Affording Family Fun Times: Budgeting For A Trip To Disneyland

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Parents often have great ideas about the activities and items they would like to get for their kids. Unfortunately, money is often the thing that stands in their way. That is why it’s important to be as sensible with your families finances as possible, then anything you save can go towards booking that trip to Disneyland and having some serious fun time with the family.

Deal with your debt

Dealing with any debt you have is vital in your quest to raise the funds for Disneyland. The reason for this is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense saving up all your cash to spend it on a fun trip if you are struggling to pay off debts that you already have.

OK, so this is probably not what you wanted to hear, and yes, fun is important. However, paying your bills and having a good quality of life is more important than anything else, so get this sorted first.

With this in mind, it can be very useful to sit down and look at your options with regard to the debt you have. When you do this remember to consider the best debt consolidation companies, as well as speaking directly to your lender’s to see if you can work out a more reasonable repayment scheme.

It can also be helpful to identify which of your debts is costing you the most in interest and eliminate this one first. Then, once this is paid, you will have more money left to save up for your dream trip to Disney.
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Pack those lunches

You can also save a considerable amount of money by making packed lunches for everyone in the family to take to work and school. The argument in favor of this is that buying readymade or hot lunches is pretty expensive. Something that if you multiply this by the number of people in your family can add up to quite a lot of money that could be put to better use in your Disney fund.

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Instead, make a list of the lunches you will create for each day and take it when you go your weekly grocery shopping. Then you can make the next day’s lunch each evening, or if you are super organized prep an entire weeks lunches like this.

Coupon to save

Most people are aware that they can save money when couponing, but can you really save enough to fund a trip to Disneyland? Well, actually you can if you choose to be really committed to the process.

This means clipping coupons from magazine inserts, and getting them online, as well as planning your grocery shops around the items that are on offer each week.

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However, once you have been doing it for, a while you can really build up a stockpile of items that have cost you very little or were completely free. Something that you can use instead of buying items in your weekly shop that will free up a significant amount of money for your Disney trip fund each week.

 

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Shocking Ways You’re Wasting Money (That You’re Not Even Aware Of!)

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Wasting money is something that it a pretty crazy thing to do. After all, you work hard for the amount you have and swap your time and effort for it. That means by wasting it you are really throwing those things away. Sadly, there are lots of ways you may be wasting money, some of which you might not even be aware of. Read on to discover what they are.

Food waste

Food waste might just be costing you a fortune without you realizing it. The reason for this is that folks tend to shop for a week at a time, then at the end of that week throw away any items they haven’t got around to using, or that are past their sell-by date.

However, this food is usually still edible as you can find out at eatbydate.com and is only being put in the trash to make room for the ingredients for a new set of meal plans. This is crazy if you think about it, because you are throwing away edible food to make room for different edible food! Something that will result in unnecessary costs.

Unused food can waste a lot of money.

Instead, why not use sites like supercook.com that show you what to cook with what you have, or at least use all those leftover veggies up at the end of the week to make a soup that you can keep in the freezer. Then you will be saving on food waste and the cost of lunches for the week coming up.

Paying high-interest rates

Most people apply to take out a loan at one time or another, but did you know that the decision on whether you get this is usually based on your credit score? If you have a low credit score, you are less likely to get a loan, and if you are awarded it, you will usually be asked to pay a higher rate of interest because you are regarded as a greater risk to the lender.

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That means low credit scores equal high-interest rates, something that translates into you making bigger payments and paying less of the original loan off. That is why it’s vital that you deal with your credit score by visiting sites like repair.credit and using the advice on credit repair, you find there. Then you won’t be wasting money that you can’t afford, just because your credit score is low.

Not canceling subscriptions

Subscriptions are big business these days. You can get boxes of makeup delivered, or crates with collectibles in. You can even stream film and TV shows via service like the ones mentioned at digitaltrends.com by paying a monthly subscription charge.

Unfortunately, the thing with subscriptions is that you pay for them whether you actually use them or not. It’s why they make such a great business model for the people ruining them.

