Archive for February, 2013

GoodYear Tire

.ATV Tires and AccessoriesGoodyear tires, like any other tire should be inspected visually on a daily basis or whenever you plan to drive your car. A quick glance will let you know if the tires are properly inflated, within several pounds. A closer inspection once a week should also be completed to observe tire pressure and any possible damage to the tread or the rim at the time. This sort of check can be completed in seconds as you approach the car! Many new cars also have tire pressure monitor systems installed. New cars are very accurate, however if you have an older car, the tire pressure could be down a few pounds before an alarm is triggered in your car about the need to check your tires. Check your tires often.

GoodYear Tire

GoodYear Tires operate the same as any other tire. You also get what you pay for. By that we mean that if you buy a tire that is good for 40,000 miles, don’t expect to last longer than that. the following are some of the issues that motorists should consider regardless of the kind of tires they purchase.

Flat Tires

When a Goodyear tire goes flat it should be removed immediately to be inspected and repaired. If you drive on a tire for a short distance the tire could be permanently ruined. Even driving a short distance can ruin a tire. Punctures that are smaller than ¼ inch can usually be related. Larger punctures or holes cannot be usually repaired. Sidewall punctures should never be repaired and the tire should be replaced.

Balance Your Tires

Goodyear tires should always be balanced when they are first installed on new rims. They should also be balanced whenever you feel vibration in the steering wheel or the car in general. Continued vibration may harm the tires and cause them to overheat or wear unevenly. Some tire companies suggest that the tires should be balanced at least once per year.

Good year tires can last much longer if consumers maintain proper balance, if they maintain proper inflation and alignment. Visually check your tires every time you drive the car and a thorough check each week.

Check Your Tires

Any time you feel any vibration, have your tires checked and balanced. With a set of four tires costing as much as $500 or even more with installation and wheel balancing, it makes good financial sense to check your tires often. Even a quick glance will be enough to notice if anything is wrong. It could save you a lot of money by increasing your gas mileage, by giving more stability when driving at high speeds and avoiding accidents. Tires wear quickly when they are under inflated which leads to premature replacement.

If your tires are wearing more on one side of the tire than the other, check your cars alignment. This should be tackled immediately as soon as you notice this uneven wear on the tire to avoid the tires being ruined and having to spend a lot of money on a set of new tires.

For more posts about buying tires and tire performance, click here.

Apartment Manager Training

.Property ManagementApartment manager training can cover a very large set of responsibilities for building maintenance which can include all outdoor facilities, indoor common areas and tenants units. Depending on the size of the building, this work may be split between several people. Or one person may be responsible for everything. Some training courses will be generalized. They will cover all aspects while others will focus on specific functions.

Then there is also lots of on the job training as well that covers the companies processes and customer needs. Whatever you do, always use common sense when making decisions about managing an apartment. If you do not know, ask someone for advice. There are lots to learn and you really never want to stop learning.

Apartment Manager Training – Managing the Apartment Grounds

Outdoor apartment management training would include setting contracts for all landscaping activities. Monitoring these activities and verifying the quality of the work. This would also include garbage removal and disposal. Snow clearing if applicable and keeping the entrance area and parking areas clean and free of any debris. The apartment manager may also complete some of the on site repairs. In addition perform some of the regular maintenance activities.

Indoor apartment management training also must cover the heating systems. Arranging for elevator maintenance. Cleaning of all common areas and any painting or repairs that must be arranged for. The apartment manager may do some of this work themselves. Or they may be responsible to hire contractors to do the work. This would be on the behalf of the building owners following applied guidelines.

Managing Tenants in Apartments

Tenant units are tricky in the sense that no one but the tenant can enter the tenants unit. Unless arrangements are made ahead of time with appropriate permissions. Repairs and upgrades must be booked with both the tenant and the contractor who is scheduled to do the work. All processes of this type must follow appropriate local bylaws. As well as federal and local state or provincial laws.

