bill.com IPO not the end of its global growth story in B2B invoicing

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bill.com IPO not the end of its global growth story in B2B invoicing
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25 Holiday Items You Should Buy at a Dollar Store

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25 Holiday Items You Should Buy at a Dollar Store
Impact Photography / Shutterstock.com Holiday shoppers plan to spend 4% more in 2019 than they did in 2018, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. That translates to each consumer spending $1,048, on average, during this holiday season. There’s plenty to spend on, too. With gifts, decor, entertaining and more to fund, it’s not uncommon to spend hundreds of dollars... [...]
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Up to 65% off Disney Toys, Apparel, and more!

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Up to 65% off Disney Toys, Apparel, and more!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Today only, Amazon is offering up to 65% off Disney Toys, Apparel, and more! Here are some deals you can get… Get this 21-Piece Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk for only $22.41! Get this Disney Ideas Hardcover Book: More than 100 Disney Crafts, Activities, and Games for just $12.36! Get this Melissa & Doug Disney Mickey Mouse Wooden Character Magnets for only $4.75! Get this Fisher-Price Disney Mickey & the Roadster Racers for only $16.67! Get this Sofia the First Royal Family for only $5.36! Get this Lionel Disney’s Frozen Battery-powered Model Train Set for only $34.99 shipped! Get this Toy Story Disney/Pixar Pet Patrol Playset for only $10.49! Shop the Disney sale here. Valid today only, December 11, 2019, while supplies last. Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get guaranteed FREE two-day shipping (and possibly one-day or same-day shipping!). And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon. [...]
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These 14 Strategies Will Help You Save Big on Your Universal Orlando Trip

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These 14 Strategies Will Help You Save Big on Your Universal Orlando Trip
While theme parks are high on the list of favorite vacation destinations, they can get really expensive really quickly when you factor in extras like hotels and food.  Here at The Penny Hoarder, we believe in a healthy balance between work and play. So if you can afford it, take that dream vacation and enjoy every second of it — just make sure you don’t completely abandon your penny hoarding ways.  If you’re headed to Universal Orlando Resort — home to the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter — check out the insider tips I’ve developed as an Orlando native and former witch at Universal’s Diagon Alley. You’ll save money in the parks without sacrificing any of the fun.  Find Tickets for Less Your savings can start before you even step through the turnstiles — check out these ideas for cutting the cost of park admission! 1. Buy Your Tickets Ahead of Time The simplest way to save on Universal Studios’ prices for park entry is to buy your tickets before you get to the gate. You can save up to $20 per person when you buy multiday tickets online. If you’re traveling with a family of four, that’s $80 in savings already.  2. Use Your AAA Membership to Your Advantage Prices vary, so make sure to ask about discounted Universal tickets at your local AAA office. You can save 15% or more when you buy through AAA. 3. Buy the Lowest-Tier Ticket and Upgrade Later As long as you purchase your tickets directly through Universal Studios, you can upgrade your tickets at guest services at any point during your trip.  This is a good idea for anyone traveling with kids — they get sick, burned out and do not care if you spent a hundred extra dollars on a three-day ticket.  If you come to find everyone is up for an extra day, you can upgrade your tickets by paying the difference — as long as you do so before you leave the park. Once your tickets expire, you’ll have to pay for new ones.  4. Shop Around Carefully Orlando is riddled with sleazy ticket vendors promising half-price theme park tickets.  But beware — even if the tickets you purchase are real, these vendors may be selling them illegally. These tickets often come from park employees or locals who work special events and receive complimentary passes. Universal does not permit the sale of these passes.  If you get caught at the gate, you’re out of luck — and money.  Still, there are some reputable ticket sites out there. Just make sure to do your research on the seller before buying. Travel and Accommodations After tickets, the hotel and travel fees are the biggest items in your vacation budget. Here are some strategies for saving on these expenses. 5. Book Everything in Advance If you’re a seasoned Penny Hoarder, you probably already know this tactic: Purchasing plane tickets and reserving your hotel room ahead of time are the easiest ways to get the best rates. 6. To Resort or Not to Resort? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer here: It’s going to take some number crunching on your end to figure out which hotel situation is right for you. There are less expensive hotels (or Airbnb rentals!) if you leave the Universal Resort property, but you may end up paying more in the long run because you’ll miss out on some pretty sweet perks at the parks.  To keep it brief(ish), here’s a cost-effectiveness breakdown: Select Universal Resort hotels include shuttle transport to and from the airport and the parks. So staying on the property could save you on transportation costs, plus the $25/day parking fee you’d pay if you were driving. But more importantly, and something to consider if you had planned to buy Express Passes anyway: Certain resort hotels throw in free Universal Express Unlimited passes for each member of the family — a $129 value per person per day. (Think: Family of four spending four days in the parks. $129 times four people times four days = $2,064.)  Another bonus? Universal Resort hotel guests get early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and parts of Volcano Bay: You’ll get a whole hour to explore each morning before the major crowds come pouring in. Whew. Did you catch all that? Great, because I have one final point to make: If you go the Universal Resort hotel route, and you take advantage of those Express Unlimited passes, you could feasibly cut a day off your in-park time and a day off your trip (which means one less day paying for tickets and a hotel.)  If you’re not concerned about crowds, wait times or transportation (maybe you’re driving in to save on airfare!), then a cheaper, off-property hotel might be the right answer for your family. I’m just trying to show you all the options, friends! Making the Most of Your Time By making the most of your time, you can hit more attractions without shelling out for extra days inside the gates. 7. Decide if Express Passes Are Right for You If you’re still on the fence about whether to secure Express Passes for your trip (and you’re not going the resort hotel route), here are some points to consider. Visitors can often package Express Passes with admission tickets, lowering the overall cost significantly.  However, if you’re a serious Harry Potter fan, you should know that Express Passes are not valid for some attractions in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Here’s a really helpful guide that breaks down Express Passes along with the rides and attractions they work on.  If you decide you don’t need to skip the lines all day every day, you could buy each member of your family a one-day Express Unlimited pass. You can knock out a pretty hefty list of attractions that day, then go at a more leisurely pace for the remainder of your trip. 8. Plan Your Vacation Around Peak Season Check this handy crowd calendar from Orlando Informer (a seriously great resource for all things Orlando and theme parks) to figure out which days will be the least crowded. Smaller crowds mean less wait time; less wait time means you can spend fewer days in the parks; and fewer days in the parks means you save on tickets.  Attendance is lowest on weekdays, particularly in late fall and late winter. If your family can afford the time off work and school, you’ll get the most bang for your buck at these times. Save on Universal Studios’ Prices Inside the Park While most of your savings will come from big-ticket items like park entry and the hotel, the little things can add up quickly.  9. Use the Lockers Bring everything you think you’ll need with you, and rent an all-day locker for about $10 per day. You get unlimited opening privileges, unlike the timed and complimentary lockers, so you can use your locker as a home base to return to when you need to reapply sunscreen, change into dry clothes or grab a sweatshirt for the evening chill (yep, even in Florida).  Even though you’re paying $10 a day, you’re saving money by not shelling out for $40 sweatshirts for the whole family when the sun goes down.  10. Avoid Paying for Pricy Food Theme park food is expensive. On your way to your hotel, purchase breakfast food (if your hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast) and portable snacks. The parks allow small snacks that don’t require heating or refrigeration — and while you can’t bring a picnic lunch, the rules are a little fuzzy as to what constitutes a “small snack,” so you can probably make a case for many items. Avoid buying expensive sodas and bottled water inside the parks — you can bring in sealed or empty water bottles to refill throughout the day.  Now, while this Penny Hoarder would usually recommend bringing all the snacks, splitting meals four ways, and avoiding expensive alcohol and novelty treats, I do have one caveat: If you’re primarily there for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience, consider investing in a dining plan. Even if you just purchase one, your whole party will be able to sample the fun Wizarding World treats — and if butterbeer i [...]
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Your Guide to Citi’s 48-Month Rule

