Top Kitchen Cabinet Handles In The Market

Two key focuses of my blog are financial literacy/money and business/entrepreneurship. If you’re building your own personal residence or purchasing a home from a previous owner, you want it to have the most modern and functional features available. If you’re an investor renting property, you want your units to have the most appeal possible for potential renters. Kitchen space is an important consideration in both instances. The following guest post is entitled, Top Kitchen Cabinet Handles In The Market.

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Source of image: Pexels

Function and decorative purposes. These are the two factors that people consider when looking for kitchen cabinet handles, or just cabinet handles in general.

A lot of hardware stores sell good quality functional cabinet handles, but not in the design that will match your style and vice-versa. Sometimes it feels like you are going in circles because there are just too many choices and too many hardware stores to choose from. If you are remodeling your home, it can cause you much hassle.

To help you save time on picking, here are the top kitchen cabinet handles in the market.

Stainless steel bar pulls

One of the most popular cabinet hardware that people look for in stores. This sleek pull benefits minimalist designs and modern kitchens. It features round shapes that contrast stark 90-degree angles. This design makes it easier for a person to pull a cabinet because it lets you wrap your fingers all around the handle.

Elegant pulls

This variety of kitchen cabinet handles is moving fast to becoming a staple in numerous homes. Elegant pulls have the luxury of being modern yet conventional which makes them adaptable. Its adaptability makes it an effortless update to your kitchen hardware.

Arch pulls

With a black finish on, arch pulls are the simplest way to dress up a sterile cabinet and counter combination. Putting a black finished arch pull on your basic Shaker cabinet makes them stand out because of the white paint. Another little good thing about arch pulls is that you won’t get any fabric stuck in it because of the allowance it has between the cabinet door. They are also excellent choices for wooden cabinets.

Wave pulls

Pair up unique cabinetry hardware with colorful cabinetry to produce visual delight in your contemporary kitchen. Wave pulls make a splash when mounted. Satin nickel pulls like these provide the best upgrade to the traditional home design.

Complete length pulls

Definitely a perfect fit for large cabinets that contain more stuff than usual. This develops a smooth look and a minimal clean surface in your kitchen. It will also most likely standout depending on the color of your kitchen cabinetry.

Stainless steel finger pulls

A modern-style kitchen can certainly gain a thing or two from stainless steel finger pull handles. These specific pulls have an industrial feel which means, it can match an apartment with many metal-touches in it.

T-bar pulls

Bronze-finished T-bar pulls are the best compliment for traditional Colonial style cabinet doors. Long T-bar handles, on the other hand, look great mounted on two-tone kitchen cabinets that are larger in size. For kitchens with a non-traditional layout, you can use the shallow t-bar handle because it serves an attractive accent to Shaker doors and cabinets and it doesn’t consume unnecessary space.

Metal ring pulls

Metal ring pulls give the last touch to traditional mission-style kitchen cabinetry. To really pull-off the said look, you can duplicate the oil-rubbed bronze surface of the hardware with your faucet and lights.

Cabinet handles are the simplest way to decorate and improve the look of your kitchen. There are many to choose from depending on the style you’ll have to incorporate them in. Choose wisely to achieve the best ambiance for your kitchen.

Author’s Bio:

Rosette has a knack for anything “Do it Yourself” (DIY). She spent her younger years learning about the different hardware tools and equipment in the hopes of establishing a hardware business in the future. Her career options may have changed, but today, she continues to write so passionately about her first love.

4 Important reasons why women are more affected financially due to the COVID – 19 outbreak

Two focuses of my of my blog are Current Events and Financial Literacy/Money. There are so many layers to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Crisis/Pandemic. In addition the human health issues, there have also been financial after effects in the area of jobs. Something that’s not being discussed in all circles is the effect of the pandemic on the finances of women. The following guest post is entitled, 4 Important reasons why women are more affected financially due to the COVID – 19 outbreak.

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The coronavirus outbreak has devastated the entire world economy and it has almost reached the middle of this year. But still, humankind is eagerly waiting for a cure to stop this pandemic. Till now, approx 2,941,218 active cases were found worldwide, and nearly 357,979 deaths were reported due to this pandemic. Doctors and healthcare providers are working day and night to provide good medical treatment to the infected people. Medical researchers and scientists are working hard to find an antidote to this virus infection. Unfortunately, we still need more time to get the results.

