The Universal Laws and the Law of Attraction – What’s Love Got to Do With It?

These days you can hardly skim through self-improvement or self-help related information without hearing at least once about the Universal Laws, or the Spiritual Laws of the Universe, or other terminology indicating the same things.

Sometimes you bump into some real good, straight-to-the point information, and ready-to-get-going information about how to apply these Universal Laws in our life to your advantage. However, the majority of the information you find is either too much, too detailed and too complex to start to apply it in your life right away. That’s usually the case. Or otherwise, it stems from people who hardly know what they’re talking about and consequently give you insufficient and sometimes even inaccurate information.

For example, they merely focus on the Law of Attraction (one of the hottest buzzwords on the Internet today), without taking any other of the Universal Laws into account (such as, with regard to this article, the Law of Love). As a result, no matter how hard they try, they’re not ‘achieving’, ‘manifesting’, or ‘attracting’ that much to be honest.

How come? How on earth is that possible, I ask you?! So much information available on the subject, yet so few people actually achieving anything, let alone creating the life of their dreams?

Let me tell you why. Once again, there are usually 2 reasons for this:

1. Too much, detailed and therefore too complex information.

One talks about 7 (seven) Universal Laws, another talks about 12 Laws of Success, yet another talks about 21 Subsidiary Laws or Spiritual Laws. People don’t know who’s right anymore. Consequently, they either do nothing at all, or they study all different books, tapes, and movies, and start to do things of one book that works against things of the other.

2. Too little information.

Too little information can mean that the information given is inaccurate. This is sometimes the case. But usually, the information given is accurate, but insufficient. Often, people just focus on the Law of Attraction, but they forget that there’s a whole bunch of other Universal Laws to know about. That doesn’t mean you have to know about all the details. In that case you fall for the trap of too much, too detailed and too complex information. No, you can keep things simple for yourself if you just focus on the main Universal Laws. By that, you automatically cover all detailed, subsidiary Laws you can think of.

So are there other Universal Laws next to the Law of Attaction then? You can bet your sweet bippy there are! But once again, the trick is simply to focus on the main ones to keep things simple for yourself. The Law of Attraction is one of the main Universal Laws. But there’s another one as well, one that the Law of Attraction can’t work without. This Universal Law sets the stage for the Law of Attraction to work. This Universal Law is the Universal Law of Love.

‘What, you mean how I love my girl? You mean I need to do the wild thing for this stuff to work? Why didn’t you say so?’ Yes, I can hear you talking. Well, it’s not really that kind of love. This Law is about Universal Love. And the game of Universal Love is a whole different ballgame than the regular game of love, fancying someone and ‘getting busy’.

Universal Love happens to be the building block of all things. Universal Love is much more than emotion or feeling of fancying someone or giving them a ‘quickie’. Universal Love is the most balanced form of energy. Love is the balance of all. Love is stillness, peace of mind. The universe is Love.

This is not the time and place to get into the true nature of the Universe.. For now it suffices to say that Universal Love can take on many forms. Love can be considered acceptance of yourself, or of others. Love is unconditional. Love doesn’t set terms. Love is freedom. Love is freedom for you to be who you truly are inside, not what others think you should be. Love is the freedom of others to be who they truly are inside, not what you or anyone else think they should be. Love is never to impose anything on anyone.

Read that last part again and really ponder the content. Because this is the first thing that most people seem to forget in life. Most people just walk in line, do what they’ve always been doing, think what they’ve always been thinking, and therefore get what they’ve always been getting (which they’re usually not satisfied with). Bit still, they stick to it, like they’re addicted.

And why? Because they fear the reactions of other people. They allow others to dictate how they should live their lives. These others can be parents, ‘friends’, the boys at the bar, team mates, ‘the girls’, you name it. And at the same time, they’re doing the same themselves to others. Often even unconsciously. They just live according to the externally imposed norms of which they don’t even know the origin, and therefore they block their own uniqueness, their own potential, and thus their ability to live the life of their dreams. Which is of course the life of being who they truly are inside, and the happiness and abundance in any area (not least financial abundance) that come with it.

