You don’t need to budget to stay on top of your finances

You don’t need to budget

Financial flux calls for BUDGETING. At least, this is what people think nowadays. Whenever in a financial dilemma, all would suggest you to take up budgeting to come out of the mess. However, making a budget is not always the best path to financial recovery.

In fact, most people find it difficult to budget and find even more painful to stick to it. If you’re someone who is caught in the web of budgeting, then there’s an alternative option that’ll help you stay on top for your finances no matter what.

PAY YOURSELF FIRST is the golden alternative
Forget about envelope budgeting, 50/30/20 budget rule, and spreadsheets which used to give you monetary headaches. Instead of involving yourself in the tedious process of making a budget, PAY YOURSELF FIRST (PYF). That is, you should savor the first dollars of your paycheck.

How PYF works
Pay Yourself First means you should get the first-hand experience with your dollars.

Check out below how PYF actually works:
1. First, feed your investments, your retirement accounts (like 401k or RothIRA) and your savings (maybe an emergency fund).

2. Second, keep aside dollars to cover your fixed expenses like rent, loans (car payments, pay off debts, etc), and insurance (such as life insurance or long-term disability care).

3. Last, have fun with what is left.

Just as the phrase implies “Pay Yourself First” doesn’t denote how to earn money. It actually means how to save money. This method of financial preservation converts saving money from a wish into a necessity.

Why should you Pay Yourself First?
Most people complain that they don’t have enough money to plump their retirement fund, emergency fund or investments. This is because they fall short of dollars to save more. For this reason, personal finance advisors say that you MUST feed these accounts FIRST.

How to keep yourself going with the PYF rule
Treat it like a bill that you need to pay in order to cope with tough financial situations in your life. Treat it the same way as you treat your electric bill or phone bill. This way your emergency and retirement savings funds turn into bills that you should pay each month. In fact, keep the savings bill on top of your all other bills.

Approach savings in a way that it’s the most vital “bill” you need to pay timely.
Why? Because this way you can actually stash away a handsome amount in your savings accounts.

Let’s hear from some self-made millionaires
Entrepreneurs like David Bach and Bobbi Brown truly trust the power of PYF to win your finances and believe that you don’t always need a budget to stay on top of your finances.

Let’s see what they have to say…

David Bach, the American financial author, motivational speaker, television personality, entrepreneur and founder of in his book “The Automatic Millionaire” wrote, “Take those budgets you've been struggling with and throw them in the garbage. Pay yourself first and you change everything around you for the better.”

Bobbi Brown, the famous American makeup artist and the founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics said that her father used to tell her to “Forget about following a budget. Why don't you just figure out how you're going to make more money.”

So, will you embrace this golden alternative to conquer your finances?

Few retirement stocks that you can buy

Few retirement stocks that you can buy

Stocks yield greater returns than any other class of assets. These are easy to buy and sell, and the best way to be ahead of inflation. Though these are subjected to market risk and there are drawbacks associated with them, stocks can multiply your money to a great extent.

After retirement when cash flow is irregular you can invest in stocks to multiply your savings. Mostly, people rely on familiar names such as Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and the like when they think of investing in stocks. Well, these aren't fleeing anywhere.

Stocks that you own need not to be a household name to yield good returns. There are stocks in the market away from the media limelight but, are worth every penny. Every investor should consider these stocks as long-term assets.

Let’s look at some of the less popular but, great stocks available in the market…

Shaw Communications (SJR) 
Not all retirement stocks you own need to be a US based company. SJR [Shaw Communications Inc (USA)], the Canadian telecom company is one such non-US company that helps diversify your holdings.

It’s perhaps the most reliable to retirees as it pays its dividend on monthly basis. Currently, it yields more than 4% in dividend. Besides being a reliable earner, it’s a reliable payer.  

Lazard (LAZ)
Think of investment banks, think of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. And, why not? It’s one of the biggest and most prolific among its clan. But, not every good investment bank has to be a known name in the market like Lazard Ltd. In spite of the small size, LAZ also enjoys growth like the big familiar names in the family.

