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.


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.


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.

Easy, Peasy, Cheap Way to Clean Off Your Car in the Winter

First thing’s first: Happy MLK Jr. Day! Today’s a great day to engage in service for others. If you have kids in the Burgh, it’s a great day to head to the Mattress Factory for free, fun and educational programming!

Affordable. Fast. Easy.

Winter has been weird here in Pittsburgh. We had one snowfall in November, but it was light and dissipated quickly. Since then, it’s been fairly warm. Over the holiday break, it was so warm we abandoned coats in the Spring-like weather. The air was pregnant with an unseasonably warm humidity. Everyone I ran into simultaneously loved it and was, on a deeper level, disturbed by it.

All illusions of Spring vanished this weekend as we had our first real snow pass through. Things got icy. Things got a little dicey on the roads for a minute. For better or worse, it began to feel like a Pittsburgh winter.

I hate scraping off my car.

I’m not the tallest person. When this season rolls around, I typically bust out the car brush, curse myself for moving into yet another home without a garage (that rent tho!) and curse some more as I try in vain to get every last chunk of snow off of my car.

It’s a miserable process.

A lot of times, I’ll just “leave” half an hour early, sitting in my car with the heat blasting on defrost until things have thawed enough to make the job easier.

Burning fuel like that is not cost-effective and also is a pretty terrible thing to do the environment I claim to be so worried about.

Scrape-A-Round to the rescue!

Earlier this winter, Scrape-A-Round had approached me with a few free snow scrapers for myself and my family. I watched their videos and was intrigued. It looked like it was going to be a ton easier to clean off my car. And that’s something that makes me super happy.

This weekend, I had my first real chance to try it out.


I applied almost no pressure and easily cut through ice within seconds. I was able to reach the same parts of the windshield I am with the scrape-y part of a regular brush tool, so range was not an issue. Because it’s a hollow cone, I figured out a technique to scoop the snow off the car which was just as efficient as brushing it off had been in years past.

I’m never buying a brush tool again.

Scrape-A-Round is Affordable

You can get a pack of three Scrape-A-Rounds for $18, making them just $6/piece. Scrape-A-Round is an American company, and it’s probably best to buy directly off their website.

Their marketing indicates that they have had problems with knock-offs made in China. These knock-offs might be cheaper, but they also don’t work as well as the original. I’ve noticed this same problem with other products lately, especially when I order off Amazon. You have to be vigilant nowadays!

Best Ways to Make an Income from the Comfort of Your Home

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

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a college grad who knows they want to pursue remote work, there are several efficient ways that you can set your financial future in stone from the comfort of your own home.

Before determining your method of creating an income from home, you will need to assess your available finances to confirm which solution would be the most appropriate for you as an individual. Another factor you should consider include determining how much time and effort you will be willing and able to invest daily. Once you have set the groundwork for your ideal work environment, the following ideas have been effective for others.

Renting Properties

Even though most young professionals assume that you will only be able to create an income by renting property if you are able to purchase a property without a mortgage, comparing deals and opting for low-interest rates will garner optimal savings. While you will be able to compare deals with Habito, you should take as many measures as possible to save on your mortgage repayments – including creating an income in the process.

Charging market rent even after the mortgage is paid off and taking advantage of equity on the property when you are able to are just a couple ways that you can make money from renting a property. The key to this method is to invest as much as possible upfront. Then, you might set the goal of purchasing multiple properties. The intent of this move is to multiply your income and compound your profits.

Freelance Work

If you are unable to invest in purchasing properties, you could opt for work as a freelancer. There are several different fields to consider from graphic design to customer support, which means you won’t be limited for choice. Freelancing is widely considered the best form of self-employment as you will be able to rely on clients that could become ongoing without having to be tied down by an employment contract.

Trading Shares And Currencies

If you have time and some disposable funds to invest in your future financial situation after maxing out your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, trading shares and currencies may be a good solution for you. While many aspiring traders make the fundamental mistake of believing trading does not require effort, you will need to monitor your shares and investments to identify potential loss on a daily basis. Forex trading has become particularly popular in recent years as many traders have taken on the opportunity to create an impressive income from the comfort of their homes by trading with specific strategies on a daily basis.