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Your Guide to Citi’s 48-Month Rule
Citi has an impressive lineup of rewards credit cards with generous welcome bonuses. Whether you’re looking to stock up on transferable Citi ThankYou points or AAdvantage miles, Citi has multiple cards to choose from. The downer? Citi has also begun restricting the welcome bonuses on some of these credit cards. In some cases, if you’ve... Ariana Arghandewal is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Your Guide to Citi’s 48-Month Rule originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Stop Waiting Until Your Kids Are Teenagers to Talk to Them About Money!

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Stop Waiting Until Your Kids Are Teenagers to Talk to Them About Money!
“When do you start talking to your kids about money and how old should they be before you talk to them about it?” We get this question often and we decided to tackle it head on in today’s podcast episode. And by that, I mean we talked about a number of things that might be a little be controversial. 🙂 We approach the conversation of money with our kids much like we approach anything else in our parenting — with the desire to lead by example and raise future adults. In this episode, we share when we begin talking about money with our kids, why we think it’s important to let your kids handle money from a young age, why we involve our kids in financial conversations and decisions, how we offer our kids opportunity to earn money, and why we are okay with letting our kids make mistakes with money. In This Episode:  [01:14] What’s saving our lives? It’s all about Christmas decorating,  [06:14] Off the bookshelf: A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff and Families Where Grace is in Place by Jeff VanVonderen. [13:57] Learn four strategies to help kids learn how to think about and handle money. [14:58] Strategy number 1: Set a Great Example. More is caught than taught. [18:22] The second strategy: Start Teaching From a Young Age. It’s never to early to begin! [21:39] Strategy number 3: Involve Your Kids as Much as Possible. Make it a family conversation and work together to achieve your financial goals! [24:42] The fourth strategy: Let your kids make mistakes. Save them the $3000 and $30,000 mistakes later by letting them make $3 and $30 mistakes now. [28:12] Why we let our kids earn and handle money and what this looks like for us. Links and Resources: A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff Families Where Grace is in Place by Jeff VanVonderen Why We Pay Our Kids For Doing Chores Crystal’s Favorite Things on Amazon CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com Crystal’s Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player we’ll include in the show notes of each episode. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission — at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support! [...]
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NFA Proposes Amendments to Several NFA Rules and Interpretative Notices to Apply to Cleared Swaps

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NFA Proposes Amendments to Several NFA Rules and Interpretative Notices to Apply to Cleared Swaps
On December 3, the National Futures Association (NFA) proposed amendments to various NFA Compliance Rules and Interpretive Notices related to discretionary customer accounts, customer information, risk disclosures and bunched orders to apply to cleared swaps, in addition to other minor amendments. Most notably, NFA proposal would amend the following: NFA Compliance Rule 2-8 to specify that NFA’s requirements for discretionary accounts apply to cleared swaps customer accounts; NFA Compliance Rule 2-30 to expand existing customer information and risk disclosure requirements to apply to cleared swaps; and Interpretive Notice 9029 to expand the scope of the Interpretative Notice to bunched orders involving cleared swaps. NFA also proposed amendments to other applicable Interpretive Notices to integrate the proposal. Absent additional review by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), NFA may establish an effective date for the amendments as early as 10 days after receipt of the submission by the CFTC. A copy of the proposed amendments is available here. [...]
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This Man Told Us How He Turned Christmas Lights Into a Lucrative Business

