10 Steps To Save Your Retirement

Many of the brightest and hardest-working marketing and advertising people in the country are obsessed with getting you to spend money and, if necessary, to go into debt to do so. Absolutely all the media that reach you every day are designed to get you to spend money. In order to save money in this environment, you will need determination to withstand the constant pressures to spend now.

What is it that separates those who are successful from those who are not?

Successful individuals have a strong personal vision of what they want and why they want it. That vision gives them the strength to stick to their strategies even when doing so is uncomfortable. It gives them the determination to persist when they are discouraged. This is the same characteristic of women entrepreneurs and is the reason their new, small businesses are successful.

The 401k Plan

Today, the 401(k) plan has become the main investment vehicle for working women to save for retirement. But many don’t take full advantage of their plan, and this could leave them with a lot less at retirement. Here are some steps we believe you can take to improve and eliminate any retirement worries about whether or not your retirement will be pleasurable or public charity; or whether you will have all the free time to spend with your family or friends.

1. Increase your contributions to the maximum that you can manage. Many women contribute just enough to take advantage of their employer’s matching contributions, and then they stop. By adding more to your account, beyond the matching contributions, you’ll end up with more in retirement.

2. Invest at the start of each year instead of taking a little bit out of each paycheck. Nothing in the law says you have to invest in a 401(k) plan a little at a time, from each paycheck. By investing early, you’ll put your money to work sooner for your benefit.

3. A few years ago it was reported that more than 30 percent of the money in 401(k) plans was invested in money-market funds or similar accounts. For investors nearing retirement, that may be appropriate. But most workers in their 40’s and 50’s need growth in their retirement investments. Put more of your investment fund in equities and less in money-market funds.

4. Research indicates that over long periods of time, small-company stocks outperform large-company stocks. Since 1926, In the equity part of your portfolio, shift some of your money into funds that invest in small companies. Don’t put your entire equity portfolio in small-company stocks. But consider investing at least 25 percent of your U.S. equity investments in that fund.

5. Numerous studies have shown that value stocks outperform growth stocks. According to data going back to 1964, large U.S. value companies had a compound rate of return of 15.1 percent vs. only 11.4 percent for large U.S. growth companies. Among small U.S. companies, the difference was even more striking: a compound return of 17.4 percent for the value stocks vs. 12.1 percent for the growth stocks. Don’t put your entire equity portfolio into value stocks. But if there’s a value fund available to you, consider investing at least 25 percent of your U.S. equity investments in that fund.

6.Rebalance your portfolio once a year. Your asset allocation plan calls for a certain percentage to be invested in each of several kinds of assets. Rebalancing restores your asset balance and allows for the possibility that last year’s losers may be this year’s gainers. Diluting your diversification actually increases risk in your portfolio over time, which is a result that’s just the opposite of what most investors want.

7.Without compromising proper asset allocation– use the funds in your plan that have the lowest operating expenses. Choose funds with low turnover in their portfolios.

8. Don’t borrow or make early withdrawals from your 401(k) unless that is the only way to respond to a life-threatening emergency. Furthermore, if you take an early withdrawal before you are 59.5 years old, your withdrawals will be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty (in addition to regular taxes) unless you are disabled. Just don’t do it.

9. If you leave your job, you’ll get a chance to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA. Take that chance. In an IRA, you have the same tax deferral as a 401(k), and you’ll have the flexibility to invest in virtually everything you can get in a 401(k), plus much more.

10. Here’s the most important thing you can do to maximize your 401(k): Keep your contributions automatically payroll deducted, and make them no matter what. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Half of the households in the United States have net worth of $25,000 or less. In a typical year, about two-thirds of U.S. households do not save money.

Remember, to be successful, first, imagine your early retirement; the Caribbean condo, the yacht, the new Lexus. Luxury and pleasure as far as your eyes can see. Create a strong vision, and then don’t let go. The power of a clear, strong vision applies to more than just your retirement savings. Let your vision shape your life, instead of the other way around, and all of the time in the world can be yours. You won’t be spending your Golden Years working at the Golden Arches.

