Saving, investing and making money with technology

Tag: money

How Artificial Intelligence is shaping the e-learning scenario in India?

 

Machines direct Artificial Intelligence, and it can be regarded as any study by intelligent agents or device. It functions depending on what it receives from its surroundings and this way it maximizes the chance of giving the best results. With the advancement of technology, e-learning is helped dramatically. The way individual look at education has changed rapidly with the influence of technology including artificial intelligence. Ways to access education through the help of technology has become efficient, and students are able to learn strategically and evaluate well than before. In addition to this, students are able to analyze their own pace of learning. There is little difference between robotics and artificial intelligence and the latter has evolved in every sphere of human lives. It is also used in computer games such as chess master. It is capable of making decisions quickly than human.

By the help of simple searches, students are able to explore the variety of new study material present. It might not be possible for an instructor to remember everything present in a material whereas a machine can do it. In cases of bank exams, there are many aspects that need to be learnt by a candidate. In SBI PO, the officer will be taught to work on various categories like finance, accounting, marketing, billing and investing which might take years for some people to master, but a machine can teach you what you want at your own pace. E-learning may be common to most of the teachers, but they may not be aware of artificial intelligence. With the combination of both e-learning and artificial intelligence, it has made easier both for the teachers and the students to grasp a better insight into the learning of various topics. Other than students, teachers also get the chance of exploring every topic in depth and acquire the knowledge for solving any question.

How artificial intelligence helped human beings?

Artificial Intelligence has an immense contribution to human life, and within the couple years, it is going to influence every sphere of human life starting from communication, travel, to online shopping. It helps to give personalized results to the teachers when they are engaged in any classroom program. In any class, there are remedial students, advanced students, meritorious ones and there are different needs for each of them. What AI or Artificial Intelligence does is that adopt every student’s learning method and work according to the needs analyzing both the strength and the weakness of the students.

How AI analyzes students?

Similar to that of human tutors, AI takes in account the capabilities of the student and tries to deliver the result according to the need of the student. It also tries to know about the learning style of the student and give it customized instruction and support pertaining to the subject of need. Previously, the tutors or the teachers were held responsible for any wrong information that they might have conveyed to the students. But according to the present scenario, for any wrong information that the students have incorporated, the Artificial Intelligence cannot be held responsible for the same. The students should be careful while using the AI for fetching different information.

As the AI analyses the performance of students in the examination or assessments, it is able to judge the condition and the confidence level of the student and identifies well the gap in the course content. Therefore, it provides the required gap based on the performance of the student. In case of any incorrectly answered question, the AI marks those question as zero such that educator is able to understand about the level of preparation of the students. The educator shall further focus on the area of improvement that should be provided to the students.

Get meaningful feedbacks via AI

With the aid of AI, students also get the opportunity to get meaningful feedback pertaining to their performance. They might be uncomfortable with receiving any kind of feedback in the public forum, and thus AI is helpful. In addition to this, the AI also helps in grading when is considered to be one of the tiresome tasks. With the usefulness of technology, AI can easily analyze an examination via the answer key provided. They quickly combine the data and results in the performance level of the students.

Eliminating communication and language barrier

Again, with the involvement of Artificial Intelligence, communication has also become advanced as students can expect ready feedback to any of their queries that they post doubt questions on any forum. They can also find out the query with the help of text messaging, and this shall help the learners to prepare themselves for all kind of competencies. If they wish to get relevant information on any particular topic, then they can easily take the help of AI to get ready resources.

The language barrier that takes place between the teacher and the student is also taken care by AI in which the AI understands various languages and has the ability to comprehend the same. Further, it gives outcomes such that the result is understandable by the students well. The interface is capable of understanding various language, noise, and change in the human voice. The interface is also greatly useful in the distance learning procedure. But, the cost of the same might vary.

Bhola Meena has founded 3 major Internet-based companies-GetMeCab, HinKhoj, and OnlineTyari. His latest venture OnlineTyari helps over a million students every month in their government exam preparations. He has 7 years experience as Tech Lead at Microsoft and he is an IIT-Kanpur Alumni.

Continue Reading

5 Ways Having Bad Credit Impacts Your Life

Do you have bad credit, but don’t see much reason to try and fix it right now? It’s not uncommon for those with a ton of debt or financial problems to give up or never start the process of improving their credit. The thought of spending the next few months or years living on a tight budget to pay off what seems like an impossible amount of debt is overwhelming, to say the least. Sure, improving your credit history is going to take some hard work and time, however, it can be accomplished. When you consider the consequences of doing nothing, you suddenly find yourself inspired to do the right thing.

