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If You Can Prove Ashley Madison Leak Ruined Your Life, You Could Get $3,500

Two years after Canada-based adultery website Ashley Madison announced that a data breach revealed millions of users’ personal information, the company reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit against it. Ashley Madison parent company Ruby Life Inc., formerly Avid Life Media, has agreed to create an $11.2 million fund to settle the lawsuit. The company was accused of several missteps that put its customers’ privacy at risk, including negligence, breach of contract, and violation of state consumer fraud and protection statutes. Despite the company’s hefty settlement proposal, lawyers for Ruby Life Inc. say it did nothing wrong and the payout... Read more

Whether You Rent it or Buy it, You’ll Probably Regret the Home You Choose

Need a reason to stop your procrastination habit of endlessly browsing local real estate listings? How about all the regrets homebuyers end up shouldering? A June 2017 online survey of more than 2,200 adults by real estate website Trulia revealed that 51% of those polled who had a role in choosing their current home — whether they own or rent — have regrets. That’s a decrease of just 1% since 2013, when home prices were at their lowest in the wake of the recession. What is it that makes so many people feel such regret about where they live? There’s... Read more

The Brutally Honest Guide to Being Brutally Honest

It’s scary, isn’t it? Having to tell a truth to someone who may not want to hear it. Whether you have to tell a friend they’ve been betrayed, inform a client that their ideas suck, or write a blog post to burst your reader’s bubble, hard truths can feel almost as painful to deliver as they are to receive. Because just the thought of hurting someone is scary. You don’t want that. And you don’t know how they’ll react. They might think you’re a jerk and cut all ties with you. You don’t want that either. So sometimes you obfuscate... Read more

Skip Discount Sites. Hotels Are Offering Great Perks if You Book Directly

Quick! You need to book a hotel for your upcoming weekend getaway. What’s your first stop? If you’re like many Americans, you immediately hit up popular booking sites like Hotels.com, Priceline or Expedia. It turns out hotels actually hate that. Why? Hotels can’t afford to miss the tons of business those sites bring in, but their profits drop because of the commissions they pay when people book through these sites. They’d prefer you to book directly through them. So they just lower their prices, right? Nope. They can’t do that. When they sign on with those companies, they sign rate... Read more

People Wasted Hours on Krispy Kreme Deal That Was Actually a Terrible Deal

I’d like to say that I’m surprised, but really, I’m not so sure that I am. Did you hear about that Krispy Kreme deal last week? You know, the one when the donut chain celebrated its 80th birthday by offering a dozen donuts for only 80 cents — if you bought a dozen at regular price first. Well, apparently everyone and their mother heard about it. The donut deal caused traffic jams, three-hour lines and made people late for work. All that for a bunch of donuts? Let me start by asking a simple question. Who in their right mind... Read more

Here’s How a Proposed Spending Bill Could Affect Your Financial Aid Award

Sometimes, keeping up with all of the complex decisions being made in this country feels like an insurmountable task. And it might be — I mean, no matter your political leanings, the sheer volume of issues up for debate means that staying up to date will leave you dizzy, at best. The truth is, there’s a lot on the line for people from all walks of life as we navigate a confusing landscape of upheaval and realignment. The decisions being made affect all of us in one way or another. We have to pay attention sometimes — and this is... Read more

Find $2,000 in Savings Every Year Just by Visiting Your Local Library

My public library has saved me a bundle over the years. This year, I’ve saved about $2,000 using my library as a free resource , and it’s really paying off —  my family is excited to use what we’ve saved to take a five-day vacation to the San Juan Islands this summer. The following estimates are based on personal experience and savings, but they should work for most small families. 1. Books, of Course With the convenience of Amazon and the prevalence of inexpensive e-books, it might be tempting to buy a new book occasionally. If you were to buy... Read more

Class Action Alert: Get Up to $105 From These 5 Companies’ Settlements

Summer is my favorite time of the year. Lazy days, cheap popsicles and sandy toes are all I need for a great summer. A little extra money wouldn’t hurt, either. Summer is the perfect time to pick up a little extra spending money. Did you know there’s free cash out there waiting to be claimed from class-action settlements? It’s the easiest money you’ll make this summer. Filing for settlements usually only takes a few minutes, and you could get a check in the mail or other compensation just by clicking on the few links below. Some settlements have big payouts,... Read more

