6 Apps That Save Your Money While You Barely Lift A Finger

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Apps do a lot of things, including help us spend money. To kick off the year right, we’ve rounded up some apps that help us save ― or at least help us spend less. Here are a few that could tune up your budget in 2018, with hardly any effort on your part at all.

1. Earny

What it does: Obtains refunds automatically when prices drop on items you’ve already purchased
What it costs: Free

It’s so frustrating when you see that something you just bought is now on sale for less than you paid. About the only thing worse is not realizing it, especially if you bought the item from a retailer that will price match.

Meet Earny, which automatically monitors when retailers reduce the prices on items you purchased. When that happens, Earny goes one step further: It contacts the company to get the difference back, without your so much as lifting a finger.

2. Raise

What it does: Offers gift cards for less; sells unwanted cards for cash
What it costs: Free

Gift cards have wormed their way into our spending life, despite our tendency to lose them a lot. In 2015, there was about $130 billion in gift cards sold, almost $1 billion of which then went unspent. Yet we keep buying more: Consumers dropped about $150 billion on gift cards last year, according WalletHub.

Sometimes we intend to use them for ourselves, especially if we can find them discounted. The Raise app is one place to look.

Before you shop online or in stores, search the Raise marketplace to find discounted gift cards by brand, category or value. Shipping is always free on the physical cards, and shoppers save an average of 12 percent on purchases, according to a Raise spokesman.

On the other hand, if you have gift cards you don’t want, sell them on Raise for cash.

3. Cardpool

What it does: Operates an exchange for discounted gift cards
What it costs: Free

Similar to Raise, Cardpool works as a platform for users to buy and sell gift cards. Buyers can get up to 92 percent of a gift card’s value. Sellers may have to wait a bit longer for their money because, unlike Raise, Cardpool doesn’t post the funds directly to the seller’s bank account. Instead, the payment comes in the form of an Amazon eGift Card or a bank check sent via snail mail.

Continue onto Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Why Women Should Invest and How to Get Started

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woman looking at computer

by Madison Blancaflor

Lately, women hear a lot about gaps: how to combat the gender pay gap, how to avoid a resumé gap when you take time off to raise children, whether or not a thigh gap matters (it doesn’t). One “gap” that isn’t discussed enough is the gender investing gap.

Women Are Less Likely to Invest Than Men, and That’s a Problem. According to Ellevest, an investment platform created by women for women, “of all the assets controlled by women, 71% is in cash – aka not invested.” Statistically, women are less likely to invest, and even those who do invest tend to wait until they are older to start.

Most women don’t think they know enough about investing to properly grow their savings; therefore, they wait to start investing until they feel they’re more financially stable and believe they can risk the possibility of losing money. A common misconception around investing is that you have to be an expert in the industry to succeed when the reality is that there are so many tools and resources that make easy to start investing with as little as your pocket change.

Why Should Every Woman Invest?

According to a study by Merrill Lynch, 41% of women wish they invested more of their money. But why is it such a necessary part of personal finance?

Financial Equality

First and foremost, it’s important for women to be able to achieve a sense of financial equality and independence. In the face of issues like the gender pay gap and the pink tax, investing is one of the best ways for women to ensure that they have the potential to accumulate the same amount of wealth as men.

“It’s important for women to be able to walk away from situations that are hurting or not serving them – whether that’s a bad job or a bad relationship,” comments Ellevest’s Susan Thompson. “You should be able to have your own financial power to make decisions that enable you to care for yourself.”

Reaching Financial Goals

Whether you are looking to go back to school, save up an emergency fund, send your kids to college, save up for a large spend like a house or wedding, or just grow your overall wealth, investing is arguably the best way to reach those goals.

Saving for Retirement

Women earn approximately 83 cents to every dollar a man earns, on average. That means that even if we’re saving the same percentage of our income as men, we’re not going to save the same amount. In addition, women also tend to live longer. Basically, less money has to last longer when women simply save their money without an investing strategy.