Bad Credit Limits Your Borrowing Options

Let’s start with the most obvious consequence to having bad credit – your inability to get a loan. Loans can be very convenient for affording things you want and getting you out of a bind. There are plenty of loans you could consider, however, if you have a poor financial record, you can forget about getting approved by most lenders.

Side note: If you’re really in a jam and your credit isn’t getting you very far, there is the option to apply for alternative payday loans for bad credit. Although not as much cash as you could get with a traditional loan or the attractive low-interest rates you see advertised, it does provide relief. If approved you could receive as much as $1250 in your checking account the next business day.

Bad Credit Could Make it Difficult to Find Housing

Thought that your bad credit would only impact you if you were interested in buying a home? Although it would be challenging to get a mortgage with a negative financial history, that’s not the only form of housing that could become unattainable to you. As more landlords look for reliable tenants, credit checks are fairly common. A tenant who has a history of not handling their finances is a red flag and could get your rental application rejected.

You Can’t Get a Car with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit in a town where public transportation isn’t readily available, you’re going to be in a world of trouble. Getting approved for a car loan is an uphill battle with poor credit. Which means you’ll need to find a car you can pay for upfront with the cash you have available in the bank. Since most people don’t have thousands of dollars stashed away for a new ride, chances are you’ll be catching an Uber or Lyft around town until you’ve saved enough to buy your own.

Forget That Job if Your Credit Sucks

Why in the world would an employer need to know your credit score in order to determine if you’re a good fit for the job? While in some industries, like finance, if you’re unable to handle your personal finances, you probably shouldn’t be responsible for handling anyone else’s. Other employers review credit reports to get a good idea of the type of person you are. Are you responsible and trustworthy? A bad credit history may tell a different story.

Expect Life to Get Pretty Expensive

If not being able to get a loan, housing, buy a car, or land that dream job wasn’t enough of a blow to your life, then this next one’s a doozy. Those with bad credit will pay a lot more on average on things you need. When you have a negative financial history, you’re required to pay deposits for utility or television services. If you are approved for a loan, you’re going to pay a lot more in interest. Products like car insurance will automatically skyrocket. The list goes on.

You may have thought that having bad credit was no big deal. Perhaps, at the moment it isn’t. However, if you plan on doing any of the above-mentioned things in the next 7 to 10 years, you may want to do something about it. That means figure out ways to improve your credit and start adopting more positive financial habits that will set you up for a better future. If you’re seriously having trouble with debt, talking with a debt counselor or financial advisor can guide you down the right path.

Continue Reading

Motive Partners

In the current world, financial trading has become one of the daily sources of life for many people. As a result of this, millions in terms of financing has been directed to new discoveries on the same line. This has made it possible to trade in the same. Thus tech guys also ventured in this line and as a result there was a revolution in the financial technology. Many and different organizations have allocated some part of their resources to this business venture to discover new and better methods so as to furnace thousands from the same. As a result, some huge investors have taken to the business of helping start-up companies that have new ideas in the financial technology line or as it is best known as the FinTECH industry. There are a variety of investors and some are the Motive Partners who we are going to discuss in depth below.

Motive Partners is a group that contains various entrepreneurs and investors all from different fields and all have different expertise in the various environments to ensure that they help start-up businesses that have decided to venture in the financial technology sector. On top of this they also ensure that old businesses that are focused to improve the financial technology are also boosted and given some sort of backup. The company is made up of people who have different expertise including: operators, investors, industry leaders as well as technologists all that help guide the said company to ensure its success. The core mission for the investment firm is to build as well as backing of the various start-up financial technology organizations to ensure that the said firm has a stable and bright future.

The above investment firm will take the company that they plan to invest in hand in hand through all the hardships that they face. Since many people in the world are taking into ensuring that they manage their accounts as well as their property personally ensuring that financial institutions do not handle this, they educate the public about the various financial technologies that they have. This will ensure that the start-up company has a stable and steady customer platform. The start-ups suffer from different hardships and the main ones are that they do not have enough capital to ensure that their ideas transform to something tangible. The investment firm will ensure that in a case where the idea is a good one, your ideas will be helped so that they can manifest to something tangible. They will also help different start-ups to ensure that there is an innovation that is line with the financial sector.

Since time in memorial, there has been domination from the financial institutions in the financial services and as a result there may be some sort or reluctance from this institutions. The group Motive Partners will fight for financial stability as well as the rights of their customers to ensure that there is some competition to the financial institutions so that the services offered also improve. The economic situation is also affected by the ways in which the financial institutions carry out their businesses. This is caused by the fact that most institutions in the line currently do not get the share of the capital that they intended to have. As a result they will have to better their services or face death due to the fact that most people are taking matters to their own hands. The group Motive partners has also had a hand in this due to the fact that they have educated their customers on the business.

