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8 Steps to Minimize Your Auto Insurance Budget

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An average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States ranges around $33,543. Despite the high price, you can still lose the car as a result of an accident or theft. Taking a car insurance policy will compensate you in cases of such inconveniences. Considering that the law requires that each car has an insurance cover, it is wise to find a cheap but convenient auto insurance premium. Lowering your auto insurance premiums should not mean settling for a low-quality insurance cover. You can reduce your insurance cost while enjoying full insurance cover for your car. The following suggestions will help you save money on auto insurance.


1. Conduct a research to compare car insurance quotes
 
Car insurance companies and rates on their policies vary widely. Before contracting an insurance company, you should carry out a market analysis to find and compare insurance company with respect to affordability and quality of service. Contact friends and family members who have already used the services. Alternatively, call the insurance companies directly to inquire on their premiums. In the process of conducting your research, obtain at least three quotes from different companies. Be sure to choose the company with the best customer relations in sorting out emergency issues.
 
2. Before purchasing a car, compare their insurance premium costs
 
Before you buy a car, compare insurance premiums allocated for the car. Most people ignore the insurance premium as part of the overall budget of owning a vehicle. It is advisable to compare insurance premiums for different cars because they differ based on specific characteristics such as the car’s price and its cost of repair. 
Safety is another factor that you should consider before buying a car. Auto insurance providers give lower rates and discounts to clients who own vehicles that are considered safe. Similarly, vehicles that are easily damaged result to high insurance premiums.
Vehicles that are highly vulnerable to theft are more expensive to insure. So if you aim for lower premium rates, carry out a thorough research to establish the premium rate that your car is likely to attract.
 
3. Decide on a suitable deductible 
 
A deductible is an amount you pay before making a plan on your insurance policy. Higher deductibles will lower your premium rate. 
 
4. Reduce coverage on older cars
 
If your vehicle is old and your annual premium rates are 10% more than its value, you should drop the coverage. In the case of insuring an old car, possible claim payments that you may receive, in the event you suffer a car accident, are likely to be less than the premiums you had paid.
 
5. Choose one insurance company for homeowners and auto insurance
 
An insurer will often offer you a discount if you purchase both the home owner’s policy and auto coverage from the same company. 
 
6. Maintain an excellent credit rating
 
Your credit history communicates much about you. Drivers with good credit history are subject to minimal accidents. Many insurance companies will always track your credit history when calculating your rates. It is advisable to check your credit record regularly to ensure that you maintain a good history. 
 
7. Select your desired coverage wisely
 
Insurance policies fall into five distinct categories. They are described below with crucial points to consider when deciding on the coverage to purchase.
• Liability insurance covers damage and medical bills when an accident occurs. The State laws require that all state drivers bear liability insurance. While a liability insurance cover is crucial, you will be in a better position if you take a wider coverage that guarantees you extra protection.
• Collision coverage takes care of damages that result from impact with another vehicle or an object. For cars that are older and of little value, it is advisable to omit this policy.
• Comprehensive coverage covers cases of theft or loss that are not related to an accident. The policy is suitable for cars on lease.
• Personal injury protection cover takes care of a driver’s medical bills and those of passengers involved in an accident.
• Uninsured/ underinsured motorist protection covers your expenses if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. The cover is cheap and worth buying.
 
8. Check out for discounts
 
Auto insurance companies such as Sysive offer discounts for policyholders who attain certain achievements. Such achievements include:
• Drive fewer miles than average motorists
• Have not been engaged in an accident for a specified period
For motorists living in UK, contact Classic Car Insurance to get affordable, yet reliable auto insurance cover.

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Author Bio:

Anand Rajendran is a freelance writer living in Chennai, India. His interest in personal finance and budgeting began when he was earning an MFA in theater, living in one of the most expensive cities in the country (Chennai, TN) on a student’s budget. Today, he writes for a number of websites and keeps up his own Classic Car Insurance company named Sysive in UK.

