The Lifestyle

If I want to describe what the lifestyle is, I do not have a dictionary, but I have a thesaurus in my word processor, so that will have to suffice. Also, this is how I perceive a lifestyle according to my own lifestyle, and I will try to be as objective about it as possible. I think that a lifestyle is what you are, what makes you into the person you are. The words available in my thesaurus is; existence, routine, life, regime, way of life, standard of living, daily life and means.

If I had to choose one of those words, I would choose way of life and standard of living. Because your way of life describes your lifestyle perfectly. So, it describes the way you live, or how you live you live your life. Your standard of living affects how you perceive the people around you. And because of your standard of living, you will judge people accordingly. It also affects your perception of life in general and your way of thinking. Your standard of living also affects your perception of right and wrong.

So, what you consider as right could be considered wrong by other people. So, if you have a lifestyle where you have a job working in the corporate system, and you go to work from seven to five every day to support your family, then for you, this is the right thing to do. For you, it is right to own a luxury house and a fancy car, to have four children at school and a wife also working to support your finances, then for you, which is the right thing to do. If other people don’t live according to your perceptions of what is right and wrong, then for you, it is wrong. Even though other people feel differently, and they live differently to your standard of living, and their lifestyle agrees with them that it is right for them to live like that, they think that your way of living is wrong. But neither is right nor wrong, it’s all about each person’s perception.

So, each person has its own lifestyle, or standard of living, and you live according to how you perceive your life. There are also so many influences on your lifestyle, besides how you already perceive how life should be lived. The main influencers in your life are your parents. At a young age, they taught you their way of life, which has been carried along by you, so you tend to live according to what your parents taught you. Other influencers in your life are religion. You live according to your religion, be it Christianity, Muslimism, Hinduism, and whatever other religion you find in this world. Religion is a lifestyle because you will live according to their standards of living, according to their laws and regulations and according to their perceptions of right and wrong. I hope this is making sense for you; I’m just trying to be objective and explain it as best as I can. My next task will be to try to explain the alternative.

3 Ways to Buy Home Furniture on a Budget

The key to staying on a budget when buying furniture for your home is to take your time. Retail furniture stores are designed with the impulse buyer in mind. They know that you won’t be visiting their store frequently so a lot of care has gone into designing a floor plan for you to simply point and buy the items you like.

There are alternatives to buying new furniture. Depending on your taste whether it is contemporary, shabby chic, country-style, or an accumulation of styles, buying used furniture may be a way to stay within your budget. Well made furniture should stand the test of time and you may just find the furniture at a great price too.

Three ways to buy quality gently used furniture pieces within a reasonable budget include:

1. Estate sales, yard sales, and garage sales
2. Local newspapers / bulletin boards and Craigslist.org
3. Consignment furniture stores

Estate sales, yard sales, garage sales:

There are a number of reasons why a person may be holding an estate sale. The homeowners may:

o be downshifting their lifestyle
o moving far away
o be selling a second home and no longer need the extra furnishings
o have passed and their family has no need for the furniture

The advantage of an estate sale is that if you like the owner’s decorating style, you may be able to purchase an entire room of furniture at bargain prices. Like with yard sales and garage sales, estate sales will really be hit or miss. The disadvantage is that you never know what you will find at each sale which can be very time consuming.

If you do find a high quality piece of furniture that you want to reupholster, consider the real cost against your budget. Reupholstering quality furniture may be worth the time and expense if you know that this piece will stay in your home a long time. Depending on the age of the furniture, you may also need to rebuild cushions and replace throw pillows. This can really add up! For the expense of the new cushions, refinishing, reupholstering, fabric, materials, labor, transportation, etc. you may find it’s cheaper to buy a new piece. Definitely consider all of the costs before going down this path.

Local newspapers/bulletin boards and Craigslist.org:

If a person or business is liquidating their furniture and belongings, they will often choose to sell it via the local newspaper or through Craigslist.org. You may even find for sale ads on bulletin boards at work, grocery stores, and at churches. The seller will usually fetch a higher price for their furniture when sold through these avenues.

Craigslist has the extra advantage of being able to feature color photographs saving the buyer time of traveling around to different locations. If you are selling furniture, try selling it first through your local newspaper, local bulletin board, or on Craigslist since you will typically sell it for a higher price through these locations. If you were unsuccessful at selling your furniture through these outlets, then consider an a yard sale or garage sale. Your last option should be through an estate sale or consignment store since you will share your money with the people helping to sell your furniture.

Remember to donate any furniture that you are unable to sell through a reputable charity or organization. It’s important that you get a receipt for your donation for end-of-year donation write-offs.

Consignment furniture stores:

Consignment stores are a great way to buy furniture at a discount and save time. Of the three choices, this will be the most expensive way to buy furniture but it could save you a lot of time since it typically offers the most complete inventory options for furnishing living rooms, dining rooms, offices, kitchens and bedrooms.

You may find that local furniture consignment shops in your area have made arrangements with builders and interior designers who create model homes. As you know, model homes are beautifully decorated with high-end furniture to sell the home. When a builder has sold all the homes in a particular subdivision, the furniture is no longer needed. The furniture is oftentimes sold at furniture consignment stores for 50% off (or more!) the retail price.