10 Tips To Shopping For The Perfect Athletic Shoes

If you are active in exercising, hiking, sports or any other type of physical activity that requires you to be on your feet often, athletic shoes are a must. These shoes are designed for comfort and support, durability and promise to withstand plenty of use. With a few simple tips, you will be ready to shop for athletic shoes and will soon be stepping out with confidence.

Comfort. The first thing to consider with any footwear, including athletic shoes, is comfort. If a shoe isn’t comfortable, there is no use in wearing it. Blisters, balance problems and overall discomfort are the result of poorly fitting shoes.

Affordability. Just because you are looking for a new pair of athletic shoes, there’s no reason to empty the bank account in doing so. Quality athletic shoes can be comfortable and affordable at the same time. By shopping around and comparing prices, you will find the perfect athletic shoes at the perfect price.

Durability. A good pair of shoes must be durable and able to withstand various weather conditions, including rain. The worst thing to have in a rain storm is leaky shoes, which is why durability is part of a quality pair of athletic shoes.

Design. Everyone wants a shoe that looks good, which is why design is very important. In selecting a color scheme that suits your taste and lifestyle, you will not only feel good in your new athletic shoes, but you will look good too.

Versatility. One of the most important factors of shoe selection is versatility. Will the shoes work with your daily exercise regimen and look equally snazzy with your favorite pair of jeans? Athletic shoes are a terrific compliment to blue jeans for a classic look.

Support. Every good athletic shoe has support. It should cradle the foot and make it feel as if every step is one of leisure. Support is very important, especially if you are involved in a lot of walking or running. In either of these instances, your feet really take a pounding on the pavement. Athletic shoes that feature support are noticeable immediately during wear.

Know what you are buying. Always purchase from a reputable, authorized athletic shoe retailer. There are a lot of imitation products out there, including clothing and footwear. Buying from an authorized retailer will eliminate the chances of buying fake merchandise.

Try before you buy. If you are purchasing locally, go in and sample several pairs of athletic shoes. Try them on, take a few steps and move your foot around inside the shoe. In making sure that you have ease of movement and a proper fit, you will be much happier with your purchase.

Layaway. Certain brands of athletic shoes can be expensive, which is why layaway is often a popular option for anyone who doesn’t have quite enough cash to pay upfront. Even if it’s just to secure a purchase until payday, layaway programs offer customers with the opportunity to own the perfect pair of athletic shoes.

Make sure the shoe fits with your lifestyle. Avoid purchasing anything that doesn’t really fit your schedule. Athletic shoes are designed to work with you and your level of activity.

Choosing Footwear – Why Choose Sandals

Why wear sandals? This question comes up on so many occasions. It is like there are rules to the etiquette of sandal wear. Can you wear socks with sandals? Dress wear and sandals? Can you golf in sandals? Many people have their interpretation of when sandal wear is appropriate. In many countries and especially where there is a beach culture, sandals are the footwear of choice year-round.

The benefits of wearing sandals on your feet vary to the activities that you are interested in. Sandals obviously do not suffice for any activity that requires proper foot protection. Flip flops are great for using in public areas and can protect your feet from fungal infections, warts, and lacerations. They are great for wearing indoor as well and takes only seconds to put on or take off.

Sandals are stylish. At the beach, at parties or even at business meetings, there is a wide range of sandals that are available. From bright colored flip flops, to the strappy high heel, to casual wedge-style platforms, there are enough styles out there to suit any occasion.

There are many types of sandals on the market today that not only look good, they keep your feet happy with good ventilation and foot circulation. Sandals are even making winter appearances in cooler climate areas. Name brands such as O’Neill and Sanuk are beginning to produce sandals with quilted flannel and fleece attached to straps, or stitched wool socks lined in polo fleece for the die-hard sandal wearer.

The sandal industry has substantially increased in the last few years. Stats from March 2006 indicate that the sandal industry rose 13 % to 7.4 billion dollars nationwide in just one year. Sandals have now expanded to nearly one-fifth of the footwear market.

