How To Train Your Dragon: 3-Movie Collection

How To Train Your Dragon: 3-Movie Collection

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How To Train Your Dragon: 3-Movie Collection
If your family is a fan of the How To Train Your Dragon movies, this would be a super deal to grab. You can order the How To Train Your Dragon: 3-Movie Collection for only $24.99 right now. You will be saving 50% on this purchase because it is usually $49.98. Be sure that you ... Read More about How To Train Your Dragon: 3-Movie Collection The post How To Train Your Dragon: 3-Movie Collection appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.
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Cheap Alternatives to Gift Exchanges

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

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

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

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How to find the ideal buyer for a company
The post How to find the ideal buyer for a company appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Christine Lagarde pioneers ECB climate change policies – what can Fintechs do?

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Christine Lagarde pioneers ECB climate change policies – what can Fintechs do?
Christine Lagarde made waves when she got chosen as the first woman president of the ECB. Now she is making waves with her push for climate conscious monetary policies. In her new role as the ECB president, she is hitting the ground running with some amazing policy work around climate change. The vision is to […] The post Christine Lagarde pioneers ECB climate change policies – what can Fintechs do? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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CrowdStreet Review 2019: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

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CrowdStreet Review 2019: Pros, Cons and How It Compares
With its in-depth vetting of real estate developers and operators, CrowdStreet provides a convenient platform for accredited investors to add commercial real estate projects to their portfolio. But investors should do their own due diligence and be prepared to leave their money locked up for years at a time. NerdWallet is a free tool to... Andrea Coombes is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: acoombes@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @andreacoombes. The article CrowdStreet Review 2019: Pros, Cons and How It Compares originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, December 7

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, December 7
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Sign up with EF Education First to work from home as an ESL teacher!

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

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Get Paid to Spread Holiday Cheer as Santa Claus. Here’s How to Find Gigs
Remember that sixth helping of stuffing you devoured? Oh, and countless heaps of grandma’s cherished mac and cheese? Don’t regret eating them. (We don’t.) Instead, think of those extra pounds as preparation for the grandest holiday side gig of them all. Every year, thousands of shopping malls, department stores and corporations throw Christmas-themed events and parties that rely on guest appearances from Ol’ Saint Nick himself.  (Spoiler alert: not the real one. He’s too busy. It’s actually a complex network of Santa Claus impersonators.) If you’ve got what it takes — e.g. a burly chuckle, a mean beard, a background check and liability insurance — you can find a variety of Santa Claus jobs this time of year. How to Find Santa Claus Jobs (Mrs. Claus, Too!) Becoming Santa Claus is a little more complicated than walking into your local shopping mall with an application in hand. Many malls and department stores rely on event companies, talent agencies and freelancers to meet their Kris Kringle needs. Here’s how to join those ranks. Work at an Event or Photography Company When you think of Santa Claus jobs, do you think of a winding single-file line through the atrium of a shopping mall, everyone waiting for a photo with the big guy? These types of events are often coordinated by events and photography businesses.  Some companies contract with shopping malls or department stores as full-service vendors – handling all the staff, decorations and photographs. Others may only provide photography services or Santa-staffing services.  Cherry Hill Programs and Instant Photo Corporation of America (IPCA) are two national companies that partner with regional shopping malls across the nation to hire Santas, Mrs. Clauses and other festive characters (as well as some photographers). Pro Tip Not having any luck with national Santa companies? Narrow your job search to local events and photography companies. If all else fails: Call your local mall to see how they usually hire Santa. Use a Talent or PR Agency Maybe you have experience as Santa under your well-worn leather belt. In addition to looking the part, you sing or act to enliven your impersonation. Simply put, you’re down to do more than sit on a red velvet throne for a few pictures. A talent agency is just what you need. Such agencies find the Santa Claus jobs — the corporate events, the media appearances, the charity drives — and reach out to you if you’re a part of their network and meet certain criteria. Pro Tip Real-bearded Santas are generally higher in demand and can charge better hourly rates. Some agencies may even require the applicant to have a real beard. Three free nationwide Santa networks, Hire Santa, Real Santa and Santa for Hire, are looking for talented actors to play the part. Applications are open for Mrs. Claus as well. Freelance as Santa Whether you find gigs through an events company or talent agency, you can always boost the profile of your Santa enterprise by finding clients on your own. This will require a bit more legwork on your part, but the reward can be well worth it. Some Santas we spoke to earn up to $7,000 a season by running their own show. In our ultimate guide to becoming a professional Santa, The Penny Hoarder spoke to several pros who built their own websites or made listings on talent-freelancing websites like Gig Salad. They shared insider tips on finding the best clothes, enrolling in Santa school (it’s a thing — we checked) and getting into character, even when you’re off the clock. “Before you become a Santa, you really need to understand what it’s going to do to your life,” said Santa Tim, a retired professional Santa from Kansas. “You are going to have to be Santa Claus.” Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Thursday, December 5

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Afternoon Deals: Thursday, December 5
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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How to Save on Prescriptions With the Kroger Rx Savings Club

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

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How to Get a Health Professions Student Loan
A health professions student loan is a government loan for students at participating schools who demonstrate financial need. There are four kinds of health profession loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL). Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS). Primary Care Loans (PCL). Nursing School Loans (NSL). Before taking on any loans, make sure to exhaust free aid... Ryan Lane is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rlane@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Get a Health Professions Student Loan originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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The SME trends fintech companies need to know in the MENA region

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The SME trends fintech companies need to know in the MENA region
Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia. This week we turn our eyes to the middle east when it comes to SME fintech trends. Dubai based SME lender Beehive, has released its SME State of the […] The post The SME trends fintech companies need to know in the MENA region appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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The Ultimate Guide to Working as a Professional Santa Claus

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The Ultimate Guide to Working as a Professional Santa Claus
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2014, but we’ve brought it back for any new Santas. Do you love Christmas? Are you full of cheer? Can you grow a belly and — more importantly — a beard? You might have what it takes to work as a professional Santa Claus. If you’ve thought about pursuing this unusual seasonal job but didn’t know where to start, keep reading for advice from professional Santas in three different states. They share the inside scoop on working as Santa this Christmas. What Are the Requirements for Santa Jobs? Yes, there are a few important requirements if you want to work as a professional Santa Claus. First, you need to look the part. It’s best if you’re over age 50, have a belly and can grow an impressive beard. (But it doesn’t have to be white. Some Santas actually bleach their beards!) Jim Beck, who worked as a professional Santa in Denver for eight years, says he got into the business because people kept telling him he looked like Santa — even without the beard. So after he became disabled and could no longer work in construction, he decided to give it a shot. Michigan Santa Claus was also a natural. “Mrs. Claus always says, ‘My Santa has a real beard and natural cookie zone.’ I’ve actually had my beard for nearly 45 years!” More importantly, you have to want to be Santa Claus. You should have a genuine love of Christmas and children. Santa Tim was a professional Santa in Lenexa, Kansas. He started working as a Santa to “enjoy the whole Christmas spirit and give back a little bit — to share hope and joy and love.” (If that’s not a Santa answer, I don’t know what is!) Where Can You Find Santa Jobs? Professional Santa Clauses have lots of work options, including shopping malls, corporate and community events and private home parties. The Santas we interviewed mostly did private home visits, with some corporate events mixed in. None of them worked as mall Santas — though some Santas do prefer these gigs because they’re long-term positions with steady hours. When asked why he didn’t work at the mall, Santa Tim explained, “First of all, I want to be independent; secondly, you can only spend around 30 seconds with a child while at the mall. When I do a home visit or corporate event, I get a lot more time with each child.” Santa Jim Beck has worked at the mall in the past, but now sticks with mostly private parties because he “enjoys the smaller venues.” How to Start Working as a Santa Ready to find work as a professional Santa Claus? Here are the techniques our Santas suggested: 1. Go to Santa School You probably didn’t know it, but Santa schools are a big business. One of the most comprehensive is the Professional Santa Claus School in Denver.. Course options even include technological training to do online visits.  Santa Tim graduated from this school and found it a “very worthwhile investment” because there are “certain amounts of psychology that go into speaking to children.” He learned a lot about that there, including how to react when a child says they want an iPad or tells you about abuse. Mostly, he enjoyed the school because it set “such a high standard; you’re not just Uncle Joe from next door anymore.” 2. Network With Other Santas You don’t have to go to Santa school to find success as a Santa. Santa Jim Beck got started by working for an established Santa who “subbed out other Santas.” Though he had to pay the lead Santa a cut of his earnings, the experience led to gigs of his own. If you’re just starting out, this is a smart move. Find a local Santa who has more work than he can handle, then offer to take on any gigs he can’t or doesn’t want to do. If you offer him a percentage of your earnings, what Santa is going to say no? 3. Buy a Suit… and Start Working That’s how Michigan Santa Claus did it. His first Santa suit was made by a friend who is a professional sewer. He wore it while helping to sell Christmas trees at the Home Depot where his son worked. He wanted to “see what the response would be and if I liked it.” 4. Build a Website For all of the Santas we interviewed, web inquiries are key to the majority of their business. Creating a website is an essential step in starting your business. If you don’t have the money for professional web design, don’t fret: You can ask a friend for help or even use free tools to DIY your site. 5. Create a Profile on Gig Salad When looking to hire a professional Santa, most people’s first stop will be an internet search. And Gig Salad, a site for booking live entertainment, might be one of the first things that pops up. For that reason, Santa Tim says creating a Gig Salad profile was the “most effective” thing he did. Membership ranges from $29.99 to $39.99 per month. 6. Book Return Visits The first year of being a Santa is definitely the hardest. However, once you’ve visited some families, Santa Jim Beck says, “They’re generally going to want you back next year.” People want continuity for their kids, which means guaranteed repeat business each year — in addition to any new clients you drum up. Santa Tim says this works for corporate events, too — as does word of mouth. “One HR lady will ask another one, ‘What Santa did you hire?’ and that will get you some more gigs.” How Much Money Can You Make Working as a Santa? The pay range for professional Santas varies widely, depending on how much you work and how much effort you put into marketing yourself. The majority of Santas only work during November and December, though some keep the holiday spirit going all year long. Santa Tim estimates you can earn “$3,000 to $7,000 in a season” working part-time on some weekday evenings and during both the morning and evening on the weekends. How Much Does It Cost to Start Working as a Santa? In addition to growing out your beard, there are some start-up costs involved in working as a Santa. If you choose to attend Santa school, that will be one of your biggest expenses. Santa Tim says the rest depends on your “level of professionalism,” adding, “If I’m going to represent Santa for children, I want to be as professional and realistic as I can be. Children are looking at everything about you: your eyes, your cuffs, your boots, your belt. I put $200 to $300 into bleaching my hair and beard; I have two suits that each cost over $1,000, a $300 belt and $300 boots.” Michigan Santa agrees, saying it’s “very important” to “not ‘skimp’ on the suit.” His is “lined wool with real sheepskin white fur trim.” In addition to the suit and the website, he also says, “It’s very important to set up as a business account and register the name of the business with the state establishing LLC … [And] we’ve never had an issue, but we do carry Entertainment Liability Insurance.” What Do Aspiring Santas Need to Know? So you still want to work as a Santa? We asked our professionals for the one piece of advice they’d give to aspiring Santas, and here’s what they said: “Grow a beard and learn how to laugh!” — Santa Jim Beck “Before you become a Santa, you really need to understand what it’s going to do to your life… You are going to have to be Santa Claus. I have a different standard every day; it’s a high level of responsibility. It’s everywhere you go: If you’re driving your car, and you have road rage — people are going to say: ‘Oh, Santa’s having road rage.’ You have to really govern yourself … Even in street clothes, some kids will come up and grab your legs and tell you what they want — so you’ve got to spend a few minutes with them.” — Santa Tim “Always stay in character when you have your Santa suit on. Work on that ‘HO HO HO;’ it must come from deep within the belly! When [Mrs. Claus and I] have an event, we take the children into our arms and on our laps and in our hearts, as our own. [...]
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Figure Lending Review: Student Loan Refinancing

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

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How to find the ideal buyer for a company
The post How to find the ideal buyer for a company appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Pack Your Swimsuit for a Layover at These 3 Airports

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Pack Your Swimsuit for a Layover at These 3 Airports
Having access to airport lounges can completely change the way you travel. The complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi and comfortable places to rest are great perks, but did you know that some airports have places to swim? If you could use a refreshing dip between flights, here are a few airport spaces to check out the next... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Pack Your Swimsuit for a Layover at These 3 Airports originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 18), a trip to Kansas, Thanksgiving meal prep

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 18), a trip to Kansas, Thanksgiving meal prep
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. Week 18! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway!! HIGHLIGHTS Baby has been kicking up a storm and all the kids were excited that they were able to each feel kicks this week!! They want to sit and just keep their hands on my belly so they don’t miss any kicks!! NOTABLE I implemented some of your suggestions for heartburn and sleep and while I can’t point to one specific thing that I’m certain worked, I am thrilled to report that I only had one really bad heartburn/nausea day this week and I’m positive it was because I wasn’t super careful with what I ate that day. Otherwise, I had very little heartburn this week and I slept for six hour stretches multiple nights!! Also notable: this week marked my last planned flights until (likely) well after the baby is born. It feels weird that, if all goes as planned, I won’t be hopping on a plane again for months and months! I’m excited to get to stay home and write my next book, possibly get to love on and care for a child who is in foster care (we think there’s a good chance we’ll be getting a placement soon!), and start prepping for bringing this new baby into our home! CRAVINGS Scrambled eggs and avocados with sourdough toast and butter (this has become one of my go-to meals) and frozen yogurt. Also, I absolutely loved the turkey and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving! It hit the spot! WEIGHT GAIN: 9 lbs. We went to Wichita, Kansas all week to spend time with both sides of our family. I took almost zero pictures the entire time because I was just offline and soaking up the time with family, so I have almost none to show of our time there. But it was a really fantastic trip and we’re so glad our families both live so close so that we can spend holidays with both sides! We all enjoyed getting to spend a lot of time with so many of the nieces and nephews/cousins. Each year, we have two family Thanksgiving celebrations with extended family on Thursday and everyone who comes signs up to bring parts of the meal. This year, because I’m running on a lot less energy that I usually have, I asked the kids if they would be willing to help out. They each signed up to make one item for both houses. Kathrynne made Pistachio Salad and Green Bean Casserole. Kaitlynn made two Apple Pies (be sure to check out the braided crust she did — see below!). Silas made two Pumpkin Pie fillings. And Jesse peeled and cut up 10 lbs. of sweet potatoes. All I did was oversee, make pie crusts, and finish the two Sweet Potato Casseroles — and we were done in two hours with everything! Mamas of littles, holidays might be really hard right now. You’re tired. There’s so much to do. And you have to do so much of it yourself. Well, just hang on… there’s a day coming soon when your kids will be old enough to not only take care of getting themselves dressed and fed, but they’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for you, too! What I’m… Reading: Parenting and The Killing Tide Watching: We subscribed to Disney+ for December at the kids’ request since we usually watch a lot more family movies together this month! The kids are loving it! We watched 12 First Dates last night as a family. This was a fun, feel good movie that reminds us to see our blessings right in front of us. (Note: It was a big cheesy in parts, had a tiny bit of mild language in it, and was definitely a bit of a rip-off of Groundhog Day, but we all still enjoyed it.) What are your family’s favorite Christmas movies? Listening to: Christmas Music! (Of course!) Also, after months of getting nauseous from listening to audiobooks (just one of the many weird things that makes me sick to my stomach in pregnancy!), I just downloaded a few from Libby and am going to try again this week! Loving: That it’s December and we have so many memory-making plans for this month! It’s one of my favorite months and I’m excited about it! What are you reading, watching, listening to, and/or loving? I’d love to hear! [...]
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How to Repay Student Loans When You Don’t Know Where to Start

