*HOT* FREE $10 purchase at Chewy after cash back!!

*HOT* FREE $10 purchase at Chewy after cash back!!

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*HOT* FREE $10 purchase at Chewy after cash back!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Calling all pet owners! This is a RARE deal that TopCashBack is offering right now! You’ll get a $10 purchase at Chewy for FREE after rebate! Are you a pet owner? You won’t want to miss this RARE offer from TopCashBack!! TopCashBack is offering $10 cash back on ANY $10 purchase at Chewy, making it FREE! Here’s how to get your FREE $10 Chewy purchase: 1. Head here for the special Chewy offer and sign up for a new Top Cash Back account. 2. Make a purchase valued at $10 or higher. 3. Within 21 days, your TopCashBack account will be credited with $10 — enough to cover your purchase! 4. After you receive the $10 payment in your Top Cash Back account, you can choose to transfer it to your bank account or request a Paypal payment. This is for new Top Cash Back members only. If you are already a member, you are allowed to sign up another adult in your household. This deal is valid through February 27, 2020.
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84% of Grocery Chains Don’t Properly Warn You of This Health Risk

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84% of Grocery Chains Don’t Properly Warn You of This Health Risk
Food safety recalls can be scary. But even more frightening is knowing that your local grocer might not provide the details you need about such recalls to keep your family safe. In fact, the vast majority of major food retailers earn a failing grade in keeping the public aware of such episodes, according to a recent U.S. PIRG Education Fund survey. The nonprofit consumer advocacy organization says... [...]
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How to become the best advisor

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How to become the best advisor
The post How to become the best advisor appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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“How do you stay so positive?”

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“How do you stay so positive?”
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. “How do you stay so positive?” I’ve been asked this question by multiple people in multiple ways recently so Jesse and I decided to devote a podcast episode to the topic. I thought it would be insightful for us to both talk about this, because I tend to be more of glass half full kind of person while Jesse is more of a glass half empty person. But it’s been so cool to watch Jesse intentionally work to develop more of a positive outlook on life. He shares how he has done that and how it has impacted him. We also talk about what it looks like to choose our attitude, practical ways we seek to do this, why gratitude can make such a difference, how to feed your souls with good things, and practical things we do to uplift our souls. In addition to talking about staying positive, we also talk about dry shampoo, Thin Mints, our kids’ thoughts on how read alouds have benefited their lives, why the kids want to limit the baby’s exposure to screens, the flu, and the Enneagram. As usual, it was quite a diverse array of topics! In This Episode:  [00:25] Greetings from the flu-infested Paine house. [01:53] To keep himself fortified, Jesse decided to get some Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. 😉 [02:44] A listener asks: Are you trying to hold on to your kids’ childhoods through bringing back read aloud time? [05:41] All three of our kids have very strong opinions and plans for investing in the baby’s life. [08:12] My book for this week was The Path Between Us. This opened up some new methods of communication for Jesse and me. [11:14] Dry shampoo is saving my life. Learn why. [13:32] How can you stay positive when things are hard? Is it easier for some people?  [15:53] Jesse feels like he may be wired to be more negative, but you get to choose your attitude. [18:23] Even with the week they’ve had while being sick with the flu, the kids still try to see the positive as well. It’s an intentional choice to be positive. [20:36] If you’re not a naturally positive person, you have to work that muscle and it’ll get easier. [23:02] Counting your blessings and being intentional about taking them in and naming them helps bring positivity to the forefront. [25:06] Keep in mind that someone else likely would love to be in your shoes for any number of your blessings.  [26:00] An important word on when to seek professional help. Links and Resources: The Path Between Us by Suzanna Stabile Living Proof Dry Shampoo Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. [...]
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Guide to JetBlue Travel Partners: Earning and Redeeming Points

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Guide to JetBlue Travel Partners: Earning and Redeeming Points
JetBlue may have a largely domestic presence, but its TrueBlue loyalty program partners with airlines, hotels, car rental agencies and financial services firms to allow you to earn and redeem points for a broad range of rewards. The benefits vary from partner to partner. For example, you can earn or redeem TrueBlue points on Hawaiian... June Casagrande is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Guide to JetBlue Travel Partners: Earning and Redeeming Points originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Tax Deductions Explained (and Common Ones You Could Claim)

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Tax Deductions Explained (and Common Ones You Could Claim)
Part of being an American is looking toward Tax Day with either dread or anticipation. Will you have to cut a check to Uncle Sam, or will you get a plump refund? Tax deductions can tip the scales — a lot — meaning you’ll end up sending less money to the IRS. We all want that, right?  Read on to understand which common tax deductions you could claim when you file your 2019 return. Note that we use 2019 numbers because these apply to the tax return that’s due April 15, 2020. What Is a Tax Deduction? Tax deductions, also known as tax write-offs, lower your taxable income so you’ll pay less overall. You can either go with the standard deduction, which is a predetermined amount that is subtracted from your income, or itemized deductions, which take into account your particular expenses such as charitable donations and some health care costs.  Tax deductions are different from tax credits. A tax deduction decreases your taxable income, whereas a tax credit lowers the amount of taxes you owe the IRS. Calculating Your Adjusted Gross Income Deductions are typically calculated from something called your adjusted gross income, or AGI. Do you know how much you make each year? What about the amount you contribute to retirement? The IRS uses this information and more to calculate your adjusted gross income (AGI), which is the starting point for figuring out your tax bill. Your AGI includes your wages, alimony, dividends, retirement distributions and business income. If you’ve paid student loan interest, contributed to a traditional IRA or paid into a health savings account, those expenses are deducted. What’s left over is your AGI. Changes From 2017 Tax Reform In late 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code. The main change affecting everyday Americans was to the standard deduction; before 2018 it was $6,350 for single filers and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly. Under the new law, it nearly doubled: For 2019 taxes, it’s $12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married people who file a joint return. While the 2017 changes were good news for some people, they came at the expense of several popular deductions that were eliminated. These include: Job-related moving expenses for non-military Home equity loan interest deduction, unless the loan is used to improve the home Alimony for the person paying spousal support Job search expenses Unreimbursed work expenses Standard vs. Itemized Deductions Still, a number of itemized deductions remain in play. Whether you choose the standard deduction or itemize them depends on your personal situation.  If your potential deductions equal more than the standard deduction, itemizing will lower your taxable income and save you money.  Here’s another way to think about it: If you’re a young, single person with a full-time job, you’re healthy and you rent rather than own a home, you will almost certainly take the standard deduction because your deductible expenses probably won’t total more than $12,200.  But if your financial profile is more complex — think mortgage, property taxes, medical expenses — then you might benefit from itemizing. FROM THE TAXES FORUM Capital Gains for Selling property 1/28/20 @ 10:02 AM T First year as a Small Business - What can I expect this Tax Season? 1/22/20 @ 10:50 AM H Energy Efficient Appliance Tax Credit - Indiana 1/16/20 @ 9:27 AM This week in... The Penny Hoarder Community 11/8/19 @ 9:28 AM See more in Taxes or ask a money question Popular Tax Deductions for Itemizers If you’re thinking of itemizing, you need to know what is and isn’t tax deductible. Here are some common deductions. 1. Charitable Contributions If you gave money or goods to a charity during the year, you could be eligible for a tax deduction. The organization must be designated as a nonprofit by the IRS. Usually these are religious, educational or charitable groups. There are some limitations on what you can include in this deduction. For example, if you donated to your local PBS station and they sent you a “thank you” T-shirt, you can’t deduct the value of the shirt. So if your contribution was $100 and the T-shirt was worth $10, you can only deduct $90 on your tax return. Additionally, you can only deduct charitable contributions up to 50% of your AGI. (Most people can’t donate half their income to charity anyway.) But there are additional limits depending on the organization. Donations to churches, hospitals and colleges qualify up to 50% of AGI, but contributions to veterans’ organizations and fraternal societies have a lower cap — only 30% of AGI. You can deduct expenses from charitable work. Pro Tip For example, if you knit hats for a homeless charity you could deduct the cost of the yarn you used. Make sure you save your receipts in case you’re hit with an audit. 2. Mortgage Interest The interest you pay on your home mortgage can total many thousands of dollars, particularly at the beginning of the loan. Luckily, you can deduct that interest from your taxable income. This is applicable for debt up to $750,000 or $375,000 if you’re married filing separately through 2025 . If you bought your home on or before Dec. 15, 2017, you can deduct mortgage interest on debt up to $1 million or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately. 3. Property Taxes The 2017 tax reform put new limits on property tax deductions. Beginning in 2018, you can deduct state and local taxes up to $10,000 or $5,000 if you’re married filing separately. Those caps are for state and local income, property and sales taxes combined.  Let’s say you paid $8,000 of state income tax, $7,000 of property taxes and $6,000 of sales tax. Your deduction is limited to $10,000. Prior to tax reform, you could have deducted each of these expenses in full.  4. Medical Expenses If you had significant medical expenses last tax year that weren’t reimbursed by insurance, you could get a deduction. The bills must equal 10% or higher of your AGI to qualify for the deduction in 2019. Even then, you can only deduct the amount above 10% of AGI.  For someone with an AGI of $50,000, that means you can’t deduct medical expenses until they exceed $5,000, or 10%. Pro Tip If your state has an income tax, you may be able to deduct a percentage of medical expenses from your state taxes as well, though the amount will vary. Qualified medical expenses include: Bills paid to doctors, dentists, chiropractors and more Hospital visits or stays Nursing home care Some weight loss programs Addiction programs Prescription medications Transportation to and from medical appointments Acupuncture Dentures, crutches, hearing aids, wheelchairs and service animals Reading or prescription glasses or contact lenses Deductions You Can Claim With the Standard Deduction Even if you don’t itemize, there are some valuable deductions you can still claim. They’re known as “above-the-line” deductions. 1. Educator Expenses In an ideal world, teachers wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for school supplies. In reality, most teachers routinely dip into their own funds to buy pencils, paper, glue and other items for their classrooms. The IRS [...]
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The 10 Golden Rules of Retiring Rich

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The 10 Golden Rules of Retiring Rich
Think retiring rich is out of reach for most people? With a little planning and self-discipline, you can be rich before you know it. Follow these golden rules and watch your nest egg grow: The formula for retiring rich starts with putting money in the bank. Social Security benefits alone won’t be enough to live the good life during your golden years. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson... [...]
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How to Request Missing Radisson Rewards

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How to Request Missing Radisson Rewards
Radisson Rewards can deliver a lot of value for those looking to score free nights, especially for travelers to destinations outside the United States. With over 1,100 properties worldwide, Radisson Rewards is one of the best rewards programs for earning free nights. Free night redemptions start as low as 9,000 points per night for a... Ramsey Qubein is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Request Missing Radisson Rewards originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Week’s Goals (+ an update on Flu B)

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This Week’s Goals (+ an update on Flu B)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whew! So last week was nothing like what I had anticipated going into it. I had looked at the calendar and had seen that we actually had three free evenings — which was a big deal as we rarely have more than two free evenings per week. So I had expected it would probably be a little bit quieter and slower-paced week. Little did I know that all three kids would come down with Flu B and we would be completely quarantined, cancel everything, have no one come over, and stay home from for an entire week (Tuesday through Monday)!! I cannot recall any time in recent history that this has ever happened and it was so weird to just have all of us home all day every single day with no one even coming over to our house! (Other than two trips to the doctor and Jesse running out to the store a few times.) The kids’ attitudes through all of this were so incredible. They felt awful and usually had high fevers (102-104), but they were still their funny, witty selves. Since I couldn’t be around them, we Face-timed or texted and they were constantly making me laugh with their comebacks and the funny memes they sent. While I never got full-blown Flu B, I did feel yucky for at least 5 days, so I took it very, very easy, rested a lot, and generally just focused on staying healthy. I did work on my book some, get caught up on email, read some, walk on the treadmill, and watch quite a few shows. But that was about it! I’m so grateful that I am feeling so much more energetic and back to normal today and that we have two kids who are doing a lot better and one who is doing somewhat better. I’m hoping (maybe) everyone will be completely healthy by Thursday. We’ll see! Here’s an update on my goals for last week + this week’s goals: Last Week’s Goals: 2020 — Week 6 Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) (As mentioned above, since I wasn’t feeling that great much of this past week, I spent a lot of time resting! I did walk on the treadmill 6 days, but that was the extent of most of my walking!) 2. Finish reading Counterfeit Gods. Listen to Eat That Frog! and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. 3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Home/Family Goals 4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. 5. Research strollers, baby carriers, and car seats. Decide what we’re going to purchase. 6. Complete 4-hour Foster Care Training. (We had to cancel this because the kids all had the flu and I wasn’t feeling that great.) Work/Blog Goals 7. Finish editing chapters 1-3 and finish the rough draft of chapter 4 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 8. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 9. Go to a movie with Jesse. (Since the kids were sick and I wasn’t feeling well, we didn’t get out to go to a movie, but we did catch up on multiple episodes of This is Us together.) This Week’s Goals: 2020– Week 7 Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Read Raising Worry-Free Girls, I Choose Brave, and Get Your Life Back. Listen to Things You Save in a Fire. 3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Home/Family Goals 4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. 5. Clean and disinfect the house from flu germs (as soon as the kids are fever-free!). Work/Blog Goals 6. Finish the rough draft of chapter 5 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 7. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 8. Go out to dinner with Jesse. (If everyone is well!) What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Life update: Pregnancy (week 29) + our brand-new hedgehog!

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Life update: Pregnancy (week 29) + our brand-new hedgehog!
29 weeks!! And what a week it’s been! Highlights Well, this week has definitely been different than what I anticipated! Silas woke up with a high fever on Tuesday morning and all three kids ended up coming down with Flu B over the next two days. So we’ve been quarantined at home all week and Jesse has been playing round-the-clock nurse to all three kids. He’s been a saint and it’s been so hard for me to not be able to help do much to take care of the kids (it’s dangerous for a pregnant woman to get the flu). The kids have never all been this sick at the same time, but they’ve been such troopers. Jesse has them on this regimen of elderberry, vitamins, homeopathics, and baking soda baths + lots of fluids/rest + Tylenol/Motrin every time their fever spikes. They’ve all had such good attitudes despite being miserable. We’re so hopeful that they only have a few more days of fevers before this runs its course. So none of that was about highlights or pregnancy, but it’s where we are at this week. That said, the highlight has been that I only got a touch of a fever and between rest, fluids, and elderberry, I seem to be dodging the flu bullet so far. And also, I am SO grateful that Jesse has stayed well! Notable The baby has had the hiccups multiple times this week. I kept waiting for it to happen because I remember all my other babies often having them! Also, the movements are getting more pronounced and it seems like there’s constantly some baby body part poking out underneath my skin. It has made it that much more real and helped me connect with this child even moreso. Cravings Um, should I admit that almost all I’ve been craving is cheeseburgers?? I have no idea where *that* came from, but Jesse ran to Burger King last night because the cravings were getting pretty ridiculous and for some reason I really wanted a Burger King cheeseburger. Here’s the crazy thing: I don’t even know if I’ve ever had one before. I can’t even remember ever going to BK in the last decade, but man, the cheeseburgers (yes, I ate two!) tasted SO good!! Weight gain: 21 pounds Meet the newest member of the Paine family – Theodore Quiller. (AKA Theo.) We’ve taken at least 90 videos/pictures of him since we got him and he’s so active that he was basically a blur in most of them. So this was the best we got! We already love him so much and are excited to have another hedgehog again! (Theo’s middle name is in honor of Quill, our first hedgehog who died in December from Wobbly Hedgehog Disease.) [...]
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What to Know Before Laying Down Money for a Mattress

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What to Know Before Laying Down Money for a Mattress
Here comes Presidents Day, a time to celebrate Lincoln and Roosevelt — and blowout mattress sales. These holiday-weekend bargains can be a smart opportunity to shop for a mattress if you need a new one. But choosing the right bed in your budget can be tricky if you go into the decision cold. Do this... Laura McMullen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lmcmullen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauraemcmullen. The article What to Know Before Laying Down Money for a Mattress originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

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7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
Spending money on expensive things you don’t need is a surefire way to deplete your bank account and lower your net worth. Many big-ticket purchases are made on impulse or otherwise represent poor judgment. If you truly can afford to buy a costly status symbol, go right ahead. However, if you want to get the most out of your money, there are many expensive items that you can and should live... [...]
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Jean Luc Bertrand: “ONEtoONE increased the size of the deals I am able to advise”

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Jean Luc Bertrand: “ONEtoONE increased the size of the deals I am able to advise”
The post Jean Luc Bertrand: “ONEtoONE increased the size of the deals I am able to advise” appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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*HOT* Adventure Academy Annual Subscription for just $3.75 per month!

