Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nepal’s Pokhara & France’s Annecy To Become Sister Cities

For the first time ever, a Nepalese city is going to have a sister city. In a recent meeting held between Nepal-France Friendship Committee at Hotel Barahi in Pokhara; the preliminary procedures to announce the Nepalese city Pokhara and French city Annecy have been initiated.

In an exclusive interview with NeoStuffs, the Senior Officer at Pokhara Sub-Metorpolitan City Office, Mr. Om Raj Poudel informed, “We have started working towards announcing these two cities as sister cities soon and it might take around two or three months until all the procedures are done. We are working out on the details together to see the possibilities of economical, cultural and other kind of benefits that the two cities can cooperate with each other on.”

Sister cities, sometimes also referred to as twin towns, are a form of legal or social agreement between cities to promote cultural and commercial ties. Town twinning, that was initially started after the Second World War to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures; has been increasingly used to form strategic international business links between member cities in recent times.

It’s definitely a great thing that two of the most beautiful cities in the world are soon to be sister cities.

france

Nepal-France Friendship Committee in Pokhara

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‘I Almost Married a Money Nightmare’

Have you ever felt grateful a relationship didn’t work out? Have you ever looked around at what you have now and thought, “Dang, I really dodged a bullet with that one!”

If so, you’ve probably been reminded of that Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers.” While in the thick of your relationship and still struggling, you were willing to do anything to make it work. You prayed. You brainstormed solutions. You hoped he or she would wise up and change.

But it fell apart somehow, and you’re perfectly fine with it now. In fact, you may even be thrilled things didn’t turn out quite like you planned.

This is exactly how I feel about someone I dated in my early 20s. Let’s call him my “money nightmare.”

You know, I wasn’t great with money at the time either (mostly because I didn’t have any). But he was really, really bad.

How bad? Bounce a check almost every other week bad. Have a bad day at work and randomly quit your job bad. Spend your rent money buying your friends drinks at the bar bad.

Bad, bad, bad. And it got old… fast. Fortunately, I was given an amazing opportunity in the form of really good advice. And of course, that advice came from my mother.

One day, when I was complaining to my mom about some ridiculous thing he had done, she offered up a gem of wisdom I’ll never forget.

She said, “If you end up with him, your entire life will be this way.”

Now, that was a scary thought.

Shortly after, I realized I didn’t want to end up with someone who couldn’t balance his checkbook – someone who had no desire to fix his inexplicably ruined credit – someone who made it clear he valued expensive steak dinners over any semblance of responsible adult living.

So, I bounced. And when I look at my husband and kids and the way we live now, I am so glad I did.

Nine Money Nightmares

If you dodged a bullet like I did, you can probably relate. When you’re young and don’t know what you want in life, it’s easy to fall for people who seem fun and exciting, but are actually nightmares in disguise.

Fortunately, some people are able to escape the poor decisions of their former flame and move on with their lives. Here are some stories of others who dodged a money nightmare of their own:

Money Nightmare #1: He Couldn’t Live Within His Means

Gwen of Fiery Millennials says she dated a guy who acted like money grew on trees. “He was a 24-year-old newly minted CPA. He insisted upon picking me up for our first date. He got there and I saw why: He had a Porsche 911 – a ridiculous car for a 24-year-old with student loan debt, but even more ridiculous considering we live in the Midwest and he can’t even use it for most of the year. He had to have a second car to get around in the winter, so he got a late-model Audi,” she says.

“He also lives on the new side of town in a brand-new condo that’s furnished with brand new ridiculous furniture such as an all-white pleather couch that can only be dry-cleaned,” Gwen continues. “I ducked out of dating him really fast after seeing all that!”

Maybe he could afford all that, but maybe not. Either way, Gwen saw the way he spent and ran out that door without looking back.

Money Nightmare #2: The Over-Spender Who Cannot Change

Pauline from Reach Financial Independence says:

“I dated a guy who considered himself thrifty. He was making several hundred dollars a day when working, but living like he was employed full-time and had thousands to spend. He had big goals and became frustrated they were never achieved. I looked at his spending for a week and saw all the signs of bad money management: food waste, unneeded mileage to run errands, buying the first thing without comparing prices, and always brand new…

“What bothered me most is there was never any free time to do things together because he had to work to support his wasteful lifestyle. I tried to show him how to be more savvy, but for as much as he understood the concept, spending money was like a deserved treat for working hard. I cut it short when I saw it would lead to a lifetime of frustration.”

It’s one thing to stay with someone who is truly trying to change, but it’s another to stick around when they just can’t – or won’t.

