Expressing Your Personality Though Home Improvement

Home improvement through renovating and redecorating is one of the core preoccupations for most of the people and, currently, the Maryland home improvement market as well as Washington DC magazine offer a variety of materials and solutions.

House decorating is a perfect way to express your personal style and individuality. Although it can be a discouraging experience for some of us, it finally proves to be an experience requiring enthusiasm, time and money. A house should not be exclusively a functional area; it can be at the same time, an enjoyable, relaxing and battery-charging spot, reflecting aspects of our personality and sending messages to the entire world.
Abound
Nowadays, Maryland home improvement market thrives with goods for home and garden use, as well as with countless pieces of advice and information on decorating premises. This information might be accessed by reading books and the mass media, for instance Washington DC magazine, by watching TV programs or, last but not the least, by waving on the net, searching on specialized websites like welcomehomewashington.com. Still, despite so many informational sources, finding the proper decorating style or themes can be a difficult task.

Decorating activities are usually indispensable when moving into a new house, but they can be done whenever we feel like or we no longer like the old style. When decorating or redecorating a room, the leading question should be: what is the function of this area? One room should not be associated with one single function, one particular activity; it should also signal a certain emotional state. For instance, the main function of a dining room is, obviously, to provide enough space for people to gather around the table and eat. True indeed, but the secondary functionality of the same room would be to make the family members or the guests feel comfy and relaxed, generating pleasant conversations. Likewise, the function of a bedroom is to offer a place to rest, but at the same time, it could be a sanctuary of serenity, where people can relax, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Usually, the secondary function of a room may vary depending on its initial functionality.

When you made up your mind about the each room’s functionality, get to the next level: deciding for modeling or remodeling style, furniture and accessories. Visiting Maryland home improvement dedicated shops would be a start point and a very good method of discovering your preferences and personally testing different models. In order to fruitfully combine your personal style with the function of the room look through the decorating section of publications and magazines. One reliable and constant source of inspiration in terms of lifestyle and decorating fashion would be Washington DC magazine.

Normally, any person has an idea about the kind of interior design or furniture style she or he would like to have. But it rarely happens to know exactly, from the very beginning, how your home should look like. Sometimes, there might be two or more options to oscillate in between. At this point Washington DC magazine might be a real help providing pictures, interviews with architects and designers or celebrities and their houses. The moment you gather several design ideas, but you don’t have a clue on how to combine them in order to create a pleasant outlook and also a functional setting, it’s high time you get in touch with a Maryland home improvement designer. The designer will shape up your thoughts, creating a setting and an atmosphere as personal as you can describe them.

It’s very tempting to get along with the up-to-the-minute Maryland home improvement trends in terms of accessories and decorations or to apply all the tips and recommendations found in Washington DC magazine, but this predisposition will lead to frequent and expensive redecorating sessions. On Maryland home improvement market there are long-lasting home improvement trends, as well as short-lived home improvement trends, dying as quickly as a candle in the wind.

Video Games Becoming Addictive To Children

Parents, teachers, and adults are beginning to wonder with all the research being done on video games if children are not becoming obsessive even addictive to video games. Most of the research that has been complete have focused on video games that have more of a violent theme due to the behavior now appearing in children.

Researchers do feel that there is a connection between violent video games and violent behavior in children. It is felt that when these violent video games are played repeatedly then the children will have aggressive thoughts and become less helpful to others and less sociable as well. In video games where the goal is to kill as many characters as you possible can, then the objective turns into the violent the kills are the more points that they will collect. While a child is playing such a game ninety-nine percent of the time their heart rate will increase dramatically due to the affect the game is having on them.

A study was done by three teenagers and was put on observation at an International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland, Ohio that showed how video games affected children who played them. The study showed that people, not only children, or all ages had a rise in blood pressure and heart rate after they played a super violent video game. However, when the same person played a nonviolent video game did not have the the same effect as the violent video game.

Children all over the world play these violent video games every day and some play for more than three or four hours a day. There will always be a debate as to whether violent video games can actually make an individual have behavior that is of an aggressive and violent nature, but the fact is that these video games are addictive to children. It is true that playing video games can help children develop their visual skills while learning about computers, which may help them in school. In fact, studies are now showing that video games can be helpful for children.

