle.

Torun, Poland

This Gothic walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fantastic escape from the crowds of Warsaw and Krakov and has plenty to see and do in its own right. This city was founded by Teutonic knights and was the birthplace of Copernicus.

Brno, Czech Republic

If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the stag-do crowds of Prague then come here to enjoy the Czech culture and the historic sites in a rather more serene environment. Cultural activity and entertainments abound.

The specialists from moneypug suggest visiting early to mid Spring to avoid peak holiday makers

Baby Fun Bath Time

How Can Parents Make Bath Time More Fun for Children?

Bathing time can seem difficult for moms and dads when they try to give their children to clean up.

But you can make the process much easier by adding a few things to the bathing experience which will make it more fun.

A lot of children are afraid of water, and hence they do not like the bathing experience, but with additional props and toys, you can help them in getting over this irrational fear.

There are several ways by which you can finally achieve this.

In this article, you will be learning about the different ways by which you can make your children’s bathing experience much more fun.

Bathing Toys

Bathing toys would be quite useful in making your bath time exciting.

You can use goats, boats, rubber toys like ducks, hoops and so on and add them inside the bathtub and your children will have a gala time playing with them.

This will go on to make the bathing time a much fun-filled activity time which children will look forward to.

Bath Crayons

You can use bath crayons, which are washable crayons that can be used by children to draw on the bathtub while having a bath.

This can encourage them to be more creative.

Kids will have fun expressing their inner creativity by using these crayons.

You can also use stubborn toddlers who can help with all these crayons.

These are all nontoxic and will also wash off easily.

Fun with Soap

You will be able to get different types of soaps like bubble baths and lathering baths, which can make the bathing time more adventurous and exciting for children.

You can consider using soaps which come in their favorite superhero bottles.

You may use soaps which come in various scents, colors, foams, non-foam based, and so on.

This will help in making the washing up experience more fun.

Bath Songs

In order to make the bathing time more interactive, you can incorporate a lot of bath songs.

Stubborn toddlers will also like to get involved when they hear bathing songs.

You can either consider making a song up yourself or finding them online and play them while cleaning the child.

A lot of kids do not feel like taking baths as they feel it would be boring, and thus, they do not want to partake in it.

So to gather their interest and encourage them to take their baths, you can make the bathing time a fun time by incorporating some fun activities.

If you want to learn an exciting new Bath song for your child, then you should visit the internet and download new playlists for your children.

Conclusion

You can easily help your children feel a lot of fun during bath time by incorporating some such innovative ways for making the bathing experience so much fun. Just think about things that your child enjoys and you are all set. Hopefully, the information mentioned in this article will have helped you.

Electrician Inspecting Fuse Box

Why Homeowners Should Be Careful When Choosing an Electrician

Installing electrical fittings and outlets in a building is a task that a homeowner can choose to undertake themselves.

However, while some homeowners may have the luxury of time to do so, it’s usually better for one to choose a professional electrician to get the job done.

The Guardian noted that, within the UK, almost 75% of homeowners refused to do electrical work themselves, opting to hire professionals.

A homeowner doesn’t just want any electrician working for them, however.

Electrical wiring is a high-risk job, even in the most common of circumstances.

It may be tempting to head to the nearest internet search and check out the rates and locations of nearby electricians, but one can’t be sure those are professionals.

When it comes to building electricals, one should prefer to hire professionals since the job is not only a high-risk undertaking, but poor execution could lead to a fire hazard for the homeowner in the long term.

Is an Expert Electrician Strictly Necessary?

Someone who does electrical work might not necessarily be an electrician.

In the US, a homeowner can ask to see an electrician’s state license, but even licensed professionals come in two classes.

This Old House mentions that a master electrician and a journeyman electrician may both have licenses, but the master electrician has more experience to his or her name.

Depending on the type of work required, a homeowner might be able to get by with a journeyman electrician.

If a homeowner is looking to design a power system distribution for their home or needs to get the load balancing worked out, then a master electrician is the person to help.

A journeyman electrician can install wiring and fuses and even fix minor electrical problems with a certain amount of competence.

Depending on where in the country one resides, a journeyman electrician needs to train under a master electrician before they can qualify for a master’s license themselves.

How Should a Homeowner Choose an Electrician?

