Money Changes Everything

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The economic challenges of the past couple of years have carved a new business landscape, opening new perspectives about the way we market our products and handle the many bits or bytes of information we need to operate our businesses.

While economic trends may still fall short of expectations, recent technological trends have given us more marketing choices, improved CMS technology and more space in which to compete.

More Web; less print. As budgets shrank and pressure grew, businesses discovered that online campaigns are less expensive, faster to implement and can be measured more easily than traditional print campaigns in terms of design, production, mailing and measurement.

Although marketing online requires a steep learning curve, most agree it’s one worth navigating. Using a business website and other online resources, you can advertise your product and boost sales for a fraction of the cost of print. Email and social media are free and online advertising is pay-per-click. Nobody uses the phone book anymore. Why pay for an ad?

Ad networks are specializing, making targeting much easier. Whether you want to attract young mothers, teenagers, mid-level execs or boomers, there should be a network appropriate for your ad and its message.

An increasing number of free analytics tools give businesses a host of options with which to measure success. These tools measure everything from the effectiveness of an ad’s position on a page to tracking click patterns and behavior using heatmaps and overlays. Survey tools help you plan the campaign before it even begins.

Finally, a rule book! Because of this powerful shift from offline to online, content is more important than ever. And Yahoo is helping those of us who depend on good content to produce it. On July 6 they are releasing a stylebook that will help clarify things like SEO and the new legalities associated with the digital age as well as providing a brush up on grammar and usage.

Managing content has never been easier, either. There are all kinds of new software coming to a developer near you that will enhance your CMS, ECM and WCM and unify communications to make interface systems communicate with each other more effectively.

Along those lines, it goes without saying that mobile technology has staked its claim of the landscape and being able to have your server and hard drive play nicely with your phone-and others’ phones-is critical to future success in this new realm. New API and SOA technologies offer solutions that make successfully managing content and data across various media possible. And with President Barack Obama’s wireless spectrum plan, Americans-and those wanting to do business with them-will have more room in which to do it in!

Going outside for help. Given that the technical landscape is expanding at a faster rate than the economic one, companies are outsourcing IT services for big-scale projects, allowing their in-house talent to focus on daily operations.

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Money Changes Everything – Twenty-Two Writers Tackle the Last Taboo

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Money Changes Everything

Twenty-Two Writers Tackle the Last Taboo with Tales of Sudden Windfalls, Staggering Debts, and Other Surprising Turns of Fortune

Edited by Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell

We live in a tell-all culture. Sex, troubles with our kids, complaints about our spouses, and even our indiscretions are acceptable dinner table conversation-or at least OK while sharing a latte. Our money side in contrast is kept hidden from view.

Money is loved, feared, and worshiped. Some see it as dirty, not in keeping with a spiritual life, unnecessary. It can make a god-fearing person swear and ordinarily loving couples spit fire. Money can change everything.

The editors of this book put it this way, “To shine a light on how much we make, how much we spend, how much we owe, and how much we’ve got secretly socked away is to give others a potent glimpse into the values we live by. Because of this, admitting to money troubles can often feel like admitting to a weakness of character.”

The money troubles coin has two sides. “Shrinks have coined the phrase “affluenza” to describe the angst and aimlessness that arise from being so wealthy you don’t have to work for a living. Yet despite their insistence that affluenza can be a genuine hardship, therapists are finding it a hard sell to make others feel sorry for their clients. Most people can sympathize with the pain and struggle of the less fortunate, but the anxieties that attend being “too rich” are much harder to imagine” write the editors.

So silence and hiding are the order of the day whether the wolf is at the door or the view from the penthouse leaves you wanting.

Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell, brought together twenty-two great writers who agreed to write about how their lives have been shaped, complicated and/or enhanced by this often hidden aspect of our lives.

The writing is sometimes comic, as in Chris Offut’s story Porn Bought My Football. It can also be achingly sad and as in Marian Fontana’s, A Dollar A Tear, about the money she received after her husband was killed in NYC on 9/11.

