Report: Millennials Managing Money Better Than You May Assume

When it comes to handling money, millennials often get a bad rap on such matters as saving and long-term financial planning. But the latest Better Money Habits Millennial Report by financial services giant Bank of America opposes some of the notions.

In reality, the report swears millennials are just as good, or better than other generations when it comes to managing money. That means they are getting their finances in shape. Millennials—ages 23 to 37—are more likely to set savings goals with most of the generation meeting them. The bulk of millennials feel just as financially secure as other age groups, including Generation X and baby boomers.

Yet there are some obstacles, too. Roughly 1 in 4 millennials worry often about money. And intriguingly, 75% of them report their generation overspends compared to other generations. Plus, 73% of millennials say their age group spends too much on unnecessary indulgences.

Some findings from the report include:

  • Regardless of stereotypes on millennials’ money habits, they are doing better than what others and themselves believe. Sixty-three percent are saving versus 64% for Gen X and 75% for baby boomers. Some 57% of millennials have a savings goal versus 42% each for Gen Xers and baby boomers.
  • The younger group has made great progress stashing money. Forty-seven percent of millennials now have more than $ 15,000 saved, up from 33% in 2015. Sixteen percent of millennials have $ 100,000 or more in savings, up from 8% three years ago.
  • Falling short on savings and careers are top financial stressors for millennials. However, when it comes to putting money away, millennials cite saving for emergency funds (64%), retirement (49%) and buying a house (33%) as top priorities.
  • Millennials are not afraid to ask for more money. Some 80% of millennials who asked for a raise in the past two years got one. Millennials are bigger advocates on asking for raises than GenXers and baby boomers.

Other topics included in the report ranged from how millennials feel about career changes to finances being a  top source of tension in millennial households. For instance, almost 1 in 5 millennials don’t know how much their spouse/partner makes.

Bank of America paid for a survey of 1,500 respondents, ages 18-71 years old, to examine their views on personal financial matters. Millennials in the report were defined as ages 23-37, with younger millennials ages 23-27 and older millennials ages 28-37.

Andrew Plepler, Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America, commented on millennial financial habits in the report.

“Millennials deserve more credit—both from themselves and from others—for their mindfulness when it comes to money and their lives. They have room and, importantly, time to reduce the stress they report having around money.”

The post Report: Millennials Managing Money Better Than You May Assume appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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17 Ways to Save Money When You Live in a Big City (It’s Actually Possible!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Get $ 3 Pantry Essentials Delivered to Your Door

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shipping is free when you spend $ 39 or more.

3. Claim Cash Back on Drinks and Takeout Orders

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

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

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

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

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

4. Ease the Pain of Those Higher Car Insurance Rates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Set up Your Big-City Budget

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

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

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

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

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

8. Declutter Your Space — and Earn Some Extra Cash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Protect Your Abode and Belongings With Affordable Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

13. Find a Side Gig (Opportunities Abound)

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

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

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

14. Call it Quits With Your Expensive Cell Phone Provider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. Find Fun (and Free!) Weekend Activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Personal Money Snapshot: Corporette Edition

personal money snapshot

I know everyone (including me) loves to read those money diaries on sites like Refinery29, and I’ve been meaning to create a “personal money snapshot” series to feature readers who are willing to share a summary of their financial situation. We now have a Google form (similar to the form we have for the CorporetteMoms Week in the Life of a Working Mom posts), and I would love to a) open it up for participants, b) get your feedback (too long?), and c) note that everything is possible for change. (The nice thing about Google forms is that we can edit questions, which is not always the case with surveys and things.) Click here if you’d like to see the form and/or submit responses! You can also see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time.

Notes on the Personal Money Snapshot Form:

1. The reason we ask for your email address: It would be much, much better if we could have your email address so that Kate or I could ask follow-up questions for clarity — sometimes not everything is obvious from an outside perspective. THAT SAID, there are a lot of personal questions on the form, so I understand if you don’t want to share your address. I can’t quite figure out how to make that question optional, though, so just put something obviously fake and we’ll deal. (If you DO trust us with your email address, thank you very much! We will keep your info safe pursuant to the Corporette Privacy Policy — and I promise to never ever hit you up for a loan if you’re loaded.)

2. The general nature of the questions (and why it looks longer than it is): I’ve been observing reader comments and discussions on money for a long time, and I think the usual “what I spend in a week” summary isn’t necessarily illuminating or educational. That’s why the questions on the form are pretty wide-ranging — and it may seem long when you first look at it, but that’s because I’m not expecting EVERYONE to have something to say in EVERY category. (I’m assuming readers will have a lot to say in one or two of the sections and less in others.)

I also believe that people have “quadrants of knowledge” when it comes to personal finance. Maybe you know everything about country club fees, which markets are awesome for second homes, and which ostrich bag is REALLY worth the $ 10,000. That’s awesome, and we want to hear from you! We also want to hear from people who are in six figures of debt, flirting with bankruptcy, and/or living paycheck to paycheck (yes, even if you have a high income and are living paycheck to paycheck). We also want to hear from the FIRE people who are putting away $ 100K of their $ 120K income, and people who had their lives wildly shifted (for good or bad) by something like inheritance (hopefully good) or crazy medical bills (probably bad). 

3. Big Picture questions: There are a few questions I want everyone to answer because I think they generally inform the reading of responses. One question asks specifically what your net worth was when you started working since I think there’s a huge difference in what your personal finance journey looks like if your net worth at 25 or whatever is -$ 260,000 (in debt) vs. $ 5,000 vs. $ 150,000. Another question asks, “Is there anything else we should know about you from a “Big Picture” perspective up front, for context, as it relates to your net worth, expenses, or debt?” I included that to delve into situations that we wouldn’t know to ask about but certainly affect your money situation, e.g., “had to be life-flighted to the hospital and had $ 100K in medical bills,” or “private schools are not optional for my family because I don’t believe my kids will get a fair shake in public school” or “all of our home-related finances are super high because my in-laws live with us and we pay for everything.” 

Like I said, it’s pretty wide ranging and hopefully not TOO… asky. If there are specific questions that are offensive to people or otherwise problematic, I’d love to know which ones in particular. If people think there need to be specific questions added to any part of it, we’d love to hear those too.

Here’s a quick question for discussion today, though: what are your favorite resources to learn about money? What’s your favorite podcast, book, blog, or other resource?

Psst: here’s our last discussion on the best personal finance books for beginners, as well as my “money roadmap,” or what my own personal finance journey has looked like. 

The post Personal Money Snapshot: Corporette Edition appeared first on Corporette.com.

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It’s OK to Stop Saving Money If You’re Doing One of These 6 Things

At 7, your goal was to save enough money so you could buy that new toy all the kids were raving about.

At 18, you just wanted to scrape up enough to stock up on ramen for the week.

At 23, your cohorts started talking about emergency funds, and you thought, “OK, I probably need a little nest egg of my own, too.”

At 27, you started counting down to retirement — only about 40 years away… Better start saving now.

And you’re still saving.

You’ve basically been saving money your entire life. Is there ever a time you’ll be able to stop saving money? Perhaps even — gasp — spend it?

Short answer: Yes!

6 Times It’s OK to Stop Saving Your Money

We’ll forever encourage people to save their pennies, but, depending on your financial situation, sometimes it’s OK to stop saving, even just for a little while. Come on; you’ve earned it, right?

