Money and Technology

Saving, investing and making money with technology

Why Choose Credit Unions over Bank for Car Loans

Over 5,600 credit unions are operating in the United States under federal insurance!

What makes them so different from the traditional lending houses, i.e., banks?

Do they really put the community first?

Do the 110 million members of credit unions know something that you don’t?

Are they really better for car loans than banks?

They absolutely are because more than a third of the business they do constitutes car loans!

Are you looking to buy a new car yourself? Then your local credit union is the place for you. Here are some reasons why:

Credit Unions are different

At a bank, you will remain a customer who has been assigned an account number. At a credit union, on the other hand, you will be much more. These financial lending institutions offer you to become a part of their organization via cooperative membership. With membership come privileges, such as voting for the members who’d form the board, which you aren’t likely to find elsewhere.

Credit unions can be understanding when loan problems happen

It can happen to anyone. From time to time, we may have all been in dire straits. It has led to mistakes occurring with the loans we might have taken. Whether it is due to having insufficient cash to pay off an installment or a delayed payment because your check got delayed in the mail, such incidents do happen. Unlike the banks, credit unions are more accepting when you inform them of an incorrectly credited payment or that the report against you at a credit bureau isn’t right.

All you’d have to do is get in touch with a member service representative as soon as you can. They will answer any questions you have or address your concerns. This will take place without your call being transferred from department to department!

Credit Unions will give you auto loans on lower rates

Of course, this is one of the most important influencing factors that puts the ball firmly in the credit unions’ court! The rates that a bank or another source offer you are bound to be higher than what awaits you at your local credit union. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) reported last year’s average loan rates on auto loans. Those rates as offered by the credit unions were almost two percentage points lower on new cars. The breach increased when we compare the rates for used car, which were almost 2.25 percentage points lower!

If we do a bit of calculation, for a loan of $20,000 on a new car, you’d have to pay 2.78% ($357) with a 60-month term. Now let us look at the monthly rates offered for the same car by the bank. The number jumps to 4.69% ($375). If you think saving $18 per month is nothing, think in terms of years, i.e., $216 saved per year!

Applying the same calculations on a used car, we get a rate of 2.86% ($441) from credit unions. The banks, on the other hand, offered 5.09% ($461). Another $20 that you save on a monthly basis.

Credit unions help you calculate how much you can safely pay

You may already have heard that it is much easier to qualify for an auto loan at a credit union as compared to a bank. Now, consider another positive point of banking at a credit union. As a member, you will conduct most of your financial business there. That means your local credit union will have the necessary information on checking and savings accounts, financial investments, and mortgage loans.

This information about your finances can be highly useful in determining how much you can pay! The auto loan you get will thus be created to suit your needs. Couple this kind of great service with a good payment record and you will have the loan to buy your new car within no time.

Credit unions offer more than just a car loan

When you become a member of a credit union, you have access to their educational resources. Most of them contain resources that can help members make financially informed decisions. You could learn more about the various financing options available to you. Besides that, knowing the true value of your vehicle purchase can also come in handy. Being better informed on auto loans and purchasing cars mean you could get the best deal there is!

As is evident, even though credit unions operate a bit like banks, these lenders are vastly different. They are owned by the people depositing their money and are mostly nonprofits. They promote the welfare of the community by offering more than just loans. Their lower operating costs ensures they won’t overcharge you for an auto loan. Still on the fence about joining? Then don’t! Just remember to confirm if the local credit union lends money to its members. If they do, you are likely to find the Best Auto Loans waiting for you there!

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Creative Ways Technology Can Make You A More Productive Professional

Modern times mean that much of our day is centered around some sort of technology supporting our routine.  When technology is already playing such a large role in your everyday life, there is plenty of room to integrate these advancements for your benefit as a business professional.  

If you’re struggling with focusing your efforts in business, it’s time to get a little creative.  Check out quick breakdown of a few ways technology can make you a more productive professional, and put your gadgets and gizmos to work.

Sleeping is vital to your success

Your brain is at its peak performance when your body is well rested.  Too often, professional forego a full night’s sleep to push forward in their work.  Your work’s quality will eventually suffer when you are constantly running your body so thin.  