Even gallery pictures for the walls are sold less expensively at consignment furniture stores. You will need to check the store monthly for new inventory as it changes frequently. To find a store in your area, simply do a search on “Furniture Consignment Store” + your zip code. Antique furniture stores may also appear in the listings.

Before purchasing your furniture, it is wise to have a budget in mind. It is advisable that you only buy the furniture and furnishings that you love because you will be seeing it everyday in your home. Often, people end up buying furniture because they need it now, but discard it within a year or two because they end up hating it. Buy for quality and because you really like the pieces. You will end up saving time and staying within your budget if you have discriminating taste when purchasing used furniture.

Learning to Teach – The Basics of an Online Education Degree

If you enjoy working with children, have a love for learning, and possess strong multi-tasking abilities, at some point you may have thought about becoming a teacher. Now is a good time to start earning the credentials, since this profession has been projected to grow by 12 percent between 2006 and 2016, creating about 479,000 new teaching jobs.

Teaching requires certification, which is most often obtained through a bachelor’s degree program. If you are interested in completing a bachelor’s degree, there are many online programs available. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, there are many programs offering online Master’s degrees in education that can be completed in two years.

Benefits to Earning an Online Degree

While there are various benefits to earning your education degree online, they can be summed up with one word: flexibility. You can complete coursework at your own pace, whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you. If you have a job or a family that keeps you from traditional classes, you can do the coursework in the evenings or on the weekends. The flexible schedule also means that you can still work full-time, which makes supporting yourself and paying for classes a bit easier.

What to Expect from an Online Education Degree

If you pursue an online bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education, you can expect to take typical education classes such as the following:

  • Teaching Methods
  • Classroom Management
  • Theories of Learning
  • Educational Law
  • Curriculum Development

You will complete both practicums and student teaching to get real-life experience teaching and managing a class. If your online coursework is synchronous, you will participate in online discussions or videoconferencing at particular times; if your coursework is asynchronous, you will complete lessons and participate in learning activities at your own pace.

Tips for Earning an Online Education Degree

  1. Set aside time to work on your online degree every day. While you can complete coursework at your own pace, you will learn more effectively if you study regularly
  2. Make sure the school you choose for completing your online education degree is accredited and can prepare you for teaching in the specific field you choose. As all states require the passing of an exam for certification, be sure the online education degree program you enroll in can get you ready
  3. Network with other education professionals. Many teachers will tell you that some of their greatest resources are other teachers. If you’re feeling short on inspiration or creativity, teachers can offer advice and help to get you through some tough coursework moments

Of course, the best advice for anyone wanting to pursue an online bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education is to make sure you’re truly interested in teaching, and then go for it. With all the online education programs out there, now is a better time than ever to start working towards a degree in education.

Why Shopping For The Best Car Loan Financing Is Critical

There are lenders all over the place who appear to be more than willing to offer you a great rate for your car loan. A car loan and doing auto financing is a big ticket item to lenders, and they realize that they are going to make a ton of money in interest, even if they offer you a great program with low interest rates.

Many people put the auto financing part of it on the back burner, thinking that first they need to negotiate and haggle for the best possible price. That car looks so nice sitting on the showroom floor or the dealer’s parking lot. It’s clean, shiny, it has all the latest high tech gadgets, and it drives like a dream compared to that clunker you have been driving. And that is exactly the way that the car dealership sales person wants you to view it, with images of you in that new car and not thinking about the financing of your new car.

But the reality of it is that this approach, while it is the traditional approach taken by the vast majority of people shopping for a new car, is totally backwards. You can always get the new car, same type, same model, maybe from a different dealership and maybe even getting a better deal on it, but once you have made the mental commitment to purchase the car, the last thing you want to do is to spend time shopping for your best deals on car loans and auto financing. You want to be out driving your new car, not doing mundane things like loan shopping and financing comparisons.

The lenders count on that fact, so they rarely put their best offer out there first. They may make an attractive offer, one that will catch your attention, but they realize full well that you have a new car just crying to be driven, and you want to get this finance stuff out of the way so you can scratch that itch.

Now let’s say you take a different approach towards finding the best new car loan financing. You are doing your comparison shopping for car loans and auto financing, and you have not even visited any dealerships yet. You know approximately how much you need to borrow for the car loan, but you are not in a hurry. Now you can compare car loan programs at your leisure, looking at the fine print, and make your best decision as to which program is best for you. It’s got the best interest rate, it is for a reasonable length of time, and does not have any penalties for early payments or early payoff.

In fact, you have been pre-approved by the lender you have chosen for a specific amount of money. At this point it is time to go visit the dealerships and start negotiating your best deal on that new car. The fact that you are already pre-approved and have your financing taken care of will tell the sales person that you are serious, and if they don’t offer the best deal on the vehicle, there is nothing to stop you from going to a different dealership to make the purchase. In other words, you have a much stronger position from which to negotiate your best price.

If the dealer is sharp, they may offer financing from the car manufacturer, at which point you can compare against what you already have. If the deal is better, there is nothing to prevent you from going that way and not executing your pre-approved car loan. The beauty of it is that now the ball is in your court, and you can make the right financial decision.

Don’t ignore online car loan quotes. Online lenders frequently have much lower overhead and are very hungry for your business, and can make car loan offers that many traditional lenders can’t come close to. But again, just because it’s an online lender does not guarantee it will be better, so you need to do your comparison shopping with care.