New Rules of Finance

The concept of finances has existed since the beginning of time. In Mesopotamian days people would trade goods for other goods and services, which would quickly morph into a form of currency. Some rules have existed since the beginning of time about finance. Budget, save for retirement, spend less than you earn to build up your wealth.

Other financial advice holds up less than adequately in the 21st century. With a new financial culture and the everchanging way of the younger generation viewing finances, the rules of the trade have changed. A common rule preached throughout the late 20th century was to save six month’s worth of living expenses for emergencies. That includes rent, utilities, and any fixed necessary expenses. While saving for emergencies is incredibly important, it’s not necessarily doable for Millenials in today’s market. Most individuals have trouble saving 1,000 dollars for emergencies, much less 6 months’ worth of expenses. There are now new and other ways of looking at finances and saving money.

Another old rule is that buying an old home is better than throwing away money on rent. While that may be applied in the 1920s when buying a house was equivalent to now buying a smart refrigerator, the same can not apply now. Since the 2008 housing crisis, buying a home has become an increasingly difficult process. Instead of that old rule, make your new rule of thumb is to examine your expenses, and don’t rule out renting. Often in today’s market, renting is the safest option, especially for Millenials and Generation Z.

Another old rule had to do with investing. Previously it was recommended that you do not invest in any stocks until you pay off your debts. The thought process that investing in stocks with the risk of not paying out debts was greater than reward. With the current options for not only paying off debts but investing, the opposite may be true. As a new rule of thumb, focus on paying off your high interest and regular debt payments, while investing in a low-stakes stock. The ability to grow your portfolio can help in the long run instead of hurting.

While trends come and go, the importance of finances do not. Don’t be afraid of new lines of thinking, and more relevant options for your financial journey.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

New Rules of Finance

The Intricate Tragedy of Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is possibly one of the most talented painters of all time. He certainly is one of the most well known in art history, his story and life as tragically beautiful as his bold impressionist art work.

Van Gogh was born in the rolling hills of Groot-Zundert, Holland on March 30, 1853. The son of a pastor, he was brought up in a very religious and cultured environment. As a boy, Vincent was categorized as highly emotional, self-conscious, and struggled with his life’s calling. At first, he believed that he was called to preach the gospel message like his father, before discovering his true calling was to be an artist. Between 1860 and 1880, around the time of his blossoming into art, he already had a multitude of failed romances and job prospects.

In 1886 he joined his brother Theo in Paris and got connected with the art community. He tried to copy the style of techniques of other artists but failed in those endeavors as well. The mounting stress, failure, and mental health issues landed him in the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment. During his time in the asylum, he painted some of the most beautiful and notable art pieces of his career. After he recovered, he continued to paint and express himself through his art.

He was never a successful painter during his life. Selling less than a dozen paintings, living in malnourished poverty, and struggling consistently with mental health. He took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1890, wanting nothing more than to the end of it all.

One of Vincent Van Gogh’s death’s most heartbreaking parts was that he died believing his artwork was worthless. His neighbors, fellow artists, and family members considered him a time-wasting madman. He barely sold any paintings, and left this world thinking he failed. Not knowing that he would become one of the most beautiful and intricate artistic icons of not only the impressionist movement but in most of art history.

When you look at the last three years of Vincent’s art, you see something incredible. His technique grew more and more impassioned, his brushstrokes dramatic and frenzied. His use of color and surface tension was simply mesmerizing. His inimitable work was full of imagination and pure unbridled emotion. Looking at his artwork is like listening to a lonley violin solo or witnessing a dramatic play come to life; it kidnaps your attention and your heart. Through fits of madness and deep depression, Vincent took the pain of life and translated it into a pure ecstasy of color. Pain is easy to portray on a canvas, the blues and blacks like a familiar rhythm tapped on the heartstrings of the human experience. But Vincent Van Gogh took the crushing pain of reality and turned it into the beauty of life.. One of the most dramatic and skilled processes an artist can ever hope to achieve. Vincent did it naturally, genuinely, and honestly. Like puzzle pieces falling together, all leading to the same conclusion, the brilliance of Vincent Van Gogh.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

The Intricate Tragedy of Vincent Van Gogh

How To Deal With A Financial Crisis

A crisis is defined as a time of intense trouble, misfortune, or danger. A financial emergency can come at any age, to any demographic, in any area. A crisis can come out of nowhere; bank accounts hacked, sudden car troubles, an unforeseen medical expense. Or, they can occur after a series of poor choices and mistakes that culminate in a state of emergency. There are ways to manage and work through a financial crisis; a crisis doesn’t have to be the end of your world.