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How to Repay Student Loans When You Don’t Know Where to Start
If you graduated from college this year, congratulations!  Also, your first student loan payment is due. (Cue sad trombone.) If you borrowed federal student loans to cover your college expenses, you get a six-month grace period from Uncle Sam before he starts pestering you for payment. If it’s any comfort (I know, it isn’t), you’re not the only one who owes. Outstanding student loan debt clocked in at $1.48 trillion in the second quarter of 2019, according to the New York Federal Reserve. It’s easy enough to feel overwhelmed — you just graduated, started that first job (hopefully), moved out of your parents’ place and into your own (maybe).  But besides the obvious benefit — getting out of debt — making on-time student loan payments will reflect well on your credit score, which will follow you long after your dorm life memories have faded.  Ready to tackle that student loan debt? Good, let’s get started. A Guide to Student Loan Repayment  When you’re ready to start repaying your student loans, it’s best to create a plan to avoid wasting time, money and energy. Here’s what you need to do before you make that first payment. 1. Know How Much You Owe and Who You Owe If you’re like most grads, you took out multiple student loans over your multi-year college career — the average borrower has 3.7 student loans, according to a 2017 Experian report.  So it’s best to start organizing by figuring out who you owe, how much you owe and when it’s due. Oh, and interest rate is important, too. Need some help figuring it all out? Then check out this article that explains how to find out how much you owe in student loans. 2. Pay Off Your Interest Before the End of Your Grace Period If you have the cash, pay off at least the accrued interest on your federal student loans before your grace period runs out. It can save you a bundle of money by helping you avoid interest capitalization — when the interest gets lumped in with your principal amount and you start getting charged interest on the total amount. Wondering where to find extra money before the deadline? Consider taking up a side hustle to make some extra cash to throw toward the payment. 3. Come Up With a Plan… a Repayment Plan Didn’t land that six-figure job — or maybe any job? Rather than sticking your head in the sand and avoiding your student loan payments, you need to ask for help. That means getting yourself on an income-driven repayment plan. These plans cap your monthly payment typically somewhere between 10% and 20% of your discretionary income. Contact the loan servicer for your loan to find out which plans you can qualify for. 4. Think About Forgiveness It’s possible that you can get your student loans forgiven. But it’s not easy or fast… or likely (cue the second sad trombone). But if you work in specific fields — like teaching or nursing — you could be eligible for loan forgiveness after a set number of years. There are typically a lot of hoops to jump through — including making sure your loan repayment program and your employer qualify — so be sure you know the requirements of your forgiveness program. FROM THE DEBT FORUM 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 Debt collections 11/23/19 @ 5:57 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question 5. Avoid Delinquency and Default Remember that part where I told you not to stick your head in the sand? This is why: If you miss your payment by even one day, your federal loan becomes delinquent. If you’ve missed payments on your Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or direct student loan for 270 days, your loan is considered to be in default. If you can’t afford your monthly payment due to unemployment or an approved economic hardship, you might qualify for deferment or forbearance. You can also qualify for deferment if you’re enrolled in an approved graduate fellowship program. During deferment, you won’t owe monthly payments on your federal loans and your subsidized loans won’t accrue interest (but all the rest will).  A high or good credit score allows you to qualify for better loans and credit cards with lower interest rates and more favorable terms. A poor credit score may not even qualify you for a loan. If you don’t qualify for deferment, the other option is forbearance, during which your lender allows you to stop making payments or reduces your monthly payments for up to one year. However, during forbearance, interest will continue accruing on all of your loans. Both options are only temporary fixes, and you’ll probably end up owing more money in the end. But at least you won’t wreck your credit score. 6. Consider Life After College (and Student Loans) It can be tough to see beyond that soul-crushing debt, but remembering that there is more to life than student loans is important for your financial future. First, while throwing every available dollar at your student loan might help you feel like you’re making progress in that arena, don’t sacrifice your present financial state by pillaging your emergency fund (you have one, right?). It’s there to cover those unexpected expenses — like a new set of tires or unexpected vet bill — without sending you into credit card debt.  Additionally, you shouldn’t sacrifice your future for today’s debts. Instead of paying every dollar toward student loans, start saving for your retirement now. With plenty of years to go, you’ll be able to build an impressive nest egg future you will thank you for.  Bonus: Socking away your money in a 401(k) or IRA reduces your taxable income. So if you do decide to apply for an income-driven repayment plan, the federal government won’t count the money you’re saving for retirement. Cue the big brass band. You deserve it. 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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The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion

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The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion
Daily Fintech lives at this intersection. Thankfully we avoided the temptation to monetize via advertising and as we are self funded we have no pressure to meet external growth expectations (which is the sort of pressure that leads to sacrificing editorial independence). So the media implosion does not worry us and we can focus on […] The post The Block vs Binance intersection of niche media implosion and Crypto Fintech cambrian explosion appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Is the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard Worth Its Annual Fee?

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Is the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard Worth Its Annual Fee?
For just about any travel rewards credit card, the biggest reason to hesitate before signing up is the annual fee. Over time, membership fees can make the “free” travel you earn expensive. The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. So is it worth... June Casagrande is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Is the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard Worth Its Annual Fee? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Never Leave These 9 Things in a Car

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

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Starbucks for Life Instant Win Game (Over 2 million winners!)
If you love Starbucks, don’t miss this chance again this year to play the popular Starbucks for Life Instant Win Game! You might win bonus stars, free drinks and bakery items, or even FREE Starbucks for months or for life! (Want to save more on Starbucks? Check out my post on how I justify drinking Starbucks even on a budget! Hint: I use Swagbucks to get Starbucks gift cards so I pay nothing out of pocket! 😉And don’t forget about Starbucks Happy Hour each week!) Win Starbucks For Life! The popular Starbucks for Life Instant Win Game is back again this year! Starting Monday, December 2nd, you’ll be able to log in to your Starbucks Rewards account to play the Instant Win Game. There is a chance to win bonus stars, free drinks, free bakery items, and more. Plus, there will be lots of grand prizes up for grabs: 5 Grand Prize Winners will win Starbucks for Life 15 First Prize Winners will win Starbucks for a Year 50 Second Prize Winners will win Starbucks for 6 Months 125 Third Prize Winners will win Starbucks for 3 Months 100 Fourth Prize Winners will win Starbucks for 1 Month And more! There are over 2 million winners, and you can enter twice per day through January 6, 2020. And don’t forget to sign up for Starbucks Rewards so that you can play the Starbucks for Life game! You’ll also get a free drink on your birthday, rewards and freebies, special Starbucks Happy Hour promos, plus more! Psst! Did you see how this post on how to throw a Starbucks birthday party on a budget? SO cool! [...]
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This Week in Fintech

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This Week in Fintech
Daily Fintech brings fresh daily fintech insights from people just like you – senior executives, entrepreneurs & investors working in the fintech revolution. Our weekly summaries give you a look at what you will get by reading the whole article and a brief summary with links to the daily articles. If you want to continue […] The post This Week in Fintech appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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6 Underrated Reasons to Get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

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6 Underrated Reasons to Get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card
At first glance, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card might not seem especially enticing, because it’s been a rough year for the Marriott Bonvoy program. Marriott has devalued the program, reduced status benefits, gone to a variable award chart and struggled with disruptive IT issues all year. Given all that, why would you want to... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 6 Underrated Reasons to Get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Has Softbank’s Vision fund lost sight as it invests in PayTM $1 Bn raise despite mounting losses?

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Has Softbank’s Vision fund lost sight as it invests in PayTM $1 Bn raise despite mounting losses?
They lost $4.6 Billion with the WeWork deal. They have struggled to raise fund-2. They are now focused on profitability rather than growth. Yet, Softbank fund joined by Alibaba’s Ant Financial pooled in $600 Million for PayTM’s recent $1 Billion fund raise. PayTM is valued at $16 Billion at the end of this funding round. […] The post Has Softbank’s Vision fund lost sight as it invests in PayTM $1 Bn raise despite mounting losses? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Happy Thanksgiving + Don’t Miss Any Black Friday Deals!

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Happy Thanksgiving + Don’t Miss Any Black Friday Deals!
Black Friday is almost here! As we’ve done the past few years, our team will be taking Thanksgiving Day off to spend with our families. But we’ll be back bright and early on Friday morning to live-blog the BEST online Black Friday deals all day long! We’d love for you to come join us here. We’ll start blogging deals around 6 a.m. CT and will keep blogging as long as we keep finding deals! You can follow along here on the blog or on our Facebook Page. I’m planning on doing several Facebook Lives throughout the day so we can hang out and talk about the best deals, too. Join us from the comfort of your couch with your PJ’s on and your favorite hot beverage in hand! It’s going to be fun — and I hope you’re able to find some great deals on items you were planning to buy! Make sure you don’t miss any deals! If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of the HOTTEST time-sensitive deals throughout the day, be sure to sign up for our HOT deals newsletter! You’ll receive a few emails throughout the day with a round-up of the BEST Black Friday Deals before they have a chance to expire. And be sure to also join our Facebook group if you haven’t done so yet! We’ll post every deal in that group as soon as it goes live, and you’ll get notifications via Facebook all day long! (This is especially helpful if you’ve been missing our posts in your regular Facebook newsfeed.) Looking for Black Friday deals that are already live? Black Friday Deals have been rolling out really early this year! We’ve already posted hundreds of early Black Friday deals! Go here to see all of the latest Black Friday Deals we’ve posted. And you can also check out all of the in-store Black Friday Ad Scans here. Happy Thanksgiving! Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving (if you’re struggling this Thanksgiving, be sure to read this) and we’ll see you back here on MoneySavingMom.com bright and early for all the Black Friday goodness! [...]
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3 Ways to Downsize Your Life to Save Money, Time and Stress

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3 Ways to Downsize Your Life to Save Money, Time and Stress
Downsizing — what exactly does it mean? Smaller house, fewer bills, less stuff? Yes, yes and yes. Many think of downsizing as moving to a more compact house after the kids have grown and gone. And it is. But let’s not stop there. Downsizing makes sense in other ways, too. Following are other areas of life where downsizing can yield serious financial savings, not to mention save you... [...]
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*HOT* Hulu Black Friday Deal | Get a year of Hulu at just $1.99 per month!!!

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*HOT* Hulu Black Friday Deal | Get a year of Hulu at just $1.99 per month!!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whoa! Don’t miss this HOT Hulu Black Friday Deal! Yay!! 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. Go here to sign up for this HOT deal! [...]
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Edfinancial Services Customer Service: What It Can Do and How to Contact

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Edfinancial Services Customer Service: What It Can Do and How to Contact
Edfinancial Services is one of nine companies that service federal student loans by collecting and tracking payments. It is sometimes seen as HESC/Edfinancial. If Edfinancial is your student loan servicer, here’s what it can help you do. Register for online access to your account. Once you have access you can contact Edfinancial, access your monthly billing... Anna Helhoski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: anna@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @AnnaHelhoski. The article Edfinancial Services Customer Service: What It Can Do and How to Contact originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Habit Saves Me Money and Stress All Week Long

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This Habit Saves Me Money and Stress All Week Long
Figuring out what to cook for dinner every night can add stress to an already long day. But going out to eat or picking something on the way home adds up to a pretty penny. What if there was a way to avoid the hassle of what’s for dinner and save money in the process? Enter meal planning. This one switch — from deciding what to eat on the fly to planning out your meals &#8212. [...]
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This Company is Looking for Clinical Trial Participants (And Will Pay up to $12,000)

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This Company is Looking for Clinical Trial Participants (And Will Pay up to $12,000)
Taking part in a clinical research study is a great way to help find treatments for common illnesses…  …and, we’re not going to lie, it’s also a great way to potentially earn some extra money.  Wait! Before your imagination runs wild, know that clinical trials really aren’t that scary. You just have to find legit opportunities that are worth your time. We suggest starting with a contract research organization called Parexel, which has been around since 1982. It conducts clinical trials in Baltimore, Los Angeles and London — and it’s willing to pay you up to $12,000 per study. Sooo… Tell Me More About These Trials These research organizations spend years testing new medications and devices in hopes of treating common illnesses. After all that research, they move to the next step — these clinical trials — so the Food and Drug Administration will give its stamp of approval. It’s the last stop before something is offered to the public. And that’s where you can help. You don’t necessarily have to have an illness, either; Parexel is looking for healthy participants, as well. The first phases of Parexel studies typically focus on healthy volunteers, and these studies tend to pay more.   Here’s how to get started: Go to Parexel’s website, and scroll through its available studies in Baltimore, Los Angeles and London. Take note of each study’s dates, requirements and compensation. If you find a match, apply for the study online by filling out some basic information. If you don’t find a match? Join Parexel’s mailing list, and it’ll email you when new trials become available. Are There Any Major Requirements? Hop over to Parexel’s list of available studies. It outlines any specific requirements upfront so you won’t waste your time. For example, one study, available at the time of writing this article, simply needed healthy volunteers who don’t smoke. Others will be more specific — like those with arthritis or non-childbearing women. As a general rule of thumb, Parexel is looking for participants who: Are ages 18 to 55. Live anywhere in the U.S. and can travel to Baltimore, Los Angeles and London. Generally have a body mass index (BMI) of 32 or less. (You can calculate your BMI on Parexel’s site.) For healthy volunteers, Parexel is looking for people in overall good health, who are not diagnosed with any major medical conditions and don’t consistently require prescription medications.  Some trials will require you to stay on site for up to 20 nights (those pay more), and others simply require you to stop in for flexible tests and screenings. Generally, you’ll get paid per visit — with Parexel, the average is $300 to $350. So if you’re looking for some extra money and want to help find treatments to common diseases, sign up for a clinical research study. Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, November 24

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, November 24
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Glass Lewis Releases 2020 US Proxy Paper Guidelines

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Glass Lewis Releases 2020 US Proxy Paper Guidelines
On November 1, Glass Lewis released its 2020 US Proxy Paper Guidelines. The updates to the voting guidelines primarily add additional factors that Glass Lewis will review when evaluating proposals and issuing its voting recommendation for shareholders. According to Glass Lewis, the updates seek to fulfill Glass Lewis’ overarching goal of protecting and enhancing shareholders’ interests by (1) continuing to increase transparency at the board level, both with respect to the selection of board members and with respect to decisions the board undertakes, and (2) discouraging companies from undertaking actions that would bypass the shareholders’ ability to vote on matters deemed important by Glass Lewis. Significant updates to the voting guidelines are summarized below. Nominating and governance committee assessment In September, the SEC issued guidance stating that when a company seeks to exclude a shareholder proposal, the SEC will inform the shareholder and the company of its position to (1) concur, (2) disagree or (3) decline to state a view with respect to the company’s asserted basis for exclusion. The SEC further clarified that, beginning with the 2019-2020 shareholder proposal season, the staff may also respond to no-action requests orally rather than in writing. Glass Lewis clarified that it will recommend voting against all members of the governance committee if a shareholder proposal is omitted and either (a) the SEC declines to state its view with respect to the company’s basis for exclusion or (b) the SEC verbally permits the exclusion, but there is no written record and the company fails to provide any disclosure regarding such relief. Glass Lewis also added additional factors that it will consider when evaluating governance committee members’ performance. In particular, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against the chair of the nominating and governance committee if (1) board and committee meeting attendance records of directors are not disclosed or (2) a director attended less than 75 percent of board and committee meetings, and the disclosure is vague to a point where it is not possible to determine such director’s identity. Audit committee and compensation committee assessments Glass Lewis also established additional factors that it will consider when evaluating audit committee and compensation committee performance. In particular, Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting against the chair of an audit committee if fees paid to a company’s external auditor are not disclosed. In addition, Glass Lewis will recommend voting against all members of the compensation committee if the board adopts a frequency proposal for its advisory vote on executive compensation and such proposal was not approved by a plurality of shareholders. Contractual payments and arrangements for executives Glass Lewis clarified that, with respect to ongoing and new contractual payments and executive entitlements, it disfavors contractual agreements that include excessive severance payments, new or renewed single-trigger, change-in-control arrangements, excise tax gross-ups, multi-year guaranteed awards and other provisions that Glass Lewis considers to be problematic. Similarly, contractual arrangements providing for problematic entitlements that are not addressed upon renewal or revision are viewed by Glass Lewis as a missed opportunity to remedy provisions unfavorable to shareholders and could lead to a negative voting recommendation. Company responsiveness to say-on-pay Glass Lewis further clarified what it considers an appropriate response to low shareholder support for prior say-on-pay proposals, including the levels of responsiveness based on the severity and persistence of shareholder opposition. Glass Lewis may recommend voting against future say-on-pay proposals if, in response to negative shareholder feedback, a company with low (less than 80 percent) support on a say-on–pay proposal fails to provide robust disclosure of engagement activities and specific changes in response to shareholder feedback. Exclusive forum provisions Glass Lewis generally recommends voting against the chair of the governance committee if the board adopts an exclusive forum provision without shareholder approval. However, Glass Lewis may now make exceptions to this policy if it can be reasonably determined that the exclusive forum provision is narrowly crafted to suit the company’s specific circumstances. In addition, Glass Lewis has made various minor clarifications and edits to its guidelines. The full text of the Glass Lewis 2020 US Proxy Paper Guidelines is available here. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (17 weeks) + Thanksgiving break!

