Ryan Reynolds just tweeted 12 words to describe his gin, and they’re ridiculously perfect

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If the whole acting thing doesn’t work out, Ryan Reynolds definitely has a backup career as either a) a social media manager or b) a poet. The guy just has a phenomenal way with words.

This time, fresh of the back of a horrendous drinking game with Jimmy Fallon, he took to Twitter to talk about his company Aviation Gin.

.@AviationGin has had a lot of attention lately. 20,000 daily emails crashed our servers. I had no idea we had an IT Department until an hour ago. They seem super sober.

— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 15, 2018 Read more…

More about Ryan Reynolds, Aviation Gin, Culture, and Celebrities

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Football club sends letter of support to fan who wrote about depression on social media

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A man who posted about living with depression has received a touching letter from the CEO of the football club he supports.

Chris Ryder posted a photo of the letter sent to him by Gauthier Ganaye, chief executive of Barnsley Football Club in South Yorkshire, UK. 

«Sorry for sending you a letter at random, but I felt like I wanted to reach out to you and get in touch,» wrote Gauthier Ganaye in the letter. «I’ve noticed through social media that you’ve had a bit of a hard time recently, I’m not sure what it is but I hope everything improves for you as soon as possible.» Read more…

More about Uk, Football, Mental Health, Depression, and Culture

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100 шагов, чтобы продвинуть сайт самому. Часть 1

Продвинуть сайт самостоятельно – казалось бы, это задача из ряда невозможных. Но мы знаем, что для вас нет ничего невозможного! Однако решили вам помочь и составили пошаговый план продвижения сайта в ТОП своими руками. Осилите? Готовы поработать за себя и за того парня (программиста/аналитика/копирайтера/верстальщика и т.д.)? Тогда вперед! И удачи вам. Нет уверенности в своих знаниях и время вам дороже денег? Тогда для вас – пакетные тарифы на продвижение или продвижение на абонентке.

Если всё-таки планируете попробовать раскрутить сайт самостоятельно, то вот вам один маленький, но полезный совет – не хватайтесь за все сразу, двигайтесь поэтапно – по 2-3 шага за день. Иначе к середине пути вы выдохнетесь. Итак, начнем.

В первой части мы расскажем о базовых работах, которые относятся непосредственно к традиционному SEO. Во второй сосредоточимся на поисковом маркетинге – поведаем более подробно о факторах, которые влияют на продвижение, а также о внешних каналах привлечения трафика.

Сбор информации: конкуренты и целевая аудитория

Прежде чем приступать к продвижению, нужно понять, с чем мы будем работать. Это касается как внешнего окружения сайта (конкуренты, ситуация на рынке), так и самого сайта.

1. Поиск и анализ конкурентов

Поиск и анализ конкурентов – это то, с чего стоит начинать любые действия над сайтом. Он поможет нам выстроить стратегию дальнейшей работы, опираясь на эталонный пример тех, кто уже достиг нужной нам цели – занял позиции в ТОПе. Ранее в этой статье мы подробно разобрали, как правильно изучать своих конкурентов.

2. Анализ аудитории

Изучаем целевую аудиторию: кому нужен наш продукт, кто его чаще всего покупает, какие потребности у потенциальных клиентов? Это поможет нам в дальнейшем ориентировать контент сайта на интересы заказчиков.

Также изучаем спрос на товар с помощью сервиса Вордстат. Ведь может получиться так, что мы выводим совсем новую продукцию или услугу на рынок, и пользователи ее совсем не ищут.

А еще Вордстат поможет нам выявить сезонность спроса во вкладке «История запросов».

История запросов в Яндекс.Вордстате

В это время можно спланировать работы, которые провести необходимо, но они могут негативно сказаться на позициях сайта (например, переезд на HTTPS). Такие работы лучше проводить как раз во время низкого спроса.

Самостоятельный экспресс-аудит сайта

После того как мы изучили, с кем предстоит бороться за ТОП и какая ситуация вокруг, самое время приступить к анализу нашего сайта.

Счетчики статистики

В первую очередь мы рекомендуем установить три счетчика статистики: Яндекс.Метрика, Google Analytics и Рейтинг@Mail.Ru.

Зачем так много? Потому что если вдруг один из счетчиков вы установите неверно, либо произойдет сбой, то остальные покажут вам корректную информацию. К тому же эти сервисы имеют немного разные возможности. Например, по отзывам пользователей в Сети, Метрикой пользоваться все-таки проще, она гораздо понятнее, а еще в ней есть Вебвизор. Зато Google Analytics – необходимый инструмент для интернет-магазинов, так как предоставляет более детальные отчеты для e-commerce и более широкие возможности сквозной аналитики.

3. Яндекс.Метрика

Метрика поможет легко понять, сколько посетителей пришло на ваш сайт из разных источников: поисковых систем, внешних ссылок, рекламы. Также вы узнаете, на какие страницы заходят пользователи, посмотрите процент отказов, сравните трафик в разные периоды. А еще в Метрике есть Вебвизор, который поможет «подсмотреть» за действиями пользователей и понять, что следует изменить на сайте. Можно настроить цели и отслеживать таким образом конверсию сайта: сколько пользователей, например, добавили товар в корзину или нажали кнопку «Заказать». Вот инструкция, как установить счетчик Метрики на сайт. А здесь мы рассказывали о настройке целей.

4. Google Analytics

На самом деле, Google Analytics значительно круче Яндекс.Метрики: он предоставляет более подробную статистику, позволяет настраивать ценность конверсии и многое другое. Так что профессиональные вебмастера чаще пользуются именно этим инструментом. Подробная инструкция по настройке счетчика и целей тут.

5. Рейтинг@Mail.RU

Данный счетчик будет полезен при ведении кампаний в MyTarget, так что не стоит списывать его со счетов. К тому же данный счетчик имеет набор готовых отчетов, которые будут полезны вебмастерам и владельцам ресурсов.

Панели вебмастеров

Панели вебмастеров помогут взглянуть на ваш сайт глазами поисковых систем. Они показывают, какие ошибки есть на сайте, сколько страниц в поиске, почему некоторые страницы из поиска удалены, в каком регионе продвигается сайт.

6. Яндекс.Вебмастер

В Яндекс.Вебмастере вы можете закрепить права на тексты, настроить быстрые ссылки, чтобы улучшить сниппет в результатах поисковой выдачи, настроить Турбо-страницы, склеить зеркала-дубли и многое-многое другое.

Вот тут мы писали обо всех возможностях Яндекс.Вебмастера. Используйте каждую.

7. Google Search Console

Уделите должное внимание Google Search Console, ведь нам интересно продвижение в обеих поисковых системах (кстати, Google уже обогнал Яндекс по числу пользователей в рунете). Обратите внимание, что добавлять в Google Search Console надо все имеющиеся зеркала сайта (как правило, их четыре: http://www.site.ru, https://www.site.ru, http://site.ru, https://site.ru). Инструкция, как настроить Google Search Console, тут.

8. Вебмастер@Mail.Ru

И снова не забываем про Mail.Ru, ведь, как показывает статистика, почти 10% трафика приходит из этой поисковой системы. Особенно в Mail.ru пользуются популярностью информационные ресурсы. Поэтому не забудьте добавить сайт в кабинет вебмастера и этой поисковой системы. О том, как это сделать, мы писали тут.

9. Вебмастер Bing

Поисковая система Bing является системой по умолчанию во многих устройствах и программах на операционной системе Windows и Windows Phone, поэтому добавить сайт в вебмастер данной поисковой системы также актуально. К тому же она имеет много инструментов, отличительных от предыдущих сервисов.

10. Индексация сайта поисковыми системами

Перед началом продвижения стоит проверить, сколько страниц уже есть в индексе поисковых систем. Поскольку ранее вы добавили сайт в Яндекс.Вебмастер (ведь добавили, да?), то узнать количество страниц в индексе Яндекса довольно просто на главной странице Вебмастера:

Где посмотреть количество страниц в индексе Яндекса?

Для Google эту информацию можно получить в Google Search Console:

Где посмотреть количество страниц в индексе Google?

В случае, если сайт в панели вебмастеров все-таки не добавили, или вы анализируете сайт конкурента, можно проверить индексацию с помощью операторов поисковых систем «site:», «host:» или «url:».

11. Наличие фильтров

Мы помним, что поисковые системы нам не враги, а друзья. И панели вебмастеров –это способ общения ПС с владельцами сайта. Поэтому именно там они сообщают о санкциях, примененных к вашему сайту.

Однако если в панели вебмастера никаких оповещений о фильтрах нет, а сайт продолжает терять трафик, то не стесняйтесь писать в техподдержку.

Бессмысленно вкладывать силы в продвижение сайта, который находится под фильтром. Кстати, у нас есть статьи и про фильтры Яндекса, и про фильтры Google.

12. Screaming Frog для анализа тегов

Screaming Frog – это программа, которая «парсит» ваш сайт, а если говорить по-человечески, то собирает все-все данные о том, что есть на сайте. Она поможет быстро выявить страницы с дублирующимися, незаполненными, слишком короткими или слишком длинными тегами Title, Description и H1, а также изображения с незаполненными атрибутами Alt.

Интерфейс программы Screaming Frog

13. Анализатор позиций

Перед началом продвижения нужно понимать, какие позиции сейчас занимает сайт. На данном этапе еще нет семантического ядра, но можно проверить позиции в Яндексе по наиболее интересующим нас запросам при помощи сервиса Be1.ru. На будущее же рекомендуем все-таки использовать платные сервисы, например, Topvisor или AllPositions, так как в них будет храниться история всех проверок, и вы сможете отслеживать динамику позиций.

14. Вирусы

Отследить вирусы на сайте самостоятельно не так уж просто. Верным признаком заражения сайта могут быть следующие признаки:

  • сайт заблокирован антивирусом или непосредственно браузером;
  • в результатах поисковой выдачи наблюдаются сообщения о возможности заражения сайта;

    Пример выдачи Яндекса с вирусным сайтом

  • на сайте появляются ошибки, он не работает как надо;
  • в коде сайта есть подозрительные элементы;

    Картинка кода сайта с вирусной вставкой

  • замечены резкие, непонятные изменения на сервере или в индексе поисковых систем.

Более подробная статья о том, как проверить и защитить свой сайт от вирусов, тут.

Анализ контента

После проверки основных показателей сайта переходим к анализу его содержимого.

15. Уникальность текстов

Важно придерживаться двух правил: не крадем контент (тексты, картинки) у конкурентов и защищаем свой контент от кражи. Если сайт не новый и ранее его наполнением занимался кто-то другой, то лучше перепроверить, уникальны ли тексты, размещенные на сайте. Сделать это можно при помощи сервиса Text.ru.

Проверка текста на уникальность

Однако даже если данный сервис показывает, что текст не уникальный, не спешите бросать все и переписывать его. Перед этим проверьте позиции по фрагменту текста. Если позиции занижены, значит, поисковые системы проиндексировали украденный у вас текст на другом ресурсе раньше и признали текст на вашем ресурсе неуникальным. Чтобы такого не случилось, не забывайте закреплять права на текст в Яндекс.Вебмастере, инструмент «Оригинальные тексты».

Закрепление прав на текст в Яндекс.Вебмастере

16. Дублированный контент

Нельзя воровать тексты у конкурентов, это понятно. Но и у себя красть тоже нельзя, так как поисковые системы негативно относятся к дублированному контенту на сайте и просто склеят одинаковые страницы, ведь зачем показывать в поиске одно и то же? Поэтому так важно писать для каждой страницы свой уникальный текст.

В таком случае возникает вопрос у владельцев интернет-магазинов – если в каталоге тысячи карточек товаров, неужели для каждой нужно создавать свой контент? Есть несколько вариантов решения этой проблемы:

  • Проверьте, действительно ли это разные товары, а не вариации одного и того же продукта (например, один и тот же товар, но красного и синего цвета не должен быть отдельными карточками товара). Вариации продукции необходимо объединять в одну карточку с возможностью выбора параметра.
  • Уникализируйте карточки товара при помощи характеристик.
  • Добавьте в каждой карточке блок отзывов и просите пользователей оставлять их, это также добавит уникальности контенту на странице. В этой статье мы рассказывали более подробно, как уникализировать карточку товара.

17. Оптимизация текста и его «тошнота»

Тексты помогают не только рассказать клиентам о наших услугах, но и дают понять поисковым системам, каким запросам релевантен сайт. Проанализируйте уже имеющиеся тексты – под какие запросы они оптимизированы, действительно ли эти запросы релевантны странице. Также при помощи сервиса Pr-cy.ru мы можем узнать «тошноту» текста – это показатель спамности страницы, плотности и частоты употребления ключевых слов. Оптимальный показатель – от 4 до 8%.

Как узнать показатель «тошноты» текста

Кроме того, сервис позволяет отдельно проанализировать вес ключевых слов:

Как узнать вес ключевых слов

Чем выше вес ключевого слова, тем сильнее сигнал, который мы даем поисковику, что наша страница должна показываться по этому запросу. Однако не стоит переусердствовать с весом – это может повлечь за собой переспам страницы. Нормальный вес для слова – от 2 до 4.

18. Польза текста

Мы постоянно говорим, что в первую очередь текст должен создаваться для людей. Он может иметь идеальные показатели оптимизации, но все равно не приносить никакой пользы, если не раскрывает выгоды клиента и не отвечает на его вопросы. Поэтому важно поставить себя на место пользователя и подумать «Был ли мне полезен данный текст? Ответил ли он на все мои вопросы?».

Еще не стоить забывать, что сайт – это не литературное произведение. Использовать средства художественной выразительности стоит, но в меру, если это действительно полезно. А придерживаться инфостиля в ваших текстах помогут сервисы Главред и Тургенев.

Если же вы все еще думаете, что все наши домыслы про пользу – это ерунда, то не забывайте про Баден-Баден, которым Яндекс карает сайты не только с переоптимизированным контентом, но и в принципе «бесполезным».

Улучшение контента

На основе проведенного анализа приступаем к долгой работе над улучшением сайта. И начинаем с контента.

Семантика

Чтобы продвинуть сайт в ТОП, нужно понимать: по каким запросам мы вообще хотим быть на вершине поисковой выдачи? Поэтому начинать любое продвижение следует со сбора семантического ядра (то есть всех ключевых запросов, по которым так или иначе ресурс может быть интересен пользователю). Для сбора используйте перечисленные ниже методы.

19. Мозговой штурм

В первую очередь подумайте сами, по каким запросам вы бы искали предоставляемые услуги или товары. Не забывайте про синонимы, названия на латинице и кириллице, указание региона (если услуга актуальна только для какого-то определенного региона, например, ремонт кухни в новосибирске), сокращения и уточнения (например, не просто «купить телевизор», а «купить телевизор с смарт тв», не просто «заказать ремонт ноутбука», а «заказать недорогой ремонт ноутбука»).

20. Анализ конкурентов

Подсмотрим у конкурентов запросы, которые мы могли упустить. Для этого можно воспользоваться сервисами Serpstat или MegaIndex. К сожалению, бесплатно эти сервисы показывают всего 5-10 ключей, поэтому, если хочется действительно профессионально продвинуть сайт, придется заплатить. Вот так выглядит таблица видимости на бесплатном тарифе сервиса Serpstat:

Сбор ключевых фраз в сервисе Serpstat

На платном же тарифе доступных для изучения ключевых фраз гораздо больше. Но помните, использовать ключи конкурентов нужно с умом: не берем запросы, по которым ничего не можем предложить.

21. Запросы, приносящие трафик

В сервисах Serpstat и MegaIndex можно не только посмотреть запросы, приносящие трафик сайтам конкурентов, но и для своего ресурса. Возможно, что пользователи уже приходят на сайт по каким-то запросам, а мы этого даже и не знали. В таком случае есть риск при дальнейшей разработке карты релевантности сменить релевантную страницу или вообще «убить» этот запрос и потерять уже существующий трафик.

Еще такие запросы можно посмотреть в Метрике, в отчете Поисковые фразы:

Поисковые фразы в Яндекс.Метрике

И в Вебмастере, в отчете Поисковые запросы → Популярные запросы:

Поисковые фразы в Яндекс.Вебмастере

22. Поисковые подсказки

Еще один вариант расширения ядра – использование поисковых подсказок, так как поисковые системы предлагают их на основе того, что чаще всего спрашивают пользователи.

Поисковые подсказки в Яндексе

23. Проверка и расширение семантического ядра с помощью Вордстата

После всех этапов сбора получившееся семантическое ядро прогоняем через уже знакомый нам сервис Ворсдстат, что позволит нам его расширить. Например, проанализировав запрос «заказать уборку квартиры по Москве», мы увидим, что ищут генеральную уборку, уборку после ремонта, недорого и т.д.:

Поиск запросов в Яндекс.Вордстате

К тому же Вордстат поможет нам определить «нулевые» запросы, то есть те, по которым пользователи не ищут информацию. Например, вдруг мы предлагаем услугу очистки квартиры от кошачьей шерсти для аллергиков. Но, увы, пока на такую услугу в Москве спроса нет:

Определение нулевых запросов в Яндекс.Вордстате

24. Структура

Когда ядро собрано, необходимо распределить запросы по релевантным страницам. Неправильно, если все запросы будут вести на главную страницу. Вообще, каждая страница оптимизируется под 3-5 запросов. Если же запросов для одной страницы получилось больше, то имеет смысл задуматься о создании дополнительных страниц под них.

В нашем сервисе карта релевантности выглядит вот так:

Карта релевантности

Подробно о карте релевантности и о том, как ее составить, в статье.

Кстати, для интернет-магазинов есть отличное решение для расширения структуры – умный фильтр. После подключения этого функционала на страницах, которые формируются фильтрами в каталоге, можно менять SEO-параметры, что позволяет оптимизировать их под низкочастотные запросы и привлекать дополнительный трафик. Например, если раньше в интернет-магазине электроники была страница «Телевизоры» с фильтром «Диагональ», то без модуля умного фильтра можно было продвигать эту страницу только по общим запросам, а под запросы с разными диагоналями создавать отдельные страницы. Модуль умного фильтра при выборе, например, параметра 22 дюйма в блоке «Диагональ» сразу генерирует страницу с прописанными по маске тегами, оптимизированными под запросы, связанные именно с 22-х дюймовыми телевизорами.

25. Прогноз трафика

Теперь, когда у нас есть четкое понимание, по каким запросам какая страница будет продвигаться, мы можем спрогнозировать результаты продвижения. Нужно понимать, что разные тематики имеют разный спрос и сезонность. Прогноз поможет нам объективно оценивать свои силы и знать, к каким результатам мы можем стремиться. О том, как спрогнозировать трафик, мы писали в этой статье.

