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LIFESTYLE: 5 TOP PODCASTS FOR FINANCE TIPS


It’s not always easy to stay financially healthy, bills rise, circumstances change and budgeting takes a little trial and error. Perhaps you’ve mulled over the idea of investing in a financial advisor to help you out? Why not save that cash instead and tune into some of these top financial podcasts?

1 . It’s Your Money

In this podcast financial journalists Laura Miller and Sam Broadbeck are here to help you make the best of your money. It’s Your Money brings you conversations about all things finance from ‘making tax less taxing’ to student finances, retirement and supercharging your career. If you’ve often wanted to invest but find the idea a little daunting and tricky to approach, Sam and Laura have got you covered.

2. So Money

The So Money podcast is brought to you by Farnoosh Torabi, a bestselling author and award-winning financial strategist. Here you’ll learn some amazing money strategies from Farnoosh plus a range of top influencers and business minds. These are the stories that inspire; from failures to successes and philosophies. Subjects tackled include credit card debt, developing a business or creating a passive cash flow. You’ll learn about money and relationships plus how to bounce back after unemployment.

3. Money Box

Money Box is a Saturday radio show with a podcast catch up, hosted by Paul Lewis who is a top financial journalist. Other regular hosts include Adam Shaw and Louise Cooper. Money Box offers up all the latest trends and news from the personal finance world along with advice for making the most of your money. Recent conversations include planning your dream wedding on a budget plus Brexit and benefits. Get a little help on finding the right car finance and saving for retirement too. With all these super tips you’ll soon learn how to budget and become a money expert yourself!


4. Freakonomics

Freakonomics is a podcast by Stephen J.Dubner, who is also the co-author of the Freakonomics books. Expect fun and wacky economics facts and plenty of laughs. Episodes include themes such as ‘How to hate taxes a little bit less’ and ‘Honey I grew the economy’.  Freakonmics leaves no corner un-turned from policy making to wealth vs intellect. This one is the perfect entertainment podcast for those looking to gain innovative new knowledge and get inspired.

5. The Fairer Cents

The Fairer Cents is a fantastic podcast which is both career and business based. The content delves into the economic realities facing marginalized groups, including people of colour and women. Hosts Kara Perez and Tanja Hester bring you a wealth of knowledge and intellectual discussion on themes of ambition, the wealth gap, inequality and more. The Fairer Cent may give voice to some tougher conversations, but that doesn’t mean that this podcast isn’t full of laughter and entertainment too.

Whether you’re looking for a fast loan or seeking to learn about investing, the key with finances is to plan ahead and find strategies that complement your lifestyle.

LIFESTYLE: DESIGNING YOUR DREAM MODERN BEDROOM

When you get the chance to revamp your bedroom and want to turn your modern design dreams into a reality, there’s bound to be a million ideas whizzing around your head making it very difficult to decide where to start. It’s so easy to make the wrong choice when it comes to home interiors, and your bedroom is such an important space inside your home that you simply have to get right. Luckily it needn’t be an impossible task to design your dream modern bedroom, as there are a few simple hints and tips that you can make the most of to begin your transformation today. So, if you’d like to find out more, then read on to discover how you can turn your bedroom into a relaxing yet functional paradise in no time at all!


Pick A Colour Scheme 

The first and potentially the most important decision that you make during your bedroom design process is which colour scheme you are going to utilise throughout your new and improved space. Making the wrong colour choice means that you are falling at the very first hurdle, so it’s vital that you can lay the very best foundations by choosing the most suitable colour. Going for more than one could make it a little overpowering, so it’s best to stick to alternating shades and tones rather than risking a bad clash. Think about what kind of feel you want your bedroom to have, as this will influence the colours that you should choose - for example, if you want a warm and cosy room, it’s a good idea to go for softer orange, pink and brown tones rather than colder blues and greens. 

