Take control of your finances with these internet business opportunity ideas

Whether starting your own Web business or joining a team of others to earn money from home, you can take control of your finances by finding the right Internet business opportunity. There are thousands of online business ventures today, but all these opportunities will not necessarily be the right fit for your skills and lifestyle. You are unique and have skills and abilities that enable you to do certain job tasks. So before you sign on with any Internet business opportunity, assess the skills you possess. Do you have a marketing background? Are you a fast and accurate typist?

Do you have Web design or graphic design skills? Are you a great talker and closer in sales opportunities? Do you work well with a team? Are you creative in your work? Each of these skills can open up certain doors of opportunity, but you have to be realistic with who you are and what you can feasibly accomplish with your new business. Set Financial Goals Before choosing an Internet business opportunity, set financial goals. Then you can choose an opportunity that enables you to earn what you desire. Do you need just a little extra part-time money or a full-time income? Set goals for weekly, monthly, and yearly salaries. Short-term and long-term goals are needed to guide you in how many products or services you will need to sell. Also, be realistic with your financial goals at the start. Every business opportunity takes time to grow and develop into a success. Start with lower figures, and then gradually raise your goals to a new standard as the business grows. Choose Internet Business Opportunities Wisely Don't fall into the trap of signing on with every Internet business opportunity you find. Take your time to find some solid opportunities that seem to be the most promising. Be sure the company does not require you to sign up others under your sponsorship just to earn an income. You should be able to earn a healthy income without depending on others under you. MLM opportunities can work, but not when they demand too much of their workers. When you read about Internet business opportunities, be sure the companies are legitimate and offer references. Be Professional Once you choose an Internet business opportunity, work professionally toward your goals just as if you were operating a brick-and-mortar retail store or office. Business is business no matter where it is or what it is. Whether you work from your home or in an office setting, you should set high standards for yourself and work hard to see success. Set up an appropriate office space in your home where you can peacefully work a set number of hours per day. Create a work schedule and write down a list of tasks to do each day. This will help you stay organized and remain steadfast with your business. Choosing an Internet business opportunity is an important step toward reaching your financial goals. But don't procrastinate - start seeking lucrative opportunities online today!

Online Take control of your finances with these internet business opportunity ideas