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Life Update: Pregnancy (17 weeks) + Thanksgiving break!
Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram. 17 weeks and the bump is starting to finally make its appearance more regularly! I still get shocked every time I look in the mirror and see that there’s a BABY bump there!! HIGHLIGHTS I’m slowly transitioning into a few maternity tops! And I’m feeling the baby move so much more now — Jesse was even able to feel some movement!! NOTABLE After a few weeks of lots of pregnancy-induced insomnia, I actually slept over 7 hours straight the past two nights!!!! I forgot what that felt like!! Also, I have significantly changed my diet and that seems to really be helping my heartburn. I usually have severe heartburn that gets progressively worse in my pregnancy but I found that limiting my fats to eggs, avocados, butter, and grape seed oil + having almost zero acidic foods has made a massive difference in the last week for me. I don’t know how long the relief will continue but every hour that I’m not experiencing intense heartburn is such a gift right now! CRAVINGS Carbs and more carbs (at least I’m craving whole grains most of the time, though!!) Plus (gratefully!) some fruit, veggies, and meat. I’m thankful that while I’m still nauseous at least some of every day, overall I’m able to eat and (mostly) enjoy healthy food again! Also, I’m back to drinking close to a gallon of water again — yay!!! WEIGHT GAIN: 9 lbs. Got any great suggestions/solutions to help with insomnia or heartburn? Send ‘em my way! The kids are SO excited to have a whole week of school off for Thanksgiving break! We’re headed to Kansas to spend time with both of our families and can’t wait! Kathrynne got Friday off, too, so she went with me to Panera while I worked on a writing project and she worked on this art project (she’s been loving sketching and drawing and doodling recently!) The finished product! Something From My Heart… They say you should use a nice camera, use editing software, and use photo presets if you really want to grow your online following and increase your engagement. I think blogs and social media accounts like that are beautiful and amazing, but that’s just not me. I’m not that organized, put-together, or patient. Plus, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to use photo presets. So instead, I bring you real-life photos and videos taken in the moment on my phone. Because this is my life and this is what I have to offer. The “experts” would say a darkly-lit photo with a messy table and dishes on it should never see the light of day on someone’s social media account or blog. But y’all, I think this photo that I took the other night of the Silas and Jesse working on Silas’ rough draft together is so much more meaningful than most all edited and staged photos I have. It speaks of a dad who loves his son, of a boy who is working hard on school, and of the beauty that is real life. These are the moments I don’t ever want to forget. If I took the time to try to get the lighting right, cleared the table strewn with dishes and books, and staged the setting, it would completely lose the meaning for me. So thank you for following here and joining me in the imperfect. Thank you for not expecting pretty and staged and edited from my blog or social media accounts. Thank you for showing up for the real and the raw. And thank you for loving me — and us — exactly as we are! It means the world to me and it makes me look forward to hanging out online every day! ❤️ [...]
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Over 50 and Still Owe on Student Loans? Here’s How to Get Debt Free

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Over 50 and Still Owe on Student Loans? Here’s How to Get Debt Free
Student loan debt isn’t reserved for the young. In fact, it’s becoming a bigger problem for those well beyond the traditional campus quad years. Of the $1.5 trillion student debt Americans owe, people age 50 and older owe 20% of it — $289.5 billion. And borrowers 62 and older held $72.9 billion in outstanding federal student loans, up $10.4 billion from the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Why so much? The majority of the loans are for children’s and grandchildren’s education, although some of it is also for career changers taking out later-in-life loans for their own education. Unfortunately, with the prospect of retirement on the horizon, there’s a lot less time to pay off those student loans, and there can be painful consequences if you don’t — including having your Social Security wages garnished. If you’re among those who are closer to retirement than the legal drinking age, we have solutions for dealing with student loan debt when you’re over 50. Paying Off Student Loan Debt After Age 50 Everyone has their own reasons for staring down student loans when they’re on the verge of retirement. And while we have plenty of strategies for paying off student loans in general, we’re here to address some of the most common scenarios that lead to student loan debt after 50 and offer tips on how to pay them off. 1. You Took Out Federal Student Loans  You may have heard this before: Your kids can borrow for college, but you can’t take out loans to retire. Regardless of whether you took out federal loans for your own education or your kid’s, saving for retirement should still be a priority. In fact, it could potentially save you thousands on student loan repayments.  If you have federal student loans, you can qualify for an income-driven repayment plan, which calculates your monthly student loan payments based on your income. But your contributions to a 401(k) or IRA are pre-tax dollars, which reduce your salary in the eyes of the federal government. And a smaller salary reduces your monthly student loan payment. Depending on the repayment plan, after 20 to 25 years of on-time payments, the remaining balance will be forgiven, although that amount will be counted as taxable income. “If that’s the case, you’re in your 70s — your income traditionally is lower,” said Amy Irvine, a Certified Financial Planner and founder of Rooted Planning Group. “So you may end up paying less income tax on the amount that’s forgiven with the income-driven plan than you would have if you had made the full payment.” Pro Tip If you’re 50 or older in 2020, you can contribute up to $26,000 to your 401(k) and up to $7,000 to your IRAs. Another option for socking away money to lower your taxable income: a Health Savings Account. In 2020, you can contribute up to $3,550 as an individual or $7,100 as family to an HSA if you have a high-deductible health plan. And as a bonus, you’ll probably appreciate the extra money for health care as you continue to get older. “One of the biggest reasons that a financial plan ‘fails’ in retirement is because of medical expenses,” Irvine said. 2. You Took Out (or Co-Signed) Private Student Loans If you have a private student loan staring you down — either ones you took out or that you cosigned for your student — you’ll need to get a little more creative when it comes to paying it back. Because it isn’t a federal loan, you typically do not have the income-driven options that the federal loans offer. However, it doesn’t hurt to call your lender and ask about extended payment plans. Other options: Consider refinancing the loan or taking out a personal loan with a lower interest rate, which can save you money over the life of your loan.  Pro Tip If you’re married and one partner earns significantly more, ask your tax adviser whether filing your taxes as “married filing separately” could help you qualify for an income-driven plan. If you own your home and car, consider using a home equity loan rather than taking out a loan against your vehicle, Irvine advised.  “[Your home] is a more stable asset than a car that’s depreciating,” she said. Regardless of the strategy you choose, the ultimate goal should be to get the payment low enough so the student can take over the payments — and eventually the loan — themselves. 3. You Have Multiple Loans With High Interest If you have federal and private loans, you may be looking for a one-stop solution, like consolidation. However, that could negate some of the benefits you get with federal loans. “Federal loans are dischargeable if the borrower is permanently disabled or dies,” said Joseph Valenti, senior policy advisor with the AARP Public Policy Institute. “Doing the private refinancing means losing some of those rights and options.” However, that doesn’t always mean holding onto high-interest loans for death and disability benefits is the best option financially, Irvine noted. “Let’s say you’re paying 7% on those direct loans, and you can go out and refinance those into a private loan for 3%,” she said. “Then you may want to up your disability policy so that you know you have the money to repay that loan or take out a life insurance policy so that if something happens to you, the loan can be paid off.”  4. You’re Paying Your Child’s Federal Student Loans So there’s the obvious answer to this one: Tell your kid to start footing the bill for their own student loans. But you’re a parent (or grandparent), not some heartless thug. You want to help your kids if they can’t afford those astronomical student loan payments. But your offspring can still do their part to help by getting themselves on an income-driven repayment plan. “Even if the parent or grandparent has to make that minimum payment, it’s still much better than the full payment,” Irvine said. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Debt collections 11/23/19 @ 12:57 PM Student loans 11/20/19 @ 9:17 AM Paid off Debt, however Credit Score stayed the same....Why? 4/23/19 @ 7:10 PM Credit card Debt 11/19/19 @ 10:56 AM See more in Debt or ask a money question 5. Your Kids Are Heading to College and You Still Owe on Your Own Student Loans If your kids have dreams of campus life, but you’re still paying for your own college years, it’s best to come up with a strategy before they start applying. Scholarships and part-time jobs during the school year and summer jobs can help your child put a dent in their debt, giving them a better chance to manage their repayment without your help. But your strategy for paying off loans could also require a little creativity — and working with your kid’s prospective school. “One of my clients had a really high interest rate student loan that they were repaying,” Irvine said. “We actually used the Plus loan to pay off their loan, and then figured out how to do an installment payment to the college to get the student’s tuition covered.”  6. You’re Ignoring the Problem This one is on you. It’s stressful, it’s confusing and sometimes unfair, but ignoring the debt is the worst mistake Irvine said she sees clients make. “They don’t know what th [...]
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Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

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Brigette’s $87 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6
Aldi 1 20-lb Turkey – $15.40 2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.28 1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97 1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97 1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.79 1 bag Coffee – $3.49 1 Olive Oil Cooking Spray – $0.97 2 5-lb bags Flour – $1.98 1 5-lb bag Corn Masa – $1.65 1 box Pie Crusts – $0.99 1 jar Baking Cocoa – $1.49 1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99 1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59 5 single-serving size cartons Greek Yogurt – $3.45 1 2-lb bag Shredded Cheese – $4.99 2 bag frozen Broccoli Florets – $1.90 1 bag frozen Riced Cauliflower – $1.89 1 bag Steamed Mixed Vegetables – $0.95 1 head Cauliflower – $1.99 1 3-lb bag Mandarin Oranges – $2.39 1 3-lb bag Apples – $2.99 1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49 1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $1.99 2 bags Fresh Green Beans – $2.98 1 bag Lemons – $1.99 1 bunch Bananas – $1.09 1 pkg Snacking Tomatoes, reduced – $0.99 1 pkg Pepperoni – $1.99 1 16-oz pkg Deli Meat – $2.69 1 pkg Flour Tortillas – $0.65 1-lb Ground Sausage – $1.89 2 large cans Chicken Breast – $3.98 1 bag Pecans – $3.99 1 pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.49 1 can Whipped Topping – $2.65 1 large jar Corn Syrup – $1.69 1 bag Brown Sugar – $0.89 2 cans Tomato Sauce – $0.38 2 large cans Crushed Tomatoes – $1.04 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.75 1 box Frosted Flakes – $1.19 2 boxes Honey Crisp Oats – $2.38 1 large canister Quick Oats – $2.16 1 loaf Sandwich Bread, reduced – $0.25 1 pkg Plain Rice Cakes – $1.15 2 dozen Eggs – $1.54 Used a $20 Aldi Gift Card received as a gift from a friend Total: ($102.52 – $20): 82.52 Harris Teeter 1 pkg fresh Cauliflower Rice, reduced – $1.00 1 bag Spinach, reduced – $1.00 5 cans Green Beans – $1.38 Sweet Potatoes ($0.25/lb) – $1.38 Total: $4.76 Grocery Total for the Week: $87.58 Weekly Menu Plan Breakfasts Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include: Cereal, Oatmeal, Banana Muffins, Boiled/Fried/Scrambled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Toast, Yogurt, Smoothies Lunches Cheese Quesadillas, Apples, Mini Carrots Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Grapes, Mini Cucumbers x 2 Peanut Butter on Rice Cakes, Oranges, Cheese Sticks, Grape Tomatoes x 2 Leftovers x 2 Dinners Spaghizza, Tossed Salad, Roasted Cauliflower, Breadsticks Chili with Shredded Cheese, World’s Best Honey Cornbread Chicken Pot Pie, Steamed Green Beans, Tossed Salad Pancakes, Hashbrowns, Sausage, Roasted Broccoli Meatloaf, Twice Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower Rice (I make it similar to this without the cilantro), Green Beans, Butterhorns, Pecan Pie (company for dinner) Date Night Out (kids will eat leftovers or something simple at home) Leftovers [...]
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Top 7 Global Fintech Trends 2019

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Top 7 Global Fintech Trends 2019
This is my third year at DailyFintech. Looking back, this year has been the most eventful year of the three, with several significant Fintech trends emerging across the world. Typically, I am not a big fan of the “Top” titled posts. But, I have had to use it, thanks to the events of 2019. A few […] The post Top 7 Global Fintech Trends 2019 appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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The Best Perks of the United Explorer Credit Card

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The Best Perks of the United Explorer Credit Card
The United℠ Explorer Card is a great card for travelers who want to get the most out of their United excursions. The card is simple, yet packs a punch. If your preferred airline is United, it could be well worth applying for the United℠ Explorer Card. Here are the best perks the card has to... Chris O'Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article The Best Perks of the United Explorer Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Effective Date for Amendments to NFA’s Promotional Material Rules and Interpretive Notices

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Effective Date for Amendments to NFA’s Promotional Material Rules and Interpretive Notices
On November 13, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members 1-19-25, announcing that amendments to NFA Compliance Rule 2-29 and NFA Compliance 2-36 will become effective on January 1, 2020.  Compliance Rules 2-29 and 2-36 and related Interpretive Notices establish requirements for an NFA Member’s communications with the public and use of promotional material. NFA recently amended Compliance Rules 2-29 and 2-36 to clarify their applicability, better reflect current technology and business practices and address the use of hypothetical performance in promotional material by Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) Members operating pursuant to a CFTC Regulation 4.7 exemption. NFA amended Compliance Rule 2-29 to accomplish the following: Clarify that the scope is limited to Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), including an FCM dually registered as a swap dealer with respect to its FCM activities, introducing broker, CPO and commodity trading advisor Members; Expand the scope to specifically apply to all commodity interest (not just futures-related) activities; Update the definition section to replace the term “futures” with the term “commodity interest” and specify that promotional material includes communications disseminated through electronic communications; Specify that a Member must submit to NFA for review and approval all forms of audio and video promotional material that make specific trade recommendations or discuss profit achieved in the past or that can be achieved in the future; and Modify existing relief available to CPO Members operating pursuant to a CFTC Regulation 4.7 exemption to require those Members to generally comply with the Rule’s hypothetical performance disclaimer requirements, including certain requirements set forth in the NFA Interpretive Notice entitled “Compliance Rule 2-29: Use of Promotional Material Containing Hypothetical Performance Results” (e.g. requirements related to extracted performance and composite performance). NFA also amended Compliance Rule 2-36(g) to specify that forex dealer members (FDM) and Associates of FDMs must comply with certain provisions of Compliance Rule 2-29 and related Interpretive Notices. Finally, NFA made corresponding amendments to the related NFA Interpretive Notices. The Notice is available here. [...]
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What is the future of insurance?

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

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Comparing Travel Insurance Options: Airline or Credit Card?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the various travel insurance options, from coverage offered by rewards credit cards to the kind you can purchase separately. But that doesn’t mean you should go into your next trip sans travel insurance. You just need to pick the best option for you. In this post, we’ll compare the... Rachel Morgan Cautero is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Comparing Travel Insurance Options: Airline or Credit Card? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How Nature Lovers Can Make Money With Hipcamp, the Airbnb of Camping

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How Nature Lovers Can Make Money With Hipcamp, the Airbnb of Camping
Get outside the 9 to 5. San Francisco startup Hipcamp is adding ways to do just that. The platform, which is essentially Airbnb for camping, offers nature lovers soul-soothing side gigs and adventurers a convenient method to book outdoor accommodations. In 2013, Alyssa Ravasio, the CEO and founder of Hipcamp, wanted to book a campsite on a California beach for New Year’s Day. After an exhausting search spread across scores of websites, she finally found one, but the experience left her frustrated. At the time, there was no better way to book camping experiences online. So she set out to make one. She attended a coding bootcamp and designed a rudimentary version of what’s now Hipcamp. Six years later, the website lists camping spots in all 50 states, including more than 9,000 parks, 18,000 campgrounds and 360,000 sites for the public to enjoy with the ethos that campers should leave the land in better shape than they found it. The company’s rapid expansion of private and public land listings has opened up opportunities for landowners, photographers and everyday Mother Earth admirers to make a little money. Hipcamp Jobs and Gigs Here’s a snapshot of three moneymaking opportunities with the camping website. Side gigs are most popular, but the company offers some flexible career options, too. Host Campers Hipcamp isn’t another platform to list your vacation home on the water. The company’s niche is the great outdoors, so your property needs to be large and secluded to be a good fit. Campsites, farm lands, RVs, yurts and secluded cabins are all fair game. A good rule of thumb is that your land should be at least two acres and your guests should be out of view and earshot of your neighbor’s property. Legally, properties under 20 acres need to offer bathroom accommodations. Boondock RV listings don’t need to offer toilets. (Again, the RV should be on a sizable plot – not, say, a suburban backyard.) Pro Tip Your listing may be subject to Hotel and Transient Occupancy Taxes. Check your county and state government’s websites to ensure you’re complying with local regulations. Listings should be available throughout the year. One-time events or festivals aren’t allowed.  Before creating an account, review the host standards for more specifics to see if your land qualifies.  You’re not wrong to think it’s a little dangerous to allow strangers to occupy your land in the wild countryside. The good news is that Hipcamp covers hosts with a $1 million insurance policy and a $10,000 property protection plan. Photograph Campsites For hosts, it’s hard to give vast acreage a “lived in” feel for their new listing, especially when there aren’t any campers enjoying the property just yet. Grainy or unfocused photos of unoccupied land might give off… the wrong vibe. Hipcamp has a clever solution for that. The company hires freelance photographers to stay at newly listed campsites – and waives the booking fee. As a photographer, you can camp overnight for free at any listing on Hipcamp’s assignment board, bring a few friends during the stay, and earn between $75 and $100 per shoot. Hipcamp is looking for professional-level photos, with people and camping equipment in the frame, to give future campers an honest glimpse of the property. Each project requires 15 to 20 high-quality photos and one review of the listing. The gigs pay a minimum of $75. Depending on demand, you could earn up to $100. Hipcamp encourages beginners and pros alike to apply to become a photographer, but high-quality equipment and photos are a must. Because of a large volume of submissions, the company says it could take more than two weeks to respond. Once approved, you can skim through the assignment dashboard for the perfect gig.  Work From Home for Hipcamp Hipcamp employees can benefit from its mission to get more people outside.  The company offers several types of remote jobs, meaning it is entirely possible to basque in nature while being on-the-clock, Wi-Fi permitting. (The Penny Hoarder can’t guarantee you won’t get fired for answering a conference call while hiking Yosemite.) Employees also get “Hipcash” to apply toward camping excursions on their own time. The company isn’t entirely remote, however. Most of Hipcamp’s 45 full-timers work out of its San Francisco headquarters, but the company confirmed to The Penny Hoarder that it hires remote workers across all departments. Recent remote listings include customer service, engineering and marketing roles. Numerous employee reviews on Glassdoor suggest the company’s culture is thriving. Overall ratings are 4.9 out of five stars. In addition to camping credits, a typical benefits package includes health, dental and vision care; a 401(k) retirement plan; professional growth stipends; paid time off and parental leave. Sorry in advance to remote workers. You won’t get to enjoy the kombucha on tap. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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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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15+ Christmas Gifts for Expecting Mothers Under $30

