Hope for your financial life and beyond

All Work and No Play: Combating the Dangers of Workaholism

All work and no playDo not fear. I’m not writing from a snowed in mountain resort lodge. I have to admit for years I assumed the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” came from that Stephen King horror novel turned Jack Nicholson movie thriller The Shining, which mistakenly came in front of my eyes as a youth (thank you older cousins). I say mistakenly because no one under the age of 21 should put that imagery into their head. (And maybe if you are over 21, you shouldn’t either.)

As it turns out the phrase “all work and no play” was originally published in Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659) and is attributed to a writer by the name of James Howell.

The warning of the all work and no play proverb seems clear enough to me. If we don’t release ourselves from the pressures of work from time to time we will become dull and uninteresting. We become like the automated robot on the assembly line who only finds fulfillment in one thing – doing its job. When life becomes our work, we neglect time for hobbies, family, friends, exercise, watching sports, reading, or just plain vegging, all of which could add significant value to life if we let them.

That type of existence doesn’t spark a fire in me at all. Work definitely has value and should be something we take seriously. But life is so much more than working all the time.

So what should people battling with workaholism do? Fortunately, there is a path forward to a better work/life balance.

A Guideline For Work

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Should I Hire An Apartment Rental Manager For My Property?

As I have mentioned here many times before, having a rental property is one of the most lucrative businesses that you can have. It doesn’t matter if it is your full-time passion or a business you do on the side. Owning property and renting it out to others is a great way to bring in income. 

First and foremost, you must always set good strategies to ensure the properties you choose are outstanding. The key strategy with this is finding the ideal locations where you can buy property. Look for areas with good neighborhoods, outstanding school systems, convenient distances from goods and services and easy access to major travel routes. In this way, it will be easy to convince tenants of the value of moving into your property.

As great a business as it can be, managing rental properties or apartments can be hectic, especially if you lack the skills of management. If you feel overwhelmed, I would advise you to use a rental manager who can help you run your property. Of course that comes with a fee for their services. But in the end, it may be a wise move to help you relieve stress, free up your time and actually make you more money. 

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Does God Want Me To Attend College?

Every fall like clockwork, the same ritual happens during the months of August and September – students return to high school. Each year a special group of these students enter their senior year, excited about wrapping up one of the most exciting times of their life thus far. And chief among their thoughts as they start their final year of high school is this question, “Should I go to college or not?”

should i go to collegeFor people of faith, there is an underlying component to this question that sometimes factors into the answer to the college question. That element is this – “Does God want me to go? Does He really care if I attend college or not?” Mom and dad sure have made it clear they think it’s important. They’ve been pounding the table for months to get those applications finished.

But what about God? Does He even have an opinion on college?

To those with no religious inclination this may seem silly. Why consult a higher power at all about a non-spiritual issue like whether or not to attend college? I understand that line of thinking.

However, for those who value their relationship with God, it’s huge for several reasons.

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How to Increase Your Number of Rental Properties Without Losing Your Mind

rental propertiesI’ve written here from time to time about the advantages of owning rental properties. Owning property that other people pay you to use is a great investment that can have significant long-term benefits. Not only do you get extra cash flowing into your monthly budget, but the diversity it brings to your investing portfolio can be very comforting. While stock markets can fluctuate wildly, property generally maintains its value over time.

There comes a time though, when you might be ready to expand the number of rental properties in your portfolio. That first one is the hardest to get. But once you get comfortable with knowing how to run a rental business and have more cash on hand, you may want to increase your number of rental properties.

That sounds like a solid plan in theory. However, with more homes comes more responsibility. The added properties can mean an uptick in maintenance costs, more time spent supervising your rental business and more headaches from problem tenants. These issues can add additional stress to your already busy life.

If this seems overwhelming and gives you pause, never fear. You can successfully add properties to your portfolio. Below are some tips for keeping you sane while building up your rental portfolio.

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How to Prioritize What’s Important When You Make a Budget

I remember the first time my wife and I really tried to make a budget. So many expenses were coming to our mind it was difficult to prioritize which ones were most important. We messed up many things in that first month’s budget and felt really frustrated at our effort.

It didn’t deter us however from trying again…and again…and again. Interestingly enough, we found that after several months of trial and error, certain expenses always drifted to the surface first. It was apparent that we were drawn to some spending categories more readily than others because they represented fundamental needs for our family each month.

So what expenses go first when you make a budget? Then how do you determine what comes next? Today I’m going to outline our five-step thought process as we make a budget each month. Hopefully it will give you some direction as you try to figure out how your hard earned dollars will be allocated.

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AI Improving Banks and ATM Technology

AI, or artificial intelligence, is slowly gaining momentum in its adoption into different industries across the world. For some time the financial industry lagged behind. But no longer. Financial institutions are understanding the value of AI and how it can impact their business.

By embracing digital technology, Companies are learning how to offer clients greater and better solutions to solve and manage their real financial problems. One segment of financial services that is taking advantage of AI is the banking industry. 

AI and the Banking Industry

Here are a few ways AI continues to improve banks and specifically, ATM technology.

Cash Costs

Banks are often at the forefront of meeting their customer needs in the best way possible. For example, ATM software solution providers such as Perativ are encouraging its bank partners to rethink the cost of cash. In many cases, banks ignore their rising costs of holding, transferring, and distributing cash because they do not know about the solutions available. Cash optimization experts in the industry are out to change that.

These strategists offer critical insights in real-time to help their clients make strategic decisions for their ATMs, bank vaults, and more. In this data-centric world, new SaaS companies are leveraging colossal amounts of data to allow their clients to accomplish goals such as saving costs, gaining more revenue, and more. 