Preparing for tax preparation

Being prepared for your tax appointment can really pay off in terms of maximizing deductions and minimizing tax as well as lowering fees charged by your preparer! Additionally, you should be able to walk away from your tax appointment with peace of mind that your returns are complete and accurate and maybe even with some tax savings advice that you can really use. Finding a Preparer First of all, finding a tax professional to work with is a very important decision. A tax professional is not only a tax preparer, but someone who can provide you with advice on tax issues and assist you with tax planning. You want to find someone who is not only professional and competent, but who is also a good fit for you and your specific needs. Selecting a preparer solely based on price is not necessarily in your best interest. Preparers who are preparing many returns at lower prices may be more concerned with the quantity of returns prepared than the quality of the returns prepared. Returns that are rushed through may have errors or omissions which you are ultimately responsible for. A thorough, accurate return where deductions have been maximized legitimately should be your primary tax preparation goal. If possible, it is best to assess your situation and look for a preparer early. This will allow you more time to find a preparer that is a good fit for you and to possibly even take advantage of a tax planning consultation that could save you more money in taxes. Keep in mind that if you wait to call around until tax season (mid-January through mid-April), it may be challenging to find someone who will be willing or able to speak with you over the phone in much detail about your specific situation. If you find that it is tax season already and you have not decided on the tax professional that you will be using, there are a few ways that you can find out more about some of them without taking up much of their time on the phone. If you have access to the Internet, you can check out websites of local tax professionals to find out more about their businesses, their credentials, and the services that they offer. You can also check with family and friends to get some referrals. One last point about finding a tax preparer that you really need to know – they are not all the same! Did you know that only a few states require any kind of licensing or registration of preparers? Thus, in most states, just about anyone can open up a tax preparation business. Did you know that they all do not have full-time, year-round hours? This is important in case you have questions or problems after your taxes are prepared. You should do your homework when checking out potential preparers - find out about their licensing/credentials, education, experience, and availability throughout the year. Two professionals that you should consider in your search are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and Enrolled Agents (EAs). They each must meet strict criteria to obtain their designations as well as adhere to a strict code of professional ethics and meet annual continuing professional education requirements. Getting Prepared and Organized Once you find a preparer that you want to work with, you will want to be well prepared and organized to ensure that you get the most from his/her time and service. Being organized and prepared can reduce not only your tax liability, but your tax preparation fees as well. Before proceeding with the actual pre-meeting preparation steps and specific items that you should bring to your tax appointment, it should be noted that all preparers do not actually meet with their clients face to face to prepare their returns. Some just have clients drop off or mail their information. Once the returns have been prepared, they mail the returns to their clients or have the clients pick them up. Would you feel comfortable not meeting with your family physician for your child’s annual physical exam? There is so much more you can get out of the tax preparation process by meeting and working with the preparer! The following are steps that you should take before meeting with your tax preparer: Schedule your appointment early. The earlier in the tax season you schedule your appointment, the less likely it will be that your preparer is dealing with many stressed-out, last-minute clients. Additionally, you will be more likely to get an appointment for a day and time that fits well into your schedule. Review last year's return. This will remind you of any tax issues or situations that you will need to discuss with your preparer as well as remind you of items that you will need for your appointment. Organize all receipts and paperwork. The “shoebox” or similar method is not the best for your tax appointment, unless you want to pay your preparer to sort, organize, and add up receipts. Have your receipts organized and totaled by category. Have other relevant documents organized by category. Gather all tax-related mail that you receive to include pre-printed tax forms, tax booklets, and tax reminder notices. These items often will include information that is helpful to your preparer in regards to your situation. Many tax clients assume that because their preparer uses tax software that there is no need to bring these items to their tax appointment. Prepare information on unusual situations. If you have any unique tax situations or liabilities, prepare to discuss them. This includes any past problems you may have had. Bring relevant computer data files. If you track your finances with a program such as QuickBooks or Excel, bring the data file(s) with you. Having the data file(s) handy might assist in answering any last minute questions. Call first to make sure the preparer's office supports your file format. Brush up on relevant tax law/tax changes. While this it is not always possible for the non-tax professional to be fully versed on tax law, the more informed you are, the better you will be able to assist in the return preparation process, provide important information, and keep unnecessary questions to a minimum. Visit the IRS website ( irs. gov) and the website for your state department of taxation/revenue – you will most likely be surprised how taxpayer friendly these sites can be. Compile your questions into an organized list. Try to avoid asking questions haphazardly/at random during your tax appointment or making multiple phone calls to your preparer in the same manner. This is not an efficient use of your time or your preparer’s. Be on time for your appointment. While we are all busy, there is probably no one as pressed for time as a tax preparer during tax season. If you are late, this could take away from the time the preparer can spend with you. It is important to keep in mind that your preparer may have appointments with other clients before and after your appointment. Accordingly, keep in mind that it is possible for your appointment or the one before yours to run a few minutes over the scheduled/allotted time, so be patient. Avoid distractions during your tax appointment. Chit chatting with your preparer, cell phones and pagers, and bringing children with you to your tax appointment can create unnecessary distractions for your preparer which could result in unintentional errors on your tax returns. Your preparer needs to be able to fully concentrate on the task at hand. Do not delay getting information to your preparer. If after your tax appointment you need to get back with your preparer with additional information, do so immediately so your return is still fresh in your preparer’s mind and to avoid the last minute April 15th rush. Remember, your preparer has many other clients to deal with. Thus, he/she cannot be expected to call to remind you that he/she is still waiting on information from you. You should take responsibility for getting additional information needed to your preparer and for following up in regards to your returns in process. As for some specific items that you will not want to forget to bring to your appointment: Make sure you have all documents related to income. Examples include wage statements (Forms W-2s); pension and retirement income (Forms 1099-R); interest and dividend income (bank statements and reports, Forms 1099-INT, Forms 1099-DIV); self-employed business income; lottery or gambling winnings; Social Security; unemployment compensation; rental income; commissions; and tips. Provide documentation of expenses and losses. Examples include self-employed business expenses; lottery or gambling losses; expenses from rentals; medical and dental expenses; unreimbursed employment-related expenses; job-related educational expenses; job search expenses; moving expenses; and child care expenses (to include care provider’s full name, address, and tax ID or Social Security number). Provide documentation related to your home. Typically, home ownership provides many great tax benefits. If you buy or sell a home during the year, make sure you bring complete documentation regarding the sale or purchase of a home. Additionally, bring information/statements related to real estate and personal property taxes and mortgage and/or home equity loan interest paid. Documentation related to miscellaneous income or debt. Other items to bring documentation on, if applicable, include, but are not limited to: sales of stocks and bonds; state and local tax refunds; alimony paid or received; estimated or foreign taxes paid; and cash and non-cash charitable donations. Information on new dependents to be claimed on your tax return or changes to dependents. If you have had a baby, gotten married, have begun supporting a relative, etc., your preparer will need name, Social Security number, and date of birth information (also discussed below). A name change is another example of such information that your preparer will need. If you are not sure if something has tax implications, bring the related document or information and ask! Furthermore, if you are a new client to your preparer, you will need the following items/information as well: Your prior year tax returns to include relevant supporting items such as Forms W-2s. Not only your Federal return, but also your state and any local returns. There are items on your prior year returns that may carry forward to your current tax returns. Additionally, the returns allow the preparer to better understand your tax situation. Full names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth for all persons that will be included on your tax returns. It is very important that names and Social Security numbers given to your preparer exactly match up with what is on the individual’s Social Security card. Bringing actual Social Security cards to your appointment helps to ensure this. Additionally, dates of birth must be accurate. When such information is not accurate, this can cause your return to be rejected for processing or otherwise cause a delay in processing of your returns. In addition to the above listed items, your preparer may have some additional required items, such as a valid state issued identification card or driver’s license for each taxpayer. Remember, even though the preparer bears some responsibility, you are ultimately responsible for your tax return. So finding a great preparer and being prepared and organized will help ensure that you recognize the greatest tax savings possible and that your tax appointment goes smoothly!

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Sealing the deal over the business meal

Doing business over meals is a ritual that has existed for centuries. Taking clients to breakfast, lunch or dinner has long been an effective way to build relationships, make the sale or seal the deal. These business meals are essentially business meetings. Knowledge of your product or your service is crucial to the success of the meeting, but so are your manners. Too many people jeopardize an opportunity because they fail to use good dining etiquette. Here are a few basic rules to make the experience pleasurable and profitable. Know your duties as the host. You are in charge.

It is up to you to see that things go well and that your guests are comfortable. You need to attend to every detail from extending the invitation to paying the bill. Plan ahead when you issue the invitation. Allow a week for a business dinner and three days for lunch. Be certain that the date works for you. That might sound obvious, but if you have to cancel or postpone, you can look disorganized and disrespectful of your clients' time. Select a restaurant that you know, preferably one where you are known. This is no time to try out the latest hot spot. Being confident of the quality of the food and service leaves you free to focus on business.

Consider the atmosphere. Does it lend itself to conversation and discussion? If you and your clients can't hear each other over the roar of the diners and dishes, you will have wasted your time and money. When you make your reservation, let the staff know that you will be dining with clients.

If your guests suggest a restaurant new to you (perhaps you are hosting clients out-of-town), call ahead and speak with the maitre'd. Make it clear that you will be having an important business meal and picking up the check. Confirm the meal appointment with your clients the day before if you are meeting for breakfast or that day if you are having lunch or dinner. Things do happen and mix-ups occur. Arrive early so you can attend to last minute details.

This is the perfect time to give your credit card to the maitre'd and avoid the awkwardness that seems to accompany the arrival of the bill. Take charge of the seating. Your guests should have the prime seats-the ones with the view. As the host, take the least desirable spot-the one facing the wall, the kitchen or the restrooms. Beyond being polite, where you seat your guests is strategic.