Choose Statement Furniture 

Once you have decided upon your colour scheme, the next important choices you must make involve the furniture that you deck out your new modern bedroom with. It’s so essential that you can spend some time searching for the very best pieces that will be a perfect addition to your space, which can offer functionality as well as aesthetic value too. For example, it’s often difficult to get enough wardrobe space into your bedroom without it appearing too overwhelming, yet there are personalised fitted bedrooms that offer a unique design that tailors to your every need in terms of looks and storage capabilities. Your bed should always be one of the statement pieces inside your bedroom, so be sure to go all out and invest in a super comfortable and luxurious set that can be accessories with stylish sheets, pillows and throws galore. A modern bedroom wouldn’t be complete without the appearance of a gorgeous vanity mirror and drawer set to pamper and prune, so get searching for the most suitable station that can add an extra dash of chic to your new space.

Designing your very own dream modern bedroom has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the amazing top tips and tricks detailed above!

LIFESTYLE: SMART KITCHEN APPLIANCES YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T KNOW EXISTED



The smart home has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with major companies like Apple and Google throwing their hats in the ring and vying for your business. It's not just a gimmick either. The technology available today is awe-inspiring and will only improve going forward. 


The kitchen is currently at the centre of efforts to roll out smart home technology across the world. Here innovators are ploughing their resources into transforming this traditional room into something wholly different. Things are changing fast.


Homeowners want to know, though, whether buying these smart appliances is worth the extra money. You'll have to make up your mind on that one!


So, without further ado, which smart kitchen appliances will rock your world?


Smart Fridges


Smart fridges come with a host of features that will blow your mind. Many now use machine learning technology and AI vision to tell you whether you're running low on vegetables, telling you when you need to restock. Smart fridges can also automatically order the ingredients you need for a recipe online from your local retailer, negating the need to even think about the recipe, let alone go to the shops


While Maytag fridge repairs will continue, it's clear that we're entering a new era in the refrigerator market. Companies are going beyond features like "auto-defrost" which are primarily mechanical and toward app-like systems that improve your quality of life. Soon your fridge might be able to order food without any input from you whatsoever. It may become a "home assistant" rival to the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo. 


Smart WiFi Fryers


For many people, getting frying right has always been a challenge. Often you need to cook things to the exact second in order to prevent them from burning. The problem is that cooking time varies from one item of food to another, making your life a lot more difficult. 


Now, though, a company called Cosori has teamed up with Amazon to build a smart fryer with hundreds of preprogrammed settings to perfectly cook whatever you put in it. All you do is connect the device to the Amazon-powered app on your phone and select what you want to make, and it'll get on with the rest automatically. The system eliminates trial and error. 


Smart Personal Blender


NutriBullet is a company that has been making waves in the health industry through its extensive line of compact, reliable blenders. The brand now produces a Bluetooth-enabled version that connects to your phone via an app, providing you with real-time nutritional information about the contents of your smoothies. 


Touch Screen Toasters




Most toasters are, unfortunately, a little dumb. But now Revolution Cooking has come up with what it is claiming is the world's first touch screen toaster, providing toast aficionados with practically every cooking setting imaginable. What's more, the company says that its product will prepare a variety of toastable items faster than your regular machine, meaning that you don't have to waste time standing around. It also comes with a 15-second reheat function as well as a helpful sensor to prevent burning, 


Smart Induction Pans




If you thought a world in which your frying pan communicates with you was still a long way in the future, then think again. A company called Hestan has now come up with a smart pan that it hopes will help people cook the perfect steak. 


The idea behind the pan is surprisingly simple. You tell the pan what you want to cook and then it'll guide you through the process. So, for instance, if you're going to prepare an eight-ounce steak medium-rare, it'll adjust the heat, timing and instructions to allow you to do just that. The same goes for pancakes or pretty much anything else you might want to make on the hob.


Just be aware, though, that the device relies on an induction hob base, so you can't use it in the same way on your regular stove. 


Smart Soap Dispensers


Regular soap dispensers have a critical flaw: you have to touch them to dispense the soap. For hygiene buffs, this is a problem because it means that you have to put your hand on something that everyone else has touched BEFORE they wash their hands, 


Now, though, there's a solution called the Otto Automatic Hand Soap Dispenser. The product looks like any other premium soap dispenser, but with a critical difference - it can tell when you place your hands underneath it, ready to receive soap. 

