Month: March 2018

Modern bookcases and cabinets are functional to use for storage, as a home office work space or for display. Wall cabinetry is a unique home furnishing that fills your room areas with decorative elegance. Unique bookcases, cabinetry and wall units are versatile in a modern space. They are stylish and come in wide selections of designs.

Contemporary bookcases and display shelving is available in cube, corner and leaning decorative styles. Other styles include: drawers, ladder, Eco-friendly and mobile designs. These bookcases can be used to store and organize books or display home accessories. They feature decorative colors, sizes and materials that update your room spaces.

Beautiful and unique bookcases are great in a transitional, rustic, eclectic or modern decor scheme. There are modern bookcases that fit your budget and lifestyle. They are priced from $50 to over $500. A decorative bookcase can be found online or at a local home furnishings department by brand, number of shelves, height, width and finish.

Elegant bookcases come in colors such as white, brown, gray or black to enhance a modern room setting. Decorative finishes in light, medium or dark wood tones are an attractive design feature.

Transform a plain wall area with a great looking shelving unit or display cabinet. It will maximize room space, add sleek style and can be used as a dramatic focal point. Coordinate a classic decor theme with a stylish bookcase.

Artwork, art objects, vases, plants and keepsakes will look spectacular on a wood or metal shelving unit. A decorative display cabinet looks amazing when home accents are arranged by color, shape and design.

Decorative bookcase shelving offers several options for applying a simple or high impact to your room settings. They are flexible to use on wall spaces as a practical furnishing or as a part of an overall modern scheme. Here are other ways to enjoy the benefits of elegant display cabinets:

Use in a dining room to store and display dinnerware
Set next to a fireplace to draw the eye up
Decorate a room interior with a modern cabinet that has open and closed shelving
Show accents of color in a room scheme with colorful vases and bowls displayed on open shelving
Use a bookcase as casual furnishing to hold travel souvenirs and modern art objects
Add style to a room environment with a decorative display cabinet that has a clean or classic look
Modern eclectic bookcases and display cabinets come in appealing designs perfect for an Oriental, exotic or contemporary decor
Great modern display cabinets are wonderful in a living room to define or create an elegant tone
A modern bookcase or shelving unit can be used in a basement to function as decorative storage

There are many decorative possibilities for using display cabinets in your home interior. They are refreshing in decorative design, functionality and one of the best places to display your special home accessories.

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Having some savings to lean on in times of duress is an integral part of creating your own safety net. While preparing for an emergency isn’t as fun or glamorous as preparing for a vacation or new home, it is a vital aspect of financial responsibility which ensures that unforeseen circumstances don’t derail the work you’ve done to build the life you’re currently living. Emergencies happen in an instant, and lack of preparation can cause disastrous financial effects that can last for years, slowly degrading the overall strength of your savings.

A financial expert recommends these top 10 tips you need to consider when saving for an emergency. In addition, you will get clued into the one thing to never do when planning for an emergency. These tips will help guide you toward preparing for possible crisis, and their implementation will safeguard a post-crisis future.

1. Give yourself a preparation assessment

In order to define what steps you need to take to prepare for financial emergency, you first have to take a no-holds-barred inventory of your present state. Doing so will help you draft a personalized preparation outline. There are a variety of questions you can ask yourself, including:

How long could I get by if I lost my job tomorrow?

What would my financial life look like if I needed significant surgery and recovery time?

What are my total assets?

An honest self-examination isn’t always easy but it is crucial to see where you’re really at in your level of preparedness.

2. Draft an emergency plan

Thankfully, financially preparing for an emergency isn’t a new concept. There are many resources you can use to help you build a framework that works for you. A good starting point is this emergency plan outline.

3. Save

Insurance shouldn’t be your only option. In the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency, insurance agencies are overwhelmed with claims and it can take months to even get started on your own claim, at which point you may have drained your resources significantly. Start an emergency fund at your bank. Begin with whatever amount is possible for you. Make a deposit plan and stick to it.

4. Buy a comprehensive home-owner’s insurance package

It seems obvious, but home-owner’s insurance is often considered a grudge purchase. The reality is that there are many options for homeowner’s insurance that account for emergencies of all kinds – natural disasters, floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes. Know your area’s natural dangers (tornadoes in the Midwest, earthquakes on the West coast, etc.), and design your insurance accordingly.

5. Know your options

In the event of a medical emergency, bills can pile up fast, leaving your financial life in ruins. It is possible in certain circumstances, however, to withdraw money from your IRA without penalty. There’s a lot of paperwork involved, but hardship and disability are eligible. Do some research into what your options may be.

