No Picture
General Article

Top 5 Ways to Save on Heating Bills

Top 5 Ways to Save on Heating Bills

As home heating costs go up, so do the number of people looking to find ways to cut down on their heating bills. If you are one of the millions of people worried about rising heat bills, there are a number of easy ways to cut down on your home heating bills.

1 Clean Your Furnace: Maintaining an energy efficient furnace is a key component to reducing heating bills. A furnace that works too hard will cause an increase in your heating bill. Getting a professional to clean dirt, oil, and other debris from the furnace as well as the air ducts will make your furnace run more efficiently thereby reducing how hard it works. As well, replace a dirty furnace air filter. A dirty air filter prevents air from traveling throughout the home which causes the furnace to work harder to heat the home.

2. Maintain a Constant Temperature: Setting your thermostat at a specific temperature will ensure the furnace is not constantly running. Constantly changing the temperature raises your heating costs, lower the temperature by a degree or two at night and wear warm clothing. As well, cracks and holes that cause air from the outside to blow in will cause the furnace to run. It is essential to properly seal air leaks throughout the home. Check for cracks around fireplace. If there are cracks, seal them with caulking.

3. Turn on Ceiling fans: If you have ceiling fans, you should turn them on because heat rises so the fans will help circulate the warm air throughout the room. A ceiling fan set in reverse can disperse warm air through your home. As well, close the vents in rooms that are rarely used so you are not wasting heat. Keeping the warm air in rooms that you use will help reduce heating costs.

4. Make Minor Furnishing Modifications: During the day, open window shades and curtains to allow the sun rays to come in. Weather-strip doors, windows, and attic and basement doors, to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from coming in. Seal gaps around wires and pipes. Apply caulking to baseboards to prevent heat from escaping. Wrap heating ducts with duct tape and insulation around pipes. Insulate floors over unheated spaces such as the garage, attic, and basement. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. When not using an item such as an appliance, lights, and the television, turn them off. When you leave the home for a certain period, turn the heat down and make sure everything else is turned off. Make sure the furniture is not blocking any heat vents and preventing heat from being distributed throughout the room.

5. Make Machines More Efficient: Run full loads in the dishwasher and clothing washer and dryer. Acquire insulation wrap to insulate your water heater. When you are ready to replace a machine, purchase an energy efficient one. As well, use a programmable thermostat that can be programmed to decrease the heat when one is sleeping or away from the home for an extended period of time.

During these trouble economic times, most people are looking for ways to tighten their budget. By implementing a number of heat saving measures, one can significantly cut down on their heating bills.…

No Picture
General Article

The Importance Of Selecting The Right Accounting And Tax Software For Small Businesses

The Importance Of Selecting The Right Accounting And Tax Software For Small Businesses

When a small business is just getting started there are a million different things that need to be done to ensure that the business has a smooth start up process. One thing that tends to get over looked is the importance of selecting the right accounting and tax software for the small business.

Business owners need to have a way to keep track of money being spent as well as the money coming in. The last thing owners want is to have a situation where expenses are not covered due to misinformation about the amount of money in an account.

No matter the amount of success a business may have the one thing that will hurt even the best is the lack of proper recording, and keeping up with the accounting. Many business owners fall victim to issues such as being under the impression that there is more money in their account than there really is. When it is time to pay employees the owners discover that the funds simply are not available.

Record keeping is a big reason why tax and accounting software is so important to have in the operation of a business. When it comes time for a business owner to select software, there are a few things they should keep in mind. There are many different versions of tax and accounting software. Deciding which is appropriate for an owner depends on the business’ needs.

Owners need to be sure the software purchased contains features needed to maintain their daily records. A great way for owners to help decide on the best software is by asking other small business owners. Other business owners can provide insight as to which software may be appropriate.

Price is also an important factor to keep in mind. There are software packages in price ranges to fit all budgets. Owners can achieve the desired results with a less expensive package. Owners only need to ensure that the software they choose is the most beneficial.

Small businesses that have an accountant can ask them for a recommendation as to the best software that will work for the business. This will not only eliminate frustrations for the owner, but will also help the accountant in the long run.

These tips are important when considering the right accounting and tax software for small businesses. The more knowledgeable a business owner, the more prepared they will be when it is time to make a decision. This important decision, in turn, will lead to organization as well as ensuring everything is well documented.…

No Picture
General Article

The Best Car Deals – Low Finance Rates Vs Rebates – Which Should You Choose?

The Best Car Deals – Low Finance Rates Vs Rebates – Which Should You Choose?