Quality rest is vital to maintaining a healthy body and mind.  Use your smartphone to play soothing sounds. Use the lighting adjustment on your phone to help your mind wind down before bed, and look into other tech solutions for improved sleep.  

Staying fit and healthy

If you want your mind to be at its pique performance, it helps to stay physically fit.  It helps even more to maintain a nutritious diet. You will always get out of your body what you put into your body.  

If you want to have the energy to push through the toughest situations in business, you need a fit vessel.  Try downloading a mobile application to help guide you in your dietary choices. Apple has plenty of options built into most of their devices, and the most basic FitBit purchase would also get you on your way to excellent health.  

Tech tools for concentration

If concentration is one of your most significant hurdles, there’s a tech tool for that.  Escape, for instance, is a software application that attached to your web browser.

At the end of each day, Escape will send you a detailed report of your web use.  The application provides a clearcut layout of where you are spending your time, and suggestions on how to augment your routine for higher efficiency during the workday.  

Software programs for assistance

If you’re having trouble completing a certain process in your professional workday, there’s probably a software application that can help expedite the process.  The key to optimizing your workday is in the programs you choose to assist you.

Spend time thoroughly researching available software technologies, so you can always be at the top of your professional game.  For small business professionals, Quickbooks and Basecamp will give you a good start on software solutions.

Ergonomics in the office

Comfort is another great way to boost your production as a professional.  Ergonomically correct office equipment is vital to the longevity of your career.  Don’t hesitate to invest in the best ergonomically supportive keyboard, chair, and desk setup.

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Are Yelp reviews enough when hiring a construction company for your next project?

Reviews play a fundamental role in shaping the final ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when it comes to working with other businesses. The same is true in case of finalizing a construction company to work with for your next project.

Essentially, reviews are the digital version of word-of-mouth learning. The first thing that we do is to ask around for recommendations when looking for a suitable venture to work with. While this habit still takes a dominant role, many people simply Google reviews to find out what others are saying about a business.

Among several review sites, Yelp plays the leader’s role. It showcases an average of 142 million users monthly and dominates the search engines. Both these pointers give it a natural precedence over other review sites.

Considering the significant role that reviews play and the strong presence touted by Yelp, a simple question arises, ‘are Yelp reviews enough when hiring a construction company?’ Let’s find out below.

How effective review in helping to make purchasing decisions?

A 2017 survey by BrightLocal found out that 86% of the folks read online reviews for local businesses and pay equal importance to these reviews like personal recommendations. What’s more, the study found out that about half of the respondents don’t plan on working with a company unless it has a four-star rating.

Testimonial Engine confirms that 72% of the consumers don’t make a final decision to buy until they have read reviews. Moreover, another study reveals that 92% of B2B buyers tend to purchase after reading a trusted review.

The same source also indicates that 72% of the B2B buyers opine that negative reviews give insight and depth into a product. In addition to this, a study by Fan and Fuel in 2016 went a step further and dug out that 92% of the consumers hesitate before purchasing an item that does not have any reviews.

All these findings make a strong case for three-pointers:

  • Reviews are crucial while dealing with a construction company or any other business
  • Negative reviews help to be vigilant about a company, by providing an in-depth insight into it
  • If there are no reviews about a construction company, it can be suspicious, and therefore, you can take a step back from working with them

How are Yelp reviews helpful in making a business decision?

Yelp is a large platform that boasts 171 million reviews. If anyone tends to seek advice on topics such as commercial construction companies near me, many Yelp results popup immediately. In several cases, you can also see compiled lists by Yelp based on businesses’ reviews.

A large number of people trust Yelp. As of the third quarter of 2019, Yelp has attracted 34 million monthly mobile app views on average. The average monthly unique visitors from the web stand at 75 million and the average monthly desktop visitors are 69 million.

These figures show that a large number of people trust the review platform. This clearly indicates that reading reviews on Yelp is fundamental when deciding to work with a construction company for your next project. However, what remains unanswered is, whether these reviews are enough or not in making such a vital decision.

