Saturday, June 11, 2011

Top money market funds

If you are planning to invest your cash in the money market, know first how it works, how much you would earn and what the top money market funds have in store for you.

Money markets are network of banks, credit unions, institutional investors and money dealers who borrow and lend among themselves for a short-term. Money market funds have become popular as cash management tool because of its open-end features.  You earn income in the form of dividends usually on a monthly basis. You can easily get your money back within a short period.  Also, you can keep your money invested that will adjust to the markets while earning rising interest rates.

What you should know.

Be familiar with the different money market funds from the fund’s prospectus. Understand the terms and conditions in their prospectus well.  You may also get these information from the financial institutions. There might be added charges on top of the expense ratio. There are also fees charged to every withdrawal you make. Remember money market funds are investments. As such, it should yield the best from where you put your money.

Money market funds have a value of $1.00 each share. Aim for a money market that protects the full value of your investment at all times. It should earn a dollar for every dollar you invest.

Don’t be deceived by money market funds that are tax free, but give a lower yield for your investment. Some funds give higher yield, however you pay tax for what you gain. Be aware of this feature.

Check on the best rates on money market funds from online listings. There are sites that maintain up-to-date lists of these funds, more particularly considered as the top money market funds.

Be warned too that money market funds are not insured with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). There is a risk that you can no longer get back your money if these money markets go bankrupt. Always check the financial standing of the money market where you invested your money. Even before you make the investment, check their liquidity. It is one basic feature of money market funds, you can anytime get back your money.

You, as owner of the money, need to be your own investment chief.  Never assume that investing your money even to one which is considered as among the top money market funds. They are not always safe and risk-free.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to make friends at a new school

How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them (Dino Life Guides for Families)Getting enrolled at a new school is not easy.  Everything seems different.  You wouldn't know what to do, where everything is, and the least, finding your classroom.  Worse, you cannot avoid being ignored, stared at or ogled?  Making new friends is difficult.  It would take time before finding your new set of friends.  Here are some tips how to make new friends at a new school.

1.  Dress presentably on your first day.  Walk with confidence into your new school.  Keep that chin up, but keep a flashing smile on your face.  Wear your best body cologne, leave a trail of captivating scent behind you.

2. Don't forget to equip yourself with the things needed for the first meeting with your teacher.  You don't want to be humiliated, don't you?  Avoid getting shamed by a terror teacher.

3.  Make an impression, however be yourself.  Don't change who you are just to make an impression.  Be neat and check your breath.

4.  Be a Samaritan to someone.  Offer help.

5.  Don't be ashamed to start a conversation.  Initiate a talk on general topic about a favorite subject perhaps, new trend of learning, or some basic personal details.  But feel the pulse first of the type of person or groups of persons you introduced yourself to.

6.  Some schools already post their extra-curricular activities.  Participate an after-school activity that you have an interest in.  Meet the people that you have a common interest with. This is the fastest way how to make friends at a new school.

7.  Don't isolate yourself in a corner.  Be among the crowd and be friendly.            

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Most employable college degrees

It may be too early to decide what course the graduating high school students should take, but it is always an advantage to have a mind set.  To guide them in choosing, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chief Secretary Patricia Licuanan during the PIA press release conducted on May 31, 2011, advised would-be college students to take the hard to fill but otherwise most employable college degrees and avail of the scholarships that CHED is now offering.  She mentioned courses like mining, aeronautics, geology, and software engineering.  CHED is currently providing its Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) for these courses.  This program is open to bright Filipino students who got the highest score in the NCAE and must belong to the top ten of the graduating class.  Their parents' combined Annual Income Tax Return must also not to exceed P300,000.00.  More good news is that, scholars under this program can enroll in any government or private college/university Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).  Interested applicants are advised to visit CHED regional offices or go to the agency's official website at

Let us expand our information further.  A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in USA revealed the top ten areas of study from which to hire this year.

10.  Management Information Systems/Business Data Processing

The job involves different ways that technology can propel a business with an average starting salary of $47,407.

9.  Computer Engineering

Companies need people who know how to design and develop software and systems for a computer network. Employers, who on average, were offering a $55,920 starting salary in 2007, range from software engineering to telecommunications firms.