Shopping for sandals is quite easy. Most local shoe stores will have a small selection. You can pick up a cheap pair in a department store or even in some grocery stores. You also have the option of shopping online from a wide variety of sandals from any brand. As most sandal models have adjustable straps, you can be confident in your online purchase. You can choose from literally thousands of different sandal models. Check out some online today.

Clothing Your Children

It is lovely to see well dressed children particularly small children who can look cute and fashionable at the same time. Babies have no say in what we dress them up in so we can be as flamboyant or simplistic as we like!

Specialist shops are in abundance nowadays with prices ranging from sensible to the ridiculous. A small child has no concept of wearing designer clothes only the parent. Whether the clothes be cheap and cheerful or expensive and chic, babies and toddlers will still make a mess while eating, crawling and generally doing things small children do!

No matter how much or how little you spend, clothes still need to be practical. For anyone who has had the pleasure of dressing a wriggling baby or toddler, the buttons and zips definitely need to be in the right places. Time is limited when dressing or undressing your child so fiddly buttons and badly positioned zips and ties are a definite no no! Easy access via poppers especially in baby’s trousers is an excellent invention. Just think how much time it takes to put kicking legs into a pair of trousers!

Babies grow at an incredible rate so one doesn’t have to worry much about clothes being worn out, they tend to be outgrown and still in beautiful condition. This is great if you are possibly going to have more children or have someone with a smaller baby to pass clothes on to. Definitely a money saver if you are on the receiving end of another parents generosity.

Toddlers are wonderful little people who you can still dress to look cute – until they suddenly start to become independent and pick their own clothes. When they are at this stage you can forget looking stylish and fashionable, toddlers tend not to have any colour co-ordination or dress sense – be warned!

Early school years can be really simple, as most of the time the child will spend wearing a school uniform. Clothing your child is easier though it can be expensive depending on where you buy the uniform. Most of us buy at least a size bigger blazer or trousers so that the child ‘can grow into them’, this can cause embarrassment to our children. Be diplomatic and not too enthusiastic about your child’s growing abilities.

The wonderful teenage years! – A clothing nightmare. Just when you thought that purchasing a school uniform was simple you find out to the contrary. Your teenager suddenly must have designer named shoes, trainers, trousers – whatever they wear has to have the latest logo emblazoned on the front or back. Buying labels and sewing them on won’t work, teenagers may be difficult but they are not easily fooled.

At the end of the day, buy what you can afford, make sure the clothes are reasonable hard wearing and put together properly.

Dressing smaller children should be practical, it seems silly putting a pretty dress on a crawling baby as they will probably come to a stand still if they keep putting their knees onto the dress! As to dressing teenagers, well that is another matter, birthdays and Christmas come in handy for purchasing expensive clothes or trainers as presents, this can often be a good compromise.

Trends chop and change like the wind for teenagers so while your child is small enjoy dressing them up in colourful tasteful clothes that you have chosen, they at least won’t worry about losing their street cred!

A Clothes Encounter In The Business World

Do you ever wonder where all the dress rules have gone? Depending on when and where you are on any given business day, the words “distant past” might come to mind. It’s difficult to decide if people don’t know what to wear to work or if they have lost sight of the relevance of appearance to professional success.

The Queen of England is reported to have told Prince Charles, “Dress gives one the outward sign from which people can judge the inward state of mind. One they can see, the other they cannot.” Clearly, she was saying what many people are reluctant to accept; that people judge us by the way we dress. In all situations, business and social, our outward appearance sends a message.

Try going to a busy restaurant at lunchtime. Look around you at what people are wearing and see if you don’t make judgments about who they are, their line of business, their personalities and their competencies. Think about how you feel when you are dressed in your usual business attire as opposed to casual dress. Your choice of business apparel speaks to your professional behavior and credibility. It is important to understand how to dress for business if you wish to promote yourself and your organization in a positive manner,

How you dress depends on four factors: the industry in which you work, the job you have within that industry, the geographic area in which you live; and most importantly, what your client expects to see.

Professional Dress for Men

In men’s clothing, fashion does not change significantly from season to season but business attire is about being professional and not about being fashionable. It’s about presenting yourself in a way that makes your clients feel comfortable and confident with you. Dressing for success is still the rule. The professional businessman should keep in mind these few points when deciding what to wear to work.

