New Year’s Financial Resolutions

As 2017 is quickly drawing to a close many people will set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. These goals will cover a variety of areas such as personal health, hobbies, self-improvement, etc. One area that is sometimes neglected is financial health. A great idea is to set some New Year’s Financial Resolutions. These resolutions should be measurable, reasonably obtainable and sustainable. One of the first places to start is to review your current financial state to help establish a baseline to use in building the challenges. Once total income, expenditures, debt and savings have been determined either by year or …

Read More

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

Tis the season of shopping. Some people dread it while others delight in it. Soon the speculation will turn to real knowledge of seasonal best deals. Shopping on Black Friday can be fun and provide big savings as long as you have knowledge, persistence and patience. Sometimes an exceptional amount of patience is needed to help with enjoyment in the day. Small Business Saturday immediately follows Black Friday and is a chance to shop and buy from small businesses whom often have a big impact on local communities. Small businesses participating in the day should have some great deals on …

Read More

Artificial Intelligence

What is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is in its most basic form selecting an object, providing the object some parameters, and through exposure to certain elements the object “learns” how to perform a task without human, or programmed intervention. When the object independently learns to act in ways that would be similar to the ways a human would act that is where artificial intelligence comes into play. Recent work with the super computer Watson from IBM and Google AI provides merit that objects can (on certain levels) replicate human reasoning, and sometimes beat the best humans at certain tasks. Although …

Read More

Holiday Soup

When trying new dishes sometimes soup does not make it anywhere near the top of the list of must cook foods. Particularly around the holidays, sweets and heavier foods such as ham and turkey are a focus. However, as the weather turns colder it is a good time to consider a soup to warm up your day.  A great way to bring in some holiday cheer is to use the recipe below for pumpkin soup. Pumpkin and Leek Soup Au Gratin Time: 40 minutes Effort: Easy Serves 4 Ingredients 1 small pumpkin (about 8″ in diameter), peeled, cored and cut …

Read More

Thanksgiving Day

The fourth Thursday in November. Can you taste the food yet? Turkey, dressing, potatoes, green beans, squash casserole, desserts…mmm the list can be almost endless and definitely one of the most enjoyable meals of the year. The fun of getting together with family and discussing the latest events in everyone’s lives is also very fulfilling for many. Thanksgiving Day holds many fond memories for families over the years. For some it may be one of the few times the extended family gets together to eat, reminisce and laugh each year. For the children it can be an exciting time to …

Read More

Daylight Savings Time Ends

It is the time of the year when most of us roll our clocks back one hour to Standard Time because most of us advanced them one hour in the spring for Daylight Savings Time. The official date and time to roll the clocks back this year is on Sunday November 5th at 2:00 A.M. Since it is in the fall of the year it is common to say that we will fall back when we move the clocks backwards. One benefit of the move is that we “gain” an extra hour to sleep on that weekend if we wish …

Read More

Technology and Data Security

New technology and interconnectivity has long been pushed for modern convenience. Near field communication is being used to pay for things, and using your mobile device for banking is being encouraged. Although there are many benefits to ease of use there is also the challenge of security. Recently Equifax as well as other large companies encountered unwanted incursions into their systems that exposed the information of millions of people to unscrupulous hackers. So should you continue to rely on the newer technology? In the case of Equifax and other companies you do business with you probably do not have an …

Read More

Fall Financial Checkup

October Is National Financial Planning Month, and it is the beginning of the fourth quarter. Either at the end of the fourth quarter last year, or the first quarter of this year most people thought about where they were financially and where they wanted to be. In fact, if you are like many people you reviewed and revised your budget for the year. Since the fourth quarter is here it is time to look at your performance and make any adjustments to help you reach your goals. Are you under budget for the year? Good job! Was it accidental, or …

Read More

Camping, Hiking and the Outdoors

Aah, autumn has arrived and fall weather is all around us. If you like being outside then October is a great time to experience nature in the south. In Alabama there are many fantastic places you can spend your leisure time. A few ideas for you are as follows: If you only have a brief respite before you have to return indoors consider a walk. In the Birmingham area there are many great places where you can walk. Railroad Park in Birmingham is a favorite of many, but Veteran’s Park in Hoover, Lakeshore Trail in Homewood and Black Creek Park …

Read More

Keeping Halloween Safe and Fun for All Ages

October is here again which means it is time to get your pirates and princesses (and / or yourself) prepared for the fun of the Halloween season.  To ensure that nothing hinders your family’s enjoyment of this popular holiday, please consider taking a few precautions before you embark on your fun adventures.  Below are a few tips to keep you and your family safe. Talk to your children Many parents have concerns about Halloween, yet may not communicate with their children the dangers they may face, or how to handle certain situations should they arise.  Make sure your children are …

Read More