According to CNN, the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected health care associates worldwide more than common people. Most of those associates are young and among them 70% are women. Institute For Fiscal Studies (IFS) director Paul Johnson informed the BBC Today programme“There are those young people who are in those jobs at the moment or were in those jobs before COVID[-19] hit, and if they’re not able to get back into work then there may be longer-term consequences for them. We know that periods of unemployment when you’re young can have long-term effects. Traditionally you’re going to be looking to start work in September, [but] now couldn’t be a worse moment to be doing it.”

In China’s Hubei Province, about 90% of healthcare associates are women. In the U.S., that number is around 78%.

So, practically women are more exposed to the COVID – 19 virus than men. As a result, women are experiencing the impact of the pandemic more than men, on physical and mental grounds.

According to a report given by PayScale, financially women have faced the biggest hit from the COVID – 19 outbreaks within the last 6 months. Another report revealed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation And Development, new jobs are being created mostly considering the men, not women during this difficult economic situation. This might be a reason why women are financially getting down day by day. During the lockdown, it is also becoming difficult to find another income source.

In the UK, nearly 70% of the two million single parents are currently employed, but 3 out of 10 single parents working are living in poverty. Unfortunately, approx 90% of single parents are women.

These aren’t the only reasons women are experiencing hardship due to COVID – 19 pandemic. Check out the below-mentioned causes that should get your attention.

4 Important reasons why women are more affected financially due to the COVID – 19 outbreak

1. Women play a key role in family caregiving

After reviewing the above-given data, it is clear that women are the prime workers who saved time apart from their work, to provide care to their families. Due to the lockdown, most of the schools and workplaces are closed now. So, kids, elders, and other family members are at home 24-7. Due to this reason, most of the female workers have to be at home and away from work. They are attending family members who are ill or can’t take care of themselves.

When these female workers return to their work or try to rejoin, they’re being offered 7% less salary compared to male employees, who are working in the same designation. PayScale’s director of research, Sudarshan Sampath, verified this situation in PayScale’s 2020 State of the Gender Pay Gap report this way – “The coronavirus pandemic has exposed these cultural faults with our economic system. There is a strong likelihood they will not get rehired or they’ll come back on reduced terms.”

2. Unpaid sick leave creates a financial hardship

During the coronavirus outbreak, nearly 67% of private sector employees, and only 30% of low-wage workers who earn $10.80 or less/hour, may get the benefit of paid sick leave. Apart from that, only less than 50% of part-time workers may get the option of taking sick leave.

According to the report given by OECD.ORG“In some countries, sick-leave compensation only covers a small fraction of the previous wage and / or is shorter than the recommended period of self-isolation for people with COVID‑19 symptoms. For instance, Korea and the United States have no generally applicable statutory obligations for employers to continue wage payments in case of illness and also do not provide for statutory public sickness benefits (OECD, 2018[1]). Comprehensive spending data on employer-provided sick pay is not available for the United States, but a quarter of U.S. workers do not have access to paid sick leave at all (rising to one half for low-wage workers), and two thirds of workers who do accrue less than 10 days of paid sick leave per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019[2]). With the “Families First CoronaVirus Response Act”, the United States introduced two weeks of paid sick leave for workers impacted by the COVID‑19 virus, which will initially be paid by employers but be fully reimbursed by the federal government.”

Fortunately, from the very beginning of the COVID -19 outbreak, international organizations such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce, utilizing few problem solving tips for business and employees, agreed to provide help to their workers. The companies allowed their workers to get increased benefits during sick leave.

The American government has also worked hard on a bill that would help employees to get paid leave benefits. President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill is focused on providing paid leave to employees who did not have it and extending paid leave for employees having only a few days. The benefits are applicable to the employees stuck at home due to the pandemic.

“The new law grants two weeks of paid sick leave at 100 percent of the person’s normal salary, up to $511 per day. It would also provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67 percent of the person’s normal pay, up to $200 per day.”

*Data courtesy – the washington post

But there is a catch! According to the emergency legislation, only 20% of employees can avail paid leave benefits. Apart from that, small and midsize companies may provide these benefits for employees impacted by the coronavirus. Companies having 500 or more workers aren’t allowed to provide such benefits to their employees.

As per a calculation by the Center for American Progress, approximately 19.3 million U.S. employees (about 12% of 159 million workers) may face financial hardship without getting paid during sick leave.