When you are entertaining one client, sit next to each at a right angle rather than across the table. With two clients, put one across from you and the other to your side. If you sit between them, you will look as if you are watching a match at Wimbledon as you try to follow the conversation. Allow your guests to order first.

You might suggest certain dishes to be helpful. By recommending specific items, you are indicating a price range. Order as many courses as your guests, no more and no less, to facilitate the flow of the meal. It is awkward if one of you orders an appetizer or dessert and the others do not. As the host, you are the one who decides when to start discussing business. That will depend on a number of factors such as the time of day and how well you know your clients. At breakfast, time is short so get down to business quickly. At lunch, wait until you have ordered so you won't be interrupted. Dinner, the more social occasion, is a time for rapport building. Limit the business talk and do it after the main course is completed. When you know your clients well, you have more of a basis for small talk. However, because you have established a business friendship, you can eliminate some of the chitchat when time is an issue. When you don't know your clients well, spend more time getting acquainted before launching your shoptalk. Sometimes you simply need to use your own judgment about when to get down to business, realizing that if you wait too long, your clients may start to wonder why they were invited. If you begin too early in the meal, your guests might suspect that you are more interested in their money than you are in them. Keep an eye on the time, but don't let your guests see you checking your watch. Breakfast should typically last an hour

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Become a customer enthusiasm guru

One thing all successful small business owners have in common is the knowledge that their business is based on enthusiastic customers. Despite their multi-tasking titles of bookkeeper, service provider and sales-manager, their most important title is Customer-Enthusiasm Guru. Your question, undoubtedly, is how do I find time in my unbelievably over-loaded schedule to become a customer-enthusiasm guru? Following are a few quick steps you can take to focus on your customer in everything you do: 1. Evaluate your customer base. Who are your best customers and why? What similarities do they share? What are their core needs and how do you solve them? This step is important because every other task relates to your vision of these top customers. 2. Keep the customer in mind. Before initiating new processes ask yourself how it will benefit your ideal customers. Whether you are implementing a new bookkeeping system or hiring help, keep your customer’s needs in mind. Always prepare your customers for any changes so they know what to expect. 3. Create systems that maintain customer contact. Use automated e-mail notes to keep in touch with your customer. 4. Communicate even when you have nothing to sell. This doesn’t mean take up your customer’s limited time to ‘shoot the breeze,’ but it does mean -- take time to recognize your customer. Some easy ways to do this are to send a note of congratulations when your customer is highlighted in the local press, promoted, or reaches an anniversary (either personal or professional). Other non-sales communication ideas include sending an article of interest or offering tickets to sporting event, show or movie that you know would interest your customer. 5. Ask for feedback and follow through. Ask your customers (either through a survey, an e-mail request or by a phone call) how you can continue to serve them -- even better. Then follow-through. When you follow-through and develop ways to serve your customers better based on their input they will be enthusiastic supporters of you and your company! 6. Foster trust. If you don’t know the answer, don’t pretend to. If you can’t provide what they’re looking for, don’t say you can. Introduce your customer to someone who can solve their problem -- and you will have an enthusiastic customer for life. 7. Be consistent. Your customers like knowing what to expect from you and your company. Consistency is as simple as always answering the phone the same way, using the same tag-line in all your promotional materials and most importantly, delivering the same outstanding service and product each and every time your customers hire you. 8. Be easy to work with. Don’t make your customers jump through hoops to get what they need from you and your company. Make it easy for customers to repeatedly buy from you – whether by adding a special on-line scheduling page for repeat customers on your website, or by providing them with a special access number to order your products. If your customers can buy from you again and again without a hassle, they will. 9. Create a customer-enthusiasm training program for anyone who interacts with customers. As you grow, you will hire other people help you with routine tasks, such as scheduling, answering phones, providing services or resending to e-mail. Teach these important team members exactly how you expect them to interact with your customers. Don’t forget that these team members are your customers too – treat them that way. Provided you take the time and discipline necessary to implement them, these steps will have you on the way to being a customer-enthusiasm guru in no time!

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Energy how to have more of it