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15+ Christmas Gifts for Expecting Mothers Under $30
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for the best Christmas gifts for expecting mothers this holiday season? We have you covered with this Expecting Mothers Gift Guide — and they’re all under $30 to help you stick to your gift budget! I had so much fun putting together this Expecting Mothers’ Gift Guide! In addition to thinking of things I have found to be helpful and fun to have in pregnancy, I also asked my followers on Instagram Stories to share their best suggestions. Please note: I decided to stick with items that were specifically for moms, not something they would use for their baby. Sometimes I think we can more easily gravitate toward buying baby gifts for moms to be instead of buying her something to pamper her, help her enjoy the pregnancy more, or make her life easier or better. Christmas Gifts for Expecting Mothers 1. Pregnancy and Baby Milestone Tracker — If the mama to be you’re buying for is the type that would want to take weekly photos to document her pregnancy, this would be the perfect backdrop. I’ve seen multiple people use this on Instagram and they usually mark off the weeks with a Sharpie. If you got creative and figured out a reusable way to mark the weeks off, you could also re-use this for baby photos. 2. Pregnancy Journal — A memorable way to capture all the details of your pregnancy so your child can read it one day. (Or, just so you don’t forget!) There are many different journals available, but this one has really good reviews and ratings. 3. Sonogram Keepsake Photoframe — We were gifted a sonogram photo frame and it’s one of my favorite things. This is also a cool way to display your baby’s growth and development! 4. Cute Tee or Sweatshirt — For the newer pregnant mama, here’s a cute non-maternity sweatshirt (I got this recently and love it!) Here are a few maternity tees and sweatshirts I saw that were very reasonably priced: Snowman tee, Floral Mama/Baby, Tacos for Two, and Pregnancy Countdown Tee. 5. Exercise Ball — I cannot sing the praises of exercise balls enough. If you have back pain or hip pain in pregnancy, this will provide incredible relief if you sit on it for at least an hour or two each day (I usually sit on it while working at my computer for part of the day). I also usually use a ball during labor and even used it last birth during delivery! 6. Slippers — This is a great gift for moms to be to wear around the house in the last few months when their feet might be swollen and for those first few days after delivery when you just want to hang out in the comfiest clothes. Also, these might be great to bring with you to the hospital for the delivery. 7. Comfy Pajamas — PJs are often not something that most moms will spend money on because they can seem extravagant when you can just wear a t-shirt and sweatpants. But there’s nothing quite like a new pair of pajamas to make you feel so pampered. I think this Pajama Set looks especially cozy and it has great reviews. 8. Living Proof Dry Shampoo — I love this dry shampoo so much and it is perfect on those days when you just don’t have the energy or time to wash your hair. I actually put it in the roots of my hair before bed every night and then put my hair up in a really high ponytail with a scrunchie. This allows me to only wash my hair once a week and to be able to fix my hair in just a few minutes every day. 9. A Good Water Bottle — Expecting mamas need to drink a lot of liquid! A fun water bottle or cup can make water-drinking a lot more fun and easy to do! 10. Practical Help — One way to bless a pregnant mom is to give her a coupon she can redeem for some kind of practical help — such as bringing over a hot dinner or that you’ll do their laundry one week or clean their house. You could also make some frozen dinners, lunch items, healthy snacks, or breakfast items. Stocking Stuffers for Expecting Mothers 11. Jewelry — There are a lot of really beautiful jewelry pieces for moms to be such as bracelets and necklaces. Or, you could just give her some pretty earrings or a necklace that she’ll love. 12. Foot Soak — A pregnant mama’s feet can get so tired and swollen, especially near the end of pregnancy. Foot soak can be so soothing and also reviving. 13. Hand Repair Kit — My hands have been so much more dry since getting pregnant, so I think something like this Hand Repair Kit from Burt’s Bees would be a great stocking stuffer for expecting moms. 14. Cute Socks — Socks are always a great gift! I thought these were especially fun if the mama is planning a natural birth! 15. Pregnancy Tea (or other non-caffeinated tea that is safe for pregnancy) — There are so many different teas out there that are formulated for pregnancy! (Note: I always recommend that you do your research before drinking and talk to your doctor if you’re not sure. Also, some teas should only be consumed in the third trimester.) 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 Christmas gifts for expecting mothers: 16. Gift Card to a Maternity Store — My parents gave me a gift card to Motherhood Maternity for my birthday and it was such a great gift! 17. Pedicure or Massage Gift Card — What mama to be wouldn’t love a pedicure or massage? (Note: If you’re giving a gift card for a massage, make sure that the place offers prenatal massages as not all places always do.) 18. Annual Subscription for Grocery Delivery — Someone on Instagram recommended this and I thought it was a brilliant idea! This way, you can order groceries from home and have them delivered! You could also pay for a monthly or quarterly house-cleaning service. 19. Restaurant Gift Cards — So many people on Instagram suggested this one. Find out what the pregnant mom’s favorite restaurants are (bonus points if they offer takeout/delivery!) and buy her some gift cards so she doesn’t have to worry about some meals in upcoming months! 20. Pampering Pregnancy or Postpartum Gift Basket (depending on when the mom to be’s due date is) — Early Pregnancy Gift Basket Ideas: Preggi Pops/Drops, Crackers, Ginger Ale, Lotion, Belly Butter, Restaurant Gift Cards, a Good Book, etc. Late Pregnancy Gift Basket Ideas: Nursing Tea, Snacks for Late Night Feedings, Under Eye Cream, Dry Shampoo, Cute Hair Scrunchies, Dark Chocolate, etc. Looking for more ideas? Check out this list of Best Gifts for New Moms. More Holiday Gift Guides Looking for other budget-friendly holiday gift guides? Don’t miss these: Beauty Gift Guide Tweens Gift Guide LEGO Gift Guide Outdoor Gift Guide Gluten-Free Gift Guide Little Boys Gift Guide Stay tuned as we roll out the rest of our gift guides this week — 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! Can you think of any other great Christmas gifts for expecting mothers? I’d love to hear in the comments! [...]
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Don’t Trash These 11 ‘Disposable’ Items — Reuse Them

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Don’t Trash These 11 ‘Disposable’ Items — Reuse Them
Many products that are considered to be disposable can be reused in surprising ways that will reduce waste and save you money. Before putting things in garbage or recycling bins, consider how they could be used again. If you’re willing to get creative, you’ll find that numerous things can enjoy a second life. What follows are examples of everyday items you can reuse rather than throw... [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 16), a trip to Wichita, the Blissdom blogging conference

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 16), a trip to Wichita, the Blissdom blogging conference
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram. 16 weeks!! (And excuse the sort of goofy pose/facial expression. I was hanging out with some good blogging friends after the Blissdom conference on Friday night and we were all laughing over something right before this photo was taken and I couldn’t stop laughing enough to take a more normal looking photo!) Jami Balmet is pregnant with baby #6 (she had two sets of twin boys in two years and then she had a little girl!) and we are both due on the same day so we had to get a belly shot! We were teasing her that she’s so chill about her pregnancy because she’s so experienced that she rarely ever talks about it online. Whereas I’m over here documenting everything like a first-time mom! HIGHLIGHTS I can feel the baby moving a lot more — especially in the last few days. The kids are so hopeful they’ll be able to feel movement on my tummy soon. I keep telling them it likely won’t be for another few weeks, but they are super excited about it. NOTABLE I have finally been able to start drinking more water again after weeks and weeks of having to get super creative in getting in liquids since water made me sick. As someone who used to drink a gallon of water everyday, this has been a challenge and I’m so happy to be back to my water-guzzling habits! CRAVINGS I have been ravenously hungry this past week! It seems the baby is going through a big growth spurt or something. I am so grateful that I have been able to get back to eating much healthier now, even if I do still crave pizza and tacos and (now) desserts. But hey, being able to eat and enjoy salads after so many weeks of just eating whatever I thought I could keep down has been so nice!! WEIGHT GAIN: 9 lbs. How are the rest of you pregnant mamas doing?? I got to fly down to Wichita, KS for my mom’s 66th birthday this past weekend. Unfortunately, I only got one picture (the one above of my parents) because I was so focused on just hanging out with my family. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go. Since we’ll likely be opening up our home soon to a child (or children) in foster care and I’m having a baby in the spring, I know that I probably won’t be able to just hop on a plane and go somewhere by myself in the coming months and years! I love these three more than words can describe — but I kinda wish that they had a little more personality. 😉 We went to get their passports renewed over lunch break on Tuesday. (Kathrynne is going to Suriname in the Spring so we renewed them all while we were at it!) In my usual desire to document life so I don’t forget, I asked them all to stand under the passport sign so I could take a cute picture of them. I said, “Smile!” and this was the result. Of course I could have said something like, “C’mon guys, actually smile for me!” (And I do say that sometimes!!) But I also love having photos like this that show their personalities way more than a perfectly staged smiling picture ever would. I’m trying to soak up these days, these moments, these personalities, these people who are growing up so quickly. It’s hard to think they were once tiny babes in my womb! Also, this current tiny human in my womb has no idea what they are in for when they arrive into this world!! These three already have a host of plans, ideas, and dreams for how they will be loving on, nurturing, teaching, and spending time with the baby and I can hardly wait to get to watch them all interact together (though I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to hold the baby myself! Maybe at the midnight feedings?!?) I got to speak at the Blissdom blogging conference on Friday on the topic of live video (one of my favorite topics!). It was so good to get to meet some of you there! While I love getting to speak, one of the best parts of conferences is getting to connect individually with people after I speak! I love hearing stories and providing individual encouragement and cheerleading! I loved getting to meet and do an interview with Jo Saxton on leadership. One of the best parts of the conference was getting to see so many longtime blogging friends! A bunch of these women had gotten an AirBnB together and they invited me to come over afterwards for dinner. I haven’t laughed as hard as we laughed in a really long time. It was such a gift for my soul! What I’m Currently… Reading: Families Where Grace is in Place and The Killing Tide Watching: You’ve Got Mail (I haven’t watched this in ages! We had a discussion about AOL recently as a family and I remembered this movie so I watched it with the girls to give them a better understanding of what email was like when we were teenagers!) Listening to: Christmas Music! Loving: The fact that I’ve finished all my business travel + speaking engagements for 2019! I’ve loved getting to travel and speak and meet so many of you this year, but I’m also grateful that I get to stay home now and just enjoy my family and making special memories together for the holidays (plus begin work on the new book I’m writing in 2020!) In Case You Missed It… This Past Week’s $63 Grocery Shopping Trip — Plus, see our dinners that we ate last week. 20+ Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers Under $30 — This is a great gift guide for the nature lover/hiker/outdoors person in your life! The Enneagram & Marriage — Whether you love all things Enneagram, are skeptical of it, or don’t even know what it is, I think you’ll enjoy this candid conversation Jesse and I had about our differences, how we have worked through them, and what it looks like to love and respect someone who is the complete opposite of you in many ways. 20+ LEGO Gifts Under $30 — Do you have a LEGO lover in your life? Sometimes finding the perfect set to give as a gift can be difficult. Check out this list of LEGO gifts for some ideas! [...]
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CFTC Proposes Rule to Amend Regulation 160.30

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CFTC Proposes Rule to Amend Regulation 160.30
On November 12, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) published a proposed rule that would amend CFTC Regulation 160.30 by establishing specific requirements for policies and procedures to protect customer records and information (Detailed Requirements). The Detailed Requirements were inadvertently deleted in a 2011 amendment to the regulation. The Detailed Requirements are consistent with section 501 of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, pursuant to which part 160 of the CFTC’s regulations was adopted. The Detailed Requirements clarify that the policies and procedures must be reasonably designed to: Insure the security and confidentiality of customer records and information; Protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of customer records and information; and Protect against unauthorized access to or use of customer records or information that could result in substantial information to any customer. The proposed rule has a 30-day comment period following publication in the Federal Register. The Proposed Rule is available here. [...]
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Will early stage equity crash when the everything bubble bursts?

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Will early stage equity crash when the everything bubble bursts?
Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor, entrepreneur and advisor. He is CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy. Conventional Wisdom (CW) says that early stage equity will crash the hardest when the next crash happens. The CW logic is simple – crashes lead to risk aversion and nothing is more risky […] The post Will early stage equity crash when the everything bubble bursts? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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7 Face Masks + 2 Bonus Items only $4.90 shipped!

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7 Face Masks + 2 Bonus Items only $4.90 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for some frugal stocking stuffers? These face masks would make a great option! Right now, FaceTory is offering their 7 LUX Box for only $4.90 shipped when you use the promo code 7LUX15 at checkout! That’s $15 off your first box!! This box includes seven handpicked, luxurious K-Beauty sheet masks plus two bonus items (Skin & Lab Barrierderm Mileage Sample Kit and ID Plascosmetics Face Fit Lip Fit-ler). That makes each item just $0.54 shipped! I have tried some of these face masks before and loved them. We got our box and I was so impressed with everything in it and couldn’t believe it was just $4.90 shipped!! You can watch Kaitlynn and me unbox my box here to see what all they sent us. Kaitlynn has had the BEST time using these face masks and I might even get brave and try a few! 🙂 {Please note that when you sign up for this, you will continue to receive and be charged for a box every month. If you no longer wish to continue your subscription, be sure to cancel before your next box ships.} Get your 7 LUX Box here. [...]
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26 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $100,000

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26 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $100,000
Working from home is the dream of millions who commute to an office every day. Fortunately, lucrative opportunities abound — especially for those with a lot of education and experience. It's not the usual blah, blah, blah. Click here to sign up for our free newsletter. Recently, FlexJobs — a jobs board that specializes in openings for remote and other flexible positions &#8212. [...]
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Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

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Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
There are a few key perks that can make having a Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card worth it.. Access to the Companion Fare When you have an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, the Companion Fare is definitely one of your most valuable benefits. With a Companion Fare, you can get a significant discount... Reyna Gobel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Most Valuable Perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Barbie Dream Camper Playset only $48.74 shipped (Reg. $95!)

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Barbie Dream Camper Playset only $48.74 shipped (Reg. $95!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Know someone who loves Barbies? This Barbie Dream Camper Playset is a fantastic deal! Target has this Barbie Dream Camper Playset marked down to $64.99 right now! PLUS, you can get Target coupon to save an extra 25% off any one toy when you text TOY to 827438. And shipping is free on all orders through Christmas! Combine these discounts to get a great deal: Barbie Dream Camper – $64.99 (regularly $94.99) Use your unique 25% off toy text offer (text TOY to 827438) $48.74 after coupon Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Two insurance innovations roads to be taken- it’s not all tech

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Two insurance innovations roads to be taken- it’s not all tech
image The Innovation road diverged in an InsurTech wood, And while I wanted to travel both And be one searcher, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it was lost in unknown techo growth;   Then took the other, as just as fair, And an improving process that […] The post Two insurance innovations roads to be taken- it’s not all tech appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Xbox One X Black Friday 2019 Deals: Are They Worth It?