3. The wage gap and job loss trigger monetary problems

62% of minimum-wage and lower-wage workers are female. These workers may experience a greater risk of job loss when businesses such as restaurants, departmental stores, hotels, and airports are shutting themselves down and firing their employees.

Even if women perform well in their designation, and maintain regularity, they may lose their jobs due to the business shutdown. Though women are less paid compared to the men, working in a similar job profile and designation, the effect will be quite harmful. This is also a reason that women are experiencing too much stress, and unfortunately, they don’t know how to remove that stress at work.

Women are affected more financially as a disproportionate number of women work in industries that are severely affected by the lockdown. These may include retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors. 17% of female employees are working in lockdown sectors, whereas mem workers are merely 13%.

In the country, 1.4 million citizens lost their jobs in March., with a 0.9% increase in female unemployment and a 0.7% increase for men.

If you analyze the controlled pay gap, the difference in payment will be seen clearly between men and women, having a similar job profile. Women earn 98 cents per $1 earned by men. According to PayScale, women are now getting 81 cents for every $1 earned by men (the ratio of median earnings).

During this outbreak, the wage gap is getting bigger than before. Female elementary school teachers earn 92 cents per $1, and women doctors earn 94 cents per $1, compared to men doctors. Female registered nurses earn 98 cents as usual. Unfortunately, black women earn 62 cents on the dollar and Hispanic women 54 cents for the same designation.

With such low income, women employees often experience difficult financial problems, such as unpaid credit card debts, medical bills, utility bills, kids’ education costs, housing costs, etc. As low-income earners, women may opt for help from non-profit credit counseling agencies and seek options to become debt free again.

Fortunately, the discrimination between genders and the wage gap has been gradually changing in a positive direction. As per PayScale’s survey – In 2018, women employees earned 78 cents per $1 earned by men. In 2019 the amount becomes 79 cents (+1), and in 2020, 81 cents (+3).

4. Unpaid caregivers are mostly women

Women around the world provide most of the unpaid caregiving work. As per the International Labour Organization (ILO), women employees normally render 76.2% of total hours of unpaid caregiving work, and it is more thrice as much as men employees.

Women employees are experiencing a shortage of paid caregiver policies. Currently, only 16% of private-industry female employees are allowed to receive paid caregiver leaves. Due to this reason, women taking too much sick leave for family members may trigger monetary problems in their lives.

● Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
● About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
● 65% of care recipients are female, with an average age of 69.4. The younger the care recipient, the more likely the recipient is to be male. 45% of recipients aged 18-45 are male, while 33% of recipients aged 50 or higher are male. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
● Upwards of 75% of all caregivers are female, and may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than males. [Institute on Aging. (2016). Read How IOA Views Aging in America.]

Data courtesycaregiver.org

As health care services are getting unavailable day by day due to the increased number of infected patients, many COVID-19 positive cases need to be treated at home by women caregivers. This may also increase the possibility of becoming infected during such an awful time.

Endnote

So, these are the 4 prime reasons why women are getting the hit more than men. Women share a large chunk of employment in various industries such as healthcare, restaurants, social assistance jobs, preschool, kindergarten teaching, flights, etc. Due to the outbreak, most of these industries are shutting down their business. Due to this situation, women all over the world are experiencing huge financial difficulties to maintain their lives.

Author Bio- Patricia Sanders is a financial content writer. She is a regular contributor to debtconsolidationcare.com . Her passion for helping people who are stuck in financial problems has earned her recognition and honor in the industry. Besides writing, she loves to travel and read various books. To get in touch with her (or if you have any questions regarding this article) email her at sanderspatricia29@gmail.com.

Why E Learning Can Drive Your Motivation Forwards

Two of the focuses of my blog are General Education and Technology. Even before the current circumstances, elearning was a wave of the future. It’s different than the traditional classroom setting which own set of caveats. The following contributed post is entitled, Why E Learning Can Drive Your Motivation Forwards.

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Photo: Pixabay

eLearning is a type of learning that is done through a different medium to that of a classroom set up where a teacher conducts a lesson and the students take notes. It has many benefits and is actually cost effective as compared to traditional forms of learning. The reason for this price reduction is because learning through this mode happens quicker and can be done at a faster pace depending on the life of the student. If you are learning in a classroom, lessons days and times are set, which can allow the student in between these days off, to slip and for their motivation to weaken. If the eLearning courses are available whenever, then their creative and motivated journey can continue at any time, with access whenever they wish. It also assists companies who are paying for their employees to educate themselves on a new area of learning, because it reduces time. A lot of training time is reduced with respect to trainers, and course materials. The learner does not have to travel and spend additional money to get to classes and all the necessary learning skills are learned in a setting to suit them.