Something the successful business person needs is - lots of Energy! You need Brain Energy and you need Body Energy. However as with any other kind of energy, it's constantly being drained away and needs replacing. Dealing with people, your customers and your team, can both drain your brain and your body - and you probably don't need me to tell you that. Let's look at Brain Energy - Imagine that you receive a letter from your bank manager saying - - "I need you to come in and see me." If you react to that with - "Oh no! What does he want, what's wrong now? Maybe he wants to recall my loan." That sort of reaction drains your brain of energy and gives you stress. The successful business person doesn't react she thinks. Reacting drains the brain - thinking, less so. Get the thinking bit working and say to yourself - "I'll phone him now; I'll speak to him and see what he wants. If it's about the poor business results, what information do I need to make my case? Perhaps he wants to talk about how I could develop the business." Whatever you're thinking - stop the negative stuff - it'll kill you If one of your people comes to you with a problem or you receive a customer complaint, start thinking - "Let's see what I can do about this." Do not, and I repeat - Do not say - "Oh no! What am I going to do now?" Every time you say - "Oh no!" - your brain has a huge drain of energy. I just want to say a few more words about stress. People will tell you that there's good stress and bad stress. I'm talking about bad stress and it occurs when your brain is drained of energy. Some business people seem to believe that it "goes with the territory" and some even wear it as a "badge of honour." They also believe that it can't be avoided; it's part of being in business and the world we live in. Organisations do have a responsibility to minimise levels of stress in their workforce but we have a responsibility for ourselves. It's very important to minimise your levels of stress and you can do that by thinking rather than reacting. Challenge your inbuilt programs, stop saying - "That makes me really mad" or "That really gets on my nerves." Start saying - "This is something I have to deal with and I'll deal with it" - You have the choice. I know your probably thinking (or is it reacting) - "That's all very well Alan but its hard sometimes not to get stressed." You're absolutely right however; let me give you some more reasons why you need to work at minimising it. Stress can cause heart disease, sleeplessness, sexual problems, overeating, drinking too much, loss of concentration and stomach upsets. Research is now telling us that many if not most of our illnesses can be related to stress. When we get stressed a chemical is released into our bloodstream called Cortisol, sometimes known as the Stress Hormone. High levels of Cortisol can lead to diabetes and skin problems. There is also a suggestion that Cortisol attacks our immune system and leaves us vulnerable to many of the bugs and viruses that come along. This also includes cancer. So if you've ever suffered from skin complaints or perhaps too many colds, it could very well be the results of stress. I don't want to scare you death or give you any more stress, I just want you to - think. Now let's look at Body Energy - So what about the body stress? The body and the brain are linked together so when the brain drains of energy so does the body. However the body does a lot of running about, up and down off the seat and often takes a bit of a battering. For it to work well, it needs to be in good condition in the first place. We should all know by now that if we eat too much or eat the wrong things, smoke too much or drink too much alcohol, then our body is in danger of breaking down. Again it comes back to programming. I often tell people that I eat a lot of salad. The response - "Salad is boring." - Not the way I make it, it isn't; I put all sorts of things into a salad other than the green ingredients - chillies, sun blush tomatoes, anchovies, tuna, sardines, chicken, olives, cheese, sausage etc. Not all at once of course, I like a bit of variation on the theme. So open up your mind and open up the fridge but be careful what you take out. Remember - you won't get an ulcer from what you eat - you'll get it from what's eating you. If you want to be successful in business, then you're going to have to do some exercise. Now I know you think you don't have the time. You may also be the type that doesn't want to go to the gym and lift heavy things or leap about in an aerobics class; however, you need to take some exercise that makes you sweat a little. I'm sorry, but a round of golf doesn't count, it isn't the kind of exercise you need. Golf is great and it's good for the stress but it doesn't make you sweat. If you're going to walk then walk fast for a distance, enough to push up the heart rate and increase the breathing. (And don't run round the golf course with your clubs on your back - that's going too far.) Again, get your internal program right and start to think how you can make your exercise enjoyable. I see some people at the health club making the whole business a real chore. They get on a bike or a rowing machine and try to kill themselves for twenty minutes. If that's your thing then fine but please don't make it a chore, plug into the sound system and catch up with what's on TV. I like to do circuit classes with a whole group of people many of which have become friends. I enjoy the chat beforehand, the music and the exercise. (And I also like the fact - there are more girls than guys) If you're really not into exercise then please make sure you have other activities outside of your workplace and make them fun. Too many people are going home and slumping in front of the TV - successful people don't do that. So look after the body and the brain and you'll have lots of vroom!

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Pharmacy technician a great career opportunity

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great career opportunity. As a student you will need to follow the same path that an individual looking to become a pharmacist travels but only stopping short of completing your PharmD degree. A pharmacy technician serves both patients and the pharmacist. A pharmacy technician has duties that are both challenging and rewarding too. Median hourly earnings for pharmacy technicians vary by geographical location as well as by the level of individual experience. The variance is anywhere from eight dollars hourly to sixteen dollars and fifty cents an hour. The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is phenomenal. Any pharmaceutically based occupation will certainly be important now and also in the future. With people living longer and medicines becoming more sophisticated and numerous there is no way to go wrong with a career in medicine. Pharmacist and pharmacy technicians will always be in demand. Pharmacy technicians are more in demand due to the fact there can be as many as four technicians aiding one single pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians have several options for workplace settings. The overall duties will not vary greatly in the field of pharmacist technicians. The variations in workplace choices add just enough spice to the career opportunities to make becoming a technician greatly appealing. Seven of the ten jobs occupied by pharmacist technicians are in retail pharmacy positions. Retail pharmacy encompasses both independently owned or chain store pharmacy settings. Nearly two of ten pharmacy technician jobs are in hospitals. There are also miniscule proportions that belong to the obscure aspects of the pharmaceutical trade such as mail order, clinic and wholesalers. It takes grand people skills to participate as a pharmacist technician. Technicians that are successful are alert, organized, dedicated and efficient in their work. A technician should have an eye for detail and not be easily distracted. An independent reliable nature encourages the pharmacist for which you work under to be confident you can handle all types of situations. Your work is directly related to life and death in more ways than one. As a technician you will have to interact daily with patients, pharmacists, and various healthcare professionals. Teamwork is an important part of the successful career of any pharmacy technician as you will be working closely with pharmacy aids and pharmacists too. As a pharmacy technician your duties will vary greatly from those of any other health care professional but will relate directly to the duties of a pharmacist. Your responsibilities are receiving prescriptions sent electronically for your patients where by, you as a technician; have to verify the information is accurate and complete. Then the prescription must be prepared. These tasks take special attention to details. Prescriptions must be measured, counted, and weighed in some cases in order to for them to equal the dose requested by the physician for the patient involved. Technicians will label and price the prescriptions. Then the information has to be filed in an accurate and timely manner. There is no room for error in this type of career. The appeal to become a technician is probably not based on such things as workplace environment but it is an opportunity to breathe easy knowing pharmacy technician's work in clean, well ventilated work areas. All in all the desire to become a technician has to match the things we now know as vital and important to becoming a very dedicated and highly sought after technician of pharmacy.

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Future auto technicians prepare for lucrative jobs

A career in the automotive service industry can be very fulfilling, not to mention lucrative. In fact, because automotive technicians need to be well-versed in the highly sophisticated technology and computer systems of today's vehicles, they can earn a substantial salary of anywhere from $58,000 to $108,000. The growing number of job opportunities for well-qualified service technicians can be attributed to both the increasing number of vehicles on the road and greater use of electronics and computers in today's cars and trucks. The U. S. Department of Labor recently awarded $2.2 million to the Automotive Youth Education System, a partnership between automotive manufacturers, local dealerships and selected schools that is designed to encourage young people to consider satisfying careers in retail automotive service or repair. The AYES program prepares students for entry-level career positions or advanced studies in automotive technology. "Automotive service technology is an excellent and rewarding career opportunity for young men and women," said Larry Cummings, president and chief executive officer of AYES. "Believe it or not, today's Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge cars and trucks contain more technology than the Apollo spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon and back. A career in the automotive service field requires intensive and extensive training." The AYES program is introduced to students at participating schools during junior year. In addition to taking the required academic courses toward their high school diplomas, students take challenging courses in basic automotive technology or collision repair and refinish. Eligible students then have full-time internships at dealerships, where they develop their skills under the guidance of experienced technicians. Upon high school graduation and AYES certification, they are prepared to begin full-time employment or to advance their technical education.