Breathe a sigh of relief. It’s OK to stop saving money if you’re…

1. Investing in Causes You Care About

Hand of person holding light bulb

Once you have a nice rainy day fund saved, investing can be a great way to grow your money. In a way, you’re still saving money — but know risk is always associated with investing.

You’ll want to make sure you’re using your hard-saved money to support companies you actually believe in — their morals and values. You probably wouldn’t want to invest in a company that’s destroying our oceans or cheating the system.

Impact investing is a simple fix. It adds a new layer of transparency to investing. Take Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

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

You can start with just $ 50 and invest in this or other portfolios committed to clean water, zero waste, renewable energy or disease eradication, to name a few. Plus, you’ll get a $ 50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.

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

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

2. Signing up for Life Insurance

If you have a dependent or two, you’ll want to think about life insurance. Sure, it’ll cost you a monthly fee, but it’ll help ensure your family will be financially sound if (goodness forbid) anything happens to you.

Plus, finding life insurance doesn’t have to be the complicated, research-intensive experience you might expect. Some newcomers in the industry are updating the old model.

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

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

So even if you have to take $ 6 out of your savings each month, life insurance could be worth it — for that peace of mind.

3. Paying off Your Credit Card Debt

TPH photo editor, Alexa Vincent, in various scenes showing credit card debt, consolidation and bankruptcy on August 14, 2018.

A lot of us are being crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. That can make paying off your debt feel like this never-ending cycle — and can even cost you thousands of extra dollars over time.

If you have a nice savings cushion, it could be beneficial to pause your savings for a couple of months and pay off your debt more quickly to alleviate the pain of tacked-on interest.

See if you can make your debt a little more manageable first by consolidating or refinancing with a personal loan.

A good resource is online lending platform Upstart, which can help you find a loan without relying on only your conventional credit score.

Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).

It can help you borrow up to $ 50,000, potentially with better terms (e.g. lower interest or lower monthly payments) than traditional lenders. If managing many different bills and credit lines is a hassle, you can also use an Upstart loan to streamline all of your loans into one.

4. Preparing for a Happy Retirement

Because you’re already into saving, you probably have a 401(k). Kudos for that, but is it doing what you need it to?

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

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

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

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

5. Treating Yourself With a Reward

woman carrying shopping bags

You know how most healthy people talk about the importance of cheat days? To let yourself indulge — just a little. The same goes for personal finance. You can be as budget abiding as you want, but you have to leave a little bit of wiggle room to treat yourself.

If you haven’t gotten a pedicure in at least a decade, escaped city limits for a weekend away from the kids or splurged on a new gadget, then maybe it’s time. But please do so responsibly.

Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with these tools:

  • Ibotta: With Ibotta, you can bank cash back when you make an Amazon purchase, sign up for Hulu, book your next vacation or even order groceries through Shipt. Plus, if you sign up now, you’ll snag a $ 10 bonus when you claim your first cash-back offer.
  • Paribus: This tool gets you money back for your online purchases. 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.
  • When you’re spending money, always, always be sure to keep tabs on your budget to make sure you’re not overspending. If you don’t yet have one, the Empower app is a powerful budgeting tool that can help you figure out how you’re spending your money and develop a budgeting plan to keep you on track.

6. Buying a Home

Perhaps for the past few years, you’ve been saving for a down payment. That’s great! Now, you’re ready to buy your first home.

In those first couple of months of homeownership, though, don’t feel bad if you have to pause your savings. Expect a lot of expenses to pop up: closing costs, real estate agent commission, property taxes, homeowners insurance, last-minute repairs — just to name a few.

Get all of that taken care of as you settle into your new abode. After a few months, once you’re getting back into the swing of things and are coasting along with your monthly mortgage payments, you can start saving again.

Time to Resume…

Sure, depending on your financial health, there are certain life events, investments and money moves you can justify pausing your savings for. But the break can’t last forever — you’ll need to resume your savings at some point.

After all, you never know when you’ll need the savings. That newest and hottest toy of the season could hit the shelves any minute.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll forever be saving 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.

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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12.4.18 Gifting 529 money; Tesla self-driving fiasco; Subprime auto loans

A way to gift 529 money is here!; Falling asleep while drunk in a Tesla? Yep, it happened; Subprime auto loans are on the rise. That’s not good.

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

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

Especially when it comes to personal finance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Um, so, where do you find that money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some cash-back opportunities we’ve seen include:

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

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

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

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

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

Always Raise Your Hand and Ask the Dumb Question

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

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

Never be afraid to just ask.

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Save Money on Everything You Buy for Baby Without Clipping Coupons

There was a time when my wife and I could go to Target, and the only things we’d have to worry about kicking up our bill were bags of M&M’s or home decor items no one really needs.

Now we have twin babies. These days, our cart fills up with diapers, baby food and a variety of odds and ends I never even knew those little people needed. It adds up fast.

In the first year alone, parents can expect to spend at least $ 20,000, according to a NerdWallet survey. While a big portion of that number comes from daycare and medical costs, those everyday items can make you want to cry louder than your baby.

Luckily, we found an app that can help you save big time as you load up on some of those costly things you need to keep your baby happy and healthy.

You may know Ibotta as a great way to get cash back on groceries, but have you looked at all of the baby items it features?

Get up to $ 6 Cash Back on Baby Formula

A hand holds powder milk for baby and blue spoon.

We all know breastfeeding is the most affordable way to nourish your little one. I mean, Mother Nature provides the good stuff for free, right?

While as many as 83% of babies are breastfed, fewer than half of them are breastfed exclusively, even during the first three months, according to the CDC. That means parents are filling the gap with formula.

At nine months old, our twins are primarily breastfed and still go through two cans of formula per week at roughly $ 20 per can. Ouch.

Here are just a few of the recent formula deals we’ve seen on the app:

  • Similac: $ 3 cash back from multiple stores, including Target and Walmart.
  • Enfamil NeuroPro: $ 4 cash back at Walmart.
  • Parent’s Choice: $ 3 cash back at Walmart.
  • CVS Health: $ 4 cash back at CVS Pharmacy.
  • Member’s Mark: $ 4 cash back at Sam’s Club.
  • Gerber Natura Organic: $ 6 cash back at multiple stores including Meijer, Publix and Walmart.
  • Berkley Jensen: $ 4 cash back at BJ’s.

We’re not talking a few cents here.

If you’re using formula at all, you can be saving significant money by using Ibotta. Just find a deal for your favorite brand, snap a photo of your receipt with the app, and bam — cash back.

Bonus: When you earn your first cash-back offer through the app, you’ll pocket a $ 10 bonus.

Get up to $ 3 Back on Baby Food

Eventually, your little bundle of joy will need more than just milk. Pretty soon, you’ll be filling your cart with an amazing variety of pureed veggies and fruits that will inevitably end up all over your baby’s bib, in their hair and on the floor. But that’s all part of the experience, right?

Ibotta can help out here, too. Get these tidier treats:

  • Happy Baby Clearly Crafted Pouches: Get 75 cents cash back when you buy any three at Walmart, or $ 2.50 cash back on a 10-pack at Sam’s Club.
  • Gerber Organic Pouches: Get $ 3 cash back on a 12-pouch box at Sam’s Club.
  • Beech Nut Organic Pouches: $ 2 cash back at multiple stores, including Food Lion, Meijer and Babies R Us.