Many employers do a match on a 401(k) or similar retirement savings plan. If you’re unsure about whether or not investing is really a good option for you, enroll in your employer’s program and watch as your savings grow.

Why Is a Savings Account Alone Not Enough?

Cash that sits in a checking account, safety deposit box, or under the mattress is actually depreciating in value year-over-year because of inflation. That means you’re essentially losing money when you aren’t actively growing your savings.

Check out the chart below, and you can see that a solid investments strategy can help you grow your savings exponentially over the course of 10, 20, and 30 years.

Men are five times more likely to name investing as their number one financial goal, meaning that more men are achieving those exponential returns throughout their lifetime than women. Investing allows women to earn more money than a savings account alone, even with small monthly deposits.

How to “Invest Like A Woman”

Despite the stereotypical belief that we aren’t good investors, women actually tend to possess quite a few qualities that give us an edge in the market.

Kiplinger’s article on the secrets of women investors puts it perfectly: “Studies show that men are more inclined to behave like baseball sluggers, who swing for the fences, even if it means running the risk of striking out far more often. Women, by contrast, are more like contact hitters, who are satisfied with a string of singles.”

Because women approach risk differently, we’re less likely to see large swings in our portfolio values, meaning a steadier growth over time.

Studies have also found that women are:

  • Less likely to trade investments, which translates into almost a 1% higher increase in investment earnings per year than men (who trade 45% more frequently than women).
  • Long-term planners, meaning we focus on our specific growth goals rather than chasing risky returns that may end up costing us.
  • More likely to ask for financial help. Just because 60% of men think they are experts at investing does not mean they know everything there is to know about the market. Women being more willing to seek out trusted financial advice from experts in the industry give us more opportunities to grow our wealth.

So, how do you leverage these qualities in your investments strategy?

Choose a Strategy That Works for You

Not all investing strategies are created equal, and unfortunately, most of the “gender-neutral” investing tools available to the public ultimately hinder the potential earnings for women.

Ellevest released a side-by-side comparison of a retirement scenario where a man and a woman both started saving at 30 years old, earning $85,000, and investing 10% of their salaries over the course of 37 years.

The study found that because of the gender pay gap and the natural progression of women’s careers (our salaries tend to peak at 40 while men’s salaries tend to peak at 55, and women are much more likely to take long career breaks), the woman would have about $320,000 less by the time she retires based on average market returns. That means she’ll have less money to live off of even though she’s likely to live years longer than the man.

Take these differences into consideration when you’re defining your goals, retirement plan, and investment strategies.

Figure Out Budget Allocation

Experts suggest a 50/30/20 philosophy when allocating your budget. You should strive to keep your “needs” at 50 percent of your income – food, rent/mortgage, clothes, utilities, etc. Then, 30% should be dedicated to self-care. Have some fun, get a manicure, go out to eat with friends. Lastly, 20% should be saved or invested.

Figuring out how much you should invest vs. set aside in a short-term savings account comes down to how much risk you’re willing to undertake. Year over year, the market has been steadily rising, but that doesn’t mean that a return is guaranteed. The golden rule is to never invest more than you’re willing to lose, especially if you’re going after aggressive or volatile markets.

Once you decide, Susan Thompson suggests setting up automatic withdrawals each month, even if it’s only $20 a month.

“In our mind, investing should be a ritual like any other that we undertake,” said Thompson. “Make a habit of putting money back towards your future, even if it’s a small amount.”

Know the Basics

Even though you don’t have to be a stock market expert, knowing the basics can help you communicate your goals and understand what’s happening with your money.

Some of the different types of assets you can invest in:

Stocks. They represent a part ownership in a company or corporation, also known as business equity. Basically, when a company performs well, the stock tends to increase in value. Stocks tend to be more volatile investments, meaning they can give you a high return on your investment long-term but tend to have larger swings in value in the short-term.

