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How to Celebrate National Unplugging Day

National Day of Unplugging happens every year in March. This year we will celebrate this national holiday on March 4th by unplugging from the virtual world to be more present in our real world.

In today’s world, it is more important than ever to unplug and connect with the people and things around us. The National Day of Unplugging started in 2010 as an event that encouraged people to unplug from their technology, turn off the TV, spend time with friends and family, read a good book or simply relax.

This is an occasion to disconnect yourself from high-tech gadgets for 24 hours. As part of my preparation for this day of unplugging, I want to remind you of various ways you can unplug all year round:

1. Take a break away from the internet

We live in an online world where it’s easy to get wrapped up in our online life. To celebrate National Unplugging Day, take a day off of the internet so you can unplug yourself for 24 hours.

2. Unplug your TV

Do not watch any televisions or other electronic screens for 24 hours. Instead, try to spend more time talking with your family and friends.

3. Leave your phone behind

Leave your devices at home on National Unplugging Day so you have no choice but to be present wherever you are. Instead of taking photos of the world around you, open up a book, go for a walk, or strike up a conversation with the strangers around you.

4. Read more books

Instead of taking photos of the world around you or playing on your devices, try to read more instead. If you feel like reading is too much work, try listening to an audiobook while undertaking another activity such as cleaning your house, walking your dog, or commuting to work.

5. Spend less time on social media

Try spending less time on social media for National Unplugging Day to disconnect from the virtual world and instead focus on your real life. Don’t worry if you have no choice but to use social media so try avoiding it whenever possible.

Why Celebrate National Day of Unplugging?

While most of you will be on board with the idea of unplugging for 24 hours, let’s face it, some of you may be a little more reluctant.

I understand and I do hear you.

But, do you hear me?

Since I know some of you out there may need a little more convincing to think that 24 hours without electronics is worthy of a celebration, I’m sharing some of my favorite reasons why I believe everyone should celebrate National Day of Unplugging:

Being present in this moment.

Unplugging from the virtual world and living life by being present is truly a gift we can give ourselves.

Celebrate real life.

Instead of taking photos and posting them online, try celebrating your real life by spending time with family and friends and really enjoying their company instead of looking at your phone screen.

Gain space to dream.

No distractions will give you the time and space to dream big. It also gives your mind a chance to wander which makes solving problems easier.

Reconnect with yourself.

This day can help you reconnect with yourself so you don’t regret missing out on life.

Take care of yourself.

When you unplug, you will have more time to take care of yourself which includes your health. Try exercising, reading a book, or meditating.

So there you have it, plenty of positive reasons to celebrate National Day of Unplugging. I’ll be honest with you, I do my best to incorporate at least one day per week of total unplugging. This has truly helped me stay more balanced, optimistic, and present in my family life.

If you’re still reluctant about celebrating National Day of Unplugging, I invite you to start planning now for this unique holiday. Make some notes and get yourself ready to unplug for the entire day on March 4th. You can give this one day in March and see how you feel the next day. Who knows, it may be the start of something wonderful where you unplug once a week like I do.

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Best Retirement Planning Advice For The New Normal

The pandemic affected working professionals in more than one way. The challenges of working from home were daunting, and pay cuts made life even harder. Millions of Americans even lost their jobs amid the initial lockdowns. Retirement savings contributions took a blow as professionals had to put them on a back seat. The worst seems to be over, so it is time to get back with your plans in the new normal. After all, you cannot risk your long-term financial goals with a prolonged hold on retirement savings. But you have to make a clever comeback strategy to get them back on track amid the ongoing crisis. Here is the best retirement planning advice you can follow in the new normal.

Restart saving as soon as possible

Your retirement savings may have suffered amid the pandemic, but the worst you can do is not restart. Pick it back as soon as possible, even if still grappling with reduced income. Every dollar counts, so even a small start can take you a long way. Getting your momentum back can be challenging, but you can save a bit more by cutting short on expenses and resetting your monthly budgets.

Look for a side hustle to supplement savings

Besides reducing your expenses, you can boost your income to contribute more to retirement savings. The good thing is that the side hustle trend gained pace in COVID times, so there are plenty of ideas to explore. You can take some freelancing projects on the weekends or even try working part-time at a local store. Creating an alternative stream can get your finances on track and even open a long-term income prospect you can leverage post-retirement.

Invest wisely

Investing should be an integral part of your retirement planning strategy because it makes your money grow. Besides traditional IRAs, pick self-directed IRAs to step up your investment plan in the new normal. But make sure you know the self-directed IRA rules before diving in. Look for high-yield yet low-risk options to maximize your wealth within a short timespan. The key to a comfortable retirement is growing your money enough to provide a financial cushion.

