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

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

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

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

Even 50 Cent has shoveled snow.

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

— 50cent (@50cent) December 27, 2010

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

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

How Did the Shovler App Get Started?

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

Plus: The pay ain’t too shabby.

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

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

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

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

How Much Money Can You Make Shoveling Snow?

Enter: Shovler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How You Can Sign Up For Shovler

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

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

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

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

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

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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Same Job for Many Years? These 5 Tips Will Help You Reinvent Yourself

After 10 years in human resources at a nonprofit, Laura Niebauer Palmer figured she wouldn’t have any problem finding a new HR job when she and her husband moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas.

Then she started reading the job postings — which asked for advanced training and experience with programs she didn’t use — and realized her old skills weren’t marketable for a new position.

“My heart sank,” the 38-year-old says. “I was like, “What am I going to do? How am I going to bridge this gap?’”

So how is it that 10 years of experience could become a detriment rather than a strength for a job candidate?

Many longtime workers are falling behind on the skills required in rapidly changing industries, according to Alvin Nesbot, the New York City market manager for Manpower.

“People who are just joining the job market — maybe within the past three to five years or so — are making moves a lot faster than people who have been working for 10-plus years,” Nesbot says. “There are those people who have worked a lot longer who have stayed in a lull and gotten stagnant.”

And it’s not just another co-worker who’ll offer the skills you’re lacking — at least, not a human one. It’s estimated that half of the work activities companies pay people to do could be automated by 2055, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.

If you’re worried your field is going the way of the dinosaur, here are some alternative jobs for dying industries. But what if you like your industry and just want to change jobs? Read on for strategies for making a change after years in the same gig.

How to Make a Career Change

Laura Niebauer works on her laptop while holding her infant son at home.

If you’re a bit unsure about what’s happening outside your cubicle walls, here are five strategies for avoiding — or escaping — a dead-end job.

1. Network for a Job

Leaving your comfort zone to network may seem intimidating, but it’s a great way to find out what is going on in your industry. It’s part of the reason it’s so important to maintain networking relationships even after you have found a job.

Being around your peers is not only helpful for finding contacts for the next job but also for discovering what credentials and terminology are becoming more prominent within your field, according to Palmer.

“You have like-minded people to bounce ideas off,” he says. “Also, it’s very eye-opening when you’re around a bunch of people and they’re having conversations about topics you don’t really know about or are using acronyms that you’re like, ‘Wait, what does that mean?’”

And if the thought of a networking event makes you break out in hives, try one-on-one networking with former colleagues, Palmer suggests.

“What I would have done differently is definitely caught up with people who had left the company,” he says. She adds that by asking about the transition to new roles, you’ll get a better idea of what technology and skills are in demand outside your office.

2. Update Your Resume

If your resume touts WordPerfect expertise and includes your AOL address, it’s probably time for a resume makeover. (Also, stop wearing that sundress over a T-shirt.)

Reading your resume with a critical eye is essential for identifying skills or programs that are no longer relevant for your position, according to Nesbot.

“What you were doing seven to 10 years ago is not going to be relevant or as important as what is going on today,” Nesbot says. “Are there things making [your resume] look dated?”

If it’s been a couple of presidential administrations since you last updated your resume, you may want to start fresh. (Here’s a guide to writing a professional-looking resume.)

But starting over doesn’t mean you have to forget your past experiences. Instead, take some time to compile a comprehensive list of training and accomplishments, Nesbot suggests.

“Sometimes we don’t look at our resumes in a while, and we realize there are things we’ve been doing that we haven’t highlighted,” Nesbot says. “Include any certifications or training that you’ve done to help set you apart from any other candidate.”

Once you have your list, compare it to current job postings and craft your resume so it includes recent credentials and popular terms within your industry.

“Make sure you have buzz words that are going to stand out to whoever is reading your resume,” Nesbot says.

3. Find a Mentor

Palmer holds her son in his nursery.

Once she got to Austin, Palmer ended up at a staffing agency looking for work. The agency placed her in a temporary three-month position to fill in for a woman on maternity leave.

Palmer used those months to take advantage of the in-house training department to connect with someone who could provide long-term career advice.

“The biggest part that helped me develop was the mentorship that I had with my boss,” she says. “I learned so much from her; my confidence rose 100%.

You can’t replicate that with a course.”

At the end of her temporary gig, the company offered Palmer a full-time position in the HR department.

4. Volunteer for Experience

Rather than repeating past mistakes, Palmer says, she took the opportunity at her new job to question what she really wanted in the next five or 10 years — and it turns out, it wasn’t HR.

After spending some time figuring out what she really wanted to do, Palmer decided than rather than pouring money into additional education, she’d offer to work for free in exchange for the experience she was lacking.

“I volunteered at two organizations, and one of them specifically was something that I wouldn’t have been able to land a job at because I had no experience,” Palmer says. “But when you say, ‘Hey, I can volunteer for this,’ then they’re like, ‘Great, we have somebody who has a lot of time and is really excited about this. We’ll put some training into them.’”

Thanks to that experience, Palmer was able to snag a part-time job at a small company, which allows her to spend time with her infant son as well as write articles sharing her expertise — including some for The Penny Hoarder.

5. Apply for Jobs Before You Need One

Even if you’re happy in your job right now, it doesn’t hurt to start investigating what’s out there.

After all, the best way to discover if you’re growing or stagnating in your career is to find out if someone will hire you — and there’s always a chance you’ll find your dream job in the process, Palmer points out.

Look at the jobs right now and actually apply to them and go through interviewing,” Palmer says. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that to see where your skills are — if they’re lining up with what is currently needed in the market.

“But you also might land a job that you didn’t even know you wanted.”

Why You’re Not Job Hunting

Laura Neibauer plays with her infant son in his nursery in Austin, TX.

Reevaluating your skills every few years takes some work, but the rewards are a more fulfilling career with greater chances for growth. Admittedly, that can be hard to do when you’re happy — or at least satisfied — with your current position.

Your salary and benefits might tempt you to stay put, but you’ll suffer in the long run if you’re too scared to change, according to Palmer. She notes part of the reason she stayed at her first job for so long was the generous paid time off and health care coverage.

“It’s hard because you’re trying to balance furthering yourself but also realizing if you further yourself, you’re taking a risk,” Palmer says. “ But if you’re looking to grow in your career… you need to challenge yourself.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer with The Penny Hoarder. She likes all kinds of change, but pennies are her favorite.

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

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

The Penny Hoarder

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This 30-Day Challenge Will Help Any Married Couple Conquer Their Money Woes

Congratulations! You’ve said your vows. You’ve thrown that bouquet (who knew Grandma could jump like that?). You’re even rocking a nice tan from your honeymoon.

Now married life really begins. Like it or not, your finances are a major factor in your marriage. According to Dave Ramsey, 86% of couples who got married in the last five years started out in debt.

It’s OK. Take a deep breath. We’ve put together a one-month challenge for married couples to get your finances in shape for your happily ever after.

Do you accept the challenge? If so, say, “I do” (again).

Day 1: Check Your Credit Scores

Your credit score is important, now more than ever. The better your score, the better deal you’ll get on a mortgage, rental deposit, car loan or credit card. If either you or your spouse has a less-than-ideal credit score, it’s time to start working on it.

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

Signing up for Credit Sesame will only take you a couple of minutes each, and it’ll even help you tackle any issues you see.

Day 2: Tackle Your Credit Card Debt

Sometimes “for better or for worse” includes taking on your spouse’s credit card or other high-interest debt. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, take those balances down in a smart way.

A good resource is consumer financial technology platform 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.

Day 3: Get Paid to Get Fit

Your honeymoon was full of buffets, decadent desserts and pina coladas. Totally worth it. Now it’s time to make up for those fun times.

There’s a cool company, HealthyWage, that will literally pay you for losing weight.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Read our full HealthyWage review, and sign up.
  2. Define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it.
  3. Place a bet on yourself ranging from $ 20 to $ 500 a month.

Depending on how much you have to lose, how long you give yourself to do it and how much money you put on the table, you could win up to $ 10,000!

Wondering if it can really work? We talked to one woman, Teresa Suarez, who lost 68 pounds — and made over $ 2,400.

The couple that gets fit together stays together, right?

Day 4: Budget Your Wedded Bliss

A budget is not fun, but you’ll be surprised at how freeing it can really be, especially for a married couple. You’ll know your limits and take the mystery out of your monthly spending.

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 it was your turn to do the dishes.

Day 5: Start Adulting With a Life Insurance Policy

When you’re married, you have someone else who counts on you. If you have a family, the last thing you want is to leave them without any financial support once you’re gone.

Getting a life insurance policy is a smart move — and it’s not as hard as it used to be.

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.

You don’t really want to think about “‘til death do us part,” but it’s a conversation you need to have. You’ve got this!