The group has changed the FinTECH market through the following ways investing, innovating and also operating. In the investing arena, the group has taken to the different areas to figure out the various methods that may result to the improvement of the financial technology. Through this, they have invested in the different firms and made the ideas from the firms develop to actual algorithms or more tangible material to trade in the financial market. Through innovation, they have seized opportunities that others deemed not possible to ensure that there is sanity in the financial trading sector. They have also made vast changes that are visible to people in the financial services department. Through operation, they have helped the organizations that they partner with in their managerial areas so that they have stable companies and as we all know happy workers give the best results in any working condition.

Photo of a creative business team busy at a meeting

The group in itself also has a chain of command within itself. The group that manages the investment firm is broken into three parts that include: Managing Partners, the founding partners and finally the team that is in the administrative role. The managing partners include Rob Heyvaert, Stephen C Daffron, Mike D Hayford and one man that is known as Andy Stewart that was just promoted from the partner’s level.

The next level of managerial, comes the founding partners that include: Frank Martire III who is the general head of counsel in the firm. Next is Etienne Castiaux who is in charge of the technology and has a title as the chief technology officer in the firm. Luc Philippi is next on the list and he is in charge of the operations that occur within the firm. Jon Bradford was one of those founding father to the company from its early stages and has since held a part in this managerial office. Alastar Lukies is the final member within the founding partners.

The group that is held responsible for the organization of the firm consists of people who are the principals in the investment sector the people that fill this shoes include Sam Nayden, Neil Cochaine and finally Yuting Zeng. There are also two people who act as the principal chiefs of staff and the two include: Brad Yankiver and Sam Tidswell. Next there is a man that is responsible for the investments and acts as the vice President to the principals and his name is Jeff Yellin. Jessica Roy is next in the ranking order and she is the director in human capital sector. AK Patel is the guy that is head in the IT area. There is an associate that is added to the list and his name is Ashvin Sinnathamby.

Early this year, the firm took an investment in a company that is known as LMRKTS. The amount that they invested in the said company as of now has not yet been revealed to the public. The company is responsible for reducing counterparty risks in most banks. The company is based in New York.

The investing firm is located in the current day New York as well as in London.

Continue Reading

Understanding The Various Loan Options

Depending on your lender and the type of loan you choose, your required down payment can range from 2.25% to 20% of the purchase price of the home. Establishing a monthly budget will help you put away enough money for your down payment. Once you’ve assessed what your budget will support, consider having money automatically deposited from your paycheck or bank account to a savings account to make it easier and more convenient to put aside money each month. The Associates Home Loan of Florida offers loan options to you including self employed loans. An account like Discover Bank’s AutoSavers Plan can help you start saving today. If you won’t be able to come up with a large down payment, then you should look into an FHA loan, which helps home buyers who can only make a small down payment.

How to take out a home loan

You know home loans hit a 14-year low as rates had risen on April 25, 2014. The mortgage industry’s output of new loans is at the lowest point in 14 years, according to estimates from a trade publication. Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday that even in the depths of the financial crisis, mortgage lenders were busier than during the first quarter of 2014. One factor is the end of a refinance boom as interest rates have risen well off their record lows. But though the rates are still great by historical measures, mortgages written for home purchases have been weak as well, as sales of new and previously owned homes have slowed.

Use a mortgage broker

The traditional mortgage process involves approaching three home loan lenders, listening to them spruik their products and then choosing the most attractive offer.This is time-consuming and – unless you’re a finance expert – can be very confusing as well.
That’s why more than half of Australians now use mortgage brokers, middle-men whose job is to help a borrower organise a suitable home loan with a lender.Brokers are home loan experts, so theyunderstand the mortgage market’s complicated rules and baffling jargon.

Mortgage brokers generally work with anywhere from 10 to 40 lenders – far more than the three you might visit on your own. That means you’re exposed to a far wider variety of home loan options.
Another advantage of brokers is that they generally won’t charge you for their services. Instead, they’ll charge the lender (in the form of a commission) if they end up organizing a home loan for you.

However, there are also several downsides associated with mortgage brokers.First, there are about 150 mortgage lenders in Australia, which means you’ll get exposed to only a minority of options if you organize a home loan through a broker.Second, some unscrupulous brokers might steer you to a particular home loan not because it’s in your best interest but because it pays them the highest commission.

Go direct to lender

Some people prefer to take full control over the home loan application process rather than outsource it to a mortgage broker whose motives or competence they might not trust.But a word of warning: while going direct-to-lender might give you greater control and you can apply for a hard money loan. Some bank employees can’t be relied on to give independent advice. That’s because their job is to promote their own products, not to tell you about better options from a rival provider.If you do decide to go direct-to-lender, make sure you do your research before deciding on your home loan provider of choice.You might be tempted to automatically pick your current bank. However, there are about 150 banks, credit unions, building societies and non-bank lenders in the mortgage market – so the odds of your bank having the most suitable home loan for you are actually remote.

