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Struggle to Save Regularly? 4 Tools That Turn Loose Change into Savings

I don’t know about you, but it’s virtually impossible for me to save regularly. My ends don’t meet nearly enough for recurring transfer to a savings account, and as a freelancer , I’ve learned to live with an irregular cash flow. So how can I save the money I know I should be putting in the bank? While there are lots of ways to make a little extra cash or trim a little spending to squirrel away into your emergency fund or toward a big purchase, it’s easier to build up that money when you don’t notice it disappearing from... Read more

These 5 Budgeting Myths are Total BS. So Stop Using Them as Excuses

Most people don’t really keep a budget, even though we know we should. And if you do use a budget to track your finances, chances are it gives you only a rough idea of what’s going in and out of your bank account. Am I right? That’s the boat I was in not long ago. I had a “budget” set up — and I use that term loosely here — but it wasn’t really helping me manage my money. I had always believed that actually setting up and maintaining a good budget would be a huge project, one I didn’t... Read more

It’s Not Just Moms — Working Dads Struggle with Work-Life Balance Too

My solution as a working parent has been to clone myself. The only way to achieve true work-life balance is to have one me to focus on my career and another me to attend fully to raising my growing toddler. But wait — cloning’s not actually a thing, so scratch that. I guess I’ll just resign myself among the ranks of working parents who are trying to sort that work-life balance thing out. And it’s not just working moms who battle with this. Working dads experience a similar struggle just as well. Dads Want Work-Life Balance Too Boston College’s Center... Read more

Here’s Yet Another Good Reason to Finally Take Up Daily Yoga and Meditation

The next time you’re tempted to blow off yoga class and tuck into a pizza, consider this. British researchers now say mindfulness practices can actually alter the genes linked to depression and inflammation-related illnesses. They may even reduce feelings of loneliness in older adults. Researchers reviewed 18 studies with a cumulative total of 846 participants, including both experienced practitioners and non-practitioners. After sifting through all the data, they discovered that yoga, tai chi and even simple breath-regulation exercises produce “the opposite of the effects of chronic stress on gene expression.” That’s a fancy way of saying mindfulness can shield your... Read more

The Year-By-Year Guide to Landing Your Dream Job After College Graduation

Graduation is scary. The real world is scary. And getting a job? In your chosen career field? That pays a livable wage? Right out of the gate? Well now — that’s a whole new level of terrifying. Luckily, there are some steps you can (and absolutely should) take while you’re still in college to up your chances of landing your dream job post-graduation. To find out what those steps are, I spoke to Dr. Jamie Chilton, a career consultant at the University of South Florida who specializes in the College of Engineering and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, and to... Read more

Not Chosen for the Amazon Lending Program? Try These 4 Alternatives Instead

Amazon recently announced it has loaned over $3 billion to small business that use the Amazon platform to sell their wares. In fact, the marketplace giant lent more than $1 billion in the last year alone. With over 300 million customer accounts throughout the world, Amazon can be a great place for third-party sellers to find more customers. For vendors who market their products in local shops and boutiques or at online stores like Etsy and Ebay, selling to Amazon customers seems like the next logical step. Of course, it takes money to make money, putting Amazon’s sales platform out... Read more

Is Doggy Day Care Worth It? How to Pick the Right Place for Your Pooch

For most of us, dogs aren’t just family pets but instead part of the family. They exercise with us, play alongside our children and even sleep in our beds. But the one thing most dogs can’t do? Go to work with us. When my situation suddenly changed a couple years ago, my dog Greyson was suddenly faced with being left home alone for nine hours a day. I looked into doggy day care to decide if it was within my budget. If you work a job with long hours or go to school for most of the day, with no... Read more

More and More People Say Cable is Too Pricy — So They’re Cutting the Cord

More and more people are bidding farewell to cable, because apparently nobody has time to pay for the high costs. Nearly half of cable or satellite users surveyed said they were planning to or open to getting rid of service , Consumerist reported , citing TiVo’s latest Video Trends report. And about 80% of cable or satellite users who have cut the cord said they did so because of the price. Leichtman Research Group found that 82% of Americans households watching television had a pay-TV service last year, paying an average of $103.10 a month . Moving On to Something... Read more

