January 03, 2017

Happy 2017 + 11 Basic Guidelines for General Health and Longevity Infographic

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your holidays were filled with love and happiness. A lot of people get off track during the festive season and right when January 1st is in your face, here comes the unattainable and often failed New Year's resolution. Forget "the newest fad name here" diet. It doesn't work anyway, right? Let's keep it simple!

Here's a good start. Make it a healthy and great year!

11 Basic Guidelines for General Health and Longevity Infographic

November 21, 2016

Save Money by Checking your Monthly Bills

Dealing with Telus has been painful for the past five months. Since July, I have been calling them every single month to correct my billing. It's really simple, but obviously not for them. You see, when you bundle up your services and depending on how many services you have, you can get a $10, $15, or $20 credit. I qualify for the $20 credit, but I can't seem to get it.

So every month since July, I've received a $15 credit (should be $20) except this month. And it threw me off completely. I received $13.55. Hmm. That's an odd amount. How is it even possible? I'm not sure why I was blinded by this, but it wasn't a credit, it was an overcharge and no bundle discount credit!

Calling Telus Support can have wait times of over an hour. Today, I spent about an hour on the first call, but unfortunately for me, I made an error on a Telus error. I told them I received a credit, but I should have said I was overcharged. Another thing, companies like this who credit you back whatever amount they owe you you're still paying more. How? Because they are crediting you from the total amount and not recalculating from the sub-total. When they credit you from the total, the taxes (PST and GST) remain the same. If it was recalculated from the sub-total, the taxes would be less. Each month they mess up my billing, I'm still paying a little bit extra and it adds up.

In my case, if my bill was done correctly this month or any other month, I'd be paying no more than $190 total. With the correction, I'm still paying about $201 total. Now that's not right. After about a 45 minute wait time on my second call and without freaking out, but expressing my frustration, I was given a $25 credit. I'm paying just several cents under $190. I'm okay with that and it is at the range I should be paying. I'm happy with the outcome, but I sure hope this ongoing problem is resolved, but I won't hold my breath. I told the agent if I have to call again next month, I would freak out. (LOL) I didn't get a response from him and he didn't reassure me it wouldn't happen again. Bad customer service? I would have to say that with an astounding YES.

I know I shouldn't have to be paying this much attention each month on a recurring bill, but it's important to make sure you are being correctly billed each month. My tip: Always check your monthly bills and make sure you are being charged the right amount and for the services you're receiving. Being overcharged adds up at the end of year and that is money you could have saved.

October 03, 2016

Tetley Ayurvedic Balance Teas Review from Home Tester Club

Some time ago I received Tetley Ayurvedic Balance Teas from Home Tester Club to try and post my review on their site. I love getting samples and sharing my reviews with you.

"Is a calming tea with natural ingredients to help you focus when you are feeling scattered or worried."

Although I like the smell of licorice, I don't really like the taste of it. The licorice flavour was very subtle in this herbal tea, but I thought it was slightly bitter even though it was steeped for only about a minute or so. It has a nice aroma of cinnamon and no aftertaste.

"Is a cooling tea with natural ingredients to calm you down when you are feeling overheated."

First of all, I love peppermint and anything that is mint. As soon as I opened my sample, I had to take a sniff. I love that minty smell. Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with this one. I didn't feel any of the benefits it said it would do such as make you feel calm and cool. It's a nice herbal tea if you like mint, but it's nothing special that would make me replace my current mint tea.

"Is an invigorating tea with natural ingredients to stimulate you when you are feeling sluggish."

When I received my sample, I couldn't wait to try it. When I opened it, I could smell the ginger, turmeric and cumin. You could taste the ginger and feel the zing. There was also a very subtle hint of spearmint. There was no aftertaste so that was a bonus. I felt refreshed and ready to start my day. Out of the three teas, I liked this one the best.

I probably won't be buying any of these teas because I don't feel I got any real benefits.

What about you? What tea brands do you buy and recommend?

September 08, 2016

5 Ways to Make Money Writing at Home

It took me a while to gain confidence in my writing. Sometimes I still have that fear of being judged by putting my writing out there. Blogging has helped and what has helped me most was when someone told me to submit my articles to article directories. Back in the day, for some reason I thought article directories were way beyond my level and that only elite writers would have articles accepted. Crazy, right? I know! Obviously I was wrong on thinking it was for only really good writers. Imagine my surprise when an article I submitted was accepted! It felt good that's for sure. Many months and even years later, I had submitted many articles. Now, it seems like a lifetime ago.

