Simple Ways to Save Money on Energy

energy-saveMillions of people pay much more than they have to every month for electricity. This is because they needlessly waste power. They are not familiar with some very easy methods to reduce their energy consumption and the amount of money they have to pay for it. You will not need to alter your lifestyle in any meaningful way in order to begin integrating these energy saving methods into your daily routine. It is just a matter of remembering to do them. This will be difficult for you to do at first because you have been used to doing things a certain way for so long. Here are a few simple ways to save money on energy.

1. Unplug items that are not in use

Most people are under the false impression that electronic devices are no longer using any power when you turn them off. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that devices like TVs continue to draw electricity even when they are not turned on. Old TVs with tubes will use more power than the flat screen variety when they are off. Obviously, it is rather pointless to pay for your TV to use electricity when you are not even watching it. Therefore, you and the other members of your household will need to change the way you have always done things in the past. You should automatically remove the plug from the wall when you are finished watching it. The same goes for other devices like video game systems and DVD players. Using a power strip would be advantageous. This would allow you to cut the power to all devices by pressing a button.

2. Compare local energy providers

It would be in your best interests to contact all of the energy providers in your area. Find out exactly what they are charging for electricity. You may be surprised to find out that the company you are currently using is charging you much more than some of the other providers. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by making a few calls. An example of an excellent home energy provider is located at

3. Lower your heat and air conditioning

You might like to have your house very warm in the winter and very cold in the summer. However, changing your home’s temperature by just a couple of degrees will make a huge difference in terms of your energy bills.

What Steps Should I Take To Bring My Energy Bill Down?

adadaedqWith each passing month, many residential property owners find that their energy bill increases. If this is your current dilemma, you should know that you don’t have to watch your money go to waste due to an excessive use of energy. Instead, start utilizing these energy-saving tips so you can bring your monthly bill down:

1. Use a power strip to plug your electronic devices in, and then turn off the strip when you’re not using it so you can save on your energy costs.

2. Do not keep your home electronic devices in standby mode. This is an energy vampire.

3. Find TVs that contain the Energy Star-qualified label. This equipment increases energy efficiency up to 30% more than models that aren’t certified.

4. Consider buying a laptop instead of purchasing a desktop computer. The former use less energy than the latter.

5. Put your computer on hibernate or sleep mode in place of using screen savers. This utilizes less energy during inactive periods.

6. When your batteries are fully charged, unplug the battery chargers. Some chargers will use power continuously, meaning that they may be using energy even when you don’t have a device plugged into it.

7. Install high-performance films, screens, and windows. These devices can protect your artwork, wood, and upholstery from the UV rays and also save you energy.

8. When you shop for new windows, look for the National Fenestration Rating Council label. This means that you’re buying a window that is certified for performance.

9. Apply reflective coating to your AC to reduce the strain. Doing so will enable you to save by preventing excess heat from entering your property.

10. Invest in a reflective roof to prevent heat build-up. Reflective roofs will also prevent unwanted expansion and contraction that can result in degrading. Also be sure that the roof has an Energy Star label. This will ensure that you save energy, which will be less taxing on you financially while also protecting the environment.

11. Get a more cost-effective rate on your energy services by finding retailers that offer reasonable prices. You can use a source like Compare Texas Energy Providers to carefully analyze the different rates charged by various companies.

Let The Savings Begin

When you’re ready to start saving on your energy bill, the strategies outlined here can assist you in the process. By utilizing these energy-saving tips on a regular basis, you’ll find that your monthly bill starts to decrease and you can then devote your money to other things that will improve the quality of your life!


5 Ways to Boost Your Digital TV Reception

ba92While digital television is superior to analog television in many ways, it also has its drawbacks. For example, whereas analog TV will only get snowy when there’s a bad signal, digital television might just cut out entirely. Have you experienced this phenomenon? Have you missed an episode of your favorite show because you were battling with your TV? Here are five tips for making sure that it never happens again.