6. Remember, cash is king

When disasters or emergencies occur, it’s tempting to begin charging things to credit cards or taking out outrageous loans to cover the costs. Resist this temptation. Excessive borrowing in times of crisis can exacerbate your state of emergency. Now that you have emergency savings, use it. Pay for what you can while you can, and you’ll be surprised how far it will go. Don’t go for the quick fix that will only make things worse.

7. Invest in preventative measures

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. If you know certain risks about where you live, your line of work, or your family’s health history, use that information to your advantage. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, reinforcing your home could save you thousands of dollars should an earthquake occur.

8. Have a backup plan for your backup plan

Contingency plans are crucial in the event of emergencies, which cause events and circumstances to change quickly. Draft plans, backup plans, and backup-backup plans, and you’ll sleep easier at night knowing you aren’t banking on a single solution needing to work.

9. Commit to disciplined sacrifice

If you want to have a certain amount of money put away for emergencies and your current job or career isn’t making that possible, it may be time to take on a second job in the short-term so you can secure your long-term future. Working a little extra will grow your savings quickly, and later down the road, should an emergency occur, you won’t be scrambling.

10. Fire-proof your important documents

In the event that a fire engulfs your home, will you know where your important documents are? A fire-proof safe will ensure that in any event your documents will emerge unscathed. A large fire will be disaster enough without having to reproduce all your important paperwork, so fire-proof your documents as soon as possible.

The one thing to never do when preparing for an emergency

The one thing to never do when financially preparing for emergency — stashing cash! Avoid keeping a “stash” of cash in your closet, mattress or glass jar at home. Although you are taking a step forward in saving for an emergency, that money is not gaining any interest, plus it is at the mercy of floods, fires even robbery. If you do want to hold on to some extra cash just in case, keep it locked in a fire-proof safe.

Recent research shows that one-third of Americans are one paycheck away from homelessness. If an emergency were to occur, the results in these circumstances would be truly disastrous. Ensure your future today by planning ahead for the unthinkable. You’ll thank yourself later.

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Trying to get a job is really all about the interview part and how well you answer the questions. Most people will admit that they get very nervous during an interview and certain questions will be tougher than others. Though you should feel relaxed, it is actually natural to feel nervous, but you should not allow this to stop you from answering correctly. The best way to be able to feel confident is to come to the interview fully prepared. This means that you should have practiced several questions beforehand so that you will have a few ideas ready before you answer.

Common Interview Question – What is Your Biggest Strength?

One of the most common yet most difficult questions that you will be asked is “What is your biggest strength?” In order to answer this question, you will need to first take these things into consideration.

Be Creative

If you want to stand out from everyone else, you will need to be creative. This means that you simply cannot say “I work hard and I want to be the best.” Try to be as detailed as possible and to outline what your strengths truly are. Depending on what the interview is for, you will be able to prepare beforehand what your strengths can be and how they will help the company out. The interviewer will only have one thing in mind and all they are thinking about is what you can do for the company. If your strength is something that can truly help the company, they will surely consider hiring you. The trick is to figure out what it is you can bring to the table and how you will be able to tell them.

Be Honest

The most important thing to do during any interview is make sure that you are honest. Lying will lead to more problems and it will certainly not do you any good. When you are trying of your strengths, remember that you must not over estimate what you can do. This can often be tough for some people who truly want to get the job but it is very important that you stay honest. Remember that when you are honest, you will be able to speak clearer and you will not stutter during your interview. Some people will get into the habit of lying during an interview but even though you get hired, you will then be expected to perform those strengths.

Be Sincere

Being sincere during the whole interview is very important. The people that conduct the interviews have seen thousands of interviews and so they know exactly when a person is being sincere or not. This is why it is very important to practice as much as you can beforehand so that you will be able to simply repeat what you will be doing. As easy as this may sound, it really just depends on how you deliver the words that you are going to be saying. It is also very important that you do not want to sound arrogant when you are talking about your strengths and you simply want to state them as humble as possible.

Common Interview Question – What is Your Biggest Weakness?

Another of the most common interview questions is “What is your biggest weakness?” This is a question that a lot of people have trouble with, and so it is a good idea to prepare for this question beforehand so that you will be comfortable answering it when you are in that position. If you are serious about being able to answer this question perfectly, take these simple things into consideration.

Identify Your Weakness

Though this might seem like common sense, it is a good idea to first have your weaknesses laid out on paper. Look through your weaknesses and figure out which weakness is the worst. This is very important because you simply do not want to stutter during your interview without a clear answer. Remember that answering “on the go” is simply the best way to mess up and ruin your interview. Focus on first identifying your weaknesses and then choose which one to share.