And also the mortgage industry’s output of new loans is at the lowest point in 14 years, according to estimates from a trade publication. Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday that even in the depths of the financial crisis, mortgage lenders were busier than during the first quarter of 2014. One factor is the end of a refinance boom as interest rates have risen well off their record lows. But though the rates are still great by historical measures, mortgages written for home purchases have been weak as well, as sales of new and previously owned homes have slowed.

Get your financial documents in order

When you apply for a mortgage, you will need to provide your lender with a number of financial documents. Having these documents already assembled will help accelerate the processing of your loan application. At a minimum, you should be prepared to provide your last two pay stubs, your most recent W-2, your last two years of tax returns, and current bank and brokerage statements.

Continue Reading

Calculating the Price Tag of Driverless Cars

Excitement is building within the driverless car industry as the entrance into consumer market moves closer everyday. Arrival dates differ from expert to expert. According to some, driverless cars will be fully functional and on the road within a decade, while others are predicting it will just be a few years from now. There are also those who are sticking to the conservative ten year mark.

Beyond the release date, a few things need to be worked out before the driverless cars hit the road. The technology, for one, continues to need refinement.

Right now, laser-based systems, known as LIDAR (short for “light detection and ranging”) appear to be the most promising technology under development. However, if the cars themselves are expected to be able to prevent all collisions and avoid causing car accident injuries, work still needs to be done. Major companies like Google, Amazon, and Velodyne – along with over 50 startups – are entering the competition to release the most effective model.

The size of the technology and number of components necessary also make for less than attractive car styling. A LIDAR sensor on the roof with the possibility of adding secondary ones elsewhere, alternate radar systems, and cameras all need to be mounted onto the vehicles. The result looks ungainly and inelegant. Before the research can focus on reducing the size of the units, the industry needs to unanimously support a standard.

However, the biggest obstacle confronting the permeation of driverless cars into the mass market is their price tag.

Cost Will Dictate Adoption by Consumers

Individual teams of researchers and developers are already promoting their own cost-effective solutions to the problem of the high prices of driverless car technology. Meanwhile, they’re pointing out the high expense of their peers. A small start-up named Ouster claims their system will only run consumers $12K, while the Velodyne’s tech costs $75K.

Of course, no one knows the final figures, but even at $12K on top of the cost of the car itself, the price will remain out of reach for most consumers. Waymo, a Google spin-off company, says it has reduced costs of its $75K system by 90%, or to about $7.5K.

The average American car purchaser spends about $34K on a new vehicle. Convincing them that a 33% mark-up for a driverless car is worth it–or even needed–is going to be a hard sell.

Cost predictions, however, need to be examined for clarity. The $7.5K low-end estimate from Google is certainly cheaper than others, but that’s only how much the main LIDAR device will cost. Smaller assist versions will likely be needed around the car as well. This currently runs up a tab of about $8K each, unless Waymo can figure out how to reduce that by 90%, too.

Factor in an additional radar system at $10K and necessary cameras ringing in at around $5K, and the equipment costs quickly jump back into the five-figure range. Which is, again, in addition to the cost of the computer system that runs and coordinates all of the tech in addition to the original cost of the car.

The Prices Will Drop

Taken together, best case scenarios call for around $25K worth of driverless car tech to be added. This is almost the current price consumers are willing to pay for a car alone.

To put some comparative context around that, it’s the difference between buying a new Chevrolet Corvette for around $60K and a new Impala for around $30K. Both are nice cars, but most consumers are opting for the Impala price-range.

It’s the nature of technology that prices will come down. Miniaturization, for instance, brings manufacturing costs down, as does scalability. In 2007, the iPhone cost almost $600 in today’s currency, versus the now-routine $200 versions of each new iteration. Flat screen TVs cost around $5K for a 42” screen ten years ago and can be had for less than a tenth of that today.

Time will dictate the real costs, which will undoubtedly be cheaper than they are presently. Until then, we can all anticipate the safety and convenience, and try to wait as patiently as we can.

Continue Reading

How to Earn Money on your Smartphone

Technology has taken force over modern society in every respect; from manufacturing to office businesses, how we get there and even how we spend our free time, it’s hard to image what life would be like in this day and age without the global connectivity offered to us by the internet, and all the gadgets and hardware we use to access it.

Over the course of the past decade, probably the most notable advance in technology has come through the rise of the smartphone. Initially an impressive, high end resource reserved for those at the top of the commercial ladder, smartphones have now become the norm, with previous mobile phone models becoming all but extinct. The first smartphone is believed to have come into existence in 1992, but it was 10 years later that the more popular Blackberry smartphones hit the market in 2002, and then a further 5 years later that this technology really hit the headlines with the release of Apple’s first iPhone in 2007.

