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11 helpful financial tips with Pascal: Don’t do the Ostrich!

first_imgPascal Curran, a Letterkenny based financial advisor and founder of advicefirst.ie, has some financial tips for when we feel like burying our heads (but know deep down, that it’s only making matters muuuuch worse!)Pascal’s got your back!At Advice First Financial we think it’s only right to help our customers, in any way we can, when it comes to helping them to manage their finances – money matters are not black and white, they equate to freedom, security, peace of mind and – it means a lot to get to grips with it all – and not bury our heads! Some tips for taking a deep breath and sorting things out: Plan a household budget:A family budget can help you control your household spending so that you have enough money to pay your bills and cover the basics on an ongoing basis. When starting out to manage your money, it is important to record where you are specifically spending. Record all those little runs to the shop, the cups of coffee, the wee things we don’t realise that are costing us loads in the long-run. You need to understand where you are spending your money before you can take control. Writing it down is empowering and informative. Start an emergency fund:Always have some money put by for unexpected events – we never know what’s around the corner. A rule of thumb is to have at least 3 months’ net salary saved for emergencies. More than just a rainy day fund – this is money that could really solve a bigger problem should it arise and is important to have it saved. Get better value:There are lots of online interactive tools that can helps you compare your spending on household expenses. You can compare costs on mobile phones, broadband, groceries and energy. Using a price comparison app – or just shopping around yourself, can really maximise your budget – and save for what matters. Manage your credit card.Now this is the biggie. Firstly, know that the interest rate on your credit card is huge. Probably more than you think. Check it.. So.You should always aim to clear the balance on your credit card at the end of the month. This should be a must….If you have an outstanding balance. Set up a direct debit. You can choose what percentage you want to pay and thus avoid any unnecessary interest and charges by always paying on time.Check if you can transfer the balance to another provider who is offering a better interest rate, in fact there are a couple of providers offer 0% for a few months on balance transfers. Plan your spending; Make a list and decide what you will use your credit card for to avoid impulse spending.Check your statements; Either over the phone or on-line, reviewing your account regularly will keep you in control of your spending and avoid accidentally going over your credit limit. Get protected: Life insurance is not a luxury:If you have dependents, a life insurance plan is not a luxury, it’s a fundamental need. It helps maintain your family’s regular standard of living if something happened to the main breadwinner. If you have a mortgage you need life cover to help clear the mortgage if you pass away. If you are renting, if you pass away – how will your family afford the rent and the other household bills.We can help you understand your family’s protection needs at Advice First, well worth considering. Get your tax backDid you know that you can potentially claim tax back on many items that you are spending on?! – For example: Medical feesPension and Income Protection plansService charges for refuse collection, sewage disposal or domestic water suppliesFees paid for approved third-level coursesWhy not go to Revenue.ie for a full list of tax reliefs available or contact us at Advice First and we will be happy to put you in touch with our tax advisor. Plan for your retirement:For some of us the state pension won’t start until age 68, so having your own pension plan is vital. You can get full tax relief on the contributions – so you should really make the most of this.We can help you work out what your pension needs are, too. Become a super-saver:With credit still difficult to come by, now may be the time to devise a ‘super-savings’ plan to help you get in the habit of squirreling away as much as you can. So instead of opening just one savings account, you could open several regular savers, each designed to help pay for things like holidays, new car, third level education costs and home improvements. Be smart with your investments:Consider an investment that suits your needs by doing a risk profile test to identify what type of investment is right for you. Generally, best advice is to spread your money across different types of investments and assets. Give your finances a regular check-up:Finally, it’s really important to regularly review your finances with your Financial Advisor, this way you’ll find it easier to keep on top of things. You’ll thank yourself in the short and longer term for taking control with the support of a professional. Arrange a Financial ReviewIt will only take an hour of your time and it will be arranged at a time that suits you. You’ll feel miles better afterwards – knowing that you’ve taken a responsible step in the right direction. Each month Pascal will provide financial advice on the most frequently asked topics – here on Donegal Daily and is looking forward to further breaking down the barriers around financial advice in his renowned experienced and jargon-free way! If you would like to book a no obligations consultation with Pascal, click here or simply call  +353 74 910 39 38 to talk to us today.Follow us on Facebook & Instagram  Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.11 helpful financial tips with Pascal: Don’t do the Ostrich! was last modified: May 29th, 2019 by Pascal CurranShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:advice firstbudgetFinancialPascal Curransavingslast_img read more

