Chat
Loans By Phone: (800) 404-0254

How to Vote

how to vote

Voting doesn’t have to be a confusing hassle. If you have questions about how to vote in the upcoming election just take a look at the links below and find the quick answers you’re looking for:

Voting can seem complicated, especially if you just turned 18 and have never done it before. But it’s actually pretty simple! The upcoming election is also coming up faster than you might think. This coming February 3rd will be the first caucuses in Iowa, beginning the many caucuses, primaries, and conventions you’ll want to be a part of in order to participate in choosing the presidential candidates in the final election.

You need to prepare for the coming election now so that you’re prepared to vote in the primaries, and so you’re registered to vote in general. This way you aren’t taken by surprise when the final election rolls around and suddenly you have all these logistics to figure out. When it comes to voting, you also want to participate as early as possible so you can be informed and make your own educated choice.

Things to Know

There are a few general basics you’ll want to know about in order to understand elections and how they work.

Who can vote?

vote

In order to vote you must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen of the United States, and be registered to vote. But if you’d like to double check the specific voting requirements of your state you can visit Vote.org.

What are the different kinds of elections?

You probably already know about the presidential election, but did you know there are many more elections you can be a part of?

Federal Elections: these elections include anyone in the federal government. This would include the president, members of congress, senators, and members of the house of representatives.

State Elections: this includes voting for state legislatures, governors, the attorney general, secretary of state, state supreme court, and any other members of the state judiciary. State elections are also the time where you might vote on state policies.

Local Elections: this is where you vote on county and city government officials, like sheriffs, the mayor, and school board members.

The convention

One of the first things that happens during election season are conventions for each party. These conventions are generally held nationally. It is where political parties all gather together to browse the nominees for the coming presidential election.

The caucus

If you are registered to vote with a certain political party then you can go to that parties caucus. It is a meeting where people of a specific political party gather together. This can be where members of the party will register their preferences for who should be that party’s candidate. They also gather to discuss political policies pertinent to that group.

The primaries

The primary elections are often simply referred to as the primaries. They are the preliminary voting that takes place to decide who the final candidates for the final election will be. Many people try out to be presidential candidates, so this process helps voters choose the specific candidate they would like to represent their party in the final election. This narrows down the field so that when it comes time to vote for the actual president, there aren’t 30 or more people you have to know about and choose from on the voting ballot.

What is the electoral college?

We actually use the electoral college to determine the presidential winner in the end. Each state has a number of electors who cast these electoral votes. These electors consider the votes of the people from their states and use that information to cast their electoral vote. It’s these votes that determine who wins the presidency.

What’s the election schedule?

There are many events to be aware of during election season that take place the year before and after election year. Here is a general outline of all the most important election events you are going to want to be aware of.

The year BEFORE election year
Spring Candidates start announcing their intentions to run for president
Summer Primaries, caucus, and debates begin to take place
The year OF the election
July to September Political parties choose their candidates
September to October Presidential debates
November Election Day
December Electoral College votes
The year AFTER election year
January Congress counts the electoral votes
January 20th Inauguration Day

If you’d like to learn more about the basics of the presidential election, you can explore USA.gov to learn all about the voting and election process. This website even has educational videos and infographics to help you visually understand the process as well.

How Do I Vote?

register to vote

One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to elections is how to vote. Thankfully this process really isn’t too complicated either. Basically you’ll want to register to vote, participate in primary elections, stay informed, and vote at your polling place on election day.

First: how to register to vote

The very first thing you’ll want to do is get registered to vote. You register to vote in your state of residency so that when you do vote, you’ll be a part of your state’s voting pool. Registering to vote is incredibly easy to do. You can do it in person or online.

Where can I register to vote in person?

  • The DMV
  • Armed forces recruitment center
  • State and county public assistance offices

You can also quickly register online at Vote.gov. You can also check your registration status on this website to check if you’re already registered to vote.

You can also register by mail, if you are out of the country or out of your home state. All you have to do is fill out the National Mail Voter Registration Form found on USA.gov and then mail it to the address listed for you state.

Second: how to participate in the primaries

The candidates that will represent each party in the final vote needs to be chosen. Before election day arrives there will be primaries, caucuses, and political conventions to help narrow down the candidates. Different parties and states will do these preliminary voting events in varying ways.

If you want to vote in the primaries to help pick the final presidential candidates, then read, “When are the 2020 presidential election primaries?” to see when your state will hold their primaries. Then all you have to do is go to the primaries and participate in the preliminary voting so you can be a part of picking the final candidates.

During this time candidates will be narrowed down to the final few. They will also announce who their vice president would be, and then they go across the country campaigning, talking about their views and plans, and debating with other candidates until election day arrives. You can also help out your candidate of choice by volunteering or fundraising for their campaign!

Third: how to vote on election day

By participating in election events now, you can do your own research and watch debates to learn about the different presidential options, what they are all about, and what their presidential plans are. Then all that is left to do is go to your local, designated polling station on election day and cast your vote.

Election Day is always on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This upcoming election day will be on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

The only way you can cast your ballot is in person, or by mail. There is no way to vote online, so when election day comes you’ll need to be prepared to physically go to the polls, or be prepared ahead of time to mail in your ballot.

To find your polling place type in your address at VotingInfoProject.org to see where you’re designated polling station is.

If you are going to be absent from your registered state, or need to vote by mail for any other reason, then you’ll need to use the website for you state to find out how they want you to cast your absentee ballot.

What do I need to bring to vote?

polling station

The only thing you may need to bring with you to the polls is a form of identification. Whether ID is required for you to vote or note will depend on your state. You can check your state’s requirements for what to bring with you to the polling station by visiting NCSL.org.

How to Vote Early

There are many things that can make voting on election day difficult. But don’t let finances be one of them. If you need some financial help to get to the polls just take out an easy to use personal loan from Check City.

Whatever your reason, if you need to vote earlier than election day, it will depend on your state and whether they allow early voting. States usually have specified early voting dates.

Generally you don’t have to give them an excuse as to why you need to vote early, but this also might depend on your state.

The best way to see what you’ll need to do to vote early in your state is to find your state’s official website. You can do this by choosing your state at USA.gov and they’ll bring up your state’s official website. This site will then have your state’s specific information about early voting.

How to Vote in Midterm Elections

Midterm elections, or congressional elections, occur every 2 years. They happen in between presidential elections. They include voting for members of congress, the house of representatives, and the senate. These elections don’t use the electoral college but instead use the popular vote. The last midterm elections occurred November 6, 2018. If you want to participate in the next congressional elections just visit USA.gov for more information on when they are and how to vote in them.

How to Vote in Local Elections

The presidential election isn’t the only election you should be involved in, there are local elections going on all around too. These elections are equally important as the people put into office and the policies that get decided are all things that will affect your immediate community. Don’t just deal with whatever happens, be a part of shaping your community.

You can either use USA.gov or USVoteFoundation.org to see what local and state elections are coming up in your area.

 
Voting is an important part of being an active member of society. Your voice matters and voting is one way to make your voice heard. Don’t let misconceptions about voting keep you from getting to the polls and doing your part to help our society and grow.

Book Review: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

book review

Dave Ramsey is a best selling author of many popular self-help books about getting your finances together. He’s inspired many with his simple, no-hassle philosophies on how to manage money. He also has a radio talk show called the Dave Ramsey Show, that you can listen to anywhere you listen to podcasts. He even started his own company built on his financial philosophies called Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey and his colleagues have loads of resources you can find helpful in your own personal money management journey. Whether you are managing a household or a small business, Dave Ramsey has the financial advice you need to be successful and smart with your funds.

Today we’re going to take a focused look into one of Dave Ramsey’s most prolific publications, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. You’ve heard of fitness journeys and makeovers that change your style into something fresh and new, but Dave Ramsey takes all that and puts a financial spin onto it. With Dave Ramsey’s baby step plan you can exercise your financial abilities in ways you never thought possible and finally get into shape where your wallet is concerned.

What Kind of Book is The Total Money Makeover?

book cover

The Total Money Makeover is written as a self-help book. It’s even been compared to popular self-help books like, Your Best Life Now and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People because of the reader-friendly way it is written. It’s an engaging book with lots of real-world examples and stories from real people who have actually gone through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and seen results. These short anecdotal stories throughout the book help all of Dave Ramsey’s concepts make clear common sense.

The book also includes a lot of motivational help along with the tips and advice. One of the biggest factors that holds people back from taking full control over their finances is the proper motivation and encouragement to make necessary changes to their lifestyle. Dave Ramsey helps with that too, giving you the fresh outlook you need to understand your goal and the rewards you can gain.

