The Cost of Clutter on Your Finances and Life

We are a nation of junk collectors.  Look around your house.  Do you see any clutter?  Are there things you own that you know you shouldn’t have purchased?  Are there items you purchased but have never used?  Look in the closet.  Are there any clothes with the price tag still on them?  Any non-perishable food you bought that you decided you just don’t want to eat?  Any expired food?

I thought so.

The Cost of Clutter

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Try a No Spend Month: Your Wallet Will Thank You

Do you find your expenses creeping up month after month? Do you use cash but don’t know where all of the money goes at the end of the week?  Do you feel you have gotten a bit lax with personal finance?  If so, you may want to try to have a no spend month.

During a no spend month, you limit yourself to only a certain amount you can spend on variable expenses.  My family has had two no spend months, and each time we allowed ourselves to spend no more than $500 on variable expenses including groceries, dining out, gas, entertainment, and miscellaneous.  Both no spend months made us more aware of our spending weaknesses and taught us some valuable lessons.Continue Reading

Is Unemployment Hurting Your Job Prospects? Why You Should Accept a Job Below Your Salary Requirements

Kelly was a lawyer making a six-figure income when she was laid off in April of 2010.  Since then she has worked to make herself more marketable by going to school to obtain a Master’s degree with the hope of becoming a college teacher.  She took out student loans to pay for both her additional education and to use the money to supplement unemployment.

Even with unemployment and student loans, money is extremely tight.  She always enjoyed her large salary and is not used to living below her means.  Now, she is still responsible for the student loan payments that have come due and car payments in addition to rent, utilities, and groceries.  Her car is in need of repairs and due to the high price of gas, she limits her trips and stays home much of the day.  She has very little in savings and has had to begin to rely on credit cards to get her through this lean time.
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Best Western Hotel Rewards – A Review

Would you like the flexibility to earn hotel rewards or airline rewards with every hotel stay at a hotel chain that is in six different continents? If so, you may want to join Best Western Rewards program.

Best Western Rewards offers flexibility in the way you decide to earn points.  You can choose to earn Best Western Rewards at 10 points per dollar spent on qualifying stays at over 4,000 hotels worldwide in North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  Or, you can choose to earn 600 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points, 20 AIR MILES reward miles or at least 250 airline/partner rewards per qualified stay.  (You must specify which way you would like to earn your rewards when signing up for Best Western Rewards.)
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Wyndham Rewards Hotel Points – A Review

Wyndham Rewards is the rewards program for a family of 12 hotel chains that are found throughout the world.  When you join Wyndham Rewards, you have the flexibility of choosing to earn points for free hotel stays and gift cards or airline miles or Amtrak miles.  If you stay at Windham resorts then it’s definitely worth checking out their rewards program.

You may be familiar with the members of the Wyndham Worldwide family:

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Starwood Preferred Guest® Hotel Reward Program – A Review

If you are looking for a fairly simple hotel rewards program that offers convenient locations and the ability to book flights (and more) with your points, you need to look into the Starwood Preferred Guest hotel reward program.

Starwood Preferred Guest offers 2 points (Starpoints) for every dollar spent at over 1,000 approved locations in 93 countries and 9 hotels including Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, aloft, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Element, Westin and St. Regis.

You are required to give basic information such as your name, address, and e-mail address in addition to your room preferences when signing up for a Starwood Preferred Guest account.  You can optionally give more information such as your phone number.Continue Reading

Hyatt Gold Passport Hotel Rewards Program – A Review

There are over 453 Hyatt properties around the world.

If Hyatt is a hotel chain you enjoy, you need to consider enrolling in Hyatt’s rewards program, Hyatt Gold Passport, which offers the flexibility to earn either hotel points or airline mile points.

Hyatt Gold Passport rewards are accrued at 5 points per dollar spent.

Alternatively, Hyatt has partnered with 35 airlines; instead of points, you could earn 500 air miles with one of their airline partners per qualified Hyatt stay.  In addition, if you are an event planner, you can earn one point per dollar spent on events at Hyatt by joining their Hyatt Gold Passport Planner Rewards Program.
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