Six Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

If you are thinking about the holidays right now and frowning, smooth your face, square your shoulders and take a cleansing breath. A little positive thinking can go a long way in helping you to enjoy the holidays this year instead of agonizing over all the little details. These 6 tips for a stress-free holiday season will start you off on the right foot.

1. Plan ahead. Print out return address labels for cards (I’m really doing it this year – bad hand cramping), update your address book, make room in your front hall closet for guest coats instead of piling them on a bed like usual, and prepare guest rooms ahead of time. Tackling a few of these tasks before you get really busy can make a world of difference.

2. Rethink your gift giving. Cut down on the mad shopping rush and stress of finding exactly what everyone wants this year – consider giving experiences instead of material gifts, and maybe even implement The Four Gift Rule. My extreme-gift-giving mom is actually trying it this year. Thanks, Mom!

3. Keep things simple with food and d├ęcor. Stick to your favourite recipes instead of trying something complicated and new, and a simple homemade centrepiece is all you need on your table. Please don’t belittle yourself for not having matching napkins and candleholders! Focus more on the family and friends you are gathering with rather than stressing over too many fussy preparations.

4. Have a few extra gifts on hand. A small stash of thoughtfully wrapped gifts is perfect for unannounced friends or last-minute invites. Choose items that have universal appeal and can be used by you and your family if they are still around come January. Think locally-made condiments, soy candles, handmade chocolates, wine and preserves.

5. Be choosy when it comes to events. This can be tough for social butterflies (my husband) and people who have trouble saying no (me). Only accept invitations to gatherings that are pertinent to the holiday and meaningful to your family. When planning your own event, keep it small and intimate with just a few close friends and relatives. We used to have a big Christmas open house but after a few years, we realized it was too chaotic as we spent most of our time greeting and seeing friends out, refilling glasses and snack bowls, and making sure little ones didn’t trash our house (even if they were adorable). Choose to host big parties at a different time of the year, when there is less going on and you are not so taxed.

6. Live in the now. As you trim the tree or make cookies with your kids, don’t forget to pause and really live in the moment. Don’t worry about what’s still on your to-do list (there’s always something), because before you know it the holiday will be over and you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t make the most of it. Also, carve out some time to do something just for you – take a walk, read your book, have a hot bath – it will go a long way in helping you to keep your sanity during the holidays.

Make Money Traveling

Our world has so many travel destinations and sightseeing delights.

Every country has its own special culture, scenic beauties and regional foods that gives you a new way to get in touch with all your senses.

The travel lifestyle will give you a wonderful insight about a place, the people and culture in all its variety and vitality.

And, there is a special magic about what it actually feels like to be there.

You can live like a local in a favorite overseas destination, enjoy its regional cuisine, attend local festivals and watch the changing of the seasons in a different environment.

Spend a month in Paris, explore the English countryside, taste authentic pasta and pizza in Italy, go cycling in Amsterdam, skiing in Switzerland, cruise the Greek Islands or visit the historic coffeehouses of Europe.

Visit the popular, the historical, the traditional or the unusual. There are natural wonders to discover or you can take a journey “off the beaten path” that will stir your imagination.

The keen traveler can divide their time between home and a favorite travel destination for three months, six months or a year and enjoy the best of both worlds.

The travel lifestyle will take you away from the daily routine and set you on the path to life-changing experiences.

Diversify Your Income

Your income is your greatest financial asset.

Alternative income streams can free you from a 9-to-5 job and set you on the path to live the travel lifestyle.

Passive and residual income streams from an online business can increase your earning power with little effort required to maintain once the initial work has been done.

Online Business Opportunities

If you yearn to break away from the routine 9-5 life where there is no boss, no office or factory to go to then, take advantage of opportunity by applying your ideas, your experience, knowledge, skills or your passion into an online business to create multiple income streams.

A Profitable Website=Income+Freedom

A website based on a profitable niche is an income-producing asset that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round.

It can “finance” your keen traveler lifestyle.

Just one good idea based on a passion, skill or knowledge can change your life.

Consider these factors:

*a website is not restricted by geographical boundaries.

*you have the flexibility to work to your schedule

*it can generate multiple income streams

*requires only minimal investment

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It includes domain registration, easy-to follow site building tools, website hosting, creating optimized, quality content and analysis, keyword research, traffic building, link building, search engine submissions through to marketing, pay-per-click and monetizing your website.

Affiliate Marketing

There is a vast array of affiliate programs in an unlimited number of niches.

Joining an affiliate programs is fast, cost-free, and, risk-free.

It’s the easiest way to make money online.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

*Free to join

*Work from home

*Worldwide market

*No production costs

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Get Paid For Having a Link on Your Website.

