Your Guide to the American Airlines Award Chart

Your Guide to the American Airlines Award Chart

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Your Guide to the American Airlines Award Chart
When it’s time to cash in your AAdvantage miles for an award flight, you’ll want to understand how to make your rewards go farther. Here’s everything you need to know to get the most out of all those hard-earned miles. Award types Before we dig into the details of American Airlines’ various award charts; one important caveat: The... Alisha McDarris is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Your Guide to the American Airlines Award Chart originally appeared on NerdWallet.
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How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging {free class}

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How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging {free class}
Are you a new blogger or a longtime blogger who still hasn’t figured out how to really make money from blogging? You don’t want to miss my new brand-new class on How to Make Your First $100 From Blogging. Best of all, it’s FREE! In this free class, you’ll learn: 5 tried and true ways YOU can make money from your blog today The #1 mistake most bloggers make that keeps them from earning an income My secrets for building a 7-figure blog on a shoestring budget Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me your burning questions about monetizing a blog Go here to sign up for one of the two times I’m teaching it on Saturday or the one time I’m teaching it on Monday. The class will be about 50 minutes long and then I’ll allow 30 minutes extra at the end to answer your questions live. By the way, on these classes, I’ll also be unveiling my brand-new course, Monetize Your Blog: A Beginner’s Guide to a Profitable Blog. You’ll be one of the first ones to have the opportunity to sign up for it! P.S. If you can’t make it to the live class, still go ahead and sign up because I’ll be sending you a replay of the class once it’s finished. [...]
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Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

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Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
With summer fun now behind us, it’s time to prepare for a long fall and winter. So, if you are 50 or older, consider scheduling vaccinations that can keep you healthy — and even save your life. The aging process weakens our immune systems, putting us at greater risk for several types of disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For this reason... [...]
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Cents of Style: Be Series Graphic Tees for just $16.95 shipped!

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Cents of Style: Be Series Graphic Tees for just $16.95 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These Be Series Graphic Tees are SO cute! Cents of Style has their brand new Be Series Tees on sale for $16.95 shipped when you use coupon code BEGRAPHICS at checkout. There are five different phrases to choose from: be free, be happy, be you, be kind, and be fearless! Go here to get your Be Series Graphic Tee for $16.95 shipped. Valid through September 20, 2019. [...]
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Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020

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Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020
A sweet points offer for staying at Courtyard by Marriott properties is bringing a new opportunity for Marriott Bonvoy members to boost their earnings. Members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program can earn 2,000 bonus points per night for stays at Courtyard by Marriott hotels. What’s unique about this promotion is that there’s no limit... Randy Diamond is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Subscribe by 30 September 2019 and get a 50% discount off your first year fee

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Subscribe by 30 September 2019 and get a 50% discount off your first year fee
Purchase a subscription by 30 September and pay just US$71.50 for the first year, which enables you to: – Read our latest daily insights – Read our archives of over 1,000 articles – Comment on our posts – Participate in our industry forum Use Coupon Code: Introductory-Offer on our Subscription page. The post Subscribe by 30 September 2019 and get a 50% discount off your first year fee appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family

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How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family
If you ask many Americans, one thing that they need to save money on it is healthcare.  With the rising costs of both insurance and medical bills, it certainly can keep you up at night. You need healthcare coverage.  That is especially true if you have children.  They are good at getting sick and injured, ... Read More about How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family The post How to Save Money on Healthcare Needs For Your Family appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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7 Unexpected Perks of Downsizing as a Retiree

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7 Unexpected Perks of Downsizing as a Retiree
When you were young, chances are you dreamed of owning a large home with all the bells and whistles. But as life marches on, it’s not unusual to have more modest goals, including visions of a smaller home that better suits your needs. You may decide to downsize before retirement. Or, maybe you are just looking for a simpler lifestyle. Parents often find there’s less need to maintain... [...]
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SEC Staff Announces Changes to Rule 14a-8 No-Action Request Process

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SEC Staff Announces Changes to Rule 14a-8 No-Action Request Process
On September 6, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the Staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced changes (the Announcement) concerning its procedures for administering Rule 14a-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Specifically, starting with the 2019-2020 proxy season, in response to no-action requests by companies seeking to exclude shareholder proposals from their proxy materials pursuant to Rule 14a-8, the Staff may provide an oral statement of its view, rather than issuing the statement in writing. The Staff clarified that its response to such a request may be that it agrees, disagrees or declines to state a view with respect to the company’s basis for excluding the shareholder proposal, and, when the Staff declines to state its view with respect to a particular no-action request under Rule 14a-8, the interested party or parties should not interpret that as indicating the proposal must be included in the company’s proxy materials. As a reminder, the granting of no-action relief by the Staff confirms that the Staff will not recommend that the SEC bring an enforcement action against the requester based on the facts and representations described in the request, but, as noted in the Announcement, regardless of the Staff’s position, parties may still bring a suit in court to have the issue adjudicated on the merits.  Additionally, the Staff will still issue written response letters when “doing so would provide value, such as more broadly applicable guidance about complying with Rule 14a-8.” The Announcement also reiterated prior guidance that, when a company request for no-action relief is being made under paragraphs (i)(5) (Relevance) or (i)(7) (Management functions) of Rule 14a-8, it is helpful to the Staff for the company to provide its board of directors’ analysis. The full text of the Announcement is available here. [...]
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Announcing Daily Fintech Conversations

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Announcing Daily Fintech Conversations
Need to ‘voice’ and share your fintech insights with industry peers and experts? Look no further. Sign up to be part of Conversations today. Daily Fintech Conversations integrates our publishing and forum into a single platform. The purpose of both is to enable conversations that make good things happen. Most of us understand instinctively how to have […] The post Announcing Daily Fintech Conversations appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Discover Bank CD Rates: How They Compare

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Discover Bank CD Rates: How They Compare
+ See a summary of Discover Bank CD rates Discover Bank CD rates 2019 1-year: 2.40% APY 3-year: 2.45% APY 5-year: 2.50% APY 10-year: 2.60% APY Discover Bank’s CD rates are competitive with other online banks and are some of the highest you can find. The range of terms is extensive, from three months to 10... Spencer Tierney is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: spencer.tierney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd. The article Discover Bank CD Rates: How They Compare originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Great Ways to Use the AmEx Business Platinum Welcome Offer

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5 Great Ways to Use the AmEx Business Platinum Welcome Offer
For a limited time, the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has an increased welcome offer for new cardholders: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. While... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 5 Great Ways to Use the AmEx Business Platinum Welcome Offer originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Will SoftPoS be the new global payment mechanism?

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Will SoftPoS be the new global payment mechanism?
SoftPoS stands for Software Point of Sale. If you lived in parts of the world outside of the US, you would have come across contactless payments. It made the payment experience seamless and almost invisible to the customer. As a result, in the UK for instance, by Q4 2018, contactless payments took over chip and […] The post Will SoftPoS be the new global payment mechanism? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety

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Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety
Without even knowing it, you may have put yourself in a financially precarious position: being upside-down on your car loan. Maybe you bought a new car without making a down payment. Or perhaps you opted for low, “easy” monthly payments by stretching your loan to 72 or even 84 months. However you got there, it’s... Philip Reed is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: preed@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @AutoReed. The article Is Your Car Loan Upside-Down? How to Steer Back to Safety originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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8 Ways to Snag Big Back-to-School Savings on Cellphones

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8 Ways to Snag Big Back-to-School Savings on Cellphones
This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com. You don’t have to be a student to get in on great back-to-school cellphone savings. But you’ll need to act fast, because these amazing discounts won’t last long. By taking advantage of a buy one, get one free sale, you can potentially cut costs in half when purchasing a phone for yourself and the student in your life (or anyone... [...]
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15 Ways to Eat Out on the Cheap

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15 Ways to Eat Out on the Cheap
Want some tips on how to eat out on the cheap? Here are 15 tried and true ideas to help you enjoy restaurant food — on a budget. How to Eat Out on the Cheap Love eating out? Don’t love how much it can cost? Here are 15 ideas to save money on eating out:a 1. Go out to lunch instead of dinner. 2. Always use restaurant coupons. 3. Order water instead of beverages that cost. 4. Split an entree with someone else when possible. 5. Sign up for Birthday Freebies and use those when you eat out. 6. Go out for dessert instead of a full meal. 7. Use restaurant gift cards that you bought discounted. 8. Sign up for restaurant apps and email lists to be notified of great coupons and specials — or even freebies! 9. Earn free restaurant gift cards from Shopkick, Fetch, and Swagbucks. 10. Go on Kids’ Eat Free nights. 11. Eat a snack before you leave the house so you’re not as hungry. 12. Don’t order appetizers or desserts. 13. Eat out at Costco or IKEA instead of a restaurant. 14. Apply to be a mystery shopper and you could get paid to eat out! (I have done this many times in the past!) 15. Go to a fast food restaurant with a dollar menu and let everyone choose 1-3 items off the dollar menu! What are your favorite tips for saving money on eating out? Share them in the comments! P.S. For more ideas, check out this post on How to Save Money on Eating Out. [...]
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InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech?

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InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech?
image The customer- easily overlooked on innovation’s path, and the continuous need for insurance companies to keep the customer as the ultimate focus of any innovation efforts. It’s a good week to revisit a favorite topic of mine; after presenting sessions on mobile claim applications to adjusters at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s regional […] The post InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech? appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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How This Couple Paid off $20K in Credit Card Debt — Making Less Than $70K/Year

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How This Couple Paid off $20K in Credit Card Debt — Making Less Than $70K/Year
It happened fast. In a little over a month, Wilmer and Kimberly Swerdfeger had accumulated $20,000 in credit card debt. “Everything went haywire,” Wilmer says. The 51-year-old Bakersfield, California, resident has been an emergency medical technician on a 911 ambulance for more than 10 years. Wilmer says both he and his wife, who’s a substitute teacher, are financially responsible. They earn a modest income, but they have near-perfect credit scores, and their cars are paid for in full. Heck, they don’t even like having more than $600 on their credit card. So when $20,000 in unexpected home repairs and emergency medical procedures hit all at once, Wilmer felt stressed. He went looking for a way out and found an online lender called Figure, which offered home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) of up to $150,000 with annual percentage rates (APR)  starting at 4.99%*. This could save him hundreds of dollars in interest each month and would leave him with a single manageable monthly payment — not multiple credit card bills due on different days. Plus, Wilmer could get a free quote in five minutes and apply online. It was worth a shot, right? How a HELOC Can Alleviate the Stress of Credit Card Debt If you own a home, a HELOC allows you to borrow money against its equity — that’s the money you’ve paid toward your mortgage. Use Wilmer as an example. He’s accumulated more than $200,000 in home equity over the 20 years he’s owned his home. He applied for a five-year HELOC through Figure, which granted him access to $24,000 worth of his home’s equity with an  APR of 5.75%. He could then use that $24,000 to pay off his high-interest credit card balances. With a HELOC, you can use the money for whatever you want — but that doesn’t mean you should. HELOCs (typically) come with lower interest rates than personal loans because they’re backed by your home. This is a huge perk. But that also means if you fail to pay back what you’d borrowed, you risk losing your home. Many experts suggest only opening a HELOC to consolidate and pay off high-interest credit cards (like Wilmer) or to increase the value of your home with repairs or renovations. Don’t Let Lenders Take Advantage of Your Bad Situation Before he found Figure, Wilmer contacted his bank and other lenders about opening a HELOC. But he quickly realized: “These guys were trying to take advantage of my desperation.” “A couple of banks told me I qualified for a $190,000 line of credit,” Wilmer says. “It’s taken me 20 years of hard work to build up that equity.” He didn’t need that much money, and when Wilmer told one lender that, the voice on the other end responded: “Go buy a new wardrobe! Take a vacation!” It’s taken me 20 years of hard work to build up that equity. That enraged Wilmer. He knew that was the last thing anyone should do with borrowed money. Other banks offered a HELOC with a draw period of nine years, meaning he’d have more chance to spend. It was unnecessary; Wilmer just wanted to pay off his debt as soon as possible. A Line of Credit Could Save You Hundreds Each Month Right when he reached peak frustration, he learned about Figure. It offered home equity lines of credit for up to $150,000, with APRs starting at 4.99%. But because he hadn’t heard of the company before, Wilmer had questions. He picked up the phone and called Figure… several times. Everyone he spoke with was friendly, helpful and patient; no one was pushy. Wilmer even asked about the history of the company. Skepticism now aside, Wilmer got a free quote from Figure, then applied for a HELOC from his phone. He got approved for a five-year line of credit for with an APR of 5.75%. It was way better than any previous offer he’d received. Whereas his bank told him he’d have to wait three weeks for approval and to receive his funds, Figure directly deposited the money he requested into his account the next day. And, unlike some lenders might have, Figure didn’t surprise him with fees. He paid an origination fee (typical), but he wasn’t charged an application fee and doesn’t face monthly maintenance fees. Moving on From Unexpected Credit Card Debt  Once Wilmer was approved for his line of credit, he says, “It was like, ‘Wam bam bam,’ and everything was paid off. Now I just owe Figure. It took a lot of stress off.” He’s no longer worried about making payments toward his wife’s emergency eye surgery. Or paying off that air conditioning system — his old one went kaput the day his wife came home from surgery, and California summers are hot. And he went ahead and paid off a lingering $4,000 he still owed on roof repairs. It took a lot of stress off. Now he’s left with two easy-to-manage monthly payments: His mortgage and his Figure payment. He’s even throwing some extra money toward his line of credit so he can pay it off early — Figure has no early repayment penalty. It only takes five minutes to check your rate with Figure. If you like what you see and your application is approved, Figure will initiate funding within five days*. Then it’s goodbye to high interest rates and credit card debt.   *Terms and conditions apply. Visit figure.com for further information. Figure Lending LLC is an equal opportunity lender. NMLS #1717824 Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Good2Go Auto Insurance Review 2019

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Good2Go Auto Insurance Review 2019
NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Lisa Green Specializes in selling minimum required car insurance.Focuses on high-risk drivers.Can help provide SR-22 forms for drivers who need one. Good2Go has... Lisa Green is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lgreen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lisaccgreen. The article Good2Go Auto Insurance Review 2019 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

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15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
Yard sales are the ultimate form of recycling. Whether your neighbor is hawking a souvenir spoon collection on her lawn or your church has gathered congregants’ donations for a fundraiser, you can dig up some hidden gems. Plus, pat yourself on the back: Giving these items new life will likely save trash from filling up a landfill. Here’s a look at things you’d be smart to snatch... [...]
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Got Perkins Loans? Here’s How 5 Years in Public Service Could Wipe Them Out

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Got Perkins Loans? Here’s How 5 Years in Public Service Could Wipe Them Out
The Perkins loan program may be history, but that doesn’t stop it from haunting your present. Perkins loans were student loans designed for undergraduate and graduate students who showed exceptional financial need — the loans charged 5% interest, and you had 10 years to pay them off.  The program ended on Sept. 30, 2017, but you’re still on the hook for paying off any of the Perkins loans you took out.  But if you’re working in public service, you could potentially have your Perkins loans canceled.  Like other student loan forgiveness programs, obtaining Perkins loan forgiveness is not an easy or quick process. But if it could mean the difference between paying back thousands of dollars in student debt, it could be worth your effort. How to Find Out If You’re Eligible for Perkins Loan Forgiveness To be eligible for Perkins loan cancellation, you must be working full time in a qualifying public service role (we’ll explain the discharge option a little later) and your loans cannot be in default. To default on federal loan repayment means you’ve failed to make your monthly payment for 270 days (nine months). Additionally, if you refinance or consolidate your Perkins loans, you are not eligible for this forgiveness program. We’ve broken down the options into categories based on how much of your loan can be forgiven and type of service. 1. Up to 100% Forgiveness The most comprehensive in terms of job options is for up to 100% loan cancellation for five years of service. The amount forgiven is granted in increments: 15% for the first and second years. 20% for the third and fourth years. 30% for the fifth year. This category includes the following professions: Teacher. To qualify for the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation, you must either teach at a low-income school or teach one of the following subjects: mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual, special education or another subject area that is facing a shortage of qualified teachers in your state. Employee at a child or family services agency. Faculty member at a tribal college or university (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Firefighter (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Law enforcement or corrections officer. Librarian with a master’s degree working at a Title I-eligible elementary or secondary school or at a public library that serves Title I-eligible schools (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Nurse or medical technician. Professional provider of early intervention disability services. Public defender (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). Speech pathologist with master’s degree working at a Title I-eligible elementary or secondary school (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008). If you’re an educator at a pre-K or licensed childcare program (for service that began on or after Aug. 14, 2008) or a Head Start program, it will take seven years to forgive the loan, which is granted in the following increments: 15% for the first six years. 10% for the seventh year. 2. Up to 70% Forgiveness AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps volunteers can get up to 70% of their loans forgiven for four years of service. Cancelation is also granted in increments: 15% for the first and second years. 20% for the third and fourth years. 3. Forgiveness for Military Service Those who serve in the U.S. armed forces in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area qualify for Perkins loan cancellation according to the following classifications: Up to 50% for four years for borrowers whose active duty service ended before Aug. 14, 2008. Up to 100% for five years for borrowers whose active duty service includes or began on or after Aug. 14, 2008. 4. 100% Discharge Discharge and forgiveness essentially mean the same thing — they wipe out your student loan — but a discharge is due to circumstances, while forgiveness is dependent upon your line of work. The following conditions are eligible: The school closed before the borrower could complete the program of study (applies to loans received on or after Jan. 1, 1986). The borrower is totally and permanently disabled. The borrower died. (Read more about a student loan death discharge here.) The borrower filed for bankruptcy — but only if the bankruptcy court rules that repayment would cause undue hardship. (That’s rare.) FROM THE DEBT FORUM Credit card debt 7/29/19 @ 5:18 PM F How to pay off medical bills? 8/29/19 @ 2:39 PM N Student loans!! 8/9/19 @ 1:07 PM J Payday loans - essential or evil? 2/27/19 @ 4:52 PM F See more in Debt or ask a money question How Do I Apply? To qualify for a Perkins loan cancellation or discharge, you’ll need at least one year of professional experience before applying (or one academic year for teachers).  Because your school is considered the lender (the federal government subsidizes the loan), you should contact your school (or its loan servicer) to obtain the forms and instructions for your Perkins loan forgiveness. Pro Tip Schools must automatically defer loans during periods when you are performing service that will qualify for loan cancelation — you do not need to apply for concurrent deferment.  Every school has its own application, but in general, you’ll need to fill out your personal information, your type and length of service, and certification from your employer. What Happens if I Receive Forgiveness? If you’re approved for Perkins loan forgiveness, the principal amount of your loan will be canceled incrementally according to the schedule associated with your forgiveness classification. Any interest that the loan accrued during that year will also be forgiven. What Happens if I Don’t Receive Forgiveness? If you’re denied Perkins loan forgiveness, all is not lost, particularly if you have other federal loans to consolidate. Consolidation disqualifies your loans for the Perkins loan forgiveness program, but by consolidating your Perkins loans, they then qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. However, keep in mind that your Perkins loans must be paid in 10 years, so there’s a good chance you’d have your loans paid off before you reached the 10 years of service the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program requires.  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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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card

