Economic growth will top 3% again next year, Trump advisor Hassett says

U.S. economic growth will defy expectations again in 2019 thanks to a business investment boom and President Donald Trump's trade strategy, White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett said Wednesday.
Economy

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His worst nightmare: Trump’s life under a legal microscope

Weeks of devastating legal revelations have left Donald Trump’s political career clouded by criminality and his life, presidency and business empire under assault by relentless prosecutors on multiple fronts.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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7 Mistakes We All Make When We Have Credit Card Debt

Let’s just come right out and say it: We all make mistakes.

Accidentally dyed your whites a startling shade of pink in the washing machine? Check. Set off the fire alarm when you attempted your first home-cooked meal? Of course. Said “thank you” to a waiter when they told you to enjoy your meal? Find us one person who hasn’t done that.

And when it comes to money, particularly credit card debt, we’ve all had our fair share of missteps.

In fact, it seems like we’re all making the same mistakes over and over, a la “Groundhog Day.” But the time has come to break that cycle.

7 Mistakes We All Make When We Have Credit Card Debt

If you find yourself dealing with credit card debt and worry you’re not handling it in the best way possible, don’t worry. We’re all in the same boat.

1. Overpaying for Interest (and Never Questioning It)

A woman looks in her empty wallet.

When you think about how much debt you have, you might feel a little anxious.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit card and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

You can borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $ 12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $ 12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $ 14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

2. Sticking to a Budget That Doesn’t Work For You

So, you decided you were going to tackle that credit card debt. The best place to start is making a budget, right?

You did some research, picked out a budget method and have followed it to a T — or tried to at least, because we all know budgeting hiccups are inevitable. So why, even though you did the so-called adult thing and made a budget, are you still feeling overwhelmed by looming credit card debt?

It’s pretty simple, actually: There isn’t one magical, cure-all budget. Everyone’s financial situation is different, so it’s important you find a method that actually fits your lifestyle. You want to control your budget, not the other way around.

Don’t just think about numbers such as income and debt when creating a budget. Consider outside factors that could make your planned budget destined for failure.

How much time and energy are you willing to devote? Are you a schedule-follower by nature, or more go-with-the-flow? Are there any obstacles conflicting with your budget, such as an irregular pay schedule?

Finding a budget that works for you will make you feel more in control of your finances, including that pesky credit card debt.

3. Overpaying for Other Monthly Bills

A notebook with a paged labeled budget sits on a bed with some pens.

You’ve made a budget, you’ve checked it twice — so why are you still wondering where the heck your money is going?

It’s time to dive deep and figure out which bills are taking more than their fair share. Instead of manually sorting through every single credit charge, let someone else do it for you… or something, really.

First, download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. And yes, that includes the Barnes and Noble membership you’ve had since 2009 — even though you haven’t set foot in a brick-and-mortar bookstore in roughly five years. Tsk tsk.

Another bill that makes your eyes involuntarily widen every single month? You guessed it: Insurance.

Insurance bills can be hard to swallow, but the mere thought of shopping around for new rates is arguably worse. Fortunately, Gabi will do the leg work for you.

And the best part? You don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work..

The service will compare major insurers’ rates for your same level of coverage, and even help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Once you trim some of your monthly bills, you’ll have a bit more breathing room for paying off that credit card debt!

4. Overpaying for, Well, Everything Else

A woman sits on her couch and uses her laptop.

Dealing with credit card debt doesn’t mean you can just stop spending money. And a major part of life is shopping, whether it’s at the grocery store for necessities or at the mall for a treat yo’self day.

Luckily, there are services that can help you feel a little less guilty every time your swipe that card. How, you ask? By ensuring you’re getting the best deal possible, one way or another.

First up we’ve got Paribus, a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

For once, it’s a good thing to not clear out your inbox.

Another way to avoid overpaying while shopping online? Ebates, a cash-back shopping site that rewards you simply for buying something online! You can earn 1% to 25% on purchases from more than 2,500 online retailers.

There’s no charge, and Ebates even offers you a $ 10 Walmart gift card as a sign-up bonus.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

5. Letting Bills Fall Behind

It’s no secret that falling behind on payments is basically the opposite of what you want to do when dealing with credit card debt or any kind of debt, for that matter. What we all need in this situation is a little incentive to stay on track.

That’s where MoneyLion comes in This app offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits and will literally pay you for logging onto the app.

You connect it to your bank accounts, credit cards and other financial accounts. Based on your income and spending patterns, it offers personalized advice to help you save money, reduce your debt and improve your credit.

The app’s reward program will give you points for being financially responsible. Make a loan payment on time? Boom, 200 points right there. You can redeem them for gift cards to more than 15,000 retailers, including places like Walmart, Applebee’s and Amazon.

Let MoneyLion help you stay on top of those credit card bills, and handle them like a boss.

6. Thinking You Can’t Afford to Save

A man looks at the cash in his wallet.

Sure, you want to pay off your credit card debt as quickly as possible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be devoting some money to your savings.

What if you get hit with an unexpected expense, such as a busted water heater or a trip to the emergency room? Without ample savings to help you out, you’ll only add to your debt anxiety.

We know saving money can be tough, but what if you could do it without even thinking about it?

No, we’re not talking about sorcery, we’re talking about Digit, an innovative app that will automate your savings.

All you have to do is link your bank account, then Digit uses an algorithm to calculate how much money you can safely set aside each day. It will put that money into a FDIC-insured savings account.

The out of sight, out of mind strategy takes the stress and legwork out of saving. One Penny Hoarder, a self-proclaimed “bad saver,” managed to tuck away $ 4,300 using the app.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

7. Letting Your Debt Take All the Fun out of Life

Listen, we understand that credit card debt is always at the back of your mind, popping up uninvited, trying to stress you out. We’ve all been there.

But here is a money mantra we stick with and want you to give a try, too: My debt does not control me.

You can be responsible, make budgets and stick to them; pay your bills on time; and save on expenses when possible. And all the while, you can live your life without sacrificing all of the fun stuff. Your financial health is important, but so is your physical and mental health!

Constantly be on the lookout for sneaky ways to save while still enjoying your social life, like hosting happy hour at your house instead of going out. And if you’ve got the time, consider finding a side gig that not only lets you earn some extra income, but is just flat out fun.

Might we suggest dog-walking with Rover? I mean, come on: Getting paid to hang out with dogs? Sounds like a slam dunk.

In short, your credit card debt is obviously important, but don’t let it stop you from living your best — but still financially responsible — life!

Kaitlyn Blount is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s made her fair share of money mistakes on her debt journey. Do you have five, maybe six hours to spare to hear about them?

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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GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out

The company that was once America’s biggest and most admired, the maker of power turbines, the seller of insurance, the broadcaster of “Seinfeld,” has become a shadow of its former self. This is the story of how generations of managers, who thought they could fix any company in any industry, finally ran into a problem they couldn’t solve.
WSJ.com: US Business

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12.14.18 Clark Stinks; Zoning laws have major impacts across the country

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here; Minneapolis just changed their single family zoning laws. Clark talks about the major impact that zoning laws have on municipalities.

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Downton Abbey Is Returning—This Time to the Big Screen. Watch the Trailer

If you missed the Grantham, their servants and the grandeur of their English estate, you’ll be happy to know that the cast of Downton Abbey is returning in 2019. Only this time, it’s on the big screen.

The show’s Twitter account on Friday teased the trailer for the movie, which is simply named Downton Abbey.

The show, a PBS series available on Amazon Prime Video, won three Golden Globes and 15 Emmys during its six seasons, which began in 2010 and wrapped up in 2016.

Focus Features confirmed in July that the popular show was being made into a feature film, with the main cast, including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Michelle Dockery, returning for their roles, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, who following the show was busy with a book project for an unrelated story, wrote the screenplay for the movie, Entertainment Weekly reports. The series follows a family through the changes of the early 1900s, including with historical events such as the sinking of the Titanic, World War 1 and Adolf Hitler’s first attempt at seizing power in Germany.

The show garnered a high viewership for the public broadcaster, bringing in 9.9 million viewers for its final season premiere. Merchandise associated with the show has brought in about $ 24 million in 2013, Forbes reports.

The storyline of the movie hasn’t yet been revealed, but it is set to be released in theaters on September 20, 2019, CNN reports.

“It’s a return to these really beloved characters and seeing them in new sets of circumstances and how they will deal with those, and hopefully, a good mix of the drama, comedy, and romance that had been the mainstays of it all,” Executive producer Gareth Neame told Entertainment Weekly.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Federal judge in Texas strikes down Affordable Care Act

A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must also fall.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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17 Ways to Save Money When You Live in a Big City (It’s Actually Possible!)

I know I don’t have to tell you this, city dwellers: Living in a big city is expensive.

I was slapped with that cold reality when I moved to Denver. After living in two relatively rural college towns, I was used to paying a rent I could almost afford; groceries that were, well, normally priced; and a night out with friends that never remotely creeped close to $ 50.

Then there were those times I visited New York City and San Francisco for long weekends… Don’t get me started.

Anyway, kudos for making it work — but I know it’s got to get difficult sometimes. That’s why we put together a list of ways to save money when you live in a big city.

1. Save Money on Any Debt You’ve Already Accumulated  

Moving in general is expensive, but moving to a big city and adjusting to that new cost of living is difficult.

If you accumulate any credit card debt in the process that’s still lingering, consider refinancing or consolidating it to find better interest rates.

A good resource is Fiona, a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

2. Get $ 3 Pantry Essentials Delivered to Your Door

Groceries tend to be more expensive in big cities. Goods in New York City are 10% higher than average U.S. prices, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The task itself also tends to be more difficult, depending on how far away you live from the closest store.

A great way to save money is to order the essentials online — where prices are more likely to be the same nationwide.

With Brandless, you can stock up on all your grocery essentials for $ 3 each. Yup — everything’s $ 3. And you’ll get $ 5 off your order when you sign up with your email address.

Better yet, Brandless carries organic, gluten-free and vegan options. You could spend hours perusing the virtual aisles, but here are a few examples:

  • An 8-ounce jar of organic, 100% pure honey: $ 3
  • Organic aged white cheddar popcorn: Two for $ 3
  • Roasted and salted almonds: $ 3
  • Organic, fair-trade, light-roast ground coffee: $ 3

You can also stock up on Brandless cleaning supplies, household essentials and clean beauty supplies.

Shipping is free when you spend $ 39 or more.

3. Claim Cash Back on Drinks and Takeout Orders

Life tends to be a bit more stressful in the big city, and it’s important to take time to unwind. Whether you prefer to do that with alcohol or takeout, claim cash back.

Traditionally, Ibotta is known for its cash-back offers on groceries, but it’s also available for restaurants, bars and food-delivery services.

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

  • 10% cash back for new DoorDash users.
  • $ 5 back on two bottles of Stella Artois.
  • $ 2 back on a glass of Cupcake Wine.

Just download the app for free, then select “Find Offers.” When you claim your first cash-back offer, you’ll pocket a $ 10 bonus.

4. Ease the Pain of Those Higher Car Insurance Rates

The good news is big cities typically have public transit systems, so sometimes you can get away with selling your car and living that car-free life.

If you still need your car, though, you’ll probably face higher car insurance rates.

Here are three options to help alleviate the pain associated with those high costs:

  • First, find a pay-per-mile insurance policy. If you live in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington and drive less than 200 miles a week, consider getting insurance through MetroMile, a company that lets you pay for insurance by the mile. I you only drive 5,000 miles per year, you could save $ 500, according to MetroMile’s calculations. Find out if it could help you save by snagging a free quote.
  • If you still drive quite a bit, take a few minutes to compare rates from other providers. A service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work. Gabi says it finds an average savings of $ 720 per year for its customers.
  • Help offset big-city costs by renting your car out when you’re not using it. With the Getaround app, you can safely rent out your car to people in your community and neighborhood. The company insures your car for each trip, offers 24/7 roadside assistance and screens drivers for a safe driving record.

5. Count Your Many Steps and Turn ’Em Into Cash

Whether you walk to work or take public transit, you tend to spend more time on your feet in big cities.

Go ahead and reward your barking feet with the Achievement app.

Achievement connects to your phone’s health apps and runs in the background, so it works passively. Many users report being happily surprised when logging on and checking their progress.

Once you earn 10,000 points, you’ll score $ 10, which you can deposit directly into your bank account.

Pro tip: Achievement connects to more than 30 Android and iOS health-related apps, including MyFitnessPal and Garmin. The more apps you connect, the more earning opportunities.

6. Negotiate Your Monthly Bills (or Have This Bot Do It)

A great money-saving tactic when living in a big city is to negotiate your bills. Some may be more difficult to negotiate than others (you can even try negotiating your rent), but we suggest starting simply with a free negotiation tool.

Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees.

After downloading the app, create an account and link your bank account and/or credit cards. Turn on the bill negotiation and outage protection features. Boom. TrueBill is already searching for potential refunds — it might get you a refund even when you didn’t know an outage occurred.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

Signing up and using the service is free, though there are some paid premium services that are totally optional — but could totally be worth it.

7. Set up Your Big-City Budget

If money’s tighter than you’d like, it’s important to keep a budget.

Budgeting can be a little scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to find out how you’re doing now. Luckily, you can have a financial assistant right in your pocket to help you out.

The Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

Link the app to your bank accounts, and it will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you are overdoing it. That’s right: It will show you just how many times you went out for dinner because you didn’t want to do the dishes.

Set a monthly spending limit and the app will show you a graph that can tell you in one snapshot just how you’re doing for the month. Are you over the line or under it? It’s that simple to see how you’re doing so you can adjust your spending accordingly.

8. Declutter Your Space — and Earn Some Extra Cash

Affordable apartments tend to be small, so if you’re feeling a bit cluttered in your space, clean stuff out.

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This easy-to-use app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. It removes a lot of the hassle of selling things online, and it’s 100% free to use.

If you’ve got old technology lingering (think: phones, CDs, DVDs or video games), download the Decluttr app, and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use, you won’t pay listing or seller fees, payment is super fast and even shipping is free.

Plus, enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $ 5 for your trade-in order!

9. Entertain Yourself on Your Commute (and Win Cash)

While you’re swiping around on your phone and wasting time on your commute, go ahead and download the Lucky Day app

You could win up to $ 10,000 playing digital scratch-off tickets or even a whopping $ 100,000 in the daily lotto. You’ll also have a lot of chances to win gift cards to cool places like Amazon, Walmart, Dunkin and Target.

It’s all free to play, with no in-app purchases. The company has already awarded more than $ 3 million in prizes to winners since 2014.

Try to resist an embarrassing happy dance on the subway if you win money.

10. Create an In-Case-of-Emergency Fund Without Thinking

When you have to spend a lot of money just to get by day to day, the task of saving money will easily fall to the wayside.

Don’t let that happen. Digit allows you to save money without even noticing.

This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, one Penny Hoarder saved $ 4,300 without noticing — read his Digit review.

If you need that money sooner than expected, you’ll always have access to it within one business day.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

11. Dress up to Big-City Standards Without Credit Card Debt

There’s something about living in a big city where there’s more pressure to dress like, well, a real human. Fashion trends are actually timely, and you want to look professional when walking into your skyscraper of an office.

But just because you have pressure to look trendy doesn’t mean you have to rack up credit card debt.

Instead of shopping online at any ol’ retailer or signing up for a clothing subscription service, check out flash-sale site Rue La La first.

It offers top brands for up to 70% off. How? When retailers have excess product, Rue La La takes it and sells it at a hefty discount — but each sale is only available for a limited time.

Just sign up for free with your email address. (It’s an exclusive site — discounts are for members only.) Then search your favorite brands, or browse the boutiques to see what’s available.

12. Protect Your Abode and Belongings With Affordable Insurance

If you’re renting, you know some cities and states require renters insurance. It might seem like a pain at the time, but it can really save you in the long run.

For example, when my boyfriend lived in Denver, a hail storm hit and destroyed his complex’s roof, causing water to flood into his apartment. After his deductible, his renters insurance paid for him to move into a hotel near his workplace for about three months. If any of his items had been damaged, it would have covered those expenses, too.

If you don’t yet have renters insurance — or want to shop around for a better rate — start by getting a free quote. We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, through which renters insurance starts at $ 5 a month.

Beyond affordable rates, Lemonade adds a layer of transparency you don’t often see in the insurance world. Instead of profiting extra when it doesn’t have to pay out claims, the company keeps a set 20% of your premium for itself, and 80% goes into a pool for paying claims. Money left over after paying claims each year goes to a cause of your choice.

That also means Lemonade isn’t going to be super stingy about granting customers the claims they deserve — ’cause the money isn’t going into its pockets.

13. Find a Side Gig (Opportunities Abound)

Big cities are basically playgrounds for side gigs. If you’re struggling to make rent or are racking up credit card debt, consider increasing your income, even if only temporarily.

Here are some of our favorite side-gig options for folks in the big city:

  • It’s no secret big cities attract more tourists, and that’s good news for you. If you have a spare room, try earning some extra money by listing it on Airbnb. If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
  • If you’re looking for a flexible, independent way to earn money — and you love hanging out with dogs — Rover might be your perfect gig. The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town. Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month.
  • Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people? Try driving with Lyft. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

14. Call it Quits With Your Expensive Cell Phone Provider

If you’re sick of of paying your cell phone carrier hundreds of dollars each month, look beyond the so-called Big Four and into the discount carrier Twigby.

That’s what Zak Wilson did. He’d been paying Verizon Wireless about $ 180 a month for two lines. So he tried Twigby. For both phones, he’s now paying $ 60 a month.

Plus, new customers get 25% off the first six months of service.

Pro tip: Big cities mean big Wi-Fi opportunities. Whenever you can, tap into free Wi-Fi to save on data.

15. Snag Cash Back — Even From Your Favorite Local Deli

Cash-back apps are great, but many of them don’t cater to your favorite local haunts — like that unsuspecting deli on your block or your favorite coffee pitstop on your way to work.

But don’t worry. We found an app that’ll reward you for keeping any receipt.

As seen on Shark Tank, CoinOut is a shopping rewards app. You’ll earn cash when you snap a photo of a receipt — any receipt, from any retailer, featuring any item. (Similar apps are a lot pickier.)

