My Goals for This Week

My Goals for This Week

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

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Does Life Insurance Cover Deaths From Coronavirus?
Thousands of people worldwide have already died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. For those who have life insurance, in almost all cases, they are covered, and insurance will likely pay out for deaths from COVID-19. There are a few exceptions, according to representatives from life insurance companies and industry organizations. Potential... Kayda Norman is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: knorman@nerdwallet.com. The article Does Life Insurance Cover Deaths From Coronavirus? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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My 6 Goals for This Week

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My 6 Goals for This Week
Welp, I don’t have much to report when it comes to progress on my goals from last week. But I did spend all day/night Tuesday and Wednesday at the hospital practicing caring for Champ (our little preemie baby boy whom we’re fostering) under the watchful eye of the nurses. We were cleared for his release on Wednesday night and the rest of the week/weekend has been a whirlwind of adjusting to feeding him every 3 hours around the clock (and learning how to function on less sleep!), getting into the groove of having a newborn again, and figuring out our new normal. Here’s my goals list from last week: Last Week’s Goals — 2020 — Week 12 Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading Your New Name, Home Court Advantage, and Zachariah’s Story. Plus, finish listening to The Body Keeps the Score.  Home/Family Goals 3. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. (Maybe we’ll finish it this week?!?) 4. Foster care stuff: Organize all of the preemie baby clothes/things. Set up the second baby bed. Get car seat installed. Work/Blog Goals 5. Finish the rough draft of chapter 8 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 6. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family.  I’m feeling like we’re starting to get back into a groove again, so I’m hopeful that I’ll have more progress to report on goals this coming week. We’ll see! This Week’s Goals — 2020 — Week 13 Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Finish reading Your New Name, Home Court Advantage, and Zachariah’s Story. Plus, finish listening to The Body Keeps the Score.  Home/Family Goals 3. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. (Maybe we’ll finish it this week?!?) 4. Baby prep stuff: Pack hospital bag for me/Jesse/baby. (I can’t believe it’s now time to do this!! Since I had a super fast labor last time around, I’m hoping to be as prepared as possible this time!) Work/Blog Goals 5. Finish the rough draft of chapter 8 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 6. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family.  What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Coronavirus will shape the next decade. Will we prep before the next one?

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Coronavirus will shape the next decade. Will we prep before the next one?
Everywhere people are dying, global lockdown and massive government intervention. The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting global industries and supply chains, causing disastrous problems for businesses, consumers and the global economy. Just like the disease is killing older people at high rates, it is also about to kill mature western economies. Businesses are struggling to produce and distribute products and services, that consumers depend on. The coronavirus outbreak has limited our ability to produce and consume goods. Its financial ramifications are already severe and will only get worse. The COVID-19 pandemic will change this decade, just like 9/11 changed the 2000s. The impact from pandemic on global economy will be severe, but eventually the crisis will all end and life will resume. The question what direction will we follow and how prepared will we be when the next one comes along? Ilias Louis Hatzis is the Founder at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and a weekly columnist at DailyFintech.com. When businesses are unable to make money, they can’t pay employee wages and operating expenses. As business revenues decline, employee layoffs accelerate, which eventually leads to people not being able to pay their rent, mortgage and loans, buy goods and services or spend money at restaurants, sporting events, vacations. This is not just a health pandemic, it’s a pandemic of fear and mistrust that is hitting advanced economies in Western Europe and the United States. Governments are announcing travel restrictions within their borders and from outside, and are shutting down businesses everywhere. In mature economies, when people become fearful for their lives, they withdraw and stop spending money on things they frequently do. Businesses that operate in face-to-face service industries, which usually dominate high-income economies, are the one’s that get hit the hardest, when people are in lockdown. This is not to minimize the damage the pandemic is causing to the global product supply chain. The production around the world is out of action for an indefinite period of time. We are already seeing shortages for things like auto-parts, electronics and products like iPhones, and Diet Coke and don’t be surprised when we see disruptions for food, condoms and so many other basic things we take for granted. In 2015, the year after West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, Bill Gates gave a TED talk called “The next outbreak? We’re not ready.” Gates saw the COVID-19 outbreak coming and he knew we weren’t prepared for it. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during the Ted Talk. “Not missiles, but microbes.”     Authorities around the world are doing their best to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Disease outbreaks can happen at any time and anywhere, with little or no warning. These are events that have occurred in the past and will occur again in the future. We are facing an uphill battle, but blockchain can help. Blockchain will not prevent new viruses, but it can help create a first line of defense, through a network of connected devices with a single purpose: to alert us about disease outbreaks. The use of blockchain can help prevent pandemics by enabling early detection, fast-tracking drug trials, and impact management of outbreaks and treatment. Blockchain platforms could help connect local hospitals and health organizations. Local hospitals could record medical data about patients with flu- or virus-like symptoms. The data could be used by health organizations to predict the spread of the virus, to help them take preventive measures (increase medical staff, supply medical equipment) in the areas where the virus could spread. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO), IBM and Oracle teamed up to create an open-data hub that will use blockchain technology to check the veracity of data relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Blockchain based livestock tracking could help to better trace an outbreak at the source, before it becomes impossible to contain. Deadly viruses have originated by contaminated livestock, that made it into our food supply. Imagine how many lives and resources we could save, if we could collect and analyze data to assess livestock risks for various regions. We could also improve the medical supply chain for products and vaccines. It’s vital to be able to track where things are and where they came from and ensure they are genuine. Researchers, biotech and pharmaceutical firms are racing against time to create the vaccine for this virus, as well as develop potential treatments for COVID-19. Blockchain based platforms could help vaccine development across various stages starting from exploration to pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory approval to production and distribution and continuous quality control & monitoring. Like the September 11 terrorist attacks, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the financial collapse of Lehman Brothers, the coronavirus pandemic is a world-shattering event that will lead to permanent shifts in political and financial power. Many, fear the pandemic will strengthen state control and reinforce nationalism. Governments everywhere are adopting measures to deal with the health and financial crisis, and some governments will find it difficult to give up these new powers, when the crisis is over, similarly to what happened in the wake of 9/11, when civil liberties around the world were trampled. More than a hundred years ago, in the “The Machine Stops“, E. M. Forster wrote about a dystopian future where humans relied on a machine to provide food, clothing, shelter, and interaction with each other, using audio and visual devices. This story sounds like the present, and the pandemic is pushing us even more in that direction, to become more reliant on the “machine”. But the coronavirus pandemic is also causing everything to come to a grinding halt. Health care, government and business “machines” are breaking down and stopping. Maybe this is a wake up call, that pushes in the exact opposite direction, away from centralized machines and structures. The coronavirus global health crisis has the potential to massively disrupt our lives, both economically and socially. I can only hope, we move in the right direction. Image Source Subscribe by email to join the other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research) The post Coronavirus will shape the next decade. Will we prep before the next one? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (35 weeks) + baby boy got out of the NICU!

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Life Update: Pregnancy (35 weeks) + baby boy got out of the NICU!
I’m 35 weeks pregnant this week — and we got to bring our precious baby boy that we’re fostering home from the NICU on Wednesday!! All three kids have anxiously been waiting for two weeks to get to meet this very loved baby boy! They have willingly stayed home 24/7 to protect our home from germs, done the bulk of the laundry, cooking, and cleaning while I was taking care of this little guy at the NICU, and have talked incessantly about the day we would get to bring him to our house! It brought tears to my eyes to see my husband and kids loving on this tiny boy whom I have fallen so in love with the past two and a half weeks. (See a video here.) Welcome to our home, Champ. We already love you more than you can imagine. Our heart and hope is for you to have reunification with your mama, but we promise to love you, care for you, and advocate for you as long as we get to be your foster family. (Note: We debated over what “internet name” to give this sweet guy and finally all decided on Champ. Because though he is little, he is so strong. And I kept finding myself reporting to people that he did this or that “like a champ”. I realized it was the perfect moniker for him online! Also, thank you for your understanding that there’s a lot we can’t share when it comes to photos and details. While everything in my mama heart wants to show the world how cute and amazing he is and how proud I am of how much progress he is making, protecting his privacy and story is much more important to us.) Highlights: It’s pretty surreal and special to get the opportunity to love on a tiny little newborn during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Since I’m the only one who is trained to feed him right now (and he eats every 3 hours) and he’s still adjusting to being in a different bed/place after weeks in the NICU, my sleep has been a little on the short side this week. However, God has been so faithful to carry me through — through the 24-hour stay with him at the hospital so the nurses could observe my care of him and make sure I was ready to bring him home, through a few relatively sleepless nights, and through so many meetings/appointments with various medical professionals about his long term medical needs. I’m learning so much and feel like I add new words and terms to my vocabulary every day! Also, this whole having babies with older kids is just about the best.thing.ever!!! Jesse and the kids have done SO much this week and the transition has honestly felt so smooth and easy, thanks to them! Notable: I feel like my belly popped yet again this week and I outgrew more clothes! Baby has been SO active and seems very healthy. I’m also having much more intense contractions — which is very common for me in the last month. I get to start weekly ultrasounds next week and I’m excited to get to see our little babe on the screen again! We’re also hoping maybe just maybe baby will cooperate and we’ll be able confirm the gender with the DNA test. We have almost everything ready except we need to buy another car seat, finalize a few things for the birth, and pack the hospital bags. I also am hoping to get Champ all adjusted to sleeping in his bed in our room and need to get Jesse and Kathrynne trained on making bottles and feeding/caring for him. (We’re supposed to have a nurse come stay at our house to care for him during my birth, but I still want to have some backup!) I don’t expect to go early, so I should have time! [...]
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SEC Further Extends Filing Deadlines for Companies Impacted by COVID-19

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SEC Further Extends Filing Deadlines for Companies Impacted by COVID-19
On March 25, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order extending conditional relief (the Modified Order) for reporting and proxy delivery requirements for public company registrants and other filers in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Modified Order provides filers with an additional 45 days to make filings pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(f), 13(g), 14(a), 14(c), 14(f), 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), Exchange Act Regulations 13A, 13D-G (except for those provisions mandating the filing of Schedule 13D or amendments to Schedule 13D), 14A, 14C and 15D, and Exchange Act Rules 13f-1, and 14f-1, that would have been due during the period of March 1-July 1, 2020 (the Relief Period), subject to the conditions discussed below. This relief covers, among others, reports on Form 10-K, 20-F, 10-Q, 8-K and 6-K, as well as Schedules 13G and 13F but, as noted, expressly excludes Schedule 13D filings and also is not available for filings under Section 16 of the Exchange Act (i.e., Forms 3, 4 and 5). The Modified Order supersedes the SEC’s March 4 order (the Original Order), which was discussed in Katten’s March 17 Securities Advisory, by extending the end of the Relief Period from April 1 to July 1. Consistent with the Original Order, it is a condition to a filer availing itself of the relief under the Modified Order that the filer 1) is unable to meet a filing deadline due to circumstances related to COVID-19; and 2) if the filer is a reporting company, issues a current report on Form 8-K or Form 6-K, as applicable, with (A) a statement that the filer is relying on the Modified Order; (B) a summary of why the relief is necessary in the particular circumstances; (C) the estimated date by which the company expects to make the filing; (D) one or more company-specific risk factors explaining the impact, if material, of COVID-19 on its business; and (E) if the reason the filing cannot be timely made relates to the inability of any person, other than the registrant, to furnish a required opinion, report or certification, the Form 8-K or Form 6-K, as applicable, shall include as an exhibit a statement signed by such person stating the specific reasons why such person is unable to furnish the required opinion, report or certification on or before the deadline for such report to be filed. Consistent with the Original Order, the Modified Order also conditionally exempts companies preparing for their upcoming annual meetings from the requirement to furnish proxy statements and other soliciting materials to securityholders where, as a result of COVID-19, common carrier services have been suspended in the area where the securityholder resides and the company has made a good faith effort to furnish the proxy materials to the securityholder. In a press release announcing the Modified Order, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said, “Health and safety continues to be our first priority,” and the Modified Order provides temporary, targeted relief to issuers affected by COVID-19 while still encouraging public companies to “provide current and forward-looking information to their investors.” The SEC also reiterated in the press release, as previously clarified in connection with the Original Order, that: For purposes of 1) eligibility to use Form S-3 or Form F-3, as applicable, including as it relates to well-known seasoned issuer status; 2) eligibility to use Form S-8; and 3) the current public information eligibility requirements of Rule 144(c) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, a company that relies upon the Modified Order will be considered current and, with respect to eligibility to use Form S-3 or F-3, timely in its filing requirements under the Exchange Act, if the company (A) was current and, as applicable, timely in its Exchange Act filing requirements as of the first day of the Relief Period; and (B) files any report due during the Relief Period within 45 days of the original filing deadline for such report. A company that receives an extension on filing an annual or a quarterly report pursuant to the Modified Order will be deemed to have a due date 45 days after the original filing deadline for the report, and, if it is unable to file the report on or before the extended due date, the company will be permitted to rely on Rule 12b-25. Consistent with the SEC’s statements in connection with the Original Order, the press release reminds issuers to contact the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance directly if they are in need of additional assistance relating to administrative difficulties or other challenges in their efforts to comply with the requirements under the federal securities laws. The Modified Order is available here, and the press release is available here. [...]
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Chase 5/24 Rule Explained

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Chase 5/24 Rule Explained
Note: NerdWallet strongly discourages traveling in the near future while the coronavirus continues to spread. Check the CDC and State Department websites for current guidance and travel restrictions. Please use the content of this article only to help inform future travel plans. Undoubtedly, Chase has one of the best portfolios of credit cards available to... Elina Geller is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: egeller@nerdwallet.com. The article Chase 5/24 Rule Explained originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, March 29

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, March 29
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. Belk: [...]
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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 27 March 2020

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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 27 March 2020
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The 3 Books I Finished Last Week (+ the 1 classic movie we watched)

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The 3 Books I Finished Last Week (+ the 1 classic movie we watched)
Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page. The Fourth Trimester I was really excited to read this book as I thought it would be great for me to prep for birth and postpartum recovery — especially since I’ve struggled with postpartum depression/anxiety after all three of my pregnancies. (I think a lot of my struggles were related to not taking time to properly rest and heal after my births.) Going into reading it, I knew the book wasn’t written from a Christian perspective and had a lot of influence from other religions in it. I was prepared for this. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting past a lot of those sections. So much of the advice just felt so self-serving and humanistic…  and some of the advice to ask for so much help and set such strong boundaries after the birth kind of felt like it was encouraging you to come across as a jerk. (Just being honest here!!) That said, my big takeaways are that rest, good nourishment, and limited movement for the few weeks after birth are really important. Those are my hopes for this postpartum period for my upcoming birth and what I’ve spent the last few months prepping to make happen! This book definitely encouraged me to prioritize that. Does anyone have suggestions of a good book for postpartum that encourages these things that might be a better fit for me (or something for me to recommend to others)? Verdict: 2 stars The Lazy Genius Way I have heard of Kendra Adachi’s podcast (The Lazy Genius) but, truth be told, I’m not a listener. I think I may have have heard one episode way back when or maybe have heard her on another podcast, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge of her. Despite that, I really loved this book! It’s well-written, funny, practical, and realistic. Kendra has the perfect balance of truth, humor, and grace sprinkled throughout it. She also makes you feel like you can actually get your home and life in better order (notice I didn’t say “perfect order” just “better order”? I think Kendra would approve of that language!) I love her approach to be a genius about those things that truly matter to you and your family and to be lazy about those things that don’t matter to you and your family. I also found her light-hearted footnotes throughout the book to be a fun addition. While I’ve read a LOT of time management, home management, and life management books, I still found so much fresh perspective and inspiration in Kendra’s book. And now I’m thinking I need to check out her podcast! Verdict: 4 stars The Gospel Comes With a House Key Okay, I was a little scared to write this review, because it seems everyone I know absolutely adored this book. And, while I really loved parts of it, there were other parts of it that I just couldn’t stand behind wholeheartedly. Let’s start with what I loved: I loved the author’s desire to encourage what she calls, “Radically Ordinary Hospitality”. It is a lost art in our usually-busy worlds and I think it is one of the biggest building blocks to genuine community and Christlike love. I also loved that the book shone a light on foster care and the need for Christian families to prayerfully consider being involved in this ministry in some way. (You all know how passionate I am about foster care!) That said, what bothered me in the book was that she presented hospitality almost as a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. That it’s only in the context of your church and neighborhood and that it pretty much always involves opening up your home for a meal. While opening up your home is fantastic and serving food is great, I think hospitality can also be inviting a friend to the park or to coffee or to join you in a walk or reaching out to the lonely-looking person sitting on the sidelines at your child’s baseball game or inviting your co-worker to lunch… and a thousand other things. For me, I believe hospitality is going to take on many different forms — because we all have different giftings and different spheres and circles we run in. I wish she would have talked much more about this. The second thing I didn’t like in the book was that she was super honest about situations they’ve been through with other people — the good, the bad, the ugly. And in many cases, she shared a lot of details about conversations that I felt were private and not ones to be shared in a published book that anyone in the world might read. I feel like there’s good chance some of the things she shared openly and in detail about very personal hurts and situations could very well damage relationships in her life — even some of those that might be ones she’s seeking to practical “radically ordinary hospitality” to. (Maybe she got every single person’s permission to share what she shared and maybe each person was 100% okay with it… even then, I think many of the examples and conversations could have been omitted and the book would have still been as powerful. For me, it would have been even more powerful.) And now I’m going to go duck from all of the rotten tomatoes I’m going to get thrown at me! 😉 Verdict: 3 stars Classic Movie We Watched Last Week The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it. I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!) Last week, we watched Mr. Bean’s Holiday — a movie Jesse and I had watched together a long time ago together and thought the kids might enjoy. They did enjoy parts of it, but they found it a little on the slow side and thought it drug on — especially toward the end. (Note: I don’t think this actually qualifies as a “classic movie” since it came out in 2007, but oh well, we’re going to say it is since it was the movie we watched last week!) What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list?? [...]
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Is Clear Worth the Cost?