Money Nightmare #3: When Someone is Indifferent About their Credit

Jon Luskin of Uncle D Money says:

“I dated a girl in college who had a practice of ducking debt collectors. When the phone would ring, she would insist that it not be answered. Despite this massive debt load, she would wax poetic about $400 pairs of jeans, having several pairs of the jeans in her own wardrobe.

“Once, I lent her money when she could not afford yet another discretionary purchase herself – a puppy. Of course, I never got the money back (and she kept the dog). Looking back, I can say that the whole experience was valuable. I gained some key insights in how not to manage your money.”

If you’ve ever dated someone with financial problems, you can probably relate. No matter what, some people aren’t programmed to care about their credit – or their debts.

Money Nightmare #4: The Person Who Runs

John Rampton from Due.com says:

“I dated ‘the traveler’ right after college. She was the girl that traveled every chance she got. We dated for years. During this time, I noticed that she would spend a bit more than she was making. It got worse and worse and worse to the point where I confronted her about it. She denied it. Over the next two years, I fell in love with her. I ended up marrying her to find out 2 weeks after we were married this was more than just an addiction, it was a major problem. Things when from bad to worse when I started getting calls to pay off debts. Needless to say, this caused our marriage to end months after it began.”

Generally speaking, you can’t fix financial problems when you run from them. And most of the time, no one wants to stay behind and fix your problems for you, either.

Money Nightmare #5: The Clueless Giver

Rory Olson of Wall Street Survivor says:

“I once dated a girl that had terrible money habits, but great intentions. It was a weird  mix because she would spend in an irresponsible fashion – but on other people and for good causes. She would donate money to charities whenever the opportunities arise (which there are plenty of), and was constantly buying thoughtful gifts for friends and family. She even once bought a super expensive plane ticket to treat her mother to a spontaneous vacation,” Olson says.

“She was still a student and couldn’t afford all this spending, but so desperately wanted to please others. Confronting her was difficult because I had never met someone whose carefree spending was so selfless. Explaining to her that just because it is well-intentioned spending does not justify financial hardship that comes along. The relationship eventually ended for reasons unrelated to her kind, green-colored heart.”

Being a charitable person is a good thing, but you’ll make a bigger and more sustainable impact if you have your own finances in order before you go in debt trying to help others.

Money Nightmare #6: Destined to Be Broke

Hannah Rounds of Unplanned Finance says:

“I dated a guy who wanted to become a pastor, but by the start of our junior year he already had close to six figures of student debt. Here in the Southeast, full-time pastors earn anywhere from $30K to $70K per year, and he would need to get an M.Div from a private school before he started full-time work. I was no good with money in college, but even I could see that was a recipe for disaster. We decided we weren’t a good couple for non-financial reasons, but I’m thankful it didn’t work out.”

The first years of marriage can be hard enough without six figures of student loan debt. Fortunately, Rounds never learned just how hard it would be.

Money Nightmare #7: The Financial Trainwreck

Valerie Rind, author of the award-winning book “Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin,” shares her money nightmare story:

“Not only did I date him — I married him. However, there were few if any warning signs of his financial difficulties when we met or during the course of our 10-year relationship. On the surface, he appeared to be doing well. Not flashy or rich, but comfortable enough. My fatal mistake was not learning enough about his background before we wed.

“I got the shock of my life when I found out the condo he claimed he owned was not an asset on the marital balance sheet. Without realizing it, I lived in a home where we were only tenants. The plan to eventually sell it and buy our dream house was just a farce.”

This could have been avoided if they had shared all of their financial details ahead of time, Rind says, and if she had conducted due diligence.

“You need to disclose all your assets and debts and talk about how you’re going to handle money when you’re married,” says Rind. “I won’t say that people are incapable of change, but if you’re uncomfortable with how someone handles their finances when they’re single, it’s unlikely to get rosier after you’re hitched.”

Money Nightmare #8: The Borrower

Tai Stewart of Saidia Financial Solutions says:

“The financial shock of my life was dating someone who lived paycheck to paycheck, bounced checks, and borrowed money from his parents regularly.  He was the master of impulse shopping and used a positive bank balance as the indication that he buy something. Enrolling in college classes in order to get student loan money should have been a major indication there was a problem, but alas, I was blind,” Stewart says.

“Before it was all over seven years later, he had opened and failed two businesses, maxed out his (and my) credit lines, and received several loans from me, still unpaid. I’ve been rebuilding my credit and savings ever since I learned to say no and to cut off all contact with people who are financial leeches.”

It’s one thing for someone to ruin their own finances, but it’s another when they’re intent on ruining yours, too. And when your partner wants to borrow money from the start, that’s usually a bad sign.

