How to Buy a House Without Help From Your Family

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How to Buy a House Without Help From Your Family
On the highway to homeownership, coming up with a sufficient down payment continues to be one of the biggest roadblocks. In fact, many prospective home buyers, particularly first-timers, find it hard to overcome this challenge without the kindness of loved ones. Among recent home buyers age 28 and younger (who are more likely to be... Beth Buczynski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bbuczynski@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @bethbuczynski. The article How to Buy a House Without Help From Your Family originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging {free class}

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How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging {free class}
Are you a new blogger or a longtime blogger who still hasn’t figured out how to really make money from blogging? You don’t want to miss my new brand-new class on How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging. Best of all, it’s FREE! In this free class, you’ll learn: 5 tried and true ways YOU can make money from your blog today The #1 mistake most bloggers make that keeps them from earning an income My secrets for building a 7-figure blog on a shoestring budget Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me your burning questions about monetizing a blog Go here to sign up for one of the two times I’m teaching it on Saturday or the one time I’m teaching it on Monday. The class will be about 50 minutes long and then I’ll allow 30 minutes extra at the end to answer your questions live. By the way, on these classes, I’ll also be unveiling my brand-new course, Monetize Your Blog: A Beginner’s Guide to a Profitable Blog. You’ll be one of the first ones to have the opportunity to sign up for it! P.S. If you can’t make it to the live class, still go ahead and sign up because I’ll be sending you a replay of the class once it’s finished. [...]
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Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

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Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
With summer fun now behind us, it’s time to prepare for a long fall and winter. So, if you are 50 or older, consider scheduling vaccinations that can keep you healthy — and even save your life. The aging process weakens our immune systems, putting us at greater risk for several types of disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For this reason... [...]
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Pretend Doctor Kit Playset for Kids

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Pretend Doctor Kit Playset for Kids
Fuel your little one’s creative play with this great deal. You can get the Pretend Doctor Kit Playset for Kids for only $14.99. You will be saving 48% on this purchase because it is normally $28.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the price can change at any time! The post Pretend Doctor Kit Playset for Kids appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Payments giants battle it out for the new breed of retail customer

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Payments giants battle it out for the new breed of retail customer
Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia. Payments processor Adyen has prized eBay away from PayPal and a high profile customer from Square.  Is there a changing of the guard afoot in the global fintech […] The post Payments giants battle it out for the new breed of retail customer appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Cents of Style: Be Series Graphic Tees for just $16.95 shipped!

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Cents of Style: Be Series Graphic Tees for just $16.95 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These Be Series Graphic Tees are SO cute! Cents of Style has their brand new Be Series Tees on sale for $16.95 shipped when you use coupon code BEGRAPHICS at checkout. There are five different phrases to choose from: be free, be happy, be you, be kind, and be fearless! Go here to get your Be Series Graphic Tee for $16.95 shipped. Valid through September 20, 2019. [...]
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Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020

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Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020
A sweet points offer for staying at Courtyard by Marriott properties is bringing a new opportunity for Marriott Bonvoy members to boost their earnings. Members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program can earn 2,000 bonus points per night for stays at Courtyard by Marriott hotels. What’s unique about this promotion is that there’s no limit... Randy Diamond is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Subscribe by 30 September 2019 and get a 50% discount off your first year fee

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Subscribe by 30 September 2019 and get a 50% discount off your first year fee
Purchase a subscription by 30 September and pay just US$71.50 for the first year, which enables you to: – Read our latest daily insights – Read our archives of over 1,000 articles – Comment on our posts – Participate in our industry forum Use Coupon Code: Introductory-Offer on our Subscription page. The post Subscribe by 30 September 2019 and get a 50% discount off your first year fee appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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5 Amazing Employee Perks Starbucks Offers — Even Part-Timers Get These

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5 Amazing Employee Perks Starbucks Offers — Even Part-Timers Get These
When I decided to pursue freelance writing as a career, I knew I needed an additional source of income. Or a winning lottery ticket.  A job seemed like the better bet. I applied to work at Starbucks because I had heard it’s an ideal place for a part-time gig. I could receive many of the same benefits as my friends who had full-time jobs, but I would only be working 25 to 30 hours per week! The Hidden Perks of Working at Starbucks Starbucks is known for treating its partners well. (“Partners” is what Starbucks calls its employees.)  Chances are, you’ve heard the company offers its partners retirement plans and fully covered tuition to Arizona State University’s online program for eligible full- and part-time U.S. partners. But after a few months, I began to realize that most partners at my store weren’t taking advantage of all the benefits Starbucks offered us — myself included. We either didn’t know about the perks or didn’t understand them. I decided to do some research, and it really paid off. Who knew working at Starbucks would help me listen to music for free? Or join a fancy gym for a fraction of the price? If you are a Starbucks partner, here are a few money-savers you may not know you have at your fingertips. 1. Free Spotify Premium My friends and family all know I’m cheap. Well, let’s say “frugal.” That sounds nicer. While planning my wedding, I was determined to find an alternative to paying hundreds of dollars for a DJ. I figured I would just get Spotify Premium so I could play all my music without dealing with ads or the tunes being on shuffle. Then I realized I was too… ahem… frugal, to pay $9.99 per month for Spotify Premium. Thankfully, a co-worker told me Spotify and Starbucks have a deal that gives partners free Spotify Premium. I signed up. (And, in case you were wondering, my wedding reception was the bomb.) 2. Free Coffee and Tea It’s no surprise that another Starbucks benefit is free coffee.  Starbucks partners get a free pound of coffee or box of tea every week. It’s easy to take this perk for granted, but a bag of coffee isn’t cheap. My first few weeks of working, I didn’t take advantage of this benefit. My now-husband also worked at Starbucks, so I didn’t see the need for both of us to get a pound of coffee every week. I mean, I’m a coffee addict, but that’s a lot of coffee! However, to those partners who don’t see the need to use the full amount every week, I fully encourage you to start. Did you know there are countless uses for your free bags of coffee? One of my co-workers volunteered with military personnel and took her free coffee to them every week. My husband gave his groomsmen bags of coffee as thank-you gifts. 3. A Jolt for Your 401(k) Please don’t skip this section because you think planning for retirement is boring and too complicated to understand. I’m amazed by how many employees don’t take advantage of this benefit. Many partners don’t know that Starbucks matches 100% of their 401(k) contributions, typically up to 4 to 6% of the employee’s salary. The company’s Board of Directors decides each November what the following year’s rate will be.  That’s free money that is growing on its own thanks to compound interest. I never missed it because I never touched it, and the government won’t tax me on it until I withdraw it. Set up your 401(k) plan online, and it kicks in after 90 days on the job.  4. Gym Membership Discounts This benefit is bittersweet: Sweet because everyone loves deals. Bitter because you are about to lose your excuse to skip going to the gym. Starbucks has partnerships with gyms that are always trying to attract new customers. For example, Starbucks has partnerships with GlobalFit, Gold’s Gym and Curves.  Discounted gym memberships just for being a Starbucks employee? That’s an advantage I never expected! Now you have a way to burn off all those free pumpkin spice lattes you drink on the job. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Scholarships 9/9/19 @ 10:09 AM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 2:14 PM T Job Searching: Grit and Prayer 2/14/19 @ 9:54 AM Plasma donation 9/9/19 @ 12:26 PM M See more in Make Money or ask a money question 5. Starbucks Partner Discounts Emails In case you haven’t noticed, Starbucks provides employees a lot of goodies. They’re hard to keep track of, and new deals are always popping up. Guess what? You don’t have to miss out on any of them. I signed up for weekly emails from Starbucks. Once a week, I received an email about new discounts with companies ranging from AMC Theatres to Dell to Restaurant.com. It was the most foolproof way to make sure I didn’t miss an opportunity to save a little money. As soon as your manager assigns you an ID number, you can sign up for these emails.  Laura Grace Tarpley is a freelance writer who is always looking for ways to save money. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family

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How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family
If you ask many Americans, one thing that they need to save money on it is healthcare.  With the rising costs of both insurance and medical bills, it certainly can keep you up at night. You need healthcare coverage.  That is especially true if you have children.  They are good at getting sick and injured, ... Read More about How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family The post How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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7 Unexpected Perks of Downsizing as a Retiree

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7 Unexpected Perks of Downsizing as a Retiree
When you were young, chances are you dreamed of owning a large home with all the bells and whistles. But as life marches on, it’s not unusual to have more modest goals, including visions of a smaller home that better suits your needs. You may decide to downsize before retirement. Or, maybe you are just looking for a simpler lifestyle. Parents often find there’s less need to maintain... [...]
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12 Ways to Get Cheap Photo Prints

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12 Ways to Get Cheap Photo Prints
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for the best online photo printing deals? If you love to order prints online but hate paying full price, check out these tips for getting cheap photo prints! {Looking for all the latest photo deals? Go HERE.} Reader Kara wrote in with this great question: “Hello, I was wondering what is the least expensive way to print pictures? I used to wait until Shutterfly did their free prints deals but last time I did that it seemed that their shipping fees had gone up. Any other suggestions?” How to Get Cheap Photo Prints I know many of you are probably like Kara and on the hunt for cheap photo print deals! So I decided to take this question to the readers on our Facebook page to see what their best tips were (thank you to those of you who commented!). They came up with a lot of great suggestions, but these were the top companies! Before you go to order prints online, be sure to check out these tips for getting cheap photo prints: 1. Shutterfly While shipping costs have gone up slightly over the years, Shutterfly is still a go-to option for discounted photo prints because of the amount of coupon codes they offer on a regular basis. In fact, Shutterfly regularly offers free print deals to new and established customers. New customers receive 50 free prints and select free products when they sign up. Shutterfly also has prepaid print plans that can give you photos for just 9 cents each. To keep shipping costs lower, try ordering 95 prints when a free print deal is going on. The shipping fees can be up to $4.00 less by simply decreasing your order by a few prints. Or, consider doing in-store pickup instead. During the checkout process, click the “1-Hour Pick Up Available” link under eligible 4×6 prints to search for your preferred local Target, Walmart, or CVS store by zip code. The Shutterfly app offers unlimited free 4×6 and 4×4 prints. You only have to pay for shipping. The app also regularly offers free deals and you’re able to edit within the app. 2. Snapfish Snapfish offers standard 4×6 prints starting at 9 cents each, plus shipping. They regularly offer free and discounted print deals to new and established customers. New customers receive 100 4×6 prints when they join. Sometimes they even offer deals where you can get FREE prints with FREE shipping! If you choose to pick up your prints in-store from participating CVS or Walgreens stores, you can see the cost difference on the order screen. For instance, you can get up to 49 prints from CVS at 29 cents each. If you get 50 or more prints, the price goes down to 19 cents apiece. It might end up being cheaper to choose this option instead of paying for the 9 cent prints plus shipping. The Snapfish App gives you 100 free prints each month for the first year you sign up with the app. You only have to pay for shipping and one reader reported her shipping was only $2.95. Shipping costs may vary according to where you live. You can edit photos within the app and see how they will print. 3. Amazon Prime Photos Amazon Photos offers 4×6 prints for 9 cents each with free shipping. Members receive 5 GB of storage free but after that, you’ll need to choose a digital storage plan. If you’re a Prime member, you get unlimited storage for free! They do occasionally offer free prints. Note: If you’re not a Prime member, you can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial! 4. FreePrints App Customers receive 85 free 4×6 prints per month and only need to pay for shipping. You can get up to 1000 free prints in a year! If you need more than 85 prints, you can pay for those. Shipping starts at $1.99 and is never more than $9.99 no matter how many prints you order. There’s also a FreePrints Photobooks app, which will give you one free photo book per month. There are not subscriptions and no commitments. 5. Walmart Walmart offers 9 cent 4×6 prints for home delivery, plus shipping. If you do the 1-Hour Rollback option in the store, it’s 25 cents per print for 74 photos or less and then 15 cents apiece for 75 photos or more. They offer free shipping on orders over $25. 6. Adoramapix Readers really loved Adoramapix’s photo quality, especially for photo albums. 4×6 photos are currently 29 cents each and economy shipping is $5.95. (See their price list.) They also offer a full range of photo sizes so keep them in mind if you need a non-standard print. You can sign up for special deals on their website. And if you’re a new customer, you can get 15% off your first order with coupon code Pixnew15 at checkout. They also have an app for Apple products. 7. Mpix People who prioritize photo quality will also want to take a look at Mpix, a service even photographers recommend. Readers are impressed with the quality, as well as the care they take in packaging your products. 4×6 prints are 29 cents each. Economy shipping is $3.95. They have a Reward Program where you can earn points toward discounts and special offers with every purchase you make. You can earn 100 points just for signing up for a Mpix account. 500 points can earn you free shipping or a $5 off coupon. 8. Costco Prices start at 17 cents for the first 99 4×6 prints at Costco with warehouse pick-up and decrease to 14 cents for 100 or more prints. 4×6 prints are 9 cents if you opt to have them shipped to the warehouse instead; shipping costs vary but it is free if you opt for standard delivery. 9. Sam’s Club 4×6 photos are 10 cents each for 1 Hour Photo. They are 8 cents each if shipped to your home. They regularly offer special deals and you can upload your photos on their app. New customers get 50 free prints when they sign up for an account. 10. Walgreens The first 74 4×6 prints from Walgreens are 33 cents each. 75 or more prints are 23 cents. The price is the same for in-store pickup and mail delivery. Standard shipping costs start at $0.99 and go up to $5.89. Many readers report they’ll place their order through the app or website and pick it up at the store an hour later or at their convenience instead of having it shipped. Customers can sign up to receive special deals by email. The Walgreens app allows you to print the photo off your phone. Readers report they regularly receive free print and coupon deals, along with earning Balance Reward points. One reader went so far as to say she’s saved more money than she’s spent! 11. CVS As a competitor of Walgreens, they have a very similar pricing structure. The first 74 4×6 prints from Walgreens are 33 cents each and 75 or more prints are 23 cents. 12. Groovebook Groovebook is a unique option that lets you create a 4×6 “photo book” with between 40-100 pictures each month. The photo are perforated, so you can tear and share them just like regular photo prints. Subscriptions cost $3.99 per month — so it’s like paying just under $0.04 per print! You can get your first Groovebook for FREE with code MYFREEBOOK at checkout. If you have fewer than 100 photos that month, they’ll fill the rest of the book with duplicates. The app seamlessly integrates with the photos on your phone and is available for iPhone and Android. I’ve heard from a lot of people who use and love Groovebook! Bonus Tip: You might also try your locally owned photography shop, because they typically offer coupons and have some of the best quality around! While this will vary by location, it’s definitely an option to look into! Do you order prints online? What are your best suggestions for getting cheap photo prints and finding the best online photo printing deals? [...]
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SEC Staff Announces Changes to Rule 14a-8 No-Action Request Process

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SEC Staff Announces Changes to Rule 14a-8 No-Action Request Process
On September 6, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the Staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced changes (the Announcement) concerning its procedures for administering Rule 14a-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Specifically, starting with the 2019-2020 proxy season, in response to no-action requests by companies seeking to exclude shareholder proposals from their proxy materials pursuant to Rule 14a-8, the Staff may provide an oral statement of its view, rather than issuing the statement in writing. The Staff clarified that its response to such a request may be that it agrees, disagrees or declines to state a view with respect to the company’s basis for excluding the shareholder proposal, and, when the Staff declines to state its view with respect to a particular no-action request under Rule 14a-8, the interested party or parties should not interpret that as indicating the proposal must be included in the company’s proxy materials. As a reminder, the granting of no-action relief by the Staff confirms that the Staff will not recommend that the SEC bring an enforcement action against the requester based on the facts and representations described in the request, but, as noted in the Announcement, regardless of the Staff’s position, parties may still bring a suit in court to have the issue adjudicated on the merits.  Additionally, the Staff will still issue written response letters when “doing so would provide value, such as more broadly applicable guidance about complying with Rule 14a-8.” The Announcement also reiterated prior guidance that, when a company request for no-action relief is being made under paragraphs (i)(5) (Relevance) or (i)(7) (Management functions) of Rule 14a-8, it is helpful to the Staff for the company to provide its board of directors’ analysis. The full text of the Announcement is available here. [...]
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Announcing Daily Fintech Conversations

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Announcing Daily Fintech Conversations
Need to ‘voice’ and share your fintech insights with industry peers and experts? Look no further. Sign up to be part of Conversations today. Daily Fintech Conversations integrates our publishing and forum into a single platform. The purpose of both is to enable conversations that make good things happen. Most of us understand instinctively how to have […] The post Announcing Daily Fintech Conversations appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Discover Bank CD Rates: How They Compare

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Discover Bank CD Rates: How They Compare
+ See a summary of Discover Bank CD rates Discover Bank CD rates 2019 1-year: 2.40% APY 3-year: 2.45% APY 5-year: 2.50% APY 10-year: 2.60% APY Discover Bank’s CD rates are competitive with other online banks and are some of the highest you can find. The range of terms is extensive, from three months to 10... Spencer Tierney is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: spencer.tierney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd. The article Discover Bank CD Rates: How They Compare originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Great Ways to Use the AmEx Business Platinum Welcome Offer

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5 Great Ways to Use the AmEx Business Platinum Welcome Offer
For a limited time, the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has an increased welcome offer for new cardholders: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. While... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 5 Great Ways to Use the AmEx Business Platinum Welcome Offer originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Will SoftPoS be the new global payment mechanism?