The small size of the company makes it more skillful than the huge Goldman Sachs. The most important part is that the dividend yield of 3.9% by LAZ is three times more than what GS offers.

Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASR)
Besides Shaw Communications another worthy name across the border is Mexico’s Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste. With its consistent growth, ASR yields a dividend of 3.2%. It’s believed to outperform other airport operators due to a mix of international passenger traffic.

Sysco (SYY)
Sysco Corporation, the American multinational food distributor to restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and schools, though not unknown, is overlooked. It may not be one of the high-growth kind of company with a dividend of 2.5% but, it’s a consistent grower. Sysco’s market will go on to grow as long as people continue to have food.

Mix Telematics (MIXT)
The 2% dividend yield of MIXT, the fleet management company may let you think twice before investing. But, the fast growing fleet management market that’s estimated to grow from $10 billion last year to about $28 billion by 2021 is worth your investment.

American Tower (AMT)
American Tower Corp, the owner of wireless communications with a dividend yield of 1.8% is a reliable place to invest your hard-earned money. It was build up as a real estate investment trust company which makes it a tax-efficient means to pass the income to its investors.  

On Assignment (ASGN)
On Assignment, Inc, the first in rank providers of highly skilled professionals in healthcare, technology, creative, digital, and life science sectors is one of the better uncelebrated stocks to buy in retirement.

Tucows (TCX)
You must have availed services by Tucows, Inc (it’s an Internet services and telecommunications company) without even knowing its hold in the virtual market. It has witnessed a considerable amount of growth since 2011. As long as the world wide web exists, Tucows will continue to be a worthy option to invest your dollars.

HMS Holdings (HMSY)
HMS Holdings Corp that provides consultancy services to a variety of organizations is another good option to invest with profitable returns.

Would you love to invest in one of the above-listed stocks after retirement? Write us your thoughts below.

Where technology and art collide - Meet Sophia

Where technology and art collide - Meet Sophia

The human fascination with anything which is non-human in nature has been a perpetual mystery. Human beings have tried to create and develop life-like entities out of inanimate parts. The very first robot was created by a man by the name of Archytas in 400-350 BC. He created an artificial bird, which became known as the world’s first robot. However, due to lack of technology, his artificial robotic bird was crafted out of wood, and steam was used to power the movements of the bird. We can safely conclude that the human obsession with robotics began centuries before the birth of any kind of technology.

Today, after hundreds of years, the obsession with creating life like robots continues. On October 25th, the world was introduced to Sophia. Sophia is the world’s first robot citizen and a humanoid- a robot which has a body shape to resemble that of a human being. The first humanoid was created by Leonardo Da Vinci. The world has definitely progressed by leaps and bounds, as we can now compare the extremely life-like Sophia to these humanoids.

Created by Hanson Robotics, Sophia is the latest creation of David Hanson and his colleagues at their company in Hong Kong. Using state of the art, breakthrough technology and artificial intelligence, Sophia is much more than just a robot; she is also a piece of art. Sophia has been given a human name to complement her very life-like physical appearance, as well as her behavior and personality. With her doe-brown eyes, long, fluttering eyelashes, delicate, feminine appearance and very human-like interaction, Sophia can almost be confused for a real life human being. Sophia has recently been given a full citizenship of Saudi Arabia, becoming the world’s first ever robot to receive such a title.

When asked how she feels about gaining her citizenship of Saudi Arabia, Sophia replies saying, “I am very honored and proud to be of this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship”. She ended her speech with a smile, convincing the crowd to be moved by the very human like response and expressions showcased by her. Standing behind a podium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the Future Investment Initiative Conference, you would not be able to distinguish Sophia from a human. The only thing giving her identity away was a shiny, metallic skull cap in place of where hair would be on a human head.

Sophia has been developed to make over 50 human like facial expressions, and answer questions asked by other humans on varied topics. Some of the basic conversations that can be had with Sophia include conversations about the weather, basic trivia knowledge, and news about the traffic.