Another area that is often neglected is the interface and reporting to the owner or owners of the property. Depending on how involved the owners are with their property. This can take a great deal of time to provide status updates. Also reports and discuss issues the owners may be concerned about. Most property management companies provide monthly cash flow reports. Also tenant occupancy reports to the owners. They may also provide a brief status report to the owners. They will  keep them informed regarding issues the owners are concerned about.

Apartment Manager Training – Attend Board Meetings

Attending board meetings and annual meetings are another area that property managers must do. Their duties at meetings such as these is to provide budgets, based on input from the directors. Provide updates on current cash flow and alignment with the current year budget. Also rovide updates on various situations that are of interest to the owners and the board. Property managers will assess various improvements. In addition request quotes and report back to the board with  recommendations. Property managers must keep minutes and issue them to the board or the owners in general.

This is an entire different area of skills that are required. Including everything from public speaking, preparing reports, budgeting, requesting quotes and dealing with complex situations. In some situations there will be conflict between the board and the other owners about various policies. It is usually up to the board to set the policy and the property manager to implement the policy.

If something is unclear,  you may want to refer the issue back to the board for clarification. Skills in dealing with conflict may also be required when owners or the board are at odds with each other. Develop skills on the job. Obtain training in public speaking. These skills will add many benefits to the current job as well as all future job opportunities.

For more building management information, click here.

Text Message Marketing Companies

Text Message Marketing CompaniesText message marketing companies are offering more services and better features to business customers looking for another inexpensive way to communicate with customers and get their messages out to these customers. Far too many customers do not react to email campaigns. The emails are deleted without reading them or they end up in junk folders never to be seen. They are auto deleted within a week or less. The return is rather small for the few that do actually read the message. Consumers and customers are too afraid of being tricked into something by opening an email message. This is due to all of the spam emails sent to them daily.

Text Message Marketing Companies – Target Your Message

Now text message marketing companies have set up services that are easy to use, easy to compose messages. With a click of the mouse the messages are sent to ten or thousands of smart phones. Target your text message locally or based on subscribers. Either way can be set up and used by business customers trying to market to their customers.

Not everyone checks their email all of the time. But they do carry their cell phones with them. They do tend to check text messages before any other kind of message including email and voice messages. In fact most would rather have a text message rather than a voice message. Since it takes so long to call in and listen to a voice message that someone has left you.

Send a text message and tell me what you want is the way that most people seem to like it. Text messages are much less expensive compared to voice communications for both the sender and the receiver. Many people only have limited voice and data plans. They do not want to use their plans for these kinds of messages. Unlimited text messages on the other hand are easy to read and get a persons attention.


Text messages are now priced very inexpensively for business with most messaging sent over the internet. This capability is really changing the approach that companies use to market via text messaging. With smart phones becoming more prolific and supporting these text messaging app’s, advertising is now available right on the app on the persons phone.

The owner of the phone who installs the free app on the phone gets the app for free. As long as he or she agrees to accept these advertising messages from time to time as well as advertisements on the app itself.

Most people ignore this advertising on their smart phone. However from time to time there is really something there  that interests the user and they click on the advertisement. Even a small percentage of users clicking on this advertisement can mean big numbers for the advertiser. With millions of smart phones out there are millions of potential customers who may click on these advertisements.

For more information about text messaging, click here.

Hardwood Floors Installed

Hardwood Floors InstalledOnce hardwood floors are installed they look fantastic. However the decision process leading up to their installation can be difficult for many consumers. There are so many decisions to make. They include  color, quality level, to installer to flooring support. Don’t forget edging that will match or merge with other floor coverings in the home. Some consumers can find this a daunting process. Many will turn to home decorators that will assist consumers in their selection process. In some cases floor covering stores will have decorators on staff. Consumers need to be aware that not all sales people have this knowledge and experience. However they will imply that they have a great deal of experience, and tell you what they think you want to hear in an effort to get your business.