Dave Ramsey is also a Christian, so his books often have a religious undertone. So you may find him referencing Bible verses every so often in this book, and tackling religious views and practices with regard to money as well.

What’s in the Book?

The Total Money Makeover is essentially a step-by-step guide for how to go about your own personal money makeover journey. These steps are based on Dave Ramsey’s key money philosophies. Dave Ramsey has strict beliefs about not ever using debt, loans, or credit cards. He believes that our society today is too dependent on credit and that true financial freedom only comes when you live a completely debt free life. So the first steps in his plan are all about helping you get out of debt, and then setting you up to never get into debt again.

Simple and straightforward advice.

Dave Ramsey’s book became so popular probably because of how easy it is to follow his clearly set plan. Each step is specific enough to leave no doubts about what exactly you need to do, making his plan one that anyone can follow and find success. It also helps that he is never vague about his advice, but rather he is extremely straightforward, open, and honest.

Dave Ramsey has no get-rich-quick schemes. He’s more about using honest work, responsibility, and common sense to reach your goals. So you won’t find any crazy secrets to financial stability and success in his book, you’ll just finally learn to implement the basics in a way that really works.

A change in perspective.

Another reason people enjoy Dave Ramsey’s teachings is because he doesn’t pretend that money is what brings happiness. He’s realistic and believes that money is a tool to create stability and contentment in our lives, not the secret solution to all our problems.

He eloquently tackles many mental barriers and misconceptions many of us have about money, and works to not only change your behavior with money, but your perspective about money as well. One thing he talks about a lot is getting over the need to “keep up with the Joneses.” Often in life we compare ourselves to others in unhealthy ways, and sometimes those comparisons can lead us to make poor financial decisions for superficial reasons. So, when you read the Total Money Makeover be prepared to gain a whole new outlook on the purpose of money, and break free from comparing yourself to others.

The Money Makeover Baby Steps:

The main event of this self-help read are the baby steps the reader can take to reach financial peace and freedom. You can read a more detailed article about each of the 7 baby steps that Dave Ramsey will go through in this book, but we’ll go over a quick outline of those steps here too.

Emergency Fund

The first step in Dave Ramsey’s 7 step plan is to basically get your financial life in order. The road to stability starts by setting up your finance in a certain way. This begins with setting up an emergency fund. You can start with at least $1,000 in your emergency fund but eventually you’ll want to work your way toward having at least 6 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund at all times.

Debts

Once you start getting your emergency fund in place, it’s time to focus all other monetary efforts toward annihilating all your debts. He goes into more detail about this in the book. For example, he suggests you start with your smallest debts first and work your way up to your larger ones. He also recommends you save paying off your mortgage for last. But eventually the idea is to throw everything you can at your debts until they are all completely wiped out.

Build Wealth

Now it’s time to build wealth and continue saving. Since Dave Ramsey argues you should pay for everything in cash, continually building up your financial stores is an important aspect of the Dave Ramsey lifestyle. You have to have enough in savings to cover all your costs completely with cash.

In the book Dave Ramsey goes into more detail about what savings you should prioritize. He advises that you first complete your 6 months’ worth emergency fund if you haven’t gotten there already. Then he suggests you work toward saving for retirement and (if you have kids or plan on having kids) your children’s college funds.

Things You Can Do Differently:

Dave Ramsey’s primary goal in all of this is to help people get out of crippling debt and stay out of it. But there are modifications you can make to his more rigorous financial plan.

You can choose how much you want in your emergency fund.

If you’re a college student then putting aside even $1,000 may be more difficult for you. But that’s ok! Just put aside what you can. Even just adding $5 to $10 a month into an emergency fund is better than having no emergency fund at all.

Likewise, if you’re more settled in life it might be easier for you to put even more than $1,000 aside into an emergency fund. It really doesn’t matter how you do it, what matters most is that you start accumulating that safety fund in order to be more prepared for surprise expenses in the future.

You can still use credit cards and loans.

Dave Ramsey may believe in using only cash to pay for things but there are advantages to using credit cards and installment loans. When used responsibly using credit can help boost your credit score and get you the things you need to have a comfortable life. Credit cards can also provide lots of perks outside of boosting credit scores. Some credit cards come with special points that can go toward paying for things like groceries and traveling. So long as you understand your limits and include loans and credit payments in your carefully calculated budget and financial plans, you’ll be just fine.

Should I Read This Book?

You may now be wondering whether you should give this book a read or not. You should definitely read this book if . . .

  • you are in debt
  • you have trouble managing your money or realizing where your money goes
  • you have trouble making a budget

If you are looking for a book with more specific details about financial topics (like investing, or small businesses) then you should check out Dave Ramsey’s other books that go more in depth on complex financial topics. The Total Money Makeover doesn’t expound upon these topics too much since it was written more as a beginners guide to Dave Ramsey’s financial baby steps.

 

READ MORE

Check out some other helpful reviews about Dave Ramsey’s book, the Total Money Makeover:

Review: The Total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover Review

Goodreads


Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps

dave ramsey baby steps

Are you trying to get out of debt? Do you want more financial stability and freedom? Are your finances one of the bigger stresses in your life right now? If any of these sentiments apply to you then Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps might be just what you need to cure your money blues.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Start an Emergency Fund
Step 2: Focus on Debts
Step 3: Complete Your Emergency Fund
Step 4: Save for Retirement
Step 5: Start a College Fund
Step 6: Pay Off Your House
Step 7: Build Wealth

Dave Ramsey is a guy who, through personal experience, was able to get out of debt and find financial peace of mind. He is now a financial expert with courses and books to help the everyday person get in control of their finances.

The best place to start when trying to regain control over your finances and achieve a full “money makeover” is to start with his 7 step plan. This plan has 7 baby steps that you follow to reach more financial stability and get to the point where you can start building wealth.

Step 1: Start an Emergency Fund

car maintenance

The first step in Dave Ramsey’s 7 step plan is, “Save $1,000 for Your Starter Emergency Fund.”

One of the main reasons people struggle with money is because necessary emergency expenses (like medical bills, car bills, or home repairs) come out of nowhere and drag you deeper and deeper into debt. But if you are preemptively prepared for these surprise expenses then they won’t take you off guard again.

So the very first thing you should do when getting your money in line is to get an emergency fund started. Save up an emergency fund in a separate bank account, until you have at least $1,000 in the account. This will be the start of the emergency fund that will keep sudden necessary expenses from plunging you into deep debts because you weren’t prepared.

Step 2: Focus on Debts

debts

The second step in Dave Ramsey’s plan is to “Pay Off All Debt (Except the House) Using the Debt Snowball.”

The snowball method that Dave Ramsey refers to here means that you start by paying off small debts first, and work your way up to the bigger debts. Debts can include paying off your car, credit card debts, and student loans.

First, make a giant list of all your debts, every single one, except for your mortgage if you have a house. Then, put your list of debts in order from the smallest debt amount to the largest. Then you go through knocking out each debt by eliminating the smallest debts first and working your way up to the largest debt last.

Step 3: Complete Your Emergency Fund

medical bills

The third step is to “Save 3 to 6 Months of Expenses in a Fully Funded Emergency Fund.”

Now that you’ve gotten all your debts out of the way, it’s time to finish your emergency fund. You can use the same money you were using to pay off debts each month and put it toward your emergency fund until it has enough to cover 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses and bills. Then you’ll really be prepared for anything.

Reasons to Have an Emergency Fund

  1. If you lose your job.
  2. You won’t have to worry because you’ll have enough to last you 6 months. This will give you the time you’ll need to find a new job.

  3. If your car breaks down.
  4. You’ll be able to pay for the necessary repairs, the tow truck, or even for a new car in some cases.

  5. Medical bills.
  6. Don’t let your health and necessary medical bills keep you from staying afloat financially.

  7. Home repairs.
  8. If something happens to your home you’ll be able to fix the problem rather than living with it.

Having an emergency fund is THE key to keeping you out of debt in the future. After getting yourself out of debt, an emergency fund is what will keep you from getting back into debt in the future.

Step 4: Save for Retirement

retirement

The fourth step in the Dave Ramsey plan is to, “Invest 15% of Your Household Income in Retirement.”

After your debts are gone and your emergency fund is taken care of, it’s time to start seeing to other important savings like a 401K. Dave Ramsey recommends you take 15% of your gross monthly income and put it toward a retirement fund each month. To figure out how much you should be putting into your retirement fund each month, take your monthly income and multiply that number by 0.15.