The fact is that video games are proving to help children that labeled ADD or ADHD learn how to focus their attention. Video games are often innocent bystanders to the problems in society. Video games have the potential to inspire children to learn if it is presented in the right manner to children. Video games have already proven to have the capability of improving the coordination and visual skills of children that play them.

Children tend to choose video games that have the combination of being challenging, entertaining, and complicated. Many of these video games can take up to one hundred hours of play to complete and most children will have their concentration focused on the video game the entire time. Children that are labeled with ADD and ADHD by teachers are those children that can not sit still in school, but this might just be because they find the school work boring, because the majority of these children can spend hours trying to make it to the next level of a video game.

These same children, who professionals feel can not pay attention, can play a video game for ten straight hours if given the opportunity simply because the game focuses their attention in a way school is unable to try, which is interactive. These children are not simply sitting and watching, but are participating in what is going on and solving problems.

How Personal Finance Works

The concept of personal finance came a long way and it began when money were exchanged for goods. People got jobs in order to make a living and they were compensated in cash. Nowadays, due to the several financial alternatives that we have at our disposal in order to achieve our financial goals, it is vital to become an expert in making the right choices.

Personal Finance management begins most of the times with handling pocket money when we are children and afterwards we gain the ability of planning and spending our finances. Personal Finance includes several different aspects such as investments for future requirements, retirement plans and others. No matter how much money you have, the important issue is how you spend them. A detailed budget will always help you keep a track of your money and not spend more than is necessary. Furthermore, it will help you calculate how much money you can save and what amount you can invest.

Personal Finance is of real help as long as you have a realistic plan when it comes to handling your money. A good management of your finances includes investing, insurance, managing risk, understanding debt and credit and knowing the value of money. Debt can be bad for your finances especially if you borrow more than you can afford to return. Unfortunately, this happens quite often because many persons don’t calculate how much they can pay on a monthly basis for their loan, taking into consideration and the other expenses.

Personal Finance management should also include expenses for housing, transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, healthcare and entertainment. If you see that you are accumulating more and more debts and you are not able to pay your debts on a regular basis, it is probably a good idea to budget your money. However, if you feel like you aren’t able to do that, a last option would be to hire a financial planner who can help you get out of this mess.

Money Tips represent another useful idea that could help you manage your finances better and become satisfied with your style of life. Some persons need such tips more than others ad it has been proven than women often have a hard time when it comes to establishing their budget. Many women spend more than they actually earn and they become trapped in debts, but fortunately this can change.

Money Tips are important and they can help us overcome a difficult financial situation. It is believed that money represents power, love or control and that our beliefs about money and relationships influence the way we manage our finances. Money Tips can be very helpful for people who are in a difficult financial situation and here is a list of the most important tips: don’t rely on others for your financial security, set goals and stick to them, don’t use money when you feel bad, spend less than you earn, build an emergency fund and learn from your money mistakes.

Money Tips will help you understand that your financial security and comfort depends on your attitudes regarding money and your willingness to take action in order to change your financial situation. Do not wait for miracles if you want things to start changing and no matter how hard it is, stick to the goals you set at the very beginning.