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Will SoftPoS be the new global payment mechanism?
SoftPoS stands for Software Point of Sale. If you lived in parts of the world outside of the US, you would have come across contactless payments. It made the payment experience seamless and almost invisible to the customer. As a result, in the UK for instance, by Q4 2018, contactless payments took over chip and […] The post Will SoftPoS be the new global payment mechanism? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Truman’s Non-Toxic Household Cleaners Starter Kit for just $5 shipped!

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Truman’s Non-Toxic Household Cleaners Starter Kit for just $5 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Interested in non-toxic household cleaning options? Check out this deal on Truman’s Household Cleaners!! Have you heard of Truman’s? It’s a relatively new subscription service that delivers non-toxic household cleaners to your doorstep! Each Truman’s delivery includes four different cleaners for your kitchen, floors, bathroom, and glass surfaces. (And the kitchen spray is also an all-purpose cleaner!) You receive the spray bottles and cleaners on your very first delivery and then cleaner refill cartridges on each subsequent delivery. Each delivery of cleaners should last you 6 months, but you can pause, skip, cancel, or change your subscription at any time. And right now you can get your first subscription for just $5 shipped with code SUB5 at checkout. Here’s how: Head over to this page. Click on “Get Your Starter Kit.” Choose the $15 option. When you choose this option, you’ll be signed up for automatic subscriptions but you can pause, skip, or cancel your subscription at any time after your first order ships out. Click through to checkout. On the page where you enter all of your information, look on the right side of the page where it says “Have a discount code? Enter it here.” Use code SUB5 to get 50% off! You’ll pay just $5 and shipping is FREE. If you love Truman’s cleaning products and want to continue with your subscription, you’ll be automatically charged at the regular price of $15 for your subsequent deliveries. (Note: The next delivery ships out after 45 days, so be sure to go in and change that since each delivery lasts for 6 months!) If you don’t want to continue after your first discounted starter kit, just go in and cancel before your next shipment. Super simple! This seems really cool! Have any of you tried it yet? I’d love to hear in the comments! Go here to get your Truman’s Starter Kit for $5! (Just use code SUB5.) [...]
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This week in fintech

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This week in fintech
Daily Fintech brings fresh daily fintech insights from people just like you – senior executives, entrepreneurs & investors working in the fintech revolution. Our weekly summaries give you a look at what you will get by reading the whole article. Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor, entrepreneur and advisor. He is CEO and Editor […] The post This week in fintech appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety

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Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety
Without even knowing it, you may have put yourself in a financially precarious position: being upside-down on your car loan. Maybe you bought a new car without making a down payment. Or perhaps you opted for low, “easy” monthly payments by stretching your loan to 72 or even 84 months. However you got there, it’s... Philip Reed is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: preed@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @AutoReed. The article Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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8 Ways to Snag Big Back-to-School Savings on Cellphones

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8 Ways to Snag Big Back-to-School Savings on Cellphones
This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com. You don’t have to be a student to get in on great back-to-school cellphone savings. But you’ll need to act fast, because these amazing discounts won’t last long. By taking advantage of a buy one, get one free sale, you can potentially cut costs in half when purchasing a phone for yourself and the student in your life (or anyone... [...]
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15 Ways to Eat Out on the Cheap

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15 Ways to Eat Out on the Cheap
Want some tips on how to eat out on the cheap? Here are 15 tried and true ideas to help you enjoy restaurant food — on a budget. How to Eat Out on the Cheap Love eating out? Don’t love how much it can cost? Here are 15 ideas to save money on eating out:a 1. Go out to lunch instead of dinner. 2. Always use restaurant coupons. 3. Order water instead of beverages that cost. 4. Split an entree with someone else when possible. 5. Sign up for Birthday Freebies and use those when you eat out. 6. Go out for dessert instead of a full meal. 7. Use restaurant gift cards that you bought discounted. 8. Sign up for restaurant apps and email lists to be notified of great coupons and specials — or even freebies! 9. Earn free restaurant gift cards from Shopkick, Fetch, and Swagbucks. 10. Go on Kids’ Eat Free nights. 11. Eat a snack before you leave the house so you’re not as hungry. 12. Don’t order appetizers or desserts. 13. Eat out at Costco or IKEA instead of a restaurant. 14. Apply to be a mystery shopper and you could get paid to eat out! (I have done this many times in the past!) 15. Go to a fast food restaurant with a dollar menu and let everyone choose 1-3 items off the dollar menu! What are your favorite tips for saving money on eating out? Share them in the comments! P.S. For more ideas, check out this post on How to Save Money on Eating Out. [...]
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InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech?

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InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech?
image The customer- easily overlooked on innovation’s path, and the continuous need for insurance companies to keep the customer as the ultimate focus of any innovation efforts. It’s a good week to revisit a favorite topic of mine; after presenting sessions on mobile claim applications to adjusters at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s regional […] The post InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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How This Couple Paid off $20K in Credit Card Debt — Making Less Than $70K/Year

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How This Couple Paid off $20K in Credit Card Debt — Making Less Than $70K/Year
It happened fast. In a little over a month, Wilmer and Kimberly Swerdfeger had accumulated $20,000 in credit card debt. “Everything went haywire,” Wilmer says. The 51-year-old Bakersfield, California, resident has been an emergency medical technician on a 911 ambulance for more than 10 years. Wilmer says both he and his wife, who’s a substitute teacher, are financially responsible. They earn a modest income, but they have near-perfect credit scores, and their cars are paid for in full. Heck, they don’t even like having more than $600 on their credit card. So when $20,000 in unexpected home repairs and emergency medical procedures hit all at once, Wilmer felt stressed. He went looking for a way out and found an online lender called Figure, which offered home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) of up to $150,000 with annual percentage rates (APR)  starting at 4.99%*. This could save him hundreds of dollars in interest each month and would leave him with a single manageable monthly payment — not multiple credit card bills due on different days. Plus, Wilmer could get a free quote in five minutes and apply online. It was worth a shot, right? How a HELOC Can Alleviate the Stress of Credit Card Debt If you own a home, a HELOC allows you to borrow money against its equity — that’s the money you’ve paid toward your mortgage. Use Wilmer as an example. He’s accumulated more than $200,000 in home equity over the 20 years he’s owned his home. He applied for a five-year HELOC through Figure, which granted him access to $24,000 worth of his home’s equity with an  APR of 5.75%. He could then use that $24,000 to pay off his high-interest credit card balances. With a HELOC, you can use the money for whatever you want — but that doesn’t mean you should. HELOCs (typically) come with lower interest rates than personal loans because they’re backed by your home. This is a huge perk. But that also means if you fail to pay back what you’d borrowed, you risk losing your home. Many experts suggest only opening a HELOC to consolidate and pay off high-interest credit cards (like Wilmer) or to increase the value of your home with repairs or renovations. Don’t Let Lenders Take Advantage of Your Bad Situation Before he found Figure, Wilmer contacted his bank and other lenders about opening a HELOC. But he quickly realized: “These guys were trying to take advantage of my desperation.” “A couple of banks told me I qualified for a $190,000 line of credit,” Wilmer says. “It’s taken me 20 years of hard work to build up that equity.” He didn’t need that much money, and when Wilmer told one lender that, the voice on the other end responded: “Go buy a new wardrobe! Take a vacation!” It’s taken me 20 years of hard work to build up that equity. That enraged Wilmer. He knew that was the last thing anyone should do with borrowed money. Other banks offered a HELOC with a draw period of nine years, meaning he’d have more chance to spend. It was unnecessary; Wilmer just wanted to pay off his debt as soon as possible. A Line of Credit Could Save You Hundreds Each Month Right when he reached peak frustration, he learned about Figure. It offered home equity lines of credit for up to $150,000, with APRs starting at 4.99%. But because he hadn’t heard of the company before, Wilmer had questions. He picked up the phone and called Figure… several times. Everyone he spoke with was friendly, helpful and patient; no one was pushy. Wilmer even asked about the history of the company. Skepticism now aside, Wilmer got a free quote from Figure, then applied for a HELOC from his phone. He got approved for a five-year line of credit for with an APR of 5.75%. It was way better than any previous offer he’d received. Whereas his bank told him he’d have to wait three weeks for approval and to receive his funds, Figure directly deposited the money he requested into his account the next day. And, unlike some lenders might have, Figure didn’t surprise him with fees. He paid an origination fee (typical), but he wasn’t charged an application fee and doesn’t face monthly maintenance fees. Moving on From Unexpected Credit Card Debt  Once Wilmer was approved for his line of credit, he says, “It was like, ‘Wam bam bam,’ and everything was paid off. Now I just owe Figure. It took a lot of stress off.” He’s no longer worried about making payments toward his wife’s emergency eye surgery. Or paying off that air conditioning system — his old one went kaput the day his wife came home from surgery, and California summers are hot. And he went ahead and paid off a lingering $4,000 he still owed on roof repairs. It took a lot of stress off. Now he’s left with two easy-to-manage monthly payments: His mortgage and his Figure payment. He’s even throwing some extra money toward his line of credit so he can pay it off early — Figure has no early repayment penalty. It only takes five minutes to check your rate with Figure. If you like what you see and your application is approved, Figure will initiate funding within five days*. Then it’s goodbye to high interest rates and credit card debt.   *Terms and conditions apply. Visit figure.com for further information. Figure Lending LLC is an equal opportunity lender. NMLS #1717824 Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Good2Go Auto Insurance Review 2019

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Good2Go Auto Insurance Review 2019
NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Lisa Green Specializes in selling minimum required car insurance.Focuses on high-risk drivers.Can help provide SR-22 forms for drivers who need one. Good2Go has... Lisa Green is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lgreen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lisaccgreen. The article Good2Go Auto Insurance Review 2019 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

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15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
Yard sales are the ultimate form of recycling. Whether your neighbor is hawking a souvenir spoon collection on her lawn or your church has gathered congregants’ donations for a fundraiser, you can dig up some hidden gems. Plus, pat yourself on the back: Giving these items new life will likely save trash from filling up a landfill. Here’s a look at things you’d be smart to snatch... [...]
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Got Perkins Loans? Here’s How 5 Years in Public Service Could Wipe Them Out

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Got Perkins Loans? Here’s How 5 Years in Public Service Could Wipe Them Out
The Perkins loan program may be history, but that doesn’t stop it from haunting your present. Perkins loans were student loans designed for undergraduate and graduate students who showed exceptional financial need — the loans charged 5% interest, and you had 10 years to pay them off.  The program ended on Sept. 30, 2017, but you’re still on the hook for paying off any of the Perkins loans you took out.  But if you’re working in public service, you could potentially have your Perkins loans canceled.  Like other student loan forgiveness programs, obtaining Perkins loan forgiveness is not an easy or quick process. But if it could mean the difference between paying back thousands of dollars in student debt, it could be worth your effort. How to Find Out If You’re Eligible for Perkins Loan Forgiveness To be eligible for Perkins loan cancellation, you must be working full time in a qualifying public service role (we’ll explain the discharge option a little later) and your loans cannot be in default. To default on federal loan repayment means you’ve failed to make your monthly payment for 270 days (nine months). Additionally, if you refinance or consolidate your Perkins loans, you are not eligible for this forgiveness program. We’ve broken down the options into categories based on how much of your loan can be forgiven and type of service. 1. Up to 100% Forgiveness The most comprehensive in terms of job options is for up to 100% loan cancellation for five years of service. The amount forgiven is granted in increments: 15% for the first and second years. 20% for the third and fourth years. 30% for the fifth year. This category includes the following professions: Teacher. To qualify for the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation, you must either teach at a low-income school or teach one of the following subjects: mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual, special education or another subject area that is facing a shortage of qualified teachers in your state. Employee at a child or family services agency. Faculty member at a tribal college or university (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Firefighter (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Law enforcement or corrections officer. Librarian with a master’s degree working at a Title I-eligible elementary or secondary school or at a public library that serves Title I-eligible schools (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Nurse or medical technician. Professional provider of early intervention disability services. Public defender (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Speech pathologist with master’s degree working at a Title I-eligible elementary or secondary school (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). If you’re an educator at a pre-K or licensed childcare program (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008) or a Head Start program, it will take seven years to forgive the loan, which is granted in the following increments: 15% for the first six years. 10% for the seventh year. 2. Up to 70% Forgiveness AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps volunteers can get up to 70% of their loans forgiven for four years of service. Cancelation is also granted in increments: 15% for the first and second years. 20% for the third and fourth years. 3. Forgiveness for Military Service Those who serve in the U.S. armed forces in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area qualify for Perkins loan cancellation according to the following classifications: Up to 50% for four years for borrowers whose active duty service ended before Aug. 14, 2008. Up to 100% for five years for borrowers whose active duty service includes or began on or after Aug. 14, 2008. 4. 100% Discharge Discharge and forgiveness essentially mean the same thing — they wipe out your student loan — but a discharge is due to circumstances, while forgiveness is dependent upon your line of work. The following conditions are eligible: The school closed before the borrower could complete the program of study (applies to loans received on or after Jan. 1, 1986). The borrower is totally and permanently disabled. The borrower died. (Read more about a student loan death discharge here.) The borrower filed for bankruptcy — but only if the bankruptcy court rules that repayment would cause undue hardship. (That’s rare.) FROM THE DEBT FORUM Credit card debt 7/29/19 @ 5:18 PM F How to pay off medical bills? 8/29/19 @ 2:39 PM N Student loans!! 8/9/19 @ 1:07 PM J Payday loans - essential or evil? 2/27/19 @ 4:52 PM F See more in Debt or ask a money question How Do I Apply? To qualify for a Perkins loan cancellation or discharge, you’ll need at least one year of professional experience before applying (or one academic year for teachers).  Because your school is considered the lender (the federal government subsidizes the loan), you should contact your school (or its loan servicer) to obtain the forms and instructions for your Perkins loan forgiveness. Pro Tip Schools must automatically defer loans during periods when you are performing service that will qualify for loan cancelation — you do not need to apply for concurrent deferment.  Every school has its own application, but in general, you’ll need to fill out your personal information, your type and length of service, and certification from your employer. What Happens if I Receive Forgiveness? If you’re approved for Perkins loan forgiveness, the principal amount of your loan will be canceled incrementally according to the schedule associated with your forgiveness classification. Any interest that the loan accrued during that year will also be forgiven. What Happens if I Don’t Receive Forgiveness? If you’re denied Perkins loan forgiveness, all is not lost, particularly if you have other federal loans to consolidate. Consolidation disqualifies your loans for the Perkins loan forgiveness program, but by consolidating your Perkins loans, they then qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. However, keep in mind that your Perkins loans must be paid in 10 years, so there’s a good chance you’d have your loans paid off before you reached the 10 years of service the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program requires.  Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card

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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card
For serious foodies, the Uber Visa Card packs plenty of features, minus the surge pricing: The card’s annual fee is $0. To get the best performance possible from the card, here’s what to keep in mind. » MORE: Full review of the Uber Visa Card Scoop up the sign-up bonus Learn More The Uber Visa Card features the following welcome offer... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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15 Dinners to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare

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15 Dinners to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for dinners to make when your cupboards are bare and money is tight? Here are some of our family’s favorite ideas. Best of all, most of these are super quick and easy ideas, too: Meals to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare 1. Grilled Cheese You can use any kind of cheese and any kind of bread! 2. Eggs and Toast This is an easy meal that even younger kids can make! 3. Loaded Baked Potatoes Get creative with whatever you might have on hand that would work as a topping: taco meat, chili, beans, ham, bacon, cheese, broccoli, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. You could even do chopped chicken, salsa, and cheese. 4. Any Pasta With Pasta Sauce If you have any canned tomatoes or ground beef or onions, you can add it to the sauce. Then, serve it sprinkled with any kind of cheese you might have on hand. 5. Sandwiches The options are pretty ended here: Peanut Butter/Jelly (or PB & honey — we love to toast the bread for a little extra something!) Egg Salad, Meat/Cheese, etc. Tip: Did you know you can freeze PB&J sandwiches? 6. Build Your Own Taco Salad Use whatever taco-like ingredients you have on hand: Ground beef or turkey with homemade taco seasoning, beans, lettuce, chips, tomatoes, cheese, etc. 7. Crockpot Sausage and Peppers This is a staple at our house. If I have kielbasa in the freezer and I’ve gotten peppers on markdowns, I’ll chop up both and add some onions or potatoes or sweet potatoes (if I have them) and cook this with a little water and seasonings in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. You can you serve over rice or pasta (if you didn’t include potatoes). 8. Meat/Potatoes/Frozen Veggies Hash This was a standby recipe at our family’s house growing up. If we needed a quick dinner, we’d brown some ground beef with onions, and then add some chopped potatoes and fry those until tender. Then we’d add corn or peas. I think this recipe originally came from the More With Less Cookbook. 9. Refried Beans and Cheese We like to spoon refried beans into a baking dish and top with cheese and then heat these up in the microwave (or you can bake in the oven) until heated through and then serve with chips and salsa or spread onto tortillas to make bean and cheese burritos. 10. Breakfast For Dinner Breakfast foods are always a quick and easy pantry meal idea, depending on what you have on hand. Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast served with eggs and/or bacon (if you have any) and fruit. You could also do a big pan of Baked Oatmeal and top it with any fruit you have and serve it with yogurt or milk. Tip: Have extra eggs on hand and some meat and cheese? Make these yummy Egg & Cheese Bites. Pantry Meal Ideas From My Followers: 11. Quesadillas Betsy said, “We have what I call refrigerator quesadillas. Tortillas, cheese and anything else leftover– chicken, ham, zucchini, corn, etc. Stick it in between tortillas and cheese and you’re pretty much set! 12. Have a Chopped Competition One of my followers, Amanda, said that they love to play Chopped when they are trying to use up what they have on hand. (If you’re unfamiliar with it, Chopped is a TV show where contestants are given random ingredients and they have to make a recipe with those ingredients.) What a fun idea! 13. Tortilla Soup Charity said: “I almost always have bullion, diced tomatoes, canned black beans, an onion or garlic and some veggies (typically celery, carrots and corn) and a handful of rice and crushed tortilla chips around. We’ll top it with shredded cheese.” 14. Cheater Chili Tanya said: “I always have the ingredients for ‘Cheater Chili’ in my pantry and boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. A can of chili beans, a can of white beans, a can of kidney beans (or whatever kind you want really) and a jar of Pace Picante sauce. Heat until hot. I add ground beef when I have it or have time, but it’s great without it too. 15. Barbecue Cups Amanda said: “We make Barbecue Cups — ground beef with bbq sauce, place on top of raw biscuit in a muffin tin add cheese to top, bake in oven.” What are YOUR favorite budget-friendly meals to make when money is tight? P.S. For more ideas, check out this post on my Facebook Page. [...]
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Salad Cutter Bowl