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Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card
For serious foodies, the Uber Visa Card packs plenty of features, minus the surge pricing: The card’s annual fee is $0. To get the best performance possible from the card, here’s what to keep in mind. » MORE: Full review of the Uber Visa Card Scoop up the sign-up bonus Learn More The Uber Visa Card features the following welcome offer... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Making the Most of the Uber Visa Credit Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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15 Dinners to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare

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15 Dinners to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Looking for dinners to make when your cupboards are bare and money is tight? Here are some of our family’s favorite ideas. Best of all, most of these are super quick and easy ideas, too: Meals to Make When Your Cupboards Are Bare 1. Grilled Cheese You can use any kind of cheese and any kind of bread! 2. Eggs and Toast This is an easy meal that even younger kids can make! 3. Loaded Baked Potatoes Get creative with whatever you might have on hand that would work as a topping: taco meat, chili, beans, ham, bacon, cheese, broccoli, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. You could even do chopped chicken, salsa, and cheese. 4. Any Pasta With Pasta Sauce If you have any canned tomatoes or ground beef or onions, you can add it to the sauce. Then, serve it sprinkled with any kind of cheese you might have on hand. 5. Sandwiches The options are pretty ended here: Peanut Butter/Jelly (or PB & honey — we love to toast the bread for a little extra something!) Egg Salad, Meat/Cheese, etc. Tip: Did you know you can freeze PB&J sandwiches? 6. Build Your Own Taco Salad Use whatever taco-like ingredients you have on hand: Ground beef or turkey with homemade taco seasoning, beans, lettuce, chips, tomatoes, cheese, etc. 7. Crockpot Sausage and Peppers This is a staple at our house. If I have kielbasa in the freezer and I’ve gotten peppers on markdowns, I’ll chop up both and add some onions or potatoes or sweet potatoes (if I have them) and cook this with a little water and seasonings in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. You can you serve over rice or pasta (if you didn’t include potatoes). 8. Meat/Potatoes/Frozen Veggies Hash This was a standby recipe at our family’s house growing up. If we needed a quick dinner, we’d brown some ground beef with onions, and then add some chopped potatoes and fry those until tender. Then we’d add corn or peas. I think this recipe originally came from the More With Less Cookbook. 9. Refried Beans and Cheese We like to spoon refried beans into a baking dish and top with cheese and then heat these up in the microwave (or you can bake in the oven) until heated through and then serve with chips and salsa or spread onto tortillas to make bean and cheese burritos. 10. Breakfast For Dinner Breakfast foods are always a quick and easy pantry meal idea, depending on what you have on hand. Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast served with eggs and/or bacon (if you have any) and fruit. You could also do a big pan of Baked Oatmeal and top it with any fruit you have and serve it with yogurt or milk. Tip: Have extra eggs on hand and some meat and cheese? Make these yummy Egg & Cheese Bites. Pantry Meal Ideas From My Followers: 11. Quesadillas Betsy said, “We have what I call refrigerator quesadillas. Tortillas, cheese and anything else leftover– chicken, ham, zucchini, corn, etc. Stick it in between tortillas and cheese and you’re pretty much set! 12. Have a Chopped Competition One of my followers, Amanda, said that they love to play Chopped when they are trying to use up what they have on hand. (If you’re unfamiliar with it, Chopped is a TV show where contestants are given random ingredients and they have to make a recipe with those ingredients.) What a fun idea! 13. Tortilla Soup Charity said: “I almost always have bullion, diced tomatoes, canned black beans, an onion or garlic and some veggies (typically celery, carrots and corn) and a handful of rice and crushed tortilla chips around. We’ll top it with shredded cheese.” 14. Cheater Chili Tanya said: “I always have the ingredients for ‘Cheater Chili’ in my pantry and boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. A can of chili beans, a can of white beans, a can of kidney beans (or whatever kind you want really) and a jar of Pace Picante sauce. Heat until hot. I add ground beef when I have it or have time, but it’s great without it too. 15. Barbecue Cups Amanda said: “We make Barbecue Cups — ground beef with bbq sauce, place on top of raw biscuit in a muffin tin add cheese to top, bake in oven.” What are YOUR favorite budget-friendly meals to make when money is tight? P.S. For more ideas, check out this post on my Facebook Page. [...]
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6 Simple Ways to Use a Bullet Journal to Manage Your Money

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6 Simple Ways to Use a Bullet Journal to Manage Your Money
Instead of choosing from the dizzying array of online budgeting tools, here’s a novel thought: The best solution to keeping track of your money may be writing everything down with pen and paper.   The bullet journal — or BuJo, for short — is an analog organizational system that can help you find the “calm in the chaos” (at least, according to the official bullet journal website). What sets the bullet journal apart from other lookalikes is it’s completely customizable. Each page has tiny bullets to use as a guide to track whatever you want. You can set goals, write down to-do lists and track your finances all in one place.  Unlike with pre-designed planners, bullet journal money management allows you to create spreads for your particular financial goals and tasks, including the visuals that will most inspire you to reach them.  So if you want to buy a house, for instance, you can color each brick of a house as you save for a down payment.  And if you’ve ever missed a reminder amid the constant pings from the calendar on your phone, you’ll appreciate that bullet journals offer a physical, visually pleasing alternative for tracking your bills. And you don’t have to be creative to get started.  How to Start a Bullet Journal Budget Because the bullet journal is what you make it, there are an infinite amount of options for how it can help you manage your money.  To start with, you’ll need an index (aka table of contents) to avoid flipping through endless pages of your journal each time you want to look at your budget. Depending on the type you use, your journal may come with a few pages at the front pre-designed for an index or you can simply create your own. Come up with a list of initial ideas — no worries if you’re not sure about everything you want to cover, as you can always add more pages or sections to the index later.  And because a bullet journal is so customizable, you can address your own specific problem areas or goals.  Pro Tip If you’re getting overwhelmed by ideas you see on Pinterest and Instagram, forget the embellishments and just track your expenses and goals in a format that is easy to follow and maintain. Do you need to be better about sticking to a budget? Do you need to pay off debt? Do you have some big savings goals? Great! There’s a bullet journal “spread” (official lingo) for that. Alicia Geigel teaches bullet journaling workshops at Whim So Doodle in St. Petersburg, Florida. She typically shares layout ideas to get people comfortable with tracking their lives both personally and professionally on paper. Now she’s finding people are interested in using the bullet journals for their personal finances. She recently used her journal to save $2,500 for a trip to Italy. “Since I do it every night and try to make it part of my routine, it just reminds me of the path I am trying to save on,” Geigel said.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or a bit stumped, we have some ideas to get you started. 1. Monthly Budget Tracker Seeing where you plan to spend and where you actually spend your money each month is a good way to start your budgeting journey. You can break down your budget into categories, starting with the unavoidables (bills, rent, gas and the like) and work forward from there. Include everything, right down to your Spotify subscription and the fact that once in a while you just need to order the more expensive pizza.   One option is making a monthly budget spread in bars. That way, you can visually gauge your budget based on the week of the month. Color in the bar each time you spend, and you’ll have a simple visual representation of how much you have left in that category.  At the end of the month, add up your total spending compared to your total budget. To create a little internal competition (because who doesn’t like wins?), write your total spending on next month’s budget page, then see if you can spend a little less.  Put the extra money saved toward bigger goals, like paying off student loan debt or saving up a down payment for a house.  Another option for the number lovers: Create a spread that looks just like a checkbook, then write down your scheduled bills on the left and record expenses on the right. Every time you spend money, deduct it from your balance. This method will hold you accountable and help prevent unwelcome surprises when you look at your bank account.  2. Bill Tracker This spread is perfect for the forgetful person. If you’re constantly writing down reminders to yourself (think: All. Those. Sticky. Notes.), a bill tracker should be a must in your BuJo financial strategy.  One idea for a bill tracker is to create a big-picture spread that stretched from now through the next several months.  Start by going back through your bank and credit card statements to make sure you count every bill you pay each month. Then draw your grid, making sure to include a space for the amount, the due date and whether or not you’ve paid it yet.  Leave a few extra boxes at the bottom of my tracker in case you need to add an extra line item or two over the next several months.  Put your monthly bills in one spread, and your quarterly and annual bills together in a separate tracker. As you pay each bill, check the box so you can see at a glance which ones still need to be addressed.  3. Spending Tracker If you’re pretty good about sticking to your budget and paying off your debt (or if you have no debt!), you may decide not to use a spending tracker every month.  Sometimes, though, you might want to add a spending tracker into your weekly or monthly section for a financial reboot of sorts. If you feel like your finances are getting a little out of control in any given month, it helps to see exactly when and how you’re spending every dollar. It can be quite an eye-opening experience. Pro Tip If you see you’ve spent too much half way through the month, don’t give up. Create a mini spending tracker that incorporates the remaining budget for the remainder of the month. The spending tracker has a lot of flexibility in how you choose to set it up, but the main things to include are a space to write the item/food/experience purchased, the store/venue where you purchased it from, the date, the cost, what type of payment you used and whether it was a want or a need.  After a month — or even a week — of tracking your spending, you may start to see patterns and problem areas that you otherwise might not be aware of. 4. Savings Tracker This one is the most exciting of the financial trackers (in our opinion, anyway).  While all of the other BuJo trackers help you watch your paycheck dwindle away each month, the savings goal tracker gets you amped each and every time you get to fill in a little more of that bar because you know you’re one step closer to that dream vacation or that new, extra-deep couch you can’t wait to curl up on.  One idea for a savings tracker: Give each goal its own horizontal or vertical bar. As you move money to your savings, color in the appropriate amount of the bar for the savings goal you’re working toward. Some goals might be small, and some might be huge — but you can move the bigger, unfinished goals from journal to journal as you fill each book.  Need a little more visual enticement? Determine an object that motivates you to save money. Is it a jar? A piggy bank?  Design a savings goal you can track visually. Each time you put money in your savings account, shade in a portion of the object. It’s quite satisfying to complete the picture as you reach your goal.  FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 1:38 PM T Budgeting Apps? [...]
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Two live Blockchain use cases in Mutual Funds administration and four pilots

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Two live Blockchain use cases in Mutual Funds administration and four pilots
In Blockchain world everybody wants to be `the World`s first`. The term started being a must in white papers, now it is all over social media, with announcements about The World`s first tokenized equity The World`s first STO The World`s first regulated Crypto bank The World`s first Initial Wallet Offering The World`s first Regulated ATS […] The post Two live Blockchain use cases in Mutual Funds administration and four pilots appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases

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Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases
As a smart shopper, you probably spend a lot of time searching for the best deals. However, some of those great finds aren’t really all that terrific. In fact, a lot of so-called “good deals” can actually be found for free. However, freebies are not the only way to save money. In this report, we look at some free things, but also highlight lower-cost options you might be... [...]
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*HOT* Up to 60% Off Columbia Pants For The Family + Free Shipping!!

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*HOT* Up to 60% Off Columbia Pants For The Family + Free Shipping!!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Right now, Columbia is offering up to 60% off pants for the family! Columbia is offering up to 60% off pants for the family! No promo code needed. And shipping is FREE if you’re a Columbia Rewards Member (it’s free to sign up)! Check out these deals… Get these Kids Toddler Cypress Brook II Pants for just $10.98 shipped (regularly $19.99)! Get these Girls Trulli Trails Printed Leggings for only $11.98 shipped (regularly $30)! Get these Men’s CSC Bugasweat Pants for only $29.98 shipped (regularly $60)! Get these Men’s PFG Backcast Convertible Pants for only $21.98 shipped (regularly $45)! Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me?

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Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me?
Deciding whether the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is right for you is simple means asking yourself a few key questions. Here are the aspects you should weigh to understand whether this card will be a smart addition to your wallet. Is the sign-up bonus appealing to me? Will I earn it? Here’s the... Reyna Gobel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Right for Me? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier

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These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier
Podcasts are often an overlooked resource for entertainment, education and advice on niche topics — side gigs among them. They’re often hosted by everyday people in the thick of things. Some gain cult followings and build supportive communities before the topic goes mainstream. For anyone considering extra work, such feedback and support are crucial. The right side hustle podcast can be the perfect source of both. Need a Side Hustle Podcast to Stay Motivated? How About 9? Despite how side gigs are portrayed, there’s a lot more to them than downloading an app and making money in your spare time. Reality is more complicated. Your gig should be a purposeful endeavor that doesn’t merely cover bills.  Ideally, your side gig should have an exit plan that helps you meet a financial or professional goal. For those currently in the thick of things, you may find that hustle culture is taking a toll on your health or relationships. It can be a lot to stay on top of. But the good news is that there are a plethora of podcasts to guide you along your journey, from voices big and small.  1. The Accidental Creative Since 2005, author and podcast host Todd Henry has been cranking out episodes that include interviews and tips to spur creativity and productivity. New episodes of The Accidental Creative come daily or twice weekly, depending on your preference.  Daily episodes are three-minute snippets of advice while the twice-weekly episodes run for about 20 minutes and include full-length interviews and strategies. 2. Before Breakfast Host Laura Vanderkam dishes out daily episodes of Before Breakfast, a podcast that focuses on time-management techniques. As a mother of four, author, public speaker and host of two podcasts, Vanderkam knows a thing or two about managing time. Each episode aptly runs about five minutes, and it can be easily baked into your morning routine — ahem — before breakfast. 3. Freelance Creative Exchange Every two weeks, CreativesAtWork releases a new episode of Freelance Creative Exchange, a no-frills, tip-based podcast for freelancers, especially international freelancers.  Each episode, which runs about 30 to 40 minutes, takes a deep dive into a different freelance strategy. While the podcast is produced by a Singapore-based media agency, the content is universally applicable — covering such topics as scaling from a few clients to full-fledged business, pricing your services appropriately, using social media to further your reach and much more. 4. How I Built This Hosted by Guy Raz and provided by NPR, How I Built This is an award-winning podcast that’s built on a simple premise: interview the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs of the day and dive into exactly how they achieved success. Each episode documents the struggles and hurdles of the early stages of starting a business, and highlights how many now-household brands started out as side gigs. New episodes are published every Monday. Hunker down. They’re about an hour long. 5. The Rideshare Guy Harry Campbell is the voice behind The Rideshare Guy. The aerospace engineer turned rideshare-driver-podcaster-blogger started driving for Uber and Lyft in 2014. He created a blog and a podcast to dive into the differences of each ridesharing app. Campbell features a diversity of sources related to ridesharing and the gig economy as a whole. Some drivers, some researchers and even some CEOs. Episodes run between 30 and 45 minutes and are released every other week or so. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 2:14 PM T Laptops 9/5/19 @ 1:32 PM Work from home Southern_MiMi 9/3/19 @ 9:44 AM HOW TO START YOUR OWN ONLINE TUTORING BUSINESS? 9/4/19 @ 10:05 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question 6. Sidegig Previously, Sidegig was more talk show than podcast. Three seasons featured discussions and lessons-learned from three hosts, Preston Lee, Ian Paget, Ryan Robinson, who all ran businesses in addition to their 9-to-5s (and hosting the podcast).  All these episodes are still available to listen to, but starting Fall 2019, the show is getting a revamp: New host Brian Hull will offer up side gig ideas, advice and tips from guests. New episodes will be released every Friday. 7. Side Hustle Pro Host Nicaila Okame seeks to tell stories that no one else tells. So, in 2016, she started Side Hustle Pro, a podcast that shares the journeys of black women entrepreneurs who have created and grown their side gigs into lasting businesses. New episodes air every Wednesday and typically feature an interview with a successful guest. In 40-ish-minute segments, Side Hustle Pro covers big-picture advice like handling imposter syndrome as well as the minutiae like pricing your freelance services to attract the right clients. 8. Side Hustle School To best-selling author and podcast host Chris Guillebeau, a side hustle is all about creating a new opportunity that works for you, not some other business or side-gig platform. Every day, and sometimes multiple times per day, Guillebeau releases a new episode of Side Hustle School with that credo in mind.  Each episode features a unique side gig from his guest and offers resources on how to create a similar gig or business. Sometimes the episodes are hosted by the hustlers themselves. In June, The Penny Hoarder sat down to interview Chris Guillebeau ahead of his new book, “100 Side Hustles,” which is largely based on his podcast series. 9. The Side Hustle Show Every week, host Nick Loper shares advice on everything side hustle — moneymaking ideas, gig-launching tips, progress-tracking strategies and more. (Loper also brought some of his ideas to The Penny Hoarder as a freelance writer in years past.) The Side Hustle Show is now 350 episodes strong. Most episodes run for 40 minutes, but you can opt for edited versions of the massive archive to hone in on certain topics or to get minute-long sound bites. So before you download an app, before you commit to something you haven’t yet fleshed out and definitely before you spend any money on overhead costs, gain some perspective by filling all that empty air with the soundwaves of people who have gone before you. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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$70 Grocery Budget (I’m loving these weekend deals!)