The case for fake reviews

Gartner expects 10-15% of all of the ratings to be fake in 2014. Another 2017 study revealed that there was an increase in suspicious activities related to online ratings as numerous products got a 5-star rating within days and even hours of being posted. However, such suspicious activities were detected on Amazon.

According to a New York Times article related to Yelp, it is observed that certain third-party apps or service providers allow businesses to post positive reviews about them and negative ones about their competitors for a small payment.

However, Yelp has been working hard to eliminate any such malpractices on the platform since 2012. Before that, it was common for ventures to hire people on Craigslist to write positive reviews about their products or services.

Presently, Yelp practices an algorithm to analyze each review and filter the scams or reviews that seem to be fake. The key to the working of this structure hasn’t been revealed to prevent people from breaking into the system. Therefore, the risk of coming across fake reviews on Yelp is minimal, which explains why numerous people trust the platform.

Bottom line

Reading reviews to learn more about a construction company that you plan to work with, is the right step. However, you shouldn’t let reviews convince you entirely because working with a construction company bears more significance than purchasing an item.

The selection of a construction company not only involves large sums of money, but there are also concerns of safety on the project that the hired company will work on. Thus, you should not limit your research to online reviews only, but also ask people about the venture’s offline services and learn about its experience, certificates, as well as licenses in advance.

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Outsourcing Can Save You Money – We Show You How

Outsourcing – the practice of hiring third parties outside of your business to do some of the tasks that are required for you – is expensive. It’s a waste of time. You can do it all, and if you can’t, you can learn. Or you can delegate to staff members who can also learn what to do. Isn’t that the case? Won’t you be saving money by doing this?

The answer is not necessarily. If you outsource the right tasks to the right people, you can actually save your business money. Read on to find out how this seemingly impossible statement could be true for you.

Hiring People Costs Money

When you first start your business, you might assume that, at some point further down the line, you will need to hire people. It seems like a natural progression from being a sole trader to running a company that has a variety of staff members. Hiring people, however, can be an extremely expensive thing to do. You need to pay for:

  • Advertising the position
  • The time it takes to read resumes and interview people
  • Fees to recruitment agencies
  • And eventually salaries and the tax implications that go with this

You are also responsible for other people’s financial well-being because you need to make sure they are paid each month without fail. If the business has a difficult patch or is seasonal, this can be difficult.

When you outsource, you only need to pay for the time you use, which means that you can put the work on hold, or even do it yourself (assuming you have the skills) if money is tight. You can’t do that with someone’s salary.

Training Takes Time (And Money)

Training up your staff so that you can delegate tasks to them might sound like a good idea, and in some cases, it will be if that member of staff can then use those skills to improve the business. If the task they are being asked to do is a one-off or rare thing, the time taken to train them up will far outweigh the value of the task itself – it will be less expensive to outsource these specialist tasks, which could include PCB making using CircuitStudio, gathering market information, creating a logo, or even adding signage to your storefront.

You Won’t Lose Focus

When you have a thousand different tasks to do, you can easily become overwhelmed and lose focus. This, sadly, costs your business money because you end up getting nothing done at all, or you start to cut corners in order to complete jobs and move onto the next. This can easily ruin your company’s reputation and have a major negative impact on sales.

Although delegation is hard, as businesswomen Jessica Jackley says, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” That is, knowing what you should be outsourcing so that you can focus more on the tasks you are able to do well is crucial – do this, and you will grow your business, even if you are paying an outside company for their particular skills.

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How to Start an Online Clothing Store

In the event that you are considering building your very own web based apparel store it could be overwhelming and daunting. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you are up for a challenge, study this guide as it will disclose to you all have to think about getting your apparel store on the web. And you might not need to purge your pockets to do as such as well!

