freelance graphic design

What Sucks About Being A Freelance Graphic Designer

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a strange situation that reminded me of all the things I HATE about being a freelance graphic designer.

Usually, most of my work comes from online freelance websites like O-desk, Fiverr and more. I rarely actually do anything for REAL LIVE people standing over my shoulder but I recently made an exception/mistake (which I should have totally seen coming by the way) that I would later regret.

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become a travelling freelance graphic designer

My 4 Top Careers Best For Travelling

Do you want to see the world and make money while you’re at it?

That’s what I wanted to do and somehow my calling of becoming a travelling freelance graphic artist fell into my lap!

But there are several career paths that you could pick that would be great for travelling around the world and you’d be doing it while picking up a paycheck for it every month! How can you beat that?

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My Strange Band Life Before Freelance Graphic Design

I’ve been around…

Wait a second–not the in the way you think! What I mean is that before I decided that I would actually pursue a career in freelance graphic design, I had a few tries at some other jobs and activities here and there.

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Web Design For Mobile Devices

To help with certain elements of this article, I asked Jared Lee for his thoughts on the matter. He is a digital marketing consultant and Kansas City SEO Expert with Vibranium SEO. He understands user intent and internet trends better than most and works closely with web designers on mobile marketing campaigns.

It’s nothing new that anything related to computers or the internet changes at breakneck speeds. Many times as graphic designers, we get used to doing things a certain way, just like anybody else in a profession does. The thing that we have gotten used to the most is designing websites with the idea that they will be visited from a desktop or laptop computer. This is something that will probably have to change and, in many ways is changing today, due to the increased usage of smartphones that are used to access the internet.

We all understand the importance of a website to be responsive, meaning that if you visit it from a desktop or a smartphone, the site will adjust to the size of the screen and give the user a better experience. But usually, these are designed for desktops and just make usable for a mobile device at least from a design point of view. What I believe we will have to do in the coming years is design websites with the mobile user in mind and the desktop user as the after thought. I say this because we can look at the numbers and see the trend, the main one being that 60% of local searches for a product or business are done on a smartphone.

Just a few years ago, people may have used their phones to search for things but they intended to make purchases on their home computer. Now, they are searching and buying things from their smartphones. This is a major change and could perhaps leave many website designers in the dust if we don’t understand the trend and adapt to what people are doing. So to help out, I’m going to outline some major elements of mobile web design that can put you ahead of the game.

Keep It Simple

One of the first things that you should keep in mind is that when you are designing a website with the user in mind being on a smartphone, you should keep the design simple. You’re working with a smaller screen so you don’t want to overcrowd an already small space with too many images or effects. Use of complimentary colors, images, and word spacing are things that help on the smaller screen, as well as the use of bulleted lists and using bold font on important words. Remember that you’ve only got a few seconds to engage someone enough to continue to stay on a site, especially when that site is on their smartphone and they can click over to Candy Crush the moment they lose interest.

Keep It Light

You’ll want to design a site that is quick to load, especially on a mobile device. If a site takes too long to load, then people will just try another site. You have to get their attention quickly and that means creating a site that is light and loads quickly. Optimize images and other elements to compress better so the loading times are much quicker.

Think Fingers Instead of Mouse Clicks

The biggest difference when designing a site for mobile devices compared to a desktop is that you have to think about the fact that whoever visits your site is going to be navigating with their fingers, not a mouse. You want things to be easily accessible with the touch of a finger. You don’t want the buttons to be too small where it’s hard to open and you don’t want them to be too big where they take up too much of the page either. In my experience, it’s all about balance in this area and testing things out. Feel free to try out different versions of your design and test it out with people around you to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.

Why Creative Minds Should Visit Newcastle

I recently had the chance to travel to Newcastle, a city in the North East of England. I went to visit one of my good friends in the world of graphic design and had the opportunity to learn a lot of new techniques and visit some great sights. I love being able to combine my love of travel with my love of graphic design and this has been one of the best, most educational trips I have ever been on. I highly recommend visiting this city if you ever get the chance to.