Avoid Telling The Whole Truth

Though this may not seem like the best advice, it is a good idea to avoid saying a weakness that will hurt your chances of getting the job. This is because a company looking to hire a manager will not want someone that is “unorganized and lazy.” You will need to pick your poison and choose a weakness that you know you can improve on. Most people will make the mistake of saying a weakness that will truly ruin their chances and so you will need to choose wisely.

Choose A Weakness That Can Be Fixed

When you are trying to figure out what to say, you must remember that it should be something that you can reassure will be fixed. When you say something like “my biggest weakness is that I often read instructions correctly” then you should reassure them that you will double check everything and that you will read everything thoroughly. Remember that you need to still let the company feel comfortable with hiring you and still being able to tell your weakness.

Be Honest

The last thing that you need to remember is that you cannot lie about anything. Though you can choose what to say, remember that you cannot simply say that you have no weaknesses. Often times a company will be more open to someone who is completely honest and they will sometimes commend this. When you are being honest, you will realize that it is also very easy to speak and you will not stutter at all. This is because you are not making anything up and you will be able to simply answer their question.

Before your interview day comes, you need to feel prepared. Remember that it can be tough to practice what you will be saying repeatedly but it is the only way. Once you feel confident about what you will be answering, nothing can really go wrong. The goal is to simply walk out of the interview feeling like you did your best. Whether you get the job or not, remember that you will be going against a lot of other people and you can just chalk it up as experience. With just a little patience and hard work, you will surely be able to get that job easily.

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Bankruptcy. Debt collections. Foreclosures. These things can do serious damage to a person’s credit score. The damage can be long-lasting. But it’s not always permanent.

There are certain things you can do to repair the damage caused by a negative event, such as bankruptcy. In this article, you’ll learn the best ways to improve a credit score quickly.

7 Things That Can Ruin Your Credit

Before we go any further, we need to discuss the reasons your score might have dropped in the first place. Here’s a quick rundown of the most harmful items:

Filing for personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or 13)
Having your home foreclosed upon
Missing payments, or making late payments, on a credit card or loan
Having an account “charged off” by a creditor or lender
Defaulting on a loan
Having a debt sent to a collection agency
Maxing out your credit card limits

Below, you’ll learn the best ways to improve a credit score after any of these negative events. The damage done by these things will vary, depending on several factors. For example, a single late payment on a credit account could lower your FICO score anywhere from 50 to 100 points. So it’s hard to assign exact numbers to these events. Just know that the steps outlined below have the potential to restore your credit quickly.

The Best Ways to Improve Your Score

No matter how bad your credit is right now, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t say exactly how long it will take you to rebuild your credit rating — nobody can. There are too many variables for such a prediction. But I can tell you the even that most significant damage can be ameliorated over time. I have personally seen someone go from a 550 FICO score to a 720 in just over a year’s time. Below, we will discuss some of the steps she took to improve her credit rating so quickly.

Let’s take a look at the five primary factors that influence your FICO score. We also need to talk about the relative strength they have, in terms of helping or harming your credit.

This chart shows five categories of information that can affect your FICO credit score. But I want to direct your attention to two of the categories in particular. You’ll notice that the dark-blue and red slices of the pie, when combined, account for 65% of your score. You’ll also notice that the next-largest slice (yellow) is determined by the length of your credit history, which is something you can’t really control.

What does all of this mean? It means that if you want to see quick results, you should focus your energy on the blue and red sections. Those are the best ways to improve your credit score quickly. So let’s talk more about those two areas:

1. Bill Payments — Steady as She Goes!

Your payment history can make or break your score, all on its own. Earlier I mentioned that a single late payment of 90 days could lower your FICO rating by more than 100 points. That’s a significant amount of damage for a single negative event. That’s why it’s critical that you make all of your payments on time.

In this context, I am primarily referring to the types of accounts that show up on your credit reports. These include retail charge cards, car loans, credit cards and the like. If you haven’t done so already, you should get copies of your reports. is the official website for this purpose.

2. Amounts Owed — Pay Down Those Balances!

I know, it’s often easier said than done. But if you can pay down your credit card balances (or any other form of revolving debt that you have), you’ll be able to improve your score more quickly. It’s okay to have balances on one or more cards. In fact, this can help you improve your score over time. But the key is to maintain low balances, relative to the card’s limit.

This is referred to as your utilization ratio. A higher ratio will result in a lower FICO score. Create a payment plan that allows you to reduce your balances over time. It’s one of the best ways to improve your credit score quickly.