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$70 Grocery Budget (I’m loving these weekend deals!)
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. I was excited about the weekend deals this week! Since the Labor Day sales went through Monday, we split up our budget so that we got some of them last week and some of them this week. Monday’s Kroger Shopping Trip 5 bags of Tyson Anytizers — $3.99 each with the weekend deals 4 bags of frozen veggies — $1 each Milk — $2.89 Half & Half — $1.99 2 half gallons Almond milk — $1.99 each 3 dozen eggs — marked down to $1.29/dozen 5 boxes of Betty Crocker brownie and cake mix — $0.50 each with weekend deals Total with tax: $42.03 I can’t remember the last time I bought Lunchables, but my kids absolutely love them. So when I saw that they were priced at just $0.99 at Kroger this weekend, I surprised them by getting them some. Needless to say, they were THRILLED! Friday Kroger Shopping Trip 5 boxes Lunchables — $0.99 each with the Friday-Saturday deals 4 lbs. ground beef — marked down to $2.49 each 1 bag of lemons — marked down to $0.99 2 bags of grapes — $0.99/lb. 1 tub lettuce — marked down to $1.79 2 family size boxes of cereal — $1.99 each with the Friday-Saturday deals Total with tax: $27 What We Ate This Past 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, Toast, Oatmeal, Eggs, Smoothies Lunches: Chicken, Capri Sun, Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, PB & Honey Sandwich, Leftovers, Fruit, Crackers, Snacks: Cookies, Eggs, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Apple Crisp, Fruit, Veggies Dinners: Sunday — Out to eat at Chili’s Monday — Chicken, Roasted Broccoli Tuesday — Chicken/Broccoli/Rice Casserole Wednesday — Breakfast for Dinner: French Toast Thursday — Pizza Friday — Fend for yourself Saturday — Cereal Total spent on groceries: $69.03 Cashback earned this week: 675 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards, $0.50 back from iBotta [...]
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Backyard Safari Field Binocs

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Backyard Safari Field Binocs
This would be a great gift idea to grab now and use during the holiday season. You can get the Backyard Safari Field Binocs for only $6.87. You will be saving 54% on this purchase because it is normally $14.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change at anytime! The post Backyard Safari Field Binocs appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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FREE subscription to Real Simple Magazine + Sports Illustrated for Kids

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FREE subscription to Real Simple Magazine + Sports Illustrated for Kids
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Yay! This super popular deal on a free subscription to Real Simple magazine has finally returned, plus you can get a free Sports Illustrated subscription, too! I just got a completely FREE subscription to Real Simple Magazine AND a completely free subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids from Rewards Survey. Here’s how: I signed into my Rewards Survey account (if you don’t have an account, sign up here — it’s free!) I took a short survey that they offered me (it only took me about two minutes). As soon as I took the survey, they offered me $30 in free rewards points that I could spend on a number of different magazine subscriptions. I chose to get Real Simple magazine. You just fill out a simple form and click the “x” in the corner for any additional offers that pop up. After I had ordered my subscription to Real Simple magazine — completely FREE! — I was offered the option to take another survey. So I said yes. I took the second survey (again it only took me less than 2 minutes) and I was offered more magazines I could order for free. I chose to get Sports Illustrated for Kids. Again, I clicked the “x” in the corner for any additional offers that popped up and got the free subscription. Note: I didn’t have to give any card information, so I won’t be billed ever nor will my subscription auto-renew. (Please be sure to NOT put your credit card information in, or you’ll be billed extra charges for extra offers. You should be able to get this freebie without any payment information!) Go sign up and get your free subscriptions! And let me know which magazine subscription(s) you choose! I can’t wait to get my FREE magazines in the mail… and Silas is going to be excited about getting Sports Illustrated for Kids! [...]
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What Is Schedule A on Form 1040, and Who Has to File It?

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What Is Schedule A on Form 1040, and Who Has to File It?
If you’re thinking about itemizing your taxes, get ready to attach an IRS Schedule A to your Form 1040. Here’s a simple explainer of what IRS Schedule A is for, who has to file one and some tips and tricks that could save money and time. What is Schedule A? IRS Schedule A is a... Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: torem@nerdwallet.com. The article What Is Schedule A on Form 1040, and Who Has to File It? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, September 7

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Afternoon Deals: Saturday, September 7
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Start With a Money Summit to Hit Your #couplegoals

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Start With a Money Summit to Hit Your #couplegoals
Spreadsheets and savings goals aren’t sexy. That’s probably why great love stories, when retold, don’t delve into household finances. But money is a central part of any relationship. And how you deal with it (or don’t) can determine whether your own tale is a short story or a novel. “Getting on the same page financially... Kelsey Sheehy is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: ksheehy@nerdwallet.com. The article Start With a Money Summit to Hit Your #couplegoals originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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SEPTEMBER: THE GOLDEN PERIOD TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS

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SEPTEMBER: THE GOLDEN PERIOD TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS
The post SEPTEMBER: THE GOLDEN PERIOD TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live

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5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live
dotshock / Shutterstock.com While countless workers dream of retirement, millions more have decided to work full time or part time after age 65: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2024, there will be more than 13 million working Americans ages 65 and older. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 74% of working Americans planned to work past retirement age. Working longer might be your best... [...]
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How to Figure Out How Much You’ll Really Need in Retirement

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How to Figure Out How Much You’ll Really Need in Retirement
Want to stop working someday and retire? It takes money to make that happen. If you don’t know how much you will need, you’re in the majority.  A 2019 study from Northwestern Mutual that polled 2,003 American adults found that 56% didn’t know how much money they’ll need to retire. The same study found that 22% had less than $5,000 saved, and 15% of those surveyed had no retirement savings at all.  “I think most people have a tough time planning 20 and 30 years out, which is why most people don’t do it,” said Andrew Barnett, a certified financial planner with GFA Wealth Design based in Fort Myers, Florida. “Most people put it off, because it’s something that’s so far out. They say well, I’ll save next year.” How Much Do I Need to Retire? When you do a quick search, the numbers $1 million to $1.5 million or 10 to 12 times your current income float around a lot as how much most people will need to save to retire comfortably.  What you need will depend on when you plan to retire. Traditional retirement age is 65 to 67. If that is your targeted age, plan on funding your retirement for about 25 to 30 years. If there is a family history of longevity, make sure to plan for longer, maybe even to age 100 or beyond.  The ultimate goal is to save enough so you can withdraw a portion each year and keep the rest invested and growing to fund future years. If you withdraw about 4% annually, you should not be significantly impacting the principal since it is hopefully earning more than 4%. There are several well-known formulas, rules and guidelines to help you figure out how much you might need to save, including: 25 times rule: Take your annual expenses and multiply them by 25.  70%-80% rule: Many experts say you will need about 70% to 80% of your average income during your working years annually to fund your retirement. 15% rule: If you start at the beginning of a career, saving 15% of income should be enough to fund your retirement.  Barnett is not a big fan of hard and fast rules. “I don’t really know where those numbers come from,” he said. “They come from every article that you read, experts say X percent. But everybody’s different, which is why I would advise anybody to do a budget, figure out what they spend and on what, and then draw your own conclusions about what you need in retirement.” Do. Not. Panic.  Those numbers are guidelines and might not be what works for you. There is no magic number that is the perfect target for everyone’s retirement. The amount is based on several factors. The age you plan to retire. There is a big difference between retiring in your 40s and your 70s. Where you live. Some places have a higher cost of living than others. Several states have no state income taxes.  Health care costs: These will likely increase as you age, even with Medicare. Dental and long-term care are not part of Medicare.  Current age and life expectancy: It is easy to underestimate how long you might live.  Savings and spending habits.  Future markets and investment performance.  To answer the “how much do I need to retire?” question, you need to figure out what you want out of your retirement. “I ask [new clients] to tell me a little bit what their vision of retirement is first, before we get to the money stuff,” Barnett said. “[I ask] what does retirement look like [to you], do you want to keep working, do you want to work part time, do you want to play golf, do you want to travel the world, do you want to eat Burger King or caviar?” Barnett also asks these basic questions when he works with new clients: When would you like to retire? How much does it cost you to live? What have you saved so far? What other sources of income will you have in retirement? “If you know those basic things, you can give somebody a pretty clear picture of what they would be capable of doing in retirement,” Barnett said.  There are several online calculators that will help you figure out how much you will need. To use them, you will need simple information like your age, pre-tax income, the current amount you have saved, and how much you currently save on a monthly basis.  Once you plug in the numbers, the calculators will show you whether or not you are on track. Since many of these online tools are linked to specific financial companies, the advice they give will be based on the products they have.  Barnett has a warning, though: “The problems that I see with those calculators is that they’re oftentimes a little bit simplistic and they miss things like inflation and taxes,” he said. “And they ask you things like how much have you saved, but they don’t ask you what type of savings.”  That matters because many retirement accounts grow tax-free, while others are funded with after-tax money. Most calculators also do not ask about when you plan to start collecting Social Security and your longevity, Barnett added.  FROM THE RETIREMENT FORUM Pay off mortgage with IRA or refinance 8/26/19 @ 1:29 PM P Save early save often 8/1/19 @ 5:25 AM Social security opt out 7/26/19 @ 12:30 PM D When did you start planning for retirement? 3/21/19 @ 10:57 AM See more in Retirement or ask a money question A Guide to Estimating Your Future Needs A good place to start when figuring out how much you might need in the future is to track what you spend now. Look at how much you spend for: Housing Transportation Taxes Insurance Food Clothing Personal care Travel  Entertainment Health care “Get your bank statement out and look at all the pluses every month, and add up all the minuses every month,” Barnett said. “Do that for three months in a row and you have a pretty good handle on what you’re what you’re doing, what comes in and what goes out.” Now think about what you want to change when you retire. Do you want to travel more? Buy a property? Eat out more? Add those amounts to your current spending. Also, add money for irregular expenses, like home and vehicle repairs.  Now, take away things you will no longer need to do when you are retired. You won’t be setting aside money for retirement anymore since you’ll already be retired. You might have your mortgage paid off, so that will not be an expense. If you won’t be working at all, you won’t have payroll taxes to pay. However, you will be taxed on money you take out of your 401(k) and some other retirement accounts.  Once you know your monthly expenses, you can begin to figure out how much you need to save to give yourself at least that much when you retire.  Remember, the replacement income can come from a variety of places, not just savings and retirement accounts. Other sources include Social Security, part-time work, pensions and rental income.  If you have worked outside the home, use the Social Security Administration’s calculator to figure out how much your estimated benefit will be when you retire. To use this calculator, you will need to create an online account.  How to Save for Retirement The 401(k) is the most popular way to save for retirement, mostly because it is an employment benefit and many employers offer a match of the amount an employee contributes.  In a June 2019 survey, Charles Schw [...]
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How Much Should You Spend on Essentials? Here’s What the Experts Say

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How Much Should You Spend on Essentials? Here’s What the Experts Say
Unless you treat budgeting like a book club and openly discuss your spending habits with your friends, you may not realize you’re overspending — or underspending — in certain categories. Budget recommendations can help you better assess how you manage your money. We turned to government sources and industry leaders for those recommendations in four major categories: housing, food, debt and retirement. These budget percentages — which you can tweak to fit your situation — can help you determine where your dollars should go. Don’t Spend More Than 30% on Housing It might be difficult if you’re in a city with a high cost of living and you don’t have roommates, but try to keep your housing expenses under 30%. Government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, consider households cost burdened if they spend more than that. If your annual income is around $30,000, you shouldn’t spend more than $750 a month on housing. If you make $50,000 a year, your monthly housing costs shouldn’t exceed $1,250. Individuals and families bringing in $75,000 annually can increase their housing spending threshold to $1,875 a month. Keeping this threshold in mind isn’t just good for your financial well-being; it can also affect your ability to find housing. Leasing agents and housing lenders compare housing costs to your income to determine whether to approve a rental or mortgage application. Keep Food Costs Between 10 and 15% Food spending can vary drastically from one household to the next based on family size, dietary needs, food preferences and other factors.  Still, one way to assess your spending is to turn to the United States Department of Agriculture’s monthly food-cost guide, which is based off government recommendations for a nutritious diet and food prices from the early 2000s that have been updated to reflect current dollars.  The guide focuses on costs for food prepared at home. (Don’t include your Uber Eats expenses when comparing your spending to the recommendations.) The USDA’s chart breaks down food costs in dollar amounts based on four spending levels — thrifty, low-cost, moderate and liberal. It’s further broken down in terms of age, gender and family make-up.  The recommended spending for a moderate-cost plan generally takes up between 10 and 15% of the budget for a middle-income individual or couple. According to the chart, a woman under 50 should spend $257.20 a month on a moderate-cost food plan. If she made $30,000, that would be about 10% of her monthly budget. A man under 50 on a moderate plan should spend about $302.20, which is 12% of a $30,000 annual salary. A couple in the same age bracket following the same food plan is recommended to spend $615.30 a month on groceries. If that couple earned a combined $50,000 a year, 15% on their budget would go to food expenses. If they earned $75,000, they’d be spending 10% of their monthly income on food. Certainly, having kids increases the cost of food. According to the USDA, a moderately-spending family of four should spend $892.40 monthly with children under age 6, or $1,065.20 a month if their kids are between ages 6 and 11. That means a family earning $75,000 a year would spend 14% of their budget on food if they had young kids or 17% if they had older kids. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 1:38 PM T Budgeting Apps? 3/18/19 @ 12:42 AM Is there a particular budgeting booklet 8/19/19 @ 2:14 PM A Have you tried the Zero Based budgeting method? 6/7/19 @ 1:58 PM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question Debt Payments Shouldn’t Make Up More Than 43% Ideally, you want none of your income going toward repaying loans. But if you’re like most American adults, you probably owe money in the form of credit card debt, a mortgage, a car note, student loans or medical bills. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the 43% debt-to-income ratio is the standard most lenders will use to determine whether a borrower can be approved for a qualified mortgage. Borrowers whose monthly debt payments (including their mortgage) make up more than 43% of their monthly gross income would have a harder time qualifying for a loan. To think of this budget percentage in real dollars, an individual with an annual household income of $30,000 shouldn’t have over $1,075 in total monthly debt payments. Someone with an annual household income of $50,000 shouldn’t exceed $1,792 per month, and those who earn $75,000 a year shouldn’t put more than $2,688 a month toward paying off debt. If your minimum debt payments exceed 43% of your income, consider asking creditors for a lower interest rate, refinancing or consolidating your loans or opening a balance transfer credit card with a 0% introductory interest rate. Another option is increasing your income with a regular side gig or second job. Of course, if you have room in your budget to spend more than 43% of your income in order to make extra payments and get rid of your debt quicker — more power to you! Aim to Save 15% (or More) for Retirement Saving and investing in your working years allows you to have money to draw from when you no longer have a paycheck coming in. How much you ought to put aside will depend on a few factors, like age, income level and your estimated cost of living once you hit retirement.  A rule of thumb from investment firm Fidelity is to start saving 15% of your income (including employer contributions) at age 25. If you make $30,000 annually, you should save $4,500 per year or $375 a month. If you have an annual salary of $50,000, try saving $7,500 a year or $625 monthly. If you’re getting a later start saving for retirement, you’ll need to up that contribution. Fidelity recommends saving 18% if you start at age 30 or 23% if you start at 35. Our guide to retirement planning outlines what you need to know when it comes to saving for your golden years. And if you’re hoping to retire before the wrinkles set in, check out this article on how to retire early. Guidance For Your Other Spending Your monthly spending likely falls into other budget categories as well. To see what other Americans spend in categories like apparel, transportation, health care, entertainment, personal care, education, insurance and more, check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual consumer expenditures survey. Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey also shares popular budget percentage recommendations on his EveryDollar site. Know that what’s recommended for budgeting — whether it’s from government sources or a trusted personal finance personality — should be seen as a guideline, not as a mandate. A blanket percentage can’t account for everyone’s unique financial situation. So go ahead and customize your budget as it fits for your life. As long as your budget meets your needs (and allows you to save for the future), you’re doing something right.  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 Penn [...]
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7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score

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7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score
The next time you check your credit score, you might discover it has taken a tumble because of a seemingly small mishap on your part. This happened to me once because I misplaced a bill for a whopping $12.70. My nonpayment ended up being reported to credit bureaus, also known as credit-reporting agencies. The result was an 80-point decrease in my credit score and several months of regret. [...]
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Women’s Running Magazine Discount

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Women’s Running Magazine Discount
Another great magazine deal!  This time, the savings are on Women’s Running Magazine! WOMEN’S RUNNING SUBSCRIPTION DISCOUNT Check out this limited time offer on a subscription to Women’s Running magazine!  Now through 9/4/19, you can order up to 4 years for just $6.99 per year. That’s 89% savings! Just enter the coupon code PENNYPINCH at checkout, and ... Read More about Women’s Running Magazine Discount The post Women’s Running Magazine Discount appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Citi Just Lost a Minor Transfer Partner. Here’s Why It Matters

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Citi Just Lost a Minor Transfer Partner. Here’s Why It Matters
The hits just keep on coming with Citi ThankYou points, most recently with the loss of Garuda Indonesia as a ThankYou points transfer partner. This won’t impact most people, but Garuda did provide some interesting niche redemptions, ran irregular (but spectacular) mileage sales and provided access to first class inventory on SkyTeam airlines. Will the... Caroline Lupini is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Citi Just Lost a Minor Transfer Partner. Here’s Why It Matters originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Want a FEMA Job? Speak to Agency Recruiters During Virtual Job Fair Sept. 12

