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Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

What Is Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance – Pros & Cons

By Chris Bibey

mortgage payment protection insuranceIf you have a mortgage on your home, chances are you’ve gotten plenty of offers for mortgage protection insurance. For example, shortly after I signed the papers for my new home, I started receiving mailers with information on mortgage protection insurance. It has now been more than a year, and I am still receiving these offers.

When you’re inundated with these mailers, it’s difficult to know what to take seriously and what to throw out as junk mail. Plus, why does anyone need mortgage protection insurance anyway? Answering these basic questions will help you the next time you see an offer in your mailbox.

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5 Employee Job Performance Review Questions to Ask

By Chris Bibey

performance review glassesWhether you work for a small company or a large one, your performance review probably raises your anxiety to a frightening level. It’s tough to hear criticism, even when it’s constructive, and you might even be uncomfortable taking compliments. And while you may dread bad news, your performance review can be great opportunity to advance your career and build a better relationship with your supervisors.

If you have a performance review on your upcoming schedule, make sure you take the opportunity to explore additional compensation, more responsibility or a change in direction, and advice on how to keep your career progressing the way you want it to.

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Top 10 Places to Buy Cheap Discount Sports Tickets Online

By Chris Bibey

sports tickets box officeFrom opening day to the playoffs, if you want tickets to any major sporting event, you may face some steep costs, especially if you don’t do your homework. If you want to make it to the big game without breaking the bank, you’ll want to look at all of your options for purchasing tickets. As a buyer, you should have three things on your mind: price, availability, and location of the seats.

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How to Buy the Best Apple iPad Accessories for Cheap

By Chris Bibey

ipad accessoriesIf you’re like me, the Apple iPad has completely changed your life. It was totally worth the $500 (for the 16GB Wi-Fi; $829 if you got the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G).

But after forking over that much money, I’m a little hesitant to bling it out with expensive iPad accessories. That’s why I’ve researched ways to save money on the latest accoutrements without sacrificing quality.

To start, let’s look at the top 5 accessories you should buy, and then I’ll offer tips to get them at a lower cost.

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5 Ways to Save on the Cost of Buying Contact Lenses and Glasses

By Chris Bibey

eye doctor glassesIf you don’t wear glasses or contact lenses, consider yourself lucky. I have worn both for more than 15 years, and it is not fun – nor cheap. That being said, advancements in the industry have made it easier than ever to get what I need in order to see clearly and comfortably. And since I have been buying glasses and contacts for so long, I have learned a thing or two along the way about saving money.

If you need corrective lenses (and would rather not get into LASIK eye surgery cost and risks), shelling out is unavoidable. But here are 5 ways to help soften the financial blow the next time you have to buy glasses or contacts:

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Top 3 Online Colleges & Accredited Online Degree Programs – Common Choices & Why They’re Popular

By Chris Bibey

elearning graduate computerAre you interested in going back to college, but don’t have enough time to sit in an on-campus classroom several days a week? Well, luckily for you, there is a great option: online colleges. Over the past decade, online colleges have become more common than ever before. But with enrollment increasing, as well as the number of institutions offering online courses, you need to do the necessary research before making any decisions. We’ve previously talked about some ways to get an education through free online college courses that don’t offer a degree, but in this post, I want to discuss the 3 most popular paid online colleges where you can earn a degree.

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The 5 Best Personal Car Lease Options Upon Expiration

By Chris Bibey

car lease endingLeasing a car is a great idea for many reasons. Not only is it cheaper than buying a comparable car, but you have the ability to drive something new every few years. If you decide to lease your car, it is important to know what options you will have when the contract comes to an end. Some people are under the impression that their only option is turning the car into the leasing company and re-leasing all over again. Of course, this is not true.

Here are several options to consider when your car lease ends:

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Unique Birthday Gift Ideas: Give an “Experience”

By Chris Bibey

birthday experience gift Are you hoping to give a unique birthday gift to a loved one this year? We all know how difficult it can be to find the right gift year after year. Fortunately, there are probably some options that you have never considered. For example, an “experience gift” is one of the best and most memorable options for a birthday gift. Rather than giving a particular item, you can provide an experience. Better yet, the experience is one that you can often times share with the other person.

