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Spring clean your finances

first_imgWarmer temperatures make it a good time to thaw out and soak up some much-needed vitamin D. Why not use the subsequent energy boost to tidy up your personal finances? Performing some financial spring cleaning can help you avoid making a mess of your fiscal affairs down the road. Here’s where to get started.Revamp your budgetLiving within your means is an integral part of a healthy financial lifestyle. But we’re all human, and those new kicks you spotted at the mall or that popular restaurant down the street can make it difficult to stay faithful to your budget.“Everything in your financial life flows from your ability to effectively manage and allocate your income,” says Carrie Houchins-Witt, a financial advisor in Coralville, Iowa.She recommends that you review last year’s spending transgressions. Then recalibrate your budget for this year. That may mean zeroing in on and consequently reducing purchases in a given spending category, such as going out to eat. continue reading » 33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

No. 2 Trojans head south for nonconference stretch

first_imgAfter a disappointing 5-2 loss at No. 4 UCLA on Tuesday, USC’s No. 2 men’s tennis team hopes to bounce back today at the University of San Diego.Wild one · Senior captain Ray Sarmiento earned a qualifying wild card berth to the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells this weekend. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanAgainst the Bruins, USC (8-2) won the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead, but lost four straight singles matches to concede the match.The team hopes to have better luck against USD today and in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships in La Jolla, Calif. this weekend.“We want to get back on court and play,” USC head coach Peter Smith said. “We’ve got to be able to stand up for ourselves.”The Toreros (3-3), who are ranked No. 62 in the nation, will also be looking to get back on the right track after suffering a narrow 4-3 defeat at the hands of No. 33 South Carolina last Sunday.Clarke Spinosa is USD’s only ranked player in singles, sitting at No. 61 in the nation. Meanwhile, USC will bring four ranked players into the matchup: senior captain Ray Sarmiento (No. 6) and juniors Yannick Hanfmann (No. 10), Jonny Wang (No. 43) and Roberto Quiroz (No. 80).Spinosa leads the way for the Toreros in doubles as well. He and doubles partner Filip Vittek are ranked No. 30 in the nation together, while USC’s Sarmiento and Hanfmann sit at No. 12.Around this time last year, USC took it to the Toreros in San Diego. The Trojans dialed up a 6-1 victory at USD. USC faced off against USD again later in the season, where the Trojans took down the Toreros 4-1 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. USD earned its sole point in the match when Spinosa upset Sarmiento by a score of 0-6, 6-1, 6-1.The Trojans hope to extend their winning streak against USD today, and a win over the Toreros would be especially sweet considering the connection between the two schools: USD head coach Brett Masi.Masi served as the Trojans’ assistant coach from 2005-2009, when he helped the team win its first of four consecutive national championships.“He’s probably one of the closest people to me in my life, and I love him,” Smith said of Masi. “He’s like a brother. [I] just want to kick his butt, bad.”Following the match against USD, the Trojans will compete at the historic Pacific Coast Doubles Championship at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. The tournament second-longest running tournament in the United States, starting in 1890.This tournament is open to people of all ages, not just college tennis players, and doesn’t count toward the Trojans’ wins and losses. This, and the fact that just a few steps away from the courts is the pristine beach and beautiful Pacific Ocean, creates a laid-back atmosphere — a welcome break from the normal stress of being the most successful team in the history of college tennis.“I think the tournament relaxes us, which makes us last longer in the regular season,” Wang said.Though the atmosphere might be low-pressure, the tournament still represents an opportunity to scout some Pac-12 teams, as players representing UCLA, Stanford and Cal, among other schools, will be competing.The Trojans might even get a chance for a rematch with some Bruins at some point in the tournament. Last year, USC’s then-sophomore Eric Johnson and then-freshman Max de Vroome advanced to the finals of the tournament, where they faced UCLA’s Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov. The Trojan duo was playing together for the first time all season, but put up a fight against the talented Bruin pair, eventually falling 7-6 (6), 3-6, 4-6.Sarmiento, the Trojans’ top player, will not compete in the tournament, as he received a qualifying wild card spot at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Despite his absence, the Trojans are looking for a win today and for a deep run in the tournament.The forecast calls for rain all weekend, but the Trojans are determined to make the best of the situation and enjoy the break from the stress of competition.Today’s match against the Toreros begins at 2 p.m., and the doubles tournament runs today through Sunday.last_img read more