We put it to the test: A couple of Penny Hoarder staffers dug out receipts — a $ 5 Wendy’s order and a salad from a local sandwich shop. One collected 5 cents, the other 4 cents. The better condition your receipt is in, the more you’ll earn back, so resist crumpling it into a ball.

You can also earn cash back when you shop online with one click through the CoinOut app. Featured retailers include Walmart, Overstock and Warby Parker.

You can cash — ahem, coin — out once a week for an Amazon gift card or funnel the money right into your bank account or PayPal.

16. Don’t Let Laundry and Dry Cleaning Shrink Your Budget

Laundry’s a big expensive chore in big cities. And dry cleaning? Don’t even get us started…

You’ve probably already invested in that magical Febreze Fabric Refresher spray (if you haven’t, just trust us), but now it’s time to tackle the costs of dry cleaning.

For some fabrics, it’s totally necessary. But for others (even if the tag says dry-cleaning only), it’s not.

Dive into your guide to saving money on dry cleaning. It just might change your life (or at least your budget).

17. Find Fun (and Free!) Weekend Activities

All right. We’ve addressed all your big recurring bills, but you’ve got to have some fun, too. After all, you live in a city where there’s tons to do and explore.

Look into your neighborhood’s farmers market, check out free museum passes from your local library, take a hike (genuinely), plan a picnic or window-shop.

Get some inspiration from our list of free things to do in Orlando.

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Facebook blames bug for exposing photos of 6.8 million users

Facebook revealed Friday that a bug in its system accidentally exposed the private photos of up to 6.8 million users — the latest in a series of data spills that have attracted worldwide regulatory heat. In a Friday blog post, the social networking giant said the breach occurred between Sept. 13 and Sept. 25, and…
Business | New York Post

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Trump offers new alternative facts to explain his problems, but …

President Donald Trump sought the open arms of Twitter and Fox News to creatively explain away inconvenient facts about his legal peril and his promised border wall before GOP senators dragged him back to reality with a rebuke from his own party for ignoring a cold-blooded murder OK’d by a foreign colleague.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

8 Ways You Can Get to Retirement 10 Years Earlier Than You’ve Planned

Retirement. It seems like it’s forever away, doesn’t it? With all the bills and debt you’ve already accumulated, the idea of cashing in your chips and calling it a career could be an impossible dream.

But here’s the trick: Think like an entrepreneur, and start managing your life like it’s a successful business.

Try out these 8 tips that will help you do just that. You could even find yourself rocking retirement as soon as 10 years earlier than you would otherwise. Sweet, right?

1. Pay Off Credit Card Debt, So You Won’t Be Weighed Down

When you think about how much debt you have, you might feel a little anxious.

That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands of dollars in interest.

Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit card and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.

You can borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.

Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $ 12,000 in credit card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $ 12,000 in interest.

If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $ 14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.

So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, know that checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.

2. Have a Sit-Down With Your Credit Score

Dana Sitar with partner Stefan Davis spend some time reviewing credit sesame both on their phone and on personal laptop. St Petersburg, Fla.

If you want to retire early, your credit score is going to be a valuable tool. With a good credit score comes lower interest rates on loans, which means less money out of your pocket.

One of the toughest parts about paying down debt and fixing your credit score is knowing where to begin.

To create a rebuilding plan, you have to first know what you’re dealing with.

Do you have credit card debt? Is your name attached to any unpaid loans? Are you behind on medical or utility bills you didn’t know about?

Your credit report will give you this information.

You can get a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus.

If you want to keep a closer eye on your credit, get your credit score and “credit report card” for free from Credit Sesame. This website breaks down exactly what’s on your credit report in layman’s terms, how it affects your score and how you might address it.

3. Hope for the Best, but Plan for the Worst

A family tragedy can do more than just break hearts. Losing someone in your life can come with a large emotional, and even financial, burden.

You’re setting plans to retire early. Don’t let a tragedy get in the way. Make sure that you and your loved ones have life insurance policies in place. They protect those left behind so they can continue to live out their dreams.

A company like Policygenius offers an easy way for anyone to compare and buy life insurance. The search engine allows you to compare policies and get instant quotes. Once you find the right fit, you can apply right online.

If you’re young and mostly healthy, consider purchasing term life insurance online from Ethos. It partners with a major A-rated life insurance carrier to provide policies for a low price. For example, $ 30 a month could get your family $ 1 million of coverage.

It’s not fun to think about, but it’s a necessary step for your life plans.

4. Pad the Bottom Line With Passive Income

The housing market is booming in Florida, including in places like Palmetto, Fla

Passive income is awesome. It’s income that keeps rolling in without you having to do much on your end. Suh-weet.

One great way to earn passive income is to invest in real estate. We found a company that helps you do just that.

Oh, and you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $ 500. A company called Fundrise does all the heavy lifting for you.

Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be split into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States.

This isn’t an obscure investment, though. You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation in the value of your shares, just like a stock. Cash flow typically comes from interest payments and property income (i.e. rent).

(But remember: Investments come with risk. While Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since 2014, dividend and principal payments are never guaranteed.)

You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.

5. Bring Your Operating Costs Down

If you’re treating your life like a business, you need to keep your operating costs down, right? That means taking a hard look at your monthly bills and cutting unnecessary costs. Luckly, that’s easier to do now than ever.

Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. On average, TrueBill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

And what about insurance on your wheels? For many, car insurance is just one of those things where we cave in and pay. Because, just like the electric bill and phone service, we need it, right?

Yes. Unfortunately, there’s no getting around car insurance,. But one way you could save money is by shopping around and comparing rates at least once a year. Less than 50% of us do that, according to this survey from The Zebra, though 81% of us report wanting lower rates.

So, just like you compare the prices of flights, shoes and laptops before purchasing, why not compare car insurance?

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.

When you cut out excess spending on monthly bills, you can put more in your pocket and more toward retirement. It just got a little closer.

6. Invest Like a CEO, but With as Little as $ 5

Aileen with money.

You know that you should be investing, but how? “It takes money to make money” is what they always say. Well, if you want to start investing, it doesn’t take as much money as you’d think.

If you’re like most of us and wish your money would just take care of itself, consider starting an investment account through Acorns.

You can start small and stack up change over time with its “round-up” feature. That means if you spend $ 10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.

Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.

The idea is you won’t miss the digital pocket change, and the automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think. For example, we reviewed how Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar was able to save at a rate of $ 420 a year!

At that rate, you could set aside $ 1,000 in about two and a half years — without trying.

The app is $ 1 a month for balances under $ 1 million, and you’ll get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up.

You’ll be able to watch your investments grow as you get closer and closer to retirement. It’s okay. Show off your portfolio to the gang at the water cooler.

7. Give Your 401(k) a Pep Talk

For many people, a 401(k) account is their primary tool for retirement savings. That’s great. But if you want to retire early, you need to make sure it’s doing all it can for you.

If you’re saving for your retirement with a 401(k), awesome.

But when’s the last time you truly checked in on your account, adjusted your allocations, addressed any fees and all that other fun stuff?

Try using a robo-adviser to make sure your 401(k) is on track with your retirement goals. Blooom is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that’ll optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

Your initial account checkup is free, and you can do it online in less than five minutes. This will help you get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many investment fees or if you have the appropriate amount of money invested in stocks versus bonds.

If you’re satisfied with the outcome of your initial checkup, great! If not, you can enroll in Blooom for $ 10 a month (Penny Hoarders get one month free). It’ll automatically adjust your 401(k) to best fit your needs all the way up to retirement.

8. Give Yourself Yearly Reviews

Now that you’ve made some smart moves to help put yourself in position to retire 10 years earlier than you otherwise could have, don’t just sit back and coast.

Like any good business, you need to review things at least once a year. Where can you cut back? Can you put a little more into your investments?

You’re the CEO of your life. Start acting like it, and watch the bottom line get bigger and better with time.

So… what will you do with an extra 10 years of free time?

Tyler Omoth 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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Japan business mood steady but outlook sours: BOJ tankan

Confidence among Japan’s big firms remained unchanged from three months ago, a closely-watched central bank survey showed, but sentiment on the outlook soured for the first time in three quarters as trade frictions and global growth concerns hurt the business mood.


Reuters: Business News

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Nearly half of corporate CFOs are expecting a US recession by the end of 2019

Duke University's look at where 212 CFOs stand showed that 48.6 percent think the next negative growth period is less than 12 months away. 
Economy

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Trump vexes GOP with wall negotiations in the face of a shutdown

President Donald Trump isn’t doing Congress any favors when it comes to figuring out how to avoid a partial government shutdown in nine days.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

11 Smart Financial Tools Made Just for Your Type A Personality

I’m a proud Type-A.

I have this innate drive to get things done — and get them done correctly and on time. I’m not happy coasting along; I want to climb that ladder, baby. If I’m running behind, I’m probably impulsively biting my nails off. I don’t think I’m competitive until I’m competing. Then it’s like some weird instinct kicks in, and I don’t know who I become.

I can be impatient with my Type-B counterparts, who are a little, well, too laid back for my taste.

OK, I kind of sound super high-strung. I promise I’m tolerable… ask my boyfriend. (Errr, well, maybe don’t.)

Although I have this innate love for to-do lists, color codes and all-things organization, some parts of my life are, well, not as tidy. Like my finances.

I can procrastinate the crap out of any financial matters. I get stressed out, so I push tasks to the side. Oh, I’ll check my retirement account… tomorrow. Oh, I’ll update my budget… never.

But don’t fret just yet. There are a number tools out there that can help us Type-A people organize our finances — without losing hours to get everything just so.

1. Check Your Financial Grade

Checking her credit score

While most of my classmates hated the day grades came out, I loved it. Luckily, most of mine were good, but I also just loved gauging my performance — knowing how I was doing and where I could work harder.

In real life, you don’t get grades. Your manager might offer feedback, but that’s about it.

What about finances? How do you know how you’re doing there?

Luckily, Credit Sesame offers free credit scores and credit report cards.

The easy-to-understand report outlines how you’re doing financially. You’ll get a big-picture view of your open accounts, your debt and any items sitting in collections. And, perhaps even better, it’ll offer actionable tips to help you improve your credit score.

2. Consolidate Your Financial Stress

If you’re juggling several unpaid credit card bills, or any form of debt for that matter, don’t panic. There’s an easier way to keep tabs on your outstanding balances — and even pay off your debt faster.

Try consolidating it into one manageable bill through Fiona, a financial technology company that helps match you to a personal loan that meets your needs. Consolidating your credit card debt could also help get you a lower interest rate and save you thousands while you pay it off.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Now, breathe a sigh of relief. No more juggling approximately 293,003 bills this month. You’ve just got one!

3. Optimize Your Retirement Plan

Woman planning her finances

Got a 401(k)? You’re on the right track. Now it’s time to clean it up by making sure it’s doing exactly what you need it to.

However, tapping into that account and deciphering the information — or lack thereof — can take hours. Not to worry: There’s a robo-adviser for that. Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

It gives you an initial 401(k) checkup for free, and you’ll get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many hidden fees, have the appropriate amount invested in stocks versus bonds, that kind of fun stuff.

After that, the tool is $ 10 a month to use to continue to monitor your retirement account. Let Blooom know your target retirement age, and it can help you get there by investing more and less aggressively.

4. Compare Yourself to Others — and Be the Best

Ah, got a competitive streak like me? Sometimes life turns into a competition. I’ve got this insane drive to be The Best. It’s hard to make it stop.

If you want to use that force for financial good, tap into Status Money, an app that allows you to anonymously compare your financial situation with your peers without asking those awkward, prying questions.

Link an account to tap into this database and you’ll be able to compare your income, debt, interest rates, credit score, spending… you name it.

By seeing how others are doing, you can see what you need to work on — or where you can sit back a little and just breathe easy.

5. Make Your Money Work as Hard as You Do

Woman holding money

Listen, you work hard for your money, so it should work just as hard for you. It shouldn’t be just sitting around. How dare it?

Make it work for you with an interest-earning bank account from Radius Bank.

The Radius Hybrid Checking account earns .85% APY on balances of at least $ 2,500 with no monthly fees or minimum balances after the initial $ 10 to open an account.

Sounds better than what you’re getting with your checking account at that big bank, right?

6. Strike a Budgeting Balance

As a Type A, it’s easy to get stuck in the details. Sometimes I’ll fixate on my pennies and dimes — versus the big-picture dollars.

But a budget can help you strike this balance. It allows you to keep track of those daily expenses in a way that’s future-thinking.

That’s where Empower comes in to help you organize and track your financial goals.

Simply link your accounts, and every time you log in, you’ll see a simple snapshot of where you stand on your monthly budget. Are you above or below the line? In one second, you’ll know whether you’re on track or need to dial things back a bit.

You can set goals, and Empower will keep you accountable.

7. Keep Overachieving — and Saving Money

Man driving his car

You’re most likely an overachiever, so of course you do your due diligence to hunt down great deals. But some bills fall to the wayside… When’s the last time you compared rates on your car insurance?

Your premium can creep up on you several times a year, if you’re not monitoring it.

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds to help you find the best rate.

If you’re beating its top pick, you know you’ve beat the system. If not, go ahead and secure the best rate.

8. Get Rewarded for Your Ability to Hit Deadlines

Your mom probably gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor when you were a kid. (You were really good at it.) Now all you get for doing it is a kitchen that’s clean for, like, 15 minutes.

As an adult, you don’t typically get rewards for doing things that are expected of you… until now.

This app kind of rules them all: MoneyLion, a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances.

MoneyLion offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits and will literally pay you for logging onto the app.

You can earn points in the rewards program by paying bills on time, connecting your bank account or downloading the mobile app. You can redeem those points for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

If credit cards aren’t your thing, MoneyLion is like having a rewards credit card without the temptation to overspend.

The app also connects with all your bank, credit card, student loan and other financial accounts. Based on your income and spending patterns, it offers personalized advice to help you save money, reduce your debt and improve your credit.

9. Dig Into Your Deep-Seated Clutter

Woman pulling out a sweater from her closet

Although I’m innately Type A, there are some deep, dark corners of my life that are, well, less than tidy. (Ask my boyfriend about the bomb that recently went off in my closet… Yikes.)

If you need some motivation to declutter even the darkest corners of your home, turn it into a fun side gig.

For example, if your closet looks anything like mine, consider cleaning it up and creating a “for sale” pile. You can list any items on Letgo, an easy-to-use app that allows you to snap a photo and list your unneeded items to folks in your area. It’s 100% free to use and removes a lot of the hassle of selling online.

For your technology (uh, yeah, for some reason I collect old phones in my bedside table…), get free estimates from Decluttr, a site that’ll buy your old CDs, DVDs, video games and even phones.

Just download the Decluttr app and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use, you won’t pay listing or seller fees, payment is super fast and even shipping is free.

10. Tidy up Your Subscription Services

For the most part, I love subscription services. I can get whatever I need to my front door each month. Vitamins? Check. Feminine products? Check. Beauty products? Why not…

Yeah, with my Type A comes compulsion sometimes, so I can go overboard. Every now and then I like to check in and see which subscriptions I’m getting billed for each month — clean things up a bit.

Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, refund your bank fees and, yes, cancel unwanted subscriptions. The app will remind you of all those sneaky subscriptions you’ve signed up for through the years, so you can cancel what you don’t use and reclaim your monthly budget.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

Signing up and using the service is free, though there are some paid premium services that are totally optional — but could totally be worth it.

11. Track Your Lofty Goals With Colorful Pens

Bullet journal planning

If you want to get a little more creative, set up goals and track them with a bullet journal. A bullet journal is great for the more creative Type A folks — the ones who love color-coding and drawing the straightest line possible.

You can set up a debt payoff plan, track your expenses or set up an annual savings plan. The Jihi Elephant blog has some great ideas to get you started.

In the end, embrace your Type-A tendencies. They’ll help you become financially happy and healthy.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves the feeling of crossing off items on a to-do list.

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

The Penny Hoarder

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Publicly silent, Trump has three words after watching Cohen: ‘He’s a liar’

President Donald Trump’s public silence on Wednesday belied his rising fury over longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who the President still insists is not telling the truth after he turned against him and was sentenced to three years in prison.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Anita Hill: Companies Should Treat Sexual Harassment as an Abuse of Power

After the Congressional testimonies of Christine Blasey [f500link, ignore=true]Ford[/f500link] and Brett Kavanaugh in September, professor Anita Hill met with students at Brandeis University to discuss and process the event.

“There were a range of feelings,” said the attorney, known for her own testimony accusing then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. “Anger, a feeling of disgust with leadership, and unfortunately a feeling of abandonment–a sense that they were not recognized, their experiences weren’t recognized.”

Hill said the students have been very engaged in the effort to combat sexual violence on college campuses, where currently one in four women can expect to be sexually assaulted during their time at school.

“They have put a lot of energy in it and taken a lot of risk to make known the problem of sexual assault for their generation,” she said Wednesday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Many women felt rage watching the Kavanaugh confirmation, Hill acknowledged, but disagreed with the idea that the outcome–Kavanaugh was later confirmed–meant no progress had been made in the 27 years since her own appearance on Capitol Hill.

“Maybe the Senate hasn’t changed enough, but we have,” she said. “And there’s a new generation of women coming up who are going to be even more empowered for change.”

That change needs to be large and institutional, Hill told a ballroom of executives, from college campuses to the workplace.

“I think we have to understand the root problem for what it is,” she said. “It’s not just about sexual harassment. In many ways, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It is about the abuse of power that occurs.”

Hill added: “We have to see this as a problem of power–power alignment and abuse, overall.”

If you don’t look at the issue as a comprehensive problem, it’s like playing whac-a-mole attempting to address instances of harassment as they occur, Hill said. Organizations instead need to understand the ways that people in positions of power can, and do, take advantage of others in the workplace.

“One way abuse of power is manifested is through sexual harassment,” she said. “But it’s also manifested through pay inequity. It’s also manifested through lack of leadership opportunities. It’s also manifested just by day to day aggressions that occur.”

It’s the power dynamic that often makes it difficult for people to report sexual misconduct. In the workplace, 75% of employees who report sexual harassment experience retaliation from managers or coworkers.