So basically, most people allow themselves to be policed by other people, and are at the same time policing other people themselves. As soon as someone starts to do something differently, something out of the artificially imposed norms, the ridicule and sometimes even physical harassment takes off, pulling the people back in line. Back to their robot-like existence of a daily repeated series of routines.

Tell me something, does that sound like a balanced form of existence? Does that sound like Universal Love? Do you think the Law of Attraction will work if you don’t even allow yourself to live your life the way you want to live it? Do you think you can allow others to live their lives in the way they want it, if you can’t even allow yourself to do so? You’re doing nothing more than blocking yourself and your efforts.

You can sit on your butt watching the movie ‘The Secret’ or reading ‘The Attractor Factor’ by Joe Vitale all the time, while waiting for a magic amount of money to suddenly appear on your bank account. But I’ll tell you upfront. That’s going to take a while. The alternative is that you start to change your circumstances right away. You need a whole lot more of Universal Love to set the stage for the Universal Law of Attraction to work. That’s the Universal Law of Love! And that’s what the Universal Law of Love’s got to do with it!

The application of the Universal Law of Love sets the stage for the Universal Law of Attraction to work. Everything in life is unified, the universe is a whole. One Universal Law cannot work without the other. It’s a closed system. Therefore, just knowing about the Law of Attraction isn’t enough. You must know about all main Universal Laws, how they interact, and how to apply them in conjunction with each other. Focusing on the main Universal Laws is a simple thing to do. But it all starts with the application of the Universal Law of Love.

“All you need is Love”… ;-)

Law Student Jobs – How to Gain Legal Experience While Still in Law School

Becoming an Attorney is a dream for many people and for that we save up diligently for law school at some point of time. Being a law student, jobs can often be easier to look for, however it isn’t exactly going through a good law school. Firstly the fee for a course in a good law school can be very high and secondly they can be taxing and aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. For those who may want to take upon law as a profession would want to look at ways to prepare themselves for it.

Law is more about experience than jobs. It can take you ages to understand the intricacies of important laws. Hence it is important for people to gain experience while they study law itself. Law student employment is not uncommon in this day and age and there are agencies that can help you get the right job for you while you are still studying law. For any one studying there is always the option of law student summer jobs which usually employs students during the period of summer and allows them to gain basic experience. The remuneration is on the lower side but these jobs are all about experience and teach you how to refine your knowledge of the subject at a practical level. Legal jobs are usually high paying but basic law student jobs offer you less money but are a wonderful opportunity to refine your skills. At any particular time you will need to ensure that you take every opportunity you get to take up a job to improve your knowledge and understanding of the profession. Moreover it gives you a taste of what to expect at entry level jobs associated with this profession.

The best part about law student jobs is that they are very good for your curriculum vitae, when it comes to improving the job experience section. At a law student summer job you also have a chance to improve your presentation skills and give yourself direction as to which branch of law would you want to become a part of. This is something that you can only understand once you get a proper taste of the experience and see whether you can cope with it or not. Law student jobs are often advertised in abundance or one can also go through consultancy firms to look for such jobs. The important thing is to be sure which firm to work for and whether the position will give you the job experience you desire. You would hardly want to get a job only to realize that you are doing work that will not help you in the future. More than anything else it would be an unnecessary waste of time. However if you just want a general experience, you could simply land any of the legal jobs on offer.

You may have dreamed of going to law school and becoming an attorney, but have put the dream off due to work or family commitments. Part time programs offered by many schools can give you the opportunity to get a legal education while working or managing other responsibilities. There are daytime, evening and online law programs available.

Managing Technology Within An Organization

I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.” – From the HAL 9000 computer, 2001: A Space Odyssey

When it comes to technology solutions for your business it is easy to get carried away with the latest-and-greatest gadgets and solutions. Everyone wants to have the latest shiny thing. In larger organizations, managing technology can become burdensome due to competing and duplicative technology requests. Left unfettered, the company technology platform can resemble a “spaghetti bowl” over time. Often is the case, new technology requests are submitted without any business case to support their investment.