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Is Clear Worth the Cost?
Note: NerdWallet strongly discourages traveling in the near future while the coronavirus continues to spread. Check the CDC and State Department websites for current guidance and travel restrictions. Please use the content of this article only to help inform future travel plans. Are you thinking about going with Clear? The private biometric screen company lets... Sam Kemmis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif. The article Is Clear Worth the Cost? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Week in Fintech ending 27 March 2020

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This Week in Fintech ending 27 March 2020
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How to Set a Family Schedule When You’re Out of Routine

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How to Set a Family Schedule When You’re Out of Routine
Life with kids can be busy and chaotic. This chaos is only amplified when you find yourself in a new place or situation that takes you out of your regular routine. Whether it’s summer vacation, an unexpected snow day or even just a busy weekend, a family schedule can help to bring some structure and ... Read More about How to Set a Family Schedule When You’re Out of Routine The post How to Set a Family Schedule When You’re Out of Routine appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Listening to Audiobooks with Kids 101

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Listening to Audiobooks with Kids 101
Are you interested in listening to audiobooks with your kids as a family? This is a must-read post on all things audiobooks for kids! Psst! Be sure to check out how I listen to audiobooks for free. And don’t forget that you can get a FREE Audible trial with a bonus audiobook right now, plus Audible is offering free Audible books for kids! Guest post from Kelsey of Orchard Reads: I don’t think many of us would have expected just a few weeks ago that our kids would become homeschoolers indefinitely, but here we are! Like many parents, you are probably scrambling trying to keep up with school work and entertain your kids and maintain some type of order and balance in this new season. You are probably also overwhelmed with offers for free educational programs, and it’s tricky to know what’s really going to be beneficial to your kids. If I had one recommendation of a learning activity to add into your daily routine, it would be listening to audiobooks together. Our family has found that listening to audiobooks has bonded us, educated us, and redeemed many hours my kids might have spent being “bored.” Sources for Audiobooks There are tons of places to find great audiobooks for kids, but here are my three favorites: Your Local Library Each library system is different, but our library has an account with an app called Libby. If you download the app on your phone and put in your library card information, you have thousands of audio books at your fingertips that you can listen to wherever you are. One important note: These books sometimes have significant waiting lists. Most books I put on hold have between a 2-10 week wait, but sometimes you can get lucky and find them available immediately. Once the libraries open up again, they also have a great selection of hard copy CD audio books. If you still have access to a CD player (we listen to these in our van), there are thousands of options to choose from! Audible When you sign up for an account with Audible, you’ll automatically get one month free that gives you access to one audiobook and two Audible originals. It does cost $14.95 after the first month, but there’s no requirement to continue. Audible has TONS of incredible audio books for kids and teens, and if you can swing the monthly fee, it’s definitely the most thorough and readily available collection of audio books you can find anywhere. HOT Deal: Right now they’re offering a bonus audiobook when you sign up for a free Audible trial — meaning you’ll get TWO free audiobooks plus two Audible originals!! Audible also just announced that they’re offering FREE Audible books for kids while schools are closed! While it doesn’t have as many titles available, there are still lots of great books to listen to for free, no strings attached! Librivox This is an interesting site that offers thousands of free audio books that are read by volunteers from all over the world. They may not have a specific title you are looking for, but it’s worth perusing the catalog to find out. Incorporating Audiobooks Into Your Daily Routine Listening to audiobooks in the car is one of our favorite things to do, but now that we’re all mostly homebound, we have to transition to listening at home. Here are some of my best tips for incorporating audiobooks into your daily routine with kids: Let Your Kids Keep Their Hands Busy Whether you let them play with blocks, legos, a train set, a drawing pad, play-doh, puzzles, or another toy, keeping little hands and bodies busy while listening to an audiobook always works best for our family. There is often squirming, arguing, and interrupting — but it’s still worth it! Turn On Audiobooks When Your Kids Ask for TV There is NO judgment on my part for letting your kids watch TV (ours are watching a movie as I write!), but we all know that sometimes we really do need to limit the screen time. Listening to audiobooks is actually incredibly similar to watching TV, but it requires kids to use their own mind and imagination rather than having the images displayed before their eyes. Put On Audiobooks for Afternoon Rest Time If you have kids who are too old for naps but still need a little bit of down time in the afternoon, audiobooks are the perfect way to give them some quiet time while also keeping them occupied. There are tons of audiobooks that are 30-60 minutes long, and I have found that these are perfect for rest times. Work Through a Series Together as a Family While it’s fun to listen to stand-alone audiobooks, it’s also fun to find a series that everyone enjoys and work through it together slowly. Not only does it give you lots of hours of listening, but it also creates sweet family memories since you will have invested so much collective time together. Best Audiobooks for Kids By Age Group Are you interested in audiobooks for your kids, but you have no idea where to start? Here is a list of our favorite 10 audiobooks for each age group! We have listened to every one of these audiobooks and can personally vouch for the fact that they are meaningful, entertaining, and worth your time. They are also all available on Audible, so if you start the free Audible trial you can listen to at least two for free: Ages 1-3 Amelia Bedelia Collection (Peggy Parrish) The Complete Adventures of Curious George (H.A. Rey) Henry and Mudge Series (Cynthia Rylant) Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss (Dr. Seuss) Berenstain Bear’s Stories (Jan Berenstain) Frog and Toad Series (Arnold Lobel) Little Bear Series (Else Holmelund Minarik) Pete the Cat Series (Eric Litwin) Pinkalicious Series (Victoria Kann) Fly Guy Series (Tedd Arnold) Ages 4-5 The Courage of Sarah Noble (Alice Dalgliesh) The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (Alice Dalgliesh) 26 Fairmount Avenue Series (Tomie DePaola) Phoebe the Spy (Judith Griffin) Mercy Watson (Kate DiCamillo) My Father’s Dragon Series (Ruth Stiles Gannett) James Herriot’s Treasury (James Herriot) Barkus Series (Patricia MacLachlan) Anna Hibiscus Series (Atinuke) The Lighthouse Family Series (Cynthia Rylant) Ages 6-8 Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Beverly Cleary) Riding Freedom (Pam Munoz Ryan) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (Robert C. O’Brien) The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate) The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (Karina Yan Glaser) The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick) The Trumpet of the Swan (E.B. White) Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher) From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg) Ages 9+ Esparanza Rising (Pam Munoz Ryan) Number the Stars (Lois Lowry) The Giver (Lois Lowry) Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls) Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor) Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George) Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson) Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt) The Twenty-One Balloons (William Pene du Bois) Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell) Our Favorite Series Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder) Ramona (Beverly Cleary) Henry Huggins (Bevlery Cleary) Little Britches (Ralph Moody) The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) The Magic Tree House (Mary Pope Osborne) The Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warren) The Penderwicks (Jeanne Birdsall) Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren) The Great Brain (John D. Fitzgerald) I hope that as you hunker down in your home these next few weeks, audiobooks will become a big part of your family’s new routine! Related: Free Educational Programs for Kids During the Quarantine How I Listen to Free Audiobooks Free Audible Trial + Bonus Audiobook Free Audible Books for Kids 8 Ways to Get Books for Free 10 Tips to Read Aloud to Kids How to Get Your Children Excited About Read Alouds Kelsey is a pastor’s wife, mother of four, book lover, piano teacher, worship leader, and home economist. She writes about her family’s favorite [...]
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How Gen X Can Start Tackling Its Credit Card Debt

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How Gen X Can Start Tackling Its Credit Card Debt
When writer Ada Calhoun started losing sleep over her credit card debt, she quickly realized she wasn’t the only one. “I had about $20,000 in credit card debt, and I had just had all this freelance work fall through. I had a plan to pay it off and that plan evaporated, so I was waking... Kimberly Palmer is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: kpalmer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @kimberlypalmer. The article How Gen X Can Start Tackling Its Credit Card Debt originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Coronavirus Stimulus Checks FAQ: 15 Answers We Know So Far

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Coronavirus Stimulus Checks FAQ: 15 Answers We Know So Far
One piece of good news in a time of coronavirus doom: You’re probably getting a $1,200 check if you’re single or a $2,400 check if you’re married to help you deal with the fallout of COVID-19. The Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion bill late Wednesday night aimed at providing relief from the financial impact of the pandemic. In addition to the $1,200 payments for most adults in the U.S., the bill massively expands unemployment benefits for those impacted by the virus. It also provides hundreds of billions in loans to struggling small businesses and larger companies. The bill is expected to be approved by the House of Representatives on Friday and then be signed into law by President Trump. We’ll update this post as the story develops. Coronavirus Stimulus Check FAQs: 15 Questions Answered Here’s what we know so far about the coronavirus relief checks that will be going out soon. This is a developing story, and there are a lot of details that we still don’t know. We’ll answer more questions as information becomes available. The bill is expected to be approved by the House of Representatives on Friday and then be signed into law by President Trump. We’ll update this post as the story develops. 1. Will I get a check? How much will I get? If you’re single with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or less, you’ll get $1,200. If you’re married and file a joint return, you’ll receive $2,400 if your combined income is $150,000 or less.  For each child 16 or younger in your household, you’ll get another $500. If you file as head of household (usually that means you’re a single parent with at least one child who lives in your home for more than half the year), you’ll get $1,200 if your income isn’t over $112,500. If you’re single and make more than $75,000 or if you’re married and make over $150,000, your check will be phased out by 5 cents for every $1 you earn above these amounts. That means once your income reaches $99,000 if you’re a single filer or $198,000 if you’re married, you don’t get a check. For people who file as head of household, the phase-out ends at $136,500. Pro Tip Calculate your stimulus payment with the Washington Post’s online calculator. 2. What tax return will be used to determine my eligibility? If you’ve already filed your taxes, your 2019 return will be used. Otherwise, your 2018 return will determine your eligibility. Reminder: This year’s tax filing deadline has been pushed back 90 days to July 15. 3. Who WON’T qualify for the stimulus checks? If the income on your 2018 or 2019 return is higher than the thresholds listed above, you won’t get a stimulus check. You also won’t get one if you’re a nonresident alien, you don’t have a Social Security number or if someone else claims you as a dependent. 4. I haven’t lost my job or had my hours cut due to coronavirus. Will I still get a check? Yes. Eligibility is based on your 2018 or 2019 income. Your current employment status isn’t a factor. 5. What if I have lost my job? Does that mean I get extra? No, you won’t get a larger stimulus check. But you will benefit from the “unemployment on steroids” expansion of benefits for workers who lost their jobs or experienced major loss of income due to the pandemic. The package gives workers who lost their jobs for reasons related to coronavirus up to $600 per week of additional unemployment benefits on top of their state benefits for 13 weeks. What’s especially unusual about this bill is that it extends unemployment benefits to gig workers, contractors and freelancers who usually don’t qualify. 6. Will I have to pay taxes on the check? Probably not. It’s a tax credit and isn’t treated as income. If you qualify for $1,200, you’ll receive the full $1,200; no taxes will be deducted. Where it gets confusing is that the check is actually a credit for your 2020 taxes — but since no one knows how much we’ll earn or how much they’ll owe for 2020, the payments are based on your 2019 return if you’ve already filed it or your 2018 return if you haven’t. So what happens if you’re single and earned $70,000 in 2019 and your income suddenly soars to $100,000 in 2020? We don’t really know. Technically, you’d be ineligible for the relief check… but there’s nothing in the bill that requires you to pay back the money or even report it as income. Here’s all of our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, which we will be updating every day. 7. What if I made too much in 2019 to qualify, but my 2020 income has taken a hit? If you didn’t qualify because you earned too much in 2018 or 2019, but your income dips below the thresholds in 2020, you won’t get a stimulus check, though you’ll probably benefit from the expanded unemployment benefits if you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic.  While the bill wouldn’t allow you to receive a check based on your 2020 income right now, you would most likely be able to receive the payment as a tax credit when you file your 2020 tax return in early 2021. 8. Where do I find my AGI? To find your AGI on your 2018 return, look at Line 7 of your 1040. For your 2019 return, you can find it on Line 8b of your 1040 or 1040-SR. 9. What if I didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019? If you received Social Security benefits, the IRS can use information from your benefits statement to process your check. But things could get tricky if you didn’t file a tax return and also didn’t receive Social Security benefits for 2018 and 2019. The solution: File a tax return ASAP. While the IRS website says it doesn’t have any information about stimulus checks yet, it urges non-filers to take action right away. “Pending legislation includes certain potential credits and rebates for those who have filed a return for 2018 and/or 2019,” it says. “Those without 2018 tax filings on record could potentially affect mailings of stimulus checks.”  Pro Tip If you need to file a tax return for 2019 or a previous year, check out these free tax-filing resources on the IRS website. 10. Do I still get a check if I’m retired? Yes, as long as your income isn’t above the limits listed above and you meet the other criteria. If you didn’t make enough money during either year to file a tax return, the government can use your Social Security benefits form to process your payment. 11. Will I still get a check if I owe back taxes? Yes. Delinquent taxes won’t affect stimulus checks.  12. I already got my relief check in the mail. Is it legit? No! Any check you’ve already received is fraudulent. Remember: This hasn’t even been signed into law yet. A few things to remember for when checks are issued: You’ll never have to pay anything upfront to receive a check from the U.S. government, and you’ll never have to provide your Social Security number, credit card number or bank account number to receive your check. The FTC has more information here.  13. How will I get my check? If the IRS has your bank account information from your past tax returns, it will use that and pay you via direct deposit. If it doesn’t have your bank account info, you’ll get your benefit by mail, but there’s a good chance it will be in the form of a prepaid debit card, rather than a paper check. 14. When will I get my check? Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he hopes to get payments out in two to three weeks. However, many observers say it’s highly unlikely that the IRS can make this happen that quickly. Last time the government sent out stimulus checks in 2008, the process took about three months. 15. Is this a one-time deal? The Senate has only authorized one payment, so for the moment, yes.  What Do You Want to Know About the Coronavirus Stimulus Checks? There are a lot of things we still don’t know about the coronavirus stimulus checks.  Even the IRS doesn’t have all the answers. Remember, this hasn’t been signed int [...]
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Free One-Month CBS All Access Trial! {HOT}

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Free One-Month CBS All Access Trial! {HOT}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whoa! You can currently get a FREE one-month CBS All Access Trial, which is a super rare and HOT deal!! Psst! Looking for more freebies like this? Right now, you can sign up to get a FREE one-month CBS All Access trial when you use the promo code ALL at checkout! This is a rare deal as the free trial usually only lasts seven days! If you love Star Trek, this is an especially great deal because it gives you access to all the latest episodes of Star Trek Discovery and Star Trek Picard! 🙂 Note: After your free trial is up, you’ll be charged at the regular monthly rate. If you don’t wish to continue after your free trial, be sure to cancel before it renews! Valid through April 23, 2020. [...]
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Coronavirus To Kill Cash For Good

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Coronavirus To Kill Cash For Good
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BIG Updates From Our House (we tell you all about it on the podcast)

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BIG Updates From Our House (we tell you all about it on the podcast)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Well, like I’ve alluded to other places online, the past two weeks have been packed full of so many different, unexpected things. Some good, some hard, some just plain different than what we expected. It feels almost as if we’ve lived through an entire month in just a week’s time. In this week’s podcast episode, we sit down and talk about some of the BIG updates/changes/unexpected things that happened at our house recently, including: getting a long-term placement from foster care for a preemie who was still in the NICU (he got out of the hospital today!!!!) the kids being out of school and everything being cancelled — and how we are letting them plan their routine for the day and how that is working for us Kathrynne’s trip to Suriname where she ended up getting stuck there because the country closed their borders due to COVID-19 (she only ended up having to stay two extra days — and she shares more about that experience on the podcast) If you have some extra time and want a more newsy behind-the-scenes peek into what’s going on at our house right now, don’t miss this episode. In This Episode:  [01:25] There have been some major life changes happening lately and we’re going to discuss a few of them in-depth on the podcast today. [03:21] The kids are planning their own routines during this time and it is saving both my life and Jesse’s life. Hear why we are having our kids be in charge of this and how we went about having them set this up. [09:11] I’m reading Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel and I share some of my favorite quotes. [12:45] Jesse is reading Fearless by Eric Blehm. [18:36] Our sweet foster baby should be released from the hospital soon and we are so excited. [21:24] Kathrynne joins us to chat about her adventures in Suriname. She shares why she went on this trip, what they did on the trip, and her biggest highlight of the trip. [27:41] Hear all about how the trip ended very differently than any of us could have imagined and Kathrynne felt when they were told that the trip could be extended for 30 days or more.  Links and Resources: Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel Fearless by Eric Blehm MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. [...]
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NerdWallet Experts’ Tips on Handling Finances During Coronavirus

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NerdWallet Experts’ Tips on Handling Finances During Coronavirus
The economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak may have you thinking about — and let’s be real, losing sleep over — your finances now more than ever. With bills, investments and mortgage payments to consider, as well as looming fears about a recession, you may need an expert opinion to cut through the noise and... Valerie Lai is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: vlai@nerdwallet.com. The article NerdWallet Experts’ Tips on Handling Finances During Coronavirus originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Turn off the news and love the people in front of you

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Turn off the news and love the people in front of you
I haven’t said much about COVID-19 because I don’t want to be just one more person adding to the noise. However, I felt this burden to share something that’s been on my heart… If you are feeling panicked, scared, or stressed right now, can I encourage you to turn off the news and love the people right in front of you? That might mean unsubscribing from email newsletters, being offline more, unfollowing (or hiding) people or pages you follow online for a season, or shutting off the news. Whatever is feeding your worry and fear, step away from it as much as you can and replace it with loving those right in front of you well. Yes, we need to be informed. Yes, we need to be wise and cautious. Yes, we need to think carefully about how our actions might cause harm to those who are most at risk. But sitting around stressing and feeding ourselves a constant diet of theories and predictions and “what if’s” is not going to help anyone — and it’s going to wear down our own immune systems. Rock and sing to your babies. Read to your toddler. Bake cookies with your 5-year-old. Play a game with your pre-teen. Hang out with your teenager. Watch a funny movie as a family. Tell your spouse how much you love them. Plan a creative at-home date night. Text or call your elderly neighbor. Send an email or FaceTime a friend. Pray for those who are most vulnerable. Look for ways to serve your community. Think of those people who might be overlooked or especially scared and reach out to them. It’s amazing how much our perspective and outlook can change when we focus on loving others! Who needs your love and kindness today? [...]
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Is Online Grocery Shopping Cheaper?