From blogging to article directories to ghostwriting for private clients and writing for my own website, I was still far from being a professional freelance writer. I was happy right where I was with writing web content for small business owners and I wasn't looking for anything more. I can tell you, freelance writing can be really profitable.

Writing for private clients will pay you more than writing for revenue share. Both have its own advantages and disadvantages. Combine it together and you'll have a winning combination. What's great about being a freelance writer is setting your own rates and writing on different topics for clients.

Here are five ways you can make money writing:

1. Blogging
There are many companies who hire bloggers. You are usually paid per post. Some may pay per word. Problogger.net has a job board for writers and bloggers. If you want to get paid on your own blog, you can get sponsorships for writing product reviews.

2. Write for Your Own Site
You can make money writing for your own blog or site. You won't see the money immediately unless you have a lot traffic. When you write for yourself, you can include links to affiliate products you endorse and make a commission through affiliate sales or any products or services you provide. Also, you can monetize your site with various ad revenue.

3. Ghostwriter
I was a ghostwriter for several years and for the most part it was fun because I was able to write about various topics. For topics I wasn't too familiar with I enjoyed the researching part. One thing about being a ghostwriter is having the ability to sound or write like your client. Everyone has a writing style and to emulate your client's voice can be challenging, but once you get a feel for their writing style then it's not as difficult to adapt into your writing.

4. Freelance Writer
This is where you're making the big bucks on editorials, novels, magazines, and etc. Pitching to the big companies and really making a name for yourself.

5. Revenue Share
Some people make all their income through revenue share sites. There are many things that can go against you and relying your sole income in revenue share sites isn't a good choice. You're splitting your income with the site who in the long run will always make more money than you. That split is not always equal. They may retain all rights to your work, they can close their site down without warning, they may refuse to pay you for whatever reason and delete your account and so on. One thing I will say is don't put your best work on revenue sharing sites.

I think revenue share sites are good for supplementing your income and covering your income gaps. Plus, it's also a place where you don't have to put in a lot of effort to write a good article especially if you're a quick writer.

September 05, 2016

Working at Home and Earning an Income Online

It's already September! Yikes! So what does it mean? It's back to school for kids where I live and basically it's getting back into the groove for parents. I work at home...kinda, sorta. It's complicated, but yes, I work at home.

There are tons of ways to earn a legitimate income online. There's no get-rich quick schemes and it won't happen overnight. What are these things you can do to make money online without leaving the house?

Over the years, my most successful income came from owning a niche website. I earned from Google AdSense, selling ad space, and affiliate marketing. My other income sources came from ghostwriting for private clients and revenue share, and completing surveys. Today, I'm still getting paid for surveys and AdSense. Having said that, there are plenty more ways to make money from home.

There are pros and cons to almost everything. If you want to be the boss of you, it'll require a lot of patience, perseverance, hard work, discipline, motivation, knowledge, and confidence. That's nothing to be afraid of though because there are people willing to help when you ask for it.

If you don't want to be your own boss and you want to know how much you'll make per hour/per week then becoming an Independent Contractor with a company will suit you well.

Here are some options:

*Court Research
*Customer Service

It's wise to diversify your income because you never know when you might lose one main source of income. As people would say, never put your eggs in one basket. In addition to your main income source, you can supplement your income with fun, no-brainer, or simple tasks/gigs. I call these easy money or extra playing money to cover your income gaps.

There are hundreds of different tasks out there depending on what you're interested in doing. Don't expect big bucks for simple tasks, but the small amounts add up over time. For example, micro tasks sites such as Mechanical Turk or MTurk is HITS - Human Intelligence Tasks. Tasks range from simple data entry of store receipts, short writing tasks, researching, transcription, translation, website categorization and etc. Tasks that are more lengthy or detailed may pay more while others pay pennies and up to quarters.

Don't worry not all micro task type jobs require a laptop or desktop computer. Smartphones are allowed for these sites:

Easy Shift
Field Agent
Gig Walk
Task Rabbit

I'm sure there are others that I haven't come across yet.

This is just a sampling of what you can do to earn money online from home. It's a start. Get your creative juices flowing and think about what you would like do and how you can make money with your computer or smartphone. Let me know below in the comments if you work at home and what you do.