How to Save Money on Your Water Bill

As the summer months approach, unless your climate area is fortunate enough to rain in the morning every day, giving your grass the needed watering per day, there is no way around running the sprinklers.  While this can inflate your water bill to maybe even double the amount, now would be a good time to evaluate how much water you are using on a daily basis and try and make the necessary cuts.  Like anything else, saving a little a day will add up over the course of the week, a month, let alone your quarterly water bill.  Here are a few quick tips to help jump start the summer months with a few extra dollars in your pocket.

Stop Leaving the Water On

What may be common sense, the longer the water is running, the more money is racking up on your water bill, but you would be surprised how much you are actually wasting.  Do you run the water the entire time you brush your teeth?  You probably do, and besides rinsing your tooth brush and mouth out is really only time the water needs to be running, so most of that is waste.  Same idea goes with handwashing dishes.  When it comes to washing, as nice as it is to stand there and enjoy a nice long hot shower, you should limit the number of times you actually do that and stick to just getting in, cleaning, and getting out, limiting to under 10 minutes.

Get a Rain Barrel

Sure that may sound like a hipster thing to do, but a rain barrel is actually a smart way to catch the rain water to use for watering flowers or gardens, without inflating your water bill and reducing the amount the drainage into the sewers.  Especially in April and May when it seems like it rains most of the week, will be a good time to capture rain water to last you most of the summer.  Try it, you will like it.

Run Only When Full

Running only when you have full loads of dishes and laundry will reduce the number of gallons, and dollars, spent.  Sure you can adjust the size of the wash load for your clothes, but it still takes plenty of gallons to wash and rinse so unless you really need that one item, wait until the laundry basket is full.

I know that saving money on a water bill sounds like a trivial amount of money in the grand scheme of things. However, if you start thinking small, it can lead to substantial savings. First it’s the water bill, then it’s the electric, and eventually the heating bill. If you continue to make efforts to save money across the board it will eventually add up to a sizable chunk of money that can in turn lead to an extra vacation a year, or even investing for your future. I would take every dollar you could and invest for a secure retirement one day. Look towards Banc De Binary and their availability of offerings regarding binary options trading and what it can do to provide you with a secure future.

10 Addictive Mobile Games Over the Last 20 Years

The mobile game industry has been growing apace and now, gaming on phones is frequently more popular than using a console. This year is set to be another year of great year for mobile games, but what are the best ones from the past?

1. Snake

This started out as an arcade game before moving to Android and iOS mobiles, where it is available for free. It requires you to manipulate a dot that grows into a longer and longer line, while not touching another part of the line, the border or the obstacles. It has led to sequels such as Snake II, Snake III and Snake EX.

2. Candy Crush Saga

This oddball game can be played on either iOS or Android and sees lines of candy that you have to match in formations to make ‘special candies’ – scoring you points through clearing the other around them. It has several levels and is free to download – with some in-game purchases required.

3. Metal Slug Attack

This is a free game for iOS where you complete missions by saving weapons and prisoners and storming the stronghold of the enemy with your troops. It has impressive graphics and is great fun to play.

4. Alto’s Adventure

This iOS game is set in a snowy mountain landscape. Alto is a shepherd chasing a bunch of runaway llamas, and you have to manoeuvre him over the mountains on a snowboard. The appealing visuals and relaxing music make for an addictive game.

5. Ridiculous Fishing

It has a great name and this free game for Android or iOS sees you use the touch and motion controls to catch yourself fish and fire them into the sky. It is one for people who enjoy curious and amusing games and it certainly works on that level.

6. Soccer Safari

Talking of curious and amusing, this five reel online pokies available at sites like casinoonline.co.nz involves a football tournament played by animals – including lions, giraffes and warthogs. The graphics are really funny and – like all slot games – there is a jackpot and good odds of winning some sort of payout.