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Want a FEMA Job? Speak to Agency Recruiters During Virtual Job Fair Sept. 12
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has scores of job openings nationwide, and it’s hosting a virtual job fair to fill them. On Sept.12, job seekers can log into the FEMA job fair between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time to chat directly with recruiters. All-day attendance isn’t required.  Before joining the event, applicants must first register on CareerEco’s website to secure their spot. Creating an account takes only a couple of minutes. To stand out, however, candidates should include their resume and a cover letter in their profile before Sept.12 so that FEMA recruiters can easily access that information when the event starts. (The Penny Hoarder has you covered if you need help writing a resume or crafting a cover letter.) More than 130 job openings at FEMA are listed on USAJobs.gov. Positions are available in communications, emergency management, engineering, human resources, information technology, public affairs and more. FEMA is a federal agency that assists the public before, during and after natural disasters and security-related threats. The agency operates in 10 regional areas, covering all states and U.S.-owned territories. New to virtual fairs? You’re not alone. CareerEco’s CEO Gayle Oliver-Plath spoke to us about the best ways to prepare for a virtual job fair. Here are the big takeaways: Do your homework. — Just because the job fair is online doesn’t make it any less crucial that you make a good impression. Come to the fair prepared with tailored questions for the hiring manager. Take care of tech beforehand. — Is your account properly registered? Are your web browser and flash player up to date? Documents organized and ready to go? Don’t forget the motherlode of all tech issues: WiFi. Hardwire your computer with an ethernet cable if worse comes to worse. Be interview-ready. — If all goes well, a hiring manager might ask to interview you on-the-spot. So be dressed to impress. Make sure you are in a well-lit, distraction-free area where you can chat. It’s OK if that’s not the case, too. Explain that you are not in the best environment for an interview, and offer alternative times when you are available. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball

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SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball
This would be a fun gift idea to grab for any kid on your holiday shopping list! You can get the SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball for only $13.50. You will be saving 46% on this purchase because it is usually $24.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the ... Read More about SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball The post SKLZ Pro Mini Micro Hoop w/ Foam Ball appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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The 9 Best Things to Buy in September — and What Will Be Hit by Tariffs

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The 9 Best Things to Buy in September — and What Will Be Hit by Tariffs
This post comes from Julie Ramhold of partner site DealNews.com. September can be an excellent month to shop, thanks to a plethora of Labor Day, summer clearance and back-to-school sales. But not everything in stores will be worth parting with your hard-earned cash. Check out our guide below to learn what to buy in September, and what you might want to skip for now. Labor Day marks the unofficial... [...]
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A Peek Into July at Our House

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A Peek Into July at Our House
Every month in 2019, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into the previous month. I thought this would be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our month and recap some of the highs and lows and special memories of the month. I promised to tell you all about our trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone in my June recap. My dad paid for all of us to fly to Utah for our extended family trip (his Christmas gift to all of us), so we decided that since we were already going to be in Utah and would be so close to Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, we’d add two days into our trip and go visit Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and spend some time in Idaho and Montana, too. Many people thought we were crazy to try to fit two National Parks and three states into less than two days… but we ended up having the BEST time! Jenny Lake (at Teton) was breath-taking! We didn’t get to the Parks until later in the day, so we avoided all the crowds and had parts of the Parks completely to ourselves! I took SO many pictures and videos, but I had to narrow it down to some of our favorites to share here. These photos do not do this scenery justice… I literally felt like it was a glimpse of what heaven might look like. We’re working on getting better at taking family photos with the timer set. I propped my phone up on the car hood with a book and my makeup bag. It didn’t turn out quite like I envisioned, but hey, the sign and us are all in the photo. 🙂 Yellowstone Lake (I clearly love lakes!) Again, this photo isn’t even close to showing how gorgeous this area was! This bison and elk were sitting in the same field for at least 30 minutes just minding their own business while dozens of people took photos and videos. Since we saw our first geyser in Iceland a week before, we really wanted to see more geysers in Yellowstone. We waited an hour to see Old Faithful erupt, but it was so worth it! Best of all, since it was 9:37 pm, there weren’t many people there watching and it kind of felt like we got our own private showing! (While we were waiting, we got to see another geyser erupt, too!) We spent the next day in Montana and Idaho! We especially loved West Yellowstone, Montana! These bear trash cans were a new thing for us. It took us a little while to figure out that’s what they were (trash cans designed so bears couldn’t get into them). We came home to our bathroom getting renovated. We hadn’t really thought about the fact that we wouldn’t be able to sleep in our room while they were re-doing our bathroom! 🙂 We ended up sleeping on the couch and on a twin mattress in the bonus room! We had so much fun picking out paint colors and lighting… and are so happy with what we ended up with! We went to Home Depot in July. (Hang tight, I’ll tell you about these plants in a minute.) For now, let’s all pause to let the statement that I went to Home Depot sink in. Your girl right here who is not handy at all, who has zero desire to ever renovate a home or even use a hammer, spent over an HOUR in the aisles of Home Depot. Did I mention I have never, ever even so much as nailed something on a wall on any house I’ve lived in? But since having our master bathroom renovated, I’m doing and learning all sorts of new things. For instance, I went to the tile store to pick out tile. I realized quickly I was in over my head and the first question I had to ask the associate was, “Um, so we’re kinda new to this. Could you tell me what tile goes on the wall and what goes on the floor??” So back to Home Depot: We had gone in to pick out lighting fixtures for the bathroom (something I’ve also never done in 37 years — mostly because we’ve been in rentals so much of our marriage) and paint. Folks, I got so invested in the process that, pretty soon, I began gaining confidence in my renovation expertise and started spouting off things to Jesse like, “Since we have so many straight lines in the bathroom (subway tiles/flooring), we really need to pick fixtures with more dimension to offset things.” (I don’t even know what that means exactly, but he must have thought it was convincing enough because he bought the fixtures I picked out!) When we got to the checkout lane, I basically felt like I was ready for Joanna Gaines to consider hiring me for her next reno. And that’s when I saw the $5 succulents… it just felt like it was something she would choose, so I bought them (for all I know, she hates these plants!) And I’m very proud to report I have managed to keep them alive for over a month. A whole MONTH, people! If you need help with your next reno or your plants, my website and consulting business is coming soon. Sarcasm aside, are you a plant person? Best advice for keeping my new purchases alive? Also, anyone else out there who has never nailed anything on the wall? Nope, I didn’t think so. (Yes, see?? They are still alive!!) In other shocking news, I also did the 21 Days of Squats Challenge in July. “I despise squats!” This is what I’ve said and believed for a number of years. But inspired by @sarahaleyfit and her #21DaysofSquats challenge, I decided to commit to do what felt like a ridiculous number of squats every day for 21 days. Was I crazy? Well, maybe a little. 😉 But also, I wanted to challenge myself to do something I really disliked for three weeks to see how my perspective changed on it. Because I’ve learned that sometimes we tell ourselves something over and over again and we believe it to be true when we really haven’t tested the theory enough. Yes, I’ve done squats before, but never more than a few times a week and never this many in number. When I did them before, I literally told myself before, during, and after, “I hate squats!” Guess what happens if you tell yourself negative thoughts like that over and over again? You believe them to be truth — even if you’ve never really given yourself the opportunity to believe anything different. I’ve been working hard to rid my brain of this stinkin’ thinking and to replace my long-held negative mantras and beliefs. So I got bold and committed to 21 Days of Squats assuming I was going to actually prove that this whole, “I despise squats” belief wasn’t negative thinking; it was going to be a proven fact. The first 3 days were grueling and painful. I was sore and felt frustrated that I publicly committed to this challenge. But I pushed through and by Day 5, I realized it was getting stronger and less frustrated. By Day 8, I was all, “This isn’t too bad!” I made it to Day 21 and I didn’t miss a day — even when we were traveling and I did the squats in the ironing closet area shown here. I’m here to tell you I not only survived, I can actually tell a physical difference in my body, AND I’m sort of starting to like squats and I almost wished the challenge were longer than 21 days!! In July, we also had our first foray into foster care. We got to do respite care for our friends’ 2-year-old foster daughter and y’all it was the most beautiful thing to watch my kids love on this precious little girl. They had so much fun with her and we laughed so much together over her antics. Watching them feed her, care for her, make food for her, take turns playing with her, talk with her, comfort her, and be silly with her… I saw such a sweet, nurturing side to each of them and it warmed my heart something fierce. It was such a confirmation to me that stepping out in faith and saying to foster care is what God is calling us to. My friend had told me, “I think your kids will surprise you how much their heart will expand and how giving and sacrificial they will be.” I got a tiny glimpse of that. We don’t know what the future holds, but I wholeheartedly believe it is going to stretch and grow all of us in really powerful and life-changing [...]
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Conventional Loan Requirements and Guidelines for 2019

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Conventional Loan Requirements and Guidelines for 2019
When buying a home, many people opt for a conventional loan, a type of mortgage that’s readily available from most lenders. Here’s a look at the qualification requirements. What is a conventional loan? Conventional loans aren’t backed by a government agency, but they do follow some government guidelines. Most conventional loans conform to loan limits... Beth Buczynski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bbuczynski@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @bethbuczynski. The article Conventional Loan Requirements and Guidelines for 2019 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Want to Avoid Overspending This Christmas? Start Saving in September

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Want to Avoid Overspending This Christmas? Start Saving in September
Don’t you want to scream when you see Christmas displays in the stores before Halloween? Or when “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is stuck in your head for two months, because it starts playing in early November? The Christmas creep can be annoying, but there’s at least one good reason to start thinking about the holidays before the leaves start changing color. It gives you more time to save. With all the decorations, food, parties and gift giving, celebrating Christmas has become synonymous with spending money. The National Retail Federation’s 2018 holiday consumer trend study found consumers would spend an average of $1,000 on gifts, decorations, candy and more. Waiting until November or December to prepare for these expenses means you’ll often end up charging your purchases and paying them off — plus interest — well into the new year. Instead, establish a Christmas saving plan and avoid debt and overspending. Create Your Christmas Saving Plan To save up for the holidays, figure out how much you plan to spend and divide that amount into weekly chunks. In the personal finance sphere, we call this setting up a sinking fund. Make a list that includes who you’ll be shopping for and how much you’ll spend on each person. It may be helpful to refer to what you spent last year. Add estimated costs for decorations, food and holiday events to your list as well. Between parties where you contribute a bottle of wine, gifts for your kids’ friends or an office Secret Santa, plus the bounty of food on the actual holiday, these “extras” can really add up. Total everything and divide it by the amount of weeks left until you’ll hit the stores. Unless you’re a fan of last-minute shopping, this means giving yourself some wiggle room before December 25. We’ve laid out how much you need to save over a 12-week period to come up with anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Another tactic for holiday saving is to determine how much money you’re able to save and create your holiday budget based off that. For example, if you’re able to spare $25 a week to go toward your Christmas savings, you’d save $300 in 12 weeks. That would be your limit for all your holiday spending. If you think you’ll need more, start saving earlier. In fact, you can implement your Christmas saving plan anytime during the year. Keep your holiday savings apart from the rest of your money so you don’t accidentally spend your stash on everyday expenses. If you use a sub-savings account at your bank or credit union, set up automatic savings transfers each week to ensure you stay consistent.  If you take the cash envelope route, make sure you have an envelope exclusively dedicated to holiday expenses and not other short-term goals. Set weekly calendar reminders to nudge you to put the money aside.  FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 9:38 AM T Budgeting Apps? 3/17/19 @ 8:42 PM Is there a particular budgeting booklet 8/19/19 @ 10:14 AM A See more in Budgeting or ask a money question How to Bulk Up Your Holiday Savings Trimming the fat from your weekly spending is a good way to find extra cash to put toward Christmas gifts. Take out your budget and highlight all the nonessential recurring expenses. You don’t have to give them up forever — just until you’ve finished your holiday shopping. If you want to increase your savings fast, try a no-spend challenge. Or cut your grocery budget by doing the pantry challenge and making meals out of what’s already at home. Saving money isn’t all about making cuts. You can temporarily increase your income by getting a part-time holiday gig (bonus if you get a company discount) or doing odd jobs on Fiverr or TaskRabbit. Make room for the new gifts you’ll get by cleaning out your closets and selling stuff online.  Cut Costs on Holiday Expenses Just because the National Retail Federation says people are spending $1,000 for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Set your Christmas budget for what is financially comfortable for you. Get crafty and make your gifts. (Here are 12 DIY Christmas gift ideas.) Shop early and take advantage of sales. Use old gift cards. Cash in your credit card rewards. Restrict the amount of presents you give your kids by implementing the four-gift rule. Do your holiday shopping online and comparison shop to get the best deal. (These stores offer free shipping with no minimum order.) 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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Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

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Last Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. I’ve been finding a LOT of random markdowns at Kroger recently, so my shopping trips this week were mostly made up of those! Kroger Shopping Trip #1 Kroger Eggs — marked down to $1.29 Cinnamon Raisin Bread — marked down to $1.29 2 cans of canned Pineapple — marked down to $0.49 each JIF peanut butter — marked down to $0.99 each Kettle cooked chips — marked down to $0.79 Kroger sour cream — $1.39 Deli chicken — marked down to $2.39 Elbow macaroni — marked down to $0.39 1 bag of peppers/squash — marked down to $0.99 Kroger peanuts — marked down to $0.89 Sirloin Steak — marked down to $4.40 1 bag of cucumbers — marked down to $0.99 Strawberries — $1.50 2 cans of Kroger soup — $0.79 each 1 bag of lemons — marked down to $0.99 Bananas — marked down to $0.39/lb. = $0.71 Tyson Frozen Chicken — $6.99 2 cans of salmon — marked down to $1.99 each Package of Kind Breakfast Bars — marked down to $0.99 2 cans of green beans — marked down to $0.29 each Simple Truth organic seltzer water — marked down to $0.99 each 2 boxes of Rice-a-Roni — marked down to $0.49 each Kroger taco seasoning — marked down to $0.19 Total with tax: $41.96 I was excited about the Weekend Deals at Kroger this week and am going back to hit some of the others on Monday! Kroger Shopping Trip #2 Salad Kit — $1.99 Nature Valley Granola Bar — marked down to $0.69 Kroger eggs — marked down to $1.29 Annie’s Mac & Cheese — marked down to $0.59 each Capri Sun — marked down to $0.69 JIF Peanut Butter — marked down to $0.89 3 packages of Smithfield Bacon — $2.99 each with Weekend Deals Kind bar — Free with Free Friday coupon Creamed Corn — $0.99 Kroger Green Beans — $0.59 5 Lara Bars — $0.50 each with Weekend Deals Franks Red Hot Sauce — Well, I thought this was supposed to be $0.99 with the Kroger Weekend Deals but as I was typing this up, I realized that I think I actually paid $2.99 for this!! Now I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth taking back to the store. Probably not? But I kind of surprised that I didn’t catch that I overpaid for this. 🙁 I usually am really good at carefully checking everything. Here’s another good reason why you should check your receipt really thoroughly before leaving the store! Lettuce — $1.79 Total with tax: $26.18 What We Ate This Past 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, Toast, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches (Silas and Kaitlynn have been loving this for breakfast recently!), Eggs Lunches: Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit Snacks: Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts, Apple Crisp, Fruit, Veggies Dinners: Sunday — Fend For Yourself Monday — Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple over rice, fruit Tuesday — Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini, green beans Wednesday — Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, sausage, fruit Thursday — Barbecue Chicken, Noodles, Fruit Friday — Smoked Ribs, Green Beans with bacon/garlic/onion, creamed corn Saturday — Leftovers Total spent on groceries: $68.14 Cashback earned this week: 50 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards [...]
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What to Do If Hurricane Dorian Hits Your Home, Mortgage

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What to Do If Hurricane Dorian Hits Your Home, Mortgage
If you’re affected by a hurricane, flood or another natural disaster, what does it mean for your mortgage? This is a pertinent question for homeowners in the path of Hurricane Dorian in Florida and nearby states. Here are frequently asked questions and answers. What should I do first? Get in touch with the following entities: The... Holden Lewis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: hlewis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @HoldenL. The article What to Do If Hurricane Dorian Hits Your Home, Mortgage originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Cause of Blindness Is Soaring Among Seniors

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This Cause of Blindness Is Soaring Among Seniors
Here’s another reason to get the newest shingles virus vaccine: Your eyesight might depend on it. The number of cases of shingles of the eye — known as herpes zoster ophthalmicus — tripled between 2004 and 2016, say researchers at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center. The condition can potentially cause blindness. It's not the usual blah, blah, blah. [...]
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Blow Your Budget? 5 Things to Do — and Not to Do — to Get Back on Track