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Salad Cutter Bowl
These are a great addition to any kitchen and at this price, you can grab more than one! You can get the Salad Cutter Bowl for only $6.45! You will be saving 71% on this purchase because it is normally $21.99! Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change at ... Read More about Salad Cutter Bowl The post Salad Cutter Bowl appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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6 Simple Ways to Use a Bullet Journal to Manage Your Money

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6 Simple Ways to Use a Bullet Journal to Manage Your Money
Instead of choosing from the dizzying array of online budgeting tools, here’s a novel thought: The best solution to keeping track of your money may be writing everything down with pen and paper.   The bullet journal — or BuJo, for short — is an analog organizational system that can help you find the “calm in the chaos” (at least, according to the official bullet journal website). What sets the bullet journal apart from other lookalikes is it’s completely customizable. Each page has tiny bullets to use as a guide to track whatever you want. You can set goals, write down to-do lists and track your finances all in one place.  Unlike with pre-designed planners, bullet journal money management allows you to create spreads for your particular financial goals and tasks, including the visuals that will most inspire you to reach them.  So if you want to buy a house, for instance, you can color each brick of a house as you save for a down payment.  And if you’ve ever missed a reminder amid the constant pings from the calendar on your phone, you’ll appreciate that bullet journals offer a physical, visually pleasing alternative for tracking your bills. And you don’t have to be creative to get started.  How to Start a Bullet Journal Budget Because the bullet journal is what you make it, there are an infinite amount of options for how it can help you manage your money.  To start with, you’ll need an index (aka table of contents) to avoid flipping through endless pages of your journal each time you want to look at your budget. Depending on the type you use, your journal may come with a few pages at the front pre-designed for an index or you can simply create your own. Come up with a list of initial ideas — no worries if you’re not sure about everything you want to cover, as you can always add more pages or sections to the index later.  And because a bullet journal is so customizable, you can address your own specific problem areas or goals.  Pro Tip If you’re getting overwhelmed by ideas you see on Pinterest and Instagram, forget the embellishments and just track your expenses and goals in a format that is easy to follow and maintain. Do you need to be better about sticking to a budget? Do you need to pay off debt? Do you have some big savings goals? Great! There’s a bullet journal “spread” (official lingo) for that. Alicia Geigel teaches bullet journaling workshops at Whim So Doodle in St. Petersburg, Florida. She typically shares layout ideas to get people comfortable with tracking their lives both personally and professionally on paper. Now she’s finding people are interested in using the bullet journals for their personal finances. She recently used her journal to save $2,500 for a trip to Italy. “Since I do it every night and try to make it part of my routine, it just reminds me of the path I am trying to save on,” Geigel said.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or a bit stumped, we have some ideas to get you started. 1. Monthly Budget Tracker Seeing where you plan to spend and where you actually spend your money each month is a good way to start your budgeting journey. You can break down your budget into categories, starting with the unavoidables (bills, rent, gas and the like) and work forward from there. Include everything, right down to your Spotify subscription and the fact that once in a while you just need to order the more expensive pizza.   One option is making a monthly budget spread in bars. That way, you can visually gauge your budget based on the week of the month. Color in the bar each time you spend, and you’ll have a simple visual representation of how much you have left in that category.  At the end of the month, add up your total spending compared to your total budget. To create a little internal competition (because who doesn’t like wins?), write your total spending on next month’s budget page, then see if you can spend a little less.  Put the extra money saved toward bigger goals, like paying off student loan debt or saving up a down payment for a house.  Another option for the number lovers: Create a spread that looks just like a checkbook, then write down your scheduled bills on the left and record expenses on the right. Every time you spend money, deduct it from your balance. This method will hold you accountable and help prevent unwelcome surprises when you look at your bank account.  2. Bill Tracker This spread is perfect for the forgetful person. If you’re constantly writing down reminders to yourself (think: All. Those. Sticky. Notes.), a bill tracker should be a must in your BuJo financial strategy.  One idea for a bill tracker is to create a big-picture spread that stretched from now through the next several months.  Start by going back through your bank and credit card statements to make sure you count every bill you pay each month. Then draw your grid, making sure to include a space for the amount, the due date and whether or not you’ve paid it yet.  Leave a few extra boxes at the bottom of my tracker in case you need to add an extra line item or two over the next several months.  Put your monthly bills in one spread, and your quarterly and annual bills together in a separate tracker. As you pay each bill, check the box so you can see at a glance which ones still need to be addressed.  3. Spending Tracker If you’re pretty good about sticking to your budget and paying off your debt (or if you have no debt!), you may decide not to use a spending tracker every month.  Sometimes, though, you might want to add a spending tracker into your weekly or monthly section for a financial reboot of sorts. If you feel like your finances are getting a little out of control in any given month, it helps to see exactly when and how you’re spending every dollar. It can be quite an eye-opening experience. Pro Tip If you see you’ve spent too much half way through the month, don’t give up. Create a mini spending tracker that incorporates the remaining budget for the remainder of the month. The spending tracker has a lot of flexibility in how you choose to set it up, but the main things to include are a space to write the item/food/experience purchased, the store/venue where you purchased it from, the date, the cost, what type of payment you used and whether it was a want or a need.  After a month — or even a week — of tracking your spending, you may start to see patterns and problem areas that you otherwise might not be aware of. 4. Savings Tracker This one is the most exciting of the financial trackers (in our opinion, anyway).  While all of the other BuJo trackers help you watch your paycheck dwindle away each month, the savings goal tracker gets you amped each and every time you get to fill in a little more of that bar because you know you’re one step closer to that dream vacation or that new, extra-deep couch you can’t wait to curl up on.  One idea for a savings tracker: Give each goal its own horizontal or vertical bar. As you move money to your savings, color in the appropriate amount of the bar for the savings goal you’re working toward. Some goals might be small, and some might be huge — but you can move the bigger, unfinished goals from journal to journal as you fill each book.  Need a little more visual enticement? Determine an object that motivates you to save money. Is it a jar? A piggy bank?  Design a savings goal you can track visually. Each time you put money in your savings account, shade in a portion of the object. It’s quite satisfying to complete the picture as you reach your goal.  FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 1:38 PM T Budgeting Apps? [...]
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Two live Blockchain use cases in Mutual Funds administration and four pilots

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Two live Blockchain use cases in Mutual Funds administration and four pilots
In Blockchain world everybody wants to be `the World`s first`. The term started being a must in white papers, now it is all over social media, with announcements about The World`s first tokenized equity The World`s first STO The World`s first regulated Crypto bank The World`s first Initial Wallet Offering The World`s first Regulated ATS […] The post Two live Blockchain use cases in Mutual Funds administration and four pilots appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases

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Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases
As a smart shopper, you probably spend a lot of time searching for the best deals. However, some of those great finds aren’t really all that terrific. In fact, a lot of so-called “good deals” can actually be found for free. However, freebies are not the only way to save money. In this report, we look at some free things, but also highlight lower-cost options you might be... [...]
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*HOT* Up to 60% Off Columbia Pants For The Family + Free Shipping!!

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*HOT* Up to 60% Off Columbia Pants For The Family + Free Shipping!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Right now, Columbia is offering up to 60% off pants for the family! Columbia is offering up to 60% off pants for the family! No promo code needed. And shipping is FREE if you’re a Columbia Rewards Member (it’s free to sign up)! Check out these deals… Get these Kids Toddler Cypress Brook II Pants for just $10.98 shipped (regularly $19.99)! Get these Girls Trulli Trails Printed Leggings for only $11.98 shipped (regularly $30)! Get these Men’s CSC Bugasweat Pants for only $29.98 shipped (regularly $60)! Get these Men’s PFG Backcast Convertible Pants for only $21.98 shipped (regularly $45)! Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me?

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Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me?
Deciding whether the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is right for you is simple means asking yourself a few key questions. Here are the aspects you should weigh to understand whether this card will be a smart addition to your wallet. Is the sign-up bonus appealing to me? Will I earn it? Here’s the... Reyna Gobel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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FINRA Warns Investors of Potential Stock Fraud in Wake of Hurricane Dorian

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FINRA Warns Investors of Potential Stock Fraud in Wake of Hurricane Dorian
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released an investor alert cautioning investors of potential stock fraud in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. FINRA noted that financial fraud and potential investment scams regularly follow a natural disaster. Such scams can take the form of unsolicited phone calls, emails and texts about investments related to the natural disaster. FINRA’s investor alert highlights certain unsolicited communications about investments that exploit the latest natural disaster of which investors should be mindful, including price targets or predictions of exponential growth, pressure to invest immediately and mention of contracts or affiliations with federal government agencies or well-known companies. To avoid potential scams, FINRA advises investors to (1) investigate the relevant investment professionals before investing, (2) find the source of the message, (3) find out where the potential stock trades, and (4) read the company’s SEC filings. A full copy of the investor alert is available here. [...]
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These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier

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These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier
Podcasts are often an overlooked resource for entertainment, education and advice on niche topics — side gigs among them. They’re often hosted by everyday people in the thick of things. Some gain cult followings and build supportive communities before the topic goes mainstream. For anyone considering extra work, such feedback and support are crucial. The right side hustle podcast can be the perfect source of both. Need a Side Hustle Podcast to Stay Motivated? How About 9? Despite how side gigs are portrayed, there’s a lot more to them than downloading an app and making money in your spare time. Reality is more complicated. Your gig should be a purposeful endeavor that doesn’t merely cover bills.  Ideally, your side gig should have an exit plan that helps you meet a financial or professional goal. For those currently in the thick of things, you may find that hustle culture is taking a toll on your health or relationships. It can be a lot to stay on top of. But the good news is that there are a plethora of podcasts to guide you along your journey, from voices big and small.  1. The Accidental Creative Since 2005, author and podcast host Todd Henry has been cranking out episodes that include interviews and tips to spur creativity and productivity. New episodes of The Accidental Creative come daily or twice weekly, depending on your preference.  Daily episodes are three-minute snippets of advice while the twice-weekly episodes run for about 20 minutes and include full-length interviews and strategies. 2. Before Breakfast Host Laura Vanderkam dishes out daily episodes of Before Breakfast, a podcast that focuses on time-management techniques. As a mother of four, author, public speaker and host of two podcasts, Vanderkam knows a thing or two about managing time. Each episode aptly runs about five minutes, and it can be easily baked into your morning routine — ahem — before breakfast. 3. Freelance Creative Exchange Every two weeks, CreativesAtWork releases a new episode of Freelance Creative Exchange, a no-frills, tip-based podcast for freelancers, especially international freelancers.  Each episode, which runs about 30 to 40 minutes, takes a deep dive into a different freelance strategy. While the podcast is produced by a Singapore-based media agency, the content is universally applicable — covering such topics as scaling from a few clients to full-fledged business, pricing your services appropriately, using social media to further your reach and much more. 4. How I Built This Hosted by Guy Raz and provided by NPR, How I Built This is an award-winning podcast that’s built on a simple premise: interview the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs of the day and dive into exactly how they achieved success. Each episode documents the struggles and hurdles of the early stages of starting a business, and highlights how many now-household brands started out as side gigs. New episodes are published every Monday. Hunker down. They’re about an hour long. 5. The Rideshare Guy Harry Campbell is the voice behind The Rideshare Guy. The aerospace engineer turned rideshare-driver-podcaster-blogger started driving for Uber and Lyft in 2014. He created a blog and a podcast to dive into the differences of each ridesharing app. Campbell features a diversity of sources related to ridesharing and the gig economy as a whole. Some drivers, some researchers and even some CEOs. Episodes run between 30 and 45 minutes and are released every other week or so. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 2:14 PM T Laptops 9/5/19 @ 1:32 PM Work from home Southern_MiMi 9/3/19 @ 9:44 AM HOW TO START YOUR OWN ONLINE TUTORING BUSINESS? 9/4/19 @ 10:05 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question 6. Sidegig Previously, Sidegig was more talk show than podcast. Three seasons featured discussions and lessons-learned from three hosts, Preston Lee, Ian Paget, Ryan Robinson, who all ran businesses in addition to their 9-to-5s (and hosting the podcast).  All these episodes are still available to listen to, but starting Fall 2019, the show is getting a revamp: New host Brian Hull will offer up side gig ideas, advice and tips from guests. New episodes will be released every Friday. 7. Side Hustle Pro Host Nicaila Okame seeks to tell stories that no one else tells. So, in 2016, she started Side Hustle Pro, a podcast that shares the journeys of black women entrepreneurs who have created and grown their side gigs into lasting businesses. New episodes air every Wednesday and typically feature an interview with a successful guest. In 40-ish-minute segments, Side Hustle Pro covers big-picture advice like handling imposter syndrome as well as the minutiae like pricing your freelance services to attract the right clients. 8. Side Hustle School To best-selling author and podcast host Chris Guillebeau, a side hustle is all about creating a new opportunity that works for you, not some other business or side-gig platform. Every day, and sometimes multiple times per day, Guillebeau releases a new episode of Side Hustle School with that credo in mind.  Each episode features a unique side gig from his guest and offers resources on how to create a similar gig or business. Sometimes the episodes are hosted by the hustlers themselves. In June, The Penny Hoarder sat down to interview Chris Guillebeau ahead of his new book, “100 Side Hustles,” which is largely based on his podcast series. 9. The Side Hustle Show Every week, host Nick Loper shares advice on everything side hustle — moneymaking ideas, gig-launching tips, progress-tracking strategies and more. (Loper also brought some of his ideas to The Penny Hoarder as a freelance writer in years past.) The Side Hustle Show is now 350 episodes strong. Most episodes run for 40 minutes, but you can opt for edited versions of the massive archive to hone in on certain topics or to get minute-long sound bites. So before you download an app, before you commit to something you haven’t yet fleshed out and definitely before you spend any money on overhead costs, gain some perspective by filling all that empty air with the soundwaves of people who have gone before you. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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$70 Grocery Budget (I’m loving these weekend deals!)

