Saturday, August 6, 2016

Nepal Olympic Team Comprises Of 7 Athletes & 41 Officials. Yes, Forty One!


The 2016 Olympics were formally opened with a colorful and pulsating ceremony at Rio’s Maracana stadium in Brazil on Friday. Among the crowd of over 11,000 athletes from 206 countries, Nepal’s Olympics contingent was led by the judo player Fupu Lhamu Khatri in the opening ceremony. It was such a proud moment for every single Nepali to watch this small group of people in Dauru-Suruwal and Saree, waving the triangular shaped flags. Just look at this beautiful moment.

rio nepal

We really wish we could just let you enjoy the moment for a while but there’s something that’s not right and we need to tell you about it. Here’s the thing, there are seven athletes – Gaurika Singh (Swimming), Nisha Rawal (Taekwondo), Phupu Lhamu Khatri (Judo), Saraswati Bhattarai (Athletics), Jit Bahadur Moktan (Archery), Sirish Gurung (Swimming) and Hari Kumar Rimal (Athletics); representing Nepal in the Olympics this year. But in the opening ceremony, only four of the athletes were present as the rest of them are still in Nepal. Rimal, Bhattarai and Rawal still haven’t reached Rio yet and will be leaving later this week only. The reason? It’s pretty lame. According to Nepal Olympic Committee, as the three players have their games scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, they would be leaving for the venue late. Another reason being, as it’s a long route and due to the Olympics, the air tickets were not available. Wow! Such a satisfying justification that is. As the athletes could not get the air tickets, they decided to take forty one officials with them instead. Bravo!

According to National Sports Council, the authorities had approved for 22 delegates, including the athletes and the officials, for the Rio trip but without even providing any information to the government, the Olympic Committee took the decision of taking the unnecessary number of people to the venue.

‘Dignity’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Pride’ are alien terms to these people and all they want is a vacation to an exotic place for free. Everything is a joke to these people, even the nation’s pride. Shame on you, guys. Shame on you!

We just hope, no ‘politics’ gets near our athletes and they are able to perform their best and make the nation proud of them.


The post Nepal Olympic Team Comprises Of 7 Athletes & 41 Officials. Yes, Forty One! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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We Were Trying To Find Out Why Is That ‘Nira Jaile Risaune’ & Priyanka Karki Revealed The Secret!

Let me just quickly guess which song are your humming right now. 1… 2… 3… “NIRA!!!” Did I get it right? Of course I did. The another viral song by Kali Prasad Baskota has quickly become everyone’s favorite. No wonder that the song from upcoming film ‘Purano Dunga’ has crossed 1 million views in just two weeks.

Why did the song become so much popular?

Of course because it’s a good song and features one of the most loved on screen couples – Dayahang Rai and Priyanka Karki. But if you ask me, there’s another major reason behind its popularity as well. It’s because, a lot of people can relate to the song. In every relationship, there’s a Nira, it’ not necessary that it’s the girl and it can be the guy as well. For various reasons, the ‘Nira’ gets upset quite often. It might be because there might be something that is bothering them, or they might feel that the relationship is not going the way it should or simply because they are seeking for their partner’s full attention.

Note: If you don’t think there’s no ‘Nira’ in your relationship, it’s YOU!

Why is Nira always mad?

Alright, after that quick little ‘philosophy’ session, let’s move ahead. It’s been two weeks already since the song hit the internet and we still have no idea that why exactly is that ‘Nira jaile risaune’. So I put a status on my Facebook handle this morning and asked the people about their opinions regarding the same. I had them instructed that I was looking for some funny and witty answers. Let’s see some of the reactions I got.

1. “Nira lai kasaile maya garera fakaidiyos jasto lagcha hola, tehi vayera Nira jaile risaune.” – Youman Maharjan

Right. That can be true.

2. “Rishi Dhamala lai thaha hola.” – Durgish Nandine Thapa

Looks like the producer of the ‘Hostel’ series is a pretty big fan of Mr. Hamala, I mean, Dhamala.

3. “Testo helmet layeko mancche ko pachhadi basnu paryo vane ta jo ni risaucha ni.” – Saurav Shrestha


Like seriously though, what is he wearing? (Where can I get something like this?)

4. “PMSing, may be.” – Sadiksha Scarlet Thapa

[*PMS – Premenstrual syndrome]

Hmm! This might be the shortest and the most accurate answer.

5. “US gaye pani America nagayesi jo pani risaucha.” – Anurag Shakya

Ahem! ‘Nira’ is so going to get mad over this remark as well.

6. “Nira le gaida dekheko chhaina jasto chha. Aadhi zindagi khera gai halyo, tehi vayera.” – Rishav

Okay. Somebody give this ‘Oli’ fan a pipeline. Buhahahaha!

7. “Nira ko motey motayera Nira lai bike ma basnai gaaro huncha. Thau nai pugdaina. Mote le Friday night Garden of Dreams ma dinner laane bhanera Ranta Park ma lagera yahi ho mero sapanako bagaincha bhanera katti roll khuwayo. Pohor Dashainma deko soonko authi yespali khuilisakyo. Mote Facebook ma khaali aru keti haruko photo like gardai bascha.” – Avas Karmacharya

Oh! Nira is going through so much pain. *wipes tears*

8. “Nira: Ke khayo mero baby le din bhari?

Me: Tero tauko, ke khanu baato ko dhulo khaye din bhari. Kanchas ma sang?” – Bilal Ahmed Shah

How rude of you, Bilal. Is that the way you talk to your Nira? Bad boy Bilal!

9. “Periods ma keti haru yestai ho.” – Sabin Karki ‘Beest’

Oho, looks like the Cartoonz Crew frontman is an expert at handling situations like this. Does anyone need classes?

10. “Listen carefully, it’s actually ‘Neeraj’ahile risuane, Neeraj ahile risaune.” – Sisan Baniya

[*Neeraj is the blogger’s name]



11. “Bhok lagera” – Shraddha Prasai & Pratisha Rumba


That’s it. Somebody make Nira a sandwich, NOW!

12. “Risauna mann lagera. It’s her right.” – Sharmila Tamrakar

Yes ma’m, of course. (I really hope she doesn’t call the people from human rights organizations.)

13. “Nira le heera bhanera mann parako.. solti ta khatira po parechha. Baru keto jira bhaako bhaye ni la masaaledaar maaya hune bho bhannu, dhamirai-dhamira jasto bhayesi zindagi, tanaab-grast nahos ta bichari Nira ko.” -Bipul P. Pandey

I can confirm this, this guy is the ‘Nira’ in his relationship. Just look at the way he is explaining all the pain and struggles. Looks like he has been through all of them.

14. “Surkethaili khai, surkethaili khai bhandai hintheen Nira. Kasaile suggest garecha Wall Street ko yo bull ko thaila ‘surkethaili’ ho ani Nira yo chhuna America ni pugeen. Ani aile aayera sabaile bhanchhan yo tyo surkethaili hoina rey. Ani risaudinin ta Nira.” – Xian Xettri

purano 1

Dude, that’s so offensive. You shouldn’t have said that. (Buhahahahha. But that’s equally hilarious. S-A-V-A-G-E)

15. “Risuani ta Nira ko tarika ho ni maya sita maya misauni!” – Prashant Rasaily

Aww! Sweet!

16. “Jaile maya garda ni tito hola vanera jaile risayera mitho banaki ni.” – Jyoti Thapa

I didn’t actually get the logic behind it but may be women understand the feelings of other women, so I guess, it’s correct. IDK!

17. “It’s nothing. Nira just needs some ‘Hajmola’ tablets, so that she can ‘digest’ the reality that nothing in life can be perfect, not even a relationship.” – Anu Tajhya

Dang! Somebody gave a serious life lesson, with a twist of humor.

And you know what, there was a reaction from the creator of ‘Nira’ himself, the one and only, KALI PRASAD BASKOTA. He just posted this meme to express what he has to go through these days.


