Category Archives: SAVE MONEY NOW


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Even though a credit card can be handy when you really need it, it might not be such a good idea to have more than one. As society, we tend to look down upon those in the clutches of addiction like gambling or drugs. Juggling a few credit cards while maximizing them out one by one can be even more dangerous and addictive! Same goes for emotional or compulsive shopping.


Diamonds are a girl’s best friends, or are they? In modern times it might be “plastic”. While a diamond is one of the hardest substances on earth, your plastic credit card on the other hand, can be “vulnerable” and quite a curse when not handled with care. It will surely leave you vulnerable and in despair when misused. The latest fashion is to catch the eye by flashing that card in paying for things such as restaurant bills. With card cloning also such a fashionable practice, it may cost you dearly.


To many, a credit card can be a temptation to spend what they don’t have. Christmas temptations especially might be just as fattening to your credit card as to you! The more the merrier, goes the saying, which doesn’t only apply to the amount of family members and friends attending your Christmas party. A laid back merry holiday mood calls for more spending than usual. You worked hard during the year and what better time to spoil yourself and your family members, right? You deserved it after all! Then of course, these holidays are harvest times for most businesses and holiday destinations. This calls for the prices of everyday necessities skyrocketing during these times. According to the clever financial advisers, to go on holiday on credit, might be one of the worst decisions you can make. Your year kicks off on the wrong foot!

Now what do they advise, then? To save, of course! For most of us earning a monthly salary that is usually easier said than done. So many workers are being laid off in this difficult financial time and that monthly salary can never be an absolute guarantee. It would be wise to have at least three month’s salary saved up to give you a bit of leeway while job hunting. How about those already in debt? For starters, they advise to start paying off the smaller accounts bit by bit and working up to the larger ones like a car or house debt.


As we all know too well, life can get pretty messy at the most unexpected of times. Unfortunately, most devastating tragedies usually have a direct impact on your finances. Just think about the broken washing machine in the midst of winter, your out of warranty car breaking down or the illness wiping out your medical aid funds way before the end of the year.

This is where that nest egg or even a credit card or personal bank loan can be of tremendous value. If you are already up to your ears in debt or your credit card used to the maximum, you are in big trouble! At least, if you’re not able to save much, save a “clean” credit card for the untimely “rainy day”.


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Weight loss is a lifestyle

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You are what you eat!

Permanent weight loss requires a change in lifestyle

It is hardly possible to buy a magazine or browse the internet without being accosted with dozens of advertisements promising readers and viewers that they will have successful weight loss in no time at all. In fact, the weight loss industry is gigantic. Billions are spent each year by people desperate to look and feel better. They pay because they so desperately want to believe that there is indeed a miracle just waiting to happen for them.

The sad fact is that there are very good reasons to be concerned. South Africans are considered to be among the fattest in the world. More than seventy percent of women are considered to be either overweight or obese. The statistics for men and young people are not much better. Experts agree that South Africans generally do not have healthy eating habits and that they do not exercise regularly. Thousands of people need to lose weight urgently.

Overweight people are prone to a host of serious diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and even some types of cancer. In addition they often find it difficult to move around and they experience extreme discomfort in the joints and feet. Making a firm decision to regain a healthy weight is a sensible step.

The problem is that too many overweight people want to see miraculous results. They do not want to give up their favourite foods and they do not want to follow a diet that requires discipline. Instead, they want to drink a few drops of a special preparation, take a few pills each day or observe a diet plan that allows them to enjoy all their favourite foods. This is simply not going to happen. To lose weight it is vital to observe a balanced exercise program and a diet that is supported and underwritten by experts in the field. There are no miracle programs. Obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight requires a permanent change in lifestyle.

It is a good idea to make proper Insurance cover a part of your new lifestyle too!

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Surviving change – High School to University

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Surviving change in the transition from High School to University

The Changes a student might me challenged with:

It is seldom realized what challenges the transition from High School to University could hold. Students are not only faced with a new environment, new people, rules and regulations, but are additionally faced with a diversity of languages and cultures they might not have been used to back home. They might have to learn to live in a society which isn’t as conservative as what they were used to.