False alarm for RNLI lifeboat and rescue helicopter at Mulroy Bay

first_imgThe Lough Swilly lifeboat was launched this morning following an emergency alert at Mulroy Bay.The Rescue 118 helicopter and Mulroy Bay Coastguard were involved in the search at 7.45am after a signal was received from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).The incident turned out to be a false alarm, as the EPIRB had become detached from a vessel. The operation was stood down after rescuers confirmed that no vessels were in difficulty.False alarm for RNLI lifeboat and rescue helicopter at Mulroy Bay was last modified: August 6th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Lough Swilly RNLIMULROY BAYRESCUE 118last_img read more

Infographic: African alliances help boost regional prosperity

first_imgRegional alliances of African countries have one goal in common: to increase economic cohesion and so improve the lives of citizens, as sovereign nations align their priorities to achieve a wider prosperity. Graphic: Mzwandile MakgobaResearch: Priya PitamberClick image for a larger view.Sources: Comesa, SADC, Ecowas, Eccas, CEN-SADlast_img

My 8th Commandment: Never Let the Client…

first_imgThere is no greater peril to a green builder/remodeler (or any builder/remodeler, for that matter) than a client who insists on having you do something outside your comfort zone. Clients ask us to do some crazy and some not-so-crazy things for any number of reasons, but trust me: As often as not, these requests are trains at the end of the tunnel, not light!Usually, these requests are just that—a request. The client saw something on TV or the Internet, and believes it makes sense for his home. He may just like the way it looks, he may believe in the advertised performance aspects of the item in question, or perhaps he had it in his last home or knows someone else who tried it and swears by it.But other times these requests are more than requests. Occasionally, the client will be adamant and insist the idea in question is a deal-breaker. That is, you do what he requests or the project is canceled and he will find someone else to do the work. Other times, his desires may be wrapped in a little subterfuge. You may also be cajoled by friendly persuasion. Or worse yet, the client may go around your back and try to wheel and deal directly with the architect, trade partner, or your superintendent to get his way.Regardless of the client’s motives or methodology, you have the responsibility to draw the line in the sand and protect yourself, your company, your family, and ultimately your client from making a decision you cannot stand behind. The key is not letting it become a zero-sum game. If you capitulate and design, buy, build, craft, install, finish, or try warranting something you haven’t done your homework on, it will come back to haunt you.This is not to say our company has not received some great ideas over the years from clients who have helped us push beyond our capabilities and work outside our comfort zone. We have before, and hopefully will get the opportunity again with each new client. The difference maker is we do our research and follow our gut instincts ahead of time. Key word here is “we.” That’s right, when asked to do something outside our processes or standard specs, we get others involved to help do the research and make the right choice. Those team members that help ensure the correct decision is made include some combination of architect, supplier, installer, superintendent, or anybody else who can help us troubleshoot the potential pitfalls.No Lone Ranger is making the call himself in these situations. A team decision helps prevent us from doing something we do not believe is right for the client, his home, and our companies. That’s my 8th Commandment for you: Never let the client dictate the scope of work outside your comfort zone.last_img read more

