Tuesday, March 31, 2020

It Costs How Much?! 5 Reasons Your Utility Bill Is Too High

There are a number of different costs associated with maintaining a household. You want to do the best you can to keep your expenses low. One cost that may surprise you is your electricity bill. Here are 5 reasons your utility bill is too high.

Insulate Your Home

You don't want to let the temperature-controlled air in your home go outside. To prevent this, you need to keep your home secure. Shut windows and doors. You should even look into getting a specialized energy-efficient window and door options. If you haven't added insulation to your walls in years, it could be time to do that as well.

Air Conditioners

Your HVAC unit is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to your electricity bill, especially during the summer. You should replace the filter at least a couple times a year, and more often if you have pets. Air conditioners also require regular maintenance to ensure they run at top efficiency.

For added savings, you should also consider getting a smart thermometer to automatically change the temperature when you and your family aren't home. You can even change the temperature from your smartphone no matter where you are. This limits wasteful energy use and will save you money in the long run.

Use the Right Light Bulbs

Most people use incandescent light bulbs because they are the cheapest option when shopping at the store. However, the more expensive options can end up saving you more in the long run. LED and CFL light bulbs use less energy and last longer. This means, your bill will be lower with time and you won’t have to replace the bulbs as often.

Outdated Appliances

You have a number of different appliances in your home. As appliances get older, they require more and more electricity to run. You should replace your old appliances with EnergyStar appliances specifically designed to use less electricity and water. There will be an initial cost at first, but you'll see the savings in your utility bill.


You may not realize exactly how many things you have plugged in at your home. Even if these electronics are off, they still eat up energy. While this passive usage may seem small at first, it adds up significantly. Unplug your phone charger and your laptop when you aren't charging it anymore.

You may be paying more for your electricity than necessary. If you want to save money, you should look into your behaviors in your home. When you make some of these simple changes, you may be surprised as you watch your bill drop significantly.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Top Five Timesheet Management Systems

What is a timesheet?

A timesheet is a virtual tool that enables you to track and record your worked time. By using a timesheet, you can follow or see precisely how many hours you have accomplished. Using a timesheet as an employer, you can also track how many hours each employee has worked.

The purpose of a timesheet

In a working environment, a timesheet is an essential tool. The primary use of a timesheet is for payroll, accounting, and human resource management. A timesheet works like a database that contains all the information needed for employers, and it helps to pay workers fairly.

Best timesheet management systems

There are many timesheet management systems which are essential to managing your time. Some of them are listed below:

1- Time Doctor

The best timesheet software programs not only keep track of your time, but they also maximize your productivity and profitability level, and the time doctor is one of them.

It is an automated time tracking software that enables you to generate automated timesheets in the form of various reports. There are also free timesheet calculators available, one of such is provided by dremployee.

For employees, they need to press a start button on the application to start a timer, which starts tracking their time they are spending on a task. Time doctor ensures that employees don't have to fill in timesheets manually. It is accessible on desktops, tablets, and even on mobile phones.

2- TSheets

For the employees who are always on the move, can keep track of time. It allows you to track employee time accurately from any device. Tsheets is a handy tool for sales and support teams, freelancers on long term projects for the company, and remote sides of all sizes. Tsheets can be used on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones as well. 

It also has a GPS option that helps to track your employees when they clock in or clock out. Tsheets is a great tool to increase employee accountability. Another useful feature Tsheets has that the employee can attach a photo of the completed task and attach it to the timesheet.

Tsheets also has permissions and restrictions option, and you can grant permissions and restrictions to your employees based on the job.

3- Clicktime

Another useful app is to click time that allows businesses to track and monitor employee time usage and billable time. It also maximizes the productivity level and profitability. 

Clicktime is available on desktops, web, and mobile devices, including windows, mac, Linux, ios, blackberry, and android. Clicktime is a comprehensive app that has various other features, and its customer support team can help you to integrate these features.

4- Hubstaff

Hubstaff is another valuable tool that allows you to track and monitor employee activities during working hours. It helps you to see how productively employees are spending their time at work. 

Hubstaff is best for small, medium businesses and with remote teams and provides you highly accurate timesheets. It shows you a better understanding of your team's capacity. It also linked to payroll, and you don't have to do manual calculations to pay your freelancers who bill you by the hour.

Hubstaff is accessible on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

5- Everhour

Everhour is another well-designed and straightforward tool that can be used for reporting and invoicing. It is a valuable tool for freelancers and small and medium businesses. It creates highly customizable reports for you.

Everhour has many features, including a monthly timesheet, an over-time report, and a real-time dashboard. It also has a reminder option that reminds you to track time on working days if you haven't recorded time yet.