“I’ve been asked this.”


Wait for it.

Wait some more.

Give me some more footage.

Wait some more.


Here we go!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand….. there was a reaction from *some Ekta Kapoor kind of shots from all the four sides with some dramatic music*

Yes, you got it right. There was a reaction from the ‘Nira’ herself. Priyanka Karki wrote:

“I know why… because whatever Nira says or does ends up becoming such a big issue.. so she is always bothered. That’s why.”


*slow claps for all the wittiness and the satire involved in just a single sentence*

nira gif


So, the award for the Best Reason goes to……….

Well, you decide. Comment below.

FYI, Nira is the not the name of any character in this film. The term has just been used as the short form of ‘Nirmaya’. What?? Yes!

The film is scheduled for its release on November 25th this year. For now, isten to the song again.

You can read the entire thread on Facebook HERE.









The post We Were Trying To Find Out Why Is That ‘Nira Jaile Risaune’ & Priyanka Karki Revealed The Secret! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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Inspiration from Pat Summitt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and More

Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life.

1. Ralph Waldo Emerson on success

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I view success as leaving the world a better place than where I found it. Have I improved the lives of others? Have I contributed something to the world? Have those contributions been worth the negatives I have brought – the waste I’ve produced and so on?

I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure. That sense of not being sure gets me up in the morning. It motivates me. It makes me want to make sure that today is a day where I do something positive in the world.

2. Van Gogh’s paintings redone with a “tilt-shift” effect

Recently, a friend of mine showed me this set of wonderful images of van Gogh’s paintings redone using a “tilt-shift” effect in what I assume must be Photoshop, though this is a Photoshop technique that’s out of my rudimentary image processing skill set. I find these images hauntingly beautiful, as they take some of the paintings I most love in the world and transform them in stunning ways.

I was able to figure out that these alterations were done by a reddit user named melonshade; kudos to him or her for the absolutely stunning works. Melonshade claims to have primarily used the blur tool within Photoshop to create these effects, which must have taken some time. It certainly produced some amazing results.

In fact, I actually wouldn’t mind having prints of a few of these on my walls, though I have no idea as to the legality of selling prints of such works. Images like these – digital modifications of digital reproductions of old paintings – get into really strange areas of copyright.

3. John Steinbeck on summer and winter

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck

I actually think the reverse is true as well, but I’m a northern Midwesterner, so by default I appreciate the cold weather.

In a broader sense, though, it’s all about being on both sides of the fence so that you can see that the grass is always greener on the other side. On a scorching hot summer day, I sometimes long for winter. On a frigid winter day, I sometimes long for summer.

The truth is that they both bring something wonderful to the table, something I wouldn’t really trade for anything else. The promise of summer makes winter bearable, and the promise of winter makes summer bearable. The truth is that both are wonderful and it’s only the extended periods of extreme weather that really make me desire the other.

4. Tom Hulme on what we can learn from shortcuts

From the description:

How do you build a product people really want? Allow consumers to be a part of the process. “Empathy for what your customers want is probably the biggest leading indicator of business success,” says designer Tom Hulme. In this short talk, Hulme lays out three insightful examples of the intersection of design and user experience, where people have developed their own desire paths out of necessity. Once you know how to spot them, you’ll start noticing them everywhere.

You really need to watch this video. Hulme lays out a concept called a “desire path” that is going to stick in your head. You’re going to see it over and over and over again in life once you understand what it is.

What I find interesting is that these things don’t just pop up in physical paths. They pop up on websites. They pop up in our own time use. They pop up in how we do our work and how we spend our time. Desire paths are everywhere.

To me, it’s just another way of looking at the idea of “the path of least resistance.” People are going to consistently root out the method of least effort to get the result that they want. You do it yourself, and so do I. The real question is what we can learn from those paths of least resistance. What is it saying about what we desire? What is it saying about how we do things?

Look at what you do every day. You can learn a ton.

5. Abraham Lincoln on preparation

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

This is a quote that I see popping up from time to time in email signatures or in the forewords of books. It’s a quote all about the value of preparation, of course; a sharp axe will be far more effective than a dull one, so much so that the time spent in sharpening the axe will more than pay for itself later on.

I learn that all the time in almost everything that I do. The more I prepare to write an article, for example, the faster by far the writing process actually is, so much so that in the end it’s actually shorter to go through a sensible process for preparing the article.

The trick, for me, is figuring out when to stop sharpening my axe and to start cutting. I fully understand the value of axe sharpening, but sometimes I tend to sharpen too much, not leaving myself adequate time for the task at hand.

6. Tristan Harris on how better technology could protect us from distraction

From the descriotion:

How often does technology interrupt us from what we really mean to be doing? At work and at play, we spend a startling amount of time distracted by pings and pop-ups — instead of helping us spend our time well, it often feels like our tech is stealing it away from us. Design thinker Tristan Harris offers thoughtful new ideas for technology that creates more meaningful interaction. He asks: “What does the future of technology look like when you’re designing for the deepest human values?”

My cell phone is a giant distraction. In fact, quite often, when I need to work, I literally put my cell phone in another room. I don’t need to hear the beeps or dings from my phone because the vast majority of the things that my phone tells me are urgent but not in the least bit important.

What I would love is a phone that’s truly smart enough to only actually alert me when there’s something genuinely important happening. A phone that can figure out when something is truly important and only lets me know about those things would be great. I’d still want to be able to review the less important things, but on my own terms.

For me, the risk of missing something important – something more important than the task I’m working on at the moment – is pretty small, so it’s worth it for me to just drop distractions entirely. It’s sad that it has to be that way, that there’s no way to be connected and not distracted, and it’s a useful puzzle to solve, because when it’s actually solved, it will make technology far, far more useful than ever before.

7. Marcus Aurelius on pain

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” ― Marcus Aurelius

There is a lot of pain in life. Physical. Emotional. Spiritual. It can add up and really drag you down.

The number one most valuable skill I have ever learned in my life is the ability to put it out of my mind for a while. It doesn’t matter how bad things are screaming, I can shut down pain for at least a while when I want to.

When I was a little kid, I had an extremely painful surgery. During the recovery process, my doctor told me that it was going to hurt a lot in the coming weeks. It did. I put it out of my mind a lot in those weeks. At first, it was just to give me peace to rest. Soon afterwards, it was to give me peace while I did things with friends. Eventually, I found that the pain wasn’t there at all.

I’ve done the same thing with lots of different pains in my life. I woke up once in such bad back pain that I literally couldn’t bend myself into a standing position for fifteen minutes. I then proceeded to fly cross country that day while carrying several heavy bags through the airport on both ends of the flight.

I had a girl dump me once. I thought it was the end of the world. I put it out of my mind and within three days my future wife had asked me out on a date. She didn’t know that anything was bothering me.

You can revoke the pain in your life if you want to, at least for a little while. You can sink it and submerge it and perhaps find that you really can deal with it.

8. Pat Summitt on losing

“Losing strengthens you. It reveals your weaknesses so you can fix them.” – Pat Summitt

A few days ago, I was joking about the graveyard of other blogs that I attempted to launch over the years, either prior to The Simple Dollar or even after The Simple Dollar launched.

I had a blog devoted to parenting issues (that one was actually kind of successful). I had a blog devoted to board gaming (an utter failure). I had one devoted to personal productivity (it had potential, but it ended up being more useful to me than to anyone else, I think). I had one devoted to philosophical issues (I deeply, deeply enjoyed writing this one – it had almost no readers).

All of those blogs failed for various reasons, most of them related to time, but at least in part due to the fact that they just didn’t catch on for one reason or another. Maybe the topic was too narrow, for instance, or maybe I didn’t promote it.

Each time I saw a blog fail, though, I learned something. I learned about how not to attract an audience. I learned about good topic selection. I learned about how to write in a way that engaged people.

And, from all of that, The Simple Dollar was born. It rests on a foundation of a lot of failure.