The writing is always brilliant.

Fred Leebron and Kathryn Rhett are married and each recalls their version of the money game as they describe their early lives together. Did they really experience the same things? His is titled For Richer, hers, For Poorer. It represents the wedding vow but also the way money can divide otherwise loving couples.

Walter Kirn in Treasure Me tells of failed marriages because they were based on his using his money to perhaps buy affection and love. He “tallies up just how much it costs to have sex” and does it in a very funny way.

Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket series and no slouch in the money earning category wrote a few pages titled “Winning.” His idea for this essay was to buy a $1200 bottle of wine. He begins by asking, “Do you want to know what a $1200 bottle of wine tastes like? Of course you do.”

His agent warns him that he shouldn’t write this essay. “$1200 on a bottle of wine?” she asks. “It’s immoral. People are going to attack you. People are going to call you an immoral person” she warned.

“That’s what I’m interested in,” said Daniel. “I keep telling people about this bottle of wine. First everybody wants some, then everybody thinks it’s immoral. This is the thing with money.”

And so it is and the remaining eighteen writers pose equally thought provoking ideas through their behind the scenes, behind their money accounts. Have some fun with these writers and think about your own money stories. How has money or a lack of it had an impact on your life over the years?

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Blogging Tips to Make Money Blogging

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The fact of the matter is that most bloggers, even popular bloggers, do not make money blogging, not what you would consider good money. But there are a small minority of people who are making a killing by operating blogs. Yes, it can be done. I’ve compiled the top tips for bloggers that actually want to make money blogging.

1. Blog for search traffic

Writing a popular blog post that gets a lot of social traffic is fleeting. Even if your article makes to the front page of a site like Digg.com the traffic boost that you receive will be momentary. If, on the other hand, one of your blog posts ranks for a popular search keyword on Google that same article can bring you traffic for months, even years.

In addition search traffic is targeted traffic. When your article about, say, Blogging Tips ranks number one in Google for “blogging tips” you will only get traffic from people who are looking for information on blogging tips. This will, quite frankly, make you a lot more money as your traffic will be targeted to your content and offers.

2. Write long posts

It is better to write one long blog post with your top ten blogging tips than it is to write 10 one hundred word entries containing one tip each. The reason for this is that it will be easier to rank a 1000 word post in the search engines than it will be to rank a 100 word post. Additionally, you can more easily promote one post and others can promote it for you by linking to it.

3. Sell something

If the point of your blog is to talk about your day then you will not make money. The point of your blog has to be to encourage some kind of profitable activity. The fact of the matter is that reading is not a commercial. When a person comes to your blog and reads your content, no money changes hand. The simple act of reading does not make you (or anyone else) money. Even your advertisers will pull their advertising if your readers only read.

If you recommend a product on your blog you will be able to earn affiliate commissions when your readers take your advice and buy the product. It is best if you have a product of your own to promote and sell, though affiliate marketing is probably more attainable for the average blogger.

Even if you refuse to specifically market any products you must at least be willing to sell your traffic to someone who will try to market to them. You can sell traffic by using a program like AdSense or by selling advertising directly.

4. Write about a topic that is commercial

For every blogger who writes about their favorite sports team or political party, I can show you a blogger who has a day job that they have to report to every morning. Bloggers that write about their passions, unless your passion is making money, are not getting rich generally. In order to make money from a blog you need to encourage some sort of profitable activity. Like I said, nobody (especially not the blogger) makes any money when somebody reads their words.

Some topics lend themselves naturally to blogging. Unfortunately, these are the topics you least want to blog because the market is so crowded. I often use the example of politics but another good one is personal finance. Personal finance is a wonderful topic to blog about in theory because it is both commercial (there are lots of advertisers and products for the blogger to recommend) and easy to write about. The problem is that there are thousands of other blogs in the niche already. This is a problem if you want to make any money in the next year. Yes, you may be able to make money with a personal finance blog in time, but it will take a lot of patience. Which brings us to our next tip.

