September 2012

Monthly Archive

Health Insurance Options for the Travel Nurse

30 Sep 2012 | : Insurance

Choosing to pursue a career as a travel nurse means that you have to take care of some issues on your own, rather than allowing an employer to manage things like taxes and insurance on your behalf. When it comes to securing and maintaining a reasonable amount of health coverage, there are several options you can consider. Depending on where you choose to work and what type of agency helps you find the right assignments, the task may be simpler than you think.

Insurance Through An Agency:

As every travel nurse knows, there are employment agencies that specialize in locating assignments for qualified traveling nurses. Some agencies will provide access to some of the benefits offered by employers. For example, the agency may actually collect the pay from your current assignment, withhold the proper amount of taxes and then remit the remainder of your wages to the bank account you specify. Along with collecting and reporting taxes on your behalf, some agencies also allow nurses who work a minimum number of hours per year to participate in a group health policy.

Being part of a group plan is advantageous for several reasons. The premiums are usually more affordable than the costs of purchasing individual health insurance. In addition, you may be able to enjoy lower deductibles through the group plan. Since the insurance is through the agency, you never have to worry about changing plans as you move from one assignment to the next. Best of all, the agency can withhold the amount of the premium from your pay and forward to the insurance provider on your behalf. This means you are never late paying the premium.

Insurance Through a Professional Association: 

It is not unusual for a travel nurse to be a member of at least one professional association. You may find that the association offers access to health insurance as one of the benefits. Depending on the type and quality of that health coverage, you may find that obtaining insurance through the association is a good idea. Typically, your membership will entitle you to discounted rates for as long as you maintain your membership in the association. An arrangement of this type can be helpful, especially if you work with more than one employment agency and want to remain as independent as possible.

Find Your Own Individual Health Insurance Plan: 

There is always the option of identifying and considering different types of individual plans that are not connected with an agency or an association. Many well known providers now offer individual policies that include benefits similar to those offered in group plans. While this approach may be a little more expensive, you can often find a plan that offers the right combination of benefits with a premium you can afford. If you do accept assignments throughout the country, make sure the health insurance you secure will offer similar benefits no matter where you happen to live currently. This will minimize the chances of having to pay out of network costs when you do need some type of health care.

While it may take some time to find the right approach to securing health coverage, every travel nurse knows that this type of insurance is a necessity rather than a luxury. With the cost of health care continuing to increase, all it takes is one serious illness to deplete savings and create financial hardship that can takes years to overcome. Identify the options available for a reasonable level of health insurance through a reliable company and compare those options carefully. Doing so will mean you are always protected, no matter where you happen to be working.

5 Things Every Restaurant Owner Needs to Do Before Launching

23 Sep 2012 | : Business

If you are planning on opening your own restaurant, then you should begin preparing way in advance. There are a number of things that you can do right now to pave the way for a successful restaurant business, even if you are a long way off from your grand opening day. Here are five things that every restaurant owner needs to do before launching:

Write a Business Plan

This should be one of your first endeavors, as it will be your blueprint when it comes to setting up, running, and growing your restaurant. Your business plan should include a detailed and comprehensive budget, as well as an outline of your marketing strategy, employee network, current and future goals, location, equipment, financing, and more. Make this as detailed as possible, including information about your market, competing restaurants (with the same type of food and without), and typical costs.

Find a Location

As your restaurant location will help determine many of the factors outlined in your business plan, you should shop for a location in conjunction with developing your business plan. Take your time when it comes to settling on a spot for your restaurant, and be sure to research the area for things like traffic, competition, zoning ordinances, signage placement, curb appeal, and visibility. Even things like parking availability will have a huge impact on your ability to do business. If there is nowhere to park, no one will stop.