Why Visit Newcastle?

Most people visiting the United Kingdom head straight for London. I figured I’d venture further north to one of the most creative cities in England. Newcastle is well known for its strong heritage of technological innovation, which has continued into the modern day. Creative industries have really helped to transform the economy, making it the ideal place for freelance professionals to set up shop.

Emerging Digital Marketing Scene

There are so many creative people living in Newcastle and it is easy to see why. For those looking for an alternative to London, I would definitely recommend this city. There is some incredible talent living in the area, and I’m not just talking up my friend here. It’s a great community and there are lots of companies really helping to push the boundaries in the digital space. Creativity has really taken a stronghold of the city, allowing it to continue to grow and develop.

My friend took me to F6.Studios, a workspace where designers and creative people come together to make things and inspire each other. I met some really friendly people there and got some fantastic design inspiration that I can’t wait to apply to my work. It’s based right in the city center and you can rent out workshops and spaces to share with a community of creative. I love the idea of feeding off each other’s creative talents; it’s a fantastic environment to work in. Whenever you feel like you need a little inspiration you simply take a look around and there is plenty to get you going again. Everyone is willing to help and offer advice, so you end up with some fantastic results.

Where Did I Stay?

My friend recommended I stay in Jesmond, a trendy and up-and-coming area of Newcastle. I had the chance to stay at the Rosebery, a Jesmond Bed and Breakfast packed with style and vintage charm. The people there were really nice and the hotel overlooked the Jesmond Dene Park, which was beautiful and perfect for a nice and relaxing morning stroll. For those of you who appreciate quirky interior designs, this is the place to stay. It is exactly the kind of wonderfully creative hotel you would expect to find in this city.

The location was perfect as it took less than 10 minutes for me to get to the city centre. That gave me the chance to explore the city while my friend was busy working. The transport links are excellent with a Metro system that goes all the way to the beach. There are lots of museums, shops, restaurants and cafes about so I got the chance to really experience the British culture. No wonder my friend picked this place to live, it’s fantastic.

Take a Selfie with Beautifully Painted Walls

Art comes in different forms. There are also different media used to produce art. Street art is now getting more popular. There are those who create painting on the walls, roads, and parks. Though there are those who do it without permission from the government, a lot of other people do. In fact, there are governments that are too supportive to even commission street artists to beautify the city. Thus, you can now find lots of beautiful walls all over the world. If you are to travel, take time to stop and take a selfie on these walls.

Something unique

Every time you visit a city, you might want to take a photo in places that everyone already knows or have been to. When it comes to wall art, people opt to just pass by. However, these are really amazing when captured in photos. Thus, they deserve to be noticed as well. Most people would not even realize those wall arts exist. Therefore, if you are to take photos of these lovely walls, then you will surprise a lot of people.

Using paint sprayer

These wall arts were made possible using paint sprayers. They allow artists to cover huge walls and work on even the least of all the details. Therefore, it is like painting using a normal canvas, but blown up to several sizes bigger. It takes time and effort to finish one. There are those who even take months before finishing a masterpiece. However, since these are found on the streets, no one really pay attention to them as opposed to those that are displayed in museums. If you have seen one in the city you have visited, take time to stop and take a selfie. It is also a way of recognizing the efforts of the person who did the job.

If you are planning to do the same thing in your city, it pays a lot to use a high quality paint sprayer. You will then be able to start your own street art soon. If you want a paint sprayer, look for the best paint sprayer. Speaking of buying the best paint sprayer, it helps if you read airless paint sprayer reviews first.

