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Guest Post

Vacation Guest Post #1 – Rachie

I’m officially on vacation in London, England. I left late late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Since I probably won’t be able to blog much (I turned off the data on my iphone so I don’t return home to a billion dollar bill) I’ve managed to get some lovely ladies to write some Guest Post. I’ve set it up as a Question and Answer type post regarding traveling or taking a vacation.

I hope you enjoy them.

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1. Introduce yourself please
Hi there everyone! I’m Rachie and I blog at rachieann.com! I’m a twenty-something Western Kentuckian, loving house wife to Neil, miniature dachshund momma to Aly and Benny, business owner and operator of both my professional photography business and my web design business, and nursing student during the fall and spring. You could say I’m just a little busy :)

2. How long have you been blogging for? Why do you blog?
Like most, I’ve been an off and on blogger. I first started blogging in 1998, when I was in eighth grade. I started then because I was really into anime and manga and it was just the thing to do back then. I started designing my own layouts (as they were called back then) right off. Most, if not all, of my layouts were anime related. I don’t remember how long I blogged then nor do I remember how my absent from blogging was before I started up again. Between starting in 1998 and now I’ve blogged on three different domains. I blog now to document my life as it is constantly changing.

3. Where have you traveled/gone on a vacation? why? Did you go with anyone?
I’ve been to Disney World 12 times with my family and once with Neil on our honeymoon. With family, I’ve been all over Florida. I’ve been to Hilton Head, NC, New York, and all over central US. As for over seas, my mother accompanied me to my children’s choir European tour when I was 12. We visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. As a family, we’ve cruise to the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, and Costa Rica.

4. Are you planning to travel/go on a vacation this summer? Why/why not? where? with who?
We already went on vacation this summer! In June, my family took their annual vacation to the Bahamas via a Disney Cruise. I’ll be blogging about it soon!
Rachael has already blogged about her Disney Cruise, so if you would like to check out her post you may do so by clicking here

5. Where in the future would you like to travel/go on a vacation? Why?
For the next few years we’ll probably be solely traveling with my family, like we have been for the past several years. We’ll do this because we’ll be “getting our lives together”, buying a house, having a baby, etc. BUT in the future, I hope that Neil and I will travel to the following: Maine, Vancouver, Jamaica, New Zealand, all over Europe, Australia, and Japan. Yea, I have high ambitions :)

6. One thing you learned about yourself while traveling or while on a vacation?
I’m a control freak. A major one when it comes to planning and keeping schedules. A couple of years ago, when my family went to Disney World, I quickly learned that planning will do me no good if there are some people in the party that could care less about schedules. And I can’t make certain people keep to schedules.

7. Best travel/vacation memory?
Since our Disney Cruise is fresh on my mind (who am I kidding? I think about it every day!) my best vacation memory would have to be snorkeling with Neil in the Bahamas. Sappy romantic spoiler alert! We held hands the entire time :)

8. Worst travel/vacation memory?
Before Neil and I were married we joined his family for a family reunion/wedding in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The trip was wonderful, the family, amazing. I, however, was sick as a dog. So much so that I couldn’t even taste the amazing seafood I was eating.

9. Do you use a budget when traveling or while on vacation? why/why not?
The only trip I’ve been on my own money is my and Neil’s honeymoon. We had a budget that we were fortunately able to stick to. We made a budget because it was our first big trip on our own and being newly weds, we didn’t want to start our new lives together in debt.

10. Best travel tip you’ve ever received?
10. Carry your license and, if you’re abroad, your passport too at all times.

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Thanks Rachie!

Trip Brain Dump

Yesterday evening I hung out with my brother and his friends a few towns over for one of his friends birthday. There was no waiting behind a velvet rope for us. It was nice. I forgot what it felt like to just be able to walk into a place without having to wait.
I’ve been hanging out with my brother and his friends more often now since my friends live far away and all have kids. It’s not like they can just come visit me whenever, which is okay; don’t get me wrong, but it’s nice to hang out with people close to my age and just have some fun. I especially like the fact that I don’t have to worry about any weirdoes at the bar since I’m protected by a bunch of guys.

Anyways, while hanging out with my brothers friends, one of them was telling me about how they went to Paris for New Years so we were talking about things that he’s done while he was there and I started to realize that I should probably put a little bit more effort into looking into things that I want to do while in Paris. Seeing the Eiffel Towel is pretty much the main attraction for me and I guess I haven’t really looked into it because I am a little bit worried about the lack of crowd control while visiting, since it will be smack in the middle of summer. I’m mostly worried about the panhandlers or pickpocketers. My mom’s already been to London, England and knows her way around, so I’m not as worried, but Paris, France will be new to both of us.

Since I plan to bring my Nikon D5100 I was basically lectured about making sure I keep my camera bag in front of me at all times. I’m also worried about having to stand in long lines behind barricades only to realize that it was all a waste of time. That’s why I keep going back and forth with wanting to do the London Eye. I’ve been told it can be busy at times which would require more then an hour wait, so I’m not sure if the half hour ride would be worth it in the end. I guess it all depends on what the weather is like.

Speaking of the weather, it’s raining something nasty outside, I can hear the thunder rolling in and my power is flickering so I best get off the computer for the time being.

ps. Don’t forget about my summer holiday/vacation guest post.

