Gift Ideas For the Many Summer Events

Although the summer is the best time of the year, it is also the most expensive time of the year between Christmas. There are weddings, bridal showers, graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and other national holidays to celebrate. This means that you are not only forking out a lot of money for gifts, but you are also coming up with gift ideas that will be meaningful and thoughtful for the people receiving them. However, if you have all of these types of events to go to, you do not want to stress yourself out and ruin your summer with trying to come up with ideas. Here are just a few simple ideas that anyone would love to receive for their special day or holiday.

A beautiful flower bouquet is always a kind gesture for any occasion. If you need to go to a bridal shower, but have no idea what to get that bride to be, then get her a beautiful bouquet of flowers to brighten her home and her day. Flowers are also great gifts for Mom on Mother's Day, so think about sending her or handing her a beautiful arrangement of her favorite flowers to make her feel extra special.

If time is running short and you need a gift for the new happy couple at their wedding, then just giving some money will definitely please them. Money is a great gift because you do not really have to wrap it, and everyone loves receiving it. It's also a great gift idea for the new graduate. So, do not stress yourself out, and just go buy a card and fill it with money for one of the best gifts out there.

Personal Security in the Social Networking Environment

Social Networking has spread like wildfire, and many of these sites are still gathering hordes of new members every day.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Tagged, LinkedIn, YouTube and many others are an automatic must view every time many people sign on to the internet. How safe is your personal information on social networking sites?

Many of these 2.0 web destinations have a common theme, they encourage the sharing of information in one form or another with authorized followers. Granted a lot of the information people share is not harmful, though some can turn out to be very harmful, consider the following

  • The Lori Drew case, where Lori established a false online profile with the intent of bullying her daughters online rival. The rival ended up committing suicide. Lori is in prison. How many other cases like this are out there?
  • Some users make the bad guys job just too easy, by posting things like their social security number in their profile, or even when they register, these sites have no need for your social security number.

These examples are similar in that they are common mistakes.

  • Some things that get posted seem to be very innocent and not dangerous. A recent burglary was facilitated by a young woman who posted her plans to go out one evening on her social networking page. While she was gone thieves broke into her apartment and stop more than $ 10,000 worth of electronic and other equipment. Luckily they overlooked the CCTV equipment that recorded their actions, when the police released the video to the news media one of the young woman's followers recognized the thieves as other registered followers who she knew from high school. This particular incident turned out okay, just imagine though what could have happened if the young woman had come back to her apartment while the thieves were still there!

The above incidents point out some of the things you need to be careful about when interacting with social networks. Aside for authorized followers being able to access the info you post. Think about every way you interact, for example;

  • There are reports of hackers getting into social networking member files and finding information that can help the identify users.
  • A newer attack is the posted false false that attract followers, then the persons behind those profiles will solicit information from those followers.

So what are some of the steps you should take to stay safe on social networking sites?

  • Be careful of what information you provide on profile pages as well on your own page. Your age or birth date, your social security number, your location, your phone number, your email address, your job, your friends or family names, your photo, all could have been used to find information about your real identity.
  • Do not post information about your schedule schedule, your vacation schedule, even your work schedule, if a potential bad guy gets that kind of information, they will know when you are not home.
  • Never respond to invitations to share user names or passwords.
  • Be careful about exposing any personal information unless you know exactly who you are interacting with.

How Do Credit Card Companies Make Money?

Credit cards have gained much popularity in India over the last few years. Public sector banks as well as private banking institutions have come forward to launch a host of credit cards suiting customers with different types of needs. HDFC Credit Cards and SBI Card are the two companies with the largest market share. While banks are ready to offer you with a small loan in the form of credit cards, have you ever wondered how these banking institutions make money from these ventures?

The three main ways how card issuers make money is through the annual fee of the card, interest charged on late payment, penalties on skipping EMIs, etc. At the same time, they also earn from the businesses that accept these cards. Businesses are required to pay transaction fees to the banks which also makes up for significant earning of the card issuer banks.

But before we dig deeper into how they make money, let us first understand the term 'Credit Card Companies'. It is easy to get confused between credit card issuers and credit card networks. An issuer is the bank or financial institution from which you take the card. You are taking a loan from the card issuer and paying back to them. A credit card issuing company is usually a bank. On the other hand, credit card network refers to companies that process the transaction. Currently, there are three major networks in India- VISA, Master Card and RuPay. Apart from these, American Express and Discover cards can also be found.

So, when you make a transaction with your credit card, your money moves electronically from your bank through the network to the merchant's bank.

How do credit card companies make money?

As mentioned above, your bank makes money majorly from you and also from the merchants where you use the card issued by the bank to make the payment. Banks or financial institutions make money in the form of-

Fees

Banks charge different types of fees from their cardholders- some fees are to be paid by everyone whereas other types of fees are levied on condition. Let us talk about these fees and charges-

  • Annual Fees- You have to pay annual fees towards your credit card, especially when you are an elite cardholder and enjoy higher benefits than normal users. This is to be paid by all users. However, some banks may set a condition of spend based annual fee reversal scheme.
  • Cash Advance Fees- When you withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card, the bank charges a minimal fee for it which is normally correlated to the amount you withdrawal. This is also included in the card issuer's earnings.
  • Late Fees- Your card issuer charges fees from you if you delay your EMI payments. Banks make more money from late payers in the form of late fees.
  • Balance Transfer Fees- When you transfer outstanding balance from one card to another, the bank charges fees from you which again becomes its earnings.

