Friday, 31 March 2017

Top 10 Insurance Company Tricks for Car Accident Victims

People who have been injured in a car accident do not usually understand the claims handling process and the complexities that go along with the injury claim. Insurance companies train their adjusters to handle claims in a manner that reduces or eliminates their need to pay the claim. Obviously, the less money and insurance company pays out in adverse claims the more profit for the company.
This is particularly true with claims against a third-party insurance company that ensures someone who ran into you as the insurance company owes you no duty and their claims handling practices are not scrutinized by the Texas insurance department.
Here are the top 10 tricks that car accident victims find themselves learning the hard way when trying to handle a personal injury claim on their own.
  1. They do not respond.
People who are in a car accident and expect the insurance adjuster to contact them are often surprised when they do not receive a phone call. Even after the first contact with the adjuster, they find no follow-up and their telephone calls were not returned. This is particularly frustrating to people who are handling their own injury claims because they do not expect an adjuster to avoid them. This is part of the design of having an adjuster handle hundreds of cases at a time in that it makes it very difficult if not impossible for reasonable service to occur.
  1. Delay.
As with failing to respond to your telephone calls and inquiries one common thread in tactics for handling car accident claims is the delay tactic. The longer the adjuster can drag out the claim, the longer they keep their money earning interest and the better chance they have of settling the case down the road for peanuts. The general statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date of the accident. The closer that the adjuster can get the claim to the statute of limitations the better for the insurance company. Most of the better personal injury attorneys in the Houston area will not accept a case that is only days or weeks away from the statute of limitations. So never wait until the last minute to think about getting an accident lawyer. In some cases, the injured person fails to take appropriate action within the two-year limitation period and they have effectively waived their claims.
  1. More information.
One tactic that is part and parcel to the delay tactic above is due ever more request additional information. Usually this revolves around medical treatment and the adjuster will usually say they can not make a decision until they have the additional records. After those records are obtained, the adjuster will find another piece of information that they need in order to proceed and so on… This is part of the delay tactic above and a trick than many automobile accident victims experience.
  1. Statements.
Many adjusters tell the personal injury victim that they cannot proceed on the claim unless they have a statement. This usually is not the whole truth and many good attorneys refuse to provide statements from their clients particularly in clear liability matters. When the adjuster takes the statement from an unrepresented person, the intent is usually to find a way to defend the claim as opposed to simply obtaining information necessary to value a claim. Usually the adjuster tries to take a statement very early on in the process and often before the car accident victim has been fully diagnosed with their medical problems. Additionally, part of the statement also includes leading questions such as “when did you first see.”, “What did you do to avoid…” and the like. These are calculated to do nothing more than give the adjuster an excuse to discount the claim or to be used against you in court.
  1. Implying you don’t need an attorney.
Usually, the adjuster will say something like “we accept responsibility, “our insured was at fault” and the car accident victim assumes that means that the adjuster will be fair and reasonable when talking about settlement. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is part of a designed program to pay out as little as possible on car accident claims. If the adjuster can script the relationship such that the car accident victims believes that they can handle the case on their own, without an attorney, the insurance company will surely pay less money ultimately on the case. In the meantime, the insurance company can get a statement from the car accident victim that can be used against them and obtain other information that will do nothing but hurt the case.
  1. Asking for a release of all your medical records
An insurance company adjusting a car wreck claim as a reasonable right to ask for relevant medical records that pertain to the injury sustained in the accident. However, in practice what the insurance company will do for those representing themselves is to ask for an unlimited release of medical records through an authorization for release of medical. The releases usually are not limited in time and usually do not include only those medical records related to the wreck, but rather all of your medical records to the date of your birth may be obtained by the insurance company. Surely, records more than 10 years prior to the accident are not relevant for anything.
  1. Dispute and discount medical expenses.
One trick that adjusters frequently use is to “disregard” or “disallow” some of your medical expenses incurred by following your doctor’s orders for injuries sustained in the accident. They use many different justifications from the amount was too much, to the treatment was disallowed. In every instance though you can be sure that the adjuster will find issues with your medical treatment. It may be that the treatment was “excessive” or maybe that there were “gaps” in treatment or the treatment was not warranted or unrelated to the injury caused by the accident (according to the insurance company).  This is a common trick used both in settlement negotiations and for litigation defense.
  1. Settlement offers based upon copayments.
Car accident victims who do not understand the laws of the state of Texas often are made offers based upon the out-of-pocket expenses or co-pays that they paid to the medical providers. In other words, if your health insurance company paid $4500 and your out-of-pocket expenses were $500 the offer would be based upon your out-of-pocket $500 in expenses and not the whole medical bill that was paid. This leaves unsuspecting people in a trap when their health insurance company asks later for reimbursement of amounts collected from third parties after an accident. It is also contrary to the law in the state of Texas where car accident victims are entitled to collect the whole amounts “paid or incurred” for medical expenses related to the accident. Your medical claims are not limited to co-pays but also include amounts paid by your health insurance company or all related medical expenses outstanding and unpaid that are reasonably related to the injury sustained in an accident.
  1. Lowball offers.
Usually the time when the car accident victim first understands that they really need an attorney is when the subject of money comes up. Until then, they had been told that the insurance company was accepting responsibility for the accident and they mistakenly believe that that would lead to a reasonable offer. When insurance company says they “accept responsibility” that usually only implies you will receive an offer and has nothing to do with the fairness of the offer and as a rule, for those not represented by experienced counsel, the offer is almost universally a joke. One reason for this tactic is that up until the time the people understand they need a lawyer; the insurance company is driving the process. In the meantime, they have obtained all of your medical records, even those they would not otherwise obtain and have taken a statement that they can use against you in court. Further, the cases been substantially delayed and that has consequences as well.
  1. They spy on you.
In cases where there is substantial insurance coverage such as a commercial vehicle or a company vehicle, many companies hire “investigators” to monitor the accident victim and obtain video film of them after the accident. Typical cases would include investigators sitting in parked cars down the road from your home with the hope of filming you doing something physical like playing with your children, dumping the garbage or mowing your yard. It is very important that accident victims are forthcoming with the extent of their injuries and not exaggerate them. Usually the investigators are brought out when the company believes that the victim may be exaggerating.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