Online store manufacturers give you a chance to begin selling on the web at a small amount of the cost you would pay for a couple of shoes. You will have to join to a web based business plan to associate with payment processors enabling you to take payments from clients when you begin selling garments on the web. And being simple and prudent to utilize, online store manufacturers will likewise deal with all the specialized stuff so you don’t need to. You can begin offering garments online right away without agonizing over security overhauls and hacking dangers. Online store developers additionally give a SSL authentication to the new funded Apparel companies in United-States

Choose which plan is best for you

Online store developer premium designs, as most things throughout everyday life, will in general show signs of improvement with the more amount of money you will spend. The more you shell out the more stockpiling and formats you will approach. When one says stockpiling they are not talking physical capacity such as a distribution center, but rather data and information stockpiling. The more stockpiling you have, the more videos, pictures and other media you can have on your site which people can relate with.

Pick your domain name

A novel domain name gives your garments store a personality or an identity on the web. Consider it like the postal code of a physical store – it recognizes where you are and enables individuals to discover you effectively. To buy a domain name, either you can go straightforwardly through your online store manufacturer, or you can buy your very own through various organizations. Picking a domain name can be dubious on the off chance that you don’t yet have an organization name for your internet apparel store. First think about an organization name for your Apparel business companies in United-States and your domain name will develop normally from that point.

Pick your layout

You can make a delightful and expert online dress store in a matter of seconds on account of the professionally planned templates accessible from every one of the manufacturers, and you don’t have to discover that remote dialect of code to do as such! Your template decides the look and feel of your online store, so settling on the correct choice is critical. Obviously, you can modify your format in the wake of having picked it, however your decision forms the premise of the plan and design of your store.  

Modify your Template

To truly customize your online apparel store, you have to tweak your layout. Try not to stress, this is super simple to do and doesn’t expect you to realize how to code by any stretch of the imagination.

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5 Ways to Get Monthly Income When you have Retired

While saving can help you access a corpus of funds during your retirement, having a regular income can put your pocket and mind at ease to continue living your usual lifestyle without any financial restraint. Your monthly income need not end with your employment years. You can still receive a regular monthly income by making smart financial moves. You can do this by investing in schemes that offer returns on a regular basis.

Look at 5 such Investment instruments that offer monthly earnings.

  • Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme

This scheme is a popular choice and is available only for early retirees and senior citizens. If you are above the age of 60 years, you can easily avail this savings scheme from your nearest bank or post office and receive earnings every quarter. If you are an early retiree, you will need to invest in this scheme within 1 month of receiving your retirement funds. This scheme has a five-year tenor and you can choose to extend it for an additional 3 years at the end of the tenor. You can also avail tax benefits under Section 80C and invest up to Rs.15 lakh in a Senior Citizens Saving Scheme. The current interest rate for the SCSS is 8.3%.

  • Post Office Monthly Income Scheme

This scheme allows you to invest up to 4.5 lakh as a single account holder. The current interest rate of this scheme is set at 7.3% and though this is the annual rate of interest, an average of this is paid monthly. However, the interest earned under this scheme is taxable. You can also plan for the interest to be credited to the savings account you have with the same post office instead of having to visit the branch every month.

  • Fixed Deposits

Fixed deposit for senior citizen offer you safe and guaranteed returns and are better than your savings account in terms of earnings. With the option of non-cumulative deposit, you can choose your interest to be paid out every month, or other periodic intervals like quarterly or annually. In order to gain from higher returns while still opting for a safe option like a Fixed Deposit, choose to invest with an NBFC like Bajaj Finance.

Here you can find FD interest rates up to 8.75% that increase by 0.25% upon renewal. Additionally, you can use online account management to keep a track of all your details. Also, you can invest as low as Rs.25,000 to start your FD. Moreover, you can use an FD calculator to predetermine your returns in order to add efficiency to your investment planning.

  • Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Devised specially to benefit the senior citizens, this scheme offers you an interest rate of 8% that is payable monthly. This scheme is available up to 31st March 2020. At the time of purchase, you can choose the payout frequency from options like monthly, quarter yearly, half yearly or annually. The policy term for PMVVY is 10 years. Here, the minimum pension per month starts at Rs.1000 and the maximum pension per month can go up to Rs.10,000. However, the maximum investment limit for this scheme is Rs.15 lakh. Also, this pension scheme is exempted from GST or service tax.

