Costco vs Sam’s Club – Why Not Both?

Posted by Brock | May 22, 2015.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I renewed my executive Costco membership in April. We buy as many food and household products as we can there to make the most of the 2% cash back rewards program.   As a freelance writer I technically own my own business so I also have the business American Express which earns me additional cash back rewards.

Since I’m invested heavily in maximizing my Costco membership, one would think that I would have no use for a Sam’s Club membership.   One could think that, but that would be an incorrect assumption because over the weekend I dropped the $45 needed to renew my Sam’s Club membership.

I had been thinking about the decision for a couple of weeks, and there are a couple of reasons why I wanted to keep my Sam’s Club membership:

  • Meat Department : Sam’s Club has some cuts of meat that Costco doesn’t commonly have in their meat case. For example, the Costco near me does not carry full beef brisket. The only other convenient business that has full briskets is Walmart, but they are usually pretty small, and don’t look very good.
  • Snacks: There are some snacks that I really like at Sam’s that Costco does not carry. One such example is frozen pizza. Costco’s selection of frozen pizza is horrid.

Use It Up Challege: I’m Not Going Grocery Shopping Next Week

Posted by Brock | May 20, 2015.

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Image courtesy of patpitchaya at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I pride myself on my meal planning and grocery shopping efficiency. I used to laugh at the emptiness of the cupboards and the refrigerator as the end of the week, but we always had food for every meal. It was purposeful, it was concise, and it worked.

Somewhere along the way, we got off track a little bit.

I think it started when I decided to start buying a few extra items to give us a extra meal choices each week. Add to that the fact that we’ve been eating out a little more frequently over the last few months and the result has been a slow but steady increase in our food stockpile.

I think our home has hit critical mass. I found it difficult to find room to put last week’s groceries. The freezer in our side-by-side is full, so are the cupboards, and the chest freezer has gotten to the point where I can’t see all the contents because I have to stack food on top of each other. I stated aloud that we could probably go at least a week without buying groceries at all.

The idea has been stewing in my brain all week, and I’ve determined that It’s time to do something about it. Next week the Kernin family is going to live (almost) entirely off of what we already have at home. Before we do meal planning for next week, my wife and I are going to take inventory of what we already have, and then plan the week’s meals using those supplies. The only exception is that we will be allowed to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy. Everything else MUST come from what we already have.


Credentials of Wealth Managers in Geneva

Posted by Clever Dude | May 20, 2015.

Arguably, the most notable wealth management institutions are found in Geneva. The phrase “deposited in a Swiss Bank account” has been effectively branded regardless of the actual institution. In the financial community, those who manage the assets of high net worth individuals (HNIs) operate with different strategies than financial advisors for traditional (average) investors. A wealthy investor often looks for two things when interviewing a prospective manager at a Geneva wealth management bank: track record and credentials.

General Categories of Wealth Managers

The wealthy hire advisors from a range of specialties. They do this in order to manage their retail banking, legal-financial concerns, taxes, estate planning, and long-term investments. Some examples are:

  • Chartered Financial Consultants
  • Certified Financial Planners
  • Chartered Financial Analysts (USA)
  • Chartered Strategic Wealth Professionals (Canada)
  • Chartered Financial Planners (UK)
  • MBAs and other credentialed professional money managers

General Categories of Advisors

It helps by starting with the major categories of financial advisors. They generally fall under the categories of Financial Planner, Wealth Manager, or Broker. In detail, these designations mean:

  • Financial planner – financial planners are held to a high fiduciary standard. They generally hold the CFP credential. Often, insurance providers will call themselves financial planners in order to generate business. True financial planners focus on developing a written financial plan that is executed elsewhere. They make their money through an hourly or project-based fee for the financial plan only. This helps keep them as an unbiased source of information.

5 Things Startup Businesses Should Consider

Posted by James | May 19, 2015.

006e29357f26400892dd5e9a70196e44Creating your business is a big, bold step, and one that needs careful consideration. It’s worth looking before you leap, and this means finding out exactly what you need to know before you need to know it. Here are five things worth looking into before you open your doors.

1. Are You Experienced (and Qualified)?

Just because you’ve worked in the business you’re starting doesn’t necessarily mean you’re qualified to start it. And if you’re breaking into a new business you’ve never worked in before, it can be worthwhile doing some proper research, as well as finding a mentor. A mentor can be someone who’s had their own startup or even just a different set of eyes to bounce ideas off. The important thing is to not go into a startup unprepared and blinded by tunnel vision.

2. Investment and Outlay

Simply put, where’s the money coming from? It’s great if you’ve squirreled enough away to kick off independently, but for most businesses, getting off the ground will require outside capital. Don’t just max out your credit cards; seek appropriate financing, like a dedicated small business loan.

3. Storage

If you’re selling a product, how are you warehousing it? Or if you’re offering a service, how are you storing the items that allow you to deliver those services? Storage and warehousing is one of the biggest and most important investments for your business. There are plenty of companies, such as Elbowroom, that can help with storage and self-managed logistics with options like shelving, pallet racking, and storage containers. Shop around to find a solution that suits your startup.


From Prevention to Compensation: How to Deal With Three Common Injuries

Posted by James | May 18, 2015.

Knowing how to deal with physical injuries is not always easy, especially if you consider that they always happen unexpectedly.

Physical injuries can be a result of countless different reasons, and although you can never be ready for them, it is by all means useful to try to prevent for the most common ones and know how to deal with them – even from an economical point of view.

So here are are three common areas of physical injuries for American citizens and our recommended ways to prevent and deal with them.

Falls

Domestic falls are the leading cause of unintentional home injury deaths, according to the Home Safety Council. They are a particularly common occurrence for the elderly, with around 6 percent of older adults suffering injuries from a fall every year.

Needless to say, falls can have quite dramatic consequences. To prevent them, make sure you have adequate lighting in all of your rooms, and that your carpets are fixed to the floor.

The bathroom is often a scenario for slips: non-skid mats and grab bars are a must around the bath tub and shower. The room’s humidity can make the floors slippery, so a dehumidifier goes a long way in keeping your bathroom a safer place.

Your personal insurance will be the only one that can cover you if you fall in your own property, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them in case that happens.


Save Big At Costco Liquor Stores

Posted by Brock | May 18, 2015.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last year, my wife saved us 10% off a substantial liquor store bill just by asking for a discount. As we prepare for our annual summer kick off party this year, we’ve decided that my wife won’t be doing that again. Not because we don’t want to save money, but because we won’t be purchasing anything from that liquor store this year.

We’ll be fulfilling our alcohol needs by shopping at Costco’s liquor store instead. We were shopping at Costco over the weekend, and decided to stop in their liquor store to compare prices and were astonished at what we found. Here are some examples of the advantages of shopping at the Costco Liquor Store:

  • Captain Morgan Spiced Rum: A 1.75L bottle at our usual liquor store would cost $24.99. At Costco, it cost us $17.99, for a savings of 28%.
  • Risata Moscato d’Asti : My wife loves Moscato, and this is her favorite. We normally pay $15.99 a bottle for this, but at Costco, the price is $11.99. That’s a 25% price difference!
  • Grey Goose Vodka : 1.75L bottles of the Goose are $56 at our local liquor store, but only $42 at Costco. Once again, that’s a 25% price difference.
  • Store Brand: Costco also sells their store brand, Kirkland, versions of different kinds of products including Vodka, Whiskey, Tequila, and wine. I’ve had the vodka and some of the wines, and they’re good quality, and are well priced.