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*HOT* Adventure Academy Annual Subscription for just $3.75 per month!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whoa!! Do you have elementary or middle school aged kids who love online gaming? Be sure to check out this HOT deal on an annual subscription to Adventure Academy!! Psst! You can also get HUGE savings on ReadingIQ and ABCmouse right now!! As a special Presidents Day deal, you can currently get an annual subscription to Adventure Academy for just $45 — which is like paying just $3.75 per month! This deal is valid through February 17, 2020. They’ve only offered this low price a couple other times! Regularly priced at $110, so this is a HUGE savings! It’s like getting 5 months for free at the regular price. Adventure Academy is a brand new MMO game created specifically for kids in elementary and middle school. It features thousands of enjoyable learning activities that kids can discover on quests through an interactive virtual world. Developed by the top video gaming designers and crafted by a team of curriculum experts, Adventure Academy is a highly engaging and creative platform that focuses on building critical knowledge and skills in language arts, math, social studies, science, and more! Adventure Academy features thousands of educational learning activities, such as videos, reading experiences, games, quizzes, and many other interactive elements— all within the frameworks of U.S. (and international) curriculum standards. I checked it out and it plays a lot like an adventure game (think Zelda!) but within an educational framework. It’s really cool! Go here to take advantage of this RARE deal on Adventure Academy. [...]
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Security Token news for Week ending 14 February 2020

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Security Token news for Week ending 14 February 2020
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Why the Ducks Unlimited Card Is 2020’s Best Gas Card

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Why the Ducks Unlimited Card Is 2020’s Best Gas Card
Maybe you think NerdWallet’s choice of the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card as our award winner for 2020’s best gas credit card was for the birds. Allow us to explain ourselves. With no memorable catchphrases, no Super Bowl ads or celebrity spokespeople and no big-name financial institution behind it (it’s issued by First Bankcard, a... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Why the Ducks Unlimited Card Is 2020’s Best Gas Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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What To Do With Your Tax Refund? Make These 4 Smart Moves

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What To Do With Your Tax Refund? Make These 4 Smart Moves
Two thousand eight hundred dollars. That’s the average income tax refund these days. How would $2,800 feel in your pocket? You’re probably getting a tax refund in the next couple of months, because nearly 80% of U.S. tax filers will. The question is, what are you going to do with your financial windfall? It’s so tempting to spend, isn’t it? After all, life is short! Live it up! OR you could resist the urge to splurge. Instead, do something smart and strategic that’ll benefit you over the long term — even make you some extra money. Here are four suggestions: 1. Start an Emergency Fund Do you have an emergency savings? When your tire blows out on the highway, you fracture your ankle on vacation, or you get laid off, having an emergency fund can save you from sinking into debt. And funneling your refund directly into a savings account will help you avoid the temptation to spend it. Did you know you can have the IRS direct-deposit your tax refund in up to three different accounts? If you don’t have a designated emergency savings account yet, consider the Aspiration Spend & Save account. With the Aspiration Spend account, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your debit card purchases. With the Aspiration Save account (where you’ll funnel your tax refund), you can earn up to 11 times the average interest on your savings balance. (The FDIC reports that the average account earns just .09%.) It takes five minutes to sign up for the account. Then, use IRS Form 8888 to designate which accounts you want to send your refund to. 2. Pay Down High-Interest Debt  Credit cards can be dangerous, especially if you miss a payment or two and face high interest rates. So many of us are being eaten alive by credit card interest rates north of 20%.  If you’re paying that much in interest every month, it becomes difficult to pay off the actual money you owe, and you just start treading water financially. So use your income tax refund to pay down your highest-interest debt. You’ll be using the debt avalanche method, where you organize your payments by prioritizing debts with the highest interest rates first. This will save you money in interest over the long term. 3. Boost Your Retirement Savings Your retirement savings could always use a little love, and the miracle of compound interest will help your savings grow and accumulate over the years. Unfortunately, you can’t have your tax refund deposited directly into your 401(k) account, assuming you have one. But you can have the IRS deposit the money into an IRA instead. That’s an individual retirement account, which you can set up and put money into without going through an employer. There are tax advantages, too. Similar to a 401(k), you won’t pay taxes on any money you contribute to a traditional IRA. You can have the IRS direct-deposit your tax refund directly into your IRA. That way it’s out of sight, out of mind, and you won’t spend it on something you’ll regret later. 4. Get a Month Ahead on Rent (or Your Mortgage)  The rent is too high! It’s no secret that housing in the U.S. is becoming less and less affordable. Low-income folks are the worst off here, but middle-income families are also getting squeezed. If you’re like many of us, your selfish need to sleep indoors is eating up a big chunk of your income. With a tax refund, you can do more than keep up. You can get ahead. Use your refund to make an extra month’s rent or mortgage payment (or at least stash it for that purpose).  It’s a simple way to keep your peace of mind in case times get tough again. Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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FINRA Issues Investor Alert Regarding Required Minimum Distributions

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FINRA Issues Investor Alert Regarding Required Minimum Distributions
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an Investor Alert regarding a new law raising the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs). A RMD is the amount an individual must take out of their traditional retirement savings plan to avoid tax penalties, once such an individual has reached the mandatory age for making withdrawals. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 raises the mandatory age an individual must begin taking RMDs from 70 ½ years old to 72, unless such individual turned 70 ½ years old in 2019. The Investor Alert is available here. [...]
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5 Cellphone Plans That Come With Free Streaming TV

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5 Cellphone Plans That Come With Free Streaming TV
This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com. All major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile now offer incredibly competitive unlimited data plans. In their effort to win your business, these carriers (and some smaller mobile companies) are now offering streaming service as a free perk for signing up for one of their unlimited plans. So, if you’re in the market for an... [...]
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2 Books I Read Last Week, 1 Book I Didn’t Finish (+ the classic movie we watched)

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2 Books I Read Last Week, 1 Book I Didn’t Finish (+ the classic movie we watched)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page. Here are the two books I finished last week… The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships If you enjoy all things Enneagram, I definitely recommend this book. It’s an in-depth at each number on the Enneagram and how that number relates and differs with other numbers. I found it insightful, enlightening, and just downright interesting. And while I’d studied a lot about the Enneagram, I learned quite a few new things — especially when it comes to how to better relate with other numbers, communicate with them, and help them to feel seen and valued. It also definitely, definitely confirmed what I already knew to be true: I’m an Enneagram 8 through and through! Also, it sparked some great conversations between Jesse and me about how we interact, how certain things I do can make him want to shut down (he’s a 5), and how we’ve both grown so much healthier as people in the last 10 years. The only thing I will mention is that if you’re new to the Enneagram, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book. Instead, I’d start with a book like, The Road Back to You. Verdict: 4 stars Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message I’ve been to one of Donald Miller’s Story Brand workshops before and it made an indelible mark on how I approach marketing and communication with customers in our business. This book was a good refresher to listen to. If you are a blogger, a business owner, an online entrepreneur, or have any say in the marketing or oversight of the company you work for, I would highly recommend this book. It will likely challenge the way you think when it comes to marketing and change the way you approach doing business. The best part is that this book gives you a really clear-cut action plan and walks you step-by-step through out to implement it. So you don’t just read about the great ideas; you actually know how to put them into practice in your business! Two things I did want to mention: 1) I think this book would be better to read a physical copy of than to listen to as it’s more hands-on and has projects for each chapter. 2) I was a little turned off by the multiple promotions for Story Brand products and services. I understand that the goal was likely to get people to want to invest into some of the higher priced products that Story Brand offers, but I found it to be a turn-off — and it almost merited me bumping the rating of the book down to 3 stars. Verdict: 4 stars Book I Didn’t Finish The Atomic City Girls — Unfortunately, this book was a big disappointment to me. I had high hopes for it, but within an hour or so of listening, I quickly discovered it seemed more focused on the romantic story and details of that than the actual historical details of Oak Ridge. Yes, there were some historical details, but the book continued to sound more and more like a soap opera or tabloid and started going into details about the character’s loves lives that felt too edgy/raunchy for me… so I ended up quitting it. Does anyone have a book to recommend about Oak Ridge that is interesting but also much more historically rich? Classic Movie We Watched Last Week The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it. I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!) Last week, we watched the 1950’s Disney version of Treasure Island. Both girls had read this book in school, so they found that made the movie more interesting. It was a little slow and long (even though it was only 1 hour and 35 minutes, it felt long), but overall we mostly enjoyed it. I will say it’s probably been one of our least favorite classic movies so far. What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list?? [...]
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Online Freelance Summit Offers 36 Hours of Advice Feb. 21-22

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Online Freelance Summit Offers 36 Hours of Advice Feb. 21-22
Good advice is hard to come by.  But for self-employed workers or anyone looking to join their ranks, we found 32 straight hours of good advice in an online summit aimed at helping independent contractors navigate the budding freelance and gig economies. The Independent Contractors & Freelancers Online Summit runs Feb. 21 and 22, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m each day. The two-day summit concludes National Entrepreneurship Week, a congressionally chartered initiative to spur entrepreneurial education. The event is free and does not require full attendance to participate. Anyone who is “interested in working for themselves should attend, as well as self-employed professionals who want to expand their business,” said event host, speaker and author Angela Heath, aka the Gig Income Guru. “Understanding business practices and advanced strategies to create a profitable business is the major hurdle that the summit will address.” To register, visit the landing page and enter your name and email address. Shortly after registration, you will receive an email confirmation with details about the summit, including access to the list of webcasts over both days. Including Heath, 14 speakers are slated to present. Among them are a mix of entrepreneurs, career coaches, journalists and authors who will guide you through the process of finding a profitable gig, fresh clients and long-term success. Day one focuses on client-wrangling strategies with presentations on: Finding profitable side hustles Navigating the gig marketplace Leveraging the power of LinkedIn, and more Day two dissects freelance-business best practices such as: Understanding financial statements Promoting your freelance business Automating the grunt work Notable speakers include Elaine Pofeldt, journalist and author of The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business. She will present trends from self-employed millionaires. Leading personal finance writer and founding editor of SideHusl Kathy Kristof joins Pofeldt to speak on which side gigs are worth your time – and which aren’t. Heath will cover how to find clients using various gig marketplaces, while speakers Muhammad Faheem and William Craig exemplify the opportunity such gig marketplaces provide – when used intentionally. Both Faheem and Craig leveraged their success on Upwork and Fiverr to springboard their own freelance businesses. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Financial Fitness February: Day 7 (Big WIN) 2/8/20 @ 12:37 AM Make money from home 2/2/20 @ 12:47 AM Extra money on the side 1/27/20 @ 1:48 PM S See more in Make Money or ask a money question There’s little disputing that the freelance economy is booming. Citing a U.S. Census report, Heath said that solo contract workers now represent three-fourths of American businesses – yet they are often left out of conversations on entrepreneurship. “Most programs totally ignore that one-person businesses are important for the American economy,” Heath said. A recent study by Freelancers Union and Upwork bolsters her case. In 2019, the freelance economy raked in nearly $1 trillion. The report also found that 35% of all U.S. workers, aka 57 million people, freelanced last year.  To join their ranks and to cash in on a skyrocketing industry, be sure to mark your calendars for Feb. 21 and 22. While the live event is free, archived recordings won’t be. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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From chicken drumsticks to paper towels or even a trampoline, you can find just about anything at warehouse clubs like Sam’s. But what if you don’t have any use for a 10-lb bag of sugar or 32 rolls of paper towels? If you drive a lot, a Sam’s Club membership may make sense just based ... Read More about The post appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Pulling back the curtain to shine light on ‘scary’ insurance phrases

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Pulling back the curtain to shine light on ‘scary’ insurance phrases
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How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving

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How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving
Dreaming of a savings goal is almost always fun — a sunny vacation, the perfect home, a dazzling holiday gift. But think about how long it can take to get there, and all that fun might fade away. Even if you’re doing the right things, such as cutting your expenses or taking a part-time job... Margarette Burnette is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mburnette@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @Margarette. The article How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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15 Purchases That Make Life Easier After 50

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15 Purchases That Make Life Easier After 50
Life gets better as we get older. It may sound trite, but it’s true. As the pressures and insecurities of youth fade, we can finally relax, comfortable in our own skin, and enjoy the simple pleasures and joys of daily life. But it’s silly to deny that as we move into the “back nine” of our lives, we might slow down a bit. Perhaps it’s not quite as easy to open that... [...]
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Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College

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Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College
As a parent, you look forward to every milestone in your child’s life. It starts with the first smile. Then there is the first step, the first day of school, and riding a bike. Before you know it, your child is in high school and rapidly preparing for life’s next big step. College. While college ... Read More about Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College The post Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands

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Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands
The next time you check into a hotel, look around carefully. It is amazing the number of branded elements that are in guest rooms, public areas and even behind the scenes. But what is truly interesting to understand is the story about how those branding elements arrived there in the first place. When you reserve... Ramsey Qubein is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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It’s Back!! Buy 2, Get 1 Free Books on Amazon {Includes Many of My Favorite Reads!}

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It’s Back!! Buy 2, Get 1 Free Books on Amazon {Includes Many of My Favorite Reads!}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Wow! If you love reading, don’t miss this HOT deal on Amazon where you can score Buy 2, Get 1 Free books! Woohoo! This HOT deal is back!! For a limited time, Amazon is running a big Buy 2, Get 1 Free Sale on a huge selection of books! No promo code needed. Just add three books to your cart and one of them will automatically be free. This is a RARE offer and is a perfect time to grab some of your favorite books or a few to give as gifts! There are over 1200 book titles to choose from. The offer also includes movies, music, toys, and games. You can click on “books” on the left sidebar to see just the book titles. Looking for book recommendations? Here are some books included in the sale that I’ve read and enjoyed in the past: Before We Were Yours — This was one of my top 10 favorite reads from 2019. Daring Greatly — This book impacted me deeply and has forever changed how I think and live. Atomic Habits — This is one of the best books on habits that I’ve ever read. I listened to the audiobook for free on Libby and loved it so much that I bought a hard copy — something I rarely do! The Tattooist of Auschwitz — This true story really drew me in and was a beautiful and heart-wrenching story. Rhythms of Renewal — I loved this book enough to ask Rebekah Lyons (the author) to join me on a podcast episode! Wonder — This was one of my top 10 favorite reads in 2017. This book is such a worthwhile read! I read it in two days and can’t recommend it highly enough — especially if you have kids around ages 9-12 Parenting — I really enjoyed this book and appreciated the author’s strong emphasis on the Gospel as that is often missing in parenting books. The Giver — I absolutely loved this story and it was one of my top 10 favorite reads in 2017. Present Over Perfect — This book is one I savored slowly and it was the perfect book for me during my Year of Rest in 2018. The Road Back to You — If you’re interested at all in the Enneagram, I highly recommend this book as a starting place! Hillbilly Elegy — This was a really interesting read, if you can get through all the language. You can see my complete honest thoughts here. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up — I thought I was a minimalist. Then I read this book. And the question, “Does it spark joy?” really changed how I approached so much of life! Read more of my honest thoughts here. Uninvited — If you struggle with feeling lonely, left out, or like you don’t belong, please do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way — If you’re going through a difficult time in life, this book might be a real encouragement for you. Lilac Girls — This is a really compelling, tragic, and gripping story of the horrors of concentration camps. It was one of my top 10 favorite books from 2017. Crazy Love — If you’re a Christian, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I read it years ago, and it challenged me to pull out of my complacency as a follower of Christ. Big Magic — While I strongly disagree with much of the author’s worldview and some of her insights, her book really challenged me as a creative. I especially loved her thoughts on fear. All The Light We Cannot See — This is a well-written and deeply moving book. I really enjoyed it! The Jesus Storybook Bible — This is our family’s favorite children’s Bible story book. It’s accurate, doctrinally sound, and not filled with nonsense and fluff. We read it out loud to our children when they were younger over and over again. Here are some other popular books included in the sale: The 5 Love Languages The Total Money Makeover The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners The Whole30 Jesus Calling Magnolia Table The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The Giving Tree There are also several popular children’s books to choose from: Llama Llama I Love You The Very Hungry Caterpillar Giraffes Can’t Dance Are You My Mother? The Day the Crayons Quit The Pout-Pout Fish Press Here God Gave Us You Love You Forever Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection Go here to browse all the books included in this sale. Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get guaranteed FREE two-day shipping (and possibly one-day or same-day shipping!). And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon. [...]
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My 9 Goals For This Week

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My 9 Goals For This Week
(All dressed up for Silent Disco Night at camp!) I could look at last week’s goals list and be discouraged at how little it feels like I crossed off. But then, I look at all that actually happened last week and I can remember that maybe it doesn’t look like I got a lot done, but I focused on people versus projects and being present versus being productive… and I realize that it was a really good week. Last week’s goals: Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading The Path Between Us and Counterfeit Gods. Listen to The Atomic City Girls. (I decided to stop listening to this book because it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. More details on that on my book review post this week.) Home/Family Goals 3. Read 40 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. (I only ended up reading aloud once and we made it through 10 pages. Hey, that’s something, right?) Work/Blog Goals 4. Finish editing chapters 1-3 and finish the rough draft of chapter 4 of my manuscript.(I only got a chance to work on the book a few times last week between my friend’s funeral and being out of town helping at Youth Group camp all weekend. Here’s to hoping I make more progress this week!) 5. Run a book giveaway on Instagram with some books I’ve already read. Word of the Year Goals 6. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. (We watched Treasure Island. Review coming later this week!) We have what looks to be a calmer week this week. We are actually home three evenings out of seven — I can’t remember the last time that has happened! And we don’t have any big things happening this week… well, anything that I know of yet! 🙂 So I’m planning 9 goals and we’ll see how it goes! 2020: Week 6 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading Counterfeit Gods. Listen to Eat That Frog! and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. 3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Home/Family Goals 4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. 5. Research strollers, baby carriers, and car seats. Decide what we’re going to purchase. 6. Complete 4-hour Foster Care Training. Work/Blog Goals 7. Finish editing chapters 1-3 and finish the rough draft of chapter 4 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 8. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 9. Go to a movie with Jesse. What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Do Warehouse Clubs Really Save You Money?