These are certainly not the only things that affect your rating. But they are two of the most important factors. You can clearly see this when you look at the pie chart presented above. Remember, this strategy is intended to help you rebuild your score as fast as possible.

If you want to see some significant changes in months, as opposed to years, you need to start with the “Big 2″ items described above. There is no getting around this. Stay on top of your bills — don’t let a single bill become delinquent. And do whatever you can to reduce the balances on your existing credit accounts.

I’d like to move on to talk about another strategy you can use to boost your credit rating. It actually piggybacks on the “payment history” concept mentioned earlier.
How Long Does it Take?

No one can tell you how long it will take to improve your credit score. If somebody claims to know this information, they are probably trying to sell you something. Even the people who developed the FICO scoring model admit that it’s impossible to make such predictions. Earlier, I said I knew someone who boosted her score from 550 to 720 in just over a year. This is true. But her situation may be much different from yours.

Here’s one thing we know: It generally takes longer to recover from a history of negative events, as opposed to an isolated event. If I have a bankruptcy filing on my credit record, but it’s the only negative entry on my reports, I’ll probably recover much faster than somebody with a dozen negative entries.

The speed with which you implement these strategies will also play a role. For instance, consider the reduction of credit card balances we talked about earlier. You’ll probably be able to rebuild your credit rating faster if you reduce your balances quickly, as opposed to “chipping away” at them over a period of months. In the latter scenario, you are improving your credit-utilization ratio much more slowly. So the results will also be more gradual in nature.

When you consider how long things can stay on your credit reports, you might be discouraged:

“Why should I even try to rebuild my credit history, if a single late payment can stay on my report for up to seven years? What’s the point? Can I make any improvements in the meantime?”

Yes, a negative entry can stay on your report for a long time. But you can actually boost your FICO score even while those negative items remain. They tend to have less impact over time. So it’s certainly worth the effort. Start with the strategies listed above — it’s the best way to improve your credit quickly.

In all honesty, it might take several years to fully recover from a catastrophic event such as bankruptcy. But you can still benefit from the incremental improvements you’ll make along the way. For instance, if you can boost your score by 50 points or so in the short term, you’ll qualify for better interest rates on loans, credit cards, etc. And the sooner you start your campaign to rebuild your credit, the sooner you’ll reach the finish line — regardless of how far away it might seem.

Important Notes: Every financial situation is different. The tips offered in this article applies to most credit situations. But there are exceptions to every rule. This information has been provided for educational purposes and should not be viewed as financial advice. I strongly encourage you to continue your research beyond this article.

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In the John Cusack movie “High Fidelity,” a business owner works through some angst about where he is in life. At one point in the movie he realizes one of his key problems is Bad Decisions. He can’t seem to stop doing stupid things. In one epic line, he turns to the camera and talks to the audience. He says:

“Well, I’ve been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have s##t for brains.”

The quote, which originally comes from the book by Nick Hornby on which the movie is based, accurately describes epiphany moments. Far too many managers experience this well after they can stop the runaway train of chaos their “intuition” created. I’m not saying going by your instincts is always bad. But, statistically speaking, John and Nick are correct—trusting your gut can be a very bad business strategy.

You have an idea. Well, not really an idea, precisely, but the seed of an idea that gets you all excited. Okay so far, but circumstances can go bad quickly.

Many times the excitement generated by that “great idea” tempts you to just jump out and get started with no real plan, no budget and no concrete idea where you are really headed. It might sound romantic or adventurous, but, in business, there is no greater prescription for failure.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “I’ll just get it going and deal with any issues as they come up.”

Yeah, that’s a terrible idea. First, you have no idea what problems may actually “come up.” Second, you don’t know which problems you will create yourself or bring with you, simply because you have no real idea what you are doing or what you will need to do next. That’s like planning a scuba diving trip and packing your mask and fins … but not bothering to decide where you are going. You can’t just get out in the boat and then decide how deep you want to dive or, worse, just jump in the water without any idea what might be down there.

Ever hear this one: “forget the obstacles, full speed ahead.” As far as business acumen goes, that ranks right up there with “hey, y’all, hold my beer and watch this!” Nothing good comes of a “ramming speed” approach to business management. If you haven’t considered how your idea will impact your other projects or the work of those you depend on in your business, then you are forging ahead with a serious handicap. And it will come back to bite you.

Finally … for those who choose to ignore this advice … when you find yourself in a mess of your own making, it can be tempting to “turtle up”, to hide or try to find someone else to blame. That’s stupid … and cowardly. It does nothing to help the problem and burns bridges to people and resources you probably need to extricate your idiot self. You can’t escape from quicksand by shooting the guy holding the rope.

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