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It’s Monday, April 15, 2019. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
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Jon Snow Would Actually Make a Great General

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“Jon Snow” and “strategic genius” are certainly terms that don’t seem to go together.

While Jon is one of the most beloved of characters in Game of Thrones, Ned Stark’s bastard son is often viewed like his “father”—a hero, but not a very smart or strategic one. Viewers see this in everything from Littlefinger’s sneering appraisal of him to Jon’s performance in the Battle of the Bastards, where he easily fell into Ramsay Bolton’s trap. Indeed, even the first love of his life, Ygritte, a fiery Free Folk, perhaps best sums up how Jon has generally been perceived: “You’re brave. Stupid, but brave.”

But just as the Bastard of Winterfell’s actual birth history turns out to be more than once presumed, it’s time to reevaluate how Jon Snow is viewed as a strategic leader. Far from just having great hair and sword skills, Jon Snow shares many of the attributes that have made the real world’s great supreme military commanders so successful, particularly one of the most revered in U.S. history, George Washington. Jon Snow serves as a reminder that the qualities of just one man can shape the course of an entire war. As the sellsword-turned-knight Bronn once put it, “Men win wars. Not magic tricks.” Ultimately, leaders make decisions, and decisions make history. And Jon Snow’s personal characteristics suggest that he just might be bound for greatness as a strategic leader.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How Much Money Do Porn Stars Actually Make?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Ask a porn star about sex and you’ll be inundated with every dirty detail—unless you ask how much it pays. That’s when the conversation becomes awkward. When discussing pay rates, XXX performers are just like everyone else, and equally as private. Earnings are often over-exaggerated (the few performers willing to speak about rates inevitably claim to be on the higher end of the scale).

Twenty-six-year-old Ariana Marie recalls how little she knew about the pay structure when she first entered the industry, and how heavily she relied on her agent. Marie’s starting rate for a boy/girl scene was $ 1200, which is the higher end of today’s standard range. However, her booking agent’s 40% commission was not. Most XXX agents take a 10-20% commission, but a new performer wouldn’t automatically know that. “Anytime I was on set I started asking other girls, ‘How much does your agent take?’ They’d say 10 or 15% and then I started asking, ‘Well, why does mine take 40?’”

Marie’s next agent seemed a little better—at first. His cut was standard but it wasn’t long before they were haggling over her rates, which he called “too high.” Apparently, that agent was offering buddy deals. “The agent was friends with some of the companies and he’d lower my rate for them,” says Marie. “His excuse was, ‘You’ll work more,’ but I was already working a lot.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Apparently Prince William and Prince Harry’s split is actually all to do with succession

Here’s everything to know…

REX

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially split from Kate Middleton and Prince William to start their own royal household, something that has prompted rumours of feuds and fallouts, with the public fearing for the future of the Fab Four, and particularly, Harry and William’s relationship.

The two brothers were rumoured to have had a falling out recently, all stemming from a reported hesitance to accept Harry and Meghan’s fast-paced relationship, from William’s side.

The speculation only grew louder when the two royal couples split from each other on Instagram this month, something that millennials in particular took to mean that there had been a serious falling out.

Rex

Thankfully, it has been reported this week that the household split is actually a natural progression in the royal family, down to nothing more than succession. Both princes have to separate in order to prepare for their very different imminent royal roles, with William in line to become King. In fact, they went so far as to say that a royal four could never have worked.

’This is a future-proofing exercise’, a royal insider told People, explaining how William must now follow in his grandmother’s footsteps whereas Harry can have more freedom, moving out to Windsor with Meghan to prepare for their royal baby.

‘It was only going to work until they married — and it went on a while longer than perhaps was originally thought,’ the palace insider reportedly continued.

‘There was power in that unity and great strength in the foursome, but I see why [the divide] is happening, There is always that tension: trying to do the PR thing and then realising that they are just real people. They want their own place and their own things.’

Well, that’s that.

The post Apparently Prince William and Prince Harry’s split is actually all to do with succession appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Watch Exclusive ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Clip: Now He Actually Believes

Watch Exclusive 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' Clip: Now He Actually Believes

Struggling to complete his latest project, Toby (Adam Driver) is pulled into a world of fantasy in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Increasingly, he finds it difficult to distinguish between dreams and reality as he navigates a variety of comic, dramatic and surreal adventures.

In our exclusive clip, Toby is with a shoemaker (Jonathan Pryce) who believes himself to be Don Quixote, a dashing and legendary literary figure. When they encounter Ophelia (Olga Kurylenko), the wife of Toby's…

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These 5 Factors Are What Actually Matters When It Comes to Your Credit

It’s impossible to overstate the impact your credit score has on your life.

It determines everything from whether you can buy a home or rent an apartment to your credit card interest rates and how much you’ll pay for insurance.

Your credit score is basically just a three-digit number that measures how likely you are to repay your debt. Credit scores range from 300 to 850 and are based on information the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — have on file for you.

For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to talk about your credit score in the singular, but you actually have three credit scores — one from each of the credit bureaus.

A high score tells lenders that you’ve managed your debt well in the past, while a low credit score indicates that you have a poor history (or not much history) of managing credit.

If you want to build good credit, you need to understand the five credit factors that are used to calculate your score.

The 5 Credit Factors That Matter (and 5 Things That Don’t)

FICO, the data analytics company that calculates most credit scores, has always been hush-hush about the exact formula it uses. But it does tell us that the following five credit factors determine your score:

  • Payment history for loans and lines of credit: 35%
  • Credit utilization (i.e., how much of your total available credit you’re using): 30%
  • Length of credit history: 15%
  • Credit mix: 10%
  • New credit and hard inquiries: 10%

VantageScore, a newer credit scoring system, considers similar factors in calculating your score but weights them differently.

Here are some things that do not factor into your credit score:

  • Payments for expenses like rent, utilities or phone bills. However, missing payments could kill your credit if you wind up with an account in collections or a civil judgement against you.
  • How much money you have. But you are more likely to get approved for a loan if you have more cash on hand, because you will be able to make a bigger down payment.
  • Your age, although because the length of your credit history affects your score, you may find that your score increases as you get older.
  • Your income isn’t used to determine your credit score, though being able to prove steady income can help you obtain credit.
  • Checking your own credit. When you check your credit report, it counts as a “soft” inquiry, which doesn’t affect your credit score.

But let’s delve into the five credit factors that actually do matter.

1. Your Payment History: 35%

If you’re looking to improve your credit score, the single most important thing you can do is make on-time payments toward your credit cards and loans. That’s because your payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score, making it the most important of the five credit factors.

When you make your debt payments, creditors report those payments to the credit bureaus, and you gradually build a good payment history. Eventually, those payments will help to boost your score.

The quickest way to negatively impact your credit score is to miss a payment.

If you’re more than 30 days late on a payment, your creditor will probably notify the bureaus, which will cause your credit score to drop. If your account goes into collections — which typically happens when your payment is 90 days or more past due — the negative impact to your score is even worse.

Late payments and collections stay on your credit reports for up to seven years, though the impact on your score lessens with time.

How to improve: If you have trouble remembering to pay bills on time, set up automatic bill pay for at least the minimum amount due for all of your debt payments.

Also, get copies of your credit reports (we’ll explain how later) to look for errors. If your reports contain an account in collections that doesn’t belong to you or that’s past the statute of limitations, having the negative information about your payment history removed could improve your credit score.

And if you know you’re not going to be able to make a payment, you need to talk to your creditors — ideally before you miss a payment, but at the very least before the account is sent to collections. They may be able to put you on a payment plan you can afford or change the due date for your bills.

2. Your Credit Utilization Ratio: 30%

Money falls on children's building blocks.

When it comes to credit factors that actually affect your score, what matters isn’t the total amount of debt you have — it’s the percentage of your available credit that you’re using, also known as your credit utilization ratio. It’s the second most important credit factor, determining 30% of your score.

Here’s an example: Suppose your credit card limits add up to $ 10,000. Your total balances amount to $ 3,500. Your credit utilization ratio is 35%.

The lower your credit utilization ratio, the better. A utilization ratio that’s too high tells lenders that you’re overly dependent on credit. While most experts recommend keeping utilization below 30%, the actual number you should be shooting for is zero. (No, don’t believe the credit myth that carrying a balance from month to month helps your score.)

How to improve: If you need to lower your credit utilization, keep paying down your debt without adding to your balance. Aim to get to the point where you can pay off your balance in full each month.

You can also improve your credit utilization by getting more credit. If your limit increases but your balance stays the same, your credit utilization ratio goes down.

Try asking for limit increases on your existing accounts. As you’re about to learn, the average age of credit and new credit are both factors that affect your score.

3. The Length of Your Credit History: 15%

Creditors like to see that you have experience managing credit, which is why the age of your credit matters. But if you’re new to credit, don’t get too hung up on age; it only makes up 15% of your overall score.

Both the average age of your overall credit and the age of your oldest account will affect your credit score. That means closing an older account or getting a new credit card could have a negative impact.

Your score could also drop if you pay off debt. For example, if you pay off the car loan that was one of your older accounts, that account will be closed. Even though you’ve done something good for your finances, your score could drop in the short term.

How to improve: There are no shortcuts here. Building your length of credit history takes time.

Think carefully before you close out a card you’ve had for a long time. But if you’re paying high fees or a card is causing you to overspend, don’t worry too much about the impact to your length of credit history.

The negative impact of closing an account is more likely to come from your increased credit utilization ratio, and even then, your score will probably bounce back in a few months, as long as your debt situation doesn’t change significantly.

4. New Credit and Hard Inquiries: 10%

Opening multiple accounts within a short period of time is bad for your credit, because it indicates a high risk of default.

FICO considers the number of new accounts that have been opened within the past six to 12 months, but that only accounts for 10% of your score.

Also included in this category is the number of hard inquiries, which occur when you apply for credit. What’s important to know is that if you apply for the same type of credit within 30 days — for instance, when you’re shopping around with multiple lenders for a mortgage — FICO treats it as a single hard inquiry, so the effect on your credit score will be minimal.

How to improve: Avoid applying for lots of new accounts within a few months, but don’t be afraid of shopping around for a specific type of loan or credit.

And, as we mentioned earlier, if you’re looking to lower your credit utilization ratio, consider asking for increases on your current lines of credit instead of applying for new lines of credit.

5. Credit Mix: 10%

Having a diverse mix of open accounts — credit cards, a line of credit and a mortgage, for example — is good for your credit. But note that the impact is small: It determines just 10% of your score.

How to improve: Don’t put too much emphasis on this credit factor. It’s not worth taking out a loan or going deeper into debt just to have a diverse credit mix.

3 Ways to Check Your Credit

Now that you know about the five credit factors and how much each one matters, it’s time to check your credit. Here are three places you can do so.

AnnualCreditReport.com

You’re entitled to check your credit report for free with each of the three credit bureaus once every 12 months. To do so, visit AnnualCreditReport.com.

While your actual credit scores aren’t included on the reports, you do see all the information that’s used to calculate your credit score. If you find errors, you can dispute them with the credit bureaus.

Your Bank, Credit Union or Credit Card Company

Many let you access at least one of your FICO scores for free, and some even offer free monitoring services.

Apps

Some apps like Credit Sesame will let you check your credit score for free, though they often use the VantageScore rather than your FICO scores.

Still, these apps are helpful in estimating your FICO score and monitoring changes to your reports.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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Danny DeVito Explains Why His Realistic Animal Co-Stars In ‘Dumbo’ Are Actually All CGI | PeopleTV

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‘Shazam!’ review: Zachary Levi is a superhero who actually has fun

Even before watching “Shazam!,” the new DC superhero movie starring Zachary Levi, you already know it won’t take itself too seriously. Why? There’s an exclamation point in the title. Such marquee razzmatazz is usually reserved for singing and dancing — “Oklahoma!,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Mamma Mia!” — not world-saving. There aren’t any chorus lines in “Shazam!”…
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Red Bull was actually behind the fake meteor that freaked out LA

A meteor streaking across the skies of Los Angeles is something we’ve all seen at least once in a big-budget Hollywood flick, but LA residents saw it for real last night…or at least they thought they did. On Wednesday evening a massive fireball flew across the LA skyline and was caught on camera by hundreds…
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Actually, we can’t afford not to build the Wall

President Trump launched another battle for border security on Monday, calling for $ 8.6 billion in funding for the Wall in his proposed federal budget for next year. Predictably, top Democrats came out swinging, bashing a border wall as “expensive and ineffective.” Truth is, the Democrats aren’t leveling with the public about the billions we are…
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9 self-help books that are actually worth reading

We’ve found the ones that won’t waste your time

best self help books

The best self-help books – where do you start? There are so many out there that it can make it impossible to choose one. Some claim to be the best self-help books for confidence, others promise that they’re the sacred text for career progression, and more than a few vow to turn you into a wellness angel.

So how can you separate the wheat from the chaff and find the best self-help book for you? You’ve probably heard of The Power Of Now, The Secret, and The Power Of Positive Thinking – but which newer releases can compete with the classics? Is there a book out there that can genuinely empower you, break bad habits and change your life? And is there anything out there to convert the self-help sceptics?

Read on for our complete roundup of 12 self-help books that are actually worth reading.

Best self-help books

Not sure what way to turn? We’ve broken it all down for you so that all you have to do is pick up a copy and get stuck in.

Best self-help books: one for the perfectionist

Brave Not Perfect, Reshma Saujani

Think about every time you haven’t done something because you didn’t feel good enough to. Didn’t apply for that job you wanted because you didn’t think you were qualified? Gave up writing that novel because you convinced yourself your ideas weren’t up to scratch? Or found yourself re-writing emails so that it’s worded just right (and people don’t think you’re too pushy)? Yep – you’re probably a perfectionist. But it’s time to unlearn everything you thought you knew about how to be brave with the help of Girls Who Code founder, Reshma Saujani.

The book focuses on ways in which women are primed to be perfect (and therefore feel inadequate when they don’t achieve what they set out to) before offering up tips and tricks to ensure you’re making courageous decisions in every day life, whether that’s standing up for yourself in a meeting or quitting your job completely and moving to a remote island. Reshma is like your fearless friend throughout, encouraging you to take a leap of faith – even if it means potentially landing on anything but your feet.

If you fear failure and need a bravery boost, this one’s for you.

best self help books

Best self-help books: one for the anxiety stricken

Jog On: How Running Saved My Life, Bella Mackie

Bella Mackie’s book begins at rock bottom. The journalist and writer starts her story looking back over the days following her divorce, in which she realised she had never learnt any real coping mechanisms, including how to deal with her GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) symptoms she’d had since childhood. She takes the reader back with her over her life during her hardest moments, explaining in detail how her mental health has impacted everything from school to her first marriage. 

As the title suggests, the ongoing thread in the book is how Bella used running to self medicate and get her life back on track. So often those of us suffering with our mental health are made to feel as though there are only two lines of treatment: therapy and/or medication. And while these are of course front and centre when it comes to treating mental health, Bella’s book makes a brilliant case for also taking up exercise. Much like Ella Risbridger’s book Midnight Chicken (in which the writer explains how cooking helped ease her mental health problems), Jog On offers a practical way to take on our biggest, most pressing problems. Not only will this book encourage you to take up running – or simply to find something you have a passion for to improve your mindset – it also reminds you you are absolutely not alone. From beginning to end, Bella’s book is highly relatable (she can only manage 2 minutes on her first run), realistic (her descriptions of mental illness are bang on), and will have anyone who suffers with the terror of an anxiety disorder joyously celebrating that somebody finally knows exactly how they feel. 

best self-help books 2019

Best self-help books: one to awaken the girlboss within

Work Party: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams, Jaclyn Johnson

What is a ‘work party’? It’s the feeling you get when you’re absolutely killing it in your career and enjoying every minute of it. But the biggest question is – how do you get there?

Author Jaclyn Johnson recalls the highs and lows of starting her own businesses, trusting the wrong people, making the ‘wrong’ moves, following her gut and chasing her dreams in this epic, fun and totally relatable career book. Forget business jargon and the usual run-of-the-mill ‘you can do it’ pep talks. Jaclyn, founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate (a community of women looking to carve out the career of their dreams), gives sound advice to anyone who wants to up their game at work – whether that means starting your own business from scratch, or moving swiftly up the ladder in your current job.

This career bible covers everything from asking for a pay rise to personal branding, and injects fun into following your dreams.

best self-help books 2019

Best self-help books: one for a spiritual awakening

The Universe Has Your Back, Gabrielle Bernstein

Gabrielle Bernstein’s Number 1 New York Times Bestseller is a must-have for anyone feels they’re lacking control over their life and is willing to hand over the reins to a higher power. Whether you’re already totally committed to living by the laws of attraction, or you’re very sceptical about asking the universe for what you want, you need to pick up a copy of this book to find out about the powers of manifestation for yourself.

This guide if for anyone who feels their life is lacking something, is having trouble feeling ‘happy’, or is unsure of the course to take. It promises to help the reader turn fear into faith, focusing on techniques that will having you living your best life in absolutely no time at all.

best self-help books 2019

Best self-help books: one if you’re feeling stuck

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

This book will convince you to get creative with your life. It’s not just for the poets, painters and performers – it’s for anyone who has lost themselves a little bit and wants to rediscover their passions. The book focuses on finding and appreciating joy in every day experiences, doing the things you love, and ignoring the judgement and opinions of others.

The message is clear: this book is here to remind you that you can live big without selling everything and moving to a remote village, or vowing to commit to a sport so that you can compete in the next Olympics. Whether it’s rekindling your childhood love for ice skating or booking a piano lesson after twenty years off the keys, this book will encourage you to forget what others think, focus on what you want, and follow your own interesting and totally unique path.

best self-help books

Best self-help books: one that’s ‘anti guru’

Calm The Fuck Down, Sarah Knight

If you’re familiar with Knight’s other works, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ckGet Your Sh*t Together and You Do You, you’ll be familiar with her writing style: punchy, energetic and a bit tongue-in-cheek. Her fourth ‘anti guru’ book offers readers and easy framework for dealing with the daily ups and downs of anxiety – from someone who knows what it’s like to deal with it – all interspersed with diagrams, a good sense of humour and relatable anecdotes. It’s a breeze to read and you’ll feel much less alone by the end of it.

best self-help books 2019

Best self-help books: one for people pleasers

The Good Girl’s Guide To Being A Dick, Alexandra Reinwarth

Struggle with being honest? Scared to be confrontational? Worried about the consequences of saying what’s really on your mind? Then you need to pick up a copy of Alexandra Reinwarth’s book because it might just change your life for the better.

After going through a BFF breakup, Alexandra decided that she was no longer going to live her life to please other people. Instead, she was going to create her own set of rules and embrace the power of saying ‘no’. She rejects the idea of women having to be ‘nice’ to get where they need to be in life – whether that’s climbing the career ladder, pleasing their peers or having the confidence to do what they really want to do – and instead focuses on ways in which we can ask for (and get) the life that we truly want.

best self-help books 2019

Best self-help books: one for the courage to speak out

Make Trouble, Cecile Richards

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards is ‘enjoying fighting the good fight’. Her memoir details her fight for social justice and acts as motivation for anyone who wants to flex their activism muscle.

From how her journey started to the valuable lessons she learned along the way, Cecile talks about how she fought and won some of the biggest battles of her career – and doesn’t forget about her setbacks, too. She actively encourages being a (hard-working) troublemaker to get where you need to be – even if it all ends in failure. In fact, especially if it ends in failure. Because the most important step following a setback is the ability to pick yourself back up and keep going.

A practical guide to activism, it’s the go-to book for anyone who wants a little encouragement to face their fears and fight for the changes they want to see.

best self-help books 2019

Best self-help books: one to focus on the important things

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, Mark Manson

This book caused waves when it was released in 2016, and it’s still one of our favourites when it comes to self-help books. Forget a wishy-washy faux-positive author – Mark Manson is here to keep things to-the-point, and isn’t scared to swear while he’s doing it.

His approach differs from the usual self-help book style – instead of encouraging the readers to focus on what they’re not and ‘should be’, he advises them to stop comparing themselves and save their energy for the things that really matter in their lives.

best self-help books 2019

The post 9 self-help books that are actually worth reading appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Freelancing? Here are 4 Banks That Can Actually Keep Up With You

Making money as a freelancer is hard enough — but then you have to figure out how to manage it.

With a slew of bank account options out there, it can be difficult to figure out the best place to stash that hard-earned cash, especially if your financial lifestyle is a little less regular than most 9-to-5 workers’.

So we put together this post to compare some of the best bank accounts for freelancers specifically. That way, you can make an informed decision with minimal fine-print reading. (Save the effort for that hustle!)

What Makes a Bank Account Ideal for Freelancers?

Although I certainly can’t speak for all solopreneurs, I’ve earned my living as a full-time freelance writer for the past two years. As such, my ideal banking scenario has been informed by the experiences I’ve had along the way. Before we dive into the comparison, let’s talk about what we’ll compare.

  • Fees: Nobody wants to pay money just to keep their money, especially when you have a variable income.
  • Customer Service: Knowing you’ve got a reliable team on your side when you have questions or concerns is vital.
  • Accessibility: Since freelancers are — at least if my life is any indication — always on the go, I’ll seek out accounts that are tech optimized, with intuitive online banking options and workable mobile apps.
  • Business Account Offerings: On a more freelancer-specific note, we’ll look at business account offerings for each bank, which can be helpful if you decide to incorporate your business or start an LLC.

Help with budgeting and money management will also earn bonus points since everything’s a bit more complicated when you aren’t relying on a regular paycheck.

Now let’s dive in.

1. Axos Bank (Formerly Bank of Internet USA)

Although they’re relatively common today, online-only financial firms were practically unheard of back in 2000, when Axos — formerly Bank of Internet USA — got its start. That makes this bank a great choice for freelancers looking for both tech savviness and security and who want to put their money to work for them.

Axos offers relatively high-yield accounts on both the personal and business sides. Their personal savings account offers up to 1.3% APY, and their business interest checking account earns 0.8% APY. (Compare that to Bank of America’s suite of savings accounts, which start at a measly 0.03% APY and only go up to 0.06% APY for its wealthiest customers.)

Axos also manages fee-free IRAs with low minimum-deposit and account-balance requirements. Both traditional and Roth options are available.

But if you’re married to doing in-person banking, Axos might not be right for you. Although they offer ATM fee reimbursement at specified locations, you won’t be walking into a branch and speaking face to face with a teller.

  • Fees: Several fee-free accounts are available, and most carry low or no minimum balance requirements.
  • Customer service: Phone lines are open for personal-account-related questions 24/7, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Business customers can reach a rep between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST Monday through Friday.
  • Accessibility: A little tricky. There are no branches, and ATM fees are only reimbursable for certain partner institutions. (Eligible ATMs vary by account type.)
  • Business account options: Plenty, with high interest rates.
  • Mobile-friendliness: Everything’s done online. Mobile apps are available for both iPhone and Android.

2. Simple

A new(er)-fangled online-only bank account, Simple’s mission is to make your money matters more… well, simple. It offers totally fee-free banking, even replacing lost debit cards free of cost. And the checking account earns a patently insane 2.02% APY, which is more than 30 times higher than the national average.

But where Simple really shines is in its host of budgeting tools. You can set savings goals, track (and automatically save for) expenses and know exactly how much is “safe to spend,” all from within the account’s mobile app. All of this is extra juicy when you’ve got to weather the infamous ups and downs of freelancing.

However, like Axos, Simple doesn’t have branches, so in-person banking is out. And if you’re incorporated, sorry: There are no Simple business bank accounts to speak of.

  • Fees: Pretty much as low as you can go. As Simple itself states, “You shouldn’t pay to use your own money.”
  • Customer service: Along with a wide variety of support articles, the customer service phone number is listed prominently on the website.
  • Accessibility: 40,000 ATMs. You can find one near you by clicking here.
  • Business account options: None.
  • Mobile-friendliness: This bank was literally built to be mobile; everything is done through its intuitive app.

3. Chase

If you just can’t stand the thought of stashing your cash in a bank that doesn’t have a physical location, Chase might be the best of the big national players. It regularly offers new subscribers large opening bonuses, carries low minimum deposits and offers a number of ways to waive its already-low maintenance fees.

As a major financial institution, Chase also offers a host of business accounts and tools, including merchant services that make taking credit card payments easy — even if your brand of freelancing has you out in the world and not constantly behind a computer screen, like me. It also offers a discount for those who sign up to use ADP payroll, which could be useful if you go the S-corp route (or have an employee or two).

  • Fees: Personal checking starts at $ 12 per month and business accounts start at $ 15 per month, but both can be waived by meeting account minimums or taking regular direct deposits — which, we know, is not always how the freelance life do.
  • Customer service: You’ve got all the options: email, phone and walking into a branch.
  • Accessibility: If you want physical banking, you’ve got it; Chase has more than 5,100 branches nationwide.
  • Business account options: Lots of different options are available, though eligibility depends on where you live. (When I entered my Santa Fe ZIP code, I was told these products weren’t carried in my location.)
  • Mobile-friendliness: Online banking and a mobile app dovetail real-world and on-the-go banking.

4. PayPal

All right, you caught us; this one isn’t really a bank account per se. But PayPal’s business account upgrade does have a lot of useful features for freelancers, including built-in invoicing and an easy-to-use app with mobile check processing — for those two or three clients we all have who still insist on mailing a paper check, even in 2019.

There’s no monthly fee, though you may pay fees for certain types of transfers. (It’s free to transfer funds to your personal bank account as long as it’s not a rush, however.) There’s also a cost to the business owner when invoices are paid; PayPal’s invoice fee is 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

And I can tell you from experience that their customer service team is ace. When I accidentally transferred more than $ 200 to an account that didn’t exist anymore (😱), my panic attack was instantly calmed by a short, navigable phone tree and an uber-friendly service rep. And yes, I’ll admit the accent was part of the experience. (They apparently have a call center in Dublin.)

  • Fees: Minor and mostly possible to get around, except in the case of invoicing.
  • Customer service: Excellent and readily available, both online and via phone.
  • Accessibility: While there’s no such thing as a PayPal branch, it’s easy to move PayPal funds to your personal (physical) bank account of choice.
  • Business account options: PayPal offers a free upgrade from personal to business accounts and offers a host of tools to make your professional life easier.
  • Mobile-friendliness: Intuitive and user-friendly, both in an online browser and via the mobile app.

Psst — If any of you hardworking freelancers out there have your own favorite bank account, let us know. We’d love to learn about the options we’ve overlooked.

Happy hustling!

Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, Self, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool, Roads & Kingdoms and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com.

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

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The Change in IHOP’s Name Actually Led to Record Burger Sales

Remember when the internet was trolling IHOP for changing it’s name to IHOB? Well it seems that the restaurant chain’s attempt to shed some light on its burger menu has paid off.

It has just been revealed by the Chief Marketing Officer of IHOP that the viral piece of marketing generated 1.2 million Tweets the first 10 days, amounting to roughly half-a-million burgers sold each week during its peak. The marketing push was an effort to increase the number of customers, and to announce a new line of burgers. With traffic on the decline for the last 10 quarters, this was exactly what the pancake house needed to bring new customers in during lunchtime. It seems some locations were able to grow as much as 1.2 percent during third quarter of last year.

In other food news, blueberry cheese burgers are trending in Japan.

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A Gossip Girl reboot could actually be happening according to CW

And the world is celebrating.

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It may have been six years since Gossip Girl left our screens, but it still feels like it was just yesterday.

And while the show’s end left a Blair and Chuck shaped hole in our hearts, it also left us with a lot of questions.

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Favs! 😩😍❤

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Does Henry Bass have any siblings? How are Serena and Dan enjoying married life? Are Georgina and Jack Bass actually together now? And please tell us that William Van Der Woodsen has been discovered as the biggest villain ever – well, second biggest if we’re counting Bart Bass.

After unanswered calls for a reboot of the CW show, we had all given up hope, but today the news we have all been waiting for finally arrived.

Gossip Girl might well be coming back.

Yes, this is not a drill. We repeat. This is not a drill.

CW President Mark Pedowitz confirmed that there was a conversation about a GG reboot just this week, telling reporters at the TV Critics’ Association press tour: ‘There’s a discussion, but I don’t know if we’re there yet. I don’t know what it would be.

‘A lot is up to Warner Bros. and Josh and Steph, cause you don’t want to do anything without them,’ he continued, referencing Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the show’s executive producers.

Providing they say yes though, we could well see a GG reunion very soon.

BRB – off to the Met steps to discuss this over yogurt!

The post A Gossip Girl reboot could actually be happening according to CW appeared first on Marie Claire.

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If you have ‘stomach flu,’ chances are it’s actually norovirus: What you should know

norovirus, also called a stomach flu, is the most common form of foodborne illness in the U.S.
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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 to actually get your finances in order for 2019

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Why is it that we were taught the intricacies of square dancing in grade school but not even so much as an introduction to what a 401k is during our formative years? Why was it embedded in our brains that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell but we have no clue about the basics of money management?

It’s no wonder Americans are so bad with money.

If you want to get a better handle on your finances, the courses and services below will help you build healthy financial habits — 2019 is the year to get your shit together. (Financially speaking, at least.) Read more…

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Studies Say This Will Actually Make You Work Out (And You’ll Get Paid!)

It’s so hard to make yourself exercise consistently. So many mornings, so many evenings, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym or ride an exercise bike.

That’s why so few of us do it. Only about half of all Americans get enough exercise to see any health benefits from it, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Since we’re so short on willpower, what can motivate us to work out?

Try cold, hard cash.

Cash money.

Dollar, dollar bills, y’all.

Money is a surprisingly effective way to make yourself exercise, according to a bunch of recent studies.

Research Backs It Up

Researchers keep finding that financial incentives lead people to exercise more regularly:

  • A study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology medical journal found that people walked more steps per week when given a financial incentive. The study included 800 office workers in Singapore. People tended to walk 30 minutes more per day if they were awarded $ 30 whenever they walked at least 70,000 steps per week.
  • In a study in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine, researchers from Stanford University and the University of Michigan tracked 12,000 people insured by Blue Care Network, which allows obese policyholders to choose between exercising or paying 20% more in premiums. Researchers found that 97% of them managed to take at least 5,000 steps per day.
  • In a yearlong weight-loss study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that participants who were shooting for a small monthly payout (just $ 20) lost more weight than those who weren’t.

Getting Paid to Lose Weight

We know a way to make this work for you. If you’re looking for some monetary inspiration, there are some apps you could check out.

We like one called HealthyWage, which will pay you to accomplish your weight-loss goals.

Enter how much weight you’d like to lose (10 to 150 pounds) in its calculator, how long you’ll take (six to 18 months) and how much you want to bet ($ 20 to $ 150 per month).

Each month, you pay your promised amount into the program. In return, HealthyWage provides support through expert advice and weight-tracking tools.

If you stick to your goal and lose the weight you say you’re going to, the company pays you. It’s as simple as that.

If you don’t hit your goal, your money goes to support HealthyWage, including prizes for others who achieve their goals.

Teresa Suarez bet $ 125 per month she would lose 60 pounds in six months. She lost 68 pounds — and made over $ 2,400.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He hates working out, but he likes money.

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

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How Taking out a Loan Could Actually Help You Get out of Debt This Year

If you popped the cork to ring in 2019 but still have some nagging debt hanging around, chances are you made a mental note of it in your New Year’s resolutions. This is the Year of the Pig on the Chinese zodiac calendar, and that stands for “luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, general prosperity.” Sounds good, right?

Now is the time to make a plan to wipe out your debt before the next trip around the sun. If you are carrying balances on several credit cards, you are likely paying interest up to or even over 20%. Ouch.

Other types of debt, like medical bills, payday loans or anything else may also come with high interest and annoying collection calls.

When you try to pay down multiple bills that are charging interest, your payments can get spread too thin and you may not really be making much progress.

It’s time to consolidate and conquer.

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

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

Yes, the terms are 24 to 84 months, but with only one payment and a much lower interest rate, you might be able to make better payments and much faster progress towards paying that debt down.

Get free of bad debt and ready to make the Year of the Pig your best year yet. By the time the ball drops to welcome in 2020, you’ll really be bringing home the bacon.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He likes bad puns and won’t apologize for it. He also likes bacon. 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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Sorry, haters: Aquaman is actually cool

He’s battled sea kings and shark gods. Now, Aquaman faces his most potent foe yet: ridicule. The half-human, half-Atlantean king of the seas has been around just as long as Batman, Wonder Woman and many of the other classic superheroes. Yet for some reason, he has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the spandex crowd. No…
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17 Ways to Save Money When You Live in a Big City (It’s Actually Possible!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Get $ 3 Pantry Essentials Delivered to Your Door

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shipping is free when you spend $ 39 or more.

3. Claim Cash Back on Drinks and Takeout Orders

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

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

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

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

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

4. Ease the Pain of Those Higher Car Insurance Rates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Set up Your Big-City Budget

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

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

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

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

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

8. Declutter Your Space — and Earn Some Extra Cash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Protect Your Abode and Belongings With Affordable Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

13. Find a Side Gig (Opportunities Abound)

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

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

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

14. Call it Quits With Your Expensive Cell Phone Provider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. Find Fun (and Free!) Weekend Activities

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

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

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

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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

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Michelle Obama is doing an extra tour in London and tickets are actually available

Tell us EVERYTHING.

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She might not live in the White House anymore, but that hasn’t stopped Former First Lady Michelle Obama inspiring us on the regular.

In fact, she’s the go-to girl when it comes to pep talks.

It’s hardly surprising therefore that when it was announced that the 54-year-old was touring to celebrate her new memoir, Becoming, with award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, tickets were hard to come by.

The 13-night tour starts next week in her hometown of Chicago, where she will sit on-stage with Oprah Winfrey, before going on to tour other cities – even London.

michelle obama

Yes, Michelle Obama is coming to London and everyone is very excited, with the former First Lady reported to be discussing everything from her childhood and motherhood to ‘her time spent at the world’s most famous address‘.

Surprise surprise, the 2,900 tickets available at the Royal Festival Hall sold out in seconds with tens of thousands of fans taking to Twitter to voice their disappointment.

We crossed our fingers that Michelle might as a result choose new tour dates, and sure enough today our prayers were answered.

Michelle Obama is extending her Becoming tour, bringing ‘Becoming: An Intimate Conversation With Michelle Obama’ back to London for a bigger gig at The 02 in 2019.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Saturday 15 December.

We officially cannot wait for this!

The post Michelle Obama is doing an extra tour in London and tickets are actually available appeared first on Marie Claire.

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The little $60 box that actually helps me sleep better is on sale for $39, today only

White Noise Machine For Sleeping

There are about a million different solutions out there for people who have trouble sleeping, but most of them aren’t really solutions at all. Even the ones that work for some people won’t work for everyone, which is why it’s so important to try different things. I recently gave the Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Evo Sound Machine a shot, and I was surprised to find that it really does help me sleep better! It features 22 different sounds like the ocean, fans, and white noise, and they don’t loop so there’s no audio break to disrupt your sleep. It normally sells for $ 60, but it’s on sale on Amazon for one day only at its lowest price ever, just $ 39.

Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine with 22 Unique Non-Looping…: $ 38.97

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • Provides ten fan sounds, ten white, pink and brown noise variations, and two varieties of ocean sounds — calm, and surf.
  • Helps mask disruptive environmental noises so you can fall asleep with ease
  • Safe, solid-state design is powered by AC or USB and dynamically creates unique, non-repeating sounds with no moving parts
  • Precise volume control, an optional timer, and a 3.5mm connector for headphones or a portable speaker to match your environment and sleep style
  • Also ideal for creating a disturbance-free work area, or just reducing the distracting effects of outside noises for a more relaxing environment, day or night

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Bose makes a sound bar you can actually afford, and it’s down to its lowest price ever
  2. Amazon’s running one last surprise Fire TV sale with the lowest prices of 2018

Trending Right Now:

  1. Prediction: The next ‘Friends’-style scramble at Netflix will be over ‘The Office’
  2. A 17-year-old just designed an iPhone lock screen that might be better than Apple’s
  3. Instant Pots are somehow down to $ 45 today on Amazon

The little $ 60 box that actually helps me sleep better is on sale for $ 39, today only originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 9 Dec 2018 at 10:21:40 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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The 12 Dumbest Money Questions We’ve Ever Asked (and Why They’re Not Actually Dumb)

Let’s channel our former middle school teachers: There are no dumb questions.

Especially when it comes to personal finance.

Do you remember your financial literacy class? Probably not, because not many states require such a subject.

So it’s not your fault you have to watch a YouTube tutorial to make sure you’re writing a check correctly or that you have to quietly Google, “How much money do I need to retire?”

But you can stop being embarrassed now. We’re here to answer your “dumbest” money questions.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 1: What Do I Do With My 401(k)?

This isn’t a dumb question, because your 401(k), or any investment account for that matter, is an integral part to a happy and financially healthy retirement.

A 401(k) is an employee-sponsored plan, so it’s largely hands off. If you can, we recommend maxing out your contributions.

Then, thanks to the power of compound interest, watch it grow.

Sure, it’s all automated — out of sight, out of mind. But chances are, your 401(k) could be doing a lot better.

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

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

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

Now that you have Blooom keeping tabs on your 401(k), you can sit back and max out your contributions (if possible).

‘Dumb’ Question No. 2: How Can I Invest If I’m Broke?

You. Don’t. Need. Thousands. Of. Dollars. To. Invest.

Yes, everyone’s talking about investing in shares of Amazon, Apple or Netflix, but you can start investing with pocket change.

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

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

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

‘Dumb’ Question No. 3: Does My Credit Score Really Matter?

Um, also, how do I check my credit score?

Some folks argue that credit scores are just three-digit numbers that hold no significance. And that might be true… if you’re living off the grid or never plan to purchase a car, rent or buy a home, or apply for a loan.

Seriously. Credit scores matter. They represent your financial health and allow you to build your future.

If it’s been… a while… since you’ve last checked your credit score, here’s a simple — and free — tool that’ll help: Credit Sesame.

Not only will you be able to peep your credit score, you’ll also tap into your free “credit report card,” which breaks down exactly what’s in your credit report and how it affects your score. The tool even offers tailored tips and tricks that’ll help you get your score up.

Motivational speaker James Cooper, for example, raised his credit score 277 points using Credit Sesame. Now he talks to high school students about the importance of having good credit and uses what he’s learned through Credit Sesame as a blueprint for his lessons.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 4: Do I Need Life Insurance?

This isn’t a dumb question, because there are so many variables you’ll need to consider before purchasing life insurance.

Life insurance financially protects your loved ones in the event of your death, which, sorry to break it to you, is inevitable. However, certain people need life insurance more than others. (If you’re not sure, here are three types of people who need life insurance.)

If you think you (or, really, your family) could benefit from life insurance, buying it doesn’t have to be the uncomfortable experience you might expect. Some newcomers in the industry are updating the old model.

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

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

‘Dumb’ Question No. 5: Why Is My Money Disappearing?

If you’re wondering where your money goes after each paycheck, start tracking your expenses with the Empower app.

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

Empower even has a cool “find free money” feature. It’ll do things like negotiate your cell phone bill, review your insurance coverage and cancel unwanted subscriptions.

Side note: If your money is truly disappearing, then you might have a little identity theft situation on your hands. You’ll want to dig into this with your bank or credit card company.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 6: Can I Invest Without Supporting Evil Companies?

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

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

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

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

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

‘Dumb’ Question No. 7: Are Credit Cards Bad?

Short answer: If you use credit cards responsibly, they’re not bad.

Credit cards can be detrimental if you treat them like a never-ending stream of money. But if you spend within your means and pay them off each month, they can actually be beneficial. They help build your credit and some also grant you rewards — like cash back or travel points.

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

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

‘Dumb’ Question No. 8: How Does Interest Work?

There are a lot of acronyms in the banking world, so, to save you some time, here’s a rundown of one of the most beneficial: APY.

APY stands for annual percentage yield. It’s the interest you earn on a savings account.

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

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

Because it’s compounded interest, it’ll get paid out daily, monthly or quarterly, depending on the account’s terms. Basically, the higher the APY and the more frequently it’s compounded, the better.

So yeah, you’re on the right track if you’re asking about APY.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 9: Where Can I Get Money If I Need it?

You’re in a pinch, and you need some money…

Maybe you’re looking to buy a new car, consolidate your debt, pay an unexpected medical bill or make some improvements around the house.

Um, so, where do you find that money?

This feels like a question that has one of those duh answers, but you’ve really got a lot of options.

You can take out a loan through your bank, credit union, peer-to-peer lending platform or a loan company. (We suggest avoiding 401(k) loans and payday loans.)

This money won’t be free; you’ll have to pay it back plus interest. You can easily shop around for the best terms and rates through an online marketplace, like Even Financial, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

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

‘Dumb’ Question No. 10: How Can I Make Money Online?

If you’re looking to make some money online, you’re not the only one. Google receives approximately 100,000 “how to make money online” searches a month.

Not to worry. There are plenty of ways to get paid while sitting on the couch — from full-time work-from-home jobs to side gigs.

Some ideas, based on your wants and needs, include:

  • If you just want to mindlessly make some money while watching TV, try signing up for a few top-rated survey sitesSwagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get a $ 5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
  • If you’re looking to flex your skills with a company, then search our work-from-home job board. You’ll find both part-time and full-time opportunities, though note these are usually a little less flexible
  • If you’re looking to set your own schedule, find an online opportunity that allows you to pick and choose when — and how much — you work. Consider signing up for a freelance platform like Fiverr, Mechanical Turk or Upwork.

So, yes, it’s possible to pad your bank account from the comfort of your home — just be watchful of the scammy stuff.

‘Dumb’ Question No. 11: Why Are Groceries So Expensive?

Admittedly, this is a question I recently asked while navigating the grocery store: “Why does it cost $ 3 for a gallon of milk?” Then, at the checkout counter, “How did I just spend $ 100 on groceries?”

I get that there are layers upon layers of factors that ultimately determine the price of groceries, but it seems like the weekly tab just keeps on increasing.

If you want to combat the price of groceries, use Ibotta. It sounds strange, but it’ll pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

Here’s how it works: Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes and get you cash back.

Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $ 10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.

Some cash-back opportunities we’ve seen include:

  • 25 cents back on strawberries.
  • $ 1 back on a box of tea.
  • $ 5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Notice a lot of those aren’t tied to a brand — just shop for the staples on your list and earn cash back!

‘Dumb’ Question No. 12: How Do I Write a Check?

It’s pretty rare these days to have to write a check, so it’s easy to forget how to fill that sucker in.

Just go ahead and bookmark this six-step check-writing guide, so you look like you know what you’re doing the next time the opportunity arises.

Always Raise Your Hand and Ask the Dumb Question

Do you finally believe your middle school teacher? There are no dumb questions! Especially when it comes to personal finance.

If you want to go back to school and get more answers to your “dumb” questions, you can do so for free. We’ve just launched The Penny Hoarder Academy, which will guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance — from building a budget to saving money on groceries to buying your first home.

Never be afraid to just ask.

*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.

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

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She was always the one who raised her hand and started with, “Umm… this might be a dumb question, but…”

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

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

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Man cited for distracted driving says ‘phone’ cop saw was actually a McDonald’s hash brown

hash brown distracted driving

If you’re behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you should always be doing your best to pay attention to what’s going on, and that means fiddling with your phone is a no-go. Plenty of states have strict laws against distracted driving, but one Connecticut man says that local police took things a bit too far.

Jason Stiber of Westport, Connecticut, was pulled over by police after an officer spotted him talking on his cell phone while driving. Stiber is fighting the charge and says he has a very good explanation for how events unfolded: The “phone” Stiber says the officer saw was actually a McDonald’s hash brown.

Continue reading…

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  1. Amazon announced its 5 best-selling Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals – did you get them all?
  2. Today’s top deals: Secret Sonos sale, Bose headphones and sound bar, Nest thermostat, Dyson, more

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  1. First ‘Avengers 4’ trailer is expected to debut tomorrow
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  3. All the best Bose deals from Cyber Monday are still available now

Man cited for distracted driving says ‘phone’ cop saw was actually a McDonald’s hash brown originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 27 Nov 2018 at 23:06:32 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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The Skirt That Convinced Tyler She Could Actually Wear Corduroy

I could be mistaken, but the last time I attempted to wear corduroy was probably circa seventh grade, when I was working my way out of a “hippie” phase (don’t ask) and I still wasn’t aware what “style rules” were. (Shout-out to the girl who made fun of my black belt and brown shoes, thus rendering …

Continue reading

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This Company Offers Life Insurance That Actually Responds to Your Changing Needs

Pop quiz time. What do you think about when you think about buying life insurance?

Time’s up! Did you think of pushy salespeople? Or maybe your mind went to the dreaded thought of getting locked into a 20-year policy that isn’t right for you even five years down the road.

Your life is constantly changing, and that’s a good thing. What you really want is life insurance that can change along with you.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, an independent resource for information on all things insurance, 44% of consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance, and more than half of them say they’d get it if they could just get it priced without a physical exam.

If you think you’re ready for a term life insurance plan to help protect your family, check out Ladder. You’ll find that you can get life insurance that is easy to get and easy to change when your life takes a new path.

My Life Changes. What About My Policy?

One of the hardest parts about choosing a life insurance policy is trying to figure out just what kind of policy is the best fit for you and your life. What if you sign a 15-year policy and your life situation changes?

People get married, buy houses, have kids and then, eventually, those kids move out and do their own thing.

Ladder gets it. Your life is dynamic, and your life insurance coverage should be able to change with it. That’s why it offers flexible coverage.

Sign up for the coverage you need, but when your life takes a new path, Ladder lets you add more or even reduce your coverage without dealing with high-pressure agents or even tedious paperwork.

Back up — What Is Term Life Insurance?

Simply put, term life insurance is a life insurance policy that pays out a benefit upon the death of the policy holder. The policy is purchased for a certain term, for example 10 or 20 years, and the policy holder can choose to renew their policy once it expires.

The biggest determining factors in the cost of a term life insurance policy are the amount of coverage (the amount left to the family) and the age, gender and health of the person insured.

The primary benefit is the ability to leave money for loved ones for things like funeral and living expenses.

For example, imagine a man who is 35 years old, married and has two kids. He may choose to purchase term life insurance. If he should die unexpectedly, the insurance policy would leave a predetermined amount of money to his wife and kids to help pay funeral costs. It would also help them get by without his income, so they could continue to pay their bills, stay in their home and continue their education.

Keep Life Simple

You can use Ladder’s coverage calculator to figure out how much coverage you should have. Then your online application only takes a few steps:

  • Take about five minutes to answer a few questions about your life and health, such as your income.
  • You’ll get an instant decision on coverage, and there’s no risk. You won’t even have to go get a full physical. Some simple lab work might be required, but that’s easy, right?
  • You’ll need to enter your driver’s license and social security number, which is true for any life insurance application. The company needs this information to verify your identity and prevent fraud,. It uses a secure website and will not sell your private information.
  • You’ll pay no policy fees, and you can cancel anytime. You even get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Your life is full of changes. Make sure your life insurance can change with you.

Life can be hard, and making decisions about it can seem even harder. Ladder makes life insurance easy to get and easy to change.

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.

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

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How did we actually survive without this new iPhone hack?

Minds blown.

Instagram pods
REX

Words by Emily Lambe

Food blogger and now certified genius, Krissy Brierre-Davis, discovered an iPhone hack that sent Twitter into shock.

Last Saturday, the Atlanta-based blogger stumbled upon a hack that makes moving the cursor way easier. Just click and hold the space bar instead of trying to drag it manually.

‘How come you guys never told me this iPhone trick? I feel duped,’ she tweeted with a screenshot of her discovery.

‘I thought I was an idiot for never having discovered this gem myself,’ Brierre-Davis told BuzzFeed News. ‘My mind was blown. Literally.’

The hack isn’t just limited to the space bar. You can press anywhere on the keyboard for it to work, according to one user.

And it doesn’t stop there! Pressing down while holding the cursor makes highlighting easier as well.

Apparently, we’ve been sleeping on this for three years. The 3D Touch feature was introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6s.

It’s safe to say most of us feel pretty shocked by this monumental discovery. ‘This is LIFE CHANGING INFORMATION,’ a user tweeted. Even Mike Issac, a Technology Reporter for the New York Times, is amazed. He tweeted, ‘this just changed my entire life.’

Well, it’s safe to say this new iPhone discovery has changed the way we type forever, but how on earth did we not notice this before?

Be right back – off to look up new hacks!

The post How did we actually survive without this new iPhone hack? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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Guys, here’s how to actually make your beard look good

Don’t ask me why I decided to grow a goatee. It was a long time ago. I was doing a lot of card counting and thought it looked cool. I do, however, know why I decided to ditch the Van Dyke: shame. At work recently, I listened in as a couple of nearby colleagues engaged…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

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This portable breathalyzer can actually tell you when you’ll be sober again, and it’s $25 off

Portable Breathalyzer Amazon

Plenty of people know when they’ve had a few too many, and they do the responsible thing by letting someone else drive them home. In the age of Uber and Lyft, there’s no excuse whatsoever for getting behind the wheel of a car when you’re drunk. Of course some people have a few drinks and think that they’re sober enough to drive, and those borderline cases are the ones that get responsible people in trouble. Thankfully, there are now tools at our disposal that completely remove guesswork from the equation. The BACtrack C8 Personal Breathalyzer is small enough to fit in your pocket and it has the same type of accurate sensor used by law enforcement. This model also have a fantastic extra feature though: It gives you the approximate amount of time it’ll take before you’ll be sober again.

