Showing posts with label Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog. Show all posts

The Benefits Of Having Social Media As A Blogger

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Social media helps to keep us all connected in this modern world. However, for those who have careers that are linked in with the online world or perhaps require them to network, social media can be a tool that can offer you more than just casual conversations between friends and family. With that being said, here are the benefits of having social media as a blogger.

A Simple Guide To Getting What You Want In Life

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Obviously enough, everyone wants to live a life where they are having as many of their own desires fulfilled as possible. But this is something which can take a long time to master, and for most people, it is a matter of trial and error as they try to work out what they need to do to make that happen. For that reason, it is highly likely that you will have already found yourself doing this in your life, possibly with varying results. However, if you are keen to now start trying to get more of what you want, then the good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to make sure that that happens for you. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best techniques for ensuring that you get what you want in life - or at least make it considerably easier and more likely that that will happen.

Surprising Mental Health Boosts

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At the moment, many of us are struggling with our mental health. You might have been spending most of your time in your home, especially if you are in a high-risk group. You might be worried about your future health and employment, and the Covid-19 pandemic may have hurt your finances. All of these worries, as well as spending less time with our friends and family members, means that many people are feeling anxious, stressed out, or depressed. 

Gifts to Give a Pragmatic Parent

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Do you dread getting your parents gifts whether if it's for Christmas, birthdays or holidays? It's not because you don't love them, quite the opposite actually. 

Why Our World Would Basically End If Books Disappeared

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For so long, books have been an integral part of most people’s lives - but what if they didn’t exist? A common pastime for many, books help enrich our world and are a powerful source of relaxation as well as escapism. Nothing beats curling up with a brilliant book and a warm drink on a cold and blustery day or picking up something thought-provoking to satisfy our curiosity and expand our knowledge. In short, books are amazing for our mind, body, and our soul, but can often go unnoticed in a world that is dominated by technology. What makes them so universally loved and why are they still so relevant in the digital world?

Books Encompass Knowledge
Books are a learning gateway and a foundation of endless knowledge that provides us with an understanding of the world around us. From a young age, books provide us with essential building blocks in life including literacy, social and communication skills. They preserve all knowledge of the past and are a reminder of how far humanity has come. Books bring awareness to pressing issues in society and enlighten us about other cultures. Without books, our intelligence would certainly not be so advanced, and we would be living in a very bleak world.



Books Make a Huge Impact on Our Lives
The power of words can be often underestimated. Whether it’s a psychological thriller, a crime novel, or trending biography, unforgettable, profound books present us with an array of emotions that can move us and broaden our minds and perspectives. The works of others, whether fictional or non-fictional, can often inspire us to make changes in our lives and can ultimately stay with us forever. Aiming to finish a book gives us a focus and goal to complete, and they also have the incredible physical ability to lower stress levels, and can even deflect unwanted feelings of negativity.

Books Sharpen Our Minds
Books are capable of more than just entertainment – they’re vital tools to living a healthier lifestyle. Since books require concentration, reading can essentially count as a workout for your brain. Studies have revealed that reading stimulates our brains and can improve our cognitive functioning, especially the part within the brain that is responsible for focusing, critical analysis, as well as our memory. In fact, studies have suggested that engaging in reading regularly encourages a delayed decline in key mental capacities, which can potentially result in a longer life.

Books Enhance Our Imagination
When you open a book, you open up a completely new universe - reading is an immersive and fulfilling experience that pulls us out of our usual day to day thoughts. When you’re nose deep into a book, magic happens and everything else around you seems to fade. Endless amounts of worlds and characters that you meet in books help to spark your imagination through the visualization of what you read. Reading can additionally strengthen your writing ability and creative skills – who knows, reading more books could help you become the next top bestselling author or prolific academic writer!

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8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Design The Life Of Your Dreams

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With the new year upon us, it is the perfect time to reevaluate where you are in life and where you want to go.

Future Planning: An Introduction To The FIRE Movement

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For most people, their career path is very simple. They go to college, find a job after graduating, and slowly but consistently work their way up the career ladder over the course of the next 30 or so years. Then, usually by the time they are in their 60s, they are able to retire. This is the conventional career route that has been a staple of society for decades; but it’s a route that a group of people are now challenging. 

Introducing FIRE 

FIRE stands for “financial independence, retire early”. The driving force behind the idea is that retirement is not something that people should have to wait until their 60s to achieve; instead, people focusing on FIRE look to retire as soon as possible, with some achieving this goal in their 30s (though between 40 and 50 is more standard). 

Frugality is a big part of the FIRE lifestyle; in many ways, the movement is strongly related to anti-consumerism, and people choosing to spend more time enjoying the simpler things in life rather than working in order to spend. 

How is FIRE possible?

