Understanding Your Current Personal Finance Situation

It is important: understanding your current personal finance situation is something that every person needs to do. By understanding what is going on with your personal finances you will be able to better control them. This can be one of the best ways to avoid money problems and debt.

Getting started is the hardest part. It can seem almost impossible to figure out where to begin when tackling finance issues. The best place to start is to simply look at expenses and income.

As the staples of a good budget, something every person should have, expenses and income are the main financial issues a person needs to understand. To begin you should gather all the relevant information. You may want to get bills, pay stubs and anything else that could help you list out your expenses and income.

The first thing to do is to track your daily expenses. This includes eating out, shopping and gasoline. You want to include these on your expenses list. You may need to gather receipts or actually keep a log for a week to be able to come up with an accurate account of your daily expenses.

Write out a list of expenses and then write out your list of income. At this point you should concern yourself with ensuring everything is listed. If your expenses or income vary then try to get a good average. You should have expenses separated into daily expenses and monthly expenses so you can see where your money is really going. Plus this will help when you go to budget your money.

Now you can begin to look at your debt. You should make out a list of your creditors. Your list should include the creditors contact information, the balance of your debt and the interest rate.

Now you should look at your personal finance accounts. This includes things like checking, savings and stocks. You want to list them all, including their current value or balance.

After going through your expenses, income, debt and personal finance accounts you should have a fairly good idea of where your personal finance matters stand. This should be a great platform for you to build upon to get your personal finances in good order. From this information you should be able to create a budget, get debt under control and best manage your personal finance accounts. You should be able to get the big picture about your personal finance situation and to understand it completely.

Financial Planning Software

When it comes to planning your financial well-being, it might be helpful to use one of the many tools available today. Some of these tools include financial planning software. Depending on the type of software you purchase, it could help you in a variety of different areas, such as planning for your retirement or keeping track of your personal and business dealings. Many of the financial planning software that is available today can do all of this and so much more.

There are several different types of financial planning software available on the market today, that you will have no problems in finding one. However, whichever type you choose, you should ensure that it performs exactly as you need it to, in your financial planning venture. For example, some software can help you in managing and calculating your 401k, estimate the costs of college or savings, keep track of your stock portfolio, or analyze the goals of your IRA.

Some other features include keeping track of your profit and loss in regards to your business, balancing your checking account or multiple accounts; maintain a organized list of your customers, contacts, or even employees. There are so many features that come with various financial planning software that it is imperative that you research the software to ensure it can offer you exactly what you need.

The prices vary greatly depending on the financial planning software you purchase. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Money Home and Business, which is perfect for home-based business owners, personal finances, or businesses that employ less than five people, runs for a cost of around $60.00.

The financial planning software that is the most popular and used by many is Quicken. The home and business version of Quicken, gives you power to categorize expenses both personal and business, in efforts to help you when it comes to taxes and reports. Quicken helps you in finding all the deductions you can claim and simplifies the process of preparing your taxes, as well as helping you in managing your flow of cash in an effective manner. This program runs at a cost of about $80.00.

Of course, the choice is yours and you should only make the decision after conducting research on the different financial planning software, determining what your needs are, comparing prices, and comparing support of the company. Make sure when you make any type of investment that you only do so after gaining knowledge and the best information.

I Have A Problem Gambling And I Have Lost Everything

To often compulsive gamblers utter the words I am have a problem gambling and now I lost everything. At this point in their life they are finally ready to admit they have a problem gambling. These same people are increasing at an alarming rate.

Only a year ago things seem to be less dramatic then they are right now when it comes to gambling addiction. The accelerated growth in this addiction is paralleled to the growth in the gaming industry. Since a significant number of our population have now been exposed to this gaming industry the negative affects are more apparent. Each and every day we hear a new story about someone who has lost everything due to their gambling addiction and we may now know someone who also has been negatively affected.

Now that we know people are addicted to gambling, what should we do? This is a very difficult question to answer but I believe education and awareness can help those inflicted with this self destructive addiction. Unfortunately gambling addiction also affects all those around the compulsive gambler.

I have received several emails from people who believe their solutions would help decrease the accelerated growth of those addicted to gambling. The following are examples of those emails:

We should outlaw all forms of gambling.