Days 6 and 7: It’s the Weekend! Find Free Stuff in Your City

What? You thought we’d make you work every day? Good marriages need room for quality time to have fun together, too, right? Just don’t spend a lot of money doing it.

From museums to community movie nights, there’s most likely a rich menu of 100% free things to do wherever you are!

Check your local newspaper or city website, and see what you can get into — without paying a dime.

Day 8: Find out If You’re a Power Couple

How do you compare to your peers? Are you the neighborhood’s power couple, or are you barely keeping up with the Joneses? It’s time to find out.

Status Money is an app that allows you to anonymously compare your financial situation with your peers without asking those awkward, prying questions. Link an account to tap into this database and you’ll be able to compare your income, debt, interest rates, credit score, spending… you name it.

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

Day 9: Wash Your Car, and Clean up Your Car Insurance Bill

You each have a vehicle. One took you on your first date. The other was topped with streamers and balloons on your wedding day. Now it’s time to give them both a good wash — and then clean up your insurance bills.

Yes. There’s no getting around car insurance, unfortunately. But one way you could save money is by shopping around and comparing rates at least once a year. So, just like you compare the prices of flights, shoes and laptops before purchasing, why not compare car insurance?

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

Day 10: Make a Shopping List — and Get Paid

You probably shopped online before you were married. You won’t likely stop now, right? But now it’s even more important to save money where you can.

One of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart.

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

Day 11: Stock the Fridge and Pantry With Savings

They say that 90% of marriage is asking “What should we have for dinner?” That number may actually be a bit low.

One of the best ways to avoid this trap is to get ahead of it. If you plan your meals for the week and shop accordingly, you’ll be all set. You know what makes your meals taste even better than butter or salt? Savings.

Believe it or not, Ibotta will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

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 earn cash back.

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

Pre-planned dinner plus a pay day? That’s romance, right there!

Day 12: Put the Gold in Your ‘Golden Years’

When you said “I do,” you made a promise to make a future together. That future will look a lot better if you plan for your retirement right now.

If you’re like most people, you have no idea whether your 401(k) is on pace for retirement or just sputtering along.

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

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

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

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

Days 13 and 14: It’s The Weekend! Relax, and Grab a Glass of Wine

You’ve made great strides! Hey, marriage isn’t all work. Give yourself a break today. You’ve earned it.

Tonight, kick back, relax and enjoy each other’s company with a glass of wine. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard and spend a bundle on that bottle. Find a great bottle of wine for under $ 20, and toast to your financial progress.  

Day 15: Clear Your Clutter

Wow. Now that there are two of you, all of your stuff really adds up, doesn’t it? It’s not just the things you have two of, like ironing boards and disco balls; it’s clothes, shoes and furniture.

Set up shop, and make some extra money from the stuff you don’t need (and probably don’t have room for anymore).

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This intuitive 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.

Marriage tip: Only sell your stuff. Posting your spouse’s items is a one-way ticket to the dog house.

Day 16: Feel the Thrill With a Free Lottery

There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.

Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $ 1 to $ 10,000. You can also earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more.

You can even compete with your spouse. Who can win more tonight?

Day 17: Relax, and Watch a Good Show

OK, you’re ready for a little snuggle time. That’s fair.

Tonight, pop some popcorn, pour a cool beverage and plop down on that loveseat. But instead of watching a movie, earn some money by watching movie previews or other short videos.

InboxDollars lets you actually get paid to watch TV online. The site hosts a ton of stuff to watch, including cooking, entertainment, news and health shows. The shows are sponsored by brands that need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

Every time you watch one, InboxDollars will credit your account with a little bit of cash.

Day 18: Get Money for Past Purchases

What couple couldn’t use a little extra money? Here’s an easy way to see whether you could get money back on purchases you’ve already made.

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

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.

Day 19: Protect Your Nest Without Robbing Your Nest Egg

If you own a car, you know that you need to protect it (and yourself) with insurance. But did you really check out your options? You could be paying too much for your coverage. Shopping around for insurance can be time consuming, though.

Fortunately, 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.

Once you link your insurance account to Gabi, it will:

  • Scan your existing insurance plan.
  • Analyze what coverage you have.
  • Compare the major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Help you switch on the spot if it finds you a better rate.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $ 720 per year for its customers.

It is a true apples-to-apples comparison at the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Once you sign up, you never have to shop again. Gabi’s software has your policy on file and keeps on monitoring for savings as your life changes.

Day 20 and 21: It’s the Weekend! Enjoy Free Stuff at Your Gym or Apartment Complex

If you have a gym membership or a fitness lounge at your apartment complex, you might be missing out on lots of luxurious freebies.

Think tanning beds, massage chairs or complimentary personal training sessions.

Get down there, and treat yourself!

Day 22: Take the First Baby Steps to Investing

Marriage makes you think about the future. A lot. A big part of preparing for your financial future is investing. Now that you’ve invested in that ring, it’s time to go further.

Consider starting an investment account through Acorns.

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

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

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

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

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

Day 23: Optimize Your Credit Card Rewards

So you want a credit card, but there are too many to choose from. What to do?

Should you leaf through your junk mail and just accept one of those credit card offers that show up in your mailbox? That would be quick and easy, right?

No, no, a thousand times no! Don’t do that. That’s a good way to end up unhappily shackled to a credit card that’s all wrong for you.

At least one in five cardholders are carrying around a credit card whose fees and rewards don’t match their actual spending habits, according to a 2016 study from J.D. Power.

To help you avoid becoming a statistic, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about credit cards — including how to pick the one that’s right for you.

Day 24: Focus on Some Extra Cash

You and your spouse take the most awesome pics, right? If you have a smartphone and a photographic eye, making money might have just gotten a lot easier.

An app called Foap lets you turn your smartphone photos into cash.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the free app and create an account.
  2. Take a quality photo and upload it to Foap’s marketplace.
  3. Someone buys the license to your photo for $ 10. You make $ 5.

If your photo sells 20 times, you make $ 5 each time and end up with $ 100 in your pocket — all for about five minutes of work and probably a nice stroll in the park with your spouse. Pretty cool, right?

Day 25: Put Your Bills on a Diet

Good news: As a married couple, you’ll share bills. Bad news: They’re still bills.

The price of internet — and cable, if you’re still into that kind of thing — certainly isn’t decreasing. If anything, prices are steadily climbing.

And if you’ve had to chat with a representative from your internet/cable company recently, you know how long you can sit on hold.

That’s why it’s time to call in a robot. The negotiation bot Trim will negotiate your cable or internet bills down for you.

It works with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and other major providers.

You can sign up simply with Facebook or your email address. Then, upload a PDF of your most recent bill, and Trim’s AI-powered system gets to work. If at first it doesn’t succeed, it’ll keep negotiating until it can save you some money.

Also, if you have any outages, Trim believes you deserve a credit, and it’ll handle that for you. Trim takes 25% of the savings tab, and you get the rest.

26: Go Window Shopping, and Earn Gift Cards

No extreme physical activity or pulled muscles required for this money-making trick that’s fun for couples. All you need to do is download the Shopkick app.

Once you sign up, the app pays you in “kicks” for walking into certain stores (including Walmart, Target, TJMaxx and more). You can redeem them for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora and Best Buy.

It pays you even more kicks for photos of receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in-store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases. You don’t have to do anything; your linked cards will automatically apply your kicks.

But don’t make the mistake of buying things you don’t need just for kicks, you know better than that.

Once you’ve earned your gift cards, you can enjoy them with a little quality time together.

Day 27 and 28: It’s the Weekend! Go to a Park

When’s the last time you went to the public park in your area?

You might be able to walk nature trails, goof around on a swing set, or just sit and watch the leaves fall. Take the time to simply be together and enjoy nature. It’s relaxing and relationship-building.

Day 29: Plan for a Bad Day. Seriously.

Few things stress marital bonds like sudden financial drama. A car breaks down. Someone breaks a toe, and medical bills pile up. The roof starts to leak.

The simplest way to avoid letting life’s little mishaps turn into financial disasters is to start an emergency fund. It’s simply a bank account with enough money to get you through a minor emergency or surprise bill.

But if you’re going to save, you might as well make some interest on that money, right?

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 30 times — repeat, 30 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

Day 30: Play the Slots — and Earn More Interest Than at Your Bank

It’s Day 30!! Go ahead; relax, and play some games. But you’re not done helping your finances just yet.

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

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

Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 coins, so you can start playing while you wait for payday. If you sign up before Nov. 30, 2018 and enter the code PENNY5, you’ll also get a bonus $ 5 in your account!

You Did It!

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? When you start thinking long-term, you need to think about your finances. When you bring someone else into the picture, it becomes even more important.

Tackling a few of these items can help set you up for a much better financial future. That’s worth a month’s work, right?

Now… let’s talk about having kids.

