Navarro says Trump’s trade strategy may create market volatility, but will be bullish long term

Current U.S. trade policies may be creating volatility in the near term, but will be good for the markets in the long run, Peter Navarro, one of President Donald Trump's top trade advisors, said on CNBC.
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6 Gas Rewards Programs to Try if Fuel Prices Are Draining Your Savings


Grocery store loyalty programs used to be the way to go to save money on gas, but now that gas stations are offering their own fuel rewards programs, times are changing.

And because gas prices are the highest they’ve been since 2014, you’ll want to save every penny you can while you’re filling up that tank.

6 of the Best Gas Station Rewards Programs

So if you’re on the hunt for cheap gas, check out this list of the best gas station rewards programs, plus some bonus tips for using free gas apps to save even more.

1. BP Driver Rewards

BP gas station logo is pictured
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

BP Driver Rewards offers 10 cents off per gallon for every $ 100 you spend on fuel purchases of up to 20 gallons. So if you have a 10-gallon tank, you’ll save $ 1 for every $ 100 you spend on gas.

If you’re a frequent flyer, you can earn 2 MileagePlus miles per gallon if you purchase regular or midgrade fuel, or 3 miles per gallon if you use premium-grade fuel.

You’ll also receive 200 bonus miles after you link a debit or credit card and make your first transaction. If you don’t use your miles, you can use them toward fuel purchases — 60 MileagePlus miles equals 50 cents off per gallon on up to 20 gallons, for a maximum of $ 10 off per fill-up.

To find participating stations, search your ZIP code in the station finder and filter by “BP Driver Rewards,” or download the BPme app for Android and iPhone.

To pay using the app, simply open the app and select your pump number — your location should automatically be recognized as long as you have enabled location settings for the app.

2. Exxon Mobil Rewards+

After parting ways with Plenti, Exxon Mobil launched its own rewards program — Exxon Mobil Rewards+.

This points-based system awards 3 points per gallon on fuel purchases, plus 2 points for every $ 1 you spend on car washes and convenience store items. The program also offers a sign-up bonus of 100 points and 15 points per gallon for the first 30 days.

Members can redeem points on fuel, car washes and store items, with every 100 points equaling up to $ 1 off. Let’s say you have a 10-gallon tank and are earning 3 points per gallon. That means you’ll only have to fill up a little over three times to earn enough points for $ 1 off fuel and other purchases — not too shabby. Combine that with any points you earn on car washes and in-store items, and you have an even better deal.

You can also keep track of your rewards in the Exxon Mobil Speedpass+ app for Android and iPhone. You’ll need to register an account for the app separate from your Exxon Mobil Rewards+ account. You can then link your rewards account via your rewards card or phone number.

The Speedpass+ app also allows you to search for nearby Exxon and Mobil stations and pay for gas right from your phone using Samsung Pay or Apple Pay.

3. Maverik’s Adventure Club

Located in several states across the Northwest, Maverik is another gas station offering its own fuel rewards program: Maverik’s Adventure Club. This program offers two rewards cards: the Adventure Club card and the Adventure Club Nitro card.

The Adventure Club card offers 2 cents off per gallon on fuel purchases. Card holders can also earn Trail Points through fuel and in-store purchases, excluding gift cards, lotto tickets, tobacco products and alcohol. You can use Trail Points to buy store items or win prizes in weekly drawings. And if you stop by Maverik on a Tuesday, you’ll earn triple points for Triple Trail Point Tuesday.

The Adventure Club Nitro card offers all of the same benefits and a little bit more, including 6 cents off per gallon, double Trail Points from purchases, price matching and $ 1 fountain drinks and refills — that includes the 64-ounce drinks.

The main difference between the cards is the Adventure Club Nitro card must be linked to your checking account, and you must pay using the card to save on fuel and earn points.

Track your Adventure Club rewards by logging in to the website or through the free app for Android and iPhone.

4. Pilot Flying J

While Pilot Flying J’s rewards program was built with professional and RV drivers in mind, all PIlot Flying J customers ages 18 and older are eligible to join the myRewards program with the Preferred Customer Rewards card.

With the Preferred Customer Rewards membership, you can save 3 cents for every gallon of fuel purchased and earn points for in-store purchases. You’ll also gain access to the Coffee Club, which awards a free cup of coffee after every ninth coffee purchase, and you can enjoy a free dessert during your birthday month.

You can manage your rewards using the myPilot app. You can start the pump and pay right through the app — and if there’s a line, the app has a feature that shows you which pump is most likely to open up next.

The app also allows you to track your receipts, find fuel prices and search for local places to eat, plus, it gives you exclusive offers.

5. Shell Fuel Rewards

Streaks of light are captured by a long camera exposure
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

I’ve been using Shell Fuel Rewards for the last few months, and at the very least, I save a few cents per gallon every time I fill up. On one fill-up, I saved 18 cents per gallon.

Shell Fuel Rewards has two tiers: Silver Status, which saves 3 cents per gallon on fuel purchases and Gold Status, which saves you 5 cents per gallon.

To reach Gold Status, you only need to fill up six times within three months. And if you purchase at least eight gallons four times within 30 days, you’ll receive 10 cents off per gallon on your fifth fill-up.

Shell Fuel Rewards offers additional savings that can be stacked on to your status, including 25 cents off per gallon for referrals, 25 cents off per gallon for shopping and 10 cents off per gallon for dining. You can earn additional savings for booking flights, hotels and rental cars through Fuel Rewards offers.

So let’s say you earn Gold status, then another 25 cents off per gallon for shopping online and another 10 cents off for dining out. That means you’ll get a total of 40 cents off per gallon on your next fill-up of up to 20 gallons. If you stack on a referral, that’s a total of 65 cents off per gallon.

You can also earn more through featured offers and card-linked offers.

You must opt in to the link-and-save feature. Just be warned that card-linked and featured offers can take up to seven business days to process.

6. Speedway Speedy Rewards

Just like Shell’s program, Speedway Speedy Rewards is packed with a ton of ways to save, and it comes with a free mobile app to keep track of it all.

With Speedy Rewards, you’ll earn 10 points per gallon at the pump and 20 points per dollar spent in-store, plus bonus points on select items. You can also earn reward points for shopping online through the Speedy Rewards Mall.

And if you want to use points for free stuff, a minimum of 1,000 points gets you free drinks and snacks, while 5,500 points can get you a whole large pizza.

You can earn even more free stuff when you become part of the Speedy Club. All you have to do is purchase one item from the club, and you’re in!

With the Speedy Club, if you frequent the car wash, you can earn a free wash for every sixth you purchase. And if you’re all about the coffee, fountain drinks and Speedy Freezes, you can be part of the Beverage Club — which allows you to choose a reward for every six beverages you buy. This could be a free beverage, 1,000 bonus points or 10 cents off fuel.

You can also choose between four monthly perks. Current options include 200 bonus points with the purchase of 10 gallons of gas, 100 points per day with the purchase of king-size candy bars, 100 points per day with the purchase of sports drinks or 100 points per day with the purchase of energy drinks.

As an added perk for using the Speedy Rewards Pay Card, you’ll earn double points each time you purchase fuel, plus you’ll save 5 cents per gallon on all fuel purchases for the first 90 days. In certain states, you’ll earn 70 bonus points per gallon of fuel purchased for the first 90 days instead of 5 cents.

Bonus: Save Even More on Fuel With These Free Gas Apps

If you’re into saving even more money on gas, there are a couple of free apps you can use in combination with your preferred gas station rewards program.

1. GetUpside

GetUpside is a free mobile app for iPhone and Android that offers fuel rewards in the form of cash back. Coverage areas are currently limited to Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Long Island, New York, and Florida.

The app provides a map of the nearest gas stations and lowest fuel prices, along with an offer to earn cash back. Gas prices are updated in real time; however, because prices are always changing, the amount listed in the app may not always be accurate. If you find an inaccurate price listing, you can update the prices through the app.

To accept a cash back offer, you simply hit “claim,” then pay with your usual debit or credit card. Make sure you get a receipt, because you will need to snap a photo to upload in the app to receive your cash back, which takes 24 to 48 hours to process. You can choose to transfer the funds to your PayPal account or receive a check by mail.

GetUpside cash-back offers can be used in combination with other discounts, coupons and loyalty programs, and there is no limit to how much you can earn. Just keep in mind cash back offers may be reduced when you use them with other loyalty programs. I’ve been using GetUpside for a little over two weeks and already have earned $ 5.25.

P.S. If you live in the D.C. area, you can also use the app to earn up to 15% cash back on groceries and 35% cash back on dining.

2. GasBuddy

Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

GasBuddy is a free app that helps drivers find the cheapest gas prices across a database of more than 140,000 gas stations and convenience stores in the United States, Canada and Australia. In 2017, GasBuddy added a new feature to help drivers save on gas called Pay with GasBuddy.

Pay with GasBuddy can be used at the pump and is linked to your checking account. The card is currently accepted at most gas stations except for Exxon and Mobil stations, BJ’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, HEB, and select Walmart and ARCO stations.

During account setup, you’ll be asked to choose between receiving 10 cents off per gallon for your first fill-up and 5 cents off per gallon thereafter, or receiving cash back in the form of Shop Your Way points, which can be redeemed for discounts at participating retailers.

Once setup is complete, your Pay with GasBuddy card will be issued by mail.

It can take a few days for the transaction to process. I used my card on July 24, and the transaction didn’t show up in my bank account until July 27.

For more information about the GasBuddy app and the Pay with GasBuddy card, visit the GasBuddy Help Center.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant 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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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to meet Trump Thursday

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expects to be fired Monday, a source tells CNN.


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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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Here Are a Few Ways Around Those Rising Airline Baggage Fees


JetBlue did it first. Then United did it. And now, Delta and American have joined their competitors in hiking fees for checked baggage.

It now costs $ 30 each way for the first checked bag and $ 40 for the second bag — up from $ 25 and $ 35, respectively.

In a statement, American Airlines said it hadn’t raised the fees since 2010.

That’s cold comfort to passengers, said Douglas Kidd, executive director of the National Association of Airline Passengers. He said Wall Street is pressuring the airlines, whose stocks are publicly traded, to ratchet up fees to maximize profits.

In the first six months of 2018, United reaped nearly $ 603,000 from baggage fees, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. United took in more than $ 411,000, Delta $ 375,000 and JetBlue $ 150,000.

“Wall Street wants them to upsell,” said Kidd, whose nonprofit advocates for passengers. “We say charge what you need to charge [for a ticket], and don’t nickel-and-dime the passenger to death.”

What You Can Do to Avoid Checked-Baggage Fees

Short of driving or taking a train or bus, passengers have a few options:

  1. Fly Southwest, which still allows passengers to check two bags for free. “Southwest is very proud to offer our Bags Fly Free program,” company spokesman Dan Landson said. “We have no current plans to start charging for checked bags.”
  2. Apply for an airline-branded credit card. Some cards include waived baggage fees. But the terms vary from card to card and annual fees are required, so you’ll have to do the math to make sure the trade-off makes sense for you.
  3. Buy an airline baggage subscription. These pricy plans — United’s start at $ 349 a year, plus a $ 50 initiation fee that currently is being waived — are best for people who fly often. For that price, United allows a traveler and up to eight companions on the same reservation to check two bags each.
  4. Travel light. This obviously is the most practical choice for budget travelers. As a general rule, airlines allow one free carry-on bag small enough to fit in an overhead bin and one personal item such as a purse, computer bag or briefcase, Kidd said. (In basic economy class on American, only a personal item is allowed.) He advises flyers to always pack a change of clothes, clean underwear and a few toiletries in a carry-on bag even if they do check other luggage —  just in case it gets lost.
  5. If you need a large bag, price the parcel rate and ship it a few days in advance if it’s cheaper.
  6. Buy stock in the airline you fly (it doesn’t have to be a lot) and complain to shareholder relations as well as consumer relations. Shareholders have more clout, Kidd said.

“Traveling today is enough to test the patience and equanimity of most passengers,” he said

Susan Jacobson is an editor at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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He’s one of the only humans at work — and he loves it

Zou Rui is one of four babysitters who oversee hundreds of robots that pack roughly 200,000 boxes each day inside a warehouse the size of seven football fields. Analysts say it’s a peek at the future of manual work in China and beyond — a place where a chosen few tend to the machines, while most workers have been rendered obsolete.
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Graham: ‘Not going to ruin’ Kavanaugh over Ford’s accusation

South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he does not expect to be swayed against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even after he hears from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault.


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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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Colin Kaepernick Pushes Nike’s Market Value to $6 Billion, an All-Time High

Nike’s market value has risen to $ 6 billion since its controversial decision to feature former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its new ad campaign, CBS News reports. Shares are up over 36% for the year, nearly 5% just since the ad’s launch.

Kaepernick is known for being the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem back in 2016, kicking off a movement against racial inequality that’s faced criticism from all walks of life, including the president.

Embracing the controversy, Nike made Kaepernick the face of its campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan. Angry critics almost immediately began cutting up their Nike socks and burning their Nike sneakers. The sportswear giant’s stocks took a 3% dip early on, a $ 4 billion loss.

But after a bumpy start, Nike’s campaign has certainly paid off: in mid-September, its stock hit a record high, with products selling out more frequently. Long-term investors are seeing the benefits of having Kaepernick on board. Nike is, after all, the world’s 18th most valuable brand according to Interbrand, and the Kaepernick controversy created free press.

“I don’t think they just randomly decided to put this ad out, thinking, ‘Let’s commit political-correctness suicide,’” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley RBR, told CBS News. “People vote with their wallets, and the one clear winner in athletic apparel remains Nike.”

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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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What the heck is dropshipping? And how you can make money by doing it?

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If you’re looking for a dependable side hustle to make some extra money, you should probably consider dropshipping. Confused already? It’s a lot simpler than it sounds. 

Basically, dropshipping is acting as a broker between a consumer and a third-party, usually the manufacturer or a wholesaler. Think of it as “on-demand selling,” in that you offer products for sale but don’t actually purchase them until you receive an order from a customer. That means you can open your own e-commerce store without paying a whole bunch of money upfront for inventory, and you can offer a wide variety of products because you’re not limited by an inventory budget. As long as the supplier has an item in stock, you can sell it. Read more…

More about Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Onlinecourses, Dropshipping, and Business


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You Don’t Have to Be Walt Whitman to Win This $1K Poetry Scholarship Contest


Roses are red, violets are blue, and you could win $ 1,000 by sharing what a mentor meant to you.

Is there someone in your life who has inspired or guided you along the way or assisted in your personal development?

Here’s a chance to pay that person homage and enter to win a $ 1,000 scholarship toward college.

Power Poetry is holding an “O Captain, My Captain Scholarship Slam” scholarship sweepstakes.

How to Enter the Poetry Scholarship Contest

The contest is open to all current and former high school students who are in college or will attend college within the U.S.  All entrants must be 25 years old or younger to enter.

Before you enter, you must register as a member of the Power Poetry community, which promotes the writing of poetry.

Once that’s done and you’ve composed an ode to your mentor, all you have to do is submit your original poem with a title. That’s it.

The $ 1,000 scholarship winner is chosen in a random drawing — which means this is more about luck than being a wordsmith. Just keep your submission original and cross your fingers.

The deadline to enter is Oct. 25, 2018.

Check out the contest rules and contact Power Poetry with any questions.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Like our College page on Facebook to discover other scholarship opportunities.

And if you’re looking for even more scholarships to apply for, be sure to check out our list of 100 scholarships that will help you pay for college.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll always be thankful for the wisdom and compassion of her mentors.

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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State unemployment regulations leave New Yorkers struggling

Dear John: Until recently, I was unemployed and as a white college-educated female in my 50s, I would gladly have worked in a dump for $ 20 per hour. However, it would have had to have been off the books. Blame New York state’s unemployment regulations. For every day I would have worked part time (whether…
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In Nigeria, Shell’s onshore roots still run deep

Royal Dutch Shell wants to reweight its footprint in Nigeria to focus on oil and gas fields far offshore, away from the theft, spills, corruption and unrest that have plagued the West African country’s onshore industry for decades.


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The 100-keg quest: Kavanaugh classmate details senior year at Georgetown Prep

A goal of drinking 100 beer kegs by the end of senior year. A party with a stripper. A student falling through ceilings at house parties. These are new details coming to light in Mark Judge’s descriptions of his days as a Georgetown Prep student.


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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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9.21.18 Clark Stinks; Credit freezes are free now!

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; Credit freezes are free now as of today!

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

Watch the video
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China said to call off high level trade talks with US as tariff war escalates

China has canceled planned trade discussions with the U.S. amid rising tensions and new tariffs, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
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Four Reasons Traveling in October Can Save You Money and Enhance Your Trip


October is the quintessential month of autumn.