5. Blog where there are no blogs

If you find a topic that is commercial and has products to promote and advertisers to advertise and you can’t think of a single other blog who blogs about that topic, you may have hit the jackpot. Today, there are blogs about just about every mainline thing that you can think, so you have to be willing to dig down into micro-niches or niches that are not so obvious. You can make a lot more money as the single blog in a $10 niche than you can as one-blog-among-a-million in a $1000 niche.

The best topics for new bloggers are those topics which are a little bit unappealing to the masses. For instance, if you come upon a niche that seems promising but that you would be embarrassed to have your name attached to then you might have a winner. And remember that there are lots of bloggers who write under pen names.

Those are my top five tips for making money blogging and I can assure you that if you follow those guidelines and are willing to work hard you can make a very nice living online.

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Career Change – Teachers Have a Big Advantage in Changing Careers

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If handled properly a career change for a teacher may not be a difficult task. A teacher has a level of skills and training that is in demand in a variety of jobs and industries.

First, the career change may not take in leaving the teaching field altogether. With a few strategic changes, some training courses and the teacher may find they have the qualifications to change what they are teaching. A different age level or subject may be what is needed to put some spark into the teaching career.

If the teacher career change is more drastic-finding a job in private industry-teaching skills are in great demand. The ability to communicate along with the classroom coaching abilities is vital in many interesting jobs. Perhaps, teaching skills will be a significant component in the new job. Abilities like sharing information between different groups of workers, training of staff in new skills and procedures, developing training courses and to teach and coach team members are needed skills in many companies and organizations.

Once the decision is made by the teacher to make a career change a comprehensive analysis of their interests and abilities must be made. New careers must be researched in depth. Don’t rely on statements from friends or coworkers that, “there is no money in that job,” or, “that job is a dead end,” or, “you would never qualify for that kind of job.” Be open minded and test all the job assumptions. With this type of flexible approach it will soon become clear which direction they will be headed.

By properly positioning the teaching skills on the resume, along with appropriate extra study and training, the teacher’s new resume should give them an excellent shot at whatever new career they have chosen. Employers are looking for candidates with excellent communication skills, individuals that work well in a team setting, administrative and organizational skills and the ability to learn and progress in the job. Teachers have these qualities in depth the key is to translate the abilities to language that fit the prospective job.

Bottom line: the teacher’s career change should involve moving into another job or career that fits the teacher’s interests. Will the new job be interesting enough so going to work each morning is greeted with enthusiasm? If so it could be a winner. Moreover, the teacher’s basic skills will enhance any position applied for. The abilities to teach and assist other team members are an ideal trait that will add considerable value to the workplace.

For whatever reason the decision was make by the teacher to make a career change, the opportunities to find a productive and rewarding career away from the classroom has never been better and is increasing all the time.

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Foreign Currencies As Investment Vehicles

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In many people’s mind, investment vehicles comes in various forms, with the higher risk, higher returns vehicles being stocks, foreign exchange followed by mutual funds and ETFs, and finally the safest, low returns vehicles are treasuries, fixed deposits and bonds.

Is that really true? And is it a fair comparison for fixed deposits in today’s market? That is the question I’m going to answer in this article.

Fixed Deposits, or Certificates of Deposits as known in the United States, is a contract you have with a bank to lend it a fixed amount of money for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate, after which you would get your money plus the interest back into your account.

The interest rates given is usually dependent on the period you place the deposit for, the longer the higher interest. While practically guaranteed, the interest rates are usually pretty low when compared with the returns you can get using other vehicles, which is why it is considered a low risk, low return vehicle.

However, with today’s global market integration, it is no longer difficult to move money across countries. In fact, with a click of a button, you can transfer money from China to the United States, or from the United Kingdom to Singapore, using the bank’s exchange rates. With this, a whole new arena has been created for those who are looking for good yield and cashflow, all in the same vehicle.