How To Get The Best Car Deals:

Quick tips that will help you at the car dealer:

How to understand Rebates and low financing offers:

Vehicle MSRP: Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price – This price is always negotiable – don’t ever agree to pay MSRP

Exception: Some vehicles that might be “hard to find” or “limited in production” might be sold by the dealers at MSRP or, sometimes higher. This is usually called Market Adjustment.

Manufacturers Rebates: This is your money and has nothing to do with discounts given by the dealership. This money is given to you directly from the factory. Never let the rebate be used as a negotiation tool by the dealer. Any discount or negotiation from the dealer should be separate of any rebates offered.

Low finance rates: 0.00% 1.00% 1.9% etc… These are called Sub-vented rates, they too are offered by the factory and not the dealership. Do not allow a “low” finance rate to be used as part of a negotiation by the dealer. These rates are granted over and above any discounts, rebates, etc.

Exceptions: There are several exceptions to Sub-vented finance rates, but here are two that you really should be aware of:

1. Not all people qualify for these rates. So, if you suspect that you might have some issue that will cause you not to qualify, there is nothing wrong with expressing to the dealer that the low finance rate is something you are interested in, and you would like to apply first, before going through the long, timely steps of deal negotiation. Many dealerships will view this as unusual; however, any “good” dealer will be happy to let you submit an application first if you insist. Why is this important? As we always say, knowledge and preparation are the keys to not overpaying at a dealership. What happens if your entire deal is worked, negotiated and finalized with the dealer? Then you head over to the finance office to finalize the finance terms and payments… You expected to pay 0.00% interest, then at the last second you are told: “Sorry” because you don’t qualify… NOT GOOD THE WHOLE DEAL CHANGES.

2. Rebates and “low” finance rates can not always be combined. Some factories allow it some times, however there is no rule; you must do your homework first. For instance, Chrysler offers manufacturers rebates on most their vehicles, plus they offer low finance rates on most vehicles as well. Though, you the customer must decide which offer you want, you can’t have both. Although, sometimes Chrysler will run special offers that allow you to “combine” both the financing and rebate offers at once. But be careful, dealers won’t always tell you that these offers are available, if you are unaware and you agree to pay higher finance rates, you are stuck.

Commonly Asked Question: Which is the right choice, Rebate or Low Financing?

This is an interesting question asked by many customers, the answer is simple yet many people have no idea.

Remember this rule: You should do what’s best for you, do not ever inquire with a person, dealer, or anyone else that has any other motive than what’s best for you.

What that means is this: When you ask a dealership which makes more sense, the dealer will likely tell you: “Take the rebate – not the low interest rate.”

The reasoning behind this answer is, if you take the rebate you are actually paying “less” for the vehicle than if you elected the low interest rate. So, being that the vehicle price is the most important issue, you should always take the rebate. Is this correct or incorrect?

Rule: Don’t be concerned what the dealer is making or losing, it’s not relevant to what’s best for you.

Does the dealership stand to gain more if you chose the rebate vs. the low finance rate? The answer to that question is yes, the dealership does stand to gain more. They receive a little more in “reserve money” from the lender if you chose conventional finance rates. The fact is however; that this point is completely irrelevant. Who cares what the dealership is making? Why is that important anyway? Is there some rule that says a dealership is not entitled to make profit? The only person who is doing something wrong in this scenario is you. You’re asking the wrong party for information. If the complete and honest answer might cause the dealer to make less, chances are more than likely the answers will be carefully weighed to fall on their side.

Remember: Your concern is getting the best deal for you, don’t waist time caring about what the dealership makes. Prepare yourself by …

No Picture
General Article

Save $10 Per Day and Become a Millionaire

Save $10 Per Day and Become a Millionaire

Can you pass a candy or soda machine and not purchase something? Can you go to the mall with your friends and not come home with something? If your friends invite you to the movies, can you say no? Do you spend your entire paycheck? Do you have long-term goals such as buying a car, going to college or buying a home?

The fundamental building block to personal wealth is learning to live below your means. In other words, SAVING you money! That’s it! That’s the big secret to becoming prosperous. Granted, there’s the question of what to do with the money once you have it saved; but if you cannot adjust your living expenses so that you create and maintain a regular saving plan, there’s no need discussing the rest. I am sure that you will find the appropriate investment such as a home or retirement.

What if, every day you put your spare change in a piggy bank, jar or box? How much do you think you would have at the end of a month? If you invested your money earning an average of 7%, you could reach your goal. You could earn $5,394.00 in ten (10) years saving $1.00 per day and you only invested $3, 650.00. Long term save $10 per day and by the time you retire (50 years) you earned $1,587.699.00 and only invested $182,000.00. New cars cost over $20,000 and houses/condos cost more than $300,000. But once you get in the habit of saving, you can increase your savings to meet your long-term goal.

