Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Give Gifts?

This post is in collaboration with ValuedVoice.

Stuffed animal version of an avocado sitting on a yellow table against a green wall.

People love to give presents. Over the course of a year, there are many opportunities to gift your friends and loved ones unique items that they will enjoy; between birthdays, weddings and holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas, gifts are a staple of any celebration. But why do people enjoy giving gifts so much?

Many Motivations

People give gifts for many reasons. Some like to make themselves feel good by basking in the glow of the recipient’s joy; others enjoy the thrill of the hunt when they find the perfect item from My Gift Stop. Either way, no matter what the gift or occasion is, gifts are practically a requirement for the majority of special occasions.

Philanthropy

Many people give gifts because they get pleasure out of helping others. Whether it’s giving new parents clothes and equipment for their newborn, kitchen appliances for a child’s first home, gifts that have a necessary and immediate use make the giver feel good about their ability to directly and positively affect another’s life. In a similar vein, charitable donations to a loved one’s favorite charity or personal cause will make both the giver and recipient happy that so many will benefit from their largesse.

Status Symbol

Where some people are genuine do-gooders in their gift-giving styles, some give presents as a way of displaying their status and not so much out of the goodness of their heart. For these types, the type, cost and sometimes literal size are all meant to display their wealth.

Rather than a wedding gift picked off a registry or a modest gift in keeping with the recipients’ lifestyle, the wedding present may be quite a large sum of money or a complete set of fine china that most people could only afford to buy piecemeal.

Traditional To-Do List

For some families, gifts are simply something that must be done. For these people, a gift is given simply because that’s always how it’s been done. For example, if Christmas Eve involves a family present of matching pajamas and a movie to watch together, then that is what must always happen no matter the cost or inconvenience. This type of giver can experience some anxiety in his or her attempt to fulfill their self-induced gift-giving requirements.

Handmade Experiences

Some gifters prefer a more hands-on approach. This type of person likes to spend their time making their own gifts, whether it’s baked goods, a knitted scarf or a framed photograph. They also like to gift experiences like movie tickets, museum passes or tickets to a local theme park as a way of creating memories for those they love. For them, something made by hand or experienced is a one-of-a-kind statement of the love they feel towards the recipient.

There are many different ways to give, and reasons for giving, a present and just as many types of gifts. Whether the gift is a high-end watch, a donation to a local nonprofit or a batch of fudge, gift-giving is done best as an act of love.

 

Irish Sayings that Inspire Financial Wisdom

What a fun blog post! Loving these Irish sayings that inspire money smarts.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!  Today I thought it would be fun to look at some Irish sayings, proverbs, limericks and proverbs to see if there was any financial wisdom we could glean from them.

Irish Sayings About Managing Your Household Finances

Do not take the thatch from your own roof to buy slates for another man’s house.

It’s important to be a nice person and do nice things.  But not if you don’t have yourself taken care of first.  If your house isn’t in order, you won’t be able to help others..at least not sustainably.  No guilt if you’re working to improve the situation of you and your nuclear family.

Enough and no waste is as good as a feast.

Providing for your family doesn’t necessarily mean having lavish things.  Having enough and being grateful for it is more than enough.  And if you have extra, maybe you could go slate your neighbor’s roof or something.

Most eclectic St. Patty’s Day Parade I’ve ever been to in Raleigh, NC.

Irish Sayings About Money and Business

He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

What can’t money buy?  True love.  True friendship.  Respect for one’s character.  Even in the business world, it is sometimes necessary to do things simply out of the goodness of your heart  with no expectation of monetary reward.  People will like you for that.  And that may bring you more business and thus more money. People tend to dislike the profit-obsessed.

A fool and his money are easily parted.

Don’t be an idiot.  Or you won’t have any money. I could get into this on a much deeper level, but I feel like the surface meaning is pretty encompassing.

The best way to keep loyalty in a man’s heart is to keep money in his purse.

This could apply to straight up bribes.  Which is not good advice.  I feel like it could also apply to government or companies, too.  Cater to the people you want as customers or constituents. If you’re doing right by them and their personal economies, you’ll have repeat customers, or votes.