The Selection Process for Hardwood Floors Installation

There are lots of decisions to make regarding hardwood floors and the best approach is to start with the easy decisions and narrow them down until you have made a decision. Here is a list of the things that consumers need to think about when they are going through the process of arranging for hardwood floors to be installed:

  • Type of wood – maple, oak, birch etc
  • Color of wood – stain, natural etc
  • Finish – glossy, natural
  • Areas in home that will have hardwood, including the stairs
  • Where will area rugs be placed
  • Color of paint on the walls to match furniture and flooring
  • Furniture changes to meet overall décor
  • Protective pads for all furniture
  • Installation – contract or do it yourself
  • Pricing of the hardwood
  • Adding additional support to the base floor to reduce squeaks

Ask for Help

These were not written in any order of priority, however we suggest that help from an interior designer would be appropriate, since there are many decisions concerning color and furniture design that can enhance the flooring or actually take away from the overall look of the room. We suggest that prior to selecting the flooring that wall color and furniture choices should be at least planned to ensure overall satisfaction with the choices.

Prior to Hardwood Floors Being Installed

Consumers can save money by removing the existing flooring and arranging for disposal. Once the old flooring is removed, vacuum the floor and remove any staples and smooth rough areas to provide a level floor for the installer. This is the time to test your floor for squeaks. Consumers can either screw nail the existing sub floor to the joists in locations were the floor is squeaking or install added sub flooring to act as an additional stabilizer for the floor. Some people feel that a squeaky hardwood floor adds to the character of a home. Other consumers cannot stand the sound of a squeaky floor, so pay attention to this step if this bothers you.

The installers will install the sub floor and they will install the hardwood floor for you. Once this is completed the next step is to install the corner round around the perimeter of the floor and paint it whatever color you select. We suggest that the corner round should be painted prior to installation since it is much easier to paint a long strip of wood that is not attached to another surface of a different color. Nail holes and any other marks can be repaired once it is installed.

Paint First

We also suggest that if you do plan to paint the walls that this work be completed before the new floor is installed. The painting can be done much more quickly. Especially when there is no need to worry about paint droplets on the floor.

Once all of the painting is completed and the flooring installed, new window treatments can be installed. The furniture return to this room. Now you have a brand new floor that has been fully redecorated. It has a floor covering that will last for many years with proper care.


Smart Hydro Meters

Smart Hydro MetersWe have a smart hydro meter installed on our home. This meter records the amount of power we use every hour and then reports this usage to the company that provides the electricity to consumers in our area. We are billed on the amount of electricity we consume during the day and evening at different rates. During the daytime we are on a peak rate level. In the early morning and early evening we are on mid peak rate, while at night we are on an off peak rate. The difference in rates between peak and off peak can be almost half price. The utility in our area has gone this route to encourage consumers to reduce energy use and reduce their electricity bills. Most people now will cook in the evening, dry their clothes in the dryer etc during off peak time frames.

Problems with Smart Hydro Meters

This summer we found that our meter was not reporting the usage to the company providing our electricity properly. We were notified that it had to be changed. This change took a few months to implement. Not sure if it is red tape or they are just too busy. However it was over these summer months when usage is at the highest level for air conditioning and pool pumps. We decided we would continue to practice energy reduction techniques during the summer time much as we normally do. It turn out that this was a good approach to take.

Turns out that although the meter was not reporting the usage to the company, it was still recording our usage. When the meter was replaced, they took it into the lab and downloaded the usage to their computers. They were then able to reconstruct the billing for us and sent us a new bill.

We had been billed up to that point as if our usage was all on the low peak rate. Which of course is to our advantage. This is not to be expected over the long run. We were reassessed. Over a 3 month period we had consumed an additional $421 dollars of electricity. We now had a bill for this much usage.

We are now challenging this bill to make sure that they calculated the amount correctly, however I am prepared to pay the electricity as calculated, since we probably used it.

