Anker’s Lumos smart bulbs don’t need a hub, and they’re down to $12 each today

Smart LED Bulb Sale

If you’re looking to add smarts and Wi-Fi connectivity to the lighting in or around your home and you don’t already have a Philips Hue setup, there’s another option that will cost you much less per bulb — and you don’t even have to buy a hub like you do with Philips Hue. It’s the Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb 2.0, and it’s on sale right now on Amazon for just $ 11.99. This great smart light bulb can do just about anything a comparable Philips Hue bulb can do, but without the $ 60 hub. It even works with Alexa!

eufy Lumos Smart Bulb 2.0 – White, Soft White (2700K), 9W, Compatible with Alexa, No Hub Requir…: $ 11.99

Here are the key details from the product page:

  • Comfortable Lighting: Use the EufyHome app to dim or brighten to your ideal illumination. (Do not use with dimmers and three-way sockets.)
  • VVoice-Controlled: Alexa and the Google Assistant-compatibility means turning on and dimming the lights is effortless, even when your hands are full. (Alexa devices sold separately.)
  • IAccess From Anywhere: Whether you’re at home or away, control the lights from your smartphone or tablet with the free EufyHome app (Android 4.4 and above or iOS 8.0 and above devices required. 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network support only).
  • Functional Lighting: Set schedules to automatically turn on and off and enable Away mode to simulate a non-vacant house while you’re out.
  • What You Get: Lumos Smart Bulb – Dimmable White (2.36 x 2.36 x 4.2in), User Manual, Happy Card and our worry-free 18-month warranty.

eufy Lumos Smart Bulb 2.0 – White, Soft White (2700K), 9W, Compatible with Alexa, No Hub Requir…: $ 11.99

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s crazy Apple Watch sale is basically a Prime Day preview
  2. Oops: Alexa smart plugs just dropped to $ 5.55 a piece and it has to be a mistake

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Anker’s Lumos smart bulbs don’t need a hub, and they’re down to $ 12 each today originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 29 May 2019 at 12:07:46 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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How To Be Smart About Student Loans

As graduation season comes to a close many Americans, both students and parents alike, are now faced with the reality of huge student loan bills that will be arriving in the mail shortly.

Robert Smith’s recent announcement that he intends to pay off the student loans of the entire Morehouse class of 2019 was a life-changer for those students, but we know that most new graduates and adults, after graduating many years ago, will most likely not receive such an amazing gift.

With student loans becoming an ever-increasing burden for many Americans, how can we be smarter managing our student debt? Here are my tips:

Rob, there are many parents out there who still have student loans of their own, yet they’re also going to have to start paying back loans they’ve taken out for their children’s education. What should they be doing?

Well, I know many parents will be uncomfortable with me saying this, but I don’t advise parents to consider paying for their child’s education unless and until they are already on track to fund their own retirement.

The reality is, students can always get grants, scholarships, part-time jobs and loans to fund their own education, there are no loans that parents can get for retirement. You are largely on your own. Sure, there’s Social Security and Medicare, but those programs are in trouble.

Parents need to ensure that their own financial house is in order before they make a move towards funding educational expenses for their children.

Parents need to make sure that their own financial house is in order.

Parents who have already taken out loans for their child’s education should consider refinancing their loans in an attempt to lower their interest rates, or consolidating their loans so they can apply for Federal income-based repayment plans or loan forgiveness programs.

What should recent graduates do to start tackling their student loan debt?

Well, students have some of the same options as parents such as income-based repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

If you’re in a really trying financial situation you can also apply for deferment or forbearance, which are programs that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans.

However, I’ve seen people make a tough financial situation much worse by using these programs because they can dramatically increase the amount that you owe.

See, the income-based repayments programs can decrease the amount that you have to pay on a monthly basis, but you’ll end up paying more in interest in the long run.

Deferral allows you to stop your payments for a certain amount of time, but depending on the type of loan you have, interest may continue to accrue while you’re not making payments. Interest always continues to accrue on a loan in forbearance

I’ve talked with people who have deferred their loans so much that they end up with a considerably higher amount of debt than they started with.

These programs are more of a band-aid than a cure.