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$70 Grocery Budget (I’m loving these weekend deals!)
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. I was excited about the weekend deals this week! Since the Labor Day sales went through Monday, we split up our budget so that we got some of them last week and some of them this week. Monday’s Kroger Shopping Trip 5 bags of Tyson Anytizers — $3.99 each with the weekend deals 4 bags of frozen veggies — $1 each Milk — $2.89 Half & Half — $1.99 2 half gallons Almond milk — $1.99 each 3 dozen eggs — marked down to $1.29/dozen 5 boxes of Betty Crocker brownie and cake mix — $0.50 each with weekend deals Total with tax: $42.03 I can’t remember the last time I bought Lunchables, but my kids absolutely love them. So when I saw that they were priced at just $0.99 at Kroger this weekend, I surprised them by getting them some. Needless to say, they were THRILLED! Friday Kroger Shopping Trip 5 boxes Lunchables — $0.99 each with the Friday-Saturday deals 4 lbs. ground beef — marked down to $2.49 each 1 bag of lemons — marked down to $0.99 2 bags of grapes — $0.99/lb. 1 tub lettuce — marked down to $1.79 2 family size boxes of cereal — $1.99 each with the Friday-Saturday deals Total with tax: $27 What We Ate This Past Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal, Toast, Oatmeal, Eggs, Smoothies Lunches: Chicken, Capri Sun, Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, PB & Honey Sandwich, Leftovers, Fruit, Crackers, Snacks: Cookies, Eggs, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Apple Crisp, Fruit, Veggies Dinners: Sunday — Out to eat at Chili’s Monday — Chicken, Roasted Broccoli Tuesday — Chicken/Broccoli/Rice Casserole Wednesday — Breakfast for Dinner: French Toast Thursday — Pizza Friday — Fend for yourself Saturday — Cereal Total spent on groceries: $69.03 Cashback earned this week: 675 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards, $0.50 back from iBotta [...]
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Backyard Safari Field Binocs

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Backyard Safari Field Binocs
This would be a great gift idea to grab now and use during the holiday season. You can get the Backyard Safari Field Binocs for only $6.87. You will be saving 54% on this purchase because it is normally $14.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change at anytime! The post Backyard Safari Field Binocs appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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FREE subscription to Real Simple Magazine + Sports Illustrated for Kids

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FREE subscription to Real Simple Magazine + Sports Illustrated for Kids
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Yay! This super popular deal on a free subscription to Real Simple magazine has finally returned, plus you can get a free Sports Illustrated subscription, too! I just got a completely FREE subscription to Real Simple Magazine AND a completely free subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids from Rewards Survey. Here’s how: I signed into my Rewards Survey account (if you don’t have an account, sign up here — it’s free!) I took a short survey that they offered me (it only took me about two minutes). As soon as I took the survey, they offered me $30 in free rewards points that I could spend on a number of different magazine subscriptions. I chose to get Real Simple magazine. You just fill out a simple form and click the “x” in the corner for any additional offers that pop up. After I had ordered my subscription to Real Simple magazine — completely FREE! — I was offered the option to take another survey. So I said yes. I took the second survey (again it only took me less than 2 minutes) and I was offered more magazines I could order for free. I chose to get Sports Illustrated for Kids. Again, I clicked the “x” in the corner for any additional offers that popped up and got the free subscription. Note: I didn’t have to give any card information, so I won’t be billed ever nor will my subscription auto-renew. (Please be sure to NOT put your credit card information in, or you’ll be billed extra charges for extra offers. You should be able to get this freebie without any payment information!) Go sign up and get your free subscriptions! And let me know which magazine subscription(s) you choose! I can’t wait to get my FREE magazines in the mail… and Silas is going to be excited about getting Sports Illustrated for Kids! [...]
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What Is Schedule A on Form 1040, and Who Has to File It?

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What Is Schedule A on Form 1040, and Who Has to File It?
If you’re thinking about itemizing your taxes, get ready to attach an IRS Schedule A to your Form 1040. Here’s a simple explainer of what IRS Schedule A is for, who has to file one and some tips and tricks that could save money and time. What is Schedule A? IRS Schedule A is a... Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: torem@nerdwallet.com. The article What Is Schedule A on Form 1040, and Who Has to File It? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, September 7

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, September 7
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Telemarketers on the Hook for Spam Texts — Plus More Class-Action Settlements

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Telemarketers on the Hook for Spam Texts — Plus More Class-Action Settlements
Several new class-action settlements involve violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a federal law that bans spam texts, unsolicited sales calls that use auto dialers, and spam faxes. See if you qualify for any of the latest settlements, which also involve fake price schemes, a data breach and broken treadmill accessories. YouFit Text Ads YouFit Health Clubs LLC has agreed to a $1.4 million settlement regarding allegations that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The class action lawsuit, filed in July 2018, alleged the company sent unsolicited texts to cell phones between July 25, 2014 and May 15, 2018. The text messages advertised YouFit’s $0 down promotion. Consumers who received the unwanted texts and who were not already YouFit members could be eligible for a $7.50 settlement. The deadline to file a claim is Nov. 15, 2019. For full details, click here. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Laptops 9/5/19 @ 5:32 PM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 6:14 PM T Work from home Southern_MiMi 9/3/19 @ 1:44 PM HOW TO START YOUR OWN ONLINE TUTORING BUSINESS? 9/4/19 @ 2:05 PM See more in Make Money or ask a money question Gap and Banana Republic Outlet Pricing Customers who shopped at Gap or Banana Republic outlet stores may be eligible for part of a $3.75 million class-action settlement. If you bought merchandise in person or online from a Gap Outlet, Gap Factory Store or Banana Republic Factory Store between May 24, 2010 and May 10, 2019, you could have been duped by an alleged falsely referenced pricing scheme. California, New Jersey and Florida customers alleged the Gap and Banana Republic factory stores used fake reference prices to make the merchandise appear it was offered at a great savings at the outlet stores. The suit claims the items at the outlet stores were never offered for sale at any regular retail outlets. The settlement allows customers who bought items during the specified timeline to receive $6 to $12 in store credit. For the full scoop, click here and submit your valid claim by the Jan. 6, 2020 deadline. Equifax Data Breach The credit bureau Equifax has agreed to settle claims from its 2017 data breach for at least $380.5 million. Almost 147 million people were affected by the leak of personal and financial data, amounting to one of the largest breaches in history. Plaintiffs claimed Equifax took inadequate cybersecurity measures that made their personal information vulnerable to hackers. Affected consumers are eligible for either free credit monitoring services or a $125 cash payment. The settlement also provides a maximum of $20,000 expense reimbursement if the data breach resulted in out-of-pocket costs to the consumer, and a minimum of seven years of free identity restoration services. The due date to file claims for credit monitoring services, alternative reimbursement compensation and Equifax subscription product reimbursement is Jan. 22, 2020. If you plan to file a claim, experts say to consider the risk of future identity theft. Choosing the credit monitoring and identity theft services could be a better option than taking the money. For complete details on this settlement that affects nearly half of the U.S. population, click here. Precor Treadmill Heart Rate Monitor Precor has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over allegations its treadmill heart rate chest straps were defective. You could benefit from the settlement if you purchased Precor treadmills (models 9.23, 9.33, 9.27, 9.35, TRM 211, TRM 243, TRM 223, TRM 425, or TRM 445) between May 16, 2010 and Dec. 26, 2018 (for residents of California, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey or New York) or between Dec. 26, 2014 and Dec. 26, 2018 (for residents of all other states). Potential awards are as follows for anyone who submits a claim that includes the covered treadmill’s serial number: Models TRM 223 or TRM 243: a free Precor treadmill-compatible heart rate chest strap. Models 9.23 or TRM 211: a free Bluetooth-compatible heart rate chest strap. Models 9.27, 9.33, 9.35, TRM 425, or TRM 445: one year extended warranty coverage on treadmill heart rate chest strap. Click here for more information. You’ll need to file a claim quickly. The deadline is Sept. 11, 2019. Massage Envy Membership Rates Members of Massage Envy between Nov. 4, 2006 and June 7, 2019 could be eligible for part of a $10 million settlement regarding claims the company unfairly increased monthly membership rates. Plaintiffs alleged the spa increased membership fees on a continual basis without alerting customers in advance. Members also may qualify for a voucher worth $10 to $50 if they submit a request by Sept. 20, 2019. The voucher depends on the amount paid in fee increases: $10 voucher: paid $75 or less in fee increases $20 voucher: paid $75.01 to $125 in fee increases  $30 voucher: paid $125.01 to $175 in fee increases  $40 voucher: paid $175.01 to $225 in fee increases $50 voucher: paid $225.01 or more in fee increases For complete details, click here. Experian Public Records If you requested and received a copy of your credit report from Experian between Jan. 15, 2011 and Sept. 21, 2018 that included a public record (bankruptcy, judgement or tax lien), you could be eligible for free credit monitoring. Also included in this settlement are individuals who had a credit report provided to a third party (such as a lender) between Jan. 15, 2014 and Sept. 21, 2018 that included an inaccurately reported tax lien or civil judgement. Without admitting any wrongdoing, Experian has settled claims that it failed to sufficiently report civil judgement and tax lien public records due to its own inadequate procedures for obtaining the information. Consumers may receive two years of Experian IdentityWorks Plus credit monitoring service at no charge, and also may participate in a mediation program to request financial compensation. The deadline to file your valid claim is Aug. 22, 2020. Click here for more details. Seagram’s Ginger Ale  If you bought Seagram’s Ginger Ale between April 1, 2013 and June 13, 2019, you could be eligible for a portion of a $2.45 million class-action settlement resolving claims Coca-Cola falsely labeled the products as containing “real ginger. The lawsuit was filed in December 2016 alleging Seagram’s Ginger Ale products were deceptively marketed as containing real ginger, which would intentionally lead shoppers to believe the soft drinks consisted of real ginger root. The products allegedly have a chemical flavoring designed to imitate the taste of ginger and no real ginger root at all. The purchase of 2-liter bottle, a 20-ounce bottle, a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans, or a 10-pack of 7.5-ounce cans are each considered a single product.  Claims for 1-5 units will be compensated with $4. If you don’t have proof of purchase, you can claim up to 13 units per household and receive a payment of $10.40. With proof of purchase, consumers can collect up to $80 for 100 units. Click here for details and to file a claim by the Sept. 5, 2019 deadline. Enagic Unwanted Phone Calls Water filter company Enagic has agreed to a $27.6 million lawsuit settlement regarding claims the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Eligible cla [...]
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Start With a Money Summit to Hit Your #couplegoals

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Start With a Money Summit to Hit Your #couplegoals
Spreadsheets and savings goals aren’t sexy. That’s probably why great love stories, when retold, don’t delve into household finances. But money is a central part of any relationship. And how you deal with it (or don’t) can determine whether your own tale is a short story or a novel. “Getting on the same page financially... Kelsey Sheehy is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: ksheehy@nerdwallet.com. The article Start With a Money Summit to Hit Your #couplegoals originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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SEPTEMBER: THE GOLDEN PERIOD TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS

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SEPTEMBER: THE GOLDEN PERIOD TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS
The post SEPTEMBER: THE GOLDEN PERIOD TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live

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5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live
dotshock / Shutterstock.com While countless workers dream of retirement, millions more have decided to work full time or part time after age 65: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2024, there will be more than 13 million working Americans ages 65 and older. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 74% of working Americans planned to work past retirement age. Working longer might be your best... [...]
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My new favorite tee is just $7.95 shipped!!

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My new favorite tee is just $7.95 shipped!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for a perfect tee as we transition into the cooler months? This is it — and at a GREAT price! Cents of Style has their popular Jagger Boyfriend V-Neck Tee for just $7.95 shipped when you use coupon code JAGGER at checkout! I love these shirts!! I got two of them and have worn both of them this week! I especially love that they are long and roomy and so cute with leggings. In fact, I think I might just live in the above outfit all fall! This is their best-selling tee and it’s regularly priced at $24.95! This shirt is SUPER and really versatile! It can be worn long over leggings, tied in the front for a really cute look, tucked into skinny jeans, or layered with a long cardigan or flannel during the cooler months. And for less than eight bucks, how can you go wrong?! It comes in sizes S through 3XL, and there are over 20 color choices!! This deal is valid through September 8th, but sizes will sell out fast. Hurry! Go here to get your Perfect Jagger Boyfriend V-Neck Tee for just $7.95 shipped! [...]
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Country Living Magazine Subscription Discount

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Country Living Magazine Subscription Discount
It has been a while since we’ve seen a low price on Country Living Magazine.  But now is your chance! COUNTRY LIVING SUBSCRIPTION DISCOUNT Hurry on over and score a subscription to Country Living Magazine for just $6.99.  That is a savings of 83% off the cover price!  Enter the coupon code PENNPYINCH at checkout and you’ll ... Read More about Country Living Magazine Subscription Discount The post Country Living Magazine Subscription Discount appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How to Figure Out How Much You’ll Really Need in Retirement

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How to Figure Out How Much You’ll Really Need in Retirement
Want to stop working someday and retire? It takes money to make that happen. If you don’t know how much you will need, you’re in the majority.  A 2019 study from Northwestern Mutual that polled 2,003 American adults found that 56% didn’t know how much money they’ll need to retire. The same study found that 22% had less than $5,000 saved, and 15% of those surveyed had no retirement savings at all.  “I think most people have a tough time planning 20 and 30 years out, which is why most people don’t do it,” said Andrew Barnett, a certified financial planner with GFA Wealth Design based in Fort Myers, Florida. “Most people put it off, because it’s something that’s so far out. They say well, I’ll save next year.” How Much Do I Need to Retire? When you do a quick search, the numbers $1 million to $1.5 million or 10 to 12 times your current income float around a lot as how much most people will need to save to retire comfortably.  What you need will depend on when you plan to retire. Traditional retirement age is 65 to 67. If that is your targeted age, plan on funding your retirement for about 25 to 30 years. If there is a family history of longevity, make sure to plan for longer, maybe even to age 100 or beyond.  The ultimate goal is to save enough so you can withdraw a portion each year and keep the rest invested and growing to fund future years. If you withdraw about 4% annually, you should not be significantly impacting the principal since it is hopefully earning more than 4%. There are several well-known formulas, rules and guidelines to help you figure out how much you might need to save, including: 25 times rule: Take your annual expenses and multiply them by 25.  70%-80% rule: Many experts say you will need about 70% to 80% of your average income during your working years annually to fund your retirement. 15% rule: If you start at the beginning of a career, saving 15% of income should be enough to fund your retirement.  Barnett is not a big fan of hard and fast rules. “I don’t really know where those numbers come from,” he said. “They come from every article that you read, experts say X percent. But everybody’s different, which is why I would advise anybody to do a budget, figure out what they spend and on what, and then draw your own conclusions about what you need in retirement.” Do. Not. Panic.  Those numbers are guidelines and might not be what works for you. There is no magic number that is the perfect target for everyone’s retirement. The amount is based on several factors. The age you plan to retire. There is a big difference between retiring in your 40s and your 70s. Where you live. Some places have a higher cost of living than others. Several states have no state income taxes.  Health care costs: These will likely increase as you age, even with Medicare. Dental and long-term care are not part of Medicare.  Current age and life expectancy: It is easy to underestimate how long you might live.  Savings and spending habits.  Future markets and investment performance.  To answer the “how much do I need to retire?” question, you need to figure out what you want out of your retirement. “I ask [new clients] to tell me a little bit what their vision of retirement is first, before we get to the money stuff,” Barnett said. “[I ask] what does retirement look like [to you], do you want to keep working, do you want to work part time, do you want to play golf, do you want to travel the world, do you want to eat Burger King or caviar?” Barnett also asks these basic questions when he works with new clients: When would you like to retire? How much does it cost you to live? What have you saved so far? What other sources of income will you have in retirement? “If you know those basic things, you can give somebody a pretty clear picture of what they would be capable of doing in retirement,” Barnett said.  There are several online calculators that will help you figure out how much you will need. To use them, you will need simple information like your age, pre-tax income, the current amount you have saved, and how much you currently save on a monthly basis.  Once you plug in the numbers, the calculators will show you whether or not you are on track. Since many of these online tools are linked to specific financial companies, the advice they give will be based on the products they have.  Barnett has a warning, though: “The problems that I see with those calculators is that they’re oftentimes a little bit simplistic and they miss things like inflation and taxes,” he said. “And they ask you things like how much have you saved, but they don’t ask you what type of savings.”  That matters because many retirement accounts grow tax-free, while others are funded with after-tax money. Most calculators also do not ask about when you plan to start collecting Social Security and your longevity, Barnett added.  FROM THE RETIREMENT FORUM Pay off mortgage with IRA or refinance 8/26/19 @ 1:29 PM P Save early save often 8/1/19 @ 5:25 AM Social security opt out 7/26/19 @ 12:30 PM D When did you start planning for retirement? 3/21/19 @ 10:57 AM See more in Retirement or ask a money question A Guide to Estimating Your Future Needs A good place to start when figuring out how much you might need in the future is to track what you spend now. Look at how much you spend for: Housing Transportation Taxes Insurance Food Clothing Personal care Travel  Entertainment Health care “Get your bank statement out and look at all the pluses every month, and add up all the minuses every month,” Barnett said. “Do that for three months in a row and you have a pretty good handle on what you’re what you’re doing, what comes in and what goes out.” Now think about what you want to change when you retire. Do you want to travel more? Buy a property? Eat out more? Add those amounts to your current spending. Also, add money for irregular expenses, like home and vehicle repairs.  Now, take away things you will no longer need to do when you are retired. You won’t be setting aside money for retirement anymore since you’ll already be retired. You might have your mortgage paid off, so that will not be an expense. If you won’t be working at all, you won’t have payroll taxes to pay. However, you will be taxed on money you take out of your 401(k) and some other retirement accounts.  Once you know your monthly expenses, you can begin to figure out how much you need to save to give yourself at least that much when you retire.  Remember, the replacement income can come from a variety of places, not just savings and retirement accounts. Other sources include Social Security, part-time work, pensions and rental income.  If you have worked outside the home, use the Social Security Administration’s calculator to figure out how much your estimated benefit will be when you retire. To use this calculator, you will need to create an online account.  How to Save for Retirement The 401(k) is the most popular way to save for retirement, mostly because it is an employment benefit and many employers offer a match of the amount an employee contributes.  In a June 2019 survey, Charles Schw [...]
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When Can I Retire If I Was Born in 1960?

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When Can I Retire If I Was Born in 1960?
If you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67 for Social Security. For most people born in 1960, the retirement window starts in 2022, when they can begin taking Social Security benefits early, or as late as 2030, when benefits hit their peak. Of course, if your finances permit, you... Liz Weston is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston. The article When Can I Retire If I Was Born in 1960? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Save on Suave Professionals Hair Care at Walmart!