Arrange the Finances

One of the toughest parts of starting your business will be finding a way to finance it. Not only do you need to be concerned with startup costs, but also with the cost of operating your restaurant until you can turn a profit. Explore all of your options – business loans, partnerships, credit accounts, etc. – and decide which are best for you. Keep in mind your ongoing need for food deliveries (some of which will only accept cash), utilities, and even employee salaries. You’ll also need to make sure you have all the tools you need to operate, especially if your location did not house a restaurant before you. Consider a restaurant POS from Amburapp, new appliances, and whatever else will make your restaurant run as smoothly as you’ve always imagined.

Interview Staff

Your staff will be the backbone of your business, and you need to take your time finding the right staff members for your team. The people in the kitchen, especially, can either make or break your business, so be sure to put plenty of effort, research, and consideration into the sometimes difficult task of hiring restaurant staff. While hiring a few people right out of culinary school may work great for the lighter roles, you’ll want to find someone experienced to serve as your head chef (if you’re not already it).

Practical Matters

Running your own business is going to require a major time commitment; you should expect to work over twelve hours a day if you want to make your business successful. As this will leave no time for holding employment elsewhere on even a part time basis, you will have to have a logistical plan for practical matters (like paying your bills and caring for your children) before you open your restaurant.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into launching a restaurant, even long before opening day. Be sure to go over each item in this list in order to create your best chances of success in the food service industry.


What We Secure

18 Sep 2012 | : Indoors

It seems like everybody is paranoid about losing things, or being robbed, these days; and with more and more being on the line when a wallet lost, or information is stolen, why wouldn’t people be? With companies offering everything from identity theft protection to alarms, and every form of security in-between, it’s easy to get caught up in the worry and care of the chance of being ripped off or losing something of value. It’s interesting what we secure and save, but why do we often do so?


We secure our cars and homes with locks and alarms, our phones with digital tracking, even our computers with anti-virus software, but often we don’t secure ourselves from the possibility of our own mistakes.  How often do we fail to back up our vital documents? Leave valuable items out where they could easily be knocked over or destroyed by accident? Or even just leave the water running?  It’s interesting we lock up our valuables, but don’t protect ourselves from our own nature.


There are countless tales of valuable documents being spilled on, jewelry being lost while fishing or hunting, or cell phones left in public places. Maybe the first precautions we should take when securing our valuable items is remembering every day just how valuable they are. Maybe if more care and thought were put into protecting what we consider dear, or necessary, every day, the world would have far fewer “lost treasures.”


Sentimental Valuables


While some things are of value due to their rare nature, or great demand, most people value their items by the sentimental value they have. A broach, though originally a cheap piece of costume jewelry, may take on new meaning when handed down from a mother to a daughter.  While rare first issues of popular comics, or diamond rings, require the necessity of being locked in wall safes, it’s worth pondering why sentimental valuables which cannot be replaced don’t require the same attention.


While it would be silly to lock up the mood rings your parents gave each other while dating, it’s a wonder we can be so careless with items such as those, while putting such value on others. Does a diamond broach really have more value than the costume jewelry piece your mother gave you, when the emotions involved in them are compared? While that question is certainly subjective, it also gives food for thought.


Truly Valuable Valuables


It’s important for us to remember to be safe when we’re out and about, but it’s also important to remember to take the time to take care of ourselves and that which is on our person as we go. It’s not worth worrying about every little thing, but as we go throughout the day it’s worth noting where we set our phones, where we place our car keys, and countless other small things we value. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of losing all your contacts in your phone, or trying to find your keys when an appointment is looming. It’s funny how when we lose our keys, or misplace a phone, we can easily become as panicked as a person missing a diamond ring, or a priceless artifact.


In the end, whether we are using state-of-the-art wall safes to secure crown jewels, or just placing our mood rings in a small box on the night stand, what we value we try and keep safe. Remember that the next time you’re reading your journal next to a glass of water, or running between appointments while using your phone, because securing what we hold valuable is a simple matter indeed.


