‘Start Here’: Rosenstein’s letter offers clues, Trump’s tweet tweaks Mideast policy

It’s Friday, March 22, 2019. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
ABC News: Top Stories

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST:

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

Got Active Kids? Here Are 9 Simple Ways to Stretch the Family Budget

You’ve weathered the baby-rearing years. Congratulations! Now you can sit back and enjoy having your kids in school.

Oh, but now there are hobbies: band, dance class and sports. Don’t forget field trips.

By the time you’ve paid for that clarinet and lessons, dance shoes and costumes, cleats and knee pads, your family budget is shot.

Raising kids is expensive. But there are things you can do to help the rest of the family budget survive as your little progeny showcases all of their talents.

1. Do Fun Stuff for Less

OK, the kids are in school, and that’s expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit around on the weekends watching the grass grow. Get out there, and do some fun stuff!

Just don’t pay full price for it.

If you haven’t embraced deal sites like Groupon or LivingSocial yet, it’s time to take a look. You can find a lot of sweet deals on local activities, attractions and restaurants with very little effort. It’s a simple way to save money but still get out of the house.

2. Don’t Pay Just to Access Your Own Money

With all the sporting events and other travel you do with the kids, chances are you’ll need to stop and get a little cash every so often.

The average total cost of taking cash from an out-of-network ATM is $ 4.68, according to a recent Bankrate survey.

Want to avoid those fees? There’s an easier way than driving around town to get to an in-network ATM. You can simply keep your money in an account that doesn’t charge those fees — like the Aspiration account.

With Aspiration, you’ll face no ATM fees — domestic or international. ATMs in-network are free, and Aspiration will reimburse you the fees for out-of-network ATMs monthly.

Other perks? You’ll never pay a monthly maintenance fee, a minimum balance fee or an overdraft fee. Oh, and you’ll earn up to 2.00% APY interest on your account’s balance.

Yup. It’s that simple to start living a fee-free* life thanks to Aspiration. That’s a big win for a family on the go.

3. Missed a Good Deal? Get Paid Back

If you’re like most parents, you don’t have a lot of time to run to the mall. You probably do a lot of your shopping online. That’s cool. Now you don’t have to worry about the “what ifs” of sales that start tomorrow or next week. Get the tool that hunts for those deals for you.

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.

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

4. Make Sure You’re Not Overpaying for Car Insurance

 family on a road trip in car

All of the driving you do to get your kids to soccer or the science fair adds up. It also means you’re probably not getting that low-mileage discount from your car insurance company. Are you spending too much on your car insurance? When was the last time you checked?

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.

We talked to Artie Januario, who found new insurance through The Zebra and managed to knock off $ 30 a month — or $ 360 a year — from his premium.

With the money you save, you could get something nice for yourself. Ha! Just kidding… You will, however, have a little more available to budget for the kids’ next great adventure.

5. Feed the Fam for Less

The refrigerator never stays full for long when you have kids. Make those frequent trips to the grocery store a little less painful by earning cash back.

That’s right: Ibotta will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

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

Bam. Cash back.

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

Some cash-back opportunities we’ve seen include:

  • 25 cents back for any item.
  • 25 cents back on strawberries.
  • 50 cents back on frozen fruit snacks.

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

6. Get Paid to Dress the Kids for Success

Mother and daughter picking out clothes in bedroom

When your kids are in school, they grow — and fast. That super-cute outfit you bought last fall? Useless now. You need new clothes for them. Again.

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 up to 10% cash back on online purchases at Walmart.

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

To earn your gift card:

  1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
  2. Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $ 25.
  3. Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $ 10 Walmart gift card.

It’s easy savings for clothes you know you have to buy because they’ve already outgrown last month’s styles.

7. Sell off Stuff They Don’t Need Anymore

From toys to clothes to bedroom decor, your kids accumulate stuff fast, don’t they?

Don’t just hang on to that stuff and let it fill up your basement or garage. Sell it, so you have a little extra money (and room) to buy the new stuff.

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.

Come on, you know your kids are going to want new stuff, and your home can only hold so much!

8. Pay Less to Get There. And There. And There.

Mother getting children (6-10) to soccer practice

Having kids means you have to run to a lot of activities. From sporting events to band practice and any number of other things, you may feel like you live in your car.

And that car needs gas. No, not the stinky kind. If you have boys, you’re probably all set there. We mean gasoline, and that can get expensive. You need to save at the pump.

Get a discount card from GasBuddy to automatically save 10 cents per gallon on your first purchase (and 5 cents per gallon after that).

The free discount card is tied directly to your checking account. It works at 95% of gas stations throughout the country, so you don’t have to drive around town just to find “your” station. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a rebate — it’s immediate savings.

Simply and securely sign up through GasBuddy. Connect your bank account, enter your address, and GasBuddy will put a card in the mail.

9. Keep Saving Even Though You’re Busy

Saving money is tough. Saving money when you have kids in school can seem impossible. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

Digit makes that possible.

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

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $ 5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1.00% bonus every three months.

Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, Penny Hoarder Matt Wiley told us he saved $ 4,300 without noticing.

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

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward. That’s a small price to pay to keep your family saving during the crazy days of school.

Take Your Mind off Money and Focus on Fun

Father And Daughter Playing Basketball On Driveway At Home

Hey, your kids are only this age once. Enjoy it!

Having school-aged kids can be financially taxing, but you can relieve some of that stress by following these tips and taking some of the pressure off. You don’t want to spend all of your time dwelling on the family budget. You want to teach your baby girl to hit her free throws and your little guy how to play that guitar.

Remember, it might be hard, but it’s OK to say no to your kids on occasion, too. They don’t have to be in every extracurricular activity out there. Learning how to limit their activities and wants can save you a lot of money and a little bit of stress, as well.

Oh, and don’t forget to get a Groupon or Livingsocial deal for a nice, relaxing date night for yourself. You deserve it.

*Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that it’ll only charge you what it costs them to provide the extra service (such as a wire transfer), and not a penny more. Besides these at-cost service charges, the only account fee you pay is the fee you choose, even if it’s $ 0, which is why it’s called Pay What Is Fair.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He is bracing for the day that his twin babies start school and all of the fun that goes with it. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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

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‘Start Here’: US joins Boeing ban, and Paul Manafort is indicted after he’s sentenced

It’s Thursday, March 14, 2019. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
ABC News: Top Stories

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST:

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

‘Start Here’: Border wall, North Korea seen not heard, jet crash in Africa kills 157

It’s Monday, March 11, 2019. Here’s what you need to start your day.
ABC News: Top Stories

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST:

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

Nutty chocolate-stuffed Krispy Kremes are a thing and we’re here for it

Yes. Yes. Yes.

krispy kreme

There’s so many delicious chocolatey treats going around at the moment we don’t know where to start – so we’ll be picking up everything. That includes the Hotel Chocolate Easter sandwiches, this Prosecco-infused egg and the brand new ruby chocolate Easter gem.

But if you’re looking for a non-Easter themed delight, what could be better than an Original Krispy Kreme doughnut? How about an Original Filled doughnut?

The masterminds over at Krispy Kreme have decided to stuff the classic sweet treat with two different flavours – you can choose from a chocolate hazlenut sauce (ahem, Nutella-esque), or the deliciously addictive salted caramel. Each doughnut is ring-shaped with the flavoured sauce oozing through the middle. That’s right – it’s not just lightly coated with the stuff, it’s actually filled. Yum.

These new additions will set you back £1.90, which is 35p more than the Original Glazed and 15p more than a topped doughnut.

krispy kreme

The Krsipy Kreme ‘magic in the middle’ pop-up experience is currently happening in Great Newport Street, Leicester Square, London. It’s open for two days – from 8th to the 9th of March – to celebrate the launch of the new Original Filled dougnuts, and they’ll be handed out for free.

If you can’t make it down to the pop-up, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Original Filled Krispy Kreme doughnuts in stores and at your local supermarket until April 7th.

We’re so ready.

The post Nutty chocolate-stuffed Krispy Kremes are a thing and we’re here for it appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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I’d Like To Try To Fumigate This Here Sweater: Dealing With Moths, Without Pesticides

Two things that make modern menswear enthusiasts shudder: bad return policies and moths. The former can be avoided, the latter will probably affect you at some point, even if you’re quite careful with your clothes. Which, admittedly, I am not, always. If you’re like me, you spend a lot more time thinking about acquiring and wearing your clothes than about storing them properly. Once I hang something in the closet, I don’t worry about it too much until I pull it out again. Except once in awhile, it comes out a little… eaten. Most often, with two small holes near each other, like a sweater vampire sunk its teeth into the fabric.

Unfortunately, your worn clothes, particularly wool and silk items, are a Cheesecake Factory for baby moths and their partners in crime, baby carpet beetles (Ok; they’re larvae, but we’re euphemizing in this post and avoiding photos of actual moths, which you probably won’t see anyway). They’re just lining up, poring over the extensive menu, and marveling at the weird architectural details. It’s bad enough they’re eating holes in your clothes, but they’re also being pretty gross about it — they’re using the fibers to spin their protective cases, they’re laying hundreds of eggs, and frankly they’re just shitting everywhere.

And worst of all, it’s probably sort of your fault. Moths particularly appreciate soiled clothing, and thrive in undisturbed darkness; for example, the bottom of a closet where a sweater fell, unnoticed, or a storage bin you haven’t opened in two years. Your clothes don’t have to be outright filthy to be eaten, but unless you dry clean or wash your wool and silk items every time you wear them, your clothing likely has some lingering perspiration or food particles, which they look for. The most common way infestations start is by bringing an infested item into the storage environment, so be extra careful to clean any thrifted items before putting them in your closet (or wearing them, really). Of course, many living spaces, especially those with carpeting, may have some moths already when you move in — so it’s not totally your fault.

Many Ways to Approach a Moth Problem

Defeating clothes moths can be a daunting task. If you find holes in a sweater, you can dry clean it (which kills bugs), then darn the holes or have them professionally repaired. But it’s likely that the sweater was sitting in a drawer or bin with other tasty woolens, or in a closet with suits or wool outerwear — potentially thousands of dollars in moth targets. One instance of damage does not necessarily indicate infestation, but it’s difficult to be sure until you see more moth damage, or don’t. So what can you do?

The easiest and most expensive answer is to dry clean anything that’s been stored with your damaged item. That can add up pretty quickly, especially if you share your closet or storage space. These bugs can move, so they don’t need direct contact to get from one article of clothing to another. To eradicate effectively, you need to literally dry clean everything, or at least be very careful about never exposing your dry cleaned, moth-free batches to potentially mothy areas or clothing.

Another method is pesticides, the most common being mothballs, but there’s so many drawbacks it’s not really worth the trouble. Mothballs smell bad (a smell that’s hard to get rid of, a fact well-known to thrift/vintage hounds). They work only if the clothing is kept with the mothballs in an airtight space, and the chemicals involved can be harmful to people and pets.

Pesticide-Free Solutions

If you want to avoid pesticides, you still have some options, primarily getting your clothes into an environment outside the moth comfort zone — hot, cold, or low on oxygen. The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides recommends a handful of methods.

Many sources recommend freezing, although it potentially takes a long time and is not 100% effective. You need to leave clothes at a temperature well below freezing for at least a couple of days — the freezer in your kitchen may not be great, as the temperature fluctuates a lot as it’s opened and closed.

The two pesticide free methods I’m interested in trying are heat and dry ice fumigation, which has a Mr. Wizard vibe that I like.

  • With heat, the magic number is 120 degrees, to which your clothing must be exposed for at least 30 minutes. Many ovens don’t have a setting this low, and it can be hazardous to heat your clothes to, say, 350, so be careful with this method. Place items on a clean sheet pan, potentially on a towel you don’t mind damaging, as it may scorch. Keep a close eye on items to avoid damaging them, and don’t place anything in the oven that could melt, including synthetic fabric blends, plastic zippers, etc. Or you could just take everything outside in Arizona in the summer.
  • The fumigation method involves placing the items in a heavy trash bag (like a “contractor” grade bag, not a kitchen bag) with a pound of dry ice (available at some grocery stores or beverage distributors). Sealed loosely (not tightly!), the bag will fill up with sublimated carbon dioxide, killing the pests. Once the ice has dissipated, close the bag tightly and leave it sealed for a few days. Hey, at least it’s not in your freezer. Obviously, handle the dry ice carefully, i.e., not with your bare hands.

Once You’re Moth Free

Once your clothing has been treated, you can take the preventive steps universally recommended:

  • If you store clothing, clean it before you store it.
  • Store clothing in airtight containers as much as possible.
  • But also, wear your clothes–moths are much more likely to go after clothing in long-term storage than clothing you wear regularly.
  • Keep clothing storage areas and upholstered items generally clean — vacuum closets, vacuum upholstery, vacuum baseboards and under beds/furniture.
  • Keep a vigilant eye out for moth damage and bugs themselves.
  • Add cedar or bug-bothering herbs, like lavender, to your clothing storage areas. Cedar effectiveness wears off, though, and lavender’s effectiveness is not totally clear.

The post I’d Like To Try To Fumigate This Here Sweater: Dealing With Moths, Without Pesticides appeared first on Put This On.

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‘Start Here’: Missile sites, potential HIV breakthrough, Michael Jackson’s accusers

It’s Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Here’s what you need to start your day.
ABC News: Top Stories

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST:

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

Here Are the 13 Best Second Jobs — Plus What You Need to Land One

Are you thinking about taking on a second job?

Sometimes called “side hustles” or “side gigs,” they can be a great way to supplement your income to pay off bills, grow savings and have some extra cash in your wallet. Also, these gigs might lead to opportunities to develop new skills or explore your passions.

But before you sign up for part-time work or dive head first into an independent-contractor gig, you have to think about which side jobs are best for you. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to find the right second job — plus 13 gigs to consider.

How to Find the Right Second Job

Here are some specific questions to ask yourself about a gig and your situation when hunting for a second job.

Will This Gig Interfere With My Day Job?

When searching for the best second job for yourself, make sure it will not cause conflicts with your regular job. The last thing you want to do is get fired from your day job in pursuit of a second job.

Every company is different, and some may have strict guidelines on what you can and can’t do regarding side hustles. Take some time to look through your company’s employee handbook or schedule a meeting with your human resources manager to find out for sure. Once you figure out that you can do a second job, look for ones that can be done during your off hours.

How Flexible Is Your Schedule?

Although you may be able to find a second job that has some schedule flexibility, you also need to be willing to make changes to your personal schedule. This means being willing to do your side gig before or after work or eliminating nonessential activities.

McKinzie Bean, who runs the website Moms Make Cents, recommends recording your schedule for one week to find which events, like bingeing on Netflix on a Tuesday night, you can cut.

“Just see which pieces you’re willing to give up because it is going to take some sacrifice to get to that point where your business is growing,” she says.

Will You Need Additional Training?

When narrowing down your list of potential second jobs, keep in mind that not all gigs will be available right away. Some jobs may require a specific skill certification. Some industries have official certifying bodies that conduct competency tests that allow people to work within a field for a period of time.

If you don’t have a certification needed in your field, factor in some extra schooling or studying before opening up shop.

“They’re looking for reasons to hire candidates,” says Tim Gates, senior regional vice president at Adecco Staffing. “So if they see anything that’s relevant to their industry, to their company, to the specific position, it’s definitely going to help to make that candidate more attractive.”

One way to learn additional skills is by signing up for massive open online courses. These 100% online courses can be completed at your own pace, offering online certifications in personal branding and social media literacy.

Having these certifications shows employers that you have ambition, says Robin Colner, director of Fordham University’s certificate program in digital and social media.

“It shows a desire and an understanding of the marketplace, which every employer wants,” she says.

Where Do You Want to Work?

So, where do you want to conduct your second job? Are you interested in being an assistant in an office, a sales associate in a store, a server in a restaurant or a ride-share driver in your car?

If going to another business after work to do your second job doesn’t sound appealing, then consider looking for a work-from-home job. Check out The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home Jobs Portal for jobs such as customer service associates, part-time English tutors, transcriptionists and much more.

What Are You Looking for in This Job?  

Ask yourself what you’re trying to get out of your side gig. Are you trying to find a second job that pays a lot of money, expands your skills or explores a passion? What if you don’t know what job is best for you?

If you don’t know where to begin, write down your strengths on a piece of paper and what you’re looking for in a second job. This piece of paper can be a reference point to help with in your search to find your marketable skill.

In addition, consult your friends and coworkers to find out what skills they think you excel at. Their observations may help you figure out which job is best for you.

“Until someone else sees that [skill] in you, you don’t realize it’s a unique skill or a skill [other] people are having trouble with,” says Sol Rosenbaum, who runs The Engineering Mentor, a website that helps engineers develop interpersonal skills such as communicating and collaborating.

The Best Second Jobs

If you don’t already have a specific side gig in mind, here are some second-job ideas to consider. These jobs are broken down into categories, including service industry, smartphone apps and work-from-home.

App-Based Gig Jobs

Two english bulldogs on leashes

Thanks to smartphones, app-based gig jobs have risen in popularity in recent years. Companies such as Uber and Lyft, Rover and GrubHub make it easier for people to accept jobs on the fly and work a flexible schedule. Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular gig jobs involving smartphone apps.

1. Ride-share Driver

Turn your car into a taxi on your terms. Try driving with Lyft!

Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who had been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year and earning $ 750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he could do it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

Because it’s easy to switch between apps, Lyft drivers often also sign up to drive with Uber.

2. Grocery Shopper

Not comfortable with driving strangers around? How about picking up groceries instead? Shipt and Instacart are two services that deliver supermarket essentials to a customer’s door. Drivers for the services receive an order, go to the store, pick out the items and drop them off.

Destiny Frith of Nashville, Tennessee, told The Penny Hoarder she earns about $ 600 in a 35-hour workweek as a Shipt shopper.

3. Meal Delivery

Luckily, there are other food-delivery options for people who don’t want to wait in the deli line for someone else’s cold cuts. With meal-delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash, drivers will pick up customers’ take-out orders from restaurants and deliver the items to them.

According to Uber Eats, the amount of money drivers earn depends on several factors, such as when they work, demand for deliveries and tips. Drivers earn pickup, drop-off and trip mileage fees. Uber takes a cut of the overall payout, but drivers keep 100% of their tips.

Like traditional Uber, surge pricing can boost your pay during popular times, and Uber’s Instant Pay feature lets you access your pay from trips immediately after they conclude — for a 50 cent fee each time — up to five times per day.

4. Dog Walking  

If you’re looking for a flexible, independent way to earn money — and you love hanging out with dogs — Rover might be your perfect gig.

The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town.

Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month.

Rover dog-sitter requirements vary by location. In general, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have access to the Rover app (iOS or Android).

Here’s how it works: You’ll create an online sitter profile where you’ll answer questions about your experience with puppers and your schedule availability.

You can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Boarding is the app’s most popular service, so offering it can get you more gigs. You set your own rates. (Rover keeps a small percentage as a service fee.)

Dog owners will reach out to you. Accept which gigs you want, then start snugglin’ pups. As soon as you complete a service, you’ll be paid within two days.

5. Odd Jobs

For those who are a little more handy around the house and don’t want to be stuck in a car all day, think about putting your odd-job skills to good use.