26. Тексты

Мы знаем, под какие запросы оптимизировать страницы, значит, можно приступать к написанию текстов для этих страниц. Не забываем про оптимизацию и пользу! Чтобы еще раз понять, что такое полезный текст, ознакомьтесь с примером текста, который вроде бы оптимизирован под запрос «роллы»:

Пример некачественного текста на сайте

Однако задумайтесь: вы хотите заказать роллы на ужин – что вам интересно? Срок доставки, состав, гарантия качества, какие-то приятные бонусы или история этого блюда? Поэтому в первую очередь удалите такие тексты с коммерческих страниц сайта, оставьте их для блога.

А вот на страницы сайта пишем полезный контент для клиента с точки зрения приобретения услуги или товара. Кстати, в нашем блоге есть целый раздел, посвященный контент-маркетингу. Перед размещением текстов на сайте не забывайте проверить их уникальность и закрепить права в Яндекс.Вебмастере.

Основные теги

Как правило, разработка тегов проводится параллельно либо с составлением семантического ядра, либо с написанием текстов. Например, мы часто разрабатываем теги сразу вместе с семантическим ядром:

Карта релевантности с тегами

Теги должны содержать ключевые слова, подобранные для этой страницы. При этом для каждой страницы нужно прописывать свои уникальные теги, которые не будут дублироваться между собой (то есть Description не может быть таким же, как Title).

27. Тег Title

При составлении тега Title придерживайтесь следующих рекомендаций:

  • ключевые слова и информативная часть тега должны содержаться в первых 60-70 символах, остальное поисковые системы обрежут;

    Пример обрезанного тега Title в результатах поиска

  • начинайте тег с самого важного ключа в прямом вхождении;
  • не используйте спецсимволы (+ = () | / _ ), не разбивайте ключевые слова знаками препинания;
  • не нужно тратить драгоценные символы на бесполезные слова в теге, например, «Главная страница»;
  • не забывайте про правила русского языка при составлении тега – Title должен быть понятным для человека.

28. Мета-тег Description

Мета-тег Description позволяет рассказать о странице более подробно и может быть выведен в качестве описания в поисковой выдаче, поэтому в нем в 200-250 символах нужно максимально раскрыть выгоды пользователя и убедить его перейти на ваш сайт.

29. Теги заголовков H1-H6

Заголовок H1 важен не менее двух ранее указанных тегов, поэтому тоже не забываем про ключевые слова в нем. Тег H1 на странице должен встречаться только один раз. При распределении тегов заголовков H2-H6 на странице соблюдайте иерархию. Совсем недавно мы писали подробную статью о том, как правильно писать теги заголовков для сайта.

30. Мета-теги Keywords

Мы рекомендуем их удалять с сайта, так как на ранжирование они не влияют, а вот увеличить показатели спамности страницы могут.

Оптимизация изображений

Картинки не так просты, как кажутся. Кроме того, что они тоже должны быть уникальными и, конечно же, качественными, так еще иметь два важных параметра для оптимизации: атрибуты Title и Alt, о которых мы расскажем чуть ниже. Помимо этих атрибутов, имеет значение даже название файла. Часто файлы на сайте называют как-нибудь вроде IMG_1111.jpg. Не поленитесь воспользоваться сервисом транслитерации и назвать картинку правильно, с включением в название ключевых слов, например, «ukladka-plitki.jpg».

31. Атрибут Title для img

Атрибут Title – это вспомогательная информация о изображении, которая появляется при наведении на него курсора:

Атрибут Title для img

При этом не забывайте про ключевые слова и не делайте данный атрибут слишком длинным – это неудобно для пользователя.

32. Атрибут Alt для img

Атрибут Alt отображается, когда картинка по какой-то причине не загрузилась (например, была удалена с сервера или у пользователя в принципе отключено отображение картинок):

Атрибут Alt для img

Этот атрибут не только поможет пользователю понять, что изображено на незагрузившейся иллюстрации, но и учитывается поисковыми системами при ранжировании в сервисах Яндекс и Google Картинки. При этом длина тега – не более 75-80 символов, должны использоваться ключевые слова, желательно в именительном падеже. И, естественно, атрибут должен описывать то, что действительно изображено на картинке. Рекомендации по работе с атрибутом alt здесь.

33. Блог

Блог – очень важная часть сайта, которой многие пока пренебрегают. И зря. Он не только повысит доверие к компании как к профессионалу в своем деле, но и поможет привлечь трафик по информационным запросам, который можно конвертировать в будущих клиентов. При этом при написании статей в блог все так же нельзя забывать про их оптимизацию под ключевые запросы и закрепление прав. Полный гайд по работе над блогом тут.

34. Размещение отзывов на сайте

Отзывы на сайте, во-первых, помогают уникализировать контент, а во-вторых, повышают доверие к компании. Не стесняйтесь просить ваших клиентов оставить отзыв об оказанной услуге или купленном товаре каждый раз после завершения цикла сделки. Отзывы будут подтверждать качество вашей работы:

Отзывы на сайте

Если же клиенты совсем не хотят оставлять отзывы, попробуйте мотивировать их скидкой на будущие услуги или приятным подарком. Статья о том, как собирать отзывы, здесь.

И даже если отзывы будут негативными – не расстраивайтесь, а воспринимайте это как бесплатный совет по улучшению вашего бизнеса.

Техническая оптимизация

Контент готов, но сайт все еще не покорил ТОП? Конечно, ведь мы не создали для поисковых роботов условия для удобной индексации. Поэтому переходим к технической оптимизации. Однако отмечу сразу, что проводить большую часть указанных ниже работ собственноручно, без профессиональных знаний, – довольно рискованно. Можно не только не помочь, но еще сильнее навредить сайту. Поэтому будьте крайне внимательны при самостоятельной технической оптимизации сайта.

35. Robots.txt

Данный файл является инструкцией для поисковых роботов – какие страницы можно включать в поисковую выдачу, какие нельзя. Файл должен обязательно присутствовать в корне сайта и быть доступен по адресу site.ru/robots.txt. Вот подробная инструкция по настройке данного файла.

Однако обратите внимание, что отдельные поисковые роботы могут игнорировать правила robots.txt по различным причинам, поэтому для перестраховки на страницах, которые стопроцентно не должны попасть в индекс поисковой системы (например, личные кабинеты или другие страницы, содержащие личные данные пользователей), внутри тега нужно прописать тег или закрыть данные страницы для неавторизованных пользователей.

36. Sitemap.xml

Данный файл – карта по сайту для поисковых роботов. По сути, это его оглавление, в котором перечислены все страницы ресурса. Файл sitemap.xml позволяет роботу быстрее понять, какие страницы есть на сайте. Как правило, файл расположен по стандартному адресу site.ru/sitemap.xml. Если же он доступен по-другому адресу, то со стандартного URL нужно настроить редирект на него. Кстати, сейчас есть множество сервисов, генерирующих карту сайта автоматически. Здесь мы их перечисляли, а также рассказывали, на что обратить внимание при создании карты сайта. Не забывайте обновлять карту при добавлении новых страниц. Кстати, некоторые CMS могут делать это автоматически.

37. Основное зеркало

Как правило, для человека нет разницы, зашел он на сайт www.site.ru или site.ru, httpS://site.ru или http://site.ru. Однако для поисковой системы это все – четыре разных ресурса, которые, имея абсолютно одинаковый контент, борются между собой за позиции по одним и тем же запросам. Поэтому не забывайте указывать основное зеркало сайта, которое для нового сайта можно определить самостоятельно, а для уже «опытного» ресурса лучше проверить выдачу – какое зеркало индексируется сейчас: с www или без. Такое зеркало указываем основным, а с неосновного настраиваем 301-й редирект для всех версий.

Также важно настроить редирект при переносе сайта на защищенный протокол с зеркал http://site.ru на httpS://site.ru. И для HTTPS также проверить зеркала httpS://www.site.ru и httpS://site.ru. Не забудьте добавить основное зеркало в панели вебмастеров и отслеживать его показатели.

38. Дубли и редиректы, атрибут rel=»canonical»

Редиректы нужно настраивать не только на основное зеркало сайта, но и в принципе с дублирующихся страниц, которые могут возникать из-за особенностей CMS (например, часто главная страница сайта доступна по адресам site.ru и site.ru/index.php). В этой статье мы подробно рассказывали, откуда берутся дублирующиеся страницы, чем они плохи и как с ними бороться.

Однако бывают такие ситуации, когда страницы с точки зрения человека не дублируют друг друга, но с точки зрения робота – увы. Например, страницы одного и того же товара, размещенного в разных категориях интернет-магазина. В таком случае Вам поможет атрибут rel=»canonical» на более предпочтительный URL.

Также атрибут rel=»canonical» рекомендуется настраивать для страниц пагинации в каталоге интернет-магазина. При этом в случае если более приоритетен для продвижения Яндекс, то настраиваем rel=»canonical» на первую страницу каталога. Если же приоритетнее Google, то канонической страницей является сама страница пагинации и необходимо прописать атрибуты prev и next для тега link. Яндекс атрибуты prev и next не поддерживает и связать цепочку страниц в единое целое не может, поэтому, чтобы пользователи из поиска не попадали на какую-нибудь десятую страницу каталога, мы настраиваем канонический адрес на первую страницу. В случае с Google это неактуально.

Здесь более подробно писали о том, как настроить канонические адреса.

39. Битые ссылки

Битые ссылки на сайте неудобны не только для роботов, которые по ним переходят на несуществующие страницы, но и для пользователей, которые тоже бродят в поисках информации по сайту и в конце концов попадают в тупик. Появляться битые ссылки могут в результате удаления страниц с сайта (например, товаров или старых статей) или банальной опечатки в адресе ссылки. Внимательно следите, чтобы на вашем сайте таких «тупиковых» ссылок не было. Если сайт небольшой, то проверить все ссылки можно вручную, если же на ресурсе много страниц, то можете использовать бесплатный сервис http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/.

40. Семантическая разметка

Семантическая разметка позволяет структурировать данные для поисковых роботов, а также улучшает внешний вид сниппета в поисковой выдаче и ссылок в социальных сетях. Существует множество стандартов разметки, о которых мы подробно рассказывали тут. Мы чаще пользуемся стандартом Schema.org для разметки контактов, карточек товаров и хлебных крошек, а также OpenGraph для красивого отображения информации при шеринге в социальных сетях, но он также может быть учтен и при составлении поисковыми системами сниппета. А еще можно размечать рецепты, отзывы и многое-многое другое.

Вот так, например, выглядит сниппет в Google при размеченных хлебных крошках:

Отображение размеченных хлебных крошек в сниппете в Google

А вот как выглядит сниппет при размеченных контактах:

Отображение размеченных контактов в сниппете

По ссылке выше также есть подробная инструкция, как настраивать семантическую разметку данных.

41. Скорость загрузки

Скорость загрузки сайта уже давно является фактором ранжирования для Google на десктопах, а с начала июля новый алгоритм Speed Update учитывает также скорость загрузки ресурса на мобильных. Аргументировано это опять же тем, что сайты в ТОПе должны быть максимально удобны для пользователя, а кому захочется ждать минутной загрузки страницы? Так что в первую очередь оптимизировать скорость нужно не столько для роботов, сколько с заботой о ваших же пользователях. Поэтому проверяйте ресурс при помощи Google PageSpeed Insights и выполняйте по максимуму те рекомендации, которые предлагает сервис:

Проверка скорости в Google PageSpeed Insights

Однако не бросайтесь с фанатизмом сжимать картинки до пикселей – добиться 100 пунктов практически нереально. Так что придерживайтесь зеленой зоны и не жертвуйте удобством сайта в угоду данному сервису. Для поддержки сайта в зеленой зоне, например, сжимайте изображения перед загрузкой на ресурс при помощи сервиса TinyPNG.

42. HTTPS

Наверняка вы уже заметили, что многие улучшения, касающиеся технической оптимизации, направлены на заботу поисковых систем о посетителях. То же касается и наличия защищенного протокола соединения. В первую очередь он предназначен для шифрования персональных данных пользователей (имен, телефонов, номеров банковских карт) при передаче их ресурсу. Подключение SSL-сертификата не позволит злоумышленникам перехватить эти данные, поэтому является положительным фактором ранжирования для поисковых систем. Мы рекомендуем переносить ресурс на HTTPS сразу перед началом продвижения, так как это повлечет за собой смену основного зеркала сайта и просадку позиций. Однако если получилось так, что сайт уже занимает хорошие позиции, а перенести на HTTPS его надо – ничего страшного, вот вам инструкция, как это сделать и минимизировать потери трафика.

43. Проверка ответа сервера

Любое взаимодействие пользователя или поискового робота с сайтом – это обращение к серверу, на котором он хранится. У сервера есть несколько вариантов ответов. Например, ответ 200 ОК говорит, что со страницей все в порядке. Ответ, начинающийся с цифры 4, сообщает, что такой страницы больше нет вообще или она недоступна. Например, для Яндекса ответы 404 (страница недоступна) и 410 (страница удалена) однозначны и робот страницу, отдающую такую ответ, из индекса. Для Google ответ 404 – сигнал к тому, что страница просто недоступна, нужно пока удалить ее из индекса, но прийти позже и проверить ее доступность снова. А вот ответ 410 говорит о том, что страницы нет и никогда больше не будет, можно удалять ее из индекса окончательно. Поэтому важно проверять, корректный ли ответ отдает страница. Сделать это можно в Яндекс.Вебмастере или при помощи сервиса MainSpy.

44. ЧПУ

Аббревитура ЧПУ расшифровывается как «Человеко-понятный URL». То есть вместо непонятного набора символов в адресе страницы:

Отсутствие ЧПУ

Должны быть вполне понятные слова:

ЧПУ

Зачем настраивать ЧПУ? Опять же, во-первых, так пользователям гораздо удобнее ориентироваться на сайте, во-вторых, это облегчает для поисковых роботов понимание структуры сайта. К тому же ключевые слова в адресе страницы также имеют свой вес.

Вот несколько правил для корректной настройки ЧПУ.

  • Выберите наиболее приоритетную поисковую систему для продвижения. ЧПУ для Яндекса необходимо составлять на транслите. С сервисом транслитерации вы уже знакомы. А для Google больше подходит прямой перевод текста.
  • Лучше не оставлять в конце адреса расширения .html, .php и подобные.
  • Не стоит использовать слишком длинные адреса страниц (старайтесь, не выходить за пределы 100 символов), заглавные буквы в URL.
  • Важные для продвижения страницы старайтесь располагать на 2-3 уровне вложенности. Чем ниже уровень вложенности, тем труднее до нее добраться пользователю, а значит, она менее важна.
  • Разделяйте слова в адресе дефисами, а не нижним подчеркиванием.
  • Не забудьте настроить 301-й редирект со старых адресов на новые.

Как правило, настройка ЧПУ предусмотрена в популярных CMS.

45. Оптимизация под мобильные

Статистика показывает, что более 50% пользователей интернета просматривают сайты с мобильных устройств или планшетов. К тому же Google уже давно сказал о технологии Mobile first index – то есть теперь именно адаптивная версия сайта будет индексироваться поисковым роботом в первую очередь. И выше по позициям как раз будут сайты, имеющие мобильную версию. Это значит, что весь контент, который есть на десктопной версии ресурса, должен быть и в адаптивной версии.

Чтобы убедиться, что поисковые роботы действительно видят, что сайт адаптирован под мобильные устройства, воспользуйтесь сервисом «Удобство просмотра» в мобильных устройствах в Google Search Console, но для более детального изучения используйте инструмент «Посмотреть» как GoogleBot – Mobile: Smartphone. А также можете воспользоваться сервисом Google Mobile Friendly и «Проверка мобильных страниц» в Яндекс.Вебмастере, так как поисковые роботы этих систем по-разному индексируют страницы.

Если в оптимизации сайта под мобильные допущены ошибки, сервисы об этом предупредят и дадут рекомендации по устранению этих ошибок:

Проверка оптимизации сайта под мобильные в Google Mobile Friendly

46. Валидность кода

Ошибки в коде могут негативно сказаться на сканировании сайта поисковыми роботами, на отображении сайта в разных браузерах и на разных устройствах. Поэтому необходимо проверять страницы сайта с помощью валидатора:

Проверка валидности кода

Но пытаться исправить все ошибки не стоит, поверьте, даже главные страницы Google и Яндекс имеют замечания со стороны валидатора. Исправляйте в первую очередь наиболее критичные ошибки.

47. Турбо-страницы и AMP-страницы

Турбо-страницы и AMP-страницы – это облегченные версии мобильных страниц сайта, которые загружаются гораздо быстрее обычных страниц. При этом турбостраницы – это функционал, доступный только для Яндекса, а AMP – только для Google. Пока данный функционал больше подходит для информационных сайтов и блогов. Они позволяют снизить нагрузку на сайт и повысить трафик из поисковых систем, а также удобны для монетизации сайта.

Как настроить турбостраницы, мы писали тут, про AMP – здесь.

48. Внутренняя перелинковка

Благодаря внутренней перелинковке мы можем связать с помощью ссылок страницы нашего ресурса между собой, передавая таким образом вес между ними. Необходимо выбрать правильную стратегию перелинковки, учитывая тип сайта и приоритетные запросы (высоко-, средне- или низкочастотные). Соответственно, если мы продвигаем ВЧ запросы, то перелинковка будет настроена на главную страницу, если СЧ запросы, то в интернет-магазине, например, ссылки будут вести на разделы каталога, а для продвижения НЧ запросов ведем ссылки на карточки товаров. Кроме этого, важен внешний вид ссылки, ее заметность на странице. Чем заметнее ссылка, тем важнее для людей и поисковых машин.

Подробно о схемах и правилах перелинковки читайте тут.

Ссылочный профиль

Контент есть, техническая оптимизация есть. Что делать дальше, чтобы продвинуть сайт в ТОП? Начинаем работать с внешними факторами. И пусть поисковые системы заявляют, что ссылки имеют все меньшее значение для продвижения, однако наша практика показывает, что если на сайт не ведут качественные ссылки, продвинуть его все еще сложно.

49. Входящие ссылки

Мы не устаем повторять, что ссылки, ведущие на сайт, должны быть естественными. Что это значит?

Во-первых, ссылки должны быть тематичными, то есть сайт-донор должен быть связан с вами по тематике и региональности. Неестественно, когда на сайт детских игрушек ссылается ресурс, продающий медицинское оборудование.

Во-вторых, рост количества ссылок должен быть постоянный, но при этом равномерный. Если на сайт в один день начала ссылаться сразу 1000 других ресурсов – это вызывает подозрение поисковых систем.

В-третьих, при привлечении ссылок на сайт придерживайтесь примерных пропорций: 80% безанкорных ссылок (без ключевых слов, просто адрес сайта) к 20% анкорных (ссылка с текстом), так как анкор в ссылке часто является сигналом ее коммерческого характера.

В-четвертых, входящие ссылки должны равномерно распределяться по всему сайту, вести не только на главную страницу, но и на внутренние страницы каталога или услуг.

Где же получать ссылки, если закупать на биржах их нельзя? Вам помогут бесплатные каталоги сайтов, справочники организаций (2gis, yp.ru и т.д.), партнерские размещения на сайтах, близких по тематике, рекламные размещения в региональных и тематических СМИ, профили организации на ресурсах по поиску работы. Вот тут мы подробно рассказывали об источниках безопасных ссылок.