Everhour is accessible on Chrome, iOS, Windows, and Mac.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

How Do You Know If You Need A Bankruptcy Lawyer?

There is no need to drown in debts, primarily unsecured debts, or debts that aren't related to utility bills while a bankruptcy lawyer can help you out. You may find yourself in such a situation, especially after a bad loss, investment fraud, divorce, or even an accident that leaves you maimed and physically disabled permanently. 

While your other insignificant investments and Insurance compensation may be able to sustain you in the meantime, it isn't advisable to always take chances and gamble, lest someone sues you, and sends debt collectors into your last remaining property.

So, how do you know that your business is never going to wake up from insolvency? How do you know that it is never possible to service debts as planned before? Well, the following instances should prompt you to look for a Montgomery AL bankruptcy lawyer immediately:

Unable to pay bills

If your employer was recently offering a house or car as part of prerequisite packages, then financing the same kind of lifestyle when jobless can be challenging. Remember, you can still afford to pay some utility bills such as telephone bills, but you are straining very much, unlike before when you were liquid. 

Anything close to straining forecasts the coming hardships which you must prepare to handle. Also, if you start paying the utility bills from your savings, then that amounts to straining, in which case you need a bankruptcy lawyer before things go further south.

Bounced checks

It is understandable for a check to bounce, especially when there are technical hitches from the remitting or receiving banks. However, how about when multiple checks bounce at a go? For instance, if a check to your supplier bounces, the ones to your employees bounce, and the one to your child's school also bounces, then there is a problem from the remitting account, which may be zero account balance. 

You don't have to wait and receive complaints from everyone else. Instead, look for a bankruptcy lawyer to handle the situation from there.

Limited cash flow

The only person who can tell if there is inadequate cash flow in your life is you! Furthermore, if the cash flow has moved from affecting your current accounts and is now eating up the reserves, then you need to file for bankruptcy. That will allow you to strategize and bounce back to financial independence like before.

Court representation

Lastly, it may all end up in you needing court representation because of one reason or another, but still, due to financial constraints, you cannot afford an attorney. The other reason for court representation is when a creditor moves to court to secure an order to auction some of your stuff. 

When it culminates to that extent, the noble thing to do is calling a bankruptcy lawyer, who will know how to handle things from there. However, you must also note that before being declared as bankrupt by a court of law, you must fulfill the prerequisite conditions as stipulated by related laws.

You'll never know when things will go wrong in your life, but at least you will see it coming. Brace for it, take it positively and file for that bankruptcy notice. Once you've hit rock bottom of life, it is always easy to rejuvenate from a fresh financial start, free of debt obligations.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tips On Choosing A ‘Winning’ Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy is a situation that can be very stressful for you and your family. It can drain you emotionally, physically, mentally and psychologically. That’s why it’s best to hire a lawyer to help you through the whole process. 

However, you don’t just need a lawyer, you deserve the best, one who is highly experienced and excellent at their job. You need to look for a lawyer who can handle your case skillfully, yet at a reasonable cost.

This article will give you knowledge on choosing a ‘winning’ bankruptcy lawyer

Look for referrals

Your family members and friends can give you referrals to help you in your quest to find the best lawyer for you. You can also talk to lawyers and tax preparers that you know to give you referrals. 

You need to be sure to specify the type of lawyer you are looking for, and whether you need representation for a business or individual. While getting referrals, seek to know whether the attorney you are hiring is specialized in dealing with bankruptcy cases.

Check the background of lawyers referred to you.

After you get referrals, it is always prudent to look into the finer details of the lawyers referred to you. Assess their background by checking reviews from their website feedback page. 

Check also if they have disciplinary cases from state or local bar associations. Establish whether the lawyers referred to you have the certification to deal with bankruptcy cases, such as whether they have a membership in a bankruptcy association.

Evaluate further

At this level, you need to narrow down to a few lawyers that seem most promising to you as prospects. Contact them and listen to them carefully since you are in the business of choosing the best suitable lawyer for you. 

After contacting them, you should be in a position now to narrow down the process further to two of them. Make appointments with the two remaining lawyers, and share your financial documents with them: a list of your debts and your house deed if necessary. Evaluate the experience of your attorney again at this level. 

Allow him to explain himself to you in a broad way and question him. Note how he or she is answering questions and treating you since their first behavior is very important. Discuss your case with him or her and let him guide you through the procedures to be followed in filing your bankruptcy. 

You also need to discuss the attorney fees. Some law firms, such as Benenati Law Firm, decided to differentiate themselves by charging lower attorney fees.