I failed. Many times. It strengthened me. It made everything I did after that much stronger.

9. Sajay Samuel on how college loans exploit students for profit

From the description:

“Once upon a time in America,” says professor Sajay Samuel, “going to college did not mean graduating with debt.” Today, higher education has become a consumer product — costs have skyrocketed, saddling students with a combined debt of over $1 trillion, while universities and loan companies make massive profits. Samuel proposes a radical solution: link tuition costs to a degree’s expected earnings, so that students can make informed decisions about their future, restore their love of learning and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

10. Buddha on happiness

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

There is literally no cost to me to be happy in public. There’s no cost to me to smile at someone. There’s no cost to me to laugh at someone’s joke. There’s no cost to me to express sympathy to someone. There’s no cost to me to stop and ask someone if they need help.

Each one of those things, though, offers a huge benefit. Each one of those things makes someone else’s life better. It makes them smile, too. It makes them feel self-confident. It makes them feel less confused. It makes them feel like someone cares about their problems.

If these things can happen with literally no cost to you, why not take that step to make them happen. Smile. Listen. Share condolences. Laugh. Give some simple help. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it makes the lives of everyone around you a little better, and the waves will eventually bounce back to you.

11. Daisy

Over the years, I’ve tried out a bunch of habit-promoting apps that were designed to encourage me to build better personal habits and routines, like making sure that I exercise each day and such. These are things that I sometimes put into my to-do list, but, honestly, it’s kind of weird to have a to-do to remind me to floss. I want that habit to just become natural over a long period of time, just something I do each day.

I think Daisy is that app.

It basically just sits on your phone and sends you reminders of the things you’re trying to do each day. I find myself flipping over to that app each time a reminder comes up just to see what I missed, and usually I just do it to take care of it.

The whole app is about as simple as can be. It also generates good statistics along the way, so it’s good for “chaining” sequential days of good habit performance.

In other words, it’s basically the perfect habit building app, in my opinion. It’s free, too, unless you are wanting to build a ton of habits at once, in which case it’s $3.

12. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on regarding others

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This quote has been the signature of my email for the last year or two. It’s been changing and shaping the way I look at other people.

The truth is that everyone you meet has been through some sort of pain in their life, and some have been through far more than others. Everyone has the capacity to bear some burdens, but sometimes people have more thrown on their shoulders than they can stand.

As human beings, even if we’re not willing or able to help that person, the least we can do is respect that person. It is far, far too easy to judge someone else through the eyes of our own experiences and burdens, because that’s all we have. It’s very likely that the person you see on the street, having been given your burdens and your advantages, might have turned out very much like you. But they weren’t given those burdens and they weren’t given those advantages.

The vast, vast majority of people are trying to do the best they can with the situation they’re in, with the burdens they’re carrying and with the advantages they have. Some people simply have fewer advantages and more burdens, often through no fault of their own.

Keep that in mind as you interact with the people around you. Ask yourself what burdens they carry. You might end up seeing that person a little differently, and that might end up shaping how you see the world a little bit, too.

The post Inspiration from Pat Summitt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and More appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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What Is a Balance Transfer (and Should I Consider It)?

If you’re struggling with high-interest debt, a balance transfer credit card could be the solution to your problem. By moving balances from your high-interest credit cards to a balance transfer credit card, you can score a 0% interest rate for 12 to 21 months, buying you time to make faster progress on your debt – or even pay it off entirely. Not only can you do this with minimal or even zero fees, but you can save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars in interest during your balance transfer’s introductory offer.

Many consumers are hesitant to get another credit card when they’re already in debt, however, and that makes sense. With yet another credit card in your wallet, you could potentially get even further into debt, right?

That’s absolutely true, if you’re not careful and disciplined. Yet many people have learned how to use a balance transfer to their advantage. As with anything else, there are certain rules you should follow when you transfer a balance, and best practices that keep you from spiraling back into debt. We’ll get to some of those tips in a minute.

How a Balance Transfer Works

Let’s start with how this process works. When you’re ready to transfer a balance, the first thing you’ll do is shop around for a new balance transfer credit card. While there are several criteria to consider, the biggest factors worth mentioning are the length of the card’s introductory 0% interest offer, and the card’s associated transfer fees. Let’s look at a few specific cards to illustrate how a balance transfer works in real life.

As an example, the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card® offers 0% interest on transferred balances for a full 21 months. However, it charges a balance transfer fee equal to 3% of the balance. The Chase Slate®, on the other hand, offers 0% intro APR for 15 months, but doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee in the first 60 days. Neither card charges an annual fee, and both cards revert back to normal interest rates (between 13% and 21%) once your introductory period ends.

Let’s say you owe $10,000 in credit card debt at an 18% interest rate — you would likely benefit from transferring that debt to a card with a 0% introductory APR.

If you chose the Citi® Diamond Preferred Card® for your balance transfer, you’d get 21 months to pay off your debt at 0% APR, but you would need to pay a 3% balance transfer fee — equal to $300. Over a 21-month timeline, you’d have to pay around $490 per month to pay off your entire $10,000 balance plus the $300 balance transfer fee. But at the end of those 21 months, you’d be entirely debt-free.

By comparison, if you paid $490 a month for 21 months at the original 18% interest rate, you’d have to keep paying for another four months — almost $2,000 more — before you vanquished the original $10,000 balance.

With the Chase Slate®, meanwhile, you wouldn’t have to pay a balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. On the flip side though, the 0% introductory APR period is markedly shorter. To become debt-free within this card’s 15-month 0% intro APR period, you’d need to pay $666 per month.

The right card and offer for your situation will mostly depend on how much you can afford to pay each month and which offer works best for your needs. As you shop for a balance transfer credit card, make sure to read the fine print and understand each offer in its entirety.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Balance Transfer

While a balance transfer might seem like a no-brainer, there are plenty of ways for this strategy to go awry. If you don’t change your habits and continue using credit to spend more than you can afford, for example, you have very little chance of improving your situation.

To make a balance transfer work, you have to dedicate yourself to using your card’s 0% APR offer to actually pay off the debt. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Don’t forget to factor fees into the equation. As you search for the best balance transfer card for your needs, don’t forget to factor in fees. While at least one card doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee, others charge fees equal to 3% to 5% of the transferred balance. Needless to say, these fees can add up fast on a big balance.
  • Choose the best card for your needs. After you factor in balance transfer fees, you should also look for cards that offer 0% APR for the longest time possible. With more months at 0% APR, you’ll have more time to pay down the debt without paying a dime in interest.
  • Quit using credit cards for purchases. This might be the most important rule to follow. Once you transfer your balances, you must stop using your credit cards for additional purchases. If you continue using your credit cards as you once did, you’ll keep racking up more debt. If you want to stop digging yourself deeper into debt, you must break the cycle and stick to a cash budget instead.
  • Make sure to pay all of your bills on time. The single biggest factor in your FICO credit score is your payment history, so it’s crucial to pay all of your bills on time. Beyond that, paying bills on time can help you avoid late fees and penalty interest rates. If your goal is getting out of debt, you don’t need any new fees in your life anyway.
  • Keep old accounts open – even if you’re not using them. Once you transfer balances from your old cards, you might be tempted to shut them down. Before you do, however, realize that closing old credit card accounts can shorten your credit history and lower your utilization ratio, and thus, lower your credit score. To keep those old accounts working in your favor, keep them open — just don’t use them. (You can cut up the cards or hide them in a drawer to ward off temptation.)

The Bottom Line

A balance transfer can be an absolute lifesaver if you use it wisely, but it may not make a large impact if you continue using your credit cards and racking up debt. To get the most out of these offers, you have to change the way you think about and use credit. And most of all, you have to change the way you spend.

Have you ever used a balance transfer credit card? Why or why not?

