Keep Your Head Up

Financial woes can take its toll on anyone. Increasing stress levels and pressure on one’s personal and professional life can be just the beginning for some people. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though.

Baby Steps

You might be in some financial pressure. Or, on the other side of the scale, you might be on the cusp of bankruptcy. Financial stress is nothing to ignore.

For those of us who have experience trying financial times, it is not easy. After all, financial concerns can cloud one’s future and alter one’s confidence. There can be a sense of failure that takes its toll as well.

image courtesy of Andrew Kitzmiller

One of the best things that can be done in this situation is to take it one step at a time. You aren’t going to come up with a three-month plan to get out of your $25,000 debt situation on a $34,000 salary. It isn’t going to happen. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to accept your current situation, and the accompanying stress/pressure involved.

Take some small steps that can give you some confidence, moving forward:

• Here and Now: What can you do today to get on the right track? Take a long and hard look at your budget. Sell unneeded items and/or downsize across the board (home, car, and “stuff”). You can accept the frugal lifestyle today.

• Microcosm: Take your big goals and then shrink them – a lot. These smaller goals will help you stay motivated and remain on the right track. They can spell success and keep you headed there for good.

• Dedication: Can you stay on track with your plan? What will it take to meet your stringent eating out guidelines needed to get out of debt? Whether you need mini-budgets posted on the fridge for motivation, or something else, you need to stay dedicated.

A Word on Stress

You have to keep your head up. Allowing financial concerns and stress to enter your mind is natural. However, you shouldn’t allow it to overwhelm you.

Look to separate your financial situation from other things. While you might be saying that this is impossible, due to lack of available funds to “enjoy” the finer things, there is a point to that. However, when you take financial stressors seriously, you can learn to live frugally. You can enjoy free and cheap ways to go out and stay home – and still have a great time.

Execute the car insurance comparison to save some money. Look at term deposit rates once you get out of debt. However, whether you are struggling in debt or finally out of it (permanently!), learn to manage financial pressure and your regular life. Don’t let the numbers get to your head.

Keep your head up. There are plenty of ways to make your current situation more manageable. When you’re not engaged in these, try to separate yourself from that world. Even if you’re looking at a long hard road out of debt, you don’t have to let it consume your thoughts and life.


Brian Neese is a personal finance and insurance blogger who writes for Home Loans Australia.



Five Options for UK Divorce

If you feel that your marriage might be headed for a divorce, it is a wise idea to consult with a lawyer to find out what a divorce entails. UK attorney Irwin Mitchell (our guest blogger today) provides a variety of expertise in this area.

Unlike in America, a divorce can only be obtained in either England or Wales if you can prove your marriage has ended and cannot be repaired. A divorce petition can be filed through the court system. A couple must be married for at least one year and provide grounds for seeking the divorce. Your legal counsel can provide you with more specific information but there are generally five different grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery can be grounds for divorce if you discover that your spouse has had an extramarital affair. The petition must be made within six months of learning about the affair for it to be valid.   In the UK, ancient history is, well, ancient history. The adultery must be proven or admitted to by the cheating party – so good luck if you have a stubborn spouse.
  2. A second ground for divorce would be unreasonable behaviour. This is typically the most used grounds for divorce. A lot of reasons fall into this category. Let’s face it, if you are prepared to divorce your spouse, chances are there has been behaviour that you find unreasonable.  Plus, this is the only one of the five grounds not encumbered by a time limitation that many people find challenging.  But best seek legal advice as to what the courts consider unreasonable..
  3. Desertion is another reason for divorce. While it’s not commonly used, your spouse must have abandoned you for at least two years. After this time period elapses, the deserted party can file for divorce.  Unlike with adultery, you have no choice but to wait on this one.  If your spouse returns after a year and a half, you cannot use this option (maybe try “unreasonable behaviour” above?)
  4. Separation is another reason that one can file for divorce. If the separation occurred for a minimum of two years, then this is known as an uncontested divorce.   Yes, more waiting, but that is the law.
  5. On the other hand, if your spouse does not want the divorce, you can file for divorce if you’ve lived apart for at least five years. This is referred to as a contested divorce.  And this obviously is likely to be a messy option – not to mention one that requires a lot of patience.