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Is Online Grocery Shopping Cheaper?
For years, we’ve all enjoyed shopping online for household essentials, clothes, and other things we need. However, most of us have still been making the weekly pilgrimage to our local grocery store to buy food. But that’s all changing. The good news is, after you try buying your groceries online, you might never want to ... Read More about Is Online Grocery Shopping Cheaper? The post Is Online Grocery Shopping Cheaper? appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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What to Do if Your College Closed Due to the Coronavirus

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What to Do if Your College Closed Due to the Coronavirus
School’s out for many colleges and universities that have closed in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  That can create a dire problem if you depend on your school for housing, food and on-campus jobs. And what does it mean for your student loans? Here’s all of our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, which we will be updating every day. Although some schools have contemplated refunding some charges for room and board, according to The Wall Street Journal, the fact is you’re unlikely to receive a refund for the tuition and fees you’ve already paid. We’re here to help you navigate these unchartered waters — including what to do to avoid racking up student loans. How to Avoid Racking Up Student Loan Debt Due to the Coronavirus Whether your college is closing its campus or you need to quarantine yourself, here’s how you can avoid taking on extra student loan debt. An important note: If you need to reach your school, you may need to try multiple avenues. Remote-working staff may be able to assist, but expect longer waits if you’re calling the financial aid office, for instance.  Alternatively, your school’s official social media sites might provide more immediate guidance for how to contact specific offices or departments. If Your College Campus Closes  Beyond the take-home tests and online classes, there’s the real cost associated with planning to live in one place and then being told to go away. Some colleges are offering at least temporary shelter in dorms, but you’ll need to reach out to your college’s housing services to let them know your situation. If you’re displaced because of your college’s closing, you may need someplace to store all your stuff — U-Haul is offering a free month of self-storage at U-Haul owned and operated facilities. You must be a new customer, but you only need to show your college ID to get the deal. Pro Tip If you have a Federal Work-Study job, your school may let you to work remotely or pay you for scheduled hours if you can’t make it in due to coronavirus-related disruptions, according to the DOE. Some hotels — the ones that have remained open — are also offering discounts to students who need a place to stay before booking arrangements to get back home. The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, for instance, is offering a discounted rate of $99/night plus taxes and fees for displaced college students, according to Laura Langemo, senior specialist, public relations for Radisson Americas. The rate is available through April 30 and you’ll need to show your college ID at check-in.  Hotels near your college may be offering deals to make up for their own cancellations, but call ahead to confirm. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Payday loans 3/11/20 @ 1:50 PM School Loan Forgiveness 3/9/20 @ 6:57 PM L Credit cards 3/4/20 @ 2:43 PM Student Loan - Public Service Loan Forgiveness (Income-Based) - Payment Decrease? 3/4/20 @ 4:15 PM L See more in Debt or ask a money question If You Can’t Attend Class If you can’t get back to school because you’re under quarantine, the Department of Education’s financial aid website recommends that you reach out to your school’s financial aid office and academic adviser.  If the person responsible for your tuition payments — you, your parents, your grandparents — lost their source of income, ask your school’s financial aid office about alternative payment options and potential emergency funding to cover costs.  Pro Tip If you’re currently repaying student loans held by the federal government, you’re eligible for an interest waiver. Check the Department of Education website for details and updates. If you’re sick or must care for a family member, reach out to your academic advisor and the financial aid office for a potential leave of absence. The thing you shouldn’t do: simply stop going to class. If your school has moved to online classes, you must participate in them to remain eligible for financial aid.  If you don’t have the money to continue full time, at least consider cutting back to attending online classes part time. By maintaining half-time status, you can continue deferring your student loans. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Get my favorite tees for just $10 shipped!!

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Get my favorite tees for just $10 shipped!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These tees are SO cozy and soft! Grab one for just $10 shipped right now! Cents of Style has their popular Tees on sale 2 for $20 when you use coupon code FAVTEE at checkout. Included in this sale are my favorite short-sleeve Jagger Tee or long-sleeve Joanna Tee, and you can mix & match. Shipping is FREE, so you’ll pay just $10 each, shipped! These shirts are SUPER soft and really versatile! They can be worn long over leggings, tied in the front for a really cute look, tucked into skinny jeans, or layered with a long cardigan. There are so many cute tees included in this sale! Choose from sizes S through 3XL in tons of different color choices. Valid through March 29, 2020. Go here to grab two Tees for just $10 each, shipped! [...]
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How to Book Future Air Travel Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

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How to Book Future Air Travel Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty
The coronavirus pandemic has brought air travel to a screeching halt. Flights are cancelled, borders are closed, and now one of the big questions is: When will we travel again? Airlines are offering flexible travel policies to help with this uncertainty. For example, if you’re set to attend a wedding this summer but are unsure... Sam Kemmis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif. The article How to Book Future Air Travel Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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10 Foods That Can Keep for Years

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10 Foods That Can Keep for Years
If you hadn’t previously thought about how you would build up a food supply for an emergency, the new coronavirus probably has made you consider it. What kinds of foods are best to keep in the pantry and freezer in case of a natural disaster, zombie apocalypse or pandemic that drags on for more than a couple of weeks? Start with the following options. These foods can last for years before going... [...]
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Paul Hager: “At ONEtoONE my focus has changed to helping companies reach business success”

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Paul Hager: “At ONEtoONE my focus has changed to helping companies reach business success”
The post Paul Hager: “At ONEtoONE my focus has changed to helping companies reach business success” appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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What do you want a post #Coronavirus world to look like?

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What do you want a post #Coronavirus world to look like?
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 34), Fostering, Quarantining, & Kathrynne is home!

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 34), Fostering, Quarantining, & Kathrynne is home!
34 weeks! And what a week it’s been! Kathrynne getting stuck in Suriname because they closed the borders (gratefully, her group got on a special flight this past Monday —  see below), spending hours at the NICU taking care of the preemie we’re fostering, everything else in our life getting cancelled… it’s felt like a pretty unprecedented week! Highlights Pregnancy-wise, I’m doing well. I feel like baby had a growth spurt this week and I’ve popped even more. Very few clothes still fit and I feel pretty big, but I’m not at the totally miserable stage yet, so I’m grateful. Getting comfortable while sitting and sleeping is becoming more of a challenge, but that’s to be expected when you’re in your final weeks of pregnancy! 😉 Notable I’m thankful to not be experiencing much swelling yet. My face is definitely a lot puffier, but other than that, so long as I keep my feet up for part of the day, I’m usually good. We’re hopefully bringing our NICU baby home soon, so I’ve spent some time this week making sure everything is in order for both babies — baby clothes are washed, diapers are stocked, a second bed is ordered, etc. I also sat down and mapped out the bones of a feeding/sleeping/life routine today — since our little preemie is on an every three-hour feeding schedule and will most likely continue that once released from the hospital. We’re getting excited to think of being a family of 7 soon — but also trying to savor our last few days of being a family of just 5. Cravings I’m mostly only hungry in the mornings now. I’m usually famished for the first few hours of the day and then I’m not that hungry after lunch. I’m eating lots of apples/peanut butter and Raisin Bran/milk. Oh and we found that vanilla ice cream before bed helps me to sleep better and not wake up with heartburn as often. I have no idea why, but hey, if it works, it works! 🤣I’m also eating dates every day and drinking red raspberry leaf tea to help prepare for labor. Weight gain: 27 pounds She’s home!!! After being gone for 11 days, getting stuck in Suriname due to the country completing closing their borders, and being told she might not be able to come home for 30 days… we got to witness God move some pretty huge mountains in a very short amount of time. (The government arranged a special flight out of Suriname for them and a handful of others who were trying to get back to the US!) A huge thank you to the many who prayed, the school administration who worked tirelessly to get them home, & the government officials who bent over backwards to make this happen. Also, we are so proud of this girl! She handled the whole thing like a champ and told me she decided to focus on the positive in it instead of dwelling on the what if’s or unknowns. She came back stronger, more resilient, more independent (in a good way), more aware of the goodness and provision of God, and so incredibly humbled by how many hundreds (thousands?) of people were praying for her and their team to make it home safely. Thank you all to the many, many, many of you who wrote, texted, and messaged to tell me you were praying. It has truly been a humbling experience to be the recipient of so much love and kindness this past week… especially when SO much else is going on in the world. We are blown away how deeply you care about our family. And now we’re hunkered down at home for the next few weeks trying to stay as healthy as possible and keep our home as germ-free as possible since we’ll likely be welcoming a medically fragile babe into our home very, very soon. (Interested in seeing the creative things my kids are finding to do each day while home 24/7 or want to follow along with our foster care journey? Be sure to follow my stories on Instagram. I usually post there multiple times per day every week day!) Speaking of Instagram, I posted this earlier this week and thought this might encourage someone today: This is what the last 8 days of my life have looked like. Sitting in the rocker in the NICU rocking this tiny preemie we’re fostering and praying. (Note: The mask is just one of the many precautions the nurses are having me take to keep me and baby as healthy as possible.) I’m usually a go-getter, a very driven person, who will have 15 balls in the air I’m juggling at any given time. My brain isn’t good at slowing down and I typically find living life at 100 miles an hour (with short pit stops here and there) to be exhilarating and fulfilling. But right now, this is my season to rock, hold, comfort, and speak words of life to this precious baby. And that is enough. I look down at this bundle I’m holding and realize, this sweet child doesn’t know anything about the chaos or fear going on in the world. Baby just wants to eat, sleep, and be held. And as long as I’m holding this child, they are almost always completely relaxed in my arms, resting deeply and peacefully. As I sit here, I think of so many of you who are struggling today. Some of you have written in and told me how you are facing scary unknowns, big financial setbacks, possible job loss, fear of the future, worry over immunocompromised loved ones, separation from those you love, and so much more. This virus is personally affecting each of us in big ways. I just want to remind you — as I am reminding myself — to crawl up into Jesus’ lap and let Him hold you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. And He will give you what you need for today. There are a lot of unknowns in my future right now — as I am positive there are in yours. If I let myself start dwelling on them, I can begin to feel scared and stressed. But God hasn’t given me grace for tomorrow or next month. He is giving me grace for today and I can rest in that. And so, I sit here and rock — trusting Jesus that He has my future, my NICU baby’s future (and all the possible medical issues and things with that far outside my control!) my 34-week in utero baby’s future, my other 3 kids’ futures, my husband’s future, the future of our business, my extended family’s future… in His hands. I rest in that and rock on. ❤️ [...]
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How to Prepare for a Recession

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How to Prepare for a Recession
The coronavirus pandemic began as a public health concern, but it wasn’t long before the fallout from the spreading outbreak began to raise troubling economic questions. Perhaps chief among them: Will this lead the world into an economic recession? Understanding recessions A recession occurs when economic growth stops and the economy starts to shrink. Recessions... NerdWallet is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: articles@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Prepare for a Recession originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 20 March 2020

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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 20 March 2020
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SEC Amends the Definitions of “Accelerated Filer” and “Large Accelerated Filer”

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SEC Amends the Definitions of “Accelerated Filer” and “Large Accelerated Filer”
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted amendments to the definitions of “Accelerated Filer” and “Large Accelerated Filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The SEC originally proposed these amendments in May 2019, as summarized in a prior Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest article. As a result of these amendments, a greater number of smaller companies will be excluded from accelerated and large accelerated filer status, which will ease reporting burdens and reduce compliance costs for those companies. Reporting companies are classified into three categories: large accelerated filers, accelerated filers and non-accelerated filers. Under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the independent auditors of large accelerated and accelerated filers, but not of non-accelerated filers, must attest to, and report on, management’s assessment of the effectiveness of their internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). Furthermore, non-accelerated filers have additional time to file quarterly and annual reports (until 45 days after quarter end and 90 days after year end, respectively). Accordingly, a non-accelerated filer benefits from reduced compliance costs and this additional time to file periodic reports. Some companies are not classified as non-accelerated filers even though they are smaller reporting companies (SRCs), eligible for scaled disclosure accommodations. The amendments described below will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and apply to an annual report filing due on or after the effective date, even if the issuer’s fiscal year ends prior to the effective date. Exclusion of low-revenue SRCs from the accelerated filer definition  The amendments exclude from the accelerated filer definition any companies that are eligible to be a SRC that had annual revenues of less than $100 million in the most recent fiscal year for which audited financial statements are available (the “SRC Revenue Test”). The amendments also exclude business development companies from the accelerated filer definition if they have annual investment income of less than $100 million. As a result, some (but not all) SRCs and business development companies that are currently accelerated filers will become non-accelerated filers, exempt from the ICFR auditor attestation requirement and having additional time to file annual and quarterly reports. In the adopting release, the SEC provided the following table to summarize the relationships between SRCs and the categories of filers following the amendments: Relationships between SRCs and Non-Accelerated, Accelerated and Large Accelerated Filers under the Amendments Status Public Float Annual Revenues SRC and Non-Accelerated Filer Less than $75 million N/A $75 million to less than $700 million Less than $100 million SRC and Accelerated Filer $75 million to less than $700 million $100 million or more Accelerated Filer (not SRC) $250 million to less than $700 million $100 million or more Large Accelerated Filer (not SRC) $700 million or more N/A Increased transition thresholds for exiting accelerated and large accelerated filer status Pursuant to the amendments, the thresholds for exiting accelerated and large accelerated filer status were increased. In particular, the public float transition threshold for a large accelerated and accelerated filer to become a non-accelerated filer was raised from $50 million to $60 million, and the public float transition threshold for exiting large accelerated filer status was increased from $500 million to $560 million. In the adopting release, the SEC provided the following table to summarize the impact of these amendments on a company’s filing status: Amendments to the Public Float Thresholds Initial Public Float Determination Resulting Filer Status Subsequent Public Float Determination Resulting Filer Status $700 million or more Large Accelerated Filer $560 million or more Large Accelerated Filer Less than $560 million but $60 million or more Accelerated Filer Less than $60 million Non-Accelerated Filer Less than $700 million but $75 million or more Accelerated Filer Less than $700 million but $60 million or more Accelerated Filer Less than $60 million Non-Accelerated Filer The amendments also add the SRC Revenue Test to these transition thresholds. Under the amendments, an accelerated filer with a public float that falls below $60 million, or with annual revenues that fall below the SRC Revenue Test, would become a non-accelerated filer. New check box on the cover pages of annual reports on Forms 10-K, 20-F and 40-F  The amendments also add a check box to the cover pages of annual reports on Forms 10-K, 20-F and 40-F to indicate whether an ICFR auditor attestation is included in the filing, making it easier for investors to identify issuers that undergo an ICFR auditor attestation. This cover page check box must be tagged using Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (Inline XBRL). The adopting release is available here. [...]
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61 things to do at home when your kids are bored (springtime edition)

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61 things to do at home when your kids are bored (springtime edition)
We’ve all had those days when the kids are bouncing off the walls but you can’t leave the house — whether it’s raining, someone has springtime allergies, the car’s in the shop, you’re pinching your pennies (go, you!), or whatever. Here are X fun, cheap things to do as a family when you’re stuck inside ... Read More about 61 things to do at home when your kids are bored (springtime edition) The post 61 things to do at home when your kids are bored (springtime edition) appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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7 Tips for Sane Shopping When Everyone Else Is Panic Buying

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7 Tips for Sane Shopping When Everyone Else Is Panic Buying
Some of the grocery-store photos coming out of the coronavirus outbreak resemble those usually seen on Black Friday, or in towns awaiting hurricanes or blizzards. Images capture emptied shelves, especially in cleaning supply and bathroom tissue sections, while some stores post limits on specific products. Don’t give in to the panic buying. Be a smart shopper by using the tips we outline below to... [...]
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13 Free, Easy Strategies for Coronavirus Stress Management