Organizing a trip

There are a lot of cities in the world with this kind of street art though. Try visiting Paris, Marrakesh, and New York. You will be amazed with what the locals have come up. Some other cities have beautiful wall painting here and there, but there are only a few of them to have fun with. Nevertheless, they are still worth visiting. Once you have finished your trip, you can go home and create an album depicting all the selfies you have taken with this type of art. You can also encourage doing the same. Once they have realized just how fun it is to take photos with these wall paintings, they will also organize a trip soon. Try visiting smaller cities too as a way of promoting the said place.

Going to France with my new carry-on bag

Going to France was one of the best decisions I made. It’s a wonderful country that has a lot to offer. I would certainly recommend it to everyone to visit it at least once in their life. It’s not dangerous, it’s good for tourists, has great food and many more attributes that make it a fantastic travel destination.

Why France

My girlfriend has been asking me to go to France for a long time now. I finally gave in after years of receiving hints from her. So I must admit it wasn’t my decision to go in the first place. However because it’s considered as one of the most romantic countries in the world I had to take her there.

However I couldn’t speak a word French so I did take some online courses so I could understand and speak some basic French before going on vacation.

How did I get there

Not by boat that’s for sure. It’s probably possible to do this, but it would take way too long to get there and to hear my girlfriend ask “are we there yet?” the whole trip wouldn’t be the best thing for our relation.

So we took the plane. I booked the tickets online and it seems those of Air France were the cheapest. However before departure from JFK I noticed that they have slightly different size restrictions to their carry-on luggage. So due to this I was forced to get a new one. I bought the second best carry-on luggage in this list because it was within the guidelines of Air France. I bought a hard shelled just to be on the safe side with my valuables. And indeed I had no problems upon departure from JFK. My carry-on suitcase was allowed on board.

My 2 week trip to France couldn’t have started any better.

What did I see and visit

For starters when you visit France, you have to visit Paris. So that’s where we spent our first week in France. The capital of France has a lot to offer to tourists. We visited the Notre Dame cathedral, the Moulin Rouge and of course visited the Eiffel Tower. This last place is something you can’t miss when visiting Paris.

The second week we decided to visit a lot of smaller cities such as Mont-Martre, Lyon, Lille, Nantes, Bordeaux. There was a lot to see in these cities also. Also we ate extremely well in France, they have an excellent cuisine and their wine is really the best in the world.

The French stereotypes are totally wrong

Some people think that the French are rude and have no manners at all. I must admit I had the same picture before going to France. Maybe that’s why I was a bit reluctant to go there in the first place. However I must say that the French are nothing at all like that. They are polite and friendly people eager to help you in any way they can.

To go or not to go again

If it’s up to me I would definitely go again and I think my girlfriend is convinced that this is also something we should definitely do again.

Tips for Power Tools Shopping Online

Hardware and home improvement stores are the places that people usually go to in order to purchase their power tools. With the continuously growing number of people using the Internet and shopping online, there are vendors that sell these power tools on the web. Making your purchase online has its pros and cons. It’s more convenient as there’s no need to drive outside and look for the tools you need. You’ll find the information you need with just a few clicks. However, you could only check the product once it has been delivered and there’s also the security risk that your account information would be hacked. If you’re planning to shop online, there are things that you need to consider to make the experience more secure and make it a breeze.

Compare Options

The first step is to know exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t know specifically what you’re looking for in a product, it could be difficult to make comparisons on which could be the best choice for you. For instance, if you’re looking for an air compressor, you may want one that can be used for simple DIY projects or if you’re a professional, you may find a tool that meets your requirements. There are trusted sites that offer information on branded and generic tools like Air Tool Guy. Moreover, reading reviews would help you learn better about the benefits and drawbacks of the products, as well as their details. For an air compressor, you can find a list of small air compressor reviews by clicking the link. Do this on every product that you purchase. If you’re not getting the tool for professional use or you don’t plan to use it that often, there’s no need to purchase expensive products as there are cheaper ones that would do. You may also consider purchasing refurbished products that cost lower than brand new products. 