However, it’s not such a great model for the customer, especially if they have signed up for more than one because they are paying for services that aren’t  being used. That is why it’s vital to cancel any subscriptions you have not use for the last month. Otherwise, they are just a massive waste of money.

 

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How to Save Money and Make Your Own Humidifier

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As a parent, it’s always helpful to find ways that you can save money and cut back on household costs and expenses. Now that we are in cold and flu season, you may be finding that the family is under the weather a lot more than normal. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a fabulous way to help ease the symptoms of the common cold without having to spend much money, and that’s to make your own humidifier that you can use in the house.

If you’ve never used a humidifier before, it may be time to give it a go. Humidifiers are said to possibly help stop the spreading of flu germs. They let you breathe easier when you’re congested from a cold, and a heated mist provides comfort when you’re not feeling your best.

The Ultimate Ultrasonic Humidifier

For a mere $10, you will be able to make this ultimate ultrasonic humidifier at home. And perhaps even better is the fact that this is such an easy project that you don’t even need any DIY skills to tackle it. This particular humidifier is a smaller unit, so if you plan on using it in a large room, you may need two of them.

The items you’ll need to put this humidifier together are a plastic bottle, waterproof heavy-duty tape, a DC connector, a computer fan, and an ultrasonic mister. Detailed instructions can be found on the DIY humidifier webpage on the DIY Experience website.

The Evaporative Sponge Humidifier

Another relatively easy DIY project is the evaporative sponge humidifier. While the steps themselves are relatively simple, this one will be more time-consuming than the ultrasonic humidifier. This project requires four bolts and nuts, a Tupperware container, four large sized sponges, a small computer fan, and an automatic pet water bowl.

To find detailed instructions on how to put this one together, you can click here. Again, if you’re looking to use it in a large space, you may find you need more than one of these.

The Homespun Humidifier – Create a Humidifier in Mere Minutes

If you don’t want to put a lot of time and energy into the project and you’re just looking for a quick fix, the homespun humidifier is the way to go. This particular project has been around for ages, so you may have already heard of it. All you need is a hairpin, a small-sized hand towel, a medium-sized bowl, and a metal coat hanger.

All you have to do is fill the bowl with hot water until it’s about 3/4 full. Next, bend the bottom of the metal hanger so that it fits tightly around the bowl’s edges and is also able to stand up on its own. Now you want to drape the towel from the top of the hanger, with the bottom sitting in the water. What happens now is that the water is “wicked” into the air straight from the towel.

Get Through the Season with Ease

Thanks to these humidifiers you’ll be able to get through the cold and flu season with ease.

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How to Get That Perfect Wedding Band and Engagement Ring Match

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Wedding Rings

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If you are looking for a wedding band to go perfectly with your engagement ring, there are a few things you should know. The first rule is that there are no rules! Of course, there are some popular choices to look at but essentially, the perfect match is the one you’re happy with. There is no right or wrong choice here, only the one you are completely satisfied with. The second rule is that “perfect” is relative only to the person making the choice. If you like what you choose, go for it by all means.

That said, even if there are no rules to creating a perfect match between the engagement ring and the wedding band, there are some guidelines to help you find the choice you’ll be happy with. Here are some of them.

Find the Right Setting

You might find a collection of piercing green emeralds shaped like your favorite animal impressive, but you have to make sure your wedding band is timeless. After all, you are going to be wearing it for the rest of your life. So instead of going for something you might find fun now, go for something you are sure to like in ten, twenty or fifty years.

If you plan on wearing these rings on the same hand, next to each other, you might want to find a setting that matches your engagement ring. A lot of women wear both rings on their left hand, while some wear the engagement ring on the right hand instead. However you plan on wearing them, make sure it reflects in your choice.

Match the Metals

Wearing two different types of metal can be a bit off, even if you choose to wear the rings on separate hands. Therefore, the general rule of the thumb is to pick matching metals for the engagement and the wedding ring. However, if your engagement ring is a mix of white and yellow gold, you have more options to choose from and great ways to make a perfect match. You can choose a similar, two-toned wedding band or one made from one of these metals to create an impressive contrast.