Money Nightmare #9: The Mooch

Sarah Li Cain of High Fiving Dollars says:

“I was in a serious relationship with someone who was a little too dependent. Right after college, I bought a one-way ticket to Australia to work there. We only dated for a month at the time, and this person decided to move across the world to be with me. Talk about pressure! Long story short, I paid for the rent and groceries initially until my ex could ‘get on his feet.’ I was living paycheck to paycheck as I ended up paying for expenses. I was offered a chance at a promotion and to move across Australia, and was guilted into paying for myself and this person. I ended up paying for a bunch of trips around Oz, and ended up with about $9,000 in credit card debt.

“When I moved back to Canada, this person said they wanted ‘to go on a break.’ I moved to South Korea a month later and broke things off with him for good. I’ve learned that relationships need to be both ways. I learned to say no to a lot of people and things that are a drain on my energy.”

When you’re dating someone for a month, they shouldn’t become your financial liability. Unfortunately, Sarah learned this lesson the hard way – by accruing $9,000 in credit card debt.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes you have to date a few toads before you meet your prince. Other times, you wind up running away from a money nightmare as fast as you can. The hard part is, it can take months – and even years – to find out someone is incapable of living a financially responsible lifestyle.

As for me, I’m thankful for the wisdom of my mother who knew the truth – that some people will never change their ways.

Related Articles

Have you ever dated a financial nightmare? What happened? Please share your story below.

The post ‘I Almost Married a Money Nightmare’ appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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In Conversation With Prashraya Ratna Tuladhar | Co-Founder & Creative Director At ‘ads!’

Six years back when digital marketing was completely a new concept in Nepal and most of the people hesitated to get into it, three people started Nepal’s first full service digital marketing agency to introduce Nepal to a vast new world of digital marketing. The company was named ‘ads!’.

We had Prashraya Ratna Tuladhar, Co-Founder and Creative Director, and we talked to him not only about his company and its services; but also about entrepreneurship and its importance to Nepal. Excerpts.

Neo: Hello Prashraya. How are you doing today?
Prashraya: Hello Neo, I’m doing just fine.

Neo: What keeps you busy these days?
Prashraya: My work and work out keeps me busy all the time. I’m working all the time but I manage my time for working out and some time for family when I can.

Neo: So talking about your company, how did you come up with the idea of it?
Prashraya: We had a humble beginning when we started almost 6 years back. We were doing paper media advertisement initially when we realized how digital spectrum was changing around the world and how Nepal had not even started Digital Marketing. We then changed our vision and focused on Digital Marketing. We were one of the first companies in Nepal to start digital Marketing.

Neo: What were the challenges that you faced initially?
Prashraya: Challenges are always there and we face them everyday in different forms. Back then when we were 3 people in the company we basically had troubles explaining how digital marketing can work for clients. People thought advertising on social media was free and we had a hard to educate clients about how content marketing could work. Those were the times when very few people had smartphones not like now when everyone has smartphones.

Neo: Do those challenges still remain a problem?
Prashraya: LikeI said,  market is always growing and challenges are always present. But we normally don’t cry about problems rather find a way to solve them efficiently when we approach them.

Neo: Six years of Ads Market, what do you think are some of your major achievements so far?
Prashraya:Major achievements if I have to point them out would be:
– We are pioneers of Digital Marketing In Nepal.
– We were the Agency to get Chaudhary group’s wai wai to win People’s choice BEST BRAND Award in FNCCI award 2012.
– We are online Marketing partners for one of the best magazines in Nepal ; ECS and WAVE magazine.
– We are authorised reseller Agency for ekantipur.com and Koolkat MartOS.
– We are Authorized agency for 360 marketing solution, UK.
– We were ranked as top 5 agency in Nepal by chairmanmigo.com.
And recently,
– We were named as Authorized Agency for VIBER for Nepal.
These would be some of the notable achievements so far.

Neo: Are you satisfied with the progress you have made so far?
Prashraya: Definitely, I am. But I feel like we have so much more to achieve and so much more to do.

Neo: If there is one thing that you wished you could have done it better in this business, what would it be and why?
Prashraya: Frankly, everything that we do, we make sure we do to the best of our abilities. However at times managing work among team can get a little tensed due to tight deadlines. I believe we can improve in getting better at tight deadline tasks. Well that’s about the team and about the market I think there is still room for lot of awareness about digital marketing and how it actually works because most people still don’t have clear idea about it. I believe that by constant learning and writing about it on our website we can make a change. But we get so much busy at work that our blogs come irregularly, I hope to change that soon.

Neo: What are some of the major goals of your company in the near future?
Prashraya: Our major goals have always been to be known for our work and we will continue to focus on that. We are planning to partner with a company in Australia and India as well.