Any modern business is going to come into contact with other businesses that have advanced technology that will drive the business forward. So it’s essential that all workers have a vast knowledge of any new technology to ensure that the business can be driven in the right direction. This may include having to train up your staff and even give them a whole new skill set in order to continue. If you are a company and are stumped on which path to take when it comes to eLearning then you can always look at Mindflash. It’s good to look at Mindflash LMS reviews and see just how they could benefit you. Most of the time, good eLearning sites are run via the Cloud which just makes things easy when any students wish to reassess files or research further.

● E-learning saves time and money – your workers can still be available to work and can take on any additional learning in their own time, such as lunches and afterwork as well as weekends, without having to compromise to go to classes at set times. It works for them too.
● E-learning leads to better retention.
● E-learning is consistent.
● E-learning is scalable.
● E-learning offers personalization.

It is convenient and flexible and is going to offer you extra time. Your employees need to learn new skills to grow and once they have learned, then it frees up time for them to try a new course. It’s a never ending chain and it’s easy to access which makes it good for everyone. Motivating your staff to learn new skills and offering these facilities is a boon to you as a company and proves your dedication to your staff which will serve you well. Offering eLearning to your team members, will give them the skills to take onto their next position with you or even a new job in the future.

Top Ways to Support Your Child with Remote Learning

Two of the focuses of my blog are Current Events and General Education. The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Crisis/Pandemic has adversely affected the educations of children across the world. Due to the pandemic, children have been forced in remote learning. Many parents/guardians have been unprepared for this change and have had to also adapt on the fly. The following contributed post is entitled, Top Ways to Support Your Child with Remote Learning.

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to get more serious, prompting closures of businesses and schools. Schools across the country have either ended the academic year or switched to online learning.

For many children, online learning is a new experience. Parents also have an extra burden, making sure their kids learn in the best environment.

Here are tips to help your child focus during distance learning:

#1: Create a designated learning space

Your child will work best in a comfortable, dedicated space that’s devoted to their studies. It can be their room, the living room, or the kitchen counter.

Talk to your child about where they’re the most comfortable studying. It may take some time for them to figure that out, so let them stay in different spaces until they find their designated study space.

Remove all distractions from your child’s learning area. Turn off the TV, limit their use of devices, and stow away their toys. Make sure they sit in a comfortable chair and give them easy access to school supplies. If they’re taking music lessons like piano, make sure the computer is accessible to the musical instrument.

#2: Set a schedule

Children work best when they maintain a routine. Figure out what’s the best time for them to learn. While some kids work best in the morning, others focus better in the afternoon or evening.

Once you’ve determined the best learning time, set a study schedule. Fit in breaks between study sessions so your kids can maintain focus. Encourage them to get up, go on walks, and move around, so they’re not sedentary.

#3: Encourage interaction

Your child will feel the effects of being away from friends. Aside from letting them talk on social media or text messaging, schedule a video playdate. You can speak to other parents to set up a video call so your kids can hang out with each other.

Stay in touch with fellow parents as well. Talk to them and share best practices on how your children learn. Ask if they need help as well.

#4: Stay in touch with the teachers

Maintain open, frequent communication with your child’s teachers. Doing so helps your kid stay on track with their learning. Reach out to the teachers if you or your child have questions and concerns about the mode of learning or a part in the lesson.

Don’t forget to share your kid’s successes. Talk to the teachers when your child reaches goals or makes positive changes. Your kid will appreciate the positive feedback not just from you but also from their teachers.

#5: Support your child’s behavioral and emotional needs

Set a reward system to motivate children to complete their work. Tell them they did a great job after completing a school day. Adding a checkmark or star sticker on their assignment also goes a long way into motivating your child.

It’s normal for your child to struggle with schoolwork. They are adjusting to the new normal, and they might experience anxiety and stress. Give them time to calm down and help them cope with their feelings.

The rapid closure of schools because of the coronavirus has forced children to change their study environment. Work with your child, fellow parents, and teachers to create the best environment for focusing and learning.

