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14 Tips to Increase Productivity & Avoid Distractions When Working at Home

By Jacqueline Curtis

work at homeAccording to the U.S. Census, nearly six million Americans work primarily from home. If you’re looking to become one of them, it’s crucial to watch out for the pitfalls.

I’ve been working from home for the past eight years. And while I definitely am now comfortable doing so, there were a lot of growing pains early on. I once locked myself in the bathroom to have an uninterrupted conference call with a client – not quite the epitome of professionalism. However, if you take the time to prepare to work from home and create an atmosphere conducive to professionalism and productivity, it’s more than possible to build a thriving career.

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11 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

business credit cardsIf you own a business or do freelance work, you can keep track of your expenses and earn valuable rewards with a business credit card, all while keeping any spending and earning you do separate from your personal accounts. With countless options for rewards available, the task of picking the right card for you can be a challenge.

Here is our roundup of business credit cards that offer the best rewards programs, most manageable terms, and most exciting opportunities for business owners.

Best Business Credit Cards

1. Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

50,000 Point Sign-up Bonus; 5 Points on Office Supply Purchases; 2 Points on Gas and Hotels; Airport Lounge Access

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10 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

college student credit cardWhile college students may need their own credit cards for a number of reasons, the most important reason is to establish and build a positive credit history. However, if handled improperly, credit cards can have an extremely negative impact, and can result in an overwhelming mountain of debt.

As a student, it’s important to choose a credit card that you can easily manage. Furthermore, you must restrain yourself from overspending, and always pay your balances in full and on time. The best options on the market have minimal fees, yet provide student-friendly benefits, as well as excellent opportunities to build credit.

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5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

secured credit cards cashIt’s not easy to repair damaged credit after a series of missed payments or bankruptcy, but with the help of a secured credit card, it is possible. And while secured credit cards sometimes have a bad reputation for having heavy fees and high interest rates (which can exacerbate debt), the right card can help you build your credit history.

When choosing a secured credit card, it is important to pay attention to fees, and verify that your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. Prepaid cards function similarly to debit cards – therefore, your usage of a prepaid card is not reported to the bureaus, doing nothing to improve your credit.

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9 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

credit cards walletIf you regularly carry credit card balances, it is important that you choose a credit card featuring a low interest rate, rather than a rewards credit card. Rewards cards generally have high APRs, and should only be used by those who can pay off the entire balance each month.

Many low interest options are simple, “plain vanilla” credit cards designed to allow you to make purchases and transfer balances without paying a significant amount of interest. However, some low interest cards buck industry trends and offer small bonuses and rewards programs. Here are a number of the best low APR cards available based both on the rates they charge and the rewards they offer.

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11 Best Gas Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

gas pump carWhen choosing a credit card for buying gasoline, it is important to not just consider brand-specific cards, but also general credit cards that provide rewards on other purchases. By doing so, you can get the most bang for your buck. Of course, depending on your situation, a brand-specific card may be your best option – especially if you regularly purchase gas from a qualifying gas station that offers stellar rewards.

Here is a selection of the credit cards that provide the best return on your spending, both brand-specific and general rewards cards.

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10 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

passport travel credit cardsMany of the first rewards cards were credit cards that offered “miles” for purchases, which could be saved and used for purchasing airline tickets. Nowadays, flight restrictions and requirements on travel rewards cards don’t always result in dream vacations.

As a result, many travel rewards cards now award purchases with not only miles, but opportunities for cash back. These options are especially important if you are not a frequent flyer, but still want to carry a travel rewards card. If you fit this description, here are some of the best travel rewards credit cards to meet your needs.

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How to Help an Elderly Parent Deal With the Death of a Spouse

By Michael Lewis

griefVelta Lewis died the morning of May 15th in the arms of her husband in the home they had purchased upon retiring three years previously. Her death, nine months after the diagnosis of lung cancer, occurred shortly before the couple expected to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary during a two-week trip to Paris. My father was devastated. Over the following weeks, I would find him sitting alone in their darkened family room – no television, no radio, no conversation to break the silence – staring with red-rimmed eyes into the past, trails of tears upon his cheeks.

