Communal Living & Cohousing – Types & Benefits of Intentional Communities

For most Americans, housing is the single biggest expense in their personal budget. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends more than 30% of its after-tax income on housing expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, and furnishing. For single people, the figure climbs to more than 40% of after-tax income.

One way to reduce this cost is to share housing expenses with others. Doing this is one reason married couples tend to have lower expenses per person than single people. However, there’s another way to share housing expenses that’s open to both single and married people: cohousing.

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Mobile Contactless Cards & Payment Technology – How It Works, Pros & Cons

According to a 2014 Gallup survey, 71% of Americans have at least one credit card – there are 2.6 active credit cards in circulation for every American man, woman, and child, including those who don’t use them. Americans who do use credit cards have an average of 3.7 active cards each. And that figure doesn’t account for bank-issued debit cards and prepaid debit cards, which leverage the same payment networks (such as Visa and MasterCard) as many credit cards.

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What Is Bitcoin – History, How It Works, Pros & Cons

Bitcoin is a virtual currency, or cryptocurrency, that’s controlled by a decentralized network of users and isn’t directly subject to the whims of central banking authorities or national governments. Although there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies in active use today, Bitcoin is by far the most popular and widely used – the closest cryptocurrency equivalent to traditional, state-minted currencies.

Like traditional currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, Bitcoin has value relative to other currencies and physical goods. Whole Bitcoin units can be subdivided into decimals representing smaller units of value. Currently, the smallest Bitcoin unit is the satoshi, or 0.00000001 Bitcoin. The satoshi can’t be broken into smaller units. However, Bitcoin’s source code is structured to allow for future subdivisions beyond this level, should the currency’s value appreciate to the point that it’s deemed necessary.

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What Is Cryptocurrency – How It Works, History & Bitcoin Alternatives

Cryptocurrencies, or virtual currencies, are digital means of exchange created and used by private individuals or groups. Because most cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated by national governments, they’re considered alternative currencies – mediums of financial exchange that exist outside the bounds of state monetary policy.

Bitcoin is the preeminent cryptocurrency and first to be used widely. However, hundreds of cryptocurrencies exist, and more spring into being every month.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies use cryptographic protocols, or extremely complex code systems that encrypt sensitive data transfers, to secure their units of exchange. Cryptocurrency developers build these protocols on advanced mathematics and computer engineering principles that render them virtually impossible to break, and thus to duplicate or counterfeit the protected currencies. These protocols also mask the identities of cryptocurrency users, making transactions and fund flows difficult to attribute to specific individuals or groups.

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Estate & Inheritance Tax – Threshold, Rates & Calculating How Much You Owe

As the old saying goes, nothing is certain except death and taxes. Nobody really likes either one of these things – and when you put the two together, people hate the combination even more.

The best example of this is the federal estate tax. According to the nonpartisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), this tax raises about $246 billion for the Federal Government every year. Many politicians argue that this “death tax” should be reduced or even repealed completely – and many Americans seem to agree. For example, when NJ.com posed the question, “Should the estate tax be repealed?” to readers, 53% of them said yes.

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44 Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) – Cheap & Free Activities

Outsiders associate the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and Minnesota in general, with cold weather, funny accents, and perhaps the Target bullseye logo.

There are grains of truth in these cliches. Minneapolis-St. Paul is the coldest major metro area in the United States, according to The Weather Channel. Local modes of speech, particularly in rural areas, still bear the influence of the German and Scandinavian settlers who arrived in the late 19th century. And the region is home to many blue-chip corporations, including Target, General Mills, 3M, and UnitedHealth.

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What Does It Mean to Be Rich? – Defining Wealth by Income, Net Worth & Lifestyle

If you pick any 10 people at random off the street and ask them all whether they’d like to be rich, chances are all 10 will say yes. But if you ask those same 10 people what they mean by “rich,” you’re likely to get 10 different answers.

One person, perhaps, would say that a million dollars is enough to make you rich, while another would say that it takes 10 million. Still others would give answers that weren’t expressed in dollar terms at all. They’d say that wealth means having a big house, a boat, and a private jet – or maybe just a comfortable home and good health insurance.

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What Is Smart Growth – Urban Planning Principles, Benefits & Examples

Imagine that you live in a small town that’s experiencing a sudden population boom. Very soon, the town is going to have to add more housing and retail space. The town council has received several proposals from builders for this new development, and it’s trying to decide between two plans.

Plan A involves expanding the town outward into new open space. The developer would buy up farmland to make space for a large housing development on one side of town. Then, on the opposite side, it would clear wooded areas to make room for a new shopping center. Since the only way for people in the new development to reach the new shopping area would be by car, this plan also involves building new roads and expanding old ones.

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Private School vs. Public School – Cost & Comparison

One of the biggest expenses for many middle-class families is school costs for their children. Many parents pay thousands of dollars each year to send their kids to private schools – particularly those who live in areas where the public schools are poor quality. A 2014 comparison by the real-estate site Trulia found that in ZIP codes with top-rated public schools, just 4% of the children go to private schools, as compared to 19% of children in ZIP codes with low-rated public schools.

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37 Fun Things to Do in Chicago, IL – Attractions & Places to Visit (on a Budget)

Chicago means different things to different people. For some, Chicago is a bastion of American culture, whether lowbrow (sketch comedy) or highbrow (jazz music and fine art museums). For others, it’s all about sports – the NFL’s Bears and MLB’s Cubs have outsized reputations that extend well beyond northern Illinois.

For still others, Chicago’s seamy side – its long history of political corruption and Mob activity – hold sway. And for many, Chicago’s massive central business district (the country’s second largest, after Midtown Manhattan) and countless suburban office parks marqueed by a “who’s who” of prominent American corporations means it’s primarily a city for doing business.

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