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5 Financial Lessons From “The Real Housewives” Franchise

By Jacqueline Curtis

the real housewivesDon’t say that reality TV never taught you anything. Like much of television-obsessed America, I’ve watched the trial of Joe and Teresa Giudice with great interest. “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars were accused of an entire slew of financial crimes, from mortgage fraud to tax fraud. Unfortunately, these are not even the first legal woes to befall “The Real Housewives” families.

A closer look reveals a pattern to their financial demise. And, while it’s certainly not the main reason viewers tune into the shows, they can learn a thing or two about money by watching the financial train wrecks that have occurred in New York, Orange County, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New Jersey.

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Understanding Lymphoma in Dogs – Types, Treatments & How to Make Tough Decisions

By Laura Williams

dogs“I’m sorry, but your dog has lymphoma. We need to talk treatment options.”

It’s the news no pet owner wants to hear. Your heart suddenly drops, and you experience a flashback to all the memories you’ve accumulated with your pup over the years. You can’t believe those memories might be coming to a close. I know the feeling – I’ve been there twice.

According to The National Canine Cancer Foundation, canine lymphomas are one of the most common malignancies diagnosed in dogs, and there is no cure. And while treatment options are available, including chemotherapy, even the longest estimated lifespan post-diagnosis is only about two years. If you choose not to treat the cancer with an expensive and potent drug therapy, you’re looking at an average lifespan of just four to eight weeks.

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8 Common Misconceptions About Working From Home – Is It Right for You?

By Jacqueline Curtis

wahmI quit my full-time office job back in 2006 after having my first child, and have been working from home ever since. I love it. It offers me maximum control over my schedule and allows me to keep my skills sharp while doing something I love.

However, while it’s a perfect fit for me, working from home is not necessarily ideal for everyone. By understanding the truth behind the most common misconceptions of this nontraditional lifestyle, you can decide whether making the switch is right for you.

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Best New Bank Account Promotions, Offers & Free Money

By Money Crashers

stack cashWith many financial institutions experiencing a decrease in profits, banks are vying for your business. This is good news for you, because instead of just offering standard perks like no fees, free checking, or a free pen when you sign up for an account, some banks are raising the stakes with cold hard cash, giveaways, and great interest-bearing products.

October is a good month for bank promotions from both big and small banks. Banks are giving away a lot of free cash to attract new customers and get them to open up accounts. The banks listed below have some pretty sweet deals that you should take advantage of if you are in the market for a new bank.

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6 Responsibilities & Duties of a Modern Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

By Michael Lewis

cfoOver the past couple of decades, the role of the modern CFO has been, and continues to be, redefined. The advent of new technology allowing for enhanced data collection and analysis tools – as well as operating management’s demands for reliable real-time information – has extended the CFO’s responsibility to all aspects of the company. 

International commerce and expanded regulatory oversight in culturally diverse customer and employee bases complicates decisions and increases risk. As a result, the CFO’s authority and responsibilities over traditional finance, accounting, and treasury functions has intensified and expanded to satisfy an exhaustive list of internal, external, and regulatory stakeholders, many of whom have conflicting interests.

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7 Tips to Transition Your Summer Wardrobe to Fall Clothing Fashion

By Jacqueline Curtis

fall clothesAh, autumn. It comes with pumpkin spice lattes, cooler temperatures, and the onset of the holiday season, so what’s not to love? Well, if you have a pretty tight clothing budget, the change in seasons might not be all that welcome. You were fine with your breezy dresses and standard-issue flip-flops, so what happens when the weather starts to cool off and you’re expected to start wearing shoes again?

Don’t fret if the changing window displays at your favorite stores remind you that you’re not ready for fall. Chances are that you have the foundation for a great autumn wardrobe already in your closet. By adding a few key pieces and wearing your summer staples in different ways, you can mitigate a frugal clothing budget.

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6 Tips to Buy Ethical Clothing & Fashion on a Budget

By Jacqueline Curtis

ethical shoppingIn the fashion industry, there’s a term for retailers that sell piles of clothing for rock-bottom prices: fast fashion. Just like “fast food,” it’s cheap and quick, but it doesn’t always make you feel great after you’re done. While fast fashion can fill up your closet with discount goods, the process by which it’s manufactured may not always be ethical.

In 2013, the retail fashion industry was rocked when a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed, leaving 1,129 workers dead and another 2,500 injured. It was no secret that foreign garment workers churn out shirts, dresses, suits, and scarves for low wages, but this tragedy highlighted another problem – terrible and downright dangerous working conditions.