Then, apart from all that, they would be forced to learn to do things on their own. At University your parents and lovable, nagging teachers aren’t there to help you get through the work, attend your classes or to help you with your assignments. It is your own responsibility whether you attend your classes or not and to know when you have an assignment due. Students are also faced with an enormous amount of work and mostly the work is self-study, which means it is yet again your own responsibility to do it. Unlike your teachers in High School, your lecturers won’t beg you to finish or hand in the work. If you don’t do it, it’s an incomplete mark against your name which may result in  a failed course.

5 Tips on how to handle these changes:

1. Stress

With all the work stress and the negativity caused by being away from home, it is important to stay busy. If you stay busy you don’t have time to feel homesick and in this way you stay on schedule with your work load.

2. Social Events

It is also a good thing to participate in social events or to become a part of the University’s societies. This will create opportunities for you to meet people and make new friends. By making new friends your new environment will become more like a home to you and you’ll feel less alone.

3. Exercise

Becoming a member of a gym is another way to keep you positive about the changes you have to deal with and by staying fit will also make you feel better about yourself physically.

4. Entertainment

You could also put some time aside to explore your new environment by going to museums, art galleries, shopping malls, coffees shops and festivals. In this way you familiarize yourself with your new home and it will open your eyes to the beauty it has to offer.

5. Communication

As you explore your new environment and participate in some of the activities held by the University, make your parents or friends back home part of your new experiences by telling them about it. This will not only help you to stay in contact with them, but it will also help you avoid feeling as if you’ve lost them since you’ve moved away.

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Author: Irene van Staden

Irene van Staden is currently a second year student at the University of Stellenbosch, studying BA (Art and Culture). Her interests range from language dialects, visual art, literature, art festivals, theatre, cultural movements and student life.

Contact details:

Irene is available to write Guest Posts for your website or blog. Contact her at the e-mail address provided.

Top 5 Cars: What our cars say about us

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The good and faithful, the memory-maker and the dream-chaser

The old adage goes: “The best car is a paid off car”, but for most of us our cars are far more than the monthly payments we have to make on them. Our cars reflect who we are and where we are in our lives. The symbolic status of the following cars has made them unabashed icons on South African roads:

1 Citi Golf

The good old Citi Golf – never has a car been more akin to student life that VW’s Citi Golf. Although no longer in production this car is still a standard issue with all student cards. It is the pure economy of this car, both at initial purchase and subsequent maintenance that made it the must have entry-level car for many generations.

2 VW Polo

The red ribbon Polo – Diving through that red ribbon to get to that “new car smell” the mark of the new entrants into the job market is VW’s Polo. Offering dependability, fuel efficiency and just enough curve-appeal to remain cool this is just the car to have when buying your own first car.

3 Toyota Corolla

Faithful Toyota Corolla – For decades a symbol of reliability, the Toyota Corolla has been the sensible car for young families and people that have secured themselves in their careers. Offering a balance between comfort and economy this car’s most attractive trait remains its reputation for being utterly reliable.

4 BMW 320i

Put on your power-suit with the BMW 320i – This is your statement car. This is the car to say: “I’m no longer keeping up with the Flintstones!” This car most often chosen by the newly successful offers performance and luxury.

5  Bentley V8

Platinum Status – Bentley V8 is the ultimate driving experience, unrivaled in its combination of luxury and performance, but affordable only to the elite.

Whatever car you choose: good old faithful, the memory-maker or the big dream chasers – they are wheels that like rolling.

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Author: William Carter

Bio:        William Carter – Freelance writer that likes writing about actual events that are relevant to the time we are in. My passion is people, we are so diverse in many ways, my opinion might not be yours but in today’s world we all have the right to opinions and formulations. It is nice to be able to debate and in the end be as we are.

Contact William for Guest Posts at:



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Should you Save More or Earn More?

Is depriving yourself of joy a good thing?