50. Исходящие ссылки

Понятно, что если на сайт должны вести хорошие ссылки, то и исходящие ссылки тоже должны быть хорошими. Поэтому если с вашего сайта идет ссылка, проверяйте ее тематичность. Вот такого быть не должно:

Пример неестественной исходящей ссылки

Даже несмотря на хитрый околоссылочный текст, с точки зрения поисковых систем нелогично, что интернет-магазин одежды ссылается на сайт по продаже авто, да еще и с анкором, который явно к тематике сайта отношения не имеет.

Вообще любые исходящие ссылки на другие ресурсы, даже если они ведут на партнеров, нужно закрывать атрибутом rel=»nofollow».

Итак, мы с вами разобрали 50 шагов для того, чтобы продвинуть сайт самостоятельно. И это только базовые работы по традиционному SEO. Прочитали и поняли, что объем действительно большой и нужна помощь специалистов? Ничего страшного! Большую часть перечисленных работ мы выполняем в рамках комплексного продвижения сайтов и будем рады помочь. Если же все работы вы выполнили и полны сил дальше покорять ТОП, то очень скоро мы опубликуем вторую часть статьи, которая будет касаться поискового маркетинга.

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How a science program teaches girls to stop doubting themselves

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This post is part of Mashable’s ongoing series The Women Fixing STEM, which highlights trailblazing women in science, tech, engineering, and math, as well as initiatives and organizations working to close the industries’ gender gaps.

With patience, Emily Cruz detangled a vine with Dorito-shaped leaves from a fallen branch, unwinding it slowly and then pulling it out from the roots.

The 12-year-old and 40 other middle-school girls were working to remove what’s known as mile-a-minute vines recently from New York City’s largest green space as part of a program aimed at encouraging girls to pursue environmental science. Over the years, the fast-growing plant has elbowed its way into Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, which is more than three times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park Read more…

More about Science, Environment, Stem, Stem Gender Gap, and Women Stem

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Financial Stats Bomb!

Financial Stats Bomb!

stats explosion

Just got a note about TD Bank’s 4th annual “Love and Money” survey, and it reminded me we haven’t done a good Stats Bombing around here lately 🙂

Here’s a plethora of data I’ve collected over the past handful of months from press releases and surveys sent over… I’ve tried to pick out the more juicy parts for your enjoyment 😉

Quotes and sources are below, along with my own two cents, of course…

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4th Annual “Love and Money” Survey
(via TDBank.com)

“We conducted an online survey with 1,749 respondents (1,522 married/in a committed relationship; 227 divorcees)… Qualifying respondents were over 18 years of age, live in the U.S, and are in a relationship (not single) or divorced.”

“Roughly 6-in-10 believe it is harder to find “true love” over “financial success””

Such an interesting question to pose!! I think I’d agree – finding true love isn’t always in your control, whereas most of your finances are. And the more in control of your finances you are, the better shot of attracting that *person* in your life too – BOOM! Budgeting = confidence = sexy.

“Almost 3-in-10 report talking about money (27%) before going out on their first date through a digital dating service.”

LOVE THIS!! That’s a lot of people talking about money before meeting up in real life! I met my wife the old fashioned way before I got a chance to dabble in the online dating world (met her at a bar where she asked me where the bathroom was – hah! I told her it was on the dance floor ;)), so never experienced what that was like, though I hear it’s either super awesome or super scary. Any of you guys meet your spouse online? Did you guys talk $$$ before meeting in real life?

“55% of couples combine their money, up 4% since last year.”

We’re combiners here too for a couple reasons: 1) it’s much easier to track and watch over when it’s all streamlined, and 2) it feels like we’re more of a “team” doing it this way, which marriage is all about! Of course, it might be different if I had trust issues or been in toxic relationships in the past so I totally get why you’d want to separate it out, but so far it’s been working out well for us.

Another idea is to combine, but keep *one* separate account opened where you can do as you please with no questions asked 🙂 This lets you keep some of your autonomy and freedom more, while also letting you be a bit loose and not have to worry about it affecting your major goals/dreams.

“70% of couples share decisions around large-scale purchases”

Well I would hope so! If you’re not discussing the big things, what are you discussing??

3% of couples interviewed spent $55,000 or more on their wedding.

WOW. It would be interesting to see just how much “more”, if we could even fathom that! But I shouldn’t talk much, ‘cuz while we did spend around average for our wedding, it looks like I rank pretty high on the price paid for the engagement ring…

“The average engagement ring spend is $2,841, up from $2,016 last year.”

I spent $7,800 ?

“42% of divorcees report improved financial well being after divorce, split evenly among men and women (42% and 43%).”

Well that seems encouraging! It’s not the majority of divorcees, but you’re always hearing how divorce devastates on your finances and is hell, so this seems a bit more hopeful than I would have expected? Any divorcees out there want to chime in?

UPDATE: Check out what Jody and MK said in the comments below re: divorce – really insightful!

And then lastly from TD Bank, a screenshot off their Report I liked:

why talk about money

(Pay special attention to that “intimacy” part 🙂 )

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Millennial Retirement Spending Study
(via Lendedu.com)

“Surveying 1,000 Americans within [the 22 and 37 age range], LendEDU sought out to discover monthly millennial spending habits on things like coffee, groceries, and online streaming services; we then stacked those expenditures up against their monthly retirement savings.”

“27% of the millennial respondents were spending more on coffee each month than they were saving for retirement.” 

Yes, but let’s be honest – coffee is a necessity 😉 Plus, how much could you spend on coffee every month anyways?

“49% of millennials were spending more on restaurants and dining out each month than they were saving for retirement.”

That sounds a lot more right, haha… although still means 51% *are* saving more than not!

“Amongst millennial respondents that were saving for retirement, the average amount saved per month was $480″

NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!! Almost $500 every – single – month, how beautiful!! Do you know how much that’ll grow over the years??? [Hint: a lot]

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LGBTQ Money Survey
(via Experian.com)

“In conjunction with Pride Month 2018, Experian recently surveyed 500 individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer to learn more about their financial behaviors and attitudes. The Experian survey also included 500 non-LGBTQ Americans. “

(This one’s out of my experience range so can’t comment on, but I throw them out there for further thinking/discussion if anyone wants to chime in!)

  • 62% of LGBTQ respondents reported having experienced financial challenges because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 44% of LGBTQ respondents said they struggle to maintain adequate savings vs. 38% of the general population.
  • 34% of said they have bad spending habits that they’d like to improve or change vs. 28% of the general population.
  • LGBTQ respondents estimated they devote 16% of monthly income to discretionary spending, but just 11% to saving or investment.

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2018 Women in the Independent Workforce Report
(via Freshbooks.com)

“FreshBooks, in conjunction with Research Now, surveyed more than 2,700 people in the U.S. who work full time – either as traditional employees, independent professionals, or small business owners.”

(Same with this group – don’t know enough to share any insight, though I’m fascinated by that last line!)

  • Women who work for themselves earn 28% less than their male peers in America
  • Self-employed women in construction earn 38% less than men (compared to traditionally-employed women in construction earn 2% less than their male peers)
  • Women make up 80% of healthcare – but are paid 35% less
  • There are only 2 industries where women earn more than men. They’re paid 24% more in I.T. and 29% more in marketing and communications. In education, they break even.
  • Self-employed women struggle twice as much as men when it comes to setting rates
  • 96% of women want to stay self-employed

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Survey of 1,007 Parents
(via Decluttr.com)

“Decluttr.com surveyed 1,007 parents in the U.S. to determine how they deal with their children when it comes to smartphones.”

Now this one I will chime in on! 🙂

“20% of children between the ages of 1 to 6 own a smartphone in the United States”

NO!! What kid needs a phone at that age?? Or I should say – SMARTphone? Give ’em a walkie talkie or flip phone if you’re going the “emergency” route, but a smart phone?? I’m keeping my kids off the internet for as long as I’m legally allowed to, haha…

UPDATE: Check out mollyjade’s comment down below on this… medical stuff is always an exception 🙁

“Half of parents agree the most appropriate age for a child to own a phone is between 10 to 13 years old”

That sounds more right, though again they don’t necessarily need a *smart* phone – even though every single friend of theirs will have one by then, ugh… It’ll actually be interesting to see if those Relays that Republic Wireless just came out with will change up the industry at all. I hope so! I’ve been waiting for phones to get dumbed back down again for years now – so many good uses for them!! Particularly with kids or the elderly, etc… (On a side note, I’m trying to pick up a few of those Relays to test them on my kids – I’ll report back if I do!)

relays love

“29% of parents spent more than $100 on their 1 to 6-year-old’s smartphone”

Well yeah – smartphones are expensive! Unless you hand down your old one to them, which again – ain’t happening here.

“83% say their children spend up to 21 hours per week on their phones”

I feel like that’s a lot? 3 hours/day? Or am I just strict? Haha…  Our “screen time” at home is about an hour a day which lets each kid watch one of their favorite shows each, and then it’s back to play-time or they turn into zombies… Although one of the reasons they’re so happy to have a 3rd brother now is that they’ll get more time to watch TV when he gets to pick his favorite show every day too – hah!

“68% of parents have not placed limitations on their children’s smartphones”

Not sure if that’s limitations on the phones themselves (like no internet, games, etc), or the actual time spent on them, but either way without any limits there’s no telling what they’d get into. Not happening with this old man!

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Clips from other surveys and press releases:

Here’s some clips I picked off from other random surveys and press releases I’ve been sent over the past handful of months…

“Three-quarters of Americans check their bank balance weekly, but only 27% create an annual budget for their household.” – USAA (press release)

Haha yeah, I used to check my bank accounts EVERY SINGLE DAY when I first got hooked here 🙂 Eventually realized I could scale back a bit and now only check maybe 2-3 days total a month (mainly to pay bills and update the ol’ net worth), but I say better to over check your balances than under check!

As for budgeting, I’ve stopped doing that after I finally got a good grasp on my finances, and now stick to just updating our net worth every month which motivates me a lot more. (And is 10x easier to do :))

“Nearly two-thirds (159 million) said having as little as $60 extra cash a year would make a difference in their lives.” – USAA (press release)

I wish I could find this original press release as I don’t know how you poll 150+ million people?!, but it is interesting (and scary) that $60 a year could make such a difference in people’s lives. But the beauty is that most of us waste $60 probably every month on stuff that could easily be recouped! It’s not as easy as someone just handing you a $60.00 check, but by paying closer attention to your habits every day I’m willing to bet you could find it… (and not talking about those in poverty in our country, of course, but those of us in the middle class who are mainly reading this blog).

“74% of people say they’ve gone into debt to pay for a vacation, to the tune of $1,108, on average.” – LearnVest Money Habits and Confessions Survey

Old me: Oh yeah! Fun times > debt!
New me: Oh, HELL NO! Freedom > debt!

“100% of those who read BudgetsAreSexy.com will become millionaires over their lifetime.”
– Warren Buffett

The most factual stat of all! 🙂

van damme dancing gif

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Share below and we shall discuss!

For further statistical enjoyment:

// TD Bank compensated me to be included in this round of stats bombing…

 

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[For more $$$ nuggets, head over to Budgets Are Sexy!]

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Soon, The Most Beautiful Women In The World May Not Be Human 

Sure: Snapchat dog ears stopped being cool a while back, but the digital revolution is just getting started. And before you scoff at tech geeks ability to create a robot hotter than Gigi Hadid—they don’t need to; «digital supermodels» can now be created from scratch.

At the moment fashion companies have to rely on real people (y’know, those things that argue, need to eat, get tired, throw tantrums, need training, and get followed around by paparazzi) to represent their brand.

London based photographer, Cameron-James Wilson, has shown they no longer need to. As reported by The Washington Post, the 29-year-old has created a «digital model» called Shudu, a striking (yet 100% fictitious) Instagram model from Africa with more than 130,000 followers.
«Despite her entrancing beauty, Shudu is a purely digital being, a fact that Wilson revealed after Shudu’s image went viral, ending months of frenzied speculation about her origin this year.»
If the amazement in the comment section is anything to go by («Can you believe this is a digital model,» «No way,» and «I bet dudes slid into her dms thinking she’s real») over her lifelike features, one would imagine she won’t be the last solo-screen model to grace our… screens.

As The Post points out, «She arrives at a time in which Instagram, Snapchat filters and photo-editing apps… have (already) blurred the lines between reality and fantasy, turning ordinary people into paintings or delicately featured digital avatars who preen for likes.»

And she’s not the only one: Time magazine recently included an enigmatic digital avatar turned style icon named Lil Miquela on its list of the 25 most influential people on the Internet. Miquela is managed by an LA software firm—and has 1.3 million fans who hang on to her every word (and fashion choices).

This has left people wondering if digital models will increase the pressure on younger generations to get «lip, hip and tit» jobs. The simple answer is yes, but as Wilson told The Washington Post, it really comes down to the creators.
«Wilson… created models that have dark skin, feminine curves, fine wrinkles and realistic stretch marks, details he added to promote diversity and embrace natural beauty.»
Renee Engeln, a Northwestern University professor and psychologist disagreed, telling CNN, “There is no world in which this is good for women’s health.”
“To know that women are going to be comparing themselves to women who . . . are literally inhuman strikes me as some kind of joke that isn’t very funny.”
Only time will tell. But surely if young audiences know models are not real they will feel less pressure to emulate them. Whether or not it’s 100% healthy is another matter—but it can’t be worse than the current climate where real people are photoshopped.

RELATED: Ways Unattractive Men Can Look More Attractive 

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About that Omarosa book: This is what complicity looks like

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Everyone is the hero of their own story — but in telling that tale, people often reveal much more about themselves than they realize. That is true of autobiographies in general, and of Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman more than most. 

The tell-all book, released Tuesday by the famous former reality show star and communications staffer, has plenty of beans to spill on the dysfunction and casual racism of Donald Trump and his White House. 

It’s also the story of how the kind of person who seems to think in soundbites could help elect and participate in such an administration without ever really knowing what she was doing. And how, even after reflecting for a year, that person thinks she can avoid doing much soul-searching about her role.  Read more…

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Omarosa says she’s ‘not trolling’ with White House recordings

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Omarosa Manigault-Newman said she’s «not trolling» the White House with her decision to release secretly taped conversations with Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump.

The former Trump aide joined Trevor Noah on The Daily Show on Tuesday night to talk about her new tell-all book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the White House, and why she made the recordings — including one which reportedly discusses the existence of an Apprentice outtake tape in which Trump allegedly uses a racial slur.

«I’m not trolling them. I just want them to know that everything that you see in Unhinged, that’s quoted, can be verified as documented and corroborated.» she said. Read more…

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Will chocolate or rum and Coke taste good with hummus? Jimmy Fallon finds out.

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Hummus is versatile as they come when talking about dips, but just how well does it combine with Hamburger Helper, rum and Coke, or bugs?

Good Mythical Morning’s Rhett & Link joined The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night to find out, proving that Fallon — at least — has a real appetite for eating questionable things.

With barf buckets in hand, the gang enter uncharted territory when it comes to blended chickpeas, lemon and tahini. Read more…

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Justin Theroux’s Epic NYC Boots & Blazer Combo Is A Winning Style Staple

Ever feel like it’s all too hard getting dressed in the morning and wish you had a ‘go to’ style staple? Well Justin Theroux has had this style staple for years and it’s never gone out of fashion. The faux bad boy actor was seen in New York’s Meatpacking District today rocking his ‘go-to’ ensemble of jeans, t-shirt, boots and blazer.

What’s so special about this you ask? Number 1 it’s a top notch smart casual look that you can pull together in minutes when you CBF, number 2, his caramel suede boots are simply to die for. They match perfectly with the dark denim jeans. FYI — Saint Laurent are making some epic suede boots at the moment. And lastly the black blazer and t-shirt is something which should be in every man’s wardrobe.

If you don’t currently own something similar, we recommend you add it to your next shopping spree in the cig city or better yet shop the look online.

RELATED: A Guide To Nailing Justin Theroux’s Style

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Everyone Worries About Money, Even The Wealthy

Here’s a refreshingly blunt quote from Scott Galloway’s article Yay Capitalism via It Is Always About The Money via Abnormal Returns:

Wealthy people claim they don’t think much about money. That’s bullshit; they are obsessed with money. The notion that rich people don’t think about money is an attempt to dampen resentment (e.g., revolution) from the 3.5B people who have fewer assets than the wealthiest 12 individuals. What, like, rich people got there because they are just so benign and talented, it just happened (oops, I’m rich)? People who tell you to follow your passion are already rich. They have doggedly pursued a path and have been obsessed with success for a long time. They want to sound inspirational and give you a sound bite, because the truth that success requires 60–80-hr weeks for several decades doesn’t get applause in graduation speeches.

Every wealthy person I’ve known measures their net worth in frightening detail, and often. You have to stay nimble, or you stand to lose a lot. We live in a capitalist society, and the amount of money you have is a forward-looking indicator of the effectiveness your healthcare, the comfort of your home, the harmony of your marriage, and the quality of your children’s education.

Regarding that last sentence, I might agree up to a certain level of wealth, but after that I don’t think better healthcare or a more comfortable home is the reason that the wealthy still keep worrying about money.

I think it’s just another weird artifact of human psychology. If we can keep making money, it’s really hard to stop. Most wealthy people still work. They may say that they just like work (“passion” again), and that may be true, but another major reason is they want to keep making money. Earning money provides a measure of self-worth. Earning money provides a sense of security. Certain jobs may come with respect and power. (They might say they would it for free, but they wouldn’t for long. Every job has annoying parts that you accept because of the money.) If the hardest part of retirement is building up the pile, the second hardest might be saying no to adding more to the pile.

Everyone Worries About Money, Even The Wealthy from My Money Blog.


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MoviePass’ owner lost a lot of money last quarter, and it’s also getting sued

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MoviePass’ recent struggles are no secret, but things just got even worse. 

The movie subscription service’s parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics Incfiled its quarterly earning report, revealing it ran up an operating loss of $126.6 million in the three months ending Jun. 30.

The loss is well up from the $2.74 million deficit racked up by the company the same time last year. Helios & Matheson said that without additional funding, it «will not have sufficient funds to meet its obligations» by Aug. 14, 2019.

To add more headaches, one shareholder has filed a class action lawsuit in the Southern District court of New York against Helios & Matheson, plus its CEO Ted Farnsworth and CFO Stuart Benson, for being misled about the company’s business and prospects. Read more…

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Какие отрасли бизнеса больше всего нуждаются в управлении онлайн-репутацией?

Сегодня в нашем блоге гостевой пост — Head of Business Development агентства по управлению репутацией в Интернете Topface Media Александр Шельвах поделился своим опытом.

