6 Festive Centerpieces You Can Make for Less Than $6

click photo for more information
6 Festive Centerpieces You Can Make for Less Than $6
There is no need to shell out big bucks for an expensive holiday centerpiece when you can make a DIY version for less than $6 using materials that are easy to find. Start by finding a glass canister as a base. You can probably get one at a retail or craft store for less than $2. Fill it with any number of holiday-oriented goodies. Your options include: Aaron Freeman / Money Talks News Fill the... [...]
4
51

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

The aeronautic industry in 2019

click photo for more information
The aeronautic industry in 2019
The post The aeronautic industry in 2019 appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
3
41

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Instant Pot 6 Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker for just $35.99 shipped!

click photo for more information
Instant Pot 6 Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker for just $35.99 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Still in the market for an Instant Pot? Don’t miss this Kohl’s Black Friday Deal! Kohl’s has a GREAT Black Friday Deal on the Instant Pot: Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker — $59.99 (Reg. $99.99) Use code GIVETHANKS to get 15% off Shipping is FREE Get $15 back in Kohl’s Cash Like paying $35.99 shipped after Kohl’s Cash This is an amazing price on an Instant Pot!! Looking for more Black Friday Deals? You can go here for all of the best online Black Friday Deals as we live blog them all week long! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter and join our Deal Seekers Facebook group so that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
3
46

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

3 Ways to Downsize Your Life to Save Money, Time and Stress

click photo for more information
3 Ways to Downsize Your Life to Save Money, Time and Stress
Downsizing — what exactly does it mean? Smaller house, fewer bills, less stuff? Yes, yes and yes. Many think of downsizing as moving to a more compact house after the kids have grown and gone. And it is. But let’s not stop there. Downsizing makes sense in other ways, too. Following are other areas of life where downsizing can yield serious financial savings, not to mention save you... [...]
3
37

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How to find the ideal buyer for a company

click photo for more information
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. [...]
3
6

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How One Family Accepted — and Survived — the Pantry Challenge

click photo for more information
How One Family Accepted — and Survived — the Pantry Challenge
When my editor called me on the last day of my vacation to ask me to take on a Pantry Challenge, my first thought was: I wish I had gone grocery shopping first. But then, where would the challenge be in that? If you’re unfamiliar with it, a Pantry Challenge requires you to use what’s in your cupboard (and refrigerator and freezer) to create meals for one week. The only rule: no buying. If you’re like my family, you often pick up specific ingredients for a recipe, but don’t necessarily use all of them. You forget about the food, leaving it to languish in the back of the refrigerator until one day, it’s grown enough mold to qualify as your daughter’s science project. Then when it comes time for dinner, you default to stopping by the store for more ingredients or worse, ordering takeout. Neither option is good for the budget, and you end up wasting food. Just us? My husband, Chris, regularly cooks a delicious dinner — my culinary skills are mostly limited to chopping vegetables and reheating leftovers — so I figured we could accept a five-day pantry challenge without much trouble. (I got to skip the weekend portion due to the story’s deadline.) I announced our participation in the Pantry Challenge to Chris and our 10-year-old daughter, Gwen, Monday evening. Although neither seemed particularly excited, they humored me. How the Pantry Challenge Works Meal prepping is an essential component of the Pantry Challenge, since you’ll need to plan your meals using fresh produce before it goes bad and saving items like a frozen pizza for a break-in-case-of-emergency dinner. So after I talked to my editor, I shopped our refrigerator and pantry for inspiration. Inspiration quickly turned to perspiration as I realized we had no frozen pizza. Or eggs. Or apples. Or bread. Or gummy bears. I looked online for recipes from people who’d done the Challenge before me. One person suggested barbecuing banana peels. What had I gotten us into? We weren’t going to starve, but I did experience a moment of panic when I realized how little fresh produce we had and how gross it was turning before my eyes. We were going to have to dig deep (in the freezer). Here’s the daily play-by-play of recipes we came up with for creatively meeting the Challenge. Monday Dinner We based Monday night’s dinner on the produce. We had some nearly wilted lettuce, half a tomato and an inexplicable plethora of onions. That, along with the hamburger buns in the fridge had all the makings of a burger night.  Unfortunately, we’d used the remaining ground turkey last week. But my husband found a package of Asian-flavored soy burgers he’d bought months ago during our ill-advised attempt at vegetarianism. With plenty of ketchup, mustard and a leftover bottle of chipotle mayo, we decided they’d be the best companion for our paltry produce. We also discovered a couple leftover sweet potatoes from a bag we bought for a stew weeks ago. Those sweet potatoes were not getting any younger, so Chris cut around the less-than-desirable parts, tossed them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika and baked them to a crisp. And to make sure we didn’t waste anything, I used up the rest of the chicken Caesar salad my daughter and I had split for lunch. The croutons were a bit soggy, but it was an easy way to add extra veggies to our meal. Reviews: There’s a reason those burgers collected ice crystals in the back of our freezer. My daughter ate half the sandwich and a few fries before claiming she was “full.” She wasn’t.  Tuesday Here’s the thing about the Pantry Challenge. In the evening, you have time to gather items and experiment, so cobbling together dinner from your pantry is a bit easier.  But in the morning rush, when I was in charge of making lunches, the Pantry Challenge became more of a Pantry Struggle. Breakfast was easy enough: We still had English muffins, bananas, frozen waffles and cereal.  But often when I pack our lunches, I use leftovers. And nobody was eating the sad, lonely veggie burger from last night (except maybe the dog, whose palate is decidedly less discerning).  But my teacher husband and daughter were headed to school to set up his classroom and I was headed to the office, so we needed to some kind of subsistence. I dug into the produce drawer and picked out the good pieces from a bag of deteriorating spinach, topping them with a cucumber that was on its last legs. (It hadn’t really grown legs. Yet.) To help keep our tummies full, I sent along bags of almonds, rice crackers and the last of the fresh cherries.  That covered vegetables, protein, carbs and fruits, so we’re good, right? Unfortunately, in my rush to pack lunches, I forgot to take the chicken thighs out of the freezer to defrost in the refrigerator for dinner.  Normally, that would have resulted in a trip to the grocery store for an alternative meal or maybe takeout. But tonight, we just delayed dinner a little while I figured out how to defrost solid chicken thighs in the microwave.  In case you were wondering, it takes about 20 minutes for 2 lbs. of chicken to defrost. And yes, they were a bit rubbery, thanks for asking. Chris cooked the thighs with a jar of Indian sauce (mostly to cover the rubberiness). Typically, we like to boost the dish with a colorful array of peppers, but there were no peppers to be found, so we settled for some chopped baby carrots.  Fortunately, we’re almost always stocked on rice, so we cooked extra to ensure we’d have enough for our lunches the next day. We completed the meal with steamed frozen broccoli. Reviews: Lunch was definitely a bust — the “meals” I sent with Chris and Gwen came back half eaten. I suspect they may have located pizza leftover from a staff meeting, but neither one was ratting out the other. Dinner was a bigger success, and I was proud of myself for sticking with the Challenge and defrosting the chicken rather than taking the lazy route to takeout. Bonus: Who realized the slightly browning bananas could be cut up and frozen for smoothies and snacks for the remainder of the week? This mom! FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Save Money, Mystery Shop! Free tickets, food, hotels, entertainment and more! 8/13/19 @ 2:27 PM Travel Tips, anyone have any to share? 8/13/19 @ 2:27 PM Traveling 1/26/19 @ 9:01 PM S Extra Job 7/30/19 @ 2:52 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question Wednesday Want to know the secret to the Pantry Challenge? Pasta. Oh sure, there are other secrets — like frozen produce, dried beans and canned soups — but at the end of the day, when you’re tired and hungry, pasta saves the day. Plus, you can make a ton of it at once for easy leftovers. And for a non-chef like myself, pasta is a godsend because you can serve it multiple ways without much culinary wizardry.  I can toss it with olive oil, fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese for a simple dish, with canned tomatoes, feta and olives for a Mediterranean flair or with canned tuna and cream of mushroom soup for a casserole.  But I didn’t have half of those items in my house. Instead, I found an open jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge that was leftover from last week when my husband had only needed a c [...]
2
279

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Blow Your Budget? 5 Things to Do — and Not to Do — to Get Back on Track

click photo for more information
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 [...]
2
172

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Your Guide to Booking Award Nights With Hilton Honors

click photo for more information
Your Guide to Booking Award Nights With Hilton Honors
Hilton is one of the largest hotel brands, with more than 4,800 hotels around the globe. Its Hilton Honors reward program can be richly rewarding for its members. How many points are needed for a free night? Hilton Honors points can be redeemed for a free night for as little as 5,000 points for a Points... Lissa Poirot is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Your Guide to Booking Award Nights With Hilton Honors originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
2
83

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

African fintech migrates to Europe

click photo for more information
African fintech migrates to Europe
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. With less than 4 years of operations under its belt, ambitious African fintech, SME lender Lidya, has announced it will commence its expansion into eastern Europe. The venture backed […] The post African fintech migrates to Europe appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
2
104

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Derek Peth of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’: It’s OK to Talk About Money with Friends

click photo for more information
Derek Peth of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’: It’s OK to Talk About Money with Friends
Trying to maintain a social life while still paying the bills? That’s easier said than done. Bar tabs, brunches, vacations and birthday celebrations don’t pay down student loans or help you save for a down payment on a home. If you’re not a careful budgeter, your social spending can even put you behind on rent. But that doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself. Derek Peth, a financial executive who’s most known for stints on “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” suggests the opposite. Becoming more financially intimate — sharing your financial situation with your friends or significant other — can strengthen your relationships while protecting your budget. Peth, a senior vice president at the online lender Laurel Road, told The Penny Hoarder it’s time to remove the taboo around talking about money. “Your finances are a part of who you are,” he said. The people you love should be accepting of that, even if it prohibits you from going out and spending money as often as they’d like. Talking about your financial situation, however, doesn’t mean you have to dish out the explicit details of how much you make or how much debt you have to an acquaintance or someone you just started dating. Instead, Peth suggests sharing your goals and limits.  “You can say something like, ‘I’ve got a lot in student loans. I’m really trying to focus on that and my goals right now, and I’m kind of limited on what I can do. Here’s my limits,’” he said. “You don’t necessarily [have to] put numbers behind it, but at least start having the conversation.” While you’re being more open about your money situation, make sure to share your financial wins too. Paying off $10,000 of your student debt is worthy of the type of celebration you’d have if a friend was turning 30, Peth said. “Achieving something like paying off a large amount of debt and then celebrating it in a fun way is something that we should do more of,” he said. When you don’t have as much disposable income as your friends, it can be disappointing to say no to an invite. “FOMO is a real thing,” Peth said. True friends should accept the occasional “no thanks, I can’t make it” reply. If someone is constantly trying to push you outside your financial comfort zone or can’t accept your explanations as to why you can’t afford going out every weekend, Peth said it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship. “You don’t want to be begrudgingly doing something and you also don’t want to — if you’re real friends — be guilt-tripping someone into doing something either,” he said. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM Have you tried the Zero Based budgeting method? 6/7/19 @ 1:58 PM Money management in general 9/17/19 @ 12:59 PM J Out on sick leave 9/19/19 @ 5:48 PM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question To avoid some of these situations, Peth advises taking the lead and being the one to plan the outing. You can come up with something enjoyable that doesn’t involve spending a bunch of money, like a backyard barbecue or a picnic where everyone chips in and brings a dish. Living in New York, Peth said some of his favorite things to do are hanging with friends on a rooftop or in Central Park, which are very low-cost. When it comes to dating, Peth suggests taking a note from the Bachelor franchise — with adjustments to fit your budget, of course. “There are multiple layers to their big dates,” he said. “Although they’re crazy expensive, you can start out somewhere that’s got nice drinks, grab one there, walk to another place that’s maybe lower cost to get tacos together and just laugh and chat, and then go through a final walk through some park.” Adding layers to a date involves a little more effort than just making reservations at a restaurant. Peth said it shows you value spending time with that person, and the change of scenery helps break up some first-date awkwardness.  “The first time you’re meeting somebody, mix it up a little bit,” he said. 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. [...]
2
74

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Insurance- not all fun and game theory

click photo for more information
Insurance- not all fun and game theory
Economic game theory has resided at the core of insurance underwriting for some time but might be losing its luster through the advent of price aggregators. ‘Gamification’ through behavioral economics is gaining traction concurrently in the industry, that is, devising schemes to engage insureds more often with their policy than simply at annual renewal.  More […] The post Insurance- not all fun and game theory appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
2
51

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

This Teacher Earns $3,000 a Month on the Side by Upcycling Furniture on Facebook

click photo for more information
This Teacher Earns $3,000 a Month on the Side by Upcycling Furniture on Facebook
After a long day of teaching Chinese to middle and high schoolers, cooking dinner for her daughter and husband and prepping her spare bedroom for Airbnb guests, Sara Chen likes to call out to her Echo Dot: “Hey, play some soft music.” This is when most people would plop on the coach and let out a deep sigh of exhaustion. Maybe pour a glass of wine and call it a night. But Chen isn’t most people. She’s just getting started. Soft music humming in the background, she heads to her garage and starts sanding, priming and painting furniture – usually mid-century modern dressers – for her side gig, Sara Chen Design. Until earlier this year, Chen, 40, hadn’t found the right outlet for her strong creative streak. It was by chance that she stumbled upon upcycling furniture, work she finds energizing and inspiring. The extra $2,500 to $3,000 a month is just an added benefit. Finding Furniture, Fulfillment With Sara Chen Design When Chen left her HR job in China to move to the U.S. 10 years ago, she felt like she was taking a step down professionally. “All of the advantages I had deteriorated,” Chen said, noting the lack of parallels in hiring practices between Denver and Shanghai. So she pivoted her career circa 2009 and took a job teaching Chinese. It allowed her and husband Justin Herbertson to raise their newborn daughter, Gemma. She’s been a Chinese teacher ever since, and she enjoys the work. It’s stable. It pays the bills. The health insurance is great. And now Gemma attends the same school. But Chen yearns to be creative. Pro Tip Attaching a sense of purpose to a day job is risky. Namely because you can get fired. The Penny Hoarder spoke to well-being experts for our guide to finding fulfillment outside the 9 to 5. In 2015, she learned about Airbnb, and, by extension, the idea of starting her own gig when the family moved from Denver to Charlotte, North Carolina. Chen jokingly calls herself a “control freak,” and listing rooms on Airbnb allows her to flex both creativity and control. While she gets to curate well-manicured rooms for rent, Airbnb doesn’t fully quell her desire to be creative. Then she got her first taste of furniture flipping. On Facebook Marketplace, Chen found “a steal”: a mid-century modern dresser for $200 that would go perfectly in her bedroom. She brought a friend to meet the seller. “So, I went in and found out she actually had two dressers… both mid-century modern style,” Chen said. “I told my friend, ‘You know what? You should buy the other one.’” Her friend said no. “It looks so ugly,” she told Chen. Chen bought both pieces for $400 anyway. The first piece she kept as is. For fun, she decided to paint the second one. She bought sandpaper, tack cloth and a can of white paint – in all, about a $30 investment. Then she set up shop in her garage and got to work. In two or three hours, the dresser was like new — but better. “Then my friend came over and she was like, ‘Is that the dresser you [tried to] convince me to buy? It looks so good! Can I have it now?’” Chen recalled. On the spot, she made a sale: $350. And that gave Chen the courage to start upcycled furniture flipping as a side gig. “That’s what I like about America,” Chen said. “This is a country that really promotes hard work and creativity.” A Perfect First Customer Chen decided to play it safe with the first piece she made available to the public. To find the right piece to flip, she again turned to Facebook Marketplace, investing much less the second time around: $70 for a 1930s dresser from Singapore. “My rationale is that I really like this piece,” Chen said. “And if it doesn’t sell, I’m going to use this for myself.” She chose a dresser because it’s a versatile piece of furniture for flipping. It can double as a baby-changing station or an entertainment stand, if needed. And with a robust teal coat, newly installed cup-pull handles and a simple black-and-white liner for the drawers, Chen transformed the piece from rustic to chic. Her first customer drove more than two hours to pick it up. When the woman arrived, she marveled – and shelled out $420. Including supplies, Chen earned about $300 in profit on her first sale. On her way out, the customer encouraged Chen to create an Instagram account to showcase her work. The woman had a large social media following and said she would give Chen a shout-out.  Chen took that advice to heart. In less than a year, with the help of her happy first customer, she has amassed more than 1,700 followers on Instagram. Pro Tip Social media sites are free and often underutilized tools for budding businesses to attract customers. Use these social media best practices to get your footing, the earlier the better.  But Chen’s luck with her godsent customer didn’t end there. “After she got the green dresser, I noticed she was pregnant,” Chen said. “I got another dresser, also from Facebook Marketplace… and then I painted it pink. I added black handles.” “You’re looking for a dresser for your girl?” Chen texted her. “Well, I might have a piece you want.” Chen photographed the new pink dresser and sent over the pictures. Fingers crossed. “This is exactly what I want!” the woman replied. The second piece, which Chen purchased for about $60, sold for $400.    Sale 1: Teal Dresser Sale 2: Pink Dresser Purchase price: $70 $60 Cost of materials (sandpaper, paint, cloth, etc.): $30 $30 Sales price: $420 $400 Profit: $320 $310 And those price points weren’t one-offs from an enthusiastic buyer. Chen’s instincts were dead on. After researching her competitors on Marketplace, she typically shoots for those profit margins with each project. For tallboys, like the pink dresser, Chen spends $40 to $70 and flips them for $325 to $425 on average. The margins for long dressers are even better – a $60 to $120 purchase price and a $475 to $525 sales price. Depending on the project, that means she regularly sees profit margins between 70% and 90%. “You need to find a sweet spot,” Chen said. “I try to keep it in the median-high level. I feel like that’s the right spot [for me].” Flipping Furniture Is All About the Photos After tallying about 70 pieces of vintage furniture hunted, cleaned, patched, sanded, repatched, primed and painted since early 2019, Chen has her upcycling process down to a science. But when the paint dries, her work is only a little past the halfway mark. Next, she stages the piece for high-quality photos to include in her listings on Marketplace or Instagram. It’s now her favorite part of the process. “It’s also probably the most important part,” Chen said. “It’s gone from a regular piece to a stunning piece, and I want people to see that.” FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM How I'm Making Money on Poshmark 12/31/18 @ 4:47 PM C Side hustle from home 10/25/19 @ 10:13 AM Amazon refund 10/28/19 @ 8:56 PM how to make money? 10/30/19 @ 1:21 PM See more in Make Money or ask a money question The added love really goes a long way. When Chen listed the first teal dresser, she added potted cherry blossoms, a wooden vanity tray and a stool adorned with books [...]
2
63