Related Content: Emergency Fund Basics: The Step on Which all Other Success is Built

Security

Security is a must for any bank. To that end, banks and ATMs are embracing AI in their surveillance systems. This development assures that clients have a safe and better experience while depositing or withdrawing their cash.

AI-powered surveillance tech can offer things like remote monitoring. It can send any pre-determined patterns that might indicate a high-risk scenario like suspicious ATM tampering.

Additionally, AI cameras within the banks boost protection to tellers as well as incoming clients through facial recognition. It’s a chance to ensure that customers get the best service or identify any blacklisted patron.

Finally in regards to security, the installation of motion detection in restricted areas and bank vaults is a chance to note any suspicious entries during or even after bank operating hours. Thus, banks ensure that their client’s valuables are always safe at all times.

Personalized Service

AI technology in banks and ATMs is a great way to offer a digital transforming service into a customized and personalized service. AI can analyze a clients unique behavior patterns, requirements as well as preferences and then tailor and experience for that particular client.

Through personalized service, banks get a competitive edge. It’s also an opportunity to boost compliance while increasing customer engagement. Through service optimization, there’s overall operational efficiency.

A Conversational Banking Technology Experience

AI in banks is an excellent opportunity to offer a more tailored experience to every client. Artificial intelligence technology provides a fascinating way to deal with different clients appropriately. The AI doesn’t only perform a vast array of tasks at once but also reads into a person’s emotions and enables them to solve the problem before it escalates. AI provides valuable insights to phone agents and bankers, thus maintaining consistency with all matters concerning transactions.  

The fascinating beauty of state-of-the-art AI is that it has enhanced customer experience. With AI technology in place, one can think of cash optimization-based solutions across the banking networks. Thus, one can handle all matters concerning their cash distribution network and beyond.

Leave a Comment Below or Answer a Question: What is your most frustrating thing about going to the bank? What services does your bank provide that you really appreciate? How can banks better serve you? 

The Best Definition of Teamwork You’ll Ever Read

Like all other sports enthusiasts, I am starved for athletic competition right now. In recent months, the spread of COVID-19 has disrupted sports around the world. I’ve always enjoyed playing and watching sports, mostly because it consistently reminds me of what it means to work as a team. That reminder points me back to perhaps the best definition of teamwork I’ve ever heard.

definition of teamworkIronically, the quote is not from someone related to sports. Rather he was a successful businessman turned philanthropist after he generated an incredible fortune in the steel industry. He believed that great wealth was a sacred trust and that the possessor of such wealth was bound to use it for the good of the community.

If you’ve guessed Andrew Carnegie, you’d be correct.

Being a successful businessman, Carnegie must have known something about leading teams. So it’s no surprise he came up with this definition of teamwork:

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Tips for Finding a Wealth Management Firm

If you have been investing for a long time, you may be ready to turn over the responsibility of supervising your portfolio to someone else. For individuals who have amassed a good deal of money, a wealth management firm may be the way to go. Having someone take the burden of investing off of you so that you can devote your time and energy to other endeavors sounds really appealing.

However, you can’t just jump into this quickly. It is important to find a reliable firm before you hire someone. All firms are different. So it’s imperative that you find one that understands the goals and objectives you have for your money and will work to achieve those for you.

With that in mind, here are two very important things you want to look for when vetting your firm.

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Here Are the Top 9 Bible Verses for Teens to Know

It’s challenging being a teen in today’s world. Teens today face so many personal struggles and difficult life situations that they often feel a sense of hopelessness and confusion. Not to mention the daily bombardment of temptations that lure them in the wrong direction. It’s no wonder teens today are dealing with anxiety and depression like never before and are throwing up their hands in despair and saying, “Why even try?” But are there Bible verses for teens to know that could help them with this?

bible verses for teensThe good news I share on a regular basis with my own kids and with the students that I teach is that God doesn’t want teens to feel this way. God wants them to feel strong. They can be filled with hope and be optimistic about the future. All the anxiety and fear can be swept away. And the only way that can happen is to embrace the Word of God and find what they need for life within the pages of the Bible.

The challenge though is knowing where to start. The Bible is a big book. Does God have specific Bible verses for teens to help with something they are facing?

I believe He does.

There are many verses that could be applicable for teens. I’ve boiled it down to 9 to keep it short and simple and to touch on issues I know teens are going through. The great thing is these Bible verses for teens are short and easy to memorize. That will help them have an arsenal of verses to focus on as they go through the challenges of life.

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How to Enjoy a Life of Guilt Free Spending

guilt freeI would love to enjoy a guilt free life, especially when it comes to spending money. Have you ever heard the same voice rattling around in your head that I’ve heard in mine? It usually says something like, “Why did you spend that money? That was stupid! You know you shouldn’t have done that.”

If you’ve had that thought, then you know you spend the rest of the day kicking yourself and feeling like you’ve done something wrong. Additionally, some time during that same day might be spent seeking forgiveness from your spouse, which can always be a tense situation. And to top it all off, you will spend the rest of the month struggling to figure out how to make the budget cover your spending decision.

Guilt is powerful. But have you ever stopped to consider why?

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6 Shocking Things Your Broke Friends Need to Hear You Say

If you’ve ever gotten into conversations with broke friends about money, you know how hard it is to determine if they actually want your help. There are several ways to figure that out and perhaps lead your discussion to a deeper level. If that happens, you’ll learn more about your friend’s financial struggles and perhaps be able to offer some counsel.

However, the counsel part is when it gets really tough. If you’ve had success with money, the answers seem obvious. You know what must be done.

broke friendsChange your habits.

Spend less and save more by following a budget.

Get out of debt.

Invest, invest, and invest some more.

The sad thing is your broke friends might not want to hear any of that. They are in financial trouble for a whole host of diverse reasons. And those reasons have a grip on their life that will make it hard to break free.

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