Smartphones are no longer reserved for the elite, most adults in the developed world now own a smartphone, along with the vast majority of teenagers and even some children. Apple has continuously strived to improve its product since the original iPhone was released, and to date has created 18 different versions of the smartphone. Whilst these products remain industry leaders, Apple now faces stiff competition from Android, another technology giant owned by Google, and offering innumerable models of smartphone, as well as tablet computers and a range of other products.

The rise of smartphones has worked twofold: on the one hand, their ability to carry out multiple tasks on one pocket sized device has attracted users and made the smartphone a highly desirable product. At the same time, the current generation’s desire to be able to handle numerous tasks using just one device has led developers to improve their product offering to meet this gap in the market. We now expect to be able to access everything and anything from our mobile devices, from a standard internet browser to applications that range from mobile banking to gaming.

Since we rely so heavily on our smartphones for everything from business to leisure time, paid surveys platform Crowdology has come up with a way for users to earn a little extra cash from the convenience of their smartphones. We often like to stare at our screen to pass some free time, so you can now earn money for doing so by reviewing products and services for a variety of brands.

There’s no doubt that, in order to stay ahead of the game, technology providers are going to have to improve their product offering as users expect to be able to carry out increasingly more functions on their smartphones, and look to them more and more for entertainment during spare or dull moments.

Continue Reading

What Does an “Affordable Phone” Mean in 2018?

A few years ago, an Indian startup promised to launch a smartphone with a pretty decent configuration that would only cost around $4. As you might expect, the interest in such a product was through the roof – Freedom 251 was pre-ordered by more than 30,000 buyers before its website crashed under the pressure. Unfortunately, this dirt cheap smartphone seems to have been nothing but a scam – although the manufacturer claims to have delivered 5,000 units, its managing director Mohit Goel was later arrested for fraud.

A $4 phone does sound unrealistic today but it’s not as far from becoming a reality as it sounds. Smartphone manufacturers have understood that to break into growth markets like Africa and some South American nations (not to mention India, one of the biggest market for Chinese phone manufacturers) they have to adapt their offer to the realities of these markets. And to do so, they will have to produce handsets with a decent hardware and a low price that the potential customers in these areas will be able to afford.

Some manufacturers have already started to release handsets that might not be the highest-performance ones out there but they are at least very cheap. EuroStar’s ONYX-1S, for example, has a configuration more than capable of browsing the web, playing at online casinos, watching videos, and playing music, and it also comes with a decent camera and a 5″ screen, and can be bought for as low as around $60. Other manufacturers – usually Chinese – also offer their customers smartphones with similar prices that might not be good enough for the Westerners but they are perfect for other, emerging markets. And they redefine the concept of an “affordable phone”.

Of course, these phones are not fitted with the latest Qualcomm or Samsung chips – but they have pretty decent MediaTek processors that have an acceptable performance at a low price. They don’t have 4,000mAh batteries – but they make do with 2,500. And their internal storage is also usually limited to 8 or 16 gigabytes, but it can be expanded with the use of memory cards. And they will also be on par with the market leaders, too, when it comes to security thanks to initiatives like Google’s latest Android Oreo Go Edition, built with exactly these affordable but limited-performance handsets in mind.

We are seeing perhaps the biggest price gap between the cheapest and the most expensive smartphones in history. We have handsets on both ends of the spectrum – on one hand, we have the 256GB iPhone X that costs $1,149, on the other, we have the EuroStar ONYX-1S with a $60 price tag.

Continue Reading

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Collaboration Tool

Thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of tools that one can use for work.

Working from home? There are tools for you. Cab to the office taking too long? No worries, you can log into an online platform where you can start working on whatever you need to accomplish for the day. Members of your teams located in different parts of the world? Yep, there are tools for that, too.

For any of these situations, a collaboration tool is the answer.

A collaboration tool helps people to collaborate. The purpose of a collaboration tool is to support a group of two or more individuals to accomplish a common goal or objective they have set themselves (source).” This definition can refer to good old paper and pen. In this instance, however, we are referring to software or programs that aid in team collaboration.

The last couple of decades saw the rise of these handy programs. Whether a company operates in a traditional manner or is comprised of remote workers, a collaboration tool is a definite must-have. It is useful in any type of office in any type of industry. It is used in retail, food business, government, education, medicine, and in various other fields. In fact, a lone freelancer without a collaboration tool will find getting work done with clients or business partners an extra challenge.

While it’s well and good that there are dozens and dozens of collaboration tools available in the market today, having too many options can be a headache, too.