TaskRabbit, a service that connects workers with people who need help at home, lists a variety of tasks that people can accept, including assembling furniture, mounting TVs, cleaning and more.

According to Brittany Benson, a TaskRabbit spokeswoman, “Taskers” in the United States earn an average of $ 35 per hour. Check out our overview of how to make money on TaskRabbit.

Service Industry

The service industry depends on people looking for extra work as servers and bartenders. The hours and pay can vary depending on the type of establishment, so make sure these shifts will not interfere with your day job.

6. Restaurant Server

Since most servers rely on tips, do your best to find busy restaurants that have expensive food and drink. That way, you have a better chance to get a more lucrative tip at the bottom of the receipt. Restaurant servers earn $ 8.33 per hour, including tips, according to a The Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.  

7. Bartender

You may need some previous experience behind a bar before getting a gig serving cocktails. Bartenders earn $ 11.54 per hour, including tips, according to a The Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. If you have the necessary know-how to become a bartender, try out these 16 tricks to maximize your tip income.

8. Fast-Food Worker

Working in a fast-food restaurant is a common first job for high schoolers, but now may be the time to give it another shot.

Some of the biggest fast-food chains have added more benefits for their employees. McDonald’s announced in early 2018 that it was planning to expand its college tuition assistance program. A few months later, KFC started offering employees access to personal finance education and budgeting software. Fast-food workers earn $ 6.41 per hour, according to a The Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Work From Home

Young woman working at home

Work-from-home jobs are a great option if leaving your day job and going straight to another gig doesn’t sound appealing. These jobs offer the flexibility to do your duties from the comfort of your home office.

9. Customer Service Associate

These gigs come in many forms, requiring reps to resolve issues for customers on the phone and by chat and email. Fields include technology, health care and finance. Customer service jobs require patience, a desire to help people and a proper computer setup. Check out the customer service jobs available on The Penny Hoarder Work-From-Home Jobs Portal for more information.

10. Freelance and Creative Writing

So you have a way with words. Why not get paid to use them? You can find opportunities to get paid to write copy and original creative writing pieces. One of the ways to make your writing more in-demand is to focus on a specific niche or topic, such as finance or technology.

Also, stay away from writing for sites and services that pay little per article. Those articles usually need to be written in a hurry and are not worthy to be clips in your professional portfolio.

If you’re interested in getting paid for your original creative writing pieces, then sign up for a submission-management website, such as Submittable or Duotrope, says Jerrod Schwarz, a creative writing professor at the University of Tampa and a managing editor of Driftwood Press Literary Magazine.

Here’s a breakdown on how to make more money as a freelance writer and a list of magazines that pay for creative writing submissions.

11. Teaching English as a Second Language

If you’re a former teacher looking to make some money from home, you should check out VIPKid, Qkids or Italki. These companies connect U.S. instructors with students who want to learn English.

According to the Qkids website, most online teachers work 10 to 20 hours per week and earn between $ 16 and $ 20, including loyalty bonuses.

Jennifer Ross, a former schoolteacher who now works for VIPKid, told The Penny Hoarder in 2018 she makes more than $ 520 working 24 hours a week.

12. Online Tutoring

Another teaching opportunity available outside the classroom is online tutoring. Several companies give educators a chance to help students while working from the comfort of home.

Tutors with Chegg, for example, earn $ 20 or more per hour teaching grades 6-12, college and working professionals in topics such as calculus, computer science, zoology — and more.

Most companies require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree or be working toward one. But not all companies, like Tutor.com or Yup, require previous teaching experience. Here’s a roundup of work-from-home online tutoring companies.

13. E-Commerce Seller

Maybe you’re not interested in working in a service-industry gig and want to explore your crafty side. Thanks to the popularity of platforms like Etsy, eBay and Facebook Marketplace, craft merchants and small business owners have an outlet to sell their goods.

Etsy seller Lena Gosik-Wolfe encourages new sellers to do their due diligence in the beginning by obtaining the necessary tax documents, business licenses and web domain for their companies before making a first sale.

“It’s better to take it seriously and get that stuff in order from the start rather than having to go back and fix it later on,” she says. If you’re considering selling on Etsy, here are five more tips to help boost your sales.

In addition to Etsy, craft sellers can open up online stores using Amazon and Shopify. One of the benefits of selling on Amazon is the sheer number of people who use the site every day.

The downside is that there’s increased competition from people selling similar products. An upside is that sellers have access to features such as Prime and Fulfillment by Amazon.

Shopify is another option for sellers who prefer control over their online store to merely listing their goods on a large aggregate like Etsy. Shopify is user-friendly for sellers who aren’t especially tech-savvy, offering more than 100 free, customizable online store templates. Find out more about different e-commerce services here.

Matt Reinstetle 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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Kasia Miaskiewicz, director at UBS Evolve, broke down the four-pronged approach for CNBC Make It.
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Entrepreneurs: Here Are 3 Ways Bad Health Habits Can Cut Into Your Bottom Line

Not living as healthy a life as possible can lead to more than just physical challenges. The fiscal results can add more problems to your life—but some are avoidable. Here are three bad health habits and how they can affect your financial health and that of your business.

Smoking: Quitting smoking is considered one of the hardest endeavors to take on (and science backs this notion.) Besides the fact that a pack of cigarettes can cost you up to $ 17, the American Cancer Society reports that tobacco-related healthcare costs are more than $ 130 billion and the direct healthcare cost for those who smoke cigarettes is about $ 35 per pack. (So, let’s say you smoke only a pack per day. That’s more than $ 13,000 per year.)

Recent Wallet Hub research also indicates that smokers can lose up to $ 5,932 per year in income, and more than $ 156 billion is lost in productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke. In some states, health insurance premiums are higher for smokers—up to 50% higher than those who do not smoke.

The American Cancer Society and healthcare professionals cite options for quitting including counseling, nicotine-replacement therapy, and prescription drugs. Smokers are also advised to seek help from a licensed medical professional or to take advantage of cessation programs covered by insurance.

Overworking: There are several health-related effects of overworking and researchers have found that the resulting stress can lead to depression, heavy drinking, impaired sleep, diabetes, and other conditions and illnesses. It can also lead to a loss in productivity, which is quite counterproductive. The domino effect: absences at work, appointments, and business meetings, which then leads to a breakdown in your reputation and credibility as a leader. If you’re missing a meeting that could have netted you that lucrative partnership, that’s money lost to your business. And even if you show up, you won’t be at your best—yet again risking the loss of money-making opportunities.

Productivity experts suggest working in 60-to 90-minute intervals throughout the day, and to manage your time in a way that promotes a healthy balance between professional and personal time. Prioritizing deadlines, being prompt for meetings, and avoiding distractions are all ways you can avoid unnecessary midnight oil-burning sessions.

Skipping Doctor’s Appointments: No-show rates for doctor’s appointments can range from 5% to 55%. Not scheduling routine exams, especially for conditions and diseases that disproportionately affect black women and men or people of a certain age range, can mean missed diagnosis and exposure to health challenges that could have been avoided or treated earlier.

The CDC indicates that getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, help your chances for living a longer, healthier life, and catching things early can help to avoid the healthcare and insurance costs that you could face if a condition is not detected early enough, gets worse, or leads to a more serious one. It’s definitely less expensive to go to the doctor regularly than to avoid it for years and end up having an extended stay in a hospital or high costs of a lifetime of prescription drugs or medical treatments.

Editor’s Note: This article originally published on July 2, 2016 

The post Entrepreneurs: Here Are 3 Ways Bad Health Habits Can Cut Into Your Bottom Line appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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If You Work From Home, Here Are 11 Tax Deductions You Need to Know About

While there are plenty of pros to working from home,  the downside is it can cost you plenty. from the high-speed internet to stay in touch with clients to the office chair that keeps you comfy while you work.

Fortunately, the government recognizes this and offers tax deductions to people who work out of their homes. Read on to find out what you might be eligible for if you work from home.

Tax Deductions for Self-Employed vs. Remote Workers

Most of the following deductions apply largely to the self-employed, also known as independent contractors. That’s because when you’re an employee of a company, your company foots the bill for 50% of things like Social Security and Medicare taxes, and withholds the other 50% from your paycheck to pay the rest.

But when you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for both halves — something too many independent contractors learn by surprise when April rolls around and they find out how much they owe in taxes. (Plus, the self-employment tax entry moved from Form 1040 to Schedule 1 for 2018.)

As a rule of thumb, you should set aside around one-third of your self-employment income for taxes.

To offset this additional expense, the IRS allows self-employed workers to deduct certain business-related costs, so long as they itemize each of these expenses on their returns. That means you’ll need to keep detailed records and receipts throughout the year.

What You Can Deduct if You’re Self-Employed

According to IRS guidelines, “To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary.” This includes the following:

1. Home Office

Home office.

If you have a dedicated room or workspace in your home you use solely for business purposes, it counts as a “home office,” and you can deduct a portion of certain home expenses for it. It doesn’t need a fixed partition, like a wall or a door to close, but you do need to clearly identify it as a separate space (i.e., a dedicated corner of your kitchen).

So if your home is 1,200 square feet and your home office is 120 square feet, that means it makes up 10% of your home’s square footage, so you can deduct 10% of the following:

  • Rent (NOT monthly mortgage payments).
  • Utilities (heat, electricity, internet, landline).
  • Mortgage interest.
  • Homeowners insurance.
  • Property taxes.

Remote workers, take note: You can only deduct a home office if your employer asks you to work from home “for the convenience of your employer.” If you’ve negotiated a few work-from-home days to accommodate your own schedule, this does not count.

2. Office Supplies

From staples to printer paper, office supplies are deductible. Just be careful with larger “supplies,” like furniture.

If it’s essential to your business (think: desk, desk chair, filing cabinet), you can probably deduct it. If it’s not (think: picture frames and a second, comfier chair for brainstorming in), you probably can’t.

3. Equipment

You can also deduct any equipment you buy for your business, like computers, printers and accessories (headsets, webcams, etc.), as well as any repairs on these items. If you have a smartphone you use solely for business purposes, you can deduct the cost of the phone and monthly bill.

If your industry requires specialty equipment, like camera gear for photographers, that also qualifies.

4. Software

Do you use a paid invoicing system to bill your freelance clients? You can deduct that. Graphic design software, PDF software, word processing software? You can deduct those, too. As long as you use them strictly for business, any software you purchase or pay for monthly qualifies.

5. Travel Costs

Man waiting in airport lounge using a digital tablet.

If you ever need to travel to visit a client or attend a conference, you can deduct your mileage or airfare. The same goes for any lodging, parking fees and other travel-related expenses you incur on your own dime.

Note, however, that if you’re an employee, you can no longer deduct un-reimbursed employee expenses for business-related meals, entertainment and travel, as a result of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

6. Meals and Entertainment

Be careful with this category, as it can be all too tempting to write off business meetings that aren’t strictly business.

Coffee meeting with a new client to discuss strategy? Deductible.

Five-course dinner with friends where you spend 15 minutes talking business? Not so much.

As a rule, expect the IRS to limit your deductions to 50% of business-related “entertainment” costs, so keep things modest. For additional guidance, check out the 2018 update from the IRS.

7. Training and Education

You can deduct professional education necessary to run or grow your business, so go ahead and sign up for that course or webinar you’ve been wanting to take.

8. Marketing and Advertising

If you attend a trade show, send out flyers or buy a box of business cards, this counts as marketing, and you can deduct it. Same goes for any fees in connection with a personal website that advertises your services — hosting fees, WordPress theme purchases, etc.

9. Professional Services

When you hire someone to help you with your business, it’s deductible. So keep track of those invoices from the IT pro who debugged your website, the attorney who reviewed a tricky contract and the CPA who put together your tax returns.

10. Health Insurance

You can deduct 100% of your health insurance premiums for yourself and any covered spouse and dependents, if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re self-employed.
  • Your business is claiming a profit for the tax year.
  • You (and your spouse and dependents) were not eligible for coverage from an employer or under your spouse’s plan during the months you’re claiming.

11. Miscellaneous

Throughout the year, make note of any other expenses that the IRS might consider necessary in the normal course of business. This could include holiday gifts for your best clients (within reason), banking fees, shipping fees, post office box fees, etc.

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.

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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BBC’s first ‘His Dark Materials’ teaser is here, but no date yet

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If you’re curious to know what BBC One’s TV adaptation of sci-fi author Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy looks like, here’s 30 seconds to chew on.

No, it’s really not a lot. There’s also no mention of a release date in the teaser, beyond the vague promise that it’s “coming soon.” But you’ll catch your first look at Logan star Dafne Keen in the starring role of Lyra Belacqua, along with Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, Clarke Peters, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Read more…

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Need More Money? Here Are 30 Ways to Earn Extra Cash in 2019

It’s simple enough: You. Need. Money.

Now.

But deciding how to make money — or how to make more money — can get complicated.

As Penny Hoarders, we have plenty of experience sharing ways to make bank, and we’ve compiled 30 ways to do it quickly in 2019.

Whether it’s online, offline, at your job or by doing nothing (OK, not nothing, but through passive income), we’ll tell you how to find moneymaking opportunities and how much you can expect to take in.

What are you waiting for? Let’s earn some quick cash!

How to Make Money Online

Although there may be plenty of ways to make money online, that doesn’t mean they’re all worth your time. We’ve researched the effort vs. reward for these online options — from earning a few bucks for completing simple tasks to making enough dough to quit your day job.

Read on for more ways to earn extra cash on the web.

1. Trade Unwanted Gift Cards for Cash

What to do with all those gift cards from well-meaning relatives who either don’t know your interests or don’t take your location into consideration? (Thanks for the In-N-Out Burger gift card, but I live in Brooklyn.)

Sell them for cash (or a gift card you’ll actually use).

The Penny Hoarder’s Branded Content Editor Dana Sitar analyzed five gift card exchange sites that swap for cash or other gift cards.

Although you can make some fast cash this way, know that you won’t get the full face value of the card. Sitar suggests checking out two or three sites to find the best deal.

She also warns people to be wary of fast-cash offers through mobile payment sites like PayPal, which charges additional fees.

How much money can you make? The site Cardpool offered Sitar $ 21 cash for a $ 25 Target gift card.

2. Find a Side Hustle on Upwork

Hey there, fast fingers. You might be feeling low with the news that ”typist” is among the dying occupations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a way to make money hitting the keys (at least for now).

Upwork is a freelance site that lets you indicate whether you prefer short- or long-term projects and the number of hours you wish to work. You can narrow your search to specific jobs like “virtual assistant” or “data entry” within categories that include design, writing, administrative support and customer service.

Improve your chances of finding jobs that fit your skill set and fit into your spare time by being as precise as possible in your profile title and focusing on just a few keywords.

You’ll get paid by the hour or by the project, minus a percentage that Upwork charges freelancers.

How much money can you make? One Penny Hoarder earned $ 40 per hour on Upwork as a virtual assistant.

3. Freelance on Fiverr

Looking to pad your bank account by writing articles, designing logos or translating text?

Check out Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelancers. You can set up your platform for free, but Fiverr collects 20% of the transactions made over the site. Then it’s just a matter of choosing your gig.

Jobs tend toward the creative types, but there’s a wide range of categories, including graphics and design, digital marketing, writing and translation, video and animation and music and audio.

How much money can you make? Pay starts at $ 5 per project, but Charmaine Pocek told The Penny Hoarder she earned $ 30 to $ 800 on Fiverr as freelance writer creating resumes and cover letters and optimizing clients’ LinkedIn profiles. In the past six years, Pocek has added to her to total and has now made $ 2.3 million from work she’s found on the site, according to Abby Forman, spokeswoman for Fiverr.

4. Teach ESL Online

Kirsten Cherry teaches English online from her dining room table in her home in Twin Falls, ID.

You love kids, but at a distance — because, you know, those sticky hands. So snag a work-from-home job teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to Chinese students ages 4 to 12 through services like VIPKID and Qkids.

Both online platforms require a bachelor’s degree, a six-month commitment and the ability to work a minimum of six to seven hours per week. Teachers fill time slots by posting their availability — and since China is on the other side of the globe, your schedule will need to accommodate the time difference. (If it’s 6 p.m. in China, it’s 5 a.m. in New York).

After quitting her full-time job, new mom Kirsten Cherry of Twin Falls, Idaho, found part-time work teaching students through VIPKID.

“I got hired in June. Within two weeks, my schedule was 97% full,” said Cherry, 26. “In the first month, I earned over $ 1,000.

How much money can you make? Qkids states on its site that the base pay is $ 8 per 30-minute lesson, plus attendance and performance incentives. Cherry said she makes up to $ 22 teaching two lessons in an hour through VIPKID.

5. Test Websites and Apps

For all the sprinters out there, website and app testing could be your path to fast cash.

Start by filling out a registration form with a testing service. Once approved, you’ll receive access to projects as they become available. Testing involves interacting with a site and completing a series of tasks while providing feedback for market research.

Most testing requires you to work from a computer rather than your cell phone, as you’ll speak your feedback out loud as the company records your experience through the testing interface.

Cherry said she tried three different testing platforms and found the most success with Userlytics.

Most tests only take five to 15 minutes to complete, she noted, but you have to be ready to test at a moment’s notice.

“A lot of them I can actually do, as long as I click on them and follow the link on time,” Cherry said. “Sometimes even within 10 to 15 minutes after you get the email, they’re already full; they already have enough tests done.”

How much money can you make? Banking $ 10 to $ 20 per test, Cherry has earned $ 200 for taking a total of 18 tests.

6. Become a Search Engine Evaluator

Use your attention to detail to make money as a search engine evaluator.

Evaluators analyze the relevance and quality of ads and news feeds — think: deciding if those Google search results make sense. The guidelines are fairly strict for these kinds of jobs, and testing can be extensive.

You’ll need in-depth, up-to-date knowledge of the topics you cover and of the web in general, according to Prathima Tothempudi, senior human resources business partner at Lionbridge, a company that regularly posts openings for search engine evaluator gigs. In exchange, you’ll get a job that typically offers a flexible schedule.

How much money can you make? Lionbridge pays $ 10.80 per hour, Tothempudi said.

7. Sell Free Stuff on Craigslist

The online classified site Craigslist lets you sell stuff for cash, including items you get for free. And you don’t even need to leave the site to find those freebies — there’s a “free” listings section right there on Craigslist. Convenient, right?

Penny Hoarder Steve Gillman picked up six boxes of floor tiles he found for free on Craigslist, then sold them to the first flooring company he passed on his way back home.

How much money can you make? Gillman made $ 10 off of the pile of tiles.

8. Sell Thrift Store Finds on eBay

A woman holds a pile of clothes.

Selling your possessions on the auction site eBay is one way to pocket some cash quickly.

You can also make money by buying designer clothes for cheap, then selling them on the site to the highest bidder. If you have an eye for fashion — or at least the most popular labels — you can track down inventory at local thrift stores.

Create listings for your items, making sure to include well-written item descriptions and quality photographs to give your listings a professional polish (and get top dollar). Check out similar items to get a sense of where to set your starting bid, and be sure to incorporate the costs of shipping and eBay’s seller fees into your price.

Penny Hoarder Kat Tretina resold designer jeans by starting with a minimal investment — packaging tape and a scale to weigh packages for shipping — and ended up more than tripling her money.

How much money can you make? Your profitability depends upon what you’re selling, but for working 10 to 15 hours a month, Tretina made $ 500 to $ 800.