It’s a simple enough task to decide that one needs a professional to get the job done, but choosing the right professional for the mission takes a little bit more effort.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are over 650,000 electricians currently working in the country.

To choose the right individual for the job, a homeowner can go through a series of steps to ensure that one is ready to deal with an electrician at a professional level.

Step 1: Organise

The first thing any homeowner needs to do is to figure out what they want to be done.

Adding a light switch, for example, is an entirely different job to having an entire room rewired.

The adage of measuring twice and cutting once applies here, as knowing what the job entails ensures that the electrician is fully aware of what the result should be, and doesn’t need to do the same thing twice because instructions were not clear.

Step 2: Get Some Estimates

One doesn’t automatically choose the very first electrician one meets or interviews.

Calling around for a few estimates can help to get a gauge for the cost of the project and the amount of time it is likely to take.

Additionally, when asking for estimates, ensure to follow up with the company or electrician as to who is actually doing the work.

Some electricians have journeymen working under them and delegate specific tasks to their trainees.

Step 3: Ensure the Electrician is Licensed, Bonded & Insured

Once one has narrowed down the choices to a shortlist of candidates, the next step is to check that the candidates in question are adequately licensed, bonded, and insured.

Licensing and bonding give the homeowner a sense of security when it comes to the professional’s work since it’s being performed by a professional.

Insurance is a necessity in any business, and in the field of electrical installation, it covers both the worker and the homeowner in case of any accidents that result in severe damage to the house or its occupants.

When looking at the cost of a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician, many homeowners may prefer to invest their money in a journeyman that works private jobs in his or her own time.

The risk of choosing a non-professional is that if anything were to go wrong, the entire cost of replacement and repair falls on the homeowner.

In some cases, homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover repairs by non-professionals meaning that the total cost of rehabilitation must come out-of-pocket.

Choosing an insured, licensed professional is a more financially sound choice.

Step 4: Check References & Reviews of Past Work

The best way to check whether a professional is worth the money that the homeowner spends on him or her is to check out references of their past jobs or read reviews about their prior work.

Asking the contractor for previous work they have done and contacts for those employers is a step in the right direction.

If the electrician fails to provide a set of references or is vague with their presented previous employers, then it’s a sign that the contractor may not be a trustworthy one.

With the past employers, a homeowner should seek to find out about how good the estimate was to the completed work in terms of both time and money and use that as a gauge for whether the electrician is likely to rip them off.

Step 5: Draw Up a Contract

A contract is a legal document designed to protect both the professional and the homeowner.

Having one that spells out expectations and sets time limits on completion of work as well as any penalties for failing to meet those standards can help to put a homeowner’s mind at rest.

Additionally, together with the contract should be copies of the electrician workers compensation and electricians liability insurance certificates.

If they lack coverage in those areas, then it’s best for the homeowner to choose another contractor that has it.

Step 6: Down Payment

For most jobs, electrical contractors require a down payment on the total cost.

Most professionals don’t ask for more than 20%, but some even accept as little as 10% in down payment, if the contractor asks for more then it’s a sign that the contractor might be using the money paid for this job to pay off expenses in his or her previous jobs.

It may also mean that this particular project may take longer than expected as the electrician is probably spending extra time on his or her other unfinished tasks.

The Right Electrical Contractor

An electrical contractor that a homeowner has an understanding with and is comfortable working alongside is a rare gem.

Finding one that conforms to these essential criteria is harder than just choosing a random electrician.

Having a certified, insured electrician is a far better option for a homeowner than having someone who does part-time wiring.

Author Bio

Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.

Two Young Travellers Arms Outstretched

Tips for Beginners to Make Travelling an Exciting Experience

Many are enthusiastic about travel but don’t take any initiative as they feel confused about planning it properly.

In fact, it is an awesome experience to travel to places and explore the culture and food of different destinations.

Those who haven’t ever traveled may have a lot of questions regarding planning and executing trips.

In this article, we are discussing some top tips for first-time international travelers to make a move as easy and smooth as possible

Start with an easy destination

Some places are much easy to travel to when compared to others.

If you are visiting another country, it may be worth to consider the easier destinations, where life is mostly similar to that of yours.

For novice travelers, it may take some time to get accustomed to the situations, and it will be ideal to choose a place, which can support you the best with these needs.