Related Articles:

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Friday, August 5, 2016

1974 AD’s New Album ‘Hazaar Sapna’ Is Out & It’s Absolutely Free. Get It Here!

One of the most anticipated albums of the year has finally been released. ‘Hazaar Sapna,’ the ninth studio album by 1974 AD, was released today in an event held at Moksh, Jamsikhel in Kathmandu. The album features eight songs that have been written and composed by the band members including two, ‘Saani Ko’ and ‘Pathaideu (Reprised)’, by the founder member and former lead vocalist Phiroj Syangden as well.

The first album by the new line up that was formed last year, has been released after six years of the band’s last album ‘Aath Athara’. The band that currently consists of Nirakar Yakthuma on bass guitars, Manoj Kumar KC on guitars, Sanjay Shrestha on drums and percussions, Rohit John Chettri on vocals and guitars, Prajjwal Mukhiya on vocals and keyboards, Jacko Wacko on trumpets and Pratick Baniya on trombones; was originally founded in 1994 by Phiroj Shyangden, Nirakar Yakthumba and Bhanu A.

‘Hazaar Sapna’ is available for free download. Click on the album art below to download the entire album.

1974 ad album art

The album is also streaming on YouTube. You can listen to all the songs HERE.

Here’s the title song that is written by Anup Pahari and composed by Pahari and Manoj Kumar KC. The song sung by Prajjwal Mukhiya is our favorite one from the album.


The post 1974 AD’s New Album ‘Hazaar Sapna’ Is Out & It’s Absolutely Free. Get It Here! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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Depriving Yourself Doesn’t Work

Connie writes in:

I am sick and tired of having to live a miserable life in order to save for retirement and to pay down debts. Every single day I am just saying NO NO NO to the life I want to be living. So sick of it.

This was actually just one paragraph in the middle of a long email, where Connie was mostly venting her frustrations about the financial challenges in her life, but this paragraph really stuck out at me and stuck with me.

It’s pretty obvious that Connie is feeling massively frustrated here, and for most of us, it’s a feeling that we can sympathize with. When you’re working hard toward your financial goals, it really can feel like an endless road of personal deprivation. You’re going without stuff that you really really want and it feels miserable.

Guess what? If you feel that way, you’re doing it wrong, and you’re probably headed toward failure.

It can be a painful pill to swallow, but it’s true. If you spend a lot of your time feeling miserable and deprived of things you really really want, it’s a matter of time before you simply abandon the goal. If you feel that way, in fact, your goal has already failed. Humans are short-term people, and if all of your short-term feelings and desires are pointed in a particular direction so strongly that it actually feels miserable to walk against the grain, you’re going to start walking toward the grain pretty quickly.

Why is this happening, though? Connie, like a lot of people, is feeling the pain of a direct conflict between their short-term desires and their long-term plans. As much as it hurts, over the long term, those short-term desires are going to win out.

The only way to beat this situation is to find ways to redirect or eliminate those short-term desires. As long as you’re focused on stuff that you really, really want that are in opposition to your bigger goal, you’re going to feel miserable and eventually you’re going to crack, so the solution is to directly take on those desires.

Saying “I won’t let myself have this thing that I really, really want” will eventually lead straight to failure. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

What’s the solution? The solution is to alter those desires. You are not defined by the things that you want. You are not defined by your desire for things. You do not have to have those things, either.

When you feel miserable because your big goal is keeping you away from the things that you want, try these steps. The whole purpose of these strategies is to simply alter the desire itself by making you look at it from different angles. A desire is often like a flawed diamond; it looks amazing from one angle, but if you look at it from lots of angles, it doesn’t look nearly as good any more.

First of all, ask yourself why you want it — five times. Why do you want this thing? Whatever your answer to that is, ask yourself why you feel that way. Then, why do you feel that way? Do this twice more and what you’ll usually find is that you’ve cut down to something deep in your life that’s driving that external desire.

That deep internal thing is the thing you need to address. For me, it often comes down to a sense that I don’t have time for whatever passion is driving me to want to spend money. The best solution for me there is to simply box off some time for that hobby. Rather than buying something, I spend a Saturday afternoon actually doing something.

The vast majority of the time, my desire to buy a particular item flips quickly into excitement and anticipation for that upcoming session doing something that I love, which I was able to uncover using the “five whys.”

Another way to tackle a strong desire is to list several bad things about the thing that’s desired. What’s wrong with that thing that I desire? What are the flaws? What’s just as good – or better – among the things that I already have?

Critique that thing that you desire. Intentionally look for the flaws in it. Recognize that it’s not this amazing thing that you’re envisioning in your head when the desire is strong – because it really isn’t.

I find that simply delaying the thing I desire – saying that I can have it in five days or 10 days or 30 days – is often a good strategy. It causes the desire to just fall away, at least in the short term. In my mind, I know that it’s fine for me to have it if I just wait for a little while.

The interesting phenomenon here is that when the big day arrives, I often find that I don’t even want the thing in question any more. The big wave of desire has passed and my rational mind is now running the show again. Usually, what’s happened is that in the interim I’ve run through most of the other strategies in this article, whether consciously or unconsciously, and I’ve actually killed off the desire (or significantly reduced it).

Another great desire-killing strategy is to ask myself what else I could be doing with the money or the time invested in the desire. For example, if I want to spend $500 on some device for the kitchen, what else could I do with that $500? I could feed my family for two weeks. I could buy about 15 new board games (at least). I could retire a week or two earlier than I otherwise planned.

This is a trick related to the idea of opportunity cost, which simply means that whenever you invest your resources in one thing, you have the theoretical cost of not being able to invest your resources into anything else. When you start realizing the opportunity cost of each purchase, it can sometimes begin to feel like a shame to lock your money down into your particular desire where there are so many useful and wonderful additional options.

A final desire killer that I like to use is to simply spend a lot of my free time engaging in something I’m passionate about that’s radically different than the source of my desire. If I want a particular hobby item, I engage in other hobbies. If I want food, I just keep myself as busy as possible and away from the kitchen. If I want a new car, I enjoy myself at home doing things that don’t require travel and keep me out of the car.

What this does is that it makes me realize how wonderful and multi-layered and multi-dimensional my life is and that my happiness and sadness isn’t just dependent on one particular factor. I have lots of interests and hobbies and areas in my life and when I look into those other areas and away from the things that I desire, the desire often fades away.

What happens when you implement these strategies? Almost without fail, the desires start to slip away. At first, they’re still present – they just don’t seem quite as urgent as they once did. As time goes on, though, they seem less and less and less important and worthwhile. Often, you’ll begin to see other things as being more important than that desire.

Before long, you will scarcely even remember that desire most of the time. It will completely drift away, leaving behind at most a gentle hint of desiring something.

I should know – I do these things almost every time I really want something. The vast majority of the time, that desire just fades away over a handful of days. I find that, before long, I don’t even want it any more.

What’s interesting is that learning this about myself – that my desires melt away like that – makes my desires seem a lot less intense. I recognize them for what they are. They’re largely just fleeting things, things that seem so important and so real and so vital while I’m focusing on them, but things that just drift away like smoke when I look at them from a different angle or turn my attention elsewhere.

For me, the best tool for success with overcoming desires isn’t to find ways to resist those desires, but to find ways to make that desire melt away in the first place. That way, there’s no desire to overcome. There’s no need to walk against the grain. There’s no desire holding you back from the success you dream of and deserve.

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How to Apply for a Credit Card (and Actually Get Approved)

We all know that credit cards offer one of the easiest ways to build a solid credit history that will last a lifetime. Still, getting approved for a credit card isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

If you’ve never had a credit card before or have a severely limited credit history, it can be difficult to find a bank that will give you a shot. And if you have bad credit or a poor credit history, your chances of being approved for the credit card you want may be even worse.