I am a big proponent of having non-technology business leaders play an active role in the determination of the technology solutions utilized at an organization. While it is critical to include an IT perspective from a technical interface standpoint, having non-IT personnel drive technology solutions often lead to decisions based on thebusiness needs of the organization. As such, any technology request would require a business plan to support the investment.

Form A Technology Committee: This is the start of your technology approval process. Create a technology committee that represents various personnel from cross-functional departments. Consider selecting an operations, marketing, accounting, technology and finance member to this team. This committee is charged with creating the process for submitting technology solution requests for the organization as well as providing the prioritization and ultimately, approval of the requests.

Develop A Submittal Process: Inherent in a well-thought through technology strategy for an organization is developing a process for the submission of ideas. Following the “garbage-in, garbage-out” mindset, developing a detailed process for submission will help weed out the “nice to haves” and focus the committee on real, tangible solutions. This process should not only include the technology solution identified, but as importantly, the business case for its justification. For approved projects in the queue, a monthly communication should be sent to the organization recapping the activity of the committee.

Focus Your Projects: A technology committee creates focus throughout the organization. While it would be great to have every new iteration of technology that gets released, that is impractical and costly. The committee can help with providing a high-level perspective on the entire enterprise since it is considering all requests. All to often, departmental requests have a tendency to be created in a silo, with only the impact on that department considered.

Need To Have Vs. Nice To Have: This is a biggie. It is easy to feel that an iPhone 3 becomes obsolete as soon as the iPhone 4 is released, but when the technology is run by the committee, the “nice to haves” usually fail due to a lack of business case. The committee allows the organization to run with an unbiased interference with respect to technology. The committee is charged with improving ROI on technology solutions and since it is comprised cross-departmentally, there should be no “pet” projects.

One Project, Big Picture: I have headed a technology committee in the past and the greatest “aha” moment for me was the amount of similar technology solutions that were being presented from different departments. Had all of these requests been accepted, the organization would have overspent IT dollars as well as created duplicative solutions to the same issues. The committee allows for its members to “rise above” the fray of the organization and view the technology requests in the big picture. The committee’s goal was to ensure that any approved request was accretive to the overall company.

Create A Business Case: This is the best way to clear out the clutter. Ask employees what they need from a technology solution and the committee will be inundated with ideas. Ask them to submit in a business case (cost justification for the investment) along with their solution and ideas are significantly reduced. The business case for a technology solution not only helps in identifying whether the investment is worth it, but also forces the author to think about how this solution interfaces within the existing platform.

Post Analysis: Lastly, carefully measuring the business case proforma against the actual cost/return of the projects not only holds the submitter responsible, but also the committee. The goal with the post analysis isn’t to “call people out”, but rather provide an unbiased financial review of the project. Without this type of post analysis measurement to hold this team accountable, the committee eventually will serve no purpose.

Workplace Health Education

Studies have proven that many people feel the place they work in is their home away from home. Since workers spend a very big part of their lives at work, it is only common sense that employers should be concerned about employee health. Let’s take an in depth look at some important workplace health issues.

Everyone has been an employee at the least at one point in his or her life. Having a safe working environment goes a long way to making people perform better, focus better and work faster. Companies should be concerned with various workplace health issues like work-life balance, eating and nutrition and so forth.

Junk food, healthy food, chocolates, soft drinks, chips, cookies and so forth impact our lives more than we care to admit. Company employees should be educated on the impacts and benefits of eating right, and this should be common practice. Workplace health studies have proven that a lot of the breakdowns the body experiences later on in life can be averted only if we learn to eat right.

As the world continues to modernize, people often find themselves more stressed than ever before. Companies should put into use workplace health programs that address issues of over and abnormal stress levels among the employees, by creating social events and outdoor activities. This is so employees still are able to maintain good balance between work and recreation.