A link from your website to the merchant’s site and you can create an online, affiliate business. Those who click on the affiliate sites and make purchases will make you money.

Taking Action

Think about where you want to be and what you need to do to get there.

Establish goals and make plans then, set out to achieve them through commitment and effort.

The choices you make sets the direction.

What happens next and how it will manifest is about what you do today.

Today, can be the beginning of the first day of the rest of your life.

The money will follow.

Freedom of Choice

Achieving freedom of choice will let you get away from the routine of everyday life.

Freedom of Choice will let your imagination come to life and to follow your dreams.

Home Built Is Exciting

Experience

When it comes to custom homes, you don’t want to put that into the hands of just anyone. Look for a provider with a history of offering well-made homes. They should be completed on time, on budget, and with quality materials. They should have a reputation of listening to the buyers and offering a variety of floor plans as well as other options to pick from.

You need a provider who can guide you through the entire process from start to finish. It all begins with a free consultation where you can share your dream about custom homes. What would the ideal home look like and where would it be located? They can spend time giving you the opportunity to check land available, various sizes and layouts of homes, and more.

Getting Started

As you start to share with them what you want the outcome to be, they can give you more specific ideas and concepts. They can also give you an idea of what the cost will be. Typically, they are going to give you the base package price. As you add various upgrades, the cost can increase. Keep that in mind as you are making your final decisions.

If the cost is too much, you will either have to increase your budget or you will need to make some changes. It can be useful to get pre-approved for a loan before you discuss details with the creator of custom homes. This helps you to know how much you can afford to spend. It will also speed up the process of getting it all in motion once the last paperwork has been completed.

Communication

One of the key aspects of making it all fall into place is excellent communication. The provider should get back to you timely with information. They should be willing to sit down and discuss with you various options, show you samples of colors and materials, and make sure you feel comfortable with how it is all moving forward. You shouldn’t ever feel rushed or pressured.

During the planning stages, you need to ask questions as you go. Don’t feel intimidated or like you should know more than you do. Providers of custom homes deal with this all day, every day and they realize you are new to the process. They are going to be patient and they are going to be motivated to help you feel confident about the entire process.

Building Process

Once the specifics are in place and the financing has been taken care of, the real building can begin. Custom homes should be built to your specifications with quality materials. During various stages of the building there will be required inspections that have to be done. They are conducted by an outside 3rd party to make sure the home is being built safely and up to code.

It is a good idea to find out about any warranties that apply. Usually, there will be a warranty that is applied for the materials and another given by the contractor for their role in the construction of your new home. Find out exactly what is covered and what isn’t under such a warranty. You don’t want to feel blindsided if you need to make a claim down the road.

Find Loan Companies Near to You

It can happen to anyone, however good you are budgeting. You are getting close to payday and, suddenly, out of the blue, the car breaks down, the heating packs up, or you faced with another type of emergency expense that you just weren’t expecting.

The traditional way for people to deal with this situation was to look through the newspaper or phone directory to find the nearest loan company that would provide a short-term, small loan, but searching for the nearest local loan company severely restricts your choices and it often means that you will need to stand in line at a local loan store, which can be very embarrassing.

Fortunately, the internet has made finding loan providers much easier, but it can be very time-consuming and frustrating making inquiries at lots of different web sites and you also need to be aware that every enquiry you make could trigger a credit check, which could adversely affect your credit rating.

There are, however, free services available on the internet that many people are not aware of that make the search for a loan Company much easier.

These websites partner with a network of lenders, so they give you more choice than just going direct to a single loan company. You just simply complete an online application form with a few details about your earnings and employment and then the system will try to match your requirements with one or more of their lenders.

Leaders in these networks may do credit checks, but they don’t usually use the big credit agencies, so the check won’t affect your credit rating. They are usually a lot more flexible than the major banks are about things like lending to people who have less than perfect credit ratings.

Of course, as with all credit arrangements, you need to make sure that you read the terms and conditions properly and that you fully understand when the loan needs to be repaid and how much interest and charges will be levied, but you do get the opportunity to do that before you agree to accept the loan.

You also need to be aware that short-term loans, or payday loans as they are sometimes called, are only meant to be used to tide you over to your next pay-check. If you try to use them for long-term finance, or you keep rolling them over, they can get very expensive.

So, if you do need cash fast for an emergency bill, don’t panic, take your time, and look around for the best deal. You don’t have to go running straight to the nearest loan shop in your town, you can do a bit of research for free on the internet, in the privacy of your own home.

So long as you use them for the purpose they are intended, and you pay them back on time, short-term small loans are and affordable way to see you through a cash crisis. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions of any loan before you take it out.