I shall never forget one of my most profound life’s lessons. It came, as many light bulb moments do, unexpectedly over a glass of wine. But what a glass!! A friend married a widower some years after the death of his first wife. His children were grown up and had left home. They invited us to dinner and served our wine. Two of the glasses were exquisite crystal, one in a deep shade of red and one in blue. The other people had wine in ordinary glasses. I commented on the fact and out came a story that held the seed of a life decision that has served me well: The husband and his brother were each given a set of 12 of these hand-cut glasses upon the occasions of their weddings, by their parents who had saved these 24 treasures when they had to flee their homes in Poland during the anti-Jewish pogroms. The first wife of our host had never used them for fear of breaking one. However, every time they moved house or when they were taken out of the display to be dusted, one would break. Now only two were left and the second wife decided to use them with respect but without fear and guilt. The host’s brother and his wife had used theirs regularly and often, and still had 7 unbroken ones left.

Poverty Consciousness

The fear of not having enough is often found to be unjustified. I still think about the Peter Jander painting I did not buy, but could have, as the worry about being too extravagant had turned out to be groundless. My family wanted for nothing after all; I had made a plan to earn more anyway.

There is a line in Charles Dickens uttered by (I think) old Mister Micawber who always had “penury difficulties” where he recalls the pleasure the purchase of a pretty bonnet for his wife had brought her. It is too, too counterproductive to skimp and save, and it sucks the energy and joy out of the day.


Isn’t it better to work creatively around what one earns, find ways of earning more, and enjoy the rewards? Isn’t it better by far to feel energised by a weekend by the sea? Don’t you feel as if you can stride across continents and sing on top of the world when you wear those gorgeous suede boots? I feel as if I can move mountains when I get something I want: I may not need that lovely pillar-box red gas heater. I could sit with a hot water bottle on my lap. But the comfort the heater brings builds courage for the next day’s work, allows me to give my all in my work, warms the creative juices, not only the toes.

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What does wealth really mean?

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What is wealth?

Start Building your own Wealth Now

Take good care of your money today and it will take care of you in future. Be proactive – create your own wealth by making a grab at money now.

Define Wealth

Francisco Colayco, entrepreneur, author and financial advisor stated: “Wealth does not necessarily mean having millions and millions of pesos. Being wealthy simply means having the financial resources to support your chosen lifestyle. Wealth is nothing more than having money to fund your particular needs at any given time.”

Some of the wealthiest multi-billionaires on the planet allow themselves no rest as they are constantly and almost feverishly busying themselves with amassing more and more wealth. Why? They need to keep on funding their lifestyles. It costs a lot of money to keep one’s own private jet in the air and since money has the knack of dwindling away very quickly if it’s not being taken care of, it makes perfectly sense to keep the dough rolling.

Conduct a quick survey among your family, friends and colleagues. Ask them to define their understanding of the term ‘wealth’. You’ll probably be surprised at their answers. For some people wealth simply means having a roof over their heads. For others it means having several roofs over their heads.

Needs and wants

Wealth means having money readily available to pay for what one needs and wants.

Needs are essential and basic requirements necessary for our survival such as food, clothing and shelter. Wants refer to what we desire or wish for and may include things like entertainment and toys. Wants are nice to have and may make our lives easier and more enjoyable but it is things we can do without if need be.

Sometimes we need to make some sacrifices in the short term to gain in the long term. If we want to create our own wealth, we need to take a long, hard look at our lifestyle. Yes, we need clothes but does it have to sport expensive designer labels? We need food but does it have to be gourmet dishes? Do we always need to have the best and latest of everything? Do we have to compete with the Joneses? Do we have to present a certain image to the world? (It seems like some serious introspection is called for!)

Be money-wise as from today

Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy commented: “Today the greatest single source of wealth is between your ears.”

Use common sense. Use the money you have today wisely. You can’t spend it all in one go and hope you’ll be okay in future. You’ll only have future money if you plan today. Start with what you’ve got and make the best of it. Take good care of your money and it will take care of you right back.

A few basic steps on how to create your own wealth

Determine your needs
A bit of frugal and modest living now will take you far in future.

Determine your wants
Have fun and reward yourself now and then but do it in a money-wise manner.