The seasons start to turn, and the scents of fall, from cinnamon brooms to pumpkin spice, welcome you.

Winter isn’t far off — nor are the dark and freezing mornings to come.

It’s the perfect in-between month, not only for weather, but for travel.

While everyone is preparing for the holidays, you could be having the time of your life for a fraction of the cost.

Why Travel in October

It seems like a strange month to travel with the kids back in school and the holidays just around the corner. Yet those are the exact reasons it’s one of the best months to travel.  

Shoulder Season

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Most people know that off-season travel has the best deals, but many don’t consider the perks of traveling during shoulder seasons.

Shoulder season is the period between the peak season and the off-season.

It generally means lower prices and fewer crowds.

October comes after the peak summer season, on the heels of Labor Day and ahead of the holiday season, making it ripe for travel.  

Zag when everybody zigs,” said Mark Murphy, travelpulse.com founder.

“Go to places that are just out of their main season, when the crowds are gone, and you’ll have a better experience at a hard-to-beat price.

Deals, Deals, Deals

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Prices turn in the traveler’s favor in October, just like the color of leaves.

Skyscanner determined that September and October will be the cheapest time to fly in 2018.

Which totally makes sense because October follows the post-summer slump for airlines and cruises. Less demand for tickets and tours means cheaper offers to drum up business.

Iceland’s low-cost airline, WOW Airlines, offers $ 160 or less round-trip flights to select cities in Europe during October.

The same goes for gas prices, too.

Since 1993, gas prices for all petroleum types have averaged about $ 2.16 a gallon in October, making it the fifth cheapest month in which to travel by car, according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Department of Energy data.

Murphy says the end of summer marks the end of peak demand for travel.

“This leads to aggressive pricing, value-added offers and even two-for-one deals the world over,” he said.

Weather

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There’s hardly a place on Earth where the weather is bad in October.

It’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern. There’s no drastic temperature extreme, making it the perfect Goldilocks in-between.

Autumn brings a wave of colorful foliage down the East Coast along with cooler mornings and nights.

It’s too early to ski, but the first snowfall of the season could come early and bring fresh powder from Killington Peak, Vermont, to the Arapahoe Basin, Colorado.

Wanna watch the northern lights dance across the sky? October is one of the best months to witness them from any arctic viewing point including Norway, Iceland and Alaska.

Just don’t expect to see them on an Alaskan cruise — most of those close up shop come October.

Meanwhile, Caribbean cruises and resorts entice brave travelers with discounted rates since it’s the tail end of hurricane season.

Murphy said the threat of bad weather means better deals for you, like the recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii.

Bad news means a great deal… Usually nothing close to how they are actually portraying it, leading to a great deal for you,” he said.

School Is in Session

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Since October is sandwiched between Labor Day and the holidays, most families stay grounded during the month.

More kids in school means smaller crowds at main attractions.

For folks without kids, October is a prime month to travel if you’re looking for quieter experiences or you just want to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter without thousands of middle schoolers around.

It’s also prime time for couples and solo travelers to explore the world without sharing a romantic or individual experience with herds of families on spring and summer vacation.

It’s much harder to travel in October if you have children, but if you do, lines at Disney are shorter and you might be the only family on the shoreline for miles.

Murphy suggests Iceland, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico.

If you’re looking to stay stateside, big cities like New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas offer stellar deals, while national parks like the Grand Canyon and Shenandoah see fewer crowds but have the same great views.

The 10th month also is home to pumpkins galore, apple pickin’, wine tastin’, Halloween Horror Nights, the return of the monarch butterflies in Big Sur and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Seriously, why are you staying in again??

The Penny Hoarder data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this post.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. October is her favorite month.

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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Here’s how Michael Cohen might be helpful to prosecutors

Michael Cohen has been making the rounds since his late-August guilty plea in federal court, offering himself up to a number of offices that are investigating him or other aspects of the Trump orbit.


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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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Duke Energy dam in NC breached, coal ash may have flowed into Cape Fear River

Floodwaters topped a dike at Sutton Lake which led to breaches at the lake's south end, causing it to flow back into the river. Coal ash may have flowed into the Cape Fear River, raising fears of possible contamination.
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New York Times: Rod Rosenstein discussed secretly taping Trump

In the days after FBI Director James Comey’s May 2017 firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with President Donald Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, The New York Times reported Friday.


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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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11 of Our Favorite Money Apps — and Their Most Surprising Features


I do this thing where I find a restaurant I like and order the same exact thing over and over. And over.

“Want to try the special today?”

Not a chance, sir.

I’m a creature of habit, and sometimes it’s a good thing. I know I’ll like what I order. But I could also be missing out on something really great — like catch-of-the-day fish tacos.

This if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it mentality seeps into other parts of my life, too — like managing money.

Sure, I use Trim to negotiate my internet bill, Stash to invest and WinWin to save, but they offer a number of other useful features I’m not tapping into.

In the spirit of branching out, here are some unexpected features of our favorite money apps.

1. Negotiate Your Internet Bill — Then Pay off Your Debt

Dog helps his owner with finances
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

What we’ve been using it for: Trim is a virtual assistant that helps its users save more than $ 1 million each month.

How? The online tool negotiates your internet and cell phone bills. It works with all major providers, including Comcast, Time Warner and Charter. Upload a PDF of your most recent bill, and Trim gets to work on your behalf.

What we’ve been missing out on: Trim also helps you save money with its debt-payoff calculator.

Simply enter your remaining balances, interest rates and minimum payments — no need to remember passwords or connect each debt-carrying account to the tool. As you play with monthly payment numbers, you’ll notice your debt-free date and total interest will change.

2. Keep Tabs on Your Money — Even Your Crypto

Bitcoin data
SlavkoSereda/Getty Images

What we’ve been using it for: Connect your financial accounts to the Empower app for a one-stop money-management shop. Check your balances and create a budget.

We especially like its “find free money” feature, which will help you save on cell phone bills, insurance premiums, credit card interest and more.

What we’ve been missing out on: There are dozens of money management apps on the market, but Empower stands out because it allows you to track your crypto exchanges, too.

Connect with Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Kraken and more, so you can manage your bitcoin investments from one app.

3. Dodge Bank Fees — and Get Paid up to 2 Days Early

Inside a bank
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

What we’ve been using it for: Online-only banks are takin’ over. Varo Money is one example. Its main draw? No hidden fees.

And if you open a Varo Savings Account, you’ll snag 1.50% Annual Percentage Yield. That’s more than 20 times the average interest on savings accounts, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

What we’ve been missing out on: When you set up direct deposit through Varo, you can get paid up to two days before your paycheck is typically posted. How? It simply posts your funds to your account as soon as your employer issues your pay.

4. Play Mindless Phone Games — and Start an Emergency Fund

Friends enjoying time together
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

What we’ve been using it for: WinWin is an easy way to develop a savings habit by playing fun mini-games: pinball, breakout, whack-a-mole, you name it.

What we’ve been missing out on: You might not realize you can save a ton of money playing these mini-games — even win some cash!

Set up auto-save (start with as little as $ 5 a week) and build your emergency fund. The more you save, the better chances you have of winning some extra cash. Use the app for free for 60 days, then it costs $ 2 a month.

5. Save on Groceries — and Travel

Packing for a trip
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

What we’ve been using it for: Ibotta is a cash-back app most well-known for saving you money on groceries.

What we’ve been missing out on: Ibotta has expanded a ton since its 2011 inception.

You can score cash back on just about anything, including travel. Book your flight and hotel through Booking for 7% cash back (at the time we wrote this). Next, book a rental car through Hertz and get 9% cash back. Or opt for an Uber for $ 1 off each ride.

6. Start Investing — Even in Cannabis

Cannabis in a jar
MmeEmil/Getty Images

What we’ve been using it for: Stash is a microinvesting app that lets you start investing with as little as $ 5 and for just a $ 1 monthly fee for balances under $ 5,000.

What we’ve been missing out on: Let’s be blunt: The marijuana industry is smokin’.

You don’t have to have tons of money to invest in the cannabis industry. Using Stash, you can invest in increments as little as $ 5.

Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. It offers more than 40 exchange-traded funds, including one for those who are already seeing green on the cannabis horizon.

Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to fund your first investment — so you’ll get a $ 5 bonus when you enter the code PENNYH

7. Earn Gift Cards by Watching TV — and Playing Trivia

Young woman relaxing while watching television
AndreaObzerova/Getty Images

What we’ve been using it for: Swagbucks is pretty well-known around here. It’s a free rewards community where you can earn gift cards for watching videos, taking surveys and redeeming coupons.

What we’ve been missing out on: Are you familiar with the mobile game show trend? Swagbucks has its own show called Swag IQ. Each day, Swag IQ hosts live trivia games.

The host asks 10 multiple-choice questions, which will progressively become more difficult. If you can answer all 10, you’ll split the day’s prize with the other winners — we’ve seen prizes around $ 1,000 a day.

8. Invest Your Spare Change — and Find Money

Close up of American currency
CatLane/Getty Images

What we’ve been using it for: Acorns is a microinvesting app that allows you to invest small amounts into your future. It’s perhaps most well known for its round-up feature, which rounds up your debit and credit card transactions to the nearest dollar and invests your spare change. Think of it like a digital piggy bank.

What we’ve been missing out on: Acorns has a “Found Money” feature.

What’s this mean? Brands you spend money with will invest in you. For example, when you book your next Airbnb through Acorns, Airbnb will invest 1.8% of your service fee. That’s basically cash back into your investments.

Other partnered brands include Apple, Blue Apron, Expedia, Jet, Lyft and Walmart.

9. Snag Your Free Credit Score — and Crush Your Financial Goals

Woman looking at her credit score on credit sesame
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

What we’ve been using it for: Credit Sesame is a free credit-monitoring site. Sign up to receive a monthly TransUnion score alongside a credit report card, which is basically a more digestible credit report.

What we’ve been missing out on: Once on the Credit Sesame site, hover your mouse over “My Finances” and select “My Financial Goals.”

Here, you can set up specific goals, such as purchasing a home or taking out a personal loan. Credit Sesame will offer tailored advice to help you achieve this goal.

10. Discover Ways to Save Money — and Start a Christmas Fund Early

Christmas cash
CatLane/Getty Images

What we’ve been using it for: Charlie is your BFF (best financial friend) who lives in your Facebook Messenger app or through your SMS text messages (your choice, though Charlie is more fun and reliable on Messenger).

Sign up for Charlie and connect your bank account, and he’ll help you find ways to save money on your monthly bills, avoid surprise bank fees and spend less.

What we’ve been missing out on: Have a savings goal? Want to save $ 500 by Christmas, for example? Charlie’s smart. Just type, “Help me save money!” and Charlie will prompt you to type in a savings goal and deadline. He’ll remind you when to save money and will even suggest how much you can afford to save.

11. Conquer Your Fears — Then Create a Simple Budget

Creating a budget
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

What we’ve been using it for: It’s Excel, and it’s as intimidating as anything. You might have explored it in a technology class in middle school. Then swore it off for the rest of your life.

What we’ve been missing out on: Excel can actually help you create a budget — and it’s not all that intimidating. The first step is to accept the tool into your life. Then, follow our guide to budgeting in Excel. We promise — you can do it!

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer. She’s loves uncovering fun features on her favorite money-management apps.

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 Vice President Joe Biden Calls on Senate Not to Vilify Christine Blasey Ford Like Anita Hill

Former vice president Joe Biden is doubling down in his support of Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh‘s accuser.

Speaking to NBC’s TODAY on Friday, Biden told Craig Melvin that he believes that an FBI investigation should be undertaken, explaining that “we did that for Anita Hill and it took two days.”

But Biden also took the opportunity to warn senators to treat Ford better than Hill was treated in 1991. “Most importantly, Anita Hill was vilified when she came forward by many of my colleagues,” he said. Asserting that it amounted to “character assassination,” Biden added, “I wish I could have done more to prevent those questions and the way they asked them.”

“I hope my colleagues learned from that. She deserves to be treated with dignity,” he said. “It takes enormous courage for a woman to come forward, [with] the bright lights and millions of people watching and relive something that happened to her, she asserted happened to her, and she should be treated with respect.”

When asked how to balance the rights of Ford and the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty, Biden said, “I think the presumption should exist but what should happen is, the woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be abused again by the system.”

He explained that his “biggest regret” was that he was unable to shut off Senators who were “attacking Anita Hill’s character.” Senate rules prevented him from “gaveling down” his colleagues and blocking them from asking certain questions, “so what happened was she got victimized again during the process.”

Ultimately, Biden called on the Senators in the Judiciary Committee to ask the “tough” and “substantive” questions, but to keep in mind the “courage it takes for someone to come forward and relive what they believe happened to them.”

“Treat her with respect,” he said.

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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This $10 online course can help you build your dream career

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If you don’t have a mentor who you can look to for advice and guidance for shaping your career, it can be intimidating to know where to go for support. Usually, we learn fundamental skills on the fly — whether it’s editing your résumé to speak to the job you want, or learning how to effectively network to build your social capital. But usually, the path to learning can be a bit of a bumpy road — and not the most productive way to learn. 

This online course can be like that mentor you wish you had. It’s meant to help you develop practical skills like interviewing, résumé building, and networking so you can grow your career and minimize the usual amount of trial and error you’d need if you were figuring all this out on your own. Read more…

More about Job Search, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Solo, and Online Courses


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Trump questions why Kavanaugh accuser didn’t call the FBI after alleged assault

President Donald Trump questioned Thursday why the woman who has accused his Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault didn’t call the police 36 years ago, when she says the incident happened.


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!

A Glut of Retail Jobs Means Higher Pay and Better Benefits for Workers


Major U.S. retailers are scrambling to find workers to fill a record-high number of job openings, and that’s a good thing for current and potential employees.

As the holiday hiring season approaches, job openings in the retail industry are already at record levels. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the retail industry had an unprecedented 835,000 job openings in July — the highest number since the BLS began tracking this statistic in December 2000.

Anticipating a strong holiday season, employers are adding hundreds of thousands of additional seasonal jobs into the mix as well.

Filling these job openings is the biggest hurdle the retail industry faces, according to Evan Armstrong, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. The RILA represents the largest retailers in the U.S. — Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens and many others.

The labor shortage is a big problem for retailers. But for average retail workers?

“That’s good news,” Armstrong said. “There are a lot of employers out there competing for them.”

The stiff competition for labor leads to better schedules, wages and benefits for workers. For example, Target, which plans to hire 120,000 additional seasonal workers,  is offering starting hourly wages at $ 12, with a $ 500 gift card bonus for workers hired after September.  The company also plans to increase all beginning wages to $ 15 an hour by 2020.

In June, Costco hiked starting wages to $ 14 an hour. Both full- and part-time hourly workers are eligible for health care, dental care, dependent care, 401(k) and several other benefits, according to its website.

Gap Inc. announced Monday that it is looking for 65,000 seasonal workers. The company has encouraged job seekers to show up at any Gap Inc. store or distribution center to apply for a job (including its related brands: Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy).

“The truth is,” Armstrong said, “there are just not enough people to work all the jobs that are open right now.”

So large companies are trying these creative and innovative methods to attract employees. Armstrong said that they aren’t only competing among themselves, but the retail industry as a whole is competing with the gig economy for labor.

Younger workers, especially, are attracted to the “work-when-you-wanna-work” aspect of the gig economy.

“The gig economy is providing so much more scheduling flexibility,” Armstrong said. “Retail is trying to catch up on that.”

Armstrong thinks that the seasonal benefits retailers are offering could be a play to attract a new wave of employees to remedy the overall labor shortage in the retail sector. Over the past year, retail wage growth has outpaced that of other industries. If the intense competition among retailers continues, employees can expect benefits to keep getting better.

“Retailers are getting folks in the door in the seasonal space,” Armstrong said. “Then they can retain them throughout the rest of next year.”

Adam Hardy is a reporter, editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. He writes about careers for The Penny Hoarder’s Make Money vertical. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

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

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The head of the world’s biggest money manager says US stands to lose big long term in the trade war

The U.S. is winning the trade war with China in the short term but stands to lose significantly over the long term, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said Thursday.
Economy

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Wells Fargo to shed 10 percent of its workers by 2021

Wells Fargo said Thursday it will shed as much as 10 percent of its workforce by 2021 as the bank struggles with continued fallout from multiple sales scandals. The nation’s third-biggest bank, which has 265,000 employees, will slim its ranks by between 13,250 and 26,500 workers through a combination of layoffs and attrition, according to…
Business | New York Post

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Exxon Mobil and Chevron will join global energy giants in climate initiative, reversing position

Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum will join the 10-member Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, becoming the first U.S.-headquartered companies to join the group.
Energy

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Kavanaugh case shows how little has changed for Judiciary Committee

As the nation awaits the resolution of another woman confronting another Supreme Court nominee with sexual allegations from the past, another similarity has emerged: the credibility of the Senate vetting process may be shot.