6 Amazing Credit Card Hacks Of All-Time

Whether you’re looking for free travel, low rates or awesome benefits, there’s a credit card hack for you. However, with so many credit cards tips and tricks to choose from, we wanted to zero in on the 6 with the biggest impact.
With increasing competition, credit card companies are constantly improving their credit card offers to attract new customers. Don’t hesitate to exploit their offerings to your advantage. Go with the card that gives you the most.
With that said, here are our 6 all-time favorite credit card hacks:

1. Fly-Free Sign-Up Bonus Churning

Credit card companies offer more value to lure you in the door, than at any other time. Take advantage. Why spend $40,000 on your credit card to earn 40,000 points, when you can earn 40,000 points simply for applying for a new one?
In fact, we recommend churning as many credit cards as you can, to earn the most amount of points in the shortest period of time. Churning is simply the practice of opening a new credit card, qualifying for the welcome bonus, using the points, canceling the card and doing the same process over and over again.

2. 0% Balance Surfing

Paying interest on your credit cards is a choice. With a little effort, you can easily find a promotional 0% interest rate for 12 months or more!
If you currently have high-interest credit card debt, find a balance transfer credit card with a 0% rate. Then transfer your high-interest credit card debt to your low-interest balance transfer card. Before the expiry of your 0% promotional rate, find another credit card offer with a 0% rate and do the same thing all over again. Surfing from one low rate to another is a time-tested hack.

3. Annual Companion Airfare Vouchers

Imagine if you could use your welcome bonus points to fly free, and then use a companion voucher to fly your spouse on the exact same itinerary as you, for $120!
Some cards offer an annual flight companion voucher, just for keeping your card open. Every year you keep your card, you get a voucher, mo minimum spend required. You can then use the voucher, usually for around $120, to fly your companion round-trip to anywhere in North America, saving you hundreds of dollars in airfare.