Coordinate the Shapes

If you are going to wear the rings on the same hand you should consider the shape of the wedding band. It has to fit nicely next to the engagement ring, but not appear conjoined either. You should have no problem matching a straight-band engagement ring to any wedding band. However, large prong rings can be a bit tricky to pair.

The shape of the stone is another factor to consider. You should try to match the shape of the gemstones in the wedding ring to the diamond or any central gemstone on your engagement ring. Therefore, pick rounded stones for a cushion or oval cut and square gems for a Princess or other square cuts.

Match the Gemstones

Matching the gemstones can also help create a perfect pairing. Pick a simple wedding band for a traditional solitaire engagement ring. But if your idea of a perfect match involves a band with gemstones, go for it by all means.

If you’re looking for a perfect pair for your engagement ring visit Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry at

27 E State St, Redlands, CA 92373, USA
909-798-5888

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5 Ways to Keep Your Car Safe in Order to Protect Your Young Family

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It is natural for parents to worry about keeping their family safe. If you are one of these parents, this is a sign that you are doing a great job. Worrying about your family is no bad thing. However, it is important that you are also looking for suitable solutions. The best approach is to separate all of your concerns into different categories and then tackle them systematically. For instance, you may be concerned about whether or not your vehicle is a suitable environment for your loved ones. If this is the case, you will need to keep reading. Below are five ways to keep your car safe to protect your young family.

Invest in clever storage solutions

Make sure that there is a place for everything in your car. When you are driving on a busy road, the last thing that you want is for your child to grab something they shouldn’t. Lots of small objects lying around could be a choking hazard. That is why you need to invest in clever storage solutions. This will give you complete control over what your family members have access to. It will also ensure that you know where to look in an emergency situation.

Prepare a medical kit

Make sure that you have a medical kit in your vehicle. This is the best way to ensure you are prepared for an emergency situation. It could even be the thing that saves your child’s life. For instance, if your little one seriously struggles with asthma, you may need to find their spare inhaler quickly. If you have a medical kit, you will always know where to look. You should also remember to tell your whole family where the kit is being kept, as if you are driving you will need somebody else to grab it.

Choose the right baby seat

If you have really little ones traveling in your car, you will need to choose the right baby seat. When you do this, you need to take the model of your car into consideration. You should opt for a seat that is easy to use and completely reliable. Remember to read up on the safety guidelines for traveling with young children. This is especially important if you have airbags in your vehicle.

Take care of your vehicle

To keep your vehicle safe, you will need to invest in taking good care of it. Make sure that you only trust the experts. For instance, if you drive a BMW, you are only going to get the best level of service if you reach out to a BMW mechanic. If you are trusting a vehicle with the safety of your young family, it is vital that you don’t leave anything to chance.

Make it clear that you are driving with a young family

You need to make it clear that you are driving with a young family. A ‘baby on board sign’ is a great way to encourage other drivers to be more careful. It is also essential in emergencies. If the worst should happen, and you do get into a car accident, it is vital that the emergency services know to look for a small child.

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Top 7 SEO tools for your website in 2017

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There are many great tools out there to help increase your website traffic and advance your ranking on Google. While there are many new tools being created often, there are some that stand out as the best SEO for websites. A great deal of research has been conducted by industry experts on what tools are the best to use if you want to get authentic results. This article will introduce the top 7 SEO tools that we have found in 2017. It is important to note that while this article will give a brief overview of the tools we have chosen to feature, you should continue to do your own additional research before arriving at a decision on what is best to use for your particular website.