9. Sell Handmade Goods on Etsy

If you have a knack for crafting, you probably are already familiar with Etsy, aka the crafters’ paradise.

And if you’re considering making the leap from selling your wares at the farmers market to earning your money online as a crafty small business, starting out on Etsy is fairly simple. When you set up your site, you’ll pick a name, choose the items to list (the site recommends starting with at least 10) and set up payment and billing.

The site charges 20 cents for your first item, and you’ll pay transaction and payment-processing fees when you make a sale. To turn your shop into a viable moneymaker, take advice from those who’ve gone before you.

Lena Gosik-Wolfe, who followed up on a successful Etsy store with a second business advising people how they can sell on the crafty site, offered the following tips for ways to make money on Etsy:

  • Treat your shop like a brick-and-mortar version.
  • File necessary tax documents.
  • Design a professional site to attract customers.
  • Develop a clear, cohesive marketing strategy.

How much money can you make? Your Etsy profitability depends on what you’re selling and how much time you put into your business. Crafter Beth Gates told The Penny Hoarder she made $ 400 during her first six months selling Southern-style sundries and crochet items. After dedicating more time to her business, she made more than $ 4,000 in one year.

10. Do Online Transcription  

Those listening skills you honed by eavesdropping on your roommates’ conversations could finally pay off with a job in online transcription.

Transcription jobs usually require an assessment test to gauge your typing speed and accuracy. Depending on the service, you could be listening to a car commercial or court hearings, so find out what you’re getting into before you apply.

Cherry wishes she had known that tip before she signed up for her first transcription gig, which brought in $ 85.15 over six months for a job that required extensive testing and a lot of studying to follow a strict style guide.

“For that first transcription job, oh my gosh, I spent hours on that, and I got paid so little,” Cherry said. “I wish I would have just, in the beginning, told myself, ‘Hey, this just isn’t going to be worth it. Find something else.’”

Cherry had better luck after discovering the transcription service Rev, which offered a user-friendly platform and more lucrative projects.

How much money can you make? Making 40 cents to 75 cents per minute of transcription at Rev, Cherry earned $ 87.45 in one month for less than four hours of work.

11. Incorporate Affiliate Marketing Into Your Blog

Hey bloggers, there’s money to be made through affiliate marketing.

The basic process for making money through affiliate marketing goes like this: Write reviews about products on your blog and include a specific tracking link. When readers click the link and make a purchase, you receive a commission.

The more readers you have, the better your chances for making money, so attracting more eyeballs to your site is essential. One way to do that: Pitch articles to other blogs that allow you to link back to your blog.

How much money can you make? The affiliate marketplace ClickBank, which offers products and services to promote in your blog, says commissions range from 1% to 75%. The maximum commission on a single sale is $ 150.

12. Take Online Surveys

Looking to make a few bucks from a task that doesn’t require much effort? Taking online surveys could be your jam.

After signing up with a platform like Swagbucks or InboxDollars, you’ll select surveys based on your initial application, then answer questions that take an average of 20 minutes to complete.

The Penny Hoarder reviewed six online survey sites, noting that some paid out cash directly while others paid in gift cards or even sweepstakes entries. So do your homework before you sign up.

How much money can you make? Swagbucks surveys pay anywhere from 40 to 200 SB (100 SB equal $ 1), according to our Swagbucks review. Earn 300 SB to cash out for $ 3 gift cards to places like Amazon or Dunkin Donuts.

How to Make Money Fast (and in Person)

What if you need money fast and you want to do something that calls for less face time with your screen and more face time with actual, live human beings (or animals)?

Read on for ways to make more money in person.

13. Drive for Uber or Lyft

Lyft driver Paul Pruce poses in front of his car during a driving shift in Philadelphia, PA

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft.

Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

Best of all, you can do it on your own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you.

Because it’s easy to switch between apps, Lyft drivers often also sign up to drive with Uber.

How much money can you make? We talked to Paul Pruce, who had been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year and earning $ 750 a week as a driver.

14. Do Household Tasks Through TaskRabbit

You’re the person Aunt Peggy always calls to fix a faucet or assemble a bookshelf.

It’s time you stopped getting paid in oatmeal cookies. (Sorry, Peg).

Instead, use your household know-how to earn extra cash on TaskRabbit, which connects you with clients who need help cleaning their house, hanging pictures and making deliveries. In exchange for getting paid for your work, TaskRabbit deducts a 15% service fee.

How much money can you make? The company has stated you can make up to $ 2,000 per week — but no cookies.

15. Start a Pet-Sitting Business

If you prefer your coworkers to be the four-legged variety, snagging a job as a pet sitter could be the job you’ve been begging for (as if you thought I wouldn’t go there).

Posting notices on your local social networks will help you find owners in need of walkers, sitters and general companions for their fur babies.

Want to improve your rate of hire as a newbie? Instill trust by snapping a few photos of the pet when you’re with them, then send them to the owner, according to Lisa Peddicord, who has a pet-sitting side gig.

How much money can you make? Peddicord told The Penny Hoarder she made just under $ 10,000 in 2018.

16. Walk Dogs With Rover

If you’re looking for a flexible, independent way to earn money — and you love hanging out with dogs — Rover might be your perfect gig.

The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town.

Rover dog-sitter requirements vary by location. In general, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have access to the Rover app (iOS or Android).

Here’s how it works: You’ll create an online sitter profile where you’ll answer questions about your experience with puppers and your schedule availability.

You can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Boarding is the app’s most popular service, so offering it can get you more gigs. You set your own rates. (Rover keeps a small percentage as a service fee.)

Dog owners will reach out to you. Accept which gigs you want, then start snugglin’ pups. As soon as you complete a service, you’ll be paid within two days.

How much money can you make? Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month.

17. Deliver Groceries Through Shipt and Instacart

Destiny Frith, 24, of Nashville, a shopper for Shipt, makes her way to her car after shopping for a customer at Kroger in Franklin, Tenn.

Enjoy spending money but still need to make some? You can pocket cash if you’re willing to shop for other people — particularly for their food — and drop it off at their homes.

So if you have a keen eye for kiwi or a knack for knowing your knockwurst, you could make bank shopping and delivering groceries for Shipt or Instacart, on-demand grocery-delivery services.

To get started, you’ll sign up for an account, then select your schedule based on your availability. Instacart lets you pick between shopping and delivering or just shopping in-store, so you don’t even necessarily need a car.

You’ll receive orders through the company app and can communicate directly with the customers in case the store is all out of their preferred brand of pickled pig’s feet.

How much money can you make? Instacart shoppers in larger metropolitan areas can make $ 25 per hour during high-demand times, according to Instacart Boston city manager Nima Zahedi. Shipt notes on its website that shoppers make an average of $ 22 an hour, and Shipt shopper Destiny Firth told us she made approximately $ 600 per week (including tips) working 35 hours per week.

18. Sell Your Old Video Games

That old Mario Kart at the bottom of your video-game bin could be making you money instead of collecting dust.

Penny Hoarder Staff Writer Adam Hardy used GameStop’s rather stingy buyback policy to his advantage by swapping store credit for gift cards and maximizing his profit.

How much money can you make? GameStop originally offered Hardy $ 72.40 cash for his games, but he opted for the $ 111.14 Shell Gas card instead, which he could then trade on CardPool for $ 95.58 cash.

19. Become an Airbnb Host

Have a spare room? Might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one. We talked to Terence Michael, an Airbnb superhost based in Los Angeles.

Here are some of his tips:

  • Break out the labelmaker. “I have the entire house loaded with labels,” Michael says. “They look nice; they’re modern. This helps people feel less helpless.”
  • Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels. Here’s a little hack from Michael: “I order on Amazon and have it delivered when people are there.”
  • Be kind to your neighbors. “I say, ‘I’m not going to put anyone here who I think won’t be good for you,’” Michael explains. “And I turn a lot of big groups away, especially in Nashville. I don’t want anyone going to the cops or the city.”

How much money can you make? Figure your potential earnings with this Airbnb calculator.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

20. Rent Out Your Ride on Getaround

It doesn’t seem fair: While you toil away at the office all day, what is your car doing?

Living the sweet life in a parking garage.

Make that freeloader earn its keep by renting out your ride during your workday. (You can also do it on weekends you prefer to stay in and binge watch “The Good Place.”)

Peer-to-peer car rentals let you lend your car and pocket the cash. Getaround, available in New Jersey and 13 cities in other states, allows you to list your vehicle for free.

How much money can you make? Getaround says users can make up to $ 800 a month.

21. Find Baby-sitting Jobs on Care.com

You can recite the names of every Paw Patrol member, you knew Doc McStuffins when she was just a resident and you can sing every verse of “Baby Shark” — with a smile.

You were born to baby-sit.

If you’re the responsible type and love kids, baby-sitting can be an easy gig to pick up on the side, starting with your own friends and family

And services like Care.com can expand your client base beyond your inner circle — plus, it lets you choose other caregiving options like pet sitting or senior care.

How much money can you make? The average baby-sitting rate was $ 16.20 per hour, according to a 2018 Care.com Cost of Care Survey.

Make Money on Social Media

You already spend a lot of time on social media, so why not make some fast cash there, right?

Most people who make big money do so based on the size of their audience (hello, Kardashians). But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make some bank — especially if you have a loyal following that has the potential to grow.

Considering 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities, there’s plenty of reason to believe that even smaller social media influencers can attract advertiser dollars.

If you’re among that group of influencers, there are ways to grow your audience, build a professional profile and thus attract more money. Online platforms like Kred, Klear and GroupHigh can help you connect with companies that will pay you to mention their brands to your audience.

Ready for the spotlight? Check out these ways to make money on social media.

22. Stream on Twitch

 Cory Michael, who goes by the screen name King Gothalion, has turned broadcasting video games on Twitch into a profitable full time job.

Your mom was wrong. Playing video games might not be a waste of your time after all.

Cory Michael started streaming his gaming sessions and over four years attracted 29 million people to watch him tackle Destiny and other multiplayer online games. As a result, Twitch accepted his partnership application and agreed to pay him to play.

How much money can you make? Michael explained to The Penny Hoarder that there are three ways to make money streaming on Twitch: tipping, ad revenue and subscriptions. Top Twitch streamers can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.

23. Produce Videos for YouTube

Put that camera phone to work by making some bucks logging your life, times and cat videos on YouTube.

But you’ll need more viewers than your biggest fan (thanks, grandma!) to make money on the video streaming site. To be reviewed for the YouTube Partner Program, your channel must have at least 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.

Linden Wolbert, who makes a living performing as a mermaid, said she loves teaching kids about the ocean on “Mermaid Minute,” an educational web series she launched on the YouTube channel in 2012. But after YouTube raised the bar for its Partner Program in 2017, “It’s become a lot more challenging,” she said.

To help attract more eyeballs to your site and reach the threshold, the YouTube Creators channel advises vloggers to post new videos consistently and frequently — think Monday through Friday at 3 p.m., no matter what your cat did that day.

Your channel can make money through advertising, subscribers and Super Chats — that’s where fans can pay extra to add a highlighted message to the chat as you live stream.

How much money can you make? Wolbert made four figures a month before YouTube updated its algorithms, but YouTube indicates there are opportunities to earn even more money. Its press page states that the number of channels earning five figures per year grew 50% year over year.

How to Make Passive Income

Even if you don’t have the free time to take on a part-time job, you can still make money by putting in a little front-end work.

It’s called passive income, and we’ve found ways to help you pad your bank account without lifting a finger (or at least maybe not all of them).

24. Earn Cash Back on Purchases With Ebates

Instead of handing over all your hard-earned money when checking out, how’d you like to earn some of that cash back?

Ebates lets you earn anywhere from 1% to 25% on purchases you make at its retailers; (there are 2,500, so lots of options). You can sign up for free using your Facebook or Google account.

By clicking the “shop now” button before you check out, a percentage of the price goes back to your Ebates account.

How much money can you make? On its site, Ebates says you can earn a $ 10 Walmart gift card or Ebates cash bonus by spending at least $ 25 and making your first purchase through the site within 90 days of signing up.

25. Upload Your Receipts to Ibotta

A woman pushes a full cart at a grocery store.

You’re already a coupon cutter (right? right?!?), so discover another easy way to make cash back on your groceries with the Ibotta app.

After you sign up for an account, click the little addition sign next to the products you can save on (just like couponing, but without the scissors). Then upload a picture of your receipt, and Ibotta deposits the amount saved into your account. You’ll get a $ 10 sign-up bonus after you upload your first receipt. Once you reach the $ 20 minimum, you can cash out through PayPal or Venmo.

Even better, the app isn’t limited to grocery store purchases — you can earn cash back on other shopping and travel, too.

How much money can you make? Penny Hoarder staffer Colleen Rice earned approximately $ 45 from Ibotta during one road trip by finding cash-back deals on Hotels.com.

26. Invest in Real Estate

Even if you’re not exactly the handy type (hand raised) or you don’t have cash to sink into million-dollar properties (both hands raised), you can make passive income from real estate through online investment options like Fundrise.

For as little as $ 500, you can join the crowdfunding-style real estate investment platform, which invests in American properties. Learn more in The Penny Hoarder’s review of Fundrise.

How much money can you make? Fundrise has seen historical returns of 8.7% to 12.4%. (Note: As with any investment, past performance isn’t indicative of future results.)

27. Earn Interest on Savings Accounts

Will you get rich quick putting your money in a savings account? No.

But if you’ve been leaving your money to waste away in a traditional savings account with its minuscule returns — or you don’t have a savings account at all — high-yield online savings accounts can offer you at least some passive income.

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 2.1% annual percentage yield. That’s 35 times — repeat, 35 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

Varo goes easy on the fees, too. As long as you use one of its 55,000 ATMs across the world, you’ll never pay fees.

Additionally, you’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no cash replacement fees. You’ll just pay any fees charged by out-of-network ATMs and cash deposit fees if you deposit cash in-store through Green Dot.

How much money can you make? If you tuck away $ 1,000 in an account with a 2.1% annual percentage yield (APY), you’ll earn an extra $ 21 this year.  

28. Use Credit Card Points

Wait a second, you say, I’m trying to make money, not spend it!

But you do have to spend money on some essentials, right? Like groceries and gas?

I can speak from personal experience that collecting points on these purchases can help you earn cash back and gift cards.

The key to this being worthwhile, though, is that you must pay off your credit card each month. Otherwise, the interest you’re paying on the balance negates any profit you’re making through point accumulation.

How much money can you make? I received $ 250 in Target gift cards last year by using points I earned on my Mastercard.

How to Make More Money at Your Job

A businessman smiles as he walks down a street talking on his cell phone

This may seem like an obvious option — you’re already making money at your job, right? (If not, find another job.) But since your employer is already a source for earning cash, why not consider it as an option for making more money?

29. Ask for More Hours (and More Money)

If you’re working a part-time job, one way to make more money is to ask for more hours.

In addition to the extra cash, a full-time position may offer more benefits, like paid time off and health insurance coverage.

Make your case for more hours with a list of current accomplishments and ways you can further help the company, suggests career strategist Emily Kapit of ReFreshYourStep.com.

“You set yourself up for the best chance of success… if you go in prepared and also positioning it as helping the manager,” Kapit said. “You’re going to feel more empowered.”

Check out this article for more tips for turning your part-time gig into a full-time job.

How much money can you make? It depends on how many additional hours you can snag. And since benefits account for 31.8% of an employee’s total compensation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, be sure to check out this article to figure out your total compensation package.

30. Ask for a Raise

Wouldn’t it be great if your boss just said, “Hey there, superstar, how’d you like a big pile of money for being awesome?”

That probably won’t happen. (And if it does, don’t do the humblebrag thing on Facebook. It’s annoying.)

If you want to ask for a raise, you should first know whether you’re in a good position to negotiate, according to Michelle Tillis Lederman, CEO of Executive Essentials and author of “The Connector’s Advantage.”

“Are you getting good assignments? Are your getting good feedback?” Lederman asked. “What was your performance-review comment? Did you exceed expectations, or did you just meet expectations?”

Before scheduling a meeting with your boss, arm yourself. Check out salary-comparison calculators on sites like Glassdoor, and document your work wins — and the approximate value they add to the company — to prove your worth. And don’t forget to check out what the competition is offering someone with a job similar to yours.

How much money can you make? Chad Busta told The Penny Hoarder he used a competing offer to negotiate with his current employer for a 6% pay raise and the ability to work from home.

More Ways to Make Money

Here’s the thing to keep in mind about making money: No matter what the flimflam artists may claim, you generally don’t make money without any effort.

But instead of dreaming about making a million dollars by posting videos of your cat on YouTube, you can realistically expect to make extra cash by putting in some time and effort.

That’s been Cherry’s experience. She says that by working a few hours every day, she’s earned money to help her family — and to enjoy a few perks.

“If I earn a certain amount of money, I say I’ll give myself 10%, and then I put it toward what I want,” she said. “It just makes me happy that I’m earning something and that I can buy myself a little extra.”

And if you’re looking for even more ways to make bank, check out our post on side jobs to make extra money.

Happy earning!

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a writer/editor for The Penny Hoarder. Find her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.

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

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

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

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

What Makes a Bank Account Ideal for Freelancers?

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

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

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

Now let’s dive in.

1. Axos Bank (Formerly Bank of Internet USA)

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

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

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

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

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

2. Simple

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

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

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

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

3. Chase

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

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

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

4. PayPal

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

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

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

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

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

Happy hustling!

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

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

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Nicollette Sheridan Is Here, In Case You Wondered Where She Was

It takes a real broad to show up at the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Awards with both lackluster makeup AND wilting gym hair, topped off with a suit she bought from a Liza Minnelli impersonator on eBay. The proportions are wonkus and she looks hilarious, and honestly, she has a seat at Drinks With…
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Iceberg, But Make It Fashion. Here Are 20 of Karl Lagerfeld’s Most Spectacular Chanel Fashion Shows

Legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died at the age of 85 on Tuesday in Paris, leaving behind a larger-than-life legacy. Although the German-born Lagerfeld had his own eponymous line and was the creative director of Italian luxury label Fendi for over five decades, the name he’s most associated with is the French luxury house Chanel, where he served as their high-profile creative director since 1983.

During his time at Chanel, “the Kaiser” as he was nicknamed, helped transform the fashion and luxury industry as we know it, turning out collections that were as witty as they were elegant, a shining example of what it means to breathe new life into a legacy brand. To that end, Lagerfeld could draw as much inspiration from the life and times of Coco Chanel as he might from campy, colorful aspects of pop culture, as evidenced by his fantastical themes from Chanel shows that ranged from a full replica of the Eiffel Tower in the Grand Palais to a fully Chanel-branded grocery store, complete with shopping carts that show-goers stormed after the show.

In memory of Lagerfeld’s immense creative legacy, here’s a look back at his 20 most memorable Chanel shows of all time.

Fall/Winter RTW 2008: Chanel Carousel

For Chanel’s Fall/Winter RTW 2008 show, Lagerfeld constructed a full working carousel in the center of the Chanel runway, where models rode on larger-than-life replicas of the house’s famous quilted accessories after they took their turn on the runway. At the end of the show, Lagerfeld exited the rotating carousel to take his final bow.