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Blow Your Budget? 5 Things to Do — and Not to Do — to Get Back on Track
In budgeting, all it takes is one ill-timed expense to send the best-laid plans into a tizzy. Maybe you blew your budget for reasons out of your control: a sick pet, a car breakdown or a dreaded dental emergency.  Or maybe your shortfall happened because you made a mistake: You overindulged on your vacation, or you didn’t plan for an irregular expense that’s very much expected. Hey, it happens to the best of us. 5 Moves to Make After You’ve Blown Your Budget When you blow your calorie count by splurging on dessert, it’s tempting to say you’ve blown it for the day/week/month — even though the obvious solution is to cut back the next couple of days and schedule extra gym time. With budgeting, it’s the same. When you’ve spent too much, the worst thing you can do is give up and start plopping down the credit card just because you’re over budget. You can bounce back with a little self-reflection and discipline. Follow these five tips for how to get back on track with a budget. 1. Identify the Problem If your budget shortfall was the result of a one-time emergency expense, this one is so obvious. But if you blew your budget because you simply spent too much, or if blowing your budget is a regular occurrence, it’s time to take a hard look at your spending. Did you overspend on a one-time event, like back-to-school shopping or a birthday gift? Were impulse purchases a factor? Or maybe your budget has slowly been creeping up month after month, and you’ve just now realized you’re spending too much. We’ll discuss how to combat these budget-busting habits later. Your first step is to diagnose the problem. 2. Pay Off Your Bills Now, if You Can If you charged the expenses you didn’t budget for to a credit card and you can afford to pay it off now, do it. If that means you don’t add money to your savings account this month, that’s OK. Your goal is to get back on track.  If the expense was for a true emergency — meaning it was unexpected, urgent and necessary — and you have money set aside in a rainy day fund, you have our permission to tap into it if you need to. Of course, if you can make extra money on the side, pick up extra shifts or sell stuff online to cover your shortfall without touching your savings, that’s even better. 3. Adjust Your Budget if You Incurred Debt If you weren’t able to pay down your extra expenses immediately and have a lingering credit card balance as a result, you need a plan to pay it off as soon as possible. If you don’t have a monthly budget, it’s time to change that.  One of our favorite budgeting methods is zero-based budgeting, which makes you give every cent of income a job — whether it’s for needs, wants, saving, investing or paying off debt. Look at your past three months’ worth of bills to determine your normal spending habits and figure out where you can cut back to put as much toward paying off your credit card debt as you can. 4. Look at Past Spending to Find Overspending Patterns Let’s face it: A lot of times you blow your budget because you’ve developed bad habits. Looking back at your past spending can help you identify patterns. Here’s what to look for and how to curb your budget-busting behavior. Impulse Spending Look through your recent transactions for purchases you didn’t plan to make: the Uber Eats meals you ordered at the end of a long day, the shoes you had to have because they were 20% off, the trip to Target for paper towels that somehow turned into a $200 shopping spree.  If you find a lot of these, you’re probably prone to impulse buying, especially when you’re feeling anxious or down. The key is to make it harder for yourself to spend money on a whim. Delete shopping and food delivery apps. Unsubscribe from emails from your favorite store. If you want to spend money on something that isn’t a need, try a cooling off period of at least a week. If you still want the item after that and it won’t break your budget, then you’re allowed to buy it. Incomplete Budgeting Of course you know to budget for your rent or mortgage, car payment and groceries. But a lot of expenses occur regularly — but not monthly — and they’re easy to forget about when you’re budgeting. Your cat’s annual vet checkup, your driver’s license and tag renewal, and the hair cut you get every two or three months, to name a few. Here’s a complete list of 101 budgeting categories you can use to make sure you’re not leaving anything out.  Another common mistake: failing to account for variable expenses, i.e., the ones that fluctuate. If you live in a warm area, you probably need to budget extra for the summer months when your A/C is cranking. Lifestyle Inflation If your spending is slowly creeping up month after month, or if you see that your spending for each given month is significantly higher than it was for the same month last year, you may be succumbing to lifestyle inflation, which happens when you increase your spending as your income goes up. Some lifestyle inflation is inevitable, but it’s important not to put every cent of each pay raise or bonus toward upgrades like a fancier apartment or more dining out. You’ll only get ahead and prevent future budgeting mishaps if you divert some of that cash to savings. 5. Give Yourself Room to Make Mistakes If you want to never go over budget, you need to predict the future, have perfect luck and morph into a budgeting robot that never makes a mistake. Since that’s not happening, you need a safety cushion so that an unexpected expense or a little overspending doesn’t cause a crisis. The first goal to work toward is building an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses that you can dip into as a last resort. No, it’s not easy — if you’re not swimming in disposable cash, this is a long-term goal. Just remember if you get frustrated that even saving a few hundred dollars could stave off a crisis. For major expenses that you can plan for, you may want to start a sinking fund, which you contribute to over time to spread out the cost. FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM How do you distribute your income? 8/5/19 @ 1:38 PM T Budgeting Apps? 3/18/19 @ 12:42 AM Is there a particular budgeting booklet 8/19/19 @ 2:14 PM A Have you tried the Zero Based budgeting method? 6/7/19 @ 1:58 PM See more in Budgeting or ask a money question 5 Things Not to Do After Overspending The most important thing to remember when you blow your budget is that it’s a temporary setback. Your bank account will recover. But if you do any of the following, you risk making a short-lived problem into a long-term one. 1. Take Out a Payday Loan The annual interest rates for payday loans are often upward of 300%, and about 70% of borrowers need a second loan within a month. That means you’re likely to keep blowing your budget as you struggle to pay back the loan. 2. Get a Cash Advance The interest rate for the average credit card cash advance is about 6 percentage points higher than credit card interest rates, plus they usually have fees of about 5%. You’ll almost always pay less by charging a purchase to your credit card. 3. Borrow From Your 401(k) Not only will you miss out on potential g [...]
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Fall in Love With Your Car Again Without Breaking the Bank

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Fall in Love With Your Car Again Without Breaking the Bank
We used to have a joke in our family. I’d wash the family beater, gas it up, and then say to my kids, “See how much better it runs now?” Then, based on their skeptical faces, I’d add, “It’s scientifically proven.” Your perception of your car, how it looks and how it drives, might be more... Philip Reed is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: preed@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @AutoReed. The article Fall in Love With Your Car Again Without Breaking the Bank originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze

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7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze
Healthy eating takes time and effort that not everyone has. You have to chop vegetables, heat up the oven and whip up your own no-sugar-added sauces and dressings. While a personal chef would do wonders, you don’t need one. Cooking accessories have come a long way since the first pop-up toaster. Whether you’re trying to turn vegetables into pasta noodles or chicken breast into crispy... [...]
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Prefer the Night Shift? Check Out the 21 Best Jobs for Night Owls

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Prefer the Night Shift? Check Out the 21 Best Jobs for Night Owls
If you’re a night person, it can be truly tough to get up at six in the morning to report to work. So what can you do if you only fully wake up and come alive after you get home from your daytime job?  Trade it in for a new one!  21 of the Best Night Shift Jobs Here are 21 of the best night shift jobs for you night owls out there.  1. Freelance Writer While freelance writing is technically a business rather than a job, it’s an obvious one to include on this list, because you can write whenever your mind functions best. And yes, I’m writing this in the evening (just to make a point, as I’m actually more of a morning person).  How much you’ll make depends on your ability to find good clients and how efficient you are. Although I’m usually paid by the article, I aim for at least $20 per hour.   2. Air Traffic Controller This is one of the most highly paid jobs with night shifts. The median annual wage for air traffic controllers is $124,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You don’t even need a college degree to get these jobs, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website, although you will have to go to the FAA Academy. Unfortunately, night shifts sometimes alternate with day shifts, leaving some controllers feeling groggy, according to a 2014 PBS NewsHour article. 3. Casino Dealer When I was a blackjack dealer, I usually opted to leave early (when the traffic slowed), but many casino dealers love working after midnight. It’s quieter, and customers are more relaxed.  At most casinos, tips are pooled and added to paychecks as an hourly rate, so you don’t lose anything by working the slow late shifts. Friends who still work for my former employer say they average more than $20 per hour with tips. 4. Bartender Bartending is another job you can do well without a college degree, as long as you work in the right place and are assigned to the right shifts. Fortunately for night owls, evening shifts produce the best tips. Weekends are usually better than weekdays, so bartending can be a great part-time second job if you already work during the week. 5. Security Guard When I was a security guard, I liked working in the evenings. It was cooler (I worked in Florida), and I was allowed to spend time reading, writing and cruising the Internet.  Night security positions are often relaxing, and some allow free time for various activities that don’t interfere with the work. The downside is the pay. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for security guards is just $28,490. However, they do note that 10% of security guards make over $49,000, so watch for those better-paying gigs, or work your way up to them. 6. Firefighter  The mean annual wage for firefighters is $49,620, and a full 25% top $67,100 per year.  Perhaps the best positions are in towns where you work long shifts, staying at the station until there is a situation. Friends in these positions tell me you’re generally allowed to read, write or watch television during those long, slow nights. 7. Babysitter In recent years, babysitting has become more lucrative for adults. Since you’re an independent contractor, you can decide which hours you want to work. In other words, you can take only jobs that start in the evening, or even offer overnight babysitting for other night owls who work the late shifts at their jobs.  8. Mail Sorter It isn’t easy to get career positions at the post office, but they often hire for what they call casual positions, which are normally temporary jobs.  For example, I sorted mail seasonally for two years, working September through December each year. The work wasn’t difficult, didn’t require any previous experience, and paid about $13 per hour. The shift started at 11 p.m. and finished when the mail was sorted, which was usually between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.  These positions provide no benefits and, in my case, involved only 30 hours weekly. This isn’t a career, but a nice way to make some extra cash working at night. 9. Pizza Delivery Driver I made decent money delivering pizzas when I was younger. A friend tells me he makes about $14 per hour as a pizza delivery driver. It is all about the tips, because most places pay minimum wage, and some may pay only the tipped-employee minimum wage, which is just $2.13 per hour.  Still, being a pizza delivery driver can provide a nice side income, especially if you work only when tips are best, which is at night on the weekend. It also helps if your employer provides a vehicle or pays extra for your car expenses. I’ve worked for employers using both arrangements, and I profited from the latter by driving a cheap car that got good gas mileage. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Working while on SSDI 7/22/19 @ 1:21 PM B Passive Income 8/9/19 @ 1:07 PM How Can Someone Living in the Heart of Africa Make Money Online? 8/20/19 @ 1:23 PM Private tutor 8/20/19 @ 1:27 PM See more in Make Money or ask a money question Other Jobs for Night Owls  There are many positions that offer both day and night shifts, allowing you to apply only for the latter. Here are some examples: Baker Nurse Disc jockey Limo driver Merchandise stocker Night school teacher Hotel desk clerk Highway toll booth attendant Liquor store clerk Gas station attendant Movie projectionist Customer service representative Finally, many online jobs and contract work can be done at night. For example, as a search engine evaluator I often put in late hours. Other online work you can do at any time includes website testing, translating documents, proofreading and freelance editing. Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. Of the more than 100 ways he has personally made money, writing is his favorite (so far). This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality)

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7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality)
If you plan to do a kitchen remodel, you know it can be expensive!  And, that may mean you don’t get the kitchen of your dreams (or even one that functions better). The truth is that most of the time, it will blow your budget.  But, if you know what to do, you can get ... Read More about 7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality) The post 7 Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel (Without Sacrificing Quality) appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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When The Thrill of The Hunt Lands You in a House Full of Clutter

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When The Thrill of The Hunt Lands You in a House Full of Clutter
Guest post from Julianna of The Simplicity Habit: Do you love getting great deals? I do! I’ve always been a frugal person. I was raised in a home where I was taught to budget and manage money well at a young age, and I’ve continued to hone my skills over the years. It’s a running joke with my family that when anyone gets a great deal, they talk about how proud I will be. And I am! I don’t like wasting money nor do I like hearing when other people have spent too much on something. The Thrill Of The Hunt It’s thrilling when I can combine sales and coupons to spend as little as possible. I once went to Kohls and bought 3 pairs of jeans and another pair of pants for a grand total of $1! In case you’re wondering how, they were all 90% off combined with a coupon and a $10 gift card for it being my birthday month… and yes, I saved that receipt like it was a trophy. Clutter Accumulation While I still enjoy the thrill of the hunt and pride myself on finding deals, I realized these deals came at a cost. I’d buy things I didn’t truly love or even want sometimes because they were a good deal. This was the first way I started to accumulate clutter. The second way was from my creative endeavors. Over the years, I’ve tried a few different things including photography, sewing baby blanket sets, and furniture and thrift store finds flipping. Each of those came with a slew of supplies. I got everything on sale or even free. In the end, it all became a stockpile of clutter in my home — to the point where I was no longer able to park even 1 car in our 3 car garage. Yikes! Decluttering Ironically, as I was stockpiling, I began reading books about decluttering my home and life. I had gotten to a point where I was so weighed down by the stuff that I knew things needed to change. This journey brought me to my work now, which is as a professional declutterer and writer. I learned a lot going through the process of decluttering my home, and while I still hold onto my deal-finding ways tightly, I’ve learned to be more mindful in what I purchase. Before buying anything, I ask myself these 5 questions: Do I really want or need this? Am I settling? Will we be able to use this before it goes bad? Do I have the space to store this? What will it cost me? 1. Do I really want or need this? It’s so tempting to buy something because it’s a great deal. There’s often scarcity with the product being on sale for a limited time or with limited quantities. and I don’t make the best decisions when I feel stressed. If it’s something I already planned to buy then yes, I’ll snatch up that great deal. If not, I choose not to buy on impulse anymore. That landed me in a house full of clutter and I don’t want to repeat that mistake. 2. Am I settling? Do you ever go shopping for a specific item and end up settling for something that wasn’t quite right because it was the closest thing you could find? For me, that always ended with money wasted and an item that became clutter. I’m quite opinionated so if I don’t love something, I don’t want it. I don’t want to wear clothes that almost fit. There’s nothing more annoying than having to constantly adjust clothing. Don’t settle for good enough. 3. Will we be able to use this before it goes bad? I ask this question primarily for food, but it works for anything that can expire. It’s awesome to get great deals on produce. It’s less awesome when that deal is rotting in your fridge a week later. Be realistic about what you can use in the amount of time you have before it will go bad. Some things can be frozen and other things can’t. Be wise so that you aren’t wasteful. 4. Do I have the space to store this? Along with using it before it goes bad, don’t intend to freeze a ton of meat if you have a tiny freezer. Know your space limitations. This can happen for things that don’t expire as well. You know it’s turning into a problem when you’ve installed racks in your bedroom to store your toilet paper overstock because you found such a great deal. If you ever watched that extreme couponing show, you know what I’m talking about. 5. What will it cost me? When shopping locally, consider the cost of gas and your time. Yesterday I bought some applesauce pouches that were on clearance. I briefly considered driving to additional locations to buy more, but realized it wasn’t worth the cost in gas or my time. The things we own don’t just cost us money. Once you bring something into your home it takes your time and energy to clean, maintain, and store it. If you’re feeling burdened by your home and are suffocating underneath the clutter, it’s costing you breathing room and your peace. In trying to find my balance between simplicity and frugality, I started shopping less and being much more intentional with my choices. I will always be a deal hunter, but I’m more thoughtful in what I buy so that the thrill of the hunt will never again land me in a house full of clutter. Julianna Poplin is a wife, mom, professional declutter, and writer at The Simplicity Habit. She writes to encourage moms who want to declutter and simplify their homes and lives. top photo sources 1, 2 [...]
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United Miles No Longer Expire: What This Means for You

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United Miles No Longer Expire: What This Means for You
United surprised us with a pretty generous announcement: Starting today, United miles will no longer expire. That’s right — you no longer have to worry about losing your miles because you didn’t keep your MileagePlus account active over the last 18 months. This announcement was made on the heels of news that United is doing... Ariana Arghandewal is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article United Miles No Longer Expire: What This Means for You originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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SEC Issues New Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting Responsibility of Investment Advisers and the Applicability of Proxy Rules to Proxy Voting Advice

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SEC Issues New Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting Responsibility of Investment Advisers and the Applicability of Proxy Rules to Proxy Voting Advice
Investment Advisers On August 21, by a vote of 3 to 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance on an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties with respect to voting of proxies for client accounts. The guidance makes clear that advisers may agree with their clients that the client, and not the adviser, will vote proxies, but such guidance is generally impractical for advisers to private funds and registered investment companies (because there is no practical way to assign voting power to the funds). When the adviser retains the obligation to vote proxies, it must do so with care and loyalty to the clients. The SEC stated that this may involve individualized analysis of how to vote in certain cases. It also might be necessary for advisers to adopt different proxy voting procedures for different funds they manage. When an investment adviser has the authority to vote on behalf of its client, the investment adviser is required to have a reasonable understanding of the client’s objectives and must make voting determinations that are in the best interest of the client. Accordingly, the SEC noted, investment advisers must form a reasonable belief that its voting determinations are in the best interest of the client and should conduct an investigation reasonably designed to ensure that the voting determination is not based on inaccurate or incomplete information. The adviser must annually review its proxy voting practices and document this review. If a proxy advisory service is used to help the adviser vote proxies, the adviser must conduct due diligence on the proxy advisory service and adopt policies and procedures relating to monitoring the quality of the proxy advisory service. This could include, for example, considering additional information beyond what the proxy voting service provides, including an issuer’s proxy material or other materials provided by stakeholders. An investment adviser also should consider whether a proxy advisory service has adequately disclosed its methodologies for formulating its recommendations. The SEC also observed that use of a third-party proxy advisory service may be beneficial to investment advisers in cases where a conflict of interest may exist. However, the SEC noted that such reliance does not relieve the investment adviser of its obligation to make voting determinations in the client’s best interest or its obligation to provide full and fair disclosure of any conflicts of interest. Proxy Voting Advice The SEC also issued new interpretative guidance regarding the applicability of the federal proxy rules to proxy voting advice. The SEC noted that the use of proxy advisory firms, which would include Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, has become more widespread and now includes a broadened array of services. In particular, the SEC examined whether the proxy voting advice provided by the proxy advisory firms constitutes a “solicitation” within the meaning of the federal proxy rules (concluding that generally, yes, such advice does constitute a solicitation) and outlined the import of Rule 14a-9 (False or Misleading Statements) to such solicitations. Further, the SEC noted that while such solicitations would generally be exempt from the informational and filing requirements of the proxy rules, the SEC staff is considering recommending that the SEC propose rule amendments that would address proxy advisory firms’ reliance on these exemptions contained in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 14a-2(b), though nothing in the interpretative guidance challenges the ability of the advisory firms to continue relying on these exemptions. Solicitation. In deciding that proxy voting advice constitutes a solicitation the SEC noted that the definition of solicitation is broad and includes communications to security holders “under circumstances reasonably calculated to result in the procurement, withholding or revocation of a proxy.” It observed that proxy advisory firms provide voting recommendations to their clients, touting their expertise in researching and analyzing the matters submitted for a shareholder vote. Even where a proxy advisory firm provides recommendations based on a client’s own tailored voting guidelines, the proxy adviser’s analysis and advice generally should be considered a solicitation. Similarly, in circumstances where clients may not follow the advice of the proxy adviser, the recommendations would still constitute a solicitation. The SEC rejected the view that proxy voting advice from advisory firms should be viewed as “unsolicited” voting advice, as the advisory firms invite client inquiries through the marketing of their expertise and the researching and analyzing of proxy issues. Rule 14a-9 (False or Misleading Statements). While any solicitation by a proxy advisory firm may be exempt from the informational and filing requirements of the proxy rules, any such solicitation is still subject to the anti-fraud provisions of Rule 14a-9, which prohibits any solicitation from containing any statement which, at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it is made, is false or misleading with respect to any material fact. Any proxy voting adviser, must not make any materially false or misleading statements or omit material facts, such as information underlying the basis of the advice or which would affect the proxy adviser’s analysis and judgments. In particular, the SEC identified several specific items that may require disclosure in the context of proxy voting advice, including: an explanation of the methodology used by the advisory firm to formulate its voting advice; the extent that any advice is based on information other than what has been publicly disclosed by the subject company; and any material conflicts of interest in connection with providing the advice. The SEC’s full release is available here. [...]
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The Disney Princess Cookbook