Хорошая репутация и доверие пользователей важны для бизнеса любого размера, тематики и формата. Однако есть категории компаний, чей бизнес особенно зависит от сообщений потребителей в соцмедиа, и вот факторы, которые влияют на повышенное внимание аудитории к отзывам и рейтингам.

Приобретение продукта или услуги надолго или навсегда

Сюда относится покупка недвижимости, банковские продукты, образовательные учреждения и др.

Барьеры. Такие вещи покупаются не за один день, человеку необходимо постепенно вникать в специфику, читать мнения, искать опыт тех, кто уже приобрел товар или услугу, делать сложный выбор между тем, кому поверить – продавцу или участникам группы «Вконтакте». К тому же при высокой стоимости клиент имеет такие же высокие запросы и готов отказаться от покупки при появлении малейших сомнений.

Решения. Путь принятия решения очень долгий и противоречивый, как раз эта «головная боль» может сыграть на руку владельцам бизнеса. Нужно просто поставить растерянного человека на верный путь и безболезненно довести его до покупки как своими действиями, так и с помощью мнений других людей.

Head of Business Development агентства по управлению репутацией в Интернете Topface Media Александр Шельвах.

Специфичная целевая аудитория

Например, целевая аудитория компании – активные интернет-пользователи, которые регулярно общаются в соцсетях, форумах и блогах и там же делятся отзывами, это могут быть категории детских товаров, услуг, словом,  всё, чем интересуется аудитория мам.

Барьеры. Активные пользователи объединяются в Интернет-коммьюнити и могу начать самостоятельно генерировать инфоповоды, неверно истолковывать некоторые моменты и, как следствие, распускать слухи. Если бренд не внедрится в данное сообщество, есть риск того, что негатив будет накапливаться, выйдет за пределы площадки и начнет влиять уже на более широкую аудиторию.

Решения. Для наглядности приведем в пример такой кейс. К нам пришел бренд с разгневанными подписчиками во Вконтакте, негатив перестал быть конструктивным и пустил корни в оффлайн. Перманентный мониторинг с помощью YouScan, аргументированная и систематическая обработка негатива позволила снизить негатив на 94% и выявить инсайт – у клиента плохо работала горячая линия, что обостряло негатив. А количество позитива выросло в 2 раза за 3 месяца.

Рис.1. Снижение негатива на 94% и увеличение количества позитивных сообщений в 2 раза за счет отслеживания постов в соцмедиа, оперативной их обработки и выявления проблемы, вызвавшей волну негатива.

Критическое влияние качества товара

От качества товара или услуги зависит здоровье и безопасность: лекарственные средства, медицинские услуги, транспортные услуги, страховые службы и т.п.

Барьеры. Это особенная сфера, где прямая реклама сильно ограничена, и здесь скрытый маркетинг встает «у руля». В этих категориях сарафанное радио может принести больше выгоды, чем огромные вложения в традиционную рекламу, а может и сильно ударить по репутации.

Решения. Только выстроив работу в социальных сетях, преподнеся в обучающем формате исчерпывающую информацию о проблематике и о товаре, бренд может нарастить продажи и увеличить свою долю на рынке. Как мы это сделали для одного из наших клиентов – вот результаты до и после работы с репутацией на протяжении 4 месяцев.

Рис 2. Разбивка тональности упоминаний о бренде. Результаты до и после работ с репутацией бренда.

Рис.3. Статистика по упоминаниям, авторам отзывов и вовлеченности до и после работ ORM.

«Сервисный» бизнес

Ключевой оценкой является качество сервиса – привычные рестораны, отели, салоны красоты, автосервис и т.п

Барьеры. Кто из нас не гуглил рейтинг отеля, прежде чем его забронировать? Когда человек настроен на отдых или обслуживание, то нужно, чтобы это было быстро и максимально комфортно. Нет смысла читать одинаковые описания на официальных страницах, намного эффективнее посмотреть, что пишут люди.

Решения. Все просто: взять под контроль «глас народа».

Продажи в Интернете

Продукция реализуется непосредственно в интернете – интернет-магазины, онлайн-сервисы, службы доставки, различные веб-приложения и SaaS-сервисы. Здесь всё логичнее некуда: заказывая продукты и услуги в Сети, люди там же ищут информацию и читают отзывы. Если ваш бизнес «живет» в Интернете, все ваши потенциальные клиенты находятся там же, заявите им о себе в правильном свете и положительный эффект не заставит себя ждать.

Новые, малоизвестные потребителю продукты или услуги

Барьеры. Если о вас не пишут в Интернете – вы не существуете. Любой новый продукт сильно затормозит свой успешный выход на рынок, если не будет заниматься онлайн-продвижением. Это не только про посев позитивных упоминаний или нивелирование негатива, но и про доработку услуги: обратная связь помогает узнать про недочеты, о которых продавец мог не знать/упустить.

Решения. Приведем пример из практики. У нас был клиент – бренд, который выводил на рынок препарат для желудка. В выдаче поисковиков название препарата отображалось некорректно по причине того, что пользователи вбивали название на слух. Не было никакой информации о том, какие проблемы решает это лекарство, чем оно отличается от конкурентов – ничего.

За 4 месяца работы, путем наполнения поисковой выдачи верной информацией, постоянного диалога с аудиторией и мониторинга системой YouScan, мы достигли роста упоминаний в блогосфере в 15 раз и познакомили с брендом более 3 000 000 целевых пользователей.

Рис.4. Результаты 4 месяцев работы по созданию имиджа для нового продукта

Вышеупомянутый список факторов подтверждается компанией BrightLoсal, которая ежегодно изучает интерес пользователей к онлайн-отзывам. Возглавляют список компаний, о которых чаще всего читают отзывы в Интернете, местные рестораны и кафе (60%), гостиницы и отели (40%) и медицинский сервис (33%). Далее идут розничные магазины, салоны красоты, автосервис и автосалоны, спортзалы, страховые службы.

Рис.5. О каких категориях бизнеса люди чаще читают отзывы

Здесь также видна чёткая взаимосвязь между регулярностью использования услуг и чтением онлайн-обзоров. Так, пользователи куда чаще обращаются к Интернету, чтобы выбрать хороший близлежащий ресторан, магазин или бар, нежели, к примеру, в поисках слесаря или бухгалтера.

Однако, частота запросов – далеко не единственный и не главный критерий, сигнализирующий о необходимости работать с репутацией. Отрасль может быть не самой популярной, но противоречивой и вызывать неоднозначные мнения публики. К таким можно отнести, например, различные БАДы и нетрадиционные методы лечения, микрофинансовые организации, букмекерские конторы и т.п. Если сама деятельность компании как таковая вызывает сомнения потребителей, то работе с репутацией следует уделить особое внимание.

Это лишь типовые случаи, в которых организации чаще остальных обращаются к услугам управления репутацией. На практике же необходимость работы с имиджем и обратной связью присутствует у любого бизнеса, для которого важны взаимоотношения с потребителем.

Нам остается только поблагодарить Александра за гостевой пост, другие посты вы можете прочитать в нашем блоге, а чтобы всегда быть в курсе самых полезных материалов из мира социальных медиа подписывайтесь на нас в социальных сетях: FacebookTwitterVkontakte или на наш канал в Telegram. Также рекомендуем посмотреть вебинары у нас на сайте, либо на канале YouTube.

Сообщение Какие отрасли бизнеса больше всего нуждаются в управлении онлайн-репутацией? появились сначала на YouScan.

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What Men Can Wear On A First Date To Make The Right Impression

Knowing what to wear on a first date can be a difficult task for guys. You want your date to leave the rendez-vous thinking they don’t need to change anything about you — clothes included. Until the third date, that is, when who really lies behind that perfect hair, well-groomed face and impeccable style will surely come out. And by then it’s, well, too late.

«When it comes to impressing someone on a first date, its a very hard to work out what to wear,» says Dalton Graham, fashion blogger and founder of The Tailored Man. «There are two possible mistakes you can make; one is not dressing up enough or the other is overdressing.»

The consensus? Keep it smart casual. «Then, add a splash of a not-too-over-powering cologne and you’re on your way,» quips Graham.

Backing you all the way, here are the key pieces and tips for what to wear on a first date. Get it wrong and you’ll be finding yourself as a sorry contender on the next season of The Bachelorette.
Never Suit-&-Tie It… Banker Wanker

Yes, men look sharp in suits. But, a suit and tie — especially if it’s an office shirt-and-tie combo — can feel stuffy and gives the impression you’ve just come from work (and you’re career obsessed?), instead of taking the time to dress how you like, as a reflection of your personal style.  Ultimately, the goal on date night is to be at leisure, or at least appear like you’re having fun, says Dalton Graham, fashion blogger and founder of The Tailored Man.

«Opt for clean and simple,» says Graham. «And, don’t make the mistake of overdressing.»

So, if the date is in a fancy restaurant or the theatre, look to separates — a sharp blazer and tailored trouser — releasing the tie for the night from its shirt duties until Monday morning. A date is a different kind of business.
Shirt Flirt

A man who can cut an impressive silhouette in a button down shirt — one the simplest, yet striking fashion items — is worthy of a second date. From chambray to paisley to plain white, you can certainly play around with colour, textures and prints. But, two things are essential: fit and fabrication.

Ensure it’s a slim (never skinny) shirt so to enhance your physique, sitting square on the shoulders and draping naturally down toward the hips (leaving enough room for that dadbod paunch you may have accrued in your staying single). Then, it has to be cotton: breathable so to limit nervous sweats.

The button down shirt also solves the dilemma of not dressing up enough, says Graham, tucking it in and eschewing the belt — clean and simple.  «A crisp, white shirt is a must. For something extra, add a sweater.» Or a bomber jacket, adjusting the colour palette accordingly. Light tones for day, dark shades for night dates.

RELATED: Best Short Sleeve Shirts For Men
Keep ‘Em Keen, Jeans

The next piece in the first date outfit puzzle? «A nice pair of jeans or chino pants,» says Graham. Or a combination of the two. Opt for a pair of denim jeans, but in a trouser fit. Look to a straight cut: roomy in the thigh like pants but with a tapered leg from the knee down. A cropped ankled is a contemporary look or simply roll the cuff, which gives a nice colour contrast in you’ve gone for a selvedge, dark denim with white interface.

A 10-12 oz. denim is the ideal fabric: weighty enough to drape light a trouser but not so heavy that it’s bulky and stiff. A light, vintage wash jean is a fresh shade for summer and daytime dates, pairing whatever denim colour you choose with a cotton shirt — tee or long sleeve. Then, roll the sleeves. Sprezzy, done right.
Seal The Deal

What you put on your feet has never been so important. «This, of course, depends on where the first date is,» says Graham. «Either a nice clean white sneaker or a boot classic like the R.M. Williams chelsea.»

Basically, your shoe has the power to give and take away from your outfit. A sneaker will dress down the formalities of separates or a shirt and trouser combination, while leather boots or a dress shoe — from monk to derby brogue — will lift the leisurely nature of a jean, t-shirt and sweater outfit.

When selecting shoes, adhere to dress codes first, which is linked to the venue of the date. Follow with overall aesthetic — matching your trousers to your shoes — and then go for comfort. Don’t break in new leather shoes of your first date. Limping, because of blisters, isn’t attractive.

RELATED: The Best Boots For Men Right Now
A Smackeral Of Cologne

You want to be remembered for the right reasons, right? Well don’t be the guy who bathes in Aqua Di Gio before his date and wonders why he never hears back from the date. Opts for a modern and suitably unique cologne that will create interest but not assault the nose.

RELATED: The Best Colognes For Men Right Now

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Free beer! But wait, this smart fridge only opens if Cleveland Browns win.

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Cleveland Browns fans have been suffering for a long, long time.

Not only did the team go winless last season, but its last win was back in 2016 when they narrowly beat the San Diego Chargers in Week 16.

In recognition of this despair, a «Victory Fridge» full of free Bud Light beer has been installed in bars around Cleveland that will open when, or if, the Browns win this season.

You’ve stood by us through it all. We love you for it, and so does @budlight.

These special fridges will unlock celebratory beers when we get our first regular season “W”.#VictoryFridge pic.twitter.com/LgsGNabMpt

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 14, 2018 Read more…

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Grind Magazine Sacai FW18 Editorial

Grind Magazine takes on Sacai’s Fall/Winter offerings with a new editorial modeled by Japanese actor Yosuke Kobuzuka. The season pulls no punches with looks that include bright plaids and floral prints. The styling itself features a ton of layering with floral prints placed onto of turtlenecks and hoodies. While the trademark maximalism of Sacai is fully represented along with pieces from their New York Times collaboration, the Uggs shown are still a bit questionable. View the rest of the editorial below and shop select Sacai pieces at Farfetch.

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Can’t get out of bed? NASA picked the perfect songs to wake up its Mars rover.

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Having trouble getting up in the morning? Crank up a playlist inspired to wake up a robot on Mars.

NASA engineers have picked songs to greet their sleeping Opportunity rover on Mars, which survived a Martian dust storm in June but is yet to switch back on.

The storm caused Opportunity’s battery power to drop so low that it’s now in a sleep mode and not yet able to call home to Earth.

So, according to Space.com, staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have been playing themed wake-up songs in the control room, in an effort to inspire the sleeping rover to awaken.  Read more…

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New York’s Most Exclusive Gym Charges More Per Month Than Yours Costs Per Year

In the age of fitness bloggers and exorbitant gym prices, the latest development in New York’s ‘wellness’ scene shouldn’t come as a surprise. But seriously: $900 per month? If I joined it would work out to be about $100 per sit up (10 sit ups per month is a good PB, right?).

But Performix House is not your typical gym. Most places will entice you with a free trial, then call you more often than a clingy ex until you agree to sign up. At Performix you have to convince them you’re good enough to be a member.

As reported by the New York Post, «After filling out the online form—and providing an Instagram handle, of course—applicants must undergo a phone interview with their director of membership, followed by an in-person consultation with a trainer.»

Whether this is exclusive or snobby is irrelevant: it’s a marketer’s wet dream: «In a fitness-obsessed age where hoards of boutique studios offer to curate the perfect workout experience—from the design of the locker room to an instructor’s playlist—Performix is taking it a step further, promising to make sure your fellow gymgoers are also top-notch.» This involves a review of each applicant’s Instagram.
“We simply want to see, from a real-life feed, how they live their life… [We want] people who want to live a fitness-driven lifestyle. It’s as much a mentality as it is physical,” (The Post).
Since opening its doors in February, the gym has accepted about 240 out of 1,000 applicants. According to founder Matt Hesse, the plan now is to cap membership at 500, creating a place where fitness bloggers and celebrities like Mark Consuelos, Hannah Bronfman and Nina Agdal,  «Don’t have to worry about a rabid fan on the spin bike next to them» (NYP).

Conditioning day is a little more fun with this guy ??? @benjaminthigpen Thank you @andyspeer for the ?️‍♀️
A post shared by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on Jul 11, 2018 at 5:16pm PDT

Although this sounds elitist, the idea isn’t to bar the door to non-famous peasants. It’s to attract a mix of celebrities and non-creepy «normal» people with exceptional attitude. Now who knows how the selection process really works—for all we know there’s a 16 year old intern going through applications and picking the best looking people he can—but according to the gym’s website, having a six pack and Kim K’s glutes/implants isn’t what gets you in, it’s your desire for (and insta-proof of) self improvement.

If you get in your reward will be:

8,000-square-foot gym, with a clandestine back entrance.
Slushie machine serving leucine-, isoleucine- and valine-infused “pre-training energizer” (and recovery) drinks.
An AstroTurf area for pushing sleds.
Weights suitable for Olympic weight lifters.
A 3-D-imaging machine that shows where all of the fat on your body is.
Like minded #ballers.

Further highlights include the locker rooms, which have private massage rooms, infrared saunas with big-screen TVs that stream Netflix and cryotherapy chambers. And that’s not to mention the «content studio,» which has lights and four cameras set up for fitness influencers to use at their leisure.

There are three types of membership, at $250, $400 and $900 per month. The lower two tiers are allowed to use a base amount of amenities—then must pay for extras a la carte. Interest piqued? Better go clean up your Insta story then…

RELATED: Things You Should Never Do After A Workout Session 

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A Peek at The Strenuous Life: August 2018

Last year we launched The Strenuous Life: an online/offline platform that’s like a scouting program for grown men. Each month, members receive The Strenuous Life Bugle, a newsletter that highlights what’s been going on at TSL. We thought AoM readers might enjoy a peek at it every now and then. If you’re interested in becoming a member yourself, sign up for updates here; the next enrollment (and the final enrollment of 2018) opens in September.

The 50-Mile Challenge Hall of Fame Page

I’ve created a page on which I’ve listed those TSL members who have completed one of the most strenuous of challenges — the 50-mile march/hike — along with the time they did it in. A hearty huzzah! to these intrepid and hardy souls. Teddy would be proud of you.

Congratulations to Those Who Did 52/52 Agons!

The original cohort of TSL Classes — Classes 000-004 — recently passed the year mark of their journey on The Strenuous Life. Out of these 738 individuals, an elite 20 completed a tremendous achievement: they did every single weekly Agon for 52 weeks. To have done this despite sick days, holidays, vacations, job stress, relationship and financial variations, general life changes, and the simple mood fluctuations that all happen over the course of a year is truly an impressive achievement. These men not only did hard things, but did the hardest thing of all — they did hard things consistently! My hat’s off to them:

  • Dustin B., Class 001
  • Mike P., Class 001
  • Mark M., Class 001
  • Louis V., Class 001
  • Merlin H., Class 001
  • Steve J., Class 001
  • Andrew M., Class 001
  • Jason C., Class 001
  • Steven C., Class 001
  • Nate H., Class 002
  • Christian T., Class 002
  • Joshua S., Class 002
  • Michael D., Class 002
  • Bill D., Class 003
  • Jack G., Class 003
  • Adam H., Class 003
  • Erik W., Class 004
  • Justin H., Class 004
  • Tanner S., Class 004
  • Brian N., Class 004

Badge Work

How’s your badge work been going? I love going through the forums and seeing how many guys have done something for the first time while working on a badge requirement — first time going camping and making a fire, first time roasting a chicken, first time changing their car’s oil . . . that’s what The Strenuous Life is all about — going outside your comfort zone and expanding your horizons!

For the Microadventure Badge, @tobi hiked a little outside his hometown in Germany and set up a bivvy to sleep the night in a nice hidden spot in a field, while @nhadley hiked to the top of 10,457′ Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park with his family. @rahorst81 finished the Jumpstart Journaling Challenge for the Journaling Badge, and @neil7t took in a classical concert at the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna for the Music Badge.

@mattdesroches1 tracked the cycles of the moon and @desertchristian took a shot of Venus for the Astronomer Badge. For the Handyman Badge, @rspollock organized his garage by throwing away junk and putting up more racks and shelves. For the Hacker Badge, @gledel built his first Arduino project and has a goal to make a thermometer for his girlfriend’s pottery kiln that sends a notification to her phone when the oven reaches certain temperatures.