 

Start by calming down. Decisions made under stress or suddenly can be more harmful than helpful. Take notice of what feelings are linked to your crisis. Do you feel panicked, out-of-control, or full of anticipation? Are you scared, sad, or angry? Your feelings are valid, but do not let them control your decisions. After making yourself aware of what your feeling, try to spend some time calming down. Some individuals find a lot of peace in meditation or prayer. Others find themselves calmer after deep breathing and perspective. Whatever works best for you, lean into the process of calming down. 

 

Move to analyzing what your expenses are. Start by breaking it down into two categories, fixed and fluctuating expenses. Fixed expenses are an expense that happens regularly.  Things like bills, subscriptions, and set budgets for groceries happen weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Fluctuating expenses are expenses that change and vary every month. Shopping, furnishing, eating out are all examples of expenses that change and morph over time. 

 

Next, decide what your wants and needs are. Needs are expenses that you need to pay to function normally. Wants are expenses that you don’t have to fulfill every month. For example, a fixed-needed cost is a payment like a mortgage or rent. A fixed-want is something like a Netflix or Amazon subscription. 

 

From there, try cutting out or cutting down on the things that you want. Minimizing what you pay for is not a fix-all treatment. But it is a start to help ease you out of your financial crisis. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How To Deal With A Financial Crisis

The Psychology Of Color (1)

The human brain is an incredible and complex system. We are continually taking in stimuli and processing on both subconscious and conscious levels. One aspect of natural life that we are always aware of, are colors. Our brain processes colors and what they mean every time we see a sweater, a piece of furniture, or a painting. Artist and marketing agencies alike are very aware that colors carry a psychological connotation. Commercials, advertisements, clothing brands, art shoes all use the psychology of color to appeal to an individual. 

 

Color psychology is defined as how colors affect perceptions and behaviors. The practice of color psychology is mostly dependent on how we use color to be primarily dependent on the experiences we have. We can’t assume that red represents passion for everyone. When we look at overall experiences for different demographics or geographical locations, we can make an educated guess on what common life experiences they are experiencing. From there, we can build a color profile on what colors may link to what feelings, thoughts, and memories. The bottom line is, there are no clearcut answers to which colors will be the most effective.

 

When creating an ad, marketing opportunity, or piece that needs to appeal to the human eye, try using some of these color categories in your art. 

 

Red

Red is a color that captures attention and draws the eye to it. Red is associated with danger, passion, energy, and action. In color, psychology red is usually classified as the most standout color. Famous brands like coco-cola and Youtube use red to draw attention to the product.

 

Yellow

The meaning behind yellow revolves around warmth and light. It evokes feelings of excitement, happiness, optimism, and positivity. Yellow is a cheery color that provides happy vibes and feelings. 

 

Keep an eye out for next month’s blog, where we will delve deeper into the psychology of color.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

The Psychology Of Color (1)

Minimalism and Finance

A strong symbiotic relationship exists between minimalism and finance. Minimalism is the art of living with less. In recent years a plethora of podcasts, books, and documentaries have been produced in concern to the rise of minimalism. The most famous being the documentary titled “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.” The documentary takes the audience into the many flavors of minimalism by following individuals and families through their living-less lifestyle. 

 

The bare bones of minimalism are fundamentally about intentionality. Although there are many avenues and flavors of minimalism, a definition can be broken down into the following; the process of identifying what is essential in your life and having the courage to let go of the rest.” The framework is done by figuring out the difference between needs and wants. The way you approach minimalism relies on what your unique wants are. For example, someone who may put a considerable amount of time and effort into fashion may be challenged to trim their wardrobe down to the bare essentials. Some minimalists can fit their entire wardrobe, shoes and all, into one suitcase. Someone who puts a priority on having the newest and brightest kitchen gadgets may be challenged to having only what you need to cook with—limiting themselves to one set of silverware, pots, pans, and a hot plate. 

 

So, where does finance come in? You may think that the things that you own, that you deem essential, don’t directly correlate to your finances, but the opposite is true. Finance is simply defined as the management of money. Your money management includes fixed income like bills and taxes, as well as flexible income, which can consist of anything from a grocery budget to going out with friends. Our flexible income reflects our priorities. When we prioritize a minimalist mindset, our finances will reflect that choice. 

 

Adopting a minimalist mindset is unavoidably intertwined with your finances. If you consider adopting a minimalist mindset, make sure you adjust your funds accordingly. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Minimalism and Finance

Six Simple Ways To Save

When it comes to money, we all set out with good intentions to spend and save wisely. In the midst of a busy life, constant advertisements, and quick spending, saving money can seem impossible. In reality, we can only save money when we develop healthy habits. Check out a few simple habits that will turn your saving habits around. 

