The One-Year Plan for better credit:
1. Go to annualcreditreport.com and get a free report. Correct any errors.
2. Pay your bills on time. You must never be late even once. Set up automatic payments.
3. Work on getting your credit balances below 30 percent of your maximum credit limit.
4. Do not apply for new credit, but if you are offered an increase in credit limits on your existing accounts, take it. This can raise your score, but remember you still need a clean record of payments.
5. Do not make new credit charges.
6. If you have unused credit accounts, don’t close them if you are planning to apply for a mortgage. That can actually make your score drop.
7. During your credit improvement year, don’t buy a car. Lenders don’t want to see buyers committed to several new, large credit accounts. Never finance a car before you apply for a mortgage. Never take out new credit card accounts before you apply for a mortgage.
8. Use caution with store accounts that offer a hefty discount on purchases if you apply for a card. Although some stores say they do not make a hard credit inquiry, a new account on your credit report is probably not what you need if you are trying to improve your score.
However, if your credit history is thin, you might take out a store account, providing you make several payments on time and then pay off the balance.
The power of a little humility
If you want to become happier and more resilient against life’s many trials, there’s a simple (though not always easy) long-term formula: Be humble.
Humility is about understanding our own strengths and weaknesses and keeping things in perspective.
The psychologist Everett Worthington described it as “the quiet virtue” and breaks it down into three core elements: accurate self-perception, modest self-portrayal, and other-oriented relational stance.
But maybe C.S. Lewis described it best: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
In addition to general humility as a virtue, Worthington outlined sub-types like intellectual humility and cultural humility.
A truly humble person acknowledges and accepts their strengths and limitations without shame or judgment. Instead of using superficial measures like money or possessions to assess their own value, their sense of self-worth comes from within — a trait that helps them see the intrinsic value of others, too. Humility allows us to learn and grow and treat obstacles as opportunities.
Humility isn’t just a trait, it’s a practice. Explore your strengths and weaknesses, own your imperfections (and quit spending your life trying to hide them), recognize that you’re part of the big picture, and be open to learning.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
Moose hunting: 3 expert tips
Do you love moose hunting but don’t always get the results you want? Here are three expert tips to improve your chances of success.
1. Don’t always use the same calls. Do you have a set of calls you frequently use because you think they’ll get you the best outcome? You may be scaring off your targets. You must adapt to the hunting season, location and conditions. For example, in an area where moose communicate discreetly, a vigorous call may be too aggressive and invasive.
2. Don’t neglect your physical fitness. It can be frustrating to let a magnificent male go because you don’t think you have it in you to climb the mountain where you spotted him. To effectively track moose in the woods, a little pre-season training is essential to build your muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
3. Don’t lack discretion. If you don’t want to get spotted by a moose, don’t stand in bright, open spaces or wear clothes that smell like food. Additionally, drinking from a plastic water bottle that contracts with a crackling sound as you sip will eliminate the element of surprise.
When hunting, it’s crucial to be vigilant and pay attention to minor details.
Selecting the right configuration to future-proof your laptop
Selecting the right computer can be a difficult task. There are dozens of different models, but each model often comes in several different variations. No matter what laptop you buy, you’re likely spending hundreds of dollars, so you’ll want a computer that will last for years to come. Wondering how to future-proof your laptop? We got you covered.
First, there’s the processor. If you plan to buy a PC laptop, you’ll want a computer with a recent Intel i Series or AMD Ryzen processor. These processor lines offer enough power for most users. Sometimes you’ll see companies offering cheap laptops with mobile chips, but these basic computers often struggle even with simple tasks.
If you’re a fan of Apple and need a laptop for basic use, it’s hard to go wrong. All current generation Mac laptops offer at least 8GB of RAM, powerful “M” processors, and at least 256 GB of storage space. Right now, Apple’s in-house M CPUs rank among the most powerful processors around.
8GB RAM is enough for basic use, but 16GB is far more future-proof. And whether you use a PC or Apple laptop, if you’re going to edit photos and videos, you’ll want at least 16GB of RAM. Editing software uses a lot of RAM; if you only have 8GB, your computer may freeze up or crash.
Then there’s storage space. Most folks will need an SSD with at least 256GB of space. Some computers come with just 64GB or 128GB. If you’re storing video games, photos, or videos, you will use those gigabytes up very quickly.
Also, many budget laptops feature low-resolution 1366 x 768 screens. These displays look pixelated and can be hard on the eyes. You’ll want a Full HD (FHD) screen with at least 1920 x 1080. You could also get a UHD screen with 4K or 3.5K resolution. However, you’ll have to sacrifice battery life.
Return of the flip phone: Are they worth the premium?
For many years, foldable flip mobile phones were common. Then came the iPhone, and flat tablet-style phones have been all the rage ever since.
Flip phones offered some advantages, however. While folded up, they kept the screen protected and the footprint compact. Now, folding phones are making a bit of a comeback. But make no mistake, modern flip phones are far from retro.
The typical smartphone screen is manufactured from multiple layers of inflexible glass. You’d shatter the screen if you tried to fold such a phone. Early foldable phones got around the inflexibility of glass by using polymers or plastics. Plastic can be very flexible, but it’s also prone to scratches — say, from the keys in your pocket. Hence why, smartphones typically use glass screens.