4. Free Baggage

Ten years ago, we never thought about our bags. Now airlines are charging us every which way but Sunday in an endless stream of add-on pricing. Bags are no exception, costing us as much as $35 each way to check-in our bags. If you have a family of four, you could easily spend $280 ($140 each way) on baggage fees alone each trip!
Many credit cards now offer free first checked bags. However, some even offer free checked bags for the primary cardholder and up to 8 traveling companions. Just make sure that when you see a credit card offer free checked bags, you understand whether it’s on any of the airline’s flights, or only on those you redeemed miles for.

5. Cheap Foreign Exchange

Foreign exchange can be really expensive when traveling out of the country. Exchanging your money at an airport, hotel or touristy currency exchange booth is out of the question – it can easily cost you upwards of 10%.
Credit cards can actually offer some of the most competitive exchange rates available. If you get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, you’ll typically pay less than 1% to exchange your money – a lot better than what you’ll get from your bank if you exchanged your money in the branch.

6. Never Be Late Again

Late payments not only ruin your credit score, they can cost you $30 or more each and every time. Even though most of us have the money to pay our credit cards on time, many of us are late simply because we’re forgetful. Here’s a tip to guarantee on-time payments.
Simply pre-authorize payments to your credit card from your bank. You can choose to automatically pay your minimum payment due, or the entire balance. Obviously, we would recommend you choose to pay your entire balance, to avoid accumulating any debt whatsoever.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Getting A Car Loan With Bad Credit- Learn How

Due to poor credit ratings, a lot of people have their car loan applications turned down. This can often be attributed to their poor preparation for the application process or the poor timing of their application. Presently, owing to the economic recession, people with low FICO scores can often obtain credit services from money lenders.
Financial institutions sell loan products with the aim of making interest. It has, however, become necessary for these institutions to switch to less demanding requirements for granting loans, because only a fraction of clients seeking loans today can fulfill the previous, more stringent demands. Read on to find helpful tips about how to access an auto loan even with a bad credit rating.

Qualifying for an Auto Loan with Poor Credit

bad credit car loan will allow you to get the vehicle you really want – new or used – without having to pay too much over time. Possible reasons that your bad credit auto loan application may be rejected include:
  • Inadequate or incorrect data
  • Incorrect submission of forms
  • Not filing credit reports, bank statements and employment info
However, minimum earnings of $2,000 every month are necessary for any car finance loan. Carefully select a car insurance option that befits you, since insurance is added to the car purchase charges. It is advisable to do research to ensure you prepare and submit your loan application correctly.
Knowing your credit score makes it easier to understand what you’ll need to get a car loan with bad credit. It is just like getting a normal loan, but you will be required to pay a higher interest rate and make a higher down payment. Interest rates for bad credit car loans range from 5% to 26% and normally vary based on your credit score. The loan is paid back after 2 to 5 years.
Based on the severity of your bad credit, your required down payment can vary from 20%-50%.  Normally, the down payment affords borrowers the chance to negotiate better interest rates. It is important that a borrower is informed enough to avoid paying extra for bad credit loans. Be certain that you can afford the cost of the car plus the dealer’s profit, as this is what you will be paying for.
Be wary of lenders that make false assertions. Certain lenders can’t afford to take the risk of lending to those with bad credit. Carefully search for and compare all the available bank credit loan options before opting in.  Pay attention to the terms and interest rate proposed by lenders. The fact that you’ve qualified for a bank credit loan doesn’t readily mean you should accept it. If you feel you can’t repay the loan, then don’t borrow until you are sure you can pay it back.

Unique Auto Finance Services for Individuals With a Poor Credit History

Having a bad credit history doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person; it may only be the evidence of hard times. Loan lenders now understand this, and this has led to the introduction of bad credit car loans. Now a bad credit history shouldn’t prevent you from acquiring that dream car.
To obtain a loan from conventional loan providers like banks, credit lending institutions, and some car manufacturers, you will require awesome credit ratings and a high FICO score. Since a lot of people cannot meet these conditions, they cannot access these loans.
Now, experienced lenders have taken advantage of this opportunity and are now providing loans for the vast majority of individuals with poor credit rating. Companies can make substantial interest from these loans. These days, a lot of financial institutions have embarked on the business of giving loans to individuals with poor credit ratings.
The internet is replete with information on institutes that provide bad credit auto financing. Their interest rates, turnaround times, loan options, and loan tenures are usually included on these sites. Numerous sites also have online loan calculators for the easy computing of loan tenures and other information; you can use these to find a repayment plan that works for you.
To make a good car loan deal with a loan provider, you need sound negotiation skills. Use an expert negotiator if you are in doubt of your negotiation skills. Besides getting you cheaper deals, these experts will work to make sure that your auto loan application is duly prepared and organized.