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Do Warehouse Clubs Really Save You Money?
Warehouse clubs have been around for decades, offering members a way to save money on everything from bulk toilet paper and ground beef to big-screen TVs and tires (in the same shopping trip). But even with their cult followings, it can be hard to justify paying a membership fee just to be able to shop ... Read More about Do Warehouse Clubs Really Save You Money? The post Do Warehouse Clubs Really Save You Money? appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How to Get Financial Hardship Help to Avoid Going Into Debt

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How to Get Financial Hardship Help to Avoid Going Into Debt
During a crisis, every decision can feel overwhelming. If you’re facing a sudden hardship — like a divorce, injury or job loss — even asking for financial help can feel like another burden. But the decisions you make during a traumatic event could leave you dealing with long-term financial consequences. That’s what happened to Kelly White, a social worker from New Hampshire and a TPH Community member, who separated from her now ex-husband in 2009.  The couple decided to delay filing for divorce when she found out she had cancer and needed to stay on his insurance. But after she was unable to continue working and the bills started piling up, she said they chose to declare bankruptcy.  “I was exhausted — my body was tired, my brain was tired, my heart was tired,” White said. “At that point, even my few thousand dollars in credit card debt seemed overwhelming.”  That decision ended up affecting her credit — including her ability to rent an apartment — long after the divorce papers were signed. “Were I to do it again, I’d do it differently,” she said. If you’re experiencing a financial hardship and aren’t sure how you’re going to cover your bills, we have ways to avoid debt, even during the tough times. How to Avoid Debt During a Hardship Whether it’s a job loss, divorce, medical emergency or other crisis, hardships can happen unexpectedly and can result in serious financial consequences.  Here are some ways to help you weather rough waters while keeping your financial boat afloat. 1. Budget for a Reduced Income If you were getting by on two incomes, the sudden loss of one of them — whether it’s due to a layoff, an injury or separation — could cause real anxiety when it comes to figuring out how to cover your bills. It’s not the time to panic. It is the time to budget. Quickly assess where you are financially by writing down your current income and expenses on one page. Need some help getting started? Follow these five steps to manage your money on a reduced income. 2. Enroll in a Credit Card Hardship Program Credit card companies don’t typically advertise that you can adjust your payment schedule or even stop paying your bill if you’re experiencing temporary but serious financial issues. A credit card hardship program is basically just a payment plan for your credit card — albeit one that’s probably more forgiving than your current payment schedule.  Programs vary by lender, so it’s important that you call yours to ask about the terms and explain why you need temporary relief. It might not be the most pleasant call, but it’s better than emerging from a crisis only to find a mountain of credit card debt on the other side. FROM THE DEBT FORUM The Snowball Method for Paying Off Debt 1/11/19 @ 7:58 AM I have $30k in credit card debt, and I'm unemployed. 1/3/20 @ 9:29 AM J Car loans 2/5/20 @ 10:08 AM Emergency debt 1/30/20 @ 10:14 AM See more in Debt or ask a money question 3. Ask for Help With the Rent or Utility Bills An unexpected medical bill or home repair can be a burden to pay on its own, and the consequences can radiate into other parts of your financial life. If you’re unable to pay a bill due to unforeseen circumstances — a medical emergency, death in the family or loss of a job — an organization called Modest Needs may be able to help. This non-profit provides small grants to deserving individuals who would otherwise be capable of paying their expenses and aren’t eligible for other kinds of social assistance. To learn about how to apply and find out which expenses are covered, check out how Modest Needs can help you pay your bills. 4. Find a Side Gig to Cover Expenses If the hardship is directly related to your income — like you just got fired — you could be scrambling to come up with enough money just to keep the lights on and food on the table. If you’re looking for another job right away, we have plenty of tips for conducting a job search. It never hurts to know what’s out there. Work-from-home job opportunities abound. Find yours in our portal, updated every weekday. But if you need to find something in the immediate future, a side hustle could provide a quick way to make money — and could be a way for you to explore a new career.  And if you’re too overwhelmed to start thinking about how to get cash rolling in, we found plenty of easy ways to make extra money. 5. Negotiate Medical Bills An emergency medical situation can be overwhelming, confusing and exhausting — not to mention financially draining.  As hard as it may be to believe, healthcare institutions aren’t out to intimidate you and take all your money — at least, not in the beginning. And almost all of them will accept less than the full amount owed — but you have to ask. Follow these step-by-step strategies when you can’t afford your medical bills. 6. Set Up a Plan for Your Student Loans A crisis is not the time to stick your head in the sand, particularly when it comes to student loans. Unlike credit card debt or medical debt, debt from federal student loans can follow you until death. And if you default on a student loan — that happens after you’ve missed payments for 270 days (or about nine months) — the government can collect on the debt by garnishing your wages or income tax return refunds.  But if you lose a source of income suddenly and you’re facing payments on your federal student loans, you can ask for a break. Pro Tip If it’s all too much, student loan forgiveness or discharge are options for wiping out your debt. But they’re not quick fixes: These programs typically take years and have specific qualifications. That break can come in the form of an income-driven repayment plan that reduces your student loan payments. And if the situation is more dire, you can consider requesting a deferment or forbearance.  None of these options will wipe out your student loan debt and can pile on additional interest, but they can give you the necessary breathing room after a tragedy to gather yourself financially and get back on track.  And surviving a hardship with less debt will make the next crisis that much easier to weather. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy update (28 weeks) + Camp No Boys Allowed

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Life Update: Pregnancy update (28 weeks) + Camp No Boys Allowed
28 weeks! Third trimester, baby!!!! Highlights This week I felt quite a bit better than last week — and I had a good week last week so that was unexpected to have an even better week this week!! Last week, mentioned having a lot of pelvic pressure. To my big surprise, the pressure was almost non-existent this week — I think maybe the baby moved up some + I sat on the exercise ball a lot and went to the chiropractor?? I still can’t believe I’m 28 weeks pregnant and feeling as great as I am! Notable I had my last monthly appointment with my OB. Now, I’m moving to every 2 weeks until I get to 36 weeks and then it will be every week until the baby arrives!! My appointment went great and I’m measuring right on track. The weeks are still going by quickly and I’m so grateful! Some days, I do miss the pregnancies when my kids were little and I could spend a lot more time resting because our life was much quieter. But most days, I’m so grateful to be in this season with multiple activities every day and people coming in and out of our house + full-time work I love so much, so many opportunities to pour into people, hang out with friends, & be involved in our church. Cravings My appetite has picked up even more again — it feels like baby is going through a growth spurt! Since all of the third trimester is a growth spurt, this might be par for the course for the next number of weeks… until I completely run out of room for my stomach. Weight gain: 20 lbs. Kaitlynn and I spent Friday night through Sunday afternoon at our church’s girls’ youth group camp called Camp No Boys Allowed. (I co-lead one of the 8th grade girls’ groups.) We spent the weekend laughing, having deep conversations, listening to messages, more late-night talking, eating too much junk food, a Silent Disco Night, a Musical competition, and lots of games. I came home tired, but so, so happy I get the honor of helping to lead and pour into these girls. I love them and their hearts and their personalities so much! They performed a song from The Sound of Music for the competition. Aren’t they beautiful??! Their hearts are even more beautiful! [...]
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Taking a Disney Trip? Here Are Two Key Budget Hacks

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Taking a Disney Trip? Here Are Two Key Budget Hacks
Between the ages of 7 and 21, I visited the happiest places on Earth — Disneyland and Disneyworld — a total of five times. My first four times, my mom paid for my trips/tickets. For my fifth visit, I was actually paid (in per diem) to go to Disneyworld by my college to compete in ... Read More about Taking a Disney Trip? Here Are Two Key Budget Hacks The post Taking a Disney Trip? Here Are Two Key Budget Hacks appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Blunt Truths About Medical Expenses, Marijuana and Your Tax Return

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Blunt Truths About Medical Expenses, Marijuana and Your Tax Return
If costly medical or dental bills have you feeling sick, there’s a potential tax-time antidote: the medical expense deduction. This can help many taxpayers cut their tax bills — if they know how it works. Two tax pros explain how to diagnose your medical bills and make your tax situation a little healthier. Some things... Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: torem@nerdwallet.com. The article Blunt Truths About Medical Expenses, Marijuana and Your Tax Return originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, February 8

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, February 8
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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SEC Designates Decision Deadline for Proposed Off-Floor Position Transfer Rule Changes

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SEC Designates Decision Deadline for Proposed Off-Floor Position Transfer Rule Changes
On January 21, the Securities and Exchange Commission published in the Federal Register a release (Release) regarding Cboe Exchange, Inc. rule changes. The Release indicates that SEC must approve or disapprove Cboe rule changes regarding off-floor position transfers (Proposed Rule) by March 19. The SEC moved the original January 19 deadline to March 19 in order to further consider, among other items, issues raised during the comment period and related SEC proceedings (Proceedings). (For additional information regarding the Proceedings, please refer to the November 1, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.) The Release is available here. [...]
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5 Ways to Get a Free Smartphone This Month

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5 Ways to Get a Free Smartphone This Month
This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com. Get a free phone from your next mobile carrier! Sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s legitimate. One way that major mobile providers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile woo you to their plans is by offering free or discounted phones to customers who switch to them from another carrier. Sometimes existing customers can qualify... [...]
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3 Books I Read Last Week + 1 Classic Movie Watched Watched

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3 Books I Read Last Week + 1 Classic Movie Watched Watched
Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page. The Year of Less Full disclosure, I’d never heard of this book until I happened to see it on Libby. The subtitle (How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store) intrigued me so I downloaded it. I almost turned it off during the first few chapters, but I’m actually happy I went ahead and finished listening to it. Why? Because the author is so different than me and it was truly insightful to help me understand more what it’s like to be a spender or to have an addiction to shopping/spending. (I could not relate to most of any of her struggles, but it really gave me such a helpful look into what it’s like to feel such a need to shop/spend money.) The book shares a lot of the author’s story and background, so some people might not enjoy the memoir-ish parts of it if you’re just looking for practical advice and encouragement to live with less. However, if you enjoy reading about how someone is seeking to make radical changes in their life and the resulting struggles, temptations, and triumphs, this might be a good read. Verdict: 3 stars Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World This is a much more head-y and data-driven book that I usually enjoy. But I’m glad I listened to it because it made me think deeply about various aspects of my life. There are so many different things I could share from the book, but a few that really stood out to me were: The conversation about how birth order can affect whether you are a rebel or a conformist. The author’s insights on how procrastination can actually be a positive, helpful thing. (Yes, for real!) The section on how it’s important to produce a lot of work if you want to produce a few really great works. And the encouragement to acknowledge cynicism people would feel versus trying to pretend it doesn’t exist (this was in the context of a business pitch, but it could apply in many realms. Verdict: 3 stars Not So Perfect Mom A lot of this book was repeat material I’ve read/heard elsewhere, so I didn’t get many new insights from it. I also felt like it stayed rather surface-y in sections (which surprised me considering the author is a licensed counselor) and bordered on being a little legalistic in others. That said, I did appreciate the author’s insights on how a mother’s love can deeply affect her child in such positive ways. I also gleaned from her encouragement to really invest in your kids when they are little and how that impacts the rest of your child’s life. One of my favorite quotes was: “You cannot have lifelong, heart-connected relationship with someone if they feel like they are a failure when they are with you.” (Such a good reminder and it goes along with something I’ve been trying to practice in my parenting.) Verdict: 2 stars Classic Movie We Watched This Week The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it. I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!) This week, we watched the original That Darn Cat movie. I had never heard of it, but a bunch of you recommended it, so I figured we’d give it a try. Now here’s the full disclosure on it: I fell asleep 20 minutes into the movie. Not because it was boring, but because I was exhausted. However, our kids + the 10-year-old girl we were fostering last week all enjoyed it. And the parts I saw had some genuinely funny moments. I want to watch the newer movie (well, after I go back and actually stay awake through the original one!), but I heard from some people that it wasn’t as good. Have you seen it? Would you recommend it? What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list?? [...]
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Two Projects You Can DIY (and 1 You Should Almost Never)

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Two Projects You Can DIY (and 1 You Should Almost Never)
You might not think you’re handy, but there’s plenty you are capable of doing. Anyone who can manage more than one schedule and figure out how to put booties on a fussy baby can do just about anything. While there’s something to be said for the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a home ... Read More about Two Projects You Can DIY (and 1 You Should Almost Never) The post Two Projects You Can DIY (and 1 You Should Almost Never) appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How Much Should I Spend on Rent?

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How Much Should I Spend on Rent?
Before you start scanning Craigslist and Zillow for rental options, determine how much you can truly afford. Here are a few ways to figure that out. The 30% rule One popular rule of thumb is to spend around 30% of your gross income on rent. So if you earn $2,800 per month before taxes, you... Kelsey Sheehy is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: ksheehy@nerdwallet.com. The article How Much Should I Spend on Rent? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Sign up for the FREE 21 Days of Leggings Challenge!

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Sign up for the FREE 21 Days of Leggings Challenge!
I know, I know. Leggings can be a bit controversial. Some people love them, some people loathe them. Personally, I’m in the loving leggings camp — especially in my pregnancy. Truth be told, I’ve worn almost nothing but leggings and tunic type tops for the last 3 months! (Some of you probably just fell out of your chair in shock that I would be so boring or casual all the time!) I’ve found lots of cute ways to dress them up and dress them down, depending upon the occasion. And I don’t even think most people have noticed that I’ve been living in them for three months. 🙂 If you love leggings, but you’re looking for some cute ways to wear them, you’ll want to sign up for the 21 Days of Leggings Challenge. It’s FREE to join and you’ll get a PDF with lots of stylish ways to put together outfits. I love the Outfit Formulas from Get Your Pretty On. And I especially love that this PDF of Outfit Formulas combines two of my favorite things: leggings and FREE! Go sign up for the FREE 21 Days of Leggings Challenge here. By the way, you don’t have to commit to the 21-day challenge if you sign up (unless you want to, of course). But I promise it will inspire you with some fresh new ideas of ways to wear one of the comfiest types of pants ever created! [...]
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My 6 Goals For This Week

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My 6 Goals For This Week
Psst! I’m giving away this stack of books on Instagram tomorrow morning. If you’re not following me there, you should be so you can enter to win! I didn’t accomplish a whole lot off my goals list last week, but I did accomplish a lot that mattered — investing in the kids/Jesse, investing in my local community, doing respite care for a 10-year-old girl while her foster mom was out of town, launching my 4-Week Blog Coaching Program, working on my book, making family memories, and making sure to take care of my health. So I’ll call it a win — even if it doesn’t look like it on paper. Some weeks are like that, aren’t they? 2020: Week 5 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading The Path Between Us and Not So Perfect Mom. Finish listening to Originals: How Non-Conformist Move the World. Home/Family Goals 3. Read 40 pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. Work/Blog Goals 4. Edit introduction through chapter 3 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 5. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. This week is another full week. We have something going on every night, we have some extra things going on during the day, and I’m headed to camp with Kaitlynn and the rest of my 8th grade girls’ group from Youth Group this weekend. I’m also noticing that I am having to slow down and rest a lot more now that I’m entering my third trimester. My energy just isn’t what it usually is and I need more sleep and naps. So, once again, I’m keeping my list short! 2020: Week 5 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading The Path Between Us and Counterfeit Gods. Listen to The Atomic City Girls. Home/Family Goals 3. Read 40 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. Work/Blog Goals 4. Finish editing chapters 1-3 and finish the rough draft of chapter 4 of my manuscript. 5. Run a book giveaway on Instagram with some books I’ve already read. Word of the Year Goals 6. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, February 2

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, February 2
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs on Omission of Third Year From MD&A

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SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs on Omission of Third Year From MD&A
As previously discussed in the April 12, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules on March 20, 2019, that allow registrants to omit a discussion and analysis of the earliest of the three years of required financial statements from the Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) section of their annual reports. Omitting that section from the annual reports filing with the SEC is permissible so long as the discussion of such year is already included in an earlier SEC filing and the registrant includes a statement identifying the location of such discussion in the prior filing. On January 24, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance (the Staff) issued three Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs) to address questions related to the final rule. C&DI 110.02. The Staff clarified that a statement in a registrant’s filing identifying the location of where the omitted information can be found in a prior filing, in reliance on the rule amendment, does not have the effect of incorporating such prior disclosure by reference, unless the registrant’s current filing expressly provides that the information is incorporated by reference. C&DI 110.04. The Staff further clarifies, that, when a company updates an effective registration statement by filing a Form 10-K in which the discussion of the earliest of the three years is omitted and there is a statement identifying the location of the discussion in a prior filing, the prior discussion would not be incorporated into the updated registration statement, unless the registrant’s current Form 10-K filing expressly provides that the information with respect to such omitted year is specifically incorporated by reference. C&DI 110.03. This provides that a registrant may not omit a discussion of the earliest of the three years of financial statements in a filing, in reliance on the rule amendment, if the registrant believes that such discussion would otherwise be required in order to understand the registrant’s financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of operations. In such case, the registrant must either expressly incorporate the discussion by reference from a previous filing or include the discussion in the current filing. The new C&DIs are available here. [...]
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Pregnancy update (week 27) + some posts you might have missed