1. Move Your Indoor Antenna

If you have an indoor antenna, move it around a bit to see if that improves your reception. If you’re worried about losing the signal you already have, place a sticker or a piece of tape where the antenna used to reside before you start inching it around in hopes of something better. You can even color-code your stickers with red representing an awful signal and green representing great.

2. Re-Aim Your Outdoor Antenna
If you have an outdoor antenna, trying adjusting its height, aim or position. You might also try moving it to a new location all together. You may be experiencing multipath interference without even realizing it.

3. Map Out Your Cables

Bust out the stickers again and use them to label all of your cords and cables. Even wireless systems come with some things that need to be plugged in, and if you can map out their path in advance, you can save yourself a lot of headache down the line.

4. Buy a Signal Amplifier

Signal amplifiers are exactly what they sound like; they boost your existing signal and give you clearer pictures and more stable connections. They might cost you a few dollars upfront, but on the bright side, they’re a purchase you only have to make once, and you’ll be able to use them continuously after that.

5. Buy From the Right Provider

Last but certainly not least, the easiest way to ensure that you always have crystal-clear, high-quality video is to buy from a provider that can give it to you. Play your cards right and you might even get a bundle package with other perks like phone services!

These are just a few tips for boosting your digital television reception. Every signal in the universe can be strengthened or sharpened somehow, so don’t let yourself get complacent. You deserve high-quality Direct TV internet, and with the right techniques, you can have it.

Financial Investment Strategies

stockmarketChances are that you have heard of the phrase financial investment strategies before. But are you really sure what that means? In a simple sense financial investment strategies are rules and guidelines taken by individuals when investing their money that align with the individual’s goals, risk tolerance, and future need for capital.

Typically investment strategies focus on asset allocation, buy and sell guidelines when dealing with stock, and finally risk guidelines. Since there are all sorts of investment strategies an individual can employ, it is important to chose one that most closely aligns to your needs and stick with it over time. If you are interested in investing some of your money into the stock market then there are some guidelines that would be wise to take into consideration.

First of all, individuals need to understand that there are various different kinds of stocks. Consider which kinds of stocks you want to invest in. You could focus on company size, sector, or even type of growth patterns you see happening. Whatever you decide to choose, it is important to diversify your portfolio. Look for stocks that will ensure long term growth, and purchase stock from different industries. This is important because say one sector of the economy goes down, you still have stock in other sectors that can help you to weather the blow.

Another way to diversify your stock options is to look for companies that have a man CEO and companies that have a woman as their CEO. Men and women are wired differently and can bring different things to the table when running a business. In an article speaking about the benefits of gender diversity in the workplace written in October 2012 a RSA survey is mentioned that found “women bring empathy and intuition to leadership…three quarters rated women higher than men for intuition and possessing greater awareness of the motivations and concerns of other people.” Furthermore the survey goes on to say that, “a similar proportion saw women as more empathetic, with a better insight into how decisions play out in the wider organization.” This skill of being able to see how decisions will play out is very important for the CEO of any company to have if they want to be successful. The CEO needs to understand how any decision that they make affects the company as a whole either in a positive or negative way. Further in the article Dr. Gratton of London Business School is quoted saying, “it is different life experiences we want and a woman brings a different perspective. For me, it isn’t about being a woman, it’s more about being a mother-that role has made a difference to my thinking.” This is interesting because if you understand the special bond that a mother has to her child, theoretically she can understand how to make a special connection with her company as a CEO that can help give them an edge.

Although as a society we tend to applaud men running our profitable businesses, there is something to be said about a woman CEO. For instance, as of January 2013 did you know that HP, PepsiCo, Lockheed Martin, Xerox Corporation, Yahoo, Regal Entertainment Group, Jack in the Box and The Neiman Marcus Group all have a woman as their CEO? That being said, those are some great companies to invest in. The last tip when investing in the stock market is to keep in mind that it is far safer and a smarter way to do business to invest in good stocks and hold onto them for a while, rather than getting caught up in the quick fire game of rapid buying and selling. If you want to play the game then you need to allocate a lot of time and effort into watching the market and learning all the tricks. A much safer route is to pick up some good quality stock in a few different sectors of the economy and wide the wave.