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13 Free, Easy Strategies for Coronavirus Stress Management
We’re living in scary, uncertain times, and for a lot of us, that translates into high levels of stress and anxiety. But as natural as these responses may be, chronic stress and anxiety pose their own threats. Chronic stress has been linked to many serious health conditions, and it has also been shown to depress immune function, which is something none of us need right now. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 13 things you can do to help you cope during this time. None of these things cost money, and you can do them all at home (or at least in your neighborhood).    13 Ways to Manage Your Coronavirus-Related Stress Right Now The next time you’re feeling swept up in counterproductive thoughts, try one of these tactics. 1. Take a Few Deep Breaths If you’re like most people, you probably respond to feelings of emotional distress by taking shorter, shallower, more rapid breaths. This means your body gets less oxygen, which in turn affects your ability to think clearly and function — and that can exacerbate that tangle of emotions. Taking a few deep breaths will replenish your body’s oxygen supply, and as a bonus, it will give you a few moments to pause, which can also help you calm down.  When you feel yourself getting stressed out, stop and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, then exhale through pursed lips. Do this several times until you feel yourself calm down.   Several variations of this exercise exist, so play around until you find something that works best for you. 2. Try a Grounding Technique If stress and anxiety are threatening to overwhelm you, try one of these grounding techniques. They work by pulling you away from your anxiety-producing thoughts, most of which either dwell on the past or ruminate on the unknown future, and bringing you back into the present.  An easy one to remember is the “five senses” technique. Here’s how you do it: Stop for a moment and think about what all of your five senses are experiencing at that precise moment.  What do you hear? What are you smelling? What do you feel on your skin? What do you see? What do you taste?  Whenever you catch your thoughts spiraling out of control, take a minute to pause and do one of these exercises, and hopefully you will feel better quickly.  3. Limit Your Time Online Many researchers have found a strong connection between heavy social media use and a higher likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression. The same is true for your smartphone.  This is the case even without the threat of global pandemic hanging over our heads, so imagine how much more intense that dynamic is right now, where every push alert to our phone could bring news of another border closure or federal emergency measure. Mix the unrelenting flood of news about these unprecedented events with the stress of watching political arguments unfold in comments sections, attempting to sort out the nuggets of truth from the fire hose of misinformation and trying to block out the increasingly panicked posts from family members and friends, and you have a recipe for lots and lots of anxiety. This is not an argument for complete abstinence from using social media, smartphones and the internet, by the way.  These things can bring great value to our lives, especially now more than ever, when we need both the social connections and the critical information they bring to us. (Not to mention deliveries of food and supplies while social distancing!)  However, even good things can be bad for us if we don’t put limits on our consumption, so if you find that being online is causing you a lot of stress, put some parameters in place.   One option is to give yourself an hour to check in the morning and in the evenings. Another option is to institute no-phone hours after a certain time. A third option is to take a few minutes to turn off your phone’s alerts and notifications.  None of those work for you? Here are seven other ideas for you to try. 4. Spend Time in Nature Sometimes the cure for what ails you is right outside your front door.  Researchers have found that spending time in nature can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. It seems to reduce the levels of cortisol, which is released in response to stress, and the prefrontal cortex — aka the area of the brain that’s active when you’re engaged in repetitive, negative thinking — shows lower amounts of activity. They’re not exactly sure why this happens, just that it does. City dwellers (and anyone else who doesn’t have access to green spaces due to social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions), we still have good news for you: Researchers found that listening to calming outdoor sounds or looking at trees and other greenery can have the same effect as spending time in nature.  So fire up a playlist of ambient ocean sounds, gaze at some photos of Canadian forests and feel your stress slowly melt away. 5. Write Your Feelings Down Journaling is one of the most common strategies for dealing with mental health challenges, and for good reason. Researchers say writing down your feelings can help you make better sense of them. Instead of rushing around your body and mind in a confusing whirl of stimuli, the feelings become understandable, clearer and easier to manage. Want to try this out but not sure where to start? This post has seven good prompts for you to try. 6. Meditate Meditation has gotten a lot of press in recent years as a one-size-fits-all solution for everything from a lack of focus to anxiety to boosting your productivity.   But what makes meditation so potent in a time like this is that it helps you develop awareness of your own thoughts, which is the first step to being able to manage them more effectively. If you have the ability to catch yourself getting carried away by your anxiety-producing thoughts, then you’ll also have the ability to redirect them in ways that are more productive and useful for you. So you want to try meditation but you’re not sure where to begin? Try one of these five free meditation apps and use the guided meditations. Make an effort to meditate at least once a day for a few days, and see if it works for you. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Saving at the Grocery Store 3/4/20 @ 9:43 AM Energy saving -- via Arcadia Power or any other similar service? 1/24/19 @ 11:10 AM Emergency fund 3/6/20 @ 9:59 AM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 7. Drink Some Water Feeling anxious? Stop what you are doing, go to the fridge, pour yourself a glass of water and drink it down. Researchers have found that drinking water can lower a person’s stress and anxiety levels. Our bodies are primarily made of water, and when we’re dehydrated, we don’t function as well as we could. So if you’re feeling panicky, take a moment to drink a cool glass of water, and see if that helps you calm down. 8. Learn a New Skill You probably noticed your friends’ lists are full of posts about people taking up baking or gardening or cross-stitching right now.  There’s a good reason for that: Learning a new skill can occupy your brain so thoroughly that it leaves little room for the rumination that can lead to anxiety and stress. Researchers have found that learning a new skill can be a great buffer against workplace stress, and that holds true in our day-to-day life as well.   So if you’ve wanted to learn to play a new instr [...]
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Best Uses of the AmEx Green’s $100 LoungeBuddy Credit

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Best Uses of the AmEx Green’s $100 LoungeBuddy Credit
With a strong welcome offer and a variety of useful benefits, the American Express® Green Card is a travel card worth considering. In addition to other perks, the card offers a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, which can be used to offset the cost of lounge access when purchased on the LoungeBuddy app or website. Terms apply.... Elina Geller is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: egeller@nerdwallet.com. The article Best Uses of the AmEx Green’s $100 LoungeBuddy Credit originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Week in Fintech ending 20 March 2020

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This Week in Fintech ending 20 March 2020
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*HOT* Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes only $14.98 shipped, plus more!

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*HOT* Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes only $14.98 shipped, plus more!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Love Converse? You can get some great deals right now! Converse is offering an extra 25% off select shoes right now when you use the promo code MARCH25 at checkout! Even better, get free shipping when you create a Converse.com account (free to join). Check out these deals ideas… Converse x Batman Chuck Taylor All Star – $19.97 (regularly $35) Use coupon code MARCH25 (25% off) Shipping is free for Converse account members $14.98 shipped after code Archive Flames Infant/Toddler Chuck Taylor All Star – $19.97 (regularly $35) Use coupon code MARCH25 (25% off) Shipping is free for Converse account members $14.98 shipped after code Tumbled Leather Chuck Taylor All Star – $25.97 (regularly $45) Use coupon code MARCH25 (25% off) Shipping is free for Converse account members $19.48 shipped after code Iridescent Space Star Girls Chuck Taylor All Star – $25.97 (regularly $40) Use coupon code MARCH25 (25% off) Shipping is free for Converse account members $19.48 shipped after code Converse Women’s Costa Low Top – $32.97 (regularly $45) Use coupon code MARCH25 (25% off) Shipping is free for Converse account members $24.73 shipped after code Mars Unisex Raver Slip Chuck Taylor All Star – $34.97 (regularly $55) Use coupon code MARCH25 (25% off) Shipping is free for Converse account members $26.23 shipped after code Valid through March 23, 2020. Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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How to Get Essential Needs Assistance if You’ve Lost Income

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How to Get Essential Needs Assistance if You’ve Lost Income
We talk about the importance of having a well-stocked emergency fund and wiggle room in your budget.  That’s the ideal, but living paycheck to paycheck without a savings cushion is a reality for millions.  Losing income due to layoffs, reduced business or needing to take unpaid days off in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic leaves many unable to meet basic needs like paying rent and putting food on the table. Although there isn’t a lot of centralized assistance available nationwide as of yet, various charities and private companies are stepping up to provide help to those in need.  7 Ways to Get Assistance During the Coronavirus Pandemic Right now, a lot of aid is being provided locally or on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to follow your local news outlets for information relevant to your city. But here are a few avenues you can turn to for help.  1. The United Way and 211 The United Way’s 211 network is a helpful resource that connects people with health and human services in their area, like finding housing assistance or food banks. You just dial 211 on your phone or visit 211.org. The United Way has developed additional support via its COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, which will distribute money to communities in need and strengthen the 211 infrastructure.  Chris Preston, vice president of corporate relations at United Way Worldwide, advises people to reach out for help now if they foresee needing assistance. Don’t wait until a bill that you can’t pay is due. Preston said the United Way is actively encouraging its national partners to work with their customers. Of those that have already committed to help, he said Comcast and AT&T are providing heavily discounted internet services, and Truist Financial, a merger of SunTrust and BB&T, is adjusting customers’ payment schedules and offering more cash back for some credit card holders. Click here to find your local United Way. 2. Salvation Army The Salvation Army provides aid to vulnerable populations with services like operating homeless shelters and soup kitchens. A statement from the nonprofit explains it has ramped up support efforts during the coronavirus pandemic as more need is anticipated.  Individual Salvation Army locations are making necessary adjustments, like shifting services online, providing to-go or delivered meals and designing quarantine plans for shelters. Use this search function to find your nearest Salvation Army location.  3. Modest Needs Modest Needs is a nonprofit that provides grants for low-income people in crisis to cover essential expenses like rent, utility bills and medical expenses. The organization is currently processing hundreds of applications for financial support in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and has also created a fund specifically to help hourly workers who are losing income.  FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Energy saving -- via Arcadia Power or any other similar service? 1/24/19 @ 4:10 PM Saving at the Grocery Store 3/4/20 @ 2:43 PM Emergency fund 3/6/20 @ 2:59 PM Looking For Cell Phone Plans 3/8/20 @ 5:02 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 4. School Systems Although school districts are shutting down across the country, some are continuing to provide meals to those qualifying for free and reduced meals. Contact your local school district to see if it’s providing meals and find out where they’re distributing them. 5. Food Pantries Feeding America and its network of food banks nationwide have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with efforts like increased food distributions, additional mobile pantry stops and drive-through pickups, according to its corporate blog.  However, many food pantries across the country are experiencing a shortage of both food donations and volunteers.  6. Utility Companies In response to the coronavirus crisis, various utility companies have announced they won’t shut off service if households are struggling to pay their bills.  If you believe you won’t be able to pay your next water, electricity or gas bill, contact your provider to explain your hardship. Get any agreement for financial assistance in writing rather than accepting a blanket statement that utilities will remain on regardless of payment. Pro Tip These tips for saving money on utilities can help you lower your bills. 7. Family, Friends, Neighbors and Social Networks Everyone may be practicing social distancing right now, but people are still extending their proverbial hands.  The New York Times recently reported about how people are finding assistance on platforms like Twitter and GoFundMe. A CNN article mentioned how the platform Nextdoor has seen a significant uptick in user engagement over the past two weeks.  Sharing your struggles won’t guarantee that someone will be able to help, but you stand a better chance than if you keep yourself in a silo.  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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Adventures in Odyssey: Free 4-Week Trial!

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Adventures in Odyssey: Free 4-Week Trial!
Your kids can currently access Adventures in Odyssey stories for FREE right now! Just sign up for this free trial, no credit card required!! {Psst! Did you see these other FREE 30-day trials for online educational programs right now?!} Free Adventures in Odyssey 4-Week Trial Whoa!! If you’re looking for something fun for kids to do while they’re at home, don’t miss this RARE deal! Adventures in Odyssey is currently offering a FREE 4-week trial – no credit card required! This gives you access to over 900 episodes of their audio dramas! This has been one of my kids’ most-favorite-in-all-the-world things over the years. I’m not even remotely exaggerating when I make the claim that we’ve likely listened to a total of 4,000 to 5,000 HOURS of Adventures in Odyssey episodes at our house over the years. For real. I highly recommend taking advantage of this offer, because it’s super rare to be able to get completely free access to Adventures in Odyssey like this! Go here to sign up for your free trial. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Thursday, March 19

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Afternoon Deals: Thursday, March 19
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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Which Best Western Credit Card Should You Get?

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Which Best Western Credit Card Should You Get?
If you’re looking for a rewards credit card for your daily purchases, a Best Western card likely won’t offer as much point value compared with other cards. Instead, Best Western cardholders can look forward to rewards perks that enhance their travel experience. Aside from an elite status boost, a Best Western rewards credit card can... Jennifer Calonia is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Which Best Western Credit Card Should You Get? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Create a Bare Bones Budget to Ride Out a Crisis

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How to Create a Bare Bones Budget to Ride Out a Crisis
Getting through a tough time often requires making sacrifices — including financial ones. A serious illness, the death of a family member, unexpected emergencies and job loss create precarious situations that force people to change their regular spending habits.  The spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is currently leading people to do just that. You might feel helpless in the midst of a crisis, but there are actionable steps you can take to shift to a bare bones budget and stretch your dollars. 5 Tips for Creating a Bare Bones Budget During a Crisis 1. Cut Out the Nonessentials Paring down your budget means making difficult choices. What you need to cut may not be obvious. You may be so used to coloring your hair that it seems like an essential cost. Or perhaps your kid has been involved in a soccer league for three years and you couldn’t imagine pulling him out for a season. But you have to ask yourself: Is this expense important for my survival? Could I get by without it? A true bare bones budget only includes necessities — things like food, shelter, electricity, water and medical expenses. It should also factor in financial obligations, because defaulting on a student loan or tax bill, for example, could result in garnished wages. The extent of your financial situation will determine how strict you have to be about your budget cuts. Robust savings or passive income streams may allow you to reduce your spending while keeping a few luxuries. 2. Pause Service Contracts and Subscriptions Slashing costs from your budget may seem more trouble than it’s worth if you’re locked in a contract with a hefty cancellation fee. Fortunately, you don’t have to permanently cut some expenses. You may be able to pause, say, your cable and internet service for a certain amount of time rather than canceling. You can restart service later when your financial situation is back on track. Even if you aren’t stuck in a contract, you might have this option. If you’re billed monthly for any type of subscription service, ask your provider if you can temporarily pause payments. 3. Halt Extra Debt Payments Funneling extra money towards debt — whether you’re taking the snowball or avalanche approach — is usually a smart money move. But when you’re in a place of financial uncertainty and you need your money to stretch, consider putting your debt repayment plan on hiatus. Continue to make minimum payments as they come due, but refrain from paying extra for the time being. Consider this a temporary money-saving measure, and go back to making those extra payments when your situation is more stable. Pro Tip Financial hardship may qualify you to switch to an income-driven repayment plan for your student loans — or deferment or forbearance, which will temporarily pause your payments. 4. Reduce Spending on the Necessities Just because an expense is necessary doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to pay less. Save money on groceries by using coupons, eliminating convenience foods and buying store-brand products over name brand.  Cut utility costs by reducing usage. Lower transportation expenses by saving on gas. Try a prescription discount card to find cheaper prices for your medications. Take a magnifying glass to all your essential expenses, and brainstorm how you can shave down your spending. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM Tell Me About Your Easter Expenses 3/12/20 @ 6:51 AM Meal Ideas for 11 Year Old’s Birthday Party on a Budget 3/9/20 @ 8:23 AM Pay all bills on one day or spread throughout the month?? 2/6/20 @ 12:59 AM Changing my eating habits is changing my finances 1/8/20 @ 9:56 AM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question 5. Ask Creditors, Financial Institutions and Others for Help Several U.S. banks have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by offering financial assistance. Some have waived or lowered fees. Others sent out statements asking customers to contact them for help on a case-by-case basis. When you’re in the midst of a crisis that’s preventing you from making bill payments or putting you in danger of overdrafting on your account, contact your lenders, financial institutions, landlord and service providers to see if they offer any hardship assistance. That could look like a credit limit increase, adjusting your payment schedule, waived fees or more. The United Way’s 211 helpline is a great place to turn if you need help with essential needs, such as housing or food. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, 211 is helping individuals across the country who are suffering from lost wages due to business closures, event cancellations and quarantines.  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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XBRL news for Week Ending Tuesday 17 March 2020

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XBRL news for Week Ending Tuesday 17 March 2020
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Easy Ways for Kids to Earn Money

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Easy Ways for Kids to Earn Money
I started searching for my first job when I was 11. I couldn’t wait to start working. The idea of being able to earn money and then decide how I wanted to spend it (or save it) was so exciting. Of course, at age 11, there weren’t a lot of employers willing to hire me ... Read More about Easy Ways for Kids to Earn Money The post Easy Ways for Kids to Earn Money appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How to Get a Business Credit Card

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How to Get a Business Credit Card
Business credit cards can offer some advantages over personal cards, including potentially higher credit limits and sign-up bonuses and more detailed bookkeeping features for tax time. Applying for a business credit card is similar to the process for a personal card, with a twist. Here are some tips on how to get a business credit... Sara Rathner is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: srathner@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @sarakrathner. The article How to Get a Business Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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4 Things We Know So Far About the Coronavirus Tax Extension

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4 Things We Know So Far About the Coronavirus Tax Extension
If you owe taxes for 2019, you just got an extra 90 days to pay up as part of the federal government’s coronavirus relief efforts. Most taxpayers who owe the IRS will now have until July 15 to make their payments, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a press conference Tuesday. During the 90-day window, taxpayers won’t be charged interest or penalties for what they owe from last year. Wondering if you’ll qualify for the extended timeline? You probably will, as the extension applies to individuals who owe up to $1 million and corporations that owe up to $10 million. 4 Things to Know About the 2020 Tax Extension The IRS hasn’t released the full details of the extension, but we’ll update this post as more information becomes available. Here are a few things to keep in mind, though, if you haven’t filed your return. 1. You Still Need to File a Return by April 15 Sorry, procrastinators: Mnuchin only announced an extension to pay your tax bill, but didn’t announce any change to the filing deadline.  So for now, plan on filing your return by April 15, as you would have in a normal (read: pre-coronavirus) year. The July 15 extension will only come into play if you owe money. You can also ask for an extension for filing your return on April 15 — just as you would during any other year — which would allow you to move your filing deadline to Oct. 15. Just know that your taxes will still be due on July 15; they’d normally be due on April 15, even if you filed for the six-month extension. 2. The IRS Is Still Processing Refunds as Usual The average tax refund is $3,012 for 2020, according to the latest IRS stats, and despite coronavirus, refunds are still being processed. So if you’re getting a refund, go ahead and file that tax return, particularly if you’re worried about losing your job or a significant chunk of income. Pro Tip It takes more time to get your refund the longer you wait. That means that if you’re anticipating a refund and you expect you’ll need cash soon, you should file ASAP. 3. Your State Income Taxes Could Be Due Sooner If you live in one of the 43 states with its own income taxes, you’ll need to check with your state about its deadline, because the 90-day extension applies to federal taxes only. Check out the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ list of state tax deadlines for the latest information. 4. If You Can’t Afford to Pay in July, You’ll Still Need to File The idea of owing the IRS when you can’t afford to pay may send shivers down your spine, but the situation probably isn’t as bad as you think. If you file your return on time but can’t make the payment, you’ll owe 0.5% per month of your unpaid taxes, up to 25% of what you owe. But if you don’t file a return? The penalty increases 5% per month, up to 25% of the unpaid bill. Should You Take Advantage of the 90-Day Extension? If you can’t afford your tax bill and you’re worried about your job or paying bills as coronavirus havoc continues, it absolutely makes sense to keep the cash in your pocket for as long as possible.  If you’re still experiencing hardship come July, it might even make sense not to pay the full amount you owe and work out a payment plan with the IRS instead. Think about it: If you’re hit with a 0.5% a month penalty, that amounts to 6% per year. That’s a lot less than what you’d likely pay in interest for a credit card or loan. But if paying your tax bill now won’t put your finances in jeopardy, you might as well pay up. Coronavirus or not, if you owe money, the IRS will never forget. Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.   This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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5 Ways to Get Social Security Help While Offices Are Closed

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5 Ways to Get Social Security Help While Offices Are Closed
Businesses, retail and restaurant establishments, and other institutions are shuttering their doors in an attempt to arrest the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Now, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has joined them. As of Tuesday, all local offices across the country are closed for in-person service until further notice. The SSA notes that the decision is... [...]
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How to Teach Kids About Money

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How to Teach Kids About Money
Most parents know the importance of teaching their kids about money. That’s because being able to manage money is a universal life skill adults need in order to survive in this world. The real questions start when faced with how to go about teaching money management in an almost-cashless society, and with many adults having ... Read More about How to Teach Kids About Money The post How to Teach Kids About Money appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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FREE Online Education Programs: ABCmouse, ReadingIQ, or Adventure Academy!