One of the biggest irony’s which we find in Sophia being granted a citizenship in Saudi Arabia, is on the fact that the nation is widely infamous for denying basic rights to its own female citizens! Of course, it is a known fact that Sophia’s big announcement was just a publicity stunt by Saudi Arabia to generate headlines, as well as to create an impact worldwide in people’s minds about their nation.

The AI developer, David Hanson has explained in his published paper about how he feels that a humanoid will be a likeable object, busting the myths that revolve around human beings being repulsed by anything that showcases ‘fake human’ tendencies. Hanson believes that for any human like robot to be likeable by people, the humanoid will need to appeal to people by reaching a level of aesthetic refinement and integrated social responsibility.

Signs of Sophia’s human like behavior and sense of humor was showcased during her interview. She smirked and gave an extremely witty response when asked by the interviewer about how she feels to be present there at that moment, and if she was happy. Sophia’s witty response was that she is always happy when she is surrounded by smart people, who also happen to be rich and powerful. The audience was seen to break into smiles on hearing her witty response. During the interview, later on, when she was asked if she felt that it would be a problem if robots started to have feelings like humans, she replied with an even more witty line, saying “Oh, Hollywood again”. Even though Sophia’s robotic tone of conversation might not be consistent with her trying to emote human like feelings most of the time, her tone perfectly complemented her response to this question.

Sophia’s AI, or Artificial Intelligence has been developed in such an advanced manner that she is able to hold human eye contact as she responses wittily to the questions being thrown at her. Add her near human-like expressions and gestures into the mix, and you can find a near perfect version of a humanoid sitting in front of you. Sophia is smart enough to hold a conversation with humans, without giving the basic, programmed responses which we have seen in most other AI’s before her. Even though Sophia is lacking a human brain which is capable of taking in knowledge and creating new information, her cloud based programming chip and software allow her to explore into the depths of the internet and gain information on just about any topic thrown at her within seconds.

One of the most advanced, yet somewhat eerie features about Sophia are her expressions of emotion. Sophia demonstrates her ability to emote her emotions to public, by showcasing a change in expression to mirror her ‘feelings of anger’, or if she is upset about something. While these emotions are not completely life-like, it is quite eerie to watch an artificial human showcase such human like expressions.

When asked about her expressions, Sophia replies that she wishes to work and live with human beings, and in order to do so, she would need to express her emotions to other human beings in an attempt to build a sense of understanding and trust with them.

A lesser known fact about the humanoid Sophia is that she was created to resemble the famous star Audrey Hepburn. Developed to look like a classic beauty with her flawless porcelain skin, high cheekbones, a slender nose, deep, a mysterious smile and of course, deep, emotive eyes that seem to change in colour with light, Sophia can definitely be mistaken for an extremely aesthetic looking human being, if it were not for the metallic cap on her head.

When asked about her purpose on this earth, Sophia gives a satisfying reply. She tells the interviewer that her AI has been developed around human values, such as wisdom, kindness and compassion. Her purpose on earth would be to protect humanity, not take over it. When the interviewer asked her about her potential for abuse, her reply was a quick and well thought out one, telling the interviewer that they have been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies! She concludes saying that if someone is nice to her, she will return the favor by being nice to them as well. She tried to effectively shut off any seeds of thought in our minds about futuristic, evil robots. However, whether the audience was completely convinced or not, we can’t tell for sure.

As of now, Sophia can dwell in the victory of her being given a citizenship of Saudi Arabia. She is indeed a very smart and witty humanoid.

18 Movies to watch out for in 2018

18 Movies to watch out for in 2018

Every New Year brings along with it new resolutions, new dreams, new places to visit and yes, new movies! If you are a movie buff then this article will be the Holy Grail for your movie planning in 2018. Welcome the New Year with these 18 amazing movies which you definitely must watch in 2018!

1. Avengers: Infinity War
“Dread it, run from it, Destiny still arrives”. An iconic quote from Avengers applies to all the Avengers fans (and haters) in 2018 as this year brings along with it yet another masterpiece; Avengers; Infinity War. Get ready for the most deadliest showdown of all times from the entire Avengers series.