Everyone knows taking that puff from a cigarette only kills him or her and everyone else around, yet sadly, few people are willing to let go of this bad habit. A good common sense workplace health practice for companies to follow therefore is to ban all and any smoking in any part of the company’s property. It is no secret that the earlier one quits smoking, the earlier his or her body can repair itself.

Even the bible encourages drinking once in a while and it is only when drinking becomes a habit is it a bad idea and companies should remind its employees of this. Workplace health can seriously be affected if items such as alcohol or even drugs are allowed to roam free in company premises. Drugs moreover, should be banned even in an employee’s personal life as the effects of drugs go over and beyond a few hours.

Employers should not shy away, when it comes to workplace health and employee sexual health as sex affects a person’s life as much as any other health related factor. Being active sexually can relieve a lot of stress from the workplace. Sex is similar to a double edged sword as there is both good side and bad to sex, and it all depends on how people engage in it.

A good chunk of employees acknowledge stress to be caused by the workplace. The workplace whether it is a cubicle should be well lit and designed to encourage productivity and efficiency among the workforce. The great thing is new and more modern companies have started to adapt this way of thinking as they are now more than ever promoting good workplace health.

In closing, researching and going deeper into each issue is encouraged as one can learn a whole lot more about good health and safety workplace practices. In addition, companies should bear responsibility for employee health as much as employee themselves. Everyone, even the government wins, when effective workplace health programs are put in place at work.

The Relationship Between Online Education and the Future of Your Business

As a parent of two teens, I pay very close attention to education and business trends. I was one of those mothers who stayed at home for years with my children, foregoing (by choice) a lucrative career and finding myself unemployable in high paying jobs, fortunately got retrained and now back again in business for myself.

Four years ago, about late 2008, I saw the trend of online education and enrolled my daughter in part-time middle school and on to high school online education. Many of the activities at school were a waste of time and talents… and may I say quite political and plain favoritism being played out!

Today at 17, she has graduated high school with a diploma, one year earlier than her peers.

What has this got to do with your business or my writing business?

I’ve just read an email from Copyblogger, one of the top blogs that I follow and admire recently, one month to be exact. The topic “how the explosion in online education can revolutionize your business.”

Just like the author of the article said, I am also a fan of university education but they are not created equal. The 6-figure price tag sure does not help if the child is not gaining any marketable skills after 4 years.

Again, what has this got to do with your business?

If schools and universities, the very traditional arenas, are recognizing the need to go online and are establishing more online courses and online presence… there are clues for parents and business owners like you and I to track:

One: You need a blog

If a small business owner like me could get my voice out there through a blog, you could too and build bigger than me because you already have a following.

My 17 year old has a blog and she is attracting clients to her site at the moment without paid advertising.

If written strategically, your blog could attract your ideal clients as well.

Two: Send emails to your readers and clients

I’ve been receiving emails just about a month ago from Copyblogger and I love it. They help me stay inform with their content and services. I’m too busy with projects and do not have time to google or read their blog posts on a daily basis.

Now they keep me inform and soon I will be a client.

If you have a list and do not send out emails or newsletters to your readers, clients or potential clients you are missing out.

Three: Social Media

Another avenue for searches are through social media platforms. There is tons of information that Google will non-display for you or to you. You will need written words for your social media platforms.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with no time, no clue, don’t know where to start with your blog, emails or written words on your social media platforms?

Child Health – What Can We Do?

There is a lot of concern about child health in America at the moment. This is not a new phenomenon – Calvin Coolidge instigated the annual ‘Child Health Day’ in 1928. It is held on the first Monday of October each year. Health professionals from all over America meet to discuss child nutrition, fitness, obesity and health education.

Most health professionals agree that the key to healthy choices is education from an early age before bad habits have time to form. Parents need to protect and develop their children’s health from the outset.

Apparently, one in six children in America is obese and this can lead to health problems such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

What Can We Do?