The reason for this post is to point out to reads a couple of things about smart meters:

  • Be aware that they record the results all of the time even if they do not report the results
  • You will get a bill eventually for the proper amount of electricity
  • Practice energy reduction techniques all of the time
  • Challenge your utility to demonstrate how they calculated the final invoice

Smart Hydro Meters and Energy Reduction Techniques

We know couples who do not shift their energy consumption at all and pay a lot higher electricity bills than we do. In one case they were not even aware that this information was available to them. We feel that having this information gives you the power to know when to use electricity and when not to. You can choose to use electricity at high rates or at low rates. Regardless it all comes out of your paycheck and I would rather have more to go around from my paycheck for other things than spend it all on electricity.

The smart meter gives you all of this information and you can log onto the website for your company to review how you are using electricity. On this web site we have discussed lots of steps to take to reduce electricity usage. The smart meter provides one more opportunity to manage and control this rather large cost. Check out some of our other pages about specific steps to reduce electricity and to reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer time. These ideas may not apply to everyone or be of interest; however some are quite easy to consider and implement. They can literally save you hundreds of dollars a year or more.

Thanks for reading about smart hydro meters and send us your comments on ideas to reduce energy costs around the home.



Efficient Use of Energy

The chart on the left forecasts how fast the energy consumption curve is growing. Also how it compares to past years. If this chart does not persuade you that we should find ways to promote the efficient use of energy, then I do not know what will. Consider that our energy growth is continuing at a high rate.

Although we are finding more and more ways to generate energy, it is costing us more and more all of the time. With demand growing, and supplies being limited, there is no question that the price we pay for gasoline, for electricity or for natural gas is going to increase. The only way for us to offset this cost is to make sure that we are making efficient use of energy in all situations. Our transportation, our homes and were we work are the three big consumers of energy. We will cover a few of these in the following paragraphs for each of these areas.

Efficient Use of Energy – Transportation

The single largest expense for transportation is our car that we use to go back and forth to work. As well as for leisure activities. The price of fuel is going up all of the time. Anything we can do in this area reduces our energy consumption. It also saves us money and helps our bank account.

Making sure that the tires are properly inflated, that the engine is tuned up, that the car itself is a gas miser and driving in such a way that we conserve gasoline are all ways to improve the efficiency of our cars. Minimizing jack rabbit starts and stops. Ddriving at the speed limit really make a huge contribution to gas savings. Even 10 miles over the speed limit will cause your car to work harder. It will deliver fewer miles per gallon than it would at the speed limit.

Can you take the bus to work? If so you can save in a lot of ways. Reduced gas consumption, reduced wear and tear on your car. Also no parking to pay for, reduced insurance costs, fewer accidents statistically. The bus is a lot more efficient especially if you are taking express buses that are full. It may be an inconvenience to take the bus. It may take more time. However it is a lot less stress on you as a driver. You are making efficient use of energy which saves you money in the long run.

Efficient Use of Energy – Our Homes

Our homes are another big contributor to the energy we use. Heating and cooling, along with the water we use are the main users of energy. Insulating our homes better, adjusting the thermostat to save cooling and heating costs, updating windows and doors to be better insulators and generally making our homes more efficient will make a huge contribution to energy efficiency. We have several detailed pages on this website about how to reduce energy use in the home. These savings put more money in our bank account.

We can also make more efficient use of energy in our homes by managing the waste we generate. All of the packaging and the things we use that breakdown and then get thrown out contribute to a lot of energy use in their production and then in landfill sites that we fill. Every time we purchase something give some thoughts about how this can be reduced. Use recycling bins for paper and cans so that these things do not end up in the landfill sites. Be a minimalist and save thousands of dollars a year!

Efficient Use of Energy – Were we Work

We have more influence at work than we think when it comes to energy reduction. For those people in management, it is pretty obvious. Anytime you and your team can work smarter, more efficiently etc the company makes more money. You are reducing the energy that is used. Influencing lights being turned off, computers shut down at night, the trash that gets generated, how buildings are designed. Also how products are manufactured etc are all specific things that many of us can make a large contributing to.