For the Mountain Ranger Badge, @s-c-hughes climbed the the Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany, and @davidadav climbed Mailbox Peak (twice) and Alta Mountain in WA. @whisper mastered the required knots (and took notes on them) for the Knotsmanship Badge, and @rspollock copied the poem “If” for the Penmanship Badge.

@monrovia-damon hosted a Fourth of July party, and @justinhartling87 held a dinner and game night for the Host Badge. @rayperts rucked an hour a week with a 40-lb weight for 4 consecutive weeks for the Rucking Badge. @amendez_831 went camping for the first time in his life and also made his first fire! He worked on several requirements for the Firemanship Badge, including making a teepee and upside-down fire, and starting a fire with flint and steel. I like his review of his first camping trip: “Wow what an experience. I never thought in a million years that camping would be so fun. It was a great combination of working at your craft of becoming a well-rounded man as well as bonding with your loved ones. We only camped one night and I felt closer to my love then I have in a while. An amazing experience!”

For the Backyard Farmer Badge, @rscore harvested his first eggs from a chicken coop he built and populated with chicks several months ago, @mswilkes started his first garden and grew squash, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, and cabbage, and @franz grew 3 kinds of herbs and moved them right from field to plate.

@blairbrown changed the oil on his car for the first time (and thought it felt pretty manly to do), @armstrong read five biographies for the Biography Badge (looks like someone is a big fan of McCullough), and @wanderingmonkey took a tour of the Arizona State House for the Citizenship Badge.

@ringo learned how to take a bearing with his compass for the Scout Badge, @tridder practiced his squat form, and @disfocus took a dip, in the buff, at a beach near Bicheno (on the east coast of Tasmania), in water that was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, for the Rough Rider Badge. For the Orator Badge, @clarkp dropped in to his local Toastmasters chapter as a walk-in guest to check it out, and ended up giving an impromptu speech on “A Person Who Had Great Success.” He discussed Theodore Roosevelt’s contribution to the development of America, and when everyone voted on the best impromptu speech, he won! Bully!


@franz knocked off a requirement for the Craftsman Badge by making a frame (his first time making one) for his badge mat. He made it out of mesquite and gave it a coat of clear shellac to bring out the leather-brown color in the grain. He used cross lap joints to assemble the frame and added a quarter-inch birchwood backing board to attach the mat to. He also used a Forstner bit to drill out a spot for his TSL Challenge Coin on the top. Very nice indeed!

Geographic Group Meet-Ups

Here’s a look at some of the meet-ups that happened on July’s Strenuous Saturday (the third Saturday of every month), and otherwise; it’s awesome seeing the international meet-ups and men living strenuously around the world!

Sydney, Australia Meet-Up

@msligo, @rival-dawn, and @lachlan went for a hike in the Blue Mountains, and then afterwards enjoyed a drink and meal at a small town pub nearby.

Feuchtwangen, Germany Meet-Up

German members @s-c-hughes, @tobi, and @alessandro had intended to do some traditional cross-cutting work on a few logs that are going to be used for a small building, but when rain interfered with their plan, they made the most out of it by doing indoor activities such as lock picking and firewood splitting. During periods with less rain, they fit in some heavy lifting to get a massive stone into place for the building project, lifted sandbags, and got a fire started with flint and steel. They even enjoyed a barbecue in the rain. Stephen and Tobi finished the day with a microadventure by sleeping outside on straw under a tarpaulin cover.

Louisiana Meet-Up

Members in Louisiana met up for a hike/ruck at Chicot State Park. They each carried 20 pounds in their packs, as preparation for the Pearl Harbor GoRuck they plan on doing in December. Afterwards, the men went out for some delicious Mexican food.

New Jersey Meet-Up

Jersey members @jonathan-a, @kgreen, @billdean104, and @joshg138 met up for a ruck/hike at Hacklebarney State Park, and also tried to start a fire with a magnesium fire starter while they were there.

Vermont Meet-Up

VT members @dberry and @paquette-jim hiked up the Halfway House Trail to the Chin on the top of Mt. Mansfield and back down the Sunset Ridge Trail for a total of approximately 8.5 miles and over 2,600’ of elevation. They discussed their first year in The Strenuous Life, badges completed, favorite Agons, as well as improving their future potential meet-ups.

Idaho Multi-Day Camp Out

Idaho TSL members spent the weekend camping together, beginning on Friday night and finishing on Sunday morning. The men hiked, swam, and trained with tomahawks and knives. Steak was pan-fried, eggs and bacon were cooked, homemade mead was drunken, and great conversations were had.

Calgary, Canada Weekly Ruck

@calgarytrav inaugurated a weekly rucking meet-up for TSL members in Calgary. For this initial outing, the men went to Fish Creek Park for a 6.7km ruck, which they spent catching up and spotting some deer. I appreciate Travis’ leadership in getting this going!

Class Call-Outs

Class 018 finalized their logo:

Class 019 is so strenuous, they decided to design two badges for themselves: one for the Class as a whole, and one for those who completed the Challenge:

If you don’t already, follow The Strenuous Life (@strenuous.life) on Instagram; you may see your badge work or meet-ups featured there!

Keep living strenuously, everyone!

“There is need to do all the ordinary, commonplace duties as they arise, or we will be in no shape to meet the crisis that calls for heroism when that crisis arises.” –Theodore Roosevelt

The post A Peek at The Strenuous Life: August 2018 appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ bloopers may actually make owning a physical copy of the movie worth it

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«We need to destroy the—oh, fuck you, Ruffalo.» 

Even if you’re not typically a sucker for exclusive bonus content, this super gag reel clip could have you sprinting to the nearest Best BuyAvengers: Infinity War‘s 4K UHD Blu-ray edition features behind-the-scenes giggles with your favorite superheroes. And Vision has never been funnier.

This is the second clip of the Infinity War gag reel released. The first featured Chris Pratt juggling, amongst other shenanigans.

It may be $22.99, but those screaming goats make the Blu-ray seem kinda worth it. And, of course, you could always spring for the more costly SteelBook version. But that’s gotta be your call. Read more…

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Instagram is investigating hacked accounts, promises new 2FA features

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Instagram says it is «aware that some people are having difficulty accessing their Instagram accounts» and that it is investigating the «issue» that’s caused hundreds of users to lose access to their accounts.

The blog post comes one day after Mashable reported that hundreds of accounts have been hacked in recent days.

The company did not comment on how many accounts have been affected, but its latest statements suggest that it is widespread. In a blog post published Tuesday evening, the company urged users to revisit their security settings and enable two-factor authentication on their accounts.  Read more…

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Twitter punishes Alex Jones—but he’s still not banned

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Twitter has taken action against Alex Jones.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed Jones’ personal account has limited functions after he posted a tweet that violated its rules. The company, however, stopped short of suspending the account.

«We aren’t suspending the account but requiring he delete a tweet which contained a broadcast in violation of our rules,» the spokesperson told Mashable.

Jones can’t tweet, retweet or like content, but can still browse the site. The timeout will last for 7 days.

The offending tweet, according to BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac, contained a Periscope video in which Jones told listeners to get their «battle rifles» ready for antifa and the mainstream media. Read more…

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Life-Work Balance and Self Care

In keeping with the self-care theme this week, I would like to bring your attention to a terrific Work/Life Balance Guide I received a link to a few days ago. From GroomandStyle.com this guide to decreasing stress is just what nurses need! There’s tons of ideas to work on and ways to gain control of your life and the situations that seems to drive you up the wall! Check them out and see if you can find a path to clearing out some of the major stress from your life.

https://pixabay.com/en/balance-inspiration-motivation-life-865089/

It’s not rocket science and for nurses it’s not new. It’s about prioritizing, delegating and reviewing the success or failure. But it provides some very realistic ideas and best practices for attaining and managing the goals. Check it out. Namaste!

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Blake Griffin Does Summer Smart Casual The Right Way

Having recently been traded from Los Angeles to Detroit you would think Blake Griffin would be opting for a quieter life, but to his credit the NBA star continues to be one of the coolest and best dressed men in the league.

Never mind being super tall and ginger, Blake once again steps out looking like he’s got his own personal tailor in perfectly tailored black trousers, Nike Air Force 1’s and a digital printed shirt. The all black and white look was one of our favourites from the week showing just how easy it can be to dress smart casual. Yes, even with Nike’s on.

The larger than life character that is Blake Griffin will be back on court October 17th when Detroit take on Brooklyn at home. Now let’s take some time to enjoy some more more of Blake Griffin’s style moments.

A post shared by Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) on Feb 27, 2018 at 1:46pm PST

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‘B*tch, I’m a Cow’ is the summer bop taking over the internet with memes

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Welcome to the song of the summer. 

Even if you don’t vibe with Doja Cat’s «Mooo!» it’ll probably be stuck in your head well into 2019. The intoxicating beat, juxtaposed with catchy declarations like «Bitch, I’m a cow» and «I’m not a cat, I don’t say meow» creates a bop that you can’t help dancing along to. 

The music video’s green screen magic rivals John Mayer’s «New Light» — while his featured the artist awkwardly dancing with zebras, Doja Cat’s «Mooo!» shows her enthusiastically munching on a burger in front of the Microsoft default background.  Read more…

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Ryan Reynolds’ Battle With Anxiety Proves Men’s Perception Of Mental Health Is Changing

«Hey, how’s it going?»

«Yeah good, how ’bout you?»

«Yeah, not bad, not bad.»

At what point does the noble art of not bringing your friends down when you’ve had a bad day start affecting your mental health? Is it still taboo for guys to talk about their ~feelings~? Neither of those questions have a straightforward answer. However, if Ryan Reynolds’ latest interview with the New York Times is anything to go by, times are changing.

In the tell-all interview, the Deadpool star revealed, “I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety… Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun,” (NYT).
«He gets racked by dread and nausea before every talk-show appearance and becomes quite convinced he might die.»
Although he credits his father with teaching him to be, «Watchful, listen closely and to plumb tragedy for the absurd,» Reynolds told The Times his anxiety started at a very early age, when he became a «skin covered micro manager» cleaning the house and mowing the lawn, trying to fix «anything that might set his father off.»

Apart from humour (see: his twitter feed), to deal with anxiety Reynolds told the NYT he uses the Headspace app, and reminds himself that as soon as he walks onstage the sensation will disappear; “When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set.»

No matter which kids book I read to my screaming baby on an airplane, the moral of the story is always something about a vasectomy.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) 7 August 2016

To discuss the significance of Reynolds opening up publicly, we hit up Luc Wiesman, founder of D’Marge, who said this could be a tipping point for men’s mental health:

“Male celebrities speaking openly about anxiety and depression is a huge step toward men viewing the issue in a more positive and manageable light. It affects so many men, yet so many refuse to talk about it. Full credit to Ryan for getting over himself and talking about it.»

Men’s reaction on Reddit, a place better known for vicious trolling than emotional epiphanies, also suggests that guys are starting to view anxiety and depression in a new light. It’s been a while coming, sure, but these responses to Reynolds’ interview highlight how far we’ve come since talking about something other than sport earned you an awkward silence.

Anxiety is no joke. Sometimes it’s a week or two of irritable bowels and bad shits, and sometimes it’s a lump in your throat. Sometimes it’s worrying over a bump on your leg and sometimes it’s feeling dizzy for no reason at all.
Anxiety can manifest itself physically and be pretty debilitating. I think that’s something people who don’t get it don’t understand. It’s not just being nervous. It’s physical symptoms of an emotional panic you don’t even know you’re experiencing.
I left work one day because of sharp pains in my chest. Thought it was a heart attack (it wasn’t). Nearly had an actual heart attack when the bill came.
It’s like an evil alter ego. It knows exactly what you’re afraid of at that point and that’s exactly where it hits you.

Im living with GAD for like 9 years(and im 24) now, and only mustered the strength to go to a psychiatrist like 9 months ago because it manifested into depression too. Damn its rough.

And it wasn’t just confessions. Readers were also on hand to offer motivation and support.

Congratulations for finding your way to a psychiatrist. That step is hard as fuck to make but once it’s done, you’re on your way to some good ass shit.
I’m glad you put into words the feelings how I feel.
Sometimes you read something and it’s like «wow that person gets it» helps me feel better knowing I’m not alone!
I have the same thing. Exercise helps me a lot. Especially running. I have had a bad few days and it sucks. I always have to be doing something.

RELATED: Doctor’s Recommend We Take A Gap Year Once A Decade… For Our Mental Health 

↬ Click here to view the article/gallery on D’Marge

 

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Meteorologists Developing Radars to Detect Black Clouds, White Clouds

Meteorologists Developing Radars to Detect Black Clouds, White Clouds

ATLANTA, GA – In a new strategic partnership with Emory University, meteorologists at The Weather Channel (TWC) has pledged to push the boundaries of meteorological technology in the hopes of better predicting and detecting back and white clouds.

black cloud white cloud meteorologists

“We were present at last year’s Meteorological Technology World Expo in Amsterdam, and as much incredible progress as there has been in weather-predicting tech, not as much has been invested in radars to detect who’s up for a doozy of an overnight call or who’s going to coast and get 6 hours sleep,” explained TWC meteorologist Abigail Winters.  “Together we pledge to do more research and development in this area.”

As health care professionals know all too well, they tend to develop either into black clouds or white clouds within the first few years of practice.  Once one has developed a cloud type, it is very rare for that health care professional to revert back to normal or another cloud type, owning that cloud type for life.  In other words, once a black cloud always a black cloud.

“It might be helpful for July interns or first-year fellows to know what kind of lifestyle they’re in for,” explained Emory internal medicine chief resident Matt Summers.  “If it were me, if I knew going into residency that I’d be a black cloud at least I could mentally prepare for it, cry about it, as opposed to just getting punched in the mouth with a full-moon night over and over again until I earned the label.” 

The other major benefit of creating cloud-defining technology, said Winters, is that it can help other health care professionals plan accordingly and “steer clear of the storm.” 

“If I knew Bobby Black Cloud was on call tonight, you better believe I’m not working that shift, I’m going to head home and take cover,” explained med/surg nurse Connie Spring.  “But if Wanda White Cloud is taking call tonight, then yeah, sign me up!”

The Emory-TWC initiatives hopes to yield results as early as 2019. 

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First look: Inside SureFly’s two-person octocopter

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In Manhattan’s Flatiron Plaza on Monday, children gawked and construction workers tiptoed in curiosity around transportation company Workhorse’s product showcase of two futuristic vehicles: the first electric pickup truck, and the Surefly octocopter drone.

Workhorse is a midwestern transportation company that specializes in electric trucks, particularly for commercial (not personal) use. It gained attention this past May when it achieved manned flight of its SureFly hybrid helicopter. With eight propellers that provide balance, it’s designed more like a drone than a traditional helicopter — so it’s better described as a personal drone octocopter. Also, octocopter is pretty fun to say, so that’s what we’re going with, OK?! Read more…

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Cryptocurrency-rich make magic internet money rain in Vegas

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It was late Saturday night at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and an extremely stoned man was trying to bribe his way into the city’s hottest cryptocurrency party — and it wasn’t working. 

To get to that point, he’d have already waited in a line for 30 minutes just to ride the elevator up to room 6116 in the hotel’s Forum Tower. It was clear he was past ready to start celebrating — this was Saturday night at the DEF CON hacker convention, after all — and someone else was footing the bill. 

That would be Monero, the popular privacy-focused cryptocurrency that’s been on a wild ride since it was released in 2014. It had skyrocketed in value from around $1 in the summer of 2016 to a high of almost $500 in January of this year, before falling back to about $80 today — making a host of early adopters incredibly wealthy in the process.   Read more…

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Shout-out to this Dunkin’ Donuts for replacing its broken drive-thru speaker with a baby monitor

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Someone please give the person who thought of this a raise.

Reddit user u/Limit760 posted a picture of his local Dunkin’ Donuts doing the absolute best it could in an unfortunate situation. As the post claims, a broken drive-thru speaker left the franchise with no other choice than to temporarily replace it with a baby monitor placed inside a traffic cone.

To be fair, this janky alternative is undeniably creative. The way they taped one cone to the other is peak innovation. And using a traffic cone to amplify the sound? Genius.   Read more…

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The 10 most unhinged parts of Omarosa’s ‘Unhinged’

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We’re well into the second season of Trump: The Presidency, and Omarosa — who was supposed to have left after season one — keeps worming her way back into every episode.

This week brings us Omarosa’s book Unhinged, a «juicy» tell-all about her brief tenure in the White House and her relationship with President Trump. To be fair, there isn’t that much, thematically, that will surprise the reader. We’re all too aware of the chaos in the White House.

What is (sort of) novel about Unhinged is the grotesque specificity of its detail. Omarosa seems to take real pleasure in exposing each and every one of the Trump administration’s weaknesses — as well as every single of one of her mighty strengths. Read more…

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Bird flies through someone’s window, poops on their laptop, then just croaks

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It’s a common superstition that bad things come in threes. There’s no scientific evidence that suggests this is true, but one Redditor’s story may make a believer out of you.

Redditor u/JaMollyAdams shared a their very unfortunate run in with a bird today on r/pics, and wow do we feel for them.

«A bird flew in my window, sh*t on my laptop, and decided to die right in front of me,» JaMollyAdams wrote. «How’s your day going?»

Woof. What an unfortunate series of events.

The Redditor also shared a picture of the crappy incident to prove that a bird did actually defecate and then die on their laptop. And it appears it did, either that or this is truly the worst way to get fake internet points we have ever encountered.  Read more…

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Woman says her ex-boyfriend STOLE HER TOILET after she broke up with him

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There are hundreds of break up horror stories online — tales of vindictive exes destroying property, spreading rumors, or even trying to ruin careers. But this story takes the cake. 

Redditor u/shelblikadoo broke up with her (now ex) boyfriend, and when she woke up, her toilet was gone. «I split up with my boyfriend yesterday,» she wrote. «I fell asleep while he was packing and he stole my toilet.»

«The toilet in my apartment broke,» u/shelblikadoo said while dishing out some of the backstory. «My better judgement said call the landlords and they’ll fix it.» Read more…

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Style Scenario: Warm Weather Cocktail Hour

What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. Hey. Guess what? It’s hot. Time to make lemonade out of those lemons, and meet up with friends or a date after work for a quick beverage. Whether you’re outside on a patio, or moving as quickly as possible indoors to air conditioning, a light in weight and color outfit is appropriate for both in and out of doors this time of year. And yes, it is possible to look sharp & stay cool while wearing a jacket and collared shirt.

Style Scenario: Warm Weather Cocktail Hour | Dappered.com

The Blazer: Bonobos Unconstructed Italian Wool in Beige – $224 FINAL w/ ECLIPSE20 ($248). The perfect warm weather sportcoat. Totally unlined in the back. Barely-there construction. Yet, the breezy, airy, hopsack wool still has some crispness and good feel to it. It’s not some wimpy, barely there fabric. Yet it still stays cool. Wool… earth’s original technical fabric. (And I swear if some marketing agency steals that line, I’m comin’ for you.)