Earn up to $ 3 When You Buy Vitamins, Wipes, Bottles and More

The list doesn’t stop there. There are tons of odds and ends we need to keep our babies happy and healthy. Here are a few of the best deals:

  • Zarbees Baby Vitamins: $ 3 cash back at multiple stores, including CVS, Meijer and Publix.
  • Aveeno baby products: $ 1 cash back at Walmart.
  • Johnson’s Baby Products: $ 1 to $ 3 cash back at Walmart.
  • Desitin: $ 2 cash back on a 16-ounce jar at Walmart.
  • Huggies Wipes: 50 cents cash back at Walgreens.
  • Baby Bum Products: $ 1.50 cash back at multiple stores, including Target and Buy Buy Baby.
  • Playtex Baby Bottles: $ 3 cash back at Walmart.

Earn up to 18% Cash Back When You Shop Online

What new parent has extra time to go to stores? Ibotta can help you save money with your online shopping, too.

For example, we’ve seen deals for:

  • Up to 5.5% cash back from Amazon.
  • 5% cash back from Etsy.
  • 4% cash back from Groupon.
  • 2% cash back from Buy Buy Baby
  • 3% cash back from Overstock.com.
  • 18% cash back from Warby Parker.

Just download the app for free, select “Find Offers” and the mobile shopping category, then shop your favorite retailer through the portal.

Look Before You Shop

The best way to take advantage of Ibotta deals is to take a look through the app before you head to the store and see which deals are available. Are your favorite brands offering deals? Are you willing to try a different brand to save a few bucks?

We don’t see any diaper cash back deals on the app right now, but keep checking. We also have seen some sneaky ways to get free diapers.

If you haven’t tried Ibotta yet and you have a bouncing baby bungling your budget, now is the time to sign up.

With all the money you’ll save, you can get a great start on that college fund… because you do want them to get a great job and move out eventually, right?

Tyler Omoth is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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

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

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’

How to know when you are ready to hire a financial pro and what you need to ask to find the right one for you, with guest Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, founder of the Live Richer Challenge Movement.



 

The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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

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

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

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

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

Day 1: Check Your Credit Scores

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

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

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

Day 2: Tackle Your Credit Card Debt

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

A good resource is consumer financial technology platform Even Financial, which can help match you with the right personal loan to meet your needs.

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

Day 3: Get Paid to Get Fit

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

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

The couple that gets fit together stays together, right?

Day 4: Budget Your Wedded Bliss

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

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

Link the app to your bank accounts, and it will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you are overdoing it.

That’s right: It will show you just how many times you went out for dinner because it was your turn to do the dishes.

Day 5: Start Adulting With a Life Insurance Policy

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

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

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

It partners with a major life insurance carrier to quickly offer policies as low as $ 6 a month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 10: Make a Shopping List — and Get Paid

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

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

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

Day 11: Stock the Fridge and Pantry With Savings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 15: Clear Your Clutter

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

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

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

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

Day 16: Feel the Thrill With a Free Lottery

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

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

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

Day 17: Relax, and Watch a Good Show

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

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

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

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

Day 18: Get Money for Past Purchases

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

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

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

Day 19: Protect Your Nest Without Robbing Your Nest Egg

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

Fortunately, a service called Gabi will do it for you, and you don’t even have to fill out any forms. Simply link your insurance account and provide your driver’s license number, and Gabi will go to work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get down there, and treat yourself!

Day 22: Take the First Baby Steps to Investing

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

Consider starting an investment account through Acorns.

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

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

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

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

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

Day 23: Optimize Your Credit Card Rewards

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

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

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

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

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

Day 24: Focus on Some Extra Cash

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

Day 25: Put Your Bills on a Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26: Go Window Shopping, and Earn Gift Cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 29: Plan for a Bad Day. Seriously.

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

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

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

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

Here’s the best part: Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 1.75% annual percentage yield. That’s nearly 30 times — repeat, 30 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

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

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

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

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

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

You Did It!

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

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

Now… let’s talk about having kids.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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

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‘It’s a Good Check.’ ‘Real Housewife’ Kandi Burruss Is Still Making Money Off ‘No Scrubs’ and Now Has Her Own Sex Toy Business

Kandi Burruss is so much more than a housewife — she’s a bona fide businesswoman.

Sure, she’s in her 10th season as cast member on the ever-dramatic Bravo show Real Housewives of Atlanta. But she’s also a Grammy winner who co-wrote the TLC girl power anthem “No Scrubs.” She runs a sex toy company, a boutique and a unisex children’s lifestyle brand. She has 5.8 million Instagram followers. Last year, she went on a reunion tour with her band, Xscape; earlier this year, she performed in Chicago on Broadway. In the past two months alone, she opened a new location of her Southern restaurant Old Lady Gang, dropped a single called “Ready for This” — complete with a parental advisory sticker — and hosted a dungeon party.

“What’s the point of having this huge platform if you are not benefiting off of it?” she says about her multifaceted empire.

Burruss sat down with MONEY on a recent trip to New York City. She talked about her childhood spending habits, the royalties she’s earning from Ed Sheeran and why she’s determined to have a better financial strategy than most entertainers.

How did you think about money when you were growing up?

I was a saver as a kid. That was my thing — I always wanted to make sure I had something [stashed away], you know?

My mom used to drive me to the neighborhoods with big fancy houses and stuff. We’d ride around all the time and dream — like, “Oh, one day we’re going to have a house like that.” It’s really crazy to me now that I can afford any of those houses.

Did you make a big purchase with your first paycheck?

[Xscape] signed our first record deal when I was 16. I only got a few thousand dollars, but my mom was like, ‘OK, we’ll put this with my money’ and we purchased the house across the street from where we lived. That was my first investment — with my mom.

After that, I just really wanted to save. As soon as we had our first hit record and we started doing shows, all my other group members went and bought Benzes and different things. But I wanted to see a certain amount of money in my bank account. I remember I was like, “I will not spend a dollar until I can see $ 100,000 in my account.”

[Then] I finally purchased a car. I put some money down on it so that I could establish credit.

What kind of car was it?

It was a BMW 325i. It was blue, and I had painted all my trimming to match. I wanted it to look like the M class, even though it wasn’t. So I just painted it and got the rims that matched it. You couldn’t tell the difference.

You’ve said before that you once got a great money tip from LL Cool J. What was it?

When I was 19, I put a downpayment on my first home [after moving out]. Shortly after that, our group went on tour with LL Cool J. He gave us advice: Always have at least one house and one car that you own. He was like, “Every time you get a check, put a little bit down on the principal. It doesn’t matter how much — put something. Because then it will cut years off the loan.”

I never really thought about it before then. When I got back home, I looked at my payment statement. I [saw] all the money that went toward interest, and only a little bit every month was going toward the notes. I was like, “OK, he’s onto something.”

When you’re in the entertainment business, it’s very unpredictable. You could be hot right now, and for the next 10 years a person could be making millions of dollars, right? So they start basing their life off of what they’re making at that moment.

But a lot of people are getting 30-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages. Fifteen years from now, you may not be poppin’ like that no more. In 30 years, you definitely will not. How often are people hot for that long? If you don’t set yourself up, you will just find yourself in a position of a lot of other entertainers we see: going bankrupt, losing their homes, not being able to afford their lifestyle. If you set yourself up in the beginning, later on down the line you’ll be better off.

And now you have several diverse income streams.

It was intentional. I wanted to have businesses outside of music that were still poppin’.