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Xbox One X Black Friday 2019 Deals: Are They Worth It?
NerdWallet is here to help you win Black Friday while leaving your budget intact. We spend the time, you save the money. Visit regularly for holiday tips and announcements about your favorite products. Black Friday is Nov. 29. Microsoft’s most advanced gaming system, the Xbox One X, joins rivals like the PS4 and Nintendo Switch... Lauren Schwahn is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lschwahn@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn. The article Xbox One X Black Friday 2019 Deals: Are They Worth It? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Non-bank lending may have reach a tipping point in Australia

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Non-bank lending may have reach a tipping point in Australia
Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia. It may have been a tough year for Australia’s banks -with cash earnings reportedly tumbling to their lowest level in 20 years – but it was a bumper year […] The post Non-bank lending may have reach a tipping point in Australia appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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These Are the Tax Brackets for 2020 (Plus 4 Tax Changes to Know About)

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These Are the Tax Brackets for 2020 (Plus 4 Tax Changes to Know About)
The year 2020 is looking a lot like 2019, at least in terms of taxes. The IRS just released its inflation adjustments for 2020 federal income tax rates and brackets. While these changes are unlikely to have a huge impact on your bottom line, there are a few things you should be aware of heading into the new year. Because these are the 2020 tax rates, they’ll determine your tax bill that will be due in 2021. You’ll use 2019 rates and brackets when you file your taxes on or before April 15, 2020. How the 2020 Tax Brackets Break Down There are seven tax brackets that range from 10% to 37%. The 2020 tax brackets break down as follows: Unmarried Individuals Tax Bracket Taxable Income 10% Up to $9,875 12% $9,875 to $40,125 22% $40,125 to $85,525 24% $85,525 to $163,300 32% $163,300 to $207,350 35% $207,350 to $518,400 37% Over $518,400 Married Individuals Filing Jointly or Surviving Spouses Tax Bracket Taxable Income 10% Up to $19,750 12% $19,750 to $80,250 22% $80,250 to $171,050 24% $171,050 to $326,600 32% $326,600 to $414,700 35% $414,700 to $622,050 37% Over $622,050 Heads of Household Tax Bracket Taxable Income 10% Up to $14,100 12% $14,100 to $53,700 22% $53,700 to $85,500 24% $85,500 to $163,300 32% $163,300 to $207,350 35% $207,350 to $518,400 37% Over $518,400 Pro Tip Not sure of your filing status? This interactive IRS quiz can help you determine the correct status. If you qualify for more than one, it tells you which one will result in the lowest tax bill. Tax rates apply to the income within each bracket. So if you’re an unmarried individual with taxable income of $50,000, you won’t pay 22% of that $50,000 to Uncle Sam. According to the 2020 tax brackets, you’d pay: 10% on the first $9,875 12% on the next $30,250 ($40,125 – $9,875 = $30,250) 22% on the next $9,875 ($50,000 – $40,125 = $9,875) 4 Tax Changes That Could Affect You in 2020 The modified tax brackets aren’t the only changes the IRS announced. About 60 tax provisions will be adjusted in the new year. A few highlights: The standard deduction will rise slightly: The standard deduction will rise by $200 to $12,400 for people who are single filers or married filing separately. For those who are married filing jointly, the standard deduction will rise by $400 to $24,800. You may be able to save an extra $500 for retirement: If you have an employer-sponsored tax-deferred retirement plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b), your maximum contribution is $19,500 in 2020, up from $19,000 in 2019. The additional “catch-up” contribution workers ages 50 and older can make will also go up by $500, from $6,000 to $6,500. You can contribute an extra $50 to a flexible spending account. In 2020, the maximum contribution individuals can contribute is $2,750. Some limited-income families can get an extra $103. The maximum Earned Income Tax Credit will increase to $6,660. You need at least three children to qualify for the maximum amount. 3 Tax Rules That Aren’t Changing in 2020 IRA contribution limits won’t change. The traditional and Roth IRA contribution limits will remain at $6,000 for people under 50. The extra $1,000 “catch-up” contribution the IRS allows people 50 and older to make won’t change either. You can still gift someone up to $15,000 without paying the federal gift tax. The gift tax exemption is something you might want to take advantage of if you’re contributing to a 529 plan. There’s no limit on itemized deductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 suspended these limits. Ready to Start Your 2020 Tax Prep? OK, we get it: You’re probably not thinking about your 2020 taxes yet. After all, you haven’t even had your 2019 Thanksgiving turkey. But if you’re the plan-ahead type, you can check out this comprehensive summary of 2020 tax changes courtesy of the IRS. Even if you’re not ready to jump into 2020 tax planning mode just yet, keep in mind that a new year is often a good time to check your tax withholdings and make adjustments if necessary. So make a date with yourself in early January for a quick tax checkup. Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder. She edits and writes stories about bank accounts, credit scores, home buying, insurance, investing, retirement and taxes. She is also the voice behind the Dear Penny personal advice column, which is syndicated in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday business section. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Daily Fintech unveils its Deans List of influential industry leaders to guide editorial direction

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Daily Fintech unveils its Deans List of influential industry leaders to guide editorial direction
   Daily Fintech, the analysis driven online publication, is announcing a team of global fintech leaders who will serve as on-going advisors on our editorial direction. The team is called the Deans List to reflect Daily Fintech’s focus on producing high-quality, insightful and independent fintech analysis that one associates with higher learning. The initial list […] The post Daily Fintech unveils its Deans List of influential industry leaders to guide editorial direction appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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The Most Valuable Perks of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

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The Most Valuable Perks of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card stands out from other Bank of America® cards in that it comes with a $95 annual fee — which isn’t necessarily the best reason to stand out. But don’t let the fee automatically turn you off. The card also has a slew of perks and benefits that may... Chris O'Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article The Most Valuable Perks of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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JCPenney: Buy One, Get One Free Nike Shoes!

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JCPenney: Buy One, Get One Free Nike Shoes!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Right now, you can score Buy One, Get One Free Nike Shoes at JCPenney! For a limited time, JCPenney has Nike shoes on sale Buy One, Get One Free! No promo code needed. Please note that this excludes sale and clearance shoes. Check out these deal ideas… Buy one pair of Nike Air Max Oketo Mens Running Shoes – $75 Buy one pair of Nike Run Swift Womens Running Shoes – $70 Total after Buy One Get One Free = $75 $37.50 each after sale Buy one pair of Nike Downshifter 9 Womens Running Shoes – $60 Buy one pair of Nike Flex Essential Womens Training Shoes – $60 Total after Buy One Get One Free = $60 $30 each after sale Buy one pair of Nike Zoom Rival Fly Womens Lace-up Running Shoes – $90 Buy one pair of Nike Zoom Winflo 6 Womens Running Shoes – $90 Total after Buy One, Get One Free = $90 $45 each after sale Choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs. Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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6 Festive Centerpieces You Can Make for Less Than $6

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

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ChexSystems: Like a Credit Score for Your Banking Habits
You’re probably well aware of the existence (and importance) of credit scores, even if you couldn’t cite your own off the top of your head. But did you know there’s a similar consumer reporting system for your banking habits? It’s called ChexSystems — and just like your credit report, your ChexSystems report could have serious effects on your future financial endeavors. Here’s what you need to know about this often-overlooked reporting agency and how it could impact your money. What is ChexSystems? ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that collects banking-related information, such as account inquiries, misuse, fraudulent activity and unpaid fees. In short, it’s a lot like a credit score for your bank account — and just as lenders often pull your credit report before deciding whether or not to offer you a loan or line of credit, some banks will request a ChexSystem report before allowing you to open a checking account. However, unlike your FICO score (the three-digit credit score consumers tend to be most familiar with), the negative information on your ChexSystem report is generally removed after five years as opposed to seven.  That’s a good thing, because without a bank account it’s difficult, if not impossible, to pay certain bills, especially in the all-digital-everything age of automated electronic payments.  A bank account also keeps your money more secure than it is in your piggy bank, and certain accounts even pay interest. In short, you probably want a checking account — and if your ChexSystems report doesn’t pull up clean, it could be more difficult to open one. What Shows Up on a ChexSystems Report? So what kind of activities are reported by ChexSystems? Well, just as your credit report does, your ChexSystems report will list a variety of personal identifying information, including your name, address(es) and Social Security number. But the majority of the report will focus on your banking history — particularly any history you’re eager to forget, including: Negative balances, such as existing unpaid overdrafts or involuntarily closed accounts Unpaid banking fees  Fraudulent or suspicious activity, including identity theft Account inquiries and applications Public records, such as bankruptcies or judgments  Just like the major credit bureaus, ChexSystems is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which means you’re entitled to one free copy of your ChexSystems report every calendar year. You also have a right to a ChexSystems report if a bank uses its information to deny your application for a checking account. You can learn more about pulling your free annual report here, and you can also see a sample report if you’re curious to know what it might look like. If you find an error on your ChexSystems report, you can (and should) report it immediately. You can do so easily online by filling out the ChexSystems online dispute form, or by mail or fax.  Most ChexSystems investigations are completed within 30 days of filing a dispute. What to Do If You Have a Negative ChexSystems Report If your ChexSystems status is keeping you from opening a checking account, the good news is you have options.  Some financial institutions offer “second chance” bank accounts for those with negative histories, though they do sometimes come with additional fees. These are more common with online-only banks, like Chime, but some major nationwide banks offer similar options. For example, Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking account is available in 39 states and Washington DC, and offers some attainable ways to avoid its $10 monthly service fee.  You may also be able to use a prepaid debit card to settle bills that are tough to pay in cash, like utilities. Although some prepaid cards come with monthly fees, you can often get them waived with recurring direct deposits. Whether your ChexSystems report is clean as a whistle or could use some TLC, the first step is to educate yourself. If you’ve never heard of this consumer agency, go ahead and request your free report today. In this case, knowledge really is power — the power to open a checking account that could help you better manage your money. Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + What We Ate For Dinner

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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + What We Ate For Dinner
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. I was excited about the deals we found this week and we ate some really yummy food! Kroger Shopping Trip #1 2 bags of avocados — marked down to $0.99 each 3 bags of potatoes — marked down to $0.99 each 1 bag peppers — marked down to $0.99 Milk — $2.99 1 container cottage cheese — $2 2 heads lettuce — $1.79 each 1 bag of apples — marked down to $0.99 Total with tax: $17.05 Some of the apples in the markdown bag above were Granny Smith, which none of us are fond of eating raw. So I made Cinnamon Apples in the Instant Pot with them. These were a HUGE hit with the kids and they ate them up in just a few minutes. Next time, I definitely need to double the recipe! I was so excited about a few of the Weekend Deals at Kroger — especially the cheese deal! Kroger Shopping Trip #2: La Croix — $1.99 per 8-pack with Friday-Sunday deals Classico Pasta Sauce — $0.99 each with Friday-Sunday deals 5 Simple Truth Greek yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each 2 bags of Quaker Rice Snacks — $0.99 when you buy 10 participating items 3 boxes Swiss Miss — $0.99 when you buy 10 participating items 5 bags/packages Kroger cheese — $1.29 with Friday-Sunday deals 2 containers cottage cheese — $1.49 each when you buy 10 participating items Coconut sugar — marked down to $0.99 3 boxes pasta — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items 1 box pasta — marked down to $0.39 Taco Kit — marked down to $0.99 Half & Half — $1.49 5 cans Green Giant veggies — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items Grapes — $0.99/lb. 2 packages meat — marked down to $2.50 each Milk — $2.79 Honeycrisp apples — 3 lb. bag for $2.99 4 cans Swanson broth — $0.49 each when buy 10 participating items Total with tax: $48.34 Dinners From This Past Week Sunday — Frozen pizza, leftovers (fend for yourself) Monday — Chicken Tetrazzini, Best Ever Bran Muffins, Green Beans, Celery with peanut butter Tuesday — Chicken Noodle Soup, Biscuits, Grapefruit, Pumpkin Bars Wednesday — Pumpkin Pancakes, Bacon, Cinnamon Apples in the Instant Pot Thursday — Roast with Potatoes and Carrots and Onions in the crockpot Friday — $0.45 Potato Soup with bacon and cheese Sunday — Dinner out What did you eat at your house this week? Any winner frugal recipes you tried that you think we should try? [...]
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How Do I Know If the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Mastercard Is Right for Me?

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How Do I Know If the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Mastercard Is Right for Me?
When you’re interested in applying for a new travel credit card, the overwhelming number of options can make picking the right card seem daunting. How are you supposed to know which one is best? Or worth the annual fee? Or which card will net you the most points? If you’re considering a travel credit card... Alisha McDarris is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How Do I Know If the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Mastercard Is Right for Me? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 15) + our big foster care news!

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 15) + our big foster care news!
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. 15 weeks and I’m not going to be able to camouflage this bump much longer. 😉 HIGHLIGHTS I had another doctor’s appointment. It was super routine, but my doctor was so encouraging about how healthy I am, how healthy the baby is, and how well I am doing. That was such a blessing! In 5 weeks, I go back for my big 20-week anatomy scan! NOTABLE I had one really rough day this past week but other than that I had a few hours of most days where I felt so good that I sort of forgot I was pregnant! I started sitting on the exercise ball this past week because I can tell that these hips are starting to feel the usual aches and pains of pregnancy. I discovered the power of sitting a few hours per day on an exercise ball and how much relief it provided for my tailbone/hip pain, so I’m trying to be proactive and start this early this time — especially since my hips are 11 years older than they were last time I was pregnant! 😉 CRAVINGS This week, it was all about meat and carbs. Seriously, I craved roast, chicken, and noodles. And I’m still totally into cheese and cottage cheese! WEIGHT GAIN: 7 pounds Our Big Foster Care News! After months and months of classes, homework, meetings, paperwork and more paperwork, doctor’s visits, TB testing, home visits, interviews, and hours and hours spent getting our home all set up and childproofed, we found out this past week that we our home is officially licensed as a foster home in TN!! We have no idea what the future holds for us when it comes to foster care, but we are excited to continue on in this step of faith and obedience. We’ve been praying for the children who will be placed in our home and trusting God that He’s got a beautiful plan that we can’t really dream or imagine right now. Obviously, there’s a lot I won’t be able to share about this journey in order to protect other family’s and kids’ privacy, but I will definitely share what I can while protecting the kids/families first and foremost (as that is one of our number one priorities as a foster home: to provide a safe place for kids and to pave the way for reunification). We know this is going to be stretching and we have no idea what to expect, but we are looking forward to seeing what God has for us in this and how He’s going to use it to grow our family and change our lives. In Case You Missed It: Veteran’s Day Freebies 20 Gifts for Tweens Under $30 Building Strong Father-Daughter Relationships [...]
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6 Alternative Housing Options That Can Help You Save Money

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6 Alternative Housing Options That Can Help You Save Money
The rent is too darn high, and it’s hard to catch a break. The same can be said about paying the mortgage each month. With housing costs eating up about a third of many household budgets, it’s typically the highest single expense Americans face each month. Still, you’ve got to have a roof over your head. Here are six alternative housing options with the potential to significantly cut costs while keeping you comfortably sheltered. 1. Coliving Imagine living with a bunch of strangers for the sake of saving money on housing. Coliving is an alternative housing concept where multiple, unrelated individuals live under the same roof sharing common space like living rooms and kitchens while enjoying private bedrooms … and private bathrooms, if they’re lucky. While the living arrangement is not new, it has gained popularity in recent years among cash-strapped millennials in urban areas. But coliving can also be found outside major metropolitan cores. Jillian Warwick moved into a St. Petersburg, Florida, coliving space this summer. She pays $600 in a city where rent on a studio apartment can exceed $1,200. Her monthly payment includes utilities and high-speed internet, and the home includes free laundry access and is stocked with complimentary coffee and household supplies. 2. Tiny House According to the National Association of Home Builders, a median new single-family home was 2,355 square feet in the beginning of 2019. Tiny homes, in comparison, are typically less than a quarter of that size. Though the living space is smaller, the potential to save is larger. In addition to spending less on the home itself, tiny house dwellers often pay less in utilities, and they buy less things because of the limited space. Andrew and Gabriella Morrison and their two kids cut roughly $300 in monthly expenses (or about $3,600 a year) from their budget by switching to tiny house living. Joel Weber built his own tiny home while in college. After spending between $13,000 and $16,000 for the build, his combined cost to park his home and pay for utilities came to about $300 a month — almost a third of the cost of living in a dorm. 3. RV Experience a nomadic lifestyle by living in an RV. These tiny houses on wheels are a fraction of the size of a typical home but also a fraction of the cost. Cortni Armstrong ended up moving to an RV five years ago. Her living situation was the catalyst to a new career: renovating and flipping RVs. Armstrong has sold remodeled RVs in the $30,000 range — which can sometimes be a mere down payment for a traditional home. Like with tiny house living, don’t forget to factor in the rent at a campground or RV park if you don’t own land to park on. 4. Skoolie Similar to an RV but in a more unique package, a skoolie is a decommissioned school bus that has been converted into a home on wheels. It can also be less expensive than an RV. Phil Risher bought a bus for $5,000 and spent $2,000 transforming it into his living quarters for a 95-day trip around the country. He and his father took on the renovation themselves using a free layout from Pinterest and tips from YouTube videos. 5. Off Grid Ever want to distant yourself from the constructs of modern society? Off-grid living is an alternative housing option that requires you to be self-sustaining. You rely on independent power and water sources rather than municipal services. You grow or hunt your food rather than shopping at a grocery store. Tyler and Ashley Selden and their daughter Sydney maintain an off-grid lifestyle in Alaska. Though it’s a lifestyle choice rather than a financial one, they estimate they save up to $10,000 a year just by growing, fishing or hunting their own food. 6. House Hacking House hacking, in a nutshell, is buying property and recruiting others to help you pay the mortgage. Riley Adams and his girlfriend (now wife) lived in a three-unit residential property in New Orleans cost-free for three years. Their house-hacking arrangement involved renting one unit out and having Airbnb guests in the other, which covered the mortgage. House hacking is also possible without living in a multiunit property. Kristine Dowhan became an Airbnb host, listing three bedrooms of her four-bedroom home to afford her mortgage. She even made a $1,200 profit her first year renting out rooms. Even if you don’t have extra bedrooms in your home, you can get creative with the space you do have. John Potter rented out a tent in his backyard on Airbnb. Talk about thinking outside the box! 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 Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

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How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
Retirement is no fun when you’ve got a broken nest egg. Financial missteps can ruin your retirement hopes and dreams. But don’t despair. We have some remedies. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make as they near retirement or when they retire — and how to fix them: The age at which you begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is a major factor in... [...]
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Boat Loan Calculator: Estimate Your Payments

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Boat Loan Calculator: Estimate Your Payments
If you need a boat loan to cover the purchase of a new or used boat, a loan calculator can help you determine what size or type of vessel you can afford. Use this boat loan calculator to estimate the cost of a personal loan used to finance a boat. Enter your expected loan amount,... Steve Nicastro is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: steven.n@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @StevenNicastro. The article Boat Loan Calculator: Estimate Your Payments originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Jackson Hewitt Holds Week-Long Hiring Event to Fill 25,000 Seasonal Jobs