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!

Aldi Instacart Delivery Is Almost Here — Save $10 on Your First 3 Orders


If the idea of spelunking through your car’s cup holders for a quarter or bagging your own groceries (gasp!) is too much for you, you may still be able to score some affordable groceries from Aldi.

After testing delivery via Instacart in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago, the company announced on Sept. 18 that it would roll out the service to all its stores across 35 states by Thanksgiving.

Aldi shoppers ordering groceries via Instacart can request delivery in as little as an hour or as far out as a week after placing their orders. Instacart delivery fees vary, but a release from Aldi said that new Instacart customers can take $ 10 off their first three Aldi orders of $ 35 or more by using the code ALDILOVE.

Instacart grocery delivery typically costs between $ 6 and $ 12 for orders above $ 35, depending on demand. You can’t use coupons when you order via Instacart, but that’s not a problem for Aldi shoppers — the store doesn’t offer coupons.

Aldi started its delivery pilot program with Instacart in August 2017. The grocery chain, which is in the midst of an ambitious expansion plan, announced last month it would offer more fresh produce options in its stores.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, covering the retail and grocery industries.

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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9.19.18 How tariffs will impact Christmas; Ancestry updates DNA algorithm; Cheaper life insurance

Will the tariffs and trade war with China impact the holiday shopping season? Clark explains; Ancestry.com updated its ethnicity criteria and some people are reeling from it; One life insurance provider has introduced an incentive for policy holders to get or stay healthy.

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

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Kavanaugh’s accuser made her move — now Republicans have to choose

Republican leaders are preparing a controversial push to install Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court after a frenetic night of legal and political maneuvering in Washington that could reverberate for years to come.


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!

10 Employee Benefits by Top Companies That Put Real Dollars In Your Pocket


If you really want to accumulate wealth, don’t be fooled by a flashy salary alone. The lifestyle creep that comes with a higher paycheck often means that those who get a raise or higher starting salary don’t actually end up saving much more than they did before. One guaranteed way to increase your net worth? Spend less than you earn.

While this is usually easier said than done, there are more and more companies making it more achievable than ever by offering valuable benefits like 401(k) matching, paid-for health insurance premiums, student-loan debt assistance and more. Below, we’ve rounded up 10 companies with some of the most impressive money-saving benefits out there, all of which are hiring today. Who knows? One of them might just be your key to financial freedom.

1. USAA

Where Hiring: San Antonio; Tampa, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Phoenix and more

What They Do: USAA is a financial services company providing insurance, banking, investing and other offerings to members of the U.S. military and their families.

Notable Benefit: 401(k) match

The best thing about 401(k) investments? Thanks to compound interest, one small increase in your contributions now can pay off exponentially years later. If you’re hoping to retire in style, there are few better employers to work for than USAA, which offers a dollar-for-dollar match of up to 8% for eligible employees.

2. Asana

Where Hiring: San Francisco; New York City

What They Do: Asana is a software company whose app allows team members to track their projects and collaborate more efficiently.

Notable Benefit: Free breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spent $ 7,203 on food in 2016. But just imagine how much lower that number would be if you didn’t have to pay a dime for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks on the days you went into the office. For the lucky employees at Asana, that’s exactly what happens. “Our culinary team provides breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner daily. Meals are all organic, sustainably farmed and fished, and local when possible. Our skilled chefs and nutrition team thoughtfully plan every menu around meals that keep the Asana team feeling energized, nourished and working at their highest potential,” the company says.

3. Hilton

A night time photo from outside the Hilton hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio
The Hilton located in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Hilton.

Where Hiring: Boston; McLean, Virginia; Orange, California; Memphis, Tennessee and many more

What They Do: Hilton is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, with thousands of hotels and resorts located all over the world.

Notable Benefit: Discounted hotel rates

Many companies offer their employees special discounts — but not all company discounts are created equal. At Hilton, employees can slash the costs of their vacations with steeply discounted rates on Hilton hotels and resorts around the world through the Go Hilton program. Prices range from $ 35 a night at Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn properties to just $ 75 a night at luxury properties like the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad. Good luck beating those prices on Expedia!

4. Boston Consulting Group

Where Hiring: Boston; Washington; Pittsburgh; Chicago and many more

What They Do: Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a “Big Three” consulting firm dedicated to providing strategic business guidance to clients.

Notable Benefit: Employer-paid health insurance premiums

For many Americans, health insurance is one of the highest expenses each month, with CNBC reporting that “premiums for individual coverage averaged $ 321 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $ 833 per month” in 2016. Luckily, that’s one cost that BCG employees can avoid completely, given that the company offers 100 percent coverage on health care premiums for employees as well as their dependents. To make the deal even sweeter, the average co-pay is $ 5 or less.

5. InVision App

Where Hiring: Anywhere and everywhere — InVision is a completely remote company.

What They Do: InVision is a software company that helps customers improve their user experiences through its digital product design platform.

Notable Benefit: Working from home

The morning commute isn’t just a drag — it can also be costly. Whether you’re paying for gas, parking or public transit, the average American spends $ 2,600 per year in commuting expenses, according to a survey commissioned by Citi. Employees at InVision get to pocket that extra cash and skip rush hour — with all of its employees operating remotely on a day-to-day basis (save for the occasional company all-hands or party). “In the United States we have team members throughout 40+ states including New York, San Francisco, Austin, Portland and Boston. Each InVision team member is given the freedom and tools to do their best work from wherever they choose,” the company says.

6. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson headquarters
People walk along a corridor at the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J. Mel Evans/AP Photo

Where Hiring: New Brunswick, New Jersey; Clearwater, Florida; Atlanta; Cincinnati and more

What They Do: Johnson & Johnson is a health care company made up of three distinct business segments: consumer, medical devices and pharmaceutical.

Notable Benefit: Onsite childcare

In nearly half of two-parent households, both parents work full-time, says the Pew Research Center. This makes child care a necessity for many families, and the cost can be burdensome. In fact, a third of families spend at least 20 percent of their annual income on child care. One employer doing its part to tackle this problem is Johnson & Johnson, which offers on-site child care centers in its New Brunswick headquarters and several other offices around the world, as well as child care discounts in six different countries.

7. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Where Hiring: Seattle; Washington

What They Do: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a charitable organization that works to reduce inequity around the world.

Notable Benefit: Fertility treatments

Johnson & Johnson isn’t the only family-oriented employer out there. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers employees incredibly generous fertility benefits: free treatments up to $ 100,000. Employees don’t even need an infertility diagnosis to access this benefit, allowing single mothers and LGBTQ families to take advantage of the perk as well.

8. SoFi

Where Hiring: San Francisco; Helena, Montana; Cottonwood Heights, Utah; Claymont, Delaware and more

What They Do: SoFi is a finance company that offers student loan refinancing, mortgages, loans and more.

Notable Benefit: Student loan debt repayment

Given that SoFi began as a student loan refinancing company, it might come as no surprise that they offer employees assistance with student loan debt. And with almost 37 percent of U.S. adults carrying student loan debt at an average of $ 17,000 per person, it’s a perk that’s sorely needed. Work at SoFi, and the load can be considerably lightened — SoFi provides up to $ 200 per month in student loan debt assistance, with no yearly cap.

9. Starbucks

Starbucks coffee shop
The Starbucks coffee shop inside Miami International Airport. fbxx/Getty Images

Where Hiring: Seattle; Danbury, Connecticut; Saint Paul, Minnesota;; Albuquerque, New Mexico and many more

What They Do: Starbucks is a café chain and coffee company with tens of thousands of locations around the world.

Notable Benefit: College tuition assistance

It’s one thing to help employees pay off their student loan debt — it’s another to help them avoid it entirely. Since 2015, Starbucks has offered to pay full tuition for an online Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, an estimated cost savings of about $ 15,000 per year as of 2015. Any benefits-eligible employee without a four-year degree (full- or part-time) can take advantage of the perk. Considering that people with bachelor’s degrees command about $ 20,000 more per year than those with high school diplomas, this is a benefit that could seriously boost your lifetime earnings potential.

10. Trupanion

Where Hiring: Seattle; Dallas; Naples, Florida

What They Do: Trupanion provides health insurance for cats and dogs.

Notable Benefit: Pet care and pet insurance

A bag of kibble here and a chew toy there might not seem like much at the time, but the costs associated with caring for your pet definitely add up — especially if they encounter any medical issues. All told, pet owners divert about $ 126.19 each month towards pet-related expenses. For the animal-loving employees at Trupanion, that cost is offset in part by the ability to bring pets to work (no more paying for doggy day care), a free insurance policy for one pet and a free, in-house dog walker.

Emily Moore is a Senior Staff Writer for Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites. Glassdoor combines millions of jobs with valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that fits their life while also helping employers hire quality talent.

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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IBM Debuts Tools to Help Prevent Bias In Artificial Intelligence

IBM wants to help companies mitigate the chances that their artificial intelligence technologies unintentionally discriminate against certain groups like women and minorities.

The technology giant’s tool, announced on Wednesday, can inspect AI-powered software for unintentional bias when it makes decisions, like when a loan might be denied to a particular person, explained Ruchir Puri, the chief technology officer and chief architect of IBM Watson.

The technology industry is increasingly combating the problem of bias in machine learning systems, used to power software that can automatically recognize images in pictures or translate languages. A number of companies have suffered a public relations black eye when their technologies failed to work as well for minority groups as for white users.

For instance, researchers discovered that Microsoft and IBM’s facial-recognition technology could more accurately identify the faces of lighter-skin males than darker-skin females. Both companies said they have since improved their technologies and have reduced error rates.

Researchers have pointed out that some of the problems may be related to the use of datasets that contain a lack of diverse images. Joy Buolamwini, the MIT researcher who probed Microsoft and IBM’s facial-recognition tech (along with China’s Megvii), recently told Fortune‘s Aaron Pressman that a lack of diversity within development teams could also contribute to bias because more diverse teams could be more aware of bias slipping into the algorithms.

In addition to IBM, a number of companies have introduced or plan to debut tools for vetting AI technologies. Google, for instance, revealed a similar tool last week while Microsoft said in May that it planned to release similar technology in the future.

Data crunching startup Diveplan said at Fortune’s recent Brainstorm Tech conference that it would release an AI-auditing tool later this year while consulting firm Accenture unveiled its own AI “fairness tool” over the summer.

Read More for an In-Depth Look: Unmasking A.I.’s Bias Problem

It’s unclear how each of these AI bias tools compare with one another because no outside organization has done a formal review.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

Puri said IBM’s tool built on the company’s cloud computing service is differentiated partly because it was created for business people and is easier to work with than similar tools from others that are intended only for developers.

Despite the flood of new AI-auditing tools, the problem of AI and bias will likely continue to persist because rooting out bias from AI is still in its infancy.

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Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying

The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault says the FBI should investigate the incident before senators hold a hearing on the allegations.


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Trump’s tariffs won’t bite Apple, illustrating Tim Cook’s political sway

Apple’s CEO has come to occupy a prominent role as one of Silicon Valley’s savviest political operators — a behind-the-scenes Trump whisperer who’s been able to shape some of the administration’s economic policies in ways that benefit Apple and some of its tech peers.
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Investors haven’t been this scared about the state of the global economy in nearly 7 years

As the trade war between China and the U.S. hits a boiling point, investors are taking their dimmest view of the global economy since the height of the European debt crisis. 
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Visa, Mastercard reach $6.2 billion settlement over card-swipe fees

Visa Inc, Mastercard Inc, and a number of U.S. banks on Tuesday agreed to pay $ 6.2 billion to settle a long-running lawsuit brought by merchants over the fees they pay when they accept card payments.


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This Is Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Home


When she turned 27, Adria Rebbecchi decided to buy a house. Like most first-time homebuyers, she had no idea what to expect. But in the months ahead, she’d get a whirlwind education.

“Looking at a ton of different houses was fun and allowed me to explore parts of my city that I had never seen before,” said Rebbecchi, a marketing coordinator who lives in Tampa. “The most stressful part — definitely — was gathering all the necessary documentation for the mortgage.”

Buying your first home is intimidating. It’s the biggest purchase of your life so far, and you get bombarded with strange new concepts like “escrow” and “pre-qualification” and “closing costs.”

Adding to the pressure, skyrocketing home prices are making it harder than ever for first-time homebuyers like you to save enough for that crucial down payment. That puts you at a disadvantage when you’re competing with older homeowners who’ve built up tens of thousands of dollars in equity.

Hey, you’re not alone. First-time buyers make up roughly a third of all homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. We’ll walk you through it.

Are You Ready to Buy (or Should You Continue Renting)?

Before you start shopping, a few things to consider…

You’re better off renting if:

  • There’s a good chance you’ll move in a few years.
  • Your job situation is shaky.
  • The down payment to buy will take all your savings.
  • You hate yard work, housework and maintenance.

You’re better off buying if:

  • You expect your family to grow.
  • You want pets, and that makes renting difficult.
  • You have enough savings for a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses.
  • You want a place to call your own — something that appreciates in value over time.

Ready to buy your own place? You’ve got this. Educate yourself. If you do a little research and ask for advice, you can save yourself a ton of money and stress.

Here’s our step-by-step guide for first-time homebuyers:

1. Start Saving for Your Down Payment

The best time to start saving is now. Right now.

The good news is, as a first-time homebuyer, you won’t have to come up with a huge down payment of 20% of the home’s purchase price. Government loan programs for new buyers allow as little as 3% to 5% down.

But even a small down payment is a big chunk of change. For example, a “low” down payment of 5% on a typical $ 200,000 house is still a whopping $ 10,000. Start saving those pennies!

It’s best to stash your savings someplace where you’re not going to touch it. A quick and easy way to get started is with Stash, a popular microinvesting app.

Stash lets you start investing with as little as $ 5. You can set it up to automatically pull a certain amount of cash from your bank account every week or every month. It funnels your money into a set of simple investment portfolios reflecting your goals and interests.

Stash charges a $ 1 monthly fee for balances under $ 5,000. If you sign up through this link with the code PENNYH, you’ll get a $ 5 bonus — that’s like five months free.

2. Check Your Credit

Before starting your fabulous home-buying journey, check your credit score. The better your credit, the better your odds of getting a mortgage with favorable interest rates.

Clueless about your credit score? Credit Sesame is a free credit monitoring service that’ll keep track of it for you. It’ll offer you personalized tips and tools to manage your debt and raise your score. You can also look at your credit reports and dispute any errors that are hurting your credit score.

3. Talk to a Lender

We know, we know. You want to go house-hunting! Why aren’t we going house-hunting yet? That’s the fun part! My God, this is torture.

Patience, young Jedi. Now it’s time to reach out to a mortgage lender. Don’t skip this part.

Here’s an easy way to do it: Just talk to the bank you’re already doing business with. It’ll set you up with a loan officer. Or you could contact a major mortgage lender like Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo or Bank of America. They work with a lot of first-time buyers, so they’ll know how to talk to you.

You could also hire an independent mortgage broker to shop around and find the mortgage that works best for you. This will save you time and hassles. But you’ll have to pay your broker about 1% of your loan amount. (That happens later, when you officially close the deal.)

You have two reasons for talking to a mortgage lender: Get pre-approved for a loan, and check out options for first-time homebuyers.

Get Pre-Approved

You can get pre-qualified for a mortgage. That’s an estimate of how much a bank might be willing to lend you, based on your income and debts.

It’s better to go a step further and get a pre-approval letter. That’s when a lender goes over your finances in depth, then outlines in writing how much it’s willing to lend you.

This way you’ll know what your price range is, and you can narrow down your search. And when you find the house you want, you’ll be ready to make a serious offer.

Look at First-Time Homebuyer Programs

As a first-time homebuyer you may be eligible for various government loan programs. Ask your mortgage adviser about this. Here are some options:

  • FHA loans: The Federal Housing Administration insures these mortgages, so that protects your lender in case you default on the loan. These loans have smaller down payments and lower closing costs than conventional loans.

With a credit score of 580 or more, you can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment of 3.5% of the home’s purchase price, according to the FHA. If your score is lower than that — between 500 and 579 — you’ll have to put 10% down.

