How To Get the Fire Burning In Your Relationship Again

If we don’t take deliberate action, our lives usually evolve into predictable routines. While predictability is good for stability, it is not good for ensuring that the spark in your relationship keeps glowing. 
If you are currently feeling strains in your relationship, you need to shake things up as fast as possible. Here are some ways to go about it.

Make Surprise the New Normal

Surprising your partner isn’t as hard as you think. People appreciate the small things in life as long as they know that they are coming from a place of love. Your partner knowing that you were thinking of them during the day can totally change the mood of your whole relationship.
Surprises can take the form of flirtatious texts, flowers, dinner, tickets to an event, a cool dress or tie, or anything that communicates to your partner that you love and care for them.

Learn How to Manage Stress

Almost everyone feels some form of stress on a daily basis. While a relationship is a partnership, one needs to appreciate that the partnership consists of two different people. The success of the relationship, therefore, depends on what each one of you brings to the table.
You cannot bring your best to the table when you are stressed out of your mind. As far as your relationship is concerned, look out for the following symptoms of stress:
  • You become easily irritated and start getting into unwarranted arguments
  • You start to have an unhealthy view of relationships in general
  • Your ability to communicate your feelings reduces as you can’t focus
  • You spend inordinate amounts of time distracting yourself with TV or social media
If you think your stress levels are unhealthy, you can talk with your partner about the situation so you start working yourself out of the rut. As with all things, being honest will get your further than you think. If your partner is the one who is stressed, encourage them to relax and give them the support they need to work through the problems they are facing.
Ultimately, you need to communicate to one another that you are still highly committed to one another and that this is a phase that will soon pass.

Remember Why You’re Together

One of the most important things couples can ask each other, and continue to ask throughout a relationship is what makes them compatible.
This question gets at the core of why you’re together in the first place. Think about this for awhile before you bring it up, and make sure you have some good things to say about the relationship or actionable steps to take it to the next level. 
Thinking about why you’re together will remind you why you’re together. Those feelings can come rushing back, and you’ll be stronger for considering them.

Sometimes All You Need Is an Escape

A change of scenery can do a lot to relieve most of the strains you are currently feeling. Traveling to an exotic destination gives you something akin to a fresh start. You also get to escape the physical reminders of the state your relationship is in at the moment.
Travel to a destination that will allow you to engage in a lot of fun activities with your partner. The more active you can be the better. One idea is heading to the Caribbean to get a bit of adventure and beach activities. Staying at an all-inclusive resort will also free you from tedious vacation plans as most of what you need will be included.
Just keep in mind that there are different kinds of all-inclusives. You want to go to one that is set up for couples, not a family all-inclusive. There’s a huge difference between the two. One is for romance, the other is for family bonding. 

Recommit to Romance

It is easier to act your way into feeling a certain way than to feel your way into acting a certain way. It’s a confusing sentence, but read it again, and let the message sink in.
In the same vein, when you constantly engage in romantic activities with your partner, your relationship will become even more romantic and the love you share with your partner will grow even stronger.
The easiest way to change the routine you’ve been in is to start initiating touch again. Touch is very powerful in a relationship. You don’t want to be so comfortable in your relationship that you start living as roommates. Besides love, the one thing that polishes a relationship and makes it shine is romance.
Studies have revealed that couples tend to reduce the amount of touching they engage in as their relationship matures. This is not the right way to go about it. Touching frequently and passionately increases the level of attraction you have for your partner, increases libido, and makes your body release feel-good endorphins that can strengthen the feelings of love you have for your partner. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Asking for help is probably one of the hardest things to do yet it might be one of the most important things you’ll ever do. We like to fancy ourselves independent but all of us need some shoulder to lean on from time to time.
While your partner may always be there for you, they cannot meet all your emotional needs. The same is true the other way round you cannot meet all your partner’s emotional needs.
Sharing your problems with other people besides your partner such as close friends, family members or a therapist will go a long way in helping you cope with the strains in your relationship.

Preparing To End a Financial Year Successfully

Year-End is a descriptive analysis of a company or a business performance for the period of 12 months.  It is a vital report as it is a statutory requirement. Banks, lenders, and potential investors take a keen interest in such analysis.

As an entrepreneur, business owner, or company executive, a financial year statement will advise you on how the business is doing in a nutshell. A thorough revision of the same enables you to make informed decisions about the firm, review business performance and come up with plans.

Here are some preparatory steps to take ahead of time in checking that your accounts are in order.

Come Up With a Countdown

Since this takes place alongside the regular daily duties, it may pose a significant challenge to as the workload intensifies. Bring your team on board and break down the activities. Let everyone know what is expected of them and their participation level. Communicate by when each assignment should be complete, and the encourage them to collect purchase orders and invoices, file and go slow on expenses. If there is any potential client out there, this is a perfect time to seal the deal.

Update Your Accounts and Employee Details

Ensure all figures of the financial reports are entered and correct. They should tally with the bills, bank statements, and invoices among others statements. Unpaid invoices should be well labeled as outstanding debtors with a clear summary of the amount, invoice date, and number. Do not wait until the last minute. In case some invoices are unlikely to be paid, attach a note with some explanation.

Bring the employees to speed and highlight the importance of attaching the valid documents like receipts to expense forms. If there are any pending employee details, get them in and up to date.

Some team members may have joined the business along the way and have not handed in some crucial details, see to it the details are up-to-date. Ensure calculations on expenses and payrolls are accurate as the business is liable for the tax and National Insurance deductions that are not correct.

