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Angela Colley
Angela Colley is a freelance writer living in New Orleans, Louisiana with a background in mortgage and real estate. Her interests include animal rights advocacy, green living, mob movies and finding the best deal on everything. She blames her extreme passion for never paying full price on two parents that taught her that a penny saved is two pennies if invested wisely.

Online Apartment Guide – How to Find and Search for Apartments for Rent Online

By Angela Colley

house mouse clickFinding the perfect apartment for rent can be a lengthy, time-consuming process. When I first started renting, I drove by every apartment complex in an area, requested a pamphlet, and repeated the entire process for other areas. Then I picked up the print version of Apartment Guide and a newspaper, headed home, and tried to sort the mess out. It took way too long and I missed out on all the great private owner apartments because I didn’t know where to look.

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Are You a Cheapskate? – 9 Signs You’re Taking Frugal Living Too Far

By Angela Colley

dumpster divingMy dad is a hoarder – no, not the kind that needs an intervention on the “Hoarders” television show. Just the kind that has managed to cram every cabinet, shelf, and drawer in his house to the gills with tools, already-used nails, paper clips, pens, and other useful things. His theory is that the more he has on hand, the less he’ll have to buy down the road.

And honestly, the theory works to a point. I cannot tell you how many times growing up he saved me from having to run to the store and buy staples or magic markers or glue for a school project the night before it was due.

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Boat Insurance Policy Coverage – How Much Do You Need?

By Angela Colley

boat accidentMy dad is an avid sailor. Notice I said “avid” and not “good.” In his many sailing adventures, he has – among other disasters – been stuck on a sandbar, mired in an oyster bed, and sprung a leak – having to quickly bail while the coast guard drove out to save him.

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How to Evict a Tenant – Step-by-Step Guide & Tenant Eviction Process for Landlords

By Angela Colley

judge houseDespite your best efforts to build a good relationship with your tenant, sometimes the relationship goes sour. Even if you’re a good landlord, you’ll probably have to go through the eviction process at least once in your career.

Maybe a tenant didn’t pay the rent, maybe he’s disrupting the other tenants, or maybe she’s damaged your rental property.

To end the lease agreement early, you must follow the proper legal procedure. If you stray from the set process, you’ll not only lose your eviction case, you may also land in civil court and earn a reputation as a slumlord.

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6 Ways to Get Help with Vet Bills – Lower the Costs of Veterinary Care for Your Dog or Cat

By Angela Colley

dog veterinarianMy dog just needed to have gum surgery. Seriously. The poor thing had to eat wet food for a week, and my poor husband almost had a heart attack when we got the bill: $1,250. To say the least, veterinary services aren’t cheap. There are many benefits to having a dog, but you obviously need to assess how much a dog really costs.

Smart Money reported that veterinarian bills for a dog rose from an average of $172 to $219 between 2002 and 2006. Vet bills for cats rose from $133 to $172. And they keep getting higher. To make matters worse, those averages only account for routine checkups and vaccinations. If your pet has an emergency, like mine did, you can expect to pay well over $500.

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Eviction Process for Tenants – What to Do If You Get an Eviction Notice Letter

By Angela Colley

eviction noticeNo one enters into a lease agreement planning to break the lease, but unfortunately things happen. Maybe you lost your job and you can’t make the rent, maybe you have a problem with your neighbor, or maybe you’re stuck under the thumb of a bad landlord.

Knowing your rights ahead of time will help you get through the process intact – especially if you feel that you’re being unfairly evicted.

Here are six steps you can take to protect yourself as a tenant during the eviction process.

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VantageScore vs FICO Credit Score – Differences and How They Affect You

By Angela Colley

credit report climbThe term “VantageScore” has been floating around the financial sphere for some time now, but many consumers are still clueless about what it does and what it means for their credit. And with a new system for reviewing consumer credit worthiness, the VantageScore could very well completely change the way creditors look at your credit.

For years, creditors focused on the FICO score, a three-digit grade of your credit report, when deciding whether to give you that new credit card, extend a loan, or lower your rates. But a few years ago, the three credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian – collaborated on a new type of credit scoring system, known as the VantageScore.

