FAST FOOD Could Equal BIG EXPENSE

Better Ways to Spend Your Lunch and Dinner Money

Do you know how much money you spend on eating out every year? Let’s say that you eat out twice a week for lunch, and each meal is about $10. You would be spending about $1,000 a year on buying lunch. What if you also ate out for dinner twice a week, and each meal was about $15? You would be spending about $1,500 a year for buying dinner, and would be spending a total of $2,500 on eating out annually. And, those $3 cups of coffee each day?! Let’s say just three times a week, which adds another $468 a year for a total of $2,968! And the numbers would definitely be a lot higher if you are paying for your significant other or your family members or if you choose more expensive restaurants every once in a while.

There are many benefits of making lunch and dinner yourself, and one of the most obvious reasons is that you would be saving a lot of money in the long-run. If you are able to cut back on eating out, there are a few different ways you can spend that money so that it benefits you.

  • Start an emergency fund — Having an emergency fund can help you in many situations. You can use it when you or your loved ones have health problems, when there is a natural disaster, or when you are faced with car repairs, as a few examples. Having an emergency fund can put your mind at ease when you face unexpected situations.
  • Pay your bills — Millions of Americans have outstanding bills or debt to pay. Think about your loans, credit card bills, mortgage, hospital bills, or utility bills. Although the money you save from eating in may not be enough to pay off all your bills and debt, it does help to pay a little bit more every month.
  • Put it in your retirement fund — If you have not retired yet, you should be contributing some money in your retirement fund. You can put a few dollars more into your account each month and watch it grow.
  • Invest it – There are many ways to invest your money. A child’s education is one alternative investment. Perhaps the money you save from eating out can go towards paying for your child or your grandchild’s education, such as tutoring or summer school.
  • Save for a Special Vacation — Perhaps you are doing well on having funds or paying bills. Another option is to save for an extra special vacation.
  • Save for Next Holiday Gift Giving – Make next holiday a little easier on the budget by saving now.

Reference: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5185-the-cost-of-lunch-adding-up-for-most-employees.html

Welcome in a Healthy 2017!

What could be a worse way to start the New Year than to be sick? Flu viruses seem to make their way into millions of people starting as early as October, and they can ruin our most precious holiday seasons. Regardless of your immunity, there are 4 simple steps to follow to stay flu-free during the start of the new year.

  1. Get the flu shot. Flu vaccines are a sure way to protect you from catching the seasonal virus. What’s convenient about getting flu shots is that you don’t have to have health insurance or visit your physician’s office to get one. You can stop by at your local pharmacy, or you can even get one for free! There are a lot of cities that provide free flu shot events, and even college campuses provide them for their students. Make sure you do some research to see where you can get a flu shot for free!
  1. Dry your hands. We all know that it is crucial to wash your hands, especially after touching millions of germs outside. But what you may not know yet is that it is equally important to dry your hands after washing them. Even though you wash your hands thoroughly with soap, damp hands can easily spread germs to and from the surfaces you touch.
  1. Don’t touch your face. When you touch a surface that many other people touch, such as shopping carts, doorknobs and ATMs, then touch your eyes, nose and mouth, you are creating an easy route for the virus and germs to enter into your body. And, take advantage of stores that provide disinfectant towels to wipe down shopping carts.
  1. Stay away from sick people. Those who are infected by the flu virus are contagious for up to one week. If you are unfortunately sick this New Year, take a sick day from work! The last thing you want to do is be the spreader of virus. If someone at work or school is suffering from flu-like symptoms, keep your distance and be sure to have bottles of hand sanitizers around!  It would not hurt to drop subtle (or not so subtle!) hints to let them know that they’re infected because the rest of the office doesn’t want to get sick, too!  And if you’re meeting any sick family members, kindly give them an air-hug and blow them a kiss. Avoid touching someone who is sick.

There are many other things that you can do to avoid getting sick — and you should do them. Because why would you risk getting sick for the start of the New Year?

Reference: Boost Your Flu IQ: Need-to-Know Info That Will Keep You Protected This Season by Catherine Winters

http://parade.com/508234/catherinewinters/boost-your-flu-iq-need-to-know-info-that-will-keep-you-protected-this-season/

Thinking About Making A New Year’s Resolution?

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or kindness. The self-improvement resolutions – like losing weight, drinking fewer glasses of wine, or exercising more seem to be the easiest to break and are quickly forgotten. Perhaps making a resolution to keep your resolutions like this poem suggests.