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Jackson Hewitt Holds Week-Long Hiring Event to Fill 25,000 Seasonal Jobs
Seasonal jobs aren’t just for retail. And tax jobs aren’t just for CPAs. Jackson Hewitt, the nation’s second-largest tax preparation services company, is filling 25,000 job openings ahead of the 2020 tax season. To jumpstart the hiring process, the company is hosting National Hiring Week across an estimated 6,000 tax-services locations. The multi-day event runs Nov. 11-15. Individual locations pick their own time and date within that range.  During the event, candidates can walk into any local Jackson Hewitt location — 3,000 of which are located inside Walmart stores — to ask questions, apply and be interviewed on the spot for predominantly two seasonal positions: tax preparer or client support associate. Pro Tip To find your nearest Jackson Hewitt office, enter your city or ZIP code in the company’s Office Locator database. “We are looking for qualified candidates who are focused on delivering the best customer experience to join our team, regardless of their experience,” CEO Alan D. Ferber said in a statement.   Client support associates are on the front lines of Jackson Hewitt stores. They greet customers, verify and enter W-2 information into a database and field calls regarding basic tax and appointment information. To qualify, applicants should have a high school diploma or GED and the ability to carry up to 55 pounds. Bonus points for previous customer service or sales experience.  The tax preparer positions are more selective. Applicants with call center experience and an Enrolled Agent certification are preferred. Basic requirements include a high school diploma, some related experience in retail, sales or customer support, and a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the IRS. Tax preparers conduct in-person interviews with customers to help them fill out and file tax forms correctly. They consult company materials and government regulations to answer nuanced tax questions.   PTINs are used to track and publically list tax preparers in an IRS database. The process of obtaining one, according to the IRS, takes 20 minutes. Basic tax return information and other personal information is required during PTIN registration. Jackson Hewitt did not respond to The Penny Hoarder’s questions about pay, but numerous Glassdoor reviews indicate hourly wages for both positions are between $10 and $11. Seasonal workers aren’t eligible for typical benefits packages, but all Jackson Hewitt employees can receive free continuing education courses in tax preparation. The tax courses count as college credit at the University of Phoenix and may be applied toward the IRS’s Enrolled Agent certification requirements. How to Prepare for an on-the-Spot Hiring Event Walking into a store alongside dozens of other candidates may sound taxing. We’ve compiled tips from hiring event recruiters to help you feel confident. Check if you need to apply online — Each location is unique. Some may have application stations for you to apply to a position on-site. Other smaller stores may not. Always double check beforehand. And having an extra resume on-hand will never hurt. Dress business casual — Business casual is a safe way to go for most entry-level positions. If you’re unsure, drop by the store before the day of the event and scout out what employees are wearing. Then match your outfit to the job you want. Be ready to interview — During an event, it’s common for a hiring manager to ask a few screener questions, and if all goes well, interview you on-the-spot. Come prepared to answer behavior-based questions, which gauge how you react under certain circumstances. For additional tips, read our guide to preparing for an in-store hiring event. Then go get yourself a new job. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Shoppers Share Black Friday Strategies That Actually Work

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Shoppers Share Black Friday Strategies That Actually Work
If at first you don’t succeed, talk to someone who has. Black Friday is arguably the biggest discount day of the year, but making the most of it requires some practice, planning and strategy. So ahead of Black Friday on Nov. 29, we talked with shoppers and shopping experts to hear their best — and... Courtney Jespersen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @CourtneyNerd. The article Shoppers Share Black Friday Strategies That Actually Work originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Here’s a Legitimate Way to Get up to $5K in Free Cash When You Buy a House

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Here’s a Legitimate Way to Get up to $5K in Free Cash When You Buy a House
Are you thinking of buying a home? Maybe it’s time to stop renting and start owning — or you’re ready to trade in your current home for a bigger, better one in another location. If you’re ready to pursue the American dream of homeownership, there’s one important and surprising step you might want to take first — something you may not have thought of. You can actually get cash back on your home purchase — as much as $5,000. Unbelievable, huh? Normally when you think “cash back,” you think about getting a little bit of money back on your debit-card purchases or for certain items at the grocery store. Let’s think bigger — a lot bigger. We’ve found a rewards site called Cash Direct Club, and it’ll pay you some serious cash for major purchases. How to Get Paid Within 30 Days of Closing At first glance, Cash Direct Club appears to be similar to other cash-back sites. Namely, it allows you to get paid when you shop at more than 200 major online retailers. Look closer, though, and you’ll see a big difference. You can earn up to $5,000 if you buy a home through one of 20,000 top real estate agents across the U.S. in the club’s network. Trust us: It’s important to have a real estate agent you’re comfortable with, and that’s why this company has gone to great lengths to build a huge network of agents. It earns a commission for referring you — and shares it with you. “When you purchase a home, we then pass along part of those earnings to you as cash back,” the company says. “It’s that simple!” Here’s how to earn that $5,000 rebate when you buy a home: Fill out a quick and simple form on Cash Direct Club’s website.  Get matched with a real estate agent in your area.  Buy a house, and get paid within 30 days of closing. You’ll Find More Ways to Get Paid, Too If you want to buy a home, this looks like the best deal for you. Beyond that, you can keep earning by shopping (and saving) with Cash Direct Club. You’ll immediately earn $3 when you install its web browser button and another $3 if you download the app. You can also shop online directly through Cash Direct Club’s website, by clicking on the retailers listed there. And you’ll get a $20 bonus when you make your first purchase. Here’s what else it offers: Earn up to double cash back at many retailers when you spend at least $125 on a single purchase. Earn $100 cash back if you get a personal loan through the site. (Its partner lender offers loans of $1,000 to $50,000 for terms of three or five years.) Earn up to $10 when you refer a friend — $5 when they make their first purchase, and another $5 when they make a purchase of over $125. Now get house-hunting! Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He likes cash just as much as you do. 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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Seniors Rate This Type of Medicare Higher for Satisfaction

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Seniors Rate This Type of Medicare Higher for Satisfaction
Choosing between the two main types of Medicare is perhaps the biggest decision that Medicare recipients face. Deciding to go with Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage is not a one-time decision, either. Recipients must make it when they first enroll in Medicare, and they have an opportunity to switch from one type of Medicare to the other during open enrollment periods. [...]
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Bye Bye Banking Integrations, Hello Bud

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Bye Bye Banking Integrations, Hello Bud
Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia. If as a fintech you’ve ever exposed yourself to the forgettable experience of trying to work with a bank, possibly participating in their endless ‘innovation sprints’ or graveyard show […] The post Bye Bye Banking Integrations, Hello Bud appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Senior Citizens Can Go to College for Free or Cheap in All 50 States

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Senior Citizens Can Go to College for Free or Cheap in All 50 States
We’re living longer than ever before, and doing so in better health. So what can you do when you retire and want to keep your mind sharp or need to gain additional skills to stay competitive at work? For many, the answer is to go back to school. But tuition can be prohibitively expensive. At the same time, schools want their classrooms to be full of engaged students, regardless of age. In the interest of continuing education, many colleges and universities offer reduced or free college tuition to senior citizens (typically, adults 60 and up, although the rules vary). In fact, we found at least one option in every state! Free (or Cheap) College for Seniors in Every State  While some institutions only allow senior students to audit classes, many offer the chance to earn credits toward a degree at a reduced — or completely waived — tuition rate. Does your state have a continuing education you can use in your golden years? Find out below! 1. Alabama Alabama seniors can attend any two-year institution within the state tuition-free. Adults 60 and older should contact the financial aid office at any community college for admission and eligibility details. 2. Alaska The University of Alaska waives tuition for senior-citizen residents who receive full social security benefits. Seniors must wait until the first day of classes to enroll to ensure that there’s space remaining; they must also complete a tuition-waiver form. Additional costs such as student activity, health center and lab fees are not covered; the student must pay them directly. 3. Arizona All 10 campuses of Maricopa Community College allow senior citizens to take classes for credit at 50% of the full tuition cost. Students 65 and older must register between the first and second class sessions of the semester to ensure space is available. 4. Arkansas Arkansas waives tuition for anyone 60 and over who wants to work toward an undergraduate or graduate degree at state institutions. Student fees may apply and senior citizens may only register for classes with space available. 5. California   California State University waives all tuition and dramatically reduces campus fees for residents age 60 or older. 6. Colorado Students age 55 and older may attend class on a space-available basis at Colorado State University. There is no tuition fee, but visitors don’t get credit for attending class. At the University of Colorado Denver, persons aged 60 and above may enroll on a no-credit basis to attend up to two classes per semester as auditors when space is available. Courses with a lab component are excluded, along with computer courses. 7. Connecticut Residents 62 and up may attend state colleges, including community colleges, for free on a space-available basis. At Central Connecticut State University, for example, tuition is waived for any resident over the age of 62 who applies for full- or part-time admission for a degree-granting program. Senior students may also take non-credit courses on a space-available basis and have tuition waived. All students must still pay all other fees.  8. Delaware The University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and Delaware Technical and Community College all permit state residents age 60 or older to audit or take classes for credit for free. At the University of Delaware, students wishing to use the program must apply for admission on a space-available basis. Some graduate degrees may be eligible, as well. Participants must pay all related student fees and buy their own textbooks. 9. District of Columbia Senior citizens 65 and up may audit undergraduate courses from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. These students pay a fee of $50 per course. 10. Florida The Florida college system waives application, tuition and student fees for those age 60 and above, but colleges will award no credit and will grant admission on a space-available basis. Fun fact: Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society has the largest adult continuing education program in the U.S. It even has its own auditorium on campus to help serve FAU’s 27,000 new registrants each year. 11. Georgia Georgia residents age 62 and above may take classes on a space-available basis for free at the state’s public colleges. Seniors may choose to take classes for credit or continuing education, but they must apply through the regular admissions process at their school of choice. 12. Hawaii The Senior Citizen Visitor Program at the University of Hawaii and state community colleges allows senior residents to attend courses free of charge.  Schools will not award credit nor will they keep permanent records of students’ class history. 13. Idaho Programs in Idaho vary based on institution, but some schools offer good deals. The College of Southern Idaho offers a Gold Card for students age 60 years and older, which allows them to take non-credit classes tuition-free. At Boise State University, Idaho residents who are at least 65 years old can audit classes on a space-available basis for free except for applicable special course fees. 14. Illinois Upon admission, any senior citizen age 65 and up who meet income requirements can attend regular credit courses at Illinois public institutions for free. Lab, student and other fees still apply. 15. Indiana Purdue University and Indiana University each offer programs that allow retired residents age 60 and to take up to nine credit hours per semester and pay just 50% of in-state tuition fees. 16. Iowa Private institution Simpson College in Indianola allows people 65 and older to take one non-credit class for free per semester. Course are open on a space-available basis and do not include lab courses. 17. Kansas Kansas residents 60 and older can audit courses at state institutions on a space-available basis without paying tuition. The registration process varies: The University of Kansas and Wichita State University, for example, both require senior auditors to apply for admission. 18. Kentucky Tuition and fees are waived for students age 65 and older taking classes on a space-available basis. Residents must be admitted to a state-supported school to take advantage of this discount. 19. Louisiana Students age 55 and up attending Louisiana state schools receive free tuition and 50% off books and materials at the campus student bookstore. 20. Maine Senior citizens 65 and up may attend undergraduate classes as degree-seeking or audit students in the University of Maine System for free, subject to space availability. 21. Maryland Any student in the University of Maryland System who’s retired and over the age of 60 may have tuition waived, even for degree-granting programs. 22. Massachusetts Residents age 60 or older can take at least three credits per semester at any state-supported school in Massachusetts and receive free tuition. 23. Michigan Opportunities for seniors in Michigan vary by institution. At Michigan Tech, for example, students 60 and older can have tuition waived for up to two courses per semester. Seniors must apply through the admissions office. Western Michigan University invites seniors 62 and older to register for one class per semester tuition-free. At Wayne State University in Detroit, seniors 60 and up receive a 75% discount on tuition, but must pay registration and related fees. 24. Minnesota Minnesota waives tuition for senior citizens 62 and older, but fees may vary by school. At the University of Minnesota, seniors pay a $10 fee per credit, but can audit for free. 25. Mississippi There’s no statewide benefit in Mississippi, but some schools have programs for seniors.  Mississippi State University provides a waiver to residents age 60 or older for classes offered on the Starkville or Meridian campuses or by the Center for Distance Education. Seniors are limited to six semester hours per semester and a maximum of 18 credit hours per calendar year, where space is available. University of Missis [...]
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Gap Factory: Women’s Puffer Vest only $18.39 shipped (Reg. $50!)

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Gap Factory: Women’s Puffer Vest only $18.39 shipped (Reg. $50!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These Puffer Vests are perfect for fall and wintertime! Gap Factory has these Women’s Puffer Vests only $18.39 when you use the promo code FRIENDS at checkout! You can also use the promo code SHIPPED to score free shipping! This is regularly $49.99 so this is a fantastic deal. Choose from several color options. Psst! You can also still get this Women’s Hooded Puffer Jacket for just $35 shipped! Thanks, Wear It For Less! [...]
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Gap Factory: Women’s Puffer Vest only $18.39 shipped (Reg. $50!)

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Gap Factory: Women’s Puffer Vest only $18.39 shipped (Reg. $50!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These Puffer Vests are perfect for fall and wintertime! Gap Factory has these Women’s Puffer Vests only $18.39 when you use the promo code FRIENDS at checkout! You can also use the promo code SHIPPED to score free shipping! This is regularly $49.99 so this is a fantastic deal. Choose from several color options. Psst! You can also still get this Women’s Hooded Puffer Jacket for just $35 shipped! Thanks, Wear It For Less! [...]
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My Favorite Thing About Fall — Clothes! #WearBlairWell

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My Favorite Thing About Fall — Clothes! #WearBlairWell
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Blair.  All opinions are my own. I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled fall is finally here!  No more scorching summer days, we are back to our routine, and the colors are gorgeous. But that is not all I love about fall. I love the ... Read More about My Favorite Thing About Fall — Clothes! #WearBlairWell The post My Favorite Thing About Fall — Clothes! #WearBlairWell appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Want to have a stress-free December?

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Want to have a stress-free December?
Want to get a head start on Christmas? Would you like to feel less stress and more joy this Christmas? Already feeling a little overwhelmed thinking about December? I’ve invited Kaley Ehret to join me on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 12 p.m. CST/1 p.m. EST to teach us three strategies for having a stress-free December.  Kaley used to dread the arrival of Christmas because of her giant To Do list and all of the expectations of the season. But she discovered some techniques that have transformed her approach to the holiday season and it has helped her to love Christmas again. She’s going to give you the tools you need to head into the holiday season with a sense of clarity and calm, rather than stress and frustration. Does that sound good to you? I know it does to me! So what are you waiting for? Go here and sign up for this special class — it’s FREE! photo credit [...]
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Square`s growth strategy and the masses

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Square`s growth strategy and the masses
The ten-year-old Fintech that listed on NYSE exactly 4 years ago – November 2015 with the ticker symbol SQ; continues to innovate. It is best known as a B2B Fintech in the payments space that had huge success with small merchants globally. It grew with POS terminals and smart credit card readers. As a publicly-traded […] The post Square`s growth strategy and the masses appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Serve Your Country While Tackling Student Loan Debt — Here’s How