Because the fear of retaliation is real, companies need to make it clear from the highest levels that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated and create a standard process to rectify reports of harassment, Hill said.

“We need to make sure that we have very clear policies that are accessible and let people know, if they come forward, exactly what is going to happen to them,” she said.

It’s also important an employee knows that there will be an outcome when an issue is raised, rather than it disappearing into a human resources file, Hill added. It will require organizations to implement strong policies and live up to the promises they make to workers to begin to reduce the rates of sexual assault and harassment.

“We have to view this as a cultural problem, not a behavioral problem,” Hill said. “Do not be content with the idea that if we fire one or two high profile people, we’ve changed the culture of an institution. That is just not accurate. It’s not true and it’s not going to be effective.”

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Single? Our 30-Day Challenge Will Whip Your Finances Into Shape

Sure, it might seem like everyone in the world is coupling up.

You’ve basically mastered the art of third-wheeling — or fifth-wheeling.

Each day, your friends post engagement announcements: “I’m marrying my best friend!” Then, what seems like a week later, they’re posting month-by-month baby updates.

Yeah, sometimes it sucks you don’t have a go-to wedding date or built-in sounding board, but there’s also something beautiful about being single. You have time to focus on yourself, your career, your relationships and your finances.

If you need some help with that last one — the little ol’ money thing — we put together a 30-day money challenge just for you.

Day 1: Get a Bird’s-Eye View of Your Finances

Now, when someone tells you it’s time to start focusing on yourself, your next question might be, “How? What should I do first?”

Honestly, it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to getting your money in order, but we suggest tapping into your credit score and credit report.

Yes. Your credit score is very important. The better your score, the better rates you’ll get on a mortgage, car loan or credit card. Heck, a bad credit score could even mean you have to put down a deposit when setting up internet.

Go ahead and peep your credit score to see how you’re doing. You can do so for free through Credit Sesame.

Not only will Credit Sesame give you your score, it’ll also provide you with a free “credit report card,” which breaks down your credit report into easy-to-understand terms and action items.

Day 2: Start Tackling Credit Card Debt

If you don’t have any debt, good for you! Feel free to kick back today.

If you do (and many of us do, so don’t feel ashamed), then think about this: Credit card interest rates can reach more than 20% these days. That means you’re wasting good money that could go toward paying down the principal.

If you’re in this boat, consider refinancing your debt with a personal loan.

A good resource is Fiona. Nope, you didn’t find her on Tinder…

Fiona is a search engine for financial services, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Day 3: Build a Budget (No Math Required)

All right. Remember, it’s Wine Wednesday (that’s a thing, right?), so don’t be afraid to pour yourself a glass before tackling today’s challenge.

But really, this won’t be as painful as you think it will be, thanks to a free app that basically does it all for you.

The Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

Link the app to your bank accounts, and it will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you are overdoing it. That’s right: It will show you just how many times you went out for dinner because you didn’t want to do the dishes.

Set a monthly spending limit, and the app will show you a graph that can tell you in one snapshot just how you’re doing for the month. Are you over the line or under it? It’s that simple to see how you’re doing so you can adjust your spending accordingly.

Sometimes a little accountability is all you need.

Day 4: Look out for Yourself, and Start an Emergency Fund

When you’re single, you have to take care of yourself. To do that, build an emergency fund, a stash of money hidden away in case any unforeseen events pop up.

So… where to begin?

Try Digit, an innovative app that automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

If you need that money sooner than expected, you’ll always have access to it within one business day.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

Days 5 and 6: Snag Cash-Back on Your Weekend Indulgences

It’s Friyay and Caturday (if you’re into that sort of thing), which means it’s time for a night out with friends or maybe a family brunch.

Before you indulge, download Ibotta, a free app that’ll pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store and gas station receipts.

You can also earn cash back at your favorite restaurants and bars. For example, if you buy yourself and a friend a bottle of Stella Artois, take a photo of your bar tab, and Ibotta will give you $ 5. (Offers change regularly, so keep an eye for new deals!)

Once you hit $ 20, cash out. Oh, and you’ll get a $ 10 sign-up bonus through The Penny Hoarder, so you’re already halfway there.

Day 7: Fight Your Sunday Scaries With Fun Games

Woman relaxing while texting

Welcome to the Sunday Scaries. It’s time to grab your husband (and by husband, we mean that cozy pillow that tucks right around you) and turn on Netflix. Then, play games to save money.

Yep! The folks who created Long Game have you covered with a game that’s fun and helps you achieve your financial goals.  

As you save and accomplish missions, you’ll earn coins to play mini games for cash prizes. We’re talking the classics, like slot machines, scratch-offs and spin-to-win wheels.

I used Long Game to save money. Every two weeks, it would sneak $ 5 out of my bank account and reward me with coins.

In two months, I saved $ 35.70, just by playing games on my phone. Plus, my winnings amount to a gain of about 2% — way higher than interest on any other savings account I have.

Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 coins, so you can start playing immediately.

Day 8: Find More Affordable Car Insurance Rates

Woman driving her car

Did you know your car insurance rates can be dependent on your marital status? Yeah, not fair.

Either way, it’s time to check your rates to see how much money you could be saving.

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Head over to The Zebra’s search platform.
  2. After answering some questions, it’s time to compare. The Zebra gives you an “Insurability Score,” which is similar to your credit score except it’s for car insurance, and it  teaches you how to get better rates. The site also gives you different options for coverage.

Day 9: Insure Your Most Valuable Asset (or Costliest Expense)

OK, being single is great and all, but admittedly, it sucks when it comes to your monthly living expenses. If you don’t have a roommate, who do you split rent with? No one. And it’s dang expensive.

At least you can shop around for the best renters insurance rates.

Start by pulling a free quote. We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, through which renters insurance starts at $ 5 a month.

Beyond affordable rates, Lemonade adds a layer of transparency you don’t often see in the insurance world. Instead of profiting extra when it doesn’t have to pay out claims, the company keeps a set 20% of your premium for itself, and 80% goes into a pool for paying claims. Money left over after paying claims each year goes to a cause of your choice.

That also means Lemonade isn’t going to be super stingy about granting customers the claims they deserve — ’cause the money isn’t going into its pockets.

Day 10: Find the Cheapest Internet in Town With One Click

Plugging in internet cable

Today’s the day you’re going to stick it to your internet provider. Seriously. You don’t need anyone’s help.

It’ll take only a couple of minutes to compare rates around town and save a bundle on internet (without committing to a bundle package) when you shop through Squeeze.

Squeeze is free, and it allows you to either switch companies or negotiate with your current provider.

You can also check out its “cord-cutting” comparison. If you haven’t yet cut the cord, go ahead and compare how much your cable costs versus how much a handful of streaming services will cost.

Day 11: Trim Your Cell Phone Bill

Woman using cell phone

OK, does it seem like your cell phone bill increases each month?

Well, it’s time to call in a robot. The negotiation bot Trim will negotiate your AT&T cell phone bill down for you.

You can sign up simply with Facebook or your email address. Then, enter your plan’s account information, and Trim’s AI-powered system gets to work. If at first it doesn’t succeed, it’ll keep negotiating until it can save you some money.

Trim takes 25% of the savings tab, and you get the rest.

Day 12: Pay off Your Debt Even Faster

This challenge will help you cut your monthly expenses. That’s awesome! Now, instead of using that money saved to pay for a Really Bad™ Tinder date, put it toward your debt payoff efforts.

You can also recruit a free app to help out.

It’s called Qoins, and it can help you become debt-free without really thinking about it.

Qoins rounds up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar. The app tracks the roundups and makes withdrawals that it automatically puts toward a debt account of your choice each month.

How it works:

  1. Sign up, and add your lender (the account you want to pay off).
  2. Connect your checking or other bank account.
  3. Start saving and automatically paying down your debt.

Days 13 to 15: Find Some Free Fun This Weekend!

Man playing guitar for his date

Whoo, it’s finally Friday, so give yourself a break. Have some fun tonight, and let loose on into this weekend.

Got a hot date? Try going on a penny date. All you need is a penny and a 30-sided die.

Or plan a picnic with some friends, pack up the car and go camping, find an open mic night at a local bar, or hit up the local farmers market. If you’re looking to meet new people, you can always find a Meetup group that matches your interests.

Day 16: Breathe a Little Luck Into Your Day

Woman playing with her cell phone

No matter which way you slice it, Mondays kind of, almost always suck.

Before you get too down, it’s time to spice it up with a chance to win some money. Yep. It’s time to get lucky.

The Lucky Day app allows you to play digital scratch-off tickets and enter daily lotteries — for free. You can win cash and tokens to exchange for prizes, gift cards and raffle entries.

It’s all free to play, with no in-app purchases. The company has already awarded more than $ 3 million in prizes to winners since 2014.

Seriously, you could have that “I just found money in my pocket” feeling today just for playing games and having fun on your phone.

Day 17: Get Paid to Watch Videos

Young woman watching tv at home

Hey, so you’ve probably got a hot date with Netflix tonight… Why not mix things up a bit and get paid to watch videos?

Seriously! InboxDollars pays you to watch TV online.

The site hosts a ton of stuff to watch, including cooking, entertainment, news and health shows. The shows are sponsored by brands that need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one, InboxDollars will credit your account with a little bit of cash.

Day 18: Try Your Hand at a Survey Site and Get a $ 5 Bonus

If you’re feeling sensitive about being single these days, maybe skip today’s challenge. Sure, survey sites can be an easy way to make money online, but they’re also going to ask you a ton of demographic questions… like, tell us your relationship status. Over and over.

If you want to bank a little extra money, though, sign up with MyPoints. You can earn gift cards when you participate in polls and fill out surveys. Plus, once you complete your first five surveys, you’ll earn a $ 5 bonus.

Day 19: Dip Your Pocket Change Into Some Investments

Man using his phone

Want to give investing a try today? Come on! It’s time to try something new.

Start small, and download Acorns, an investing app that’ll round up your debit and credit card purchases and, once it accumulates $ 5, it’ll invest the spare change for you.

That means if you spend $ 10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account. Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.

The app is $ 1 a month for balances under $ 1 million, and you’ll get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up.

If you’ve got a $ 50 bill burning a hole in your wallet, then look into Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It considers everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.

You’ll get a $ 50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.

Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($ 3.75) per year if you invest $ 500.

Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.

Days 20 to 22: Master the Art of Earning Cash Back (and Get $ 10 Free!)

Woah… where did this week go?

All right. You don’t quite get this weekend off, but trust us. This task will be fun, especially if you have big plans to do some online shopping. Hey, it’s a treat-yourself kind of weekend.

Before doing anything, sign yourself up for Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you up to 10% cash back on online purchases at Walmart.

Plus, you’ll get a free $ 10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

Then check out Paribus, a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts.

If Paribus discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

Day 23: Find a Bank That’ll Treat You (and Your Money) Right

All right. It’s time to break the never-ending cycle of fees… It’s time to break up with your… bank. Duh.

Radius Bank does more than your average bank to make you feel appreciated. The full-service virtual bank offers perks that traditional banks don’t, including up to 17 times the national average interest rate with the Radius Hybrid checking account.

Radius Hybrid is a free checking account that combines the interest-earning potential of a savings account with the flexibility of a checking account. You’ll earn 1% APY on balances over $ 2,500 (1.2% on balances above $ 100,000).

You’ll also enjoy freedom from fees: There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and you can be reimbursed for fees from any ATM in the world (yup).

Ready for someone to go above and beyond for you? You can open an account with just $ 100 — in as little as five minutes.

Day 24: Hunt Down a Savings Account That Pays out

So you’ve started an emergency savings. That’s awesome! But now it’s time to make sure your savings is making some money for you — to really cushion your just-in-case plan.

An iOS app called Varo Money combines traditional banking tools with modern technology to help its customers become financially healthy.

Here’s the best part: Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 1.75% annual percentage yield. That’s nearly 20 times — repeat, 20 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

Day 25: Check Into Your 401(k)

Got a 401(k)? You’re on the right track.

Now, you just need to make sure it’s doing what you need it to. However, tapping into that account and deciphering the information — or lack thereof — can be hard.

There’s a robo-adviser for that. Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

It gives you an initial 401(k) checkup for free, and you’ll get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many hidden fees, have the appropriate amount invested in stocks versus bonds, that kind of fun stuff.

After that, the tool is $ 10 a month to use to continue to monitor your retirement account. Let Blooom know your target retirement age, and it can help you get there by investing more and less aggressively.

Day 26: Get $ 150 for Signing up for a New Credit Card

How many times do you reward yourself each day? Probably not enough.

That’s because if you’re not using a rewards credit card for everyday purchases, you’re missing out on free money.

You just have to be sure you don’t get too carried away with those purchases — and that the card is paid off at the end of each billing period.

Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $ 500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $ 150 bonus.

Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.

*The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

Day 27: Temper Your Credit Card Use With This Safety Net

Need a little accountabilibuddy when it comes to credit card swiping? You don’t need a human for that. We’ve got another solution.

An app called Debitize basically turns your credit card into a debit card, for free. With it, you can connect any credit card to a checking account.

Whenever you swipe your credit card, Debitize pulls the same amount of cash from your bank account. It stores the cash for you until it’s time to pay your credit card bill. Then it pays that bill for you a week before the due date.

The best of both worlds: You can build credit and get those sweet credit card perks, and also prevent yourself from running up unmanageable debt.

Days 28 and 29: Celebrate the Weekend by Binging Netflix

Whoo! It’s already the weekend again, and you’re almost done with your 30-day challenge!

Take the weekend to binge “The Great British Baking Show” if you haven’t already. Seriously, it’ll make you so happy.

Day 30: Reflect on How Awesome YOU Are!

Congratulations. You’ve made it to the end of your 30-day money challenge!

How are you feeling? Did you finally check off all those financial tasks you’d been meaning to get to? That’s what happens when you have more time to focus on yourself. (No offense, significant others… )

Whatever your goal was, we’re glad you took some time to focus on yourself and your finances. In the end, it’ll set you up for success in the future.

Now, just remember: Before you go jumpin’ into any relationship, be sure to have the money talk before you truly commit.

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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12.11.18 The smartphone decline; How to give gift cards; For-profit college closures

Smartphones aren’t getting much smarter these days. So Clark tells you how to avoid the hype and avenues to pay less on your cell phone hardware; Gift cards aren’t the best gift. But you can make it a decent gift with a couple smart strategies; A few for-profit colleges went bust today. It’s important for students to apply for student loan cancellation.

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This School Counselor Paid Off $42K of Debt on a $36K Salary. Here’s How

When Val Breit graduated from college in January 2012, she picked up her diploma and a bill for $ 42,000 in student loans.

Val had been saving for her wedding, but now out of school, she felt the weight of her student loans more heavily than before.

As she looked at her repayment options, she saw that if she stuck to the plan she was automatically assigned to, she’d pay an extra $ 32,000 in interest for her master’s degree in school counseling.

“I started bawling,” she remembered. “How am I ever going to repay that?”

It was the moment she decided to stop ignoring her debt and prioritize paying it off.

How to Pay Off Debt Without a Second Job

Val and her now husband, Nathan, had been engaged for over a year when she graduated. They were planning a small wedding that would cost $ 10,000. After help from family and her fiance, Val was left with $ 2,500 to fund on her own.

So she started living frugally while in school to be able to save for the wedding. She would eventually cover most of her portion with those savings.

Nathan, who had about $ 9,000 in student loans himself, admired what his bride was doing but didn’t feel the same urgency about paying off his own debt. He’d maybe put an extra $ 20 per month toward paying it off, but he was always supportive of Val’s mission.

Even in marriage, Val and Nathan didn’t combine their incomes. So instead of working extra or starting a side hustle, Val decided that to pay off her student loans, she’d just continue the frugal lifestyle she’d adopted to save for her wedding.

Val had just started a job as a school counselor making $ 36,000 per year. Even though her student loans were more than her salary, she was determined.

“We really looked at things through the lens of, ‘Do I want this thing now — like a new couch set, for example — or do I want to get rid of this debt?’” Val said. It was this perspective that influenced all her day-to-day decisions.

Here are some of the things she did to cut expenses.

She carpooled to work. “I had a 35-minute commute each way to work, and I carpooled with co-workers almost every day for two years to save on gas and car maintenance,” Val said. “My husband also carpooled on his one-hour-each-way commute for two years.”

She used a flip phone. Val tried to get a smartphone with a data plan, but it never fit in their budget. “My friends had smartphones in college. My co-workers had smartphones at work. My mom even had a smartphone before I did,” she said.

They got hand-me-down furniture. “We had a kitchen table with ugly plastic paisley that was probably from the ‘80s,” Val remembered. Their bed, barstools, recliner, end tables, coffee tables — almost everything was stuff their family members wanted to get rid of.

They drove old cars they could pay cash for. Val’s was used with 100,000 miles, and Nathan’s was an old beater they bought from an elderly woman who could no longer drive. “He was still driving it when it was a ‘collector’ at 20 years old!” Val joked.

She made manual loan payments. “Since my lender could never get my autopayments right, I ended autopayments, sacrificed the whatever-percent reduction and made every single payment manually.” Val usually made two per month: the first for what was due, and the second for whatever was left in her checking account that would allow her to keep a $ 1,000 balance.

“The manual payments made me a little more angry at my loan and motivated me to just pay it off faster,” she said. “I didn’t know it at the time, but by being active with my payments instead of passive, I always knew exactly how much I still owed and how much was still going toward interest. Both made me sick and fueled my debt-payoff fire.”

The Finish Line

In May 2013, after almost a year of being married, Val and Nathan bought a house in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin, and finally combined their finances — and their efforts to become debt-free.

They continued to live frugally, budget and live without smartphones. In the fall of 2014, they were down to the last $ 9,000. They found out they were pregnant, and Val knew she didn’t want to still be paying off debt when they brought home their baby.

After taking a look at their sinking funds for things like cars and traveling, they realized they had enough to pay it all off. Then they could rebuild those funds as if they were paying off the debt. So in November 2014, she made her final student loan payment.