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Spend Too Much on Vacation? These 5 Tips Will Help You Rebuild Your Savings

click photo for more information
Spend Too Much on Vacation? These 5 Tips Will Help You Rebuild Your Savings
The best vacations are carefree escapes from everyday stresses. Bills and budgets? That’s for non-vacation life. When you’re on the beach or at a five-star mountain resort, you buy the lobster dinner, you splurge for the couples massage and you make sure to pick up a few souvenirs along the way. But once you return home, you’re hit with the realization that you spent much more than you intended. Making up for a huge dent in your savings can be tough, but these five ways will help you save up money when you’re coming down from that vacation high. 1. Try the Pantry Challenge Going to the grocery store to restock the fridge is a natural response after spending a week or two away from home. But what if you delayed that shopping trip and got creative with what you already have? The pantry challenge involves using up the often overlooked food in your cupboards, freezer or fridge before buying new ingredients. Then, if you normally drop about $100 on your weekly grocery trip, you can add that to your savings instead. Of course, pantry items won’t sustain you forever. Making a meal out of rice and ketchup is really pushing it. When it’s finally time to go shopping, try using some of these tips to save money on groceries. 2. Sell Clothes You Never Wear As you’re unpacking your suitcase and putting things away, take inventory of your closet and drawers. Surely you’ve got a few items in there that never see the light of day. Turn a profit by selling your old clothes online, using a clothes-selling app or going to a brick-and-mortar second-hand shop to make the sale. Not only will you get cash to pad your savings, but now you have extra room for those graphic tees you bought on vacation. 3. Take a Break from Spending If you blew through a lot of money over vacation, balance things out with a no-spend challenge. You don’t have to commit to a month of not buying anything besides essentials — though that would do wonders for rebuilding your savings. You can customize your no-spend challenge in a variety of ways, like focusing on temporarily nixing your weakness for buying things on Amazon. While you’re on your spending freeze, try not to think of it as deprivation. Try some free ways to have fun, like exploring the great outdoors, being a tourist in your own city or hosting a game night at home. 4. Automate Your Savings Use automation to take the work out of saving money. Money-saving apps like Digit and Acorns pull small amounts from your checking account to save without you even thinking about it. A few dollars here and there will add up over time. If micro-saving apps aren’t your thing, arrange for a percentage of your paychecks to be deposited directly into your savings account, or pay yourself first by setting up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account right after payday. 5. Bite the Bullet and Start Budgeting Your Money You may think you’re getting by fine without budgeting, but establishing a plan for your spending — and prioritizing saving — can help you make up for overdoing it on vacation. Learn how to develop — and stick to — a budget next month with these seven steps to budgeting. If you think you’ll have trouble sticking to your spending limits, try the cash envelope system. This method keeps you from overspending, because you physically have no more cash once the envelopes are empty. No cheating and swiping your debit card! 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. [...]
2
57

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Serve Your Country While Tackling Student Loan Debt — Here’s How

click photo for more information
Serve Your Country While Tackling Student Loan Debt — Here’s How
If you’re looking for an easy way out of your student loan debt… this isn’t it. But if you’re ready to make a commitment to protecting and defending your country, you may find relief through a debt forgiveness program.  And you’d have plenty of company in your… company, since approximately 200,000 active duty members owe a collective $2.9 billion in student loan debt.  But as a service member, you have a few more options for wiping out your student loan debt than your civilian counterparts. So pay attention.  Military Student Loan Forgiveness If you’re ready to serve your country after graduating college, you have options for attacking your student loan debt. Although you can also qualify for other programs unrelated to your service, such as teacher student loan forgiveness or nursing school loan forgiveness, we’ll focus on the options that depend on your work in the military. National Defense Student Loan Discharge (aka Perkins Loan Forgiveness) If you served in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area, you qualify for the National Defense Student Loan Discharge, which is part of the Perkins loan cancelation program (the Perkins loan program ended on Sept. 30, 2017).   Loans are discharged 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. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) This is probably the most well-known forgiveness option — although “notorious” might be a better adjective for it. Out of the approximately 76,000 PSLF applications that were processed by March 2019, only 518 applications were approved. For those who didn’t major in math, that’s less than 1%.  Pro Tip If you make too much to qualify for an income-driven repayment plan, don’t bother with PSLF since the standard payment plan will leave you with nothing to forgive after 10 years. And the program that was supposed to fix the problem — Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF)? Yeah, it turns out the acceptance rate for that one nearly matches the original. Be prepared for a long wait — it takes a minimum of 10 years to qualify — and to follow a lot of rules in regards to the type of loan, repayment program and employment eligibility. To help you navigate the process, check out these seven essential questions to ask about Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Total and Permanent Disability Discharge If you become totally and permanently disabled during your service, you’ll automatically have your student loan debt discharged. (Your student loans also get canceled if you die, but let’s not consider that as an option, OK?) Prior to August 2019, you still had to fill out the TPD Discharge application, but now the discharge is automatic for veterans. Veteran Affairs will alert the Federal Student Aid office as to your eligibility. The office will then notify you, at which point you will have 60 days to decide if you want to decline the loan relief.  Pro Tip If you think you may go back to school again some day, understand that accepting the disability discharge could make it more difficult to take out future student loans. Why would you decline? Although the discharge isn’t subject to federal taxes, the discharged amount may still be considered income for state tax purposes.  If you don’t decline, your remaining student loan balance will be discharged and you’ll be reimbursed for any payments made following the date of the discharge. Get more details about the total and permanent disability discharge (TPD) program here. Repayment Programs for Service Members As a service member, you’ll find multiple programs that will repay some of your debts, but none of these programs forgives the loan and interest in its entirety — and all of the forgiven amounts are taxable. Armed Forces Education Loan Repayment Program Following a complete year of active-duty service, you’ll become eligible for benefits available through most branches of the service (sorry, Marines).  Depending on which branch you choose, you’ll see the loan repayment programs referred to as College Loan Repayment Programs (CLRP) or Student Loan Repayment Programs (SLRP). Pro Tip If you’re rehabilitating a student loan in default, you’re allowed an interruption in the consecutive pay period until after your qualified military service is completed. All of the programs repay direct federal loans (subsidized and unsubsidized); other federal loans may be eligible, depending on the specific program. And each come with enlistment and/or testing qualifications, so ask your recruiter about specific requirements for your program: Air Force: Soaring with the Air Force Reserve for up to six years could really pay off. Annual payments will be $500 per each qualifying loan or 15% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater, for up to $3,500 for each year of satisfactory service. Maximum amount: $20,000. If you’re taking the legal eagle route, the Air Force has a three-year student loan repayment program for you. You can qualify after completing your first year as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer. Maximum amount: $60,000 Army: The Army has multiple loan repayment programs to choose from, depending on your status. For active duty members, the maximum annual benefit is a third of the current principal balance or $1,500, whichever is greater, for each year of service up to three years. Maximum amount: $65,000. Navy: For active duty members, the maximum annual benefit is one-third of the current principal balance or $1,500, whichever is greater, for each year of service up to three years. Applicants must be approved before shipping to RTC, according to Terrina Driscoll with Navy Recruiting Command. Note: To be eligible for the loan repayment program and 100% of your Montgomery GI Bill benefits, you must reenlist for additional three years  or have a 6 year Active contract. Maximum amount: $65,000. Coast Guard: For six years of service, you’ll receive up to $10,000 per year to repay loans at qualified minority-serving institutions. Maximum amount: $60,000. National Guard: You’ll need to enlist for at least six years for annual disbursements through the National Guard repayment program. Maximum amount: $50,000. Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) If you’re a health professional with student loans to repay, providing your services to the military could help you out of debt.  Both Active and Reserve members of the Army can receive assistance through separate programs. For example, nurses in the Army Reserve are eligible for up to $50,000 toward student loan repayment over three years of service. For the Navy, you must be a commissioned officer enrolled in the final year of an approved residency program leading to specialty qualification in medicine, dentistry or osteopathic medicine. The maximum award is $40,000. And if you’re Air Force, you’ll receive up to $40,000 to cover your health profession education in exchange for at least two years of service. Additional Student Loan Benefits for Service Members Even if you don’t receive forgiveness of your loans, you can deploy these reduced interest and deferment programs as a member of the military. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Interest Rate Cap: Interest on student loans you took out prior to your military service is capped at 6% during periods of active duty. Military Service Deferment: You can postpone loan repayment during certain periods of active duty and while you prepare to go back to school following your active duty. 0% Interest: If you serve in a qualifying hostile area, you don’t have to pay interest for up to 60 months. HEROES Act Waiver: The Education Department waives many documentation requirements — think: updating your family size and income f [...]
2
87

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

12 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

click photo for more information
12 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
What better way to find your next great purchase than to consult financially savvy consumers much like yourself — you know, the kind of people who read Money Talks News? We couldn’t think of a better way, which is why we rounded up the Amazon products that were most popular last month among Money Talks News readers, including our own staff and contributors. Don’t worry: [...]
2
73

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

These Are the Tax Brackets for 2020 (Plus 4 Tax Changes to Know About)

click photo for more information
These Are the Tax Brackets for 2020 (Plus 4 Tax Changes to Know About)
The year 2020 is looking a lot like 2019, at least in terms of taxes. The IRS just released its inflation adjustments for 2020 federal income tax rates and brackets. While these changes are unlikely to have a huge impact on your bottom line, there are a few things you should be aware of heading into the new year. Because these are the 2020 tax rates, they’ll determine your tax bill that will be due in 2021. You’ll use 2019 rates and brackets when you file your taxes on or before April 15, 2020. How the 2020 Tax Brackets Break Down There are seven tax brackets that range from 10% to 37%. The 2020 tax brackets break down as follows: Unmarried Individuals Tax Bracket Taxable Income 10% Up to $9,875 12% $9,875 to $40,125 22% $40,125 to $85,525 24% $85,525 to $163,300 32% $163,300 to $207,350 35% $207,350 to $518,400 37% Over $518,400 Married Individuals Filing Jointly or Surviving Spouses Tax Bracket Taxable Income 10% Up to $19,750 12% $19,750 to $80,250 22% $80,250 to $171,050 24% $171,050 to $326,600 32% $326,600 to $414,700 35% $414,700 to $622,050 37% Over $622,050 Heads of Household Tax Bracket Taxable Income 10% Up to $14,100 12% $14,100 to $53,700 22% $53,700 to $85,500 24% $85,500 to $163,300 32% $163,300 to $207,350 35% $207,350 to $518,400 37% Over $518,400 Pro Tip Not sure of your filing status? This interactive IRS quiz can help you determine the correct status. If you qualify for more than one, it tells you which one will result in the lowest tax bill. Tax rates apply to the income within each bracket. So if you’re an unmarried individual with taxable income of $50,000, you won’t pay 22% of that $50,000 to Uncle Sam. According to the 2020 tax brackets, you’d pay: 10% on the first $9,875 12% on the next $30,250 ($40,125 – $9,875 = $30,250) 22% on the next $9,875 ($50,000 – $40,125 = $9,875) 4 Tax Changes That Could Affect You in 2020 The modified tax brackets aren’t the only changes the IRS announced. About 60 tax provisions will be adjusted in the new year. A few highlights: The standard deduction will rise slightly: The standard deduction will rise by $200 to $12,400 for people who are single filers or married filing separately. For those who are married filing jointly, the standard deduction will rise by $400 to $24,800. You may be able to save an extra $500 for retirement: If you have an employer-sponsored tax-deferred retirement plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b), your maximum contribution is $19,500 in 2020, up from $19,000 in 2019. The additional “catch-up” contribution workers ages 50 and older can make will also go up by $500, from $6,000 to $6,500. You can contribute an extra $50 to a flexible spending account. In 2020, the maximum contribution individuals can contribute is $2,750. Some limited-income families can get an extra $103. The maximum Earned Income Tax Credit will increase to $6,660. You need at least three children to qualify for the maximum amount. 3 Tax Rules That Aren’t Changing in 2020 IRA contribution limits won’t change. The traditional and Roth IRA contribution limits will remain at $6,000 for people under 50. The extra $1,000 “catch-up” contribution the IRS allows people 50 and older to make won’t change either. You can still gift someone up to $15,000 without paying the federal gift tax. The gift tax exemption is something you might want to take advantage of if you’re contributing to a 529 plan. There’s no limit on itemized deductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 suspended these limits. Ready to Start Your 2020 Tax Prep? OK, we get it: You’re probably not thinking about your 2020 taxes yet. After all, you haven’t even had your 2019 Thanksgiving turkey. But if you’re the plan-ahead type, you can check out this comprehensive summary of 2020 tax changes courtesy of the IRS. Even if you’re not ready to jump into 2020 tax planning mode just yet, keep in mind that a new year is often a good time to check your tax withholdings and make adjustments if necessary. So make a date with yourself in early January for a quick tax checkup. Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder. She edits and writes stories about bank accounts, credit scores, home buying, insurance, investing, retirement and taxes. She is also the voice behind the Dear Penny personal advice column, which is syndicated in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday business section. 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. [...]
2
102

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 16), a trip to Wichita, the Blissdom blogging conference

click photo for more information
Life Update: Pregnancy (week 16), a trip to Wichita, the Blissdom blogging conference
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. 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. 16 weeks!! (And excuse the sort of goofy pose/facial expression. I was hanging out with some good blogging friends after the Blissdom conference on Friday night and we were all laughing over something right before this photo was taken and I couldn’t stop laughing enough to take a more normal looking photo!) Jami Balmet is pregnant with baby #6 (she had two sets of twin boys in two years and then she had a little girl!) and we are both due on the same day so we had to get a belly shot! We were teasing her that she’s so chill about her pregnancy because she’s so experienced that she rarely ever talks about it online. Whereas I’m over here documenting everything like a first-time mom! HIGHLIGHTS I can feel the baby moving a lot more — especially in the last few days. The kids are so hopeful they’ll be able to feel movement on my tummy soon. I keep telling them it likely won’t be for another few weeks, but they are super excited about it. NOTABLE I have finally been able to start drinking more water again after weeks and weeks of having to get super creative in getting in liquids since water made me sick. As someone who used to drink a gallon of water everyday, this has been a challenge and I’m so happy to be back to my water-guzzling habits! CRAVINGS I have been ravenously hungry this past week! It seems the baby is going through a big growth spurt or something. I am so grateful that I have been able to get back to eating much healthier now, even if I do still crave pizza and tacos and (now) desserts. But hey, being able to eat and enjoy salads after so many weeks of just eating whatever I thought I could keep down has been so nice!! WEIGHT GAIN: 9 lbs. How are the rest of you pregnant mamas doing?? I got to fly down to Wichita, KS for my mom’s 66th birthday this past weekend. Unfortunately, I only got one picture (the one above of my parents) because I was so focused on just hanging out with my family. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go. Since we’ll likely be opening up our home soon to a child (or children) in foster care and I’m having a baby in the spring, I know that I probably won’t be able to just hop on a plane and go somewhere by myself in the coming months and years! I love these three more than words can describe — but I kinda wish that they had a little more personality. 😉 We went to get their passports renewed over lunch break on Tuesday. (Kathrynne is going to Suriname in the Spring so we renewed them all while we were at it!) In my usual desire to document life so I don’t forget, I asked them all to stand under the passport sign so I could take a cute picture of them. I said, “Smile!” and this was the result. Of course I could have said something like, “C’mon guys, actually smile for me!” (And I do say that sometimes!!) But I also love having photos like this that show their personalities way more than a perfectly staged smiling picture ever would. I’m trying to soak up these days, these moments, these personalities, these people who are growing up so quickly. It’s hard to think they were once tiny babes in my womb! Also, this current tiny human in my womb has no idea what they are in for when they arrive into this world!! These three already have a host of plans, ideas, and dreams for how they will be loving on, nurturing, teaching, and spending time with the baby and I can hardly wait to get to watch them all interact together (though I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to hold the baby myself! Maybe at the midnight feedings?!?) I got to speak at the Blissdom blogging conference on Friday on the topic of live video (one of my favorite topics!). It was so good to get to meet some of you there! While I love getting to speak, one of the best parts of conferences is getting to connect individually with people after I speak! I love hearing stories and providing individual encouragement and cheerleading! I loved getting to meet and do an interview with Jo Saxton on leadership. One of the best parts of the conference was getting to see so many longtime blogging friends! A bunch of these women had gotten an AirBnB together and they invited me to come over afterwards for dinner. I haven’t laughed as hard as we laughed in a really long time. It was such a gift for my soul! What I’m Currently… Reading: Families Where Grace is in Place and The Killing Tide Watching: You’ve Got Mail (I haven’t watched this in ages! We had a discussion about AOL recently as a family and I remembered this movie so I watched it with the girls to give them a better understanding of what email was like when we were teenagers!) Listening to: Christmas Music! Loving: The fact that I’ve finished all my business travel + speaking engagements for 2019! I’ve loved getting to travel and speak and meet so many of you this year, but I’m also grateful that I get to stay home now and just enjoy my family and making special memories together for the holidays (plus begin work on the new book I’m writing in 2020!) In Case You Missed It… This Past Week’s $63 Grocery Shopping Trip — Plus, see our dinners that we ate last week. 20+ Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers Under $30 — This is a great gift guide for the nature lover/hiker/outdoors person in your life! The Enneagram & Marriage — Whether you love all things Enneagram, are skeptical of it, or don’t even know what it is, I think you’ll enjoy this candid conversation Jesse and I had about our differences, how we have worked through them, and what it looks like to love and respect someone who is the complete opposite of you in many ways. 20+ LEGO Gifts Under $30 — Do you have a LEGO lover in your life? Sometimes finding the perfect set to give as a gift can be difficult. Check out this list of LEGO gifts for some ideas! [...]
2
71