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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5 adult summer camps that will help you feel like a kid again

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 Most people are certainly fine with aging and the idea that whether we like it or not, we are getting old, or older. However, others simply refuse to accept the fact that those good ol’ days when they were young and careless are nothing but a distant memory. As we get older, especially when we start having our own kids, there’s a growing need and wish to stick to our younger-self version as tight as possible. Perhaps we want to feel and seem young in our kids’ eyes, or maybe we just want to go back to those kid-free days and the only way to do so is to live vicariously through our own flesh and blood. Nothing screams childhood more than summer camp, but as we get older, let’s just say that our summer plans are becoming more and more, well, lame.

Good thing adult summer camps have become more and more common. Anyone who used to go to those kinds of camps as a kid knows there’s nothing more fun than doing all these fun activities and not having one care in the world. Grown-up summer camps have become a trend in recent years and they include all the perks of a summer camp, only with a few mature twists like yoga classes, happy hours and the most important thing, there’s no curfew. We’ve rounded up five camps that will help you relive those childhood memories. It’s time to unleash your inner kid and head to an adult summer camp this summer.

Camp No Counselors

Just as the name suggests, this all-inclusive site that already has more than 15 locations around the world, is everything you can expect from an adult summer camp, and more. Once you arrive, you will get your room key where you get to sleep on bunk beds as well as your t-shirt. All of your favorite childhood games will be accompanied with a beer in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Water games, talent shows and themed night parties are all part of the itinerary, oh and the open-bar of course.

Camp Bonfire

It’s time to make new friends and there’s no better place to do so than at Camp Bonfire. Sure, the name might sound a bit cheesy, but trust us, there’s nothing cheesy about the place. It’s all about the idea of making new connections while sitting by the fire and watching the lake with a beer in your hand. Settled in the Poconos Mountains, Camp Bonfire will allow you to be on your own schedule where you can mix and match the times of the activities.

Camp Grounded

In the technological world we live in, there’s no doubt that we all need a break from our phones and laptops from time to time just to relax in the most natural way possible. During your four-day stay, you get to choose from 25 different sessions. It’s a real digital-detox in every sense of the word. No screens, no technology, no talking about what you do for a living and no agenda really. It’s an opportunity for you to unplug, literally, connect with yourself again and experience the real camp life, like they used in the old days.

Soul Camp

Speaking of unplugging and relaxing, Soul Camp is the place for you low-key adventurers. If you can’t enjoy even five minutes of quiet time or a long and relaxing bath, then this place is probably not for you. But if you need have some soul searching to do and love to listen to inspirational talkers and meditate, then you need to book your spot at Soul Camp asap. Making dream catchers and doing yoga for instance, is part of the curriculum.

Camp Throwback

Not sure if this camp was founded before or after the famous social media hashtag was alive, but the only difference between this camp and the one you remember from when you were a kid is the booze factor. Settled in Ohio, this adult camp includes all the classics. From bonfires and sticky marshmallows to team effort activities. Do you feel like a kiddo yet?

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‘Teach Flu A Lesson’ Strives to Help Kids Stay Healthy This Season

No one wants to be sick, especially during the holidays, which is why it is especially important school-aged children get the annual flu vaccine this fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu is the leading cause of illness, and last year’s flu season was the deadliest in more than a decade. Young children are especially at risk. The flu spreads quickly in tight quarters such as elementary school classrooms, and children’s developing immune systems may be more susceptible to colds and flu. Children who live in low-income communities may be at even greater risk because their access to health care and preventive vaccines is often limited.

Thanks to the voluntary Teach Flu a Lesson program, thousands of underserved students throughout Southern California can receive increased protection against the influenza virus this season at no charge. The innovative partnership among Kaiser Permanente, the California Department of Public Health, 10 school districts, and 11 nursing schools is making more than 8,000 flu vaccines available at school-based vaccination clinics.

By providing the vaccine to communities with below-average vaccination rates, Teach Flu a Lesson helps ensure the most vulnerable communities can reduce their risk for infection and enjoy better health this winter.

“This program is so important — it is not only about protecting the individual child, but also protecting the school from a larger outbreak, and protecting the student’s family, including younger siblings,” said Margaret Khoury, MD, pediatric infectious disease specialist and regional lead of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Flu Vaccination Program.

“Reaching out to the community and making protection available to children every flu season is the way to go,” Dr Khoury said. “Removing obstacles to getting the flu shot is the key to our success and what makes this program a model.”

Bradley Jacoby, DO and Riverside Community College nursing students.

Bradley Jacoby, DO, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (bear costume), and Riverside Community College nursing students partner for the Teach Flu a Lesson program.

This year, Teach Flu a Lesson is expected to be especially successful because of the return of FluMist, the nasal spray vaccine option. Working with the California Department of Public Health, Kaiser Permanente is making both FluMist and the standard flu shot available to young students with their parent’s or guardian’s permission. Kaiser Permanente also helped to secure assistance from local nursing schools, whose nursing students are administering the vaccines.

“The FluMist is great,” said Kevin Moore, practice specialist at Kaiser Permanente, who helps lead the Teach Flu a Lesson program with Lisa Buffong, associate medical group administrator. “It is quick to administer and less traumatic for students compared to a shot, and we know it is just as effective.”

This year, 112 Southern California schools are hosting the vaccination clinics. Participating school districts include:

  • Antelope Valley: Lancaster
  • Los Angeles County: Baldwin Park and El Rancho
  • Orange County: Anaheim, Buena Park, Santa Ana, and Savana
  • Riverside County: Riverside
  • San Bernardino County: Yucaipa
  • South Bay: Torrance

“Every year, many students miss important instructional time in the classroom because they are home sick with the flu,” said Christopher Downing, superintendent, Anaheim Elementary School District. “The value of the Teach Flu a Lesson is that it helps lower this public health barrier and ensures access to a flu shot for all of our students.”

Now in its sixth year, Teach Flu a Lesson began at schools in early October and will continue through mid-December.

“As we head into the holiday season, the key to staying healthy for children is getting the vaccine, combined with handwashing, and of course healthy eating and sleep,” said Dr. Khoury. “That’s the recipe for wellness.”

To learn more about Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s work in the community, please visit http://community.kp.org.

The post ‘Teach Flu A Lesson’ Strives to Help Kids Stay Healthy This Season appeared first on Kaiser Permanente.

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Hypnotherapy: can it really help you drink in moderation?

Shots and shiraz may have fuelled her twenties, but now Nicola Moyne is on a quest to banish the booze. Here, she discovers if the power of hypnosis is more potent than the festive pull of pinot

hypnotherapy

As a child of the 80s, my teenage years were a blur of WKD Blues and garage music. A minimum of four nights a week were spent in small-town bars or kaleidoscopic-lit clubs, swigging alcopops and cheap, vinegary wine to the dance-floor beats of Artful Dodger and Bobby Brown. Regular blackouts prevented me (sometimes thankfully) from remembering the night before and no matter how many times I staggered or slurred, I always wanted ‘one more glass’.

Fast-forward to my mid-thirties and drinking had become, not unsurprisingly, a habitual nightly routine. One large glass of red with dinner had slowly morphed into two. Soon enough I was able to quaff an entire bottle, and decanting Tesco’s finest Malbec (my middle-class poison of choice) on a Monday evening had become as natural as brushing my teeth in the morning – as had sleepwalking my way through the following day in a foggy, hungover haze.

Then there were ‘the incidents’: the nights out where I drank myself into oblivion with other hard-drinking friends and had to be helped home by kind strangers on the train. Invariably, I remembered nothing from the evening past my third glass, but I always woke fully clothed, feeling ashamed, anxious and demonstrably sick. Some mornings I realised that I had fallen and cut my knee/chin/elbow; others that I no longer had my purse/phone/coat. I tried drinking gin instead, but it turns out that’s addictive too. Something had to give.

It proved a timely decision: last month, a report published by the World Health Organization found 13.5 per cent of all deaths among people in their twenties are linked to alcohol. Similarly, a recent study by the Global Burden of Diseases has concluded that ‘the safest level of drinking is none.’

But the thought of never drinking again, of forgoing a flute of champagne to celebrate a birthday or having a glass of full-bodied red with friends over Sunday lunch once every so often didn’t feel right either. I wanted the holy grail: I wanted to be able to control how much and where and when I drank; I wanted to achieve moderation.

‘Unlike a lot of other therapies that tend to rake up the past, hypnotherapy provide a tool for positive change’

I turned to Ailsa Frank. A leading UK-based hypnotherapist and motivational coach with a proven track record in addressing the nation’s drinking problem, Ailsa has helped thousands of people to quit or drastically reduce their alcohol intake through the tool of hypnosis. More than 70 per cent of her clients initially seek help for alcohol-related problems and over the past 13 years, she has rolled out an increasing number of hypnotherapy workshops, one-to-one phone sessions and audio downloads to meet the growing demand. There’s also her book, Cut The Crap And Feel Amazing, which, rather incredibly, Ailsa wrote in just 10 weeks.

‘I used the power of self-hypnosis to write that,’ she laughs. ‘I literally told myself that I could do it; that I was doing; that it was done,’ and, day-by-day, I ploughed through the pages. Your mind is incredibly powerful and, unlike a lot of other therapies that just tend to rake up the past, hypnotherapy provides a real tool for positive change.’

So how does it work? ‘Memories, habits and patterns are stored in the subconscious part of your brain, so when you learn a habit – like tying your shoelaces when you’re a child – it becomes automatic. Learning to drink alcohol in a certain way is exactly the same thing, and it will become a deeply ingrained, automatic habit that’s hard to shift.’

In my first phone session with Ailsa, we spend 30 minutes discussing my life generally. Am I stressed at work? (Not particularly.) What hobbies do I have? (Too many to list here.) How often do I drink? (Usually every day.) Why do I want to stop? (To escape increasingly horrific hangovers, focus on my health and generally grow up a bit). Then we get down to business.

I’m asked to lie on my bed or sofa and switch my phone to loudspeaker or plug in headphones. I opt for the latter options and listen intently to Ailsa’s soothing voice, which instructs me to rub my arms from shoulder to elbow and fix my eyes on a comfortable spot on the ceiling. I’m then instructed to close my eyes and start counting backwards silently to myself as Ailsa starts the hypnosis part of the session. I’m vaguely aware of experiencing rapid eye movement as she asks me to visualise myself walking down a set of stairs and out on to a beautiful garden, where there’s a shimmering pond and stepping-stones bathed in different colours that lead to a winding road, presumably symbolising my life.

From here though, the details become a little fuzzy. I’m asked to visualise my worries as pebbles that I let go of by dropping into the pond; to see myself as a child in the garden, confident, playful, cared for; and to imagine doors to new opportunities opening up along the winding road to sobriety.

I’m not asleep – in fact I’m very aware of Ailsa’s voice throughout and what she asking me to visualise – but I am incredibly relaxed. I’m asked to convey what I’m thinking or feeling and we communicate on and off throughout the hour-long session. Afterwards, however, the details of what she has said to me are vague. I remember stepping-stones and roads and seeing a happy five-year-old version of myself, but nothing much in between.

‘If your conscious and subconscious minds don’t match, you won’t truly break the habit’

‘We are in a state of hypnosis at some point most days,’ Ailsa explains. ‘For instance, when you drive somewhere but can’t remember the journey itself or how you got there, or when you have absolutely no idea what junction you’re at – that’s because your brain has entered a hypnotic state.

‘Hypnotherapy is just a relaxation tool that allows you to access a memory bank – the part of your brain that stores habits – so that you can break them and build new ones. It is a way to clear up the deeper parts of your mind so that you can perform at your very best,’ she says.

Over the course of six weeks, I have two more one-to-one phone sessions with Ailsa, lasting 45-60 minutes each and listen to a 10-minute relaxation recording before bedtime each night. I even cajole my partner, Richard, into having two sessions with Ailsa to get us both on the same sobering page and break habitual evening drinking together (basically, I figure there’s safety in numbers).

drink in moderation

Initially, I’m skeptical about the feasibility of drinking in moderation. Going teetotal, I get: you’re eradicating temptation by taking yourself out of the game. But being able – let alone wanting – to drink just one glass of wine seems completely alien to me.

‘My clients tell me it’s the same feeling as having too many cups of tea – when you’re offered another one, you simply say you don’t fancy it because you genuinely don’t,’ Ailsa says, reassuringly.

Sure enough, after session one the mid-week drinking stops immediately. We’d both been trying to cut down on drinking alcohol after work prior to the sessions, but after having hypnotherapy, neither of us has to battle with ourselves as we pass the alcohol aisle in the supermarket.

‘Where hypnotherapy differs to will power is that it alters not only your conscious mind, but your subconscious too,’ Ailsa explains. ‘That’s why people who complete Dry January often struggle to keep up good habits once February rolls round – they may have altered their conscious mind, but they haven’t reframed their relationship with alcohol in the subconscious part of the brain – and if your conscious and subconscious minds don’t match, you won’t truly break the habit.’

I start to notice other small shifts. For instance, I start buying sparkling water and filling my usual wine glass with it of an evening to relax. It feels just the same as drinking wine, minus the fuzzy head and rambling conversations over dinner. I also start running more regularly and practicing yoga twice a week – a goal I’d worked towards for at least a year but never quite managed. I start eating healthier lunches and dinners, and getting up earlier, feeling refreshed and energised rather than shattered and slightly depressed. The change is noticeable and quite remarkable.

‘People forget just how good they feel when they don’t drink on a regular basis. If you have a daily drinking habit, you’re essentially always playing catch-up with yourself, which becomes exhausting and can have a huge detrimental effect on your career and relationships,’ Ailsa says.

However, the true test comes just after my third and final session: I’m going on a girl’s weekend. With my hard-drinking friends. To an undisclosed location. I start to panic that my new, wholesome habit of drinking very little and only in social situations when and if I fancy it, is going to come crashing down around my smug sober self faster than you can pour a glass of pinot.

Incredibly, though, it doesn’t happen. Not at the airport when everyone is joyously quaffing prosecco; not on the plane when everyone orders a cheeky bottle of Merlot; not even on the ‘big night out’ when the girls are merrily clinking their goblets of aperol spritz. And not because I’m forcing myself to stay off the booze or morosely sipping my one glass of shiraz while the rest of the revelers party up a storm, but because I’m genuinely having a great time without it. I feel happy, confident and completely content to just have the one, or even – shock, horror – none.

‘My once-toxic relationship with alcohol has gone through an unequivocal break-up’

I enjoy sipping a lovely glass of locally produced valpolicella with dinner each evening, and order a deliciously sharp gin cocktail at a swanky underground bar. But it’s clear that my once-toxic relationship with alcohol has gone through an unequivocal break-up.

Where once I would have ordered three large glasses of anything, now I savour a few sips of a good-quality red and want nothing more. I feel full and in control; like I’m sat at a table heaving with amazing food, but I’m completely content after a few delicious mouthfuls, favouring the sparkling water I now instinctively order instead. What’s more, I go for a morning run. Twice. On holiday.

Feeling refreshed and thrilled that I’ve finally mastered the art of drinking in moderation, I return to the UK half expecting my partner Richard to have cracked open a few beers while I’ve been away. ‘Beer?’ he says, slightly confused when I ask how he got on without me. ‘I was out sailing all weekend – I didn’t even have time to think about drinking,’ he admits.

Which pretty much sums up what Ailsa is trying to achieve with each and every one of her clients. ‘Life will always be a roller coaster – we all experience loss and stress, which is why so many people lose themselves in drinking at some point – but if we actively reframe our thoughts to look for the amazing, for the positives, we can create a happy, fulfilled, more balanced life; one where we always live in the best moment and enjoy passing through.’ That’s something I think we can all cheers to. Just make mine a sparkling water…

 

‘Take Control Of Alcohol’ and ‘Stop Binge Drinking For Women’ hypnosis downloads by Ailsa Frank are available at Ailsafrank.com at £14.99; Cut The Crap And Feel Amazing by Ailsa Frank (£10.99, Hay House) is a dip-in, no-nonsense guide to shedding habits that are holding you back. Utilising the power of positive thinking and self-hypnosis, the book delivers actionable tips on how to reframe your thoughts on everything from alcohol reduction and clearing debts to dealing with heartache and health. For one-to-one hypnotherapy phone sessions (£150 each; 2-4 required) contact Ailsa Frank via her website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Hypnotherapy: can it really help you drink in moderation? appeared first on Marie Claire.

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The US Army is forming a ‘Fortnite’ team to help with recruitment

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The United States Army is in a bind. It failed to meet its recruitment goal this year, so it’s looking for other, newer ways to drum up interest with today’s youth.

The Army has decided to get into esports.

In an attempt to appeal to today’s youth, the Army is putting together teams to compete in esports and competitive games like Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, Madden, and Call of Duty, according to independent American military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

Stars and Stripes reports that the Army is interested in having soldiers represent the branch of the U.S. military in competitions, tournaments, and other such events as a way to get the Army brand out there and connect with young players who may be interested and eligible to join the military. Read more…

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This FTC Lawsuit Could Help Protect You from Health Insurance Scammers

A new lawsuit accuses a Florida-based company of misleading tens of thousands of customers nationwide into thinking they were buying health insurance, leaving the customers on their own to pay sizable medical bills.

The suit was filed against six corporations operating out of the same Hollywood, Florida, address and Steven J. Dorfman, who owned or was affiliated with all of them.

“Defendants prey on consumers who are seeking comprehensive health insurance,” the Federal Trade Commission wrote in the suit.

