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Lindsey Patterson

How to Make Parenting Easier

4 min read

Being a mom is a challenging job that doesn’t come with an instruction manual or any sort of formal training. You have a baby, you bring your baby home, and you hope that you are able to do the kind of job you’ve been dreaming of doing your entire life. Being a mom comes so naturally to many women, but there are things you can do to help make the job easier. If you’re looking for a few off-the-cuff tips to help you make your mom job a little easier, you’ve come to the right place.

 

Remember You’re Not Alone

The biggest misconception about parenting is you are all alone in everything you’re going through. Your child is alone in his or her behavior, you are alone in the way you feel, and no one understands. You are not alone, everyone is struggling with certain stages, and none of the moms you see on social media are perfect. They’re all struggling, and some people just hide it better than others. You are not alone in failing at times, in succeeding at times, and in feeling as if you’re lost at times.

 

Get Your Finances in Order

Being a mom is a lot easier if you have your financial house in order. If you’re not constantly worried about finances, it’s easier to sit back and enjoy your life to the fullest. One way to do this is to look for ways to save when you can. Did you know you can compare car insurance rates online and find a better rate? The right car insurance policy is the one that provides you with the protection you need at a price you can afford. You also need an emergency fund but don’t stress if you don’t have one and something comes up. A car title loan is a great way to get cash when you need it the most.

 

Getting your finances in order helps make being a mom easier. Make a budget, cut back on your expenses, and save for emergencies. You can make your life a lot simpler when you are prepared for anything and everything with your child and your home.

 

Create A Routine

Routine is helpful when you’re a mom. Kids thrive on routine and schedules, and they love it when you make them fun. When they are on a routine, they tend to behave better. When they go to bed at the same time, they are easier to live with. Make life fun, but create a routine. For example, you can make the evening fun by starting out with homework to get it out of the way. Then you can play outside, come inside for dinner, take baths and showers, brush teeth, and then read a book or play a family game. Let the kids watch their favorite show for a half hour before bed. Spend some quality time with them. This type of routine makes the kids less likely to have a fit when bedtime rolls around as well as the rest of the day.

 

If you can get your own life in order, you can help make parenting easier. From creating a household budget so you are in charge of your money to creating a schedule so your kids are in charge of their own lives, you’re setting a good example. Not only do these things make it possible for you to feel calmer and more relaxed, they teach your kids the same core values. They’re more likely to grow up happy and with the same habits, and that’s a nice feeling for any mom. Social media makes parenting look easy, but no one finds parenting easy all the time. Some days are better than others, and sometimes you just wish the day would end and you could remove it from your memory. They call it balance.

 

Lindsey Patterson

Marketing Tips for Your Online Business

4 min read

As an online entrepreneur, it can be frustrating when you are not getting enough foot traffic or when your sales are down. It is during such times that you need to analyze your online marketing strategies to realize where you are going wrong and turn things around. Online entrepreneurs can look at these marketing tips to help them increase sales as well as get enough foot traffic to their ecommerce website or online pages.

 

Use a personalized call-to-action

Entrepreneurs who measure their conversion rates can attest that they increase sales. Hence, it is vital to optimize places where conversion takes place such as the calls-to-action. A call-to-action is an important element of pages that encourages readers to take a certain step. For instance, in product pages, readers are encouraged to buy now or add to cart. Calls-to-action can also encourage readers to follow a social media page, subscribe to a mailing list, or share content. A personalized call-to-action is more precise than others because they address individual page visitors separately because they consider your sales funnel. The call-to-action should address visitors, paying clients or leads separately, and you can be sure that will increase conversion rates for your online business because visitors are converted to leads.

 

Display prominent guarantees

Online stores can also increase conversion rates by giving visitors guarantees that their services or products are of highF quality. For instance, you can use security badges that indicate that all transactions on your site are secure and private. However, badges are designed differently, but consumers trust those that come from familiar brands such as Google. You can also use return policies and money-bank guarantees, which earn trust from potential clients because they feel assured that they can get refunds if they find the services or products not satisfactory. Also, industry-specific badges are also instrumental. Your online store should ensure that it use badges from its field or industry such as awards, ratings, accreditations or membership to specific bodies.