Bonds. Also known as fixed-income investments, bonds are one of the most popular assets for conservative portfolios. While they tend to be more stable than stocks or other volatile investments, they also have a lower return potential.

Money Market Accounts. When investing in these types of accounts, you’re allowing the bank to make low-risk investments into certificates of deposit (CDs) or government securities. The best money market accounts are low-return, yet stable investment assets.

Real Estate. Property has a tendency to rise in value over time, and there is a subset of investors who specialize in transforming real estate investments into high returns.
Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and blockchain technologies are continuing to grow in popularity.

Conservative vs. Aggressive Investment Strategies

Investing and portfolio strategies are typically broken down into two main categories: aggressive and conservative. Aggressive strategies will put more money into stocks or other volatile markets such as cryptocurrencies. Conservative strategies will put more into bonds and money market accounts.

Aggressive investments typically get you a much higher return over time, but they’re also riskier. By contrast, conservative investments are more stable, but without the opportunity for the maximum return.

Your personal strategy can be a mix of both, and your strategy should ultimately be based on your financial goals, timeline, and risk tolerance.

If you’re looking at short-term financial goals such as saving up for a wedding or looking to pull together an emergency fund, a more conservative route will work best. This limits the risk of you losing money while still promising a good return.

However, if you’re looking to save for retirement over the course of 20 or 30 years, an aggressive strategy is going to get you the best return possible. While aggressive markets tend to fluctuate widely in the short term, the overall market trends upward an average of 10% each year. When you can afford to be patient in the market (something women are proven to be better at than men), an aggressive strategy can definitely pay off in your favor.

Also, remember that your investment strategy is not set in stone. As your financial goals change and as you get closer to when you plan on pulling money out of your investment accounts, it’s important to readjust your priorities and risk tolerance.

Choose the Right Investment Platform

If you don’t consider yourself an investment expert (and frankly, even if you do), getting professional help is a good idea. There are a lot of options out there for both the DIY-er and someone looking for one-on-one help. However, be careful about who you choose to trust with your money.

  1. Choose a fiduciary.

A fiduciary is a company or organization that is legally bound to do the right thing by their clients. Not all brokers or investment firms classify as a fiduciary, so make sure to ask before officially signing with anyone. If you find a great firm that isn’t a fiduciary, just make sure that they put client security and well-being above personal gain.

  1. Know their strategy.

Talk to any potential firms about their strategy for investments. Some firms craft personalized portfolios that you have a heavy hand in selecting. Others use a formula and automated system for choosing your investments. Every firm and platform is different, so make sure that the firm you choose uses a strategy that will work best for you.

For example, most robo-investment platforms use an investment algorithm that is based on a man’s salary projections and career lifetime, so they aren’t always the best choices for a personalized approach to fit a woman’s financial goals for the long-term.

  1. Consider your budget.

Take a serious look at the minimum balance requirements and fees for each platform or firm you’re considering. If you have a tighter budget, it will be worth it to find a platform or firm structured like Ellevest, where you can choose an account

  1. Trust your gut.

If you get an “off” feeling about a firm or platform that you’re considering, trust it. You are trusting a company with your financial future, and in order to do that, you have to trust that they are acting in your best interest. Take the time to find a platform or firm that serves you and your financial goals.

  1. Look for firms that support women.

While women investors are on the rise, there is still a gap between the number of men and women are in the investments market. Make sure you’re choosing a firm that will support your financial goals and understand the unique challenges that women face in the industry. Also take a look at the companies that these firms and platforms invest in. Are any of them led by women? Do they support women? While it may not immediately affect the return you get, choosing a firm or platform with a pro-women mindset will help us gain financial equality in the long-run.

Continue on to The Simple Dollar for the complete article

NYSE will be run by a woman for the first time in 226-year history

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The New York Stock Exchange is about to be run by a woman for the first time in its 226-year history.