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This Man Told Us How He Turned Christmas Lights Into a Lucrative Business
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for the 2019 holiday season. When you have a name like Josh Trees and you run a Christmas light installation business, you have to be prepared for the inevitable question: Is that actually your name? Trees — yes, that’s his real name — started his business, We Hang Christmas Lights, in 1997, decorating homes, businesses and assorted branched greenery in Temecula, California.  But Trees definitely gets the last (jolly) laugh. “When we first started doing this, people were like, ‘Oh, that’s a cute little business,’” Trees says. “We were like, ‘Yeah, cute,’ —  you don’t realize people are paying us $3,500 to put lights up on their houses.  “By my third year, I was hitting a net profit of right around $138,000.”  Now Trees crisscrosses the country with strands of lights and a tiny house to teach others how they can build their own businesses hanging twinkling bulbs. On the First Day of Christmas Lighting Ah, the fond memories of hauling out last year’s box of lights to add some holiday cheer to the humble abode. Haphazardly arrange the lights around the front stoop, throw a wreath on the door and voilá!  But if you’re starting a business hanging lights, that simplified recollection can lead to costly errors, according to Trees. And he should know, because he had the same idea. “We were making mistakes on everything — we were just a bunch of guys thinking, ‘Hey, this is going to be easy,’” Trees says. “We were hanging other people’s lights — that’s a huge no-no.… The second stage was hanging the crummy lights from retailers. “I’m surprised I made it through the first couple years.” By the third year, Trees had moved onto purchasing lights from wholesale vendors, which offered discounts for bulk purchases. He was also buying commercial-grade strands so that when one bulb went out, they didn’t all go out. But Trees says his biggest mistake had nothing to do with lights — it was underbidding jobs. “I got into it in the first year…  and I didn’t make any money — probably lost money,” Trees says. “I was charging $150 for jobs that should have been $850. “I bid a job for $3,500 that should have literally been $35,000. It was horrible.”  Enlightening Business Strategies Trees’ students echo his refrain, noting that learning from other professionals early on can help transform a business idea into a profitable enterprise — and with a lot fewer mistakes along the way. One of Trees’ early students was Jeff Krall, owner of American Holiday Lights in Illinois. In 2008, Krall attended an individual training session, which Trees conducted before he started traveling the country to teach classes. “Josh helped me get it started,” says Krall. “Everything from how to hang the lights on the rooflines… making our own extension cords, how to wrap the trees. “It would take someone… two or three years to learn how to do it correctly, whereas Josh, in two or three days, he tells them how to do everything.” In his first season of business, Krall estimates he had 30 clients. Now he manages 25 to 35 employees who light 35 to 40 houses a day during the season, at an average price of $1,400 to $1,500 per house. However, those visions of sugarplums and dollar signs dancing in your head might not be in your immediate future — or at least not the first season. In 2017, Lucas Pulvermacher decided to add a light-hanging business to his busy lawn care enterprise near Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  “My first year was tricky because I had to have an inventory of the lights. That’s a fairly large cost — and also the ladder, equipment, safety stuff like that,” says Pulvermacher. “I’d say we came out about even.” Pulvermacher says his Lucas Lights lit three houses and two businesses after launching in mid-November last year — “It was hard because we started so late.”  After taking Trees’ class to learn marketing and sales strategies, Pulvermacher invested in professionally designed materials, including a logo. Beyond Christmas Lights One of the cool things about those twinkling lights is that they still work after Jan. 1. That means there’s more business after the wintry holiday season. “A lot of the guys we work with, they do wedding lights, event lights, party lights and backyard lighting, that sort of thing, and a lot also do landscape lighting,” says Trees, who estimates that light installations for weddings bring in $1,800 on average but can go as high as $7,000. Krall, who also owns a roofing business, hangs lights all year round for backyard weddings, Diwali festival of lights celebrations and Halloween parties — “but the majority of what we do is Christmas,” he notes. Holiday Gigs So let’s say you’re not ready to start your own business but being outside hanging lights sounds like a better gig than working a seasonal retail job.  You might be in luck. Krall notes that the toughest part of his business is finding good, reliable help. “We got creative this year, so we align ourselves with other companies out there that are seasonal, like landscapers or pool companies,” Krall says. “When they’re laying off, we’re actively developing relationships.” Trees recommends that installers offer tiered bonus pay, adding an extra $1 per hour each week to incentivize continued attendance as the season winds down — particularly in January when companies have to take down the lights. “Helpers can typically make anywhere from between… $13 at the low end to about $20 at the high end — and that’s before bonuses,” Trees says. “When you find somebody that’s good, it’s key that you keep those people, because it’s temporary, and they know it’s temporary.” For people interested in finding holiday lighting jobs in their area, Trees suggests checking places like Craigslist, Indeed and the We Hang Christmas Lights site, which includes a directory of light installers that’s searchable by zip code — just mention your interest in a job when you fill out the online form.  Trees has found that these holiday gigs are best suited for people who work warm-weather jobs in roofing, tree trimming and window washing. All of which have at least one trait in common — no fear of heights.  And yes, the money is nice, but Krall and Pulvermacher agree that the best part of hanging bulbs is the way their customers’ faces light up when they see the finished product. “Everybody’s in a really good mood around Christmas time,” says Krall.  Pulvermacher adds: “It’s just kind of a cozy feeling when you see a house all lit up.” Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a writer/editor 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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Cheap Alternatives to Gift Exchanges

