How to Find a Comfortable Amount for your Charitable Monthly Donation

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If you have decided to donate monthly to a charity of your choice, you may now be trying to find a comfortable amount to donate. Charitable giving can make you feel wonderful inside, and it can help you to make a difference in the world even when you are not able to donate your time to a cause that you care about. Whether you have decided to give a monthly donation to children’s charities , disability charities or other types of organizations, you may be trying to find an amount that is comfortable for your budget.

Review Your Budget
Initially, you need to decide on a trial amount for your chirty gifts. Because you want to make a monthly donation on a regular basis, you will need to add this item to your budget as a recurring expense. You may need to cut back on spending in different ways to accommodate the donation. For example, you may need to switch to a more affordable cable plan, cut back on your entertainment budget or make other similar changes.

Set Up an Automated Payment Schedule
Because your charitable giving will take place on a regular schedule, it is wise to set up an automated payment plan through your bank or through the charity that you choose. When you do this, the payment will be made without any effort required on your part. This means that you will not have to remember to make the payment each month. More than that, you also may become accustomed to the money coming out of your bank. After a few months, you may not miss the funds at all.

Make Adjustments
After you have tried out a charitable donation amount for a few months, you may decide that your gift plan was too lofty and expensive for you to maintain on an ongoing basis. Perhaps you have determined that you can afford to give even more than you already are. You can make a small adjustment periodically until you find an amount that is comfortable for you to give. The information on the Christian Blind Mission website may have additional insights and can provide you with further support.

Even a small monthly donation can make a major impact in the world. Your small gift may be used by children’s charities to pay for extra clothing for numerous children each month. Perhaps it will be used by a charity for the poor to buy food for a few families each week. When you make your donation regularly, the charity can begin to count on the funds and can better determine how to use them. Take time to review your budget as a first step in preparing to donate monthly to the charity you choose.

Home Security Systems May Cut Down Insurance Costs

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Protecting a home is a matter of safety. No one wishes to go through the horrible experience of an intruder breaking into a property and threatening those inside. Burglars that target residences that are unoccupied may be less of a threat, but they do inflict financial losses by absconding with property. Home security systems can — and do — cut down on losses associated with property theft. The installation of alarms and cameras presents another way in which homeowners may avoid losses. The installation of security systems could cut down on insurance costs.

Insurance Costs and Risks

Homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect against a number of losses. Theft would be among them. Any property that is at a greater risk of loss is going to suffer from higher insurance rates. Homes located on very busy streets are likely to come with more costly premiums than ones in rural areas. More people means more risks. Similarly, if there have been a number of property crimes and thefts in a particular region, insurance policies are sure to be a bit more costly. While not every insurance company is going to lower premiums on properties with home alarm systems, there are some that will. Maybe switching to these less-costly providers would be a good move for homeowners wishing to cut costs.

Home Security Deters Theft

The reason homeowner’s insurance may be reduced when an alarm system has been installed is because thieves want their job to be an easy one. A home that displays a home security system is not exactly making things easy on an intruder. With so many other homes in the neighborhood without security systems in place, it would not make sense for a burglar to break into the one with the cameras, alarms, and motion detector lights.

With such a deterrence in place, the need to file a claim on a policy is reduced. No theft means no claim. With this in mind, it becomes logical as to why home insurance companies would cut down policy costs for those who install security systems. Unfortunately, not every insurance company will do this. Homeowners are advised to perform the necessary research to determine which ones do.

Costs are Saved

The lowered premium costs may end up offsetting the expenses to acquiring a security setup. Home monitoring systems help with cutting costs another way. Filing an insurance claim does not mean the claim will be approved. Homeowners shouldn’t rely on their insurance policy to mitigate theft losses. A deterrence would be the better, less-expensive strategy. So why not install a quality alarm system as soon as possible?  Visit Chubb Edwards for more information.

