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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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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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Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

delta skymiles platinum card american expressDelta Airlines is one of the most popular airlines in the United States and has been ranked the largest airline in the world, with flights serving more than 300 destinations in 64 countries. American Express offers various credit cards that award Delta SkyMiles and provide flight benefits and perks, convenient for various levels of use.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) falls in between the Gold Delta SkyMiles and Delta Reserve cards, providing an option for Delta fans who fly more frequently than Gold Delta SkyMiles cardholders, yet not quite as much as Delta Reserve cardholders.

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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

american express gold delta skymiles business cardThe business version of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner), is almost identical to the consumer version. The sign-up bonus, rewards program, and Delta flight benefits are the same except that the business version includes access to the OPEN Savings network.

But when the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business card is compared to other business credit cards, does it stack up?

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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

delta skymiles gold american expressThe Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) provides an opportunity to earn and redeem miles on Delta Airlines. Of the three Delta credit cards available, the Gold Delta SkyMiles charges the lowest annual fee – and it’s waived the first year. That, plus the sign-up bonus and a few attractive flight benefits, make it a great option if you’re a regular Delta customer and want to earn SkyMiles for use on future flights.

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