TIPS UNTUK IBU MENGANDUNG SERTA MENJAGA KANDUNGAN

BERIKUT IALAH PRODUK YANG BERKAITAN DENGAN IBU MENGANDUNG

(KLIK GAMBAR UNTUK MELIHAT PRODUK)

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phytolacca-americana 3 in 1

SILA LIHAT SAMPAI BAWAH KERANA TERDAPAT PELBAGAI TIPS IBU MENGANDUNG DI BAWAH

DOA UNTUK MENGANDUNG DAN MENJAGA KANDUNGAN

Kalau kita teliti tentang doa khusus supaya mudah melahirkan ngga ada nabi kita Muhammad SAW memberikan kepada kita,tapi ada doa khusus untuk memudahkan segala sesuatu yg menurut kita susah atau sulit insya`allah dengan membaca doa ini kita akan dimudahkan,dan para ulama ada juga yg memberikan amalan apa yang harus dibaca oleh seseorang untuk memudahkan mereka yg melahirkan,bagi mereka yg ingin mengamalkan doanya adalah:

1.perbanyak membaca doa kurb yaitu: BISMILLAHILLADZI LAA ILAAHA ILLA HU,ALHALIIM,ALKARIIM,RABBIL `ARSYIL ADZIIM,LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAHU RABBUSSAMAAWAATI WA RABBUL `ARDI WA ROBBUL `ARSYIL `ADZIIM)

2.MEMBACA SURAT AL-AHQAF AYAT:35

3.MEMBACA SURAT AN-NAAZIA`AT AYAT:46

4.MEMBACA SURAT YUSUF AYAT:111

5.MEMBACA SURAT AL-INSYIQAQ AYAT:1-4
KALAU SUSAH MENGAHAPALNYA PERBANYAK AJA MEMBACA DOA KURB YANG NOMOR 1

hamil

DAN UNTUK MENJAGA KANDUNGAN DARI KEMUNGKINAN ORANG-ORANG YANG INGIN BERBUAT JAHAT PERBANYAK MEMBACA  (AYATUL KURSYI DAN SURAT AL-FALAQ DAN AN-NAAS SERTA SURAT AL-`ARAF AYAT:44-45)
SEMOGA DIMUDAHKAN YAHHHH……..

TIPS MUDAH HAMIL DAN MENGANDUNG SERTA MENDAPAT ANAK

BEBERAPA TIPS UNTUK HAMIL

1. Waktu Terbaik Untuk Melakukan Hubungan Seksual:-
#1: Adalah penting bagi pasangan yang inginkan zuriat mengetahui tentang masa yang sesuai untuk melakukan hubungan seks iaitu pada waktu wanita subur (masa pengeluaran telur @ ovulasi).
#2: Bila dan bagaimana untuk mengetahui waktu subur anda?
#3: Anda boleh dapatkan ovulation kit di mana2 farmasi. Ovulation kit ini boleh membantu anda menentukan bilakah masa subur anda.
#4: Anda perlu tahu bahawa telur yang matang hanya hidup 24 jam sedangkan sperma pula hidup 48 hingga 72 jam dalam tubuh wanita.
#5: Oleh itu, sekiranya anda melakukan hubungan seks sebelum saat ovulasi lebih baik berbanding selepas ovulasi.2.
2. Kekerapan Melakukan Hubungan Seksual:-
#1: Ini adalah bergantung kepada setiap pasangan itu sendiri.
#2: Tidak ada angka @ fakta yang tepat yang dapat memastikan berapa kali seseorang itu harus melakukan hubungan untuk hamil.
#3: Ada wanita yang hamil hanya dengan satu kali sahaja tetapi ada juga yang memerlukan waktu yang lebih lama.
#4: Bagaimanapun yang paling penting ialah “berapa kerap” anda melakukan hubungan pada ” waktu subur”.
#5: Sebab, jika anda melakukan hubungan banyak kali pun, tetapi bukan pada masa anda (isteri) subur, potensi untuk mengandung tetap tipis atau boleh jadi langsung tidak ada.
3. Nikmati Proses Hubungan Seksual Anda:-
#1: Daripada penelitian pakar menunjukkan bahawa ketika seorang wanita mencapai orgasme – klimaks semasa hubungan kelamin – akan membentuk suasana alkaline pada vagina yang mana sperma suka keadaan ini, berbanding keadaan normal vagina.
#2: Jika anda mencapai orgasme pada saat yang bersamaan atau sesaat sesudah pasangan anda ejakulasi maka kesempatan sperma untuk selamat sampai di servik – rahim – lebih tinggi.
4. Posisi Hubungan Seksual:
#1: Posisi seks yang dicadangkan berikut ini mungkin dapat meningkatkan kemungkinan terjadinya kehamilan.
#2: Posisi suami di atas adalah yang terbaik untuk anda hamil.
#3: Letakkan sebuah bantal kecil dibahagian pinggul anda, sehingga pinggul anda beristirahat untuk menampung sejumlah sperma selama 15 minit atau lebih selepas anda berdua mencapai klimaks bersama sama.
#4: Keadaan ini akan memudahkan sperma berenang ke dalam rahim. Jangan menggunakan bantal yang besar dan terlalu tinggi, kerana ia akan menyebabkan sperma terkumpul dibelakang rahim sahaja dan ini akan menyukarkannya untuk berenang dan bergabung dengan sel telur, yang akhirnya menjadikan usaha anda sia-sia saja.
#5: Manakala posisi seksual yang perlu dielakkan bila anda ingin hamil adalah posisi wanita di atas, duduk atau berdiri, yang akan menyebabkan sebahagian dari sperma keluar dan hanya tersisa sedikit sperma yang mencuba berenang ke arah sel telur.
#6: Hukum graviti.
5. Jangan Banyak Bergerak Setelah Melakukan Hubungan Seks:-
#1: Tidak ada bukti yang menunjukkan bahwa jika anda tidak bergerak gerak selepas hubungan akan meningkatkan potensi untuk hamil.
#2: Karena sebenarnya sperma sudah berada di dalam servik – rahim – sesaat setelah ejakulasi.
#3: Namun adalah digalakkan agar anda memberi masa untuk sperma berenang ke servik seperti yang diterangkan sebelumnya.
#4: Anda juga diingatkan agar tidak membersihkan vagina anda dengan cairan pembersih vagina setelah melakukan hubungan seksual kerana cairan pembersih vagina adalah bersifat toksic untuk sperma.
6. Buat Para Suami:-
#1: Para suami sebaiknya menghindari memakai seluar dalam yang terlalu ketat atau mandi air panas, ini kerana ia akan menurunkan kemungkinan kehamilan kerana proses penekanan atau panas kawasan testis (pembentuk sperma). Ini berkait dengan tabiat atau amalan kebiasaan.
7. Relaks:-
#1: Setiap pasangan suami isteri perlu sentiasa tenang dan tabah dalam menghadapi apa jua stress @ tekanan.
#2: Ini kerana stress atau tekanan terhadap sesuatu masalah ini mampu menurunkan keupayaan untuk hamil.
8. Jaga Kesihatan Anda:-
#1: Menjaga kesihatan adalah asas yang paling penting.
#2: Pastikan tubuh anda cukup nutrisi.
#3: Perlu diingatkan bahawa wanita yang sihat akan lebih mudah hamil daripada yang mempunyai berat badan yang berlebihan atau kurang.
Tips di atas diharapkan dapat membantu anda untuk meningkatkan kemungkinan untuk hamil.
Anda perlu tahu, hanya 30% sahaja dari jumlah sperma yang bertemu dengan telur di dalam rahim akan berhasil untuk melakukan kehamilan manakala 70% lagi gagal walaupun anda telah melakukannya dengan betul.
Jadi anda harus menunggu dan mencuba lagi.
Sekiranya anda telah mencubanya sehingga 1 tahun tanpa membuahkan hasil maka adalah penting untuk anda dan pasangan merujuk kepada doktor pakar untuk dapatkan rawatan dan khidmat rundingan yang terbaik.
Jodoh, rezeki dan anak adalah ketentuan dan anugerah Allah, bagaimanapun anda harus berusaha sebaik mungkin untuk meraihnya.
Dr pakar adalah perunding terbaik untuk membantu anda mendapat anak.Yang paling penting, sikap keterbukaan antara suami dan isteri untuk sama sama berfikir, berbincang dan berusaha untuk mendapatkan anak.
Rancang hubungan seksual anda, niat dengan ikhlas, berdoa kepada Allah dan ikut pesanan dan nasihat Dr. Insya Allah anda berjaya.

AMALAN-AMALAN YANG DAPAT DIAMALKAN KETIKA MENGANDUNG

Memperbanyakkan mengingati Allah s.w.t dengan memohon ampun dan taubat. Ibu yang hamil digalakkan banyak mengingati Allah supaya hatinya tenang dan mendekatkan diri kepada Allah s.w.t. Dengan ini diharapkan agar anak yang lahir nanti bersih hatinya dan ibu dapat melahirkan dengan tenang dan baik. Bapa juga digalakkan melakukan perkara yang sama ketika isterinya mengandung.Perempuan yang hamil juga digalakkan supaya banyak bermunajat ke hadrat Allah s.w.t dan memohon doa kepada-Nya semoga anak dalam kandungan sentiasa sihat dan agar dipermudahkan Tuhan bagi ibu tersebut.
Doanya :


“Dengan nama Allah yang Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Mengasihani. Ya Allah, peliharalah anakku selama di dalam kandungan dan sembuhkanlah ia, Engkau Maha Penyembuh, tiada sembuhan melainkan penawar-mu, sembuh yang tidak meninggalkan kesan buruk. Ya Allah, lahirkan ia daripada kandunganku dengan kelahiran yang mudah dan sejahtera. Ya Allah, jadikanlah ia sihat sempurna, Ya Allah, elokkanlah perangai (akhlak), fasihkanlah lidahnya dan perelokkanlah suaranya untuk membaca hadis dan al-quran dengan berkat Nabi Muhammad s.a.w”.

Banyak melakukan ibadat, membuat kebajikan dan meninggalkan segala larangannya.

Perempuan yang sedang hamil digalakkan memperbanyak mendirikan solat malam, solat sunnat, sentiasa menutup aurat.Manakala suami juga dituntut memperbanyakkan ibadat, berpuasa sunat terutamanya pada hari hari yang disunnatkan iaitu Isnin dan Khamis. Ibu yang hamil juga adalah digalakkan untuk sentiasa membaca makthurat terutamanya setiap kali selepas solat.

Memperbanyakkan membaca Al-Quran,

ibu-ibu yang mengandung perlu memperbanyakkan membaca Al-Quran dan cuba memahami makna bacaanya. Antara ayat-ayat Al-Quran yang elok dibaca ialah : surah Al-Fatihah, surah at-Taubah, surah Yusuf, surah Luqman, surah an-nahl ayat ke 78 dan surah al-A’raf ayat 189. Selain ibadah ia juga dapat memudahkan bersalin, mendapat anak yang sihat dan sempurna, anak yang patuh dan taat pada Allah dan Rasul-nya.

Sentiasa berakhlak yang baik.

Bagi ibu-ibu yang hamil hendaklah sentias menjaga akhlaknya dan bersikap baik kepad jiran tetangga, tidak suka berborak- borak kosong dengan jiran kerana sikap yang tidak elok ini boleh mempergaruhi anak yang akan dilahirkan kelak. Perbanyakkan membaca Al-Quran daripada berborak-borak kosong. Demekianlah amalan yang dituntut bagi ibu yang hamil untuk mengamalkannya semoga Allah akan memberi ganjaran pahala kepadanya dan diharapkan anak yang akan lahir nanti anak yang betul-betul taat kepada Allah, Rasul dan ibu bapanya.

APA YANG IBU PERLU BUAT SEMASA MENGANDUNG

#1; Aktiviti rutin bg tiap kali lawatan: Menimbang berat badan bagi mengetahui perkembangan berat badan ibu & bayi.Tapi hati2…kalau naik melebih2 tiap bulan maka kena minum air gula…eee…x sedap! Nak muntah!
#2: Biasanya kalau klinik kerajaan kerja ni nurse yang buat..mengukur saiz perut dengan pita pengukur bagi mengetahui usia kandungan yang ke berapa mingu….Kadang2 sakit gak bila ditekan.Kalau dapat nurse yang ganazzz ler…
#3: Biasanya checkup yang ni akan dibuat semasa kandungan berusia 7 bulan bg mengetahui jantina.Tapi kalau check kt swasta awk semua boleh check sekerap mungkin bg mengetahui keadaan ank awk kt dalam tu…mcm sy…servis ni biasanya RM30 tiap kali scan.X merbahayapun jika dilakukan kerap.Mengikut kat DR laarrrr….
.: Persediaan Semasa Mengandung :.
* Pentingnya Pemeriksaan Darah Semasa Hamil
(Dapat memberikan gambaran sebenar tentang status kesihatan ibu)
Terdapat 5 perkara utama mengapa penting ibu hamil perlu membuat pemeriksaan darah.
#1: Mengesan penyakit tersembunyi
#2: Mengesan carrier-status (pembawa penyakit)
#3: Mengetahui jenis darah (blood group)
#4: Mengesan masalah melibatkan sel darah contoh thalasemia dan leukemia
#5: Mengesan antigen dan antibodi ibu
Mengesan Penyakit Tersembuyi:
1. Hepatitis B
Hepatitis adalah penyakit keradangan hati. Penyakit ini menyebabkan kerosakan hati atau kanser hati. Ia boleh dijangkiti secara tiba-tiba atau secara perlahan-lahan.
Tanda-tanda jangkitan Hepatitis B yang berlaku secara tiba-tiba anda akan terus:
1.Deman selsema
2.Keletihan,
3.Lemah anggota badan,
4. Sakit sendi atau otot serta sakit kepala
5. Sakit pada bahagian atas abdomen kanan
6. Mual, muntah-muntah dan cirit birit
7. Kekuningan pada kulit atau mata
8. Bengkak pada bahagian abdomen
9. Warna najis yang pucat dan warna air kencing yang gelap
10. Namun bagi yang terkena jangkitan secara perlahan-lahan, ia jarang menunjukkan sebarang simpton.
Cara ia merebak:

1.Perkongsian jarum suntikan dengan mereka yang dijangkiti virus
2.Hubungan seks dengan orang yang dijangkiti
3.Menggunakan perkakas makanan atau barang peribadi daripada orang yang dijangkiti virus ini Hanya terdapat vaksin untuk mencegah.

2. AIDS (HIV)
AIDS merupakan masalah disebabkan oleh Virus HIV 1 dan 2. Ia merebak melalui darah dan cecair badan (bukan air liur). AIDS ini berjangkit melalui melalui:
#1: Hubungan seksual
#2: Hubungan homoseksual
#3: Berkongsi jarum suntikan
#4: Pemindahan darah atau plasma

 

Gejala AIDS:
1. Berat badan menurun
2. Kelenjar-kelenjar pada badan membengkak
3. Mudah batuk, selsema dan jangkitan paru-paru
Rawatan:
Oleh kerana AIDS ini menyerang sistem imuniti tubuh, tiada antibodi boleh melawan virus ini. Setakat ini tiada vaksin atau pelalian ditemui untuk merawat AIDS.
3. SIFLIS

 

Penyakit yang mudah berjangkit tetapi boleh dirawat. Ujian mengesan siflis ini dipanggil ujian VDRL.
Cara ia merebak:

 

1. Melalui cecair badan termasuklah darah, air mani dan air liur
2. Melakukan hubungan dengan orang yang dijangkiti virus ini
3. Berkongsi perkakas makanan atau barang peribadi
4. Tanda-tanda anda dijangkiti adalah seperti demam, badan letih dan lesu.
5. Terdapat kudis pada kemaluan, berair dan pedih dan ada kalanya terasa sangat gatal.

 

Rawatan:
Ia perlu dirawat dengan segera dengan menggunakan ubat jenis penisilin. Sekiranya seorang ibu hamil tidak menerima rawatan yang sepatutnya boleh menyebabkan bayi dalam kandungan menjadi cacat pada otak dan saraf.
4. Mengesan Carrier-Status (Pembawa Penyakit)
1. Terdapat beberapa kes di mana seorang ibu yang membawa virus tetapi pertahanan badannya berjaya menyekat virus daripada menyerangnya.
2. Keadaan ibu yang mempunyai virus tersebut adalah sihat tetapi ia berupaya menyebarkan virus itu kepada orang lain.
3. Jadi ibu tersebut perlu dipantau dan diberikan vaksinansi dan beliau akan diajar cara untuk menghalang penyakit ini daripada berjangkit.
5. Mengetahui Jenis Darah (Blood Group)
1. Terdapat 5 jenis darah iaitu A,B, O dan Reshus positif dan negatif.
2. Darah positif dan negatif saling bertindak balas dan boleh memusnahkan kandungan.
3. Sekiranya didapati darah ibu dan janin berlainan jenis, jenis darah ibu akan dikenalpasti awal untuk memudahkan pihak hospital menguruskannya sekira perlu dilakukan pemindahan darah.
6. Mengesan Masalah Yang Melibatkan Sel Darah (Kesan Penyakit Dalam Darah Ibu)
1. Ini lebih dikenali sebagai mengesan penyakit keturunan.
2. Iaitu ia bergantung kepada genetik sesebuah keluarga.
3. Sebagai contoh Thalasemia atau Sickel-Sel Anemia merupakan penyakit keturunan.
Tanda-tanda:
1. Ibu menjadi pucat dan kurang darah biarpun beliau menjaga pemakanannya dengan sempurna
2. Sakit pada bahagian kanan atas perut akibat pembocoran limpa
3. Sering pitam
4. Pendarahan gusi dan lain-lain
5. Ibu sering demam dan tidak sihat
Rawatan:
1. Pemberian ubat-ubatan yang bersesuaian.
2. Jika perlu terpaksa melakukan pemindahan darah dan harus membuat pemantauan keadaan bayi dalam kandungan dari masa ke semasa.
3. Mengesan Antigen Dan Antibodi Dalam Darah
4. Antigen dan Antibodi adalah 2 perkaitan yang bermaksud protein dalam darah yang memberikan perlindungan kepada tubuh.

.: Pemeriksaan Bulanan Ibu Mengandung :.

 

Lawatan Pertama
Memastikan serta mengesahkan kehamilan. Biasanya doktor akan terus memberikan due date atau tarikh anda akan dijangka bersalin. Biasanya kalau anda tidak dapat memastikan bila tarikh akhir haid, ujian ultrasound akan dilakukan untuk memberikan jangkaan bersalin yang lebih tepat.
Lawatan Kedua
Biasanya selapas minggu ke 12 kehamilan, doktor akan meraba uterus @ bayi dalam kandungan anda yang sedang membesar bagi menentukan samada bayi anda membesar secara normal atau tidak. Masalah utama kebanyakan ibu pada masa ini ialah loya, muntah-muntah serta sering pitam.
Lawatan Ketiga

Biasanya usia kehamilan masuk minggu ke 20, Selain pemeriksaan asas, anda akan menjalani ujian PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) iaitu pemeriksaan terperinci untuk melihat kesihatan ibu.
Ujian-ujian tersebut termasuklah:
1. Air kencing
2. Tekanan darah
3. Berat badan
4. Ujian darah ( diambil dari vena pada lengan ibu)
5. Ultrasound (mengesan masalah kecacatan bayi dalam kandungan)
Lawatan Keempat
Usia kehamilan masuk minggu ke 24.
Ibu akan menjalani ujian asas berikut:
1.Air kencing
2.Tekanan darah
3. Berat badan
Lawatan Kelima
Usia kehamilan masuk minggu ke 28. Selain pemeriksaan asas, ibu akan diberikan suntikan ATT (Anti Tetanus Toxoid) Pertama
Ini adalah bertujuan untuk membantu ibu hamil membentuk antibodi yang cukup untuk melindungi dirinya dan bayi daripada kuman yang mudah dijangkiti sebagai contoh melalui luka dan sebagainya.
Lawatan Keenam
Usia kehamilan masuk minggu ke 32. Pada masa ini ujian asas dan suntikan ATT (Anti Tetanus Toxoid) Kedua akan dilakukan ke atas anda.
Lawatan Ketujuh
Usia kehamilan masuk minggu ke 34.
Ujian ultrasound akan dilakukan bagi memastikan kedudukan kepala bayi, uri, berat serta saiz bayi.
Lawatan Kelapan Dan Seterusnya Lawatan Seminggu Sekali
Dan seterusnya anda perlu lakukan lawatan seminggu sekali sehingga hari bersalin tiba.

Akhlak Suami kepada Isteri yang hamil

Sebagai suami pula, kita mestilah mempunyai akhlak yang baik dan memperlakukan isteri dengan baik tambahan pula di sedang hamil. Suami tidak boleh mengambil sikap sambil lewa dan tidak bertanggungjawab. Di antara perkara-perkara yang perlu dipenuhi oleh suami ialah:

- sentiasa bersikap kasih sayang terhadap isteri.
- sentiasa bersikap jujur dan tidak berlaku kejam terhadapnya.
- jauhilah daripada kata-kata yang boleh menyinggung perasaanya walaupun dalam
- keadaan marah, banyak beristighfar, berselawat dan ambil wuduk dan cuba
- mengingati keadaan manis dan jasa isteri.
- Janganlah kerap mengeluarkan perkataan Talaq kerana ini dapat mengganggu perasaanya dan juga kandunganya.
- jauhilah daripada merendahkan isteri di depan orang ramai.
- hargailah dan berikanlah pujian dia atas segala pemberian dan perbuatan isteri.
- bantulah isteri dalam kerja-kerja rumah.
- cuba fahami keadaan dan masalah isteri dengan mengambil berat tentang perasaan dan kesihatannya.
- berilah semangat dan perangsang kepada si isteri dalam melakukan sesuatu agar beliau bertambah semangat. Tenagkan hatinya selalu jika dia mengalami kesusahan atau kesulitan.
- bantulah isteri dalam melakukan kebaikan dan Ibadah.

Akhlak Isteri terhadap suami ketika hamil
- menunjukkan sifat kasih sayang terhadap suami
- menjaga lidahnya dari menyebut perkataan kesat dan keji.
- Taat kepada segala perintah suami selagi ia tidak melanggar hokum Allah.
- jangan cerewet dan menimbulkan masalah dalam rumahtangga.
- hormatilah hak dan kelebihan suami juga keluarganya.
- apabila suami dalam keadaan marah maka diamkanlah diri semoga ini dapat melembutkan hati suami.
- berterus teranglah pada suami apabila timbul sesuatu masalah dan jangan was-was terhadap suami.
- jangan merendah-rendahkan suami d hadapan orang lain.
- jangan berlebihan dalam berbelanja dan hendaklah selalu bersyukur dengan apa yang ada.
- jauhilah dari mencungkil rahsia-rahsia suami yang tidak dia sukai dan Janganlah sengaja mencari-cari kesilapan suami.
- jauhilah dari perasaan mencintai orang lain lebih dari suami sendiri.

PANTANG LARANG SEMASA MENGANDUNG

  • Dilarang mencaci atau mengumpat, membuat fitnah, iri hati juga bergaduh terutamanya dengan ibu mertua. Perbuatan tersebut dipercayai akan mempengaruhi perangai anak yang bakal lahir. Ibu mengandung juga akan mengalami kesulitan semasa melahirkan anak.
  • Dilarang memaku, memahat dan menggali lubang. Tidak boleh memukul atau mencederakan binatang kerana dikhuatiri akan menyebabkan anak yang bakal lahir cacat anggota badan.
  • Dilarang keluar rumah pada waktu petang atau senja kerana dikhuatiri hantu akan menggusiknya.
  • Hendaklah menjauhi pergaulan dengan orang yang tidak jujur atau rendah maruahnya, kerana dipercayai ini akan mempengaruhi perangai anak yang bakal lahir.
  • Dilarang melihat gerhana bulan ataupun matahari kerana dikhuatiri anak yang bakal lahir akan cacat atau berkulit gelap.
  • Dilarang duduk di anak tangga kerana dipercayai perbuatan ini akan mendatangkan kecelakaan kepada ibu sewaktu hendak melahirkan anak.
  • Ibu juga dilarang memikul batu kerana dikhuatiri anak dalam kandungan menjadi lumpuh. Tidak boleh menanam pokok pisang kerana dikatakan perbuatan ini boleh menyebabkan anak berkepala besar yang luar biasa.
  • Ditegah menyusun tempurung kerana dikhuatiri anak yang dilahirkan akan botak kepalanya.
  • Ibu mengandung juga tidak boleh membiarkan anak-anak melangkah perut kerana dikhuatiri anak akan lahir cacat atau dilahirkan tidak cukup bulan.
  • Dilarang tidur pada waktu tengah hari kerana dikhuatiri kepala anak yang bakal lahir akan menjadi besar.

Selain pantang larang yang dinyatakan di atas terdapat beberapa pantang larang lagi yang bersangkut dengan suami kepada ibu mengandung:

  • Suami kepada ibu mengandung pula dilarang meniup seruling atau alat bunyi bunyian kerana dikhuatiri anak yang akan dilahirkan sentiasa menangis.
  • Suami juga dilarang menyembelih ataupun pergi memburu binatang kerana dikhuatiri anak yang bakal lahir cacat anggota badannya.
  • Suami juga dilarang memukul, membunuh binatang seperti ular dan sebagainya kerana dipercayai anak yang lahir akan cacat atau kenan binatang tersebut.

PANTANG LARANG ORANG MELAYU KETIKA MENGANDUNG

Pantang Larang Orang Melayu Tradisional merupakan kepercayaan masyarakat Melayu zaman lampau berkaitan dengan adat dan budaya warisan nenek moyang. Kebanyakan adalah bertujuan untuk mendidik masyarakat agar mengamalkan nilai-nilai murni dalam kehidupan. Apa yang disebut bukan untuk dipercayai tetapi untuk dihayati mesej yang tersembunyi di sebalik  pantang larang yang telah diperturunkan secara lisan sejak zaman berzaman.

Pantang Larang Wanita Hamil

1. Dilarang mencaci atau menceritakan kecacatan, dikhuatiri anak yang bakal lahir juga akan cacat.

2. Dilarang memukul, mendera atau mencederakan mana-mana binatang, dikhuatiri anak yang bakal lahir mengalami kecacatan.

3. Dilarang memaku, memahat, mengail atau menyembelih binatang, dikhuatiri anak yang bakal lahit bibir terbelah atau mengalami kecacatan.

4. Dilarang bergaduh dengan ibu mertua, dikhuatiri mengalami kesulitan ketika melahirkan anak.

5. Dilarang makan sotong, dikhuatiri menghadapi masalah ketika bersalin. Anak mungkin tercerut tali pusatnya.

6. Dilarang mencerca atau melihat sesuatu yang ganjil, dikhuatiri akan kenan.

7. Dilarang minum air tebu atau kelapa di awal kehamilan, dikhuatiri anak akan gugur.

8. Dilarang melihat gerhana, dikhuatiri anak mendapat tompok hitam atau bermata juling.

9. Dilarang melangkah kucing yang sedang tidur, dikhuatiri mata anak tertutup seperti kucing yang sedang tidur.

10. Dilarang menyusup di bawah penyidai, nanti anak akan terencat.

11. Dilarang makan makanan yang berakar seperti pegaga, nanti terlekat uri.

12. Dilarang tidur waktu tengahari, nanti kepala anak akan menjadi besar.

Pantang Larang Ke Atas Lelaki

1. Dilarang bersiul dalam rumah, nanti ular masuk.

2. Dilarang kencing atas busut, dikatakan buruk kemaluan.

3. Dilarang mengintai orang mandi, nanti mata ketumbit.

4. Dilarang tidur di tengah padang, nanti emak mati.

5. Dilarang ketawa waktu Maghrib, nanti datang hantu.

6. Kalau tidak tahan berpanas, nanti tunang dilarikan orang.

Pantang Larang Bayi

1. Bayi tak boleh ditegur jika badan gemuk, cuma katakan ‘semangat’ kerana ditakuti menjadi kurus.

2. Dilarang memicit mulutnya, nanti tiada selera makan.

3. Tak boleh diletak bayi atas lutut, nanti mendapat sakit perut.

4. Sisa makanan bayi tak boleh dimakan oleh ibu bapa, nanti melawan cakap.

5. Tak boleh dicium sewaktu tidur terutama di atas ubun-ubun kepala dan pada pusatnya kerana dikatakan pendek umur.

6. Kain lampin tak boleh direndam, nanti kembung perut.

7. Sewaktu bayi sedang tidur, kadangkala kita melihat dia tersenyum, ketawa dan ingin menangis. Jangan kejutkan kerana dikatakan bayi sedang bermain dengan urinya.

8. Tidak boleh menghembus mulutnya, nanti menjadi bisu.

Pantang Larang Ketika Berdiri

1. Tak boleh kencing berdiri, nanti punggung dijamah hantu.

2. Tak boleh berdiri tertindih kaki, dikatakan akan jauh rezeki.

Pantang Larang Ketika Makan

1. Makan pedal ayam, akan mengantuk ketika bersanding.

2. Makan tidak basuh pinggan, nanti lambat dapat menantu.

3. Makan pisang kembar, akan beranak kembar.

4. Makan waktu Maghrib, makan bersama hantu.

5. Makan sisa anak, anak akan degil.

6.. Tidur selepas makan, nanti perut buncit.

7. Makan sambil berjalan, dapat penyakit perut.

8. Bila makan, pinggan tak boleh diletak atas riba, nanti suami diambil orang.

9. Jangan makan nasi di senduk, nanti payah rezeki.

10. Makan bertindih pinggan, akan beristeri dua.

11. Makan telur tembelang, mendapat penyakit barah.

12. Makan dalam pinggan sumbing, dapat anak bibir sumbing.

13. Makan dalam belanga, dapat anak rupa hodoh.

14.Makan berlunjur,akan jadi pemalas.

15.Makan mencangkung, payah dapat rezeki.

Pantang Larang Sewaktu Tidur

1. Tidur di muka pintu, alamat dilangkah hantu.

2. Tidur di atas pokok, nanti dimakan langsuir.

3. Tidur di atas sejadah,nanti dihinggap kurap.

4. Tidur selepas makan, nanti ditindih hantu.

5. Tidur melekat nasi di kaki, nanti mimpi hantu.

Pantang Larang Ke Atas Perempuan

1. Dilarang menyanyi di dapur, nanti kahwin orang tua.

2. Dilarang menjahit di badan, nanti tidak lepas hutang.

3. Dilarang memakan leher ayam, nanti leher terkulai di pelamin.

4. Pantang bangun lewat, nanti sukar mendapat jodoh.

5. Dilarang makan nasi kerak, nanti mendapat anak bodoh.

6. Dilarang mencari kutu ditangga, nanti kahwin orang tua.

7. Dilarang mencucuk jarum pada waktu malam, nanti didatangi sial.

8. Dilarang bercermin di depan cermin retak, nanti wajah pucat di malam pertama.

9. Dilarang pakai baju basah, nanti badan naik kurap.

10. Pantang berbual di tangga, nanti dipinang orang di serambi rumah sahaja.

11. Dilarang makan bertindih pinggan, nanti menjadi madu orang.

12. Tak boleh menyapu nasi pada waktu malam, nanti pendek rezeki.

13. Dilarang mengerat kuku waktu malam, nanti datang sial.

14. Dilarang makan berubah tempat, nanti berkahwin ramai.

15. Dilarang meletak pinggan di tapak tangan ketika makan, dikhuatiri nanti akan merampas suami orang.

Pantang Larang Kanak-Kanak
1. Dilarang duduk atas bantal, nanti punggung terkena bisul.

2. Tak boleh memotong kuku waktu malam, nanti pendek umur.

3. Dilarang bersiul dalam rumah, nanti ular masuk.

4. Tak boleh jelir lidah, nanti lidah terpotong.

5. Makan kepala ikan, nanti menjadi bodoh.

6. Dilarang mengangkat kaki ketika meniarap, nanti emak mati.

7. Tak boleh menunjuk pelangi, nanti jari kudung.

8. Tak boleh makan dalam gelap, dikatakan makan dengan iblis.

9. Dilarang bermain atau keluar rumah waktu senja, nanti disorok hantu.

10. Tak boleh gigit kain, nanti gigi berulat.

11. Hempedal ayam tak boleh dimakan, nanti susah bersunat.

12. Dilarang bercakap dalam tandas, nanti mata ketumbit.

Pantang Larang Di dalam Hutan
1. Jika sesat di hutan, jangan tidur di tepi sungai, nanti dimakan hantu.

2. Dilarang pegang pokok merah, nanti badan menjadi gatal.

3. Jangan tidur di atas pokok jika sesat, nanti dilapah hantu.

4. Dilarang bercakap besar ketika di hutan, nanti mendapat bencana.

5. Pantang bersiul di hutan, nanti disambar langsuir.

6. Jangan melaung di tengah hutan, nanti disahut hantu.

7. Jika terdengar sahutan, jangan dijawab, dikhuatiri suara hantu.

8. Jangan mengambil batu atau benda ganjil di hutan, takut berpenunggu.

9. Dilarang menegur sesuatu yang aneh atau ganjil dihutan, nanti dirasuk atau dapat malang.

Pantang Larang Di Sungai
1. Jika nampak air berpusar, jangan hampiri, alamat buaya bergerak atau mengiring.

2. Jika ikan toman membawa anak, jangan melintas di hadapannya, nanti dilompati ke perut.

3. Jika terdengar suara semacam kerbau di tebing sungai, alamat ada buaya mengawan.

4. Dilarang bawa limau purut, nanti dibaham buaya.

5. Jika suara perempuan terdengar waktu Maghrib, alamat hantu pari sedang berpesta.

6. Jika kail disambar gondang (siput besar) , alamat rezeki mendatang.

Pantang Larang Ketika Duduk

1. Tak boleh duduk atas bantal, nanti dapat bisul.

2. Tak boleh duduk atas tangga ketika Maghrib, nanti dirasuk hantu.

3. Tak boleh menggoyang kaki, nanti tak lepas hutang.

4. Tak boleh duduk di beranda tangga, nanti payah rezeki.

5. Tak boleh duduk atas lesung, nanti berkudis dubur.

Semasa mengandung, anda bukan sahaja perlu meningkatkan jumlah pemakanan anda, tetapi yang lebih penting ialah apa yang anda makan. Kebiasaannya, wanita mengandung memerlukan penambahan 300 kalori/hari daripada biasa terutamanya semasa trimester terakhir di mana bayi membesar dengan pantas. Penambahan 300 kalori sehari tersebut penting diperolehi daripada makanan yang berkhasiat supaya ia boleh menyumbang kepada pembentukan dan perkembangan bayi.

Mengapa pemakanan sihat penting semasa mengandung

Pernahkah anda terfikir mengapa berat badan anda bertambah 10-15 kg (secara purata) semasa anda mengandung sedangkan berat bayi yang baru lahir hanya ¼ daripada itu? Walau pun ianya berbeza bagi setiap individu wanita yang mengandung, faktor-faktor di bawah menyumbang kepada pertambahan berat badan:

  • Berat bayi : 2.5 – 3 kg
  • Penyimpanan protein, lemak dan nutrien lain yang berlebihan : 2.75 – 3 kg
  • Penambahan darah : 1.5 – 2 kg
  • Penambahan cecair badan yang lain : 1.5 – 2kg
  • Pembesaran payudara : 0.75 – 1 kg
  • Pembesaran uterus (rahim) : 0.75 – 1 kg
  • Cecair amniotik (air ketuban) : 0.75 – 1 kg
  • Plasenta (uri) : 0.5 – 0.75 kg

Selain daripada penambahan berat bayi, faktor-faktor lain juga penting untuk memastikan fisiologi ibu berubah mengikut keperluan ibu mengandung. Corak penambahan berat semasa mengandung bagi individu juga berbeza. Jika anda mula mengandung semasa berat badan berlebihan, berat anda mungkin akan turun sedikit pada awal trimester manakala penambahan akan berlaku bagi ibu yang kurus atau mengandung anak kembar.

Makanan semasa mengandung

Semasa mengandung, apa sahaja yang anda makan dan minum merupakan sumber utama nutrien bagi bayi anda. Pemakanan anda berkait rapat dengan kesihatan bayi sehinggakan kebanyakan doktor menasihatkan supaya tidak mengambil sebarang risiko dengan makan makanan yang berkemungkinan memudaratkan bayi seperti alkohol.

Sama ada anda mengandung atau tidak, diet yang sihat merangkumi protein, karbohidrat, lemak, vitamin, mineral dan air yang mencukupi. Jika anda mengamalkan pemakanan mengikut sistem piramid makanan, ini menunjukkan yang anda berpotensi untuk menjadi individu yang sihat.

Penting bagi ibu mengandung untuk memvariasikan makanannya bagi memperoleh semua keperluan nutrisi ibu dan bayi. Makanan yang perlu dimakan semasa mengandung ialah:

  • Buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran – target untuk makan 5 hidangan sehari termasuk sebagai snek, jus dan salad.
  • Makanan berkanji – roti, nasi, pasta, ubi kentang. Banyakkan bijirin penuh (wheat, whole grain)
  • Makanan berprotein tinggi – Daging, ayam, ikan, telur, kekacang (soya). Banyakkan makan ikan sekurang-kurangnya 2 kali seminggu.
  • Makanan berkalsium tinggi – Susu, yoghurt, cheese.
  • Makanan berserat tinggi – Jadikan sayur, buah, bijirin dan kekacang sebagai makanan kegemaran kerana ia boleh mengelakkan sembelit.

Minum banyak air dan elakkan makanan berlemak dan bergula tinggi seperti kek dan coklat kerana ia mengakibatkan pertambahan berat badan berlebihan dan seterusnya meniggikan risiko mendapat kencing manis (gestational diabetes mellitus)

Jika anda sukakan snek, ambil raisin, biskut bijirin penuh (Jacob’s atau IKO), salad buah, yoghurt atau sebarang makanan bernutrisi yang lain.

Perkara yang perlu diambil berat semasa membeli makanan

Makanan basah seperti ikan, ayam dan daging harus dibeli segar dan dijamin kebersihannya. Pastikan sayur-sayuran dan buah juga segar dan tidak mengandungi pestisid (kebiasaannya, sayur berlubang dimakan ulat atau serangga tiada pestisid). Bagi makanan yang dibungkus atau dalam tin, baca label makanan yang menunjukkan kandungan nutrisi dan kalori makanan tersebut. Terdapat juga label makanan yang memberikan cadangan hidangan yang bersesuaian bagi diet seharian. Apabila anda mengandung, cadangan hidangan bersesuaian juga sebenarnya bertambah seiring dengan keperluan untuk penambahan kalori. Periksa label makanan sebelum membelinya supaya makanan tersebut dapat dipastikan:

  • HALAL kerana makanan akan menjadi darah daging anda dan bayi
  • Berkhasiat untuk kesihatan anda dan bayi

Perhatikan juga tarikh lupus (expiry date) makanan dan pastikan pembungkus / tin makanan dalam keadaan sempurna (tiada kebocoran, tercemar, kemek). Walau pun nampak remeh, tetapi ia sebenarnya penting kerana makanan yang tercemar atau sudah lupus tarikhnya boleh menyebabkan anda keracunan makanan sekaligus boleh memudaratkan kesihatan bayi anda.

