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College and Insurance: Insurance Entrance Exam for Kids on College Campuses

If you have a child living away at college, you’ve probably been through an extensive checklist in getting him or her prepared and moved to campus for the fall semester. Amid the flurry of planning and packing, have you thought about college and insurance? Although still your dependent, your child living away from home may have additional insurance needs to protect their belongings and their well-being. Consider these areas: Auto Insurance Fewer than half of college students have cars on campus, so if your child doesn’t have wheels, let your carrier know. Your student may be eligible for a “distant driver” discount, especially if the college is more than 100 miles from home. The discount may be as high as 20 percent. Keep your child on your auto insurance policy so coverage continues during school breaks and visits home. If your child does have a car on campus, report this…

6 Health Tips That Can Also Grow Your Wealth

The relationship between our health and wealth is strong. Those in poor health suffer from a variety of illnesses and incur the high cost of medical care. And when someone is struggling financially, looming debt and the daily struggle to pay bills can negatively impact their health. This can become a vicious cycle of increasing financial hardship and declining wellness. There are moves you can make to help break this cycle or even try to prevent it in the first place. Staying healthy can make a big difference in improving your financial situation. Your level of fitness has both short and long-term effects. And many of them are related to money. Here are some important tips that will make a difference to your health and your wallet. Few would argue that not smoking is incredibly important to both our physical and financial fitness. With the average cost of a pack…

New Year’s Resolutions Busted? Shift Your Mindset for Success

Did you make up your mind that this was going to be the year you achieved all of your New Year’s Resolutions? If you are still committed to those goals, you have a reason to celebrate! Results from a University of Scranton study show that almost 50 percent of people give up on their resolutions by the end of March. And less than 10 percent of people actually meet their goals. Maybe we should just enjoy our New Year’s celebrations and skip making resolutions in the first place? Follow-up research revealed that after six months, people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to keep them over those who skipped the resolutions and still attempted some kind of change. That’s a great reason not to give up on those resolutions just yet! Resolutions help us focus on improving key areas of our lives. It probably doesn’t surprise you that…

Financial Freedom: 4 Strategies to Be Debt Free in 2017

Will this be the year you experience debt freedom?  If you have debt, you probably made a New Year’s Resolution this year to work hard to get your debt under control. Think how wonderful it will be.  No more calls from creditors. Debt comes in many shapes and sizes so whether your debt is from credit cards, student loans, or anything else, these 4 strategies will help you tackle your debt and get it controlled once and for all. The Debt Avalanche The best way to get out of debt, according to math, is a strategy known as the “debt avalanche.” With a debt avalanche, you prioritize your debt by an interest rate. Each month, pay the minimum payment of every debt, but the one with the highest interest rate gets more. Put every extra dollar you have into that debt until it is paid off, then move on to…

7 Simple Ways to Save Money on Taxes This Year

It’s officially tax time – a time to look back over the previous year with an eye toward maximizing deductions and tax credits and lowering your tax burden. Do you find yourself cringing at how much you pay in taxes each year though? You’re definitely not the only one who feels knots in their stomach when reviewing how much in taxes comes out of your paycheck each month. Taxes are unavoidable, but you can minimize the impact they have on your bottom line. While every scenario is different, one thing is universally true, and that is that planning is the key to get the most out of taxes. If you don’t plan, then you’re not going to get anywhere. The good news is there are simple ways you can start planning right now to save on your taxes this year. Taking action now can make a big difference in the…

5 Significant Health Benefits of Pets

According to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, a 65 percent of American households have opened their homes and hearts to pets, with dog ownership swelling to 79.7 million households and cat ownership growing to 42.9 million. When it comes to pet ownership, besides simple companionship, there are a number of proven physical, mental and emotional health benefits pet ownership can provide. Here are five of the top benefits of pets: Lower Risk of Allergies and Asthma University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatrician James E. Gern has conducted a number of studies that indicate having a pet can lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent. In fact, his research shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. Reduced Anxiety, Stress and Blood Pressure Interacting with a pet increases serotonin and dopamine, which produce feelings of contentment and relaxation.…

The Rule of 72: How to Double Your Savings in 10 Years

If doubling your savings in 10 years sounds unrealistic to you, your suspicions are correct – so long as you choose to keep that money in a savings account. Given that most savings accounts will only earn you an average annual return of one percent at best, it would take a whopping 72 years to increase your savings from, say, $10,000 to $20,000. But if you choose to invest your savings in the stock market, the Rule of 72 states that it’s perfectly reasonable to expect it to double within 10 years – or even less! But wait, what’s the Rule of 72? The Rule of 72 An old favorite of financial planners based on compound interest, the Rule of 72 is a simple way to calculate how long an investment takes to double with a fixed annual interest rate. Basically, the rule states that the amount of time required…

5 Ways to Show your Love for Less This Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air because it’s almost Valentine’s Day. For that special someone you want to treat this year, don’t wait until the last minute. Just a little bit of planning and creativity can help make this Valentine’s Day extra memorable without breaking the bank. Did you know Americans spent close to $20 billion for Valentine’s Day last year? That’s a lot of flowers and chocolates.  Men spent almost twice as much as women, averaging close to $196 on gifts versus a $100 by women. Those between the ages of 25-34 were the most active spenders on Valentine’s Day, followed by young lovebirds aged 18-24. Flowers were the most popular purchase made by men, while women spent the most money on greeting cards and candy.[1] To help get your Valentine’s Day planning off to a great start, here are some sweet and sentimental Valentine’s gift ideas for couples at…

5 Tips for Improving Work Life Balance

A good work ethic is not only important, it’s vital. Always doing your best and having a positive, proactive attitude will take you far in the workplace, and nothing reinforces a healthy sense of self-worth like a job well done. But with smartphones facilitating around-the-clock accessibility, office hours are starting to extend well past the traditional nine to five, and finding work-life balance is becoming more difficult. While putting in extra hours here and there is inevitable, devoting too much time to work can lead to exhaustion, reduced productivity and compromised job performance. It can also lead to feelings of resentment and neglect on the parts of our families and those closest to us. These five tips can help you strike a balance between your work and your personal life – no matter how busy you are! Prioritize There are only so many hours in a day. To ensure you…

Colorful Tidbits on the History of Toasting

Toasting — celebratory drinking combined with the speaking of blessings, sentiments, pledges or vows is an ancient tradition. In cultures all over the world, people drink together to celebrate meaningful moments, honor important people and establish bonds of friendship. Toasts are called toasts by us today because in ancient times it was the custom among the Greeks and Romans to float toasted bread in an oversized wine goblet that was shared among all the guests as an expression of sharing, friendship and trust. Even today we still call such oversized goblets a “loving cup”. A wish for good health for all assembled would be spoken and the communal cup pass to each guest for a hearty sip. After the guests, the cup was passed to the host, who would drain the dregs and eat the wine-soaked bread — the “toast” which was thought to be specially infused with blessings and…

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