Choose a conservative suit in navy, black or gray either pinstripe or solid. The quality of the material speaks as loudly as the color and can make the difference between sleaze and suave.

A solid white or blue dress shirt with long sleeves offers the most polished look. The more pattern and color you add, the more the focus is on your clothing, rather than your professionalism.

Ties should be made of silk or a silk-like fabric. Avoid the cartoon characters and go for simple and subtle if you want to enhance your credibility.

Socks should be calf-length or above. Make sure they match not only what you are wearing, but also each other. A quick glance in good light before heading out the door can save embarrassment later in the day. Check for holes as well if you’ll be going through airport security and removing your shoes.

Shoes should without question be conservative, clean and well polished. Lace-up shoes are the choice over slip-ons or flip flops. Don’t think for a minute that people don’t notice shoes. Many people will look at your feet before your face.

Belts need to match or closely coordinate with your shoes. Once again, quality counts.

Keep jewelry to a minimum. In a time when men sport gold necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the business professional should limit himself to a conservative watch, a wedding band and maybe his college ring.

Personal hygiene is part of the success equation. Freshly scrubbed wins out over heavily fragranced any day of the week. Save the after-shave for after hours, but never the shave itself.

The finishing touch for the business man is his choice of accessories: briefcase, portfolio and pen. When it comes to sealing the deal, a top of the line suit, a silk tie and a good pair of leather shoes can lose their affect when you pull out the ball point pen you picked up in the hotel meeting room the day before.

Professional Dress for Women

When women entered the workplace in the 1970’s and 1980’s in greater numbers than ever before and began to move into positions which had traditionally been held by men, many of them believed that they needed to imitate male business attire. The result was women showing up at the office in skirted suits or coordinated skirts and jackets with tailored blouses finished off with an accessory item that looked very much like a man’s tie. Happily those days are gone. While the business woman may now wear trousers to work, she does it out of a desire to appear professional and at the same time enjoy the flexibility and comfort that pants offer over skirts. Her goal is no longer to mirror her male colleagues.

The same overall rules apply to women’s work attire as apply to men’s. Business clothing is not a reflection of the latest fashion trend. A woman should be noticed for who she is and her professional skills rather than for what she wears. Her business wear should be appropriate for her industry and her position or title within the industry.

Start with a skirted suit or pants suit for the most conservative look. A skirted suit is the most professional. With a few exceptions, dresses do not offer the same credibility unless they are accompanied by matching jackets.

Skirts should be knee-length or slightly above or below. Avoid extremes. A skirt more than two inches above the knee raises eyebrows and questions.

Pants should break at the top of the foot or shoe. While Capri pants and their fashion cousins that come in assorted lengths from mid-calf to ankle are the latest trend, they are out of place in the conservative business environment.

Blouses and sweaters provide color and variety to woman’s clothing, but they should be appealing rather than revealing. Inappropriate necklines and waistlines can give the wrong impression.

Women need to wear hose in the business world. Neutral or flesh-tone stockings are the best choices. Never wear dark hose with light-colored clothing or shoes. Keep an extra pair of stockings in your desk drawer unless the hosiery store is next door or just down the street from the office.

Faces, not feet, should be the focal point in business so chose conservative shoes. A low heel is more professional than flats or high heels. In spite of current fashion and the sandal rage, open-toed or backless shoes are not office attire. Not only are sandals a safety hazard, they suggest a certain official agenda.

When it comes to accessories and jewelry, less is once again more. Keep it simple: one ring per hand, one earring per ear. Accessories should reflect your personality, not diminish your credibility.

Business attire is different from weekend and evening wear. Investing in a good business wardrobe is an investment in your professional future. For those who think it’s not what you wear but who you are that creates success, give that some more thought. Business skills and experience count, but so does personal appearance and that all-important first impression.

© 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.

How to Choose the Best Hair Stylist for You

Every now and then we have to choose something in our lives. It may be a dress, a car, or a job place. Nevertheless, all the time we want to secure ourselves from the mistakes that can ruin our good mood, or health.