Bagaimana anda tahu yang pemakanan anda sihat semasa mengandung

Kunci utamanya ialah dengan mempelbagaikan pengambilan makanan dalam kumpulan yang berbeza-beza (seperti yang dicadangkan di atas) dengan jumlah yang mencukupi. Jangan risau jika anda mengalami alahan yang teruk dan tiada selera makan pada trimester pertama. Keadaan ini tidak akan memberikan impak yang besar kepada bayi anda kerana bayi akan mendapat nutrisi terdahulu daripada anda sebaik sahaja anda makan. Bagi yang mengalami alahan yang mencapai trimester kedua sehingga bersalin, pastikan anda tetap makan makanan berkhasiat- biar sedikit tetapi kerap. Walau pun penambahan berat badan ideal semasa mengandung yang dicadangkan ialah 10-15 kg (kebiasaannya 1.5 – 2.5 kg pada trimester pertama dan 0.25 – 0.5 kg / minggu pada trimester ke -2 dan 3), jangan hadkan diri anda. Sebaliknya, fokus pada pemakanan yang sihat dan seimbang untuk memastikan anda dan bayi sihat.

SENARAI SEMAK KEPERLUAN SEBELUM BERSALIN DI HOSPITAL

Senarai keperluan bayi di hospital

* 2 helai tuala mandi
* 2 helai selimut
* 20 helai kain lampin / pampers
* 2 pin besar
* 4 helai seluar kalis air
* 4 helai baju / baju sejuk
* 4 pasang seluar panjang
* 4 pasang sarung kaki dan sarung tangan

Senarai keperluan ibu di hospital

* 1 helai tuala mandi
* 1 helai tuala muka
* 20 keping tuala wanita bersalin (dengan gelung) dan tali
* 3 helai baju tidur (boleh dibuka di bahagian hadapan, memudahkan untuk menyusu bayi)
* 1 helai pakaian biasa
* 2 pasang stokin
* 1 pasang selipar
* 3 helai coli khas untuk menyusu
* 2 pasang pelapik coli
* 5 helai seluar dalam pakai buang
* sikat
* berus gigi dan ubat gigi
* barang-barang mandian / kosmetik (bedak,sabun dll)
* pakaian untuk pulang ke rumah
* bahan bacaan
* susu sesuai untuk ibu menyusu seperti ANMUM 2

Senarai yang perlu dibawa oleh bapa

* surat rujukan doktor
* kad pengenalan anda
* kad pengenalan suami anda
* surat nikah
* wang

SENAMAN IBU MENGANDUNG

Senaman antenatal

* membantu anda bertenang sewaktu dalam kesakitan melahirkan anak
* membantu anda mudah bersalin
* mengekalkan kesihatan yang baik
* mengurangkan sembelit, sakit belakang dan keletihan

Mencegah sakit belakang

* letakkan sebelah tangan anda di bawah perut anda dan
* letakkan tangan sebelah lagi di bahagian bawah belakang
* tarik nafas dan angkat ke atas kandungan anda secara perlahan
* pada masa yang sama, tekan punggung anda menghala ke lantai dan
* kembali ke kedudukan asal
* tulang punggung anda sepatutnya bergerak ke hadapan dan ke belakang

Mengendurkan otot-otot pinggang

* duduk dengan menyilangkan kaki (seperti bersila) sambil membongkok sedikit
* tekan lutut anda ke lantai dengan menggunakan tangan dan renggangkan paha
* setelah berehat seketika ulangi semula langkah tadi

Menguatkan tulang punggung dan otot-otot faraj

* baring menelentang
* kempiskan perut anda ke dalam dan
* tekan bahagian belakang anda dan berehat
* rapatkan otot-otot anda seolah-olah anda menahan kencing dan rehat
* lakukan senaman ini perlahan-lahan
* boleh dilakukan sambil berdiri atau duduk

Mencegah kekejangan kaki

* baring menelentang
* angkat sebelah kaki anda dan gerakkannya ke atas dan ke bawah
* kemudian pusing mengikut pusingan jam dan sebaliknya
* ulang pada kaki sebelah lagi

Menguatkan otot-otot perut

* baring menelentang sambil mengangkat kepala dan kedua-dua kaki ke atas
* kemudian berehat

PEKARA WAJIB BAKAL IBU PERLU TAHU SELEPAS MENGANDUNG

* Beri kasih sayang sepenuhnya pada baby
* Bila menaiki kenderaan, letak baby pada tempat khas untuk baby duduk secara betul dan selamat..
* Selalu ke klinik untuk dapatkan suntikan vaksin bagi baby mengikut jadual yang ditetapkan
* Jauhi persekitaran yang berhabuk atau asap rokok daripada baby
* Jauhi baby daripada sinaran cahaya matahari yang terik

PAKAIAN SESUAI UNTUK IBU MENGANDUNG

 

Pakaian

  • Longgar dan selesa dan tidak mencengkam dibahagian pinggang.
  • Pakaian yang longgar dibahagian depan (potongan baju mengandung).
  • Gaun wanita mengandung adalah lebih selesa bilamana kandungan membesar.

Memilih pakaian dalam

  • Pakai pakaian dalam yang bersaiz besar dan bercangkuk lebar dibahagian belakang dan bertali lebar dibuat dari kain kapas yang nipis semasa mengandung.
  • Bagi penyusuan susu ibu pakai pakaian dalam yang boleh dibuka dibahagian depan.
  • Pakai seluar dalam yang dikhaskan bagi wanita mengandung.

Kasut yang sesuai

  • Pakai kasut bertumit rendah kerana ia sesuai untuk postur dan belakang anda dari memakai kasut bertumit tinggi atau kasut leper.
  • Pilih kasut kulit atau kanvas agar kaki anda dapat edaran udara.
  • Kasut sukan yang mempunyai sokongan lengkok tapak kaki dan tumit yang baik adalah sesuai dipakai dirumah atau bersiar-siar.

CARA MENYUSUKAN BAYI

  • Mulakan penyusuan dengan mengendung bayi tanpa membebankan:
    • bahu
    • tangan dan pergelangan tangan
  • Gunakan bantal untuk meletakkan bayi dekat dengan payu dara anda supaya tangan anda tidak sakit
  • Berikan susu badan pada setengah jam pertama selepas kelahiran untuk merangsang pengeluaran susu yang seterusnya
  • Pastikan anda selesa dan betul-betul tenang
  • Letakkan puting susu ke arah bibir bayi sehingga mulutnya terbuka luas
  • Masukkan puting dan kesemua bahagian areola ke dalam mulut bayi
  • Pastikan mulut bayi anda menutupi bahagian aerola
  • Anda akan rasa bayi menghisap bahagian puting dan aerola
  • Berikan kedua-dua belah payu dara
  • Bayi yang baru lahir selalunya mahu menyusu dua atau tiga jam pagi dan malam
  • Berikan susu jika bayi anda lapar
  • Bertenang semasa menyusui bayi
  • Cuba selimuti bayi dan kendungnya untuk menyusuinya kerana bayi perlukan pelukan ibu supaya rasa selesa dan selamat

TANDA BAYI TIDAK CUKUP SUSU

  • Peningkatan berat badan bayi kurang daripada 500g sebulan atau
  • Kurang daripada berat badan ketika lahir semasa bayi berumur 2 minggu
  • Pembuangan air kecil yang:
    • sedikit dan pekat
    • kurang daripada enam kali sehari
    • kuning dan berbau kuat
  • Bayi tidak puas selepas menyusu
  • Bayi selalu menangis
  • Bayi menyusu terlalu kerap
  • Bayi menyusu terlalu lama
  • Bayi tidak mahu menyusu
  • Najis bayi keras, kering atau berwarna hijau
  • Bayi kurang membuang air besar
  • Ibu tidak berupaya mengeluarkan susu setiap kali cuba memerah (terutamanya pada minggu kedua selepas bayi lahir)
  • Susu matang tidak dihasilkan selepas melahirkan bayi

CARA MEMBERI BAYI MAKAN

  • Dudukkan bayi di:

o pangkuan anda atau
o dikerusi makan yang sesuai dengan umurnya

  • Ikatkan bib pada lehernya supaya bib menutupi dadanya
  • Galakkan bayi membuka mulutnya sendiri dengan meletakkan:

o jari anda atau
o sudu yang berisi sedikit makanan di tepi bibirnya

  • Selepas bayi membuka mulut, suapkan makanan dengan meletakkannya di lidahnya
  • Berikan masa pada bayi untuk menyesuaikan dirinya dengan rasa makanan itu
  • Biar bayi telan makanan tersebut sebelum meneruskan suapan seterusnya
  • Jangan memaksa jika bayi tidak mahu membuka mulut dan tidak berminat untuk makan
  • Cuba lagi lain kali dan teruskan penyusuan eksklusif seperti biasa
  • Lihat pada tanda-tanda penolakan untuk berhenti memberi bayi makan. Itu tandanya bayi anda sudah kenyang

ANAK LAMBAT BERCAKAP

Sebenarnya ada ramai kanak-kanak yang boleh dikategorikan sebagai lewat bercakap. Dianggarkan lima hingga 10 peratus kanak-kanak mengalami gangguan perkembangan yang menyebabkan proses penguasaan bahasa dan percakapan menjadi lambat.

Ibu bapa perlu tahu, perkembangan bahasa tidak hanya merujuk kepada percakapan tetapi juga bentuk komunikasi lain seperti bahasa isyarat, tulisan dan kemahiran visual.

Lewat bercakap boleh disebabkan beberapa masalah dengan:

# Kebolehan bercakap (ada masalah pada korda suara dan lidah)
# Kemasukan percakapan (masalah pendengaran)
# Pemprosesan percakapan (masalah pada otak atau gangguan perkembangan pertuturan)

Dua jenis masalah lambat bercakap ialah kelewatan ekspresif (kesusahan menggunakan percakapan untuk meminta atau berinteraksi) atau kelewatan reseptif (sukar menafsir atau memahami percakapan orang). Ada juga kanak-kanak yang mengalami gabungan kedua-dua keadaan di atas.

Kebanyakan kanak-kanak yang lewat bercakap juga mengalami gangguan perkembangan bahasa (DLD) dengan kelewatan ekspresif tetapi perkembangan kemahiran bahasa visual (mengenali ibu bapa dan objek, bertindak balas terhadap ekspresi muka, mematuhi arahan yang disertakan gerak badan atau tangan yang memberitahu anda mahukan sesuatu atau menuding jari ke arah objek diinginkan) yang normal seperti kanak-kanak lain.

Kanak-kanak ini juga menunjukkan kefahaman normal terhadap percakapan orang lain, kemahiran mendengar (mengenal dan menoleh ke arah bunyi), mematuhi arahan mudah tanpa perlukan ditunjuk dengan perbuatan oleh orang yang memberi arahan, boleh tunjuk anggota badan atau objek yang disebut walaupun sesetengahnya turut mengalami sedikit kelewatan reseptif.

Namun jika diberikan rawatan awal (terapi pertuturan), kebanyakan kanak-kanak boleh bertutur dengan baik apabila masuk sekolah.

Sesetengah kanak-kanak yang menunjukkan tanda kelewatan ekspresif hanya lambat bercakap dan kelewatan tersusun iaitu perkembangan pertuturan berlaku secara berperingkat.

Perkembangan pertuturan dan penguasaan bahasa kanak-kanak ini akan menjadi normal dengan peningkatan umur tanpa sebarang rawatan.

Malangnya sehingga kini tiada kaedah membezakan atau menentukan sama ada seseorang kanak-kanak mengalami kelewatan tersusun yang boleh bertutur dengan peningkatan umur dengan kanak-kanak yang memerlukan terapi.

Masalah pendengaran juga boleh menyebabkan kanak-kanak lewat bercakap. Justeru, kanak-kanak yang disyaki mengalami masalah ini perlu dibawa menjalani ujian pendengaran.

Jangan anggap mereka boleh mendengar hanya kerana kanak-kanak ini menunjukkan tindak balas kepada bunyi tepukan yang kuat, loceng atau datang apabila dipanggil dari bilik sebelah.

Punca lain kelewatan bercakap termasuk masalah membabitkan otak seperti terencat akal dan autisme. Selain kelewatan ekspresif dan reseptif, perkembangan kemahiran bahasa visual (mengenali objek, bertindak balas terhadap mimik muka, mematuhi arahan dengan ditunjukkan pergerakan tangan) juga lambat.

Bagaimanapun, keadaan ‘berat mulut’, malas bercakap atau mempunyai ramai adik beradik yang lebih banyak bercakap atau dibesarkan dalam keluarga bertutur dua bahasa tidak menyebabkan masalah kelewatan bercakap.

Senarai di bawah adalah sebagai panduan terhadap perkembangan percakapan kanak-kanak. Kanak-kanak yang menunjukkan pencapaian 75 peratus, perkembangan pertuturan mereka boleh berlaku secara normal. Namun ini hanya panduan, dapatkan nasihat pakar kanak-kanak jika anak anda tidak menunjukkan perkembangan seperti disenaraikan. Kelewatan bercakap jika disebabkan kurang pendengaran perlu dikenal pasti seawal mungkin.

Perkembangan percakapan
# Bayi baru lahir — Boleh mendengar dan membezakan sama ada bunyi datang dari kiri atau kanan. Mereka akan menggerakkan kepala ke arah sumber bunyi. Bayi anda juga sepatutnya boleh memberi tindak balas kepada bunyi perlahan. Bayi mula senyum dan menunjukkan gerak balas kepada seseorang pada umur sebulan dan mengenali suara ibu bapa pada umur satu hingga 2½ bulan

# Tiga hingga enam bulan — Bayi boleh meniru bunyi percakapan

# Empat hingga lapan bulan — Bayi menyebut satu suku kata (contoh ba, da, ga, gu)

# Lima hingga sembilan bulan — Bayi menyebut beberapa suku kata berulang-ulang (contoh bababa, lalala)

# Enam hingga 10 bulan — Bayi mula menyebut perkataan mudah yang kerap didengar (emak, ayah, tak)

# Lima hingga 10 bulan — Kebanyakan bayi boleh menyebut mama, dada — yang tidak hanya merujuk kepada ibu dan ayahnya

# Enam hingga sembilan bulan — Kebanyakan bayi boleh mengikut atau mematuhi arahan pendek yang disertakan dengan pergerakan badan atau tangan. Contohnya meminta dia memegang objek atau tangan anda. Dalam lingkungan umur tujuh hingga 11 bulan, bayi sepatutnya boleh mematuhi arahan ringkas tanpa perlu ditunjuk dengan tangan

# Tujuh hingga 12 bulan — Sudah pandai menggunakan perkataan mama, emak atau ayah dengan betul

# Sembilan hingga 14 bulan — Biasanya sudah boleh menyebut satu patah perkataan (selain emak, ayah)

# 10 hingga 15 bulan — Sepatutnya bayi boleh menunjuk ke arah objek yang dikehendakinya

# 11 hingga 20 bulan — Anak anda seharusnya boleh menyebut empat hingga enam perkataan (selain emak, ayah atau nama adik beradik)

# 14 hingga 21 bulan — Si kecil boleh mematuhi arahan dua langkah tanpa bantuan pergerakan tangan (contoh ‘Duduk di sini dan makan’). Pada umur 14 hingga 18 bulan, dia seharusnya boleh menunjukkan dua atau lebih anggota badan dan meningkat kepada enam anggota badan pada umur 22 bulan

# 16 hingga 20 bulan — Kanak-kanak boleh menyuarakan kehendaknya dalam satu perkataan (jus, susu, lagi, banyak)

# 18 hingga 22 bulan — Si kecil sudah boleh menggabungkan dua perkataan atau ayat mudah seperti ‘hendak susu’ atau ‘mahu lagi’

# 16 hingga 24 bulan — Kanak-kanak seharusnya sudah boleh menguasai lebih 50 patah perkataan

# 19 hingga 26 bulan — Menggunakan perkataan saya, awak walaupun kadangkala terbalik. Kebanyakan kanak-kanak boleh menyebut perkataan dengan baik apabila berumur 30 bulan

# 24 bulan — Percakapannya boleh difahami separuh oleh orang lain atau individu yang jarang berjumpa kanak-kanak berkenaan

# 24 hingga 32 bulan — Boleh menamakan empat gambar

# 26 hingga 32 bulan — Boleh bercakap dalam dua hingga tiga ayat mudah

# 27 hingga 34 bulan — Boleh memahami dua arahan dalam satu ayat contohnya ‘Letak cawan di atas meja atau sebelah buku’

# 29 hingga 34 bulan — Boleh menamakan dan kegunaan sekurang-kurangnya dua objek. Kanak-kanak seharusnya boleh mengenali satu warna pada umur 2½ hingga 3¼ tahun dan empat warna pada umur tiga hingga 4½ tahun

# Tiga tahun — Hampir 75 peratus pertuturannya boleh difahami orang yang jarang bertemu kanak-kanak ini. Pada umur ini mereka boleh menguasai lebih 250 perkataan. Pada umur empat tahun, percakapannya seharusnya boleh difahami sepenuhnya dan mampu menguasai 600 perkataan

Saringan pendengaran boleh dilakukan pakar kanak-kanak melalui satu ujian mudah (audimetri) apabila mereka boleh memberi kerjasama (biasanya selepas umur empat tahun). Kanak-kanak (dari dilahirkan hingga empat tahun) perlu berjumpa pakar pendengaran untuk ujian selanjutnya.

Jika anda fikir anak anda lewat bercakap, bawa si kecil untuk jalani ujian pendengaran. Pada masa sama kanak-kanak yang ada masalah lewat bercakap juga perlu dirujuk kepada pakar terapi pertuturan atau pakar psikologi jika perlu secepat mungkin.

Pada masa sama ibu bapa juga boleh membantu meningkatkan percakapan anak dengan:
# Membaca buku kepada anak, terutama buku bergambar di mana anda boleh mengajaknya untuk menunjuk atau menamakan objek
# Gunakan bahasa mudah apabila bercakap dengan anak, dibantu dengan gerak badan atau tangan. Tanya banyak soalan kepada anak. Pastikan anda ‘bercakap’ dengan si kecil dan bukan memberi arahan
# Beri tindak balas segera apabila anak bercakap untuk memberi dorongan kepadanya
# Ulang perkataan atau ayat anak anda dengan menambah beberapa perkataan lagi bagi memanjangkan ayat berkenaan
# Sabar melayan anak dan jangan marah jika dia melakukan kesilapan. Beri masa untuk anak menghabiskan ayatnya
# Jangan paksa anak bercakap.

PAKAIAN YANG HARUS DI ELAK SEMASA MENGANDUNG

Adalah menjadi satu kesukaran berpakaian bagi ibu hamil yang baru pertama kali melangkah ke alam kehamilan.

Ramai yang mengeluh kerana ada yang kurang arif dalam memilih pakaian yan sesuai. Biasanya masalah ini lebih kerap dialami oleh ibu-ibu hamil yang bekerjaya.

Pakaian kerja semasa hamil yang sesuai lebih diperlukan berbanding pakaian kerja biasa yang biasanya mempamerkan susuk tubuh mereka dengan pakaian yang sedikit ketat  agar lebih ramping di mata umum.

Berikut adalah beberapa pakaian yang harus dielakkan semasa hamil iaitu;

  • Elakkan memakai pakaian ketat terutama fabrik dari jenis jeans.
  • Elakkan memakai  seluar dalam yang terlalu ketat.
  • Elakkan memakai baju yang terlalu ketat kerana ia akan menekan perut dan tekanan tersebut akan membuatkan anda tidak selesa.
  • Elakkan memakai kasut tumit tinggi. Kasut ini amat membahayakan pemakainya kerana kestabilannya kurang.

Apa yang penting sekali adalah mengamalkan memakai pakaian yang longgar dan bersesuaian dengan bentuk badan anda. Utamakan keselesaan anda dan kandungan anda.

TIPS MENGELAKKAN BAYI DALAM KANDUNGAN CACAT

Cacat atau tidak janin yang anda kandung sememangnya ketentuan Tuhan, namun begitu anda sebenarnya masih boleh berusaha untuk mengelakkannya.

Sekiranya anda inginkan kehamilan yang sihat dan janin yang dikandung sempurna bila dilahirkan kelak, ada beberapa perkara yang perlu diusahakan. Sebaiknya lakukan hal di bawah ini sebelum anda merancang kehamilan sehinggalah anda benar-benar hamil.

Berhenti Merokok
Ramai wanita sekarang yang merokok. Sekiranya anda berhasrat untuk mendapat bayi yang sihat dan sempurna sebaiknya hentikan amalan ini. Merokok ketika hamil akan mengakibatkan bayi yang anda kandung lahir dengan berat badan yang kurang.

Makan Makanan Sihat
Makanlah menu makanan yang mengandungi lima jenis makanan utama yang paling diperlukan oleh tubuh. Setiap hari anda perlu mengambil makanan berupa gandum, sayuran, susu, produk yang mengandungi susu, daging dan protein.

Elakkan Alkohol
Alkohol dan kafein adalah dua perkara yang perlu dijaga oleh wanita yang hamil. Tidak ada kadar alkohol atau kafein yang selamat untuk diambil oleh wanita ketika hamil. Kafein yang terdapat dalam minuman seperti teh, kopi, soda dan coklat juga harus dikurangkan.

Nasihat Doktor
Jangan mengambit ubat-ubatan tanpa cadangan doktor. Mengambil ubat-ubatan tanpa nasihat doktor dengan dos yang tidak tepat akan membahayakan bayi dalam kandungan.

Ambil Asid Folik
Ia penting diambil oleh wanita yang baru hamil. Kajian yang dilakukan menunjukkan pengambilan asid folik sebelum kehamilan mampu menurunkan risiko melahirkan bayi dengan kecacatan otak dan sum-sum tulang belakang hingga 80 peratus.

GAMBAR RAJAH SENAMAN IBU MENGANDUNG

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_oR26qxKrQU4/Swsrpc7ZaHI/AAAAAAAAACQ/JZ6u_OVwV78/s1600/Prenatal-exercise.jpg

Senaman Pranatal

Senaman pranatal adalah senaman semasa mengandung. Ia disyorkan bersenam semasa tempoh mengandung tetapi kurangkan bilangan senaman bilamana kandungan anda membesar.

i) Berdiri dan bersenang diri dengan postur tegak.
Meluruskan tulang belakang dan mengecutkan bahagian perut dan punggung dan relaks bahu anda.

ii) Duduk tegak dengan tulang belakang yang disandarkan.Gunakan bantal kecil untuk mengampu belakang anda. Duduk diatas kerusi penyandar yang tinggi bagi menyokong belakang andaKedua dua peha hendaklah diatas kerusi, dan kedua dua kaki anda direhatkan diatas lantai yang rata, jika kamu duduk dalam keadaan yang lama, pusingkan bahu dalam satu arah kemudian berlawanan arah untuk melegakan tegangan

iii) Berbaring sendalkan bantal dibawah kedua peha anda bagi mendapatkan lebih keselesaan.



iv) Mengiring dengan dua bantal dibawah kepala dan satu bantal dibawah dikepit antara lutut dan peha bagi mengelakkan kejangan sacroiliac joint ( sendi peha ) postur begini sesuai bagi anda diperingkat akhir mengandung.

v) Mengangkat bebanandengan keadaan yang selamat iaitu membengkokan lutut anda untuk mengangkat, bagi mengekalkan graviti (pusat daya tarikan bumi)

Garis panduan program senaman untuk mempastikan keselamatan dan kesihatan semasa mengandung.

Yang perlu dibuat

* Jika anda telah mengikuti program senaman yang tetap sebelum anda mengandung, kekalkan program tersebut kesatu tahap semasa tempoh mengandung.
* Senaman tidak akan menyebabkan risiko keguguran.
* Jika anda baru memulakan senaman, mulakan dengan perlahan-lahan dan berhati hati agar tidak membebankan diri anda.
* Fahami kemampuan diri anda, elakkan unsur persaingan.
* Melakukan senaman dengan tetap sekurang kurang nya 3 kali seminggu adalah selamat daripada melakukan aktiviti senaman sekali sekala yang mendadak.
* Berhati-hati ‘warm up’ perlu mendahului latihan-latihan bertenaga yang mesti diikuti – ‘Cooling down’ atau penurunan yang beransur-ansur.
* Berhati hati untuk memanaskan badan kemudian diikuti dengan senaman yang bertenaga dan diikuti pula dengan menurunkan aktiviti -aktiviti secara perlahan lahan.
* Minum banyak air dan kerap berehat
* Mengawal berat badan patut ditekankan bagi merperbaiki otot otot bahagian atas badan dan bahagian perut.dan regangan sebelum dan selepas setiap senaman.
* Makan makanan berkhasiat termasuk makan banyak buah buahan, sayuran dan karbohidrat kompleks.

Pekara yang dilarang
* Elakkan aktiviti yang menyentap, melambung-lambung dan gerakan-gerakan tangkas.
* Jangan sekali kali melakukan senaman yang mengakibatkan kepenatan yang melampau atau sesak nafas.Ini menandakan anda dan janin anda tidak mendapat bekalan oksigen yang diperlukan.
* Elakkan melakukan senaman dalam cuaca yang sangat panas.
* Bilangan denyutan jantung ibu tidak melebihi 140/ seminit dan senaman yang bertenaga tidak melebihi 15minit.
* Elakkan tanah yang tidak rata dan berbukit bukit semasa aktiviti berlari atau berbasikal.
* Elakkan sukan lasak.
* Elakkan mengangkat bebanan di atas kepala dan bebanan yang menyebabkan tegangan otot dibahagian bawah belakang.
* Jangan membengkokan sendi-sendi secara berlebihan.
* Hentikan senaman dengan segera jika anda mengalami tanda tanda berikut:

  1. Sakit dada,
  2. Perdarahan dari faraj atau kontraksi atau jika anda mengalami pecah mentuban,
  3. Kabur penglihatan, pening, dan pitam,
  4. Denyutan jantung tidak tetap,
  5. Bertambah bengkak dikaki, tangan dan buku lali
  6. Perubahan suhu badan yang mendadak.

* Semasa trimester kedua dan ketiga elakkan senaman berbaring rata dilantai yang boleh mengakibatkan kurang bekalan darah ke rahim anda.

Senaman untuk melegakan sakit belakang semasa mengandung.

Dibawah ini adalah senaman mudah untuk melegakan sakit belakang semasa mengandung:

Melutut seperti kedudukan merangkak dengan meluruskan bahagian belakang.

  1. Bayangkan anda sedang mengimbangi sebuah dulang dibelakang anda.
  2. Jungkitkan dulang dengan menguncupkan otot dibahagian abdomen (perut), dan tolakkan sedikit bahagian belakang keatas.
  3. Rata semula bahagian belakang, dan ulangi sehingga 6 hingga 8 kali.
  4. Kekalkan kedudukan untuk 5 saat

Pusingkan setiap bahu kehadapan 5 kali dan kebelakang 5 kali.
* Pakai coli yang mempunyai sokongan yang baik.

Pusingkan bahu ke belakang & kedepan.


Baring melentang dengan membengkokan kedua dua lutut dan kedua dua tapak kaki diatas lantai, tarik lutut kanan anda perlahan lahan ke dada, ulangi gerakan yang sama untuk lutut kiri anda.

Baring melentang dengan membengkokan kedua dua lutut dan kedua dua tapak kaki diatas lantai, dengan mengetatkan bahagian perut serta menolakkan kebawah sehingga bahagian belakang anda rapat ke lantai..

ADAKAH HUBUNGAN SEKS SEMASA HAMIL MEMBAHAYA

Ramai yang bertanya kepada adakah boleh melakukan hubungan seksual semasa hamil? Tak bahayakah?
* Ya, anda boleh melakukan hubungan seksual dengan pasangan anda semasa kehamilan biasa atau normal.
* Ada antara ibu yang risau dan salah anggap tentang seks semasa hamil boleh menyebabkan infeksi atau menjejaskan kandungannya semasa melakukan hubungan seks.
* Hubungan seks atau orgasm tidak membahayakan bayi di dalam kandungan anda kerana adanya lendir dari serviks ibu(mulut rahim) yang membantu melawan terhadap kuman atau infeksi yang akan masuk ke dalam pintu rahim dan secara semulajadi juga Allah s.w.t telah menciptakan suatu perlindungan kepada bayi dalam kandungan.
* Bayi dalam kandungan kita berada dalam ruang rahim dan cairan ketuban serta otot rahim dan perut yang kuat melindungi bayi salama dalam proses kehamilan.
* Namun kehamilan anda akan termasuk dalam kehamilan dengan risiko sekiranya ada komplikasi atau ada symptom yang tidak pernah anda rasa atau hadapi sebelum ini seperti rasa ngilu, kontraksi atau pendarahan maka anda perlu segera berjumpa denga doktor sebelum anda melakukan hubungan seksual lagi.
* Biasanya doktor akan menasihatkan agar anda tidak melakukan hubungan seksual pada kes-kes kehamilan berikut:
#1: Ancaman keguguran atau pernah alami keguguran.
#2: Placenta berada dibawah (plasenta previa)
#3: Riwayat kelahiran premature (pra-matang)
#4: Pendarahan vagina atau keluar cairan yang tidak diketahui penyebabnya.
#5: STD atau penyakit seksual yang menular.

Jika anda masih ragu-ragu untuk melakukan hubugan seks semasa kehamilan, jangan anda merasa malu untuk membincangkannya dengan doktor anda

GAMBAR POSISI SEKS KETIKA HAMIL

TIPS PENJAGAAN PAYUDARA UNTUK IBU MENGANDUNG

…PELAJARI TEKNIK MARMET…
Selain menggunakan pam untuk mengumpul susu perahan kita boleh melakukannya secara manual. Tidak memerlukan kos,gune tangan pun boleh dijadikan sebagai alat untuk memerah payu dara kita. Teknik ini dikenali sebagai MARMET..

Ia sungguh mudah kerana teknik ini merupakan kaedah yang banyak membantu kita mengumpul lebih banyak susu ibu berbanding menggunakan pam..

Selain itu, sentuhan kulit ke kulit (tangan ke payudara) lebih efektif dalam merangsang payu dara untuk mengalirkan susu dengan lebih lancar jika dibandingkan dengan breast shield yang dihasilkan daripada plastik..

Dengan menggunakan teknik ini juga, kita dapat mengurangkan kerosakan tisu payu dara,payu dara lebam mahupun kulit di sekitar melecet akibat penggunaan pam yang berlebihan..

Sebelum melakukan teknik Marmet untuk memerah payudara, kita seharusnya melakukan urutan terlebih dahulu. Dengan itu, proses pemerahan pasti akan berjalan lancar..

MENGURUT

Cuci tangan & pastikan ia bersih..tekap payudara dengan tuala kecil yang telah direndam dengan air suam dan urutla mengikut langkah langkah di bawah:

1. Massage..dengan menggunakan jari telunjuk dan tengah, lakukanmembulat dari hujung ketiak hingga aerola. Tangan kanan mengurut payudara kiri dan sebaliknya..

2. Stroke..gunakan kelima lima jari tangan,tekan payudara secara lembut.

3. Shake..condong kan sedikit badan kite ke depan, goyangkan dada secara lebut..Dengan ini, daya graviti yang terhasil akan membantu merangsang pengeluaran susu ibu.
MEMERAH

Langkah 1: Mengalirkan takungan susu

1. Buat pengangan C dengan meletakkan ibu jari lebih kurang 1sm dari aerola. Manakala jari telunjuk dan jari tengah diletakkan di bawah bahagian aerola. (Kedua dua jari ini berfungsi menampung bahagian payudara)..memandangkan payudara setiap ibu adalah berbeza, anggaplah payudara seperti jam. Arah ibu jari berada pada jam 12 dan dua jari yang lain berada di posisi jam 6..

2. Tekan payudara secara lembut ke arah dada tanpa memindahkan posisi jari telunjuk dan tangah tadi.

3. Seterusnya picit ibu jari, jari telunjuk dan tengah bagi menggalakkan susu ibu keluar daripada putting. Kemudian, lepaskan & ulang semula dengan melakukan pergerakan picit-lepas, picit-lepas.

4. Ulangi langkah 1 hingga 3 sehingga aliran susu berkurangan..

5. Kemudian pindahkan posisi ibu jari ke arah jam 11, 10, 9, 8, dan 7 manakala jari telunjuk & jari tangah ke arah jam 5, 4, 3, 2, dan 1. Lakukan gerakanmemerah sama seperti langkah 1 hingga 4 supaya kesemua saluran susu dapat diperah sepenuhnya..

6. Tadah susu yang berjaya diperah ke dalam bekas penyimpanan yang bersih.

7. Beralihlah ke payudara di sebelahnya jika kite yakin sudah berjaya mengosongkan payudara.

p/s: Semasa melakukan rutin picit-lepas, jangan lupa untuk terus menerus mengurut payudara. Cara sebegini sedikit sebanyak membantu susu ibu mengalir dengan lancar.

Elakkan Pergerakan ini!!

1. Jangan picit putting payudara. Ini akan menyebabkannya lebam.

2. Jangan tarik putting kerana ia boleh merosakkan tisu payudara

3. Jangan geselkan tangan anda ke payudara kerana boleh menyebabkannya melecet.

contoh yang salah..

Langkah 2: Melancarkan Aliran Susu

1. Urut setiap saluran susu dengan menekannya secara lembut menggunakan kelima lima jari ke arah dada bermula daripada bahadian atas. Lakukan dalam gerakan memutar. Tumpukan pada satu tempat ) saluran susu ) bagi setiap masa untuk beberapa saat sebelum beralih ke tempat lain.

2. Usap payudara bermula daripada atas hingga ke putting menggunakan sentuhan geletek. Teruskan pergerakan ini di mana ia dapat menenangkan anda & seterusnya membantu melancarkan aliran susu..

Tempoh Pemerahan

Keseluruhan prosedur ini seharusnya dilakukan dalam tempoh 20 minit ke 30 minit. Perah setiap payudara antara 5 hingga 7 minit, setelah itu, lakukan rutin urutan (massage, stroke & shake). Kemudian perah lagi setiap payudara dalam 3 hingga 5 minit. Selanjutnya ulang semula rutin urutan & diakhiri dengan sesi pemerahan antara 2 hingga 3 minit bagi setiap sebelah paudara..

INFO

Ketika melakukan teknik marmet ini, pergerakan tangan harus lebih cepat daripada mata.
Penting: Teknik yang tidak tepat boleh mencederakan payudara.

TEKNIK MENYUSU ANAK YANG BETUL

Basically, terdapat 5 posisi yang lazim di praktikkan oleh mommies yg menyusukan baby. Di sini saya sertakan ilustrasi bergambar untuk memudahkan pemahaman kawan-kawan sekelian…
1) Cradle hold / mendukung
2) Cross cradle hold / Mendukung bersilang

3) Football hold / mendakap
4) Lying down/ berbaring
5) Tandem
Okie…meh saya terangkan sket tentang posisi-posisi di atas mengikut experience saya yg best ni :-
CRADLE HOLD
This is the the most common way of holding your baby while nursing. Kire bg saya cara ni adalah cara paling natural seseorang ibu akan pegang baby utk disusukan. Sebab ape sy kate natural ialah masa 1st time saya susukan Danish, tanpa perlu diajar saya terus angkat die and pegang die cara ni. Tapi misi kat hospital tu ade la jugak la betul-betulkan sket cara saya dukung di supaya lebih secure. Dan cara ni saya praktikkan di dalam hampir kesemua keadaan samada saya di rumah, shopping mall, kenduri, umah sedara dan lain2 tempat. In terms of keselesaan –> SANGAT SELESA!
CROSS CRADLE HOLD
Posisi ni plak saya belajar melalui buku. Saya cube praktikkan semasa di dalam pantang. Tetapi kadang-kadang je buat sebab lebih selesa dgn cara cradle hold. Posisi ini sesuai untuk ibu-ibu yg mempunyai saiz payudara yg agak besar ye. Tapi yg “agak kecil” pon bleh gak…
FOOTBALL HOLD
Yg ni pun pnah gak cube buat. Tapi agak sukar tanpa bantuan nursing pillow/bantal menyusu. Sebab kite kena alas baby dengan bantal yg diletakkan di bahagian tepi badan/bawah ketiak kite supaya baby berada sama level dengan breast. And then kite kene kepit badan baby kat bawah ketiak, pegang kepalanya and halakan mulutnye ke breast. Teknik ini sesuai dipraktikkan oleh ibu-ibu yg melahirkan baby secara caeserian untuk mengelakkan bahagian perut tidak tertekan oleh berat baby.
LYING DOWN
Haa kawan-kawan..this is my FAVOURITE POSITION! Boleh kata sepanjang berada di rumah, saya akan susukan Danish dgn posisi ini. Sangat selesa! Benefitnye kite menyusukan baby cara ni ialah kite boleh co-sleep atau berehat sekali dgn baby. Tambahan pula, selepas balik kerja, saya akan mandi, solat dan tidurkan Danish terlebih dahulu sebelum melakukan house chores yg lain. So, saya akan susukan die sambil co-sleep dgn die dan bangun semula apabila die dah tidor nyenyak.
TANDEM
This one is applicable for mommies yg ada twins or mommies yang ada toddler yg masih menyusu dan bayi yg baru lahir. Contohnye Kak Sue (Lunatots) yg baru je dpt baby comel seminggu yg lalu.

In conclusion frenz, try to experiment kesemua position dan cuba kenal pasti posisi yang mana paling selesa dan mudah untuk diaplikasika mengikut keadaan, tempat dan keselesaan. Samada kite menyusukan si manja kite di rumah atau di tempat awam tidak akan menjadi masalah. If kite berada di tempat-tempat awam spt shopping mall atau di kenduri kawen sbg contoh, boleh pergi ke nursing room yg disediakan atau tumpang le bilik-bilik yg ade. Kalau mahu lebih senang dan stylish, boleh gunekan nursing cover yg byk di jual di online shop. Bestkan jadi mommies alaf baru ni? Kesimpulannye, HENDAK 1000 DAYA, TAK HENDAK 1000 DALIH. Tiada lagi alasan bagi ibu-ibu zaman sekarang untuk tidak menyusui anak sendiri….

PETUA MENDAPAT ANAK PEREMPUAN ATAU LELAKI

Petua untuk dapat anak perempuan atau anak lelaki
Posted By PakarHowTo On April 27, 2010 (12:27 pm) In “How To”

Nampaknya artikel mengenai panduan untuk mudah hamil dan petua untuk mendapat anak di blog PakarHowTo mendapat sambutan yang sangat baik.