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Stay In Other People’s Awesome Homes for Free With House-Sitting Gigs

click photo for more information
Stay In Other People’s Awesome Homes for Free With House-Sitting Gigs
Imagine sipping your morning coffee on a beautiful balcony looking out over the ocean. Later, you water the plants and clean up a bit before taking a dip in the pool. Oh, and you’re getting paid for taking care of this house!  It sounds too good to be true. Can you really find house-sitting jobs that pay? Yes and no. Yes, caretaking gigs that pay a salary or stipend in addition to providing you a place to stay do exist. But no, there aren’t many that fit the description above.  Most house-sitting opportunities fall into one of two categories: standard house-sitting gigs, or more demanding caretaking jobs. If you’re curious about getting free accommodation in interesting places (and maybe earning a little cash as well), here’s how to get started. Basic House-Sitting Jobs Many websites list house-sitting gigs, and a quick glance at the listings tells you right away that not many people are offering to pay their house sitters much — if anything. Normally, you get a nice place to stay, rent free. This might not sound like much of a money-making opportunity, but it depends on how you look at it. If your current lease is ending and you’ll get free rent somewhere for three months before moving into your next $1,000-per-month apartment, you’re $3,000 better off, right? Here are some of the online platforms where you can find the opportunities, along with their subscription rates: House Sitters America ($30 per year) Mind My House ($20 per year) Housecarers.com ($50 per year or free limited membership) Luxury House Sitting ($25 per year) Nomador ($89 per year or limited free membership) Some people make a lifestyle of house-sitting. Canadian couple Dalene & Peter Heck sold everything in 2009 to travel the world, staying in other people’s homes. Among other stays, they cared for homes in Honduras, France, Greenland, Tanzania and Namibia. After eight years of traveling, the couple settled back in Canada.  Sometimes you can get paid for basic house sitting. As House Sitters America explains: “The bottom line is it’s all negotiable between you and the homeowners. In most cases it’s just a straight swap; the house sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation… However there may be times when a homeowner will offer some money for the house sitting job.” The site offers examples of times a homeowner might pay you, including: When the house is in an undesirable location. For short sits (such as a few days). When there are many pets to care for. “Of course, there are also many professional house and pet sitters who actually do this for a living, and they will charge a fee for their services,” the site adds. How do these professionals get paid? Usually they offer a bit more than simply staying in the house and making sure no one breaks in.  Caretaking Jobs In general, you’ll get a stipend or salary if you’re doing more than just watching a home. In these cases, you’re more of a caretaker than a house-sitter. One of the best sources for these types of jobs is The Caretaker Gazette, which has been around for more than 35 years. They have the usual listings of free places to stay, but they also host advertisements from people who are willing to pay you. In their archives (which you can see for free) I found the following three examples in one issue: 1. In a small town in Alaska, someone was hiring a caretaker to manage a small store and two apartments and do monthly home heating oil deliveries. Pay: A small apartment with all bills covered, TV, Wi-Fi, salary (unspecified) and bonuses. 2. Near Colorado Springs, Colorado, an ad requested a couple or single person to care for a ranch with five horses. Pay: Salary (unspecified) and a furnished apartment. 3. An ad from Nassau, in the Bahamas, wanted a “house couple” to keep house, plan events, run errands and much more. Pay: A place to stay and “$100,000 to $120,000 per year.”  Clearly these are jobs, not just house-sitting, but they suggest the variety offerings found in the Caretaker Gazette. Of the 100 or so postings in that one issue of their newsletter, there were opportunities all over the U.S. as well as in a dozen other countries, including Peru, Australia and Iceland. Are You Qualified to House-Sit?  A good house-sitter is responsible, reliable and adaptable. If you’re looking to get more than just free accommodation, it helps to also have some mechanical skills. For example, more than one caretaking gig I found in my research required someone with basic plumbing skills, like being able to fix a leaking sink drain. You’ll have competition, by the way, even for the basic house-sitting jobs. At the moment Mind My House shows 302 active house-sitting assignments, but more than 4,300 “sitter available” listings.  In other words, clients get to be choosy, so experience is a plus. To build some, you might start by house-sitting for family and friends. Be sure to get glowing testimonials from them to add to your resume. Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has 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. [...]
2
42

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

What is the future of insurance?

click photo for more information
What is the future of insurance?
image Have we seen the future of insurance? No, unless you have conquered the whole space-time continuum thing, or yours is a parallax view of the insurance industry to come.  Is there good discussion and collaboration addressing what that future might be? Yes, if this week’s buffet of InsurTech news pieces is any indication, and […] The post What is the future of insurance? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
2
50

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Got a Product to Pitch? A Walmart Buying Manager Told Us How to Do It Right

click photo for more information
Got a Product to Pitch? A Walmart Buying Manager Told Us How to Do It Right
Every entrepreneur in the world thinks they have a great idea. But how do you convince other people? By delivering a stellar business pitch, of course. A great business pitch is essential to building valuable partnerships and ensuring financial backing that will take your product from conception to the shelves. When it comes to pitching, you’re going to have a short amount of time to get your idea across, so you have to use that time effectively. But it can be easy to get so caught up in the excitement or confidence in your product that you fail to fully express its value to a buyer. We decided to ask a professional for some tips on how to pitch an idea. Here’s the inside scoop. Tips for Pitching a Great Idea We sat down with Kinna Thomas, a senior buying manager for Walmart who also helped create the famous Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pie. Thomas has a lot of experience listening to product pitches, thanks to Walmart’s annual Open Call event, where hundreds of entrepreneurs turn out with hopes of getting their products on the retail giant’s shelves. Here are the five tips she gave us to better your chances of nailing a pitch. Focus on the Customer You might think your product is the best thing in the world, but it doesn’t really matter what you think — it’s what the customer thinks. And really, customers don’t care about the product itself — they care about what the product can do for them. Maybe it will make their day-to-day life easier or maybe it will save them money. Get the message across that your product is an actual benefit to a consumer and that it’s something the buyer doesn’t already offer. “We want you to make sure that you are definitely locked and loaded on understanding the assortment that we need to carry,” says Thomas. Nail Down Your Product You’ve got this amazing idea! Everyone spills stuff, right? Well, what if when you made a big mess… you could just suck it right up? Genius! A vacuum. You just pitched a vacuum. Unless your vacuum is state-of-the-art and can promise that the user will never have dog hair in their carpet again, your idea is not going to be received well. “The product needs to be exciting, invigorating, innovative and different from what’s out in the market,” says Thomas. Make sure you can explain what you’re selling quickly and efficiently. And while you might be tempted to claim your product has zero competition, that’s most likely not the case. Show that the product or idea deserves to be backed by pointing out what makes it different from competitors. Don’t Forget About the Cost This one really shouldn’t be a surprise: Buyers want to make sure the price is right. Where your product is on the timeline will mean a lot to an investor or buyer. Is it a newly formed idea that hasn’t been tested and sold? Or have you already moved forward with manufacturing and set up a cost model? Proving you can create a product and sell it at a profit — without breaking the consumer’s bank — goes a long way. Go to your pitch with numbers that validate why it would be beneficial for the buyer to back you. Be open and honest about the costs your product will require, as well as the sales numbers and future projections. Think About the Logistics You might think your product is the absolute bee’s knees and everyone in the world will want it, but consider the reality of who will actually buy it. Yeah, your Do-It-Yourself Ice Sculpture Kit is pretty cool (see what I did there?), but try selling that product in a Walmart in South Florida. It just doesn’t work — you’re in the wrong market. This point goes back to knowing your product. Consider where it would sell best and include that in your pitch. “We want to know scalability,” says Thomas. “Whether or not you should be in a hundred stores or thousands of stores.” Be Prepared One thing you shouldn’t lose sight of is that buyers are looking to back not only your product but also you — that is, they are investing in you as much as in the product itself. “Doug McMillon tells us all the time ‘Be prepared,’” says Thomas, referring to Walmart’s CEO. “So that’s exactly what we want for you.” You could have the best idea in the world, but if you walk into a meeting without presenting yourself as a prepared, collected and efficient individual, it could ruin the whole pitch. Think about it from a buyer’s point of view: If you were risking your hard earned money, why would you give it to someone who doesn’t inspire confidence and assure you that they will handle your investment wisely? “Practice makes perfect” is a well-known mantra for a reason. Rehearse your pitch in front of real people beforehand. That way, you can walk into a meeting confident that you can nail your pitch. Kaitlyn Blount is a former 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. [...]
2
32

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Life Update: Pregnancy (17 weeks) + Thanksgiving break!

click photo for more information
Life Update: Pregnancy (17 weeks) + Thanksgiving break!
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. 17 weeks and the bump is starting to finally make its appearance more regularly! I still get shocked every time I look in the mirror and see that there’s a BABY bump there!! HIGHLIGHTS I’m slowly transitioning into a few maternity tops! And I’m feeling the baby move so much more now — Jesse was even able to feel some movement!! NOTABLE After a few weeks of lots of pregnancy-induced insomnia, I actually slept over 7 hours straight the past two nights!!!! I forgot what that felt like!! Also, I have significantly changed my diet and that seems to really be helping my heartburn. I usually have severe heartburn that gets progressively worse in my pregnancy but I found that limiting my fats to eggs, avocados, butter, and grape seed oil + having almost zero acidic foods has made a massive difference in the last week for me. I don’t know how long the relief will continue but every hour that I’m not experiencing intense heartburn is such a gift right now! CRAVINGS Carbs and more carbs (at least I’m craving whole grains most of the time, though!!) Plus (gratefully!) some fruit, veggies, and meat. I’m thankful that while I’m still nauseous at least some of every day, overall I’m able to eat and (mostly) enjoy healthy food again! Also, I’m back to drinking close to a gallon of water again — yay!!! WEIGHT GAIN: 9 lbs. Got any great suggestions/solutions to help with insomnia or heartburn? Send ‘em my way! The kids are SO excited to have a whole week of school off for Thanksgiving break! We’re headed to Kansas to spend time with both of our families and can’t wait! Kathrynne got Friday off, too, so she went with me to Panera while I worked on a writing project and she worked on this art project (she’s been loving sketching and drawing and doodling recently!) The finished product! Something From My Heart… They say you should use a nice camera, use editing software, and use photo presets if you really want to grow your online following and increase your engagement. I think blogs and social media accounts like that are beautiful and amazing, but that’s just not me. I’m not that organized, put-together, or patient. Plus, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to use photo presets. So instead, I bring you real-life photos and videos taken in the moment on my phone. Because this is my life and this is what I have to offer. The “experts” would say a darkly-lit photo with a messy table and dishes on it should never see the light of day on someone’s social media account or blog. But y’all, I think this photo that I took the other night of the Silas and Jesse working on Silas’ rough draft together is so much more meaningful than most all edited and staged photos I have. It speaks of a dad who loves his son, of a boy who is working hard on school, and of the beauty that is real life. These are the moments I don’t ever want to forget. If I took the time to try to get the lighting right, cleared the table strewn with dishes and books, and staged the setting, it would completely lose the meaning for me. So thank you for following here and joining me in the imperfect. Thank you for not expecting pretty and staged and edited from my blog or social media accounts. Thank you for showing up for the real and the raw. And thank you for loving me — and us — exactly as we are! It means the world to me and it makes me look forward to hanging out online every day! ❤️ [...]
2
62

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition only $8.09!

click photo for more information
Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition only $8.09!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This is a great price on this Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition! Amazon has this Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition for just $8.09 right now! This would make such a fun gift idea. 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. Looking for more Black Friday Deals? You can go here for all of the best online Black Friday Deals as we live blog them all week long! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter andjoin our Deal Seekers Facebook groupso that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
2
28

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Crystal’s 10 Favorite Black Friday Deals

click photo for more information
Crystal’s 10 Favorite Black Friday Deals
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. There were SO many great Black Friday deals today!! You can see ALL of the deals we posted here. I went through all of the deals we posted and picked out 10 deals that are my favorites. Here are my 10 top favorite deals from today… Dick’s Sporting Goods is offering 25% off Hydro Flask Bottles and Tumblers! Zulily has this 101-Piece 3D Magnetic Building Tile Play Set for only $29.99 today! Shipping is $5.99 making this only $35.98 shipped. This is a fantastic price for this set! Cents of Style is running Black Friday Sales on my favorite tee today — both the short-sleeve and long-sleeve versions! Get the Jagger Boyfriend Short-Sleeve Tee for just $10 shipped when you use code STEALDEAL. Or get the Joanna Boyfriend Long-Sleeve Tee for just $12 shipped when you use coupon code STEALDEAL. Amazon has this TaoTronics Essential Oils Diffuser for just $6.99 when you use coupon code GYLWZUQT at checkout. This is the lowest price on record and a really GREAT price on a diffuser! This is perfect if you are just getting started out with essential oils, need an extra diffuser for another room, or want to give a gift idea to someone who loves their essential oils! The HOT Hulu Black Friday Deal is back again this year! When you sign up for a year of Hulu as a new customer, you’ll pay just $1.99 per month! This is a savings of $4 per month, so an annual savings of $48! Note: This deal is only valid on the cheapest version of Hulu that is regularly $5.99/month. It does NOT include commercial-free or live tv options. WooHoo! Love this deal, and it always goes FAST! Grab four free kitchen appliances after Kohl’s Cash and rebates. Here’s how: Buy 4 select Toastmaster small kitchen appliances at $18.99 each Use promo code GIVETHANKS (15% off) Get $15 in Kohl’s Cash for spending $50 Submit for 4 $14 in mail-in-rebates Free after coupon code, Kohl’s cash, and rebates! There are 12 different appliances to choose from at this price: 5-cup coffee maker, plastic kettle, mini blender, mini chopper, immersion blender, 1.5 qt slow cooker, 2-slice toaster, 6-in skillet, mini waffle maker, hand mixer, can opener, electric kettle. Amazon has this Elmer’s Rainbow Slime Starter Kit for just $4.99 right now! This would be a great gift idea. Looking for a great deal on an electric toothbrush? Amazon currently has the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Power Electric Toothbrush priced at just $79.94 for Black Friday! This is a HOT deal as it retails for $179 and the lowest price we’ve ever seen it prior to this is $104. Whoa! Amazon price-matched Walmart on this HOT Black Friday deal!! Amazon has these Apple AirPods with Charging Case for just $129 shipped! This is the lowest price ever on record! Amazon has this Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker for only $49.99 shipped! This is the lowest price on record! [...]
2
35

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Never Leave These 9 Things in a Car

click photo for more information
Never Leave These 9 Things in a Car
It’s fine to keep many things in your car. In fact, our cars can become storage areas for clothes, sports equipment and even snacks. But some things are likely to cause problems if left in a vehicle. They won’t respond well to extreme temperatures, or may attract thieves who break into vehicles. What follows are nine examples of things you should not leave behind after parking your car. [...]
2
51

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion

click photo for more information
The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion
Daily Fintech lives at this intersection. Thankfully we avoided the temptation to monetize via advertising and as we are self funded we have no pressure to meet external growth expectations (which is the sort of pressure that leads to sacrificing editorial independence). So the media implosion does not worry us and we can focus on […] The post The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
2
104

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

All the Best Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Still Available!