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FREE Online Education Programs: ABCmouse, ReadingIQ, or Adventure Academy!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for some free online educational programs while your kids are at home? Don’t miss these FREE 30-day trials! 1. ReadingIQ ReadingIQ is a recently new online digital library for kids that offers thousands of books for all reading levels. And I can’t sing the praises of this reading app enough! Silas had never been excited about reading until he started using this app last year. This app made him fall in love with reading — something I never thought would be possible after years of his struggle with reading. You can go here to start your free 30-day trial. Or if you’d like to try the program for longer than a month, you can also sign up to get two months for just $5 instead of the free trial! 2. ABCmouse Early Learning Academy This online learning academy specializes in full curriculum for children ages 2-8. This is often one of the top purchased iOS kids education apps! You can go here to start your free 30-day trial. Or if you’d like to try the program for longer than a month, you can also sign up to get two months for just $5 instead of the free trial! 3. Adventure Academy Adventure Academy is a brand new MMO game created specifically for kids in elementary and middle school. It features thousands of enjoyable learning activities that kids can discover on quests through an interactive virtual world. Developed by the top video gaming designers and crafted by a team of curriculum experts, Adventure Academy is a highly engaging and creative platform that focuses on building critical knowledge and skills in language arts, math, social studies, science, and more! Adventure Academy features thousands of educational learning activities, such as videos, reading experiences, games, quizzes, and many other interactive elements— all within the frameworks of U.S. (and international) curriculum standards. It plays a lot like an adventure game (think Zelda!) but within an educational framework. It’s really cool! You can go here to start your free 30-day trial. Or if you’d like to try the program for longer than a month, you can also sign up to get two months for just $5 instead of the free trial! All of these programs can be accessed on a regular computer, tablet, or smart phone. Note: none of these are compatible with Kindles yet. [...]
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Your Last Chance for High CD Rates Is Right Now

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Your Last Chance for High CD Rates Is Right Now
The coronavirus pandemic has upended life around the world, threatening peoples’ health and causing countless disruptions to their daily lives. But if you are able to take the time to reassess your savings strategies, a certificate of deposit can be a solid way to grow your funds right now. Savings account rates are dropping and... Spencer Tierney is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: spencer.tierney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd. The article Your Last Chance for High CD Rates Is Right Now originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Get a free 30-day trial of the ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy!

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Get a free 30-day trial of the ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. ABCmouse.com — an online Early Learning Academy that specializes in full online curriculum for children ages 2 to 8 — is offering a free 30-day trial right now! You’ll need to provide a credit card number to take advantage of the free trial. If you wish to continue with the service after a month, you’ll be billed at $9.95 per month. (Or you can take advantage of their annual subscription option at a discount.) If you do not wish to continue with the service, be sure to cancel your subscription before the free trial is up so that you avoid any charges to your credit card. It’s very easy to cancel at any time by logging in and clicking “my account.” Go here to get started with a 30-day free trial of ABCmouse.com. [...]
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Announcing the Daily Fintech curated news on XBRL

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Announcing the Daily Fintech curated news on XBRL
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, March 15

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, March 15
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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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 33), fostering a newborn, Suriname

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 33), fostering a newborn, Suriname
33 weeks — and I’ve very much officially outgrown this non-maternity sweatshirt! Highlights Well, this was quite the week! As I mentioned yesterday, in addition to all the upheaval, unknowns, and cancellations due to COVID-19, Kathrynne also got stranded in Suriname (I hope to have a good report to share on her situation there soon! It’s looking hopeful that they aren’t going to be stranded for 30 days!), and we started fostering a newborn who was born prematurely and is currently in the NICU. This foster placement is likely a long term placement (as with foster care, that could always change) and baby will likely be in the NICU for another few weeks. So I spent the bulk of the last 5 days at the NICU and will likely be there much of every day until the baby comes home. I’m so thankful for the flexibility of my job and our lifestyle that is allowing me the opportunity to pour into and love on this little one. We are completely smitten and the kids look forward to me coming home every day to share the pictures and videos I take. This is my first experience with time in the NICU and I’m so thankful for the amazing team there who has patiently taught me so much about how to care for a medically fragile child. I’m learning all sorts of new terms, bottle-feeding techniques, what all the beeps and alarms mean, what I need to pay attention to… Each nurse teaches me something new every day. I’m trying to make sure to pace myself, eat healthfully, exercise, stay hydrated, try to get as much sleep as I can, and have downtime each day to hopefully stay well and continue to have a great pregnancy (the hospital won’t even let you in the door as a visitor right now if you’re not super healthy). Notable I’ve spent a lot of time this week sitting in a rocking chair in the NICU rocking two babies — one on my lap and one in my womb. It’s crazy to realize they are both about the same size right now! And it’s also funny because the babe in my belly is constantly kicking the babe on my lap. Also, yes, it’s looking like we’re going to have “twins” at our house in just 6-7 weeks. The kids are beyond ecstatic!! It should be quite the adventure! Feel free to hit me up with all your best advice for having two newborns at the same time! Cravings Milk, cereal, milk, and ice cream. Notice a theme?!? Weight gain: 25 pounds A Few More Peeks Into Our Life This Past Week… I had the privilege of interviewing Becky Keife for my podcast this past week. Her book, No Better Mom for the Job, was one that really blessed me this past year. I can’t wait to share her episode with you on Tuesday. You are going to be so encouraged! Like I said, Kathrynne left for Suriname last Friday morning to go on a special learning/serving/experiencing trip with a teacher and a small group of girls from school. (This picture was taken at a park there.) This is the girl who — just 5 years ago — was scared and completely uncomfortable to be around kids her age. This is the girl who has struggled with so many panic attacks and anxiety. The girl who was incredibly angry with us when we made the decision to put her in school after always homeschooling (she was so fearful of having to be around kids she didn’t know and to be in so many unknown situations all day long). This was the girl who was terrified to get on a plane to South Africa with us just 4 years ago. It’s our heart’s desire to raise self-sufficient adults, not co-dependent children. So over the past 5 years, we’ve slowly pushed her to do a lot of uncomfortable things, because we knew the only way she would grow wings and fly was if we gently nudged her out of the safety of our little nest. We often wondered if we were making the right call and we spent a lot of time crying out to God for wisdom and direction for the next step. God has been so faithful to give us wisdom — even when it’s meant making really hard calls (like quitting homeschooling). We look at her now and see that is was SO worth it — she’s a confident, outgoing 15-year-old with more friends than we can keep track of and a social calendar we struggle to keep up with. A girl who loves Jesus, life, adventure, travel, and people. A girl who excitedly jumped at the chance to go on trip to Suriname (her first international trip without us)! We’re still finding our way in what it looks like to parent teens. And I know we’ve made plenty of missteps. But we continue to just look to the Lord to give us wisdom for each new day, each new situation, each new unknown… and we trust Him to be faithful! Also, watching your kids go on their own adventures, jump out of their comfort zone, stretch themselves, and live courageously is one of the most rewarding things as a parent… even if it involves a lot of our own letting go! How was your week? How are you doing in the middle of so much unknown and unexpected? Let me know in the comments! (And if you are feeling stressed and scared or just going through a rough time right now, leave a comment and let me know. I have lots of extra time to pray for people right now while I’m sitting in a rocker in the NICU!) [...]
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Coronavirus Hotel Cancellation and Change Policies: Updates

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Coronavirus Hotel Cancellation and Change Policies: Updates
As the COVID-19 virus continues to disrupt travel for the foreseeable future, hotel brands have begun offering flexible change and cancellation policies, similar to those offered by airlines. These policies are evolving and expanding by the day, so make sure to check the hotel brand website for the latest information. Nerd Tip: “Free” change policies... Sam Kemmis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif. The article Coronavirus Hotel Cancellation and Change Policies: Updates originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How a Spousal IRA Can Help Couples Save for Retirement

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How a Spousal IRA Can Help Couples Save for Retirement
Lots of people have jobs where they don’t earn any income. Think stay-at-home parents.  These people may want to retire someday, but because they don’t have earned income, they don’t have access to traditional retirement savings options like a 401(k) or IRA.  If they’re married, a spousal IRA could be an option.  A spousal IRA gets around income requirements by allowing a working and income-earning spouse to make a contribution in the name of the spouse who earns little or no income. How a Spousal IRA Works There is no special account for a spousal IRA. It’s just a regular or Roth IRA in a spouse’s name.  “The term spousal IRA really doesn’t mean anything other than you are taking the working spouse’s income and using it to contribute to the non-working spouse’s IRA,” said Jeff Pedersen, a Sioux City, Iowa-based certified financial planner and vice president of private wealth management for Baird. “When you open up an account and it’s an IRA, it’s either a traditional IRA or it’s a Roth IRA. It’s not titled a spousal IRA.” Each spouse needs to have their own IRA; they cannot be joint. “All retirement accounts cannot be co-owned,” Pedersen said. “So if a person made one for their spouse, that account is wholly owned separate account, owned by their spouse.” Even though the accounts must be separate, the married couple can share the distributions once they reach retirement age. Spouses can also be beneficiaries on the other’s account.  To contribute to a spousal IRA, a couple must file their taxes as married filing jointly.  “Since you have earned income in order to make that IRA contribution, the only way you can do that is to utilize the working spouse’s income for that contribution,” Pedersen said. “If you’re filing separately, now there is no working spouse’s income because one tax form is going to show zero income.” If you contribute to traditional IRAs and your adjusted gross income is between certain IRS thresholds, the amount of the contribution is tax deductible. For tax years 2019 and 2020, a couple can contribute $12,000 ($6,000 for each person) to IRAs annually if they are younger than age 50. For those 50 or older, the contribution limit is $14,000, or $7,000 each. The working spouse’s income must equal or exceed the total amount of the contributions for both spouses. You cannot contribute more than you earn.  It is possible to make contributions to a spousal IRA up to the April tax filing deadline even if the calendar year is over. Why Contribute to a Spousal IRA? A spousal IRA helps accelerate a couple’s savings for retirement. The amount of money necessary for retirement varies depending on the couple’s lifestyle. “So let’s say for example, you put $6,000 a year away and earn a 6% return on it. After 25 years, you would end up with more than $330,000,” Pedersen explained.   Pedersen said there is only one main drawback to a spousal IRA.  “The biggest drawback is the fact that your $6,000, you no longer have access to spending that as income currently,” Pedersen said. “But as long as it’s something that a person can budget for, there’s really not a drawback to it.” Tiffani Sherman is a Florida-based freelance reporter with more than 25 years of experience writing about finance, health, travel and other topics. 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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We spent $71.40 on groceries this week (+ what a wild & crazy week!)

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We spent $71.40 on groceries this week (+ what a wild & crazy week!)
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. Whew! What a wild week it’s been! In addition to everything surrounding COVID-19… school cancellations, church cancellations, sports cancellations, my parents cancelling their trip to come see us, Kathrynne being in Suriname while all this was going down*, and just figuring out how to navigate life in the middle of all of the unknown, we’ve also personally had some pretty HUGE things happen at our house this week… namely, we said yes to fostering a newborn who was born prematurely and is currently in the NICU. So, much of our week was spent at the NICU loving on this little baby and meeting with the social worker/DCS/the medical team and learning how to care for a medically fragile baby. I had never stepped foot in the NICU up until 4 days ago, so it’s been a whole new experience. And of all of the weeks, this was probably one of the most unique and weird weeks to be spending a lot of time at a hospital!! (They have a screening process just to get in the door and then to get in the NICU is a whole other level!) The nurses and staff and social worker and DCS have all been amazing throughout this process and they have taught me so much and walked alongside us so well through this new territory. Also, we are so thrilled that the baby is doing so well, has started to bottle feed a little this week, and maybe get to come home in a few weeks! (And yes, in case you’re wondering, this means that we’re planning to have two newborns at our house soon!! The kids could not be more excited!! Of course, this is foster care, so things could always change at any time… we’re just taking one day at a time and seeking to love well in this.) If you want to follow along with this journey, I’m sharing little peeks on my Instagram stories every day. *As of last night, Kathrynne is currently stranded in Suriname because they closed the borders just hours before she was supposed to fly back home today! Her school is working hard to get this situation resolved ASAP and get the girls back home. In the mean time, she has such a good attitude about it all. You can read more details here. Okay, enough of an update! Let’s talk about groceries! We checked our stockpile and realized it was lacking in a few areas, so we shored up those areas so that we have a 30-day supply on hand — even though not everything was on sale this week. I’m grateful that we did this earlier in the week, because our stores are pretty sold out of a lot of staple items now. Jesse ran by Kroger on Monday to pick up a few things we needed: Kroger Shopping Trip #1 Potatoes — $2.49 Milk — $2.99 Cheese — $2.29 4 yogurts — marked down to $0.39 each Total with tax: $9.91 And then he ran by Aldi later on in the week to get a few more staple items: Aldi Shopping Trip 10-lb. potatoes — $3.79 Eggs — $0.58 Black Beans — $2.45 4 boxes Mac & Cheese — $0.33 each Steel Cut Oats —  $2.99 Great Northern Beans — $1.69 Milk — $2.49 Total with tax: $16.07 (The bag of sugar had a small hole in it, so they gave it to Jesse for free!!) Psst! Have you checked out my post on my 25 Favorite Things to Buy at Aldi? I’m glad we got potatoes, because our store was completely sold out of them by Friday! (Who knew potatoes would be the big thing to stock up on?? That one surprised me!) Kroger had some three-day sales that I wanted to try to take advantage of. I wasn’t sure whether they would have these items in stock when I went by on Friday night, but they did! In thinking of making sure we have a 30-day supply of food and household items, I made sure we had enough on hand to make 30 dinners with our freezer and pantry items. I always love to have a few frozen pizzas on hand — especially for a quick dinner on busy nights or if the kids have friends over at the last minute! Yay for them being on sale for just $3.14! Kroger Shopping Trip #2: 2 Kroger Pizzas — $3.14 each with the three-day sale 2 bags of rice — $1.99 each 5 packages Kroger cheese — $1.29 each with the three-day sale Eggs — $1.19 3 packages strawberries — $1.67 each 2 bunches bananas — $2.71 total 5 packages Nathan Beef Franks — $1.99 each with the three-day sale Milk — $2.99 Apples — $3.99 Total with tax: $45.42 Our Menu Plan This Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal Lunches/Snacks: Leftovers, Salad, Apples/Peanut Butter, Mac & Cheese, Banana Muffins, Danimals, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cookies, Pears, Yogurt, Random other markdowns/sale items 🙂 Dinners: Sunday — Fend for yourself Monday — Turkey Meatballs, Breaded Eggplant, Salad Tuesday — Rotisserie Chicken, Steamed Veggies, Twice Baked Potatoes Wednesday — Chicken Tetrazinni, Banana Muffins, Veggies Thursday — Meatballs, Apple Crisp Friday — Leftover Meatballs, Leftover Twice Baked Potatoes, Steamed Veggies Saturday — Pumpkin Waffles, Bacon, Strawberries Total spent on groceries: $71.40 Cashback Earned: 75 points from Fetch Rewards and $1 from iBotta [...]
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XBRL news for Week Ending Tuesday 10 March 2020

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XBRL news for Week Ending Tuesday 10 March 2020
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Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas?