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Pregnancy update (week 27) + some posts you might have missed
27 weeks! And I feel like I’m carrying really low — can you tell that here? (Aside from the pelvic pressure, I’m not complaining one bit because it means that I actually still have some space underneath my lungs!) Highlights This past week was a super full week. In addition to the usual routine of working full-time and writing my book, we had activities every night but one night, Kathrynne celebrated her 15th birthday, and we did respite care for a sweet 10-year-old girl all week whose foster mom was out of town. So I think the highlight for me was just making it through with a smile still on my face. I worked hard to prioritize rest and down time, because I need 2-4 times the amount of downtime that I usually do right now or I just end up completely exhausted. Notable I started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea this week, we got a crib from friends, got our pack-n-play/bassinet in the mail, and got a box of diapers. It’s really starting to get real!! My chiropractor has been such a Godsend as I’ve been having back and shoulder pain (to be expected as my belly grows larger!) and she’s helping me with different things to minimize it. This is my first pregnancy to regularly go to a chiropractor and I’m a huge fan! Cravings I’ve been eating a lot of cereal with whole milk. In fact, I usually have two bowls every morning. It hits the spot and it doesn’t give me heartburn! Weight gain: 19 pounds Random question: Do you think the 3rd trimester starts at week 27 or week 28? I feel like the internet and baby sites/trackers are very conflicted on this! Did you see what I got in my FREE Target Baby Gift Registry Bag? In case you missed it, I did an in-depth post on the 5 books I finished last week + my honest reviews. This past week, we posted what has quickly become one of our most popular podcast episodes to date. Have you listened to Secrets to a Happier Marriage yet? Just a quick reminder — registration for my 4-Week Blog Coaching Group closes on Tuesday morning. If you are a beginning or intermediate blogger who wants to take your blog to the next level, don’t miss this. [...]
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Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

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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 1 5-lb roll 73/27 Ground Beef – $9.95 1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89 1 pkg Uncured Turkey Franks – $2.09 1 2-lb bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $5.19 1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.85 1 8-oz pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.33 1 pkg American Cheese – $1.45 1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99 3 large cans Diced Organic Tomatoes – $4.77 2 cans Green Beans – $0.76 1 can Garbanzo Beans – $0.48 1 can Tomato Paste – $0.29 1 can Baking Powder – $0.99 1 Garlic Powder – $0.69 2 cans Chili Beans – $0.96 1 24-oz jar Pasta Sauce – $0.85 1 16-oz carton Heavy Whipping Cream – $1.55 1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97 1/2 gallon Orange Juice- $1.64 1-lb box Butter Quarters – $2.61 1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95 1 Cauliflower – $2.19 1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.79 1 2-lb bag Yellow Onions – $1.16 1 pkg Zucchini – $1.17 1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.39 2 pkgs Fresh Broccoli Crowns – $2.38 1 3-lb bag Mandarin Oranges – $2.29 1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.69 1 16-oz bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19 1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.69 1 3-lb bag Pink Lady Apples – $3.69 1 bunch Bananas – $0.91 1 pkg Grape Tomatoes – $1.29 2 cartons Blueberries – $2.96 1 large canister Quick Oats – $2.36 1 box Raisin Bran – $1.59 1 Family-Size box Honey Nut Oats – $2.45 1 bag Pretzels – $0.82 1 bag Gluten-Free Pretzels – $1.85 1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67 1 pkg Plain Rice Cakes – $1.45 2 dozen Eggs – $1.76 Grocery Total for the Week: $87.99 Weekly Menu Plan Breakfasts Lazy Monkey Bread (Birthday Breakfast Request from my 9-yr old – I completely forgot to buy the canned biscuits for this recipe! I’ll either be making a quick trip back to the store, or experimenting with homemade biscuit dough.) Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include: Oatmeal, Cereal, Smoothies, Fried/Scrambled/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Fruit, Toast Lunches Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Blueberries, Carrots (Birthday Lunch Request) Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter, Cheese Sticks, Oranges, Cucumbers x 2 Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples, Mini Peppers Leftovers x 3 Dinners Pakistani Kima over Rice (recipe from “More With Less” Cookbook), Make-Ahead Butterhorns, Cauliflower, Ice Cream Cake (Birthday Dinner Request) Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Blueberries Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli Chili with Shredded Cheese, Corn Muffins Hot Dogs on Homemade Buns, Baked French Fries, Broccoli Date Night (kids eat leftovers at home) Taco Salad, Mexican Rice, Roasted Zucchini [...]
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How I Make a Roll of Paper Towels Last a Year

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How I Make a Roll of Paper Towels Last a Year
It takes me forever to use up a roll of paper towels, it seems. It’s not that I’m particularly neat. It’s that I see no reason to use paper towels when I have plenty of rags. Sure, paper towels are convenient. But they’re expensive too. Why use and toss wads of paper when I can use a piece of cloth, launder it and use it again? And if you’re just draining salad greens... [...]
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Get a FREE Target Baby Registry Gift Bag ($80+ value!)

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Get a FREE Target Baby Registry Gift Bag ($80+ value!)
If you are pregnant or adopting, you can get a FREE Target Baby Registry Gift Bag! I just got mine a few days ago and was so impressed with what was in it! Pregnant and adoptive mamas, don’t miss out on this really fantastic baby freebie! Get a FREE Target Baby Registry Gift Bag — full of coupons, samples, and freebies (an $80 value)! How to Get Your Free Target Baby Registry Gift Bag It’s so easy to get your free gift bag. Just go here and set up a free Target baby registry account. (Psst! You don’t even need to actually add things to your registry to qualify!) After you register, you’ll get a bar code you can print out and take to the customer service desk at your local Target to get your free Target Baby Registry Gift Bag. Note: My sister said you don’t even have to register. She said you can just go up to the customer service counter, tell them you are having a baby, and they’ll give you the gift sack. (If you’ve tried this and it worked for you, let us know!) What is in the Target Baby Registry Gift Bag I’m sure that the gift sacks vary some by store and by year, but here’s what was in my gift bag: Aveeno Baby Lotion sample Johnson’s Bath Wash sample Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream sample Water Wipes Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottle 2 Up & Up diaper samples (size 1) Aquaphor Baby sample Lansinoh Nursing Pad samples + Breastmilk Storage Bag samples Babyganics Lotion sample Avent Bottle Eucerin Eczema Relief sample NUK Pacifier Pampers Swaddler Diaper sample Honest Diaper & Wipe sample pack Also, you’ll get some great baby coupons to use at Target — my coupon book had a coupon for 50% off any drink at Starbucks! If you aren’t pregnant or adopting, but you know someone who is, be sure to share this post with them so they can get their free gift sack! Do you know of any other great baby freebies I should check out/sign up for? Let me know! [...]
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Security Token news for Week ending 31 January 2020

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Security Token news for Week ending 31 January 2020
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Your Complete Guide to Earning IHG Rewards Points

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Your Complete Guide to Earning IHG Rewards Points
Although Hilton and Marriott may have stolen the limelight over the last couple of years, IHG Rewards Club still offers incredible value for rewards travelers. With over 5,000 hotels worldwide, IHG Rewards Club provides plenty of opportunities for earning and redeeming points. Of course, before you start using points for free nights, you’ll have to... Rand Shoaf is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Your Complete Guide to Earning IHG Rewards Points originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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2 Simple Dinners a Family Can Cook Together

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2 Simple Dinners a Family Can Cook Together
Dinner can be a breeze when the entire family is involved. But creating a dinner that doesn’t have a surplus of steps or is, well, boring, can make it hard to decide what to make. If you want to create a family environment where there’s plenty of helping hands in the kitchen, we’ve got you ... Read More about 2 Simple Dinners a Family Can Cook Together The post 2 Simple Dinners a Family Can Cook Together appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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5 Books I Read This Past Week (+ 1 classic movie we watched)

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5 Books I Read This Past Week (+ 1 classic movie we watched)
Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. Okay, I’m absolutely giddy to tell you that I finished 15+ books in January. Honestly, I am pretty shocked by this number! I think some of it has to do with setting weekly goals and some of it has to do with prioritizing audiobooks again (and the fact that they no longer make me nauseous now that I’m further along in my pregnancy, reading aloud again, and switching from being on my phone (answering comments/messages) while on the treadmill to reading/praying while on the treadmill. It seems like tiny tweaks and additions have added up to big results. And this is so encouraging to me. No promises that I’ll keep up this pace for the rest of the year! However, considering how full January has been, it seems like it truly might be possible to at least keep reading 2-3 books/week most weeks. We’ll see! If you want to see what I’m currently reading or what I’ve read so far this year, you can check out my GoodReads account. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Before and After I was so excited about this book as it’s the real-life stories of the children who survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. (If you have read or listened to Before We Were Yours, you’re familiar with that heart-breaking story.) While I think these stories need to be told and while I found some of them fascinating, the book as a whole was a let down when compared to Before We Were Yours. Maybe it’s because I was expecting more cohesiveness in the book as opposed to a lot of individual stories with only what felt like a thin plot string holding them together. If you loved Before We Were Yours, you might enjoy this book for more real-life biography/backstory for the novel. However, if you’re only going to read one of the two books, definitely read Before We Were Yours. I decided to give this book 3 stars because 2 stars felt like I was doing a disservice to the families and children and lives that were wrecked by the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. But for the writing and overall level that the book engaged me, I’d probably only give it two stars. Verdict: 3 stars 100 Ways to Love Your Husband + 100 Ways to Love Your Wife If you are looking for some practical ideas and inspiration for ways to love your spouse, these small books are a great starting place. They are filled with 100 different ideas to speak love to your spouse. Now, I’ll say that not all of these ideas will work for every couple. There are some that would most definitely not really be our “thing” at all. But there were other ideas that I hadn’t thought of before that provided some highly motivating and inspiration sparks of inspiration for ways I can practically show Jesse love. If you need more encouragement, be sure to check out this week’s podcast episode with the authors, Matt and Lisa Jacobson! Verdict: 3 stars Live Love Now I was sent a pre-release copy of this book in order to write an endorsement. Rachel Macy Stafford’s books have deeply impacted me and it was an honor to get to write an endorsement for her. Here was what I wrote: If you are the parent or grandparent of a pre-teen or teen or if you have any interaction at all with teens or tweens, you need to read this book. It is packed with powerful reminders of how our words, actions, attitudes, and availability (or lack thereof), leave indelible marks on the next generation. I was inspired, convicted, and challenged by Rachel’s gentle message of how to guide, encourage, and impact young adults to live with less stress and more joy. And I took away so many practical applications I plan to immediately implement in our home and parenting. Note: I likely would have given this more than 3 stars, but I felt like the writing was a big choppy at times and it sometimes felt more like reading a collection of essays or blog posts. However, the underlying concepts in so many of the chapters were really, really good. Verdict: 3 stars The Whole-Brain Child This was, by far, my favorite book this week. I honestly cannot stop talking about it. Poor Jesse has had to listen to me rave again and again about it all week long! 🙂 This was highly recommended to by one of our kids’ counselors and and one of their therapists in the past few years and I finally read it. It is packed with great suggestions and strategies for helping our kids process the world, relate better with others, and feel more loved and secure. It is not written from a Christian perspective, but I found the sections on brain science to be fascinating and really enlightening. If you are a parent or work with kids in any capacity, I highly recommend this book to help you better love, understand, teach, and nurture the kids in your life. Note: I would have given it 5 stars, but I disagreed with some of the points (and felt a few were not entirely Biblical) so I only gave it a 4-star rating. Verdict: 4 stars Classic Movie We Watched This Week The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it. I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!) This week, we watched the original Cheaper by the Dozen movie. I had seen it once before but it’s been a long time! While it’s a little slow moving and ends on a sad note, it has some genuinely funny moments throughout it. By the way, the movie is loosely based upon the real-life story as told in the book by the same name. I read it years and years ago and remember liking it. Have you read it before? I was wondering if it would be worth reading to the kids or not? I can’t remember it well enough now! What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list?? [...]
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ESG and Sustainable Investments: House of Lords EU Committee Queries Taxonomy Regulation With HMT

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ESG and Sustainable Investments: House of Lords EU Committee Queries Taxonomy Regulation With HMT
On January 16, the House of Lords European Union Committee published a letter from the Chair, Lord Kinnoull, to John Glen, Economic Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury (the Letter). The Letter concerns the recently published Taxonomy Regulation (for more information please see the January 10 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). In the Letter, Lord Kinnoull raises a number of questions regarding the Taxonomy Regulation. While some questions are procedural, most of the questions concern the interaction between the new regulation and Brexit. One of Lord Kinnoull’s questions is whether, post-Brexit, the UK Government will seek to align legislation produced in response to their Green Finance Strategy (available here) with the EU legislation produced in response to European Commission’s (the Commission) Sustainable Finance Action Plan. The Taxonomy Regulation is one such piece of legislation. Lord Kinnoull also observes that the Taxonomy Regulation represents a compromise between EU Member States regarding nuclear energy. Some Member States were in favor of designating nuclear energy as an “environmentally sustainable economic activity,” but other countries did not support this view. Instead, nuclear energy is not mentioned in the Taxonomy Regulation but is expected to be designated a “transition activity” (i.e., an activity which supports the transition to a climate-neutral economy). In the Letter, Lord Kinnoull notes, “the importance the [UK] Government attaches to the nuclear energy industry,” and queries whether the UK Government intends to follow the EU’s lead in this regard. Finally, Lord Kinnoull turns to the Platform on Sustainable Finance. This group — to be chaired by the Commission and include scientists, policy-makers and private-sector stakeholders — will advise and assist the Commission in developing the delegated acts required by the Taxonomy Regulation. Lord Kinnoull queries whether the “proposed composition of the Platform . . . will allow the UK to maintain influence over the formulation” of the delegated acts following Brexit. The Letter is available here. [...]
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When a traditional risk fix isn’t the fix, and sometimes a fix needs to be found for a risk

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When a traditional risk fix isn’t the fix, and sometimes a fix needs to be found for a risk
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Secrets to a Happier Marriage

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Secrets to a Happier Marriage
Last week, Jesse and I shared some of our favorite tips and tricks for keeping the spark alive in your marriage on the podcast. We didn’t want to stop there, though. This week, we invited Matt and Lisa Jacobson to come share their perspective and secrets on how to keep your marriage alive and thriving. Matt and Lisa have been married 27 years, have eight children, and are speakers, podcasters, and authors who are passionate about the topic of marriage. In this episode, they share their personal anecdotes, practical ideas, and hard won advice on how to have a truly happy marriage — even during the unexpected and really difficult seasons of life. A few topics we discuss: how their marriage grew stronger as a result of having a child who was born with brain damage and wasn’t expected to live their secrets to making dates happen (it might surprise you)! what a wife should do if she’s feeling frustrated or disappointed by her husband their best advice for young couples how to stop just surviving marriage and actually begin to thrive! And so much more! In This Episode:  [01:40] Matt and Lisa introduce themselves and share a bit about their businesses and books. [03:43] They have 8 children between the ages of 26 and 12 and have still managed to thrive.  [06:35] Has the topic of marriage always been a passionate subject for Matt and Lisa?  [08:20] How can you create and build a great marriage?  [09:30] Listen as Lisa relates a small moment she and Matt shared that inspired one of their books. [11:57] What can newlyweds do to set themselves up for a long and prosperous relationship?  [14:37] Your wife should feel cherished.  [16:22] What you need to do to make a great date happen. [17:31] Ladies, you don’t have to wait for your husband to pursue you! [19:38] Your man isn’t made of Teflon. Things stick. Listen as Lisa and Matt share tips and tricks for being mindful of your words.  [24:32] What can you do today to make your marriage better? Small, practical things you can do to bolster your relationship. Links and Resources: Faithful Man Club 31 Women Faithful Life Podcast 100 Ways to Love Your Husband 100 Ways to Love Your Wife 100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear 100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife Needs to Hear CrystalPaine.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. [...]
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My 5 Goals for This Week (and why I’m not setting very many goals)

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My 5 Goals for This Week (and why I’m not setting very many goals)
(By the way, I did, indeed, move the rug from in front of the toilet to in front of the sink. I thought that the hundreds of you who wrote in grossed out by this would be happy to hear that!) Last week was a really productive and great week. And I’m continuing to be so happy with my choice to set weekly goals instead of yearly goals in 2020. It seems like it’s keeping me a lot more accountable and making me more motivated! Here’s an update on how I did on my goals for last week… 2020: Week 4 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife,The Whole-Brain Child, and Live Love Now. Finish listening to Before and After. 3. Get up at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 4. Go to bed by 10 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 5. Drink a gallon of water every day. (I almost hit this goal, but fell short a few days.) Home/Family Goals 6. Get new shower curtain, rug, and towels for upstairs bathroom. 7. Read 40 pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. 8. Get a crib and bedding. (I’m chipping away at my To Do Before Baby Comes list a little bit per week.) Work/Blog Goals 9. Finish chapter 2 and write chapter 3 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 10. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 11. Take Kathrynne out on a date for her birthday. 12. Light candle and write notes to our Compassion children. I’m only setting 5 goals this week. We are doing respite care for another foster family this week so we’re hosting a sweet 10-year-old girl all week long, we have activities/commitments every night, Kathrynne turns 15, and I’m launching another 4-week Blog Coaching Group.  So I decided I’d be very realistic in my goal-setting for this week and not try to bite off more than I could chew! That’s the beauty of taking things week by week, isn’t it? 2020: Week 5 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading The Path Between Us and Not So Perfect Mom. Finish listening to Originals: How Non-Conformist Move the World. Home/Family Goals 3. Read 40 pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. Work/Blog Goals 4. Edit introduction through chapter 3 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 5. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Most Workers Don’t Know This Retirement Tax Credit Exists