Step 5: Start a College Fund

college funds

The fifth step to Dave Ramsey’s plan is to, “Save for Your Children’s College Fund.”

Avoiding student loan debts can be one of the biggest factors in staying out debt as a young adult. If you can pay for your kids college tuition then you’ll ensure their financial security in the future, as they’ll better be able to stay out debt. Dave Ramsey recommends using either a 529 college savings plans, or an education savings accounts (ESA). Talk to your bank or credit union about setting up these accounts for these specific purposes.

Step 6: Pay Off Your House

mortgage

The next to last step in this 7 step plan is to, “Pay Off Your Home Early.”

Put all the extra monthly income you have into your mortgage so you can finish paying it off early. After this step you will officially have no debts whatsoever! All of your earnings will go to you instead of getting drained away in large debts and payments.

Step 7: Build Wealth

wealth and legacy

Finally, it is time to, “Build Wealth and Give.”

Congratulations! Once you’ve reached the 7th step in Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, you can start focusing on building your wealth and leaving a legacy. Don’t forget to keep and maintain those financial safety nets like a healthy emergency fund, retirement account, savings account, and college funds.

Now you are officially in charge of your money rather than it being in charge of you.

Financial freedom is possible for you! Everyone can do it and Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps can help you get there. Dave Ramsey also has other resources that can help you implement this plan. You can participate in Dave Ramsey’s program, books, and podcasts.

You can take the actual course with Financial Peace University.

Dave Ramsey also has a free customized plan and assessment that you can do right now, in just 3 minutes!

Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show anywhere you listen to podcasts or radio.

 
Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps to financial freedom can help you with so many aspects of your life. They can help you decide when to buy a house or help you get situated for saving for a house. It’s a checklist program that can help you get rid of loans and debt (like student loans), or even help you get to where you can budget for a wedding.

Another way you can get some needed financial help is to take out an Installment Loan at Check City! Installment loans can help you stay on top of your bill payments and avoid late fees, which can really hurt your long-term financial goals.
 

READ MORE

Browse Dave Ramsey’s online store for more great financial resources to help you on your financial journey.

Read more helpful articles on the Dave Ramsey Blog

Learn more about the debt snowball, “How the Debt Snowball Method Works.”

Read Dave Ramsey’s full article on his 7 baby steps, “What Are the Baby Steps?

Stay out of debt through college by using these tips, “How to Stay Debt Free through Grad School.”


How to Succeed at NANOWRIMO

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO is a writing challenge that goes on every November where lovers of literature everywhere take on the same goal—to write an entire novel in one month. See how you can successfully achieve this goal by following these great tips!

Table of Contents:

What is NANOWRIMO?

NANOWRIMO stands for National Novel Writing Month. It occurs every November and refers to a writing challenge to finish the first draft of a novel by the end of the month. So if you’ve always wanted to write a book now is your chance!

The Logistics

So the logistics of NANOWRIMO is to get a full, first draft done by the end of the month. The official final wordcount goal is 50,000 words. If you divide that into the 30 days of November, then you’ll need to write about 1,667 words every day for the whole month of November to get to the final word count and end up with a full first draft.

Final Word Count Goal: 50,000 words

Daily Word Count Goal: 1,667 words

But ultimately NANOWRIMO is about you, your writing goals, and what works best for you. Some people only have time to write on the weekends and that’s ok! If you’re a weekend writer then can write 3,571 words for each day of the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), instead of writing 1,667 words each day of the week. Over the course of the weekend your new word count goal would be:

Weekend Word Count Goal: 10,000 words each weekend

How to Write a Novel

how to write a book

1. Pick a genre

The very first thing you should decide when going into NANOWRIMO is the genre you’d like to work with. If you’re going to write a book it’s good to first know what kind of book you want to write. The kinds of stories you could write are an endless list of categories and subcategories, so if you want to see a more detailed list check out Literary Genres.

But here are some of the more basic literary genres:

  • Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Memoir
  • Mystery
  • Tragedy
  • Romance
  • Horror
  • Self-help

It also might be important to decide who your audience is before writing because that can decide a lot about how you write your novel. Thinking about what age group you are writing for is a great way to start so your reading level and content cater appropriately to your readers.

2. Pick a perspective

First Person: This perspective is written in the main character’s point of view. The narrating character tells their own personal story with their own words. When writing in first person you’ll use words like I, me, us, my, and we.

Second Person: This perspective is written to address the reader directly. It’s as if the narrating character is telling a story to the reader directly. When writing in second person you’ll use words like you, referring to the reader who the narrator is speaking to.

Third Person: This perspective is not written from the point of view of the character or the writer. Instead, a third party narrator is telling a story that they are not themselves in any way apart of. This can also be referred to as omniscient point of view, because the narrator is like the all-knowing god of this story. When writing in third person you’ll use words like he, she, they, and it.

Multiple Perspectives: You can also write your book using multiple points of view. This is especially common when writing in first person because then you can switch between the firsthand perspectives of different characters throughout the story.

Present Tense: You can also write your story in the present tense. In this case you would write as if the character is telling their story as it is happening. For example you would write, “I walk toward the closet door and open it.”

Past Tense: It is much more common, and even recommended, to write your story in the past tense. This means you would write the story more naturally, as if it had already happened and someone is narrating a detailed, perfectly remembered account. For example you would write, “I walked toward the closet door and opened it.

Ultimately, if this is your first novel, it’s recommended you write in third person, in the past tense. If you feel a little more confident in your writing abilities then you can try out writing in first person, or even switching between multiple points of view throughout the story. If you really want to be different, you can write in the present tense, but most books are written in the past tense.

3. Create the world

All stories need a setting. Maybe your story will occur in a small town or the big city. Maybe it’ll take place in an alternate universe, or a completely different fantasy world of your creation. Get a clear vision of what your world is like, and all the important aspects of the world that will affect your story and characters.

4. Create the characters

There are many ways to create really great characters. You can make a vision board for each characters to keep tabs of all your inspiration for who they are. You’ll also want to find names for them and keep notes on all the things you know about each person appearing in your novel.

5. Make a story outline

Now that you have the materials and initial ideas you need to make a story, it’s time to start outlining! One thing that can really help you storyboard your book is to first think about your beginning and your ending.
There are many templates and guidelines out there for how to format a story outline that can help you with all of this.

story outlining

  • Freytag’s Pyramid
  • Imagine the rise and fall of a pyramid. The story starts with exposition, rising action, peaks with the story’s climax, falling action, and ends with the resolution. To see the story outline in even more detail check out the 7-Step “Freytag’s Pyramid” from the Writing Itch.

  • Snowflake Method
  • This method involves starting with a small story summary and expanding it to have more and more details until you have a larger story.

  • 8 Point Arc
  • The 8 point arc includes 8 key story points that you can write about in order to have an 8 step plot outline for your novel.

  • 3 Acts
  • The first act is the setup, act two is when the confrontation occurs, and act three is the resolution. This outline is great for writers who just need a really simple idea of the basic flow of their story.

  • The Hero’s Journey
  • The hero’s journey is a classic story outline you see in popular books like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. It’s similar to the 8 point arc in that it has a detailed 10 step plan for your story outline.

  • Notecards
  • Write out your key scenes on different notecards. Then you can use a wall or bulletin board to place your notecards in order. This outline technique is great for writers who often rearrange events.

  • Plots
  • This outline is for when you have multiple plots happening simultaneously. You can have a main plot and sub plots, or have equally important A, B, and C plots.

Story Beginnings:

  • Mid-Action
  • Also known as in medias res, starting in the middle of the action can be a great way to get your audience hooked right away and keep impatient readers from putting the book down after the first page.

  • Ask a question
  • By starting with a question you can immediately give your book an inquisitive tone.

  • Introduce us
  • You can also start your novel by introducing the reader to something or someone important. You can describe the setting, the world they live in, or a key character.

  • Origin story
  • If your story has important background information then you can start with the origin story of your kingdom, or main character.

  • Flashes, dreams, and memories
  • You can also start your book out with an important flashback into the past, a foreshadowing flash into the future, in the lucid landscape of a telling dream, or with key memories.

Create Conflict:

Every story needs some riveting conflict. It’s what keeps the story going and keeps your readers interested in what’s going to happen next. For more help in brainstorming your main and sub-conflicts read, “Decoding the Six Conflicts in Literature (With Examples).”

