17 Restaurant Ideas for 2021

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While starting a business in any industry can be a leap of faith to a certain extent, opening a restaurant is seen as particularly risky. And while restaurants have a higher success rate than is commonly thought, about 17% of all restaurants fail in the first year. To keep your new restaurant from being one of…

2021 Financial Plan: 5 Essentials You Must Include

2021 Financial Plan: 5 Essentials You Must Include

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Featured image by geralt from Pixabay

Developing a solid financial plan takes more than a little advice from your friend who brags about being in on Bitcoin from the beginning, even if that person is now eyeing Gramercy Park Brownstones and you’re living in a three-bedroom in Bushwick with four roommates. But, it’s fine because you get to sleep in your own bed. Plus, your shared bedroom even has a window!

We’ve all been there. And regardless of where you are financially in life, creating and working with a solid financial plan can help you do more than just stay afloat. Here are five essentials to include in your financial plan to build stability.

5 Must-Haves In Your Financial Plan

1. Goals

Whether we’re talking about weight loss or work, setting SMART goals is key to success in all facets of life, and our finances are no exception.

SMART is a mnemonic acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. With finances, you likely want to set short-term goals (pay off credit card debt), medium-term goals (save for a down payment on a house), and long-term goals (build up a retirement fund).

It can be overwhelming to set these goals if you feel behind the eight ball, but it’s never too late to start setting financial goals.

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2. Budget

Creating a budget is a huge help to your financial plan. Pat yourself on the back if you already have one. However, are you sticking to it? A budget without stick-to-itiveness is like a car without an engine. It’s not getting you anywhere.

There are as many budgeting strategies as there are non-dairy milk beverage options at your neighborhood coffee shop. That’s to say: a bunch. One of the more popular methods for budgeting is the 50/30/20 rule, which has you put 50% of your income toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward saving or paying down debt.

Your budget ultimately should align with your financial plan’s goals. The envelope system and the zero-based budget are ideal if you’re looking to curb your spending, while the “pay yourself first” method is a good option if you want to increase your savings.

3. Emergency Fund

Let’s say the engine in your car died unexpectedly, and you’re in a pickle. Replacing a car engine can cost several thousand dollars. Depending on the value of your car, that might not be worth it. Either way, you’re looking at dropping quite a bit of dough to fix the engine or get a new car. This is why your financial plan should have emergency funds.

Most experts recommend saving three to six months’ worth of expenses to keep you afloat. This is so you don’t have to push yourself further into debt in these types of situations. Ideally, you want to save this money in a high-yield savings account to capitalize on interest and have quick and easy access to cash when you need it.

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4. Retirement Fund

You’re not going to work forever. At least, you’re probably hoping you don’t have to work forever. However, you’re still going to need moneys, hence, retirement funds.

Many employers in the private sector offer 401(k) plans with company matches, which allow you to set aside pre-tax income for retirement. Other organizations, like non-profits and public education organizations, offer comparable plans in 403(b)s. If you’re self-employed or do freelance work, you can enroll in an IRA or Roth IRA to put pre-tax income toward investments for retirement.

Generally, it’s advised to replace anywhere from 70% to 90% of current income in the retirement section of your financial plan. But, the more, the better.

5. Insurance

You hate paying for insurance until you need it. But when you do, it can be a real lifesaver. However, you also don’t want to overpay for something you don’t need. So, take a hint from Goldilocks and make sure it’s just right. Whether it’s health, disability, life, auto, or homeowner’s/renter’s insurance, it’s important to protect your financial plans with insurance. You don’t want to let your Bushwick slumlord millionaire take advantage of you anymore than he already has.

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Casey Musarra

Casey is a reformed sports journalist tackling a new game of financial services writing. Previous bylines include Newsday and Philly.com. Mike Francesa once called her a “great girl.”

