A Blog of a Work from Home Breadwinner. Blogging anything under the sun since college days.

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May 30, 2018

Budget Boredom Busters For When You're at a Loose End

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bored, bored girl, boredom

With so much to do and so little free time, chances are you don’t have the ‘luxury’ of being bored all that often. However it can happen, perhaps plans have been cancelled or your partner has been called into work. Maybe you just have a rare day off and aren’t sure how to spend your time. Either way, when you’re at a loose end it’s not much fun- especially when you don’t have a large budget. If this is the case for you, here are three ideas that are very cheap (or free!) and fun to do. 

Go on a Hike 

Now the sun has come back out, what better way to enjoy the weather, take in some views and improve your fitness than by going on a hike? If you have any meadows, woods, lakes, mountains or beaches nearby then how about lacing up your hiking boots and getting outdoors. The fresh air will do you the world of good, and it’s something you could do alone or with the family. If you have a dog then take them along, they will benefit hugely from the exercise and adventure too! If you live in a city, you could always drive or use public transport to get yourself into the countryside and then go from there. Either way, it won’t cost you much and it’s the perfect way to make the most of a summer’s day. 

Play a Game

Games don’t just have to be for kids! If you have a group of friends who live nearby, how about getting everyone together for a game of rounders, doubles tennis or football. It’s good exercise and some healthy competition, most parks and recreational centres have outdoor courts that are free to use. If you have kids, games like waterfights and treasure hunts can be a lot of fun. If it’s a rainy day or you’re having a lazy evening where you just want to relax, how about a bit of video gaming? You could challenge a friend and play a console or PC game online, or go play Final Fantasy 15 on your phone. It’s a great way to relax and kill a few hours when you’re bored, and depending on the game you choose you could get in some social interaction too. 

Have a Pamper Evening 

Life can be so busy at times. We get up early, work all day, we’re looking after family members, attempting to maintain hobbies and a social life. It can be tough, and we can often feel like we don’t have time to relax and look after ourselves. So if you get a free evening, why not spend it pampering yourself? Chances are you have lots of nice products that you keep for ‘special occasions’ or even a big basket of beauty samples that need using up. Light a candle, put on some relaxing music and have a hot bubble bath. Treat your hair and face to a pampering mask and slather your skin with a nice moisturising lotion or body butter. Not only will it kill time on a free evening, but you’ll look better and feel better too. Put on a movie or a series on Netflix and just put your feet up. Bliss!
May 26, 2018

Streamline Your Business, Save Money

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Every company can encounter frictions and obstacles that need to be smooth out on the path to success. The secret of business growth is, ultimately, in the ability to constantly improve the effectiveness of the internal structure and process. Frictions can cost a lot of time and money, where a streamlined structure is both cost-cutting and time-saving. However, streamlining your business is a complex project that can’t be tackled without a strategy. It’s not only a matter of where you start, but also of what needs to be done and which areas can be significantly improved within the budget restrictions. If you’re new to the entrepreneur’s world, here are four questions to guide you through your streamline strategy. 

activity-based interior

Is this the office you’re looking for? 

Who says business, says offices. But could it be that your workplace is slowing your business down? Indeed, every year companies have to leave a workplace that doesn’t suit their needs, and that has incurred high maintenance costs. In order to avoid further costly frictions, it’s essential that you consider all the options available. If you decide to gather your workforce within a physical location, you need to plan for space, aka for growth when hiring or buying your premises. Similarly, signing an office lease can be an expensive decision if you fail to pay attention to the fine print. 

best boss, cup

Get rid of your boss issues 

Most companies don’t realize how much time they are wasting every day in skipping iteration processes. Indeed, too many companies assume that knowledge comes from the managerial position and goes down to the sub-level roles where the tasks can be assigned. As a consequence, the lack of iterative processes – you can find out more about this by following these lean online courses – means that there is no room for improvement in the cycle of operations. Obstructive and costly factors can’t be identified and removed. 

Can employees work as a team?

It doesn’t matter how much you value teamwork and cross-team cooperative. If your business structure doesn’t facilitate teamwork, you’re wasting a lot of money in team building workshops and team culture. Indeed, workplaces that don’t focus on activities but roles in their design can experience significant difficulties in creating an effective collaborative strategy. Consequently, an activity-based design is not just an interior trend for the office; it can help employees to share knowledge, skills and ideas productively. The bottom line is that employees should be mobile within the workplace so that they can get together with their project partners as they need. A variety of projects needs a variety of spaces. 