 

Revise your Grocery List

When people begin to make a budget, one of the most surprisingly high categories is their grocery budget. Your grocery budget is one of your more critical funnels. To save money, try making a grocery list and sticking to that list. If you walk in without knowing what you’re going to ger, you’re more likely to buy things that you don’t need. If you’re trying to save money, try buying bargain items over brand name items.

 

Cancel Automatic Subscriptions 

In the age of instant gratification and regular subscriptions, subscriptions like Hulu, Netflix, Ipsy, and HBO can quickly add up. Figure out which subscriptions you use most, and eliminate the ones that you don’t often use to save the extra money each month. 

 

Save Automatically

Automatic saving is your best friend when it comes to saving money. Most banks or cards have the option to automatically save a portion of your deposit. Try saving 10% of your paycheck each month to build up a savings account.

 

Pack a Lunch

The average American household spends around 280 dollars per month on eating out. An easy way to minimize how much you spend is by packing lunch. When you can, pack food, snacks, and drinks when you go out or go to work. If you do need to eat out, buy simple, smart foods that are good for your body, and your wallet. 

 

Freeze Your Spending

A popular way of saving money is by “freezing” your spending. Take a week, or even a month, and only spend money on absolutely essential items. Prep meals ahead of a time and make sure your bills are set up to be paid and cut out spending. You’ll be surprised at how much you save by not spending for set amounts of time. 

 

Set a Budget

Setting a budget is one of the simplest ways to save money. Sit down and figure out where you spend money, and how much you usually set. Set realistic, budgeting goals and stick to them. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends who are in a similar life stage/situation what their budgets look like. There are even helpful online budget makers that you can research and check out. 

 

Saving money is an essential part of being a healthy adult and setting up a good future for yourself and your family. Try to spend the next month being intentional about your spending, and track positives and negatives of your new way of living. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Six Simple Ways To Save

Art and Emotions

Humans have spent thousands of years using art forms to express. In European caves dating back to the Ice Age, we see cave drawings used to tell stories and communicate history. In Ancient Greecian tapestry, we are immersed in the legends of gods and heroes. In Egyptian pottery, we explore the rise and fall of kings and queen. The renaissance is full of expression and beauty captured in architecture. In the Impressionist era, Vincent Van Gogh translates the pain of a tormented life into beautiful works of realism and ecstasy. We have thousands of examples of humans translating their stories, emotions, and memories into art, but often miss the return. Art can also pour back into us. 

 

Emotions are defined as “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others” and “instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.” An emotional response is easily invoked by anything that is measured by our five senses, especially by the things we see. Feeling any emotion is a qualitative state that is primarily measured by a change in feeling, blood pressure, heart rate, activity, among other things. 

 

According to multiple psychological studies, color can affect our mood. An entire field called color psychology looks at how different colors affect our emotions. Red projects a message of confidence and boldness, while yellow communicates a happy and bright message. The very colors in art can affect our mood and portray an emotion to us.  

 

Many art pieces that are admired today are portraying some message or memory. Some of the most famous pieces of art are depicting a scene or image. What we see directly affects our emotions. We are always in a state of feeling something. So when we look at different art pieces, a portrayed scene can bring forth a memory or thought process that comes with its own unique emotional cocktail. 

 

When we create works of art, we pour our emotions, memories, pain, and desires into our creation. We can put forth so much time and effort into what we do, and our art continues to communicate even after we finish it. Not only do we pour out into our craft, but our art pours back into us. Thus, a beautiful cycle of expression is maintained. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Art and Emotions

Building Your 2020 Budget

Creating a budget is an important financial strategy for building a future nest egg. One way to conquer the temptation to spend too much money during and after the holiday season is to establish a sound 2020 budget and stick with the plan. The following tips offer helpful suggestions for devising a workable budget:

 

  1. Think About Future Expenses

 

Include all prospective future expenditures in the 2020 budget and estimate the costs for each. For example, include a potential college tuition expense expected to occur in the new year, or the cost of a new car if yours is getting older. It is also important to encompass prospective gains. Whether these gains refer to an expected raise at work or projected investment dividends, an accurate budget must depict all expenses and increases.

 

  1. Learn to Estimate Conservatively

 

Since it is not always possible to know what the future holds, it is wise to make conservative assumptions. Instead of including low estimates for expenses, a 2020 budget should incorporate high estimations. Applying the reverse procedure for income, the budget should include low estimates for expected increases in income.

 

Infusing a budget with these techniques means gives the plan a realistic basis. It is also helpful to think about the possible rising costs of everyday expenses, including gasoline for vehicles and utility hikes. It is better to overestimate and underspend. 