  1. Moz. This is a fantastic tool without many glaring weaknesses as reported by industry professionals in a recent article on PCmag.com. What makes this application great is that it offers a plug-in toolbar as well as page optimization recommendations. While this is a great tool that is receiving wonderful reviews, it can be a challenge to use for those who are new to this type of work. Also keep in mind that it will set you back at least $80 per month.
  2. Ahrefs. This application provides specific site web-crawling capabilities as well as great keyword search functionality. It is important to note that Ahref provides conservative SEO reporting and is typically used for only the most common SEO needs. You can expect to pay $82 a month for the lite version and even more if you want advanced features.
  3. SEMrush. This application offers backlink tracking, a keyword research tool, and provides keyword recommendations as well as SEO tips. While this program is wonderful, it is important to note that many of its parts are still in beta format. Perhaps that is why it is fairly cheap to use at only $69.95 per month.
  4. Scrapebox. For under $100 you can access what is being called the “Swiss Army Knife of SEO” by customers and developers alike. The easy functionality of the interface along with the plethora of information provided such as but not limited to link checkers, keyword search options, keyword creation options, and a proxy harvester.
  5. Pro Rank Tracker. With a variety of plans that can be suitable for any budget, this tool is one that is trusted by thousands of people in the industry. They boast that they are the most comprehensive when it comes to rank tracking and suggesting keywords. They believe in their product so much that they want you to try it for free. No credit card required!
  6. Serped.net. This all-in-one SEO package is only open to those who sign up for it. There are dozens of tools to track your ranking, research keywords, and backlinks. In order to learn more, you simply need to submit your email address and you will be well on your way to advanced SEO for your website.
  7. KWFinder. The most noticeable thing about this program is that it is dirt cheap to use. At only $12 per month, you can try KWFinder without having to worry about going into the red. When using KWFinder, you can expect a solid keyword search as well as suggestions. If you are new to SEO and want to get the hang of it, this is a great place to start.
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Cyber Safety: Avoid Scams On The Net

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The internet has brought a wealth of good things to the world. It’s made it so much easier to stay in contact with one another. And we have access to pages of information without having to leave our doorstep. But like with anything, we need to be super careful. After all, there are a lot of dangers to the net that you and the kids need to be aware of. You don’t want to be left short of money due to a mistake on the web. Therefore, here are some cyber safety tips you need to ensure you avoid scams on the net.

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Always think twice before clicking on an email

It’s so common to get emails now which are attempts to get information out of you. And then these hackers will use this information to take money out of your account, or even to steal your identity. Therefore, as it says on http://lifehacker.com/5420356/the-complete-guide-to-avoiding-online-scams-for-your-less-savvy-friends-and-relatives, you need to be careful before you click on any email. After all, it might not be from the person who it says it’s from. The first thing to check is the email. If it doesn’t have the company’s name in the email, there is a good chance it’s a spam message. Also, you need to check the content of the message. If there are spelling errors and bad grammar, there is also a chance it’s not from the sender. You also need to be wary before clicking any links in the email. After all, if it gives you an uneasy feeling, there is likely to be a reason for this! You can often search on Google about the content to see if it’s legit as well.

Be wary when using survey and review sites

More people than ever are going online to make some extra money. After all, there a ton of ways you can earn some cash. And while there are lots of legitimate websites, there are a few which are scams. In fact, you might end up wasting your time doing a job for them to not receive any money at the end. Therefore, before you do use any of these sites, you should read reviews online first such as https://www.surveyssay.com/quickreward-review/. That way, you know whether it’s worth your time signing up and doing the work for them. And if you do read a bad review, it could stop you making a terrible error!
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Keep your account details to yourself

It’s so easy to put your account information on websites. After all, it means you can quickly make payments when you want to buy an item. But if the site isn’t legitimate, they might use your details for fraud payments. And then you will soon see payments coming out of your account that you didn’t make. Therefore, always make sure it’s a proper site before you insert your details. Also be wary about giving information when you are entering contests and giveaways. After all, it might come back to bite you if you find out it was actually a scam!

And remember to always use complicated passwords. That way, a hacker will struggle to get hold of your password. And make sure you use different ones for each site. That way, you can protect your other details if you do get hacked!

 

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Easy Money : Your Finances Don’t Have To be Nightmare

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So you have the kids to dress, feed and entertain, and the house to look after, and that’s all outside of the time that you spend in work. In fact, you are so busy that if your finances are anything but easy, they just don’t get done. But don’t fret, below are some tips and tricks on how to turn your finances from a difficult nightmare into an easy dream.

Little and often

One of the best ways of turning your finances into a dream instead of a nightmare is in the simple act of keeping on the top of them.