New Year’s Resolution
Resolve to renew all your old resolves,
And add a few that are new.
Resolve to keep them as long as you can,
What more can a poor man do.

A bit more ambitious is the following Resolution for Every Morning of the New
Year that appeared on a calendar by Bishop John H. Vincent in the early 20th century. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone made and kept this resolution!?

“I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and
serene life – repelling promptly every thought of
discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity and
self-seeking – cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity,
charity, and the habit of holy silence – exercising
economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation,
diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust
and a child-like trust in God.”

Perhaps a resolution even easier to keep is a simple, “I resolve to treat others the way I would like them to treat me.” Sometimes that is all that one needs to be remembered in the daily challenges of getting along with your neighbors and others.

The History of Thanksgiving

thanksgiving_the-first-thanksgiving_cph-3g04961-eIn 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. But, it wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers.  After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore.  The local Indians taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days.  Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

Abraham Lincoln in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

Source: History of Thanksgiving   http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

Gift Card Scam

This scam is very simple, burglars claiming to be from a local store call to tell you that you’ve just won a gift card, and you must come into the store to pick it up.

Burglary: This scam is set up to get you out of the house so the robbers can carry out a break-in while you are gone picking up your “Prize”

Protect yourself: This simple trick works because it catches you by surprise. Always be suspicious when someone promises you something for nothing. The Better Business Bureau, which first warned about this scam, advises “winners” to ask questions: What contest did I win? How was I chosen? Call the store to independently confirm the details. After you determine that it’s a scam, notify the police. And take extra precautions to lock up your house, set your alarms, and protect valuables when you do leave, since burglars have clearly targeted your home.

Utility SCAM

Scam artists often target homeowners and many times use well known businesses as a cover to gain your trust. The most recent scam that has been reported to us is one that involves a caller identifying themselves as an employee of the utility company Edison. They state that they have not received payment from you and that they will be sending someone out in the next three days to shut off your electricity. They then ask for your personal information.

DO NOT EVER PROVIDE ANYONE WITH BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION, YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE WITHOUT VERIFYING WHO THEY ARE!

A resident at a park in Santa Ana was contacted by one of these scammers and took the proper steps by

  1. Providing the caller NO personal information
  2. Contacting the Park Manager to inform them of the Scam
  3. Contacting the local police department (using the non-emergency number) to inform them of the scam attempt.

Keep yourself and your information safe!

Changes to the Mobile Home Residency Laws for 2014

While 2013 saw quite a few updates in the Mobile Home Residency Law (MRL) 2014 noted only a few.  The biggest update was made in accordance to Senate Bill 196 which amends Civil Code Section 798.40. This change allows park management to either post the website where a specific utility’s rate information is posted OR post the prevailing rate schedule for that utility. Residents will have access to the most current and accurate rate schedule that may be viewed any time they wish. They are also entitled to a copy of the utility rates, they must simply ask park management.

The Latest Computer Virus

There is a new Virus circulating through the nation via e-mail. It will enter into your inbox as a UPS/FedEx/USPS Delivery Failure Notice.

This is how it works:

You will receive an e-mail from one of the above shipping companies that contains a packet number. It will state that they were unable to deliver the package that was sent to you and the date the package should have been delivered. It then asks you to open the attached invoice and print it out. THIS IS WHERE THE VIRUS IS! Do not open or print anything out.

Pass this warning on to your friends.

Joyous and Safe Holiday

The Holidays are upon us. For many people this means decorations and filling your home with friends, family and food. It is important to keep safety in mind. Here are some helpful tips.

1. Keep your tree away from candles, fireplaces and furnaces.

2. Keep water in your tree and throw it out when it gets too dry, having a dry tree in your home is a huge fire risk.

3. Use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors. There is a reason for the distinction.

4. Unplug/turn off all lights when you go to bed or put them on a timer. You do not want to risk a fuse sparking a fire in your home.

5. Refrigerate all left overs promptly to avoid bacteria growth.

For a full list of Holiday safety tips Click Here.

Here is  to a Safe, and Happy Holiday Season!

Love Eating Out but Low on Funds?! Visit these Restaurants and Get Some Serious Discounts!

*Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)

*Arby’s: 10% off (55+)

*Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)

*Boston Market: 10% off (65+)

*Chick-Fil-A: 10% off OR Free small drink or coffee (55+)

*Chili’s: 10% off (55+)

*CiCi’s Pizza: 10% Off (60+)

*Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)

*IHOP: 10% off (55+)

*Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)

*Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)