Finding a dealer

You need not worry even if you have experienced severe financial issues in the past. With “no credit check” car loans and adequate planning, you can overcome these issues and get back on your feet. To find out which car dealers may be willing to finance people with iffy credit, pay attention to radio commercials or billboards from dealerships that say things such as “Your job is your credit!” or “Bad credit? No Problem!” These are good places to start.
There are numerous “no credit check” car loan dealers and manufacturers with different modes of operation. Research and review various companies, then choose the best deal after careful analysis. Some may demand higher interest rates; others require a larger sum as down payment. You should opt for a company that allows a fair amount of down payment as well as low interest rates.
Even with a bad credit history, “no credit check” car loans deliver an interesting alternative that can finally put you behind the wheel. With a good plan, you will certainly find a bad credit car loan to finance that dream car.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

6 Easy Tips to Pay off your Credit Card Loan Quickly and Easily

It is not easy to pay off debts. It is possible that the debt is too big and you are out of options but the important thing is that you do not need to lose hope because if you keep looking. There are always options which will help in relieving the burden of the debt. You have to look for better options if you feel that the debt is going out of control. While looking for options the main thing that should be on your mind is how to reduce the burden and make the paybacks manageable.
Here are some tips that will help in paying off the credit card debt quickly and easily.

1. Know where you Stand

The first and foremost thing you need to understand is your financial position. If you have more than one credit card with balance then you need to know the name of each card and their interest rates. It will help in knowing how much you can set aside for repaying the debt. It is better to make a list of income and expenses. If the expenses are exceeding income then you need to improve the flow of cash.

2. Negotiating the Interest Rate

You will find it easier to get rid of the debt if you are able to negotiate for a lower interest rate. If the interest rate is high then you will find it difficult to keep up with the monthly burden of the debt. Having lower interest rate can offer huge relief. Lower interest rates mean that the monthly payments will be small so you can easily pay them without putting too much stress on the budget. If you want to get relief by lowering the interest rates then you need to have a good credit score.

3. Considering the Option of Personal Loan

If the debt is too large then paying it off with a personal loan is an excellent option. The personal loans have a lower interest rate as compared to the credit cards. With low-interest rates, you are able to save more cash and use it to pay the principal balance. It will not just allow you to pay your debt faster but will also help in saving money in the process. You can negotiate with the personal loan lenders about the interest rate and the size of installments.

4. Two effective Strategies in Paying off the Debt Faster

Debt snowball and debt avalanche are two strategies that are hugely helpful in paying off your debts.
The debt avalanche strategy focuses all the effort on the credit cards which have the highest interest rates. In this strategy, you should pay the minimum on all the credit card balances. The extra funds that are left after making your payments should be dedicated to the one which has the highest interest rate. Once you have manages to pay off the debt of the card which has the highest interest rate, move on to the next one with high rates. It is an excellent method for paying off debt while saving some money.
The debt snowball strategy is opposite and the focus is on the cards with the lowest balance. In this strategy, you pay off the smallest debts first and work upwards from there. When you manage to pay the small debts, it will lift your spirits and keep you motivated as you will know that paying off debt is not impossible.

5. Look for a balance transfer:

If you are unable to negotiate for the lower interest you can consider transferring the balance. Transferring the balance means that you can take debts of high-interest cards and move them to a different card which has a lower interest rate. It will also give you the benefit of making just one payment in a month. You can get a reduction in the monthly payment if you have a good credit card score. Reading the contract carefully is also important because there are some credit cards which have high transfer fees.
All of these methods are a good option for getting rid of the credit card debt quickly. To make sure that you have chosen the perfect strategy, you need to consider your financial situation thoroughly. You do not always have to settle for just one strategy. You can also use a combination of two methods to make things easier.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

9 Credit Card Tricks to Help You Get Through Any Holidays

Whether preparing for Turkeys, Santa or a New Year’s Parade, the most expensive time of year is upon us. From gifts to travel, budgets will be stressed, stretched and busted. Here are 10 credit card hacks on how credit cards can really help you spend smarter, save more and travel cheaper during the next few months.