Seven Steps to Getting Approved for a Credit Card

But with some planning and a little forethought, you can drastically improve your chances of getting approved. Before you apply, read these tips and consider a few of these moves:

1. Know your credit score.

Before you apply for a new credit card, it helps tremendously to know your actual FICO score – or at least get an estimate of it. If you don’t have a credit card at all, websites like CreditKarma and CreditSesame will let you view an estimate of your credit score for free. While the “free scores” you get through these sites are only estimates, they can give you a good idea of where you stand.

Some credit cards also offer their cardholders a free look at their FICO score on their monthly statements. If you have a credit card already, you can check to see if your card offers this benefit.

Knowing your credit score or an estimate of it is one thing — but you also need to know what your score means and whether it’s high enough to qualify you for a credit card. We recently looked at what constitutes a good credit score, and, according to credit expert John Ulzheimer, here’s how credit score ranges tend to stack up from top to bottom:

  • A credit score of 760 or higher is considered excellent credit.
  • A score between 701 and 759 is considered good credit.
  • A score of 651 to 700 is considered fair credit (695 is the national average).
  • Under 650 is considered poor credit.

The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for a credit card. So is your score high enough? In 2013, only 39.1% of all applicants were approved for general purpose credit cards, according to a study by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. However, 58.7% of Americans with “prime” credit scores — those in the 660 to 720 range — were approved, and 85.5% of applicants with “superprime” credit scores (720 or above) were approved.

There are other variables that may determine whether you’re ultimately approved for a credit card or denied, but once you know your credit score you’ll have a better sense of your chances. And if your score is on the lower end of that spectrum, you’ll know it’s time to make some changes — paying down balances and paying bills on time — to get that number moving in the right direction before applying for a credit card.

2. Check your actual credit report for free.

In addition to your credit score, it can be helpful to get a copy of your actual credit report. Fortunately, you can get a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – for free, once per year.

All it takes is a visit to AnnualCreditReport.com to get a copy of your credit report for free. Simply visit the website and enter all of your information, and you’ll soon see all of the information shared on your report.

If everything reported there is accurate, you have nothing to worry about. If you find a mistake, however, you should do what you can to have it fixed right away. If you spot a mistake, here’s a post on how to dispute credit report errors.

3. Make all of your monthly payments on time.

If you take a close look at how your FICO score is determined, you’ll notice that the biggest factor playing into your credit score is your payment history. In fact, your payment history makes up a whopping 35% of your credit score.

If you need to improve your credit before applying for a rewards credit card — or simply want to keep it in perfect shape for the long haul — paying all of your bills on time is the best and easiest way to do it. Conversely, missing a payment or paying your bills late can wreak havoc on your credit score in a hurry. You should avoid making late payments on any of your bills if you can.

4. Pay down your debts.

Another big factor in your credit score is your credit utilization. This term, utilization, is used to describe how much money you owe in relation to your credit limits. While utilizing some of your available credit is generally a good thing, running up too many large balances is frowned upon and reflects negatively on your credit score.

Most experts suggest keeping your credit utilization below 30% — meaning, if your credit limit is $1,000, you shouldn’t carry a balance larger than $300. When you’ve used up more than 30% of your overall credit limit, it makes you appear riskier to lenders and can cause your credit score to drop.

When you pay off debt and get your utilization below 30%, on the other hand, your credit score will have the best chance to surge — and it does so right away. So if your credit score is borderline, pay down any outstanding balances before applying for a credit card to give yourself the best chance of getting approved.

5. Search for the right credit card offer.

While you might be anxious to get any type of credit card, it’s important to take some time to search for the best offer and find one that suits your needs.

If you want a credit card to consolidate your debt, for example, you can start by looking at balance transfer credit cards that will let you pay zero interest for a limited time. If you’d rather earn rewards, there are dozens of great rewards credit cards to consider that offer everything from cash back to airline miles. What’s more, some cards offer lucrative signup bonuses if you spend a certain amount on your card in the first three or four months.

Once you find a card that seems like a good match for your spending habits, applying is as simple as filling out an application online, including your personal information and details about your income. Most credit card issuers will give you a response in minutes.

Just remember that the best credit cards and offers generally go to those with good or excellent credit. If your credit needs some work, you might need to consider a different type of credit card to get started.

6. Consider a secured credit card as your last resort.

If your credit score isn’t high enough to qualify you for a traditional credit card, you should consider a secured credit card to get the ball rolling. Unlike unsecured credit cards that actually extend you a line of credit, secured cards offer credit that is tied to a cash deposit you put down.

For example, many secured credit cards offer a $500 credit limit but require a $500 deposit to get started. While this may not seem beneficial at first, secured credit cards are often the only way for people with bad credit or no credit to raise their credit score.

Once you begin using your secured card responsibly, paying it off each month, your credit score will improve, and you’ll typically be able to upgrade your card to an unsecured credit card and get your deposit back. If your credit score improves dramatically, you may even be able to qualify for a top rewards credit card after a stretch using a secured card. It really depends on your situation, your goals, and how much your score improves.

7. Use credit wisely and never give up.

If you aren’t able to qualify for a credit card right now, the best thing you can do is give yourself some time. By using the credit you do have responsibly — paying utilities, car payments, and student loan bills on time, every time — you’ll put yourself in the best position to boost your score over time. And if you have bills in default, a lot of debt, or other negative marks on your credit report, you should focus on repairing that damage before you take on more credit anyway.

Pay all of your bills on time, refuse new debts and pay down old ones, and monitor small changes in your credit report for signs of progress. Over time, your score will inevitably rise as long as you treat it with the respect it deserves.

The Bottom Line

Having a credit card is hardly a luxury these days. If you want to rent a car or a hotel room, for example, you’ll usually need one in your wallet. And if you ever want to buy a home or finance a car, you’ll need a good credit history and a solid credit score standing in your corner.

Still, it’s not always easy to get approved when you have poor credit or a limited credit history. The best thing you can do now is to take a step back and look at your credit for what it really is. And with the steps listed here, you can be on your way to a better credit score in less time than you think.

Related Articles:

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Connected: Developing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Connections to Your Key Financial, Professional, and Life Goals

Goals are a major part of my life. I’ve found, particularly over the last ten years, that setting personal and professional goals and achieving them have improved my life in virtually every conceivable way, from our financial state to the relationship I have with my kids, from my understanding of the world to my professional state and the opportunties it provides. Goals work.

But sometimes they don’t work.

I’d estimate that the majority of the goals I have set for myself over the last several years have been failures. There have been a lot of reasons for that.

For one, sometimes I simply bite off more than I can chew. I’ll take on a goal and simply not have adequate time to devote to that goal because of my other commitments and goals in life.

For another, sometimes the goals I create have unrealistic expectations that I’m just not capable of achieving. I simply can’t make the benchmarks I set for myself and the goal falls apart.

One final reason for failure – and this is a huge one – is that I end up feeling really disconnected from the goal. I know that the goal matters to me deeply – or at least the outcome does – but I just don’t care about it. I’m not excited by the journey, perhaps, or I’m not excited by the destination. I simply don’t feel connected to the goal; it doesn’t feel like it’s really a core part of my life.

I refer to this type of failure as “disconnection,” and defeating disconnection is what I want to talk about today.

The simple fact of the matter is that you are much more likely to succeed at goals when they are deeply connected throughout your life. If you’re connected to a goal socially, spiritually, professionally, mentally, physically, and so on, that’s a good thing. The more connections you have, the better. The stronger and deeper the connections, the better.

A goal needs to feel like it is part of your life, like it is part of your daily routine, like it is part of who you are right now. A goal that feels “separate” is a goal that you’re going to be willing to cut out of your life.

A few questions are going to pop into your mind here.

First of all, how does one build these kinds of connections? In other words, if you define a goal for yourself, how do you make it into a highly connected goal? What are the strategies for integrating that goal into your life and actually making it a part of who you are right now?

If you extend from that, how does one create a goal that is likely to have more of these types of connections? If you’re starting from scratch, what kinds of goals are more easily integrated into your life?