Story Endings:

Some people really struggle with how to end their book. There are many things to consider in order to create a good ending. You’ll need to ask some important question like, what goal or goals you want accomplished or unaccomplished by the end, how your characters change, and what do they learn or fail to learn.

  • The Happy ending
  • The goal is accomplished and things are better now.

  • The Tragic ending
  • The goal fails and things are worse now.

  • The Twist ending
  • The goal is accomplished, but for some reason things still end up worse.
    The goal fails, but for some reason things still end up better.

  • The Cliffhanger
  • The goal remains unaccomplished, leaving readers in suspense, or in the middle of events.

Writing Resources

Every writer has their go-to resources for writing. Eventually you might find blogs, forums, or books about writing that you like.

Name Generators:

Websites:

Books:

How to Cultivate Yourself as a Writer

Like with any hobby you should look into bettering yourself as a writer, just as you would if your hobby was hiking or drawing. Here are some things you can do to really enter into the writing world:

  • Join writing groups
  • Write with others
  • Get feedback
  • Read books you love
  • Read books on writing

How to Stay Inspired Throughout November

When you’re on a writing deadline it can be really hard to stay inspired. Everyone has their own tricks to beating writer’s block and as you write more frequently you’ll gain a list of your own. Here are some things you can try to get you started:

  • Explore Pinterest
  • Make vision and mood boards
  • Get in nature
  • Take care of your physical and mental health
  • Keep reading things you love
  • Watch things you love
  • Listen to things you love
  • Set up your workspace so it’s decluttered and free of distractions

NANOWRIMO is like a community event on a larger scale. By joining the groups and forums you can accomplish your goals along with your fellow writers and who knows?! Maybe you’ll make some friends or publish something great! What’s more, writing novels can potentially become a lucrative at home job to get your household some extra income.

If you’re going to do NANOWRIMO this month, you may need a little help preparing. If you do need some financial help visit a Check City store or our website to take out an easy to use Personal Loan.

 

READ MORE

Learn some other tips about making more money, “Making More Money.”

Thinking about writing as a career? “How to Choose a Career” can help you decide if a career in writing is write for you.


30 Halloween Makeup Video Tutorials

halloween makeup

End your video makeup tutorial search now and check out these trending looks on YouTube. Halloween is only 2 days away! So hurry up and find your scary or not so scary look right here:

Everyone has different Halloween costume preferences, but whatever costume you choose, makeup and face paints can help complete it. In this article you can find gory, cute, glamorous, creepy, or pretty Halloween makeup ideas and the video links to get you started! You can also find easy Halloween makeup tutorials that can work for kids or adults, and for men or women.

For some of these looks you can just use the makeup you already have in your house, or you can also use makeup kits, face crayons, or face paints. Another tip for Halloween makeup is to work from a reference photo to make your job easier.

Scary Halloween Makeup

1. Skull Halloween Makeup

Skull Halloween makeup is one of the most classic Halloween looks to date. Halloween skeleton makeup never seems to go out of style. All you need to pull off this look is a makeup brush and some dark eye shadow. You can also use face paint if you want. But the key to this look is to get the main features of a skull: the teeth, and the hollow nose and eyes.

 

2. Wednesday Addams

The new Addams Family movie has made the family characters become more popular again. Wednesday Addams has always been a Halloween favorite. To get her look you’ll need black lipstick, black eyeliner all around your eyes, and dark eye shadow also all around your eyes. You can also use white baby powder, or a very light foundation to make yourself look pale like her.

 

3. Frankenstein

Draw suture lines to make it look like you’ve been patched together. You can paint your skin blue or green, and then you’ll want to get bolts to put on each temple. One way is to glue bolts onto the sides of a head band.

 

4. Bride of Frankenstein

Follow similar steps for the original Frankenstein, but since this is the female version you can add a dark lipstick and eye makeup.

 

5. Vampire Halloween Makeup

If you want to successfully accomplish the vampire Halloween makeup look then you can’t fail with the classic Dracula look. Get the classic Dracula look by slicking your hair back, powdering your face white and giving yourself dark eyes and lips. You can even add a painted on drizzle of blood from your lips to really make you look like a blood-thirsty immortal.

 

6. Zombie Halloween Makeup

The key to a great zombie costume is great zombie Halloween makeup. You want to use makeup to make your face look more dead. Make your eyes really dark and add dark shadow under your eyes. Contour the rest of your face with dark shadows to give yourself a sallow look, like you’ve just come back from the dead!

 

7. Headless

Detach your head from your body by painting your neck black! You can also use this look to be the headless horseman for Halloween.

 

8. Scarecrow

Draw cross hatches on your face, a triangle shape on your nose, and voila! You are a scarecrow. Now all you need is a straw hat and a flannel shirt.

 

9. Half Face Halloween Makeup

The half face Halloween makeup look has been a popular scary look for a long time now. You can get really creative with it too! Right now the popular half face trend is to make half your face normal, and the other half a skeleton. But you can do a lot of other things with this idea too. For example, you could do a half happy face and half sad, or half normal, half werewolf etc.

Not So Scary Ideas

10. Mermaid Halloween Makeup

Mermaid Halloween makeup is a fantastic choice if you want to look glam instead of gory. Use a hair net over your face to create beautiful looking scales. All you do is place the hair net over your face and then powder blue makeup on the sides of your face and your cheekbones. This net will act as a scaly template.

 

11. Raggedy Ann Doll

Raggedy Ann is a beloved doll that is easy to recreate with some simple makeup tips. All you need is some red lipstick, and draw on some fake eyelashes with eyeliner. Then you can use the same red lipstick to put that classic triangle blush on your cheeks and nose.

 

12. Zodiac Animals

Another popular look this year is to embody your animal from the Chinese zodiac. If you don’t know what your animal from the zodiac is, you can look it up by plugging in your birthday on ChineseHighlights.com.

Once you’ve found your zodiac animal, you can look up makeup tutorials for your animal!

 

13. Astrology Sign

If you don’t know your astrology sign you can look it up on WhatIsMySign.net, by just entering in your birthday.

Once you’ve found your astrology sign, you can look up makeup tutorials for your sign!

 

14. Robot

Paint nuts, bolts, and circuit lines to make yourself look like an android.

 

15. Fairy

Another fun look to go with this year is a pixie or fairy! With some body glitter you can really rock this look.

 

16. Goddess

Who says your Halloween costume can’t be pretty instead of scary? Unleash your inner goddess at this year’s Halloween party!

 

17. Cleopatra

With some gold eye shadow, and a dark black eyeliner pen, you can transform yourself into this ancient queen.

 

18. Cheetah Halloween Makeup

Animals are a popular and easy makeup idea to try for Halloween. You can pick almost any animal and there will be a makeup tutorial for it somewhere online. Animal face paints are also really popular Halloween ideas for kids! Cat Halloween makeup in general is a simple and fun idea to use and cheetahs just happen to be the popular cat this year.

 

19. Deer Halloween Makeup

Deer Halloween makeup is one of the newer animal costume trends this year. All you really need to do to get this cute Halloween makeup look is to color the tip of your nose with dark brown paint or eyeliner, and decorate your cheeks and the sides of your face with signature white dots found on baby deer.

 

20. Bunny Halloween Makeup

Bunny Halloween makeup is cute and easy! With some pink face paint and makeup you can give yourself a cute button nose, and rosy cheeks. Then you just need to add whiskers and bunny ears to finish this cute costume.

21. Joker Halloween Makeup

Clown Halloween makeup (or more specifically Joker Halloween makeup) is always a winning idea for best creepy costume. Get some white, green, red, and blue face paint and a picture for reference. The classic Joker look is definitely going to be popular this year since the new Joker movie recently came out.

 

22. Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn is another popular makeup idea. All you need is some red lipstick, blue eye shadow on one eye, red on the other, and some black eyeliner to draw a little heart on one cheek.

 

23. Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is an iconic Halloween choice and her makeup look is relatively easy to accomplish. You just need some green eye shadow, red lipstick, and a red wig.

 

24. Pop Art

To turn yourself into a cartoon comic just use a reference! Basically you’re going to use black face paint or eyeliner to draw cartoon lines on your face, as if you were a drawing.

 

25. Ice Queen

Take the ice queen look in your own direction with a white face, white eyelashes, and blue eye shadow. You can also add white flecks by splattering white paint onto your face with a paint brush, or by drawing some snowflakes.

 

26. Elsa

Elsa is our favorite ice queen right now and with Frozen 2 coming out soon, this look is sure to be a hit!