Take a look at your work location and assess today what you can do to reduce your company’s energy foot print. You might be surprised at the savings and even be rewarded for it as well.

Reduction of Energy Consumption

Reduction of energy consumption! Where do I begin? How much will it really cost? Will it take a lot of work? How much will I really save? Will it matter?

We are not picking on the nuclear industry by using this picture on the left. We just happened to like the questions that are listed on the picture when we repeated in the above paragraph to make sure that everyone could read the words. These questions are the central questions that many if not all people have who are the least bit concerned about our use of energy. These are also reasons that a lot of people use to persuade themselves not to even get started and try to save energy. This is really unfortunate since if we all banded together and saved even 10% of our energy consumption, we would make a huge impact on our energy use, our cost to use that energy and we would delay construction of many energy projects. The world would be a better place.

In this article we are going to focus on the individual. We are the only ones who have influence over what we do in terms of how we use energy. We cannot impact the large companies very much unless we all band together and make a difference. Instead let’s focus on our own wallet and discuss things we can do to save energy and reduce our overall cost. On the way we might persuade other people to do the same thing and we might have a small impact on corporations. Every dollar you save in terms of energy consumption is a dollar in your pocket and can be used for other purposes including going on a vacation.

Where do I begin? – Energy Consumption

This is the question a lot of people ask themselves. On this blog we have listed several posts about energy reduction and the steps that consumers can take to reduce their energy bills. Pick one and get started. It does not matter if it is reducing water use, turning down the thermostat in the winter, or turning up the thermostat in the summer, walking to work, etc. As long as you pick one and get started, have some success you will be encouraged to try more ideas.

Will it really cost a lot?

Sometimes there is a cost to reducing energy. Water reduction will not cost a lot and you will save money. Replacing incandescent lights with fluorescent lights will cost more than the same incandescent light, however you will reduce your electrical bill in the long run and repay for the light several times over. Evaluate every energy saving idea and make sure you can get a payback in a shorter time than the life span of the item you are buying.

Will it Take a lot of Work?

Replacing a light is not much work. Reducing water consumption is not much work, nor is adjusting the thermostat. Walking to work takes more time and you get exercise which is good for us, so there is some work. Most things do not take a lot of effort and you save money at the same time. Go for it, there may be other benefits as well.

Will I really save a lot?

We have eliminated almost $500 a year in electrical usage by turning out lights, replacing incandescent lights, running the pool motor 4 or 5 hours a day instead of continuously and adjusting the thermostat especially for the air conditioning. Depending on your life style you may save a lot more energy costs as well. Start now. Wouldn’t you rather have $500 in your pocket than pay it to someone else?

Will it matter?

Most people just give up because they think it will not matter in the big scheme of things and they want to be comfortable. Setting the thermostat at a level that is comfortable for them is important and they feel that it will not matter. Well it will matter to you and your cash flow. Any time you can save money, it matters. If enough people follow this approach, it will make a difference and decrease our overall dependence on oil and other forms of polluting energy. If we purchase energy saving devices and energy generating devices, we will make even more of a difference. Every bit counts so let’s get started.

For more topics and ideas about energy reduction solutions, click here.

Tire Stores

Tire StoresThere are lots of tires stores that sell tires and the dealer were you purchased your car will also sell you tires. We have shown one such tire store which is a large national chain in Canada. They sell tires and many other items for cars, complete repairs and offer many household and sporting goods for sale. This is a full service chain with many parts and household items that consumers can purchase.

Car Dealers and Tire Stores

These tire stores and others have steel rims for those people who want to install snow tires on their cars without the need to change rims every year. For most people they will take the easiest approach. Some will go to their car dealer who will install the tires, balance them, and even store your summer tires during the winter. This is probably the most expensive place to purchase tires, even if they do store your tires.

Large National Tire Chains

Large tire chains such as America’s Tire specialize in selling and installing tires. They have a full selection of tires and offer really great service as well to their customers. Most of these companies will bundle installation, balancing, tire rotation and nitrogen filling of the tires for one competitive price. Larger chains will honor repairs all over the USA.