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Credit cards for adverse credit history applicants

The simple fact of life today is that in many situations credit cards are vital. It is extremely difficult to rent a car for instance if you do not have access to a credit card in your own name. Also, shopping on line is not very easy at all if you do not have a credit card. While many websites will accept debit cards, if you are trying to book a hotel abroad or buy from any website based abroad, it can be next to impossible to find a payment method other than credit card. This is why more and more people are seeking to get credit cards, even when they have poor credit histories. Guaranteed Acceptance Credit Cards There are now a number of credit cards available that do not rely on a good credit history. The lenders are willing to provide these cards to absolutely everyone no matter what their credit rating may show. This is very good news for people who have bad credit ratings but still need access to a credit card. There are some important differences between these credit cards and regular cards however, so it is a good idea to be aware of the features that are different. What’s the Catch? The most obvious feature that people come across, and one that can surprise customers the most, is the existence of a subscription or set up fee for the card. This may be just as little as five pounds a month but can be substantially higher. There are also cards that charge an annual fee and these may prove to be better value if you plan on keeping the card for more than a few months. While customers have become accustomed to not having to pay for their credit cards, these fees are in many situations more than worth the expense given the convenience that the card will bring. Don’t Abuse These Cards! Another feature of these cards is that the interest rates and penalty charges for late payment are often very high. Interest rates can easily be as much as twenty five or even thirty per cent so you probably do not want to rack up too much debt on these cards. Also, if you miss payments there may be provisions for very high penalty fees and even for your interest rate to be increased. So if you are planning on getting a credit card targeted for those with bad credit, then make sure it is not something that is going to get out of hand and that you will be able to control your expenditure on it. Also, you should probably only take one out if it is for a specific necessary purpose, and not simply for occasional shopping.

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Blue cash from american express your payback card

The new card, BLUE CASH from American Express is a great rebate program, presenting you ample opportunities for earning cash back on purchases. The card is apt for you if you make huge expenditure every year on purchases. The yearly credit on your account appears to be a good reward if you do not need frequent discounts on flyer miles or for hotel stays. Avail the rebate benefit offered as part of the BLUE CASH from American Express and its competitive APR will allow you to carry a balance without getting yourself in a debt-trap. Benefits Of The American Express’ BLUE CASH Credit Card The BLUE CASH from American Express offers you anything between 0.5% and 5% cash back on purchases. You can avail of this offer even at gas stations, drugstores and supermarkets. The card provides you 0% introductory Annual Percentage Rate or APR for 6 initial months, offering you the choice of making full or overtime payments. All the more, you can avail of these benefits without any annual fee. The card also offers a low balance transfer rate and a fixed APR of 4.99% for the balance period. You can also make flexible overtime payment. The regular APR rate is 13.24%. The BLUE CASH from American Express is renowned for its cash back on purchases. The lowest rebate allowed is 0.5% and the highest rebate allowed is 5%. General purchases makes you eligible for 0.5% rebate if you spend less than or equal to $6,500; as your expenses pass the $6500-mark, you get a discount of 1.5%. ‘Everyday Purchases’ earn you 1% rebate up to the $6500-limit and 5% over $6500. Like the other American Express cards, the BLUE CASH from American Express is a heavy-duty package offering extra benefits. The shoppers, making use of this card can and do enjoy extended warranties, purchase protection, return protection and fraud protection. If you are a frequent traveler, then you can avail of special travel offers, assured hotel reservations, a global assist hotline and an emergency card replacement service. There are also medical and legal referral services on the offer. However, there are some regulations involved and thus you are allowed to use the cash-back money only after 14 months have elapsed following your opening of the card. The cash back rewards are a credit on your monthly statement, blessing you with savings, but do not expect the card to regularly put cash into your bank account. To avail the services of the BLUE CASH from American Express, you can apply online.

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Dating goes cyber and its big business

Popular and innovative, online dating sites have innovated the world of romance. High on the popularity list, online dating is big business. It is a $ 1 billion industry that is thriving because it has provided affordable options to thousands of singles. The projected growth per year is set at 9% with revenues of $516 million coming just from consumer subscriptions. According to Hitwise a market research firm, online dating is extremely popular and here to stay. In fact online dating often accounts for 1%of internet usage. The business has moved with need. Extremely popular are niche sites that focus on religion, ethnicity, or special interests. Many sites promote social networking and offer music, games, interactive content and more. This appeals to youngsters aged 18-24. There is no pressure to date or find a relationship although you are welcome to develop a friendship formed on the site into something deeper.

Extremely professional, online dating sites offer some degree of security, protect your privacy, offer advice on possible matches, guide you on how to navigate the site, and offer exiting things like online discussion groups, cyber messaging with virtual bouquets, and phone calls. The move now expected is to use new technologies to connect people through SMS, mobiles and 3G services. The concept caught on like wildfire because people were to busy to find time to date, shy to approach strangers, and wary of meeting alone. With online dating a person can log on from the security of his or her own home or office. One can meet as many singles as he or she wants to in a single session. The costs are much lower than going on a date and one can get to know a person before meeting them. Since online profiles list likes and dislikes and photographs it is possible to pick and choose. A person can avoid the awkwardness of meeting face to face and finding out that the date is just not right.

What more you can date from any corner of the earth and don’t have to be in the same town to get in touch. But as always there are advantages and disadvantages to online dating. To sustain revenues, the business is looking towards being user friendly; generating revenues from romance related advertisements such as getaways, make overs and so on, and becoming more friendship oriented rather than purely romance oriented. Sites are offering greater consumer protection and incorporating many news ways to make contact like videos, SMS, MMS, and TV based services.