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Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas?
From chicken drumsticks to paper towels or even a trampoline, you can find just about anything at warehouse clubs like Sam’s. But what if you don’t have any use for a 10-lb bag of sugar or 32 rolls of paper towels? If you drive a lot, a Sam’s Club membership may make sense just based ... Read More about Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas? The post Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas? appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Flight Deal: 90% Off on Many Frontier Flights

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Flight Deal: 90% Off on Many Frontier Flights
We’ve reached the point where flights are now less expensive than some of the Uber rides to the airport. Discount carrier Frontier Airlines has a massive sale on their already-cheap flights, offering a 90% discount on many nonstop routes if you purchase by March 16, 2020. We did some flight searches through the sale, and... Meghan Coyle is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mcoyle@nerdwallet.com. The article Flight Deal: 90% Off on Many Frontier Flights originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Subway: Buy One, Get One Free Footlong Subs!

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Subway: Buy One, Get One Free Footlong Subs!
Here’s a frugal dinner idea at Subway! Through March 18th, Subway is offering Buy One, Get One Free Footlong Subs when you add two subs to your cart online or via the mobile app. No promo code needed. [...]
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This Week in Fintech ending 13 March 2020

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This Week in Fintech ending 13 March 2020
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Afternoon Deals: Friday, March 13

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Afternoon Deals: Friday, March 13
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Dear Penny: Is Paying Off Mortgage Early Bad for My Tax Bill?

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Dear Penny: Is Paying Off Mortgage Early Bad for My Tax Bill?
Dear S., My very unsatisfying answer is that you need to review the tax consequences of paying off your mortgage with a CPA, and I’m not a CPA. But this decision is about a lot more than taxes. Sure, they’re a part of the equation, but they may deserve less weight than you’re giving them. Back in the days of yore — by which I mean pre-2018 — taxes were a way more important consideration when you were trying to decide whether to pay off a mortgage. If you were a homeowner with a mortgage, you typically opted to itemize so you could deduct your interest payments. But then the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act happened. It nearly doubled the standard deduction. For 2020, the standard deduction is $12,400 for single filers and $24,800 for married people filing jointly. If you’re over 65, the standard deduction is another $1,300 higher. (Note: These figures are for the taxes that will be due in 2021.) Mortgage interest is only a factor at tax time if the deductions you can take add up to more than the standard deduction. So if you’re a single filer under 65, you need deductions of more than $12,400 for itemizing to make sense.  Let’s say you’re on your first year of a 15-year adjustable-rate mortgage. At 2.99%, the interest part of your mortgage would be just under $5,000.  If that, along with your other deductions for things like property taxes, charitable contributions and unreimbursed medical expenses above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, don’t add up to $12,400 (or $24,800 if you file a joint return), this isn’t really a decision about taxes. But even if you do itemize, I still don’t think this is really a tax decision. Let’s say you’re withdrawing enough from your investment income each year to be taxed in the highest tax bracket, which is 37%. Deducting $5,000 of mortgage interest would put $1,850 back in your pocket. Is that a nice chunk of change? Sure. But is it a game-changer in a decision as big as paying off your home? Probably not.  Think of paying off your mortgage as an investment. Your returns would come in the form of the 2.99% per year you’d save on interest, although this number could change when your mortgage adjusts. What’s the money you’d use to pay off your mortgage doing right now? Is it plopped in a savings account earning less than 1% a year? If so, paying off the mortgage is likely a good move. If you’d sell investments that are yielding decent returns, the decision becomes a little trickier. You’d miss out on potential earnings, though of course that comes at the cost of security because investments come with risk. Two other considerations: Sometimes mortgages have a prepayment penalty, so if yours does, that’s a factor. Also, if you have other debts, the interest you’re paying is almost certainly more than 2.99%, so you’d want to pay these off before you even think about paying off your mortgage. But I don’t think this is a situation where “just do the math” is sound advice.  The question comes down to what would make you feel most secure in retirement: Having no mortgage even if it meant cashing out some savings or investments? Or having more money invested or saved to draw from in the future? Focus less on how this affects you on April 15 and more on how you’ll feel the other 364 days a year. Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and the voice behind Dear Penny. Send your tricky money questions to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.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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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 13 March 2020

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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 13 March 2020
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Smart Moves to Make with Your Tax Refund

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Smart Moves to Make with Your Tax Refund
It is tax season! You know the goal is not to get much of a refund. However, a refund is always better than paying in! But when that money shows in your account don’t go and blow it on what you want!  Make some smart moves with your refund. Pay off debt If you have ... Read More about Smart Moves to Make with Your Tax Refund The post Smart Moves to Make with Your Tax Refund appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Business

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Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Business
Using a cash-back credit card for business expenses can give you an effective discount of 1% to 5% on the things you buy for your business or side hustle. When choosing a small-business cash-back card, take a look at your expenses. If you spend a lot in traditional business categories like office supplies, gas or...The article Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Business originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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4 Steps You Must Take Now to Financially Prepare for the Coronavirus

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4 Steps You Must Take Now to Financially Prepare for the Coronavirus
It’s official: The World Health Organization has officially declared the current coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. That doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. That’s neither necessary nor advisable. But a little planning now will really pay off if things take a turn for the worse later. There’s plenty of information circulating about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus... [...]
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3 Books I Finished Last Week (+ 1 classic movie we watched)

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3 Books I Finished Last Week (+ 1 classic movie we watched)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page. Love Idol I read this book back in 2014 and it made my Top 10 Books Read in 2014 list. Since I’m writing some about the importance of recognizing how much you are loved by God in my upcoming book, I wanted to re-read this book again. It was just as good the second time around! It’s packed with powerful and wise reminders of how we are pre-approved by God. As such, we don’t need to chase after the approval, the praise, the admiration, or the affirmation of others. If you struggle to believe you are loved, enough, and valuable, this book is for you. It’s also a fantastic read if you battle against having perfectionistic, people-pleasing tendencies. It’s well-written and engaging, but more than that, the message is powerful, freeing, life-changing! Verdict: 4 stars Don’t Overthink It Ever found yourself second-guessing a decision or stalled by paralysis analysis? Don’t Overthink It will give you practical suggestions, sage encouragement, and worthwhile strategies you can implement to stop over-thinking and make faster, better decisions that will bring you joy! There were many great stories and examples in the book and I think it might be Anne Bogel’s best writing yet. Her words inspired both this Instagram post and this Instagram post. (In case you didn’t click through and read those links, you do need to read the quotes they are based on: “Decisions made out of fear are not good decisions.” AND “When we assume we can’t, it’s guaranteed that we won’t.”) Verdict: 4 stars The Austen Escape I’ve loved Katherine Reay’s books and have had this one on my shelf for a long time. So I was really excited when it came up to download for free on Libby. I have to be honest and say that it felt a little bit like a Hallmark movie and it seemed to drag on slowly at times and was pretty predictable in others. (If you didn’t pick up on it, I’m not much of a Hallmark movie fan. Should I admit that out loud??! However, if you are in the camp of people who love Hallmark movies, then it just might totally be your cup of tea.) Overall, it wasn’t my favorite book by Katherine Reay, but if you’re looking for a light read and you love Jane Austen (or Hallmark movies!), you might enjoy it. Verdict: 3 stars Classic Movie We Watched Last Week The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it. I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!) Last week, we watched The Strongest Man in the World. It’s a little cheesy in parts, but overall, it was a fun, lighthearted movie. Silas especially enjoyed it. Have you seen it before? What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list?? [...]
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How to Create a Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Families

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How to Create a Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Families
Scavenger Hunt. The very name invokes adventure. Whether you live in a city or a rural area, scavenger hunts can be a fun, cheap way to entertain kids and family members. I don’t know about you, but I’ve tuned into “Survivor” and read enough (too much?) about pirates and treasure maps in my youth to ... Read More about How to Create a Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Families The post How to Create a Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Families appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How to Redeem Virgin Atlantic Miles, Step-by-Step

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How to Redeem Virgin Atlantic Miles, Step-by-Step
With sweet spot redemptions like 10,000-mile economy awards between the East Coast and London, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles are incredibly valuable. Thanks to transfer partnerships with AmEx, Chase and Citi, these miles are also easy to earn. But how do you actually redeem Virgin Atlantic miles, step-by-step? It’s pretty simple, and we’ll show you... Ariana Arghandewal is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Redeem Virgin Atlantic Miles, Step-by-Step originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Wages-On-Demand startup Earnd Snapped Up By Greensill

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Wages-On-Demand startup Earnd Snapped Up By Greensill
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Fear, Unknowns, & Courage (some thoughts on COVID-19 & more)

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Fear, Unknowns, & Courage (some thoughts on COVID-19 & more)
Early Friday morning, Kathrynne (15) got on a plane to fly to Suriname (in South America) for 9 days with a teacher and a small group of girls from school. (This picture was taken at a park there yesterday.) This is the girl who — just 5 years ago — was scared and completely uncomfortable to be around kids her age. This is the girl who has struggled with so many panic attacks and anxiety. The girl who was incredibly angry with us when we made the decision to put her in school after always homeschooling (she was so fearful of having to be around kids she didn’t know and to be in so many unknown situations all day long). This was the girl who was terrified to get on a plane to South Africa with us just 4 years ago. It’s our heart’s desire to raise self-sufficient adults, not co-dependent children. So over the past 5 years, we’ve slowly pushed her to do a lot of uncomfortable things, because we knew the only way she would grow wings and fly was if we gently nudged her out of the safety of our little nest. We often wondered if we were making the right call and we spent a lot of time crying out to God for wisdom and direction for the next step. God has been so faithful to give us wisdom — even when it’s meant making really hard calls (like quitting homeschooling). We look at her now and see that is was SO worth it — she’s a confident, outgoing 15-year-old with more friends than we can keep track of and a social calendar we struggle to keep up with. A girl who loves Jesus, life, adventure, travel, and people. A girl who excitedly jumped at the chance to go on trip to Suriname (her first international trip without us)! We’re still finding our way in what it looks like to parent teens. And I know we’ve made plenty of missteps. But we continue to just look to the Lord to give us wisdom for each new day, each new situation, each new unknown… and we trust Him to be faithful! Also, watching your kids go on their own adventures, jump out of their comfort zone, stretch themselves, and live courageously is one of the most rewarding things as a parent… even if it involves a lot of our own letting go! 😉 Tackling the Timely Topic of Fear On this week’s episode of the podcast, Jesse and I tackle the timely topic of fear. We discuss the current fears over recent tornadoes in our area, COVID-19, political unrest, sending our daughter to Suriname, and a recent situation of a lot of unknowns with potentially fostering a newborn. If you struggle with fear — especially when it comes to unknowns or your kids — I think this episode will really encourage you. Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s how you choose to act as a result of that fear. In This Episode:  [01:44] Our area was hit by some devastating tornadoes, which is rare and has shaken up our community.  [03:33] On top of that, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in our area the day we recorded this. We also just sent our daughter on a plane to spend 9 days in Suriname and we’ve walked through a lot of unknowns in foster care. We’ll talk more about what we’re learning from all of this later on in the show. [05:14] But first, AT&Ts international plan is saving Jesse’s life right now and lotion is saving my life this week.  [08:52] To go along with this week’s theme of fear, my book pick is one I highly recommend:Raising Worry-Free Girls.  [11:41] We’ve been receiving some amazingly kind reviews on the podcast lately. Thank you! [14:44] Get ready to dive into fear. First, I share the entire emotional journey we went through while waiting to potentially foster a newborn. (We’re still waiting on the call!) [19:00] How I let go of the fear and anxiety I was feeling around this whole fostering situation. It wasn’t easy, but it was so good for me to work through. [21:13] We discuss the emotional turmoil our community is feeling with the tornadoes, COVID-19, and political unrest and we share lessons and thoughts on fear.  [23:31] Did you know fear can actually be helpful and isn’t necessarily a bad thing? [24:25] Fear can either propel you to healthy action or paralyze you from taking action. [26:20] We want to raise adults. Letting Kathrynne go on this trip and prep for this trip is one more step in the right direction. [28:38] How are you going to act or react when fear arises? Links and Resources: Sprigs and Twigs Raising Worry-Free Girls by Sissy Goff CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. [...]
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Side Hustle Scholarship: Win $2,500 for an Essay on Your Gig

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Side Hustle Scholarship: Win $2,500 for an Essay on Your Gig
College ain’t cheap. Robert Farrington, aka The College Investor, knows this. That’s why he’s adding a way for current and prospective students to manage the ever-growing costs of higher education with a “Side Hustlin’ Student Scholarship,” which awards $2,500 to one winner and $1,000 to one runner-up. Applicants should write a gripping 1,000-plus word essay about their side hustle. All finalists will have their essays published on his website. “This scholarship is designed to help you save. But you have to show us what you’re doing to earn more,” Farrington wrote in the announcement of the 2020 scholarship. “[Essay] topics can include anything from how you started a business, to why you decided to get a job, to how your parents encouraged you to work.” A “side hustle” may include a part-time job or two, but based on previous submissions, the gig should be creative – something with a bit more pizazz than working at the campus bookstore.  For example, Farrington references his past endeavors slinging candy bars in middle school, then hawking stuff on eBay in high school before landing on a “real job.” The purpose of your essay is to weave your hustle into your personal story and larger career aspirations. These days, getting a job to pay for college is the norm. But we found several employers who take that literally and offer programs to pay for their employees’ entire college tuition. Part-timers too. “We want to hear about the creative and passionate ways that individuals are working towards their dreams – both literally and figuratively,“ he wrote. Submissions are open to current college students and high school students with concrete plans to further their education at a community, technical or four-year college. You have until March 31 to pen the essay that should be in a web-article format with appropriate subheadings. To submit your application, email Robert Farrington directly at robert@thecollegeinvestor.com. Be sure to include the keyword “scholarship” in the subject line of your email. In the body, include your name, address, phone number and a headshot to be published with your essay if you are selected. Essays should be submitted in a word document, not in the body of the email. According to Farrington, “about 75% of all entries are disqualified because they don’t follow the basic instructions.” After March 31, Farrington sifts through the submissions and publishes the top essays. (Last year, he published them on May 31.) On July 31, he will choose and announce a $2,500 winner and a $1,000 runner-up based on page views and social media engagement. During that two-month period, finalists are free to generate as much buzz for their articles as they can. “It doesn’t matter if your side hustle is earning $100 or $100,000,” Farrington wrote. “What matters is your effort, thought process, and goals. We want to know your story.” Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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CFTC Approves Rule Change Relating to Termination of Exemptive Relief for Foreign Brokers

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CFTC Approves Rule Change Relating to Termination of Exemptive Relief for Foreign Brokers
On March 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it unanimously approved amendments to CFTC Rule 30.10 to codify the CFTC’s authority to terminate exemptive relief issued to foreign firms. Through an existing exemptive program, the CFTC provides foreign entities with access to U.S. customers and U.S. customers with increased access to foreign futures markets by allowing customers to interface with foreign brokers subject to comparable regulatory oversight. To apply for exemptive relief under Rule 30.10, a foreign regulator or self-regulatory organization acting on behalf of foreign brokers within its jurisdiction must specify with particularity the corresponding laws and regulations applicable in the broker’s home jurisdiction. The amended rule clarifies the circumstances under which the CFTC may terminate the exemptive relief. Specifically, the CFTC may terminate the exemptive relief if the CFTC determines, after an opportunity to respond, that: (1) there is a material change or omission in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which relief was granted that demonstrate that the standards set forth in Appendix A to Part 30 of this part forming the basis for granting relief are no longer met; (2)  the continued effectiveness of any such exemptive relief would be contrary to the public interest or inconsistent with the purposes of the Rule 30.10 exemption; or (3) the arrangements in place for the sharing of information with the CFTC do not warrant continuation of the exemptive relief granted. The rule provides that the CFTC will give an affected party notice prior to terminating a Rule 30.10 exemption, and the affected party, and any other interested person, will have 30 business days to respond. The amended rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register. More information on the Rule 30.10 amendment is available here. [...]
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COVID-19 is a catalyst for business innovation

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COVID-19 is a catalyst for business innovation
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7 Simple Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill

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7 Simple Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill
Each winter, millions of Americans try to find their “heating sweet spot” – that perfect intersection where you’re not sporting a parka in your home for warmth, and you’re also happy with your monthly energy bill. Err on one side, and you can binge-watch your favorite Netflix series in shorts and a T-shirt. Pull back ... Read More about 7 Simple Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill The post 7 Simple Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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We spent $62.05 on groceries last week (+ what we ate)

