Sunday, October 30, 2011

A visit from Anguilla - one of the smallest inhabited Caribbean islands - BERMUDA TRIANGLE


ANGUILLA

Last 28th October 2011, I received a visitor from Anguilla. Welcome to Woman724 and curious as always, surfed the net to know more about this country. I must confess; I have very little knowledge of this place before this date.


I am sure many have read about the Bermuda Triangle; a stretch of water between Puerto Rico, Bermuda and Florida, the site where many planes and ships disappeared under highly unusual circumstances. Anguilla is one of the smallest inhabited Caribbean island  just outside this triangle.


Some sources claim that Columbus sighted the island in 1493, while others state that the island was first discovered by the French in 1564 or 1565. According to tradition, Christopher Columbus gave the small, narrow island its name in 1493 because from the distance it resembled an eel, or in Italian, anguilla. It is also possible that French navigator Pierre Laudonni√®re gave the island its name from the French anguille. 


The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla itself, approximately 26 km (16 mi) long by 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population.

The island's capital is The Valley. The total land area of the territory is 91 km2 (35 sq mi), with a population of approximately 13,500 (2006 estimate). Here and here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Study away from home - BROKE? - History of Instant Cup Noodles



INSTANT CUP NOODLES

When you study away from home, what happens when you discover your money will not last you to the end of the month? As a student I had my fair share of the famous word ‘BROKE’! How did we manage those days? Nostalgia!


'Cup Noodles' Museum Celebrates 40 Years of Salty Goodness’


Yoshikazu Tsuno /
AFP / Getty Images


Wall of Wonderous Lunch


In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented "CHICKEN RAMEN ", the world's first instant noodle product. His achievement brought a revolution in culinary culture. In 1971, he developed "CUP NOODLE ", the world's first cup-type noodle product. 

That seed sown by Momofuku Ando has grown into an industry that supplies 91.6 billion servings annually to consumers throughout the world. 

In the editorial in its January 9, 2007 edition, the New York Times expressed appreciation for the achievements of "Mr. Noodles," who it said deserved an eternal place in the pantheon of human achievement. here.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teenagers – Study Away From Home, Simple accounting records


Many teenagers today are studying away from home, locally or in other countries. How are they managing themselves financially? Are they able to budget and handle their money wisely? Many realize they are “BROKE” only when they get the “funds not available” flashed on the screen at the teller machines. Shocking but it is happening.


My son is organized and very thrifty in his ways of spending. However being one from the science stream, money management is not taught or a part of their curriculum. Hah! Some figures scribbled in his notebooks, some entries forgotten and most often, left wondering where all his money goes! 


Remember! that lump sums you get at the beginning of the term or year have to be spread out to last you till the next one. It is important that you start early learning basics of book-keeping. This help keep track;

  • of your income (money coming in),
  • spending & expenses (money going out) and
  • your daily balances
  • and allow you to come up with estimates or budget. 

Here are some tips on how to maintain a simple Cash or Petty Cash book


STAGE ONE

For beginners or those with no basic accounting background, practice using the simplest format – “Cash In” and “Cash Out” entries. You can get this pre-printed format Cash book (sample pic) from any bookstore. 


You may first want to familiarise these simple steps by making daily entries for 30days? From this simple record you are able to check;

  • Details of each transaction (date, details and amount)
  • Total cash received (total debits) and total cash spent (total credits)
  • Total cash received less total cash spent = BALANCE


STAGE TWO
As you progress to your 2nd month, (with increased daily entries) you may now want to know the breakdown of these sources of income and how these funds are being spent. 


Group entries into categories/headings and record each entry into the respective column for example;

1.
IN (Source of Income - Receipt)
Loan
Home
Job
Misc
(Add columns and headings according to your priorities)

2.
OUT (Spending & Expenses - Expenditure)
Fees
Rent
Transport
Com
Self
Misc
NOTES
(Add columns and headings according to your priorities)


3.     Now let us format the columns into a spreadsheet;
        S A M P L E


4.   Let us practice with some simple entries;








Use Windows Excel to format your spreadsheet and the formula tools available to (automatically) help with your calculations.  Go here and here and here for online basic Excel tutorials.
 