Val had her baby in May 2015. And without debt payments, she was able to afford to quit her job — the job that provided 60% of the household income and the family’s health insurance — and now gets to stay home with her.

“I fully believe paying off my student loans and getting us together living this lifestyle of living below our means, budgeting and knowing how to tighten things up is the reason I can be a stay-at-home mom.”

Val has since written a book to help others pay off their student loans quickly, even without a six-figure income or the time to start 100 side hustles.

“It all started with paying off debt,” Val said. “That really changed our lives and our family’s life.”

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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How a Staycation Cut our Travel Spending by $1,500

My partner Nick and I love to travel, so we prioritize vacations in our budget. But when we felt like we needed an unplanned vacation earlier this year and saw that we were just on track to hit our vacation-saving goals — a trip out West in 2019 and a European adventure in 2020 — we had to improvise.

For months, Nick had been renovating the house we bought earlier this year and managing his own small business. I’d been juggling a full-time job and my own freelance writing gig.

It was so tempting to book a $ 2,000 trip to Myrtle Beach.

We both needed a break. And we had the money elsewhere in savings, just not earmarked for a trip.

But instead, we agreed to save the $ 2,000 and allow ourselves $ 500 for five days at home — a staycation to explore our hometown (Dayton, Ohio), ease our stress and just enjoy one another.

Sure, a few days at the beach would have recharged us brilliantly. But when you have other savings goals — be they paying off student loan debt, putting a down payment on a house or even just funding a more extravagant vacation down the road — a staycation can work miracles.

Even experts agree. Nick Hatter, an accredited life coach in the U.K., told me about what happens in our brains when we create positive staycation memories.

“A staycation enables you to create positive neuro-associations between your home and fun, relaxation and unwinding,” Hatter says. “Often, we are so busy with other things that we don’t take time to enjoy ourselves in our homes. By taking a staycation, we can begin to change what feelings and interpretations we associate with our home.”

Not only do staycations allow us to create these positive neuro-associations with our homes and communities, but they also eliminate much of the stress associated with regular vacations. There is no need to book flights (and deal with airports), pack your bags or find a dog sitter. You’ll also eliminate many of the financial stresses of a vacation by sleeping in your own bed and skipping the flights and rental cars.

Are you working with a limited vacation budget? Plan a staycation instead. Here’s what we did with our $ 500 staycation budget.

Day 1: First Dates

A big dish of ice cream.

On the first day of our staycation, Nick and I re-entered the honeymoon phase of dating and combined a few first-date activities into one fun day. Together, we saw a movie at the theater (we went early enough so that I wouldn’t fall asleep), played a couple rounds of mini golf, went bowling and enjoyed several scoops of ice cream.

Nick has celiac disease, so it is challenging for him to dine out without getting sick from gluten cross-contamination. We know of a few gluten-free restaurants in the area, but they are somewhat pricy, which added to our expenses.

Total cost for the day: $ 115

Day 2: Kayaking and Hiking

two men sit in their kayaks on a lake.

Nick and I like to enjoy the outdoors together, so we woke up early for day two of our staycation to kayak down a nearby river that we hadn’t yet explored. Because we had bought our own kayaks when we lived by a large lake in Tennessee, there was no cost other than a bottle of sunscreen. Even if you don’t own equipment, you can typically rent kayaks, canoes or rafts at low rates along any sizable river.

After a quick lunch at home, we grabbed our dogs (a greyhound-Weimaraner mix and a Great Dane) and headed out for an eight-mile hike. Again, no cost.

Though we were exhausted by the time we got home, we spent $ 20 on groceries and baked a delicious (and gluten-free) meal of salmon, rice and veggies in our own kitchen.

Total cost for the day: $ 20

Day 3: Day in Bed

After kayaking and hiking for an entire day, Nick and I were exhausted. We spent the third day of our staycation really emphasizing the staying part. Other than trips to the bathroom (or to let the dogs out to do the same) and the kitchen to grab food, we spent most of the day in bed watching movies, playing video games and reconnecting. If you are feeling drained from your daily life, this is the task I most recommend for your staycation.

Nick and I are antsy by nature, so in the late afternoon, we left our bed to go antiquing, but we returned quickly, made another $ 20 dinner and got back in bed.

Total cost for the day: $ 20

Day 4: Art Museum and Cooking Class

For our fourth day vacationing at home, Nick and I went out in search of culture in our hometown. We grabbed lunch at a cafe, toured a local art museum and finished things off with a special gluten-free cooking class, which was admittedly pricey — but hey, at least it included dinner.

Total cost for the day: $ 140

Day 5: Water Park and Laser Tag

Though we had greatly enjoyed our staycation, we still wanted a taste of the beach. So we left our city and drove half an hour to a water park with towering slides, a lazy river and, my favorite: beers on a makeshift beach, complete with reggae music. On the way home, we even squeezed in another extreme activity: laser tag. (For the record: I won.)

We dined out one last time and reminisced about how we’d spent the last five days.

Total cost for the day: $ 170

A man and two dogs stand on the shore of a lake.

Our total cost for the whole five-day staycation came in under our budget: $ 465. That meant we were even less off track for our big upcoming vacations than we’d planned, and we returned to chaotic life feeling relaxed and refreshed… albeit a little sunburnt.

Timothy Moore is an editor, freelance writer and part-time adventurer. His favorite trips have included the Scottish Highlands, the beaches of Mexico, the roller coaster capital of the world, the California coast and, now, his own backyard.

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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Video Games Won’t Be Part of the Paris Olympics

The Olympic Games regularly add new events, but officials aren’t quite ready to embrace eSports.

This weekend, the International Olympic Committee met for the 7th Olympic Summit, where competitive video gaming was among the topics of discussion. The verdict? It’s still “premature” to discuss including them in the Olympic games.

That’s bound to be disappointing to supporters, who had hoped for a breakthrough in the 2024 Paris games. Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic committee, is a proponent of bringing video games to the Olympics.

Despite initial opposition to eSports, Olympic organizers didn’t entirely shut the door on the idea.

The IOC “agreed that the Olympic Movement should continue to engage with [the eSports] community.” It also said some titles were “not compatible” with the Olympic values, presumably referring to action and shooter games. Explaining, the IOC drew a contrast between how the eSports “industry is commercially driven” as opposed to the “values-based” aim of other sports, a claim that many might find fault with.

Still, the IOC did say it planned to invite stakeholders in the eSports industry to a liaison group, where they would “explore jointly collaborative projects”.

eSports might seem a strange fit in the Olympics, but many of the Olympics most popular events were similarly greeted with skepticism. Snowboarding wasn’t added until 1998. And as the X Games grew in popularity, the Olympics added Big Air aerials and slopestyle skiing.

Five new sports will debut in 2020, some of which, like skateboarding, are designed to appeal to younger demographics. That audience will likely be what ultimately convinces the IOC to add eSports to the games at some point. Viewership for events, both online and on TV, has regularly outpaced that of major traditional sports tournaments.

The IOC also has some time to change its mind. No final decisions about the competition in the Paris Olympics will be made until 2020, after Tokyo’s time with the Games is done.

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Trump, without evidence, accuses James Comey of lying to House Judiciary Committee

President Donald Trump lashed out at former FBI Director James Comey over testimony he gave to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees on Friday, accusing the former FBI chief, without evidence, of lying to lawmakers and questioning his inability to recall events related to certain questions.


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How This Couple Paid Off $83K of Debt in 20 Months Living in Pricy Seattle

The typical equation for paying off debt looks like this:

Income – Expenses = Amount you can pay toward debt

May the math be ever in your favor.

But for most people, it’s not. Especially if you’re living in one of the highest cost-of-living cities in America without the income to match.

That’s where Cody and Georgi Boorman found themselves in January 2014, living paycheck to paycheck in Seattle.

At that time, the cost of living in Seattle was 9.3% higher than the U.S. as a whole. Rent prices were a whopping 29.3% higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Cody and Georgi both had recently earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington that left them with $ 56,000 of student loan debt. They also owed $ 27,000 on a car loan, putting their total debt at $ 83,000.

Cody was a quality control lead for a credit card payments company; Georgi was a baker and freelance writer.

“We were getting to a point where it didn’t matter if we were getting a little bit of a raise or a bonus,” Cody said. “We would look at our bank account at the end of the month and it would be the same number as when we started the month.”

But then they decided they wanted kids. They knew they couldn’t afford any in their current state.

The First Steps They Took to Crush Their Debt

Georgi holds her two-year-old daughter Eloise.

The Boormans’ journey started with one goal: pay off the car.

The bill for their 2012 Honda Civic was $ 465 per month, and they owed $ 8,000 more than it was worth. If they could get rid of that payment, they’d have enough wiggle room to start saving for a baby.

So they started looking at unique opportunities that their city provided them to lower their expenses.

They switched cell phone carriers from Verizon, which they paid $ 120 per month, to Republic Wireless, which they now pay about $ 34 per month.

Groceries are another expense that typically cost more in big cities.

But Cody noticed that because there are so many options in each neighborhood, the stores are constantly competing. So they shopped for deals and used Costco to keep their grocery bill at $ 75 per week.

After five months, they paid the Civic down to value.

They realized the cost to drive their car was astronomical for the number of miles they traveled. They only drove to work, the grocery store and church, plus they made one trip per month to see family one to three hours away.

That’s another benefit of living in a city: Everything is close together.

So instead of continuing to pay the car off, they sold it back to the dealer and bought a Nissan Altima for $ 2,400.

And not only did they eliminate their car payment, but they were also able to lower their car insurance from full coverage to liability-only coverage, which saved them another $ 50 per month.

By the time they eliminated their car payment, they were on a roll. But they decided they didn’t just want to be car-payment free. They wanted to be completely debt-free.

“It almost started to become a game,” Cody said. “Like, ‘How quickly can we actually do this now that we have everything out in front of us?’”

And then, a week later, Georgi lost her job.

How They Paid Off $ 80,000 in 20 Months

Georgi and Cody Boorman pose with their daughter Eloise, 2, in front of their home in Moses Lake, WA.

Georgi was only unemployed for four weeks, but her new job paid 20% less. It was a hit. But it made them all the more motivated to finish paying off their student loans.

So they made and followed a budget every month. After every raise or bonus, they put more toward the debt, and eventually, 70% of their take-home pay was going to debt payments — which is impressive when you consider the exorbitant costs of rent in Seattle.

But because there are lots of rentals in a booming city, there are still opportunities to find a deal. Cody found their rental by searching Craigslist for the term “ASAP.”

“We knew people who needed to rent their units out ASAP would rent them out at a lower cost,” he said.

The Boormans paid $ 1,250 per month for their apartment, which was only a mile from their jobs.

And they didn’t stop there. This new financial picture gave them room to dream bigger than they ever could have even one year prior. They wanted to buy a house and were now in a position to do so… just not in Seattle.

The couple knew that when they started a family they wanted to be near family. So in the middle of their debt-free journey, they saved up $ 3,000 and moved three hours east to Moses Lake, Washington.

The move didn’t significantly lower their cost of living or help them pay off the debt faster. But because of all the work they’d done in the 13 months prior, they were able to seize the right opportunity at the right time.

In August 2015, six months after moving into their new house, Cody and Georgi became debt-free.

And in October 2016, their first daughter Eloise was born.

Bigger Picture

The Boorman's wrote a book,

Since Cody and Georgi paid off their debt, they haven’t slowed down.

They’ve continued to get raises and pursue freelance work, and their income is now up to $ 90,000. They’re using the extra cash to try to reach financial independence — or the ability to live off passive income from investments and businesses —  in the next five years to spend more time with Eloise and their future kids.

Their journey started with paying off their car loan and grew into a new way to look at life and spending. One that values free time over more stuff.

Earlier this year, they co-wrote the book “Clocking Out Early” to teach others to cut expenses, invest well and retire early — no matter what their income or the cost of living of their city.

Now when it comes to spending money, Cody asks himself this question: “What can we do to reduce this expense, and ultimately, maybe increase our happiness?”

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Don’t panic, but the Labor Department might access your credit report

Dear John: I recently reviewed my TransUnion credit report and learned Labor Secretary Alex Acosta had accessed my credit reports. Since I don’t work for Labor and I’ve not applied for credit from Labor or its federal credit union, it is alarming to me that Acosta and his staff would access my credit reports. I…
Business | New York Post

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Trump tries to change the story, but Russia cloud darkens

President Donald Trump is dipping into his playbook of distraction and denial, but even his skills at weaving alternative narratives cannot disguise the growing threat he faces from special counsel Robert Mueller.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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Fed’s Bullard becomes first on central bank to suggest delaying December rate hike

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard says the central bank could consider postponing its widely anticipated December rate hike by one month because of an inverted yield curve.
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Nissan seeks to block Ghosn’s access to apartment in Rio

Nissan said it was seeking to block former chairman Carlos Ghosn’s access to an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, citing a risk that the executive, arrested and removed from his role for financial misconduct, may remove or destroy evidence.


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Do These 11 Things Now to Set Your Finances up for the Next 20 Years

It’s so hard to plan ahead. It’s even harder to plan way, way ahead — like 20 years into the future. I mean, some of us have trouble planning more than a week in advance. I know I do.

Financially speaking, we should all be planning for the future — at least a little bit. The question is, how can you set yourself up for success in the future? What can you do with your money right now that you’ll be happy about in 20 years?

We’ve got some ideas. They’re mostly about improving your financial habits — with a little technological help.

Save Without Thinking About It

woman on phone at night

Automate, automate, automate. Harness technology, and make it do the work for you so that in 20 years, you’ll be prepared for the next step, whether that’s buying a new home, traveling the world or retiring.

Set things up so a certain amount of your money gets automatically funneled into savings, investment and retirement accounts. That way, you can build wealth without thinking about it.

1. Let This App Save for You (and Get $ 5 Free!)

It helps if you can save money without really noticing it.

Digit makes that possible. Link the app to your checking account, and it will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders get an extra $ 5 just for signing up. Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months. Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward.

Pro tip: In the long run, you’ll need a smart place to store your savings. There’s no law that requires you to bank the old-fashioned way — at a brick-and-mortar bank with a crummy interest rate on your savings.

An app called Varo Money offers a savings account where you’ll earn 1.35% annual percentage yield. That’s more than 20 times — repeat, 20 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

2. Invest Your Spare Change

To automate your investments, consider starting an account with Acorns. Use its “round-up” feature. That means if you spend $ 10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.

Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.

The idea is you won’t miss the digital pocket change, and the automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think. For example, we reviewed how Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar was able to save at a rate of $ 420 a year!

The sooner you start investing, the better off you’ll be 20 years from now.

The app is $ 1 a month, and you’ll get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up.

Think About Retirement… Now

senior couple out on the beach

If you have a 401(k) plan through your employer, you should be contributing money to it with every paycheck. If you don’t have one, consider opening an IRA, an individual retirement account. It’s a retirement savings plan you can put money into without going through an employer.

Like with investing, the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better off you’ll be in 20 years.

3. Get a Free Look at the Health of Your 401(k)

If you’re like most people, you have no idea whether you’re on pace for retirement or just sputtering along. Chances are your 401(k) could be doing a lot better.

Take control with help from Blooom, an investment advisory firm that can optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

It just takes a few minutes to get a free 401(k) analysis that will show you whether your investments are allocated properly and whether you’re losing money paying hidden investment fees. It’ll even tell you just how much more money your account could earn by the time you want to retire.

After that, if you sign up, it costs $ 10 per month to have Blooom monitor and maximize your 401(k). Bonus: Penny Hoarders get the first month free with the code PNNYHRD.

Manage Your Credit and Debts

man holding credit cards

In the long run, you’ll be in good shape if you maintain good credit and deal with your debts. If you’re smart and strategic about this now, it’ll pay dividends over the next couple of decades.

4. Get Your Credit Under Control

Keeping tabs on your credit score and your credit reports can help guide you to a financially healthier life — especially if you use a free credit-monitoring service like Credit Sesame. It gives you personalized suggestions for improving your credit.

The better your credit, the better off you’ll be when you’re getting a home or car loan. Credit Sesame can estimate how big a mortgage you might qualify for, for example.

Here’s our ultimate guide to using Credit Sesame.

5. Kill off High-Interest Debt

Most of us have got debt — student loans, car loans, credit cards, maybe a mortgage. But not all debt is created equal.

Be strategic. Pay down your high-interest debts first (while still paying the minimum balances on all your other debts).

That way, you’ll spend significantly less money on interest payments over the long run. As the years pass, your high-interest debts should start to disappear. In 20 years, you shouldn’t have any.

This is commonly called the debt avalanche method.

Your highest-interest debts are probably your credit cards. And at the bottom of the list? Probably your federal student loans, which tend to come with favorable interest rates and flexible repayment options.

6. Lower Your Interest Rates

Target that credit card debt first. A lot of us are being crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. If you’re in that boat, consolidation and refinancing might be worth a look. Pay off your high-interest debt with a lower-interest personal loan

Here’s an easy way to do that: Fiona, a search engine for financial services, can match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

Establish a Budget-Conscious Lifestyle

interior of a car in new york city

We’re not asking you to radically change your life. That’s not realistic. You don’t have to suddenly start living like a monk or anything.

Still, to set up your finances for the next 20 years, it’d be smart to establish some new habits.

7. Cut Your Food Budget

Groceries will be a huge part of your budget for the long run, so it’s worth taking a few steps to shop smarter. Here are our favorite tricks to save money on groceries:

  • Look for free printable coupons.
  • Compare your local grocery prices using this worksheet.
  • Earn cash back. Ibotta pays you cash-back on purchases if you take pictures of your grocery store receipts. Plus, you’ll get a $ 10 bonus for signing up!

8. Spend Less on Car Insurance

Car insurance will likely be a constant expense for you. That’s why it’s worth shopping around for a new policy every now and then. (Most people don’t bother.)

Just like you compare the prices of flights, shoes and laptops before purchasing, why not compare car insurance?

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.

9. Look Into Life Insurance

Because we’re thinking about the long term: If you have a family, the last thing you want is to leave them without any financial support once you’re gone.

Maybe you should think about life insurance, which pays your dependents a set amount of money if you die. You might at least look into a basic policy that would pay off your funeral, mortgage or other debt.