Among all our choices, choosing a stylist is one of the most important. Why is it so? Because a stylist creates your image, the way people think about you when they meet you. Good stylist can help you get something, OR someone you want.

Moreover, a good stylist is always on top of the fashion news and knows all latest trends. So, if you choose a stylist correctly, you will be able to get any hair style you want, including the hottest ones, like Sedu hairstyles.

Sedu hairstyles are not only the style number-one in the spring-summer season 2006, they are extremely demanding as to the skills of the stylist. So, if you want to have Sedu hairstyle, you should have the best hairstylist you can get.

Here are some useful tips about what should you look at when choosing a stylist.

Tip #1: Ask for recommendations

The easiest way of finding a stylist is asking some one whose style you like where they have got such a brilliant haircut. People are usually so intrigued about being noticed that they are only too glad to share the information.

There are two options of asking people the address of the stylist:
1. You may ask a friend, relative, or coworker about the stylist;
2. You may simply bump into some one with a good haircut in the street and ask the address of their stylist.

Some people believe that friend or coworker may give you false information so that the stylist won’t slip you some of the secrets he/she have heard from your friend or coworker. But I believe that it is utter nonsense. Your friends obviously won’t tell the stylist something they haven’t already told you. In the same way, coworker knows very little about you as well as you do about him. So, there is very small possibility that you will hear bad things about you.

Moreover, good stylist should remain silent about the information he/she heard from his clients. In this meaning he/she plays the part of a priest in confession. Not to mention, that a good stylist cares about his/her reputation that includes the ability to hold their tongues.

Tip#2: Learn the salon from inside out

When you have finally found the salon, you should learn more about its staff, its services and overall reputation.

You need to do the following steps:
1. Study the salon from outside;
2. Look carefully how customers are treated in the salon;
3. Learn whether the salon have some training programs for stylists to be at their top form;
4. Try to sit in the reception area to know how the business is running;
5. The general customer-friendly appearance is the main thing about the good salon.

Tip#3: Get personally acquainted with the stylist

Times when in the city or town was only one barber are in the misty past. Today good salon usually has from three to whatever number of stylists. All of them should have the same skills, representing the working traditions of the salon and its level of service.

Usually you should be able come to any of the stylists in the salon, and the level of the work will be the same.

There is also very simple test of the stylist’s skills. Come to a stylist when he/she isn’t doing anything and ask to show his/her razor. If it isn’t in their tool belt or on their station ready for use, turn and go.

Good stylist should have all his/her instruments at hand. This shows that he/she respects your time and his/her time, and is always ready to do the job.

Tip#4: Discuss your future haircut

When you’ve finally decided about some particular salon and have booked an appointment, you need to have a thorough consultation with the stylist about the following topics:
• Your face shape;
• Your hair type;
• Maintenance of your hair;
• Your abilities to style at home;
• What you like about your hair;
• What you don’t like about it;
• Length you’re expecting to lose during the cut.

Such keypoints indicate main difficulties you should overcome by doing a haircut. If the stylists makes 5 minute monologue about how he/she thinks you should cut your hair without listening to your thoughts, turn around and go. Don’t allow to be talked into something you don’t like.

Tip #5: Make sure you’re getting the haircut you want

When you’ve discussed the haircut and decided upon something particular, watch how the stylist makes a cut. Good stylist will automatically ask you about the length BEFORE he/she starts the cut.

If you see that the haircut appearing is not what you’ve discussed with the stylist, don’t be afraid to stop the process immediately and have another discussion. By this you secure that the stylists understands you correctly, and you will have the hairstyle you want.

If the stylists makes the same mistakes when you come for the second time, don’t hesitate and go to another salon.

Tip#6: Study your feelings during the haircut

This one is very important, as the main thing about new haircut is a good mood. You may call me superstitious, but I believe that if you feel comfortable during the haircut your hair will be healthier and stronger.

If you feel one hundred percent comfortable during the cut, and no single hair is pulled down and no water splashes ruin your make-up, then the stylist is pro and you are lucky to find him/her.