In 2020, Samsung debuted the Galaxy Z Flip, which uses a very thin glass screen. Scientists figured out that the right types of glass could actually be bent and thus folded without shattering.
However, the glass layer must be very thin for this to work.
Further, old LCD screens use backlighting, meaning bulbs are behind the screen. These bulbs can’t be folded. However, many smartphones now use organic LED (OLED) screens, which aren’t backlit. Instead, the organic materials themselves light up once electricity passes through.
However, if you want a modern folding phone, expect to pay a premium. Folding phones typically cost at least a few hundred more than tablet phones with similar specs. That said, folding phones offer more screen space while still maintaining a smaller footprint. While folded up, the screen remains protected from coins, keys, and other hazards. So is a folding phone worth it? Ultimately, that’s up to the consumer, but these phones do offer considerable advantages.
How buying local affects the economy
Have you wondered how your choices affect the local economy as a consumer? Here are a few things that can happen when a small or medium-sized business in your neighborhood doubles its sales due to strong local support.
• Expand services. The more money a small business makes, the more likely it’ll expand its product and service offerings and delve into new markets. For instance, your favorite local brand may set its sights on opening a new location in a nearby town.
• Improve the job market. When small businesses grow, they require more employees. A prospering local business can help create jobs in your area.
• Uplift other local businesses. Small businesses often look to local suppliers to support their growth and help each other prosper.
• Increase social involvement. Local businesses are active in charitable causes. For example, thriving small businesses often give back to their communities by donating to local organizations.
• Reap tax benefits. Small businesses that make more money also pay more taxes. This means more money is going back into your local government to help with infrastructure and social initiatives.
Buying local is an easy way to invest in your community. It’s a simple move that benefits you as well.
October Celebrity Birthdays!
Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?
1 – Emerald Fennell, 37, director, actress (Call the Midwife), London, England, 1985.
2 – Kelly Ripa, 52, television host, Stratford, NJ, 1970.
3 – Alicia Vikander, 34, actress (The Danish Girl), Gothenburg, Sweden, 1988.
4 – Susan Sarandon, 76, actress (Dead Man Walking), born Susan Tomalin, New York, NY, 1946.
5 – Jesse Eisenberg, 39, actor (Batman v Superman), New York, NY, 1983.
6 -Stephanie Zimbalist, 66, actress (Remington Steele), Encino, CA, 1956.
7 – Vladimir Putin, 70, President of Russia, St Petersburg (then Lenningrad), Russia, 1952.
8 – Chevy Chase, 79, comedian, actor (Caddyshack), born Cornelius Crane, New York, NY, 1943.
9 – Bella Hadid, 26, model, born Isabella Khair Hadid, Los Angeles, CA, 1996.
10 – Ben Vereen, 76, actor (Sweet Charity), singer, dancer, Miami, FL, 1946.
11 – Cardi B, 30, rapper, television personality, born Belcalis Almanzar, the Bronx, NY, 1992.
12 – Kirk Cameron, 52, actor (Growing Pains), Panorama City, CA, 1970.
13 – Ashanti, 42, singer, actress (Coach Carter), born Ashanti Sequoiah Douglas, Long Island, NY, 1980.
14 – Usher, 44, singer, actor (Moesha), bornUsher Raymond IV at Chattanooga, TN, 1978.
15 – Tito Jackson, 69, singer, musician (Jackson 5), born Toriano Adaryll Jackson, Gary, IN, 1953.
16 – Barry Corbin, 82, actor (Northern Exposure), Dawson County, TX, 1940.
17 – Eminem, 50, musician, rapper, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, Kansas City, MO,1972.
18 – Freida Pinto, 38, actress (Slumdog Millionaire), Mumbai, India, 1984.
19 – Peter Max, 85, artist, designer, Berlin, Germany, 1937.
20 – John Krasinski, 43, actor (The Office), director (A Quiet Place), Boston, MA, 1979.
21 – Kim Kardashian, 42, television personality, Los Angeles, CA, 1980.
22 – Jesse Tyler Ferguson, 47, actor (Modern Family), Missoula, MT, 1975.
23 – Nancy Grace, 64, talk show host, Macon, GA, 1958.
24 – Drake, 36, singer, born Aubrey Drake Graham, Toronto, ON, Canada, 1986.
25 – Katy Perry, 38, singer, born Katheryn Hudson, Santa Barbara, CA, 1984.
26 – Ivan Reitman, 76, filmmaker (Dave, Ghostbusters), KomaÌrno, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), 1946.
27 – Matt Drudge, 56, journalist (The Drudge Report), Takoma Park, MD, 1966.
28 – Dennis Franz, 78, actor (Hill Street Blues), Maywood, IL, 1944.
29 – Winona Ryder, 51, actress (Stranger Things), born Winona Horowitz, Winona, MN, 1971.
30 – Kennedy McMann, 25, actress (Nancy Drew), Holland, MI, 1996.
31 – Letitia Wright, 28, actress (Black Panther), Georgetown, Guyana, 1993.