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Cheap Alternatives to Gift Exchanges
Looking for cheap alternatives to gift exchanges? Here are 12 ideas to still have fun while on a tight budget! Recently, a reader wrote in and asked this question: “Our extended family usually does a gift exchange for the kids each year where we all draw names of which kids we will buy for. The spending amount is usually $20-25 per child. This year, one of the families is struggling financially and asked that we do not exchange gifts at all. Others would like to give something to the kids, but don’t want anyone to feel bad. My question is, are there any other fun, cheap alternatives to a kids’ gift exchange? -a reader” I posted this question on Facebook and got so many great responses. Here are 12 of my favorite cheap alternatives to gift exchanges: 1. Stocking Fill Up Every child can bring a stocking to fill and each family puts a little something into each stocking. That way everyone goes home with the same thing and nobody needs to know who gave what. Just drop in whatever fits your budget, whether it’s a candy cane, a book, or a fro-yo gift card. -Jenny 2. Saran Wrap Ball Have one of the families that wants to do gifts do a Saran Wrap Ball super big for the kids. That way everyone gets something and no one is left out. It’s so much fun to watch the kids do it. Give them a set of oven mitts to hold the ball and unwrap it with them on. You’ll love it! -Autumn We have done the Saran Wrap Ball and it is so much fun!! Just have the families who can afford to pitch in help pay for the small gifts. We went to the Dollar Tree and Five Below and there were items for every age group!! So much fun… and then the kids don’t have to feel bad or the parents! -Tonia 3. Experience Gifts Maybe instead of gifts everyone who can afford to chip in can do so to pay for the kids to all go bowling, ice skating, or some kind of outing? This way, they can make memories together. You could even make little gift certificates to the outing/event for all of the kids.  -Kristin 4. Our Favorites Game We do something called “our favorites”. We pick a theme (this year is Favorite Cracker) and if you want to participate you can but you don’t have to. You bring your favorite cracker, wrapped, and then we all sit in a circle and read a story that has a lot of ‘lefts’ and ‘rights’ and you pass the gifts accordingly. At the end of the story, the gift you have in your hand is yours. We take turns opening the package and guess who the gift originally belonged to. We keep the theme very simple so it’s affordable but it’s something to do together. One year was a favorite candy bar, favorite salty snack, favorite magazine. Some families bring one gift to share as a family, some families bring a gift for each person in the family and the kids LOVE passing the gifts back and forth during the story. -Jenny 5. $5 Gift Exchange With our extended family we used to have the kids draw names and exchange $5 gifts. Last year, we didn’t draw names for the older ones (10+) and instead they played a passing game with their $5 gifts and they loved it! I mean, some of them literally ended up with nail clippers and gum but they had so much fun choosing interesting cheap gifts and playing the game that it didn’t matter how small the gifts were. -Kimberly 6. Homemade Gifts One year, our gifts all had to be homemade. It was so great! We had chili mix, homemade vanilla, a “fort kit”, baked goods, handmade blankets, and more! -Emily 7. Ice Cream Social & Toy Swap How about an evening of “toy sharing” and dessert buffet or sundae bar? Have the kids pick one or more of their own toys to bring and share with their cousins for the evening or day. Kids always love to even just play with a toy that’s new to them. Each family can also bring either a treat to share or an ingredient for an ice cream sundae bar. Those who can spend more can buy the ice cream or more elaborate toppings and those who have limited budgets can bring something inexpensive like a bag of mini marshmallows (usually under $2 or $1 on sale) or chocolate chips. Set it all up and let kids and adults indulge. The kids get to go home with their toy (or maybe even swap for a bit if a cousin is willing) and everyone enjoys an evening of fun and treats. -Ulana 8. White Elephant Gift Exchange We do a White Elephant Gift Exchange in our family, so you can do what you already have or snag something from a thrift store, (we have a $5 limit). Then we do the draw numbers to see the order we open, then you can either open yours or steal someone’s already opened one and they can either open/keep or steal. After something has been stolen 3 times it gets to be kept by that person/out of play. It is a riot, you still get to open something, it took all the pressure off of the shopping aspect which made everything more enjoyable for everyone! -Laura I would do a funny white elephant gift. Pick stuff from around the house. The whole family can get in. Just pick fun and goofy things, that you might have laying around! We did this at work, and there was everything from a t-shirt folder, used candles, ugly decorations, etc. Everyone had a great laugh! And for those that didn’t have stuff, they went to Goodwill and spent like a dollar or two! – Dawn 9. Secondhand Exchange One year, we did an exchange that had to be used or second hand. We could hand down our own toys, book, or clothes, or purchase from a garage sale or thrift shop. -Emily 10. Gingerbread Building House Night What about building gingerbread houses together? We make simple ones out of graham crackers ahead of time and have everyone bring some candy to share. It’s one of my kids’ favorite Christmas activities. -Jessica Tip: If someone is buying the gingerbread house supplies ANYWAY, wrap up the various candy. That way the kid’s ‘gifts’ are actually contributions to the gingerbread house! Everyone feels like they made an important contribution to the house and then when leaving, all the kids split up the house and take some home for a treat later. -Shannon 11. Ornament Exchange My mom and her sisters always did an ornament exchange. There were lots of homemade ornaments and some store bought ornaments when times were better. The cousins all had Christmas ornaments for their first tree as an adult. One of the favorite ornaments was a box made of old Christmas cards with M&M’s in them. My aunt was so embarrassed that she had almost no money and made them with reused cards. She was a married in aunt and the sisters all had tremendous artistic talents. All of the cousins loved them the best that year and they were refilled for many Christmases to come. -Anne 12. Book Swap We do a book exchange among all cousins. We encouraged gifting beloved books from their own library or our local used book store. -Sarah Tip: I love to read and to give books for presents but that can be rather expensive. However, I have found a FABULOUS way to keep the cost of books down to a minimum: I hit the used book store and the thrift stores in my area. It’s like a treasure hunt, you simply NEVER know what kind of good books you might be able to find. Periodically, I have to purge my book shelves of books I don’t want anymore. If I know someone in my family that might enjoy it, that’s what I give them for their birthday or Christmas. If I don’t know anyone in my family to give it to, I take it to the used book store for a credit. Once I have enough credit, I use that credit for books to use as gifts. It’s such a fun way to spend the day. Also, many of the libraries in my area also have a “Friend s of the Library” room where they sale the books they are discarding for whatever reason for a nominal fee (usually it’s like 10 cents for magazines, 25 cents for paperbacks and 50 cents for hardbacks). -Constance What other ideas would [...]
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How to Earn AmEx Points via Rakuten’s Shopping Portal