Why Your Personal Injury Lawyer’s Specialization Matters

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If you live in a larger town, you may have access to the services of many personal injury lawyers who may vie for the opportunity to represent you in your upcoming case. Some attorneys specialize in the broad niche of personal injury law, taking on all types of cases that fall under this umbrella. Others, however, specialize in a specific area of personal injury law. For example, one personal injury lawyer may specialize in car accident cases, and another may specialize in medical malpractice. It may be in your best interest to hire a skilled, experienced attorney who specializes in a relevant personal injury niche, and there are a few good reasons for this.

Better Understanding of Relevant Laws
Any personal injury lawyer can brush up on their knowledge of different areas of the law in preparation for your case. However, the last thing you may want is for your lawyer to be learning on the fly or using your case to experiment with unproven litigation strategies. The best personal injury lawyer to work with will be knowledgeable about relevant laws related to your case, and he or she will demonstrate his or her legal expertise during the initial consultation. While you can read an online bio to obtain information about the lawyer’s experience and background in a specialized area of personal injury law, your consultation may provide further clarification on the expertise of the lawyer.

Knowledge of Proven Strategies
While knowledge of relevant laws is important, experience in the courtroom is also critical. There is more involved in presenting a successful case in front of a jury than simply reiterating the facts and bringing forth documentation supporting the case. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to present the facts in the best possible light to increase your likelihood of success. There may be proven strategies that he or she has developed through years of case trial that you can benefit from. Your lawyer may even discuss some of the best strategies to use for your case during an initial consultation.

While many individuals who need to file a personal injury lawsuit work in a large enough city that they can easily find a specialized personal injury lawyer, others may not. If you have trouble finding a specialized attorney in your hometown, you may be inclined to work with an attorney who does not have a specialization. While this is one option to consider, you may also want to reach out to attorneys in a larger nearby town to see if they will take your case. Because of how important specialization is to the outcome of your case, this extra effort on your part may be crucial. If you need to consult with a professional, Futerman Partners LLP may be able to provide you with additional information.

Tips on How to Choose the Right Family Lawyer in Canada

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Being in a family sometimes requires a lawyer to handle all the legal issues that might arise. Family lawyers can lend a helping hand in estates, wills, property division, divorce and marriage agreements. It is imperative you hire a family lawyer if you have children, a spouse or old parents who may require extra care. However, many people in Canada often end up in family problems without a lawyer because they think it is a complex process to get one, which is not true. Here are tips on how to choose a lawyer in Canada.

Have a list of needs

Make a list of legal requirements that you may need now and in the future. If you are a young couple, your needs may be different from older ones with grown children and vast wealth. You may want to choose someone who has an experience in all fields of family law. If you have an extensive real estate or other intricate financial assets, you may consider a lawyer who is experienced in family law and tax planning. When you know what you need, it becomes easier to get the right lawyer.

Ask for recommendations

Ask your friends, relatives and family members if they have someone to recommend. Make sure the person you ask has a previous experience with a family lawyer in your state. Ask them about their relationship with the lawyer and whether they liked him or not. Go for at least five recommendations. However, do not settle for recommended lawyers without doing extra research on them.

Do extra research

Go online and see what people say about the prospective lawyers in review platforms. Scan their websites and determine the services they offer and at what price. Check whether they have a list of people you can contact for more information. You can also look into the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website. The organization has a reliable referral service that helps thousands of people to get lawyers every year. They provide free consultations done over the phone for up to 30 minutes.

Schedule interviews

From the research, you should come up with a list of at least three attorneys who you think are most suited for the job. Schedule an interview with each one of them. You can either meet physically or talk over the phone. During the interview, ask them about their level of experience in family law. Get to know more about their previous works and their outcome. This is also the time to know their rates.

Make a decision

From the interviews, you can now settle on one lawyer based on how each one of them answered your questions and handled you. Go with the one you feel most comfortable with. The resources at Matrimonial Home are helpful and can provide you with more information.