A good rule of thumb is save ten (10) percent of your earnings. When do you want to own a home? Setting a reasonable time frame such as by the age of 30 is the first step. How much do you think you will need to buy your first home? If you put 10% as a down payment, you would need at least $30,000. If you invest as little as $20 per week for twelve (12) years and earn as little as 7% per year, you will reach your goal of $19,906.00. You only need to add $100 and you met your goal. Congratulations.

There are many saving techniques that can make it easier to achieve your goals. One of the best techniques is setting up a payroll deduction from your paycheck into your savings account. What you don’t see, you don’t spend! As your savings accumulate, you can automatically invest your money. You are now on the road to meeting your goals.…

No Picture
General Article

The Basics Of Forex Trading Interventions

The Basics Of Forex Trading Interventions

Central banks continue to sustain their big role in modern day’s Forex market, even after losing absolute control to trading ranges in late 1980s. Here are a few hints that every Forex trader must know. Since the dark days of the Bretton Woods Accord, a time when currencies were bound to each other at a 1% range, foreign exchange markets have gone through a big change. In the past 30 odd years, the globalization of the economies, the technological breakthroughs and the staggering growth in investment funds and commodity trading advisors have expanded the daily trading volume in Forex to trillions of dollars.

Central banks make use of Forex for a number of reasons; one of which is making payments. On the contrary, when Forex exchange is involved, the trader’s focal point goes to market interventions. People usually wonder if central banks are involved in profiteering at all, because of the way they manipulate specific currencies when foreign exchange is at the summit and lowest point. However, even if major central banks are often successful with long term because they never speculate in Forex, they typically lose in the short and medium terms. Their actions are often for keeping exchange rates from getting dangerously low, which has a negative effect on exporters, and restoring orderly conditions in the market.

Only foreign exchange is involved with unsterilized, or naked, interventions. The Fed, for example, only conducts Forex with countries with external currencies like Japan and Europe. However, in addition to the effect on foreign exchange rates, an intervention has a rather unpopular side effect to major central bankers, as seen on monetary supplies. Because of this, economical levels often require significant changes to pricing and interest rates. A naked intervention always leads to long term effects.

A sterilized intervention, however, promptly reflects onto the monetary supply, making it a tool of choice for traders. Sterilized interventions are known for short to medium term effect, but that is more than enough in foreign exchange.

If not done wisely, interventions can also affect traders negatively. Interventions can be both damaging and beneficial at the same time, so understanding the concept behind it is very important. Central banks may reverse the trends, slow it down, or intervene with the market to provide liquidity and protect specific levels from variation. Because central banks promptly answer to compromising trends, traders are restricted from expecting a mechanical approach.

In case of a crisis, a currency pair or several currency pairs may be affected, thereby throwing off the market either in terms of pure havoc or imbalance between the pairs. In case one side of the pair goes astray, central banks are there to supply it and keep the market running. However, there is no guarantee the bank will operate this way. In case it does, do not expect the bank to cover the entire market losses, as they will only be there to provide a minuscule backdoor for traders.

Actually, central banks don’t have total control of where the market may lead; they are only capable of making interventions so as to influence the pace of the trend. Volatility acceleration has a rather reflexive effect on momentum funds; as it increases, so does the other one. In turn, central banks will aim for the speed of movement, and not its particular direction. To slow down a plummeting trend, for example, a bank might purchase stocks in minute amounts sequentially. In which case, traders are going to take advantage of the bank’s intervention by selling now, and buying back their stocks when the trend recovers.…

No Picture
General Article

Hybrid and Electric Cars

Hybrid and Electric Cars

Honda has reached over a quarter of a million hybrid sales since 2001. Ford and Lexus are nearing 200,000 global sales each of their various hybrid cars. Clearly the market for these cars is expanding.

One of the early drivers for the shift in mentality about hybrids is the appeal that celebrities generated. Some celebrities, like Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Will Ferrell, and Leonardo DiCaprio, purchased hybrids in the early days of the vehicles to make a statement about what people can do for the environment. Back in 2006 there were fewer hybrids on the market, so the majority of celebrities helped to make the Prius the top seller as they were photographed with the sleek little car. As the number of hybrid models increased, so did the number of celebrities wanting to show they too were part of the new trend towards going green. When he turned 18, Justin Bieber was given a $100,000 sporty hybrid, the Fisker Karma, one of the most advanced, most luxurious electric cars available today. This has undoubtedly helped bring environmental consciousness to the young teen generation.