Many even go the extra mile and organize singles events. There are over 2500 active online dating sites with large ever growing memberships. Although many experts feel the online dating industry is heading for a plateau others predict diversification and great imaginative business modules. Whatever the prediction online dating sites fulfill a need that other commerce sites don’t. They promote romance and sell dreams.

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Credit card debt

If you can't sleep at night because of credit card debt worries, you're not alone. Many people get in over their heads charging things they think they can't live without. You don't need to cut up all of your credit cards. Save your major bank cards, but stop charging needless temptations on them. You need a couple of major bank credit cards to maintain or build strong credit scores. The credit cards you should cut up, department store credit cards, cost you too much in interest. Plus, these types of credit cards lower your credit scores. When mortgage lenders compute your credit worthiness for real estate financing, they deduct points for unfavorable department store credit lines.

Here are a few things you shouldn't charge on your credit cards: 1. Gasoline. Why charge something that gets burned up before you pay for it? Think about how much per gallon you pay when you pay interest. 2. Food. Many people use their credit cards to purchase groceries that they pay for over the next year or longer. Also, because it's so easy to pay with plastic, they buy extravagant and unneeded items. What's more important--junk food or a good night's sleep? 3. Clothes. Think before you buy clothes on credit. Don't charge clothes on your credit cards unless you can pay them off right away. Children's clothes wear out or they outgrow them before you've paid off the credit card debt. 4. Utilities. Because it's so easy to pay utilities with an automatic credit card charge, many people end up paying for their air conditioning when they're heating their homes. Put your automatic utility payments on your debit card instead. 5. Automatic services. Examine your next credit card statement. Total up items like cable or satellite TV, Internet services, an other automatic monthly charges. Can you pay these charges off each month or are you getting behind? Make your life easier. Stop charging consumables and monitor your credit card debt. You'll improve your credit scores and sleep well. Copyright © Jeanette J. Fisher

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10 smoky tips to bbq food safely

Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing food-borne illness. 1. Defrosting Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill. 2. Marinating Meat and poultry can be marinated for several hours or days to tenderize or add flavor. Be sure to marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria. 3. Transporting When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40° F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car. 4. Keep Cold Food Cold When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler & perishables in a separate cooler. 5. Keep Everything Clean Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent food-borne illness, don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food. 6. Cook Thoroughly Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature. Whole poultry should reach 180° F; breasts, 170° F. Hamburgers made of ground beef should reach 160° F; ground poultry, 165° F. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can be cooked to 145° F. All cuts of pork should reach 160° F. NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later. 7. Keep Hot Food Hot After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served -- at 140° F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately 200° F), in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray. 8. Serving Safely When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food. 9. Safe Smoking Smoking is done much more slowly than grilling, so less tender meats benefit from this method, and a natural smoke flavoring permeates the meat. The temperature in the smoker should be maintained at 250° F to 300° F for safety. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature. 10. Pit Roasting Cooking may require 10 to 12 hours or more and is difficult to estimate. A meat thermometer must be used to determine the meat's safety and doneness. There are many variables such as outdoor temperature, the size and thickness of the meat, and how fast the coals are cooking. Copyright (c) Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.

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Best recipes broiled santa fe steaks

This delicious southwestern beef recipe features juicy steak with fresh salsa. Ѕ cup thick and chunky salsa Ѕ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 Ѕ teaspoons chili powder Ѕ teaspoon dried oregano 4 boneless beef steaks (about 1 Ѕ pounds) Directions Mix salsa, beans, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and Ѕ teaspoon of the chili powder. Cover and refrigerate while preparing steaks. Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder and the oregano over both sides of beef; gently press into beef. Place beef on rack in broiler pan. Broil steaks with tops 4 to 5 inches from heat for 6 minutes; turn. Broil 2 to 5 minutes longer for medium doneness. Serve steaks with salsa mixture on top.

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Use nature to beat your eczema

Many people experience disappointment at the lack of progress conventional medicine is able to make against their Eczema, and unfortunately most of them have no idea how much help some natural therapies can be. I’ve compiled a few tips here that may help you find some natural relief. Step 1-Get Some Vitamin E Cream. As one of nature’s most powerful anti oxidants, vitamin E does a great job of clearing your Eczematic areas of any offending microbes or bacteria. These are the little guys that cause the itching and swelling, so to be rid of them is a real boost! Step 2-Use An Emollient An Emollient is a little like regular moisturizer, except that it’s got a base of FAT. Yes fat. Gross? Well it may seem so but when you take into account that the fat layer will seal the moisture inside your skin and stop itching and cracking, it doesn’t seem quite so gross huh? If you apply an emollient directly after bathing or showering, you will really be doing some good as that is when there is the most moisture available to be locked under your skin. Step 3-Get Some Blueberry Leaf Extract The blueberry leaves contain a form of acid, called chlorogenic acid-don’t worry it’s not the kind of acid that will eat through your carpet. This acid has certain anti microbe agents in its make up, which means it’s a very effective natural anti inflammatory. Perfect to apply to the affected area when it seems like nothing else will get the job done! Step 4-Starting Packing Moisturizer As we said, emollients are great, but they aren’t always super practical. That’s why it makes sense to keep a bottle of moisturizer with you all the time. That way, next time you are in the office shuffling papers and you feel your hands starting to dry out, just apply a dab of moisturizer. If you get into this habit you can really start to stop some of the worst Eczema episodes in their tracks. As you’ve seen, getting a step ahead of Eczema by natural means doesn’t mean spending weekends in fields and eating strange concoctions-you can get great relief from the techniques I’ve shown you, and you don’t exactly have to change your whole life around either! Good luck!