 

27. Anna

To get Anna’s freckled look you can use a light brown eye pencil to dot homemade freckles on your face.

 

28. Pirate

If you want to be a pirate this year you can go for a general pirate look, or you could try and mimic Jack Sparrow’s look. You can make yourself look like a cool pirate character by drawing a cool looking scar, wear some pirate jewelry, like hoop earrings, lip rings, nose rings, and finish the look off with some dark eyeliner and eye shadow.

 

29. Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball is an iconic female actress and we found a great makeup tutorial for fans who want to dress up as her this Halloween. Sometimes Halloween costumes aren’t about being scary, but about dressing up as someone or something you like!

 

30. Maleficent

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is out in theaters now, making Maleficent a great idea if you want to impress your fellow Halloween party goers.


Using a great makeup tutorial can really be the final thing you need to finish off your look this Halloween.

If you need any help making your Halloween party happen this year check out our other articles about Halloween party food ideas, and DIY Halloween decoration ideas. And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.

 

READ MORE
For more Halloween makeup inspiration check out these other great sites!

The 100 Most Jaw-Dropping Halloween Makeup Ideas on Instagram

50 Halloween Makeup Tutorials for Beginners and Pros

51 Creepy and Cool Halloween Makeup Ideas to Try in 2019

38 Elaborate Halloween Makeup Ideas to Easily Elevate Your Costume

Halloween Makeup Pinterest Board by Gothic Glitter


30+ DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas

halloween decor ideas

Decorating for Halloween is just what your house and yard needs to really give you that spooky October feeling. Here are some easy, DIY ideas for decorating your home this October:

If you’re not really into DIY projects, or you don’t feel like you have the time, you can always shop for decorations. It’s really nice when you can get deals on seasonal purchases too! The best way to get clearance Halloween decorations is to actually shop for next year’s decor after Halloween, when all their leftover Halloween stock goes on sale.

If you’re really in a rush, then you can check out your favorite store’s Halloween items right now by clicking the fast links below! They’ll take you right to the store’s Halloween decor pages.

Where to Decorate

Sometimes you need to decorate for a Halloween party you are having. Other times you just want to decorate for when trick-or-treaters come to your door. Or maybe you just like the Halloween season and you want to make your home feel delightfully spooky this time of year. Either way, there are key places to consider decorating when setting up for Halloween.

Front Porch

Transform you porch into some kind of scene! With some simple tricks you can turn your front porch into a graveyard, a pit stop for flying witches, or a home for a pumpkin village.

halloween porch

Front door

You can also jazz up your front door! You can make your door look like a monster, or wrap it in paper to look like a mummy, or decorate around it to make it look like the jaws of a monster opening up to swallow trick or treaters whole!

Yard

Decorated yards are especially eye catching. You can decorate your hard with mock murder scenes, fake gravestones, or rising zombies made from homemade scarecrows.

Living room

Make your main living space feel eerie by putting cut outs of werewolves and witches against the windows. You can also take thin sheets of black or red tissue paper and fit them over your lampshades to change the lighting in your living room. If you don’t have lampshades to cover in dark paper, you can paint your light bulbs themselves with non-water-based glass pain for the same effect.

Staircase railing

Your staircase is the perfect place to wrap up in cobwebs and lights!

Kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to take advantage of witchy themes. You can decorate with candy jars, a witch’s broom, and cauldrons ready to make yummy fall time foods.

DIY Halloween Decor Ideas

1. Make a scarecrow

You can easily make your own scarecrow people by filling up clothes with rags and pillows. Then you can use a pumpkin as the head! It doesn’t have to be a scarecrow either. You can recreate a stuffed vampire or the headless horseman too.

2. Jack-O-Lanterns

Jack-o-lanterns are a very old Halloween tradition and they make for great decorations too.

3. Scary pillows

You can sew scary pillows using old shirts! You can make an easy pillow case, and then cut pieces of fabric into eyes and mouths to sew up a little pillow monster friend! You can also use this technique to make the head to your scarecrow person.

4. Pipe Cleaner spiders

You can make your own spiders with black pipe cleaners! All you do is play around wrapping and bending the pipe cleaners together until you have a spider!

jack o lanterns

5. Make spider webs

You can make spider webs with paper, the way you would make a snowflake, or you can make them with giant trash bags. You can also pull apart cotton balls to make cobwebs.

6. Window cutouts

With big sheets of construction paper you can cut out silhouettes of witches, monsters, werewolves, and other frightful creatures. Then you just tape them against your windows and place lamps behind them to make it look like your house is full of ghosts and goblins.

7. Halloween banner

Make a Halloween-themed banner by attaching cut outs to a piece of string. You can garnish your banner with little paper bats, pumpkins and witches that you staple, tape, or glue to the rope.

8. Mummy

Make a mummy by taking a large stuffed animal, doll, or homemade rag doll and wrapping it up in toilet paper. With practically no cost at all you now have your very own mummy!

9. Halloween chandeliers

Make a bat chandelier, with cut out bats, string, and hoops from the craft store. Then you just tie and dangle the bats at different lengths from the hoop. Instead of bats you can also use ghosts, or origami black birds.

10. Little ghosts

You can make little ghosts with tissues, or tissue paper. Get balls from the craft store, then put glue on the ball and add tissue over the ball until it looks like a ghost. With sharpie draw it’s eyes and mouth, or glue on some eyes from the craft store. You can hang these guys in the air by gluing a string to the top of their heads

11. Mystery box

Make a spooky mystery box by painting cardboard boxes black. Cut holes into them for people’s hands to reach through, and then put things in the box for them to feel and guess what they are. You can use cabbage, noodles, olives, and anything else with a weird texture to freak the brave darers out.

12. Eye cutouts

Make eye that watch you in the dark by cutting out eyes in a large sheet of cardboard or construction paper. Then you can place two light sources (like flashlights) behind each eye to make it look like ppl are being watched.

13. Monster mailbox

Turn your mailbox into an open mouthed monster with paper, glitter, and craft feathers.

halloween center piece

14. Voo doo dolls

Use pieces of felt to sew simple voo doo dolls. You can also make them little skeleton people, or whatever Halloween person or creature you most like.

15. Witch’s broom

Get an older looking broom and leave it out as a witch’s broom. To add to the witch aesthetic you can take some shoes and stockings and stuff them so they look like the disembodied feet of the wicked witch of the east.

16. Witch’s hat

Make a witch’s hat with construction paper. All you need to do is make a cone with one sheet of paper, then make a large circle with another sheet for the rim of the hat. Then place the cone on top of the circle so you can trace out the hole for your head. Glue or tape all the pieces together and you have a witch’s hat that you can decorate to your choosing!

17. Chalkboard signs

Get chalkboards that you can stencil or write seasonal sayings on. This is a great thing to buy because you can use it for every season.

18. Gravestones

Get rocks and write gravestone sayings on them with paint. If you really want the gravestones to look creepy you can put just a little too much paint on your brush and let the paint drip downward a little on each word. Then place the stones in your flower bed or flowerpots.

19. Misty mirror

Make your mirrors misty by spraying them with hairspray. When you’re done partying for Halloween you can easily wash the hairspray off the mirror with your regular glass cleaner.

20. Spooky tree

Get a small dead branch from the lawn and put it in a pot as a spooky, spindly dead tree. Then you can decorate it with little black birds or lights if you want.

21. Little black birds

Make origami birds with black paper to give your house an Edgar Allan Poe feel.

22. Halloween doormat

Make a doormat for October guests by buying a cheap doormat, and using stencils to paint on the sayings or figures of your choice.

halloween candy

23. Mini Salem village

Make a little Salem village with painted bird houses. You can also make your own little houses with cardboard cutouts glued together, or popsicle sticks that you glue and stack into houses.

24. Candy jars

Fill see-through mason jars with Halloween candies and wrap the lids with Halloween festive looking ribbons. These can act as decorations you can eat throughout the holiday!

25. Halloween gingerbread house

Make a gingerbread house in October! Just use Halloween colored food dyes (like black, orange, purple etc.) in the icing, and use Halloween themed candies to decorate with. Who said gingerbread houses were only for Christmas anyway?

26. Crystal ball

You can make your very own crystal ball! You can get a glass ball from the craft store or get an undecorated Christmas ornament. Then just spray paint the glass ball with misty paints and place them on a pedestal of some kind, like a low bowl with dark fabric laid over it.

