Victor Pest Control – Ultrasonic & Electronic Rodent Control and Mouse Traps

This post brought to you by Victor Pest. All opinions are 100% mine.

victor pest logoA few months back,  I had an unwanted house guest. No, I’m not talking about my mother-in-law, I’m talking about a rodent in my home.

After seeing droppings several times, witnessing our plants and food get mysteriously munched on during the night, and going on several critter hunts with my wife to no avail, I called a professional. Almost $400 later, the problem was solved.

However, if I had known about do-it-yourself pest removal products, such as the ones from Victor Pest, I could have saved a bundle.

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The 2 Real Reasons for Your Debt Problems and How to Fix Them

money bandageDo you try to cure the common cold by using the best nose tissues money can buy? Of course not. Though tissues help with symptoms, to avoid a cold, you have to go after the root cause: exposure to the flu virus.

In the same way, when dealing with problems related to money, the root cause is more important than the symptoms of financial dysfunction. However, the biggest issue with a root cause is that while it may sound simple and basic, addressing it can be very difficult.

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Investing for the Long Term – Investment Strategy & Allocation By Age

stages of lifeFinancial planning is considered by many to be a critical operation that facilitates secure investment and financial goals for both the short and long term. Some even elevate financial planning skills to an art form with elegance and style.

But whatever label is applied to securing a financial goal, the planning process is constant and spans many decades. The goals of an investor will change with increasing age and family composition. For example, the age at which an investor starts provides significant clues to their financial potential as well as their ability to handle investment risk.

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Fannie Mae’s Know Your Options – Get Mortgage Help & Learn How to Avoid Foreclosure

This post brought to you by Fannie Mae. All opinions are 100% mine.

If the ongoing economic downturn has led to unemployment or a general decrease in your income, you’re probably struggling to meet your monthly home mortgage payment.

know your options fannie mae logo

Whether you’re first starting to experience difficulties or you’re already in default, the KnowYourOptions.com site has the information and advice you need. The site, which is affiliated with Fannie Mae, is a credible, comprehensive collection of information to help you through your situation.

Before you make any rash decisions, check out the site’s advice about home mortgage scams, next steps, and the best options that are open to you.

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4 Different Types of Taxes and How To Minimize Them

pay taxes piggy banksAlthough your personal income taxes are probably foremost in your mind right now, they’re not the only taxes you’re required to pay. In fact, Americans are on the hook for several different types of taxes over the course of the year.

Of course, most of us would prefer not to pay any taxes at all, but the truth is there are several benefits to paying different types of taxes, including opportunities to reduce your burden and spread out the impact taxes have on your financial picture. Here are four types of taxes many of us are subject to at some point, along with tips on how to minimize their impact.

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

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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Personal & Household Monthly Budget Categories – 9 Ways to Determine How Much to Put in

budget categories money bucketsDuring a recent get-together with some friends, the topic of how much we all budget for buying groceries came up in conversation. Since I had started dabbling in extreme couponing, I recently adjusted my grocery budget from $400 a month to $250 a month. My friends were surprised at my lofty goal and felt in a way that it was unreasonable, although not necessarily unattainable.

After having that conversation, I began thinking about my budget caps, not just for groceries, but for all of my expense categories and how I determined the dollar amounts that I was willing to spend for each.

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3 Ways to Find & Invest in a List of the Top Blue Chip Stocks With Dividends

blue chips stocks newspaperCompanies represented by blue chip stocks are typically of high quality with a long history of stable earnings. The publicly traded shares often represent well-known name brands run by high quality management teams that often pay dividends to their shareholders.

Some long-term investors view these companies as being of lower risk when compared to newer fad stocks that have yet to prove themselves fiscally.

The bottom line is that blue chips stocks are typically a good investment. But how do you choose the best ones to invest in? Here are 3 steps you can use as a guide.

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The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit – Federal Tax Deductions for Child Care Expenses

childcare expenses paintingFinding the right person or company to care for your child or disabled spouse is difficult, and paying for it can become very expensive.

Fortunately, you can get a break on these expenses by claiming the child and dependent care tax credit.

Depending on your income and how many of your dependents need care, you can get up to a $2,100 credit. Below is more information regarding the credit, including who qualifies as someone who needs care, what kind of expenses count, and who can claim the tax break.

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12 Steps for How to Make a Budget – Personal Budgeting Tips for First Timers

budgeting calculator pen paperCreating your first budget can be extremely overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that only 40% of American families have a working monthly budget. But it’s worth the effort. Developing a budget that you can maintain over the long term  has been definitively linked to building wealth, while simultaneously helping you get out of debt and cut expenses.

When I built my first budget several years ago, I knew approximately how much money I was making annually, but I had never broken down my expenses by category to figure out what I could afford on a recurring basis, or how much money I could regularly invest.

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