Hotels Muscatine Iowa Is The Ultimate Choice While Traveling

Everyone wants to have a hotel that is well equipped with all the features needed for luxury repose. Travelling is done to give a rest to our stressed nerves and also for viewing the nice world around us. In such a situation staying in the right place creates a lot of impression in our mind. No one likes to stay in a shabby hotel and murder their vacation. As we all are in a nice mood we want to get pampered and have the finest dishes in our dining table every moment. Hotels Muscatine Iowa is one such name in this regard who has all that is needed for a perfect vacation out of the boring and monotonous life of ours.
A perfect hotel is the one which has every bunch of special offers and travel deals to suite your needs. There a lot of things that comes with a hotel. It’s not just its services, but what it offers in its location is also very much vital while considering a hotel for the vacation. For this reason, it is best to look for tourist spots near the hotel. Hotels Davenport IA offers you a chance to have a look at some of the most renowned tourist spots like Isle of Capri Casino, John Deere Museum, Jumar’s Casino, North Park Mall, Rhythm City Casino and Walcott Coliseum surrounding it. As a tourist you would love to have a look at all these.
Not just this there are a lot more to do with Iowa city hotels. They are not simply regarded as the ultimate destination without any reason. People flock over there to taste the real class and hospitality. Even if you are on a business trip you need not have to worry over here as they got the most affordable internet rate in the hotel. You can stay connected with your business all the time. Keep your health fit with the exercise room available for the guests. They are loaded with top-class fitness equipment for keeping your muscles in shape. Thinking about what would you get in breakfast? Well, it’s a pleasant surprise for you as they offer you with complete set of free breakfast as you order it. Overall, the interior of the hotel is simply breathtaking and makes you stay over there more than your planned schedule.
Hotels Muscatine Iowa looks into every aspect of fine hotel business and so for the guest they have an international standard indoor heated pool. Just get inside it to shed away all your stresses and get a fresh feel to your soul. Parking has never been a problem here with the facility of outdoor parking. If your have a lovely pet, he is welcome to in the hotel. There are proper facilities to look after the well-being of your beloved pet in the hotel.
You can just be sure of one thing while staying over there that you will carry with you lifetime memory of pleasant stay. A person who has once visited there comes for more. That is the charm of the place. If anybody wants to stay over there he/she can easily book their room online. There are various packages and rates for every pocket size. Choose your one and stay over the hotel once for having a dream vacation.

Ectopic Pregnancy – Defination, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which a fertilized egg settles and grows in any location other than the inner lining of the uterus . About 1% of pregnancies are in an ectopic location with implantation not occurring inside of the womb, and of these 98% occur in the Fallopian tubes. In a typical ectopic pregnancy, the embryo does not reach the uterus, but instead adheres to the lining of the Fallopian tube. The implanted embryo burrows actively into the tubal lining. Most commonly this invades vessels and will cause bleeding. This bleeding expels the implantation out of the tubal end as a tubal abortion. Some women thinking they are having a miscarriage are actually having a tubal abortion. There is no inflammation of the tube in ectopic pregnancy. The pain is caused by prostaglandins released at the implantation site, and by free blood in the peritoneal cavity, which is locally irritant. Sometimes the bleeding might be heavy enough to threaten the health or life of the woman. Usually this degree of bleeding is due to delay in diagnosis, but sometimes, especially if the implantation is in the proximal tube it may invade into Sampson artery , causing heavy bleeding earlier than usual. An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The developing embryo can’t survive, and the growing placental tissue may destroy important maternal structures. Without treatment, life-threatening blood loss is possible. About one in every 40 to 100 pregnancies is ectopic. Thanks to earlier diagnosis and treatment, the chance for future healthy pregnancies is better than ever before.

Ectopic means “out of place.” An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy where the fetus is not growing in the usual location (the uterine cavity or the womb). Ectopic pregnancies can occur in a number of unusual locations, each with different characteristic growth patterns. Almost all ectopic pregnancies occur in fallopian tubes (tubes from uterus), so this is also known as “Tubal Pregnancy”. Since the fallopian tubes are not large enough to accommodate a growing embryo, the pregnancy cannot continue normally. If identified early, the embryo is removed. In some cases, the embryo grows until the fallopian tube is stretched so much that the tube ruptures. Rupture of the tube is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention because it can result in severe hemorrhaging. An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition.

Causes of Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is caused by a disruption in a woman’s reproductive anatomy or the timing of specific reproductive events. Ectopic pregnancy is common in women age 20 to 29, but the cause is not always known. However, previous damage to one of the two fallopian tubes may obstruct the passage of the fertilized egg along the tube to the uterus. The egg then implants in the wall of the tube instead of in the uterus. This prior damage may have been caused by an unsuccessful or a reversed sterilization procedure or a fallopian tube infection. Ectopic pregnancies are more common in women using an intrauterine contraceptive device, partly because these devices increase the risk of a pelvic infection in women who exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.