Going Back to School to Receive Your CNA Certification

CNA_GroupCertified nursing assistants (CNAs) are healthcare workers who typically work under supervision of a physician, a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN), and they provide patients with assistance in daily tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, oral care or eating. Additional tasks that CNAs do include recording patients’ weight, height and vital signs.

If you are seeking a quick and easy job, being a CNA may not be the correct career choice for you. Being a CNA is hard work; however, if you are willing to work and if you have patience and compassion, a CNA career could be for you. If you are interested in seeking a career as a CNA, read on. The following are the ins and outs of going back to school to get a CNA certification.Getting The Right Education

You can typically enroll in a CNA training and certification program either via the Red Cross, a community college or a hospital. The duration of CNA certification programs is typically 12 weeks. The program will usually include instruction in topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, infection control, nutrition, documentation skills and hands-on CNA-related clinical activities.

There will be quizzes also. After completion of the CNA certification program, there is a competency exam that will be administered by the state you reside in. The competency exam is mandatory; you must get a passing score on it. When you pass the exam, you will be certified and eligible to work as a CNA.Careers You Can Pursue

CNAs can work as CNAs permanently, or CNAs can continue their education in order to become registered nurses (RNs). In addition, keep in mind that CNAs are able to work in various types of medical settings. For example, CNAs often work in hospitals, hospices, doctor’s offices,  medical clinics or urgent care centers. Other places CNAs might potentially work include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care agencies or day care centers.

Other Aspects That Are Relevant

In addition to meeting the education requirements, CNAs must have a deep sense of concern for others. CNAs work with everyone; they care for babies, children and adults of all ages. They care for those who are ill or dying. They even care for patients postmortem.

For example, they might have to prepare a patient’s body to be moved out of the hospital after death. Also, CNAs must have excellent communications skills because quite often they are working with patients who might be uncooperative, confused or upset, and it is helpful if the CNA can communicate clearly and stay calm.Dedication is another important quality for CNAs to have because CNAs are on their feet for extended periods of time, and they often have to do mundane repetitive tasks such as washing soiled linens for example. At these times, CNAs must downplay the mundane aspects of their job tasks, and they must focus more so on the fact that they are providing a necessary service.

Also, CNAs must have good personal hygiene. Medical settings must be as clean as possible; if the CNA has good hygiene, it helps to keep the overall environment of the medical setting clean too.About the Author: Rocky Ramirez is a published blog author and freelance researcher – he’s done a lot of research on careers and how to find what you’re passionate about in life. Look for his e-book guide coming out later on this month.


List of Discounts for Business Students

bigstockphoto_Business_Team_2812254If you’re a college student studying business and struggling to make ends meet, saving money is essential. One of the simplest ways to save money as a college student is to take advantage of the many discounts that are available out there.

You may be surprised to find that as a student you may have to try and not get discounts, as they are everywhere. Some are better than others though, and this article will help you find the most outstanding deals going.

The following is a list of the best discounts out there, along with some ideas to help you conserve on school supplies, such as paper costs and printing. You already know there is more than one professor out there who wants a paper copy of a term paper or test.

With printer ink and toner so precious, it’s wise to conserve on ink and paper. Breeze through your college career without causing nearly as much concern for overspending on ink or damaging the environment.Student Discounts

Check out the major software companies for outstanding product discounts.Books and Supplies

JourneyEd, Save up to 85%;, outstanding discounts for all students on all of the necessities; Amazon Student, Student members get discounts on a wide variety of books and student supplies.


Business professors are always asking students to get regular subscriptions to business publications. Here are a few of the discounts for students:

New York Times offers 50% off digital subscriptions and very low for home delivery. Wall Street Journal offers 75% to students; Boston Globe also offers 50% off for home delivery. Check out their websites individually for more information.


