Nearly everyone these days can be put at risk of having their hours or pay cut. Smaller paychecks can be enough to throw families into financial shock, but luckily there are things you can do to survive this type of economic emergency. Follow these five steps and you can survive this stressful interruption to your normal paycheck!

  • Give up on your own spending patterns. Sorry, but you’re going to need to scale back on some of your big luxury expenses (gym memberships, shopping sprees) until you build a big enough financial cushion to afford them again. Get rid of unnecessary expenses and make a note of how much you’re saving. Then, put that money directly into a savings account or put it aside for upcoming bills. Waiting until you’re in a hole to make changes is a huge mistake!
  • Pay important bills first. Your smaller paycheck likely means you don’t have the cash on hand to pay every single creditor you owe right away. Prioritize your bills based on due dates and which obligations are most important. You need your car to get to and from work, so don’t get so behind on your car payment that your vehicle gets taken away. You need a roof over your head, so pay your rent or mortgage. Cable TV, however, isn’t so essential… that bill can be paid last.
  • Find more work. If you simply can’t survive on any less than you used to earn, look for a part-time job. Reliance on a single paycheck in today’s economy can be risky anyway!
  • Seek help from creditors. If you know you can’t afford to pay a bill because the money simply isn’t there, explain your situation to a creditor and ask about your options. Plenty of creditors will be more than willing to work with you, especially because you were responsible enough to deal with them directly.
  • Stay away from hard money loans. As tempting as it may be, don’t turn to hard-money lenders or ask for a payday loan or a vehicle title loan. Tapping a line of credit or even taking a cash advance from a credit card is better than taking out payday loans, as they often come with annual interest rates of around 400 percent!

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The sad truth remains that women earn less over their lifetime than men, which means they also typically have less saved for retirement. This is made all the more unfortunate by the fact that women also live longer than men, so their limited savings needs to last even longer! A 2012 Government Accountability Office report revealed that a startling 12 percent of women age 65 and older are living in poverty. If you don’t want to be a part of that statistic, start boosting your savings now and protecting your finances so you’ll be able to live comfortably after retirement!

  • Start saving NOW. Dedicate 10 percent of your income to retirement savings, starting today! Putting aside 10 percent of a $50,000 salary starting when you’re 25 would result in an incredible $2.2 million at retirement!
  • Set more money aside. Three sources of money will help you survive life after retirement – Social Security, a pension or retirement savings plan, and individual savings. Since women earn less then men, your Social Security benefits and retirement savings will be less, making individual saving more important.
  • Develop your own management skills. Keep a hand in your finances; since women live to be 80 on average while men only live to be 75, even if you’re in a solid marriage, you will likely to have to manage your own money someday. Besides, studies have shown that couples who divide financial tasks fare better than those who let one spouse take over the financial reins.
  • Look into a spousal IRA. Wives are typically entitled to at least a portion of their husband’s retirement savings, but pensions often decrease when the working partner dies.
  • Overestimate your financial needs. Be sure to take into consideration the possibility that you may live a rather long life or that inflation will erode the value of money while saving. Save more than you think you could ever really need, just in case.

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A recent report from the Washington Post, which cited documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials, revealed that the National Security Agency sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google’s internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters, and that in the last 30 days, field collectors had processed and sent back more than 180 million new records. These revelations unsurprisingly outraged big tech, and triggered legal questions over whether or not the NSA is violating federal wiretap laws.

“Although there’s a diminished standard of legal protection for interception that occurs overseas, the fact that it was directed apparently to Google’s cloud and Yahoo’s cloud, and that there was no legal order as best we can tell to permit the interception, there is a good argument to make that the NSA has engaged in unlawful surveillance,” stated Marc Rotenberg, executive director of Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Well now, six of the biggest technology firms in the US are urging Congress to require more transparency from the NSA about surveillance and improved privacy protections. The letter, which was signed by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL, states:

“Recent disclosures regarding surveillance activity raise important concerns both in the United States and abroad.

[Transparency will] help to counter erroneous reports that we permit intelligence agencies ‘direct access’ to our companies’ servers or that we are participants in a bulk Internet records collection program. 

Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is clear that more needs to be done. Our companies believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs.”

Digital rights advocacy group The Center for Democracy and Technology hopes that other companies will follow Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL’s lead and speak up.