Ethos can get you term life insurance in less than 10 minutes — with no medical exam — for coverage up to $ 1 million. Ethos offers a digital application, and customer service is available if you have questions.

Make More Money

interior of an airbnb listing

In 20 years, you’ll want to be making more money. Ultimately, that’s up to you and your career path. In the meantime, we’ve got a couple of shortcuts to help you pad your bank account.

10. Get a Side Gig

To set yourself up for the long term, it helps to have more than one source of income.

Look for ways to earn extra money on the side. Here are a few options:

  • As a partner driver with Uber, you’d be an independent contractor. You’d set your own schedule and drive as much or as little as you want. You must be at least 21, have a valid driver’s license and pass a background check. Your car must be a four-door, registered in-state and covered by in-state insurance.
  • List a guest room on Airbnb, which could help you make hundreds — or thousands — in extra income each month. We’ve discovered you can list just about anything through the platform, including couches and backyard tents.
  • Here’s our guide to making extra money online.
  • Here’s our beginner’s guide to earning passive income.

11. Use a Rewards Credit Card

To earn a little extra cash, look at getting a rewards credit card. The rewards can really add up over time.

For instance, an option like the Chase Freedom Unlimited card* enables you to earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. (Hello, grocery store!) Plus, if you spend $ 500 in your first three months of opening the card, you’ll pocket a $ 150 bonus.

Keep in mind that there are different types of rewards credit cards, so make sure to get the kind that works best for you:

  • Cash back credit cards are the simplest, because they just give you a portion of your spending back as a rebate.
  • Travel rewards cards offer miles, flights, hotel stays, car rentals and more.

Here’s our basic primer on rewards credit cards, and here’s our list of nearly 40 ways you can increase your earnings from your rewards cards.

No matter what, make sure to pay off your bill each month so you’re not paying interest on a balance.

*The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He tries to plan at least a couple days in advance.

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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12.7.18 Clark Stinks; Free gifts for kids at Christmas

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here; Clark shares a long list of free gifts that will mean a lot to kids at Christmas time. 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video
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Huawei executive’s arrest puts more pressure on Trump and Xi as they grapple over the global order

While the arrest of Meng Wanzhou did not stem directly from trade talks, it made them more complicated and sensitive. It also served as a stark reminder of the deep frustrations that underpin Washington's relationship with Beijing.
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Trump calls for Mueller probe to end following Manafort, Cohen court filings

President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Saturday that Friday’s court filings in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases showed no collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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Musk: “It’s Possible” Tesla Would Buy Shuttered GM Factories

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a TV interview that “it’s possible” that his company would buy several General Motors factories that the company has slated to close.

Last month, GM announced plans to close five plants in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan and Ontario in 2019. Additionally, the automaker said it would cut its workforce by 15% and discontinue some of its models.

The move was the company’s biggest reorganization since filing for bankruptcy in 2009, which ended in a bailout by U.S. and Canadian taxpayers. Part of that restructuring included more of a focus on electric cars, news that Musk celebrated in the interview with 60 Minutes.

“The whole point of Tesla is to celebrate the advent of electric vehicles and sustainable transport, try to help the environment, we think its the most serious problem that humanity faces,” Musk said.

If Musk makes good on his statement, it wouldn’t be the first time his company has taken over facilities after closures by other companies–nor the first time the company would take over a plant used by GM.

Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif. was previously a Nummi plant, jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors, which at its peak produced more than 350,00 vehicles annually. After GM declared bankruptcy in 2009 and Toyota sold its stake, Tesla bought the plant in 2010 for $ 42 million.

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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It’s OK to Stop Saving Money If You’re Doing One of These 6 Things

At 7, your goal was to save enough money so you could buy that new toy all the kids were raving about.

At 18, you just wanted to scrape up enough to stock up on ramen for the week.

At 23, your cohorts started talking about emergency funds, and you thought, “OK, I probably need a little nest egg of my own, too.”

At 27, you started counting down to retirement — only about 40 years away… Better start saving now.

And you’re still saving.

You’ve basically been saving money your entire life. Is there ever a time you’ll be able to stop saving money? Perhaps even — gasp — spend it?

Short answer: Yes!

6 Times It’s OK to Stop Saving Your Money

We’ll forever encourage people to save their pennies, but, depending on your financial situation, sometimes it’s OK to stop saving, even just for a little while. Come on; you’ve earned it, right?

Breathe a sigh of relief. It’s OK to stop saving money if you’re…

1. Investing in Causes You Care About

Hand of person holding light bulb

Once you have a nice rainy day fund saved, investing can be a great way to grow your money. In a way, you’re still saving money — but know risk is always associated with investing.

You’ll want to make sure you’re using your hard-saved money to support companies you actually believe in — their morals and values. You probably wouldn’t want to invest in a company that’s destroying our oceans or cheating the system.

Impact investing is a simple fix. It adds a new layer of transparency to investing. Take Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It considers everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.

You can start with just $ 50 and invest in this or other portfolios committed to clean water, zero waste, renewable energy or disease eradication, to name a few. Plus, you’ll get a $ 50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.

Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($ 3.75) per year if you invest $ 500.

Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.

2. Signing up for Life Insurance

If you have a dependent or two, you’ll want to think about life insurance. Sure, it’ll cost you a monthly fee, but it’ll help ensure your family will be financially sound if (goodness forbid) anything happens to you.

Plus, finding life insurance doesn’t have to be the complicated, research-intensive experience you might expect. Some newcomers in the industry are updating the old model.

Ethos can get you term life insurance in less than 10 minutes — with no medical exam — for coverage up to $ 1 million. Ethos offers a digital application, and customer service is available if you have questions.

It partners with a major life insurance carrier to quickly offer policies as low as $ 6 a month. It’s helped thousands of folks access term life insurance, including independent contractors who use Uber, Postmates, TaskRabbit and other gig apps.

So even if you have to take $ 6 out of your savings each month, life insurance could be worth it — for that peace of mind.

3. Paying off Your Credit Card Debt

TPH photo editor, Alexa Vincent, in various scenes showing credit card debt, consolidation and bankruptcy on August 14, 2018.

A lot of us are being crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. That can make paying off your debt feel like this never-ending cycle — and can even cost you thousands of extra dollars over time.

If you have a nice savings cushion, it could be beneficial to pause your savings for a couple of months and pay off your debt more quickly to alleviate the pain of tacked-on interest.

See if you can make your debt a little more manageable first by consolidating or refinancing with a personal loan.

A good resource is online lending platform Upstart, which can help you find a loan without relying on only your conventional credit score.

Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).

It can help you borrow up to $ 50,000, potentially with better terms (e.g. lower interest or lower monthly payments) than traditional lenders. If managing many different bills and credit lines is a hassle, you can also use an Upstart loan to streamline all of your loans into one.

4. Preparing for a Happy Retirement

Because you’re already into saving, you probably have a 401(k). Kudos for that, but is it doing what you need it to?

Chances are, your 401(k) could be doing a lot better. Take control with help from Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that can optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you and keep it speeding toward retirement.

It just takes a few minutes to get a free 401(k) analysis that will show you whether your investments are allocated properly and whether you’re losing money paying hidden investment fees. It’ll even tell you just how much more money your account could earn by the time you want to retire.

After that, if you sign up, it’s just $ 10 per month to have Blooom monitor and maximize your 401(k). Bonus: Penny Hoarders get the first month free with the code PNNYHRD.

Think of Blooom like a mechanic constantly fine-tuning your car’s engine so it gives you the best possible performance and gas mileage. Except it’s your 401(k) — and your future.

5. Treating Yourself With a Reward

woman carrying shopping bags

You know how most healthy people talk about the importance of cheat days? To let yourself indulge — just a little. The same goes for personal finance. You can be as budget abiding as you want, but you have to leave a little bit of wiggle room to treat yourself.

If you haven’t gotten a pedicure in at least a decade, escaped city limits for a weekend away from the kids or splurged on a new gadget, then maybe it’s time. But please do so responsibly.

Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with these tools:

  • Ibotta: With Ibotta, you can bank cash back when you make an Amazon purchase, sign up for Hulu, book your next vacation or even order groceries through Shipt. Plus, if you sign up now, you’ll snag a $ 10 bonus when you claim your first cash-back offer.
  • Paribus: This tool gets you money back for your online purchases. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
  • When you’re spending money, always, always be sure to keep tabs on your budget to make sure you’re not overspending. If you don’t yet have one, the Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

6. Buying a Home

Perhaps for the past few years, you’ve been saving for a down payment. That’s great! Now, you’re ready to buy your first home.

In those first couple of months of homeownership, though, don’t feel bad if you have to pause your savings. Expect a lot of expenses to pop up: closing costs, real estate agent commission, property taxes, homeowners insurance, last-minute repairs — just to name a few.

Get all of that taken care of as you settle into your new abode. After a few months, once you’re getting back into the swing of things and are coasting along with your monthly mortgage payments, you can start saving again.

Time to Resume…

Sure, depending on your financial health, there are certain life events, investments and money moves you can justify pausing your savings for. But the break can’t last forever — you’ll need to resume your savings at some point.

After all, you never know when you’ll need the savings. That newest and hottest toy of the season could hit the shelves any minute.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll forever be saving 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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Prosecutors: Michael Cohen acted at Trump’s direction when he broke the law

Federal prosecutors in New York said in a court filing Friday that President Donald Trump’s former longtime personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, should receive a “substantial” prison sentence of roughly four years for tax fraud and campaign finance crimes, and prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office accused him in a separate filing of lying to them about his contacts with Russia.


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Turn any surface into a think station — Mashable Deals

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I’m Second-Guessing the Way We’ve Been Saving for Stepdaughter’s College

Dear Frank,

We laugh about saving for college when kids are very small. They’re little bundles of joy who simply need to be fed and clothed. Why fret about what’s going to happen 18 years from now? And then, all of a sudden, they’re not small anymore. They grow like very opinionated weeds and have their own senses of humor and points of view. And body hair.

I can imagine you’re not the only parent quietly panicking at this as you glance over your stepdaughter’s shoulder trying to decipher how they’re teaching math these days. This very far-off life event is not actually that far off.

The good news is that you’re saving. The bad news is that your money probably isn’t working hard enough for you while it waits for your stepdaughter to make some big decisions about her future.

A 529 savings plan is a solid option because it’s a tax-free investment account. But the penalty is steep for those non-educational withdrawals: a 10% penalty on top of income tax. However, it’s important to note that those funds can be used for almost any educational endeavor, and you can change the beneficiary on the account in the event she doesn’t need all the money.

Another option is a custodial account. As long as the account earns less than around $ 2,100 per year, the earnings are taxed at the child’s rate instead of the parents’.

This type of account can negatively affect how much need-based financial aid she’s eligible for when she applies to school. But the benefit of a custodial account as a college savings plan is that she gets control of the money when she’s 18. That can sound scary right now with a new teenager in the house, but it means that if she chooses not to go to college, she can still use that money toward her future financial security.

Every method of saving for college — from 529s to savings bonds to stuffing cash under the mattress — will have drawbacks. At this point, what’s essential is that the money you’ve already saved gets into an investment account of some sort. When the time rolls around — oh, and it’s about to roll around — you want that money to stretch as far as it possibly can.

Have a tricky money question? Write to Dear Penny at https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/dear-penny

Lisa Rowan is a personal finance expert and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Dear Penny. For more practical money tips, visit www.thepennyhoarder.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The frantic scramble before Mueller got the job

In the hectic eight days after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and top FBI officials viewed Trump as a leader who needed to be reined in, according to two sources describing the sentiment at the time.


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Neiman Marcus ‘pleased’ with sales despite slow holiday

Luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus is having a ho-hum holiday. The Dallas-based company said comparable sales rose just 2.8 percent from a year ago in the quarter ended Oct. 27, compared with 4.2 percent growth in the same period last year. Its net sales dipped 3 percent, to $ 1.1 billion. “I’m pleased that our…
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US firms doing business in China now vulnerable after Huawei arrest: Former US trade advisor

There's a good chance the Chinese will retaliate for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by targeting American businesses in China, says former assistant U.S. trade representative Jeff Moon.
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Birchbox eyes ‘casual beauty customers’ with Walgreens launch

Online cosmetics retailer Birchbox made its debut inside several Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc stores across the United States on Thursday, one of many e-commerce companies expanding its physical presence to better connect with shoppers and drive sales.


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Treat Yo’ Self… for Pennies: 25 Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home

Want to know a secret?

I’ve never had a professional massage.

I totally get why they’re appealing, but they’re just not my jam.

Manicures, on the other hand?  Heck, yeah.

My tombstone will read, “How do my nails look?”

I’m not gonna lie, getting my nails done every two weeks or so costs a pretty penny (or 6,000, to be exact), but it’s the one luxury I budget for even if it means using cheap body wash or mascara.

The main reason I go to a salon to get my manicure done is because there’s no way I could do it at home. I’m basically the most uncoordinated person on the planet, so I’d end up with acrylic powder in my eye and nail shellac on the walls.

For all other spa-type treatments, though, I’m strictly a DIY gal.

Here are some of my favorite ways to indulge myself easily right in the comfort of my own home — without spending a fortune.

15 Ways to Get Your DIY Spa Day On

  1. Everything you’ve heard about coconut oil is true. Skip the expensive body lotion and deep conditioner and use this low-cost alternative instead. An entire jar will run you only about $ 4 and will last for months.
  2. Apply an avocado or egg mask to your hair at the beginning of your spa routine, then wrap your head in a warm towel. Let it work its magic for at least 20 minutes while you give yourself a lip scrub. One egg will set you back 10 cents, and an avocado is about $ 1.
  3. Korean sheet masks make your skin look amazing, but they can be awfully pricy. I picked up a handful at my local dollar store for a buck each and discovered they work just as well as the expensive brands. If you buy in bulk, you can save even more pennies.
  4. Speaking of masks, if you use Lush cosmetics or know someone who does, hang onto those little black pots and bottles the products come in. You’ll score a free face mask when you turn in five empties. That’s a savings of at least $ 9.95!
  5. Clear up blemishes and reduce fine lines with a 60-cent container of plain, generic-brand yogurt! Whether you use it plain or jazz it up with extras like a dash of honey or oatmeal, your pores will thank you.

  1. After rinsing off the mask, I like to give myself a five-minute face massage. It’s surprisingly relaxing — and totally free!

    1. If you’ve got a few dollars to spare, sign up for a Sephora Play! subscription. For just $ 10 per month, you’ll get a box delivered right to your door filled with deluxe product samples and a bonus fragrance.
    2. This homemade eucalyptus sugar scrub is both energizing and effective. For less than a dollar’s worth of sugar, you can make a batch to slough off dry, dead skin, leaving behind a tingly clean that smells luxurious.
    3. For a change of pace, I like to mix things up and exfoliate my skin with this three-ingredient coffee body scrub that you can make with the (free!) used coffee grounds left over from your morning brew. It reportedly also reduces the appearance of cellulite. (Don’t tell me if that’s just an old wives’ tale — I don’t want to know.)
    4. Sometimes my skin just isn’t up for a harsh scrub down. That’s when I whip together this gentle scrub that rinses off easily with warm water. Not bad for 60 cents worth of oat bran. (I’ve tried it without wheat germ, and it still works great.)
    5. If you plan to shave during your spa time, try dry brushing first to prevent ingrown hairs and razor-burn bumps.
    6. If I’m going to sport beautiful nails, the rest of my hand better keep up appearances, too. This lemon-sugar hand scrub is so easy to make, smells amazing and costs less than $ 2. After you rinse it off, slather on some hand lotion and take a minute to admire your, er, handiwork.
    7. Do you know why every spa scene in a movie or on TV depicts someone with cucumber slices on their eyes? Because it works! For about 75 cents, you’ll have all the slices you need, plus leftovers for salad. (Tea bags dampened with a bit of cool water are also a great way to reduce puffy, irritated eyes if you’re fresh out of cukes.)

  1. I’m cursed with dark skin patches on my face (thanks, hormones!) that make me look like I blended my foundation with my eyes closed. One way I keep the discoloration in check is by dabbing a few pennies worth of lemon juice and honey on the affected areas. You can blend the ingredients together or apply them one after the other. Leave it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

    15. Treat your feet to a nice soak with whatever gentle bath wash you have on hand. Follow it up with a homemade foot scrub that costs less than $ 1. Simply stir one part coconut oil into two parts sugar and scent with a few drops of essential oil. A dash of lemon juice adds extra oomph. To kick (ha!) things up a notch, slather on some lotion and cover your tootsies with thick socks while the moisturizer works its magic.

10 Easy Ways to Spa-ify Your Surroundings

While planning your day of indulgence, don’t forget to design your own relaxation grotto. Give your bathroom a deep clean and then:

  1. Splurge on a soft, thick towel.
  2. Pick up some pretty containers from the dollar store to hold all the scrubs and potions you make.
  3. Scour thrift shops for a fluffy bathrobe to wear while relaxing.
  4. Get some inexpensive candles to create ambience during bath time — or make your own.
  5. Set a plant or vase of flowers in the bathroom, because greenery makes everything better.
  6. Cover your bathroom window with frosted contact paper to diffuse bright sunlight that might harsh your mellow.
  7. Put a few sprigs of eucalyptus on the corner of the bathtub to create a clean, refreshing scent when you run the hot water.
  8. Buy a bathtub overflow drain cover so you can fill the tub extra deep and soak all the way up to your chin.
  9. Queue up this chill Spotify playlist.
  10. Make some cucumber-infused water to sip as you spa.

Want even more DIY spa ideas? Check out how to make your own sea salt spray, body lotion and more.

Disclosure: We don’t hesitate to pick pennies off the sidewalk when we spot them. But the affiliate links in this post help our earnings grow even quicker. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than sidewalk 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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Second memorial service for President George H.W. Bush begins in Texas

Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored at a second memorial service in Houston at the Bushes’ family church Thursday morning.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Claim That She (and Goop) Popularized Yoga Is, Well, a Stretch

Since launching Goop in 2008, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been a divisive presence in the burgeoning wellness industry. Her comments in a Wall Street Journal Magazine profile, in which she claimed claimed credit for making yoga popular, may end up making that ambivalence even stronger.