While celebrities made hybrid ownership trendy, the unpredictability of fuel prices coupled with the growing number of different types of hybrids has made the global consumer see the economic benefits of the hybrid. The Prius has perhaps the best record, getting roughly 50 mpg in town and 48 mpg on motorways. The Honda Civic gets about 40 mpg in town and 45 mpg on the motorway. The Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion average 38 mpg in town and on the motorway. As these cars have been around for longer, the statistics on them are more reliable, but new types of technology are emerging that will create all new types of vehicles. Honda has developed a zero-emission vehicle, the FCX Clarity, powered on hydrogen. Solar electrical cars, like the Solar Prius, include a solar panel roof. The two most intriguing new car companies are, Tesla, which has created an electric cars that are sleek, sporty, and completely electrical and the Fisker Karma, the first true electric luxury vehicle with extended range and the freedom to plug in or fill up. With the ability to toggle between the all-electric Stealth Mode or fuel assisted Sport Mode.

Given the higher cost of purchasing a hybrid, the typical consumer may ask how long it will take to break even. Since fuel prices remain unstable and the cost of both the vehicle and fuel vary from country to country, the results have a range that makes this a difficult question to answer. The lower cost hybrids usually take longer to break even, with the Prius taking roughly 7.5 years and the Civic Hybrid taking over a decade. However, the higher end luxury hybrids, like the Lincoln MKZ and Mercedes-Benz, take roughly 5 years to recover the difference in cost. The real difference is seen in the amount of money saved monthly as hybrid owners spend less time at the pump. Also, many countries offer tax incentives to make the hybrid more appealing.

Many car and gap insurance companies provide a preferred discount for hybrid owners, but several factors must be accounted for in cost, such as driving record and location. Despite the discount, the average insurance policy is higher for a hybrid because they tend to have more expensive high tech electronics and are more expensive to buy than the average car. However, studies show that the cars are as sturdy and safe as a typical car. As a technology still at the edge of innovation, those considering buying a hybrid should check the history of the model before making a final decision.…

No Picture
General Article

Offering Leasing Can Boost Sales

Offering Leasing Can Boost Sales

Businesses often use leasing finance so that they can get the equipment they need to operate, be it a new car or van, some new catering equipment or the computers and other IT equipment needed by their back office staff.

Why do businesses choose to lease rather than to buy? For some it is because they cannot raise the cash any other way, the banks not being as free with their money as they used to be. For others, who could raise the cash that way, they chose to go down the leasing route as leasing does not affect their ‘bottom line’ of credit in the way that a capital loan does.

Others go for leasing as it enables them to reduce their tax bill in a more favourable way than renting or purchasing (be sure to check with your accountant here if you decide to lease).

There is still another group who prefer to lease as this often includes yearly upgrades, something that can be very useful in fast moving areas like Computers and Information Technology.

The reasons for choosing leasing are therefore plain to see, so it makes sense, if you are a seller of cars, vans, catering equipment or computers to ensure that you can offer any potential customer the ability to acquire what they need using leasing finance.

Why the above may sound simple enough, it is not the sort of thing that is easy to set up with your (friendly?) bank manager. No, you need to talk to the specialists, those finance firms who have the structure and experience to help you help your customers.

In the UK there are quite a few players in this market place, so you do have a few to choose from (always better that way). What you need to look for is a company that is sound and most importantly customer focused and efficient. It must be said that many companies in this area are ‘helpful’ but this does not make them efficient.

To be efficient in the area of leasing equates to having the right structure and processes in place, the right IT systems. Plus above all, access to funds and a sympathetic attitude to financing businesses (at least as sympathetic as can be expected these days).

So, when deciding which leasing company to offer to your customers, give them all a ring, ask them how long it takes to make a decision (the good ones will be able to get back to you within hours and some even have ‘guaranteed’ levels of funding, different levels being set for different types of equipment and borrower).

You can also check up on how well they treat their customers by checking the Internet for reviews as well as their websites for testimonials and case studies. Reviews always have to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt, but some of them are sure to be the truth. To assist here many companies today are even going to the trouble of having their testimonials independently checked (look out for the signs like those offered by verifiedcredible). In the latter cases you can be sure that all is OK and can believe what you read (a rare thing these days!).

Once you have decided on your leasing ‘partner’ you will be able to offer leasing services for your products, something that could easily result in many more sales, and that can’t be a bad thing can it.…