I had a friend who had clothing stores that were successful, so I kept bugging her about partnering up to do TAGS [Boutique]. Before that, I managed other artists. Later on, [for] Bedroom Kandi… I partnered up with a company that had a toy that could vibrate to music. I was like, “I do music, and I want adult products — heeey!” Now it’s a whole line. We’ve moved into bath and body products and makeup.

How do you leverage Real Housewives of Atlanta to make money?

When you’re first starting on reality TV, they’re not really trying to pay you much. I was like, “It’s not like I need them to be popular. I’ve already been on TV and in music before.” I didn’t think it was going to do anything for my career. I did it on a fluke.

I gained a lot of fans that year, but my thoughts were [that] the money has to match my popularity. I had to make it bigger than the show.

So I was like, “OK, every year when they see me on the show, they will see me accomplish something.” It’s my timeline. If I speak anything on that show and say it’s something I want to do, it is a rule of thumb for me and my team — it has to happen. I am going to be a person of my word. You know how you joke about a lot of reality stars — they’re always talking about something and you never see the product? I won’t be that girl. I don’t get a kick out of just arguing with people all day. That doesn’t do me any good. You have to find other ways to make it make sense for you.

Are you still getting a lot of money from “No Scrubs”?

Uh, yeah. Ed Sheeran used “No Scrubs” in his song [“Shape of You”], so we now are co-writers on his song. Because you can’t just use somebody’s song — it doesn’t work like that. So basically he uses our song, we got a percentage of his. It ended up getting awards; it was huge. It was like the most streamed song. There are some nice royalties.

Besides that, I constantly get royalties off my old songs. “No Scrubs,” [Destiny’s Child’s] “Bills, Bills, Bills” — people still play them a lot in movies, television, and I get license fees. It’s a good check every year.

You recently threw a star-studded dungeon party with tickets starting at $ 35, and it sold out in four days. Are there more coming?

We plan on taking it on tour. Right now we are researching venues and cities. Hopefully we can do that in early 2019.

[Also,] we’re going to get another restaurant, which is not going to be just Old Lady Gang, it’s going to be different. I haven’t told anybody.

Are you passing any money lessons onto your kids?

I need to do a better job of passing it on, because my daughter is spending way too much money right now. Before she was driving, Uber was connected to my credit card; UberEATS was connected to my credit card. She was randomly ordering stuff everyday. I put a little bit of money in her account, and one day she was down to a dollar. I was like, “Girl, you can’t do that.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.


Entertainment – TIME

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NBA Player Terry Rozier Sued By Costume Company for Making Money Off ‘Scream’ Ghost Face Mask

(Terry Rozier Instagram)

Boston Celtics player Terry Rozier allegedly made a pretty large amount of cash from selling his own merchandise using the iconic mask from the movie, Scream.

But the creators of the mask believe they got ripped off, and now they reportedly want their cut. Rozier, who goes by the nickname, “Scary Terry,” has been selling shirts and sweatshirts featuring his slogan combined with the infamous mask from the 1996 thriller.

The Blast reports, Fun World costume company claims they are the original designer of the “Ghost Face Mask,” and officially licensed it for use in the slasher film and other movies.

The company reportedly says the Celtics player is using their design and copyright without permission, claiming he has, “adopted the Ghost Face Mask design as his own mascot and paired the design with his alter ego “Scary Terry,” The Blast reports.

Fun World accuses Rozier of ripping off their work and making a profit, and are reportedly suing for unspecified damages plus $ 150,000 per infringement.

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From Heartbreak to Hatmaker: How This Woman Found a New Love to Make Money

In 2016, heartache led Teressa Foglia to her true passion — hatmaking.

“I went through a really hard breakup, and I just could not be in California anymore,” she says. Everything there reminded me of him, and I was just a mess, and I had to get away. I love Europe, and I’d been doing a lot of travel prior to that, so I just booked a one-way ticket.”

You could call it a sabbatical. Foglia, now 30, paid for it by working as a freelance digital marketing consultant. She started in Barcelona, Spain and then traveled to Stockholm, London, Rome, Paris and all the way down the coast to Croatia. But it was in the south of France that she fell in love again.

“I always loved hats, and I thought it would be fun to go to France for the week and see how they actually make handmade hats,” Foglia says.

She took a week-long millinery course to learn classic techniques like blocking, trimming and stiffening. Instead of a new someone, a new something had just walked into her life. And it was clear early on that others shared the same love.

“From the second that I started wearing my hats from the hat-making course, people would compliment me on this hat that I had made,” she says. “People just started asking me for them.”

The Birth of a Business

When Foglia’s visas expired, she settled down in her home state of New York with a new purpose in life. However, she knew selling hats at a higher price point was going to be challenging. Plus, she needed a place to make them. So she crowdfunded money to open her first shop in Industry City, a business park for innovators in Brooklyn, and named it Teressa Foglia. She’s been profitable ever since.

Her ethically sourced, sustainably handmade custom hats range from $ 300 to $ 1,500. They’re named after the places she’s traveled, people she’s met and her favorite musical artist, John Mayer. No two hats are the same, and no day is alike in terms of sales. So she hasn’t quit freelancing as a digital marketing consultant — yet.  

Foglia laughs as she adjusts the beaver-grade felt hat on her head. “You can spend the entire weekend in the store and maybe you might have a customer or two,” she says. “But then you’re in here on a Monday morning, just by yourself and someone [who] saw your hat somewhere just comes in and orders two custom hats. And you’re really excited about it.”

Foglia uses Instagram as a platform to market her products. With 27,000 followers, it’s working. Celebrities like Keri Russell and Jamie Chung have worn her one-of-a-kind creations.

Hat-making With a Helping Hand

Foglia has realized she can’t do it alone. As a solo entrepreneur, she relies on friends and family to help out. Recently, students have applied for fashion internships.

“[In] New York City, there are so many incredible universities, and I have… multiple emails a day from students that are looking for internships that would love to be a part of this,” she says. “I love having them. My interns, really, sometimes I consider them my boss.”

Although Foglia works seven days a week, she wouldn’t trade her new life as a hatmaker for the world. Foglia encourages anyone struggling to find their passion to take a leap — after all, you never know where it may take you.

“I definitely had a vision for something, and now we’re just living it,” she says.

Christie Post, supervising producer and host at The Penny Hoarder, is always finding ways to make stories visual. You can see the videos she produces on YouTube. Subscribe and give her a shoutout @christiepost.

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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Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework

For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.

Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.

In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.

Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.

Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.

How To Choose The Best Car Insurance

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.

  • Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.

 

  • Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.

 

  • Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.

 

  • There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.

 

  • Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.

 

  • Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.

 

  • Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.

 

The post Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Trump says ‘good time’ for a government shutdown if no money for border wall

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Saturday that this would be a “good time” for a government shutdown if he doesn’t get funding from Congress for his border wall.


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Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework

For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.

Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.

In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.

Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.

Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.

How To Choose The Best Car Insurance

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.

  • Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.

 

  • Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.

 

  • Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.

 

  • There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.

 

  • Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.

 

  • Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.

 

  • Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.

 

The post Want to Save Money on Car Insurance? Do Your Homework appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Congress returns to familiar threat: Trump’s demand for wall money or shutdown

Democrats are emboldened by the midterm elections, as their expected House majority continues to grow to a dozen seats or more. That has them ready to resist the president.
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These 11 Easy DIY Alternatives Will Save You Money on Household Products

The older I get, the more I realize how much I’ve been duped into buying items I don’t need.

