Are you and your partner on the same page about credit?

Divide it up into a budget

I was raised in an house when money was saved. If we wanted something, we had to earn the money for it. We saved up for school clothes, dates, gas in the car, and pretty much anything else we wanted. The expectation was in place that if we went to school after high school we were supposed to pay for that as well. With that motivation, it was easy for me to work hard and save most of what I made. Even though I started with small amounts I was able to save up quite a bit of money and was able to pay my way through college. Often it meant sacrificing something I wanted in the moment, like clothes and shoes, for something I needed later – an education. My parents were very good at teaching us to be savers and financially self-reliant, and my siblings have all started to follow suit. We never got into the habit of spending a lot of money, or buying things we didn’t really need.

During the first part of our marriage, I felt like my husband had no real concept of money. I was pretty sure he had never even heard of the word or the concept of a budget. If we went grocery shopping, he wanted to get all the food he could and he would go straight for the expensive stuff as well. We got quite a few gift cards at our reception, and had completely different points of view on how they should be used. he had a “well, we have them and there’s some stuff we probably need so we should go find it” mentality, while I wanted to wait for an actual need to arise before we threw one of them in our wallets and went out looking for something specific. I actually ended up hiding a couple of the cards so that we wouldn’t use them and had them for when we needed them later.

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Our credit cards

For a few months, I was at a loss. we had completely opposite points of view about our finances, and stunningly different relationships with the money that we earned. I wasn’t really sure what to do, but I knew something had to be done after we ended up purchasing a laptop we didn’t have the money for. We put it on a credit card, but didn’t have enough money in any of our accounts to cover it. It took three months to pay it off, but that was the beginning of the problems. We applied for more credit cards but a free credit report showed that we were pretty much at our borrowing limit. Things got so tight that we advanced ourselves money off of our credit card, which was a whole new position for me. I had always been in control, had my money working for me, instead of the other way around.

I didn’t agree with a lot of the things we were doing with our money, but I didn’t want to bring money up, because I knew we would just disagree about it and the discussion would cause friction in our young marriage. That was the last thing I wanted.

I had a glimmer of hope one evening when I was working on our budget and showed it to my husband. He looked at it and saw that he had taken about $50 out of our checking account and put them on his school card, which he used to lunch at the vending machines on campus. A little light went on when he saw how much his lunch was costing us in $5 increments. I think it was then that he started to realize that the little things can add up in a hurry and do some major damage to our finances if we weren’t paying attention. I began to hope that this would be the beginning of the change…

So if you and your partner arent on the same page financially, sit down and talk about it openly and try to understand where each is coming from. Break it down simply and show benefits from doing it your way and you will both be stronger when it comes to your money.

Designing A Site That Gets Traffic – SEO Basics

HTML Tags Can Be Confusing

Today we will look at some of the meta description tag and meta keywords tags you need to consider to optimize your site well.

Together with the site’s visible content, the optimized meta description tag provides the information needed to match your target audiences search queries.

META Description Tag In HTML

In the HTML code of a web site, a META description tag is written like this:

<meta name=”description” content=”your content” />

As an example, the META tag for this particular post is:

<meta name=”description” content=”META description tag. (SEO Basics) What is a META description tag? What does a META description tag do? How can you optimize it? Examples provided.” />

To view the META description tag of a site, simply go to your browser toolbar or ‘right-click’ anywhere on your page and choose “view source”.  The meta tag should be located near the top. Mine is approximately 14 lines down, including the blank  lines.

Take a minute to check it out.

How Are META Description Tags Viewed in the SERPs?

Some search engines are temperamental, and like to grab snippets from your page to show beneath the title of your post.

Most of the time, your META tag information is viewed by searchers beneath the title of your page in the SERPs. (search engine results pages), especially if you are using a plugin such as All In One SEO Pack which allows you to manually apply META tags in WordPress admin post editing section, beneath the post.

Optimize META description tags for the search engines to ensure that your site has a better opportunity to rank highly for the words that you’d expect your potential target audience to use in their query.

Equally important, is optimizing the tag to appeal to your audience. You want to use it to draw the attention of your potential visitor. This is known as using ‘call to action’. E.g. for a technology blog like Knowledge Revolution you would want a call to action like “read the latest tech news now!”

The purpose of keywords meta is to tell the search engines what your content is about.

(**The lack of support for the META keywords tag may be due to spammers who seem to enjoy using this tag for “stuffing” hundreds of keywords of non-relevant data, in the hope of receiving a higher ranking with the search engines.)

How To Write META Keywords Tag In HTML

If you are unfamiliar with META keywords tag, take a look at this example:

<meta=”keywords” content=”meta keyword tag, meta keyword, meta, keyword, keywords tag”>

Yours would be <meta=”keywords” content=”your, keywords, separated, by, commas, here”>

To view the META keywords tag of any site, simply go to your browser toolbar, choose “view” then “page source” or right-click anywhere on your page and choose “view page source”. It will be located in the first few lines of code.