Ebook tulisan kawan saya iaitu ‘Rahsia Mudah Hamil‘ dan ‘Panduan Senang Hamil‘ juga mendapat jualan yang baik sekali. Ini menunjukkan bahawa begitu ramai sekali mereka yang mengalami masalah sukar mendapatkan anak.

Saya mengaku bahawa saya bukanlah orang yang layak untuk memberikan panduan-panduan ini, kerana saya bukanlah seorang doktor atau pakar sakit puan.

Namun, atas rasa prihatin sebagai salah seorang yang mempunyai masalah sukar mendapat anak (selepas 2 tahun kahwin, baru isteri saya mengandung), maka saya rasa bertanggungjawab untuk sampaikan ilmu yang saya ada mengenai perkara ini.

Saya menerima banyak sekali email dan komen dari para pembaca blog ini yang bertanyakan pelbagai perkara mengenai permasalahan kesukaran mendapatkan anak ini. Ada yang bertanya tentang kitaran haid, mengenai waktu subur, makanan yang sesuai untuk dimakan, petua-petua, doa-doa dan jampi-jampi, malah ada juga yang bertanya tentang teknik-teknik bersetubuh untuk mudah mendapat anak.

Sudah saya nyatakan berkali-kali di blog ini bahawa saya bukanlah pakar sakit puan atau doktor yang layak untuk menjawab mengenai permasalahan yang mereka alami. Sebetulnya anda perlu bertanya dan mendapatkan nasihat dari doktor yang profesional.

Namun, atas rasa prihatin dengan segala permasalahan yang diketengahkan, saya tetap juga berkongsi pengalaman dan pengetahun, sekadar yang saya mampu.

Pagi tadi (27 April 2010), saya dapati ada satu komen di blog ini yang meminta diberikan petua untuk mendapatkan anak perempuan.

ingin-anak-perempuan

Baiklah, bagi memenuhi permintaan Saudara Muhamad Zalani (@Laningz) tersebut, suka saya kongsikan petua atau ikhtiyar yang boleh dilakukan dalam usaha untuk mendapatkan jantina anak seperti yang dihajati.

Untuk dapat anak perempuan

Suami hendaklah baca ayat berikut (*baca di dalam hati) ketika kemuncak syahwat, iaitu ketika air mani terpancut keluar.

doa-anak-perempuan

Maksudnya : “ Dia (ALLAH) mengurniakan anak-anak perempuan kepada sesiapa saja yang dikehendaki-NYA.”
Untuk dapat anak lelaki

Suami hendaklah baca ayat berikut (*baca di dalam hati) ketika kemuncak syahwat, iaitu ketika air mani terpancut keluar.

doa-anak-lelaki

Maksudnya : ” Dia (ALLAH) mengurniakan anak-anak lelaki kepada sesiapa saja yang dikehendaki-NYA.”

Bagi pihak isteri pula, sentiasalah berdoa di dalam hati, agar ALLAH mengurniakan anak perempuan atau lelaki. Doa juga supaya ALLAH mengurniakan anak yang soleh dan solehah yang akan membahagiakan anda dunia dan akhirat.

Petua Kempiskan Perut Selepas Bersalin

Selepas melahirkan anak, kaum ibu pasti mahu kembali langsing seperti sebelumnya. Bahagian tubuh yang sering bermasalah tentunya perut, kan? Jika tak dijaga dengan baik perut si ibu akan mengendur, berlipat ataupun buncit.

Gambar hiasan – Rahsia Diet Wanita

Jadi, untuk kempiskan perut ataupun mengelakkan perut buncit selepas bersalin, anda boleh mengikuti petua di bawah;

1. Memula, anda sediakan bahan-bahan yang diperlukan iaitu kapur sirih (kapur makan), sedikit minyak kayu putih dan sedikit perahan limau nipis.

2. Kemudian, gaulkan ketiga-tiga bahan tersebut hingga rata.

3. Seterusnya, sapukan bahan tadi ke seluruh kawasan perut dan pinggang si ibu juga sampai rata.

4. Setelah ia kering, ikat bahagian perut dan pinggang dengan rapi menggunakan kain lampin bayi.

Anda digalakkan mengulangi proses ini pada setiap pagi dan petang selama 40 hari berturut-turut selepas melahirkan anak. InsyaAllah anda akan merasa kesannya kelak.

Panduan menjaga anak kembar
Tip menjaga anak kembar

Masa menyusu

Sebenarnya tidak sukar menyusukan si kembar serentak tetapi lebih baik jika setiap orang mempunyai waktu menyusu yang khusus supaya setiap kembar mendapat perhatian sama.

Cara pertama: Peruntukkan 10 minit bagi setiap seorang iaitu selepas menyusukan kembar pertama selama 10 minit, susukan pula kembar kedua selama 10 minit dan ulangi cara ini selama sejam atau sehingga si kembar kenyang.

Namun, jangka masa penyusuan bergantung kepada keperluan bayi anda. Jika kembar yang kuat menyusu mungkin waktu yang diperuntukkan perlu ditambah hingga 15 minit atau setengah jam setiap seorang.

Bagaimanapun, jangan sesekali mengamalkan tabiat menyusukan si kembar hanya apabila mereka menangis kerana ini akan menyukarkan anda untuk melayan kerenah kedua-duanya secara serentak.

Cara kedua: Menyusukan kembar pada waktu berasingan. Kaedah ini boleh diamalkan kerana ada pasangan kembar yang mempunyai keperluan susu dan waktu tidur yang berbeza.

Misalnya, kembar pertama mungkin kurang menyusu tetapi kuat tidur manakala kembar kedua, kuat menyusu tetapi kurang tidur.

Di sekitar tempat tidur pula, letakkan semua peralatan seperti lampin, susu, sarung tangan, seluar, sarung kaki, kelambu dan peralatan membancuh susu berdekatan.

Mandi

Jangan mandikan si kembar serentak jika anda bersendirian. Anda boleh mandikan kembar pertama ketika kembar kedua sedang tidur.

Jika bayi kembar anda sudah boleh duduk, mungkin boleh mandikan mereka bersama tetapi jangan sesekali meninggalkan kembar berseorangan dalam besen mandi ketika anda mengelap kembar pertama.

Pakaian

Elakkan daripada terlalu kerap menukar pakaian bayi. Satu lagi, jangan biasakan diri terlalu memikirkan pakaian apa yang perlu dipakai – bereben, berenda, seluar panjang atau pakai baju yang serupa corak dan warnanya. Asalkan ia bersih dan selesa, jangan bimbang.

CARA MENGIRA BERAT BADAN IBU MENGANDUNG

Rumus Menghitung BERAT BADAN IDEAL IBU HAMIL Sbb:

BBIH = BBI + (UH x 0.35)
dimana,

BBIH = Berat Badan Ibu Hamil
UH = Umur Kehamilan dalam Minggu
0.35 =tambahan berat badan kg per minggunya

Penjelasannya sbb:
BBI = (TB-110) jika Tinggi Badan diatas 160 cm
BBI = (TB-105) jika Tinggi Badan dibawah 160 cm
BBI = (TB-100) jika Tinggi Badan dibawah 150 cm

Rumus BBI ini pengembangan dari Broca untuk orang eropah dan disesuaikan oleh Katsura untuk orang Indonesia (kalau tidak percaya cuba bandingkan dengan rumus BMI atau IMT)

UH = adalah umur kehamilan dalam minggu
(kenapa diambil per minggu agar dapat kontrol faktor risiko penambahan berat badan dapat diketahui.

0.35 = adalah tambahan berat badan kg per minggunya. Rata-rata penambahan berat badan khan sekitar 350 – 400 gr atau sekitar 0.35 – 0.4 kg. Kenapa diambil nilai yang terendah karana pertambahan berat badan ditekankan pada kualiti (mutu) bukan pada kuantiti (banyaknya).

Terus sekarang berapa berat Badan Ideal Ibu Hamil Tadi jawabnya adalah:

BBI ibu tadi adalah : 162-110 = 52 Kg. (TB berkurangan 110 karana tinggi badan lebih 160 cm)

Jadi BBI hamil nya adalah
= 52 kg + (30 x 0.35)
= 52 + 10.5
= 62.5 kg (inilah berat badan idealnya)

Jadi berat badan Idealnya 62.5 kg atau ada penambahan berat badan sebesar 9.5 kg dari sebelum hamil.

TIPS DAN IDEA UNTUK MENJADI KAYA / TIPS AND IDEA TO BECOME RICH

4 sebab mengapa ramai orang susah untuk menjadi kaya.

Di sini saya akan kongsikan dengan anda apakah 4 sebab tersebut ;

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Sebab #1 : Menunggu Untuk Bermula
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Hampir semua orang tidak mahu menunggu untuk berjaya. Tetapi,
pada masa yang sama, mereka sanggup menunggu untuk mula
melangkah ke arah kejayaan.

Nampakkah anda masalahnya disini?

Lagi lama anda menunggu untuk bermula, lama lagi untuk anda
menjana wang, kejayaan dan gayahidup yang anda mahukan.

Ramai orang yang menunggu sehingga semuanya sempurna sebelum
mereka bertindak. Oleh sebab itu, mereka tidak akan bergerak
dan tidak akan mendapat ganjarannya.

Tiada perlumbaan yang akan dimenangi (atau diakhiri) oleh
seseorang yang tidak melepasi garis permulaaan.

Jangan menunggu untuk bertindak. Mulakan hari ini dengan
melangkah ke arah kejayaan.

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Sebab #2 : Ilmu Kewangan Yang Teruk
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Kunci kekayaan terletak kepada pemahaman tentang aset dan
liabiliti.

Perbezaanya saya ringkaskan disini: Aset adalah sesuatu yang
masukkan duit kepoket anda. Hutang pula ialah sesuatu yang
keluarkan duit dari poket anda.

Aset : Wang masyuk
Liabiliti: Wang keluar

Ramai orang yang berfikir bahawa rumah, kereta dan harta
benda adalah aset mereka.

Tetapi, yang sebenarnya ialah hampir semuanya menyebabkan
anda keluarkan wang dari poket anda. Mereka MAHUKAN wang
daripada anda. Mereka tidak BERIKAN anda wang.

Oleh itu, daripada definisi diatas, semuanya itu adalah
liabiliti = hutang!

Bila anda mempunyai wang yang banyak MASUK daripada
aset yang sebenar daripada wang yang KELUAR untuk
membayar liabiliti, anda akan bebas dari segi kewangan.

Hanya terdapat satu cara untuk anda lakukannya. Dan ianya
membawa kita kepada…

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Sebab #3 : Fokus kepada pendapatan aktif daripada pasif
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Salah seorang jutawan yang saya kenali pernah memberi
nasihat dengan selamba. Beliau berkata “Jika anda
tidak buat duit semasa tidur, anda tidak akan kaya.”

Pendapatan aktif adalah gaji yang anda dapat daripada
bekerja. Anda bekerja sejam dan mendapat bayaran untuk
sejam bekerja dan sampai disitu sahaja.

Pendapatan pasif ialah anda bekerja sekali sahaja tetapi
terus mendapat bayaran tanpa putus daripada kerja yang
tidak lagi anda lakukan.

Dengan membuat pelaburan atau mencipta aset sebenar yang
memberikan pendapatan pasif kepada anda adalah tiket untuk
anda menuju kekayaan.

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Sebab #4 : Tidak cukup sabar dan tiada keazaman
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Untuk menamatkan apa juga perlumbaan, anda mesti memecut
daripada garisan permulaan dan mengikut terus sehingga
ke garisan penamat.

Ramai orang yang mencipta kegagalan mereka samada tidak
bermula langsung atau tidak tamatkan, atau kedua-duanya
sekali.

Untuk menjana kekayaan, berjaya dan hidup bahagia anda
mestilah mempunyai kesabaran dan keazaman untuk tiba
ke garisan penamat. Anda bukan sahaja perlu bermula,
tetapi mesti tabah mengharungi semuanya.

Bunyinya mungkin sudah jelas, tetapi ianya masih menjadi
punca kegagalan sesorang.

Sebab itulah jika anda sanggup menyertai 5 peratus
mereka yang mengikut 5 perkara diatas, anda mempunyai
peluang yang besar untuk menempa kejayaan dan kemewahan.

Ianya cukup mudah… anda perlu membuat keputusan untuk
mengikut perkara diatas dan lihat perubahan pada hidup
anda nanti. Tetapi, jika tidak, seperti kebanyakkan orang
lain anda tetap seperti sekarang, sama seperti dulu.
The hardest way to get rich

let me tell you about hard ways to get rich.

One of the hardest is to be born into it. Of course, if you happen to enter this world as a Hilton, a Gates or a Windsor, then life is sweet. But since 99.9999% of the population aren’t that lucky, I’m assuming you didn’t win that particular lottery.

And speaking of lotteries, gambling is another very difficult way to get rich. Sure, some people buy a lottery ticket and win big, but most don’t. You can gamble your entire life and you’ll most likely end up broke rather than wealthy.

When I was younger, I thought the easiest way to get rich was to become famous through some kind of creative act. Stephen King got rich writing horror novels, so why not me?

I’m now much wiser and realize that the vast majority of novelists never even get published. Of those who do, most wallow in obscurity. Only very few make it anywhere near the best-seller list, and only one in a million will achieve any kind of serious wealth.

The same fate awaits the majority of musicians, software company founders, sportspeople and website creator. For every Google that makes its owners billions, there are a million websites that lose money. Creativity is the most fun and rewarding way to get rich, but it’s also a very difficult way.

The reason the media raves about and idolizes those who’ve built wealth through creativity is because they’re so rare. You don’t hear about the vast majority who wallow in obscurity and poor pay, because they’re not interesting. “Young genius makes $1 billion from website” is a great headline “Ten thousand young geniuses make nothing from their hard work” isn’t.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep your dreams alive. It’s one of the best parts of life. But this article isn’t about the most fun way to try and get rich – it’s about the easiest way.

Okay, here’s the system.

Step 1: Get a well-paid job
This is a reasonable amount of work, and takes a few years, but it’s a virtually guaranteed way to make a good income. If they’re willing to put in the work, almost any intelligent person can get a job paying $100,000 or more within the space of a few years. While it’s not easy, it is by far the easiest and most likely way to secure a good income. In fact, I’ve already written an entire article on how to get a job paying more than $100,000 a year for those who wish to pursue this avenue.

Step 2: Get good tax advice
However you make your money, your number one expense is likely to be funding the government. In most developed countries, the average worker pays around 30% of everything they earn straight into the taxman’s pocket. If you’ve taken my job advice, you’ll most likely pay even more than that.

While taxation is necessary to fund the good things governments provide, you don’t do yourself any favors by paying more than your fair share. If you’re serious about building wealth, get a good accountant who understands how to legally minimize your tax bill.

Step 3: Save 20% of everything you ever earn
As soon as you get paid, arrange to have 20% of your income removed into a savings account. Many banks can do this automatically for you. Keep your savings account separate from your spending account, and you’ll barely miss this money.

There’s a saying in economics “expenses rise to meet income”. This means money that’s easily available to you is certain to be spent. That’s why most people’s paychecks disappear before their next payday. They get used to having a certain amount to spend, and habitually run down their bank account.

Have your savings moved somewhere it’s a hassle to get them out of to avoid this risk. Many high interest accounts require you to give them a few days notice, which is ideal for this purpose.

Step 4: Conservatively invest the funds that build up in your savings account
Once a month, go into your savings account and divide the money by investing it into the three core conservative assets: shares, property and cash. Open a mutual fund account for shares, a property fund for property, and a money market fund for cash. Look for share and property funds that invest in a broad range of assets and most importantly charge very low fees. An index fund is ideal for the shares. An index of property funds is ideal for property.

Put an equal amount into each account. This will diversify you against risk in any one particular asset. If you’re younger, this rule is a little bit flexible, allowing you to take a little more risk and put more into shares and property if you like.

Step 5: Reinvest any income you get from your assets straight back into buying more assets
Mutual funds and property funds pay dividends. Money market accounts pay interest. Don’t take this income into your spending account. Instead, select the option to have it reinvested into the fund that generated it.

Step 6: Never touch these funds and do your best to ignore them
The business press, like the mainstream press, loves a crisis. “Shares to skyrocket” or “Property to plummet” headlines will sell many more copies than “Things to continue steadily”. All markets go up and down. Every day, some speculation will be published about some crisis or opportunity.

Ignore it all.

Just keep putting the 20% into your assets. Sometimes they’ll go up and sometimes they’ll go down in value. But over the long term, they’ll almost certainly go up.

Step 7: Wait a decade
Do what I’ve outlined above and in a decade you’ll be rich. Sure, you won’t be Bill Gates, but you’ll almost certainly be in the top 20% of wealth holders. Wait another decade and you’ll be in the top 5% or higher.

That’s the plan. It’s not the most exciting or glamourous way to build wealth, but it’s the easiest. Quite simply, this is how most rich people got there.

You too can join them, if you follow it.
5 Kunci Usahawan Berjaya

MERANCANG DAN DAPATKAN HASILPembaca sekelian,

Tidak kira di mana sahaja di dunia, kebolehan merancang dan mendapatkan hasil adalah tugasan yang paling berharga sekali. Tidak kira dalam bidang politik, keluarga atau individu, merancang akan dapat membuahkan hasil yang lebih teratur dan baik.

Begitu juga dalam perniagaan. Untuk menjadi usahawan yang berjaya, kebolehan merancang dan mendapatkan keputusan adalah amat penting. Sebelum memulakan apa sahaja perniagaan, satu perancangan yang lengkap perlu diadakan (jangan nak main terjun sahaja!). Apabila perniagaan sudah dimulakan, perancangan masih diperlukan dalam menganalisa strategi pemasaran untuk mengembangkan perniagaan anda. Apabila perniagaan anda sudah maju, perancangan masih diperlukanm untuk memastikan perniagaan anda mendapat pasaran terbesar dan tidak diambil oleh pesaing anda!

Dalam setiap peringkat perniagaan, perancangan dimestikan dan tidak pernah ditinggalkan oleh usahawan yang berjaya. Usahawan yang berjaya akan sering tanya pada diri sendiri:

- Apakah keputusan yang diinginkan dalam perniagaan ini?
- Bagaimana keputusan itu dapat dicapai?
- Siapa yang dapat membantu mengembangkan perniagaan ini?
- Apakah kebolehan atau ilmu tambahan yang saya perlukan untuk mengembangkan perniagaan ini?

Kebolehan anda untuk mendapatkan hasil dan bertanggungjawab atas keputusan anda adalah tanda seorang usahawan yang gemilang.

BERI LEBIH DARIPADA APA YANG DISANGKAKAN

Kunci kejayaan sesuatu perniagaan adalah untuk melakukan lebih daripada apa yang disangkakan. Bak kata mat salleh, “Go the extra mile!”. Maksudnya adalah untuk anda melakukan tugasan anda dalam perniagaan lebih daripada apa yang disangkakan oleh orang lain.

Kebiasaannya, seorang pekerja hanya akan melakukan tugasannya apabila disuruh. Pekerja akan melakukan kerja berdasarkan pendapatan yang diterima. Tetapi, untuk menjadi usahawan yang berjaya, menteliti sebagai “pekerja” tidak lagi boleh disimpan.

Pelanggan akan mengetahui bahawa anda sanggup bekerja ekstra untuk memenangi hati mereka. Usahawan lain juga akan dapat melihat peluang bekerjasama dengan anda oleh kerana anda berusaha sekeras-kerasnya dalam perniagaan anda. Melakukan kerja lebih daripada apa yang disangkakan akan membuka pintu rezeki kepada perniagaan anda.

MEMASAR DAN MENJUAL!

Ini adalah kunci utama kejayaan sesuatu perniagaan- pemasaran dan menjual! Tahukah anda bahawa lebih 95% perniagaan baru gagal dalam tahun pertama ia ditubuhkan? Ya, statistik ini amat mengejutkan bagi bakal-bakal usahawan. Namun, sekiranya anda mempunyai ciri-ciri usahawan yang berjaya, ia dapat menjauhkan daripada statistik ini.

Kebolehan memasar dan menjual apa yang anda niagakan adalah nadi kepada apa jua jenis perniagaan. Kebolehan yang diperlukan adalah:

- Kebolehan berkomunikasi
- Kebolehan merunding
- Kebolehan memujuk pembeli membeli
- Kebolehan menjual produk atau perkhidmatan anda

Kunci kejayaan apa jua perniagaan adalah jualan dan keuntungan yang tinggi. Tanpa kebolehan “menjual“, matlamat sesuatu perniagaan tidak dapat dicapai. Aliran wang (cash flow) adalah amat penting dalam perniagaan dan aliran wang hanya akan diperolehi melalui menjual produk dan perkhidmatan anda.

Oleh kerana menjual adalah amat penting dalam perniagaan, pelajari kaedah-kaedah menjual melalui buku-buku, seminar perniagaan dan juga seminar komunikasi.

Bertahun-tahun dulu, saya merupakan seorang yang agak pendiam dan sukar berkomunikasi dengan sesiapa sahaja- apatah lagi menjual! Ianya selepas saya memperbaiki kelemahan saya dalam komunikasi, saya mula dapat melihat kejayaan dalam perniagaan saya berkembang melalui pemasaran dan jualan yang meningkat. Dua tip dalam menjual:

1. Seseorang itu tidak dilahirkan boleh menjual! Menjual adalah suatu kebolehan yang boleh dipelajari. Seperti menunggang basikal, ianya agak sukar pada peringkat awal. Tetapi, apabila berkali-kali melakukan perkara yang sama, ia menjadi semakin mudah.

2. Komunikasi adalah penting dalam perniaagaan. Namun, berkomunikasi bukan sekadar maksudnya banyak bercakap! Tetapi juga untuk bijak mendengar. 85% kejayaan anda adalah bergantung kepada mereka disekeliling anda. Pelajari kaedah berkomunikasi, mendengar, memujuk, persembahan untuk mendapat kerjasama dari pelbagai pihak dalam membantu menjayakan perniagaan anda.

FAHAMI ANGKA PERNIAGAAN

Dimana kebolehan utama seseorang usahawan yang berjaya seperti yang telah dibincangkan adalah yang melibatkan apa yang dapat dilihat oleh orang ramai, namun jangan sesekali mengabaikan perkara-perkara yang tidak dapat dilihat oleh orang ramai- iaitu angka-angka perniagaan anda!

Kebanyakan usahawan lebih fokus kepada strategi memajukan perniagaan dengan memberi tumpuan kepada pekerja, pelanggan, produk, perkhidmatan dan pemasaran sehinggakan melupakan isu penting iaitu penyata kewangan.

Anda tidak perlu menjadi pakar dalam bidang perakaunan, tetapi, apa yang penting adalah untuk anda fahami penyata kewangan anda. Tugasan mengurus penyata kewangan boleh diagihkan kepada mereka yang lebih bertauliah. Namun, sebagai usahawan yang berjaya, anda perlu memahami pengiraan wang dalam penyata kewangan anda supaya wang yang masuk tidak menjadi wang keluar sehingga menjejaskan keuntungan keseluruhan perniagaan anda!

TIDAK PUTUS ASA MENCUBA

Pembaca sekelian,

Seperti yag dikatakan sebelum ini, 95% perniagaan akan gagal. Ini bermaksud, anda hanya mempunyai 5% peluang untuk berjaya! Sedih bunyinya bukan? Kunci terkahir adalah tidak berputus asa!

Anda kenali manusia terkaya didunia, Bill Gates. Tahukah anda bagaimana beliau menjadi manusia terkaya dalam perniagaannya yang boleh dikatakan yang paling berjaya di dunia?

Pada ketika ini sahaja Microsoft sedang membangunkan dan menguji lebih darpada 1,600 produk dan perkhidmatan yang balum lagi dipasarkan dimana kebanyakannya tidak akan dipasarkan pun dan dikira sebagai projek gagal. Mengapa begini? Microsoft tahu bahawa lebih banyak mencuba, maka lebih banyak peluang menjumpai kejayaan.

Usahawan yang berjaya adalah mereka yang tidak putus asa dalam usahanya untuk menjumpai 5% peluang kejayaan itu.

Walaupun dikatakan 9/10 rezeki datangnya dari perniagaan, rezeki tersebut tidak akan tercapai sekiranya anda tidak mendalami ilmu perniagaan. Ambil langkah demi langkah dan pelajari selok belok perniagaan. Kejayaan perniagaan akan datang kepada anda sekiranya anda mendalami ilmunya.
Seven New Rules for the First-Time Home Buyer

Too many people bought too much house for too many years.
Yes, the financial system almost collapsed because mortgage bankers and brokers told lies about loan terms and loosened standards in dangerous ways, and investment bankers packaged those loans into bonds that were far more toxic than ratings agencies predicted.

But the roots of the mortgage contagion lie with all of us and our desire to own just a bit more house.

So as the one-year anniversary arrives of our near financial collapse, it’s a good time to blow up a long-standing but underexamined maxim of real estate — that you should always stretch financially when buying your first home.

No one is quite sure who came up with this idea, though suspicions rest on real estate agents or kindly parents with the best of intentions who never expected that real estate prices could fall. Whatever its origin, the economists and financial planners I spoke with this week are almost unanimous in their rejection of it.

Here’s how they dismantled the old saw — and a list of seven suggestions they offered up in its place.

START WITH THE BASICS Let’s begin with some other standards, tried and true advice that served banks and borrowers well for years, until they forgot all about them in the race to write more loans and buy bigger houses. Put 20 percent down, so you have less of a chance of owing more than your home is worth if prices fall again. Get a fixed-rate mortgage, so the biggest part of your monthly housing bill remains stable.

If you’re determined to be truly conservative, don’t spend more than about 35 percent of your pretax income on mortgage, property tax and home insurance payments. Bank of America, which adheres to the guidelines that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set, will let your total debt (including student and other loans) hit 45 percent of your pretax income, but no more.

That said, if you end up with an adjustable-rate loan, banks may not be concerned with whether you’ll be able to afford the maximum possible payment when the interest rate adjusts in five or seven years. But you should be worried about it.

CONSIDER YOUR INCOME The best case for stretching for a first house is that first-time home buyers in their 20s and 30s will probably see their incomes grow more quickly than older people buying their second or third home.

Harvey S. Rosen, a Princeton economics professor, finds in a forthcoming Journal of Finance article that he co-wrote with two Federal Reserve Bank economists, Kristopher Gerardi and Paul S. Willen, that the size of a house that someone buys tends to be a good indicator of what their income will be later. “People can, on average, make reasonably good predictions of their future incomes and act on them in sensible ways by buying bigger houses,” Mr. Rosen said.

Indeed, much of the mess in the mortgage market has been because of people borrowing money with loans that they didn’t understand — or betting that housing prices would continue to rise enough that they would be able to refinance their loans before the payments rose. Income overconfidence may have had something to do with it (and high unemployment worsened the problems), but it’s probably not the primary cause.

BOW TO UNKNOWNS This research is all well and good as long as you continue to work. But if you’re buying your first home before you have children, you may feel quite differently about work once you become a parent. And if you do, you may not want a mortgage boxing you in to going back to the office three months after the baby is born.

Bobbie D. Munroe, a financial planner with Fraser Financial in Atlanta, encourages younger clients in this situation to model out their budget, including any proposed mortgage, three ways — with both spouses working full time, one working part time and one staying at home for a few years. She also suggests imagining or even practicing living on one income, to see if it’s truly realistic.

“What people should do is ultimately their own decision,” she said. “But they should do it with eyes wide open.”

Even people who don’t want to have children need to consider this. Besides the obvious possibility of sustained unemployment, what about the need to escape a dying industry or an early midlife crisis that necessitates career change to stave off depression? Even government employees and medical residents who believe that their incomes are set for life ought to consider this possibility.

MAP OUT EXPENSES It stands to reason that anyone tempted to stretch for a house will be inclined to play down the expense of maintaining it. These costs are anything but ancillary, though.

For many years, Dennis G. Stearns, a financial planner in Greensboro, N.C., has been alarmed enough by clients’ unrealistic expectations that he’s maintained a home cost spreadsheet that he shares with clients shopping for houses. He also updates it periodically with aggregate, real-world data based on their subsequent experiences.

Mr. Stearns estimates that owners of a newer home that do some work for themselves but contract major work out to others will pay 3.6 percent of the original purchase price annually for maintenance and 4.5 percent if it’s an older home. So if you own a $400,000 home, your costs will probably hit the five figures each year — and may rise with inflation. These expenses will be another 20 percent or so higher if you live in a severe weather area. He does note, however, that the tax benefits of home ownership can offset half or more of these costs in some areas of the country.

BUY BEST (OR CHEAPEST) All of these caveats have given rise to some unusual strategies. Michael Kalscheur, a financial planner with Castle Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis, suggests buying the dream house you covet (if you can afford it) or an inexpensive starter house but not anything in the middle.

“If people have their heart set on something, inevitably, if they can’t afford what they really want, they buy the next best thing,” he said. “That’s absolutely the worst thing you can do. Not only do you not get what you want, but it sucks you dry.”

Why? Well, if you buy that entry-level home instead of the silver-medal home, you can save a lot more money each month after making the house payment (as long as you’re disciplined) than you would if you were paying a big mortgage toward that next best house. And all of your other housing costs will be lower, too. Then, several years later, you’re in a much better position to buy what you actually want.

STRETCH THE HOUSE Better yet, keep in mind that you don’t ever have to move from that first home — and incur all of the transaction costs associated with selling and buying and moving again.

J. Michael Collins, an assistant professor in the department of consumer science at University of Wisconsin’s School of Human Ecology in Madison, suggests paying less for a home that you can upgrade periodically when your income is stable and your savings or available credit make it possible.

In other words, stretching out your tenure in a home (and the physical boundaries of the home itself) may make more sense than stretching for each successive mortgage in a series of two or more houses.

THE EIGHT-HOUR RULE One rule about all of these rules is that it’s unlikely that every one will apply to every circumstance. Individuals and their income streams are too varied, and real estate markets are themselves unique.

When all else fails, however, you can always fall back on the eight-hour test. Whatever the size of your mortgage, you have to be able to sleep soundly at night. So if an impending loan has you stretching for the Ambien, it’s a pretty good sign that the loan is a bit of a stretch as well.
8 WAY TO GET RICH

Decide what ‘rich’ means to you. Does it mean money for everything you need? Money for everything you want? Enough to retire where you live now? Enough to retire and live in Costa Rica?
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Start saving. Most experts agree that investing 10 to 15 percent of your gross monthly income creates a very comfortable nest egg for later years.
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Take advantage of compound interest, earning interest on your interest by letting investment returns accumulate and build on themselves.
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Resist temptation, whether that means a brand-new car right out of college or weekly dinners at nice restaurants. Invest the money you save by buying a used car or going out only twice a month, and you will have thousands of dollars more at retirement.
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Take care of yourself. This will reduce medical costs later on in life, as well as extend the years you can work and save.
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Go to college. By one study, college graduates earn roughly $20,000 more per year than people with just a high school diploma, and a post-graduate degree nets $20,000 more than a bachelor’s.
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Get married. Married people are generally healthier than singles. Plus, they can economize on expenses, and they have more to invest. And because married people live longer, they can work and save longer.
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Enjoy the ride. Don’t be so concerned with amassing a fortune later on that you neglect to enjoy life now. Strive for balance.
How to Earn An Income From Home Blogging 1-2 Hours Per Day

I know there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have any real big money to invest in Internet Marketing Courses and just need an easy, simple way to Earn An Income From Home that actually works. If I was stripped of every nickel I had from my bank account and was given a budget of just $100.00 to start an Internet Business with, here’s what I would do.

First I would pick a Niche to get into that I was passionate about. Maybe you’ve been successful in the past selling Insurance. Or maybe you’re the top Real Estate Sales Person on your city. Or perhaps you are a Botanist and know everything someone would want to know about Flowers.

All of these niches have great Affiliate Programs. My point is you want to go into a niche that is easy for you to write about, one that is commercially viable and one that won’t give you writers block. Because whatever niche you choose, in order to become an authority in that niche, and in order to Earn An Income From Home in that niche, you’ll need to be prepared to do a lot of writing. The more the better. I will explain more later in this article.

I would then go and spend under $10.00 and purchase a domain name that you like, think others will like and that represents the Niche you want to be in. Then I would get low cost website hosting also under $10.00 per month. Then finally I would get Carl Ocab’s Ultimate Blogging Theme at $67.00. Right now you are still at under $100.00 and this is all you really need to invest to get started.

Earn An Income From Home Using This Proven Blueprint

After you get your Blog installed and working properly, the trick here is to write content and lots of it. Sure you can hire a ghost writer, but doing this will cost you money and if you know your niche chances are writing will be fun and natural. This is why I say it is so important to pick a Niche you really are passionate about.

Each day write 1-5 articles on your Niche Topic. My magic number I shoot for is 3 per day. First post them on your blog with pictures. You can review other companies or use the Google keyword Research Tool and write articles based on Long-Tail Keywords, which are keyword phrases that are at least 2 words long.

If you were a botanist for example you might find public domain photos which are all over the place by the way, and post a picture of a different type of flower on each blog post you create and review every type of flower there is. This will make your blog posts much more attractive.

After you write your blog post, take that exact same post and write a description and author bio for it. Then submit this post to all of the major article directories that allow duplicate content. You are allowed 2 links in each author bio. Make sure one of them points directly to the blog post you just created. The other one can point to your main page or to a related affiliate program within that domain. Almost all of the major article directories currently accept duplicate content and if they don’t you’ll know, they usually tell you right on the submit form.

Once or twice per week find blogs on your niche topic and intelligently participate in the comments section. Let them know how much you know on the subject. Don’t just post one or two lines they will get deleted in almost all cases. Post a good 2-3 paragraphs and link them to your blog.

Don’t expect to see much in the way of sales activity until your blog gets to around 300 pages. This could vary by niche but this is the general rule. Remember by writing and submitting articles you are building momentum, and this takes some time to start. Our MLM Website averages about 800 Unique Visitors per day, and each article we write gets us about 1.5 unique visitors per day on average.

There are 2 main ways to monetize a blog. By monetizing it I mean making sure it is setup to make the most money possible from the traffic you are sending to it. One way is to get a free Google Adsense Account. Doing this takes 5 minutes and Carl Ocab’s Ultimate Blogging Theme makes it easy to setup Adsense on your blog.

The second way to monetize it is with Affiliate Programs. As you write your reviews and build out your blog, use the Simple Link Cloaker Plugin which is also free. Then hyperlink this URL about 3-5 times in every blog post and hyperlink your blog images. We’ve had great success sending people to Affiliate Sites using this method.

As you can probably tell by now learning how to Earn An Income From Home really isn’t about having a bunch of money up front to spend. In fact it really won’t help you much at all in the Blogging World. It’s more about consistently adding quality content to your blog and getting a steady supply of backlinks from the Article Directories and related blogs. Once your blog reaches 500 Unique Visitors per day or more, you can even request other Blog Owners in your same Niche to do Unique Content article swaps.
HOW TO BECOME RICH IN MALAYSIA

If you have ever wondered how to get rich in Malaysia – fabulously rich and very quickly at that – here’s a model that you might want to look at very closely. Not easy to do but if you do have a couple of projects in the bag, it will set you up for several lifetimes.

First you need connections – strong ones, the higher the better and if it goes right up to the top all the better. You need this because you need to convince the powers that be that your projects are good.

But you might ask if your projects are so good, why do you need connections? Why don’t you just go out and execute? Good questions, those. Here’s the answer – you need the state to give you something to do the deal that will help the nation.

Still can’t figure it out? See, it’s like this. You want to help the country, right? The country needs say a port. But you can’t build a port just like that. You need land to build a port. You tell the state or federal government you need land – cheap land, preferably free to build the port.

Or to take another example, you want to help the country by building a power plant. But look, you need land too and not only that you need the power to be sold. So you want an agreement – an iron-clad one to sell the power to Tenaga Nasional and to pass through all costs.

You see, that’s your reward as an entrepreneur – you get someone else to build the power plant, they guarantee the performance of the plant and someone else guarantees to buy your power and pay for all your costs. Nice deal? You bet. Billionaires have been made that way.

Or you may want to start an air hub. If you are persuasive enough, you can even convince the government to compulsorily acquire the land and sell it to you cheap. Once you have cheap land, lucrative contracts and concession agreements, the sky’s the limit.

Let’s take it a step further. If you want to realise the value of all of these things that you have and still keep control of them, it’s nice to have a listed company into which you can inject them. Inject one asset for shares and you gain control of the company.

And then inject others over the years for cash, taking the money out of the company. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Do it right and get a flow of assets to inject in (you can do anything with discounted cash flow valuations – just change the discount rate, and presto, the value changes!), and you get a tidy flow of profits and cash into your personal accounts over the years. I mean a really tidy flow.

Just how much can you make this way, you ask? Why don’t you take a guess first? Did you say RM500mil? Guess again. RM1bil? How about five times that and you may be getting into the right order of magnitude.

One Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary actually made some RM4.5bil that way – actually more because he still controls the listed company. (
MMC’s latest RM1.7bil deal irks investors7) We are not saying he is the only one, which makes your chances of joining the ranks better – if you are connected to high places that is.

But then again, if things change – and that’s still a big ‘if’ – you might not find it so easy anymore.
# P. Gunasegaram is managing editor of The Star. He thinks it is high time we changed the way we did business

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could get rich tomorrow? What would you do with all that money? Well believe it or not it can be done. Now I didn’t say it would be easy I just said you could do it. Here are 10 tips on how to get rich fast.

1. Invest – Start young. In fact start while you are in elementary school, kindergarten is even better. It’s the beauty of compound interest and over time your money will grow into a nice nest egg. Okay if you are reading this you are probably too old to start in elementary school but you can get your kids hooked. As for you the best plan of defense is to invest 50% of your salary in a high risk market fund or the penny stock market. You’ve got a 50-50 chance. You’ll either make a million or be broke in 90 days.

2. Marry Rich – Now how difficult can this be? All you need to do is find someone who has loads of money and marry them. Okay I didn’t say you’d be happy just rich. Perhaps not a solution for most of us but it apparently works for a few.

3. Win The Lottery – Ya ya I know the odds of getting struck by lightening are better than the odds of winning the lottery but you can’t win if you don’t try and it’s one of the few ways I know of that you can get rich fast.

4. Rich Parents – If you come from a wealthy family then you are half way there. All you have to do is stay in their good books and convince mom and dad to not spend their money and leave it to you when they pass. After all why should your parents get to enjoy the wealth they reaped?

