Consider insurance, bonds to help with emergencies
Financial emergencies can hit when you least expect them. While it's important to invest for your future, it's more important to take preventive steps to protect the assets you already have, financial experts said. Among their preparation tips:
Set up an emergency fund. Set aside enough money to cover your basic living expenses for three months.
Sock money away wisely. Don't put your emergency fund in a regular savings account because your money won't earn enough interest. Instead, opt for a money market mutual fund, a savings bond or a short-term certificate of deposit.
Invest in insurance. Make sure you're covered with health insurance to pay unexpected medical bills, disability insurance to safeguard your income if you're unable to work and life insurance to protect your dependents.
Use credit cards carefully. By keeping your credit cards paid off, you secure another source of available credit in a true emergency. Be sure to rely on other liquid savings you've amassed before tapping into any form of credit.
Waterford Crystal tops list of World Class Brands
What do Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Heinz ketchup, Neosporin ointment and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have in common? (Hint: NOT a curious snack).
The aforementioned brands are among 19 of the top "World Class Brands" currently available in the United States, according to a survey of American consumers by Total Research Corp.
Ireland's Waterford Crystal earned honors as the brand with the highest quality, said Doug Berdie, president of the Princeton, N.J.-based marketing research firm's Strategic Brand Research Group.
Rolls-Royce Bentley took second place, followed by Craftsman tools, Crayola crayons and Bose stereo and speaker systems.
"These brands are World Class Brands because they share the same characteristic: They deliver what they promise," Berdie said. "That's what a 50-cent candy has in common with a $100,000 automobile. Quality counts."
BleuJacket adds to city's offerings of upscale fare
A taste of France is Lawrence's latest addition to the upscale dining market.
The BleuJacket opened this month at 811 N.H., inside the Kansas Seed House.
The restaurant led by (from left) Dan Almanza, co-owner; Steven Berger, general manager; Jean-Michel Chelain, chef; and Chris Hanna, co-owner serves its "upscale French-American cuisine" weekdays for lunch and dinner, Hanna said. It serves dinner Saturdays.
Hanna said the project took 18 months to complete, and developed from research of fine restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles.
"Our intent is to be one of the top restaurants in the region," Hanna said.
Two other upscale restaurants opened last month in Lawrence: PrairieFire, at 724 Mass.; and Hereford House, 4931 W. Sixth St.
Financial markets were closed Monday for observance of Christmas. They were to reopen today.