1. Price Protection

Ever feel like you got the short end of the stick because an item went on sale days after you paid full price? Never worry again. Your credit card can protect you! Some cards offer free price protection, where if you make a purchase with your card and find the same product advertised at a lower price within 60 days after purchase, the difference will be refunded, up to $500, subject to a calendar year maximum of $1,000 per account.

2. Purchase Assurance

Nothing’s worse than buying those new sunglasses, only to have them sink to the ocean floor days after you bought them. Purchase assurance covers most items purchased with your credit card for the first 90 days from the date of purchase, and it comes as a free benefit with many credit cards. It can be a great way to protect your investment from theft, damage and in some cases even loss!

3. Extended Warranty

Never, ever fall for a pushy salesman upselling you an extended manufacturers warranty again. Aside from the fact that they tend to be dramatically overpriced, your credit card likely already does it for you, automatically and completely free. Most credit cards offer an extended warranty that doubles the written warranties for up to one additional year on most new purchases made with your credit card.

4. Satisfaction Guarantee

Ever buy a product, use it, and then have buyer’s remorse. Sometimes, it’s too late. However, with some credit cards, if you become dissatisfied with a product you purchase using an eligible MasterCard within 60 days of purchase, and the store won’t accept a return, you could be eligible for a FULL refund for the cost of the product up to $250 ‒ that’s awesome.

5. Zero Liability

If you’re about to make a purchase where you don’t see the product, it has a wait time or relies on delivery, such as an online order, furniture or travel, use a credit card. If you pay cash or use a gift card, you run the risk that if the product never arrives, or your tour company goes under, you’re out of luck. However, if you use your credit card, your bank is on the hook for a dispute and fraudulent charges like undelivered goods, delivery of incorrect merchandise, etc…

6. Introductory Rates

If you need to carry a credit card balance for the next few months, plan in advance. Instead of paying 20% plus interest rates, get yourself a credit card with a 0% balance transfer or 0% introductory rate on new purchases. This will allow you to avoid interest charges, often times for up to a year or more, while you pay down your balance.

7. Retail Credit Card Promos

Retailers like the Gap, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s love when you sign-up for their store credit card, often offering an additional discount on your purchase. These discounts of 15% or more can really add up. Just make sure to use the opportunity for savings not credit, and pay back the balance immediately ‒ retail cards charge interest rates north of 28%!

8. Welcome Bonuses

Instead of paying for a flight for your holiday travels, why not just apply for a new credit card? There are many opportunities from American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, or United to get great credit card welcome bonuses. If you want to get two tickets for the same airline (for you and a special someone), match one of the U.S. airline credit cards above with another credit card that allows you to transfer miles to that airline.
For example, some of the best Aeroplan credit card offers give you enough points for a free return flight to anywhere in continental North America, and allow you to book on United. Apply for a United and an Aeroplan credit card, and you can get two free round-trip tickets on the same flight!

9. Companion Vouchers

Some credit cards, such as the Alaska Airlines Visa card, offer an annual companion voucher, each and every year. For a mere $121, you can buy a voucher for a travelling companion to any destination in North America Alaska Airlines flies, including Hawaii!

10. Cash Back

The average person spent over $800 on gifts during the holiday season alone last year! If you’re going to spend the money, you might as well get rewarded for it. Cash and debit cards get you little if any rewards at all. A cash back credit card can get you 1% to 5% in cash back depending on where you shop. You’ll likely spend more on big ticket items during the holidays than at any other time of year. Get rewarded for it.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

5 Must Know Tips for Finding the Right Mortgage Company

The joy that comes with owning a house is overwhelming, but from the financial aspect, purchasing a home is not an ordinary decision; it is the first foundation for a variety of decisions over the course of a lifetime.
Just like any major financial decision, before agreeing to settle on any mortgage, your goals and aspirations should be your deciding factors and choices. However, choosing the right mortgage company requires some vital steps to avoid pitfalls.
Following are the tips for choosing the right mortgage company.