That doesn’t mean pulling out every financial document that you have received in the last three years and pouring over them. In fact, it means that every few days, or at the end of the week you check what is left in your current account and what is still left to go out.

If you compare these against each other, you will then see that any money left is spare. Which can be put to good use in the savings, or even for having a fun day of out with the kids.

Fancy planners

Now some folks think fancy planners are a waste of money, but they can actually really help you get organized if it’s not your strong suit.

In particular, financial planners or planning sheets give you a structure. So you know exactly what to look for, record, and check every time you look at your books.

They also keep all the information all in one place. Which can be a godsend if you need to find some information a rush.

Pinpointing your debts

Now, not many people like knowing exactly how much debt they owe. They are worried that they will end up thinking about it all of the time. Or that it will become a millstone around their neck, just bringing them down. But there is no sense in ignoring what you owe, as this will just lead to trouble.

In fact, it’s much better to know what you have left on your car to pay off, and what the outstanding loan amount on your mortgage is.

This is because not only does it make you more careful with the money that you do have. But it also allows you to put any spare money towards paying your loans off early, saving you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

Joint accounts

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Lastly, if you are still working on separate accounts in your household between you and your partner, this really needs to stop. At least for the bills, you will need a joint account. So it’s as simple as possible to track what is going in and what is coming out.

Otherwise, you end up having to transfer all sorts of money here, there & everywhere, and it can become a messy, overwhelming nightmare. Which is going to mean that your finances suffer and probably your relationship as well. Why do that to yourself?  

 

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5 Ways to Control Your Smart Home

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With everything from locks, security, lights, and appliances moving from dumb to smart, smart home devices are meant to make life easier. But managing multiple devices can be a task, and there are many different options for controlling your smart home. Which option’s best?

1. Smartphones Control Smart Homes

When using your smartphone to control your smart home, you can control multiple devices from anywhere. With the right devices in place, you can turn off your coffee pot, disarm your alarm system, and make sure the garage door is closed all by pressing a button.

No matter how you choose to control your smart home, a smartphone is going to play a role. In addition to controlling devices you can use your phone to receive alerts of unexpected changes. You can also use it to check on things while you are away and to keep an eye on things. For example, with a connected camera you can use your phone to view live video feed, something not possible using the other control options.

PROS

  • Can View Live Camera Feeds
  • Control From Anywhere

CONS

  • May Require Multiple Apps
  • May Limit Access to One Family Member

2. Voice Commands

Have you ever wanted to say a word and make things happen? Maybe you want to change the channel, or you forgot to turn the light off in the kitchen before getting cozy on the couch. Voice activation and voice commands are no longer a thing of the future; they exist, and they’re getting better. There are many voice activated devices that you can add to your smart home. Currently, you can use Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit for voice control. Soon, you will also have the option of using Google Home. As an added benefit, all three options are also capable of acting as personal assistants. They can make shopping lists, play music, answer questions, and even help with your home’s security.

PROS

  • Easy Way To Control Devices While at Home
  • Personal Assistant Features Included

CONS

  • Requires the Purchase of a Separate Device
  • Compatibilities are Still Limited

3. Bluetooth-Based Presence

By using your smartphone and certain Bluetooth devices like Zuli Presence, you can automate each room in your home that has one of these devices. Zuli Smartplugs, for example, are Bluetooth devices used to communicate with you smartphone. When you have at least Smartplugs plugged in, they can automatically sense your smartphone’s presence and triangulate your location in the room and adjust the lighting and the temperature to

  • Easy Way To Control Devices While at Home
  • Personal Assistant Features Included

CONS

  • Requires the Purchase of a Separate Device
  • Compatibilities are Still Limited

3. Bluetooth-Based Presence

By using your smartphone with Bluetooth devices like Zuli Presence, your devices can perform based on your location. Unlike geofencing, which knows when you are home or away, Bluetooth presence knows which room you are in. For example, when you walk into a room, lights will turn on. When you leave the room, they will turn off. When you have at least three Smartplugs, they will triangulate your location to pinpoint what room, assuming you are carrying your smartphone.