What These 7 Brands Can Teach You About UX

first_imgStephen Moyers is an out of the heart writer voicing out his take on various topics of social media, web design, mobile apps, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, startups and much more in the cutting edge digital world. When he is not writing, he can be found traveling outdoors with his camera. You can follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenMoyers. Tags:#User Experience#UX#Web design Simple Branding Is Key for Complex Tech, Says R… Related Posts 8 Key Components to Building a Successful Busin… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos How confident are you in your website’s user experience (UX)? If you don’t have measurable results that prove your UX is working, it may be time for a website redesign. Your website should create a seamless, enjoyable, and rewarding experience for your target users. Brands can teach you about UX.Some companies have a firm grip on what makes excellent UX, while others are still learning. Find UX inspiration from some of the top brands that are doing it right.AmazonA “best of UX” list would be remiss not to include Amazon, the e-commerce giant. Virtually all of its features comply with UX best practices, from the simple navigation menu to clever customer recommendations.Amazon has raised the bar in terms of UX for e-commerce sites from the beginning. It prioritizes customer convenience (and makes conversions easy) with tools such as 1-Click Checkout. This simple tool lets users jump straight to their shopping carts. This maximizes efficiency and makes the checkout process as smooth as possible.Other wins Amazon.com boasts in terms of UX include vibrant imagery, personalized shopping suggestions, and buttons that make shopping easy, such as “Buy it again” on recent orders. Amazon makes it clear on every page that user experience is its top priority. A review of 60 different websites’ UX strategies ranked Amazon at number five overall, based on an analysis of more than 550 website elements. Amazon ranked first in its industry as a Mass Merchant.Lesson: Make shopping convenient at every available opportunity.AirbnbWe’ve highlighted Airbnb in the past for its inspirational startup story. Now, we’re giving the company another round of applause for its consistently excellent UX. One look at Airbnb’s homepage and users are hooked. The company does everything right for a simple and enjoyable user experience, including:Ample white spaceEasy search tool at the top of the pageInviting high-quality imageryPersonalized recommendationsRelevant contentAirbnb manages to deliver information quickly without overwhelming or boring the user. It masters website design elements such as depth and contrast, along with simple color combinations to create a distinct online presence. Airbnb invites users in and makes them want to stay awhile.Lesson: Don’t overthink it. Make your website enjoyable to browse.AppleIt perhaps comes as no surprise that a company centered on design conquers the user experience. Apple.com is a prime example of optimal UX. From innovative parallax scrolling to amusing product animations, Apple has left no stone unturned in its attempt to create an immersive and enjoyable user experience.Apple.com pulls the user in and makes it difficult to leave – hiding any exit points until you’re virtually immersed in the world of Apple. Then, it uses exciting elements such as 3D touch to encourage users to interact, engage, and explore.With all of its bells and whistles, however, Apple still has not neglected its content. The company uses the smart strategy of listing all the ways a product will improve the customer’s life, rather than merely listing product features.This makes it easy for the user to imagine owning the device, as well as to understand its value in real-world applications. Apple also uses a clean layout and simple navigation to create the sophisticated, modern, and minimal look the brand is known for, in keeping with its tone. All around, Apple has shown it, masters, UX.Lesson: Match your website design elements with the tone and purpose of your company.RoverRover made the list because it goes above and beyond to establish a feeling of trust. Dogs are family for most pet owners, especially millennials. People who use Rover want to feel 100% confident in the person they hire to watch or care for their dogs. Rover shows an excellent understanding of its target audience by providing elements that inspire trust. These elements include:Keywords such as “trusted” and “local.”Photographs of people hugging petsInformation on what makes Rover safe right on the homepageThe “Rover Guarantee” of 24/7 support, photo updates, and reservation protectionTestimonials from happy pet ownersNo pop-up ads or other untrustworthy elementsOn Rover.com, users can immediately access the information they need to decide whether or not to trust the website with finding a pet sitter. This makes users more likely to use the website to reserve a sitter. Rover has created a UX centered on trust and authenticity to prove to users it is the right choice when searching for a pet sitter.Lesson: Establish your brand as a trustworthy authority in your industry using an optimized website.StarbucksThe coffee mogul has thrived by putting its customers first. The website is no exception. Starbucks conquers UX with its brand’s signature green color scheme, bright photos of its drinks.A warm thank you to military veterans and spouses for Military Appreciation Month (displaying both topical content and a customer-first business approach). Furthermore, it offers all the best in UX design elements: simple navigation, non-crowded layout, and responsive design.Starbucks also shows off its UX prowess in its app, which is one of the most-used loyalty apps in the world. The app’s design and features have made it a must-have for coffee lovers, mainly through exceptional user engagement.The app offers all kinds of convenient features for users, from paying for your beverage ahead of time to customizing a Spotify playlist. Plus, easy integration with other platforms gives users everything they need to continue using the app seamlessly.Lesson: Put your users first in every design element – they’ll notice and thank you for it.PaypalPaypal has decided to let simplicity rule in its website design – a choice that has contributed to the trustworthiness and usability of the site. Paypal keeps design ultra-simple, with bright white backgrounds and easily navigable menu options.It never tries to trick or confuse users, which is essential for an app that deals with personal finances. It’s simple, clean, and predictable website design is why thousands of users continue to trust and use Paypal, despite competitors such as Venmo and Zelle.Paypal.com wasn’t always a showcase for great UX. Before its redesign in 2014, the website was busy and overly cluttered. This led to user confusion, dissatisfaction, poor UX, and overall less user engagement.Since then, however, Paypal has focused on keeping things simple. It reduced its content, reorganized website elements, made items more meaningful, and prioritized website efficiency. Today, it is much easier to give or send money as an individual or small business through a simple, seamless platform.Lesson: It might be time for website redesign, especially if your website has telltale signs of failure.MailChimpHow did Mailchimp become a leading name in email campaign technology? In part, due to its branding. MailChimp gave its brand a distinct, recognizable mascot: a chimpanzee named Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV. Adding this branding gave the brand an edge of humor, personality, and friendliness. It helped build an emotional bridge between MailChimp and its consumers – something that was important for the email automation company. Without Freddie, the brand might have risked appearing too dehumanized thanks to its automation technology.MailChimp understands that organizing email campaigns is not the most exciting endeavor. To appeal to its audience, the brand made it more fun. Its website is creative, interactive, and engaging – even for people who don’t know the first thing about email campaign automation. Animated graphics and original cartoons add personality to the brand that customers can connect with. They are then more likely to use Mailchimp and remain loyal to the platform. It also helps that the website contains many other UX best practices, including ample white space and value-driven content.Lesson: Don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality. Creating a memorable UX means thinking outside the box. Stephen Moyers Communication Works Wonders (with Itai Sadan)last_img read more

