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How to Create a Budget for Variable Income

With people increasingly using technology to make money from home, it is becoming more common for many of us to live on a variable income. The problem for many, though, is how to create a budget for variable income?  Whether you have a stable base of income, with some variable elements, or whether your entire income is variable, you need to have some sort of plan for your money.

Estimates: Break Down Your Monthly Income and Expenses

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What Should I Look For in Bargain Stocks?

Don’t we all wish that we had bought Apple Computers (NASDAQ:AAPL) in 2003 for $7/share (currently touching $400/share) or my all time favorite, Hansen Natural (NASDAQ:HANS) that could be bought for 50 cents/share just 8 years ago and now currently sells for $80/share!

These stocks were bargains in the hindsight but if you were investing then you would have not known just by looking at them.  Of course, no one knows the future and it would not have been possible to predict the launch and success of iPhone and iPads back then.  And if, in 2003, someone had told you that a maker of fruit juice drinks is going to be the hottest stock of the decade, you would have just laughed.

There are many such stocks today that are selling at a bargain price.  Some of these stocks will go on to deliver spectacular performance for the investors who have done their due diligence today and patiently hold on for a long time.  The question is how we find them.  Let’s see if we can answer the question “what should I look for in bargain stocks?”Continue Reading

5 Must Follow Home Energy Savings Tips for Summer

Everyone can take a few key steps to lower the amount of energy they use in their home. While you are reducing your carbon footprint, you will also be reducing your monthly utility bills.  Check out these five home energy savings tips for summer that are a win-win for everyone.

Replace those old air filters!

It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people overlook the main air filter on their air conditioner.  When the air filter is dirty, the unit has to work much harder to push the air through the dust and dirt.  Unfortunately, air filters are not quite as cheap as weather stripping.  If you want to avoid this cost, simply clean the filter regularly yourself.  It is recommended that this be done every three to four months to keep it from getting to the point of no return.  A good way to remember is to perform the routine cleaning on the first day of each season.Continue Reading

What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and How Will it Help You?

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In an attempt to correct the deficiencies that led to the financial crisis, the United States government has added a new agency to the mix. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created this year as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and takes affect July 21st.

The broad purpose behind the creation of the CFPB is “to address failures of consumer protection by establishing a new financial agency to focus directly on consumers, rather than on bank safety and soundness or on monetary policy.”

The bureau will operate under the Federal Reserve and its purpose, according to the agency’s website, is to:Continue Reading

8 Road Trip Money Saving Tips

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I like a good staycation as much as the next person, but sometimes what I really want is a good, old-fashioned road trip.

Getting out on the open road, heading for adventure, is one of my favorite ways to travel.  I rarely get tired of seeing new places and things.  However, a road trip can get expensive.  With planning, though, you can save some money on your next road trip.

Here are 8 road trip money saving tips to help you get the most for your road trip dollar:

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What is a Credit Card Number? It’s Far From Random

Sample Credit Card

Have you ever wondered if your credit card number is something totally random or if there is a system that determines what your number is?  Credit card numbers are pre-determined so that the credit industry can keep track of how many cards there are in what specific areas.

Let’s take a look at the question “what is a credit card number?”

Issuer Identifier

The first six digits of your credit card determine the issuer and are known as the Issuer Identification Number, or IIN.  The first set of the six digits will tell you the issuer of the card and the rest of the six digits will help identify which card from the issuer and where it’s from.  Each card has a determined length of digits.  For example:
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6 Things to Consider Before Retiring

After working long and hard for many years, the idea of retiring is very appealing.  However, you do not want to just decide to retire without proper planning. 

There are 6 important things to consider before retiring.

1. Volatility

If you are planning on retiring, the market volatility influences your retirement account when you have stocks or bonds.  The factors that impact volatility include the state of the economy, current events in the world, taxes, changes in the industry, political unrest, natural disasters and war.  Expanding your money out over different types of investments could help control the risk involved.  It is important to keep track of your portfolio, and make sure it is aligned within your goals.  Make sure your accounts are flexible, so you can make changes when needed.Continue Reading

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