Girls Golf Rocks is getting bigger and better

first_img11 Jan 2017 Girls Golf Rocks is getting bigger and better Girls Golf Rocks – the recruitment campaign which got over 600 girls swinging last year – is going to get bigger and better in 2017. The number of counties taking part will grow from nine to 15 – all aiming to get more girls playing golf, by offering coaching with PGA professionals and using young ambassadors from county squads to show that it’s a fun and sociable game. The new counties are: Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Kent, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Yorkshire. They’ll join Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. Taster sessions will be held by PGA professionals in March and April, when ambassadors will be on hand to encourage the new girls. They will all then be offered five weeks of group coaching, leading to a fun day with the ambassadors featuring multi-skill challenges and the chance to play on a golf course. During 2016, the nine counties involved attracted over 600 girls to taster sessions. More than 500 went on to take coaching courses and over 230 have already taken out some type of club membership. This coincides with a growing number of clubs and counties reporting an increasing girls’ membership. The project, run jointly by England Golf and the Golf Foundation, started in 2015 with a trial in Essex. Ambassadors and new players from the county are now featured in a Girls Golf Rocks video, which captures all that’s special about the programme. Bella Jay, 14, sums it up when she says: “Golf has done so much for me, I love it. You should come and join us and see how much fun it is.” Click here to view the video. Meanwhile, Ringway Golf Club in Cheshire has the distinction of attracting more girls than any other club in the country. Thanks to a link with local Loreto Grammar School 38 girls attended their taster session, which took place in a torrential downpour. Despite the weather the youngsters enjoyed it so much that they encouraged even more friends to come along and 49 took the coaching course. Already, eight have joined the club’s junior section – more than doubling the number of girl players – while one has achieved a handicap and three are well on the way to getting theirs. Head professional James Salt said: “The girls have all been fantastic and really got into it, they’ve been very eager and it’s been very enjoyable.” Elsewhere, nine-year-old Isabella Bleaken, from Westonbirt Golf Club in Gloucestershire, became one of the youngest ambassadors when she turned out to help, alongside other players from the county girls’ squad. Isabella, who plays off 25, showed the new players how she can hit the ball, then helped and reassured them as they got into the swing. She’s also been interviewed on BBC Radio Gloucestershire about the experience and her father, Mark, reports that her own confidence has rocketed. Isabella is also an ambassador for the England Golf Trust which helps young people in financial need to play the game. Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, commented: “Girls Golf Rocks has been an amazing success and we’re looking forward to working with more counties and clubs and seeing many more girls come into the game. “We’ve got to say a special thank you to Isabella and all our 110 ambassadors who have been just brilliant at encouraging new girls to play. We couldn’t have done it without them!” As part of the jointly funded programme, girls taking part in coaching will be given a US Kids Golf 7-iron to help them get started. US Kids Golf is the official equipment supplier to the Golf Foundation for the Girls Golf Rocks projects and have additionally donated clubs for use at the taster sessions. Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, Brendon Pyle, said: “The Golf Foundation is delighted to be working with England Golf on this key initiative to introduce more young girls to golf in England. “The expansion of the Girls Golf Rocks into 15 counties will ensure that more girls enjoy the opportunity to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in golf.  The key ingredient has been the willingness of the county squad girls to embrace the concept and inspire new young girls into the sport by helping as leaders and ambassadors.” Caption: Selfie time for Cumbria Girls Golf Rocks ambassadors (image © Leaderboard Photography).last_img read more