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Mvelopes Review – Envelope Budgeting Software

By Laura Williams

mvelopes logoThe envelope budgeting system has been around for a long time, and because it works, it remains popular, despite its “old school” methodology. If you’re not familiar, the concept is simple: Separate your budget into different categories, such as entertainment, groceries, rent, and gasoline. Create an envelope for each category, label it, and withdraw cash from your account to place in each envelope representing the total amount you’ll spend in that category for the month. Use the cash from your envelopes to make your purchases, and when the money’s gone, stop spending in that category until the next month.

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11 Best Part-Time Jobs With Health Insurance Benefits

By Brian Martucci

starbucks part-time jobAccording to a 2013 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 85% of all U.S. full-time employees have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and about 75% have access to retirement benefits. But millions of Americans don’t work full-time jobs, which is defined under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA, popularly known as Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act) as working at least 30 hours per week at the same employer. And according to a report from The Census Bureau in 2013, just 24% of U.S. part-timers have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and just 37% have access to retirement benefits.

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How to Stop Overspending and Get Your Budget Under Control

By Jacqueline Curtis

budgetAre you a chronic overspender? If you start each month with great intentions and spend according to a set plan, but eventually find yourself making mindless purchases justified by that ever dangerous “a little won’t hurt” attitude, you’re likely facing an empty bank account and severe buyer’s remorse by the end of the month.

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10 Small Business & Entrepreneur Tips From “Shark Tank”

By Jacqueline Curtis

shark tankOn ABC’s “Shark Tank,” five extremely successful millionaires and billionaires – the “sharks” – hear pitches from business owners and occasionally vie with each other to invest. If the business owners play their cards right, they can score much-needed venture capital funding and strategic partners who practically guarantee them future success. If they’re weak, they’re sent packing with little fanfare and plenty of regrets.

I probably have about six episodes of “Shark Tank” saved on my DVR at any given time – but it’s not purely for entertainment value. The show teaches us all a great deal about business subjects such as investing, royalties, and licensing.

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What Is Big Data Analytics and What Does It Mean for Consumers?

By Jacqueline Curtis

big dataOnce upon a time, the most that businesses could hope to know about you boiled down to the information you’d use to obtain a mortgage: essentially, your credit score, household size, and household income. Of course, the more information businesses have about you, the better they can tailor their marketing strategy to target you. Today, with the ability to monitor your habits and access sensitive personal information, businesses have access to a veritable gold mine.

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How Identity Thieves Get Your Info – 7 Ways to Protect Yourself

By Michael Lewis

identity protectionIn 2013, the FBI arrested a ring of identity thieves responsible for more than $13 million in losses over a two-year period, from 2007 to 2008. Tobechi Onwuhara, a Nigerian national, impersonated victims across the country to scam their credit card companies into transferring millions of dollars from their customers’ home equity line of credit (HELOC) accounts, and the information he and his confederates used to identify victims was primarily collected through public sources. In other words, any efforts by the individual victims to foil the perpetrators would likely have been futile.

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10 Lessons I Learned About Money Management as a Young Adult in My Twenties

By Jacqueline Curtis

young couple financesAs my 30th birthday approaches, I find myself thinking about what I accomplished in the last decade. My 20s saw me get married, build a house with my husband, have two amazing kids, and start my career. And while I feel great about all those successes, there were definitely a lot of mistakes along the way – especially when it came to finances.

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EverBank Review – Full Service Online Banking and Mortgages

By Brian Martucci

everbank logoEverBank is a Jacksonville, Florida-based bank that serves Florida customers through its network of physical branches and national customers through its online bank. The company offered its first product, the extant Yield Pledge Checking Account, in 1999. Since then, it has dramatically expanded its offerings to cater to retirement savers, high-asset clients, business owners, and advanced investors who want access to currencies and precious metals. It offers a robust lineup of banking services, as well as brokerage accounts for investors through EverTrade Direct Brokerage.

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4 Crucial Strategies You Need When Investing for Retirement

By Michael Lewis

retirement planWhile there are a variety of investment options available to everyone, an astute investor must practice good fundamentals to control risks and optimize potential returns, including taking the time to be informed. As stated by Peter Lynch, renowned manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990 who beat the S&P 500 index 11 of 13 years, “Investing without research is like playing stud poker without looking at the cards.”