  • USDA loans: The U.S. Department of Agriculture backs mortgages in this program, which focuses on homes in certain rural areas. No down payment is required. No minimum credit score is required, but it’s faster and easier if your score is at least 640, according to the independent Mortgage Research Center.
  • VA loans: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees parts of mortgages for active-duty military, veterans and surviving spouses. No down payment needed. The VA’s lenders typically require a credit score of at least 620, says Veterans United.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: These government-sponsored enterprises offer mortgages to low- and moderate-income borrowers. They require as little as 3% to 5% down. You typically need a score of at least 620 for a loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. (The main difference between the two is the kind of banks they work with — Fannie Mae works with big commercial banks, while Freddie Mac works with smaller banks.)

4. Figure out How Much House You Can Afford

Don’t just look at houses at the top of your price range. Look lower, too.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to have enough money for:

  • A down payment.
  • Closing costs, usually 2% to 5% of your loan amount.
  • A home inspection, which HUD advises will likely cost $ 300 to $ 500.
  • Monthly mortgage payments.
  • Maintenance.
  • Property taxes, which will be rolled into your mortgage payments.
  • Homeowners insurance.

(Your real estate agent typically gets paid by the home’s seller when the sale goes through.)

We’d recommend going with a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). With an ARM, you might have lower monthly payments at first, but they’ll get more expensive later. A bank that sells you an adjustable-rate mortgage is betting that interest rates are going to rise and make your payments go up.

If you want the smallest mortgage payment possible each month, get a customary 30-year mortgage. But if you can afford higher mortgage payments, think hard about getting a 15- or 20-year mortgage instead. You can get a lower interest rate that way, and you’ll pay off your house a lot sooner.

Talk to your real estate agent about the likely cost of property taxes and home insurance in your area.

5. Get a Real Estate Agent

This is crucial. Get an agent you’re comfortable with. Think of your agent as your guide through this whole process.

Your real estate agent will help you find homes that fit your needs and your price range. They’ll tour these homes with you. When you find a home you like, they’ll help you make an offer, and they’ll negotiate on your behalf. They’ll even guide you through the paperwork blizzard that follows.

Your agent will calm you down if you feel like you’re going to puke.

There are approximately eleventy bajillion real estate agents in the U.S., so how are you supposed to choose one? Ask for recommendations from friends, relatives and co-workers. A whole lot of them own homes, after all.

6. Go House Hunting!

Finally, you get to the fun part! Woo-HOO!

Your real estate agent can find you plenty of homes for sale. Also, feel free to drive around your favorite neighborhoods, scanning the yards for “For Sale” signs.

There’s also this thing called the internet. Every year, sites like Zillow and Realtor.com are posting more and more information online about homes for sale. And first-time homebuyers are more likely to use the internet to find the home they’ll eventually purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors.

When you’re touring houses, keep your eyes open and ask a lot of questions: How old is the roof? What about the air conditioning system? Those are super expensive! Most American homes have shingle roofs that last 20 to 25 years and central AC units that last 15 to 20 years, according to most of the experts we’ve seen.  

When first-time homebuyer Timothy Moore went house-hunting, he was wowed by homes with fresh paint and new laminate flooring. But his partner knew to look for what really indicated quality: solid construction, good insulation and windows, a newer or good-condition roof, and a new or well-maintained HVAC system.

If you look at a lot of houses, they tend to blend together in your mind. Snap photos as you tour homes. At each new location, take a photo of the house number so you’ll know which place was which later on.

Adria Rebbecchi, the Tampa marketing coordinator, found house-hunting to be exhausting: “After a while, it did get to be frustrating. I had a hard time remembering which houses I had already looked at, and why I did or didn’t like them.”

7. Make an Offer

You’ve found the house you want? Make an offer on it. Don’t dawdle.

Your real estate agent can help you figure out how much to offer. The home’s sellers will either accept your offer, take someone else’s offer, or get back to you with a counter-offer.

If you and the seller agree on a price, you’ll hand over what’s called an “earnest money deposit,” showing that you’re committed to buying the house. It’s typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price.

A title company will hold the money in reserve, explains Zillow, in what’s called an “escrow account” while the house is taken off the market and you prepare to buy it. The deposit will eventually go toward your down payment and closing costs.

The next important step will be the home inspection.

8. Be There for the Home Inspection

Hire a licensed home inspector. (Your real estate agent can hook you up.)

This trained professional will examine your dream home, looking for any defects. The most common problems they find are things like faulty wiring or plumbing, poor ventilation, clogged gutters, mildewy basements or missing roof shingles, according to the National Association of Realtors.

If the inspector finds serious defects that weren’t disclosed, you can take back your offer or renegotiate. Sometimes the seller will agree to make repairs.

Tagging along for the home inspection is highly educational — you get to learn about everything that’s wrong with your new house! (Spoiler alert: There’s always something wrong. It’s usually not a deal-killer.)

Pay attention, because this knowledge will be super useful once you actually buy the place. You should also get a written report, so you’ll have a permanent record that you can refer back to.

9. Compare Mortgage Rates

At this point, you’re still not locked into one mortgage lender. Even if you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, you can still switch lenders in search of a better deal.

Getting quotes from multiple lenders puts you in a better bargaining position, says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you prefer one lender, but a different lender offers you a better rate, show the first lender the lower quote, and ask for a match.

“Essentially, you can start a mini bidding war,” first-time homebuyer Lana Axelrod says about her experience.

10. Time for Closing Costs

Finally, it’s time to close the deal. This is when you officially sign up for the mortgage, and the ownership of the property is transferred to you.

Closing mostly involves going through a thick stack of paperwork and signing your name over and over and over again. Professionals will walk you through the process. Your real estate agent will be there and probably a loan officer from whichever bank is giving you a mortgage. If you hired a mortgage broker, they’ll be there too.

No lie: Getting ready for closing is a lot of work.

Before her closing, Rebbecchi put in a lot of time gathering all the documentation she needed: “I have moved a LOT in the past few years and had a variety of jobs — so providing all my income tax returns, proof of employment and justifying previous addresses was exhausting.”

As a rule of thumb, closing costs run from 2% to 5% of your loan amount. This pays for things like having a property appraiser assess the value of the home, as Realtor.com explains, and having a title company do a title search to make sure nobody else has a claim on the property.

(You don’t have to find these people. Your lender will choose the appraiser. Your real estate agent will hook you up with a title company.)

Alternatively, you can negotiate with the seller to cover all or part of your closing costs. One common method is to have your closing costs added to the home’s purchase price, and ask the seller to pay them. That way, the seller nets the same amount of money, but your closing costs get included in your mortgage. Talk to your real estate agent about it.

11. Shop Around for Homeowners Insurance

Now that you own a home, you’ll likely need to insure it.

It’s mandatory if you have a mortgage — when you borrow money from a bank to buy a house, it’ll require you to insure that asset. In fact, your insurance premiums will be included in your monthly mortgage payments.

Homeowners insurance covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it gets damaged by fire or the kind of natural disaster insurers call “acts of God” — earthquakes, lightning, etc. It typically doesn’t cover damage from flooding or hurricane winds, so you may need to purchase separate insurance policies for those, depending on where you live.

To find affordable insurance, shop around.

Start by getting a free quote. We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, where homeowners insurance starts at $ 25 a month. 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 and charity.

Lemonade offers homeowners insurance in New York, California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arizona, Rhode Island, Georgia and the District of Columbia, and it’s expanding to other states.

Private Mortgage Insurance

If your down payment was less than 20% of your home’s value, you’ll be charged an additional monthly fee: private mortgage insurance (PMI). It protects the lender if you stop making payments.

Once you’ve made enough mortgage payments to reach 20% equity in your home, you can cancel your PMI. You might have to keep after your mortgage lender to actually stop charging you for PMI.

12. Home Sweet Home

After it’s all said and done, bask in the glory of home ownership.

Follow the example of Rebbecchi, who put a lot of work, strategy and shoe leather into finding just the right house. Even though home ownership has been a bit more work than she bargained for, she’s still glad she made the move.

“I love my house,” she said. “It’s small and quaint and has a great vibe.”

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has bought two houses in his life, and he hopes that’ll be it.

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 timing of the jobs report could sway midterms

There is something that the Democrats ought to know and should be concerned about. The final employment report before the Nov. 6 election — that is, the last snapshot of the US economy they will see before they enter the voting booth — will be released on Nov. 2. If folks are going to vote…
Business | New York Post

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These senators could make or break Kavanaugh’s nomination

The future of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is in question after a woman went public over the weekend with accusations that the 53-year-old federal judge physically and sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.


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Time to Break Out the Stretchy Pants! National Cheeseburger Day Is Tuesday


The onset of autumn means it’s time to get ready for the year-end slew of holiday celebrations.

And just when you thought Thanksgiving was as #America as a holiday could possibly get, National Cheeseburger Day steps up to the proverbial plate.

And the literal one.

National Cheeseburger Day 2018

National Cheeseburger Day is Tuesday, Sept. 18, and if you’re anything like me, you absolutely cannot wait to celebrate.

And you don’t have to spend a ton to do so. In fact, if you play your cards right, you might even make money off chowing down on a burger this Tuesday.

Here are 12 national cheeseburger deals to sink your teeth into.

1. BurgerFi

BurgerFi is dishing out a BOGO deal all day long. Buy one cheeseburger at regular price, and you’ll get the second one for $ 1. All you have to do is show or mention the offer at a participating location.

2. Checkers and Rally’s

If you live near a Checkers or Rally’s, you have a few deals to choose from.

You can get two cheeseburgers for $ 2, or you can grab a crispy fish sandwich, cheeseburger or Fry Lover’s burger (that’s a cheeseburger with fries on top) for just $ 1 each from the $ 1 Fan Favorites menu.

3. Dairy Queen

Want some ice cream with that cheeseburger? Then Dairy Queen has a deal for you — your choice of a regular cheeseburger or a barbecue bacon cheeseburger and a mini Blizzard for $ 4.

And if you download the Dairy Queen app and register an account, you’ll receive an offer for a free Blizzard, because the only thing better than ice cream is more ice cream.

4. Farmer Boys

Known for serving farm-fresh food, Farmer Boys will be serving up $ 1 cheeseburgers all day long on National Cheeseburger Day. You just have to mention the offer and dine in.

And if you’re a very important farmer (VIF) club member, you can scan your receipt on National Cheeseburger Day and get another offer for a $ 1 cheeseburger to use on your next visit. Plus, new VIF members get a $ 5 reward just for signing up.

5. Fuddruckers

Got a serious appetite?

This Tuesday, if you down Fuddruckers’ three-pound burger and a one-pound side of fries in an hour or less, you’ll receive a $ 25 gift card.

More than 80 locations are participating nationwide — most of which are in Texas. I guess everything really is bigger there!

But if you want to participate in the challenge, you’ve got to plan ahead — and not just because you’ll need to starve yourself for a day or three first. The flier states 24 hours’ notice is required, so call your favorite Fuddruckers soon if you’re up to this considerable task.

6. McDonald’s

McDonald’s has made no specific mention of National Cheeseburger Day, but if you have the McDonald’s app, you can get a McDouble for a $ 1. Just look for the offer under “deals.”

(By the way, you can use this offer once a day until it expires.)

7. Red Robin

Yummm. Red Robin is celebrating the day with a $ 5 deal.

When you dine in and purchase a beverage on National Cheeseburger Day, you’ll get a gourmet cheeseburger and bottomless steak fries for $ 5.

8. Ruby Tuesday

This National Cheeseburger Day, Ruby Tuesday is giving all So Connected members a free burger with the purchase of any entree. And if you don’t make it for National Cheeseburger Day, don’t worry — the offer is available on Wednesday, too.

9. Sonic Drive-In

Although not specific to National Cheeseburger Day, Sonic is currently running a deal for the Carhop Classic. You get your choice of either the quarter-pound double cheeseburger or the classic Sonic signature Slinger with medium tots for $ 2.99.

And since the holiday falls on a Tuesday, cheeseburgers are half off after 5 p.m.

10. Wayback Burgers

Burger chain Wayback Burgers is celebrating National Cheeseburger Day with a BOGO deal for its Cheeeesy burger. That’s four slices of melted American cheese on two cooked-to-order beef patties between a buttered bun: a real double cheeseburger.

To score this deal, simply download the Wayback app by Monday, Sept. 17.

As an added bonus, you’ll get an offer for a free classic burger after your first in-app purchase.

11. Wendy’s

Wendy’s is celebrating National Cheeseburger Day all month long with a free Dave’s Single with any purchase. The best part is, you can use the offer once a day until Sept. 30!

All you have to do is download the Wendy’s app and create an account.

12. White Castle

If you’re a fan of those tasty little square burgers, you can use this coupon to get a free cheese slider with any purchase on National Cheeseburger Day.

Happy holidays!

Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder and cheeseburger aficionado. Her writing has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She updated this post for 2018.

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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Brett Kavanaugh is willing to answer questions on allegations, has hired an attorney

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is not opposed to sharing his point of view, answering more questions or providing more information about a recent allegation of physical and sexual assault, whether it be through congressional committee staff interviews or closed or open testimony, two sources close to the process have told CNN.


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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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From Spice Girl to fashion icon: How Victoria Beckham built her clothing empire

Victoria Beckham started her career as a Spice Girl after answering an ad for young women who were "street smart, extrovert, ambitious and able to sing and dance," that was placed in British industry magazine "The Stage" in 1994. 
Retail

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‘I support higher taxes’: The billionaire behind the National Debt Clock has had it with Trump

By the end of 2018, the nation will hit a milestone: The federal government’s total debt will exceed all debt that U.S. households have for mortgages, credit cards, cars, student loans and other personal loans for the first time in modern history, according to JPMorgan.
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The power of a named accuser: Kavanaugh’s future now hangs in the balance

Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser now has a name, and the Republican Party’s bid to swiftly lift him onto the Supreme Court may be spinning out of control.


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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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Michael Bloomberg’s Views on #MeToo Could Threaten a 2020 Presidential Run as a Democrat

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn’t denied that he’s considering a 2020 run for president. But Bloomberg, currently an independent, could change his party registration if he goes forward with the candidacy.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Bloomberg said, “It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican.” Instead, Bloomberg may run as a Democrat, although he admitted that it’s “not to say I’m with the Democratic Party on everything, but I don’t see how you could possibly run as a Republican.”

Nevertheless, it’s precisely his stance on a number of hot-button Democratic issues that might make a presidential run an uphill battle for Bloomberg.

On sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, Bloomberg declined to stand firmly behind the accusers. “The stuff I read about is disgraceful,” Bloomberg said, but he quickly added: “I don’t know how true all of it is.”

Speaking specifically about the allegations raised against former CBS anchor Charlie Rose, who broadcast his show from the Bloomberg office, Bloomberg simply claimed that “we never had a complaint,” noting that he was “surprised.” “I never saw anything and we have no record, we’ve checked very carefully,” he told The Times.

But it could be Bloomberg’s views on policing that prove to be the biggest divider between him and Democrats that fall farther to the left. While Bloomberg conceded that there have been “outrageous” cases of police abuse and shootings, he remained steadfast in his commitment to stop-and-frisk and in his conviction that it helped lower New York’s murder rate.

The policy is largely seen to disproportionately target black and brown men, with a federal district judge ruling in 2013 that it had been carried out in an unconstitutional way. What’s more, studies have found that there is no tangible correlation between stop-and-frisk and a reduction in crime. But Bloomberg sees no civil rights problems with the policy; instead, he told The Times, “I think people, the voters, want low crime. They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

For now, Bloomberg hasn’t committed to seeking office. He’s prioritizing supporting Democratic candidates in the November midterms, after which time he says, “I’ll take a look at it.”

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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3 Types of People Who Definitely Need Life Insurance (and 5 Who Don’t)


When I turned 25, my parents set up a meeting with their insurance agent to sign me up for a life insurance policy. I was single, with no kids or even pets, and barely making enough money to pay the rent.

I got the policy, but never understood it. A few years went by, and I let go of it.

Life insurance is a confusing topic. That makes a lot of us just want to ignore it completely. Do you understand the different types of life insurance?

“Consumer demand for life insurance is greater than actual ownership,” according to the 2018 Insurance Barometer Survey by LIMRA. In other words, we think we need it, but still don’t have it.

The same survey notes that 44% of millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance by about five times the actual amount.

OK, so it’s probably not nearly as expensive or as difficult as you think. If you want to see just how much it would cost you, take a couple of minutes to get a free quote online.

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

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.

But… do you need it?

I asked three insurance pros to weigh in on the life insurance needs of eight personas I created. Does one of these sound like you? You may be surprised at what the pros have to say.

Illustrations of eight different personas who might or might not need life insurance.
Kristy Gaunt – The Penny Hoarder

Katy, 22, Recent Grad on a Bartender Budget

Katy is 22 years old and fresh out of school with a bachelor’s degree. She hasn’t found a career yet, but she’s keeping things together with a full-time bartending job. She rents an apartment and has no children. She’s living on a tight budget for now, but she’s hoping to land her dream job any day.