I thought I needed specific store-bought products until years of being broke forced me to find affordable DIY alternatives. I learned to forgo some items all together.

Seeking out other options for expensive household products can save you money and make a dent in your bottom line over time.

Affordable DIY Alternatives for 11 Household Items

Edge these items off your grocery list and put more money in your pocket with cheaper substitutes — or by doing a little DIY experimentation.

Deodorant

A person holds a lemon outside near a plant.
Lemons can work as a deodorant, but they do not block perspiration. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

I didn’t waste money on deodorant for years because I didn’t need it. Why buy something I didn’t need?

Well… I did need it eventually and found an inexpensive natural alternative that blew my mind.

Lemons work as a natural deodorant. Citric acid kills bacteria and odor, plus this method is 100% natural.

Dice up the lemon into wedges and rub the juice side of the wedge on your armpit. Get the whole area wet. One wedge should work for both sides.  It doesn’t take much, and the same wedge can be used until it dries out, which can be days or more than a week.

You can use fresh or overripe lemons. Experiment to find what size works for you. They will not stop you from sweating because they’re not antiperspirant.

Pro tip: Do not apply after a fresh shave, ladies. It’s painful and might cause irritation. Trust me.

Not into lemons? Try Crystal brand mineral deodorant. One stone costs around $ 3 and can last for a year.

Mouthwash

A person makes saltwater.
Dissolve table salt into a glass of water for a mouthwash replacement. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

A name-brand bottle of mouthwash costs between $ 5 and $ 10. A saltwater rinse costs a few cents. Mix table salt with warm water and you have the cheapest mouthwash around.

Or try apple cider vinegar, a common homemade mouthwash before over-the-counter mouthwashes became popular. Use two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one cup of filtered water.

Another solution is right in your medicine cabinet for a fraction of the cost: hydrogen peroxide.

Look closely at the bottle, which says, “oral debriding agent” right on the front. This means it is safe to put in your mouth as an oral wound cleanser. On the back, you’ll find debriding instructions. You basically dilute with water and swish for a minute.

You should use the water and peroxide mixture immediately, and don’t save any leftover solution.

Hana Rashid, a dentist in Roseville, California, said she loves to gargle and swish with peroxide, especially when she has a cold or sore throat.

It helps reduce inflammation in the mouth and keep bleeding from gum disease down between visits, she says. The burning or bubbling sensation means it’s working to calm inflammation.

“It is not an unsafe mouthwash, but care must be taken not to swallow large amounts,” she said.

Peroxide is the main ingredient in tooth-whitening products, so if left too long, Rashid warned, it can temporarily bleach your gums, lasting about 20 to 30 minutes.  

Swishing with peroxide will yield similar results as expensive mouthwash, but it won’t taste great.

“I like to use essential oils, like peppermint, cinnamon bark and clove in water,” she said.

Try mixing peroxide with baking soda for your own whitening paste and skip buying whitening strips while you’re at it.

Shaving Cream

A bar of soap is photographed with a razor.
Bar soap can be used as a replacement for shaving cream. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

I stopped using shaving cream years ago.

I simply sub in bar soap or hair conditioner.

Most of us have a nearly empty bottle of conditioner occupying precious shower real estate. Use up that sad vessel next time you shave. You’ll wonder why you bought shaving cream all these years.

Conditioner and bar soap aren’t ideal for facial shaves, so try substitutes like shave soap or aloe vera. One $ 3 bar of shave soap can last more than six months.

For aloe vera, apply directly from the plant to your face, or use an affordable gel. It works great as an aftershave, too. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce razor burn and irritation.  I have a garden full of the stuff, so it’s a freebie for me. Consider planting some!

Cleaning Rags

It took years before I figured out that I didn’t need to buy cleaning rags. (Don’t be mad at yourself for not realizing this sooner.)

Use old undershirts, leftover fabric and any clothes unfit for donation.

Tear or cut them — careful to remove any buttons — into pieces. They last longer that way, and you’ll have an endless supply to fit your cleaning needs. Toss them in the wash and reuse until they reach retirement age.

As for that orphaned sock, put your hand inside and use it to remove dust. Wash, repeat.

Paper Towels

A stack of dish towels are photographed.
Try using dish towels and wash cloths instead of paper towels. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This one is really hard to quit. Paper towels are so integrated into our daily lives that we hardly notice how many we use for tasks such as cleaning up spills, wiping greasy paws or picking up dead bugs.

My usage greatly decreased when I invested $ 12 in a set of 12 cloth napkins. I use one multiple times before washing (unless I’m extra messy) and always have extra for guests.  

This one move significantly reduced the volume of paper towels I went through and freed up a little room in my grocery budget.

A coworker said she likes to use cheap fabric from Goodwill and repurposes old tablecloths as napkins instead of buying paper towels.

When it comes to spills or hand drying, use wash cloths and dish towels, or something from that old T-shirt rag pile. You’ll be surprised at how little you need paper towels.

Makeup Remover

A person squirts jojoba oil onto her fingertips.
Jojoba oil can be used to remove eye makeup. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

There are makeup removing wipes, creams, pads, cloths and an assortment of accessories to clean your face at the end of the day.

Stocking up on these not only takes up space, but they steal valuable budget dollars from more important items.

Jojoba, olive and coconut oil remove makeup.

These one-ingredient wonders last for months, have a multitude of uses and take up little space. You might even have one of them in your home already. Most oils do the trick, so try something that works best for you.

If oil isn’t an option for you, try aloe vera, alcohol-free witch hazel, shea butter, a cotton ball dipped in milk or a cucumber slice to remove makeup.

Bathtub Cleaner

I have tried so many bathroom cleaners. None of them quite works right.

Once I tried to strong-arm tub stains by combining all the cleaners I had. That dangerous concoction was a terribly unsafe idea that didn’t work, either.

Did you know that you can use a grapefruit or lemon juice to clean your bathtub?

Get your tub wet. Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle salt on the exposed part. Start scrubbing! Use this technique on sinks and faucets.

Lemon juice with a scrub brush yields a similar result. The acidity of both fruit eats through scum and leaves your bathroom smelling naturally fresh (and not like a chemical bomb).

If you wanna skip the fruit scrubs, try one of these cheap DIY cleaner recipes or a homemade cleaning product  to get the job done.

Dryer sheets

Wool dryer balls are pictured on a pile of laundry. They naturally help keep clothes soft and static-free without using dryer sheets.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Dryer sheets are a common laundry additive that you just don’t need. They’re a single-use product far from waste-free, and full of chemicals.

I stopped using them years ago and don’t miss ’em one bit. If you don’t need them, don’t use ’em.

However, if you live in a dry climate or are a static magnet, then try wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

They’re good for thousands of uses, reduce static cling and wrinkles and speed up drying time. Not to mention they’re cheap, nontoxic and chemical-free.

WD-40

A coconut oil cooking spray is photographed.
Cooking spray can be used as a replacement for WD40. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

You know what you have in your home and works just like WD-40? Cooking spray.

Yup, I use cooking spray anywhere I would WD-40.

It greases sticky locks and creaky doors and unsticks gum. You can also use Crisco or a homemade concoction of cooking oils if that’s what you have on hand.

Fabric Softener

Remember when we talked about that nearly empty conditioner bottle earlier?  If you don’t want use it to shave, consider repurposing it as a fabric softener.