Maximizing Your Income

You may find that one income stream may not be entirely sufficient for your needs. When considering that the ultimate goal should be to work towards financial freedom, it is best to use build up several income streams. What’s more, you should also create long-term goals, such as freelancing with intentions of saving and later purchasing properties to rent out as this would maximize your income in the future and provide ultimate financial freedom.

Are you Prepared for a Financial Emergency?

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

girl with blue and purple hair looking down as she wears a sweater with a rainbow on it

Financial emergencies can strike when you least expect them, even if you’ve been doing everything right. These emergencies cause stress and anxiety, especially if you’re the type of person who likes to be prepared. The first step for many to financial independence is having an emergency fund. By planning ahead and saving now, you can more easily handle unexpected events and emergencies when they do occur.

Prepare Now for Unexpected Events

Don’t be surprised when unexpected events arise that affect your finances. Be prepared to handle these events by building up an emergency fund to help pay for these instances, such as a home repair or medical bill you did not anticipate. It’s also important that you set up this fund to be easily accessible since you’ll want to be able to access the money quickly in some instances. Most experts recommend having three to six months of basic living expenses in your emergency fund. If this isn’t a realistic savings goal for you right now, aim to have at least $1000 in your account. 

If you’re single or a family living on one income, it may be even wiser to save for up to a year of living expenses. By having a year’s worth of expenses available, you’ll be protecting yourself and your family from events such as a job loss, or severe illness or injury that keeps you away from work for an extended period of time.

By having these funds available, you’ll be able to stress less and fully focus on the emergency instead of worrying about paying your bills. If you don’t have an emergency fund in place and you’re hit with a larger unplanned financial emergency, your best option may be a personal loan. Have bad credit? These are the best personal loans for bad credit (Our Top 8 Picks for 2019).

Get Insured

Most individuals have insurance to cover their home, care, health and their life. Health insurance drastically reduces the out-of-pocket expenses that need to be paid when an unexpected health-related event occurs. Home and auto insurance protects you in the event of a fire, damage from a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado, or an accident. In the event that you were to die unexpectedly, life insurance would help protect your loved ones that you designate as beneficiaries.

These insurance plans act as contingency plans when things don’t go as expected. Your insurance plans should be periodically reassessed and updated as well. Life insurance is especially important if you have a family, and even more so if you are the only source of income. Life insurance benefits are given to your spouse and any children you share.

Your life insurance benefits should provide enough money for your family to pay off any debts if you were to unexpectedly pass away. Benefits can also help to cover the costs of education for your children.

It’s worthwhile to ensure that the health insurance coverage you have is adequate. Many people risk their finances each day by not having enough health insurance coverage when they choose a low premium, but high deductible policy. Health-care related debts are the #1 cause of bankruptcy. Accidents and unexpected illnesses happen, and the medical bills associated with them can add up quickly. Your financial issues could be compounded if an injury or illness leaves you unable to work.

Additionally, you should check if your home or renter’s insurance provides enough coverage. If your home were to burn down, would you be able to recover with your insurance benefits? Even if it seems like you’re just adding to your monthly budget with more coverage, you could be saving yourself from massive debt down the line.

Prep for Natural Disasters

If you live in an area that may experience tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, or earthquakes, you need to be prepared to deal with these natural disasters. These disasters can come out of nowhere and drastically uproot your life. Talk to your insurance provider and find out which natural disasters are common where you live and if they are covered. Often, flood insurance is an additional “add-on” to home insurance and is not always covered.

You can also plan ahead by prepping an emergency kit for your home. A good emergency kit will contain at least a five-day supply of food and water. These kits do not need to be fancy or overstocked, but should be able to help you get through a few days without necessities. You can look into purchasing pre-stocked kits that will last you a few years in storage.

Have a Contingency Plan

If you do run into a larger financial emergency, it can give you some piece of mind to have a contingency budget in plan. This budget removes things that you don’t necessarily need and can do without for some time. The contingency plan is great to have in place if your financial situation arises suddenly since you’ll easily be able to go back and make cuts, particularly at a time when you may not be thinking clearly.