Someone this young can’t need life insurance, right?

That’s right, according to Mike Windle, a retirement planning specialist at C. Curtis Financial, Plymouth, MI.

“No need for term insurance as of yet,” Windle wrote in an email. “Term is best to either supplement income for a spouse that is lost, or to pay off large debts (i.e. a house). Without either of these there is no need.”

Quinc Pearcy, financial planner and wealth manager at Fort Wealth Management in Houston, Texas, sees some benefit to signing up for a policy early.

“A small term policy would fit [Katy] well and be cost effective. At her age, as long as she is in good health, life insurance would cost less than a night out to dinner,” Pearcy explained via email. “It doesn’t need to be a large policy but enough to cover things like outstanding student loans, car payments, credit cards and sudden death. None of us want to leave our parents with the burden of paying our outstanding debts.”

The verdict? Katy probably doesn’t need a life insurance policy yet, because no one is really dependent on her. But she may be able to lock in a good price by starting out early.

If that bit about student loans startled you, remember that many federal student loans are discharged if you die. If you have private loans or someone co-signed with you, your estate could be responsible for covering it.

Josh, 24, Starting Down the Career Path

Josh is 24 years old. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and has found a salaried position within his field of choice. He’s making decent money, is not married, currently rents an apartment and wants to buy a home. He’s financially stable, but has not built up an abundance of savings or wealth just yet.

“Josh is on the cusp of fitting into the criteria of needing life insurance,” said Windle, “He should definitely get it through his work (typically two to five times his salary is what they offer, for a great price), but I would still hold off on getting term … If he waits until he buys his house he will also be able to be more accurate with the amount he needs.”

Pearcy sees benefits to Josh getting a policy now.

“Since he has steady income, it would be very easy for him to allocate enough money for a mid-size term policy. I would suggest a 10-, 20- or 30-year term to lock in the 24-year-old rate for the entire life of the policy.”

The verdict? Nope, Josh doesn’t need life insurance just yet. However, he’s in a good place to start looking at policies and maybe lock in a low rate. When he buys that house, it’s definitely time to get a policy.

Wesley, 28, A Newlywed With Big Plans

Wesley is a 28-year-old newlywed. He and his wife have no children (yet) but they are proud, new homeowners. Both Wesley and his wife work full time.

I would go big here,” said Pearcy. Wesley and his wife are both young enough, he said, “they would have no trouble qualifying for a large term policy. The amount would need to be enough to cover any outstanding debt: credit cards, mortgages, car notes, kids, college funeral costs.”

Windle agrees Wesley and his wife are in prime position for life insurance.

“Both Wesley and his wife should get insurance, again the first place is with their work (if offered) but with owning a home and relying on two incomes, it would be important they both have enough insurance to pay off the house and replace their income should one pass away.”

The verdict? Yes! With a spouse and a home, Wesley is firmly in the realm of those who need life insurance.

Dora, 31, Engaged Entrepreneur

Dora is a 31-year-old entrepreneur who owns her own bakery. She is engaged, has two dogs and no kids. She employs four people at her bakery.

Pearcy believes the business is a big factor for Dora.

“Without proper planning, the premature death of a business owner may result in assets having to be liquidated, the business being sold or the business becoming a burden on family members,” Pearcy said. “She must consider the four employees she has as they are dependent on her business for their income.”

“Dora is definitely a candidate for insurance,” Windle agreed. “She should have enough insurance to pay off her business debt and personal debt.”

The verdict? Yes. Dora’s business means she could have considerable debts and people counting on her. The dogs? She could even factor them in if she wanted.

Dan, 35, Homeowner and New Dad

Dan and his wife are in their mid-30s and are new parents to a baby girl. They own a small home. Each of them works full time making $ 50,000 to $ 70,000 annually.

“This is the most common client we see,” said Pearcy. “Married with kids and steady income. A lot to protect. I would build them a large 30-year term on both, as much as they can qualify for, with a child term rider for the new baby. The rider is inexpensive and means they do not have to buy her a separate policy.”

A child term rider is basically life insurance for the child of the primary insured person. As an add-on, it’s usually quite affordable.

Windle also sees Dan as a prime candidate.

Dan and his wife now have the added (financial) burden of a child so having insurance for each of them makes a lot of sense. By having $ 400,000 to $ 600,000 each, they should be able to ensure that their spouse and daughter will be taken care of should anything happen to them.”

The verdict? Oh yeah. These guys are right in the life insurance sweet spot. They’re young enough to get good rates, and have enough responsibility to really need it.

Gina, 36, Happily Single and Successful

Gina is 36 years old, single and happy about it. She owns a modest home she’s paid off. She’s been working full-time and making six figures since college. Her retirement fund is booming, and she keeps five months’ expenses worth of emergency savings in the bank.

Gina’s ability to earn and save on her own makes life insurance a lower priority, according to the experts.

“She sounds like she might be self-insured at the moment, but she has a couple of options,” said Pearcy.

By “self-insured” he means Gina has enough money saved to pay for an emergency or any costs after death. Instead, he thinks she could look towards her legacy, an amount of money she’d leave to a person or charity through a will.

“Being single, she does not need to cover legacy, unless she has a favorite nephew she wants to help pay for his college, or maybe she is active in her church and would like to leave them something tax-free,” he said.

The verdict? Nope. Gina has herself covered. However, she could look into life insurance as an alternative means for growing her wealth or providing a legacy.

Monica, 66, Recently Retired and Comfortable

Monica and her husband have recently retired. Their kids are grown with families of their own. They have adequate but modest retirement funds and own their home outright.

“A ‘second-to-die’ [policy] would be a great way to leave a tax-free (not tax-deferred) inheritance to their heirs,” said Pearcy. “Either spouse or both could get a ‘first-to-die’ insurance policy if an analysis showed the surviving spouse would need an additional lump sum of money to generate income.”

“This scenario is more about their legacy goals,” said Windle. “As far as replacing income and paying off debt, they don’t need insurance, but if they want a cheap way to leave tax-free funds behind to their kids and grandkids, then insurance can accomplish that.”

The verdict? No. Monica and her hubby are in a good place financially and don’t need the safety net of term life insurance. There may be some good reasons to look at getting a policy, but they don’t truly need it.

Rupert, 75, Living in Assisted Living

Rupert is 75 years old and living in an assisted-living establishment. He has one son who is in his 40s and is a successful business owner. Rupert’s only income is Social Security payments.

To Pearcy, this isn’t as clear-cut a scenario as it seems.

“This one is tough … unless Rupert or his son have the money set aside already for his funeral and burial, then a final expense policy would be necessary,” he said. “I would suggest the son pay the premiums and Rupert be the insured. Now, since the son is a successful business owner, he may have enough in savings to basically self-insure his father’s final expenses; in that case they would not need the policy.”

Windle is not in complete agreement. “Rupert should not waste any of his limited income on insurance. If his son is successful and Rupert doesn’t have enough assets for a funeral, then his son would be able to cover that expense.”

The verdict? Not likely. If Rupert’s son can take care of his funeral and any lingering expenses, Rupert should keep his money and enjoy life to the fullest.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

If the thought of looking for a life insurance quote makes you cringe, I don’t blame you. How do you know the agent you speak to isn’t just trying to sell you the biggest policy out there, even if you don’t need it?

Here’s the good news. To get a life insurance quote, you don’t need to talk to an agent. Here are a couple of other great options for you.

Both Policygenius and Ethos offer you an easy way to buy life insurance online.

It never hurts to look into your situation and see just how much it would cost to be covered. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how affordable it can be to sleep a little easier at night.

Tyler Omoth is a senior 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.

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9.14.18 Clark Stinks; The end of payday loans

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; Banks are now offering the equivalent to payday loans…at much lower interest rates.

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

Watch the video
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Trump is reportedly preparing to slap new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods

President Donald Trump wants tariffs on $ 200 billion of Chinese goods despite looming trade talks
Economy

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Trump ‘likely’ to announce new China tariffs as early as Monday: source

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to announce new tariffs on about $ 200 billion on Chinese imports as early as Monday, a senior administration official told Reuters on Saturday.


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How Don Jr. became the President’s most vocal defender

The week after a parade of Cabinet-level officials released statements denying their involvement in an anonymous New York Times op-ed attributed to a Trump administration official, a high-profile surrogate made an appearance on a network morning show to defend the President: his eldest son.


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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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How This Woman Bought Her Dream Home While Making Less Than $60K


When Kristine Dowhan got a new job opportunity in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her company, she didn’t hesitate.

It didn’t take her long to sell her home in Detroit. She quickly found a foreclosure selling for $ 30 less per square foot than the rest of the neighborhood in St. Petersburg. It was in one of the safest and best school zones in the county, and it had everything she wanted in the long term: four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and it sat on an easily accessible street and needed little fixing up.

But her list of wants didn’t include a price tag of $ 455,000. But that’s what her dream house was listed for. She knew this house was too good to pass up, so she decided to go for it.

Why Moving Up Made Sense

In 2016, Dowhan, a business finance manager, was making less than $ 60,000. She was 25 and single, so she had no second income to fall back on.

But she viewed real estate as an investment.

When she bought her first home in Detroit in 2011, the local real estate market was crazy-cheap.

Dowhan moved back in with her parents after college. She’d used scholarships to pay for most of her degree, so she graduated with no student debt. She saved $ 30,000 in seven months, and instead of putting a solid down payment on a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood, she paid cash for a fixer-upper.

Dowhan spent two and a half years fixing up her 1,100-square-foot home while also living in it. She washed her dishes in the laundry room, found dust everywhere and lived within half-finished walls.

Much to the chagrin of her family and ex-boyfriends, Dowhan patiently saved up and paid cash for every improvement.

“[I lived] with no countertops for a year and a half because I wanted granite, and I was saving,” she said.

A woman reads while laying on a hammock.
Kristine Dowhan relaxes by her pool. She rented the home’s three spare rooms on Airbnb for 18 months, until she got married. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

When she became interested in moving to Florida, she looked at real estate for around nine months.

She knew she wanted a house she could grow in; she didn’t want to move again in a few years.

“I [didn’t] want to have to move and give up 6% equity every time, plus the effort of moving and all the things that go into it,” she said.

She sold her Detroit home in three days for her asking price of $ 90,000. The sale left her with a sizable down payment. Still, she didn’t make enough to qualify for her home loan.

So she paid off every bit of debt she had. She negotiated the price down to $ 425,000, and she added cash to the down payment beyond what she made from the sale of her Detroit house.

But her debt-to-income ratio was still over the 50% limit set by the bank. Still, she believed she could make it work.

When mortgage interest rates dropped by 0.12%, she finally achieved a 49.9% debt-to-income ratio. She was approved, and on Feb. 22, 2016, Dowhan closed on her home.

Hello Mortgage… and Airbnb Guests

Dowhan knew that first you sign the papers, then comes the mortgage bill. She had more than enough room for roommates. Plus, she had tenure in her company, and if all else failed, she would fall back on her retirement savings.

“The answer at first was roommates,” she said. “The answer was not roommates after I got them.”

Two months after she closed on the house, a young couple moved into one of the rooms. But the roommates weren’t a good fit. She gave them their 30 days’ notice after one month.

Not wanting to take a chance on roommates again, she decided to list her house on Airbnb. But there was one small issue: Airbnb guests don’t bring their own beds with them.

She couldn’t afford to furnish three extra bedrooms and two bathrooms so soon after closing.

“With $ 100 left in my checking account, I made a game for myself,” she said. “Every single piece of furniture I brought in had to be free on Craigslist.”

She got to work and found a free queen-size bed and two twin beds on Craigslist, and that’s what she started her listing with.

The week Dowhan posted the first bedroom on Airbnb, she was continuously booked. Her first guests actually arrived before her roommates were finished moving out.

“They came and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s just my friends. [They’re] just some friends,’” she joked. “They were so confused.”

In addition to scoring furniture on Craigslist, she found that people in her neighborhood were frequently giving away nice stuff. Within six months, she’d switched the queen out for a king. She got another king-size bed and a crib for the second room, plus two day beds and a bunk bed for the third.

In the first year of being fully operational, she made over $ 35,000 from Airbnb, netting her $ 1,200 after expenses.

Dowhan also continued to apply for higher positions at work. When she got them, she kept negotiating her salary. She rented the three spare rooms on Airbnb for 18 months until she got married and finally got that second income to help with the mortgage.

Now she and her husband, Michael, continue to live in and enjoy the house, which is currently valued at over $ 580,000. They even throw pool parties on the weekend.

Asked if she’d do it again, she said: “The time to take these risks is when you’re young. I would never take this risk if [I was] married. And if we had kids, I definitely wouldn’t have taken the risk.”  

 

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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David Wright’s retirement should be cushy thanks to VitaminWater

David Wright has made a lot of spectacular plays over his 14 years as a Met, but his shrewdest may have taken place off the field. The Mets captain — who, it was revealed Thursday, will retire at age 35 on Sept. 29 after making his final start at Citi Field — played his last…
Business | New York Post

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What happened to Tucker Carlson? This journalist set out to find the answer.

Years ago, Tucker Carlson was a well-regarded conservative writer with award-nominated articles and praise from journalism’s top editors. Now, he shouts about immigrants, cries that big tech is stifling conservative voices, and poses questions like “How, precisely, is diversity our strength?” on his nightly Fox News show.
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Here’s how Paul Manafort might be helpful to the Russia investigation

Paul Manafort has worn many hats: an international political operative, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Trump confidant Roger Stone’s business partner and now government witness.


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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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Win $1,500 for College By Sharing Your Plastic-Free Journey on Instagram


Did you know there’s a Texas-sized patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean and that it’s mostly made up of plastic?

If this isn’t news to you and you’ve already made changes to reduce your plastic consumption, then you should probably enter to win the Pelican Water Sustainability Scholarship.

Three students who share the challenges and successes of their plastic-reduction endeavors will win money to put toward their college tuition.

The first place winner will receive $ 1,500, the second place winner will receive $ 1,000 and the third place winner will get $ 500.

How to Enter the Pelican Water Sustainability Scholarship

Any undergraduate or graduate with a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher currently enrolled full time — or accepted for enrollment — at an accredited university in the U.S. can apply for the scholarship. (Please note that you must be a legal U.S. resident to apply.)

All you need to do is share your plastic-free journey in a 30- to 60-second video on Instagram.

Include how you’ve done your part and what challenges you’ve encountered along the way.

You must include the hashtag #pelicanwatersmart and tag @pelicanwatersystems in the video caption.

Submissions will be judged 30% on originality, creativity and quality; 40% on emotional impact; and 30% on relevance to the topic.

Keep spelling and grammatical errors out of your caption, as they will work against you.

There’s only one entry per person and no take-backsies once you submit, so get it right!

Once you’ve done this, send your contact information, transcripts (they can be unofficial), video link and Instagram handle to submissions@pelicanwater.com.

The deadline to enter is Oct. 15, 2018.

Check out Pelican Water Sustainability Scholarship page and the official rules for the fine print.

If you’re not passionate about reducing plastic, don’t worry. Just like our College page on Facebook to discover other scholarship opportunities.

And if you’re looking for even more scholarships to apply for, be sure to check out our list of 100 scholarships that will help you pay for college.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She prefers glass to plastic.

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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Woman accuses Kavanaugh of assault in letter to senator

A woman is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s, according to a source familiar with the allegations, which were relayed in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein earlier this summer.


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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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Here Are the Hottest Halloween Costumes of 2018

Flossing is gonna be huge this Halloween. (Calm down, dentists. Your dreams aren’t coming true.)

Fortnite, the video game that has captivated players and become the bane of professional baseball and hockey teams, looks set to dominate Halloween 2018. So, be prepared to hand out candy to all manner of Skull Troopers, Brite Bombers, and Bunny Brawlers.

Though Halloween is still well over a month away, Fortnite costumes are among the most popular searches for shoppers on eBay. The outfits are currently #2 on the site’s trend list after topping it Thursday. And interest is continuing to grow.

Over on Amazon, meanwhile, princesses, and T-Rexes are leading demand, so far. Among kids’ costumes, a Frozen-inspired dress and inflatable T-Rex costume are the two most popular items.

T-Rex costumes are just as popular for men and women, as they were in 2017, as well. (Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses are also popular among adults, but those tend to spike before Oktoberfest and typically see interest dwindle before Halloween.)

Halloween costumes are big business for both manufacturers and companies that license their characters. In 2017, Americans were spent an estimated $ 9.1 billion on the holiday. One study found that the average per person Halloween spending ranged from $ 169 to $ 183.