Apple offers discounts to students on their site, where you can get App gift cards when you purchase select merchandise. Apple’s special education pricing might save you a few bucks.

Ink Technologies offers deep discount on ink like HP ink cartridges (one of the most popular sold) and even offers a recycling program for your old toner.

Students with an e-mail address from their .edu school can receive six months free of Amazon Prime by joining Amazon Student.

Often software is heavily discounted for students such as Windows Operating System, Adobe Creative Suite and Photoshop.

Check With Your School

Many schools offer employee and student discounts with preferred vendors. Check your University or Colleges website to find helpful discounts at stores and online retailers near you.

This list is not exhaustive but a very good start for business students. Wherever you go take your student ID and be sure to ask if they offer a student discount. You may be surprised at just who does.

In addition to gathering savings on the above discounts, stores you can easily save money in other ways. One way is to change the way you think about things such minimalism (less stuff) and recycling. One huge area a student can save is with printer, ink and paper. Printer paper and ink can be a large part of your budget with so many projects and papers due throughout the year. The best student discounts can be the ones you make for yourself.

Green Your Office with Plants and Flowers

downloadAs business owners attempt to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on power, going green has become mainstream. But what about truly “greening” the workplace with plants? That, too, can have positive impacts on any business, and it can also save money!

Studies have shown that flowers and plants in an office can:

  • Create a calming effect for employees, therefore improving performance, productivity and accuracy
  • Decrease absenteeism by reducing the risk of Sick Building Syndrome
  • Reduce noise by absorbing sound waves
  • Make for happier employees

According to a study conducted at Washington State University, workers in an office with plants were “more productive (12% quicker reactions on the computer task) and less stressed (systolic blood pressure lower). They also reported feeling more attentive when the plants were present.”

With this in mind, how can you bring the benefits of greenery to your office? It can be as simple or as complicated as you make it.

It Only Takes One Plant
All it takes is one plant to improve your working environment. Choose something easy to keep alive, like a spider plant, and place it in your work area or a shared space. You will bring life into your office with little effort at all. If you would like something more colorful, consider an orchid. They are low-effort flowers that will add a beautiful touch to the office.

Plant a Space-Saving Garden
Planting a flower or vegetable garden can bring nature into your work location. These can be simple and space conscious. Following are three gardening techniques that can positively impact your work environment.

  • Plastic Cup Garden: If your office has a window, you can create a small plastic cup garden. Punch several holes in the bottoms of the cups, fill with soil and seeds, and place them on saucers to catch excess water. The options for plants and vegetables are limitless, but make sure to select plants that will thrive with the natural light that is available. This approach will not only bring nature into the office, but it will preserve much needed interior space.
  • Hanging Urban Garden: Do-it-yourselfers can build a simple wooden frame with planter boxes that extends from an office window.
  • Vertical Garden: Vertical gardens can adorn wall space, and generally only require breathable pouches, seeds, and soil. The pouches are often made of a recycled material, like burlap, and are attached to the walls with grommets. These can also be purchased in kits.

Decorate the Patio with a Raised Bed Garden
Raised bed gardens are relatively inexpensive options for outdoor patios or other spaces. For a couple hundred dollars, you can build one for your office’s outdoor spaces, creating a versatile location for casual meetings, private calls, or breaks. Here’s how:

  1. Cut a six-foot-long four-by-four into four, 16-inch corner posts.
  2. Screw corner posts to the ends of a four-foot two-by-six. Repeat with another four-foot two-by-six. This will create the ends of your planter.
  3. Connect the ends with two eight-foot two-by-six boards to create the box.
  4. Add another level of two-by-sixes to create the appropriate depth.
  5. Flip over and mark the locations where the posts hit the ground.
  6. Dig a six-inch hole for each post.
  7. Put the raised bed garden frame into place.
  8. Add hardware cloth to the bed to keep out gophers and moles.
  9. Attach four 12-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe on the long sides of the planters approximately four feet apart and two feet from each end. Secure each pipe with tube straps. These will hold hoops for row covers.
  10. If aesthetics are truly important, use other materials to decorate the outside of the box, like willow or even tin.
  11. Add a mixture of topsoil, compost, and potting soil. Rake it smooth and dampen it with water.
  12. Add flower seeds, but make sure to purchase those that will thrive in the amount of light that is available in this space.