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Prescription insurance policies

Prescription Insurance Policies Some health insurance policies do not provide for prescription coverage and a separate policy must be purchased for prescription medications. This is an area where it pays to do some homework and research and find the best policy for you. Prescription coverage insurance is not a necessity; like health insurance coverage, it is a calculated risk, although the risk is not as high. Usually you can buy prescription insurance at any time, so if the doctor determines that you need an expensive maintenance drug, you may opt in at that time. It is important to know that if you presently have prescription insurance you can usually only change it at a specific time of the year, although you can add new prescriptions, you can’t change plans. The person who seldom takes prescription medications probably does not need prescription insurance; however, a person who takes maintenance drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease or immune disorders most likely needs insurance against the high costs of drugs. Prescription insurance policies usually have "tiers", which usually means that a generic drug is at a low or no co-pay, a tier 2 level may be the brand name genuine, and a tier 3 may be a brand new expensive drug that the co-pay could be a set high-percentage of the cost. In choosing prescription insurance, you should first list the prescriptions that you take and the retail amount of them. If you chose not to purchase insurance, this would be your monthly cost. Find out from the provider what the monthly premium for you would be, then what the prescription co-pay amount would be and add these two figures together. Which is the less expensive alternative?

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Use of firearms for personal safety and defense

For many years, firearms have been considered effective defensive weapons. If you think things through you will realize that due to the deadly potential of guns they are really a poor choice for personal protection for the vast majority of people. The use of firearms is unwarranted in most circumstances. Their use in any situation can have grave consequences. The use of a gun in defending one from an assault could be considered “excessive force” in many jurisdictions. It would be up to the victim to prove that a life-threatening situation occurred and deadly force had to be used. Please bear in mind that nearly 80% of all the assaults in our country are committed without weapons of any type. Increasingly it is taking place that even when the victim is not charged of a crime for using a licensed gun they could find themselves on the losing end of a civil lawsuit. The intent of personal protection devices is to only distract and disable the attacker and be able to escape to get help.

It is also known that most people using a gun for defense don’t know when to pull the trigger and when not to pull the trigger. Professional law enforcers have to go through intensive training in shoot and no shoot scenarios and yet they still sometimes get caught up in legal problems. Believe it or not, using a handgun can actually be less effective at stopping an attacker than using self-defense devices such as defensive pepper spray or O C spray. Besides, assailants have been known to kill or seriously injure someone in a matter of minutes after they had been shot defensively, even many hours after being shot with so-called man stopper ammunition. A firearm used defensively can be taken away from the intended victim and used against them. Even though it is a fact that defensive technology devises could be used by an assailant in the same manor against the victim, the consequences are not as potentially lethal. Sometimes the emotional trauma and psychological effects of a victim shooting another person can be devastating. Even veteran law enforcement officers are many times affected, especially if the perpetrator is killed. Many victims are unprepared for the intense emotional aftermath of killing someone [even in self-defense] and whose agenda was to only protect him or herself.

This scenario is a very real possibility when firearms are used. When there is a presence of a gun the crime sometimes escalates the likelihood for death or serious injury. Once a firearm is introduced by the victim, its use is the only action remaining and an innocent person may be injured or killed; and as previously mentioned, the use of the gun by the victim [ justified or not] is subject to legal litigation. Maybe the victims will not be charged with a crime, but it would be very likely for them to find themselves at the wrong end of a long and costly civil lawsuit.

Last, but not least there is large burden on the gun owner to properly secure their firearms. There is always the possibility, no matter how secure the gun is kept, a child or teenager could get their hands on a firearm with tragic results. In closing, I would like to mention that firearms can have a legitimate and useful role in self and home defense, but only [and I stress only] if the person is fully trained on the use and handling of the firearm, totally comprehending the responsibility and consequences of the use of a gun and has the psychological toughness to use a firearm for the purpose of self-defense.

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Add a modern designer touch to your bathroom with proper shower curtain rods

Bathroom accessories like shower curtain rods have significance of their own. These are no more the less noticed accessories of your bathroom but have become one of the most important items for your shower area in the bathroom. Gone are the days when people just used to hang shower curtains on some metals wood rods. Lifestyles have changed now and people are quite aware of the design and styles of shower curtain rods. The shower curtain rods can have a great impact on how you feel while taking shower in bathroom. While dull shower curtain rods can dampen the look of bathroom trendy rods make bathrooms look really cool. However, you have to make sure the color and design you are choosing for your shower curtain rods match your bathroom walls and tiles used in bathroom floor. The selection of rod will also depend on the type of curtain you want to hang. If you are planning to hang dark colored curtains, then go for metallic shower curtain rods with curved knobs. If you are planning to cover your shower area from four sides, use rectangular shower curtain rods.

Use curved shower curtain rods that will fit built-in tub units and various other shower units. You can also use crescent shower curtain rods that will fit your tub opening. There is also another type of shower curtain rods, which are called shower enlarger rod. You can use this rod when you require enlarging the shower area in your bath. Ideally wooden rods should be avoided as a shower curtain rods since these rods go through wears and tears every time you open and draw the curtain.

Shower curtains come in different size and shape, as far as the rod width is concerned. You have to select one that will fit your bathroom structure, design and shower area. However, since shower curtains are usually lightweight curtains, light metal rods are perfect to hang the curtains. As far as the length of the rod is concerned, it will depend on your bathroom height. The shower curtain rods need to be durable and long lasting because these rods have to withstand daily use. However, you must not forget that your shower curtain rods too need to be maintained like the curtain rods you use in your rooms.

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Looking for a high quality mixer try kitchenaid mixer

A KitchenAid mixer sets the standard of countertop appliances. With over ten different types of mixers available, there is sure to be a KitchenAid mixer that is just right for you. KitchenAid mixers are well known for their reliability and quality, so you will be sure to be satisfied with a new KitchenAid mixer. In addition, KitchenAid mixers are reasonably priced, so they will be sure to fit in any budget. If you have never had a KitchenAid mixer before, you will be surprised by how well the KitchenAid stand mixer works. In fact, most people are so impressed by the quality a KitchenAid stand mixer, they never buy another brand. If instead of a mixer, you need a new refrigerator, be aware a KitchenAid refrigerator also provides high quality service for a low price. Tips on finding the perfect KitchenAid Mixer for your house. As you might have heard of KitchenAid’s high standard of quality, you might have wanted to buy one yourself, but were worried about the price.