Capital One and 3 Other Companies are Hiring People to Work From Home

There always seems to be a good excuse to stay home from work and cozy up inside. The winters are cold and dreary, the summers are either riddled with thunderstorms or blisteringly hot, and spring and fall bring about a wave of allergens so ferocious no amount of antihistamines can touch it. So enough with this “braving the elements” thing (even for that short walk from your door to your car and from your car to the office) — it’s time to consider a good work-from-home job. 4 Work-From-Home Jobs to Apply for Today Luckily, today we’ve found four work-from-home... Read more

The Penny Hoarder’s Ultimate Guide to Making Extra Money With InboxDollars

Sites that pay you to take surveys, play games, watch videos or search the web are appealing, no? You’re mindlessly making money — or at least more mindlessly than your 9-to-5 gig. But finding legitimate reward sites might seem near impossible. You’re either plagued with pop-up ads, bombarded with emails or, even worse, scammed. That’s why we test all the sites we write about. So I signed up for InboxDollars , an online rewards club. The site claims you’ll earn cash — not points — for taking surveys, playing games, watching videos or searching the web. But do you really?... Read more

5 Ways to Throw a Pride Party On a Sparkly, Shoestring Budget

It’s easy to come up with a good reason to throw a party. Birthdays, graduation, retirement, getting a new job, leaving an old job, your dog’s bark mitzvah . With June being Pride Month and all, now’s a good time to throw yourself a Pride party, don’t you think? 5 Frugal Tips for Throwing a Fabulous Pride Party As with any party you host, the point is to have a good time with friends and family, not blow your rent money on expensive decorations and bakery cake. Here are a few ways to throw a Pride party and still have... Read more

8 Father’s Day Gifts Under $25 for the Dad Who Already Has Everything

I don’t know about yours, but it’s pretty tough to shop for my dad. He does one thing in life: He works. He works in home construction, and he’s been wearing the same Levi’s and work boots seven days a week as long as I can remember. There isn’t a lot of room for surprises in gifts. He drinks Miller Lite (because we’re from Wisconsin, and wouldn’t deign to touch Budweiser). He probably owns a tie? He doesn’t really like his smartphone. If I read one more list of “perfect” Father’s Day gifts that recommends a fine Scotch, a manly... Read more

This Tool Will Help You Figure Out the Best Cell Phone Plan for Your Budget

Cell phones are one of those things people find it really hard to live without. Sure, we can cut cable , stop shopping for clothes and even go without a car — but cell phones are our lifelines! How else would we be able to reach people on the go? Or, you know, have a silent text conversation with someone five feet away. Or check the weather while in the bathroom. Those are essentials! But, like everything else in life, cell phone service comes at a cost. The real question is: how much are you willing to pay? Money recently... Read more

Have a Flex Spending Account? Here are 26 Surprising Things It May Pay For

Many of us use our Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses like doctor visit co-pays or medications that aren’t covered under medical insurance. I recently mentioned that, surprisingly, sunscreen is considered an FSA reimbursable expense . It’s true! The IRS compiled a handy list of medical supplies and services covered by your FSA. You’ll find even more products and supplies when you check out the FSAStore.com or by searching out FSA-eligible products on Amazon . Here are a few highlights that may also surprise you. Take care of your lips with moisturizing lip balm . Your best... Read more

Freelance Writers Don’t Have to Be Broke — Here’s How to Make More Money

On a sunny afternoon last June, I stood in line at a buffet table at my friend’s wedding. Somewhere between the chicken marsala and the sautéed mushrooms, I struck up a conversation with another wedding guest. He asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I had a freelance writing business, he replied, “Oh, so you don’t really need to work. I mean you can’t support yourself doing that, right?” Like that other guest, many people have a mistaken belief that freelance writers don’t earn good money writing from home , but they are misinformed. Smart... Read more

These 8 Cheap DASH Diet Recipes Are Winners for Your Body and Your Wallet

With all the different diets out there, your options can begin to sound like alphabet soup. (… Is alphabet soup allowed on your diet?) But you may have heard chatter about one speedy-sounding plan in particular. The DASH diet is a healthy option that’s often prescribed to those struggling with high blood pressure or to anyone trying to keep healthy and fit. If you’re hoping to dash your way to a healthier you, read on. What is the DASH Diet? DASH is an acronym, which stands for D ietary A pproach to S top H ypertension. It’s an eating plan... Read more