While plants can improve the environment of any workplace, make sure to consider the needs of your employees or coworkers. Prior to adding plants to the work environment, explain your plans to others in the building and make sure that your efforts won’t have any negative impacts for others, such as allergic reactions to the plants or flowers that you have purchased.

If you are looking for ways to increase productivity, improve aesthetics, and create an office space that your employees will truly enjoy, consider plants. For a nominal cost, you can positively impact your bottom line.

Since 2000, Chris Long has been a store associate at a Home Depot in Illinois. He also contributes to the Home Depot blog, and provides raised bed garden advice as well as tips on other home landscaping topics.

Make Your Brand’s Graphics Click with Customers

downloadToday, a name isn’t enough to grab a customer’s attention and help them connect to the company brand. A brand’s graphics should click in more than one way with the customer’s than just the logo. Of course a logo is the most important representation for a brand-it’s what customers notice and register with the company when they see it each time. But a company should consider using graphics to represent their brand with animated graphics, motion graphics, and informative written pieces related to their industry and grab a consumer’s attention.

Amp up Your Logo

A logo may go through five different focus groups with about 8-10 people in each group. A good logo design tends to be simple and different methods of psychology are used to choose colors that coordinate with the connection brands want to make with their customers. For example, red is an excellent color for a restaurant for a lively atmosphere and blue is popular for technology brands. Consider what your company and logo already says to your customer and what message your future logo could represent.

Teach with Animation

Whether you decide to use it in your commercials, online video blog, or through another message, animated and motion graphics are becoming more popular as a way to demonstrate a product or service and share a message to consumers. Popular animated infographics are a great and simple way to explain something about your company and anything related to your industry. Animated infographics can be a timeline or a process of how a product is made or a service completed.

Connect with your customers by teaching them how to use your product at home with a step by step guide or try to do something that is not entirely related to your company but is in your industry. For example, if your brand is a food chain or a local cafe, create a step by step illustrated guide to how to cook a certain recipe or if you are a boutique, teach your customers how to design a scarf or a shirt.

Not only do infographics inform, but they can present two different sides by comparing and contrasting two different views. Political parties and product comparisons such as PC versus a Dell have used infographics as a way for a person to easily read and compare the facts side by side. This helps a person better understand the two different sides so that they may be able to see with which side they agree with the most or which is better suited for them.

Inform with Motion

Motion graphics can be shared in video forms to further tell a short story with music in the background. One example of a great motion graphic that told a story and promoted the brand is Chipotle’s Mexican Grill video that promoted the food supply industry and the use of family farms in place of factories for sustainability.

A company can do so much more than just update their logo to make their brand stand out and be memorable. Meet up with your team of graphic designers or consult with a freelancer about what you can do to make your brand click with customers.

Marianne Ross is a freelance writer and guest blogger who is interested in marketing and different promotional techniques.


Staying on Task in the Office

woman-bored-at-work-looking-out-windowOne way to ensure you’ll stay focused on task in the office, with consistency, is to narrow your “To Do” lists with tasks that must be completed in eight hours daily. Your eight-hour list is condensed to crucial tasks with deadlines that cannot be missed. If you are a person motivated by pressure, you can adapt your deadline lists for six or four hours. Remember to include scheduled breaks within your deadline list, every 90 minutes or every 50 minutes.