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Serve Your Country While Tackling Student Loan Debt — Here’s How
If you’re looking for an easy way out of your student loan debt… this isn’t it. But if you’re ready to make a commitment to protecting and defending your country, you may find relief through a debt forgiveness program.  And you’d have plenty of company in your… company, since approximately 200,000 active duty members owe a collective $2.9 billion in student loan debt.  But as a service member, you have a few more options for wiping out your student loan debt than your civilian counterparts. So pay attention.  Military Student Loan Forgiveness If you’re ready to serve your country after graduating college, you have options for attacking your student loan debt. Although you can also qualify for other programs unrelated to your service, such as teacher student loan forgiveness or nursing school loan forgiveness, we’ll focus on the options that depend on your work in the military. National Defense Student Loan Discharge (aka Perkins Loan Forgiveness) If you served in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area, you qualify for the National Defense Student Loan Discharge, which is part of the Perkins loan cancelation program (the Perkins loan program ended on Sept. 30, 2017).   Loans are discharged according to the following classifications: Up to 50% for four years for borrowers whose active duty service ended before Aug. 14, 2008. Up to 100% for five years for borrowers whose active duty service includes or began on or after Aug. 14, 2008. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) This is probably the most well-known forgiveness option — although “notorious” might be a better adjective for it. Out of the approximately 76,000 PSLF applications that were processed by March 2019, only 518 applications were approved. For those who didn’t major in math, that’s less than 1%.  Pro Tip If you make too much to qualify for an income-driven repayment plan, don’t bother with PSLF since the standard payment plan will leave you with nothing to forgive after 10 years. And the program that was supposed to fix the problem — Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF)? Yeah, it turns out the acceptance rate for that one nearly matches the original. Be prepared for a long wait — it takes a minimum of 10 years to qualify — and to follow a lot of rules in regards to the type of loan, repayment program and employment eligibility. To help you navigate the process, check out these seven essential questions to ask about Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Total and Permanent Disability Discharge If you become totally and permanently disabled during your service, you’ll automatically have your student loan debt discharged. (Your student loans also get canceled if you die, but let’s not consider that as an option, OK?) Prior to August 2019, you still had to fill out the TPD Discharge application, but now the discharge is automatic for veterans. Veteran Affairs will alert the Federal Student Aid office as to your eligibility. The office will then notify you, at which point you will have 60 days to decide if you want to decline the loan relief.  Pro Tip If you think you may go back to school again some day, understand that accepting the disability discharge could make it more difficult to take out future student loans. Why would you decline? Although the discharge isn’t subject to federal taxes, the discharged amount may still be considered income for state tax purposes.  If you don’t decline, your remaining student loan balance will be discharged and you’ll be reimbursed for any payments made following the date of the discharge. Get more details about the total and permanent disability discharge (TPD) program here. Repayment Programs for Service Members As a service member, you’ll find multiple programs that will repay some of your debts, but none of these programs forgives the loan and interest in its entirety — and all of the forgiven amounts are taxable. Armed Forces Education Loan Repayment Program Following a complete year of active-duty service, you’ll become eligible for benefits available through most branches of the service (sorry, Marines).  Depending on which branch you choose, you’ll see the loan repayment programs referred to as College Loan Repayment Programs (CLRP) or Student Loan Repayment Programs (SLRP). Pro Tip If you’re rehabilitating a student loan in default, you’re allowed an interruption in the consecutive pay period until after your qualified military service is completed. All of the programs repay direct federal loans (subsidized and unsubsidized); other federal loans may be eligible, depending on the specific program. And each come with enlistment and/or testing qualifications, so ask your recruiter about specific requirements for your program: Air Force: Soaring with the Air Force Reserve for up to six years could really pay off. Annual payments will be $500 per each qualifying loan or 15% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater, for up to $3,500 for each year of satisfactory service. Maximum amount: $20,000. If you’re taking the legal eagle route, the Air Force has a three-year student loan repayment program for you. You can qualify after completing your first year as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer. Maximum amount: $60,000 Army: The Army has multiple loan repayment programs to choose from, depending on your status. For active duty members, the maximum annual benefit is a third of the current principal balance or $1,500, whichever is greater, for each year of service up to three years. Maximum amount: $65,000. Navy: For active duty members, the maximum annual benefit is one-third of the current principal balance or $1,500, whichever is greater, for each year of service up to three years. Applicants must be approved before shipping to RTC, according to Terrina Driscoll with Navy Recruiting Command. Note: To be eligible for the loan repayment program and 100% of your Montgomery GI Bill benefits, you must reenlist for additional three years  or have a 6 year Active contract. Maximum amount: $65,000. Coast Guard: For six years of service, you’ll receive up to $10,000 per year to repay loans at qualified minority-serving institutions. Maximum amount: $60,000. National Guard: You’ll need to enlist for at least six years for annual disbursements through the National Guard repayment program. Maximum amount: $50,000. Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) If you’re a health professional with student loans to repay, providing your services to the military could help you out of debt.  Both Active and Reserve members of the Army can receive assistance through separate programs. For example, nurses in the Army Reserve are eligible for up to $50,000 toward student loan repayment over three years of service. For the Navy, you must be a commissioned officer enrolled in the final year of an approved residency program leading to specialty qualification in medicine, dentistry or osteopathic medicine. The maximum award is $40,000. And if you’re Air Force, you’ll receive up to $40,000 to cover your health profession education in exchange for at least two years of service. Additional Student Loan Benefits for Service Members Even if you don’t receive forgiveness of your loans, you can deploy these reduced interest and deferment programs as a member of the military. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Interest Rate Cap: Interest on student loans you took out prior to your military service is capped at 6% during periods of active duty. Military Service Deferment: You can postpone loan repayment during certain periods of active duty and while you prepare to go back to school following your active duty. 0% Interest: If you serve in a qualifying hostile area, you don’t have to pay interest for up to 60 months. HEROES Act Waiver: The Education Department waives many documentation requirements — think: updating your family size and income f [...]
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7 Reasons to Get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

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7 Reasons to Get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card isn’t for everyone. This low-frills, low-cost AmEx card has little to offer travelers who are loyal to a specific airline or hotel chain and it has even less appeal for users seeking luxury perks like elite status or upgrades. But a host of unique features make this highly... June Casagrande is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 7 Reasons to Get the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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15+ Beauty Gifts for Her Under $30

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15+ Beauty Gifts for Her Under $30
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for the best beauty gifts for her (or maybe beauty stocking stuffers) this holiday season? We have you covered with this Beauty Gift Guide — and they’re all under $30 to help you stick to your gift budget! {And be sure to follow along as we post the hottest beauty deals each day throughout the season!} This Holiday Beauty Gift Guide was thoughtfully put together by Gretchen on the MoneySavingMom team — a lover of all things makeup, beauty, and fashion! Gretchen is married to her high school sweetheart and has three little boys. She enjoys finding good deals (especially on beauty stuff!), decorating, coffee, and good books. Have someone on your list who loves all things beauty? Or maybe you have a mom on your list who could use a little pampering? Check out this list of great ideas for beauty gifts and beauty stocking stuffers! Beauty Gifts for Pre-Teen/Teenage Girls 1. Sparkle On Makeup Collection – Have a daughter who’s just getting into makeup? This Sparkle On Makeup Collection is the perfect set for her to have fun. It includes eyeshadow, lipstick, eye liner and more. 2. 4 Pack Boho Style Criss Cross Headbands – These headbands make a messy bun look cute and stylish. Made from super soft cotton and breathable, they’re perfect for everyday use. 3. Merry & Bright Masking Kit – One of my favorite things to do with my pre-teen and teen nieces is face masks! This masking kit includes four masks and one scrunchie. 4. Velvet Hair Scrunchies – Scrunchies are all the rage right now and this set includes 45 different colored scrunchies! Beauty Gifts for Her 5. Conair Foot Spa with Soothing Vibration Massage – I was gifted one of these a few years ago and it has become one of my favorite gifts. I’ve even used it when having friends over for a spa night to do pedicures and relax! 6. 14-Piece Makeup Brush Set – Every woman can use a new set of makeup brushes! This one includes 14 different sizes and has thousands of amazing reviews. 7. Soft Yarn Cable Knitted Memory Foam Slippers – These slippers look warm and cozy and have great reviews. Plus, there are several colors to choose from. 8. Bath & Body Works Body Wash and Shower Gel – You won’t go wrong gifting the women in your life body wash and/or shower gel from Bath & Body Works. They have SO many lovely scents to pick from and I love receiving these as gifts. 9. Gold Eye Treatment Masks – I asked for these on my last birthday and LOVE them! They are so rejuvenating and help with my puffy eyes after not getting much sleep. Beauty Gifts for Mom 10. Glam Up Facial Sheet Mask Set – Moms need all the skin care they can get! This set is perfect to gift a mom and includes 12 masks – one for each month of the year. 11. Bath Bombs Gift Set – There’s nothing better as a mom than getting to soak in a relaxing, scented bath! This set has eight stress-relieving, scented bath bombs including Jasmine & Chamomile, Coconut & Shea Butter and more! 12. Mama and Baby Bear Necklace – I LOVE my mama bear jewelry! This necklace is so pretty and is hypo allergenic. It is made from stainless steel so it won’t rust or change color. 13. Multi-Zipper Crossbody Handbag Purse – About a year ago I switched to a crossbody purse and haven’t looked back. When I’m juggling three kids at the grocery store, it’s so nice to not have to worry about finding room in the cart for my purse or struggling to carry it on my shoulder with a toddler on my hip. This purse comes in so many cute colors! 14. Bluetooth Sleeping Eye Mask – I’m not going to lie…this is going on my Christmas list. As a mom of littles, good sleep is a rare thing. But good sleep AND good music? I’m sold! Beauty Stocking Stuffers 15. Raytix Nail Clipper Set – Every girl needs a pocket sized manicure set to fit in her purse. This one includes 5 tools and has great reviews. 16. Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizers – These hand sanitizers are perfect to fit in your purse or backpack and come in handy so often. I make sure to always have one on me and love the scents that Bath & Body Works offers. And they often run sales on these during the holidays — making them perfect little beauty stocking stuffers on the cheap! 17. Natural Luxury Scented Soy Wax Candles – I love candles! This set includes eight luxury scented candles – perfect for a quiet, relaxing evening at home. 18. All-Natural Lip Balm Gift Set – It’s always nice to have lip balm especially during the cold winter months. This set includes five Beeswax Chapsticks that are gluten free, free of parabens, and non-GMO. 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: 19. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush – This brush not only dries your hair, but smoothes it and curls it all at the same time giving you a salon blowout look right from home. 20. Dip Powder Nail Kit – Dip powder is all the rage right now at the nail salons! If you know someone who loves doing their nails, consider getting her a dip powder starter kit like this one! Dip powder is much better for the nails and it lasts so long! Plus, it’s actually pretty easy to learn how to do on your own. 21. FabFitFun Box – This quarterly subscription box of all things fashion and beauty is such a unique gift idea! Each box comes with over $200 worth of full-sized products — all for just $49.99 shipped! What other beauty gift ideas would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!! Psst! Be sure to follow along as we post the best beauty deals each day! And 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? 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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Fintech based inclusion before it was famous – interview with Accion CEO Michael Schlein

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Fintech based inclusion before it was famous – interview with Accion CEO Michael Schlein
This is one of our Fintech From A Peak Interviews, where we talk to people making a big difference in people’s lives with fintech services, Accion, founded in 1961, is hardly an overnight sensation. This is a story of quietly doing the right thing for a long time and then suddenly the world catches up. Today Accion […] The post Fintech based inclusion before it was famous – interview with Accion CEO Michael Schlein appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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How to Get on the Same Money Page As Your Spouse

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How to Get on the Same Money Page As Your Spouse
You and your spouse are tight. You’ve got your catalog of shows you love to chill and watch together. You communicate with words and phrases built over the years of your marriage. And insider jokes? The two of you share these naturally by text throughout the week. But then…there’s money. It seems to be this ... Read More about How to Get on the Same Money Page As Your Spouse The post How to Get on the Same Money Page As Your Spouse appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Ready to Leave Your Bank? How to Make the Switch in 5 Easy Steps

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Ready to Leave Your Bank? How to Make the Switch in 5 Easy Steps
Love them or hate them, there’s no escaping the fact that you need a bank to keep your money safe. But if your current bank isn’t cutting it, you may be wondering how to switch banks and if switching to a new one is more trouble than it’s worth. If you’re looking to change banks but aren’t sure where to start, this step-by-step guide will set you in the right direction. What to Consider Before Switching Banks Before you do anything with your current bank account, you’ll need to choose a new bank. Here are some things to consider. Bank or Credit Union? The first decision you’ll need to make: credit union vs. bank.  The main difference between the two is how they are run. Banks are designed to make a profit by investing their money and growing their business. Credit unions are owned by members, who receive dividends on annual profits. Each have their pros and cons. Online or Traditional? Many credit unions are local organizations, so you’re likely to have an ATM close by you.  Banks can be trickier. Local banks and larger national banks may have physical branches in your area so you can stop by and speak with someone in person with any questions or issues. But if you choose a bank without a physical branch near you or an online bank that doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll need to ask your questions online or over the phone. That can be stressful if customer service isn’t up to scratch. You could also end up paying ATM fees if your bank doesn’t have a location near you, but many online banks will reimburse these fees. Perks and Benefits When you choose a bank, consider how much interest your money will earn, as well as any perks or benefits offered. You might be eligible for a cash bonus just for joining.  But you’ll also need to weigh the perks against the fees, including overdraft charges. Also be aware of any minimum balance requirements. Read Reviews You might find a bank or credit union that looks perfect for you, but what do current customers think? Look for reviews online and ask your friends or family members to share their experiences. You might be put off by bad reviews and continue your search, or you might find good reviews of your chosen bank that put your mind at ease. How to Switch Banks in 5 Steps Ready to say goodbye to your bank? Here’s how to switch banks in five easy steps. 1. Open Your New Account Once you’ve decided on a bank or credit union, you can start the process of opening a bank account. Whether you do this online or in person, it’s important to be prepared with the right documents, including a photo ID. You’ll want to open your new account at least a few weeks before you want to make the official switch. This will ensure that your bills will be paid and you won’t be hit with late or overdraft fees. 2. Redirect Automatic Payments You probably have a lot of your bills set up to autopay from your bank account. It’s vital that you switch these automatic payments to your new account as soon as possible to avoid missing payments. Make a list of all the automatic payments you have. This might include, but isn’t limited to, the following: Mortgage or rent Car payment Student loan payments Credit card payments or other loans Utilities, including gas, electric and water TV provider, including cable, satellite and streaming services Car insurance Internet  Cell phone bill Gym or other club memberships Charitable donations Check previous bank statements to make sure you have all automatic payments listed. Once you have your list, start switching over your autopay information. It’s a good idea to ask for an email receipt for confirmation. Pro Tip Go back through 12 full months of bank statements to make sure you don’t miss automatic payments that you only make quarterly or annually.  3. Contact Your Employer Many employers, especially larger ones, pay via direct debit. Contact your employer ASAP to let them know your new account details to avoid a paycheck delay. Your employer may require you to fill out a form with the new information or provide a voided check. Make sure you ask exactly what they need from you to ensure the switch goes smoothly. If you have more than one employer or receive other direct deposits, such as child support payments, make sure you update that information as well. 4. Transfer Your Money Once you’re sure your automatic bill payments and direct deposits are up to date, move any remaining money from your old checking and savings accounts to your new ones.  Depending on your bank, you may be able to transfer the money to your new account free of charge. If you’re faced with a fee for the privilege of moving your money, you can request a check from your old bank that you can deposit into your new account. 5. Close Your Old Account Once your new account is set up and established, it’s time to close your old account. Wait a month or two to make sure all direct deposits and automatic payments are set up properly with your new bank before closing your old one. The last thing you want is to have your water cut off for non-payment when you thought you’d switched that bill over. Make sure you’ve paid off any outstanding balances on your old accounts before moving funds. Failing to do so could make it harder to open bank accounts in the future. No matter why you’re switching banks, it’s important that you feel confident in your decision. Follow these steps to ensure an easy transition between your old and new banks. Catherine Hiles is a writer, mother, runner and avid reader. She enjoys cooking (and eating), good beer and spending time with her husband and two young children. 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 14), Hawaiian fun, Seussical

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 14), Hawaiian fun, Seussical
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. 14 weeks — and officially into the second trimester!! (This isn’t the best pregnancy photo, but this is the only one I got this week so it will have to do. Jesse took it so I could post the amazing $10.95 deal on these shirts — the deal ends tonight!) HIGHLIGHTS The baby seemed to have a big growth spurt over the past 6 days. And we’ve officially hit the no more flat stomach in the morning stage. (Also, I cannot BELIEVE how much my stomach pops by the end of the day most days!! It’s like I grow by 5 inches! Okay, I haven’t actually measured, but that’s sure what it feels like!) NOTABLE I actually had a lot more energy than I’ve had in *weeks* the past few days!! And I’ve actually been craving salads and healthy food again. It feels SO good to be back to much more normal eating again. I was really, really sick to my stomach two mornings this past week, but it went away after a few hours and I am so grateful. CRAVINGS Cheese, sour cream, whipped, yogurt, milk, ice cream… notice a theme here? It’s a good thing I don’t have any dairy allergies!! WEIGHT GAIN: 6 pounds We have another doctor’s appointment in a few days, which I’m excited about. (I think pregnancy is probably one of the few times when you look forward to going to the doctor!) Our youth group hosted a Fall Festival for our church kids and the community. Each youth group small group chose a theme and dressed up, planned a game, and decorated our room for that theme. Can you guess what theme our group chose?? Around 200 kids came to the event and we were busy all night helping the kids play our game and passing out candy. It was such a fun night! These girls are just amazing and I’m so honored to get to be one of their small group leaders! One of the best parts of youth group is getting to co-lead our group with one of my best friends! If you need a laugh, go read this. Silas had his last baseball games of the fall season this past week. I loved how his coach spoke words of life over each boy at the end of the last game. Silas has been so blessed to have so many great coaches over the past few years who are so committed to pouring into young boys’ lives. Almost all of my girls from my youth group small group were performing in Seussical Jr. so of course I had to go cheer them on! Kaitlynn came with me to the show and we had so much fun together. I am always looking for opportunities to have one-on-one time with each of the kids. What I’m… Reading right now: Come Matter Here Watching right now: Figure skating! Listening to right now: I’ve been listening to Josh Groban and some Christmas music the past few days. Loving right now: The cooler fall temperatures — which means we can actually legitimately wear sweaters and boots! In Case You Missed It… How to Make Money Creating Printables — Looking for a way to add some extra income? You don’t want to miss this post! I Earned 117 Swagbucks Today — Need a little motivation to earn more Swagbucks and free gift cards? Here you go! Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee — A really honest post with details on how and why I stopped drinking coffee. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, November 3

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, November 3
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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China: The Age of BAT is over, as Pinduoduo taps into rural ecommerce

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China: The Age of BAT is over, as Pinduoduo taps into rural ecommerce
It’s hard to get past a month without stumbling on some astounding facts about China. The country is just behind Sweden in going cashless, however, digital payment growth in China is certainly a bigger story than it is in the whole of Scandinavia. The sheer volumes ($40 Trillion) of digital payments last year was unprecedented. […] The post China: The Age of BAT is over, as Pinduoduo taps into rural ecommerce appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Talking to David Siegel about Libra, Austrian Economics and Cryptocurrencies