July 14, 2016 |

How To Migrate A Drupal Website To Its Latest Version?

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With 200 new features, essential core modules, and mobile-ready design, Drupal 8 is all set to take the arena of CMSs by storm. Moreover, with as much as 34 Drupal 7 modules being a part of the new version’s core, the latter offers better core functionalities. If you are considering migrating your Drupal 6 or 7 website to the new version, then you must know about the following migration steps:

1. Prepare The Source Site:
Migration from Drupal v6/v7 to Drupal v8 is performed by migrating the content of the source site (ie website running on version 6 or 7) to that of the Drupal v8 site. For this you must first prepare the source site. This involves updating the version of the source site to that of the latest version. That is, if your website is running on version 6.33 and the current version is 6.38, then you must update it to the current version before proceeding. Moreover, it is advisable that the migration is not performed on a live site, and thus, create a back-up of your source site.

Original Source

July 14, 2016 |

My Father, My Unlikely Hero | A Father’s Day Tribute

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He married my Mother. In the 1940’s it was the right thing to do under certain circumstances. For that, he is my hero.

In the 50’s he gave up his career as a jazz musician for his family and tried to settle into suburban life. For that, he is my hero.

In 1961, just when they were settled into family life with their three teens, I came along. He never wavered, I was Daddy’s little girl, the apple of his eye. For that, he is my hero.

In 1966 my mother became gravely ill. He worked and did his best to care for his family. For that, he is my hero.

Without my mothers help in running the business, it failed. Along with that came massive medical bills and bankruptcy. He kept plugging along. For that, he is my hero.

In amongst the fragile foundation of their marriage crumbling around him, he committed to providing home dialysis care for my mother. For that, he is my hero.

Within the boiling pot of drama and dysfunction around his affair and their separation, he never once spoke badly of my mother to me. For that, he is my hero.

In order to accommodate his love for me and his love for his girlfriend, he went against my mothers strong (and utterly hurt based) rules that I was not to be anywhere near “her”. It was the only way he could see spending more time with me. For that, he is my hero.

He was there for his children when our mother died. For that he is my hero.

No matter how ill and fragile he became, he always had a fun little game or trick to play with my sons. They loved their grandfather. For that, he is my hero.

On his deathbed, his words “Honey, why are your working so hard?” changed my view of proving I could be a career woman and sent me on a path of self-discovery. For that, he is my hero.

Now ten years after his passing, I still feel his love. For that, he is my hero.

For most of my life, I looked back upon my childhood and only saw the dysfunction. It was a crazy ride that could prove to be a script for a soap opera. I had allowed the pain and heartbreak to define me for much of my adult life.

It wasn’t until I learned how to dig deep within gratitude that I was able to let go, forgive and look back at my childhood with a lens of love and empathy.

Had I written this list prior to doing the gratitude work it would have felt like an assault on my father instead of a tribute. Gratitude helped me open up to see that he never, ever intended to hurt anyone. I was able to forgive and let go of old stories that were formed in my unenlightened, child’s mind. That is the power of gratitude.

Louise Aspden is “The Positive Coach”. She delivers programs and coaching designed to help her clients create contentment within their lives, as they are, in the moment. Visit www.positivecoach.ca to learn more.

June 19, 2016 |

6 Easy Ways to Get Ready for Online Trading – Applicable for any business

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Nowadays it’s easier than ever to have it all. The world is full of opportunities for you to be passionate, do what you love to do, without having sacrifice making real money.  How many times have you thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could go there or do this’, but stop yourself because you are afraid you won’t be able to support yourself?

Online trading is more robust and more popular than it’s ever been across the globe. Platforms exist that facilitate trading assets such as stocks, indexes, commodities and/or currency pairs in global markets. When opportunity knocks don’t just stand there, open the door! Figure out how to travel across South East Asia while trading shares of Deutsche Bank.