-Ryan Huff

Three Aspects of Moving that Can Be Easier

14 Sep 2012 | : Advice

Moving to a new home is one of the most difficult things for a person to do. There are lots of different tasks that have to be completed, and there are plenty of important decisions to be made, before you can consider the event well under way. When you first look at the situation, it may seem both overwhelming and hopeless, but there are some tried and true methods of dealing with this. Moving to your new place doesn’t have to be the nightmare that you might be expecting; it can, instead, be a time of transition that you and your family can almost enjoy as long as you plan ahead and take a look at these three major aspects of moving and how you can make them easier.

1. The Family

If you have a family, moving is much more difficult than if you are moving on your own. Not only do you have more stuff to pack and relocate, but you also have to consider the effects that the transition will have on the younger members of the family. Kids don’t like change, so employ the following methods to help ease their fears along the way.

  • Communicate openly about the move. Let them know when and where and how the entire process is going to go. The sooner you tell them, the more time they will have to digest it all.
  • Get them involved in the moving process. They can help pack, organize, or even man a yard sale table when you are cleaning things out. Younger children can help label boxes.
  • Give them something to look forward to at the new home. Yes, they will be leaving some friends behind, but they will have a new room that they can paint and decorate the way they want to.

2. The Pets

Another one of the biggest worries that people have when they are moving involves how to get their animals to their new home without too much trouble. This can be tricky, because unlike kids, pets are unable to speak about the change and how it worries them. At the same time, they will show signs of stress, so you need to plan ahead for moving day and the move in general.

  • Find someone who will help watch your pet on moving day or clear out a room and lock the door or put a sign up so no one goes in that room.
  • Take your pet to the vet to get a final checkup. Make sure that their shots are up to date and get copies of their records to take with you to your new home.
  • Keep your pet’s routine the same so that they see some things remain unchanged even if their environment is changing around them.

3. The Stuff

Moving involves taking all of your worldly possessions and transporting them to a new home. This can be quite difficult, especially if you have a large family or if you have been in a home for a good amount of time. Still, there are some things that you can do to avoid too many problems when it comes time to start the packing process.

  • Consider hiring professional moving companies who can at least transport your things safely to your new home. You can also hire them to pack for you if you want to free up some of your time.
  • Weed things out as you pack or clean the home. A good rule to follow involves getting rid of anything you’ve not used in the past year. Have a yard sale to make some money that can go towards moving costs.
  • Use the right packing boxes and materials for the different items in your home. Don’t try to pack glasses or fragile items in boxes that aren’t made for this purpose; they will only get broken somewhere along the way.

While there are plenty of different aspects involved in the moving process, there are some tried and true methods that you can employ to make the entire process easier on everyone. Be sure to keep these things in mind so that you can enjoy the transition to your new home without having to suffer from the stress so often attributed to a move.

Kristy Chin is a writer for With over twenty years of experience in the moving industry and related fields, she strives to provide valuable information to anyone who is facing the need to move in the near future.

Getting the Most From Paid Surveys

10 Sep 2012 | : Business, Marketing

While you may think that paid surveys are all scams, most of them aren’t and some actually pay a tidy sum for information. What you must learn is that not all paid surveys are legitimate, but once you figure out which ones are and which aren’t, you can make some spending money on the side by offering your information to companies or universities that are willing to pay for it.

To get in on paid surveys, you need to find companies that provide surveys. These companies normally work with businesses that need to collect information from the public. The survey company allows you to sign up for their program and provide them with a profile. The profile may include your age, gender, years of education, if you are a homeowner or rent, how many children you have, and your ethnicity. This type of information helps the survey company locate the profiles needed for a specific survey.

For instance, a business contacts the survey company to conduct a survey for a product they are considering producing. They may want to know how a certain segment of the population feels about the product. They may want more women than men to take part in the survey, especially if it has to do with cleaning or cooking. The survey explains the merits of the product, such as what it cleans and the cost. Survey takers are asked what they think of the product and its affordability. The finished surveys are then sent to the business where they compile the answers. From these answers the business can determine if they need to tweak the product in some way. These surveys help businesses learn what the public wants and needs from the products they manufacture.