7. Angry Birds

This game is available for both iOS and Android phones and has achieved legendary status. You have to recapture your eggs from the green pigs by catapulting your birds at them – which the birds have volunteered for. It’s absurd, but great fun.

8. Cut the Rope

An iOS-only game, this one involves feeding the hungry monster Om Nom sweets by working your way through a system of winches, bubbles and ropes using the touch screen. It’s easy to grasp, but hard to actually get good at, making it addictive.

9. Bonsai Blast

Now available for either an Android or iOS phone, this is another game with a simple premise – stopping the coloured balls from reaching their target as they roll down a path. It gets more complicated as you go along, making it hard to stop playing.

10. Peggle

At the moment this is iOS-only, but is free and fun – requiring you to shoot balls at the blue and orange pegs to score points, with the eventual aim being to get rid of all the orange ones.

With the likes of Armello and Submerged coming this year, even these great games could be surpassed.

How to Watch Out for Termites

The last thing you want in your home is a colony of termites. One of the most destructive pests there is, a termite infestation in your property can not only compromise your home’s structural stability, but can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, before you even know it’s happened. That’s why it’s important to get your property checked out at least every two years by a pest control Long Island expert, to prevent problems before they begin. But in between inspections, you need to keep an eye out for possible signs that can give away the presence of termites in your house.

Check Your Paintwork

Cracked or bubbling paint is always a red flag in your home. Whether it’s for termites or dampness, if you see that your paint is risen anywhere, it could be a reason to look a little deeper. Water damage can attract other pests as well weaken the structure of your property, so get it fixed as soon as possible.

Sawdust

Actually, it isn’t really sawdust, but it sure looks like it. As termites eat their way through infested wood, they leave light droppings behind them, called frass. If you find small piles of frass inside or outside of your home, it could be indicative of a termite infestation and you should call a Long Island exterminator right away.

Damaged Wood

This might sound like a no brainer but it can actually take a while to detect wood damage, as termites tend to eat the wood from the inside out. So what looks like perfectly good wood from the outside may be hollow on the inside. Signs of blistering or darkness can give away termites, and knocking on the wood to listen to the sound should give you an idea of the wood’s integrity.

Flying Insects

Flying insects, known as swarmers, emerge in the springtime and are young winged male and female termites coming out to reproduce. If you see a swarm of these reproductives, or their discarded wings piling up on doors and windowsills, get someone in to inspect your property.

Mud Tunnels

The most destructive of the termite species is the subterranean termite, and they build mud tunnels or tubes for moisture while they travel between their source of food and the termite colony. You’ll see these mud tubes near your home’s foundation and they look like brown cracks.

Termite infestations unfortunately aren’t always avoidable, but catching them early on is key to preventing as much damage as possible. Be especially on the lookout in the springtime, program regular professional checks, as well as your own maintenance and you can stop termites from destroying your home.

Simple Ways to Attract More Clients

A marketing manager’s constant quandary, the focus of any business should be attracting new customers. From girl scouts selling cookies, to the largest multinational, if you’re not focused on generating new business then you’re not planning for long term growth. Resting on your laurels and remarketing to the same client base time after time will eventually lead to the stagnation or decline of your business, so check out these simple ways to attract more clients today:

Know Your Customers

Wait, what? Didn’t you just say “attract more clients”? Yes. But not at the expense of your existing ones. Ever seen a promotional offer from your Internet provider offering a discount for new subscribers? But, what about loyal members? If your focus is only on attracting new clients, then you risk losing existing ones who resent the preferential treatment that your newcomers receive. Now you’ve lost a high-spending loyal customer for a one-off impulse-buy.

Know who your most loyal customers are, where they live, how much they spend and what they buy. If you haven’t heard of it before, the concept of buyer persona is key here. Before you sit down and blandly create a sweeping message to all your customers, think about who you’re writing to, what they look like, how they feel and what they do; and write as if you were speaking to them. Thank them for their business. Incentivize them. Offer referral programs. Make them so damn happy that they’ll sing your praises to anyone who’ll listen – especially potential new customers.