How to Get Your Child Psyched About Summer Camp

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You may get warm and fuzzy feelings when you think about sending your child or teen to summer camp, but that may not be the feeling that the child gets at all. In fact, your child may be afraid or even angry at you. He may perceive that you are sending him away to some dreadful place. The following are some tips on how you can get your child in the mood and in the groove to go through camp effectively:

Explain That You Love Him

For some reason, children and teens associate leaving the home with abandonment. Your child may get the impression that you just want to get rid of him, and you are using summer camp as a way to dump him off. Take the time to explain to your child that you love him dearly, but that the summer camp can provide services and activities for him that you cannot provide for him. Let him know that you will miss him when he is gone, but that the two of you need this time apart so you can both grow. Explain that the absence will make him miss and appreciate the home base more. He will come around. Make sure you offer one of those super mom hugs before you send him off. Maybe he will remember that during the time you are separated.

Tell Him About the Activities

One reason that kids sometimes think summer camp is going to be lame is that they don’t know how awesome the activities are going to be. You can solve that problem by showing them the itinerary. Show your child or your teen that they will be involved in water sports, camping trips, wilderness adventures, arts and crafts, musical instruments and the like. Furthermore, let your child know that he or she will have the opportunity to meet some new friends at camp. Your child will absolutely love that idea.

Offer a Bribe

If all else fails, you can try a kiddie bribe. Tell your child that his favorite toy will be waiting for him or the two of you will do your favorite activity together just as soon as he gets back from summer camp. That may work for him. The goal is to give him something to look forward to when he comes back if your attempts to get him to look forward to going don’t work.

Try those three suggestions and see if you can get to a better place with him. Summer camp is an exhilarating place to be for a lot of people. Your child will have a wonderful time there, and he will probably not give you any trouble the following year. If you need to consult with a professional, Camp White Pine may be able to provide you with additional information.

3 Effective Ways to Market Your Baby-Related Business

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If you own your own business in the baby-related industry, you are probably always looking for ways to promote your company and bring in even more business. Luckily, there are many ways of doing so. From getting on social media to attending a baby show or baby expo at a local convention centre, you have a ton of options for raising awareness about your business and bringing in even more interested people.

1. Social Media

First of all, you should consider implementing one of the best, easiest and most affordable ways of marketing a business in today’s world: using social media marketing. Marketing a business on social media can be effective in just about any industry, and it can be particularly beneficial for baby-related businesses. This is because the target demographic for your average baby-related business — young moms of babies and toddlers — are often heavy users of sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Using social media is an affordable option for marketing your business and raising awareness; in fact, you can even get started for free by building and running your own social media profiles.

2. Baby Shows or Baby Conventions

If you have never thought about attending a baby show to market your business, it is definitely something that you should think about. These shows are held all over the country, so chances are good that you will have the opportunity to visit one in your local area. By setting up a booth, you can allow interested individuals to learn more about your business. It’s also a really good way to learn more about the industry and to get to know other people who also have baby-related business and who might be able to help you out.

3. Word of Mouth

So many people don’t even think about the importance of word-of-mouth advertising in today’s world, but the truth is that this kind of advertising can be highly beneficial for any business. By getting young moms to talk about your products — either in-person or on social media — you can greatly increase the number of potential customers who find out about what your baby-related business has to offer. Focusing on things like loyalty or referral programs is a great way to kick start this type of advertising.

As you can see, if you run a baby-related business, there are so many ways that you can market yourself to help bring in profits. Plus, you might find that you get to meet a whole lot of other people are involved in the industry or who have babies of their own along the way, which can make running your business that much more enjoyable.

Share your sterilization experience stories!

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Now that I posted the information on the childfree-friendly doctors, I have been getting a lot of requests for more information about people’s experiences with various procedures (Essure, Vasectomy, etc) and the costs. I know that everyone’s experience and cost will be different, so I decided to start this thread for you all to discuss your experiences.

If you could, briefly, give people an overview of your experiences from IUDs to vasectomies to abortions. Start about by explaining what you had done, how it was done, how much pain or discomfort you were in, what your recovery time was and how soon you felt back to normal. Did you have an complications? If your insurance covered all or part of it, what insurance do you have? If you found some charity or program to help cover the cost, please include that information. If you paid the whole thing outright, how much did it set you back? When talking amongst your friends who have had similar procedures done, what is the average cost of these procedures?