Other types of paid surveys come from universities. College classes may need information, such as pertaining to one’s health, to help them in their studies. Universities may ask for information from the public concerning medical problems. They may need to know how people afflicted with a certain disease cope with it, or what kind of symptoms they have. The study may ask when the disease started to present itself and what types of treatments the person has undergone.

Paid surveys may include those conducted in person, online or by telephone. Surveys conducted in person generally pay more than other types of surveys to cover transportation costs and the inconvenience. Telephone surveys may also pay better than those conducted online, depending on the topic and length. Some surveys may ask that you use a product and take a survey of your experience after using the item for several days or weeks. The product is sent to your home and normally you can continue to use it even after the survey has been taken. Although rare, some companies may ask that you send back any unused portion of the product. They will provide you with a container and a postage paid return label.

To avoid scams, never pay to take a survey. A legitimate survey company will never ask you to pay them for your information. Some companies may ask for payment for a list of survey companies. While you can pay for this list if you want, you can easily find these companies by inputting survey companies into your search engine which should list a variety of places where you can sign up for free. Many survey companies pay you by check or gift card when you reach a certain amount. Some companies also provide payment to charities if you wish to donate your survey cash. Find out how you can make extra money by filling out paid surveys.

Take Your Time When Buying Real Estate Newburyport

06 Sep 2012 | : Finance, Uncategorized

The desire to complete the home buying process quickly is a desire that is shared by many first time home buyers. The idea of finally accomplishing the goal of owning their very own piece of real estate Newburyport is simply so overwhelming that people fear the worst. These people tend to think that if they do not hurry up and close the deal, something will come along and stop their dream in its tracks. The truth is however, that it is this mentality that often causes people to make mistakes when choosing real estate Newburyport. This is just one of the reasons that it is so important to take your time when buying real estate Newburyport.

Another reason why patience is key when purchasing real estate is that this patience will allow you to secure the best financing rates possible. This is very similar to the phenomenon which occurs with student credit cards. Young students receive credit card offers in the mail, and since they have never had a credit card in the past, they jump on the new opportunity. As we get older, we often learn that these student credit cards offered the absolute worst interest rates and benefits of all the available cards. Since students often act out of impulse rather than thoroughly researching the credit opportunity first, they tend to get the worst available offers. This same phenomenon occurs with first time home buyers. Financial institutions know that these first time home buyers are anxious to purchase their first house. Receiving an approval of any kind is often enough to get these individuals to sign a contract. Unfortunately, this behavior can result in you paying far more than you have to for your home.

Taking the time to research all financial revenue sources will allow you to determine who is truly offering you the best deal. The process of purchasing real estate Newburyport can take several weeks, several months, or even several years depending upon what type of property you are looking for. While I can certainly understand why you may be tempted to try and speed up this process, you must remember that remaining patient is always in your best interest. The house you are purchasing is much more than just a house, this house should present the opportunity to become a forever home for you and your family. Remember that a home is much more than just four walls. A home will provide you with the security and comfort that you need in order to spend your life happily and relaxed.

Choosing a house that does not present these benefits simply because it is available for immediate sale may leave you with a ton of regrets in the near future. Assuming that you do not want to repeat the process of buying real estate Newburyport in the next few months, taking the time to ensure you are choosing the right home the first time around is always in your best interest. Finally, people who may wish to scam you out of your hard earned money or sell you a piece of real estate which is not in prime condition often prey on people who are interested in making a fast transaction. This is because, having the proper inspections done to ensure a home is stable both inside and out takes time.

When you attempt to rush through a real estate transaction, you will not have the necessary time to complete these inspections. This will leave you vulnerable to both poor decisions, and possible scam artists. Always take the time to have all your properties properly inspected prior to finalizing your purchase in order to avoid these catastrophic situations.

