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How to Dye Your Hair at Home – 9 Tips to Get Salon-Quality Color

By Jacqueline Curtis

hair coloringIf you’re like me, you just don’t have three hours to sit in a salon chair to get your hair cut and colored. After realizing that a professional-looking treatment isn’t very hard to copy – and in the interest of saving my time, money, and sanity – I set about perfecting my home hair coloring technique. At first, it may seem like a recipe for disaster, but if all you’re doing is covering up grays or making minor changes to shade, you’re a prime candidate for home coloring.

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Importance of Community Banks and How They’re Threatened by Dodd-Frank

By Michael Lewis

bankMalcolm Holland, president of $650 million Veritex Community Bank in Dallas, Texas, worries about the future of community banks as a result of increasing federal regulations and growing compliance costs. His concern is based upon the increasing expansion of federal rules that limit the flexibility of community bankers to meet the needs of their customers: “Community banks need to be creative because small business is creative. If we can’t meet the needs of small business – the core of our business – the economy as we’ve known it will cease to exist.”

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How to Get a Mortgage Loan If You’re Self-Employed With Fluctuating Income

By Mary McCoy

home mortgage optionsEven with tighter regulations on property financing, folks with “normal” income from an employer can be approved for a home mortgage loan fairly easily. You simply have to prove that you have steady paychecks, a credit score of 640 or above, and enough money in the bank to cover your down payment.

However, if you’re a business owner or are self-employed, qualifying for property financing isn’t as simple. Regardless of your income, new federal regulations require self-employed individuals to jump through a number of hoops to obtain home loans, which means you may need to think outside the box to find the financing you need.

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Understanding the Impact of a Federal Minimum Wage Increase

By Michael Lewis

minimum wageOn February 11, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum pay for workers employed by companies that have federal contracts. The pay per hour would be lifted from $7.25 to $10.10 and go into effect on January 1, 2015.

As might be expected, the move ignited a fire storm of dueling statistics and questionable conclusions from both sides of the political spectrum. Consequently, the average American is likely confused about who the order affects and its potential impact on the economy.

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7 Affordable Spring Clothes & Accessories for Women

By Jacqueline Curtis

springtimeI grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and I can vouch that whatever you’ve heard about Canadian winters is absolutely true. They’re harsh, cold, and can feel never-ending. And of course, there’s always that one gorgeous day in March that makes you uncharacteristically optimistic about the arrival of spring, only to collapse back into winter the very next day.

Whether you need to dress professionally or casually, trying to match your style to the unpredictable mood swings of Mother Nature can leave you feeling frustrated. Learning to transition your wardrobe to warmer weather when the seasons are slow to change is essential.

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7 Ideas to Use QR Codes for Effective Marketing in Your Business

By Larisa Redins

qr codeQR codes – or “quick response” codes – are two-dimensional bar codes originally used by Japanese car manufacturers for a variety of purposes, including quality control and keeping track of inventory. However, marketing professionals eventually came to the realization that these codes could allow consumers to interact with a particular product or brand via their smartphones. Now QR codes are generally used for promotional purposes, linking smartphone users to promotional offers, websites, email addresses, phone numbers, and other text.

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How to Be More Grateful and Why It Will Make You Happier – Definition

By Mary McCoy

gratitudeNo matter your background, it’s likely that you’ve experienced a mixture of triumph and hardship in your life. Life is sprinkled with joyous occasions such as weddings and births, as well as heartaches like divorces and deaths. In between the highs and lows, much of the human daily experience is full of the mundane: commuting to and from work, doing the dishes, and shopping for groceries. All of these experiences elicit emotions that range from joy to sorrow to boredom.

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What Is a Corporate Bond – Types, Rates, and How to Buy

By Brian Martucci

corporate bondsSince March of 2009, the stock market has been on a tear. All three major U.S. indices have at least doubled their value, and retirement investors – not to mention those who make their living off the market – are breathing a long, collective sigh of relief. On paper, much of the damage of the late-2000s financial crisis has been undone.

