Automatic Bill-Payments — Is there a Right Way?

March 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to life hacks. Too much of my time is spent looking for all the little things I can do (or tools I can use) to make my life and work just a little bit easier.

I feel like I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it too. I use Evernote (I’m currently enamored with Bear though), Trello, and Slack religiously. David Allen’s, Getting Things Done is at the top of my recommended reading list, along with Tim Ferris’ Four Hour Work Week, and Tools of Titans. I love Tim's podcast too!

But there is one area in my life where I still struggle…Keeping track of, and paying an ever-increasing list of monthly bills. Due dates are in my Google calendar as repeating events, but some of the dates change from month-to-month so the system isn’t completely reliable.

  • Morgtage
  • Electric
  • Car Payment
  • Car Insurance
  • Credit Cards
  • Student Loans
  • Cable TV
  • Cell Phones
  • Trash Service
  • Subscriptions

Automatic bill payment seems like an obviously easy answer, but I always tend to over-analyze things, making the decision more complicated than it needs to be. I’ve let perfect become the enemy of good.

I’m turning to my readers for advice. How do you do it?

I’ve got some ideas, but what is the best way? I’d love to get your input.

Do you use your bank’s bill payment system? I use CapitalOne360, for most of my banking, and I still haven’t even bothered to set bill-pay up yet. Or do you use your biller’s auto-pay system?

What about payments that fluctuate each month (i.e. credit cards)? I’ve considered at least setting up auto pay for the minimum payment (just to prevent the chances of a missed payment).

I’ve also heard nightmares about people being over-charged by the likes of cell phone companies, etc. What about accidental overdrafts of your checking account? An overdraft charge could easily be more expensive that a late payment on a bill.

I’ve also considered using a cash-back credit card to pay all of my recurring bills. That could make life a little easier, and make an accidental overcharge easier to contest than if I’d used a debit card.

Please give me your advice and feedback. I can’t wait to see how everyone else is handling their bill payments.

--

If you’re interested in reading Tim Ferris’ Tools of Titans please follow my Amazon affiliate link, and buy the book from Amazon.

 


Women's March on Washington DC - Scenes from a Protest

February 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Women's March on WashingtonProtesters took to the streets on the day after Donald J. Trump's inauguration. Will their voices be hear?

An Invitation from Friends

This blog post is political in nature, but my intent is not to start a flame war, or win a political argument. I simply want a place to share my photographs, and reflect on an historic day.

Donald J. Trump was sworn into office just the day before, and it might be an understatement to say that I don't share his vision for the future of America. His rise to power was fueled, in large part, by fanning the flames of division and fear. Pitting one group against another, rather than trying to unite us as a nation, and find strength in our differences.

When my wife, Cathy, and I were invited to attend the Women's March on Washington, DC, we felt that we had to go. Not only did I want to march in support of a cause, but I was also looking forward to an opportunity to capture some photographs of an important moment in the political history of America.

Wife and Best FriendsWhat better way to kick off the Women's March than with a photo in front of the Washington Monument.

By The Dawn's Early Light

Still sleepy, after an early morning ride from Ocean City, Maryland to Washington, DC, we started our walk from Dupont Circle towards the National Mall.

The crowd grew larger, and more enthusiastic by the moment as we slowly worked our way through downtown Washington, DC. By the time we reached the Washington Monument the crowd was huge. At times the crowd was so dense that it was almost uncomfortable. We were shoulder-to-shoulder, and packed in like sardines.

Conclusion and The Photos

What we witnessed on January 21, 2017, in Washington, DC was truly amazing. A peaceful, and inspiring coming-together of people from all walks of life who wanted to be sure that their voices were heard by our President, by the nation, and by the world. 

The crowd was incredibly diverse, and I was quite impressed with how orderly and peaceful the participants in the march were. Mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, sons, and brothers all marched together.

To see people from so many different backgrounds united in a cause assembled peacefully to exercise their First Amendment rights made me even more proud to be an American. This is what our country is all about.

Please take a moment to click through the slideshow of my photos from the march.

Many of these images are available as FREE downloads on Unsplash. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in using any of the other photos in this set.

Shameless Advertising

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Giving Away My Photos for FREE - My First Week with Unsplash

December 16, 2016  •  1 Comment

I've quietly decided to give away some of my favorite images for FREE. They are available (in all of their high-rez glory) for anyone to download and use as they wish on Unsplash.