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We spent $62.05 on groceries last week (+ what we ate)
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. This week we had a lot of different things going on — Jesse got home from the men’s Discipleship retreat on Sunday, we had things going on almost every evening, Kathrynne left for a 9-day trip to Suriname on Friday, and I spent Friday-Sunday out of town at the women’s Discipleship retreat (both Jesse and I are small group co-leaders for our church’s Discipleship Intensive program). We also went with our youth group to the indoor waterpark at the Gaylord Opryland on Wednesday evening (Jesse and I both co-lead a small group of teens in our church’s youth group, too). So, when you see our menu plan below, you’ll notice we didn’t have a lot of “normal” dinners as a result. 🙂 But hey, this is real life right now! Kroger Shopping Trip #1: 5 boxes Kellogg’s Raisin Bran — $1.79 per box when you buy 5 participating items, get $0.60 back from iBotta for each box purchased Oscar Mayer Deli Meat — marked down to $1.79 — earned Fetch rewards Lettuce — $1.79 Half & Half — $1.99 Sandwich buns — marked down to $1.29 3 lbs. ground turkey — marked down to $2.09 3 bags of marked down produce — $0.99 each 2 gallons water — $0.89 Milk — $2.99 Total with tax: $31.47 I was excited about the Friday-Saturday deals! Especially the $0.99 Prego! And the $1.49 Kellogg’s cereal! Kroger Shopping Trip #2: 5 boxes Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes — $1.49 each with the Friday-Saturday deals 2 boxes Krusteaz Sugar Cookie Mix — marked down to $0.49 each 5 Ghirardelli Chocolate Cake Mix — marked down to $0.49 each Baking powder — $1.05 Salt — $0.49 Beefaroni — marked down to $0.39 Refried Beans — marked down to $0.39 Progresso Soup — marked down to $0.49 5 jars Prego (only 4 are pictured because we accidentally dropped one while bringing in the groceries!) — $0.99 each as part of the Friday-Saturday deals — earned $0.75 cash back from iBotta Milk — $2.99 Apples — $3.99, used $0.50/1 Kroger digital coupon = $3.49 Bag of avocados — marked down to $0.99 Kroger lemonade — marked down to $0.89 Kroger orange juice — marked down to $0.99 King’s Hawaiian Rolls — marked down to $0.79 Total with tax: $30.58 Our Menu Plan This Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal Lunches/Snacks: Leftovers, Salad, Turkey/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples/Peanut Butter, Mac & Cheese, Danimals, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cookies, Pears, Random other markdowns/sale items 🙂 Dinners: Sunday — Fend for yourself Monday — Turkey meatballs, Acorn Squash Tuesday — Broccoli, Creamed Corn, Garlic Bread, Meatloaf Wednesday — Pizza (Jesse, Kaitlynn, and I were at a youth group event and they served pizza & ice cream), Silas and Kathrynne had cereal Thursday — Pot Roast + Sweet Potatoes & Carrots, Pears/Apples, Spaghetti Squash, Biscuits Friday — Leftover Buffet (I was out of town at a retreat.) Saturday — Chili’s (I was out of town at a retreat.) Total spent on groceries: $62.05 Cash back earned: 375 points earned from Fetch Rewards + $4.05 earned from iBotta [...]
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A peek into our week: Pregnancy Update (week 32), indoor water park, and Discipleship retreat

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A peek into our week: Pregnancy Update (week 32), indoor water park, and Discipleship retreat
32 weeks!!! Highlights I had another OB appointment this week and all is looking well! I hadn’t really asked anything about the birth up until this point, so I figured I should ask if my OB was good with my hopes for the birth. My biggest hopes: that I could birth in whatever position felt right to me (I usually birth on hands and knees), that I could move around a lot in labor if things were going well (I prefer to be on the ball or on my hands and knees when I’m having contractions), that the girls could be at the birth (this was their biggest request from when we found out I was expecting!), and whether we could do delayed cord clamping. I was so thrilled to hear that she was super happy to accommodate all of my requests (provided both baby and I are doing well) and I’m hopeful to have another non-medicated, natural, really positive birth experience like I had with all three so far! That said, I always go into birth with an open mind knowing that things can change and I will freely chuck all of my hopes and plans if medical intervention is necessary. But it feels good to know that my doctor is very much on board with my hopes for the birth. Notable I started to feel more pregnant this week. 😉 While I’m still feeling so good overall, I’m definitely noticing that I’m walking slower, waddling more, getting more clumsy, needing to take a lot more breaks, experiencing more swelling and heartburn (though lots of water and being super careful with my diet is still making such a big difference there!), and just generally experiencing more of the usual aches and pains involved with getting nearer to the end of pregnancy. I’m nowhere near the “l’m miserable and desperately need to get this baby out!” stage (though that stage is probably coming!!), yet… and considering I still have quite a few more words to write on my manuscript rough draft and tasks to accomplish and to do’s to tie up in the next 6 weeks, I’m grateful that I likely have quite a bit more time until baby gets here (I usually go late). Cravings This week, I was all about the cheese and beef. Gratefully, those are two things that don’t give me heartburn! Weight gain: 24 lbs. We spent Wednesday night at the Gaylord Opryland Indoor Waterpark with our youth group (Jesse and I both co-lead a small group in our church’s youth group). Jesse had fun doing the FlowRider and a number of the water slides. I could only do the lazy river, but I still had so much fun watching my girls have a blast! These girls bring so much joy to my life! And then I spent Friday-Sunday at a retreat center in TN with around 130 other women who are part of our church’s Discipleship Intensive program. (This is my 4th year to be involved in this program. It’s such an honor to get to co-lead and walk with a small group of women through this!) My Say Yes Season “Say Yes!” This has been one of my life themes the past 8 months. On the macro level, I’ve said yes to getting licensed as a foster mama, said yes to a 3-book deal, said yes to more speaking and travel, said yes to co-leading another small group for Year 1 of our church’s Discipleship Intensive program, said yes to being a youth group leader, and said yes to opening our home every opportunity we’ve had. On the micro level, I’ve been saying yes to opportunities to hang out and do more fun things with the kids and Jesse — like saying yes this week to putting on a bathing suit at 32 weeks pregnant and laughing and waddling around an indoor waterpark with Jesse & Kaitlynn for our youth group’s indoor waterpark night or spending two nights sleeping on a cot in the tiny kitchen area in the small room that I shared with three other women at the retreat center this weekend. In all of my other pregnancies, I stayed home a LOT. Yes, I had younger kids so it was harder to get out. But I also stayed home because it was uncomfortable to get out — you never know when heartburn or nausea is going to hit, you’re often dog tired, and walking and standing can be difficult in the last few months of pregnancy. This time around, I committed from the get go that I would get up, exercise, shower, and get dressed every day — no matter how I felt. Except for a few rare days, I have kept that commitment. And I truly believe it has made such a difference for me. After all, it’s much easier to say yes to fun and adventure and going places when you’re dressed and ready for the day! 😉 I look back on the last 8 months and see how this commitment to “Say Yes!” has brought so many unexpected blessings and people and relationships and opportunities into my life. And I have a whole catalog of memories, funny stories, and life-changing experiences I would have missed out on had a stayed home and played it safe. I’ve also gotten to see God show up in powerful ways and give me energy when I felt weary and I get to see Him multiply my time and strength on an almost daily basis. It has been stretching in the most beautiful of ways! Important note: While this is something that’s been simmering on my heart to share for the past few months, please note that this is my season of life that I am in right now. This is not to make anyone who is in a season of quiet feel guilty nor is it something I’m advocating for everyone. It is just where God has ME right now. And my season of life will probably look a lot different come April/May when our baby arrives. Also, in the midst of this Say Yes season, I’ve made sure to have daily downtime (I take a nap almost every day + aim for 7-8 hours of sleep at night.) and weekly Sabbath (I take Sundays off.) There is no way I could go at the pace I do without these regular rhythms of rest. [...]
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Shop a yard sale like a pro: What to buy and what to avoid

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Shop a yard sale like a pro: What to buy and what to avoid
Garage sales are a great place to find a deal on a variety of goods. You can buy just about anything from clothes to furniture, appliances and even Halloween costumes. Before you fork over your hard-earned cash, know what’s a good idea to buy at yard sales – and what isn’t. While you should avoid ... Read More about Shop a yard sale like a pro: What to buy and what to avoid The post Shop a yard sale like a pro: What to buy and what to avoid appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 6 March 2020

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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 6 March 2020
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, March 7

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, March 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. Fila: [...]
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This Week in Fintech ending 6 March 2020

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This Week in Fintech ending 6 March 2020
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Coronavirus Travel Guide: Choose Your Own (Re)Booking Adventure

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Coronavirus Travel Guide: Choose Your Own (Re)Booking Adventure
You pick up the phone, dial the customer service number and ask to speak to a representative. You get put on hold for two hours. Welcome to the world of coronavirus travel. The now-global outbreak has upended the travel industry (airlines are already projected to lose $63 billion to $113 billion in 2020, according to... Sam Kemmis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif. The article Coronavirus Travel Guide: Choose Your Own (Re)Booking Adventure originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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7 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning 

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7 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning 
Nearly 90% of US homes are equipped with an air conditioning (AC) unit, according to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, With so many people trying to keep things cool, it’s estimated that U.S. homeowners are spending more than $29 billion per year on air conditioning. Yikes! If you want to keep your house feeling fresh ... Read More about 7 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning  The post 7 Ways to Save on Air Conditioning  appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Free 30-Day Trial to Monarch Homeschool Online Curriculum — No Credit Card Required!

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Free 30-Day Trial to Monarch Homeschool Online Curriculum — No Credit Card Required!
If you’re a homeschooling family, you don’t want to miss this exclusive FREE 30-day trial to Monarch Homeschool Online Curriculum! (And be sure to check out all the other free homeschool curriculum we post each week!) (Note: This post is sponsored by Alpha Omega Publications. Read our disclosure policy here.) Looking to Switch Up Your Homeschool Curriculum? Are you a homeschooling family looking to switch up your current curriculum or try out an online curriculum? Or maybe you’re considering the idea of homeschooling next school year? Either way, you’ll definitely want to check out this offer for a FREE 30-day trial to Monarch Homeschool Online Curriculum! (Scroll to the bottom of this post for the exclusive coupon code for this deal!) What I Loved About Monarch Homeschool Curriculum We used this curriculum for two years while we were homeschooling and there were so many great things about it! Kids can work at their own pace, grades are automatically recorded, and the online curriculum is so interactive. In addition to textbook-style learning, they break things up with videos, interactive quizzes, audio lessons, and games to play (these were favorites at our house!). It was especially helpful that our kids could log into Monarch Homeschool from anywhere where there was a computer and Internet access — and this allowed us to take school with us on the road or on a plane! I also loved that our kids could go at their own pace and mix & match grades. So if a child finished the current subject in their current grade, they could move on to the next grade — without us having to buy any new curriculum or pay an additional fee! For instance, Silas struggled with reading and phonics but excelled in math, so he worked ahead a few grades in math! He was highly motivated to keep getting all the answers correct and see how far he could get! It was also super simple because I didn’t have to plan lessons and I could see instantly how the kids were doing in all their subjects by logging into the teacher/parent portal. If you are looking for something different and fresh for your homeschool curriculum next year, definitely scroll down to the bottom of this post to get a FREE no-strings-attached trial to Monarch Homeschool! Benefits of Monarch Homeschool Curriculum: There are four budget-friendly plans to choose from. Monarch is perfect for frugal homeschooling families. Pay as you go for a budget-friendly approach to homeschooling or save even more when you purchase a yearly plan. Both options are available for an individual student or the whole family. It’s flexible. No matter the time, place, or your child’s preferred pace, Monarch lets homeschoolers study when and how it is convenient for them. Monarch is globally available 24/7 for PC or Mac. You can also customize your subscription to your benefit. Students can work at their own pace. As I mentioned above, you can mix and match grade levels and customize curriculum for each individual child! You have online access to over 50 courses for grades 3 through 12 in their five main subjects (history and geography, math, science, language arts, and Bible), plus over 115 electives! Automated grading frees up your teaching time for other important tasks. Record-keeping is easy and feedback is instant. Monarch stores all student data digitally and automatically grades 85% of student work. It makes homeschool organization a breeze. You can view and print daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly grade reports. Monarch Homeschool also securely stores all records for seven years after a child finishes the program. Samples of work and past grades are effortlessly accessible! It allows for shorter and diverse homeschool days. Because of its self-paced features, excellent organization, and automated grading, actual curriculum learning time doesn’t take nearly as long each day — leaving a lot more room for hands-on or experiential learning, extracurriculars, creative play, or real-world career experience! Students build professional communication skills every day. Monarch’s built-in messaging system provides students with an opportunity to practice virtual communication skills as they encounter questions or concerns while completing coursework. It provides immediate access to the latest information. As history happens and technology advances from day to day, you don’t have to wait around for software updates. You can update Monarch Homeschool Online Curriculum any time, providing your child with constant access to the most up-to-date information. Try Monarch Homeschool Online Curriculum for FREE! Right now, MSM readers can get an exclusive FREE 30-day trial! Just use coupon code MON30MSM in the promo code box during the sign-up process to get this deal — no credit card required. This is a great opportunity to try it out and see if it’s a good fit for your child! Go here to sign up for FREE! [...]
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How to Change/Cancel Existing Bookings Due to Coronavirus

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How to Change/Cancel Existing Bookings Due to Coronavirus
The outbreak of COVID-19 illness caused by a novel coronavirus has continued to grow, with seemingly new cases and travel advisories popping up on a regular basis. Companies have canceled employee travel plans, and the Summer Olympics in Tokyo could possibly be postponed to later in 2020. Given the uncertainty surrounding the potential pandemic, airlines,... Elina Geller is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: egeller@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Change/Cancel Existing Bookings Due to Coronavirus originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Use Your Nest Thermostat for Maximum Money (and Energy!) Savings

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How to Use Your Nest Thermostat for Maximum Money (and Energy!) Savings
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night shivering from freezing cold temperatures. You slowly get out of your bed, only to feel the piercing cold wood beneath your feet. Scuffling to the thermostat across the hallway, you frantically press buttons to increase the temperature. Hearing the rumble of the heat as it turns ... Read More about How to Use Your Nest Thermostat for Maximum Money (and Energy!) Savings The post How to Use Your Nest Thermostat for Maximum Money (and Energy!) Savings appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How to Maximize the Life of Your Cell Phone, Laptop Battery

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How to Maximize the Life of Your Cell Phone, Laptop Battery
There’s a lot of advice out there about cell phone and laptop batteries, as well as how to make them last longer. So how are we supposed to know what’s true and what isn’t? And is it really possible to avoid replacing them? If you think you know about batteries, throw everything you know out the window. I’m about to blow your mind. The future is here, and it’s a world where it’s OK to leave your phone plugged in overnight. Read on to learn why pretty much everything you think you know about laptop and cell phone batteries is wrong. You might just save some money in the process. What Type of Battery Does My Device Use? Remember back in the day when your dad would yell at you for leaving his laptop plugged in? I do. Back in those days, batteries were made from nickel cadmium or nickel-metal hydride. If you frequently recharged these batteries while they were still partially charged, they would eventually forget their full capacity. They would lose their capacity to fully recharge, a phenomenon known as the “memory effect.” When this happened to your battery, you knew it was doomed. That’s when your charge would drop to 20% in just minutes, even after you’d fully charged it. After constantly scrambling to find the closest outlet to recharge it, you’d eventually get fed up and purchase a new battery. Thankfully, though, this doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) happen anymore. That’s because most of today’s devices use lithium-ion batteries. Everything from MacBooks to Androids have these superpowered batteries. Lithium-ion batteries “charge faster, last longer and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package,” according to Apple’s website. Lithium-ion batteries have lifespans of anywhere between 300 and 500 charge cycles. A single cycle could take several days to complete. What sets lithium-ion batteries apart from the old ones is that they charge in cycles. Rather than waiting for your battery to use 100% of its life, you can charge it to 100% tonight and use 75% of its battery tomorrow. Then, you could recharge it to 100% and use 25%. Doing so, you’ll discharge 100% of the battery’s life, thus, beginning a new cycle — and you won’t have to let your battery go dead. To sum it up, these aren’t your Energizer Bunny AA batteries. They respond and adapt to charging habits by working in cycles so they don’t “forget” their maximum charging capacity. Common Myths About Batteries Now that you know the differences between older batteries and lithium-ion batteries, you’re ready to know why everything else you think you know about batteries is probably false. Here are some common myths about batteries. Quitting Apps Improves Battery Life Sorry, but no. When apps are open, they’re active on your device’s RAM (memory). Quitting them means your device will have to reload its memory the next time you open them. The reloading process sucks up more power from your battery than it would use if you simply left them open. If you’re worried an app is sucking the life out of your battery, go to your device’s app settings to control which apps you want to refresh when you’re not using them and which you want to remain idle until you open them. You Should Let Your Device Reach 0% Before Recharging it No. Don’t do this — at least, not often (we’ll get to that later). Remember the charge cycle we talked about earlier? Think about it — if your phone doesn’t reach a full charge cycle every time you plug it in (depending upon your usage before doing so), why would you let your phone die before plugging it in? You shouldn’t regularly drain your device’s lithium-ion battery to 0% because that amounts to a full cycle charge. By preventing the battery from discharging to 0% on a regular basis, you extend its life expectancy by making its charging cycles longer. Leaving Your Laptop Plugged in Will Make It Dependent on Its Charger I used to be a huge believer in this one. But batteries these days are smarter than ever, as are the chargers that come with them. Upon reaching 80%, they enter a slow “trickle charge.” So, contrary to what your dad told you, leaving your cell phone or laptop battery plugged in these days isn’t fatal. Your device adapts to how long it has been plugged in. The future is now! FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Off the road and home 3/4/20 @ 9:43 AM Saving at the Grocery Store 3/4/20 @ 9:43 AM How I save money on pest control 2/4/20 @ 3:50 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question Can You Actually Make a Lithium-Ion Battery Last Longer? Now that we understand it isn’t 1999 anymore, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: How can you make a lithium-ion battery last longer, saving you money in the long run? Well, a battery is a battery; because of a thing called science, you can’t make something live forever. You can, however, make sure you don’t decrease its lifespan by taking proper care of it. Here are a few ways to make a lithium-ion battery last as long as possible. Charge It When You Can. Lithium-ion batteries run better when they’re continuously charged every now and then instead of being fully charged and run down to 0%, according to Popular Mechanics. Keep It Cool. If you’ve ever taken your iPhone to the beach in the summer, you might have experienced what happens when it overheats: It shuts off. Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit can permanently damage lithium-ion batteries, meaning they won’t hold a full charge for as long as they should. Ideal temperatures are 62 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Apple. Store It at 50%. If you don’t plan to use your device for an extended period of time, store it in a cool place at 50% charge. If you store it while it’s dead, the device can go into a “deep discharge state,” meaning it will be incapable of holding a charge. If you store it at 100%, it can lose capacity, so it’s best to store it in the middle. What To Do If Your Battery Starts Acting Up If you’ve been diligent in your battery practices, yet your battery starts acting weird, you may have one last resort. It actually is a good idea to let your cell phone or laptop battery completely discharge on occasion. So, if you charge your phone overnight and check it at lunchtime to find it’s below 30%, it may be time to calibrate it by letting the battery reach 0%. By doing so every one to three months, you adjust the system’s life cycle so it can remember just how much charge has diminished over time. Think of it like a reset button on your battery. After doing this, it should more accurately report how much juice is left instead of jumping from 100% to lower numbers before you’ve made a single phone call or checked your email. Kelly Smith is a former email content specialist 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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20 Ways Retirees Can Bring in Extra Money in 2020