Chain stores that sell products of all kinds and have stores all over North American are often the best to consider, since not only do they bundle prices and services, they can offer warranty service in most major cities across the continent. If you have a warranty problem of some kind just drop into one of these stores with your receipt and they will look after you.

Tires and Extensive Travel

The writer travels extensively by car across Canada and the US. As a result we look for a tire store chain that caters to consumers in both countries and will honor warranties in both countries.  We have found that Costco is one of those stores that sell tires among many other things. They provide an excellent warranty and they honor their warranty across both countries wherever thee is a Costco store.

They provide free tire rotation, top up with air or nitrogen depending on what you use and of course the warranty across the continent. We have used this service and found it to be excellent with fast service and literally no waiting time.

If you are not a traveler, then you may not need this service and will be more comfortable with local tire store services. There are many such tire stores available and many will also be associated with  national services that will be advantageous to many consumers. When you are purchasing tires, it is important take into account this type of service as well as the overall price and warranty. Always make sure that you install the proper tires on your car to avoid any dangerous issues that can be created by installing the wrong tires on your car.

These tire stores also offer tires on sale as well. Paying close attention to flyers and web sites or checking in with the store once a week can usually save a few hundred dollars in the cost of four tires. It can be definitely worth the effort to save this kind of money.

Rent Manager

Home Sitting ServicesThe rent manager has a very important job to do. He or she can make the difference between a building that is running well with satisfied tenants who take care of their units and those that do not. A rent manager is accountable for quite a few different activities. Although most people would feel that they are the ones who decides who to rent to and collects the rental checks.

Renting to the wrong person can mean that the investor who owns the property ends up with a bad tenant. They damage  the unit, do not keep it clean etc. When they finally move out there is a lot of expense to clean the unit and repair damage. This cannot always be charged back to the tenant because of laws that various governments have put in place to protect tenants. In out experience there are lots of good people who rent properties. Unfortunately there are lots that make it bad for everyone and really do not take care of their units.

Rent Manager Responsibilities

The rent manager may advertise for tenants, he or she may screen tenants and make decisions  about renting. They recommend that tenants be accepted or rejected from a building. For large buildings, the guidelines are established by the owners and the rent manager must apply those guidelines without too much interpretation. They also need to make sure that all applicable laws for the town or city they are in are followed.

Lease documents must be filled in and signed which for large companies will include auto payment deductions directly from your bank account. In many situations, 12 post dated checks will be requested. One for each month, however this is becoming less and less common as more and more people move to EFT transactions.

The rent manager must also deal with troublesome tenants. Such issues as repairs in tenants units. Any problems with the building that may be caused by tenants or may be causing difficulty for the tenants. In some situations, a rent manager may only focus on rental of the units, particularly for a large building. In other situations they may have a wider scope of control and responsibility.

Small Claims Court

Most landlords will take the tenant to small claims court to collect on the damages. Many will skip town that it is sometimes difficult to track them down. Also rent managers will sometimes end up renting to a bad tenant. This is because they get glowing references from other rent managers who are trying to get rid of a bad tenant. There are also laws that restrict what you can say about customers and clients without the appropriate data to back you up. It seems that governments have gone out of their way to protect tenants and not so much the landlords. There is an image that the big bad landlords will take advantage of the poor tenants.

Of course there are a lot more votes from tenants than there are landlords and the politicians will always go for the votes. They may not realize that they are creating the perfect conditions for dead beat tenants to take advantage of landlords. There are bad landlords of course, but sometimes the pendulum swings too far. Then no one wants to build rental buildings and they certainly do not want to rent to bad tenants. The cities will invest in subsidized housing. Generally this has been a disaster with units not wells maintained and tenants destroying units! It just costs the tax payer a lot of money to support these people who by the way generally do not pay taxes. They also receive many other benefits such as free health care.