click photo for more information
All the Best Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Still Available!
Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the best Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals with this round-up! This year has had a CRAZY amount of Cyber Monday Deals and Black Friday Deals, so we thought we’d round them all up in one post for you! Crystal’s Top 10 Picks: Get a year of Hulu at just $1.99 per month! Chromebook Cyber Monday Deals | Acer Chromebook for $124.99 shipped, plus more! Denise Albright 2020-2021 Planner Bundle for just $19.95 + shipping! Get over 50% off one of my favorite sweaters for Cyber Monday!! Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 Electronic Power Rechargeable Battery Electric Toothbrush for just $89.94 shipped (Originally $250)! Old Navy: Sherpa Pullovers for the Family only $10 today! *HOT* The Children’s Place: Fleece Pullovers and Pants just $4.99 shipped! Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker only $49.99 shipped! DaySpring Hand-Thrown Mugs for just $2.80 each! *HOT* TaoTronics Essential Oils Diffuser for just $6.99!! Cyber Monday Deals Still Available: Get 50% off ALL of my courses! Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillows for just $14.99 each, shipped! Amazon FreeTime Unlimited | 3 Months for just $0.99! {$29 Savings!!) Shark Vacuum Cyber Monday Deals *HOT* 61-Piece 3D Magnetic Building Tile Play Set only $19.49 (Reg. $100!) MUK LUKS Anais Moccasin Slippers only $12.99 shipped! Target: 40% Off Bedding and Bath! T-Rex & Triceratops Dinosaur Bump & Go Toy Cars (Set of 4) only $14.99 shipped! Ring Video Doorbell with Echo Dot 3rd Generation only $79.99 shipped (Reg. $150!) *HOT* Free $5 Starbucks Gift Card with $20 Gift Card Purchase {Limited Quantity!} Carter’s: 7-Pack Baby Bodysuits only $10 shipped! 50% off Hydro Flask Bottles at REI! Carter’s: Toddler & Girl’s Leggings only $5 shipped! Cricut Explore Air 2 only $179.99 shipped, plus more! Dreamworks Holiday Collection DVD for just $6.99! HOT Deals on Marvel Action Figures! HOT Discounts on Play-Doh Sets, Playskool Toys, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, and Baby Alive Dolls! *HOT* HUGE Savings on Monopoly and Hasbro Games! HOT Cyber Monday Deals on LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Tegu Blocks, K’Nex, Playmobil, and Tinkertoys!! *HOT* Up to 50% off Nerf Toys! Keurig K-Mini Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker for just $42.49 shipped (Reg. $90)! Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones for just $139 shipped!! Dinosaur Racetrack for just $16.99 shipped! Men’s Croft & Barrow Festive Microfleece Sleep Pants only $3.99! Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High & Low Top Sneakers only $25 shipped! Black Friday Deals Still Available: Holiday Doormats and Accent Rugs as low as $3.99! Dick’s Sporting Goods: 25% off Hydro Flask Bottles and Tumblers! Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Kit for just $260.99 shipped (Reg. $750)! Robotic Vacuum Black Friday Deals Apple Macbook Air for just $649.99 shipped (Reg. $999)!! Gift an Amazon Prime membership at 10% off! Women’s Sweaters only $7.99! Muk Luks Women’s Bootie Slippers for just $7.99 shipped! Elmer’s Rainbow Slime Starter Kit only $4.99! LEGO Classic Creative Fun Box for just $20! Dick’s Sporting Goods: Extra 25% off YETI Tumblers, Coolers and Mugs! *HOT* Sam’s Club Membership Deal | $50 in Savings! Echo Show 5 for just $49.99 shipped! Echo Dot 3rd Generation for just $22! HOT Deals on Dinosaur Toys!!! Matching Family Pajamas 60% Off! Get two holiday graphic shirts as low as $14.98 each, shipped! Women’s Boots only $19.99 at JCPenney! Royal Luxe White Goose Feather & Down Comforter (Any Size) for just $50.99 shipped!! *HOT* Pura Vida Bracelets Black Friday Sale | 50% Off Plus Free Shipping! LEGO Minifigures Series 19 Building Kit only $2.99! Nike Men’s Running Shoes only $29.99 shipped (Reg. $60!) Mega Bloks Building Basics Let’s Get Learning 150-Piece Set only $12.97! ABCmouse Deal: Annual subscription for just $3.75 per month! American Explorer Hardside Luggage for just $39.99 (Reg. $180)! *HOT* Roku Streaming Stick+ only $29! Kindle Black Friday Deals | Lowest Prices on Record! *HOT* Adventure Academy Annual Subscription for just $3.75 per month! Starbucks Black Friday Deal: Free Coffee & Tea in January with Tumbler Purchase Amazon Fire TV Cube for just $89.99 shipped! Black Friday Deals on Sony and Beats Headphones at Target! Fire Tablet Black Friday Deals | Lowest Prices on Record! *HOT* ReadingIQ Deal: Annual subscription for just $2.49 per month! {Silas loves this app!} *HOT* Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for just $19.99! Step2 Modern Cook Kitchen Set for just $34.99! KiwiCo Promo Code: Get a box for just $7.98 shipped! We hope you grabbed some great deals over the past week! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter and join our Deal Seekers Facebook group so that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
2
48

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Figure Lending Review: Student Loan Refinancing

click photo for more information
Figure Lending Review: Student Loan Refinancing
Bottom line: Best for applying and receiving funds fast. Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing Interest ratesFixed: 3.49% - 6.99% Variable: 2.21% - 6.21% includes autopay discount of 0.25% Loan terms5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years Loan amounts$5,000 to $250,000 Co-signer release availableNo Can transfer a parent loan to the childNo Check rates at Figure Lending Pros & Cons... Ryan Lane is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rlane@nerdwallet.com. The article Figure Lending Review: Student Loan Refinancing originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
2
12

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

7 Everyday Items You Can Get Paid to Recycle

click photo for more information
7 Everyday Items You Can Get Paid to Recycle
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners. Why toss things in the trash when you can repurpose or recycle them?  In addition to diverting items from the waste stream and keeping them out of landfills, you can also make extra money or help out worthy causes. From scrap metal to ink cartridges, bullets to construction materials, you can recycle a huge variety of items in exchange for cash or goodwill. Ready to see all the different things you can recycle for money? Find a Collection Point To find a recycling center near you, head over to Earth911.com and plug in the item you’re looking to recycle along with your location. The site lists collection locations for everything from antifreeze to ammunition. Of course, not everything pays, but it’s important to properly dispose of potentially hazardous items.  Prepare Items for Recycling Check with your local collection point for specific rules for preparing your recyclables for the collection center. Some centers require you to remove bottle caps, rinse and bag bottles in certain increments, or sort and tie together cardboard. Checking the rules before you go will save you time later on.  Be sure to properly bag items that may make a bit of a mess. Even if you thoroughly rinse all your bottles and cans, there might be water and other residue on them, so be sure to transport them in bins or bags to protect the interior of your car. If you’re donating a cell phone or other electronic item, be sure to clear your personal information from it, including contact lists, voice mails, text messages, photos, passwords, downloads and anything else that you wouldn’t want random strangers to access. Back up your information on your new phone, your computer or a cloud-based service, then restore your phone to factory settings before recycling it. 7 Items You Can Recycle for Money Depending where you live, you can get paid to recycle certain items. Here are some common recyclables and how to recycle them. 1. Scrap Metal Scrap metal is one of the more profitable materials to recycle. For this reason, scrap metal theft is not uncommon. Many local recycling programs fund their programs through scrap metal collection, so be sure to check your local rules or laws about collection. Copper, steel and aluminum are just a few of the scrap metals that you can recycle for money. Google your local area and “scrap yard” to find a facility that takes whatever metals you have and learn their procedures for drop off. Once you have rounded up your metal, find out if it is ferrous or non-ferrous by seeing if a magnet sticks to it. If it does, the metal is ferrous and likely a common metal like steel or iron. These items typically aren’t worth much, but it’s still worthwhile to recycle them. If the magnet does not stick, you likely have copper, aluminum, brass, bronze or stainless steel on your hands. These metals are more valuable.  You can make money recycling a variety of these metals. Copper is one of the more profitable metals: Some scrap yards offer over $2 per pound. Aluminum typically earns between 40 and 70 cents a pound, yellow brass can yield $1.40 per pound, and die-cast metal goes in the 30-cents-a-pound range, though local prices vary.  2. Bottles and Cans One Penny Hoarder writer made $1,500 cashing in soda cans he collected at work. You, too, can make money by rounding up bottles and cans, whether from work, friends and family, at events, or just the recyclables you use at home. California offers 5 cents for most plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans smaller than 24 ounces, and 10 cents for 24-ounce or larger containers. It’s technically a bottle deposit, but many people don’t bother to collect their refunds, so it’s easy money for bottle and can collectors.  Michigan has a 10-cents per bottle recycling rate, which has prompted people to illegally smuggle in empty bottles purchased out of state to cash in. (This was even the plot of one Seinfeld episode!) Many states have similar deposit programs, so check what’s available where you live. 3. Car Batteries Advance Auto Parts offers a $10 store gift card to customers who bring in their used car batteries (light-duty truck batteries are also accepted). If the company doesn’t have an outlet near you, call your local auto parts stores to see whether they offer similar deals. 4. Ink Cartridges A number of office supply stores, including Staples and Office Depot accept used ink cartridges for recycling. Staples offers $2 back per cartridge, with a maximum of 10 returns per month, and you have to spend at least $30 on ink or toner within 180 days of recycling.  Office Depot also gives you $2 back in program rewards for each ink or toner cartridge you recycle, up to 10 cartridges per month. But you must also purchase ink from them the same month. There is no limit on the number of cartridges you recycle, but you will only receive points on the first 10 per month. You can use your points toward a number of different perks and discounts.  5. Electronics Eco-Cell is one of many companies that offers cash for old cell phones and other electronics. The company accepts working or broken phones, tablets, rechargeable batteries, circuit boards and a variety of other electronics. Even if an item is broken or was submerged in water and is unusable, Eco-Cell will accept it in order to divert electronics from landfills and properly dispose of their toxic components and metals. Many cell phone providers, including Verizon and AT&T, have trade-in programs where you can receive a voucher, gift card or other reward for turning in your old phone. Amazon Trade-in is another way to earn gift cards. A number of charities also accept cell phones, whether to re-purpose or sell and use the funds for a charitable purpose. Cell Phones for Soldiers refurbishes and sells your old phone to active-duty military members and veterans. If a phone is too old or broken, Cell Phones for Soldiers sells it to recyclers who strip it for parts and dispose of its metals responsibly. The proceeds from the sales go to purchase international calling cards for troops and provide emergency financial assistance to veterans. And of course, you can always sell your old phone yourself. 6. Junk Cars Your rusted old jalopy? You can recycle it for money. There are companies that pay cash for broken down cars.  Junk Car Medics is one, and you can sell your car to them online or over the phone. You enter details about your vehicle, such as condition and mileage, and quickly get an offer. If you accept it, you’ll have to provide proof of ownership and a few other details before you get paid. The company says most transactions are same-day, and they take the car away for you. 7. The Rest of Your Unwanted Stuff You can “recycle” belongings you no longer want on a variety of apps and platforms and get a little something back for them. ThredUp and Poshmark are popular second-hand clothing apps where you can sell your wares.  ThredUp will send you a free shipping label and apply credits for anything that sells to your own account, but it’s often not a lot of money. Poshmark offers bigger potential payouts, but you have to put in more work to make your items move. Letgo is a second-hand site where you can buy or sell just about anything you no longer use. Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 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. [...]
2
20

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Is Lack of Trust a First Order Function in Narrowing the Insurance Protection Gap?

click photo for more information
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. [...]
2
7

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Afternoon Deals: Thursday, December 5

click photo for more information
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. [...]
2
9

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

This Man Told Us How He Turned Christmas Lights Into a Lucrative Business

click photo for more information
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. [...]
2
4

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

These 14 Strategies Will Help You Save Big on Your Universal Orlando Trip

click photo for more information
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 [...]
2
2

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Warren Buffett makes a surprise appearance at women’s investing conference

click photo for more information
Warren Buffett makes a surprise appearance at women’s investing conference
This is the Variant Perspectives Conference, happening in Omaha at the same time as this weekend’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders event. It’s a conference about empowering female investors. And then Warren made a surprise appearance! Hat tip Paul. ... The post Warren Buffett makes a surprise appearance at women’s investing conference appeared first on The Reformed Broker. [...]
1
399

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Mother’s Day and 529 college savings plans

click photo for more information
Mother’s Day and 529 college savings plans
Time to read: 2 min Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day, providing an opportunity for those everywhere to celebrate the special mothers in their lives. And when I say mothers, I do not mean just yours — I mean any wonderful woman in your world who is a mother. Someone who nurtures, provides and loves without hesitation or qualification. This could be your sister, daughter, best friend or even a cousin twice removed.   As you celebrate Mother’s Day, consider honoring these special moms in a way that will leave a lasting legacy. By contributing to a 529 plan for their children, you celebrate motherhood while helping build a future for the recipients. You can even put your contribution in mom’s name to celebrate all she’s done for her kids. Costs continue to rise According to the most recent figures, the cost of higher education is heading in only one direction — higher. The most recent data from The College Board reports the cost of room and board, fees and tuition as exceeding $21,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year for in-state, public institutions and $48,000 for private universities.1 When you consider the burden that student loans place on young graduates, a 529 contribution could be the perfect Mother’s Day gift because every dollar saved is one less to be borrowed. 529 savings plans are tax-advantaged, meaning that contributions are after-tax, earnings grow tax-deferred and qualified distributions are tax-free. 529 plans can be used to pay for qualified educational expenses such as tuition, room and board, books, equipment and school supplies at any eligible institution. In some states, 529 plans can be used to cover up to $10,000 per year of public, private or religious elementary or secondary school tuition.  A 529 plan can be opened for anyone with a valid Social Security number. There are no account minimums to get started and no income limits to contribute. Honor the moms in your life So this Mother’s Day, consider giving the gift of college savings. It honors the special mothers in your life while providing their children with a gift that lasts a lifetime. Interested in learning more about 529 plans? Visit CollegeBound529.com to explore helpful resources and tools to plan your own education savings strategy. Before you invest, consider whether your (or the beneficiary’s) home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. For more information about CollegeBound 529, contact your financial advisor, call 877-615-4116, or visit http://www.collegebound529.com/ to obtain a Program Description, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing. Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the distributor of CollegeBound 529. 1 Source: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2018 Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. Tax and other benefits are contingent on meeting other requirements and certain withdrawals are subject to federal, state, and local taxes. For beneficiary changes to occur without federal or state income tax consequences, the new beneficiary must be a family member of the current beneficiary. Important information Blog header image: monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto.com Thomas Rowley Director, Retirement and Education Strategies Thomas Rowley is director of retirement and education strategies and one of Invesco’s most frequently requested speakers. He provides analysis of the evolving retirement landscape and develops actionable strategies to help investors and financial advisors maximize their retirement-planning opportunities. Mr. Rowley regularly shares his insights online at invesco.com/us in addition to his speaking engagements. Mr. Rowley’s insights reflect more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry. He translates his comprehensive knowledge of retirement planning into lively, clear explanations of the complexities of legislative, investing, tax and social issues. Mr. Rowley shares his analyses of retirement-related issues through regular personal appearances, continuing education webinars and Web-based commentaries. [...]
1
324

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

An overview of infrastructure and master limited partnerships

click photo for more information
An overview of infrastructure and master limited partnerships
Time to read: 4 min Infrastructure is a topic that has been in the news consistently over the past year. Importantly, everyone seems to agree that whatever infrastructure is, the country needs more of it. Given this rare moment of national consensus, I want to welcome you to the second installment of my blog series focusing on the different types of alternative investments. My last blog focused on real estate. Today, we will drill down into the infrastructure sector and a popular subsector, master limited partnerships (MLPs). Overview of infrastructure Merriam-Webster defines infrastructure as “the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region, or organization to function properly.” This definition is a good starting point as it links infrastructure to meeting the needs of society. Roads, bridges, airports, tunnels, power lines, water distribution systems, shipping ports and railroads are examples of infrastructure assets. On a global basis, there is a need for increased investment in infrastructure, both among emerging and developed economies. Emerging economies need infrastructure to support growth and increased urbanization. Developed countries need to make ongoing investments to maintain and upgrade existing infrastructure. For example, New York recently replaced the dilapidated Tappan Zee Bridge with the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, and is also in the middle of a multi-year redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of driving over the old Tappan Zee or flying through LaGuardia (as I have), you know those projects were desperately needed! As shown below, there is a global need (currently estimated at $49 trillion1) for sizeable investments in infrastructure. The challenge is how to pay for investments of such magnitude when global gross domestic product (GDP) is approximately $86 trillion.2 Global infrastructure investment need estimated at $49 trillion Map Source: Invesco Real Estate, IHS Global Insight, ITF, GWI, National Statistics, McKinsey Global Institute analysis. This is not financial advice or a recommendation to buy / hold / sell these securities. There is no guarantee that Invesco will hold these securities within its funds in the future. Chart Source: OECD; IHS Global Insight; GWI; IEA; McKinsey Global Institute analysis as of June 2018. $=US. OECD telecom estimate covers only OECD members plus Brazil, China and India. Energy estimate through 2023. There is no guarantee that these estimated needs will be funded. While many governments acknowledge their strong need to make infrastructure investments, resources are often limited due in part to ongoing budget deficits. For this reason, government investment in infrastructure has been falling as a percentage of GDP, as illustrated below: Despite need, global infrastructure investment has been declining as a percentage of GDP Source: Invesco Real Estate using data from World Bank and McKinsey Global Institute Analysis as of 2015. Latest available data. Europe is represented by the European Union. Infrastructure investment is defined by gross fixed capital investment as a percent of GDP. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Public-private partnerships Given the limited ability of governments to meet the need for infrastructure investment, private investors have rushed in to fill the void. For example, the LaGuardia Airport project is being built through a public-private partnership. While the use of private funds for infrastructure is viewed as novel within the US, it is actually quite common elsewhere. Most airports outside the US are publicly listed and generate significant earnings from their retail business tenants (in addition to airline passenger fees). During my recent trip to Spain, I was struck by how much the airports resembled shopping malls. Infrastructure investment options Investors looking to gain exposure to infrastructure have several options: Listed infrastructure securities (such as the equity of firms that own and operate infrastructure) Mutual funds that invest in listed infrastructure securities Unlisted infrastructure investments (either through direct asset purchases or shares of privately placed funds) Typically, only large investors such as institutions and high-net-worth individuals can access unlisted investments, whereas listed infrastructure securities can be purchased by anyone, either directly or through mutual funds. Overview of master limited partnerships (MLPs) MLPs represent a subset of infrastructure securities – these are publicly traded limited partnerships that are generally focused on energy infrastructure within the US. Pipelines, storage facilities and processing plants are all examples of assets that MLPs build, own and operate. MLPs are typically classified into three categories: Upstream MLPs are involved in the exploration, recovery, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. Midstream MLPs are involved in the gathering, processing, storage and transportation of oil and gas. Downstream MLPs are involved in the distribution of fuels to end customers such as residential, industrial and agricultural entities. MLPs are limited partnerships and, as such, do not pay federal income tax. Rather, MLPs pass income through to the limited partners who are then subject to income tax. Also, unlike many private limited partnerships with limited liquidity, MLPs are publicly traded and provide investors with the same liquidity as a publicly traded stock. Production gains create corresponding need for more infrastructure From 1980 through 2006, US production of crude oil and natural gas fell by approximately 20%.3 We believe this decline was primarily caused by the decreasing productivity of existing oil wells. Since 2006, the US has enjoyed strong growth in energy production and is projected to become a net exporter of energy in 2020.4 The growth in US energy production has been driven by new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing. This has allowed upstream producers to extract oil and gas from previously uneconomical locations. As production has increased and new technologies have come online, the geography of US energy production has changed. For example, the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana and the Marcellus formation that spans New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee has turned those states into energy producers. One of the biggest challenges in those regions is how to transport and ship all the oil and gas. For natural gas, this challenge can be seen in the illustration below. The challenge of getting natural gas to ports Sources: Invesco Real Estate Research and Bloomberg as of December 2018. For illustrative purposes only. The increasingly diverse geography of US energy production, combined with gains in overall production, has created a strong need for more energy infrastructure. The American Petroleum Institute estimates as much as $1.3 trillion in total direct investment of oil and gas transportation and storage infrastructure will be needed through 2035 to support US energy production levels.5 MLPs are expected to play an important role in providing the capital to build this infrastructure. The evolution of MLPs As the energy industry has evolved, so have MLPs. Today, most MLPs focus on midstream energy infrastructure with natural gas (rather than oil) as the primary focus. MLPs often favor midstream infrastructure because demand has been growing for the plumbing that transports and stores oil and gas. Furthermore, revenue from midstream infrastructure is based on the volume of oil and gas processed and tends to be insulated from price fluctuations. Gas MLPs have emerged as a popular investment for a number of reasons. The US is now the world’s top producer of natural gas with several compet [...]
1
346