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The Disney Princess Cookbook
If you have a little one that is starting to get into cooking, this would make a fantastic gift idea. You can getThe Disney Princess Cookbook for only $6.35 right now. You will be saving 60% on this purchase because it is normally $15.99. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices ... Read More about The Disney Princess Cookbook The post The Disney Princess Cookbook appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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NJM Insurance Review 2019: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage

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NJM Insurance Review 2019: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage
NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Lisa Green 5.0 NerdWallet rating Places first out of 24 insurers for auto insurance in NerdWallet's rankings.Had far fewer than the median number... Lisa Green is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lgreen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lisaccgreen. The article NJM Insurance Review 2019: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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How to Cut Your Budget By $100 This Month

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How to Cut Your Budget By $100 This Month
Need to cut your expenses by at least $100 right now? This post is for you! How to Cut Your Budget By $100 This Month A few months ago on Facebook, I asked this question: “If you had to cut your expenses by $100 this month, what would you cut out?” There were lots of great comments and I wanted to put together a post with some of the top suggested strategies for cutting your budget by $100 this month: 1. Call and Re-Negotiate Your Bills Look at all of your monthly bills and see if there are any you can discontinue (subscriptions or membership fees?) or call and ask for a better rate. It never hurts to ask — especially when it comes to things like phone plans, internet, and insurance! The worst that can happen is that they say no! Bonnie says: “We cancelled our landline phone for savings of $38 per month. We re-negotiated our DirecTv bill and got it cut by $50 per month. We also discontinued a monthly subscription service to save $10 per month. Finally, we re-negotiated our internet and got faster service with a savings of $7 per month!” 2. Switch Your Cell Phone Plan There are so many cell phone options out there now! If you’ve not checked into them recently, you definitely should! For instance, Twigby currently offers phone plans starting as low as $8 per month! Judy said: “I just ordered the phone and plan from Tigby. With the plan I selected (unlimited talk –I will only use wifi option), I will be saving approximately $50 a month. I currently have Verizon – a basic plan with unlimited talk/text/2g of data. I keep my data off most of the time and hardly use any at all, but my current total cost per month was $73.00 with Verizon.” 3. Brown Bag It Since we’ve been married, we’ve saved thousands of dollars alone just by packing sack lunches. While Jesse was in law school and we were living on a beans-and-rice budget, brown-bagging it was a must as there was no way we could afford even eating off the dollar menu on a regular occurrence. But even though we brown-bagged it out of necessity, we found lots of ways to make it easy and yummy — so it really didn’t feel like a sacrifice. Plus, the money we saved made it every bit worth it! Tip: I’ve got lots of great tips for how to make sack lunches quick and easy here. 4. Eat From Your Pantry One very simple way to save money is to skip shopping for a week or two and use what you already have on hand. We call this Eating From the Pantry at our house and it’s something we try to do fairly regularly Instead of approaching eating from the pantry as a difficult thing, we make it a game on occasion to see how long we can survive without going to the store. When you view it as a fun challenge, it makes it exciting and interesting. And it can help bolster your spirits when you find yourself eating some rather interesting meals. Need some tips and ideas to get started? Here’s my post with how it works for us! 5. Cut Back to a Barebones Grocery Budget What would you need to cut or change in order to save $25 per week off your grocery bill? (If saving $25 per week isn’t possible, what about challenging yourself to trip $5 or $10 per week off your bill?) Could you eat less meat, eat more beans, plan your menu around the markdowns, or shop at Aldi? I’ve got 10 of my best tips for cutting $50 off your grocery budget this week in my free cheat sheet here. Sign up and I’ll email it to you! What would you do if you had to cut your budget by $100 this month? I’d love to hear! This is something Jesse and I regularly talk about and it really helps us to remember what are needs versus wants and what we could do if we needed to quickly reduce our budget. I’d love to hear your thoughts! P.S. If you feel like you’ve cut everything you can cut and you still are coming up short, I highly recommend looking into making more money. I compiled a list of some of my best income-earning ideas here. Photo credit [...]
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ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe

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ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe
  If you have little ones that like to play pretend, this would be a great deal to grab! You can grab the ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe for only $21.99. You will be saving 51% on this purchase because it is normally $44.50! Make sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change ... Read More about ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe The post ALEX Toys Sweetheart Cafe appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, August 25

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Afternoon Deals: Sunday, August 25
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
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Checking vs. Savings Account: Here’s Exactly When to Use Each One

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Checking vs. Savings Account: Here’s Exactly When to Use Each One
When it comes to our finances, it can feel like our list of decisions is never-ending. Should I start saving for retirement now? How should I file my taxes this year? Do I need homeowners and flood insurance? To make any decision about money, it helps to have all the pertinent information. When deciding whether to open a checking or savings account, you should start by knowing how they differ. Checking vs. Savings Account: What Are the Differences? Here are the major differences between a checking vs. savings account to consider before depositing your money. How They’re Designed to Be Used A checking account is designed to store the money you plan to spend, while a savings account is meant to hold your money for a relatively long time. Checking Accounts Use the money in this account for small and/or everyday purchases, such as buying groceries, going to the movies and filling up your gas tank. Savings Accounts Ideally, you don’t spend this money in the short term. You’d use it to build an emergency fund for, say, unexpected house repairs, or save for something big, like a car, wedding, house or college. You don’t invest through a savings account, nor do you save for retirement here. You’ll want to open a separate retirement account to save for the future and invest. How to Access Your Money It’s typically easier to access your money through a checking account than it is through a savings account.  Checking Accounts You can spend or withdraw money in your checking account by: Using a debit card: Paying with a debit card is the same as paying with cash; the money is withdrawn directly from your checking account.  Writing a check: Although paying with paper checks is becoming less common, you can often make payments from your checking account with a check, too.  Withdrawing cash from an ATM.  Savings Accounts Accessing money in your savings is a bit more difficult than acquiring cash from your checking account. You can: Transfer money from your savings account to your checking account online: Even if your checking and savings accounts are at different banks or credit unions, it’s still possible to transfer money from one institution to another. Withdraw from your savings account at an ATM: Using your debit card, you can withdraw money from your savings account at an ATM if your accounts are at the same bank or credit union. Just select “savings” instead of “checking” when the ATM prompts you to choose which account to withdraw from. Withdrawal Limits Unlike checking accounts, savings accounts have limits on the number of withdrawals you can make. Checking Accounts Checking accounts don’t have limits on how often you can withdraw money. You should be able to do so as many times as you want per month, provided you don’t overdraw your account.  However, many accounts do have restrictions on how much you can withdraw from an ATM or spend with your debit card in a single day. These limits vary by banking institution and can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Savings Accounts Federal law says you can only withdraw money six times per month from your savings account. However, this rule only applies to certain transactions, such as transferring money from your savings to your checking account and sending wire transfers to someone else. When you’re withdrawing money from your savings account at an ATM or your bank, the limit does not apply. Fees and Deposit Requirements Fees and minimum deposits for both checking and savings accounts vary by institution.   Checking Accounts Some institutions have a minimum deposit to open a checking account, usually ranging from $25 to $100. It is possible to find a bank that doesn’t have a minimum to open an account, though. Some banks and credit unions also charge monthly maintenance fees for checking accounts. However, if you also open a savings account with the same bank and/or maintain a minimum balance, many will let that monthly fee slide. There are a few other fees associated with a checking account. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to pay: Overdraft penalties.  Card replacement fines. Incoming/outgoing wire transfer fees. Out-of-network ATM fees if you withdraw cash from an ATM that isn’t operated by your bank. Savings Accounts Many banks have a minimum to open a savings account. They also sometimes charge a monthly fee, but as with a checking account, they might waive it if you meet certain criteria, such as maintaining a minimum balance and/or having another account with the bank. Remember the aforementioned limit of six withdrawals per month for saving accounts? Well, if you exceed that, you’re charged a fee. It’s usually under $15, but if this becomes a regular occurence, a bank may convert your savings account to a checking account. FROM THE BANKING FORUM Aspiration 4/30/19 @ 9:08 AM Best bank to use? 7/12/19 @ 10:52 AM Women's Month 3/11/19 @ 9:34 AM Home Equity Loans / Lines of Credit 7/3/19 @ 12:12 PM e See more in Banking or ask a money question Interest Savings accounts usually pay slightly higher interest rates compared with checking accounts. Checking Accounts Checking account interest rates are notoriously low, with a national average of 0.06% as of Aug. 12, 2019, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). To clarify, that means you’d earn 6 cents per year on a $100 balance.  There are accounts that offer interest rates that are higher than the national average known as high-yield checking accounts. Usually, though, those interest rates are still minimal, so to find an account that offers higher interest rates, most people focus on savings accounts. Savings Accounts Savings accounts are known for having higher interest rates than checking accounts, but they still aren’t much: The national average is 0.09% as of Aug. 12, 2019, or a mere 9 cents per $100.  Because you theoretically leave money in a savings account for a long time, that money could build a decent amount of interest if you strategically choose a high-yield savings account.   Checking Accounts Savings Accounts Designed For Spending Saving for emergency funds or financial goals Accessibility Debit card Checks ATM Withdraw money at the bank Transfer funds to a checking account ATM Withdraw money at the bank Withdrawal Limits None Six times per month Fees Fee to open account (sometimes) Monthly maintenance fee (sometimes) Overdraft fee Card replacement fee Wire transfer fee Out-of-network ATM fee *some fees may be waived Fee to open account (sometimes) Monthly maintenance fee (sometimes) Withdrawal limit fee Out-of-network ATM fee *some fees may be waived Interest Minimal to non-existent; rates vary Higher than checking; rates vary Checking vs. Savings Account: Which Should You Open? Ideally, you would have both a checking and a savings account. In your checking account, you’d keep money for small or everyday purchases, while in your savings account, you’d store money for emergencies and short- or long-term goals. It’s worth considering whether you should open both accounts with the same bank or credit union. There are a few pros to keeping them at the same institution. For example, some places wi [...]
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SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs Regarding Inline XBRL

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SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs Regarding Inline XBRL
On August 20, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission released several new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs) relating to interactive data/eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), with a focus on items relating to Inline XBRL format requirements. Inline XBRL requires registrants to embed their XBRL directly into the main filing as opposed to providing a separate accompanying XBRL file. As a reminder, the requirement to provide Inline XBRL is currently being phased-in for registrants on the following schedule: Filer Status Compliance Date Large accelerated filers reporting using US GAAP Beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2019 Accelerated filers reporting using US GAAP Beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2020 All other filers Beginning with fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2021 A US domestic form filer is not, however, required to comply with the Inline XBRL requirements for any form other than Form 10-Q until the filing of its first Form 10-Q after the applicable phase-in date. Additionally, once subject to the Inline XBRL requirements, a registrant also will be required to include Cover Page XBRL tagging, pursuant to Rule 406 of Regulation S-T, for any filings on Forms 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, 20-F and 40-F. C&DI 101.01 Beginning with new C&DI 101.01, the staff clarified how Inline XBRL should appear in the exhibit index of filings. Interactive Data Files, including Inline XBRL, should appear as exhibit 101 and Cover Page XBRL should appear as exhibit 104. When Inline XBRL is used, the word “Inline” should appear within the title description for the exhibit. Cover Page XBRL files, which are required to be filed as exhibit 104, should be included with other XBRL files as exhibit 101, with exhibit 104 cross referencing to the exhibit 101 file. C&DI 101.02 The staff confirmed that registrants that voluntarily submit Inline XBRL prior to the applicable compliance date are not required to comply with the Cover Page XBRL tagging requirements. Cover Page tagging is only applicable to registrants “required” to submit Inline XBRL. C&DI 101.03 Inline XBRL and the related Cover Page XBRL requires tagging the cover pages of Forms 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, 20-F and 40-F. Now, following the applicable phase-in period, all Form 8-K filings will require Cover Page XBRL tagging, even if the filing does not include financial statements for which XBRL data is required. C&DI 101.04 The requirement noted above to list Cover Page XBRL as exhibit 104 also applies in the case of Form 8-Ks. However, the staff will not object if registrants exclude an exhibit index from a Form 8-K filing if the exhibit index would be included solely to identify Cover Page XBRL. C&DI 101.05 The staff notes that Cover Page XBRL tagging will require a registrant to tag its company name using Inline XBRL. A company’s name, as it appears on the cover page of a filing, may differ from its name as it appears in the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) filing system, and for the most part, such differences will not prevent the filing from being accepted and disseminated. The staff notes that in rare cases such variations may result in a notice of suspension for the filing (in which case the registrant should contact EDGAR Filer Technical Support). Filers should use this as an opportunity to review the way their company name appears in the EDGAR filing system and ensure it matches the company name as it appears on the cover page of SEC filings. Others — Timing Registrants that voluntarily submit Inline XBRL prior to the applicable compliance date may cease such voluntary Inline XBRL submissions until the applicable compliance date. [C&DI 101.06]. US domestic form filers are required to comply with Inline XBRL beginning with their first Form 10-Q after the applicable compliance date, not necessarily the first filing after the compliance date. Where a Form 8-K is filed earlier on the same day as such first Form 10-Q filing, Inline XBRL will not be required for the Form 8-K. [C&DI 101.07]. Others — Foreign Private Issuers Foreign private issuers that prepare financial statements in accordance with US GAAP are required to comply with the Inline XBRL requirements based on filer status (large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, etc.) as set forth in the compliance phase-in schedule above. Foreign private issuers that prepare financial statements in accordance with IFRS will be required to comply with Inline XBRL for fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2021. [C&DI 101.08]. Filers using Form 20-F and Form 40-F, which have no quarterly filing obligations, will be required to comply with Inline XBRL beginning with the first filing on a form for which Inline XBRL is required after the applicable compliance date. [C&DI 101.09]. The complete text of the new C&DIs is available here. [...]
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Calculator: How Much Does That Basic Economy Seat Really Cost?

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Calculator: How Much Does That Basic Economy Seat Really Cost?
Confused by airline bag fees? Not sure what “basic economy” means and how much extra you’ll pay for bags, carry-ons or seat assignments? You’re not alone. Airlines have made it increasingly difficult to determine how much you’ll end up paying for a given ticket. We created this calculator to help make sense of basic economy... Sam Kemmis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif. The article Calculator: How Much Does That Basic Economy Seat Really Cost? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Have you signed up for your FREE Harry’s Shaving Bundle yet?!

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Have you signed up for your FREE Harry’s Shaving Bundle yet?!
If you haven’t tried Harry’s yet, you can currently get a FREE shaving bundle! All you’ll pay is shipping! Harry’s is offering a free three-piece Shaving Bundle right now. You just pay $3 for shipping. This is valued at $13! In this free set, you’ll get two weeks’ worth of shaving supplies from Harry’s: a Truman razor with a blade (choose from one of three different different colors), foaming shave gel, and a travel blade cover. I ordered this and was very impressed with what I got for $3 shipped! The razor was seems to be really high quality and I loved the rubberized handle (and it’s fun that you get to choose the color!) I chose the orange handled razor although I’m not really sure why! I think if I were to do it again, I would choose the blue. Oh well! When you sign up for this Shaving Bundle, it signs you up for a subscription to Harry’s razors, however, you can choose to cancel before they send your next shipment. I ordered this and I chose the 5-month option (see above). They said that they will email you before they send your next shipment and you can cancel your subscription then if you don’t want to continue getting shipments. Or, go ahead and cancel it as soon as your first order ships above so you don’t accidentally forget. I went in and cancelled my subscription after my box shipped and it was SUPER easy to do. Hesitant about Harry’s? Check out this recent Harry’s review from a reader: “I’ve been using Harry’s since this past December and I must say that their products and customer service are GREAT! I also took them up on their mystery product and ALWAYS get an item much more valuable than what they charge. I received the BEST customer service email that I have ever received from ANY company that I’ve done business with. I was so pleased that I emailed them back to thank them for such a nice, friendly email and they replied-pronto! AND their blades are really nice! I get auto shipping every 3 months, but these blades start sharp and stay sharp for much longer than those I used to buy in stores. As a disabled ARMY veteran I chose the OD Green color razor, which too, is a wonderful product. The weight of the razor makes shaving so much more enjoyable and effective. I really think that you’ll enjoy these products!” Here’s how to get this deal: Go here and click on the “Get Started” button (right at the top). Follow the steps on your screen and choose how often you’d like to receive future shipments. Go to checkout and you’ll just pay $3! Woohoo! Just $3 out of pocket for the set! Let me know if you’ve ordered from Harry’s before or have a subscription. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, see my Completely Honest Review of Dollar Shave Club. (And you can get a Starter Set from Dollar Shave Club for just $5 shipped here.) [...]
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Afternoon Deals: Friday, August 23

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Afternoon Deals: Friday, August 23
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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Ozark Trail 16′ x 16′ Sphere Tent only $99 shipped (Reg. $175!)