The legal ramifications of divorce are many. Legal advice can help guide someone through this difficult process.

This guest post was written by Irwin Mitchell, who also handles personal injury cases and many other services. Get in touch with them if you happen to live in England or Wales.  And remember that the rules are vastly different in different countries.

Does it make Financial Sense to Trade in your Car?

There is nothing better than the new car smell. The thought of this alone attracts many people into a car dealership. While there is nothing wrong with buying a new car, you have to consider your current situation before moving forward. For example, what are you going to do with the vehicle that you have right now? You may think that it makes financial sense to trade in your car and upgrade to a new one, but until you focus on the finer details you will never really know for sure.

Are you Upside Down?

If you own your current car outright, you are in good position to trade it in if necessary. This means that any money you receive on your trade in can be put towards the down payment of your new vehicle.

On the other hand, you may still owe money on your car loan. If so, you have to decide if you are really in position to upgrade. If you owe more than the car is worth, you are going to “take a hit” when you trade it in. In turn, you will have to roll this amount into your new loan.

Does your Car have any Life Left?

If your car is paid off you may be tempted to trade it in. After all, you can receive money for your trade that can be used to lower the cost of your new vehicle. But remember one thing: you are going to be spending additional money. In most cases, this means another car payment. And most likely a higher car insurance premium, as well.

Although buying a new car may be exciting, you don’t want to jump the gun if it is not going to benefit you financially. If your car is doing its job without showing any signs of breaking down, you may want to hold onto it a bit longer. With each month that goes by, you can save the cost of a car payment.

READ ALSO: Quirky ways to save money on your car  

Should I Keep my Trade In and Buy a New Car?

In some cases, it may make sense to keep your current car and buy a new one. Of course, this is based on a case-by-case situation. For example, maybe you have a child who just received his/her driver’s license. At this point, you may want to give your child your old vehicle and buy a new one for yourself. This gives you access to enough cars, without having to buy two new ones.

Some people decide to keep their old car and buy a new one, even though they don’t need both vehicles. Even if your car is paid off, there are other financial considerations such as the cost of insurance and maintenance.

Sometimes it makes sense to trade in your vehicle. Other times you are better off keeping it. In the end, you need to make the decision that is going to best benefit you from a financial point of view.

Does it make Financial Sense to Trade in your Car? is a guest post by Chris at

Why You Don’t Have to Try to Be Unique

This is a guest post from Josh Monk

As a musician and photographer, I often encounter people who are trying too hard to be different or unique. In these creative fields especially, people often feel the need to stand out from the crowd in order to be successful. They follow the philosophy that their audience will equate uniqueness with talent, and attempt to adjust how people perceive them accordingly. This is a very misguided way of looking at things. By making a special effort to be unique or different, what these people are actually saying to their audience is “don’t look at the real me.”

Everybody on the planet – the whole 7 billion of us – is unique already, without even trying. Each one of us has a different set of mannerisms, facial expressions, patterns of speech, outward physical appearance, choice of clothing – even the way we choose to style our hair makes us different from the next person. And when people are faced with similar problems, they tackle them in very different ways. I could go on. Simply put, people are interesting just because they’re people.

So why do we find it so hard to just accept this fact and embrace our own individuality? Unfortunately, people have a tendency to think their lives are less interesting than other people’s. It’s human nature. A point that is so often forgotten, though, is that by simply embracing the fact that you are unique without even trying, you are allowing people to see you for who you are. However you decide to present yourself, people are far more likely to enjoy your company and respect your opinion if they can see that you are not putting on a façade.

There is certainly a place for people who innovate or push the envelope, (Lady Gaga, for example, has built an entire career on her unique brand of strangeness), but many people don’t see that they can do that by simply being themselves. The next time you find yourself putting on an act for a certain group of people, stop, take a breath, and just be yourself. It’s far less work!

