Friday, October 19, 2018

Gifts That Give Back For The Holidays

Shop smart and do good this season. Give to the ones you love while giving back with these great holiday gifts.

Laughing Man Coffee-

Laughing Man® Coffee was co-founded by Hugh Jackman and since its inception, it has always strived to Make Every Cup Count by donating a portion of sales from each purchase to the Laughing Man® Foundation, which supports coffee farming communities and programs that ensure fair wages, and clear the way to sustainable health, growth and success for coffee farmers and their families. All Laughing Man® Coffee pods in new packaging are now recyclable.

**Watch this spot for more Gifts that are giving back this holiday season.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Flaming Gorge Dam, Utah - Missed Part of It- Arrived Too Late

Just like Chevy Chase on his visit to Wally World- we missed the Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Centre being opened and seeing more of the dam today, by 2 days. I guess the Visitor Centre closed for the season October 16th so the walkway over the dam was closed.

Located just outside of Dutch John the Dam is quite the site to behold. Free admission and plenty of parking for viewing. 

Towering 502 feet above the Green River. and completed in 1964, the Flaming Gorge Dam was built to provide water storage and hydroelectric power. The Dam is managed by the US Bureau of Reclamation and is the major hydroelectric dam along the Green River system.

Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility- Wyoming

So glad we stopped today on the way out of town from Rock Springs, Wyoming.
They have a Wild Horse Holding Facility not far out of town. A must see - especially for animal lovers.

The Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility is the only federal off-range corral and preparation facility in Wyoming. The facility houses approximately 800 wild horses, primarily gathered from Wyoming herd management areas. These horses can also be adopted for $125 each the sign said.

The facility also serves as a rest stop location for wild horses being transported eastbound from western states. The viewing kiosk overlooking the facility is also open year-round. This is the closest we could get. Even Jakey was watching them and listening to them all making their neighs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Budgeting for a Career Change

There could be many reasons why you are about to change your career. It could be as simple as you are not happy in the one you have chosen and have decided to pursue another. You could have started a family and not be able to dedicate the time needed to your current career, or it could be that you have received a promotion that will make your job totally different, or that you simply want to make more money to help with your situation. Maybe you have decided to seek further qualifications and need the time to complete the work, or it could be that you are moving to a new company. Regardless of the reason, there could be a gap where there is a reduction in income, and you may need to budget for this.

Look At The Whole Situation

You need to consider your whole financial situation if you are thinking of changing career. For instance, if you want further education, can you really afford to give up your current job? If the answer is no, perhaps you should consider something like an online msn fnp program, or an online MBA course. In fact, there are online courses in just about every industry and profession, and this could be the way for you to go. With further education online, you can fit the course into your lifestyle, and work at your own pace.

If you are thinking of changing from an employed worker to a contract worker because it pays, more money, consider the perks that contract workers do not get. They do not get paid vacation time, sick pay or health care as part of their package. When you add all this up you might still be better off employed.

Moving companies can leave a gap between the last paycheck at your old company and the first one at the new one. You will need to be aware of this and budget your finances accordingly. Hold on to as much cash as you can until that first new paycheck arrives.

For those that have started a family, you may want to spend more time at home at less in a workplace. You need to speak to your current employer to see if you can reduce your hours and if not look for another job.

All of these scenarios may mean you could end up doing a similar job to what you do now, and you may feel that that is not exactly a change of career. But changes can happen within your current career that have just the same effects as if you had gone from being a motor mechanic to a hairdresser. Changes need budget constraints if they are to work.

Never Be Afraid To Negotiate

Whatever changes you are making, you want to end up with the highest salary you can get. If your career change is a new job or promotion, check out the salaries being paid for that position online. There are lots of resources to help you in this respect, and they will give you a good idea of how much you should be earning. Do some research and then do not undersell yourself. If there is an industry norm, you should expect to be paid at least that, and if not you should want to know a good reason why. You should never be afraid to negotiate for more money, as although success is never guaranteed, you may get more than you were first offered.

If you are offered a raise without asking, ask for more. One of the perks in some jobs is financial aid to obtain more qualifications. If your employer wants you to gain a new certificate, ask them to pay all the fees, not just a portion of them.

Reduce Your Spending

Not all career changes are for monetary gains, and in fact, many of them are just for a more satisfying work life. You could well find yourself in a position where you are earning less money, but that does not matter if you are a happier person.

You just need to adjust your spending accordingly. Look closely at what you spend each month and see what expenses you do not really need. Do you have old subscriptions still leaving your bank account, or could you do with the book club membership?

You should start by listing essential expenses such as rent or mortgage, utility bills, food, transport and possibly childcare. You should also allow something for clothes that will need replacing and family entertainments such as days out. Once you know how much you need to cover all these things, then you will know if you are going to have a shortfall of money after your career change.