Today, as EUR is still consolidating at 1.36, down from its last peak of 1.60, while the NZD is at 0.71, up from its last bottom of 0.5. Having bought the Kiwi at 0.51 fourteen months back, and earning 4.5% interest per annum, my holdings had increased 40%, while having an annual cashflow of 4.5%. I’m changing my money into the EUR to cash in on the profits while taking advantage of the current depressed price of the EUR, to get an interest rate of 1.25% per annum.

So can Fixed Deposits still be a safe and low return vehicle for investment? The answer is definitely yes. But at the same time, Fixed Deposits can also be used as a cash flow instrument or hedge in foreign currency bets. This kind of investment has been done by locals going to the   money   changers  and holding the paper currencies, but with the kind of global integration right now, you can make  money  with the paper currency you are currently holding.

So while the basic idea of a Fixed Deposit being a low risk and low return instrument, it can no longer be totally ignored as an alternative instrument for a higher risk, higher return global currency investment.

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Apple Watch: A Game Changer or a Gimmick?

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Apple has finally announced the new Apple Watch at the Apple Live Event back on September 9th this year and it’s due to be released in early 2015. There has been much speculation as to the design, functionality and even the name. It was previously referred to as the iWatch and even iOS Watch by some. This device is the company’s first developed technology that is fully wearable.

People today set many new trends when it comes to technology. The emergence of smartphones is also the product of continuing innovations throughout the years. Nowadays, all major smartphone manufacturers invest heavily into extensive research and development projects. The goal is to create the latest and greatest unique technologies. Apples latest attempt at this alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has taken the form of a wearable wristwatch.

The concept of a smart watch is nothing new. An early example of the smart watch was a product called the Pebble Watch which was released back in 2013. The Pebble Watch allowed users to receive notifications, view emails, check the weather and display a wide variety of custom information. Just like the Apple Watch, the Pebble Watch needed to be connected to your smartphone to benefit from most features. So now lets take a look at the Apple Watch in more detail and evaluate if it really will be a game changer or simply just another gimmick.

Features

The Apple watch at first glance looks much like your typical wristwatch but with many innovative features. It has two different sizes, for people with both small and larger wrists. There are different variations of the Apple watch. The first is made of stainless steel, the second from luxurious 18-carat gold and third is made of aluminum. The watch straps are to be available come in a number of colors and materials. The Apple Watch will also be interchangeable using magnetic technology.

It is important to note that the Apple watch is NOT a stand-alone device. It is connected via Bluetooth and Wi-fi to an iPhone running iOS. It will not work independently and like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, must be connected to an Apple device. If you are an android user then it’s probably not a good idea to by an Apple Watch as you will need to switch to the iOS platform in order for the watch to function.

The screen is made from sapphire crystal glass that has a strong resistance to scrapes and scratches. Let’s face it, there is not point having a $349 watch if it damages easily. It also has a very sensitive touchscreen that can sense the slightest touch or tap. It’s tap function will let you easily select an item on the screen and it also has “force touch” that is the equivalent to right clicking on a mouse for faster access.

The Apple watch features a “Digital Crown” which enables you to turn or twist the crown for zooming functions and it can also be pressed. This is something that Apple is very proud of as the digital crown is a unique and innovative advancement. The digital crown functions alongside the touchscreen and has a click wheel control. It enables you to zoom in and out and scroll up and down completely eliminating to need for pinch and zoom. The digital crown also acts as the home but and will return you to the app menu when pressed.

The Apple Watch also has a built-in taptic engine which vibrates on your wrist to alert you when you receive a notification such as an incoming messages or email. It’s also integrated through Siri, an intelligent personal assistant and serves as your navigator.

There are a range of apps designed for the Apple Watch. A mini notification system called “Glances” provides for instant notifications. Glances provided a user interface of all relevant notifications from apps such as maps, passbook, photos, messages, weather and mail. It also has the Friends app which gives you a convenient way to connect with your friends by tapping on your friend’s image to send a message or even make a phone call. You can even send a reply directly through the Apple Watch without having to interact with your iPhone. The Apple Watch comes with integrated audio capabilities including a fully operational speaker and microphone.