Chanel Spring/Summer RTW 2009: 31 Rue Cambon

For Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2009 show, Lagerfeld recreated the iconic Chanel flagship store, 31 Rue Cambon, to-scale in the brand’s usual choice of venue, the Grand Palais. Lagerfeld’s wry sense of humor was on full display with the show’s soundtrack, a mix of Madness’ “Our House.”

Chanel Resort 2009: Synchronized Swimmers in Miami

Lagerfeld turned up the heat when he showed Chanel’s 2009 resort collection poolside at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, Miami. While the collection was beautiful, Karl might have upstaged his own designs by asking the U.S. synchronized swimming team to do a fantastic closing performance.

Chanel Spring/Summer RTW 2010: Bucolic Beauty

Lagerfeld once again held court at the stately Grand Palais, this time to transform it into a bucolic barnyard paradise, resplendent with a Chanel-themed barn, hay bales, rockabilly high fashion, and a surprise Lily Allen performance.

Chanel Fall/Winter RTW 2010: Iceberg, But Make It Fashion

What’s cooler than cool? How about an actual iceberg, the ultimate accessory for a Winter Wonderland set that matched the shaggy, fur-embellished designs that Lagerfeld sent down the runway.

Resort 2010: Chanel Takes the Venice Lido

Lagerfeld paid homage to Chanel’s namesake designer, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel when he staged his 2010 Resort show on a boardwalk runway along the romantic Venice Lido, an enviable destination fashion show.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2013: Linlithgow Palace

Scotland served as both the locale and the muse for Lagerfeld’s Pre-Fall collection, which he showed at the darkly beautiful Linlithgow Palace. The palace, which was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, housed models who stomped down a blazing brazier-lit runway in tweeds and tartans, that honored the late monarch as much as they cheekily referenced Coco Chanel’s time spent in Scotland, with her lover, the Duke of Westminster.

CHanel Fall 2013 Couture: Post-Apocalypse Now

Science fiction took center stage at Lagerfeld’s post-apocalyptic theater for the 2013 Chanel couture show. Models walked out from a deconstructed center stage to walk between aisles of viewers who sat in theater seats in the Grand Palais.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2014: Everything’s Bigger in Texas

Full-fledged Americana might not seem like a fit for a French fashion house, but under Lagerfeld’s direction, Chanel’s annual Métiers d’Art show was one wild ride. Beginning with a drive-in movie before the show and ending with a mechanical bull at the after-party hosted at the Chanel saloon, Lagerfeld’s take on Texas was fit for a spaghetti Western, down to an unfortunate Native American headdress that drew wide criticism.

Chanel Fall/Winter RTW 2014: Grocery Shopping with Karl Lagerfeld

Going to the supermarket was no chore at the Fall/Winter 2014 Chanel show, where Karl Lagerfeld painstakingly recreated a fully-stocked grocery store with all Chanel-branded wares, ranging from household cleaning items to pasta. Following the presentation, during which models walked down “aisles” with Chanel shopping carts, attendees stormed the set to loot the grocery store’s Chanel offerings.

Spring/Summer RTW 2015: Vive la Chanel!

Lagerfeld took inspiration from protest culture with his showing for the Spring/Summer 2015 show. Models took to the Parisian “streets” of the Grand Palais for a final walk that manifested in a pseudo-protest (complete with signs that read: “He for She” and “Ladies First” as well as Jamie Bouchert leading chants with a megaphone) that brought to mind women’s liberation.

Fall 2015 Couture: Casino Chanel

Casino Royale? So last season. Welcome to Casino Chanel, where Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, and mother-daughter duo Lily-Rose Depp and Vanessa Paradis all took to the roulette tables as models slinked around them. Lagerfeld’s trademark humor was at play, with the Chanel bride resembling a very chic Elvis Presley impersonator.

Spring/Summer RTW 2016: Fly Chanel Airlines

Attendees were invited to fly high — well, high fashion, that is — with Chanel airlines at the brand’s Spring/Summer 2016 show, where the Grand Palais became an airline terminal for the world’s most stylish jet setters (traveling, of course, with some seriously enviable Chanel luggage).

Fall/Winter RTW 2017: Chanel Conquers the Last Frontier

Leave it to the Kaiser to cap off a space-themed collection with the launch of custom Chanel rocket in the Grand Palais — all set to the dulcet tones of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” of course.

Resort 2017: Chanel in Havana, Cuba

While Chanel was critiqued for the decision to show luxury fashion (including some questionable references, like military fatigues and Che Guevara-esque berets) in the political climate, the show coincided with doors being opened to the U.S. under the Obama administration after nearly five decades.

Chanel Fall 2017 Couture: Eiffel Tower

Lagerfeld recreated the Eiffel Tower to scale for his Fall 2017 couture show for Chanel, in what might be the most on-the-nose homage to the City of Love.

Chanel Fall/Winter RTW 2018: Into the Woods

Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2018 show was a return to nature — or rather, the idea of nature, as Lagerfeld recreated a lush autumnal forest within the confines of the Grand Palais for models to show off his fall collection.

Chanel Spring/Summer RTW 2019: His Beach Is Better

Life’s a beach — at least, according to Karl Lagerfeld, who brought the beach to Paris Fashion Week by recreating a tropical escape, complete with a sandy runway, real ocean waves and an on-duty lifeguard. Models even walked barefoot and carried their Chanel shoes, natch.

Chanel Spring 2019 Couture: Villa Chanel

For Chanel’s most recent show, they created a villa that would look completely at home in the Italian countryside, a lovely complement to the show’s Rococo influences. Models strutted down the park-inspired runways with David Bowie-esque pompadours, but it was Lagerfeld’s absence at the show due to tiredness that people latched onto most about this couture collection.


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Yes, You can Make Money Playing Video Games. Here Are 7 Ways to Do It

Frederick Aldeco was the youngest of three boys who loved to game.

Growing up, he and his brothers first fought over who could play the Nintendo, then the Super Nintendo, then the PlayStation — he could only play when his older brothers let him.

But then he got his own Game Boy. It came with Pokémon Yellow, and everything changed.

“I could play anytime I wanted to without them having an issue,” Aldeco said.

Nearly two decades later, Aldeco, 29, still loves Pokémon — so much so that he runs a Pokémon news channel on YouTube under the moniker DaddyGamer Fred.

Besides that, he’s done what most gamers dream of doing: Making money playing video games. While it’s not his full-time gig, Aldeco said his content has earned him up to $ 300 a week.

Over the years, gaming has become increasingly popular with almost all age groups. The Entertainment Software Association has tracked gamers with an annual survey since 1997, and its latest data show that 64% of households own regularly played gaming systems. Perhaps what’s more surprising is that association research shows the typical gamer may not be who you think. In the U.S., more women play video games than teenage boys.

And if you belong to this new wave of gamers, you’ve probably thought at some point, “There’s got to be a way to get paid for this.”

Turns out, there are plenty.

How to Make Money Playing Video Games

These recommendations require actually playing a video game to earn you cash. You may need some in-depth knowledge or skills for most of the following methods — but not all of them. So don’t worry if your gaming abilities aren’t esports-ready just yet.

1. Participate in Video Game Tournaments

The League of Legends World Championship is an esports tournament that can earn elite winners millions of dollars and millions of fans, but most gamers are not at that level and never will be.

Instead, opt for amateur tournaments to earn $ 5 or $ 10 per match. GamerSaloon is one video-gaming site where you can do just that. Anyone 18 years or older can create a free account and start joining tournaments. The more you win, the more you earn.

The website is open to gamers around the world, but the system is based on the U.S. dollar. All other currencies are accepted but will be converted automatically.

Popular games on the site include NBA 2k19, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, UFC 3, FIFA 19 and others.

2. Become a Beta Tester

Millions of people now pay for video games before they are released by pre-ordering them.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if video game companies would pay you instead to play their video games before the release date?

Actually, that’s a thing.

Several companies pay people to beta test video games to collect feedback and work out the kinks before the mass market gets its hands on it.

For the lucky gamers who live near Redmond, Washington, Nintendo partners with two staffing agencies to beta test games on-site. Unfortunately, there are no remote testing options available.

For those living outside the area, there’s VMC Consulting, a tech company that specializes in quality assurance and support. It runs a Global Beta Test Network, which tests major multiplayer video games for consoles and PCs before their release. Applicants can live anywhere, must be at least 18 years old and must use Discord (a chat messaging system for gamers) to give feedback.

3. Start Streaming

No, not on Netflix. In the video-game world, streaming has a different meaning. It refers to a live feed of someone playing a video game. Streaming services allow the streamer to interact directly with the audience via a chatroom system. Viewers can also tip the streamer in real time.

There are several free streaming services to choose from, the most popular being Twitch.tv. You don’t have to be a pro to stream, either. You just have to be entertaining. One streamer, Cory Michael — aka King Gothalion — turned his streaming hobby into a six-figure salary.

Michael said the main three sources of income come from subscriptions, tips directly from your viewers and ad revenue.

Even if you don’t manage millions of subscribers, streaming could still get you tips here and there, and once your channel becomes more popular, you could land a paid partnership with the streaming service.

4. Create a Business on Second Life

Fifteen years later, Second Life is still kicking with about 750,000 monthly users.

Second Life is a video game that was slated to revolutionize the internet (before social media came along). But it’s hard to call Second Life a video game. It’s more than that.

There aren’t any overt objectives. No bosses to beat. No princesses to rescue. Instead, all of its content is user-generated, from the avatars themselves to the worlds they inhabit. In Second Life, people date, have children, build houses and travel to replicas of famous landmarks.

People spend years carving out a piece of digital paradise. Some hire real-life experts to help get it just right. In-game specialists can make bank, too. Architects, publishers and fashion designers have used their industry knowledge to bolster their virtual businesses. There’s even a journalist, Wagner James Au, who works inside Second Life and reports on in-game artists and entrepreneurs.

Second Life spawned the first video game business millionaire, Ailin Graef, and she’s not the only person to make a fortune with the game.

There are multiple people and businesses that have made over a million U.S. dollars in Second Life over the years,” said Brett Atwood, Director of Marketing at Linden Labs, the company that created Second Life. “Many are still active.”

Since Second Life’s launch in 2003, players have spent billions of dollars of real money on in-game currency called Linden Dollars (or L$ ). The exchange rate currently is about 250 L$ to $ 1. Users can go to the Second Life exchange store to purchase L$ , then use L$ for in-game services. The level of customization is incredibly granular, and users are eager to pay L$ for real-life experts to apply their knowledge to the virtual world.

Atwood said the big bucks are usually in virtual real estate and fashion.

For other business ideas and examples of Second Life entrepreneurs, check out its business site.

5. Coach Others in How to Play

Are you a Starcraft god? A Fortnite legend? Share your strategies with us noobs for cash.

You can teach beginners basic lingo or coach seasoned players on the latest competitive strategies. Some online tutoring websites, Superprof for example, are general tutoring platforms that happen to allow video-game listings.

However, there are some other options that are tailored specifically for gaming lessons. Gamer Sensei is one such platform that hires senseis, aka coaches, to teach lessons in specific games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike, DOTA 2 and — of course — Fortnite.

Making a sensei profile is free. Senseis set their own schedules and prices and have no hourly time commitments.

Another option is Gameflip Gigs. Gameflip is a video game marketplace, where people can buy, sell and trade video games and related content.

The company recently launched Gigs, which is still in beta but is open for applications.

The gigs revolve around four types of services:

  • Create: Good at graphic design? You can craft the perfect avatar or graphic for a gamer’s profile or online store.
  • Entertain: If you’re hilarious, get paid for it by joining people’s in-game parties and having fun.
  • Coach: Teach others the way to victory.
  • Carry: Some people just like winning. You provide that service.

During the beta, Gigs members have a $ 1,000 limit on what they can earn.

Other Ways to Make Money With Video Games

A person holds video game boxes and a controller.

Maybe you aren’t comfortable with turning your hobby into a job. You want to keep it sacred and fun. That’s all right, too. You can still make plenty of money with gigs related to video gaming that don’t require you to play them.

6. Sell Video Games for Cash

Do you blast through video games? Are you constantly in search of new ones to conquer? Then you should consider selling your used video games once you’re finished.

Your pile of old games can fund your next virtual adventure, get you some quick cash to make rent, or if you’re like Aldeco, help fund your move from the U.S. to Switzerland.

The Penny Hoarder’s guide walks you through the best technique to sell video games through GameStop and get up to 50% extra cash for your games. I turned a $ 72.40 cash offer for a few of my video games and a controller into $ 111.14.

If you’d rather not make the trek to GameStop, Gameflip allows users to buy and sell their video games and gift cards online.

That’s what Aldeco used to downsize before his move overseas. He sold off all his physical games and consoles but kept the handheld devices — his trusty Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.

Alternatively, you can sell games on eBay, but you may be stuck with a bunch of additional fees if you don’t meet the site’s minimum seller service standards.

7. Make Video Game Guides

Perhaps you’ve played a game for so long that you’ve discovered all the Easter eggs, all the glitches and all the best farming spots.

You can create guides to help people do the same, whether they’re articles or YouTube videos.

Stephen Robinson, better known by the moniker Ratty Star, creates YouTube guides for a post-apocalyptic role playing game, Fallout 76.

“I have had some success,” Robinson said, “with a few videos getting a few thousand views, with my highest currently at 63,000.”

Several major gaming publications accept freelance pitches for video game guides and commentary, too. So if you prefer writing to video editing, give IGN, Kotaku, Escapist Magazine, Game Informer and GamesRadar+ a shot.

If you’re not a seasoned freelancer, we have a guide that walks you through how to come up with story ideas, pitch to editors and ultimately make money as a freelance writer. In the meantime, you can build up your portfolio by writing for GameSkinny, which will pay you based on how many views your articles get.

Neither Robinson nor Aldeco is famous. They have about 2,500 followers between the two of them. Getting famous really isn’t the point.

“I’m doing it because I’m enjoying the creative process,” Aldeco said. “Whenever the money comes, of course it’s a plus, but [it’s] not truly the end goal for me.”

Adam Hardy is a staff writer on the Make Money team at The Penny Hoarder. He has played video games since he was 6 years old. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

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

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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Here are the Democrats who have said they’re running for president

The 2020 Democratic field is taking shape, with candidates revealing their intentions on a seemingly everyday basis.


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Tiny Harris’ Recent Photo Has Fans Saying She Looks Like A Kid – Check It Out Here

Tiny Harris’ fans are amazed by how young she looks in a recent photo and they made sure to highlight this in the comments section. Take a look at the pic below to see for yourself.

In the pic, she styled her hair in a charming way, and she’s showing off a Fashion Nova outfit.

Someone commented ‘She looks like she did some bad and tryna calm her mom down lol,’ while another fan said ‘That Blue is so Royal. And it has the Pure White.’

A follower was not so familiar with Fashion Nova and said ‘Everybody talking about fashionova…let me see what all the hype about. I have to order something.’

Someone else suggested that Tiny had a cosmetic intervention on her nose: ‘Knew she being looking different. She got her nose pinched. Money well spent.’

Another person shared that ‘Tiny is looking different or her makeup artist is bomb af ♥♥♥

One follower posted that ‘she looks pretty, we need tiny makeup secrets her eyeliner and lips is popping yesss.’

Recently, Tiny was in the spotlight recently after she took a stand, calling for an investigation into a violent incident that took place in Hazle Township in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

There was a group of students who got caught in a horrible brawl at the Hazleton Area High School.

Videos of the fight went viral because they also showed an African-American student being forcibly restrained by the school police and resource officers. Tiny wanted to raise awareness of what had happened.

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Investing for Beginners (Seriously, if You Know Nothing, Start Here)

If you’ve spent so much as 10 minutes reading a personal finance blog — and clearly you have — chances are, you’ve heard that investing is one of the best ways to put your money to work for you.

The power of compound interest can turn even modest savings into an appreciable nest egg over time. And best of all, it’s passive income.

But if you’ve never put money into the stock market before, the prospect can be overwhelming. What exactly does “buying stocks” even mean? And what kind of account do you need to get started?

What Is Investing, Anyway?

Investing is a way to build wealth by purchasing assets today that you anticipate will grow in value, yielding a profit over time.

There are many different ways to invest, including purchasing tangible items (like real estate or fine art) with the intent of selling them later. But in this post, we’re going to be focusing primarily on stock market investments.

Investing for Beginners: A Quick Vocab Lesson

A collage of financial information on computer screens.

One of the first things new investors come to realize is how much lingo there is to know. It’s hard to feel confident about spending your money on stocks, bonds or mutual funds when you’re not even sure what any of those words mean!

The good news is, nobody knows what they’re talking about (or which words to use) when they’re first getting started. Here’s a quick vocabulary rundown.

Stocks

The stock market is what we call the abstract space where investors buy and sell investments. There are many different types of investments, or “assets,” you can buy and sell on the stock market.

Stocks are shares, or small pieces of asset ownership, of a company. Stockholders earn money when the company performs well and increases in value — but they’re also vulnerable to losses if things don’t go as well as hoped. Thus, stocks can be a relatively high-risk investment.

Bonds

Bonds are another common type of stock market investment, but they work differently than stocks do. Bonds are actually debts owed by corporations or, more commonly, governments.

When you purchase a bond, you’re essentially lending your money to the bond issuer. Bonds help investors earn money by accruing interest — and because bond issuers are obligated to repay their debts, they’re considered a safer investment than stocks.

What’s more, bonds are repaid after a fixed amount of time and at fixed rates (which is why they’re known as “fixed-income” assets), making them a reliable source of investment return. However, they don’t have the exponential growth potential that stocks do.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are pre-built collections of stocks, bonds and sometimes other types of investment assets, like real estate, which are created and managed by financial professionals.

Investing in mutual funds allows individual investors to buy a diverse segment of the market without doing all the research and footwork to assess individual stocks themselves.

Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

These funds are similar to mutual funds in that they include a basket of different assets, but they’re not generally actively managed by a live human being. Instead, index funds are created based on a specific market index, like the S&P 500 or the Dow.

A market index is a representative collection of stocks that are used to track the performance of an area of the market.

Exchange-traded funds might be collections of companies that share industries, geographical locations or market capitalization — that is, the total dollar amount of the shares of the company available on the market.

Unlike mutual funds, they’re also traded throughout the day on the exchange, which may make them a better option for investors looking to play a more active role in their portfolios.

Investment Portfolio

Your investment portfolio is the collection of all the investments you make and keep, otherwise known as your “holdings.” For example, you may have 12 shares of Corporation X, 27 shares of Corporation Y and 17 shares of an ETF which includes stocks, bonds and real estate.

Phew! It really is a word salad, huh? Now that you’ve got a better handle on basic investing terms, let’s learn more about doing some actual investing of your own.

How to Get Started With Investing

How best to get started investing will vary depending on your personal financial goals, as well as the amount of money you can afford to put toward your growing portfolio.

But if you don’t have a whole lot of extra cash lying around, don’t worry; there are many ways into the world of investing, even if your initial investment is only $ 100 (or less!).

Saving for Retirement

Aside from building wealth in general, one of the most common investing goals is to save for retirement. If that goal’s on your list, you’ve got lots of investment vehicles to choose from.

For example, if your employer offers a 401(k), contributing part of your wages to that company-sponsored retirement account is a way to get started investing. And if your benefits package includes an employer match, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of that — it’s free money!

