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Why Many Americans Are Becoming Minimalists!

In Your Guest Writers on February 20, 2011 at 10:15 PM

(And how you can too)

By: Jennifer Brown Banks

 

 

Image Credit Somedarkson

 

 

“Sometimes less is more”.

If nothing can be said of a tough economy and uncertain times, it’s certainly causing us to reassess our lives and redefine what it is that we value. True? Prosper perspective is crucial for survival and optimal quality of life.

‘Dem days of living high on the hog, keeping up with the Joneses, and making bold risks have gone bye-bye like eight track tapes and “free love “ in the ’60s.

As a case in point, I was surfing the Net and saw where quite a few folks were constructing and living in what are called “Tiny Homes” now. These structures, that are a mere fraction of the size of your typical American Dream, are said to “house” just as much joy for those that own them. Not to mention, they cost less comparatively in many cases, and prevent the possibility of over indulgence and hoardering.

With this being said, here are some factors to consider if you’re contemplating this lifestyle choice in the future.

 

  1. Our parents survived on less, and in many cases were just as fulfilled. In former generations, many didn’t have cable TV, or Internet or fast food conveniences.
  2. Minimalism typically means less debt.
  3. Less debt leads to less stress. Less stress can lead to longer longevity and better health.
  4. Having an attitude of materialism and defining ourselves through our possessions is unhealthy and unrealistic. As we have seen through world events, our status can change with one act of God or misfortune.
  5. Stream-lined living and proper focus can cause us to spend more time with family and friends,  develop and sustain important bonds and relationships, and cultivate cherished memories.

 

A wise person once said, “You don’t have to have everything, to have everything you need.” Food for thought.

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, Columnist, and Pro Blogger.  You can find her work at  Pen and Prosper, Coffeehouse for Writer’s and Technorati.com


4 Types of Insurance Everyone Should Have

In Your Guest Writers on January 15, 2011 at 1:36 AM

 

Image Credit Michal Zacharzewski

 

 

No matter how much or how little you make in a year, insurance is one financial topic that cannot be ignored. Insurance protects you, your family, your earnings, and your possessions. Without it, you leave everything to chance. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much on insurance or purchase insurance that you don’t need. If money is tight, you are better off focusing on the four types of insurance that you can’t afford to go without.

Auto Insurance

Despite the fact that some form of auto insurance is required by law in every state, more than 16 percent of the nation’s drivers are uninsured. For this reason alone, you should make sure you are protected when you hit the road. At minimum, you should have enough auto insurance to meet state minimum requirements. Collision and comprehensive coverage makes sense if you have a nice vehicle or a lien holder on your title. Your policy should also include some form of liability coverage, which pays for other people’s expenses when you are at fault in an accident.

Home or Renter’s Insurance

Although neither home nor renter’s insurance are required by law, both types of insurance are smart to have. If you own your own home, you should have enough insurance to cover 100 percent of your home’s replacement costs. You should also have some level of liability coverage in case someone is injured on your property–in addition to coverage for your personal possessions. If you rent your home, you will definitely want to have a replacement cost policy for your possessions as well as liability coverage. Your landlord’s insurance will not pay for anything you own.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a necessity for everyone. When you pass, your family will need money to pay for funeral and burial costs. If your family depends on your income or even a portion of your income, they may need extra cash to pay the mortgage and other everyday bills. Other financial considerations could include retirement, education, and taxes. The amount of life insurance that you need depends on your individual situation. You can get an estimate by using one of the many free life insurance calculators on the web or by speaking with a qualified insurance agent or financial advisor.

Disability Insurance

A disability will affect one in five Americans at some point in their life. Most people are disabled for at least 90 days or longer. If a disability would prevent you from supporting yourself or your family members, you should definitely have disability insurance. An individual disability policy is designed to replace a specific percentage of your income if you are unable to work and can be purchased at a relatively low cost. You may also be able to get short-term and/or long-term group disability coverage through your employer.

Guest post from Bailey Harris, who writes about Car Insurance Quotes for www.carinsurancequotes.net.

Got Goals? How To Walk The Talk In 2011!

In Uncategorized, Your Guest Writers on January 7, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Image Credit Nikola Hartmann

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “I hate my job, but I’m stuck.” Welcome to the club. Truth is there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of worker bees humming the same tune. In fact, it seems that job dissatisfaction has become the norm. And, well, frankly it’s so ’90s!

Part of the problem is that too many folks are functioning on auto pilot and fail to devise a game plan to get out of their 9 to 5 hell. Perhaps it’s even you. If so, take heed.

You need to get some goal planning going. 

Goals serve like a road map to navigate your path on the road to success.  How can you go the distance if you don’t even know your direction?

With this in mind, here’s how to walk the talk.

  1. Bust a move! Stop dreaming and start doing. Identify the obstacles to career success. Do you need to go back to college? Become more computer literate? Blackmail your boss? Decide and then deliver.
  2. Establish a deadline. To quote a popular expression, “a goal without a deadline is just a dream.” For example, where would you like to see yourself next summer, (besides the beach)?
  3. Write your goals down. Studies show that individuals that commit their goals to paper are much more likely to see them manifest.
  4. Share your goals with a friend, family member, or coach. Ask them to keep you accountable.

And remember my sage words of advice, “He who creates goals creates gold!”

Follow these four tips in 2011 and “resolve” to have the career you’ve always wanted and deserve!  Live well with less stress.

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, Columnist, and Pro Blogger.  You can find her work at  Pen and Prosper, Coffeehouse for Writer’s and Technorati.com

Photo:  Please feel free to use the image on your blog or in any commercial use.  The download is available for free here, at stock.xchange . 

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