Get your Phones Sorted Out

There are many things to consider while traveling, and one thing is to get your smartphone unlocked for the country.

With an unlocked phone, you can easily get a local SIM card to be connected and also enjoy high-speed data through a local network easily.

It is not ideal now for taking up any overpriced roaming data plans; local SIM cards are the right way to go if you have an eye on cost-cutting.

Carry the Right Luggage

The expert advice is to travel light to enjoy it at best.

You may try to purchase a smaller bag and take a list of the essentials you need.

There are many good travel backpacks available in the market, which you can browse through to find an apt one.

Travellers now largely avoid the heavy trolley bags, which are more of a nuisance than worth.

It is also ideal to avoid big suitcases unless you are planning for a skiing trip or some heavy gear to be taken along.

One major concern of those who plan for a trip is whether it is ideal for them to plan traveling while in debt.

However, not all those who are going to places on vacation are debt-free.

However, you should have a proper plan for this.

For those who are deep in debt, measures like debt consolidation can benefit.

Benefits from Debt Consolidation

A debt consolidation loan can be an excellent solution for individuals who deal with multiple debts.

In this article, we are trying to discuss a few benefits of debt consolidation as a one-time solution to many problems.

A Single Payment than Multiple Payment Chaos

One major challenge for those who are dealing with multiple debts is the confusions involved in managing all.

The major challenge in managing multiple debts is the need to deal with multiple payments each month.

Even those who are largely organized may find it troublesome to handle all these together.

On the other hand, missing out the payments may ultimately put you into bigger trouble later.

If you avail a debt consolidation loan, then you may be able to repay your debts as a single payment monthly to one lender.

Also, with this approach, you have a longer duration to pay back the debt and improve your debt consolidation ratings.

This may ultimately make you more relaxed, and sometimes, you may also be able to save some money to lower your debt burden.

Reduce Stress

As discussed above, paying off multiple debts will also be so stressful to the individuals, especially if you are not so good with numbers.

In addition to handling multiple creditors, you may also be falling into a position where you have to take multiple calls from the collectors and also respond to intimation letters regularly.

In many aspects, a debt consolidation loan may change your life as you immediately get relieved from reporting to multiple creditors and stop getting calls day in and out from the collectors.

You may get rid of the fear of attending telephone calls and avoid intimidating letters.

Reduce Interest on Loans

Individuals who have credit card debts may also have to make a little more than the accrued interest if the minimum payment is larger than all that they can afford to pay.

This scenario can be even more challenging in some case where there are various debts to pay off.

On the other hand, with a consolidation loan, the overall interest you pay will be reduced against what you pay off for credit cards.

This may be a solution to save a little money than otherwise.

With consolidation loans, the overall interest you may pay for other types of loans may also reduce a bit, and also spread across a longer period.

Discussing travel planning for beginners, let’s explore a few more points.

Choose the Right Accessories

Some essentials may be a cheap laptop which you can easily carry around.

Try to get a USB battery pack.

It is ideal for picking a noise-canceling headphone if it not a luxury for you to afford.

If you have some important work-related data too to carry around or to save your trip photos to somewhere, it is ideal for getting reliable cloud storage for these purposes.

Nowadays, cloud-based data backups are much cheaper, easy to use, and accessible worldwide.

Explore the Option of Hostels

There is no need to be afraid of hostels, which is one thing many Americans consider now.

There is a wrong perception that hostels are dirty and dangerous places, but it is not so anymore.

You may be thinking of the college hostels or the local suburb hostels, but in the modern world of cozy traveling, hostels are much facilitated, safe, and cost-effective.

They are nicer than many hostels and motels even.

There is no need to worry as most of the people out there at whichever places you travel to are good.

They may be helping you out when you are in need if you open up and communicate friendly.

Even if you forgot something, you could buy it there.

Even when the world is different, it is also the same in many ways which you can’t imagine fully.

So, explore and experience it.

Author Bio

Marina Thomas is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as a content developer with many years of experience. She helps clients in long-term wealth plans. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including Money Saving, Budgeting, Crypto Currency, Business Debt Consolidation, Business, and Start-ups.

Scissors Cutting Marriage Certificate

Divorce: Everything You Need to Know Before Ending Your Marriage

Are you or your spouse planning to file a divorce?

Although the media recently announced that, after divorce rates more than doubled between 1970 and 2008, they are now dropping, many marriages still end this way.