5. Get An Education – Go to school for lots of years, accumulate plenty of debt, and choose a career that pays big bucks. After about 10 years in your profession you should be rolling in the dough and you might even be filthy rich before you get old

6. Become A Star – Heck if Jennifer Aniston or Nicolas Cage can do it why can’t you. A couple of acting lessons and you should be set. All you need to do is head to Hollywood and strike it big. One good movie and you’ll be set for life.

7. Invest In Real Estate – Buy high sell low – whoops I think I got that backwards. Buy low, wait 10 years, 20 years, maybe even 30 years but inflation will have your investment growing by leaps and bounds and you could be filthy rich especially if you bought in an up and coming city while house prices were still low. Now if you bought in Hicksville USA you may have a problem. It might take more than your lifetime to see any dramatic increases. Oh well you can leave it to your kids who can leave it to their kids and in another 100 years or so someone’s going to be sitting pretty.

8. The Internet Way – Heck where have you been. A quick search on the Web will reveal plenty of sites that will teach you how to make $50,000 a day. Now I think most of us could live quite comfortably on that don’t you? All you need to do is part with about $500 and they’ll tell you the secrets of wealth in one page or less. If the first one doesn’t do it for you perhaps you might want to try a few more. Oh wait a minute. Perhaps what you need to do is set up one of these sights, then you’ll be the one getting rich off the other poor fools that part with their $500.

9. Bank Robbery – Okay highly illegal and could land you a lifetime in the slammer but desperate needs require desperate measures. After all if you get caught you might not be rich but you’ll have free room and board for the rest of your life and then you could write a book about what not to do when robbing a bank and well see you could get rich from your book. And even better, you’ll stay rich because there is really no place to spend it while in jail.

10. High Risk Work – Take on those high risk jobs no one else wants. You know counselor in Iraq, bean counter in Afghanistan, Oil tycoon in Iran. But hey if you live through it you’ll be rolling in the dough. What does it matter that 99% never live through it. You’ve got a 1% chance and when it comes to getting rich those are pretty good odds.

Sure most of these ideas are pretty off the wall but if getting rich fast was easy wouldn’t we all be rich? Then what fun would there be in that? We’d all have too much money and probably be bored to tears. So why not aim for better life with good friends, love, happiness, and enough money to live comfortably but not so much that you stop dreaming about what you would do if you were rich.

About The Author:

Jude Minar

etting rich fast is not something that many people believe in. Many say that it is not possible, but here is an idea on how to accumulate wealth in a short amount of time.

Some things must clear from the beginning, though. Quick is not overnight, quick stands for several years, at least. Of course, there may be ways to get rich quicker than several years, if you manage to write a great song that goes straight to the tops, but not many people have this luck.

In order to get rich fast, first, you must have an idea. Then you must make this idea reality. You cannot do this unless you know how.

For this, you need to have a certain amount of knowledge about how your idea should work. Here is an example from which you may learn something about getting an idea into life.

You may have heard the word �arbitrage�. It is a term commonly used by the stock market people so it might not mean anything to you.

This is the idea we are talking about here. Well, an arbitrage is quite a strange deal. It is like somebody offers you $75,000 for your $100,000 and that only for putting the money into your account.

Not many people would say yes to something like this. But there is a catch and here it is.

People do not see everything accountable with money, they mostly deal with values or perceptions and there are many ways for swapping the money as in the example mentioned above.

This is knowledge of the wealthy people. It is also treated as a secret and being held under wraps, but here are some things about it that you have never heard of.

Example is the best way to see the concept at work. Here it is.

You have heard about wholesale and retail. It is a real economy concept. For many years, people bought things in bulk and sold them through retail in order to obtain a profit. There are many individuals that succeeded in developing a career and quite a good one, by doing this kind of stuff.

It is an idea about how you can get rich fast. You can use it to make a decent profit or even a more substantial income.

Look at this idea. The newspapers sell their pages for ads. A small ad can go up to 140 dollars, but if you go for a whole page, you will pay only $900. The reason why this works is because the newspapers work less so they ask for less money. What can you do with a whole page space in a newspaper. Well, you can sell it by small pieces to other investors that need to publish their ads. Offer them a better deal than the newspaper and watch them flock to you. Try to stimulate them with some bonuses, like lowering the price for paying in advance.

You can make a load of cash just from applying this economic concept I told you about. You can improve your business any way you like. Because we talk about ads, you can choose the most suitable colors, add some nice graphics and so on. Everybody wins. Your customers pay less and you get a nice profit by selling the space in the page.

Of course, you must put some money in your business, but it is a risk well taken if you know how to make your idea work.

About The Author:

Graham Lavery is the Editor and Publisher of Article
10 Bad Habits and What They Cost You

· Drinking Soft Drinks

· Reading Gossip Magazines

· Buying Coffee

· Playing the Lottery

· Getting Fries With That

· Text Messaging

· Watching Porn

· Smoking Cigarettes

· Playing Online Poker

TIPS TO GET RICH

No matter which life stage you are in, you have a future ahead of you and you should not leave it to chance- you must plan for it. So what are your financial goals?

Here’s a tip: “making a lot of money fast” is not necessarily a reasonable goal. Look ahead and think of when would you incur major expenditures.

When you think of your goals, you should think about your hopes and dreams, for yourself and your family. What do you hope to achieve in life? Possibly buy a home and send your children to college?

Or maybe you’d like to retire early and travel the world? And now compare the future dream with the current reality. Here are a few tips for planning for a secure future:

1. What you earn, what you spend

The first part of allocating your investments is to figure out what’s there to allocate. You need to estimate both your net worth and your net income/expenses. Your net worth, what accountants call a balance sheet, compares your assets (what you own) with your liabilities (what you owe).

This will help you see your monthly disposable income  –  the income you have left over after paying all necessary expenses. And that tells you how much you can afford to contribute to your financial goals each month.

2. Set your goals

Financial professionals often counsel investors to write down their goals. Their intention is not to make you ponder the meaning of life, but to help you create the best plan to reach those goals along the way.

There’s another benefit that comes from identifying your goals. Saving and investing just for the sake of getting rich might work for some people.

But for most others, though, giving up Rs.5000 every month can put a strain on their wallets – until they look at a photo of their children and remember that the Rs.5000 they’re investing now will go toward helping pay their kids’ higher education fees later.

3. Budget for it

After you identify your goals and how much you need to reach them, you should begin setting aside money on a regular basis to invest in your plan. Saving on a regular basis is the key to reaching your goals; no matter how little the amount you start out investing.

Don’t be discouraged if your goal seems large and unreachable – remember that even a leaky faucet can fill your sink with water, drop by drop. Making investments on a regular basis, even if you can only set aside a small amount each month, can eventually build a sizable portfolio.

Many people think that they can’t spare any cash to start an investing plan. These people probably have not learned the importance of paying yourself first. Setting aside a small amount for your long-term investing plan each week or each month before you pay any other bills or expenses is all you have to do.

4. Spread your money

It’s rarely a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket. Depending on your goals and attitude to risk, you should invest your money over different investment options such as Stocks, Mutual Funds and Bonds.

You may also want to diversify within each of these categories. With stocks, for example, a mutual fund will invest your money in a variety of companies but you may want to ensure you have a range of industry sectors too.

5. Make sure your money grows

Should you leave it in the savings bank account and earn a meager rate of return? Or should you invest it in the PPF? The fact is that investing your money in the so-called safe fixed income instruments like Fixed Deposits, PPF, NSC, etc. is simply not enough.

This is due to the low rate of return on such instruments and high inflation rate in the economy. It is your hard earned money and you should invest it in instruments, which will make it grow over time and thereby build capital for your future.

Stocks is known world over for its potential to increase in value over time and provide your portfolio with the growth required to help you meet your long-term goals. Mutual Funds have given investors a whole new avenue for investment as per your risk appetite and expected returns.

6. Keep track of your track record

After you invest, you’ll want to keep track of how your investments do. This doesn’t mean you need to watch your returns on a daily basis (doing that can be like weighing yourself every day when you’re trying to lose weight — it won’t help you judge long-term results, and you can drive yourself crazy doing it).

Instead, establish a regular timeframe for checking your investments to see if they are matching or beating your goals. For example, you may decide to review your returns investments once every three months, or twice a year.

While benchmarks aren’t the only way to judge the strength of your investments, these tools can help you gauge how your investments are doing compared to similar investments. You may use the following benchmarks:

Market indices — such as Sensex, Nifty. This will help you compare your performance with the overall returns of the market

Mutual fund benchmarks — AMFI (Association of Mutual fund in India) has certain benchmarks for various categories of mutual funds.

Personal benchmarks — you can set an overall goal — for example, for your investments to outpace inflation by 5 percent over a period of five years — and use it as a benchmark.

Be sure to set a reasonable timeline over which to compare your investments to a benchmark. You want to know how your investments perform through market ups and downs, so a longer timeline is more telling than a shorter one. For example, a five-year comparison will tell you more than a six-month comparison.

If you find one of your investments under-performs over the short term (for example, under-performed its benchmark over the last three months), don’t be hasty to sell it earlier than you planned unless you’ve lost confidence in its long-term potential.

7. Don’t lose your balance

You’ve established a portfolio with an asset allocation that suits you, and are reviewing your investments’ performance on a regular basis. Think your work is done? Not quite.

You should still sit down periodically — such as once a year — to review your goals, finances and asset allocation. After all, goals can change. Time and circumstances can shift your priorities and your comfort with risk, changing your ideal asset allocation. When this happens, you may need to make changes to your portfolio.

Even if your ideal asset allocation hasn’t changed, review your portfolio to make sure your existing asset allocation is still what you planned. Sometimes your asset allocation will change through no action on your part due to market movements. When this happens, your portfolio is out of balance — which can expose you to more risk than you intended.

How can you fix it? You might sell investments in one asset class or buy extra shares of investments in another class.

When should you be on the lookout? If you’re like most people, once or twice a year is probably often enough to see if the asset allocation in your portfolio is still what you’d planned.

But be sure to also check when you go through a major life change, such as getting married, having children, changing jobs or retiring. When you go through a big change, examine both your existing and your planned allocation to make sure both are right for your new lifestyle and risk tolerance.

Just keep these seven steps in mind and you should be able to achieve all your goals. Happy saving!

The author is CEO and MD of IDBI Capital.
TIPS FOR GETTING RICH FROM WARREN BUFFETT

The wealthiest man in the world is self-made billionaire Warren Buffett, and the $62 billion dollar man was gracious enough to sit down with Parade and discuss his 10 best tips for getting rich. I’m inspired by Buffett’s entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity for success; here are his five tips I like best.

1. Reinvest your profits. In high school, Buffett and a friend bought a pin-ball machine for a barbershop. They took their profits from that first investment and bought more machines for different shops, and Buffett took his proceeds to invest in stocks and a small business. By the time he was 26 he’d amassed $174,000, the equivalent of $1.4 million today.
2. Watch small expenses. Be aware and cautious with your spending, and your paycheck will go much further.
3. Limit what you borrow. Buffett’s advice: Negotiate with creditors to pay what you can. Then, when you’re debt-free, work on saving some money that you can use to invest.

See two more of Warren Buffett’s tips when you read more.

1. Be persistent.We’ve talked about this before, and it’s a point that Buffett includes in his top ten tips: With tenacity and ingenuity, you can win against a more established competitor.
2. Assess the risks. Consider the worst and best case scenarios when making a difficult choice; seeing the consequences clearly will lead you to the smartest decision.

20 Money Hacks: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Finances

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” – Woody Allen

We had the Parent Hacks earlier this week, and I was thinking it would be fun to do the same with finances — ways to trick yourself, to get around obstacles, to boost your accounts, without it hurting.

Improving your finances improves your happiness, in general, so I thought it would be important to share stuff that’s worked for me.

I’m in the best financial shape in my life, despite quitting my job and my wife recently quitting hers too. A lot of that is thanks to you guys, the readers, but it’s also thanks to frugality, to eliminating debt, to saving as much as I can. To these hacks.

Here’s what works for me — please avoid flaming me, as I’m not saying they’ll work for everybody. Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

1. Use cash. Instead of charging things to credit cards or debit cards, use cash for non-bill spending such as eating out, gas, groceries. Spending cash makes the spending more real, and there’s an added advantage of knowing when you’re out of cash, instead of spending more than you
2. Small weekly savings transfers. I got this idea from my friend Trent at The Simple Dollar, who automatically deducts $20 a week from his check to savings. I decided that I could live with $40/week without really feeling it — it’s a relatively small transfer that I barely notice, and I save about $2,000 a year on top of my larger bi-weekly savings transfers.
3. Stay home. Going out makes you more likely to spend unnecessarily. You eat at restaurants, go to the mall, stop at the gas station for snacks. It’s hard to avoid spending when you’re on the road. Instead, stay home, and find free entertainment. It’s also a great way to bond with your family.
4. Don’t get catalogs. Or emailed announcements from companies trying to sell you stuff. Their announcements of sales or cool new products make it very tempting to buy something you don’t need. Instead, stop the catalogs and emails from ever getting to you in the first place, and you’ll spend less.
5. Keep a 30-day list. If you have an impulse to buy something you don’t absolutely need, put it on a 30-day list. You can’t buy anything but necessities — everything else goes on the list, with the date that it’s added to the list. When the 30 days are up, you can buy it — but most likely, the strong urge to buy it will be gone, and you can evaluate it more calmly.
6. Cook at home. I know, it seems more difficult than eating out. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Throw together a quick stir-fry with frozen veggies and either boneless chicken or (my favorite) tofu with soy sauce or tamari. Make home-made pizza with a ready-made crust, some sauce, cheese and veggies. Put some spices on something and throw it in the oven while you cook some brown rice. Not only is this much cheaper than eating out, but it’s healthier.
7. Exercise. Staying healthy is the best way to avoid costly medical bills later.
8. Use the envelope system. It’s the same idea as using cash for spending, but in addition you use envelopes to split your spending cash into categories. My non-bills categories are groceries, gas and miscellaneous spending. Three envelopes, and when they’re empty, I’ve spent my allotment.
9. Talk with your SO weekly. It’s important that you and your significant other be on the same page. You should have the same financial goals, and from there you should agree on a general spending plan and a policy for impulse buying that won’t have either of you wanting to choke the other. Make sure you both know what bills have been paid, what your balances are, etc. A weekly meeting of just 20 minutes accomplishes that. Communication is key.
10. The spreadsheet tracker hack. There are expensive programs like MS Money, Quicken, and the like that will do amazing things with your financial information. There are even free ones, on your desktop or online, that can do all kinds of things. Trouble is, I don’t need all that. All I want is a way to track my money easily, with no other bells and whistles, and a way to access that online so that I can view it from anywhere. The best way I found to do that is through Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I created a simple spreadsheet to track my bank accounts, that does everything I used to do with MS Money. It has the date of each transaction, the title and amount, a little field for memos, and a running balance. What more do I need? Keep it simple. Update: View a sample I put online here.
11. Pay savings and debt first. When you sit down to pay your bills (I do them all online), make the first bills you pay be your savings transfer and your debt payments. If not, if you pay them last … you’ll often end up shortchanging them. But if you pay them first, you’ll make sure you still pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and gas … so you’ll just cut back on other spending.
12. Exercise at home. Some of you will disagree with me on this, which is OK — everyone should do what works for them. But I’ve saved a lot of money that I used to spend on gyms by just running at the local track or on the roads in my neighborhood, and buying some simple weights and a chin-up bar. I do a lot of body-weight exercises (pushups, Hindu squats, lunges, pullups, dips, etc.) and I don’t need a gym for those things.
13. Cut out cable TV. I’m not saying I don’t watch TV — I watch DVDs, so that I’m sure that what I’m watching is something great, rather than the useless stuff you find on TV most of the time. And there’s a lot of it online for free if you look. Not a huge savings, but it adds up.
14. Declutter. By getting rid of all the excess stuff in your home, you not only make your life much simpler and more peaceful, but you make it harder to buy stuff that will just clutter things up again. Once you’ve simplified your home, you won’t want to go back.
15. Lend and borrow. Give books and clothes and toys you don’t need anymore to your friends and family. If you need something, send out an email asking if anyone has it. Chances are, they’ll give it to you for free if they don’t use it anymore.
16. Barter. It’s a lost art, but lots of people will take your services or goods instead of money, especially if you’re friends or at least know each other. Get into the habit of offering to barter, and you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money. My website design was done through the barter system, so I saved well over $1,000 there, for example.
17. Use online savings. I use Emigrant Direct, but ING Direct is also popular, as are a bunch of other online banks. Not only do you earn like twice the interest of a normal bank savings account, but if you don’t get the ATM account it’s not as easy to withdraw money … making it less likely that you’ll get money out on an impulse.
18. Try frugal gift-giving. Giving people gifts is one of the most wonderful traditions, as it shows generosity and caring. Until it becomes commercialized. Then it’s just really really expensive. Instead, try giving the gift of spending time with someone. Try giving them something you baked or made yourself. Try giving them services they’d appreciate. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to be generous.
19. Teach your kids about advertising, saving, earning, and gift-giving. If you have kids, educating them about money will save you a lot of money in the long run. If they know about how advertising influences them in tricky ways, they’ll be less likely to demand (OK, beg and plead for) the latest fad toys. If they know about saving and earning money, they’ll respect the money that you earn, and that you are trying to save. If they know that gift-giving doesn’t have to be about spending a lot of money (see above), they won’t necessarily want expensive stuff.
20. Find happiness in life, not spending. Many times people buy stuff because they think (subconsciously perhaps) that it will bring them happiness. They just HAVE to have the latest gadget or shoes or cars. It’s so fun! And yet, you buy that stuff, and you’re only happy for a day or two at most. Then you just need to buy more. It’s a never-ending cycle. Instead, learn to love life. Find joy in nature! In the people around you! In doing something you love! In exercise and meditation! There’s so much in life to make us happy, there’s no need to find it in spending.

“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” – Pablo Picasso
7 TIPS TO BECOME RICH

1. Self confidence
Rich people have an innate confidence and faith in the knowledge that they are destined to be rich. They have the determination, drive and energy to keep going until they reach their goals and nothing will deter them. Giving up is not an option for rich people.

2. Prioritising their time
Rich people protect their time. They value it and don’t waste it on meaningless pursuits, such as watching mindless television or wasting valuable time sleeping in late. They have a plan for each and every day which is broken down into sections to complete each set and specific task. They normally set their plan the night before so that when they wake up, they know exactly what they want to achieve by a certain time in the morning etc. Time management is a very important criterion of the rich.

3. They network to improve their social status
Rich people are focused and like to mix with like minded people. They prefer to be surrounded by people who have driven themselves by their own motivation and determination. This does not mean to say that they only mix with wealthy people. ‘Rich’ comes in all forms. Mother Theresa certainly was not wealthy but many people would love to have been able to network with her.

4. Investing
They do not hesitate when they need to spend money on investing in their knowledge because they know that this will be returned threefold at the very least. They refuse to consider that they are not progressing in their future wealth. Rich people believe that knowledge is power.

5. Positive attitude
No matter what they have to contend with, rich people will always see the positive side of any situation. “Every disaster has a silver lining” and “You never know what is around the corner”, are words often spoken by rich people. Other people love to be around them as their positive attitude is so infectious and inspires them to want to achieve their own goals.

6. Good money habits
Rich people nurture their money and invest it in places which will give them the best rate of investment and also security. They rarely gamble, if ever.

7. Generosity
The majority of rich people are extremely generous. If they have arrived into wealth from a background of poverty, you will often hear examples of what these people have given back to society. One example would be that of Bill Cullen from Dublin, Ireland. Having been born into poverty he went on to make millions and then set up a charity to help young people achieve their goals in life. In the past 17 years he has raised £20million through his charitable work.
HOW TO INVEST AND BECOME A RICH

Below, I have listed Moolah’s 10 special tips on how to start investing that will help current and future investors along the way. Now, don’t get it twisted, these ten tips on investing are not the Bill of Rights of investing, or the 10 commandments. These tips are just my simple ways that will keep you ahead of the game, and provide good results in the future:

Tip 1: Know your risk tolerance: There’s an easy way to figure this out when dealing with investments, and that is after making that investment can you sleep at night? What I mean is when it’s all said and done, are you internally ok with your decision. My dad used to always tell me if something you’ve done keeps you up at night, it’s probably not right. So bottom line is if you can’t honestly live with the investment you’ve made, wake up the next day and get out immediately.

Tip 2: Join or Start an Investment Club: I’ve been part of my investment club for about 5 years now, and if it wasn’t for my group I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now with my investments. What’s better than meeting up with like minded people like yourself, and bouncing tips and strategies with one another? You could start a group with a few relatives or friends, and each member would get to research their own area of interest and give feedback to the group. This will create a better portfolio, and since everyone will be investing in the same pot, you money will grow faster. Basically like the old saying says “Two heads are better than One”.

Tip 3: Stop acting like a day trader, and take a long term view. Unless you’re an aspiring day trader, or one already you should leave the instant tickers alone! Set a schedule to check you stocks like once a week, or every Monday morning and Friday evening. The reality is when your learning on how to start investing you will understand the stock market moves constantly with or with our knowledge. Keep to the buy and hold strategy and check you stocks periodically. Now, this doesn’t mean to buy stocks and forget about them. You need to check your stocks, and gauge their performance.

Tip 4: Invest regularly. Before going out to invest, one of my main tips of investing is to set out an investing plan. For example, set a plan to buy a few stocks per month or every other month, and stick to that plan no matter what. Historically, the key is to invest in small increments rather than one lump sum. Using this method, will achieve dollar cost averaging in the prices you pay.

Tip 5: Solid Research- not “quick tips” is the way to go. Don’t fall prey and listen to a financial analyst or colleagues telling you about a hot tip. 9 out 10 times, these stock tips will put you on your a$$. One rule of investing you should is to always avoid those stocks that Wall Street loves, because the reality is by the time you hear about it, the well has probably run dry. The key is to continue to do your solid research, and keep course with you investment plan.

Tip 6: Invest In What You Know: I have a background in technology and accounting, but a friend of mine recently gave me a stock tip to invest in a pharmaceutical company that is suppose to be coming out with a new wonder drug. Do you go out and invest in that stock? Yes, by all means go do a little research on the stock to see what the stock is all about, and if it makes sense to you. If you can’t make sense of it, stay away from it. Invest in stocks that make sense to you or in stocks where you good knowledge of. Take a page from Warren Buffet who never invested in areas he wasn’t knowledgeable about. A final note, that tip that my friend gave me has dropped by 30% in the last six months.

Tip 7: Have a Balanced Portfolio. You can build a successful portfolio over time if you spread you money over a number of different kind of investments. You should allocate a certain percentage to stocks for growth, bonds and CD’s (certificate of deposits) for income, treasuries and municipal bonds for tax advantages and safety. You could also have a few money market accounts for obtaining quick cash when needed. Balancing your portfolio will provide growth with your investments, and will lessen the effect of your losses.

Rule 8: Make Compounding Your Friend! A lot of people have believed and put into their heads that to make money in investing you have to start off investing with a lot of money. All I to have to say to that thinking is balderdash!! If you used the law of compound interest, and started investing just one dollar everyday for the past 30 years. You would have over 45,000 in your investments right now, assuming you made a yearly average 8% on your money.
10 ways How to Get Rich

by Roman on August 14, 2010

1. Steal

It’s just like taking candy from a small child!  Stealing is taking the easy way out to get rich. As we know from the news it can at times be quite rewarding – if you do it right you can make a million dollars in a few hours. The thing that keeps most of us stealing is that it takes balls – if you get caught you will most probably spend a lot of time in jail. If you are planning to start stealing as you number 1 career choice then listen to these words of wisdom: Don’t bother with the small stuff. Stealing small amounts multiple times is the worst thing you can do – it means minimum rewards with maximum chance of getting caught. Just look at my post about pickpockets and you’ll get the idea about what not to do.
2. Become a Professional

If you are looking for something more traditional you should take the obvious way of getting rich – hard work. You’re not going to get rich working an average job however.  It takes time, charisma, skill, and education to land a high paying job.  If you can commit to higher education, then earning big money as a professional may be in your future.  On this path to riches, you definitely get back what you put in. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that it can take a whole lifetime before you get where you want to be.
3. Turn Hobby into Business

It may surprise you to find out how many million dollar businesses started as a hobby.  With a good idea, some skills, and a little ambition, the thing you love the most can be bringing in the dough.  This can be something as simple as a craft, running a specialty food cart, or even making a website about your favorite topics.
4. Start A Website

Speaking of websites, if you haven’t noticed, blogging is HUGE.  With the explosion of blogs comes the ability to capitalize off of a well written one.  To make money with a website you either have to sell a product or receive revenue from advertisements placed on your site.  Many webmasters choose to do both.  If you identify a paying niche and do the necessary research you could have a site up with little to no out of pocket costs.  Getting rich will require a lot of trial and error, like any other business.  For wannabe webmasters there are tons of tools that even the most computer illiterate can use to publish their very own page. During the years I have made a few thousand dollars with my website Financial Jesus. Each month I make a few hundred bucks and I am pretty sure that if I wanted I could make a full time income off of blogging. To see how much I made in 2010 and where the money came from – take a look at my post about My total blog income in 2009.
5. Play the Stock Market

Even in tough economic times, there is money to be made in the stock market.  Trading stocks is a simple way to get rich, not fast but simple.  The idea is to purchase a stock when it is at a low value and then sell when that value goes up.  Simple concept, but takes time and discipline to make it into millions.  A significant amount of research is needed in order to make solid decisions instead of buying and hoping for luck to bring in the dividends.  With the decline of stable social security and retirement plans in the American economy, many younger people are taking investment into their own hands.  With that comes more user-friendly trading sites and plenty of internet articles about the market.  Beware of the get rich quick scams though, in this area there are plenty of them.
6. Marry Money

Got a ton of charisma but don’t want to work for your money, then marry rich!  Sure gold diggers have a bad reputation, but marrying someone of high social status is nothing new.  The modern approach involves matchmakers that specialize in introducing millionaires to their perfect match, that could be you!

This also works the other way around – take a look at my article about how the right woman can make you rich.
7. Write a book

Sure almost everyone thinks they have a great idea for a book, tv show, or movie.  Not many have the imagination, skill, determination, and luck to make it a reality.  Even fewer of those ever make any real money.  However, the silver lining is that with the ease of publishing books and movies online the real talent doesn’t get lost in a sea of rejection letters.  Don’t want to write a book?  No problem, you can also get rich by writing a screenplay or even a movie.
8. Gamble

You’ve seen it on the news and in movies, the bright lights of a casino, or the screams of a lottery winner.  Winning money can be the most thrilling way to become rich.  Ways to gamble vary greatly, there are traditional casino games, sports betting, and also other lottery style games.  For those who want to practice their skills in the comfort of their own home, online casinos exist.  Games can even be played for free to build up skill before hitting the high roller table in Vegas.

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9. Buy Real Estate

Another traditional way to become rich is investing in real estate.  Though news of falling property values make would be investors nervous, many recognize this as an opportunity to make millions.  There will always be good deals in real estate.  With some knowledge, capital, and sweat equity, there is still millions to be made.
10. Become a Street Entertainer

Might sound funny at first, but consider this; if you want to make it in the entertainment business you need to be able to perform in from of ANYBODY.  Recording demos and networking is fine for some, but there comes a time when you just have to get out and do it.  With the popularity of sites like youtube, street performers are being discovered around the world.  Point is, you never know who is watching.
SUMBER = http://www.financialjesus.com
11 WAY TO MARKET YOURSELF AT WORK PALACE AND INCREASE YOUR SALARY

Whether you realize it or not,  everyday at your job is an opportunity to “market” yourself to your colleagues, superiors, clients and others. Frequently, and I know I do this myself, we can get in a rut working in the same office environment day in and day out, and it is hard to stay or even sometimes get motivated to “stand out”. But by understanding that the way you present and handle yourself in the workplace is what defines the type of worker people see you as and taking little steps to present yourself as a serious, confident, and capable worker and leader, you will increase your opportunities in the future for promotion and a higher salary.

Don’t be a clock puncher- Even if you don’t pay attention to when people come to work and when they leave, rest assured someone, probably one of your superiors, does.  Arriving at work 5 or 10 minutes late everyday and leaving 5 or 10 minutes early tells those around you that you don’t take your job all that seriously. By coming in just a few minutes early, and not running for the door at 4:55 p.m., but staying 10 or 15 minutes later, you will become someone who cares about getting work done and not ready to “fly out the door” when 5:00 p.m. comes.

Take responsibility-don’t play the “blame game”- If you make a mistake with something, own up to it, be honest, and move on.  Everyone makes mistakes. Be honest when you “screw up”, and learn from the experience.

Don’t be a “yes man”- Don’t be afraid to speak your mind or give your opinion when you are asked by others.  You will be respected for your honesty.

Don’t rock the boat, either.- On the other end of the spectrum, however, you also do not want to be known as a complainer or a pessimist, always disagreeing with others and the way the may be donig things.  There is a differnece between constructive criticism and plain old criticism.

Network relentlessly-Even if you are a shy person, it is to your benefit to meet and talk with as many people as possible within your company and professional field.  You never know when an opportunity for yourself or your company is going to present itself just because you decided to be friendly with someone and talk with them. Make it a habit yo seek out new people and develop relationships with them.

Be a self starter- Don’t waste time thinking how you are going to start a project, just go ahead and
start it.  If you waste too much time pontificating different approaches or thinking about something instead of actually doing it, you will set yourself up for trouble.  Start a task right away, and seek feedback on your approach or results.

Use your strengths, but work on improving your weaknesses.- Are you not so good at managing people but proficient technically?  Then shine with your technical ability, while working to improve your management skills.

Keep a list of your accomplishments, accolades, etc.- Be ready when review time comes, and don’t be
afraid to toot your own horn.  Your boss may have forgotten how well you completed that project back in February,
as he probably has other things on his mind while he is doing your performance review. (possibly even his own review with his boss).

Delegate to Others- Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean you always should.  A good leader knows what to delegate, when to delegate, and who to delegate tasks to.

Assist others, within reasonable limits, whenever possible. Don’t let your work suffer as a result, however. No when to say “no”.
Dress for Sucess- This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but dressing nice and keeping your appearance clean and neat helps you promote a professional image.
10 Ways to Save Time- Which Can Help You Save and Make Money

There are never enough hours in the day, or at least that’s how the saying goes. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, it really does seem like time goes by faster as well. It seems like summer just started, and here we are at the beginning of fall.

The sad fact of the matter is, if we want more time in our day to devote to saving money by comparison shopping, looking for great deals, or even better, making more money, we have to get things done in a more efficient manner as well as eliminate some of the “time sucks” from our lives. I have been trying hard lately to free up more time to spend money wisely, make more money, and spend with my family. By getting things done, so to speak, in a timely fashion, i no longer have to sacrifice my family time, or resort to convenience shopping or purchases at the last minute. This applies to both work and chores or activities around the house, as well.

Here are some ways to free up more time out of your day as well as work more efficiently and effectively. Time is money, after all!

Create More Time

1. Turn off the television- I really used to enjoy “vegging out” in front of the TV at night after the kids go to bed. After all, everyone needs a little down time, right? Lately though, I have been doing writing for this blog, reading, and other activities.

2. Get your news on the go- I am a big fan of the newspaper, I have been a daily reader since I was a teenager and feel strange if I do not skim the whole paper on a daily basis. Do I learn anything new? Probably nothing I do not hear on the radio or read elsewhere on the internet. In fact, most of the news is probably “yesterday’s news” by the time I read it in the paper. Lately, I have been skimming certain areas of the paper (mostly local info., and the money section, of course) and saving a little time by not reading the whole paper every day.

3. Listen to audio books/podcasts- Recently, due to receiving an MP3 player as a gift, I have begun to download podcasts to listen to while I am driving, waiting, or sometimes even while working. I have even experimented with a few audiobooks, and although the results are mixed as far as I am concerned-because I don’t always have time on a regular basis to listen to a whole book.

4. Bring your lunch to work- Instead of taking an hour every day to go out to lunch, save time and money by bringing your luch to work. It’s pretty easy to eat in 15 to 20 minutes at your desk, and you can run errands or do other things (including work) with the remainder of your lunch hour.

Manage your time more effectively

5. Time yourself- Learn to do things more efficiently. Time yourself, and give yourself “deadlines” to complete tasks. By setting time based goals, you will get things done quicker and more efficiently.

6. Create lists- While I am not a strict follower of the Getting Things Done system, a simple “To-Do List” created on your computer, a piece of paper, or a small notebook can help you keep track of things that need to be done, so you are not scrambling later.

7. Avoid time wasters- Everyone has there own “time wasters”, or things we do instead of doing something productive. Whether it is that morning lap around the office to chit-chat with everyone at work, or things you do at home which have become a habit but aren’t really accomplishing anything, try to identify and eliminate them and get more meaningful things done. Time wasters can be people, too. It could be a co-worker or even a neighbor. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude and short with them, just realize that they could be cutting in to time you could be doing other things.

8. Do the unpleasant or difficult tasks first- Get the one task you keep putting off on a daily basis or the most important task done first, and follow up with the easier ones after. This keeps you from doing a lot of inconsequential tasks first that probably could be put off, and having to steal time from elsewhere to get the important things done later.

9. Fight procrastination- When you find yourself drifting off or getting distracted, or you are procrastinating starting something, fight it and get started. The sooner you can get something started and eventually finished, the more free time you will end up having.

10. Schedule your day- While I am not super strict with my daily schedule, as my career progresses and I find my free time that is not consumed by meetings becoming less and less, I find scheduling my own time allows me to accomplish things in a timely fashion, allowing me more time when a “crisis” needs my attention.

30 Ways To Save on Your Grocery Shopping and Food Bill

Gas prices are have gone through the roof over the last few weeks, and food prices are rising as well. Sam’s Club and even Costco are talking about rationing rice. There are quite a few ways to save money on gas while driving; here are 30 ways to cut your food bill and associated grocery shopping costs as well.
Your Eating Habits and at Home

Grow Your Own- No, that’s not what I mean ;) . Grow your own vegetables and herbs (which are quite expensive if you go by weight), and fruit if you live in a place you are able to. Don’t have a big yard? Try building a square foot garden.

Drink less milk, soft drinks, and alcohol- You don’t have to stop drinking any of these, but try cutting back a little. Your waistline will thank you as well as your wallet.

Go Fishing!-If you live near water, try to catch your dinner. This can be a great activity to do with kids as well.

Try meatless meals- Cut meat out of your dinner lunch or dinner menu several times a week.

Eat breakfast for dinner- Make omelettes for the family one night during the week and serve everyone for a few dollars.

Skip a meal on the weekends- Have a large breakfast on the weekends, then have an early dinner, and skip lunch. It won’t hurt most of us.

Plan your meals carefully- Plan out your dinner menu ahead of time, and include the leftovers, if any, in your planning.

Plan your meals based on what’s on sale- Check out the ads for your local grocery stores before you plan your menu to incorporate the sale items.

Eat less junk food- Cut back on salty and sugary snacks, switch to fruits, vegetables, and other healthy alternatives, which are usually cheaper.

Don’t waste food- Keep an eye on your perishables, and if you find yourself throwing out food, cut back on how much you buy or freeze things before they go bad.

Experiment with simple or exotic cooking- Buy a cookbook or two, and look for easy, simple meals which don’t cost much or have a lot of ingredients. Experiment with foods from other cultures, which frequently don’t use as much meat as we do here in the U.S. either.

Don’t use the vending machines- The cost of items in vending machines is usually 2 to 3x as much as you can get it yourself.

Bring your lunch to work- Brown bag it to work or bring leftovers. This can cut down on wasting food as well. Bring your own drinks from home, or drink water.

Split entrees with your spouse or significant other- When eating out, try splitting an entree. Many restaurant’s portions are so big, you end up with leftovers.

Buy a freezer- Investing in a freezer can allow you to freeze things before they spoil, batch cook for future meals, and stock up on perishables such as meat and chicken when there is a good sale.
Before Shopping and At the Store

Make a list- Make a list based on what you need, and stick to it. You will spend less money by doing this.

Buy in bulk- Anything that won’t spoil before you use, buy in bulk. Be sure to check the unit pricing, but 9 times out of 10 it will be cheaper to buy in bulk. If you can’t use it all when buying in bulk, try to split it with a family member or friend.

Buy what’s in season & local- This applies especially to fruits and vegetables, but can apply to seafood and other items as well, depending on where you live.

Shop the sales- Check out the weekly flyers for the best deals, and shop around if you don’t have to drive too far out of the way.

Buy whole cuts of meat- Buying a whole chicken or larger cuts of beef or pork are normally cheaper than individual cuts and smaller packages.

Don’t buy non-grocery items at the grocery store- Save your non-grocery purchases for trips to Walmart or the pharmacy, or other discount store. The markup on these items is usually high at grocery stores.

If you don’t clip coupons start- If you don’t clip coupons, start. By combining them with items on sale, you can get the most bang for your buck. Don’t use them for items you wouldn’t normally buy, however.

Search the net for coupons too-Search the Internet for online coupons at places like smartsource.com, as well as the myriad of grocery coupon sites.

Try generic or store brands- These are frequently quite a bit cheaper than name brands, and often taste just as good. Experiment with them to make sure you like them.

Stock up on sales- When you see a really good sale, stock up on that item for future use. Be sure you are going to use it all, of course.

Look for mark-downs- Check out the meat department for markdowns, where they lower the price on meat (and sometimes other items like dairy) when it is getting close to its “sell by” date.

Don’t go shopping hungry- We have all heard this one before, but it is true. You are more likely to buy more if you go food shopping hungry.

Don’t bring the kids-Kids are always going to want something, whether it is a toy, candy, or spider-man popsicles. This will keep you from buying things that aren’t on the list. (Spider-man popsicles are usually on my list though)

Watch the register- Keep an eye on the register while your groceries are being rung up to make sure you are getting the right price on the things you buy.

Check your receipt-Take a quick look at your receipt to make sure you didn’t get overcharge or double charged, or the store didn’t forget to put something in your basket.

What are your best tips for saving money on food and grocery shopping?
30 Ways To Stretch and Maximize Your Money

At Home

1. Insulate your hot water heater, & keep it on the lowest temperature you can get by with.  Also, if you leave for the weekend, turn it on the vacation setting.
2. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat for your A/C or heating, try to keep it off as much as possible. Open your windows in the spring and fall.
3. Get rid of your land line, and go with VOIP, or use your cell phone.
4. Examine your cable subscription, and try to cut any unnecessary packages, channels, etc. Better yet, get rid of your cable or satellite TV.
5. Only wash full loads in your washing machine. Consider using a clothesline to dry. If you use your dryer, set the time for the minimum you think it will take to dry.  If you run your dryer for 10 to 15 minutes longer than you need to, the wasted energy (and cost) will add up over the course of a year.
6. Consider making your own laundry detergent.
7. Plan out your meals weekly, incorporating leftovers to save time and money. Or, batch cook for the whole week on the weekend.