8.  Marketing/Marketing Management

Major in this field study to build a successful image or campaign for a business or product and can be employed by any number of companies in a variety of capacities.  Marketing graduates average a starting salary of $39,269.

7.  Information Sciences & Systems

Students majoring in this area learn the ins and outs of creating computer systems or a web site.  Information Sciences & Systems graduates were offered a starting salary of $49,966.

6.   Economics/Finance

With the state of the economy, who doesn't need an economist to put it all in perspective?  Finance and economics majors are expected to rank sixth on the hiring list.  When it comes to starting salaries, economics majors had a slight edge with an average of $47,782 and $46,442 for finance majors.

5.  Business Administration/Management

Majors in this area, who earned an average starting salary of $47,407, are trained to successfully lead a team and complete a business' plans and goals efficiently.

4.  Computer Science

Computer Science majors graduate knowing how to develop computer programs and how the machines work.  Their skills earned 2007 graduates an average salary of $53,051.

3.  Electrical Engineering

At an average starting salary of $55,333, electrical engineer majors are able to design and oversee the electrical aspects of everything from a car to the electrical wiring in a building.

2.   Mechanical Engineering

Majors in this field can become mechanical engineers where they design and manufacture mechanical devices like an elevator or a generator.  Their first salary out of college averages $54,057.

1.  Accounting

Take out your calculators.  Employers said they expect to hire accounting majors more than any other group from the class of 2008.  Accountants averaged a starting salary of $46,292 in 2007.

Keep checking the internet for any current listing of the most employable college degrees, but I doubt if there is a change of the above list within the next two years.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Help kids get up early for school

One of the hardest part when kids go back to school after the summer vacation is getting up early.  It would probably take awhile for moms to persuade their kids to wake up or if she has started preparing breakfast, to take her a number of times going back to his son's or daughter's room to make them to finally leave the bed.

So, as a mom, after months of extended sleep, how do we help kids get up early for school?  How do we get them used to waking up early without creating "civil war" inside the household every morning?

Here are five ideas to help your kids get ready for school.

1.  Plan ahead.

At least a week before the school schedule begins, start preparing your kids to getting up early.  We, parents sometimes tend to dilly-dally and postpone the practice of leaving bed early for school, until it has become too late.  Plan with your kids; let them have also that responsibility to start earlier wake up time. Explain to them that sleep is likewise important as food. Studies reveal that lack of sleep can hinder physical and mental health.  Common effects are physical pain, depression, and anxiety.  It also affects school performance, inability to pay attention in class lectures. Help the kids to understand that getting enough sleep is only to help them feel good while at school.      

2.  Set bedtime.

In order for kids to go back to sleep on time, have dinner at a set time and most importantly, limit the time for TV, computers and video games.  Expect complaints from them when there is control in the use of computer and cell phones.  Once again, talk about responsibilities.  Parenting tips suggest telling kids that having cell phones, PSP or any handheld games, and any other gadget is a privilege.  But if they keep on using them even after bedtime, it means they can't manage it.  To help them, you have to take the gadget/s away from your kid if he or she can't follow the plan.    

3.  Routine check.

Set alarm clocks during that one week of helping your kids get used to earlier wake up time for school.  Let them retire to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier as well.  Set an hour earlier than their usual wake up time. Start your wind down routine day after day until they have gone back to their usual sleeping and waking time for school.

4.  A little motivation helps.

Motivate your kids to follow certain sleep schedule.  Tell them a reward of their choice is at stake if they stick to the plan.

5.  Avoid morning rush.

If there is something that can be done the night before to give way for extra time in the morning, do it.  For instance, prepare the school uniform at night in order to free you the hassle of ironing it in the morning.  Check for some neat socks and clean the shoes.  Are all school supplies needed the following morning inside the bag?  Freeing 10 or 15 minutes the least for morning work can help avoid the rush.