Security Measures

Only shop on trusted websites. If this is your first time shopping for power tools online, it would help reading on reviews to determine what other shoppers have to say about their experience with the store. Find sites that are secured. One way to know if you’re dealing with a secured site is if the URL starts with “https” instead of the usual “http” that you often see on regular sites. The “s” on the URL means that the site is encrypted, making the transaction more secure. When making your purchase on the Internet, debit card and credit card are often the common payment methods accepted. It’s recommended that you use a credit card for your payment, instead of a debit card. In case your account gets compromised, there’s a limit on the amount that they can spend on your credit card and it wouldn’t really be coming out of your own bank account. You can also report about your compromised account so you wouldn’t be charged for it. Avoid connecting to public WiFi when making purchases on the web as this could also cause your information to be hacked.

You can find the power tool you need online at a reasonable price. Make sure that you practice safety in order to prevent your account from being compromised.

Don’t be Afraid to Take Chances When Traveling

There are a lot of things that you can do when traveling. You just have to be brave and have the guts to try new things out.  

You might have this notion that traveling to another country or to a place that you have never been to before is already a risk on its own. However, you can always do more if you want to. You don’t have to be afraid since certain opportunities might not come back again. Thus, if possible, if you are given the chance to do something crazy (but legal, of course), you have to do it. For instance, if you plan to only do sightseeing or visiting tourist destinations, then try to go out of your way and go to places not in your itinerary.

Explore more

Start by looking at places where people flock, but it is not necessarily one of the places that you are supposed to visit. When a lot of people are there, it means that it is popular. You can find out a lot about local culture and behavior if you visit those places. You can also check out stores that not so many people look at. You might be surprise to find hidden treasures from these stores. You should try to inquire from locals where to visit if you want something out of the ordinary. For sure, this will be a memorable experience. You will try things that not so many people who have been to the same place have tried.

Go for extreme sports

If you can find places where it is legal to do crazy adventure sports such as paragliding, mountain climbing, bungee jumping and many more, then do it. You might have tried these activities before, but the sceneries are different. Thus, you have to make the most out of the sights that the local place has to offer. You should also try out new sports that you have never tried before. For instance, you can try archery. If you visit places that are situated on the countryside, this is always an option. Just try to inquire about places that offer this kind of activity for beginners. Upon return, your friends will be surprised to know that you already learned a new sport. Of course, it is imperative to buy a new bow if you wish to further your interest in archery. If you want to know more about the bows, read recurve bow reviews at takeabowandarrow.com.

A feeling of satisfaction

Though all these things are risky, they are totally satisfying. In the end, you can brag what you have done if you have successfully done them. When you plan your next trip, this should inspire you to not stick with the norms. Try to go out of your way. In fact, you don’t have to be so detailed when making am itinerary. Just live the day and see things as they are. When you go for this kind of travel experience always, then it will make you a better person. You will start to see the world in such an angle that many other people always tend to not look at. This will help you to be wiser.

Get your camera ready

That is the most important thing of being a photographer. Always bring your camera wherever you go because you never know when the perfect photograph is and sometimes it happens in an unexpected event. When people sees you holding a camera the first thing that comes into their mind is “it’s a photographer”. But the main reason for you is to not regret, why? Have you ever thought that “I wish I had my camera with me?” Whenever you travel there are a lot of things happening in your surrounding and sometimes you’re lucky to capture a certain thing or event and you have that image which is a demand at news agency or in a blog which can make you money.

And when you get home, have a habit of cleaning the camera, charging battery and importing memory card to your computer. Always have everything ready, your camera, extra battery, charger, extra memory card, camera bag and tripod. Always have a Broadconnect Added Value VOIP Service so you can be ready when you need to collaborate with your fellow photographers and/or your officemates. A couple of years ago, I went to Korea just to take the beautiful scenery there and uploaded it on my page. And someone working in the magazine company asks me to sell my image and bought for $100! That’s a good business for me.