Symptoms of Ectopic pregnancy

1. Nausea, vomiting.

2. Dizziness.

3. Low blood pressure.

4. Breast tenderness.

5. Frequent urination.

Treatment of Ectopic pregnancy

Medicine, surgery, or a combination of the two are usually used to end an ectopic pregnancy before it endangers the mother. In a few cases, very early ectopic pregnancies can be watched closely to see whether the pregnancy will miscarry on its own. Emergency medical help is needed if the area of the ectopic pregnancy ruptured. (Shock is an emergency condition.) Treatment for shock may include keeping the woman warm, raising her legs, and giving oxygen. Fluids by IV and a blood transfusion may be needed. Surgery (laparotomy) is done to stop blood loss (in the event of a rupture). This surgery is also done to confirm the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, remove the abnormal pregnancy, and repair any tissue damage. In some cases, removal of the fallopian tube may be necessary. A mini-laparotomy and laparoscopy are the most common surgical treatments for an ectopic pregnancy that has not ruptured.

Easy Card Games To Entertain

My own experience makes me feel that every child will benefit from playing card games.

It is a healthy experience for a child to play with grownups as an equal; and to play with other children without noticing difference in age.

It is good for the child’s character to get practice in losing without squawking and in winning without crowing. (Many adults could use some of this practice too!)

A young child can learn about numbers and easy arithmetic from a simple card game. A child of any age can exercise his brain by the logical thinking that is needed in the more advanced games.

Moreover, card games are fun. And this is the best of all reasons for teaching them to children.

These games are for children who are too young to think… and for grownups who would rather not think! Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the children or the grownups laugh harder!

PIG

This is a very hilarious game for children or for adults to play with children. Anybody can learn the game in two or three minutes, and one extra minute makes you an expert!

Number of Players: 3 to 13. Five or 6 make the best game.

Cards: Four of a kind for each player in the game. For example, 5 players would use 20 cards: 4 Aces, 4 Kings, 4 Queens, 4 Jacks, and 4 10′s. For 6 players you would add the four 9′s.

The Deal: Any player shuffles and deals 4 cards to each player.

Object: To get 4 of a kind in your own hand, or to be quick to notice it when somebody else gets 4 of a kind.

The Play: Each player looks at his hand to see if he was dealt 4 of a kind. If nobody has 4 of a kind, each player puts some unwanted card face down on the table and passes it to the player at his left, receiving a card at the same time from the player at his right.

Each player looks at his hand as it appears with the newly-received card. If, still, nobody has 4 of a kind, each player once again passes a card to the left and gets a new card from the right.

The play is continued in this way until some player has 4 of a kind in his hand. That player stops passing or receiving cards since he is satisfied with his hand as it is. Instead of playing on, he puts his finger to his nose.

The other players must be quick to notice this, and each of them must stop passing in order to put a finger to his nose. The last player to put a finger to his nose is the Pig.

DONKEY

This is the same game as Pig, except that when a player gets 4 of a kind he puts his hand face down on the table quietly instead of putting his finger to his nose. He still gets a card from his right and just passes that along to the left, leaving his 4 of a kind untouched on the table.

As each player sees what has happened, he likewise puts his hand down quietly. The idea is to keep up the passing and the conversation while some player plays on without realizing that the hand has really ended.

The last player to put his cards down loses the hand. This makes him a D. The next time he loses, he becomes a D-O. The third time, he becomes a D-O-N. This keeps on, until finally some player becomes a D-O-N-K-E-Y.

Financial Planning Tools Deciphered

Financial planning is a necessary thing for all people. Many people have a hard time knowing where to start, and having the right financial planning tools at your disposal is helpful. Here are some great financial planning tools to help you reach your financial goals.

The first financial planning tool is the most important. That is a good, workable budget. You cannot reach your financial goals if you do not have a plan to get there. A budget will help you to allocate your funds in such a way that will satisfy your debts and help you plan for the future.

The next weapon in your arsenal of financial planning tools is a savings account. Although you should have other investments, a savings account is a place to park your liquid cash so that you have easy access and are earning some interest at the same time. Check with your bank to find out what different levels of savings accounts are offered. Many are on a tiered scale, meaning that the more money you have in them, the more interest you earn. You may need to upgrade your account from time to time though.

Third, check your credit report. Many web sites offer you a “for fee” credit report, but you should also know that you are guaranteed a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus once a year from the government web site annualcreditreport.com. If you feel you need to check it more often, then a fee-based credit report service may be the way to go.