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

The smartest investment for your innovative insurance play just might be in cultural awareness

click photo for more information
The smartest investment for your innovative insurance play just might be in cultural awareness
It’s not just the tech concept… TLDR Having the correct idea for underwriting, distributing, selling, adjusting, or scaling insurance may not be the right idea if the scheme is introduced or sold where the customer understands the plan but simply doesn’t accept it in cultural context.  How and where one sells an idea in the connected global insurance industry might just be more important that what is being sold. I had a great discussion with a very clever InsurTech company this week, Uncharted, a digital insurance sales facilitation and distribution entrant focused on health benefits and business SME markets (check out their website in the link- I won’t do their concept the justice they can).  They are Singapore-based, building toward a global reach.  The firm’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mark Painter, held my attention regarding how the firm was building its sales and distribution tools with the intention of giving carriers and brokers options and efficiencies from point of sale right through home office underwriting, binding and admin of data.  Taking the teeth out of the unstructured data beast, so to say.  Mark (who’s a pretty savvy finance and insurance guy now working alongside Uncharted’s founder, Nick Macey) recounted a recent experience in introducing the Uncharted system into a southeast Asia market carrier’s system, excitedly advising that significant sales admin improvement for the thousands of field agents will or had been gained for the carrier.  That’s very cool. But my follow-up question was: If the carrier’s products are traditionally sold by agents say, working off of scooters, meeting with small shopkeepers over tea, or noodles, and with the bound policy traditionally taking a few weeks to present to the insured, will an ‘instant’ policy innovation resonate with the known culture of doing business in the neighborhood?  Will an app-based policy hold the same ‘worth’ to that analog customer? It might if the businessperson is comfortable with the growing use of digital ecosystems, it might not if the owner is not. How the customer expects to transact business is the key- are you practicing innovation from the customer backwards? Well this prompted a comparison discussion of what the firm is working with in Zimbabwe, where most residents/customers transact business through smart devices using EcoCash, a mobile payment platform hosted by local telco, Econet.  In this instance EcoCash has an approximate 80% market use penetration, and as such adding services to the ecosystem is an accepted practice.  A company looking to make inroads into the market would be wise to joint venture with or leverage the Econet ecosystem rather than try to make inroads through traditional agencies.  However- once established in the market the firm would be better able to bridge to traditional insurance channels for more complex covers, riding the market awareness built through use of local, accepted practices.  Know what and how the customer expects to transact business and go with that flow.  It ofttimes does not matter how wonderful your product or service is if the customers simply are not accustomed to how you market.  The correct answer is not always the best answer. There are plenty of examples of companies ‘growing’ their insurance products organically through other business relationships built through understanding local needs.  Take for example the relationship of ride sharing platform Go-Jek and one of its investor firms, Allianz X.  The ride sharing startup was a target of Allianz’s investment, but Allianz also recognized with Go-Jek that the drivers needed insurance, and the two firms collaborated within the bounds of the business model and driver culture to make insurance available within the local reach of drivers.  Don’t be surprised if a similar insurance partnership approach isn’t carried into east Africa’s burgeoning ride sharing environment as the pair of firms extends its reach with their investment into Uganda-based ride hailing entrant, SafeBoda  (a timely share by you, Robert Collins ).  Innovation and marketing developed from business and local culture needs. There are many examples of firms developing insurance innovations, many successful and many not so much.  The takeaway for the reader from this posting- the firms noted above are working to apply clever innovation based on good ideas, but also on integrating the ideas into what fits a respective market’s expectations, and what businesses and customers are accustomed to.  Ground-breaking innovation might succeed by circumventing that of which a market is accustomed, but in most cases a firm’s best investment is understanding what the locals want and how they want it, and simply following their lead.  Is your approach just a correct answer, or the right answer? Image source Patrick Kelahan is a CX, engineering & insurance professional, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners. He also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’. I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post. Subscribe by email to join the 25,000 other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research). [...]
1
2044

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Iwoca storms ahead in SME lending game

click photo for more information
Iwoca storms ahead in SME lending game
They say the night is darkest before the dawn – which is certainly how it can feel in fintech startup land. You’re always $1 away from disaster, or $1 of leverage away from disaster if you’re a fintech lender. Small books can be painful beasts to manage. Which is why it is all the more impressive to see Iwoca steam ahead of some big lenders with deep pockets in the UK market. The SME lender now has claim to 12% of all new business overdrafts, beating Santander at 9% and HSBC at 11% according to Forbes, who sourced the data from UK Finance. They aren’t far behind Barclays at 15% and Lloyds at 20%. While overdrafts are falling out of favour with businesses in lieu of the more attractive benefits business credit cards offer, they still represent an ‘understood’ cash funding entry point into the SME lending space. According to additional data from UK Finance, the average % acceptance rates for overdrafts is 82.6%, compared to 69.1% for business loans. Being a funding type that is ‘understood’ is half the challenge for new SME lenders, especially given hardly any businesses understand the types of financing they can access now. Not knowing what you don’t know is a problem in SME lending land, and could potentially be a large factor behind the estimated £3 billion to £9 billion funding gap SMEs face in the UK. SME owners rarely seek advice before seeking funding and UK Finance reports, ‘the time spent investigating options is woeful.’ With companies like Iwoca forming multi-million-dollar lending chests, along with other fintechs, the real opportunity isn’t necessarily in more Iwocas – most are probably nowhere near capacity – but in developing more pre-lending advisory services that can help SMEs navigate the plethora of choices. In 2017 it was reported that less than 1 in 5 SMEs sought advice on lending options, despite 45% of SMEs planning growth. This is a huge disparity, and one that someone with a smart, simple and cost-effective solution could solve. Traditional business brokers are probably not the answer, especially given their advice often comes coloured with the commission they earn in the background. It’s always tempting to solve the simple problem in front of your nose – market the product more – but the smart entrepreneurs in SME lending land need to be looking far-further up the funnel, for the marketing and sales arbitrage opportunities that exist in tangential digitised advice businesses. I’ve always considered a ‘get-finance-ready’ platform a great plug in to any SME, provided it could be done smartly and digitally. If you come across any in your travels – let me know! Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia. I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post. I was a previous employee at Tyro. Subscribe by email to join the 25,000 other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research) [...]
1
312

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

FINRA Issues Warning on Imposter Website Threat

click photo for more information
FINRA Issues Warning on Imposter Website Threat
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued a notice warning member firms that there appears to be an increase in imposter websites designed to mimic firms’ actual websites. FINRA suggests that member firms take proactive steps to monitor for imposter websites, including registering URL name variations and using monitoring services to watch for imposter websites. FINRA also suggests that member firms take responsive action in event that an imposter website is discovered, including (among other things) calling local law enforcement, the nearest FBI field office and the relevant state’s Attorney General. FINRA’s notice is available here. [...]
1
335

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

CFTC Chair Proposes Relief for Phase 5 Initial Margin Implementation

click photo for more information
CFTC Chair Proposes Relief for Phase 5 Initial Margin Implementation
On April 29, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Chris Giancarlo sent a letter to Randy Quarles, the Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in which he proposed that the US regulators responsible for the administering the margin rules for uncleared swaps should collaborate in providing some relief to non-dealer swap market participants who may become subject to initial margin requirements in 2020. The specific relief would be the issuance of the same guidance issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in March (for more information, see the March 8, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest), which stated that in-scope parties do not have to put in place compliant documentation and custodial relationships if there is no expectation that the exposure associated with their swaps will actually exceed the regulatory threshold for posting initial margin ($50 million for the United States). The need for this relief is a result of the phase-in level for initial margin requirements dropping to zero in 2020. That change is likely to bring many financial end-user swap parties (“Phase 5 Parties”) into scope for initial margin because they trade with swap dealers and have material swaps exposure of $8 billion or more. The proposed guidance would simplify life for any Phase 5 Party that has a relatively low risk swap portfolio and save such parties from having to negotiate new initial margin and custody documents. The guidance would have no effect on Phase 5 Parties that do expect to have more than $50 million in aggregate swap exposure for initial margin purposes. A Phase 5 Party that benefits from such relief would have to monitor its exposures carefully, however, and be ready to satisfy all applicable requirements if it ever exceeds the posting threshold. Since the Federal Reserve is only one of the five banking regulators responsible for the margin rules applicable to swap dealers that are subject to prudential regulation (i.e., bank swap dealers), this proposal can only come to fruition if it is also agreed to by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The letter is available here. [...]
1
277

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

What to do if you win the lottery

click photo for more information
What to do if you win the lottery
Today I’m going to teach you what to do if you ever win the lottery, a massive inheritance, or any other huge infusion of cash. 1/3 of lottery winners go bankrupt and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let that happen to you. So just listen and do what I say, please. RULE #1: Shut The Hell Up Shut your mouth right now, seriously. Do not tell anyone. Do not tell your boss, your loud-mouthed cousin with the mustache, or even your kids. You can tell 1 person: your spouse. And then tell them this: Shut The Hell Up. This is your new motto for the next 6 months. Lotto winner Mavis Wanczyk (who won the 758.7 million Powerball) did not follow this advice and decided to tell her boss, the press, and therefore the whole world. Immediately after, random people came out of the woodwork and the police have had to watch her house. Here are the scariest people who will try to find you, in descending order: Kidnappers who will hold you for ransom Scammy “wealth managers” who will bleed you dry Uncle Joe, who wants you to invest in his dumb idea for a themed bar DON’T DO IT. You can always choose to reveal your new wealth later once you have the proper precautions set up. But once the genie is out of the bottle, you can never put it back in. Be quiet and tell no one for now. RULE #2: You have 2 new best friends: your lawyer and your financial advisor I get it, you don’t have a lawyer. Now you do. You call up the biggest, most white-collar law firm in the country (just google “highest paid law firm”) and tell them you want a lawyer to help with taxes and trusts. When they ask why, tell them “I’ve recently come into some money and I’d like someone to coordinate my affairs.” They will charge you $500 or $600/hour. Pay it, happily. This lawyer is now your conduit with the outside world. Who contacts the lottery to tell them about the winning ticket? Not you (see Rule #1). Your lawyer will handle that. Who do they make the check out to? Is it to you? Oh hell no. Your lawyer will set up an anonymous trust for you. Your other new best friend is your financial advisor. Considering I hate most financial advisors and most of you don’t need one (see page 153 of my book for why), this might seem unusual. However, you just received millions of dollars out of the blue. It’s worth a few thousand bucks to get set up. Go to napfa.org to find a fee-only financial advisor who can guide you through the next few months of setting up your new financial systems. I have a list of questions to ask financial advisors in my book and signs to watch out for. The one thing you want to look out for — the one sign you’ve chosen a salesperson, not a real advisor — is if they take a percentage of your assets. DO NOT sign up with some nutty wealth advisor who sweet talks you with a beautiful British accent. Just follow my directions from the book and your advisor can help you with the rest. RULE #3: Do not change anything (with 3 exceptions) You know all those movies about how a group of criminals gets away with a heist, but one idiot gets the entire crew caught because he goes out the next day and buys a fur coat and a $200,000 car? Do not do that. For 6 months, don’t change anything. No new car, no extravagant trips, don’t quit your job. Your lawyer and financial advisor will help you get set up. This falls under Advice Everyone Says But Nobody Takes: When someone dies or you get a huge amount of sudden money, do not change anything for 6 months. If you really need to quit your job, when people ask what you’re doing now, your line is, “I’m doing some consulting.” However, if you were a cashier at 7-11, I’m not sure if people are going to believe you’re a consultant. Anyway, your call. I know most of you won’t follow this advice, so I came up with a list of acceptable things to spend money on: Extra guac at Chipotle Taco Bell Mexican Pizza I also hereby authorize you to buy every product from iwillteachyoutoberich.com/products After 6 months? Just don’t spend it all in one place. If you haven’t won the lottery (yet…) Let’s be real, 99.999999% of you reading this right now have not and will not ever win the lottery. But luckily, winning the lottery isn’t the only way to make a lot of money. If you want to live a rich life, you can build it for yourself — with much better odds than Powerball. My team and I have worked hard to create a guide to help you do just that: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money. In it, I’ve included my best strategies to: Create multiple income streams so you always have a consistent source of revenue. Start your own business and escape the 9-to-5 for good. Increase your income by thousands of dollars a year through side hustles like freelancing. Download a FREE copy of the Ultimate Guide today by entering your name and email below — and start blowing up your net worth today. What to do if you win the lottery is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich. [...]
1
344

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

11 Secret Uses for Everyday Items That Will Save You Money

click photo for more information
11 Secret Uses for Everyday Items That Will Save You Money
Odu / Shutterstock.com It was the mayonnaise trick that sold me. I have a grade-school daughter, and let’s just say she’s not always super careful about using coasters on our wooden coffee table. Let’s also say that we don’t have the money to run out and buy another coffee table just because her glasses of ice water left behind some ugly white circles. So, I did the modern thing: [...]
1
334

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

8 Common and Costly Homebuying Myths

click photo for more information
8 Common and Costly Homebuying Myths
Buying a home is a complicated financial transaction, so it’s no surprise that there are quite a few myths that surround homebuying. Unfortunately, these common beliefs can be costly in the long run. They can cost you money or prevent you from getting a home. Before starting house hunting, make sure you aren’t falling prey to the following misconceptions. You may have heard that you... [...]
1
359

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How to Buy a House: A 9-Step Guide to Your Biggest Purchase Ever

click photo for more information
How to Buy a House: A 9-Step Guide to Your Biggest Purchase Ever
Housing prices are on the rise with no signs of slowing down. Since 2011, single-family home prices have climbed 42%. That means a house that cost $200,000 eight years ago would now cost $284,000. With rising home prices and inflation, growing student loan debt and stagnant wages, the dream of homeownership is becoming more challenging for each generation. But it’s not impossible. How to Buy a House: 9 Steps for First-Time Buyers While the road to buying a house has become more riddled with potholes and speed bumps, it’s still one you can navigate with the right savings plan, a decent credit score and a little professional guidance. Think you’re ready to embark on your homebuying quest? Here’s how to buy a house in nine simple steps. 1. Whip Your Credit Score Into Shape A strong credit score is crucial to securing a low interest rate on your mortgage. Over 30 years, the most common length of a mortgage, paying just 1 percentage point more in interest could cost you big time. For example, if you bought a house with a $200,000 fixed-rate 30-year mortgage at 5% interest, you’d pay an extra $40,000 in interest over 30 years than you would have at 4%. At a minimum, your credit score should be 620. Some mortgage lenders may approve you for a loan if your score is under 620, but prepare for astronomical interest rates and larger down payment requirements. An above-average credit score falls within the 680 to 740 range. Anything above 740 will secure you the best interest rates available. If you have poor credit, don’t rush to buy a house just yet. You can improve your credit score over time by paying off debts (especially credit cards), lowering your credit utilization and diversifying your credit portfolio responsibly. Paying off debt is especially important because lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is your monthly debt obligations (including your estimated future mortgage payment) divided by your pretax monthly income. Lenders look for a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or lower. 2. Save for a Down Payment Saving for a down payment while also paying off debts is challenging, but if you want to be a homebuyer, you’ll need to do both. The age-old wisdom is that you need to save 20% for a down payment. But with the median home sale price at $232,700 as of February 2019, that would make the average 20% down payment $46,540. And in 2019, most first-time homebuyers do not have that kind of cash lying around. In recent years, it has become more common to put as little as 10%, 5% or even 3.5% down. FHA loans, which are popular among first-time buyers (this millennial included), require only 3.5% down when your credit score is above 580. VA loans, reserved for members of the military, veterans and some surviving spouses, require no money down but typically require a funding fee of 2.15%, which can be financed into the loan. There are benefits to putting 20% down, however. When you put 20% down, you usually avoid having to carry private mortgage insurance, or PMI. I currently have the luxury of paying more than $200 a month for PMI, and it is the most useless expense in my entire budget. My lender would, of course, disagree because PMI protects them in the event that I stop making my payments. VA loans do not require PMI even if you put 0% down. A larger down payment can also make your offer more attractive in a competitive market. 3. Figure Out Your Price Range How much house you can afford and how much you should actually spend on a house may be two vastly different numbers. The golden rule: Never set your sights on a house that you could afford — but that will cause you to make other sacrifices you’re not jazzed about, like cutting vacations or ruling out education. Similarly, if you or your significant other (if you’re buying with a partner) both work, but one of you is considering a career change that could result in less income or becoming a stay-at-home parent, you should not budget using your current combined income. Be conservative. Your home shouldn’t cost more than three to five times your annual income, but if any part of you that suspects your income may decrease in the next 10 years, stay closer to three times your income than five. Pro Tip Housing expenses — including your mortgage payment, homeowners insurance and property taxes — generally should not exceed 30% of your monthly income. 4. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage Before shopping for houses, you should shop for a lender. You can compare mortgage rates online and interview prospective lenders to find the best deal. Ask friends, family and your real estate agent (if you already have one) for recommendations and try your own financial institution, but ultimately, go with the lender that will offer you the best interest rate on your home loan. Then ask that lender for a preapproval letter. This is different from being prequalified. Lenders can typically prequalify you with just a few data points that they don’t verify to give you a ballpark range of the loan amount and interest rate they might offer. But a preapproval letter is an official document that says the lender is committed to giving you a loan, assuming nothing changes in your finances. Getting preapproval takes more work, because the lender will send all of your financial documents (W-2s, pay stubs, tax returns, etc.) to an underwriter for verification. A lender may preapprove you for a higher amount than you’ve budgeted for. Remember: Just because they are willing to give you that much does not mean you have to spend that much. 5. Hire a Real Estate Agent The beauty of the homebuying process is that the seller will typically pay your real estate agent fees, so hiring an agent doesn’t cost you a thing, though some sellers may lower the price slightly if you purchase without an agent. Ask family members and friends for recommendations, and always hire a buyer’s agent. These homebuying tips include several recommendations for hiring a good real estate agent who will find you the best deal on your dream home. 6. Shop for Your Dream Home This is the most exciting step. Now you can actually set foot inside of homes and envision your life inside them. Visit open houses and go on private tours with your real estate agent, but also research houses on your own on sites like Zillow and Trulia. But don’t be distracted by fresh paint and that hot tub in the backyard. When you’re house hunting, have a sharp eye for what really matters. If possible, bring along friends or family who know what to look for in a new house. Cosmetic things like ugly carpet and questionable wallpaper can be changed relatively cheaply. The structural components are what you should be most concerned with. Some things to look for when you tour a home: How’s the plumbing? Can you get hot water fast? What’s the water pressure like? Do you notice any leaks or signs of water damage? Does the basement show signs of flooding? Is the foundation solid? Or are there issues that might require costly repairs? How old are the appliances? Will they need to be replaced soon? What about the exterior? When was the roof last done? Is the siding in good shape? Are the windows going to drive up your energy bill? What’s the neighborhood like? Do you feel safe where this house is? Is there a lot of noisy traffic? Is it conveniently located near restaurants, shopping, hospitals and parks? If you have or want children, are there good schools nearby? 7. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse Once you have found a house that fits your needs and is within your budget, you and your real estate agent will submit an offer. Be prepared to negotiate the purchase price, especially if you envision needing to do some remodeling. Your real estate agent likely has a number of tricks up their sleeves to make your offer more appealing — but then, so does everybody else’s agent. The seller may make a counteroffer. You ca [...]
1
213