Then, after that, I also had the chance to capture some Korean artist and sold it in the printing company as their sample print. Traveling is the best and effective way to collect good photos but there is one thing to remember when you are out is about security. Some camera is very expensive but I recommend the Canon EOS 5D Mark II because it is a perfect camera for carrying around as it is small and inconspicuous but have a massive imaging power with both stills and video. But if you’re having a big camera just try your best to conceal your camera and do not display to any unwanted attention. You also have another choice when you are about to deal with dangerous surrounding, you can use you phone camera. Have an expensive camera doesn’t mean being a good photographer. It takes skill, perfect angle, exposure and lightning to have good photo and your phone camera can take it too because it always depends in the person who takes photos and camera is just a camera that only helps you to capture the image in front of you.

Iphone or any mobile phone with high quality camera pixels is another handy camera tool. It also helps fast capturing because your phone is just always in your hand or in your pocket. Nowadays, most people capturing their meal uses a camera phone, I can say some photos are good and some are not. And what I can say is, it really depends on your skill to take good photos. And just like I told you before camera is expensive and it will take you to sell ten or more images to buy another camera. So, whatever equipment you have, how big or small your camera is, take it everywhere with security and always have your camera ready!

The Geekiest Destinations around the World

Being geeky has now become the trendy thing to be when it comes to popular culture. Of course, it took a while before people started to enjoy the nerd culture that has long stewed beneath the surface. Nowadays, everyone loves one aspect or the other so if you’re just starting up then maybe it’s time to explore the world’s geekiest locations. There are dozens around the world and it’s quite fun learning about the stories behind each place. So, if you’ve got the time, here are some of the destinations that contain geeky history and connotations.

The Doctor Who Experience

Dr. Who is a very prominent series and has only been rising in popularity in the last decade or so. Of course, that also means a lot more people have been watching the old seasons of the series, so learning about Dr. Who history is the new thing. If you happen to be in London and have a bit of time on your hands, then head on over to the museum. You’ll get to the see the Tardis from David Tenant’s run as the doctor.

Be a Pirate

If you have the time and energy to work on an old ship, then there’s a special adventure waiting for you on the high seas. Now, before you start registering for a trip yourself, you have to know a few things about the trip. First off, it’s physically extraneous, requiring you to know a few things about making knots. You’ll also have to know how to climb on ropes as they may ask you to learn about setting the sails and tying them down properly. All that this ship cruise lacks is learning about how to use a women’s compound bow but that would be extreme, as there aren’t any real pirates left right?

Cern

The particle accelerator meant a lot of things for scientists and physicists across the globe. Basically, it opened a new level of discovery for the world, and can produce things that push us forward as a species. There is no tour of the accelerator premises because the labs are off limits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the exterior parts of the facility. You can learn about all the projects Cern is undertaking and learn a thing or two about some of the most complicated scientific experiments happening in the world today.

Hobbiton

That’s right; you can visit the Shire if you have the cash to hit up New Zealand. In fact, if you have the extra cash, you can even buy one of these places and make a home out of it. While in the town, you can look around and explore where Bilbo first met Gandalf, and the home from which Frodo got his start. All that’s really missing is for you to get a compound bow or a crossbow so you can defend your home from orcs.

There are so many places you can explore that will bring out the geek in you, just make sure to have the budget and you’ll be sure to see more than a handful during your time.

The Mobile Lifestyle of a Modern Vagabond

Vagabonding is a honorable pastime of the new wealthy. Like hipsters to whisky bars, these enlightened single twenty year olds travel the world without typical possessions like a house or a car. They meander through the world going to whichever locations takes their interest for the moment. They travel as easily as we drive to work every day. Except they rarely drive to the same place twice. This brings forward the most curious of the situations that arrive when you have no consistent method of locomotion. That is to say, what do these vagabonds do to get from point A to point B without breaking the bank?