My best advice for recent grads would be to:

  • Relentlessly focus on maximizing your income
    • The reason you went to college was to acquire skills that would allow you to make enough money to love the type of life you want to love, not to get stuck paying off loans for the next 40 years.
    • Don’t settle! Seek out the highest-paying, highest-potential careers that you possibly can, especially early in your career so that you set your trajectory on the right path.
    • Consider starting a business or a side hustle to bring in extra income while you look for that job with the big paycheck.
  • Keep your expenses low, forget what the Instagram influencers say
    • Look, you just finished college so you’re used to living on a smaller budget. No need to start popping bottles at the club just yet.
    • Feel free to live at home for a while or get a roommate while you get things in order. There’s nothing wrong with being smart with your finances while you get on your feet.

Rob, what advice would you give to high school students who will soon have to make the decision about what school to go to and how much debt to take on?

  • Decide if college is the right move – Well, first I think they should decide whether “college” is the right thing for them or not. What’s most critical for success in America is having skills that are of value in the marketplace. College is not the only way to acquire those skills. Trade schools, community college, online programs, and apprenticeships are all other ways to create success that can be obtained much more cheaply than a traditional 4-year college degree.
  • Consider college as a business decision – However, if college does seem like the right move, young people really need to treat it like the huge business decision that it is.
    • They should sit down with their parents, and possibly a financial advisor, to discuss how much college actually costs, how much they can potentially make after graduation based on their major, how long it will take them to pay those loans back, and how those loan payments might affect other things they can do in life.
    • So many people are in tough financial positions today because they never had this important conversation.

Where can we find more information?

I know so many people are struggling under the weight of their student loans and all of these options can be confusing and hard to find, so I’ve created a free e-book on my website with a list of all of these programs and more.Want more information?

Visit Rob’s website: http://www.robwilson.tv or follow him on Twitter at @RobWilsonTV.

PHOTO: Rob Wilson Courtesy

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Life & Style – Black America Web

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Meghan McCain Battles Joy Behar Yet Again: ‘You Disagree That I’m Smart?!’

During Tuesday’s broadcast of The View, co-hosts and regular sparring partners Joy Behar and Meghan McCain got into yet another uncomfortable on-air standoff, this time over McCain’s understanding of what “democratic socialism” means.

Discussing potential Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s ascent in recent media attention, McCain cited an NBC News/WSJ poll that found voters are fairly comfortable with a gay man being president but only 25 percent of Americans are okay with a “socialist” occupying the White House.

Behar jumped in and suggested that “when they realize what that means” it will change, prompting the late John McCain’s daughter to retort that “people are smart” and declare that she is also smart.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

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Connecticut Lawmakers Seek To Legalize Smart Contract Use In Commerce

Lawmakers from the U.S. state of Connecticut have introduced a bill that calls for authorizing and legalizing the use of blockchain technology’s smart contracts in commerce conducted or initiated in the state. The partisan house bill 7310 titled “An Act Authorizing the use of Smart Contracts” was introduced by the House Commerce Committee.
RTT – Top Story

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The 12 Biggest Mistakes You Could Make with a Smart Home

It’s official: The future is now. The everyday tasks of life—locking the door, adjusting the thermostat, dimming the lights, and capturing porch thieves—can all be done with a quick swipe of a smartphone, putting us more in control of our households than ever before. Smart home devices like Alexa, smart thermostats, and digital security cameras are changing the way we think about and live in our homes, and making our lives more automated and convenient. But are some of the things you’re doing with your smart home system actually making your life more difficult and less convenient? Here are the 12 biggest mistakes you can make with your smart home—and how to avoid them.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Simple & Fab: A Smart Casual Outfit

I stumbled across this outfit and thought it was easy, comfy, versatile, and fabulous. Combine a pair of dark wash jeans with a top in a shade of grey, taupe or white. Layer a trendy long blazer over the lot and add dressy metallic footwear. 

In this case the shoes are silver, but any metallic is good. I can see a silver, grey, white, or red bag and silver statement jewellery finish off the look.

Universal Standard Beas Jacket

Feel free to substitute the black jacket for a dark neutral like charcoal or dark blue. The topper needn’t be extra long, but sharp and tailored are important. Feel free to tuck or semi-tuck the top and add a belt if that’s more to your taste. I can see black jeans work quite well, but the dark blue is more crisp and interesting to my eye. Who likes this vibe?