Imagine just wanting a good tool for working with a team and then being presented with dozens of options.

Here are questions that you need to ask to avoid a potential analysis paralysis situation. Hopefully, these factors will aid you in choosing the most ideal collaboration tool for your company.

1. Is it a standalone tool or a multi-purpose tool?

One question to ask when shopping around for a collaboration tool is whether the platform is standalone or comes with multi-purpose features.

Not all collaboration tools are created equal. This is perhaps due to the fact that collaboration covers a broad spectrum of activities. When you collaborate, you communicate, you share files, you manage a series of tasks that all contribute in the accomplishment of a certain project.

Some tools are ideal for chatting, emailing, or general correspondence. Others focus on file storage or data sharing. There are also some that make project management the focal point.

So should you choose a tool that allows for chatting alone and a different program for sharing files? Or should you pick a platform that lets you tick all aspects of collaboration in one go?

Studies show that teams prefer to work using full-featured tools over standalone programs.

Eileen O’Loughlin, Software Advice:

While specialized tools can boost efficiency in one area, they lack the capacity to meet multiple needs at once. For example: a chat tool may restrict attachment file sizes, or a content management application may lack an activity feed.

One downside, of course, is that programs with multi-purpose features may be crazy complicated. They can be quite pricey, too, when you compare them to standalone collaboration services.

What you can do is find the sweet spot between full-service but simple and affordable. At the very least, you will want a tool that has these three features: allows your team to send messages, has storage for file sharing, and lets you coordinate on tasks for accomplishing projects.

Dead Drop software, for instance, is a full-featured collaboration tool that is not only affordable but also quite simple to use. This cloud-based platform allows teams to send messages to one another, share or store files, and run projects using the calendar.

2. What’s your budget?

Expounding on the point we have made above, let’s explore another question to ask when choosing a collaboration tool: what’s your budget?

Siv Rauv, Elcom:

Most online collaboration tools are available at a low monthly subscription cost — but there are also some open source platforms available for startups and organisations that aren’t ready to commit. Professional solutions are often priced out at a per seat rate, so it becomes important to compare different tools based on cost.

The budget issue will likely be affected by the size of your company. This is because most tools charge subscription fees per user. Basically, the bigger the number of users who access the tools, the higher the monthly bill would be.

Conversely, there are also tools that offer all-in or fixed monthly plans. This may be a good option if your team is on the larger side or you have no clear picture of your manpower in the near future.

3. Does it offer free trial or free demo?

One way to learn how a collaboration tool works is by trying it out. This is where free trials or free demos come in handy. If a platform isn’t offered on trial, you might want to steer clear of it.

Depending on the vendor, some free trials consist of only a few basic features. Some, however, will let you explore and try every facet of the program. This way, you will know exactly that you will be paying for, if ever you do sign up for a plan.

Have your team try one or two tools before signing up for a paid subscription. As a result, if you do end up signing up for a particular tool, the teething stage would be shorter for your team.

4. How secure is it?

Security is a major factor to consider when you are shopping around for your team’s collaboration tool.

Just imagine: ideas that flow through your company are worth a lot of money. When these ideas are stored in an online platform, it’s imperative that you make security a top priority when choosing a collaboration tool.

Most vendors would disclose just how secure their platforms are so you simply need to browse their FAQ section before you make the decision to sign up.

5. Does the tool answer your team’s specific problem/s?

Different teams have different needs. Before you choose a collaboration tool, take time to analyze how your team interacts first.

Do they prefer to use real-time chat rooms as a venue to collaborate? Do they like to use emails to coordinate on projects? Do you have remote workers whom your team need to video call often?

By knowing how your team collaborate, you will be able to choose the tool that best fit your business.

Some full-featured collaboration tools available in the market today focus on the real-time interactive side of working together. They showcase chat or commenting functions so that teams can talk about what they are working on as they work on them. If your team loves to chat, these are tools you may want to look into.

Speaking of work to get done, there are also platforms that come with handy checklists or to-do lists. These can prove quite useful for teams that love to tick items off after finishing with certain tasks.

If your team is also using Google Drive, Dropbox, and other online tools, you might want to invest in a collaboration tool that allows for integration.

Another factor that you might need to consider is whether a tool allows for secure business to business collaboration. There are tools that can be used only by one team or company. There are some, like Dead Drop, that are suitable for collaboration with external entities, such as clients, business partners, and other parties who may not be part of the company. These types of tools are quite useful for collaboration beyond only one team.

If you find a collaboration tool that has the right answers for these questions, consider yourself lucky. You and your team will be well on your way to accomplishing many goals. Of course, we reiterate that you take advantage of the free trial offers first. A trial is a good test whether a program is a good fit for your team.