 

  1. Study the Current Spending and Savings Trend

 

Viewing the current year’s expenses and savings enables a person to have a clear understanding of how to set future goals for a 2020 budget. A person may discover that they need to spend less money eating out and deposit more earnings into a savings account.

 

Paying off debts is another important aspect to consider. A golden rule of budgeting is to avoid overspending. Living within a person’s means is the optimum way to develop a 2020 budget.

 

  1. Obtain a Credit Report

 

A good credit score provides the opportunity to take out a loan on a car or mortgage and pay less interest. A poor credit score has the opposite effect. So, it is a good idea to include a debt payment plan in the 2020 budget and eliminate all current debts. After the debts are gone, the next best thing is to limit expenses to one credit card and pay for most expenditures with cash.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Building Your 2020 Budget

The World’s Best Street Art

Today, many cities commission artists to decorate walls, utility boxes, and selective areas as part of their beautification program. However, there are still artists and gangs around the world leaving their mark on the walls of their neighborhoods. Either way, street art has gained world recognition.

 

Street art has gained popularity in its expressive and uncensored nature. It also allows free viewing for those who are less inclined to visit a museum. Art within the environment is more likely to be seen and appreciated. These are five cities around the world with the most expressive street art.

 

Los Angeles

 

The City of Los Angeles considers graffiti illegal. Bold text and gang tags divide neighborhoods. As a result, L.A. commissions local artists to paint over graffiti and decorate its massive murals with colorful street art. Downtown’s Art District welcomes Latino heritage art on walls under freeways and neighborhoods. Guided tours are available to tourists for a more intimate look at the art on the walls.

 

London

 

North London in Camden or the Leake Street Tunnel near Waterloo are two places where street art is prevalent in London. The street art scene is huge in the neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Hackney. They are London’s locales for spray-painted walls such as Michelin-starred restaurants. Visitors can take a tour of Shoreditch to see London’s best artists.

 

Mexico City

 

Mexico City is the home to the most poetic, political, and traditional street art. Its neighborhoods of Juárez, Roma, and Condesa are known for the giant vivid murals. History and Latino culture are captured on the walls of businesses. Tours guided by graffiti artists are the best way to see Mexican art.

 

Buenos Aires

 

Both international and local artists have left their creative mark on massive murals on the streets of Buenos Aires. Political, traditional, and light-hearted collages adorn various neighborhoods (barrios). The barrios of San Telmo and Colegiales Crespos depict historical urban movements. Guided tours are the best way to connect street art with each barrio.

 

Berlin

 

Berlin’s graffiti-covered walls date back to the Cold War. The hip Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough houses the remaining stretch of what was once the Berlin Wall. Today it is known as Berlin’s East Side Gallery where 3-D street art adorns the facades of business and buildings. Visiting this neighborhood is the best way to explore Berlin’s art

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

The World’s Best Street Art

Artificial Intelligence Takes on the Art Industry

Artificial intelligence is making inroads into just about every industry. Finance, medicine, and marketing are all being changed by discoveries made with artificial intelligence. One world that most people didn’t expect to be overtaken by AI is the art industry. However, like any other, it is being heavily influenced by the automation and technological advances of AI. Pieces created with neural networks are taking the art world by storm.

 

Just over a year ago, the portrait “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy” sold for over $400,000 at Christie’s in New York. It had been expected to sell for about $7,000 to $10,000. This painting, made with convolutional neural networks, is just one example of how the art world is reacting to artificial intelligence. This new technology is making a bigger splash than many people had expected.

 

Computers use convolutional neural networks to arrange and analyze images. This technology isn’t just used in the art world. It has applications in a number of industries. It’s the same type of artificial intelligence that is changing the way the medical profession interprets images from X-rays and MRI images. CNN uses style transfer. This process changes the tone of an image without changing the content. This is similar to the idea of a filter on an Instagram photo.

 

While some purists are alarmed that AI-created images are sharing space with the work of classical and popular artists, it is important to remember that computer-generated art dates to at least the 1950s. Some artists in the postwar period saw this art as an important antidote to emotional manipulations. For people who had lived through the rise of fascism and Hitler’s propaganda films, an art made without feeling seemed like a relief. It was hard to imagine how such works could be manipulated by politicians, and that seemed comforting.

 

Frieder Nake and Max Bense are some of the important names in that early period of computer-generated art. Although many people today feel that AI-generated art is just a grotesque display of technology, it’s important to remember that many respected art forms started off that way. Today, films are preserved by governments for posterity due to their cultural value. When that industry emerged, it was made up entirely of outsiders. It was considered vulgar. It will be interesting to see how history views AI-generated art.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Artificial Intelligence Takes on the Art Industry