LIFESTYLE: PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL HOUSE


There’s almost nothing better than being in the place we call our home. We can often take iit for granted the longer we live there, but really there’s almost nothing more secure and comforting than being in a place you belong, or developing this place as someone new to homeowning. Sure taking an African Safari can be life-changing, backpacking around Europe can introduce you to many amazing experiences and cultures, and taking a road trip across America can be the journey of a lifetime, but almost nothing can replace that comfort you feel spending a weekend in the place you most feel secure from time to time, without that, everything else can feel baseless, no matter how nomadic you are.

It can be a great idea to put the finishing touches on your home when you decide to practice home renovation and decorations, as it can help the space feel complete. This will let you settle in much more quickly, and it also gives you something special to show to your friends. Without further ado, we’d love to guide you along these lines. Please, consider:

The Front Door & Mail Box

Tailoring your curb appeal in the best way is not only a fun activity, but it can drastically increase the entire value of your home. This is because while most home valuers will not admit it due to how nuanced and careful they are with their work, the first impression of a property has a massive impact on our feelings towards it. 

This may not seem true for those who would rather the character of a property speak more than its condition, because after all, improvements can always be made. However, think of how you would feel if being shown around a property with a heavily damaged and disheveled front exterior yet a gorgeous interior. You would only be thinking of the trouble outside, particularly if that compromises aesthetic beauty, constructiion potential or home security.

So, it’s best to take a worthwhile forward approach to this and to do so with care. Tailoring your front door and mailbox can be a great place to start, because they’re often the first main implements that signify your home and your mark upon it. You may spend time painting your outdoor mailbox, constructing one that securely rests in your outer wall, or perhaps even tailoring your garden gate so that postmen can easily reach your front door. Additionally, refining the porch area of your front door, painting it a new and attractive color, or replacing it entirely, perhaps with a stronger, less visible model (such as eschewing the large windows in some front doors that provide visibility into your home) can be a great idea. These are just suggestions, but you’ll likely see how worthwhile this is.

Caring For & Protecting The Home
Of course, the finishing touches aren’t always aesthetic, although you can think of them in aesthetic terms. This means that we also need to think of just how to protect our property without overdoing things. For instance, if we really wished to protect our property as if some kind of essential factory operation, we could add razor wire to the top of our 12-foot fences, searchlights, guard dogs and place warning signs for trespassers all over the property. But we’re not in open combat, and we’re likely not that fond of what impression that would give of our property, and by extension us.

Yet protecting this home is also not always about security, despite home security cameras, front door locks, joining the neighborhood watch scheme and gating your driveway remaining the most effective protective methods. We’d also recommend protecting the internal areas of your property, such as securing your basement window or using pest control to ensure that seasonal shifts do not give your home a problem that poses a real hazard to health. In this direction, you’ll no doubt be the most successful.

Entertaining Joy

It can be a wonderful idea to consider how you might entertain your guests as time goes by. After all, tailoring your home for friends and family can not only be a great way to refine and complete your homestead, but also an exciting activity that pays off as a reward. 

To start with you may tailor your communal areas in the best way. For instance, purchasing two L-shaped sofas that are symmetrically placed alongside a wall may give you the best view of your amazing media centre setup, complete with a home server able to access all of your media collection at the click of a button. Additionally, multi-speaker home assistants tied to your streaming accounts could help you enjoy a different song in every room if you require, enabling you to truly get the party started, or at least motivated in the right way.

Your management of the finishing touches may also extend to how you curate your garden furniture. For instance, arranging your garden furniture safely around a chiminea in the garden can not only provide you some of that beautiful summer grilling using the right implements, but also provide an ambiance hard to find elsewhere. Everyone will have a different approach to how they appreciate entertaining and who they wish to invite in the first place. For some, this may be a more proactive, partying and multi-guest affair, for others, relaxing with a close-knit group of friends is more than enough. Don’t be afraid to tailor your home to this capacity, you’ll be astonished as to how effective it can be.