27. The living scarecrow

Pull some tricks of your own by dressing up as a scarecrow, grim reaper, or suited vampire and station yourself somewhere on the porch where trick or treaters will come by for their candy. If you hold very still, then trick or treaters will think you’re a prop! When you suddenly move you’ll give all your visitors a good scare.

28. Cereal killer

Use old cereal boxes and make your own cereal killer crime scene! You can paint faces on the boxes and laying them out in a comical murder scene. You can even make the scene a part of the party by having people deduce which of the cereal boxes did it, and how.

29. Leaf bag monsters

If you have leaves you need to rake up, then put them to decorating use! Put all your raked up leaves in big black bags, and then paint the bags to look like monsters have invaded your porch and yard.

30. Halloween mood lighting

You can give your house an eerie ambience by covering lampshades with colored tissue paper. You can even cut out images and scenes into the tissue paper to display things like hands, ghosts, and haunted forests on the walls and ceiling. If you don’t have lampshades, you can also paint the lightbulbs in a similar way. Just be sure to use a non-water-based glass paint so the paint doesn’t melt off the bulb.

31. Monster house

Make your whole house into a monster house by making key windows look like eyes, and the front door or porch area look like a toothy mouth. You can easily make cut out eyes and teeth with large construction paper.

halloween lighting

32. Halloween wreath

Wreaths make a nice touch on any door, inside or outside your house. You can make your own wreath very easily by getting a round metal wire base and filling it with ornaments of your choice. Be careful, and use hot glue to situate your materials together into the garland’s circle frame. There are many ways to put a spooky wreath together.

33. Halloween centerpiece

Dress up your kitchen table, counter, or coffee table with a Halloween centerpiece! You can use a piece of wood as a tray for things like pumpkins, or an assortment of candles or a flower arrangement with plants and buds of the season. The possibilities are literally endless for how you can accent your table surfaces in October.

 

It’s fun to make every holiday a festive time to remember. Decorations can help you give your home that haunted Halloween atmosphere you want this time of year. Making your own decorations with friends and family can also bring you all closer together during this fun and spooky season. And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party decorations right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.

If you try any of these Halloween decoration ideas take a picture of it and share the picture with us on social media! You can find Check City on Facebook, or tag your post with #checkcity #halloweendecorations.


READ MORE

Make and even scarier misty mirror with this DIY hack, “Haunted Mirror – A Halloween DIY.”

Find more specific tutorials for DIY projects you can do this year, “25 Diy Halloween Decorations to Make this Year.”

If you’re decorating for a Halloween movie night, check out this article for some scary movie ideas, “80 Best Halloween Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts.”

You’ll also need party food and beverages if you’re going to host a Halloween party, “Halloween Party Food Ideas.”


Provo’s Year of Transportation

transportation

Nobody likes getting stuck in traffic, but with rental bikes and scooters you can pass the traffic and get around quicker, all while helping the environment and air quality. See what Utah’s city of Provo is doing this year to combat these two issues.

Rental bikes and scooters are becoming increasingly popular in high traffic areas. Provo has become one of those booming, high traffic places, so it’s no surprise that so many transportation innovations have taken place in Provo in the last year or so.

Transportation is a giant part of our lives today. Everyone needs it and we often use it every day, sometimes several times throughout the day. Cities like Provo have a particular need for ample transportation. Not only is it a college city, but it has become a tourist spot, and home to numerous unique start-ups and businesses, attracting crowds from all around.

So because of Provo’s growing urbanization and success, Provo’s city council decided to start what’s being called Provo’s Year of Transportation. The initiative was begun by Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and has been ongoing since 2018. So far this transportation movement in Provo has included:

  1. Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)
  2. Rental bikes and scooters
  3. Provo airport expansion

Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)

The UVX is a free express bus with its own lane that goes between Orem and Provo station all day, Monday through Saturday. The UVX makes several new and convenient stops along the way to get people to key places between Provo and Orem quickly.

The UVX has been more than a success, giving more than 2 million rides since it began running! Provo has high hopes in having equal success with their other transportation initiatives.

The UVX is easy to pay for because, it’s FREE to all passengers! There’s really no excuse to not take advantage of this new city convenience. For other buses and the front runner, you can now pay for your tickets on the UTA GoRide app, making your UTA trips even more quick and convenient. And if you’re a student or employee at UVU or BYU, then your student or employee ID acts as a free annual UTA pass!

Rental Bikes and Scooters

The newest addition to Provo’s transportation movement is the electronic Spin scooter. Spin is the manufacturer of the scooters, and you use the Spin app to pay for, activate, and ride one of their scooters. But Zagster is the company the city council chose to oversee the overall operations of the scooters. Zagster will address and manage any problems and see to it that the new rental scooter program is a success.

They will also be adding rental bikes to their services in the coming months. The new bike rental program will be a docked system where the bikes are parked in permanent locations. They are planning to get this program up and running by January 2020.

But for now, you can use any number of the bike rental stores that already exist in Provo. Bikes are great for getting around the city quickly and avoiding traffic almost completely. But they’re also fun to rent as an activity with friends, to see the city sights!

  1. JigaWatt Cycles has 5 stars on Google. They have electric bikes for rent, with different bicycle types to choose from.
  2. Gary’s Bikes is the next 5 star review bike place in Provo. Their rental bikes can even be delivered to your home! They also sell bikes and bike accessories.
  3. Hangar 15 Bicylces is the final 5 star reviewed bike place on Google. They sell bikes and bike accessories as well.

Provo Airport Expansion

Did you know Provo had an airport? Because I didn’t! But people are hearing plenty about the Provo airport now since there are plans for major expansions. The first part of the Provo airport expansion is going to include a whole new terminal with 4 more gates. Eventually they plan on adding 10 more gates in total, allowing for more destination services to the airport right in Provo. This will not only make the lives of Provo residents easier, but a bigger Provo airport also means less traffic going into the Salt Lake airport!

Why We Welcome Provo’s Transportation Movement

better environment
 

Provo isn’t just expanding in order to draw more people and more traffic into town, but rather, Provo is accommodating the traffic already here. By providing these economically friendly transportation options, Provo can better manage its traffic flow, making getting around an easier feat for all.

These new travel options are also environmentally friendly and will help reduce the impact transportation has on the neighborhood’s air quality. The electronic bus and scooters that Provo has opted to use in their programs have a much lower impact on Provo’s environment than other options. For example, using electric buses for the UVX (instead of the traditional diesel buses) can lower emissions by as much as 87 percent!

About Spin Electric Scooters

There are currently 200 scooters in Provo, but if all goes well this number could increase if necessary. A scooter costs $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of use, capping out at a maximum $10 an hour. They can go a maximum of 15 miles per hour, and are equipped with GPS. The scooters are great for getting around to nearby places in Provo, for getting in between your other transit stops, or for sightseeing. They are extremely easy to use—you can either download the Spin app with your smartphone to activate and pay for your scooter rental, or if you don’t have a smartphone you can just text the barcode number.

As great as this all may sound for some, there are those who are skeptical about the scooter program and worry about problems arising. For those worried about the scooters being where they shouldn’t and getting in the way, worry no more! Scooters are only permitted anywhere bikes are already allowed, and they will actually shut off if the user tries to ride into an area where scooters are prohibited. For instance, the scooters aren’t allowed on BYU campus, so Zagster and Spin created a geo-fencing system that disables the scooter if it crosses that virtual fence. The scooter program also has up to 40 employees to keep the scooters from piling up at hot spots, and to gather the scooters up again each night and put them back.

How to Rent a Scooter

It is advised that you wear a helmet while operating one of Provo’s rental scooters.

  1. Open the Spin app and find a scooter near you.
  2. With the app, scan the QR code on the top of the scooter to unlock it.
  3. Once you are on the scooter use the right throttle to accelerate.
  4. When you are done just park it at a bike rack, or close to the edge of the sidewalk, where it won’t be in anyone’s way.

Heavy Traffic & Emission Problems Near You?

traffic problems
 

If you don’t live in Provo, but your city or town has similar problems with traffic congestion or pollution from car emissions, there are some things you can do to help! First of all, every town has a website, or people you can contact if there are changes in your neighborhood you would like to see. For instance, Provo residents can visit Provo.org to stay informed about their community and help make their town a better place. Start by getting more connected with your local community and government!

You can also buy your very own electric scooter or bike! You can buy online or go to a local bike shop near you and purchase your very own eco-friendly ride.

A scooter or bike can even help you beat the morning rush and get to work on time. It can also help you save on transportation costs since bikes and scooters don’t require gas. According to Business Insider the average person spends anywhere from $400 to $1,300 or more on gas each year, depending on the state you live in. Imagine what you could do, and the debts you could get rid of, if you only didn’t have to pay for gas?