The exchange announced that Stacey Cunningham will become the exchange’s 67th president as of Friday. Cunningham, who is currently NYSE’s chief operating officer, started as a floor clerk at the exchange in 1996.

In 2002, Catherine Kinney became the NYSE’s first woman co-president. But that was at a time when the exchange’s CEO or chairman was the ultimate boss. Now that responsibility falls on the president.

When Cunningham started at the exchange it was overwhelmingly male, and it is still dominated by men. Of the 21 executives of Intercontinental Exchange Group (ICE), NYSE’s corporate parent, only four including Cunningham are women.

Her appointment comes as as Wall Street and the NYSE are facing increased pressure to be more inclusive of women. It recently agreed to have the “Fearless Girl” statue moved to a spot in front of the exchange.

The biggest challenge faced by Cunningham is diminished significance of major exchanges in an era of electronic trading.

At the time Cunningham first joined the exchange 22 years ago, the NYSE and rival NASDAQ still controlled the overwhelming majority of equities traded in the United States. Today both exchanges handle far fewer trades than those completed electronically.

Continue onto CNN to read the complete article.

The iGen iEverything Train is Coming, but Are You Ready?

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iGen

Technology is being consumed at an ever increasing rate causing executives, managers, and process improvement experts on the factory floor to re-define the methods of training and dissemination that have become obsolete.

Critical skills and tribal knowledge are being lost as boomers retire and training plans for new employees fall short of preparing workers for the sophistication of the new manufacturing environment.

Move over millennials, here comes the IGen! Born between 1995 and 2005 this group of tech savvy natives is the next cohort and are just now entering the workforce. IGen, or Gen Z as they are often referred, have grown up in a world of social media where Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter reign supreme. These kids are a force to be reckoned with and require access to information in ways that are familiar, immediate, and actionable. Our success depends on them because as the IGen goes, so goes the manufacturing industry, the nation, and the world.

Alliance Resource Group, in partnership with Sify Technologies has pulled together experts from manufacturing, academia and automated methodologies to develop a solution that addresses the manufacturing challenge of this next generation and identifies the key components of a successful framework including content management, dissemination methodology, scalability, and integration with current learning management systems. These components constitute a micro-learning strategy that facilitates current and future state requirements.

Alliance Resource Group (ARG), is a service disabled veteran owned business located in Newport Beach California. With a foundation in resource management, recruiting, and consulting, ARG provides services to small and medium size companies throughout the United States.

View the ARG White Paper here! Better be prepared for total process transformation if you want to remain competitive.

Betsy Duke — A career of firsts in leadership

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board chair of wells fargo

Amid crises and accomplishments, Wells Fargo Chair Betsy Duke has forged a career of firsts, culminating with being named the first female chair of a major U.S. bank.

As she relaxed on a Saturday afternoon in 1991, Betsy Duke received a phone call that would change her life. Her mentor and boss at a community bank in Virginia, the Bank of Tidewater, had died from a heart attack. Twenty-four hours later, Duke became one of the state’s first female banking CEOs.

Duke took the helm at that bank during the country’s savings and loan crisis — at that time the biggest threat to the U.S. financial system since the Great Depression. Despite some sleepless nights, she said she gained insights that have guided her career ever since.

“At first, I was worried all the time about our loan portfolio and what could potentially go wrong,” Duke recalled. “But I learned that the first thing you do in a crisis is to deal with reality the way it is, not get caught up in the angst of ‘Why is this happening to me?’ You have to pay attention to the way forward, dealing calmly with every challenge as it comes along.”

The 65-year-old native of the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area said she has drawn from that and other experiences in taking on the job of Wells Fargo’s independent board chair. On Jan. 1, roughly three years after joining the board, Duke succeeded the retiring Stephen Sanger — and became the first woman to chair one of the largest banks in the country.