However, many investors learned the hard way the value of diversifying their portfolio with low-to-moderate risk investment vehicles that provide an compromise between security and return on investment, or ROI.

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Discover it® Card for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus – Review

By Christina Majaski

discover itStudent credit cards are designed to assist college students with little or no credit history in getting somewhat of a jump on building their own credit. However, in order to avoid establishing bad spending habits and lifetimes of debt, these cards need to be low-fee, low-interest rate credit cards – which is not always possible with cards that also provide rewards programs. The Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus succeeds in addressing these needs.

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Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. When you are approved for the Discover it for Students card and make your first purchase within 3 months, you receive a $20 cash back bonus.

Capital One 360 Review – Online Checking & Savings Accounts

By Brian Martucci

capital one 360 logoCapital One is a well-known financial institution that made its name in the credit card business. Capital One 360, one of its major divisions, offers a related, if less sexy, suite of products: online banking and personal lending services. If you’re not satisfied with the brick-and-mortar banking options in your area – or you want to cast as wide a net as possible during your search for an attractive mortgage – then this institution should be on your radar.

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eSmart Tax Review 2014 – Free Online Tax Filing

By Kira Botkin

esmarttaxThe eSmart Tax service, previously called CompleteTax, was purchased in early 2013 by Liberty Tax Service and subsequently renamed. However, despite the change in name, the eSmart Tax online tax filing software remains largely the same product, designed to help you file your taxes online for a low price. If your tax filing is relatively simple, eSmart Tax can help you file for free. However, more complicated tax situations cost more, and you may find that some of your forms aren’t supported.

eSmart Tax offers three versions at different price points that address situations from simple to moderately complex.

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9 Financial Lessons to Learn from “Downton Abbey” (Spoiler Alert)

By Jacqueline Curtis

downton abbeyIf you were one of the 8.5 million viewers who sighed when the latest season of “Downton Abbey” came to an end, join the club – I’m a diehard fan. Blame it on my love for all things British and the amazing costumes – and, of course, the juicy storyline and gasp-inducing plot twists as well.

But while “Downton Abbey” might simply be seen as a bit of fun for a Sunday night, I’ve noticed a recurring theme that colors literally every part of the show, characters, and plot: money. After all, the entire premise of the show is to prove that between the “have” and the “have nots,” everyone has their own challenges. With this in mind, I started watching the show with renewed interest in the theme of money and financial security.

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How to Start Urban Beekeeping – The Importance of Honey Bees

By Michael Lewis

honey beeThe bee has always occupied a special place in man’s psyche. Young children learn the origins of babies with stories of “the birds and the bees,” while their industry is so respected that a person engaged in intense activity is “as busy as a bee.” “Spelling bees” and “quilting bees” are so named because a meeting of people working together resembles the scenes within a beehive. Closely guarded information is “none of your beeswax,” and the flappers of the 1920s popularized the “bee’s knees” to express the coolness of an object or activity.

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How to Use a 21-Day Financial Fast to Improve Spending Habits

By Jacqueline Curtis

saving moneyIn “The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom,” financial advisor and Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary outlines the “financial fast,” a sort of money diet that promises to break bad spending habits, create a plan to become debt free, and set yourself on a better financial course for the future. While on a financial fast, you can’t spend any unnecessary money – at all. Unless it’s food, shelter, or something else essential to survival, you’re committing to making do with what you already have.

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8 Best Mobile Coupon Apps to Save Money Shopping With Your Smartphone

By Jacqueline Curtis

using a smartphone while shoppingExtreme couponing can save you a lot of money, but it can also take a lot of energy. Fumbling through newspapers, clipping the best deals, and waiting for them to scan at checkout can make any quick supermarket trip an epic errand. People with kids or full-time jobs typically don’t have the time to scour the Internet and print out, organize, and use anything more than the occasional coupon.

That’s where couponing apps can come to the rescue. The ability to upload, “clip,” and scan coupons directly on your smartphone can make the process a lot more efficient.

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The content on Money Crashers 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.
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