Neo: A piece of advice you would like to give to the aspiring entrepreneurs.
Prashraya: People think that you have to leave everything that you are doing and risk it all to become an entrepreneur. But I believe if you work anywhere in any position still you can have sense of entrepreneurship. That’s called entrepreneurship and that is how you can be entrepreneurs. Either start your own company or have an entrepreneurship approach to where you are working. But you have to be happy in what you are doing though. That’s the key. For example if you are good in accounting, working in an accounting firm, you don’t need to leave the company and start from scratch to become entrepreneur, you can work in a way that owners of the company take you as partner someday. That’s how you build your entrepreneurship attitude. I firmly believe “Being busy in effective pursuit of your passion is one of the keys to happiness.” So if your work makes you happy then don’t leave it, focus on how you can be partner someday.

This is something every youth thinking of going abroad should understand as well, not only entrepreneurs. Always remember one thing ”You create your opportunities, no one is going to hand it over to you. Not in Nepal Not anywhere”. If you are good at programming and love doing it find something in Nepal or try to find outsourcing work from companies outside Nepal. In fac,t if you work as hard as you would in other countries you can actually earn more!

Neo: What do you think is the most important trait one must possess in order to be successful?
Prashraya: Basically 3 traits : Hard Working, Loyal, Humble

Neo: Is there anything you would like to say to the highly educated youngsters who leave the nation as they think there is no scope here?
Prashraya: Exactly like I said in the earlier question, be happy in what you do. If you are happy going abroad and can afford it why not. But taking tons of debt to go abroad is not worth it. People don’t realize that no one is going to hand over opportunities: not here, not anywhere. Everyone must create their own opportunities.

If you want to learn the hard way have at it. But I think people can do so much better in Nepal if they work as hard as they do after they go abroad. They are willing to clean rooms but not willing to hunt for jobs in Nepal. This is a problem. But it’s not the only reason. If someone is highly educated then they wish for the best things but it’s not how it works in Nepal. There is no proper system here. Opportunities do come but pace is little slow compared to abroad and people don’t have patience, do they? Blaming government is so easy. And, it’s obvious as they are doing less it’s potential. Well, this is very debatable topic and I have no issues with people who go abroad as it’s their choice but if only they think positive about Nepal and give it a try here.

Neo: If you have to choose one new company or a startup that you have come to know about recently in Nepal that you think is the most promising one, which one would it be and why?
Prashraya: There are so many startups coming up lately. One of the startups “Nepzy mobile app” is really interesting app and I feel it has lots of potential. They are one of our clients as well. It’s basically making online payments easier as payments can be done by card itself, SCT or VISA. It has recently launched travel ticket booking as well along with utility payments. Another company is “Bhav Products”. It’s a creative stationery startup. Its products are very good. They have a clean website and good service and a great concept. I recently had their products distributed to my team during our Knowledge Share at ads! Session and it couldn’t be much fulfilling. Bhav Products too is a company with lots of potential. They are not yet our clients though.

Neo: At last, could you tell us that one success mantra that you think is the key to achieving your goals?
Prashraya: Work hard,work smart and have a lot of patience.

 

Find Prashraya on Twitter. You can also find his column titled ‘Go! Digital’ on marketing in every issue of Wave magazine.

Get connected with ads! on Twitter and its official website.

The post In Conversation With Prashraya Ratna Tuladhar | Co-Founder & Creative Director At ‘ads!’ appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ten Useful Strategies for Learning Financial Self-Control

If you’re anything like me, you’re incredibly tempted several times a day to spend money on something that you don’t really need.

Maybe it’s a bottle of Gatorade at the convenience store or out of a vending machine. Maybe it’s an online purchase. Maybe it’s another $5 in tokens for whatever your favorite mobile game is. Maybe it’s a latte from Starbucks. Maybe it’s a lunch out with some of your coworkers. Maybe it’s the bill for your Netflix subscription.

Whatever it is, you spend a few dollars on it – or maybe a few more than a few dollars. And then you forget about it.

This happens again and again and again throughout the month, and by the end of the month, you’re wondering where all of the money went.

“How can we possibly be broke? How can we be making this much money and not saving anything?”

The reason that this is happening can be summed up in three simple words: lack of self-control. Over and over again, you make the short-term choice in a given spending situation without considering the long-term choice. Making the long-term choice is harder, but over the course of your life it’s almost always the better choice – self-control is what helps you to make that long-term choice.

Breaking out of a routine in which you constantly make those short-term choices is quite hard. It’s easy to become very accustomed to having the little pleasures that you want as soon as you want them.