If you need this kind of help in your life, but don’t have the funds to buy a decent bike or scooter right now, visit our website and get a Check City Personal Loan so you can start pedaling and saving asap!


READ MORE

Save even more money on transportation with tips from these articles:

Saving Money on Transportation

How to Save Money on Transportation


Halloween Party Food Ideas

halloween party food ideas

Having a Halloween party and don’t know what to serve? Have no fear! Here are some classic Halloween party food ideas for you to use this October:

There are lots of great reasons to eat this time of year. There are all kinds of Halloween parties and events to cook and bake for, and you’d be amazed by how many Halloween-themed foods there are to choose from! Because it’s Halloween you can literally take almost any food, and just make it scary!
 

Halloween Appetizers

At any party, if you’re not serving dinner, it’s a great idea to serve some appetizers as the main course. Think of the appetizers as the savory part of the treats for the evening.

Mummy Pigs in a Blanket

For the original recipe check out Chelsea’s website. She also has loads of other great recipes for Halloween like, monster meatball sliders, cheesy bread fingers, and 7-layer spider web dip!

Ingredients

party food

  • Hot dogs
  • Dinner roll dough
  • Dipping sauces of your choice
Method
  1. Cut out strips of dough to use as the mummy wrappings
  2. Cut the hot dogs to give them arms and legs
  3. Wrap the dough around the hot dogs arms, legs, and body so it looks like a mummy!
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  5. When they’re done you can add eyes and mouths with mustard, ketchup, or food dye pens

Then you can serve a plate of mummy pigs in a blanket with the sauces of your choice.

Ghostly Mini Pizzas

Ingredients
  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese slices
Method
  1. Set the english muffins out on a tray
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on each muffin
  3. Cut out ghosts on the cheese slices and place those on top of the sauce
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and the muffins are toasted) at 350 degrees

Now you have cheesy, easy to serve mini pizzas with ghostly apparitions on top!
 

Halloween Desserts

Now on to the desserts section! After the appetizers, or at the other end of your serving table, you can display some yummy desserts. This is the sweet section of your party menu for the night and there are so many things you can choose from.

Cups of Dirt

Ingredients
  • Chocolate pudding packets
  • Oreo cookies
  • Gummy worms
Method
  1. Make the chocolate pudding according to the instructions on the box
  2. Put the Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to crumble them
  3. Fill individual cups with the chocolate pudding
  4. Sprinkle the crumbled oreos on top of the pudding
  5. Place a gummy worm or two into each cup

If you want to get even more creative with these, you can decorate some whole Oreo cookies with icing to look like gravestones. Then you can insert these gravestone Oreos into the “dirt” to give your pudding cups a haunted graveyard feel.

Spooky Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is a great party staple. You can even leave the baked, cut out cookies in a tray with the icing and decorations out for your party guests to decorate themselves. Not only will this save you a lot of time prepping your party snacks, but decorating cookies is a fun party activity for your guests to enjoy!

Ingredients

halloween snacks

For the cookies you’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the icing you’ll need:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 to 8 tsps milk
  • 4 tsps corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Food dye
Method

To make the cookies:

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt
  2. Mix butter and sugar in a separate bowl
  3. Add both mixtures together and mix in the egg and milk
  4. Cut out your cookies into fun Halloween shapes!
  5. Bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes (until the cookies just barely begin to brown) at 350 degrees

If you want to watch a video on how to make easy sugar cookies, you can watch Alton Brown make his recipe on Food Network!

To make the icing:

  1. Put powdered sugar in a bowl
  2. Add milk, corn syrup, and vanilla
  3. Stir until smooth
  4. Divide the icing into different containers and add the food dyes you want

Now with icing bags or knives you can have a kitchen party decorating your Halloween cookies! Feel free to add other decorations besides icing too. You can add candies and sprinkles to finish off your Halloween figures with a flourish.

Other sugar cookie decorations you can have out:

  • Crumbled up Oreos
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups, cut in half
  • M&Ms
  • An assortment of sprinkles
  • Pull apart twizzlers
  • Candy corn

You can even have a cookie decorating contest with a table set up for serious cookie decorating contestants to do their work!

For some other Halloween dessert ideas, check out these awesome recipe websites below:

 

Halloween Drinks

Every good party host has to provide beverages of some kind. Otherwise, after eating all those savory appetizers and sugary sweets, your guests will die of thirst and haunt your house forever!

Below are some yummy beverage ideas for your party, but it’s also a good idea to always have some cold water available throughout the party too.

witch's brew

Cauldron Punch

Ingredients
  • A large bowl for the dry ice
  • A smaller bowl for the punch
  • Fruit punch
  • Ginger ale or 7-up
Method
  1. Make your punch by adding the fruit punch and soda in the smaller bowl
  2. Use gloves to set up the dry ice in the larger bowl
  3. Place the smaller punch bowl inside your larger dry ice cauldron
  4. When the party is ready, pour warm water on the dry ice to get the cauldron going
  5. *don’t let the punch and dry ice mix (hence the separate bowls)

If you’ve ever wondered how party pros get that misty cauldron effect on their punch bowls, wonder no more! Here is how they do it. Just remember to be safe with the dry ice! It is not remotely edible.

Ghostly Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa is a great beverage to have when a party is more intimate or calm. That way you won’t die of heat in a big crowd by drinking something hot. It’s also a great beverage to serve if your party includes activities in the chilly outdoors!

Ingredients
  • Hot cocoa mix
  • Your favorite creamers
  • Ingredients for making marshmallows
Method
  1. Make hot cocoa how you like it
  2. Make homemade marshmallows and shape them into ghosts
  3. Watch your ghost disappear in your warm hot cocoa!

To make your hot cocoa servings extra special you can drizzle fudge syrup on the inner walls of the mug. This way you get a deep chocolate flavor the more you drink!

If making homemade marshmallows seems like too much work, you can also top your hot chocolate with whipped cream, and draw spooky figures with chocolate syrup instead.

 

There are many ways to put on a Halloween party, and there are lots of choices to fill your food table. Your food choices will depend on the preferences of you and your guests, but hopefully this list can get you started!

And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.


READ MORE

There are endless websites with party food ideas you can pull from. Here are a few great recipe articles to get you started in your party food preparations:

Easy Halloween Party Food

17 Last-Minute Halloween Snacks That Will Save the Spooky Day

3 Easy Halloween Snacks


What is Business Communication?

communication in business

Knowing how you communicate helps you understand yourself and others better while making you a more effective and productive interactor in the world.

What is Business Communication?

Business communication refers to any communication that goes on within a professional setting. This includes presenting information in meetings, brainstorming in a team, or problem solving with your coworkers.

Why is Communication in Business Important?

Whether you are a large or small business owner, good communication is always good for business. Effective business communication can also help with employee engagement.

A survey was done with 400 different companies and 100,000 total employees, and they found that each company lost an average of $62.4 million in profits because of poor communication. That’s a lot of lost profits all because of bad communication. But these losses can be easily prevented by taking the time to learn about how you and those around you communicate.

Types of Business Communication

types of business communication
 

By understanding the different types of communication you can know better how to utilize the different communication forms to your advantage. There are 2 primary forms of communication, verbal and nonverbal. Verbal is going to include talking out loud to each other, whether in person, on the phone, or over a video call. Nonverbal includes body language and writing.

Verbal

Verbal communication is the standard face to face type of communication. It can also be communicating through things like conference calls or a phone call. Choose your words and tone of voice wisely and appropriately for the person and the situation. Don’t use terminology they won’t understand, and don’t overload them with lots of verbal information all at once. We tend to only remember the last parts of what we hear, so either make that the most important thing, or include note taking.

The trick to verbal communication is taking the other person’s perspective into account so that they will understand your words as you intend them. This is why reading articles like this one, to understand others better, is paramount to becoming an effective communicator.

Nonverbal

Body language is all about how you physically present yourself, and what others can observe or assume from your outer appearance and demeanor. Our facial expressions can also offer subtle cues to an observer of what we’re thinking or feeling. If you want to seem open and confident, don’t cross your arms over the front of your body, practice good back posture, make eye contact, and dress appropriately for how you wish to be received.

Technical Communication

One form of communication you may need to be familiar with in your job is technical communication.

Technical communication can be when you need to talk about technology or other specialized subjects in your field.

It can also be when you use technology, like slides, to communicate effectively.