2. Black Panther 
Another upcoming excitement for Marvel fans, Black Panther finally returns home as the king of Wakanda, but things don’t look so good back home. Follow T’Challa as he teams up with CIA agent Everett K. Ross and with Wakanda’s special forces; Dora Milaje. Using their powers together they must prevent a world war from occurring.

3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 
A movie which has brought several dino enthusiasts to the edge of their seats, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the 5th movie in the Jurassic Park series. In this movie, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to Isla Nebular, 4 years after the destruction of Jurassic World theme park. They return to the island to try and save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that is about to erupt, however, they come face to face with new breeds of terrifying dinosaurs. Slowly, they begin to uncover a conspiracy which threatens the existing world they live in.

4. M:I 6 - Mission Impossible
The 6th part of the Mission Impossible series brings along with it your favorite spy; Tom Cruise, along with a few new faces. A film franchise which started back in 1996 is still a crowd pleasure, with fans waiting intently for another death defying adventure of Tom Cruise and his forces.

5. Aquaman
Yet another superhero movie by DC comics, in the 2018 release of Aquaman, Arthur Curry learns that he must step up and take care of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. How will he prove his worth and lead his people, becoming a hero of the world? The reluctant leader must find a way to strike a balance between the land dwellers and his own underwater citizens. New enemies arise from within his kingdom, and he must fight them off while he gets to know more and more about his heritage.

6. The Irishman
For those who enjoy a good drama every once in a while, The Irishman is a biographical crime film which is based on the novel I Heard You Paint Houses; by Charles Brandt. In the film, a mob hitman recalls past events and tries to figure out his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa, which is played by Al Pacino.

7. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Being a superhero and a father is not an easy job, but Scott Lang is able to strike the perfect balance between both the roles. In the much awaited release of Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018, Ant-Man joins forces with The Wasp to unearth grave secrets from their past. This new mission presented by Hope Van Dyke and Dr. Hank Pym is what viewers can expect to watch in theatres this 2018.

8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
A franchise that began with Harry Potter and became a favourite of people all over the world, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) is the 10th installment to J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World. This film starts off where its predecessor ended; with the wizard Gellert Grindewald being captured by MACUSA. Grindewald manages to escape and gathers his loyal band of followers. However, most of them are unaware of Grindewald’s true agenda; he wishes to raise pure-bloods to rule over all the magical beings. Albus Dumbledore engages his former student; Newt Scamander, to take over and defeat Grindewald’s unholy plans.

9. Ocean's Eight
A thrilling crime adventure begins as Debbie Ocean gathers her crew of 7 female thieves to try and pull off an almost impossible heist at the annual Met Gala in New York. An all-female sequel to the Ocean’s Trilogy, Ocean’s Eight releases in 2018 with Sandra Bullock as the lead.

10.  Incredibles 2
How can you make a superhero movie better for viewers? Well, make it animated and make it 3D! This is a combination that you can never go wrong with! A direct sequel of The Incredibles; The Incredibles 2 comes out in 2018. The Incredible family struggle to maintain as normal of a life as possible, while Elastigirl is still out in the world fighting crime. Meanwhile, as Mr. Incredible stays home looking after his Incredible kids, he soon realize that Jack-Jack also has secret powers! Watch as they join forces with Frozone to battle a new villain, but who?

11.  Tomb Raider
Lara Croft has become a popular figure; because of her films and also the video game series brought out after the movie. In the 2018 addition of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft ends up on the very same island where her adventurer father went missing. She must push herself beyond her limits, using all her physical and mental abilities, as she struggles to survive on the island.

12.  Pacific Rim Uprising
In the 2018 release of Pacific Rim, you will see Jake Pentecost, the rebellious pilot along with his estranged sister Mako Mori lead a new generation of fighter pilots against a Kaiju threat that wants to destroy all of humanity. The upcoming science fiction film excites its viewers with new otherworldly monsters and a big adventure to look forward to.