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How to Earn AmEx Points via Rakuten’s Shopping Portal
Are you a member of Rakuten and have an AmEx credit card that earns Membership Rewards points? You could rack up extra AmEx points by using a new or existing Rakuten account. Here’s how the new partnership works. About Rakuten First, let’s talk about Rakuten: It’s a shopping portal designed to reward customers for everyday... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Earn AmEx Points via Rakuten’s Shopping Portal originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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17 Renovations That Are Unlikely to Help Sell Your Home

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17 Renovations That Are Unlikely to Help Sell Your Home
goodluz / Shutterstock.com We all like to think that making positive changes to a home can make it more attractive to buyers. However, some renovations, while they might make you feel more comfortable, might not actually help you sell your home in the long run. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, finding that some renovations are less... [...]
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How to find the ideal buyer for a company

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How to find the ideal buyer for a company
The post How to find the ideal buyer for a company appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat: 4 Tips to Limit Debt When Buying a Car

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Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat: 4 Tips to Limit Debt When Buying a Car
Ready for a new (or new-ish) set of wheels? Before you set foot in a dealership or start picking out the trim, you should prepare your bank account for a hit — the average price for a mid-size car was $27,968 in October 2019, according to Kelley Blue Book.  For people who don’t have an extra $30,000 lying around, that means taking on auto loan debt — and plenty of us do. Outstanding debt balances on auto loans rose $18 billion in the third quarter of 2019, ballooning to $1.3 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. For comparison, credit card debt rose $13 billion in the same period to $880 billion.  But just because you need a vehicle doesn’t mean you have to dig a huge financial hole you’ll spend years climbing out of. We’re here with strategies to help you get behind the wheel with the least amount of debt. 4 Ways to Limit Auto Loan Debt Ready to hit the open road? Before you rev your car-shopping engines, put your finances in park and check out these four ways to avoid taking on any more auto loan debt than necessary. (And in return, I promise to stop with the car puns.) FROM THE DEBT FORUM Eliminating Credit Card Debit - Take out personal loan with low interest rate 12/4/19 @ 2:28 PM L Balance transfer credit card 11/27/19 @ 6:39 PM Credit card Debt 11/19/19 @ 3:56 PM Student loans 11/20/19 @ 2:17 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question 1. Set a Budget Here’s the thing about budgeting for a car: You’re not just budgeting for a car (or at least you shouldn’t be). You’re also paying for the tax and title, the gas, the oil changes, the insurance and the inevitable nail-in-a-tire-costs-me-how-much moment. So before you let a dealership lure you in with the promise of a low monthly payment (while glossing over the fact that it’s for a seven-year loan), do your homework.  Set a budget that you can comfortably live with each month for the car payment plus the regular maintenance — the average maintenance and repair costs for a small sedan are 8.53 cents per mile, according to AAA — and other expenses associated with owning a vehicle. Better yet, before you start figuring out how big of a loan you’ll need, consider ways you can save money to buy a car. A bigger down payment — or, gasp, paying for that ride in cash — means you’ll fork over less of your hard-earned money for interest on the loan. 2. Know Your Credit Score Before you drive, you should know where you stand.  Knowing your credit score can help you figure out how much a car loan will cost since. Your credit score is calculated by a number of factors, including whether you pay your bills on time — and thus can be trusted with lower interest rate on a loan.   If you’re a superprime (800s) kind of borrower, you can expect to pay thousands less in interest over the life of the loan than the deep subprime (300 to 500) borrower.  So what if you’re in the less-than-prime territory? Consider ways to improve your credit score before you buy, shop for a more affordable (perhaps used) set of wheels or find a co-signer who has good credit. 3. Get an Auto Loan Preapproval Once you know your credit score and how much car you can afford, it’s time to get a loan. And although the dealership may seem like a convenient place to finance your vehicle, it’s also likely the costliest (dealers often make more money on the finder’s fee for your loan than they do on the car itself). Instead, start shopping online for an auto loan preapproval — a financing offer that includes the maximum loan amount, interest rate and terms of the loan. By shopping online, you can compare offers from multiple lenders without a dealer pressuring you to make a decision on the spot. Pro Tip Just because you can get approved for a loan doesn’t mean you need to take the full amount — stick to what your original budget dictated you can comfortably pay monthly. An auto loan preapproval letter gives you leverage when it comes time to discuss financing — simply present the letter to the dealer and ask them to beat your lender’s offer. Having a preapproved auto loan could end up saving you thousands in interest and gives you the power to search for the best price on the vehicle rather than being shackled to whichever dealer will offer you financing. 4. Break Free of the Underwater Auto Loan  All of these tips are great if you’re starting fresh with an auto loan, but what if you’re still paying for your old car — and you owe more than it’s worth (also known as negative equity)? You have a number of choices for getting out of an underwater auto loan. There are the easy-but-unwise options like rolling over your negative equity, which probably puts you underwater immediately on your new auto loan. Or you can choose the tough-but-sensible options, like holding onto your old hunk of junk until you get your loan back above the waterline. Breaking the cycle of auto loan debt lets you save on the interest you pay and eventually own your wheels outright. Eliminating that extra debt will put you in the driver’s seat to decide where to spend all that extra cash. 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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Christine Lagarde pioneers ECB climate change policies – what can Fintechs do?