Go forth and dive into the wonderful world of collaboration tools. Trust us, one or two will make your work life much better.

Continue Reading

Key Signs of Bankruptcy You May Not Be Aware of Before It’s Too Late

Disclaimer: All the information that you’re about to read below points out some key signs of bankruptcy that you may not be aware of before it’s too late. It isn’t supposed to replace traditional advice as provided by a licensed lawyer who you should contact right away.

You may have borrowed money before from someone you know after getting caught in an emergency situation that left you strapped for cash. You may also have used your credit card to buy something you urgently needed, or you may have taken out a loan on your car or even your house. Whatever the circumstances that led to you incurring some debt, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it as long as you can settle it. However, if all your debts have begun piling up and you’ve already exhausted all repayment options available at your disposal, you have to watch out for some key signs of bankruptcy that you may not be aware of before it’s too late.

Some Signs of Bankruptcy to Watch Out for That You May Not be aware of

Declaring bankruptcy is usually reserved for situations wherein the debt that you incurred has grown to the point of becoming unmanageable on your own. Thus, you wouldn’t want to file for Chapter 7 in which all your property that isn’t exempt would be seized and sold by your creditor to make up for the payments that you missed.

Neither would you want to file for Chapter 13 which restructures the payment plan that both you and your creditor have previously agreed upon that allows you to repay in smaller amounts but over a longer period of time. For you to not resort to declaring yourself as bankrupt, you would have to spot the following signs of bankruptcy that you may not be aware of and resolve them while you can still manage your debts instead of letting them sink you deep in financial ruin.

1. You’ve been paying only the minimum amount due indicated on your credit card’s monthly billing statement.

For those who don’t like bringing copious amounts of cash in public, a credit card is a more convenient option that doesn’t leave an unattractive bulge in your wallet. However, having a credit card entails anyone who applies for one to use it sparingly and responsibly.

● If you have a credit card yourself, you might have noticed that every billing statement you receive in your mail has a minimum amount due indicated in it. You shouldn’t assume right away that you only have to pay for your credit card’s minimum amount due every month.

● What you would want to do instead is to look for the total outstanding balance in your billing statement and make it a point to pay no less than that every month so that you won’t lag behind on any payments that you have to make to your credit card.

2. You don’t have a rainy day fund that you can use to bounce back from a huge financial upset.

If you only have one personal savings account where you’re depositing all your wages and bonuses that you receive in your job, you’re not managing your finances right. Settling for a single bank account can put you in an undesirable position should any unforeseen incident cost you a considerable amount of money.

● For you to fully recover in case you experience a major financial setback, you would need to open another bank account and designate it as your rainy day fund.

● Your rainy day fund should only be used for emergencies, so you should learn to control your spending habits as well by not withdrawing any amount from it.

3. A third-party collection agency has been incessantly calling you or sending you a demand letter to inform you of all the debts that you need to pay as soon as possible.

If several months had passed and you still weren’t able to pay back the money that you owe your creditor, they’d be forced to hire a third-party agency in charge of making sure that you shape up financially for you to be able to repay all your debts.

● While a debt collection agent would gently remind you at first over the phone about the money that you owe your creditor, their calls might eventually get more and more urgent and stern in tone if you’re still skipping on your payments.

● The debt collection agency that your creditor had hired can also mail you a demand letter asking you to pay all your debts back or risk facing a lawsuit in which you’ll have to go to court and defend yourself. Having some debt to your name is fine as long as you can pay back the money that you owe. However, if your debts have been accumulating at an alarming rate until you can barely keep up, thoughts of filing for bankruptcy may have crossed your mind. But before you can declare either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should first identify some signs of bankruptcy on your end that you may not be aware of and address them before it’s too late. And to help you fully conquer your insurmountable debt, you would want to discuss your current financial state with a lawyer who can assess further if you really have to file for bankruptcy instead.

 


Cecille Cunningham

Cecille Cunningham loves writing for the common reader, especially on helping them make sense of various topics on the law. She currently writes for multiple law firms. In her spare time she cooks for his family and friends.

Continue Reading

Low-Cost Business Ideas: How a Student to Start Own Business

It’s always a great idea to start a business while in school. However, students are always left trying to figure out where to get the money to start a business. A business can go a long way to getting you money for tuition and upkeep. It also gives you the much-needed experience of running a business and interacting with clients. Every student needs extra money to survive in school for various reasons including, tuition fees, clothing, groceries and club activities. You can easily make money for all these by starting up a business at an affordable cost.

If you are looking for business ideas that you can try out even with your busy schedules of classes and assignments, then we’ve got you covered. Getting a job with such a schedule can be quite hectic. This is why many students are preferring getting into businesses.

Here we have ideas to get you into a business at a low cost!