YouLookFab

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Kate Middleton’s Latest Look Defines Smart Chic

Before Meghan Markle entered our lives, the royal family had another style icon in Kensington Palace — Kate Middleton! Forget her fab hat game and envy-inducing hair, Prince William’s better half knows how to put together a killer ensemble and has remained true to her sophisticated sense of style.

From her blue Issa engagement dress and her show-stopping Alexander McQueen wedding gown to her penchant for gorgeous green get-ups and the occasional patterned frock too, Duchess Kate simply personifies classic and timeless dressing with a modernly regal twist. To see some of Duchess Kate’s best style moments, keep scrolling for killer frocks, all-star gowns and show-stopping coat dresses.

Us Weekly

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Tax Refund: How to Spend Yours in Smart but Fun Ways

Tax season is in full swing and that means if you’re one of the many of Americans that get a large tax refund, it’s time to plan how you’ll spend it. First off, be smart. There are many things like saving for retirement, investing in stocks, or paying off debt or mortgages that are smart and savvy ways to use this extra cash to make life a bit easier for you. But if you want something a bit more self-serving, here are a couple of other ways to spend that refund. Instant gratification can be a smart use of money, too.

Upgrade Your Gadgets

New versions of your favorite smart gadgets come out regularly and it’s sometimes hard to justify purchasing a new model just because, well, it’s new. If you have a smart home device, or really any tech accessory, that’s in need of an upgrade, getting one with your tax refund is a great idea. Think the newest Echo, or the new waterproof Kindle, or the all-in-one Google Home Max.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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

Opinion: Jordyn Woods was smart to handle her Kardashian drama with the help of another famous family

Opinion: Jordyn Woods was smart to handle her Kardashian drama with the help of another famous family


Opinion: Jordyn Woods was smart to handle her Kardashian drama with the help of another famous family

Author Michael Arceneaux discusses Jordyn Woods appearance on Red Table Talk  following the Tristan Thompson cheating allegations, and exactly how Woods beat the Kardashians at their own game.

Jordyn Woods was savvy as hell to enlist the help of Jada Pinkett Smith, essentially her play auntie, to deal with the controversy around her alleged some-sort-of-romantic-relationship with Tristan Thompson, the basketball player more known for cheating on Khloe Kardashian even after impregnating her. Whenever someone falls out of good graces with the Kardashians, select media outlets curiously start reporting all sorts of bad information about that person. Next, their lil’ friends who desperately cling to the celebrity-adjacent status they’ve netted from their Kardashian affiliation proceed to publicly pounce on that person. The end result is that ex-friend becoming something of a pariah.

See the fate of select former employees, Blac Chyna, and the artist formerly known as Kris Humphries, among others. The same thing was beginning to happen to Jordyn Woods. She not only had to move out of her BFF Kylie Jenner’s home, but she was officially on “Don’t bring her ass over to my house” status with the entire family. And naturally, the stories started pouring out of E! and Page Six, followed by keyboard thugging from the oh-so-happy-to-be-here friends of the Kardashians—roles now filled by Malika Haqq and Larsa Pippen. Why are those women in their 30s and 40s arguing with a barely twenty-something?

In any event, that sort of plan could work on Tokyo Toni’s daughter. But as they’re surely learning now, it won’t work on someone considered an extended family member of the Smith family.

Woods appeared on Jada’s Facebook series, Red Table Talk, on March 1st to share her side of the story. And if Woods wasn’t already very much aware of how the Kardashian family plays it, Will Smith certainly was. Will knows Woods through her late father who worked as a sound engineer on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and he has only made one previous appearance on Red Table Talk. Knowing that he isn’t a regular guest, I laughed like hell when he FaceTimed into the show and dispelled the following advice to Woods:

“Take your medicine and tell your truth,” Will said. “This is a part of what growing up is…this world is not gonna break you. We won’t allow it.”

That is a very slick, Hollywood professional way of saying, “I’m not about to let that family play you.”

Smith did say something curious, though. When he said, “I watched you become a woman and I saw that one day we’d be here,” I interpreted that as, “I warned you about them.” After Will finished, it got even better because Jada did not let her off the hook.