  • Mutual Funds

In order to gain regular income while still gaining from high returns through mutual funds, you can opt for debt mutual funds and choose the monthly dividend option. These mutual funds allocate only 10%–20% of your capital into equities while the rest is invested in safe bonds or debt instruments.

However, it is essential to remember that the returns from these mutual funds may not be as high as regular mutual funds as there is a lower risk involved. Additionally, you can invest in a systematic withdrawal plan that allows you to withdraw a fixed amount on a regular basis. You will also need to choose the date, amount and tenor in advance for this scheme.

So, consider the above options to continue receiving monthly income post retirement too.

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How to find the best and most reliable Car Insurance Company near you

New car owners often wonder ‘How can I find the best car insurance near me?’. Though there are many car insurance companies it is important to choose the right one. According to data released this year Americans are overspending 21 billion dollars on their car insurance. Since this is the case it is important to take as many measures possible to find a good insurance provider. The right car insurance company will give you proper coverage at a reasonable price.

 

Interestingly enough there are going to be quite a few changes in the insurance industry due to the imminent adoption of autonomous cars by 2025. Before those changes occur, understanding how one can find the best company is important.

Hunt for the best insurance companies

As far as auto insurance goes, it is a major cost that one has to pay. It is essential to make sure we are entrusting the insurance cost to a company that is worth paying to.

Insurance truly has a significant effect on the cost of keeping a car. Moreover, individuals can be deceived into believing that an insurance company is the ‘cheapest’ one out there because of marketing. Due to these factors, it is important to research as many options as possible. After all, a hunt for a better company and deal is one of the simplest steps that can be taken

Since big auto insurance companies might be charging too much to you for your policy. Don’t forget to properly research the rate offered by smaller players in the industry.

Make sure the auto insurance company has a license

Any insurance company who wants to offer auto insurance in a state must have a license. Auto companies have to go through a process of fulfilling certain requirements which may differ from state to state. A license adds authenticity to the company as it is verified by the department of insurance. To find out whether the company is licensed for your state you can check this website.

Though a company might seem pretty authentic legit, double-checking whether it is licensed is important.

Have a look at the company’s rating and reviews

The internet has provided consumers with a great number of ways to evaluate a company’s reputation and performance. Reading up on consumer reviews about the company is one way to find clues.

It might be overwhelming to face this information without knowing what clues to look out for. Some aspects that should be considered while evaluating reviews include the claims process and customer satisfaction. Having an idea about the financial position of the insurance company is also needed.

In general, when a company is rated well, it can be considered a good and reliable option. This does not mean that comparing the options is unnecessary. In fact, comparing the options provides you with the best chance of finding a better company.

There is a good news to look forward to. In general auto insurance claims satisfaction is at its all-time high. What this indicates is that insurance companies are doing a good job in customer care.

Review relevant information provided the State Department of Insurance

Did you know that you can find useful information thanks to the State Department of Insurance? Many individuals are unable to take advantage of the information which can guide us.

Finding up relevant information from the State Department of Insurance’s website is important. One aspect to especially look out for includes the ‘Valid Consumer Complaint Ratios’. This ratio provides us with insights as to how many valid complaints about the insurance company have been submitted to the state. In genera,l the more the complains, the more the reliability of a company is compromised.

 

When it comes to reliability a lot of information is readily available on the internet. All you need to do is be patient and find it.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, you need to make sure you find the best and most reliable car insurance company out there. There are multiple resources available online that can guide you in this process. Though it might seem that analyzing the large amount of information available is difficult, a baseline can help us better understand companies.

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Bring in Technology to Manage Medical Tasks

This is the era of automation where the technology has taken hold of almost every job that has made the tasks simpler and easier than before. The latest buzzword all through the majority of industries happens to be RPA or robotic process automation. Subsequent to the success in a lot of sectors, robotic process automation tends to be highly needed technology which is being quickly taken up throughout industries since it provides a multitude of advantages.

At whatever time you listen to the word RPA or robotic process automation, the majority of individuals assume robots are replacing humans. Nevertheless, it is not totally factual.