To Conclude

In conclusion, it’s important to note that while the finishing touches of your home can be defined by your potential use of said property and your tastes, there are some important elements that we can all benefit from catering to. Security, your curb appeal, and entertainment are perhaps the top three, because they will not only signify how we view our property, but also how we protect and utilize it in good company. This is sure to be worth our time.

LIFESTYLE: SHOULD YOU RELOCATE FOR A JOB?

You’ve been offered a job – but it involves moving to a new area (or possibly even a new country). Do you take it, or do you pass up the opportunity?
For many of us, this can be a hard decision to make. To help you make the right choice, here are some of the key things you should factor in.
Research into the job
First and foremost, you need to be sure that the job is worth it. Find out how much it will pay and what other benefits it offers. Then consider the type of duties you’ll be doing and whether there will be any compromises. It could be worth researching into the company to work out whether previous employees have enjoyed working there. It’s possible that you may have been given a job working for the same company but with a different branch – in this case, you may still want to do some research into this individual branch to see what customers and employees alike think.
Research into the area
Next, you need to be certain that the area is right for you. You can research what it’s like to live in certain locations online using guides such as this post on moving to Brisbane. Visiting the location in person could be worthwhile to get a strong feel for it. Some of the key factors to research may include the cost of living, the climate, the local attractions and amenities and the local culture. If you’re moving to a new country, you may even need to consider learning a new language, new laws and new customs.
Consider what’s best for your family
If you have a partner or kids, consider what they think of the move. If your partner has a steady job and your kids are in school, it may not be fair to uproot them. That said, if the opportunity is exciting enough, your family may be eager to make the move. Involve them in the decision-making process and make sure that it is a unanimous decision.
Consider the cost of moving
Moving long-distance can be a costly and stressful process. Make sure that you can afford a moving company (if you’re selling your current home and buying another home, you may also need to be able to afford a solicitor, a mortgage valuation and a down payment on your next property). Moving internationally is likely to be even more expensive and may also involve visas.
Consider what you’ll leave behind

Leaving friends and family behind can be one of the hardest parts of relocating. It can be particularly hard when moving to another country. That said, there are now so many ways to keep up communication long-distance from social media to video messaging. On top of your loved ones, consider whether you’ll be leaving behind a current home or a current job that you love. It’s possible that you may be eager to leave your current life behind and start fresh. Alternatively, you may be in a comfortable place and may lose a lot by moving.

LIFESTYLE: THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT: 5 STRANGE HOME NOISES SOLVED

Keep hearing strange noises in your home? Don’t worry – it’s probably not a ghost. Many unusual noises can be easily explained and may in fact be signs of problems. Here are just five common unusual noises heard around the home and their likely causes.
Scratching
A scratching sound in the walls could be a sign of a pest problem. Mice and rats are the most common culprits – these animals are nocturnal so you’ll likely hear the scratching at night. Squirrels, birds, bats and cockroaches could be other offenders.
By hiring the help of a pest control service such as 000 Pest Control you can get to the bottom of the sound. Getting rid of pests could be essential for preventing the spread of disease, preventing contamination of food and preventing damaging to your home as a result of chewing and nesting.
Whistling
Whistling is likely to be caused by wind. Even if there are no windows or doors open, it could be getting in through cracks in walls, door frames or window frames. Sealing up your home could be necessary to prevent this noise. It could also help to prevent cold drafts getting into your home in winter.
Another possible cause of whistling could be an unclean air conditioning filter. This could be something to consider if you have an air conditioning unit (the noise will likely be more constant)
Banging
Banging noises in the walls can be alarming, but it could simply be ‘water hammer’. This is caused by water slamming against closed faucets in pipes – usually after turning off a tap suddenly. Most pipes should have air chambers that prevent this noise from occurring, however this air can escape. You can read a simple guide on how to get rid of water hammer here at The Spruce.
Banging can also occur in a heating system. This could be a boiler problem that may require calling a plumber to fix.
Popping
If you hear popping noises coming from windows and floorboards, it could simply be due to changes in temperature. This can cause materials like wood and aluminium to expand and contract, which can cause a popping noise.
Such a sound may be fixed by regulating the temperature more evenly in your home or by limiting sun exposure (in the case of windows). Usually such noises are nothing to worry about – you should only worry if small cracks start appearing or gaps in seals start to appear.  
Gurgling
Gurgling sounds can often be heard in radiators. This is a sign that there is air trapped in the radiator and that it needs to be ‘bled’. Bleeding a radiator can be done oneself using a radiator key.
Pipes and boilers can also create gurgling sounds as a result of trapped air or debris. This could be worth consulting a plumber about if it is loud and frequent.