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Ozark Trail 16′ x 16′ Sphere Tent only $99 shipped (Reg. $175!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Love camping? Grab this Ozark Trail 16′ x 16′ Sphere Tent for only $99! Walmart has this Ozark Trail 16′ x 16′ Sphere Tent for just $99 shipped right now (regularly $175)! This tent sleeps 12 people and can fit up to three queen air beds inside. Thanks, Passionate Penny Pincher! [...]
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How to Wipe Out Student Loans You Took Out Before You Became Disabled

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How to Wipe Out Student Loans You Took Out Before You Became Disabled
Tackling student loans is tough enough, but doing it when you have a disability adds another element of stress to an already difficult situation. However, if you develop a total and permanent disability after taking out federal student loans, you are eligible to have your debts forgiven.  The process for getting forgiveness isn’t easy and can take years to finalize, unless you’re disabled veteran (more about that later). But if you’re struggling to pay, the discharge of your student debt could be worth your effort. Here’s what you need to know before you apply. How to Get a Student Loan Disability Discharge The government isn’t going to wipe out your student loan for a minor car accident — and maybe not even a major one, according to Melissa Opperman, executive vice president at Credit.org. “If you have a significant disability that can be documented — and I mean documented — sometimes federal student loans can be forgiven,” said Opperman, who noted that you’ll be responsible for providing updated documentation throughout the monitoring period.  “If somehow you miraculously heal, then it’s not forgiven.” Which Loans Are Eligible? The total and permanent disability discharge (TPD) program is available for the following loans: Direct Loans (aka William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program) Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Federal Perkins Loans If any of your loans are in default and the government is garnishing your wages, the garnishment will continue until your TPD discharge is approved. Additionally, you can apply for the TPD program to forgive a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education TEACH Grant service obligation. Who’s Eligible for Disability Discharge? To qualify for the TPD discharge, you must provide official proof that you are totally and permanently disabled. There are three ways:  Veteran Affairs  Veterans who become totally and permanently disabled during their service automatically have their student loan debt discharged. Prior to August 2019, veterans still had to fill out the TPD Discharge application, but the process recently changed. Veteran Affairs will alert the Federal Student Aid office as to who are eligible veterans. The office will then notify eligible veterans, who will have 60 days if to decide if they want to decline the loan relief.  Why would you decline? Although the discharge isn’t subject to federal taxes, the discharged amount may still be considered income for state tax purposes. Additionally, accepting the disability discharge could make is more difficult to take future student loans. If you do not opt out of the program, your remaining student loan balance will be discharged and you’ll be reimbursed for payments made following the date of the discharge. Social Security Administration If you qualify for a discharge based on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) requirements, the agency will notify the Federal Student Aid office.  The office will then send you the determination letter indicating your eligibility as well as a discharge application.  Along with your application, you’ll need to provide a copy of your SSA notice of award or your Benefits Planning Query indicating that your next scheduled disability review is within five to seven years from the date of your most recent disability determination. Physician’s certification A doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy/osteopathic medicine who is licensed to practice in the U.S. can certify that you are permanently physically or mentally unable to earn money in any field of work. How to Apply To apply for a TPD discharge, you’ll need to submit an application with accompanying documentation to Nelnet, the servicer that assists the U.S. Department of Education with the discharge process. After you contact Nelnet to request an application, the company will reach out to your loan holders to stop collections for up to 120 days.  This is considered your grace period to give you time to fill out and submit your application and supporting documentation, but if you do not submit your paperwork in the allotted time frame, your lender can resume collection activity. Pro Tip You only need to submit one TPD application to apply for a discharge of all your federal student loans and TEACH Grant service obligations. You can download a PDF of the application or you may request a TPD discharge application by email at disabilityinformation@nelnet.net or by phone at (888) 303-7818 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Although the application is eight pages, the form that you are required to fill out is only about half a page, asking questions like your name, date of birth, contact info and Social Security number. The remainder of the application depends on how you received your proof of disability: If your determination came from the SSA, you’ll need to attach a copy of that documentation. You also do not need to provide a physician’s certification. If you are submitting a physician’s certification, your doctor must complete and sign Section 4 of the form. What If You Need Help Filling Out the Application? Dealing with all the paperwork can be an overwhelming burden to someone with a disability, so you can assign someone to help with the application. If you want to designate another person or an organization to represent you, you’ll need to complete the Applicant Representative Designation: Total and Permanent Disability form. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Guide to on-line debt consolidation 7/24/19 @ 11:19 PM Debt Reduction Plans? 7/31/19 @ 1:05 PM Student loans!! 8/9/19 @ 1:07 PM J STUDENT LOAN DEBT 8/5/19 @ 1:32 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question If you don’t have someone you can trust, reach out to a reputable source for professional assistance — and be aware of offers that allow the organization to profit off your misfortune, advised Heather Jarvis, a North Carolina attorney who specializes in student loans. “There are people who are professional financial advisers or attorneys or who work for non-profit counseling companies who might be able to help,” she said. “They aren’t in the business of trying to make money on people who owe money.” Once you submit your application via the website, email address, fax number or mailing address listed on the form, Nelnet begins the review process. What Happens After You Submit Your TPD Application? Three things will happen after Nelnet receives your application: Nelnet will tell the holders of your federal student loans or TEACH Grant service obligation to suspend collection activity; you will not be required to make payments at this time. However, if your loans are in default and your wages are being garnished, that will continue until your TPD discharge is approved. It will review the application and supporting documents. If you meet the eligibility requirements, Nelnet will forward your request to the U.S. Department of Education for a final decision. If your application is approved, Nelent will notify you that your loans and/or TEACH Grant service obligation have been discharged.  It will also instruct your lenders to return any loan payments received after the date Nelnet received the SSA docume [...]
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ALEX Toys Craft Color and Cuddle Washable Pony

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ALEX Toys Craft Color and Cuddle Washable Pony
This would be a great deal to grab for your little ones. You can get the ALEX Toys Craft Color and Cuddle Washable Pony for only $7.58. That is a savings of 59% because it is normally $18.50. The ALEX Toys Craft Color and Cuddle Washable Pony comes with the Color and Cuddle Pony as ... Read More about ALEX Toys Craft Color and Cuddle Washable Pony The post ALEX Toys Craft Color and Cuddle Washable Pony appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Root Insurance Review 2019: How It Works and Who It’s For

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Root Insurance Review 2019: How It Works and Who It’s For
NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Lacie Glover Root sets rates based primarily on your driving behavior.Root can provide an SR-22.Tech-savvy customers will like that you can do just... Lacie Glover is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lacie@nerdwallet.com. The article Root Insurance Review 2019: How It Works and Who It’s For originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Tax Moves to Make if You’re a Newlywed (Once the Honeymoon Is Over)

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5 Tax Moves to Make if You’re a Newlywed (Once the Honeymoon Is Over)
You did it. You found your soulmate, successfully wooed them, went through the requisite ups and downs of dating, and now you’ve finally tied the knot and said “I do.” It’s probably safe to assume that the very last thing on your mind in this time of marital bliss is the tax code. But alas, Uncle Sam does not make exceptions for the starry-eyed!  Now that you’re joined in matrimony, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure everything is up to date and reflective of your exciting new life together. But don’t worry: They needn’t be a serious source of stress. You can probably get most of these simple tasks done well before you get your edited wedding photos back — but they can at least wait until after the honeymoon. 5 Steps for Filing Taxes the Year You Get Married Here are five not-so-scary tax tasks to add to your to-do list as a newlywed. 1. Officially Change Your Name (if Applicable) If you’re taking your partner’s last name, hyphenating yours, or — my favorite option — making up a new one together, the Social Security Administration needs to know about it. You can fill out an SS-5 form to apply for a new Social Security card and mail it, along with documentation of your old name and your marriage, to your local Social Security office. (You can also contact the SSA at 800-772-1213 to have one mailed to you.) 2. …and Your Address These days, many couples live together before they take their vows.  But if you’re old-fashioned (or just didn’t want to share a tube of toothpaste until the last possible moment), don’t forget to inform the IRS of your new address. You can do this by filing IRS Form 8822, or by mailing them a letter containing your full name, your new and old addresses, your Social Security number, and a signature. 3. Decide How You’re Going to File In that sacred moment when you pledged your whole heart to your beloved, you also changed your tax filing options. Now, instead of being able to file as a singleton, you get to choose between two alternatives: filing jointly or married filing separately. The vast majority of married couples file jointly — and it’s almost always a better idea. For one thing, there’s less paperwork involved, which is inevitably a welcome occurrence around Tax Day.  Furthermore, filing separately can reduce the tax breaks and benefits you’d be eligible for if you were filing jointly, such as the child and dependent care tax credit, the Earned Income Credit, the student loan interest deduction, IRA contribution deductions and more.  Of course, in some cases, it may be advantageous to file separately regardless; everyone’s finances are different. For instance, if one of you can itemize enough deductions to surmount the $24,000 standard deduction for couples filing jointly, you might want to file separately to take advantage of that perk. Filing separately can also translate to lower monthly student loan payments if one or both of you are on an income-based repayment plan. The best way to figure out which filing option works best is to calculate your tax liability both ways — or to hire an accountant, if you can foot it.  Pro Tip Regardless of the month of your wedding, your tax status will cover the entire year so long as you’re considered married by Dec. 31. 4. Update Your W-4 Mazel tov: Your marriage most likely means you’re eligible for lower tax withholdings! Of course, in order to enact this change, your employer needs to be informed — and we don’t just mean strolling by your manager’s office to show off that big, shiny rock on your finger. You’ll need to request a new W-4 and update your withholdings, which is fortunately pretty straightforward: Just tick the “married” box this time. There is also an option to state that you’re married but request withholding at the higher single rate… but while that might mean a bigger refund come tax time, it also means you’re basically giving the government an interest-free loan.  FROM THE TAXES FORUM 401k contribution 4/17/19 @ 1:45 PM B Tax Settlement Firms - Legit? 4/11/19 @ 1:43 PM W Disability 4/4/19 @ 3:39 PM I've a question about Federal and State Taxes 3/30/19 @ 3:56 PM See more in Taxes or ask a money question 5. Inform the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you buy your health insurance through the marketplace, getting married counts as a major change in circumstances and could result in a shift in your eligibility for the premium tax credit — a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families cover the cost of monthly premiums.  Namely, if your new, joint income is over the threshold, you may lose some or all of your eligibility… and although nobody wants to suddenly have to pay more each month for their health insurance, if you wait until tax time to fess up, you may end up facing a hefty bill when you’re asked to pay back a year’s worth of credits.  And who knows? You could also learn that you were actually entitled to more credits now — so either way, it’s definitely worth coming clean sooner than later. That’s all there is to it! Now that we’re done talking about the least sexy topic on earth, maybe you should get off the internet and go give your partner a smooch.  After all, you (hopefully) didn’t get married just for the tax benefits.  Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Never Buy These 13 Things at a Thrift Store

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Never Buy These 13 Things at a Thrift Store
One of the best ways to make the most of your money is to head to the thrift store and see what’s available. Last year, I bought a bed frame and cute lampstand for less than $13 total. But just because something is cheap, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to buy it. There are some things you should avoid at thrift stores. I asked a few consumer advocates and frugal experts to... [...]
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10 Ways to Save on National Park Visits with Kids

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10 Ways to Save on National Park Visits with Kids
Guest post from Brigitte of BrigitteBrulz.com Did you know there are over 400 National Park Sites in the United States?! This includes national historic sites, national recreational areas, national sea shores, national monuments, and just over 60 national parks that you can explore with your family. Check out the National Park Service’s website to find one near you (or for your next vacation). Here are 10 ways to save on your next national park adventure! 1. Purchase or Sign Up for an Annual Pass Families who frequent national parks that charge a fee may benefit from an annual pass, which is good for 12 months from the purchase month. Seniors (ages 62+) can take advantage of an annual pass (or even a lifetime pass) aimed specifically at them for an even steeper discount. The senior pass will cover the cost of everyone in a non-commercial vehicle if the site has a per vehicle charge. Great way to enjoy some time with grandkids! Families with a fourth grader can enjoy free entry at hundreds of locations from September through August by getting a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program. Even homeschooling families with a fourth grader can take advantage of this opportunity! Active duty military members can receive free annual passes for many sites for them and their dependents by asking for a U.S. military annual pass. Even if your family has an annual pass, it is still advisable to contact parks ahead of time to ensure the pass is accepted at that location. 2. Go on Free Days If you don’t plan to visit the national parks multiple times in a 12 month span, an annual pass may not make sense for your family. Instead, check to see if they offer any free days. It’s suggested to arrive early and be prepared for large crowds of people on these days! (NOTE: Some national sites are free all year round.) 3. Check the Event’s Calendar Junior Ranger days, astronomy programs, family days, historic days, nature walks, sled dog demonstrations, movies, archaeology days, and photography walks are just a few of the low cost or even free events offered throughout the year at national sites. Schedule your visits accordingly by checking the events calendar. 4. Check out the Junior Ranger Program Kids may enjoy participating in the free Junior Ranger Program where they can complete fun yet educational activities and earn badges at each national park. Even kids who don’t have an opportunity to visit many national parks can earn badges at home by completing booklets about bats, archaeology, caves, the Underground Railroad, and more. 5. Create a Webrangers Account Kids (and even interested adults) can earn virtual badges and rewards as they complete activities while learning about people, history, animals, nature, science, puzzles, and parks through the Webrangers program. Registration is free and simple- just create a user ID and password. Once an account has been created, all of the completed activities are saved so progress can easily be tracked. Kids may even have fun personalizing their own virtual ranger station by choosing a theme and customizing the walls, shelves, chair, desk, floor, picture, and window view. What a great way to get kids excited about visiting National Parks and learning more! 6. Carpool By carpooling with others, you can split the cost of the entrance fee if the site charges a per vehicle fee. 7. Visit the Visitor’s Center Visitor’s centers often provide free maps, guides, suggested tips, exhibits, and even videos to ensure you get the most out of your visit. 8. Talk to Park Rangers Park rangers are often quite knowledgeable about the area and can offer additional suggestions and information about the site. You may even be able to get a personal tour if you ask (particularly on a non-busy day)! 9. Plan Ahead Check out the site’s “plan your visit” section to learn more about fees, hours, things to do, suggestions, and more to make the most out of your visit. It’s helpful to have an idea of what you want to see ahead of time since some parks are so big! Also, check the weather to ensure you are wearing weather-appropriate clothing for the day. 10. Bring Supplies Besides wearing weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable footwear, and a hat, it may be beneficial to bring water, a camera, sunglasses, bug spray, and sunscreen. Finally, don’t take a bag for collecting specimens since it is illegal to remove items from national sites. Instead, bring a bag for any trash you may have and take pictures of all of the neat rocks, shells, and leaves if you want a record of them! What other tips do you have for your next national park adventure? Brigitte Brulz is a homeschooling mom, creator of the Adventure Writing Prompt Journal, author of the book Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles, and freelance writer. She offers free coloring pages, activity ideas, and more on her website at BrigitteBrulz.com. [...]
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What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money

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What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money
Save money on your prescriptions This is a sponsored post on behalf of InsideRx.com. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties. If you look in your home medicine cabinet, you will probably see at least one prescription.  You, or someone in your family, may need to take these medications due ... Read More about What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money The post What You Can Do When Your Prescriptions Cost Too Much Money appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Claiming a Tax Dependent? How It Works and Why to Do It

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Claiming a Tax Dependent? How It Works and Why to Do It
A tax dependent is a child or relative whose characteristics and relationship to you entitle you to claim certain tax deductions and credits on your tax return. Tax dependents can cut your tax bill considerably by making you eligible for tax breaks such as head of household filing status, the Child Tax Credit, the Credit... Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: torem@nerdwallet.com. The article Claiming a Tax Dependent? How It Works and Why to Do It originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Old Navy: Kids Uniform Polos only $3.40, plus more!

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Old Navy: Kids Uniform Polos only $3.40, plus more!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Still needing some school clothes? Old Navy has kids uniform polos for only $3.40! Right now, Old Navy is offering up to 60% off kids back to school clothes! Plus, today only, you can get an extra 15% off your order when you use the promo code EXTRA at checkout! Here are some deals you can score… Get Boys or Girls Uniform Polos for just $3.40 after the promo code! Get Boys Jeans for just $6.80 after the promo code! Get Girls Jeans for just $6.80 after the promo code! Choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs. Valid today only, August 21, 2019. Thanks, The Krazy Coupon Lady! [...]
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5 Important Industries to Watch Now

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5 Important Industries to Watch Now
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com Investing can be a great way to build wealth over time. The trick is figuring out where those investment dollars will do the most good. There are no sure things, but it’s possible to add a little growth to your portfolio by looking a sectors that are doing well, have future potential or even just have some good buzz. One way to take advantage of current and... [...]
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7 Books I Finished in July