There are a few additional considerations anyone contemplating FIRE will need to keep in mind - which we will discuss in more depth soon - but the core essentials are aggressive saving and investment. People looking to achieve FIRE will spend as little of their income as possible - saving 75% of income is far from uncommon - and will instead choose to invest. Over time, the combination of savings and compounded interest from investments results in people having a large enough sum of money to retire and be able to live on the income from investments alone, rather than relying on a salary. 

How much is considered sufficient to retire on?


Most people aiming for FIRE aim to save 25 times their anticipated annual living expenses. So, if you were to estimate that you would need to spend $60,000 per year, then you would need to save $1,500,000. The x25 rule is thought to be sufficient to allow people to withdraw 4% from their savings to meet their living costs during their retirement.

Is it really possible to save that much money?

While the idea of setting so much money aside may initially seem outlandish, it is a goal that many people are able to reach. Admittedly it’s not a short-term goal - without a lottery win or two, no one is going to achieve FIRE in just a few years  - but if you’d like to retire earlier than expected, then it can be done. 

How can you get started on the path to FIRE?

The path to FIRE will always be slightly different for every person who chooses to walk it, as everyone starts from different financial positions and with slightly different goals in terms of how much they want to be able to save. However, the general steps needed to reach FIRE are as follows: 

#1 - Cost cutting 

Cost cutting is crucially important to those looking to pursue FIRE for two reasons. Firstly, FIRE requires a much higher savings rate than the 5-10% of income that most people aim for, so outgoings will have to reduce to allow this to be possible. Secondly, when actually retired, living a low-cost, frugal lifestyle is incredibly important to ensuring funds are sustainable, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit as soon as possible.

You will therefore need to go through all of your expenses and see where you can cut back. Be stringent here: anything but essentials should at least be considered for cutting if you’re dedicated to reaching FIRE. For areas of your budget that cannot be cut entirely - such as groceries, insurance payments, and so on - look for ways to reduce the amount you spend instead.

#2 - Debt repayment

FIRE requires people to save and invest as much of their income as they possibly can, while spending as little as possible - a situation that is difficult if you are carrying credit card or student loan debt. These debts will continue to accrue interest for as long as they are outstanding, which means that there’s more money being spent servicing debt than there is being saved into a potential retirement pot - which is obviously less than ideal. 

As a result, the extra funds found after cost cutting should be put towards clearing debt rather than saving for retirement; by doing this, potentially hundreds (or even thousands, depending on the size of the debt) of dollars in interest can be saved and diverted to an early retirement fund instead. 

#3 - Mortgage repayment 

Owning a property is outright is an important part of FIRE, as having to pay a mortgage (or, worse still, rent to a landlord) will inevitably deplete savings significantly and reduce the amount available to live on when retired. As a result, ensuring that your mortgage is paid off should be your next focus when you have cleared all debts; there are various methods available when it comes to paying off a mortgage, so explore these and decide which will work best for you.  

#4 - Investing 

With your mortgage paid off, you can now consider your investment options. Within the FIRE community, low-cost index funds are perhaps the most popular, but experiences and preferences do vary, so it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a financial advisor who can help decide which investments are the right choice for your specific goals. 

A quick note: Above, we have suggested that mortgage repayment and then investment is the best choice for those looking to achieve FIRE - but this is a hotly-debated topic within the FIRE community. 

Some people believe that investments and mortgage payments should be done at the same time (so interest can be earned on investments during the mortgage repayment), while others say, as we have, it’s best to focus all funds in paying off your mortgage first so that this important step can be achieved as soon as possible. 

The decision, however, is entirely yours: if you would like to split your focus, choosing to invest and pay off your mortgage at the same time, then you can do so - the route to FIRE is different for everyone, so go with what you believe to best the best course of action for you. No two routes to FIRE are the same!

Common questions people ask about FIRE 


FIRE is such an unusual idea that it is natural people may have further questions about how it works, so below we’ve sought to answer the most commonly-asked questions...

#1 - Is it possible to retire early and still pay college tuition for my children? 

Yes, but it’s complicated; there’s a helpful guide here that parents should find useful when deciding how to factor college tuition into their FIRE plans. 

#2 - Is FIRE for me if I love my job and don’t want to stop working?

Absolutely! Many people who reach FIRE continue to work even when, mathematically speaking, they do not absolutely need to. The goal of FIRE is to simply have the financial independence to choose to work, rather than having to work out of financial necessity. 

#3 - Is property ownership an essential for FIRE? 

Realistically, yes - even if you would like to live a nomadic lifestyle (such as travelling the country in an RV) post-retirement. Property is an excellent investment, so even if you’re not intending to live in your current home when you’re retired, it will still be a valuable asset and can contribute to your income if you choose to, for example, rent the property out while you explore the world. 