In which I discover the magic coffee maker

cheap k cups taste great

<3

I recently started a job in a corporate office.  I personally was very excited because it is my first “real adult” job in my life.  I love getting dressed every morning in sharp business professional attire and walking down the halls with my briefcase on the way to my very own cubicle.  If you couldn’t tell already, it definitely makes me feel a little self-important and extremely fancy.
However, one of the drawbacks about working in the corporate world is that I no longer have the ability to take my time getting ready in the morning.  I used to be able to dilly-dally and read the paper or watch the news while starting my day. This includes being able to surf the internet a little bit and brew a few cups of coffee before heading out the  door.  Now that I have a morning commute to worry about, as well as avoiding rush-hour traffic along that commute, I just don’t have the time to do any of that stuff.  I have to be up, ready, and out the door– fast.
That’s why the Keurig coffee maker was such a smart purchase for me.   I used to have to choose between brewing several cups of coffee at a time, or watching the pot to see when exactly enough had been made to fill my mug.  Additionally, I could never seem to get it right because my mug holds more than one cup.  It seemed like with my old coffee maker I was always making too much or not enough. I felt like the Goldilocks of coffee drinkers.
With my Keurig and the individualized cheap K cups, I no longer have to worry about that silly stuff.  I pour in exactly the amount of water I need, and exactly the amount of coffee I want comes out.  Not to mention it is totally delicious and takes less than a minute to brew.  When I’m rushing out the door and on the way to work, one minute can make all the difference on whether I am five minutes early to the office or ten minutes late.  Thanks to Keurig I don’t have to be stressed out about punctuality, because I know I’ll be on time every time.  The fact that the Keurig coffee cheers me up and gets me ready to tackle my day is just an added bonus.
Finally, I have been able to make a solid impression with my bosses at work because I got them to be the newest converts to the Keurig way.  In the office break room there used to be an old, poor quality, industrial sized coffee maker that spit out tepid brown water.  Once I brought in my thermos full of Keurig and had my neighbors down the hall drooling from how good my beverage smelled, the office manager purchased a Keurig of our own.  I may be known as the “coworker who is responsible for the awesome coffee maker” at work now, but hey, I’ll take it.

5 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

How is your footprint?

These days it is pretty hard to deny that unless something changes dramatically with the way people treat our environment the effects are going to be drastic. While some vocal people still deny that global warming is really happening they are fast becoming a minority – it seems as though global warming is real, it is happening and it is scary. So what can you as one single person do to make a difference? Here are five quick suggestions that I try to be aware of in my daily life and they really are not hard to implement at all.

Buy food from local producers

We live in a globalized world, and while this is by-and-large an amazing thing that has opened us up to knowledge, new cultures and experiences and cheaper products (I am not an anti-globalization hippie!!) the fact is that shipping products all over the world is emitting massive amounts of carbon. Nowdays it is standard to visit the grocery store and find fruit and vegetables from all over the world. However, the fact is it is not much more expensive to find stores that stock locally grown produce that only has to be trucked a few miles from where it was grown rather than flown 1000s of miles.

Ride your bike or walk more

This one doesnt only help the environment but is good for your health too! Next time you are driving to a store just around the corner stop and think if it would be just as easy to walk. Going a bit farther? Jump on a bike. You can pick up perfectly good bikes second hand for under $100 and just riding a few times a week instead of driving will also save you a lot of money on gas. It’s a no brainer.

Use green energy

Many power companies now give you the option of getting some or all of your energy from clean sources. Even better read up on how to to make solar panels and start producing your own solar power free from the sun.

How to make solar panels - save the planet

Check energy rating on new appliances

You will be amazed at how much more power one appliance can use compared to an identical-looking one right next to it. If you are buying something big like a TV, fridge or dishwasher do your research and choose a product that uses less energy – this can make a big reduction in your carbon footprint and to your power bill.

Consume less of everything

I have to admit that I love shopping online, but it can be a good idea to stop and think before clicking that checkout button… do I really need this new thing? We could all consume a little less and enjoy the simple things in life a lot more.

Pregnancy – three trimesters, a simple guide.

The magic of pregnancy is lost on half of the world’s population: the men.  However, I’m not writing this piece today for the men – I’m writing it for the women!  There is no way that men can ever truly understand pregnancy as they will never experience it firsthand.  Even if they study a book and look at pregnancy week by week, it doesn’t compare to actually living the experience.  Not even close.
For example, men will never understand that every single day for the first trimester a woman is likely to be throwing up due to morning sickness.  I’m sure they can’t even remember the last time they threw up, let alone think about doing it every single day for 90 days.  It seems almost like torture – and sometimes it feels like that for us women as well.

 
Fortunately that doesn’t last forever, as the second trimester provides some relief in the pregnancy process.  I like to refer to the second trimester as the “honeymoon period” because a lot of the bad symptoms of pregnancy tend to disappear during this time, and a lot of the good symptoms also peek their head out to say hello.
One of these good features is that the baby begins to move around, or kick.  This is one of the few times that a man can actually participate in the pregnancy by feeling his child kick in the woman’s belly.  I have to say that when my husband first felt his child kick in my belly he told me that he finally understood just a little bit of what I was going through over the last three months.  That meant a lot to me and to him as well.  It brought us closer together as a couple and as a team working through the pregnancy.

Energy levels tend to rise during the second trimester as well, which is great both for you as a mother and for your family.  The truth is, when mom is out of commission the family sometimes loses its way a little bit.  Surprising how often we women are the thread that holds the family together, isn’t it?  I like to think that without us making sure things actually happen then the house would be a mess and the children would be running around willy nilly all over the place with no manners at all.  Feel free to disagree with me on that though!
My husband once said to me that during the second trimester I was the easiest to get along with and also the most positive, though sometimes crazy, person he had ever been around.  You definitely still get the hormonal swings during the 2nd trimester but you’re able to deal with it in a much more responsible way because you simply have a clearer mind.  Something about not throwing up every single day and also seeing signs that your baby is alive and well just puts you in good spirits and gives you encouragement as you enter the final stage of pregnancy.