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Talking to David Siegel about Libra, Austrian Economics and Cryptocurrencies
Our aim at Daily Fintech is to be a decentralized think tank where we get a diversity of opinions from around the world. One person whose thinking I have long admired is David Siegel. Even when I disagree with him, I always learn a lot, so we thought that the Daily Fintech community would benefit […] The post Talking to David Siegel about Libra, Austrian Economics and Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Brigette’s $92 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

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Brigette’s $92 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6
Aldi 2 64-oz carton Orange Juice – $3.28 1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.49 1 gallon Whole Milk – $0.97 1 32-oz carton Half and Half – $1.55 1/2 gallon 1% Milk – $0.58 1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.29 3 bags frozen Broccoli Florets – $2.65 1 pkg fresh Zucchini – $1.48 1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $1.59 1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $1.79 1 Pineapple – $1.39 1 Cauliflower – $1.79 1 pkg Grape Tomatoes – $1.09 1 pkg Mini Cucumbers – $1.59 1 large carton Organic Spring Mix – $3.49 1 carton Blackberries – $1.19 1 carton Strawberries – $1.39 1 bunch Bananas ($0.38/lb) – $1.28 2 pkgs Broccoli Crowns – $3.38 1 large bag Green Grapes ($0.89/lb) – $2.10 1 16-oz pkg Turkey Deli Meat – $2.85 1 10-lb bag fresh Chicken Quarters – $5.49 1 pkg (2.49lbs) 80/20 fresh Ground Beef, reduced – $3.94 1 pkg Pepperoni – $1.99 1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59 1 pkg Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese – $1.59 1 2-lb bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $3.99 1 pkg String Cheese – $1.95 1 can Whipped Topping – $2.45 1 large canister Quick Oats – $2.16 1 4-lb bag Sugar – $1.44 1 5-lb bag Flour – $0.99 1 jar Paprika – $0.79 1 box Rice Squares – $1.39 2 boxes Honey Nut Oats – $2.38 1 jar Balsamic Vinegar – $1.59 2 dozen Eggs – $1.54 1 jar Honey – $4.79 1 loaf Sandwich Bread, reduced  – $0.25 Total: $80.52 Harris Teeter 1 pkg Tortillas – $0.89 1 box Krusteaz Pancake Mix – $1.49, used $0.25 printable (doubled), plus receive $0.75 Rebate from Ibotta – $0.25 after Coupon and Rebate 1 bag Red Grapes ($0.99/lb) – $2.08 1 bag Pillsbury Best Bread Flour – $3.39 Total:$6.62 The things in the above are from a trip I took to Harris Teeter this past weekend during a 3-day Double Dollar Coupon Event. It has already ended, so I won’t put the coupon links in for you since these prices are no longer available. I got all of the above for $6.10 after coupons and rebates! Grocery Total for the Week: $93.24 Weekly Menu Plan Breakfasts Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfast. Choices include: Cereal, Oatmeal, Fruit, Yogurt, Smoothies, Fried/Scrambled/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Toast Lunches Cheese Quesadillas, Grapes, Cucumbers x 2 Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Bananas, Carrots x 2 Baked Potatoes with Cheese/Cottage Cheese/Broccoli, Grapes, Mini Peppers Leftovers x 2 Dinners Pepperoni Pizza (using the flatbreads as crust), Tossed Salad, Green Beans Chicken Noodle Soup, Roasted Broccoli, Butterhorns Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Roasted Cauliflower Freezer-Friendly Barbequed Meatballs, Butterhorns, Green Beans, Tossed Salad, Fruit Salad, Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes, The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (making enough of this meal to take to some friends who just had a baby) Classic Grilled Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Fruit Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Green Beans, Creamy Milk Rice Leftovers [...]
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SEC Proposes Modernization of Filing Fee Disclosure and Payment Methods

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SEC Proposes Modernization of Filing Fee Disclosure and Payment Methods
On October 24, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to update filing fee disclosure and payment methods. The proposed amendments would apply to most fee-bearing forms, schedules and statements, including Forms S-1, S-3, S-4, S-8 and S-11, related foreign private issuer forms, proxy statements, information statements, Schedule TO and certain Investment Company Act of 2940 forms. The SEC has proposed to replace the current fee disclosure structure — which is highly manual, labor intensive and not machine read-able — with a new disclosure regime requiring that the fee table on the cover page of a filing, together with all related explanatory notes, include all required information for the applicable fee calculations and be presented in a structured format using Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (Inline XBRL). This Inline XBRL format, with new required accompanying notes, would eliminate the need to include fee data in multiple places within a filing and the related EDGAR submission header, reducing the risk of data input error by the filer or its filing agent and enabling more efficient automated processing of fee calculation information by the SEC. The proposals are intended to streamline otherwise complicated fee disclosures, which may include fee “carryforwards” or offsets and which may involve multiple transactions by a filer. Amended forms would include new checkboxes for filers to indicate reliance on any carryforwards or offsets and require additional disclosure and notes, including a requirement to include the applicable fee rate and other inputs used to calculate the fee in the fee table. If implemented, the proposed amendments would allow for the SEC staff to use automated tools to review and validate payment information faster and more efficiently, replacing the current system of manual review of all fee information in every fee-bearing filing, and providing more certainty to filers that the proper fees have been paid. The SEC also proposed to modernize the processing of filing fee payments, by introducing an option for fee payment via ACH (in addition to the current option of using wire transfer) and removing the option to pay fees via physical check. The full text of the SEC’s proposed amendments is available here. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Friday, November 1

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Afternoon Deals: Friday, November 1
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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6 Secrets From Couples Who’ve Paid Off Debt, Built Empires and Semi-Retired by 35

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6 Secrets From Couples Who’ve Paid Off Debt, Built Empires and Semi-Retired by 35
Are you one part of a couple? Someone’s better half? Partner in crime? That’s good news, because we’ve got plenty of money tips from real couples who’ve paid off debt, improved their credit scores and built business empires. They share their tips and secrets to financial success. And, hey, you two can even start using some of their strategies right now. Secret No. 1: Boost Your Nest Egg By “Starving and Stacking” Whether you want to build a nest egg or pay off a substantial amount of debt, the “Starve and Stack” savings method is perfect for couples, especially newlyweds. Here’s how it works: As a couple, you’ll combine your money and live off one income for 18 to 24 months. The other paycheck goes directly into a high-yield savings account or toward your debt. (Shoutout to Nick Vail over at Remove the Guesswork’s website who coined the term!) Personal finance writer Jen Smith put this strategy to the test. Her and her husband were able to pay off $78,000 of debt in two years due, in part, to this strategy. And, no, they didn’t have to starve without meals. Secret No. 2: Enjoy The Spoils of Passive Income and Semi-Retire by 35 Have you ever thought about investing in some real estate? No, you don’t need to have enough money saved for a down payment — you can start with a minimum investment of $500. Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be invested in portfolios of real estate around the United States.  You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina. And you don’t have to be the landlord — Fundrise does all the heavy lifting. As tenants pay their rent, you can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation of the property.  We talked to Christopher and Meghan Miller, who at just 35 and 29, quit their full-time jobs and bought two acres in Berryville, Virginia. They live off their savings and income from side gigs — and use sources of passive income, like Fundrise, to add to their financial security. They own rental properties, too, but Christopher said Fundrise is even better: “I view our investments in Fundrise as something even more passive than the rental properties we own. I don’t have to manage them; I don’t have to do the work to improve the properties; I don’t have to find tenants, evict tenants.” Plus, it only takes $500 to get started with Fundrise — not $50,000. Secret No. 3: Make Improving Your Credit Scores a Team Sport If you and your partner have plans to buy a car or home — or even rent a place — you’ll need a healthy credit score. But if you’re like many of us… when’s the last time you even checked your score? Let’s start there. We suggest using a free website called Credit Sesame. We like it because, again, it’s free, and it takes less than two minutes to sign up. Once you have access to your score, you can take steps to improve it with Credit Sesame’s personalized recommendations. Salome Buitureria and her husband, Alfredo, both struggled with bad credit. Both of them got laid off from their jobs, and the credit card bills started to stack up as they tried to support their nine kids. Their scores were in the low 500s. They signed up for Credit Sesame and started taking its recommendations. For Salome, it helped her find an error on her report and dispute it. It also recommended a rewards credit card she could qualify for that’d help her improve her score. Today, Salmone’s score is around 690, and Alfredo’s is at 701, and now they have big plans to buy a home soon.* Just because you have bad credit now doesn’t mean you have to live with it forever. Credit Sesame will help you get there — it takes approximately 90 seconds to get started. And if you have a partner in crime to keep you motivated along the way? Even better! Secret No. 4: Leave Your Kids $1 Million (Without Being an Actual Millionaire) If you have kids, you’ve probably worried about what’ll happen to them if something were to happen to you… That’s where life insurance can provide a peace of mind. You sign up for a policy and pay a monthly rate, and if you die, your partner and kids will receive the payout. Traditionally, life insurance was seen as something only the wealthy needed, but that’s not the case anymore — especially since policies are so affordable. Consider a life insurance company called Bestow. The application doesn’t take more than about five minutes to fill out, and you can leave your family with $1 million — for as little as $5 a month. Derick Davis understood the importance of life insurance when his dad passed away. His dad had a life insurance policy, but it wasn’t enough coverage, and Davis, then 5, remembers his family struggling to stay afloat financially. When he started looking into life insurance policies for his family — his wife and two sons — he found that life insurance was actually much more affordable than he expected. And now? “It makes me feel that I’m doing the right things in order to give my kids the best chance if something should happen,” he says. It takes minutes to get a free quote from Bestow. Secret No. 5: Start a $350K Business Empire Back in 2007, Adam and Coryn Enfinger were a young, broke married couple who’d just had their first baby. Both of their cars broke down within the same month, and they couldn’t afford a new one. So Adam bought a bike to ride to work. On one of his 17-mile commutes (one way), he had a business idea: Sell screen-printed T-shirts with animals on bikes. Adam and Coryn worked odd jobs to make ends meet while they worked to launch what would become a $350K business, Dark Cycle Clothing. Now, their first few attempts at selling products didn’t go so hot. At one event, they sold maybe two items. Coryn decided to list the extra products on Etsy, and that’s when things started taking off. In 2009, Dark Cycle Clothing became the couple’s full-time career. Since then, they’ve started selling their T-shirts at markets again, which now makes up about a third of the company’s revenue. They’ve even hired someone to help out with photography and customer service. “We were so busy,” Coryn said. “We grew really fast. I sometimes feel like we’re still catching up from the growth in the beginning because we didn’t start with a plan.” “It took three or four years for us to really believe it was going to be our career,” Adam added. The key to building a business together? Get creative, don’t give up, hustle hard and enjoy it! Secret No. 6: Vow to Pay Off Your Debt, For Richer or For Poorer If you’re like the majority of Ameircans, you’ve probably got debt. And unfortunately, it doesn’t just disappear when you get married. In fact, it might feel even more overwhelming if you’re trying to tackle your combined debt together. Here’s what we suggest: Refinance and consolidate your debt. What’s that mean? Take out a personal loan, one that has lower interest rates and more favorite terms than your current situation. Then, you’ll use that personal loan to pay off your debt. You can do this for your debt, their debt and even your combined debt. It might sound counterintuitive at first — like you’re just moving one form of debt over to another — but the truth is, paying one bill each month will be a lot easier, and this could even lower your payments, save you tons of money in interest and/or allow you to pay off your debt faster. If you’re not sure where to start looking, use a website called Fiona. It’ll match you with a low-interest loan — rates start at 3.84%. It won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. (We know you don’t have time for that.) Refinancing and consolidating debt was one of the moves Deacon and Kim Hayes made to pay off $52,000 worth of debt in 18 months. They had a few [...]
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Southwest to Get Rid of Senior Fares. What’s the Impact?

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Southwest to Get Rid of Senior Fares. What’s the Impact?
You’ve heard of senior discounts at cafes or for entrance fees at the museum, but what about airfare? If you’re a member of AARP, you can get up to $200 off some British Airways itineraries. If you’re 65 or older, you can potentially take advantage of senior discounts at three major U.S. carriers: Delta, United... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Southwest to Get Rid of Senior Fares. What’s the Impact? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Wildfires and disasters- ecosystem opportunity to leverage InsurTech and innovation

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Wildfires and disasters- ecosystem opportunity to leverage InsurTech and innovation
Image Take a US $8 billion dollar insurance business that serves more than 7 million customers annually regarding residential real estate assets valued at more than US $5 trillion, that’s working in a regulated, politically hyped environment and one might see opportunity for innovation.  Throw in significant exposure to regional wildfires and urban area earthquakes, […] The post Wildfires and disasters- ecosystem opportunity to leverage InsurTech and innovation appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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4 Ways to Earn More on Your Savings — Despite Another Fed Rate Cut

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4 Ways to Earn More on Your Savings — Despite Another Fed Rate Cut
The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark federal funds rate on Wednesday. It’s the Fed’s third rate cut this year — and bad news for your money sitting in the bank. The interest rates that banks pay on interest-bearing accounts like savings accounts rise and fall with the federal funds rate. So, after the latest Fed rate cut, the chances are good that the interest rate your bank... [...]
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Real Entrepreneurs want to STO

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Real Entrepreneurs want to STO
Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor, entrepreneur and advisor. He is CEO and Editor of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy. Hoping 3 pictures will paint a thousand words     The post Real Entrepreneurs want to STO appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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It’s Nearing the End of the Year. How Is Your Status Stacking Up?

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It’s Nearing the End of the Year. How Is Your Status Stacking Up?
If you’re a frequent traveler, it used to be an easy decision to go for status in an airline’s loyalty program. Status benefits were generous and not easily obtained by anyone who didn’t fly a lot. Domestic upgrades were more frequent because airlines had very high (and infrequently purchased) first class fares — and you... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article It’s Nearing the End of the Year. How Is Your Status Stacking Up? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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17 Things You’re Keeping for No Reason — and Should Toss

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17 Things You’re Keeping for No Reason — and Should Toss
My circa-1987 all-gray kitchen is finally undergoing a much-needed renovation. But before the demolition could start, my husband and I had to take every single thing out of our cupboards and drawers. It was kind of like an archeological dig, as we discovered mysterious gadgets, orphaned appliance cords and even a 1990 receipt for a coffeemaker purchased by our home’s previous owners. [...]
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Free Bic Pens at Target, plus more!

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Free Bic Pens at Target, plus more!
Headed to Target this week? Pick up some free Bic Pens! You can score some great deals on Bic Pens and Pencils at Target! Here’s how: Buy 1 BIC Xtra Life Stic Pens 10 ct – as low as $0.99 Use $1/1 Bic Manufacturer’s Coupon Target Circle offer Free after coupon Buy 1 Bic Mechanical Pencil Packs – as low as $2.29 Use $2/1 Bic Pencils Manufacturer’s Coupon Target Circle offer $0.29 after coupon Thanks, Kosher On A Budget! [...]
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FATF Updates List of AML/CFT Deficient Jurisdictions

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FATF Updates List of AML/CFT Deficient Jurisdictions
On October 18, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published its updated list of jurisdictions that have strategic anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF. The FATF updates this list three times a year, the last update being in June 2019. Since June, the following jurisdictions are no longer subject to monitoring and have been removed from the list: Ethiopia Sri Lanka Tunisia The following jurisdictions continue to have strategic deficiencies and remain on the list: the Bahamas Botswana Cambodia Ghana Pakistan Panama Syria Trinidad and Tobago Yemen And the following jurisdictions have been added to the list: Iceland Mongolia Zimbabwe Each jurisdiction on the list has an agreed action plan with FATF, with commitments ranging from ‘improve understanding’ of AML/CFT in the jurisdiction, to specific regulatory changes. This is not the list of countries for which financial institutions are required to undertake enhanced due diligence. (For EU and UK firms, for example, that list is maintained by the European Commission, here.) FATF noted that firms should take this information into account when conducting money laundering risk assessments and due diligence. The October list is available here. The next list will be published in February 2020. [...]
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Digital Securitization as a Service, for the Capital Markets Union

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Digital Securitization as a Service, for the Capital Markets Union
In this post, I take a pulse from the securitization markets and highlight one scalable innovation in Europe – The partnership of Crosslend & SolarisBank. According to MSCI, the 2008 financial crisis was a Securitization crisis. I don`t disagree but this fact does not mean that it was the core cause of the crisis. I […] The post Digital Securitization as a Service, for the Capital Markets Union appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Real ID Deadline for Domestic Flights in 2020: Are You Ready?

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Real ID Deadline for Domestic Flights in 2020: Are You Ready?
If you’re a traveler hailing from the U.S., you may have recently been notified that your driver’s license (or other form of identification) is not Real ID compliant and that pretty soon you won’t be able to board a domestic flight without a compliant form of identification. This raises the question: What is Real ID... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Real ID Deadline for Domestic Flights in 2020: Are You Ready? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy Update (Week 13) & the Spartan Race

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Life Update: Pregnancy Update (Week 13) & the Spartan Race