Depending on your plan, you may have just a few curated investment options to choose from or access to a wide variety. (Psst — we’ll talk more about some basic investment skills in a second, so don’t hit that “buy” button just yet!)

Types of Investment Accounts

Even if you don’t have access to a 401(k), you can open a retirement plan like a traditional or Roth IRA — that is, individual retirement account.

These are investment accounts designed specifically for retirement, which are governed by special rules and tax incentives. For instance, contributions to a traditional IRA are taken pretax today, but they’re later taxed upon withdrawal; Roth IRA contributions are taxed now but grow tax-free.

And in both cases, it’s not as simple as pulling your money out whenever you want; except in specified circumstances, you’ll need to wait until you reach age 59 1/2 to fully access that money.

IRAs are available through a huge range of financial firms, from nationwide banks like Chase to brokerage firms like TD Ameritrade. Financial companies like these may also offer brokerage accounts, which aren’t subject to the same special rules and regulations as investment vehicles built specifically for retirement.

A brokerage account allows you access to a trading interface where you can purchase individual stocks, bonds or ETFs, creating your own portfolio from scratch. But if you’re not feeling up to DIYing your investments, you can also use a robo-advisor, like Ellevest, which will allocate your assets for you.

Apps, ETFs and Automatic Contributions

A phone displays a money saving app.

Only have a few bucks to spare? Apps like Stash and Acorns make it easier than ever to get started investing with as little as $ 5, and they offer curated ETFs to help you diversify your holdings.

You can also set up regular, automatic contributions, which will fuel your portfolio’s growth over time.

Basic Investing Strategies to Know Before You Go

Now that you’re versed in the lingo and you’ve got the lowdown on a few accessible investment options, there are just a few more things you need to know before you take the next step and become an investor yourself.

Since all investments involve some risk, it’s imperative to be prepared and informed on how to best mitigate those risks ahead of time.

Don’t Overcommit

Perhaps the most important investment strategy is one you’ve doubtless heard before: diversification. Diversifying your portfolio means purchasing a wide range of assets, including different types of holdings and different issuers.

Why is diversification so important? Well, it’s just like that old saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket. If you drop that over-laden basket and don’t have any other eggs in reserve, you’re in a messy situation.

Similarly, when market values fall, your portfolio will have a lot more margin for error if you’ve got a variety of holdings. If one of the companies you own stock in goes under, for instance, you won’t be entirely sunk if you own shares of other firms — and some government bonds, for good measure.

Diversification is one of the reasons mutual funds, index funds and ETFs are so popular among new investors.

However, some of these funds do come at an additional cost — particularly mutual funds, which are actively managed by a financial professional. That’s why it’s important to check out the expense ratios before making your purchase decision, especially if you don’t have a lot of investment capital to work with.

Do Your Homework

No matter what types of investments you’re most interested in owning or how you go about getting started, research the assets you’re considering, keeping both historical performance of interest rates and current events in mind. You might even consider hiring a financial advisor to help you make your decisions.

Although no investment is a sure thing, putting your money in the market feels a lot less like a harebrained bet when you have evidence and reason behind your choices. Investment advisors can help you assess your risk tolerance and make more informed investment decisions.

Keep Calm When the Market Gets Rough

And finally, keep in mind that investing is a long game, and market fluctuations are an everyday reality. Although it can be tempting to rip your money out of the market as soon as you see a scary headline, if you diversify your holdings and sit tight through the lean times, the market usually corrects itself.

Even taking major recessions into account, the market’s overall growth curve is historically positive — and stashing your cash under the mattress (or even in a traditional savings account) can’t come close to the earnings you can glean through compound interest.

Good luck, new investor!

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

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

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Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Money. These 13 Tools Are Here to Help

No one likes being judged. Especially when it comes to personal finance.

I’m keenly aware of my budgetary state, so having someone totally judge me for it — and not offer constructive advice — is the worst.

Yes, I understand I need to stash more into my emergency savings. And I know I shouldn’t have spent $ 5 on that latte. And investing… that makes me nervous.

But just help me; don’t chastise me.

That’s why I’ve rounded up some personal finance advisers — and some money management apps  — that’ll help you get your money in order.

And they’ll do it without a single shred of judgment.

And, perhaps even better, without an ounce of conversation.

1. Earn a 100x the Normal Interest Rate

Operating everything out of one checking account can make your finances muddy and contribute undue stress to your money management — and make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing.

To simplify, open a second account for a dedicated purpose. One of our favorites is the Aspiration Account — there are no monthly fees, and you’ll earn up to 100 times the interest rate of other banks.

This online-only account comes with a debit card and free ATMs, so you can easily access your money when you need it.

After you open your Aspiration Account, use it to split your income:

  • Automatically deposit a portion of your income into your existing bank account, and use that to cover basic expenses like rent and bills.
  • Deposit what’s left into your Aspiration Account to use for fun stuff, like eating out, shopping or going on vacation.

2. Take a Deep Breath and Check Your Credit Score

A chalkboard with the number '610' written on it.

Your credit score is important. The better your score, the better deal you’ll get on a mortgage, car loan or credit card. We’re talking big money here.

Even if you’re not buying a house anytime soon, a lousy credit score means you’ll get hit with a high security deposit whenever you rent a car or move into a new apartment.

But did you know your credit score could be inaccurate? One out of five credit reports have an error, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission.

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.

Because it simplifies everything, you should be able to spot any errors. For instance, if you find an “unpaid” credit card that you know you paid, or a bill in collections you know never existed, you can dispute the incorrect information and raise your credit score.

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

“We want to touch the Z Generation,” Cooper says “We’re not in the business of fixing credit. We want to get to you before you have to fix your credit.”

3. Play Scratch-offs to Your Heart’s Content (It’s Free!)

man and woman scratching lotto tickets and drinking wine

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.

The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free. For more info, check out our full review.

4. Use This to Bust Your Debt

Shot of a young couple going through paperwork together on the sofa at home

Once you fall behind, you may find yourself getting crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. You’ll never catch up that way. You’re spending so much on interest, you’ll never pay off your balances.

If you’re financially treading water like this, it might be worth consolidating and refinancing your debt.

By refinancing an existing loan, you’re taking out a totally new loan, which comes with new terms and (ideally) a lower interest rate. By consolidating your existing loans, you lump all your debt into one big payment, so you’re only making one payment and dealing with one interest rate per month.

Make sense but don’t know where to start? Credible is an online marketplace that offers consumers personalized loan offers. It’s best for borrowers who have good credit scores (think: around 640 or higher), and it lets you quickly compare rates without visiting a bunch of sites.

Rates start at 5.99%, and you can check yours by entering a loan amount here ($ 500 to $ 40,000) and comparing your personalized options in under 90 seconds.

5. Stop Deleting Your Emails

It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?

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.

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

6. Share What’s in Your Fridge

A young woman standing in front of an open refrigerator holds a bowl of salad in one hand and a plate of fried chicken in the other.

Remember the Nielsen company? The one that’s always tracked TV ratings? Well, now it wants to know what’s in your fridge.

Once you sign up to be on the Nielsen Consumer Panel, you can either use your smartphone, or the company will send you a free barcode scanner. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the UPC codes on the back of each product and send your data to Nielsen.

Nielsen will reward you with gift points, which you can redeem for free electronics, jewelry, household items or even toys for the kids.

The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points toward prizes. You’ll also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include vacations and brand new vehicles.

7. Stop Overpaying for Monthly Bills

A man and woman sit on a bedroom floor together. A laptop sits on her lap, while he lays on a pillow holding up paperwork.

On the phone with your cell phone or internet provider, trying to haggle a lower monthly bill?

Go ahead and hang up. (We know you’re probably listening to crappy music while sitting on hold, anyway.)

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

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

On average, Truebill customers get $ 12 in credits off their cable bills each month.

The app will also remind you of all those sneaky subscriptions you’ve signed up for through the years, so you can cancel what you don’t use and reclaim your monthly budget.

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

8. Earn Money Every Time You Swipe Your Credit Card

If you’re not using a rewards credit card for everyday purchases, you’re missing out on free money.

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

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

There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire. We checked Credible’s annual rewards calculator, and it estimates $ 417 in annual rewards based on our spending habits.* (You can enter your unique spending habits and see what you’d earn, too.)

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

9. Save Money Mindlessly

String tired around finge

Saving money is tough. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

Digit makes that possible.

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

Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

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

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

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

10. Earn Cash Back for That 3rd Bottle of Wine (and for the Shoes You Ordered After Drinking It)

Little boy saving coin in a money jar

Look, it’s been a long week, and you just want to unwind with a glass of wine. Or three. We can’t promise the clerk won’t give you some side eye after your third such shopping trip — but you can have the last laugh.

Two of our favorite apps will actually get you cash back when you buy booze — and other stuff you might need on a week like this…

  • 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. It’s free to download, and you’ll get a $ 10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.
  • Ebates is 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.

11. Play the Slots — and Bank $ 5 for Your Savings Account

woman using phone

Are you more of the “sit at home and play video games” type of person but you’re making yourself read this because you’re determined to get this adulting thing down?

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.

Penny Hoarder Carson Kohler uses Long Game to save money. Every two weeks, it sneaks $ 5 out of her bank account and rewards her with coins.

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

Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 coins, so you can start playing while you wait for payday. 

12. Invest Like a Woman

Businesswomen looking at fabric samples on presentation board.

Traditional investing companies have never really considered the fact that women statistically get paid less, yet live longer. That’s why Sallie Krawcheck, a former Wall Street CEO and an adamant proponent of women’s financial power, founded Ellevest.

It’s an investing platform designed for women, by women and in support of other women. It uses a unique algorithm designed to help you better plan for the future.

Once you sign up for free, Ellevest will issue you a free personalized investment plan. Plus, if you sign up before Dec. 31 through The Penny Hoarder, you’ll get a $ 25 bonus in your Ellevest account.*

Ellevest’s “digital” plan is designed to be accessible. There’s no minimum balance, and you’ll pay an annual fee of 0.25% of your assets under management to Ellevest. For context, that’s $ 25 on a $ 10,000 account.

It’ll make you feel good about your future — and not so judged.

13. Manage Your Credit Card Payments in One Place

women hands getting cash in a bank teller

Carrying more than one credit card balance can feel a bit like herding cats. Just when you think you have one under control, you realize you’ve let a different one slip away.

High interest rates and late fees can make it feel like you’ll never get those bills under control.

That’s where Tally comes in. It’s a simple app that lets you store and manage your credit card payments in one place, optimizing the amounts and times.

Simply download the app, scan in your credit cards, and if you qualify (with a minimum credit score of around 675), Tally will give you a line of credit with an interest rate between 7.9% and 19.9%* and use the lower interest rate to make managing your payments easy.

No more missed payments. Lower interest rates. All in one place. And don’t worry, Tally uses bank-level security, so your information is safe.

Tally is currently available in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

*Your APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will depend on your credit history and varies with the market based on Prime Rate. Accurate as of July 2018.

*The Ellevest The Penny Hoarder promotional offer is valid from July 25, 2018 to December 31, 2018 for the first 1,000 new clients of Ellevest who enter through this designated landing page. Clients who enroll and fund their non-retirement account will receive $ 25 added to their highest priority goal in their Ellevest account. Clients who enroll and fund their retirement account will receive a $ 25 Amazon gift card which can be redeemed by visiting www.amazon.com. Please review Amazon.com Gift Card Terms and Conditions prior to redemption. Ellevest is not responsible for lost Amazon Gift Cards. Ellevest’s processing time for depositing $ 25 into a client’s Ellevest account or delivery of a $ 25 Amazon gift card may be up to 60 days.

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

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a big fan of gentle reminders.

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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Here Are the Reasons People Believe the Super Bowl Halftime Show Could Bless Fans With a SpongeBob SquarePants Tribute

Thanks to some hints floating around the internet from Maroon 5 and others, SpongeBob SquarePants fans have high hopes that the famous cartoon character might be making a Super Bowl LIII cameo.

One main reason for the theory comes down to a brief appearance of the Pineapple-Under-the-Sea-dwelling creature in a tweeted video that Maroon 5, the headlining Super Bowl 2019 Half Time performers, shared earlier in January. About 30 seconds in, a cryptic, brief snippet of SpongeBob appears.

The SpongeBob fan theories

While SpongeBob and Maroon 5 don’t normally have any particular connection, SpongeBob does have a song — “Sweet Victory” — that was performed in a season two episode of the show called “Band Geeks” by the Bikini Bottom Super Band. Longtime fans think this means “Sweet Victory” may end up on Maroon 5’s set list, or in some other way SpongeBob will be involved in the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show.

While there’s currently no confirmation one way or another, it’s worth noting that many responses to Maroon 5’s video teaser are related to the potential for a SpongeBob song cameo. And the SpongeBob snapshot in the video is the only cartoon that appears: the rest of the footage is clips of the band’s preparations and performances and hints of Travis Scott and Big Boi, two rappers who will also be featured at the show.

The Episode

There’s more to it, too: a Change.org petition was set up earlier in January calling for a “Sweet Victory” tribute at the Super Bowl. It’s collected nearly 1.2 million signatures so far. The reason? To honor SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg, who passed away in November last year.

The GIF

In another bump for the theory, Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s Twitter account even shared a GIF of SpongeBob dancing in his band outfit all the way back in December, adding fuel to fans’ fire about the potential cameo.

The Bet

People are even betting on it — literally. The odds, according to an online betting pool, are in favor of SpongeBob appearing at the Super Bowl, in particular popping up in an inflatable costume.

In another more under-the-radar hint, according to CNET, Rodger Bumpass, the voice actor behind the character of Squidward, reportedly posted on Facebook that he was going to be making some kind of Super Bowl introduction for the Halftime Show.

SpongeBob fans, at least, were convinced.


Entertainment – TIME

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Here Are 3 Ways to Be Prepared for Tax Season 2019

While many have concerns about filing 2018 returns in the dawn of the federal shutdown which ended temporarily on Jan. 25, the government has assured taxpayers that the IRS will process returns in  the event the shutdown continues after the Feb. 15, the date government goes back to the table to hash out border negotiations.

Regardless to what goes on in the government, as residents we are required to file taxes. That said, it’s important to stay current with tax laws and any income tax changes — most of which can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website: www.irs.gov

Here are three things to get in check for tax season ’19 

Verify Credentials

When it comes to choosing a tax preparer be sure the person has verifiable credentials. Many consumers are unaware that you can only legally file a tax return for someone else in exchange for compensation, if you have a PTIN – Preparer Tax ID Number. A PTIN is numeric identification for tax preparers which may also be used for credentialing. To verify this credential, go to the IRS website, click in Renew Your PTIN, which allows people to not only sign up for the program, but look up tax preparer credentials.

Understand Tax Law Changes and Deductions

Tax laws change each year and its important as a taxpayer and consumer to understand how changes will affect your tax return and liability. The IRS website typically announces changes with credit, deductions, etc., each year. Taxpayers can also call IRS with questions at 1-800-829-1040.

Make A Tax Checklist

The best thing to do prior to filing taxes, is make a list and check it twice because no one wants to be audited. Create a checklist of everything you may need to file on your taxes, this includes, W-2’s, school documents, self-employment forms, childcare expenses, donations receipts, healthcare expenses, interest documentation from banks accounts, retirement account documentation 401k/IRA, student loan interest, etc.

Join me on Facebook to ask your tax questions or for complimentary tax checklist.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post Here Are 3 Ways to Be Prepared for Tax Season 2019 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Here are the trends that will shape the next generation of disruptive start-ups

This year it is expected that artificial intelligence, 5G, digital health and fintech will be largely represented in CNBC's Disruptor 50 list of innovative private companies. These technologies are igniting paradigm shifts in our society.
Media

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Iyanla Tells Althea She Is Just Here To Be On TV | Iyanla: Fix My Life | Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN

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

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Iyanla Calls Out Althea For Being Here For Reality TV (Again) | Iyanla: Fix My Life | OWN

OWN

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

CHARITY UPDATE :

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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

Here Are the Winners of the Google Podcasts Creator Program

Previously, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that Google and PRX, a leader in podcast content, training, and technology were looking for multicultural podcast creators to participate in the accelerator portion of the Google Podcasts creator program. Well, it seems they are locked and loaded. Here are the participating teams:

AfroQueer, Nairobi, Kenya

Google Podcasts

AfroQueer, Maeve Francis, Aida Holly-Nambi, Selly Thiam (Image: Google)

A reported, narrative-driven podcast about queer Africans living, loving, surviving and thriving on the African continent and in the diaspora.

Las Raras, Santiago, Chile

Google Podcasts

Las Raras, Martin Cruz, Catalina May (Image: Google)

This Spanish-language, non-fiction podcast tells stories of “The Weird Ones,” the people who live on the margins of society because of their background or life choices, and how these stories challenge social norms.

Timestorm, Bloomfield, New Jersey

Google Podcasts

Timestorm, Michael Aquino, Dania Ramos (Image: Google)

This audio fiction series tells the story of 12-year-old twins, Alexa and Beni Ventura, who travel through time to uncover hidden moments in the history of Puerto Rican culture.

Long Distance, Los Angeles, California

Google Podcasts

Long Distance, Patrick Epino, Paola Mardo (Image: Google)

This reported, narrative podcast uncovers unknown histories and present-day realities about life in the Filipino diaspora.

The Colored Girl Beautiful, Baltimore, Maryland

Google Podcasts

The Colored Girl Beautiful, Baltimore, Maryland (Image: Google)

Explores black women’s concepts of beauty, then and now, using Emma Azalia Hackley’s 1916 book The Colored Girl Beautiful as a framework.

Who Taught You How To Drive?! Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Google Podcasts

Who Taught You How To Drive?!, Tanikka Charraé, Melissa Tsuei, Tezarah Wilkins (Image: Google)

A humorous interview podcast about how we get around told through the stories of drivers, walkers, riders, and bikers and their habits on the road.

“The teams selected for the first round show incredible promise, and we couldn’t be more excited to help these producers develop and grow their shows,” said Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Product Manager of Google Podcasts which launched in June 2018. “This program is one of the ways we hope to ensure that our millions of listeners have access to a variety of content for all types of global audiences.”

The program is funded by Google and run independently by PRX. The creator program aims to remove barriers to podcasting, increase the diversity of voices in the industry, and make sure content is available for all audiences through a series of educational programs, including a 20-week podcast training and accelerator program.

The post Here Are the Winners of the Google Podcasts Creator Program appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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‘Start Here’: Trump speaks from the Oval. What you need to know to start your day.

It’s Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Here’s what you need to start your day.
ABC News: Top Stories

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST:

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

Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries

Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries


Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the <em> Surviving R. Kelly</em> docuseries

Last night, January 3rd, Lifetime’s new docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, aired its first two episodes. The six-part series chronicles the years of sexual abuse allegations leveled against the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer—and the many people who allowed his alleged actions to continue unquestioned. The remaining four episodes of the series will air tonight, January 4th, and tomorrow, January 5th, and the initial two episodes have already brought many disturbing revelations to light. Here are just a few of the most harrowing details we’ve learned so far.

1. Witnesses say Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, was kept locked in an apartment.

USA Today reports that the R&B singer’s former wife, Andrea Kelly, said he planned their entire wedding himself—and she didn’t even know it was going to happen.

“My wedding was a surprise wedding,” she said, per USA Today. “I did not know I was getting married.”