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Save on Suave Professionals Hair Care at Walmart!
{This post is sponsored by Mirum. Opinions are 100% my own. Read our disclosure policy here.} Are you looking for premium shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t cost a fortune? If so, be sure to check out the Suave Professionals Gold & Green hair care lines at Walmart! I had no idea that Suave Professionals is actually a salon proven formula for a variety of hair types and needs. And I love how affordable it is for people on an everyday, regular budget! Not only is this affordable to purchase at your local Walmart, but right now they are also offering 40% more for FREE in each bottle! For a limited time only, the regular bottles have been replaced with 18 ounce bottles on the shelves at Walmart — but the price remains the same! That means you’ll get 40% more for FREE in each bottle at Walmart’s regular everyday low price. Just look for the gold and green bottles of Suave Professionals to get this deal. Choose from five different lines of the Suave Professionals Gold & Green hair care: Suave Almond & Shea Shampoo and Conditioner (Green) — Infused with 100% natural almond and shea butter, this rich formula replenishes as it cleans and conditions, leaving dry hair feeling nourished. It contains 0% parabens and 0% dyes. Suave Keratin Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner (Gold) — This formula is designed to give you sleek, smooth, easy-to-manage hair and controls frizz for up to 48 hours. Suave Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (Gold) — Infused with pure coconut oil, this formula visibly repairs damage after just three uses without weighing hair down. Suave Moroccan Infusion Shampoo and Conditioner (Gold) — Infused with authentic Moroccan Argan Oil, this line gently cleanses hair, while restoring lost shine. Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Conditioner (Green) — Infused with real rosemary and mint, this rich formula revitalizes hair as it cleans, leaving it feeling nourished and looking healthy. You can purchase these bottles in-stores or online at Walmart’s everyday low price. Just be sure to shop soon so that you can get 40% more for FREE!   [...]
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How Much Should You Spend on Essentials? Here’s What the Experts Say

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How Much Should You Spend on Essentials? Here’s What the Experts Say
Unless you treat budgeting like a book club and openly discuss your spending habits with your friends, you may not realize you’re overspending — or underspending — in certain categories. Budget recommendations can help you better assess how you manage your money. We turned to government sources and industry leaders for those recommendations in four major categories: housing, food, debt and retirement. These budget percentages — which you can tweak to fit your situation — can help you determine where your dollars should go. Don’t Spend More Than 30% on Housing It might be difficult if you’re in a city with a high cost of living and you don’t have roommates, but try to keep your housing expenses under 30%. Government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, consider households cost burdened if they spend more than that. If your annual income is around $30,000, you shouldn’t spend more than $750 a month on housing. If you make $50,000 a year, your monthly housing costs shouldn’t exceed $1,250. Individuals and families bringing in $75,000 annually can increase their housing spending threshold to $1,875 a month. Keeping this threshold in mind isn’t just good for your financial well-being; it can also affect your ability to find housing. Leasing agents and housing lenders compare housing costs to your income to determine whether to approve a rental or mortgage application. Keep Food Costs Between 10 and 15% Food spending can vary drastically from one household to the next based on family size, dietary needs, food preferences and other factors.  Still, one way to assess your spending is to turn to the United States Department of Agriculture’s monthly food-cost guide, which is based off government recommendations for a nutritious diet and food prices from the early 2000s that have been updated to reflect current dollars.  The guide focuses on costs for food prepared at home. (Don’t include your Uber Eats expenses when comparing your spending to the recommendations.) The USDA’s chart breaks down food costs in dollar amounts based on four spending levels — thrifty, low-cost, moderate and liberal. It’s further broken down in terms of age, gender and family make-up.  The recommended spending for a moderate-cost plan generally takes up between 10 and 15% of the budget for a middle-income individual or couple. According to the chart, a woman under 50 should spend $257.20 a month on a moderate-cost food plan. If she made $30,000, that would be about 10% of her monthly budget. A man under 50 on a moderate plan should spend about $302.20, which is 12% of a $30,000 annual salary. A couple in the same age bracket following the same food plan is recommended to spend $615.30 a month on groceries. If that couple earned a combined $50,000 a year, 15% on their budget would go to food expenses. If they earned $75,000, they’d be spending 10% of their monthly income on food. Certainly, having kids increases the cost of food. According to the USDA, a moderately-spending family of four should spend $892.40 monthly with children under age 6, or $1,065.20 a month if their kids are between ages 6 and 11. That means a family earning $75,000 a year would spend 14% of their budget on food if they had young kids or 17% if they had older kids. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 1:38 PM T Budgeting Apps? 3/18/19 @ 12:42 AM Is there a particular budgeting booklet 8/19/19 @ 2:14 PM A Have you tried the Zero Based budgeting method? 6/7/19 @ 1:58 PM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question Debt Payments Shouldn’t Make Up More Than 43% Ideally, you want none of your income going toward repaying loans. But if you’re like most American adults, you probably owe money in the form of credit card debt, a mortgage, a car note, student loans or medical bills. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the 43% debt-to-income ratio is the standard most lenders will use to determine whether a borrower can be approved for a qualified mortgage. Borrowers whose monthly debt payments (including their mortgage) make up more than 43% of their monthly gross income would have a harder time qualifying for a loan. To think of this budget percentage in real dollars, an individual with an annual household income of $30,000 shouldn’t have over $1,075 in total monthly debt payments. Someone with an annual household income of $50,000 shouldn’t exceed $1,792 per month, and those who earn $75,000 a year shouldn’t put more than $2,688 a month toward paying off debt. If your minimum debt payments exceed 43% of your income, consider asking creditors for a lower interest rate, refinancing or consolidating your loans or opening a balance transfer credit card with a 0% introductory interest rate. Another option is increasing your income with a regular side gig or second job. Of course, if you have room in your budget to spend more than 43% of your income in order to make extra payments and get rid of your debt quicker — more power to you! Aim to Save 15% (or More) for Retirement Saving and investing in your working years allows you to have money to draw from when you no longer have a paycheck coming in. How much you ought to put aside will depend on a few factors, like age, income level and your estimated cost of living once you hit retirement.  A rule of thumb from investment firm Fidelity is to start saving 15% of your income (including employer contributions) at age 25. If you make $30,000 annually, you should save $4,500 per year or $375 a month. If you have an annual salary of $50,000, try saving $7,500 a year or $625 monthly. If you’re getting a later start saving for retirement, you’ll need to up that contribution. Fidelity recommends saving 18% if you start at age 30 or 23% if you start at 35. Our guide to retirement planning outlines what you need to know when it comes to saving for your golden years. And if you’re hoping to retire before the wrinkles set in, check out this article on how to retire early. Guidance For Your Other Spending Your monthly spending likely falls into other budget categories as well. To see what other Americans spend in categories like apparel, transportation, health care, entertainment, personal care, education, insurance and more, check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual consumer expenditures survey. Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey also shares popular budget percentage recommendations on his EveryDollar site. Know that what’s recommended for budgeting — whether it’s from government sources or a trusted personal finance personality — should be seen as a guideline, not as a mandate. A blanket percentage can’t account for everyone’s unique financial situation. So go ahead and customize your budget as it fits for your life. As long as your budget meets your needs (and allows you to save for the future), you’re doing something right.  Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penn [...]
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7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score

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7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score
The next time you check your credit score, you might discover it has taken a tumble because of a seemingly small mishap on your part. This happened to me once because I misplaced a bill for a whopping $12.70. My nonpayment ended up being reported to credit bureaus, also known as credit-reporting agencies. The result was an 80-point decrease in my credit score and several months of regret. [...]
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Women’s Running Magazine Discount

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Women’s Running Magazine Discount
Another great magazine deal!  This time, the savings are on Women’s Running Magazine! WOMEN’S RUNNING SUBSCRIPTION DISCOUNT Check out this limited time offer on a subscription to Women’s Running magazine!  Now through 9/4/19, you can order up to 4 years for just $6.99 per year. That’s 89% savings! Just enter the coupon code PENNYPINCH at checkout, and ... Read More about Women’s Running Magazine Discount The post Women’s Running Magazine Discount appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Citi Just Lost a Minor Transfer Partner. Here’s Why It Matters

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Citi Just Lost a Minor Transfer Partner. Here’s Why It Matters
The hits just keep on coming with Citi ThankYou points, most recently with the loss of Garuda Indonesia as a ThankYou points transfer partner. This won’t impact most people, but Garuda did provide some interesting niche redemptions, ran irregular (but spectacular) mileage sales and provided access to first class inventory on SkyTeam airlines. Will the... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Citi Just Lost a Minor Transfer Partner. Here’s Why It Matters originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Amazon Prime Student | FREE 6-Month Trial!

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Amazon Prime Student | FREE 6-Month Trial!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Are you a college student? Check out this deal to get a FREE 6-month Amazon Prime Student membership! {Psst! Looking for other ways to save on college expenses? Check out our posts on 9 Ways to Stretch College Savings and How to Save BIG on College Textbooks.} FREE 6-Month Prime Trial for Students Amazon is currently offering a FREE 6-month membership of Amazon Prime Student to college students who have a valid .edu email address! As a student, you get access to all the regular perks of Prime! That includes FREE 2-day shipping, video streaming, Kindle Lending Library, and more. You’ll also get access to exclusive deals and promotions for college students. And after your 6-month trial is up, you can continue with a Prime membership at a 50% discount off the regular price!! Note: If you don’t want to continue after the free trial, be sure to cancel before your trial is up so that you don’t get auto-charged. Go here to sign up for FREE. [...]
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Want a FEMA Job? Speak to Agency Recruiters During Virtual Job Fair Sept. 12

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Want a FEMA Job? Speak to Agency Recruiters During Virtual Job Fair Sept. 12
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has scores of job openings nationwide, and it’s hosting a virtual job fair to fill them. On Sept.12, job seekers can log into the FEMA job fair between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time to chat directly with recruiters. All-day attendance isn’t required.  Before joining the event, applicants must first register on CareerEco’s website to secure their spot. Creating an account takes only a couple of minutes. To stand out, however, candidates should include their resume and a cover letter in their profile before Sept.12 so that FEMA recruiters can easily access that information when the event starts. (The Penny Hoarder has you covered if you need help writing a resume or crafting a cover letter.) More than 130 job openings at FEMA are listed on USAJobs.gov. Positions are available in communications, emergency management, engineering, human resources, information technology, public affairs and more. FEMA is a federal agency that assists the public before, during and after natural disasters and security-related threats. The agency operates in 10 regional areas, covering all states and U.S.-owned territories. New to virtual fairs? You’re not alone. CareerEco’s CEO Gayle Oliver-Plath spoke to us about the best ways to prepare for a virtual job fair. Here are the big takeaways: Do your homework. — Just because the job fair is online doesn’t make it any less crucial that you make a good impression. Come to the fair prepared with tailored questions for the hiring manager. Take care of tech beforehand. — Is your account properly registered? Are your web browser and flash player up to date? Documents organized and ready to go? Don’t forget the motherlode of all tech issues: WiFi. Hardwire your computer with an ethernet cable if worse comes to worse. Be interview-ready. — If all goes well, a hiring manager might ask to interview you on-the-spot. So be dressed to impress. Make sure you are in a well-lit, distraction-free area where you can chat. It’s OK if that’s not the case, too. Explain that you are not in the best environment for an interview, and offer alternative times when you are available. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball

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SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball
This would be a fun gift idea to grab for any kid on your holiday shopping list! You can get the SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball for only $13.50. You will be saving 46% on this purchase because it is usually $24.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the ... Read More about SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball The post SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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The 9 Best Things to Buy in September — and What Will Be Hit by Tariffs

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The 9 Best Things to Buy in September — and What Will Be Hit by Tariffs
This post comes from Julie Ramhold of partner site DealNews.com. September can be an excellent month to shop, thanks to a plethora of Labor Day, summer clearance and back-to-school sales. But not everything in stores will be worth parting with your hard-earned cash. Check out our guide below to learn what to buy in September, and what you might want to skip for now. Labor Day marks the unofficial... [...]
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A Peek Into July at Our House

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A Peek Into July at Our House
Every month in 2019, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into the previous month. I thought this would be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our month and recap some of the highs and lows and special memories of the month. I promised to tell you all about our trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone in my June recap. My dad paid for all of us to fly to Utah for our extended family trip (his Christmas gift to all of us), so we decided that since we were already going to be in Utah and would be so close to Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, we’d add two days into our trip and go visit Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and spend some time in Idaho and Montana, too. Many people thought we were crazy to try to fit two National Parks and three states into less than two days… but we ended up having the BEST time! Jenny Lake (at Teton) was breath-taking! We didn’t get to the Parks until later in the day, so we avoided all the crowds and had parts of the Parks completely to ourselves! I took SO many pictures and videos, but I had to narrow it down to some of our favorites to share here. These photos do not do this scenery justice… I literally felt like it was a glimpse of what heaven might look like. We’re working on getting better at taking family photos with the timer set. I propped my phone up on the car hood with a book and my makeup bag. It didn’t turn out quite like I envisioned, but hey, the sign and us are all in the photo. 🙂 Yellowstone Lake (I clearly love lakes!) Again, this photo isn’t even close to showing how gorgeous this area was! This bison and elk were sitting in the same field for at least 30 minutes just minding their own business while dozens of people took photos and videos. Since we saw our first geyser in Iceland a week before, we really wanted to see more geysers in Yellowstone. We waited an hour to see Old Faithful erupt, but it was so worth it! Best of all, since it was 9:37 pm, there weren’t many people there watching and it kind of felt like we got our own private showing! (While we were waiting, we got to see another geyser erupt, too!) We spent the next day in Montana and Idaho! We especially loved West Yellowstone, Montana! These bear trash cans were a new thing for us. It took us a little while to figure out that’s what they were (trash cans designed so bears couldn’t get into them). We came home to our bathroom getting renovated. We hadn’t really thought about the fact that we wouldn’t be able to sleep in our room while they were re-doing our bathroom! 🙂 We ended up sleeping on the couch and on a twin mattress in the bonus room! We had so much fun picking out paint colors and lighting… and are so happy with what we ended up with! We went to Home Depot in July. (Hang tight, I’ll tell you about these plants in a minute.) For now, let’s all pause to let the statement that I went to Home Depot sink in. Your girl right here who is not handy at all, who has zero desire to ever renovate a home or even use a hammer, spent over an HOUR in the aisles of Home Depot. Did I mention I have never, ever even so much as nailed something on a wall on any house I’ve lived in? But since having our master bathroom renovated, I’m doing and learning all sorts of new things. For instance, I went to the tile store to pick out tile. I realized quickly I was in over my head and the first question I had to ask the associate was, “Um, so we’re kinda new to this. Could you tell me what tile goes on the wall and what goes on the floor??” So back to Home Depot: We had gone in to pick out lighting fixtures for the bathroom (something I’ve also never done in 37 years — mostly because we’ve been in rentals so much of our marriage) and paint. Folks, I got so invested in the process that, pretty soon, I began gaining confidence in my renovation expertise and started spouting off things to Jesse like, “Since we have so many straight lines in the bathroom (subway tiles/flooring), we really need to pick fixtures with more dimension to offset things.” (I don’t even know what that means exactly, but he must have thought it was convincing enough because he bought the fixtures I picked out!) When we got to the checkout lane, I basically felt like I was ready for Joanna Gaines to consider hiring me for her next reno. And that’s when I saw the $5 succulents… it just felt like it was something she would choose, so I bought them (for all I know, she hates these plants!) And I’m very proud to report I have managed to keep them alive for over a month. A whole MONTH, people! If you need help with your next reno or your plants, my website and consulting business is coming soon. Sarcasm aside, are you a plant person? Best advice for keeping my new purchases alive? Also, anyone else out there who has never nailed anything on the wall? Nope, I didn’t think so. (Yes, see?? They are still alive!!) In other shocking news, I also did the 21 Days of Squats Challenge in July. “I despise squats!” This is what I’ve said and believed for a number of years. But inspired by @sarahaleyfit and her #21DaysofSquats challenge, I decided to commit to do what felt like a ridiculous number of squats every day for 21 days. Was I crazy? Well, maybe a little. 😉 But also, I wanted to challenge myself to do something I really disliked for three weeks to see how my perspective changed on it. Because I’ve learned that sometimes we tell ourselves something over and over again and we believe it to be true when we really haven’t tested the theory enough. Yes, I’ve done squats before, but never more than a few times a week and never this many in number. When I did them before, I literally told myself before, during, and after, “I hate squats!” Guess what happens if you tell yourself negative thoughts like that over and over again? You believe them to be truth — even if you’ve never really given yourself the opportunity to believe anything different. I’ve been working hard to rid my brain of this stinkin’ thinking and to replace my long-held negative mantras and beliefs. So I got bold and committed to 21 Days of Squats assuming I was going to actually prove that this whole, “I despise squats” belief wasn’t negative thinking; it was going to be a proven fact. The first 3 days were grueling and painful. I was sore and felt frustrated that I publicly committed to this challenge. But I pushed through and by Day 5, I realized it was getting stronger and less frustrated. By Day 8, I was all, “This isn’t too bad!” I made it to Day 21 and I didn’t miss a day — even when we were traveling and I did the squats in the ironing closet area shown here. I’m here to tell you I not only survived, I can actually tell a physical difference in my body, AND I’m sort of starting to like squats and I almost wished the challenge were longer than 21 days!! In July, we also had our first foray into foster care. We got to do respite care for our friends’ 2-year-old foster daughter and y’all it was the most beautiful thing to watch my kids love on this precious little girl. They had so much fun with her and we laughed so much together over her antics. Watching them feed her, care for her, make food for her, take turns playing with her, talk with her, comfort her, and be silly with her… I saw such a sweet, nurturing side to each of them and it warmed my heart something fierce. It was such a confirmation to me that stepping out in faith and saying to foster care is what God is calling us to. My friend had told me, “I think your kids will surprise you how much their heart will expand and how giving and sacrificial they will be.” I got a tiny glimpse of that. We don’t know what the future holds, but I wholeheartedly believe it is going to stretch and grow all of us in really powerful and life-changing [...]
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Conventional Loan Requirements and Guidelines for 2019