The problem today is that children have access to computers, electronic games and of course television. Obviously these are all sedentary pastimes and children are not getting enough exercise.

In the past children would play out on the street with their friends running here, there and everywhere – only coming home when they were hungry or it was getting dark. These days’ security conscious parents are not willing to allow their children out alone – it is much easier and safer to let them sit in front of the television or on a computer. In addition, because of time constraints and work commitments, children are usually driven everywhere by parents.

One solution to this problem is to enroll your child in one of the many child education schemes available. Many of these schemes combine games and exercise and learning and can greatly enhance your child’s social and behavioural skills.

A Child’s Diet Is Important.

Another major problem in child health care is diet.

Firstly it is important to lead by example – overweight parents tend to have overweight children. Serve a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and watch the portion size – a seven or eight year old does not need an adult portion. Cut down on snacks and fizzy drinks – or make sure snacks are healthy. Children can easily get used to peeled baby carrots (very crunchy and sweet), apple and banana slices or seedless grapes.

If you take your child to one of the excellent child education schemes make sure their lunch box is packed with healthy food.

You can provide peeled sliced raw vegetables with a yoghurt dip, some whole grain bread, a favourite fruit, some cold chicken, a mixed salad with sweet corn and grated carrot – and to drink, water or semi-skimmed milk. Whatever you do leave out the cookies, chips, chocolate and fizzy drinks!

Relating Health to Physical Education

There seems to be a problem in education, especially in health education that what students learn in class is only learned in the class and then forgotten. Educators need to be able to teach the students what they need to know, and not let them forget about it. One solution to this problem is to relate what you learn in health class to what you are learning in physical education. What happens if you teach a topic in health, but the students don’t learn it in physical education? Teach a topic in health, and then find space in your school to do what you just learned. Great examples of things you learn in class are fitness concepts and sport related fitness concepts. Some examples of fitness and sport related fitness concepts are muscular strength, flexibility, agility, and balance. There are several others but those are just a couple of examples.

To get the student to learn these concepts you can teach them in a normal health class, but spice it up. Don’t be up there lecturing them the whole time. Have a variety of strategies. To use a golf analogy, the rules of golf say that a player can carry up to 14 clubs in his or her bag. How many teachers did you know who only had a driver in their “Golf Bag of Pedagogy?” The lesson could start with a PowerPoint, and then discuss what the PowerPoint is talking about. Whatever you do, get the students involved. Meaning in this case, UP STAND OUT OF THEIR SEATS! Once you have done a non-boring lesson on fitness concepts, then go out and do it. Get in the gym and attempt to make it fun as opposed to work. After all, we want people to want to return to the gym, not avoid it!! One day you teach muscular strength, and in your lesson you explain that muscular strength is the amount of force one can produce in between 1 and 15 repetitions. Great, now is that student going to remember it? Maybe if it is going to be on a test in which they will study it at the last minute and remember it just for the test and then forget about it. After you teach your muscular strength lesson find some room in the gym, or wherever, to do activities that involve muscular strength.

Now that is a full lesson. So using the muscular strength as an example set up stations. Each station works on a different body part. Have one station be chest, a second station arms, a third station legs. Be sure to give directions at each station and only have them do the exercise for less than 15 repetitions. To go even further, have an assessment at the end of your lesson. The assessment could be a question of how does muscular strength relate to you outside of school. By expanding their minds, and reaching a higher level of thinking you will successfully teach the student muscular strength. Furthermore, now that the student was able to connect the health lesson to actual activity, they will remember what you taught them and not forget about it.

We are not in the business of making obese young people less obese! That statement may surprise you. Certainly, we hope that we can improve a person’s fitness over the time we have them in our class, but more important is creating a love for things physical so that when our students get older and they make their daily list of things to do, something about personal fitness will have a prominent place on that list!!! It’s not just about “working out” because it’s good for you, just like spinach, it’s because it’s so much fun to do the things that are fitness related.