Your ‘to do list’ can easily look like this:

Tuesday: See Machu Picchu

Wednesday: Online Trading

Learning how to trade online is easy. In fact you can do it in 6 simple steps.

Step 1: Decide Your Investment Goals

Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.

Bo Jackson

The first thing you need to do before you start screaming buy/sell at your computer as you trade online is figure out what your investment goals are? Do you want to make some money to go on that big trip, buy a house, a car, or are you just a thrill seeker looking for the next rush? The answer to this question will help determine what asset you’re looking to trade, and in what time frame should you expect to see returns. This will really give you a good direction to begin with.

There are tons of material online to help you get started. In fact, most brick and mortar exchanges as well as governmental regulatory bodies such as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) have information on how to start figuring out your investment goals.

Step 2: Decide What to Trade

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

Peter F. Drucker

Once you decide what your investment goals are – what you are aiming to achieve – you’ll have a better idea of what platforms you want to use and which assets you want to trade. For example, if you have a 10 year plan to buy a new house, you might want to look into more vanilla options such as ETFs. But, it is best to weigh all the options.

A growing area for online trading is binary options. Binary options are fast pace and provide potential high returns in a very short time frame (of course the potential return for each trade is strongly correlated with the associated risk). These options are also very simple to understand. Essentially you look at the price trend of an asset – stock, commodity, index or currency pair – and decide whether you think that trend will go up or down.

Step 3: Understand How Markets Work

To know values is to know the meaning of the market

Charles Dow

Before you can accurately forecast if the market trend for an asset price will go up or down, you first need to understand the market. There are basically two ways to look at the market – fundamental analysis and/or technical analysis.

Fundamental analysis tries to interpret the market in the context of external events. How does a hike in interest rates affect the price of oil? Technical analysis looks at charts of market data to analyze the sentiment of the market, whether it is bullish or bearish. Most successful traders will use a combination of the two.

Step 4: Strategies for Success

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
   Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A good strategy is what takes the goal you wrote down in step 1 and turns it into something achievable. Almost all strategies are have methodologies for noticing the right setup and taking action when the opportunity to make a big win is in you favor. Of course all this rests on your understanding of the market.

There are many great strategies out there. Some deal specifically with stocks or currency pairs and some take a holistic look at the market. Make sure to match the correct strategy with the correct asset. If you can adopt more than one strategy and make it work for you, you’ll be miles ahead of 99% of the other traders out there and well on your way towards consistently winning trades online.

Step 5: Practice, Practice, Practice

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.

Aristotle

As with anything in life, if you want to be good at something, you need to practice. Practice makes perfect. Through repetition you’ll begin to get a keen eye for which trades have the potential for real winnings and which are too risky for your tastes.  

If in step 2, you decided that binary options are the right online trading vehicle for you, then you are in luck! Most, if not all, of the most highly regarded binary options platforms let traders practice on free demo accounts. Free demo accounts offer novice traders and experienced traders learning a new strategy the chance to perfect their techniques with minimal risk. You are able to trade with real market data using fake money. There is no better way to really get the sense of what makes a winning trade.

Step 6: Stop Reading and Start Trading!

May 20, 2016 |

A Motherless Mother’s Day

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I am grateful that I had my mom in my life for twenty-one mother’s days.

This will be my 33rd mother’s day spent without her.

The first few years were very difficult for me, as I watched friends and family make plans to enjoy a day with their mothers and families.

I remember feeling so upset when I would hear friends complain that they didn’t know what to get their mom’s. It was a problem I wished I had.

I am grateful that I had a wonderful mother-in-law. Sadly we lost her two years after my mother.

Again, it was painful to hear my friends lament about their mother in laws. It was a problem I wished I had.

I am grateful to be a mother.

The gift in losing our mothers created a new appreciation for the time I get to spend with my own children. I treasure every moment I have with my sons and now, their families.