A trailblazer in banking

Duke is stepping into her new role at a key juncture for Wells Fargo, as it navigates one of the most challenging eras in its history and enters the second full year of rebuilding trust amid sales practices issues.

The new role also marks the latest in a career of firsts for Duke: She was the first woman to head the Virginia Bankers Association (1999) and the American Bankers Association (2004). In 2008, she was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, joining the Fed as the financial crisis exploded and the stock market crashed. She was the seventh of nine women to have ever been appointed to the Fed in its history.

Duke’s expertise and decision-making influence at the Fed during that extraordinary and controversial period helped establish her credentials on a national scale, drawing praise from some top leaders in the financial services industry.

Duke said being a veteran of crises has equipped her well for leading Wells Fargo’s board during this period. She promised heightened oversight of the company, but also gave a vote of confidence in its commitment to address its problems, implement solutions, work to compensate customers, and rally team members.

After only a month on the job, however, Duke faced some new challenges for Wells Fargo as it agreed to a cap on asset growth as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Reserve Board.

Amid the latest developments, Duke said the company must redouble its efforts to fix the problems, while not allowing them to overshadow the real progress Wells Fargo is making in dealing with mistakes of the past and building a better bank for now and the future.

“There should be no doubt about the commitment of our board and company leaders to meet the highest expectations of regulators, shareholders, customers, team members, and the community,” she said. “Every change we’ve made to date is geared to reflect that commitment.”

She also voiced strong support for Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, who she said has provided steady, determined leadership and positive change.

The highest priority during a time of crisis is “you have to choose the right leader,” she said. “And I believe we have the right leader for Wells Fargo.”

Read her complete story on Wells Fargo.

TFS Scholarships Launches Online Toolkit to Provide College Funding Resources

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higher education

SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at tuitionfundingsources.com/resource-toolkit, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.

The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.

“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”

The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.

The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.

Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

 

About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.

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Professional Woman’s Magazine Best Articles of 2017

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As the new year begins, here’s a look back at our most popular articles. Our rankings are based on page views for all of 2017, and everything is linked, in case you missed one or would like to revisit.

1. Diversity In The Workplace Starts With Diversity In Higher Education

The most selective institutions of higher education are gatekeepers to the most lucrative opportunities in the workforce. Those that care about race and also understand that students who merit admission may show their talents and capabilities in myriad ways, do better with diversity. In the absence of this, we see an unfair reliance on test scores which helps to perpetuate a power structure in the workforce that is race-based.</>

2. Three Stories Of Successful Women In Business

Meet the three women who are the proud owners of their Minuteman Press Franchises. “As our children become teenagers, my desire to do something for me became stronger. I took a position working for a local company full-time, and I struggled with the lack of satisfaction I felt. I am a committed person that gives 100-plus percent, and when that wasn’t received by my employer I started to feel that I would be better off putting my energy towards my own business.”

3. Dr. Nadine Wheat To Serve As Union’s New Leadership Program Director

Her passion for helping individuals succeed led her to Union Institute & University. “Union’s legacy is transforming the lives of adults by offering the chance to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility. I wanted to be part of that tradition. UI&U’s unique focus of including social justice was especially exciting to me. In today’s society a leader has to be well rounded in all aspects and social justice is an important component of 21st Century leadership,” said Dr. Wheat. “As Director, I will be able to influence a generation to become better and more effective leaders.”

4. Waleteros Is Introducing A New Mobile App, A Virtual Prepaid Card, And Ultra-Modern Customer Service Allowing For A Personalized Connection To Latin America Relatives

The new Waleteros app is now available, allowing users to have access to financial services wherever they are. Unlike other applications on the market, Waleteros simplifies all tasks starting with the registration process. Getting a prepaid card has never been so easy!

How Achievable The 6 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions Really Are

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goals

With the holidays coming to a close, it’s time to get serious and set some New Year’s resolutions for 2018. Unfortunately, keeping those resolutions is often easier said than done.

In the spirit of setting achievable goals, we asked therapists to weigh in on six of the most common resolutions and grade them on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being “very attainable” and 5 being “very difficult”). See what they had to say below.

1). LOSE WEIGHT
“Losing weight requires a fairly good understanding of nutrition and calorie intake. It also requires, rather uncomfortably, changing your diet and exercise ― two of your three most basic behavioral patterns (the other being sleep) ― and then maintaining those changes indefinitely. Before I was a psychologist, I worked as a personal trainer: You have to have structured goals and set attainable goal posts. Without structured goals, it’s my experience that people do well for two or three months, lose some weight, but then revert back to their previous lifestyle and gain the weight back throughout the year. Grade: 3/5.”—Ryan Kelly, a psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina

2). GET ORGANIZED
“This is very achievable if you start small. Most people want to go from not taking any action to immediate results, which is unrealistic. Good habits are best built upon one another in small, easily achievable steps. If you want to get more organized, choose one tiny organizational skill you can do for five minutes a day until you’ve mastered it. For example, make it a goal to pick up your clothes from the floor each night before bed. It can be as simple as that. Grade: 1/5.”―Amanda Stemen, a therapist in Los Angeles, California

3). LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’
“Setting boundaries with others means understanding how to change patterns of people-pleasing. People often learn to say ‘yes’ when they’d rather not do something because in our culture, we’re rewarded for taking direction well in family and in work. Luckily, the pendulum is swinging where people are learning to practice taking care of their own needs. I recommend trusting your intuition when something feels right to you, and learning to stay grounded in your experience while still responding to the needs of others. If you’re bogged down at work before a vacation, say: ‘I hear that you need this work done by the deadline, but I also have time off scheduled and I’ll only get the most urgent things ready for the client before then. When I’m back, I’ll finish it.’ Grade: 3/5.”―Kari Carroll, a marriage and family therapist in Portland, Oregon

4). TRAVEL MORE
“Traveling is super easy to experience, and you don’t need a fancy trip to Indonesia like your friends on Instagram to escape the pressures of life and enjoy nature. Get creative and pay attention when others you know take excursions around your area. You can easily take day trips on the cheap to check out nearby towns, hikes, lakes, a resort pool or an obscure museum. Sometimes getting in the car and driving until you find something cool can be an adventure in and of itself. Grade: 1/5.”―Carroll

5). SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
“Post-holidays, you may have had more than enough of some people in your life. But if we’re not intentional about getting together, it will only happen when forced upon us by holidays or others. This one is very doable with some planning and intentionality to follow through. Get started by picking one person a month to reach out to, then be the one who initiates and plans the get together. Grade: 2/5.”―Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling for men

6). LEARN A SKILL OR TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
“As long as you’re not a perfectionist about this one, it’s achievable. I would phrase the goal as ‘time spent on a new hobby’ so it doesn’t feel like you haven’t made progress when you’ve practice tennis an hour a week and still miss the ball half the time months into it. I also think that trying new hobbies and skills is good because you may learn that you don’t actually enjoy the thing you thought you would. In that case, it’s better to switch and move onto something else. Grade: 3/5.”―Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C.

Read more from the Huffington Post here

TFS Scholarships Provides Free Access to 7 Million Scholarships Representing More Than $41 Billion in Aid

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TFS Scholarships

SALT LAKE CITY, October, 2017 – TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, today announced its commitment to helping students and their families address the rising costs of school by providing free access to scholarship information.

Through its website, TFS connects students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. Continual increases in tuition fees and other college expenses are critical issues impacting students and families across the United States – particularly those who can’t afford to finance higher education on their own. According to the College Board’s 2016 Trends in College Planning, the average published tuition and fee price in the private nonprofit four-year sector is about 2.3 times higher than it was in 1986-87, after adjusting for inflation. It is 3.1 times higher in the public four-year sector and 2.4 times higher in the public two-year sector. As a result of these trends, an increasing number of students must rely on scholarships to attend college or graduate school.

“TFS Scholarships was inspired by my own father’s experience as an inner-city high school principal, and grew out of the realization that more could be done to support students searching for college scholarships,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “For more than 30 years, TFS has helped students achieve their higher education aspirations by making it easier to find essential funding for college.”

The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on the TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best fit for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database in an effort to stay current with national scholarship growth rates – maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

Since its debut in 1987, TFS has remained a free, online service that effectively connects students with college funding resources to fuel their academic future. The TFS website also provides financial aid information, resources about federal and private student loan programs, and a Career Aptitude Quiz that helps students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills. TFS Scholarships is a safe, trusted, and distraction-free platform to research scholarships and other funding resources. Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, so nothing stands between students and finding ways to fund their future.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at .tuitionfundingsources.com.

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Curves kicked off their 25th birthday celebrations and will gift 25 female veterans $25,000 each toward owning their own Curves club

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Curves Fitness

In the ever-changing and highly competitive fitness industry, there are few brands that stand the test of time. September marks the 25th birthday of Curves International Inc., one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world with more than 4,000 locations in over 70 countries.

In 1992, Curves introduced the 30-minute strength training circuit and has since helped millions of women build healthier lives. Today, Curves kicked off their 25th birthday celebrations and announced that in honor of their 25th birthday, they will gift 25 female veterans each toward owning their own Curves club. To learn more about the Curves franchise opportunity gift and to apply, visit www.buycurves.com/veterans.

Curves has partnered with F7 Group to hand-pick the 25 winners of the Curves franchise opportunity gift. F7 Group is an organization dedicated to helping female veterans and women in military families strengthen themselves, their careers and their communities. Through support and mentoring, the F7 Group empowers and equips female veterans and women in military families for their entrepreneurial journeys.

“We can’t think of a better way to underscore Curves’ commitment to helping women get stronger in all aspects of their lives than by supporting 25 female veterans to become business owners. These new business owners will seek to improve the health of women in their community,” said Monty Sharma, CEO of Curves International, Inc. “Curves has an incredibly strong and dedicated community of women worldwide and we are thrilled to celebrate this 25th birthday with them.”

Throughout the month of September, Curves will celebrate their 25th birthday at their locations worldwide through a series of unique opportunities and incentives:

  • The first 25 members at every club who join between August 28thSeptember 27th can join for free with the purchase of an annual membership*
  • On September 28, Curves will be celebrating the 25th birthday around the globe with special workouts and local in-club parties. Non-members can also join their local Curves for 25 cents to celebrate the day.**
  • Follow Curves on Facebook and Instagram and comment on their giveaway post for the chance to win free goodies
  • Join the party on social media by following #25YearsStrong and #CurvesStrong
  • Be heard on social media! Go to https://www.thunderclap.it/curves to register and share a special birthday post on social media.

Curves is a club designed specifically for women, providing a 30-minute total body workout, along with a supportive and non-judgmental environment for fitness, weight loss and healthy living.

For more information, visit www.curves.com

ABOUT CURVES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Curves International, Inc. is one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world with more than 4,000 locations in more than 70 countries and is famous for its 30-minute Circuit with a Coach that works every major muscle group with strength training, cardio and stretching. Curves Specialty Classes*** offer workout moves for key focus areas like strength, balance and flexibility. With Curves Complete, women have a fully integrated, personalized weight loss and weight management solution that includes the Curves fitness program, customizable meal plans and one-on-one coaching and support. Curves is committed to providing women with the tools necessary to empower them to live more fulfilling lives. For more information, please visit curves.com.