 

Sweet Appaloosa

 

Founded by the cool people at Crew, Unsplash has created quite a stir in the photography community; and in the process, is changing (for better or worse) the face of stock photography. What started out as a Tumblr page, has evolved into one of the best sites for downloading top-quality stock photography on the internet. Curated by a team of design pros, the photography that shows up on the "new" page, and in their curated collections are truly stunning.

In less than a week on Unsplash, my photos have been viewed more than 80,000 times, and have been downloaded more than 260 times. What will they be used for? I'm not sure, but I can't wait to see the places they might crop up.

The bottom line is that I hope they bring joy to the end user, and inspire others to get out there and start creating. Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to be giving away high-resolution, FREE for all uses copies of all of my work, but there are many photos sitting on my hard drive just collecting "digital dust", and I'd rather see them enjoyed, used, and finding their way into the creative work of others. 

Horizon at 8th and the Beach

 

So this brings us to the big question: Is it a good thing, or a bad thing for photographers to give their work away?

For me, the jury is out, but I think the exposure outweighs any possible monetary losses. Who knows what might happen?

Maybe someone influential discovers my work, likes my style, and wants me to shoot their next campaign. I can still dream, right? If someone chooses to use my work, I only ask that they are kind enough to share a link with me, so I can enjoy it as well.

Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

If you'd follow along on Instagram that'd be cool too!

https://www.instagram.com/j_key_sweater/

Thanks for reading...

 

Jerry K

I'm testing using some space on my blog to promote some of the products that I use (and love) in my daily life. Hopefully they will be things that you will find value in as well.

First up is my Sonos PLAY 1. this is honestly some of the best $200 that I've spent, and can't wait to add at least one more to other rooms in the house.

Please click the Amazon link below to check out this really cool device!

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Fear of the Unknown - Adventures in Maternity Photography

October 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

 

Photography assignments don't typically make me nervous, but when a client requested that I shoot her maternity session, my stomach immediately went into knots.

Sure, I've taken some tongue-in-cheek "maternity" photos of myself (it was one of these photos that actually got me this booking), but never before have I photographed the pregnant human form...with all of that "glow". Honestly, it was just a genre of photographythat I'd never given much though to.

Why should I worry? Maternity photography is one of the biggest, and most popular genres of photography out there, and I'd be a real knuckle-head if I turned down the work. Maternity photos are everywhere; Just scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, and you'll see what I mean. This popularity was helpful, as it gave me a starting point, and provided some references for the types of photos my client was looking for. My goal for the afternoon was to keep it loose, and have some fun.

We chose Assateague Island Nation Seashore as the location for our shoot. The weather was gorgeous! It was sunny, warm, and beach and ocean made the perfect backdrop for some lovely images.

Here are a few of my favorites...

 

If you're interested in working with me, or would like additional information, please send me a message.

I'd love it if you follow me on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/j_key_sweater/

 

 

 

 


A Trip to Chinatown in Philadelphia - A Photo Story

October 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I took the family on a quick trip to Philadelphia this past Monday to bring my son home from Drexel for the long, Columbus Day Weekend.

My daughter is obsessed with all things "Kawaii", or (in the context of Japanese culture) cute, so we decided to spend a few hours in Philadelphia's Chinatown.

Here's some of what we saw while we were there.

Asia Crafts Inc. - The Sanrio StoreThe makers of Hello Kitty

 

Run - Do Not Walk

Maneki Neko CatThe beckoning cat is often believed to bring good luck to the owner.

Feel The BernBernie Sanders even made an appearance.

Bubble TeaI did not partake, but Cathy and Anna loved this stuff.

Friendship Arch

Setting the Scene

Feel the Pulse of the Streets

Stop and See

Red Wall

Peking Duck{"DeviceAngle":0.01970897428691387}

Lunch at Ho Sai Gai{"DeviceAngle":-0.05786875635385513}

Man Working

Man Not Working

Orchids at Ho Sai GaiYes! They're real!

Engine Company 20, Ladder 23

A New Tattoo?

Motorcycle in an Alley

Some Cool Street Art

Year of The Ox

Not Your Daughter's Barbies

The Boot

Morton's Salt GirlIt was a good day - She didn't even have to use her AK.

Chinese Christian Church

That's about all that I have to share. We had a great time, and I'd definitely recommend that you visit Philadelphia's Chinatown the next time you're in the city.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Please be sure to follow me on Instagram for more photos...

https://www.instagram.com/jerry_kiesewetter_photography/