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Christine Lagarde pioneers ECB climate change policies – what can Fintechs do?
Christine Lagarde made waves when she got chosen as the first woman president of the ECB. Now she is making waves with her push for climate conscious monetary policies. In her new role as the ECB president, she is hitting the ground running with some amazing policy work around climate change. The vision is to […] The post Christine Lagarde pioneers ECB climate change policies – what can Fintechs do? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 19), our first foster care placement, plus more!

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 19), our first foster care placement, plus more!
Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram. 19 weeks!! It feels like the last two weeks have sort of dragged by slower than usual as I anticipated being at the halfway mark. I have a feeling once I hit 20 weeks, then it will feel like it flies by for a bit until I start anticipating 30 weeks and then 40 weeks. HIGHLIGHTS I definitely started looking more pregnant this week. A lot of people noticed it and it’s fun (and weird!) to look down and see a protruding belly! I also broke out my first pair of maternity jeans (see photo above!) which felt pretty monumental! NOTABLE I started taking only one dose of iron daily + one dose of Blood Builder (instead of a double dose of SlowFe). It seems like this combo is working well for my stomach + I seem to have had more energy this week and I have to wonder if the B12 is helping with that?! I’m still nauseous at least part of most every day and running on about 50% the energy that I usually am, but it’s SO much better than the first trimester and I’m so grateful! CRAVINGS Scrambled eggs, avocados, and sourdough toast with butter continue to be my go to’s. I also had this obsession with making a pie mixing yogurt and whipped topping and freezing it in a graham cracker crust (thanks to a suggestion from a follower for how to use up all this plain yogurt I got marked down at a crazy price!) Weight gain: 10 lbs. We bought and decorated a Christmas tree this week! I felt like we were at least a week behind the rest of the world in getting this up, but I guess there are no rules for Christmas, right? The good news is that because we waited, we were able to get the tree for half price! (Psst! If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll remember that we ditched having a big Christmas tree last year. But this year, we decided to bring back the tradition and we don’t regret it! Want to hear about more of our Christmas traditions? We all recorded a podcast as a family on that very topic.) Silas had this big wart on his finger that he got burned off this week at the pediatrician’s office. Growing up, I had to get a lot of warts burned off, so I felt so badly for him when he was in pain for the next day as a result. But he really wanted to get it taken off and it was so big that I didn’t think any of the natural remedies would work (I tried a bunch of them growing up, including ACV, duct tape, wart remover ointment, and more and none of them ever worked at all for me!!) Gratefully, the pain only lasted for a day and he’s really happy that it’s healing! Kathrynne had her first basketball games of the season this week. She’s on Varsity this year and has a new coach, so she’s being stretched in good ways. We love getting to cheer her on and try to go to every single game that we can go to. It becomes a fun family activity — and we also get to see new parts of TN as we drive to little towns in different places for her away games! We also had a big Christmas gathering for all of the youth group members from both campuses of our church + the leaders. I laughed so hard and it was such a gift during a very full week. (By the way, Jesse and I have just loved the opportunity to serve as youth group leaders this year. It has brought us so much joy and life to pour into these kids!) Friday afternoon, we got a call about a 3-sibling group in foster care that didn’t have a home for the weekend. They were 13, 11, and 3 and Jesse and I felt strongly we were supposed to say yes. It turned out to be such a wonderful weekend. Tiring, but such a gift to get to open our home up and love on these kids. They had never decorated Christmas cookies before, so we had a fun time baking and decorating cookies together. The 3-year-old gave Kaitlynn a makeover! 🙂 The stay included one night with very little sleep because the 3-year-old had a bad cough and it kept waking her up and then she’d get scared and cry. I finally figured out that if I laid next to her bed, when she woke up, she’d be a lot less scared if I was right there with her. Her cough got worse on Saturday, so I took her into urgent care just to be safe. Gratefully, no ear infection (she’d be complaining of her ears hurting) and just an upper respiratory infection. They suggested honey and a humidifier. We also found Zarbee’s cough syrup that was approved for kids under 6 (we discovered this weekend that almost no meds are approved for kids under 6! I think maybe things have changed since our kids were little?) and we gave her that on Saturday night and she only woke up twice!) We are so thankful we had the opportunity to open up our home this weekend — if only for a short while — to love on and provide a safe place for these kids to stay. I also have quickly realized how many big feelings are going to be involved in this foster care journey we’re on… as I told someone yesterday, it’s both beautiful and brutal. [...]
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CrowdStreet Review 2019: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