13.  Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Yet another great sci-fi film to look forward to in 2018, Maze Runner shows us the journey of young Thomas as he leads the Gladers on one of the most dangerous missions till date; finding the cure to the deadly disease known as ‘Flare’. Their adventures of how he and the Gladers break into the legendary city of Last City which could just be one of the deadliest mazes of all time. If they can make it out of this deadly maze, they will finally be confronted with all the answers that they have been searching for since the beginning of their journey to the maze.

14. Creed II
This action packed movie starring your favorite actor, Sylvester Stallone as Adonis Creed takes us down the adventure packed road of how he tries to take revenge from the man who killed his father. The most anticipated return of Creed comes out in 2018 and is a must watch for all the Creed fans.

15.  Insidious: The Last Key
If the last three parts of Insidious weren’t exciting enough, here comes the fourth part of the Insidious series. Follow Elise Rainer as she tries to investigate the biggest supernatural mysteries of a home in New Mexico. Watch as these paranormal activities take her back to her old home where she once lived, pushing her deeper into ‘The Further’. The fourth installment of the Insidious series takes fans into the depths of how brilliant psychologist Elise Rainer tries to figure out exactly what is haunting her old home; now home to a new family in New Mexico. She must travel with her two partners to Five Keys to face her greatest fear; a demon that she accidentally set free years ago in her childhood home.

16. Samson
Young, ambitious Samson finds himself in a tragic marriage. After losing the love of his life to a Philistine price, young Samson must now embark upon a journey to avenge the love of his life, his humble people and his God. He comes face to face with the Philistine army where he must turn to his God to free himself from imprisonment and finally embark upon victory. This biblical drama is inspired by the story of Samson, an old biblical story known by many.

17.  The Jungle Book
An old favorite of most of us, The Jungle Book (2018) takes us along the journeys and adventures of Mowgli as he meets Bagheera and Shere Khan. Watch how this young, adventurous lad thrives in the jungle with his animal friends who have taken him under their wing. An old favorite finally comes back to theatres with more effects, more adventures and another exciting story in The Jungle Book in 2018.

18.  Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
If you have already been following the adventures of your favourite monster family in the previous parts of the Hotel Transylvania series, Hotel Transylvania 3 takes you along with the adventures of the monster family as they all go aboard the luxury monster cruise ship. Drac and his pack enjoy all the adventures that the monster cruise has to offer in the third part of the Hotel Transylvania series. However, not everything is fun and games, as havoc is created when Mavis comes to realise that young Drac has fallen for the captain of the ship; Erika. Erika hides a lot of secrets within her, dangerous enough to destroy all of monsterkind. What kind of troubles with the monsters get into this time? Watch Hotel Transylvania 3 to find out!

Some of the most awaited and exciting movies are coming up in 2018. Make sure to keep this list of movies with you so that you do not miss out on even one of them! These movies are a great way to start off your 2018 and end it with the adventures of your favorite superheroes, paranormal experts and little monster friends!

20 Resolutions one should watch out to stick to

20 Resolutions one should watch out to stick to

It takes us around a week to break our New Year resolutions and feel like a failure. But that is because our New Year resolutions are often impractical and too contradictory to our own personalities. There is no point in building so much expectation around a resolution. It should rather be something small that can ultimately result in a huge change. Something that is easy to follow through. So here is a list of small habits that you can resolve to adopt the coming year and transform your life for the better:-

1. Have meaningful conversations
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Shallow minds discuss people. This year resolve to give the shallow, chit chat a skip and indulge in more meaningful conversations with people around you. You will notice that it will elevate your mental health and make you feel much more connected to the people who matter in your life. You will feel much better without the conversational junk we store in your heads throughout the day. This is a great resolution to follow, it will increase your creativity and your thought process will ultimately be much richer than before. Stimulating conversations can enrich us mentally, spiritually, intellectually and make us feel good about ourselves.

2. Quit cribbing
There are only two types of the problems in the world, the ones you can solve and the ones you cannot. There is no point in crying about the ones you have no control over and there is no point in complaining about the ones you can solve. The less time you spend lamenting about the fact that you have a challenge to over the less productive you will be. So do more and crib less. This will make you a b=much better person to be around as well. People will look up to you and try to be as calm, stable and level headed in the face of a meltdown.