The post 2021 Financial Plan: 5 Essentials You Must Include appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Starting a Business in Michigan: A Step-by-Step Guide

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There are two essential elements to starting a business in Michigan: the paperwork and the business design. And while coming up with an idea, conducting market research, and checking the viability of your business idea are all vital parts of starting a business, we’re going to assume you’ve taken care of these steps already and will…

How to Find a Business Partner Online

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There’s no doubt that starting a small business can be a time-consuming and demanding process—especially if you’re doing it all on your own. For this—among other reasons—you may decide to work with a partner to start your business. Finding the right business partner, however, is essential. After all, this individual will be the person you trust…

Opening a Baskin-Robbins Franchise: Information and Costs

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Few desserts are as widely beloved as ice cream. Opening a Baskin-Robbins franchise, therefore, can not only satisfy your inner child, but also can potentially be a great business opportunity if you’re looking to launch and start a successful franchise. Before you dive into franchising, though, you’ll need to get a full picture of the…

Gutenberg 10.6 Adds Duotone Filters, Query Pattern Carousel, and Most-Used Tags Selector

Gutenberg 10.6 Adds Duotone Filters, Query Pattern Carousel, and Most-Used Tags Selector

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The Gutenberg development team has taken massive strides in the latest release. Version 10.6 of the plugin introduces several user-facing features and changes that upgrade the block-editing experience. The new duotone filter for images is just downright fun to play with. The UIs for the Query pattern selector and template-editing mode have been overhauled. Plus, the most-used tags feature from the pre-block era is making a return.

There is a ton of ground to cover for this release and never enough time. The development team is racing toward a WordPress 5.8 deadline that includes stabilizing theme-related blocks, theme.json integration, per-post templates, block-based widgets, and new block design controls.

Much of the work on those features is still underway. However, some of them are starting to take shape, and it could make the upcoming WordPress 5.8 release in July an exciting one as they are integrated.

Duotone Image Filters

The new duotone filter tool is one of my favorite features to land in Gutenberg. If I am being honest, I have probably put in about two hours of tinkering with it in the past day. Some of that was building out custom duotone color palettes for a theme I have been building, but most of it was just playing around for fun.

The feature works for both the Image and Cover blocks. However, it does not work for Covers with the “Fixed Background” setting enabled. There is currently an open ticket to disable duotone in this scenario.

What makes duotone such an exciting feature is that drops a powerful color filtering tool into the hands of users. It allows them to change the mood of a story with a couple of clicks.

Query Block Improvements

Query pattern inserter in the block editor.
Query pattern carousel.

The new carousel that launches when first inserting a Query block is a much-needed improvement. It allows end-users to scroll through the various patterns. This view gives a more complete picture of what the output will actually look like before inserting it.

For users who prefer the grid-style view, there is a button to switch over to it. It has improved over the previous grid, providing a larger preview of each pattern.

On the theme side of things, developers can now choose between <div>, <main>, <section>, and <aside> elements for the Query block wrapper. This lets theme authors choose a more semantically correct tag when needed. Users have access to this via the “Advanced” tab.

Return of the Most-Used Tags Selector

Sidebar tab in the block editor for selecting the most-used tags.
Most-used tags selector.

After three years, the Gutenberg project has finally addressed its missing most-used tags feature. For new WordPress users since the 5.0 launch or those of you who may have forgotten, the Tags list in WordPress 4.9 and earlier allowed end-users to select from a list of the site’s most used tags when editing a post.

The feature was dismissed for having no “evidence right now of the user case” before the Gutenberg 1.0 launch, and the ticket asking for it was closed. In 2018, a year later, a new ticket popped up. Without boring everyone with the technical details and almost three years of discussion, the community can now rejoice in its return.

The Tags sidebar panel tab now lists the 10 most-used tags for the site. It should be a lot quicker to select them than typing each out. This is one of the few classic-editing features that I have longed for. I am happy to see it make a comeback, even after all this time.

Darker Background for the Template Editor

Iframe for editing a custom post template within the post-editing screen.
Template-editing mode.

Template-editing mode now has a darker background, which makes the user experience far better. The feature is slated for a WordPress 5.8 release, which will allow users to create custom templates on the fly from the post-editing screen.

Since I last did a deep dive into this mode, it has jumped leaps and bounds. The darker background behind the framed template editor indicates that the user has left the post editor and entered into a new experience. In the past, it was tough to tell which mode one was in.

Border Settings for Tables

It is easy for me to forget which blocks support specific features. I have a mini plugin that I use to enable pretty much everything — I get tired of waiting for things to land sometimes.

For everyone else, you can now enjoy border settings for the Table block. Borders controls are not widespread just yet. However, for those who have yet to use them, they are relatively basic. The feature adds a new block options tab for selecting a border style (none, solid, dashed, and dotted), width, and color.

Currently, there is no way to control individual sides. Border settings are applied to the top, right, bottom, and left sides equally. I am not one to complain too much, at least not all of the time, so this is a welcome addition to tables.