 

Write clearer headlines

Headline texts are vital factors that increase sales regardless of whether it is for a squeeze page, an article, homepage or product page. You should make your offer clear in the headline like being specific on your target group and what you can do for your target customers. People prefer explicit headlines about the content that a business offers as opposed to headlines that are ambiguous. Online businesses should review their primary page's headlines such as product pages and homepages by incorporating what the business hopes to do for its target customers.

 

Use pop-up offers

Most people when they hear the word pop-up often think about the annoying distraction that appears while browsing through websites. However, they can assist in increasing conversion rates and lessening shopping cart abandonment rates when used strategically and sparingly. You should make sure that the pop-ups perform well by providing relevant information to readers. For instance, if you are giving promotional products or freebies that your readers are excited to use then your pop-up window will not be a distraction, but a gift. You can design a pop-up design that offers discounts for your products. Additionally, you can increase leads by creating a window that encourages visitors to give their names and contacts in exchange of a 15 percent discount.

 

Prove customer satisfaction

One of the ways you can use to increase your online store sales is by proving to your readers that your business has a good reputation of offering satisfactory services or products. Your proof can in the form of a list of current or former customers, testimonials, case studies, and industry awards. Besides, many reviews translate to better conversion rates. The proof is mostly important for new ventures that are trying to establish as trusted brands. You can make sure that each product page displays reviews or ratings.

 

Now that you have been inspired by these guidelines, you can adopt them for a complete turnaround on your sales. Most importantly, make sure that you offer quality services or products to ensure customer loyalty. You can also talk to an expert to help you design unique pages.

Lindsey Patterson

Three Things You Should Know Before You Become an Entrepreneur

4 min read

For many people, their dream is to become an entrepreneur and make their business idea a reality. Doing so is certainly in the realm of possibility. This, of course, is the story of many extremely wealthy business people. However, even more people fail to launch a successful business. About 80 percent of businesses eventually end up failing.

 

This can be a depressing statistic to hear for those that have long held the aspiration of starting their own business empire. While many businesses do fail, there is a lot you can learn from their mistakes. Doing so can help you avoid those mistakes so you do obtain long term business success. Below are some of things you need to know before you start a business.

 

Is Your Business Idea Doable?

Many people think they have a great idea for a business. While there are potentially many great untapped business ideas out there that could make entrepreneurs into millionaires, far more business ideas actually won’t work in practice. Just because you have an idea does not mean there is existent demand out there for that product or service in the market.

 

However, there may also be demand for your product idea, but the demand might be so low that consumers are only willing to pay an amount that wouldn’t be enough to cover your fixed costs. This is often the case when a product can be obtained for free by consumers. Think, for example, how much file sharing on the internet has harmed the music industry. Piracy is even hurting video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Piracy costs the video streaming industry $50 billion a year.

 

Overall, if you want to find out if your business idea is a good one that could actually create a profit, you need to perform market research. Without this research, you will not have a good gauge on whether your idea should be tweaked or even abandoned. You could end up losing a lot of money.

 

Who Are Your Customers?

You also need to know exactly who your customers will be if you want your business to succeed. Without this knowledge, it can be extremely difficult to create effective marketing. You need to know exactly who your target demographic is in terms of things like age, sex, race, ethnic background and much more. Even knowing things like the hobbies and religion of your target market can be extremely valuable information to have for marketing purposes.

 

If you don’t know what your target market is, on the other hand, you could end up marketing to the wrong segment entirely. You need to perform the research required to figure this out. Companies spend a lot on marketing. Most companies, in fact, spend 10 to 13 percent of their revenues on marketing efforts. Wasting your marketing dollars on the wrong consumers can be a huge mistake to have to pay for.

 

What Is Your Business Model?

Once you know there is a segment of consumers with demand for your product idea, you need to create a business model. Your company’s business model is basically the blueprint for how it will operate. It should include outlining how you will deliver your product, how you will create revenues, who your customers will be and how you will obtain financing.

 

For example, whether you start your own brick and mortar store, sell your products online or use a distributor to bring your products to retail store shelves is certainly part of your business model. Having to invest in ecommerce website design will certainly be cheaper than building your own brick and mortar location.