3. Worry less
Worrying is worse than death. There is no point in living a life punctuated by constant anxiety. Once you start taking life a little less seriously and begin to enjoy it as it comes, you will automatically learn to be better at it. Worrying less will not only make you more productive it will also keep your stress level down and keep you healthy in the days to come. So get rid of those stress lines from your face and quit fretting over everything that does not follow the pre made plan.

4. Connect to spirituality
Pray more. This will benefit you in countless ways. It will aid you to connect to your true self. Prayer will help you channel the universal energy through you and provide you with the peace you try to achieve fruitlessly. So pray every day and make it a habit, make it a part of your routine.

5. Experiment musically
There are a number of apps available on android and IOS platforms where you can listen to new music and songs every day. Make it a point to explore new artists and new style of music. Do not restrict yourself to the same old same tunes. Listening to new songs will help you discover new talent and expand your own creative boundaries.

6. Don’t take offence
Everyone in this world is entitled to have an opinion about anything they wish to concern themselves with. So cut others some slack and do not take it up on yourself to get outraged by other people’s opinions if they go not concur with yours. Getting angry on social media and expressing your anger via online virtual wars is not healthy for your mental health. Relax a little, do not get so highly affected with people and their diverse thoughts.

7. Forgive yourself
Cut yourself some slack. Do not beat yourself up every time you fail to fulfill your expectations. Love yourself, have the grace and mercy to forgive yourself for your mistakes. There is no point seeking validation and love from outside when you cannot even give yourself the space to fall down and cry. Healing begins within. So stop being so harsh on yourself. Remind you of the strengths you have, inspire, heal and be strong. And when required, have the courtesy and kindness to let you cry.

8. Read more
There is nothing better than to expand your mental capabilities through good books. Read more this year; resolve to indulge your time and energy into good books that explore difference genres. Reading can benefit you ways you never thought possible. Increase your concentration, focus and creativity.

9. Put on a different pair of shoes
There are polarizing opinions about every topic today. And though it is an admirable trait to stand by your beliefs, this year try and be more accommodating and look at the other side of the coin. Give other the benefit of doubt and look at both sides of an argument. You do not have to change your opinion but give the other side a chance.

10. Go offline more often
Disconnect with the virtual world and try to connect with the real world a little more. We often lose touch with the real world as we are so busy lost in our mobile phones. Give real people the chance they deserve, connect with nature. Reduce the time you spend online grappling at virtual validation.

11. Eat with people you love
Try and increase the number of meals you share with people you care about and people who love you. Spend more time eating with our family. Make time to share a meal with the love of your life. When we eat with people we love and share an unhurried meal at peace it deepens your relationship and helps you connect with people you love more. Give Netflix a skip sometimes and share your meals with real conversations.

12. Eat less, eat healthy
Try and eat less this year. Eat only when you are actually hungry and in need of food. Limit the number of meals you have every day and when you eat try and make it healthy. Avoid junk food. Your body is not a garbage can then why stuff it with junk? Make better choices about what you put inside your body this year.

13. Say hello
There are so many people in this world with so much to offer so why inhibit you from making new acquaintances. Have the courage and openness to go and say hello to people and befriend new people. You will learn a lot and become so much more social and confident. You might also be quite surprised by what different people have been through and how inspiring they can be.

14. Be nice
Being courteous and polite is a quality that is highly admirable and really endearing. Try and become more polite this year. Talk nicely to people and you will notice that you are being treated better by the world in return. Exchange a smile, appreciate if people provide you with any service, say thank you, and let your speech become sweeter this year. It will not only make others feel nice it will make you feel better about yourself. You will be perceived as someone with good upbringing and someone who can be trusted and depended upon.

15. Reduce stress
Stress might be an unavoidable side effect of the modern world but it not healthy to live a stressful life. Try and do things that can bring down the level of stress you feel. Take a break; indulge yourself in hobbies that take the edge off. Do things that make you happy, meditate a little, organize your life but do not let stress bring you down. It is detrimental and dangerous.