Open a health savings account

A health savings account (HSA) can be of great help in supercharging retirement savings efforts. It allows you to set aside funds to pay for qualified medical expenses, making it a relevant option in the pandemic. You have the choice to invest the HSA money in stocks and mutual funds to facilitate their growth. The best part is that you get a tax advantage with an HSA.

Pay down debt

Being debt-free at retirement should be a financial goal for everyone. Clearing car and mortgage loans, credit card debts, and student loans should be on your wishlist. The last thing you will want to do in your non-earning years is to owe money and pay interest. Start small whenever you can, and clear your debts. Eliminate the ones with the highest interest rates first because they are the most stressful.

Whether retirement is just around the corner or you have several years to go, consider reworking your plans this year. The situation is not the same as pre-pandemic times, so it makes sense to refresh your savings and investments with these strategies.

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9 Freelance Job Ideas for WAHM’s

The online world is full of opportunities for people looking to work from home, but many WAHMs are unsure where to start. The internet also provides a great platform for WAHM’s to earn extra income in order to supplement their families’ budgets.

If you’re struggling with the idea of starting your own business, here are 9 freelance job ideas for WAHM’s that will help you start earning extra income.

A few benefits of using these Job Ideas for WAHM’s:

Once you get started, you really just need to keep track of your time and submit an invoice at the end of the month. Many can be done from home with little or no additional equipment.

  • Low startup cost and low overhead.
  • Once you get started, you really just need to keep track of your time and submit an invoice at the end of the month. Many can be done from home with little or no additional equipment.
  • You can start and stop as your schedule allows and easily pick up where you left off if you had to take a break for any reason.
  • Feel more confident taking selfies with friends
  • Enjoy looking at your smile in the mirror again
  • Hear what your kids are saying

A few of the Job Ideas for WAHM’s:

Tutoring

If you have a degree or even just some course work in a certain field, you may be able to get paid to tutor people online. In some cases, you can even find local students via Craigslist or other sites.

Virtual Assistant

You can find clients who need help with things like typing, organizing documents, making phone calls, etc. Hourly rates vary depending on the type of work you’re doing and your experience level. Consider creating a profile on Upwork and Fiverr for this type of WAHM job.

Marketing Consultant/Social Media Specialist

Help others set up their online presence or address digital marketing strategies. You may be able to set your own hourly rate, but this type of home business usually takes time to build.

Recruiting/HR

If you have experience in recruitment or HR, you may be able to recruit people for companies via Craigslist or other job boards. Hourly rates vary based on the industry and location.

Virtual Personal Assistant

Similar to a personal assistant, this type of WAHM job usually pays by the hour. You should be able to find clients via Craigslist or Fiverr. The hourly rate should reflect your experience and areas of expertise.

Ghostwriter

If you have a great idea for a book or blog post, but don’t have time to write it yourself, find a ghostwriter to do it for you.

Being a ghostwriter is not easy and it typically pays by the hour as well. Your profile should mention your experience level and an hourly rate will follow from there.

Freelance Illustrator/Cartoonist

If you’re great at capturing your ideas with a pencil or a mouse, you could get paid for your art. Many people need custom graphics so they can be used in presentations or on business websites. You may have to invest in some equipment depending on the type of work you’re doing and it usually pays by the hour.

Graphic Designer

If you have experience with graphic design, logos, business cards, advertisements, etc., you may be able to get paid for your services. Many people are in need of design work so you can connect with them via Craigslist or Fiverr. Hourly rates vary based on location and experience level. You may have to invest in some equipment depending on the type of work you’re doing.

Blogger

If you have a writing background and experience with blogging, you may be able to start your own blog and create valuable content that people will want to hire you to write for them. It usually takes some time to build an audience and get paid for your blogging services. Once you become established in a certain field, it’s easier to obtain jobs.

If you’re looking for ways to make extra money from home, these 9 freelance job ideas for WAHM’s are a great place to start. Many of these jobs can be done from home with little or no additional equipment.

You can start and stop as your schedule allows and easily pick up where you left off if you had to take a break for any reason.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

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8 Amazing Gifting Options for Your Tech Friend

Shopping for gifts can be tricky and complicated, especially when purchasing something for your best friend. You want to choose a gift that shows your attention to their interests. Also, you may want to ensure that it’s of good quality and not a cheap gag gift.

Now that your friend is a tech enthusiast, are you looking to thrill them with some exciting gadget? Tech gifts are some of the most desired gifts out there, and the latest and most excellent devices often come with unique features that could send your tech enthusiast friend into a frenzy. In addition to this, you can opt for something that’s trending and out-of-the-box.

Whether you are looking for a splurge-worthy gift for a loved one or one that is quite affordable, there are many tech options for that unique individual. Below, we have highlighted the perfect gifting options for your tech friend.