 

Overall, starting your own business is a difficult endeavor. Despite this, about 543,000 new businesses are launched every month. While the statistics for failure can be scary, you can increase your chances for success by doing the proper amount of research and planning before you try to obtain financing for your business idea.

Lindsey Patterson

Family Friday Party Night Ideas

4 min read

As a parent, you rush around a lot. You know your schedule is too busy when your kids start saying, "I'm so tired. I have too much to do." It's both sad and funny that you can relate to them. Clearly, you need a party day, and this day should happen every week because a party on Friday is an awesome way to kickstart the weekend. The only thing is, you will need to change up your party themes. Consider some of these ideas for this next week's extravaganza.

 

Pajama Party

It can be a struggle getting your kids to bed, but if you start with a pajama party, you already have one obstacle out of the way with getting them dressed for bed. Make a deal that the party can't start until they've showered, and you'll have two things out of the way. A pajama party is about taking it easy, so get out the candles or some music. Sit back and relax. Get out board games, s'mores or tell stories. If you have all girls, consider slumber party activities like doing nails and hair. After the party, have a mini camp-out in the living room. It's extra fun to get fleece fabric to make your own blankets. Kids love these.

 

Pizza Party

You need a kick-back day once in a while. It's hard coming up with dinner ideas, and at the end of the week, you've had enough. It's good to get pizza, take out or any frozen dinner you can heat up within a matter of minutes. Besides, your kids will only be little once, and you want to fill it with memorable moments. You don't want to be slaving over the stove every single day. There are never-ending choices with frozen foods. Get some ideas from your kids on what they want to eat, and make a smorgasbord for your meal. Put on a movie or a movie streaming site, and chill with some blankets on the floor. Another benefit to a pizza party is that you don't really have anything to clean up before bedtime.

 

Color Party

Kids have fun with this one. Have your children pick any color they want. For instance, choose the color brown. For food, have steak, pudding or chocolate cupcakes. Watch Charlie Brown, wear brown clothing, make brown crafts, and think of other ways to incorporate brown into your party. Use spray-on hair dye when you choose colors like pink, blue or green.



Glow-in-the-dark Party

This is an especially fun theme to do. Take a no-holds-barred approach to this party idea. You can get inexpensive glow-in-the-dark items, such as glasses, necklaces, and bracelets. Spring for a black-light, and get other glow in the dark items. You can have glow-in-the-dark makeup and nail polish too. It's fun to turn off the lights and dance around. If you're from the 80's or 90's, consider some old school hip-hop or house music to introduce to your kids. Your kids will have a blast.

 

The Whatever Party

Get ideas from your kids. They'll quickly let you know what they want to do. They might want to make slime or play video games. A fun thing to do is to get balloons and fill them with prizes or money. Kids get to play with the balloons and have a nice surprise at the end. Fun doesn't have to be expensive. You just need to get a little creative.

 

Along with Friday Party Night, think of other themed nights. For example, Monday is a hectic day where you need to take it easy to help you transition into the week. Do a movie night for Monday. Tuesday, get creative with crafts. Wednesday, you're barely making it through the week, so get moving with a game night. Thursday, you're almost there. Time for some magic and make-believe. Sticking to an easy plan like this, you can unwind every night.

 

Lindsey Patterson

3 Ways to Become A More Effective Manager

4 min read

The first step to becoming a competent manager is to recognize your employees are humans just like you. Being a manager is not an easy task. Regardless of your line of business, you will probably work with people. Managing people effectively is critical to the success of your business. As a manager, you should focus on developing honest relationships with your employees. That is critical for a collaborative and thriving work culture. Remember that employees are one of the most important assets that you have. Therefore, don't let them ruin your business or their efforts go to waste. Here are three ways you can become an outstanding manager.

 

Be Honest about Your Feedback

We all know that being honest is vital to any business culture. Similarly, it is indeed important to be honest when it comes to managing employees from different walks of life. One of the strategies to build healthy relationships at work is being honest about your expectations. However, being honest about certain feedback can often cause trouble. Brutal honesty can often result in conflicts of interest. Instead, adopt the sandwich management approach, which allows you to deliver less positive feedback. It begins with appreciation, followed by honest comment and growth recommendations. While it may seem tedious, employees are likely to respond much better when you sandwich your feedback. You don't have to go straight into criticism. Employees are more receptive to your comments when you sandwich negative reviews in between positive feedback. That way, they feel less like you're confronting them. Employees also feel that you truly value them and wish them the best. Let your employees view corrective feedback as coaching rather than criticism. Giving constructive criticism with care can enable your employees to develop skills and become more competent. Constructive criticism could help correct an issue permanently.

