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Day: December 18, 2017

Computers and Technology: Shop for Insurance Responsibly

Today's advances in computers and technology make many tasks easier than they were years ago. Computers and technology aid us in our personal lives as well as professional lives. Most young people probably can not imagine a world without computers and technology, and most older people probably can not imagine going back to that world. Thanks to computers and technology, we work online, we play online – we do just about everything online!

A popular trend today is the act of purchasing insurance policies online. Health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance – you name an insurance, and it can probably be purchased online thanks to computers and technology. This is a great convenience for some folks. Think about it: who wants to make a detour on their commute home from a long day of work to talk with an insurance agent about purchasing an insurance policy? Would not most people rather go home to spend time with their families and relax before the next day begins?

While computers and technology make it much easier to spend more time enjoying these kinds of leisure activities, they also make it much easier for us to lose connection with real people. By purchasing insurance online, you're saving time and effort, but you're also losing the important, yet overlooked, benefit of speaking with an insurance agent one-on-one, face-to-face. At the very most, the only human interaction you're going to have by purchasing insurance online is speaking with a representative over the phone.

This is not to say that you should avoid the perks of today's computers and technology, such as purchasing insurance online; However, you should make sure you have the chance to get some one-on-one time with an insurance agent – even if that one-on-one time is only over the phone. Rather than the conversation consisting solely of a brief synopsis of the coverage and your credit card number, ask specific questions, and make sure to get wellly detailed answers. …

Low Budget Meal Planning

How much of your family’s hard earned money goes to groceries? $200 per week? $150?

Believe it or not, it’s possible (although challenging) to spend as little as $75 per week on groceries for a family of five or six. But slashing the food bill down to those lower numbers means you’ll probably need to rethink the way your family eats.

For today’s busy families, it’s often easier to swing by the local drive-through restaurant rather than finding time and energy to cook a new meal every night. Not only is fast food an expensive alternative for feeding your family, it’s also not the healthiest way to eat on a regular basis.

If this describes your dinner-time dilemma, you’re not alone.

Keep ingredients on hand for several quick and easy meals.

Cook some of your meals ahead to store in the freezer for easy preparation later in the week. For an easy way to build up a stash of frozen assets, you can simply double and triple recipes now and then as you go about your regular cooking during the week. By stockpiling the extra meals in the freezer, all you’ll need to do is heat a meal and make a side dish or salad for one of those all-too-frequent busy nights with no time to cook. By cooking ahead, you can also save money by purchasing ingredients in bulk and taking advantage of sales at the market.

Occasionally serve breakfast for dinner. Even when prepared in a big way, breakfast is one of the most economical meals to make. In many busy homes, families rarely have time for a big breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon in the morning, so it’s a special treat to have a meal like that for dinner now and then. Omelets also make a good dinner choice.

SIMPLIFYING FOOD PREPARATION

By planning and preparing bigger meals at dinner-time, you can use the leftovers for lunches brought from home rather than buying lunch at work everyday.

Have one night each week where your children are each responsible for dinner for the entire family. This can be as simple as opening a can of soup and fixing grilled cheese sandwiches.

Slow cookers are great for easy dinner prep – just throw the ingredients into the crock in the morning and dinner’s waiting when you get home.

PLANNING AHEAD

Even if you don’t think cooking for an entire month would be of interest to you or your family, planning your meals ahead of time can really simplify meal planning during the month, and also save money.

First, set your grocery and gas budget and then make the menus and grocery list fit your budget – not the other way around. Decide what you can afford to spend and don’t go over that. You’d be surprised how creative you can be when you know you can only spend “this much and no more” at the store.

Take a few minutes to make a monthly menu and write down …

Copyrighters and Trademarks – Does Your Business Need Both?

Protecting the intellectual property aspects of your business is a worthwhile investment. However, it is difficult to know what form of intellectual property works for what facets of your business. Let's take the time to break all that down.

Copyrights:

Copyrights can be obtained for things of an artistic nature. This includes, of course, poetry, films, sculptures, music, fiction, etc. But can also include things that may not necessarily seem "artistic" in the general sense of the word. Copyrights can also be obtained for advertising copy, games, software programs and blueprints, to name just a few.

To protect text as it appears on advertising copy, statements, pamphlets, brochures, online works, reports, etc. A Literary Works application would be filed.

To protect pictorial or graphic items such as technical drawings, posters, labels, games, etc. A Visual Art Works application would be filed.

Only a few items that could be protected by copyright are noted here so if you have other items in mind, please check with the US Copyright Office.

Trademarks:

A "registered trademark", or ®, referring to a name, slogan or logo that has been officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Registering a trademark is beneficial to a business because it publicly states that your trademark is registered with the USPTO and therefore, you have exclusive rights to that name within your industry.

Prior to investing your time, money & effort into a name, it is strongly advised that comprehensive research be linked to ensure that the name you're interested in is truly available.

This entailing searching the pending & registered Federal and State trademark files as well as the US National Common-Law files. Then, if clear, you can decide if you would like to file for a Federal or a State trademark. …