5.  Sometimes you may find balances in your Cash book and your Bank do not tally. You will need to keep additional records to reconcile these differences. However, generally these differences may be due to;

  • Amounts/remittance made direct into your account that you are not aware of (‘+’ to your Cash book balance)
  • Bank interests (‘+’ to your Cash book Balance)
  • Bank charges (‘-‘ from your Cash book Balance)
  • Withdrawals made that you forgot to record (‘-‘ from your Cash Book Balances)

 6.   You can get free simple Cashbook Templates downloads (Pre-set columns with basic headings and formulas/ computations) ready for use from the Internet, some sites allow you to modify to your requirements. Go here for more information. 


Some packages offer many other basic accounting records (forms and formats) that you will find very helpful for your future use.



STAGE THREE



ESTIMATES AND BUDGETS

Making a budget is the most important step in controlling your money. You can see how much money you expect to have for the month and plan for how much you can spend.

Let us assume you are now familiar with the basic recordings of your cash-petty cash entries. Close the cash-petty cash record at the end of the month (say 2months records). From these figures you are now able to come up with a simple estimate/ projection on your income and spending;

(SAMPLE)
ESTIMATED INCOME 


DETAILS
TOTAL
1
AAA & Co sends every semester (6months)
10,000.00
2
January from your parents
1,200.00
3
Feb –Jun parents will give monthly allowance
1,000.00
4
From Mac 2011 you will start a part-time job (weekends) with a basic salary of $240.00 per month

240.00


ESTIMATED EXPENDITURE


DETAILS
TOTAL
1
1st Semester Fees
7,000.00
2
Rent to Mr XY; (Payments in advance to Mr XY)
Rental Deposit @ $350
Rental @6months = $350 x 6      = $2,100
Maintainance @$50  = $50 x 6    = $300
Water/Elect/Gas @$75 = $75 x 6 = $450




3,200.00
3
Transportation
Petrol per week @$30 x 4weeks      = $120
Maintainance/repairs/Tol  approx = $30 per month


 150.00
4
Communication
Top-up @$30 x 4weeks = $120
Internet charges           = $30 per month


150.00
5
Self – clothes-wears/toiletries/medicines/sundries
150.00
6
Food – Breakfast $3, Lunch $6 Dinner $6 = $15 daily
@$15 x 30days

450.00
7
Misc – Study materials & outings
100.00
Based on your estimates above let us record the figures into a worksheet and prepare a simple budget for the months of January 2011 to June 2011;




Budgeted income and expenditure
For the period January 2011 to June 2011



TOTAL
JAN
FEB
MAC
APR
MAY
JUN

INCOME








Loan for AAA & Co
10000
10000






Home Allowances
6200
1200
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000

Job - Part time
960


240
240
240
240

Misc

















TOTAL INCOME
17160
11200
1000
1240
1240
1240
1240

EXPENDITURE








Fees
7000
7000






Rent
3200
3200






Transport
900
150
150
150
150
150
150

Communications
1200
200
200
200
200
200
200

Self
900
150
150
150
150
150
150

Food
2700
450
450
450
450
450
450

Misc
600
100
100
100
100
100
100

TOTAL EXPENDITURE
16500
11250
1050
1050
1050
1050
1050

INCOME - EXPENDITURE
660
-50
-50
190
190
190
190










From this Budget you will be able to plan and monitor your spending accordingly;


  • Strictly sticking to your Budget, you will notice a deficit in January and February by $50 each month. Adjust your spending - reduce where necessary.

  • From March to June you will have excess $190. This is because you will be having income from working part-time. Will work take your time away from studies? If you decide to stop, which part of your unnecessary spendings should be reduced? 
 
Discuss your budget with your parents.