Watching ‘Game of Thrones’ With Your Parents’ Password? You’re Not Alone

I’m not big on gifts. I live in an apartment the size of a postage stamp with no room for anything that isn’t a necessity. So when my older brother asked me what I wanted for my birthday last year, it was easy. I wanted his Netflix password. For the past few months, I’ve been using his account from about 300 miles away. I don’t own a TV, but there are still a few shows I like to keep up with like “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Insecure.” And while I’m not a fan, I know pretty much... Read more

10 Ways to Get More Optins

There is no way you’re going to see the success you really want to achieve without getting... Read more

We Tried 4 Trader Joe’s Salsas for Under $3 — Here’s What We’ll Be Back for

I’ve never been a huge fan of the free salsa that comes with your entree at Mexican restaurants. Blasphemy, I know. But here’s the thing: Restaurant salsa almost always has lime juice and cilantro in it, and I am not a fan. I don’t mind the taste of lime juice, but I like my salsa to have a bit of body and really stick to the chip. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the tortilla chip to me is really just a crunchy vehicle for the salsa to hitch a ride on. I’m just fine not... Read more

9 ‘Set and Forget’ Ways To Increase Sales On Your Website

The easiest way for most people to increase sales from their website, is to increase conversions.... Read more

Spotify, Pandora, Tidal and More: Which Streaming Service Is Right for You?

There are so many streaming music services to choose from it’s got me singing the blues. Yeah, sorry. I had to get the obvious cliche out of my system. I’m done now. Anyway. The dizzying array of feature choices and subscription levels among streaming platforms makes it really difficult to figure out which service to choose. I can’t make the decision for you, but I can share some insight into what some of the major streaming music services have to offer. What Do Streaming Music Services Have in Common? Everything, basically. The major streaming music services: Have a giant catalog... Read more

LinkedIn Is Rolling Out a Feature That Makes It Easier to Find a Mentor

When it comes to career advancement, there really is no instruction manual or guidebook. A mentor helps you feel like you’re not in this alone. Having a mentor is like having a big brother or favorite aunt looking out for your career, answering questions when you’re confused and providing guidance when you have no idea what direction you should be going in. Now LinkedIn , your favorite social-networking site for all things career-focused, is coming out with a new feature that’s intended to help your work life flourish. By the end of the summer, all members should have a new... Read more

Consumer Watchdog: Amazon Prime Day More Like ‘Slime Day’

While you’re busy making your shopping list for Amazon Prime Day , Consumer Watchdog is warning against the Amazon’s pricing practices. “While Amazon celebrates its Prime Day, their pricing scams may make it more like Slime Day,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project director. Last week, Consumer Watchdog asked the Federal Trade Commission to prevent Amazon’s purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods until it stops using pricing practices it alleges are deceptive and may violate the commission’s rules . Consumer Watchdog conducted two studies this year. The first, in March , looked into market prices. The group... Read more

This Quiz Will Tell You If You Should Dress Like a Cow for Free Chick-fil-A

Love Chick-fil-A? Then don’t miss your chance to snag your favorite dish on Cow Appreciation Day — for free. Mark your calendar to show your appreciation for cows (and chicken sandwiches) on Tuesday, July 11 . Stores will celebrate from open until 7 p.m., and a full cow costume is not required. Fun fact: Chick-fil-A launched its cow campaign in 1995, featuring billboards with three-dimensional cows holding now-iconic “Eat Mor Chikin” signs . How to Get Free Food at Chick-fil-A Gone is any pretense that you have to go horn-to-hoof on the cow theme to get rewarded. Basically, wear “any... Read more