1. Robotic Vacuum

Is your friend’s house home to furry friends? Or do they struggle with dirt in their home? Buying them a robotic vacuum is a good idea. These vacuums are portable, effective, and affordable.

Unlike your typical vacuum, robotic vacuums can be easily programmed using the app. They are designed to clean hardwood floorings, tiles, and carpets of all sorts of dirt and debris, just like vacuum cleaners.

Gifting your tech friend this device will reduce the amount of manual cleaning they do each day, thus giving them enough time to focus on their passion. Who wouldn’t appreciate such a gift?

2. Game Console

If your friend is a guy and a tech aficionado, the chances are that he’ll be a game fanatic as well. Game fanatics are pretty standard, and these individuals are often psyched about having an array of game consoles at their disposal.

Purchasing a game console for your tech enthusiast friend is an excellent way to express your love. This kind gesture will surely go a long way in building trust and solidifying your relationship. If you aren’t sure of what game console to buy, here are common ideas every gamer would love:

  • Sony PlayStation 5
  • Xbox Series S
  • Nintendo Switch Lite

3. Apple AirPods Pro

Understanding your loved one’s preferences is essential in choosing the right gifting option for them. Is your friend crazy about apple products? Does he have a Macbook, iPhone, and an Apple IPad? If yes, chances are, he will cherish Apple AirPods.

AirPods Pro is one of the most sought-after earbuds on the planet. And guess what? They are considered the best wireless earbuds for iPhones!

Apple AirPods have several features that make them stand out from other earbuds. First off, they have noise cancellation and are pretty easy to wear. But that is not the best part. The best part is that they come in different sizes. There is no better way to excite your tech enthusiast loved one than getting them a pair of this device.

4. Smart speaker

Smart speakers are the staple of a tech enthusiast’s home. They can be likened to a mini motionless robot designed to answer questions and perform basic tasks like playing music, making notes of appointments, and controlling other smart home devices in the house.

In addition to performing the tasks mentioned above, smart speakers can also set timers, reminders, and alarms. Wait, there are still more! These fancy devices can play one’s favorite radio station, playlist, or podcast, just like you’d want your typical speaker to do.

While a few innovative speaker brands are in the market, Amazon and Google remain the most common. If your loved one is a die-hard Amazon fan, we recommend you go for the orb-shaped Amazon Echo Dot. However, Google’s Nest Mini is a good option if they aren’t.

5. NFT arts

If your loved one is an art freak, one who gushes about arts nonstop, getting them an NFT art will go a long way in showing how much you care about their passion and boost your connection. Unlike other generic gifts, NFT arts are unique, and of course, if you are familiar with this term, you’ll understand that their value can increase with time, which means that this is a gift your best friend will appreciate in the years to come.

While getting the ideal NFT art for your loved one shouldn’t be a problem—as there are several valuable and picturesque NFT projects out there—transferring the NFT art might. So ensure that your loved one has a digital wallet to receive the art. Also, make sure to understand their art taste, so you know the exact art to choose.

6. E-reader

We all have that tech enthusiast who is a bibliophile. If your loved one seems to be crazy about books, getting them an e-reader is a wise choice, regardless of if they prefer “real books.” Who wouldn’t appreciate a device that makes reading easy and fun? We bet your tech enthusiast loved one would love this option.

So, get them a quality e-reader as a gift. A common option is the Kindle Paperwhite. This e-reader is ideal for every tech enthusiast who has a passion for books. The device can give them an unlimited library at their fingertips, and it’s waterproof so they can read in the pool or even in the bathtub without fear.

7. Smart Watch

Smartphones? Check! Smart speakers? Check! What about a smartwatch? If your loved one owns a smartphone and a smart speaker, adding a smartwatch to the mix is an excellent way to balance it up.

Of course, Smartwatches—like other smart devices—are super-amazing gadgets that will thrill every tech enthusiast. Unlike typical watches, these wristwatches don’t just tell the time; they act as a fitness tracker, a call receiver, a mini-phone that displays social media notifications, and more. Thus, it is apt to invest in a gift option of a similar nature.

8. Drone

Whether it is a birthday, holiday, or just one of those days when you wish to surprise a loved one, drones top the list of coveted gifts for most tech lovers. If your loved one is an adventure, traveling, photography, or nature lover, they will appreciate this gift even more.

What makes drones a coveted gadget for most tech freaks isn’t only the fact that they can fly but because users get the chance to control them. They can decide to do numerous basic air stunts with these devices, take aerial photos, or engage in drone races, much to their delight. It is like controlling a mini airbus a321 from the ground. Excellent stuff, right?

Conclusion

Tech enthusiasts are thrilled by tech. However, you must know their tech preference before going ahead to purchase a gadget as a gift. If you have to conduct a little research to understand their taste, you are sure that whatever you are gifting your tech enthusiast friend will be appreciated.