Backpacking Trip

Many people are looking for a more active and healthy alternative to the typical vacation. Some are heading out into various beautiful wilderness areas on backpacking trips. Or they may be traveling to far away cities around the world. Whether looking for inexpensive and adventurous ways to get away from it all or having had some hiking and camping experiences in the past, planning a backpacking trip could fulfill your needs.

There are many things that people think about when they hear the term backpacking trip. For some, it recalls urban backpacking culture, where men and women would crisscross the urban landscape with their backpacks, living without anything except what rests in their packs. To others backpacking often refers to an intense, outdoor camping experience. A backpacking trip can take a single weekend or a few months, depending on what the backpacker wants. Traveling by backpack can take you across the globe. A backpacker can see the landscape and meet people on a personal basis at a slower pace.

There has been a significant increase in backpacking trips across places like southeast Asia. You may find backpackers in a truly wide variety of areas. Not only will they frequent the cities, but they will also head out into vast stretches of wilderness, displaying a truly formidable type of self-reliance. If you are interested in backpacking trips, don’t worry! There’s no need to start off in this fashion; you will find plenty of different opportunities to hit the trail, many of them no further than your own home state.

There is a real trend of environmental awareness on many backpacking trips. You will find that many people subscribe to the idea that you should take only photographs, leave only footprints and kill only time. This is an environmentally responsible credo and you will find that when you go backpacking that you are often responsible for your own trash, so plan accordingly. There are many different ways that experienced backpackers will conserve resources and reduce their waste products.

There are many ways to get started backpacking; few people simply hit the trail alone. Most often, people end up going with friends or family that will give them a lifelong love of the event, but other people won’t be introduced until a great deal later in their life. You will find that if you are really determined and can’t talk any of your friends or family into going with you, you will find that there are plenty of backpacking tours and guides that are available. Even if you can’t find anyone else who is interested, there is no reason you can’t take to the trail on your own.

A good backpacking trip can really change your entire life and world view. When you go backpacking, you will find that getting away from it all means a lot more than just turning your cell phone off. There are plenty of different reasons why you might want to go on a backpacking trip, but one great reason to go is to give yourself time to think. Find out a little bit more about this overwhelmingly rich opportunity by heading to backpacking trip.

Anti Aging Skin Products – How to Choose the Best Anti Aging Product

Anti aging skin products now have changed the field of skin remedies. You might be one of the types of people who have naturally dry skin and you have all the reasons in the world to get on the ball with looking into the best products to use for your skin.

Why is this so?

Because your skin type will feel tighter and more stretched out after cleansing. Then you have this dull face that lacks shine or glow looking back at you from your reflection in the mirror. And, then suddenly and without warning, those dreaded circles under the eyes and fine lines coming in will have you asking ” why am I already starting to age”?

Alright, before you begin to get scared, just relax. There is still time for you to rectify and beautify this small amount of damage before it starts to go on a slippery slope by using anti aging skin care products that work to heal, protect and beautify your complexion.

Where do you go to get the right kind of skin care products?

With a more than flooded anti aging skin products market out there, you have to be careful in how you go about choosing the formula that will be right for your skin type. The major key ingredients to look for in an anti aging skin care products are antioxidants, alpha hydroxy acids, vitamins A, C, E, D, and other active elements like Resveratrol and essential oils that will serve to hydrate and smooth our your fine lines.

And always make sure that you get a hypoallergenic product that contains no damaging chemicals like perfumes and dyes because the process of using anti aging skin care products should not involve causing more damage.

Okay, what are the types to look into for anti aging skin products?

There are a multitude of forms on the market. Skin care products come in lotions, cleansers, toners, gels, creams, shaving creams, masks, etc.

The right formula for you greatly depends upon your skin type, your tastes, and how much time and investment you are willing to put into your skin.

If you are not a three stepper per night, then using a three type method like cleansing, toning and moisturizing is not for you. You can instead settle for a cleanser and basic cream nightly, or if you want to go all natural, try using some herbal face masks with a moisturizer twice a week.