If you’re reading this article, though, you’ve become aware of the dark side of lacking self-control. At the end of the day, you’re left with very little. You’re not making any progress toward any big goals and you’re quite possibly sinking in a pit of credit card debt to boot. You’re unsure where all of the money is going, but you’re also very unsure of your own behavior.

You feel out of control. You have big long-term goals, but they’re just constantly undermined by the short-term choices you make (most of which you basically forget about) and the sense that money (and, in a smaller sense, time) is just vanishing.

What do you do?

Here are ten things you can do. These strategies have bailed me – and many others – out of a great deal of financial trouble over the years. They’ve helped us gain a lot of self-control over the years and restored a sense of being back in the driver’s seat of our financial lives, actually moving toward the financial goals we have for ourselves.

Give these strategies a sincere shot. You’ll be glad you did.

Strategy #1 – Stop Making Excuses

Here’s the cold, hard truth: every single time you buy something that you don’t need, you undercut your future. You take away dollars from getting control over your financial situation and planning for your future and instead give them to something you happen to want in the moment.

Whenever you try to justify that choice, you’re making an excuse for why you can’t get your financial life straight. Maybe it’s just a small thing. Maybe it’s something you really, really, really want. Maybe you have to buy it to impress somebody.

In the end, though, it all comes back to the same cold, hard truth: you chose a short term, forgettable desire over building a financial future for yourself.

If you truly want to have a strong financial future for yourself, stop making excuses for choosing that short-term desire. Stop justifying it. Start realizing that every time you make that choice, it is a setback in terms of your financial future.

Yes, sometimes it’s going to be a good choice to listen to your short term voice and go ahead with it, but the times when that is a good choice are few and far between when your financial house is in disorder and your financial future is in doubt. Stop making excuses. Start making better choices every time you spend a time.

Strategy #2 – Ask Yourself “Will This Help Me Survive?” When It Comes to Every Purchase

One of the biggest challenges to taking financial control of your life is to really look at each and every purchase you’re making, whether with cash or credit. Do you really need that item? Will it help you survive? Is there a less expensive option that will help you survive in the same way?

You should ask this question about every single purchase you make. You should ask this question about every single item you put in your shopping cart. You should ask this question about every single bill that comes in and every single line on that bill.

If the answer is no, buying it does nothing more than set back your plans for getting your debt under control and building some kind of financial future. If the answer is yes, you should immediately be asking yourself if there is a less expensive option for reaching that same goal.

Self-control is born from truly considering the negative consequences of each move you make. Self-control rises up from making the hard choice to say “no” to things you used to say “yes” to without a second thought. Self-control is present when you truly understand the moments when it’s okay to say “yes,” but know that the rest of the time you’re far better off saying “no.”

It all starts with asking the question, over and over and over again, with every penny you spend.

Will this help me survive?

Strategy #3 – Live off of Cash Alone – No Credit

One of the biggest reasons that companies push credit cards so hard – and issue such large credit limits to users with decent credit – is that it distracts the user from how much money they’re actually spending. No actual cash changes hands when you buy something with a credit card, so it’s easy to abstract it and just assume you “have enough” if the credit card transaction goes through.

That’s a recipe for trouble, especially for people who simply pay their credit card bill each month and don’t really think about the consequences of their purchase until one day they realize that their minimum credit card bills are huge, those bills and other debts are keeping them from things they want or need to do, and it’s going to be many years before they can pay them off. It’s a disaster fueled by a lack of self-control when it comes to spending.

The solution, however, is easy: go cash-only. Stop using your credit card at all for a while. If you don’t have the cash in your checking account to cover an expense, then skip it. If you’re finding that you’re running out of cash before the end of the month, figure out how to make it to the end and then use that lesson to make smarter choices the following month.

Financial self-control is like riding a bicycle, and committing to a cash-only lifestyle for a while is much like learning to ride a bicycle using training wheels. Eventually, when you know what you’re doing, you can take the training wheels off and use credit again in a smart fashion, but for now, if you can’t make ends meet and you’re dealing with credit card bills, it’s time to keep things simple and ditch the credit cards for a year or two.

Strategy #4 – Visit Tempting Places with No Money or Credit Cards in Hand

Most people who have difficulty with financial self-control recognize that there are certain places where they are highly likely to make poor decisions and spend money on short-term desires without really thinking about the consequences. The coffee shop. The book shop. The electronics store. The clothes store. Where are your weak points?

One might think that it is sensible advice to just avoid those places, but doing so really doesn’t teach you self control. It just teaches you avoidance.