Build Alliances

Start to generate traffic for your website by exchanging links with sites who offer non-competing services that complement your own. Start a SEO Blog and make sure that you keep it updated. Invite opinion formers to contribute articles and offer guest posts at relevant blogs. All of this will not only get your company seen by more people (hopefully the right people), but you’ll get seen by Google as well, from the quality referral links pointing to your site. Building up respectable links and alliances is not an overnight job though, so if you’re short on time, you should try partnering with an experienced SEO company, like BrightEdge.

Optimize Your Site

Making sure that your site is easy to find and that your content is engaging, contains the right balance of keywords to informative content, and instructional CTAs (calls to action) telling users where to go and what to do is a great way of attracting new clients. You can hold the most exciting promotions, have the flashiest web design, or write the most appealing content, but if it’s not optimized for search engines and if you don’t have the right SEO platform in place, then you’ll be speaking to deaf ears.

Michael Peggs is the founder of SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in white hat link building, SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.

Making Your Office the Perfect Work Space

As working adults, most of us spend up to and even more than 40 hours a week in our work space. Now let’s take a minute to think about that. What a statistic! It is surprising how much time we spend working to make a living. The time spent in our work space is significant compared to the time NOT spent in our work space. By now (adulthood, career, etc), most of us have realized the importance of making ourselves feel comfortable in our own homes as our living space is where we spend a huge chunk of our time. Why not feel exactly the same about our work space? It is, after all our second most time consuming space.

One of the necessary factors in creating the perfect work space is organization. In order to have an organized office we need to consider furniture, especially the desk. What is an office without a desk? A large desk with drawers for filing and space for working is a must as it is the key to us keeping organized. You would be surprised at how something as simple as desk space and storage can contribute to work efficiency.

Let´s discuss the most imperative thing when it comes to our perfect work space. Ergonomics!Many of us become so consumed while working that we lose sight of how incredibly important it is to maintain healthy posture. In fact, when we are not careful we can often times injure ourselves by spending endless hours in an inappropriate chair. What better way to take care of ourselves than to purchase the most comfortable, yet ergonomically sound chair. There are many chairs on the market these days and you can find a number of options at Office Depot.

Last but not least, the personalization of our office space is the icing on the cake. By placing pictures of family and friends, or maps of the world for travel, books, art etc. in our office, we not only create a more comfortable space, but we are surrounding ourselves with reminders of the most important things in our lives. The very reasons why we spend those long hours working. It all pays off in the end, especially if you have the perfect work space!

Shopping Online in Canada

Online shopping is not a new notion, nor is it merely an option for cheapskates anymore, especially in this century. However, though many people shop online, not many know what online shopping is or what the proper definition for it is. Simply put, online shopping is the process where a person directly buys goods/services over the internet. Therefore, regardless of what you buy or where you have bought it, provided you have done so over the internet, you have done what is referred to as online shopping. It is a form of Electronic Commerce where a business can sell to a consumer (Business –to-Consumer) or where a business buys from another business (Business-to-Business).

The one thing that is absolutely true is that for you to be successful while shopping online is that you need to know or have specific places where you do your shopping from. The fact that almost every one today is doing their shopping online mans that the business has gotten so many people involved in it, some of whom are not so genuine. Therefore, for you to ensure that you get the best services, you also need to ensure that you deal with the right merchants. There are a number of top Canada online shopping sites that you can deal with, but there are certain things that you should look out for in a good merchant. One of these is discount shopping sites or coupon sites Canada. This is because such sites will help ensure that you get the best products at prices that you can afford. The reason why most of us prefer to shop online is because of the reduced costs, so the lower the cost, the better the site, provided the products that are being offered are of the right quality.