In the U.S., for example, 39% of marriages will end in divorce, and estimates are similar for U.K., Russia, and many other countries as well.

You’re neither the first nor the last couple to go through this.

What matters is how you do it, as a divorce can have wide emotional, financial, and legal implications.

Knowing your legal options can significantly decrease the emotional and financial burden, so you should start from there.

No matter where you live or why you are divorcing, the decision will affect your children, living arrangements, financial situation, and other aspects of your life.

You and your spouse will have to agree or let the court decide on:

The process will also involve following a series of procedures and filling in tons of paperwork.

Under the circumstances, you should consider consulting a divorce lawyer.

They can help you make the best decisions in your case and take over the legal hassles.

One of the most important decisions you or your spouse will have to make is whether to file a contested or uncontested divorce.

Each option comes with a series of implications worth considering.

Divorce Options

Contested vs. Uncontested vs. Collaborative Divorce

Depending on your relationship and your ability to reach an agreement, you and your spouse can opt for a contested, uncontested, or collaborative divorce.

1. Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree that separation is the best solution in your situation.

You also agree on property, parenting, and financial matters.

This means the entire process will end sooner and with fewer hassles for everyone involved.

2. Contested Divorce

Contested divorce is for spouses who cannot reach an agreement.

It usually ends in court, with each party represented by a divorce lawyer.

This divorce option can be costly and negatively affects the relationship between the divorcing spouses.

3. Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is the best option for spouses who cannot reach an agreement but would like to avoid a court battle.

It requires active participation from the spouses and involves negotiations and, often, mediation.

Obviously, the best option would be an uncontested divorce.

When an uncontested divorce is not possible, a collaborative divorce is preferable to a contested divorce.

In all situations, working with a divorce attorney is a great way to save time and effort and defend your interests when it comes to property division, child custody, and alimony.

Division of Property in Divorce

One of the first things you will need to worry about during the divorce is property division.

To make things easier, you should have clear records of all your assets, and debts, including any savings and retirement accounts, mortgages, credit cards, etc.

In most countries and states, the spouses have equal rights.

However, when dividing assets, courts will often consider the income of each spouse, their separate property, fault in the divorce, marriage length, child custody, etc.

For example, a cheated spouse could get better terms than a cheating one.

Also, a spouse receiving child custody has higher chances of getting the family home than one with just visitation rights.

Property division issues should be tackled with care, preferably with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer.

Fast asset sales and account liquidations could bring about losses related to prices and interest.

Child Custody

When filing for divorce, spouses with children need to submit a parenting plan.

The parenting plan stipulates who gets physical custody and decision rights and settles issues related to the child’s education, accommodation, food and clothing expenses, medical care, transportation, visitations, vacations, and more.

Another important issue related to child custody is child support.

Under the law, both parents are responsible for covering childcare expenses.

When they divorce, the parent receiving physical custody of the child will usually receive child support payment from their spouse.

Decision related to child support payment will take into account the parents’:

  • Financial situation
  • Employment status
  • Insurance status
  • Mental and physical condition
  • Other responsibilities (caring for other children)

The ideal is for the spouses to reach an agreement and come up with a joint parenting plan.

Leaving cases involving domestic violence and criminal behaviors aside, it is in the child’s best interest for the parents to share custody and maintain a good relationship.

Spousal Support

Spouses who cannot support themselves (are unemployed or disabled) may be entitled to alimony payments from their divorcing spouse, until their situation improves or they remarry.

Laws vary by country and state, and the amount differs according to the parties’ situation.

The best way to determine whether you will owe or benefit from spousal support and what amount to expect is to consult a divorce attorney. The latter may also explain how the divorce will impact your taxes.

Tax Implications

If you and your spouse will be selling or transferring assets and making child support and alimony payments, you should first consider how those will affect your taxes.

For example, in most states:

  • Real estate transactions during divorce are subject to tax exemptions.
  • Divorced spouses who pay alimony can deduct their expenses.
  • Spousal support beneficiaries will owe taxes for the amounts they receive.
  • Divorced spouses may continue to benefit from their spouses’ health insurance for a given period after the divorce.

Of course, each case is different.

A divorce lawyer can explain the law in your particular case and provide all the information and advice you need.

Although some divorcing spouses avoid requesting legal advice because they fear the costs, the benefits are considerable.