“There’s a family that feels betrayed by you,” Jada explained. She made Jordyn recount exactly what happened and acknowledge how it impacted peoples’ lives, and then pushed her to offer real contrition. I am so into Jada Pinkett Smith interview style, which is a mixture of concerned auntie and 1980s Barbara Walters or Oprah Winfrey.

And while some complained about it online, Jada was right to note that, as a Black woman, Jordyn Woods will experience far more harassment online no matter what. Not only is that unfair, it is hypocritical. Jordyn Woods was wrong, but it’s not like select Kardashian sisters haven’t been accused of similar behavior in their romantic lives.

Jordyn still might have been acting like the villain of many an R&B ballad, but her Red Table Talk chat was the best confessional performance I’ve seen since me right before a mass in 1998. Still, Khloé Kardashian remains unimpressed.

Khloé, I understand that you’re hurting and you have every right to be, but uh, have you met you? You’re celebrating Tristan for addressing the situation privately when your family has sold its privacy for a decades-long reality show? Keeping Up With The Kardashians is probably already rushing an episode tied around this drama, but you know, sure, okay.

With all due respect, Tristan Thompson has been a thot so no one can break up a home where a man already has his penis out the door the majority of the time. Khloé’s mission to malign Jordyn backfired, and I won’t link to any of the tweets mocking Khloé for her statement, but ouch. She is getting dragged up and down Cardi B’s internet, bless her heart. I hope Kris Jenner takes Khloé’s phone away, and I hope that family leaves Jordyn Woods alone.

I don’t condone what Woods did, but as she explains it, her behavior wasn’t actually as bad as first reported. She deserved to have her say and protect her image from being permanently tainted. Not only did she get to have her say with an A-list family who commands attention, she did so on a platform with s a much wider reach than the reality show that launched the Kardashians into fame. Jordyn Woods’ episode of Red Table Talk netted more than 6 million views in three hours.

In pursuit of overcoming her thot tale, she beat them at their own game with slicked back hair, subtle makeup, and some A-list friends. My hero.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostRolling StoneEssenceThe GuardianMic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

The post Opinion: Jordyn Woods was smart to handle her Kardashian drama with the help of another famous family appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Scouted: The Philips Hue Go Is The Portable LED Smart Light That Compliments Any Room

The Philips Hue Go is both a lamp and not a lamp at the same time. It’s a portable, dimmable, programmable bowl-shaped LED smart light that integrates into the Philips Hue ecosystem and can be used basically anywhere. I use it behind my TV as an accent light, usually set to a soft dim. I’ve previously discussed my aversion to overhead lighting and the Go means that I can pick it up (if I want to) and bring it with me.

The Go works as a smart lamp in that it can connect to your Alexa through the Philips Hue Hub and then you can easily control it with your light. It can be simply synced and added to any pre-existing collection of Hue lights and switches and adds a softer glow than a traditional light bulb. But it also has the portability that makes it stand out. Bring it with you as you sit outside on your porch or even to the beach for a nighttime hang. It can last up to three hours before needing a charge, which is plenty of time to enjoy its luminosity.

Portable lighting isn’t all that new, but it is exciting. The ability to treat something that can be turned on and off with a voice command like a flashlight feels incredibly futuristic to me. The Go sets itself apart from other portable lighting option because of its smart capabilities. And while you do need the Philips Hue Hub, it’s an amazing addition to any smart lighting system.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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

2.15.19 Smart appliances invading your privacy; Clark Stinks

Smart appliances could be invading your privacy thanks to lax standards from the manufacturers; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video

The post 2.15.19 Smart appliances invading your privacy; Clark Stinks appeared first on Clark Howard.

clark.com

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Apple hires an ex-Microsoft exec to revamp its smart home business, and catch up to Google, Amazon

Apple just brought on a new leader for its home unit.
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

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

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

The Smart and The Crazy: Inside The Standout Paris Menswear Shows

Victor VIRGILE/Getty

PARIS—

For followers of men’s fashion, the Fall/Winter 2019 collections, presented last week in the French capital, amid continuing unrest from anti-government protesters, the Gilets jaunes, was a space worth watching.