 

Praise Your Employees at Every Opportunity

While this may seem like the easiest task, it tends to be the toughest task for any manager. Often, it is easy for a manager to ignore the achievements of his or her employees. After all, you pay employees to perform their duty in the right way. As such, it makes no sense to reward them for their competence or completing a project ahead of time. Of course, commitments can help hold your employees accountable. However, employees are humans just like you and praising them can help improve their performance. Just like kids appreciate praise from their parents, employees will feel valued when you recognize and acknowledge their individual efforts. Taking their efforts for granted will only make them feel unappreciated and result in underperformance or turnover. Nothing is worse than losing talented employees just because your manager undervalued them. Employees can hardly improve without getting feedback from their managers. As a manager, praise your employees for a job well done and encourage low performers to up their game.

 

Establish Effective Communication

Establishing relationships and team building with your employees can help improve results. As a manager, you must establish effective communication habits within your organization and encourage your employees to become better problem solvers. However, this doesn't mean that you should be the one who makes all decisions. Successful managers are good at listening to their subordinates. Managers should first understand the opinions of their subordinates before responding to them. Communication doesn't have to be about work-related issues either. You could grab a cup of coffee and spend some time with your employees away from work. That helps establish stronger and trust-based relationships with your employees. Showing interest in their personal lives can help build trust and open communication.

 

Of course, no one is perfect when it comes to staff management. While you can't be a perfectionist, you should strive to give the best service. You should always rethink your strategies and reflect your past encounters to improve your management skills and experience. Listening can go a long way in maximizing the performance of your employees. Consistency in praising and adopting a sandwiched message delivery method can be a winning combination in your organization.



Lindsey Patterson

Should You Buy Into Cryptocurrency?

4 min read

Cryptocurrency grabbed headlines last year when several altcoins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin rose to dizzying heights. Bitcoin, which was hovering around $800 at the beginning of last year finished it at a spectacular $17,000. As a result, more and more people are considering adding cryptocurrencies to their investment portfolio. But as an untested market, is cryptocurrency really worth it? Here are some pros and cons that will help straighten out this topical debate:

 

Decentralization

If you've always hated the fact that your bank charges you a monthly service fee simply for not having enough money in it, cryptocurrency is a breath of fresh air. Because cryptocurrencies can be transacted online without the need for a third-party, banks will be obsolete. And considering that close to four billion people across the globe have no bank account or have no access to banking services in general, a decentralized market like digital currencies can change how billions of people manage their personal finances.

 

Convenience

With the continuing expanse of digital innovations, having a convenient way of paying people online is becoming increasingly essential. Cryptocurrency is making digital payments a viable method for purchasing goods and services. More and more companies, such as Overstock, Expedia, Subway, PayPal, and Shopify, are accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

 

Liquidity

With Bitcoin's price surging more than 2,000 percent seemingly overnight, it left a taste of bitterness in investors who weren't able to hitch a ride on the rocket. But even as the hype has started to dial down, the cryptocurrency market still maintains a high daily trading volume, which offers many opportunities to profit from. Altcoins, or coins that were created as an alternative to Bitcoin, can jump hundreds of percentage points in any given day. Many of them are cheap, in the range of a few cents, which means even a hundred percent jump with a $100 investment can be quite significant.

 

Ease of Transactions

Simply open a broker account, like you would with other traditional financial markets, and start buying and selling cryptocurrencies. The only nuisance with cryptocurrency investing, however, is that brokers carry only a limited set of coins, so you'll have to create multiple accounts with different brokers just to be able to invest in the coins you want. This can be a taxing process, considering the hoops you have to jump through to get your account signed and verified. That being said, buying cryptocurrencies is quick and effortless once you have an account. Mitigate risk by using tried and tested strategies, such as value investing, hedging, and collar strategies.