The Apple Watch functions as a monitoring device for your health and fitness activities. It holds a number of health and fitness apps that give you a tailored experience in providing health related information such as calorie burn performance. It also includes a workout app that will display your exercise stats and progress. The Apple Watch has a number of small sensors to perform functions like tracking your heart beat and the number of steps you take. The new Apple Pay has been integrated into the Apple Watch too. You will be able to directly pay for purchases by swiping the watch though Apply Pay, Apples new money payment system.

A Game Changer or a Gimmick?

It is far too early to give a definitive answer as to whether the Apple Watch will be a game changer and set the standard to become a must have gadget. It’s important to note that this is NOT the first smart watch to be developed but it does have a number of highly competitive features when compared to other smart watch models currently available on the market today. The simple fact it is an Apple product will also help Apple gain more attention than some of it’s lesser known rivals with fewer features. Another factor to consider that sets the Apple watch apart from the competition is the elegant and premium design that Apple has chosen to develop. The device may very well turn out to be just a gimmick but it certainly is a nice one. Other companies like Samsung who have created a smart watch before have so far failed to generate a successful impact on customers. Will Apple be different I wonder?

There does seem to be a fairly substantial amount of initial interest in the Apple Watch both in the media and online. So maybe this kind of wearable technology is what customers want since it’s an entirely new experience and very different from interacting via a smartphones or tablets. Will the Apple Watch complement the smartphone and also become a respectable product or will it lose interest and become irrelevant?

Game changer or a gimmick, the Apple Watch is still a great early breakthrough in the wearable technology industry. There will almost certainly be a number of future updates / improvements by Apple through the coming months to streamline and enrich this product based on feedback. The Apple Watch still has a great opportunity to set the standard for wearable devices. Even as a gimmick it showcases the best technology design and is an excellent idea in principle.

So will the Apple Watch succeed where others have failed and convince the consumer that this is a MUST HAVE product? Only time will tell.

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Choosing Software to Change IP

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These days, it is important for us personal computer users to use software to change IP for surfing anonymously on the internet. Hiding or changing our IP has become vital for our protection and privacy while we browse the Internet. Many businesses based on Internet and computer innovations are also stepping up in the production of software that hides or changes IP to offer to customers and buyers. These days, there are a lot of IP changers available online to choose from.

We should not just choose any software that we find online, of course. It’s just like how we choose any other software and program. We look at the reviews of those who already tried the product, read their comments, and analyze the ratings of the product with its competing products. Knowing which program is the most commonly used and well-liked by your peers in the online community may be what could save you from unwise software shopping.

In choosing an IP changer, let us first ask ourselves whether we want a free product or one that is on sale. Majority would prefer the free software. Financially speaking, free is always the better choice. But the software might prove to be ineffective, and may even cause some damage to your configurations. In this case, free is not always the best solution.

When thinking about acquiring free software, we have to think there will be disadvantages. Not everything is bad about a free IP changer. It will still serve its purpose in hiding or changing our IP. It is also easier to use if you are a beginner, and with an acceptable Internet connection speed. But we have to consider that despite these advantages, the tool may also have its downside. The main disadvantage of a free software is that you will rarely get support, and that most of these software only works with Internet Explorer. For those using Firefox or other browsers, you may have to do some configuration of your own.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an IP changer that is not free, make sure that it is worth your money. With paid software, there is usually the thought that the software is more advanced in performance, speed, etc. This is not always true, though, and this you have to look out for. Still, paid software does come with quality. You will have a fast Internet connection speed and the IPs provided for you are all clean and not blocked or banned. There might only be a limited number of them available for your usage though. There is also the fact that with paid software, you can get support and assistance from the providers if you need them.