#4 - Should I try to increase my income in order to reach my goal faster? 

Yes, doing so can be beneficial and is a common choice for many people focused on FIRE. It is usually preferable to try and increase your hours/wage in your day job rather than embarking on a potentially-unreliable side hustle, though you can give this a try if you would prefer to do so and have the time available. 

#5 - What happens to early retirees if the market crashes? 

As we have discussed, FIRE is highly dependent on investments - but, of course, the market can go up as well as down, which could spell trouble for those who are solely reliant on investments for income. This concern is one of the reasons why working with a financial advisor is so important; they will help to diversify risk and ensure that funds are stable even in the event of a market crash. In addition, keeping some savings in cash (as in a high-interest standard savings account; not storing literal cash) can be a good way of protecting against market downswings. 

In conclusion

The FIRE movement definitely goes against convention, but can be an incredibly positive step for those who choose to commit to it. We hope the above has provided food for thought and, if you decide FIRE is the right choice for you and your family, we hope the journey is as smooth as it can possibly be.


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The Essential Guide To Getting Your Kids Into Reading

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How many times do you venture into your kids’ bedrooms with your fingers crossed hoping to find them with their head in a good book, only to find them with headphones on playing some online RPG with pals? If you have read my blog previously, you know I LOVE reading. You can check my many book suggestions by clicking here for all of my posts reviewing various and sundry books.

What Is Enough? How Do You Know When You Have "It"?

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Over a month ago was my birthday and I wrote a post On the Verge of 40. In it, I describe my feelings of insecurity, doubt, worry, and generally being unsure.  My vow was to focus on feeling that I am enough as I am.  I have actually, to my surprise, thought of this every day and tried to squash out those feelings of inadequacy whenever they pop up.  Or I've tried to figure what the root cause of what that feeling is and attempted to rectify it.  

Journey to Finding Life's Purpose - Part 4

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MEDITATION CAN UNLOCK THE SUBCONSCIOUS

Meditation isn’t just for the Yogis and Buddhist monks of the world anymore. Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Meditation and mindfulness have never been more popular than they are today. It’s now a tool used by medical professionals in a variety of fields and in the business world. Prisons are even teaching meditation to inmates.


Journey to Find Life's Purpose - Part 3

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FINDING YOUR PURPOSE THROUGH WRITING


Most of us don’t enjoy writing. A lot of people would much rather ponder things, but writing can be a very powerful tool. Clearly, if you have read my blog, you know I am not of that persuasion.  I have written posts on why I think everyone should have a journal, how to motivate yourself to journal daily,  and how to nurture your creative mind with journaling.  


Journey to Finding Life's Purpose - Part 1

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Do you wake up each day dreading the idea of spending another day at work? You might even feel the need to be a part of something bigger and more meaningful. If you’ve failed to discover and build your life around your life purpose, you might feel dissatisfied with your life. Determining the purpose of your life can be a simple process.


Journey to Finding Life's Purpose - Part 2

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QUESTIONS TO REVEAL THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE


It’s impossible to find your purpose without a degree of self-reflection. Answers are the result of asking questions. Asking the right questions will provide the answers you seek. 

Happiness - More Than Thinking Positive Thoughts


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While the dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” which gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. Let’s look at some different things that happiness can be, but realize that in truth, happiness is in the mind of the beholder.



Developing a Strong Relationship with Your Teen

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Teenagers are a challenge. They can drive you crazy, eat up all of your disposable income and bring all kinds of dramas into your home, but there’s no denying your love for them. Your child’s teenage years are when they start becoming adults, shaping who they’re going to be in the future. It’s a time you’ll want to be around for which can be difficult when your teenager is trying to push the boundaries.

My Perfect Day - #myperfectday

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My fellow blogger, Joan Senio, of Kindness, Coaching, and Compassion, recently wrote a post about her perfect day. I've been meaning to write a similar post, but sometimes life gets in the way!

On The Verge of 40

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Sunday is my birthday and I will be 39.  It's such a lackluster sort of birthday - you aren't quite yet the BIG 40, but you are literally at the threshold of moving into your forties.  

Setting Your Kids Up For Success

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You want your children to be happy and healthy above all else. You also want them to grow up strong and secure in themselves and to be able to achieve whatever it is they want out of life. After all, as a parent, it’s your job to give your child everything they need in their first years of life! (And of course, for the next couple of decades too…)

73 Questions About Me - #VogueParody

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Similar to Joan Senio, I had never heard of this challenge but I love answering funny questions so here we go!  To read Joan's answers, click here.

Lack of Time is Lack of Priorities

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Time Management

At the end of the day, it’s all about time management. When it comes to time management, we don’t want to admit we don't have it all together. It’s one of the hardest issues to face and can be a challenge. However, the good news is it’s very doable.