 

The Other Side of the Coin

While there are more pros than cons when it comes to cryptocurrencies, it's still a relatively nascent and therefore imperfect financial instrument to invest in. For starters, many of the altcoins you see today are being pumped and dumped on inexperienced investors. Currently, there are more than 1,500 altcoins that are recognized by Coin Market Cap. Many of these coins bear no real value nor do they have any future as a stable currency.

 

Cryptocurrency investing is also expensive. The fees involved will depend on the broker you use, the payment method you use to withdraw or deposit, and the amount of coins you buy. For instance, buying 1,000 XRP coins on BitStamp can cost you $50 to $100 in commission fees alone. That's a whopping 10 percent of your initial investment. To make matters worse, 5 to 15 percent is charged from your account when withdrawing it back to your linked bank account. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid paying fees when investing in cryptocurrency.

 

The Verdict

The answer depends on how you perceive Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies in general. If you believe there is a future wherein cryptocurrencies are the main form of payment for anything and everything, then by all means invest some of your capital on cryptocurrencies. Your risk tolerance will also play a huge role. Since altcoins are volatile, you should be okay with the idea that your investments today might be wiped out by tomorrow.

Lindsey Patterson

Three Thoughtful Ways to Make Your Home the Envy of the Neighborhood

4 min read

Many people struggle to keep up with the Joneses in a proverbial sense, and you may have fallen into that mentality on more than one occasion over the years. However, have you considered the possibility of being the Joneses? What if you could create a home that was so amazing that your friends and neighbors were green with envy? Of course, there are other reasons to dress up your home in numerous ways. For example, a gorgeous, well-designed home with exceptional features may be more enjoyable for you and your loved ones to live in, and it may increase your property value. If you are ready to update your home and make it as appealing as possible, turn your attention to these intelligent ideas.

 

Install a New Swimming Pool and Hot Tub

When you live in a warm weather climate like Mississippi, it makes sense to dress up your backyard so that it is more ideal for personal enjoyment and for entertaining. Custom pools Jackson MS are a great option that may be well-suited for many homeowners. If you have a mid-sized or larger backyard, you can install a gorgeous pool and perhaps even a hot tub. This is the ideal space to enjoy low-impact exercise on your property. It also can increase your home’s resale value and overall appeal. A yard with a pool is the perfect location for entertaining friends and family throughout most of the year in Jackson as well. You can even combine a new pool and hot tub with other features, such as an outdoor kitchen, a beautiful outdoor living area, an amazing sound system and more. Focus on making your backyard the ultimate place for outdoor parties and get-togethers.

 

Create Impressive Curb Appeal

While you should create the ideal backyard space, you also should dress up your home’s front exterior. Friends and neighbors who you have grown close to may be invited to backyard barbecues and other events throughout the year, but you also want your home to have a recognizable presence that the entire neighborhood talks about. Your yard needs to be among the most beautiful in the community, and hiring a professional landscaper to design and maintain your yard is a smart idea. Many people struggle with curb appeal because they lack the special skills required to create a stunning look in the space or because they simply do not have time to maintain the yard. Curb appeal makes the home more appealing, and it could even increase property value. Remember to add hardscape features, lighting and other elements for more dramatic results.

 

Choose Impressive Interior Upgrades

If your goal is to create an impressive home that others talk about with great admiration, you cannot overlook the importance of interior upgrades. The home should be beautifully decorated, but it also needs to have features or elements that take it a step above and beyond. One idea is to invest in smart home technology that you can demonstrate when you are entertaining your neighbors. You can also create a huge and well-outfitted media room that is perfect for inviting neighbors over for a movie night or to watch the big game. Think about how you currently use your home for entertaining and which features may make your home a stand-out with your neighbors and friends.

 

Unless you have a huge budget to work with and are able to hire a contractor to execute all of these ideas and other improvements that you have in mind, you should plan to be patient with the process. Focus on one improvement at a time, and make that improvement as amazing as possible. It may take several years or longer to create a perfectly wonderful home that lives up to your expectations. However, your friends and neighbors may understandably be envious of each new improvement that you make to your space between now and then.