As you build your portfolio for retirement, it is crucial to keep several principles in mind.

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What Is the Price to Earnings (P/E) Ratio – Definition, Formula & Limitations

By Michael Lewis

price to earnings ratioThe price-to-earnings ratio, commonly known as the P/E ratio, is one of the most widely used valuation metrics. It is a basic measure used to compare different investments or the same investment over different periods of time, and it’s simple to calculate.

The P/E ratio is most commonly used for a quick comparison between two securities to see how Wall Street values them, with a higher P/E suggesting that future earnings are more likely. Dividing the common stock market share price (numerator) by earnings per share (denominator) produces the ratio. For example, a stock with a market price of $15.00 and earnings of $1.00 per share would have a P/E ratio of 15 (15/1=15).

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10 Simple DIY Landscaping Ideas for Your Home on the Cheap

By Mary McCoy

landscapingAs any seasoned landscaper or gardener can tell you, a home’s landscape is more than just a few haphazardly placed trees and shrubs. It requires careful thought, planning, and research – not to mention hard work. Not only can well-designed landscaping increase the pleasure you derive from your dwelling, it can boost curb appeal if you need to sell your home.

Unfortunately, beautiful landscaping doesn’t usually come cheap. However, with a little planning, you can get a gorgeous outdoor setting with only a small upfront cost.

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How to Work With and Manage Millennials (Generation Y)

By Jacqueline Curtis

generation yDefined as those born between 1982 and 1999, “millennials” have been given a slew of additional monikers – and not all of them are flattering. From the “me generation” to the more benign “Generation Y,” the “boomerang generation,” and “generation now,” there’s no shortage of labels for what currently makes up a large portion of the professional workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that by 2018, half of those working are going to be millennials.

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Life After Divorce – Advice on How to Cope and Move On

By Michael Lewis

divorcing coupleAccording to government statistics, there were more than 4.2 million divorces between the years of 2006 and 2011, about half the rate of marriages in the same period. Statistically, about 40% of first marriages end in divorce, while almost three-quarters of third marriages fail.

Divorce is often costly, and can be devastating for all parties involved – partners, children, parents, and grandparents. According to the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, only the death of a spouse is a more traumatic, stress-causing event; divorce is more stressful than separation, a jail term, the death of a close family member, or a personal injury or serious illness. Fortunately, time does heal all wounds, and understanding the healing process can help speed the path to recovery.

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What to Do After a Car Accident – Injuries, Damages & Insurance Claims

By Jacqueline Curtis

car accident aftermathI’ve had a valid driver’s license for 11 years with a perfectly clean record – no accidents, no speeding tickets, and not even a warning – so I was completely blindsided the day my SUV was rocked by the sound of a truck colliding into my driver’s side door, almost taking off the front bumper of my car. My kids and I were completely fine, but since it was my first accident, I was in a state of shock as I pulled my car into a nearby parking lot. Oddly, it wasn’t the fear of getting hurt, or the concern for my car that stands out about that day, but the disconcerting feeling of being in unfamiliar territory with no idea what to do. Immediately the other driver was out of his car and at my door, which wouldn’t open from the inside. I had to climb out of the passenger-side door to meet him, and he was ready for a fight. It was then that I had my “baptism by fire” and had to learn how to deal with car accidents, auto insurance, and other drivers.

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Buy Now, Save Later – 5 Upfront Purchases That Save You Money

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping“Buy Now, Save Later!” It’s one of those slogans a marketing genius once thought up to help push consumers into spending. But as the saying goes, you can’t save money by spending it. So that begs the question: Are preemptive purchases ever truly beneficial?

The answer might actually be yes. While you probably won’t conserve a ton of cash by purchasing shoes simply because they’re on sale this weekend (they’re sure to go on sale again), there may be some purchases that could actually help you hang onto your hard-earned cash in the future. It’s unlikely, however, that these purchases are the ones being advertised with the “Buy Now, Save Later” tagline, so you need to stay sharp and watch for the right opportunities.

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