Irish Sayings About Life and Death

The keening is best if the corpse left money. 

I’ve noticed that the older a family member I talk to is, the darker their sense of humor. Irish or not. I find humor in this one, but probably because of the generation I belong to, I stifle my giggles as I feel it’s inappropriate or insensitive.

“Keening” essentially means mourning, so if someone dies, the funeral’s going to be a lot more fun if they left you a windfall.  My grandmother told me that, at least in the early 20th century, Irish-American people generally were not in coffins or funeral homes for the viewing/funeral.  There was a big party and the body of the deceased was sat in a chair.  The person who got drunk enough fastest ended up dancing with the corpse.  Creepy.

There once was a Irishman, who thinks.
Stead of spending his money, on drinks.
It was just his bad luck
He got hit by a truck 
Stead o boozein with mates, 
me’thinks.

At first glance this is horrible, horrible advice.  Your money is never spent well on boozing.  But I think the underlying point is worth noting.  Enjoy your life.  Don’t hoard your money and forgo life’s experiences, especially friendships and the time spent with said friends.  You never know when you could go.  Then you’ll just be a corpse dancing at a party with some drunk guy who just inherited a windfall.

Irish Sayings About Grit

You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

Love this one!  It can apply to so many areas of life, but absolutely personal finances.  You’ll never reach your goal if you just vaguely daydream about it; you have to take action.  Only then can you see your goals and dreams fulfilled.

The tiredness leaves but the profit remains.

Don’t quit just because something is hard, whether it’s training for a marathon, working for a promotion, or paying off your debt.  It will be worth it.  And it won’t be hard forever.

 

Looking for more? Check out this Irish Saying Gift Guide.

Socially-Distant Spa Days for Valentine’s Day

This post is in collaboration with FTD.

Towel, lit candle, tan towel and pink flowers all sit on a white table.

I’m not going to lie: I really, really hoped we’d be free from the Coronavirus by now.

I’m incredibly sad that we’re not. But I’m also incredibly encouraged by the vaccine distribution which is gaining efficiency as time goes on, though there is still much work to do.

I’m encouraged by the booster trials for the new strains.

And I’m encouraged by the potential of further economic stimulus from the government.

But for right now, we’ve got to sit tight. Hope is on the horizon, but until it arrives in totality we need to stay away from other people as much as possible in order to preserve more lives. And continue to mask up whenever we do have to breathe in public.

That means we might have to sustain the changes to our traditions for a little while longer. We’re getting to be pros at it. We’ve had virtual Halloween parades and Zoom Thanksgiving dinners.

One of the final holidays new to our quarantine routine is Valentine’s day. In years past, you might have gifted a spa day to your mom, sweetheart or BFF.

In 2021, let’s redirect our attention to the socially-distant alternative: Spa Day Gift Baskets.

Cucumber & Olive Oil Spa Gift Basket

Cucumber & Olive Oil Spa Gift Basket
This soothing and refreshing spa basket contains natural products including:

  • Cucumber and olive oil hand soap.
  • Shea butter bar soaps.
  • Exfoliating body wash.
  • Shower loofa.
  • Smoked almonds.
  • Teavana green tea.

View the whole basket here.

Love & Rose Valentine Spa Gift SetLove & Rose Valentine Spa Gift Set

CHOCOLATE spa day! More specifically, included are:

  • Godiva chocolate truffles.
  • Two foil-wrapped, chocolate hearts.
  • Tea box.
  • Valentine’s Day coffee mug.
  • Shower loofa.
  • Rose-scented lotion.
  • Rose-scented body butter.

View the whole basket here.

Spa Day at Home Gift Set

Spa Day at Home Gift Set
With a melody of different heavenly scents and flavors, the Spa Day at Home Gift Set comes with:

  • Godiva chocolate truffles.
  • Lavender mimosa candle.
  • Bath bomb.
  • Chamomile and honey lotion.
  • Chamomile and honey bath scrub.

View the whole basket here.

Lavender Spa Day Gift Basket

Lavender Spa Day Gift Basket

This relaxing basket includes:

  • Lavender soap bar.
  • Lavender lotion.
  • Loofah
  • Lavender sachet.
  • Lavender hand soap.
  • Pumice brush.
  • Lavender mimosa candle.
  • Bath bomb.
  • Slippers.