How easy is it for customers to buy? 

Every business that has a website needs to answer a simple question: Can customers easily buy or order from the website? An easy purchase is not a matter of offering a variety of solutions for customers to perform their transactions as quickly as possible. If the transaction form requests too much info, users are likely to drop out. If there are no straightforward payment options – you need at least online banking, Paypal, Bitcoin and card payments – users will buy from a competitor. 

bitcoin payment

The bottom line is that a streamlined business is a business that reduces the risk of frictions and obstacles in its processes, whether it’s about picking the right office space or facilitating purchases. There’s no secret formula: Fewer frictions = more money.
May 23, 2018

Saving Money When Moving House

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Moving house is expensive and stressful, did you know the average person can move home up to 8 times in their life (some even more for specific jobs)? It’s crazy to think about how much money and energy we burn on each one of those moves.

piggy bank
Image Source

Luckily there is a lot you can do to manage cost. All you need is a little bit of forward planning and some savvy saving tips. 

Firstly, get rid of all your rubbish. Have a look around your house and think about all the things that you don’t use, books on the bookshelves, old desks used to pile things up, furniture that has been handed down that you haven’t had the heart to get rid of (until now). 

Instead of letting all of these unwanted items take-up precious space in your moving van and then your new home – get rid of it. If you can sell it on eBay or another online marketplace to make some cash, then do so. Anything else that you cannot sell put on freecycle websites, into charity shops, or just throw it away. 

When you’re planning on moving and using a moving company also, it would be wise to do so during the week. Likewise, if you intend to hire a self-drive van for a few days. It will also cost more on bank holidays. Try to pick a time that doesn’t coincide with rush-hour traffic, or you’re likely to pay more in gas and waiting times. It is also worthwhile to choose a trustworthy company which you can find more here

Once the deal is done and you have your new address start making swaps. Let banks and utility companies know in advance and you’re unlikely to be bitten by unwelcome bills in a few months time. Most companies will let you change your address details online, meaning that you won’t incur any costs from calling those premium numbers and being on hold for ages.

Head to your local supermarkets and hardware stores and ask them to save cardboard boxes for you. They’ve usually been used for substantial goods or significant deliveries and tend to be pretty sturdy and large. You can also ask for used newspapers or bubble wrap for your breakables. 

Something that is really common when people move, is that they forget where the essentials are. By packing things you’re going to need immediately in the same box and labeling it well, you’re less likely you have to go to the store pick up items to replace them, of course only to find them within an hour or two of replacing them. Think toilet paper, towels, tea and coffee. 

The final top tip when you’re moving house is to plan your meals in advance and order an online shop to be delivered on the same day as you arrive. This will remove the need to last minute shop or survive on takeaway pizza for the next few days. You will also find that you have a lot of food in fridges and freezers that will need to be moved too, incorporate these into your meal plan to save money.
May 23, 2018

Learning Kentico: Localhost problem (port number is in use & error 401.2)

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Back to learning Kentico and this time, my local copy stopped working. Just weird. I encountered this  HTTP error 401.2 - Unauthorized issue. This was all working fine for the past few days/month but now it stopped working. What the fudge!

And last Monday also, I encountered this port number is in use issue. I couldn't run both local copies of a test/practice site that I'm working - running in Visual Studio 2013 (for Kentico 10) and the other one is Visual Studio 2017 (for Kentico 11). I think I visited almost all sites suggesting solutions but I couldn't fix it. Jaahhhh...
port number is in use
port number is in use issue (click image to enlarge)

And I was having a hard time finding that dynamic ports that they were saying.  I need to set it to False so I can enable editing the Port number properly. But it seems not showing really in my Visual Studio, take a look below:


dynamic ports in visual studio
How to enable this?  (click image to enlarge)

So I decided to ignore it because I have spent a lot of hours trying to resolve the issue already.  I told myself that I will just get back to it when I have more time. Besides, both are working. It's just that I can't run them at the same time.

