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The Cost of Food Waste and How to Prevent It

Food_Shopping

Every week you clean out the refrigerator, and every week you may find some food to throw away—broccoli you didn’t get to eat before it went bad, leftovers from last Tuesday night’s dinner, lettuce that can no longer be revived…

If you are throwing away food on a weekly basis, you are not alone.

According to The New York Times, Americans throw away 27% of their available food.  This includes waste from people’s homes, restaurants and grocery stores.  Timothy Jones of the University of Arizona, who studies food waste, estimates that the average family of four wastes $600 in food each year.  (TLC)

The Financial Cost of Food Waste

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What is Mortgage Amortization and How Does it Work?

Paying off a mortgage is an overwhelming task.

A mortgage is a big debt—almost as big as your house—so the best most of us can hope to do is to shorten the term by prepaying as much of the loan that we can as quickly as we’re able.

Why should we want to do that?

Owning your home free and clear is a good place to be.  You’re living in your home with no mortgage payment and that’s when saving money and life in general get easier.

But there’s something more.

The cumulative interest on mortgage loans makes your loan balance even bigger.

A mortgage of $200,000 will require nearly $350,000 in monthly payments over a 30 year period.  Anything you can do to shorten the term can save a lot of money.

What is Mortgage Amortization?

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Grow Your Nest Egg with Automatic Retirement Contributions

One of the essentials of preparing for the future is building your retirement nest egg.

The amount of money you save now can be a big help later, when you are ready to retire.  However, growing your nest egg can be a challenging task.

You might not remember to make regular contributions, and it can be difficult to put money away for retirement when you feel like you are struggling financially.

A great way to ensure that you save for retirement is to arrange for automatic contributions to your retirement account.

Setting Up Automatic Contributions

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What is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and How Does It Impact Your Taxes?

There are few things in the world of taxes more terrifying than the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

After taking all of that time with your W-2s, donations, and various deductions the AMT steps in and tells you that none of that matters; you suddenly owe thousands more in tax.

That’s scary enough for me.  Here’s an overview of the Alternative Minimum Tax and what can trigger it to impact your taxes.

What is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)?

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What is the 403(b) Retirement Plan? – Overview

Even though the 401(k) is the most common retirement account in the United States, not everyone has access to such a plan.

Those who work for governments, schools and non-profit corporations don’t have access to an employer-sponsored 401(k).

If you don’t have access to a 401(k), you can, of course, open an IRA.  However, the contribution limits are fairly low, which can be discouraging if you want to contribute a higher amount toward a successful retirement.

The good news is that many hospitals, schools, non-profits (including churches), and governments have their own retirement account offering: The 403(b).

What is the 403(b)?

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New Technology Makes Shopping With Your Credit Card Easier

Most of us can’t remember a time when credit cards weren’t a part of our wallets.

Remember the Diner’s Club card?

Credit cards actually go back to the 1920′s when gas station attendants wanted to provide a system of payment for the increasing amount of automobiles on the roads.  The first cards were made out of card stock making them easy to counterfeit but as is the case with every good idea, evolution took over.

As of this year, of the households who have a credit card balance, the average amount of debt is $15,956 per household which equals total outstanding balances of $609.8 billion nationwide.

The evolution of the credit card is far from over.

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How to Make the Most of Your Liberal Arts Degree

When I graduated from high school, I knew there were two things that I loved—reading and writing. 

I told everyone I knew that I wanted to be a writer, and the majority of them asked, “But what will you really do?”

My eighteen-year-old self felt misunderstood, but now that I have children of my own, I understand the question much better.   I majored in English, and my husband majored in anthropology; no offense to other poor souls in these majors, but fresh out of school, there is not much that you can do with degrees in these areas.
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