With the many products being offered on the Internet, it is natural to feel confused about which one to purchase or download. We’ll just narrow your choices to those that are compatible with your computer, and which ones have the most needed features. It is also recommended to try on a trial version of the product. However you go about it, you should take careful steps in choosing an IP changer for your personal computer.

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Game Changer DNA Review

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People are finding out that getting good online marketing courses is not all that easy. There are absolutely thousands online and more being marketed every single day. It is recognized that: to be a success in a business online, you have to know the tricks that only courses like Game Changer DNA can give you.

But who is Dan Kennedy?

For those who don’t know him, Dan Kennedy is an expert internet marketer and one of the pioneers of business coaching. He is also known as “The Millionaire Maker”, and this not just a claim. Actually he has performed successful training to many entrepreneurs to help them make the first steps in the online world. And that’s not all; Dan came with very innovative marketing concepts, such as “Magnetic Marketing” and “Psychological Manipulation”.

The newest course by Dan Kennedy is Game Changer DNA. It’s actually a collection of the best conferences, e-courses, ebooks, and training videos that come from this marketing genius. To be honest, this course isn’t the accomplishment of Dan Kennedy alone. Also, Bill Glazer, which is one of Dan’s students, has contributed to it. He made the selection of these training materials and simplified them to the audience.

When it comes to choosing among online marketing courses, it’s important to find one that is easy to understand and that is suited to your style of business. Many courses are so complex that only an expert can understand them. So, if you have no experience at all, you won’t get anything. Well, this is not the case with Game Changer DNA package, as Bill Glazer has already made big part of the work. He explained it all and simplified the information, so you digest it easily.

If you are not interested in making the old usual business, then this e-course is made just for you. It teaches new aspects and concepts of the business, and this can take it to a higher new level. Dealing with customers the old way can still work today, but it won’t make you a big fortune. Dan Kennedy’s Game Changer DNA starts you off with the basics, and can walk you all the way through some of the more advanced concepts. And what’s more, it tackles to the psychological aspect of online marketing, which is very important.

One thing you must realize going in is that success comes from hard work and persistence. Expecting life altering results overnight is unrealistic and any course that make these claims are best given a wide breath.

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How Futons Can Save You Money

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Furnishing a home is never a cheap proposition, and everyone should always be on the lookout for ways to keep costs down. One way to do this is by choosing futons since they are cheaper and more versatile than other furniture. Offering both simplicity and great flexibility, they can bring savings other types of furniture simply cannot.

The cost advantages futons offer start with their origins in Japan. In a land were space is often at a premium and a chair may consist of a pillow on the floor, they are a logical choice for bedding. They simply are taken out at night and folded up to be stored away in a closet during the day.

Outside of Japan were the approach to furniture is different, futons are almost always set on frames. While this makes them more like the kind of furniture non-Japanese expect, they still have unique features and simplicity that make them a great, cost-effective choice.

Lower purchase price

The first thing anyone purchasing futons for the first time will notice is the lower costs. They are simply cheaper on average than regular sofas and beds. Since one futon can replace two pieces of furniture (a sofa and a bed), these cost savings are further amplified.

This flexibility in being able to change from a sofa to a bed in no time is especially slick for those who do not want to invest in an extra bed for occasional guests or for those who simply do not have room for extra furniture. They come in up to queen sizes and work just fine for daily use as a bed too.

Change styles with the seasons

With futons, a total change of style can come with a cheap futon cover. For a variety of reasons, people often find themselves in situations where the style they were perfect with before no longer works. With futon covers, the need to buy or reupholster furniture is replaced by a simple cover change that can be done in seconds. Just about every imaginable color and design is available for any change one desires.

Easy assembly and disassembly

Mattresses are not the only things that can quickly come off futons; their frames also can be broken down quickly. While this obviously comes in handy when moving a futon to another room, it is also nice when moving it longer distances. Moving regular furniture is very awkward and requires a lot of hands as well as shipping space. The ease in which futons can be broken down means they require a lot less shipping space and fewer hands to move them. This can save on both shipping expense and needless aggravation!