A number of top designers made their first or second outing at some of the world’s most famous fashion houses in what has become the hot world of men’s fashion.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Fashion

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This $1,300 smart crib that rocks your baby to sleep is now available to rent

Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "Happiest Baby on the Block," built a high-tech crib that can soothe a baby to sleep with the push of a button
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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

Kellyanne Conway calls Jim Acosta ‘smart ass’ in heated exchange

President Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway got into a verbal smackdown with White House nemesis Jim Acosta of CNN — calling him a “smart ass” when he asked her if Trump would be honest in Tuesday’s Oval Office speech on border security. “Can you promise that the president will tell the truth tonight? Will he tell…
Media | New York Post

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Willow unveils a new version of its smart breast pump

Willow is a wearable and hands free breast pump that fits inside your bra. The company just unveiled an updated version of its first device.
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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

Why pay $50 for Philips Hue’s smart LED bulbs when these $17 bulbs are just as good?

Smart LED Light Bulbs

I have Philips Hue smart LED lighting all throughout my home and I love it. To be honest though, every time I expand my setup and add new bulbs in new places, I kick myself a little for having committed to such an expensive solution. If you want to add smart lighting features to your home but you don’t want to spend $ 50 a bulb, we’ve got just the thing. MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulbs cost just $ 17 each and they have all the best features from Philips Hue bulbs, including support for voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant.

MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb, Dimmable, Multicolor, Wake-Up Lights, No Hub Required, Magic…: $ 16.95

Here’s more info from the product page:

  • ✔ Compatible with Alexa & Google Assistant: Voice Control your MagicLight WiFi light bulb with your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and Google Home Assistant
  • ✔ Works with IFTTT: DIY Your WiFi Light Bulb Depending on Various Events by Connecting it to IFTTT
  • ✔ Works with iOS/Android: Personalize Your WiFI Smart Lights to Match Your Mood, Control Your Smart WiFi Lights Bulb Remotely When You are not at Home
  • ✔ Various Scene Modes: Color Palette, Group Control, Sunlight, Music Mode, Timer, Sunrise, Sunset, Dimmable, MIC Function, DIY Mode, Scene Mode, Energy Saving……
  • ✔ Application: This is a WiFi enabled light bulb, no hub required. Multiple lighting patterns, suitable for a showcase, residential, office, hotel, shop, exhibition room, landscaping, indoor, home etc.

BGR Top Deals:

  1. This $ 80 smartwatch is better than an Apple Watch Series 4 in four important ways
  2. The best-selling Instant Pot cooker is discounted today in all three sizes

Trending Right Now:

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Why pay $ 50 for Philips Hue’s smart LED bulbs when these $ 17 bulbs are just as good? originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 26 Dec 2018 at 07:46:02 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


BGR

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All Deals on HP, Dell and Lenovo!

Q&A: Smart Year End Financial Moves

With unemployment at historic lows, rising wages and consumer confidence at an 18 year high consumers are understandably in good cheer and ready to go out and spend this holiday season.

But for you, the thrill of the deal can quickly turn in to despair over the debt if you go overboard with your holiday gift giving.

Here’s how to keep your budget in check during the holiday shopping season.

What’s the best way to approach holiday shopping if we don’t want things to get out of hand?

Well, if there’s one thing that I hope people ask for, and get, this Christmas, it’s discipline. All the budgeting “tips and tricks” in the world won’t help you if you can’t control yourself.

Yet, relying on willpower alone won’t be enough to get the job done. You need a system.

Here’s what I suggest:

 

  1. Build a Budget– This sounds simple, but on one likes to do this. You have to go into shopping season with a set amount that you’re committed to not outspend. When you do this, be sure to include ALL of your costs such as wrapping, shipping, travel, etc.

 

  1. Save All Year– You do realize that Christmas happens at the same time every year, right? So why do you seem so surprised when Black Friday rolls around and you haven’t set aside any money for gifts?

 

Americans are expected to spend $ 1000 on average during the holiday shopping season.  That’s $ 80/month or $ 20.00/week you should save in advance.

 3Create a Separate Account – Don’t keep your “gift” money in the same account as your “bill” money. Open a free checking account or put money onto a prepaid debit card that will only be used for your holiday shopping. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

4. Never Use Credit – Buying something on sale, but using credit to do so and paying the minimum each month totally defeats the purpose of getting the deal in the first place. Only use your credit card if you’re getting points or rewards and you’re going to pay it off in full when the bill comes.

Ok, but what if we didn’t save up much money for Christmas, what should we do then? 

In that case, it’s time to think about generating some extra cash. Luckily, since there’s so much spending going on during the holiday season, there should be lots of opportunities to do this.

For example you can:

Convert Old Gift Cards – Check your wallet for unused or partially used gift cards. Use the balance for gifts, or use a site like CardCash.com to convert those balances to cash.

Sell Your Junk! – Go through your garage and your closet to find things that still have tags or haven’t been used in a while.  Sell these things on eBay, Poshmark, etc.

Donate Items – Donate the things you can’t sell to Goodwill, etc.  You’ll get the advantage of the tax deduction, which may put extra cash in your pocket at tax time.

Ok, what if people are expecting expensive gifts?

Look, you have to take charge and set the expectations up front.

With Your Kids – This is a great time to discuss needs vs. wants and priorities with your kids.  They may not be able to get everything they want, so give them a say in what is most important to them.

With Your Family – Perhaps set up a Secret Santa gift exchange where each family member only has to buy one gift. Try secretsanta.com or Elfster to set up your exchange.

With Yourself – Buying great presents won’t make you a better friend, spouse or parent. Have a real discussion about what the most important people in your life really want, and you might find that it may not cost you anything at all.

 

Rob Wilson is the Chief Insight Officer at Wilson Insight and a frequent contributor to CNN, CBS, NBC and Fox.

For more important lessons on improving your finances, connect with Rob on Twitter @robwilsontv or at his website http://www.robwilson.tv

Life & Style – Black America Web

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Smart Casual Teal & Toffee

A new outfit from Kimberly Smith of Penny Pincher Fashion, whom we introduced to YLF in October 2013.

Kimberly is sporting black faux leather skinny pants with a toffee crew neck sweater. Semi-tucking the sweater lengthens the leg line, so does pairing the pants with high-heeled booties. The suede booties add extra textural interest and echo the sweater colour. Our blogger’s chain-strap crossbody in toffee and black complements her outfit beautifully. Kimberly then adds a bouclé coat in a tailored Modern Classic cut. The rich jewel-toned teal is unexpected and fab with the warm-toned toffee of her sweater and footwear. A chevron scarf with subtle toffee accent, on-trend rib-knit hat with faux-fur pom-pom, and a simple gold pendant finish off the look to perfection.

Kimberly Smith - 1

Kimberly Smith - 2


YouLookFab

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With this $25 gadget, Amazon will finally get you to stop scoffing at the idea of a ‘smart home’

Amazon's smart plug lets you easily control lights, appliances and other gadgets by voice or with your phone no matter where you are. CNBC will walk you through how to set up and use the Amazon smart plug. It's very easy.
Tech

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Goodbye bellboy. Robots will check you in and carry your luggage at smart hotels of the future

Smart hotels of the future in China will use robots to carry luggage, facial recognition for easier check-ins, and use smart keys on phones to turn on air conditioning, says an expert at one of China's largest online travel services company.
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A ‘smart’ toilet could stop us from flushing away our most valuable health information, says doctor

Both doctors and patients could benefit if we figure out a way to stop flushing away some of our most vital health information, argues Dr. Sameer Berry, a third-year resident physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
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Smart Horror Movie Characters Who Died Anyway

Horror movies are filled with characters who died because of their own dumb decisions: heading toward the strange noise, taunting the monster, choosing the flashlight over the baseball bat. Those who survive usually do so through a combination of luck and intelligence. Sometimes, though, even making smart decisions isn’t enough to ensure survival, as these savvy but decidedly dead horror victims show.

Ellen Ripley, Alien 3


Ellen Ripley with shaved head in Alien 3
Ellen Ripley: the Xenomorphs’ scary monster.

From the start, Ellen Ripley has proven herself smarter than her horror movie peers, refusing early in Alien to let shipmate Kane aboard while attached to a facehugger. With her decision overridden, the alien is unleashed on the Nostromo and picks off the crew one by one. Only Ripley survives. In the sequel, Ripley again shows her smarts, surviving an entire colony of Xenomorphs, saving a young girl, and killing the alien queen.

Then Alien 3 came along. Before the end of the opening credits, a stowaway facehugger implants an embryo inside Ripley during cryo-sleep. She discovers this halfway through and does everything in her power to eliminate the alien threatening the prison colony she crash-landed on. She kills the last alien — the one inside her — by throwing herself into a furnace. In the end, it doesn’t matter how badass you are when you’re effectively killed off before the film even starts.