The gamming industry needed rules and regulations that they must adhere to like the alcohol industry.

At the very least remove all ATM machines from gambling establishments especially casinos that have slot machines.

No Check cashing allowed at any gaming establishments

No alcohol should be allowed in casinos

Gambling establishments should not be allowed to use the postal service to send incentives for people to come to their place to gamble. Most people are easy prey. The gambling establishments send a fifty dollar gift certificate knowing the gambler is going to spend a at least ten times that amount.

No large billboard advertising. This industry makes their money by drawing on the innocent only to hook them and take everything they have worked so hard for.

No commercial advertising, donating to charities or sponsoring of the local news.

The above email comments are from those who have suffered directly to the the gaming industry. Remember it is not only the gambler but their family and friends who also have been negatively affected. They are biased and they have a right to be.

Remember these words I have a problem gambling and I have lost everything. because this could be you or your family member. If you even have the slightest notion you have a problem gambling, face it straight on and take the appropriate action. You can recover before you lose everything you have worked so hard for.

If you are have lost everything, you can rebuild your life and move forward. There are so many people who have walked in your shoes. I know this can be very painful, but with each day that passes as you begin your road to recovery you life will get brighter and brighter.

General Of Financial Services

The most highly regulated sector in the world is financial services and this is likely to continue and accelerate. Financial institutions struggle with complex data systems and procedures and must comply with strict reporting requirements from the regulatory bodies to protect their assets and customer data. Additionally, financial services organizations are clearly the target of both individual and organized fraud. Key to meeting regulatory audit requirements and detecting fraud is the ability to collect and analyze log and event data from both IT infrastructure and applications.

The technical and economic challenges of storing terabytes of log and event data, the systems of record from applications used for customer transactions, are staggering, and traditional security, log management and data warehouse database solutions are poorly suited to address the challenges of both data volume and query access. Event Data Warehouse solutions that provide actionable results from massive amounts of log and event data.

More and more consumers need access to sound financial products and independent, honest financial advice. The government requires financial product makers and sellers to be licensed. Among other things this scheme gives increased legitimacy to financial advisers.

Benefits to the Financial Services Sector:

The Centre for Financial Services works with key allied partners to anticipate industry direction and fulfill its changing needs. It is committed to providing leading edge, cost effective and customized education, as well as professional development and training programs to assist firms to train and develop their people to keep pace with competition.

1. A pool of well educated, highly trained graduates and co-op students
2. Curriculum and training integrated with the newest technology to meet the changing job requirements in the global workplace
3. Highly trained financial services educators and instructors
4. Top facilities and resources for collaborative applied research
5. Teaching fellowship opportunities
6. Client contact centre laboratories for employee training
7. A forum for financial industry partners to exchange ideas
8. A business network into the private and public sector

Juggernaut Or Not: Card Games To Select From

Cards is an ancient pastime that over the ages has only picked up popularity and fans. During childhood simple games such as War are explained and then used as a learning tools for helping totters appreciate the world of numbers. As people grow up they begin to play more complicated games that rely on strategy and skill to determine outcome. I have surveyed some of the more popular ones and compiled a list of the toughest and the easiest to learn.

Snap Your Fingers, Soak Them Up:
1) Full and Complete Attack
Based on simple arithmetic, this game using all the 52 cards (including as many jokers as you wish), is one of the all time favorites of children. Neither does it need any strategy nor does it require any particular skill! Full and Complete Attack is generally the first game that children are taught because it not only improves their numerical skills, but adds enjoyment and action to this process.

2) Liar:
Here, all cards lower than eight are removed from the deck, and then seven cards are dealt. The remainder is placed down and one card is placed face-up. According to that card, the player in turn places cards facing down on top of that card. He has to state what card it is, but he can lie. If someone thinks is has lied, they can challenge him and reveal the card. If the player lied, he has to pick up all the cards, if not the challenger does the honors. The goal is to finish all the cards in your hand.

3) Johnny 5:
Johnny 5 is a little more difficult then the first to games but still is very simple to learn. Each player is dealt 5 cards. The left over cards are placed in the center of the table face down the player to the dealers left the may put down a pair of cards or a r 3 card run of cards. If you do not have any the player must take a card. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards and to have you last one or 2 cards total 5.