4 Key Advantages of Digital Marketing Over Traditional Tools

Three key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In our new digital age, technology has revolutionized business and commerce. If you haven’t started making use of the digital tools at your disposal, you should consider it. The following guest post is entitled, 4 Key Advantages of Digital Marketing Over Traditional Tools.

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The digital age signals the turn of the modern business era. With many available technologies, you will not be able to see companies that do not run in some form of online network. The rise of the digital age provides all business owners with a lot of benefits. However, it might be at the expense of traditional marketing strategies. The old form of marketing continues to be relevant in today’s market, but there is no denying that the flexibility of digital tools allows them to have higher demand.

Here are some of the advantages they have over traditional marketing strategies:

Lead Generation

If you are running a business, you know how important it is to gather the attention of your target market. However, it might be difficult to do that if people want to see the things they will buy in a store on online platforms first. They might not be aware of what specific items they must purchase, which is why they rely on search engines.

Getting SEO writers for your company will help you create content, which would convince potential customers to try your products. For that, you can hire an SEO outsourcing company for your business needs.

Social Media Presence

Social media is where most people interact for personal reasons. However, businesses realize that the potential of such online platforms is huge. You will be able to reach a lot of people in social media, which rapidly multiplies how much interest you are receiving.

If you can create a social media presence, you will be able to make a profit for your company. You can utilize business pages and ads on social media platforms. Your customer service strategies can also have a place there. You can start contests, provide discounts, and share announcements on social media, which makes it a must-have digital tool for business marketing teams.

Website Utilization

A retail store will likely be synonymous with business. However, the digital age provides a whole new dimension to sales. You no longer need to have a physical store.

If you can start a business website, you can build a foundation for your company. Small businesses often use websites to help them perform their operations at home, making it a more convenient and less expensive choice. You will have to hire a trusted website designer for your goals to make it a worthy investment. If you can utilize a website for your business, you will be able to let potential customers find relevant data about what you can offer.

Online Processes

In the digital age, customers are looking to add convenience to their shopping needs. Traditional tools often convince people to come to a business’ store to check products. With the help of online processes, customers will only have to click and wait until they get what they bought. Deliveries might still be a part of traditional tools, but online purchases help give it a whole new meaning. Customers will be able to get what they want while they are at home. If you can provide them with that option, they will constantly rely on your business’ products.

Traditional marketing tools are crucial to every business. However, you will find that digital tools can carry most small companies to the profit numbers they want to achieve.

The Most Important Tests You Should Give Potential Employees

Two of the focuses of my blog are Organizational and Management Discussions and Career Discussions. One of the most important decisions you can make as an employer, running or managing an organization/business is choosing the right employees. How do you properly vet potential employees? The following guest post is entitled, The Most Important Tests You Should Give Potential Employees.

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Finding the right employee to hire is essential for building a company that can perform effectively and have a trusted network within that can gear it toward progress and innovation. Often, the downfall of businesses that would otherwise be successful comes at the hands of poor management and bad hires who take away from the company in one way or another. While you can find ways to root out these offenders, the best course of action is to avoid hiring them in the first place.

A vital tool in finding the best individuals who can contribute to the workforce is by conducting a test (or a number of them) before employment. With platforms like Aptitude that create comprehensive online assessments for potential hires, it all comes down to what specific sectors you want to filter.

• Integrity

This factor is an essential one when figuring out the character of the individuals you will be bringing into your workspace. Employee theft and fraud have been on the rise in recent years, with the statistics showing alarming numbers. In general, companies lose 5% of their revenue to fraud annually, over 50% of employees have stolen company equipment or supplies at least once, and around a fourth of workers falsify their work hours.

Sifting out these potential threats from even getting into your business is the first step that should be taken. It necessitates a complete test of responsibility, trustworthiness, compliance, and transparency.

• Skill

Part of your screening, of course, needs to accurately show how reliable a person may be with designated tasks and performing well in their role. A survey of job interviewees revealed that the majority of candidates lie or manipulate parts of the truth to make them seem like the most viable choice for the position. Within this, 60% of those lie about their skills, saying they have proficiency in programs and services that they don’t have that level of mastery with.

To accurately assess their actual abilities, you can’t merely base it off of references and job history. You should provide a monitored test that can be timed and directly hits skills that should be appropriate for getting the desired spot.