The Benefits of Working with a Divorce Lawyer

Working with a divorce attorney or at least consulting one before or during the procedures can yield valuable benefits:

  • Answers to any questions that may arise
  • Legal advice
  • Paperwork and procedures completion
  • Help devising the parenting plan and asset distribution proposals
  • Child support and alimony calculations
  • Support during negotiations with your spouse
  • Divorce-related tax advice, etc.

Moreover, the advice of an experienced divorce lawyer can often be enough to convince divorcing spouses to opt for an uncontested or collaborative divorce rather than put up with the hassles and expenses of a court battle.

Author Bio

Liz S. Coyle is the Director of Client Services for JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law. She also serves as a paralegal for the Family Law Department. She is responsible for internal and external communications for the firm.

Girl Walking Carrying Suitcase

A Guide to Packing for Your First Year at University

There’s a golden rule when it comes to packing for Uni: take less.

This is first time you’ve been away from home and you’re going to make yourself feel more secure by trying to pack the entire contents of your bedroom, including Mr Bear who has sat on your shelf since you were two. Don’t.

Now is the moment to espouse a minimalist lifestyle.

Your personal space is about to be radically diminished, don’t fill it with a load of stuff which you’ll soon discover that you don’t really need.

There will be shops, you will be able to buy things, they may even be much cheaper.

There will also be a whole bunch of other people going through the same experience as you and borrowing stuff is a great way to meet people.

This is not irresponsible advice, it’s an essential survival tip.

Living in a small overcrowded environment is stressful, keep it simple and give yourself space, it’ll fill up soon enough.

Don’t pack suitcases or trunks because you’ll be stuck with somewhere to store them afterwards.

Go for soft bags which can be stored compactly or cardboard boxes which you can recycle.

Lots of medium sized bags are better than some six-foot high backpack that scrapes the paint off the walls as you drag it inch by inch to its final destination.

Chances are that you are going to be in halls of residence for your first year and that quite a lot of things will be provided for you.

Don’t make assumptions, try and find out what it provided.

If you’re moving into private accommodation this might be trickier but the golden rule still applies: don’t overpack.

Group of University Students Chatting

The Essentials

Bedding

A cosy bed is a great solace so make sure you’ve got a decent duvet and pillows and enough bed linen so that you can have one lot on and one lot in the wash.

Towels

A hand towel and bath towel.

Clothing

No, you can’t bring all your clothes and you can’t pack for four seasons either.

Think outfits, think comfort.

One smart outfit is a good idea.

A waterproof, a warm jumper, footwear that isn’t going to fall apart.

University gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself and acquiring new clothing is going to be part of that process.

Toiletries

This stuff is easy to buy so don’t bring the entire bathroom cabinet.

Gadgets

Laptop and mobile phone, plus all the attendant chargers and leads, headphones and speakers etc.

This should have been at the top of the list because it’s the only stuff that you really can’t do without.

Documents

Proper grown up stuff this, you need to keep it safe and you need to know where to find it.

Passport, driving licence, National Insurance card, letter of admission, finance details, bank details and a bunch of passport size photographs for your student card etc.

In order to get registered with a doctor or dentist, you’ll need a letter with your university address on it.

Kitchen Equipment

Find out what’s going to be there but if it turns out that there’s no wok after all you will still survive.

Think camping, knife, fork, spoon, bowl, plate, mugs, spatula, frying pan, saucepan, corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener.

You can throw those lavish dinner parties later; in the meantime, you just need to be able to eat.

Study equipment

Do you really need those bagfuls of highlighters and mini staplers?

Some A4 paper and a good desk lamp should be enough to get you started.

And don’t arrive with your entire reading list already purchased.

You can only read one book at a time and you’ll pick them up much cheaper from last year’s students and if you buy from a brainiac you might even find that they are full of super useful notes.

Author Bio

Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at MAHI Leather who make quality luggage from ethically sourced leather.

Girl Viewing Flight Departures Board

Why More Travel Equals More Rewards for Credit Card Users

Credit cards not only offer free credit for a specified time, but also reward users that use their cards more often.

Rewards, perks, and bonuses are marketing incentives that create a win-win situation for both credit card companies and consumers.