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20 Ways Retirees Can Bring in Extra Money in 2020
B-D-S Piotr Marcinski / Shutterstock.com Are you retired — or planning to quit work soon — and looking for ways to put a little extra cash in your pocket? Your many years of hard work and experience can still be valuable once you retire. But now, you’re in a position to leverage those skills in a new way — or to try your hand at something completely different. [...]
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The power of a One Minute Pause

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The power of a One Minute Pause
Feeling burdened, weary, tired, or heavy-hearted today? Try the One-Minute Pause! Here’s how it works: Set a timer for 60 seconds. Take a few deep breaths. Then, verbally release the weight of what you are carrying. “I release my stress or worry over my job to You, God.” “I release my fear over my child’s future to You, God.” “I let it go.” Literally let yourself breathe out your fear, stress, worry, tension and breathe in God’s care and carrying of You. This simple practice isn’t going to solve all of your problems, but it can certainly help you feel a little calmer and remind you that you don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. God sees you. He cares about you. And He is big enough to carry your heaviest burdens. You are not alone. Need more encouragement to stop feeling burned out and get your joy back? Be sure to listen to this week’s podcast episode with John Eldredge. We talked about simple, sustainable practices (like the One Minute Pause) he implemented in his life a few years ago when he found himself feeling completely burned out, tethered to his phone and email, and unable to really stop and savor his life. In This Episode:  [00:57] I ask John Eldredge to introduce himself and share more about his books and ministry. [04:43] What inspired John to write his newest book?  [06:11] John talks about realizing that his soul was running dry. [07:50] We discuss how hard was it for him to untether himself from his phone and email and the basic steps he took to get his job back. [11:31] Learn about how the One Minute Pause has impacted John’s day.  [13:56] The One Minute Pause isn’t just for adults; you could do it with your kids, too! Check out the One Minute Pause App. [17:08] Benevolent Detachment — what does this mean? [22:59] Why naming your stressors out loud and letting them go helps turn your day and mindset around.  [23:44] John encourages us with practical ways to drink beauty in for your soul. Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge John Eldredge – Ransomed Heart Ministries One Minute Pause App CrystalPaine.com MoneySavingMom.com YourBloggingMentor.com My Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!) Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: crystal@moneysavingmom.com How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.) Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app. [...]
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How to Plan a Vacation as a Family

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How to Plan a Vacation as a Family
Summer means many things. School is out; the kids get to splash in the pool and go to summer camp. It is also the time when most families take a vacation. Well, or they would like to. The reality is you may dream of a vacation where you can spend your days relaxing on a ... Read More about How to Plan a Vacation as a Family The post How to Plan a Vacation as a Family appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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We spent $68.74 on groceries this week (ALDI + Kroger)

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We spent $68.74 on groceries this week (ALDI + Kroger)
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. We’ve been eating a LOT of cereal these days. Somewhat because I’m moving more slowly and am more tired now that I’m in the third trimester so it’s an easy snack/meal, but also because I keep getting great deals on it and cereal/milk are one of the few things that don’t give me heartburn! (I didn’t get a picture of these groceries before the kids already got into the cereal & milk!) Kroger Shopping Trip #1 1 gallon milk — $2.69 2 tubes Colgate toothpaste — $1.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $4/2 Kroger digital coupon = free after coupons 1 box Raisin Bran — $1.79 when you buy 5 participating items 2 boxes Cheerios — $1.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/2 Kroger digital coupon = $1.49 each after coupons Total with tax: $8.49 I was so excited that Kroger had butter on sale for $1.99 again this week! We still have 4 pounds in the freezer from the last sale, but you can bet I went ahead and got 5 more pounds to stock the freezer! Kroger Shopping Trip #2: 2 loaves Bakery French Bread — marked down to $0.89 each 1 bag of pears — marked down to $0.99 2 jars of cinnamon/nutmeg — $1 each 1 3-lb. bag of Navel oranges — $1.99 2 bags of frozen Broccoli/Cauliflower — $1/bag 5 packages of sausage — $1.88 each with Friday-Saturday Kroger digital coupon 1 dozen eggs — $2.50 Milk — $2.99 5 pounds of butter — $1.99 each with Friday-Saturday Kroger digital coupon Total with tax: $35.70 Since we had about $26 left in our grocery budget, I decided to run by Aldi on Saturday after Silas’ baseball practice. I was hoping to pick up some cereal and cheese. I let Silas add up the amount of the our purchases as we added things to the cart and he made sure we stayed within our budget. He did a great job of doing the mental math! Aldi Shopping Trip Chocolate Chip — $1.69 Dried Cranberries — $1.29 2 Cinnamon Crunch cereal — $1.39 each 3 boxes of Macaroni & Cheese — $0.33 each 6-pack of Peach Tea — $3.99 Eggs — $0.58 Baby Carrots — $0.89 2 Honey Crunch Oats cereal — $1.29 Milk — $2.49 Frosted Flakes — $2.29 2 packages cheese — $1.69 each Total with tax: $24.55 Our Menu Plan This Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Breakfasts: Cereal Lunches/Snacks: Leftovers, Salad, Apples/Peanut Butter, Mac & Cheese, Danimals, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Scrambled Eggs, Cookies, Chips, Random other markdowns/sale items 🙂 Dinners: Sunday — Frozen Pizza Monday — Quiche (used marked down pie crust, mixed veggies, ground beef, eggs, spices), Apple Turnover (used marked down pie crust) Tuesday — Instant Pot Apples, Pumpkin Waffles, Sausage Wednesday — Chicken Noodle Soup, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Thursday — Parmesan Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Peas, Biscuits Friday — Leftover Buffet, Oranges (Jesse was out of town) Saturday — Frozen Pizza, Salad (Jesse was out of town) [...]
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How Paying Upfront Instead of Over Time Makes Money Sense

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How Paying Upfront Instead of Over Time Makes Money Sense
Oh, the dreaded annual bill. The notification hits your inbox around the same time every year, like a gut-punch that comes out of nowhere. Forking over $12,000 for your kid’s private school bill all at once seems unrealistic. Even paying 200 bucks for a subscription box renewal can be a tough pill to swallow when money’s tight. So when you’re given the option to pay in monthly installments — like financing a purchase except without the interest or credit impact — it feels like the obvious choice. However, paying a bill upfront instead of over time is often the best move for your budget.  We’ll explain why and provide some advice on saving up to be able to do it. Why Paying Upfront Instead of Over Time Makes Sense Although paying an expensive bill upfront may seem overwhelming, you may be able to save significant money by paying all at once instead of in installments. Let’s say your auto insurance premium came in at $1,000 for the year but you were given the option of paying $100 each month. The monthly amount seems much more manageable, but you’ll be paying $1,200 over the course of the year rather than $1,000. It’s not just the insurance industry that has these types of payment arrangements. Expenses like memberships, subscriptions, child care and private school tuition often come with a big incentive to pay all at once and get significant savings in return. Do the math to see if paying all at once is a better deal. How to Budget for an Expensive Bill Acknowledging that you can save money by paying a large bill upfront doesn’t exactly mean you have the cash readily available when the bill’s due — especially if the expense exceeds your paycheck.  Tackling an expensive annual bill takes time and commitment. This is when having a sinking fund comes in handy. A sinking fund is a pool of money you regularly contribute to so that you can break up a large expense into more manageable chunks. If, for example, you had 12 months to save up for next year’s $1,000 auto insurance premium, saving $84 in your sinking fund each month would get you to that goal. To calculate sinking fund contributions, take the total and divide it by the number of months you have before making the payment — or the number of weeks if you’re adding to the fund weekly. In addition to monthly or weekly contributions, funnel any extra money to your sinking fund — such as savings when a friend randomly treats you to dinner or windfalls like your tax refund.  Pro Tip It’s not always easy to find extra money to put aside. This advice on how to save money fast will help you identify ways to free up cash to add to your sinking fund.  When it comes to where to stash your savings, put your money where you won’t be tempted to spend it but can easily access the funds when it’s time to make your payment. A high-yield savings account at an online bank is a good option.  If you have more than one sinking fund, you could choose to open multiple savings accounts or use one account and just keep a record of your contributions and how much you still need to reach each goal.  No matter how you go about doing it, the main point is that you’re prioritizing saving in your budget so you can pay expensive bills upfront and reduce your overall costs. 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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FINRA Releases Targeted Examination Letter for No Commission Brokers

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FINRA Releases Targeted Examination Letter for No Commission Brokers
On February 20, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released a targeted examination letter requesting that certain member firms provide information related to their decision not to charge commissions for customer transactions and its impact on firms’ order routing practices and decisions. The letter requests details regarding the type of securities in which a firm effects customer transaction without a commission, the factors a firm considers in deciding whether or not to charge a commission, and other aspects of a firm’s business. FINRA uses targeted examination letters to gather information on emerging issues and uses such information to formulate a regulatory response. The targeted examination letter is available here. [...]
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Federico Forchielli: “ONEtoONE has brought to my professional life tremendous changes”

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Federico Forchielli: “ONEtoONE has brought to my professional life tremendous changes”
The post Federico Forchielli: “ONEtoONE has brought to my professional life tremendous changes” appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, March 1

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, March 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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Concerned About Coronavirus? How to Prepare Your House, Mind and Bank Account

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Concerned About Coronavirus? How to Prepare Your House, Mind and Bank Account
Coronavirus. It’s all over the news. It’s trending on Twitter. It’s on your TV. And it’s dominating the push alerts on your phone. Coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China. Cases have now been detected in at least 50 locations internationally,... Courtney Jespersen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @CourtneyNerd. The article Concerned About Coronavirus? How to Prepare Your House, Mind and Bank Account originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Save Money With Meijer mPerks

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How to Save Money With Meijer mPerks
Meijer founder Fred Meijer once said, “Customers don’t need us, we need them.” It’s a mantra that’s still used by the Midwestern grocery chain, and it’s part of the reason the company offers its popular mPerks customer rewards program. A free loyalty program, Meijer mPerks gives you rewards when you hit certain spending levels. How ... Read More about How to Save Money With Meijer mPerks The post How to Save Money With Meijer mPerks appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (31 weeks) + foster care update

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Life Update: Pregnancy (31 weeks) + foster care update
31 weeks — and my belly “popped” significantly this week! (I usually have three major “pops” during my pregnancies. My first pop was around 23 weeks and I’m guessing it will pop for the third time around 36-37 weeks.) Highlights This was kind of a roller coaster week for us as we were asked if we would be willing to take in a newborn baby in foster care. After we wrapped our heads around what that would entail, talked and prayed as a family, and thought about how we’d manage two babies, we felt very strongly we were supposed to say yes. So we said yes… and we were told we would likely be getting the call at any time. And then we waited all week and no call. Those of you who have done foster care for a few years are probably very, very used to this. But this was our first experience with this sort of thing and it brought a whole host of varying emotions throughout this past week. (By the way, we still could get the call. Our foster care support worker wisely told me after almost a week of us hearing different messages each day, “Just go about your normal life and just know you might still get a call.” So that’s what we’re doing.) Notable So yeah, that was our week in a nutshell. In pregnancy-related news, I’m definitely feeling more pregnant and moving a little more slowly, continuing to require extra sleep, having a little bit of swelling, and getting tired more easily. However, I’m so grateful for how well I’m feeling overall, how fast time continues to pass by, and how much energy I still have. Cravings I’ve been really craving all the carbs this week — which is a bummer since so many of them give me heartburn. But at least I can still eat cereal and I am look forward to eating a lot of carbs once baby is here and I’m so grateful I have been able to avoid heartburn meds by being so careful with my diet! Weight gain: 23 lbs. How are the rest of you pregnant mamas doing? [...]
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From Adam Smith to the Glasgow Economic Forum 2020

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From Adam Smith to the Glasgow Economic Forum 2020
What was the most important document published in 1776? Most Americans would probably say “The Declaration of Independence”. But many would argue that Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” had a far bigger and more global impact. The University Glasgow in Scotland is home to the “Father of Capitalism”. Since Adam Smith published his works that revolutionized the world’s marketplaces, the progress over the last two hundred fifty years has been explosive. Year after year, the world has grown more connected and more prosperous. Today, the world is far more complex because of globalization, climate change, population growth and movement, and we need new approaches to problems. True to his spirit, for the fifth year in a row, students from the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow, are organizing the Glasgow Economic Forum (GEF). This is a student-led conference that brings together academics and professionals to share and exchange ideas that can stimulate discussion on how we can approach these complex problems. The two-day event will be led by world-class speakers from Oxford, Cambridge, OECD, the European Commission, Heidelberg University, and the Scottish Government among others. Professor Sarah Smith from the University of Bristol will deliver a keynote speech on the role of women and minorities in the economics and the ways the #DiscoverEconomics initiative can help to boost diversity in this subject area. The second keynote speaker is Professor Doyne Farmer, from the University of Oxford and Santa Fe Institute, and he will talk about Modelling the Economy as a Complex System. During the event there will be a fintech workshop, organized by Garreth Stubbs from the University of Glasgow Fintech Society. This event is supported by the Bank of England and the Young Scholars Initiative. Here are all the details about the event: Date: Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 March 2020 Time: 9:00am Venue: Lecture Theatre 201, Charles Wilson Building, 1 University Avenue Audience: Event is open to all Admission: Early bird – day pass £13.66, weekend pass £18.76 Website: https://www.glasgoweconomicforum.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/glasgow-economic-forum Instagram: @glaeconomicforum Louis Hatzis is the founder and CEO of Mercato Blockchain AG. The idea for this post was prompted by one of the investors in his company, whose son is a student at the University Glasgow and one of the organizers of the Glasgow Economic Forum (GEF). The post From Adam Smith to the Glasgow Economic Forum 2020 appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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This Week in Fintech ending 28 February 2020

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This Week in Fintech ending 28 February 2020
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8 Surprising Things That Are Taxable

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8 Surprising Things That Are Taxable
Everyone knows that wages are taxed by the federal government, but Uncle Sam has a far-reaching definition of “taxable income.” It covers numerous types of earnings that many people don’t realize are subject to federal income taxes. What follows are several examples of taxable income that may come as a surprise. Generally, people pay federal income taxes on their benefits if they... [...]
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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Chicago for 2020

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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Chicago for 2020
No matter where you live in the Windy City, finding cheap auto insurance in Chicago may not be a breeze. You’re likely to pay $150 to $230 a year more for car insurance in Chicago than if you lived elsewhere in your state, NerdWallet’s 2020 rates analysis shows. And since the Chicago metropolitan area technically... Lisa Green is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lgreen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lisaccgreen. The article Best Cheap Car Insurance in Chicago for 2020 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Five Easter Crafts Anyone Can Do

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Five Easter Crafts Anyone Can Do
When I was a kid, Easter meant one thing: a chocolate bunny. That’s it. That’s all I wanted because that’s all I knew. The rabbit was everything. And that’s because our family hadn’t built any other traditions around the holiday. This is something I aim to change. Now that I’m an adult, and I’ve read ... Read More about Five Easter Crafts Anyone Can Do The post Five Easter Crafts Anyone Can Do appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 28 February 2020

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Security Token news for Week Ending Friday 28 February 2020
  Here is our pick of the 3 most important Security Tokens news stories during the week: Commercial Real Estate Marketplace Red Swan Tokenizes $2.2 billion In Real Estate Through Security Token Platform Polymath  Red Swan CEO Ed Nwokedi:  “…in the past [real estate tokenization was attempted on] platforms like Harbor, Propellr and Fluidity, which were really tech companies…They didn’t really have the real estate background or the expertise to understand how the private real estate market works.” New York-based Red Swan says it has tokenized $2.2 billion in commercial real estate representing 16 different Class A commercial properties based in Texas, California and Ontario, Canada. CEO Nwokedi disclosed Red Swan is in the process of becoming a registered investment adviser, which will allow it to manage assets for accredited investors. The tokens are ST-20 tokens running on Ethereum.   Security Token Platform Dusk Network Says It Will Tokenize Shares For Thousands Of SMEs In The Greater Benelux Region The Amsterdam-based company announced Thursday it has partnered with Firm24, one of the region’s largest shareholder registries, and will use blockchain for an automated infrastructure that could introduce market efficiencies and transform how shares, that are not publicly listed, are traded. Firm24 has more than 35,000 SMEs from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (known as the Benelux region).  Firm24 hopes to deploy a tokenized share register to automate corporate actions and connect customers directly, creating tokenized representatives of share certificates that are freely tradable. LuxTag Claims First Successful Security Token Offering in Malaysia LuxTag announced it has closed on a $360,000 token offering. The crowdfunding round saw 51% of the funds denominated in Bitcoin and XEM (NEM).  LuxTag claims to be Malaysia’s very first successful token offering. The securities offering was hosted on PitchIn. LuxTag is an anti-counterfeit, track and trace and anti-theft solution provider. LuxTag utilizes the NEM blockchain platform and NEM’s native tokens (XEM) to run its blockchain operations. The service revolves around digitized certificates of authenticity for tangible products, linking to brands and owners through multi-signature smart contracts and the