• Personality

Although this factor is more important for titles that place the worker in charge of a team or department, it’s generally essential to figure out their work ethics and how well they can adapt to the environment in your business. A study of employees and their work habits revealed that, on average, more than eight hours a week are spent slacking off and doing other non-work related tasks on company hours.

Allowing this type of mindset in your workforce can affect productivity levels significantly and end up costing you crucial time and money. Testing this early on can also give you insights on how to best engage your employees and get them working efficiently.

Once you’ve covered all these markers, you can be more assured that you are getting the best fit for your business and that you can focus on operations.

How the Future of Education May Develop Online

Two of the focuses of my blog are General Education and Technology. While the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic/Crisis has created tremendous uncertainty for human health and our ways of life in general, it has also called into question the long-term education landscape. It’s been speculated that education will now move towards an increased digital paradigm. The following guest post is entitled, How the Future of Education May Develop Online.

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We have reached an age where advanced technology has become so deeply rooted in our daily lives and plays a major part in many of the core aspects of society. From recreation to work, everything is an amalgamation of celluloid, pixels, and wires. Another sector that has been steadily seeing its new face in technology is education.

These days, not only is tech integrated into lessons and curriculums, but it has also become a mode of learning in itself and a platform for teaching. From kindergarten to senior high school to post-graduate studies, online study has become the norm for millions of students in the new generation. This may beg the question, “is online schooling the future of education?”

The Virtual Shift

Learning toward different levels of education is available online, and some courses cater to shorter curriculums and specific topics alone. That is because, with the digital system, students have access to a vast library of different media and resources at their fingertips while being able to communicate with teachers and other students remotely.

Being able to share work in real-time and have hands-on activities also hasn’t been removed. Streaming platforms and cloud office applications have removed this limitation from students, no matter where they are as long as they have internet access. Even for those who aren’t in fully online schooling programs, data revealed that physical institutions are holding more and more online classes to cater to distance students. The same study even showed that over half of the students who still study on-campus also have at least one distance class they are taking.

As student sentiment gears toward the virtual space, institutions are also starting to put in resources toward making this work because it can be more cost-efficient and resolves a lot of the issues that come with having to go on-site. Operationally, this is beneficial as location no longer hinders potential enrollees and employees from joining a school. Both instructors and students can work remotely and no longer have to deal with commute issues, making the shift an attractive one in terms of finance and logistics.

Access Online

A major factor that is making online studying more lucrative is its accessibility. Different teaching and learning styles are catered to, and the flexibility in time allows people who have other obligations to be able to pursue an education.

One of the biggest things that also make it accessible is in terms of finances. Because the costs are different, you can often find an institution that offers online courses for a more affordable tuition fee. For this reason, different levels of financial status can still look into reliable schooling that is credited.

It can cater to those who live far, with barriers are removed and culture shock is lessened. For these reasons, it continues to grow each year as more and more individuals flock to the new educational sphere that they can pursue comfortably. With the recent health crisis in full boom, the world has mostly adopted this system and has seen its merits as people must continue to learn and go about their work from home. With all of those factors essentially making everybody shift to digital means, the future may just be up on a screen.

Online Shopping: Securing Your Private Data

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Technology. While online shopping has made our lives easier and in some ways more efficient, it has introduced new and unique dangers to us as well. There are unscrupulous individuals our there who are looking to take your personal data and information for theft. The following guest post is entitled, Online Shopping: Securing Your Private Data.

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Online shopping has become easy. You’re not only able to find the local or overseas products you want on the internet. You also have multiple options for shipping and payment. But all these ease can sometimes come with a price: your security.

Every time you click on the “check out” button, you’re entrusting sensitive information, like credit card numbers and PINs, e-mail addresses, and home and work addresses to an online store. When hackers get a hold of your personal details, your identity may be stolen. So you need to be consistently on-guard against security threats.

Follow these steps to safer online shopping:

Stick With Tried-and-Tested Sites

The Philippines has a wide variety of trusted online stores and marketplaces to choose from, like Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora. They have robust security and buyer protection policies. For overseas purchases, buying from Amazon and shipping to the Philippines through a forwarder is your best bet.

You may find some obscure online stores that provide deals that are too good to be true. It’s best to stay away from these shops or at least search them up on review sites, like Trustpilot to see if they really are legit. As for branded online shops, check with their official website or social media to see if they do own the store.

Look for a Private Connection

Every time you visit a reputable website, you’ll see a lock icon on your web browser’s address bar. This symbolizes that the site is encrypted. No one else can see or access what you download and upload on the site except you and the website’s servers and admin.