Dana Polk and Marty Mikalski, The Cabin in the Woods


Dana Polk and Marty Mikalski in The Cabin in the Woods
That moment you realize you’re in a horror movie.

When Dana and Marty join their friends for a weekend at a secluded cabin, they can’t imagine exactly what’s in store. Alarm bells go off as they slowly encounter classic horror tropes: the creepy gas station attendant, the mysterious cellar, and the sudden strange behavior of their friends. Only after the deaths of their friends do they discover the true scope of their situation.

Marty finds a hidden elevator, and the pair travel downward, having nowhere else to go. They realize they are sacrificial pawns in some larger game. Instead of rolling over, they turn the tables on their tormentors, releasing a horde of supernatural terrors on the underground complex. When they finally realize that the whole set up is an elaborate sacrifice to stave off the wrath of giant gods, they ultimately decide to sacrifice themselves (and presumably the world) to stop the cycle.

Randy Meeks, Scream 2


Randy Meeks from Scream 2
“Do as I say, not as I do.”

When a masked killer targets students at Woodsboro High School, resident film geek Randy Meeks wastes no time schooling his friends on the rules of surviving a horror movie. Granted, he doesn’t always heed his own advice, nearly dying in the first film after the killer had snuck up behind him. After high school, Randy follows Sidney Prescott to college and is quick with the rules for a sequel when the second killing spree begins.

He even makes a video for his friends laying out the rules for a third killing spree in case he doesn’t survive. On the phone with the current killer, Randy mocks the original Ghostface, Billy Loomis. The killer — who turns out to be Billy’s mother — pops out of the van Randy is standing next to, pulls him inside, and stabs him to death. Even Randy, the horror movie expert, couldn’t have anticipated the killer hiding in a van in the middle of the day.

Ben, Night of the Living Dead


Duane Jones as Ben in Night of the Living Dead
Ben even made sure other people’s stupidity wouldn’t get him killed.

When the zombie apocalypse begins, Ben finds shelter in an old farmhouse after running out of gas. From the start, Ben is all about surviving. Where the other characters panic and fight amongst themselves, Ben sees the bigger picture and focuses on staying alive. Ben makes every smart decision imaginable, from using fire to ward off a zombie hoard to boarding up the windows. He even comments on not wanting the others’ stupidity to get him killed.

He knows the right things to say to calm the freaked-out Barbara, but he is also willing to forcibly subdue her when her panic threatens to get them killed. When fellow survivor Harry locks him out of the farmhouse, Ben fights his way back in. When the power goes out and the zombies break through, Ben survives the night by holing up in the cellar. The following morning, however, he’s mistaken for a zombie and shot and killed by a posse hunting down the dead.

Lee Abbot, A Quiet Place


“We’re going to play the marathon version of ‘who-can-be-quiet-the-longest’.”

When alien creatures with super-acute hearing invade earth and begin killing off the human population, Lee Abbott wastes no time protecting his family. He studies the creatures, learning their strengths, weaknesses, and habits. He builds a life for his wife and children completely devoid of sound. With a deaf daughter, the family already knows sign language, and Lee supplements this with a soundless communication system involving lights. With patience and perseverance, Lee and his wife Evelyn build a (relatively) safe and even pleasant life for his family.

Lee also works unsuccessfully on repairing his daughter Regan’s cochlear implant. When a handful of aliens make it onto the property, Lee sacrifices himself to save his children. After his death, Regan and Evelyn realize that the enhancements Lee made to Regan’s implant can actually disrupt and even incapacitate the creatures. Evelyn and Regan take this new weapon and turn it on the unsuspecting creatures. In attempting to keep his family safe, Lee may have helped save the world.

10 Worst Movie Monsters Ever To Appear on Screen

The post Smart Horror Movie Characters Who Died Anyway appeared first on FANDOM.

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Facebook Launches Portal Smart Speakers With Video Calling

Facebook Inc. on Monday launched a pair of smart-speakers that enable video calling on the company’s Messenger service. The devices, which feature cameras and microphones, are intended to challenge Amazon and Google’s dominance in the smart-speaker market. Both the devices are now available for pre-order in the U.S. – from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy.
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