My heart bleeds for mothers who have lost a child, or were not able to have children. I send you prayers for love, peace and more inner strength to carry you through this weekend.

I cannot imagine how you may feel if you hear another mother complain in any way about her children. It’s a problem I am sure you wish you had.

I wish everyone a mother’s day filled with gratitude for the love you had, and the love you have.

Louise Aspden is a life coach, trainer and speaker. Learn more at: positivecoach.ca

May 11, 2016 |

What Is Your LOVE LANGUAGE?

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I read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages” years ago. I have to say; this amazingly simple message has had a huge impact on all of my relationships, most importantly my marriage. It has also helped me coach my clients around their relationships.

Please take less than 15 minutes to go through this LOVE LANGUAGES TEST and also, encourage anyone close to you to take it as well.

This book and this test created a whole new level of self-awareness within me that has helped me understand what I need from my husband in order to feel loved.

It also wasn’t a surprise to me that we both have very different love languages!

So what do we do with this information? I suggest that you first articulate your love languages to your significant other. My hubby is an amazing man but I don’t expect him to read my mind, the poor guy, I’m hard enough to understand at times!

The second is to look at what their love languages are and make sure you make a conscious effort to show them love, their way.

A very wise former colleague of mine used to say we have it all wrong, it isn’t ‘ do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. ’ it is ‘ do unto others as they would have done unto themselves .’

After you take the test please leave me your comments below! I would love to hear your thoughts! 

May 11, 2016 |

I Can SEA Clearly Now …

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Someone I was chatting with (in person) the other day started laughing.  I wasn’t quite sure why and so I asked.  Ruby said, “You’re actually excited about having to pay income tax next year.  I’ve never talked to anyone who is excited about having to pay taxes.”

I looked at her and the light bulb (incandescent, 150w) switched on.  Ruby was absolutely correct!  How come I’m excited about having to pay income tax?  That’s gotta be a first.

When I moved up to the Barrie area in mid-2012, I was not only optimistic that I would be able to find a job, it would be a good job.  One with a decent salary, benefits, congenial co-workers and a bright and happy work environment.  It would be one where I would be able to utilize my skills and 40+ years’ worth of administrative, hands-on experience, including being a Department Director for most of my 25 years in “The Big Job”.  Boy, Reality gave me a really good slap up one side of my head and down the other.   I wasn’t young, thin and blonde anymore.  Not that I was ever blonde but you get my drift.

I stumped local business areas in the coldest January Ontario had seen in decades.  Toes frozen in winter boots, despite thick socks.  Goose-bumps popping up on my arms despite a thick winter coat, scarf and hat.  Wow, is it ever fun and stylish to go job hunting in a northern Ontario winter.  I’m starting to think it was more my Michelin-woman-like appearance than being over-qualified which won the job for someone else who was young, thin, blonde and ever so fashionably dressed, even if it meant she froze her tatas off.

I was thankful that at least I had the smarts to downsize considerably when I moved here from The Town Down Below and could survive, somewhat, on pogie.  The rest had to come from cashing in some investments, upon which I took a big hit in taxes and deferred sales charges (I’ve learned A LOT about that).

I registered with the local employment office and haunted the job board, either online or, sometimes craving person-to-person contact, in the office.  I read every posting searching for anything which would enable me to pay the bills.  Some posts I read a few times, hoping that I had missed something.  Faint hope but it springs eternal.

One day while chatting with the receptionist, she mentioned a government program, called the Self-Employment Assistance program aka SEA and my life changed.  No drum rolls, cymbals or with the speed of lightning (or molasses on a cold day) ‘cause, after all, it is the government but it changed.

And because of SEA, the company I started with the education I got through SEA, my own Smart(s), and a local, free mentoring/networking group, many of the members also SEA graduates, my company is in the black after just a little less than three years and, according to my accountant, I will have to pay income tax next year.  Yay!