It may also be a sign that the site you’re visiting is legitimate. As such, you should look for this lock in every online store you visit to ensure your payment and personal information aren’t intercepted by cybercriminals.

Pay Smart

Credit and debit cards offer a convenient way to pay for your goods. However, using them to pay for products online may not be the safest route. Illegitimate online stores and data breaches on legitimate ones may cause your payment data to land in the hands of hackers.

Use a prepaid card from your bank, which you can load up with the exact amount of the product, plus the shipping fee. Unlike credit cards, which have spending limits, prepaid cards are useless to cybercriminals when they’re empty. Cash on delivery is great as well, as you get to receive the product and inspect its packaging before actually paying for it.

If you have no choice but to use your credit or debit card, however, consistently check your transaction history on your bank’s website. If there are products you’re sure you didn’t pay for, call the provider immediately to file a dispute and get your money back.

Buying from online stores is a great way to get the local and foreign products you’ve always wanted. As convenient as they are, however, you should practice caution when buying from them. Consider these suggestions for a safe and secure online shopping experience every time.

Financially Savvy Ways to Use Your Economic Impact Payments

Two of the focuses of my blog are Current Events and Financial Literacy/Money. As a result of this Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic/Crisis, the United States government has intervened to help individuals affected by the crisis with an economic stimulus. Those receiving this economic aid need to determine how to best handle it once receiving it. The following guest post comes courtesy of Dominic LoBianco and is entitled, Financially Savvy Ways to Use Your Economic Impact Payments.

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Due to the growing global pandemic of COVID-19, also referred to as the coronavirus, the federal government has taken unprecedented steps to help those who have been affected by the virus and its economic backlash.

As Congress decided to take action, they passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, commonly referred to as CARES. Within CARES, the federal government has provided the most comprehensive aid package for all different types of Americans.

Small Business Grants to help firms maintain payroll, and Economic Impact Payments for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the loss in work.

As more individuals file for unemployment and can no longer work, stimulus checks are beginning to roll out to any individual who qualifies. Per NPR, the restaurant industry alone cut 3 million jobs in March alone, marking a $25 billion drop in revenue.

Individuals who earned no more than $100,000 when filing their taxes in 2018-2019 qualify for a $1,200 stimulus check, and up to an additional $500 per dependent. Determining the best way to us your economic impact payment can help you to put your unexpected stimulus check to great use.

Save Your Stimulus Check
This one is obvious. Keep as much cash as you can on hand. You don’t necessarily have to have physical cash accessible (although it’s not a bad idea to have some stashed away), but it should be a priority to have as deep of a rainy day fund as you can.

One way to use your economic impact check in a financially savvy manner is to consider saving all of it, or at least a portion of your incoming check. Setting aside a portion of the entire stimulus check you receive to call upon in case of emergency is a smart, and savvy strategy.

Stock Up on Food and Supplies
Stocking up on additional food and supplies is another way to make great use of the economic stimulus check you receive. While it’s not recommended to hoard supplies that are essential to everyone, stocking up on supplies including toilet paper, household cleaners, and even garbage bags can ensure your family is readily prepared for any future outbreak or global incident.

Stocking up on food with pantry food and non-perishable vegetables and meats is also highly advisable to remain as prepared as possible for your entire family, including any children you have in your household. If you want to avoid the grocery store, you can order dry meal replacements or equivalents online in bulk as well.

Pay Off Bills and Debt
Paying off debts and paying current bills is highly advisable for anyone who is focused on getting ahead financially and bringing down the debt they have to the names. Paying off debts can help you if you are in the process of rebuilding your credit or if you simply want to alleviate any of the payments you are required to make currently each month.

Choosing to use your economic impact payment to pay for your household bills including your mortgage or rent, your utilities, and even your cable, internet, and cell phone services can help you to remain afloat until your work and the rest of the economy is back up and running.

You can take advantage of the student loan interest forbearance as well, and pay down some of your student loan principal. That will also alleviate your future costs, as the interest that can accrue in the future will be less as you are paying it down now.

Take a Vacation
Once the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed and is under complete and total control, you may want to consider taking a vacation with your loved ones or your entire family. Getting out in the fresh air, exploring the world, and spending time with those who mean the most can be extremely beneficial mentally and emotionally once the quarantine orders have been lifted throughout the country and throughout the rest of the world.