Currently there are hundreds of methods for using anti aging skin products out there, but you really should do your homework before making a hasty decision. And, last but not least, always make sure that you can sample a free trial of any product before spending your hard earned money on a product line that didn’t work. This way, you can try out different methods and not get taken to the cleaners financially, and will ultimately get on the right path to improving your skin care.

Online Shopping – Four Advantages of Doing Your Shopping Online

I’m a highly dedicated shopper, often searching high and low for the perfect pair of shoes, the just-right gift for a family member, or any number of other products. But you won’t catch me schlepping bags from store to store or fighting the crowds at the mall. I do almost all of my shopping online – and so should you. Why? Here are four great reasons to start shopping online.

Time is Money

I have a full-time career and a family to raise. My parents and in-laws all live out of town. So it’s rarely practical for me to take several hours to go shopping for ANYTHING. And usually if I do, I have several children tagging along. Have you ever tried to accomplish something with young children in tow? Multiply the time you’d normally spend on that task by three, and you’re coming close.

But shopping online is something I can fit into my schedule. It takes much less time to go from website to website, than it does to go from store to store, in search of the product that fulfills my shopping quest. I can wait until my kids are in bed before shopping, and I can do it while watching TV or while something cooks in the oven.

Plus, search engines and product comparison tools are not something you’ll find at the mall. I start my shopping in the search engines, particularly those that let you limit results to products. Then after finding the right product, I recommend using a comparison shopping engine to find the best price from a well-rated merchant. I can usually do all of this in much less time than it would take me to shop for the item locally, even without any in-person price comparisons.

Gas isn’t Eco-Friendly

Everyone is talking about “going green” these days. After years of smog, global warming, carcinogens, and other icky things, we’re finally starting to pay attention to Mother Earth. But unless you live within walking or biking distance of a shopping center, you have to figure in the impact of the drive.

Gas is expensive, and fuel emissions are bad for the environment. That’s what I call a lose-lose scenario! Shopping online doesn’t use any gas. It doesn’t produce the same level of pollutants that driving does, and you don’t ever need to refuel your computer.

I live fifteen minutes away from the nearest mall by car, and the nearest city with any extensive shopping is an hour away. When I factor in the time wasted and the money spent on fuel, the average cost of my purchases increases to an unreasonable amount. Compare your online and offline purchases, factoring in costs like gas and parking, and see if you might save money by shopping online.

I’m No Deliveryman

The ability to ship products directly to my house is wonderful. As long as I’m not in a big hurry to buy the item in question, I can usually arrange for shipping that costs less than I’d spend in time and gas by buying the same item in person.

However, this factor really starts to pay off around the holidays. With family spread across the country, and lines at the post office winding out through the front door, shipping packages myself makes me want to chew off my fingernails and pull out my hair! But it’s easy, with online shopping, to have the package shipped directly to my recipient. And since many stores offer gift wrapping and messaging, that hassle is taken care of as well. I feel almost pampered when I can “hire” someone to do this work for me!

There’s Not Enough Stuff Locally

The biggest advantage I’ve found to shopping online, however, is the selection. The declining economy has hit my local area hard, and businesses are closing their doors all over town. It’s becoming harder and harder to find the item I’m looking for. For example, when my daughter started soccer this spring, we needed to buy cleats – but there wasn’t a single store in the county that carried youth soccer cleats! But guess what each store suggested? “We don’t have them in the store, but you can buy them on our website.”

It also doesn’t help that I have a small habit of shopping designer labels. Those are not easy to find in a smallish town like mine. But fashion and apparel run rampant on the web. From invitation-online websites to massive apparel superstores, I can find just about anything I want, usually in stock and in my size.

If you haven’t braved the Internet shopping scene yet, I highly recommend it. Even die-hard social shoppers often need something with little hassle. It might not replace a day with your girlfriends at the mall, but it definitely has benefits.