Interest

The bank or financial institution has just gifted you a credit line. You have to pay the interest for the loan that is offered to you in the form of credit card. This interest cost adds to your expenses and is a method of earning for the banks. Interest on credit card is charged on daily basis for as long as the amount stands outstanding in your account. This is why experts always advise you to pay the total outstanding amount in full every month because interest will accrue on any amount that stands unpaid.

Let us understand this with the help of an example. Suppose the billing date is on 4th of every month and payment due date falls on 29th of every month. APR = 24%

  1. 10th March- Apparel Shopping- Rs. 5,000
  2. 13th March- Bill Payment- Rs. 2,000
  3. 19th March- Gadget Purchase (converted into 6 month EMI) – Rs. 12,000
  4. 22nd March- Dining Bill- Rs. 1,000

Now considering that the person does not have any outstanding amount from the previous bill, he will have to pay Rs. (5,000 + 1,000 + 2,000 +2000) = Rs. 10,000.

This will be the total amount due on 29th March. Now if the person chooses to pay only Rs. 6,000, the remaining Rs. 4,000 will accrue interest for each day until the amount is paid in full. Considering that the user again pays Rs. 2,000 on the 10th of April, let us see how interest cost works out-

Interest = (outstanding amount x 2 percent per month x 12 months) * (number of days) 365

In this case, the total interest charged would be Rs. 52.60 which is a total for Rs. 4,000 that lies outstanding for 11 days and Rs. 2,000 that lies outstanding for 18 days until the next payment. This is the reason why those who only pay minimum amount due tend to fall into debt soon sooner. Cardholders should also note that when an amount is outstanding in your statement, the new purchases that you make are not eligible for the interest free period. This is why interest charge is the easiest way how banks make money out of your credit card.

Interchange Fee from the Merchant

When you use your card at a merchant terminal, the merchant also pays a percentage of the amount to the bank as processing fees. This will also be added on to the bank's earnings. It usually ranges between 1 to 3 percent of the transaction value but may differ from merchant to merchant.

How to save yourself from paying too much to the bank?

Savvy customers plan their transactions and payments in a way that they have to pay the least amount to the bank. These are the habits you can adopt to cut your costs-

  • Pay your entire outstanding balance every month; just pay the minimum amount due is not a good practice.
  • Set alerts for your payment due dates to avoid missed payments which entail late fees.
  • Create an emergency fund to replace costlier options like cash advances from credit card.
  • Choose low annual fee or free credit cards and even if you select a card with high annual fee, make sure that the rewards are worth it.

Translation Services Metrics and Averages

When requesting a translation quote the result can be a total mindfield. Translation quotes can be quoted per word, per hour, per character, per page, rates differ from language to language and translation company to translation company, some companies use translation memories and within this we get differing metrics for matching and repetitions, some rates include revision by a third party, rates differ from subject matter to subject mater while some companies charge project management fees. The list goes on and on and can often leave the client in a very confusing predicament. However in this article we hope to clarify some of the issues of translation quotes especially in the area of translation metrics.

Requesting a quote

The standard measurement of translation cost is by word or translation rate per word. This has many advantages in that it`s easy to measure and suits most world languages with the exception of some of the Asian languages. A translation quote per page is very unreliable as the word count per page differs depending on size of page, font size, graphics etc… A translation quote per hour also tends to be unreliable as some translators tend to be faster than others and a metric based on words has to be established to plan the work anyway. Also, both quotes per page and per hour do not fit into the analytical reports of translation memory tools. Most reports are based on raw analysis and manipulation of word counts. If a translation quote is based on time there is a huge and unnecessary degree of trust placed on the sub-contractor. In some cases a translation quote will be based on the character count. This is a reliable method to quote on translations however, leads to more complications due to higher character counts and more complicated calculations. In some cases, especially in the case of Asian languages it is more logical to base the quote on the character counts due to the nature of some of the Asian languages.

So far so good, we have reached our first concrete decision, the measurement value of our translation quote will be in words or in the case of Asian languages, characters. We now have to request an itemized quote from the translation services companies based on the word counts. After doing this we notice that some documents are translated at a higher rate than others. A general rule of thumb is that specialized fields such as legal, medical and technical tend to be 20% more expensive than general and business fields.

How so, you may ask and the answer is that there are fewer suitably qualified translators for the subject matter which tends to drive translation prices up. Other factors that contribute to a higher translation rate per word are as follows:

· Unusual language combinations with few translators

· Language combinations where the pool of translators have high living costs

· Highly specialized subject matter

Great! so we can now compare the word count and the rate from translation agency to translation agency but we then start to notice that some translation agencies are offering lesser rates for previously translated text or repeated text, while the rate for untranslated text may be slightly higher. These translation agencies are offering Translation memory services which stores previously translated text. It may be a first job with the agency so there is no previously translated text however there may be what we call in the industry repeated text which only needs to be translated once. This type of text may be offered to the client at say 30% of the normal rate. Translation Memory systems complicate the translation process and require investment on the part of the agency but they ensure consistency and cut costs in the long run. This is why translation services companies offering these services often have higher rates but in the long term the investment in higher rates is worth it

Here is a summary of the key decisions we have to decide on when analyzing translation quotes:

1. Translation Quote measurement (Words)

2. Understanding differing word counts

3. Understanding translation rates and why

- Degree of difficulty and expertise

- Language combination

Hopefully this article helps you to facilitate the translation quote process. Remember to ask the translation agencies to provide their quote in the same format. Ask them for a quotation per word with each document/text itemized. This will ensure you get an easy to compare breakdown of rates and word counts which should help the decision process easier! Happy outsourcing!