Something else that you should watch out for are online businesses that accepts credit cards. Many people today do not carry cash; statistics indicate that on average a person carries at least four credit cards thus indicating that most consumers prefer paying by credit card. On addition, many businesses for accountability purposes prefer to pay with credit cards. With such a business, all you will have to do is have your credit card details on hand, know what you want to purchase and you will be good to go. However, you should also ensure that the site to which you are providing your details is one that you can trust to keep your details safe and one which will not share them unnecessarily.

The major aim of online shopping is to offer consumers a faster and more effective shopping experience thus emphasizing the importance of shopping sites online in Canada. With online shopping, you get everything you need without having to go through so much trouble.

Dining Out and Saving Money

Nothing feels more like a punch to the gut than realizing your restaurant tab chewed quite an unexpected hole through your budget. When it comes to dining out, there are countless money traps disguised as harmless additions, and being a cheapskate can help you keep within budget. To name a few, this post contains the top 3 to-don’ts that will help save you money when dining out on a budget.

 

Ordering More Than You Can Eat.

Most every restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes with tantalizing menu descriptions that are more than twice the size of a regulated portion. This results in a lot of food – and money – wasted.

To avoid spending money on food that will inevitably end up in the trash, don’t order more than you can eat. Instead of ordering an array of appetizers, entrees, and sides, order one dish at a time. You can also order meals to share with someone at your table; not only will this guarantee an empty plate, but it will also cut your total in half if you’re sharing the price as well!

 

Chugging Your Money.

The amount restaurants charge for drinks can add a heavy weight to our already heavy total. Instead of drinking your money, request a glass of water instead of a soft drink, which costs an average of $3.00, or an alcoholic beverage that can easily tack on another $7.00. Whatever you do, beware of the super duper, frozen, fruity, iced tea/slushy/smoothie/milkshake specials loaded with additional charges and tossed into a blender to justify charging another extra dollar or two.

 

Paying Full Price.

If you could save a little extra money on anything, why wouldn’t you? As far as dining is concerned, there are countless possibilities to save money with discounted gift cards and coupons. You just have to know where to look!

Groupon – the leading company in supplying outstanding coupon codes – has recently developed a very useful restaurant directory called, Groupon Pages. This is a compilation of restaurant listings in your area that includes great deals, informative details, and reviews! Take a peek at this Groupon Page for The Emerald Restaurant in Austin, TX.

Don’t throw your money away with wasted food, don’t chug your money in alcohol or restaurant specials, and hunt for deals and discounts before you step out to dinner. As long as you abide by these three guidelines, you’re sure to save a considerable amount on your next meal!

Windows 10 Universal Apps – Why are They Important

Microsoft has deployed its first batch of the Windows 10 on PCs, as a first step toward going universal – running the same OS and the same apps across all of its devices. The new OS is all shiny and fancy, as you might have expected, but it doesn’t change the user interface in any radical way, like Windows 8 did, but instead returned to the desktop and UI familiar to us all. I’d even go so far as to say that switching from Windows 7 to Windows 10 will be easier than from XP to 7. Some who have made the move say that the two versions of the OS are too similar to be true.

Perhaps the most important news about Windows 10 is its introduction of a new concept, the Universal App. I find the choice of the name a bit off, though – for an app to be truly Universal, it should run not just on all editions of Windows 10, but on previous versions of Windows as well. But hey, it was them, not me, who gave the apps this deceptive name. But back on track: Universal Apps will run on all editions of Windows 10, from the one powering the Xbox One consoles to the one running on phones and tablets. And this is a more important thing than you might think at the first sight.

First of all, let’s count: you can deploy your apps on an increasing number of desktop devices quickly. Last week the number of PCs running Windows 10 has grown over 25 million worldwide, not counting the pirated copies of the OS (which is already spreading, mind you). And if you take a loot at the Windows Store (the new one, under development), you will see the importance of the new kinds of apps for the future.