View the whole basket here.

Recognizing Reverse Psychology in Advertising

This post is in collaboration with BetterHelp.

The shadow sillohettes of a girl and boy crossing a crosswalk. The way the photo is shot, it lookslike the girl's and boy's bodies are upside down while the shadow are upright.

You know that feeling when someone tells you that you can’t do something?

That feeling in your gut that just wants to prove them wrong? 

That feeling is a version of reactivity, and is often the result of reverse psychology. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the ways advertisers use reverse psychology to try to get you to buy stuff.

Direct Reverse Psychology

In 2011, Patagonia launched its initial ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ campaign: A full-page ad featuring the Patagonia jacket you weren’t supposed to buy. The company took things to the next level, claiming the ad was meant to highlight its eco-friendly ethos.

If consumers are encouraged to think twice before they purchase, the company reasoned, they would ultimately buy less stuff. When consumers buy less, you would hope less would be produced, thus easing the burden we place on our planet.

When you buy higher quality, you don’t have to buy as often. So while you should think twice before purchasing, Patagonia’s hoping that when you do, you’ll remember their ad and high-quality product.

That complex reasoning may be well thought out.

But at the end of the day, you remember the ad because it’s different. It tells you to do the opposite of what they’re hoping you’ll do, and harkens back to the type of reverse psychology you and your friends used while you were children.

Most reverse psychology in advertising isn’t as blatant. Because if you recognize it, you might alter your behavior.

Exclusivity

One way to use reverse psychology in marketing is to not only not advertise, but make it difficult for potential customers to find your storefront. When businesses do this, they put off the air that they don’t necessarily ‘need’ your business, and that their product is only for an exclusive group of people.

When you’re told you’re not allowed in the in-group, your gut reactivity may push you to want to join even more. Businesses that  put off these exclusive airs can attract people who want to be included or those who want a unique, special experience.

NYC is known for its difficult-to-find clubs hiding behind common storefronts. For example, if you know where to find the secret door inside UES Ice-Cream Shoppe, you’ll find the Storage Room. The Storage Room is a cocktail speakeasy.

Selectivity

Subscribed to too many email lists? You’ve likely seen reverse psychology delivered straight to your inbox.

Some newsletter managers will send out emails actually encouraging people to unsubscribe. If you’re not going to engage with the newsletter, they tell you, they don’t really want to keep you on it anymore.

Do some people unsubscribe?

Yes. But those are generally viewed as people who would not have bought anyways.

And it does something else to the people who choose to stay. If the reverse psychology works, they may engage with the newsletter more. After being told their lack of engagement could get them kicked off the list, they engage more, making them more likely to purchase.

Direct Sales

 

The Wilt Chamberlain VW commercial is one of the classic examples of reverse psychology in advertising. First they show you that Wilt Chamberlain won’t fit in the car. It’s not a good product for him.

But they’re not trying to sell the car to Wilt Chamberlain. They’re trying to sell it to you, and most of you are 6’6” or under.

If you purchase something from a salesperson, you might encounter this same type of reasoning. Let’s say you’re the salesperson. A common tactic is to first show a product that you know provides more than what the consumer needs. It’s also likely way outside their budget.

When they tell you so, you show them a second product. It has less bells and whistles, but no one needs that many bells and whistles anyways. Plus, compared to the initial product you showed them, it’s way less expensive. It’s feels like an acceptable alternative, and they purchase.

The salesperson always meant to sell you the second product, not the first. VW always meant to sell its cars to people 6’6” and under, not Wilt Chamberlain.

Reverse Psychology in Real Life

Examples like Patagonia and VW show instances where companies used reverse psychology and the consequent reactivity from consumers to grab attention. They tell a joke and let you in on it. By letting you in on it, you’re more likely to trust them.

But reverse psychology is often more manipulative. We expect advertisers to try to manipulate us. When we learn more about the methods they use, we can make more conscious spending decisions.

We expect advertisers to manipulate us, but we don’t expect the same behavior from those closest to us. If reverse psychology is happening in your personal relationships, you may want to seek help from a therapistLearn more about why and how at BetterHelp.com.