Hit Up the Dollar Store to Get These Pricy Craft Supplies for Cheap

Having a hobby is a great way to relieve stress, but the equipment and supplies can be a big drain on your budget. As a professional craft writer who has a lot of hobbies (and a crafty kid, too), I need a lot of supplies. I hit the dollar store whenever I can for basics and beyond that will help me make the projects I want without breaking the bank. Dollar stores vary, but here’s what you can expect to find — and how much you can save — when you skip the craft megastores or big-box retailers. The following... Read more

Host a Game of Thrones Party Fit for King’s Landing on a Flea Bottom Budget

The Game of Thrones season 7 premiere… is coming . (OK, I promise, that’s the only time I’ll use that line.) And because we’ve been forced to wait three months too long for this season, the anticipation is as palpable as, well, the tension between Jaime and Brienne. As excitement over the show’s imminent return spreads as fast as wildfire through The Great Sept of Baelor, it’s time to start thinking about hosting your own premiere party. Wait, “party?” I guess the correct term would be more like “feast,” because let’s be real: in Game of Thrones-land, you don’t throw... Read more

These 15 States Hold Tax-Free Holidays for Back-to-School Shopping

Doesn’t it feel like summer just started? So why are we discussing back-to-school anything ? Well, it’s because several states have special tax-free holidays scheduled over the next two months so parents can buy all the school supplies, clothes, shoes and electronics their kids need for the upcoming academic year and not pay the normal sales tax. Last year, the National Retail Federation reported families with children in grades K-12 planned on spending an average of $673.57 for back-to-school shopping needs. Skipping out on paying tax on those items help families keep a little more money in their bank accounts.... Read more

While School’s Out, Districts Weigh How to Collect Kids’ Unpaid Lunch Debt

Heads up, moms and dads: When your child heads back to school in a couple months, their classroom curriculum should not be the only thing on your mind. Right now, while you’re trying to wrangle your kiddos at home, school officials are putting the final touches on written policies for how staffers will collect lunch debt from you and your children. Despite the fact that about 75% of school districts ended the 2015-16 school year with unpaid school lunch tabs on their books, many districts don’t have a formal policy on how to handle it when hungry kids can’t pay... Read more

Advice to Writers Who Feel Like a Fraud (from a Writer Who Feels Like a Fraud)

Let me guess … Every success in your writing career has been a fluke. When people praise your work, they don’t know what they’re talking about. You’ll never measure up. You’re not a real writer. And any day now, everyone will see you for the fraud that you are. That’s how you feel, anyway. You read other blogs and feel crushed at how little you know and how little you have to offer. You wonder why you even bother with your own blog when so many great writers do it way better than you ever could. Well, here’s a secret... Read more

IRS Private Debt Collectors are Allegedly Playing Dirty. Are You Surprised?

Four private companies can now collect federal tax debt for the IRS. But that doesn’t mean they’re all doing it in accordance with the law. A group of Democratic senators — Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Benjamin Cardin and Jeff Merkley — shared a letter with the New York Times last month in which it accused Pioneer Credit Recovery of violating fair debt collection practices . After reviewing call scripts obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the investigating group made four claims against Pioneer. 4 Complaints About Pioneer’s Tax Collection Tactics Want to know what the letter says — in... Read more

MetroButler Takes the Hassle Out of Airbnb Hosting. Here’s How It Started

While working at a law firm in Madrid, Spain and traveling to see his long-distance girlfriend, Brandon McKenzie hosted on Airbnb   to help pay down law school debt, but he noticed it was challenging to communicate with guests while he was traveling himself. “If I were on a plane or in another country without a SIM card, phone service, or access to WiFi, I wouldn’t have any assurance that my guests had gotten in safe and sound,” he says. “I also would not be able to confirm bookings, and people on Airbnb often make decisions quickly and message multiple... Read more

Underwhelmed by That Gift Card You Got? You Still Might Be Able to Use It

Someone gave you a gift card! That’s cool. It was probably your in-laws, or your well-meaning aunt who has no idea how you like to spend your free time. What do you do if you just don’t imagine yourself using this newly gifted gift card? What if it’s a gift card for the Olive Garden and you don’t like endless breadsticks or fun? You could sell it. We know a thing or two about selling gift cards for almost their full value. But what if your gift card comes with a side of guilt? Will your conscience let you rest... Read more

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