Car

1. Change your own oil.
2. Do your own car maintenance up to a point you feel comfortable. At a minimum, learn to do the things a Quick- Lube place will charge you 3x as much for, such as replacing windshield wipers or your air filter, which are quite simple.
3. Keep up with vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule. Your car will last longer, and you will avoid turning minor things into larger, more expensive problems.
4. Take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk.

Shopping/Spending

1. Use coupons, shop the sale ads, and buy generics for grocery items. By combining all three, you can get the most for your $.
2. Sign up for rewards cards/customer appreciation cards at every place you shop.
3. Sign up for Upromise, Ebates , and Fatcash. Make money when you spend money.
4. Plan ahead for birthdays, anniversaries, and especially Christmas gifts.
5. Search the Internet for deals, sales, and coupons.

Work

1. Bring your lunch to work.
2. Consider carpooling or taking public transportation.
3. While its good to be sociable, don’t feel like you have to go out every week for drinks or other social events with your co-workers.
4. Market yourself at work.

Entertainment

1. Use the library.
2. Take advantage of free events in your town or city.
3. Plan a picnic.
4. For your next vacation, go camping.
5. Cancel your gym membership and start exercising at home or outside (Biking, walking, running, etc.).

Create Cash or Increase Your Income

1. Hold a garage sale.
2. Sell items your no longer use on Ebay or Craigslist.
3. Work overtime at your job if available. Ask if it is available and volunteer to work overtime.
4. Moonlight/Get a part-time job.
5. Turn a hobby into an income producing skill.

25 Smart Budget and Money Saving Tips for College Students

Whether you are a new, incoming freshman, or a returning college student, you are probably gearing up for the new semester. Learning smart money management and how to reduce your expenditures now can help you establish a solid foundation for your future. Here are 25 tips on saving money, budgeting, and money management for college students.
Live like a college student

-You are a college student, so live like one. Don’t try to live the lifestyle of a graduate with a job yet.
Remind yourself why you are there

-You are there for an education first and foremost. Don’t blow the opportunity by neglecting your studies, over socializing, or getting into financial trouble.
Set a budget for your spending categories, besides tuition and books

-Food, Rent, Entertainment, etc.
Buy used books

-You will probably find much better prices at amazon.com than at the college book store, even on used books. Avoid buying new ones if possible.
Hit the happy hour

- Look for places with 2 for 1 drinks or free appetizers when you do go out on the town.
Socialize at dorm/apartments

-You don’t always have to go out, invite friends over to your dorm or apartment regularly to save money.
Use a local bank and debit card

-If there is not a nearby branch of your bank, open up one that has a branch on or near campus to make things more convenient.
High interest savings

-If you have a little money stashed away, open up a high interest savings account.
Budget you spending money for entire semester

-At the beginning of the semester, figure out what you have available for spending money each week, and stick to it.
Consider a part-time job

- As long as it doesn’t interfere with your studies, of course. An added bonus, if you have earned income, is that you can start a Roth IRA.
Learn to cook

-If you don’t know how to cook, start learning. It can be healthier and even cheaper than fast food.
Used furniture

-Check out the classifieds or garage sales for used furniture to furnish your apartment.
Shop at Goodwill

-Check out the local thrift stores for clothes and other household furnishings.
Manage your student loans carefully

- Don’t over borrow, and if you end up borrowing more money than you need, save it in a high interest savings account.
Don’t try to keep up with the big spenders

-While some of your friends may be living off of Mom or Dad’s credit cards, that doesn’t mean you have to keep up with their lifestyle.
Don’t sign up for the credit card t-shirt offers

-It may be a free ipod they’re giving away these days, but don’t sign up for credit cards just for the freebies. It may end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
Take advantage of free or cheap activities

-Many college campuses have a lot of student activities, most of which are free or very cheap.
Avoid ATM fees

-make sure you plan ahead for expenses, and have enough cash for purchases. Or use your debit card.
Get on a campus meal plan

-If one is available, a meal plan on campus can be very inexpensive per meal.
Don’t use or bring a car to school

- If you are away from home for college, and live on or near campus, you probably don’t need a car. This will also keep your friends from using you as a taxi service.
Bicycle

-Get a bike, and ride it to and from class.
Apply for scholarships and grants

-Even after you start school, keep applying for scholarships, grants, etc.
Live close to campus

-The closer you live to campus, the less you will need to drive. Many college campuses have plenty of nearby places within walking distance for shopping, socializing, etc.
Get roommates

-Sharing your living expenses with others can reduce them significantly.
Take advantage of student discounts

- There are lots of places that will give you a discount with your student I.D. Look for and frequent places that cater to college students and offer discounts or freebies.
Do You Think Like A Rich Person?

The following is a guest post from Trisha Wagner who writes at Destroy Debt.

If you are not wealthy you may have a distorted mental picture of wealthy people and how they live. Granted people who have achieved millionaire or beyond status are in a better position to enjoy the many perks in life that having money provides, however there are many wealthy people mingling among the rest of us commoners. What makes them different? How did they achieve financial success? Money is not the only thing that separates the wealthy from the middle class or poor. If you want to achieve real financial stability and build wealth you should ask yourself if you think like a rich person?

Do You Have The Discipline?

The media is largely responsible for bringing images into our lives each day portraying celebrities jetting off to sunny beaches or spending their day shopping and getting beauty treatments. Actors and musicians are not the only people in the world who are wealthy and for the average person building wealth will require significant discipline and sacrifice along the journey. If you waiting for your “big break” to find instant wealth you may find yourself waiting a long time.

Do You See The Big Picture?

In reality eighty percent of American millionaires are first generation millionaires, which means they did not receive an inheritance from which to grow their wealth. They live well below their means, do not drive the current model-year car and live in homes valued well below one million dollars. They are generally well educated and fastidious investors, investing on average twenty percent of their annual income. Most are self employed entrepreneurs or self employed professionals. In other words you do not have to be born rich to become rich. Living in a huge home, driving dozens of cars and wearing expensive clothes should not be the only indication of wealth. Many millionaires work over forty hours a week and look like the rest of us. What the choose to do with the money they make is the real difference between the classes.

Can You Look Long Term?

Amassing wealth for most people will not happen overnight. To get started you will have to think long-term about your financial life. This should include determining where you want to be (and how much you want to be worth) ten and twenty years from now. Don’t just think about it, or dream about it, instead write it down. In order to reach these goals you have to a clear idea of where you want to be and how you are going to get there. Successful people think of their long term goals and adjust their daily behavior to achieve them. This will involve overcoming the immediate gratification attitude which is common in our society. You will not get rich by spending every dollar you make or worse spending money (credit cards) that you have yet to make.
6 Key Tips for Starting a Part-Time Business

With the advent of the cell phone, computer, and internet, anyone can start a small, part-time business these days. You can get a website or blog up and running in a matter of days, provide services over the internet, or sell a product or item all over the world on eBay. You can also go old-school and sell products, services, or knowledge in your local community. Starting a part-time side business can be a great way to supplement your current income, dip your toes into entrepreneurship, or to begin your journey towards becoming self-employed. Whether you are entering the field of e-commerce, moonlighting at what you do during your day job, selling on eBay, performing website design, or mowing lawns in your home town, there are several keys which can greatly increase your chances of creating a lasting, enjoyable, and profitable business.
Do something you are passionate about or at least enjoy

What are you really passionate about? Do you have hobbies? Can you turn them into a money making opportunity? Even if you are not passionate about something, you have to at least enjoy it enough to be willing to trade your time and energy for the money it provides. I know several guys who mow a few lawns on the weekends for extra spending cash even though they have full time jobs that pay them pretty well. Why do they do it? Because they actually enjoy it, to some degree, getting outside and getting a little exercise-or at least enjoy it enough for the money they make doing it.
Don’t wait for the perfect time

The perfect time will always be sometime in the future. Go ahead and start now. You will never have enough time if you wait until next year, or until your kids are a little older, or until you finish up that big project at work. A lot of people become successful at a business by just starting and working at it.
Create a plan

Starting a business or part time venture without a plan is akin to taking a long trip without a map (or I guess a GPS unit in this day and age). How many hours a week do you want to work? How much money do you want to make per month? What are your goals 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years down the road? These questions, and ones like them, need to be answered to provide you guidance with your venture.
Be prepared to work

Lofty goals are nice, but don’t expect to make a lot of money without putting in long hours and hard work. It can happen, but it doesn’t happen enough for it to be very likely. The majority of the time, being successful is directly related to the amount of time and energy you put in to a project.
Start small but think big

Starting small is great, you can start off working part-time, at your convenience. But don’t forget to think big. If you want to expand your part-time venture into a full-time one, you have to set goals with the big picture in mind. When the amount of work gets too much for you to handle by yourself, consider bring in another person or part-time help to assist you.
Don’t Forget to Market

No matter how small your business or service is, or how good or useful it is, you still need to market it to others. Make up business cards, print flyers, use word of mouth, or the internet to tell others about your business. Ever notice how much large, established companies market with commercials, ads, etc? There is a reason for it.
Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Could Fail Without Online Marketing

Online marketing is no doubt the most effective way to reach people. Its capability to earn millions is unquestioned.

Perhaps, this is one of the most momentous discoveries of mankind. The internet has brought about a lot of changes in the world. It allowed us reach the unreachable; it permitted us to communicate with the people around the globe without spending much money.

These are also the reason why people nowadays are investing in online marketing for their businesses…because beyond a doubt, online marketing will work for them.

We do have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to advertising. In fact, we have the television, radios, print media and all. However, onlinemarketing still belongs at the top of the list for many reasons.

First, people prefer online marketing because it reaches the whole world. Your supposedly very small business may become very large almost overnight because of the magic of using online marketing because everyone in this world can literally see what you offer.

Second, you reach the world and get millions without having to pay millions in return. The cost of online marketing compared to other forms of media is very efficient and cost effective. Let’s say you use print media. If you are going to make a flyer and advertise it over the world, how much would it cost you? If you were to pay for TV advertisement, you would definitely have to pay for every single second that your business is aired.

Third, online marketing creates a two-way communication process. We do not simply promote what we have. Hence, we get to know what our visitors or what our customers think through the ”Comments” box on our web pages. By doing so, we get to know what they want and we are able to improve our products and services.

Next, it is also very important that we build relationship with our customers. Yes, we may have benefited from them but we should always find ways to keep them coming back to our place of business or at least our website. With onlinemarketing, we are able to do this because we can become interactive with them, thus, making our customers feel that they are valued.

Fifth, in business, we always have to budget our resources. Unlike in other forms of media, we save a lot of money with online marketing because we will no longer need to keep sending letters, flyers or postcards every time we want to contact our customers or offer a promotion. In fact, the current trend is to only mail your customer information if they need additional resources or information about your business. For advertisements in newspapers and magazines, you have to pay for every inch of space, and even every color used in the design your ad. With online marketing, it is always cost-effective.

The sixth reason why people have shifted to online marketing is its flexibility. For example, let’s say there has been a change in the benefits or features of your product or service, or even a change in your prices. Well, you’ll have to hire someone to redesign your ad, reprint it and send it out again…and that cost moremoney. But with online marketing, you can easily update your site and make the changes without removing money from your wallet. Does it sound great? Yes, it does.

Well, are you getting the picture on why there is a craze with online marketing? Here’s more.

Another reason a business should prefer online marketing is because you have a lot of media choices when promoting your business. You can opt to show videos, photo presentations, audio, blogs or even social media. There is nothing really hard about this type of strategy. It will definitely save you more time and of course, resources.

Moreover, you can monitor what is going on with your business. Through the use of tracking, you have the chance to see the traffic generated by your site. With this feature of onlinemarketing , you get to know what else you can do to tweak and improve your site because you see what keywords prospects are choosing to find you and incorporate more of those into your website.

Online marketing is also an extremely effective type of advertising because you can design your website the way you want it. You have the power to add features in it, to create a web design that would attract visitors and make them stop on your web page and take a look at what you have. The best thing about it is that, you can do the changes anytime you want without worrying about your expenses. By controlling the design, more and more people will be attracted to your site and you will be able to create an amazing impression on them.

Lastly, people go crazy about online marketing is because it is beneficial not just for businesses but for the consumers as well. Why? Simply because it makes everything much more convenient. The consumers need not go out of their house anymore and search around the city to look for what they want. With just a click, they can have it. And another thing is that the communication between the buyer and consumer is immediate. Response is very fast and that is why transactions are almost immediate.

So there we have it. These ten reasons explain why online marketing has become the number one source of advertising today. You need not have a second thought anymore. All you have to do is close your eyes and dream of howmoney can be made when you invest your money in online marketing.
The Top 10 Reasons Your Online Marketing Fails

If you are in the field of online business you must have heard of online marketing. Internet marketing, online marketing, e-marketing and web marketing are just the same terms to describe the use of the internet in marketing and promoting your products, services or business. In recent years, online marketing has provided global consumers a higher distribution of information. With today’s increased competition, you must possess the skills and capabilities to attain success. Every success story entails hardships, ups and down, but it’s up to you to learn how to avoid the pitfalls with onlinemarketing. That’s why we are going to discuss the top ten reasons online marketing fails.

Reason #1: The lack of effort and time needed to learn new information about online marketing.

To reach the success you are aspiring to obtain, you must spend adequate efforts and time learning what can lead you to it. Get as much as new onlinemarketing information you can and take time to study them before you use of them for your company’s growth. The more knowledge and experience you can possess, the quicker you will reach your goals. Often the best onlinemarketing techniques will come to you suddenly, but evolves out of all the information you might know. Do not let your business be deserted by others, make it stand out by utilizing new onlinemarketing strategies. Wide varieties of new information are available throughout the web; just encode an online marketing in Google and you will find what you are looking for. Never stop craving for more and new information, techniques, or techniques about onlinemarketing for you will never grow personally or financially if you are not learning something new.

Reason #2: Similarity with other online business websites.

To increase customer’s interest, your website must be different from other online business web pages. Visitors get easily bored if they browse and always see the same products, content, and pictures. In order for your online marketing to be successful, you should make your website distinguished from your other competitors. Always make use of unique online marketing ideas when creating your web pages, for it will matter a tremendous amount when trying to attract more potential customers.

Reason #3: Your website is confusing and inconvenient for visitors.

One of the reasons for using online marketing is to promote your products or services to your target audience on the internet. Having too many products, pictures, links, etc. in your web pages can cause confusion and a confused mind will take no action; thereby leaving you without the number of customers that you could and should attract with your onlinemarketing efforts. Try to be simple and focus on a particular product or service with your website. Making sure your other products are in the background of the main product or service you would like to promote. A long navigation system will make people get tired of finding what they want and can cause them to prefer other convenient sites.

Reason #4: Your website is just a sales presentation.

Increasing your sales may result from online marketing, but you must not totally focus on sales alone. Online marketing will benefit you if you provide useful information about your business within your website and attract more potential and actual customers to purchase your products.or services. Most of the time sales do not arise from the first visit, so make use of your onlinemarketing techniques such as providing free information, tips or newsletters to give visitors a reason to come back to visit your website.

Reason #5: Failure to set specific demographic targets.

With online marketing, setting a specific demographic target is very important because you will be more focused on what type of customers you want and what you must do to attract them. Failure to settle the target will increase the risk of failure when promoting your products, services or business; moreover you will not gain the full benefits of onlinemarketing when it comes to increasing your sales and growing your business.

Reason #6: Unsecured ordering pages.

Security for any type of investment matters for almost everybody. Unsecured ordering pages will greatly cause your business to lose sales which contradicts the goals of effective onlinemarketing. Numerous free secure ordering forms are made available on the internet, so this should never be an issue.

Reason #7: A lack of back links to your website as a useful strategy in effective online marketing.

Providing links leading back to your website from a high ranking web page will also give your site a high rank. Linking is the key to success in having your website found on the major search engines and will bring traffic to your website; therefore, increasing you number of potential and actual customers.

Reason #8: Lack of perseverance.

Most businesses fail online due to lack of persistence and giving up too soon. Online marketing will take a lot of time to fully succeed. It could even entail years to become a major player and to develop strong customer relationships, build partnerships and see financial rewards.

Reason #9: Insufficient follow-up.

Within any business following up with a prospect or customer is very important because it will provide you with more of the same types of results that your business desperately needs to grow. Onlinemarketing often fails because many companies fall short in following up with its online visitors; thereby, stunting the growth of brand awareness.

Reason #10: No promoting your website.

Increasing the consumer awareness of your online business can leverage your success. Several online marketing elements and strategies can be used to promote your website, increase traffic and attract more customers. If you lack the funds to pay for promotions, you can use many free ways of advertising your business awareness online such as participating in forums, chats and submitting free links to search engines.

You will need all the help you can to survive in this competitive marketplace, so make use of the online resources you have to gain greater success with onlinemarketing and learn from these failures. Prepare yourself properly and get ready to do what you must due because the success of your business online is in direct proportion to your knowledge gained from other’s mistakes.
7 PRINCIPLES FOR BUSINESS

by:John Mehrmann

Document the definitions for your business, organization, or your role in the organization. If you can document it, you can share it. With defined and aligned goals and purpose, individuals within an organization are empowered for personal success. The following seven principles may seem simple and obvious, as they should. However, would your definitions be aligned with everyone else in your organization or your customers?

1. Value

Business exists because it serves a purpose. That seems a little obvious doesn’t it? The purpose is to serve customers, because your customers are the source of your revenue. It does not matter if you are manufacturing, producing, supplying, providing a service or support role. Every organization, position, job and career exists to meet the needs of it’s customers or clients. Your value is the product or service that you provide to your customers.

Define your value, “what you do”.

2. Customers

With a very clear understanding of “what you do”, it should be very easy to name your customers. These are the people that you do it for, the people and organizations who have endorsed your products or services by electing to invest in them by a purchase, agreement or contract. Your current customers are your shareholders, because they have already invested in your product or services. It is very important to understand how your current customers perceive your value.

Name your customers and try to recognize how they measure your value.

3. Differentiation

Every business operates in a competitive landscape. All customers and organizations have a limited budget and must carefully select the goods and services that best meet their needs. Products and services may be chosen by style, quality, reliability, proximity, familiarity or relationship. Cars, restaurants, clothing, beauty salons, contractors and vendors are excellent examples of competitive landscapes. Once you truly understand your current customers and the reasons that they invested in your value, then you should be able to identify your competitive advantage.

List your competitive advantages and how your customers differentiate your products or services today.

4. Strategy

Understanding your current customers and product differentiation is important to maintain the current business. However, the environment and culture in which your current business exists is subject to change. It is necessary to monitor changes in the environment, competition and customer demands. Forecast anticipated opportunities and design shared strategic goals that are communicated within the organization. It is very important that existing roles and new program development are aligned with the shared strategic goals, even as the day-to-day tactical plans are modified for the current environment. Goals should support existing customers as well as the desired target customers.

Define three strategic goals that support the current business and the desired future target competitive advantage.

5. Organization

Business organization is based on structure. This includes the structure of the resources, manpower and materials. A structured organization relies on processes for consistent and organized performance, expediting response and improving efficiency. Modular organizations allow for flexibility and adaptability to changing environments, requests or customer needs.

Create a map of the current organization and define the primary resources necessary to achieve your strategic goals.

6. Profit

It is expected that the business exists with the intent to be profitable. However, many individuals within organizations do not fully appreciate the significant impact of their personal roles and decisions in relation to company profit. Speed and efficiency can impact profitability. Discounts, terms, purchases and deductions have significant impact on profitability. Time to market, time to service, number or resources and excess material goods can impact profitability.

Define the individual roles, responsibilities and decision making authority in terms of profitability. Do not only focus on the impact of spending, but also on the impact of customer loyalty and generating revenue. Every action has a reaction. Calculate the positive and negative financial reaction to individual actions.

7. Control

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Maintaining measurable controls of processes, resources and programs empowers accurate and decisive decision making processes. Control requires measurement. Measurement can be based on numbers, dollars, dates, percentages or similar METRICS. Controls can not be based on feelings, perceptions or concepts.

Measure, monitor and chart your controls to determine if your current value meets existing customer requirements and is aligned with strategic goals. If you can accurately correlate profit and performance with customer competitive advantage, and align the existing organization with company value, then you have designed a robust personal blueprint for success. If you can do this on paper, not just in your mind, then you can share this blueprint and empower the organization.
10 TIPS THAT WILL INCREASE YOUR SALES

by:Jeff Hardesty

It’s good to possess great cold calling skills, but it’s great not to have to use them.

Tip # 1

Discipline Yourself to a Routine of ‘Asking’

Here’s something profound. The reason most of us do not get referrals on a routine basis is because we do not ask for them on a routine basis. Well, it’s almost that simple. What would be the upside on your year-end W-2 if you asked for 2 referrals from each of your new customers? Let’s say you average 6 sales per month. That would be 12 referrals per month or 144 per year. Conservatively, you close half of those warm leads. Multiply 72 by your average revenue per sale. Then calculate your commission percentage off the total revenue sold. Now ask yourself if you can afford not to ask for referrals on a routine basis.

Tip # 2

Develop a process to ‘Set the Stage’

Asking for a referral is one thing, but how many times do you actually get one? Execute a Powerful Routine after you sign up a new customer, and request permission for 3 additional minutes to get their professional feedback. Ask a series of questions soliciting their opinion on ways you can be more effective with your sales process, from initial contact to point of sale, with individuals in the same industry and parallel titles. You are now setting the stage for your future success. Over time, your contacts will give you a free ‘Masters Degree.’

Remember to ‘Pack your bags, but set the stage.’

Tip # 3

Communicate to a “Win-Win” Agreement

Be honest and sincere in reference to the importance of referrals for running your business effectively. Tell your story. If you have a high referral ratio let them know that and why it is high. Customers respect a good businessperson more than a good salesperson. Try to pick a time when the contact would feel comfortable giving a referral to help yourbusiness . That may not be at the point of sale, but upon service implementation or some time in the future when you have proved you delivered what you promised. The important point is you must define with the contact when it can happen or what criteria need to be met for it to happen.

Tip # 4

Follow through in order to receive a consistently high ratio of referrals.

You may not ask for a referral until (a) the service has been implemented and (b) the customer is satisfied. But as described in Tip #3, you want to minimally set a referral foundation at the point of sale and receive a commitment to when you’ll receive one. Now, this is very important. Always write in your day timer in front of the contact when the expectation is set, and let them know you are making note of it. Treat it like an appointment for your future success. It’s foundbusiness and will afford you a higher closing ratio, shorter sales cycle and most importantly, more referrals! So, follow-up and get it!

Tip # 5

Develop a Referral Program

Be creative. Give up some money. Maybe it’s a gift certificate to a local restaurant (hopefully a customer) or a graduated percent off of their next invoice. An entrepreneurial mind will come up with a few flexible programs that fit your level of buyer. After all, you’re not putting anything out until the referral is sold. The old saying, “money makes money” is still true. Beside the tax right off (check with your accountant), contacts absolutely enjoy getting a little something. Measure the ROI and the benefit will be evident.

Tip # 6

Become the Messenger

Be sure to give the referral gifts out promptly on sold referrals. Deliver it in person, since it also serves as an excellent time to prime the pump for additional referrals. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple discipline. I have experienced ‘millionaires’ who reopened their black books after receiving $20 dollar gift certificates. After all, it’s not the amount but the gesture. And because you are spending your valuable time being the messenger, you will without a doubt focus on receiving one or two more warm leads.

Tip # 7

Promote a Grass Roots Chamber Program

Offer local Chambers a deal they can not refuse. Chambers want to offer their membership a better deal, one that their members can not receive from regular street pricing. They are open to donations to help their chamber and are also motivated to grow their membership. Instead of offering a residual based off of sales, offer to bring them in a certain number of new members each month.

After all, a certain percentage of businesses you call on will not be members, and if you can show them a return on their investment, they will certainly join the Chamber to receive it. By helping others you will see your referral ratio reach the sky!

Tip # 8

Identify Potential Bird Dogs

Bird dogs are used by hunters to point and fetch game birds for their owners. In sales, a ‘bird dog’ is someone who has multiple relationships with your potential customers and they are motivated to routinely feed you contacts for your marketing efforts. Research potentialbusiness people that may fit into this profile, and take them out to lunch. Explain your referral program and how it could supplement their corebusiness revenue stream. For potential ‘Big Hitters’ be prepared to customize your referral program to align with their motivations. Treat them like gold and they will open up their Rolodex.

Tip #9

Get Married to a Collaboration Partner

There are companies that provide products or services in your value chain but do not compete directly with your product or service. Those companies and the professional individuals that sell for them should be a point of concentration for you to identify and contact for strategies of collaboration. I refer to this relationship as “Natural Marriages.” Contact 3 sales professionals that seem to indicate a natural marriage for you and them. Outline whats in it for them. Then ask them what you could reasonably expect over time.

Tip # 10

Join or Start a Lead Group

You have to eat lunch, right? So why not join or consider developing a Lead Group of entrepreneurial individuals who are motivated to get together twice a month to share leads. Find individuals who are accountable to bringing in the minimum amount of leads each meeting as outlined in your groupsbusiness rules. Make sure every member is covered by the 80-20 rule, getting 80% of their leads from 20% of the members. And dont be shy about charging a quarterly membership fee. That way, members have some skin in the game.
PETUA DI MURAHKAN REZEKI AGAR BERTAMBAH KAYA

Berikut adalah beberapa tips dan petua agar dipermurahkan rezeki :

1. Jangan sekali-kali lupa untuk menunaikan ibadah kepada Allah

Walau sibuk macammana sekalipun, pastikan diri kita sentiasa menunaikan perintah2 Allah. Beribadah kepada Allah, maka insyaAllah pasti diri kita akan dimurahkan rezeki dan mendapat keberkatan.

Allah (SWT) tidak sia-siakan pengabdian diri hamba-Nya, seperti firman-
Nya dalam hadis qudsi:

“Wahai anak Adam, sempatkanlah untuk menyembah-Ku maka Aku akan
membuat hatimu kaya dan menutup kefakiranmu. Jika tidak melakukannya maka Aku akan penuhi tanganmu dengan kesibukan dan Aku tidak menutup kefakiranmu.” (Riwayat Ahmad, Tirmizi, Ibnu Majah dan al-Hakim dari Abu Hurairah r.a.)

2. Memperbanyak istighfar

Istighfar adalah rintihan dan pengakuan dosa seorang hamba di depan
Allah (SWT) , yang menjadi sebab Allah (SWT) jatuh kasih dan kasihan pada hamba-Nya lalu Dia berkenan melapangkan jiwa dan kehidupan si hamba.

Sabda Nabi s.a.w.:
“Barang siapa memperbanyak istighfar maka Allah (SWT) s.w.t akan
menghapuskan segala kedukaannya, menyelesaikan segala masalahnya dan memberinya rezeki dari arah yang tidak disangka.” (Riwayat Ahmad,
Abu Daud, an-Nasa’i, Ibnu Majah dan al-Hakim dari Abdullah bin Abbas
r.a.)

3.Tinggalkan perbuatan dosa

Istighfar tidak laku di sisi Allah (SWT) jika masih buat dosa. Dosa bukan
saja membuat hati resah malah menutup pintu rezeki. Sabda Nabi s.a.w. :

“… dan seorang lelaki akan diharamkan baginya rezeki kerana dosa
yang dibuatnya.” (Riwayat at-Tirmizi)

4.Berzikir dan Sentiasa ingat Allah (SWT)
Banyak ingat Allah (SWT) buatkan hati tenang dan kehidupan terasa lapang. Ini rezeki yang hanya Allah (SWT) beri kepada orang beriman. Firman-Nya:

“(iaitu) orang-orang beriman dan hati mereka menjadi tenteram dengan
mengingati Allah (SWT) . Ingatlah, hanya dengan mengingati Allah (SWT) hati menjadi tenteram.” (Ar-Ra’d: 28)

5.Berbakti dan mendoakan ibu bapa

Dalam hadis riwayat Imam Ahmad, Rasulullah s.a.w. berpesan agar
siapa yang ingin panjang umur dan ditambahi rezekinya, hendaklah
berbakti kepada ibu bapanya dan menyambung tali kekeluargaan.
Baginda s.a.w. juga bersabda:

“Siapa berbakti kepada ibu bapanya maka kebahagiaanlah buatnya dan
Allah (SWT) akan memanjangkan umurnya.” (Riwayat Abu Ya’ala, at-Tabrani, al-Asybahani dan al-Hakim)

Mendoakan ibu bapa juga menjadi sebab mengalirnya rezeki, berdasarkan sabda Nabi s.a.w. :

“Apabila hamba itu meninggalkan berdoa kepada kedua orang tuanya
nescaya terputuslah rezeki (Allah (SWT) ) daripadanya.” (Riwayat al-Hakim dan ad-Dailami)

6.Berbuat baik dan menolong orang yang lemah

Berbuat baik kepada orang yang lemah ini termasuklah menggembirakan
dan meraikan orang tua, orang sakit, anak yatim dan fakir miskin, juga isteri dan anak-anak yang masih kecil. Sabda Nabi s.a.w. :

“Tidaklah kamu diberi pertolongan dan diberi rezeki melainkan kerana
orang-orang lemah di kalangan kamu.” (Riwayat Bukhari)

7.Tunaikan hajat orang lain

Menunaikan hajat orang menjadi sebab Allah (SWT) lapangkan rezeki dalam bentuk tertunainya hajat sendiri, seperti sabda Nabi s.a.w.:

“Siapa yang menunaikan hajat saudaranya maka Allah (SWT) akan menunaikan hajatnya…” (Riwayat Muslim)

8.Banyakkan berselawat

Ada hadis yang menganjurkan berselawat jika hajat atau cita-cita
tidak tertunai kerana selawat itu dapat menghilangkan kesusahan,
kesedihan, dan kesukaran serta meluaskan rezeki dan menyebabkan
terlaksananya semua hajat. Wallahu a’lam.

9. Buat kebajikan banyak-banyak

Ibnu Abbas berkata:

“Sesungguhnya kebajikan itu memberi cahaya kepada hati, kemurahan
rezeki, kekuatan jasad dan disayangi oleh makhluk yang lain.
Manakala kejahatan pula boleh menggelapkan rupa, menggelapkan hati,
melemahkan tubuh, sempit rezeki dan makhluk lain mengutuknya.”

10.Bangun pagi awal (Jangan tidur sampai tengahari)

Menurut Rasulullah s.a.w., berpagi-pagi (memulakan aktiviti harian
sebaik-baik selesai solat Subuh berjemaah) adalah amalan yang membaca keberkatan dan murah rezeki.

10.Bangun awal pagi (Jangan tidur sampai tengahari)

Menurut Rasulullah s.a.w., berpagi-pagi (memulakan aktiviti harian
sebaik-baik selesai solat Subuh berjemaah) adalah amalan yang membawa keberkatan dan murah rezeki.

11.Menjalin silaturrahim

Nabi s.a.w. bersabda:

“Barang siapa ingin dilapangkan rezekinya dan dilambatkan ajalnya maka hendaklah dia menghubungi sanak-saudaranya.” (Riwayat Bukhari)

12.Selalu berada dalam keadaan berwuduk

Seorang Arab desa menemui Rasulullah s.a.w. dan meminta pedoman mengenai beberapa perkara termasuk mahu dimurahkan rezeki oleh Allah (SWT) . Baginda s.a.w. bersabda:

“Sentiasalah berada dalam keadaan bersih (dari hadas) nescaya Allah (SWT) akan memurahkan rezeki.” (Diriwayatkan daripada Sayidina Khalid al-Walid)

13.Selalu Bersedekah

Sedekah mengundang rahmat Allah (SWT) dan menjadi sebab Allah (SWT) buka pintu rezeki. Nabi s.a.w. bersabda kepada Zubair bin al-Awwam:

“Hai Zubair, ketahuilah bahawa kunci rezeki hamba itu ditentang Arasy, yang dikirim oleh Allah (SWT) azza wajalla kepada setiap hamba sekadar nafkahnya. Maka siapa yang membanyakkan pemberian kepada orang lain, nescaya Allah (SWT) membanyakkan baginya. Dan siapa yang menyedikitkan, nescaya Allah (SWT) menyedikitkan baginya.” (Riwayat ad-Daruquthni dari Anas r.a.)

14.Selalu bangun solat malam (tahajud)

Ada keterangan bahawa amalan solat tahajjud memudahkan memperoleh rezeki, menjadi sebab seseorang itu dipercayai dan dihormati orang dan doanya dimakbulkan Allah (SWT)

15.Selalu menunaikan Solat Dhuha

Amalan solat Dhuha yang dibuat waktu orang sedang sibuk dengan urusan dunia (aktiviti harian), juga mempunyai rahsia tersendiri. Firman Allah (SWT) dalam hadis qudsi:

“Wahai anak Adam, jangan sekali-kali engkau malas mengerjakan empat rakaat pada waktu permulaan siang (solat Dhuha), nanti pasti akan Aku cukupkan keperluanmu pada petang harinya.” (Riwayat al-Hakim dan Thabrani)

16.Bersyukur kepada Allah (SWT)

Syukur ertinya mengakui segala pemberian dan nikmat dari Allah (SWT) . Lawannya adalah kufur nikmat. Allah (SWT) berfirman:

“Demi sesungguhnya! Jika kamu bersyukur, nescaya Aku tambahi nikmat-Ku kepadamu, dan demi sesungguhnya jika kamu kufur, sesungguhnya azab-Ku amat keras.” (Ibrahim: 7)

Firman-Nya lagi:

“… dan Kami akan memberi balasan kepada orang-orang yang bersyukur.” (Ali Imran: 145)

17.Mengamalkan zikir dan bacaan ayat Quran tertentu

Zikir dari ayat-ayat al-Quran atau asma’ul husna selain menenangkan, menjenihkan dan melunakkan hati, ia mengandungi fadilat khusus untuk keluasan ilmu, terbukanya pintu hidayah, dimudahkan faham agama, diberi kemanisan iman dan dilapangkan rezeki.

Misalnya, dua ayat terakhir surah at-Taubah (ayat 128-129) jika dibaca secara konsisten tujuh kali setiap kali lepas solat, dikatakan boleh menjadi sebab Allah (SWT) lapangkan kehidupan dan murahkan rezeki.

Salah satu nama Allah (SWT) , al-Fattah (Maha Membukakan) dikatakan dapat menjadi sebab dibukakan pintu rezeki jika diwiridkan selalu; misalnya dibaca “Ya Allah (SWT) ya Fattah” berulang-ulang, diiringi doa: “Ya Allah (SWT) , bukalah hati kami untuk mengenali-Mu, bukalah pintu rahmat dan keampunan-Mu, ya Fattah ya `Alim.”

Ada juga hadis menyebut, siapa amalkan baca surah al-Waqi’ah setiap malam, dia tidak akan ditimpa kepapaan. Wallahu a’lam.

18.Selalu berdoa dan meminta pertolongan daripada Allah

Berdoa menjadikan seorang hamba dekat dengan Allah (SWT) , penuh bergantung dan mengharap pada rahmat dan pemberian dari-Nya. Dalam al-Quran, Allah (SWT) suruh kita meminta kepada-Nya, nescaya Dia akan perkenankan.

mohonlah kepada Allah…

19.Berusaha dan berikhtiar sehabis baik

Siapa berusaha, dia akan dapat. Ini sunnatullah. Dalam satu hadis sahih dikatakan bahawa Allah (SWT) berikan dunia kepada orang yang dicintai-Nya dan yang tidak dicintai-Nya, tapi agama hanya Allah (SWT) beri kepada orang yang dicintai-Nya saja. (Riwayat Ahmad, Ibnu Abi Syaibah dan al-Hakim).

Bagi orang beriman, tentulah dia perlu mencari sebab-sebab yang boleh membawa kepada murah rezeki dalam skop yang luas. Misalnya, hendak tenang dibacanya Quran, hendak dapat anak yang baik dididiknya sejak anak dalam rahim lagi, hendak sihat dijaganya pemakanan dan makan yang baik dan halal, hendak dapat jiran yang baik dia sendiri berusaha jadi baik, hendak rezeki berkat dijauhinya yang haram, dan sebagainya.

20.Bertawakal dan meletak sepenuh harapan hanya kepada Allah

Dengan tawakal, seseorang itu akan direzekikan rasa kaya dengan Allah (SWT) . Firman-Nya:

“Barang siapa bertawakal kepada Allah (SWT) , nescaya Allah (SWT) mencukupkan (keperluannya) .” (At-Thalaq: 3)

Nabi s.a.w. bersabda:

“Seandainya kamu bertawakal kepada Allah (SWT) dengan sebenar-benar tawakal, nescaya kamu diberi rezeki seperti burung diberi rezeki, ia pagi hari lapar dan petang hari telah kenyang.” (Riwayat Ahmad, at- Tirmizi, Ibnu Majah, Ibnu Hibban, al-Hakim dari Umar bin al-Khattab r.a.)

Kesemua yang disebutkan di atas adalah amalan-amalan yang membawa
kepada takwa. Dengan takwa, Allah (SWT) akan beri “jalan keluar (dari
segala perkara yang menyusahkan) , dan memberinya rezeki dari jalan
yang tidak terlintas di hatinya.” (Rujuk At-Talaq: 2-3)

Pendek kata, bagi orang Islam, untuk murah rezeki dalam ertikata
yang sebenarnya, kuncinya adalah melaksanakan ibadah dan amalan-amalan yang menambahkan ketakwaan kepada Allah.

Amalan-amalan takwa ini menjadi sebab jatuhnya kasih sayang Allah (SWT) , lalu Allah (SWT) limpahi hamba-Nya dengan keluasan rezeki dan rasa kaya dengan pemberian-Nya.
6 Tip Terbaik Pengurusan Kewangan Peribadi 2010

Saya rasa terpanggil untuk menulis serba sedikit mengenai pengurusan kewangan peribadi bagi tahun baru 2010. Oleh
kerana kekayaan itu berkaitrapat dengan tatacara pengurusan kewangan yang berhemah maka di sini saya ringkaskan
7 tip umum yang boleh kita gunakan untuk memperolehi kedudukan kewangan yang stabil & baik. Walau
bagaimanapun ia cumalah pada pandangan peribadi saya secara umum, terpulang kepada saudara saudari untuk
menyesuaikannya dengan keperluan semasa.

1. Mempunyai simpanan dana kecemasan
Adalah amat penting untuk mempunyai ‘emergency funds’ memandangkan dunia ini penuh dengan ketidaktentuan
seperti krisis ekonomi, kemalangan, sakit atau lain-lain yang tidak diduga sehingga menyebabkan kita tidak dapat
‘perform’ dalam kerja maupun bisnes sepertimana biasa dalam masa yang agak lama. Oleh itu simpanan dana
kecemasan boleh dibuat sekurang-kurangnya 3 bulan pendapatan kita. Lebih banyak lagi bagus dan ini seharusnya
menjadi disiplin yang kuat utk mengekalkan dana kecemasan ini tidak sewenang-wenangnya diguna tanpa sebab yang
munasabah. ‘Emergency Funds’ ini boleh juga disimpan di dalam ASB atau Tabung Haji yang kelebihannya ‘liquid’ serta
mampu menjana keuntungan dividen tahunan.