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Here’s How a Newlywed Couple Paid Off $50K in Debt in Less Than Three Years


After college sweethearts Brittney and Ryan Lynn got married in 2012, they began a challenging rite of passage many newlywed couples experience: Combining finances.

Ryan had always been a fan of tracking his finances (though not budgeting — and there’s a difference), but Brittney wasn’t as aware of her financial situation. With the wedding in the rearview mirror, the Lynns knew it was time to gain a true understanding of their finances as a couple.

Brittney and Ryan sat at their dining room table in Milwaukee, laptops handy, combing through their various bank and credit card accounts. The Lynns had amassed a little over $ 50,000 in debt — student loans, some credit card debt and one personal loan made up the damage.

“That night was not fun,” Brittney recalls. “I remember crying and being really upset. We began to ask ourselves, ‘What are we going to do?’”

While the amount they owned shocked them, the Lynns developed a plan and made major life changes, and less than three years later, paid off the entire $ 50K. They now live debt-free.

Aftershock: Formulating a Plan to Get Out of Debt

Brittney admits that even after learning of the $ 50,000 debt, she was still somewhat in denial about the gloomy finances. After all, until that time the couple hadn’t been tracking their money together.

“Seeing it down on paper made me realize we had to come to terms with our debt and do something different,” Brittney says.

With new vigor, the couple sprung into action. Their first move involved a somewhat controversial figure: financial guru Dave Ramsey.

Known for his abrasive personality and bold views on money (like not believing in credit card use), Ramsey has published finance books, runs live events and online trainings, and hosts a podcast.

Ryan knew of Ramsey, and asked Brittney if she’d be open to testing his methods. “In the beginning, I was kind of against it because from the outside, Ramsey doesn’t seem like the type of personality I’d mesh with,” Brittney says.

Ryan encouraged her to listen to Ramsey’s podcast.

She quickly became enamored by his “debt-free scream” segments, where those who had successfully followed his practices shared their financial story and got to physically scream that they were debt-free.

“I was so inspired listening to these stories,” Brittney recalls. “That really motivated us to get started.”

Making Changes

Brittney agreed to try one of Ramsey’s popular tactics — the debt snowball method.

With this technique, you list your debts in order — from the lowest total payoff balance to the highest, regardless of interest rate. The idea is to experience a small win, gaining a psychological boost and motivation to keep going.

“I know people have different thoughts on paying the smallest debt first,” Brittney admits. “But the way we think about finances isn’t always logical. If we had chosen a larger debt to pay off, it would have taken so long to reach a win. We might not have continued.”

The first debt the couple cleared was a credit card with a $ 300 balance.

“After paying that first credit card bill, we were so motivated,” Brittney explains. “I became obsessed with finding as much information as possible about paying off debt.”

The Lynns didn’t follow Ramsey’s method to a T, but they adapted it to work for their lifestyle. For example, the couple still uses a credit card that they pay off every month, treating it much like a debit card.

Brittney and Ryan made several lifestyle changes, too:

  • Instead of going out to eat, Brittney found a new hobby in cooking. They packed their lunches and followed a mostly vegetarian diet, which helped save money.
  • The couple skipped going out for happy hours and coffee.
  • Both Brittney and Ryan drove old cars with no payments.
  • For a period of time, the couple got rid of cable and used Netflix and Hulu.
  • They sold items in their home they no longer needed. Ryan sold cameras he didn’t use, and Brittney sold her bridesmaid dresses on eBay.

One thing the couple didn’t skimp on? Travel.

“We love to travel, and it kept us sane,” Brittney explains. The Lynns made long weekends out of weddings they attended in various cities and took a big trip to Ireland.

“I know we could have paid off our debt sooner if we didn’t travel, but it was important to us to stay excited and not totally dread life with some of the lifestyle changes we made,” Brittney explains.

Life After Debt

a man and woman together in coats and hats outdoors, water and mountains in the background.
Brittney and Ryan stand together while touring the Ring of Kerry route in Ireland during a vacation in 2014. The couple made several lifestyle changes in a quest to pay down their debt, but one thing they didn’t skimp on was travel. “We love to travel, and it kept us sane,” Brittney explains. Photo courtesy of Brittney Lynn

In September 2015, just 2 1/2 years after their financial journey began, the Lynns wrote their final check — for one of Brittney’s student loans — and became debt-free.

At the same time, Ryan was offered a new job, so the couple moved from Milwaukee to Dallas. Brittney, a public relations professional, used the move as an opportunity to start her own business.

“It was awesome!” she says. “I was excited to have the opportunity to start a business and move to a new city knowing we wouldn’t have any debt.”

Now Brittney runs a boutique PR agency working primarily with fellow entrepreneurs. In May, she achieved a financial milestone, earning more than triple what she would’ve made  in a month at her corporate job. On the side, she hosts her “Day in the Life” podcast.

To stay on track, the Lynns have a money meeting every month to look over their budget for the next month. Borrowing an idea from Chris Harder’s “For the Love of Money” podcast, they meet at a favorite coffee shop.

“[It] makes it more fun and special,” Brittney says, “something to look forward to rather than sitting on the couch talking about how much money we spent last month.”

Want to Be Debt-Free? Follow These Tips

If you want to eliminate debt and move toward financial security like the Lynns, Brittney offers four important tips.

1. Know your money story

It’s important to remember that everyone has their own financial story and background. “Everyone views money differently,” Brittney explains. “There are many feelings and emotions around money from growing up.”

If you’re discussing money with a life partner, Brittney recommends sharing your money story honestly, staying open-minded and talking through your differences. For instance, Britney’s more of a saver while Ryan’s more of a spender. “That knowledge helped me to better communicate with Ryan,” she says.

If you’re flying solo, it still helps to understand your personal money story. Consider writing it out, thinking through how your parents and family discussed and managed money, and the way you view it now.

2. Try not to get too emotional when it comes to money talk

Financial conversations can sometimes be fraught with tension — after all, it’s not necessarily the most fun topic.

For that reason, Brittney recommends having financial conversations with a partner when you’re feeling level-headed and in a good space to talk about money. “If you enter the conversation already feeling emotional or vulnerable, it’s likely not going to go well,” she offers.

3. Start by tracking your finances

It’s almost impossible to create a budget when you have no idea how much you’re earning or spending in a given month.

Start by tracking your finances for a few months, knowing that each month will be different. From there, you’ll be able to determine the recurring expenses that are the same month to month (like your rent or utilities) and the expenses that can range in amount (like groceries or entertainment).

After gathering this data, it becomes much easier to develop a budget you can actually follow.

4. Do your research and find the tools that work for you

It may take some time to figure out which budgeting tool, resource or app will work best for your financial situation.

To stay organized, the Lynns started with a customized spreadsheet to track their finances and budget. They experimented with other apps and tools like Mint and You Need a Budget, but found that the spreadsheet was simple enough and helped keep them accountable.

It’s important to note that the Lynns’ quest for zero debt is not for everyone.

“Know your own financial situation,” Brittney says. “For people who have significantly more student loan debt, your best option probably isn’t paying off all of that debt with the income you’re making. Our best bet was paying it off ourselves.”

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. For example, Brittney and Ryan were in a good position to pay off their debt because they lived in an apartment and had no children.

“There’s a way out of debt for everyone, and you can still live your life and have fun,” she says. “Find what works for you and your situation, and give it your best.”

Jessica Lawlor is the president and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Company (JL&Co), a specialty communications agency. She feels inspired to dust off her old budget spreadsheet after chatting with Brittney for this story.

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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US consumer prices increase less than expected in August

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Paul Manafort and special counsel close to deal for guilty plea

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller are close to a deal for a guilty plea ahead of his upcoming trial, according to a source familiar with the matter.


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Google’s China plan spurs inquiry from U.S. lawmakers, staff departures

A bipartisan group of 16 U.S. lawmakers asked Alphabet Inc’s Google on Thursday if it would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies should it re-enter the Chinese search engine market.


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Hazy on Investing? You Can Invest in Cannabis for as Little as $5


It’s time to get serious.

You’re finally making some green. You know your money needs to do more than just supply you with fun memories and Cheeto-dusted fingers. Heck, your parents have been hounding you to start investing.

But you don’t just want to invest. You want to invest in an industry you believe in. One that could take off and make money.

You want to invest in cannabis, and now you can.

Stash is an app that lets you start investing with as little as $ 5 and for just a $ 1 monthly fee for balances under $ 5,000. It only takes two minutes to get started. Need a nudge? We’ll even front you $ 5 to get started!

What’s All the Buzz About Cannabis Investing?

In case you’ve been under a rock, there’s big news in the cannabis industry.

It’s not just for Cheech and Chong wannabes hanging out and listening to Phish songs anymore.

It’s big business.

Currently 29 states allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes. This is big news for patients with chronic pain, those receiving chemotherapy and for a number of other medical issues.

Cannabis use is gaining popularity outside of medicine as well. Industrial uses, such as producing hemp for fabrics and textiles, are helping to keep the market flowing.

Cannabis retail sales in the United States are expected to hit nearly $ 10 billion this year, reports Marijuana Business Daily. That number could billow up to as much as $ 22 billion by 2022.

The budding industry needs cultivators, packagers and dispensaries for medical marijuana. That’s just a small part of what keeps this industry puffing along.

All of these emerging businesses could provide opportunities for investors looking to boost their portfolios.

We can’t ignore the elephant-shaped smoke cloud in the room: This business is still illegal in some of the country. Cultural attitudes and political battles make its future a bit uncertain. Add that to the potential risk of any investment, and, well, you just have to weigh your options wisely.

Plant the Seeds of Your Financial Future

Maybe you’ve thought about investing, but it always seemed a bit out of reach. A rich man’s game.

But you don’t have to have tons of money to invest in the cannabis industry. Using a microinvesting app like Stash, you can invest in increments as little as $ 5.

Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. It offers more than 40 exchange-traded funds, including one for those who are already seeing green on the cannabis horizon.

But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.

Once you sign up with Stash, take a look at the app’s portfolio options, including one cannabis-related ETF, to find an investment blend that meets your goals. You can be as conservative or aggressive as you need to be.  

It’s your future; invest the way you want to invest and put your money in the markets you think will help it grow like a weed.

Tyler Omoth is a senior 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.

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9.12.18 Comcast revolutionizing healthcare; Missouri “fake” meat law; Hurricane Florence

Can you believe it? Comcast is doing amazing things to reduce healthcare costs for their employees; Missouri passed a new law that crushes “fake” meat companies; Clark talks about how to prep for a hurricane as Florence approaches the eastern seaboard of the United States.

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IEA report: Global oil supply hit a record high in August despite Iran, Venezuela fallout

Global oil supply was firing on all cylinders in August, reaching a record 100 million barrels per day (bpd), the International Energy Agency revealed in its monthly Oil Market Report Thursday.
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It’s not just FEMA: ICE quietly got an extra $200 million

As a potentially catastrophic hurricane bears down on the East Coast of the US, the shifting of $ 10 million from FEMA’s operating budget to fund immigration detention and deportations is drawing condemnation from Democrats.


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The whole story behind Trump’s alleged ‘print money’ comment

President Trump is accused of saying a lot of stupid things by Bob Woodward in the journalist’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.” One dumb thing was Trump’s alleged comment to Gary Cohn, his chief economic adviser, about how to lower the budget deficit. “Just run the presses — print money,” Trump told…
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Walmart’s Jet.com competes against Amazon with website redesign, 3-hour grocery delivery in New York

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UPDATE 4-U.S. FDA proposed crackdown on flavored e-cigs puts Juul on notice

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FEMA officials: Budget funding diverted to ICE ‘has not impacted’ hurricane response

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency insisted Wednesday that the transfer of nearly $ 10 million of its budget to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not affect the agency’s hurricane response and other disaster relief efforts.


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This Company Will Actually Pay Someone $2K to Watch TV for 100 Hours


Get paid to watch TV.

No, seriously.

Video service HowtoWatch.com has posted a job that pays $ 2,000 — including $ 500 upfront — to watch 100 hours of TV this fall.

And you can watch whenever and wherever you want.

But don’t start planning that “Game of Thrones” binge session just yet — you’ll have to distribute your viewing hours across the seven streaming platforms you’ll get for free during your employment.

The company is specifically seeking a social media influencer with knowledge of TV streaming platforms, including the ability to analyze picture quality, load times and buffering, according to HowtoWatch.com spokesperson Cosette Jarrett, who responded via email.

The job requires you to rate each service’s quality using a score sheet, and you‘ll need to share your experience on social media. Which means you’ll have to own up to watching “90 Day Fiance” — again.

And while the company specifically mentions there’s no drug test involved, it does want a motivated self-starter with an attention to detail. So maybe you should put off that “Adventure Time” marathon.

Applications are due by midnight on Oct. 4 and the company will announce the job recipient by Oct. 11, according to Jarrett.

The start date is flexible, but you need to finish watching by Nov. 1.

Ready to start your screen, er, dream job? Fill out the application here — bonus points for including a YouTube video.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Editorial Assistant Adam Hardy 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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Turkey’s Autocratic President Has Named a New Chair of Its Sovereign Wealth Fund: Himself

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund and got rid of the entire management staff that had presided over two years of inaction.

Zafer Sonmez, head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysia’s government investment vehicle Khazanah Nasional Bhd, was named general manager. Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, will also sit on the board, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette.

The overhaul comes two years after the fund was formed to try and capitalize on state assets and put a lid on market turmoil in the wake of a failed coup attempt. But the fund’s goals and strategy were never clearly defined and internal strife led to the firing of its first chief executive officer after Erdogan publicly expressed his disappointment.

The shakeup consolidates the president’s influence over another key financial institution in Turkey. Erdogan had promised in an interview with Bloomberg in May to exert greater influence on economic policy after he was given expanded executive powers following an election in June.

He’s delivered on that pledge, ousting the old guard of policy makers who’d guided the economy since 2002 and giving himself the sole authority to make appointments at the central bank and other state organizations.

Strategy Debate

The wealth fund has stakes in assets including Turkish Airlines, Turk Telekom, state lenders TC Ziraat Bankasi AS and Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, state oil and pipeline companies, the national postal service, the stock exchange, the national lottery and national railway.

Since its formation, officials have debated the purpose of the fund, with some saying the companies should be managed to add value in line with a traditional sovereign vehicle, while others argued that its assets could be deployed to subdue market turmoil. Others pushed for the assets to be securitized and for the state to borrow against them.

In the shakeup, Erdogan ousted one of his own advisers from the board, Yigit Bulut. The new board members include Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of the Turkish chambers of commerce; Huseyin Aydin, head of the banking association and Ziraat CEO; Arda Ermut, the head of Turkey’s investment support and promotion agency; Erisah Arican, a professor and member of the Borsa Istanbul board; and businessman Fuat Tosyali.

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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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US-China trade war could cause a bear market, stress test shows

Running a series of different scenarios in the U.S.-China conflict, experts at FactSet have come up with a worst-case scenario, one in which the U.S., along with a few others, would see a bear market emerge.
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Trump pays sober tribute to 9/11 after Russia tweets, fist pumps

President Donald Trump paid a sober tribute to victims of crashed Flight 93 in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.


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The US Forest Service Is Hiring More Than 1,900 Seasonal Workers for 2019


Labor Day may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean all of the summer hiring sprees have, too.

The U.S. Forest Service is on the search for more than 1,900 seasonal workers — but not for this year. The organization is already looking to fill positions for spring and summer of 2019.

An agency of the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service oversees 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands.

To support such a vast expanse of land, the Forest Service employs a large temporary workforce, especially during the summer months. In the 2015 fiscal year, the agency reportedly hired over 12,000 temporary employees.

The Forest Service is divided into nine regions. The Pacific Northwest region announced it is filling over 1,000 positions, and the Rocky Mountain region is looking to employ over 900. The remaining regions have not specified any numbers but have plenty of openings available.

If you’re dreaming of a job in the great outdoors, snagging a temporary job with the Forest Service could be the first step to securing a permanent career.

Seasonal US Forest Service Jobs

You might think the Forest Service only employs extremely outdoorsy-type positions like park rangers, but think again. The agency has a wide variety of roles that need to be filled, so don’t count yourself out.

The types of seasonal jobs available vary by region, with categories such as fire, timber, recreation, trails, archaeology, hydrology, wildlife, botany, fisheries and customer service.

Some specific positions currently available include forestry technician, visitor information assistant, laborer, archaeologist and biological science technician — and that’s just to name a few.

Note that if you’re interested in a fire position, applicants must be able to complete the work capacity test annually. To pass, you have to do a 3-mile hike while carrying a 45-lb. bag in 45 minutes.

Jobs with the Forest Service are broken down into a pay system called General Schedule, or GS, with grades from GS-1 to GS-15. Each grade is determined by the job’s level of difficulty, responsibility and qualifications required, with GS-1 being the lowest. So the lower the grade, the lower the pay and required qualifications.