Try this homemade fabric-softener recipe by mixing two cups of conditioner, three cups of white vinegar, six cups of water and adding any essential oils you like (optional), and voilà; you just saved yourself from buying overpriced fabric softener.

Stain Remover

Dawn dish soap is photographed with an old white shirt.
Dawn dish soap can be used to get rid of stains. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Not all stains are created equal. Removing them is an art form unless you have blue Dawn dish soap. That’s the secret ingredient in most DIY stain removers.

Most DIY recipes have a variation of peroxide, baking soda and water. Maybe you’ll learn  a personal favorite (do tell), but try this mom’s “miracle cleaner” that works on carpet, clothes and upholstery to get you started.

How excited are you to try all this home?

Next time you’re at the store, don’t forget to smile when you pass all the items you don’t need to buy anymore.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She may have reached granola status.
Read her full bio here or say hi On Twitter @StephBolling.

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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Tales from the Wallet: What Was Your Best Money Decision This Year?

best money decision this yearWhat was your best money decision this year — and what was your worst? We’ve nearing the end of the year so I thought it might be a fun discussion, especially since there’s still time to make a great money decision or correct a bad one. Bonus question: what’s your biggest financial goal for 2019?

Psst: here’s our old advice on end of year financial steps if you’re wondering what you can do — as well as how to set financial goals for the year

For my $ .02…

Probably my best money decision has been my focus this year on automated savings and investments — I got a lot buttoned down, and feel good about that. I still use Ally for most short-term savings (the ones I want to keep in cash or CDs), but saw one comment yesterday that concerned me about Ally, so I’d love to hear what other banks you guys are using! Almost all of my long-term savings and investments are with Schwab and Vanguard, and short-short term (basically checking) is through Chase.

My worst money decision is just how loosey-goosey I’ve let my spending become. I tend to stress shop (and stress eat, and stress drink) and I really need to reign it in! It’s also kind of hard to keep track of how much I’ve actually spent because I return a ton of what I buy. I’m pondering setting up a gift card or something with a set amount of cash and using that for all online spending next year — has anyone done that? (Edited to add: I just bought myself a $ 500 gift card at Nordstrom to test it out since Nordstrom probably represents 80% of my shopping — I’ll report back on how that works out.)

My goal for 2019: The biggest money decision I’ll make in 2019 will probably be made this month, as I choose our health insurance for next year, so my goal for 2019 is to choose intelligently! I haaaaate health insurance with a fiery passion. (Here are some of our previous open enrollment tips…)

How about you guys — what was your best money decision of 2018? Worst money decision of 2018? Any early goals for 2019?

Stock photo credit: Stencil.

 

The post Tales from the Wallet: What Was Your Best Money Decision This Year? appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 2 – “Does a Good Salary Mean You’re Financially Secure?”

Episode 2

“Does A Good Salary Mean You’re Financially Secure?”

Learn why your feelings and relationship with money are bigger determinants of your sense of financial security than the numbers on your pay check, with guest Jacquette M. Timmons, President & CEO, Sterling Investment Management.



The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

 

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 2 – “Does a Good Salary Mean You’re Financially Secure?” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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5 ‘Women and Money’ Lessons From Suze Orman at The Apollo

Suze Orman has sustained an enduring career as a speaker, author and pioneer in financial leadership. Orman appeared at the world-famous Apollo theater to discuss the topic ‘Women and Money,’ which is also the title of her relaunched New York Times bestselling book first published in 2007.

The sold out event was a predecessor for the exclusive premier on Oprah Winfrey’s television network, OWN. Orman has partnered with OWN to launch a financial show on the same topic: woman and money.

Orman’s ‘TED Talk’ style discussion touched on topics that included credit budgeting and retirement. While she answered specific questions from the audience, there were five important lessons to take away from her session:

The Five Women and Money Lessons from Suze Orman at the Apollo 

Power Attracts Money

Orman describes the law of attraction when it relates to money and power. Think about your network and social circles; many times we are attracted to people of power, and most times those who hold power are considered to have money. When you are in a position of power, society places you on a pedestal; opening doors to new opportunities which may lead to further financial gains. Orman says “being powerless repels money.”  If we put this in perspective, think about how many times the person who gives off the presence of not having money, loses out on opportunities. “When you are powerless, no one wants to be around you,” she says.

Money Will Teach You About Yourself

There’s that old saying ‘money is the root of all evil.” Some people believe money is everything while others have learned it is not everything. Orman wants everyone to know “money is not more important than life.” While the world revolves around money, some people will put their life on the line for more cash. Think about your purchases; are you buying things of high value that you can’t afford? Are you saving? The financial decisions you make from purchases to savings says a lot about you in regards to money

Debt Makes You Powerless

When you are in debt, you may feel as though you are sinking, Orman says. Having debt doesn’t allow you “financial freedom.” If we take this principle and break it down, the lack of money you have can make you miserable. Think about how many times you were unhappy when your finances weren’t right. Orman says “When you have debt, you don’t have a financial voice”. This applies to those whose debt payments force them to live paycheck to paycheck. While debt may make you powerless, Orman wants you to know “The debt you have, does not define you”.

Who Will Teach Your Children About Money?

Orman asks, if you are not financially literate, how can you as a parent speak and teach money lessons to your children?

Lastly, Orman Advises: “Your Money Will Never Define You, You Define Your Money”

Suze Orman at The Apollo: Women and Money premiers on OWN on Monday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

The post 5 ‘Women and Money’ Lessons From Suze Orman at The Apollo appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life”

Kicking off this month is a new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life sponsored by Prudential. Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. hosts this special series with a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

Podcast Page: https://www.blackenterprise.com/yourmoneyyourlife/

Go straight to: EPISODE 1

 

 

The post Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life”

Kicking off this month is a new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life sponsored by Prudential. Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. hosts this special series with a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

Podcast Page: https://www.blackenterprise.com/yourmoneyyourlife/

Go straight to: EPISODE 1

 

 

The post Black Enterprise Unveils New Money Podcast, “Your Money, Your Life” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

“Your Money, Your Life” is our new money podcast sponsored by Prudential. Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. hosts this special series with a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, President & CEO, Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance.

Episode 1

“Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

Learn how gaining freedom from debt and controlling your spending forms the foundation for your financial wellness and wealth-creation potential, with Guest DeForest B. Soaries Jr, Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement.

Listen now:

Soundcloud:



 

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Mueller accuses opponents of offering women money to make ‘false claims’ about him

"When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation," spokesman Peter Carr says.
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Why relationships — not money — are the key to improving schools

Strong relationships between teachers, parents and students at schools has more impact on improving student learning than does financial support, new research shows. The study found that social capital had a three- to five-times larger effect than financial capital on reading and math scores in Michigan schools.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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Clever ways to save money on traveling

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Sure, many of us have dreams of seeing the world. Who doesn’t? But we’re not made of money, and it seems as though our wings are yet to sprout; we need a way to see the world that won’t cost us a small fortune. Thankfully, there are clever ways to save money on traveling that will open up the doors of opportunity to so much more of the globe than we ever believed.

Think of the time

One of the biggest reasons vacation prices will rise is all thanks to those bundles of joy people like to drag around with them – or kids as they are usually called. If you want to go traveling but don’t want to pay a fortune for the privilege, then it’s best to avoid any kind of school break. Airlines and hotels love to ramp up the prices when they know families will be flooding abroad. Not only will you avoid any extra and unnecessary charges, but you’ll also get to enjoy a more peaceful vacation and still have the chance to soak up the beautiful weather in the out-of-season months.