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Most Workers Don’t Know This Retirement Tax Credit Exists
Tax season is now underway. But as in years past, millions of taxpayers are probably still missing out on the chance to slash their tax bill by as much as $4,000 simply because they overlook a little-known federal tax credit. It’s called the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, aka the Saver’s Credit. If you’re eligible for it, this credit is worth as much as 10% to 50% [...]
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4 Ways to Spot a Work-From-Home Job Scam

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4 Ways to Spot a Work-From-Home Job Scam
Work-from-home jobs are becoming more common — who doesn’t want to help out with the family finances while being there for your little ones while wearing yoga pants with a messy bun all day? That unfortunately also means that there are scams popping up all over the internet offering work-from-home jobs that might not be ... Read More about 4 Ways to Spot a Work-From-Home Job Scam The post 4 Ways to Spot a Work-From-Home Job Scam appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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A Peek Into Our Week: Pregnancy update (week 26), bathroom redo, books, & romance

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A Peek Into Our Week: Pregnancy update (week 26), bathroom redo, books, & romance
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. 26 weeks!! This past week FLEW by and I can’t believe it’s time for another pregnancy picture and update. Highlights I’m continuing to feel so well overall. Yes, there are the normal uncomfortable parts and the fact that I have to lay down and rest/nap and move more slowly than my usual pace, but I cannot believe how well I’m doing compared to previous pregnancies! It just goes to show that prioritizing healthy food, sleep, hydration, and exercise really can make a difference! (It may also help that every day has a lot going on so I not have a lot of time to sit around and think about how I feel!) Notable My belly is definitely popping out more and the baby is kicking a lot stronger and harder these days! It’s still so surreal for me… but feeling the elbows and knees protruding out make it more and more real. Cravings My diet is pretty limited these days in order to avoid heartburn triggers, but some of my standby’s right now are cereal/milk, apples with peanut butter, and a big salad with chicken and hard boiled eggs. This basically makes up most of my eating right now — and I’m grateful that it tastes good, is nourishing, and doesn’t make me sick. Every day that I’m not experiencing extreme acid reflux like I did in my previous pregnancies is a gift. Weight gain: 18 pounds Check out my honest reviews on the 5 Books I Read This Past Week (+ 1 Classic Movie We Watched). Did you see how we spruced up our upstairs bathroom on a budget? See the before and after pictures here. The podcast episode this week on 10 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive was one of our most-downloaded episodes in a long time. Have you listened to it yet? [...]
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Worried About the New FICO Score? Here’s What to Know — and Do

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Worried About the New FICO Score? Here’s What to Know — and Do
FICO announced a new “suite” of credit scores this week, leading to alarming headlines warning that 40 million people could see their scores drop by at least 20 points. That’s scary if you think you’ll be among them. But lost in the worry about FICO 10 is the fact that another 40 million will see... Bev O'Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: boshea@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea. The article Worried About the New FICO Score? Here’s What to Know — and Do originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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We Spent $71.30 on Groceries This Week (+ our dinner menu)

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We Spent $71.30 on Groceries This Week (+ our dinner menu)
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. Last week, I only spent $60 on groceries, so I went a little bit over this week. Here’s what we bought… Kroger Shopping Trip #1 2 bags of apples —  marked down to $0.99 each 5 bags of Chicken Breasts — $4.99 per bag with Kroger digital coupon Total with tax = $28.61 Kroger Shopping Trip #2 4 tubs of lettuce — marked down to $0.99 each 3 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each Promised Land Chocolate Milk — marked down to $0.99 Rice Bitz cereal — marked down to $0.79 Cage-Free eggs — marked down to $1.39 Milk — $2.89 Total with tax: $13.80 Kroger Shopping Trip #3 2 Tyson Anytizer Chicken — $3.99 each with Kroger weekend digital coupon 3 dozen eggs — marked down to $0.39 each Strawberries — $1.67 Carrots — $0.99 1 bag avocados — marked down to $0.99 Milk — $2.89 Cage-free eggs — marked down to $1.29 Tortillas — $1.50 2 Private Selection Chips — $0.99 each with Kroger weekend digital coupon Refried beans — marked down to $0.49 4 jars Pace salsa — $0.99 each when Kroger weekend digital coupon Refried beans — $0.79 Total with tax: $28.89 Dinners This Past Week Frozen Pizza, Popcorn Slow Cooker Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup, Biscuits, and Apples Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Apples Roasted Potatoes, Roast in the Crockpot, Instant Pot Apples, Roasted Broccoli Italian Chicken, Salad Leftovers Dinner Out By the way, what are your best tips for keeping lettuce fresh? I don’t want all the lettuce I bought to go to waste before we can use it, but it will probably take us at least 5-7 more days to eat through all that. Any great suggestions? [...]
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CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on January 30

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CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on January 30
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold an open meeting on January 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, to discuss a proposed rule regarding position limits for derivatives. The meeting will resume at 1:30 p.m. to consider another proposed rule on amendments to codify current no-action relief regarding swap execution facility (SEF) and real-time reporting requirements. The meeting is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as via live webcast and conference call. More information, including viewing and listening instructions, is available here. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, January 25

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, January 25
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Alliant Cashback Caps Rewards at 2.5%, Drops First-Year Bonus

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Alliant Cashback Caps Rewards at 2.5%, Drops First-Year Bonus
The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card has put the kibosh on its eye-popping introductory rewards rate and is imposing a limit on its formerly unlimited cash back. This week, the issuer made some adjustments to the card that could leave its biggest spenders disgruntled: The first-year bonus is gone. Previously the card offered unlimited... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Alliant Cashback Caps Rewards at 2.5%, Drops First-Year Bonus originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Should your kids get an allowance?

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Should your kids get an allowance?
It is a question that many parents ask themselves – should I give my kids an allowance? If you struggle to get a simple answer to this question you aren’t alone. And, if you do an online search for this topic you will find all sorts of advice and ideas. An allowance will be your ... Read More about Should your kids get an allowance? The post Should your kids get an allowance? appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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FREE Month of Disney Plus after cash back! {HOT}

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FREE Month of Disney Plus after cash back! {HOT}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for a way to get Disney Plus for FREE? Don’t miss this deal! If you’re excited about Disney Plus and you’re looking for a way to try it for free for a while, don’t miss this HOT deal! TopCashBack is offering new members $12.99 cash back on your purchase of one month of Disney+ right now, making it FREE! Here’s how to get your FREE month of Disney Plus: 1. Head here for the special Disney+ offer and sign up for a new Top Cash Back account. 2. Purchase a month of Disney Plus for $12.99. 3. Within 21 days, your TopCashBack account will be credited with $12.99 — enough to cover your purchase! 4. After you receive the $12.99 payment in your TopCashBack account, you can choose to transfer it to your bank account or request a Paypal payment. This is for new TopCashBack members only. If you are already a member, you are allowed to sign up another adult in your household. This deal is valid through February 3, 2020 — or while supplies last. [...]
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New Chase DoorDash Subscription: How to Get It and How to Use It

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New Chase DoorDash Subscription: How to Get It and How to Use It
If you have a Chase card branded as Sapphire, Freedom or Slate, you’ll enjoy new card benefits, thanks to Chase’s partnership with DoorDash. Chase announced last week that select cardholders will receive a complimentary DashPass subscription. DoorDash is a popular food delivery service serving dozens of cities in the U.S., Canada and Australia. What is... Ramsey Qubein is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article New Chase DoorDash Subscription: How to Get It and How to Use It originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Pretty Easy Ways to Save Money on a Vacation

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5 Pretty Easy Ways to Save Money on a Vacation
Do you have high hopes that there will be traveling your family’s future, but not quite sure how you can afford it? You’re not alone. While Americans will spend an average of 10% of their household income on vacationing this year, a full 74% take on debt for their trips. Each of these tips offers ... Read More about 5 Pretty Easy Ways to Save Money on a Vacation The post 5 Pretty Easy Ways to Save Money on a Vacation appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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15 Cars That the Most Owners Drive for 15 Years or More

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15 Cars That the Most Owners Drive for 15 Years or More
If you are looking for a car — and hoping it will last for a decade and a half — we’ve got one bit of advice for you: Buy Japanese. That was the takeaway of iSeeCars’ latest annual ranking of cars that people keep the longest. The car search engine found that all 15 vehicles that original owners were most likely to keep for 15 years or more were from Japanese manufacturers. [...]
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Breaking Up With Our Phones

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Breaking Up With Our Phones
About a week and a half ago, Jesse dropped his phone in the lake while duck hunting. To our surprise, instead of this being something that was a sort of frustrating expense and inconvenience, it turned into an unexpected blessing. On this week’s episode of the podcast, Jesse and I talk candidly about how addicting the phone can become, changes we’ve implemented to spend less time on our phones, and what has been working for us (as well as some things we are trying!) We also share some of how we are approaching phones with our kids, the dangers parents need to be aware of, and what we’re learning as we’re navigating having a teen and pre-teens in the age of so much connectivity and technology. What has helped you to be wise and intentional with your phone usage? I’d love to hear your suggestions and insights! In This Episode:  [01:34] Why elderberry syrup is saving my life these days. [04:37] Jesse’s phone took a swim, listen to hear how it was a blessing in disguise.  [13:53] How we turned the loss of the phone into a finances discussion with our kids. [16:20] Why phones have become an unhealthy addiction and how to break up with them. [19:12] How parents need to be aware of the dangers that are out there when it comes to our phones. [24:42] What kind of example are we setting for our kids with our phone usage?  Links and Resources: Four Mothers Elderberry Syrup CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. photo credit [...]
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8 Moves to Consider for IRAs, 401(k)s Under New Secure Act

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8 Moves to Consider for IRAs, 401(k)s Under New Secure Act
There’s a new law in town, and it wants to help you improve your retirement savings outlook. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, known as the Secure Act, has many moving parts. Some of its provisions are aimed at individual savers; others are focused on employers. Big picture, the act brings major... Andrea Coombes is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: acoombes@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @andreacoombes. The article 8 Moves to Consider for IRAs, 401(k)s Under New Secure Act originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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My Goals for This Week

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My Goals for This Week
This year, I’m doing weekly goals in 2020 instead of yearly goals. And I’m thrilled to report that it’s going so well! In fact, even though we had activities almost every evening last week and a very full week, I got so much done — and had breathing room and rest time, too! Here’s an update on how I did on my goals last week… Last Week’s Goals Update Personal Goals 1. Get in 52,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading Romancing Your Child’s Heart and Awful Beautiful Life and listening to the Killing Patton audiobook.  3. Get up at 5:30 a.m. every week day. Home/Family Goals 4. Decluttering: Garage freezer, bathroom closet, attic area, laundry room, car. 5. Start a new read aloud book together as a family. 6. Inventory what baby clothes we need to buy and purchase these. Work/Blog Goals 7. Finish the introduction and write chapter 1 of my manuscript. 8. Write an in-depth honest review of Butcher Box. (You can read my Completely Honest Review of Butcher Box here.) 9. Run our $4 course sale. Word of the Year Goals 10. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. (We watched 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. I’ll share our thoughts on it on my book update post on Wednesday.) 11. Go out to dinner with Jesse for our anniversary. 12. Make tea, light a candle, and write a card to Jesse.  I cleaned out the sock basket when I worked on the laundry room. Can you believe that in this overflowing basket of mismatched socks that had come through the laundry in the last 6-8 months there was not one single match?? This Week’s Goals This week, I’m setting more personal goals because, as I wrote in my pregnancy update, I’m wanting to really prioritize earlier bedtimes and more hydration. If you’re wondering why I have such a long list of books to read, that’s because 4 of the books are ones I’m reading in preparation for a podcast interview and another one is a book I’m reading in order to do an endorsement for a friend. So it looks like a lot, but 4 of them are super short and I’m over halfway through two of the books on my list. It’s not as impressive as it might look! 🙂 2020: Week 3 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 53,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, 100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife Needs to Hear, 100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear, Live Love Now, and No Better Mom for the Job. Finish listening to Killing the Rising Sun. 3. Get up at 5:30 a.m. every week day. 4. Go to bed by 10 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 5. Drink a gallon of water every day. Home/Family Goals 6. Decluttering: Boxes of mementos, under bathroom sinks, and kitchen cupboards. 7. Finish reading Great Escapes of World War II aloud as a family. 8. Buy hats and coming home outfit for baby. (I’m chipping away at my To Do Before Baby Comes list a little bit per week.) Work/Blog Goals 9. Write chapter 2 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 10. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 11. Go to a movie with Jesse. 12. Go out to dinner with friends. What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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National Park Free Days: When to Plan Your Next Trip in 2020

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National Park Free Days: When to Plan Your Next Trip in 2020
If you’re already looking ahead to road trips or family vacations this year, here’s one way to do it on the cheap. While most of the 417 national parks in the U.S. are free to use anytime, 125 of them charge an entrance fee.  To encourage travelers and campers to visit new places, the National Park Service will waive these fees for five days in 2020: Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day April 18: The first day of National Park Week August 25: National Park Service Birthday Sept. 26: National Public Lands Day Nov. 11: Veterans Day Some of the nation’s most popular parks are among those that normally charge a fee, making fee-free days an opportunity to see places like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Death Valley and Crater Lake. Not the outdoorsy type? Even some national historic sites, like Vanderbilt Mansion in New York, are included. If you’re interested, you can find all participating parks by state or search through the full list of national parks, including those that are free anytime, to find one near you (or your next destination). Note: You may still encounter fees for things like camping, parking, reservations or concessions. The fees waived on fee-free days include entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. If you plan on camping, here are a few tips for camping on a budget. More Ways to Use National Parks for Free If you can’t make it to a national park on one of the fee-free days, you may be able to get free or discounted entrance to national parks year-round some other way. The National Parks Service offers an $80 annual pass that covers entrance to national parks, lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and other sites. Military members can get the annual pass for free. Through the national Every Kid in the Park program, fourth-graders can get a free annual pass for their families. Educators can also get involved through this program, obtaining free passes to take students on a national park field trip. Seniors age 62 and older can buy a lifetime pass for $80 or an annual pass for $20. Senior passes require proper documentation and may be purchased in person at a federal recreation site, online or through the mail. People with disabilities can get a free pass in person, or through the mail or online with a $10 processing fee. Both the senior pass and the access pass offer a 50% discount on some amenities like camping, swimming, boat launching and specialized interpretive services. Volunteer with participating federal agencies for at least 250 hours, and you’ll receive a free volunteer pass that is valid for 12 months. If you want to learn while you travel, you can apply for an Artist-in-Residence program with the National Park Service and stay at a participating park for free while you work on your next project. However you do it, consider including national parks or historic sites in your 2018 travel plans. For families — and curious travelers of all ages — it’s a fun, educational and affordable way to spend a vacation. With more than 400 to choose from, there’s probably one not far from you! Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a former branded content editor at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops & Low Tops only $25 shipped (Reg. $55!)

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Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops & Low Tops only $25 shipped (Reg. $55!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Love Converse? You can score them for just $25 shipped right now! Through January 15th, Converse is offering Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Seasonal Colors High Tops or Low Tops for only $25 when you use the promo code JAN25 at checkout! Even better, get free shipping when you create a Converse.com account (free to join). Here are some deal ideas: Chuck Taylor Unisex All Star Seasonal Colors as low as $39.97 (regularly $55) Use promo code JAN25 Shipping is free for Converse account members $25 shipped after code Chuck Taylor Unisex All Star Seasonal Color High Tops as low as $44.97 (regularly $55) Use promo code JAN25 Shipping is free for Converse account members $25 shipped after code Chuck Taylor Infant and Toddler Seasonal Color Easy-On Chuck Taylor All Star Low Tops as low as $29.97 (regularly $35) Use promo code JAN25 Shipping is free for Converse account members $25 shipped after code Valid through January 15, 2020. Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, January 12

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, January 12
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Want to save money and eat healthier?