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Conventional Loan Requirements and Guidelines for 2019
When buying a home, many people opt for a conventional loan, a type of mortgage that’s readily available from most lenders. Here’s a look at the qualification requirements. What is a conventional loan? Conventional loans aren’t backed by a government agency, but they do follow some government guidelines. Most conventional loans conform to loan limits... Beth Buczynski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bbuczynski@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @bethbuczynski. The article Conventional Loan Requirements and Guidelines for 2019 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Want to Avoid Overspending This Christmas? Start Saving in September

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Want to Avoid Overspending This Christmas? Start Saving in September
Don’t you want to scream when you see Christmas displays in the stores before Halloween? Or when “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is stuck in your head for two months, because it starts playing in early November? The Christmas creep can be annoying, but there’s at least one good reason to start thinking about the holidays before the leaves start changing color. It gives you more time to save. With all the decorations, food, parties and gift giving, celebrating Christmas has become synonymous with spending money. The National Retail Federation’s 2018 holiday consumer trend study found consumers would spend an average of $1,000 on gifts, decorations, candy and more. Waiting until November or December to prepare for these expenses means you’ll often end up charging your purchases and paying them off — plus interest — well into the new year. Instead, establish a Christmas saving plan and avoid debt and overspending. Create Your Christmas Saving Plan To save up for the holidays, figure out how much you plan to spend and divide that amount into weekly chunks. In the personal finance sphere, we call this setting up a sinking fund. Make a list that includes who you’ll be shopping for and how much you’ll spend on each person. It may be helpful to refer to what you spent last year. Add estimated costs for decorations, food and holiday events to your list as well. Between parties where you contribute a bottle of wine, gifts for your kids’ friends or an office Secret Santa, plus the bounty of food on the actual holiday, these “extras” can really add up. Total everything and divide it by the amount of weeks left until you’ll hit the stores. Unless you’re a fan of last-minute shopping, this means giving yourself some wiggle room before December 25. We’ve laid out how much you need to save over a 12-week period to come up with anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Another tactic for holiday saving is to determine how much money you’re able to save and create your holiday budget based off that. For example, if you’re able to spare $25 a week to go toward your Christmas savings, you’d save $300 in 12 weeks. That would be your limit for all your holiday spending. If you think you’ll need more, start saving earlier. In fact, you can implement your Christmas saving plan anytime during the year. Keep your holiday savings apart from the rest of your money so you don’t accidentally spend your stash on everyday expenses. If you use a sub-savings account at your bank or credit union, set up automatic savings transfers each week to ensure you stay consistent.  If you take the cash envelope route, make sure you have an envelope exclusively dedicated to holiday expenses and not other short-term goals. Set weekly calendar reminders to nudge you to put the money aside.  FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 9:38 AM T Budgeting Apps? 3/17/19 @ 8:42 PM Is there a particular budgeting booklet 8/19/19 @ 10:14 AM A See more in Budgeting or ask a money question How to Bulk Up Your Holiday Savings Trimming the fat from your weekly spending is a good way to find extra cash to put toward Christmas gifts. Take out your budget and highlight all the nonessential recurring expenses. You don’t have to give them up forever — just until you’ve finished your holiday shopping. If you want to increase your savings fast, try a no-spend challenge. Or cut your grocery budget by doing the pantry challenge and making meals out of what’s already at home. Saving money isn’t all about making cuts. You can temporarily increase your income by getting a part-time holiday gig (bonus if you get a company discount) or doing odd jobs on Fiverr or TaskRabbit. Make room for the new gifts you’ll get by cleaning out your closets and selling stuff online.  Cut Costs on Holiday Expenses Just because the National Retail Federation says people are spending $1,000 for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Set your Christmas budget for what is financially comfortable for you. Get crafty and make your gifts. (Here are 12 DIY Christmas gift ideas.) Shop early and take advantage of sales. Use old gift cards. Cash in your credit card rewards. Restrict the amount of presents you give your kids by implementing the four-gift rule. Do your holiday shopping online and comparison shop to get the best deal. (These stores offer free shipping with no minimum order.) Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

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Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. I’ve been finding a LOT of random markdowns at Kroger recently, so my shopping trips this week were mostly made up of those! Kroger Shopping Trip #1 Kroger Eggs — marked down to $1.29 Cinnamon Raisin Bread — marked down to $1.29 2 cans of canned Pineapple — marked down to $0.49 each JIF peanut butter — marked down to $0.99 each Kettle cooked chips — marked down to $0.79 Kroger sour cream — $1.39 Deli chicken — marked down to $2.39 Elbow macaroni — marked down to $0.39 1 bag of peppers/squash — marked down to $0.99 Kroger peanuts — marked down to $0.89 Sirloin Steak — marked down to $4.40 1 bag of cucumbers — marked down to $0.99 Strawberries — $1.50 2 cans of Kroger soup — $0.79 each 1 bag of lemons — marked down to $0.99 Bananas — marked down to $0.39/lb. = $0.71 Tyson Frozen Chicken — $6.99 2 cans of salmon — marked down to $1.99 each Package of Kind Breakfast Bars — marked down to $0.99 2 cans of green beans — marked down to $0.29 each Simple Truth organic seltzer water — marked down to $0.99 each 2 boxes of Rice-a-Roni — marked down to $0.49 each Kroger taco seasoning — marked down to $0.19 Total with tax: $41.96 I was excited about the Weekend Deals at Kroger this week and am going back to hit some of the others on Monday! Kroger Shopping Trip #2 Salad Kit — $1.99 Nature Valley Granola Bar — marked down to $0.69 Kroger eggs — marked down to $1.29 Annie’s Mac & Cheese — marked down to $0.59 each Capri Sun — marked down to $0.69 JIF Peanut Butter — marked down to $0.89 3 packages of Smithfield Bacon — $2.99 each with Weekend Deals Kind bar — Free with Free Friday coupon Creamed Corn — $0.99 Kroger Green Beans — $0.59 5 Lara Bars — $0.50 each with Weekend Deals Franks Red Hot Sauce — Well, I thought this was supposed to be $0.99 with the Kroger Weekend Deals but as I was typing this up, I realized that I think I actually paid $2.99 for this!! Now I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth taking back to the store. Probably not? But I kind of surprised that I didn’t catch that I overpaid for this. 🙁 I usually am really good at carefully checking everything. Here’s another good reason why you should check your receipt really thoroughly before leaving the store! Lettuce — $1.79 Total with tax: $26.18 What We Ate This Past Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal, Toast, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches (Silas and Kaitlynn have been loving this for breakfast recently!), Eggs Lunches: Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit Snacks: Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts, Apple Crisp, Fruit, Veggies Dinners: Sunday — Fend For Yourself Monday — Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple over rice, fruit Tuesday — Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini, green beans Wednesday — Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, sausage, fruit Thursday — Barbecue Chicken, Noodles, Fruit Friday — Smoked Ribs, Green Beans with bacon/garlic/onion, creamed corn Saturday — Leftovers Total spent on groceries: $68.14 Cashback earned this week: 50 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards [...]
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What to Do If Hurricane Dorian Hits Your Home, Mortgage

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What to Do If Hurricane Dorian Hits Your Home, Mortgage
If you’re affected by a hurricane, flood or another natural disaster, what does it mean for your mortgage? This is a pertinent question for homeowners in the path of Hurricane Dorian in Florida and nearby states. Here are frequently asked questions and answers. What should I do first? Get in touch with the following entities: The... Holden Lewis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: hlewis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @HoldenL. The article What to Do If Hurricane Dorian Hits Your Home, Mortgage originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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2 Programs for Homebuyers With Good Credit (but Not Much Cash)

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2 Programs for Homebuyers With Good Credit (but Not Much Cash)
Dreaming of becoming a homeowner?  While it may be fun to fantasize about what color you’ll paint the living room and which shower curtain will adorn the guest bath, there’s one important consideration to take care of first.  How are you going to finance it? Many mortgages require a sizable down payment — historically up to 20% of the full purchase price of the home. Of course, 20% of a six-figure price tag is a pretty hefty bill to foot, which is part of the reason the average homebuyer is putting down far less these days.  But not every lender will let you get your foot in the door for less cash upfront… which is why we want to introduce you to two mortgage programs that may just help you reach your homeownership goals even if a large down payment isn’t in your budget. Government-controlled corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both offer mortgage programs aimed specifically at candidates whose credit histories are good, but whose income might not allow them to save up a traditional down payment. Fannie Mae’s is called HomeReady, and Freddie Mac’s is called HomePossible.  Fannie Mae HomeReady and Freddie Mac HomePossible: How Do These Two Mortgage Programs Work? If you’ve got decent credit but don’t earn enough to have much wiggle room, one of these programs may be a fit. But how do they work — and what’s the difference between them? In a lot of ways, the two programs are very similar. Neither requires you to be a first-time homebuyer, and both allow you to finance up to 97% of the property value, which means your down payment can be as low as 3%, depending on your specific qualifications — and both make allowances that help you fork over even that small down payment from a variety of sources including gifts from relatives, government grants, or a second mortgage. And both have similar income requirements: You must make 80% or less of the median income in your area. Both programs allow non-occupant co-borrowers to help you apply for the loan, which can be helpful for those trying to help a family member relocate or buy their first home.  But as much as they share in common, there are some important differences between HomeReady and Home Possible that could help you decide which of the two to apply for. Fannie Mae HomeReady HomeReady is available to borrowers with a credit score of 620 or greater, though those with a score over 680 may get better rates.  If you have someone living with you who pays you rent, or a “boarder,” their income qualifies in determining your eligibility, as does the income of a non-resident co-borrower, which can be helpful if your earnings are low enough to endanger your approval. To qualify for Fannie Mae HomeReady, at least one borrower must complete the Framework online homeowner education program, which costs $75. According to the FAQ, your lender may provide a credit against closing costs to make up for this fee, but it’s not guaranteed. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, $75 is a pretty small price to pay for a financial product that could help you save money in the long run. Freddie Mac Home Possible Although Freddie Mac doesn’t publish its minimum credit score requirements, it does match Fannie Mae’s 3% down payment for the most qualified borrowers. However, only borrower income is counted when determining eligibility, so you can’t get a boost from the earnings of your co-borrower or spouse. (You may still be able to count your boarder or renter’s income, however.) Furthermore, the occupying borrower may own another residential property — even a financed one. And you can skip the homebuyer education requirement if at least one borrower on the loan application is not a first-time home buyer. If you are a first-time buyer and you need to meet homebuyer education courses, you can meet this requirement in a wider variety of ways: homebuyer education provided by HUD-approved counseling agencies housing finance agencies (HFAs) community development financial institutions (CDFIs) mortgage insurance companies or other programs that meet National Industry Standards for Homeownership and Counseling. There’s also an option for a free online homebuyer training offered through Freddie Mac itself called CreditSmart  – Steps to Homeownership.  FROM THE HOME BUYING FORUM 401k Loan 7/29/19 @ 10:35 AM B Knowledge Is Important When Buying A Home 7/22/19 @ 9:18 AM Can I buy a home with student loan debt? 6/12/19 @ 11:20 AM Fund my home 6/12/19 @ 1:11 PM C See more in Home Buying or ask a money question What About FHA Loans? There’s an alternative to Fannie Mae’s HomeReady and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible mortgages that you’ve probably already heard of: FHA loans.  In many ways an FHA loan is similar to the above-mentioned programs: You don’t have to be a first-time buyer, and you can score a down payment of as low as 3.5%.  And unlike the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac products, FHA loans allow buyers with lower credit scores to qualify — though if your score is between 500-579, you’ll have to cough up a full 10%. FHA loans may also offer lower interest rates than HomeReady or Home Possible, but they often have a longer appraisal process, and unfortunately, you’ll need to pay two types of mortgage insurance: an upfront premium at closing, plus monthly premiums. Mortgage insurance can generally be cancelled through both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs once your loan balance is less than 80% of the home’s value. One thing’s for certain: Buying a house can be complicated, especially if you don’t have the cash for a large down payment on hand. It’s worth shopping around and reaching out to different lenders directly to see how they can work with you and learn more about your specific rates and terms. Then, you can get back to the fun stuff — like comparing paint swatches and running your hands over carpet samples. Home, sweet home! Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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This Cause of Blindness Is Soaring Among Seniors

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This Cause of Blindness Is Soaring Among Seniors
Here’s another reason to get the newest shingles virus vaccine: Your eyesight might depend on it. The number of cases of shingles of the eye — known as herpes zoster ophthalmicus — tripled between 2004 and 2016, say researchers at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center. The condition can potentially cause blindness. It's not the usual blah, blah, blah. [...]
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Sign up for the 14-day Back to School Fitness Challenge for just $7! {last chance!}

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Sign up for the 14-day Back to School Fitness Challenge for just $7! {last chance!}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Need some motivation to workout, get a little more fit, and feel more energized? Join the 14-day Back to School Fitness Challenge! It’s just $7 through the end of today! If you’ve been following me on Instagram recently, you know that I finished a 21-Day Squat Challenge. I have never done squats for 21 days in a row. In fact, I thought I despised squats. But I decided to challenge myself to sign up and do it anyway when I saw my friend, Sarah Haley, was running the challenge online. To my great surprise, I ended up actually sort of falling in love with squats. And I even got some of my best friends to join me in the challenge, too! I think my favorite part about challenge was that it pushed me but it was something I could easily fit into my life. And it made me feel so accomplished and energized. Plus, I loved the accountability of the worksheets, the videos, and the Facebook Group of women who were doing it alongside me, too. When the 21 Days of Squats Challenge was almost done, I realized that I was going to really miss having the accountability and the daily workouts planned out for me. So I reached out to Sarah Haley and said, “What’s next?? Can you please offer another similar challenge? Because I loved this one so much!” 14-Day Back to School Fitness Challenge And that’s when she told me about her 14-Day Back to School Fitness Challenge she was working on. I was all YES! YES! YES! She just launched it and I already signed up! If you need some inspiration and motivation to get in a little exercise each day, I’d love to have you sign up and join me! The workouts can be done in just 10 minutes a day — and right now, it’s only $7 to sign up for the Back to School Fitness Challenge (the price goes up tonight to $14)! When you sign up for the Back to School Fitness Challenge, here’s what you get: Downloadable Print Outs that you can print out (or save to your phone) to help you remember all the exercises and keep track of your progress. Video tutorials to teach you the correct way to perfect each exercise as well as follow-along workouts Daily accountability through check-ins on the private Facebook Group where you can share your progress and struggles with all the participants. Music playlists to keep you motivated THIS YEAR’S BONUSES: Self Care Snacks e-Book & Sweat Stretch Download (an additional $10 value) Go here to sign up for the 14-Day Back to School Challenge. But hurry, because it’s just $7 through midnight tonight on August 30, 2019! Let me know if you sign up! I’ll make sure to look for you in the Facebook Group! The workout challenge officially begins on September 4, 2019. [...]
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Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus

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Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus
Order this super deal on the Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus while it is available. You can purchase this now and use it as a gift idea later in the year. You can order the Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus for only $8.39. You will be saving 51% because it is usually $16.99. Be sure that you ... Read More about Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus The post Play-Doh Cranky the Octopus appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Blow Your Budget? 5 Things to Do — and Not to Do — to Get Back on Track