Book at the right time

As well as heading abroad at the right time, it’s just as important to book your tickets when the time is right. Statistics have shown that booking your flights at the weekend could save you as much as 19% on the final fare. No one knows why, but many think it’s because travel agents are typically open in the week meaning they get plenty of business workers. These are usually the ones willing to pay the extra cost for a slice of luxury – or put it all on the company’s card instead. Either one works.

Go it alone

No, we don’t mean ditch your entire family and head of on a solo adventure. Although, that would be one way to avoid paying for the extra tickets. Using travel agents can be one way to book a vacation, but it might not always be the cheapest. Looking for your own flights through price comparison websites is one way to get the best deals on your airfare. Plus, a lot of times hotels will offer up the cheapest rooms if you call them directly or head to their website. Sometimes the extra work is all worth the effort.

Follow the locals

Of course, local residents won’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for everyday things. Watching where they all head to eat is a good start to saving money while traveling as you won’t be spending any extra tourist charges in popular restaurants. Have you thought about how you will get around once you are at your destination? Hiring a vehicle might give you a little more freedom, but public transport is usually the cheapest way to explore new lands. There could be deals on tickets, and you’ll save on any parking fees.

Don’t overdo the texts

How will anyone know if you’ve gone on vacation if you don’t flood their phone with texts and phone calls about your adventures? Although it might be tempting to call home at every opportunity, all those messages could soon add up to a whopping bill at the end. Rather than waste your money, take advantage of any free wifi dotted around and use an app to message instead. There are many free apps that mean you can send all the pictures and videos you like whenever you’re connected to the internet.

Jetting off on vacation doesn’t have to cost a bomb, and neither does enjoying your time while you’re there. Thankfully, these clever ways to save money on traveling will free up more budget for all those souvenirs, and maybe even the next adventure or two.

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The post Clever ways to save money on traveling appeared first on Worldation.

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Bristol Palin: Dakota Told Me to Use ’Mommy’s Money’ for Divorce

Bristol Palin's Ex Dakota Tells Her to Get 'Money From Mommy' for Divorce
Sarah Palin and Dakota. MTV

A break up, a reunion of exes and another arrest. The Monday, October 22, episode of Teen Mom OG was filled with drama. Here’s a breakdown:

Bristol Palin was still livid after Dakota Meyer had moved her stuff out of her bedroom – mostly because she didn’t want her son, Tripp, to see it. Luckily, he was in Los Angeles with Bristol and her mother while on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors. In a candid moment with Sarah Palin, Bristol told her that Dakota called her, asked for his wedding ring back, then said, “You better get your mommy’s money because I’m gonna fight you tooth and nail until the girls are 18.”

Before heading back to Austin, Bristol reunited with ex Levi Johnston and his wife Sunny, as they were taking Tripp back to Alaska while Bristol got things situated in her home. She quickly FaceTimed with Dakota, and told him to remind his lawyer that she needed her home equity check so that she could get a new place.

While he told her he was looking forward to seeing her, after he hung up he told producers, “She’s an obnoxious smart ass.”

Bristol Palin's Ex Dakota Tells Her to Get 'Money From Mommy' for Divorce
Cheyenne and Cory. MTV

Splitsville

Speaking of exes, Cheyenne Floyd and her boyfriend, Zach, broke up after she spent the day with Cory Wharton, their daughter and her family. While she did invite Zach for the day out, she urged him to go see his dad, which he found to be red flag. When he tried to come over after they got back from the day out and was drunk, they got into a fight and she packed his things.

When Cheyenne later told Cory that they split and that she hadn’t seen him since their fight,he answered, “When can I move in?”

Bristol Palin's Ex Dakota Tells Her to Get 'Money From Mommy' for Divorce
Taylor and Maci MTV

Another Arrest

During Maci Bookout’s birthday weekend, she got an alert that her ex, Ryan Edwards, had been arrested again for violating his parole. Her biggest worry, however, was how to tell Bentley, the 9-year-old son she shares with Ryan.

Bentley was scheduled to spend the weekend with Ryan’s parents, Jen and Larry Edwards, so she informed him of the arrest before he went to their house. While there, Larry revealed that Bentley asked where his dad was and he was honest with him.

“I told him, ‘The most important thing is that your daddy’s clean.’ And he started crying. He gave me a big hug,” Larry said. “I said, ‘Buddy, he’s going to be OK. He’s got us, and he’s going to be fine.’”

At the end of the episode, Maci said that she didn’t believe Ryan was sober. “Everyone’s sitting around knowing there’s a problem and no one’s doing s—t about it,” she said.

Teen Mom OG airs on MTV Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.

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She Spent $16m In Harrods. Now She Must Explain Where The Money Came From

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Harrods, the iconic London department store, burnished its questionable credentials as the go-to destination of the global kleptocracy this week after it emerged that the wife of a wealthy, jailed Azerbaijani criminal spent more than £16m ($ 22m) in the London store over a 10-year period.

Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, the wife of a former state banker in Azerbaijan, is the target of the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), a new piece of anti-money-laundering legislation that compels its subjects to provide a “clear account” of how they purchased British assets.

Hajiyeva is the wife of Jahangir Hajiyev, 57, the former chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan. In 2016 he was sentenced to 15 years in jail for defrauding the bank out of up to 5bn manat ($ 2.9bn).

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Waze Carpool Is Now Available Nationwide to Save Commuters Money and Misery

Until teleporting becomes a thing, miserable commutes will remain a way of life.

You can make driving to work more bearable, however, by sharing the ride. At least when you carpool, everybody chips in on transportation costs. And you might be able to bypass some of that traffic if your route’s on a highway with carpool lanes.

Waze Carpool is hoping to get more commuters in the car with each other instead of clogging up the roads in separate vehicles. The Alphabet-owned app pairs drivers and riders to streamline the process of organizing a carpool.

You may remember when we wrote about Waze Carpool launching in Washington state back in March. Last week, The Verge, TechCrunch and other media outlets announced the company’s expansion to all 50 states.

How Waze Carpool Works

Commuters who download the app can choose to either drive or ride. The app matches up people traveling similar routes, based on their home and work addresses.

Users can filter out potential carpool buddies based on their workplace (so coworkers can ride together) or gender (so fellow riders are only women or only men).

The service’s efficiency will vary based on the number of users in your area. The more people in your community who use the service, the greater the odds that you can find riders traveling along your route. The Verge noted that Waze Carpool will be available at 50 Amazon fulfillment centers and plans to partner with other businesses, organizations and cities.

Riders are charged no more than 54 cents per mile. Depending on where you live and how long your commute is, using Waze could be less money than paying for gas, tolls and parking for your own car — or cheaper than hailing an Uber or Lyft.

The money riders pay is said to go directly to the driver through the app. Waze Carpool is reported to make its money by selling advertisements rather than taking a percentage of drivers’ earnings.

Although drivers get compensated for picking up passengers, Waze Carpool isn’t designed as a service for drivers to make money as a side gig or in place of a full-time job. The app allows drivers and riders to make only two trips per day.

