Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Driving On Facebook Highway

By now everyone in the world has their own FB profile page. Whether it's used for business or pleasure, everyone has decided to put themselves on blast...pubic, so to speak, LITERALLY for others in the world to see and read.

As with anything that seems new, exciting and appealing, there are often the cons that come with being part of the 'social media' world. Sadly, we hear of suicides as the results of being bullied, talked about, exploited as well as the end of friendships and marriages. On the other side, long-lost family members, school-age friends and acquaintances become reunited.

Can something that seems so innocent and fun be wrong? Three letters spelled out: YES.

If you are an avid FB user, make sure your privacy settings are set to where you know who's accessing your profile and what they can, see, post, etc. Remember to 'Treat Others As You Wish to Be Treated' when accessing and posting others' profile page. Taking the Facebook drive can be a pleasant experience - if you have on your mental and moral seat belt.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Bill Collector?

As individuals who pay bills to different creditors, they have a right to collect their money but when it comes to HOW they request their money, we have rights in that regard as well.

The finance company repeatedly called my place of employment, my work-colleagues and my cell phone within a 24 hour time period leaving messages. I informed them that I was in training and would be available after a certain time - but they still continued their harassing, demanding phone calls and it's not right. In fact, it's against the law.

After having a recent experience with a local finance company, I decided to do my homework online and found that this company is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection/Practices Act. This law initially originated in 1977 but it's hardly known. It's time everyone knows about it and uses it to their advantage.

Debt collectors thrive on employing scare tactics against individuals who owe them money. I've personally learned that you don't have to be scared of them. There are reasonable ways to settle debts and disputes; not with threats and harassment but with patience and professionalism. None of us has to be a victim anymore....who's afraid of the "Big, Bad, Bill Collector?'

....not me, and neither should you!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Caution on Craigslist Part #2

I've lately been seeing the need to buy and sell on Craigslist. Why? It can result in a fast sale whether you're buying or selling merchandise. If you have a particular service you can offer or are in need of, you can also find immediate results.

There are additional dos and don'ts when conducting business on Craigslist:

1. If you are selling a product, list specific details about the item you're selling. For instance, if you are selling a computer, list the specifications about the computer: Make, model, operating system, components, etc. This will prevent un-necessary email and phone calls from people who may ask the same question.
2. It's also good to include in the ad if you are willing to negotiate on the price. Generally, people who are looking to purchase something on Craigslist, do NOT have a lot of $ to spend. Be reasonable and open to lowering your asking price. If you decide to keep the price, you may wind up losing a potential buyer who may wind up finding a cheaper and better deal than yours.
3. If you are looking for a quick sale, you may want to include a direct contact number. Doing this will prevent numerous email messages from appearing in your inbox. People who are serious about a purchase will want to contact you to speak to you directly instead of trading email messages.
4. Whether you are buying or selling, never put in your home address in your Craigslist ad. This will prevent an unexpected visit from someone to your home. Doing this is very dangerous!
5. Whether you are buying or selling, the final agreement and exchange should be made in a public setting; local store (7-Eleven, Barnes & Noble, etc) or mall area where other people are always around. It it also a good idea to have someone with you when you meet a potential buyer/seller. This is ideal in cases where the product is too large for a simple exchange, such as furniture.
6. If you are a buyer/seller and you've expressed interest in a product, specific arrangements have been made on pricing and location, it is only fair to keep your word and show up. If you have questions, second thoughts or you've decided not to keep the keep the appointment let the seller know beforehand instead not showing up or communicating with them. Would you like it if the someone did the same thing to you?
7. If you are offering or requesting a service, be HONEST in your ad. It is not good to mislead individuals into thinking they may have a chance at a legitimate job position or another opportunity, such as a auto loan. Steering individuals this way can also lead to serious and legal consequences.

Be specific, be clear, be reasonable, be fair,

These are just some dos and don'ts. There may be of others you can think of. Regardless of how we do business on Craigslist and who we do business with, there's always a need for caution when we choose to do so.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hope for the Unemployed?

According the latest news in unemployment benefits, over 1 billion individuals could be out of their benefits in addition to continuing to be out of work.

And people say and believe that the recession is over and the economy is getting better?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Need a Job, Any Job!

With the government recently deciding to increase unemployment benefits, this still does not seem like the final answer to deal with hundreds, thousands of people being out of work.

I personally know of people that have been out of work for several months; networking, circulating their resume but still not getting any feedback. Major companies continue to use agencies to outsource or contract their work to that the employee gets a low pay, no benefits and having to have a title as a contractor or a temp - but for the short term, it may not be a bad idea.
Click on the link below to find out why.

With the struggling economy not seeming to get any better, we may have to readjust our attitudes about what type of employment to accept. With more people out of work, this means more resumes that the agencies and head-hunters are getting which also means more people to choose from which usually means the difference between getting that phone call for the job we just applied to or not.

Instead of being picky as to the type of job we WANT to have, we may need to chose a lower paying job because it's what we NEED to do to pay our bills and other expenses.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is Cash-For-Clunkers Clunking Out?

Everyone and everything needs a bailout: banks, auto industry and other various types of programs - run by the government and why is that? Is the result of helping the economy or bad decision-making?

The CARS program was started in July and millions of people took advantage of it, but as it's being reported lately in the news, both car dealerships and customers are the ones being taken advantage of. If you want to protect yourself from getting caught up in the CARS program 'fever' and protect yourself, check out this recent link from US News.

The CARS program may be good for some people, but as the program nears to an end, it's proving to do more harm than good. It may help some people who, at one time, couldn't afford a new car but now they have another bill and more debt that they're going to be responsible for, for the next 4-6 years.

Someone correct me but I thought the program was ending in November. But according to recent reports as of yesterday, it will be ending a few months early - because the money to fund the program has run out. Is this really a surprise?

Is it worth it for you? Actually it may be too late and that may not be a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fun times in the Summertime

I was sharing an elevator with a woman and I started saying how nice it is outside. She then asks 'Yes, but is it hot outside?' I immediately said 'yes, compared to 20-degrees, January weather'. She just looked at me and nodded and then I started thinking, it's August, it's supposed to be hot'.

Do we get into the routine of saying that it's too hot in the summer and it's too cold in the winter? Is that normal for us? Aren't we glad that we do have the change in seasons and what's even better, there are so many things that we can do to enjoy our seasons.

Despite the tough economy, there are plenty of inexpensive things that can be done on a hot, summer day:

1. If you like the outdoors (like me) and if the humidity isn't too much for you, get some ice cream or a nice cold drink (winter, lemonade, iced tea, etc.) and go the park, sit, relax and enjoy the scenery, people watch or bring a lawn chair and your favorite book to read.

2. Have a bar-b-que - invite some friends over or you can all meet in the park and have each of your guests bring something: food to grill, rolls, drinks, paper products, etc. - if you do it this way, everyone has a share and it's less $ that you have to worry about spending. Have someone bring some music as well as some games that can be played.

3. If you have a bike, scooter or motorcyle, leave the car or suv at home, save gas and take a ride and venture out where you've never been before. Take the time to discover new routes and places and landmarks.

4. If you swim and have a pool or live near one, take advantage of the hot weather and and go for a nice, cool dip in the water. It's good exercise and it's very refreshing.

5. If it's too hot/humid for you to be outside during the day, wait until early evening before you go outside. Sitting outside in the front or back of your house, apartment, condo, etc. during this time is very relaxing and it helps you sleep better at night.

You can probably think of more summertime activities to do but as long as it's fun, clean and safe, everyone can have an enjoyable summer!