I was shocked and saddened by the government’s announcement about a year ago (2015) that the SEA program was being discontinued.  In this area, Simcoe County, there aren’t a lot of job opportunities, other than retail or restaurants, neither of which would work for me and a lot of other people I’ve met.  The SEA program, administered by the Business Enterprise Resource Network or BERN as we call it, provided the education, bolstering, amateur psychologists (aka shoulders to cry on) and a swift boot in the butt when required.  Without them, I have to ask myself, where would I be?

And so, it was invigorating to learn that the Director, Business Consultants and support staff at BERN have morphed their 15 years + of administering the SEA program for the government, into providing the same education and advantages into THE BOSS program.  It’s worth the drive to 121 Commerce Park Drive, Unit A in Barrie to check them out.

I can SEA clearly now that my destiny is in my hands and within my control.  Make it so for you.

 

                                                        THE SEA

Great business world

New Entrepreneur unleashed

Watch out, here I come

 

© 2016 Phyllis Mahon

March 22, 2016 |

Things to Consider When Having a Home Inspection during winter

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You’ve been searching like crazy to find that dream home, and finally you’ve found it. Now before you finalize the purchase of this home, you decide it’s in your best interest to have it inspected by a professional, smart move. However, it’s the middle of winter and there’s a few feet of snow covering the ground, so here are some things you need to consider if having a home inspection performed during winter.

Quite honestly, winter is the worst time of year to conduct a home inspection. However some things can’t always fall under our control, so we have to make the best of the situation we are faced with. Many important items such as the condition of roof covering(s), lot grading and drainage, condition of walkways, balconies, decks and patios as well as the condition of A/C units cannot be inspected during winter due to restricted access or visibility from snow build up.

Some people will expect that a home inspector go onto a snow covered roof (yeah really?!!) and remove the snow from the roof in order to inspect the shingles or roof covering. Despite the fact that this is just plain silly and dangerous, it would be a waste of time because the inspector would most likely end up damaging the roof to some degree by doing this. In order to properly and effectively inspect a roof, it must be clear of debris so the entire roof can be viewed and assessed correctly. This can be nearly impossible to do during winter.

Lot grading and drainage is a very important item to check during an inspection, however in winter it is next to impossible for the home inspector to determine whether the grading is adequate due to snow cover. Once the snow melts, you may find the need to re-grade the property in order to keep water away from the foundation.

Condition of foundations and inspecting for major cracks or structural deficiencies can also be very difficult if the snow depth around the house blocks the inspector’s visibility of the foundation.

Our advice is if you are having a home inspection performed during winter, then it would be a very good idea to consider having a backup budget ready for items that your inspector cannot inspect due to circumstances out of his or her control.

Remember a home inspection is an inspection of the readily accessible items at the time of inspection, therefore if snow conditions hinder the inspector’s ability to access certain items; you must be prepared to deal with the potential problems that may exist. If this falls outside of your comfort zone, then perhaps it’s wise to buy a home outside of the winter months to ensure you can get the most thorough inspection possible.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. performs home inspections, WETT inspections, mould inspections and thermal imaging in Barrie, Alliston, Collingwood, Orillia and across Simcoe County.

February 18, 2016 |

Being Your Own Boss

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After working for ‘other’ people my whole life (40+ years) , I never, in my wildest dreams, day or night, thought that, one day, I’d become my own boss.  Like, who knew, right?

After having the decision thrust upon me, I did it the right way and took a business course, one sponsored at that time, by the government. Not only was it sponsored but it paid a small stipend which allowed me to (somewhat) live while I was taking the course and then almost paid expenses (living frugally, no take-out anything for me) while I invested everything I had, mentally, physically and emotionally in getting my only source of income up and running.

Not being young, blond and thin anymore (SNORT, never was blonde), I found after moving to The North Country, that jobs were plentiful if you wanted retail or to slave away in a restaurant. No shortage of those here in Simcoe County but personally, at this stage of life, I’d rather be served than the server.