1. CPU support

The new apps will run on all platforms. Desktop and portable computers are using x86 and x64 processors, while mobile devices like tablets and smartphones are powered by CPUs based on the ARM architecture. The Xbox One console has an x86 CPU, meaning that your apps will run on that, too, and the HoloLens is most likely to be based on one of the above architectures.

2. User interface

With Windows 10 running on a whole range of devices, you won’t have to create a separate app for every platform – you will be able to do all the under the hood works once, and simply create an interface for smartphones, tablets and desktops. This will cut the time needed to deploy an app on various platforms.

3. Re-use code

Microsoft is making it easy for iOS and Android developers to deploy their apps on Windows 10 / Windows Phone through two new SDKs built with this purpose. Developers will be able to use their existing C++/Java/Objective C code to deploy Universal Apps on Microsoft’s platforms, use its services like Cortana, Xbox Live or live tiles.

4. Load websites inside apps

A great innovation, which “marries” the web with apps: developers will be able to access their websites from inside a Universal App, make use of notifications and in-app purchases, and list their apps (websites) in the Microsoft Store.

This will be a great thing for gaming platforms like the Royal Vegas online casino, allowing their users to access their 300+ excellent games directly from their app on desktop, or their over 100 mobile games from their appropriate browser-based platform. Besides, users will get notified of their daily specials and promotions just like they were software updates or incoming messages. And the Royal Vegas Casino has a lot to inform its players about. Its game library – currently having over 700 titles in its downloadable suite – is growing by at least one, but usually two or three new titles each month. Besides, the Royal Vegas offers some of the most interesting – and mouthwatering – promotions each month, offering its players the chance not just to win serious amounts of cash, but also real life prizes. One of their biggest was a 7 day Caribbean cruise for two, a promotion that returns year after year. Not to mention the special offers for existing players, that puts free cash in their pockets, and the tournaments in which they can enroll in to win even more prizes at the end of the day.

It is in Microsoft’s best interest to get more developers to deploy their content on their new platform. Through Universal Apps, mobile-first developers will have a quick and easy way to deploy their mobile apps on millions of desktops, no matter on which mobile OS it was originally built for. We will likely see previously iOS exclusive apps appearing on Windows 10 powered desktops, and Android-first releases making it on Windows 10 desktops before iOS. Which is a good thing – diversity is always a good thing. While Windows Phone might have a very small market share at this time – only under 3% of the smartphones are powered by this OS – if you also count all the desktops running Windows 10, it will be much more profitable to build Universal Apps, conquering new devices all over the world.

Quick Tips to Green Up Your Life

Whether or not you believe in the science of climate change you can probably agree that we, as a species, need to do more to respect our planet and lead more sustainable lifestyles. After all, we only get this one planet. And, as much as we all love Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek, we’re still very far away from being able to explore the universe the way humans in science fiction do.

So where do you start? How do you live a more sustainable lifestyle? Here are some tips to help you do exactly that.

Cut Back on Fossil Fuels

Nobody–at least, nobody in this article–is going to tell you to stop using fossil fuels altogether. That would be crazy! Very few people can afford to take themselves entirely off the grid. Instead, we’re just going to tell you to reduce your dependency on them.

For example, if you live in a deregulated energy market you could switch to a power provider that uses renewable resources. You can track them down through a local energy comparison website.

If your local energy market is regulated, don’t worry! Most energy providers now have an opt-in system where customers can choose to pay a slightly higher price to have their power delivered from renewable sources instead of standard fossil fuels. Opt in! The rate hike is relatively small.

Beyond this, start using your body instead of your car! Walk to places within a mile of your house. Use transit if your city has it or a bike for places that are further away. Save your car for when you need to haul large quantities of things from one place to another.

Recycle

Most of us know that we should be recycling our cans and our bottles. Those are not the only recyclable materials out there! In fact, most things you buy these days are able to be recycled. If you’re not sure what should go in the recycling bin, call your local recycling center and ask for a list. Your city will also likely provide a list of what they’ll pick up for you.

