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How to invest when you’re young and broke

If your anything like me your are making enough money for a confutable life and what is left is getting tied up in things you don’t really need but just want. We all know this is not the best use for that spare cash at the end of each month but how do you invest wisely with very little capital behind you.

Well, we are in luck. As you would have it Ben Carlson recent wrote a piece for businessinsider.com that covers just this very subject.

I never learned about “mutual funds” or “index funds” or “money market accounts”—it all seemed as relevant to my broke-ass existence as theology is to a goat. But these days I wonder if I missed out on a chance to turn a bad job into the equivalent of night business school. I’ve become increasingly aware that, like a lot of twentysomethings, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to money. A $3 coffee will turn into a $30 coffee thanks to interest payments on my credit card. I’ll wake up after a night out with a crumpled receipt for pizza in my pocket and worry I just overdrew my checking account. I’ve contemplated simply stopping payment on my laughably unmanageable student loans.

If that rings true for you then I recommend you go read Ben’s full article on businessinsider.com

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Day

Ever wondered how to get the most out of your day. Well, it all starts with your mornings, yes thats right the first 2 – 3 hours of your day can affect how productive you are for the rest for the next 8 – 12 hours.

I am fairly interested in becoming as productive as possible. Getting the most amount of work done in the least amount of time to allow me to spend time with my family and friends on weekends.

Recently Travis Bradberry posted an article on qz.com that explains the best morning routine in one of the finest ways I have read.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham recently published findings from their exploration of 83 separate studies on energy and self-control. What they found will change the way you start your day.

The researchers found that self-control and energy are not only intricately linked but also finite, daily resources that tire much like a muscle. Even though we don’t always realize it, as the day goes on, we have increased difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our work. As self-control wears out, we feel tired and find tasks to be more difficult and our mood sours.

This exhaustion of self-control kills your productivity, and it makes the morning hours, when self-control is highest, the most important hours of the day.

But the trick isn’t just to spend your morning hours working; it’s to do the right things in the morning that will make your energy and self-control last as long as possible.

I highly recommend you read the full article and all its tips on qz.com

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Todoist Tip: Filter Urgent Today

In Todoist i use priorities as a way of managing what takes need doing before I break for lunch (red), before the end of the day (dark blue) and general today (light blue). Anything in white is something that needs doing or is a regular task and can be done tomorrow if needed.

A useful filter I created is Urgent Today. This filter only shows takes that are due today with a red or dark blue priority level. This comes in very useful with the widget for Android as I can have these tasks and only these tasks on my home screen at all times.

Add_New_Post_‹_Matthew_Temple_—_WordPressTo setup this filter go to filters on the sidebar of Todoist for Web or Desktop and click ‘Add New’ at the bottom. Then simply name your filter and use the following as your query.


(today, overdue) & (p1, p2)

Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting more tips and articles about Todoist and how I use it to make myself more productive then I have ever been.

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Increase Upload limits on Rackspace Cloud

By default Rackspace Cloud Sites upload limit is set very low at just 2MB lucky this is easy to change all the way up to around 100MB per file. For the sites you want a larger PHP upload limit on simply add the following line to the .htaccess file

php_value upload_max_filesize 25M

You can also put this in a .htaccess file at the route of your account to apply the new limit to very site you host.

You can check if the change was successfully applied on the WordPress upload pages or by creating a PHP page with the following and browsing to it

<?php
phpinfo();
?>
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Make WordPress Faster (on the Rackspace Cloud)


One of the problems with WordPress is it’s dynamic page structure requiring a lot of server side CPU power to build each page. This is fine most of the time but if you ever hit the front page of Digg, Stephen Fry Re-tweet you or anything resulting in a traffic spike your site will slow down or maybe even crash as your server can’t handle to load. One way of lightening the load for your server is caching pages as HTML, for this I use and recommend W3 Total Cache.

W3 Total Cache also has a number of other feature that I will go though but the big one I (and my sites) can’t live with out is the page caching. Another big help is the ability to leverage browser caching and minifying of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. W3 Total Cache has very granular controls allowing you to customise the experience to your sites specific needs.

The settings I use are as follows:

General

On the general tab I enabled page caching and minify and setting them to disk (enhanced) and disk respectively I also disabled database and object caching. I enabled CDN and choose Rackspace Cloud Files as my CDN type; I also enabled browser caching.

Page Cache

Under page cache I don’t cache for logged in user nether for 404 pages but I do cache the home page and feeds. I added a list of mobile user-agents the the rejected agents list so they can receive an optimised version and not have the mobile site cached and displayed to desktop user. The rest of the settings I left as the defaults.

Minify

For the minify settings I rewrite the URL structure and automatically upload modified files to the CDN and send error notification to both the admin area and email. I minify HTML, inline CSS, inline JS and remove line breaks but not feeds. I also minify JavaScript, combine scripts in the after <head> and <body> and before </body> as well as removing comments and line breaks. For CSS I combine and remove line breaks and comments. I have also added external Javascript and CSS files that need to be minified.

As I didn’t enable object and database caching on the general settings page I left these settings alone.

Browser Cache

On browser cache I set expires, cache control, eTag and W3 Total Cache headers, enable gzip compression under general. Cascading style sheets & JavaScript I set expire (lifetime of 3600 seconds), cache control (cache with validation for policy), eTag and W3 Total Cache headers and again enable gzip. For the HTML I only enable gzip compression.

For media and other files I set expire (lifetime of 31536000 seconds) cache control (with a policy of cache with validation), eTag and W3 Total Cache headers and again enabled gzip compression.

I left the user agent settings alone

Content Delivery Network

For the CDN settings I host the wp-includes/, theme, minified CSS and JavaScript and custom files on the CDN. I do not force over-writing of existing files and I do import external media. I configured my Cloud Files API key and container without setting up any additional CNAMES. I also enabled changed files auto upload and left everything else as default.

While these settings are optimised for Rackspace Cloud Sites most of them will be fine on almost any hosting environment.

I choose Rackspace Cloud Files for my CDN not to keep everything on one bill but because after testing I found them more consistent then Amazon CloudFront and a little cheaper for large amounts of data especially for older content that is not cached in the CDN edge locations.