Most of the jobs listed pay between $ 11 and $ 20 per hour, with full-time schedules. Some will come with health benefits, but it depends on the position and hours worked.

How to Apply

If you’re interested in applying for a temporary job with the Forest Service, you can browse available positions on their outreach site, but applications have to be submitted through the USAJobs.gov.

Here’s what you need to do to apply:

  • Head over to USAJobs.gov and create an account, or login into your existing account and update any information as needed.
  • Upload or create a resume — you can save up to five versions.
  • Upload any relevant documents such as college transcripts or training certificates — up to 10 documents can be saved to your account.
  • Search available jobs using keywords such as the job title, agency name or job announcement number.

You can apply for multiple Forest Service positions, but make sure you’re checking the location and qualifications first, and then tailoring your resume to fit the position.

If you don’t see a position that catches your attention, there may be more posted later. Each region will have a designated period for applications.

Check out the application timelines for each region:

Since the application timelines vary by region, the hiring process and employment dates will as well. Most of the final hiring decisions will be made between November and January, and employment could start anywhere between March and August.

Kaitlyn Blount 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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U.S. to probe India’s Mahindra over Fiat Chrysler Jeep complaint

A U.S. regulator said on Tuesday it would launch an investigation into an off-road utility vehicle produced by Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd following a complaint by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV that it infringed upon the intellectual property rights of its Jeep design.


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Why a ‘new energy order’ is threatening shareholder returns for oil companies

Under pressure from consumers and governments to transition to new and greener energy sources, oil majors will have to reinvent themselves. But this will increase capital expenditure and hit shareholder returns.
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Cool off with this watermelon keg

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The newest party accessory is a tappable watermelon. Who knew?

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Read more…

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CNN Poll: Trump approval down 6 points in a month, hits low among independents

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has fallen 6 points in the last month and stands at a new low among political independents, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.


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3 Ways to Evacuate Ahead of a Hurricane If You Don’t Have a Lot of Money


As a Florida native who yawned while Hurricane Matthew crawled up the eastern coastline of Florida two years ago, I never thought I’d find myself caught up in the usual hysteria.

After all, I’d dealt with major storms before as a local reporter: I’d trudged through knee-deep waters after Tropical Storm Debby pounded Siesta Key in 2012 and photographed college students kayaking the streets of Longboat Key during Tropical Storm Colin four years later.

But Hurricane Harvey, and the devastation it brought to Houston, changed all that.

So there I was in September of last year, waiting three hours in line in south St. Petersburg, Florida, to fill my own sandbags. I watched as news poured in about a run on water, gas and batteries as Hurricane Irma bore down on the state.

Luckily, I had already put together most of my disaster-preparedness kit, and on a budget at that.

But next came the big question: Should I stay or should I go?

Ask Yourself: Do You Actually Need to Evacuate?

“Run from the water. Hide from the wind.”

That’s the refrain Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane repeats every time a tropical cyclone threatens the vulnerable Gulf Coast county.

If you live in a home in a newer subdivision, or at least one that’s been built under current construction guidelines, and have hurricane shutters, you shouldn’t worry about the high winds. The storm surge and flooding will be the biggest threat to your home, McCrane said.

If you’re in a flood zone, you should be prepared to evacuate as a hurricane approaches. Check your county’s emergency management website to determine if you fall in an evacuation zone.

You should also plan to flee the storm if you live in a mobile home park or manufactured home.

For some, it’s just a matter of gassing up the SUV and heading to a hotel in another state if they want to evacuate. But what if you don’t have the luxury?

It may be slim pickings, but there are three resources for people who want to evacuate ahead of a hurricane.

1. Hurricane Shelters Could Be Your Best Bet

Hurricane shelters are there for a reason.

They are usually schools built under strict new construction guidelines that make them the safest place for your family and pets. Yes, your county should have a pet-friendly shelter available, McCrane said.

But what should you actually schlep with you over to the local shelter?

Bring everything you would need for your emergency kit at home, plus a few things to make yourself comfortable: pillows, blankets or air mattresses; folding or lawn chairs; extra clothing, shoes and glasses; toothpaste, deodorant and other hygiene supplies; important papers, identification and family keepsakes; extra medication; and toys or games to keep the kids — and yourselves — sane.

And if you have any furry family members, don’t forget your pet emergency kit.

Also, your insurance policy will be your golden ticket after the storm, so don’t forget that either.

Keep an eye on your local media stations to see when shelters open — don’t assume.

2. Reconnect With Friends and Relatives

Who says a natural disaster can’t be a good time to catch up with old friends?

Forget about paying inflated hotel room costs — let alone finding availability — and reach out to friends and family to see if they have an extra room or couch on which to crash.

“All you have to do is go tens of miles, not hundreds of miles,” McCrane said.

If you have to travel further than a few miles, bring plenty of cash in case ATMs are down and a filled gas can, if possible. Make sure to follow specific instructions like these on how to safely transport it. You’ll want to strap it to the top of your vehicle or secure it in the bed of a truck.

That way you’ll have an emergency stash if gas stations along the highway begin running out, and you can take advantage of current gas prices.

Bring everything mentioned above that you would take to a shelter, and make sure to let as many family members as you can know where you’re headed.

3. Look for an Airbnb

In 2012, Airbnb launched Open Homes, a disaster relief program that encourages Airbnb hosts to provide free temporary shelter for those affected by natural disasters.

Airbnb currently has open homes available for those affected by Tropical Storm Gordon.

The company has not yet announced open homes available for Hurricane Florence — but the storm is expected to make landfall later this week, so be sure you have those emergency kits ready (with lots of water).

But the best advice we have as you prepare your supplies and decide whether to evacuate is not to panic.

As we reach the peak of this year’s hurricane season, we’re reminded of the guidance offered by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman last year as Hurricane Irma approached:

“I know we’re all on edge, but another important reminder as we prepare for Hurricane Irma — let’s be nice to each other. It costs nothing.”

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He covered hurricanes and tropical storms for five years in Sarasota, Florida.

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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Winklevoss twins get approval for dollar-pegged cryptocurrency

The Winklevoss twins have won regulatory approval for a new cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar. The “Gemini dollar” is a bitcoin-like digital currency that allows users to trade dollars on blockchain-based networks, maintaining a one-to-one parity with the greenback. As such, it aims to sidestep the volatility that has made cryptocurrencies impractical for…
Business | New York Post

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Trump’s authority crisis deepens

Donald Trump’s presidency is slipping deeper into a crisis of authority at a critical moment.


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I’m 23 and Afraid Full-Time Work Will Kill My Dreams for My Chess Game


Dear J.,

Hold up. We need to break this down a little bit. You’ve got a lot of thoughts and ideas swirling in your head, and I wonder if your worries are starting to cloud your judgment. (We’ve all been there.)

Buying a camper and renting out your mom’s house sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. Beyond needing the cash upfront for the camper, you would have to administer to the needs of your frequent short-term tenants.

Could you take on a roommate or two to live with you inside the house instead? Your utility bills may rise from having additional people, but you’d be splitting the tab with your roommates. Plus, you may be able to share some additional expenses, like grocery staples or streaming video services.

Having roommates isn’t always easy — especially when you want to preserve your quiet time for studying. But it may provide a short-term solution to make taking care of your mother’s home more bearable.

Now, for your work schedule. The way I see it, you have two options.

The first is to use some of your savings to supplement your part-time income. Doing so will buy you time to study chess. Because you mentioned chess is your priority, and your love of recreational vehicles did not exactly come up, I’m going to guess that would be a better use of your savings than a camper.

The second is to take on more hours at your current job. I know this will be hard to consider, because you’re dedicated to your studies. But sometimes, having a challenging schedule pushes you to work smarter.

A colleague recently reminded me about Parkinson’s law: Basically, it says that work expands to fill the time you have to complete it. When I’m busy, I might be stressed for a short period, but I can get a lot done. When I don’t have a lot on my schedule, I find that even the smallest tasks can take hours.

What could you still accomplish with your chess studies if you worked five more hours each week at your job? What if you could take on 10 more hours of work? Could you still reach your chess goals and be able to earn that grant?

If there’s little availability at your current job, think about taking up a side gig that has a low barrier to entry. Maybe you could serve as a chess tutor and use the skill you already have to make extra cash.

Map out a few different options — not for the long term, but to get you through the next six months to a year. Where can you add hours at work or add on side gig earnings? How much could you cut back your chess studies and still develop your skills? This seesaw might need to dip to one side more heavily than the other for a while.

And those days when you feel pressed for time and you’re eating cereal for dinner (again) and you’re staying up late because you have to, remember that this is only temporary. This is only temporary.

The inbox is open. Submit a question or send your worries to dearpenny@thepennyhoarder.com, and I’ll see what I can do to help.

Disclaimer: Chosen questions and featured answers will appear in The Penny Hoarder’s “Dear Penny” column. I won’t be able to answer every single letter (I can only type so fast!). We reserve the right to edit and publish your questions. Don’t worry — your identity will remain anonymous. I don’t have a psychology, accounting, finance or legal degree, so my advice is for general informational purposes only. I do, however, promise to give you honest advice based on my own insights and real-life experiences.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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Florence Becomes a Hurricane and Threatens the East Coast

Florence has strengthened into a hurricane and continues to intensify rapidly as it moves ever closer to the U.S. Atlantic coast, where it could strike somewhere between South Carolina and Virginia late this week.

Florence was about 750 miles (1,210 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, with tropical-storm strength winds of 75 miles per hour, just above the 74 mph threshold needed to be called a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 11 a.m. New York time.

“Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday,” the center said.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Saturday declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary. North Carolina and Virginia have taken similar steps.

Henry McMaster @henrymcmaster With this order government agencies will begin to mobilize in anticipation of a hurricane. Now is the time for your family also to prepare and stay tuned for more updates. Plan for the worst, pray for the best. SC Governor Press@scgovernorpress Governor McMaster issues executive order declaring a state of emergency.

Most forecast models point to Florence’s eye hitting the southeast coast sometime on Sept. 14, said Anthony Chipriano, a meteorologist at Radiant Solutions in Gaithersburg, Maryland. What’s worrisome is that the storm could stall at that point and wring out heavy, flooding rains throughout the area.

The northern coast of South Carolina and the Outer Banks of North Carolina are likely to be the areas most impacted by the storm, which could cause $ 15.32 billion in damage if it stays on its current five-day forecast track, said Chuck Watson, a disaster researcher at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

A storm would normally weaken considerably if it stalled on the coast, by choking off its own energy supply as it churned over its own wake, Watson said. But the Gulf Stream is pushing warm water past Cape Hatteras, which could create a “nightmare scenario” that could lead to as much as $ 25 billion in damages, putting Florence in the top 10 of the most destructive storms, he said.

Hurricane track and intensity forecasts often have wide margins of error beyond five days, and with Florence computer models have struggled to accurately predict what the storm will do.

“The models have not been very good with intensity for this system pretty much for the entirety of the storm,” Chipriano said.

Bermuda High

More than 3.9 million homes that would cost more than a $ 1 trillion to rebuild are at risk from hurricanes on the U.S. Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida, according to CoreLogic, a property analytics firm in Irvine, California.

The East Coast’s fate from the current storm will be decided by a weather pattern called the Bermuda High. A semi-permanent feature in the Atlantic, the high rotates in a clockwise manner and will steer Florence through the ocean.

Nine storms have emerged across the Atlantic so far this year. To the east of Florence, forecasters are also watching tropical storms Helene and Isaac. Helene is brushing past the Cabo Verde Islands off Africa before drifting into the central Atlantic, while Isaac could grow to a hurricane and threaten the small islands in the Caribbean Sea by Thursday.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia, forecast to weaken to a tropical storm, may hit Hawaii as soon as Tuesday. Further west, Typhoon Mangkhut will sweep past the U.S. territory of Guam Monday and Tuesday.

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CNN Key Race Alert: This is the narrow path to a Democratic Senate

There are two months until the midterm elections in November and Democrats still have a narrow path to the Senate majority despite a map that favors Republicans and includes 10 Democratic incumbents running in states President Donald Trump won, five of them by double-digit margins.


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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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Trump says he’s ready to hit China with another $267 billion in tariffs

The U.S. was already set to slap tariffs on $ 200 billion in Chinese goods after threatening to raise the ante in an ongoing trade dispute.
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This Man’s No-Frills Tool Tells You Exactly When You’ll Be Debt-Free


Jeff Donaldson thought debt was just a part of adult life.

It started with vehicle loans when he was 18 or 19. Then credit card debt. By 2010, he was frustrated.

Then, he read Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Total Money Makeover.”

Jeff Donaldson and his wife, Tina, at Bass Lake, California near Yosemite.
Jeff Donaldson and his wife, Tina, at Bass Lake, California near Yosemite. Photo courtesy of Jeff Donaldson.

“That was the catalyst,” Donaldson, now 44, remembers. “I started to take a close look at my debt and what I was paying in interest. It opened my eyes to recognize we needed to do something different.”

He fumbled with a few apps that helped with bill management. He tweaked a spreadsheet he found online and updated it manually every month. Donaldson, an IT manager based in Fresno, California, had some programming experience — and he wondered if he could do it better.

He sat down at his kitchen table in early 2012, writing out equations and testing the first version of what would become Undebt.it. He used it on his own for a while until it was stable enough to share with others.

“I don’t consider myself a very good programmer,” he admitted. “I’m a hobbyist.”

But the site is on its fourth iteration and reached 50,000 users in summer 2018.

Why This Debt Payoff Planner Is a Powerhouse

Undebt.it’s DIY approach is what makes it stand out from the crowd of personal finance tools.

Unlike so many budgeting apps, Undebt.it doesn’t pull your financial information from your banks and credit cards. Instead, it has you gather information such as interest rates, balances and payment due dates, and manually enter them in the Undebt.it system.

From there, you can identify your monthly debt payoff budget and set up a snowball payment method to knock out small balances as quickly as possible.

Make a monthly payment? Log in and mark it off. Make an extra payment? Don’t forget to record it on your dashboard.

Along the way, you’ll watch your total balance — which lives in the upper right corner of your dashboard — decrease. Undebt.it identifies the month and year you’ll pay off your debt if you maintain your payoff schedule.

Although the website has a limited liability company, Donaldson considers it a side project that he works on in his spare time.

About 5% of his 50,000 users pay the $ 12 annual fee to access premium features such as customized debt payoff ordering, calendar views and the option of using the debt avalanche method. Donaldson also offers a private-label version for credit counselors and small-business owners.

When Donaldson started to build Undebt.it, he quickly learned that building a feature to allow users to connect their banking accounts would be difficult — and expensive. But it’s one of the top requests he’s gotten over the years.

“I’m always upfront with people that I’d have to charge a lot more,” he said.

Donaldson took a month off work this summer to develop that integration ability thanks to a programming feature offered through You Need a Budget.  He’s also working on developing a budgeting module for users.

What Debt Looks Like Beyond the Numbers

Who’s using the site to pay off their debt faster?

“I thought the audience was more like me, a Gen X male,” Donaldson said.

But when he looked at his site analytics during a redesign in 2014, he learned that his most frequent users are millennial women.

He estimates 8 out of 10 emails he gets are from younger women who have questions about using the site to be proactive about their student loan debt.

Donaldson said it’s important for people just starting to pay down their debt to strategize and know their balances and interest rates.

“Keep it simple,” he said. “Start with a plan. Work your way up. It gets better over time.”

Then, ever so casually when we spoke, he mentioned he had paid off his last credit card that day.

“It’s my first time with no credit card debt since being an adult,” he said.

When the payment cleared, he posted a screenshot on the Undebt.it Facebook page.

“After just about 25 years(!) of carrying a credit card balance, I finally paid off the last of them this week,” he wrote. “I hate to think how much I’ve wasted in interest, but it feels great to reach this milestone after all this time.”

His fans, of course, cheered him on.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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Chequers plan is only deal on the table with EU: Britain’s Javid

British interior minister Sajid Javid said on Sunday that the prime minister’s so-called Chequers plan was the only one on the table with the European Union, suggesting that Theresa May is not planning to succumb to pressure to change tack over Brexit.


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Government erred in claiming accused Russian spy Maria Butina offered to trade sex for political access

Prosecutors said Friday that they misunderstood text messages used as the basis of a claim that Maria Butina offered to trade sex for access — an extraordinary admission that threatens to undercut the government’s cloak-and-dagger portrayal of the young Russian accused of working to infiltrate American political circles.


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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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Should You Switch to an Electric Toothbrush? Here’s All You Need to Know


Dental professionals have a certain way of making you feel like a child, even after your last baby tooth has long vanished into the Tooth Fairy’s stash.