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer those questions in my own life over the past several years, and I’ve come to a few really valuable conclusions. Perhaps the most valuable of those conclusions is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic connections.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic

So, as I was discussing earlier, each goal you set has some number of connections to your life – some strong and some weak. The greater the number of connections, the more naturally a goal fits into your life; in fact, working toward a highly connected goal feels pretty much like normal day-to-day life.

Naturally, you’re going to want a goal that either naturally has a lot of connections or makes it easy to put those connections in place.

What I’ve found over the years is that there are really two broad groups of goal connections, and those connections function very differently from one another.

First, you have intrinsic connections. Intrinsic connections are ones that are connected to the journey itself – the specific things you have to do to get to that goal. For example, an intrinsic connection to a fitness goal might be discovering that you enjoy a particular type of exercise. In general, I’ve found that intrinsic connections provide the motivation to continue work towards a goal. They’re the ones that you tend to build routines around and naturally incorporate into your life.

Of course, those types of connections usually aren’t visible to you at the start of a goal, and that’s where extrinsic connections come in. Extrinsic connections are connected to the goal itself, typically to the benefits of completing the goal. For example, an extrinsic connection to a fitness goal might be a picture that you have of your fit body. In general, I’ve found that extrinsic connections provide the motivation to start toward a goal. They’re the ones that get you going at the start and can sometimes help keep pushing you through the harder moments.

In other words, almost every successful goal I’ve had started with extrinsic connections, which pushed me into the goal deep enough that I found intrinsic connections. The mix of the two – primarily the intrinsic connections, but the extrinsic ones kept helping, too – kept me going forward until I found overall success with the goal.

So, let’s take a deeper look at each of these types of connections and how you can use them to achieve your own goals, financial and otherwise.

Extrinsic Connections – The Motivation to Start

I’ve found that, time and time again, extrinsic connections are the ones that you really need at the start of a goal. Quite often, at the start of a goal, you simply don’t have intrinsic connections. You haven’t discovered them yet.

I tend to look at extrinsic connections as being like the scaffolding around a building. You can’t build a building out of scaffolding and this scaffolding won’t ever actually be a part of the finished product, but without that scaffolding, you can’t build the building.

Here are some of my favorite types of extrinsic connections that get me going when it comes to a goal.

Finding pictures of that goal and posting them everywhere. This is one of my favorite extrinsic connections to a goal. I simply find (or Photoshop) a picture that depicts the end result that I want for my goal, then I put that picture all over the place.

I’ll put it on the lock screen of my phone – and as the background. I’ll set it as the screensaver on my computer. I’ll hang one from the rear view mirror in my car. I’ll tape one to the bathroom mirror that I look into each morning.

I’ll see that picture over and over and over again, and it will constantly remind me of what I want to be working toward today.

For example, when I was first trying to establish a strong connection to our personal finance goals, I found this wonderful little picture of a house in the country, because that was the big thing that Sarah and I wanted. I actually Photoshopped Sarah and I into that picture, then I put copies of that picture everywhere. It became a vivid and constant reminder of what I was working for.

Reading or viewing motivational things related to that goal. Early on in my personal finance journey, it was extremely helpful to know that other people actually had followed this path. People had gone through their debts, paid them off relatively quickly, and found themselves on the road to financial success.

From that point, it’s really easy to move that over to yourself. If that person can do that, then I can surely do this, after all. It makes that other person simultaneously into an example of how you could succeed as well as something of a source of competition, too.

For example, if you read a story about someone that managed to pay off all of their debts, it can provide something of an extrinsic connection to that goal. You see that it is possible and that ordinary people can do this; it’s something that really is within the reach of your life.

Maintaining a chart showing your progress toward that goal. Even to this day, I love looking at my spreadsheet that tracks my net worth growth over time. It’s still pointing upwards and it still includes those parts of my life where my net worth was negative.

Why do I look at that chart? It connects me to where I’ve been regarding that goal, as well as where I’m going and where I want to go. That upward trendline pushes me forward like a stick in the middle of my pack.

For a long time, I actually used the graph of my financial progress as a big visual reminder, putting it everywhere. Since then, I’ve switched to another reminder of sorts (pictures of my children), but I still find that this simple picture of my progress makes me feel connected to my goal in a deep fashion.

Having an intervention from a loved one. My wife provides a pretty regular extrinsic connection to my goal, not just because I want to have the rewards of this goal to share with her, but because she directly pushes me to take positive steps and make progress.

We often sit down together to look at our progress (and our missteps) and when she identifies a misstep, it makes me feel a ton of emotions. Some of them are negative – frustration, mostly – but many of them are positive. I want to do better. I know I can do better. I focus on those emotions. I use them to connect myself more strongly to that goal so that I make better choices every day.

This all works because my wife and I have a strong relationship. I genuinely want her to have a joyful future, full of lots of wonderful things, and we both “intervene” with each other for those reasons. We encourage each other to do better than we did before and to connect each other to these big shared goals.

Considering the benefits to other people of your success at this goal. While intervention is a direct extrinsic connection to a goal, simply thinking about how your success at a goal will positively affect the other people in your life is more of an indirect – but still powerful – extrinsic connection to a goal.

For example, when I think about financial independence, I can’t help but think about how it will positively affect our children in early adulthood. We can show up when we’re helpful in their lives and then disappear when they need their day-to-day lives back again. We can be just as involved in the lives of our children and grandchildren as they want because we won’t be strapped down by jobs or careers.

That’s a positive vision of the future, one that relies a lot on how our positive financial choices will benefit many people that Sarah and I care deeply about. Our choices now and our progress toward our goals really can make the lives of our children (when they’re adults) and our grandchildren a lot better. For me, at least, that is a very powerful extrinsic connection.

Sharing the goal and the positive results and progress on social media. If you want to generate a lot of extrinsic connection to a goal, share your goal with friends and family far and wide. Put that goal up on social media – Facebook, Twitter, whatever you prefer – and start uploading a weekly or monthly update on your progress.

Doing that is incredibly scary, but it gives you this deep connection to your goal because you know that a lot of eyes are on you. The comments that friends and family give can provide a huge amount of motivation and connection to your goal.

In fact, it was this type of motivation that originally encouraged me to launch The Simple Dollar. Having a personal finance blog formed a strong extrinsic connection to my personal finance goals, one that still persists to this day. Simply writing about what’s happening with my finances to an audience really makes a difference in terms of connection.

Intrinsic Connections – The Motivation to Continue

On the flip side of extrinsic connections are the intrinsic ones, the ones that actually help you push through the challenging steps and the drudgery that comes with achieving a goal. Extrinsic connections are great for helping you start, but these are the ones that help you keep going. They’re all about integrating all of those key steps into your normal life.

Here are some of my favorite types of intrinsic connections that keep me involved with a goal through thick and thin.

Finding things you enjoy doing that happen to directly lead to that goal or synergize with positive steps toward that goal. There’s nothing better than doing something that you love anyway and realizing that it actually supports and helps you move toward a big goal in life. That turns the day to day progress toward a goal from drudgery to joy, which is about the most powerful intrinsic connection you can make to that goal.

My favorite example of this for personal finance goals is cooking. I love to prepare food for my family, but I would often talk myself out of it under the idea that I wasn’t good at preparing food. Once I actually convinced myself to do this a few times solely because it saved money, I began to actually appreciate the joy that making meals for my family brought me and now it’s something I relish in many ways, far beyond the fact that it’s far cheaper than eating out all the time.

But how do you find these things that synergize so well with your goal?

Trying many different practical steps and sticking with the ones that click well. Keep trying lots of things. Try everything you can related to your goal and see which ones just “click” with you, because the reason that something is going to “click” is because it also syncs up well with other aspects of your life and other aspects of your personality.

This is why I continually try new frugal tactics even though we’re making great progress toward our goal. I’ll try any fun thing that’s free or inexpensive. I’ll try almost any strategy that saves money around the house.