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Want to save money and eat healthier?
Do you have a New Year’s goal to eat more at home and save money on groceries? Sign up for the Eat At Home Challenge below! Have you signed up for my FREE Eat at Home Challenge? When you sign up, I’ll send you: A one-week grocery list and menu plan 5 days of simple crockpot recipes and videos of me making them My best tips for saving time on menu-planning and grocery shopping How I eat healthier without spending a lot of prep time to do so Our simple system for dealing with picky eaters Are you interested? Sign up for the Eat at Home Challenge here. [...]
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Brigette’s $88 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

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Brigette’s $88 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6
Aldi 1 bag Frozen Blueberries – $1.85 2 bags Frozen Mixed Vegetables – $1.14 1 2-lb bag Pazazz Apples – $2.49 1 2-lb bag Honey Crisp Apples – $2.49 1 16-oz bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.09 1 bag Baby Carrots – $0.89 1 large bag Organic Kale – $2.89 1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.39 1 Cauliflower – $2.29 1 Pineapple – $1.19 2 Avocados – $0.98 1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.39 1 bag Dried Cranberries – $1.19 1 tub Grape Tomatoes – $1.39 2 bags Red Grapes ($1.29/lb) – $4.97 1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49 1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89 1 8-oz pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.79 1 Goat Cheese Log – $1.55 1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99 1 16-oz carton Egg Whites – $1.69 5 dozen Eggs – $4.95 1 16-oz pkg Deli Sliced Meat – $2.85 1 jar Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil – $3.59 1 24-oz jar Pasta Sauce – $0.85 2 cans Tomato Sauce – $0.38 1 box Honey Crunch Oats – $1.29 1 box Cinnamon Crunch Squares – $1.32 1 box Crispy Oats – $1.15 2 boxes Macaroni and Cheese – $0.66 1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.99 1 gallon 1% Milk – $1.99 2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.28 1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65 1 16-oz carton Heavy Whipping Cream – $0.99 1 32-oz carton Half and Half – $1.55 1 pkg Butter Quarters – $2.49 1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59 1 can Parmesan Cheese – $2.29 2 large cans Organic Diced Tomatoes – $3.18 1 large canister Old Fashioned Oats – $2.29 1 pkg Sliced Pepperoni – $2.19 1 bag Gluten Free Pretzels – $1.85 1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67 Grocery Total for the Week: $88.07 Weekly Menu Plan We have SO MUCH food in our pantry and freezer right now – 7 deer from my husband’s hunting season efforts, plus all kinds of foodie christmas gifts and leftovers. We will be working on eating it up over the next few weeks especially (although the venison will take the whole year ;)). Also, I got an Instant Pot for Christmas! So feel free to hit me up with your favorite recipes. Breakfasts Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include: Oatmeal, Toast, Fried/Scrambled/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Cereal, Fruit, Cottage Cheese, Smoothies Lunches Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples, Cucumbers x 2 Pretzels and Peanut Butter, Cheese Sticks, Grapes Baked Potatoes with Shredded Cheese/Cottage Cheese, Grapes Mini Peppers Leftovers x 3 Dinners Pancakes, Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Roasted Parmesan Broccoli (breakfast for dinner) Instant Pot Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots (I’ll use a Venison Roast and my variation of this), Tossed Salad Homemade Pepperoni Pizza, Steamed Mixed Vegetables, Kale Craisin Salad Taco Salad (using ground venison), Spanish Rice, Oranges Chili with Shredded Cheese, Homemade Cornbread, Raw Carrots/Ranch Dip Date Night Out (Kids eat Mac and Cheese at home) Leftovers [...]
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Reasons to sell a business

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Reasons to sell a business
The post Reasons to sell a business appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Is This the Only Stain Remover Worth Buying?

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Is This the Only Stain Remover Worth Buying?
Good old laundry detergent is just as effective at removing spots as fancy stain removers — with one exception, according to Consumer Reports. The publication recently put several stain removers to the test and found that just one — OxiClean MaxForce — removed stains better than a typical liquid detergent. CR praises OxiClean MaxForce for its ability to remove stains &#8220. [...]
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How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel

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How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel
I don’t know about you, but one of my most exciting resolutions for this year is to travel more. In order to make this a reality, though, I need to be able to save money wherever I can on the trips that I plan for my family. One of the biggest tools in my money-saving ... Read More about How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel The post How to Use Priceline to Save on Travel appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Save an Extra $500 a Month? What That Looks Like In 30 Years

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Save an Extra $500 a Month? What That Looks Like In 30 Years
Saving for the future can be a real challenge. It’s human nature to want to enjoy things now, so sacrificing today to put money aside for the years or even decades ahead is difficult for many. As the saying goes, though, good things certainly come to those who wait. The sacrifices that you make now ... Read More about Save an Extra $500 a Month? What That Looks Like In 30 Years The post Save an Extra $500 a Month? What That Looks Like In 30 Years appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Here’s What Bad Financial Advice Costs You

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Here’s What Bad Financial Advice Costs You
Good financial advice leaves you better off. Bad advice does the opposite, and may even enrich someone else at your expense. Here are some areas where you need to be particularly careful to seek out good advice, since bad advice can be so costly. Investing Most financial advisors aren’t required to put your best interests... Liz Weston is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston. The article Here’s What Bad Financial Advice Costs You originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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4 Expiring Tax Breaks Extended Through 2020

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4 Expiring Tax Breaks Extended Through 2020
Federal budget legislation enacted in late December did a lot more than fund the government for another year. As we’ve recently reported, this bill package included provisions that tweak everything from retirement accounts to cable TV bills, for example. It also extends several tax breaks for individuals that had expired already or were about to expire, making them available for your tax... [...]
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4 Books I Read This Past Week (+ the classic movie we watched)

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4 Books I Read This Past Week (+ the classic movie we watched)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. In 2020, I decided not to put together a list of all the books I plan to read like I did the past few years. In the spirit of keeping my goals smaller and in bite-sized chunks, I decided to just pick the next few books I’m planning to read instead of trying to sort of plan out the whole year! And then I’m planning to do a book update post every week or every other week here with reviews and thoughts on the books I finished. It’s very possible that some weeks I won’t finish any books, so I’m giving myself permission to skip a week here and there if I don’t have anything to report! 🙂 Full disclosure, I did pick out a bunch of books I really would love to read this year and put them on three of the shelves in our library. And I plan to mostly pick the books I’m reading next from those shelves. I also picked out about 25 books on parenting that I plan to read while I’m writing my book. (My manuscript is due in July 2020 and I am hopeful that I’ll be able to read one parenting book per week. I’ve been reading 1-2 chapters every morning on the treadmill while I’m walking and, at that rate, it’s pretty easy to get through a book per week. We’ll see if I can keep it up!) If you want to see what I’m currently reading or what I’ve read so far this year, you can check out my GoodReads account. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Here are the books I finished last week: 1. An Invisible Thread This book was recommended to me twice in the same week by people I respect, so I figured I should get a copy and read it! An Invisible Thread is the story of a seeming chance meeting between an 11-year-old pan handler and a busy executive and how it changed both of their lives. This book is written from the perspective of the busy executive, Laura Schroff, and her thoughts on how this young boy impacted her life in ways she couldn’t have dreamed. I thought it did a good job of fleshing out some of the very real problems and struggles with children born into poverty. I think so many of us live very sheltered and safe lives that it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to grow up and never know where you’ll be living, to have to figure out how to fend for yourself from a young age, to always be hungry, and how hard it would be to break the cycles of poverty and drug addiction when that’s all you know. On the flip side, I cringed at some of the decisions Laura made and how hurt this young boy — often with her being completely oblivious. It made me examine my own life and thought processes over things and decisions, especially in light of fostering. One of the parts of the book that I didn’t expect was that it wasn’t wrapped up in a neat bow and it didn’t have a perfect Hallmark movie ending. But I appreciated that it was real and gritty and the author was honest about her struggles. That said, I felt like the author shared a lot more about her background and life than maybe was necessary and sometimes it felt more like her memoir than the story that is promised in the subtitle. In some ways, it felt like she was trying to fill a word count for her manuscript. And yet, some of her story was very interesting and insightful. Verdict: 3 stars 2. The Rock, The Road, and the Rabbi I had seen this book advertised or mentioned so many different places, but I had no idea what it was about. I was looking for some new books to listen to on my Libby audiobook app and it was available to borrow from the library, so I started listening to it. Honestly, it seemed a little dry in the beginning and the introduction was kind of long and drawn out. But I’m glad I kept listening, because I learned so much and it opened so many passages in Scripture in a new light. Kathie Lee Gifford shares her journey of traveling to Israel and learning under a Messianic Rabbi. He helped her write many parts of the book and, as someone who has read the Bible from cover to cover many times in my life, I couldn’t believe how much I learned. I think that it helped that I visited Israel a few years ago and had gone to many of the places mentioned in the book so I could picture them in my mind as I was listening. And it made me anxious to go back again!! If you haven’t been to Israel, I think you’ll still find this book insightful, it just might not come alive as much if you can’t picture the sites and places in your mind. (However, this book might make you really want to visit there!) Verdict: 4 stars 3. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family I can’t tell you how many times people have recommended this book to me! Since I’m working on a book on the topic of parenting right now, I figured I should really read it. It was interesting to me how much of the book mirrored some of the lessons and journey God has had me on as a parent in the last 3 years. Much of it was refresher type of encouragement, but it was so good to read. I appreciated the author’s strong emphasis on the Gospel as that is often missing in parenting books. It’s so easy to focus on prescriptive parenting tactics instead of getting to the heart — pointing our kids to Jesus. In addition, I loved the underlying message that we won’t doing this parenting thing perfectly and that’s the point. If we were perfect parents, we wouldn’t need Jesus! While I didn’t agree with every tiny little thing in the book and I truly was irritated by the layout of the book, I am very glad I read this and think it’s a worthwhile read for every Christian parent! (A note on the layout: I think it needed more spacing and better breaking up of paragraphs, maybe some callout quotes, and possibly a different font? Yes, I’m weird in that book layouts can really make or break my reading experience. I’ve even been known to not read a book just because I felt like the layout was so poorly done!) Verdict: 4 stars 4. A Single Shard We’ve had this book on our shelf for a few years and I finally picked it up to read aloud to the kids. It’s the fictional account of a master potter, a homeless boy, big dreams, dashed hopes (literally), and how perseverance pays off. Truth be told, I really enjoyed the story and found it pretty engaging (even though I had mostly guessed what the ending was going to be!),  but the kids didn’t enjoy it. They said it was hard to follow and not super engaging. I think some of the was likely due to the fact that we’ve gotten way out of the habit of reading aloud (should I confess that it’s been almost two years — I think! — since we’ve read a book other than a devotional or the Bible out loud together??) and it’s going to take some time to get back into it. I also think that they’ve changed so much in the few years since we stopped reading aloud, that it’s going to take some trial and error to figure out what kinds of books will engage them now that they are older. Regardless of it not being a big hit, I’m going to celebrate that we read it, finished it, and learned some things about potters and ancient pottery and 12th century Korea. That’s a win, right?? 🙂 Verdict: 3 stars Classic Movie We Wa [...]
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Fintech Must Meet Cleantech. Fast.

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Fintech Must Meet Cleantech. Fast.
[...]
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SEC Proposes New Rules to Implement Resource Extraction Disclosure Rules

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SEC Proposes New Rules to Implement Resource Extraction Disclosure Rules
On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose new rules to require resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to foreign governments or the US government for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals, as required by Section 13(q) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act). These disclosure rules are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and follow the SEC’s 2012 rules, which were vacated by the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and 2016 rules, which were disapproved in part by a joint resolution of Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act on the grounds that the compliance burden on issuers was viewed as too significant. The new proposed rules, applicable to domestic and foreign issuers that engage in the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals and that are required to file annual reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act, would require annual disclosure on Form SD of applicable payments made to foreign governments or the US government. The new proposed rules differ from the 2016 rules in that they, among other things, allow for aggregation of payments by applicable jurisdiction, raise the thresholds for excluded de minimis payments and include an exemption from disclosure where such disclosure would conflict with applicable foreign law or pre-existing contract terms. Issuers with a fiscal year ending on or before June 30 would be required to submit the Form SD no later than March 31 in the calendar year following its most recent fiscal year, while issuers with a fiscal year ending after June 30 would be required to submit the Form SD no later than March 31 in the second calendar year following its most recent fiscal year. The new proposed rules also exempt smaller reporting companies and emerging growth companies from the disclosure requirements. In addition, the new proposed rules provide that required disclosure be treated as “furnished” and not “filed” for purposes of liability under Section 18 of the Exchange Act and provide that a newly public company would not be required to furnish the resource extraction disclosure until its Form SD for the first fiscal year following the fiscal year in which its initial public offering is completed. The full text of the SEC’s proposing release is available here. [...]
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How to Redeem the Welcome Bonus from the Alaska Airlines Visa

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How to Redeem the Welcome Bonus from the Alaska Airlines Visa
After you receive your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card welcome bonus, the fun begins. Here’s this card’s current offering: Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days... Ben Nickel-D’Andrea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Redeem the Welcome Bonus from the Alaska Airlines Visa originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Why a Family Should Make Major Financial Decisions Together

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Why a Family Should Make Major Financial Decisions Together
Whether or not you have the option to stay at home with your children or choose to work full or part-time, making major financial decisions with your partner or spouse can make a huge difference in your self-esteem and deepen your trust in each other. Having an equal voice in the big decisions, backed by ... Read More about Why a Family Should Make Major Financial Decisions Together The post Why a Family Should Make Major Financial Decisions Together appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Our Journey to Becoming Foster Parents

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Our Journey to Becoming Foster Parents
Our Journey to Becoming Foster Parents “What’s your plan for foster care? How many kids are you planning to accept at a time? What ages of kids are you planning to foster? Are you hoping to adopt from the foster care system?” These questions and many more have been asked by very well-meaning, caring people over the last few months as we’ve shared the news that we were becoming foster parents. If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I’m a to do list queen. I love having order and organization in our lives. I’m a big proponent of setting goals. And yet, when it comes to foster care, I don’t have a pre-determined plan or fill-in-the-blank answers. In fact, my answer to pretty much every question is, “I don’t know. We’re open to how God leads.” That might seem vague or even like a cop out. But it’s the truest answer I have to give right now. Why We Said Yes to Foster Parenting You see, we aren’t saying yes to foster care because it fits into a grand plan we’ve written out for the next 10 years of our life. In all honesty, saying yes to foster care feels pretty crazy with our current workload and responsibilities and season of life. And yet, to the deepest part of our core, we know this is God’s call on our life and we know that He has a plan for our future that is greater and bigger and crazier than what we could dream up. So we’ve jumped off the cliff of our comfort and plunging into the unknown in full confidence that God’s got this. He knows what the future holds and He’s the One Who holds the future — and we can trust Him to carry us, even on the really hard days. In this week’s episode of the podcast, Jesse and I share in-depth how we ended up on this journey (it wasn’t one we ever anticipated being on!), why we made the decision to pursue getting licensed, what the licensing process was like, and what we’ve learned along the way. We also answer some of your most often-asked questions regarding foster care. In This Episode:  [01:23] My exercise ball and cleaning out our closets have been saving our lives. We share why. [06:38] I just finished reading Parenting and wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes. [10:56] Jesse is reading Hunter Killer. [12:40] The unexpected path that led us to become foster parents.  [19:37] We talk about what the classes and certification were like.  [26:00] After finishing all the classes, we moved on to the home study. [29:18] What the best step to start with to look into fostering? [32:21] Why we decided to actively involve our kids in the decision-making process. [34:51] What are some of the best ways others can come alongside and help foster families?  Links and Resources: My Exercise Ball Parenting by Paul David Tripp Hunter Killer by Kevin Maurer and Kevin McCurley CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. [...]
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3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make

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3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make
Retirement planning is an important part of long-term financial wellness. For women, the process can be especially fraught. In general, women tend to make less money and live longer than men. This combination can lead to lower Social Security benefits and other issues. Let’s take a look at some of the costliest Social Security mistakes that women might make. Deciding to take Social Security... [...]
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My Goals For This Week (+ details on my baby to do list)

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My Goals For This Week (+ details on my baby to do list)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. As I told you last week, I’m doing weekly goals in 2020 instead of yearly goals. We’re only a week into the new year, but I can already tell you that I am loving this approach and couldn’t believe how much I got done last week. (Okay, it probably helped that the kids were out of school, we had very few extra commitments, and it was an overall quiet week. We’ll see how it goes this week when we’re back to our usual schedule and pace and we have commitments and plans every evening!)  Before I share this week’s goals, here’s an update on how I did on last week’s goals… Last Week’s Goals (progress update) Personal Goals 1. Get in 50,000 steps total. 2. Finish reading Parenting and An Invisible Thread. 3. Get up at 5:30 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. (I hit this goal every day but Monday.) Home/Family Goals 4. Declutter the entire house. (See the pictures of our progress here. (Note: We did all the big projects this week, but I came up with a list of little areas I want to declutter and I’m planning to tackle one small project every week day fo r the next few weeks.) 5. Finish reading aloud A Single Shard together. 6. Start a new family devotional book together. (We decided to go with The Ology since we already had it and had been wanting to go through it.) Work/Blog Goals 7. Spend 12 hours on my manuscript outline. (My outline is done — yay!! This next week I get to start writing!) 8. Open up the blogging Mastermind to new members. 9. Get everything ready for our big $4 course sale next week. Word of the Year Goals 10. Pop popcorn and watch a movie as a family. (We watched Swiss Family Robinson and the kids really enjoyed it!) 11. Take Kaitlynn out shopping. (See details on our shopping trip here.) 12. Make tea, light a candle, and write thank you notes. I was SO excited to see all those things crossed off the list! YAY!!! A Word About My Baby To Do List You’ll start to notice baby items on my goals list each week. A few weeks ago, I sat down and made out a list of everything I needed to do/buy/get before the baby is born (I’m due April 30). I divided this list up into weekly tasks so that I could slowly chip away at it instead of waiting until the last few weeks and feeling overwhelmed by everything I needed to do. This makes the countdown more exciting and it also is in line with my word for the year — because it’s going to let me savor this special time even more instead of feeling sort of rushed with to-do’s. 2020: Week 2 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 52,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) 2. Finish reading Romancing Your Child’s Heart and Awful Beautiful Life and listening to the Killing Patton audiobook. 3. Get up at 5:30 a.m. every week day. Home/Family Goals 4. Decluttering: Garage freezer, bathroom closet, attic area, laundry room, car. 5. Start a new read aloud book together as a family. (Any great suggestions??) 6. Inventory what baby clothes we need to buy and purchase these. Work/Blog Goals 7. Finish the introduction and write chapter 1 of my manuscript. 8. Write an in-depth honest review of Butcher Box. 9. Run our $4 course sale. Word of the Year Goals 10. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 11. Go out to dinner with Jesse for our anniversary. 12. Make tea, light a candle, and write a card to Jesse. What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Ethereum Strikes Back