1. Mortgage Company Reputation and Review

The reputation of a company is vital and directly proportional to it growth, therefore, when searching for companies and consultants alike, you should also consider checking on their reputations and what people has to say about them.
Most importantly, not only should you look at their current, past reviews and remarks; you will also need to go on a personal investigation or hire someone. When you get an opportunity to speak with an employee of the Mortgage company or consultants, ask questions about remarks and comments you read online, this could clear you of some uncertainty.

2. Consider The Type of Lender

All companies irrespective of services usually come in different sizes of big, medium or small. If you want to deal with someone who is more personal and down to earth, opt in for a smaller mortgage company but they may not be able to get you good interest rates, unlike the medium and larger company or consultants who often have different and flexible rates. Also, ensure you do a thorough research and comparison.

3. Ask Close Acquaintances

You could look around and ask your close ones who already own a home. Ask them how they had a smooth process, ensure you ask every single question about the mortgage company in question.
Here are some questions that could be helpful.
  • How were you treated?
  • What was the application processes?
  • Is there interest rate flexible?
  • How did you hear about them?
  • Rate the company’s services on a scale of 1 to 5?
  • Do you think I should go on with them?

4. Hire a Broker

Not everyone has the strength to do all of the research themselves. One important decision will be whether to do it yourself or to use the services of a broker who can save you time when you are looking for a mortgage company.
However, you need to know that brokers earn commission by arranging deals between the borrower and loan agent. Some have been known to pair a client with the mortgage offering the broker mouth-watering profit, instead of the lowest cost to the client.
Do your homework on any broker you are considering before hiring one.

5. Check Out their Website

A company with a website dedicated for the purpose of mortgaging will go a long way in telling you how serious and committed they are. These websites should be filled with information on mortgages, like basic FAQ’s, types of mortgage and lots of information that can be a deciding factor for you.
More importantly, such a website will provide access to customer services contact details.

6. Real Estate Agents Can Assist

Ask your real estate agent for good mortgage consultants, even though some agents have affiliated mortgage lending businesses, most will do more and refer the best mortgage company and consultant around town.
Some real estate agent will also tell you companies that take real care of their clients. Using a real estate agent could get you a discount at closing or a free upgrade. Do not ever underestimate their ability on this.
To own a home, do not rush it, follow due diligence and embark on a rigorous decision-making strategy, so as to get it right. Partnering with a good mortgage company can really make all the difference.
source :