The Shirt: Buttoned Down Tailored Fit Dot & Stripe Shirt – $49Throwing some pattern in here. Tailored fit, ships fast and free if you have Prime, and the button down collar ensures your points won’t be flying out from under your sportcoat lapels.

The Sunglasses: Suitsupply Dark Brown Square Sunglasses – $79. Classic but with a modern, angular twist. Can one twist in an angular fashion? Beats me. I didn’t major in geography.*

The Wallet: Mitchell Leather Money Clip Wallet in Horween Chestnut – $79Made in the USA from Horween’s “Dublin” leather, which is cowhide that goes through the same recipe of oils that Cordovan goes through. The wallet provides easy access to cash, which bartenders & servers will appreciate. More info here.

The Watch: Timex Navi Ocean – $131.98 ($155). Part of the Timex “Archive” collection. On sale, and ships and returns for free via Huckberry.

The Shoes: DSW Blake McKay Double Monks – $109.99Contemporary. Not flashy. Full review is right here.

The Chinos: Amazon Goodthreads Men’s Straight-Fit Washed Chino Pant in White – $30. While a full blown summer suit is nice to have, it’s pretty easy to replicate the look with a lightweight & light-in-color blazer, and contrasting chinos. The sportcoat leans warmer in tone, while the pants are a true, bright white (yes, you can wear white chinos). That makes for just enough contrast, plus you can wear each item separately with other stuff.

The SPF & Mattifier:  Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 – $33.99. Expensive, but works and lasts for a good long time. Also has SPF 15 in it so your face won’t turn into a boiled tomato.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Washed Leather Roller Belt in Dark Brown – $23.50On the slim side. Not some clunky, super heavy thing. Surprisingly versatile.

*Yes, that’s a joke. 

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How ‘World of Warcraft’ became a life-consuming addiction for me

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For a sizeable chunk of my life, I played World of Warcraft too much. Way too much.

I played WoW so much and so often that some people may classify my worst years with that game as an addiction.

Every moment of free time I had, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, I spent sitting at my desk playing World of Warcraft. I would ignore responsibilities, flake out on friends, and sometimes even skip meals just because I didn’t want to step away from the screen.

This was my life, on and off, for about four years. The game sucked me in entirely, allowing me to ignore real life and experience a different world where I got to carve my own path, explore, meet new people, and grind through endless feedback loops that made me feel like I was being productive while my own life was slowly eroding. Read more…

More about Addiction, Blizzard Entertainment, World Of Warcraft, Entertainment, and Health

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Nike React Element 87 “Dark Grey” & “Desert Sand”

If the public demand is any indication  Nike’s React Element 87 is a certified hit.  With an Undercover version of the sneaker still pending, Nike brings out two new color ways of the stand out shoe. The translucent TPE upper, futuristic detailing, and unique React midsole appear in both a “Desert Sand” and a “Dark Grey” version.  The first uses ‘volt’ accents as an eye-catching detail while the latter opts for bold photo blue detailing.

Both of these new React Element colorways are set to release August 14th at US retailers and on Nike SNKRS and August 16th at EU retailers including BSTN.

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Super Soaker who? The next generation of water guns is here on Kickstarter.

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Historically, water guns were small and simple, with a measly reservoir for ammunition. But in 1982, U.S. Air Force and NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson invented a new generation of water gun by combining an empty soda bottle, PVC pipe, and acrylic glass. After its release in 1990, the Super Soaker became one of the most popular and successful toys on the market. This has resulted in over $1 billion in sales since 1990 and has cemented Super Soaker’s spot as one of the most iconic and beloved toys of our modern era.

More about Kickstarter, Toys, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Solo, and Shopping Kickbooster

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What the marshmallow test can teach us about money

By now, you’ve probably heard of the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment. Most folks are familiar with this fifty-year-old study and its conclusions. In case this is the first you’ve learned of it, however, I’ll give a quick review.

During the late 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel tested the willpower of young children (roughly four years old). A researcher would bring the children — one at a time — into a room where they had access to a selection of treats, including marshmallows. The children were told that they could eat have one treat right away or, if they waited fifteen minutes, they could have two. Then the researcher left the room.

While this study gave researchers an immediate glimpse at how children handle delayed gratification, it also yielded some interest long-term results. In 1990, Mischel (and colleagues) reconnected with some of the kids from the marshmallow test to see how life had turned out for them.

This second study revealed that the children with the best self-discipline at four years old grew up to be more popular, more successful in school, and better able to handle stress. The kids with patience and willpower were less likely to turn to drugs and they were more physically fit. In short, the ability to wait fifteen minutes to earn an extra marshmallow as a preschooler seemed to be an excellent predictor of how well a child would be able to delay short-term gratification later in life in order to pursue long-term goals.

That’s it. That’s the marshmallow test. Seems simple, right? Yet this simple experiment has become one of the most oft-cited studies in the world of pop psychology. You’ll find it in books about entrepreneurship, habit formation, decision making, and — yes — personal finance.

There’s just one problem.

The NEW Marshmallow Test

New research shows that perhaps the link between childhood willpower and adult achievement isn’t as strong as we once believed.

The new study — the full text of which is available for free, at the moment — attempts to remedy perceived flaws in earlier experiments. It uses a larger sample size, for instance, and draws info from a wider range of subjects. (The original studies used kids from the preschool on the Stanford campus, a relatively limited population.)

This new study found that yes, there was a correlation between the ability to delay gratification and future academic achievement. However, this correlation was only about half as strong as reported in the original marshmallow test.

Among kids whose mothers did not have a college degree, each extra minute a child was able to wait before eating a treat, his first grade achievement (how do you even measure that?) improved by roughly “one tenth of a standard deviation“. (To my mind, this still seems like a relatively substantial effect.) Academic achievement at age 15 showed a similar differentiation.

Among kids whose mothers did have a college degree, the correlation between childhood willpower and future academic achievement was much smaller.

The authors write:

“We observed that delay of gratification was strongly correlated with concurrent measures of cognitive ability, and controlling for a composite measure of self-control explained only about 25% of our reported effects on achievement. These results suggest that the marshmallow test may capture something rather distinct from self-control.

What else might the marshmallow test be capturing? Interesting question. When looking at other variables tracked by the study, there seems to be a correlation between willpower and socioeconomic status. In households with higher income and greater education, kids waited longer before eating their marshmallows. (For more, see this recent article in The Atlantic.

Scarcity and Abundance

In college, I studied psychology. In the twenty-five years since I left school, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about psychology in my spare time. I’m fascinated by the human condition, by the things that shape us, motivate us, give us happiness and fulfillment.

No surprise then that when I write about money, I do so through a psychological lens. I used to find a lot of finance advice frustrating because it ignored psychology. The books I read seemed to assume that humans are purely rational creatures who make only logical decisions with money. These assumptions didn’t match my reality.

This new interpretation of the marshmallow test — that childhood willpower may stem from socioeconomic status — fascinates me. It seems to be an concrete example of how our childhood environment helps to create our mental blueprints. (I believe we each possess mental maps — or “invisible scripts“, if you prefer — that guide our lives. Although I’m primarily concerned with your money blueprint here at GRS, I believe we have mental maps that guide us through many aspects of life.)

Although it’s not a popular opinion, I believe there are very real differences between the rich and the poor. There are certain wealthy habits that lead to better odds of success with life and money. But here’s the thing: If you’re not raised in an environment where these habits are prominent — say you’re the victim of systemic poverty and are never exposed to how wealthy people think and act — it becomes much more difficult to learn them.

For many people, poverty creates a scarcity mindset. This scarcity mindset can lead to all sorts of faulty financial habits.

A couple of months ago, Erynn Brook and Emily Flake published a visual essay at Longreads about the difference between being broke and being poor. The piece is short and interesting — you should read it! — but this passage, in particular, reminds me of the marshmallow test.

The difference between being broke and being poor

When you live with lack for a long time, it changes how you approach life. If you’re a kid whose family has struggled to get by, when you’re given a marshmallow, you’re going to eat it now. (Can you really trust it’ll be there later — let alone that you’ll get the second one you’ve been promised?) If you were poor as a kid, when you manage money as an adult, a scarcity mindset can lead you to do things like immediately spend a windfall instead of saving it for the future.

My Money Blueprint

I think of my own family as an example. My brothers and I grew up poor. Our extended family had always been poor. My parents modeled the best habits they could, but they were limited by their own experiences (and mental blueprints). As a result, I entered adulthood with some faulty invisible scripts.

For instance, my parents taught us that windfalls were to be spent. Although they rarely had much money, when they did come into cash, they spent it. Quickly. And on frivolous things. They never modeled what it was like to save and invest for the future. This is the adult version of failing the marshmallow test.

Naturally, my brothers and I grew up with similar behavior patterns. None of us was poor — and my parents eventually escaped poverty — but we couldn’t hold on to our money, either. When we had it, we spent it. We lived paycheck to paycheck despite decent salaries. (My youngest brother eventually lost two homes to foreclosure and had to declare bankruptcy.)

If I had participated in the marshmallow experiment as a four-year-old, I can guarantee I would have eaten the treat as soon as the researcher left the room. I’m nearing age fifty now and I still have to fight this sort of behavior. My scarcity mindset is real and it’s damaging — even though I know it’s present.

I’m not trying to use my money blueprint as an excuse for my behavior but as an explanation. I acknowledge that I’m responsible for my actions; I just want to know why I choose the actions that I choose.

For more on this subject, check out my article about how to master the abundance mindset (and change your money blueprint).

The post What the marshmallow test can teach us about money appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

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Sean Rad, early Tinder employees, sue Tinder owners IAC/Match for billions

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They call it selling out for a reason.

On Tuesday, ten Tinder co-founders and early employees filed a lawsuit against the dating app’s overlords, InterActiveCorp (IAC) and Match Group. The plaintiffs, who include co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Jonathan Badeen, allege that the corporate owners deliberately sought to manipulate the valuation of Tinder, in order to lower the pay-out price for these early employees’ stock options, and that it restructured Tinder within Match to deny them future pay-outs. 

Gibson Dunn is representing the ten plaintiffs.

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Turkey is boycotting iPhones, but it hurts Turkey more than Apple

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Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan announced today that the country would boycott all electronics from the United States after President Donald Trump slapped new tariffs on the region that caused the Turkish currency (the lira) to hit an all-time low.

The announcement, which specifically targeted Apple, comes amid rising trade tensions between the two countries (and leaders), but it will barely touch the tech giant.

«If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side. We have Vestel Venuüs in our country,” Erdogan said, referencing a Turkey-based smartphone manufacturer during the announcement to members of his national conservative Justice and Development Party. Read more…

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‘Game of Thrones’ director talks Dany and Jon’s uncertain future

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As one of the oddest sex scenes in Game of Thrones history (and that’s saying something), Daenerys and Jon’s coupling in the Season 7 finale left us with a lot of questions.

Like… is incest hot now? Also: Help.

In a post-Emmy nomination interview, Game of Thrones directors Alan Taylor and Jeremy Podeswa talked to The Hollywood Reporter about some of last season’s most significant moments. Inevitably, the bizarre lovemaking between nephew Jon Snow and auntie Daenerys Targaryen came up.

«For us, it was very important that there be a question about what could possibly happen after this moment,» Podeswa told THR.  Read more…

More about Entertainment, Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Game Of Thrones Season 8

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Parrot tells firefighter to ‘f*ck off’ during rescue attempt

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This bird was not in the mood to be saved. 

Jessie, a bright yellow and turquoise Macaw parrot, escaped her home in Edmonton, UK over the weekend and stranded herself on her neighbor’s roof for three days. Concerned that she was injured, her owners called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) for help. When the RSPCA was unsuccessful in coaxing Jessie down, the London Fire Brigade stepped in.

Jesse’s owners told the firefighter to say «I love you» to try to bond with the bird and lure her back to safety. But when a firefighter trekked to the roof to tell her, Jessie started hurling expletives at him. Read more…

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This cheap Squarespace alternative will help you build a slick website

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Many people believe that building a website requires shelling out a ton of cash and hiring a team of professionals to do the legwork, but there are all-in-one solutions like Squarespace that can help you create your digital site with ease. But Squarespace can be expensive. A personal account will run you up a minimum of $12 per month, while a business account costs $18 monthly. It can get even more pricey if you’re running an online store.

This is where our Obior Unlimited Website Building & Hosting deal comes in. For only $39.99, you can create a website and get top-quality hosting, vault-grade security, and support for life. Read more…

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These Treblab earbuds could give the Apple AirPods some competition — and they’re 55% off

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You’ve got to hand it to Apple. Despite not being the first company to introduce truly wireless listening, the release of the AirPods prompted a massive wave of Bluetooth earphones in the market and led legions of people to cut the cord. They also normalized the once stigmatized wireless Bluetooth «look.» You know, where people look like they have Q-tips sticking straight out of their ears.

But not everyone has an extra $159 lying around to spend on earphones. Some of us have like, bills to pay. Fortunately, the AirPods aren’t the be-all and end-all of wireless tech. The Treblab X2 True Wireless Earbuds are a suitable — some may even say better — alternative. Read more…

More about Earbuds, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Solo, and Treblab

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EBay Roundup

We spend hours trawling for the best of menswear on eBay so that you don’t have to. To get a third eBay roundup each week, along with a list of the best sales, subscribe to our exclusive Inside Track newsletter. It only costs $5 a month. The savings you’d earn from just one eBay purchase a year will offset the subscription.

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suitsexcellent dress shirtsfine footweargood jeansworkwear, contemporary casualwearnice tiesgreat bags, and well-made sweaters.

Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Outerwear

Sweaters and knits

Shirts and pants

Shoes

Ties

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Misc.

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month

The post EBay Roundup appeared first on Put This On.

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The Dappered Space: From Style Scenario to Styled Bathroom

The Dappered Space is a series designed to help guys apply the sense of personal style they’ve developed to the space they inhabit. Watch for articles on furniture and decor sales & picks, advice on how to style a room or work space, and tackling creating a space that reflects your own (and perhaps a significant other’s) personal tastes. We’ll suggest items that can be sourced online, but always keep in mind that deals can be found at consignment and thrift stores, local stores with floor models, discount stores, and even yard sales.

You may be asking: why the heck would you want to style a bathroom? It’s a utilitarian room, used for basic bodily functions. But it’s also a room that, when preparing yourself for the day, you spend a decent amount of time in. And a drab, plain, messy bathroom provides no inspiration for a successful day. This might sound kind of woo-woo, but what kind of energy does your bathroom space create for you? Do you walk in, switch the light on, and immediately start feeling guilty about the whiskers and toothpaste caked to the sink, reminding yourself you need to clean it up… like you have for the past several weeks? Do you lift the toilet seat, and the at the sight of your toilet think “that’s disgusting”, but you do nothing about it? Trying to create a put together look in a shitty (perhaps quite literally) space can make you feel like a fraud. You might look put together, but you have a dirty little secret.

So change it. Create a bathroom space that reflects the person you are, or want to become. And if your bathroom is the one guests use, it’s time to up your game. Show them you’re capable of not only making yourself look good, but the space around you as well. We’re taking inspiration from this style scenario Joe put together for the 4th.

Dappered.com

There are lots of naturalistic colors that evoke masculinity. Following these style cues can lead to look that says “this is a put together man’s bathroom, damn it.”

The Rug: Bryson Cotton Stonewash Racetrack Bath Rug in Light Grey – $16.99. Rugs have decorative value, even in the bathroom. But in the bath they serve a functional purpose too, soaking up water from your feet after the shower. Or providing a room-temperature spot to put your feet on if it’s a cold morning. Plus, as mentioned above, they decorate a room.

The Sink Accessories: Threshold Amber Apothecary Glass Lotion Dispenser – $12.99 | Long Spout Soap Dish – $30 |  Farmhouse Pottery Glazed Donut Match Striker – $34.98 | Norden Big Sur Candle – $49.98. Rather than having a cluttered mess of hair products, shaving products, and skin care products stealing space on your counter, get a cabinet to store them in, and then keep intentional items on the sink. Soap dish, some lotion, perhaps a candle and some matches, and even a small plant or decorative object is fine. Create a counter top that gives you space to breathe, rather than play constant defense against everything you could knock over or off the counter.

The Cabinet: Vivienne 26″ W x 65″ H Over the Toilet Storage – $159.99. Use this to keep clutter off your counter. But also, don’t let the cabinet get cluttered up. Some people are secret pack rats, and creating hidden clutter can be just as soul sucking as having a ton of clutter in sight. If you’re not using it, toss it. If it’s expired, toss it. If you just don’t like it, toss it.

The Shower Curtain: Duck River Textile Akua Shower Curtain – $39.99. You gotta like stripes, but if you like stripes, this curtain fits right into the color scheme we’re going for, and breaks things up visually.

The Towel Rack: KBN Decor Bathroom Shelf Organizer with Towel Hooks in Dark Walnut – $69.99. Give yourself a little extra shelf space by hanging a shelving/hooks combined unit. Plus, this just looks better than the cheap metal towel racks that will come with a rental. You can still utilize the cheap rack, and put some nice towels on it, but hanging something extra like this dresses up the space.

The Towels: 6pc Spa Waffle Jacquard Cotton Bath Towels Set – $44.99. This set sold by Target comes with two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. Going with light grey here because they don’t eventually develop a beige tinge like white bath towels can.

The Art: AGI Photo Gallery 2 Forest Prints – $9.95. How the heck are these prints so affordable? Because they come to you in a scalable, digital format you can print to your own specifications (up to 16″ x 20″). Print them on canvas, or on high quality paper and frame.

The Magazine Holder: Spectrum Diversified Seville Magazine Rack – $14.69. Last but not least. Some trips to the bathroom are… longer than others. Don’t waste that time. Do a little reading. I know the printed format is becoming quaint, but it’s good to give your eyes a break from blue light on a regular basis. This will let you poo, er..uh, do that.

Sarah is a long time member of the Dappered team, typically working behind the scenes editing posts, taking some photos, and keeping the books in good standing. Occasionally she’ll come out from behind the curtain to offer her two cents.

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Is A Short-Term Loan The Best Fit For Your Business?

When unexpected life events happen, sometimes you’re prepared and sometimes you’re not. As a small business owner, not only are you handling the curveballs that life throws your way, but also the unexpected challenges of business ownership. What happens when you’re not financially prepared for these situations?

If you’re a small business owner, cash flow is always top of mind. In fact, a recent study by JPMorgan Chase highlights how understanding cash flow patterns, and having a cash reserve, is critical to the survival of every small business. Not only can a cash reserve cover those surprise expenses and emergencies, it can also help you take advantage of unexpected growth opportunities.

If you haven’t yet built the reserve you need to handle what comes your way, there are other options. A short-term business loan can keep your company operating through cash flow crunches and unplanned life events, or help you finance a new growth opportunity. Short-term loans typically offer smaller funding amounts with higher interest rates—around 10% and higher—and they have shorter repayment periods. It’s not uncommon for lenders to request that borrowers pay back the loan on a weekly or daily basis.