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Blow Your Budget? 5 Things to Do — and Not to Do — to Get Back on Track
In budgeting, all it takes is one ill-timed expense to send the best-laid plans into a tizzy. Maybe you blew your budget for reasons out of your control: a sick pet, a car breakdown or a dreaded dental emergency.  Or maybe your shortfall happened because you made a mistake: You overindulged on your vacation, or you didn’t plan for an irregular expense that’s very much expected. Hey, it happens to the best of us. 5 Moves to Make After You’ve Blown Your Budget When you blow your calorie count by splurging on dessert, it’s tempting to say you’ve blown it for the day/week/month — even though the obvious solution is to cut back the next couple of days and schedule extra gym time. With budgeting, it’s the same. When you’ve spent too much, the worst thing you can do is give up and start plopping down the credit card just because you’re over budget. You can bounce back with a little self-reflection and discipline. Follow these five tips for how to get back on track with a budget. 1. Identify the Problem If your budget shortfall was the result of a one-time emergency expense, this one is so obvious. But if you blew your budget because you simply spent too much, or if blowing your budget is a regular occurrence, it’s time to take a hard look at your spending. Did you overspend on a one-time event, like back-to-school shopping or a birthday gift? Were impulse purchases a factor? Or maybe your budget has slowly been creeping up month after month, and you’ve just now realized you’re spending too much. We’ll discuss how to combat these budget-busting habits later. Your first step is to diagnose the problem. 2. Pay Off Your Bills Now, if You Can If you charged the expenses you didn’t budget for to a credit card and you can afford to pay it off now, do it. If that means you don’t add money to your savings account this month, that’s OK. Your goal is to get back on track.  If the expense was for a true emergency — meaning it was unexpected, urgent and necessary — and you have money set aside in a rainy day fund, you have our permission to tap into it if you need to. Of course, if you can make extra money on the side, pick up extra shifts or sell stuff online to cover your shortfall without touching your savings, that’s even better. 3. Adjust Your Budget if You Incurred Debt If you weren’t able to pay down your extra expenses immediately and have a lingering credit card balance as a result, you need a plan to pay it off as soon as possible. If you don’t have a monthly budget, it’s time to change that.  One of our favorite budgeting methods is zero-based budgeting, which makes you give every cent of income a job — whether it’s for needs, wants, saving, investing or paying off debt. Look at your past three months’ worth of bills to determine your normal spending habits and figure out where you can cut back to put as much toward paying off your credit card debt as you can. 4. Look at Past Spending to Find Overspending Patterns Let’s face it: A lot of times you blow your budget because you’ve developed bad habits. Looking back at your past spending can help you identify patterns. Here’s what to look for and how to curb your budget-busting behavior. Impulse Spending Look through your recent transactions for purchases you didn’t plan to make: the Uber Eats meals you ordered at the end of a long day, the shoes you had to have because they were 20% off, the trip to Target for paper towels that somehow turned into a $200 shopping spree.  If you find a lot of these, you’re probably prone to impulse buying, especially when you’re feeling anxious or down. The key is to make it harder for yourself to spend money on a whim. Delete shopping and food delivery apps. Unsubscribe from emails from your favorite store. If you want to spend money on something that isn’t a need, try a cooling off period of at least a week. If you still want the item after that and it won’t break your budget, then you’re allowed to buy it. Incomplete Budgeting Of course you know to budget for your rent or mortgage, car payment and groceries. But a lot of expenses occur regularly — but not monthly — and they’re easy to forget about when you’re budgeting. Your cat’s annual vet checkup, your driver’s license and tag renewal, and the hair cut you get every two or three months, to name a few. Here’s a complete list of 101 budgeting categories you can use to make sure you’re not leaving anything out.  Another common mistake: failing to account for variable expenses, i.e., the ones that fluctuate. If you live in a warm area, you probably need to budget extra for the summer months when your A/C is cranking. Lifestyle Inflation If your spending is slowly creeping up month after month, or if you see that your spending for each given month is significantly higher than it was for the same month last year, you may be succumbing to lifestyle inflation, which happens when you increase your spending as your income goes up. Some lifestyle inflation is inevitable, but it’s important not to put every cent of each pay raise or bonus toward upgrades like a fancier apartment or more dining out. You’ll only get ahead and prevent future budgeting mishaps if you divert some of that cash to savings. 5. Give Yourself Room to Make Mistakes If you want to never go over budget, you need to predict the future, have perfect luck and morph into a budgeting robot that never makes a mistake. Since that’s not happening, you need a safety cushion so that an unexpected expense or a little overspending doesn’t cause a crisis. The first goal to work toward is building an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses that you can dip into as a last resort. No, it’s not easy — if you’re not swimming in disposable cash, this is a long-term goal. Just remember if you get frustrated that even saving a few hundred dollars could stave off a crisis. For major expenses that you can plan for, you may want to start a sinking fund, which you contribute to over time to spread out the cost. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 1:38 PM T Budgeting Apps? 3/18/19 @ 12:42 AM Is there a particular budgeting booklet 8/19/19 @ 2:14 PM A Have you tried the Zero Based budgeting method? 6/7/19 @ 1:58 PM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question 5 Things Not to Do After Overspending The most important thing to remember when you blow your budget is that it’s a temporary setback. Your bank account will recover. But if you do any of the following, you risk making a short-lived problem into a long-term one. 1. Take Out a Payday Loan The annual interest rates for payday loans are often upward of 300%, and about 70% of borrowers need a second loan within a month. That means you’re likely to keep blowing your budget as you struggle to pay back the loan. 2. Get a Cash Advance The interest rate for the average credit card cash advance is about 6 percentage points higher than credit card interest rates, plus they usually have fees of about 5%. You’ll almost always pay less by charging a purchase to your credit card. 3. Borrow From Your 401(k) Not only will you miss out on potential g [...]
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Fall in Love With Your Car Again Without Breaking the Bank

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Fall in Love With Your Car Again Without Breaking the Bank
We used to have a joke in our family. I’d wash the family beater, gas it up, and then say to my kids, “See how much better it runs now?” Then, based on their skeptical faces, I’d add, “It’s scientifically proven.” Your perception of your car, how it looks and how it drives, might be more... Philip Reed is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: preed@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @AutoReed. The article Fall in Love With Your Car Again Without Breaking the Bank originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze

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7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze
Healthy eating takes time and effort that not everyone has. You have to chop vegetables, heat up the oven and whip up your own no-sugar-added sauces and dressings. While a personal chef would do wonders, you don’t need one. Cooking accessories have come a long way since the first pop-up toaster. Whether you’re trying to turn vegetables into pasta noodles or chicken breast into crispy... [...]
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Prefer the Night Shift? Check Out the 21 Best Jobs for Night Owls

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Prefer the Night Shift? Check Out the 21 Best Jobs for Night Owls
If you’re a night person, it can be truly tough to get up at six in the morning to report to work. So what can you do if you only fully wake up and come alive after you get home from your daytime job?  Trade it in for a new one!  21 of the Best Night Shift Jobs Here are 21 of the best night shift jobs for you night owls out there.  1. Freelance Writer While freelance writing is technically a business rather than a job, it’s an obvious one to include on this list, because you can write whenever your mind functions best. And yes, I’m writing this in the evening (just to make a point, as I’m actually more of a morning person).  How much you’ll make depends on your ability to find good clients and how efficient you are. Although I’m usually paid by the article, I aim for at least $20 per hour.   2. Air Traffic Controller This is one of the most highly paid jobs with night shifts. The median annual wage for air traffic controllers is $124,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You don’t even need a college degree to get these jobs, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website, although you will have to go to the FAA Academy. Unfortunately, night shifts sometimes alternate with day shifts, leaving some controllers feeling groggy, according to a 2014 PBS NewsHour article. 3. Casino Dealer When I was a blackjack dealer, I usually opted to leave early (when the traffic slowed), but many casino dealers love working after midnight. It’s quieter, and customers are more relaxed.  At most casinos, tips are pooled and added to paychecks as an hourly rate, so you don’t lose anything by working the slow late shifts. Friends who still work for my former employer say they average more than $20 per hour with tips. 4. Bartender Bartending is another job you can do well without a college degree, as long as you work in the right place and are assigned to the right shifts. Fortunately for night owls, evening shifts produce the best tips. Weekends are usually better than weekdays, so bartending can be a great part-time second job if you already work during the week. 5. Security Guard When I was a security guard, I liked working in the evenings. It was cooler (I worked in Florida), and I was allowed to spend time reading, writing and cruising the Internet.  Night security positions are often relaxing, and some allow free time for various activities that don’t interfere with the work. The downside is the pay. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for security guards is just $28,490. However, they do note that 10% of security guards make over $49,000, so watch for those better-paying gigs, or work your way up to them. 6. Firefighter  The mean annual wage for firefighters is $49,620, and a full 25% top $67,100 per year.  Perhaps the best positions are in towns where you work long shifts, staying at the station until there is a situation. Friends in these positions tell me you’re generally allowed to read, write or watch television during those long, slow nights. 7. Babysitter In recent years, babysitting has become more lucrative for adults. Since you’re an independent contractor, you can decide which hours you want to work. In other words, you can take only jobs that start in the evening, or even offer overnight babysitting for other night owls who work the late shifts at their jobs.  8. Mail Sorter It isn’t easy to get career positions at the post office, but they often hire for what they call casual positions, which are normally temporary jobs.  For example, I sorted mail seasonally for two years, working September through December each year. The work wasn’t difficult, didn’t require any previous experience, and paid about $13 per hour. The shift started at 11 p.m. and finished when the mail was sorted, which was usually between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.  These positions provide no benefits and, in my case, involved only 30 hours weekly. This isn’t a career, but a nice way to make some extra cash working at night. 9. Pizza Delivery Driver I made decent money delivering pizzas when I was younger. A friend tells me he makes about $14 per hour as a pizza delivery driver. It is all about the tips, because most places pay minimum wage, and some may pay only the tipped-employee minimum wage, which is just $2.13 per hour.  Still, being a pizza delivery driver can provide a nice side income, especially if you work only when tips are best, which is at night on the weekend. It also helps if your employer provides a vehicle or pays extra for your car expenses. I’ve worked for employers using both arrangements, and I profited from the latter by driving a cheap car that got good gas mileage. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Working while on SSDI 7/22/19 @ 1:21 PM B Passive Income 8/9/19 @ 1:07 PM How Can Someone Living in the Heart of Africa Make Money Online? 8/20/19 @ 1:23 PM Private tutor 8/20/19 @ 1:27 PM See more in Make Money or ask a money question Other Jobs for Night Owls  There are many positions that offer both day and night shifts, allowing you to apply only for the latter. Here are some examples: Baker Nurse Disc jockey Limo driver Merchandise stocker Night school teacher Hotel desk clerk Highway toll booth attendant Liquor store clerk Gas station attendant Movie projectionist Customer service representative Finally, many online jobs and contract work can be done at night. For example, as a search engine evaluator I often put in late hours. Other online work you can do at any time includes website testing, translating documents, proofreading and freelance editing. Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. Of the more than 100 ways he has personally made money, writing is his favorite (so far). This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality)

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7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality)
If you plan to do a kitchen remodel, you know it can be expensive!  And, that may mean you don’t get the kitchen of your dreams (or even one that functions better). The truth is that most of the time, it will blow your budget.  But, if you know what to do, you can get ... Read More about 7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality) The post 7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality) appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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When The Thrill of The Hunt Lands You in a House Full of Clutter

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When The Thrill of The Hunt Lands You in a House Full of Clutter
Guest post from Julianna of The Simplicity Habit: Do you love getting great deals? I do! I’ve always been a frugal person. I was raised in a home where I was taught to budget and manage money well at a young age, and I’ve continued to hone my skills over the years. It’s a running joke with my family that when anyone gets a great deal, they talk about how proud I will be. And I am! I don’t like wasting money nor do I like hearing when other people have spent too much on something. The Thrill Of The Hunt It’s thrilling when I can combine sales and coupons to spend as little as possible. I once went to Kohls and bought 3 pairs of jeans and another pair of pants for a grand total of $1! In case you’re wondering how, they were all 90% off combined with a coupon and a $10 gift card for it being my birthday month… and yes, I saved that receipt like it was a trophy. Clutter Accumulation While I still enjoy the thrill of the hunt and pride myself on finding deals, I realized these deals came at a cost. I’d buy things I didn’t truly love or even want sometimes because they were a good deal. This was the first way I started to accumulate clutter. The second way was from my creative endeavors. Over the years, I’ve tried a few different things including photography, sewing baby blanket sets, and furniture and thrift store finds flipping. Each of those came with a slew of supplies. I got everything on sale or even free. In the end, it all became a stockpile of clutter in my home — to the point where I was no longer able to park even 1 car in our 3 car garage. Yikes! Decluttering Ironically, as I was stockpiling, I began reading books about decluttering my home and life. I had gotten to a point where I was so weighed down by the stuff that I knew things needed to change. This journey brought me to my work now, which is as a professional declutterer and writer. I learned a lot going through the process of decluttering my home, and while I still hold onto my deal-finding ways tightly, I’ve learned to be more mindful in what I purchase. Before buying anything, I ask myself these 5 questions: Do I really want or need this? Am I settling? Will we be able to use this before it goes bad? Do I have the space to store this? What will it cost me? 1. Do I really want or need this? It’s so tempting to buy something because it’s a great deal. There’s often scarcity with the product being on sale for a limited time or with limited quantities. and I don’t make the best decisions when I feel stressed. If it’s something I already planned to buy then yes, I’ll snatch up that great deal. If not, I choose not to buy on impulse anymore. That landed me in a house full of clutter and I don’t want to repeat that mistake. 2. Am I settling? Do you ever go shopping for a specific item and end up settling for something that wasn’t quite right because it was the closest thing you could find? For me, that always ended with money wasted and an item that became clutter. I’m quite opinionated so if I don’t love something, I don’t want it. I don’t want to wear clothes that almost fit. There’s nothing more annoying than having to constantly adjust clothing. Don’t settle for good enough. 3. Will we be able to use this before it goes bad? I ask this question primarily for food, but it works for anything that can expire. It’s awesome to get great deals on produce. It’s less awesome when that deal is rotting in your fridge a week later. Be realistic about what you can use in the amount of time you have before it will go bad. Some things can be frozen and other things can’t. Be wise so that you aren’t wasteful. 4. Do I have the space to store this? Along with using it before it goes bad, don’t intend to freeze a ton of meat if you have a tiny freezer. Know your space limitations. This can happen for things that don’t expire as well. You know it’s turning into a problem when you’ve installed racks in your bedroom to store your toilet paper overstock because you found such a great deal. If you ever watched that extreme couponing show, you know what I’m talking about. 5. What will it cost me? When shopping locally, consider the cost of gas and your time. Yesterday I bought some applesauce pouches that were on clearance. I briefly considered driving to additional locations to buy more, but realized it wasn’t worth the cost in gas or my time. The things we own don’t just cost us money. Once you bring something into your home it takes your time and energy to clean, maintain, and store it. If you’re feeling burdened by your home and are suffocating underneath the clutter, it’s costing you breathing room and your peace. In trying to find my balance between simplicity and frugality, I started shopping less and being much more intentional with my choices. I will always be a deal hunter, but I’m more thoughtful in what I buy so that the thrill of the hunt will never again land me in a house full of clutter. Julianna Poplin is a wife, mom, professional declutter, and writer at The Simplicity Habit. She writes to encourage moms who want to declutter and simplify their homes and lives. top photo sources 1, 2 [...]
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United Miles No Longer Expire: What This Means for You

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United Miles No Longer Expire: What This Means for You
United surprised us with a pretty generous announcement: Starting today, United miles will no longer expire. That’s right — you no longer have to worry about losing your miles because you didn’t keep your MileagePlus account active over the last 18 months. This announcement was made on the heels of news that United is doing... Ariana Arghandewal is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article United Miles No Longer Expire: What This Means for You originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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SEC Issues New Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting Responsibility of Investment Advisers and the Applicability of Proxy Rules to Proxy Voting Advice

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SEC Issues New Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting Responsibility of Investment Advisers and the Applicability of Proxy Rules to Proxy Voting Advice
Investment Advisers On August 21, by a vote of 3 to 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance on an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties with respect to voting of proxies for client accounts. The guidance makes clear that advisers may agree with their clients that the client, and not the adviser, will vote proxies, but such guidance is generally impractical for advisers to private funds and registered investment companies (because there is no practical way to assign voting power to the funds). When the adviser retains the obligation to vote proxies, it must do so with care and loyalty to the clients. The SEC stated that this may involve individualized analysis of how to vote in certain cases. It also might be necessary for advisers to adopt different proxy voting procedures for different funds they manage. When an investment adviser has the authority to vote on behalf of its client, the investment adviser is required to have a reasonable understanding of the client’s objectives and must make voting determinations that are in the best interest of the client. Accordingly, the SEC noted, investment advisers must form a reasonable belief that its voting determinations are in the best interest of the client and should conduct an investigation reasonably designed to ensure that the voting determination is not based on inaccurate or incomplete information. The adviser must annually review its proxy voting practices and document this review. If a proxy advisory service is used to help the adviser vote proxies, the adviser must conduct due diligence on the proxy advisory service and adopt policies and procedures relating to monitoring the quality of the proxy advisory service. This could include, for example, considering additional information beyond what the proxy voting service provides, including an issuer’s proxy material or other materials provided by stakeholders. An investment adviser also should consider whether a proxy advisory service has adequately disclosed its methodologies for formulating its recommendations. The SEC also observed that use of a third-party proxy advisory service may be beneficial to investment advisers in cases where a conflict of interest may exist. However, the SEC noted that such reliance does not relieve the investment adviser of its obligation to make voting determinations in the client’s best interest or its obligation to provide full and fair disclosure of any conflicts of interest. Proxy Voting Advice The SEC also issued new interpretative guidance regarding the applicability of the federal proxy rules to proxy voting advice. The SEC noted that the use of proxy advisory firms, which would include Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, has become more widespread and now includes a broadened array of services. In particular, the SEC examined whether the proxy voting advice provided by the proxy advisory firms constitutes a “solicitation” within the meaning of the federal proxy rules (concluding that generally, yes, such advice does constitute a solicitation) and outlined the import of Rule 14a-9 (False or Misleading Statements) to such solicitations. Further, the SEC noted that while such solicitations would generally be exempt from the informational and filing requirements of the proxy rules, the SEC staff is considering recommending that the SEC propose rule amendments that would address proxy advisory firms’ reliance on these exemptions contained in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 14a-2(b), though nothing in the interpretative guidance challenges the ability of the advisory firms to continue relying on these exemptions. Solicitation. In deciding that proxy voting advice constitutes a solicitation the SEC noted that the definition of solicitation is broad and includes communications to security holders “under circumstances reasonably calculated to result in the procurement, withholding or revocation of a proxy.” It observed that proxy advisory firms provide voting recommendations to their clients, touting their expertise in researching and analyzing the matters submitted for a shareholder vote. Even where a proxy advisory firm provides recommendations based on a client’s own tailored voting guidelines, the proxy adviser’s analysis and advice generally should be considered a solicitation. Similarly, in circumstances where clients may not follow the advice of the proxy adviser, the recommendations would still constitute a solicitation. The SEC rejected the view that proxy voting advice from advisory firms should be viewed as “unsolicited” voting advice, as the advisory firms invite client inquiries through the marketing of their expertise and the researching and analyzing of proxy issues. Rule 14a-9 (False or Misleading Statements). While any solicitation by a proxy advisory firm may be exempt from the informational and filing requirements of the proxy rules, any such solicitation is still subject to the anti-fraud provisions of Rule 14a-9, which prohibits any solicitation from containing any statement which, at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it is made, is false or misleading with respect to any material fact. Any proxy voting adviser, must not make any materially false or misleading statements or omit material facts, such as information underlying the basis of the advice or which would affect the proxy adviser’s analysis and judgments. In particular, the SEC identified several specific items that may require disclosure in the context of proxy voting advice, including: an explanation of the methodology used by the advisory firm to formulate its voting advice; the extent that any advice is based on information other than what has been publicly disclosed by the subject company; and any material conflicts of interest in connection with providing the advice. The SEC’s full release is available here. [...]
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21 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Save Money on Pet Care