So, let’s look through our tips once more to be sure we haven’t missed something.
To find a stylist you need:
• To find s good salon;
• To look how the salon is run;
• To check customer service;
• To study carefully stylists’ skills in the salon;
• To be sure that the pre-cut discussion is dialogue where you speak and listen to some advice;
• To see that the cut is done in the way you want it look like;
• To feel comfortable during the cut.

Now you are prepared to find the best stylist possible and have the exact haircut you want. You are now entirely sure that you will have absolutely Sedu hairstyle with the skilled and professional hair stylist.

How To Becoming a Model

Every day I receive requests on how to becoming a model. Things like how to get started, finding and contacting a modeling agency, and getting a first photo shoot.

How to get started:
Before you get started doing anything, you should ask yourself these questions as they will help guide you for the rest of the process.

  • What do I want to get out of modeling?
  • What am I willing to put into becoming a model
  • What kind of model do I want to be? Fashion, Runway, swimsuit, sport,etc.
  • How flexible am I for traveling and for timeOnce you evaluate these questions, There is two ways you can go. One is to contact a modeling agency which I will explain below. The other method is to act like your own agency and create your own portfolio. This is easily done over the internet, now with several places in which you can post pictures, and information on yourself to attract talent scouts.

    If you choose to go the traditional route and to work with a modeling agency, It can be hard at times to know first of all how to find a good one, and what to look for in a modeling agency. You can easily look up and find agencies in phone books or online,etc. Before you do any of that, I would recommend contacting anyone you know, that is a model, and finding out about some of the experiences that they have had with modeling and general, and also specifically with different agencies in your area. Once you have a general idea of what the scene looks like, contact some of the agencies and set up an appointment to meet with them. Meeting with the agency can be the hardest and most nerve wrecking part of the whole experience. Be firm, and don’t allow the agency to take advantage of you!

    Things to ask and look for are:

  • What have they done for other models?
  • What can they do for you?
  • Can they meet your needs as an invividual and as a model?
  • Does the agency have similar goals for you as the ones you have for yourself? The final question “How to get a first photo shoot” depends on which route you take. If you go with an agency you will have to arrange with them, to have a photo shoot taken, and to start building your portfolio. If you decide to go on your own, you will have to build your own portfolio. Either by using photos that you already have, or by contacting a photographer to have a photo shoot done. I would recommend that hiring a photographer is the route to go, as it looks more professional, and the quality is much greater than simple family and friends photo’s,etc.Good luck with your search.Feel free to reprint this article as long as you keep the following caption and author biography in tact with all hyperlinks.

A Guide to Choosing Best Sunglasses

Sunglasses are one of the ultimate fashion accessories. They are great in helping you to create your own unique image. What exact style you choose really depends on your personal taste, age and the shape of your face. Yet, not matter what style of sunglasses you are thinking of buying, it is important that you end up choosing the best possible quality pair.

Some tips to choosing quality sunglasses are provided below. Being educated by what makes a quality pair of sunglasses is very important when you are searching for your next pair of sunglasses. Keep these tips in mind when you are browsing.

Protection from UV

One major contributor to eye disease is ultraviolet radiation. This is why it is important to choose a pair of sunglasses that protect you from the harmful effect of UV. Just because your glasses have a dark tint doesn’t mean that you are protect from UV. Make sure you check the sunglasses UV rating.

What the Sunglasses Are Made From

Generally speaking the heavier the sunglasses the higher quality they will be. You want to ensure that the material that they are made from will last a long time and be able to resist the constant knocks that sunglasses typically take.

Different Tints

Tints are the colors that are applied to sunglasses lenses to help reduce the light that makes contact with the eyes. The particular tint you choose is up to your personal taste. However, different tints will have a different effect on the perceived brightness and glare, and will distort color differently.

As an example, gray tints reduce glare and don’t distort the color. On the other hand, yellows lens will distort color but sharpen your perceived view.

To Polarize or Not to Polarize?

Sunglasses that are polarized will reduce the glare of the light which bounces off roads and water. They are typically preferred by people who drive a lot during the day or boat on the water. If you work or play near a lot of flat surfaces you may wish to investigate using polarized sunglasses.