Residential Cleaning Service

You can start a business to provide residential cleaning services. 

This is a great option that will enable you to have time for both your classes and your business. All that you have to do for a start is buy a few cleaning materials and put up advertisements both online and through posters in your community area.

Here, you have to be keen to do a good job in the houses that you clean and also be trusted. Do not take anything from the houses or invite your friends over. Respect your clients’ spaces. Once you build trust, you will get many referrals.

A good way to reduce the cost of starting up is by asking your clients to provide most of the supplies that you need, for example, rags that are recyclable. Make sure that you arrive for the cleaning service at the expected time and set aside enough time for you to clean up. This will ensure you do a good job and will keep your clients happy as you are reliable.

Moving Service

A moving service business in school is an incredible business 

I bet you know how stressful moving in and out of campus can be for students. This is a great low-cost business opportunity. You can start a moving service business and help your fellow students make that move.

The downside of this job is that it requires a lot of muscle and hard work. This is because it requires a lot of lifting of heavy and large furniture as well as other items. You, therefore, need to have the right capacity and tools to make moving the items easier, for example, rollers.

For marketing your services, you can put up flyers on the campus, use social media platforms or market by word of mouth. You can also use the campus journals for adverts.

Tutoring Service

Tutoring your peers can earn you some money 

Being a student, we bet you know quite a lot of subjects academically. You are probably good at math, writing essays and biology, among others. You can use your skills and knowledge to make some cash!

You can teach students who are struggling. You can become a tutor through various platforms such as the school’s peer teaching center, or by registering as a tutor in the school. You can also train students in elementary or high school, especially in your home or school area.

You can set up your charge rate based on those of the tutors around your area. The highest demand for tutors is usually for SATs.

Event Organizer

Start a business in event organizing 

As a student, we bet that you’re more exposed to the social scenes. This can earn you money. You can work with local musicians and artists to come up with events in your area. Here, you need to do good planning and execution to make the events a success. You could assist in marketing events in your school through distributing flyers and setting up posters as well as informing your fellow students by word of mouth. This will help in creating an interest in the events.

You can also work with managers of venues in your area to hold the events there and market them online through blogs and social media platforms. You can get paid for the marketing, organizing the event or through sales on the tickets.

Make sure that you do your homework so that you find the right kind of people to work with. The key to making this work is open and frequent communication, good organization skills as well as skills in finance and marketing.

Bookkeeping

You don’t have to be doing a major in finance to do bookkeeping. All you need is basic know-how of accounting and a good understanding of how to use spreadsheets and analyzing as well as solving real-life problems.

The good thing is that all companies and business need to maintain good records for bookkeeping, hence, there will always be a job for you. For small businesses, they tend to outsource this service to lower their costs. You can, therefore, use this opportunity to fill in the gap.

You can use a low-cost software for startups like Xero. You can also market your services by way of listings on jobs or through referrals by your clients. You should charge on the basis of work complexity as well as your level of experience. It is always a great idea to start with a low charge rate then slowly work towards a higher one with experience.

Making jewelry can earn you good money

Make Jewelry

You don’t have to be a jewelry guru or an expert jewelry maker to start up a business in jewelry. You can start up with simple jewelry for your fellow college mates or even for kids. This can be bracelets, neckpieces, etc. Use an e-commerce site to help you sell them or start your own website.

You can do better work by watching tutorials online as well as doing further research on blogs and other articles.

The best way to sell this kind of jewelry is through advertisements by way of using photos. Ensure that you take good images of the pieces for your website or selling platform to encourage your clients to buy the products. Be keen to use simple and basic tools for example pliers, beads, stones and a wire cutter. They will be affordable.

Conclusion

As a student, you don’t need to have lots of money to start up a business. We have listed a number of low-cost business ideas that will surely set you off on your journey into entrepreneurship. With every business idea, you will need to work hard and be reliable and committed to making it work. We do understand that you spend most of your time in class and doing projects as well as assignments. This is why our ideas are not time-consuming. These ideas are ideal for you as you will be able to handle both business and studies, and still make that extra money. Ensure that you do a good job and remain consistent so as to get more clients through referrals. Whichever skills you, say you are a good writer, the best you could ever do before starting out is researching on what to offer. Let’s say you know how to write 1000 word essay that will score high marks or you’re good at article and blog writing, find out which one will make you money with more ease. Afterwards, you can slowly expand to other niches.

Have any exciting ideas that you would like to share with us? Let us know in comments section.

Author Bio: Christina Battons is a creative writer and content strategist from LA. Currently, I write to various web platforms. My posts address the topics about self-education, writing, motivation, professional development. In my spare time, I prefer to read novels and crime thriller stories. You can connect with me through @battonschristi.

Continue Reading