Ten of the longest weeks in my life ever eventually crawled by while I learned a lot, had some laughs, shed some tears and made the odd friendship here and there.   Yay! My business plan passed muster and I now felt sufficiently knowledgeable to go out there, take the world by its tail and give it a snap.

Almost three years later I am still my own boss. Most days I quite enjoy it. Others, especially around bill-paying time at the end of the month, I seem to develop a very sudden case of dry-mouth syndrome and a little insomnia thrown in for good measure.

Despite, or perhaps because of the joys of being my own boss, now that I’ve discovered them, I enjoy my business life and look forward to getting up every day (no time off for The Boss) and being in the moment for whatever that day brings.

February 16, 2016 |

Common Misconceptions of What Is Included In a Home Inspection

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You’ve just bought your new home, time to get that home inspection booked, right? Most people make the assumption that a home inspector is going to check every little thing inside and out of the house and everything within the property itself.

WRONG! Let’s go back a second here and start again. You are going to book a “home inspection”, right? Okay, so that would mean an inspection of the home itself, not everything on the property and under the sun. Clear as mud yet? Let’s dig a bit deeper here…

A home inspection can be defined as such:

“A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by set Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector”.

Now without turning this into an explicit multi page document, basically a home inspection is just that, an inspection of the home itself, nothing more, nothing less.

Many people assume that a home inspector will inspect items such as pools, saunas, hot tubs, irrigation systems, water filtration systems, wells, septic systems and outbuildings among many other things. While some qualified inspectors may offer to inspect some of those items listed (of course for an extra fee), inspection of these items is not typical and not required by any known and recognizable standards in the industry. Some people may ask, why is this?

Why Home Inspections?

If we take a moment to ponder why, we quickly realize that it would be next to impossible for one person to carry enough knowledge and experience with them to facilitate thorough inspection of all of these items noted above. Furthermore, with the typical inspection window allotted of about 3 hours for most homes, it would be impossible for one to inspect all of the extra items in the time allowed for most residential inspections. This is why home inspections have a very specific scope of work that focuses on inspecting major and expensive components of the home. Otherwise a home buyer would likely have to hire a team of people to inspect the various items in and outside of the house and the rest of the property. This would cause the inspection process to be much lengthier and drive the cost into a territory that would not be very feasible for most buyers. We also have to remember, the home inspection is performed prior to taking possession of the home, so this presents many limitations as well.

Home inspectors are generalists, not experts in one specific craft or trade, although some may have previous experience in one particular field of work or trade which can help them excel at being a home inspector. Think of it this way, your home inspector is much like your family physician. Say for instance your hip is giving you trouble. Off to the family doc to have it checked out right? Now chances are your family doctor is going to send you to a specialist to get that hip checked out. Same scenario can be played out for other medical ailments as well right? This is because your family doctor for the most part can relate to the “generalist” approach mentioned earlier. Your doctor has pretty good working knowledge of the entire human body, but doesn’t act as an expert in one particular area. Your home inspector is similar in the sense that they have a pretty good working knowledge of homes in general, but they can’t possibly know every single detail about every single different item inside or outside of the house. They have a good idea of when something needs to be replaced or repaired, or when a more serious matter might be present. This is why the focus of the inspection is placed on major systems of the home and not much attention is given to minor defects or imperfections. In a perfect world a thorough home inspection would reveal every single defect present in a home, however reality is much different. Inspectors have to contend with all sorts of things than can make a home inspection very challenging. It’s for these reasons that home inspectors have a very specific scope of work that details what they will and will not do during an inspection.

If you’re about to have a home inspection performed, it’s a really good idea to review the scope of work with your inspector, especially if you’re not sure of what is or is not included in your home inspection or if you have a specific concern about the home. Any good inspector should provide you with this prior to the inspection taking place. Here is an example of what to expect from your home inspection.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. has been performing home inspections in Barrie and across Simcoe County since 2006.

January 17, 2016 |
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