Finalize the choosing

Between the two, choose one after meeting them and hearing from both of them. Consider the one who is caring, giving you attention, and taking the time to explain the whole process. At this stage, do not feel pressured to make a choice and sign the fee agreement.

Do not choose a bankruptcy lawyer after only a few minutes of research. Instead, get someone who has the best qualifications, experience, and an outstanding reputation. You deserve only the best, take time, and choose wisely.

Friday, March 20, 2020

5 Tips for Saving Money on Insurance Payments

Insurance is an absolute necessity for living a responsible life. There are many things that can go wrong over the years. Many of these bad events will sadly be completely unexpected. 

Without insurance coverage, your savings may be wiped out entirely. You may even end up deep in debt. Still, insurance coverage can be expensive. Many people may feel ripped off by the premiums they have to pay each month. With that in mind, below are a few tips for lowering the cost of insurance coverage.

Consider Your Deductible

One way to lower your insurance premiums is to increase your deductibles. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket for an insurance claim. 

Higher deductibles mean less risk for the insurance company. If you have enough saved to pay those deductibles without it being a burden to you, this might be a good option.

Buy Multiple Policies from the Same Insurer

Another way to lower your insurance premiums is to look for possible discounts from different insurers. One of the most common discounts comes from buying multiple insurance policies from the same company. 

If you want to insure a motorcycle, you may get a discount by using the company that insures your cars.

Avoid High Risk Purchases that Need Insurance

Certain things are simply more expensive to insure than others. There are good reasons for this. Usually, your chosen insurance company has done the numbers and determined there is an elevated risk. 

Avoiding these kinds of purchases can lower your premiums. Sports cars, for example, almost always come with higher insurance premiums than other vehicles.

Work on Improving Your Credit Score

The premiums you are asked to pay by an insurance company are calculated using a number of different factors. 

One of these factors will certainly be your credit score. If you want to lower your premiums, work on repairing your poor credit. You should be doing this regardless.

Protect Insured Assets

Another way to lower your premiums is to show your insurance company, such as Bear River Insurance, that you have taken steps to lower the risk of a claim being filed. There are many ways to do this. 

For example, installing storm shutters could possibly lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Inquire with your insurer about the different possibilities.

Insurance premiums can be expensive. Thankfully, there are strategies you can use to bring down the cost of your insurance premiums. The list above is only a starting point. Talk with your insurance company about different ways you can save money on your insurance.

Monday, March 16, 2020

How to Pick the Best Personal Checking Account for Your Needs

When it comes to keeping your money in a safe place, a bank is the best solution. With the help of their checking accounts, you can easily deposit and withdraw your money as you wish. Here are some must-dos when looking for a personal checking account that will fit your needs the best.

No Minimum Balance Required

One fairly newer addition for some banks is to require patrons to have a minimum balance in their checking account. Anytime a patron goes below this minimum balance, they’re charged a fee. You don’t want to be charged for using money that is yours. So, ensure that any personal checking account you’re looking for doesn’t require any sort of minimum balance.

No Monthly Maintenance Fees

Another fairly new fee that is being tacked onto many checking accounts is a monthly maintenance fee. The bank will charge you a small amount of money, usually $5 to $10, each month. 

Their reasoning is that they have to handle all the record-keeping for your account and other maintenance tasks. Not all banks charge this and you shouldn’t have to pay to have an account. After all, most banks make money by using your money to lend and invest.

ATM Fee Reimbursement

If you’re like most individuals, you use your ATM card to get cash when you need it. Each bank works with a specific network of ATM providers. Traditionally, if you went to an ATM that wasn’t a specific provider of your bank, then you would be charged a fee to withdraw cash. 

Now, banks are seeing how important it is for people to have access to ATMs without needing to pay fees. Therefore, many are offering ATM fee reimbursement. Any time you use an ATM that is not from your bank’s specific provider, a good bank will reimburse you the ATM fee that you were charged. So look for checking accounts that offer ATM fee reimbursement.

Ease of Check Cashing

In the digital world, people may tend to forget about check cashing until they’re written one. Since most people get direct deposit, they don’t consider checks when it comes to setting up a checking account, especially at an online provider. While a mobile deposit is possible for some, it’s not always accurate. 

Having a banking provider that is within your local area where you can physically cash a check is ideal. If you opt for an online checking provider, they’ll require you to mail the physical check. This could take up to a week to get to the bank and get you the money you need.

The best personal checking account will be different for everyone. Understanding some key factors to consider when choosing the right type of account is a necessity. The above factors should help you to narrow down your list of checking account providers.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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