PROS

  • Works Automatically
  • Room Specific Automation

CONS

  • Requires That You Carry Your Smartphone
  • Requires a plug in every room for best results

4. Control with a Swipe

A fourth way you can control your smart home is by using gestures. Fibaro, for example, is an easy to install, non-permanent touchscreen that can be plugged in and mounted or battery powered and portable. It is used to control various devices in your home, both smart and non-smart. You can use Fibaro with your home security system, your entertainment system, and more.

Swipe allows you to control your smart home with 6 simple gestures: up, down, left, right, circle left and circle right. You can use a simple gesture or up to 6 gesture sequences to signal your devices to complete specific tasks. For example, swiping up and down or left and right can turn something off or on.

PROS

  • Mountable and Portable
  • Touch Free Gestures

CONS

  • Limited to 6 Gestures and 6 Sequences
  • Must be Close to the Device

5. Setting the Rules with Automated Rules

Setting up automated rules can be a long process, but once you have the rules set, you’re done. Automated rules are events that occur based on conditions or triggers. For example, if the kids arrive home from school Monday-Friday at 4:00 p.m., you can set a rule to disarm your alarm system and send you a notification when the kids walk through the front door. You can use motion sensors to turn on lights and even set rules to turn the air conditioning on and off at certain times or when the house reaches a specified temperature. Automated rules allow you to set it and forget it.

PROS

  • Runs Automatically
  • Can Control Multiple Devices With One Action

CONS

  • Initial Setup Takes Time
  • Assumes You Follow a Schedule

So which one is the best? For me, a combination is the winner. When you’re away from home, use a smartphone. When you’re home, use your voice. But in my opinion, rules are the epitome of a smart home. A home that knows what you want when you want it is truly smart indeed.

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Five Ways Employees Could Be Cheating Your Time and Attendance System

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Though most employees are reliable, there are still a couple who try to scam their timesheets; these are known as time thefts. Time theft is the purposely fraudulent act of an employee faking his hours worked.

This action implies that the employee receives pay for the time that was not put into work. This scam is costly and an extra baggage for a company. Hence, it is vital that you know the most widely recognized ways employees could cheat on your organization’s time and attendance system.

Here they are:

1. Untruthful Attendance Data Entry

In numerous companies, attendance data must be moved from time sheets or time cards into the payroll system. For this situation, a dishonest typist or in-charge might just alter the information. In addition to intended scamming, this system is susceptible to oversights and typographical error.

2. Buddy Punching

When an employee has another close employee to “punch” or sign the time sheet for him; because he is late or he is absent, buddy punching happens. This permits the worker to add hours to his time & attendance system for which he did not work.

3. Inflating Work Hours

Electronic or manual time sheets are utilized in several companies where compensation depends on an hourly rate. Fabricating these records might be as simple as writing the inaccurate start and close time, and inflating the hours worked, depending upon the system.

This data might be hard to validate when your employees start and end shifts at different times. In this case, you would be compensating an employee for hours he didn’t work.

4. Favoritism

Favoritism is precisely favoring somebody not because he is doing an excellent job, but because of some reasons not related to job performance. It shows for instance when a boss picks who gets overtime records even if that employee does not perform well enough to deserve them. Or sometimes he uses the power to override attendance.

5. Human error

When you depend on punch cards or time sheets, there is constantly a possible for human error. Your workers might mistakenly write down their time on the sheet. And your HR department can consume a lot of time amending these mistakes. The mistakes that were overlooked could lead to incorrect compensation for workers and other payroll issues.

How to settle it?

Selecting the most reliable way of tracking your employees time and attendance is a bit tricky. Scamming the attendance system is a serious matter, and as bosses, it’s your job to deal with your workforce in an intelligent and well-organized way. Being mindful that this problem is prevalent all over your workplace is an initial step to putting an end to this fraudulent action.   

Also, nowadays, with the initiation of modern technology, there is an assortment of reasonable yet advanced time and attendance systems that will support you in tracking your employees and avoid or at least lessen scam in attendance.

 

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