One woman received $ 61,000 in hospital bills she was assured her policy would pick up, but not a dime was covered, the Federal Trade Commission alleges.

Simple Health Plans — which operated under a dozen other names — and several other companies were shut down temporarily by a federal judge in South Florida last week after being sued by the commission.

Dorfman’s attorney, Ryan O’Quinn, told the Miami Herald that Dorfman “vigorously denies” the allegations and “looks forward to having an opportunity to defend himself in the appropriate forum.”

How the Alleged Health Insurance Scam Works

The Federal Trade Commission alleges that Simple Health Plans and its affiliates accepted premiums of as much as $ 500 per month, plus a one-time enrollment fee of up to $ 175, for sham insurance coverage. The companies have taken in more than $ 100 million in the past three years, according to the suit.

The commission is asking a judge for a temporary restraining order that would permit a receiver to seize assets the government believes were bought using corporate funds. They include more than $ 1.1 million in luxury jewelry-store purchases and three cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars combined.

Simple Health Plans marketed a product it claimed was a PPO (preferred provider organization), deceiving consumers into believing that their plans covered pre-existing conditions as required by the Affordable Care Act, the government alleges. PPOs are health insurance plans that contract with medical professionals to provide care to policyholders at a reduced rate.

In fact, the products sold through Simple Health Plans were not health insurance, but medical discount or wellness program memberships or limited benefit plans — also known as limited benefit indemnity plans — that don’t cover pre-existing conditions or prescription drugs, the Federal Trade Commission says.

A typical plan paid for a maximum of three annual doctor visits at $ 50 each and a maximum of $ 100 a day for a hospital stay — both a fraction of the real cost. A telemarketer told an undercover investigator that he would pay between $ 4 and $ 12 for a diabetes drug that actually would have cost between $ 850 and $ 900, court documents show.

When customers agreed to sign up, they were transferred from a telemarketer to another employee for a “verification process” and pressured to commit even if they didn’t understand contract language that was read or sent to them by email or text, the lawsuit alleges.

“There is a vast difference between what Defendants promise consumers and what consumers actually get,” according to the suit.

Health Benefits One, Health Center Management, Innovative Customer Care, Simple Insurance Leads and Senior Benefits One also are named in the complaint, filed Oct. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

How to Avoid Falling for Health Insurance Scams

So, how can you protect yourself?

The Federal Trade Commission has advice for spotting a host of health care scams — including medical discount scams, phony insurance agents, con artists who insist you must divulge personal information to get a new Medicare or other health insurance ID card and fraudsters who offer to help you shop for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

If you suspect a health-insurance scam, call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or email the agency.

Shop directly in the Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage under the Affordable Care Act or see The Penny Hoarder guide on how to enroll.

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

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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Influencers Help Change the World’s View of Haiti

Wanda Tima didn’t feel proud of her Haitian heritage as a child. “I grew up always hearing nothing but bad things about Haiti,” she told Black Enterprise. Born to Haitian parents in Turks and Caicos, the 35-year-old entrepreneur moved to a community in South Florida in the early 90’s where Haitians were stigmatized. “Kids were being told that Haitians eat cats and all Haitians have AIDs,” she said. In addition to the taunts and scorn, Haitian students were subjected to physical bullying and violence. “I watched Haitians get beat up on the school bus and there would be a lot of gang-related fights all the time with Haitians versus Jamaicans [and] Haitians versus everybody [else]. It was so uncool to be Haitian.”

Finding Her Roots

Wanda Tima

Wanda Tima, founder of L’union Suite (Instagram)

It took years before Tima fully embraced her lineage, which was triggered when she had an identity crisis as a young adult. At the time, she felt disconnected from her Haitian peers and detached from the culture at large. “You have a generation of kids, like myself, [who] were only Haitian by name,” she said. “My mom wasn’t speaking Creole to us at home and we weren’t listening to Haitian music. There wasn’t any Haitian culture in my house.” As a result, “I never really understood where I fit in.”

It wasn’t until she graduated from Bethune-Cookman University, an HBCU in Daytona, Florida, that she realized she couldn’t plan for her future without first connecting with her roots.

“There was a missing piece that I didn’t have any information on,” she said. “I was going through a phase of trying to learn more about Haiti and the culture.”

Her parents, however, discouraged her from exploring her ethnic background or visiting Haiti, so she started researching the country on the web, which led her down a rabbit hole of depressing news. Rather than becoming discouraged, Tima became determined to change the narrative. In 2011, she created L’union Suite, a digital platform that highlights positive news about Haiti and Haitians around the diaspora. Today, it’s one of the most popular websites for Haitian-American lifestyle, tourism, culture, and entertainment news, reaching tens of thousands of readers on a monthly basis, plus millions more on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Hait

Karen Civil and Wanda Tima circa 2017

To further empower people of Haitian descent, Tima launched a business directory called Haitian Professionals in 2015, that helps entrepreneurs gain business and exposure. In addition, she works closely with Karen Civil, a Haitian-American influencer and marketing strategist, to hosts charity events and raise money to support different projects in Haiti like a computer lab in a school in Cap-Haitian, Haiti’s second largest city.

The Beauty of Haiti

Haiti

Steph Lecor with students from the Institut Sacré-Coeur du Cap-Haïtien (Photo credit: Rosslin Mozart Louis)

In October, Tima celebrated the seven-year anniversary of L’union Suite by inviting a group of U.S.-based millennial women entrepreneurs, artists, influencers, and members of the press to Cap-Haitien. The goal was to expose the world to the beauty that lies beyond the protests, violence, and natural disasters that are frequently reported through American news outlets. Despite the negative depictions of the nation, “Haiti is no different than most other Caribbean countries,” said Tima. “Yes, there’s poverty; yes, there’s a lot of help that’s needed; yes, the government has a lot of issues; but, at the same time…there are beautiful parts of the country.”

During the trip, the influencers — which included singer Dawn Richards; BET correspondent Amanda BoozMecca Moore, the owner and publisher of THINK PYNK and PYNK Branded LLC; singer and reality TV star Azia Toussaint; recording artist Steph Lecor; actress and entrepreneur Shelah Marie RhoulhacSandy Pierre, a marketing specialist at Hearst Integrated Media; and this reporter — shared their experiences with their massive collection of Instagram followers. The four-day trip included a visit to a local school and a tour of the Sans-Souci Palace, an ancient royal ruin built in 1813, that was named after Jean-Baptiste Sans Souci, an African-born slave who helped lead the Haitian Revolution. The women also spent a day on Amiga Island, a stunning beach destination in Labadee, where local fishermen caught and grilled red snapper, crabs, and a Creole conch dish known as lambi. They also dined at popular Haitian restaurants like Lakay and Lolo and stayed at the luxurious Satama Hotel, which sits at the top of a mountain overlooking Northern Haiti.

Haiti

The Sans-Souci Palace in the town of Milot (Photo credit: Rosslin Mozart Louis courtesy of L’union Suite)

Richard, an independent recording artist formerly signed to Bad Boy Records, was in the middle of a tour with her singing group, Danity Kane, when she received Tima’s invite to travel to Haiti. Honored by the invitation, the New Orleans native immediately cleared her schedule. “I am overwhelmed and very grateful that I had the opportunity to see my roots first hand,” the Haitian American singer told BE. “Not only am I able to see Haiti through my own eyes…but I get to do it with other women who look like me.”

Likewise, Lecor, who is signed to DJ Khaled’s We The Best Music Group, was delighted to return to Haiti. “I used to come every summer up until I was 12 years old,” said the first-generation Haitian-American singer. “Those were the best summers of my life.” She continued, “When Wanda called me two days before the trip, I jumped on the opportunity to be here,” she said, adding, “as soon as I got here…it felt like home.”

While appreciative of Haiti’s allure, Lecor is not remiss of what many people think of Haiti, like President Donald Trump who notoriously described it as an “s–thole” country. “The perception is that Haiti is unsafe, dirty, and dangerous,” she said, admitting that it’s hard to drive through the impoverished neighborhoods. As a result, the landscape, culture, and people are overlooked.

Haiti

Amiga Island in Labadee, Haiti (Photo credit: Rosslin Mozart Louis courtesy of L’union Suite)

Toussaint, a star on BET’s “Hustle in Brooklyn,” had dreamed of visiting Haiti, the country where her father was born, as a little girl. However, she said seeing the poverty and devastation juxtaposed to the scenic landscape was “bittersweet.” “Even [though] the places have gone through so much destruction and hardship, it’s [still] a beautiful place,” she said. She added that Haitians have not lost the grit needed to survive. “I saw a bunch of people who still had pride, still had hope, and the strength, courage, and the willingness to move forward.”

influencers

Mecca Moore, Sandy Pierre, Amanda Booz, Selena Hill, Shelah Rhoulhac, Wanda Tima, Steph Lecor, Azia Toussaint, and Dawn Richards at the Sans-Souci Palace (Photo credit: Rosslin Mozart Louis courtesy of L’union Suite)

After returning to her home in Sunrise, Florida, Tima said the trip was “beyond successful.” In addition to a great experience, the women networked and connected with each other as well as with locals all while shining a positive light on Haiti through social platforms. L’union Suite’s “social media impressions during the trip were record-breaking,” said Tima, “and now more and more people know about the work we are doing in Haiti and want to not only vacation [here] but [also] assist in giving back at the school.”

Furthermore, the trip reaffirmed Tima’s commitment to uplift Haiti and spotlight its beauty and strength. “I come from a lineage of people who are leaders and unapologetically strong. I am the daughter of the first Black republic. We are such truly a group of resilient people,” she said. “The more I learn about my history and our contributions to the world, the more I fall in love with who I am.”

 


Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Nov. 6, 2018.

 

 

 

The post Influencers Help Change the World’s View of Haiti appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Esperion CEO: Our new cholesterol drug can help millions of patients

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Here’s How The New FICO Credit Scoring Will Help Your Credit

Have you checked your credit score lately? Well, a new FICO credit scoring system is expected to debut in early 2019—and it may lead to a favorable boost in your credit if your bank activity is in line with standards.

The Fair Isaac Corp., the originators of the coveted FICO Score, is planning to create a more holistic credit scoring method. Traditionally, a borrower’s credit-worthiness has been calculated based on payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%), and credit mix (10%). Now, Fair Isaac Corp. will factor in a person’s ability to manage liquid assets such as checking, savings, and money-market accounts.

This new credit metric, the UltraFICO Score, is FICO’s solution to broadening lending eligibility. Experts believe this shift in credit scoring will increase access to credit products by leveraging consumer-driven bank information to assess an individual’s financial management capabilities. Lenders will now see an enhanced view of financial behavior that can impact lending outcomes and approval ratings.

Credit scores are synonymous to the report cards you get in school. It shows how well you’ve performed in a variety of financial areas to determine how likely you are to repay a loan. These scores are used by a variety of lenders to assess your credit personality and risk profile.

FICO estimates the UltraFICO Score scoring will improve credit access for the majority of Americans, especially those with credit scores ranging from the upper 500s to lower 600s and individuals with limited credit history or financially distressed individuals who are regaining their wind.

Most FICO scores range from 300 to 850, and the highest scores get access to the best interest rates in the market. According to FICO, the average FICO in the U.S. as of September 2018 was 704, rising approximately 15 points higher than average scores a decade ago when the recession was near its peak.

If you’re hoping the new credit scoring will work in your favor, pay close attention to the additional data points that will be taken into consideration and create a plan that will give you optimal results.

 

The post Here’s How The New FICO Credit Scoring Will Help Your Credit appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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So Sad: Black Navy Sailor Attempting to Help ‘Stranded Motorist’ Shot and Killed [Video]

21-year-old Curtis Adams, an active duty Navy sailor, was driving in Mountain View, Calif., Saturday morning when he saw a man near a vehicle that he believed the man needed help with.

Curtis, along with his girlfriend, pulled over to offer his assistance. He was unaware the man was actually trying to steal the car.

The car thief pulled out a gun and shot Curtis before his girlfriend called 9-1-1. He was transported to UC San Diego Medical Center where he died.

via The Root:

According to NBC San Diego, the suspect, who was caught Sunday, was also involved in another shooting minutes before he shot Adams. The accused shooter has been identified as 21-year-old Brandon Acuna.

Acuna, who has a long criminal history, “was booked into San Diego County Central Jail on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree burglary and held with no bail,” NBC San Diego reports. 

The police are still investigating the motive behind both shootings. 

So sad.

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A New Way To Score Credit Might Help You

YOU JOIN US THIS MORNING WITH CREDIT SCORE NEWS. WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR US THIS MORNING?

An interesting story broke last week that could benefit some of our listeners with below average credit. Fair Isaac Corporation, the company responsible for the widely used FICO credit score, announced it would soon be testing a new score that takes a borrower’s bank account balances and cash management practices into account to supplement that traditional credit score metrics.

The goal of this new score is to provide a new path for people with borderline credit to qualify for loans or credit cards. Fair Isaac will partner with Experian, one of the big credit reporting bureaus, to test the new formula next year.

 \HOW WILL THIS NEW SCORE WORK?

The current system of calculating a FICO credit score – the three-digit number that lenders use to evaluate a borrower’s ability to repay a loan – are based primarily on a borrower’s history of repaying mortgages, loans and credit card balances.

The new score, which Fair Isaac is calling UltraFICO, would into account factors like how long accounts have been open, the frequency of activity and evidence of saving.

IF THEY ARE CONSIDERING ACCOUNT ACTIVITY, DOES THAT MEAN THEY HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR BANK STATEMENT?

A great question, Tom. Obviously, it would make many people nervous to let Fair Isaac or any company have access to your account details. Instead, UltraFICO would be offered to customers who were not otherwise able to qualify for credit or a loan with their traditional FICO score.

Lenders would then have to get a borrower’s sign off to collect information about their cash management habits and create an UltraFico score. Specifics like where you are spending money are currently not expected to be tested.

WHO WOULD BENEFIT?

Fair Isaac Corporation has said the UltraFICO would likely be most helpful for  people with credit scores in the high 500s to the low 600s, or those with scores just outside of a lender’s cutoff. A

dditionally, people who have limited credit history, like young people, and those who had a financial rough patch and are restoring their credit would likely benefit too. The company said that those who opt for UltraFICO could see their score jump 20 points if their banking behavior is deemed positive.

THIS IS AN INTERESTING PROPOSAL, BUT CAN YOU REMIND US HOW TO BOOST OUR REGULAR CREDIT SCORES?

It’s about the fundamentals. First, pay your bills on time. Because credit scores are designed to give lenders an idea of how reliable you are, the best thing you can do is be consistent. If you often forget the date or pay late, I would recommend signing up for automatic payments.

You also want to pay close attention to your credit cards. First, you want to keep your credit card balances as low as possible, if not at zero. High balances and high credit usage – the ratio of credit used to credit available – will be noted.

You also want to avoid having balances across a number of cards. Finally, review your credit reports regularly. With increased hacking and scammer activity, you want to be vigilant for false activity on your credit report.

 


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How the College Basketball Corruption Verdict Could Help End Amateurism

A little more than a year ago, federal attorneys and the FBI — to much fanfare — unveiled their findings from a two-year investigation into corruption in college basketball. Assistant coaches and sneaker company reps and aspiring agents were arrested. Officials shared tales of illicit money sloshing around the sport in order to attract certain players to certain schools.

On Wednesday afternoon, the feds achieved their biggest win of the effort to date. A jury found three defendants — two former Adidas employees and an aspiring sports agent — guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud after a three-week criminal trial at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in New York City. James Gatto, Merl Code (the ex-Adidas reps) and aspiring player rep Christian Dawkins will be sentenced in March. (They will likely appeal the case.) On the surface, the verdict appears to count as a huge victory for the NCAA’s amateurism rules, which prevent college athletes from earning money from their schools, or from third-parties, for playing their lucrative sports. Paying players now appears to be a federal crime; NCAA regulations now appear to be enforceable by federal law.

Not so fast.

This case was a head-scratcher from the start. As TV rights agreements and other business deals plow millions of dollars into college sports, more and more people have argued that amateurism is outdated. While coaches and other stakeholders get rich, don’t the players who actually attract the audience deserve their fair share? Former college players are challenging amateurism in federal court, arguing that prohibitions against players earning salaries and third-party sponsorship violates anti-trust law. And while one arm of the federal government hears out amateurism, another swoops in with a criminal prosecution that equates paying players with corruption. This reeks of government overreach. Why are the feds doing the NCAA’s bidding and enforcing its amateurism rules?

Read more: It’s Time to Pay College Athletes

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors argued that the defendants defrauded colleges by paying players, since those payments violated NCAA rules and would make them ineligible to suit up for their schools. In effect, the defendants denied the schools the services of these athletes. So the schools were in essence the victims of a federal crime. The jury, by handing down the guilty verdict, agreed with this reasoning.

But at the same time, the NCAA can use evidence unearthed at the trial to punish the institutions supposedly wronged here. For example, former Adidas associate T.J. Gassola testified that he paid the family of former Kansas player Billy Preston $ 89,000 and the guardian of current Kansas player Silvio De Sousa $ 2,500 for online classes. Gassola also testified that a Maryland booster paid De Sousa’s guardian $ 60,000. Kansas announced that De Sousa has been pulled from the team, pending an eligibility review. The NCAA could hand down sanctions on Kansas for suiting up an ineligible player (De Sousa, for example, played in 20 games for the Jayhawks a year ago). So in essence the NCAA would be punishing a school that’s a so-called victim of a federal crime. Only in the twisted world of college sports could “victims” be subject to punishment.

“This case is filled with paradoxes,” says Matthew Mitten, executive director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University.

Read more: North Carolina Academic Fraud Decision Exposes College Sports Hypocrisy

This verdict, however, won’t necessarily make paying college players a federal crime. Conversely, some of the evidence could bolster the civil cases challenging the NCAA’s payment prohibitions. One of the NCAA’s core arguments in support of amateurism is that paying players would turn off fans and hurt the bottom line of NCAA schools. Paying players would be bad for business, so amateurism must live on.

The college hoops trial, however, showed that the opposite may be true. The testimony exposed the black market economy of college basketball; money is already flowing to players, business is booming, and it will continue to do so.

“The federal government has now proven itself ready to sink its teeth into college basketball,” says Marc Edelman, a professor of law at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. “But the prosecutors missed the big issue here. If we’re going to be intellectually honest, the correct next step would be for the Justice Department to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA.”

Such a federal suit is unlikely to happen. Other stakeholders, however, are challenging amateurism in civil court. Many fans and pundits know that the model is unfair and unsustainable. Money has to flow to the players who deserve it, no matter what a jury says.

Sports – TIME

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Virtual reality can help make everyone more empathetic

Virtual reality can make humans more understanding to realities different from their own, according to a new study. Research participants who tried out a VR experience about losing your job and becoming homeless showed stronger and longer-lasting empathic attitudes toward the homeless versus those who just read an article about homelessness. The findings were recently…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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10 Fresh Gospel Acts to Help Get Your Praise On

gospel

Gospel music is rooted in the Black church experience of the African-American South and birthed out of the Negro spirituals of slavery. It is a genre that is rhythmic, thankful, interactive and joyful. Despite not being a mainstream pillar, it can be argued that gospel music is the foundation of many Black music genres and […]

The post 10 Fresh Gospel Acts to Help Get Your Praise On appeared first on EBONY.

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Credit Card Debt? These 4 Sites Could Help You Pay It Down Faster

So, you have thousands of dollars in credit card debt, and the burden of paying off all that — and interest — is gobbling up your income.

Instead of financially treading water making minimum payments and paying maximum interest, make the smart move, and take out a debt consolidation loan. It’s a personal loan, usually at a lower interest rate that you can use to pay off your high-interest credit cards.

In the long term, you can save a ton of money, but first you have to shop around for a loan.

Sound difficult? It doesn’t have to be. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet, you can go window-shopping at an online marketplace that’ll help pinpoint the best loan for you.

We recommend you try more than one site and see what kind of results you get. Heck, try them all if you want. It won’t take long, and you have nothing to lose: Seeing your options won’t cost you anything, and it won’t hurt your credit score.

4 Marketplaces for a Credit Card Debt Consolidation Loan

To start, you’ll need to know your credit score, but that’s super easy. Just sign up for Credit Sesame, a free credit-monitoring service that helps you keep track of your credit. It’ll immediately show you your credit score, and it’ll offer you personalized tips to better manage your credit.

Here are four different options for places to find a loan online. At the end of this article, you’ll find a chart comparing them at a glance.

Credible

Credible is a one-stop shopping place where you can compare rates side-by-side from multiple lenders who are competing against each other for your business.

It allows you to compare quotes from seven different lenders: Avant, Best Egg, Freedomplus, Lending Club, Payoff, Prosper and Upstart.

Through Credible, you can borrow $ 1,000 to $ 50,000 with a loan term of two to five years, at interest rates ranging from 4.99% to 35.99%. The interest rates you’re offered will depend on your individual credit profile.

Credible is best for borrowers who have good credit scores and just want to consolidate their debt. It requires you to have a credit score of at least 680.

Even Financial

Compared to Credible, Even Financial allows you to borrow more money and borrow it for a longer period of time — if that’s what you want to do.

You can borrow up to $ 100,000 and spend up to seven years paying it back. That’s more money and time than you can get from any of these other three lending marketplaces.

Even’s lending partners include Avant, Best Egg, Freedomplus, Lending Club, LendingPoint, LightStream, Payoff, Prosper, SoFi and Upgrade.

You’ll need a credit score of at least 580. Interest rates range from 4.99% to 35.99%.

Lendvious

Lendvious is the newest of these four online loan websites.

Depending on your credit score and how much you want to borrow, you’ll immediately get offers from up to 10 lenders. You can borrow up to $ 50,000 with no collateral required.

Different lenders are looking for minimum credit scores ranging from 560 to 650. The company’s lending partners include Avant, Best Egg, Freedomplus, LendingPoint, Lending Club, Marcus, OneMain Financial, Prosper and Upgrade.

Interest rates range from 4.99% to 35.99%.

If your credit isn’t great, Lendvious might be your best option.

Upstart

Unlike those others, Upstart is a lending platform that manages the process from pre-approval through servicing your loan.

Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart is a lending platform that’s striving to change the personal loan game. Rather than solely focusing on your credit score to determine your borrowing power, it looks at other factors, too, including your education and employment history.

Upstart tends to be especially helpful for recent grads, who have a short credit history and a mound of debt.

Many lenders judge consumers based only on their credit history. But Upstart believes this leaves out an entire segment of the population — even though they’re totally qualified.

When it comes to the length of the loan, Upstart offers three options: three, five or seven years. The company says its average three-year loan has a 16% interest rate*, with 36 monthly payments of $ 35 per $ 1,000 borrowed.

Comparing Your Options One More Time

Seeing your quotes from each of these platforms takes 5 minutes, tops, so you can easily try out more than one. Each conducts a soft inquiry on your credit, meaning it won’t affect your credit score at all.

Once you actually apply for a loan, the lender will perform a hard inquiry on your credit, which will ding your credit temporarily.

Here’s the chart we promised you:

  Credible Even Financial Lendvious Upstart
Interest rate 4.99% to 35.99% 4.99% to 35.99% 4.99% to 35.99% 8.92% to 29.99%
Term Two to five years Two to seven years One to five years Three or five years
Loan amount $ 1,000 to $ 50,000 $ 1,000 to $ 100,000 $ 1,000 to $ 50,000 $ 1,000 to $ 50, 000
Minimum credit score 680 580 560 620

*The average three-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart Platform will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $ 35 per $ 1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on three-year rates offered in the last one month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

All loans are made by Cross River Bank, an FDIC insured New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, equal housing lender.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He knows a lot about credit card debt from personal experience.

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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‘This Is Us’ Recap: Jack Enlists in the War to Help His Brother

A major missing piece of Jack’s story was revealed as the Pearson patriarch enlisted in the war and viewers met the adult version of his brother, Nicky, for the first time during the Tuesday, October 16, episode of This Is Us, titled “Vietnam.”

Sergeant Pearson

Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) was a staff sergeant in the Vietnam War in 1971 when the episode opened. His troop was ambushed one night, with some dying and another man (Mo McRae) — the Mr. Robinson who Kevin (Justin Hartley) reached out to in a previous episode — losing his foot to a land mine. Robinson was the one who taught Jack the move he often used on his kids in tough moments: holding their faces in his hands as he reminded them to breathe.

After the assault, Jack and his squad were given a lighter detail, at which time he asked his commanding officer if he could visit his brother (Michael Angarano), who was stationed nearby. Jack made his way to Nicky, and they were standing face to face at the end of the hour.

this is us Michael Angarano
THIS IS US — “Vietnam” Episode 305 — Pictured: Michael Angarano as Nicky Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Brothers in Arms

In flashbacks, we learned why Jack enlisted in the war in the first place. When Nicky was born in 1948, Jack’s father (Peter Onorati) told the elder sibling his only job was to look out for his little brother. Jack took that to heart, protecting him from their abusive father — who was seemingly mistreated by his own dad — and earning the nickname “Superman.”

Jack was exempt from the draft because of an irregular heartbeat, but Nicky was sure his birthday would be called in December 1969. When it was, Jack immediately suggested that his brother flee to Canada. As he and Jack headed to the border, Nicky noted how disappointed their dad would be if he avoided the service, and he wondered what was next for him.

Jack and Nicky got a hotel room nearby and decided the youngest Pearson would cross the border the next morning. However, when Jack awoke, his brother was gone, and he had left a note saying it was his turn to save the day.

Nicky, who was taking pills and drinking heavily, later sent a desperate letter home to his family explaining that he was in trouble for endangering himself and his fellow soldiers. He told them he was going to die in Vietnam, but he wanted to do it on his own terms. Jack, who was able to hide his irregular heartbeat, then chose to enlist because he wanted to be in the same place as his brother.

This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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Panasonic Designed a Wearable Concentration Device to Help you Focus

Panasonic‘s Future Life Factory has developed a wearable concentration device, dubbed the Wear Space, that will help you focus on work by controlling your field of vision and assisting with noise cancellation.

The device, created in partnership with Kunihiko Morinaga, is basically like a technologically-advanced set of horse blinkers for humans. It’s made of a flexible material that comfortably wraps around the back of your head and extends to the sides of your eyes, blocking out distractions in your peripheral view. The inside is fitted with noise-canceling headphones to filter out undesired background noise.

Check out the Panasonic Wear Space prototype above and video below, and head over to the project’s crowdfunding site to support the campaign.

For more unique office pieces, check out this luxe desk made from a Porsche 911 car.

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86 Online Sales to Help End Your Week on a High Note

Congrats on making it through another busy week! We all honestly deserve a medal for making it to Friday, but a very full glass of red wine and some retail therapy will suffice. So start pouring and treat yourself to the 86 online sales below — maybe you’ll even pick up a cool western-inspired fall …

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This New Tool Can Help Parents Find the Best Sport for Their Kids

Kids these days: they have so many options when it comes to sports. There are organized travel teams, it seems, for every game: soccer, lacrosse, hoops, the works. While a child’s decision about which sport to play might not be as formative as, say, picking a college, it can sure feel that way. And potentially cost as much: fees and travel expenses for some club teams skyrocket to $ 10,000 per year and beyond.

In trying to navigate today’s youth sports scene, any guidance helps. That’s why a new tool released Thursday by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, called the Healthy Sport Index, couldn’t be more timely. The handy website allows families to weigh three factors in deciding what sport makes the most sense: safety, physical activity, and the sport’s psychosocial benefits. The index then provides a customized ranking of ten sports, based on where a child lands on a sliding scale of “low emphasis” to “high emphasis” for each of the three factors.

So say, for example, your son wants to put maximum emphasis on psychosocial benefits: he wants a sport that will help him develop social skills, cognitive skills, and otherwise enhance his mental health. He cares about a sport’s safety, but is willing to take some injury risk; so here, he falls in the middle of the scale. But he’s ambivalent about physical activity: your son doesn’t care how much energy he expends in practice. He gives it the lowest possible emphasis on the Heathy Sport Index scale. Based on this mix, the Healthy Sport Index puts swimming on top, while lacrosse comes in tenth.

Meanwhile, your daredevil daughter can care less about getting hurt, but places the highest possible emphasis on working out hard while playing her sport and developing useful life skills, like setting goals. Healthy Sport Index says: sign her up for tennis! (Cheerleading falls to the bottom here. The ten girls’ sports ranked by the Healthy Sport Index are basketball, cheerleading, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. For the boys it’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.)

The Aspen Institute, in consultation with medical experts, compiled data for the index from a variety of sources. The National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, produced by the Colorado School of Public Health, provided injury rates for various sports. For the psychosocial component, the Aspen Institute surveyed almost 1,300 high school athletes from across the country, and asked students whether their sport helped them improve in areas like sharing responsibility and patience. Researchers from North Carolina State University observed almost 700 hours of varsity practices to document the physical activity levels of each high school sport. The architects of the index were keen to account for the positive benefits of different sports, to counterbalance the downside risks.

“We talk a lot about injuries in youth sports, for good reason,” says Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, director of sports medicine research at Emory University. “But it’s important to look at all aspects of the athletic experience. If you just focus on one, you’re missing the boat.”

For example, football, which has witnessed participation declines due to well-founded worries about head injuries, ranks second among boys’ sports for psychosocial benefits. (Soccer comes in first.) High school football players reported more improvements in social skills and cognitive skills than athletes in any of the nine other sports. The Aspen Institute’s research was less encouraging for, say, boy’s lacrosse, which ranked ninth in safety, ahead of just football, and tenth in psychosocial benefits. Lacrosse players were most likely to cut class, binge drink, use marijuana and smoke cigarettes. In girls’ sports, basketball provided the most psychosocial upside, whereas cheerleading ranked tenth on both the psychosocial and physical activity scales.

Not that cheerleading or lacrosse or any other sport are at all detrimental, say the creators of the Healthy Sport Index. Every activity can have a positive impact on a kid’s life. “It’s better to be playing a sport,” says Jon Solomon, editorial director for the Aspen’s Sports & Society Program, “than to be sitting on the couch all day doing nothing.”

Sports – TIME

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Apollo Management could help McClatchy with Tribune bid

Billionaire Leon Black is weighing yet another opportunity to invest in the newspaper business. Print empire McClatchy has approached Black’s buyout firm Apollo Management to shore up its bid for Tribune Publishing, the owner of the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune, The Post has learned. That’s because McClatchy — the owner of…
Business | New York Post

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Trump signs bills to help patients stop overpaying for drugs

President Donald Trump has signed into law two bills that would allow pharmacists to tell consumers when paying cash would be cheaper than using insurance
ABC News: Health

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Rebecca Taylor to Offer Services to Help Time-Starved Customers

TIME SAVER: Need a manicure? Or a new hairstyle? Or just want to put your kids somewhere while you shop? Rebecca Taylor is offering harried women a time-saving shopping experience. Beginning this Saturday, Taylor’s boutique at 980 Madison Avenue in New York will offer customers complimentary babysitting, hairstyling, manicures and workout classes, among other things. Called Saturday Services, the Rebecca Taylor brand will strategically align with other brands such as Dry Bar, Pure Barre, Paint Box and Hello Sitter to offer these complimentary services on Saturdays to their customers. One service will be offered each week and a geo-targeted e-mail will go out to people in the neighborhood touting the particular service.
“We recognize that women are time-starved, and there are many demands on her weekend. Saturday Services was conceived so that our customer can maximize her time by aligning activations that would enhance the shopping experience and provide valuable services,” said Janice Sullivan, chief executive officer of Rebecca Taylor.
She said the company developed the program to not only bring traffic into the store, but to help their customers, who are juggling full-on careers and raising children. “Rather than do book signings or talk about finances, this makes her life easier,” said

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Help These Adorable Hurricane Florence Puppies Find Their New Homes

Could one of these pups be your new furever friend? Meet Janet, Jack and Chrissy, three adorable and playful puppies rescued from Hurricane Florence. All three of the four-legged friends are 13-week-old hound mixes rescued from the Carolinas by the North Shore Animal League America.

hurricane florence puppies
A dog stands in floodwaters from the Waccamaw River caused by Hurricane Florence Sean Rayford/Getty Images

These canines weathered the storm and have been given a second chance at love, so watch the video above and consider opening your heart — and home — to one of these little bundles of joy. (However, don’t fall too hard for Chrissy as she’s already found her dog mom thanks to Us Weekly editor Kelly Marages!)

hurricane florence puppies
Dog rescued after Hurricane Florence Joe Raedle/Getty Images

To find out how you can get involved, adopt a new best friend, or to support hurricane relief efforts, visit animalleague.org for more information.

Us Weekly

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Latin may help students bridge their native language with English

Researchers found that in teaching English learners — students who aren’t fluent in English and often come from homes where a language other than English is spoken — the Latin roots of words helped them problem solve the meaning of unfamiliar words.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Get help building an online portfolio with Format, on sale for 65% off

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If you’ve ever tried to build a website, odds are you’ve used services like Squarespace to take care of the more headache-inducing technical aspects so you can focus entirely on the contentFormat is an easy-to-use webpage design tool built specifically for creative professionals. Its wide array of customization options put other website builders to shame, and allow you to build an impressive online portfolio of your work.

Rather than a slate of generic themes and templates, Format offers you responsive themes for both desktop and mobile browsing. It features smart typography and image-based blogging to create an eye-catching portfolio that’s easy to update and maintain. There’s also an option to link your Instagram photos directly to your website, so you can quickly add new images of your work without having to worry about getting to a laptop to upload themFormat even offers full integration with Adobe Lightroom. Read more…

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California Lawmakers Pass Talent Protections Act to Help Models and Entertainers Fight Sexual Harassment and Eating Disorders

FIGHTING HARASSMENT: Models in California now have a little more legal reenforcement thanks to the passage of the Talent Protections Act, which was created to fight sexual harassment and eating disorders. While not designed solely for models, the law is geared for the state’s fashion and entertainment industries. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law Sept. 30 and it will take effect in January.
The Model Alliance, the New York-based organization that champions models’ rights, worked closely with California State Assembly member Marc Levine, detailing models’ experiences to help develop the law and calling for its support.
Under the law, talent agencies must create educational materials about sexual harassment prevention and retaliation, as well as information about good nutrition and eating disorders for adults. For minors starting out in the entertainment industry, they and their parents, or respective legal guardian, will be required to have training in these areas. The law also mandates that information about nutrition be provided to fashion models.
Models are routinely advised to lose weight, according to what is said to be the largest survey to date on eating disorders among professional models. Published last year in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, the study was an effort

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