Thanks for helping share this information with the childfree community!

New Rules for Schools

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Note for Non-Americans: I don’t know about your country’s educational system and, don’t take this the wrong way but, frankly I don’t care. No matter how perfect your country and your country’s school system are, it’s not doing me much good to rub my nose in it. So for today we’re going to talk about the United States school system.

Note for Uptight People with No Senses of Humor: I’m just having fun here. No one would ever actually implement my ideas in a million years so unpucker your assholes and stop fretting about it. I just thought this would be some fun hypotheticals to play with. Relax and enjoy or just roll your eyes and go read dooce or something.

I know everyone is mad at me for not posting much the last few months. I’ve been preoccupied with real-life hassles, novel projects and watching too much (American) political news that is, for the most part, frustrating as hell. I apologize for being neglectful and rather cranky lately.

Without getting too political, I want to talk about my ideas of how to solve the school budget problems. Listen up, these are good!

Idea #1: Governors, don’t cut your school budget by a billion dollars so you can give that money to your cronies! Voters, don’t vote for governors who cut the school budget so they can give kickbacks to their wealthy, corporate friends!

Idea #2: No more public schools. None. I figure in the scheme of things, we should have free universal health care before free public schools. Take money from school budgets and put it into a new, public health care system. After all, clearly people CAN homeschool (I’m not saying they do it well, but they CAN do it) yet few people can give their child or spouse an appendectomy from home. I could try, but I think my husband might not be too pleased with the results.

I know, I know! You’re all crying, “But we don’t want an uneducated populace!” I have news for you. We DO have an uneducated populace. The only difference is: we’re payingfor them to be uneducated. Today’s high school graduates are functionally illiterate! We’re paying for a ridiculously overpriced pizza that never gets delivered!!

But fine: Have a whiney-ass tantrum and say we can’t do away with schools because not all parents want to homeschool; it might cut into their time club hopping. Okay, fine. I have a backup plan that is even more genius.

Idea #3: Get rid of public schools. Not public education, just the school buildings. Or at least most of them. Think about how much could be saved every year if we shut down the majority of the school buildings! We could save all the maintenance, landscaping and janitorial costs, the electricity, water, heat, and air conditioning costs, and think of all the savings on the bus program, especially now that gas is so damned expensive! Yes, I do feel bad for the people who lose their jobs (such as janitors and bus drivers), but think of how much money is wasted in those areas alone?

My alternative to school buildings is distance learning like they do in many colleges. Have the kids log in and do their coursework online. They can log in to chat for tutoring. They can have instructional videos to teach them and maybe even video conferencing on certain dates and times. True, the school system might have to provide all students with laptops or iPads/tablets (and the data plan) for this to work. While I’m no economist, I’m fairly certain that is still cheaper than what we’re doing now.

Yes, we’d still need a few buildings for various things, such as administration and testing (the way I figure it, students might have to come in one or two half-days a month for testing, and they could stagger the blocks of students that come in so they wouldn’t all come in on the same day), but we’d need far fewer school buildings, thus saving us a lot of money.

(Locally they want to build yet another new school and can you tell I’m bitter about having to pay for it? I’m not the one irresponsibly breeding, creating the over-crowding problem in schools! I’m actually SAVING them money by NOT putting more kids into the system – I deserve a refund!! But that’s a rant for another day.)

This plan would put more of the burden on parents for their children’s education, which is where it belongs anyway. The single biggest problem (outside of budgets) facing schools is parents. Either parents who don’t want to be involved and don’t give a shit if their kid is failing OR the parents who think their child is super-special and should automatically be given As for everything (even if the A is terribly undeserved), they think their kid shouldn’t be given too much homework, they don’t like what is being taught or try to dictate what is being taught, or any other ridiculous complaints that hinder the educational process.

With my plan, parents wouldn’t exactly have to teach the kids (that’s what the online courses would be for), but they would have to monitor the children to see if they are doing their homework and keeping up, they would be responsible for focusing on any areas their children might be having problems with and bring it to the teacher’s attention or arrange for enrollment in a tutoring program. But from now on, if their child “fell through the cracks” it would be because they weren’t paying enough attention. No more blaming everyone else for that.

Yes, I know some parents have jobs and think they are too busy to do this, but how many hours a day would it take to review their children’s homework progress? It’s not an eight-hour job and it’s something they should be doing anyway!

Bonuses of this idea: no more complaining the school cafeterias serving crappy lunches, complaining about the cost of school clothes or supplies, no more demanding prayer and the ten commandments be in the schools, etc.

Even better bonus: There would be a wider range of elective courses for kids to take, since they wouldn’t necessarily be limited to just the classes offered at the local high school. Maybe a student wants to learn Russian — I’m sure we could find a Russian class being taught somewhere in the U.S. for them to enroll in.

There are three valid drawbacks I see to this plan:

Drawback 1: What are we going to do about kids who constantly break, lose, sell, etc. their free laptops/iPads? Many kids today are just plain irresponsible and destroy everything you hand them because they just don’t give a shit. It could get horribly expensive if the school needs to continually replace these items. I suppose we could say each kid is allowed one replacement item every two or three years, and if they continue to destroy/lose the equipment, they will just have to start handwriting all their assignments and mail them in like Netflix. How does that sound?

(If the item was defective or needing routine repairs, that wouldn’t count against their one replacement item.)

Drawback 2: A bigger problem I see with this option is that there would be a socialization problem. I know lots of people hated everyone they ever went to school with would think that never having to go to school and interact with anyone else is grand, but it really IS a problem. As much as pro-homeschoolers try to claim their kids are perfect geniuses who have perfect social skills… I’ve never met those kids. The homeschooled kids I’ve met were socially awkward or absolute narcissists who believed the world revolved around them. If we don’t send kids to school, they will miss out on a lot of social lessons. Here is an abbreviated list of things kids learn from school socialization:

 

  • that the world doesn’t entirely revolve around them
  • that not everyone they meet is going to be someone they like or who likes them, and that’s okay
  • socially acceptable behavior (bathe occasionally, chew with your mouth closed, etc)
  • a sense of humor (one homeschool kid I met seriously had no sense of humor, didn’t understand sarcasm, etc. It was painful to have a conversation with her because she took everything oh-so-seriously)
  • how to interact with their peers, to overcome shyness and fear of rejection
  • being exposed to other ideas than the ones their learn at home (especially a problem for religiously homeschooled kids who often don’t meet anyone outside their church group)
  • tolerance for groups other than their own.

 

This lack of socialization problem a big drawback. Sure, if we went to distance-learning for children, they might still socialize with other kids in their church group, ballet class, soccer practice, etc. but not all of them will, and even the ones who do might be missing a lot of that “being exposed to other ideas” part.

Drawback 2: Some kids come from bad home environments, and they really need to go to school to get away from that. However, maybe these children just need to be removed from those environments altogether.

Other criticisms I’ll hear, but might not be as valid:

Criticism 1 – Kids will no longer get free meals! The free meal program has always pissed me off because it’s unduly punishing the taxpayer and responsible parents and gives a benefits to irresponsible parents who would rather spend their money on booze and cigarettes than feed their children. Yes, I understand that the kids get punished if the rest of us refuse to cough up the dough to feed them, but isn’t there a better solution? Why is it that the parents of these kids with free lunches always have fancier cell phones than I do? And every video gaming system known to man? How do those kids survive to even be school aged if their parents never feed them?

I’m just rather tired of society constantly giving parents a free pass on everything. No one can criticize them for having children they can’t afford. No one can criticize parents who don’t feed their kids. No one can criticize parents who refuse to discipline their children. It’s got to stop. Maybe if we held parents to a higher standard, future generations would be far better off.