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CrowdStreet Review 2019: Pros, Cons and How It Compares
With its in-depth vetting of real estate developers and operators, CrowdStreet provides a convenient platform for accredited investors to add commercial real estate projects to their portfolio. But investors should do their own due diligence and be prepared to leave their money locked up for years at a time. NerdWallet is a free tool to... Andrea Coombes is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: acoombes@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @andreacoombes. The article CrowdStreet Review 2019: Pros, Cons and How It Compares originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Week in Fintech

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This Week in Fintech
This weekly summary from our 5 experts, brings you insights based on their experience as investors, entrepreneurs & executives. Ilias Hatzis started his first company, an internet search engine, during the dot-com era & now focusses on crypto. Efi Pylarinou worked for top tier Wall Street firms and is now a top global Fintech influencer. Jessica […] The post This Week in Fintech appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, December 7

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, December 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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Sign up with EF Education First to work from home as an ESL teacher!

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Sign up with EF Education First to work from home as an ESL teacher!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for unique ways to earn a part-time income from home? Apply to teach with EF Education First! If you hold a Bachelor’s degree, you can currently apply with EF Education First to to make money teaching kids English online from the comfort of your home! With EF Education First, your teaching is supplemental to what they’re already learning in a classroom environment. You don’t need any mandatory props or teaching backdrops. And you can earn up to $2,000 per month teaching part-time with EF Education First! Interested? Here’s how to apply: Go HERE and and enter your name and e-mail address to get started. Complete the application form. Speak to someone from the recruitment team. If hired, you’ll get a contract and be up and running in as little as two weeks! Go here to apply to teach with EF Education First! Psst! Looking for more opportunities like this? You can also apply with VIPKID or Qkids to teach part-time from home! [...]
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7 Places to Find Secondhand Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Adore

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7 Places to Find Secondhand Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Adore
Gifting your friends and family with something they’ll love this holiday season doesn’t require buying something brand new. You can save a considerable amount of money by buying used gifts for Christmas instead. Thrift stores and private sellers price merchandise at a fraction of their original cost — not to mention the treasures you might be able to regift without spending a penny. Before you cringe at the idea, consider this: A recent survey by the selling app Mercari found 60% of people felt comfortable receiving a previously owned gift.  Likewise, Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey found more than half of respondents said they’d willingly accept secondhand apparel as gifts this holiday season. Of course, you’ve got to consider the gift recipient — and the gift. Your vintage-loving sister would appreciate a good thrift store find, and your 2-year-old nephew won’t realize (or care) if his “new” toy truck used to belong to another kid.  But if your husband has been yearning for a specific tech gadget that just hit the market or your mom wants a 2020 calendar, maybe they aren’t the best candidates to give used gifts for Christmas. When gifting anything used, examine the item’s condition the best you can. Arrange to meet individual sellers in safe, public places. If you’re purchasing online, vet the website to ensure it’s trustworthy and secure. Check out the reviews or ratings of sellers you buy from. Opportunities to find pre-owned presents are widespread. Here are seven places to shop for inexpensive gifts this holiday season. 7 Outlets to Find Used Gifts for Christmas Some places you’ll discover great secondhand gifts (that won’t bust your budget) include: 1. Brick-and-Mortar Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops Thrift store chains like Goodwill and the Salvation Army have a varied assortment of goods. Proceeds from sales go to community programs that support the nonprofits’ missions.  You may find for-profit consignment shops in your area have a particular focus, like children’s clothing or men’s fashion. 2. Online Resale Retailers and Private Sellers Sites like Poshmark, Tradesy and ThredUp are great outlets to find clothing and accessories at a discount.  Other e-commerce websites, like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay and Mercari, have less of an online store interface. On these sites, private sellers post a variety of previously used products for sale, including toys, tech, furniture and home decor. 3. Yard Sales, Estate Sales or Flea Markets Yard sales, estate sales and flea markets can include a great array of options You may even find a table of trinkets the seller is giving away for free.  4. Public Libraries Occasionally libraries will hold fundraisers where they’ll offer a selection of books for sale. You can find titles for only a couple bucks a pop. It’s a good opportunity to get something for the book lover in your life. 5. Pawn Shops Disregard the negative reputation that pawn shops (often unfairly) have. This venue is popular for finding jewelry at low prices. You can also find a great assortment of other merchandise — from DVDs to bikes to musical instruments. 6. Buy Nothing Groups The Buy Nothing community (which connects neighbors via Facebook) provides an opportunity to find a gift that won’t cost you anything. Members of Buy Nothing groups post items they own that they choose to give away for free.  Search Facebook to see if your community has an active group, and join to see what your neighbors are giving away. 7. Your Own Home Regifting gets a bad rap, but it’s honestly no different than giving something from a secondhand retailer. The plus? You incur zero cost.  Consider items you’ve barely or never used, like that waffle maker that’s still in the box from when you got married. Just don’t give someone a present they originally gave to you! 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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Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped!! (Fits American Girl and Our Generation Dolls!)