Not to mention if you decide to book a trip now, you can take a trip for a fraction of the traditional cost. Airlines are running specials to help bring in revenue, and it includes discounts on all facets of your trip (air fare, hotel, car rental, etc.).

Save for a Home or a Car Down Payment
If you are free from debts or if you are simply looking to make a bigger change in your life, consider setting aside your stimulus check to put towards a car down payment or even a home you are interested in purchasing. Whether you have big dreams of owning your own home or if you are in need of a new vehicle, you can use your economic impact payment to ensure you receive a long-term benefit for your investment.

Not only does it fulfill an immediate need in your life, but it can improve your long term financial standing in the future as well. Not only are you setting yourself up for success now, but your also bolstering your credit rating for potential future purchases.

Dabble in New Hobbies
This step is only recommended if you feel secure in your income and already have money stashed away. However, if that is the case, exploring new hobbies, activities, or skills you have wanted to pursue is a great way to keep yourself busy.

After all, you may never have as much downtime as you do right now, and what better way to spend that time than by refining your skillset or diversifying your talents. Learning about new hobbies and spending time honing your skills can help you to maintain a sense of purpose while also providing you with a uniquely rewarding and personal experience.

The more hobbies and activities you have to keep yourself from feeling bored and despondent from the outside world, the easier it will become to cope with quarantine and learning how to live with your own company, even during tough times.

Whether you are currently in need of your economic impact payment to help with bills, your mortgage, and even groceries, or if you simply intend to put your stimulus check directly back into the economy, there are many ways you can do so in just about any situation. With a bit of brainstorming and financial calculating, determine the best way for you to put your stimulus check to work for you.

Dominic LoBianco is a guest contributor on behalf of Newroadsautoloans.com. Dominic has been a writer for six years and has worked across several industries from professional sports, to automotive repair and everything in between.

Your Business’ Success Depends on the Willingness of Your Employees to Help Each Other

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. No matter what kind of business you’re operating, your employees working effectively with each other is critical. It thus falls on you the business owner to maintain a healthy work environment for your entire staff. The following guest post is entitled, Your Business’ Success Depends on the Willingness of Your Employees to Help Each Other.

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When was the last time you saw your employees laugh and bond with each other? When was the last time someone volunteered to help an intern or a new hire? Because we live in a hyper-competitive world, volunteering to help lift each other is not high in our list of priorities. But if you’re an office manager or a business owner, this is one of the things that you should focus on.

More than 35% of Americans feel overwhelmed because of their workload. Understandably, facilitative coaching is not on top of their minds. But research suggests that workplaces whose people are helpful and welcoming are more productive. They are also more cost-efficient and can increase sales effectively.

Create a Buddy System

Yes, your world is competitive. Your employees are trying to impress you. They want to be promoted on their merits and their accomplishments on the job. But this does not mean that they cannot help each other. Creating a buddy system will make them responsible for new hires and interns. Although you should facilitate an effective onboarding process, a buddy system is a great way to make the new hires and interns feel welcome. They will also have an easier time grasping the concepts of the job and what their jobs entail.

Host Office Parties

It wouldn’t kill you to treat your staff to coffee and pastries or whatever would make them happy. Why not surprise them with an afternoon of simply having snacks and bonding with each other? Your employees need a break. They will be better workers when they know that you care about their well-being.

If you see them hanging with each other and bonding over a cup of coffee, don’t try to break that apart. Your organization will stand to benefit from this camaraderie. Your people are going to help each other without you needing to push them. As a result, you’ll have a more efficient workforce.

Appreciate Everyone

No one will try to go after everyone’s throat if you can just throw little compliments here and there. When your employees know that you do not have a preference among them, they will all feel equal and safe. They won’t need to fight against each other for your attention. They will learn to share the spotlight and even help each other to make the company better. You should never be threatened by the camaraderie among your employees.

Take Ownership When Someone Fails

For a change, it would be nice for your employees to know that you have their backs if they fail in a task or assignment. Do you really need to shout at them? Do you need them to point fingers? You are only going to break their teamwork. Instead of letting your employees blame each other, take ownership for not facilitating the completion of the project more successfully.

Finding the time to help your employees takes a lot of humility. As a leader, this will help create a positive environment in the workplace. When your employees see how you treat them, they will be better colleagues, too. And what will benefit when your employees are contented, happy, and working well together? Your business, of course.