When you mark each item on your list for the day, “oh, the satisfaction you will feel, ” you have the option to add other items of high critical weight, or save them for the next day’s short list. You could add a high-interest, less intensive task that you’ve been putting off, just to round off your efficiency quota at the end of each day.

You’ll find your attitude toward your work progress will lift as you see definite success. The last critical task of your to do list each day is to draw up the next day’s “short list”.

Often when beginning to implement a new routine, having a new launch point insures your success. The best examples of good motivators in this kind of focus effort are:
1) a new organization tool, and 2) a method of stimulating your brain and thinking process to direct it into focus mode.

The first solution, find a new digital tool that provides “reminder alerts” of critical tasks and upcoming deadlines. There are many available, an example would be Wunderlist. The helpful feature in this software is that you can “star” curtail tasks from your short list and they’ll remain upfront, in view on your screen, whenever you are logged in to the Wunderlist. You can also use an alarm on your smart phone or tablet.

Renewed focus on tasks requires a mental boost that helps your focus as you work through your task list. Some people get reverse effects from drinking too much coffee, others have diagnosed or undiagnosed ADD/ADHA, (adults have it too!), or perhaps you have chronic pain from an injury that interrupts concentration when sitting at the desk for a while. There are many reasons for poor attention and focus, but the simplest solution is to use readily available essential oils to remove the distractions, period. There is a blend of essential oils called Jeddy’s Blend. It is an innovative solution that is proven to aid your brain achieve deeper focus, and relieves chronic pain that robs you of concentration.

Apply Jeddy’s blend (you can even use the coupon tryspark10 for 10% off) to the body’s greatest absorption point each morning, the bottoms of your feet. After work, follow up with a second application. That’s it, twice a day, each day, your body revives it’s top potential for high focus. To partner with Jeddy’s Blend you can buy a diffuser to emit Lavender Oil, a deep relaxant, through the night. This ensures restful sleep, regularly, the natural way. In fact, this completely natural Essential Oil Blend is allowed in public schools, for kids with attention problems, because it’s a treatment that does not contain any synthetic ingredients.

Tips for Finding New York Apartments

New York ApartmentsImagine living in one of the most sought after cities in the world that is known for its high cost of living, fabulous nightlife, cultural attractions, job opportunities and expensive real estate. Manhattan is a thriving metropolis with plenty of unique and interesting things to see and visit.

Many people feel they have hit the pinnacle of success when they can say they live in Manhattan. Others who desire to live there but feel they don’t have the resources to reside in a Manhattan apartment may have given up hope of renting their dream digs. Don’t be one of those people. Finding an apartment in the Big Apple can be intimidating and hard, but it’s not impossible.
Although the city has a reputation for being the best that New York and many other states, for the matter, has to offer, it’s not impossible to find Manhattan apartments that are suitable for any lifestyle and financial budget. A top executive or a college student should each be able to find the Manhattan apartment of their dreams. College students generally do not aspire to seek out the apartments that someone in higher financial standing would but they should not give up if they desire a Manhattan apartment.

As with anything worth having, working toward your goal nets good results. Elika Real Estate brings New York City apartments within reach if you do your homework and are willing to live off the popular paths of the luxury apartments. Many people do this and it is perfectly acceptable to consider getting a roommate to meet your living-in-Manhattan goals. You or you and your team might not find it right away but persistence pays off. Continue looking in newspaper listings and at online ads. Word of mouth is often the best advertising so keep your ears opened.

If you don’t mind living off the popular trodden paths, try seeking out a pre-war art deco-styled building. Most of the pre-war buildings have been updated but still have their nostalgic charm.

Bargains are hard to come by but apartments for mid-range budgets can be found in the Yorkville area. Apartments located in the 5th through 30th street areas are also have renovated apartments. Buildings west of Broadway and north of 165th Street are also sure to appeal to many.

If you’re seeking a residence with amenities within walking distance of your home, there’s an abundance of things to do near Lenox and 5th Avenue. Persistence will inevitably pay off as you search for the Manhattan apartment that is right for you.