Different Types Of Insurance Kitchener

03 Sep 2012 | : Insurance

While we may not be able to plan for many of life’s most difficult moments, having insurance Kitchener can ensure that we are financially prepared for those moments. While having insurance is always a good idea, many of these difficult moments will require different types of insurance policies. Unfortunately, if you do not have the proper insurance, you may find that you are not covered. This is why I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss with you the different types of insurance Kitchener, and some great ways to save money on all of your insurance needs.

The first type of insurance Kitchener that I want to discuss with you is homeowners insurance. While nearly every mortgage company in the business will require you to carry homeowners insurance that is equal to the amount of your mortgage, what they probably have not told you is that this level of insurance is completely inadequate in most cases. This is because, in the case that your home becomes destroyed, you will simply have enough money to pay off your mortgage. This will not help you to recover your equity in your home or to replace the belongings within your home. For this reason, your homeowners policy should always be equivalent to the total value of your home, plus that of the belongings within your home. If you make any improvements to your home or if there are any major changes to the contents of your home, you will need to make adjustments to your homeowners policy as well.

The next type of insurance Kitchener that I would like to discuss is renters insurance. This type of insurance policy is designed for those people who rent their homes. Since the landlord’s homeowners insurance will not cover the belongings of a renter, it is important that renters obtain their own insurance policy that protects their belongings. This insurance is relatively inexpensive, and will protect a renter’s from a financial loss in the event that their property is damaged or stolen.

Next on my list is life insurance. While none of us would like to think about our own death, the fact is that we will all die someday. The only real question is whether or not we will leave behind a mountain of bills for our loved ones to contend with. An adequate life insurance policy will ensure that our family is taken care of in the event of our death. In order to determine how much insurance you should have, you will need to take a look at a few basic aspects of your life. The first thing you should take into consideration is your age. The younger you are, the more insurance you should carry. This is because, in the event that you were to die young, your family will likely suffer from the loss of your income. A larger insurance payout will help to offset this loss. The second factor is how many dependents you have. A person who is supporting a spouse and children will need to carry a larger policy than someone who is living alone.

Now that you are aware of some of the most popular forms of insurance, I wanted to take a very quick moment to share a very easy way that you can save as much as 30% off of all your insurance products. In order to enjoy these amazing services, all you need to do is bundle your policies together. By purchasing all of your insurance policies through the same company or insurance broker, you will be given a discount on all of your policies.

The Importance Of Central Air Conditioning Maintenance

03 Sep 2012 | : Indoors

There are few appliances that are more devastating to lose than an air conditioning unit in the heat of summer. Losing an air conditioner can not only lead to significant misery but can also lead to potential health problems.

Surviving the Heat

Those who are suffering through a heat wave should try to drink as much fluids as possible. The human body will perspire and will lose many fluids. The best way to replace these fluids is to drink water, though any fluid that does not have a diuretic will help. Additionally, people should try to find a public place that has air conditioning, such as a store or a library. Even a few hours out of the heat can help people cope better when they are forced back into the heat. The more serious health issues that result from excessive heat usually come in two days, so people who feel they can cope with the heat have not yet experienced the worst symptoms.

For those who have basements, consider spending time in the basement to cope with the heat. Keeping the blinds closed can help keep the home cooler by preventing the sun from warming up the home. Homeowners should also avoid actions that can increase the home temperature, such as turning on the oven or stove. Homeowners should call an air conditioning repairman to get the air conditioning up and running as soon as possible. Once the air conditioning has been repaired, it is important that homeowners engage in the necessary central air conditioning maintenance procedures to ensure that the air conditioner does not break down again.