Credit card companies are eager to attract customers by addressing their specific interests and needs which has led to the introduction of different types of credit cards like cash back credit cards and travel rewards credit cards.

It is easy to make out the purposes of the credit cards from the names as the intention of targeting specific customer segment is very clear.

Travel rewards credit cards are ideal for those who often travel either to satisfy their wanderlust or for some business or official work.

This type of credit cards is exclusively for those who travel because the rewards accrue only on account of using the credit card for travel by air only.

To qualify for rewards, you must have the ability to spend and charge the amount on credit cards as required besides ensuring that you can pay off the balance outstanding on the card every month on the desired date.

Remember that even if you love traveling, to earn rewards and redeem it, you must travel some fixed distance which means that frequent traveling becomes a condition without stating it.

Unless you fly quite often, the rewards from travel credit cards will remain out of your reach till the time you fulfill the required traveling miles that help in earning rewards.

Your ability to charge high amounts on the card should help you to earn significant points or miles, as stipulated in the card.

You can even compare frequent flyer credit cards to evaluate which type of credit cards would be beneficial for you.

Card Usage Linked to Travel Rewards

The more you use the credit card to buy air tickets meaning the more money you charge on a travel reward credit card more will be the rewards in terms of points or miles accumulating in your account.

If you frequently travel for business or otherwise, travel rewards credit cards come in handy as you can redeem the points or miles to earn a discount on the price you pay for the current travel.

Redemption of the reward points makes you forget the high cost of air travel as the airlines are ready to reward you for traveling often.

Making Credit Card Payments on Time

While the rewards of miles or points reduce your cash outflow by discounting the ticket price to some extent, still you will have to pay some amount against the credit card bills.

The APR or the interest that you must pay is usually quite high for travel rewards credit cards.

If you fail to pay the credit card bill on time, you lose the benefits of the rewards to a good extent.

Therefore, when using travel rewards credit cards, you must ensure the timely payment of the bills every month.

This would guarantee that you do not accumulate high interest and fees that multiply every month at a compound rate.

To get the most from travel rewards credit cards, it is wise to limit your spending to one credit card and pay the monthly bill without fail.

This should help to accumulate the amount needed to earn significant miles or points.

Good for Business Owners & Employees

Travel rewards credit cards are especially good for business owners and employees only if they have company cards issued in their names.

They can charge the expenses of traveling to the travel rewards credit card and earn reward points and miles while the accounts department makes the payment for the balance on the monthly bill.

It is like a double benefit for business owners and employees who earn rewards without having to pay anything from their pocket.

Mind the Limits

Although travel rewards credit cards encourage more travel, it does not mean that you can travel to any extent during a year to rack up maximum rewards that help you to go on a free vacation.

Credit card companies are issuing travel rewards credit cards usually have a capping on the availability of reward points or miles for redemption.

Take note of the conditions for redemption of reward points or miles when you are using a travel rewards credit card, or else you might be disappointed.

Different travel brands and airlines assign different criteria for earning rewards depending onpeak days and seasons that can vary quite a lot.

This might land you up in a situation when you cannot use the reward point or miles at times when you need it most.

Fit for Frequent Travellers

A person who travels frequently would find travel rewards credit cards most suited.

Since they are often traveling and staying in hotels, they can take advantage of lean seasons when occasional travelers mostly keep away.

This provides an excellent opportunity of getting the most from the rewards because airlines too would be glad to please customers at times when business is otherwise dull.

Travel Rewards Cards Are Not Free

There is no reason to think that travel rewards credit cards are free even though the way credit card companies pitch for selling travel rewards credit cards might make it sound so.

After all, when nothing is free in this world why would credit card companies give travel rewards credit cards free?

Do not forget that you must pay an initial amount for getting the credit card even though along with it comes free bonus miles in some cases.

Compare the conditions for redemption of reward points or miles that should give some justification about whether the card is attractive to you or not.

Weigh it with the initial cost that you must pay, and it will become clear whether the rewards are truly as attractive as it appears.

To obtain a travel rewards credit card, you must have a decent credit score of 700, and above and this you must bear in mind when applying for the credit card.

Author Bio

Marina Thomas is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as a content developer with many years of experience. She helps clients in long-term wealth plans. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including Money Saving, Budgeting, Cryptocurrency, Business debt consolidation, Business, and Start-ups.