Friday, 3 March 2017

20 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing After 30

1. Stop buying cheap makeup. Instead, spend half your paycheck on expensive beauty products made from the blood of twentysomethings…
2. …and then invest the other half of your paycheck in a pair of fashionable, yet uncomfortable, shoes that will cause irreparable damage to your spine – gotta hit that insurance deductible by the end of the year! 
3. Stop working. Obviously, you should be printing your own counterfeit money at home by now because it’s the fastest way to close the wage gap.
4. If you’re single, don’t stop dating. In fact, you should quit your job and open your own bar called, “Literally Just Me, A Single Woman Over 30.”
5. If you’re in a relationship, don’t scare your significant other off by being ~too real~ about what you want. Instead, get a very fake, wax mannequin made of yourself and swap it out when your partner isn’t looking.
6. And if you’re married, don’t let things get BORING in the bedroom. Spice it up! Give your spouse a sensual massage using Tabasco sauce. They’ll love it.
Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed
7. If you’re a mother, don’t forget to make an Etsy-inspired suggestion box for other parents to place their “you’re parenting wrong” comments in – later, you can set it on fire and roast marshmallows over it with your kids.
8. ENOUGH with the ~fun~ blue eye shadow! At your age you should stick to more neutral colors like: “Focused On My Retirement” and “Why Do I Have Heartburn?”
9. Don’t experiment with hair color either. Instead, try shaving a message into your head that tells people to mind their own business.
10. Never let anyone see your wrinkles. Wear a creepy clown mask instead and chase after anyone who asks to see your ~real~ face.
11. The same goes for grey hairs… just add a hat.
12. Stop buying “fast-fashion.” Your taste in fashion shouldn’t change after 30. Literally only wear the exact outfit you’re wearing right now for the rest of your life.
13. Ditch those fun, printed tees that show off your personality. Instead, toss on a giant cardboard sign that says, “Inoffensive, just for you.” for an easy, everyday look.
14. Give up wearing shorts. Women’s legs shouldn’t see the light of day after 30. Solution: wrap them up in light-proof plastic sheeting every time before going out.
Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed
15. Mini-skirts: Please see above.
16. Thinking about buying a crop top? Nope. Women over 30 should look like Norman Bates’ mother at all times – so put down the chopped off shirt and pick up a chopped up wig instead.
17. Fishnets are completely off limits once you hit the big 3-0, too. It’s time to up your game to something a little more grown-up, like lobster traps.
18. Get rid of last season’s oversized sunglasses. If you want to protect your eyes from harmful rays, just cover them with your hands – those NEVER go out of style.
19. Mary Janes and other ~cutesy~ heels just aren’t okay after a certain age. Try something more mature like flats. Actually, literally just cut the soles of your feet off so they are as flat as a board.
20. Stop drinking so much! It’s not attractive to be drunk. Try politely sipping wine then spitting it out into pretty little flower shapes all over the walls instead. Way cuter.
Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed
21. Stop eating junk food. You should only be eating ACTUAL junk – no time to start dumpster diving like the present!
22. Never wear leggings. You are not allowed to be comfortable in your thirties.
23. Mismatching undergarments are simply embarrassing. Avoid this fashion faux-pas by replacing all your bras and underwear with one very long sheet of latex.
24. Speaking of underwear, stop wearing Victoria’s Secret Pink. Instead, opt for Victoria’s Secret I’m-Too-Old-To-Give-A-Fuck-So-I’ll-Wear-Pink-If-I-Want-To.
25. Never get caught in a restaurant by yourself. An unescorted woman over 30 raises too many red flags. Instead, bring several blow-up dolls with you and learn ventriloquism.
26. Don’t try to use Snapchat or any other forms of social media, that’s just embarrassing. Stick to what you know best: parchment paper, quill pens, cave paintings…you get the idea.
27. And finally, just stop being a thirtysomething altogether. Build a time machine out of a DeLorean and go back to when you were a twentysomething.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

5 Tips For Staying Healthy in College

College can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be a very stressful one. If you don’t take the time to maintain your health, you may find yourself running out of steam before the semester is through. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to help keep you in tip-top shape so that you can perform at your best and get the most out of your education.

1. Make the Right Food Choices

Everyone has heard of the “freshman 15,” alluding to the weight gain most incoming freshmen experience during their first year in school. Much of this is attributed to being in full control of your food choices for the first time. Most student diets are full of pizza, burgers, and beer. These types of food can leave you feeling sluggish as they are not healthy food choices.
By making your diet a priority, you can make sure you are consuming all of the nutrients you need to support optimal health. It can also help you fight off weight gain while maintaining your energy. Don’t skip breakfast, even if all you can squeeze in is a banana, ensure you are getting your daily doses of fruits and vegetables, lean meats or proteins, and top it off with healthy fats. That way, you can be sure you are eating well-rounded food choices which are crucial to maintaining your health.

2. Avoid All-Nighters

Sleep is also critical to health. Staying up late every night cramming for tests, or partying with other college students won’t give you the ability to fight off disease, or even to focus properly. Try to arrange your schedule to allow for a full eight hours of sleep every night. If you absolutely must miss some sleep, see if you can fit a nap into your schedule the next day to make up for some of the difference.

3. Get Your Shots

No, not the alcoholic kind – the kind that can save your life one day. It is easy to take a minute to get a flu shot and is highly recommended for those living in dorms. The close quarters make it easier for disease to spread. Getting your flu shot can make you immune to some of the strains that are expected to be particularly powerful that year. That means that even if your roommate catches it, you should be able to skip it.

4. Hydrate for Health

Just as making the right food choices is challenging for some students, remembering to stay hydrated can be even harder. Make sure that most of what you are drinking is plain water, or consider decaffeinated tea if you prefer some flavor (as long as you skip the sugar). Avoid having too many sodas and excessive alcohol consumption.