The following are several of the most popular “experience gifts”:

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Best Online Stores for Personal Electronics

By Chris Bibey

buy personal electronics onlineAre you obsessed with personal electronics? If you are like me, you can’t get enough of big screen televisions, speakers, computers, MP3 players, and much more. Of course, there is one problem with this obsession: it can cost a lot of money. I know from firsthand experience that spending thousands of dollars on personal electronics is more than possible.

Over the past couple of years, I have found that buying personal electronics online at least softens the financial blow of purchasing electronics. There are a couple of key reasons for this: lower prices and bigger selection. You might be against the idea of making such big purchases online, but do your research ahead of time at brick and mortar stores, and then buy online once you know exactly what you want. The savings will be substantial.

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Want A Swimming Pool? Consider These Costs

By Chris Bibey

swimming pool costsFor some homeowners, there is nothing better than the thought of installing a swimming pool. They have dreams of lounging in the sun and taking a cool dip when temperatures soar. While there are definite benefits of having a swimming pool at home, don’t forget about the costs involved with this upgrade.

Over the past couple of summers, I have learned a lot about caring for a swimming pool after I took the plunge (no pun intended) and installed one a few years back. Here are a few potential expenses that you don’t want to over overlook:

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3 Tips for Buying Life Insurance for the First Time

By Chris Bibey

buying life insuranceBuying life insurance can be scary! You’ll see endless options in any insurance guide which can be dizzying. Also, you’ll be forced to think about your own death during the evaluation process which, as you can imagine, is never fun. Since this process can lead to high stress, you will want to be prepared and ready to move through it efficiently and effectively without making any errors. Once you purchase the right life insurance policy, you will feel much better about your current situation, as well as the financial safety of your family should you pass away.

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Unexpected Honeymoon Expenses

By Chris Bibey

In my last post, I talked about unexpected wedding expenses, all of which I experienced during my recent wedding planning process. If you are in the process of planning a wedding, be sure to check out that post for advice on how you can save money. This time around, I want to talk about unexpected honeymoon expenses.

We planned our honeymoon trip to Hawaii several months in advance. Although I thought I had a good grip on the overall cost, I forgot about and underestimated several important expenses. A few of them are detailed below:

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Unexpected Wedding Expenses

By Chris Bibey

unexpected wedding expensesWhen planning your wedding, it is safe to say that you will do what you can to stay within your budget. Of course, this is easier said than done. Even when you think you have everything accounted for, there are expenses that will pop up and make you wonder what you are doing. As I planned my wedding over the past year (I got married in early August), the big expenses were simple to keep track of. This included things such as the rings, venue, DJ, transportation, and food. At the same time, there were smaller expenses, those that I had overlooked, that continued to sneak up on me. A few of them are detailed below:

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Do You Understand Self-Employment Tax?

By Chris Bibey

Becoming a self-employed professional is beneficial for many reasons. After all, everybody gets tired of “working for the man” at some point in time. Before you jump the gun and quit your job, though, you need to understand what it means to be self-employed. More specifically, details such as self-employment tax need to be considered.

Even though it may be foreign to you, learning the ins and outs of self-employment tax is easier than you may think.

What is Self-Employment Tax?

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When to Hire a Tax Attorney

By Chris Bibey

hire tax attorneyYou never know when you will be faced with a complex tax situation that calls for outside help. If you are lucky, this will never happen to you. But unfortunately, there is no way of knowing for sure. There may be a time when you’ve fallen behind on your taxes, and now you’ve got the IRS pounding down the door to collect. This situation can get pretty scary because no one wants to deal with the IRS! You can handle a lot of tax situations on your own, but there are some special personal cases and many other cases if you own a business where hiring a tax attorney makes sense. Also, don’t get a tax attorney mixed up with a certified public accountant (CPA). CPA’s specialize in tax preparation and can answer tax questions you might have. A tax attorney comes into play generally when there is some sort of legal issue regarding your taxes. If you ever face any of the following situations it may make sense to hire a tax attorney:

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