A much better approach is to sometimes go to those tempting places, but put a very hard cap on what you’re able to spend there. Don’t take a credit card or a debit card in there with you. Take no cash at all, unless you’re going there for a very specific item; in that case, take just enough cash to buy that specific item.

The process of doing this, especially doing this many times, teaches you how to go to those places, be tempted, and resist that temptation. That temptation resistance is the core of self-control.

Strategy #5 – Focus on Participation, Not Buying

Many busy people often buy things out of a desire to keep in touch with a hobby or passion that they don’t really have time for. A person might be a passionate reader, for example, but that person’s life gives little time for the kind of focused reading that he or she really loves, so instead that person buys books that they’d like to read as something of a “substitute” fulfillment.

If you find yourself buying things to fulfill a hobby that you love but can’t find time for, consider altering your schedule and blocking off some devoted time for that hobby. Spend less time on distracting and unfulfilling time wasters such as the internet and television watching and instead focus on actually participating things that you wish you had more time for. Crack a book. Go fishing. Build a new chair in your woodworking shop. Make a scrapbook with the scrapbooking supplies in your closet. Go on a hike.

Do something. Don’t buy something as a weak substitute for doing something. If you don’t have enough time to do something, then look deeply at your time use and eliminate some of the time you waste. Actually participating in something you’re passionate about can be incredibly effective at draining away one’s desire to spend money on more and more things for that passion as a “substitute” for participation. In other words, actually read that stack of books instead of buying more to add to it.

Strategy #6 – Choose Your Social Engagements Wisely

Quite often, people go “out on the town” or meet others for social engagements outside of the home that end up revolving around clubs or restaurants or stores or businesses that strongly encourage spending money. You might go out for dinner somewhere with some friends, then go to a movie, then go to a bar, and before you know it an evening with friends has sapped $100 from your wallet. You might hang out with some friends for the day, but it ends up being a nonstop string of stores and spending money.

Be wary of those social engagements. You shouldn’t have to shell out cash to hang out with friends. Try to find other types of things to do when socializing, either at someone’s home or at a place where spending isn’t really part of the experience, like playing soccer at the local park or having a picnic somewhere.

Some of your “friends” may balk at this. In that case, it’s pretty easy to tell which people in your social calendar are more interested in going out and spending money and which ones are more interested in hanging out with you. The ones who would consistently rather go out and spend money are friendships you can safely minimize in your life.

Strategy #7 – Track Your Spending Very Carefully – and Review It

One big reason that people lose track of their spending and feel like they’re out of control is that they have no single central place to really look at their spending and see where the money is going. You can alleviate that by tracking your spending with care, recording and categorizing every dollar that goes out of your life.

To this day, I track my spending very carefully using You Need a Budget 4. Others use tools like Mint or Quicken to achieve similar results. You can even do the same thing with a pocket notebook and a spreadsheet program. The goal with each tool is the same – record every dime you spend, sort it into categories, and review that spending to see what areas you’re overspending on.

Such reviews are almost always an eye opener. People almost always spend far more on things than they believe that they did, and simply seeing a monthly total of how much you spent at the convenience store or the Google Play store or on Amazon can often really shock you.

Spend some time really thinking about those areas of spending that shocked you the most. Did you really get that much life value out of those purchases? Probably not. How much of your spending at a particular store or on a particular type of item could be eliminated? Quite a bit, most likely.

Strategy #8 – Automate Your Key Savings and Key Bill Payments

This is the old “pay yourself first” strategy, meaning that you take care of important things like paying down debt and saving for the future before anything else and then figure out how to live on what’s left.

The easiest way to do all that is through automation. Have your bank send an automatic payment to your credit card (the one you’re not using right now… remember the earlier strategies) that exceeds your minimum payment each month. Have money automatically taken from your paycheck and put into your 401(k) (or start a Roth IRA and have the cash come straight out of your checking after each paycheck arrives).

The more automatic you can make these things, the better. Some people with irregular paychecks might not be able to fully automate this, but you should be able to do such things with just a click or two using online bill pay, so make sure that you have everything in place to do just that.

Strategy #9 – Ask for Help from Your Most Trusted Friends and Family

If you have a trusted inner circle of friends and family, they can be incredibly helpful when it comes to making personal changes like this.

For starters, they can be useful sources of advice that are attuned specifically to your situation and your personal attributes. They know you. They probably have at least some sense of what makes you tick – sometimes even more than you do. That can result in some very useful, very specific advice that works for you specifically.

In addition, having a person that deeply cares for you as a personal support and confidant during a period when you’re making some difficult life changes and life choices can be very empowering. Simply having someone to talk to who will provide an ear can help as you take on these life changes. Having someone who will happily spend time with you doing nothing at all or exploring new activities that don’t cost anything can be very powerful, too.