Cheap cleaning

From dirt falling into the cracks to stains, regular furniture can be tough to keep clean. With futons, everything can be removed quickly and easily. The futon cover can simply be thrown in the wash or replaced. In more serious situations, the mattress can also be replaced without major expense.

Easier repair and replacement

With more traditional furniture, the inner frame is covered and very difficult to access. The makes any type of home repairs extremely irritating at best. Futons are very open though and everything is easily accessible. Often, repairs to the frame can be made by novices and parts replaced at low cost.

Storage

While traditional furniture requires a lot of storage space, futon frames can be quickly disassembled and stored even in homes with very limited space. This can reduce the need to buy storage space or sell furniture that will need to be bought back again.

These are just some of the cost advantages futons offer. They certainly should be considered by anyone with limited funds or space. They are a great way to save money without sacrificing style while increasing convenience.Furnishing a home is never a cheap proposition, and everyone should always be on the lookout for ways to keep costs down. One way to do this is by choosing futons since they are cheaper and more versatile than other furniture. Offering both simplicity and great flexibility, they can bring savings other types of furniture simply cannot.

The cost advantages futons offer start with their origins in Japan. In a land were space is often at a premium and a chair may consist of a pillow on the floor, they are a logical choice for bedding. They simply are taken out at night and folded up to be stored away in a closet during the day.

Outside of Japan were the approach to furniture is different, futons are almost always set on frames. While this makes them more like the kind of furniture non-Japanese expect, they still have unique features and simplicity that make them a great, cost-effective choice.

Lower purchase price

The first thing anyone purchasing futons for the first time will notice is the lower costs. They are simply cheaper on average than regular sofas and beds. Since one futon can replace two pieces of furniture (a sofa and a bed), these cost savings are further amplified.

This flexibility in being able to change from a sofa to a bed in no time is especially slick for those who do not want to invest in an extra bed for occasional guests or for those who simply do not have room for extra furniture. They come in up to queen sizes and work just fine for daily use as a bed too.

Change styles with the seasons

With futons, a total change of style can come with a cheap futon cover. For a variety of reasons, people often find themselves in situations where the style they were perfect with before no longer works. With futon covers, the need to buy or reupholster furniture is replaced by a simple cover change that can be done in seconds. Just about every imaginable color and design is available for any change one desires.

Easy assembly and disassembly

Mattresses are not the only things that can quickly come off futons; their frames also can be broken down quickly. While this obviously comes in handy when moving a futon to another room, it is also nice when moving it longer distances. Moving regular furniture is very awkward and requires a lot of hands as well as shipping space. The ease in which futons can be broken down means they require a lot less shipping space and fewer hands to move them. This can save on both shipping expense and needless aggravation!

Cheap cleaning

From dirt falling into the cracks to stains, regular furniture can be tough to keep clean. With futons, everything can be removed quickly and easily. The futon cover can simply be thrown in the wash or replaced. In more serious situations, the mattress can also be replaced without major expense.

Easier repair and replacement

With more traditional furniture, the inner frame is covered and very difficult to access. The makes any type of home repairs extremely irritating at best. Futons are very open though and everything is easily accessible. Often, repairs to the frame can be made by novices and parts replaced at low cost.

Storage

While traditional furniture requires a lot of storage space, futon frames can be quickly disassembled and stored even in homes with very limited space. This can reduce the need to buy storage space or sell furniture that will need to be bought back again.

These are just some of the cost advantages futons offer. They certainly should be considered by anyone with limited funds or space. They are a great way to save money without sacrificing style while increasing convenience.

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Self-Awareness: The Key to Positive Change

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Just how much self-awareness do you actually have? Everyone these days has something that they want to change about themselves or in their life in general, but very few of these people stop to think about how changing these things will change them as a whole. Something’s may need to be changed if they have a negative impact on you, and the people around you, but just what do you actually know about yourself?