5. Stay Active

Some people, when they go away to school, don’t keep active. Many spend their nights partying, drinking, playing video games etc. There are very few who take the time to go out and get some exercise. Staying active and doing a few exercises per week can really help to keep healthy. Even if it’s joining a school sports team or a club team, try to do something active at least once a week.

6. Kick Back and Relax

Every now and then, you need to stop and put your feet up. Relaxation can be critical to your overall health – both mental and physical. It helps you fight stress and gives you a way to break from the educational routine.
Now, you don’t have to just sit there and do nothing. Choose activities that help you feel at ease. For someone people, spending time with friends can be rejuvenating, while others may prefer curling up with a good book. The most important part is to take the time to recharge, no matter what that means. Your body will thank you for it.

Monday, 27 February 2017

6 Reasons to Include Instagram in Your Marketing Strategy

Instagram is a visual content sharing platform that was founded in 2010. Over the past six years, it has accumulated over half a billion active users. Since Instagram has a such a large follower base, it’s a great branding tool.
Here are some of the biggest reasons countless brands are using Instagram as part of their digital marketing strategy.

1. Reach a Growing Market

Instagram has steadily gained new users every year since it was founded. There are over 60 million users in the United States alone, which is about 20% of the U.S. population. You can use Instagram to reach all of these users.
If you are still skeptical, you may want to read this post from Social Media Week. It is full of detailed case studies on Instagram marketing. Here are some results from companies that used Instagram to position their brands:
  • Bloom and Wild ran a series of Instagram ads, which helped boost their bouquet orders by 62%.
  • Mercedes Benz ran some Instagram ads, which increased website visits by 54%.
  • Philadelphia (the cheese company, not the city) used images of their products to raise sales by 41%.
If Instagram can help some of the world’s largest brands increase sales by 40% or more, then it can do wonders for your business as well.

2. Better Position Products With a Visual Theme

Virtually any product can benefit from Instagram marketing. However, Instagram is particularly effective for promoting products with a strong visual theme. Brands in the following industries may notice a significant benefit from Instagram:
  • Photography services
  • Jewelry manufacturers
  • Local restaurants
  • Auto dealers
  • Collectible guns
In many industries, customers rely on strong visual cues to make purchases. Since Instagram is such a popular site for sharing visual content, it is an ideal platform for these brands to expand their reach.

3. Growing Popularity for B2B Marketing

Most brands view Instagram as a platform for marketing to consumers. However, it’s also a great platform for B2B marketing. According to a recent infographic from Buzzoid, 90% of Interbrand 100 companies have a presence on Instagram. Almost all of these brands use the platform at least once a week. Scroll to the bottom of this post for an infographic on Why Your Business Needs to Be Active on Instagram.
Of course, most of these brands use Instagram to broaden their own base. However, it can actually be a great tool for other businesses to reach them as well.
There are a number of ways to use Instagram for B2B marketing. Beverley Reinemann recently posted a detailed overview about B2B marketing on Instagram, which encapsulated a strategy that Microsoft used.
“Instead of (or, you know, as well as) giving other people in your industry a behind-the-scenes look at your company, how about using your Instagram updates to inspire your followers? Microsoft did this with their #DoMore campaign when they hired a photographer to travel the world and take photos of entrepreneurs using Microsoft products… Highlighting other businesses and entrepreneurs also makes you look good; it gives the impression that you’re creating a movement around your brand as opposed to being in a constant ‘selling’ mindset.”

4. You Can Use it for Free

Many brands have invested in paid advertising on Instagram. It can definitely pay off, as the case studies from Mercedes and Bloom and Wild show. However, many brands have found that capitalizing off of free, organic traffic can be just as beneficial.
If you invest in using Instagram regularly, you can build a stronger brand presence and earn plenty of new leads without spending a dime.

5. Paid Ads are Cheap

When most people advertise online, they usually start with Facebook or Google. While these platforms are great for reaching targeted leads, they are also very expensive.
If you want to launch an online marketing campaign with a more limited budget, you should take a look at Instagram instead. You can purchase traffic for slightly less than you could with other digital marketing platforms.