Paltrow was a subject of a puff piece in the magazine showing how she “is living her best life–and believes she can help you live yours better, too.” To Goop’s many adherents, that may ring true. But Paltrow’s critics zeroed in on comments she made that appeared to take credit for popularizing yoga.

“Forgive me if this comes out wrong, but I went to do a yoga class in LA recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?’ ” Paltrow said in the interview. “And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘(She has) this job because I’ve done yoga before.’ ”

While Paltrow’s use of “literally” may leave grammar nerds feeling as if their heads are about to explode, health professionals will surely be puzzled by another quote that seems to regard the age-old wisdom that food affects health as somehow radical in concept.

“That was the beginning of people thinking I was a crackpot,” Paltrow said about Goop’s founding in September 2008. “Like, ‘What do you mean food can affect your health, you (expletive) psycho? I remember when I started doing yoga and people were like, ‘What is yoga? She’s a witch. She’s a freak.'”

To be fair, the story notes that Paltrow’s conversion to a healthier lifestyle began after her father faced surgery for throat cancer in 1998. And the comments read like flippant, off-hand remarks made in conversation, rather than for an interview for print. Nonetheless, they don’t exactly mesh with reality.

For example, yoga has been popular in the U.S. for decades. According to Yoga Journal, Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the U.S. in the late 1800s. It slowly but steadily gained in popularity over the following decades. By the 1960s, there were books about yoga that sold millions of volumes, dozens of yoga studios, and even a TV show featuring yoga workouts.

A Harris survey that Yoga Journal commissioned in 2003 found that between 15 million and 18 million people, or between 7% and 9% of the population, were practicing yoga. What’s more, the survey found:

more than 12% of the U.S. population, or 25.5 million people, is very or extremely interested in the practice of yoga; one in six respondents, or 35.3 million people, express the intention to try yoga within the next 12 months; and more than half of the general population, or 109.7 million people, has at least a casual interest in the practice of yoga.

What’s more, a Google search of Goop’s early web site–described by the Daily Beast as “a spare gray and white design and a vague promise of future inspiration”–shows only a handful of references to yoga before 2010, and most of those mentioning the practice only in passing.

Paltrow’s comments were also greeted on Twitter with more that a raised eyebrow.

By some measures, Paltrow’s Goop is a success: It’s 2017 revenue was reportedly between $ 45 million and $ 60 million, up from a range of $ 15 million to $ 20 million a year earlier. But that growth has come with some controversies, such as the $ 145,000 settlement Goop paid this year for making unsupported medical claims about “jade eggs for your yoni.”

If Paltrow wants to keep Goop’s brand healthy, unsupported claims about making yoga popular won’t help.

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The nation says goodbye to 41

A hilltop cathedral in Washington will again fill with the global elite on Wednesday to remember President George H.W. Bush, a man whose characteristic modesty will be belied one final time with all the pageantry of a state funeral.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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12.4.18 Gifting 529 money; Tesla self-driving fiasco; Subprime auto loans

A way to gift 529 money is here!; Falling asleep while drunk in a Tesla? Yep, it happened; Subprime auto loans are on the rise. That’s not good.

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Freelancers, Remote Workers and Entrepreneurs: Here’s How to Find a Mentor

When people ask Kristi Porter for business advice, she first tells them to find a mentor.

Porter is the “chief do-gooder” at Signify, an Atlanta-based business specializing in marketing for nonprofit and for-profit organizations helping specific causes. Over the years leading up to and after the launch of her company in 2016, she sought the guidance of several mentors on how to set up her website and run her own business.

For freelancers, entrepreneurs and people who work independently, she says, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking they have to do everything by themselves. But that’s not the case. Mentors can be a support system offering guidance on overcoming the hurdles preventing your business from improving.

“It’s just great knowing that you’re not doing it alone,” she says. “Having outside perspectives and voices help[s] you get through the good and bad times.”

So having a mentor can be beneficial, but how do you find one if you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur or someone who works from home? To find out, we ask some experts what to do when finding a mentor.

Full-Time Remote Worker? Make Yourself Visible

Not reporting to a central office can make finding a mentor seem impossible. That’s why Brie Reynolds, senior career specialists at FlexJobs, encourages remote workers to be as visible as possible. You can get on your co-workers’ and your boss’s radar by sending weekly job-related updates and setting times to chat about things other than work.

By making time to reach out and get to know your remote co-workers via instant messaging programs, phone or email, you’ll start to build a solid rapport. Those people may develop into potential mentors or point you toward someone who’s a better fit.

“Finding a mentor is ultimately about building a relationship with somebody, so you have to start at a small level,” Reynolds says.

Leverage Your Networks

Kristi Porter works from home in Atlanta, GA, on November 21, 2018.

According to Porter, one of the easiest ways for people to find a mentor is by letting their personal and professional networks know that they’re searching for one.

When the Atlanta-based nonprofit Plywood People introduced its new community manager, Porter seized the opportunity. She asked if the manager knew anyone with expertise in running an online business.

Within a day or two, the manager responded and set up an introduction with someone who she thought might be a great match. The recommended person ended up becoming a mentor to Porter. Over their yearlong mentor-mentee relationship, Porter learned the technical side of setting up an online business.

“Sometimes it’ about being bold and putting the ‘ask’ out there, and letting people know rather than continuing the hunt on your own,” she says.

Attend Professional Networking Events

During her days working as a restaurant sales manager, Beth Lawrence was regularly attending industry and non-industry-specific networking events around Philadelphia.

But after a layoff, she decided to become an entrepreneur and open her own event planning and marketing company, Beth Lawrence LLC. This time she wanted to seek out business groups featuring people going through similar situations.

Now she attends networking events aimed at helping female entrepreneurs and freelancers from different industries. “I just always find that I really learn a lot from people who aren’t necessarily in my same profession,” she says. At these events, she was able to develop new skills and get her business-related questions answered in a group setting.

It was at these networking events she found one of her mentors, an attorney. Despite not being in the same industry or having a similar career path, Lawrence always sought her advice when making major career decisions.

She says if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur considering attending a networking event for the first time, go with a friend. By going with a friend, someone you know or a group member, it’s easier to make casual in-person introductions. “At the end of the day, a warm introduction is way better than a cold email or cold call,” she says.

Consider Creating an Accountability Group

When looking for potential mentors, Reynolds says, you don’t have to stick to the traditional mentor-mentee relationship. Try lateral relationships to start.

“I think sometimes people hear ‘mentor’ and think that it has to be this very formalized relationship, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” she says. “It can really be even just a couple of freelancers who are at the same level helping each other out.”

Porter says accountability partners — or mentor groups — are peers who are in the trenches with you. These are often fellow freelancers or entrepreneurs all working on their personal businesses who are willing to lend you a hand when needed. Her accountability partner’s background is in selling physical products online, but Porter’s is in service-based business.

While working together in person is one way to hold these accountability or mentor groups, Reynolds says there is no specific format when structuring these relationships. They can be done in person or with email chains and instant messaging threads. She says, “It really just depends on what you are all comfortable working on.”

How Do You Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor?

Kristi Porter poses for a portrait against a backdrop of fall leaves.

After all the networking, email exchanges and coffee dates, if you see someone as a potential mentor, all you need to do is ask.  

It doesn’t have to be something incredibly formal. When Porter asked her mentor if she wanted to take the role 10 years ago, it was done via email following a coffee meeting. Porter recalls they both hit it off so well that she decided to be bold and ask.

“I know a lot of people in high-level positions are willing to give back in some capacity and do want to share what they’ve learned,” she says. When Porter’s mentor opened the email, she was flattered. “She thought, ‘Yeah, this is something I can do. I like you and want to see you succeed,’” Porter remembers.

But if a potential mentor isn’t willing to take you under their wing, don’t worry. Porter tells freelancers and entrepreneurs to be patient when searching for the right person.

“It sometimes takes quite a while to find these people, so don’t give up, keep trying,” she says. “Once you find somebody that works with you, it’s a really great partnership and you’ll be so glad that you waited.”

Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers career advice and side gigs. You can follow him on Twitter @MattReinstetle.

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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A newly displaced Iraqi woman who fled from the city of Mosul,…

A newly displaced Iraqi woman who fled from the city of Mosul, Iraq’s
last major Islamic State (IS) group stronghold, kisses a child’s hand as
she is reunited with her relatives who came two years ago to the
refugee camp in the Khazir area, near near the Kurdish checkpoint of
Aksi Kalak, some 40 kilometres east of Arbil following their arrival on
October 26, 2016.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Stephane Dujarric told reporters that almost
9,000 people are internally displaced as a result of the Mosul military
operation in Iraq. Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for
Iraq, said the military operations to retake Mosul could spark the
largest humanitarian crisis in 2016 as the security situation in the
area restrains aid agencies’ ability to deliver help.
BULENT KILIC / AFP

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Flynn has given “substantial” assistance to the special counsel

Special counsel Robert Mueller has told a federal court his view of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation in the Russia investigation.


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Winter Is Here — and This App Will Help You Make Money Shoveling Snow

I wish I could start this article with, “We’ve all had to do it…”

But, fortunately, I’m a Floridian, and I’ve never had to shovel snow. From what I’ve heard, some people find it a real pain — a job happily pawned off to any willing being.

On the other hand, what if you’re that willing being? You might be able to make some good money from a hearty dusting.

Even 50 Cent has shoveled snow.

I’m going out to shovel snow and see if I can make me a few extra dollars today. I’m charging more if they want to take pictures

— 50cent (@50cent) December 27, 2010

And so has Daniel Miller, CEO of an app called Shovler.

It’s kind of like Uber — but for snow shoveling — and since its release in December 2016, more than 15,000 people have registered to become snow shovelers, according to Miller.

How Did the Shovler App Get Started?

Miller shoveled snow as a teenager and always thought it was the perfect gig: People are appreciative, you get a good workout in and it’s actually kind of fun.

Plus: The pay ain’t too shabby.

Miller came up with the idea for Shovler in the winter of 2015 when his parents were hanging out in Florida and wanted a clear driveway upon returning home to New Jersey. A full-on plow service wasn’t necessary, and, other than that, they had a hard time finding someone.

“It just dawned on me that there are lots of people in similar situations, especially the elderly, that just want to hire a snow shoveler on demand for the days they need one or want to take a break from shoveling themselves,” Miller writes in an email.

He’d always seen those apps about solving what he calls “minor problems” — like delivering food a few blocks away. “But nobody has fixed this major logistical nightmare that people have every year,” he says.

For him, the app seemed obvious. Why hadn’t it been invented years ago?

How Much Money Can You Make Shoveling Snow?

Enter: Shovler.

The app went live for iOS and Android at the beginning of December 2016, and approximately 15,000 snow shovelers have registered with it across the U.S. and parts of Canada, according to Miller.

Those who are in need of shoveling services enter their requests into the app. The registered shovelers get pinged when a job’s available nearby.

Pay is calculated by an algorithm that takes the depth of snow and the size of the property, as well as other factors, into consideration. In general, though, typical rates range from:

  • $ 20 to $ 35 for a car parked on a city street
  • $ 30 to $ 75 for up to a two-car driveway that fits three cars in length, an average walkway and an average sidewalk in front of a house
  • 50 cents to $ 2 per square feet for a city sidewalk or small parking lots (for businesses)

The Shovler app takes 20% of each job (though there are promo codes out there for 10% off), and the human shoveler gets the rest.

Miller says shovelers have made up to $ 200 per gig and says the app also hosts customers who tip generously, some tacking on a 50% tip.

“Shovelers love the app because they get paid by the job, not the hour,” Miller says. “That really gives them the ability to earn $ 50 in an hour if they are quick.”

Shovelers get paid after the user rates the job or within 24 hours — whichever is faster.

How You Can Sign Up For Shovler

The app is available across the U.S. and in parts of Canada, but its most popular cities are Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and New York.

Signing up is easy — and a lot easier than awkwardly knocking on your neighbors’ doors or giving them a ring. Plus, the app is currently running a promotion for new shovelers – if you sign up by December 21, you’ll be reimbursed up to $ 30 for snow shoveling tools or receive a $ 10 credit if you already have your own tools.

So why not make some money off the most recent dumping of the devil’s dandruff?

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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London to lose $900 billion to Frankfurt due to Brexit, German finance group claims

Lobby group Frankfurt Main Finance claims London's financial sector is poised to lose billions of euros in assets by March 2019.
Economy

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Former Red Robin CEO Michael Snyder kills himself

A former chief executive of the Red Robin burger chain committed suicide on Sunday, local officials confirmed. Michael Snyder, 68, shot himself in the head while sitting on a bench in the front yard of his home in Yakima, Washington, according to local police. According to TMZ, which first reported the news on Tuesday, police…
Business | New York Post

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Michael Flynn court filing likely to reveal new details in Russia probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to reveal the extent of Michael Flynn’s cooperation and insights into the dealings of Russians with the Trump campaign and administration a year after the guilty plea from President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser.


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This Couple Made Enough Dough Baking Biscuits to Quit Their Teaching Jobs

Sometimes when an opportunity arises, you just gotta roll with it.

Jesse Thompson and Lee Valenti were school teachers who dreamed of opening a learning center they’d call Hey Giant Robot, but they needed a way to fund it.

They decided to raise money by baking biscuits to sell at a pop-up market within the learning center.

“We were thinking we could sell them and make a couple hundred bucks on the weekend,” says Thompson, 39, who recalls they’d bake 500 biscuits and sell them for $ 3 to $ 4 a pair. “But then every weekend, we were selling out, and people were lining up.”

Within three months, the couple realized they didn’t have a side hustle baking biscuits to support their learning center.

They had a biscuit-baking business.

“We decided to flip our model,” Thompson says.

Instead of selling biscuits out of the learning center, they housed the learning center inside a bakery.

The couple found a location in Tampa, Florida, that could handle both the baking and the learning. They retained a bit of their original idea for the establishment’s name: Hey Giant! Little Biscuits.

A year and a half later, the biscuit shop employs six to seven part-time workers and costs an average of $ 15,000 per month to operate — “right now our profits range somewhere in $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 a month,” Thompson adds.

Valenti, 41, quit her teaching job last year when the couple realized that she could match her $ 45,000 annual salary by running the shop.

“Starting out, it was the goal to make almost the same or, if not, just a little bit less than what I was making teaching,” says Valenti, who attributes much of the business’s growth to catering events. “We did that fairly quickly.”

This year, Thompson quit his job so they could open a second location.

The pair aren’t alone in trying their hands at baking — here’s another baker who turned her passion into a sweet gig. There are 7,757 retail bakeries in the U.S. as of the first quarter in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a 14.6% increase since 2008.

But that doesn’t mean the baking business was everything Thompson and Valenti dreamed of.

Our vision of what we thought running a biscuit shop would be like was completely different than what it actually is,” Thompson says. “You think, oh, this is going to be cool — make a couple biscuits, hang out all day and when it’s slow, just sit and read some books.

“No, there’s none of that — we’re constantly making food.”

And although the path was unexpected, Thompson and Valenti say that starting over with new careers isn’t as much of a pie-in-the-sky idea as you might think.

Recognizing an Opportunity

Details of a person preparing biscuits and baked biscuits

From the beginning, the couple set themselves up for the possibility of expansion — just in case.

“When we tested the waters with our pop-up, we said, ‘Let’s rent a space and get the licensing,’” Thompson says. “‘Because if this works out, we can keep going forward. And if it doesn’t, then we’re not out too much — it’s going to be a meager Christmas, but that’s it.’”

Investing time and money turned out to be the incentive the couple needed to make some big decisions early on.

It was too much work to be half in,” Valenti says, and Thompson adds, “If you don’t find some level of commitment, you’re less motivated to keep driving forward.”

Transferable Skills

A man greets a customers at a biscuit shop

Although neither had previous experience in the food-service industry, Thompson and Valenti did bring translatable skills from their previous careers.

We’ve relied on and applied our teaching methods and our classroom management,” Thompson says. “You have to deal with different types of learners, and that flexibility on the management side has helped.”

Serving up biscuits behind the counter during a mid-morning rush, the pair calls out to customers by name — looking a lot like teachers at the head of a classroom.

After spending most of their professional careers in teaching, Thompson admits the couple misses certain elements of their old life — particularly when they attended an open house at their children’s school and realized they wouldn’t be setting up their own classrooms.

“If you do a career for 15 to 20 years, like we have with teaching and education, you’re going to miss it,” Thompson says. “There are certain routines and certain ways of life that you’re just used to.”

But the biscuit business has also offered the creative control that was sometimes missing from teaching, Valenti points out.

“Teaching is creative, but for us, we needed another outlet of something we ran,” Valenti says. “The biscuit shop is cooking, but it’s also a creative outlet for us — where we design the place, we make the menu, we make the recipes.

“It really feeds something that both of us are always looking for.”

Not Losing Sight of the Goal

The couple may have discovered a great way to make some dough, but what about their original idea, the learning center?

Thompson describes their vision for the first location as a junky robot repair shop that kids could explore before entering the learning center hidden in the back.

“None of that was realistic,” he says with a laugh.

The learning center is instead housed in a room off the main bakery, hidden behind a sliding chalkboard door that announces Biscuit Specials like Mississippi Maple and Nutter Butter Fluffer Nutter.

Staffed by volunteers, the center offers free tutoring, writing workshops and art classes after the bakery closes for the evening and on weekends.

Thompson notes that, although they enjoy baking, he and Valenti still consider the shop a way to fund their learning center.

“Being part of the learning community and sparking creativity is kind of our ultimate goal,” Thompson says. “We love making biscuits, but if we could [operate the center] full time, we would.”

Taking a Chance on New Careers

A couple pose for a portrait

The couple agrees that, despite the risks of leaving steady teaching jobs for the uncertainty of the culinary world, they have no regrets.

“You have those conversations of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if one day,’” Thompson says. “We decided this has to be that ‘one day,’ because if we don’t, three years from now, we’ll get back to ‘what if.’”

Valenti notes that by challenging themselves to learn something new and by being flexible about their options, they’ve had an opportunity they thought they could only dream of.