“There’s almost no plaque on these teeth,” your hygienist might remark. “Great job!”

Or maybe you’re gently scolded for an apparent coffee habit, unable to defend yourself in the open wide position.

Either way, when we’re in that well-feared chair, we know we’re being evaluated, that our dentist can tell a lot about how well we’ve been abiding by the rules of oral hygiene. And despite the recent controversy around the ostensible claim that you don’t actually need to floss, those rules haven’t changed too much in decades.

Most of us have a handle on the basics of dental care — as in, a literal toothbrush handle. Which we know we’re supposed to operate at least twice daily. (And by the way, you should probably keep flossing.)

And some of those handles are part of electric toothbrushes. Which begs the question: Do you really need to spend upwards of $ 50 on one?

Why Are Electric Toothbrushes So Darn Expensive?

You can find rechargeable, brand-name electric toothbrushes starting at about $ 30 at Walmart—- and sometimes they’ll go on sale for as little as $ 20.

But you can just as easily spend more than $ 250 on a top-of-the-line, fancy-pants setup that includes a traveling case and five different “modes,” whatever that means.

Even with an entry-level brush, the expense continues. Along with your one-time handle purchase, you’ll also need a regular supply of replacement brush heads.

Brand-name brush heads tend to cost $ 6 to $ 8 a piece, and that’s if you buy the bulk package. If you opt for upgraded versions with extras like “plaque control,” you might spend more than $ 10 on each.

There are cheap generics, of course, though you run the risk that they won’t fit your base toothbrush.

And considering you can get a manual brush for less than a buck, even the cheapest electric option is a serious upcharge.

So is it worth it?

According to dental professionals, the answer is: Kind of. It all comes down to your behavior.

Published studies suggest that “powered” toothbrushes have an edge on their manual counterparts. But those results may have less to do with the brush itself than how you use it.

Even armed with only a plain-Jane manual brush, it’s totally possible to keep your teeth healthy. “Proper brushing technique achieves everything that even the most expensive electric toothbrush would,” notes Dr. Ron Blaise of 92 Dental. (His prescription for “proper”: soft, circular rotations across every tooth surface up to the gum line for a total of three minutes.)

That said, the built-in features of electric toothbrushes can help develop and reinforce good oral care habits.

For instance, many electric toothbrushes come with automatic timers, which can keep you honest about how long you really spend on dental hygiene.

And according to Dr. Oksana Boyechko of Shingle Springs Dental, those fancy “modes” and programs translate to a simple benefit: extending the total amount of time you brush.

I Tried the Quip Electric Toothbrush. Here’s What Happened

I’ve been an electric toothbrush user for years, having switched to a mid-range Sonicare at my dentist’s suggestion. (What can I say? I’m especially responsive to parental-brand authority.)

Each refill costs just $ 5 including shipping, which is less than I was paying in the store. Plus, I wouldn’t find myself scrubbing my teeth with bent, burned-out bristles in an effort to stretch my budget — which is important. Every dentist I talked to said using a soft brush and replacing it regularly far outweighs whether or not it’s electric.

When my Quip arrived, I was duly charmed. It has all the cute packaging and aggressively conversational marketing copy we’ve come to expect from these kinds of direct-to-door services. The helpful welcome guide even taught me a few things about proper tooth brushing. (Did you know you’re not supposed to rinse your mouth?!)

The handle is waterproof and comes with a convenient caddy that sticks to your mirror. And it is, indeed, less bulky than my electrically charged Sonicare. Quip keeps the timer feature but ditches all the extra modes that can push up the price on those astronomically expensive, brand-name versions. And the brush is covered for life as long as you stay on Quip’s refill plan.

You can even add your dentist to your online Quip profile to help them automate your six-month reminders. Which is cool in theory, but also, like, do we really want our toothbrushes to be part of the Internet of Things?

In the end, I found myself reaching for my Sonicare, bulky or no. Quip’s vibrations weren’t quite as vigorous, and I actually kind of like the bigger brush handle.

But if you’re looking for an affordable, high-quality electric toothbrush and regular, no-planning-necessary brush head replacements, Quip is a great option.

And, hey — if having an online portal for your oral-hygiene reminders gets you excited about brushing, all the more power to you.

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a writer whose work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, Ms. Magazine, the Establishment, Roads & Kingdoms and other outlets.

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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George Papadopoulos gets 14 days in prison

George Papadopoulos’ defense attorney pointed fingers at President Donald Trump at the former Trump aide’s sentencing hearing Friday.


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Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma reportedly plans to retire

SAN FRANCISCO — The New York Times is reporting that Jack Ma, the co-founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group, is retiring. The Times said that in an interview, Ma said he planned to step down as executive chairman on Monday to pursue philanthropy in education. He will remain on Alibaba’s board…
Business | New York Post

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YouTubers might be just the renewable resource that Elon Musk needs

On Joe Rogan’s podcast, streamed live to YouTube, the CEO of Tesla appeared to smoke a joint and chuckle at text messages from his worried friends. Musk’s folk-hero status on YouTube predates his current moment of crisis — and has become a place where he can find a supportive audience and friendlier questions.
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Chinese billionaire Jack Ma reportedly retiring from Alibaba on Monday

Billionaire Jack Ma is reportedly stepping down from his position as executive chairman of Alibaba, the $ 420 billion e-commerce empire he co-founded in 1999. Ma will officially retire on Monday, his 54th birthday, and pursue educational philanthropy, he told the New York Times.
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Low-income neighborhoods would gain the most from green roofs in cities like Chicago

Urban areas absorb high amounts of solar radiation during the day, increasing the chance of heat related deaths. Green roofs could help save lives according to an atmospheric scientist in The Conversation. 
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Macallan Owner Edrington Makes Its First Foray Into American Whiskey

Edrington, the parent company of popular whiskey brands such as Macallan, Highland Park, and The Famous Grouse, is making its first foray into the American whiskey market through a new partnership with Wyoming Whiskey. No financial details regarding the arragement were disclosed.

Starting this week, Edrington, whose portfolio previously existed exclusively overseas, will take control of all of the U.S. distillery’s sales and marketing efforts as well as handle distribution for the brand’s products.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the Mead family to bring Wyoming Whiskey into the Edrington portfolio. This deal is a further step towards becoming the world’s leading premium spirits company and adds to a brilliant year in which we opened our award-winning distillery and brand home for The Macallan,” Edrington CEO Ian Curle said in a statement.

Wyoming Whiskey will continue to be made in Kirby, WY. using Wyoming grains and water from the mile-deep limestone aquifer.

 

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Obama slams Republicans and says Trump is ‘capitalizing on resentment’

President Barack Obama will step back into the political fray Friday, delivering a speech that will preview his 2018 midterm election message and provide his most pointed rebuke to date of President Donald Trump.


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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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11 Ways to Get Rewarded for Becoming Your Best Self


In theory, we want be our best selves.

In reality, that’s a tall order.

Would you rather save for an emergency or venture off on vacation? Hit the gym after work or veg on the couch? Save the environment or crank the air when it’s 100 degrees outside?

Exactly. Exerting willpower and choosing to be your “best self” is difficult.

How to Become a Better Person — and Earn Some Extra Money

What if you could get paid to become a better person? You know, like a pat on the back.

Here are a few ways you can get rewarded for becoming your best self:

1. Become Your Most Fit Self

Grace Schweizer, TPH junior writer, shows off her Asics Outlet shoes she got to work out in.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

There’s a wellness company that’ll pay you to lose weight. It’s called HealthyWage, and we’ve interviewed several successful participants who won money when they hit their weight-loss goals. One woman, Teresa Suarez, lost 68 pounds — and earned more than $ 2,400.

How’s that for motivation? Here’s how it works:

  1. Read our full HealthyWage review, and sign up.
  2. Define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it.
  3. Place a bet on yourself ranging from $ 20 to $ 500 a month.

Depending on your “HealthyWager,” you could win up to $ 10,000.

2. Become Your Best Debt-Slaying Self

woman online shopping using credit card
kitzcorner/Getty Images

If you need some motivation to become your best debt-free self, how does an Amazon gift card sound?

MoneyLion is a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances. It will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.

If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too.

Exchange your hard-earned rewards for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

3. Become Your Most Prepared Self

TPH photo editor, Alexa Vincent, uses various budget apps in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

You’ve been meaning to start an emergency fund. You know you need one. If something happens, well… you’re kind of screwed otherwise.

Here’s a way to reward yourself for becoming prepared: Play games with Long Game.

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 use Long Game to save money. Every two weeks, it sneaks $ 5 out of my bank account and rewards 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’ve had.

Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 points, so you can start playing while you wait for payday.

You’re playing games, saving money and becoming your best self.

4. Become Your Most I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T Self

girl on laptop at coffee shop
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Does earning $ 60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work from home while helping others succeed?

Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers.

And no, you don’t have to have a CPA to be successful in this business. In fact, all you really need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

It’s a great opportunity for parents who want to work part time, millennials who are just out of college and anyone who wants to bring in real money while working from home.

We talked to Robinson about what it takes to become a virtual bookkeeper, as well as tips and advice for making this career track work for you. You can read the full interview here, or check out his website for more information.

5. Become Your Most Minimalist Self

Grace Schweizer, a TPH junior writer, sorts through her clothes to create her own capsule wardrobe at her apartment in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Living that #Minimalist lifestyle is all the rage right now, so why not use this mentality to become your best self?

Start taking a good hard look at your belongings. What do you actually need? What would you rather make money from?

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This 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.

6. Become Your Most Eco-Conscious Self

ight Switches turned off and on, Tampa Fla
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

California residents, you can earn extra money by syncing your utility accounts to an energy-saving program called OhmConnect and agreeing to help reduce energy usage a few hours each week.

We talked with one San Diego resident, John Hastie, who’s made more than $ 400 in one month through the platform.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect account, and sync it with your online utility account though Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison.
  2. Once or twice a week, you’ll receive a text message to participate in an #OhmHour, a period of reduced energy consumption. Turn down unnecessary lights, hold off on doing the laundry or the dishes and opt for a fan instead of the AC. It’s a perfect time to go outside, play games on your phone, or go to dinner or the movies.
  3. OhmConnect will pay you for reducing your electricity consumption during #OhmHours.

Why? By cutting your electricity use, you help keep demand low and prevent unclean power sources from kicking in. So you’re earning money while helping the planet — not bad!

7. Become Your Thriftiest Self

Kristy Gaunt shops at Trader Joe's in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Sure, Ibotta is traditionally known as a cash-back app for groceries — and you can still earn a heap of cash on your next haul — but you can also earn cash back on just about anything you purchase.

Yep, the app has expanded, and you can bank cash when you make an Amazon purchase, sign up for Hulu, book your next vacation or even order groceries through Shipt.

If you sign up now, you’ll snag a $ 10 bonus when you claim your first cash-back offer.

8. Become Your Most Retirement-Ready Self

senior couple at the lake having a picnic.
Halfpoint/Getty Images

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.

9. Become Your Most Artistic Self

young woman taking pictures with phone outdoors
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Got a good eye? Embrace your inner artist and turn your smartphone photos into cash with an app called Foap.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the free app and create an account.
  2. Take a quality photo and upload it to Foap’s marketplace.
  3. Someone buys the license to your photo for $ 10. You make $ 5.

If your photo sells 20 times, you make $ 5 each time and end up with $ 100 in your pocket — all for about five minutes of work. Pretty cool, right?

10. Become Your Most Viral Self

Young woman fixing her camera
Anchiy/Getty Images

Think you have something that might go viral? Or have expertise in something folks might be interested to learn? Make a YouTube video.

Contributor Steve Gillman has done just that. He’s monetized his YouTube videos with Google AdSense. For example, he shot 10 videos about ultralight backpacking. No, they didn’t become huge hits, but he has made more than $ 1,000 over the years.

He outlines how you can start a YouTube channel.

11. Become Your Most Friendly Self

female friends walking into coffee shop together
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Fun fact: You can make money renting your friendship out. RentAFriend is a “strictly platonic friendship website” that allows its members to search for friendships. Cue: Your friendliest self.

“Friends” charge anywhere from $ 10 to $ 50 per hour.

We chatted with several Friends, who acted as a wedding plus-one or tagged along to a movie showing.

Are You Motivated to Become Your Best Self?

Now, when it comes to those tough decisions — should I spend my money on meals out or saving for an emergency? — hopefully some of these perks will help you make the more responsible decision, at least most of the time.

After all, it’s kind of fun watching yourself grow… and make money while doing it.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s her best self after a good 12 hours of sleep.

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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Trump has set economic growth on fire. Here is how he did it

During Trump's short time in office, the economy has achieved feats most experts thought impossible
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Get financial advice from experts with this collection of online classes

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Getting your finances in order is not easy. Not at all. Between a mortgage/rent, car payments, student loans, credit card debt, and impulsive purchases here and there, merely looking at your bank account may make you want to curl up in a corner, cry, and pray for the money gods to make it rain.

But wiping out your debt and getting good with money is not a pipe dream, so don’t think of yourself as a lost cause. The How To Fix Your Finances Bundle of online courses can be the key for you to get a better handle on your money and acquire improved financial habits. Read more…

More about Personal Finance, Online Learning, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, and Shopping Solo


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How to talk to a real live person at AT&T, Comcast Xfinity and more

If you’ve tried to reach your cable TV provider lately, you well know that none of them seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on customer service these days. Instead of a real person, it’s much more common that you’ll engage with an automated voice that only is useful for guiding you to a pre-selected menu of common issues.

The problem with that is that you may have particular issues with your bill, technical woes or inquiries that might need to be addressed by multiple departments. So, what’s a customer to do?

Here’s how to reach a real live person at AT&T, Comcast Xfinity and other major cable providers.

Here’s how to reach a human at AT&T, Comcast Xfinity and more

AT&T

AT&T’s official customer service number is 800-331-0500 and that’s what I called to talk to a human. AT&T probably has the most robust automated voice system, and it’s hard to get around it, at least initially.

“So I can get you to the right place, can you tell me what prompted your call?” the male robo-voice said. I said that I had a problem with my bill and was asked to confirm my phone number.
That’s when it said, “Hang up and dial 611 or contact your wireless provider.” Instead, I pressed 0-0-0.
When I did that, the voice had one more question for me: “Are you calling about a previous AT&T bill?” I said yes.
That’s when it said the magic words I’d been waiting to hear: “Hang on while we connect you to an AT&T representative. For customer service, your call may be recorded.”
After a short wait, I was connected to a real person.
Wait time: 2:20 minutes

Comcast Xfinity

Comcast’s official customer service number is 800-945-2288, but I called 800-266-2278 to talk to a human. The thing about Comcast is that you have to enter a lot of personal information to get connected.

An automated male voice prompted me to verify my account by stating my partial address, which I did. Then it proceeded to play an advertisement for another service I had no interest in.

After that brief interlude, the voice told me that before it could connect me to an agent I needed to put in the last four digits of my Social Security number — or I could say “No.” I said no.

That’s when I pressed 0-0-0 and was immediately told I would be connected to an agent. Then the wait began. After a few seconds I was offered the opportunity to hang up, not lose my place in the queue and get a call back. I declined. “The hold time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes,” it said. OUCH.

Finally, after more than 30 minutes, I was connected to a real person.

Wait time: 32:39 minutes

Cox Communications

Cox’s official customer service number is 855-680-3750 and that’s what I dialed to talk to a human. When you listen to the prompts, you’ll learn you need to press 2 for billing or customer service.

You’ll also be prompted to put in your ZIP code and press 1 if you have an account. That’s when they tell you to “please wait.”

Like some other companies, Cox has a message waiting system that will send a text to your phone to connect you, if you choose to. I didn’t.

In just over 2 minutes I was talking to a real live person.

Wait time: 2:03 minutes

Spectrum/Charter Communications

Spectrum/Charter Communication’s official customer service number is 833-642-9259 and that’s what I dialed to talk to a human. When you listen to the prompts, you’ll learn you need to enter your phone number, then ZIP code.

An automated female voice asked me to “Please tell me what you’re calling about.” I had to press either 1 for technical support, 2 for billing or 3 for service changes. Instead, I hit 0 and she said, “Alright, let me transfer you to someone who can help.”

After a couple minutes, I was connected to a real human.

Wait time: 2 minutes
Do you have tips for reaching live customer service at other companies? Let us know in the comments, on Clark Howard’s Twitter or on Facebook.

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

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Read the stolen letter from Trump’s desk reported in Bob Woodward’s book

In an attempt to discredit Bob Woodward’s new book, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he “read another phony thing in the book about a trade deal that certain people didn’t want me to look at.” But CNN has obtained a copy of the book, and here is the letter.


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