Beyond the basics of sending recyclable plastics out to a center, look for ways to recycle goods within your own home. Most people are already in the habit of the plastic tubs and jars in which food is packaged. Look around for other ways to recycle. For instance, that sock that has a hole in it? If you don’t know how to darn it up, turn the sock into a dust rag! Old shirts can be cut up into rags as well. There are lots of ways to reuse and recycle household goods.

Reduce

Reduce the amount of waste you produce. If you’re looking for ways to recycle within your home you’re already halfway to this goal, the primary aim of which is to reduce our dependencies on landfills. One of the best ways to do this is to start composting. Tossing your organic produce onto a compost pile drastically reduces the amount of trash you throw out every week. If you live in an apartment, you can start a small worm bin or you can donate your compostable items to a local composter.

With the exception of food, you can buy pretty much everything you need secondhand (though we don’t recommend going this route with mattresses or upholstered furniture–unless you plan to break them down for other uses). Instead of buying new clothes and furniture, scour thrift shops and the Internet for what you need. You’ll spend way less on secondhand items than you would on brand new and you reduce the amount of waste being produced by your family.

Donate and Give Away

Instead of just chucking your old or broken items into the trash, why not donate them to charity or give them away to people who need them? There are ways to donate almost everything you own, from old computers to furniture. Even broken down toys and furniture can be stripped for parts by someone. Check around your local metro area for rebuilding shops like this one in Portland and send your stuff there instead of throwing it away.

These hints likely all seem really basic but trust us: basics are the best place to start. Once you’ve gotten used to reducing and recycling, you can move on to the bigger things like harvesting rainwater, installing solar panels, etc.

How to Write Product Descriptions Like a Pro

Whenever you sell any type of product or have a blog, you have seconds in which have to be used to convince someone why they should make a purchase or keep reading. You need to get your product description right in order to do this. You can hire a product description writing service or you can tackle it yourself.  We believe that writing compelling copy is the key

Here’s how to write product descriptions like a pro.

Read the Best Copy

You can’t write a description until you know how the experts are doing it. Look at your chosen field and find the best-sellers. Using Amazon is an ideal method to find the best-sellers in your category. If they’ve reached the list of best-sellers they’re doing something right.

Beware of the Competition

It’s always good to know what your competitors are doing, but you don’t want to focus on them too much. You have to be careful of always looking at the competition because you could find yourself in a situation where you’re copying what they do since it’s the safest course of action to follow.

How can you be original when all you’re doing is copying word-for-word what your competitors are?

Cut Down

Instead of writing a 50-word product description immediately, write what you want. It doesn’t matter if you produce a 500-word story about how smooth the materials are or how the product is created in detail. It’s always easier to cut everything down.

Write a long-form piece of copy and cut it down by extracting all the major points from it, which is what will form the meat of your 50-word product description.

Finding the Narrative

Here’s a step-by-step guide for coming up with ideas.

  1. Brainstorm the angles you can take.
  2. Walk away and return to the list for another session.
  3. Speak to someone you trust about your ideas and ask for their ideas.
  4. Begin the first draft.
  5. Review what you’ve written.

If what you come up with isn’t good enough, start this process all over again.

Grill the Manufacturer

If someone hands you a product you need to write copy for, the specifications provided by the manufacturer aren’t enough. They give you the bare facts about the product and nothing else. There’s no soul to these statistics.

Ask the manufacturer to talk to you about their product. Get the facts from a human and you’ll discover the heart behind the product. This is what you need to bottle and present to potential customers.

Does it fulfil a Need?

Talking to someone about a new washing machine is fine, but it must fulfil a need. If it does not nobody is going to buy it. Your number one priority is to convince someone they have to have this product now.

Think about what a new washing machine would do for someone. Weave these benefits into the copy and you will always get better results.

It Takes Practice

It always takes practice to get this right. Writing an enticing product description requires a lot of time and effort. Multiple drafts are often needed to find the best words for the job.