In this article we’re going to put forward ten questions that should help to improve your self-awareness, assuming you answer them honestly, and give you a greater insight into whether the thing you want to change about yourself are things you really do want to change about yourself.

1. What is it that I really want?

Have you actually taken the time to consider what it is you want to do with your life? So often we end up doing things that other people think we should be doing, or get stuck in a rut because we ‘fell into’ something and just can’t see ourselves doing anything else.

If you have the self-awareness to know what it is you really want to do, you’re on the path to achieving it. If you don’t have a path you just wander aimlessly.

2. Do I really need to change?

If you want a different outcome from what you’re doing now, then something has to change. This could be changing yourself to change your circumstances, or, changing your circumstances to change yourself.

If we don’t do something to at least keep up with the times then we get left behind. So the answer is ‘yes’, you probably will have to change to achieve the things you want to do.

3. Will there be a light at the end of the tunnel?

If you know what it is that you want to achieve you can make a plan. If you can make a plan then you can set a specific deadline to reach your goal, and if you have a reachable goal then you have something that you can focus on.

It’s only when you have something that you can truly focus on, and know that you can achieve, that you can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. So yes, the will be a light at the end of the tunnel for you.

4. Am I going to be comfortable making these changes?

Not all changes are going to be changes that we’re comfortable with. Self-awareness helps you to discover what you’re comfortable with. If you’re about to do something that’s completely new then you’re probably going to feel a little uneasy about it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong thing to do.

Don’t do anything that’s going to make a change that you’re not comfortable with; but don’t not do it because the process makes you feel uncomfortable at the time.

5. Have I neglected myself?

A lot of people tend to forget about their selves while doing a lot for others, and while doing a lot for other people isn’t a bad thing, you still have to make sure that you don’t totally neglect your own needs.

Many people feel that it’s selfish if they think of their selves, but, if you don’t take some time out for yourself, once in a while, how are you going to be in a fit state to help others anyway? Also, if you don’t have the time to reflect on what’s going on in your own life, you won’t have all of the information you need to make the changes that you’re looking to make.

6. Am I happy with who I am and where I am today?

This may be a tough question for most people, bearing in mind that who and where we are today isn’t who and where we were yesterday, or even tomorrow. We are always in a state of change.

Life may have been unfair in the past, but it’s got you where you are today; is that a good place? Changing something today may not have an immediate effect on your life, but it will make you who you are in the years to come.

7. Do I appeal to the opposite sex?

That’s often a hard one to judge for yourself, seeing as you haven’t met everyone in the world.

We can often appeal to others for the unlikeliest of reasons, but if you want to appeal physically then there are always things you can do to change the way you look. It may be something as simple as a new wardrobe, or something as involved as doing a little more exercise.

Most will come down to who and how you want to appeal to the opposite sex. Just remember, however, any changes you make should be for your own benefit, not for the benefit of someone else.

8. How much do I want?

In terms of money you should remember that the more you want, the more you’re going to have to do to get it. If you want a lot of money, and are prepared to put in the time an effort to get it, then there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you want a lot of money, and have a family, then you have to weigh up which is more important, spending the time and effort to get it, or spending the time with your family. It can be a difficult juggling act; it really comes down to you and which you want the most.

9. What gets me motivated?

What is it that gets you motivated? This will be different for everyone, so there really isn’t any right answer.

Is the pursuit of happiness your motivator? Is it making sure that the family is taken care of? When you sit down and think about it, what makes you take action?

10. What is it that really makes you, you?

Now that you’ve written down your answers to the above questions you should have a better self-awareness. The answer to the way you make your changes lies in what you really want, if you really want it, whether you can see the final outcome, are you comfortable in making changes, are you actually happy with where you are at the moment, and what sort of motivation it will take to actually achieve your goal.

It’s good to have a plan, but you won’t know how to fulfil it if you don’t have at least a basic amount of self-awareness.

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