Rolling Stone notes that other witnesses interviewed for the series claimed that she was later locked in Kelly’s apartment. Andrea Kelly has spoken about being abused by her ex-husband before, and in an October 2018 episode of The Viewshe alleged that he physically abused her.

2. One of Kelly’s former backup dancers claimed she witnessed him committing statutory rape.

Jovante Cunningham, a former backup singer and dancer for Kelly, disclosed that she witnessed Kelly having a sexual encounter on a tour bus with then 15-year-old Aaliyah (Kelly was 27). However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, dismissed Cunningham’s claims as “lies and fabrications” in a tweeted statement.

3. Kelly’s ex-assistant said Aaliyah was “worried and scared” at their wedding.

Demetrius Smith, who previously worked as an assistant and tour manager for Kelly, discussed arranging Kelly’s marriage to then 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994. Smith explains that Kelly used a fake marriage license for the ceremony, which listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. Although Kelly has claimed the marriage never occurred, Smith insists it did, adding that Aaliyah was “worried and scared” before the ceremony.

“Aaliyah looked worried, scared,” he said. “She was worried and scared. I wanted so much to grab Aaliyah and talk to her. She gave me a look like she wanted me to talk to her…I knew that it had changed the course of everything.”

The information that has come to light in Surviving R. Kelly is undoubtedly horrifying. We just hope the series helps bring Kelly to justice.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

The post Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the <em> Surviving R. Kelly</em> docuseries appeared first on HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles

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The Creepy Trailer for Jordan Peele’s New Film Us Is Here

The spooky trailer for Jordan Peele’s newest work, Us, is out, showing a family vacation that turns terrifying when a group of shadowy figures goes on the attack.

The trailer shows the Wilson family heading to a beach vacation in Northern California. While things are peaceful at first, they go awry after the Wilsons come under attack from the suspicious figures. Known as The Tethered, the scary figures end up being doppelgängers of the whole family — leading to some chill-inducing confusion.

The film, which stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, is the second horror installment from Peele, who took home an Academy Award last year for directing Get Out.

The Us trailer, which features the Wilsons coming face to face with the terrifying figures who eerily look like them, prompted funny online reactions as people joked through their fear about facing a doppelgänger.

“I think the main idea that went into writing this film is that we’re our own worst enemy, and that idea created this monster, The Tethered,” Peele told Entertainment Weekly about the film.

 


Entertainment – TIME

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Harry Redknapp wins I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here

OHMYGOSSIP — Harry Redknapp has won ‘I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here’.
The former football manager was voted the new King of The Jungle during Sunday night’s (09.12.18) show, with ‘Inbetweeners’ star Emily Atack taking second place.
Speaking after finding out he had won, Harry said: “I’m amazed. I’m amazed I survived three weeks to be honest with you. When I first came in, I looked and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m in trouble here.’ I looked at the group and I thought, they don’t really know or are interested in anything I’m interested in. No sport and it was only Nick really who knew a little bit about football. I thought it’s going to be a hard couple of weeks but they just dragged me through it, every one of them. They’re the most lovely people I’ve ever met, the whole group. There wasn’t one person I could ever say one single bad word about. They were amazing. Without them, I would never have survived. They really have helped me. They pulled me up hills, they’ve dragged me through the water. They’ve been pushing me; ‘C’mon Harry get up, you can do it.’”
And Emily – who crowned herself as Jungle Princess – was thrilled to have got so far.
She told hosts Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby: “I can’t believe this is happening. I feel like – can I be the Jungle Princess? He’s such a worthy winner and to be alongside him in this final, I’m honoured Mr. Redknapp.”
And Dec had a special thank you for Holly, who stepped in to present the show after Dec’s presenting partner Ant McPartlin would be missing out this year to focus on his recovery.
He told her: “Holly, you’ve been amazing. Thank you so much for everything.”

Source: Female First
Find us also on Twitter @OHMYGOSSIP and @OHMYGOSSIP_USA

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Here Are The 2019 SAG Awards Nominations….

NEW YORK (AP) — “A Star Is Born” led nominations for the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards with four nods including best ensemble on Wednesday, firmly establishing Bradley Cooper’s romantic revival as this year’s Academy Awards front runner.

In nominations announced in West Hollywood, Calif., the actors guild — one of the most predictive bellwethers of the Oscars — threw cold water on the awards campaigns of numerous contenders while elevating others. But “A Star Is Born” fared the best of all, landing nominations for Cooper (best male actor), Lady Gaga (best female actor) and Sam Elliott (best supporting male actor).

The other nominees for the group’s top award, best ensemble, were: “Black Panther,” ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” ”BlacKkKlansman” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”

That category is the most closely watched because only once in the last two decades has the eventual Oscars best picture winner not been nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards. The one aberration, though, was last year, when Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” overcame the SAG omission on its way to winning best picture.

Unless a new trend is forming, that’s worrisome news for Oscar hopefuls like “Vice,” Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic (which led last week’s Golden Globe nominations); Alfonso Cuaron’s Netflix drama “Roma” (the overwhelming choice of critics groups); and the 1962 road trip “Green Book.”

“Vice” still scored SAG nods for Christian Bale and Amy Adams, just as “Green Book” won nominations for Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

But “Roma” was shut out entirely, as was Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong drama “First Man” and Barry Jenkins’ Harlem love story “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Most expected Regina King of “Beale Street” to be among the supporting female actor nominees.

Instead, Wednesday’s nominations gave an unlikely boost to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddie Mercury biopic that has been a hit with audiences but was slammed by critics. Despite being widely viewed as a riveting one-man show by Rami Malek, the film ended up nominated for its ensemble cast. Malek was also nominated for best actor.

The screen actors appeared to favor big ticket sellers over smaller independent ensembles.

Ryan Coogler’s comic-book sensation “Black Panther” also landed a nomination for its stunt ensemble team. Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” scored nods for both John David Washington and Adam Driver. “Crazy Rich Asians” co-star Awkwafina, a presenter Wednesday morning, has the unusual pleasure of announcing the hit romantic comedy’s ensemble nomination. “It was all me,” she joked.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ period romp “The Favourite” failed to crack best ensemble, but its three leads — Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone — were all nominated, as expected. Stone added a second nod for her performance in the Netflix miniseries “Maniac.”

Emily Blunt also scored two nominations herself: one for her lead performance in “Mary Poppins Returns” and one for her supporting role in “A Quiet Place.” The other best female performance nominees alongside Blunt, Lady Gaga and Colman were Glenn Close (“The Wife”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

Blunt’s nomination for “A Quiet Place” was among the nominations’ many surprises, as was Margot Robbie’s supporting turn as Queen Elizabeth in “Mary Queen of Scots.”

Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) scored his second straight SAG nomination for his supporting performance in the addiction drama “Beautiful Boy.” Rounding out the category alongside Ali, Driver and Elliott was Richard E. Grant for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Usually, about 15 of the SAG’s 20 individual acting nominees line up exactly with the eventual Oscar field.

In television categories, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Ozark” led with four nominations each. “Barry,” ”GLOW,” ”The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Kominsky Method” trailed close behind with three nominations each.

Up for best ensemble in comedy are “Atlanta,” ”Barry,” ”GLOW,” ”The Kominsky Method” and “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.” The drama series ensemble nominees went to: “The Americans,” ”Better Call Saul,” ”The Haidmaid’s Tale,” ”Ozark” and “This Is Us.”

Though Netflix was nearly shut out on the film side (its lone nomination was for the stunt ensemble of “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”), it dominated the television categories with 15 total nods.

The SAG Awards will be held Jan. 27 and broadcast live by TNT and TBS. This year’s show will honor Alan Alda with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

The ceremony will be hosted by actress Megan Mullally, the guild announced Wednesday. The previous SAG Awards, when Kristen Bell emceed, was the first time the broadcast was hosted.

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE 

Entertainment – Black America Web

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Here Are the Top 10 Most Tweeted About Celebrities of 2018

With the end of 2018 swiftly approaching, Twitter has released its annual list of the top 10 most tweeted about celebrities of the year.

“In 2018, people on Twitter connected, campaigned, learned, debated, and had conversations,” a spokesperson for Twitter told TIME of its end-of-year lists. “As we reach the end of 2018, Twitter is reflecting on the year that was: from breaking news, entertainment, sports, and conversations. If it happened anywhere, it happened on Twitter.”

Coming in at No. 1 in the most tweeted about celebrity ranking is BTS, the K-Pop band that is also currently leading TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year readers’ poll. There are also a number of musical acts who made the news over the past 365 days for reasons unrelated to their musical talent, including Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.

See the full list below.

  1. BTS (@BTS_twt)
  2. LeBron James (@KingJames)
  3. Kanye West (@KanyeWest)
  4. Drake (@Drake)
  5. EXO (@weareoneEXO)
  6. Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande)
  7. Cardi B (@iamCardiB)
  8. Beyoncé (@Beyonce)
  9. Park Ji-min (@jiminpark07)
  10. Nicki Minaj (@NickiMinaj)


Entertainment – TIME

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

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

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

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

Even 50 Cent has shoveled snow.

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

— 50cent (@50cent) December 27, 2010

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

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

How Did the Shovler App Get Started?

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

Plus: The pay ain’t too shabby.

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

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

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

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

How Much Money Can You Make Shoveling Snow?

Enter: Shovler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How You Can Sign Up For Shovler

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

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

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

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

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

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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Jerry Seinfeld Is Here to Save Jimmy Fallon’s Day on The Tonight Show’s Thanksgiving Episode

Jerry SeinfeldJimmy Fallon is all of us on Thanksgiving in the above exclusive sneak peek of the special Turkey Day edition of The Tonight Show. You see, it seems Fallon overate his Thanksgiving meal and is…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Here are six tax deductions you’ll lose on your 2018 return

Receipt collectors are about to be disappointed. This year marks the first in which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is in effect. That means many of the tax breaks you claimed on your 2017 return will be off the table for 2018.
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Want to beat the Christmas rush? Here are key shipping deadlines for the holidays

With the annual holiday shopping frenzy here, those of us who would rather shop online than brave long lines in chilly temperatures need to be aware of key ordering dates for the holidays.

The stakes are especially high this holiday season. Online spending this holiday is expected to see a nearly 15% increase to $ 124 billion, according to a forecast by Adobe Analytics, a company that tracks transactions from top retailers.

Ordering gifts in time for the holidays? Know these key dates

That means that if you wait too long to order your goods online, you run the risk of being empty handy when it comes time to exchange gifts. To help online shoppers, retailers are offering free shipping or dropping their purchase minimums.

Many have also banded together like in years past to offer “free shipping day,” set for December 14, 2018. This is the ship-by date that retailers are guaranteeing that your packages will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Of course, delays are quite common around this time. UPS has already announced that its shipping schedule in parts of Southern California is being affected by the wildfires.

Here are some other key dates to keep in mind:

Here is the UPS 2018 holiday shipping schedule

  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Thursday, December 20 (delivery on Monday, December 24)
  • UPS Next Day Air: Friday, December 21 (delivery on Monday, December 24)

For the most accurate appraisal of when your specific package will arrive at its destination, UPS is encouraging customers to log on to see its Calculate Time & Cost tool.

Here is the U.S. Postal Service 2018 holiday shipping schedule

The USPS recommends mailing and shipping on the following key dates for expected delivery by December 25:

USPS Retail Ground Friday, December 14
APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Tuesday, December 18
First-Class Mail (including greeting cards), Priority Mail Thursday, December 20
Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail Thursday, December 20
Alaska & Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express Saturday, December 22
Priority Mail Express (includes Alaska & Hawaii to mainland) Saturday, December 22

Here is the 2018 holiday shipping schedule for FedEx

SmartPost Monday, December 10
Ground Friday, December 14
Home Delivery Monday, December 17
Express Saver Wednesday, December 19
2-Day Services Thursday, December 20
Overnight Services Friday, December 21
Keep up to date with the latest money-saving tips and more at Clark.com. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

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How Did We Get Here? Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Was Reportedly in Talks to Coach the Cleveland Browns, Says She’s Not Ready

The Cleveland Browns were reportedly mulling over interviewing George W. Bush’s former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, for a head coaching job — but it’s not happening.

via TMZ:

ESPN reported Sunday that the Browns’ front office was interested in possibly bringing Condi for an interview to replace recently-fired head coach Hue Jackson. She’s a huge Browns fan, and met with some of the owners during a game earlier this year.

Aside from that though … it’s unclear what, if any, professional experience she’d bring to the table … when it comes to football, that is. She’s got a pretty decent resume, otherwise.

The Browns’ general manager, John Dorsey, issued a statement shortly after the news spread like wildfire, saying in part … “Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan.” 

He fully shot down the speculation, though, by adding … “Our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.” 

As for Ms. Rice … she offered her own statement on the rumor, saying “I love my Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level.”

After going on to advocate for the hiring of more women in coaching positions, she seemed to shut down the notion of a head coaching gig by saying … “BTW — I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas! And at no time will I call for a “prevent defense.”

Condoleezza coaching in the NFL? Just put the whole 2018 in rice.

The post How Did We Get Here? Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Was Reportedly in Talks to Coach the Cleveland Browns, Says She’s Not Ready appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Don’t Want Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here are 5 Turkey Alternatives

Anyone else out there want another dish besides turkey for Thanksgiving? If so, believe it or not, you’re not alone. A recent Yahoo survey revealed many Americans are moving beyond making the turkey as the center of attraction. Why not try some of these turkey alternatives  this year?

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Black Cherry-Pomegranate Salsa
“One of the most exciting cuts of meat to celebrate with is a bone-in leg of lamb. The presentation is so luscious on a big carving board or platter. Up in Michigan, we are always looking for new ways to eat our abundant cherries–dressed with pomegranate molasses and spooned over the lamb, they taste just as striking as they look, a perfect sweet and tangy balance to the rich meat.” (Source:Maureen Abood of Yahoo.com)

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

 

Slow-Cooked Duck with Green Olives and Herbes de Provence

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“This is the most forgiving and delicious duck recipe you’ll ever find. By slow-cooking duck with aromatics until it’s as tasty and tender as confit, then broiling it until the skin is shatter-crisp, Paula Wolfert manages to play to all of the bird’s strengths.”(Source: Food and Wine Magazine)

Very Vegetable Lasagna

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“Spinach is the star of this vegetable lasagna recipe. The veggie-based recipe makes one large lasagna (9 by 13 inches) or two smaller ones (8 by 8). For the perfect make-ahead meal, prepare two vegetable lasagnas; bake one now, and freeze the other for later.”
(Source: Martha Stewart)

Cuban-Style Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

turkey alternatives

“This version of ropa vieja is made with beef and accented with olives and capers. The recipe first appeared in the April 2012 Saveur issue along with Kathleen Squires’s story, Spanish Conquest.” (Source: Saveur.com)

Smoked Pork Sausage with Hard-Cider Sauce

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“Classic autumn flavors come together in this crowd-pleasing dish of smoked pork sausage with a sweet-tart hard-cider sauce and sauteed broccoli.” (Source: Food and Wine Magazine)

 

The post Don’t Want Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here are 5 Turkey Alternatives appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Don’t Want Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here are 5 Turkey Alternatives

Anyone else out there want another dish besides turkey for Thanksgiving? If so, believe it or not, you’re not alone. A recent Yahoo survey revealed many Americans are moving beyond making the turkey as the center of attraction. Why not try some of these turkey alternatives  this year?

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Black Cherry-Pomegranate Salsa
“One of the most exciting cuts of meat to celebrate with is a bone-in leg of lamb. The presentation is so luscious on a big carving board or platter. Up in Michigan, we are always looking for new ways to eat our abundant cherries–dressed with pomegranate molasses and spooned over the lamb, they taste just as striking as they look, a perfect sweet and tangy balance to the rich meat.” (Source:Maureen Abood of Yahoo.com)

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

 

Slow-Cooked Duck with Green Olives and Herbes de Provence

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“This is the most forgiving and delicious duck recipe you’ll ever find. By slow-cooking duck with aromatics until it’s as tasty and tender as confit, then broiling it until the skin is shatter-crisp, Paula Wolfert manages to play to all of the bird’s strengths.”(Source: Food and Wine Magazine)

Very Vegetable Lasagna

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“Spinach is the star of this vegetable lasagna recipe. The veggie-based recipe makes one large lasagna (9 by 13 inches) or two smaller ones (8 by 8). For the perfect make-ahead meal, prepare two vegetable lasagnas; bake one now, and freeze the other for later.”
(Source: Martha Stewart)

Cuban-Style Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

turkey alternatives

“This version of ropa vieja is made with beef and accented with olives and capers. The recipe first appeared in the April 2012 Saveur issue along with Kathleen Squires’s story, Spanish Conquest.” (Source: Saveur.com)

Smoked Pork Sausage with Hard-Cider Sauce

turkey alternatives

(Pinterest)

“Classic autumn flavors come together in this crowd-pleasing dish of smoked pork sausage with a sweet-tart hard-cider sauce and sauteed broccoli.” (Source: Food and Wine Magazine)

 

The post Don’t Want Turkey for Thanksgiving? Here are 5 Turkey Alternatives appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Your New Baby Will Cost More Than You Imagined. Here are 5 Ways to Save

The parenting books tell when you can expect your baby to reach physical milestones. The parenting classes teach you the proper way to bathe an infant and change a diaper.

But new parents, who are projected to spend an average of $ 233,610 from birth through age 17, are often clueless and unprepared when it comes to how to manage their financial lives after having a baby.

Laura Adams, host of the “Money Girl” podcast, sat down with Andrea Woroch, an expert on how consumers can save money, to discuss common money mistakes new parents make. Woroch also draws advice from her experience as a mom to a 2-year-old, with another baby on the way.

5 Financial Mistakes New Parents Make

“Having a baby is certainly a joyous time, but it can also be an emotionally and financially stressful time,” Adams says.

If you’re planning a family, learn from these new-parent money blunders so you’ll start your family off on a better footing.

Mistake No. 1: Not Building Savings

Having a baby comes with a lot of responsibility — and a lot of new expenses. It’s important to build up a savings buffer.

You may lose out on earning income if you or your partner takes time away from work after the baby arrives. On top of that, there are additional costs each month, like higher health insurance premiums and all the unexpected things that crop up, like ordering takeout on those days when you’re just too exhausted to cook.

When you plan to have kids, it’s smart to stash money in a high-yield online savings account. Also look into ways to cut costs, like lowering your monthly grocery bill.

Mistake No. 2: Not Preparing for Child Care Costs

Child care tends to be one of the most expensive recurring costs parents face in the first few years. However, a recent survey conducted by The Penny Hoarder showed about 85% of parents surveyed did not save up for child care costs before having a baby.

Doing research ahead of time can help parents know what to expect. There are also ways to cut costs, like finding more affordable care options or trading free babysitting with friends who have kids.

Mistake No. 3: Not Getting Life Insurance

Celebrating a new life isn’t usually the time when you think about end-of-life preparations. But buying life insurance is a smart money move when you have a little one who depends on you.

It’s good to have coverage for at least six to eight times your annual salary, but you should have life insurance even if you’re currently a stay-at-home parent.

Mistake No 4: Overspending on Baby Gear

It’s tempting to buy all those cute little baby clothes, snuggly toys and that vibrating rocker everyone swears you’re going to need, but infants can get by without all the extras.

Save money by clearly defining your needs and wants. Utilize hand-me-downs and buy gently used gear instead of paying top dollar for new stuff your kid will outgrow in a matter of months.

Mistake No. 5: Not Saving for College Early Enough

The magic of compound interest lies in saving early. It might seem odd to save for college when your little one’s still in diapers, but it’s the best way to optimize your college savings.

A 529 college savings plan is a great vehicle to get funds together for your child’s future education. You can even ask friends and family to contribute in lieu of birthday or holiday gifts.

Listen to the podcast for more advice on handling finances as a new parent.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She is the mother of a 4-year-old and has made nearly ALL the money mistakes as a new parent.

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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It’s Here! See the First ’Toy Story 4’ Teaser Trailer

The world of Toy Story is getting all forked up! A new toy named Forky wreaks havoc in the first official teaser trailer for Toy Story 4, the next sequel to Pixar’s first feature film and the latest installment of the $ 2 billion franchise.

Toy Story 4
Still from Pixar’s newly released ’Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer.

The 90-second trailer, which the Disney animation company released on Monday, November 12, shows the characters dancing in a circle to the tune of Judy Collins’ folk song “Both Sides, Now.” Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie hang with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, an Alien, Slinky Dog and Forky.

Toy Story 4
Still from Pixar’s newly released ’Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer.

 

But Forky, a spork decorated with pipe cleaners and googly eyes, isn’t happy-go-lucky like the rest of the characters in the teaser. “I don’t belong here!” he exclaims, breaking the circle and causing a pile-up collision of toys.

“Somebody get him before he pokes an eye out,” Woody says off-screen.

 

Toy Story 4
Still from Pixar’s newly released ’Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer.

In the YouTube description, Pixar offers a synopsis for the new movie: “Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called Forky to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.”

Toy Story 4 is directed by Josh Cooley, who also helmed the Pixar short Riley’s First Date?, and produced by Inside Out producers Jonas Rivera and Mark Nielsen. Hollywood newcomer Stephany Folsom was tapped to write the script after Parks & Recreation alum Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack opted out of the project. (In a statement, the duo cited “creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences” with Pixar.)

Toy Story 4 is slated for theatrical release on June 21, 2019.

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Here Is What The Critics Are Saying About The PlayStation Classic So Far

Sony PlayStation Classic reviews

Source: Sony / PlayStation

When Sony first announced it was joining in on the retro console fun with the PlayStation Classic everyone was excited at the news. Critics were able to preview the mini PS One, and they were not too impressed.

Back in October Sony revealed the complete list of titles that would be featured on the miniature version of the first PlayStation console. It didn’t blow many away leaving much to be desired and now with hands-on reviews rolling in it’s looking like the PlayStation Classic is an enjoyable but incomplete nostalgic experience for fans of the PlayStation system.

Chris Kohler of Kotaku:

“Bare-bones” is probably the most accurate summation I can give of the PlayStation Classic so far. There are no special screen borders or graphic display options. There’s a QR code that will load up manuals on the PlayStation website, but it wasn’t functional during the preview event. There’s a screensaver option that will dim the screen after a few minutes. Even the game selection menu itself is strictly utilitarian; there’s no nostalgic theme song or other cute additions.”

Jonathon Dornbush of IGN:

“I undoubtedly had my fun with a few entries, and could certainly see myself being sucked back into more of Midgar or Snake’s exploits. The list isn’t packed with heavy hitters, though, and knowing what defined the console but didn’t end up being included, along with the lack of nostalgic bells and whistles, can make even those great aspects of the PlayStation Classic feel like part of an incomplete whole.”

Nick Pino of Tech Radar:

“Because it doesn’t rely on the best-remembered games from the ’90s, the PlayStation Classic isn’t quite everything we hoped it’d be. That said, what we feel it lacks in software is made up, in part, by its lovingly crafted hardware.”

There was one positive preview/review from The Verge that did have a few complaints as far as the console’s use or wired controllers and questionable choices for its game lineup. Here is what Nick Statt had to say about the PlayStation Classic:

“Now, if you’re a hardcore fan who remembers those games like you played them yesterday, you’ll probably be fine. But it’s worth noting that this era, while a golden one for a certain type of game fan, is not going to be quite as accessible as the SNES generation of hits. The Verge will have a more comprehensive evaluation of the PS Classic’s lineup later this month when we get our hands on a proper review unit and spend some more time with the device’s library.

All that said, the PS Classic is a faithful and well-made little device, and it’s easy to see how popular it will be among former PS1 owners.”

While those reviews are not very encouraging, we still expect to PS Classic to sell like hotcakes when it arrives December 3rd cause for $ 99 you still are getting a decent retro console. Will these reviews affect your decision to purchase one? Let us know below.

Photo: Sony / PlayStation

 

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Skip the Hand Turkeys — Here Are 4 Crafts to Make With the Kids Instead

Stuck between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to getting creative and crafty.

Sure, there are the handprint turkeys your kid will bring home from school year after year, but we can do better than that.

After all, the little ones will need a fun, constructive outlet to keep them occupied while you’re busy preparing dinner. These four Thanksgiving crafts use inexpensive items you’re likely to have at home already.

1. Mini Salt Dough Cornucopia

Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

The cornucopia is a popular Thanksgiving symbol. Usually the “horn of plenty” is filled with fruits and vegetables of the harvest. You can line the inside of this mini version with a little wax paper and fill it with M&Ms or candy corn instead.

What you’ll need:

  • One cup flour
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ½ cup warm water
  • Foil
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Paint brush

How to create this craft:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Use foil to create a solid cone about 4 inches tall and about 2½ inches in diameter. Set aside.
  1. To create your salt dough, first mix the flour and salt together. Add the water in slowly, kneading the dough with your hands. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add more water.
  1. On a floured flat surface, roll out your ball of dough into a circle about ¼ inch thick. It should be roughly 8 inches in diameter.
  1. Drape the flattened dough onto your foil cone (pointed end up). Shape the dough around the cone, removing extra dough. Use a pinch of the extra dough and add it to the pointed end of the cone, creating a curved hook.
  1. Place on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for an hour. Your dough should be hardened and dry.
  1. Once it has cooled, remove the foil from the center of your mini cornucopia. Paint and then let dry.

2. Tissue Paper Harvest Corn

Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Corn is noted as likely being among the food eaten at the first Thanksgiving. This simple craft is fun and easy to make.

What you’ll need:

  • Brown construction paper
  • Yellow, orange and red tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

How to create this craft:

  1. Using the brown construction paper, cut out one large oval and two medium-size ovals.
  1. Glue the medium-size ovals to the bottom end of the large oval on diagonal angles to create an ear of corn with the husks peeling off.
  1. Crumple up small pieces of tissue paper to make the corn kernels. The number you’ll need will depend on the size of your large oval. You can place the “kernels” on top to gauge whether you have enough to fill it out.
  1. Once you have enough crumpled tissue paper, glue them to the large oval to create your harvest corn. Let it dry.

3. Sponge-Painted “THANKFUL” Sign

sponge painted "thankful" sign
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

This holiday is all about giving thanks. Say it with a burst of fall colors.

You can customize this craft by using different words, such as “thanks,” “Thanksgiving” or “love.”

What you’ll need:

  • White or light-colored construction paper
  • Paint in fall colors
  • Colored pencil
  • Sponge
  • Scissors
  • Tape

How to create this craft:

  1. On a piece of construction paper, write out the word “THANKFUL” in big block letters, all caps. The bigger, the better. You can use stencils here if you’re not comfortable free-handing it.
  1. Carefully cut out the inside of each letter, creating your own custom stencil of the entire word.
  1. Tape the THANKFUL stencil to another sheet of construction paper.
  1. Cut off a small piece of sponge, dip it in a fall color of your choice and blot over the stencil.
  1.  Repeat step 4 using a variety of fall colors until the void created by the stencil is well concentrated with paint.
  1.  Let dry and remove the stencil.
  1. If desired, you can use a colored pencil to refine the words and make them more readable.

4. Thankful Turkey

thankful turkey craft
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Yes, I know we said we were going to move away from the old turkey craft, but this is an upgraded version. Plus you can use this as an opportunity for your kids to express what they’re grateful for this year.

What you’ll need:Construction paper in brown, yellow, orange and red

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black marker or colored pencil

How to create this craft:
Using the brown construction paper, cut out an oval, about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide. This will be the body of the turkey. Make a horizontal cut at the very bottom to create a flat end.

  1. Cut out a yellow triangle for a beak and a red heart for the piece of flesh that dangles from the beak. (It’s called a snood, by the way.)
  1. Glue the beak and snood (just turn the heart upside down and voila!) onto the brown turkey body and draw in two eyes. Glue the turkey body to the bottom a piece of white construction paper, but don’t put any adhesive on the edges of the turkey. Set aside.
  1. Cut the yellow, orange and red paper into nine 1-inch-wide strips (three strips for each color) about 8 inches long.
  1. Have your kids write one thing they’re thankful for on each strip. Only write on one half of the strip. Alternate between writing from the edge going toward the center of the strip and then writing from the center going toward the edge.
  1. Glue the ends of each strip together without creating a crease to create the turkey’s plumage feathers. Make sure the words are showing on the outside.
  1. Stick the feathers into the outer edges of the turkey body, making sure the words can be read. Glue the edges of the turkey down after you tuck in each strip.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys writing about parenting and money. She aspires to be one of those Pinterest moms. (It’s a work in progress.)

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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Apple’s New Models Are Here. That Means You’ll Get Great Deals on Used Ones

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year: new iPad and MacBook season! (The first obviously being new iPhone season.)

Since Apple unveiled the iPhone XS and iPhone XR in September, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for the next generation of iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini.

Well, that day has come, and it means one thing to Penny Hoarders: deals on gently used and refurbished Apple products.

That’s right. Those of us who don’t care about having the latest and greatest tech can catch some great deals on upgrading our slow-as-molasses MacBooks and first-generation iPad Bricks.

How to Find Deals on Used Apple Laptops, iPads and More

But before you buy the first MacBook you find in an unmarked van, there are some simple but important steps you need to follow if you want to avoid the duds and get yourself a deal.

1. Know Where to Look

New Apple products are never cheap, so most people will try to sell their old models on sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or OfferUp, because it’s where they can make the most money.

If you meet a seller one-on-one, always meet in a public place, like a police station or Starbucks. You should feel safe, and there should be other people around.

You can find deals at pawn shops or online trade-in shops like Gazelle. If you want to buy from Apple, you’ll start to notice newer models on its “certified refurbished” page. As of this writing, you can find refurbished MacBook Air models made as recently as June 2017.

2. Research the Product You Want

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

There’s no store associate to guide your Craigslist journey. You’ll need to do your own research on what you want, what you don’t need and what’s a fair price for it.

There are some great guides online that can help you decide between Apple’s lineup of MacBooks, iPads, Apple Watches, etc.

Ultimately, you’ll probably have to be a little flexible on your desired specs if you want the best deal. But who knows, you could get lucky.

3. Test It Out

This is the single most important part of buying used or refurbished Apple products. On sites like Facebook Marketplace, you should always try before you buy. If you’re buying online, always get a warranty and try all these features ASAP:

  • Turn the device on and off.
  • Test the camera.
  • Test the sound.
  • Test internet connectivity and browsing.
  • Test the ports with a USB drive, headphones, etc.
  • Check out the tightness of the hinge.

You’ll also want to make sure the model and specs listed are accurate by checking the serial number on the product.

4. Make a Call (or Two)

Give Apple a call to see if the product you’re buying is refurbished or has been reported stolen. You’ll find suggestions online to call Apple store customer service at 800-676-2775 to find out if your product is refurbished.

When I tried it with a laptop I purchased recently, the customer service representative couldn’t answer my question, but he was able to talk to someone who could confirm my laptop wasn’t refurbished. So be persistent, even if the first person you talk to doesn’t know what you want.

You may also want to call the local police station to make sure the serial number doesn’t match with an item that’s been reported stolen.

5. Make Sure the Product Is Restored and Removed From Account

Alexandra Vincent/The Penny Hoarder

Once you’ve decided you want to buy the product, it’s your responsibility to make sure the product is restored to factory settings.

If you’re purchasing an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or even an iPod Touch, you’ll also need to make sure the seller removes the product from their Apple account so that you’ll be able to add it to yours.

6. Don’t Bring Cash

And finally, never bring big wads of cash to a one-on-one sale. If you’re buying anything that costs more than a couple hundred dollars, get a free money order from Amscot.

Pro tip: If you want to negotiate the price, get multiple money orders so you’re not tied down to the asking price.

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

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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Generation Z Is Powerful as Hell, and Sabrina Spellman Is Here to Lead Them

WARNING: This articles contains spoilers for the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Proceed at your own risk, witches.

Greendale is a town that’s been lost in time. It’s late September at Baxter High School and walking the halls feels like drifting through a montage of different decades: Posters about the upcoming school dance cover the walls, loose pieces of homework float around with Tumblr domains scrawled in cursive, and ghost-like black and white portraits hang in the school library. Teenagers amble around, dressed like Grease extras in tailored button-downs and a-line dresses, their lips rouged and their shoes shined.


Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind Walker and Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman.

If Greendale — the idyllic small town where Netflix’s new series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, takes place — feels like someone handpicked the best parts of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and then meticulously pieced them all together, that’s exactly what it should feel like. Chilling Adventures is supposed to make you feel nostalgic — even if you’re not quite sure for what.

“We’re trying to pride ourselves very much on being timeless,” production designer Lisa Soper said during a September visit to the show’s set in Vancouver. “You see cell phones [but also] Victorian dresses.” Soper described the show’s aesthetic as “a layering of history” that gives every viewer “a chance to grab onto something they’re nostalgic for.” But for all the nostalgia Millennials and Gen Xers might feel watching the genre-bending show — it’s part teen drama, part horror — Sabrina Spellman and her magical crew clearly belong to a new wave of young viewers: Generation Z.

Generation Z Questions Everything

Poised between girlhood and adulthood, half-witch and half-mortal Sabrina Spellman (played by Kiernan Shipka) is refreshingly unwilling to compromise. No, she will not sign her namesake away to the Devil in exchange for immense magical powers on her 16th birthday — but she also won’t forfeit those powers entirely. Sabrina refuses to conform to any easy definition, despite immense pressure from the female adults she loves and trusts — her two witch aunts, Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto), and her deceptive mentor Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) — and the male authority figures she refuses to follow — High Priest of the Church of Night and headmaster of her magical school, Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), and the head of her mortal school, Principal Hawthorne (Bronson Pinchot).

During the 10-episode first season of Chilling Adventures, Sabrina often marches around the sprawling, cozy-creepy Spellman home that doubles as a mortuary, announcing that there’s some kind of supernatural problem plaguing Greendale. On one such occasion, Zelda croaks back, “Mephistopheles, save us from the melodramatics of a teenage witch.” She’s not wrong: Sabrina’s conviction, stubbornness, and flair for the dramatic are emblematic of most teenagers wielding the confidence of youth. But Sabrina’s also grounded, logical, and uncommonly objective — and those qualities are especially emblematic of Generation Z.


The Weird Sisters: Adeline Rudolph as Agatha, Abigal Cowen as Dorcas, and Tati Gabrielle as Prudence.

“It’s so important, it’s so important, to ask questions all the time,” Shipka, who’s 18 years old and a member of Gen Z herself, said during the set visit. “I think that it’s really cool to see a character that is truly questioning these beliefs, and especially for younger people to see that.” Though she wouldn’t call her on-screen persona a role model, Shipka does want her peers to absorb Sabrina’s overall message. “I’m very excited that some 13-year-old girls are going to be watching this show and have [Sabrina] as a character to think about, or [to] be for Halloween. She’s a really strong, smart, educated girl and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of a show that has very clear intentions [on] that front.”

You Can’t Scare These Kids With Fake Blood

Like every generation that was once the youngest, Generation Z is a fascinating mystery to everyone who’s older than them. We know all too well that Millennials ruin everything and Gen Xers only care about themselves, but what about Gen Z? Do they really eat Tide Pods? What’s the deal with Zendaya and Mechee? Why don’t they understand the subtle art of burning CDs?

Cultural questions aside, the cut-off for Millennial birthdays is 1997, making the oldest members of Generation Z around age 21. By 2020, they’ll comprise 2.56 billion members of the population and 40% of all consumers. They have the potential to become major players in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, as well as the 2020 elections. In short, they’re immensely powerful. But, like Sabrina, they’re still learning how they want to use that power; they’re not sure if they want to summon Hellfire just yet.


Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman.

Chilling Adventures is a sister show to the CW’s Riverdale. Greendale is just a boat ride across Sweetwater River away from Riverdale. and they share a creator in Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. With both shows, Aguirre-Sacasa is pushing the envelope with teen content — characters in Riverdale use sex as an emotional coping mechanism (back in 2001, it took Pacey and Joey four seasons to do the deed on Dawson’s Creek), while Chilling Adventures is more horror show than teen drama, full of blood magic and devilry and heart-eating (we had to wait three seasons for Angel to finally suck on Buffy’s neck in 1999, and even then we only saw tiny trickles of blood). But TV alone can’t push a generation to maturity. Aguirre-Sacasa is simply answering the new demands of a generation forced to grow up too fast.

In Chilling Adventures, the adults are just as flawed and complex as the teens — they’re too busy murdering (and resurrecting) each other, engaging in religious BDSM, and stealing babies to keep tabs on the teens. More often than not, Sabrina and her friends help themselves. When no one will punish the Baxter High jocks for bullying, Sabrina and the three Weird Sisters (Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, and Abigail Cowen) cast a spell to blackmail them with incriminating photos; when Principal Hawthorne bans books, Sabrina and her best friend Rosalind Walker (Jaz Sinclair) form WICCA (Women’s Intersectional Creative and Cultural Association). Gen Z has shown similarly fierce independence.

Reared on screens and nursery rhymes about how to survive when someone walks into your school with a gun, this new generation doesn’t just hang out on MySpace and tweak the emo lyrics in their AIM away messages. They’ve used social media to educate themselves on issues and hold political leaders accountable. They’ve called out authority figures that people twice (and thrice) their age fear. They’ve spearheaded national protests.


Michelle Gomez as Miss Wardwell.

And we shouldn’t be surprised. Gen Z grew up surrounded by books and major movie franchises about looming dystopia and teens leading political revolution; even John Green’s wildly popular non-dystopian young adult fare centers around teen death (The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska) and abandonment (Paper Towns). Much like Sabrina gleefully watching a zombie movie while everyone around her shields their eyes from the horror, it’s really hard to scare these kids. They’ve been unblinkingly watching the horror play out on every available platform their whole lives.

The New Generation Won’t Let Anyone Define Them

Older members of the Chilling Adventures cast agree that their younger castmates are different than they were at a similar age. Gomez said that Shipka has taught her “how to behave professionally.” She laughed, “At 18, I was dumb as hell. And they’re really together, these kids.” Davis echoed the sentiment, saying, “I was never that at 16; I was never that brave [or] outspoken, and Kiernan [Shipka] is that. She shows a very different generation nowadays. When I am around the young ones on the show, they teach me so much. I love being around them, their energy and their light that they bring with them; it’s wonderful to bask in.”