Getting Started in Investment – Five Top Questions

You are not in the 9-5 daily grind because that is where you want to be; you’d love to be getting big pay dividends from the investment market. Discover the answer to five TOP questions on how to get started earning dividends by investing and leaving the 9-5 world behind and gain true financial independence.

Many Australians want to get started in investing in the stock exchange, but they are simply not sure how or have concerns they need answered first. If you have thought about investing to build up your cash reserves and financial stability, here are five commonly asked questions regarding investing and the answers to each.

Question 1 on Investing – Why Invest?

Investing is a way to get rich without having to go through the daily 9-5 grind and have some independence in what you do every day to earn a living. Now, a quick lesson in compounding.

If you were to diligently save $50 each week and invest in the share market whenever your stash reached $1000, and your shares earned 9% annually, in 30 years you’d have over $440,000. Your investment over the years of your own money would be only $78,000. That’s an investment of your cash annually of $2600.

Throughout the years, there is inflation, rising prices, and dollars lose value and purchase less commodity, which is just a fact of economics. A grocery budget of $100 in 30 years will equate to $40 or so.

This means that if you want to get ahead of inflation, and earn more on your money which becomes worth less over time, you need to invest in the share market. Over the past 20 years, the average has been around 10% earnings annually.

Question 2 on Investing – How Much Will It Cost?

If you are free of credit card debt and most other types of consumer credit, you can usually start investing in the share market for around $1000.

Question 3 on Investing – Do I Need a Professional to Help Me?

Managed funds generally charge more than necessary and don’t deliver what you thought you were paying for, so you need to be selective in the investment funds you choose. The financial marketing industry would like you to think you need a professional, but if you stick to listed investment companies you are in with wisely managed funds.

Question 4 on Investing – How Do I Know Which Stocks I Should Purchase?

Knowing which stocks to purchase is not as difficult as you think. Start with an initial investment at one company. A good company to consider is one that is focused on developing a diversified profile over a period of time.

Small investors can invest in companies they are familiar with and deal with on a daily basis. They often do it before these businesses are caught in the radar of the bigger and larger scale investors.

Question 5 on Investing – What if the Market Takes a Plunge?

You can always count on that happening. Again, it is a simple matter of economics. Stuff happens. The stock market has ups and downs just like everything else in life. War, inflation, recession, depression, oil prices, everything plays a part in the up and down game. But for the long term, the stock market is a history proven reliable option.

How to Start Investing – Conclusion

Do not invest money you will need to tap into and use within a five year period.

Open a savings account and stash money into it so you are not forced to sell when others are; be prepared to ride it out.

Still scared? Don’t be. The more you do this, the better you’ll become at it, and every investor has to get their feet wet first. It’s your choice; 9-5 grind or big dividends; YOU decide.

This article was written by William from Home Loan Finder. Visit HomeLoanFinder to compare home loan interest rates and find the right loan for your next home.

Keep House Hunting Stress Free

Looking for a new house has been described by many as the most stressful thing they have ever done. You spend a lot of money, it’s competitive, drains you emotionally and can last for months or even years. You quickly learn to dread Saturday and property inspections. In order to survive the day, take these few tips with you to help you keep yourself cool and composed.

Enlist Your Relatives

Chance are, your family knows more about real estate than you do, especially if this is your first time. They’ve probably been there before, and they know the ropes pretty well. Put them to use. Ask them to look into suitable properties during the week or even to drive you around to property inspection on Saturdays. They can help you with parking, navigation and especially with negotiations.

Be Sure To Plan Your Route In Advance

You don’t want to get lost on inspection day. Plan your route ahead of time so know where you’re going. There’s nothing more annoying than showing up at a property minutes after the opening. You can invest in a satellite navigation system or use the one on your phone, or even enlist the help of a passenger who can read a street map. You’ll save yourself a lot of time by planning your route ahead of time.

Cull Your List

Make a list of the properties you want to see and call and ask a lot of questions. Research the areas on the Internet and refine your list as much as possible. Check out aerial views using online tools and ask your real estate agent about the properties strengths and weaknesses. Scratch everything off the list the doesn’t look promising anymore. Make sure to pay attention to the area’s attractions, such as parks or recreation. If you can, limit yourself to only 4 or 5 properties each week or you’ll end up wearing yourself out.

Take Breaks

If you find yourself getting weary of looking at homes, take a break. If you keep looking without stopping you’re going to drive yourself insane. When it’s time to take a break, avoid everything about real estate. Avoid the websites, the newspaper and any conversation about real estate until you’re back to full capacity.

Talk To Agents

Use agents expertise to your advantage. They’re always talking to each other and keeping an eye on what their competition is selling. Make sure you ask agents in the area what they think a property that you’re looking at is worth.

Be a Cynic

Something will go wrong. Accept this from the start, and you’ll be much better off.

Expect Anything

You don’t have a deal until the keys are actually in your hand, no matter what anyone tells you. The seller could lapse into a coma, the house could burn down, the bank could reject you or the building could even fail its inspection. Every single one of these things has happened, and more. Don’t believe a deal is a done deal until you are physically holding the keys to the front door.

Invest in a Good Solicitor

Make sure you get a good solicitor. They’ll make sure that there is nothing wrong with your contract. They’ll also go over the building, the strata and pest reports looking for problems, inspect details very closely and they could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. This is well worth the investment.

Looking for your new home will be a stressful experience. Hopefully, armed with these tips, it won’t be quite as bad. Above all, keep your head up. Eventually, you will find the home you’re looking for.

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