The answer is a bit more complex than you may originally think. These vagabonds are travel hackers. They do excessive amounts of research and planning to get the best deals they can in any area they may be. A lot of the time this comes down to public transportation. Subways, metros, taxi’s, UBER, planes, trains, boats, and buses. These are all the tools of the mobile man. There are many great resources out there like this guide for traveling in Madrid. Sometimes, however, the tides of time shift and you find yourself in an area longer than normal. Or maybe an opportunity for a super cheap vehicle comes across your path and it makes financial sense to go for it. At these points the classic title of handyman is pulled out of the pocket and these resourceful people solve any performance issues themselves by manually fixing these cars into running shape. This is the ultimate level of vagabonding. They are able to add value to an otherwise valueless object to cut costs and achieve mobile nirvana.

Enlightenment though is not easy to achieve. It takes months or years to learn enough to be capable of floating the world like a feather in the wind. Finances and logistics must be considered. When dealing with a huge variety of tasks, tools, types, languages we can turn to online educational sources. To help diagnose their estimated car repair costs while traveling, autoservicecosts.com has proven to be a big help. Knowing what a typical auto service repair costs in a certain region is important. All too often, a bad mechanic will overcharge an unknowing fool into thinking his car takes a fortune to fix. Up to date regional pricing is critical to saving dollars and making the most out of the least resources. People in different areas sometimes do pay higher prices for the same services. Don’t make the mistake of arguing with a shop owner against local customs and standards. You may think like you’re getting abused, but you may actually be getting a good deal. Only sites like this one can tell you the difference.

They also make sure that they are always equipped with technological tools to help. An income is still required for this mobile life, and having a normal job is unrealistic. Many of these individuals have taken to the web and run blogs which generate revenue from advertising. This is a simple way to monetize their lifestyle and travels. Many have enlisted the help of virtual assistants who curate their photos and share them on the website so basically no work is required. Some choose to contract a professional company like this one for WordPress support to completely manage their website.

Ultimately, the costs of traveling can be many and diverse. You can however battle the constant inflation and transaction fees of your capital by hacking finances to get the best deals. Learning what to pay and when to pay it is the best way to stay on top of your mobile game and save more money for great experiences and less on necessary logistics.

Staying Connected While Traveling

While traveling the world as a lifestyle entrepreneur you can become a little disconnected. Sure having occasional phone calls with friends and family is nice. The off hand Skype or google hangout is always fun too. However all of these are just basic communication. You can’t actually do anything with them in a real sense. After long periods of time this homesickness can develop in even the most ardent of travelers. Sending them running for home with open arms and wet eyes. To stave off the inevitable longing for a familiar interaction and maintaining relationships with people physically absent, I have taken to a popular new technique for isolation therapy.

Interacting with others in a virtual environment has a lot of the same healing effects that real human contact has on the brain and body. This is especially true for those who work remotely like my friends at the WordPress support team Bairkan. They mostly work from home, or wherever they may be in the world like I do, but try to keep chats open with each other to feel a bit cloer together. People have been seen to have real and drastic improvements in character and personality from just a short period of playing games with other people. We can use this to our advantage with something all of us know and love. Video games provide this same effect and experience to users. This is something that has only been achievable within the last decade or two. Now that a large portion of world has internet and electricity we can venture further while using digital methods to stay connected. Whether it’s Facebook, email, or League of Legends, these tools are having real impacts on what it means to be away and to travel.

While that is as warm and fuzzy as it is true, I am a single twenty something male. There is of course only one natural conclusion here. This means war. Online competition is hard enough when you don’t know the person making fun of you on the other side. Throw in a mind that remembers your butterfingers with the battle rifle and the game changes a lot. Anyone who is a reader of this blog knows how much of a proponent I am of online education and it’s many applications to our day to day lives. This is no exception. To help me get a boost in my online gaming potential I’ve relied on outside coaching. Video tutorial websites like eloboosted.com for elo boosting and guides has literally saved my rear in more than one thick jungle. The feeling of getting a solid 5 killstreak with your buddies pales in comparison to just running around and providing the enemy with the kills they need to win.