House Keeping and Back up Data

All files should be in order and stored well in a sequence that is easy to find. This applies to both hard and soft copies. Having the records in order will help you tell if there is anything amiss and correct it in time. It also makes it easy for other concerned stakeholders to get any information of interest easily.

With software like Sage Accounts, you can tell if there is a problem as they have data checking routines that report any errors. Backup all data upon confirmation that there are no mistakes.

Review and Analysis

The approaching end of a financial year is usually an excellent time to do some introspection and examine operations. Analyze various functions of the company and the value they add to the business. Tough decisions may have to be made at this time. Some contracts end and if you are planning to source for new stakeholders, start sourcing as you approach the end of the year.

Since it is a time to evaluate meaningful business relationships and their value to the company, expand the scope of the search and check other ways to get bargains. Are there other benefits that an insurance service provider may add?

Some insurance products may be favorable as opposed to others as they come with additional benefits. For example, check how term life insurance compared with whole life insurance may be of benefit to employees. In some cases, the premium is high due to factors like age, prevailing conditions, and others. Talk to the concerned individuals and see if they can top up.

How to Become a CFA

calculator-820330_640If you wish to seek an edge in the world of finance, you can increasingly consider this credential: the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. This designation is consider a high standard in the investment management field and to those who do have the credentials are expected to have good knowledge of the investment industry.

It’s not an easy feat to obtain these qualifications – the self-study program takes a few years to complete and candidates should pass three exams, and abide a strict code of ethics and conduct.




There are steps you can do to become a CFA, as well as knowing the necessary steps to plan, study and pass the CFA exam on the first attempt. However, this will not show you how to enter the CFA program, rather it will be on why you want to and whether it’s worth it or not for you.

  1. Identify the benefits of the CFA program. When you enter the CFA program, you will need to be a member and pay annual fees. Ask these questions to yourself:

– What would I gain as a member?

– Would the CFA title help my personal and professional growth?

-Aside from gaining a ticket to the CFA exam, would it help me to network and develop my skills a a financial professional?

  1. Compare CFA designation with other qualifications. You will need to spend time researching on other relevant qualifications as well, to see if the CFA is the one you should go for. There are several options available that are close enough in terms of the industry coverage and recognition but keep in mind that there isn’t one that is an exact match to the CFA.
  1. Fulfill the requirements. The bar is set quite low – meaning that anyone who either studied or worked for four years after high school can take the exam. In order to take the first level exam, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent such as 4 years investment or even non-investment related experience. Part-time jobs cannot be included.
  1. Sign up for the CFA study program. If you still want to push through and continue on, then go ahead and register, plan and study for the exam. Be mindful of the deadlines. Choose the best study material suited for you. It is important that you plan ahead so that you will not run out of time to study or miss out on the deadlines.
  1. Create a study plan. You will need to go over the format and curriculum to have an effective and a good study plan. Topics are organized into study sessions, with assigned readings, learning outcome statements and problem sets that are broken down into 3 levels. These three levels of exams will test the knowledge you have gained from the study sessions.
  1. Prepare for the exams. There are several comprehensive reading materials readily available for you. Most candidates do get supplements to improve on their studying techniques or even focus on their weak areas. You just have to find out your niche.

Once you pass Level lll, you will need to get four years experience before you can obtain the charter. The exams is just the beginning of the CFA process but you can gain the experience you need before, during or after the exams. Upon completion of Level lll and the four years relevant experience, you will then be invited to be a CFA charter holder. To maintain the charter holder status, you are required to get a Continuing professional education (CPE). The process may sound complicated but once you take the first step, it is very much achievable with enough perseverance.

Paying Yourself First

“Pay yourself first”

It is a phrase many of us have heard when it comes to managing our money and investing.  I often post on Quora and see people ask, “What should I invest in?” or “What does it mean to invest in myself?”  These are great questions, as many young people especially do not have the right answer.

Ways you can pay yourself first…

Contribute to an employer 401k and get the full company match. This has a two-fold purpose.  Firstly, you are never seeing the money that is taken out so you will not miss it.  Secondly, your employer match is FREE money and the easiest way to boost your return.

Establish a Roth IRA.  Most individuals are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA.  If you are unsure, go to Roth IRA and see if you meet the criteria.  Even a small amount of $100 a month automatically withdrawn from your checking account is a great way to add an additional retirement vehicle for the future.

Read Books.  Lately I have been ordering books on Kindle like a mad man.  Many of the books I read are financial related and leverage others’ experiences.  The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley is one I highly recommend.  Austin Netzley’s Make Money, Live Wealthy is another great book that offers wonderful insight into his personal journey of wealth creation.  Austin does a great job of connecting with successful entrepreneurs and innovators throughout his book and illustrates their journey to success.

Your Health.  Investing in yourself isn’t just about money; it is also about being able to enjoy the life you live so that one day you can reap the rewards of all the hard work you have put in.  Start exercising if you don’t already.  They key is starting small.  Do the elliptical for 15 minutes 3 days a week.  Then bump it up to four.  Replace a candy bar with a piece of fruit.  You get the picture.  Investing in your health should be the first one listed in this post, but like many of us it often times is the last thing we think about.

There are many other ways that you can pay yourself first.  Vacations, nice meals out, etc.  When it comes to your finances and personal development, YOU are in control.  Don’t just talk about these things, put them into action and set yourself up for greater success.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise