How to Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

How to Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

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How to Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom
Want to be a stay at home mom, but worried about the financial implications of transitioning to one income? This post is full of practical advice and helpful encouragement on how to afford being a stay at home mom! Guest post by Kristine of SurvivingMoms.com: Giving up a full-time or part-time salary isn’t easy, but my sisters and I wanted to stay home with our kids. To make it happen we knew we needed to get creative with lowering our monthly expenses. Here are 19 things we did (and still do) to save money: We Cut Hair Ourselves: Even at Walmart a haircut for a child costs $12 — and that doesn’t include tip! Instead of going to the hairdresser, we ordered some nice clippers off Amazon and now we cut everyone’s hair at home as often as we need to. We Use Grocery Pick-Up: We love using grocery pick-up! It is convenient and saves us money as it helps us avoid impulse shopping. We also love that every time we add an item to our cart, we can see the total go up; this allows us to decide if we really need that item this week or if it can wait. We save an average of $20 per week by using pick-up only! We Don’t Eat Out: Eating out can blow a monthly budget really quickly! We plan a weekly or monthly menu for our family and stick to it. We try to cook our meals at home no matter how good take-out sounds. We also try to get the whole family involved by giving each kid a job to do. Dinner tastes so much better when you are proud of what you have made — and that goes for kids, too. Psst! Check these extra tips to help you stop eating out! We Buy Used Clothing: We buy gently used clothes for our children. Shops like Once Upon a Child, Goodwill, Facebook Marketplace, and garage sales are great places to start! See if there is a friend or family member that you can swap clothes with. This has been a huge blessing to our family. We Sell Outgrown Clothing: We sell our outgrown clothes at a local kids’ consignment shop and then get store credit, which usually offers more money to buy the next size up for our kids. We Use the Honey Extension: We installed Honey on our computers and it will alert us when items get marked down and if it’s a good time to buy. You are able to see the price trends and if there are available promo codes you can use. We love using Honey! We Watch for Christmas Deals Year-Round: Rather than shopping for Christmas presents in November and December, we look for deals all year. It is easy to get pulled into impulse buying with all the advertising during the Christmas season. We Buy Used Items off Amazon: When we find an item we want to purchase off Amazon, we check to see if they have the same item “Like New” or “Used, Very Good.” These items were typically opened and returned. We have had great success finding brand new items marked down this way! We Ask Before we Buy: Shopping online is SO easy… maybe a little TOO easy! To reduce impulse purchases, we wait and talk to our spouses before we purchase something. This makes us aware of what we are spending our money on, plus it allows us to say whether or not we think it is the right use of our money. We Make Our Own Baby Food: Baby food is expensive. Pinterest has lots of recipes for making your own healthy baby food at a fraction of the cost of buying it from the store. We Canceled Cable and DirectTV: This is an expensive monthly bill that isn’t necessary. We have used Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus instead of cable, so we can still enjoy our favorite shows and movies while paying significantly less. We Switched to an Off-Brand Cell Phone Service: We have our cell phone bill down to $50 a month for two smartphones with 5 GB of data each. Honestly, the service isn’t as good. We do drop calls frequently. We mostly text though, and it was worth the annoyance to lower our monthly bills. {Psst! Looking for an inexpensive option? Twigby has phone plans that start as low as $9 per month!} We Implement Meatless Monday: Meat is one of the biggest expenses in a grocery budget. Having a meal once a week without any meat allows us to lower our grocery budget significantly. If you need some inspiration, try one of these great meatless meal ideas! We Share One Vehicle: When possible, we share a vehicle with our spouse. This cuts down on gas, car insurance, and other car-related expenses. It’s hard at first but worth it when we look at the savings. We Always Look for Free Activities: We take advantage of free classes/activities offered by our local libraries. Hiking, visiting National Parks on free days, and bike trails are other activities we regularly have on our schedules. We Make Coffee at Home: We make coffee at home instead of buying one at the local coffee shop. Even using a Keurig at home only costs 26 cents per cup compared to almost $2 per cup. This adds up when we start each day with six cups a cup of coffee. 😉 We Look for Coupons: We compare ads and use coupons or store apps when grocery shopping. We also plan our menus based around meat that is on sale that week. We Use Groupon: We shop Groupon in advance to buy tickets and get the best deals. We used Groupon to get a great deal on tickets to Sky Zone for the whole family. We Use Cashback Sites: We use cashback sites like Rakuten to stretch our shopping budget by getting money back on online purchases. These are just a few of the many ways we save money every single day. These little (and big) savings all add up to allow my sisters and I to stay home with our children! What are some of your favorite tips on how to afford being a stay at home mom? Katie, Nicole, and Kristine are sister-in-laws with eight kids between them. They now blog at SurvivingMoms.com about mom survival tips, what is helping them get through their days with their kiddos, and how their true hope and encouragement comes from knowing their Savior, Jesus Christ.
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My Honest Review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle

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My Honest Review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Interested in purchasing the Master Your Money Super Bundle? I spent hours going through all of the resources in the bundle and I am sharing my completely honest review with you, including what I liked and what I didn’t like. The popular Master Your Money Super Bundle is back for two days only, through February 20, 2020! We haven’t see this deal in almost a year and this is $10 lower than last year’s price! If you’re curious about the bundle or wondering if it’s worth purchasing, keep reading for my completely honest review of this bundle! Should You Purchase the Master Your Money Bundle? If you have been considering buying the Master Your Money Super Bundle, I am here to provide you with a completely honest and biased review. I say biased because we all have bias. Which means that you are free to agree or disagree with my conclusions. But I want to share this honest review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle for those of you who are on the fence as to whether it is worth purchasing or not. So many of you loved my honest review of The Ultimate Productivity Toolkit and begged me to do honest reviews for each of the bundles from Ultimate Bundles. While it takes a lot of time and effort to go through each and every product in a bundle, because I love to help you spend your money wisely, I am happy to prioritize the time to do so. Why I Am Not a Contributor First off, I need you to know that I did use my affiliate links throughout this post. I am an affiliate for the Ultimate Bundles this time around, not a contributor. A contributor is someone who has included a product of their own in the bundle. As a thank you for the time and effort that you put into creating your product and allowing it to be part of the bundle, Ultimate Bundles pays you 70% of every sale made through your link. They also split a small percentage of the overall sales amongst all contributors. (This is usually a few hundred dollars or less). I have been a contributor to other bundles in the past (and will likely be one in the future!) I love the folks at Ultimate Bundles and love their heart for what they do. However, when they approached me about being one for this bundle, I decided against it because I felt that the price point of $37 was a little on the high side for my audience — especially since this bundle was on the topic of saving and investing money. I am typically only a contributor for a bundle if I feel like it is going to be a really, really good fit for my audience and something that you all will be super excited about. I just felt like many of you would not be excited about a bundle on money that cost $37, so I decided to decline the opportunity. Instead of being a contributor, I am an affiliate, which means I earn 40% of every sale through my link. I just wanted to put that out here in full disclosure. If you click through any of the links in this post and purchase the bundle, I will earn 40% of the sale. My Honest Review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle I spent hours going through every single ebook, video, and course in the bundle in order to bring you the most thorough and honest review that I can. Again, I’m biased, so please know you can wholeheartedly disagree with me. But whether you agree with my assessment of the bundle or not, I hope this is helpful to you as you think through whether purchasing the Master Your Money Super Bundle is worth it for you! The Negatives: Some of the products had an inflated price tag. I will say that I felt like many of the prices on the products in the Master Your Money Super Bundle were very realistic and fair for the value, I felt like most of the videos that had a value of $19 weren’t really a $19 value and about 5 other products in the bundle felt over-priced to me. With this in mind, even though they say the bundle is a $1200 value, I’d say that for the products I would use and felt were worth what they were priced at, to me the value would be more like $350 to $400 maximum. I didn’t like the videos at all. Okay, I sort of said this above, but I’m going to say it again: I just really didn’t like the 11 videos they offered as stand-alone products in this bundle. I know it was something new they were trying and I think it fell flat. In many cases, there was poor audio and the content didn’t seem like it was super valuable — at least for what I was looking for. Honestly, I barely watched any of all of the videos. (I watched a little bit of every single one just to do this review, but I found myself skipping ahead and quickly turning them off because I just wasn’t jiving with them at all. Maybe it was just me.) Some of the products were poorly designed. I know that we don’t always have the highest quality design on things we offer because of various reasons and I know sometimes you just do the best you can do, but I found that at least 30% of the ebooks were poorly designed and hard to read. I know that “content is king”, but if your ebook is hard on my eyes and unprofessional, it makes it a lot harder to really enjoy soaking up the wisdom in the content. There is quite a bit of overlap. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing as we need to hear things more than once and different people are going to resonate with different types of teaching styles, but for some people, the fact that there is quite a bit of overlap — especially in the areas of learning to budget and cutting expenses — could de-value this bundle. The Positives: I loved that there were so many different aspects of money management covered. This bundle covers everything from investing to paying off debt to how to make more money to ways to practically cut expenses to starting a side hustle to retirement. The bundle was very comprehensive and had a lot of valuable resources with actionable tips. Most of the products were more by everyday people instead of professionals. While some people would prefer to only get financial advice from certified professionals, I prefer to learn from people who aren’t just talking in theory, but who have actually lived what they are teaching (not to say that all professionals haven’t experienced some of what they share, but I think you understand what I mean). Instead of a theory on how to pay down debt, I much prefer to hear your story of how you actually did it. There’s a lot of that in the resources in this bundle and it makes it feel very accessible and doable. My bottom line opinion is that this bundle — if you buy it and actually go through the resources and take them to heart — could save you WAY more than the $37 price tag. I had prepared myself to be underwhelmed with the content, especially since I have been blogging and studying money and saving and making money for years. But I learned a lot of new things, loved how so many of the ebooks and courses were presented, and just overall felt that this was worth purchasing, if you will USE it and have the money in your budget to pay for it. (Please, for the love of all that is good and right, do not spend money you don’t have to buy the Master Your Money Super Bundle, okay?) My Favorite Resources Budgeting That Works — I love Caroline’s style of teaching and she breaks everything down step-by-step. She also has a great voice on audio that is interesting to listen to. In this course, she gives you the tools you need to really set up a budget and follow through with it. She comes across as a fun cheerleader. I loved her 30-7-30 rule that she outlines and she has some great printables at the end of the course, including a 160 Ways to Save Cheatsheet which I thought was very valuable. Fancy Serial Numbers For Fun & Profit — I had NO idea that people would pay big bucks for cash bills that had fancy or special or [...]
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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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12 Money-Saving Tips to Enjoy a Frugal Retirement

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12 Money-Saving Tips to Enjoy a Frugal Retirement
Adjusting to a fixed income in retirement can be a challenge — especially if you’re living off less money. Just because you stopped working doesn’t mean you can stop paying the utility bills and buying groceries. If you’re planning vacations or trips to the golf course — those are extra costs to budget for. “You could easily spend more money [in retirement] because you have more time you want to enjoy,” said Droucelle Ramage, a retiree living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Embracing frugality throughout her life, however, is one of the reasons Ramage was able to leave the workforce in her early 60s. “I used to say it’s against my religion to pay full retail,” she joked. Ramage continues to keep expenses low by shopping at thrift stores, attending free community events and choosing community acupuncture rather than going to a pricey private practice. “It’s $15 instead of $100,” she said. Volunteering at her church and local senior center is another way Ramage stays busy without spending money. When she travels, she’s able to get free flights, a benefit of working for American Airlines for over 20 years. Knowing how to cut costs is key to having a frugal retirement you can enjoy. Here are 12 ways to save money. 1. Get a Roommate or Two Loneliness in retirement can have a negative effect on your health and quality of life. Not only will live-in company help you feel less alone, but you’ll reduce housing costs. If you live alone, try sharing a place with a friend or family member who lives in the same town, or consider coliving with other retirees to save money. 2. Downsize to a Smaller Space Maybe your idea of a frugal retirement doesn’t include sharing your living space. You can cut costs by moving to a smaller home instead.  A small house has several financial benefits. You’ll pay less in rent or mortgage. Your utility bills will go down. You’ll have less home maintenance and repairs to worry about.  And when you downsize, you can sell all that furniture you don’t need for extra cash.  Pro Tip If you’re looking to relocate, here are 11 of the best places to retire. 3. Rent Out Your Kids’ Old Rooms If you don’t want to sell the family home or get long-term roommates, you can make money off your empty nest by turning unused space into short-term rentals. Your kids can get their rooms back when they visit for the holidays — or you could make them pay the daily rate.  This guide on how to become an Airbnb host will get you started. 4. Cut the Cost of Groceries Slashing your grocery spending is a high-impact way to help you have a frugal retirement that saves money every month. Clip coupons, buy generic products, start a garden and shop at stores that boast low prices, like Aldi or Trader Joe’s. For more tips, check out this story about saving money on groceries. Bonus: When you feel like eating out for a change, read up on these 25 ways to save money at restaurants. 5. Be Proactive About Your Health Your health is often intertwined with your wealth. Staying healthy in retirement means you’ll spend less on medical costs. When it comes to preventative care, a balanced diet and regular exercise can lower your chances of developing certain conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But you don’t have to drain your bank account paying for expensive health food or a pricey gym membership. These 10 ways to save money on organic groceries will help you eat healthy for less. Incorporate one of these gym alternatives into your routine, or build a cheap home gym for under $100.  Pro Tip If you’re 65 or older, enroll in Medicare. While Medicare coverage doesn’t eliminate out-of-pocket costs, you’ll pay less than with private health insurance. 6. Find Low-Cost Entertainment and Ways to Stay Social Keep busy in retirement without emptying your wallet. Fill your social calendar up with events at your local senior center, host potluck dinners with friends or start a murder mystery book club. Check out free offerings at your library, like sign language classes or museum passes.  Turn to this list of 100 free things to do when boredom hits. Volunteering is another way to make good use of your time, and it could come with neat perks, like free entry to a play when you usher at a theater. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Cheap Valentine's Day date 2/15/20 @ 11:15 AM S How I save money on pest control 2/4/20 @ 3:50 PM $4000 trip to Hawaii for $1500 2/13/20 @ 4:11 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 7. Save Money on That Bucket List Trip You can have a frugal retirement and travel. It just requires some smart planning and perhaps a bit of compromise — like avoiding the peak tourist season or driving instead of flying. These travel tips will help you keep costs low. 8. Take Advantage of Discounts Don’t be shy about sharing your age when it’ll result in sweet discounts. Dozens of companies — from retailers and restaurants to airlines and hotels — offer lower prices for seniors. Some offer discounts to customers as young as 50. Pro Tip Join AARP to enjoy a slew of discounts at a variety of places. 9. Continue Your Education for Free All across the country, there are opportunities for seniors to take free or reduced-price college courses. Be a life-long learner and take a class in a subject you’ve always wanted to know more about. 10. Shop Secondhand Instead of strolling through the mall for a new outfit or home decor piece, try thrift stores, consignment shops or online sellers to score a lower price. 11. Sell Unused Things You know that china set that’s been collecting dust? Stop telling yourself you’ll pass it down to your kids. Get cash for it instead, along with all the other unused items lying around the house. Organize a garage sale or register as a vendor at a local flea market. If you don’t feel like manning a card table for half a day, sell your stuff online on sites like eBay, OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. This guide helps you figure out the best time of year to sell all your unwanted stuff. 12. Pay Off Lingering Debt The rewards are twofold when you become debt free sooner rather than later. You’ll pay less in overall interest when you pay off your debt early. You’ll also free up more cash once you no longer have that monthly financial obligation. Paying more than the minimum, negotiating a lower interest rate and making biweekly payments can help you lower your debt load. Here are additional helpful tips on paying off student loans in retirement and eliminating credit card debt in retirement. 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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How to Turn an Idea Into a Business: A 7-Day Jump-Start

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How to Turn an Idea Into a Business: A 7-Day Jump-Start
Chances are you’ve daydreamed of what it would be like to run a business of your own. Perhaps you’ve thought of an idea that could be a real moneymaker. But you weren’t sure how to act, so those dreams faded to the background as you trudged through your day job(s). To get you back in entrepreneur mode, we’ve created a seven-day bootcamp to turn your idea into a business. We’ve paired each day with a strategy to help you chisel away at your goals. And what’s this? Feb. 15-22, is National Entrepreneurship Week? What timing! Chartered in 2006, the weeklong congressional initiative “encourages the implementation of entrepreneurship education throughout the United States.” Dreams, you’re back. That business you’ve always wanted to start: It’s happening. By the end of the week, if all goes well, your momentum should carry you into a future where every week is entrepreneurship week. Day 1: Brainstorm Ideas Business ideas don’t have to be glamorous. They just need to be realistic. They don’t need to be based on a genius invention, a scientific breakthrough or a Shark Tank-worthy smartphone app (though they certainly could be). At their core, good business ideas identify existing problems and offer solutions. Kathyrn Gratton is the president of the Hagerstown, Maryland, chapter of Score, a free small-business resource network and partner of the federal Small Business Administration. She spoke to The Penny Hoarder about coming up with a winning idea. “Where’s your interest? Where’s your passion?” she said, noting that your ideas need to be more than potential moneymakers: You should also enjoy the work. It’s OK if you can’t think of anything on-the-spot. The Penny Hoarder compiled nine business ideas to get your creativity flowing. Day 2: Choose a Winner Now that you’ve got a long (or not-so-long) list of potential business ideas, you’ve got to decide which one to run with.  Consider your own expertise. Use your insider experience and knowledge to pinpoint what’s original and novel about your idea. Start thinking about the connections you have, and how those people can help you get started. You may realize later that, actually, the idea you picked wasn’t a winner. You need to rethink it, or return to your list. That’s OK too. The point of this weeklong exercise is to make progress. And determining that the idea you’ve been mulling over for a while is unfeasible is progress. Day 3: Get Feedback Feedback is crucial in the early stages of business building. The more the better — and the more critical the better. While you might think you have a brilliant idea, sooner or later, your business is going to need to convince a ton of other people of the same thing. Within the constraints of day three, you’re not going to be able to test any markets or run any focus groups. Simply asking for constructive feedback from your neighbors, friends or family members will be tremendously helpful. Think you’re onto something? Read our comprehensive 10-step guide to starting a business once you’re ready to launch. Gratton recommends asking that one brutally honest friend we all have. You know, the one that’s comfortable with telling you if you’ve gotten fat over the holidays. “They are the best to run things by because you know they will tell you the truth,” she said. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Is there Really a way to make MONEY ONLINE? 2/14/20 @ 2:34 PM Earn well with little Money? 2/14/20 @ 3:06 PM Financial Fitness February: Day 7 (Big WIN) 2/8/20 @ 12:37 AM Make money from home 2/2/20 @ 12:47 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question Day 4: Outline a Business Plan Don’t roll your eyes. Business plans are worth it. A 2016 study published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal found it indeed pays to plan: Entrepreneurs who wrote formal business plans were 16% more likely to “achieve new venture viability” (aka succeed) than those who didn’t.  While it’s true that you won’t be able to – and probably shouldn’t – draft an entire business plan in one day, you can spend your time creating an outline that will set you up for success. In the article-turned-book “How to Write a Great Business Plan,” Harvard business professor William Sahlman lays out the purpose of a business plan and exactly what to include in it. The People: Who’s running the show? Include yourself and everyone else you’ll need for operations to run smoothly. The Opportunity: Explain your product or service and who might buy it. Start thinking about price points, customer demographics and competitors. The Context: Consider all “factors that inevitably change but cannot be controlled by the entrepreneur,” Sahlman writes. That includes laws, regulations and economic trends that could impact your idea. The Risk and Reward: Describe the worst-case scenario, economically speaking, and how you plan to weather the storm. Use those four sections as a starting point for your outline. As you fill it out, you’re very likely to find some deeper insight into your business – or you may find it’s just not going to work. The sooner you learn from either scenario, the better. Day 5: Craft a Business Pitch You’ve done all the heavy lifting for the week. Hopefully that dream you thought was long dead is starting to come alive. Now it’s time to polish up your findings and start sharing the basic premise of your idea and why it’s destined to be successful. Or at least be ready when the opportunity strikes. To help you know what to include in a killer business pitch, The Penny Hoarder spoke to two former Shark Tank contestants who pitched their businesses in front of millions of viewers – nailed their performance – and now helm multimillion-dollar enterprises: Dawoon Kang, CEO of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, and Sara Margulis, CEO of the honeymoon-crowdsourcing website Honeyfund. “Succinctly stating what your business is, why it exists and why it’s better than everyone else is really important,” Margulis said. “Any time you talk about your company, you should be able to convey those things simply.” That succinct part is especially important. Here are Kang and Margulis’ other key nuggets of advice. Know your audience: No matter whom you speak to, your pitch should include the core elements Margulis mentioned, but you’ll need to tailor it slightly to different people. Is it a customer, an investor or a business partner? What does each of them need to hear? Include a call to action: Depending on your audience, the call to action should change. Suggest a clear next step, something more specific than: “Let’s stay in touch!” Practice: Pacing, enthusiasm and data are a lot to juggle. You won’t know what part of your pitch sticks with your listener unless you test it out. Apply feedback: Your business pitch is never truly finished. You may learn that people want to hear more about a detail you thought was unimportant. Hear them out, and make the changes to keep it fresh. “It feels like (I’m pitching) all the time … but what I’m realizing is it’s actually not enough,” Kang said. “There’s a saying: ‘Unless you’ve said it 10 times, you [...]
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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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Save 25% on filing your taxes with H&R Block!

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Save 25% on filing your taxes with H&R Block!
Want to save money on filing your taxes? Don’t miss this deal to get 25% off with H&R Block this tax season! {This post is sponsored by H&R Block. Read our disclosure policy here.} Save Money & Time on Tax Prep This Year It’s hard to believe, but tax season is already upon us! If this time of year tends to overwhelm you, be sure to check out H&R Block’s online tax services. H&R Block’s goal is to make filing your taxes easier, less time consuming, and more affordable. And you can use their services on a regular computer or even on your smartphone! Not only are H&R Block’s tax services at least $10 less than TurboTax, but they’re also offering an exclusive discount for Money Saving Mom readers to save an extra 25% off any of their services right now! Choose from four of their affordable, easy-to-use tax solutions: H&R Block Free Online (FREE + Free State Filing) — Designed for people with less complex filing situations, including clients who have W-2 income, kids and rent, as well as students and first-time filers. More people can file for free with H&R Block vs. TurboTax, including parents and students. H&R Block Deluxe Online ($29.99 $23.99 with discount) — Designed for homeowners, people who’ve made charitable donations, and those with HSAs. This version includes six years’ access to tax returns, Deduction Pro® to optimize deductions, and chat support for technical questions. H&R Block Premium Online ($49.99 $39.99 with discount) — Designed for freelancers, contractors, investors, and rental property owners. This version includes all Deluxe features as well as the ability to import expenses from popular expense-tracking apps. It also features cost-basis calculation using advanced filing calculators to help determine the cost basis of your home sale, dividend, and gift and inheritance assets. H&R Block Self Employed Online ($79.99 $63.99 with discount) — Designed for self-employed individuals and small business owners with a home office and/or employee. This version includes all Premium features as well as an improved guided Schedule C interview to ensure a better experience for complex clients. With any of these paid versions of H&R Block, you can add on a state filing for an extra $36.99 cost. You can also opt to utilize their H&R Block Online Assist that offers access to highly trained tax experts to provide the level of help you want or need — with an H&R Block tax expert, IRS enrolled agent, or CPA. And one of H&R Block’s highest priorities is transparency — so you’ll always know upfront exactly how much you’ll be paying for your online tax preparation. If your price changes for any reason during the tax preparation process, you’ll immediately be notified. Save On H&R Block Tax Services Want to try H&R Block tax preparation services this year? I’ve got an exclusive discount for you! H&R Block is offering MoneySavingMom.com readers a 25% discount on any of their tax solutions. Just click here to browse the options and find the right fit for you at a discounted price! [...]
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Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket only $58.98 shipped (Reg. $150!)

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Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket only $58.98 shipped (Reg. $150!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This is a fantastic deal on this Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket! Columbia has this Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket for just $58.98 shipped right now! Be sure you are logged in to your account (it’s free to join) to get this price! This is regularly $150 and has amazing reviews so this is a hot deal. Choose from four color options. [...]
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Being a great advisor

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Being a great advisor
The post Being a great advisor appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Own Your Solo Act with These Financial Tips for Singles

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Own Your Solo Act with These Financial Tips for Singles
It’s all on you. When you’re single, you don’t have a spouse helping you pay bills or a partner nagging you to spend less and save more. How much money you make and what you do with that cash is up to you alone … and only you deal with the repercussions of your financial mistakes. To live your best life as captain of your own ship, you’ve got to commit to making the right choices. Here are 11 financial tips for singles to heed. 1. Build an Emergency Fund An emergency fund is your safety net when something goes wrong. It’s especially important to have a robust emergency fund as a single person because you don’t have someone else’s savings or salary to tap into if your car breaks down or you get laid off from your job. The common recommendation for an emergency fund is to have three-to-six months worth of expenses saved, but if you’re starting from scratch, develop a smaller-scale goal and work your way up to that amount. This guide on how to start an emergency fund can help. Pro Tip Prioritize your savings by paying yourself first. Setting money aside in a savings account when you get paid. By not letting it sit in your checking account, you’re less likely to spend that cash. 2. Save for Retirement The downside of being single: You don’t have a partner helping you add to your retirement accounts. The upside: You only need enough savings to support one person in retirement, not two. Regardless of your relationship status, contributing to a 401(k) or IRA early and often can help you build a comfortable nest egg for your golden years. We break down how to save money for retirement at various stages of life. 3. Create a Budget When your money isn’t merged with a significant other, you don’t have to worry about anyone questioning your spending decisions. Want to drop $300 on a pair of new shoes? Who’s going to tell you no? But just because you don’t have to answer to anyone doesn’t mean it’s okay to spend without a plan. That’s where having a budget comes in. Your budget will show you if you have enough funds to buy those pricey shoes or if that purchase would derail paying the bills on time. If you’re among the many, many Americans who aren’t in the practice of budgeting, check out these tips on how to budget as a beginner. While you’re establishing your various budget categories and spending limits, make sure to include room for a little fun money. It’s hard to stick to a budget that’s too restrictive and leaves you feeling deprived. 4. Stop Being Loyal to Service Providers You’re a free agent when it comes to dating whoever you want. Applying a similar mindset when it comes to service providers — like your cell phone company or car insurance provider — can help you save money. You don’t have to stay tied down to who you’re with today. Check rates and offers from competing service providers to see if you can get similar service for less. If you’re under contract with your current provider, ask the competition if they’ll pay the fee for you to jump ship. Another option: If you’re satisfied with, say, your internet service but find another company is offering lower rates, use that as leverage to negotiate a better price with your provider. Some companies will meet a competitor’s rate to avoid losing a good customer. 5. Vet Potential Roommates Carefully Taking on a roommate can be a great way to reduce housing expenses. But if your roommate ends up being a bum who’s always late with the rent, you’re in for a heap of trouble. Save yourself the headache and do your due diligence ahead of time by asking these screening questions for potential roommates. Pro Tip If you want the social and financial benefits of roommates without being on the hook if they’re short on rent, consider getting an individual room in a coliving space, like this woman did. 6. Embrace Meal Planning When you just have to worry about feeding yourself, it’s oh so convenient to order something on Grubhub or UberEats and call it a night. But do that multiple times a week and the expenses add up quick. Cooking at home is a more economical solution. When you meal prep, you can save time and money. Cook multiple servings of staples like chicken, rice or potatoes and wash and chop veggies in advance so you can quickly pull meals together throughout the week. Avoid prepping too far in advance, though, so your food doesn’t spoil. Meal planning also works for snacks too. Buy a bulk bag of your favorite munchies and divvy it into individual portions instead of spending more on a bunch of snack-size packages. 7. Be Mindful of Lifestyle Inflation When you get a big raise or unexpected windfall of cash, it might be tempting to go into treat-yourself mode. A new wardrobe. The latest iPhone. Weekly spa treatments. But you shouldn’t give into lifestyle inflation without being prudent and addressing things like debt and saving for retirement.  Does that mean you have to keep that ratty futon from college instead of buying a real couch because you’re still paying back student loans? Not exactly. It just means budget your extra money so you increase your student loan payments and have cash for that furniture upgrade. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM What gadgets have you purchased that you felt really saved you money? 2/11/20 @ 12:05 PM How I save money on pest control 2/4/20 @ 8:50 PM Financial Fitness February: Day 4 (And a Money Saving Tip) 2/5/20 @ 5:05 AM Extreme Couponing Tips to Add More Money Into Your Wallet 2/4/20 @ 12:20 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 8. Get an Accountability Partner for Debt Payoff Motivation Paying down debt can be a tedious process. It can help to have someone on your side, keeping you encouraged and steering you back on course when you struggle. An accountability partner does just that. Choose a friend or family member you can confide in about your goals and challenges. Your accountability buddy should be someone who’s not afraid to give you tough love when you need it but who’ll also be your cheerleader throughout your debt payoff process. 9. Have Multiple Sources of Income Losing your job or having your boss cut your hours can be financially devastating when you’re single. Having additional streams of income can ensure you still have money coming in if something happens to your main job. Consider picking up a side hustle, getting a second job or starting an entrepreneurial pursuit. Looking for a way to make more money? You could work from home. We post new job opportunities every weekday. Though you’ll boost your bank account, it requires a bit of juggling to manage more than one job. This woman shares her advice on balancing a side gig with full-time work. 10. Consider if You Need Life Insurance Being single you might think, why would I need life insurance? To be honest, paying into a life insurance policy may not be a priority for you. But if you have kids or have a loan that someone co-signed, getting a life insurance policy is a smart choice. You might also consider getting a policy if you’re a business owner or want to leave something behind for your loved ones. Here’s a run down of the types of life insurance and the best life in [...]
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How Ignatica is tackling the legacy systems innovation logjam with new technology

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How Ignatica is tackling the legacy systems innovation logjam with new technology
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SEC Proposes Amendments to Financial Disclosure in Regulation S-K and Issues New Guidance

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SEC Proposes Amendments to Financial Disclosure in Regulation S-K and Issues New Guidance
On January 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments to certain financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K, in an effort to modernize and simplify such requirements. The SEC also issued new guidance relating to key performance indicators and metrics. The SEC has proposed the following amendments and guidance to Regulation S-K: Elimination of Items 301 Selected Financial Data and 302 Supplementary Financial Information To simplify disclosure requirements in light of modern technological developments and reduce the repetition of non-material information, the SEC proposed eliminating the requirements that registrants provide 1) five years of selected financial data and 2) two years of selected quarterly financial data. Amendments to Item 303 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations The SEC proposed various amendments to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A), including: adding a new Item 303(a) to succinctly state and clarify the principal purposes of MD&A and streamline the instructions; eliminating the specific requirement to discuss the impact of inflation and price changes, though a discussion of such matters would still be required if the trend shows they have had or are reasonably expected to have a material impact on net sales, revenue or income from continuing operations (Item 303(a)(3)(iv) Results of Operations (Inflation and Price Changes)); replacing the requirement that a registrant discuss off-balance sheet arrangements with a requirement to integrate disclosure of off-balance sheet arrangements within the broader context of MD&A (Item 303(a)(4), Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements); eliminating the requirement to provide a contractual obligations table (Item 303(a)(5) Contractual Obligations); permitting registrants to compare the most recently completed quarter to either the corresponding quarter of the prior year, as currently mandated, or to the immediately preceding quarter (Item 303(b) Interim Periods); and requiring disclosure of critical accounting estimates. Other proposed amendments to MD&A would require disclosure of known events reasonably likely to cause a material change in costs and revenues; codify existing interpretive guidance requiring the discussion of reasons underlying material changes in net sales or revenues and require disclosure of material cash requirements (including capital expenditures commitments); and the anticipated source of funds and general purpose of such material cash requirements. Amendments Relating to Foreign Private Issuers The proposed revisions include parallel amendments to Forms 20-F and 40-F relating to foreign private issuers (FPIs), intending that MD&A requirements for FPIs continue to mirror the substantive MD&A requirements in Item 303 of Regulation S-K. Guidance The SEC also issued new guidance providing that, where registrants disclose key performance indicators or metrics, they should also consider the extent to which additional disclosure relating to the metrics is necessary in light of existing MD&A requirements and to ensure that the presentation of the indicators or metrics, in light of the circumstances under which they are presented, is not misleading. The guidance further provides a reminder for registrants to consider whether they have effective controls and procedures in place to process information related to the disclosure of key performance indicators and metrics to ensure consistency and accuracy. Commenters have 60 days following publication in the Federal Register to submit comments to the proposed amendments, which is available here. The guidance is available here. [...]
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12 Things That Are Cheaper in 2020

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12 Things That Are Cheaper in 2020
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com What goes up must come down, right? For some prices, yes. Money Talks News analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index data, which is for December 2019, to find out which things actually cost less going into 2020 than they did one year prior. Overall, the price of all things overall rose by 2.3% over the course of 2019... [...]
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Security Token news for Week ending 7 February 2020

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Security Token news for Week ending 7 February 2020
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Buy Now Pay Later Player OpenPay Diversifies Revenue As Regulatory Headwinds Increase For Sector

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Buy Now Pay Later Player OpenPay Diversifies Revenue As Regulatory Headwinds Increase For Sector
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iRobot Roomba 677 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum only $211.99 shipped (Reg. $400!)

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iRobot Roomba 677 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum only $211.99 shipped (Reg. $400!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Wow! This is a great price on this highly rated iRobot Roomba 677 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum! You can get this iRobot Roomba 677 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum for just $211.99 shipped at Kohl’s right now! Here’s how: Buy Roomba 677 Vacuum – $329.99 (Reg. $399.99) Use code HOMEGOALS for $10 off $50 Use code TAKE15 for 15% off Get FREE shipping Pay $271.99 out of pocket, Get back $50 Kohl’s Cash + $10 Yes2You Rewards Like paying $211.99 shipped after codes, cash and rewards Thanks, ChaChingOnAShoestring! [...]
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How to Help Kids Pay for College Without Going Into Debt

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How to Help Kids Pay for College Without Going Into Debt
You’d love to save your kids from student loan debt, but how can you help them pay for college without sinking your own financial ship? After all, the average in-state tuition at four-year public colleges reached $10,440 this year — and that doesn’t include room and board, books or personal expenses. So it’s understandable that you’re not sure how to help your kids pay for college. But of the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, people age 50 and older owe 20% of it — $289.5 billion. You could end up having to delay your retirement if you’re still paying off your kid’s tuition. Strategizing how to pay for college doesn’t have to be a solo decision, though. Here’s what to discuss with your kids in order to help them pay for college. How to Help Your Kids Pay for College Without Going Into Debt Yourself Parenting isn’t always fun — but if you have a nearly college-age kid, you already knew that, right? So breaking it to them that you won’t be able to completely pay for college may not be the most pleasant conversation you’ve had with them. But surprising them with that news as they’re moving into their dorm room isn’t a suggested alternative.  Pro Tip If you’re getting an early start on covering college costs, we have a whole slew of ways to save money for your kids’ future. By helping them understand what you can contribute, you can both plan accordingly and graduate with as little debt as possible — if any.  1. Be a Realist If you went used car shopping and your kid fell for a Tesla they really wanted to drive to their part-time job bussing tables, would you blow your budget and fork over the extra $40,000? No. The same goes for your child’s choice of school. If your kid dreams of an Ivy League school but you’re just scraping by, it might be time for a reality check. “Don’t go broke to put your kid into a name school,” said Jamie Dickenson, Certified Educational Planner. “Check your ego at the door and get serious about what’s a good fit for your student academically, socially, emotionally and financially.” She related the story of a West Virginia family she counseled when their daughter wanted to go to Clemson University in South Carolina to major in elementary education. “This was a family that made $80,000 a year,” Dickenson said. “Out-of-state tuition at Clemson is nearly $35,000 year — or $140,000 total bill — for a job that starts at $36,000.” Don’t go broke to put your kid into a name school. By starting the college budget discussion early in the search process — like, before junior year of high school — you can help your children develop realistic expectations about school and expenses.  Then help them choose where they can get the best education for the least amount of money.  You might even convince them to consider saving money by starting out closer to home — a community college transfer could save $12,000 or more on a bachelor’s degree. 2. Go on the College Tour With Your Kids Yes, you may have to walk six steps behind them (because, ugh, it’s so embarrassing being seen with your parents), but when your kids are ready to tour colleges, don’t let them go alone. Why? Consider the thought and research you put into major purchases, like a house or car. Your kid could potentially spend that much money on college. Having a second pair of eyes and ears during the college tour can let them focus on what’s important to them without forgetting to ask the practical questions.  Pro Tip Depending on the college, you may need to fill out both the FAFSA and the College Scholarship Service Profile to qualify for financial aid. Here's what you need to know about the CSS Profile. Before you go on a tour, set up an appointment with the financial aid office for the same day so you can connect with a real person and have a contact for follow-ups. Bring along these financial aid questions to the appointment to guide you when asking about scholarships, student loans and living expenses.  When your child receives their acceptance letters and financial aid award packages, they can reach out to that same financial aid officer to ask questions about their specific financial aid award package to help them compare the offers. 3. Avoid Paying Tuition by Investing Early  Instead of taking out loans to pay for your kids’ college, why not invest in their education earlier (when it’s a little cheaper)? Shelling out a few hundred dollars for ACT or SAT preparation courses now could pay off when your kids begin applying for financial assistance. “Look at [your] kid’s grades and test scores because that’s where the majority of money for college comes from these days — merit-based aid,” Dickenson said. If you’re concerned that your kid won’t qualify, call the college financial aid officer and ask what the cutoff is for merit-based scholarships, advised Amy Irvine, a Certified Financial Planner and founder of Rooted Planning Group. “Maybe you’re only three points off from something, and you could re-sit for the SATs,” she said. Another option: Advanced Placement classes. By encouraging your kids to sign up for AP classes in high school, they can take the exam for that subject and potentially receive college credit for it.  Although the AP exam costs $94, it’s a deal compared to the $301.23 sticker price for one credit hour at a four-year institution (including tuition and applicable fees), according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of National Center for Education statistics.   And the fewer courses they need to take, the smaller their tuition bill. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Emergency debt 1/30/20 @ 10:14 AM Low income high debt 1/15/20 @ 9:36 AM Debt relief program 1/30/20 @ 2:16 PM How do I build my credit with a credit card? 1/27/20 @ 8:42 AM See more in Debt or ask a money question 4. Understand How Your Decisions Affect Their Financial Aid When your child fills out the FAFSA, they must include information from your tax statements from the previous year — for the 2020-21 FAFSA, you’d use your 2018 tax returns.  So it’s important for you to consider financial-altering decisions that could decide whether they receive financial aid. That can mean delaying a big life change — Dickenson said she advised a client to delay marrying her wealthy fiance who didn’t want to foot the bill for his stepson’s college — or a one-time income boost — Dickenson suggested you might ask your employer to defer a year-end bonus until the following year. You should also consider how the money you already have is counted toward the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The majority of the EFC is based on income, but any assets the child owns are counted against them at a higher percentage than the parents’ assets when determining financial aid awards. That means your child is more likely to qualify for financial aid if you keep the money in your name rather than building up a savings account in your child’s name.  Helping your kids strategize ways to cover college — without either of you going into debt — could be your biggest parenting win of all. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her [...]
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This Week in Fintech 31 January

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This Week in Fintech 31 January
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Make Money During the Super Bowl With These 8 Ideas

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Make Money During the Super Bowl With These 8 Ideas
When I was a kid, I was a big reader. Sorry — I meant to say “nerd.” I was a huge nerd and didn’t care about sports. Still, I watched the Green Bay Packers play every Sunday, because that’s what we did in my house. I just usually had a book open at the same time. Because of that ritual, the sound of a football game on TV is cathartic for me. I’d rather turn on the NFL Network than listen to a white noise app when I want to get work done. That’s why I’ll still tune into Super Bowl LIV. I enjoy the connection to the rest of the nation — while knocking out a blog post and making headway through a novel. If you’re in the same boat, use the day to make some extra money. Just make sure you take a break and tune in for the Halftime Show, so you know what everyone’s talking about on Facebook on Monday. While your family or roommates gather ‘round the TV this weekend, try some of these ways to make extra money. 8 Ways to Make Money During the Super Bowl 1. Drive With Lyft If you haven’t already signed up as a driver with Lyft, now’s a good time to do it. As a driver with Lyft, you can help Super Bowl party goers in your city safely get where they’re going and where they’re coming from. No driving drunk or walking in the cold! Plus, the higher demand before and after the game could mean a busy night and big bucks for you. You keep a portion of everything you earn as a driver, plus 100% of your tips. High Lyft traffic means peak hours, which might mean more money for you. Here’s a link to apply to drive with Lyft. 2. List Your Place or Spare Room Look. We get it. Your home is your sanctuary. Your place to be alone. Some days, you don’t even want to have your own family over — let alone people you don’t know. So, the idea of listing your place on Airbnb is daunting for a lot of folks. Use Airbnb’s price calculator to see how much money you could make in your area. Tonya Peters’ husband, Miles Rugh, was one of those skeptics. She wanted to list their Virginia Village basement apartment in Denver, Colorado, on Airbnb, but he wasn’t keen on welcoming strangers into their place. Finally, though, he agreed to give it a try. Now, three years later, the couple has hosted too many guests to count. And the extra income has been great for them. They plan to use it for some home renovations they’ve been wanting. “He’s definitely changed his tune,” says Peters, now an Airbnb Superhost. “And he loves having the extra income.” (Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.) 3. Take Stock Photos People dressed in their favorite team’s jersey and faces painted in celebration make for great photographs. Take advantage of the crowds of fans in your town to get some candid shots you can sell to stock photo sites. You don’t even have to give up your own fun to fill your stock photo arsenal. You can sell your smartphone photos via Foap, so don’t worry about keeping track of expensive equipment all afternoon. (Just keep your phone out of the toilet.) Note: Building owners or managers reserve the right to ask you not to take photos on their property. Otherwise, snap away, and make sure you understand whether your intended use of the photograph will require a model or property release. 4. Babysit Want to hang out with the nerdy kids like me, who don’t want to pay attention to the game? Offer to take them off their parents’ hands for the day. Make game day easier for family and friends by offering to watch the little ones while they go out. You’ll get to make $20 to $40 and skip the loud parties. Check out a site like Care.com to make yourself easy to find ahead of game day, and check out other tips on how to become a babysitter 5. Take Care of Pets Pick up pet-sitting or dog-walking work to relieve football fans from the need to look after pets during time-outs. If you can’t find pet-sitting gigs in your network, hop on DogVacay to connect with pet owners in your area. 6. Get Ahead on Freelance Work Holidays — even faux holidays — are great for side hustlers. Unless you want to chat with your clients about football, your inbox and social media will probably be quiet on Super Bowl Sunday. Take advantage of the radio silence to get some work done. If you’re a freelance writer, check out these tips on how to land your first bylines. And sign up for this free seven-day mini-course from ProofreadAnywhere.com to learn how to become a professional proofreader. Or, pick a passion project off the back burner. Work on a novel. Put the finishing touches on a painting. Format an ebook. If you’re just kicking off your side hustle in 2020, read our guide to getting started as a freelancer. 7. Get the Best Gigs If you haven’t, create an account with TaskRabbit. Here’s the strategy for earning money: Find gigs you can complete quickly that pay well for the amount of time you put in. With a lot of Taskers likely taking the day off, Super Bowl Sunday could be a great opportunity to get some of the best gigs. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Looking For Part-Time Job 1/30/20 @ 2:16 PM Q Extra money on the side 1/27/20 @ 1:48 PM S Gig Work Taking Property Photos in the US 1/17/20 @ 1:42 PM I have a question about those cash game apps from Google Play store? 1/14/20 @ 8:16 PM See more in Make Money or ask a money question 8. Get Paid $1,200/Year for Your Screen Time We’ve all been there. Netflix drones in the background as you scroll Instagram. What are you even doing?  But there’s a website that will pay you for all that screen time.  Yep. Swagbucks will pay you in free gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone.  We know what you’re thinking: You’ll probably just earn a few pennies for your troubles. But we talked to one Swagbucks user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year. And it’s no huge time commitment. Hendrickson takes her surveys in the morning before her full-time job. Even better? You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 points within your first 60 days. Dana Sitar (dana@thepennyhoarder.com) 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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Bloggers: Want to hire a coach?

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Bloggers: Want to hire a coach?
I receive so many emails from bloggers asking for personal coaching and help. While I wish I could take on lots of individual coaching clients, I just don’t have the bandwidth to do that regularly. However, I have a really special opportunity for those of you who would love to hire a blog coach — and it’s super affordable, too! I’m opening back up my wildly popular 4-week Private Blog Coaching Group again for the month of February. This is something so many people have asked for and I’m excited to offer it after months and months of having it closed! What is the 4-Week Blog Coaching Group? The 4-Week Blog Coaching group is a group designed to help you grown and succeed as a blogger. It’s an intensive program where I teach you the lessons I’ve learned from failure and success, share secrets I’ve uncovered for building traffic and monetizing your blog, give you encouragement and motivation for when you’re feeling exhausted and burnt out, and provide accountability and cheerleading to help you live out the purpose for which you were created. This program is for you if you are: A newbie blogger who wants to learn how to monetize your blog, produce consistent and inspiring content, and grow your readership. An intermediate blogger who wants real, actionable advice to help you increase your income and develop a more effective social media strategy, all while having a great work-life balance. Any blogger who is stuck in a blogging rut and paralyzed by the overwhelming noise of advice from “online experts” — who wants clarity and tangible steps to move forward and reach their blogging goals. What Do You Get When You Sign Up? This is NOT another blogging eCourse where you absorb tons of information, but have no way to actually turn the information into real, applicable steps. This is an opportunity to interact with me and a network of like-minded bloggers and get answers to the pressing questions that matter to you and your business. In this coaching group, you’ll… Get direct access to me via our weekly LIVE 1-hour online workshop where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the topics you are struggling with the most. Interact with me and other bloggers in the daily discussion threads designed to help you set and meet your goals, find accountability, develop friendships, and network with other bloggers. Learn how to increase your income through affiliate marketing, advertising, sponsored posts, brand partnerships, and digital & physical product creation. Develop an intentional social media strategy that boosts your traffic, generates revenue, and builds long-term momentum. Discover proven techniques for planning and writing successful blog posts that are engaging and compelling for your audience. Design an effective overall plan for significant email list growth and long-lasting relationships and trust with your subscriber base. Create a manageable and realistic system for daily blogging tasks and to-do’s that allows you to have sustainable work-life balance. You get all of that for just $97 total — which is much less than the price that most coaches charge for just one hour of their time! Ready to join? Read all about it here. Hurry! Spaces are limited and registration closes on February 4, 2020! P.S. Any questions? Leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer it promptly! [...]
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Independent Contractor Taxes: A Painless Beginner’s Guide

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Independent Contractor Taxes: A Painless Beginner’s Guide
Zero alarm clocks. Working from the couch. A full-time yoga pants wardrobe. Freelancing certainly has its perks. Filing taxes is not one of them. Whether you’re considering making the big leap into the world of freelancing or you’re already in the deep end, your tax situation doesn’t have to be that complicated — we promise!  Here’s what you need to know to keep Uncle Sam happy as you navigate your entrepreneurial venture. How Do You Pay Taxes as an Independent Contractor? The advice below will vary if you’ve chosen a business structure like an S-Corp or an LLC. Since sole proprietorships are the default for most freelancers, we’ll focus on what those taxes look like. First thing’s first: making quarterly payments. Estimated Quarterly Taxes: How Much Do You Need to Set Aside? When you earn money as a freelancer, the transaction is direct: You name a price, you perform the service and your client pays you — without withholding any money to cover taxes or benefits. Of course, the government still wants its cut even if you’re self-employed — which means it’s your responsibility to dole out that portion. A good rule of thumb: Set aside about 30-35% of every paycheck you make to cover your federal taxes.  This will include both federal income tax — which is organized by brackets and will likely run between 10-24%, unless you’re doing exceptionally well — and self-employment tax, an additional tax levied on independent contractors currently totalling 15.3%. Instead of having these taxes withheld from each paycheck, you’ll ship them off on a quarterly basis using Form 1040-ES. Quarterly tax payments are due in January, April, June and September, and they’re super easy to file online. However, you can also pay by phone or snail mail; the address will vary depending on your location. Keep in mind that the 30-35% you set aside may not cover state or local taxes, which vary depending on your location. For example, along with its regular state income tax, New Mexico charges small business owners a gross receipts tax for “the privilege of doing business” here — which ranges from 5.125% to 8.6875% depending on your county.  More on Self-Employment Tax Although often decried among freelancers as punitive, self-employment tax is actually designed to cover independent contractors’ contributions to Social Security and Medicare.  As you may have noticed on your paystubs, however, the percentage withheld for these programs is only 7.65% when you work a traditional job. That’s because your employer is paying the other half.  Independent contractors — so long as they earn more than $400 in freelance income — are required to pay the full 15.3% to cover their full contribution.  Yes, freelancers, it doesn’t just feel like you pay more taxes. You actually do pay more because you don’t have an employer splitting the bill with you. Sorry. The good news is, this percentage is levied against your net income… which means you calculate it after you take out your deductible expenses. (More on that in a minute!) The Dreaded April Tax Return Just like a “normal” worker, you’ll still need to file a tax return if you’ve made at least $400 in freelance income. So long as you’ve kept up with your quarterlies, this shouldn’t be too painful — but if you’ve missed payments or neglected the self-employment tax, you may find yourself owing the IRS.  Your April return should report the sum of your earnings, which is used to calculate your tax bracket and total tax burden. Of course, for freelancers, this means you’ll need to be diligent about recording every single penny you earn.  Calculating Your Total Income Each client who pays you more than $600 in a year’s time must file a form 1099-MISC in your name, which you’ll receive at tax time in place of a W-2. It lists your earned wages but not any withheld taxes — because, again, as an independent contractor, that’s your responsibility.  Pro Tip Even if you earn less than $600 from a client, that income still counts toward your annual total, which means you need to include it on your return. By the way, although it’s tempting to under-report your income in an effort to pay less in taxes, there’s good reason not to — namely, hefty penalties. And seriously, do you really want to go through the hassle of an audit? Save yourself time and money in the long term and just cough up what you owe. Do You Still Get a W-2? Freelancing isn’t exactly renowned for its reliability or, you know, health insurance, so a lot of freelancers work part-time for someone else in addition to their side hustle.  If that’s you, your employer will still need to file a W-2 for you. You’ll receive it sometime in February in anticipation of the big day in April, and you’ll need it to file your return. It displays your earned wages, Social Security contribution, withheld federal income and Medicare taxes, and more.  This will affect your overall tax burden, and may be a good reason to hire professional help. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Subscriptions 1/22/20 @ 9:28 PM Do You Ever Pick up A Stray Penny? 2/7/19 @ 12:27 PM How do you get great deals at Thrift Stores? 1/20/20 @ 9:58 AM going on a holiday 1/22/20 @ 11:02 AM See more in Save Money or ask a money question What Can You Deduct as a Small Business Owner? Now for a tax topic we can all love: deductions! One cool thing about freelancing: as a small business owner, you’re eligible to make certain business-related deductions, which can lower your overall tax burden and help keep your enterprise cost-effective to run.  Pro Tip The IRS language on deductions is pretty open-ended: “To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary.” So you can make an argument for deducting an array of costs. Some of the most common deductions for freelancers include the cost of your home office, office supplies and travel expenses related to work. But you can also deduct meals and entertainment — within reason — that are related to client meetings, as well as professional services, like those of an accountant. Speaking of which…  Should You Hire an Accountant? As soul-sucking as it can be to live in an all-digital world, the internet has made filing taxes a whole lot easier. Even freelancers can take advantage of the sophisticated software from companies like TurboTax or H&R Block, which are both low-cost and easy. But in some cases, hiring professional help is well worth the money. Such as when… 1. You have a W-2 job (or three) alongside your freelance business. Because working a traditional job means you’ve already contributed some of what you owe for Social Security and Medicare, it can complicate your self-employment return substantially — and that’s doubly true if you’re holding down several gigs to make ends meet. (Hey, we’ve all been there.)  An accountant can help you work out exactly how much you actually owe, which can end up saving you money, even after you factor in their charges. 2. You’ve elected a more convoluted business structure, such as an LLC with the S-selection. While most freelancers operate as sole proprietorships, there can [...]
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6 Situations Where a Budget Can Reduce Financial Stress

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6 Situations Where a Budget Can Reduce Financial Stress
Some of the best things in life are… expensive. Milestones like going off to college, buying a house or starting a family can drain your bank account — which can lead to some major financial stress. Advance planning, however, can combat some of that anxiety. Budgeting can help you prepare for the big — and little — things life throws your way. After all, a budget is just a plan for your money. Here are six situations where budgeting now can reduce financial stress for you later. 1. Going Away to College Repeat after me: Student loans are not free money. It’s easy to use your refund check to fund all the hidden costs of college, like extracurriculars and decorating your dorm. But you’ll be kicking yourself when you’re struggling to pay back those student loans 10 years later. Take a step toward adulting and make a budget in college that’ll give you a realistic view of whether you can afford that spring break trip or if you would be better off picking up extra shifts at your part-time job.  2. Moving Into Your First Apartment Moving into a new place takes a lot of upfront cash. There are application fees, security deposits and first and last months’ rent to fork over before you can get a set of keys — and then you’ve got to pay the movers. This guide on saving up for your first apartment lays out what you need to consider before moving out on your own. It’ll help you decide what you really can afford. Pro Tip Having a roommate can help lower your living expenses, but here’s how you should screen potential roommates before signing a lease together. 3. Buying a House Buying a house is not something you just do on a whim. It’s an entire process, part of which involves saving up a large sum of money. Give yourself time to save for a house, setting aside room in your budget to add to your down payment fund each month. And don’t just focus on the money needed to get you in your home. There are a bunch of ongoing homeowner expenses to consider, like maintenance and HOA fees. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM A reminder NOT to spend. 1/6/20 @ 7:55 PM Changing my eating habits is changing my finances 1/8/20 @ 9:56 AM Pennyhoarders: Do you return Christmas gifts to the store...regift...or make use of it? 12/30/19 @ 11:28 AM M Just sharing some numbers from my 2019 budget 12/27/19 @ 1:58 PM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question 4. Having Kids Oh baby, kids can be expensive. And while it feels awkward putting a price tag on your plans for a family, it’s wise to go into parenthood knowing you have the adequate financial resources. Our guide to budgeting for a baby runs down the many costs you can expect in the first year — from a crib to child care.  As your baby grows up, your expenses will change. You’ll need to adjust your budget to keep up. Turn to these tips to help you save on children’s expenses, especially if you’ve got multiple kids. Pro Tip Help your children avoid taking on mountains of student loan debt by saving for your kids’ college education. 5. Career Changes Having a budget can help you through the ebbs and flows of your professional life.  If you’re dealing with a period of reduced income (like if you lose your job or take time off from the workforce), you’ve got to determine how much money you need to cover the basics. Look to see what unnecessary spending you can cut out of your budget. Conversely, if you get a raise or a new job with a better salary, budgeting that extra money instead of mindlessly blowing it will set you up for a better financial future. 6. Retirement No one wants to get to retirement age only to realize they don’t have enough money saved up to sustain them in their golden years. That’s why it’s crucial to add retirement contributions to your budget now so you’re not worrying about your savings (or lack thereof) when it really matters. Reduce financial stress by getting an early start on retirement planning, so you have more time to let compound interest work to your best advantage. But if you missed your chance at adding to a 401(k) plan in your 20s, don’t fret. This advice about how to save for retirement at every age will get you closer to saying goodbye to your working days with confidence that your money will last. 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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Jobs With Tips: Here’s How to Find the Best Paying Ones

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Jobs With Tips: Here’s How to Find the Best Paying Ones
Whether you’re looking for full-time income or part-time work, you might want to consider jobs that offer the chance to earn tips.  The minimum wage for tipped positions is $2.13 per hour in more than 17 states. Seven states require that employers pay tipped employees the full state minimum wage before tips. The remaining states require employers to pay tipped employees a minimum cash wage above $2.13 an hour. But more relevant than your local minimum wage is the fact that you can consistently make good money from tips. Not all tipped jobs are lucrative, though, so how do you choose the right job and earn the most tips? Find the Best Jobs for Tips Tipping is expected and common in many jobs, but clearly some will be better than others for total pay. Here’s a partial list of traditionally tipped positions:  Waiter Casino dealer Taxi driver Pizza delivery driver Cruise steward Bartender Room service waiter Golf caddy Busboy Tour guide Hotel room cleaner Ski instructor Naturally, you’ll enjoy and be more qualified for some jobs over others. Use these preferences to help narrow down that list.  Then, look for the positions where you’ll make the most money. If cleaning hotel rooms and waiting tables are both still on your list, go for the restaurant job.  Remember that to earn the most money, you should seek out employment where tips and base wages are above average. Increase Your Base Rate Many employers pay a base rate of minimum wage. If you’re interested in moving, you could go to a state that has a higher minimum wage for tipped employees.  For example, the minimum wage in Idaho is just $3.35 per hour, while next door in Washington it’s $12.00 per hour and in Oregon it’s  $10.75 per hour. Of course, even in a state with a $2.13 minimum wage, some employers will pay a higher base rate. Ask about the pay before applying. Tips are usually what matter most, but making an extra $5 or $6 per hour on your base rate can help a lot. Work at Expensive Venues One of the most important factors affecting tips, especially in the food and beverage industry, is the size of the average bill. Customers tip according to the bill amount more than anything else.  The average tip in U.S. restaurants is now 18.1%, according to a 2018 Zagat survey. So, as a waiter, if you serve a dozen $40 tables in an evening, you’ll average nearly $87 in tips, but if the bills are $90, you’ll take in more than $195. This is true for other tipped positions as well. Ask any bartender who has worked in both a dive bar and a high-end pub. Work for pricy places when possible.  Work in Busy Locations Even a restaurant with expensive meals might not be a great place to work if you wait on just three tables per shift. Serving twice as many customers usually means you earn twice as much in tips. Look for busy businesses. Pick the Right Employer Once you decide what kind of job you want, pick which state you’ll work in, and identify some expensive, busy places, it’s time to investigate specific employers. Start by asking about the base rate, as mentioned.  Tip income varies widely by employer, even those with similar businesses and price levels. One employer might let you keep all of your tips, while another makes employees share them. For example, I once worked at a pizza place where it was policy to split large tips (over $5) with all employees. And it’s common for wait staff to “tip out” busboys and hosts with 10% or more of what they take in. For large employers, you can often find the relevant pay information on Glassdoor. Otherwise, get friendly with employees of prospective employers so you can ask about their wages. Also check with your friends and family members who happen to work as waiters, casino dealers, bartenders and so on.  Ask how tips are handled and how much they usually amount to. Listen carefully to employees, but don’t place much importance on stories about one-time tips or memorable shifts. In fact, ask about the worst days. You might get lucky and discover a job where the worst tip days are still pretty good. You want an average, and most employees don’t bother to calculate that accurately. But if you ask for examples from ordinary shifts and bad shifts, you can put together a relatively safe guesstimate of the tips you’ll make at a given job. Then you can calculate what you’ll make with the base rate included. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM I have a question about those cash game apps from Google Play store? 1/14/20 @ 8:16 PM Selling My Things 1/2/20 @ 8:12 AM I am working part time any suggestions 1/9/20 @ 1:40 PM Being a Match Maker. 1/7/20 @ 12:33 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question   What If You Lack Experience? If you lack experience, you won’t qualify for the best positions and may not get hired at the best places. In that case use a longer-term strategy. For example, caddy at a slow golf course as a resume builder so you can get hired at a better place.  Use a position as a busboy as a temporary stop on the way to being promoted to waiting tables. Take a job in a restaurant kitchen only if your employer says you can join the wait staff as soon as you prove yourself. There are always opportunities to build your resume or places where you can quickly advance. For example, many bars won’t hire an inexperienced bartender, but will hire you as a bar-back.  Once you have a job where you make good tips, you can move on to part two of your plan: Implementing strategies for making even more tips. Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far). This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Got a New Year’s Debt Resolution? Here Are 5 Tips to Keep It

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Got a New Year’s Debt Resolution? Here Are 5 Tips to Keep It
When it comes to debt, hindsight is 2020 (like I wouldn’t go there).  Sure, you could have skipped that shoe shopping spree or turned down that loan to cover spring break — we all make mistakes. But whatever errors you made in the past, you’ve resolved that this is the year you’ll eliminate your debt. But it’s been a few weeks, and you’re still not sure where to start. Your resolve is starting to waver. Your approach to debt doesn’t have to be a one-payment-fits-all strategy. In fact, depending on the type of debt you owe, your method could be key to paying off the debt faster. We’re here with five common types of debt and ways to conquer them this year. Five Strategies to Keep Your New Year’s Debt Resolution To see success with a resolution, you should start by setting specific goals. And the best way to decide on your debt-free goals is to base your strategy on the type of debt you want to tackle.  Here are five common debts and strategies for wiping them out. 1. Crush the Credit Card Debt If you’re prioritizing your financial goals this year, paying off the double-digit credit card debt should be at the top of your list.  Why? Let’s look at an example: You bought a $1,000 laptop and have been making a payment of $25 per month on a credit card that charges 18% interest. At that rate, you’ll pay $539 in interest and it will take you more than five years to pay off the laptop. Moral of the story: Putting a dent in the credit card debt — or eliminating it completely — can save you a bundle in time and money. Pro Tip Want to maximize your debt payoff strategy? Think small. Here’s how the debt snowflake method lets you pile up tiny payments to make a big dent in your debt. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start by figuring how much credit card debt you have by adding up the balances across all your credit cards. Then, it’s a matter of picking your debt payoff strategy.  We reviewed five methods for paying off your credit card debt — along with ways to determine which strategy is right for you based on your lifestyle, your personality and your current financial situation. Pick your weapon of choice and set your plan of debt attack in 2020. 2. Vanquish the Student Loans Make 2020 the year you tackle your student loan debt so you can stop beating yourself up for using your loan check to trick out your dorm room. Why prioritize paying off student loans? A student loan is almost never dischargeable in bankruptcy, which means those loans — and the debt collectors — will follow you forever or until you pay them off (but there are other options for getting your federal student loans forgiven). Pro Tip If you’re nearing retirement and still paying off student loans — whether for yourself or your kids — check out these specific strategies for paying off student loans when you’re over 50. If you’re a recent grad — or you’re just not sure where to start — finding out who you owe money to is the first step. If you took out multiple loans over the course of your college career, here’s a guide to figuring out how much you owe in student loans.  And if you’re making the debt payoff your mission this year, check out these 11 strategies for paying off student loans that you can start now. 3. Ditch the Underwater Car Loan There’s no use staring in the rearview mirror at how you should have bought that used subcompact rather than taking out a long-term auto loan for the brand new SUV.  If it helps (and I know it doesn’t), you’re not alone. With ever-climbing prices on vehicles, more people are lengthening their loan terms to lower their monthly payments. New car loan terms between 85 and 96 months (that’s seven- to eight-year car loans) increased 38% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018.  Here’s how to calculate the equity in your vehicle: Value of your vehicle – loan payoff amount = equity But if you’re ready to dump that clunker before you pay off the loan, there’s a good chance you owe more on the car than it’s worth (consider: New cars lose around 20% of their value the moment they leave the lot, according to AAA).  If you owe more than your car is worth, paying off that underwater car loan should be your priority. How do you do it? There are smart ways, such as hanging onto the car and paying off the negative equity. Then there are less financially savvy options, like rolling over the amount you still owe into another auto loan so that you’re already underwater on the new car loan.  We explain your options in this guide to getting out of your underwater car loan. 4. Kill the Medical Debt Medical debt can be particularly frustrating because it’s often due to health issues that are out of your control.  But making paying off medical debt a priority in 2020 can not only improve your financial outlook but also leave you feeling less stressed about the old debt (and thus reduce your chances of piling on more bills for stress-related medical issues — bonus resolution!). We have seven ways to deal with medical debt that will help you identify how much you owe, negotiate for a lower price and ask for help if you can’t afford the bills.  By tackling your medical debt step by step, you can make 2020 the year you feel better — both physically and fiscally. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Personal loan vs Cash Advance to pay off credit card 1/10/20 @ 5:32 PM Suze Orman says CAR LEASES are always a BAD financial move - do you agree? 4/18/19 @ 11:47 AM Where does debt go? 1/10/20 @ 12:48 PM n Son has gotten himself into a credit card mess! 1/3/20 @ 9:49 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question 5. Kick Your Mortgage to the Curb You may have heard that mortgage is a “good debt.” That’s because on average, returns in the stock market are higher than mortgage interest rates, so in theory you can make more money in the stock market than you’d save by paying off the mortgage. Of course, that also assumes you can pick winning stocks. But interest on mortgages are indeed at historically low rates, so if you have other, higher interest debts — like credit card bills — it’s best to prioritize paying those off before diving into your low-interest mortgage. However, if you don’t have other debts and your goal is to live the debt-free life, this can be the year you can tackle the mortgage debt.  Wondering where to start? There are multiple strategies — from refinancing to making extra payments. This video about how to pay off your mortgage early explains your options. With your debt payoff goals in sight, it looks like 2020 could be your year of financial freedom. 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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My Completely Honest Butcher Box Review

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My Completely Honest Butcher Box Review
Looking for really honest Butcher Box reviews or searching for ways to save money high-quality meat? This is a really comprehensive post on what you can expect from Butcher Box and how to get the best deal when ordering. Note: This post is sponsored by Butcher Box, but all opinions are my own. Read our disclosure policy here. Have you been wanting to try out Butcher Box but are wishing someone would do an honest review for you beforehand. Well, I gotcha covered today! Butcher Box reached out and asked if I’d be willing to try out the service and write an honest review of my experience. As you well know with my honest review posts, I try to do my very best to give you a comprehensive overview of the product and service and my truthful thoughts on whether it is a good deal. For those who might be unfamiliar with Butcher Box, they are a subscription service that sends a box of high quality meat to your door every month. How Butcher Box Works When you first sign up with Butcher Box, you can choose what kind of box you’d like for them to send. We’ve tried out a few different boxes in order to get a good feel for the type and quality of meat they offer. You can choose between five different types of boxes: A custom box A mixed box (includes chicken, pork, and beef) A beef and pork box A beef and chicken box An all beef box I recommend doing a custom box because it allows you to customize the meat that they send and you are able to get exactly what you know you will use. Once you choose which box you’d like, then you pick your monthly box size. You can choose between a Classic Box ($128-$149/month) or a Big Box ($238-270/month). The price varies depending upon which type of meat box you chose. After you’ve chosen your box size, then you can customize exactly what they will send you. I like that you can see exactly what your options are and you can figure out how to get the best bang for your buck! Then, just input your payment information and you’re done. (Psst! You might wait a bit on the payment page, because an offer should pop up to add free bacon to your box if you do!) Is Butcher Box Meat High Quality? Butcher Box is very committed to offering some of highest quality meat on the market. They pride themselves on having some of the highest standards for sourcing, sustainability, and taste. No meat from Butcher Box will ever have added hormones or antibiotics. (Note: Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in pork and the use of hormones or steroids in poultry.) In addition, Butcher Box animals are only humanely raised. Here are some more details on the packaging in our latest box… Is Butcher Box Meat Fresh? I have gotten three different boxes from Butcher Box and, each time, the box has showed up in good condition and the meat is still frozen almost solid when it arrives. As you can see from the box below, Butcher Box sends their meat in very sturdy boxes and it’s packaged well with dry ice. My Overall Thoughts on Butcher Box We really loved the meats we tried out from Butcher Box and were very impressed with our experience. We especially thought that beef seemed exceptionally better than store bought beef. That said, we typically buy our meat at Kroger when it is on a great sale and/or is marked down. And, as you likely know, we currently only spend $70/week on groceries for our family of 5. From this vantage point, the price of Butcher Box is really expensive for us compared to what we typically pay for meat. However, we also usually stick with very inexpensive meat cuts that are definitely nowhere near the quality of Butcher Box meat. While Butcher Box is much more expensive than buying meat when it’s marked down at the grocery store, the overall quality is much higher. If you are looking for a source for quality, humanely-raised meat, Butcher Box might be a good option for you to consider. Is it Easy to Cancel Butcher Box? If you want to cancel your subscription or pause it, you can easily do so at any time. You don’t need to call or email them about it. You can just go into your account and do it — easy-peasy! Is There a Butcher Box Discount Code? Looking for a Butcher Box coupon code? I have a very limited time discount offer for you that you won’t want to miss! Through January 12, 2020 only, if you sign up for Butcher Box through this link, you will automatically get the following meat added to your first box — completely free! One pack of delicious uncured, no-nitrate bacon  2 lbs. of wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon 4+ lbs. of heritage-breed pork butt That’s right,  you’ll get 6+ pounds of bacon, salmon, and pork butt added to your first box at no additional cost. Just order by January 12, 2020 to get this deal. To get this Butcher Box deal, just click on this link, type in your email address, and order your first box. Have you tried out Butcher Box before? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience with it! [...]
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American Eagle: Men & Women’s Parkas and Puffer Jackets only $29.99!

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American Eagle: Men & Women’s Parkas and Puffer Jackets only $29.99!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you’re in the market for a new coat, American Eagle has Men’s and Women’s Parks and Puffer Jackets for a great price! American Eagle has Men’s and Women’s Parkas and Puffer Jackets for only $29.99 right now! No promo code needed. Get this AE Women’s Satin Parka for just $29.99 (regularly $149.95)! Get this AE Women’s Shiny Puffer Jacket for just $29.99 (regularly $89.95)! Get this AE Men’s All-Weather Parka for just $29.99 (regularly $149.95)! Get this Men’s AE Elevated Puffer Jacket for just $29.99 (regularly $149.95)! Get this Women’s AE Long Puffer Jacket for just $29.99 (regularly $129.95)! Shop all the jackets here. Get free 2-day shipping on orders of $25+ with ShopRunner (sign up here for free)! Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Ulta: Jumbo Size Hair Care Products as low as $12.49 each (Matrix, Paul Mitchell, Redken, and more!)

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Ulta: Jumbo Size Hair Care Products as low as $12.49 each (Matrix, Paul Mitchell, Redken, and more!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Wow! This is a great time to stock up on hair care products including brands like Matrix, Paul Mitchell, Redken and more! Right now, Ulta is hosting their Jumbo Shampoo & Conditioner Sale Event both in-store and online including brands like Matrix Biolage, Paul Mitchell, Redken and more! Plus, you can save $3.50 off a $15+ order when you use the promo code 713039 at checkout! And for every jumbo hair care item you purchase, you can grab a liter pump for just $1 (regularly $3) – price will automatically adjust at checkout. Limit 4 per transaction. Check out these deal ideas… Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo or Conditioner 33.8 oz – $19.99 (regularly $34) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $16.49 after code Or you can get this for $19.99 on Amazon. Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo or Conditioner – $19.99 (regularly $37) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $16.49 after code Or you can get this for $19.99 on Amazon. Redken All Soft Shampoo 33.8oz – $19.99 (regularly $36.50) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $16.49 after code Redken All Soft Conditioner 33.8oz – $15.99 (regularly $33.50) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $12.49 after code Matrix Biolage Volumebloom Shampoo or Conditioner 33.8 oz – $15.99 (regularly $28) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $12.49 after code Or you can get this for $15.99 on Amazon. Matrix Biolage Colorlast Shampoo or Conditioner 33.8 oz – $15.99 (regularly $30) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $12.49 after code Or you can get this for $15.99 on Amazon. Bedhead Urban Antidotes Recovery Shampoo 50.7oz or Conditioner – $19.99 (regularly $33.99) Use promo code 713039 ($3.50 off $15+ purchase) $16.49 after code Choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs. Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Can industry changes soften a hard property insurance market in California?

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Can industry changes soften a hard property insurance market in California?
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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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10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

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10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
FGC / Shutterstock.com Nobody wants to be labeled a cheapskate. But sometimes, it makes good financial sense to purchase a cheaper option if you can. A high price tag doesn’t necessarily make something better. Often, low-cost items will serve your needs just as well. Or, the higher-quality option might not be worth the extra money. Other times, there’s little or no difference in... [...]
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Make Owning a Car a Little Less Expensive With These Tips

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Make Owning a Car a Little Less Expensive With These Tips
When it comes to wants and needs, having a car falls solidly in the needs category for most people. You need to get to work. You need to go to the grocery store. You need to chauffeur your kids everywhere. But just because your car’s a necessity doesn’t mean you have to accept high monthly payments that bust your budget. It doesn’t mean you have to fall deeper into debt each time you take it to the shop. Here are several ways to save on cars so you’re not broke — or broke down. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM 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 Saving money 2/8/19 @ 6:59 AM M See more in Save Money or ask a money question Save on Cars — New or Used According to the valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a new car was $38,393 in November 2019. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn’t mean you can’t save money if your heart is stuck on something new. These tips on cutting costs on a model-year vehicle will have you basking in that new-car smell. Or if you choose to lease instead of buy, here are 12 tips to help you negotiate your car lease. But you’ll almost always snag a better deal if you  purchase a used car instead of a brand new one. Our guide to buying a used car runs down the best time to buy and where you should shop — as well as what you should look out for when deciding which car is right for you. When shopping around, don’t just check traditional dealerships. You might be able to snag a good deal from a car-buying website like Carvana or Vroom or at an auto auction. Save on Cars by Saving Up Give yourself time to save up for a car before your current vehicle is on its last legs. Figure out what you can comfortably afford, and put aside money each month in order to have a solid down payment — or enough to pay for the vehicle in full. Pro Tip Set up a sinking fund, a pool of money you contribute to over time, specifically to save up for your car purchase. If you’re financing your car, limit your auto loan debt by taking steps like improving your credit score and getting an auto loan preapproval.  Slash Regular Auto-Related Expenses Owning a car involves a bunch of expenses aside from the purchase price. There’s gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance just to name a few. Finding ways to reduce these costs will give you more money to spend on the stuff you actually want to buy. Joining a fuel rewards program, using a rewards credit card and filling up early in the week are just three of our 20 ways to save money on gas. Read the entire list to find out how changes to your driving habits and your car’s condition can lower how much you spend on fuel. Having adequate car insurance is a must. Learn how to shop around for the best deal in this guide to buying car insurance. If you plan to have your car for more than a year or two, chances are you’ll run into the need for repairs. At the very least, your car requires regular maintenance, like oil changes, to keep it running in good shape.  Do minor auto maintenance jobs yourself to avoid paying a mechanic’s labor costs. If you lack vehicle know-how, DIY auto repair videos and a repair manual specific to your car’s make and model can help. Of course, there will still be work you’ll want to leave up to the professionals. Budgeting and saving up for future maintenance and repairs will keep you from swiping your credit card at the auto shop — and paying more in interest over time.  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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Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon (32 count) only $6.83 shipped!

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Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon (32 count) only $6.83 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This is a GREAT price for Pop-Tarts! This popular deal is back again! Amazon has these Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon (32 count) for only $6.83 shipped when you check out through Subscribe & Save! This is a great stock up price. Note: Once your order ships, you can go into your Amazon account and cancel your subscription if you don’t want recurring orders. Thanks, Passionate Penny Pincher! [...]
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Why I created this blog

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Why I created this blog
Editor’s Note: this is the second post on Daily Fintech (way back in 2014).  To give our authors a break over the holidays, we are re-posting from our archive of over 1,000 articles. Rather than pick favourites we elected to simply  repost the first 8 articles (as that was over 5 years ago you may have missed them; we were pretty unknown then).  As we close out 2019, make a resolution to be smarter about Fintech in 2020 by subscribing for just US$143 a year (= $0.39 per day). You will get all our fresh daily insights and participate in our forum. You can also read our archives with over 1,000 articles, an example of which you are reading from over 5 years ago. We look forward to welcoming you to the Daily Fintech membership community today! I sold a lot of software to banks, but that Traditional Fintech game got old. Emergent Fintech makes it fun again. Media likes to talk about “disruptive fintech”, but I preferto think of this more simply as “Fintech for the rest of us”: Customers don’t care about disruption. Customers care about good service at the right price. Banks will be partners with born-digital ventures. This is different from Banks as our only source of financial services. For all the talk of disruption and battles (good for page views and conferences) the more usual change is evolutionary and driven by partnerships. I started this blog because I could not find anything that covered this patch/space/beat/territory the way that I wanted. Most blogs monetize through advertising, so there are lots posts that riff off a hot news story. I want more background analysis, which you cannot monetize through advertising. I am an entrepreneur. I blog in order to get my thoughts straight and to connect with people who are fishing in the same waters. Many blogs that do cover Fintech miss the big disruption coming from people outside the current financial system. This is because most blogs are written by people who are over-banked. For example, few blogs cover the huge opportunity among the 70% of the global population that have no bank account at all (the “unbanked”). I won the genetic lottery, I was born in the developed world, but I have lived and worked for enough time in the developing world to have some appreciation of the needs of the unbanked. It is not just the unbanked in the developing world. There are plenty of people in the West who have been left in the cold by the current financial system. Consider the 25% of Americans who have no FICO score and so find it hard to borrow. Or ask a small business owner how much they like using Factoring or pledging their home as collateral in order to get working capital. Or ask any consumer or small business how much they love paying a lot of money to change currency. Daily Fintech is about making money by empowering people, not just papering over the cracks of the existing system. All I want to do is learn more and connect with others who also want to learn more. The monetisation opportunities will flow from those conversations; the Emergent Fintech opportunity is so massive that there will be plenty of monetization opportunities.   As we close out 2019, make a resolution to be smarter about Fintech in 2020 by subscribing for just US$143 a year (= $0.39 per day). You will get all our fresh daily insights and participate in our forum. You can also read our archives with over 1,000 articles, an example of which you are reading from over 5 years ago. We look forward to welcoming you to the Daily Fintech membership community today! The post Why I created this blog appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Lost Bag? Overbooked Flight? 3 Air Passenger Rights You Didn’t Know You Had

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Lost Bag? Overbooked Flight? 3 Air Passenger Rights You Didn’t Know You Had
Domestic and foreign air travel in the U.S. has reached an all-time high. That means airports are more crowded, and flights are frequently delayed or overbooked. And the worst part? Not knowing what to do when your reservation is affected.  You feel like the airline should compensate you for your delayed flight, but the gate agent is saying it won’t. Who’s correct?  Airline passenger rights are complicated, and even frequent travelers don’t know all of them. (I sure learned a few things while researching this article!) Don’t wait until you’re at the airport, fuming, frustrated and running out of options. Learn your rights now and know what you’re entitled to when — er, if — the airline screws up your holiday travel.  Airline Passenger Rights You May Not Know About Having a problem with your flights?  Per the rules and regulations listed in the Department of Transportation’s Fly Rights, here’s what to do when…  Your Flight Is Delayed or Canceled Unfortunately, the federal government doesn’t require the airline to do anything for domestic delays or cancellations. If you’re traveling internationally, you may be able to file for reimbursement under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention.  Still, many airlines will offer some form of compensation in the name of good customer service. If the delay is caused by weather, they usually won’t give you anything — but if it’s a mechanical or scheduling issue, they might.  Here’s what to ask for:  Vouchers: If you’re stuck at the airport for a few hours, be sure to request food vouchers so you can eat at the airport restaurants. If you’re delayed overnight, ask for hotel and/or taxi vouchers.  Airline miles: If you have a frequent flyer account with the airline, ask for extra miles for the inconvenience. I’ve successfully done this on a few occasions. Lounge passes: If you have to be at the airport for several hours, ask the agent for a lounge pass. I don’t know if this works, but it’s worth a shot! In addition to the airline, look at your credit cards for compensation, too.  Pro Tip Some hotels jack up prices as soon as they find out about travel troubles. The moment you know you’re going to be stuck overnight, book a room to snag better rates. If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, and you paid for at least a portion of it with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, for example, Chase will reimburse you up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses like food and lodging. To avoid delays and cancellations in the first place, book flights leaving early in the day, and look for direct routes. If you must have a connection, stay away from airports that are really busy or notorious for weather delays (e.g. Chicago O’Hare).  Your Flight Is Overbooked Airlines regularly overbook (sell more tickets than there are seats) flights to make up for no-show passengers. Though this isn’t illegal, it can cause problems if more people show up than expected.  When this happens, airlines ask for volunteers, offering incentives like vouchers and upgrades to entice passengers to give up their seats. If not enough people volunteer, airlines are forced to bump some passengers against their will.  Though it’s a huge bummer to get involuntarily bumped, keep cool and remember your rights; you could end up with a pretty nice chunk of change.  Here’s what you’re owed if you arrive…   Within an hour of your scheduled time: $0 One to two hours late: Double the price of your ticket, up to $675 More than two hours late: Quadruple the price of your ticket, up to $1,350  Some airlines may try to take advantage of you and offer airline credit in exchange for the inconvenience. Don’t accept this offer. And don’t sign any paperwork, as it could remove your right to further compensation.  Stand your ground and, if necessary, cite this Department of Transportation page.  Want to reduce the likelihood of being bumped before you even get to the airport? Check in to your flight early (you can do so 24 hours before your scheduled departure) and add your frequent flyer number to the reservation. The airline is less likely to bump loyal travelers. Your Baggage Gets Lost Standing at baggage claim and never having your bags show up is not fun.  Your first stop should be your airline’s baggage office. Sometimes luggage comes in on an earlier flight or is accidentally placed in the oversize luggage area.  Still not there? Time to ask for compensation.  Airlines are required to compensate passengers for reasonable expenses for loss, damage or delay in the carriage of passenger baggage, according to DOT rules. Pro Tip To help prevent lost luggage, put an address label in your bag’s clear external pocket and attach a luggage tag. Each airline interprets this differently, but in general, expect a stipend of at least $50 per day to spend on necessities like toiletries and clothing. Just be sure to keep your receipts so the airline can reimburse you later.  Also, if you paid for your ticket or fees with a credit card, check its benefits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, offers a stipend of up to $100 per day for clothing, toiletries and charging cables when your baggage is delayed by six hours or more.  If your luggage gets lost permanently, then you’ll need to file a second claim. The airline must compensate you for the value of your luggage, up to $3,500.  Something’s Gone Wrong, and You’ve Hit a Dead End The first thing I do when I’m not getting the help I need? Jump on social media. I use Twitter to explain my situation — and @mention the airline — and often the company will address it right away.  You can also call the airline’s customer service line from the airport. Sometimes its phone reps will give you a different answer than the gate agents, which gives you leverage when resolving your issue.  And please, as difficult as it can be sometimes, always treat the gate agents with respect and patience. Airline mishaps usually aren’t their fault, and they have to deal with a lot of cranky people. Not only that, but you’d be surprised how far they’ll go to reward someone who’s nice.  Pro Tip To find the quickest way to speak to a live agent, simply Google “gethuman” plus the airline’s name. If you do receive great service, don’t forget to return the favor by submitting a comment form on the airline’s website. Alternatively, you can submit complaints about rude or unhelpful agents. I’ve actually complimented and complained about different agents in the same message!  Be sure to write down information — agent names, dates and flight numbers — while it’s fresh in your mind. You can refer back to this if you need to contact the airline later; providing details always strengthens your case.  If your trip is over and your complaint hasn’t been resolved, try AirHelp, a company that lobbies airlines on behalf of passengers who were involuntarily bumped. Or check out Service, a company that helps resolve customer service issues at no cost to the customer.  Whatever you do, don’t let this holiday travel season get the best of you. Stay calm, remember your rights and seek the compensation you deserve!  Susan Shain is a contributor to 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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Add Student Loan Payments to Your Holiday Wish List Through This App

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Add Student Loan Payments to Your Holiday Wish List Through This App
Is your grandmother still asking you what you need for Christmas? How about the gift of freedom from student loan debt — available for the low, low price of $30K? Just kidding (sort of). Student loan management app Pillar has launched a new feature, a gifting platform called Boost, which allows friends and family to make contributions directly into your student loan accounts. (This is particularly helpful if the $25 Nana usually gives “disappears” into pizza night.) It’s probably for the best that the money goes directly to an account anyway — Grams probably doesn’t have a box big enough to contain outstanding student loan debt, which stood at $1.48 trillion in the second quarter of 2019. If you go the gifting route, you’ll need to set up a free account on Pillar, where you’ll add all of your student loan account and bank info. The app also recommends student loan repayment plans based on your income and spending info. Then you’ll need to set up a Boost profile page with your photo, bio and the amount received so far — it looks similar to the donation pages for those fundraiser walks, except here the fundraiser is you. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Eliminating Credit Card Debit - Take out personal loan with low interest rate 12/4/19 @ 9:28 AM L Balance transfer credit card 11/27/19 @ 1:39 PM Credit card Debt 11/19/19 @ 10:56 AM Student loans 11/20/19 @ 9:17 AM See more in Debt or ask a money question But you’ll have to set up your profile in a hurry — the gift platform only lasts from Dec. 17 through January 7. And through Dec. 23, PIllar will give some users special holiday surprises of additional payments ranging from $25 to $250, which could make your holidays even happier. Don’t feel like setting up a crowdfunding page but are still facing a pile of student loans? Check out our tops ways to pay off student loan debt. After all, debt-free living is the gift that keeps on giving. Memaw would agree. 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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Get two months of Adventure Academy for just $5!

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Get two months of Adventure Academy for just $5!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Do you have elementary or middle school aged kids who love online gaming? You might want to check out Adventure Academy!! Adventure Academy — a new educational MMO game created specifically for kids in elementary and middle school — is currently running a limited time special! You can get two months for just $5 right now — which is a savings of 74% off the regular monthly price! 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! If you wish to continue with the service after two months, you’ll be billed at $9.99 per month. If you do not wish to continue with the service, be sure to cancel your subscription before the first two months ends so that you avoid any future charges to your credit card. It’s very easy to cancel at any time by logging in and clicking “my account.” {If you’d rather try it for free, you can still sign up for a free 30-day trial here. You just won’t be able to take advantage of this introductory two month offer. You’ll be billed $9.99 per month after the free trial, if you wish to continue.} Go here to sign up for two months of Adventure Academy for just $5. [...]
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Spend One Minute Doing This to Earn 5 Cents/Gallon in Points to Save on Gas

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Spend One Minute Doing This to Earn 5 Cents/Gallon in Points to Save on Gas
There are a lot of ways to save money on gas. You can drive across town to find the cheapest gas station. You can obsess over finding the quickest route. Or you can spend one minute downloading an app that automatically earns you points to save money when you fill up your tank. Sound easier? We think so, too. With the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ app, you automatically earn points to save money every time you fill up at Exxon or Mobil stations. Until February 2020, you can earn 5 cents per gallon, compared to the app’s usual offer of 3 cents. It also lets you pay easily and securely through the app — without swiping a card.  Watch Your Savings Pile Up With the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ App If you’re consistent about it, that nickel discount really adds up.  Consider this: The average American driver goes through roughly 650 gallons of gas per year. At a current average price of about $2.30 per gallon, that means your typical American spends about $1,500 a year on gas. At that rate, this app could save you $32.50 per year — free money that you could pocket or that you could spend on whatever you want. Oh, you’re a two-car family? That’s $65 in the bank. If you drive a lot, you’ll save even more. You’re a VIP at 11,500 Stations It’s easy to be consistent about using the app whenever you get gas, too. That’s because Exxon and Mobil have about 11,500 gas stations scattered across the North American landscape. Seriously, they’re everywhere. You can earn points to automatically get discounts at all of those stations. Even if you’re not the kind of driver who actively hunts for a particular kind of gas station, the odds are good that, wherever you are, you’ll find an Exxon or Mobil station nearby. Just Google it. There’s probably a station, like, one minute from you. The Easiest Way to Save on Gas It takes just a minute to download the app on Apple or Android and connect your payment information (credit, debit or Apple Pay). Once you’re parked next to a gas pump, you just press a button in the app, and the app turns the pump on. Plus, doing everything through the app means you won’t risk subjecting your credit card to illegal skimmers attempting to steal your credit card information.  Here are some nitty-gritty details about the app: When you buy gas with the app, you earn rewards points. Once you have 100 rewards points, you can start redeeming your points on gas purchases. Until February 2020, you can earn points to save 5 cents per gallon on gas this way. That’s a temporary increase from the typical 3 cents per gallon with this app. So if you’re thinking about signing up, the sooner the better. If you’re filling your tank with premium gas, you can earn points to save 10 cents per gallon through February 2020.   We can’t think of an easier way to save on gas. If you’re ready to start earning and saving at the pump, download the app and get started.  Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He drives a lot and would love to save on gas. 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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bill.com IPO not the end of its global growth story in B2B invoicing

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bill.com IPO not the end of its global growth story in B2B invoicing
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Up to 65% off Disney Toys, Apparel, and more!

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

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

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This Man Told Us How He Turned Christmas Lights Into a Lucrative Business
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for the 2019 holiday season. When you have a name like Josh Trees and you run a Christmas light installation business, you have to be prepared for the inevitable question: Is that actually your name? Trees — yes, that’s his real name — started his business, We Hang Christmas Lights, in 1997, decorating homes, businesses and assorted branched greenery in Temecula, California.  But Trees definitely gets the last (jolly) laugh. “When we first started doing this, people were like, ‘Oh, that’s a cute little business,’” Trees says. “We were like, ‘Yeah, cute,’ —  you don’t realize people are paying us $3,500 to put lights up on their houses.  “By my third year, I was hitting a net profit of right around $138,000.”  Now Trees crisscrosses the country with strands of lights and a tiny house to teach others how they can build their own businesses hanging twinkling bulbs. On the First Day of Christmas Lighting Ah, the fond memories of hauling out last year’s box of lights to add some holiday cheer to the humble abode. Haphazardly arrange the lights around the front stoop, throw a wreath on the door and voilá!  But if you’re starting a business hanging lights, that simplified recollection can lead to costly errors, according to Trees. And he should know, because he had the same idea. “We were making mistakes on everything — we were just a bunch of guys thinking, ‘Hey, this is going to be easy,’” Trees says. “We were hanging other people’s lights — that’s a huge no-no.… The second stage was hanging the crummy lights from retailers. “I’m surprised I made it through the first couple years.” By the third year, Trees had moved onto purchasing lights from wholesale vendors, which offered discounts for bulk purchases. He was also buying commercial-grade strands so that when one bulb went out, they didn’t all go out. But Trees says his biggest mistake had nothing to do with lights — it was underbidding jobs. “I got into it in the first year…  and I didn’t make any money — probably lost money,” Trees says. “I was charging $150 for jobs that should have been $850. “I bid a job for $3,500 that should have literally been $35,000. It was horrible.”  Enlightening Business Strategies Trees’ students echo his refrain, noting that learning from other professionals early on can help transform a business idea into a profitable enterprise — and with a lot fewer mistakes along the way. One of Trees’ early students was Jeff Krall, owner of American Holiday Lights in Illinois. In 2008, Krall attended an individual training session, which Trees conducted before he started traveling the country to teach classes. “Josh helped me get it started,” says Krall. “Everything from how to hang the lights on the rooflines… making our own extension cords, how to wrap the trees. “It would take someone… two or three years to learn how to do it correctly, whereas Josh, in two or three days, he tells them how to do everything.” In his first season of business, Krall estimates he had 30 clients. Now he manages 25 to 35 employees who light 35 to 40 houses a day during the season, at an average price of $1,400 to $1,500 per house. However, those visions of sugarplums and dollar signs dancing in your head might not be in your immediate future — or at least not the first season. In 2017, Lucas Pulvermacher decided to add a light-hanging business to his busy lawn care enterprise near Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  “My first year was tricky because I had to have an inventory of the lights. That’s a fairly large cost — and also the ladder, equipment, safety stuff like that,” says Pulvermacher. “I’d say we came out about even.” Pulvermacher says his Lucas Lights lit three houses and two businesses after launching in mid-November last year — “It was hard because we started so late.”  After taking Trees’ class to learn marketing and sales strategies, Pulvermacher invested in professionally designed materials, including a logo. Beyond Christmas Lights One of the cool things about those twinkling lights is that they still work after Jan. 1. That means there’s more business after the wintry holiday season. “A lot of the guys we work with, they do wedding lights, event lights, party lights and backyard lighting, that sort of thing, and a lot also do landscape lighting,” says Trees, who estimates that light installations for weddings bring in $1,800 on average but can go as high as $7,000. Krall, who also owns a roofing business, hangs lights all year round for backyard weddings, Diwali festival of lights celebrations and Halloween parties — “but the majority of what we do is Christmas,” he notes. Holiday Gigs So let’s say you’re not ready to start your own business but being outside hanging lights sounds like a better gig than working a seasonal retail job.  You might be in luck. Krall notes that the toughest part of his business is finding good, reliable help. “We got creative this year, so we align ourselves with other companies out there that are seasonal, like landscapers or pool companies,” Krall says. “When they’re laying off, we’re actively developing relationships.” Trees recommends that installers offer tiered bonus pay, adding an extra $1 per hour each week to incentivize continued attendance as the season winds down — particularly in January when companies have to take down the lights. “Helpers can typically make anywhere from between… $13 at the low end to about $20 at the high end — and that’s before bonuses,” Trees says. “When you find somebody that’s good, it’s key that you keep those people, because it’s temporary, and they know it’s temporary.” For people interested in finding holiday lighting jobs in their area, Trees suggests checking places like Craigslist, Indeed and the We Hang Christmas Lights site, which includes a directory of light installers that’s searchable by zip code — just mention your interest in a job when you fill out the online form.  Trees has found that these holiday gigs are best suited for people who work warm-weather jobs in roofing, tree trimming and window washing. All of which have at least one trait in common — no fear of heights.  And yes, the money is nice, but Krall and Pulvermacher agree that the best part of hanging bulbs is the way their customers’ faces light up when they see the finished product. “Everybody’s in a really good mood around Christmas time,” says Krall.  Pulvermacher adds: “It’s just kind of a cozy feeling when you see a house all lit up.” Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder.  This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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17 Renovations That Are Unlikely to Help Sell Your Home

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17 Renovations That Are Unlikely to Help Sell Your Home
goodluz / Shutterstock.com We all like to think that making positive changes to a home can make it more attractive to buyers. However, some renovations, while they might make you feel more comfortable, might not actually help you sell your home in the long run. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, finding that some renovations are less... [...]
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Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat: 4 Tips to Limit Debt When Buying a Car

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Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat: 4 Tips to Limit Debt When Buying a Car
Ready for a new (or new-ish) set of wheels? Before you set foot in a dealership or start picking out the trim, you should prepare your bank account for a hit — the average price for a mid-size car was $27,968 in October 2019, according to Kelley Blue Book.  For people who don’t have an extra $30,000 lying around, that means taking on auto loan debt — and plenty of us do. Outstanding debt balances on auto loans rose $18 billion in the third quarter of 2019, ballooning to $1.3 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. For comparison, credit card debt rose $13 billion in the same period to $880 billion.  But just because you need a vehicle doesn’t mean you have to dig a huge financial hole you’ll spend years climbing out of. We’re here with strategies to help you get behind the wheel with the least amount of debt. 4 Ways to Limit Auto Loan Debt Ready to hit the open road? Before you rev your car-shopping engines, put your finances in park and check out these four ways to avoid taking on any more auto loan debt than necessary. (And in return, I promise to stop with the car puns.) FROM THE DEBT FORUM Eliminating Credit Card Debit - Take out personal loan with low interest rate 12/4/19 @ 2:28 PM L Balance transfer credit card 11/27/19 @ 6:39 PM Credit card Debt 11/19/19 @ 3:56 PM Student loans 11/20/19 @ 2:17 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question 1. Set a Budget Here’s the thing about budgeting for a car: You’re not just budgeting for a car (or at least you shouldn’t be). You’re also paying for the tax and title, the gas, the oil changes, the insurance and the inevitable nail-in-a-tire-costs-me-how-much moment. So before you let a dealership lure you in with the promise of a low monthly payment (while glossing over the fact that it’s for a seven-year loan), do your homework.  Set a budget that you can comfortably live with each month for the car payment plus the regular maintenance — the average maintenance and repair costs for a small sedan are 8.53 cents per mile, according to AAA — and other expenses associated with owning a vehicle. Better yet, before you start figuring out how big of a loan you’ll need, consider ways you can save money to buy a car. A bigger down payment — or, gasp, paying for that ride in cash — means you’ll fork over less of your hard-earned money for interest on the loan. 2. Know Your Credit Score Before you drive, you should know where you stand.  Knowing your credit score can help you figure out how much a car loan will cost since. Your credit score is calculated by a number of factors, including whether you pay your bills on time — and thus can be trusted with lower interest rate on a loan.   If you’re a superprime (800s) kind of borrower, you can expect to pay thousands less in interest over the life of the loan than the deep subprime (300 to 500) borrower.  So what if you’re in the less-than-prime territory? Consider ways to improve your credit score before you buy, shop for a more affordable (perhaps used) set of wheels or find a co-signer who has good credit. 3. Get an Auto Loan Preapproval Once you know your credit score and how much car you can afford, it’s time to get a loan. And although the dealership may seem like a convenient place to finance your vehicle, it’s also likely the costliest (dealers often make more money on the finder’s fee for your loan than they do on the car itself). Instead, start shopping online for an auto loan preapproval — a financing offer that includes the maximum loan amount, interest rate and terms of the loan. By shopping online, you can compare offers from multiple lenders without a dealer pressuring you to make a decision on the spot. Pro Tip Just because you can get approved for a loan doesn’t mean you need to take the full amount — stick to what your original budget dictated you can comfortably pay monthly. An auto loan preapproval letter gives you leverage when it comes time to discuss financing — simply present the letter to the dealer and ask them to beat your lender’s offer. Having a preapproved auto loan could end up saving you thousands in interest and gives you the power to search for the best price on the vehicle rather than being shackled to whichever dealer will offer you financing. 4. Break Free of the Underwater Auto Loan  All of these tips are great if you’re starting fresh with an auto loan, but what if you’re still paying for your old car — and you owe more than it’s worth (also known as negative equity)? You have a number of choices for getting out of an underwater auto loan. There are the easy-but-unwise options like rolling over your negative equity, which probably puts you underwater immediately on your new auto loan. Or you can choose the tough-but-sensible options, like holding onto your old hunk of junk until you get your loan back above the waterline. Breaking the cycle of auto loan debt lets you save on the interest you pay and eventually own your wheels outright. Eliminating that extra debt will put you in the driver’s seat to decide where to spend all that extra cash. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 19), our first foster care placement, plus more!

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

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

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7 Places to Find Secondhand Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Adore
Gifting your friends and family with something they’ll love this holiday season doesn’t require buying something brand new. You can save a considerable amount of money by buying used gifts for Christmas instead. Thrift stores and private sellers price merchandise at a fraction of their original cost — not to mention the treasures you might be able to regift without spending a penny. Before you cringe at the idea, consider this: A recent survey by the selling app Mercari found 60% of people felt comfortable receiving a previously owned gift.  Likewise, Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey found more than half of respondents said they’d willingly accept secondhand apparel as gifts this holiday season. Of course, you’ve got to consider the gift recipient — and the gift. Your vintage-loving sister would appreciate a good thrift store find, and your 2-year-old nephew won’t realize (or care) if his “new” toy truck used to belong to another kid.  But if your husband has been yearning for a specific tech gadget that just hit the market or your mom wants a 2020 calendar, maybe they aren’t the best candidates to give used gifts for Christmas. When gifting anything used, examine the item’s condition the best you can. Arrange to meet individual sellers in safe, public places. If you’re purchasing online, vet the website to ensure it’s trustworthy and secure. Check out the reviews or ratings of sellers you buy from. Opportunities to find pre-owned presents are widespread. Here are seven places to shop for inexpensive gifts this holiday season. 7 Outlets to Find Used Gifts for Christmas Some places you’ll discover great secondhand gifts (that won’t bust your budget) include: 1. Brick-and-Mortar Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops Thrift store chains like Goodwill and the Salvation Army have a varied assortment of goods. Proceeds from sales go to community programs that support the nonprofits’ missions.  You may find for-profit consignment shops in your area have a particular focus, like children’s clothing or men’s fashion. 2. Online Resale Retailers and Private Sellers Sites like Poshmark, Tradesy and ThredUp are great outlets to find clothing and accessories at a discount.  Other e-commerce websites, like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay and Mercari, have less of an online store interface. On these sites, private sellers post a variety of previously used products for sale, including toys, tech, furniture and home decor. 3. Yard Sales, Estate Sales or Flea Markets Yard sales, estate sales and flea markets can include a great array of options You may even find a table of trinkets the seller is giving away for free.  4. Public Libraries Occasionally libraries will hold fundraisers where they’ll offer a selection of books for sale. You can find titles for only a couple bucks a pop. It’s a good opportunity to get something for the book lover in your life. 5. Pawn Shops Disregard the negative reputation that pawn shops (often unfairly) have. This venue is popular for finding jewelry at low prices. You can also find a great assortment of other merchandise — from DVDs to bikes to musical instruments. 6. Buy Nothing Groups The Buy Nothing community (which connects neighbors via Facebook) provides an opportunity to find a gift that won’t cost you anything. Members of Buy Nothing groups post items they own that they choose to give away for free.  Search Facebook to see if your community has an active group, and join to see what your neighbors are giving away. 7. Your Own Home Regifting gets a bad rap, but it’s honestly no different than giving something from a secondhand retailer. The plus? You incur zero cost.  Consider items you’ve barely or never used, like that waffle maker that’s still in the box from when you got married. Just don’t give someone a present they originally gave to you! Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped!! (Fits American Girl and Our Generation Dolls!)

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Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped!! (Fits American Girl and Our Generation Dolls!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whoa! This is SUCH a good deal on doll clothing! Amazon has this Set of 7 Doll Outfits for just $9.75 shipped when you use coupon code VRVXSZOQ at checkout. This is a GREAT price for doll clothing that fits American Girl and Our Generation! Note: This is not Prime eligible, and it currently says the arrival date is between December 12th and 17th. You can also still get this Doll Clothes 28-Piece Set for just $29.95 shipped — also a great deal! Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Get 50% off ALL of my courses!

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Get 50% off ALL of my courses!
For the many of you who have been asking when we were going to offer a sale on our online courses, I have GREAT news for you! We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to bring you a BIG Black Friday Sale — and it’s now LIVE! Through Tuesday, December 3, 2019, you can get 13 of my online courses for 50% off! You can order as many as you’d like at this price! These would make a great Christmas gift for yourself, for a friend, or something to help you get off to a great start in 2020! You might even consider buying one for each of your friends and then you could go through them together and keep each other accountable! See all the details of our 2019 Black Friday Sale here. Black Friday Sale Pricing — Our Best Prices of the Year! Here are all of the courses included in the Black Friday sale: Make Over Your Mornings — just $8.50 (regularly $17) — this is our #1 selling product! Slash Your Grocery Bill eBook — just $8.50 (regularly $17) Make Over Your Evenings — just $8.50 (regularly $17) Make Over Your Year — just $8.50 (regularly $17) 15 Days to a Healthier You — just $7.50 (regularly $15) 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life — just $8.50 (regularly $17) Blog Start-Up 101 — just $18.50 (regularly $37) WordPress 101 — just $18.50 (regularly $37) Branding Basics 101 — just $18.50 (regularly $37) Content Creation 101 — just $18.50 (regularly $37) Email List Set-Up 101 — just $18.50 (regularly $37) Build Your List 101 — just $18.50 (regularly $37) Facebook Live Strategies Masterclass— just $8.50 (regularly $17) Monetize Your Blog online course — just $97 (regularly $127) Want to purchase more than one course? Go to this page and you can add multiple courses to your cart at one time. Here are more details on our six best-selling courses: Make Over Your Mornings — a 14-day online course to help you start your days well. This is our #1 best-selling course and it’s regularly $17, but you can get it for just $8.50 through Tuesday at midnight. Purchase it here for just $8.50. Make Over Your Evenings — a successful day begins the night before! Find out how to set up a realistic, workable, and life-impacting evening routine in this 14-day sequel to Make Over Your Mornings. It’s regularly priced at $17, but you can get it for just $8.50 through Tuesday at midnight. Purchase it here for just $8.50. Make Over Your Year — a 4-week goal-setting course to teach you how to set realistic, achievable goals… and then actually follow through with them! This course is a very down-to-earth course that my husband and I filmed live together and it comes with 4 video lessons plus a workbook and projects to help you become a goal-setting rockstar! It’s regularly $17, but you can get it for just $8.50 through Tuesday at midnight. Purchase it here for just $8.50. 15 Days to a Healthier You — This is my holistic health course! Want to feel better, have more energy, and make healthier choices? I’ll teach you how in this 15-day, step-by-step, hands-on course! It’s regularly $15, but you can get it for just $7.50 through Tuesday at midnight. Purchase it here for just $7.50. Blog Start-Up 101 — Have a great idea for a blog but don’t know where to start? In this popular course, I’ll teach you how to set up your first blog — from start to finish! And you don’t have to have any technical experience to do it! Blog Start-Up 101 is regularly $37, but it’s just $18.50 through Tuesday at midnight. Purchase it here for just $18.50. WordPress 101 — Struggling to make sense of WordPress? Let us help you! We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started with your WordPress blog and to conquer your fear of WordPress once and for all! This course is regularly $37, but it’s on sale for just $18.50 through Tuesday at midnight. Purchase it here for just $18.50. Want to purchase more than one course? You can add multiple courses to your cart when you go to this link here. Happy Savings! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! P.S. All of these courses come with a money-back guarantee, so if you buy them and decide they just aren’t for you, we’re happy to honor our guarantee — no questions asked! [...]
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Crystal’s 10 Favorite Black Friday Deals

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

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8 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Black Friday
You may be a veteran Black Friday shopper with the inside scoop on the greatest deals and strategies — but how much do you really know about the day itself?  For example, can you name which generation goes nuts on Black Friday? Or how Black Friday really got its name? Knowledge is power, so we’ve rounded up eight of the most interesting Black Friday facts and shared them below. 1. More Than 50% of Americans Shop on Black Friday Sure, you knew Black Friday was popular, but did you know it was this popular? Last year, 165 million people shopped during Black Friday weekend (which lasts from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday). That’s roughly half of all Americans.  Wondering how to stay sane amidst the hustle and bustle? Think ahead and develop a plan of attack — bonus: Strategizing can also help you avoid holiday debt.  2. Black Friday Can Be Deadly You may have joked about toy rage and trampling before, but the scary, sad fact of the matter is people actually have died shopping on Black Friday.  In the past 12 years, 12 deaths and 117 injuries have been attributed to Black Friday, Black Friday Death Count reports.  If you’re nervous about battling it out in the stores, then Cyber Monday might be more your scene. 3. The Day Owes Its Name to Philly Cops  You probably heard “Black Friday” originated from an accounting term: the day retailers’ profits finally went into the black.  But, the name really came from Philadelphia cops who were frustrated with traffic and smog caused by the mass of shoppers. Retailers didn’t like the negative connotation, so they spread the accounting rumor.  4. The Average Shopper Spends More Than $300 Can you believe it? Shoppers spent an average of $313.29 on their Black Friday shopping last year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation.  Don’t let your holiday shopping get out of control: Create a holiday budget before doing anything else.  5. Black Friday Might Not Be the Cheapest Day of the Year Eek! You’ll find plenty of bargains on Black Friday, but don’t automatically assume everything is at its lowest price.  The cheapest day of the year may be later in the holiday shopping season. Before you buy, check out our comprehensive guide for the best time to buy just about anything. 6. Millennials are the Biggest Black Friday Shoppers Would you have guessed millennials are the generation most devoted to Black Friday? We wouldn’t have.  Technically, the group that spent the most were older millennials and younger Gen X-ers (35-44 years old), who spent an average of $413.05 last year.  That probably shouldn’t come as too great a surprise, since that’s also prime parenting age for younger children. Consider a new, budget-friendly tradition this holiday season: the four-gift rule. 7. It’s the Busiest Day of the Year for Plumbers It may no longer be the busiest day of the year for retailers, but Black Friday still reigns supreme for another industry: plumbing. “Often, the case is that a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed, until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system,” explains Roto Rooter. Want to earn money on Black Friday, instead of spending it? Advertise your handyman services in the weeks leading up to the holiday.  8. Most Shoppers Actually Stay Home If you only go for the bargains — and not for the Black Friday experience — you might as well stay home and shop online.  Last year, 41.4 million shoppers said they bought exclusively online, compared to 34.7 million who said they patronized brick-and-mortar establishments only.   Susan Shain is a contributor to 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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Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition only $8.09!

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Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition only $8.09!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This is a great price on this Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition! Amazon has this Battleship Game Retro Series 1967 Edition for just $8.09 right now! This would make such a fun gift idea. Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get guaranteed FREE two-day shipping (and possibly one-day or same-day shipping!). And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon. Looking for more Black Friday Deals? You can go here for all of the best online Black Friday Deals as we live blog them all week long! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter andjoin our Deal Seekers Facebook groupso that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
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Apple Airpods with Charging Case for just $134 shipped!

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Apple Airpods with Charging Case for just $134 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you’ve been wanting Apple Airpods, don’t miss this Black Friday Deal! Amazon has these Apple Airpods with Charging Case for just $134 shipped! This is just $5 more than the lowest Black Friday price we’ll see at Walmart ($129). So if you want to avoid the rush and just go ahead and grab them now, this is a really nice price! Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get guaranteed FREE two-day shipping (and possibly one-day or same-day shipping!). And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon. Looking for more Black Friday Deals? You can go here for all of the best online Black Friday Deals as we live blog them all week long! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter and join our Deal Seekers Facebook group so that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
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Take Care: How to Ask for Work Benefits When You’re an Elder Caregiver

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Take Care: How to Ask for Work Benefits When You’re an Elder Caregiver
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in October 2018. Usha Tewari has two full-time jobs, but she only gets paid for one of them. Tewari works as an administrator for the Orange County Property Appraiser in Orlando, Florida, but she started an unpaid position on Jan. 28, 2017 — the day her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, moved in with her. Tewari made the decision to move her mom, Mila, in with her after she noticed that the staff at a rehab facility wasn’t making Mila take her medicine or eat her meals.  She discovered that alternative options were limited — caregiving facilities provide varying levels of care, and a dementia diagnosis eliminates many lower-cost choices. “I got very frustrated with the process,” says Tewari, who couldn’t afford memory care facilities that charged thousands of dollars per month to feed and bathe her mom — on top of the base price. “That’s when I realized I can’t depend on other people. I have to figure it out myself.  “I basically had no choice but to learn how to balance my work and taking care of her.” Tewari is among the more than 40 million Americans who provide unpaid eldercare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is expected to increase, as older people will outnumber children by 2030, according to the Census Bureau’s Population Projections. And like Tewari, most family caregivers cannot simply quit a job to tend to family members full time.  Although everyone’s caregiving situation is unique, we’ve gathered advice from experts about work benefits and caregiver rights as well as tips from real-life caregivers to help you achieve a work-life balance. Employee Benefits That Work for Caregivers In this tight labor market, more companies are expanding benefits to attract and retain employees. General Mills, for instance, added two weeks of paid leave for family caregivers to its benefits plan in 2018. So review your employer’s policies before you start the conversation. One resource for caregivers is an employee assistance program, a company intervention program.  Benefits within these plans vary greatly, so it pays to investigate what your company offers, advises Chatrane Birbal, the Director of Congressional Affairs for Health Care and Employee Benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management. “EAP benefits can include support groups… and programs for supporting an employee’s economic stability during a crisis,” Birbal says. “The plan can also include a wide array of other services, such as nurse advice telephone access, basic legal assistance… or assistance finding elder care services.”  Additionally, find out your employer’s policies on telecommuting, flextime and compressed work weeks, all of which help when scheduling around your caregiving duties. If your employer doesn’t list specific family care benefits in your employee manual, you can use it as an opportunity to bring up these benefits with your employer. Know Your Caregiver Rights as an Employee Before you start a conversation with your employer about your caregiving duties, it’s best to first research what you’re legally entitled to. If you’ve worked at least a year for a company with 50 or more employees, you can qualify for 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually through the Family Medical Leave Act.  Depending on your state, you may have additional rights to paid leave — eight states and Washington, D.C., have passed legislation that provides for paid family leave.  During your approved leave, employers by law must maintain group health benefits and cannot fill your position. If you don’t live in one of those states, FMLA provides some relief for caregivers, but once you run out of the allotted time, you’re at the mercy of an employer, notes lawyer Amanda Singleton of St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2010, Singleton was working at a law firm when her mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and suddenly required 24-hour care.  Singleton tried to use her time off intermittently that year to care for her mom. But two months before her mom died, the firm’s human resources department informed her that she had used all of her FMLA time.  Singleton was told she could either resign or be fired if she missed any more work. Knowing her mom didn’t have long to live, she chose the latter. “It was a really big kick in the teeth while I was down,” says Singleton. “I was losing my mom, and I was going to lose my profession.” Singleton went on to start her own law firm, Singleton Legal, with a specialty in advocating for caregiver rights. FROM THE ANNOUNCEMENTS FORUM This week in... The Penny Hoarder Community 11/15/19 @ 9:02 PM This week in... The Penny Hoarder Community 11/8/19 @ 2:28 PM Happy November! 11/1/19 @ 5:47 PM This week in... The Penny Hoarder Community 10/25/19 @ 2:18 PM See more in Announcements or ask a money question One Woman’s Story of Balancing Work and Caregiving Tewari says a few factors have allowed her to keep her job while taking on caregiving duties.  The first is location. Tewari can walk to work, which allows her to check on her mom at lunch or rush home if there’s an emergency.  Tewari also chose an apartment complex that has security personnel on duty. “Fortunately, they’re very understanding of my situation, so if my mom does not answer the phone right away, I’ll send security to make sure she hasn’t fallen,” Tewari says. “I’ve had to do that in one or two instances. “Unfortunately, I have to pay a little more rent, but I have that peace of mind rather than living in a house.” Second, Tewari hired a caregiver to bathe her mom and help prepare food. The caregiver charges $14 per hour and comes over twice a week for a total of 10 hours. “That’s all I could afford at this time,” Tewari says. And finally, when she can’t find help elsewhere, Tewari relies on technology. “I have a camera installed,” she says. “I check on my mom via the camera, and I call her to make sure everything is OK.” Tewari also feels lucky to have understanding coworkers and managers. “There’s quite a few of them who are taking care of their own parents,” she notes. Talk to Your Employer About Caregiving Duties Although the timing isn’t always up to you, the earlier you can speak to your employer, the better you’ll be able to negotiate accommodations for your caregiving duties, advises Jana Panarites, author and host of the Agewyz podcast on caregiving and healthy aging. “Talk about your caregiving duties before you reach a crisis situation,” says Panarites, who became a caregiver in 2009 when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “The last thing you want to do is have to make decisions under duress —  you’re already going to be stressed out.” In retrospect, Singleton wishes that she had negotiated with her employer immediately after her mom’s diagnosis. Pro Tip If it’s tough to prioritize caring for yourself when your budget is tight, check out these inexpensive ways to create a DIY spa day. “Caregivers frequently take a year to start asking for help,” Singleton says. “Ask for help early and often — whether it’s your family member [...]
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Instant Pot 6 Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker for just $35.99 shipped!

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Instant Pot 6 Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker for just $35.99 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Still in the market for an Instant Pot? Don’t miss this Kohl’s Black Friday Deal! Kohl’s has a GREAT Black Friday Deal on the Instant Pot: Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker — $59.99 (Reg. $99.99) Use code GIVETHANKS to get 15% off Shipping is FREE Get $15 back in Kohl’s Cash Like paying $35.99 shipped after Kohl’s Cash This is an amazing price on an Instant Pot!! Looking for more Black Friday Deals? You can go here for all of the best online Black Friday Deals as we live blog them all week long! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter and join our Deal Seekers Facebook group so that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
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Green Kid Crafts Promo Code | Get a box for just $8.99 shipped!

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Green Kid Crafts Promo Code | Get a box for just $8.99 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This is a RARE discount on a Green Kid Crafts box! Green Kid Crafts — a monthly subscription box of hands-on science and art activities — is offering a super rare deal to get 70% off your first box! That means you’ll pay just $8.99 shipped for a box! Just use coupon code BLACK70 during checkout to grab this deal. Green Kid Crafts allows kids to explore educational topics like oceans, safaris, space, volcanoes, music, and much more. Each Discovery STEAM Box is themed and comes with 4-8 science, technology, engineering, art, and math kits for kids ages 2-10! This deal is valid through December 1, 2019. {Note: When you sign up for this deal, you’ll have to choose a subscription plan. After your first discounted box, your subscription will continue at the regular monthly price. If you don’t wish to continue, you can cancel at any time after receiving your first box, though!} Go here to get your Discovery STEAM Box for just $8.99. Looking for more Black Friday Deals? You can go here for all of the best online Black Friday Deals as we live blog them all week long! Also, be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals newsletter and join our Deal Seekers Facebook group so that you don’t miss out on any of the hottest, time-sensitive deals as soon as they go live throughout the rest of the holiday season! [...]
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Grocery Savings that Come in a Box

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Grocery Savings that Come in a Box
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Do you struggle with the cost of produce for your family? If so, check out this solution for grocery savings that come in a box — delivered to your door! Psst! Looking for more grocery savings? Sign up for my FREE cheat sheet on 10 ways to cut your grocery bill by $50 per week! The following is a guest post by Samantha Hatcher from Inspired By Lucile and Self Care Mama Club. The Cost of Produce Have you ever gotten to the middle of the pay period only to discover you have either run out of produce or what you have has gone bad? That was my problem for years. Produce would go bad because I didn’t get to it fast enough, or we would be scrounging around for any vegetable to put with our main dish. (And with nine people in the house, this is a real problem!) Besides meat, produce is usually the most expensive item for most people. When you are trying to make sure your family has a nice variety of fruits and vegetables, it can start to add up in cost. And when not everything is in season, the prices of out of season imported produce is even higher! My family has their favorite veggies and fruits that I almost always pick up at Aldi, and while they have some of the best prices for organic produce, their out of season produce isn’t very flavorful. Think of a garden-fresh tomato and one from the store. They taste completely different. The Struggle with Buying Produce Buying produce can be overwhelming. Maybe you pick up the same exact produce each shopping trip, despite being sick of eating it. Why? Because you know these tried and true purchases will work for your family. Or perhaps you stand there not knowing what to buy, overwhelmed by the rainbow of produce in front of you. Or maybe you’re the mom who doesn’t have time to go to the store to buy real food between work, errands, and kids’ activities. You don’t care what they eat; you wish it would show up at your door like magic. I have dealt with all these struggles during different seasons of my life. I know the stress and brainpower it takes to plan meals, shop, put it all away, and cook all the meals. And the night of shopping, we usually just end up having pizza. I’ve honestly gone through seasons when even going to the grocery store made me want to consider having my entire family fast. This past year I realized I desperately needed a solution — one that would take care of all these struggles and not break the bank. Enter Misfits Market A few months ago, I discovered Misfits Market through a friend. On a whim, I decided to sign up with her referral link to get 25% off my first box. And I was SO pleased!! Everything was fresh, delivered with several cold packs, and was shipped to my house in two days. The variety of items was overwhelming, but looked like almost all of it was something I would have bought anyway. Things were a bit odd-shaped or sized, but I definitely didn’t mind! I checked out the price and picked the larger box, which says it is for a family of five and is 18-22 pounds. The box is normally $35, but with the 25% discount it brought it down to $26.25 — which is a great price, considering all of it is organic! I was pretty hooked after my first box and knew that I couldn’t get that much produce at the store for that price, especially organic. I decided to give it a try, and knew that we could cancel the subscription if we didn’t like it. Changing Up Our New Favorite Produce I was the mom who bought the same produce over and over without thinking. And when I got tired of it, I just stood there and stared at the produce, hoping it would have some answers for me. When my first Misfits Market box arrived, everything looked like something we would eat, except for eggplant. I have only eaten eggplant a few times in my life. It was slimy and gross, but I was determined to give it a try. I found this great recipe for eggplant fries, and that changed everything! The first night we tried them, we ran out of eggplant fries instead of chicken, and my children were asking for more! We had a hit on our hands. The next box contained swiss chard and more eggplant. We once again made the fries, and we roasted the swiss chard with gnocchi. Yum! Once again, something new was a big hit for our family. When our third box arrives, my six-year-old said, “Oh, goodie, I hope there is an eggplant.” To her disappointment, there wasn’t eggplant, but we discovered how much we loved pomegranates! Grocery Savings that Come in a Box Because of the Misfits Market box, I no longer have to make a mid-paycheck trip to the grocery store, which would cost more than it should. This Misfits Market box not only has saved me from going to the grocery store, but has pushed me to expand my culinary skills and our children’s taste buds. Never did I imagine that any of my children would say they hope we got eggplant. Never did I imagine my kids would be so excited about new foods and finding recipes to try. But here we are! I have cut my grocery bill by $250 each month, my family is trying new things, and my children are learning to like new things that I would never have bought before. Because of all these reasons, I’ve become a faithful Misfits Market subscriber! Samantha is a SAHM of 7 children who has spent 25 years learning how to live on one income. She used the wisdom of her Grandma Lucile, who grew up during the depression, to learn how to get the best bang for her buck. When she isn’t homeschooling her kids, you will find her blogging at Inspired By Lucile or the Self Care Mama Club. [...]
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20+ Gifts for Board Game Lovers Under $30

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20+ Gifts for Board Game Lovers Under $30
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for unique gifts for board gamer lovers this holiday season? We have you covered with this Board Game Gifts Guide — and they’re all under $30 to help you stick to your gift budget! This Holiday Board Game Gifts Guide was thoughtfully put together by Meg on the MoneySavingMom team — who is a lifelong strategy board game player and is always on the hunt for the latest and greatest board games. Are you looking for gifts for board game lovers this Christmas? Check out this list of unique board game gifts for all types of gamers that are sure to be a hit! And the best part about giving a board game is that it’s a gift that provides years of entertainment! Note: Most of these games are usually less than $30, but prices do fluctuate quite a bit on board games. If one is slightly over $30, be sure to check the price history on CamelCamelCamel.com and wait for a better price — especially with Black Friday and holiday sales right around the corner! If it’s on this list, then it’s usually under $30! Strategy Board Game Gifts 1. Castles of Burgundy — This game is like Catan on steroids, and it’s my all-time favorite strategy game. It has multiple levels and layers of strategy, and every single game plays completely differently. This is a great gift idea for an experienced strategy board gamer. 2. Pandemic — This cooperative game is so unique and one of my favorite games to play with friends! I often find that it appeals to people who are typically “non-gamers” for some reason! It’s really unique because of the co-op factor. 3. Carcassonne — This is a fun little tile placing game that has quick game play. You can usually play an entire game in about 30 minutes. This is one of my favorite games to play as a two-player game, and it travels well since the game pieces are simple. 4. Seven Wonders — This is probably my second favorite strategy game. Again, it has multiple layers of strategy and every game plays completely differently. There are two things I love about this game that differ from most complex strategy games: It has really quick play time (30-45 minutes max) and it can be played with up to 7 players. (Most complex strategy games only support up to 4 players.) 5. Splendor — This is another really fun and quick strategy game that plays in under 30 minutes. This is my go-to game on a night when I’m really craving a good strategy board game but don’t have time to invest in an hour or two of game play before bed. I now have the expansions and absolutely love it. I’ve played it over and over again, and it never gets old. 6. Othello — “A minute to learn…a lifetime to master!” The tagline describes it perfectly. It takes just a second to teach someone the basic premise of this game, but there’s a lot more to this game than meets the eye. If you know someone who loves strategy games like Chess where you need to be thinking rounds ahead of time, this is perfect for them. I love this quick two-player strategy game! And you could probably get kids to love this one, too! 7. Azul — This is a game I picked up last year on a whim during a Black Friday sale after reading some of the reviews, and it’s turned out to be loads of fun! This is another one that “non-gaming people” still tend to really love. The tiles are beautiful and it’s a unique game — unlike anything else I have in my game closet. It’s also one that older kids could pick up on pretty easily. 8. Spy Alley — Oh my goodness, the fun memories I have of this unique game! I used to play this game with a group of gaming friends each week, and it was SO much fun!! It’s sort of like Clue but with an international espionage twist. 9. Labyrinth — This is a great strategy game to play with kids or as a family. It’s super simple to learn and involves pretty basic strategy. It’s a fun one, though! I like it when I’m more in the mood for a lighthearted strategy game. 10. Tsuro — This is another great strategy game to play with kids or as a family! It’s SO much fun, really easy to learn, and a quick game play! You can also play with up to 8 players, which is SUPER fun! The more players, the more challenging this game becomes. 11. Photosynthesis — Okay, I’ll admit I’ve never played this game. But it’s one that has been on my list to buy for a really long time. It gets amazing reviews and I’ve heard it’s pretty easy for kids to learn to play, too. I love it for the really unique game concept, and I can’t wait to play this one some day soon! 12. Santorini — This game, based on Greek mythology, plays sort of like 3-dimensional checkers. It’s a really fun and quick strategy game to play with two players! Great for kids, too! Party Board Games 13. Balderdash — This is one of my favorite party games! It requires so much creativity and I love seeing the unique ideas people come up with! If you’re looking for a unique party game that requires quite a bit of original thought and creativity, this is a great option!! This game plays best with about 5-6 players. 14. Ultimate Werewolf — This is a super fun game to play in a crowd, and you can play with up to 10 people! The more, the merrier! Everyone is given a specific role with eyes closed, and everyone has to bluff and figure out who is who. It’s SO fun. This is one of my go-to games when a lot of people are gathered together to hang out. 15. Dixit — If I had to pick the most beautiful board game on the market, this would be it. The artwork in this game is just stunning, and the game play requires a lot of imagination. I always love playing this with people, because it’s so interesting to get a peek into different people’s personalities and how they view the world. It’s super easy game play, can be played with up to 6 players, and is another one that’s great for “non-gaming people.” 16. Farkle — This is another fun one that can pretty much be player with as many people as you have. If you have more than 10 people, you can play in teams! It’s kind of like Yahtzee with a twist (but WAY more fun). Stocking Stuffers for Game Lovers 17. Catan Card Game — This card game is perfect for Catan lovers, because unlike regular Catan, it can be played as a two-player game! 18. Dutch Blitz — This is SUCH a fun card game! It’s fast-paced, competitive, and sure to get just about anyone who loves games hooked immediately. Our family has been playing this for over a decade, and we play it any time we meet up! 19. Collapsible Board Game Bowls — I would LOVE to receive this unique gift for board game lovers! I can’t tell you how often I pull little bowls out of the kitchen cabinet to use for game pieces when playing complex strategy games! These would be so convenient to have, and they’re easy to store since they’re collapsible! 20. Bananagrams — Know someone who loves Scrabble? This is a fun, fast-paced twist! And it travels well. I take this on a lot of vacations to play with friends and family! Bonus Ideas (Over $30) Have a little extra wiggle room in your Christmas budget and willing to spend a bit more? Try one of these gifts for board game lovers: 21. Charterstone — This is the ultimate legacy board game — perfect for a longtime strategy game player who wants something different and unique. Once you enter the world of legacy games, you can’t ever go back. Legacy games are played with the same group of people over several rounds, and the game board and rules change as you play. This game is amazingly creative, innovative, and fun. I can’t sing the praises of it enough. ItR [...]
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Got a Product to Pitch? A Walmart Buying Manager Told Us How to Do It Right

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Got a Product to Pitch? A Walmart Buying Manager Told Us How to Do It Right
Every entrepreneur in the world thinks they have a great idea. But how do you convince other people? By delivering a stellar business pitch, of course. A great business pitch is essential to building valuable partnerships and ensuring financial backing that will take your product from conception to the shelves. When it comes to pitching, you’re going to have a short amount of time to get your idea across, so you have to use that time effectively. But it can be easy to get so caught up in the excitement or confidence in your product that you fail to fully express its value to a buyer. We decided to ask a professional for some tips on how to pitch an idea. Here’s the inside scoop. Tips for Pitching a Great Idea We sat down with Kinna Thomas, a senior buying manager for Walmart who also helped create the famous Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pie. Thomas has a lot of experience listening to product pitches, thanks to Walmart’s annual Open Call event, where hundreds of entrepreneurs turn out with hopes of getting their products on the retail giant’s shelves. Here are the five tips she gave us to better your chances of nailing a pitch. Focus on the Customer You might think your product is the best thing in the world, but it doesn’t really matter what you think — it’s what the customer thinks. And really, customers don’t care about the product itself — they care about what the product can do for them. Maybe it will make their day-to-day life easier or maybe it will save them money. Get the message across that your product is an actual benefit to a consumer and that it’s something the buyer doesn’t already offer. “We want you to make sure that you are definitely locked and loaded on understanding the assortment that we need to carry,” says Thomas. Nail Down Your Product You’ve got this amazing idea! Everyone spills stuff, right? Well, what if when you made a big mess… you could just suck it right up? Genius! A vacuum. You just pitched a vacuum. Unless your vacuum is state-of-the-art and can promise that the user will never have dog hair in their carpet again, your idea is not going to be received well. “The product needs to be exciting, invigorating, innovative and different from what’s out in the market,” says Thomas. Make sure you can explain what you’re selling quickly and efficiently. And while you might be tempted to claim your product has zero competition, that’s most likely not the case. Show that the product or idea deserves to be backed by pointing out what makes it different from competitors. Don’t Forget About the Cost This one really shouldn’t be a surprise: Buyers want to make sure the price is right. Where your product is on the timeline will mean a lot to an investor or buyer. Is it a newly formed idea that hasn’t been tested and sold? Or have you already moved forward with manufacturing and set up a cost model? Proving you can create a product and sell it at a profit — without breaking the consumer’s bank — goes a long way. Go to your pitch with numbers that validate why it would be beneficial for the buyer to back you. Be open and honest about the costs your product will require, as well as the sales numbers and future projections. Think About the Logistics You might think your product is the absolute bee’s knees and everyone in the world will want it, but consider the reality of who will actually buy it. Yeah, your Do-It-Yourself Ice Sculpture Kit is pretty cool (see what I did there?), but try selling that product in a Walmart in South Florida. It just doesn’t work — you’re in the wrong market. This point goes back to knowing your product. Consider where it would sell best and include that in your pitch. “We want to know scalability,” says Thomas. “Whether or not you should be in a hundred stores or thousands of stores.” Be Prepared One thing you shouldn’t lose sight of is that buyers are looking to back not only your product but also you — that is, they are investing in you as much as in the product itself. “Doug McMillon tells us all the time ‘Be prepared,’” says Thomas, referring to Walmart’s CEO. “So that’s exactly what we want for you.” You could have the best idea in the world, but if you walk into a meeting without presenting yourself as a prepared, collected and efficient individual, it could ruin the whole pitch. Think about it from a buyer’s point of view: If you were risking your hard earned money, why would you give it to someone who doesn’t inspire confidence and assure you that they will handle your investment wisely? “Practice makes perfect” is a well-known mantra for a reason. Rehearse your pitch in front of real people beforehand. That way, you can walk into a meeting confident that you can nail your pitch. Kaitlyn Blount is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.  This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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7 Expensive Medical Problems That Strike After Age 50

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7 Expensive Medical Problems That Strike After Age 50
As we age, health issues often creep up that threaten to tarnish our golden years. Treating some of these diseases and conditions can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to cut the cost of such care. Following are some health conditions that tend to strike after age 50 — and how to lower the price of care if you are diagnosed with them. Arthritis strikes about 91 million Americans. [...]
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Stay In Other People’s Awesome Homes for Free With House-Sitting Gigs

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Stay In Other People’s Awesome Homes for Free With House-Sitting Gigs
Imagine sipping your morning coffee on a beautiful balcony looking out over the ocean. Later, you water the plants and clean up a bit before taking a dip in the pool. Oh, and you’re getting paid for taking care of this house!  It sounds too good to be true. Can you really find house-sitting jobs that pay? Yes and no. Yes, caretaking gigs that pay a salary or stipend in addition to providing you a place to stay do exist. But no, there aren’t many that fit the description above.  Most house-sitting opportunities fall into one of two categories: standard house-sitting gigs, or more demanding caretaking jobs. If you’re curious about getting free accommodation in interesting places (and maybe earning a little cash as well), here’s how to get started. Basic House-Sitting Jobs Many websites list house-sitting gigs, and a quick glance at the listings tells you right away that not many people are offering to pay their house sitters much — if anything. Normally, you get a nice place to stay, rent free. This might not sound like much of a money-making opportunity, but it depends on how you look at it. If your current lease is ending and you’ll get free rent somewhere for three months before moving into your next $1,000-per-month apartment, you’re $3,000 better off, right? Here are some of the online platforms where you can find the opportunities, along with their subscription rates: House Sitters America ($30 per year) Mind My House ($20 per year) Housecarers.com ($50 per year or free limited membership) Luxury House Sitting ($25 per year) Nomador ($89 per year or limited free membership) Some people make a lifestyle of house-sitting. Canadian couple Dalene & Peter Heck sold everything in 2009 to travel the world, staying in other people’s homes. Among other stays, they cared for homes in Honduras, France, Greenland, Tanzania and Namibia. After eight years of traveling, the couple settled back in Canada.  Sometimes you can get paid for basic house sitting. As House Sitters America explains: “The bottom line is it’s all negotiable between you and the homeowners. In most cases it’s just a straight swap; the house sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation… However there may be times when a homeowner will offer some money for the house sitting job.” The site offers examples of times a homeowner might pay you, including: When the house is in an undesirable location. For short sits (such as a few days). When there are many pets to care for. “Of course, there are also many professional house and pet sitters who actually do this for a living, and they will charge a fee for their services,” the site adds. How do these professionals get paid? Usually they offer a bit more than simply staying in the house and making sure no one breaks in.  Caretaking Jobs In general, you’ll get a stipend or salary if you’re doing more than just watching a home. In these cases, you’re more of a caretaker than a house-sitter. One of the best sources for these types of jobs is The Caretaker Gazette, which has been around for more than 35 years. They have the usual listings of free places to stay, but they also host advertisements from people who are willing to pay you. In their archives (which you can see for free) I found the following three examples in one issue: 1. In a small town in Alaska, someone was hiring a caretaker to manage a small store and two apartments and do monthly home heating oil deliveries. Pay: A small apartment with all bills covered, TV, Wi-Fi, salary (unspecified) and bonuses. 2. Near Colorado Springs, Colorado, an ad requested a couple or single person to care for a ranch with five horses. Pay: Salary (unspecified) and a furnished apartment. 3. An ad from Nassau, in the Bahamas, wanted a “house couple” to keep house, plan events, run errands and much more. Pay: A place to stay and “$100,000 to $120,000 per year.”  Clearly these are jobs, not just house-sitting, but they suggest the variety offerings found in the Caretaker Gazette. Of the 100 or so postings in that one issue of their newsletter, there were opportunities all over the U.S. as well as in a dozen other countries, including Peru, Australia and Iceland. Are You Qualified to House-Sit?  A good house-sitter is responsible, reliable and adaptable. If you’re looking to get more than just free accommodation, it helps to also have some mechanical skills. For example, more than one caretaking gig I found in my research required someone with basic plumbing skills, like being able to fix a leaking sink drain. You’ll have competition, by the way, even for the basic house-sitting jobs. At the moment Mind My House shows 302 active house-sitting assignments, but more than 4,300 “sitter available” listings.  In other words, clients get to be choosy, so experience is a plus. To build some, you might start by house-sitting for family and friends. Be sure to get glowing testimonials from them to add to your resume. Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far). This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Are You Getting the Best Deal on Amazon? Here’s an Automatic Way to Check

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Are You Getting the Best Deal on Amazon? Here’s an Automatic Way to Check
If you shop on Amazon — and who doesn’t? — we’ve found an incredibly easy way you can automatically save yourself money. It’s called Wikibuy, and it’s available as a browser extension or as an app. Once you click a button to install it, it instantly becomes your own personal heat-seeking missile for savings. That’s why 3.9 million shoppers are using it, and that’s why it’s highly rated in the Chrome Web Store. What is Wikibuy? We Use it to Find The Best Deals When you shop around on Amazon, Wikibuy pops up and becomes an automatic price-comparison tool. If you’re checking out a product like, say, a wireless speaker, Wikibuy searches thousands of other sellers, including Walmart and eBay, looking for a better price. It takes into account shipping, sales tax and availability, including size and color. It also tries coupon codes. If you like what you see, click the “Continue to Wikibuy” button that shows up automatically on Amazon, and place your order. Wikibuy even predicts when your order will be delivered. It Works Even if You’re Not Shopping on Amazon Let’s say you’re not shopping on Amazon. Instead you’re shopping online on a different site, like Best Buy or Target. When it’s time to check out, Wikibuy automatically searches online for any coupons or promo codes or discounts that it can apply to your order. It compiles data it collects from its millions of Wikibuy users. If a promo code worked for another Wikibuy user who bought a product before you, Wikibuy copies that code to save you money. Honestly, This is One of The Easiest Ways to Save If you’re not accustomed to browser plug-ins, then don’t let the term scare you away. It’s easy to download the thing, and it just automatically runs on top of your browser when you’re shopping. Simple. Wikibuy is available on the browsers Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox. It’s also available as an iPhone app. Wikibuy gets good reviews from users, mainly because it’s free, simple and automatic. The browser extension has a 5-star rating from 3.9 million users in the Google Play store. One final thing: You can also earn Wikibuy credits while you shop. You use those credits for gift cards. That’s just one more feature. Wikibuy’s main draw is the automatic savings. After a simple free install, see how it works for you. Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s turning into an Amazon guy. Wikibuy compensates us when you install Wikibuy using the links we provided. 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 Children’s Place: 80% off Clearance = Puffer Jackets only $11.98 shipped!

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The Children’s Place: 80% off Clearance = Puffer Jackets only $11.98 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. The Children’s Place has some HOT deals going on right now! Right now, The Children’s Place is offering up to 80% off clearance! Plus, shipping is free! There are tons of hot deals included in this sale. As a deal idea, you can score Toddler and Kid’s Puffer Jackets for as low as $11.98 shipped. These are regularly $39.95 so this is a great price. See all the clearance deals here. Thanks, Passionate Penny Pincher! [...]
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Veterans Day Freebies 2019

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Veterans Day Freebies 2019
If you’re a part of the military community, don’t miss out on all of these Veterans Day freebies you can score! {Check out this big list of FREEBIES you can also sign up for right now, plus be sure to check out our latest Restaurant Deals and Freebies!} Veterans Day Freebies 2019 Are you a veteran or know someone who is? Don’t miss all of these great Veterans Day freebies and deals that you can score on Monday, November 11th! Tall brewed coffee at Starbucks Entry to U.S. National Parks Chili’s meal California Pizza Kitchen entree Red, White, & Blue Pancakes at IHOP Applebee’s meal Breakfast at Pilot Flying J Dr. Pepper and entree at BJ’s Restaurant Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert or Pumpkin Pie Latte at Cracker Barrel Military Appreciation Dinner at Golden Corral on Monday HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo at Little Caesars Pizza Donut and 12oz coffee at LaMar’s Donuts Coffee & donut at Price Chopper stores All You Care To Eat breakfast at Shoney’s Care care checks and tire installation at Goodyear Auto Service and Just Tire locations Great Clips haircut Sports Clips haircut Military ID is typically required for these Veterans Day Freebies. Valid only on November 11, 2019. Do you know of any other freebies we missed? Let us know in the comments! [...]
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20 Gifts for Boys Under $30

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20 Gifts for Boys Under $30
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for the best gifts for boys this holiday season? We have you covered with this Little Boys Gift Guide — and they’re all under $30 to help you stick to your gift budget! This list includes gifts for 7 year old boys, gifts for 5 year old boys, and gifts for 2 and 3 year old boys! This Holiday Gift Guide was thoughtfully put together by Gretchen on the MoneySavingMom team — a mom to three little boys ages 7, 2, and 1. As a boy mom, her life is full of adventure, dirt, and snacks! She is married to her high school sweetheart and enjoys finding good deals, decorating, coffee, and good books. Have a little boy on your list this year and you’re stumped on what to get them? Here are some great ideas to get you started based on their age. There are a wide variety of items listed here, so you’ll be sure to find something they like! Best Gifts for 7 Year Old Boys 1. Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm Toy Blaster – My son loves playing with Nerf blasters with his friends and my husband! This one is a great gift for Nerf newbies. 2. Hasbro Guess Who Classic Game – This game is a favorite at our house! My 7 year old and I will often play a game or two after the little ones go to bed. It’s super easy and a lot of fun! 3. Remote Controlled Mini Drone Quadcopter – Someone gifted my son with this and it is the coolest little toy! This Quadcopter can fly forward, backward, up, down, hover, and even do complete flips in the air. 4. Ideal My First Magic Set – This set is a great introduction to magic tricks and includes items to perform 25 different magic tricks. My son has enjoyed performing his magic tricks for all sorts of friends and family using this kit. 5. Kid’s Walkie Talkies – You can’t go wrong with walkie talkies, especially if you have more than one boy. I can’t tell you how much fun kids have with these! Best Gifts for 5 Year Old Boys 6. Magic Tracks Remote Control Turbo Race Cars with Bendable Glow in the Dark Racetrack — This racetrack probably ranks as one of my boys’ favorite gifts they’ve ever received! This track bends and flexes as well as glows in the dark — making it super fun and exciting. 7. Superhero Costume Capes and Masks – Boys like to dress up too — just as long as it’s anything superhero related! These capes and masks are soft and adjustable. 8. Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set – These blocks are made from solid wood and they’re perfect for building towers and knocking them over again and again. My boys have even used them to construct roads and towns for their toy cars and mini-figures. 9. LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase Building Kit – Once my boys are a little older, they transition from Duplos to real LEGOs and this is a great first LEGO kit to start them with. I love that it comes with a carrying case to keep them all in one spot. 10. Just Play PJ Masks Collectible Figure Set – If you have a PJ Masks fan, these PJ Masks Figures will be a hit! This set includes Cat boy, Owlette, Gekko, Luna girl, and Romeo. Best Gifts for 2 and 3 Year Old Boys 11. Fisher-Price Nickelodeon Blaze & the Monster Machines – My boys are obsessed with Blaze & the Monster Machines, and these little cars have provided hours of entertainment for them. We’ve had them for several years and they are extremely durable and good quality. 12. Play-Doh Modeling Compound 10-Pack Case of Colors – You can’t go wrong with Play-Doh! Boys love to squish, shape, and mold this stuff into all sorts of interesting creations. 13. First Builders Big Building Bag – Mega Bloks are my boys’ first introduction to LEGOs and they always love them! These are perfect for early development skills as well. 14. Wooden Train Tracks Full Set Bundle – Oh my goodness! I can’t tell you how much little boys love trains and train tracks! We’ve had our set for over 5 years and all three of my boys have spent hours playing with it. This set connects with multiple brands including the Thomas Railway System, Brio, Melissa and Doug, Kidkraft, and more! 15. Safari Animals Figures – I didn’t know boys could have so much fun with animal figures until they got one free in a fast food kids meal. We are continually adding to our collection and now have animal figures all over our house. They sleep with them, play with them in the bath, and always take them on car trips. This set is BPA-free and uses no-toxic paint. Stocking Stuffers for Boys 16. Flying Rubber Chicken Slingshot (16 pack) – These are the silliest little toys but kids absolutely love them! I buy them for every birthday party and throughout the year as surprises. These things provide so much laughter and fun and would be such great stocking stuffers. 17. Mr. Bubble Magic Bath Crackles – Make bath time fun with these magic bath crackles! My boys thought these were the best thing ever! 18. Super Miracle Bubbles – My kids are always up for playing with bubbles! These are an easy stocking stuffer idea that won’t disappoint. 19. Hog Wild Holiday Snowman Popper – This toy has been awarded the “Best Toy” award by Parents Magazine and I would agree! Not only did it provide lots of entertainment and laughter for my boys, it’s also quiet and small — two things that are on my checklist for best toys. 🙂 20. Whoopee Cushion – If you have boys, I can assure you this will be a hit. I found these at my Dollar Tree and put them in their stockings last year. The only problem was that I heard this all day long on Christmas. But hey — they loved them! Bonus Ideas (Over $30) Have a little extra wiggle room in your Christmas budget and willing to spend a bit more? Try one of these bonus recommendations: 21. Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set – This basketball set is has been a big hit with all of my boys (including my husband at times!). It’s small enough to use inside and has been a lifesaver on some of the long winter days to help burn off energy. 22. Little Tikes First Slide – We got this slide a couple of years ago and it has provided hours upon hours of fun. Not only do my kids slide down it, but they race their cars, trucks and basketball down it as well. 23. Foam Bow & Arrow Archery Set – This bow & arrow set is made from durable lightweight, foam tip arrows allowing the arrows to shoot over 100 feet! More Holiday Gift Guides Looking for other budget-friendly holiday gift guides? Don’t miss Gretchen’s Beauty Gift Guide and Olivia’s Gluten-Free Gift Guide! Stay tuned as we roll out several more gift guides over the next couple of weeks — put together by several different MoneySavingMom.com team members! Psst! Be sure to sign up for our hot deals newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of the hottest deals each day this holiday season! What other ideas do you have for best gifts for boys? Let us know in the comments! [...]
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15+ Gluten-Free Gifts Under $30

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15+ Gluten-Free Gifts Under $30
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for unique gluten-free gifts to give someone with food allergies? We have you covered with this Gluten-Free Gift Guide — and they’re all under $30 to help you stick to your gift budget! This Gluten-Free Gift Guide was thoughtfully put together by Olivia on the MoneySavingMom team. Olivia loves cooking but has had to learn to be creative in the kitchen to avoid her food sensitivities (including gluten). She is happily married to her best friend Michael, who also has food sensitivities. Olivia considers it a fun challenge to make delicious meals that they both can enjoy! Do you know someone who has gluten allergies? You’d be surprised how many items contain gluten — chocolates, personal care items, and more. Check out this gift guide for some really unique gift ideas you can safely give someone who avoids gluten! Gluten-Free Gift Ideas 1. Spiralizer — Spiralizers allow you to turn fresh vegetables into faux pastas, which are a great gluten-free alternative to the traditional wheat noodles. This is a kitchen gadget every gluten-free person should have! 2. Gluten Conversion Chart — This refrigerator magnet would be a beneficial gift for the gluten-free baker! A gluten-free conversion chart is essential to have on hand while converting traditional wheat bread recipes to make them gluten-free. 3. Toaster Bags — Toaster bags are perfect for those who are concerned about cross-contamination. They can be used to cook or heat up all kinds of food in the oven, microwave, toaster, or on the grill and would be a great gift for someone who travels often or shares a kitchen with those who are not gluten-free. 4. Small Cooler — A lunchbox cooler is handy for those on a gluten-free diet as they often need to transport food when gluten-free food options are not available. This cooler not only works to keep foods cold but also warm! 5. Gluten-Free Diet Guide — This practical diet guide would be a great gift for someone who is new to the gluten-free diet. 6. Gluten-Free Labels — These labels would make a great gift for those who are gluten-free and share a kitchen. They guard against cross-contamination and also alert others of what is not gluten-free. 7. Food Storage Containers — Glass food storage containers work well for transporting gluten-free foods or keeping them fresh in the refrigerator. These are some of my favorite — I use them every day! 8. T-Shirt — This “gluten-free” t-shirt would be a fun gift for someone with a sense of humor who doesn’t mind being asked about their diet! 9. Bubble Bath — California Baby bubble bath is completely gluten-free and would make a wonderful gift for a child with very “sensitive skin, eczema, or allergy concerns.” The bubble wand included in the bottle provides more bath-time fun! 10. Natural Soy Cinnamon Rolls Candle — Enjoy the lovely aroma of traditional cinnamon rolls without the risk of coming in contact with gluten! I love products that smell like desserts, especially those desserts I can no longer eat! 11. Gluten-Free Snacks — Enjoy Life products are all gluten-free and incredibly yummy! Any of their cookies, snack bars, or baking mixes would make a great gift! 12. Loaf Pan — This bread pan is ideal for gluten-free loaves which require more support than traditional wheat loaves as they rise. This would make a good gift for a gluten-free baker! 13. Bread Thermometer — An instant-read bread thermometer is another kitchen tool every gluten-free bread maker should have. It can be difficult to know when the bread is cooked, but this thermometer will take out the guesswork! 14. Assorted Chocolates — These gluten-free chocolates would make an excellent gift for those with multiple allergies as they are free of many other common allergens too! Gluten-Free Stocking Stuffers 15. Play Dough — Traditional Play Doh contains wheat, so this is a great alternative for children with a gluten allergy! 16. Lip Balm — Many lip balms contain a small amount of gluten. These Badger lip balms are certified gluten free and would make a great gift for anyone avoiding gluten! 17. Whole Foods Gift Card — You can never go wrong with giving someone a gift card! Whole Foods offers a variety of options for those who are gluten-free. If you don’t have a local Whole Foods, consider giving a gift card to a natural health food store in your area. 18. Gluten-Free Living Magazine — Magazine subscriptions are a fun gift that keeps giving throughout the year! Gluten-Free Living is a magazine full of practical tips for the gluten-free individual! If the first issue doesn’t come in time, print a photo of the magazine cover and roll it up to stick in a stocking with a little personalized note! (Use code MONEYSAVING to get an extra 20% off the listed price!) Psst! Be sure to sign up for our hot deals newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of the hottest deals each day! More Holiday Gift Guides Looking for other budget-friendly holiday gift guides? Don’t miss Gretchen’s Beauty Gift Guide! Stay tuned as we roll out several more gift guides over the next couple of weeks — put together by several different MoneySavingMom.com team members! [...]
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How To Make Money Creating Printables

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How To Make Money Creating Printables
Did you know you can make money creating printables and selling them online? This is such a great way to make some extra income from home! Guest post from Bridget of SunshineAndRainyDays.com When my kids were young, I remember putting them to bed and just sobbing. I absolutely LOVED being a stay-at-home mom and didn’t want that to change, but I felt empty. I needed something more — something that would allow me to have my own identity. As the kids got a little older, I poured myself into volunteer work. A friend and I started a MOPS group at our church, and I volunteered in my kids’ classrooms, with the PTA, and at church. At one point, I realized my volunteer hours had become a full time job. Counting Box Tops is no joke! When the kids hit high school, the volunteer opportunities started drying up. I stepped away from my roles at church and decided it was time to pursue something just for me! I followed a few bloggers, took one of Crystal’s blogging courses, and eventually started creating printables. That’s when everything started to click, and I realized I had found what I really, truly enjoy! Printables made excellent opt-ins for my blog, but then I discovered you can also make money selling printables. Yay! What Is A Printable? A printable is a digital file suitable or fit to be printed or published. That’s a stuffy dictionary definition. Are you ready for MY definition of printables? Printables are digital files you can download to your own computer and print at home to make life easier, add fun to your life, keep you organized, or help save you money! Examples Of Printables The best printables to sell are the ones with everyday, practical uses. Think about what printables might make life easier or more fun, help someone stay organized or save money — the possibilities are endless! Here are some examples below of printables I’ve created in the past… Birthday Party In A Box — This one makes your life easier when you want to send a Birthday Surprise to someone you can’t celebrate with in person. You don’t have to come up with your own box decorations because we’ve done it for you! Leprechaun’s Loot — Surprise your co-workers, friends, and family with Leprechaun’s Loot to make St. Patrick’s Day a bit more FUN! Medical Binder — This one is a great example of one way to stay organized with printables. Christmas Trivia Printables — These make Christmas party planning easier, the party more fun, you’ll impress your guests with your organized game, and you’ll save money because it’s a super inexpensive way to entertain! How To Create Printables In the beginning, I created printables using a combination of free programs like Canva, PicMonkey, Numbers, and Pages. Then, I discovered Affinity Designer. I now create all of my printables in Affinity Designer and can make them look just the way I want with this one app. It’s so easy! Here’s how to create a printable: Come up with a printable idea. Make a quick sketch of your design. Set up your page in your design software. Design your printable. Include your URL and copyright symbol. Print your design to try it out. Save as a PDF to share. For more in depth instructions on creating printables, be sure to check out my guest post over at Your Blogging Mentor. Where To Sell Printables Are you excited to create printables, but you aren’t quite sure where to sell them? You actually have quite a few options! Here are just a few ideas: 1. Gumroad — This is a marketplace for creators to sell their products. I like Gumroad because you can start selling printables without a monthly fee — which makes it a great way to test out your new products. At the time I wrote this article, they take $0.30 + 3.5% one-time fee per sale. You only pay the fee if your product sells, so there’s very little risk. And Gumroad collects the money for you and deposits it (minus fees) into your account. You can go here to see an example of a product I have listed on Gumroad. 2. Shopify — While I still have a few sales trickling in from Gumroad, I pretty much have exclusively switched over to a Shopify store. I love Shopify, because it allows me to create an entire store with different printable collections and they offer a great user experience for your customers. There is a monthly fee, so this is only a good option if you’re at a place where you’re selling printables on a regular basis. 3. Etsy — I have not personally ever sold anything on Etsy, but I know plenty of people who do and are very successful with it! The advantage of Etsy is the massive number of people who frequent the site looking for specific item. Buyers may stumble upon your printables in Etsy through a search on the platform. 4. Teachers Pay Teachers — If you plan to create a lot of educational printables, Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent platform for you to sell on. Your very first product that you list has to be free, and then you can start charging after that. 5. Sell as a virtual assistant — If you aren’t interested in starting a blog or having your own online store, you have other options — one of which is to sell to bloggers! Most bloggers don’t have time to do everything, so they hire virtual assistants to create printables for them. A great way to find work with bloggers is by searching for Facebook groups where you can advertise your printables to bloggers. One example is this VA for Hire Facebook group. Once you make a sale, you can use a PayPal business account to invoice and collect payment. 6. Create printables for people you know — Another option is to create printables for people you know! Showcase your work on social media and get the word out that you are creating printables for others. As you do more and more work, the word will spread! It can be fun to create printables for customers, because you get to experiment with bringing their vision to life! Just be sure to correctly estimate how long the work will take you and decide on a fair hourly rate that’s worth your time. Tip: When you create printables for others, be sure to look at it as a business transaction. They will likely have changes they would like you to make and that’s okay! That’s a part of the process and it’s important to not take it personally. Over time, you will learn the likes and dislikes of your customers. This will make future projects go quicker! It’s nearly impossible to be on every platform, so I recommend that you just pick one to start with and dive in! Learn everything you can about the platform and try it out. How To Advertise Printables Once you’ve created a few printables, you need a way to point buyers to your product — which is where advertising comes into play! If you’re looking for some easy ways to advertise, try one of these: 1. Advertise Through A Blog — The first printables I sold were through blog posts on Sunshine And Rainy Days. I used Gumroad to sell those printables and it worked quite well! (You can see one of my early months of sale from back in 2017 above.) And blog posts continue to be the primary way I advertise printables! 2. Create Pinterest Pins — Pinterest is considered a search engine and many people go to Pinterest to find ideas and solve problems. Create your Pinterest pin, highlight your printable, link it to the product, and pin away! Don’t forget to add keywords and hashtags in the description to help Pinterest users more easily stumble upon your pin in search! 3. Share On Social Media — You can also share your printables on social media with a link to your product. Share on your own page or in Facebook groups. (Just be sure to read group rules to make sure you’re allowed to share in the group.) Printables Have Huge Potential! Last year, the kids wanted to throw a Christmas Party for their friends. I [...]
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This Teacher Earns $3,000 a Month on the Side by Upcycling Furniture on Facebook

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