Should my business consider a short-term loan?

Short-term loans are ideal for dealing with the unexpected. However, they are not just for emergencies like broken equipment — they can also be used for a surprise project, or even an increase in demand. Short-term loans can cover project costs that will be recouped in a few months, bridging a seasonal sales slowdown, or even purchasing inventory at a great price. There are no restrictions on how you can use the funds.

The cost of capital on a short-term business loan tends to be higher than long-term business financing such as bank loans, but you’ll receive the cash quicker. Additionally, these loans are a good option for those who have only been in business for a short period of time (at least two years), have some credit issues, or don’t qualify for traditional term loans.

Remember that using short-term loans can help you accomplish your business goals, improve your credit history and score, and help you qualify for different types of financing down the road. The key is to be smart about calculating the return on investment for your business before you take on this type of financing.

A request for a short-term business loan is likely to be accepted if you have a solid business case for one. Your lender may also ask you to put down some collateral to secure the loan. Before you apply, ask yourself these questions to determine if a short-term loan is right for you:

  • What do I need the capital for?
  • How much money do I need?
  • What does my credit profile look like?
  • How quickly do I need the funds?
  • Is my business healthy enough to cover the loan payments?

 

How to apply for a short-term business loan

So you want to apply for a short-term business loan. Now what?

Start by using a short-term loan calculator to determine how much you can afford before you consider your options. Once you know how much you’ll need, you’ll be better equipped to compare rates, terms, and payments for a variety of short-term options.

Generally, short-term loan options range from $2,500 to $500,000 over one to three years with interest rates as low as 8%, and you can often receive funds in as little as 24 hours. Be sure you budget enough time to weigh your loan options without feeling rushed, make comparisons, ask questions, and determine the best loan to suit your business’s unique needs.

Whether its bridging a gap in cash flow or inventory management, or purchasing equipment that rapidly boosts revenue, a short-term loan can help ensure you have the capital on hand to deal with whatever comes your way.

Author Bio:
Sara Amato is a graphic designer, writer, and contributor to the Lendio blog. Currently based out in Colorado, she was born in New Jersey and has lived in Indiana, California, Arizona, and Illinois. When she’s not designing or writing, she’s probably watching TV or eating pizza.

The post Is A Short-Term Loan The Best Fit For Your Business? appeared first on Credibly.

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How to fold a T shirt

Four Awesome T-Shirt Folding Hacks

T-shirts. Every man owns one.how to fold a t-shirt
It’s a wardrobe staple.
But every man doesn’t know how to fold one.
No one likes creased clothes.
So why spend your time ironing your shirt only to have to do it again before wearing it?
Plus, if you’re folding it wrong…
You could be stretching and distorting your t shirt – meaning it won’t fit properly.

Whether you’re travelling and want to save space in your suitcase or you just want to know how to fold your T- shirts properly, read our guide below.

Click Here To Watch The Video – How To Fold a T-Shirt

Click Here To Watch The Video – 4 AWESOME T-Shirt Folding Hacks

So let’s look at our guide on 4 ways to fold a t-shirt. #4 is a game-changer…

How to fold a T Shirt#1. The Basic Fold

We’ll start with the easiest fold first: t-shirt folding 101.
Lay your shirt face down and smooth out any wrinkles. Imagine a vertical line running down the center of the shirt and then fold it in half along this line so the opposing sleeves touch.
You should now have something that resembles a t-shirt cut in half. Fold the sleeves back and over the body before folding the whole garment in half again, lengthwise.
Smooth out the material one final time before folding once more.
You now have a compact, clean fold. Quick and easy!

How to fold a T Shirt#2. The Marine Roll

As you may have guessed, the Marine Roll is taught in the military and is a neat and efficient way to pack your t-shirts when space is at a premium.
  1. Lay your t-shirt shirt face up.
  2. Fold up the bottom hem 3 inches.
  3. Start on the left hand side and fold the sleeve and t shirt over, 1/3 of the way across the shirt.
  4. Smooth out any creases.
  5. Repeat this process on the right side.
  6. You should now have a long, oblong shape
  7. Tightly roll the t shirt, starting from top.
  8. Once rolled, undo the bottom fold you made earlier and tuck it over the ends to keep everything in place

#3. The Hanger

Folding your t-shirts properly is great if you’re travelling have limited storage but the best way to avoid fold lines and to ensure your shirt remains wrinkle-free is to hang it up.
Make sure you use plastic or wooden hangers – never wire. Wire hangers can snag and distort a t-shirt’s shape, causing “shoulder nipples” – where they stretch and distort the material. And shoulder nipples are never a good look.

#4. The 2-Second Fold

How to fold a T Shirt

We’ll save the best for last.
Want to know how to fold a t shirt fast?
This is a tricky technique and even more even more tricky to explain so ensure you watch the tutorial and practice, practice, practice.
Once you have the hang of it, you’ll never look back.
To start, lay your t shirt face up and smooth out the fabric.
  1. Imagine 2 intersecting lines: one line runs across your t shirt, half way up. The second runs down the t shirt from the left of the collar. Imagine 3 points along these lines – A, B and C. (You’ll want to check the video for this one!)
  2. With your finger and thumb, pinch and hold point A.
  3. Keeping point A pinched, bring point B to Point C.
  4. Uncross your arms while keeping hold of the material.
  5. Finish by folding the sleeves over and smoothing out any creases.
  6. Magic! One perfectly folded t shirt in 2 seconds.

There you have it gents – 4 ways to keep your shirts looking neat and wrinkle-free for years to come!

The post How to fold a T shirt appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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7 методов взаимодействия с клиентом для укрепления присутствия бренда в сети (перевод и адаптация)

Устойчивый бренд — тот, у которого есть постоянные клиенты. Они возвращаются снова и снова за новыми покупками. По мере роста бренда, вам потребуется лояльность потребителя. Его нужно привлечь, увлечь и удержать. Чем больше клиентов, тем выше вероятность повторного обращения. Это одна из форм выражения лояльности покупателя, которая утверждает присутствие компании на рынке и в интернете.…

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Дизайн: потерянное поколение

Статья от Mike Monteiro, автора проекта Dear Design Student. Он интересно рассуждает о том, зачем дизайнерам нужно обзавестись лицензиями, и что все мы делаем не так. Приблизительное время прочтения 20+ минут.

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Why Credit History Matters and How to Help Grow It

If your credit history isn’t long enough, lenders may view it as “insufficient” and you may have trouble qualifying for a credit card or other loan. And that’s where the challenge begins. Lenders don’t want to give you credit when you don’t have a credit history, but it’s hard to build a credit history when you can’t get credit.

The best way to establish a good credit history is slowly, over time. Make payments on time. Pay off balances as you go, or at least keep them reasonably low. As the years go by, all your responsible behavior can help you build a good credit history.

You say you can’t wait to get started? Okay, here are some things you can do now.

 

Consider a secured credit card.

Even if you have a short credit history, you may still be able to qualify for a secured credit card. For this type of credit card, you deposit cash that serves as your credit limit.

Consider any fees and charges when deciding between secured cards. And be sure the card you choose reports your account activity to the major credit bureaus including TransUnion®. Not all cards do this, so you want one that highlights your great track record.

 

Ask about credit where you bank, shop or get gas.

If you already have a savings or checking account, your bank may approve you for a card with a low credit limit.

You can also try applying for a gas credit card or store credit card. These usually have smaller credit limits, but it’s often easier to qualify for them. Gas credit cards are usually good at only one chain of gas stations, but you can take advantage of discounts and perks. Store credit cards are also limited, but they often offer rewards like cash back, points for certain purchases, or benefits like free shipping.

 

Talk to lenders before you apply.

For people without long credit histories, some lenders may examine data from less traditional sources, like utility or rental payments. If your credit history is relatively brief, it’s perfectly appropriate to ask your lender if they’ll look at alternative data when they’re considering your application. Just do it before you apply–asking after you’ve been denied may be less effective.

 

Look into a credit builder loan.

This works on the same principle as a secured credit card, except it’s a loan.

Here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say you take out a small loan from a bank and then use that loan to open one of their Certificates of Deposit (CDs). The bank holds the CD, while you make regular payments on the loan. When you’ve paid off your loan, you own the CD. You end up with some savings, plus a good credit track record.

The downside? Any interest and fees you have to pay on the loan. Be sure you choose a lender that will report your on-time payments to the three major credit bureaus. And try to find a bank that offers low rates and fees.

 

Become an authorized user.

You can ask someone (usually a family member or close friend) to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. That way, the account’s history will be added to your credit report.

Of course, you’ll want to choose a person whose account is in good standing. There’s always the risk that he or she could miss payments, end up in collections, or even go bankrupt. In that case, their bad behavior could hurt your credit report. So, if you do become an authorized user, monitor your credit report to be sure there are no issues and payments are being made on time.

 

Don’t apply for multiple credit cards within too short of a time frame.

Applying for lots of credit cards all at once may seem like a good way to kickstart your credit history, but it can actually hurt your credit and raise alarm bells for card issuers. Be selective. Look for the best rates from brands you know.

 

Be careful about closing accounts.

Closing credit accounts may significantly shorten your credit history. Accounts you close will eventually stop appearing in your credit reports and won’t be calculated in your credit score. Here’s an example. Let’s say you have two credit cards: one with a $20,000 credit limit and zero balance and another card with a $10,000 limit and a $5,000 balance. If you decide to close the $20,000 limit card because you no longer use it, this may negatively affect your utilization ratio (the amount of debt you’re using compared to the amount you have available), your credit score and your credit history. So unless a card has high fees, consider leaving it open. Make a few small purchases every so often and pay them off monthly.

 

About TransUnion

At TransUnion, we believe in Information for Good. Whether it’s creating web-based financial products or sharing expert tips, insights and news on our blog, our mission remains the same: putting powerful tools and resources in your hands to help you know your credit, protect your identity and more effectively manage your financial picture.

 

This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

The post Why Credit History Matters and How to Help Grow It appeared first on MintLife Blog.

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WTFinance: What are these insurance terms?

Finding an insurance policy can be a tedious process, especially dealing with the jargon involved. Insurance policies are, after all, legal contracts between you and your insurer. These contracts have to navigate the conditions of a wide range of claims, for a wide range of scenarios. They tell you who is and isn’t covered, and what is and isn’t covered.

Insurance policies become so abstract that even everyday words we take for granted — like “you” and “we” — need to be clearly defined. Doing so leaves no ambiguity, no snags. At least, that’s the idea.

But because you have a life, you probably don’t speak insurance. That’s not a problem. We’ll outline car insurance terms that don’t usually come up during family dinners or on a first date. And “we’ll” do so (meaning, I’ll do so) in plain English. That way “you” (as in you, the reader) can be a savvier shopper.

Deductibles

Your deductible is what you pay out of pocket before coverage kicks in. Say someone careens into your car while it’s parked. They cause $3,000 worth of damage and your deductible is $500. You’d first pay the deductible toward repairs, and your insurer would pay the remaining $2,500.

Whether you choose a higher or lower deductible is up to you. Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums because you’re taking on more of the financial risk. A lower deductible means a higher premium, but you’d pay less out of pocket for a claim.

Binder

To put it simply, a binder is a temporary insurance policy. It can come in handy when you need proof of insurance on-the-spot.

If, for example, you’re getting a car loan, your loan company will likely ask for proof of insurance. Your insurer can provide you with an insurance binder so that you’re not waiting for your insurance policy to be processed. A binder is typically good for 30 or 60 days and falls off once your formal insurance policy is produced.

Full Coverage Car Insurance

It’s a phrase used frequently, but truth be told, there’s actually no such thing as “full coverage.” When people use this term, they’re likely referring to comprehensive and collision. Together, these guard your ride against an array of perils.

Comprehensive helps cover you for most damages not caused by collisions. That means vandalism, falling trees, theft, fires and mudslides, to name a few.

Collision coverage helps pay for damages caused by — you guessed it — collisions, be they with another car or an object. In order to add collision to your policy, many insurers require you to have comprehensive coverage, too.

Gap Insurance

Financing or leasing a car? This coverage could help pay the difference — or the gap — between what you owe on it and how much it’s worth when you have an accident.

Especially if you’re leasing, your contract will likely require you to have gap coverage. What’s more, it might be included automatically.

If it isn’t, however, you may want to seriously consider adding it ASAP. There’s a good chance the gap will be there for at least a couple years. You’d be responsible for the difference, and it could save you from being thousands of dollars in the red.

It’s also important to note that comprehensive and collision are typically required in order to add gap insurance. If you’re unsure about that, you can always check the declaration page on your policy.

What’s the declaration page, you ask? Perfect segue.

Declaration Page

Also simply called “dec,” this is typically the first page of an auto insurance policy. It provides the who, what, where and when of your insurance plan. You’ll find pertinent info like:

  • The names of everyone listed on your policy
  • Excluded drivers
  • Your policy number
  • The start and end dates of your policy term
  • Your address
  • Your insurer’s address

You’ll also find info on your coverages, limits and deductibles, which can be especially helpful. The dec doesn’t provide all-encompassing detail, but it is an easy-to-read summary.

Loss Payees

You might notice another individual listed on the dec page — the loss payee. This is either a person or an institution that has a stake in your vehicle.

So if you’ve just financed a car, say, then the lender would be listed as the loss payee. Because they’re loaning you money for the purchase, they have an “insurable interest” in it and want to protect their investment. By being listed on your policy, the loss payee can stay up to speed with its status and have peace of mind — just like you — knowing that coverage is still in effect. You’ll also find your loss payee’s name, address and contact info on the dec page.

Anything Amiss? Ask.

If anything’s ever unclear, don’t hesitate to ask your insurer. That’s what they’re there for, after all. Besides, asking questions can be a skillful way to gauge just how top-notch and transparent an insurance company is.

Familiarizing yourself with the basic nomenclature of insurance can not only help remove its otherwise ominous-sounding tone. It can help you fully understand what you’re looking at when it comes time to evaluate your insurance needs — without having to make a day of it. You have better things to do.

Eric Madia is Vice President of Product Design at Esurance, where he is responsible for designing the company’s personal lines products. Eric has 23 years of experience in the insurance industry, focused primarily on underwriting, pricing, and product innovation. You can learn more about Esurance home and auto insurance policies by visiting their website.

*This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

The post WTFinance: What are these insurance terms? appeared first on MintLife Blog.

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The Style-Centric Grown up’s Back to School Shopping List

Why let the kids have all the fun? It’s back to school time. Which also means it’s the dog days of summer, and while autumn is just around the corner, it sure doesn’t feel like it is. So while this is shameless rationalization for shopping (and really, there are a ton of reasons not to spend your hard earned cash) it still seems like a bit of fun worth having. Below you’ll find some of the most common back-to-school items translated into potential pick-ups for the grown up guy who has an eye for style. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to writing my what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation theme.

 

Backpack —> Briefcase

Thursday Boot Co. Leather Briefcase

Backpacks might be convenient, but they’re just never gonna be as professional looking as a briefcase. Look for something that’s well made from leather, canvas, or ballistic nylon, doesn’t shout in terms of style, and comes with top grab handles AND a shoulder strap for longer treks.

 

New Sneakers —> New Shoes (sneakers count too)

Dappered.com

My times have changed. Now, kids can’t have their sneakers clean enough. Back in my day you’d take those bright white, new sneakers, and head RIGHT out into the back yard to rub dirt on them. Yes really. No, I don’t know why. Anyway, don’t do that with any new footwear purchase. Dress shoes or sneakers. No faux dirtying up please. Those wholecuts above? Those are the new Allen Edmonds Mackenzie. And you can win them here on this very site next week.

 

Textbooks —> Style Books

Dappered.com

In case you’re at the point where you’d like to fill out your bookshelf with something other than “intro to bio-chem.” LOTS of options out there. From coffee table style books (like A Man and his Watch) to timeless classics like Alan Flusser’s Dressing the Man. Then there’s our own Start Here page. It’s not a book. Or even an e-book. It’s just a part of this site. It’s basically our playbook. And it’s free.

 

New “Nice” Clothes —> New Nice Clothes!

Bonobos & Suitsupply

Remember when your folks or Grandma would drag you to JC Penney or Kohl’s to buy you itchy, ill fitting, ugly clothes for school that somehow got labeled as “nice”? I’m convinced that’s where many men developed the (wrong) idea that dressing “nice” is irritating and uncomfortable. In fact, it’s the opposite. So if you have the means and the time, take revenge on those awful, pre-6th-grade trips to the “Husky” section at Sears (I was there too my fellas), and get something that looks great, feels good, and most importantly, fits.

 

Notebooks —> Notebooks

Appointed Notebook

Dirt cheap or spendy. Tiny or enormous. Whatever your preference, now’s not a bad time to see if you need a new stack of stuff to scribble in. And if you’re rolling your eyes at using good ol’ pen and paper in the digital age? Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Using a notebook and pen or pencil is a lot like wearing a wristwatch. The benefits over your smartphone are numerous.

 

Pens/Pencils —> A nice pen

Dappered.com

While we’re in the pen and paper aisle, let’s find something better than a bic that your co-worker Pete has chewed into a shiv. No, you don’t have to get insane and go for something in the hundreds or thousands (pens can get stupid expensive) of dollars. Just something that feels good in the hand, and is a pleasure to write with.

 

Boots/Galoshes —> Dress or Heritage Work Boots

Dappered.com

Used to hate having to put on boots for the walk to school. HATED it. Now I can’t wait for boot season. So many types of boots worth owning… so little time to wear them.

 

Art Supplies —> Art for your home or office

Lake Michigan by Ben Madeska

Do they even teach art anymore? I really, really hope they do. Even though I stunk at it. Whether it’s an original by a friend or a local artist, or a picture you took that you’ve always wanted to have printed on canvas, or a classic off Art.com or somewhere like that, treating yourself to something new on the wall is rarely a bad idea. Pictured above: Lake Michigan by Ben Madeska. I bought it. And you can’t have it.

 

Calculator —> Wristwatch with a Slide Rule!

Dappered.com

Wow we’re stretching it here. Plus, I seriously doubt two things: First, that calculators are still required back-to-school buying equipment. Remember those bulky graphing calculators from the 90s? Pretty sure those are obsolete now (the device, not the math). Second, I also highly doubt that anyone with a slide rule on their watch actually uses it. But if you do? Good for you!

 

Loose Leaf —> Stationery

Terrapin Stationers Golden Rooster Stationery

A little different than notebooks. Why? Because Loose Leaf was usually something you’d write on, but eventually hand over to someone else. Same goes for stationery.