4) Joining the Fray:
One of the more entertaining games (especially for children), it requires basic colour and number combinatory skills only. You have to match numbers such as by collecting all fours and all aces, and then release all your cards onto the game deck. The focus of this game is not that much on winning, but on not losing and that is what adds the extra spice to it. It does not matter who throws his cards down first, but the player who notices it last and his cards are the last to hit the table: loses.

List of Most Difficult Games to Learn
1) Bridge:
An old but still popular game, here, you partner with someone and decide before playing how many hands you will win. The complexity of bridge lies not in the rules, which are relatively easy to pick up, but in the intricate game plans and maneuvers one has to master to play well.

2) Dragon Poker:
Dragon Poker is not totally unlike poker. Any of the different variations of poker can be used as the base for the game, but the general rules are very different. There are no official rules for dragon poker, they must be thought up and written down by the group of people you are playing with, and it is the duty of each player to memorize the rules, if you forget a rule it goes against you and if someone else does not remember a rule that can hurt you, do not worry you do not have to remind them. The best games have the most rules. An example of a rule can be if the date ends in an odd number and the dealer is wearing a shirt that the color of the shits spelling is an even number, then each player must pay the dealer 100 dollars. This rule can only be used once and whoever is the first to call out the rule during their deal gets it.

3) Baccarat:
Just like in poker, you have to study and memorize the value of certain cards such as that tens and face cards (Jack to King including Ace) are zero. In addition, you need to learn specific rules such as that if you get an eight or nine no more cards are dealt. To conclude, this game is not for beginners.

Some Of The Most Popular Card Games For Kids

It may surprise you to hear that kids can be entertained by products other than high-tech, high-dollar video game systems, DVDs, and television. They don’t have to spend their game-playing time blasting aliens, swinging digital golf clubs, and blowing up buildings. Amazing as it may sound, kids really do enjoy traditional games like board games and card games. Card games are a great way for you to spend more time with your children and get them away from the television. In addition to being fun, card games can be educational.

One such fun, educational card game for children is CardWord. The CardWord deck consists of cards with letters on them instead of numbers. The object of the game is to spell words. It’s challenging and educational.

Another fun, thought-provoking card game for kids which you’ve probably played yourself is Concentration. This can be played with a conventional deck or you can purchase specially made decks which feature fun pictures, words, numbers, etc. The cards are laid out face-down and the object is to find the matching cards. This game, of course, develops concentration, and almost every kid loves it.

Some other old favorites are Old Maid or Go Fish. Probably the most loved of all card games for kids is War. Kids of all ages can learn the simple rules to this game which can keep them occupied for as long as any video game.

One of the more acclaimed card games for kids is Apples to Apples Jr. This game consists of cards that on one side have red or green apples on them, and on the other side they have a word with its definition. The object of the game is to match the word on one card that best fits with the word on another. For example, if the word “beach” is laid down, then the winning card will likely be “sun” or “ocean”. The winner is determined by a player acting as judge. This allows for a lot of leeway.

Uno is a game almost everybody has played. Uno is great because it can be tailored to suit children of all ages. If your child is very young and not able to comprehend complex rules, you can ignore the cards which involve skipping turns, drawing extra cards, and you can ignore the wild cards. With older children, you can utilize the entire deck and you’re likely to find yourself in quite the Uno battle with your progeny. Be assured that even if you’re playing your best, you’ll lose to your kids sometimes, and they’ll love it!

Card games provide a wealth of educational and entertainment possibilities for children. Even at their most formative stages, children can learn about words and numbers from card games. Card games will improve their concentration and enhance their logical reasoning abilities.

Tips And Ideas For Better Home Improvement

The time often comes in your life when it is necessary to attempt a home improvement job. You may have purchased a new house and it needs a little facelift or it could be that niggling house job you keep putting off. Follow some simple rules and the task can become a little easier, even enjoyable.

Always take time to prepare. Have a plan of action in the form of a manual or instruction leaflet and do the necessary preparations for the job. Do not forget to protect or shield any expensive items, furniture and flooring that might get damaged or accidentally stained in the home improvement process.