10 Tips To Buying Software Online

Buying software online can be tricky, especially if you are new to shopping via the internet. Whether you are upgrading an existing software package or looking for a specific program to install, the process will be a lot less complicated if you know what to look for.

Software Buying Tip # 1

Read customer reviews. Many popular online stores, such as Amazon, allow users to leave their comments about a particular product. Reading other customer reviews may help to make your decision easier because it gives you an idea of others who have experienced the product firsthand.

Software Buying Tip # 2

When considering any type of software, make sure that it is compatible with your computer. Most software requires a specific processor type, such as Pentium or Celeron, and a certain amount of free hard drive space. The reason is because, in order for software to function properly at quickly, the computer must be able to handle the application. By being familiar with your computer’s configuration, you will be able to select the right software.

Software Buying Tip # 3

Become familiar with the software by reading it’s description and capabilities. Before purchasing any type of software, you should make sure that it is exactly what you want or will enjoy learning. Often times, after software is opened, there is no refund policy for buyer’s remorse.

Software Buying Tip # 4

Purchase software from a reputable company. This will ensure customer service, reliability, quality products and timely shipment. By purchasing software from a reliable source, you will also ensure that the title is authentic and not an illegal copy. The best way to check out a business’s reputation is through the Better Business Bureau.

Software Buying Tip # 5

The best part of shopping for software online is the competition. Because there are so many retailers, prices are more competitive than if only one store had the software that you want. Shop around and compare prices before making a final decision.

Software Buying Tip # 6

When making a purchase online, consider using a credit card. Most credit card companies provide a dispute resolution process, which is beneficial if the product is not delivered, is not as advertised or is damaged and the company will not stand behind the transaction.

Software Buying Tip # 7

If purchasing from another individual, such as often the case with online auctions, confirm that the software has all manuals and/or product keys to ensure proper installation.

Software Buying Tip # 8

Learn about the company’s return, refund and/or exchange policy. In many cases, especially with software, the company may refuse to accept the product back for a refund. However, there is always the possibility that a program is damaged or doesn’t function properly, in which case the store should honor the purchase with an exchange for the same title. When buying software online, it’s best to purchase from a store that is reasonable when it comes to exchanges if not refunds.

Software Buying Tip # 9

When purchasing software online, take a moment to look at the company’s shipping costs, methods and availability of a way to track the package following shipment.

Software Buying Tip # 10

Common payment methods include credit cards, checks and/or money orders. If you want to purchase software online, you will need to do so from a company that accepts a convenient payment method. If you do not have a credit card, most companies will accept a mailed payment. Most companies, however, recommend not sending cash.

Baby Monitor Technology

Having a baby can be a nerve wracking experience for new parents – not the nine months of pregnancy, I’m talking about after the infant is brought home from the hospital. It’s always the same thing, by the time they have their third child they have it all figured out, but with number one it’s a learning thing.

Baby monitors help you hear your baby’s needs without you having to be in the room with the baby. Some baby monitors are portable, or “mobile” and are small enough that you can carry it in your pocket as you do your daily chores around the house. Depending on your price range it’s best to have a base unit that plugs into the wall. The receiving unit can be like your portable phone, you can carry it around with you, and plug it back into the base unit to be recharged.

Some people find that their baby monitor can be interrupted by cell phones, mobile phones, computer networks and even your neighbors baby monitors. Be aware of any potential interruptions before you put the monitor into official use. Also, make sure you get a monitor with a receiving unit that emits a tone when the battery is going low so you won’t be caught with a dead battery.

Another consideration before purchasing a baby monitor is the range the monitors have. If you have a more regular sized home say 1,800 you probably won’t have any problem with a conventional baby monitor. If you live in a home that has square footage of 4,000 or more, or if you live in a multi level home you may need a specific type of unit.

There are baby monitors available that actually feature what is called a “sensor pad”. The pad is placed underneath the crib sheet and picks up any movement the baby may make. Some physicians recommend these types of monitors for premature babies.