3 secrets no one tells you when you copy trade Forex

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

The foreign exchange market offers numerous opportunities, such as flexible trading hours and high leverage ratios. This helps investors extract profit from exchange rate fluctuations.

The most prevailing type of trading in the Forex market is copy trading. Copy trading makes it simple for individuals in the financial markets to replicate positions opened and managed by others. 

Just because you see the word ‘copy’ inside ‘copy trading,’ it doesn’t mean you’re cheating. Far from it. Buying and selling are automated, but it’s up to you to choose a good trading strategy. You observe the available positions and try to figure out the reasoning behind each movement. Once you’ve succeeded in identifying a connection, you need to be able to close trades, open up new ones, and attempt to control the result.

All you need to start is a PC or smartphone and an Internet connection. Select a reliable broker, create a trading account, open or download the terminal, choose your leverage, make a deposit, and start trading the foreign exchange market. Here are the secrets that nobody will tell you when starting to copy trade Forex.

Imitate an experienced trader in buying and selling 

Copy trading seems simple enough. You get in touch with one of the few Forex brokers who have their own CopyTrading platforms, put your money down, and start imitating successful traders.

However, there is more to it than meets the eye. You must get a good understanding of the facts that could possibly impact your profit or loss. If you copy the wrong Forex trader, you will end up disappointed and with an empty bank account. 

Set your eyes on a trader that shows consistent profits, not to mention a very appealing chart. You may be tempted to ignore the spread and buy at chance in the foreign exchange market. It is important to understand that it is just as easy to lose pips as it is to win pips. If you ignore the possibility of loss, your trading account will suffer for it. 

Follow Forex traders with A or B ratings. You’ll be amazed by the number of market participants that you can follow. Unfortunately, the more options you have, the harder it becomes to find a trader that will lead you to profitability.

When picking someone to follow, take into account your strategy, the risk-to-reward ratio, and, last but not least, think about how often the trades are placed. If you’re not the type of person who can multitask, choose a trader that makes fewer transactions a week. 

Do not put all your eggs in one basket 

You know the old adage. It means that you should not concentrate all your efforts or resources in one place because you risk losing everything. This saying holds true when it comes down to copy trading, so try applying the words.

Make your investment portfolio safer and less vulnerable to the whims of the currency market. You should have a portfolio made up of different traders with an assigned similar amount for each one. The road to long-term profitability implies diversification

Forex copy trading allows you to instantly add a level of diversification to your investment portfolio. Even a few trades will expose you to numerous assets, which can include currencies, stocks, commodities, and indices. You still need to copy more than one trader if you want to have success. Individuals do not seem to understand that even the best Forex traders have bad days. Losing days are inevitable, which is the reason why you need to put your eggs into several baskets. 

Follow several Forex traders and spread the risk. If your account is small and you cannot copy so many traders, 20 being the maximum number, diversify properly into more assets and limit the risk. You can enjoy a diversified trading portfolio even if you don’t have too much capital. Most importantly, do lots and lots of research. 

Take the profits from copy trading and reinvest them 

Copy trading could be profitable if you allocate enough time to your account. The profits that you make are used for copy trading. Even if your money grows as you continue trading, you’re still not going to become rich overnight.

There are two things you can do: Withdraw the profits right away or let them get reinvested back into the broker’s system when you copy trade. Tempting as it may be to withdraw your profits, you can let your winnings go into new, bigger trades. 

Making money out of copy trading is a real possibility, though the field is risky. Reinvest any profits you make and take advantage of the compound effect that enables you to reap huge rewards from insignificant actions.

It is not possible to predict how much money you will make buying and selling currency. The past results are not good indicators of future performance. As mentioned earlier, every Forex trader has bad days from time to time. If you want to make progress and be successful, embrace this aspect and take control of your investments. 

Do not hesitate to set a stop loss. This neat feature gives you the ability to manage risk when it comes to every copy relationship. It is based on profit and loss values. It is essential to put stop losses in place no matter if you are trading by yourself or automatically copying the moves of others. The stop loss is what prevents the trade from becoming a massive loss.