2. Membayar bil, kad kredit & hutang tepat pada masanya
Ini penting supaya kita tidak dikenakan caj lewat bayar. Oleh itu buat financial to-do-list setiap bulan supaya kita tidak
terlupa membayar mana-mana bil utiliti, Astro, kad kredit, pinjaman pendidikan serta lain-lain. Elakkan duit kita hangus
akibat caj yuran lewat bayar atau caj yuran sambungan perkhidmatan Astro dan sebagainya. Saya cadangkan
pembayaran semua bil & debt ini dibuat secara online banking tanpa perlu ke kaunter. Sebagai contoh saya
menyelesaikan semua bil utiliti, pinjaman pendidikan, credit card di one-stop center Maybank2U. Ini juga satu bentuk
penjimatan besar tanpa perlu beratur panjang. di kaunter Jika ia mampu dilakukan maka kita telah menjimatkan banyak
duit & masa kita.

3. Spend Less Save More
Amalkan konsep penjimatan dengan apa jua cara yang mungkin boleh diperolehi. Sama ada bawa bekal breakfast &
lunch dari rumah, berkongsi kenderaan atau naik pengangkutan awam. Beli barang semasa musim harga rendah
(megasale promotion), tawaran penghabisan stok atau acara lelong. Malah boleh beli barang second hand yang masih
elok dipakai dengan harga yang jauh lebih murah. Selain itu bersederhana dalam apa jua keadaan dan kita dapat ’save
duit’ tanpa perlu berbelanja lebih.
Saya suka konsep penjimatan ini, ia merupakan salah satu seni dalam pengurusan kewangan. Dengan berbelanja
kurang kita boleh menyimpan lebih banyak wang simpanan atau untuk lain-lain tujuan. Salah seorang member saya
sanggup makan maggi seminggu semata-mata nak save duit beli handphone idaman beliau. Ini satu bentuk
‘pengorbanan’ yg boleh dilakukan tidak kira dalam apa jua bentuk. Saya pula lebih suka berjimat dalam membeli bukubuku
ilmiah dan akademik semasa ada special discount di mana-mana Pesta Buku atau web shopping cart pengeluar
buku seperti PTS & TelagaBiru.
Selain itu ada juga discount coupon untuk pelbagai jenis web hosting dan domain yang amat bernilai untuk kita jual
semula dengan harga yang tinggi. Ini salah satu seni dalam penjimatan dan perniagaan. Jika kita boleh ’spend less’
sudah tentu kita dapat ’save more’.. :)

4. Track Your Spending & Identify Wasted Money
Ok, ini satu bentuk pemantauan. Jika kita boleh track segala perbelanjaan harian, bulanan & tahunan sudah tentu kita
boleh tahu berapa banyak duit yang keluar. Kenkadang kita akan berbelanja lebih dari kemampuan kita apabila ada kad
kredit. Oleh yang demikian jangan jadikan satu habit berbelanja dengan kad kredit melainkan jika kita mampu cover
perbelanjaan itu sebaik mungkin. Semak kembali bil bulanan, resit mahupun online banking statement untuk melihat
sejauh mana perbelanjaan harian kita. Perlu tahu cash flow in & out supaya kita tahu kedudukan kewangan tidak terlalu
‘defisit’.. Mengenalpasti bahagian perbelanjaan yang tidak perlu dan membazir itu dihentikan serta merta. Misalnya
merokok dgn sehari saja boleh hanguskan RM6.00 sekotak secara umumnya. Jika boleh minimumkan pembaziran ini
dengan berhenti merokok maka ia sudah tentu lebih berbaloi untuk jalani hidup dengan lebih sihat & selamat
(kurangkan risiko sakit dan bil hospital). Begitu juga dengan perbelanjaan tahunan seperti road tax, insurans, web
hosting/domain fees, income tax dan sebagainya perlu diurus sebaik mungkin. Dengan adanya pemantauan yang
sistematik, sudah tentu kita boleh menemui ruang dan cara-cara untuk merancang berbelanja dengan bijak serta lebih
efisien & selesa tanpa perlu membazir.

5. Mengambil Polisi Insurans / Takaful
Mempunyai insurans atau takaful adalah satu keperluan masa kini yang amat penting. Kita perlu dilindungi dengan
takaful dari segala mara bahaya, sepertimana saya mengambil polisi Prubsn Takaful dengan RM150 sebulan mampu
memberi perlindungan Medical Card sebanyak RM 150,000. Ia cukup berguna apabila saya pernah masuk ke dalam
wad pada April 2009 lalu. Bertuah mengambil polisi ini lebih awal kerana sebahagian caruman RM50 setiap bulan akan dilaburkan dalam pelan takaful saver. Ia umpama 2 dalam satu. Di samping dapat perlindungan kita juga diberi
pelaburan yang menguntungkan !

6. Mempunyai ebiz / autopilot income
Tip yang keenam ini berkaitrapat dengan method passive income atau autopilot income melalui ebiz. Saya cuba
jelaskan seringkas mungkin kerana ia cukup ‘praktikal’ di saat zaman Internet ini. Disebabkan ebiz semakin popular di
pelbagai golongan masyarakat Malaysia yang sudah biasa dengan konsep pembelian online. Kita manfaatkan kelebihan
ini untuk buat duit secara santai di Internet. Ada orang wat ebiz part time sahaja tapi income dia berpuluh ribu sebulan.

Ini sudah tentu dapat membayar kesemua bil & hutang kita lebih pantas serta mencapai matlamat kebebasan
kewangan. Saya sarankan saudara saudari mulakan dengan hobi atau minat sendiri. Misalnya orang yang minat
menulis boleh buat ebook panduan atau tutorial sebagainya dan jual di internet sptmana Pakej Ebookjutawan. Konsep
penulisan ebook ini mudah kerana x melibatkan kos percetakan besar sptmana penulisan buku biasa. Malah ia mampu
kekal lama sebagai infoproduk digital yang amat menguntungkan. Manakala jika saudara suka seni grafik boleh jual cd
atau video berkaitan grafik seperti mana yang saya buat di Pakej CD Grafik Malaysia, kos cd amat rendah dan
keuntungannya lumayan jika dipraktikkan dengan sistematik. Ada banyak lagi hobi yang boleh dikomersilkan, malah ibu suri rumah juga yang suka memasak boleh buat duit dengan memasak sepertimana di mangkuktingkat.com Ada
beratus jenis lagi hobi dan minat yang boleh kita ‘monetize’ dengan baik. Jika saudara tidak mahu susah-susah buat
produk sendiri boleh guna produk orang lain melalui affiliate programme. Kita boleh dapat komisyen dengan menjual
produk-produk ini di Internet. Boleh lihat pelbagai jenis peluang mudah melalui Direktori Affiliate Wangcyber. Ada
banyak lagi teknik buat duit dengan ebiz secara passive income ini. Download ebook percuma Buat Duit & Cari Duit
Dengan Internet yang turut diberikan lesen jualan semula kepada anda. Boleh download dan jual atau sebarkan di web
maupun blog korang semua. Konsep ebiz ini sudah semakin popular dan patut dipraktikkan sebagai salah satu
penjanaan kekayaan peribadi paling mudah ! 7. Sentiasa menambah ilmu pengetahuan mengenai pengurusan
kewangan peribadi

Mentor saya amat menyarankan ‘upgrade’ pengetahuan dengan pelbagai jenis pembacaan buku/jurnal/artikel, seminar,bengkel, forum, web/blog etc. Ini kerana ‘otak’ adalah aset terbaik manusia yang sudah ada sejak lahir lagi. Jika kitamanfaatkan kelebihan otak yang mempunyai minda/akal yang mampu mengeluarkan idea-idea buah fikiran yang hebattidak kira dalam apa jua bidang termasuklah kewangan peribadi. Oleh itu banyakkanlah rajin membaca, isikan diridengan pengetahuan supaya tidak membuat kesilapan besar sptmana orang lain. Sebagai contoh membaca artikelsaya ini juga satu kelebihan mengetahui tip terbaik kewangan peribadi yang boleh dilakukan semua orang. Malah jikakita rajin bacalah buku mengenai financial management maupun mengenai money making technique sudah tentu kitadapat menguruskan kewangan dengan efisien. Jika kita tahu yang mana silap dan betul dalam pengurusan kewangan
sudah tentu ia dapat memberi manfaat strategik pada diri kita. Ini yang spttnya dipraktikkan dari masa ke semasa. Ilmu
yang baik akan menjaga kita, untuk menguasai dunia perlukan ilmu dan untuk merebut akhirat juga perlukan ilmu. Bak
kata slogan skolah saya dulu.. berilmu, beriman dan beramal… jangan lupa amal setelah mendapat ilmu yang berguna !
10 Tips Pengurusan Kewangan

Tips pengurusan kewangan terbaik

1. Menerima gaji sepatutnya dan berbelanja kurang daripada pendapatan

Peraturan asas ini nampak mudah tetapi hakikatnya sukar untuk dilaksanakan.

Anda perlu tahu sama ada anda menerima gaji yang sepatutnya berbanding

kepakaran, keupayaan, produktiviti dan tugas yang dipertanggungjawabkan kepada anda. Menerima gaji rendah daripada yang sepatutnya, walaupun RM1,000 setahun akan memberi kesan yang besar dalam jangka panjang.

Tidak kira berapa gaji anda, jangan sesekali berbelanja melebihi pendapatan.

Adalah lebih mudah untuk menyekat perbelanjaan daripada memperoleh pendapatan lebih. Berjimat walaupun sedikit boleh memberi kesan yang besar pada tabungan.

2. Rancang dan patuhi jadual perbelanjaan (bajet)

Rancang perbelanjaan anda. Anda tidak akan mampu berbelanja dan menyimpan pada masa yang sama tanpa perancangan kewangan yang betul.

3. Lunaskan hutang kad kredit

Berterus-terusan mempunyai hutang kad kredit adalah satu kesilapan paling besar. Memang terlalu mudah untuk menggunakan kad kredit tetapi amat payah untuk melunaskan hutang dan akhirnya anda akan terus dibeban hutang..yang BESAR!

4. Mencarum dalam pelan persaraan

Jika syarikat anda menyediakan pelan persaraan, jangan lepaskan peluang untuk mencarum. Jika tiada, pertimbangkan pelan atau skim lain yang disediakan untuk pekerja.

5. Menabung.

Pastikan anda menyimpan sekurang-kurangnya lima peratus ke 10 peratus daripada gaji sebelum menyelesaikan segala bil. Cara paling baik, buat potongan secara automatik untuk akaun yang berbeza.

6. Melabur.

Pastikan anda membuat pelaburan – jika masih ada wang lebih selepas mencarum untuk skim persaraan atau skim simpanan pekerja dan menabung dalam akaun simpanan.

7. Tingkatkan caruman skim kemudahan untuk pekerja

Tambah nilai caruman anda pada skim kemudahan yang disediakan untuk pekerja. Ia akan membantu anda mengurangkan pembayaran cukai dan membataskan perbelanjaan yang tidak perlu.

8. Semak liputan insurans

Ramai orang membeli insurans dengan bayaran premium yang tinggi tanpa terlebih dulu menyelidik sama ada ia perlu atau tidak. Pastikan anda mempunyai insurans secukupnya tetapi pada masa yang sama tidak membebankan kedudukan kewangan.

9. Kemas kini wasiat

Lindungi orang yang disayangi. Pastikan anda membuat wasiat tidak kira berapa sedikit pun harta anda. Kira-kira 70 peratus warga Amerika tidak mempunyai wasiat.

10. Simpan rekod kewangan dengan baik

Jika anda tidak menyimpan semua rekod perbelanjaan, anda mungkin terlepas pandang untuk mendapatkan pengecualian cukai untuk perbelanjaan tertentu.
KESILAPAN UMUM DALAM PENGURUSAN KEWANGAN

* Suka berhutang dan gagal memahami konsep pengurusan kredit ( hutang ). Saya percaya ramai yang masih tidak paham akan apa itu hutang dengan secara detail. Bagaimana cara untuk menghapuskan hutang.
* Pelaburan yang salah dan nak cepat kaya.Sapa yang tak nak cepat kaya kan? Saya pun. Sekarang ni banyak sangat program2 ataupun skim2 yang menawarkan pelaburan dalam jangka masa pendek. Kaji dahulu skim tu. Banyak sangat yang tipu. Kalu boleh dapatkan detail tentang syarikat atau orang perseorangan yang menawarkan kita skim2 tersebut.
* Suka menangguh untuk merancang kewangan yang sistematik. Nak rancang kewangan pun susah. Bukan untuk orang lain pun. The best solution yang simple adalah dengan merekodkan perbelanjaan harian kita dalam buku tiga lima ( buku kecil 555 ). Dikenali sebagai CMS ( Cashflow Management System ). Simple tapi sangat berkesan.
* Gagal menyimpan. Memang semua orang ada tanggungjawab masing2 terhadap keluarga mahupun diri sendiri. Tapi apa terjadi kalau kita tidak mempunyai simpanan? Tak dapat nak bayangkan kesusahan itu ( Dulu2 saya pun melalui juga ). Bagi saya simpanan amat penting untuk meneruskan saki baki kehidupan kita di dunia. Bagi saya simpanan yang terbaik dibuat adalah di ASB. Bukan setakat simpan tapi melabur. Dividen pun dapat.
* Tiada matlamat kewangan. Sama la macam tiada matlamat hidup. Bagi mati je la kan?Duit tak pernah cukup, nak sara diri dan keluarga pun payah. Nak beli kereta, tapi tak buat simpanan. Nak kahwin, tak jugak buat simpanan. Susah…susah…mengabiskan boreh ajo.
* Kejahilan tentang konsep nilai masa ( time value ) wang. Ngko tak paham? Aku pun tak paham. Muahahaaa…Senang citer, wang kita ada sekarang ( RM1,000  ) tidak sama nilai ( RM1,000 ) pada 5 tahun akan datang. Kenapa? Kepada yang tahu menilai akan simpan di premis yang dalam masa yang sama melabur wang kita dankita dapat faedahnya. Mungkin bertambah kepada RM300. Maka wang kita pada 5 tahun akan datang jadi RM1,300. Kalu dah jahil?5 tahun akan datang hanya ada apa yang dia ada 5 tahun sebelum ni ( RM1,000 ).
* Kegagalan menangani musuh utama wang iaitu inflasi. Inflasi bermaksud peningkatan harga untuk barangan atau perkhidmatan tertentu seperti kenaikan harga makanan tanpa kenaikan gaji. Kejatuhan nilai mata wang juga boleh dianggap sebagai inflasi.
* Keengganan menggunakan perkhidmatan perancang kewangan / penasihat pelaburan bertauliah. Bagi saya adalah penting untuk kita mendapatkan penasihat kewangan / pelaburan peribadi untuk menstrukturkan perjalanan kewangan kita dengan ada hala tuju dan matlamat. Tapi terlebih dahulu pastikan perancang kewangan / penasihat pelaburan kita itu bertauliah dan tidak hanya mengurus bahkan mencipta kekayaan menerusi innovasi dan asset sedia ada secara kreatif melalui penstrukturan semula, pemantauan dan kajian semula pelan kewangan peribadi individu. Jangan tertipu dengan perancang penipu. Banyak sangat yang ambil kesempatan.

20 WAYS TO BECOME RICH

A lot has been written about how you can become rich but i have made a list of 20 ways you can make yourself rich if you are committed to any of them. I have seen people who have combined 2 or more of the methods listed below and they have become very rich.

Hence, I want you to take a good look at the list and decide on which of the ways that will suites you and then take action.

1. Be an entrepreneur: Start your own business and build your empire
2. Become a highly paid employee in a bank or oil company.
3. Become a Professional: Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, Surveyors.
4. Become a salesman of expensive products and services.
5. Sell Information: Logically collate valuable information and sell online.
6. Become a stock broker or forex trader:
7. Be a good actor or actress like Kevin Costner or Julia Roberts.
8. Be involved in Oil and Gass business.
9. Be involved in Property trading. Buy and sell properties.
10 Be involved in GSM business: Print vouchers, sell & repair phones.
11. Be involved in IT training for Govt agencies, and private coys.
12. Be involved in organizing seminars, conferences, workshops.
13. Be a newspaper or magazine publisher (Soft and hardsell).
14. Set up a eatery centre or fast food restaurant.
15. Become an Inter and intra state transporter.
16. Be a wedding planner to the Rich.
17. Become a beautician to models and rich people.
18. Become a fashion designer to the rich.
19. Become a reseller of local and foreign computer products.
20. Register domain names and host websites

I guess by now you must have decided on at least 2 or 3 ways you can make yourself rich.

The next step is to take action and before long you will be recording successes.
How To Get Rich Without Working

Working is described as the obligation to regularly attend and perform a designated task. An obligation that usually consumes 8 or 9 hours of one’s daily life. It is humorously called, “The Rat Race”. Yet, most people must depend on such jobs to finance their basic necessities of life. Often, just barely.

How have some people become wealthy without restricting themselves to work ? Some have been lucky enough to inherit a fortune. Others have struck it rich in lotteries or by gambling. A successful business owner, an officer in a large corporation, or a super salesman might acquire wealth through aggressive personal characteristics.

Then there are those who through manipulation, inside knowledge or proper timing have acquired a windfall by investing in the stock or commodity market.

Talented people have become rich as inventors, authors, sports figures, TV and movie stars. Professional people such as lawyers, doctors and bankers, through high fees or salaries, become wealthy.

The above situations, a matter of lick, special talent or timing, are beyond the hope of the average working man or woman. Yet, there are many opportunities for anyone to make a lot of money without relying upon luck, high education or special abilities.

First of all, those who have acquired wealth through their own personal efforts outline this advice for necessary attitudes and desires to acquire a high financial standing:

1. Go where the money is–get your share.
2. Be willing to accept and take business risks.
3. Do something positive in your search for riches.
4. Be willing to start small and grow big.
5. Be ready to jump into million dollar markets if the opportunity presents itself.
6. Use other people’s money to help build your own wealth.
7. Diversify to increase your income.
8. Create, locate and market something unique and different.

Long ago, someone with a wise observation noted, Working won t make you rich. So let s review some of the methods others have used to become wealthy, and ways which you, too, can acquire riches that a salaried job will never provide.

BECOME A FINDER

This is perhaps the easiest way to earn big money. What is a Finder ? A finder is a person who brings two parties together on a transaction and collects a fee for arranging the meeting that consummated the deal. The fee may be a percentage of the transaction or a flat determined sum.

Let’s explain your role as a finder. Suppose you learn of someone who is interested in selling a large parcel of land, a building, surplus merchandise, a business, antiques, or dozens of other high-priced items. You contact this person or firm and advise that you can furnish the name of prospective buyer for a finder s fee if the sale is completed. You introduce prospective buyer to the seller by letter and let those two parties come to an agreement on the deal. You are entitled to a commission for locating the parties and arranging the meeting that resulted in completing the transaction.

Where do you find these opportunities? You may be fortunate enough to find them in your own locality. Look and ask around. Note the For Sale signs on large acreage or buildings. Check Wanted and For Sale listings in newspaper classified sections. The Wall Street Journal, the Business Opportunities Journal, or subscribe to some of the publications that advertise offers suitable for a finder.

Never contact the seller, except for particulars of his offer, until you have a definite buyer prospect. After your initial contact with both parties, send all correspondence concerning referrals, names and confirmation of finder’s fees by registered mail. Keep a copy of all correspondence should any legal problem arise concerning the receipt of your full and due commission.

MONEY FINDER

In a similar method to the above, thousands of people are looking for money for business and commercial activities; others are seeking areas in which to invest. You can operate as a money agent, on a commission basis, by bringing together a party who seeks money with someone who is willing to lend it. Again, contact may be obtained through the methods outlined above. Don’t overlook foreign investors. The Arabs, particularly, have billions to invest. Seek such leads in publications with foreign circulation.

OVER $300,000 BY AGE 55!

Yes, it’s possible through a regular and simple saving plan that most people can handle without financial hardship. Deposit $2000 each year in one of the higher yielding savings plans and keep it in. Suppose you start this plan when you are 25 years of age. While future interest rates are impossible to predict, we will figure at a modest 10% accrued yield. At this yield and at the age of 55 you would have accumulated a nest egg of over $300,000! This principal will draw over $30,000 per year and more in later years if you continue the plan. Start a systematic and determined savings plan while you’re young–you can enjoy the benefits of wealth at the still-youthful age of 55!

REAL ESTATE

The fact is that the largest percentage of fortunes were made in real estate dealings… land, housing units and commercial buildings. You are aware of the tremendous growth in real estate values in recent years. This trend is almost a certainty to continue. Population growth, even increased divorce rates, creates a need for more housing, more businesses, more recreational areas, etc.

There is not guarantee that all real estate will rise in value during your lifetime. Be selective in what and where you buy. Anticipate the coming trend based on economic, energy and growth factors. Will the population growth be in the outlying areas or will people move back into urban districts. Run-down or semi-abandoned neighborhoods are often profitably renewed. Beautify a house or two in such areas and other people are anxious to do the same in that locality. Is an industrial, amusement center, or something to draw a large number of people planned for the area? If so, smart operators will begin buying property anticipating that homes and businesses will follow and real estate values rise tremendously.

Considered buying cheap unimproved land? Usually, it would produce nothing but cost you taxes, though modest in amount, until you could sell the property for profit. But, suppose you could develop it for some income producing benefit like pasture land, farming leases, flora for nurserymen, timber, hunting, camping or a recreational area? Unimproved land should be purchased only with the possibility of developing it for some money-making purpose.

GOVERNMENT LAND

Millions of acres of government land are available, mostly in Western States, at unbelievable low prices. There are possibilities for money-making activities such as ranches, resorts or striking it rich with mineral discoveries. For information, write to: Bureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The GSA often offers vacant or improved land to the public. also, buildings no longer required by the Government, but suitable for warehousing or manufacturing, are also offered. These are generally sold by sealed bid and sometimes notices appear in the local newspapers. For information about GSA sales write to: General Services Administration, 7th & D Streets S.W., Washington, D.C. 20407.

State Governments also sell land and property. Agencies are titled differently so contact a State office to learn which agency in your State handles land sales.

GOVERNMENT LOTTERY

Willing to gamble a little for a chance to strike it rich? With the odds far greater in your favor than winning a State lottery or hitting the giant jackpot in a Las Vegas casino?

Monthly the Federal Government conducts a lottery for about 1,000 oil and natural gas leases. These are parcels of land ranging from a few acres to 2,500 acres. This land is termed wildcat because these areas lie outside the known geological formation that produce gas and oil fields. If an oil company want to explore your lease it will pay you up front money and a royalty for any gas or oil found.

Entry fee is $10.00. While to procedures are quite simple, an explanation of how the lottery works and how to file requires more space than this report can provide. Write for Simultaneous Oil and Gas Lease Filings to Bureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. 20240.

GOVERNMENT SURPLUS

Items such as vehicles, office equipment, boats, among many thousands of goods the government buys, can be purchased at a small fraction of their value. As requirements change, large quantities of goods become obsolete to the government specifications and are called surplus and offered to the general public.

If you buy something at a real bargain price and resell it for a high profit, you have made big money on the deal! While many of these items can be bought and profitably resold to various markets, an imaginative idea or application could make you rich! A case in point is a fellow named Hugh Paulk who bought 50,000 surplus parachutes, a little at a time, and sold them my mail at $13.95 each. To airplane clubs, sky divers, or private pilots? No. He advertised in women s magazines and they were uickly grabbed up as fine nylon material for shirts, blouses and other clothing. to the tune of $800,000 sales for Mr. Paulk!

Government surplus material is sold on a bid basis and you can request a Bidders Application and information on surplus sales from: DOD Surplus Sales, P.O. Box 1370, Battle Creek, MI 49016.

OWN A BUSINESS WITH NO CASH INVESTMENT

This could be your first step to riches. Look for a business whose owner, for one or various reasons, desperately wants out but is unable to find a buyer. Perhaps due to disinterest or poor management it isn’t making a profit. Offer to pay the book value from a certain percentage of profits. The owner might consider this proposal rather than chance the business failing completely. Have a lawyer draw up the transfer of ownership and the other conditions of the agreement. Most should be to your advantage.

You must, of course, consider only a business with the potential of earning good profits through your ability and efforts. A financing source should be ready to help if you need funds for expansion.

USE OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY

How often, after you learn of a success story, have you said I wish I got into that. Why didn t you? If money was considered a problem, it shouldn’t have been. Most wealthy people acquired riches by using other people’s money to finance their money-making opportunities. surprisingly, money is not hard to get. For speculative endeavors, venture capital firms are receptive to a proposal with good profit potential, even with an element of risk.

BECOME A COLLECTOR

Investors or collectors who deal or trade in items that will multiply in value make big money. Some of the items that have jumped in value through the years are gems (which can be obtained from foreign producers), coins, stamps, old magazines and comic books, baseball trading cards, dolls and toys, rare books, paintings, sculptures, art objects, phonograph records, autographs, guns, etc. Always check current values; buy only at lower price. And, don t throw out everything your wife considers trash. A piece of today s junk might be someone’s treasure tomorrow.

You can get rich–if you really crave wealth. You must take a positive step to achieve that goal. The sooner you start, the earlier you can gain the financial rewards you seek.
5 REASON WHY PEOPLE ARE BROKE

Most people don’t really understand money. There are two things to grasp before you can ever become wealthy. Those two things are illustrated in this top five list of things that explain why people are broke.

Broke Reason #1: Money Is Not Wealth

Having money is not the same as having wealth. You can have a million dollars in your online banking account, but if you’re a million and one dollars in debt, you’re still broke. Just because you have money doesn’t necessarily mean you are really rich. Money is a pathway to wealth, but is not wealth itself.

Broke Reason #2: Assets vs. Investments

Assets are things that give you the illusion of wealth, but often just create a facade of wealth. Owning a fancy new car is great, but it is not an investment – it’s a liability. It loses money over time, costs you money over time, and is nothing more than a new debt – even if you own it outright. One of the best lessons I learned from Thomas Stanley’s Millionaire Next Door is that millionaires spend their money on investments, not assets.

Broke Reason #3: Savings vs. Investments

Having a relatively large savings account or a large amount of money in a checking or money market account is not an investment. It’s important to have cash on hand, of course, in case something happens, but if all of your “wealth” is stored as money in the bank, you are wasting one of your best wealth creation tools. The difference between savings and investments is the principle of wealth building.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t find a good bank for your short-term cash needs. I am just saying that you need to make sure that you are not keeping too much in savings to the exclusion of your investment portfolios. When I am looking for a bank, I often don’t care about the interest rates, I look for great online banking features because that is what is most important to me. Some of the bank websites that I like are Bank of America Online and PNC Online Banking.

Broke Reason #4: Lack of Long Term Thinking

Having a “good job” is a great thing, of course, but if your good job means you think about the next paycheck or the next month’s income, you suffer from a lack of long-term thinking. Your income (job or business) should be thought of in terms of quarters and annuals. Rather than thinking about the next two weeks or the next month, a wealthy person thinks about the next three months, six months and the next year.

Focus on making year over year increases in your income. This might be through the creation of a side business or by simply asking for a promotion.

Broke Reason #5: Obsessing Over Money

If you obsess over where your next income is coming from, how much money you do or don’t have, or are always thinking about how much you can make by doing something, you are not thinking in terms of wealth. Again, money is only a pathway to wealth, but it is not wealth itself.

What is wealth?

Now that you know what blocks your way to becoming wealthy, let’s define wealth and then you’ll understand the critical change in thinking that has to happen if you’re going to ever become wealthy. Since wealth is not money, what is it? Wealth is the ability to not think about money and instead to think about incomes in a broader sense.

For instance, while a car is rarely an investment, property, dividends, and education are. Investments are those things which pay back over and above their cost. If you purchase a second home as a rental and it can pay its own mortgage and expenses through rent over the next fifteen years, you’ve made an investment. What you’ve done is invested some money now so that fifteen years from now, you own property that didn’t cost you much at all. The same can be said for stocks that pay dividends, gold or silver, or an education. All of these things can pay you back over time – some faster than others.

Wealth is simply getting more for less over time. Today’s 50-hour work week should become tomorrow’s 40-hour week which becomes a 30-hour week and so on.. all without lowering income.
5 Reasons Why You Will Retire Broke and Unhappy

Retirement is one of the major end goals for many of us. After putting in a few decades of hard work we hope to be able to break free from the daily grind and do what really makes us happy. That could be starting a new career, traveling the world, or simply enjoying a slower paced lifestyle. Whatever your idea of retirement is, there are plenty of roadblocks standing in your way.

In a perfect world you will have enough money set aside so that come retirement day you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You’re free to carry out your plans without the added stress of wondering whether or not you’ll have enough money to pay the bills. Unfortunately, most people don’t have this luxury. Instead, they come to the realization that they can’t afford to retire and end up spending the later years in their life unhappy because they have to either keep working or simply don’t have enough money to do any of the things they had hoped. Here are five reasons most people will retire broke and unhappy.
1. Not Saving Enough

Not saving enough has to top the list because let’s face it, not having enough money in retirement is the biggest problem. How much money do you really need to have saved up by retirement to fund your dreams? Well, according to a recent poll I took on the site most people feel they need between 1 and 3 million dollars saved by retirement. So, ask yourself where you stand. Are you on track? Do you have some catching up to do? Or do you feel there’s just no possible way to save up enough money by retirement? Even if you are behind in savings that doesn’t mean you should give up. You still have many years ahead of you to make a difference, and every little bit counts. One thing is for certain, and it’s that not having enough money saved for retirement will have a negative impact on your lifestyle down the road.

If you don’t have enough saved up for retirement a few things are certain:

* You may have to work longer.
* You may not be able to do the things in retirement you planned on.
* You may become a burden on your children.
* If you encounter serious health problems it could mean liquidating your assets and going on Medicaid.

gold-eggIf none of those things sound like fun you better start saving. Even if you’re in your 30s and haven’t put a penny aside for retirement it isn’t too late. Take advantage of your employer’s retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) if they offer one. This is the easiest way to get into the habit of saving since it comes right out of your paycheck and it’s pre-tax money. Even better, if they offer a match you need to at least save enough to get the match. That’s free money! This is the only time someone else will put money into your retirement account for you, so don’t miss out.

Beyond that you should set up your own retirement account such as a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA. It doesn’t matter if you can only afford to put a hundred dollars a month into your account, but you have to start somewhere. Even just $100/month over 30 years earning around 7% will put over $120,000 in your account. Sure, you won’t be able to live off just that, but you can’t tell me that having an extra $120,000 for retirement is a bad thing. So, start small, and start right now. Every little bit helps even if you are getting a late start when it comes to saving.
2. Making Poor Investment Choices

Did you know that you can be on track to save enough yet still find yourself in the poor house come retirement? Just ask all of the baby boomers who planned on retiring in the next few years and were invested too heavily in stocks. Their retirement plans were destroyed in a matter of months. Granted, we don’t have crystal balls and can’t predict what the markets will do, but you can follow some basic investing principals so that you’re not putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

Poor investment choices go both ways. You have those who might be far too aggressive and can’t whether a steep decline shortly before retirement, and you have those who invest far too conservatively from the start and come up short in the end. You need to strike a balance and adjust your investment strategy over time as you age and your needs change. There’s no magic portfolio that works for everyone, in all market conditions, all the time. But it’s up to you to understand what you’re investing in, what the risks are, and how those investments play a role in your long-term objectives.

Finally, don’t neglect fees. You can’t invest without fees, that’s just a fact of life. But in most cases you can limit how much you pay. It may not seem like much, but even choosing investments with 50 more basis points in annual fees could literally cost you over $100,000 by retirement. The sooner you make smart investment choices and understand the impact of fees, the longer your money has to grow so that it can adequately fund your retirement.
3. Neglecting Health Care

Want to retire broke and unhappy? Just ignore the impact that health care will have on your retirement. As a member of Generation X you may have seen this first hand with aging family members. Even when it looks like someone has set enough aside for a comfortable retirement it just takes one major health incident to derail everything. This country obviously has some flaws with its health care system, but that doesn’t mean you have to just take it.

Health care issues can ruin your retirement before it even starts. Did you know that disability is the number one reason for bankruptcy and foreclosure in this country? If you’re still working and rely on your income to pay the bills what happens if you get hurt or become disabled, either for a few years or permanently? In many cases people don’t have disability insurance and even if they qualify for Social Security Disability it isn’t enough to pay all the bills. Just a two year disability in your 30s could be enough to severely impact your retirement, especially if it causes a financial hardship such as bankruptcy or foreclosure. So, make sure you’re adequately protected even while working so that you don’t jeopardize your retirement.

nurseAn even bigger problem often comes in retirement. Our health is unpredictable for the most part. We don’t know what kind of health issues we will develop as we age, and depending on what it is and treatment required it could end up quickly draining your retirement fund. Don’t just assume that having Medicare and a Medicare supplement will do enough to cover most of your medical expenses. If you are in a situation where you need long-term care you’ll find that this isn’t covered by Medicare. And don’t be fooled by the name, but most long-term care stays are only a few years. But did you know that the average cost of a year of long-term care is upwards of $50,000 or more? Just needing a few years of care could quickly begin to wipe out your retirement nest egg. If you run out of money paying for this care you’ll either become a burden on your family while they try to pay for or provide the care. If they can’t keep up you’ll be faced with liquidating any assets you do have, and then will likely end up on Medicare. I don’t think anyone looks forward to that kind of retirement.

Finally, a little preventative health care goes a long way in helping you live a long and healthy retirement. Take some time while you’re young to make smart health choices today so that you’ll have a better chance of remaining healthy in retirement. Some good habits today could end up saving you hundreds of thousands in health care down the road.
4. Retiring Too Early

lawn-bowlingRaise your hand if you’d like to retire earlier rather than later. Stupid question, right? For most of us we’d love to retire a few years early and get a jump on doing the things we planned on in retirement while we’re still young and healthy. Unfortunately, early retirement is simply in the cards for most people. It really comes down to underestimating what just a few years of early retirement can cost financially. For example, say you and your spouse would like to retire at 62 instead of 65. Assuming you each earn $50,000 after taxes at your current job those three years of retiring early will cost you $300,000 in lost income. Even if you elected to begin drawing Social Security at 62 that isn’t going to come even close to replacing that income. If you have a pension, chances are taking it at 62 is also going to be a reduction in payout. So, depending on what your income needs are during those three years you could be draining your retirement account by a few hundred thousand. When you factor in the 20 or more years you still have in retirement that early retirement could significantly reduce how long your nest egg will last.

And it isn’t just about tapping into your retirement assets early. Let’s not forget about health insurance. You don’t qualify for Medicare until 65, so if you retire early where are your health benefits coming from? If you’re lucky enough to have a working spouse you might be able to get by using their plan, but what if you both want to retire early and you don’t have any retiree health benefits offered by your employer? Get ready to open your wallet and pay for an individual plan. This is a common oversight by many early retirees as they get dead set on retiring early and then underestimate the significant costs of health care until reaching age 65. This can be a costly mistake.

Retiring early is doable, but you have to plan well in advance for it. That means saving even more money and thinking about the impact of early retirement, both in terms of your nest egg and health care. If you rush into it like many people you could be giving up a significant chunk of your later retirement just to quit working a couple years early. Weigh your options carefully.
5. Lifestyle Creep

It’s just human nature that as you earn more money and become more successful you generally spend a little more money on the finer things in life. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? You want to make more money so you can enjoy some of the fruits of your labor. It’s great to be able to buy things that improve your quality of life, but this lifestyle creep can go too far. It starts out with small stuff, but eventually it turns into a bigger house, nicer cars, and maybe even more elegant vacations. If your income goes up but your expenses also continue to go up the net result is often zero. You make more, spend more, but still don’t have enough left over to save more.

As you go through your career and begin making more money it’s important to keep your spending in check. You still might opt for a nicer car or a bigger house, but don’t let those things interfere with your ability to save. When you start making more money make sure you treat your retirement savings like any other expense. If you’re willing to spend 20% more on a new car payment you should be willing to put 20% more into your retirement account as well.

If you don’t increase your saving along with your other expenses you’re going to be in for a rude awakening upon retirement. What you’ve done is built up this more affluent lifestyle and when retirement comes you’re probably hoping to at least maintain a similar lifestyle but without going to work. If you haven’t been increasing your saving over the years to match the increase in lifestyle, guess what. You’re not going to have enough money to fund that retirement. Then you’ll probably find yourself unhappy in retirement since you had to reduce your lifestyle or try to continue that lifestyle and end up broke ten years into retirement. Neither of which is a situation you want to be in.
Will You Retire Broke and Unhappy?

Hopefully not, but as you can see, it’s pretty easy to do. While it’s easy to retire broke, it’s just as easy to start putting measure in place today to ensure it doesn’t happen to you. Start by saving more. Think you’re already saving enough? Think again. Even if you’re just getting started for the first time, every little bit helps. Now that you’re saving you need to make sure you’re investing it properly. Take some time to learn about your investments, understand what they are going to accomplish, and keep expenses low. Next, don’t underestimate health care costs both now and in retirement. Take steps today to make sure poor health won’t drain your retirement fund. If you want to retire early, make sure you plan for it. Early retirement requires additional savings and considerations when it comes to health care. And finally, don’t let lifestyle creep during your working years ruin your retirement. Keep spending in check and adjust your saving accordingly so there are no surprises in retirement.

If you can keep up with all of that you should be able to enjoy a wealthy, happy, and comfortable retirement.
The 7 Biggest Money Problems Most People Have

These Money Problems Can Prevent You From Building Wealth

Building wealth is a part of the American Dream. We’re told that through hard work and seizing opportunities we can lead successful, healthy, and wealthy lives. But building wealth isn’t important just for the sake of having money. In fact, it’s almost a requirement these days if you want to fully retire at some point. Social Security won’t provide much of a retirement. Your kids may not be able to afford college on their own, and there’s a good chance that health care costs can wipe out even a decent nest egg during your golden years.

Since building wealth is so important for our future why is it that most people still find themselves under a mountain of debt or end up retiring broke and unhappy? It isn’t just luck. Sure, in the game of life luck does play a part, but most of the outcomes in life are directly attributable to the choices you make and financial decisions are no different. If you make smart decisions with your money your odds of success lean in your favor. Make poor decisions and you put yourself behind the 8-ball. Here are seven of the biggest money problems and mistakes most people make and if you can avoid making these mistakes you’re on the fast track toward building wealth.
1. Buying More House Than You Can Afford

This is the granddaddy of them all. For generations we’ve been told that owning a home is how you build wealth. The reasoning was simple: you buy a house, live in it for a few decades, and sell it for a large profit since it appreciated in value. For the Baby Boomers and their parents this was a reasonable expectation. People did not move around as much, had steady employment with a company, and they held on to their homes long enough that it was almost unheard of to not make money when selling your home. For our generation, things are different.