From the film Life of Brian: “You’re all different.” “I’m not.”

Josh Monk is a writer at

Here’s What’s So Good About Being Debt Free

Why should you aim to be free of debt? Having debt alters the way that you spend your money. Instead of spending money on the things you want, you have to spend money paying your creditors back. Not only can it be disheartening to see your hard earned money going out the window, but you can fall even further in debt if you are not able to make the payments on time. Aiming to be free of your debt has many benefits.

Keep Your Money In Your Pocket

You work hard for that paycheck that you get every week. Why should some credit card company get a slice of that money? While it might seem easier to purchase something and pay back later, the consequences of making payments with credit aren’t always apparent at the time. Before making any purchase with a credit card, you should think about the interest rate that you are paying to spend your money. Unless you can pay back that balance in the next 30 days, you are just paying someone to tempt you into spending more than you can afford.

Stress Out Less About Your Finances

What would you do if you ever lost your job? If you have no debt, you can ride out a job loss for a longer period of time. Making a large cash purchase won’t be as much of a strain on your finances if you are working just to replenish your bank account. Creditors will not be calling your house all day if there is no debt to collect. Living a life that is free from debt allows you to worry less about your cash flow.

More Freedom To Live Your Life

Most people have a job in order to make money. If you have no debts, you have more of a say in where you work. If you don’t like your job, you can quit because you don’t need the money right away. Sleeping in every morning is viable if you don’t need to work so many hours to stay ahead financially. You can take a vacation on a whim if you have enough money in your bank account. Without debt, you are free to live your life as you see fit.

Ensure A Secure Future

The ability to put your money directly into savings accounts comes in handy. There will be a time when you cannot work anymore, and you will need to rely on the money that you were able to save. Having a higher level of savings will enable you to have a more secure retirement. Having that safety net will also help you pay for health care and other necessities that seem to become more expensive over time. Your savings could also help your kids pay for college and ensure that they start their lives as free from debt as possible.

To Conclude…

A life that is free from debt offers so many advantages. You will stress over your finances a lot less while avoiding the other pitfalls of debt. Keeping your money in your pocket allows you to determine where and when you spend it. Having the ability to make choices in your life is liberating and allows you to enjoy your life that much more.

Andy co-founded Credit Card Compare, an Australian comparison website where consumers can review and rate the best credit cards from across the whole market. If you are in debt and want to live a debt free life, he recommends using a 0% balance transfer in conjunction with the debt snowball method, a proven strategy for getting out of debt.

A New Spiritual Technique – Could We Change The World?

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
– Albert Einstein

Anybody can look out at the world these days and see some that wild times are happening, with more on the way. We could have a very chaotic time in our near future.

And with the gigantic scale of events, many of us seem be crawling back into our turtle shells, trying to be safe from the melee storming outside the window. Others wail and protest, trying to wake up the sheep to our coming peril, like the proverbial Noah whilst building his ark.

The spiritual technique that switches things around.

So what SHOULD we do about it all? What if the wildest part was, just like Dorthy and her ruby slippers, we already have inside of us an inherent spiritual technique that can change the basic situation, but we never realized it before? Not to change the entire world immediately, but to shift perspectives, to let go of the methods and ways that we have been entrenched in, but were so ubiquitous, that it was like fish breathing water.

If we look around, even inside our own lives, haven’t most of been trained to think in ways that don’t serve us? Aren’t our habits rather ineffective? And aren’t most of us rather complacent, and try to make our lives as comfortable as possible? And because of this, if we WERE to try to follow the dictate from old Einstein, wouldn’t our efforts be more like simply flailing ourselves around?

The spiritual technique that inspires us.

Just sit back now, and imagine that you had a calling, a unique purpose that opened you up. Imagine that that was possible for you, and that you had a way to connect to it. That you had a way to KNOW what it was, and then you also had a way to know the best way to make it come alive in the world.

You might find that you have to take a moment now, to imagine this, but if you could, what would that feel like? Do any spiritual techniques or practices from past centuries or current times make us feel this way? Could anything be more motivational?