There are often ways of cutting back that on their own do not seem much, but add them together and you could be saving quite a lot of money.

You should also look at any savings plans you have. It is not being suggested that you stop saving, as that would be foolish. Perhaps you could reduce the monthly amount a little though, just to help with your economy drive.

Do Not Increase Your Spending

If your career change will mean you earn more that is great. However, do not fall into the trap of increasing your spending so that it all disappears. A good way is to make a 50/50 split between spending and saving. This will mean you will have more disposable income to spend as you wish, but your savings will grow at a faster as well.

There can be advantages and disadvantages to making changes in your career, but you have to cope with the bad things and enjoy the good ones. For instance, if you have taken on extra responsibilities, you may find the job more stressful, or like some people, you may thrive on the extra duties you have. No one really knows how he or she will react until they have made the change, but always remember that if you are not happy with the way your career is going, you can always move on again.

Tips for Saving Money While You’re Spending Money

When gathering advice on how to save money, you’ll likely hear you should spend less. That’s definitely a great way to save some cash, but no matter what you do, living life requires a little green. You have to spend money sometimes!
If you really want to get serious about saving money, you have to know how to save it even when you’re spending it. Here are some tips that will help you save some green, even if when you’re forking it over on bills.

Get Smart About Sending Money

Sending money is easier than ever. Unfortunately, that also means it costs more than ever before to send it. Handing over cash may be free, but it isn’t possible if the recipient lives halfway across the country or the world.
Choose the right way to send money to keep fees low. For example, when sending money to Argentina, use Remitly. Your first transfer is completely free, and with multiple transfer options, you can save even more.

Make Online Payments

Are you still writing checks and paying bills by mail? If you are interested in saving money, you definitely have to pay your bills online.
Postage will be a thing of the past, and with letters costing more to send every year, you could see a significant savings. In addition, many services will reduce your bill by a dollar or two just by going green.
Want to save even more? Consider automatic payments! Not only will companies reduce your bill by receiving paperless statements, they may reduce your bill by even more if the amount is automatically deducted from your account every month.

Go with the Right Bank

Bank fees can add up quickly. That’s why it’s important to choose your bank wisely. When you’re ready to open an account, look for a bank that offers benefits like:
  • Interest bearing checking accounts
  • No fee checking accounts
  • Refunded ATM charges
  • A variety of financial services
If you are in the market for a loan or a mortgage, look for a low rate. When you choose the right lender, open an account there. Many banks offer discounts and perks to clients who have loans with their institution.

Shop Sales

A sale isn’t a sale anymore. Businesses and marketing professionals understand how tempting a sale can be, so they often mark things down only after they have been marked up. How in the world are you supposed to know you’re getting a good deal?
Compare prices online to see if you really are getting a good price on what you’re about to buy. Then, make sure you do a quick search for online coupons. Chances are, you can save even more!
No matter how serious you are about saving, you can’t just stop spending money altogether. Instead, get smart about saving when you spend. Give one or more of the tips on this list a try, and chances are, you’ll find that your bank account is much fatter at the end of the year. 

Why Buyers Still Have the Power at Car Dealerships

It’s an exciting adventure exploring the world of car purchases especially for first-timers. However, deciding upon a dealership is as important as the car purchase itself, and there are precautions you should take to avert a potential headache. Moreover, there exist some basic guidelines that should be taken during initial visits to any car dealership.

Searching for the right car dealership

            For the common folks, the actual distance to a dealership will be a major factor. While some may tell you to just go with your local dealership, in most cases it may be worth the trouble travelling further to another dealership. A car isn’t something that you’ll go through in a year or two, so take your time to ring up all the potential purveyors within a reasonable vicinity. This is more important if you’re looking for used cars, as vehicles prices will generally vary between provinces too. If you’re a well-oiled petrol head with a thirst for rare exotics, you may not even find the ideal candidate between countries.

            Back in the old days, you might have to ring up the dealerships individually and solicit offers. Nowadays though, any used or new car dealership should have a page or even website of their own with an online-accessible inventory to browse through. This can save you lots of time, but you should still call the dealership beforehand as a reassurance.

            Another telltale sign of a reputable dealership is whether if it’s mentioned online. Look up the dealership name online and search for online reviews. While not always reliable, it provides a rough gauge to a dealership’s creditability.

            It is also crucial that you identify what kind of loaning network that the dealership works with. A trustworthy dealership will only work with reputable lenders, and it’s a green light if they disclose this information freely. This is where you should do your share of research online, or contact the dealer directly to inquire.