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How to Create an Amazing Life on a Single Mom Budget

click photo for more information
How to Create an Amazing Life on a Single Mom Budget
When Christina Rodriguez divorced four years ago, she had no idea how she was going to make ends meet. After all, during her marriage, she earned $38,000 per year as a visual designer, and even with her husband’s income, the couple lived paycheck-to-paycheck and accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Rodriguez’s share of credit card debt was $10,000.  “Here I was struggling with two incomes, and now I was on one income,” says the 35-year-old mom of two. “It was scary.”  Like so many people, Rodriguez stayed awake at night, worried what she might do should she need to replace her car, especially if her credit were poor because of her debt burden. She spent her energy juggling bills and minimum credit card payments, barely staying afloat.   “I realized, ‘I can’t live like this. My children don’t deserve to live their life like this’,” Rodriguez says. “It was about figuring out how I could get to a place where I would truly feel free.”  Fast-forward four short years, and Rodriguez is debt-free, invested $22,000 in a home purchase and remodel, counts $7,000 in cash savings, and has increased her annual income from $38,000 to $128,000.  Themes of Rodriguez’s success story:  Cut back all extra expenses and focus on paying off debt. At the time of her breakup, Rodriguez had $10,000 in credit card debt. She also had a new, tricked out Chevy Malibu and regularly got her hair and nails done. “That was a huge part of my identity,” she says. “But it wasn’t more important than my kids having food on the table.”  Think big! You can only cut so many costs, but your income potential is infinite. “I realized I was taking on jobs that paid $300 or $400. Why wasn’t I taking on jobs that paid $3,000 or $4,000?” she says. “When I realized my time and skills are valuable — that is when everything changed for me.”  Put a dollar value on your time. Rodriguez’s income ballooned when she stopped taking low-paid side gigs, and started investing without guilt in child care and housekeeping.   Splurge on experiences, not possessions. Christina could easily afford to upgrade her Nissan Rogue, but chooses instead to travel with her kids. “My daughter says: ‘More meetings means more vacations!’” Rodriguez says.   Focus on setting up a life within her control. Rodriguez’s worries included rent increases, job instability, financial instability, depending on her kids’ dad, and a long commute which took her away from her children during the week. “I realized that the kids could only depend on me,” she says. Her focus on home ownership, high earning and self-employed income and a job close to home helped her regain power.   At the time, her budget breakdown was:  Rent $825  Car payment $450  Car insurance $155  Electric $130  Internet $65  Phone $125  Childcare $250 (her half)  Plus food, gas, entertainment etc  Credit card minimum payments $125   Nails and hair $75   Subscription services $8  Cable TV $149 monthly  Private school tuition $480 monthly  Upon her divorce, Rodriguez cut her cable, subscription services, nails and hair, and downgraded to less expensive car.   She then focused on both paying off debt and earning. Rodriguez got a new job where she earned $45,000 per year, and also built up her side business doing freelance graphic design work, carefully selecting jobs that paid a high hourly fee, and helped her reach her goals. “I only work side jobs that meet a specific goal financial goal, because if I was going to dedicate time away from my kids it has to be with purpose,” she says.  A couple years ago, Rodriguez saved up $15,000, quit her full-time job, and focused narrowly on building her design portfolio. Then, a local health care company near her Kissemmee, Fla., reached out via LinkedIn, and offered her a new job. Today, Rodriguez earns $77,000 salary, plus an annual bonus of $5,000, and last year her side business grossed $46,000, bringing her income to $128,000.    One of the biggest changes Rodriguez made with her new financial status is buying a 2,300-square-foot home in a gated community. She also purchased a 20-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy, and focuses on travel. She is looking forward to a trip to Paris soon, and she and her grade-school-aged son and daughter are 5 states into their goal of visiting all 50 before the kids graduate.   Rodriguez also hires a housekeeper twice per month — without any guilt at all.   Today, Rodriguez’s budget:  Mortgage, taxes and insurance $1471  HOA $216  Car payment $311  Car insurance $155  Electric $100  Water $49  Internet and cable $125  Phone $120  Disney annual passes $138  Childcare $340  Life insurance $38  Cleaning service $140  Says Rodriguez: “I’m still really frugal. But living a budgeted life works for me. I know where every penny goes and that allows for more opportunities, to make more memories. It also allows me to spend without buyer’s remorse. I think the best feeling though comes from teaching my kids about smart financial decisions like my parents did with me.” The post How to Create an Amazing Life on a Single Mom Budget appeared first on MintLife Blog. [...]
1
226

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Save on Pond’s Anti-Aging Products at Walmart!

click photo for more information
Save on Pond’s Anti-Aging Products at Walmart!
{This post is sponsored by Mirum. Opinions are 100% my own. Read our disclosure policy here.} One of the things I’ve realized as I’m in my later 30’s is that taking care of your skin is SO important — especially when it comes to moisturizing! If you’re looking for a line of affordable skin products, you might be interested to know that Walmart carries a line of Pond’s products created specifically with anti-aging benefits. Their everyday low price makes it much more affordable than other anti-aging product lines. Plus, you can use the $1.50/1 manufacturer’s coupon from yesterday’s 5/12 insert to save even more! Walmart carries three Pond’s anti-aging skin products: Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream — This anti-wrinkle cream is suitable for daily use and visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines within two weeks. It’s formulated with collagen and vitamin E to help improve skin appearance. Available in 7 oz and 14.1 oz. Instructions for use: After cleansing, apply to face and neck twice daily. For delicate skin, wait 10-15 minutes after cleansing before applying. Pond’s Clarant B3 Normal to Oily Skin Dark Spot Corrector —  This moisturizer has vitamin B3, and it fights uneven skin tone and diminishes dark spots so that skin looks more radiant within four weeks of use. It is specially formulated for those with normal to oily skin types. Instructions for use: Apply daily to face and neck. For best results, apply during the morning (as a base for make-up) and then again at night. Pond’s Clarant B3 Normal to Dry Skin Dark Spot Corrector —  If you suffer from dry skin, this correcting cream moisturizes your skin to fight uneven skin tone and diminish dark spots so that your skin looks more radiant within four weeks of use. It is specially formulated for those with normal to dry skin types, and it also contains vitamin B3. Instructions for use: Apply daily to face and neck. For best results, apply during the morning (as a base for make-up) and then again at night. All of these products have been dermatologist tested, are hypoallergenic, and won’t clog your pores. You can go here to check out the Pond’s anti-aging product line at Walmart, but be sure to grab your coupon from yesterday’s newspaper to save even more in-stores! [...]
1
322

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer

click photo for more information
Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer
If you have a little one that loves Play-Doh, grab this deal for even more fun! You can get the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer for only $11.19. You will be saving 34% on this purchase because it is normally $16.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change ... Read More about Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer The post Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
1
264

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

HELOC: Understanding Home Equity Lines of Credit

click photo for more information
HELOC: Understanding Home Equity Lines of Credit
  A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a second mortgage that gives you access to cash based on the value of your home. You can draw from a home equity line of credit and repay all or some of it monthly, somewhat like a credit card. With a HELOC, you borrow against your... The article HELOC: Understanding Home Equity Lines of Credit originally appeared on NerdWallet.   [...]
1
272

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

5 Reasons You Should Not Delay Retirement

click photo for more information
5 Reasons You Should Not Delay Retirement
Some people view retirement as something to that should be delayed as long as possible. They say that, for many older workers, waiting as long as possible to collect Social Security benefits is the prudent choice. Important as this advice is for many of us, it may not apply to you. If you are financially prepared, there are good reasons to consider retiring at the traditional age of 65... [...]
1
494

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

IT Consulting Industry Outlook 2019

click photo for more information
IT Consulting Industry Outlook 2019
The post IT Consulting Industry Outlook 2019 appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
1
222

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Verizon Announces Another Dividend Hike

click photo for more information
Verizon Announces Another Dividend Hike
It marks the 12 consecutive year in which the large wireless operator has hiked its dividend. [...]
1
239

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Afternoon Deals: Monday, May. 13

click photo for more information
Afternoon Deals: Monday, May. 13
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. [...]
1
518

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

What Is an Origination Fee?

click photo for more information
What Is an Origination Fee?
An origination fee is an upfront fee lenders may charge to cover the cost of processing your loan. It might also be called an underwriting, administrative or processing fee, and it’s common on mortgages, student loans and personal loans. When shopping for loans, it’s important to compare origination fees and how they add to the... Steve Nicastro is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: steven.n@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @StevenNicastro. The article What Is an Origination Fee? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
1
177

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

11 Budgeting Tips for Recent College Grads to Master Adulting

click photo for more information
11 Budgeting Tips for Recent College Grads to Master Adulting
College graduation marks the beginning of what adulting truly looks like. Bye bye, student discounts. Hello, full-priced everything. You had guidance from professors, support from your parents and the camaraderie of your fellow students in school. Now you’re on your own, and it may feel overwhelming to navigate post-grad life — especially when it comes to managing your finances. Don’t stress. We’ve got you. Time to throw out that old college budget and start anew. (You did budget in college, right?) The Penny Hoarder Academy’s Budgeting 101 course is a great stop to learn the nuts and bolts of creating a budget, but here’s the practical advice we wish someone had shared with us when we were fresh out of school. 1. Don’t Succumb to Lifestyle Inflation Hopefully you’re earning more money than you did in school. Congrats! But use that salary increase for good, not for financial destruction. Don’t give into the desire to buy all the things just because you’re making more money. Chances are you’ll also have more bills. And now’s a perfect time to get in the habit of saving money for the future (but we’ll get more into that later). As you settle into your life post-college, give yourself time to adjust. Don’t go out and purchase an apartment’s worth of new furniture all at once. The key is to live within your means — or even below your means in order to build a nice cushion of savings. It might take time to figure out what that looks like. If you fail one budgeting method, give another a try. This isn’t a graded exam. 2. Bill Due Dates Are the New Assignment Deadlines Gone are the days where you’d use loans or scholarship money to pay four months of room and board in full at the beginning of each semester. Now you’ve got multiple bills in one month, each to a different service provider. Keeping track of when each bill is due is vital. Automating the process — either by using your bank’s auto-pay service or opting into auto-pay with your utility company or cell phone provider  — can be very helpful. If you want to be more conscious of what’s going out of your checking account, set up calendar alerts to remind you of each bill’s due date and make the payment manually. Pro Tip Set up one calendar alert a couple days before the due date for advanced warning and another alert the day the bill is due as a backup reminder in case you forgot to pay. Make sure to factor in when you get paid. If your employer pays you weekly, biweekly or semi-monthly, a budget based on how you’ll manage your cash flow from each paycheck may be more useful than a monthly budget. 3. Get Used to Making Student Loan Payments If you borrowed money for college, it’s time to pay up. Your loan provider will likely give you a six-month grace period before you have to start paying back your student loans. This gives you time to plan how you’ll tackle the repayment, but if you want to start paying your student loans back immediately, that’s even better. When you’re setting up your post-grad budget, make sure you’re factoring your student loan payment as a necessary expense. Check with your loan provider to see how much your minimum payments will be. If the amount seems unmanageable, you might be able to get on an income-based repayment plan. You might also consider refinancing your loans under a lower interest rate. Check to see if you’re eligible. Pro Tip You could get your loans paid off if your job has a student loan repayment program as an employee benefit or through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if you work in the public sector. If you have trouble finding a job or otherwise fall into hardship, a loan deferment or forbearance will temporarily pause repaying your student loan. But interest on the loan still might accrue during that period and you’d be left with more to pay back. You should only choose this option as a last resort. 4. Use Credit Cards Responsibly Credit cards can be tricky. On one hand, they can help you build a positive credit score or earn rewards points. But use them irresponsibly and you can wind up in a hole of debt. A wise practice is to charge only what you know you can afford and pay your balance in full each month. You may want to start off with a secured credit card where you put down a deposit that serves as your line of credit. If you are paying off credit card debt, keep in mind those minimum payment amounts are not your friend. They’re the lowest you have to pay each month if you don’t want creditors hounding you, but they won’t get you out of the hole any time soon. Paying extra toward your debt, even if it’s just $20 more, can significantly reduce how much you’ll pay in interest. If you actually read through your credit card statements, you should see a “minimum payment warning” section that explains how making only the minimum payment will raise your total debt and prolong the time it takes to pay it off. To give a personal example, if I pay just $39 more than the minimum payment for my credit card, I could pay off my balance in three years rather than 19 and would save over $6,000 in the process. This premise of paying more than the minimum is true for paying off student loans, car loans or even your mortgage. 5. Have a Plan If You’re Moving Back Home In this day and age, there really isn’t any shame in moving back home after college. What you’ll regret, however, is moving back home without a plan. If you revert back to your high school days when Mom and Dad shouldered all the financial responsibility of day-to-day life, you could be setting yourself up for a more challenging transition when you do finally leave the nest. Discuss with your parents the expectations for covering household bills and expenses. If they insist on you not paying any rent, put aside what you would have paid to save up for your own place or build your emergency fund. Speaking of which … 6. You Need to Have an Emergency Fund No one likes to prepare for the worst, but having money saved up in the event of an emergency is a crucial part of being financially secure. Experts say you should have between three to six months of expenses saved in an emergency fund. But even just $1,000 could be a lifesaver if your car breaks down or you need to fly out of town to attend a funeral. You could automate your savings by directing a percentage of your paycheck to a savings account. Or you could use an app like Digit to save money without thinking. Digit’s algorithm analyzes your income and spending and determines safe amounts to transfer automatically to savings. Even if you just stash $5 bills in a jar, start saving for emergencies now. 7. Create Sinking Funds to Save Up for the Big Stuff A sinking fund is a pool of money you regularly add to over time to make a large expense more manageable. Don’t just limit saving to your emergency fund. When you’re ready to upgrade to a new laptop or you’re hit with your annual car insurance bill, you’re going to wish you had saved up for them gradually. Setting up sinking funds for those infrequent expenses will prevent you from scrambling. You may want to open separate savings accounts for your different short-term savings goals. If you’re saving all your money in one account, record how much you’re contributing and what the running balance is for each goal. 8. Save for Retirement Now I know you’re just beginning your career. Retirement is probably one of the last things on your mind. But the earlier you start saving for retirement, the better off you’ll be. A 22-year-old who saves $200 a month at a growth rate of 6% will have $371,428.72 by age 62. In comparison, someone who starts making those same retirement contributions at age 32 would have only $189,739.65 by age 62. That 32-year-old would have to be saving nearly $400 a month to have over $370,000 by age 62. That’s a significant difference. Start now. Opt [...]
1
636

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Walmart Grocery Service: $10 off any $50 purchase

click photo for more information
Walmart Grocery Service: $10 off any $50 purchase
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Planning to do a grocery pick up order at Walmart soon? You can score $10 off a $50 purchase right now! Walmart Grocery Service is currently offering $10 off any $50 purchase when you use the promo code LA9ARAAC at checkout! This is valid for new and existing customers. You can enter your zip code here to see if this service is available at your local Walmart. Valid through December 31, 2019. [...]
1
688