Robotic process automation in the form of technology is gradually achieving recognition in a broad assortment of industries that includes RPA in healthcare also. Nevertheless, as opposed to retail and banking which happened to be amid the first to take up these technologies, it was the healthcare sector that took some time to take up RPA. The current pressures such as rising expenses have necessitated the need for taking up robotic process automation to reduce costs and minimise wastage in carrying out healthcare services.

Healthcare makes certainly one domain where this technology tends to simplify operations. RPA or robotic automation in healthcare has made possible for those in this sector to switch manual, burdensome, and time-consuming task to robots from humans, hence attaining outcomes.

 

A case of robotics process automation adoption

As per a report revealed by Healthcare Leaders, it has come to fore that three hospitals out of four and CEOs of health systems quote decrease of overall overhead and enhancing effectiveness which happen to be their two prime financial preferences. The healthcare sector is constantly searching for boosting effectiveness, computerization of manual tasks and decreasing costs may be a crucial factor relating to the general strategy for the improvement of performance.   

Application of robotics process automation within the healthcare sector

Savings on manpower

Machines are capable of banking a considerable amount of time. Utilising automation will replace manually repetitive and acute tasks that used to be undertaken by humans. It may not drive out employees totally but will make possible their work for advanced roles that shall be befitting for them.

Save the environment or eliminate waste

 

In keeping up the records in the hospitals, you may come across manual entries which happen to be entered into, sheets, registers, and entries made within electronically kept up databases. The adoption of robotic process automation assists decrease the handling of stationery, and also aid companies depend less on paperwork. It will lead to minimise the wastage and preserve the environment.

High throughput

By making use of robotic process automation, people in healthcare may be better furnished to handle the rising number of patients which can be hard to tackle when handled totally by humans. A multitude of patients may be taken care of by a meagre number of employees in the medical sector, in this manner permits the hospital employees to look after various other crucial areas. This can permit employees to scale up.

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Step up your Fitness Regime: A Guide to Supplements

Keeping yourself healthy and fit often is not just a one-time thing. For many, it’s their life and blood and for many others, they want to get the most out of it. Regardless of which category you may fall into, in order to reap the gains of your work-outs, supplements are a huge benefit.

For many who frequent the gym, supplements are a necessity. Among the wide array of choices today, it is paramount to understand the top supplements for muscle gain available to you. In the following parts, you will see supplements that you can take along with your diet as well as ones produced naturally by your body as well.

Before we begin, in order to figure out the best product for muscle gain, you will also do well to know the three criteria for maximum muscle gain. Once listed, you will see that they are rather simple and logical.

  1. The first is to eat more calories than you consume them.
  2. The second is to have more protein intake than that you break down
  3. The third is to follow a regimen that provides a challenge for the usage of your muscles.

To begin, one problem many body builders might face is not gaining enough calories from normal food. To combat this, weight-gainers are an excellent choice. Several weight gainers have found their place in the market and they serve as both calories and protein. This is because they are calorie-rich. However, if you struggle to gain protein and your protein intake isn’t meeting the ideal qualifications for muscle building, protein supplements are a good investment. It is important to not that if one is already gaining enough protein through their diet, this is completely unnecessary. Yet, it is also of significance that protein supplements are one of the top supplements for muscle gain.

Creatine supplements are also big players in the muscle game. Being produced naturally in the body, supplements can raise it well beyond 30% from its normal levels. But if you are just beginning to get into body and muscle building, and just started with a regimen, the Holy Grail is HMB. HMB stands for Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate. HMB also helps those who are steadily increasing their work-out intensities.

Some other supplements many regard as their best product for muscle gain also include BCAAs- Branched Chained Amino Acids that help with growth of muscles if you are not consuming enough proteins, Beta Alanine that helps you with performance, and for those with low testosterone levels, testosterone boosters come in handy as well.

In conclusion, for those who are looking to sculpting their body and increasing muscle mass, finding out the right products is important. And the top supplements for muscle gain may vary depending on which qualification they may or may not clear with their regimens and body make-ups. However, through much studies, it is a commonly seen idea that an optimum amount of protein is needed and enough calorie intake and burning is also ideal.

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