Draw up a budget and stick to it
List your income and expenditure and have a clear idea of where your money is coming from en where it’s going to.

Have a short term plan in place
Having achievable and measurable goals will encourage you to stick to your plan.

Have a long term plan in place
This will remind you what exactly you are working towards and keep you focused.

You can only create your own wealth if your income is greater than your expenditure. Either curb your spending or up your income. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to earn extra money. Be creative and be prepared to work hard. Enjoy seeing your wealth grow.

This article was published on and is reposted with permission.



What does Financial Freedom mean to you?

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Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom in this age

A few decades ago people were working to afford their 5Cs better known as Car, Cash, Credit Card, Condo and Country club membership. What does financial freedom really mean today?

Even though many people still chase the 5Cs of old, more and more people are going for the new set of 5Cs namely – Career, Comfort, Children, Considerate and Charitable.

Remember the quote of Confucius. He said: – “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”, let’s stop chasing the 5Cs and start chasing the 3Ws.
They are:
How often have you heard someone say that when they stop working their mouth will stop as well. This happens when people exchange time for money.

How often have you heard someone say that they want to pursue their passion while working? How many people have actually achieved that dream?

We should see the 3 W’s together with financial freedom rather that looking forward to retirement.

When do you have Financial Freedom?

You are financially free when you do not have debts and have a passive income that is able to satisfy your lifestyle. You are financially free if you can choose to stop working and pursue your dream of acting or whatever else you have a passion for.

Money is a big problem. Most people have more debt that income and this puts them in a financial predicament.
Have you and your spouse quarrelled over money?
Are you troubled over your credit card debts?

You will be shocked when you compare your lifetime savings to your lifetime earnings. Think about it – have you ever wondered how much money has passed through your hands, yet how little of it you have kept?

The best thing that we can do is to pay off our debts as soon as possible because we cannot achieve financial freedom any other way. We need to work hard so that we can live without worries. The path to financial freedom is a hard one, but if we keep our minds set on the goal, we can achieve anything.

An excellent financial decision you can make, is to have your home and all your valuable belongings insured against damage and loss!


Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano

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Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano

Why the name Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano

Parmigiano-Reggiano is called Parmesan in English. It is a hard, granular cheese that is cooked but not pressed. This cheese is named after the areas where it is produced, which is the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Modena and Mantova, Italy.
Italian law prescribes that only cheese produced in these provinces may be labeled “Parmigiano-Reggiano”. European law classifies the name, as well as the translation “Parmesan”, as a protected designation of origin.

How is Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano made?

Parmigiano-Reggiano is made from raw cow’s milk. To get naturally skimmed milk, milk is held in large shallow tanks to allow the cream to separate overnight. This skimmed milk and the whole milk of the morning milking is mixed and pumped into copper-lined vats. Starter whey is added, the temperature raised to 33–35 °C (91–95 °F). Calf rennet is added and all is left to curdle for 10–12 minutes.
The curd is minced into small pieces, the temperature raised to 55 °C (131 °F) under watchful control by the cheese-maker. The curd settles for 45–60 minutes and then collected in a piece of muslin and divided in two and placed in molds. At this point it weighs around 45 kg (100 lb).
The cheese is put into a stainless steel form that is pulled tight so the cheese keeps the wheel shape. Two days later, a plastic belt imprinted numerous times with the Parmigiano-Reggiano name, a number and the date of production, is put around the cheese. Then it goes into a brine bath to absorb salt for 20–25 days and aged for 12 months.
At 12 months, the Consorzio Parmigiano-Reggiano, inspects every cheese and it’ll either pass the test and get his stamp of approval or fail and gets marked so consumers know they are not getting top-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano. Modern practice simply have the cheese stripped of all markings.

Parmesan – Use of the name Parmigiano-Reggiano

The name is trademarked and legal exclusive regulation is exercised in Italy, over its production and sale by the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Consorzio. It was government verdict.

Each wheel must meet strict criteria to merit the official seal. Because it is widely imitated, Parmigiano-Reggiano has become a progressively more regulated product and in 1955 it became a certified name. Looking at the process and time it takes to produce Parmesan – Parmigiano-Reggiano, one understands the high price.
In the US the name Parmesan is also used for cheeses which imitate Parmigiano-Reggiano, along with phrases such as “Italian hard cheese”.