Thompson’s advice to others fantasizing about a new career? You’ll never know if you don’t try.

“You have to take that plunge,” Thompson says. “Just be open to where it takes you.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer with The Penny Hoarder. Data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.

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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Why George H.W. Bush wanted Trump at his funeral

George H.W. Bush can perform one last, posthumous service to his country this week by orchestrating a rare moment of unity and a short-term truce in the rancorous politics swirling around the crisis-stricken Trump presidency.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The UN’s Climate Change Conference is Meeting…in Poland’s Coal Country

World leaders are convening for the United Nation’s latest climate conference in Katowice, Poland to discuss the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions globally to limit the worst effects of climate change.

Ironically, this two-week meeting is taking place in the heart of Poland’s coal country. As a fuel source, coal accounts for roughly half of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, but the conference center currently dedicated to cutting these emissions is literally decorated with mounds of coal.

Poland is by far the EU’s largest producer of hard coal, and Katowice is known to have terrible air quality due to the area’s strong reliance on burning coal for energy. The country relied on coal for about 80 percent of its electricity in 2015.

Poland has been slowly moving away from coal as part of the EU’s larger mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But in his opening remarks Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said coal “does not contradict the protection of the climate and the progress of climate protection.”

If the world is to truly prevent climate change–and the extreme weather disasters and rising seas that accompanies it–the attendees of the UN climate conference will have to disagree with Duda.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report published in October, coal will have to be almost entirely phased out by 2050 to limit the rise in global temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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My Husband Died and Left Me With Debt. I Want to Use My IRA to Pay It Off

Dear S.,

No, no, no, no, no. Like all the others, I will tell you not to do this.

But you want to know why? I can tell you that, too.

I’m sure you feel like wiping out those student loans quickly would relieve some of the weight on your shoulders. But what happens if you hit age 65 and don’t have any retirement savings left?

If you can let that IRA grow as long as possible, it will continue to earn, even while you take distributions when you hit the minimum age. It will provide necessary income when you retire, or in the event that you can’t work anymore before your ideal retirement age.

I want you to consider a couple factors about your husband’s student loans, if you haven’t already.

First, make sure they aren’t federal direct student loans, which are typically discharged if the borrower dies. Second, if they’re private loans, consider contacting the lender for what’s called a “compassionate review,” which in some cases will result in a loan being discharged if the lender deems you unable to pay.

It sounds like you’re on the right track paying down credit cards during a no-interest period, even if you’re dealing with new bills right now. Your debt is not insurmountable. But when it’s finally paid off, you need to make sure your future is secure.

Consider meeting with a debt counselor who can take an objective look at your situation. To find someone near you who’s qualified, visit the online directories of the Financial Counseling Organization of America or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Brief debt counseling would have been part of your bankruptcy process, but it’s often just a cursory session; what you need now is someone to tell you if there’s a way you haven’t considered to ease your debt burden without putting your future financial security at risk.

Are you dealing with difficult financial choices made by someone close to you? Write to Dear Penny at https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/dear-penny/

Lisa Rowan is a personal finance expert and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Dear Penny. For more practical money tips, visit www.thepennyhoarder.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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‘Special Air Mission 41’: Bush’s final flights on ‘Air Force One’

The late former president George H.W. Bush’s final flights on Air Force One will be called “Special Mission 41,” Bush’s spokesman said Sunday.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The Fed is still tweaking its balance sheet unwind

In a process begun in October 2017, the bank is decreasing the size of its bond portfolio, which grew to more than $ 4.5 trillion as part of an effort to drive down mortgage rates and lift economic growth.
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11.30.18 Clark Stinks; Video doorbells are catching criminals

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here; Video doorbells are all the rage right now. Millions are being sold every year in America. And one of the major benefits is that they are helping local police departments catch criminals. 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video
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China wants to strengthen partnership with Portugal – Xi

China wants to strengthen its
relations with Portugal through a strategic partnership that
aims to take advantage of the Iberian country’s important
location along Beijing’s road and belt initiative, China’s
President Xi Jinping wrote on Sunday.


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12 DIY Christmas Gifts That’ll Make Your Loved Ones (and Your Budget) Happy

I grew up with a big family, which made it hard to buy everyone something nice at Christmas.

My gift options were to shop at the dollar store or “do it yourself.”

While the dollar store is by far the easier path, DIY gifts are a genuine labor of love. But you don’t have to be Martha Stewart or a contestant on “Making It” to explore the DIY route. It’s more about the gesture than making a perfectly crafted artisanal present. Your loved ones will likely appreciate a heartfelt and useful gift more than a store-bought one.

Plus, staying at home to make these gifts will save you from the impulse purchases shopping can bring.

12 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas to Try This Holiday Season

1. Photo Magnets

An assortment of wood cut outs lay next to modge moge.

These are so much fun to make, and there are dozens of ways to get the job done.  

Use precut wood shapes, tiles, glass stones or mason jar lids — all found at your local arts and crafts store — as your base. Use some Mod Podge (a glue-type sealant) to adhere your printed photos to the base. Once dry, glue magnet strips to the back of the base. Done.

Or, you can use adhesive magnetic sheets for bigger images. You can make hundreds of these personal DIY gifts and inexpensively give your friends and family all the feels.

2. Baked Goods

Chocolate chip cookies sit on a plate.

The fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Home-baked treats will do the trick.

Try making holiday-themed cookies with cookie cutters and decorations, or play with seasonal flavors like peppermint, ginger and chocolate.

Turn up the sweetness with some fudge, challenge yourself to whip up toffee or make a loaf of banana bread (my mother’s signature baked good).

Bake your goods in large batches and deliver them to family, friends and coworkers in reusable holiday tins, treat bags or Tupperware.

3. Family Cookbook

Covertly gather recipes from your family members and put them into a special family cookbook.

Ask family members to share their recipes or take notes next time someone whips up a casserole or batch of cookies. Maybe grandma has a box of handwritten recipes you can convert.

Create an accessible digital version online or assemble your own hard copy. Free and low-cost templates and software are available if you want to do it yourself.

The cookbook will be a treasured gift for generations to come. Just don’t tell anyone else what’s in the sauce, because we all know that’s a family secret.

4. Pickled Fruits and Veggies

Pickled vegetables make great Christmas presents.

Use a hot water bath to pickle fruits and vegetables. You can pickle anything from cucumbers, green beans and carrots to cauliflower and pears. Find out your relatives’ favorites and surprise them with a homemade jar — or five.

One minimal investment in canning equipment and the basic ingredients can yield enough to give something to everyone special in your life during the holidays. Go a step further and create your own cheeky product labels for the jars.

You might find a workshop in your city to teach you how. Follow our pickle tutorial or use herbs and vegetables from your garden to save on produce costs.

5. Framed Pictures

Love that photo of you and mom on vacation? What about the one of all your best friends together? Frame it.

Scope out affordable picture frames at thrift stores, dollar stores, Michael’s (it always has a coupon available) or another major retailer.  Or spruce up and decorate an old picture frame with buttons.

Once you know what size frame you have, get the highest-resolution copy of the picture and have it printed to size at a local photo processor (CVS, Walgreens, Walmart). Each print usually costs less than $ 1. Too many photos to narrow down? Assemble an entire photo album.

6. Ornaments

Commemorate the year with a homemade ornament using paper, glass, precut shapes or reusable everyday products like wine corks, popsicle sticks and bottle caps. Spend a Saturday and craft them all yourself, or get the kids or significant other involved.

Make cheeky ones using pictures of the kids or fur babies, or you can tailor them specifically to your home state or siblings. Start a tradition and create a new one every year.

7. Mason Jar Mixtures

A mason jar mixture is wrapped in ribbons.

Assemble an edible gift in a jar. Concoct your own specialty holiday recipe like salsa, dry soup mix, hot chocolate, snack mix, nuts and cookie ingredients. Shoot, you can even go the alcohol route and infuse vodka.

All you need is a case of Mason jars, your ingredients and a recipe tag. The tag should include ingredients and any baking instructions.

If it’s really good, you’ll have everyone excited for next year’s batch.

8. Kid Art

A child's art work hangs on the work desk of a person.

There’s nothing wrong with this kind of child labor. The rugrats get creative and you get cheap DIY Christmas gifts out of it. Win-win.

Gather non-toxic paints, glitter and large pieces of posterboard (paper, cardboard or canvas work, too) for the kiddos to craft their masterpiece upon. Let them go to town. Once it’s finished and dry, cut up the project into frameable pieces. Sign and date the bottom like a true artist.

Frame the pieces and give them out as gifts. I have the one my nieces made me in 2011 on my desk.

9. Coasters

Do your civic duty and save all tables from condensation rings by making DIY coasters for your friends and family. It’s a cheap and easy gift you can’t go wrong with, because everyone needs coasters, especially funky (or classy) homemade ones.  

Craft DIY coasters out of ceramic tiles, wood slices and pressed flowers, mason jar lids, popsicle sticks or fabric. The picture magnets mentioned above can double as coasters if you skip the magnetic strips.

Sets of four are standard, so put on some Netflix and settle into a project weekend.

10. Pressed Flowers

Pick wildflowers on a walk, or save flowers from a special occasion and use them to create a piece of art.

Press the flowers with a book or iron and display them between glass, on paper, as a bookmark or matted onto a candle holder or key ring. There are a surprising amount of pressed flower projects to try.

While the art of flower pressing takes time, the elegantly preserved souvenir will be worth it.

11. Homemade Spices

Homemade spices can make a great, affordable Christmas present.

Homemade spices, seasonings and extracts are an affordable and practical gift for the food lovers in your life.

Awaken your inner chef and concoct a spice combination that suits your personality or complements a slice of your favorite meat. Blend a piquant taco seasoning, dry rub or apple and pumpkin pie spice mixes.

Just don’t forget to add your own labels for that extra zing.

12. Knitted or Crocheted Goods

Homemade scarves, hats and gloves make for affordable Christmas presents.

My favorite handmade gifts over the years have been knit scarves and shawls my mother made.

Knitted and crocheted goods are truly one-of-a-kind gifts.  Something as simple as a hat, scarf or bag will carry sentiment forever. The only thing they really cost is time, which makes a finished product feel more valuable.

If you don’t want to make bulky sweaters and ill-fitted hats for people, try coasters, blankets or rugs. There are free patterns galore online.

Probably not a new hobby to take up 10 days before Christmas, though.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s making mustard and pickled things as gifts for her friends and family this year. Read her full bio here or say hi on Twitter @StephBolling.

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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Former President George H.W. Bush’s last words, as spoken to his son, George W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush spoke his final words in a phone call with his son, former President George W. Bush, a source familiar with Bush’s final hours told CNN.


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Don’t become a pawn to Apple addiction

Dear John: Avid reader here. Now, about the recent [column] concerning Apple: My fear is that when you stop feeding the beast (Apple), they’ll come out with an iOS update that’ll spank us for not going out to buy the latest and greatest iPhone. Somehow or other they will slow down our phones and get…
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U.S., China agree trade war ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit

China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Saturday after high-stakes talks in Argentina between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on Jan. 1.


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OPEC meeting marks the ‘toughest test yet’ for Saudi-Russia energy alliance, analysts say

The energy alliance between OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC heavyweight Russia faces its "toughest test yet" next week, analysts have told CNBC, ahead of a much-anticipated meeting between the influential oil cartel and its allies.
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Trump Tells GM to Open Ohio Plant and Stop Output in China

General Motors plans to cut up to 14,800 jobs and end production at certain plants, marking the auto maker’s first significant downsizing since bankruptcy as it tries to adjust to lower demand for passenger cars. President Trump said GM should stop making cars in China and make them in the U.S. instead, in an exclusive WSJ interview.
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George H. W. Bush dead at 94

Former US President George H.W. Bush has died at age 94 in Houston, according to his spokesperson Jim McGrath.


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Same Job for Many Years? These 5 Tips Will Help You Reinvent Yourself

After 10 years in human resources at a nonprofit, Laura Niebauer Palmer figured she wouldn’t have any problem finding a new HR job when she and her husband moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas.

Then she started reading the job postings — which asked for advanced training and experience with programs she didn’t use — and realized her old skills weren’t marketable for a new position.

“My heart sank,” the 38-year-old says. “I was like, “What am I going to do? How am I going to bridge this gap?’”

So how is it that 10 years of experience could become a detriment rather than a strength for a job candidate?

Many longtime workers are falling behind on the skills required in rapidly changing industries, according to Alvin Nesbot, the New York City market manager for Manpower.

“People who are just joining the job market — maybe within the past three to five years or so — are making moves a lot faster than people who have been working for 10-plus years,” Nesbot says. “There are those people who have worked a lot longer who have stayed in a lull and gotten stagnant.”

And it’s not just another co-worker who’ll offer the skills you’re lacking — at least, not a human one. It’s estimated that half of the work activities companies pay people to do could be automated by 2055, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.

If you’re worried your field is going the way of the dinosaur, here are some alternative jobs for dying industries. But what if you like your industry and just want to change jobs? Read on for strategies for making a change after years in the same gig.

How to Make a Career Change

Laura Niebauer works on her laptop while holding her infant son at home.

If you’re a bit unsure about what’s happening outside your cubicle walls, here are five strategies for avoiding — or escaping — a dead-end job.

1. Network for a Job

Leaving your comfort zone to network may seem intimidating, but it’s a great way to find out what is going on in your industry. It’s part of the reason it’s so important to maintain networking relationships even after you have found a job.

Being around your peers is not only helpful for finding contacts for the next job but also for discovering what credentials and terminology are becoming more prominent within your field, according to Palmer.

“You have like-minded people to bounce ideas off,” he says. “Also, it’s very eye-opening when you’re around a bunch of people and they’re having conversations about topics you don’t really know about or are using acronyms that you’re like, ‘Wait, what does that mean?’”

And if the thought of a networking event makes you break out in hives, try one-on-one networking with former colleagues, Palmer suggests.

“What I would have done differently is definitely caught up with people who had left the company,” he says. She adds that by asking about the transition to new roles, you’ll get a better idea of what technology and skills are in demand outside your office.

2. Update Your Resume

If your resume touts WordPerfect expertise and includes your AOL address, it’s probably time for a resume makeover. (Also, stop wearing that sundress over a T-shirt.)

Reading your resume with a critical eye is essential for identifying skills or programs that are no longer relevant for your position, according to Nesbot.

“What you were doing seven to 10 years ago is not going to be relevant or as important as what is going on today,” Nesbot says. “Are there things making [your resume] look dated?”

If it’s been a couple of presidential administrations since you last updated your resume, you may want to start fresh. (Here’s a guide to writing a professional-looking resume.)

But starting over doesn’t mean you have to forget your past experiences. Instead, take some time to compile a comprehensive list of training and accomplishments, Nesbot suggests.

“Sometimes we don’t look at our resumes in a while, and we realize there are things we’ve been doing that we haven’t highlighted,” Nesbot says. “Include any certifications or training that you’ve done to help set you apart from any other candidate.”

Once you have your list, compare it to current job postings and craft your resume so it includes recent credentials and popular terms within your industry.

“Make sure you have buzz words that are going to stand out to whoever is reading your resume,” Nesbot says.

3. Find a Mentor

Palmer holds her son in his nursery.

Once she got to Austin, Palmer ended up at a staffing agency looking for work. The agency placed her in a temporary three-month position to fill in for a woman on maternity leave.

Palmer used those months to take advantage of the in-house training department to connect with someone who could provide long-term career advice.

“The biggest part that helped me develop was the mentorship that I had with my boss,” she says. “I learned so much from her; my confidence rose 100%.

You can’t replicate that with a course.”

At the end of her temporary gig, the company offered Palmer a full-time position in the HR department.

4. Volunteer for Experience

Rather than repeating past mistakes, Palmer says, she took the opportunity at her new job to question what she really wanted in the next five or 10 years — and it turns out, it wasn’t HR.

After spending some time figuring out what she really wanted to do, Palmer decided than rather than pouring money into additional education, she’d offer to work for free in exchange for the experience she was lacking.

“I volunteered at two organizations, and one of them specifically was something that I wouldn’t have been able to land a job at because I had no experience,” Palmer says. “But when you say, ‘Hey, I can volunteer for this,’ then they’re like, ‘Great, we have somebody who has a lot of time and is really excited about this. We’ll put some training into them.’”

Thanks to that experience, Palmer was able to snag a part-time job at a small company, which allows her to spend time with her infant son as well as write articles sharing her expertise — including some for The Penny Hoarder.

5. Apply for Jobs Before You Need One

Even if you’re happy in your job right now, it doesn’t hurt to start investigating what’s out there.

After all, the best way to discover if you’re growing or stagnating in your career is to find out if someone will hire you — and there’s always a chance you’ll find your dream job in the process, Palmer points out.

Look at the jobs right now and actually apply to them and go through interviewing,” Palmer says. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that to see where your skills are — if they’re lining up with what is currently needed in the market.

“But you also might land a job that you didn’t even know you wanted.”

Why You’re Not Job Hunting

Laura Neibauer plays with her infant son in his nursery in Austin, TX.

Reevaluating your skills every few years takes some work, but the rewards are a more fulfilling career with greater chances for growth. Admittedly, that can be hard to do when you’re happy — or at least satisfied — with your current position.

Your salary and benefits might tempt you to stay put, but you’ll suffer in the long run if you’re too scared to change, according to Palmer. She notes part of the reason she stayed at her first job for so long was the generous paid time off and health care coverage.

“It’s hard because you’re trying to balance furthering yourself but also realizing if you further yourself, you’re taking a risk,” Palmer says. “ But if you’re looking to grow in your career… you need to challenge yourself.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer with The Penny Hoarder. She likes all kinds of change, but pennies are her favorite.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The Winemakers and Champagne Houses Making Their Mark With U.S. Consumers Ahead of New Year’s Eve

Thanksgiving is all but a distant memory now. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, just fleeting moments as we make the usual motions through the holiday shopping season.

Amid all the consumerism is (sometimes) some yuletide fun, often shepherded by warm spirits, mulled wines, and–of course–bubbly bottles of Champagne.