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Ethereum Strikes Back
Decentralized finance (DeFi) has literally exploded this year. 2020 is set to be even bigger. DeFi offers a unique way to earn interest on digital assets without a middleman taking a cut. Decentralized finance is evolving and Ethereum based DeFi is at the forefront. While several other smart contract platforms have been taking pot shots at Ethereum’s lead, none of Ethereum’s would be killers have been able to gain significant traction this year. When we look at the Ethereum ecosystem, 2019 was a year of continued growth and innovation.  Looking at the numbers: 80m+: Total Ethereum accounts 4 million: New active Ethereum addresses 4.7 million: Ether issued his year from block rewards. 8,516: Live Ethereum nodes 520: New decentralized applications in 2019 If you’ve have followed Ethereum’s narrative in 2019, you have likely noticed the growth of the Decentralized Finance ecosystem. DeFi brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in value into the Ethereum ecosystem. The first killer app for Ethereum was ICOs and raising money for cryptocurrency projects. The ICO was a revolutionary shift in fund raising, which drove a massive bull market. The ICO craze in 2017 raised billions of dollars, peaking in January 2018, and launched the programmable money race and the crypto app ecosystem, we have today. DeFi is Ethereum’s second killer app. In 2019, the DeFi was the most impactful trend in the crypto ecosystem. I expect that will continue to be the story in 2020, as DeFi could be worth $5 billion this year. The traditional banking system on the verge of collapse, interest rates are negative and people that save are penalized for putting money aside. The story use to be that when you would give your money to the bank, to keep it safe, the bank would lend it to others and charge them interest on the money they borrowed and in turn the bank would pay you interest for using your money, minus the cost of running the bank account. Well, DeFi lets people earn interest again, this time from their crypto assets. DeFi is an umbrella concept describing financial services built on top of public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. DeFi runs on trustless protocols, without the need for financial intermediaries. It lets individuals and businesses borrow, lend, trade, invest, exchange, hedge, and store crypto assets. DeFi includes things like Maker which is both a stablecoin and a collateralized lending system. Today, just about all DeFi projects are built on Ethereum, making it the gold standard for dApps. DeFi accounts for a substantial share of Ethereum’s ecosystem, with applications like: Lending: Dharma Lever, Compound, Celsius Network. Margin Trading: dYdX, Nuo Derivatives: dYdX, MARKET Protocol Tokenization: Abacus, Centrifuge, Harbor Insurance: CDx Prediction markets: Augur   Today most of these projects aren’t making money. For example MetaMask processes thousands of transactions every day, but doesn’t have a way to monetize. The way to measure DeFi’s growth is by the Ether (ETH) that’s locked in smart contracts. Currently it’s worth over $680 million (around 2.5 million ETH), with MakerDAO dominating across the major apps. This year several contenders have tried to unthrone Ethereum, like Waves, Cardano, EOS and Tron, but Ethereum’s, network effects and abundance of developers (Ethereum has 4x more developers than any other crypto ecosystem), make it very difficult for other smart contract platforms to sway away DeFi apps. What about Bitcoin, can DeFi be replicated on Bitcoin? DApps are possible on Bitcoin, but coding them is much more complicated, than on Ethereum. So far, Bitcoin’s most successful DeFi application is the Lightning Network. In 2019, the Lightning Network had impressive growth, with more than 6,000 active users and $6.2 million locked in the network. Other Bitcoin dApps are decentralized exchanges like Bisq or Sparkswap. Ethereum is growing and getting stronger. Network activity is up, development is on track, and DeFi is hitting record figures. The only thing not so positive, is Ethereum’s  price. You would expect the price to follow suit as DeFi has been growing and it probably will in 2020. With Ethereum becoming a programmable store of value, it’s well on track to find the niche that will fuel the next bull run. Because the last bull run was based on ICO speculation, some had written off Ethereum based finance. DeFi could provide a tangible value and an opportunity to build financial infrastructure that is open to everybody, and starts to change how we interact with markets. This is nothing to take lightly and I am excited to watch this growth and the applications that will develop in the coming months and years. Image Source Subscribe by email to join the 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) The post Ethereum Strikes Back appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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You May Have to Give More Personal Data to Get a Personal Loan

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You May Have to Give More Personal Data to Get a Personal Loan
Would you feel comfortable disclosing your bank account information on a personal loan application? What about your work history? Your college major? That’s what it could take to borrow money from some loan companies that consider alternative data — which can be anything that isn’t in your credit report — when deciding whether to approve... Annie Millerbernd is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: amillerbernd@nerdwallet.com. The article You May Have to Give More Personal Data to Get a Personal Loan originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Getting Ready for The Holidays In Style #WearBlairWell

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Getting Ready for The Holidays In Style #WearBlairWell
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Blair.com. All opinions are my own. Ready or not, the holidays are coming!  It is just about time for Thanksgiving. And then, before you know it, Christmas will be knocking on your door. When it comes to planning and organizing, it is something I enjoy.  But, I ... Read More about Getting Ready for The Holidays In Style #WearBlairWell The post Getting Ready for The Holidays In Style #WearBlairWell appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 23), Goal-Setting, Decluttering, Birthday Parties, and a fun girls’ night

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 23), Goal-Setting, Decluttering, Birthday Parties, and a fun girls’ night
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. 23 weeks!! And I officially “popped” this week. I kept waiting for it to happen and this week it totally did. In fact, Jesse walked in while I was walking on the treadmill and took one look at me and said, “Whoa!” when he saw my belly. And then he realized that he had said it out loud… and I started dying laughing, because it’s exactly what I feel every time I look down or look in the mirror. Highlights We cleaned out our master bedroom closet to make space for the baby’s things (we’re planning to have the baby sleep in our room for the first months, possibly longer). It’s getting real now that we have baby blankets and baby things sitting in our closet! Notable This was a rough week. I struggled with a lot more nausea and had a lot more fatigue than usual. In fact, at least half of the day most days, I could only manage to be up for 5-15 minutes at a time and then needed to lie down. I think I maybe overdid it the last few weeks (+ I was sick) and we were traveling and I think my body just got completely worn down. I tried to take it really, really easy the past few days and I’m feeling a lot more energetic. I’m so grateful! It was a good reminder to me that this is a season to make sure to really pace myself and take time to rest. Cravings Very little this week, since I was nauseous most of the time. But I’m so grateful that the nausea isn’t anywhere what it was like in my first trimester. Also, I keep thinking about so many people who feel sick all the time and it’s not for a good cause nor does it have an end in sight. Weight gain: 15 lbs. This Week at Our House We drove back from Kansas last weekend (it’s about an 11 to 12-hour drive). Silas asked if he could wear his jammies on the drive… he is such a PJ-lover and I wonder if he’ll ever grow out of loving wearing PJs as often as possible! 🙂 On the drive home, I worked on planning for 2020, including planning out my Weekly Goals for this past week. (Did you see my post on why I’m not setting yearly goals and am setting weekly goals instead?) Last week, I asked for ideas on Instagram to help with my lingering hacking cough that was keeping me up at night. I got so many great ideas! As a result, I started taking elderberry syrup (thank you, Four Mothers Elderberry!) and putting Vick’s on my feet with socks every night and it’s really made a difference. I’m still not 100%, but I’m so much better than I was last week! You all are the best! One of our biggest projects for the week was decluttering all the majorly-neglected spots in our home. (You can see all of the before and after pictures here.) We had multiple birthday parties to attend this past week (I guess it’s a popular week for birthdays??). I loved the way my friend, Fran, chose to celebrate her birthday — with a TAK PAK Party. We all brought specific items and then packed backpacks with these items for teen girls who are entering foster care. (Read more about TAK PAKS here.) From My Heart… “I’m at my wit’s end! I can’t seem to connect with my daughter at all! It’s like she just doesn’t want to have a relationship with me!” A distraught mom confided this to me recently. My heart went out to her and I asked some more questions about the situation. Two things I asked were, “What does your daughter like? What is she interested in and passionate about?” After the mom listed off some things, I said, “What would it look like for you to step into her world and be interested in those things with her?” The mom abruptly responded, “Oh! I couldn’t do that! That’s just not me!” Here’s the thing I’ve learned from doing it all wrong: We can’t expect our kids to love all the same things we love and get excited about all the same things we get excited about. I used to get frustrated because my kids were so different than me. But then, I began seeing that their wildly different interests were an opportunity for me to learn and grow and expand my world. My kids have taught me so much about so many subjects that I used to have zero clue about. They have helped me develop new interests and new skills. And they’ve stretched and pushed me outside my comfort zone. And it has made my world so much richer and interesting! Want to Deepen a Relationship? For instance, Kaitlynn absolutely adores Bath & Body Works, so she’s teaching me all about how to get the best deal there. I’ve learned all about their scents and sales and money back guarantee. And she and I went one night this past week with her well-researched list and gift card and $10/$40 coupon and she floored me by getting two bags full of stuff for only $10.80 out of pocket — and saving $98!!! As I watched her strategically shop last night, I thought: 1) She needs to start her own blog (but she’s not interested in blogging, and that’s okay!) and 2) I would have missed this had I not been willing to get out of my little, “I don’t like to shop or go to the mall” mentality and jumped in and embraced something my daughter loves. Want to deepen a relationship with someone? Care about what they care about. Be interested in what they are interested in. And let them open up a whole new world of ideas and insights and inspiration to you! [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, January 4

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, January 4
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Decluttering Our Home (before and after pictures)

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Decluttering Our Home (before and after pictures)
Need some motivation to declutter your home? We’ve been working on decluttering our home this week and I wanted to share the progress we’ve been making: As I shared in my Weekly Goals post, this week, my goal was to declutter the house from top to bottom. I decided to focus on the biggest problem areas in our home for this week — namely the storage room, the Master Bedroom closet, the library, my bedside drawers, and my purse. The Storage Room I’m pretty embarrassed to show you these photos because this room has been neglected for so incredibly long. In fact, when we moved to this house — almost two years ago — we never unpacked or organized a lot of the boxes in here. We just stuck stuff in here and I hoped to eventually get to it. Obviously, it took quite awhile to get around to that “eventually” plan! There were hundreds and hundreds of school papers in here. I didn’t want to throw anything out  since this was theirs… so since they were on Christmas break, this was the perfect time to tackle the boxes of school papers. They pared them down to a few small tubs and recycled a TON of old papers! In the process, they loved getting to look back on how far they have come academically in the last few years! Jesse also went through a lot of his old law firm stuff and so many different old tech things. He ended up finding quite a few things he had forgotten we had or that he had wanted to find — including one item he’d been looking for for 4 years! The three pictures above show the final results. It took hours of work, but it was SO worth it! Our Master Bedroom Closet So our closet wasn’t near at all as messy as the storage room, but it still needed quite a bit of TLC. Both Jesse and I got rid of quite a few clothes, we pared down some other things, we moved some items to other parts of the house where they really belong, and we cleared out a space for the baby’s stuff. (We’re planning to have the baby sleep in our room for at least the first few months, probably longer. So I wanted to have the three drawers on my side of the closet plus some of the shelves available for the baby things.) I couldn’t believe how much stuff Jesse got rid of — including shirts that he’d had for 8-10 years!! My Bedside Drawers Next up, my bedside drawers. This has become a catchall for all sorts of random odds and ends. (Can you believe all of that was in there! Yikes!!) I thought about what I actually want to keep in my bedside table and couldn’t come up with much when it really came down to it! So here’s what it looks like now! The Library Okay, so the before and after pictures of the library aren’t as impressive, but this was a BIG project that I’ve been wanting to tackle for months. I finally took all of the books off the shelves and re-organized them in a really systematic way. And now we know where to put new books when they come in and where to re-shelf books when we put them back! It feels so amazing to have a system!! My Purse And last but not least, I went through my purse. I started by dumping all the contents out — yep, ALL of that was in my purse! Then, I threw out a lot of stuff, put some other things that didn’t belong in my purse away, and only put back what I really want and need in my purse. Now, every time I go to take my purse with me somewhere, it makes me smile to see how clean and organized it is! Let’s see if I can keep it this way! Did you do any decluttering this week? P.S. I love my purse! A number of people reached out via messages and asked where I got it. It’s from Amazon and it’s around $35-$37 there. I use it pretty much every day and have had it for almost a year. Other than a little wear and tear on the strap, it’s held up really well! Here’s the link to it. [...]
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How to Optimize Chase Freedom, Discover it for Q1 2020

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How to Optimize Chase Freedom, Discover it for Q1 2020
It’s a new quarter, a new year and a new decade. That means it’s also time for new 5% bonus categories for the Chase Freedom® and select Discover cards including the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back. From Jan. 1 through March 31, 2020, you’ll earn 5% cash back on up... Sara Rathner is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: srathner@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @sarakrathner. The article How to Optimize Chase Freedom, Discover it for Q1 2020 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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9 Ways to Recover from Overspending During the Holidays

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9 Ways to Recover from Overspending During the Holidays
The packages have been opened. The kids are loving their new toys.  You are enjoying your coffee one morning and reading your mail when you see them… THE BILLS! Yikes! It seems you went a little over your budget. It was fun and the joy you brought to your kids’ faces was worth it. However, ... Read More about 9 Ways to Recover from Overspending During the Holidays The post 9 Ways to Recover from Overspending During the Holidays appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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3 FREE Things You Can Do This Weekend to Change Your Year

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3 FREE Things You Can Do This Weekend to Change Your Year
Want to set yourself up for success in 2020? Here are three things you can do this weekend to have a happier, healthier, and more joy-filled new year! Best of all, these are all free! It’s the first weekend of 2020! And it’s the perfect time to be intentional and strategic to set yourself up for success and peace this year! I’ve got three suggestions of things to do this weekend to help you have a better year… 1. Do a Budget Audit The new year is a great time to sit down with your budget and really analyze every penny you spend. If you are married and share the budget with someone else, be sure to do this as a joint audit! (Here’s a post on How to Have a Budget Meeting.) As you go through each budget category, ask yourself: Do we need to spend this? Is this budget category still serving us well? Is there a way we could decrease this expense category? Do we need to tweak this category at all? Jesse and I use the YNAB software to track our personal and business expenses. We love it and highly recommend it. It especially makes it easy to see all your expenses and income at a glance so you can easily do a budget audit together. Note: If you don’t have a zero-based budget in place, this weekend is the perfect weekend to set one up! I highly recommend reading The Total Money Makeover to help with this (your library should have it!). But for this weekend, you can start with this article on How to Make a Zero-Based Budget. 2. Declutter Your Space What areas of your home are particularly cluttered or disorganized right now? This weekend would be a great time to spend some clearing out the clutter and making more breathing room in your home. (Need some motivation on what you should declutter? Check out my post on 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Clutter.) We’ve been working hard at decluttering our home from top to bottom this past week. We’ve been amazed at how much happier and simpler our life feels now that our closet and storage room and library are pared down and much more organized (pictures coming tomorrow to share the progress we’ve made this week! By the way, I highly recommend that you go ahead and get rid of what you declutter. Go drop it off at a donation center this weekend. No need to lug it around in the back of your car for weeks. Or worse, to have it sit by your back door for the next two months! While you’re decluttering your home, think of other areas you might need to declutter: Can you delete some emails from your inbox? Should you unsubscribe from email lists that are no longer serving you? What about Instagram accounts or Facebook Groups that aren’t bringing joy and life to your life? 3. Downsize Your Commitments Don’t just do a budget audit or declutter your home, if you want to have a great year, it’s time to take a hard look at your calendar and commitments and see if any of them need to be pared down, too. Look at your calendar for January. Does it feel overwhelming or doable? Does it feel life-giving or life-draining? Now take a hard look at the rest of the year and see how it feels. Are there weekly commitments you have that are sucking the life out of you? Are you doing anything just because you feel you have to or because you feel obligated to do so? Could you cut back, tweak, delegate, ask for some help, lower some expectations, or just say no to something (or many somethings) for 2020? There’s no point in running yourself ragged and not having any time to breathe and love the life and people right in front of you! There you have it. Three FREE things you can do this weekend to set yourself up for success this year! I challenge you to pick one (or ALL!) of these things and commit to making it happen this weekend. If you plan to do so, leave a comment below and let me know. Not only will it provide a little extra accountability for you, but I’d love to cheer you on in your endeavors! photo credit; credit; photo credit [...]
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‘America’s Got Talent’ Auditions Are Coming to These 4 Cities