This is just one example too. There are many games and guides online. Whether you are looking for the new Ace the Storm game, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, League of Legends, or Farmville, there are ways to learn how to get better than your friends for fast and cheap. While it may not seem worth it to all of you for those of us with a competitive instinct and a desire to make richer denser moments with our time, these education programs are ideal to improving your best chance and staying connected.

Peruvian Paddle Boarding

I do appreciate being able to work wherever there is an internet service: what would I do without my laptop? Though it can be kind of difficult in some of the more far-flung places where the connection can be crazy slow or even non-existent at times, those are also the places that have the most captivating cultures. You know what I mean, the kind of place that you find really cool to visit but wouldn’t want to live in. Not long ago I was stand up paddle boarding (or attempting to! see this how-to on stand up paddle boarding) in one such place: a remote Peruvian town. It was considerably out of the way and remarkably relaxed. The paddle boards were in okay shape and while everyone had very relaxed attitudes the men also sported big hunting knives — almost machetes — which gives one pause. It didn’t feel dangerous though, and I was never worried about my computer getting stolen.

So, stand up paddle boarding: I can see why interest in it is snowballing. To do it well requires a lot of balance, though. I had sore muscles in my sides and legs later on; I think a lot of the achiness was because of tensing up while keeping balance. Like any sport it gets easier the more you do it, and if you were to find some videos of people paddle boarding or see a good stand up paddle boarder in person you would think it is as easy as can be. It can’t be too difficult if it is possible to do yoga on a stand up paddle board, right? Nope. You will likely fall off a number of times before it gets easy. For that reason (and because warm is just nice) I’m happy my first try was near the equator in pleasantly warm waters. It would be smart to wear a wet suit or possibly a dry suit if you are going to make your first attempt in a cold climate.

Overall, though, stand up paddle boarding is not so difficult that you get discouraged, and not so simple that you get bored: a good balance. Because you are outdoors in changeable conditions on the water, there is the non-stop stimulation of the changing landscape/waterscape as well as constantly interacting with and accommodating to the conditions. One really cool plus that I hadn’t anticipated is being able to see below the water’s surface with ease. Since you are standing you’re able to look pretty much straight down alongside the board. If you add a good pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce the reflections you can enjoy some amazing (and sometimes a little nerve-wracking) views of marine life.

I’m a visual person — I am a graphic designer, right? — and it was fascinating to see things somewhat differently: that is from the point of view of paddling while standing up out on the water. I can see some small new design ideas coming to light. I would describe the new visuals as more relaxed and organic and less angular. It’s smart to have different styles at ready for the needs of different clients, so that’s another plus, an unexpected advantage of trying something new. A new way of seeing the world is rarely a bad thing.

Establishing An Emergency Fund

We all may like to believe that we are invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to us. Unfortunately hard times befall us all; whether this is something like a catastrophic injury, family crisis, or something even more common like a layoff or cutback in hours; whatever it is you need to be prepared. Establishing and maintaining an “emergency fund” is a really smart way to mitigate the effects of this. But what should your emergency fund contain? What are essential components to your emergency fund? What constitutes an “emergency”? If you haven’t thought of these questions before and others, it would be wise to do so.

Emergency: You might think that there are several emergencies which happen every day. But unless you are a high ranking secret service agent with high clearance or a police dispatcher or something like that, your emergencies probably don’t rise to the level of being “fund worthy.” Certain emergencies include things like pregnancy complications, death in the family, or being given the pink slip; these are all things which would be worthy of your taking withdrawals from your emergency fund.