Most of them are things that I know I’ll drop, but some of them will just “click” with me. I’ll want to do them, either because they’re enjoyable on their own or because they replace something else due to the fact that the price of the new thing is lower without any other real drawbacks. Those things tend to make me feel that I’m really making forward progress with my big goals.

Spending time with people who are also on that journey. I’m a firm believer that most people tend to wind up being pretty similar to the people they spend the most time with, so I try to spend time with people who are working toward the same goals that I am.

Most of my friends are frugal. It’s pretty rare to find a group of friends in their thirties who are all debt free and who are all moving straight toward an early retirement. I fully expect that everyone in our core group of friends will be retired by the time they’re 55 or so.

In a way, that’s an extrinsic connection, but it also becomes very intrinsic, too. Our conversations are all openly about the things we need to do to stay on this path. We swap ideas, not in a congratulatory way, but in a normal “we’re heading toward this goal” way. Plus, it becomes much more fun when the people you enjoy hanging out with are also pushing toward the same goals that you are.

Finding a set, routine time during the day to actively work on the goal. If you pencil in some element of your daily routine and make it stick, like, say, a pre-breakfast exercise routine or a commute that avoids tempting places to shop, you’re going to be much more likely to stick to it. You’re building an intrinsic connection to the goal, in other words.

A great example for this type of connection comes at dinnertime at our house. I don’t just say that “supper is at 6 PM.” I say that supper actually starts that morning with a prep period, then it also starts at about 5 PM for me. That’s because I use that time to prepare our evening meal. The routine is that I start on supper quite early most nights and I don’t leave it for the last minute. That way, I have plenty of space in my life for home meal preparation, which is a big money saver (and something that’s enjoyable).

Simply put, I make sure that my day has room for frugality, that I’m not backed into corners where I’m forced to spend money just to make it through the day.

Reading about practical, applicable steps toward achieving that goal. Even after almost a decade of financial progress, I still read through personal finance books, looking for little tips that will help me on my way. Why? I’m simply finding a new strategy to try out forms yet another intrinsic connection to the big goal.

Every time I read about one of those strategies, there’s a good chance I’ll try it. That, in itself, is a minor intrinsic connection. If I try a strategy, there’s a good chance it’ll be useful and stick around. That’s an even stronger intrinsic connection.

Even if the strategy itself doesn’t work, the process of trying it and evaluating it ties you closer to your overall goal and makes the goal feel much more real.

Intentionally thinking positive thoughts about the steps needed to approach your goal. This is a bit of “power of positive thinking,” which doesn’t itself amount to much, in my opinion. So why is it here?

The truth is that the more positively you think about something, the more likely you are to actually do it and the more likely you are to walk away from it feeling good. That’s going to build intrinsic connections to the overall goal.

It’s not the positive thoughts themselves that matter, but the actions that the positive thoughts lead to. A positive thought, all on its own, is useless. A positive thought that gets you off the couch? That’s useful.

Final Thoughts

As you add more and more of these strategies to your life centered around your goals, you add more and more extrinsic and intrinsic connections to that goal. That goal begins to feel more and more like a natural and normal part of your life. When that happens, progress toward the big goal – and achieving the big goal itself – become a natural conclusion to your everyday life.

That’s the value of connections. It’s not that they achieve something momentous on their own. It’s that they slowly absorb that goal into the normal flow of your life, changing things around so that this goal that seemed so hard at the start is actually just part of the normal flow of things.

When that happens, success is going to be right in front of you.

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If You Had A ‘Normal’ Day Today, Here’s A Sanskrit Rendition Of ‘Resham Firiri’ To Confuse You!

We, at Neo Stuffs, are good guys. Believe us, like seriously, we are! But sometimes we love to play around as well and that’s why we have a special song for you today. If you had an extremely normal day today and nothing weird happened; well, here’s this song, just and just for you so that you can scream out loud, “WHY????”

It’s the Sanskrit rendition of probably the most popular Nepali song ‘Resham Firiri’. It has been translated in Sanskrit by Chiranjivi Khatiwada. The music for the song performed by Rishiram Poudel is composed by Sanchidanand Poudel. Enjoy, if you can!!

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Risky Business? Airbnb, Uber, and Insurance in the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy — which includes ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, among others —  is bigger than ever. The number of travelers booking their lodging through home-sharing sites this summer doubled compared to last year. And while 17% of Americans were using some form of the sharing economy last year, be it Uber or Airbnb, that number has now more than doubled to 36%.

Pew Research found that 72% of Americans have used some form of the sharing economy (Pew’s definition includes peer-to-peer commerce sites, such as ticket resale outlet StubHub and craft marketplace Etsy), even though most of them weren’t familiar with the term “sharing economy.”

It’s mostly younger Americans who are propelling this new, digital economy — and in fact, a quarter of those surveyed haven’t used any of these services, according to Pew Research.

But the fast-growing numbers don’t lie: The sharing economy is here to stay. And if you’re going to participate, driving strangers in your car for cash or renting out a spare bedroom to make money, you need to know the lay of the land when it comes to insurance.

Are You Insured When You Share?

Whether you’re the sharer or the sharee, this is the first question you should ask before participating in the sharing economy: Are you insured?

For property owners renting out an apartment through Airbnb or HomeAway, are you liable for what other people do on or with your property? For those who rent the property, who will cover you in the event of your own liability or someone else’s?

These are questions you need to answer before you do anything else. Begin your search with the terms of service associated with the platform that you’re using.

For example, Uber offers a $1 million liability policy. However, when you examine the policy, there’s more to it than just that.

The policy Uber offers its drivers is primary to personal auto insurance, but secondary to commercial insurance. This means that if you just have regular old car insurance, Uber is your insurer of first resort. For those with a commercial insurance policy, however, Uber’s insurance will only kick in after your commercial policy pays out. With more and more freelancers in the gig economy incorporating and sticking their assets in an S-Corp or LLC, that’s an incredibly significant data point.

Similarly, Airbnb offers $1 million in both property and liability protection for U.S. hosts who share their property through the service. That sounds generous, but it doesn’t cover everything. And while you might not be terribly concerned about the possibility of sexual assaults or acts of terrorism on your property, you should know they won’t be covered by Airbnb’s policy.

So what should you do to be completely covered?

Can You Get Additional Insurance?

There’s one big problem with insurance and the sharing economy: The former hasn’t quite caught up to the latter. That’s why leading sharing economy platforms have such robust insurance policies built in — you’re going to have a really hard time getting anything from your current insurer.

For example, your homeowners policy probably only covers you and people who regularly reside in your house. What’s more, both automobile and homeowners policies generally include clauses forbidding you from using either for commercial purposes. If you incur expensive damages — a crashed car, a house fire — while operating as a business in violation of your policy’s terms, your insurer may not have to pay out.

Insurance companies have an interest in entering the marketplace. Bad press, however, has disincentivized them from offering “gap coverage” for people participating in the sharing economy who don’t want to bank on a Silicon Valley startup providing them with adequate insurance protection.

So what’s a responsible member of the sharing economy to do? There aren’t a lot of options, and most of them aren’t terribly attractive, either:

  • Commercial insurance: Commercial insurance policies are meant for real-deal businesses, but you can still buy them as an individual and get the kind of coverage businesses have. The downside is that they’re far more expensive and esoteric.
  • Specialty insurers: HomeAway partners with specialty insurer CBIZ to write homeowners policies for people who rent out their homes often. You can also ask your insurance agent about a dwelling policy or customized B&B policy, which can offer adequate coverage at a small premium to regular homeowners insurance. Likewise, small start-ups like Peers offer policies specifically designed for the sharing economy, albeit without the stature and reputation of an industry giant like State Farm or Allstate.
  • Get proof of insurance: Asking for proof of insurance from everyone who gets into your car might not be a realistic option, but if you’re renting out your home it can be a way to cover yourself.
  • Security deposits: Your platform might allow you to request a security deposit when renting out your home. It might not be big enough to cover extensive damage, but it can deter renters from causing damage in the first place.