Always an easy gift for a host or hostess at a holiday party, there are many new options for U.S. consumers to consider as a number of smaller (as well as familiar) French houses have started to bring their trademark sparkling wines across the Atlantic.

Champagne Pommery Blanc de BlancsChampagne Pommery

Champagne

Champagne Pommery: Newly released, the Pommery Blanc de Blancs is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, sourced from the northern terrain of the Montagne de Reims and the hills of Nogent l’Abbesse. According to the winemakers, this particular terroir combination lends a special springlike freshness to the cuv?e. The bubbly offers subtle floral notes of jasmine as well as acacia, linden, and citrus fruit, notably fresh apple and yellow grapefruit. SRP: $ 67.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte’s signature One Fo(u)r bottles

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte: Perhaps the most ready for your holiday f?tes that surely will end up on Instagram, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has a number of options to wow guests, starting with pint-sized Champagne bottles. (Maybe a bit gauche, but then again, no glassware that needs to be cleaned. Just toss in the recycle bin after). The single-serve bottles, in either the traditional Brut R?serve or Brut Ros?, also come with–wait for it–a wrist strap for making it easy to carry around the party. (Certainly solves the problem of where to put your drink while trying to eat at a cocktail party.)

For something a little more serious, but no less fun, are the 2018 Limited-Edition Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte “Enchanted Meadow” bottle with an elaborate holiday wonderland-inspired exterior as well as the very high-end Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte’s Palmes d’Or, one of the house’s finest crus aged for at least six years to advance the delicate flavor. SRP: $ 13 for the Signature One Fo(u)r 87-milliliter bottles; $ 36 for the Enchanted Meadow; $ 136-$ 200 for the Palmes d’Or.

Mo?t & Chandon ChampagneMo?t & Chandon

Mo?t & Chandon: As one of the world’s largest wine producers, Mo?t & Chandon isn’t taking the holiday season off. The 149-year-old house is releasing a limited edition series of”Art-de-Vivre” bottles, featuring iconic Parisian elements such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as well as images synonymous with the brand, like a champagne tower and the logo neck ties. SRP: $ 39.99 for the Mo?t Imp?rial Brut; $ 49.99 for the Mo?t Imp?rial Ros?; and $ 59.99 for the Mo?t Nectar Imp?rial Blanc, touted by the house to be “tropical, exciting, and daring” with flavors of pineapple and mango.

Luc Belaire
Luc Belaire Brut GoldLuc Belaire

Sparkling Wine

Luc Belaire: Crafted by a 5th- and 6th-generation father-and-son team at a 118-year-old house in Burgundy, Luc Belaire might not be able to implement the official “Champagne” label given its geographical location, but it does reside in the heart of one of the world’s most well-known and respected wine regions. Produced from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, Belaire Brut Gold is a versatile option as its winemakers tout it as ideal for pairing with nearly any menu. To get a better idea of what you’re working with, the Brut Gold, the latest addition to the Luc Belaire portfolio, sports a hint of stone fruits (pear and peach) and brioche with a dry finish. For the dosage, Luc Belaire uses organic sugar cane, which the company says offers more structure to the wine while leaning on a style popularized during the 1920s. SRP: $ 30-$ 35.

Frank Family NV Brut RoseFrank Family Vineyards

Frank Family Vineyards: For something also outside of the traditional Champagne region but inspired by the style all the same is Frank Family Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. The 2014 Sparkling Brut Ros?, a blend of 88% Pinot Noir grapes and 12% Chardonnay, is made in the traditional French method in which the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. The wine is then rested on the spent yeast cells for two and a half years before disgorgement. Almost millennial pink to its core, the Brut Ros? will likely impress oenophiles of any age or experience with wine thanks to its balanced palate of summery, fruit flavors (namely strawberry sherbert, orange peel, and red cherry) with a number of toasty and creamy nuances. SRP: $ 55.

“Prosecco Pie” by Ruffino and the Little Pie CompanyThe Little Pie Company

Something Extra…

Prosecco Pie: Not everyone is a sparkling wine lover. But what if I told you that you could consume sparkling wine–namely a very familiar Italian varietal–in…pie form? For over 33 years, Manhattan’s The Little Pie has gained a cult following–including with some familiar names like Oprah and Sarah Jessica Parker. This holiday season, The Little Pie Company collaborated with Tuscan wine producer Ruffino to produce a seasonal pie inspired by the apple and citrus flavors in the Italian winemaker’s signature Prosecco. The real star here is the topping to the pie rather than the filling itself, with strands of salted caramel criss-crossing a bed of brown sugar and warm apples. The pies are available in 5-inch and 10-inch sizes–the former of which comes with, naturally, a mini bottle of Ruffino Prosecco. SRP: $ 9.50 for the 5-inch version and $ 45 for the full-sized pie, plus shipping for delivery nationwide.

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Cohen believed Trump would pardon him, but then things changed

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump who is now a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, was under the impression Trump would offer him a pardon in exchange for staying on message in support of the President in discussions with federal prosecutors, according to two sources.


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The 12 Dumbest Money Questions We’ve Ever Asked (and Why They’re Not Actually Dumb)

Let’s channel our former middle school teachers: There are no dumb questions.

Especially when it comes to personal finance.

Do you remember your financial literacy class? Probably not, because not many states require such a subject.

So it’s not your fault you have to watch a YouTube tutorial to make sure you’re writing a check correctly or that you have to quietly Google, “How much money do I need to retire?”

But you can stop being embarrassed now. We’re here to answer your “dumbest” money questions.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 1: What Do I Do With My 401(k)?

This isn’t a dumb question, because your 401(k), or any investment account for that matter, is an integral part to a happy and financially healthy retirement.

A 401(k) is an employee-sponsored plan, so it’s largely hands off. If you can, we recommend maxing out your contributions.

Then, thanks to the power of compound interest, watch it grow.

Sure, it’s all automated — out of sight, out of mind. But chances are, your 401(k) could be doing a lot better.

Take control with help from Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that can optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you and keep it speeding toward retirement.

It just takes a few minutes to get a free 401(k) analysis that will show you whether your investments are allocated properly and whether you’re losing money paying hidden investment fees. It’ll even tell you just how much more money your account could earn by the time you want to retire.

After that, if you sign up, it’s just $ 10 per month to have Blooom monitor and maximize your 401(k). Bonus: Penny Hoarders get the first month free with the code PNNYHRD.

Now that you have Blooom keeping tabs on your 401(k), you can sit back and max out your contributions (if possible).

‘Dumb’ Question No. 2: How Can I Invest If I’m Broke?

You. Don’t. Need. Thousands. Of. Dollars. To. Invest.

Yes, everyone’s talking about investing in shares of Amazon, Apple or Netflix, but you can start investing with pocket change.

Start small and download Acorns, an investing app that’ll round up your debit and credit card purchases and, once it accumulates $ 5, it’ll invest the spare change for you.

That means if you spend $ 10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account. Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.

The app is $ 1 a month for balances under $ 1 million, and you’ll get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 3: Does My Credit Score Really Matter?

Um, also, how do I check my credit score?

Some folks argue that credit scores are just three-digit numbers that hold no significance. And that might be true… if you’re living off the grid or never plan to purchase a car, rent or buy a home, or apply for a loan.

Seriously. Credit scores matter. They represent your financial health and allow you to build your future.

If it’s been… a while… since you’ve last checked your credit score, here’s a simple — and free — tool that’ll help: Credit Sesame.

Not only will you be able to peep your credit score, you’ll also tap into your free “credit report card,” which breaks down exactly what’s in your credit report and how it affects your score. The tool even offers tailored tips and tricks that’ll help you get your score up.

Motivational speaker James Cooper, for example, raised his credit score 277 points using Credit Sesame. Now he talks to high school students about the importance of having good credit and uses what he’s learned through Credit Sesame as a blueprint for his lessons.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 4: Do I Need Life Insurance?

This isn’t a dumb question, because there are so many variables you’ll need to consider before purchasing life insurance.

Life insurance financially protects your loved ones in the event of your death, which, sorry to break it to you, is inevitable. However, certain people need life insurance more than others. (If you’re not sure, here are three types of people who need life insurance.)

If you think you (or, really, your family) could benefit from life insurance, buying it doesn’t have to be the uncomfortable experience you might expect. Some newcomers in the industry are updating the old model.

Ethos, for example, can get you term life insurance in less than 10 minutes — with no medical exam — for coverage up to $ 1 million. Ethos offers a digital application, and customer service is available if you have questions.

It partners with a major life insurance carrier to quickly offer policies as low as $ 6 a month. It’s helped thousands of folks access term life insurance, including independent contractors who use Uber, Postmates, TaskRabbit and other gig apps.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 5: Why Is My Money Disappearing?

If you’re wondering where your money goes after each paycheck, start tracking your expenses with the Empower app.

Empower helps you organize and track your financial goals. Simply link your accounts, and every time you log in, you’ll see a simple snapshot of where you stand on your monthly budget. Are you above or below the line? In one second you’ll know whether you’re on track or need to dial things back a bit.

Empower even has a cool “find free money” feature. It’ll do things like negotiate your cell phone bill, review your insurance coverage and cancel unwanted subscriptions.

Side note: If your money is truly disappearing, then you might have a little identity theft situation on your hands. You’ll want to dig into this with your bank or credit card company.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 6: Can I Invest Without Supporting Evil Companies?

If you’ve got a $ 50 bill burning a hole in your wallet, look into Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It considers everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.

You’ll get a $ 50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment of at least $ 50.

Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($ 3.75) per year if you invest $ 500.

Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 7: Are Credit Cards Bad?

Short answer: If you use credit cards responsibly, they’re not bad.

Credit cards can be detrimental if you treat them like a never-ending stream of money. But if you spend within your means and pay them off each month, they can actually be beneficial. They help build your credit and some also grant you rewards — like cash back or travel points.

Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card*. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $ 500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $ 150 bonus.

Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 8: How Does Interest Work?

There are a lot of acronyms in the banking world, so, to save you some time, here’s a rundown of one of the most beneficial: APY.

APY stands for annual percentage yield. It’s the interest you earn on a savings account.

For example, an iOS app called Varo Money combines traditional banking tools with modern technology to help its customers become financially healthy.

Here’s the best part: Pair your bank account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 1.75% annual percentage yield. That’s nearly 20 times — repeat, 20 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

Because it’s compounded interest, it’ll get paid out daily, monthly or quarterly, depending on the account’s terms. Basically, the higher the APY and the more frequently it’s compounded, the better.

So yeah, you’re on the right track if you’re asking about APY.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 9: Where Can I Get Money If I Need it?

You’re in a pinch, and you need some money…

Maybe you’re looking to buy a new car, consolidate your debt, pay an unexpected medical bill or make some improvements around the house.

Um, so, where do you find that money?

This feels like a question that has one of those duh answers, but you’ve really got a lot of options.

You can take out a loan through your bank, credit union, peer-to-peer lending platform or a loan company. (We suggest avoiding 401(k) loans and payday loans.)

This money won’t be free; you’ll have to pay it back plus interest. You can easily shop around for the best terms and rates through an online marketplace, like Even Financial, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

Even searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. Its platform can help you borrow up to $ 100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 10: How Can I Make Money Online?

If you’re looking to make some money online, you’re not the only one. Google receives approximately 100,000 “how to make money online” searches a month.

Not to worry. There are plenty of ways to get paid while sitting on the couch — from full-time work-from-home jobs to side gigs.

Some ideas, based on your wants and needs, include:

  • If you just want to mindlessly make some money while watching TV, try signing up for a few top-rated survey sitesSwagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
  • If you’re looking to flex your skills with a company, then search our work-from-home job board. You’ll find both part-time and full-time opportunities, though note these are usually a little less flexible
  • If you’re looking to set your own schedule, find an online opportunity that allows you to pick and choose when — and how much — you work. Consider signing up for a freelance platform like Fiverr, Mechanical Turk or Upwork.

So, yes, it’s possible to pad your bank account from the comfort of your home — just be watchful of the scammy stuff.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 11: Why Are Groceries So Expensive?

Admittedly, this is a question I recently asked while navigating the grocery store: “Why does it cost $ 3 for a gallon of milk?” Then, at the checkout counter, “How did I just spend $ 100 on groceries?”

I get that there are layers upon layers of factors that ultimately determine the price of groceries, but it seems like the weekly tab just keeps on increasing.

If you want to combat the price of groceries, use Ibotta. It sounds strange, but it’ll pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

Here’s how it works: Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes and get you cash back.

Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $ 10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.

Some cash-back opportunities we’ve seen include:

  • 25 cents back on strawberries.
  • $ 1 back on a box of tea.
  • $ 5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Notice a lot of those aren’t tied to a brand — just shop for the staples on your list and earn cash back!

‘Dumb’ Question No. 12: How Do I Write a Check?

It’s pretty rare these days to have to write a check, so it’s easy to forget how to fill that sucker in.

Just go ahead and bookmark this six-step check-writing guide, so you look like you know what you’re doing the next time the opportunity arises.

Always Raise Your Hand and Ask the Dumb Question

Do you finally believe your middle school teacher? There are no dumb questions! Especially when it comes to personal finance.

If you want to go back to school and get more answers to your “dumb” questions, you can do so for free. We’ve just launched The Penny Hoarder Academy, which will guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance — from building a budget to saving money on groceries to buying your first home.

Never be afraid to just ask.

*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She was always the one who raised her hand and started with, “Umm… this might be a dumb question, but…”

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How to Save Money on Everything You Buy for Baby Without Clipping Coupons

There was a time when my wife and I could go to Target, and the only things we’d have to worry about kicking up our bill were bags of M&M’s or home decor items no one really needs.

Now we have twin babies. These days, our cart fills up with diapers, baby food and a variety of odds and ends I never even knew those little people needed. It adds up fast.

In the first year alone, parents can expect to spend at least $ 20,000, according to a NerdWallet survey. While a big portion of that number comes from daycare and medical costs, those everyday items can make you want to cry louder than your baby.

Luckily, we found an app that can help you save big time as you load up on some of those costly things you need to keep your baby happy and healthy.

You may know Ibotta as a great way to get cash back on groceries, but have you looked at all of the baby items it features?

Get up to $ 6 Cash Back on Baby Formula

A hand holds powder milk for baby and blue spoon.

We all know breastfeeding is the most affordable way to nourish your little one. I mean, Mother Nature provides the good stuff for free, right?

While as many as 83% of babies are breastfed, fewer than half of them are breastfed exclusively, even during the first three months, according to the CDC. That means parents are filling the gap with formula.

At nine months old, our twins are primarily breastfed and still go through two cans of formula per week at roughly $ 20 per can. Ouch.

Here are just a few of the recent formula deals we’ve seen on the app:

  • Similac: $ 3 cash back from multiple stores, including Target and Walmart.
  • Enfamil NeuroPro: $ 4 cash back at Walmart.
  • Parent’s Choice: $ 3 cash back at Walmart.
  • CVS Health: $ 4 cash back at CVS Pharmacy.
  • Member’s Mark: $ 4 cash back at Sam’s Club.
  • Gerber Natura Organic: $ 6 cash back at multiple stores including Meijer, Publix and Walmart.
  • Berkley Jensen: $ 4 cash back at BJ’s.

We’re not talking a few cents here.

If you’re using formula at all, you can be saving significant money by using Ibotta. Just find a deal for your favorite brand, snap a photo of your receipt with the app, and bam — cash back.

Bonus: When you earn your first cash-back offer through the app, you’ll pocket a $ 10 bonus.

Get up to $ 3 Back on Baby Food

Eventually, your little bundle of joy will need more than just milk. Pretty soon, you’ll be filling your cart with an amazing variety of pureed veggies and fruits that will inevitably end up all over your baby’s bib, in their hair and on the floor. But that’s all part of the experience, right?

Ibotta can help out here, too. Get these tidier treats:

  • Happy Baby Clearly Crafted Pouches: Get 75 cents cash back when you buy any three at Walmart, or $ 2.50 cash back on a 10-pack at Sam’s Club.
  • Gerber Organic Pouches: Get $ 3 cash back on a 12-pouch box at Sam’s Club.
  • Beech Nut Organic Pouches: $ 2 cash back at multiple stores, including Food Lion, Meijer and Babies R Us.

Earn up to $ 3 When You Buy Vitamins, Wipes, Bottles and More

The list doesn’t stop there. There are tons of odds and ends we need to keep our babies happy and healthy. Here are a few of the best deals:

  • Zarbees Baby Vitamins: $ 3 cash back at multiple stores, including CVS, Meijer and Publix.
  • Aveeno baby products: $ 1 cash back at Walmart.
  • Johnson’s Baby Products: $ 1 to $ 3 cash back at Walmart.
  • Desitin: $ 2 cash back on a 16-ounce jar at Walmart.
  • Huggies Wipes: 50 cents cash back at Walgreens.
  • Baby Bum Products: $ 1.50 cash back at multiple stores, including Target and Buy Buy Baby.
  • Playtex Baby Bottles: $ 3 cash back at Walmart.

Earn up to 18% Cash Back When You Shop Online

What new parent has extra time to go to stores? Ibotta can help you save money with your online shopping, too.

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

  • Up to 5.5% cash back from Amazon.
  • 5% cash back from Etsy.
  • 4% cash back from Groupon.
  • 2% cash back from Buy Buy Baby
  • 3% cash back from Overstock.com.
  • 18% cash back from Warby Parker.

Just download the app for free, select “Find Offers” and the mobile shopping category, then shop your favorite retailer through the portal.

Look Before You Shop

The best way to take advantage of Ibotta deals is to take a look through the app before you head to the store and see which deals are available. Are your favorite brands offering deals? Are you willing to try a different brand to save a few bucks?

We don’t see any diaper cash back deals on the app right now, but keep checking. We also have seen some sneaky ways to get free diapers.

If you haven’t tried Ibotta yet and you have a bouncing baby bungling your budget, now is the time to sign up.

With all the money you’ll save, you can get a great start on that college fund… because you do want them to get a great job and move out eventually, right?

Tyler Omoth is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

The Penny Hoarder

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

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Fed minutes reveal further rate hike ‘warranted soon’

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Michael Cohen is in federal court in New York where he is expected to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress about the Russia investigation, CNN has learned.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!