And today,  as I've mentioned earlier - new issue arise! I don't know what happened but I need to fix it. 

error 401.2 - unauthorized
error 401.2 - unauthorized (click image to enlarge)

So consulted Google as always, and these are the solutions that I have tried.

1. Check if Windows Authentication Module is enabled in IIS Manager - done

windows authentication module
windows authentication module (click image to enlarge)

2. Check if Anonymous Authenticated is enabled in IIS Manager - done 

anonymous authentication
anonymous authentication (click image to enlarge)



3. Check if I Windows Authenticated mode is ticked in Windows Feature - done
windows feature authentication
I came to a point also where I checked if I have enabled ASP.Net in the Application Development Features. (This is still in Windows Features -> Internet Information Services -> World Wide Services).

And I also came across  a solution saying deleting a duplicate web config file (as they said I must have two copies of it). And yeah, I really deleted it that I encountered a lot of errors. I found a web config file outside my Kentico 11 folder and inside my CMS folder. And the two become that web config file inside the Admin folder. Take note: they are different! It's a no, no! Don't delete. It will not work. Good thing, I was able to fix all the issues. 

web config file

But the error 401.2 is still not fixed. My hands are already sweating and my eyes are so tired. So I took a rest for a while (washed my coffee cup and restarted my computer). Then, I tried running my back-up copy of Kentico 11. And suddenly that local copy is working. Whatta! (Yes, it was not working also) I also got a notification that I need to change my localhost port number. This time, I need to edit it in Kentico CMS Desk. And yes, I was able to edit it. 

edit local host port number
Edit local host port number (click image to enlarge)
So if I was able to changed it now (through CMS desk) then I can now run my Kentico 10 (VS Express 2013) site - and so I did :) 

I don't really remember why it worked but I think I accidentally found the culprit. In the Properties window, the Anonymous Authentication was set to Disabled and as well as the Windows Authentication. Gossshh..I'm so noob. So guys, make sure to check these and enable these two also. This is the number 4 step

enable windows and anonymous authentication
Enable Windows and Anonymous Authentication (click image to enlarge)

And viola! All is good now. Phew! What a long post! And what a tiring and fulfilling day it is! :) 
May 21, 2018

Are You As Safe On The Road As You Think?

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Driving is a huge part of our everyday lives. So much so, that we often tend to see as being on the road as safe. But in reality, it’s not always. The roads can be dangerous. And even when you think that you’re a great driver, the risks may not even be based on your own actions. Because other road users can be the danger. So let’s consider how you can be safe on the roads.

Insurance Options

First of all, it’s going to be in your best interest to get insurance. You know this is a legal requirement, but you should also concentrate on getting the right cover and policy options too. Be sure that you are covered for the things that matter to you the most. Because if something were to happen, at least you have that protection to fall back on.

Driving Skills

Next, you will want to make sure that your driving skills are up to scratch. You have to be conscious, not careless. It’s easy to just assume that you’re safe, but you may not be. So you will want to drive carefully, be aware of others around you, and maybe take a safety class just to be sure.

Motorcycle Musts

And finally, if you’re thinking about getting a motorcycle, or you know that you want to consider the option, you have to be safe. When it comes to riding a motorcycle, you will want to ensure that you know what safety gear to wear and how to drive well. The below infographic has more information on this.
May 17, 2018

How to Obtain Your Dream Car

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steering wheel

If you’re anything like most people you’ll have been dreaming about your perfect car since you were a child; perhaps you’ll have had posters or magazine cut outs pasted on the wall next to your bed... looking forward to the one day you were old enough to drive and obtain your dream car. 

Unfortunately, financing our longing for possessions isn’t always as effortless as we would like, so in this article we look at the three most popular options when it comes to turning your dream car into a reality. 

BUYING YOUR DREAM CAR OUTRIGHT 

Owning a car might seem like the most obvious choice, however, it’s important to remember a car is a depreciating asset that rapidly loses its value, particularly in the first year, meaning if you buy a brand new car, then as soon as you drive it off the forecourt you can expect to lose four figures in terms of instant depreciation. 

For this reason, it might be better to look into buying an ‘almost new’ car that has been driven just a few thousand miles. You will still have the prestige that comes with driving a new car but without the inflated price tag. 