Last phase of simultaneous polls in Odisha passes off peacefully

first_imgPolling passed off peacefully, barring a few hiccups in the initial hours, in six Lok Sabha and 41 Assembly constituencies in the fourth and the last phase of the simultaneous elections in Odisha on Monday.An average of 66% of voting was recorded in the Parliamentary seats of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur till 5 p.m., according to Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar.While Mayurbhanj recorded a voter turnout of 67% till 5 p.m., Balasore and Jagatsinghpur recorded 64% each, Bhadrak 68%, and Jajpur and Kendrapara 65% each. The percentage may increase since voting was still in progress.3 officials suspendedThree polling officials were suspended for dereliction of duty, Mr. Kumar told journalists. Adequate transport and security arrangements had been put in place to ensure safe return of polling parties to their respective headquarters, he added.Allegations of capturing of several booths by a particular party were also reported from Bari Assembly segment under Jajpur, while people boycotted voting at a few booths under Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituencies.EVMs’ safetyApart from ensuring security of electronic voting machines, steps were also taken for the safety of the voting machines in view of the impending Cyclone Fani, said Mr. Kumar.The CEO thanked the people of Odisha for the conduct of polling in four phases in the State without any major incident of violence.However, polling remains to be held in Patkura, one of the seven Assembly segments under Kendrapara, on May 19. Polling was adjourned following death of the BJD candidate.last_img read more

Philippines stuns China to open 2017 Fiba Asia Cup bid

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES 60-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon PLAY LIST 01:2760-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon00:50Trending Articles00:54Palace: Up to MTRCB, DFA chief to pull out ‘Abominable’ from cinemas02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Philippines whips Hong Kong in AVC opener Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games In the rematch of the 2015 finalists, Gilas Pilipinas held the Chinese scoreless in the last four minutes of the game justly shortly after the defending champions took their first lead.Jayson Castro, regarded as the best point guard in Asia, gave the lead back to the Philippines before China scored four straight, 87-84.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsRomeo, who went 5-of-7 from 3, put Gilas Pilipinas ahead for good with six straight points including a huge three with 2:12 left for the 92-87 edge.The Filipinos started out strong, leading by as much as 17 points at the half, before the Chinese came out firing with a 31-point third quarter attack.center_img View comments NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters But armed with grit and composure amid China’s fierce comeback, Gilas Pilipinas never let its foe pull away and tried to douse every Chinese run early in the fourth.An 8-0 blast from China made it 83-82, but their Ailun Guo fouled out with 4:42 left, leaving the Chinese without their best option down the stretch. Guo wound up with 18 points.Christian Standhardinger added 15 points on an efficient 75% shooting clip while Jayson Castro and Matthew Wright added 13 and 12 points, respectively.Japeth Aguilar and Gabe Norwood also made good on defense with five and three blocks, respectively.The Philippines, who is playing undermanned sans injured June Mar Fajardo, continues its group stage conquest on Friday against Iraq.ADVERTISEMENT Photo from FibaAsia.comPhilippines pulled off a stunning upset over China, 96-87, to open its campaign in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.Terrence Romeo carried the Filipinos in a mesmerizing showing against their Asian rivals where he finished with 26 points, including eight of the Philippines last 12 points.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Al Gore Believes Climate Crisis Solutions Are Available Now

first_imgDespite that the current US president pulled out of the Paris climate accord earlier this year, former vice president and current activist, Al Gore, still says he comes down on the side of hope.Following his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, about the effects of global warming, Gore released a follow up documentary last month called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which speaks to the human ingenuity that is behind his hope.In an NPR interview, Gore said that with the fossil fuel industry financing an industry of climate denial through pseudo scientists and pseudoscientific reports, enough doubt was created so that the sense of urgency about solving the crisis was lost. “But because Mother Nature has a more persuasive voice than any of us,” he says, “they’re losing this battle. The Paris agreement was truly a historic breakthrough, illustrating that all around the world, opinions are getting stronger and stronger in favor of solving the climate crisis.”He cites other signs of hope as well. “Electricity from the sun and the wind is now in many regions much cheaper than electricity from dirty fossil fuels,” says Gore. “Electric cars are becoming affordable. Batteries are coming down very quickly in cost and, coupled with renewable energy, will utterly transform the world’s energy systems.“And along with sustainable agriculture and forestry, we now have a chance to use these tools to really solve the climate crisis in time to avoid the catastrophic consequences that would otherwise fall upon us.”The question is, will we?.Copyright ©2017Look to the Starslast_img read more