And finally, technical communication can also be when you need to communicate instructions. Giving instructions comes with it’s own set of rules and guidelines so that you can be clear when offering a step by step process.

In many professional fields employers and employees alike will need to have a measure of skill utilizing technical communication in order to effectively share information in their area of expertise.

Communication Styles

communication styles
 

Many people have researched and studied the different styles of communication we all use. They have found differences in communication styles between genders, generations, and cultures.

Multiple researchers have attempted to categorize communication types into 4 or 5 main groups, but the truth is, communication is such a vast and complicated aspect of human interaction that truly defining it into a handful of categories is near impossible. For the sake of simplicity we will divide communication styles into 2 sections that can often overlap.

Logic-Based

People who base their communications in logic can get a bad rap from other people for being heartless or cold. But details and figures are just the way they best understand the world around them, just as an emotion-based communicator make sense of the world through their intuition. Logical communicators are a major asset to your business as they will keep your projects focused.

  • Focus on facts, numbers, data
  • They make their decisions based on figures rather than how they feel about the choices
  • They are great researchers
  • Detail oriented
  • They like the process of things and breaking large tasks into small ones
Emotion-Based

Emotional communicators like to rely on their intuition to make decisions. They make sense of the world around them through their instincts and emotions. Emotional communicators can be a great asset in connecting your business to your customers and creating the kind of environment that welcomes consumers and coworkers alike.

  • Rely on intuition, instinct, gut feelings
  • Focus on the big picture goal or main idea of what you want to accomplish
  • They are often creative and good at brainstorming
  • Social
  • They care about human connection and thus have strong interpersonal skills
  • They are often the diplomatic peacekeepers in their group
Passive

Passive communicators don’t communicate very well. They are the people who go with the flow. If you have a peacekeeper personality you might be guilty of being a passive communicator. They have trouble expressing themselves, or voicing their own opinions and feelings.

This kind of communication is a problem because it can lead to a build up in stress and it keeps you from offering your insights. It can also lead to misunderstandings in communication because others are forced to assume your thoughts or stance on things rather than hearing it from yourself.

The benefit of a passive communicator though, is that they are great listeners and can be great confidants and peacekeepers in the office.

Aggressive

Aggressive communicators are the opposite of passive communicators. They are on the other side of the spectrum, where they always say what’s on their mind. They are often described as demanding, authoritarian, and dominate and control the conversation.

The problem with aggressive communicators is they can be seen as rude, have a hard time listening or letting others get a word in edge-wise.

But the benefit of aggressive communicators is that they can make great leaders and get things done. They aren’t afraid to delegate.

Passive-Aggressive

Passive aggressive communicators are inwardly aggressive communicators, and outwardly passive. They have so much they want to say, but never do, whether out of fear or a lack of control. But their aggressive communicator side breaks free in subtle ways, but the communication is never completely clear or direct.

Assertive

The most ideal form of communication is assertive. When you are an assertive, you communicate openly without dominating the conversation too much. Assertive communicators have found the balance between passive and aggressive communicating.

They know when to listen, and when to speak up.
If you are interested in finding out what type of communication style you naturally favor, you can take this communication style quiz from glassdoor.

Business Communication Skills

skills and techniques
 

Now that you have a better understanding of the types and styles, we can move on to the techniques you can use to better your communication practices.

Don’t be afraid of silence

You can learn a lot from silence. Silence gives the other person in the conversation full opportunity to finish their thoughts, or add important details. This way you don’t miss any important contributions the other person might have.

Being comfortable with silence will also help people feel more comfortable and at ease conversing with you because it teaches you to be a less nervous conversationalist if you’re not worried about filling silence.

Ask questions

Learning to ask the right questions can be the key to really effective communication. Asking questions also shows you have personal interest in the topic or people a part of the conversation.

Stay current

Being learned will help you to have more meaningful conversations, and it will make you a more helpful asset in general in your workplace.

Manage your stress

Nothing leaves you more muddled in the head than when you’re stressed out. When you manage your stress properly, your mind will be clear, focused, and you’ll be better able to make decisions and think clearly.

Avoid filler words

Filler words are any words, phrases, or sounds that get used too often in speech. Many times filler words are subconsciously used to fill pauses in between thoughts. Becoming comfortable with silence will also help you with this communication technique.

Some examples of filler words include: um, like, uh, ah, ok, you know, yeah.

Learn and use people’s names

People really appreciate it when their names get used and remembered. By putting forth an effort to learn and use names you’ll make a friendly and amiable impression on anyone you meet. Showing that you can remember names also shows those around you that you have a good memory.

Use “I” statements

Using “I” statements instead of “you” statements is a great communication tactic. Using “you” in your speech can sometimes come off as demanding, or accusatory, which will cause others to clam up or get on the defensive when talking to you. So rephrase your speech to avoid using “you” too much so that you don’t come across as accusing.

For some other tips and tricks to communicating effectively, check out a business communication PDF:

Communication is a giant part of good business. At your job you’ll need to brainstorm, work in groups, and solve problems by communicating effectively with your coworkers, subordinates, and superiors.


READ MORE

If you need help finding a career first read, “How to Choose a Career.”

If you need even more tips for great communication read, “What is Communication?

Read a book all about technical communication, Technical Communication: a reader-centered approach

Check out this business communication book, Speak with No Fear


What is a Chaffle?

chaffle recipe

Cutting down on carbs, especially bread, can be one of the hardest parts of dieting. But easy recipes like the chaffle can make low-carb and keto diets so easy!

*SKIP TO THE RECIPE!

What is a Chaffle?

A chaffle is a keto waffle. It’s called a chaffle because one of its primary ingredients is shredded cheese, hence the CHAffle instead of Waffle, because chaffles are cheese waffles. Cute right?

Waffles are usually made of a flour-based batter, but a chaffle is flour free! Instead, chaffles are made of eggs and cheese. I know it sounds odd, but it actually works! And dieters everywhere are going crazy for this new low-carb waffle hack.

Chaffles are a great way for those on the keto diet to get their waffle fix. They’re also a great way to eat less carbs while still eating what you want! Even if it is a modified version. There are also endless combinations for what you can add to it and how you can dress up and use chaffles.

What You’ll Need

Chaffles are extremely simple and quick to make, but there are a few things you’ll need to gather from your kitchen, and if you don’t already have a waffle iron, you’ll need to get one.

Keto Chaffles Recipe

keto chaffle recipe
 

Here is the basic recipe for these keto, low-carb mini waffles. The serving size of this recipe is 2 chaffles.

Ingredients

1 large egg

1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese

Optional: (add 2 tablespoons of almond flour, baking powder, or coconut flour, to make it more like a batter)

Steps
  1. Whisk egg
  2. Mix in finely grated cheese
  3. Put the batter in a mini waffle maker for 2–3 minutes
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Chaffles

Just like ordinary waffles, these low-carb, keto-friendly waffles can come in sweet or savory form. You can make your chaffle sweet by adding any of the following ingredients into your mix:

  • Fruit
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pumpkin
  • Cream cheese

Savory Chaffles

You can also make your chaffle more savory by adding sharper kinds of cheeses. Chaffles work as a great low-carb replacement for sandwich bread. Here are a couple salty chaffle ideas for you to try:

  • Make a mini pizza
  • Use a sharper, cheddar cheese in your mix
  • Make a breakfast sandwich with eggs and bacon
  • Add bacon
  • Cream cheese

 
If you’re interested in this recipe, then you should also check out the following Facebook groups for more recipe ideas from your fellow chaffle-lovers:

Keto Chaffle House

Chaffle Recipes

Keto Chaffle Recipes (Low-Carb Chaffles Too)

There are many health benefits to eating the low-carb lifestyle, but there are monetary benefits too! Making chaffles is not only quick, it’s a super inexpensive meal as well. Learn more ways you can save on your food bill by reading our other article, “5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Food Bill,” and take advantage of our payday loans whenever you’re in a financial pinch and need groceries.

READ MORE
Check out even more yummy chaffle recipes!

Chaffles—The Viral Low-Carb Waffle Recipe Everyone is Loving!

Keto Chaffles Recipe (5 Ways!) + Ultimate Guide

Keto Chaffle Recipe

NEED QUICK CASH?

start your application

* Required Field

 

  • HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
  • Cashwise
  • RLS
  • Check City BBB Business Review
  • CFSA
  • UCLA

Apply Now Or Call 1-800-404-0254

Find A Location | Contact Us | Wireless Policy | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | © 2004-2019 Check City Online. All Rights Reserved.