Buying a second-hand car seems to be one of the smartest moves you can make if purchasing a car outright yet the downside is that owning an older car can come with a fair amount of hassle. Indeed, many people share their horror stories of buying a second hand car only to have it sat in the auto repair shop a few weeks later, as they quickly discover it has many hidden problems. This is particularly true of auctions and private sales. 

This is the downside of owning the car yourself; if something goes wrong with it, it’s your responsibility and you assume all the risk. 

May 16, 2018

Four Common Threats That Could Harm Your Small Business

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When it comes to running a small business, optimism is essential. If you think that all of your decisions are going to go badly, then you simply won’t make any, which means that nothing will ever get done. However, it’s also vital that you look at things realistically, and find a balance between the two. If you don’t, then you could end up ignoring some pretty serious problems and make some huge mistakes that threaten the future of your business. With that in mind, think about these four common threats and consider whether you are managing them effectively. 


1. Business Interruption 

Regardless of where you live, natural disasters can happen at any time and leave your business unable to make a profit. Because of this, many businesses that suffer damage due to a fire, flood, or earthquake simply never reopen, because they don’t have the money to. This means that it’s vital that you’re prepared for such a threat. Unfortunately, your standard commercial property insurance won’t cover the loss of income caused by natural disaster, so you should consider buying business interruption insurance too, to cover you while you’re repairing. 


2. Inventory Shrinkage 

Inventory shrinkage refers to the loss of products your retail business culminates as the result of shoplifting, employee thefts, vendor fraud, and administrative mistakes, and is a huge problem for almost every retail store out there. The higher your shrinkage, the less money you’re making, and if the problem gets too bad, you might not recover. To avoid this, you need to invest in some proper security equipment, including surveillance cameras and alarms, and take inventory management seriously. You should also train your staff on what is and isn’t acceptable.  
May 16, 2018

Learning Kentico: How to Fix Access to Path Denied issue when Saving Code (Custom Module)

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I was practicing to create a custom module but I encountered an error when trying to save the code.

So I checked event log and it says, Access to the path 'C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico11\CMS\App_Code\CMSModules\CompanyAlRitch\OfficeInfo.cs' is denied

See screenshot below:


So I searched online for possible solution and to fix this you'll just need to grant access to the account user. 

Below are the steps:

1. Go to inetpub folder 
2. Right Click Properties
3. Go to Security 
4. Select Users
5. Click Edit Permissions 
6. Then Allow permissions


And viola! Code successfully saved! :)



Okay back to studying! If you have more inputs/suggestions, feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. 
May 13, 2018

That Fleeky Style

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fleeky style

We’ve all heard of the saying fleeky, but what does it actually mean? Although there is no official definition, it’s a style that’s on point, it’s the best it can be. There’s so many different ways of saying it, and so many people use it as a form of a compliment now. But how do you actually achieve a fleeky style? Well, it’s not hard. All you need to do is be in the know with what’s good and what’s not at the minute. There’s no denying that some styles are absolutely terrible, and some are just so incredible. It’s the good ones that we’re going to talk to you about today. Have a read on to find out more. 

Fleeky Hair 


Getting hair on fleek is probably the hardest part of your body to do so. Hair is just hard to tame, and most of the time us girls can agree that it just doesn’t go how we want it to go. However, if you want to have a fleeky style, all you might need to do is switch it up a little. If you haven’t considered a new style for a while, find something that might suit you. If you follow this link, you should be able to find a bit of inspiration. The best thing you can do however, is focus on maintenance. Maintaining your hair to make sure that it’s always shining, healthy, and full of volume is the best thing. Make use of hair masks, around two or three times a week. They will restore your hair slowly back to health, and help to keep it in that tip top condition. 

May 04, 2018

Super Simple Ways To Take Control Of Your Finances

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wealth, coins, money

Do you feel out of control when it comes to your finances? You’re not alone. Many people feel like they have absolutely no control when it comes to their money and what they’re doing with it. They buy things they don’t need, spend on impulse, and end up feeling really bad about their decisions when they realize they haven’t got enough money for something important. If this sounds like you, you need to decide to take control of your finances once and for all. The super simple tips laid out in this guide will help you to do just this: 

Download Budgeting Apps 

You need to have an accurate picture of what you have coming in, what’s going out, and any other relevant information to do with your finances. Budgeting apps are a wonderful way to do this. Many of them can link with your bank accounts in real time, so you can see exactly how much money you have. They’ll also make you graphs of where your money is going so you can see for yourself where you need to cut back. Some apps will also help you to set savings goals so you can stay focused. 