“This is a defining moment and other companies must now step up to support genuine FISA reform or explain to their users why they are not,” said Leslie Harris, president and chief executive of CDT.

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How To Turn Walls Into WhiteBoards

by David Heyerman on April 19, 2015

Whether it’s in the office or your child’s bedroom, dry-erase paint by WhiteyBoard is an awesome way to spark creativity, keep track of tasks or to-dos or just be a bit silly. It won’t break the bank and it will impress your friends too.  Here are just a few fun and functional ideas.

  • Turn a wall into a surface for workflow or brainstorming sessions in the office or a center for fun activities in a kid’s room.
  • Paint the doors to your kids’ bedrooms to post reminders, chores or loving notes of encouragement.
  • Make the toy chest just as fun as the things inside it.
  • If you have some extra paint left over, consider painting non-traditional objects, like chairs or picture frames.

Applying dry-erase paint

Using dry-erase paint isn’t quite the same as using regular paint. It isn’t hard, you just have to follow a few basic steps. While you should always carefully read the directions for the brand you choose, these are the general steps.

Step 1: Set-up

Before you paint, measure the area you want to paint to figure out how much paint you need. WhiteyBoard is convenient since it comes in various size cans with the exact square footage you need.

Make sure the area is well ventilated. Open as many doors and windows as you can. The WhiteyBoard paint we used has zero VOC which means it is not harmful, but always good to keep some fresh air when you are painting anything.

Step 2: Prepare the area

You’ll want to start by making sure the area you want to paint is fully prepared. If your surface was previously a popcorn-painted wall, for example, you’ll want to smooth it out. You’ll also want to use painter’s tape to tape off any edges you don’t want painted, like window sills, adjacent walls or baseboards. WhiteyBoard actually sells a kit as well which comes with everything you would need: brush, tape, paint tray, markers, etc.

You should also dust and clean any dirty areas and, if desired, sand it lightly. Remember, the smoothness of the surface you paint will be the same as the smoothness of the surface when it’s finished.We recommend using a 120-grit sandpaper.

Step 3: Mix and paint

Mix the product up a little bit. You’ll want to work in about two-foot areas at a time, rolling the paint on liberally with the roller they provide. Don’t try to edge in the beginning or at the end. You’ll want to do it as you go so the paint dries evenly. Work meticulously in a grid pattern across the surface. Don’t paint over debris or fuzz, and if you screw up, fix it immediately.

Step 4: Let it dry (for 2 days)

Unlike other dry erase paints that take a week before you can write, the WhiteyBoard dry-erase paint took 2 days before we could start doodling. It’s best if you don’t remove any tape until it’s finished drying, as it can have some rather unexpected results depending on the state of the paint when you pull it.

Step 5: Write, draw, erase!

As with the other tools, you’ll want to purchase high-quality dry-erase markers. It’s best to buy the markers with the paint as those are tried and tested on the surface already. Avoid buying cheap markers as that can cause some issues.

If you want to do this to your own walls like me, head over here to purchase:

Then you’ll be a dry erase master like this guy!



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If you’re hoping to get your startup off the ground, the best thing you can do is come up with one great idea. Unfortunately, that’s not quite as easy as it sounds. If you need a little help figuring out how to come up with an idea that will help your business become profitable, just follow these tips!

  • Identify your target customer. Is there a particular customer segment that you already have a relationship with or that you enjoy working with? Start off figuring out which market you’d enjoy working with and selling to, and then come up with an idea that would provide those customers with something they’d value.
  • Find a problem that needs to be solved. People are more likely to buy something they need than something that is simply cool to have. Start out by solving a problem and fulfilling a need that your target customers have.
  • If you need help with that, ask around. Don’t be afraid to go out and ask people what their problems are and what they feel they need to make their lives easier – they may come up with your idea for you! Just pay attention to what people complain about and figure out a way to give them what they’re wanting.
  • Figure out what would make your life easier. Your idea can come from one of your own problems! Figure out what you need in your life; it’ll ensure that you’re addressing a problem you know definitely exists. Think of tasks you find challenging or time consuming and figure out ways to make them easier. Solving your own problem will likely also make you more motivated than solving someone else’s. Just make sure you’re not alone in wanting a particular product.
  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to come up with some revolutionary new idea… some of the best startups come from a mere improvement on something that already exists, rather than something entirely original. Just find something that people already use, and figure out if you can make it better or cheaper.

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