            While not quite as relevant, it’s imperative for you to recognize what kind of sales and after-sales service the dealership offers that you should leverage. For example, some offer professional financial advice, online trade-in appraisals, carefully curated catalogue and plenty of used-car warranties for the all-important peace of mind ensuring the vehicles are actually ready to drive straight out of the lot.

Stepping into the dealership

            When you step into the dealership, it is important to immediately take note of the surroundings. A car dealership should effuse a relaxed, laid-back experience that prioritizes the customer above all. Prepare to walk out at any time, and always bring a friend along that’ll gladly rationalize every decision that you’re about to make. Don’t grow emotionally attached to any car on the lot. If the dealer deems that you’re an earnest customer, the dealer may even call back with a better proposal.

            Don’t fall for the sweet-talks salespersons that are over-enthusiastic at coaxing money out of your wallet. A reasonable and pleasant dealership should have salespersons that are helpful, but not over-aggressive in their sales pitch. Just nod your head to overzealous salespersons, and do your browsing at your own pace.

            These are just a few considerations to take into account when you’re looking for a car dealership, used or new. The Internet has made researching various dealerships much easier, and harder for unscrupulous dealerships to trick their victims. However, the same rule applies to buying anything high-cost - be cautious and very patient. Money is the talker, and you always have an edge over the dealership as long as you’re the buyer. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mountain Meadow Wool- Buffalo, Wyoming- Guided Tour

Their Mission

To revitalize the American wool industry, preserve the West, and create American made high-quality products through eco-friendly operations and fair prices for Ranchers.

We had the opportunity today to meet with the owner on a guided 45 minute tour of the Mountain Meadow Wool Mill.
$5 per adult. Interesting. Everything here but the actual sheep!

Aww Struck With Devil's Tower Monument

Wow- we really were glad we went off the beaten path a bit and saw the Devil's Tower Monument in Wyoming. A must see.. complete with campgrounds in the area, Trading Post store full of souveniers and it's own Praire Dog Town!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: Tree-Free Greeting Cards (Canada)

Review by: Cynthia

Are you looking to brighten someone's day? 

Our reviewer Cynthia says:

"I absolutely love Tree-Free greeting cards!  They are so colorful, and the art is one of a kind.  These cards will catch your eye every single time!  They even have matching envelopes, which make them even more special. 
What I enjoy most is sending Tree-Free cards through the mail at least once a week, brightening up someone else's day."

Made in Canada cards, from earth friendly materials! Supporting Canadian artists! It's the greeting card of choice.

Types of Trading

When you’re considering taking your business at home to the next level, you can often get ground down by the daunting tasks ahead. Trading can seem especially intimidating if you don’t understand the terminology, or have a clear vision for your what your business requires. There are various types of system development trading to contemplate when expanding your business.

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Algorithmic trading
Simply put, an Algorithm is a set of instructions. Algorithmic trading, often known as algo-trading) is where computer systems are programmed to comply with a specific set of instructions for trade, to produce profits faster and more efficiently than any possible human trader. By removing humans from the trading process, it removes the margin of human error and judgment and makes markets more liquid. Algorithmic trading is based on rules; mathematical model, price, timing, and quantity. A computer can be programmed with an algorithm - for example, to buy shares of the stock when its 50-day moving average goes below the previously set moving average - and it from then, no human interaction is needed. The algorithmic trading software will do the rest for you. There are many benefits of algorithmic trading. It is cost effective (best price trades, decreased transaction costs, etc), precise and can make concurrent automated checks on various market conditions.

Discretionary trading
Discretionary trading is quite the contrary to the above, using human discernment and decisions to enter and exit trades rather than being automated. This is usually a decision made on the basis of the current market conditions. Discretionary trading is not easy; you must have certain qualities to demonstrate the confidence to see a trade through. A discretionary trader will still work with systems for security of the deal. There are plenty of positives to this kind of trading. Human analysis is often required to pick out and consider the lousy context in trades, where perhaps a system may highlight an impressive looking deal. However, using intuition to make arrangements does not always sit right with traders, and so algo-trading is often the preferred method.

Image via (copyright-free)

Hybrid trading
Hybrid trading, as the name implies, is simply (or not!) a combination of both algorithmic trading and discretionary trading. Effectively, instructions are entered into an automated system, but ‘exits’ are made optional to the trader. The trade may be bound by several rules; however the trader has the option to override the system. The benefits (a negative for some, maybe) of this are that you the trader, can still have input and make decisions. Hybrid trading gives traders a choice between traditional discretionary trading, and the more modern, faster automated algo system.

All in all, when looking to expand your business, there is much to consider. Not only the likes of trading, finances, software/systems, and changes to the market; but also ensuring that your business is ready for anything. Problems may arise at any given time - the key ingredient to a successful business is to be prepared.

These are the three main types of trading. Determining which is right for you, as a trader, and your business is, in itself, discretionary.