So now I must ask, for I want to get feedback from you, dear reader. Do you think it would be great to discover that we are all hardwired to connect to a higher source of wisdom and guidance, but that we didn’t know how to do it before? Do you think that it is possible, and then could you see the ways you’d like your life to change?

To help answer these questions, and to read the rest of the story, go to this link:

This is a guest post by Andrew James Batha of

Save for something that makes you happy

This is a guest post from Money Supermarket:

Many people have the goal of saving enough money so that they can enjoy themselves when they retire. This is certainly a worthy goal to have, but it also means that there are a lot of people who are missing out on the joys of life in the here and now.

People often spend their whole lives pinching pennies and saving for the future when that future may not look all that bright. A growing number of people are now realizing that while saving for the future is a good idea, it is certainly just as important to enjoy yourself now while you can. Some are now looking at financial products to help them plan those shorter-term goals that make them happy.

Planning a vacation is a great way for someone to spend enjoyable hours thinking about the upcoming getaway. Going on a holiday allows you to break the monotony of everyday life and come back relaxed and rejuvenated.

Regular vacations add interest and enjoyment to life. It is possible to experience other parts of the world and enjoy the diverse cultures that make up this planet, but what makes one person happy is different from what makes another person happy.

Saving money for goals is all about aiming for something that will bring you joy. There is no point in saving for something that someone else may want for you when you think it’s a waste of money. In order to get value from saving for something, it must truly be something you want. Saving for a new car is great for someone who loves driving and will truly benefit from this, but not so great for someone who only gets a new car to impress his friends.

Enjoyable goals that are worth saving for bring a bounce to the step and a smile to the face. If you do not have a good idea what makes you happy, just think of things you have done in the past that you have really enjoyed. It may be fun to do this again or buy items that allow you to experience the happy experience again.

A good goal is going to be something that you look forward to when it happens and makes you feel excited and alive. Saving for this kind of goal is easy because it involves the pleasure principle. It is far easier to save for something that brings true pleasure than something that is not what you really want.

The Power of Focusing Your Attention

In a world of multi-tasking and hand-held devices, our moments of laser focus are in danger of extinction. Instead of dedicating our full attention to one thing at a time, we live in a society that promotes the opposite. The idea seems to be that the busier we are, the more productive we’ll be. However, the critical question is, how do we continue to approach our tasks at hand during the busier times?

I have encountered many professionals who are perpetually busy with various projects and aspects of their work, yet, seem to rarely ever make progress. I believe the culprit is multitasking, and the answer is focus management. Contrary to time management and multi-tasking, focus management is a thorough approach to getting things done. It’s about being in the moment and dedicating full attention to the task at hand until it’s complete.

Too often I have found that whenever we come across a large amount of things to do, we tend to fall into a state of desperation, causing us to hit the panic button and scramble our attention. This is when multitasking comes into play. Instead of trying to swallow the elephant within one bite, we need to relax, take a step back and dissect this large, overwhelming task into small individual steps. Once we accomplish this, it is our responsibility to then focus our entire attention on that step, without thinking about the next step until the current one is completed.

READ ALSO: 11 life lessons

Consistency is another vital attribute when it comes to focus management. I believe that focus + consistency = tremendous gains and results. If we manage to set up a focus management plan but lack consistency, we will not get very far in whichever endeavor we pursue. This is one of the reasons why I believe it’s important to break down our tasks into small, individual ones. This gives us the opportunity to accomplish more as well as gain momentum. Once we begin to gain momentum, we will then begin to generate the energy needed in order to achieve consistent results.

This new style of working may sound a little bit awkward for those who are accustomed to multitasking, but I guarantee it is more productive than divvying up your attention. It’s all about making consistent and focused increments towards accomplishing your goals.

This is a guest post by Luis Rosario, the Director of Communications / Event Relations for Personal Development Community, an online community that focuses on prosperity & abundance, lifestyle design, quality of life, and motivation. With an educational background in Sociology and Inter-cultural Communications, his mission is to change the world for the better one event at a time!