The next thing to manage is your debt. Although this can be daunting, it’s a necessary part of establishing financial security. A few financial planning tools can help make this easier for you. For most people, credit cards are a necessity today to at least some extent. However, for smartest use, you should carry only one or two, pay off the balance every month, and use the credit card companies’ competitiveness to get such perks as no annual fee. If for some reason you must carry a balance, pay it off as soon as possible. You should never use your credit card to help you live beyond your means. Only use your credit card to make shopping convenient and provide such things as buyer protection, but treat the purchases you make with your credit card just as you would those with cash. Many people who carry credit cards but who pay off balances each month make note of and “deduct” money for credit card purchases from checking accounts each month as they go, so that they don’t spend cash on hand that’s meant to go toward credit card payments at the end of the month. Then, at the end of the month, they pay the credit bill, but the credit card balance has already been deducted from checking throughout the month, so they are essentially writing one check for the total of their purchases throughout the month.

Fifth, one of your most major bills is probably your rent or your mortgage. Of the two, a mortgage payment usually better for you, since you can usually deduct interest you pay on your mortgage from your taxes. When interest rates drop or some other financial situation arises where refinancing would be a good option for you, make sure you check into this and refinance if possible, in order to lower your mortgage payments. Usually, the most prudent way to handle a refinancing is to roll your refinance savings into your mortgage, so that you save on the mortgage itself rather than taking the cash out to spend on something else. This will save you up to several years on mortgage payments, depending on the length of your loan.

One of the greatest financial planning tools for anyone is to have a good retirement plan. If you are working, you should be contributing to your employer’s 401K plan. You should have a diversified plan that will allow you to save enough for retirement while still allowing you to meet your current obligations. The earlier you begin, the harder your money will work for you.

A few good financial planning tools can help you manage your money wisely. Make sure to do your homework and take advantage of all the resources available to you. There are many financial planning tools out there for free or at nominal cost on the Internet. In addition, your financial institution also has financial planning tools that you can use. If you use these tools wisely, you’ll get the most out of your money.

Gambling And The 20th Century Rulers Part4

Robert Mugabe
(1924)
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on the 21st of February, 1924 in the town of Kutama on the territory of current Zimbabwe. Before coming to power in 1987 he had spent 11 years in prison for participation in the national liberation movement. Robert Mugabe is famous, firstly, for his anti-American claims, as well as for the fact that in 2005 he the inflation reached the record 502% in the new 21st century.

Interestingly, but at the peak of inflation growth speaking in front of the journalists the president of Zimbabwe declared that the population of his country was very happy”. What it meant to be very happy” the president knew not through hearsay. A few years ago Mugabe won the state lottery’s main prize in the amount of 2 639 dollars. Curiously, but only those citizens took part in this lottery who had accounts in the National Bank of Zimbabwe, at this for every 135 dollars there was only one lottery ticket. Naturally, under the name of the current president there was registered the record number of tickets, that is why the prize did not keep him waiting for a long time. They say, the results of the lottery upset the citizens of Zimbabwe very much.
Robert Mugabe is a very temperamental person and a typical gambler by nature. A lot of his statements are made in a burst of passion and excitement. By the way, the attitude of the president towards gambling industry is not in the least bad: there are several casinos opened in the country, as well as race tracks with the totalizator, left to the Zimbabwean from English colonizers.

Augusto Pinochet
(1915)
Augusto Pinochet was born on the 25th of November, 1915, in a Chile resort town of Valparaiso. In September 1973 he organized a putsch against the president of Chile Allende and after his murder took the post of the head of the state. Like many other heroes” of the 20th century, he was distinguished by mass terror in relation to the otherwise-minded”.

General Pinochet was quite a cruel and ruthless person, but under his rule hyperinflation was stopped and economic growth began.

The Chilean dictator had a negative attitude towards gambling industry, and there were no gambling-houses in the country during his rule. However, he had rather a loyal attitude to holding a state lottery. Maybe it was because the control over profits from lotteries was entrusted to his daughter Lucia Pinochet Hiriart?

Only after a few years upon retirement of Pinochet under the president Eduardo Free a new casino was opened in the country in 1997.
At present Augusto Pinochet is in Chile under house arrest and is awaiting the trial for evasion from tax payment. The trial, by the way, perhaps, will not even take place because of his age and extremely bad heath.