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How to Find the Best Charities to Donate to – 4 Characteristics

By Mary McCoy

charityThe emotional and financial benefits of charitable giving (including tax deductions) are well-documented, but the money and goods you give mean very little unless they produce tangible results. Unfortunately, not all charities serve the public good efficiently. Some even make national news for less-than-noble activities, such as misused funds, overpaid CEOs, and ineffective programs. Potential donors should do thorough research prior to giving their hard-earned dollars to a charity that may be under-performing or ripe for scandal.

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10 Ways to Take Care of Your Clothes and Make Them Last Longer

By Jacqueline Curtis

clothesWhether you’re a total fashionista or you avoid the mall at all costs, you probably spend a lot more than you think on clothing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spent $1,736 on clothes in 2012. Although kids outgrow their clothing fairly quickly, adults can hang onto theirs for years – as long as it doesn’t wear out.

Since longer-lasting clothing means more money in your pocket, be sure you do all you can to preserve your wardrobe. Of course, it may require changing a few habits. Luckily, you don’t need special products to keep your whites sparkling and your dark garments looking sharp.

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TurboTax Review 2014 – Online Tax Preparation Software

By Kira Botkin

intuit turbotax logoTurboTax is the most popular tax filing program, and with the many different options available, there’s a fit for most anyone. It was the top-rated, best-selling tax software last year, and is likely to continue that trend. With the clean, streamlined design and step-by-step interview, this program is a great choice for novices, but does also offer support for more advanced tax situations.

With multiple apps, including a full-featured iPad app that supports all the versions, TurboTax is a product that has kept up with the times.

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H&R Block Review 2014 – Online Tax Filing & Preparation

By Kira Botkin

hr block logoH&R Block prepares about one in every seven tax returns in the U.S., making it one of the best-known names in the business. With more than 10,000 offices, it has a presence in practically every city in America – but you don’t actually have to leave your house to file.

H&R Block offers many of the advantages of its office-based services but at a lower cost and greater convenience.

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Key Features

  • Accurate Calculations Guaranteed. H&R Block guarantees an accurate calculation and the biggest possible tax refund you qualify for. If you’re assessed penalties for miscalculation, it pays them, including interest.

TaxACT Review 2014 – Free Online Tax Software

By Kira Botkin

taxact logoThough it doesn’t have the name recognition of TurboTax or H&R Block, TaxACT is a competitive tax preparation program that offers online federal filing for free, regardless of your income. It gives you the ability to complete an extremely wide variety of tax forms both online or on your computer after download, all at very attractive prices.

However, with those prices come a few flaws. But if you’d like to complete your taxes without spending an arm and a leg this year, TaxACT may be the right program for you.

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Top 10 Most Affordable U.S. Cities to Live In

By Brian Martucci

salt lake cityWhile you’ve probably fantasized about living in an affordable vacation destination, it might not be in the cards for your family. Moving to a big expensive city such as New York or San Francisco might be out of the question too.

Fortunately, the United States has many affordable, economically vibrant metropolitan areas that offer great job prospects, low living costs, and a bevy of lifestyle options for people from all walks of life. These metro areas all stretch your dollar further than you’d expect, without forcing you to make painful career sacrifices or compromise your family’s quality of life. Reasonable housing, energy, and transportation costs may also free up extra space in your family’s household budget and help you plan for whatever challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

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Top 10 Benefits of Charitable Giving and Donations

By Mary McCoy

donateThe fact that charitable giving can help reduce your tax burden is well known, especially if you’re in a high bracket. But the benefits of giving extend far beyond tax breaks.

Of course, giving can be a challenge – especially when money is tight. After all, your income could just as easily go toward a college savings fund for your kids, a much-needed vacation, or even a new pair of shoes. But whether you’re interested in the tax benefits or have altruistic motives – or a little of both – you can end up getting back a lot more than you give when you donate valuable items, cold hard cash, or even your time to your favorite causes. In fact, the emotional, social, psychological, and financial benefits of charitable giving often outweigh the satisfaction of splurging on yourself or your family.

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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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