BEWARE, if it doesn’t say Parmigiano-Reggiano it IS NOT Parmigiano-Reggiano!

Be sure your Insurance cover is the real thing.

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The Best Chicken Pie Recipe Ever

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Creamy chicken pie to die for

I have always been interested in attempting to make a chicken pie. I recently had this at a friend’s house for supper and I was hooked. It was delicious. I got the recipe out of her and tried it the very next day. The result was all I had hoped for and more. Lucky for you, I have decided to share the creamy chicken pie recipe in order for you to experience its magnificence for yourself. It is a quick and easy recipe that takes 20 minutes to prep and another 12 minutes to cook.

The creamy chicken pie recipe is fun and attractive to kids as well as adults. It is perfect for supper, and a great picnic treat. Even though this chicken pie is perfect for those cold winter nights it makes for a good treat all year round.

You will need the following ingredients to start making your creamy chicken pie:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 kg of chopped chicken thighs
  • 1 chopped brown onion
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Half cup of water
  • Half cup chicken stock
  • Half cup milk
  • 2 sheets of shortcrust pastry
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 300 g can corn kernels
  • 8 bacon rashers
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 1 chopped leek

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Cook your chicken pieces in oil and then remove them from the pan. Add oil and saute your onion leek and garlic. You can now add the bacon as well as the corn kernels and mushrooms. Fry until bacon is fully cooked. Continue by returning your chicken to the pan.

The next step is to mix the water and flour in order to form a paste. Add the paste, stock and milk to the pan and stir. Leave it to cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Line a round 20 cm pie dish with shortcrust pastry. Add the chicken mixture and top it off with puff pastry. Remember to cut a small air hold on top. Press the edges of the crust around the pie pan to seal and trim excess pastry. Brush with egg and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.”

I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.

Happy cooking!

Good, wholesome insurance

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This article originally posted on: and reposted with permission.


10 Signs that show you may suffer from Fear of Failure

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The Signs for Fear of Failure

Nobody likes to fail but for some people the fear of failure presents such a substantial psychological threat, that their motivation to avoid failure surpasses their motivation to succeed. This fear of failure causes them to damage their chances of success.

How Can fear of failure be a Psychological Threat?

Failing provokes feelings such as disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness, regret, etc. But these emotions don’t trigger full blown fear of failure. It is not actually failure that is feared, but it is essentially a fear of shame. Failing makes some people feel deep shame.

Shame is a psychologically venomous emotion because instead of feeling guilt or regret, we feel bad about who we are as people. Shame gets to the core of our ego’s, self-esteem and emotional well-being. Shame makes it urgent for those who have a fear of failure to avoid the psychological threat with ways to alleviate the implications of a potential failure eg by buying unnecessary new clothes for a job interview instead of reading up on the company.

The 10 Signs: Fear of Failure

If these signs are characteristic of you, study this issue further:

1. Failing makes you worry about what other people think of you.
2. Failing makes you worry about your ability to pursue the future you desire.
3. Failing makes you worry that people will lose interest in you.
4. Failing makes you worry about how smart or skillful you are.
5. Failing makes you worry about disappointing people.
6. You tend to express that you don’t expect to succeed, to lower their expectations.
7. Once you fail, you can’t imagine what you could have done differently to succeed.
8. You often get last minute aches and pains that prevent you from completing the task.
9. You often get distracted by other tasks that are not urgent.
10. You tend to procrastinate and ‘run out of time’ to complete your task.
What to do about a Fear of Failure

The primary problem is that a fear of failure operates on an unconscious level. There are two ways to conquer the means by which fear of failure can influence your behavior:

1. Own the fear. Accept that failure makes you feel fear and shame. It can help prevent unconscious efforts to sabotage yourself.

2. Focus on aspects of the task that are in your control. Brainstorm ways to reframe aspects of the task that seem out of your control, to regain control of them.

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This article originally posted on: and reposted with permission.