Set Savings Goals For Yourself 

We have just briefly touched on savings goals, so think about what your savings goals should be. Everybody should have some money saved, otherwise you’re just living paycheck to paycheck. This is quite anxiety inducing and not healthy at all! Even if you set small savings goals for yourself, it’s better than not saving any money at all. Here are some ideas of savings goals you could use: 
  • Save 10% of your income each month. 
  • Save up three months worth of expenses as a cash cushion and leave it alone. 
  • Set up a direct debit so you don’t even have to think about saving money. 

With some budgeting and banking apps, you can even set out specific savings goals and then add money into the pots. Say, for instance, you want to go to Spain, you can create a tab titled ‘Spain’ and add money to it until you reach your savings goal. 

Come Up With A Plan

Can you create a savings plan to help you to meet your savings goals? For example; set up a direct debit so you don’t have to think about it, cut back on expensive items you don’t need, etc. See if you can create a simple plan that appeals to you. If you're unsure, you could always go to speak to a financial advisor. 

Figure Out Where You’re Wasting Money 

Take a good look at your finances and see where you could be wasting money. Chances are, you can cut back in a few areas at least. Perhaps you’re spending more money than you need to on your car insurance - you can compare cheap car insurance online. Maybe you’re buying expensive coffees a few times a week. Maybe you’re making multiple trips to the supermarket when it would be easier to make one and take advantage of vouchers you can use when you spend a certain amount of money. Maybe you’re going there hungry, or with your kids, and spending way more than you need to. Look at your habits under the magnifying glass! 

Make Yourself Wait Before Buying Anything 

When you get the urge to spend on impulse, force yourself to wait. You know you don’t need this item right now, so make yourself wait at least a couple of weeks. If you still really want the item after a couple of weeks, you know that you can buy it and it won’t be a novelty. If you forget about the item, then you would have spent your money for nothing. This is a really good habit to get into. You can use browser add ons like ‘Thinkover’ to save items you’re thinking about buying so you can look at them again later on and make your decision. 

Get Out Of And Stay Out Of Debt 

Being in debt is a horrible feeling, so make sure you aim to get out of debt and stay out of debt. There's a solution for everyone, but if you’re unsure, ask a financial advisor. Before saving money you’ll want to pay off your debts, as they’ll be charging your interest. 

Deciding to take control of your finances when you feel out of control is a bold move, but you know it needs to be done. How are you going to take control? Leave a comment!
May 02, 2018

3 Essential Errands When Getting a New Business off the Ground

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business
Image via Pixabay

Starting your own business can, and certainly should, be an exhilarating experience. It means you’re taking your fate into your hands in a way that few people do, with the possibility of complete financial autonomy stretched out before you. 

Of course, starting your own business is no picnic. Businesses can — and very often do fail — and it’s likely that you’ll need to experience a fair few failures of your own before achieving success on your path. 

That being said, there are certain things you can do in the early days of getting your business off the ground which can help to streamline the entire process from the outset, and reduce the risk of things going wrong. 

Here are some suggestions.

Buy a web domain and set up an email forwarder 

No matter how professional you are, or how adept you are at what you do, clients are unlikely to come away with a very positive impression of your brand image if you don’t have your own, privately hosted website, and a corresponding email address. 

Blogs and sites hosted on free domains present an amateur, fly-by-night image, and what’s more, you don’t have the degree of control over them that you absolutely must have over your business resources. 

Before launching your business in earnest, find an affordable and high-quality web host, buy a domain name that matches your services, and create your own website (or have a professional website designer create it for you). 

Once that’s done, use your new web host’s services to set up an email forwarder using your new domain name. The process for this will differ between different email services, but is usually quite straightforward. Guides exist all over the internet for achieving this. 

Once this process is done, you’ll have a domain-focused email address. For example, instead of “123mybusiness@gmail.com”, your email address would be something like “mybusiness@mybusiness.com” 

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