Generation X and Y are mobile creatures. Gone are the days of company loyalty and staying with the same employer for 30 years so you can retire with a big pension and a gold watch. No, today people are on their own and have to do what’s best for themselves and their families. This often means frequently changing jobs, moving, or even losing a job and being forced to look elsewhere. This means people aren’t staying in their homes nearly as long as they used to. And guess what that means? The less time you live in your home the less equity you build. The less equity you have the more likely that when you sell you’re going to be put into a position where there is little or no money to be made and it could even cost you significantly as we’ve seen in recent years.

Factor in the above chances in home ownership with the fact that banks are often willing to lend more money than you can realistically afford and you’ve created the perfect wealth destroyer. Owning a home used to mean building value and adding to your net worth, but these days more people are finding that owning a home is nothing more than a large monthly payment. Make sure you’re buying a home for the right reasons so you can avoid the next housing bubble, otherwise you could be making one of the costliest financial mistakes of your life.
2. Having a Vehicle Fetish

If you’re like most Americans you probably spend a good deal of your time driving to and from work. Thanks to the way our country and cities were built this is how most of us have to live and that means having a car (or two or three). The downside is that owning a vehicle is an expensive proposition. First, you have to buy a car, but the expenses don’t stop there. Even after putting out thousands of dollars for the vehicle itself you’re left with filling it with gas. Then you have to get regular oil changes and perform routine maintenance. And let’s not forget about insurance. Oh, and those flat tires and unexpected repairs can be costly as well. All said and done, the average person will spend over $500,000 on vehicle expenses over their lifetime. No, seriously. Most people end up spending more on their cars than they have in their retirement account by the time they are 65. Think about it.

So, don’t make the same mistake many vehicle owners are. Most of the people you see driving around $70,000 luxury SUVs are not as wealthy as their vehicle leads you to believe. Their car is likely making them poor and they probably have little more than a bunch of monthly payments that still has them living paycheck to paycheck. Buying new vs. used can be one mistake, but it goes beyond that. Spending more money on a nice vehicle leads to more interest being paid when financing, costly maintenance, and higher car insurance  premiums. To make matters worse, these are all costs associated with a depreciating asset! You will continue to throw money at something that becomes worth less every single day. I may not be a mathematician, but even I know that isn’t how you build wealth. Let fools be easily parted from their money as they sink it into hunks of plastic and steel. You can find a better use for your hard-earned money, can’t you?
3. Letting Your Money Trickle Away

We all know that big purchases can be costly, but it’s the little things that can kill you. You need to plug your money leaks if you want to find a little extra in your budget each month to save, invest, or pay off debt. It’s the premium movie channel, the extra text message plan for your phone, the magazines you never get around to reading or the Netflix movies you find yourself holding on to for a month before watching them. Each of these may only be $10 a month individually so it doesn’t seem like much, but when you take a look at all of the little expenses that aren’t being fully utilized each month you could be sitting on a few hundred dollars that’s going to waste.

It’s like the leaky faucet in the bathroom. You may only see a single drip every few seconds and it’s hard to imagine those add up to much, but a single leaky faucet can waste over 1,000 gallons of water a year! The same thing goes for your money. A dollar here, five dollars there, and you hardly notice it on a weekly basis. But over a year and beyond you’re literally wasting thousands of dollars. Think about what it could mean if you were saving a few extra thousand dollars a year instead. It could mean an early retirement.
4. Cashing Out Retirement Funds

There is a reason these are called retirement accounts — because they are meant for retirement! This is a problem that many people face and it’s usually a result of other underlying money problems. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “hey, I think I’m going to go cash out my 401(k) so I can go buy a new Corvette for the heck of it.” Actually, I think there are some people like that, but this isn’t why most tap into their retirement funds. Instead, it’s usually more about a financial emergency that leads to this decision. Maybe you lost your job, encountered a major medical emergency, or are faced with any number of other hardships. But tapping into your retirement fund either by liquidating or taking a 401k loan can do more harm than good. And let’s not forget the cardinal sin of retirement savings — cashing out your old 401k instead of doing a 401k rollover.

It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. This is your money, but if you take something out of one account just to pay for something else you haven’t really solved any problem. Yes, you may have been able to put out a short-term crisis, but now you’ve created a long-term crisis. Ultimately, this could lead to requiring you to work much longer than expected, sell off assets when you do retire, or maybe skip retirement completely. None of those options are good ones, but it’s a reality if you rob your nest egg early. It not only takes money away from your retirement account, but it can cost you dearly in unnecessary taxes and penalties just further complicating matters. So, make sure you don’t treat your retirement funds like a savings account. They should be an absolute last resort in a time of need and you should work on plugging some of your money leaks and apply that to an emergency fund to help you in a time of need.
5. Paying Too Much for College

When you’re in high school all you keep hearing about is preparing for college. After all, these days it’s pretty much expected if you want a good job you have to get a degree. For many career paths this is true. And in some professions you need to go beyond and get a graduate degree or more. While there’s not much you can do about the fact that some professions require degrees, for the large majority of students there are steps they can take to minimize the burden of a college education.

For one, you don’t have to go to a private school to get a superb education. While some schools are going to be better than others, picking a school because of their name is like buying a $200 pair of designer jeans over a $50 pair of tried and true Levis. Both will accomplish the same thing, but one costs a lot more and it may or may not pay off in the future. And don’t neglect community colleges or state schools for the first year or two before transferring to the school of your choice. Knocking out many of the basic courses in the first two years could literally mean a savings of $100,000 on your total education bill.

Finally, don’t make the mistake of assuming you can just get student loans to pay for it all and you’ll be making enough money when you get a job after graduation that paying them off will be easy. It’s not. Ask anyone with a run-of-the-mill bachelors degree who has financed their entire education with loans. They may be well over $100,000 in debt and lucky to be making $50,000 a year. They will be spending the next ten years essentially making a mortgage payment and tying up valuable funds that could be going towards a retirement account, emergency savings, or a down payment for a house. If you’re a student thinking about college, make a wise decision and don’t think that you can just throw money at an education and that it will pay for itself when you graduate. And if you’re a parent you should start planning early and decide how and if you want to help your children out with college. This could mean starting a 529 plan or at least setting some expectations with your child so they know what to expect. But whatever you decide, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of saving for retirement vs. saving for college.
6. Starting Too Late

Ask any 20-something what their plans are for retirement and you’ll probably get a confused look or outright laughter. When we’re young we feel as if our whole life is still ahead of us. And for the most part that’s true, but that doesn’t mean we have time to wait before starting to save. You see, there’s this little thing called compound interest that’s willing to put your money to work, but it requires one crucial element in order to do its job. Time. Without time the value of interest is virtually eliminated.

The problem is that compound interest is not linear. If you’re investing $5,000 a year you can’t just say that if you wait two years to get started you can figure your account will only be roughly $10,000 less. No. Instead, waiting just two years to start saving $5,000 could end up costing you over $50,000 by retirement. And that’s just two years. When you make the mistake that many people make by waiting five years, ten years, or even longer until the “time is right” to start saving you’re literally throwing a few hundred thousand dollars out the window.

Here’s a tip for you: there’s never a good time to start saving. I hear it all the time. People say they want to wait until they get a better job before saving. Then they want to wait until they settle down. Then suddenly there’s a child on the way, so now they want to wait until the craziness of being a new parent subsides. Then another child is on the way and they are shopping for a bigger house so they want to wait until that gets squared away… Let’s face it. There is always something going on in your life that can be used as an excuse to wait. Stop making excuses and just start! Time is either your greatest asset or your greatest enemy. It’s only up to you to decide how to utilize that time.
7. Not Setting Any Goals

The previous six money problems dealt with fairly specific financial decisions gone wrong, but the seventh bad decision isn’t as exact. Instead, it has to do with setting goals. This is a pretty broad topic and really, everyone’s goals will be different. But the problem is that most people don’t take the time to outline specific financial goals. Sure, people tell themselves that they want to save more, invest more, spend less, get out of debt, and all of that, but being that generic is not helpful.

You need to be specific and set concrete goals so that you can put a plan together to reach them and then have something to track your progress. Instead of just saying you’re going to start building an emergency fund, be specific and say you’re going to set aside $10,000 in 12 months. Ok, now that you have a specific goal set you can start putting a plan in place to reach that goal. You know exactly how much you need to set aside each month to reach that goal ($833) so every month you can track your progress. If you fall short, you’ll know and can then think about ways to make up the difference.

If you aren’t setting specific financial goals you have no real way of knowing how you’re doing. You want to retire at 60? Who doesn’t? But the real question is how are you going to get there? Just telling yourself that you need to put money into an IRA each year so you can build a nest egg is not enough. Instead, you should be calculating how much money you need to retire, how to allocate your investments so that you can reach that goal, and then hold yourself accountable over the years. Without goals you’re basically adrift in the sea and going wherever the current takes you.
Don’t Make the Same Mistakes

Hopefully you can avoid falling into these traps and make better decisions with your money, but don’t get discouraged if one or more of these apply to you. We’ve all been there, myself included. I bought a house for the wrong reasons, spent too much on a car, got a late start in saving for retirement, borrowed a ton of money to try and get a worthless graduate degree, cashed out an IRA in a time of need, and wasted thousands of dollars on useless little things. But if you can identify the problems and admit that you’ve made some mistakes you can learn from them and turn things around.
Top 12 Money Mistakes Most People Make

Identifying These Money Mistakes Can Help You Achieve Financial Independence

Let’s face it. Nobody is perfect, and when it comes to money, we all make mistakes. Our personal finance lessons are often learned through experience, and learning from those mistakes is sometimes the best way to learn. But, learning from your mistakes only works if you can recognize that you made a mistake. If you’re oblivious to the fact that you’re doing something wrong, you’ll never be able to take action to correct it.

This list is designed to help you identify 12 of the most common money mistakes people make. You may have already made many of these mistakes, but with others, you’ll want to be aware of them so that you can make sure they don’t happen in the first place. This will put you ahead of the game so you don’t have to go back and fix what has already been done.
1. Not Living Within Your Means

This is the cornerstone of personal finance regardless of your income or net worth. It doesn’t matter if you make $20,000 or $200,000 a year, if you can’t live within the constraints of the money coming in, you’ll end up in debt. It is simple math: income < expenses = debt, income > expenses = surplus. Sometimes living within your means can be difficult, but if you ever want to make progress in your financial situation, you have to recognize this or nothing you do will matter. You’ll never become a millionaire if you continue to spend more than you earn.
2. Failure to Budget

If you can’t identify where your money goes, it will be incredibly difficult to live within your means. The only way to get a handle on your money is to create a budget. It doesn’t have to be a painful or complex process, but at the very least, you need to see where your money goes so that you can determine where money can be saved. A failure to budget is how most people end up living paycheck to paycheck or get into debt.
3. Lack of Goals

Just like creating a budget will help you live within your means, goals will help you make progress with your finances. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get to where you want to go? Saving, investing, and increasing your income is great, but why are these things important? What are you saving for? What purpose do your investments serve? Without goals, you have nothing to benchmark your progress against.
4. Having Too Much Debt

To put it simply, having debt sucks. If you owe money, that means you’re just reducing your cash flow to make the payments. Some argue that there is good debt and bad debt. For the most part, I agree. When it comes to owning a home, it is virtually impossible for most people to buy one without taking on some debt. But even a so-called good debt can be bad when you borrow more than you realistically should. The key is to keep debt to a minimum and recognize when you have too much. Just because people say a mortgage is good debt, don’t go and buy a $300,000 house when you can really only afford a $200,000 house. The more you can do to maintain and improve your credit, the better.
5. Not Saving Enough

Unfortunately, if you have too much debt, that probably means you aren’t saving enough. The savings rate in this country is extremely low, and the biggest problem is that most people’s paychecks go to pay off various debts such as a home, vehicles, credit cards, student loans, etc. Even if you have debt to repay, you have to save money. This is where it pays off to pay yourself first. Set a savings goal, and treat your monthly savings amount as a bill. If you can find a way to pay your $100 cable bill every month, you should be able to find a way to pay yourself $100 a month in savings. If you treat savings like any other bill that has to be paid, you’ll slowly begin to build up some savings.
6. Inappropriate Amount of Savings

When you aren’t saving enough, chances are you’re cash reserves are too small. Most people recommend that you keep between 3 and 6 months of expenses on hand in your savings so that you can weather an interruption of income or emergency without turning to taking on more debt. How much you should set aside is dependent on a number of things, but you should have an emergency fund available to help. On the other hand, you can have too much in your cash reserves. I’ve seen people with well over $100,000 in savings while not even putting any money into IRAs or retirement accounts. So, while it is more common to not have enough savings, you can have too much cash on hand that could be better used elsewhere.
7. Lack of Estate Planning

The word ‘estate’ conjures up images of wealthy families giving away millions of dollars worth of assets to heirs upon someone’s death, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even your typical family has estate planning issues to be concerned with. It all starts with a will. Even if you don’t have a ton of assets, you should have a basic will. This ensures that what assets you do have go to the people you want. Aside from a will, you want to make sure your beneficiaries are updated on all of your accounts. An untimely death with outdated beneficiaries could really put your survivors in a bind. And don’t forget life insurance if you’re married or have children. Think about the financial consequences to them if you were no longer around.
8. Ignoring Disability Insurance

Nobody likes paying insurance premiums, but in the event you need to make a claim, they are life savers. Disability insurance is often overlooked, but it can be one of the most important policies you can own if you or your family rely on your income. The number one cause of bankruptcy and foreclosure is disability. Sometimes just a seemingly minor injury can put you out of work for months, years, or even the rest of your life. And don’t expect Social Security disability to pick up where you left off. If you insure your life, you should insure your income as well.
9. Lack of Diversification

You’ve heard the phrase, “don’t put all of your eggs into one basket” before, and this applies to investing more than anything. The investment landscape is incredibly diverse. You have real estate, domestic stocks, foreign stocks, government bonds, corporate bonds, various capitalization of different stocks, money markets, and so on. From month to month, and year to year, each of these asset classes has their day in the sun and perform the best. The problem is, it is virtually impossible for most people to correctly pick the best asset class for any given time frame. So, instead of trying to guess, you should be diversified. As you spread your money out across asset classes, you minimize your risk and maximize your return.
10. Losing Focus

The current bear market in the first part of 2008 is a classic example of this. If you’re someone who has 20 or more years until needing to tap into your investments, you can’t let a few bad quarters derail your investment plan. Sure, losing money isn’t any fun, but making drastic decisions based on a few bad months will only do more harm than good if you’re trying to plan for the long term. Don’t lose focus, and keep your eye on the prize, and only make minor adjustments as needed.
11. Being Naive

You, and only you are responsible for your financial well-being. It isn’t up to the government to protect you from your mistakes, and you shouldn’t expect the public education system to adequately prepare you for your financial challenges. The only way to make sure your money is working for you and that you’re getting ahead is to educate yourself and actively keep track of your finances. If you ignore your finances, or put your head in the sand hoping your debt will just go away, you’re sure to have a long and hard financial road to travel on. If you’re reading this blog, that is a great start, and there are many more out there that can help you become financially educated.
12. Not Asking for Help When You Need It

Even if you read a bunch of finance books and keep up with the financial blogs, there are times when you could use professional help. If you honestly need help with something, either taxes, estate planning, or even choosing a portfolio, don’t try to be macho and go about it alone. It is okay to seek professional help if you really need it, and even if it costs a little bit of money, it could save you from losing even more. Think of it like this: sure, you can go to WebMD and learn about and diagnose your symptoms, and possibly even alleviate the symptoms, but it doesn’t make you a doctor. If you aren’t comfortable with handling your health completely on your own, your major financial decisions shouldn’t be any different.
10 Misconceptions about Retirement Security

Retirement is one of the most important goals for most people. Unfortunately, many workers and retirees have an incomplete or misleading picture of how much they need to save, how to invest their savings effectively, and how to make their money last as long as they live. Clearing up common misconceptions about retirement is essential to allow people to fulfill their dreams of a comfortable retirement.

A joint project by LIMRA International, the Society of Actuaries and Mathew Greenwald & Associates identified the following 10 ways in which Americans lack a realistic understanding of retirement saving.

1. Saving too little – Most people haven’t tried to estimate how much money they will need for retirement and those who have tried to do the calculation often underestimate their income needs.
2. Not knowing when retirement will occur – Many workers will retire before they expect to, and before they’re ready.
3. Living longer than planned – As individuals manage their own retirement funds, they may not understand that life expectancy is a very limited planning tool. In fact, some retirees will live long beyond their life expectancies, with a substantial risk of outliving their savings.
4. Not facing facts about long-term care – Many people underestimate their chances of needing long-term health care. Relatively few people either own long-term care insurance or can afford to self-insure an extended long-term care situation.
5. Trying to self-insure against long life – Although people may find guaranteed lifetime income attractive, in practice they usually choose to receive retirement plan benefits in lump-sum form. They pass up opportunities to get a lifetime pension or annuity, failing to recognize the difficulty of self-insuring their longevity.
6. Not understanding investments – Due to the growth of the workplace retirement savings plans, workers are now largely responsible for managing investments for retirement. However, many workers misunderstand investment returns, expenses, and how each investment vehicle works.
7. Relying on poor advice – Many retirees and pre-retirees indicate a strong desire to work with a financial professional, yet fail to see this guidance.
8. Not knowing sources of retirement income – Workers often don’t understand what their primary sources of income will be in retirement. They may be surprised and disappointed when they try to live on the income that is actually available.
9. Failing to deal with inflation – Inflation is a fact of life that workers may deal with through pay increases, but after retirement few people can increase their income to keep pace with the cost of living.
10. Not providing for a surviving spouse – Many married couples fail to plan for the eventual death of one spouse before the other.

Identifying these common misconceptions is an important first step. If you recognize yourself in any, or many of these scenarios, take corrective action right away. Get an accurate estimate of your retirement income needs, identify your sources of income after retirement and understand your investment and distribution options. Take the time to educate yourself in areas of personal finance and retirement planning, and if needed, seek advice from a professional.
How to Save Money by Shopping for a Car Online

Shopping for a new car isn’t much fun. It’s a major purchase and important decision so it’s usually a stressful experience. If you’re not careful, it can even be a costly mistake. Others are simply intimidated by high-pressure sales and don’t know how to deal with a car salesman.

Whether you’re buying new or used, it’s important to do your research before buying the car and to save as much money as possible. Thanks to the internet, saving money on your next vehicle purchase has never been easier.
10 Steps to Savings

Step 1: Determine which type of vehicle you want. Review all of the different makes and models that are available and which ones are in your budget. Consider your needs as far as size, fuel efficiency, and features. Once you have narrowed it down to two or three potential vehicles, compare each of the options in detail. Creating a spreadsheet is a great way to compare the features between different cars. Some sites will also have a comparison feature that can help.

Step 2: Do some real world research. Some Once you have done your online research and have a few models in mind, it’s time to do some real world research. Go to your local dealerships and discuss your potential cars with dealers and see which car you like the best in person. Also, taking a test drive is a great idea. Keep in mind that your intention isn’t to buy anything yet. Don’t let the salesman show you other models or talk you into looking at something you didn’t already have in mind. After you get home, compile the information you learned from your hands-on experience with the previous information which you ascertained from the web. This should help you narrow your choices down.

Step 3: Search for the best price. Once you have read all of the available reviews and have taken the potential cars out for a ride, it’s time to start looking for the best price. Use sites such as CarsDirect.com and Edmunds.com to compare the prices and to see which manufacturers are offering incentives. You can also learn the True Market Value of all vehicles. For used cars, you can also use the Kelley Blue Book to determine what the appropriate price for the vehicle is. There are several websites which you can visit to research and look for the best price. These include MyRide.com, AutoTrader.com, CarsDirect.com, eBay Motors, and many more.

Step 4: Verify your findings. After you have researched the model of the car and the various options which are available online, you can also order your potential car’s cost report from ConsumerReports which costs around $12. This data will serve to verify the data which you have previously found and it will also uncover any incentives the dealers are offering.

Step 5: The next step is to locate potential dealers (or private parties if buying used). Probably the easiest way to do this is to simply go to Google and search for “car dealers” with the location option turned on. This will typically give you a whole series of local options, show them on a map, and provide website information and phone numbers. Some dealers even have online pricing specials or coupons, so make sure you check their site before making the trip out there. Finally, don’t be afraid to look at dealers a little ways from where you live. Wouldn’t it be worth it to make a half hour drive if it saved you a thousand bucks?

Step 6: Search inventory. Most car dealers are smart enough to put their inventory online so it makes shopping easier than ever. So, after picking out the potential dealers you should be able to browse their current inventory to see what they have on the lot. This will give you a heads up as to whether or not a car with the features you want will be available or need to be ordered.

Step 7: Contact and negotiate. If they list prices right on their website, great. You already have a starting point. In some cases you will have to call or email for a quote, so do that if necessary. After a dealer comes back with a price it’s time to see if you can get it down to your price. You’re armed with all of the information you need about car values so you have some room to work. Insinuate that you have found better prices elsewhere or that their competitor across town was throwing in some extra incentives and they will often lower their prices to avoid losing any business. It is certainly possible to get a better price than what’s listed or the original quote. Use these car buying tips to make sure you avoid the biggest traps.

Step 8: Put the pressure on them. In order to make sure that you have the lowest possible price, keep trying to bring them lower. Once the bidding slows down, you should let the dealer know that you are aware of their incentives and costs and you should offer a price that will allow them to earn a few hundred dollars including incentives. The majority of dealers will accept this offer, especially towards the end of the month when a sales quota is involved. Remember, you are in control and can walk away at any time so it pays to be persistent.

Step 9: Don’t accept additional unforeseen prices. Some dealers will try to add additional charges such as advertising fees, taxes, extended car warranties, and delivery charges. Don’t let this happen. Remember, the whole reason you did all of your legwork online was to avoid all of the tricky sales tactics and the upsell, so don’t cave in at this point.

Step 10: Buy the car. Keep a record of all of your communications so that you know that the deal which you made will be honored. If they try to pull a bait and switch on you it pays to have any emails, correspondence, and printouts from their website to back your claim. And as always, read the fine print before signing anything!

Using the web to assist with your next car purchase can literally save you thousands. The worst thing you can do is just walk into a dealership without doing any research and spending hours being beaten down by a trained salesman. You’ll likely end up buying more car than you need and spending much more than you had to. Doing your research first will put you in the driver’s seat and ensure you don’t spend a penny more than you have to.
28 Tips to Save Money on Car Expenses and Save Thousands of Dollars

There Are Many Ways to Save on Car Costs

Do you own a car? You probably do, and that means you probably know how expensive it can be. Did you know that the average person will spend over $500,000 on vehicles and vehicle-related expenses over their lifetime. It really starts to add up. Vehicles don’t last forever so you need to replace them over time, you need to put gas in them, and then you have to think about insurance and maintenance–and that’s just in today’s dollars, not adjusted for inflation. Half a million dollars just to drive a car. When you think about it, that is kind of absurd when the average retirement account balance for most baby boomers these days is under $50,000. No wonder our cars are making us poor. How wealthy would we all be if we took the money spent on owning a car into an investment account?

Unfortunately, cars are a necessity for most of us. Without an extensive public transportation system we rely on buying our own cars so we can get around. It’s one of those things that we can’t escape. But just because it’s a necessary expense that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save on your car expenses. In fact, if you’re good you can literally save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on your vehicle expenses. Save $1,500 a year for the next 40 years and that puts $60,000 in your pocket. Then if you use that savings wisely you’ll be living comfortably in your later years. Here are 28 tips that can help you save money on your car expenses.
How to Save Money on New Car Purchases

* Keep your car longer instead of trading in or upgrading every couple of years. Not only does the cost of new cars rise each year, but cars depreciate quickly, and when you trade frequently, you lose money on low trade-in values. And don’t forget about interest if you have to finance part of the purchase. Buy a good quality car and keep it for at least five to seven years. Potential Money Savings: $400-1,000/year.
* When buying a new car, consider the smallest model for your needs. Smaller cars are often cheaper, and because they’re lighter, they usually get better gasoline mileage. In addition, insurance tends to be cheaper on most cars compared to a large SUV. Potential Money Savings: $400-600/year.
* When buying a new car, consider the impact that various options have on fuel economy. For example, you sacrifice a few miles per gallon when using air conditioning on the highway and even more in stop-and-go traffic; automatic transmissions get about five miles per gallon less than manual transmissions; and six-cylinder engines get about four to five mpg less than four-cylinder engines. Potential Money Savings: $400/yr or more by choosing the right options.
* Don’t buy credit life or credit disability insurance through your car dealer when purchasing a new car. Some dealers do a hard sell on these coverages, but they are highly overpriced, and if they’re folded into your car loan you not only end up paying 100% to 500% more than you should for the coverage, you also pay interest on it. Stick to regular life and disability insurance through your employer or an individual policy. Potential Money Savings: $300-500.
* Be extremely wary of purchasing service contracts or extended warranties on new automobiles through your dealer. Many of them have very limited coverage (in spite of what the salesman may lead you to believe) and they cost much more than policies purchased directly from providers. Make sure you understand what your current warranty covers so you’re not just throwing money away. Potential Money Savings: $500-1,000.

How to Save Money on Maintenance

* Keep your car properly tuned. A poorly tuned car uses between 25% and 33% more gasoline each year. It’s also cheaper to pay the cost of a tune-up than it is to repair a major problem. Potential Money Savings: $50-100/year.
* Change the oil and oil filter in your car according to your owner’s manual. A 3,000 mile oil change may not be necessary since many cars are now built to go much longer between oil changes. Potential Money Savings: $50-100/year.
* Check your car’s air filter monthly. A dirty filter drags on engine efficiency and reduces gasoline mileage up to 10%. You can clean the filter by removing it and blowing it with an air hose, or you can replace it. Potential Money Savings: $130/year or more.
* Use the proper tires for your vehicle. Having extra wide, large, or performance tires may drag on your gas mileage.  Potential Money Savings: $100/year or more.
* Unless your manual suggests it, don’t waste money on premium gasoline. For most cars, premium gasoline offers no benefit. Unless your car has a high-performance engine and your manufacturer recommends a high-octane gas, use the less expensive gas. Premium gas costs 10% to 15% higher than regular. Potential Money Savings: $200-400/year.
* Check your tire pressure regularly. You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.. Potential Money Savings: $100-250/year.
* Add thousands of miles to the life of your tires by having them balanced and rotated once a year. In addition to destroying the tread, improperly balanced tires can wear out your shock absorbers and damage your suspension system, leading to more expensive repairs. Potential Money Savings: $125-200/year.
* Check fluid levels regularly. Make sure your power steering and radiator fluids are at proper levels with each oil change. Also check automatic transmission fluid, brake and clutch fluids. A bottle of fluid costs just a couple of dollars. Replacing a broken or worn part due to low fluids will cost you hundreds. Potential Money Savings: $50-300/year.

Save Money on Gas

* Pump your own gas if you can. Self-serve gas is usually 5% to 10% cheaper than full service. Potential Money Savings: $50-100/year.
* Combine errands when driving. If you plan your drive so that you hit all of your errands in one outing instead of making extra trips you’ll save on gas. If you save just 10 miles a week that’s over 500 miles each year. Potential Money Savings: $25-75/yr.
* Purchase your gas with a cash-back rewards credit card. You can likely save up to 3% on all future gas purchases. Potential Money Savings: $50-100/year.

Save Money on Insurance

* Ask your insurance agent how much money you can save by raising the deductible on your auto collision insurance. Often, raising the deductible from $250 to $500 can save you 10% to 30%. Increase it from $500 to $1,000 and save even more. If you have a good driving record, you could come out ahead. Potential Money Savings: $50-225/year.
* Make sure you notify your insurance company of all the safety features that qualify you for discounts on auto or homeowner’s insurance, such as automatic seat belts or air bags in your car, smoke detectors in your home, etc. Non-smokers or non-drinkers can often get additional discounts and it requires little more than letting your insurer know. Potential Money Savings: $50/year.
* If you drive an older car, consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage (but don’t drop liability coverage). Collision coverage is required if you have a car loan, but for older cars that you own free and clear, weigh the car’s book value (what the insurance company would pay you if the car was totaled) against your collision premiums. If your car is over five years old or is worth less than just a couple thousand, keeping collision and comprehensive coverage may not be worth what you’re paying in insurance premiums. Potential Money Savings: $100-300/year.
* Before buying a new car, ask your insurance agent whether the model you are considering will require a surcharge due to higher theft, damage or repair costs. Certain vehicle makes and models do carry higher premium.  Potential Money Savings: $50-200/year.
* Shop around for insurance. If you’re getting good service from your company and are happy with the rates, you may want to stay with them, especially if you have had accidents or tickets. But if your record is good, shop around to see how much you can save, then decide if the savings are worth the switch. Potential Money Savings: $50-200/year.
* Consider combining your auto and homeowner’s insurance under one policy. Many insurers give a 5-10% discount for having multiple policies. Potential Money Savings: $50-200/year.
* If you have a high school or college student under 25-years old in your household, ask about the good student discount for auto insurance. If your student qualifies, you could save up to 25%. Potential Money Savings: $100/year or more.
* This is common sense, but avoid tickets for speeding or moving violations. Many insurance companies give a discount of up to 20% if you have not had an accident or ticket for three years or more. Potential Money Savings: $100/year or more.

Save Money While Driving

* Car pool to work if you can. By sharing the drive with just one other person, you could save an average of $20/month or $200/year in gasoline alone, if your commute is 20 miles round-trip each day. Sharing the driving with two others increases your savings even more. Savings vary depending on the length of your commute and the current price of gas. In addition to savings on gasoline, you’ll save maintenance costs and wear and tear on your car. Potential Money Savings: $400-700/year.
* Another benefit to car pooling is that it reduces the annual mileage on your car. Since this reduces the risk of accident, your insurance company may charge you less for your coverage. Potential Money Savings: $25-50/year.
* Wasteful driving habits can double your fuel consumption. Develop gas-saving habits, such as: (1) always accelerate gently (2) watch traffic ahead of you so you can anticipate slow-downs and avoid stops (3)coast up to traffic jams by lifting your foot off the gas pedal instead of approaching at full speed and slamming on the brakes. It takes 20% more gas to accelerate to normal speed from a full stop than it does from four or five miles per hour (4) don’t drive too fast or too slow. It takes 20% to 30% more gas to drive at 70 mph than 50 mph (5) maintain a steady speed on the highway by using the cruise control. Avoid getting stuck behind slow cars where you have to slow down to their pace and then speed up to pass. Potential Money Savings: $200/year or more.
* Don’t warm your car up by letting it idle for lengthy periods of time. Modern car engines are running efficiently just seconds after ignition so a long warm-up time is not necessary. And idling wastes about a quart of gas every 15 minutes. Potential Money Savings: $20/year.

Hopefully you’ll be able to use some of these tips to keep your car expenses to a minimum. Saving $20 here and $50 there really does add up. There are probably other tips out there, so what have you found works best for you when it comes to saving money?
Signs That You Could be in Financial Trouble
1: Little or No Savings

In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.

It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that not having adequate or any savings at all is a sign of financial trouble. The reason this is the first sign on the list is that bad things happen to good people, and more often than not these are unexpected events. Without a safety net of some sort of savings or emergency fund you are setting yourself up for getting into even further financial trouble.

Things happen all the time and it is part of life. Whether it is a loss of income, a natural disaster, accident, unexpected sickness or even an unexpected child there are many possibilities out there that could impact you. We hear stories in the media all the time about people suffering from one thing or another and it is easy to conclude that it won’t happen to you. This is a big mistake.

Clearly if you have absolutely no savings at all it is a sure sign that you could face significant financial troubles in the event of something unexpected. But what if you currently do have some savings, is it enough? There are many different schools of thought on this; some say three months of expenses while others say six. Clearly the more savings you have the better but this is not an easy thing to achieve and generally doesn’t happen right away.

Getting Started

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of saving money is actually taking that first step. If you don’t have any or much savings it is probably because money is tight, so the thought of putting money aside when there are other bills to pay may be quite stressful. If you don’t have one already you need to open a savings account. This could be through your local bank or credit union or through one of the online savings options such as ING Direct. The most important feature of this account should be that it allows you to make systematic and automatic contributions.

Next, you need to determine the frequency and amount of money to save. If it isn’t an automatic process you will probably end up unable to keep your commitment to save. For starters you should determine how frequently you want money to be deposited into your savings account. The more frequent the deposit the less you will feel it. If you are paid weekly, great. Either set your direct deposit with your employer to deposit part of your paycheck into the savings each week. If you don’t have direct deposit or don’t want to hassle changing it you can do the same thing with automatic transfers from your checking account. Each payday simply schedule an automatic transfer into your savings. If you are paid bi-weekly you can follow the same steps. Coordinating deposits with pay will lessen the impact of that money leaving your account.

One of the difficult things to consider when establishing a savings plan is determining how much to save. When you look at the dollar amount required to cover a few months worth of expenses can be very discouraging. The key is to try not to look at the ultimate dollar amount and instead look at it on a monthly basis. Generating savings will take time so if you can look at it on shorter terms it will seem like an obtainable goal.

Start Small

When things are tight it is hard to let go of any money. If this is the case you just need to start small. In an example let’s say you are paid bi-weekly. Would $10 coming out of your paycheck really be noticed? Probably not. This comes to only $20 per month, which you are probably saying is almost nothing. That is true, it isn’t much money and at that rate it would take years to save up enough money to fund your savings. That isn’t the point. The point here is to establish something, even if it is small. This establishes a good habit which is what you need in order to be successful in creating savings.

Once you have established a regular and automatic deposit into your savings you will generally not even notice that money coming out after a few deposits. You begin to forget and just adjust your spending to work within the new net income. This is the point in which you need to make changes. If you get used to $10 or $20 coming out per paycheck, bump it up after a month or two by another $10 or $20. Let that new amount come out for a few paychecks or months and then add a few more dollars to this amount. This gradual process will reduce the shock and allow you to slowly build up your savings.

Remember, this doesn’t happen overnight and don’t expect it to. Most people get discouraged simply because it seems impossible to save a sizable amount of money in a short amount of time. So start slowly and with modest amounts, then adjust those amounts in small increments over time. Before you know it you will be saving enough money to adaquately build your savings in a reasonable amount of time. The real key is to get into the habit of saving money regularly. Time will take care of the rest.
2: Lack of a Budget

In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.

You may be setting yourself up for trouble if you don’t have a budget, or if you do, don’t refer to it on a regular basis. Two of the most important actions you can take to stay out of financial trouble both involve budgeting.

First, you simply need to create a budget. And by budget I don’t mean using some generalized ballpark numbers, you need to really get into detail for the budget to be effective. This budget needs to take into account all sources of revenue and all expenses in the household.

The second action is to establish a lifestyle that fits within your income and your budget. Unfortunately this may mean cutting back on spending or changing your lifestyle a bit to make it work, but these changes are necessary. Along with living a lifestyle that works within your constraints you need to review your budget regularly. Life is rarely static and your budget will change. Your income may change, tax rates may change, interest rates change and emergencies arise. These events need to be factored in on a regular basis in your budget.

A Blueprint for Success

Think of your budget as the blueprint of your personal finances. If a builder needs a good blueprint to build a house who says you don’t need a blueprint to build wealth? Sure, you can build a house without any formal plans because homes use certain materials and basic design principles. But will this house be structurally sound? Will it meet code? Will there be some design conflicts along the way? You bet.

The same goes for your finances. You can go through life without a financial plan and make out fairly well, but will you encounter trouble along the way? Like building a house our finances have some basic building blocks and principles that are used: income, expenses, taxes, savings, investing, etc. Even though we are aware of what it takes to create wealth and live financially sound, without a detailed blueprint it makes that job a bit more difficult.

Getting Started With a Budget

Nobody likes the idea of sitting down and digging into the details of their finances to create a budget. This initial step is often the hardest to complete. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be a long and unpleasant experience. In the past I have discussed getting started with a budget and there is even a very easy to use downloadable worksheet you can use to get started today.

Finally, a budget is only as good as the data you use — garbage in, garbage out. Be honest with yourself and be as accurate with the numbers as you can. You won’t be doing yourself any favors by guessing or fudging numbers because they look better on paper.
3: Lack of Sufficient Health Insurance

In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.

Insurance is an aspect of our finances that are not very exciting but extremely important. One of the most devastating events that can happen to an individual or family is when someone suffers a severe and unexpected medical problem. What do you do when you are faced with a $500,000 medical bill from the hospital?

If you have health coverage either through your employer or with an individual plan you will probably simply look over the bill to check for accuracy and then pass it on to your insurance carrier. If you don’t have any or insufficient coverage you will look at the bill in shock. You will then come to a realization that this bill is unpayable. Where will this money come from? This situation is all too real and it is something you hope to never have to experience.

Why is Health Insurance Important?

The need for fairly significant health insurance for the typical healthy adult doesn’t come up all that often. How long has it been since you had an operation or overnight stay in a hospital? A few months ago? A few years ago? Never? Like most types of insurance you hate dishing out that premium every month when it feels like you never need the insurance. This is the kind of thinking that gets many people into trouble.

While it is true that you can go decades without ever needing more than a checkup with your family doctor, it is the unexpected accident or illness that can bankrupt even those with solid finances. Even a fairly minor medical ordeal can cost thousands of dollars. For example, a normal uncomplicated pregnancy will easily cost over $5,000. If this money has to come out of your pocket it will deplete your savings in the blink of an eye. If the bills are more severe you could be left to emptying your retirement accounts or selling off assets to pay the bills. And if that isn’t enough you could be faced with garnished wages, losing your home or even bankruptcy.

What Can I Do to Make Sure This Doesn’t Happen to Me?

As you are probably aware, health care is not cheap. Luckily most employers provide group plans that you can participate in, but even this may not be all that affordable. If you are employed and your employer does provide health benefits it is important you take a look at your options. If you have a spouse and they also are eligible to participate in their employer’s plan be sure to understand both plans very well. Determine what coverage is offered and how much it costs. Regardless, an employer group health plan will almost always be the cheapest way to obtain full health coverage.

What happens if you are self-employed or your employer does not offer a group plan? Unfortunately in situations like this it is up to you to foot the full premium. One of the most highly-acclaimed resources for checking into health insurance and comparing quotes is eHealthInsurance.com. This site is recommended by Money Magazine, Kiplinger, and even though I hate to say it, Suze Orman. While you will still probably be shocked to see what some of these policies cost it makes finding the best coverage that much more important.