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How This Family of 4 Saves $3,600 a Year Living in a 200-Square-Foot Home

click photo for more information
How This Family of 4 Saves $3,600 a Year Living in a 200-Square-Foot Home
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated. Several years ago, Andrew and Gabriella Morrison and their two kids lived in a 2,200-square-foot house in Ashland, Oregon. Andrew describes it as the perfect house on the perfect street in the perfect town — the American dream, really. On the outside, the family appeared to have everything. But on the inside, they were feeling increasingly stressed by their finances. “We started recognizing the financial and energetic cost of living there and how busy we were trying to maintain it,” Andrew says. So, the family of four decided to downsize — in a major way. Discovering Tiny Homes — Long Before HGTV Did The Morrisons’ decision to ditch their seemingly picture-perfect suburban lifestyle happened fast. Andrew describes it as an “aha” moment. In the midst of their frenzied days, Gabriella received an email from someone whose signature line read, “Tiny House Blog.” She’d never even heard of tiny houses before. So naturally, she did a quick internet search. “It was literally like dominoes,” she says. “We went down the rabbit hole and never looked back.” Within 30 minutes of researching the tiny-house lifestyle, Gabriella says everything became clear about why they were having issues and what needed to be done. The Ultimate Purge: Getting Rid of 80% of Their Belongings Gabriella learned the average U.S. household holds something like 300,000 items — everything from paperclips to armoires. That’s a lot. So the family created something they called a “365-day rule.” Each time someone went into a room with a drawer or cabinet, every single item was pulled out. With each item, they asked, “Have we used it in the last year?” If the answer was yes, then they could decide if they wanted to keep it. If the answer was no, it went in an ever-growing pile in their two-car garage. After a couple of months, that pile of cast-off items grew about two feet high. Once an item was in the pile, they decided if they still wanted to keep it or if they wanted to sell or donate it. “The more we did it, the easier it became and the more excited we got,” Gabriella says. When the pile dwindled to heirlooms and childhood tokens, the family took a breather. They put them in a small storage box to return to a few years later. Their inevitable solution for many of those items? Take photos of them or digitize them. For example, they’d transfer old photos to CDs and take photos of old trophies. The more we did it, the easier it became and the more excited we got. Then they’d purge. In the end, the family rid themselves of about 80% of their belongings. Including their home. Although it was their perfect home, the family was excited for their newest adventure: pop-up living on the shores of Mexico. Moving Into a Pop-Up Camper and Testing the Tiny Boundaries After purging material goods, the family decided to test out the tiny lifestyle by living in a pop-up camper for nearly five months on the beaches of Baja, Mexico. The couple continued to operate their business, Straw Bale, which focuses on homes made of straw bales. Their son, Paiute, was off at boarding school, so there was one less body in the newly adopted living space. However, it wasn’t all frolicking in the Sea of Cortez (though that did happen a lot). Gabriella remembers being “shocked and disturbed” during that first month in the camper. The emotional withdrawals from the lack of electronics and material goods were surprisingly intense for Andrew and Gabriella — even for their home-schooled daughter, Terra, who was 11 at the time. “Before, our lifestyles involved a ton of work — 10 hours a day, 7 days a week — and constantly being on screens, returning phone calls, receiving emails,” Gabriella explains. “Then, for our daughter, it was with the social media channels. They start pretty young these days.” At one point, the trio was so uncomfortable, they almost packed up and returned home. But near the 30-day mark of their adventure, Andrew woke up and “some switch went off,” Gabriella says. “He was able to see the incredible paradise we were living in and the incredible opportunity before us.” Gabriella and her daughter soon followed. Today, the Morrisons consider it the best experience they’ve ever had. Returning to Oregon to Put Down Some Tiny Roots After five months, the Morrisons returned to Ashland to scout out the perfect piece of land for a permanent tiny house. Although the ZIP code was expensive, the family resolved to stay where they’d already established a life. But the couple wasn’t willing to go into debt. So they waited. During that time, which ultimately lasted two years, they rented the smallest house they could find. Even then, the space wasn’t small enough. Andrew and Gabriella settled into the walk-in closet — about the size of a queen mattress. “It was our bedroom, it was our library, it was our hanging clothes closet,” Andrew says. “But even that was too big. We couldn’t find anything small enough for us.” Gabriella chimes in: “We weren’t comfortable being in a big space [anymore].” Finally, Andrew and Gabriella found what they were looking for: five acres in the Rogue Valley, amongst the mountains. There was even a creek cutting through the property. Although it posed some problems, like a lack of approval for a septic system and challenging access to the building site, Andrew was a former builder with ample experience, and he accepted the challenge. The Struggles of Constructing a Tiny House in the Dead of Winter Andrew and Gabriella moved back into their pop-up camper to start building their tiny dream home on their newly-acquired land. Rather than commuting from town each day — about a 30-minute haul — they figured they could be more efficient living right on the job site. But it was cold. “I can tell you that living in a pop-tent trailer in the winter in Oregon is not the same as living in a pop-tent trailer on a beach in Mexico,” Andrew says. “It got cold. We had snow. We didn’t have any running water. It was definitely a mistake.” The two returned to town to stay with a friend and resumed construction while Paiute and Terra were off at boarding school. It took about four months for Andrew to complete the 207-square-foot tiny home — plus 110 square feet for a sleeping loft. How Much Money Can You Save Living in a Tiny House? The biggest perk? They’re no longer financially stressed. Gabriella estimates that in about two more years they’ll have paid off their tiny home with the money they’ve saved by not having a mortgage. Utilities have been slashed, too. Heating a 207-square-foot home is a lot less expensive than a 2,200-square-foot home. They’re also technically off the grid, so their solar power is free and the water runs from a well. Their monthly bills have been shaved down to internet, phone and garbage. They pay their propane heating bill twice a year. They’ve also noticed a difference in their grocery bill. By American standards, their refrigerator is about half the size of a “normal” one. But because they don’t have any of those deep, dark corners, items can’t be tucked away and forgotten; every food item is in view and consumed. Andrew and Gabriella have also become more aware of their spending habits. Neither was ever a shopaholic, but impulse buying definitely happened. Now, they just don’t have room for it. They’ve even stopped taking freebies. Andrew shares a story about how he opted out of the “free” counterpart of a BOGO deal for pants. He had to explain to the cashier that he lived in a tiny home; he didn’t have room for another pair of pants. The couple laughs. “It’s taken our mindset to where, even if it’s free, if you don’t need it, cut it,” Andrew says. Gabriella suspects they’ve cut at least $300 from their spending e [...]
1
562

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

5 Steps to Reaching Financial Freedom

click photo for more information
5 Steps to Reaching Financial Freedom
In a perfect world, nobody would have to worry about whether they have enough money to live the life they want. In reality, many of us do have that concern. When you reach the position of being financially free, you can live “without worrying about having enough income coming in or being able to pay for... Lauren Schwahn is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lschwahn@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn. The article 5 Steps to Reaching Financial Freedom originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
1
518

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Don’t Want to Owe Taxes After You Die? Avoid These 17 States

click photo for more information
Don’t Want to Owe Taxes After You Die? Avoid These 17 States
Have you gotten to retirement with a fat nest egg? Congratulations! All those years of toil and saving have paid off. If you are exceedingly fortunate and plan to pass on a big inheritance to your children or a charity, you still have one big retirement-planning mission remaining: Protecting your wealth from disappearing into the coffers of state and federal governments. Depending on where you... [...]
1
534

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Allowance Not Going Well? 3 Ways to Turn Your Kid Allowance System Around

click photo for more information
Allowance Not Going Well? 3 Ways to Turn Your Kid Allowance System Around
Are you one of the thousands of households that started an allowance at some point in the last few years and it just kind of…fizzled out?   You’re not alone. Many parents have told me that they started an allowance that, just like Downton Abbey, ended for one reason or another. Sometimes they don’t even ... Read More about Allowance Not Going Well? 3 Ways to Turn Your Kid Allowance System Around The post Allowance Not Going Well? 3 Ways to Turn Your Kid Allowance System Around appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
1
320

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

5 Things You Should NOT Buy at ALDI

click photo for more information
5 Things You Should NOT Buy at ALDI
Because so many of you loved my list of 25 best things to buy at ALDI, I decided it was time for me to put together a list of what NOT to buy at ALDI! {Psst! Wondering why I love ALDI so much? Read this post on why I think everyone should shop at ALDI to save money!} 5 Things You Should Never Buy at Aldi As you well know, I think you can save a lot of money by shopping at Aldi. However, that doesn’t mean that everything at Aldi is a good deal. One of the most popular posts on my site is my post on 25 of the best things to buy at Aldi. Today, I thought it would be fun to tell you what I think you shouldn’t buy at Aldi. Here’s my list of what I think you should avoid buying… 1. Name Brand Items Don’t buy brand name items! Why? Because not only are these usually over-priced, you can’t use coupons on them to save more money. What to buy instead: The Aldi brand/off brand counterparts for these name brand items. In most cases, you’ll save 40-60% off of what the name brand item is priced! And we’ve found that it usually works or tastes just as good! (See above photos for side by side comparisons.) 2. Aldi Finds When you walk in the store and near the end of the store as you’re going to checkout, Aldi typically has what they call Aldi Finds. These are often name brand items and are typically unique or weird flavor combinations. I don’t know exactly where they get these from, but my theory is that they were some kind of overstock or trial run at mainstream grocery stores that didn’t do well. (Anyone know?) Not only are they usually not a great deal, but they are also probably a sort of risky purchase since they are likely a flavor or item you haven’t tried before. What to buy instead: Stick to the Aldi brand regular deals and pass up the Aldi Finds. 3. Seasonal Items Aldi has a big section of the store (well, big percentage-wise when you compare it to the size of the store!) devoted to Seasonal type deals. Right now, there will be a lot of summer toys and other things that would be geared toward the summer months. While they often do have some good prices, unless you were looking for that specific item and/or saving up for it and you know this price is less than what you’d pay elsewhere, skip this section of the store. Why? Because you’ll just end up spending money on “good deals” that you don’t need and weren’t planning to purchase in the first place. This, in turn, will negate all of the savings you are getting on groceries! What to buy instead: Focus on purchasing the items are already on your grocery list instead of impulse buying. 4. Pre-Packaged Food If you normally buy pre-packaged snacks and frozen foods, then you will save some money by buying them at Aldi. However, please don’t start buying pre-packaged foods just because you think they are “so inexpensive” at Aldi. What to buy instead: Ingredients to make your own homemade snacks and items! 5. Things You Can Get Cheaper at Dollar Tree If you have a Dollar Tree in your area, be sure to peruse the food and household product aisles to price-check the Dollar Tree prices and sizes against the Aldi prices and sizes. While some Aldi prices are the same or less, some items are significantly cheaper at Dollar Tree. For instance, see the lemon juice shown above? It’s regularly $2.49 at Kroger, $2.39 at Aldi, and just one dollar at Dollar Tree! What to buy instead: Nothing! If you can get it cheaper at Dollar Tree, don’t buy it at Aldi! 🙂 Do you agree with my list? What do you think you shouldn’t purchase at Aldi? I’d love to hear! Related Links: My 25 Favorite Things to Purchase at ALDI Kroger vs. ALDI: Which is Cheaper? An Open Letter to ALDI 52 Different Ways to Save $100 per Year: Shop at ALDI [...]
1
309

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

10 Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale

click photo for more information
10 Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale
Planning to have a garage sale soon? I’ve had a number of successful garage sales over the years and these are my top 10 garage sale tips! {Looking for other creative ways to make some extra cash? Check out our big list of income-earning ideas and our favorite legitimate paid online surveys!} Since I’m a minimalist at heart, I’ve always loved to declutter, go through old stuff, and purge what we no longer need. Back in our law school days, I frequently had garage sales to earn a little bit of extra cash — because every little bit helped stretch our really tight budget during those financially lean years! Since I’ve had SO many garage sales over the years, I’ve learned a lot about how to have a successful garage sale. If you’ve been thinking about have a garage sale soon, here are my top 10 garage sale tips! 1. Collect clutter year-round. Always have an ongoing Garage Sale stash you’re adding to. Try to regularly declutter and purge what you don’t need. When you come across something you no longer need or use, stick it in a box! Once that box fills up, start another box! And another. Without much effort at all, by the time your garage sale comes along, you’ll have multiple boxes of stuff you can sell! I used to do this throughout the year and then have an annual garage sale each year. It made things super easy, because I already had everything in one place to sell. I didn’t have to spend days going through items and figuring out what to sell. 2. Have a plan. A successful garage sale does not happen without organization. At least a week before your garage sale, I recommend going through your home top to bottom and clearing out any last-minute clutter that’s not already in the garage sale boxes. At least 2-3 days before the sale, set aside an afternoon to price everything out and organize your items. And then the day before the sale, devote a few hours to final organization — advertising on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, getting some cash together for change, making signs, etc. Do not wait until the last minute to pull off a garage sale. Either it will flop or you’ll run yourself ragged — or both. If you’re in a new location or you’re new to hosting a garage sale, I’d suggest that you start getting organized at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Getting organized for a successful garage sale: :: How are you going to display items? Do you need to borrow or make a clothes-rack? :: Do you have enough table space? If not, check and see if you can borrow tables from friends or put together some makeshift tables out of plywood and boxes. :: What signs will you be using and how many do you need? Where will you be displaying the signs to best direct traffic to your home? Drive the routes people will be using to find your home and decide on locations for your signs ahead of time. :: Who is going to put the signs out the morning of the sale? Designate someone for this ahead of time and let them know specifically where to place the signs. :: How much cash should you have on hand and how will you keep it in a safe location? :: Do you need to purchase a license for running a garage sale in your area? :: Do you have enough help? 3. Team up. One of my top garage sale tips is that you should never do them alone! Find friends or family to team up with. Not only does this arrangement mean you have a larger quantity and variety of items to sell, but it also means you have more help. Divvying up the responsibilities between 3 or 4 people makes a garage sale much more manageable. Plus, it just makes it more fun when you’re doing it with friends and family! 4. Location, location, location! If you want to have a garage sale that flops, pick a location that is off-the-beaten-path and hard to get to. That’s a surefire way to lose a lot of business. Don’t live near a busy intersection? Look for alternative locations like the home of a friend or relative. We always had really successful garage sales at our home in Kansas, because we lived right between two very heavily-trafficked streets. We put up some good signage and the crowds came! 5. Timing is everything (well, just about!). I don’t advise planning a sale in the freezing cold Winter or the blazing hot Summer. Choose a time of the year when the weather will be very pleasant and try to check the weather forecast ahead of time to make sure rain is not expected when you’re planning your sale. In addition, find out what days of the week are best for yard sales to run in your area. Fridays and Saturdays are usually really popular, but you’d be surprised to find that in some areas Thursdays are big days for garage sales! 6. Clearly mark your prices. It’s easy to want to just stick a big sign on a table saying that everything on that table is a quarter, but in the long-run it is much more efficient to go ahead and put price stickers on everything. Instead of having to make up prices on the spot, people will know exactly how much something is. In addition, some people are too shy to ask the price of an item, so you’ll lose a sale if an item isn’t marked. I’ve found it’s worth paying the few dollars it costs to buy pre-priced stickers for most items. It makes things SO simple and fast! I also recommend having a variety in pricing — with plenty of really inexpensive items. Often, when you have a lot of inexpensive items, people are more likely to pick up more items — and it will often help sell some of your larger-ticketed items in the long run! {Tip: If you are running a garage sale with multiple families, just put initials on all the price tags so that you can keep a tally sheet of who sold what. And you can even have two people working the money table — one to keep track of the tally sheet and one to handle all of the money transactions.} 7. Price things to sell. Of all my garage sale tips, this is one of the most important — and something that I have seen people miss the mark on time and time again with garage sales! When people come to a garage sale, they are expecting to pay garage sale prices. Keep this in mind when you price your items. While pricing can vary a bit depending on the area you live in, it’s really important to price things to sell. A good rule of thumb is to price things at what you feel would be a good bargain if you were buying that item at someone else’s garage sale. And it’s better to price something on the low end and have someone actually buy my item, than to have 25 people pick up the item and put it back down on the table because it is too expensive. 8. Advertise well. The marketing of your sale is usually the number one factor in how well your sale does. You can have great items, great prices, and a great location — but if people don’t know how to get to your house or can’t find it on their own, you won’t have a successful garage sale! So put some time and effort into making a number of quality, clearly-readable signs, and put them in conspicuous places that easily lead to your home. The brighter, bolder, and bigger the sign, the better! And don’t forget to advertise on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist! Both are free to advertise, so why not?! And remember — the more details you can put in your ad, the better. Mention specific items, brands, and sizes. Often times people are searching for really specific items on Craigslist or Marketplace, so even if they’re not looking at garage sales, they might see one of your listed items pull up in their search! The more descriptive you can be in the listing and title, the better. And be sure to use proper grammar and spelling, too. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference! 9. Mark items down on the last day. Things are usually pretty picked over by the last day of the sale. That&# [...]
1
247