Right now, Waze is offering people $ 20 to refer new users to try the service, with a cap of 10 referrals, according to The Verge. Riders also can enjoy $ 2 rides for 21 days.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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

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


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5 Steps That Will Save You Serious Money Every Time You Shop at Walgreens

There’s a Walgreens on just about every busy street corner. That means they’re super convenient for those times I run out of toothpaste, toilet paper and hair care products AT THE SAME TIME.

I’ve been a Balance Rewards member for years, but I never paid much attention to how the program works. I’ve just shopped as I normally would and enjoyed the occasional surprise at the cash register.

But after noticing more frequent rewards offers, I did some digging. Now, I’ve figured out how to get the most of Balance Rewards, so I can save more money at Walgreens.

How to Maximize Your Walgreens Balance Rewards

 

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards is a point-based system that offers 10 points for every $ 1 you spend in stores and online. You can also earn points on photo services and at the pharmacy.

You can track your points by logging in to your account or downloading the Walgreens app. You can redeem points as follows:

  • 1,000 points = $ 1
  • 2,000 points = $ 2
  • 3,000 points = $ 3
  • 5,000 points = $ 5
  • 10,000 points = $ 10
  • 18,000 points = $ 20
  • 30,000 points = $ 35
  • 40,000 points = $ 50

The best part is that you don’t have to rely solely on spending money to earn points. As a Balance Rewards member, you can also earn bonus points from paperless coupons, weekly ads and members-only perks.

Here are five ways to maximize your Balance Rewards.

1. Pay Attention to Your Receipts

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens receipts give you a summary of your rewards balance, and they’re often accompanied by Register Rewards.

Register Rewards are coupons you can use on your next purchase. Sometimes they offer savings on a specific item or type of purchase. Other times, you can earn bonus points, such as $ 10 worth of bonus points with the purchase of $ 25 or more of eligible items. Register Rewards for specific items are usually labeled with a yellow tag, and they expire after two weeks.

Another reason to pay attention to your receipts — aside from using them to score cash back through Ibotta — is to keep track of your points. While it can be fun to let your points add up without paying attention, you could miss out on points, because… well… technology.

You can see your point activity for the last 90 days in your account and your transaction history for the last year and a half.

Just remember: You can’t earn points on some products, including alcohol, tobacco and dairy.

2. Check Out the Weekly Ads

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you don’t pay attention to the Walgreens weekly ad, you could miss out on deals and opportunities to earn bonus points.

For example, an August 2018 circular featured these offers for bonus points:

  • 3,000 bonus points ($ 3 reward) for spending $ 12 or more on participating products.
  • 5,000 bonus points ($ 5 reward) for spending $ 15 or more on participating products.
  • 10,000 bonus points ($ 10 reward) for spending $ 50 or more on participating products.

Participating products are usually within the same category — for instance, the offer featuring 5,000 bonus points included children’s or infants’ Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin, Sudafed, Zyrtec and Desitin.

You can also find offers for bonus points and browse current sales, clearance items and online-only deals on the Walgreens site.

3. Save More With Paperless Coupons

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens rewards also offers paperless coupons, which you can find through your Balance Rewards account or in the app. These include manufacturer coupons, along with special offers for bonus points.

You can “clip” these coupons right to your Balance Rewards account, so there’s no need to print or physically clip coupons — just present your rewards card or phone number at checkout, and the coupons will be applied automatically.

As of this writing, 545 paperless coupons were available. Some of the most recent offers were for 5,000 bonus points on purchases of $ 25 or more and 500 bonus points on Walgreens brand bath tissue.

You can filter coupons by category and sort them by expiration date, coupon value, brand name, recommendations or most recent. You can also view and clip upcoming coupons.

Paperless coupons can also be used for online orders, as long as your Balance Rewards card is linked to your Walgreens account.

4. Earn Bonus Points With Members-Only Perks

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards also offers members-only perks, which are usually opportunities to earn more bonus points.

One recent perk offered 10 times the points on purchases of $ 20 or more in stores or online between Aug. 12-25. So instead of earning 10 points for every $ 1 you spent, you would have earned 100 points for every $ 1.

Another members-only perk is the Beauty Enthusiast program, which offers 5,000 points for every $ 50 you spend on beauty products, including cosmetics, nail care, skin care, hair care, fragrances, beauty accessories, and bath and body products.

When you opt in, you’ll immediately receive a welcome email with an offer for 20 times the regular  points. You’ll also have access to exclusive promotions and samples, a personalized beauty profile, product picks, and expert tips and tutorials.

5. Get Even More Points for Making Healthy Choices

runners compete in a race.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This is one of my favorite things about Walgreens Balance Rewards: You can earn points just for being healthy through Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices.

What I love most is it lets me automatically earn points for doing what I was already doing — tracking my health and fitness with devices and apps such as Samsung GearFit2, MyFitnessPal and Google Fit.

Points are earned by tracking your healthy choices, including:

  • Walking, running or cycling: 20 points per mile (limit 1 mile per day).
  • Exercise: 20 points per daily log.
  • Weight: 20 points per daily log.
  • Sleep: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood pressure: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood glucose: 20 points per reading (limit two readings per day).
  • Nicotine replacement therapy: 20 points per daily log.

And you don’t even have to connect apps or devices to earn points for healthy choices. You can still earn points by tracking your activities right from your account on the Walgreens website or app.

But if you do connect your apps and devices, you’ll earn 250 points per app and device. Plus, you’ll earn points without really thinking about it, as long as your activity tracker and fitness apps are all connected.

The maximum amount of points for healthy choices you can earn is 1,000 per month, which is equal to an extra $ 1 off per month. That may not be the biggest reward, but it’s great for a little extra motivation to keep your health and fitness goals on track.

If you’re an AARP member, you can an earn 50% more points for healthy choices, along with five times the points (50 points per $ 1) on Walgreens brand health and wellness products. You’ll also receive 1,000 points per vaccination you get at the pharmacy. All you have to do is link your AARP membership with your Walgreens Balance Rewards account.

After putting all of these tips to the test over the last month, I’ve saved a total of $ 17 from coupons and earned 21,000 points — enough for a $ 20 reward! I’m so proud of my new money-saving habits, I might just spend that $ 20 reward on something I don’t even need.

OK, not really. I’m saving it for the next time I run out of all of my bear necessities AT THE SAME TIME.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She had “The Bear Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” stuck in her head the entire time she wrote this post.

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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Saudi Arabia’s big money PR effort in the US is under scrutiny after journalist’s disappearance

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Start earning (and saving) money with these online finance courses

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If the extent of your knowledge of investing and finance was buying Beanie Babies back in the ’90s, don’t worry. These five online courses can teach you everything from how to buy and sell cryptocurrency to how to keep your checkbook balanced. 

Best of all is that each and every course is on sale. Check ’em out below:

1The Complete Cryptocurrency Course — $ 9.99

The Complete Cryptocurrency Course includes over 20 hours of insight and instruction from Chris Haroun, an award-winning MBA professor, and former Goldman Sachs employee. Even if you have zero experience with cryptocurrency or finance, by the end of this course, you’ll know all the essentials about mining, investing, and exchanging cryptocurrencies. Learn how to identify promising investment potential in a new cryptocurrency, and what the hell blockchain is and how it works. You’ll also learn about the different types of cryptocurrency wallets and the pros and cons of each, and how to read charts and identify when it’s time to buy or sell your cryptobucks. Read more…

More about Business, Finance, Cryptocurrency, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping Stackcommerce


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