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7 Books I Finished in July
Want to know what books I finished in July? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.) I set a goal to finish 80 books in 2019 and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here). By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month! I finished 7 books in June —- yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books: Becoming Mrs. Lewis I am so conflicted on what to say about this book. On the one hand, it was a very well-written story that was pretty captivating, but on the other hand, I struggled to like it. It’s the unconventional love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife. It was both beautiful and tragic and not at all what I expected. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t. Some of that was because I think there was too much fiction woven in and I didn’t know what was fact and what was fiction — and that bothered me. Some of it was because I was concerned with Lewis’ relationship with Joy when she was still married. If it were true, from my vantage point, it felt like it crossed some lines of emotional attachment that shouldn’t happen between two people when one of them is married. If I could tie up this review with a bow, I would. But I can’t. Because I just don’t know what to say or think about this book. Have you read it? If so, please let me know what you thought of it. And please let me know if you disagree with me and why! I really wish I could be persuaded to like it. Verdict: 3 stars Begin Again This book moved me at a deep level. While I felt like sometimes I wasn’t poetic enough to understand the depths of what was being communicated. It felt so raw and honest and vulnerable and yet so beautiful and rich and inspiring. I didn’t want it to end. Two of the quotes that were the most meaningful to me: “We don’t get to the truth while we’re deeply invested in what’s false.” “God’s story is a narrative of emancipation.” Of all the books I read in July, this was my favorite… thus, the 4-star verdict. Verdict: 4 stars Preach to Yourself I wanted to love this book and I did love many parts of it. But I felt like it was hard to slog through at times. Some of the chapters felt really long and drawn out. And yet, some of the sections were so powerful and so important. For instance, this passage is GOLD: “Many of us — maybe all of us — don’t live what we say we believe… We say we depend on God, but we act like we’ve got to make it happen on our own. We say we believe God can heal, but we’re walking around with decades-old wounds. We say we believe God is at work, but we’re asleep at the wheel of the one life He’s given us.” So, despite some of the chapters feeling longer than necessary, this book has some very valuable stuff and is worth the read. Verdicts: 3 stars Last Christmas in Paris This book had been recommended to me as one to read since I loved The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It’s the love story of a soldier at war and his friend’s sister at home. They began writing letters just to keep each other company. But slowly, ever so slowly, it morphed into more. It’s a fairly slow-developing story, but there is a lot of history woven throughout and I learned quite a bit about World War I. (I realized I have read a lot about World War II, but very few books about World War I.) The book is epistolary, which means the story is told through letters and telegrams. I found it fascinating in the afterward to discover that the authors wrote the bones of this book as actual letters back and forth. Verdicts: 3 stars It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Lysa always has a way with words to penetrate your heart and challenge you, while also drawing you in with her funny and authentic story-telling. For some reason, though, unlike her others books I’ve read, I felt like this book was missing something. I’m not sure if it’s because she wrote it while still very much in the midst of the story that is a big story arc for the book or if it was something else. I couldn’t put a finger on it. I do feel like the book would be a real encouragement to someone who is going through a difficult time when life feelings overwhelming, hard, and just doesn’t make sense. Verdict: 3 stars Kind is the New Classy This is a quick read (or listen) and definitely had some valuable content. However, I have to admit that I was sort of turned off by how the author seemed to drop in unnecessary details that just felt kind of prideful. I know that we all come at things differently and only God knows someone’s heart, however, I hadn’t said anything to Jesse about this and was listening to the book when he was in the room and he picked up on this same thing, too. I think there is a lot of helpful inspiration in this book, I just struggled to love it because I kept getting hung up on the presentation. Verdict: 3 stars Beauty Maker Monica asked me if I would write an endorsement for her brand-new book. Since I love her work, I said yes! Here was the endorsement I wrote after reading it: In Beauty Maker, Monica invites us on a journey to cultivating more beauty — in our surroundings and in our souls. Her words inspired me to prioritize taking time to create more beauty in our home and to prioritize taking time to be a noticer of the beauty that is all around me. My favorite part of the book? The rich and yet simple photos that showcase how Monica lives out her message in her everyday life. Verdict: 3 stars Important & Super Honest Note: I’m kind of not wanting to hit publish on this post. Why did I ever commit to writing honest reviews of all the books I read anyway?? I want to be truthful, but I also want to be kind and gracious… and I struggled with how to strike that balance well in my reviews today. I want you to know that I’m not going to sugarcoat my feelings, but I also know that authors are real people who have put so much effort into their books that it’s hard for me to write reviews that feel like they lean toward being negative. Ugh. This is the part of my job that is so hard sometimes. If you felt I didn’t communicate graciously or you are the author of any of these books and you felt hurt by what I wrote, please let me know. This is an area where I’m still a big work in progress and I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone if I can help it! What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know! [...]
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6 Things to Know About United Lounges

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6 Things to Know About United Lounges
When it comes to airport lounges, there are many options for travelers. If you’re evaluating which lounge will be the best for you, here’s what you need to know about United Airline lounges. 1. United lounges are everywhere It’s not hard to find a United Airlines-associated lounge, especially if you’re flying first or business class... Amanda Johnson is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article 6 Things to Know About United Lounges originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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5 Moves to Make If Your Kids’ Extracurriculars Are Busting the Budget

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5 Moves to Make If Your Kids’ Extracurriculars Are Busting the Budget
Extracurricular activities are great for children. They help kids learn new things and perfect their skills. They provide opportunities to bond with peers and a constructive use of time. They look great on college and scholarship applications. But all that enrichment comes at a cost. And these nonessential additions to the household budget can be expensive to keep up with — especially when you have multiple children with multiple interests. Huntington Bank and Communities in Schools’ 2019 Backpack Index estimates extracurricular fees average about $150 for elementary students, $250 for middle school students and $350 for high school students. Of course, there are parents who spend much more. A 2017 Capital One poll found that over a third of those surveyed planned to spend more than $1,000 per kid on extracurricular activities for the school year. If the cost of after-school activities concerns you, consider these ways to make them more affordable. 1. Turn to Government or Nonprofit Programs Before signing your kids up for private music lessons or a traveling sports league, check to see if there are similar offerings located at or sponsored by your local: School Church Library system YMCA Boys and Girls Club Police Athletic League Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts United Way Salvation Army City or county parks and recreation department Community college 2. Ask About Discounts Be thrifty and save where you can by asking the activity provider about discounts. Is there a trial period where you kid can take a class or two for free before signing up for the season? Can you get a discounted rate for being a returning participant, enrolling more than one child or recommending another family to sign up? Some programs offer a reduced rate if you register before a certain date, if you sign up for a package of sessions or if you volunteer to coach. Others offer scholarships or set their prices on a sliding scale based on income. You might want to ask if the organization will allow you to set up a payment plan rather than requiring all the money upfront. Pro Tip Check discount sites like Groupon or Living Social for current deals on activities. 3. Reduce the Associated Costs of After-School Activities The cost to enroll your child in an activity is rarely the only expense you’ll encounter. Equipment, supplies, uniforms, fundraisers, travel and performance tickets can greatly increase your investment. Find ways to lower these additional costs whenever possible. Arrange a carpool with team members. Buy secondhand equipment and attire. Limit the family members who attend smaller performances throughout the year, and save up so everyone can attend the major show at the end of the season. 4. DIY Your Extracurriculars Your kid can get the benefits of participating in an activity without it being a formal program that you pay for. Consider your children’s interests and figure out how to pursue them on an individual scale. If your kid is into music, hit up YouTube for free tutorials. There are tons of cooking blogs with detailed recipes for those who want to master baking. Your library may provide free access to software to learn a foreign language. Tap into your network of family, friends and neighbors to expose your child to different pursuits. Commit to teaching their kids about a skill you’ve mastered in exchange. It might be a bigger investment in time, but you can save a lot of money by creating your own means of developing your child’s interests. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Travel Tips, anyone have any to share? 8/13/19 @ 10:27 AM For those Who do not drive, what is the cheapest way to get around? 8/15/19 @ 9:55 PM M How to save when grocery shopping 8/15/19 @ 10:43 AM Acorns 8/14/19 @ 2:00 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 5. Talk to Your Kids About Making Sacrifices There may be times where you simply have to say no to your kid’s request to enroll in another extracurricular activity. If you don’t have the funds and you’d have to charge expenses on a credit card, you should reevaluate things. Parents never want to put financial stress on their kids, but it’s okay to be up-front about the limitations of your budget. This might mean having your kids choose one sport to commit to rather than two, or asking if they prefer dance lessons over vacationing at the beach next summer. If you have teenagers, get them to contribute to their extracurricular expenses with money from babysitting, mowing lawns or a part-time job. Depending on the activity, you can challenge your child to turn their hobby into an entrepreneurial pursuit — like selling handmade bracelets at local festivals or giving piano lessons to younger kids. Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a parent who’s always looking for ways to save money. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan

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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget + Menu Plan
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. Because of our traveling the last 4 weeks, I haven’t posted our grocery budget + menu plan posts. It feels good to be back to it now that school has started and we’re back into the swing of a more normal routine. Speaking of school starting, here’s a real-life photo from the first day: Kathrynne headed out to a 4-day back to school camp (her school starts with an all-school 4-day camp!), Silas all ready for his first day in his uniform, and Kaitlynn sporting a thermometer because she had a low grade fever and had to stay home. I couldn’t believe this HUGE cart full of egg noodles marked down to $0.69 each at Kroger this week! But I didn’t buy them because Kroger has Private Selection on pasta for $0.50 when you buy 5 participating items. Kroger Shopping Trip #1: Kroger breakfast links — free with coupons from Kroger mailer 2 canisters of breadcrumbs — on closeout for $0.47 each Kroger peanut butter — free with coupons from Kroger mailer A&W Cream Soda — free with coupon mailed to me Quest bar — free with Freebie Friday coupon 1 can Kroger green beans — marked down to $0.29 2 cans of hominy — marked down to $0.29 each Turkey Hill Tea — marked down to $0.39 Kroger broth — marked down to $0.69 3 boxes of Kroger toaster pastries — marked down to $0.59 each 1 bag of peppers — marked down to $0.99 1 cantaloupe — marked down to $0.99 1 bag of onions/avocados — marked down to $0.99 1 can Simple Truth green beans — marked down to $0.49 1 package of egg roll wraps — marked down to $0.49 2 bags of Blue Corn chips — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items 1 package of Oscar Mayer hot dogs — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items 2 bags of Goldfish — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items 4 packages of Private Selection pasta — $0.50 each when you buy 5 participating items 1 box of oatmeal — used $0.40/1 Kroger digital coupon = $1.09 after coupon Total with tax: $18.95 Kaitlynn and I flew to Portland, Maine for me to speak at the Food Allergy Blogger’s Conference. One of the best parts of speaking at food blogging conferences? The BEST gift sacks full of yummy food and snacks from sponsors! Kroger Shopping Trip #2 Kroger whole wheat flour — marked down to $1.69 Brown rice — marked down to $1.19 3 packages of Eckrich sausage — $1.69 each when you buy 5 participating items 5 packages of cheese — $0.99 each with Friday-Saturday deal 2 boxes of Cheerios — $1.49 when you buy 5 participating items — used $1/2 Kroger digital coupon = $0.99 each Bag of grapefruit/lime juice — $0.99 Tub of lettuce — marked down to $1.79 1 dozen cage-free eggs — $2.50 1 back to school brownie bites — marked down to $2.49 Total with tax: $25.09 Sprouts Shopping Trip Bartlett Pears — $0.95 3 18-oz. cartons of blueberries — $1.98 each Peaches — $1.09 Water — $1.98 Total with tax: $10.64 BigLots Shopping Trip 2 bags of chips — $0.25 each 2 double packs of English Muffins — $1.40 each 4 packages of Keebler cookies — $0.25 each 4 to-go cups — $0.25 each 4 bags of peanuts — $0.25 each Total with tax: $7.26 I couldn’t believe the great deals we found at BigLots! It reminded me of the Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery last week! What We Ate This Past 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, Homemade Granola, Toast, Cantaloupe, Yogurt Lunches: Ham Sandwiches, Granola Bars, Yogurt, Capri Sun, Salad, Leftovers, Fruit, Snacks: Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Go-Gurts Dinners: Sunday — Chicken Noodle Soup, Oyster Crackers Monday — Fend for Yourself Tuesday — Chick-fil-A Wednesday — Smoked Ribs Thursday — Chicken Noodle Soup, Bran Muffins Friday — Chicken Rice Casserole, Cantaloupe, Roasted Broccoli Saturday — Leftovers Total spent on groceries: $61.94 Cashback earned this week: 308 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards [...]
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7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings

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7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings
fizkes / Shutterstock.com Retirees usually have a limited amount of money to spend during their golden years. Unfortunately, some people make costly mistakes that can deplete their nest egg prematurely. From giving away cash indiscriminately to refusing to embrace lifestyle changes, here are some surprising ways retirees waste their hard-earned savings. The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need... [...]
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How to Access American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges

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How to Access American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges
Lounge access is lovely before your flight or on a layover. You get free snacks and beverages, generally comfortable seating, high-speed Wi-Fi access and outlets to charge your devices. American Airlines is the largest domestic carrier, and it has Admirals Club lounges in airports around the world. Customers can even access lounges in airports American... Rosemarie Clancy is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Access American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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American Pie 4-Movie Collection

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American Pie 4-Movie Collection
There are some great online deals right now for DVD sets. You can order the American Pie 4-Movie Collection for only $17.79. This 4-Movie Collection Box Set is normally $22.98. Be sure that you grab this deal soon because the prices can change at any time. The post American Pie 4-Movie Collection appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask

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14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask
Feeling sticker shock every time a phone, cable or internet bill arrives? Depending on which company provides the service, lower rates may be just a phone call away. LendEDU recently analyzed data from Truebill, a personal finance tracker, budget planner and bill reminder app that helps people manage their subscriptions, to determine which service providers are most likely to drop their prices if... [...]
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Two Good Greek Style Yogurt only $0.50 at Target!

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Two Good Greek Style Yogurt only $0.50 at Target!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Headed to Target? Pick up Two Good Greek Style Yogurt for just $0.50! You can get Two Good Greek Style Yogurt for just $0.50 at Target! Here’s how: Buy 2 Two Good Greek Style Yogurt 5.3 oz Cups – $1.25 each (regularly $1.49) Use $0.50/2 Two Good Yogurt 5.3 oz cups printable coupon Submit 2 $0.50 cash back via Ibotta (Limit 5) $0.50 each after coupon and cash back Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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Southwest Launches New Wave of Flights to and Within Hawaii

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Southwest Launches New Wave of Flights to and Within Hawaii
Southwest Airlines is expanding its route network to and within the Aloha State. The low-cost carrier has added daily flights from Sacramento to Honolulu to its schedule, as well as additional routes from elsewhere in California to Kauai and the Big Island. These new flights are scheduled to take off starting in January 2020, but you can... Meghan Coyle is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mcoyle@nerdwallet.com. The article Southwest Launches New Wave of Flights to and Within Hawaii originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Play-Doh Numbers, Letters, ‘N Fun Set

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Play-Doh Numbers, Letters, ‘N Fun Set
Play-Doh always makes for a fun time and makes for a great gift idea as well. You can score a great deal on the Play-Doh Numbers, Letters, ‘N Fun Set right now. You are able to order this set for only $12.55. You will be saving 50% on this purchase because it is usually $24.95. ... Read More about Play-Doh Numbers, Letters, ‘N Fun Set The post Play-Doh Numbers, Letters, ‘N Fun Set appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Trying to be more productive? Grab this $1500 bundle of eResources for just $37!

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Trying to be more productive? Grab this $1500 bundle of eResources for just $37!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Do you wish you could be more productive and use your time intentionally? If so, you’ll definitely want to grab this productivity bundle that’s on sale right now! This bundle was SO popular earlier this year when it was offered, and they’ve brought it back as a flash sale for two days only!! Hurry and grab it for just $37 before the end of tomorrow, August 15th! This Productivity Bundle has everything you need to conquer your to-do list, be more productive, free up more time for yourself, and reach your goals — and you can get it for just $37!! It contains $1506.90 worth of eBooks, printables, eCourses, and membership sites…and all you pay is $37 for all 46 resources! These resources are designed to help you: Set clear goals and priorities so you’ll use your time wisely Create routines to help you be more productive so you won’t fall behind Get started with tasks instead of procrastinating Deal with distractions instead of getting sidetracked Find the energy to be productive all day instead of burning out If you feel overwhelmed or stuck when it comes to your productivity and time-management, this Productivity Bundle will help give you the practical tools and tips you need to take that first step! Go here to grab your Ultimate Productivity Bundle for just $37. [...]
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These Are the 20 Best Hospitals in the U.S.

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These Are the 20 Best Hospitals in the U.S.
When people think of the best medical facility in the U.S. — if not the world — one institution typically comes to mind: the Mayo Clinic. That reputation for excellence is well-deserved, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest Best Hospitals rankings. The publication says the Rochester, Minnesota-based facility is the best hospital in the nation. It's not the usual... [...]
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Family Handyman Magazine Subscription Deal

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Family Handyman Magazine Subscription Deal
Are you a DIY-er? Do you want to be a better one?  You can score a great deal on a subscription to Family Handyman Magazine!   FAMILY HANDYMAN SUBSCRIPTION DEAL Now through 8/15/19 (11:59 pm EST), you can save 77% off a subscription to Family Handyman Magazine!  That makes it just $8.99 per year (get ... Read More about Family Handyman Magazine Subscription Deal The post Family Handyman Magazine Subscription Deal appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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How One Family Accepted — and Survived — the Pantry Challenge

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

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FINRA Proposes TRACE Reporting Obligations for U.S. Dollar-Denominated Foreign Sovereign Debt
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is proposing to expand TRACE reporting requirements to include transactions in U.S. dollar-denominated foreign sovereign debt securities. Under the proposal, this transaction information would be reported for regulatory purposes and would not be publicly disseminated. Comments on the proposal must be submitted to FINRA by September 24, 2019. More information is available here. [...]
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How He Maximized Chase Points for a Weekend Hyatt Getaway

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How He Maximized Chase Points for a Weekend Hyatt Getaway
Adam Sterling used points earned on his Chase Sapphire Reserve® and transferred to Hyatt for a Saturday night stay at the beachfront Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara. A $400 room in the boutique hotel with local flair cost only 15,000 points. » Learn more: Chase Sapphire Reserve® review: A first-class premium travel card The cardholder Name:... Rosemarie Clancy is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How He Maximized Chase Points for a Weekend Hyatt Getaway originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Thousands of Jobs For the 2020 Census Are Now Open. Here’s How to Apply

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Thousands of Jobs For the 2020 Census Are Now Open. Here’s How to Apply
The 2020 census requires a massive, temporary workforce to get every American counted. A job that once involved clipboards and file boxes now utilizes mapping software and smartphones. All together, the census will employ more than 500,000 temporary and part-time workers. Hiring has already begun. And get this: pay ranges from $13 to $30 an hour. Pay rates vary by position and location, but you can find the ranges for your state and county via this electronic form on the census site. If you speak a second language, you’re even more in demand. The census is looking for bilingual workers and those who live in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations so that “our census takers look like the neighborhood we’re counting,” Jeff Behler, regional director of the Census Bureau’s New York Regional Office, said in a story on Census.gov. If this sounds like the gig for you, fill out the online application.  To be eligible for the jobs, which include census takers, office staff and recruiting assistants, you must meet the following qualifications: Be a U.S. citizen who’s at least 18 years old. Have a valid Social Security number and email address. Pass a criminal background check, including fingerprinting. Have the flexibility to work days, evening and weekends. If you’re a male born after Dec. 31, 1959, you must be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption. Be able to count to 329,402,583. Just kidding — that’s a little census humor for you. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder who covers interesting careers and job benefits. Senior editor Molly Moorhead contributed reporting. 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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8 Ways Restaurant Menus Trick You Into Overspending

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8 Ways Restaurant Menus Trick You Into Overspending