Components: You may think ‘that’s great,’ but what does this mythic fund have to have in it so that it will serve you well in a crisis situation? What are the basic human needs? It’s food, water, air, shelter. You should be covered on the air component but then what about the rest? When you are in a crisis situation there can be nothing worse than getting an eviction notice for lack of payment. What’s worse may be a foreclosure. You may think that this is something that would never happen to you, but this is why you are creating an emergency fund. A full list of things to consider includes:
• Shelter: You need a place to live; that is a given. Setting aside a good deal of funds for your home expenses, rent, mortgage, taxes and other home maintenance should be on of your main areas of savings. Many people fail to budget properly for home maintenance and pay the price for it. Imagine all of the things that could happen to your home and what they would cost to fix. For instance, live in a rural area? The cost for getting a squirrel removed from your attic could be as high as $1,500.

• Food: Another thing you are going to have to continue to pay for is your food. Eating is not an “option.” Moreover if you begin grabbing fast food to go you are only hurting your own health in the long run. Isn’t it better to get into a routine which flows around your crisis for eating and such? Folks who are close with you will appreciate your struggle for normalcy even when the rest of the world had gone crazy.

• Medical Care: This one can be a little loaded because your emergency may revolve around some type of a medical issue. Even if that is not the case you are going to need to have monies set aside for things like regular care, glasses, inhalers, vaccinations and other regular medical care that you and your family would need.

These are just the basics for your emergency fund. You are going to need to have money set aside for things like cash to get around, car maintenance, and any other unforeseen expenses you may have during a crisis. This money will also have to last you for the duration of whatever crisis it is that is going on, so you shouldn’t be stingy. Hopefully you’ll never use this and it will just add to your personal family fortune.

Great Credit Repair Tips and Secrets

Many people these days are in dire need of having their credit repaired. These tips will help you with your credit score, whether you need to fix a major problem or a small one.

Fixing your credit score can be difficult. To begin with, you should try to get a copy of your credit report. This information is available online at many different sites. A number of these sites offer free, introductory services. You can learn how to fix your credit once you have this information.

Talk to your creditors often so that you can work together on a payment plan to pay off your debt. Once you have a plan, you will find yourself paying fewer penalties and saving money. Once you have put plans in place for repayment and have it all in writing, you can start paying down the urgently past-due bills.

Identifying poor entries on your credit report is crucial. It is important to know what is in your credit report, so you know if there are any errors. Make sure that if this is the case you contact the companies where the negative information came from.

When dealing with collection agencies, it is important that you understand your personal rights. For example, there is no way that you can go to prison for not being able to pay a bill, and these agencies do not have the right to threaten you. Verbal abuse either in person or through the telephone is illegal, so make sure you report agencies who resort to this. By knowing your rights, you will be able to avoid being pushed around and bullied into things by the collection agency.

A great tip is to keep your balance at about 30% below the limit. This will make your payments easier. Should your balances go over 30 percent, your financial situation could be in trouble.

You can either arrange your own payment strategy, or you can make use of a specialized debt settlement service that can combine your different payments into a single monthly sum. For the most part collection companies just want to know they are getting money from you, so they want to make mutual agreements with you. You debt will not disappear if you ignore the bill collectors. If you avoid them, when you finally do talk, they may be less willing to make a deal. You need to get in contact with a collection agent and let them know your situation, which will make them more willing to work with you. Most of the time, you can talk to them about lowering the amount that you have to pay, and you can even cut your debt in half. Cooperating with debt collectors is always in your best interest, because they will often let you work out a payment plan. If you ignore the debt collection calls, you run the risk of piling up debt at a more alarming rate than you previously experienced.

Years ago, I had a to do a lot of credit repair before getting a job. Broadconnect.com wanted to hire me but couldn’t because my credit was too low. It took me a few months before I was able to get my score high enough to get my score high enough to qualify for a job with them.

Using the suggestions in this article will allow you to maintain a good credit score. Begin repairing your credit ASAP by following these DIY credit repair tips!