Is a Warehouse Store (Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s) Membership Worth It? – Costs, Pros & Cons

warehouse club, photo by Alastair WallaceSmart-shopping blogs and magazines are teeming with stories about the great deals you can get on nearly everything – groceries, tires, vacations – at warehouse stores. Some financial writers even claim there’s simply no excuse for not belonging to a warehouse club if you live within driving distance to one. But there’s one obvious snag: Before you can fill up your cart with these bargains, you have to pay an annual fee of around $50 just to get in the door.

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9 Ideas for Hanging Out With Friends on a Tight Budget

socializingIgnoring a friend’s phone call is a terrible thing to do, but I’ll admit I’ve done it for financial reasons. It wasn’t because I borrowed money I couldn’t repay, nor was I worried a friend was calling for a loan. The problem is that friendships are often like expensive subscriptions – it feels like you only get access when you pay your dues. And in the case of friends, dues come in the form of spending money.

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How to Choose the Best Gym Membership – Costs & Ways to Save

gymIt’s no secret that the rates of obesity in the U.S. are staggering. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and more half of those individuals are clinically obese. Carrying extra weight is associated with a host of health complications, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these complications are behind some of the most common – and most preventable – causes of death.

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5 Best Types of Natural Cat Litter – How to Choose, Reviews

cat litterThere’s no way around it: owning a pet isn’t cheap. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), new dog owners spend spend around $1,300 to $1,850 the first year, while cat owners typically spend more than $1,000.

Cat litter accounts for a surprisingly large chunk of that total cost – about $165 a year. In fact, the average cat owner actually spends more on litter than on food.

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14 Tips for Flea Market Shopping – What to Do & What to Avoid

flea marketFlea market shopping can be both challenging and exciting, much like shopping at a garage sale, since you never know what you can find. Whether it’s held in a huge parking lot outside or in a smaller venues indoor, markets are often crowded.

But whatever the venue, there are certain tips, tricks, and things to avoid in order to make the flea market experience truly exciting and worth your time. Consider what to do and what not to do before you head out to ensure a successful, comfortable, and efficient experience.

What to Do

1. Plan Ahead

In order to have the most success at the flea market, plan ahead by taking the following steps:

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What Is Estate Planning – Basics & Checklist for Costs, Tools, Probates & Taxes

estate planning papersBen Franklin once famously quipped, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And while millions of Americans spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about their income tax returns every year, death is one of the areas that few people talk about, much less take time to prepare for.

Nevertheless, the immutable fact remains that yes, you will die, and yes, you need to start thinking about it sooner rather than later. In fact, now might be the perfect time to begin forming your estate plan.

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True Cost of the 10 Most-Prescribed Drugs – Why You May Not Need Them

prescription drugsIf you’re like many Americans, you take at least one prescription drug regularly – maybe even two or more. According to a 2013 study reported by the Mayo Clinic News Network, nearly 70% of adult Americans rely on at least one prescription medication. More than 50% regularly use two, while 20% can’t make it through the day without five or more. In fact, spending on prescription drugs rose an astounding 13% in 2014 to $374 billion, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Are we as a nation succumbing to ever more serious illnesses? Maybe. But there could be more to it than that.

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How to Invest in Art – Types, Pros & Cons, Buying & Selling

fine artThese days, many long-term investors look to diversify their portfolios by investing in different, even exotic, asset classes. Some prefer to put their money in rare coins and jewels, while others invest in fine wines. One investment class quickly gaining in popularity is artwork. Not only can fine art enhance your home décor and evoke powerful emotions, it can appreciate in value simply by hanging on your living room wall.

The myths about investing in art have always kept the average person from entering this potentially lucrative venture. “I don’t know anything about art. Investing in art is only for the rich. What if I get ripped off?” These are all legitimate concerns, but they can be quickly broken down with a bit of research and knowledge.

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Discover it® chrome Credit Card Review – 2% Cash Back on Gas & Groceries

discover it chromeDiscover it® chrome is the newest addition to the Discover card family, providing an alternative to its current rewards card opportunities.

Chrome includes many of the benefits that Discover cards are known for, such as low fees and a slightly different reward structure than is standard for cash back on gasoline and grocery store purchases.

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Key Features

  • 2% Rewards on Gas & Groceries. The Discover it chrome credit card awards 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in gasoline and grocery store purchases every quarter. Quarters begin on the first day of January, April, July, and October. All other purchases (and purchases made after the $1,000 cap) earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Cash back rewards do not expire.

Discover it® Credit Card Review – 5% Cash Back Rewards

discover itDespite being popular among college students and consumers interested in cash back benefits, the now discontinued Discover More card did have a couple of minor downfalls, including the fact that you could only earn 0.25% cash back on the first $3,000 spent outside of bonus categories. The Discover it® Card just may provide solutions to these issues while still hanging onto one of the greatest benefits of the Discover More card: 5% cash back rewards.

At first glance, the “it” card may seem to have addressed all the disadvantages of its predecessor – but is it in fact the ideal cash back card, or are we looking at yet another credit card that has its own unique set of flaws?

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