Muhammad Ali’s Lessons for Life

Ali was not only one of the greatest boxers the world has ever known but he is also known as an incredibly inspiring human being. He was also known for his pre-match hype, where he would “trash talk” opponents on television and in person some time before each match, often with rhymes. These personality quips and idioms, along with an unorthodox fighting technique, made him a cultural icon. Below I will list some of his most inspiring quotes and how important they can be to the person who takes heed.

1… Fake it until you believe it.


“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was”

I’m sure you have heard the “fake it till you make it” phrase before. How you hold yourself and what you say to yourself has a dramatic affect on how others see you and how your mind perceives your environment.


When you are out and about in the world today, hold your head up, pull your shoulders back and speak with clarity. By purposely and consciously acting how you would like to feel, your body and mind will begin to follow the lead you set out before hand. Also, the people you meet will treat you the way they perceive you, thus, reinforcing into your mind the outcome you set out to from the start.

If you want to feel more confident, in control and you want others to see you that way, then fake it. Inside, you might be nervous at first but others will not notice this as they will only be focused on what their eyes can see.

“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest”

2… Short term pain for long term gain.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Everything we do in life has consequences and more often than not we tend to opt for the easiest solution ahead of persevering in the face of resistance. Our bad habits are a perfect example of this lesson because they give us instant gratification and yet we never focus on the long term effects they may cause.

It becomes very easy to choose between what makes us feel good now as opposed to what will make us feel good in the future. Take a look at the choices you make each day and ask yourself if you are simply choosing instant gratification over long term pleasure. Most don’t want to put in the effort today because the results may take some time to manifest.

I am all for living in the moment but there are certain seeds that need to e planed today for the to harvest tomorrow.

3… Nobody knows you better than you know yourself.

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”


No one can accuse Ali of being a person who lived his life on others terms. What about you? Are you living your life on your own terms? Have you made choices in the past because of what others expected of you and continue to do so?

I made the decision some time ago to live my life on my own terms. I left an extremely well paid  job after 12 years because I simply didn’t enjoy it anymore. It was a big decision at the time and I had to listen to my friends and family tell me how I was making a huge mistake in doing so. If I would have listened to them then I would be as miserable now as I was then. It was the best decision I ever made and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Most often the time is never right and you just have to go for it. I truly believe that things will always work out for the best in the end if you are willing to fly in the face of adversity, make a decision that feels right and stick with it.

4… You are so talented.

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself”


Nothing is impossible if you have faith in yourself…nothing. I have found the biggest problem that people have is doubting themselves and their abilities. I have also realized that your mind is the great trickster. How many times have you doubted your ability to accomplish something and avoided the task altogether. Stop listening to useless thoughts created in your mind that limit your growth. You are not your mind, and doubting yourself is absolutely useless because it is absolute lies.

You have enough ability to last you 100 lifetimes but you may never believe it if you give power to the thoughts that limit you. Believe me when I tell you this, you have the power to either entertain or dismiss any thought that enters your mind. Your mind is always thinking, remembering, fantasizing and forever creating stories based upon the information you subject it to. Start to believe in your abilities and begin to discard the negative useless thoughts that limit you.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen”


5… Does life just happen to you?

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life”

If we do not consciously create the life we want for ourselves then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over until the lesson is learned. Your life will change as the years go by but will it be because you took control and made the effort to consciously change your life, or will you leave it up to life to do the changing for you.

I have met many people who are not living up to even close to what they are capable of. The worse thing is that they don’t make any effort whatsoever to change their circumstances. They obviously want to have a better life, but it’s as if they’re hoping things will magically get better for them further down the line.

Take an inventory of your life up till this point and ask yourself if you are in the same situation, physically, mentally and emotionally as you where last month, year or even decade. Then ask yourself if your life is being played out on automatic pilot.

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This was a guest post written by Delcan at zenmed reviews where he discusses zenmed scar treatment reviews as well as many other natural treatments.