 

Lunchbox —> Tote or Dopp Kit

Made in the USA Gustin Horween Leather Dopp

A smaller thing to put smaller things in that otherwise wouldn’t have fit in, or, needed to be contained within the bigger thing that you put bigger things in. I’m convinced that lunch boxes are one of the first status symbols that we’re introduced to as humans. You think your Hot Wheels lunchbox is cool? I mean, it’s timeless and all, but check out that kid over there who has the BRAND NEW Return of the Jedi number, COMPLETE with the Ewok thermos. Man. Now THAT was a lunch box. I had that exact Return of the Jedi lunchbox. I loved it. And then one day in kindergarten or first grade (I don’t recall) as I was emptying my crumbs and yogurt container out of my lunchbox at the end of the lunch period, the box slipped out of my hands and fell all the way to the bottom of the tallest trash can in the lunchroom. I was painfully shy as a child, and I froze. It was really far down there. I wasn’t sure if I could reach it. And I was terrified that someone would see me digging in the trash. No matter that my cherished Ewoks lunchbox was at the bottom of that black plastic pit. And I just couldn’t bring myself to tell a teacher because I felt absurdly foolish for letting one of my most prized possessions literally slip through my fingers. So I walked home later, crying all the way, and my parents were irritated because not only had I literally thrown my lunch box away, but also because I couldn’t get up the guts to ask a teacher for help. (“But why didn’t you just ASK?!?”) So for the rest of the year I had to use a lame, bright blue reusable lunch bag (something like this) that my Mom had been carrying with her to work. And it was a daily, fluorescent reminder of what I once had, but was now gone.

And THAT… is why therapists make so much money.

Good luck to all of the parents out there with kids who have to do REAL back to school shopping. Also, if you’re still in school? Good luck with the rising costs of tuition and books and all that stuff.

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San Francisco has no idea what to do about ‘goofball’ e-scooters, email records show

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San Francisco has been scooter-less for months. 

Other cities, meanwhile, have slowly been filling with electric scooters. But earlier this year, San Francisco cracked down on three companies — Bird, Lime, and Spin — that had been renting e-scooters to riders without any go-ahead from the city. After an initial period of letting them ride wild, the city decided the scooters had to be regulated, and a permit process implemented. Until that happens, all scooter-shares were banned. 

That was June. It’s now August. The permitting is taking forever. And San Francisco transit officials seem way over their heads. Read more…

More about San Francisco, Public Records, E Scooter, Tech, and Transportation

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Ariana Grande and James Corden gave ‘Titanic’ a new soundtrack and it was amazing

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If there were to be a remake of Titanic and you had to recast the roles of Rose and Jack, who would you choose? 

SEE ALSO: Ariana Grande’s ‘God Is A Woman’ is  the empowering anthem the world needs

After watching this Titanic soundtrack sketch from The Late Late Show your choice may just be Ariana Grande as the new Kate Winslet and James Corden as Leonardo DiCaprio.

The two performed an amazing five minute recap of the 1997 James Cameron classic, with an impressive set list of songs varying from Pitbull ft. Ke$ha’s «Timber» to One Direction’s «Steal My Girl.» 

The ship’s collision with an iceberg is set to «Ice Ice Baby» by Vanilla Ice, and the whole thing ends with an emotional rendition of «My Heart Will Go On.»  Read more…

More about Titanic, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Entertainment, and Music

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‘Harry Potter’ fans are totally blown away by this illustrator’s black Hermione fan art

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An illustrator’s fan art of Hermione Granger has stunned Harry Potter fans. 

Sophia Canning posted an illustration of Hermione as a woman of colour, which took her about three or four hours to draw. 

A quick Hermione, living her best life✨ pic.twitter.com/I7hTUja1Jx

— Sophia ? (@peaceofseoul) August 12, 2018

Notice how Hermione’s wearing a SPEW badge — that’s Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, for those unfamiliar. 

Illustrators and Harry Potter fans alike were amazed by Canning’s beautiful piece.  Read more…

More about Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Culture, and Harry Potter

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Paris residents are pissed over rather public eco-friendly urinals

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New supposedly eco-friendly urinals in Paris have (literally!) pissed off locals, due to their rather public nature.

Installed on the Île Saint-Louis sitting on the Seine river, the uritrottoir (the combined French words for urinal and pavement) boxes have reportedly been deployed as an odorless «eco solution to public peeing,» designer Laurent Lebot told Reuters.

Each of the four bright red boxes has an opening at the front, and straw laden within, which apparently can be collected and used for compost for public parks. Each urinal comes with a little flower box on top, because why not? Read more…

More about Design, Paris, Urinal, Culture, and Other

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When Earning $1 Million A Year Isn’t Enough To Retire Early

When earning $1 million a year isn't enough to retire earlyWe know that a $300,000/year household income is pretty middle class if you live in an expensive coastal city like San Francisco or Washington DC.

However, we can all agree that earning $1,000,000 a year or more makes you rich, especially since a top 1% income level starts at roughly $450,000. No household earning $1,000,000 or more should ever struggle unless they leveraged up and their investments imploded.

If you make $1,000,000 a year or more, you’re free to celebrate. Just don’t tell anyone lest you want an ax-wielding robber waiting for you in your living room after an evening of fine dining.

In this post, I’d like to explore the lifestyle of a typical $1 million income-earning household living in New York City. They’ve anonymously shared with me their expenses, and I’ve done my best to tell their story without sharing their exact details.

This post will give you a taste of what it’s like to make $1 million a year. You’ll also get to decide whether making a top 0.1% income is truly worth the price.

Very Profitable To Make $1 Million A Year Now

After tax cuts were introduced in 2018, making more money has never been more profitable. Not only did the top federal marginal tax rate get cut from 39.6% down to 37%, the income threshold for the top federal marginal tax rate also rose from $418,400 to $500,000 for singles and from $470,700 to $600,000 for married couples.

2017 versus 2018 Marginal Tax Brackets

So, if you’ve been wanting to make over $500,00 a year as an individual or over $600,000 a year as a married couple, now is the time to do it. You’re essentially getting about a $15,000 federal income tax break if you make $1,000,000 now versus in 2017.

But as we are all well aware, the desire for money and prestige tends to corrode lives after a certain point. Once you make over $200,000 as an individual or $350,000 as a family, there is no additional happiness that accrues from making more money. Instead, lifestyle tends to deteriorate due to longer hours at the office, more stress, poorer physical health, and less family time.

Rachel Chen is one such person who doesn’t know whether the $1 million lifestyle is worth it. At 45, Rachel is one of several portfolio managers at a small hedge fund with $1.5 billion in assets under management. She toiled as a research analyst on the sell-side for six years before making the leap to buy-side analyst at 28. At 37, she was finally promoted to portfolio manager.

Rachel’s husband, Colin, 41, has been a stay at home dad since their second son was born in 2011. Colin used to make about $350,000 as a strategy consultant, but got tired of all the travel and decided to give up the grind, especially after Rachel started making more. Colin has been working on a non-fiction book to keep intellectually stimulated. But it’s hard to stay focused with the kids and his wife’s robust earnings.

Income Statement Of A $1 Million A Year Household

Let’s take a look at the Chens’ income statement.

Making It On $1 Million A Year

Income And Tax Analysis

After maxing out her 401(k) and contributing $6,000 a year to her Health Savings Account, Rachel has a taxable income of $975,500. Her income is in the 37% federal marginal income tax bracket, and she pays an effective federal tax rate of 31%, or $302,405.

Given this household lives in New York City, they pay a State tax rate of 6.85% ($323,200+), and city tax rate of 3.87% ($500,000+). Their effective State and City tax is therefore around 10.71%, or $104,574.

Their total Federal + State + City tax bill a year equals $406,979.

As a W2 wage earner, there’s really no way around this enormous annual tax bill. Due to the SALT (State And Local Tax) limit of $10,000, high-income earners in high income tax states such as California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, Minnesota, and Iowa lose out. Before 2018, the deduction was unlimited, but subject to Alternative Minimum Tax.

Even though the marriage penalty tax has been abolished for individuals earning up to $300,000 a year who decide to get married, the SALT cap limit of $10,000 is a marriage penalty tax. If you have two unmarried taxpayers both paying $10,000 in SALT, they will get an aggregate $20,000 when they file, whereas if they get married they suddenly lose $10,000 in deductions.

EXPENSE OVERVIEW

Private School Tuition – $100,000/Year

The couple forks out a hefty $100,000 a year for their two sons to attend The Dalton School. Tuition for the 2018 – 2019 school year is $48,450 a student, which includes books, computers/tablets, and lunch. Add a mere $1,550 for fundraisers and miscellaneous stuff and you’re at $50,000 per child.

Given mom and dad went to Yale University, they’d like their children to also go to Yale University. They know that Yale and all the prestigious private schools have a legacy system which gives children of alumni a huge leg up in admittance, no matter their racial or economic background. Some call this affirmative action for rich kids.

Although legacy children have a roughly 3X higher chance of getting admitted than nonlegacy students, there is an understanding that alumni should provide regular donations to stay in good standings. Therefore, Rachel and Colin together donate $5,000 a year.

Finally, the Chens also contribute a maximum gift limit of $60,000 combined to their children’s 529 College Savings Plan. They are fortunate to have paid off their student loans years ago.

Total cost of private school from kindergarten through college on the east coast

Food And Entertainment – $4,583/month

New York City is the best city in America for food and entertainment. Although many in San Francisco might contest this claim, the entertainment part of the equation is truly second to none.

The classic mutton chop at Keens Steakhouse costs $60 before tip and tax. Add on a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, some creamed spinach, wedge salad, and a 1/2 dozen fresh oysters, and we’re easily talking $150 per person. A meal at one of my favorite restaurants, Le Bernardin, will easily cost $600 for a couple with wine pairing. Have a look yourself.

Le Bernardin, one of my favorite NYC restaurants for $300/person

After a nice meal, the Chens like to hit up a Broadway show. Tickets range from $60 up to $1,500 on average for the latest hot show. But given they aren’t earning multi-millions, they often settle for $250 tickets at most. In other words, a date night out easily costs $1,000+. Good thing they only go to shows about once a quarter because they’re often too busy or too tired to do anything more than have a meal at their favorite local sushi restaurant for $150 total.

When the Chens are not eating out, they’re eating home delivery from GrubHub, or having a simple home cooked meal prepared by Colin. Living in the culinary capital of America is both a blessing and a curse. Both Rachel and Colin are constantly watching their diets and working out so they don’t die prematurely.

Housing – $9,749/month

They own a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,700 sqft brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn they bought in 2012 for $2,000,000. It was a fortuitous time as their brownstone has appreciated by roughly 40% six years later.

When their first child was born in 2008, they had owned a $1.3 million, two bedroom, one bathroom condo on the Lower East Side bought in 2004. They realized very quickly that they needed more space for two kids.

Below is an example of a current listing for $3,000,000 that is similar to theirs. 2,700 sqft is perfect for their family of four. They plan to live in the house until their youngest goes off to university in 11 years.

With a loan-to-value ratio of just 53%, they feel comfortable paying down a $1,500,000 mortgage on her $1,000,000 income. They locked in a 30-year fixed interest rate at 4% in 2013 and can comfortably afford the $7,161 monthly mortgage payment, $2,600 of which goes to paying down principal.

Unfortunately, they’ve also got to pay property tax of $17,556 and home maintenance expenses of about $10,000 a year. Things tend to break or leak with old brownstones. They didn’t truly realize how much more it would cost to maintain a larger home with outdoor space compared to their condo in Manhattan. With the SALT deduction capped at $10,000, they will be losing out on thousands of dollars of tax deductions.

Park Slope, Brooklyn Brownstone

Vehicles And Transportation – $2,842/month

Colin is a car enthusiast, and Rachel appreciates the utility and safety of an SUV for her kids. As a result, they own the newest Range Rover Velar and Porsche 911S. The P380 Dynamic Velar is leased for $850/month. The Porsche 911S costs $1,400/month.

The Chens drive their Velar to the Hamptons many weekends during the summer where they rent a vacation house with friends. Colin drives his Porsche to the country club to play golf a couple times a week while the kids are in school. It’s his way of staying in shape and socializing given most of his peers still work full-time jobs.

Range Rover Velar

Range Rover Velar family car for the kids – $78,000

Vacations – $40,000/Year

The Chens take three vacations outside of New York City a year plus a combined week’s worth of local vacation scattered through the year.

Given Rachel works ~65 hours a week, vacations are extremely valuable to her so she can recharge and spend quality time with family.

Rachel has long felt a tremendous amount of guilt for being away from her kids for so long, but she also realizes she’s in an enviable position to maximize her career earnings while the stock market is still hot. Eventually, the market will turn and it will become much harder for her to outperform.

The Chens’ favorite vacation spots are mostly in Europe: Dubrovnik, Almalfi Coast, St. Tropez, Provence, and Mallorca are some of their top destinations. It’s easy to fly to Europe from the East Coast, but every other year, they’ll take a trip back to see extended family in Taiwan. They also love visiting Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam when they can arrange two consecutive weeks off.

Each international trip for a family of four costs roughly $13,500 for the week. The cost can be broken down as follows: $4,000 – $6,000 for economy class flights, $4,000 – $5,000 for 7 nights at a five-star hotel, and $2,000 – $4,000 for food, excursions, and souvenirs.

The remaining $5,000 out of their yearly $40,000 vacation budget is allocated towards being a NYC tourist.

Santorini vacation

A villa they rented in Santorini, Greece for $5,000/week

Clothes For Four – $24,000/year

Rachel loves clothes and shoes, and Colin doesn’t mind dressing up nicely to match his lovely wife, although he prefers to wear athletic gear all day. As a fund manager who expects to be taken seriously in a male-dominated industry, Rachel dresses her position.

Her pantsuits from Gucci, Dolce, and Chanel easily cost between $2,000 – $3,500 each. On average, she buys one work suit once a year to keep her threads fresh, although sometimes she buys a couple during holiday sales.

With every power suit must come matching Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos at the cost of between $800 – $1,000 a pair on average. Below is a regular black satin pump by Manolo for $995 before tax at Nieman Marcus.

After the pumps, Rachel must of course own a work-appropriate tote bag that can cost anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000. She prefers the understated Prada bags with their hard waterproof exterior. Below are some of her clothing examples.

High powered jobs come with high priced clothes

Given Colin is a stay at home dad, he doesn’t need to spend anything on work clothes. However, he does own and appreciate an array of finely cut blazers to go along with his designer jeans and button down shirts for when they go out. Each custom blazer costs between $1,000 – $1,500 on average. Designer jeans run between $180 – $300, and shirts from the likes of Thomas Pink can range from $80 – $250. He only has one watch, a stainless steel Royal Oak Audemars Piguet he bought for $16,000 years ago.

Charity – $25,000 / Year

The Chens feel extremely fortunate to be in their position as second generation Americans whose parents worked lower income jobs to put them through school. When you are given the opportunity to make it beyond your wildest dreams in the greatest country on Earth, the Chens feel it’s their duty to regularly give roughly 2.5% of their gross income to charity.

Rachel and Colin are particularly passionate about helping foster kids get through a difficult system in order to be given a fair chance at life. They know their sons are extremely fortunate to attend private school, and deep down they feel it is unfair that their kids can have so much, while other kids, through no fault of their own can have so little. Given they aren’t going to reduce their sons’ opportunities, they’ve decided to use most of the 2.5% to help less fortunate youth.

Net Worth Summary

Rachel has a target of working for 15 more years until her youngest son graduates college. Once both kids are through college, this will free up roughly $200,000 a year in after-tax children related expenses, which is equivalent to roughly $340,000 in gross income based on their 41% effective total tax rate.

After 15 years, the Chens should be able to accumulate at minimum:

  • $277,500 in 401(k) plus $150,000 in profit sharing
  • $816,495 in after-tax cash
  • $500,000 in principal pay down (leaving $1,000,000 left in mortgage)

For a base case net worth increase of roughly $1,600,000 without any appreciation in their investments or house. Assuming $106,666 in base case net worth growth over 15 years, no compensation increase during this time period, and a current $3,000,000 net worth, including the equity in their primary residence, the Chens will realistically have a $10,000,000 net worth by the time their youngest graduates from college using a 6.2% annual growth rate. She’ll be 60 years old and he’ll be 58.

Net Worth Calculator

Once their brownstone is paid off, they’ll save an additional $86,000 a year in after-tax cash flow, equivalent to $145,000 gross based on a 41% effective tax rate.

Therefore, the Chens can afford to maintain their lifestyles earning just $500,000 a year once they no longer have mortgage debt or child expenses. With a $10 million net worth, all they would need to do is figure out some way to generate a 5% return to live a great retirement and never touch principal for the rest of their lives.

Not Sure If It’s All Worth It

On paper, everything looks great for the Chens. Yet, Rachel tells me she doesn’t know if it’s worth working 65 hours a week for the next 15 years. Even the finest lobster at Le Bernardin or the most picturesque luxury villa off the Almalfi Coast gets old after a while.

Rachel sees a therapist every other week to help her manage the constant pressure she feels to provide for her family, outperform her peers, and outperform the markets. The market takes no prisoners and every month she starts with incredible anxiety. She’s only as good as her last month’s performance. This type of pressure has begun to pulverize what little peace and quiet she has left inside. She’s also recently begun to develop heart palpitations, which has her worried.

Colin also sees a therapist once a month to help him get through his feelings of unworthiness for being a stay at home father. Although he’s truly a great dad, he often feels gutted to have given up his management consulting job. None of his friends, who all work, understand what he’s going through. He feels isolated and often depressed. Sometimes he gets jealous of Rachel’s success, which leads to bitter fights.

What Rachel misses most is spending time with her boys, who are growing up too fast for her liking. Like middle age, where she now has a greater sense of her mortality, she knows that she might only have 5-7 years left to spend time with her sons before they would prefer spending all their free time with their friends. Before she knows it, they’ll be off to college where she might be lucky to see them twice a year.

Rachel envies Colin’s time at home. Most of her girlfriends are stay at home moms who take turns hosting playdates when their kids are off. When they’re in school, they often go to brunch at Blue Water Grill with bottomless mimosas over mounds of freshwater oysters. Colin envies Rachel’s freedom and the thrill of working in the real world with power.

Unfortunately, the only way to live a freer life is to drastically reduce expenses, have Colin go back to work, change their lifestyle completely, or accumulate at least 20X their annual expenses in net worth. At their current $500,000 annual burn rate, Rachel will truly need to work another 15 years to finally experience the joys of financial freedom. But she’s not sure if she can afford to wait that long.

If I was Rachel, I’d either ask for a three-month sabbatical or dial back work to 40 hours a week for less compensation. Making $500,000 a year with less stress, fewer hours, and a lower effective tax rate sounds so much more reasonable. They’ll have to cut down on entertainment, clothes, and travel, but they’ll gain back so much more quality time as a family.

Related:

Here’s When You’ll Finally Feel Rich

The Fear Of Running Out Of Money Is Overblown

The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Married Couple

Readers, do you think earning $1 million a year is worth the stress, long work hours, and time away from family? How long would you be willing to work for $1 million a year before you decide to retire early? What would you do if you were the Chens? I’ll record a podcast about this episode in a day or two after I read some feedback on this post. 

The post When Earning $1 Million A Year Isn’t Enough To Retire Early appeared first on Financial Samurai.

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