Don’t Underestimate Your Employer’s Benefits

People are quick to change jobs in search of a little bit higher pay and most pay very little attention to the other benefits that are provided. When looking for a job or evaluating whether or not to leave your current job take extra care in examining your “total compensation package.” There is more to compensation than your salary. Consider what types of insurance is provided and what the premiums are. It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to jump to another job for an extra $5,000 a year if they didn’t offer health insurance or premiums for the same amount of coverage was double what you are currently paying.

It is easy to put a value on what your salary is, how much paid time off you receive and even retirement plan options. But quantifying the value of insurance is not as easy. Unfortunately we don’t completely understand the value of insurance until we need it, and by then it is too late to make changes. Be proactive and establish coverage before you need it.
4: An Unhealthy Attitude About Money

In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.

Something as simple as your attitude about money can have a significant impact on the financial decisions you make. So what does it mean to have a healthy attitude about money? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

* Are you a buy now and pay later kind of person or do you save now and pay in full later?
* Are you willing to wait or do you demand immediate gratification?
* Is your shopping out of control?
* Do you have trouble saying no to yourself, kids, spouse or others?
* Do you waste money on gambling?
* Do you spend too much on tobacco or alcohol?
* What is more important to you: buying something or watching your money grow?

It is possible to do almost everything right in regards to finances yet have it all undermined by some unhealthy money traits. The questions above are just a starting point when looking at how you treat money. Maybe many of these apply to you or maybe just one applies. Either way, certain traits can have an impact on your financial success.

Whether you find yourself spending money when you aren’t feel good about yourself or you simply have a hard time saying no to your kids these actions can put your long-term goals in jeopardy. It may not seem like much money at the time but that isn’t the important part. It is that these can become habits. What may be small things now can evolve into a habit or attitude that can spiral out of control later in life.

Addressing Unhealthy Traits

This doesn’t mean you can’t buy things for pleasure and enjoy life, but what you need to recognize is when you are carelessly spending money for an underlying reason. For example if you go to the mall and shop when you are feeling depressed, that is an unhealthy trait. Not only are you spending money based on emotions but you are reinforcing this behavior subconsciously. You begin to attribute a sense of feeling good when you are down by spending money. This is a bad long-term habit to get into.

It is important to be honest with yourself and your habits. Many of these traits we aren’t even fully aware of. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself with these unhealthy traits. They don’t make you a bad person, they just make it more difficult to reach your financial goals. Like any habit they can be difficult to break so start slowly.
5: Depending on Parents, Friends or Others to Help You Out

In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.

To be financially independent you have to pay your bills. If you continue to depend on others to help you out when you are running low on cash, you are not independent. While emergencies to arise and you may need to borrow money from others on rare occasions, if this is happening regularly to help you pay the rent, make a car payment or even buy groceries, then you are already in trouble.

As with the other signs you have to be honest with yourself. Do you pay your own way or do you rely on others to make up the difference? When thinking about this it is important to consider that “others” don’t have to be people. This can also mean credit cards or loans. Do you find yourself running short of cash at the end of the month and need to put some bills on a credit card? It doesn’t matter if you borrow the money from family or borrow it from a creditor, if you don’t have the money available you are facing trouble.

Make Changes in Your Life

If you find yourself seeking help from outside sources just to pay your essential bills you need to take a hard look at why this is. Is it because of a lack of income or loss of income or is it simply a case where you spend more than you earn? Finding the underlying cause will be critical in rectifying the situation.

If lack of income is the cause you need to try and find additional income as soon as possible. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. It could mean getting a second job or having a non-working spouse begin to work. While it may not be the most fun way to get back on track it is key to becoming financially responsible. To accelerate this process even more, find additional income while at the same time cutting expenses. Not only will you have more money to pay the bills, but having fewer bills will allow you to reduce that debt or build a savings even faster.

If you already have a decent income but find money tight because of expenses simply finding more income won’t solve your problem. This is a case of spending as much or more than you make. It could be you are simply repaying old debt, it could be living in more house than you can afford. Whatever the case may be there are probably unhealthy attitudes about money that has led to this point. Here you need to really focus on creating a budget and learning to manage your spending habits appropriately.

Financial independence leads to wealth and it is up to you to make the right decisions with your money. Relying on others, whether friends and family or on credit will impede your progress towards becoming financially independent over the long-term. Borrowing can be a short-term solution and is sometimes unavoidable, but using it as a crutch to get through life will hold you back from reaching your goals.
6: Lack of Adequately Funding a Retirement Account

In this series I am covering the 24 tell-tale signs that you could be in financial trouble. Over the next few weeks I will be presenting these signs, how to identify them and tips on how to address the issue.

This one may go without saying but it certainly still needs to be mentioned. If you fail to adequately fund a retirement account you may find yourself living a retirement lifestyle not much better than living in poverty. There are simply far too many uncertainties out there to rely on outside sources of retirement income to simply ignore saving money yourself.

Unfortunately it isn’t always easy to save money, especially when you are younger. Throughout your 20s and 30s you may be working primarily to pay off student loans, buy a home or start a family. Generally retirement seems so far off that the last thing you want to do is put money aside for it. Still, if you don’t start saving and investing in a tax-qualified retirement plan as soon as possible you are missing out on one of the greatest opportunities available to you.

Saving for Retirement Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Saving for retirement doesn’t mean you have to feel like you are denying yourself other things. For many people, employers make saving for retirement as easy as signing up and having money come directly out of their pay check. On top of that, many employers offer matching programs where you can essentially earn free money simply by participating. Saving for retirement doesn’t get any easier than that.

If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement savings plan or their plan has poor investment options or high fees you still have easy options available. You can typically open an IRA account, either Traditional or Roth and begin saving for retirement in those accounts. Unfortunately you may not be able to have money automatically deducted from your pay check nor receive a company match, you can set up small automatic deposits into these accounts just as easily.

Retirement is Your Responsibility

When it comes to retirement you are solely responsible for how you want it to be. You are foolish to think that the government or your company’s defined benefit plan will be there to support you. While there certainly may be some help from outside sources it is up to you to take control of your retirement finances. Will Social Security be there for you? Will your pension, if you are lucky enough to have one, be enough?

It is doubtful you will be able to live a lifestyle you desire with just Social Security and a pension, provided you receive both of these. Recent studies show that current retiree households find that Social Security and a pension combined make up only 50-54% of their needed income. This means you still need to find a source for the other half of your income in retirement. Some do this by still working, others start a business, and some utilize their retirement savings to generate this income. The real problem is that we don’t know what our health will be in retirement. Will you be healthy enough to work? Will your health require additional health care costs that increase your income requirements?

With so many unknowns about the future it is foolish to assume anything. Sure, maybe you are 30 years old right now and you don’t think you need to save for retirement because after 60 you’re going to continue to work part-time or start your own business. That sounds fine on paper but you have no way of knowing what will happen tomorrow let alone 30 years from now.

Don�t Delay

Regardless of your age it is never too early to start saving for retirement. If you don’t think you have money to spare it is just fine to start small. Even if it is only $20 a month it is far better than nothing at all. Time can be either your greatest asset or your worst enemy. Compounding interest works on any amount of money whether it is $100 or $100,000.

If you start early even a small amount will grow significantly over time. But once time has passed, you can never get that time back. Every week, month or year that passes is gone forever and you cannot get it back. The only thing you can do is to save even more money to try and make up for the time you lost. What will hurt more, saving $20 a month now or $200 a month ten years from now?
10 PROVEN WAYS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

We live in a society that talks negative and looks down on people that dream. You’ve heard the sayings, “Stop Day Dreaming”, “Only In Your Dreams”, Wake Up Your Dreaming”. The fact of the matter is, before you are able to reach your destiny, calling and fulfillment in life, you first receive it in a vision and/or dream, so that when it shows up again in your life you are able to recognize it.

Side Note: The Mind Functions In Two Parts To Replay The Past And Pre Play The Future. So when you dream about something that you want to accomplish your mind will pre-play your future accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

Before anyone reaches their full potential and destiny in life, they first dream about what they can become, in this article I will reveal to you 10 proven ways to make your dreams come true and reach your ‘calling in life’. But before I do let me say, “You will never be fully fulfilled and happy in your life until you find your purpose and your purpose is also shown in a vision and/or dream.

This article is designed to help you not only find your purpose in life but, lead you into the right direction to your success.

10 proven ways to achieve your dreams in your life…

1. Your Dream Should Never Be Barrowed…
How many times have you gotten excited and passionate about someone else’s pursued to their goals. You ended up helping them reach their goals in life only to not be excited about what you have done in your life. We are all sometimes victims of this. What we need to continue to do is ask ourselves consciously and sub-consciously, am I happy and when this is done will this make me happy. You can only be happy accomplishing your own dreams not someone else’s.

2. Your Dream May Need Encouragement From Other People At First…
Athletes understand this more than anyone else. Your dream will always require a mentor not a friend; but a mentor. A friend is comfortable where you are currently in your life; a mentor recognizes what you can become in your life. A mentor will reveal to you all of your obstacles before they even come to you.

3. Your Dream Does Not Require The Approval Of Everyone You Love.
Believe it or not family and friends can sometimes hurt you in pursuit of your destiny. In short some will envy you, some will say negative things about you, and some will be so self absorbed in their own lives. The best thing to do is to be wise in sharing your dreams and visions for your life.

4. Your Dream Can Start With Whatever Is On Your Heart Today.
We sometimes talk ourselves out of what we want to do, before we attempt to do it. Every accomplishment small or big starts small. If you have a dream all you need to nurture it is desire. God will tell you what to do; it’s your job to do it.

5. You Already Posses What It Takes To Launch Your Dream- DESIRE.
If you feed your dream with passion, it will become strong with desire. Fuel it with desire it will become an obsession. Your obsession will become a magnet that pulls others towards you to help you accomplish your dreams.

6. You Must Have An Obsession To Reach Your Dream.
When you are obsessed with your dream, it will determine what you do first every day. You will only be as successful as your daily habits.

7. Your Dream Requires Your Immediate Attention.
You must move on your dream now. Remember movement is the evidence of life.

8. You Must Build Your Daily Agenda Of Goals Around Your Dream.
Set small daily goals pushing you closer to your dreams. Write down your goals for your dream because without a goal you have a wish. Goals will able you to measure your accomplishments.

9. You Must Nurture Those Relationships Connected To Your Dreams.
Always mention your dream in every conversation. And find a way to encourage people in your life to give you gifts and encouragement connected to your dream.

10. Your Dream Deserves Your Total Focus.
The only reason we fail in anything is because lack of focus. Focus un-clutters you from un-necessary people, places, and things in your life. It’s like kryptonite to every person that will hinder you from reaching your destiny.

The Magic Motivator Jamahl Keyes has been speaking all over the world for over fifteen years. He is a popular speaker on goal setting, problem solving, and student issues. His popular newsletters The Monthly Motivator, Dollars & Sense, and Faith Family & Finance reach thousands of people throughout U.S. and Canada.

The Magic Motivator Jamahl Keyes is also the host of the hit Radio show Faith Family and Finance a radio show that gives Practical and simple solutions for the complex problems of today.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamahl_Keyes
HOW TO SUCCESS IN ONLINE BUSINESS

For anybody to have success online as a business entrepreneur you must possess a certain self awareness along with the right mental attitude! Being successful online in most cases will involve you either taking the right actions or making the right decisions or both. With this being said it is important that you make an accurate self assessment of your skill sets so that you can best use them to your advantage.

Here are 5 areas concerning your mental attitude and self awareness you will need to get ‘right’ before you begin your journey as an online business entrepreneur!

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

By identifying your strengths and weaknesses you can avoid needless ‘pitfalls’ by emphasizing what it is you do best! Channeling your efforts in this way will help you be more productive while avoiding frustrations. This self awareness will allow you to make provisions for areas that you may not be proficient in by scheduling more time or even outsourcing the task.

Remember: Only You Can Make It Happen

Whether you are actually responsible for carrying out the tasks or for making the decisions it is up to you to see that it gets done. As a business entrepreneur, in most cases, you will not have a large staff if any at all to turn to for assistance. In these cases, truly the ‘buck’ stops with you!

Organize

Being understaffed as discussed above it is therefore all the more important to get organized to help enable you to be more productive. You will need to reduce the clutter in your mind as well as your physical environment to help increase your focus on your entrepreneurial endeavors. Remember your personal productivity will be directly linked to how successful online you are with your business.

Remember: You Only Fail When You Quit!

Preparing your mind is just as important as preparing your environment when striving for success as a business entrepreneur. You need to develop the right mental attitude and find the proper motivation to help you manage the ups and downs you will no doubt experience. This is a journey that can only be successfully completed with your effort and focus therefore be mindful to not give up when frustrated. You only fail when you decide to quit!

Leave Your Emotions at the Door!

This is a business and there is little room for emotions concerning decision making or reacting to conditions good or bad! Emotionally reacting will normally set the stage for nothing good and therefore should be avoided at all costs!

To expect to achieve success online you will need to make an honest and accurate assessment of your own skill sets as well as developing the right mental attitude. Being successful online as a business entrepreneur will require focus and the ability to make the right decisions or take the right actions when needed or required. In preparation for your entrepreneurial journey attention must be given to the 5 areas as discussed above. The role of each is critical to your eventual successes and should therefore not be overlooked or dismissed as insignificant. By increasing your self awareness in these 5 areas and addressing any issues or deficiencies you can turn weaknesses into strengths and failures into success!

TJ Philpott is an author and Internet entrepreneur based out of North Carolina. For more tips about what ‘exactly’ it takes to achieve business success online and to also receive a free instructional manual that teaches valuable niche research techniques visit: http://affiliatequickstart.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=TJ_Philpott
3 Tips For People Who Want To Live A Successful Life

Do you want to be successful? If you do, this will be one of the most important articles that you will have to read through. What you are going to discover in this article is the 3 success tips that never fail. A lot of people want to live a successful life, but most of them fail to achieve it. And this article is going to help you.

What you will have to do right now is to stay focused and read through this article, learn the 3 tips and use them into your life. So are you ready for the 3 success tips that never fail? Here they are…

1. The first tip is that if you want to be successful, you must have a clear vision of what success means to you. Do not just say that you want to be rich and successful, define it clearly how much you want to earn, by when and create a plan of how you are going to do it. The clearer you are with your goals, the easier it is for you to accomplish them. A lot of people are not clear with what they want in the future, which is why they are living in mediocrity. Do not let this happen to you. Take your time to think about what you really want in your life right now.

2. The second tip is that you have to work your way to achieve what you want. This is not like making a wish. Success is more to goal setting and taking the necessary and solid action to achieve what you truly want in your life. Many people will tell you that they want to be rich and successful, but they are not doing what is necessary to make them rich. Do not just say that you want to start a business, but end up watching television the whole night. Do something to make your dreams and your goals a reality.

3. Finally, the third tip that you need is motivation. If you do not have the motivation, you will never have the drive to take the action. And the best way to motivate yourself is by doing something that you are passionate about. Therefore, make sure you are passionate with your dreams and your goals. When you are passionate with what you do, you will be willing to do more of it and you are willing to do it even if it is late at night. This is the key that is responsible for the success of all the extraordinary people out there.

Shawn has been writing articles online for more than 5 years now. Not only does this author specialize in personal development and internet marketing, you can also check out his latest website on Large Wall Clocks which also includes the best deal for Contemporary Wall Clocks.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Shawn_Lim
How to Make Your Dream a Reality – Starting Today

What is your dream for the life you want to live? Is your dream to have a career that you love where you can experience real passion and a sense of purpose while earning as much money as you could ever need? Or is it to start your own business, have the freedom to control your own time, do what you love and experience financial freedom?

Whatever your dream is, you can start today to bring that dream into reality and in this article I’ll let you know just how you can do this.

The Two Things You Need To Do

To start bringing your dream into reality you need to do two simple things. If you do the first correctly and the second consistently, then you will see your life start to change. The first thing you need to do is to create a vision of the life that you want to live, and the second is to remind yourself of it every day. That’s it! However, HOW you carry out these steps is very important and can make the difference between success and failure, so in the rest of this article I will explain how.

Step One – Create Your Vision

To create your vision, write a page or so (on paper or using your computer) describing your vision of the life of your dreams – the life that you would love to live. How do you do this? Imagine that you are now living in the future at a time when you are already living the life of your dreams and you are writing a letter to a close friend who you have not been in contact with since you started on this journey. This is a friend who you trust completely and so you will be completely honest and you won’t be holding back in any way. In this letter you are describing to them what your life is like today, and how amazing you feel to be living the life of your dreams.

Here are some important points to consider as you write your letter:

Use the Present Tense

As you are stepping into the future and imagining that you are living your dream life right now, the letter will be written in the present tense.

Use Emotion

You want to do your best to convey how amazingly happy you are about the life you are living, so use as many powerful emotional words as you can. Don’t hold back! The more emotional you can make your letter, the better.

Be Grateful

Make sure to include how grateful and thankful you feel that you are now living the life of your dreams – gratitude is an incredibly powerful force for bringing what you want into reality.

Be Specific

Include as many specifics in your letter as possible. What are the details of your dream life? What do you do on a typical day? How do you feel about what you are doing? Give some examples of amazing things that have happened recently. Include details for all the areas of your life that are relevant – of course if the main changes you want to make are in your career, then focus on that, but don’t leave out your relationships, finances or anything else that is important to you as life is a sum of all of these important parts.

You might ask – “how can I put in specific details if I don’t know what the details are right now?” That’s a completely normal question, and the answer is: make them up! Just guess and write something that you would like to happen. You can always change the details later, but by including details you are forcing your creative mind to think of what it is that you really want for your life.

How Do I Know If I’ve Done It Right?

So how do you know if you’ve written it correctly? Use your emotions as a guide. If you don’t feel amazing as you are reading your letter and imagining that your are living your dream right now, then something is wrong. Either you don’t really want what you have written about, or you are really focusing on the fact that you don’t yet have all of those things and you don’t know how you can get them.

The most important result of writing this letter is that you feel amazing when you read through it and imagine that right now you are living the life you describe in your letter.

An Example

I’ll give you a quick example of how a letter like this can start, so that you can get a better idea of what it should look like.

“Dear Jane,

“I am so happy to be writing to you today with amazing news of what’s going on in my life at the moment.

“The last time I spoke to you I told you about my vision for what I really want from my career, and now I’m so grateful to be able to tell you that I am now living my dream!

“I wake up every morning inspired to jump out of bed and start the day. I love starting my day by running outside by the river and then having a nutritious smoothie for breakfast. I now have a career that I love where I get to…”

Step Two – Remind Yourself Every Day

Once you have written a vision that you get passionate and excited about every time you read it, first of all congratulate yourself! Creating a clear and exciting vision of your ideal life is a fantastic first step to bringing your vision into reality. However, having that vision sit in a drawer or in an unopened file on your computer is not going to help anyone create the live of their dreams.

It’s essential that you establish a habit of reminding yourself of your vision each and every day. It doesn’t need to take long – even 5 or 10 minutes per day is better than nothing – and I suggest you start small with a realistic target for yourself. There are many different ways of reminding you of your vision – here are a few ideas.

Visualise

This is a pretty easy way to start – simply spend 15 minutes each morning when you wake up visualising your ideal vision in your mind. You can also repeat this process each evening before going to sleep. You can try sitting up in bed when doing this if you find that you nod off during the process. Again, like when you wrote your letter, get as specific as you can and imagine yourself living your ideal life, using the contents of your letter as a guide. But don’t let that limit you. As time goes on you may adjust parts of your vision and add new parts – this exploring process is an exciting way to get clearer about what you really want and as parts of your vision start becoming a reality (and they will) then you will gain more experience about what you really want for your life. Another important point is that in your vision, you need to be looking out through your own eyes rather than looking from outside and seeing yourself in the vision – by being inside your body while you are visualising, the experience will be much more powerful.

Read

Another method for reminding yourself of your vision can be to sit for 15 minutes per day and read through your vision a few times, really feeling as if you are living your visionary reality right now. You can also spend some time writing different versions of your vision or expanding upon your vision if you like to write.

Listen

Something that I’ve found really helpful is to record yourself reading your vision, save it as an MP3 and download it onto your MP3 player to listen to every morning and evening or while exercising. If you are technically minded, you could even add a backing track of your favourite inspirational music. If this is something you’d like to try taking on, then I’d be happy to create some instructions on how to do this. The important thing here is that while recording yourself reading through your vision that you really get into it and feel as if you are living that life right now – then this will really positively affect your daily listening experience.

Establishing a daily habit like one of these can be challenging at first, and it’s inevitable that you may miss a day here and  there – but the main thing is to not beat yourself up and to just start again the next day once you realise you have let it slip. If you can keep it up every day for a month, then you will have established possibly one of the most beneficial habits possible.

How Do I Know If I’m Doing It Right?

The most important result to aim for when reminding yourself of your vision is to feel as strongly as possible the feelings that you would feel if you were living your dream right now. The purpose is to maximise the time when you are feeling amazingly good and in a state of positive expectancy that it’s only a matter of time before your vision becomes a reality.

I’m not trying to imply that this process will bring your dream into reality without actually doing any work! By getting into this positive frame of mind every day, you will find yourself naturally identifying new opportunities and the next actions that you need to take to start bringing your dream into reality and finding it easier to take consistent action. Without daily positive reinforcement of what is most important to you, it’s easy to stray off track and let old habits take over.
How Does It Work?

How it works depends on what you believe. If you believe in the law of attraction, then by focusing on what you want and feeling as if you have it right now will start to manifest it in your reality. However if you don’t believe in the law of attraction, this doesn’t mean this method will not work. Your brain is a powerful goal achievement tool, and simply by feeding it consistent positive images of what you want to show up in your life, you will start to notice new opportunities and to take the action necessary to bring your dreams into reality.

How Long Will It Take?

How long it will take for your dream to become a reality? Well, I can’t tell you that. All I can tell you is that the more consistently and persistently you can focus on your ideal vision of the life that you want to live, and really feel how you would feel if you were experiencing it right now, the faster that it will come into existence.

So start today by creating your vision and decide on what method you will use to remind yourself of it every day!

Jonathan Dudley helps young professionals who feel trapped or at a dead end in their career, to find a career that they really love, where they can experience real passion and a deep sense of purpose.

You can find out more about how Jonathan can help you find the career of your dreams at http://www.purposefulcareercoaching.com where you can get a copy of his special report “10 Ways to Take Back Control of your Workday”.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_Dudley
7 Habits for Creating and Maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude

In today’s world, we are experiencing more uncertain and troubling times than ever before. Every time you turn on the TV or get on the computer, it seems there is always more news that just weighs you down. On top of that, you have your own personal issues to deal with. This “negative storm” can cause someone to feel stuck, lost and full of anxiety. It is the fear of the unknown that builds up in our mind and takes over like a dark cloud. This dark cloud follows us and rains on us, making us negative in our personal and professional lives. As humans, we sometimes focus on the negative and stay under that negative cloud that we created. We must understand that we can walk from under this cloud at anytime, and we have the power to make our days sunny and bright.

I am sharing with you 7 habits that I have found to be the most effective when creating and maintaining positive mental attitude along with my GOYA (Get off Your Attitude) Tip to get you moving.

1. Think Positive

Thinking Positive is probably the most important of the habits that I can share with you, because you know that everything starts in the mind. Thoughts turn into feelings, which then turn into actions. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, you will ultimately find failure. If you tell yourself you can do it, you have increased your chances of accomplishing that goal. Keep your mind clear and your thoughts positive. This habit will bring great success to you in your personal and professional life.

GOYA Tip: When a negative thought comes into your mind, instantly swap it with a positive one. An example of this would be thinking about a child’s smile or someone you know. This will keep the mind clear of any negative thoughts.

2. Focus on the Future

Too many of us dwell on our past and let it block our vision of our future. We think about something disturbing that happened to us or we think about something that someone has told us that upset us, and we play it over and over like an old movie reel. We need to break this bad habit and visualize on what we want our future to be. The next time your past is haunting you, instantly think about something in your future. Write down your goals and create a vision board. This way you can always focus and see the positive things you want in life.

GOYA Tip: Make a list of all things that you want in life. Go online and find it, print a picture of each item. Pin them up on a board in your office or home where you can see them. Look at this vision board daily and visualize yourself possessing all of these items.

3. Read and Listen to Positive Information

One of the best ways to create a positive mindset is by filling it with positive information. Too many times we get our information from the wrong places. We get focused on the negative news of the world and it bleeds into our subconscious. We need to learn to be careful on what we let into our mind. To get out of the negative rut, we need to get in the habit of picking up an inspirational book, find a positive article on the web or just listen to a positive inspirational CD. These positive items will open your mind, encourage, inspire, and teach you how to create a positive mindset. (Some of my favorite inspirational authors are Zig Ziglar, Julio Melara & Brian Tracy)

GOYA Tip: Put a Positive CD in your car, home stereo or in at your office. Listen to it for the length of the car ride or 30 minutes in your home or office. Try to implement that one new positive idea that you learned into what you are doing that particular day.

4. Plan Ahead

Using time efficiently helps to maintain a positive attitude. The best way to do this is to plan your day and your week ahead of time. We need to adopt this habit so that we won’t let procrastination take over and keep us from reaching our goals. The habit of planning and focusing on your priorities and important tasks will help you accomplish more in less time. This very act will keep your life in check and help you stay on track towards your goals and let you know stay aware of your accomplishments.

GOYA Tip: Each day sit at your desk for ten minutes and map out your next day. This exercise can save two hours the next day.

5. Get Around Positive People

Stay away from negative and pessimistic people. Surround yourself with positive people, and you will be more positive! This is a simple and crucial habit in reaching a positive lifestyle. Negative people can rob you of your energy and your drive. We must learn to get around people that are like minded, have goals and the ones that have courage to go forward in life.

GOYA Tip: Think about someone that you respect and has the positive traits that you want to possess. Try to meet with that person frequently so that their positive attitude will become part of you.

6. Be Grateful

Take some time everyday to be grateful and thankful for everything that you have in your life right now. It is easy for us to focus on what we don’t have or things we didn’t accomplish. Find these great things and recognize them. The very thought of what you are grateful for will help you maintain a positive attitude in your life. This habit is one of the best ways to turn negative thinking into positive thinking instantly.

GOYA Tip: Write down the top 10 things you are grateful for and read them over at least 10 times daily!

7. Exercise More

The habit of daily exercise will help you improve your mood, along with helping to against stress and depression. This healthy habit will keep you living longer and living a healthier lifestyle. Remember exercising will also make you feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, it breeds confidence which will help you in your personal and professional life.

GOYA Tip: Go for a 30 minute brisk walk on a treadmill or around the neighborhood. This is a great exercise to create positive thinking.

If you follow and implement these 7 life changing habits daily, they will bring you the success and happiness you desire. These habits will take you from underneath that dark cloud of negativity and bring you out into the sunshine of a positive lifestyle. Use these 7 habits and tips to improve your attitude and see the positive things like peace and happiness that will come into your life.

“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others” Ryan C. Lowe

We would love to hear from you! Go to http://www.GetOffYourAttitude.com for more information and to share how you got off your attitude! Look for us on face book and become a fan of Get off Your Attitude.

Ryan C. Lowe

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ryan_C_Lowe
10 Tips on How to Think More Creatively

Are you suffering from a lack of creativity or ideas for your business or just in general? I was always very creative, so for me it was never a problem coming up with ideas. However, I still study as much as I can about how to be more creative, and milk my imagination as well as my surroundings for ideas and creativity. It’s amazing how we miss all the inspiration that is all around us, from the weather patterns, to our fellow human beings and their lives, if we would just spend more time immersed in the variety of life, we would be touched by many inspirational moments.

The tips I am sharing with you in this article are a number of tips I’ve picked up over the last couple of years, where I have really made an effort to grow. They are all very simple yet effective techniques.

1. Find out what it is you do best and do more of it, as often as you can. Your mind is at its most creative when you are doing something that you love and are naturally good at.

2. Carry a small notepad or notebook around with you to capture your ideas. Don’t let those ideas escape.

3. Try to spend time with a mixture of different people from different backgrounds and in different careers.

4. Ask more questions. Whatever you ask yourself, you will get an answer, so choose the right questions.

Ask questions like, “How can I improve this?” or “What more could I do to make this better?”

5. When others talk, listen and absorb whatever information they give you, no matter how trivial. It all comes in handy at some point or other.

6. Believe in yourself and your ability to get things done and you’ll find that the ways and means come to you as if by magic.

7. Find ways to do things better.

8. Welcome any fresh ideas; be receptive to them when they come whether from your mind or someone else’s.

9. Train your memory and develop a better system of remembering information instead of struggling to recall important information.

10. Write your ideas down somewhere because this gives them more power and further cements them in your mind so that they are easier to recall and concentrate on.

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_J._O’Neill

THE SUCCESS STORY OF THE FOUNDER OF KFC

Do you like to eat KFC? The taste of the chicken in KFC is really very delicious. However, do you know who invented this kind of chicken? Maybe most of you don’t know about that. Actually, it is captain Sounders who invented KFC. He is the founder of it. Have you ever heard about the story of captain Sounders? Are you curious about his foundation of KFC? If so, this article will definitely appeal to you.

Captain Sounders began his career when he was already 65 years old. Unbelievable, right? So what is the motivation for this kind of action? In fact, he was very poor at that time and was fairly lonely. He only got 105 dollars as his first cheque of relief fund. He felt very upset about it and asked himself that was there anything he could do to make contributions to the society.

Suddenly, an idea came to his brain. He had a secret recipe about fried chicken which everyone would like. If he could not only sell this secret recipe but also told people how to fry chicken well so that the business of restaurants could increase, he could make a lot of money.

It is common for people to have good ideas, however, what really matters is the instant action of the idea. Captain Sounders visited various restaurants to told the shop-keepers something about his opinions. Unfortunately, no one adopted his perspectives in the beginning. If captain Sounders gave up at that time, he wouldn’t make such success.

He was upset when he confronted the failure. However, he never gave up and went on trying again and again. There is a rule called personal power which means keep on doing something consistently and you will succeed at last. Captain Sounders put this rule into practice and tried for over a thousand times. His idea was accepted in the end.

You see, it is captain Sounder’s spirit of consistence that made him succeed. Think about yourself now. Do you have similar experience like captain Sounders? Will you give up what you are doing when you meet difficulties for a couple of times, not to mention a thousand times? Do you have a strong heart to bear and tolerate other’s ridicules or despises?

No one can succeed easily, you have to pay for it. People who have wealth and success always making up their mind to do what they want to do and keep on doing it. They won’t give up unless they realized their dreams and achieved their goals.

Captain Sounders keeps reminding himself to pay attention to what he wants, especially the methods of coping with problems. He considered that difficult matters would terrify him for a while, but not the whole lifetime. He is usually very optimistic and never let pessimistic moods affect his life. He believes that his fate won’t be so bad, it is just a matter of time.

Making an effort to try to do what you want to do consistently. Making use of your persistence and flexibility to pursue your purposes. You will finally get what you want if you never give up. There is a proverb said that many a little make a mickle.

Don’t overlook any small progresses for the reason that those small achievements can pave the way for your wealth and success.

Don’t be afraid of failure since diligence is the mother of success. You won’t succeed if you haven’t confronted any difficulties before.

The Top 10 Secrets From Anthony Robbins

For more than 25 years US-based motivational speaker and success coach Anthony Robbins has been passionately pursuing the answers to questions such as ‘What shapes human behaviour? And how can we create lasting change
within oursleves and others?’.

He has spoken in front of more than 3 million people around the world and sold around 35 million books and audio coaching products.

After attending his 4-day ‘Unleash The Power Within’ seminar recently in Kuala Lumpur I learnt many strategies to perform at your best.

I even took part in his famous barefoot walk over hot coals. This powerful physical metaphor shows how anyone can overcome their deepest and greatest fears with focus, passion and desire.

Part rock concert, part learning experience, part aerobic workout, the seminar was attended by more than 4,000 people in a giant indoor sporting stadium that was built for the Commonwealth Games.

Standing 6′7″, weighing 265 lbs and with a shoe size of 16, Robbins was impressive on stage as he harnessed the energy of the crowd.

In fact, security guards have to line the stage as he is regularly swamped by over eager fans.

At 43 years old, he has been enourmously successful and worked with people like President Clinton and Melson Mendela.

What was it like?

Hot, humid, high energy and simple take home messages packaged with a high-tech light, sound and video show.

I was impressed, motivated and got some great ideas from it.

Here is my gift to you. The Top 10 Secrets of Success I learnt from spending 4 days with Tony Robbins.

1. YOUR POTENTIAL IS DETERMINED (OR LIMITED) BY YOUR SELF-BELIEF.

As the promotional material says the event was ‘about creating breakthroughs, moving beyond fears and limiting beliefs, accomplishing goals and realizing true desires, turning dreams into reality, creating fulfilling relationships, and modeling the strategies of peak performers to produce a quantum difference in your life.’

If you cut out the hype, the simple message is if you believe in yourself enough you can achieve anything.

A memorable one-liner was “the only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself”.

2. MOST PEOPLE HAVE SELF-DOUBT AROUND UNIVERSAL THEMES.

Ask anyone and most people will admit they lack confidence in some areas of their life. The interesting thing I learnt from this seminar is that this self-doubt is around universal themes. These themes cross age, gender, religous, cultural and language barriers.

Common doubts include ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I am lazy’ and ‘No-one loves me’.

3. YOU CAN LEARN MECHANISMS TO ELIMINATE SELF-DOUBT.

Robbins calls it ‘immersion’ where you break old patterns and build new ones by repetition. He uses a lot of Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques to achieve this with his audiences.

He says “progress is not automatic”.

A memorable moment in the seminar was when we had to visualize ourselves inside a bubble and inside that bubble was a series of videotapes neatly arranged in a time-line that represented all our memories in our lives so far. We had to pull out the negative videotapes and destroy them. This was followed by time spent visualising the future and how your life will look 10 and 20 years from now.

4. BELIEF IMPACTS ON MANY LEVELS.

The Robbins message was that 3 things shape our self-belief. He calls them the Triad. These are our patterns of physiology, focus and language or meaning.

He highlighted this with the quote: “where focus goes energy flows”.

5. OUR VALUES AND BELIEFS SHAPE OUR ACTIONS.

Robbins believes you can “vanquish whatever is holding you back from taking action”.

Walking barefoot across a bed of glowing coals is the physical metaphor he uses in his seminars to prove this point to the skeptics.

Eliminate negative self-belief and take massive action are his keys to success.

6. TO CREATE POSITIVE OUTCOMES YOU MUST TAKE MASSIVE ACTION.

“Where focus goes energy flows” is a quote used by Robbins in his presentation to highlight why you need to know your outcome and why achieving this is a must.

But many people fail to take the next step. They delay, put off and find many reasons or excuses not to act.

Robbins believes “progress is not automatic” and “action is power”. Take action, even if it is the wrong action. He says it is “never a failure if you learn something”.

7. MATCHING & MIRRORING CREATES CONNECTION, TRUST & EMPATHY.

Robbins spent a fair amount of time in the seminar talking about and demonstrating interpersonal communication skills.

He used people from the audience to show how the process of “matching and mirroring” the non-verbal communication and body language of others can be a very powerful way to connect with people.

In essence, you create rapport by adopting the body language of the person you are communicating with.

He believes “rapport is power” and “total responsiveness is created by a feeling of commonality”.

If you have learnt these techniques before and haven’t used them for a while, I suggest it is time to dust them off and put them into action next time you are communicating with someone on a one-to-one basis.

8. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU FOCUS ON PASSION AND PURPOSE.

Robbins believes that “to have an extraordinary quality of life you need two skills: the science of achievement (the ability to take anything you envision and make it real) and the art of fulfilment (this allows you to enjoy every moment of it).”

He says “success without fulfilment is failure”.

Find your passion and purpose in life. My purpose is to make a difference in people’s lives and use my gift as a speaker.

9. MODEL YOURSELF ON OTHER ACHIEVERS.

To gain improvements quickly and step up to a new level of achievement, Robbins believes learning from others who are the best in their field is the fastest way to achieve success.

He told the story of how he wanted to improve his tennis game and so employed Andre Agassi, the then number one ranked player to help him achieve this.

Who could you model yourself on?

“People’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group,” according to Robbins.

10. SUCCESS IS BUILT ON A HEALTHY, HIGH ENERGY BODY, HEART AND MIND

If you are not healthy – all of the above points are a waste of time.

Your health is determined and influenced by your lifestyle.

One major change I’ve made since the seminar is to eat a healthier diet and exercise more regularly.

As a speaker, my whole business depends on my ability to perform at a peak state. Like any professional athlete, the success of business is directly linked to my diet and health.

Take care of yourself, your body is ultimately your most important asset.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom’s blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Thomas_Murrell

10 LESSON THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM ANTONY ROBBINS TEH WORLD MILLIONIRE

Tony Robbins has been an inspiration for millions. Love him and his philosophy or not, it is undeniable that he has had a positive impact on millions of people. He has sold over 30-million motivational tapes, published three best-selling self-help books, more than 2 million people attended his seminars and another 10,000 (including myself) have attended his mastery university in Hawaii. His core products include Get The Edge – Unlimited Power – Date with Destiny – Mastery University and more.

Here are the top 10 lessons that I learned from Tony Robbins:

1) By altering your body’s physiology, you can achieve an immediate change of your emotional state. The mind will follow whatever state your phsyical body is in and not vice-versa.

2) Ask specific questions of yourself (in your self-talk) to direct and control your attention to the various aspects of the human experience. The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of the questions you ask of yourself.

3) Get leverage to create personal change by associating an old behavior with massive pain and the desired new behavior with massive pleasure. Tony is a big believer in the pain/pleasure principles of life and this applies in business as well.

4) When you get stuck, interupt your limiting pattern by doing something totally unexpected.

5) You can condition your behavior by visualizing it over and over again. This is not exactly unique to Tony Robbins, but he does reinforce this message in all of his products.

6) Goal-setting strategy: Know your end outcome; Take massive intelligent action; Have sensory-acuity to notice if you are getting the results you desire and if not; change your approach; and change *until* you get your end outcome.

7) Create a “Compelling future” by vividly imagining your end result to generate enthusiasm and power within yourself. The past does not equal the future. Find beliefs that support your goals and desires.

8) Youth is Power! This is one of Tony’s beliefs. Even if you don’t have fancy degrees, your youth can still mean power, flexibility and opportunity for your life.

9) Principles of CANI! CANI stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. It’s a basic tenet of Tony Robbins.

10) NLP can be useful. NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming and there are many NLP undertones in Tony’s basic tenets. He went on to morph NLP into his own technology called “NAC” (Neuro Associative Conditioning).

Need inspiration? Surf on over to: http://InspiresYOU.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Knight