We can continue mentioning great dictators and rulers of the 20th century and argue about their attitude to gambling industry. Iosip Broz Tito, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Idi Amin, Joseph Desire Mobutu, Muammar Gaddafi, Suharto, Thieu, Somoza, Marcos, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Bokassa, Hissene Habre, Chombe, Franco, Duvalier, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Batista, Salazar and many others had different attitude to gambling. Some, like Marcos and Batista, liked it a lot, while others, like Gaddafi and Ceausescu, didn’t give it even a chance for existence.
While in Spain all power was in the hands of the general Franco Bahamonde Francisco, people were even afraid of talking about gambling-houses, but as soon as he died and the royal throne was occupied by Juan Carlos I, there were at once opened a number of casinos in the country. While Batista favoured gambling games, Fidel Castro, who substituted him, banned them at once. And it is clear. Batista was an American protg, and Fidel was the one who fought against American imperialism. That is why casinos simply lost favour.

A lot of rulers of the 20th century were quite venturesome personalities having revealed their excitable skills in politics, and not on the cloth of the gambling table in the gambling-house. Who knows, if their passion had been connected with visiting of gambling establishments, perhaps, our planet would be quieter.
Total struggle against gambling in the 20th century was under way only in one, at this the most democratic” country the USA. And after repressions, which failed, gambling industry there not only continued to exist, but started to flourish. The ideas of Marxism-Leninism did not give the right of existence of gambling establishments in the countries that chose the way of rise to radiant future in the form of communism, since the norms of the given ideology prescribed earning money by way of labour, and not in the hours of entertaining pastime. Countries practising traditional Islam do not allow gambling industry on their territory in accordance with their religious dogma. Despite this, Muslim Egypt, Tunis, Morocco and Lebanon have opened gambling-houses. The same was done by the Korean Republic, having demonstrated that ideology is ideology but if the country needs to earn money for the budget, gambling industry won’t hinder it.

Totalitarianism and gambling are not connected with each other in the least. The basis of struggle against gambling industry in 99 cases out of 100 is not the desire to protect the rights and interests of the citizens and the society, but the most trivial desire to win votes of people which any party, striving to come to power, pursues. Politics is rather a subtle thing.

Financial Services Funds For A Down Market

Buying into a financial services fund may not seem like the best idea, especially with the amount of instability in financial markets right now. But many experts and investors are saying that now is the time to invest in these kinds of funds. With prices so low, they are only going to grow from here on out as the financial climate of the nation continues to be repaired.Financial services funds are a type of mutual fund that is specifically focused on banks, lending institutions and other financial services companies. Mutual funds allow investors to get into the stock market without spending a lot of money on one type of stock. With a mutual fund, you are technically pooling your money with other parties and buying stocks as a group. The manager of the mutual fund will choose the stocks or bonds that will offer the best return for the category.Financial services funds offer a better deal than investing in financial services directly. When you use a mutual fund such as this, you get a number of different advantages. Your money is diversified across many different companies and institutions. If one financial institution has trouble, you aren’t left up a creek without a paddle. The rest of your mutual fund portfolio should balance out the hits that the individual company is taking.Another benefit of investing in the financial sector with mutual funds is that you get professional management of your funds. The financial services fund’s manager has the experience necessary to be able to determine when to buy and when to sell specific stocks and bonds. Their experience will help your money grow.Pooling your money also allows you to have more cost efficiency. If you have $5,000 to invest, you may be able to buy shares in two to three companies. However, when you invest in a mutual fund in the financial services sector, your money will be spread out far more equally. Mutual funds can contain stocks and bonds for up to 100 different companies. When you invest this way, you’ll be able to spread your money over a wide variety of companies which can act as a measure of protection.In late 2008 and early 2009, financial services funds were fairing too well. Based on the trouble with banks and lending institutions due to the stock market slumps, it’s easy to see why many people would shy away from investing in this sector. However, history shows that after a financial crisis the financial services industries have been boosted up in the following years. After the early 1990s recession, financial services funds rose 30% in 1992 giving investors a nice profit. Purchasing a financial services fund, or any fund for that matter, is not something that should be gone into lightly. Before you place your money in a fund, you should research the history of the fund, the company that runs the fund and even the fund managers. Once you evaluate this information you can figure out if investing in financial services through mutual funds will be your best bet.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.