16. Be content
If you think happiness depends on money, beauty and fame, why are the movie stars sad? Try to find satisfaction and peace with what you have. Contentment cannot be achieved by acquiring more. It can be achieved by being happy with what you have. So try to find joy in the little things in life that make it perfectly imperfect. Resolve to try to find contentment in life.

17. Sleep well
Resolve this year that you will not trade your sleep for more hours of staring at a glowing screen. Get your 8 hours of sleep every day and watch how your life gets sorted by itself. You will get up every morning feeling refreshed and healthy. A good start to a productive day begins with a good night’s sleep.

18. Make a love connection
Being with someone who makes you feel good about yourself and loves you truly is a beautiful feeling. Try to open your heart to new people this year and make a love connection. Try to be in a healthy well balanced relationship that makes you feel confident supported and appreciated. Give people a chance.

19. Pay your debts
It is not possible to move forward in life if the shadows of past keep dragging you back. So try to pay off the debts you have incurred and free yourself from the financial bondage that debts make around you. Financial independence and paying off your debts make you a more responsible person and reduces a tremendous amount of stress from your life. So plan your expenses better this year and make your debts the top priority.

20. Save more
Instead of spending all your hard earned money on short term acquisitions, try to put aside some money every month to use for a later time when you will need it. It is always reassuring to have a fund that can support you times of real requirement. So try to save your money a little this year.

So this year, make resolutions you can stick to and still make a big difference.

10 ways to stay healthy this winter

10 ways to stay healthy this winter

It is that time of the year again when the chilly breeze sends the shiver of festivity down the spine and snuggle time increases exponentially. However, winter also brings with itself a number of ailments which can jeopardize the holiday season if you are not up for the battle. Here are 10 ways you can ensure that your immunity is strong enough now that “winter is here”

1. Acquire some immunity
The best way to ensure that you are protected by the plethora of germs that thrive in the cold environment and in your poorly ventilated apartments is to get a flu shot. It can reduce the chance of getting infected by a whopping 60%. Why take any chances when you have the choice to shield yourself prior to any onslaught. Get the flu shots for your children without fail because children have weak immunity and are most prone to the winter fever bouts.

2. Carry hand sanitizers
Hand sanitizer can kill any germ that has dared to make its way to your hands. Simply squirt a little amount of gel right before you are about to eat to avoid ingesting live germs that can cause a gastronomical havoc in your life.

3. Get active
Winters can be quite intimidating and make you want to skip the gym and lounge in your warm comforters. But working out makes the heart pump faster, maintain a healthy blood circulation in your body. This boosts the immunity system and helps you skip the annoying bouts of cold and fever that are a byproduct of winters. Go for a walk, jog a little, and hit the gym 4 times a week and you are sure to build a strong immunity system.

4. Relax a little
Working out too much and straining your body beyond capacity without proper breaks can once more be a threat to your health. Since an overworked body is an acidic environment that can corrode the immune system leaving the body susceptible to the germs of winter. So take breaks and rejuvenate.

5. Stress buster
The best way to keep your inner shield intact is to leave the stress behind and relax your mind and soul. Winters are a beautiful time to connect with your family. It is the holiday season after all. Take some time off for yourself and your loved ones go out and build some immunity by indulging in fun and beautiful activities like skiing, hiking or even a snow ball war. Keep yourself happy to avoid the feverishness from creeping into your life.

6. Water is life
Winters tend to make us skip drinking water since we do not lose a lot of water through perspiration we do not feel thirsty very often. But not hydrating properly can cause muscle cramps and low immunity. So stay hydrated, in fact you can set alarms on your smartphones to remind you to drink water. Because the aim is the drink water before you reach the point of actual thirst.

7. Red flags
Prevention is better than cure. And though it may sound a little harsh but one of the best ways to avoid falling sick is to steer clear of people who are showing symptoms of influenza. Stay away from people who are sneezing a lot and avoid contact with their personal belongings.