You might also find a very nice role model in that mix. Perhaps you have friends or family members who have achieved the financial goals you want to achieve and you can use them as mentors to help guide you along the same path. You can pick their brains and learn from their experiences, too.

Close friends and family members can provide all of these things, all of which can be very helpful during a major change in personal habits.

Strategy #10 – Don’t Give Up When You Take a Misstep or Two

Guess what? You’re going to make a spending mistake or two while you figure all of this out. You’re going to buy something without thinking about it. You’re going to make a purchase that you later regret. You’re going to feel like this is all impossible.

First of all, don’t sweat it. Financial progress, like progress in anything else in life, is often a story of taking two steps forward for every one step backward. You can take a lot of steps backward as long as you keep pushing forward.

The goal is to strive to do better than you did before. If you make a mistake, don’t punch yourself over it. Instead, ask why you made that mistake and then strive to not repeat that mistake. Rethink the situation that led you to that mistake and see what you can do to avoid that situation in the future.

Most of all, don’t give up on yourself. The journey is long. No long journey is ever completed without some missteps and setbacks along the way.

Final Thoughts

It can feel almost overwhelming when you finally realize that your financial state is completely out of control. You’re often simultaneously facing significant debt, a lack of any sort of sense as to where your money is going, and a great deal of worry about your future, and that can add up to a dark place in life.

The goal of all of these strategies is singular: it’s all about taking control again. It’s about getting back in touch with where your money is actually going, separating your needs from your wants, and figuring out which uses for your money actually make sense. It’s also about finding support for that change from your family, your friends, and your greater social network, as well as through your personal use of time and energy.

If you work on those things in concert, you’ll find that you’re back in control of your money surprisingly quickly and you’re ready to start heading down a path of debt freedom and financial independence.

Good luck!

The post Ten Useful Strategies for Learning Financial Self-Control appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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Watch: Flash Mob Held In Kathmandu To Support Wild Ripperz Crew & Sushant Khatri On Dance+ 2

Two dance crews from Nepal – Wild Ripperz Crew and solo dancer Sushant Khatri have been rocking the stage on Star Plus dance TV reality show Dance+ Season 2. Both of them have made it to Top 6 and are the toughest contenders for the title this year. Wild Ripperz from skipper Dharmesh’ team and Sushant from Shakti Mohan’s team have become the favorites in the show with some of their spectacular performances that didn’t only stun the audiences and judges but also the celebrity guests.

The two have been receiving support from all around the world. And a flash mob was held at Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu on August 20th in support of both of them. The performance by three dozen dancers was thoroughly enjoyed by the people present at the venue. Rajiv Samar had choreographed the entire sequence for the flash mob organized by Crezona Media Group and managed by Asim Shrestha. The performance was shot by Ujjwal Pyakhurel, Anjon Limbu, Prajwol Ranjit and Aashish Maharjan.

The performance by Wild Ripperz Crew will be aired on Saturday, August 27th and Sushant Khatri’s performance will be aired on Sunday. The voting lines will be open only for two hours from 8 PM to 10 PM (IST), that is 8:15 to 10:15 PM (NST), on Saturday and Sunday. In order to vote for them to help them get into the finals, you’ll have to give a missed call to following numbers:

For Wild Ripperz Crew: 18008333349

For Sushant Khatri: 18008333353

The voting lines are only open for India and one vote will be counted from each phone number.

So guys, be ready to support your favorite dancers. For now, watch this flash mob and let us know what you think of it.

The post Watch: Flash Mob Held In Kathmandu To Support Wild Ripperz Crew & Sushant Khatri On Dance+ 2 appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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Balen Drops New Single, A ‘Happy’ One This Time!

Balen fans are rejoicing as he has recently dropped a brand new single. It had been quite a while since he released his last song and so it came as a pleasant surprise for his fans when he came up with the new song without releasing any teaser or even any announcement about it. The engineer by profession and a rapper by passion, has something fresh for the listeners this time and the latest song is a ‘happy’ one. He has been more into songs raising serious issues and talking about the condition of the nation but this time around, he has done something different.

The song titled ‘Mann Yo Udyo’ is written, composed and performed by Balen himself. Giving him company on hook is Brijesh Shrestha who has also produced the beat for the song. The song talks about the happy feelings of a urban youth who has taken some time out from his busy and hectic city life to roam around the country side all alone by himself. Apart from the song, Balen can also be seen as a carefree and jolly guy in the music video that is shot and edited by Rohsik and Jash.

