Virtuity – Lifestyle Newsletter

 

Susan Mesrobyan presents:

November, 2017

The Emergence of E-Bikes

A new way to commute and make cycling easier.
[CLICK TO READ]

 

What Is Your Money Personality?

Your outlook might determine your financial progress.

[CLICK TO READ]

 

Finding Cheaper Flights

Ways to fly for less this season and any season.
[CLICK TO READ]

 

Recipe of the Month
Zesty Meatballs with Creamy Tomato Sauce
[CLICK TO READ]

 

The Emergence of E-Bikes

A new way to commute and make cycling easier.

Once, riding a bicycle to work would have been considered very odd. In some metro areas, it is now viewed as hip and green. E-bikes, essentially conventional bicycles with a battery-powered electric motor to provide a pedal assist, are providing a new way to get to work and get around. In most cities, they are allowed on bike paths as well as streets. You can charge one from a wall socket, and one charge gives you around 30 miles of battery power.  

All e-bikes require you to pedal, but the motor can be used to help you get up a hill – or in the case of some models, to fully power the bike from time to time. (The stereotype of the sweaty bike commuter may fade into the past.) There are some drawbacks to e-bikes. They are much heavier than comparable regular bikes – so if the battery goes out, you are left pedaling a heavyweight. Charging the battery fully takes about three hours. The bikes cost between $1,000-4,000. These factors aside, some commuters in bike-friendly cities are turning to e-bikes instead of a car, a bus, or an Uber or Lyft, seeing long-term savings.1

 

What Is Your Money Personality?

Your outlook might determine your financial progress.

Through the years, a few common types of financial personalities have emerged. You may correspond to one of them, or be characteristic of more than one type. There is the proverbial “good saver,” a risk-averse, conservative investor with a large emergency fund. The spender is prone to whims and often has sizable credit card debt. The analyst makes big financial decisions only after lengthy consideration (and some anxiety). The procrastinator tends to put off bill paying, saving, and filing taxes until necessary.

We may assume each of these financial personalities at different times in our lives. Certain habits may help to counteract their downsides. A procrastinator can schedule bill paying and saving routines and have loved ones hold him or her to them. A spender can vow to wait and think for 24 hours before making a credit card buy as well as work on creating an emergency fund. A “good saver” may want to assume more risk while investing for the possibility of greater potential reward. An analyst can speak with a financial professional to whittle down the enormity of major money decisions and make those options feel more manageable.2

 

Finding Cheaper Flights

Ways to fly for less this season and any season.

 

What are the keys to landing inexpensive airfares? One, be flexible. Two, secure those seats now rather than later.

Locating cheaper airfares can be done through a variety of means. Try excellent search engines like Momondo (which canvasses more than 30 carriers and travel websites), Priceline, and Google Flights. Many travel websites will let you set price alerts so that you can be quickly notified when a carrier drops a fare into the “sweet spot” you want. (Fares really can rise and fall daily.) Book your airfare at least 30 days before you fly, and consider flights with connections rather than non-stops. Fly during the middle of the week – or if life permits, on an actual holiday. Go with the discount carriers – JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, or Alaska Airlines if you are flying domestically, or Norwegian, if traveling to Europe. Additionally, awards miles and credits accumulated on travel credit cards could lower the cost of your trip. Also, if you book a flight directly through a carrier via an airline rewards card, you can usually waive a baggage fee for at least one flyer.3

 

Recipe of the Month

Zesty Meatballs with Creamy Tomato Sauce

 

1 lb. 85% Lean Ground Beef

1 Cup Breadcrumbs

1 Cup Water

1 Can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1/3 Cup Cilantro (finely chopped)

1/3 Cup Whole Milk

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp. Ground Cumin

1 tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. Ground Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper (to taste)

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and bread crumbs. Allow to soak for 3-6 minutes.

 

In a heavy skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat; then, add chopped onion and sauté approximately 4-6 minutes. Add all the cinnamon, half of your cumin, and half of your cayenne. Cook for 20-40 seconds. Next add in the diced tomatoes (and their juice), 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 cup of water. Now, increase heat to the high setting and bring mixture to a boil; then, set heat to low and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes.

 

Going back to your mixing bowl, mash the crumbs and milk mixture with a fork until it’s the consistency of a smooth paste. Add ground beef, remaining cumin and cayenne, half of your cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, then combine well by mixing/kneading by hand. (You may wish to wet your hands to avoid sticking.)

 

Next, hand roll mixture into approximately 25-30 balls (about 1.5″ each). Add meatballs to your sauce, cover, and allow to cook for approximately 12 minutes; then, remove the lid and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

 

Remove from heat, stir in the remainder of your cilantro, and add more sea salt and black pepper (to taste), if desired.

 

Serve over rice or pasta

 

 

SMART TIP:
Is your computer keyboard full of dust or crumbs? Try sliding a post-it in between keys to collect and remove unwanted particles.

 

WHO SAID IT?
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
[GET THE ANSWER]

 

TEST YOUR
KNOWLEDGE:
Q: The Department of Labor’s September jobs report found the U.S. unemployment rate at 4.2%. When was the last time the unemployment rate was that low?

  1. A)  May 2007
  2. B)  March 1988
  3. C) February 2001
  4. D) October 2004

[GET THE ANSWER]

 

Susan Mesrobyan may be reached at
(310) 954-7974 or susan.mesrobyan@tfaconnect.com
www.virtuityfinancialpartners.com

 

WHO SAID IT?  
Charles M. Schulz

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE ANSWER:
A: C, February 2001.4

 

«Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (TFA), Member FINRA, SIPC and Registered Investment Advisor.representativeemaildisclosure»

 

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

 

Citations.

1 – mensfitness.com/life/gearandtech/why-you-need-electric-bike / [9/18/17]

2 – usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/09/13/your-money-personality-first-step-financial-health/664118001/ [9/13/17]

3 – forbes.com/sites/johnnyjet/2017/10/06/10-tips-for-booking-cheaper-flights/ [10/6/17]       

4 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-06/u-s-payrolls-fall-33-000-on-storms-jobless-rate-drops-to-4-2 [10/6/17]

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