We Love What Memphis is Doing to Help Its Employees With Their Student Debt

Employee benefits come in all forms , from napping whenever you please and a fully-stocked beer fridge to, well, that thing a Swedish town is trying out . But there’s a new workplace benefit employers are starting to offer, and we’re loving the idea. Over the past couple of years, companies have begun offering student loan repayment programs as part of their employee benefits packages . In March, a bill was even introduced in Congress that would give tax breaks to companies that provide up to $5,250 per year to repay an employee’s student debt. Most recently (on Thursday, to... Read more

13 WordPress Plugins That’ll Save You a Ton of Time

Running a blog requires an insane amount of time. In fact, there’s not enough time in your day to do everything ( especially if you have a full-time job, too). From learning new ways to get traffic and scheduling social media posts to building your email list and managing comments, you feel stretched to your limit. And the more you learn and grow, the more you have to keep up with — it’s exhausting. So what if I told you that you can add a squad of tools to your toolbox that will eliminate a ton of time spent on... Read more

Smell What “The Rock” is Cooking? Here’s How Much It Costs to Eat Like Him

The evidence is in. It’s clear that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is basically a god walking among us mortals. He’s 6-foot-4-inches tall and 270 pounds of muscle. He’s a hugely bankable Hollywood star. He’s talking about running for president . In last year’s animated film “Moana,” he even plays a god, the demigod Maui. Time to ask yourself that vital question: How can I be more like The Rock? For starters: What would it cost to eat like The Rock? And is there an affordable way to do the Dwayne Johnson diet? Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?... Read more

7 Tips and Tricks for Finding Great Running Shoes at Discounted Prices

Ah, running. You either love it or you hate it — or you love it and you hate it. (Or you refuse to run and you love to hate it, if you’re here for that.) But whether you’re the passionate, endorphin-fueled marathoner, the “ugh, fine, I’ll run the family 5k at Thanksgiving” curmudgeon or the “lay down in someone’s yard half a mile into your route” type, there’s a reason we do it. The thing is, running is one of the cheapest forms of exercise you can do — no pricy gym membership needed! Just you, the great outdoors and... Read more

Americans are Setting Records to Help Dads Feel Special on Father’s Day

It’s time for dads to have their day. Father’s Day is just around corner, and children, grandchildren, spouses and others are getting ready to spend. American consumers are expected to spend a total of $15.5 billion this Father’s Day, setting a record high, according to the National Retail Federation . This year, the average shopper will spend $134.75 on Father’s Day gifts. That’s up from last year’s average of $125.92. So what exactly will they be buying to impress Dad? Father’s Day Spending By the Numbers It seems like a great bulk of spending this year will be on food,... Read more

This Smart Tool Can Help You Earn 7% Cash Back Every Time You Book a Hotel

Some people work to pay their bills. I work to afford my travel addiction. Sometimes I’ll sit at my desk and daydream about sipping a Mai Tai by a sparkling pool, or coming back from a day at the beach to a bed I didn’t have to make. My dreams look like the Four Seasons, but my budget is more Motel 6. Ebates’ newest feature understands the plight of the broke post-grad who wants to make her travel dreams a reality . The site already works with more than 2,000 retailers to offer shoppers up to 40% cash back on... Read more

2 Things You Absolutely Should NOT Do With Your Financial Aid Award

If you’re counting on student loans to pay for college in the fall, you’ve probably already navigated the FAFSA . We hope you’ve also started to think about your repayment options . After the FAFSA, you’ll receive an offer letter letting you know how much you’re eligible to receive. You’ll have to choose how much money to actually accept. Have you considered what you’ll do if you get more money than you need? Bet you haven’t — because that hardly sounds like a problem. It could be, though. Any money you borrow needs to be paid back, probably with interest.... Read more

How to Become a Stay-at-Home Parent Without Pulling Your Hair Out

Wonderful as it can be, becoming a stay-at-home parent involves plenty of challenges. Will you be able to adjust from a 9-to-5 schedule to a naptime-to-naptime schedule? Are you prepared to ditch your business suit for 24/7 sweatpants? Will you remember how to talk to other adults after daylong marathons of “Yo Gabba Gabba”? But apart from asking yourself these questions (which are definitely worth asking), you also need to think about the financial aspects of this life-changing decision. Lifehacker’s Two Cents blog looked at the financial steps you should take before you decide to stay home, like comparing income... Read more

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