Rent to High Quality Tenants

One of the main jobs of a well run building for a rental manager is to only allow high quality people to rent from the owner. This means people who have jobs, who have a track record of paying their bills all of the time. Who do not skip out in the middle of the night. Everyone is happier including the tenants who do not have to deal with transient people coming and going.

For more posts about property management topics, click here.

Business Text messaging Service

Business Text messaging ServiceBusiness text messaging service comes in a variety of apps that can be downloaded to you mobile smart phone and used to receive or send messages to your colleagues, your customers and your friends for free. Business customers particularly like text messages. They can be sent to their customers and colleagues advising of special events and specials on products and services.

As this picture demonstrates text messages or SMS messages can be sent to many smart phone. As well as cell phones or even tablet devices. Once you have the address you can send the same advertising message or the same alert message to your customers. Also your employees depending on the situation. This is a lot more efficient since not everyone has access to their email while they are on the move. They do have their cell phones as a rule. They will receive the message and be able to react to it as needed.

Business Text messaging Service – Emails & Junk Folders

Emails often go into junk folders, filtered out before the client even sees them let alone reads them. Text messages always end up in the client’s inbox. Although some customers will simply delete without reading them. Most will give a text message a quick glance before deleting the message. If that message is from a trusted source, like your business they will be read and responded to.

Send a text message blast to customers that you deal with to advertise a new special. Let customers know that they have reached a loyalty rank that gives them more benefits. There are a host of applications that can be interesting to business people as well as the clients, customers and consumers that your business serves.

Cost to Send Messages

Compare services for the cost to send messages, to receive messages and the set up costs. There are many companies now offering text messaging via the internet now which has drastically reduced the cost of maintaining a messaging server and sending messages. Compared to the old fashion approach this service is far superior. Individuals who send or receive messages will enjoy these free services and can easily take advantage of them.

These same free services can be used by companies to deliver messages, however as your volume increases you may be forced to pay for this service. However it is still much less expensive than the traditional SMS or text message facilities that the cellular companies appear to offer.

Universities are using this technology to alert their students of situations that they must be made aware of instantly. Based on some events this has actually saved lives by making everyone aware that there is an incident in progress and they must take cover.

The vast majority of students now carry cell phones or smart phones that are capable of sending and receiving text messages so this is a perfect way to send and receive text messages that are informational as well as alerts that need to reach virtually the entire student body.

For more information about text messaging, click here.


Hardwood Floor Installers

Hardwood Floor InstallersSkilled hardwood floor installers can install a new floor in record time with high quality and make it look easy. They know how to get started and they know the mistakes to avoid. Installers also know that every piece of wood must be accurately placed. Each one must be secured before you go to the next piece. It is very hard work, especially on the back. You are kneeling or bending all of the time. You are using a specialized nailer to knock the wood into place and nail it at the same time.

Acclimatize the Hardwood

Most hardwood stores and installers will tell you that the wood should be delivered a week ahead of time. It should be allowed to acclimatize to the home and the conditions in the home. This allows the wood to expand if needed. Also to also absorb humidity or dry out as the case may be. If your home is really dry or if humid, you may want to allow for more time.

Selecting Hardwood Floor Installers

When you purchase your material from a store that specializes in hardwood and other floor coverings they will generally have their own installers to install floors or at least a list of installers that they have had good experience with. These installers generally will take work from a number of stores to keep busy unless the store is so successful that they work solely for one store. These are generally good installers to go with and you can count on the store to make sure that they have people they refer to that have good reputations.

If you are still concerned, look them up on Google to see if there are any customer complaints that you should be aware of. People today do not hesitate to leave their comments about the stores they deal with or the hardwood installers that they have used. These comments can be invaluable to consumers who do not have a lot of experience dealing with installers.

Another suggestion is to request references from the store you are dealing with. Of course they are going to provide you with customers they know are satisfied with the material and the workmanship. However by talking with these customers, you may learn some things to be aware of and to discuss with the store before you make a decision about purchasing and arranging for the floor to be installed.