However, many people don’t realize a KitchenAid stand mixer is very reasonably priced. While some of the higher models cost more than 200 dollars, there are also some that cost less than 50 dollars. Before you buy a KitchenAid mixer or KitchenAid refrigerator, take into consideration how many times you will be using it a day, how large quantities you plan to mix at a time, and other factors that influence just how often you will be using your mixer.

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Planning your homeschooling effectively

Many parents make the decision to homeschool their children, and in doing so are privy to some clear benefits. Homeschooling allows you to tailor a specific education to your child's individual needs, something that is often lacking in the public or private school systems. Homeschooling also allows you and your child to learn together, creating not only a valuable learning experience but strengthening family bonds. Add to this the fact that it is often prohibitively expensive to send multiple children to private schools, and we can see why homeschooling has become increasingly popular. One of the most important aspects of homeschooling your child is coming up with a clear plan and set of goals. One of the greatest aspects of homeschooling - its complete flexibility - can also be one of the most difficult if it is not approached directly. Without a clear plan, you run the risk of creating a scattershot education that puts your child out of place with his or her peers. So when you begin homeschooling, you should come up with a clear set of general goals. Think about why you want to homeschool your children, and what you want them to get out of the experience.

What, generally, do you want your child's education to encompass? Once you have answered these general questions for yourself, begin to split your child's education into various subject areas. For each subject area, you want to come up with a timeline and set of goals. A good place to start in terms of a timeline would be to look at the standard curriculum for your child's grade in a public or private school.

While it is almost certainly true that one of these reasons you've selected to homeschool your child is to go beyond and outside this standard curriculum, you also want to make sure that your child does not fall behind his or her peers in a given subject area. Come up with your plan by looking at the standard expectations for a given subject level and then working backwards: how do you want to achieve that level of knowledge? What are the targets for each week? By setting these targets you can establish a timeline and curriculum that allows for effective homeschooling.

Clearly, one of the points of homeschooling is its relative flexibility, and you by no means need to stick to a plan in a completely rigid manner, but don't let this tempt you into avoiding one: although it may seem wonderful to have an entirely "organic" education for your children, this can easily go awry. If you constantly let your child's learning be dictated exclusively by his or her interests, gaps will appear in her knowledge. Instead make a clear educational plan that allows for flexibility. Plan what your child is going to learn, but leave the "how she will learn it" some breathing room: as you begin the process of homeschooling you'll learn how your child learns best, and can begin to incorporate this into the lessons.

By coming up with a clear educational plan you arm yourself with one of the most essential tools to effective homeschooling.

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Homeowners insurance lessons from katrina and other gulf storms

: Homeowners Insurance is supposed to protect us in case of disasters. That is what we have come to expect from our homeowners insurance over the years. But what if the disaster is the costliest in U. S. History? What if your insurance agent’s home and office were destroyed in the disaster also? That is what happened to many customers and homeowners insurance agents and companies after Katrina hit the Gulf coast. Many agents' homes, offices and insurance Companies' claims centers were in the same situation as their clients due to the storms. So what did they do? They set up “office” in tents and mobile trailers. Then Hurricane Rita blew away these temporary offices and the agents and companies set them up again. These temporary shelters acted as a communications center for all people in the surrounding areas.

Local people would come by to ask questions, meet with their claims adjustors and just catch up on the news with their neighbors. Extreme circumstances dictated unconventional responses: some agents even filed claims for their clients without even talking to the clients just so they could get the claim “in the queue.” Allstate allowed customers to submit claims through any agent in the country and set up a priority line to assist. They sent email to agents in the areas surrounding the disaster areas to act as messengers by “word of mouth” to their fellow agents in the effected areas.

The larger companies such as State Farm & Allstate that service claims for the national flood Insurance Program even used satellite imagery to determine damage in some neighborhoods that were entirely flooded. Lessons Learned: Those of us not effected by these disasters can learn a few lessons about coping with future disasters from the thousands of policyholders that are still waiting to get their claims paid. As soon as possible, take steps to prevent further damage to your home if possible: such as covering the roof with a tarp if possible. You can hire a contractor if you can find one, as that would be safer for most of us than climbing on our roofs. Hold off making any repairs until you see or talk to an adjuster first. Plus, keep your receipts, as you’ll need them to prove expenses that can be re-imbursed later. What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover? You can generally expect your homeowners insurance to help pay for additional living expenses for up to 12-24 months while your home is being repaired.

But, homeowners insurance usually pays only after they verify you have a legitimate claim. After Katrina, many insurers made an exception, automatically distributing enough to cover two weeks’ worth of additional living expense to anyone in an area subject to mandatory evacuation. Some companies even gave small advances on contents under the personal property part of their homeowners insurance policies. If you have to wait to get your check, it helps to have cash that is easily accessible in a bank account or money market fund.

Stashing cash at home isn’t a great idea because if your home burns down and you weren’t able to get to your cash, most homeowners insurance policies only cover $100-$200 in cash whether it is stolen or burned up in a fire. Your goal should be to have an emergency fund available to take care of your family for 2-4 weeks (minimum)if possible. In a disaster it might be hard to even find a local bank to get cash. Debit/credit cards with a statewide or national bank would perhaps be better.

Your biggest problem in getting your claim handled may be in either not having the proper homeowners insurance coverage or not having enough coverage. Most good homeowners insurance policies today cover up to 120% of your dwelling coverage limit. It is important that you review the dwelling limit with your agent every couple of year’s at a minimum. Homeowners insurance policies do not cover Flooding, but you should again see your agent for this coverage. If your homeowners insurance falls short, you may qualify for money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or a disaster-assistance loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for rebuilding and $40,000 to replace personal property at very low interest rates for up to 30 years. You may reprint this article on your site or in your newsletter with proper credit to the author and a simple link to http:// hometownquotes. com

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