Maintaining an Air Conditioner

Air conditioners should only be used when it is hot outside. Using the air conditioner excessively will place strain on the motor, and some air conditioners will eventually fail. Also, not cleaning the air filters will put strain on the air conditioner and increase the risk that it will fail. Homeowners should regularly clean their air conditioner, including the evaporator coils, to keep the air conditioner functioning properly. Additionally, homeowners should consider hiring a company that specializes in central air conditioning maintenance to make sure that the air conditioning unit continues to function properly. This will prevent homeowners from having an unpleasant surprise when they fire up the air conditioner in the summer.

Finding a Maintenance Company

The Internet is useful for finding the best central air conditioning maintenance companies because the user can check reviews of the company to get a sense of how the other customers feel. Users can also quickly head over to the Better Business Bureau to determine if the air conditioning company has any complaints and whether the company responded to these complaints. The company should have a NATE certification, which indicates that the company is committed to continuing education and is familiar with the latest central air conditioning maintenance techniques.

Choose Based On Experience and References

While it might be tempting to choose the central air conditioning maintenance company that has the lowest price, this company will not necessarily have enough experience to do a good job. For this reason, it is important to instead choose an air conditioning company that has a lot of experience and can also provide adequate references.

Hire an Air Conditioning Maintenance Company Sooner Rather Than Later

It is better to hire an air conditioning maintenance company than to hire an emergency air conditioning repair company. When the air conditioning unit fails, the owner will be in a position of desperation and will have to quickly find a company. However, with air conditioning maintenance, the owner is in a position where he or she can be picky on choosing the best company.

Understanding The Benefits Of LED Grow Lights

01 Sep 2012 | : Outdoors

Many people bring their gardens or their growing indoors for a variety of different reasons. If the season is not right and you want to grow, or if you want a higher yield garden than what growing outdoors can produce, then growing indoors can be a smart idea. There is a downside to growing indoors using most grow lights, however, in that the lighting becomes significantly hotter than the area can handle, and so measures must be taken to keep the plants cool. This is where LED grow lights come in. These lights barely become warm to the touch, and what this ultimately means is that no cooling techniques are required in order to keep everything nice and cool in the growing area.

There are a number of benefits associated with choosing LED grow lights over other types of grow lights. Because LED grow lights offer so many different benefits, it really can behoove you to take a look at what they offer as compared to other types of grow lights, and then decide from there which type of grow light is best going to help you with your gardening or indoor growing venture. * One of the features that makes LED grow lights unique is the fact that they emit a light that falls within the spectrum correspondent to the optimal absorption capabilities of plants, both blue and red. Because these LED grow lights are directional, there is no need for ballasts or reflectors like you would need with HID grow lighting. All of the light that is emitted by LED growing lights is usable, meaning that less energy is used as compared to other types of grow lights.

* One of the most significant advantages that is offered by LED grow lights is that these lights do not burn hot in the way that the original HID systems do. The lights are barely warm to the touch, and they are not going to heat up the area in which you are growing at all. What this means is that ultimately you are going to save a lot of money and effort on cooling technology as well as cooling costs.

* When choosing LED grow lights, make sure that you are choosing LED lights that offer enough power for your growing needs. There are a wide variety of different discreet LED grow light systems to choose from, and it is vitally essential that you make the right choices based on what you are growing, how much light you need and other important considerations.

Whether you are growing a hydroponic vegetable garden, herb garden or something else entirely, having the right lighting is vitally essential. If you decide to bring your garden indoors, then it becomes more essential than necessary for you to have lighting that is going to benefit your plants rather than harming them. LED grow lights are often the best course of action for this type of indoor growing because they make it possible to provide the right type of lighting without a lot of excess or unnecessary heat. The right lighting really can make all the difference, and so it will benefit you significantly to consider all of the different types of lighting available to you and to make the right choices accordingly. When you have questions about choosing the right lighting, speak to a specialist in LED grow lights to see if this is the right option for you. If LED lighting is not ideal for your intended purposes, the specialist will be able to make a different suggestion to make sure that your needs are completely and fully met.