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21 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Save Money on Pet Care
We consider our cats our children. We once spent $1,000 to cat-proof a back yard so Jack and Opie could roam outside without escaping to the dangerous world beyond the fence — the life expectancy of a cat is several times longer if it doesn’t run free. Our guys have a variety of cat furniture, and they eat food that costs more than $7 per pound. Maybe you spoil your pets, too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money on pet care. For example, you can buy expensive food, but on sale. You can build elaborate (or simple) pet furniture, instead of paying a fortune for it. Here are some more ways to save money on your pets. 1. Buy Smaller Pets If you haven’t yet chosen a pet, consider smaller ones as a way to save money on pet care. A small dog will cost you $295 less per year than a large one ($580 vs. $875), suggests ASPCA data on pet care costs. That’s even less than a cat ($670 per year), partly because of the cost of cat litter. Of course, you could consider even smaller animals. You’ll spend an average of $200 per year on a small bird, and just $35 on a fish. Note: First-year costs for all pets are substantially higher than the figures above because of one-time costs like spaying or neutering, and buying pet carriers and other equipment. 2. Adopt Instead of Buying The breeder price for a dog is multiples higher than the cost of adopting one from a shelter. You’ll probably save money on pet care by getting your dog or cat from a shelter, and you could also save a life. Over 2 million shelter animals are euthanized in the U.S. each year. We adopted Opie from a shelter, and Jack adopted us when he was finally ready to upgrade his alley-cat lifestyle. 3. Join Pet Store Loyalty Clubs I just received a $5 gift certificate from Petco, because I used my Petco Pals Rewards card for the last $100 in purchases there. I bought food that was on sale (rewards card required, of course). Most of the major pet supply retailers have similar programs. Sign up for several if you shop in more than one place. 4. Use Discounted Gift Cards You can buy discounted gift cards on a number of good websites. Most carry cards for more than one pet supply chain. For example, you’ll find Pet Food Express on Raise and Petco on ABC Gift Cards. 5. Watch for Pet Food Sales We buy expensive cat food, because there’s a difference in quality. And evidence linking canine diseases to grains in dog food suggests you could make your pet sick and have future vet bills if you go too cheap. But even the best pet foods go on sale, so why not stock up when it costs less? You can find weekly ads for pet supply retailers online. You can also link your email address to your customer loyalty card to get sales alerts. 6. Feed Your Pets Some Human Food What do baked carrots, steamed broccoli and boiled eggs have in common? They all cost less than cat food (at least the stuff we buy) and they’re all safe and healthy for cats to eat, according to Animal Planet. WebMD has a list of people foods your dog can eat. (Not that cooking for your pets means they’re spoiled or anything.) 7. Stack Savings Tactics for Cheaper Food To really reduce the cost of pet food, try deal-stacking. For example, I recently bought our usual brand of cat food at Petco using a coupon, while it was on sale. And, I paid with an American Express card with an “Amex Offer” for a $5 statement rebate. Or, buy discounted gift cards and use them when there’s a sale — a simple strategy that could make a good sale even better. 8. Store Pet Food Properly We discovered early on that our cats refuse their food if it’s too old — and then we have to throw it away. Even if we just overfill their dishes and the remainder sits there overnight, they won’t eat it.  Check the expiration date for your pet food, dole it out a little at a time and store it properly to keep it fresh. We prefer to use up our cat food months before the expiration date. We store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. The cats like the food better this way (yes, we tested), and we save money not having to throw away any of it. 9. Have Your Pets Spayed or Neutered You spend money upfront to spay or neuter your pets, but there are long-term savings. For example, some of the negative behaviors associated with not spaying or neutering dogs and cats can be expensive. Unspayed cats can damage furniture and carpet by spraying urine on them to attract males. Unneutered dogs can be more violent, leading to injuries or possible lawsuits if they attack people. There’s also the obvious huge cost of not fixing those pets: puppies and kittens. 10. Call the Vet Before You Need One The worst time to find an affordable vet is when you have a medical emergency. If you love your pets, you’ll pay whatever it costs in the moment. To save money on pet care — both routine stuff and emergency treatments — choose an affordable vet before you need one. Use websites like VetRatingz.com to avoid bad vets (we can tell you from experience, they’re out there). Call the acceptable ones and ask what they charge for a basic checkup, vaccinations, teeth cleaning or other procedures. If you have an idea of what services your pet might need, ask about those. In any case, ask about a few different services so you get an idea of the general price level of each veterinary office. 11. Don’t Shop at the Vet Office In our experience, everything from cat toothbrushes to flea collars costs more at the vet’s office. You’re better off buying anything you can at a pet supply store, including any non-prescription medications or treatments. 12. Buy Pet Medications Online Many pet medications are cheaper online. Here are a few places you can fill pet prescriptions: Discount Pet Medicines PetCareRx VetDepot 1-800-PetMeds 13. When It Comes to Pet Insurance, Choose Wisely Unexpected vet bills can be the most expensive part of having a pet. Pet insurance for dogs, cats and even birds can keep the costs of pet care reasonable. While the monthly premiums are an additional expense on top of food, toys, treats and grooming, pet insurance is worth it for medical emergencies, especially serious illnesses or injuries. Like all insurance, it’s a gamble. You will likely spend more over the course of your animal’s life on monthly premiums than the cost of regular vet care if your pet is healthy.  But if your furry friend gets sick or suffers a major injury, insurance will potentially save you a lot of money on pet care. Here’s how to choose the best insurance for your pet. Pro Tip Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. If your pet has health problems, try to save the money you would spend on insurance, and instead put it into savings for future care. 14. Make Sure Your Pets Get Exercise Pets benefit from exercise just like humans. It helps keep them healthy and avoid obesity, which means fewer vet bills for you. 15. Make Pet Furniture Why buy pet furniture when you can make it for a lot less? Here are some examples of what you could build: Cat Condos Pet Beds Dog Houses Pet Stairs 16. Make Pet Toys We buy toys for our cats at least a couple times each year. The result is almost always the same: What seemed so cute and fun in the store is completely ignored by Jack and Opie. The good news is they love almost everything we make for them, especially paper balls and anything involving string. Moral of the story: Don’t spend a fortune on unwanted pet toys when you can make better ones. Here are a couple resources to get you started: DIY Dog Toys DIY Cat Toys 17. Make Your Own Pet Enclosures Want to provide a fenced area for your dog or an outdoor “catio” for your cats? Why not do it yourself? You can see one of my own creations in my post about building cat enclosures. More recently, I fenced in a patio area and cat-proofed it for $450 ($140 just for a building permit). The lowest quote I got before going it alon [...]
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{Last Chance!} Get the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service for 30% off!

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{Last Chance!} Get the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service for 30% off!
It’s the LAST DAY to get a subscription to Eat at Home Menu Planning service for 30% off! If you haven’t taken advantage of this deal yet and have been meaning to, this is your gentle reminder that you need to run over and purchase — because the deal ends at midnight! I’m just loving getting these messages from those of you who are signing up: My Top 3 Reasons I Love Eat at Home My favorite thing about the Eat at Home Menu Plan Service is that — unlike many other menu plan services — you don’t have to pick one menu plan — you get access to four complete menu plans every single week. Yes, that’s right! I also LOVE that the plans were put together with busy families in mind — and many of the recipes can be made in less than 15 minutes. Finally, the recipes are GOOD! Someone asked this morning on Facebook Live whether we like all of the recipes and I could genuinely say that we typically love 50% of them, that we like 40-45% of them, and there are just 5-10% that aren’t necessarily ones we like. I think that’s pretty impressive considering we’re feeding 5 people here who have different palates! On the Fence About Purchasing? Many of you have already purchased the Eat at Home menu-planning service and have written to tell me you are excited about all of the time and effort and money you are going to save with it. But others of you are still sitting on the fence and wondering whether it’s worth the investment. And I totally get that. I don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on something that isn’t going to be a great fit for you. But I also don’t want you to miss this opportunity to get such a great deal… because this deal only comes around two times per year and it’s the lowest price that you’ll ever find this menu-planning service. If you’re on the fence about purchasing, I want to help you out. Here are three steps I encourage you to take to make sure this is for you: 1. Leave a Comment… I’m Here to Answer Your Questions! I will be checking comments here this afternoon and evening and am happy to answer your questions about the Eat at Home menu-planning service. Just leave a comment and ask whatever questions you have. I’ll personally do my best to answer your question or to find out the answer for you! And trust me, I will be incredibly honest with you and let you know if I don’t think this menu-planning service is a good fit for you. 2. Download the Sample Menus Want to see some samples of what the Eat at Home menu-plan service is like? You can view a sample menu plan for each of the 4 different menu plans you’ll get when you sign up for this service. Just go here to check out the sample menu plans here. 3. Try it Out for 30 Days Eat at Home offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you think the service might work for you but you’re not sure, I recommend that you go ahead and signed up and try it out for a week to see if it will work. If it doesn’t, you can just email in and ask for your money back — no questions asked! Have Picky Eaters? Someone asked in the Eat at Home Facebook Group whether the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service would work if you have picky eaters. I can’t promise or guarantee you anything, but here were some of the responses: You can go here to read the rest of the responses to this question. What You Get When You Sign Up When you sign up for the Eat at Home Menu plan service (it’s just a few dollars per week — or less!), each month, you’ll get: An entire month of No Flour, No Sugar menu plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions An entire month of Traditional Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions An entire month of Slow Cooker/Instant Pot Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions (this is my favorite!) An entire month of Whole Food Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions Each menu plan comes with recipes created for small family (3-4 servings) and large family (6-8 servings) Color-coded grocery lists make it easy to swap out ingredients or whole meals Printable Menus to hang on the fridge or near your calendar, so you can easily see what’s for dinner that week and your family can, too Access to the entire month at once! 1 Hour Freezer Stash Plans – a new plan each month to stock your freezer with 6 meals in 1 hour! You can choose to stick with just the traditional menu plan or just the slow cooker menu plan or just the whole foods menu plan or just the no flour, no sugar menu plan. Or, you can rotate different menu plans on different weeks, depending upon what you feel like cooking or how much time you have! Go sign up here — and use coupon code YES at checkout to get 30% off! That makes the annual plan just $1.13 per week! If you have any questions about the Eat at Home Menu Plan service, just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer your question promptly! P.S. Don’t forget, the Eat at Home Menu Plan service is only on sale until tonight at midnight! Use coupon code YES at checkout to get 30% off — that’s the lowest price you’ll get this year! Find more details on these fantastic menu plans here. Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we will receive a commission — at no additional cost to you! Thank you for your support. [...]
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The Disney Princess Cookbook

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The Disney Princess Cookbook
If you have a little one that is starting to get into cooking, this would make a fantastic gift idea. You can getThe Disney Princess Cookbook for only $6.35 right now. You will be saving 60% on this purchase because it is normally $15.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices ... Read More about The Disney Princess Cookbook The post The Disney Princess Cookbook appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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NJM Insurance Review 2019: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage

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NJM Insurance Review 2019: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage
NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Lisa Green 5.0 NerdWallet rating Places first out of 24 insurers for auto insurance in NerdWallet's rankings.Had far fewer than the median number... Lisa Green is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lgreen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lisaccgreen. The article NJM Insurance Review 2019: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Cut Your Budget By $100 This Month

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How to Cut Your Budget By $100 This Month
Need to cut your expenses by at least $100 right now? This post is for you! How to Cut Your Budget By $100 This Month A few months ago on Facebook, I asked this question: “If you had to cut your expenses by $100 this month, what would you cut out?” There were lots of great comments and I wanted to put together a post with some of the top suggested strategies for cutting your budget by $100 this month: 1. Call and Re-Negotiate Your Bills Look at all of your monthly bills and see if there are any you can discontinue (subscriptions or membership fees?) or call and ask for a better rate. It never hurts to ask — especially when it comes to things like phone plans, internet, and insurance! The worst that can happen is that they say no! Bonnie says: “We cancelled our landline phone for savings of $38 per month. We re-negotiated our DirecTv bill and got it cut by $50 per month. We also discontinued a monthly subscription service to save $10 per month. Finally, we re-negotiated our internet and got faster service with a savings of $7 per month!” 2. Switch Your Cell Phone Plan There are so many cell phone options out there now! If you’ve not checked into them recently, you definitely should! For instance, Twigby currently offers phone plans starting as low as $8 per month! Judy said: “I just ordered the phone and plan from Tigby. With the plan I selected (unlimited talk –I will only use wifi option), I will be saving approximately $50 a month. I currently have Verizon – a basic plan with unlimited talk/text/2g of data. I keep my data off most of the time and hardly use any at all, but my current total cost per month was $73.00 with Verizon.” 3. Brown Bag It Since we’ve been married, we’ve saved thousands of dollars alone just by packing sack lunches. While Jesse was in law school and we were living on a beans-and-rice budget, brown-bagging it was a must as there was no way we could afford even eating off the dollar menu on a regular occurrence. But even though we brown-bagged it out of necessity, we found lots of ways to make it easy and yummy — so it really didn’t feel like a sacrifice. Plus, the money we saved made it every bit worth it! Tip: I’ve got lots of great tips for how to make sack lunches quick and easy here. 4. Eat From Your Pantry One very simple way to save money is to skip shopping for a week or two and use what you already have on hand. We call this Eating From the Pantry at our house and it’s something we try to do fairly regularly Instead of approaching eating from the pantry as a difficult thing, we make it a game on occasion to see how long we can survive without going to the store. When you view it as a fun challenge, it makes it exciting and interesting. And it can help bolster your spirits when you find yourself eating some rather interesting meals. Need some tips and ideas to get started? Here’s my post with how it works for us! 5. Cut Back to a Barebones Grocery Budget What would you need to cut or change in order to save $25 per week off your grocery bill? (If saving $25 per week isn’t possible, what about challenging yourself to trip $5 or $10 per week off your bill?) Could you eat less meat, eat more beans, plan your menu around the markdowns, or shop at Aldi? I’ve got 10 of my best tips for cutting $50 off your grocery budget this week in my free cheat sheet here. Sign up and I’ll email it to you! What would you do if you had to cut your budget by $100 this month? I’d love to hear! This is something Jesse and I regularly talk about and it really helps us to remember what are needs versus wants and what we could do if we needed to quickly reduce our budget. I’d love to hear your thoughts! P.S. If you feel like you’ve cut everything you can cut and you still are coming up short, I highly recommend looking into making more money. I compiled a list of some of my best income-earning ideas here. Photo credit [...]
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ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe

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ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe
  If you have little ones that like to play pretend, this would be a great deal to grab! You can grab the ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe for only $21.99. You will be saving 51% on this purchase because it is normally $44.50! Make sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change ... Read More about ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe The post ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Chase Adds Emirates Skywards as Airline Transfer Partner

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Chase Adds Emirates Skywards as Airline Transfer Partner
Chase has landed another airline as a travel transfer partner. As of Aug. 25, 2019, cardholders with eligible Chase credit cards have the option of transferring their Chase Ultimate Rewards® points into Emirates Skywards miles at a 1:1 ratio. Emirates Skywards is the loyalty program for Emirates and flydubai, two airlines based in Dubai. The addition gives... Claire Tsosie is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7. The article Chase Adds Emirates Skywards as Airline Transfer Partner originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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