Always make sure that you have good ventilation when doing any home improvement project especially when using paints and some glues. Use your electrical devices with adequate safety protection and keep your tools away from children. If you plan to do any outside home improvements like varnishing or painting check the weather forecast to make sure it is not going to rain.

Although all the previous suggestions are extremely relevant the most important measure for you to take before starting a job is to make sure you have the right tools, and the best quality of tool you can afford. This suggestion should not be ignored. Reference your manuals to get the necessary tools for the job beforehand.

If you just fancy having a go at a home improvement activity begin with a renovation type job. Take a room, for instance the living room, and see what could be done to enhance the beauty or functionality of the room. It may need wallpapering or you may want to change the floor from carpet to wooden floorboards. The furniture may need to be reupholstered or a stray crack in the wall may need to be filled in. In the kitchen a table may need re-varnishing or a cupboard handle replacing. But a word of warning, if you are unsure ask the advice of a trained contractor. Also when you are deciding what home improvement to do think carefully if the alterations would fit into the theme or color scheme of your house.

After you have attempted some minor renovations and repairs this should give you more confidence to try a bigger project, for instance an outdoor patio or decking job. Remember to plan and prepare your home improvement jobs, use the right tools and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

Expressing Your Personality Though Home Improvement

Home improvement through renovating and redecorating is one of the core preoccupations for most of the people and, currently, the Maryland home improvement market as well as Washington DC magazine offer a variety of materials and solutions.

House decorating is a perfect way to express your personal style and individuality. Although it can be a discouraging experience for some of us, it finally proves to be an experience requiring enthusiasm, time and money. A house should not be exclusively a functional area; it can be at the same time, an enjoyable, relaxing and battery-charging spot, reflecting aspects of our personality and sending messages to the entire world.
Abound
Nowadays, Maryland home improvement market thrives with goods for home and garden use, as well as with countless pieces of advice and information on decorating premises. This information might be accessed by reading books and the mass media, for instance Washington DC magazine, by watching TV programs or, last but not the least, by waving on the net, searching on specialized websites like welcomehomewashington.com. Still, despite so many informational sources, finding the proper decorating style or themes can be a difficult task.

Decorating activities are usually indispensable when moving into a new house, but they can be done whenever we feel like or we no longer like the old style. When decorating or redecorating a room, the leading question should be: what is the function of this area? One room should not be associated with one single function, one particular activity; it should also signal a certain emotional state. For instance, the main function of a dining room is, obviously, to provide enough space for people to gather around the table and eat. True indeed, but the secondary functionality of the same room would be to make the family members or the guests feel comfy and relaxed, generating pleasant conversations. Likewise, the function of a bedroom is to offer a place to rest, but at the same time, it could be a sanctuary of serenity, where people can relax, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Usually, the secondary function of a room may vary depending on its initial functionality.

When you made up your mind about the each room’s functionality, get to the next level: deciding for modeling or remodeling style, furniture and accessories. Visiting Maryland home improvement dedicated shops would be a start point and a very good method of discovering your preferences and personally testing different models. In order to fruitfully combine your personal style with the function of the room look through the decorating section of publications and magazines. One reliable and constant source of inspiration in terms of lifestyle and decorating fashion would be Washington DC magazine.

Normally, any person has an idea about the kind of interior design or furniture style she or he would like to have. But it rarely happens to know exactly, from the very beginning, how your home should look like. Sometimes, there might be two or more options to oscillate in between. At this point Washington DC magazine might be a real help providing pictures, interviews with architects and designers or celebrities and their houses. The moment you gather several design ideas, but you don’t have a clue on how to combine them in order to create a pleasant outlook and also a functional setting, it’s high time you get in touch with a Maryland home improvement designer. The designer will shape up your thoughts, creating a setting and an atmosphere as personal as you can describe them.

It’s very tempting to get along with the up-to-the-minute Maryland home improvement trends in terms of accessories and decorations or to apply all the tips and recommendations found in Washington DC magazine, but this predisposition will lead to frequent and expensive redecorating sessions. On Maryland home improvement market there are long-lasting home improvement trends, as well as short-lived home improvement trends, dying as quickly as a candle in the wind.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!