 

Lindsey Patterson

5 Digital Marketing Tips to Set Up Your New Website for Success

4 min read

The internet has changed the game for small businesses. No longer do you have to compete directly with huge corporations for finite shelf space at major retailers. Instead, you can offer your wares to anyone in the world with a shipping address through the power of the internet.

 

Despite the possibilities, however, not every business that launches a website is successful. Some estimate that the failure rate for online businesses may be as high as 90 percent. That’s nothing to scoff at. If you want to avoid becoming part of this horrifying statistic, you need to learn how to properly implement digital marketing to make sure your new online businesses turns a profit. With that in mind, below are five digital marketing tips you can use to set up your new website for success.

 

Content Is Key

 

Advertising isn’t anything new. People are bombarded with ads pretty much from the day they are born. As such, most people consciously try to filter them out. In other cases, they manually filter them out as is the case with “spam” email.

 

If you want to attract people’s attention, you’re going to have to do more than simply bombard them with ads. Instead, you should provide them with relevant content. Whether it is blog articles, recipes, entertaining videos, games or something else, the content you offer should inform people of your products while providing value apart from that. Content marketing is one of the strongest forms of online marketing. For example, it produces three times the leads that paid search does for the same amount of money.

 

Sell a Variety of Products

 

While you may be intending to use your store to only sell your own products, you may want to reconsider that plan. If you sell a variety of items including those produced by other companies, you could in fact increase your profit margins if you sell those items with a healthy markup. If you produce cosmetics, for example, you may also want to consider making your online store into a Lipsense distributor as well. If offering more products results in people placing more items into their digital shopping cart, this can be a winning strategy.

 

Implement Strong SEO

 

Search engine optimization is one of the most important marketing strategies you can implement for a website. There are over 1.3 billion websites on the internet. Without strong SEO, it will be pretty much impossible for someone using Google, Bing or another search engine to find your store. Make sure to optimize your website for keywords and search terms that customers would be likely to use. If you can accomplish that, you’re sure to reap the financial rewards.

 

Market with Social Media

 

Social media is an excellent marketing tool you should certainly take full advantage of. Unlike other marketing platforms like radio and print, it’s completely free to sign up and publish marketing materials on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you use your account well, you can build a huge following that you can market to directly by informing them of new products and promotions at your online store. If your social media postings manage to go viral, you’ll be able to reach many new customers.

 

Cater to SmartPhone Users

 

You should also be aware that the majority of your customers will likely be making purchases using smart phones as opposed to desktop or laptop computers. Keep this in mind in regards to your marketing materials, web design and SEO. If your web design isn’t optimized for mobile browsing, Google and other search engines will likely punish your ranking for mobile search results.

 

The internet is a powerful tool. It can allow you to reach far more consumers than you could ever hope to reach with just a brick and mortar location. However, that doesn’t mean that selling your products on the internet will be easy. You will have to make the proper investment into the right marketing strategies to make your online store a success.

 

Lindsey Patterson

4 Ways Technology is affecting Homes of the Future

4 min read

While they might seem like something out of “The Jetsons,” smart homes and the technologies that fuel them are the future. And with the advent of smart lights, burglar alarms, and even smart refrigerators, the future is now. Although many homes already have state-of-the-art technologies which keep the lights on and the burglars away, homes of the future will have technologies that will stretch the imagination. Here are four ways (beyond smart refrigerators and lighting systems) that technology will affect homes of the future.

 

1. Community Warning Systems

John Barret, a professor at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, suggests that not all changes that affect smart homes will affect individual homes. He points out that homes in designed communities might have a systemwide warning system.

 

Say, for example, that it’s spring and your neighborhood begins to flood. As the smart devices in your home detect the rising water, a warning will go out to all of the other homes in your area. With technologies such as this, residents around you will know if they can stay put or if they need to move to higher ground. In theory, such a system could even help you check on your neighbors in an emergency: Each home would have the potential to monitor who stays and who goes during such an event.

 

2. Insurance Costs

In the future, if you’re interested in getting cheaper home insurance quotes, you may have to have a specific kind of smart technology, according to an article on the Bobatoo website. All of the gadgets in the home of the future will have a connection to each other. That connection will go into your home’s smart system, which will detect issues like gas leaks, flood or mold damage, and any other potential disaster-waiting-to-happen.