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Landlord and Tenant Act Laws Explained – Know Your Rights as a Renter

By Angela Colley

moving in coupleI was a renter for nearly a decade before I found out about the Landlord and Tenant Act. I knew that I had some basic tenant’s rights, but I mostly just did what the landlord asked of me and left it at that. Then, a particularly rough experience with a landlord resulted in a conversation with a lawyer, who told me that beyond having basic rights as a renter, I’m protected under an entire legal act.

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How Much Does a Dog Really Cost? Where to Save and Where to Splurge

By Angela Colley

labrador dog treeMany people don’t think about the cost of a dog when picking Fido up from the shelter. I for one considered the financial commitment only briefly before I got suckered in by those big puppy eyes.

I knew dog food and vet bills were going to add to my expenses, but I really didn’t have a figure in mind. Not until I got home did I realize that all of the small expenses that come with the benefits of owning a dog - like treats, toys, collars, leashes, and training – add up quickly. However, after a bit of practice, I learned where to spend my money and where to save.

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5 Tips for Being a Great Tenant that Landlords Love

By Angela Colley

tenant paintRenters tend to focus their energy on their tenant rights, and rightly so. But while that’s important (you certainly don’t want to be mistreated as a tenant), renters should also think about cultivating a great relationship with their landlords and neighbors. Why? Because great tenants have an upper hand when it comes to the rental process.

Happy neighbors means less awkward confrontations in the laundry room, and a happy landlord means peaceful living without surprise visits. When it comes time to renew the lease, a great tenant knows the landlord won’t drop them suddenly and may even be able to re-negotiate the terms. Also, a favorable rental history could get you lower rent rates without moving and more perks on your lease renewal.

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5 Best Free Travel Apps for Saving Money on the Road with Your Smartphone

By Angela Colley

travel apps smartphoneSometimes traveling seems like more stress than it’s worth. Whether you’re taking a trip for business or pleasure, keeping flights, hotel reservations, and general itinerary straight can be a hassle. How can you possibly juggle all of those things and find the best deals? The answer is easier than you think.

With thousands of travel apps to choose from, traveling with an Android or iPhone is like traveling with a personal assistant. The ability to keep a journal of your trip, post updates to Facebook and Twitter from the road, take panoramic photos, or even find a day spa in your area are all just a simple download away.

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How to Be a Good Landlord – 7 Tips, Advice & Responsibilities

By Angela Colley

landlord rental property keysStarting a property management company is a tough business, plain and simple. Landlords deal with the problems of tenants who call to complain constantly, tenants who don’t pay their rent, and what can seem like endless, high dollar property repairs. Buying rental property and becoming a landlord comes with a lot of stress and responsibilities, and all of these things can turn a well-meaning property owner into a jaded landlord.

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Tourist Tips to Save Money on Hotels, Restaurants, Parades & More

By Angela Colley

mardi gras festival new orleansMardi Gras in New Orleans deserves its status as the “largest party in the United States.” With its lavish parades, masked balls, and late-night parties, it’s an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.

But when the good times roll, especially with free-flowing alcohol and great dining, you’ll find yourself loosening your purse strings or opening your wallet more quickly than you expected. If you want to enjoy Mardi Gras on the cheap and leave New Orleans with a dollar or two left in your pocket, you need a game plan.

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Top 6 Places to Buy Natural Green Organic Cleaning Products & Supplies

By Angela Colley

organic cleaning productsThe word “organic” is typically synonymous with “expensive.” Organic cleaning products are no exception, often costing more than twice their traditional counterparts.

But I have allergies, and after reading about the upper respiratory problems that can come from breathing in bleach and formaldehyde in regular household cleaning products, I didn’t want to subject myself to unhealthy chemicals anymore. Plus, I like knowing that green cleaning won’t poison fish, pollute water sources, or put my household pets in danger.

So, what’s a frugal girl to do? Find ways to get organic cleaning products for cheap. Turns out it’s easy, if you know where to look.

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5 Ways to Get Real Free Samples of Food & Products By Mail Without Surveys

By Angela Colley

free samples foodWhen I was younger, a friend’s uncle used to write letters to companies in hopes of getting free swag. One time he told a gummy bear maker that a morphed gummy bear with two heads had frightened his daughter so badly she would no longer be able to enjoy candy. In response, the company sent boxes of their non-animal shaped candy in hopes of swaying the small child back on their side.

While this might have worked for my friend’s uncle, there are much easier ways of getting free stuff by mail.

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