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Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped!! (Fits American Girl and Our Generation Dolls!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whoa! This is SUCH a good deal on doll clothing! Amazon has this Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped when you use coupon code VRVXSZOQ at checkout. This is a GREAT price for doll clothing that fits American Girl and Our Generation! Note: This is not Prime eligible, and it currently says the arrival date is between December 12th and 17th. You can also still get this Doll Clothes 28-Piece Set for just $29.95 shipped — also a great deal! Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Get Paid to Spread Holiday Cheer as Santa Claus. Here’s How to Find Gigs

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Get Paid to Spread Holiday Cheer as Santa Claus. Here’s How to Find Gigs
Remember that sixth helping of stuffing you devoured? Oh, and countless heaps of grandma’s cherished mac and cheese? Don’t regret eating them. (We don’t.) Instead, think of those extra pounds as preparation for the grandest holiday side gig of them all. Every year, thousands of shopping malls, department stores and corporations throw Christmas-themed events and parties that rely on guest appearances from Ol’ Saint Nick himself.  (Spoiler alert: not the real one. He’s too busy. It’s actually a complex network of Santa Claus impersonators.) If you’ve got what it takes — e.g. a burly chuckle, a mean beard, a background check and liability insurance — you can find a variety of Santa Claus jobs this time of year. How to Find Santa Claus Jobs (Mrs. Claus, Too!) Becoming Santa Claus is a little more complicated than walking into your local shopping mall with an application in hand. Many malls and department stores rely on event companies, talent agencies and freelancers to meet their Kris Kringle needs. Here’s how to join those ranks. Work at an Event or Photography Company When you think of Santa Claus jobs, do you think of a winding single-file line through the atrium of a shopping mall, everyone waiting for a photo with the big guy? These types of events are often coordinated by events and photography businesses.  Some companies contract with shopping malls or department stores as full-service vendors – handling all the staff, decorations and photographs. Others may only provide photography services or Santa-staffing services.  Cherry Hill Programs and Instant Photo Corporation of America (IPCA) are two national companies that partner with regional shopping malls across the nation to hire Santas, Mrs. Clauses and other festive characters (as well as some photographers). Pro Tip Not having any luck with national Santa companies? Narrow your job search to local events and photography companies. If all else fails: Call your local mall to see how they usually hire Santa. Use a Talent or PR Agency Maybe you have experience as Santa under your well-worn leather belt. In addition to looking the part, you sing or act to enliven your impersonation. Simply put, you’re down to do more than sit on a red velvet throne for a few pictures. A talent agency is just what you need. Such agencies find the Santa Claus jobs — the corporate events, the media appearances, the charity drives — and reach out to you if you’re a part of their network and meet certain criteria. Pro Tip Real-bearded Santas are generally higher in demand and can charge better hourly rates. Some agencies may even require the applicant to have a real beard. Three free nationwide Santa networks, Hire Santa, Real Santa and Santa for Hire, are looking for talented actors to play the part. Applications are open for Mrs. Claus as well. Freelance as Santa Whether you find gigs through an events company or talent agency, you can always boost the profile of your Santa enterprise by finding clients on your own. This will require a bit more legwork on your part, but the reward can be well worth it. Some Santas we spoke to earn up to $7,000 a season by running their own show. In our ultimate guide to becoming a professional Santa, The Penny Hoarder spoke to several pros who built their own websites or made listings on talent-freelancing websites like Gig Salad. They shared insider tips on finding the best clothes, enrolling in Santa school (it’s a thing — we checked) and getting into character, even when you’re off the clock. “Before you become a Santa, you really need to understand what it’s going to do to your life,” said Santa Tim, a retired professional Santa from Kansas. “You are going to have to be Santa Claus.” 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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Afternoon Deals: Thursday, December 5

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Afternoon Deals: Thursday, December 5
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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The selling process of a company

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The selling process of a company
The post The selling process of a company appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Is Lack of Trust a First Order Function in Narrowing the Insurance Protection Gap?

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Is Lack of Trust a First Order Function in Narrowing the Insurance Protection Gap?
image The Geneva Association released an ambitious discussion of trust and its effect on insurance transactions, particularly in the perspective of well-known ‘protection gaps’ that are pervasive across many lines of insurance within mature economies.  Is, as Jad Ariss, Association Managing Director notes in the publication’s foreword, a “lack of trust fundamentally impeding insurance demand,” […] The post Is Lack of Trust a First Order Function in Narrowing the Insurance Protection Gap? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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How to Save on Prescriptions With the Kroger Rx Savings Club

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How to Save on Prescriptions With the Kroger Rx Savings Club
The following reader tip is from Rachel: Our family has some insurance, but not on prescriptions. I shop a lot at Kroger and recently realized that we could save a BUNCH on our prescriptions if we joined the Kroger Rx Savings Club. The club costs $32 per year for individuals and $72 per year for a family. This annual fee paid for itself when we filled my husband’s $100 prescription for only $28.50 at Kroger! Their website allows you to enter your medication information and to figure out what the cost would be as part of the Kroger Rx Savings club. NOTE: A family plan is good for up to 6 members (including pets!) and could potentially be a great option for those without traditional insurance. What is your best advice for saving money on medical expenses? Related Posts: 5 Simple Ways to Save on Medical Bills Cutting Down on Healthcare Costs 8 Ways to Save on Medical Necessities What Not to Do When You Get a Large Medical Bill [...]
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