When asked what made him come up with a ‘happy’ song this time, “I guess I have got matured. I don’t feel like rapping about our leaders and abuse them anymore. I just wrote about things that make me happy and sang with all my heart, that’s what ‘Mann Yo Udyo’ is all about,” Balen told NeoStuffs.

Well, we thoroughly enjoyed the song and its music video. It will definitely make you want to take a trip to a place far away on your own. Watch the video below and let us know what you think of it. You can also download the song for free HERE.

The post Balen Drops New Single, A ‘Happy’ One This Time! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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How to Build Business Credit

Nearly all of us have heard of someone financing a small business on personal credit cards just to keep the doors open until they become profitable.

It’s a scenario that’s frowned upon by financial advisors and credit professionals alike, but it’s one that happens all the time regardless. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that more than 65% off all business owners use credit for business purchases, but only 50% of those cards are actually in the business’ name.

A much sounder approach to financing a small business begins with establishing good business credit early on, so that when a cash injection is needed there are better options available.

Developing credit history for a new business is not nearly as challenging as it may seem. “It’s easy for businesses to establish business credit, a lot of people just don’t know how to do it,” says nationally recognized financial advisor Chris Bridges, a certified consumer and business credit expert. “You have to get out there and get some accounts opened.”

Dedicated to raising awareness of credit and its impact on people’s lives, Bridges says it’s a matter of simply taking it one step at a time. If you’re wondering how to build business credit for your small business, here are some of the critical first actions recommended by finance and credit industry professionals.

Establish a Federal Employer Identification Number and Then a DUNS Number

This is a one-two punch that constitutes some of the basic, initial groundwork for a new business. A federal Employer Identification Number is used to identify a business entity. And it’s the number used to register with business credit bureaus such as Dun & Bradstreet.

A DUNS number, meanwhile, issued by Dun & Bradstreet, verifies the existence of a business entity globally. It’s also the number businesses are often required to provide when applying for corporate credit.

Don’t Neglect Your Personal Score

When it comes to lending money to a new small business, the business owners’ personal credit score is often part of the equation. It’s one of the few barometers of credit-worthiness available to banks and other lenders when a business is first getting off the ground.

“There’s a lot to be said about building business credit, but when you get down to getting funding, you will always have to use your Social Security number,” explains Bridges. “You can build business credit regardless of personal credit, but the two will eventually meet somewhere… And you want to position yourself to take advantage of opportunities. Good, strong personal credit will take you further as a small business, it will open up more financing opportunities.”

Act Like a Business

When advisors say act like a business, they mean establish accounts in your business’ name, not your personal name. This begins with simple things such as utility bills and leases. It also includes perhaps obtaining a credit card in your company’s name at such places as Staples, Home Deport, or Quill. Each of these small actions helps build your company’s credit profile and history.

“In the early stages, you might need to personally guarantee payment,” says Karim Chehade, Experian’s director of small business. “But the more you establish your business’ name and that information gets reported to us from creditors, the more likely it is you will be able to negotiate and secure better terms for financing, without having to offer personal guarantees.”

Start Early

Don’t wait to apply for business credit cards or credit lines with vendors and suppliers. It’s one of the first steps to take. Businesses with bragworthy credit histories and scores followed this important rule. And again, the simplest way to do this is to establish a store-based credit line.

An important note here. When selecting a company to establish a credit card or credit line with, make sure it’s one that reports to the credit bureaus. Otherwise, the line of credit is not helping to build your business’ payment history.

“Begin with a starter account, with a vendor or a supply company such as Quill or Fed-Ex. In 30 days you have to pay that bill and the information is reported to credit bureaus,” says Bridges.

Pay Your Bills On Time

This seems like a no-brainer, but it is critical, says Chehade.

“Stay current with all agreed-upon terms. It’s very simple, but our experience working with small business owners is that they have so much on their plate,” Chehade explains. “If there was one thing they had to do, I would say make sure they are paying their bills on time. If they are doing that, then the probability of having a negative report goes down.”

A Final Bit of Advice

Get into the habit of continuously monitoring your company’s credit profile, recommends Experian’s Chehade.

What constitutes regularly exactly? About once a month. Check your credit report every 30 days and correct outdated or erroneous information. You can also create alerts so that you’re notified by email of any changes made in your business’ name.

There is no magic number or specific timeline in terms of how long it takes to establish a credit history for your business. Obtaining a business credit card and business identification numbers are the quick part. Developing a specific (and good) credit score takes a bit longer. There needs to be a payment history that credit reporting agencies can use to establish your company’s score.

Bottom line, says Bridges? Get started as soon as possible.

“You’ve got to owe someone. That’s the main message here. You can’t establish business credit without opening at least one account,” she says.

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The post How to Build Business Credit appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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