BACtrack C8 Personal Breathalyzer | Police-Grade Accuracy | Optional Smartphone Bluetooth Conne…: $ 99.99

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • PROFESSIONAL-GRADE ACCURACY – Powered by BACtrack’s patented BluFire Fuel Cell Sensor, the BACtrack C8 utilizes the same pro-grade technology trusted by hospitals, clinics, and even law enforcement.
  • DUAL-MODE OPERATION – Choose “Standalone Mode” and your BAC results are delivered directly to a bright, easy-to-read OLED screen. Alternatively, choose “App Mode” and the BACtrack C8 wirelessly delivers your BAC results to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
  • ZEROLINE TECHNOLOGY – With BACtrack’s innovative ZeroLine technology, you’re in control of your night. After your BAC results are delivered, ZeroLine estimates the time until your BAC is 0.00%, allowing you to quickly and easily know where you stand.
  • ULTRA-PORTABLE – One of the smallest police-grade alcohol tester ever created, the tiny BACtrack C8 weighs only 2 oz. It’s small size makes it easy to put it in your pocket or purse and have it with you any time you drink!
  • 30 DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE & ONE YEAR WARRANTY – We stand by all our products, but if you are unhappy with your BACtrack, you may return it any time during the first 30 days. All BACtracks also come with a one year warranty, no matter where you purchase.

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Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Toy Story 4’ trailer reunites our favorite toys and introduces a new friend
  2. Everything new coming to Netflix this week, and everything leaving (week of Nov. 11)
  3. OnePlus is releasing a new version of the OnePlus 6T on November 15th

This portable breathalyzer can actually tell you when you’ll be sober again, and it’s $ 25 off originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 12 Nov 2018 at 10:54:45 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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This news anchor is actually an AI-powered robot

There’s a reason this news anchor seemed a bit robotic. China’s state news agency this week unveiled the world’s first virtual newsman. The English-speaking “artificial intelligence” anchor for China’s Xinhua News Agency made its debut at the fifth World Internet Conference in east China’s Zhejiang Province — which began Wednesday and runs until Friday. At…
Media | New York Post

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Interview: Claire Foy on Finding Lisbeth Salander and How Long It Takes to Actually Put on That Dragon Tattoo

Interview: Claire Foy on Finding Lisbeth Salander and How Long It Takes to Actually Put on That Dragon Tattoo

 

It’s been eight years since Lisbeth Salander last surfaced on the big screen as part of a big English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now she’s back in The Girl in the Spider’s Web (in theaters November 9; tickets now on sale) – this time portrayed by The Crown actress Claire Foy – in a more explosive story that centers on Salander and the complicated history she has with her own family.

Lisbeth is…

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Amal Clooney’s $18,000 Coat Collection Will Make You Actually Excited for Winter

ESC: Amal ClooneyAmal Clooney makes braving the cold look so good.
If you ask anyone that lives in an area with four real seasons (we’re looking at you, NYC dwellers), they will most likely tell you…

E! Online (US) – Fashion Police

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15% Off Customized Baby Gifts! Use Code: FLEX15

14 Crazy Cleaning Tips That Actually Work

You may have your allegiances to certain brands of cleaning products, but are they really getting the job done? If you have an especially tough cleaning problem to solve and the supermarket supplies just aren’t cutting it, maybe it’s time for a slightly more unconventional approach, one that involves grabbing a few items from the pantry or trying a wacky, off-the-wall cleaning trick. Ready for a little adventure? Here are 14 crazy cleaning tips that actually work.
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This Tool Will Tell You if Your Grocery Spending Is Actually Normal

Setting a monthly or weekly food budget can feel like a brain teaser.

How much did you spend last week? Is that normal for you? What did you get for the money? Is that a reasonable amount to spend? Is there a cheaper grocery store you should be going to? Is there room to cut back?

The list of questions to ask yourself can feel endless. And then there’s the work of actually sticking to the budget once it’s set. It can feel easier to just give up on the budget altogether.

But there’s a free resource from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that takes some of the guesswork out of it.

Each month, the department releases an updated breakdown of how much individuals and families should expect to spend on groceries at different budgets.

According to a 2007 report, the numbers provided by the USDA are based on how much people spend at the grocery store and assumes they cook all their meals at home. So your numbers will vary based on how much you eat at restaurants.

Note that while income plays a role in how much people spend on food, the USDA’s budget groups are based on spending habits, not income.

Here’s How Much the Most Frugal Grocery Shoppers Spend

On the low end of the spending spectrum are the “thrifty” and “low-cost” plans.

According to the USDA, the thrifty plan is a benchmark for people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the government program that provides low-income people with money to spend on food. This group represents the 25% of the country that spends the least on food.

The next 25% of the country is represented in the low-cost plan. Here, a single person between age 19 and 50 would be expected to spend between $ 48.20 and $ 55.50 at the grocery store each week.

Alternatively, a family of four — a man, a woman and two children between ages 2 and 5 — would spend around $ 166 each week or $ 719.10 each month.

Here’s How Much Big Spenders Drop On Groceries

The 50% of us who spend the most on groceries fall into the “moderate” and “liberal” categories.

Under the moderate plan, a person between 19 and 50 years old can expect to spend between $ 59.10 and $ 69.50 each week, while the liberal plan allots between $ 75.70 and $ 85.30 for people in the same age group.

Families of four with young children are expected to spend $ 204.90 or $ 253.90 per week for the moderate and liberal plans, respectively.

Overspending on groceries? Here are some tips that will help you stretch your grocery budget further.

Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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


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5 Books That Will Actually Make You Productive

Over the last decade, I’ve read my way through the entire Barnes & Noble productivity section. Has it made me the most productive person in the world? Debatable. The Rock, or, perhaps, Elon Musk might lay claim to that title, but this little word binge did make me remarkably more focused. Whether you want to get more work done, stop procrastinating, pick up a new skill, or need a swift kick in your Aeron chair, there’s a book out there for you.

If You’re a Productivity Newbie

Great news, friends! You don’t have to master complicated filing systems, or download habit-tracking apps, or start going to bed at 8 p.m. every night to get more meaningful work done. Nope. What you have to do is focus on one thing at a time. Go small, says Gary Keller, author of The One Thing, by ignoring all the things you could do, and focus on what you should do. Pick a task, complete it, move on to the next. It’s shockingly counterintuitive, practically transgressive. He’s definitely not advocating multitasking, and getting this mantra drilled into your head for a couple hundred pages actually makes it stick. This book is so simple—and effective—it actually makes me angry I hadn’t thought of it first.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Tesla outsold Mercedes-Benz in the US last quarter and might actually turn a profit before 2019

Model 3

Despite all of the drama surrounding Elon Musk’s tussle with the SEC, and despite Tesla’s early troubles ramping up Model 3 production, the company has slowly but steadily improved production across its entire vehicular lineup. During the recent September quarter, for example, Tesla said that it manufactured 80,142 vehicles and delivered 83,500 vehicles to customers. Speaking to how fast Tesla is growing, the company earlier this month explained: “We delivered more than 80% of the vehicles that we delivered in all of 2017, and we delivered about twice as many Model 3s as we did in all previous quarters combined.”

Demand has never been much of a problem for Tesla, and now it appears that the electric automaker is finally getting a firmer handle on supply. In fact, a new report from Atherton Research relays that Tesla during the recent third quarter outsold Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. for the first time in history. What’s more, the report adds that Tesla was just 2,000 vehicles away from outselling BMW.

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Tesla outsold Mercedes-Benz in the US last quarter and might actually turn a profit before 2019 originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 9 Oct 2018 at 18:08:40 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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