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‘America’s Got Talent’ Auditions Are Coming to These 4 Cities
Ready to propel yourself from relative obscurity to a stage in front of millions of viewers? Here’s your chance to shine on NBC’s hit TV show “America’s Got Talent.” The audition crew is on the road to find the diamonds in the rough for season 15. Open-call auditions will be held in four more cities in January and February. America’s Got Talent Season 15 Audition Dates and Locations Auditions have already taken place in San Diego; Louisville, Kentucky; New York; Dallas; and Miami. But there are other opportunities to prove yourself. Las Vegas, Nevada: Jan. 7, 2020 Morongo Casino in Cabazon, California: Jan. 18, 2020 Detroit, Michigan: Jan. 21, 2020 Los Angeles, California: Febr. 1, 2020 If you don’t live near any of these cities, don’t worry. You can submit a video audition instead. How to Apply to ‘America’s Got Talent’ There are a few steps involved before you can show the world what they’ve been missing. Even if you have signed up and auditioned with the show before, you will need to do so again for the latest season.  Eligibility Requirements Nothing is worse than being discounted on a technicality. Make sure you’re eligible to participate before you sign up. The good news is that we’ve read the fine print, so you don’t have to.  The big takeaways: You must be a United States citizen, legal permanent resident or hold a current employment authorization card at the time of the audition. Minors may audition, but they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Also, you can’t be currently running for public office… thankfully. We don’t need politics interrupting our time with Simon Cowell, right? You must agree not to run for public office until a year afterward, too. Sorry in advance if you were looking to “America’s Got Talent” to jump-start your campaign. Audition Registration Process If you fit the bill so far, you’ll need to head over to the ”America’s Got Talent” audition website to create a “performer profile” for season 15. For applicants interested in auditioning in person, you will need to register for the nearest city and fill out some paperwork on the type of performance you’re planning. Solo fire juggler? K-pop dance group? Or maybe you yodel while shepherding of a flock of corgis? Whatever your act entails, you’ll need to bring the appropriate paperwork with you, along with a valid ID. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM 2020 Financial Goals 12/31/19 @ 1:31 AM Selling My Things 1/2/20 @ 8:12 AM Work from Home Opportunities 12/29/19 @ 11:13 PM buying "boxes" from AmazonI 12/30/19 @ 9:26 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question Tips to Nail Your Audition The “America’s Got Talent” website has some general guidelines to make sure your act is worthy of public berating by Simon Cowell. Here’s some advice to set you apart: Singers, be ready to belt your heart out. There are no mics in the audition rooms. Make sure your act is fit to perform at a theatre in front of thousands of people. For dancers, one or two full songs are best for performances. It’s difficult to secure rights to medleys for broadcast. Bring any relevant equipment with you, and have your music files downloaded. Don’t stream your music. Be fearless and original, and make sure to dress to impress. And a personal tip, if you want to shake it up: Consider the winners of recent seasons — a music-themed magician, a ventriloquist and a ukulele-playing singer-songwriter for seasons 13, 12 and 11, respectively. Maybe your talents are more fit for other shows? Here’s how to apply to nine of the most popular game shows that are open to applicants.  Good luck, Penny Hoarders! Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He lives off a diet of stale puns and iced coffee. Read his ​full bio here​, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Thank You

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Thank You
[...]
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5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want to Save Money on Groceries

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5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want to Save Money on Groceries
Are you trying to save more money on groceries and stick to a grocery budget? NEVER do these five things! Psst! Looking for more ways to cut your grocery bill? Check out my FREE cheat sheet on how to cut your grocery bill by $50 this week! Guest post from Katrina of Frugal Fun Mom If you’re a busy mom, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is go to the grocery store — let alone go to the grocery store with cranky kids and still try to find ways to save money on your groceries. I get it. I feel the same way! While I do enjoy saving money on groceries, the actual process can be daunting — especially when time is limited and you have kids who would rather be doing anything but grocery shopping. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to saving money on groceries, my advice is to never do these 5 things… 1. Never Use Grocery Delivery or Pick Up Services I can hear the gasp – yes, I said it. You should never use grocery delivery or pick up services. What?! Yes, never… at least not if your goal is to save money on groceries! While these services are super convenient, they come at a cost and some of these costs are hidden. While a lot of grocery or delivery services are free, most are only free if you buy a certain quantity of items – which can mean you overspend just to make sure you don’t have to pay delivery fees. Also, most of these services do not allow you to use coupons. I think we can all agree that coupons are like free money, so you always want the option to use them when you shop. Yes, you can choose to buy only those items which are on sale, but you still can’t use coupons – your free money – to buy those items. If I haven’t convinced you already, the main reason I don’t use grocery delivery or pick up services is that I miss out on all the hidden deals inside the store. I’m talking about the deals you find in the clearance bins, discount section, or the manager’s specials aisle. Plus, when you find a great deal in clearance and can use a coupon on top of the deal, you have just scored yourself an even better deal that you never would’ve found using grocery delivery or pick up services. 2. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without a List Make sure you always go to the grocery store with a list of stuff you need – don’t go into the store blind! If you do, you will overspend and most likely buy things you don’t need. Make a list of the things you need and try your best not to deter from your list while shopping. 3. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without Looking Over the Weekly Ad Always look at the weekly ad before you head to the grocery store! Make sure you know what is on sale, and what is not. If you have multiple grocery stores in your area, compare prices and deals by looking at the weekly ads. If you don’t have a newspaper subscription and don’t receive the ads, you can always find the weekly ads online or by downloading the grocery store app to your smartphone. 4. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without Your Coupons This one should be a no-brainer, but just in case your forgot – make sure to always take your coupons with you when you go shopping. You never know when you will come across an unexpected or unplanned deal at the store. Especially when you’re digging through the clearance or mark down bins. I like to take my big coupon binder that holds all my coupons, as well as my mini organizer, with me every time I shop. I put specific coupons in my mini organizer that I know I will use at the grocery store based off their weekly ad. Then, when I bring my big coupon binder along with all my other coupons, I make sure to get maximum savings at the store when I find that unexpected deal because I have all my coupons with me. 5. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without a Budget My final tip is to never go to the grocery store without a budget. Why, you might ask? Again, because you will overspend. Even if you do find a good deal on an item, it’s not a good deal if you don’t have the money to buy it. Make sure to have a grocery budget and stick to it. If you have extra money after you buy all the things you need, then go ahead and buy those unexpected deals you find in the clearance bin that you can add to your home stockpile – but don’t overspend! If you can stick to these 5 guidelines, I guarantee you will save money on groceries. Remember that saving money on groceries is not always easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it. It takes a little work, but saving money for your household is so worth it! You can do it momma! Katrina Rauch is a full-time blogger and a mom of three. Her blog, Frugal Fun Mom, is dedicated to helping moms discover practical ways to save money, find encouragement for everyday mom chaos, and be inspired with frugal fun ideas to enjoy their kids. Looking for more grocery savings tips? If you’re looking for more ways to cut your grocery bill, be sure to sign up for my FREE cheat sheet on 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill by $50! Plus, check out the links below for more grocery saving tips: 25 Ways to Save Money on Groceries How to Save Money on Groceries When You Only Eat Whole Foods 18 Creative Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill How to Save Money on Groceries When You Only Eat Whole Foods 10 Simple Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill How I Cut $80 Off Our Weekly Grocery Bill 4 Reasons Why You Can’t Save Money on Groceries 5 Tips to Save Time and Money on Groceries How I Save on Groceries With a Houseful of Teenage Boys [...]
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Best Travel Credit Cards to Pay Cell Phone Bills

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Best Travel Credit Cards to Pay Cell Phone Bills
Cell phones have transitioned from a luxury to a necessity in today’s busy world. We spend a lot of money to have our cell phones by our side: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends $1,188 per year on their cell phone bill. And the bill is much higher for a... Lee Huffman is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Best Travel Credit Cards to Pay Cell Phone Bills originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Get interactive 2020 Organizing and Goals Diaries for just $9 total!!

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Get interactive 2020 Organizing and Goals Diaries for just $9 total!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Get Organized Gal is running a BIG sale on their 2020 Diaries right now! You can get both the Organize in 5 Diary and the Priorities and Goals Diary for just $9 total! That’s a $20 savings!! Both of these diaries are interactive — meaning you can type in them, save them, and print them with your information filled out. The Organize In 5 Diary is an interactive diary with a 5-minute decluttering, simplifying, or organizing task for every day of the year. Each day, you read your Organize In 5 task. The action is described in simple steps — easy and achievable. The daily tasks cover home, work, closet, computer, health, finances, time management, relationships, family, and even relaxation. Next, set the timer and go. Just 5 minutes and you’re done! The Goals & Priorities Diary is a structured diary for advancing your goals and getting your most important tasks done every day. Each day you’re guided to focus on the things that matter most — freeing you from overwhelm while allowing you to make progress on goals. The structure leads you to set yearly and monthly goals, then to translate those goals into daily tasks. Every day you’re prompted to identify your top three priorities and do these first. It’s a systematic, stress-free way to advance your goals. Go here to get both diaries for just $9 total! [...]
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This Money-Saving Challenge Starts With Just a Single Penny

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This Money-Saving Challenge Starts With Just a Single Penny
What difference can saving your pennies make? A lot, it turns out, if you’re doing the penny challenge. This money-saving challenge helps you put aside $667.95 in a year — or $671.61 in a leap year. To participate in the challenge, follow these steps: Start by saving one penny on the first day. Each day that follows, add one cent to the amount you saved the day before. For example, on day two, you’d add $0.02 to your savings. On day three, you’d add $0.03 and so on. Continue this pattern every day for an entire year. Now, please note: You’re not simply saving one penny a day. If you did that, you’d wind up with only $3.65 in savings at the end of the year (or $3.66 in a leap year). Pretty pointless. The key to growing your savings with this challenge is adding an additional penny to what you’re depositing each day, not to your total savings. So on day two, your total will be $0.03 because you’re adding $0.02 to the penny from the first day. On day three, you’ll have a total of $0.06 after making your daily savings deposit. Here’s how much you’d deposit each day — along with your savings balance — for the first week of the penny challenge: Day Daily Savings Balance 1 $0.01 $0.01 2 $0.02 $0.03 3 $0.03 $0.06 4 $0.04 $0.10 5 $0.05 $0.15 6 $0.06 $0.21 7 $0.07 $0.28 You’re starting out with super small amounts, but your money will grow over the course of the year. And because the daily saving amounts are nominal, you don’t have to stress about needing a bunch of money to build your savings.  On day 365 of the challenge, your daily deposit will be $3.65, but you’ll end up with a total of $667.95. (Trust us, we did the math.) That’s $667.95 you could add to your emergency fund or use to pay down debt. It’s money you could put toward a vacation or a shopping spree. Having a plan for how you’d like to use your savings can be a great motivation for sticking with this challenge all year long. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Super Easy Tips for Saving $1000 or More in 2020 12/31/19 @ 5:14 AM What kind of store bought pizza is almost or as good as pizza chains? 12/27/19 @ 9:06 PM M Saving for and with grandchildren 12/23/19 @ 6:52 PM M What has been your money epiphany? 2/22/19 @ 10:59 AM See more in Save Money or ask a money question Tackling the Penny Challenge by the Week While it’s easy to find enough spare change to get this challenge started, it gets progressively difficult as the days and weeks pass — especially if most of your financial transactions are cashless. Grouping your daily savings into weeks and transferring them from your checking account to your savings account can help streamline things.  Here’s how much you’d need to add to your savings each week, along with a running total of your balance’s growth: Week Weekly Savings Balance 1 $0.28 $0.28 2 $0.77 $1.05 3 $1.26 $2.31 4 $1.75 $4.06 5 $2.24 $6.30 6 $2.73 $9.03 7 $3.22 $12.25 8 $3.71 $15.96 9 $4.20 $20.16 10 $4.69 $24.85 11 $5.18 $30.03 12 $5.67 $35.70 13 $6.16 $41.86 14 $6.65 $48.51 15 $7.14 $55.65 16 $7.63 $63.28 17 $8.12 $71.40 18 $8.61 $80.01 19 $9.10 $89.11 20 $9.59 $98.70 21 $10.08 $108.78 22 $10.57 $119.35 23 $11.06 $130.41 24 $11.55 $141.96 25 $12.04 $154.00 26 $12.53 $166.53 27 $13.02 $179.55 28 $13.51 $193.06 29 $14.00 $207.06 30 $14.49 $221.55 31 $14.98 $236.53 32 $15.47 $252.00 33 $15.96 $267.96 34 $16.45 $284.41 35 $16.94 $301.35 36 $17.43 $318.78 37 $17.92 $336.70 38 $18.41 $355.11 39 $18.90 $374.01 40 $19.39 $393.40 41 $19.88 $413.28 42 $20.37 $433.65 43 $20.86 $454.51 44 $21.35 $475.86 45 $21.84 $497.70 46 $22.33 $520.03 47 $22.82 $542.85 48 $23.31 $566.16 49 $23.80 $589.96 50 $24.29 $614.25 51 $24.78 $639.03 52 $28.92 $667.95 If you’re doing this challenge in a leap year (hint: 2020 is one), add an additional $3.66 to your savings in the last week to end up with a total of $671.61 for the year. Using weekly balance transfers makes this challenge a more realistic feat than trying to find the right amount of spare change each day. Schedule automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account to make it even simpler to save.  Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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The 5 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Wait on

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The 5 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Wait on
This post comes from Elizabeth Harper of partner site DealNews.com. Plenty of stores will ring in the new year with great sales. But if you’re wondering what to buy in January, you should know that not everything will be a bargain this month, so you’ll want to shop smart to get the best prices. Following is our take on the things you should buy — and shouldn’t buy — during the... [...]
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My Word for 2020

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My Word for 2020
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. You all had such great guesses on my Word of the Year for 2020. Surprisingly, only one of you got it right (at least, I think it was only one of you!) Like usual, as 2019 started winding down and we headed in November, I began contemplating what over-arching theme I want to pursue in the following year. My word for the year came pretty easily to me, as it often does. I sat with it for a few weeks to make sure I really loved it. And then I asked Jesse for his thoughts. He agreed that the word seemed fitting for 2020. So without further ado, my word for 2020 is: Savor. What Does Savor Mean? There are a variety of definitions for savor, but the basic definition is, “to taste or smell with pleasure.” I decided to expand my own personal definition of savor to encompass slowing down and fully experiencing life through my senses. I love how Vocabulary.com defines it: Whether it’s a feeling of joy or a piece of pecan pie — when you savor something, you enjoy it to the fullest. When you savor something, you enjoy it so much that you want to make it last forever. With that in mind, savor carries a connotation of doing something slowly. If you savor that flourless chocolate tart, then you eat it slowly, bit by bit, deliberately picking every last crumb off the plate. The word is often applied to eating, but you can savor any pleasurable experience, whether it’s the winning touchdown or your moment in the spotlight. Why Did I Choose This Word? My personality is one that doesn’t tend to do life slowly. I usually have an end goal in mind with almost everything and I can put my head down, my blinders on, and just aim straight for that objective. While there are good things about this tendency, it also means that I often miss a lot of beauty and experience along the way. This year, I want to take the time to really stop and savor life, to experience the richness of the everyday, and to notice what I’m tasting, touching, hearing, seeing, and feeling. I plan to not only be aware of this as I go throughout each day, but I also am going to set 2-3 goals per week that are focused on helping me use my senses to more fully experience life. To hear more about this word and why I chose it for 2020, be sure listen to this week’s podcast episode where I share more about choosing a word for the year, a book I just finished, a remedy that’s helping with my hacking cough, and more about weekly goal-setting versus yearly goal-setting. In This Episode:  [01:07] Happy New Year! It feels like it has been forever since we’ve recorded a podcast! Listen in for a quick recap of our holiday! [05:36] Vicks VapoRub with socks is saving my life this week! [07:33] I finished An Invisible Thread on the drive home. [10:15] Why choose a word of the year and what was mine from 2019? [11:33] My word for 2020 is Savor. I share more about choosing this word. [14:13] How do I plan to live this out? [16:35] My goals for week 1 – January 2020 are… [19:31] What is your word of the year? How are you setting your goals in 2020? Links and Resources: Vicks VapoRub An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park My Word for 2019 Why You Should Choose a Word for the Year Free Printable Word of the Year Ideas My Word of the Year for 2018 One Word for 2016 CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. Did you choose a word for 2020? If so, I’d love to hear what it is and why you chose it! [...]
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Why I’m Not Setting Yearly Goals in 2020

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Why I’m Not Setting Yearly Goals in 2020
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. In a very big and bold move, I decided to not set yearly goals in 2020. That might seem super out of character for someone like me who has long been a huge proponent of goal-setting. And it is very unusual. But I feel so happy about this change for this year. Here’s why: I’m writing a book, having a baby, and we’re likely taking in at least one (if not multiple) kids who are in foster care for longterm placement this year. And those are just the things I know are on tap for 2020! Because of this, I decided not to set yearly goals (especially considering how all the unexpected played into my goal-setting in 2019) and I’ll be setting weekly goals instead. I’ll be sharing these goals every Monday here on the blog. I’m guessing that there will be somewhere between 6-12 goals each week, depending upon the week and how much is on my plate that week. Even though it’s not quite 2020 yet, I decided to jump in and start weekly goal-setting today. Here’s my list of goals for this week: 2020: Week 1 — Goals Personal Goals 1. Get in 50,000 steps total. 2. Finish reading Parenting and An Invisible Thread. 3. Get up at 5:30 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Home/Family Goals 4. Declutter the entire house (This has needed to be done for months! Follow along on Instagram stories this week as I’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes of my decluttering!) 5. Finish reading aloud A Single Shard together. 6. Start a new family devotional book together. (Any great suggestions for this?) Work/Blog Goal 7. Spend 12 hours on my manuscript outline.  8. Open up the blogging Mastermind to new members. 9. Get everything ready for course sale next week. Word of the Year Goals 10. Pop popcorn and watch a movie as a family. 11. Take Kaitlynn out shopping. 12. Make tea, light a candle, and write thank you notes. *Note: I’ll be sharing my word of the year for 2020 tomorrow. Any guesses as to what it is, based upon goals #10-#12 above? Want to join me in weekly goal-setting? I’d love for you to check in every Monday and share how you did on last week’s goals + your goals for the coming week. Leave your goals for this week in the comments below! [...]
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If You Live in Maine, Here’s an Easy Way to Get a Free $25 Amazon Gift Card

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If You Live in Maine, Here’s an Easy Way to Get a Free $25 Amazon Gift Card