Man Using Highlighter Pen on Notes

How Mobile Apps Can Help Promote Your Business Brand

Thanks to the development and use of technology, modern mobile devices as well as mobile web and app design have become better and better.

This has increased its functionality and flexibility making the mobile devices more useful and indispensible in this modern day and age.

You will hardly find a person without a mobile phone in hand and using it almost always.

Whether it is an individual or a business, mobile devices have become an integral part for all types of jobs.

It is all due to the different types of mobile apps that you find on the play store and other sources ready to download and use. These apps are:

  • Carefully engineered to serve particular purposes
  • Are easy to use
  • Easily available and accessible and
  • Are cost effective, though not all is related to money directly.

Jobs can be performed faster and more conveniently from anywhere and anytime.

These mobile apps have increased the level of user experience making these apps more popular.

Mobile web and app design has come a long way and have seen a lot of changes in concept, design and usage.

These apps and websites offer the user with enough versatility.

However, there are a few things that you should know about these mobile apps and websites.

  • Sometimes the apps cannot match with the versatility of the websites and vice versa which is why both mobile websites and apps play an equally important role in this modern business world.
  • In addition to that, you may find at times that the specific new mobile app that you are looking for and want to use is hard to discover.

That means, creating a mobile app that is extremely useful and appealing is not enough for its success and popularity.

You will need to make proper plans and follow a strategic process to market the new app robustly, if you are into mobile app designing.

Remember, people now are more knowledgeable and tech savvy and know that there are lots of alternative options available for anything that they might be looking for.

Just as they will go through several debt settlement reviews to finally decide whether or not to settle their debts or consolidate them, they will also go through the reviews of different apps and then download only those that people favor and recommend for using.

Provide Proper Value

The value of the mobile app depends on it helps the users to perform a specific task.

If you can provide the desired value to your users, you will in turn get proper value in return for your apps.

In order to ensure that your app is valuable it is required that you make sure that:

  • It can perform a valuable job
  • It has the true support behind it
  • It is incredibly powerful tool and has a lot of potential
  • It can achieve the Holy Grail which comprises of daily use by the targeted audience and a high level of engagement.

It is only then you can use the mobile app for creating a better and more awareness for your brand amongst your users which will in turn help you to promote your product as well as your business in the desired direction.

Create Apps for Humans

It goes without saying that when you design a mobile app you focus on the most significant aspect of such design: it will be used by the humans and not machines.

Therefore, you will need to create it for the humans keeping in mind that you provide a human touch in any design work you do by following a more human-centric approach.

  • A mobile app is actually a tool that will provide the users with all necessary cues to guide them through the entire process.
  • The app design must therefore involvemuch more than simply providing it with the best look and feel to ensure a better and proper interaction is established with the users.

In order to make sure that it does so, prior to designing the mobile app you must get to know your users you are targeting in depth.

If you want to make it the most powerful marketing tool for your business you will need to do a lot of research as well as spend a lot of time in the designing process.

This is because:

  • Hurrying through the process will result in a lot of errors, lapses, lacunas and miss outs that will make your mobile app full of drawbacks instead of benefits.
  • It will lack the useful cues and interactions that you wanted to inform your users to guide them successfully and start a productive and strong conversation.

You will, in short, fail to impress the users as it all depends on the emotions which you have to consider while designing to play with it for your beneficial purposes.

Create for the User

Does all this sound like designing a mobile app is very boring and intimidating to you?

Well, there is no reason for you to be so apprehensive.

On the contrary, mobile app design can be a fun as well as an effective tool for business promotion if and only if you create it for the users.

For this you will need to:

  • Spend some time to think about the elements and features to implement in it
  • You must also think about all those little humane touches to incorporate in your design and
  • Be careful to select things and incorporate so that it surprises the users and provides a delightful experience.

That means in other words that.

You must make sure that when the users use your mobile app it creates a memorable experience.

This will in turn help you to express the personality of you as well as your brand.

In addition to that it will also keep your app and its design interesting to use it and fresh as well.

If you are still intimidated by it and yet want a mobile app that will help you to build your brand, you can always get in touch with a professional team for that matter.

Author Bio

Marina Thomas is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as a content developer with many years of experience. She helps clients in long-term wealth plans. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including Money Saving, Budgeting, Cryptocurrency, Business debt consolidation, Business, and Start-ups.