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How to Maximize Social Security Benefits – Withdrawal Options & Benefits

By Michael Lewis

social security benefitsIn 2004, Social Security benefits were projected to account for 40% of a baby boomer’s post-retirement family income, and almost all baby boomer retirees were expected to receive benefits, according to a Social Security Administration study. But Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, thinks those projections were conservative. Today, according to Baker, Social Security payments account for 90% of income for one-third of all seniors and more than 50% for two-thirds of them. For unmarried seniors, the dependence upon Social Security is even greater, accounting for almost three-quarters of their income.

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9 Ways to Make Your Clothes Look More Expensive & Fashionable

By Jacqueline Curtis

fashionWith the beginning of fall comes New York Fashion Week (NYFW), a showcase of every new trend, must-have designer, and, of course, exorbitant prices. But let’s face it: The average American woman isn’t spending a cool $3,000 on a pair of Christian Louboutin boots, no matter how much the fashion magazines crow about their fall faves.

However, even if you have Michael Kors tastes but live on an Old Navy budget, it doesn’t mean you have to feel bad about your non-NYFW clothes. In fact, I maintain that spending a ton of money on trends that will only last a season isn’t only unwise, it’s also a poor use of closet space. Instead, it’s possible to score high fashion based on purchasing clothes that look expensive, but don’t cost more than your budget will allow.

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Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN – Review

By Christina Majaski

american express business platinum cardLike many of the American Express cards, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (a Money Crashers partner) provides prestigious amenities and benefits designed to focus on comfort, in addition to providing monetary value. The Business Platinum card carries one of the highest annual fees of any credit card or charge card, but if you value the perks of carrying an American Express card, you may find it to be worth the annual fee.

It is important to understand that the Business Platinum card is a charge card, rather than a credit card. Charge cards typically require payment in full each month with no option to carry a balance and no preset spending limit.

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JetBlue Card from American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

jetblue american express cardJetBlue Airways is a popular airline known for providing inexpensive flights to 84 destinations throughout the United States. Its reach also extends to 12 countries in the Caribbean, South America, and Latin America, including the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. The JetBlue Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) is a simple airline credit card that offers an opportunity for fans of JetBlue to earn TrueBlue points on purchases that can be redeemed for free flights.

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Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. You can earn a bonus of 10,000 TrueBlue points if you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. These points can be redeemed for two one-way flights, or for one round-trip flight.

Blue from American Express® Credit Card Review

By Christina Majaski

blue american expressBlue from American Express® (a Money Crashers partner) is Amex’s general travel rewards credit card. It’s standard and straightforward, and it may not necessarily offer the extra travel perks and benefits of many airline-specific credit cards.

However, it could still be a useful option for your wallet, especially if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card that awards points on general travel purchases.

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Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. You earn a bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account. These points can be redeemed for $100 in gift cards.

What Is a D-U-N-S Number and What Is It Used For? (Dun & Bradstreet)

By Brian Martucci

d-u-n-s-Everyone born in the United States receives a unique, nine-digit Social Security number at birth. Without this identifier, you can’t enjoy many of the perks that American citizens and legal residents take for granted, including retired and disabled worker benefits. Of course, you also need a Social Security number to file your taxes.

Business entities don’t get – or need – Social Security numbers. However, they can obtain a unique, nine-digit identifying number through a system that’s nearly as ubiquitous as Social Security: the Data Universal Numbering System, or D-U-N-S. If you own your own business or are thinking about starting one, you should know more about the uses, benefits, and drawbacks of having a D-U-N-S number.

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Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

hilton hhonors surpass card from american expressThe Hilton HHonors™ Surpass® Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) is similar to its standard version, the Hilton HHonors Card, but provides more rewards and hotel perks in exchange for an annual fee. These perks include Priority Pass membership in airport lounges and complimentary HHonors Gold status.

If you frequently stay at hotels in the Hilton portfolio – including Waldorf Astoria and Embassy Suites – you can earn more free nights with the Hilton HHonors Surpass card than you can with any of the other Hilton HHonors credit cards.

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Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

hilton hhonorsHilton is one of the most recognizable hotel chains in the world. It has in its portfolio more than 4,000 hotels in 91 countries, and additional brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, and Hampton Inn.

The Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) – the standard version, as compared to the Hilton HHonors Surpass – offers the opportunity to earn points on purchases that can be redeemed via the HHonors program for award nights at Hilton Hotels and affiliate properties.

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The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

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