Do it Your Self Hardwood Floor Installers

Many consumers will attempt to install the hardwood floor themselves in an effort to save money.  This can be accomplished quite easily by most consumers. Provided that you take the time to learn how to install a floor and arrange to purchase or rent the proper tools. Regarding buying or renting, it really comes down to how long you will need to rent the tools and their cost to rent. Compare the price to purchase these tools and make a decision. Many consumers will purchase tools even if they will only be using them for this one job. They will then sell them later to recover some of their money. They come out ahead once they sell their tools to another person who is installing their own floors.

Some flooring companies also offer courses on installing hardwood floors to their customers. This is offered as an incentive to persuade you to purchase all of the materials from them. Consumers should take advantage of these opportunities and learn the tricks of the trade. Often there are lots of things that can make your job a lot easier, save you time and frustration. Also review Youtube videos of which there are more and more available that cover most situations that consumers will encounter. We find that there is a great deal of information available to consumers that will enable them to take on most jobs. This is true as long as they take the time to educate themselves sufficiently. They can save a great deal of money by taking on these do it yourself jobs!


Spending Because I Can Afford It

Spending Because I Can Afford ItSome of my friends have this attitude that they have the money and they should spend it now while they can afford it.  They have the attitude that they are spending because I can afford it approach. We were out with another couple at a restaurant were the spouse ordered several dishes and barely touched any of them. I asked her why she ordered all this food and then did not eat it. Her response was, who cares, we can afford it. When I asked her if she was going to take it home for a later meal, her response was, NO, we do not eat left overs! We decided to add this post because it really illustrates how couples can save some money while still enjoying themselves.

Spending Because I Can Afford It – Surprised

My wife and I were really surprised at this brazen display of waste of both food and money. Our parents raised us to enjoy our food, to eat what was in front of us and not to over eat either. We always ate left overs, even from restaurants and just as important we always are careful with our money. We try to really enjoy ourselves but we avoid wasting it too. In this example, you might as well flush $20 or $30 down the toilet!

Why Should We Care About Saving or being Careful with Our Money?

For this couple that we discussed above, they are well off right now, both have jobs and make a good salary between them. They have more money than they need and their kids are out of the house and doing well on their own. So really, if they want to waste some money, why not?

Well it turns out there are lots of reasons to be careful with their money.  These range from loss of their current jobs, sickness in their family, sickness for one of them and causing them not to work, their investments nose dive, their company they work for goes bankrupt and they lose their pension, and any number of other potential conditions that could cause them to have money issues. What would happen if you lost your health insurance?

While we cannot predict any of these situations and we can never save enough money for all situations, some money should be set aside for a rainy day. When you are wasting money it is so easy to save for the future.

Saving Your Money for an Emergency

We do not have any idea if these friends of ours have savings or not and if they have enough to look after them if and when they have some kind of an emergency. Let’s hope that they do.

If they do not and they are spending money in this manner, it is really time to begin saving and make sure they have funds set aside to help them when they are out of work or are dealing with an emergency sickness or some other life style problem.

Everyone should have at least 6 months to 12 months in emergency savings set aside and they should have money set aside for retirement as well. Always diversify your holdings and make sure that you do not invest in some get rich quick scheme.  If you need the money at some point, you want to make sure that your investment is not at a low point which causes you to lose money.

Are they Just Showing Off

Could be that they are trying to show off to try to tell us that they can afford to do whatever they want to do. However in this particular case, I think they have no clue about money in general and investing. This is the same couple who asked me if they should keep their money in GIC’s or just in the bank to make sure they had access to it when they needed it.

They worry at night about losing their money they have saved and have gone to GIC’s instead. When we talked about financial issues, the wife does not even participate, leaving it all up to the husband to decide. She just spends money like it is water. Wow what a situation for home to be in. Glad that it is not me!

I really hope they never need to be concerned about their finances. At the same time, by being a little less frivolous, perhaps having a budget and investing wisely, they could have a lot more and do a lot more to.


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