Simple and cheap way to cover books

School time is just around the corner.  I bet your children have been demanding to start buying book requirements and some school supplies.  It is a general feeling among kids to get excited every start of the school year.  They are looking forward to making new friends, renewing ties with old pals, having new notebooks, pens, among others and of course, books.  When buying books, you may want to make certain that they don't get damaged.  One thing to maintain the quality of the book is to cover it.  But, covering may become expensive particularly to those that are commercially produced.  Crafting your own book covers using materials within your household is an easy solution, such as glossy cover of old magazines, brown paper grocery bags, shopping paper bags, unused gift wrapping papers (who cares!), and many more.  These are simple and cheap way to cover books.  Here's how to do it.

1.  For instance, you want to use a piece of wide shopping paper bag, cut down the middle and then cut out the bottom.  This will make the bag into a flat sheet.

2.  Place the book (opened from the center), onto the flat sheet.  Use a pencil and trace around the book.

3.  Remove the book.  Using a ruler, add and mark 4 inches on each side (left and right) of the paper sheet.  Cut out the form, using a pair of sharp scissors.

4.  Place the book back to the paper form.  Adjust the book and make sure there are 4 inches extra on each its left and right sides.

5.  Fold the extra paper over the right cover of the book.  Get a transparent tape and seal the top and bottom edges to fix the paper in place.  Do the same on the left side.

Now you know how to do a simple and cheap way to cover books.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Website for kids to chat

If TV had been considered bad for kids because they get to watch violent and sexual images, what about computers?  Are they a threat as well?

Undoubtedly, computers are rich source of learning for kids.  It also offers unending supply of entertainment for them such as video games. We are now in an era where computers and electronics have become normal part of life. Children witness how their parents use computers for surfing the net, doing work-related stuff, or enjoying the “in” thing now – chatting. Kids want to do the same. If so, parents want to know how safe and appropriate is a website for kids to chat

Below are some websites that are considerably harmless.

 The chat rooms at are checked by adults in actual time. Foul language is deleted from all chats. Parents as well can monitor their kid’s visits and to determine which chat level is fitting to their child’s age.  This site is suitable for kids ages 5 and up. It has several chat rooms to choose from that focus on environment as the main theme.

Chatting at is supervised by adults. Chat opens from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. This site provides kids with readings about games, school, health and entertainment. It promotes interaction among kids by encouraging them to comment on articles and to contribute artistic thoughts. This site is famous among the teens.

A website for kids to chat with their friends and like kids should be constantly monitored for content and appropriate talk and conduct. is the site that parents should promote among their peers.  The chat rooms are aimed to children aging 8 to 12. Registration to this site is necessary and the collected fee (nominal of $3.95 per month) is used to pay adult monitors. is another website that connects kids of all ages to chat.  It has trivia contests that promote kids helping among themselves in doing homework, school, games and much more.  It has a number of moderators that monitor chats of children.

There are more websites:  Chibi Chat where kids can listen to music while they chat with friends; WB Kids (Wacky Bunch Kids) which is an amusing site that features chat, fun and games for kids of all ages; filters and blocks offensive chatters.

However safe a website for kids to chat may be, parents should keep in mind that chat rooms may pose a risk to their kids of becoming victims to online predators.  Parents can help in protecting their kids by being aware of the dangers and to get involved in their kids’ internet activities.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A mother's love to her son

Being a mother is not a joke, not to be regarded lightly and should be taken seriously.  When our children are still young, we try to teach them the values that we learn from our parents and from others that we feel would make our children a better person. We discipline them because we love them so much. This kind of love remains in a mother's mind that we forget our children too get old and most of the time get tired listening to a mother trying to discipline them.

I'm sure you agree, we can't avoid getting hurt being told by our children that they are not anymore kids, and tell us to "shut up, Mom, am old enough to take care of myself." What would you normally do? Keep silent then and turn your back?  Let them say the last words? Lock yourself in the bedroom and cry silently?  Or, would you insist on being the mother? You raise your voice more and bombard your child with angry words, a way of disciplining.  Rather, would you calm down, talk to your child in a motherly way, settle the issue and say sorry to each other?

Ah, mother's love indeed.

Someday, son, you will realize why I say things to you this way...

It's because I love you.

Sometimes I can't help but worry too much because you are not here with me.

I am sorry I need to be away.

I know you'll be okay, you've grown to be a man.

A mother's love raised you well.