Criticism 2 – No more free daycare. Most parents today use schools as glorified day care centers. Well, too bad! Society does not owe them free day care. Taxpayers should not pay higher taxes for the sole reason that parents want their kids to be someone else’s problem eight hours a day.

It’s not that I don’t feel for working parents, but we still shouldn’t have to pay for their (very expensive) daycare. I have no sympathy for the unemployed mothers who look forward to the end of summer vacation so they don’t have to watch their own kids all day.

There are several solutions to this problem, but we’ll leave that to the parents to figure out. One idea off the top of my head is churches. Obviously this wouldn’t work so well for atheist kids, but most religious people have some sort of church building. These buildings sit around empty most of the week. Why don’t the churches sponsor school-aged day care for their parishioners? Yes, one could argue that those kids will be getting brainwashed while being educated, but if the parents already attend that church, apparently they are fine with the brainwashing. They wouldn’t need to employ teachers, just someone to supervise the kids, make sure they are doing their work and keep them from burning down the joint.

Another idea: It takes a village, right? So reach out to the village: friends, neighbors and relatives could watch your kids while they sit around doing their homework. There are plenty of unemployed mothers today. Of course, they generally don’t want to watch their own kids, let alone others, but maybe they need to grow up. It’s not like these are infants who need to be fed, burped, and diapered all day long. You just have to sit the kid down to do his lessons and make sure he doesn’t Darwinize himself for a few hours.

Mostly this no-free-daycare problem shouldn’t be a problem for long. I probably wouldn’t leave five, six or seven-year-olds alone all day, but once a kid gets to be about eight or nine, they should be able to stay home alone without burning down the joint or letting a child molester in. In my day, by third grade kids could stay home alone if they were sick. Of course, in my day, children might have been more mature and responsible, too. If kids turn out to be too immature and irresponsible to leave at home, it’s the parent’s fault for raising them that way. Anyway, eventually, when the older kids are old enough, they can at least supervise the younger siblings and keep them from burning down the joint and letting molesters in.

Criticism 3 – Kids not doing homework while home alone, but rather playing games and/or watching TV all day. Well, it’s good training to be an unemployed parent some day! Seriously, though, parents CAN set parental controls on the TV/DVR, they can lock up the video game systems or not have them at all, or whatever else needs to be done to keep the kids from being too distracted. Or they can arrange for someone else to watch the kids during the day if they really think the kids need supervision. As long as tax payers don’t have to pay for it.

Criticism 4 – Some parents will complain that they don’t want the responsibility of making sure their kids are doing well in school. Too bad! Don’t have kids if you don’t want responsibility!

Criticism 5 I realize a lot of people are going to complain about child welfare and how a system like this is ripe for parents to abuse their kids by neglecting their education, not feeding them, and no teacher involved to witness signs of physical abuse, among other things. That’s a good point. Although, it’s not that much different from a homeschool child now. No one knows if children who are getting homeschooled are getting fed, if they are being physically abused or even if they are getting a decent education, either. (I know homeschooling advocates love to claim homeschooled kids are 900x smarter and better educated than public school kids, but you have not heard the horror stories I’ve heard! One whack job relative told me their “homeschooling curriculum” for that semester was history (only history, nothing else) and that their text books were (I shit you not) Janette Oke books. There is no way those kids got a real education! Since those kids only got into non-accredited bible colleges, I’m going to assume that is true.)

Fine, this might be a valid point, but perhaps the money we are saving from paying for all the school buildings and buses, we could pour into improving and possibly expanding the Child Protective Services program to monitor such issues.

While this plan has absolutely ZERO or close chance of being implemented, why don’t we discuss it just for fun. What else should we consider. Go ahead and disagree and propose alternatives; I expect you to comment with all the holes in my theory or come up with better ideas! After all, I’m not too bright and I’ve only spent one day working on this theory. Argue amongst yourselves what may or may not work. But again, it’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, so just playwith the idea. Might be fun.

BONUS IDEA: How about we implement a new system that says parents only get the child-tax credit on their tax refunds if their kids get good grades in school (B average or higher). No reason to reward them for not doing their job!