LIFESTYLE: 7 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GETTING AN UNUSUAL PET

Almost every single person thinks about owning a pet at some point or another. The type of pet they choose is usually based on who they are as a person. Those who want a low maintenance pet often pick a fish, or even a cat - who is pretty self-sustaining! Those who want to get out of the house and have a companion who will be interactive with them would normally choose a dog for their playful nature. The thing is, cats, dogs and fish are lovely, but they’re not that unusual. 

There are plenty of other pet options out there that are far more unusual and exotic than the standard household pets, and you could choose to go with one of those if you wanted to! Remember, though, that while you want to have an unusual pet, they may not be ok to own in some parts of the world. You should also consider whether your unusual pet should still be in the wild. So, let’s explore some of the most important things that you should be considering before you choose to get an unusual pet!
Person Holding Red and Black Snake
  • Is It Legal?
There are so many laws surrounding the ownership of exotic pets that you need to know whether you are allowed to own the pet that you are so interested in. Some states may be very specific about the pets that you are allowed to own. Some allow every animal and that makes choosing which pet you have easy. Don’t forget, the legalities don’t just stop with which pet you choose to get. You need to consider whether the way in which you are keeping them is correct. You don't want to own a horse, for example, without the right horse stables as that wouldn't be kind to that horse. Know the laws and rules surrounding the animal that you are hoping to own, and spend time doing your research properly!

  • The Right Vet
Before you decide to go for an animal that is truly exotic, make sure that you do your research on the vets in your area. You are going to need to ensure that yours are able to specialize in the right animal. If they can’t treat your pet, they’ll be able to lead you to someone else who can and that will be a big help for you when you need their help.

  • The Right Food
It’s easy to feed a dog or a cat. The food is already in the grocery store and you can just pick it up with the rest of your grocery shopping. You may not be able to find the right horse grain or live animals for the tarantula you’ve decided to buy. Each animal needs the correct food for the right nutritional balance. There are some animals that can really suffer if they’re not given the right food. Those cute little sugar gliders you’ve seen are lovely to own, but they require a delicately balanced diet, otherwise they’re prone to paralysis. 

  • Their Environment
Exotic pets often require temperature-controlled environments, and you need to meet their specific temperature and sunlight requirements. They need the right enclosures, the right lighting and the right level of heat. Without them, their environment will not allow them to thrive and they can become ill. You need to research their exact needs and that includes the expense and the building difficulty. It can help to talk to other owners of the exotic pet that you want to own and get the lowdown from those who are well-versed in ownership of that pet.

  • Their Mental Health
Animals are highly intelligent and individual creatures, and you need to consider their mental wellbeing as well as their physical health. Some exotic pets can be left to it and live alone, but most other pets need a companion to be at their best health. They can come depressed if they are left alone too much and if you ignore your pet, they can become destructive. This is something that you want to avoid! 

  • How Long Do They Live?
If you choose to own an animal that lives for a longer time than you will (think about giant tortoises!), then you need to think about what your plans are for after you die. Adding the welfare of an animal to your will is not a bad thing to do! Caring for any animal is not something that you should take lightly, which is why you should consider that they will be aging along with you!

  • Their Temperament

Animals are not like humans. Their moods aren't as predictable even when you look out for behaviours. Exotic animals can be temperamental, and the less domesticated you go, the more aggression you may have to deal with.