New Bill Could Help Black Banks Raise Capital, Cut Costs, and Attract Black Investors

A new bill could help black banks raise more capital and boost small business lending in the African American community.

U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, has introduced the Rescue Act for Black and Community Banks. The bill–initiated in January 2019–aims to, along with other measures, bring regulatory relief for black banks from Congress, boost wealth-building for black consumers and businesses, and help save black banks from failing.

The number of black banks in America totaled 22 in 2017, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data shows. That number is down an eye-popping 42 percent from 38 in 2012. The most recent number reveals there were only 23 black banks as of the third quarter of 2018.

Ryan Johnson, communications director for Congressman Rush, and William Michael Cunningham, an economist and banking expert who worked with Rush’s office on the bill, shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE some key points of what the legislation would do.

black banks

Rep. Bobby Rush

Johnson says Rush believes black-owned community banks play a vital role in communities because they reinvest in the people that live, work, and worship with one another.

“These financial institutions stimulate economic development and spur innovation amongst our entrepreneurs, augmenting the economic wealth African-Americans so desperately need. For black, minority, and rural communities to thrive, a new focus must be placed on the financial institutions serving them,” Johnson said.

The communications expert added that the bill establishes within the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an office to be known as the “Office of Black and Community Banks.” It authorizes the comptroller to provide them with the regulatory flexibility to encourage affordable small dollar lending.

He says the bill further establishes the “Minority Bank Deposit Program” to expand the use of minority banks, women’s banks, and low-income credit unions and requires federal agencies to develop plans to use these institutions, to the extent possible, for their banking needs.

The bill also could help African American banks boost black entrepreneurship where they operate and become stronger financial services providers.

“The push to solve the economic crisis in the black community will require fighting on several fronts: education, health, fighting discrimination, and the creation of wealth building opportunities,”  Johnson said. “The goal of this bill is not to make black banks compete with other banks, but to increase access to capital and credit for the black community. By doing that, this legislation will significantly increase entrepreneurial activity in the black community by supporting the development of many community financed small black businesses.”

Interestingly, Cunningham maintains the bill is an extension of the Black Lives Matter and Bank Black Movements. He said the bill seeks to partially or completely exempt black banks and community banks from a majority of federal banking regulations, helping level the playing field with larger white-owned banks. He noted regulatory relief for black banks would be done to the extent the comptroller determines appropriate without endangering the safety and soundness of the overall banking system.

Plus, he said the legislation requires a study on the use of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) by black and community banks. The program could potentially bring new investment into black banks through tax credits. Cunningham said it would allow individual and corporate investors to receive a credit that reduces federal income tax owed. Investors make debt and equity investments in specialized financial intermediaries, including some black banks, called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Community Development Entities (CDEs).

According to Cunningham, for every $ 1 million invested, an investor gets a tax credit of 39 % or $ 390,000 over 7 years, in addition to keeping any returns generated by the original investment.

The tax credits, which are scarce and limited in amount, are distributed by the U.S. Treasury. He added black banks, CDFIs and CDEs have not been able to get these tax credits from Treasury, claiming they have gone instead mainly to white nonprofits and firms like Goldman Sachs.

Simultaneously, Cunningham says the bill could make black banks much more profitable by reducing compliance and operating costs as well as removing unneeded regulations.

He estimates that each black bank could increase in market value by 25% if the bill passes in its current form.

The post New Bill Could Help Black Banks Raise Capital, Cut Costs, and Attract Black Investors appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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This ridiculously tiny skirt costs $260

Things worth $ 260: a good pair of leather boots or clogs, decent “Hamilton” tickets, a dinner at Per Se. Things not worth $ 260: a strip of fabric that some fancy fashion label is trying to convince me is a “skirt.” The minuscule micro mini features an elastic waistband and a side slit (somehow). It’s the…
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How health-care costs us $89 billion a year in lost time

Americans spend more time traveling and waiting for health appointments than for any other service, according to a new analysis.
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On a Budget for Valentine’s Day? This Fun Date Idea Only Costs a Penny

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, which means it’s almost time to blow an entire paycheck on a dozen long-stem roses, a six-foot-tall teddy bear and a rare, perfectly aged bottle of Champagne.

And don’t forget to make a reservation for that fancy restaurant that’s only serving an overpriced “tasting menu” on that particular night!

Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to spring for a couple’s massage, too, right?

Wait, did someone mention a box of chocolates?

Well, the good news is you can forgo the romantic candles — at this point, your empty wallet is useless and you can just set fire to it and let the soft, warm glow of broke-ness wash over you and your date.

Romance, amiright?

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

A Valentine’s Day Date Idea That Only Costs a Penny

In fact, if you’re in it for the long haul, finances can be a pretty touchy subject, and the last thing you need is to add another pricy line-item to your budget this month.

Luckily, there’s a way to take your sweetheart on a fun and interesting date — the likes of which they’ve probably never been on before — that won’t cost you more than, say, a penny.

(Which just so happens to be our favorite coin!)

The Penny Date Rules

Here’s how it works:

First, find a penny. If you don’t have a penny handy, it’s just a matter of yanking the cushions off the couch, checking the cupholder of your car or sneaking one out of your kid’s piggy bank while they’re at school.

Next, roll a 30-sided die. Alternatively, have your date pick a number (without telling them what it’s for) or use an online random number generator. This number is the number of turns you’ll take throughout your date.

Hop in the car or, if you’re walking, pick a corner to start on.

To start the adventure, have your date flip the penny. If it lands heads up, turn right. If it lands tails up, turn left.

Start walking or driving in whichever direction the penny instructs. Stop and flip again each time you reach a stop sign, stop light or intersection.

Continue flipping the penny, turning left or right at each juncture, until you’ve reached the number you set at the beginning of the night.

Once you reach that number, stop the car (or, uh, your legs).

Wherever you are, that’s where your date will take place.

If you look up to find a park with a lovely, lit gazebo, good for you!

If all you happen to see before you is a gas station, all I can say is I wish you the best of luck throwing a romantic spin on that one. Yikes.

But it’s all part of the adventure, right?

No, really. The fun of the penny date is in the mystery, the confusion and the downright ridiculousness of your time together. It’s a way to do something different, something that you wouldn’t have done ordinarily, and to have fun doing it.

Either way, it’s sure to be a memorable date, right?

A Few Notes to Help You Create the Perfect Penny Date

To keep costs low, pack a picnic meal to bring with you. That way, wherever you end up, you’ll have dinner ready to go. (This is especially important if you’re going on this date on Valentine’s Day, because most places will be booked solid. You won’t be able to randomly show up at a restaurant and expect to get a table.)

You don’t have to be in a metropolitan area to make this date work, but you’ll want to adjust your number of turns based on your location. Thirty turns won’t take very long on city streets, but if you’re driving long back roads, 30 turns could take forever.

Even if there’s a stop sign or traffic light, don’t turn into a parking lot or street with no outlet. Just move along to the next intersection and flip the penny there.

Keep your adventurous spirit open to the experience. Chances are, you’re going to end up somewhere less than romantic (or maybe even downright weird), but it’s all part of the fun of a date night left totally up to chance.

More often than not, a penny date offers up a little nonsense, a lot of laughter and a couple of really great stories.

Besides, like any good relationship, a penny date is about the journey — not the destination.

Right? (No, left.)

Grace Schweizer is the email content writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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Avoid Hidden Costs During a Roof Replacement

From curb appeal to increased energy efficiency, a roof replacement is a smart way to drastically increase the value of your home. However, roof repairs can also be some of the most expensive renovations for homeowners. So how do you ensure that your roof replacement stays in budget, and avoid hidden costs that could break the bank? Knowledge is key. Read on for Modernize’s advice to help you prepare for unexpected costs during your roofing project.

Basic Costs of a Roof Replacement

Begin by determining your baseline roof replacement budget. The average roof replacement cost is between $ 8,000 – $ 17,500 including installation, the cost of roofing shingles, removal of your old roof, disposal fees, permitting and labor.

Whether you are budgeting for a DIY replacement or accepting bids from roofing contractors, the cost of your project will be impacted by basic roofing considerations like:

Roof Dimensions

In short, the simpler the roof, the cheaper the replacement. The complexity, slope, and size of your roof will have a significant impact on the cost of your roof replacement.

Roofs (and roof repairs) are measured in squares, which are 10×10 foot areas. The more squares to be replaced, the higher the cost. Roofs with more slant have a larger surface area than roofs with less slant. And a roof with more level changes, hips, valleys and add-ons like dormers will be more expensive than a simple roof.

Roofing Materials

Roofing material prices range from very affordable options like asphalt ($ 150 to $ 550 per square) to options like slate (close to $ 385 to $ 800 per square). As such, the cost of raw materials will drive the price of the entire roofing project up or down.

In addition to shingles, building materials are another cost to consider. This includes, but is not limited to, boards and plywood, nails, drop cloths, calk, roof underlayment, flashing, and sheathing.

Labor

Labor costs will vary depending on the size of the crew, their experience, and the scope of your roofing project. However, Modernize encourages homeowners to not select a contractor based on price alone. The quality of work is especially important when it comes to roofing projects.

While some aspects of a roof replacement can be DIY, the smartest choice for such an important project is to partner with a reputable roofing contractor. The right roofing contractor will be able to help you set (and stick) to your roof replacement budget and have the experience to foresee any hidden costs.

Disposal

While it is often possible to install new roofing over existing shingles, that can impact the quality of your roof and interfere with your roofing warranty. As such, your roof replacement will likely entail the disposal of your current roof. Shingles must be disposed of properly, so budget for a dumpster and additional disposal costs.

Inspection and Permitting

To determine the scope of your roof replacement, your roofing contractor will do an inspection of your current roof. Inspections are generally not free, but a roofing contractor may include the cost of their inspection in the price of a repair project after being hired. After an inspection, your contractor will be able to provide a more accurate quote and scope of work.

Depending on where you live, your contractor may also need to secure permits to complete a roof replacement. Your contractor will manage the permitting process, but be prepared for the cost. Depending on your region, a roof replacement permit may be a flat rate, or it could vary based on your home’s size or value.

 

The Most Common Hidden Roof Replacement Costs

No matter how well prepared and researched your roof replacement budget may be, keep in mind that construction may uncover additional costs that are beyond you or your contractor’s control. Especially if you live in an older house, it’s wise to be prepared. With that in mind, some common unexpected costs to be prepared for include:

Bringing Your Roof Up To Code

Your roof may have originally been built to meet decades-old building codes that will no longer apply to new construction. While this is great news for your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability, it is an added expense to keep in mind.

Pests and Mold

Especially in humid areas of the country, mold and termite damage can add hidden costs to your roof replacement. Whether it’s insects or decay, these problems will need to be addressed before new shingles can be installed.

Leaks And Rotten Plywood

Leaks in your roof can sometimes go unnoticed until the shingles are removed during a roofing repair. These leaks can cause damage to your home, like rot in rafters and other wood structures. If there is already extensive damage, the material and labor cost to replace that wood can quickly increase the roof replacement price by hundreds of dollars.

Poor Roof Design Causing Water Traps

Water traps are a common issue that homeowners are often unaware of until a roof replacement takes place. Water traps are areas that are prone to leaks due to runoff areas that direct too much water to one place. Water traps also lead to faster wear on your shingles and other materials like siding or brick. If your contractor uncovers this issue, you can expect to include the costs to mitigate the water traps in your roof replacement budget.

Upgrades

For many homeowners, a roof replacement is a smart choice to increase the value of their home. In that vein, you may find that upgrades to other elements of your roof are also in order during the roof replacement. Examples include upgrading to low-maintenance gutters, improving your roofing ventilation, or opting for a more durable type of roof underlayment. Discuss how these and other options can be worked into your roofing repair with your contractor. They can help you decide what makes sense to maximize the value of your home while staying within budget.

Tips To Keep Your Roof Replacement On Budget

Like any home renovation, there are ways you can prepare your home to minimize additional costs that can occur during the actual installation. Tips include:

  • Cut your grass short before roof installation begins. Shorter grass will make it easier for your roofers to use a magnetic nail finder to recover any nails or staples that go astray during a roof replacement.
  • Cover items in your attic with a tarp or plastic sheeting. Small gaps in your decking can allow shingles, nails and other debris to fall onto your insulation or valuables stored in your attic.
  • Where possible, move plants and lawn furniture far away from your home. This also applies to vehicles parked in your driveway. Relocating valuable items will minimize the chance of them being damaged while your roofing team hauls loads of debris over the side of your roof.

Now that you have the knowledge of the costs, both planned and unplanned, to expect during your roof replacement, all that’s left is to ensure you stick to your budget. To do that, you can:

  • Complete your roof replacement in the off-season. Demand for roof repairs is greatest in spring and summer, so the cost will typically be higher than when done in the cooler months when laborers’ time is in less demand. The price of new shingles can also be lower during the off-season.
  • Leave 15-20 percent of wiggle room in your budget. This will allow you to take any hidden issues in stride without impacting the rest of your roof replacement. This may seem like a large buffer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Establish great communication with your contractor. Let them know about your budget constraints up front. This will help them determine the most realistic way to reach your desired end result, and help them as they purchase supplies for the project.

All in all, having a reliable and honest roofing contractor is perhaps the easiest way to avoid hidden costs during a roof replacement. Take advantage of Modernize’s tools to find a trusted local contractor that can make the roof of your dreams a reality.

The post Avoid Hidden Costs During a Roof Replacement appeared first on Modernize.

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Democrats move to cut prescription drug costs

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Higher Health Insurance Costs for Small Businesses Coming in 2019?

A recent ruling by a Texas federal judge insisting the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—otherwise known as Obamacare—is unconstitutional is potentially bad news for millions of small businesses, the national advocacy group Small Business Majority maintains. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with an alliance of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance nullified the overall ACA.

‘Obamacare’ will continue to remain in effect for now. The case could be appealed and possibly reach the U.S. Supreme Court, observers say. They say that process could take months or even years.

The ruling occurred a day before the deadline for Americans to sign up for coverage in the federal insurance exchange created under the ACA. Roughly 11.8 million U.S. consumers enrolled in 2018 healthcare exchange plans, the federal agency Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported.

The ruling has “no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan,” Seema Verma, the administrator for the Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees ACA, tweeted.

Former President Barack Obama posted on Facebook that Obamacare will “likely”  survive the judge’s ruling. He urged people to proceed with open enrollment and get coverage.



President Donald Trump saluted the decision as “great news for America,” boasting that Congress will now create a “great” healthcare plan, though that will likely be difficult if large numbers of the pool of uninsured Americans opt not to pay for insurance.


However, the Small Business Majority says the ruling’s impact could hit entrepreneurs, including black small businesses owners soon.

“While this federal court decision does not change the status of the ACA right now, it injects a degree of uncertainty into the ACA marketplaces that many entrepreneurs depend on for quality, affordable health insurance,” Simon Brown, a spokesman at Small Business Majority, told Black Enterprise.

“That uncertainty could cause consumers to leave the marketplaces, meaning prices could rise for those who continue to buy insurance through ACA marketplaces.”

John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority founder & CEO, added through the ACA’s individual mandate penalty was previously repealed, its remaining components must be upheld in full because the law is absolutely critical to the success of small businesses, their employees and solo entrepreneurs.

Before Obamacare became law in 2010, the Small Business Majority says small businesses and their employees represented a disproportionate share of uninsured workers, and small business owners paid 18% more on average for coverage than larger companies.

Yet, the growth in small business healthcare costs slowed dramatically since 2010, occurring after regular double-digit gains before the law’s enactment. The law made health insurance more affordable for smaller firms, resulting in many entrepreneurs launching their own businesses.

More than 5.7 million small business employees or self-employed workers are enrolled in the ACA marketplaces, and more than half of all ACA marketplace enrollees nationwide are small business owners, self-employed individuals or small business employees, the Small Business Majority states.

Plus, the advocacy group says the law has enabled most states to expand their Medicaid programs, allowing low-income small business employees and entrepreneurs to obtain health coverage.

Arensmeyer says ending the ACA would be an unmitigated disaster for America’s entrepreneurs.

“For the good of America’s job creators, the constitutionality of the ACA must be upheld, and we hope this decision is immediately appealed.”

 

The post Higher Health Insurance Costs for Small Businesses Coming in 2019? appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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12.28.18 Foster kids at risk; Warning for small biz owners; Car leasing costs going up

As foster care kids reach adulthood, difficulties mount; A warning to small business owners about expired URL’s and how they can be commandeered; Leasing a car is getting even more costly than it has been.

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The hot new Fire TV Stick 4K costs less than the original with this Black Friday deal

Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon’s wildly popular Fire TV Stick is on sale for Black Friday for just $ 25, but it normally retails for $ 40. Meanwhile, the brand new Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote normally sells for $ 50, with is a killer value considering you get 4K, HDR support, Dolby Atmos support, and Amazon’s new next-gen Alexa voice remote. As you might have surmised though, the new 4K model is also on sale for Black Friday 2018, and the price is down to just $ 34.99. That’s $ 5 less than the old Fire TV Stick’s normal retail price, and you don’t have much longer to take advantage.

Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player: $ 34.99

Here are the bullet points from the product page:

  • The most powerful 4K streaming media stick with a new Wi-Fi antenna design optimized for 4K Ultra HD streaming, with more storage for apps and games than any other 4K streaming media stick.
  • Launch and control all your favorite movies and TV shows with the next-gen Alexa Voice Remote. New power, volume, and mute buttons to control your TV, sound bar, and receiver.
  • Enjoy brilliant picture and immersive sound with access to 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos.
  • Choose from 500,000 movies and TV episodes. Watch favorites from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, STARZ, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, and others.
  • Experience tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, plus millions of websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit.
  • Alexa on Fire TV provides the most comprehensive voice experience of any streaming media player—view live camera feeds, check the weather, dim the lights, and stream music.
  • Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes, plus ad-free listening to millions of songs with Prime Music.
  • No cable or satellite? No problem. Watch live TV and sports with subscriptions to Hulu and PlayStation Vue.

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s Roomba 960 Black Friday deal is so good it has to be a mistake
  2. This might be the best Black Friday deal of all time on an Apple product

Trending Right Now:

  1. eBay’s Cyber Monday deals begin this weekend: Cheaper Xbox One X, MacBook Air, and 65-inch Samsung TV
  2. The company with the hottest Android phones you can’t buy is helping Google ‘kill’ Android
  3. The Galaxy S10 might do something the iPhone and Pixel can’t

The hot new Fire TV Stick 4K costs less than the original with this Black Friday deal originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 23 Nov 2018 at 16:57:42 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Washington’s Chelan County PUD Plans Higher Electricity Costs For Crypto Mining

A rural Washington County Public Utility District, or PUD has proposed higher electricity costs for cryptocurrency miners, according to Central Washington radio station KPQ. The Chelan County PUD in north-central Washington has proposed a new electricity pricing structure, Schedule 36, for the mining activity, which generally takes enormous power.
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Here’s What It Costs to Order Your Thanksgiving Meal From These 8 Stores

Thanksgiving is hands down, unequivocally and undeniably my favorite major holiday of the year. (National IPA Day is still waiting to be recognized as “major” by some.)

Too many holidays require things that are exhausting and stressful. Do I have enough money for all of the gifts? What costume should I wear? Is that leprechaun going to attack me? Not cool, man.

Thanksgiving is free from all of that. On Thanksgiving, you eat a great meal, then you watch some football, take a nap, eat some more food, watch some more football and just chill with family and friends.

That’s a holiday!

You might think, “That’s all well and good if you’re not the one who has to make that massive feast.” Well I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be the one who does all the cooking this year. You have plenty of options to order Thanksgiving dinner to go from your favorite grocery store or restaurant.

It just depends on what you’re willing to spend.

Here’s Where to Order Thanksgiving Dinner To Go

The average Thanksgiving meal has 12 people ready to dig in, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. Sure, some of them — like the young ones and your weird uncle — may be at the kids’ table, but they’ll want food nonetheless.

So, what are your options when you want to skip the gourmet cooking and let someone else do the heavy lifting?

Here are eight companies ready to stuff your family for the big day.

1. Publix

If you live in the South, you probably know and love Publix. It loves you right back with the pre-made Publix Deli large turkey dinner. All you have to do is buy it, take it home and heat it up. It’ll feed 14 to 18 people.

This meal rings in at $ 89.99, which comes out to $ 4.99 to $ 6.43 per person.

It includes:

  • One 16- to 18-pound fully cooked Butterball turkey
  • 5 pounds of dressing
  • 5 pounds of mashed potatoes
  • 64 ounces of Publix gravy
  • 56 ounces of marshmallow delight
  • 32 ounces of Publix cranberry orange relish

And if you’re feeding a smaller family, you can get the Publix Deli turkey dinner for 7 to 10 people for $ 49.99, or about $ 4.99 to $ 7.14 per person.

The meal includes:

  • One 10- to 12-pound fully cooked Butterball turkey
  • 2 1/2 pounds of dressing
  • 2 1/2 pounds of mashed potatoes
  • 32 ounces of Publix gravy
  • 28 ounces of marshmallow delight
  • 16 ounces of Publix cranberry orange relish

Some items require up to 150 minutes to heat. Heating instructions are included for both meals.

2. Shoney’s

Thanksgiving dinner from Shoneys.

Shoney’s has two options for eat-and-serve holiday meals: you can grab a Thanksgiving bundle meal or “pick and choose” your Thanksgiving meal.

The holiday bundle meal rings in at $ 74.99, or $ 7.49 per person, and includes:

  • One 10- to 13-pound whole roasted turkey
  • 2 quarts of green beans
  • 2 quarts of mashed potatoes
  • 24 ounces of gravy
  • 12 dinner rolls

The bundle meal only serves 8 to 10 people. However, if you’re expecting more guests, you do have the option of adding additional sides. Or you can opt to build your own meal and choose your own sides and quantities.

You can order your holiday meal by stopping by or calling your nearest participating Shoney’s. The deadline for ordering is Monday, Nov. 19, and the meal must be picked up by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

3. Cracker Barrel

Nothing says “homestyle” like Cracker Barrel. With its Heat n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go, you know you’ll get comfort food — and plenty of it.

This down-home meal feeds up to 10 people for $ 109.99, which comes out to $ 10.99 per person.

The meal includes:

  • Two oven-roasted turkey breasts
  • Cornbread dressing
  • Turkey gravy
  • Cranberry relish
  • Your choice of three country sides
  • Sweet yeast rolls
  • Pumpkin pie and pecan pie

It’s pricy per person, but Cracker Barrel’s Thanksgiving meal gives some good options.

And if you’re hosting a smaller Thanksgiving dinner, you can grab the Homestyle Turkey n’ Dressing Family Meal To-Go, which serves up to six people for $ 67.99, or $ 6.79 per person. The meal includes:

  • Turkey
  • A sampling of sugar cured ham
  • Cornbread dressing
  • Turkey gravy
  • Cranberry relish
  • Your choice of three country sides
  • Choice of bread

Sorry, no pies included with this one, but still a good deal for a smaller crowd.

4. Boston Market

Thanksgiving dinner from Boston Market.

Boston Market prides itself on its homestyle food, so when Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s not about to step back. It gets in on the action with its complete Thanksgiving meal for 12.

The price for up to 12 people is $ 119.99, putting it at $ 10 per person.

The meal includes:

  • One roasted turkey
  • Two orders of vegetable stuffing
  • One order of spinach artichoke dip with crackers
  • 24 ounces of cranberry walnut relish
  • Two orders of mashed potatoes
  • 12 dinner rolls
  • Two orders of gravy
  • One apple pie
  • One pumpkin pie

Cranberry walnut relish? Spinach artichoke dip? The downside may be that your family will know that you couldn’t pull that off yourself! If you can convince them, kudos to you.

But if you really want to be convincing, you could go for the essential turkey meal for $ 99.99, or $ 8.33 per person, instead. This meal also serves up to 12 people and includes:

  • One roasted turkey
  • Two orders of vegetable stuffing
  • Two orders of mashed potatoes
  • Two orders of gravy
  • 12 dinner rolls

No fancy dips or pies included with this one, so your secret is safe with us!

And for smaller families (up to 6 people), you’ll find two meals to choose from on Boston Market’s heat-and-serve Thanksgiving menu. If you need any additional meats, sides or desserts, you can order from the a la carte menu, which comes fully cooked and chilled for pickup the week of Thanksgiving.

To make your Thanksgiving dinner preparations even less stressful, you can have your heat-and-serve meals, a la carte sides and desserts delivered right to your door through Nov. 18. Keep in mind, all orders are shipped frozen. Once fully thawed, your meal will be ready to heat and serve in two to three hours.

5. The Fresh Market

Thanksgiving dinner from Fresh Market

Fresh Market is known as an upscale grocer, but it doesn’t stretch the budget with its deluxe holiday dinner. If you want variety in your meal, you’ll get it with this one.

The cost to feed 12 to 14 people is $ 149.99, which comes out to $ 10.71 to $ 12.50 per person.

The meal kit includes:

  • One 10- to 12-pound fully cooked turkey
  • 3-pound boneless spiral ham
  • 4 pounds of Yukon Gold whipped potatoes
  • 3 pounds of traditional herb stuffing
  • 30 ounces of turkey gravy
  • 2 pounds of corn soufflé
  • 2 pounds of green beans
  • 16 ounces of cranberry relish with walnuts
  • 24 dinner rolls

Wait. Turkey and ham? That’s crazy talk! Plus, the sides look amazing. If you have a Fresh Market nearby, this could be a great option.

If your Thanksgiving dinner will be a little smaller — as in 8 to 10 people — then you can go for the traditional holiday dinner for $ 79.99, or about $ 8 to $ 10 per person.

This meal includes:

  • One 10- to 12-pound fully cooked turkey
  • 3 pounds of Yukon Gold whipped potatoes
  • 3 pounds of traditional herb stuffing
  • 30 ounces of turkey gravy
  • 16 ounces of cranberry relish with walnuts
  • 12 golden dinner rolls

And if your Thanksgiving table is even smaller, you can grab the essential holiday dinner for 3 to 5 people. This heat-and-serve meal rings in at $ 54.99, or about $ 11 to $ 18.33 per person, and includes:

  • 3 1/2-pound fully cooked turkey
  • 2 pounds of Yukon Gold whipped potatoes
  • 2 pounds of traditional herb stuffing
  • 1 pound of green beans
  • 30 ounces of homestyle turkey gravy
  • 8 ounces of cranberry relish with walnuts

The deadline for ordering in stores is Nov. 21, or you can order online by Nov. 18. The Fresh Market will be open Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

6. Bob Evans

Thanksgiving dinner from Bob Evans.

To feed 12 people with Bob Evans’ Turkey Farmhouse Feast, you’d need to order one eight-person meal and one four-person meal. Together, they run $ 129.98, putting your bill at  $ 10.83 per person.

The meal includes:

  • Two slow-roasted turkey breasts
  • Bread-and-celery dressing
  • Homestyle mashed potatoes with gravy
  • Buttered sweet corn
  • Green beans with ham
  • Cranberry relish
  • Dinner rolls
  • Two pumpkin pies
  • One loaf of pumpkin bread

You can also opt for the Premium Farmhouse Feast which feeds 10 people for $ 114.99, or $ 11.50 per person, and includes:

  • Slow-roasted turkey breast
  • Hickory-smoked ham
  • Bread-and-celery dressing
  • Homestyle mashed potatoes with gravy
  • Buttered sweet corn
  • Green beans with ham
  • Cranberry relish
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Dinner rolls
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Double-crust apple pie

The meals are packed cold, but heating instructions are included.

7. Hy-Vee

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Midwest where you can shop at Hy-Vee, you have a great holiday meal option with its family feast turkey dinner. Those outside the Midwest don’t know what they’re missing from this Iowa-based grocery store chain.

The price for up to 12 people is $ 129.99, which comes out to $ 10.83 per person.

The meal includes:

  • One 14- to 16-pound Butterball turkey
  • 48 ounces of turkey gravy
  • Two large sides of mashed potatoes
  • Four large sides of your choice (including dessert)
  • 24 dinner rolls

This is a no-frills, basic Thanksgiving meal, but there’s plenty of it! How much is 48 ounces of gravy, you ask? That’s 6 cups of savory delight, plus over one pound of turkey, per stomach. Perfect for bulking up for a hard, Midwestern winter. The instructions say to plan for 2 1/2 hours to reheat the meal.

8. Whole Foods Market

Tanksgiving meal from Whole Foods.

OK, you’re ready to pull out all the stops. “Go big or go home” is a great motto for this holiday. Whole Foods’ festive feast for 12 isn’t cheap, but it’ll blow the doors off your Thanksgiving — as well as your belt buckles and buttons.

The price for up to 12 people is $ 269.99, which comes out to $ 22.50 per person.

It includes:

  • One 14-pound classic roast turkey
  • One 7-pound spiral-cut ham with 8 oz. of maple-mustard glaze
  • 6 pounds of creamy mashed potatoes
  • 6 pounds of traditional herb stuffing
  • 3 pounds of green beans with crispy garlic and parsley
  • 4 pounds of roasted butternut squash with cranberries and sage
  • 4 pounds of creamed spinach and kale
  • 48 ounces of holiday turkey gravy
  • 32 ounces of cranberry orange sauce
  • One pumpkin pie
  • One apple pie

Yeah, that’s a meal for 12 with 21 pounds of meat. All in all, it’s about 50 pounds of delicious food. That’s 4 pounds per guest. At $ 269.99, it’s a more expensive option, but you’re getting a lot of food for your buck. Plus, there are a few smaller holiday meal options.

Remember, holidays should be fun and relaxing, not tiring and taxing. Sometimes it pays to spend a little money to buy back your time.

So this Thanksgiving, why not order your Thanksgiving dinner to go so you can take a load off and let someone else do the cooking? Your football team needs your help cheering, and it’s hard to do that from the kitchen.

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.

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

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

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Trump administration courts investors in broad effort to combat rising health care costs

The Trump administration is battling rising health costs by going after higher prices.
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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

Facebook Live: What About Those Sky-High Air Ambulance Costs?

It’s bad enough that a patient has a health emergency so dire it requires a helicopter ride to make it to the hospital in time. But then comes the bill, which can approach six figures and for which insurance coverage is often spotty. In this Facebook Live discussion, Diane Webber, a senior editor at KHN who has coordinated coverage of the issue, talks with senior editor Stephanie Stapleton about the regulatory and market-based factors that contribute to these sky-high costs.

Here’s our coverage, done in partnership with NPR:

Kaiser Health News

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You Don’t Have To Be Scared of Halloween Costs With These Free Kids’ Events

Halloween doesn’t have to be a one-day celebration.

Let’s make the most of those kids’ costumes, shall we?

Several retail chains across the nation are hosting children’s events for the spookiest holiday of the year. They’re free entertainment for the little ones, which makes it a win-win for parents and kiddos alike.

1. Disney Store

Saturdays in October just got a lot more magical. The Disney Store will host its Haunted Halloween Party for kids 3 to 12. Partygoers will go home with free light-up Mickey Mouse pumpkin wristbands.

When: Oct. 20 and 27 at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Be sure to: Register in advance. Party attendance is limited to the first 20 children who RVSP for each time slot. Contact your local store to reserve your spot. Outlet locations won’t be hosting the Halloween events.

2. Bass Pro Shops

This outdoor recreation retailer will host eight days of free Halloween fun starting Oct. 20. Kids can create crafts, play games, walk in costume parades, take photos with the Peanuts gang and go trick-or-treating.

When: Oct. 20 and 21 from noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m., Oct. 27 and 28 from noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 29 and 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Be sure to: Read this post for details on the schedule of events.

3. Michaels

The arts and craft chain will host several Halloween-themed classes this month, but the real treats are the free events. Children have the chance to create gooey slime creations on Oct. 21 and 27. Also on Oct. 27, little crafters can make three holiday-themed art projects — plus get their faces painted.

When: Ultimate Slime Party Oct. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m., Monster Bash Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon and Monster Slime Party Oct. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Be sure to: Register in advance online or by contacting your local Michaels.

4. Target

Target — a favorite retailer of moms everywhere — will host a  “PAW Patrol”-themed Halloween event for kids to party with their favorite pups from Adventure Bay. Enjoy the festivities and stay for a screening of a special episode of the PAW Patrol TV show.

When: Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Be sure to: Bring your kid in costume for trick-or-treating. There will be other giveaways as long as supplies last.

5. Simon Malls and Premium Outlets

Trick-or-treating at a mall is like the G-rated, child-centric version of barhopping for adults — except with there is candy instead of beer and everything is free.

Simon Property Group owns over 200 malls and outlet shopping centers in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Several locations will host Halloween activities for kids this year.

Tyrone Square Mall, my local mall in St. Petersburg, Florida, will host crafts and treat-or-treating on Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. Some locations will celebrate prior to Halloween. For example, Norfolk Premium Outlets in Norfolk, Virginia, will host trick-or-treating on Oct. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m.

When: Dates and times vary by location.

Be sure to: Contact your nearest Simon property for details.

Bonus: PetSmart

Parents of four-legged fur babies can visit PetSmart Oct. 20 and 21 for the store’s “Who’s Your Boo?” costume parade and Halloween event.

The stores will give out free pet treats and coupons to help you save money during your visit. The first seven guests who arrive at the each location’s event will get a free pet collar safety light.

When: Oct 20 and 21 from noon to 3 p.m.

Be sure to: Dress up your pet for the chance to win a prize.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves discovering free kids’ events. Her daughter has gone trick-or-treating at Bass Pro Shops and Tyrone Square Mall.

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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Avoid Hidden Costs During A Window Replacement

Replacing multiple windows in your home is a worthwhile, but costly, investment. As you vet and select the best window contractor for your project, it is important to discuss your budget and potential factors that might affect the overall cost of your window replacement. To make sure your project is as affordable as possible, review these hidden costs ahead of your upcoming window replacement.

Old Window Disposal:

Ahead of your window installation, it is important to discuss how to best dispose of your old windows. While many window installers will clean up and discard the windows at no additional cost, some contractors do charge a fee for this service.

Check your estimate, and discuss disposal details as you vet contractors. The cost of transporting the leftover frames and dump fees for non-hazardous waste disposal can add an extra $ 40 or $ 50 to your budget.

Framing Changes:

Most new windows will easily slide into your existing window openings, making for a relatively simple replacement process. However, there are some situations —like uneven framing or rotting wood— that can cause pricey complications.

An existing frame will need to be rebuilt if:

  • There is uneven framing.
    • If your new windows won’t fit in the existing space, the frame may need to be rebuilt to accommodate the new windows.
  • There is rotting wood.
    • If you’ve had moisture damage from a recent storm, the water might leak into the wall. The original window will need to be removed in order the replace the damaged or rotted window.
    • This is more common in older homes. Homeowners may be unaware of this damage until after the window has been removed. In many cases with older homes, the wall structure may have broken seal damage, and not the window itself. This damage to the wall won’t be visible until the window is removed.
  • There is a fire code.
    • Homes older than 75 years old were likely not built to modern fire code standards. The International Residential Code dictates that windows must have a specific opening size (with a minimum of 24 inches height). If your home’s windows don’t adhere to these requirements, they will likely need to be enlarged to comply with these standards.

Rebuilding a window frame can cost an additional 50 percent on top of your current replacement costs. While rotted or severely damaged frames are usually a worst-case scenario, talk to your contractor about what damage they may encounter once the window installation is underway.

Window Delivery:

If you purchase your windows from a home improvement store and haul them home, you do not need to worry about a delivery charge. However, if you purchase your windows from a dealer or manufacturer, you may have a delivery fee.

Depending on your region and distance from the seller, the delivery fee can range anywhere from $ 50 to $ 400. If you are purchasing your windows through a dealer or contractor, discuss if your contractor will cover this fee. If not, discuss out how much it will cost, as it will be included in your estimate.

Permits:

In most cases, a home window replacement is a process between the homeowner and contractor. In some instances, a project may require a building permit before you can begin your project. A permit is required when a window opening is enlarged horizontally or when the wall structure is altered, as both of these changes can have safety repercussions.

An application must be submitted and a permit approved before any construction begins. While homeowners are responsible for acquiring permits, many contractors will take on the task. It is important to discuss any permit needs with your contractor, as the average cost of a building permit can run anywhere from $ 400 to $ 1600.

Lead Paint Test:

If your home was built before 1978, your walls are likely coated in lead-based paint. Undisturbed, lead-based paint does not pose many risks. However, renovations and repairs can create toxic lead dust. Paint lead and lead-contaminated dust are some of the leading causes of lead poisoning.

Windows carry a higher lead exposure risk due to their exposure to outside elements and paint friction. If you have an older home, you or your contractor will need to inspect your paint.

Testing for toxic lead typically costs between $ 200 and $ 400. You may need multiple tests. While homeowners can conduct a home inspection for an affordable price— if the test is positive, a lead risk assessor may need to examine the home and send dust samples to a laboratory for analysis.

If you have an older home, talk with your contractor about testing for lead-based paint and how it could impact the cost of your window replacement project.

Ready to find a trusted contractor for your window replacement? The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your window repair or replacement project is in good hands. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

The post Avoid Hidden Costs During A Window Replacement appeared first on Modernize.

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New Study Finds Health Care Costs Are Rising Almost Twice as Fast as Wages

If you’ve noticed an increasingly bigger chunk is coming out of your paycheck for medical premiums and deductibles, you’re not alone, according to a newly released survey.

In 2018, the cost of premiums has outpaced raises and inflation, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits Survey found.

The 20th annual survey looked at cost trends for the 152 million Americans who are covered by health insurance — almost half of the population.

Together, employers and employees now spend $ 19,616 annually on coverage per family, while single coverage costs $ 6,896, according to the foundation.

From 2006 to 2012, premiums rose 37%, while salaries increased only 18%.

Who’s Affected Most by Rising Health Care Costs?

“Rising health care costs absolutely remain a burden for employers, but they’re a bigger problem for workers as their cost sharing has been rising really much faster than their wages have been rising in recent years,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Average family premiums increased 5% in the past year, while singles paid 3% more. Meanwhile, wages outpaced inflation by just 0.1%, according to the report.

In general, employees at smaller companies shoulder a larger percentage of premiums and deductibles than their counterparts at bigger firms, Altman said. Average deductibles were $ 2,132 at small firms versus $ 1,355 at large employers (200 employees or more).

The cost paid for deductibles rose 212% over the past decade — eight times the growth of wages, he said.

On the upside for smaller firms, 27% of employees’ entire premium costs are employer-paid, versus 6% of employees at large companies, according to the report.

How Much Are We Paying for Health Care Each Year?

The average premium amount contributed by all workers is $ 1,186 for a single person and $ 5,547 for a family. Although that’s about the same as last year, the average amount for family coverage has increased 21% since 2013 and 65% since 2008, Kaiser found.

Most workers also are responsible for copayments when they go to a doctor’s appointment. The average is $ 25 for primary care and $ 40 for specialists, Kaiser calculated. Many workers also pay coinsurance of 18% of the covered amount of each visit, whether to a primary-care doctor or a specialist. (That was about the same as in 2017.)

Kaiser officials said employees should read their companies’ websites carefully to determine the most cost-effective option, although they acknowledge that the choices may not be plentiful.

“When you can, you should shop around,” Altman said.

Susan Jacobson is an editor for The Penny Hoarder. She also writes about health and wellness.

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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