 

In turn, this information will get fed into your insurance company’s computer system. It’s likely that you’ll either have to correct whatever problem your home’s smart system finds or face higher insurance rates. On the flip side, homeowners who keep their homes in good repair could enjoy reduced insurance rates.

 

3. Building Materials Will Change

It’s likely that having your home built by bacteria probably hasn’t made it to your bucket list just yet. However, it could in the future. Building technologies these days can harness the power of bacteria and fungi to create eco-friendly bricks, shingles, and other building materials.

 

And some building materials won’t even be built by bacteria or fungi. Instead, some companies like EvocativeDesign are actually looking at ways to make houses out of materials like mushrooms. Who’d have thought?

 

4. Company-Created Energy

Almost all people love to have guests over. However, usually, the reasons have to do with affairs of the heart. In the future, homes could be built in such a way that your guests’ footprints will fuel your home as well as your heart.

 

Technologies like the tiles created by Pavegen turn the energy created from your and your guests’ footsteps into energy that you can use to light up your home. This will allow homeowners to capitalize on their own man-made energy instead of the energy created by the local utility company.

 

By now, most people probably expect their homes to be a house-sized version of their smartphones. Although these homes have been called the homes of the future, they already exist now. Current technological advances mean that your home’s alarm system, electrical outlets, and even messaging systems associated with your computer are all connected.

 

However, homes of the future will not only have these technologies. They will include building materials made from mushrooms and building tiles that allow you to get your energy from your own physical efforts. In the process, peripheral elements like what’s going on your neighbor’s home as well as the price of your insurance could all become a more interconnected as the influence of the Internet of Things continues to evolve.

Lindsey Patterson

3 Things You Must Know Prior to Purchasing A New Car

4 min read

If you’re in the market for a new car, you know you have a bit of homework to do. The best way to find a new car is to arm yourself with knowledge first. Know what you need and want, and figure out which cars on your short list are worth the most and hold their value the best. Know what it costs to repair those cars if something happens, and always know what the cost of maintenance on a car is before you bring it home. You might think that new BMW was a great price until you realize the cost of an oil change is four times what it is on any other car.

 

Buying a new car means arming yourself with knowledge, and there are many things you must know before you buy a car. Don’t rush this process, and take these tips into consideration. They’re designed to help you save money and get the best deal possible on a new vehicle.

What the Car is Worth

Not all cars are made the same. If you’re comparing SUVs, for example, know which brands have the best value. Let’s say you are looking into a Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon. You’re going for the base model without any frills or fancy options. You will find the cost of the Ford is significantly lower than the cost of the GMC. However, you’ll also find the GMC does not depreciate nearly as much as the Ford.

 

This means you’ll lose less money on your purchase, and you’ll be able to trade it in or sell it for a lot more than the Ford. Do you want to be upside down on your car in a few years, or do you want one that holds its value? Sometimes paying a little more upfront is worth a lot more in the end.

What Your Total Payments and Cost Will Be

Always secure your own financing before you car shop. Your credit union or bank will offer you a much lower rate than a dealer’s lender will, and you can make the entire process a little bit shorter and less stressful when you secure your own financing. You walk into the dealer knowing exactly what you can afford to spend and what the loan will cost you over the life of your new loan. Knowing this helps you stay on budget and only look at vehicles that fall within your price range.

The Definitions

Car salesmen like to throw different phrases around to make it seem like they’re giving you a deal. They count on you not knowing what the MSRP definition or the dealer invoice price definition is when you’re shopping. It’s time to do your homework by learning what these things mean and how they affect you.

 

For the most part, you know what you’re looking for and how much you’re spending, and you should have two or three cars at different dealers to compare. This helps you know you’re getting the best price by comparing prices at different dealerships. It also allows you to pit one dealer against another when you walk out of what a salesman is sure is a sale. When you say you have a better price at another dealer and prove it to them, they might lower the price and allow you to have more options.

 

Buying your new car is fun, but it’s a process. The best way to focus on a new car is to give yourself a few weeks to find out what you want, do your research, and learn. You don’t do yourself any favors if you rush into a new car purchase without first looking for ways to save. Education is the best tool you have when you’re buying a new car, and you need a good one if you don’t want to walk away paying too much.