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

How to Start Trading Stocks for Free (and With No Minimum Balance Requirement)

click photo for more information
How to Start Trading Stocks for Free (and With No Minimum Balance Requirement)
We all have that friend. The one who’s constantly checking the stock market like it’s a game and mumbling things like, “Ugh, I should’ve traded that yesterday!” You roll your eyes, but you also wonder: What am I missing out on? Many financial experts encourage young people to invest in the stock market. Sure, it comes with risk, but it could pay out long term. The only thing is… where do you start? Lord knows you don’t want to ask that friend. Instead, you can start with as little as $1 and open fee-free account with SoFi Active Investing. Investing for Beginners: Don’t Pay to Play SoFi Active Investing leans into a “learn by doing” approach. That means you can experiment with buying and trading stocks — no fees and no account minimums attached. If you buy something and immediately regret it? You can trade it seconds later. No penalty. (Honestly, it’s perfect for those of us with commitment issues.) But maybe you have questions before you get to the whole buying and trading part… Take all the time you need to explore stocks through your SoFi dashboard. For example, maybe you’ve heard everyone abuzz about Roku stock. Search for it on your dashboard, and you’ll see that SoFi has outlined the stock’s market price, its performance history and even recent company news hits — everything you need to know to make an informed decision is right there. Pro tip: Add stocks you’re interested in to your SoFi watchlist. There, you can monitor their daily performances. Like what you’re seeing? Make a move as soon as you’re ready to buy. If you want some human input? Reach out to a SoFi financial adviser for free via phone, email or chat at any time. How to Open a Fee-Free Investing Account Are you ready to give this whole investing thing a try? Here’s how to start: Sign up here by clicking “Invest Now.” Connect your bank account. This will fund your investments. (There are bank-level layers of security, and SoFi won’t store your info, so you’re safe!) Ready to go? Click “Add Buying Power” to deposit money into your SoFi Active Investing account. Choose a one-time transfer or set up recurring monthly transfers. It’ll take up to four business days for this money to land in your SoFi account. From there, invest the money from your SoFi account into stocks of your choice. Don’t feel like you’re marrying these stocks. You can buy and trade fee-free at any time the market’s open, but remember: Some of the smartest investors suggest riding out the market’s ups and downs long term for the greatest gains. Oh, and if you want to really get serious? Download the SoFi app. Then, when that friend starts talking about stocks, you can add your two cents. Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her boyfriend inspired the character of that friend in this article. 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. [...]
1
190

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Capital One Adds JetBlue to Airline Transfer Partners with Limited-Time Bonus

click photo for more information
Capital One Adds JetBlue to Airline Transfer Partners with Limited-Time Bonus
On May 1, 2019, Capital One added JetBlue to its list of airline reward transfer partners. To celebrate, Capital One is adding a 50% bonus to point transfers made through May 31, 2019. This boosts the redeemable ratio from 2 Venture Miles for 1 TrueBlue point to 2 Venture Miles for 1.5 TrueBlue points. In... Amanda Johnson is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Capital One Adds JetBlue to Airline Transfer Partners with Limited-Time Bonus originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
1
206

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Melissa & Doug Slice & Toss Salad 52 Piece Play Food Set

click photo for more information
Melissa & Doug Slice & Toss Salad 52 Piece Play Food Set
If your little ones love to play with play food, this would be a great deal to grab! You can get Melissa & Doug Slice & Toss Salad 52 Piece Play Food Set for only $18.96. You will be saving 37% on this deal because it is normally $29.99. Be sure that you grab this ... Read More about Melissa & Doug Slice & Toss Salad 52 Piece Play Food Set The post Melissa & Doug Slice & Toss Salad 52 Piece Play Food Set appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
1
232

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Fitbit Alta HR Large just $74.49 shipped (Reg. $130!)

click photo for more information
Fitbit Alta HR Large just $74.49 shipped (Reg. $130!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. In the market for a Fitbit? Get this Fitbit Alta HR in Large for the lowest price on record! Amazon has this Fitbit Alta HR in Large for only $74.49 shipped right now! This is the lowest price on record! Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get free 2-day shipping. And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon. Thanks, ChaChingOnAShoestring! [...]
1
210

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

70% of Older Adults Don’t Know This Key Social Security Fact

click photo for more information
70% of Older Adults Don’t Know This Key Social Security Fact
Millions of Americans depend on Social Security as the financial foundation of their retirement. Yet, nearly 70% percent of older people cannot correctly identify the age at which they are eligible for full retirement benefits. That finding — courtesy of a recent survey by the Nationwide Retirement Institute — has profound implications for how well people will live in retirement. [...]
1
251

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Here’s How to See If Your Old Pokemon Cards Are Worth Something

click photo for more information
Here’s How to See If Your Old Pokemon Cards Are Worth Something
The resurgence of Pokemon — thanks to a new movie and video game set for release soon  — has young adults rummaging through their closets in hopes of finding their old collection of trading cards. And, if they’re lucky, a rare card that could make them a fortune. The 1997 Japanese anime-turned-trading-card-game-turned-video-game series holds a special place in the hearts of ‘90s kids, who cherished the furry creatures with elemental powers that could be traded and battled and hoarded for years to come. For Scott Pratte, a Pokemon enthusiast and card-trading expert, the hobby never dimmed. Pratte, 31, collects and sells some of the most treasured Pokemon cards in the world. “I’ve done 7-figure deals,” Pratte says. “That’s just one deal, not even my lifetime” earnings. Due to nondisclosure agreements, he can’t say exactly which cards have made him the most money, but he says that his trophy cards, aka the rarest Pokemon cards on the market, easily rake in upwards of $1 million. Only a select few people hold these trophy cards, usually those who won Pokemon tournaments in the early 2000s and were awarded ultra limited edition cards. But there are a fair amount of more common Pokemon cards that could sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Pokemon Cards Worth Selling The two biggest value factors to consider about old Pokemon cards are their rarity and condition. In terms of rarity, “base-set” cards are where the money is for most collectors, and these cards are the most traded ones in the hobby. Set cards are “any card you can pull from a pack” bought from the store, says Pratte. The base set comprises the original 102 cards printed in 1999 and includes classic Pokemon like Pikachu, Blastoise, Charizard and Venusaur. A complete first-edition base set in mint condition sold for $100,000 in December 2017. If you have a base-set card in your collection, there are a few visual indicators of its worth. Holographic cards: These are the most discernable at first glance. The background of the Pokemon illustration is shiny and reflective — not the whole card, only the picture of the monster. They’re typically referred to as “holo” cards, and only 16 of the original 102 are holo. First-edition cards: Directly next to the left corner of the illustration appears the “edition 1” logo. These cards were bought up shortly after initial release and remain some of the rarest and most sought-after cards. Shadowless cards: This version is almost identical to the first-edition prints but exclude the first-edition logo. If you don’t have a newer card for comparison, this is particularly hard to notice: the illustration box appears 2D. On newer cards, the picture box has a shadow along the right border to give it a 3D appearance. Unlimited cards: These cards are still old and rare, but they do not include the first-edition symbol and have an added shadow behind the illustration to give the picture box a 3D effect. To check if your card is part of the base set, look at the bottom right corner of the picture box. If you do not see one of the many later-added set symbols, then you have a base-set, Unlimited card. The second important factor in a card’s value is the condition. If you do happen to have a first-edition, holographic base-set Charizard, you’re not guaranteed thousands of dollars. The price it fetches depends on how well the card has been taken care of. If you have a card that you expect is worth more than $100, Pratte recommends getting it graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). Despite its name, the PSA grades all kinds of trading cards, including non-sports cards like Pokemon. PSA’s 10-point grading scale is accepted as the industry standard, and the company also publishes price guides to help determine a card’s worth. According to its current valuations, first-edition cards in perfect condition are valued at a minimum of $40. Those aren’t rarer, holographic cards either. A first-edition holo in mint condition can rake in between $1,000 and $24,000. So why Pratte’s $100 limit? Well, the number isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but the card-grading services offered by PSA will cost $20 or more per card, meaning a lower-value card doesn’t always merit the cost to get it authenticated. “It’s a process,” says PSA spokesperson Terry Melia. “But it’s something that could reap big rewards in the end.” In addition to grading the condition of the card, PSA ensures the card isn’t a forgery by using high-powered lights and magnifying equipment to check for tampering. “There are a lot of forgeries and bogus merchandise out there,” says Melia. Especially so online. Where to Sell Pokemon Cards After you’ve done some homework — checking the type of card, estimating its value and sending it in for authentication, if needed — you’re finally ready to sell. “The main marketplace is for sure going to be eBay,” Pratte says. “Even if you’re someone who just stumbled upon your childhood collection, it’s really easy to take a couple of pictures [and] make a decent listing.” The PSA’s grading system and authentication make selling online much easier. This process allays fears that the card is a fake and curbs arguments over its true condition. Each authenticated card comes in a protective case with the grade and barcode clearly visible at the top. As Pokemon re-enters mainstream culture with the release of new video games and movies, expect to see an uptick in buying and selling activity of old cards. But interest doesn’t pick up overnight. “It’s not binary in that sense,” Pratte says. Instead, it’s a more gradual process where each new Pokemon-related release reminds twenty- and thirty-somethings of their childhood: the crinkling sound of ripping open a new pack of cards followed by a strong whiff of ink as they shuffle through the set, hoping to find something rare. Pratte offers this caution about getting rich overnight: “Be realistic.” “If you put in little or no effort back in the day,” he says, “you probably don’t have the homerun card.” But as you rummage through your collection, remember that there’s no rush to purge now. Spend some time with your cards. See if they’re valuable. Consider getting them authenticated. Then decide if they’re worth selling. After two decades, Pokemon — and its card-collecting hobbyists — aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. 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. [...]
1
219

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

5 Books I Finished in April

click photo for more information
5 Books I Finished in April
Want to know what books I finished in April? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.) 5 Books I Finished in April I set a goal to finish 80 books in 2019 and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here). By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month! I finished 5 books in April — yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. 1. Troublemaker This book had been highly recommended multiple times. When I found it available on Libby, I “checked it out” and started listening to it. Honestly, I almost didn’t keep listening because she has such a strong and brash personality. But I’m glad I stuck with it because her story was fascinating and sad… but worth listening to/reading. I really had no understanding of what Scientology was before this book and while I know that this is just one person’s story, it was shocking to hear of her experiences in the Church of Scientology, what she was required to do, how she was mistreated, and how much money she paid into the Church as a member. Note: There is strong and crass language in this book. Verdict: 3 stars 2. The Glass Castle After I read Hillbilly Elegy, multiple people said I had to read The Glass Castle. Again, I found it was available on Libby, so I checked it out. It’s one of those stories that I don’t know how to describe. It was engaging and thought-provoking, but also incredibly sad and haunting. It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a very dysfunctional and poor family… and yet, despite the dysfunction, there’s also this layer of mystique that she paints her parents in. Like, you want to really dislike them, but you can’t fully allow yourself to because they also have these likable traits, too. The book left me wishing I could have a conversation with the author and her siblings. It was also one — like Hillybilly Elegy — that I wished I would going through in a Book Club setting so I could discuss my big and sometimes disparate feelings about the book. Note: There is language in the book and also some various details and stories that could be triggering, depending upon your background. Verdict: 3 stars 3. Point of View This book is part memoir, part self-help. Elisabeth Hasselbeck shares lessons she learned from being on Survivor, being on The View, being fired from The View, being co-host on Fox & Friends, and ultimately deciding to leave television and focus on being a wife and mom. I appreciated her candid honesty about her struggles with pushing herself too hard, trying to do too much, and not acknowledging her limitations and capacity. I also loved the behind-the-scenes stuff she shared about being on the various shows she’s been on. My complaint with the book is that I wanted more. 🙂 I would have loved to hear even more details on what it was like to be on Survivor, be on The View, co-host Fox & Friends, be wife to a NFL player, and come home full-time to be a mom. Verdict: 3 starts 4. As Many Reps As Possible I wanted so much to like this book. I loved Chasing Excellence and was hoping this would be a similar book. It’s written by CrossFit Games Winner, Jason Khalipa, and the premise of the book is promising. He encourages you to live life with the AMRAP mentality. (If you’re not familiar with CrossFit terms, AMRAP means As Many Reps As Possible. It’s basically where you push yourself as hard as you can go.) I enjoyed some of the personal stories and inspirational tidbits he shared, but I felt like the book was sort of all over the place, not well edited, and it was hard to follow because it kept jumping from one part of his story to another and then back again. In addition, I struggled with figuring out what he was inferring when he encouraged people to live with the AMRAP mentality. How does this actually look in real-life? He talks about being fully present when you are working on, or working on your business, or hanging out with your family, but I would have loved for him to unpack that a lot more. Clearly, most people disagreed with me on this because it has 72 reviews and every single one of them is 5 star! So yeah, you might completely disagree with me on this one! Verdict: 2 stars 5. Before We Were Yours This was — by far — the best book I finished in April! Many of you told me you thought I should read it as soon as possible and you were so right. It’s the tragic and true story of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals and how they played out in the lives of the children who actually went through this horrific experience. Truth be told, I had never heard of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals before listening to this book — and I live in Tennessee! I have asked multiple people who live here and they haven’t heard of it either. It’s heart-wrenching and horrible and I think a powerful reminder of how money can cause people to make terrible decisions that can hurt people in devastating ways. The book is well-written and engaging and appears to be very well-researched historical fiction. It is also the beautiful story of sibling love and how trauma and devastation doesn’t have to define your future. Note: There are a lot of situations in the book when it comes to abuse that could be very triggering to people, depending upon your life experience and trauma. The book doesn’t give nitty-gritty details, but it’s enough that it could be very triggering. Verdict: 4 stars What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know! [...]
1
283

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

What Is Medicare?

click photo for more information
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is the government health care program for people 65 and over, and its coverage plays an important role in containing medical costs as you age. But Medicare benefits don’t pay for everything. As you approach age 65, you’ll need to decide how to deal with some of those coverage gaps. For now, knowing the... Liz Weston is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston. The article What Is Medicare? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
1
352

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set

click photo for more information
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set
Grab this hot deal while it is available! You can get the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set for only $56.99. You will be saving 56% on this purchase because it is usually $129.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change at any time! The post Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Train Set appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
1
286

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

click photo for more information
Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6
My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family! Aldi 2 bags Riced Cauliflower – $3.78 1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.89 1 bag frozen Broccoli Florets – $0.95 1 3-lb bag Sweet Potatoes – $1.55 1 Pineapple – $0.99 2 Avocados – $0.88 1 pkg Zucchini – $1.24 1 Cauliflower – $2.19 1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49 1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.49 1 2-lb bag Red Onions – $1.79 3 large Cucumbers – $1.47 1 pkg Baby Carrots – $0.79 1 pkg Vine-Ripened Tomatoes – $1.48 1 pkg Broccoli Crowns – $1.39 1 3-lb bag Pink Lady Apples – $2.79 1 bunch Bananas (3.52lbs @ $0.42/lb) – $1.48 1 pkg Baby Bella Mushrooms – $0.99 1 pkg Artisan Lettuce – $2.39 1 pkg (5.53lbs) Fresh Boneless Chicken Breasts – $8.45 1 jar Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $2.69 1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.45 1/2 gallon 1% Milk – $0.95 1/2 gallon Orange Juice – $1.59 1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.69 1 can Whipped Dairy Topping – $2.65 1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59 4 Individual Cartons Flavored Greek Yogurt – $1.96 1 can Parmesan Cheese – $2.29 1 can Baking Powder – $0.99 1 can Garbanzo Beans – $0.48 1 2-lb bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $4.49 2 2-lb bags Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $4.30 1 pkg Flour Tortillas – $0.65 2 boxes Honey Nut Oats – $2.30 1 bag Gluten-Free Pretzels – $1.85 1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49 1 pkg Plain Rice Cakes – $1.15 2 cartons Egg Whites – $3.18 2 dozen Eggs – $1.78 1 pkg Turkey Pepperoni – $1.99 1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.65 1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.59 1 pkg Hamburger Buns – $0.65 Total: $87.87 Grocery Total for the Week: $87.87 Weekly Menu Plan Breakfasts Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include: Cereal, Oatmeal, Toast, Fruit, Yogurt, Scrambled/Fried/Hard Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets Lunches Cheese Quesadillas, Carrots, Apples x 2 Pretzels/Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter, Mini Peppers, Bananas x 2 Build-Your-Own-Salad Bar, Rice Cakes Leftovers x 2 Dinners Hot Dog Cookout (Church Event – we just have to show up!) Pizza Casserole (recipe from the “Trim Healthy Table Cookbook” – the crust is made from riced cauliflower), Tossed Salad Crustless Ham Quiche, Broccoli, Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Pineapple, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Healthy Roasted Veggie/Rice Bowl (making a variation of this recipe), Cucumber Salad Oven Baked Chicken Breasts, Quick Garlic Breadsticks, Zucchini Fries, Pineapple Venison Burgers, Oven Baked French Fries, Tossed Salad [...]
1
205

Favorite! Would you like to add notes/tags?

These 8 Strategies Will Help You Pay Down Credit Card Debt When You Retire

click photo for more information
These 8 Strategies Will Help You Pay Down Credit Card Debt When You Retire
Ah, retirement. Lazy days in the hammock, bucket list trips to Europe, leisurely drives in your sports car. Wait, you’ve spent more time jettisoning ideas than planning jet-setting excursions? Despite your best savings efforts — and unexpected expenses — those idyllic retirement plans may have run into the stark reality that you didn’t end up with the nest egg you had planned on. In fact, you’re headed toward your golden years with credit card debt. Employee Benefit Research Institute.  In 1992, 53.8% of families with the head of household ages 55 or older had debt. By 2016, that number had climbed to 68%. Unfortunately, it’s a nationwide trend, as families just reaching retirement or those recently retired are more likely to have debt — and higher levels of it — than past generations, according to a study by the Without your former income, you may be starting to worry about making the growing credit card payments on a fixed income, particularly when the average Social Security monthly benefit is $1,461. Putting a dent — permanently — in credit card debt when you’re retired is possible, and we have seven ways to help pay off your debt so you can enjoy that hammock. 8 Ways to Help Pay Down Credit Card Debt in Retirement Retirement offers unique opportunities and challenges when you’re paying off debt. You may have new sources of income, like Social Security or a pension, and new expenses, like increased healthcare costs or fun stuff like travel. So here are eight post-employment strategies that can help you pay down debt. 1. Make a Budget Tackling credit card payment as you appro