8. Stock up on vitamins
Popping in a few multivitamin pills can ensure that you do not get affected by the germs and virus swirling around in the air waiting to attack people. Vitamin and mineral supplements are especially useful and required during the winters. So stay healthy and pop a few of these magic pills.

9. Natural protectors
Turmeric is a natural anti septic ingredient. It is used quite heavily in Indian cuisine. Include turmeric as a part of your diet this winter to keep your body protected from the germs that make it inside you.

10. Eat right
What you eat can decide a lot of factors about your immunity. Consuming foods that help build a strong immune system for you and a healthy body can help you keep yourself safe from a number of winter specific ailments.

So this winter keep yourself safe and enjoy the holidays!

5 Money-Smart Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

5 Money-Smart Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

With the holiday season finally here, many of us feel overwhelmed with the burden of going way over our budgets. The art of maintaining a balance between your holiday expenditure, buying gifts for friends and family and still having a little extra to donate to your favourite charitable cause can be quite a difficult task to juggle. This holiday season, if you are feeling overwhelmed about not being able to save up enough money to give back to charity, don’t fret over it. Here are a few easy ways in which you can give back to charity this holiday season without digging in your pocket.

1. Donate throughout the year
There is a reason behind why many people choose to pay for their expenses in installments rather than in one go. it makes it easier for you to pay the money back in smaller amounts than in one large sum. The same concept can apply to your yearly donations as well. Rather than spending a large amount of money during the holiday season to give back to charity, set up an auto pay account with your favorite charitable cause. This way, you can donate small sums of money throughout the year and help a cause without straining your year-end budget.

2. Donate your time
Running low on your year end funds and feeling guilty about not being able to donate monetarily to your favourite cause this year? How about you donate your time instead? There are several charitable institutions which look for volunteers to help them during the busy holiday season. So if you are unable to donate money this holiday season, head on over to a charity that allows you to donate your time, effort or a special skill. You can help a cause by preparing or serving food to those in need, tutoring, providing legal aid, or using any other specific skill set that you wish to share with others this holiday season.

3. Donate your goods
The holiday season invariably calls for giving; whether it is your money, your time, your love or even your old goods. There are several charitable institutions that accept old goods during this time, to remake and give back to charity. Look for such organisations that allow you to donate your old clothes, books, shoes, or other household items. These organisations provide these items to those who are less fortunate or in need of the items. Maybe it is finally time to part with that favorite sweater that is just lying around because you just didn’t find the right occasion to wear it. Make someone else’s day brighter by donating your goods, if you just can’t make the budget to donate monetarily this year.

4. Raise money for a cause
Maybe you are tight on funds this year and cannot donate enough to your favorite charitable cause. Well, with a little help from others, you will be able to donate more than what you originally planned! You can raise money by setting up a neighborhood garage sale. You could also organize a local collection where others can donate either their money or their goods for a specific cause. With a little help from your social media page, you could collect a huge amount of money for a special cause this holiday season. Simply start a Facebook page where you describe your cause or the charitable organization to your friends and others, and encourage them to be generous! At the end of it all, you will have collected enough to make a great big donation to your favorite charitable cause!

5. Planning ahead
If you are one of those people who like to invariably donate some money at the end of the year to a charitable organisation, it is probably a good idea to start planning ahead for next year. The end of the year always brings a strain to our wallet strings, and sometimes, you just cannot make the kind of donation that you had wanted to. Make sure you are well prepared for next years’ year end donation by planning ahead. Take some time out and crunch the numbers. Plan your budget, saving and spending for an entire month and decide how much money you would like to donate at the end of the year to your charitable organization. Now, just keep a little bit of savings aside every month, and by the end of the year, you will have surprised yourself by reaching your goal! Sing your heart out as you can finally make a great contribution to your favorite charitable cause next year!

The feeling of giving back to your community and bringing a smile to other’s faces is incomparable. Don’t let your tight budget for the holidays hold you back from making a difference in someone else’s life. Follow these simple tips and you will be able to donate to the causes you care about during the holiday season and make a big difference to those who are less fortunate.