The new generation is also ushering in social change. Chilling Adventures includes storylines about intersectional feminism, toxic masculinity, workplace harassment, living with a disability, and, most centrally, gender identity. Sabrina’s warlock cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) identifies as pansexual and is attracted to both men and women in the show, and her best friend Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson) spends the season beginning what Watson describes as a “queer journey.”

“These new narratives [aren’t] necessarily spoken of or given light,” 22-year-oldPerdomo said about the show’s gender representation. “It’s kind of about time. We’ve seen the heroic white male story perpetuated throughout Hollywood since time immemorial. So now to have a pansexual person of color played with depth and as a multi-faceted individual is not only artistically satisfying, it’s gratifying to be able to showcase that. [Ambrose is] a human being that’s more representative of the world we live in.”

That representation is both a refreshing step toward more inclusive gender representation on TV and a logical narrative to include for the show’s key demographic: Studies show that 38% of Gen Zers don’t believe that gender defines a person, and 56% of 13-20 year-olds know someone who uses gender neutral pronouns.


Lachlan Watson as Susie Putnam.

Watson, clear-eyed and eloquent, has been through a queer journey similar to Susie’s and prefers male pronouns — and talking about gender is his favorite thing to do. “There were a lot of points in my life where I thought I knew who I was, but I didn’t,” the 17-year-old explained. “I knew who I thought I was supposed to be; I knew how I thought I was supposed to identify and how I was supposed to act and how I was supposed to dress. I was who I was for other people, and that’s never gonna be fulfilling.”

That refusal to meet past cultural expectations is a common theme among the young cast members. Tati Gabrielle — who’s 22 years old and plays Prudence, Sabrina’s frenemy and leader of the Weird Sisters — said, “I think [the show] can appeal to my generation in terms of figuring out who you are and going to the limits.” She also hopes Chilling Adventures can teach her generation, especially young women, “to believe in something and to stand strong by your beliefs. We can take a stand despite the pressures the world puts on us; we can, at any point, step out of that and defy the laws of social interaction, or defy the place we’re supposed to fit into.”

Gen Z is Growing Up and Growing More Powerful

If the first season of Chilling Adventures is a story about a young girl embracing her power and crossing the threshold into adulthood, the (unconfirmed but inevitable) second season will be about how she decides to use it. In the season finale, Miss Wardwell pushes her young pupil to embrace her prospective greatness: “Own your power. Don’t accept it from the Dark Lord. Take it, wield it.”

In person, Gomez takes a more measured approach about the moment when Sabrina finally signs her name away to Satan and receives her dark magic (and witchy platinum blonde hair). “It’s a girl in the last moments of her childhood as she becomes an adult,” Gomez said, “and what happens to all of us in those last moments when you cross that threshold into young adulthood — and the responsibilities that come with being that.”

It’s too perfect a parallel, too broad a sweep to say that Sabrina’s singular potential to power change mirrors that of an entire generation. But when the real-life equivalent of the Greendale Thirteen — ghosts of old political grudges, dangerous relics of times passed, specters of an outdated belief system — threaten the people they love and the values they hold, you can bet that Generation Z will follow Sabrina across the threshold and sign away their childhood comforts in exchange for power. That day is coming, and you can expect Hellfire.



The post Generation Z Is Powerful as Hell, and Sabrina Spellman Is Here to Lead Them appeared first on FANDOM.

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Mystery Shopping Scams Are Soaring in 2018 — Here Are 5 Ways to Spot One

It seems easy enough: You get a message through Facebook or LinkedIn. Or you receive a cashier’s check in the mail out of the blue from a mystery shopping company. It instructs you to shop at your local grocery store and email a representative with pictures and details about your experience.

Then you cash the check, keep some money for yourself and send the rest to the company.

The only problem: That cashier’s check is likely a fraud.

Mystery shopping can be a legitimate way to make some cash on the side. But scammers are using the brands associated with many of those opportunities to steal money from would-be shoppers.

The Penny Hoarder analyzed the 1,000 most recent complaints about mystery shopping scams filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We obtained the data set through a Freedom of Information Act request that took five months to fulfill.

Unfortunately, according to our analysis, the problem appears to be getting worse — much worse.

The FTC logged 557 complaints about mystery shopping scams in its Consumer Sentinel Network database through the first three months of this year. That’s nearly 150 — or 37% — more than it received for the entirety of 2017.

Meanwhile, overall consumer complaints have fallen over the last two years, according to FTC spokesman Frank Dorman.

The increase in mystery shopping complaints could be due in part to state and local agencies reporting more complaints to the FTC or the public becoming more aware.

“There’s no way for us to know why complaints rise and fall,” Dorman said.

But with 2018 on track to log more than 2,200 complaints, it’s likely scammers are also casting a wider net.

In 2017, people reported losing $ 47,333 to mystery shopping scams, according to the FTC database. In the first quarter of 2018, the FTC received complaints about $ 468,897 paid to suspected con artists — a figure on track to easily break $ 1 million this year.

And these are probably low estimates, given that many cybercrimes go unreported.

How a Mystery Shopping Scam Works

One common mystery shopping scam involves “testing” a transfer service, such as Western Union, at a Walmart or other grocery store, according to the FTC. In this scenario, you’ll get a check in the mail and might even see money appear in your account.

Then, you send some of that money through one of those wire services. Or you might be asked to buy refillable gift cards and send the card to the scammer. Either way, the bank will eventually determine the check was fraudulent.

And the worst part is: You might be on the hook for the fraudulent check.

“Your bank may take several days to weeks to determine the check or money order you deposited into your account was counterfeit, even though the funds ‘arrive’ in your account after a day or two,” wrote U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Andrea Avery in an email to The Penny Hoarder. “You, as the account holder, are responsible for money deposited [into] and withdrawn from your account, so you may be liable when the check ultimately fails to clear.”

Most mystery shopping complaints revolve around cashing fake checks, but the FTC also reminds consumers that they should never pay a subscription fee just for the opportunity to become a mystery shopper.

5 Signs of a Mystery Shopping Scam

If you think a mystery shopping gig is too good to be true, you’re probably right. These tips can help you spot a potential scam.

  1. First of all, any time someone asks you to wire them money after depositing a check, it’s going to be a scam.
  2. Have you ever contacted this company or representative in the past? If this is an unsolicited opportunity, your scam antenna should be at attention.
  3. Does the email, letter or message look like it was written by a 6-year-old? If it’s littered with misspellings or grammatical errors, it’s probably fake, according to several narratives in the FTC data set. (Although one could say the same thing about the first draft of this article written by a data reporter.)
  4. Look at the company logo included in the letter, memo or check the supposed company has sent you. Match it with what you find on the company’s official website. One FTC complainant noted that materials sent from a firm called American Consumer Eyes bore grocery store ShopRite’s logo, but it was black and white, and out of focus.
  5. And it’s worth repeating: If you pay for a “subscription” to become a mystery shopper, you’ll likely lose whatever you pay.

There’s no telling where these scams are coming from, but the most common city that popped up was located far from the U.S. —  in the Greek isles. Larnaca, Cyprus, a city of about 144,000 with a tourism-based economy, was included 17 times.

Again, the FTC couldn’t explain the prominence of this city in the database. Nor could it explain the names of individuals supposedly representing the companies.

Brian Anthony and Alex Baker were the most frequently used names in these mystery shopping scams.

Con artists tend to use trusted brand names, according to the FTC database. Walmart and Kroger were frequently featured in fraudulent materials.

The Penny Hoarder even came up once in the 1,000 entries in this database. In fact, a complaint from a reader prompted this entire investigation. We responded to the incident in April.

The mystery shopping scams included in the database targeted victims as young as 13 and older than 80. Although millennials were actually targeted more, it was clear the elderly were the most vulnerable. People older than 59 were scammed out of a combined $ 317,645.50 since the beginning of 2017.

New Mexico had the most per-resident complaints — more than double the second-most targeted state, Texas. Again, FTC and USPS representatives couldn’t say why this is the case.

How to Report a Mystery Shopping Scam

If you were contacted through the mail, the USPS recommends reporting the fraud through its website or by calling 877-876-2455 and saying “fraud” when prompted. The FTC also urges you to file a complaint with its office, as well as your state attorney general’s office.

If you live in a city with a large population of retirees, like where I am from in Sarasota County, Florida, your local police office might have its own cybercrime unit that can make sure you file the correct paperwork with the corresponding agency.

Compile as much information as you can with the materials you believe to be a scam. What was the name of the potentially fictional representative or company that contacted you? What was the return address on the material you received?

This will help whatever agency you contact root out scams like these in the future. In turn, this will give us more data for future investigations. Win-win!

Both the FTC and USPS continue to publish information on their websites and through YouTube, and they’re even pounding the pavement across the country raising awareness about these scams.

The top piece of advice from both agencies: Always be skeptical at first for the best chance of staving off a scam. If you send money, it’s probably too late.

“If you try to get a refund from the promoters, you will be out of luck,” Dorman said. “Either the business won’t return your phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch.”

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. His dream mystery shopping gig involves record stores and skate shops.

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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Reformation’s New Holiday Collection Is Here for All Your Sexy Winter Party Needs

Each year around this time, Reformation releases a holiday collection that suddenly makes us forget about our winter plans to cozily hibernate and watch Netflix every night, and instead try to fill our calendar with events that will necessitate the purchase of at least one of its cute party …

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HGTV Will Launch a New Show…on Snapchat! How to Watch You Wish You Lived Here

HGTV has a reputation for being the channel everyone always leaves on. Now, it will also be the one fans can watch wherever they go.

You Wish You Lived Here is HGTV’s first-ever “Snap Original,” a show that airs exclusively on Snapchat. It premieres Sunday, October 21 at 6 a.m. ET and will be available to watch on the app for 48 hours.

RELATED: Pregnant HGTV Star Leanne Ford Selling L.A. Cabin She Designed, for $ 995,000 — See Inside

To watch the episodes, which will be added each week at the same time for a 12-week run, go to the Snapchat Discover page and search HGTV or the show title.

The series will be hosted by DIYer Dylan Silver, who, along with a team of HGTV pros, will tackle a total room makeover in each episode inspired by the guests’ celeb style inspiration. But the designs don’t come with an A-lister’s budget: Every space will come together for $ 1,000 or less.

RELATED: HGTV’s Erin Napier on About Battling Mystery Illness: ‘Scar Tissue Banded My Organs Together’

And, in case viewers are left feeling especially inspired, they’ll include step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the same look at home.

In 2017, Fortunate reported that Snapchat had inked deals with 12 major networks, including Scripps Networks Interactive, HGTV’s parent company. “Snapchat’s distinctive mobile platform provides an ideal environment for us to touch millennials and centennials who may not yet be hooked on our premium offerings,” Henry Ahn, Scripps’ president of content distribution and marketing, said in a statement at the time.

You Wish You Live Here premieres on Snapchat October 21 at 6 a.m. ET.


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Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas

There’s so much more to it than gingerbread lattes

costa christmas menu
Credit: Costa

The countdown to Christmas starts that bit earlier every year. Halloween is still weeks away and yet we’re already pining after the best beauty advent calendars and shopping for these amazing Harry Potter baubles.

Oh, and have you heard about the Aldi chocolate wine? We’re already planning to stock up when it goes on sale.

But things aren’t stopping there. Festive cheer – and menus – are cropping up everywhere, and Costa has just released a list of their own merry offerings, and we can’t wait to try it all.

Making a comeback this year are the black forest hot chocolate and the gingerbread and cream lattes, alongside some new flavours including caramelised orange and cream, hazelnut praline and cream, and gingerbread and cream – all of which are available as hot chocolates or as lattes.

costa christmas menu

Credit: Costa

Customers will also be able to get their hands on a luxury hot chocolate, described as ‘small but beautifully formed rich, dark and decadent.’ Fancy.

For coffee lovers, there will be a festive roast blend to sing to your tastebuds, but if you’d prefer something a little different you could try the new hot spiced apple or hot caramel drinks on offer.

costa christmas menu

Credit: Costa

There are also some sweet and savoury treats available, such as gluten free vegan mince tarts, gluten free vegan iced fruit slices, gingerbread and sticky toffee wreath cakes and clementine drizzle loaf cakes.

Plus a special mention to the pigs in blankets mac’n’cheese. Drool.

And let’s not forget a rather extensive variety of Christmas sandwiches, which also cater to veggies and vegans, will be hitting the shelves, fan faves being the Christmas cheese board panini and the veggie Christmas lunch wrap which includes sweet potato falafel with Wensleydale and cranberry cheese and spiced plum chutney.

The menu, as well as the Costa Christmas themed cups, launch on November 1st.

We’re ready and waiting…

The post Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas appeared first on Marie Claire.

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“Here & Now” features Miguel Blanco During his Latest Mission to Indonesia During the Swell of the Decade

“Here & Now” features Miguel Blanco during his latest mission to Indonesia during the swell of the decade, being in the right place at the right time Miguel ended up scoring the now legendary monster session in Nias Pulau. The film portraits all the action during his trip around Indo, culminating with the Nias Swell and the wave that ultimately changed his life and ended up in the Cover of Surfer Magazine.

“Here & Now” was filmed and edited by the brilliant Brazilian filmaker Bruno Zanin who was traveling with Miguel during this dramatic swell, with additional footage by Carlo Coral.

Miguel Blanco added the following statement: “This has been a great year. Such a great rollercoaster! I’ve been putting a lot of energy into surfing and just stoked to be doing what I love the most everyday! I had a big gap in summer so I decided to go to Puerto and Indo. Caught a good swell in Puerto and somehow ended up being in Indo for the biggest swell in this last decade. “Here & Now” shows some of that action. To add to that magic trip, Surfer Magazine came out and I was in the cover! My first cover on an international magazine. Back home, I was doing the national league where the champ has a chance to surf the WCT in Portugal as a wildcard. I had some chance to win it but it wasn’t looking too pretty. Well, I guess everything came together and I won the event, crowned National champ and earned the wildcard for the WCT in Peniche.”

Blanco is one of Portugal’s most respected Surfers right now, with only 22 years old, he is the new Portuguese National Champ after winning this weekend the National League where he also got a wildcard for the WCT in Peniche later this month. He was the only Portuguese shredder in the recent Monumental Swell in Nias, where he probably scored the wave of his life that ended up being the latest cover of Surfer Magazine. He’s a rising star both on a progressive surfing approach and also chasing slabs and Big Surf. Already with 6 Hawaiian Seasons and trips all over the world (Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Caribbean, Indo, Maldives, etc), Miguel is making a name for himself and represents the future of his Portuguese generation.
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Also available this Media Kit, including Cover, and social video teasers: https://we.tl/t-Ax0BjngHf0

Miguel Social links:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/miguelblancosurf/
IG: @_miguelblanco_ https://www.instagram.com/_miguelblanco_/

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Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one

Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one


Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one

We absolutely live for music collaborations. So when Cardi B took to Instagram in August to tease an upcoming collab with Selena Gomez, we almost lost our minds with excitement.

On August 24th, Cardi posted a behind-the-scenes pic from the set of a new music video. The pic showed four director’s chairs, and the names on the backs of the chairs included Cardi, DJ Snake, rapper Ozuna, and, yep, one for queen Selena Gomez. (Oh, and there was also a tiny chair for Kulture. LOL.)

Selena also took to Instagram to share pics from set.

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today was so fun

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

She then shared a series of videos on her Instagram Story that showed everyone looking fierce in fiery red.

And now, we officially have the “Taki Taki” music video, and it’s (literal) FIRE.

The sets, the effects, the ensembles. This video is seriously even more red hot than we hoped, and we’re 100% down for this collab.

Thoughts?

The post Cardi B and Selena Gomez’s “Taki Taki” music video is here, and you’re gonna need to sit down for this one appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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These Harry Potter baubles are here to make your Christmas complete

Accio baubles

harry potter stamps
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

This month, Harry Potter fever is at an all time high. Not only are we blessed enough to get Harry Potter stamps (they truly are a thing of beauty), but we also get to create our own cocktails with actual magic at this Harry Potter bar (and you get your own interactive wand).

And as if that wasn’t enough, Primark has announced that their Harry Potter baubles are back so that Christmas 2018 really will be that bit more magical.

When you see how cute they are, you’ll completely forget that you never received your Hogwarts acceptance letter.

(Sorry for the reminder.)

This year, we’re being treated to some of the fan faves from 2017 as well as a whole new range of Christmas tree decorations, and we dare you to try not to buy them.

Fancy some of the characters in mini bauble form? You can choose from Harry Potter himself, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Hedwig… and if you can’t choose, fear not. They come in packs of two, and will set you back a mere five pounds.

harry potter baubles

Primark

If the characters don’t quite tie in with your very sophisticated Christmas decor theme, then maybe you’ll be tempted by the classy snitch and broomstick baubles.

harry potter baubles

And if you want something more traditional, there are lots of options – from a Deathly Hallows themed bauble, to a glittery platform 9 and 3/4 number, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Plus, there are house baubles.

harry potter baubles

Primark

Oh, and did we mention that you can also get HP socks as part of a magical duo pack?

With everything in the range costing five pounds or less, we advise that you start stocking up immediately.

Who doesn’t want a Christmas tree dripping in all things Harry Potter?

Apparate to Primark, please.

The post These Harry Potter baubles are here to make your Christmas complete appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Here Are the Wildest Looks From Paris Fashion Week

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PARIS — At Paris Fashion Week, where the womenswear season wrapped on Tuesday night, catwalk shows were sometimes so theatrical that it was hard to focus on the clothing itself.

Consider beefcake bodybuilders whizzing by on scooters in their tight, green Y-fronts at Vivienne Westwood, as painters climbed ladders to create a cloud-like artwork in a garage turned into a runway.

This season, designer Andreas Kronthaler (Westwood’s husband) created a collection for the British house, inspired by photos of the skate girls of Kabul, taken by Jessica Fulford-Dobson, and a couple of his favorite artists. One model walked wearing a dress made of nomadic bags

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The new David Attenborough show looks super intense and we’re so here for it

It’s good to have you back, Sir David.

new david attenborough show
BBC NHU/Theo Webb

Happy World Animal Day, everyone! We’re kicking it off with some exciting animal-related news as Sir David Attenborough is back with yet another nature documentary series, which will fill the void that Planet Earth and Blue Planet left when they ended. He’ll be bringing a new show to the BBC called Dynasties and the exciting trailer dropped earlier today, proving that it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The nature documentary is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, as it’s going to hone in on just five species of animal: emperor penguins, tigers, lions and more. According to the BBC,every episode will focus on an individual endangered animal and follow their struggle for survival in the wild. The series, which took four years to film and create, looks wasymore like a tense reality TV drama centred around an animal rather than a nature documentary. We’re here for it.

If you’re a diehard Planet Earth II fan, the team behind it are the same one responsible for Dynasties — so you know it’s going to be good.

And of course, Sir David Attenborough will be lending his iconic voice to the show and seems to have travelled the world for the show, which isn’t bad going for a man who’s in his nineties now.

new david attenborough show

IBL/REX/Shutterstock

There’s no word yet on when the new show is set to drop, however the trailer definitely has us hungry for more.

TBH if the entire show was just an hour of that baby penguin shuffling through the snow, we’d probably be on board.

The post The new David Attenborough show looks super intense and we’re so here for it appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Flu season is here: What you need to know about the flu vaccine

The CDC recommends that everyone get the flu vaccine before the end of October.
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