The bottom line is this: For nearly everyone in the sharing economy, this is largely an academic question at present. You’re probably not going to run into the kinds of disasters that would require gap coverage, but even if you did, that gap coverage doesn’t exist for the most part.

This puts those in the sharing economy in a caveat emptor situation. You need to look at the terms of the insurance policy on whatever platform you’re using. Then you need to make a calculated decision about the risks and their consequences.

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Fed Up Of Watching Films Of Same Old Genres? Sci Fi ‘Bijuli Machine’ Is What You Need To Watch!

Nepali cinema is growing and it’s getting better with time, and it’s a good thing it has been able to attract a better number of audiences lately. But a lot of things still need to be done in order to reach the point when we can actually say that Nepali cinema has now made a good progress. One of them is to be making films on different subjects and genres. We have always been seeing the films of the same and limited genres – love, action, drama and comedy. Most of our films revolve around these genres and our filmmakers are afraid to experiment and we can understand their situation because it’s always hard to try something new as there are various risks involved. And when there is someone who is ready to take all of these risks in order to serve something fresh in front of the audiences, they have our respect already.

Sci Fi is one of the most popular genres in Hollywood and hundreds of films have been made on the same genre. But it’s a completely new genre in Nepali cinema and that’s the reason ‘Bijuli Machine’ is probably the first film to be made on this genre. The film revolves around two students who are trying to generate electricity through sound.

The film that will mark the debut of Abhishek Subedi, Jeewan Adhikari and Reliza Shrestha also stars Buddhi Tamang and Rajesh Hamal. The film produced under the banner of Silhouette International Pvt. Ltd. is directed by a well known ad film-maker, Navin Awal, who has earlier directed a critically acclaimed shot film titled ‘One Percent‘. The film is scheduled for its release on September 16th.

A teaser of the film was released in January earlier this year which has been garnering good responses. Give it watch here and let us know what you think about it.

Well, it looks like an interesting flick and we will definitely be watching it. And we totally think that you should as well and support the daring filmmakers who are ready to experiment even when there are so many risks. Hats off!



The post Fed Up Of Watching Films Of Same Old Genres? Sci Fi ‘Bijuli Machine’ Is What You Need To Watch! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Is Low-Interest Debt ‘Good Debt’?

For the past several years, the United States has been in a period of very low interest rates on many types of loans. Home loans can be had below a 4% interest rate - that’s substantially below what’s normal historically. Car loans are at a similar low point in terms of interest rates, too.

Because of these low rates, many financial gurus like to talk about the idea of “good debt” and “bad debt.” They often separate these debts based on some combination of interest rate and purpose into two categories, one of which usually includes a home mortgage and student loans (and perhaps a first car loan), and another which includes everything else, particularly credit cards.

In earlier times, the logic was that you should pay off all of your debts as fast as possible and strive for debt freedom. The logic then, however, was based on the fact that interest rates were relatively high. Home loans below 4% haven’t really ever existed before this for extended periods.

So, it comes down to this. Is there such a thing as a “good debt”? Or is the traditional view that all debts are “bad” a reasonable view?

Here’s my take on it.

First of all, my feeling is that debt itself, regardless of interest rate, is a shackle. You’re locked into debt payments each and every month, regardless of the interest rate. Those payments require you to have a higher income level in order to pay them off than you would need to have without that debt.

Think about it. If you have a credit card debt that requires a minimum payment each month of $100, you need to be bringing in $100 a month more than you would without that payment. If you have a car payment that requires you to make a $300 payment each month, then you need to be bringing in $300 a month more than you would without that payment.

That same phenomenon is true for every debt that you have.

The counterargument against that is that the item you’re getting from that money you borrowed is both valuable enough and easy enough to sell that if you were in a pinch, you could recoup the borrowed money, or else that the item you bought is necessary for you to earn money.

So let’s walk down that road a little bit.

A student loan is basically illiquid. You can’t sell what you get from a student loan to anyone, at least not directly.

The idea behind a student loan is that you’re going to get education and certification because of that investment, and that education and certification is going to increase your income enough to pay for the student loan itself, the interest on that loan, and the lost wages from the time spent studying.

That’s not always a guarantee, though, and that’s why we see many students in situations where they’re buried beneath a mountain of student loans and having to use other forms of debt just to keep their heads above water while they pay off those debts.

It works out well for some. It does not work out well for others.

Is it a “good debt,” though? I think that a student loan is a reasonable option on the table, particularly for someone who knows why they’re going there and what they wish to study, and has the internal skills to make the college experience a success. In other words, it is possibly a “good debt” for the right person, but it’s often not a “good debt” at all.

What about a home loan? A home loan uses a house as collateral, meaning that if you can’t pay the debt, they take the house. I tend to view all home loans as essentially “rent to own” arrangements, where you agree to rent the house from the bank for a certain number of years upon which you’re handed the deed to the house.

Most of the time, a home grows in value over time at a fairly slow rate (in some situations, it’s faster growth; in others, it can drop in value), which means that when you sell it, you’re going to theoretically walk away with more cash than you put into it.

But is that a good debt? Well, you’re going to have to pay for housing one way or another, so I think a mortgage on an entry-level home is a good debt. However, I think a mortgage on a home that’s anything much above an entry-level home stops being good debt for the reason described above – it forces you onto a high-wire act where you have to have a high income to keep paying the mortgage.

My feelings on a car loan are similar. If you don’t have a car and need one to get to work, a car loan to get you a car is better than nothing at all. However, having said that, a car loan to buy a nice car isn’t what I would call good debt.

A car loan to buy a new car is actually a pretty significant financial mistake, as the second you drive the car off the lot, the car immediately depreciates significantly and you’re underwater on that loan. You have to make a significant number of payments to even have the possibility of being able to escape them, and those payments are often quite high. Plus, you’re facing the challenge of having to sell that car if you’re in a financial pinch.

What about investments, then? Many people encourage the use of debt in order to invest. For example, some might argue that an opportunity to borrow money at 4% to invest in something with an average annual return of 7% is a good idea.

I think this is an awful idea, at least in terms of personal debt. There are situations where you might wish to do such a thing within the structure of a business for which you are not liable, but if you do this personally, you’re putting your personal finances at serious risk.

Why? You might earn more in investments, but past performance in investments is never a guarantee of future returns. While you’re hoping for those returns, you’re locked down in debt payments — and if that investment ever goes awry or you can’t pay those bills, you’re going to be in an awful financial state.

The only debt I would remotely call a “good debt” is one that is purely to get you started. It takes care of a basic need, like just getting back and forth to work or keeping a roof over your head. A student loan might qualify here if you’ve taken care of every possible prerequisite you can outside of school, you know exactly what you’re going to study, and you’re going in as prepared for success as you possibly can; a big debt to “find yourself” is a mistake because you can engage in that without going into debt (like saving up to backpack around the country or around Europe for a while).

Debts for things like a nice car or a home that’s anything bigger than a starter home are not good debts. They might be debts that you’ve convinced yourself that you need, but that does not qualify them as good debts.

Again, the reason is that you’re locking yourself down into the high-wire act of debt payments for something you purely want. A brand new car is a want, not a need; a very basic used car might arguably be a need. A large home is a want, not a need; a very basic starter home might be a need in some situations.

Going into debt for something you want and don’t need is merely an amplification of something that’s already a bad choice. The bad choice in question here is buying something that you want when you can’t actually afford to do so. When you can’t afford to do it and buy it anyway, that’s a mistake; when you have to use debt to do so, it’s a mistake that will haunt you for a long while.

So, is there such a thing as “good debt”? In my view, there is, but it’s very narrow. It’s for a entry-level used car or a small starter home or schooling that you’re primed to succeed at. Debt for pretty much anything else is a debt for something you want, not something you need, and that’s never a good trade for the kind of high wire act that such a move introduces into your life.

Good luck!

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