ABOUT F7 GROUP
The F7 Group was founded in 2010 when USAF Veteran, Cassaundra Melgar-C’De Baca realized there was a lack of resources for Female Veterans and Women in Military families who had the desire to be entrepreneurs. As a very successful entrepreneur herself with many ventures under her belt, she began the long journey to where they are today. Through support and mentoring, the F7 Group provides female veterans and women in military families with essential access to resources within their communities to help empower and equip them for their entrepreneurial journeys. In 2013, the Group’s CEO and Founder, Ms. Melgar-C’De Baca, MBA, was honored as the first female veteran to be named Champion of Change by The White House.

No purchase necessary to enter. Open to eligible female US veterans who are legal residents of the US. Void where prohibited. All entrants must read and agree to the Official Rules at www.buycurves.com/veterans. 25 winners, if qualified and approved, will receive a $25,000 credit, which covers the Initial Franchise Fee and part of the equipment cost. Winners will be required to pay other initial fees, including but not limited to the remainder of the equipment cost ($15,034), cost of all permits and licenses, expenses to attend training and other fees as described in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This giveaway and the information relating thereto is not an offer to sell a franchise, which can only be done in a state where our FDD is filed and registered, or we are exempted, as set by state law, and only if we deliver the FDD in compliance with applicable law.

*Joining fee waived for first 25 members who join at each location starting 8/28/17. Monthly membership fees required and vary by location. Offer based on enrollment for a 12-month recurring billing fitness membership. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. Expires 9/27/17.

**Monthly membership fees also required and vary by location. Offer based on first visit enrollment for a 12-month recurring billing fitness membership. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. Valid only on 9/28/17.

***Classes offered at participating clubs only

SOURCE Curves

MassMutual study finds Latinos feel less secure and worry more about money than other Americans

LinkedIn
Hispanics and Money

Springfield, Mass.—Middle-income Latinos in the workforce say they feel less financially secure and worry more about money than other Americans, posing higher hurdles to planning for retirement and building wealth, according to new research commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).

Amongst the key findings:

• Emergency preparedness. Three in 10 Hispanics reported having less than $500 saved for emergencies, leaving workers unprepared and more likely to struggle if they were out of work for one month or experienced unexpected events. Furthermore, Latinos in the workforce are less likely than others to have at least $5,000 set aside for emergencies (28% vs. 42% of the general population).

• Debt. In addition, unlike other consumer segments, the study revealed that debt and bills/cost of living tie as the top issues that face Latinos in their households. Latinos in the workforce find it more difficult than others to manage their monthly finances and nine in ten attribute this difficulty to high levels of debt and not having enough money.

• Retirement preparedness. When it comes to preparing for retirement, Hispanics feel they are falling behind, and, more so than others, wish their employer did more to educate them about saving for retirement. Just over half say that having benefits through their employer makes them feel more secure.

• Well-being. Among the concerns and obstacles to middle class workers’ financial security, a key concern for Latinos is the well-being of their parents and their own personal health. While, like others, Latinos are most worried about politics and the direction of the country, they are also more likely than others to express concern about their household’s financial situation and housing situation. More than half worry about household finances at least once a week.

“Securing a good financial future requires saving and planning,” says David Hufnagel, Latino market director, MassMutual. “We want to empower families with resources and tools to help achieve their financial goals and prepare financially for the long-term.”

Based on the research findings, MassMutual offers the following tips:

1. Develop a monthly budget and set up/reallocate priorities for short and long-term financial planning and saving.

2. Start saving for retirement as soon as possible and find out if your employer offers retirement saving plans. (Contributing a portion of your pay on a pre-tax basis to your employer’s retirement plan may help make saving more affordable. Calculate how much you need to save for retirement using online tools like the MassMutual Retirement Planning Calculator.)

3. If you have hopes to help fund a college education for children or loved ones, calculate how much it will cast with MassMutual’s college savings calculator.

4. Take advantage of financial educational opportunities offered by your employer and trusted financial advisors.

“It is no surprise that our study found that Latinos in the workforce would welcome additional financial help and guidance from their employers,” said Hufnagel. “In fact, our research revealed that Latinos show much more interest in employer-offered financial planning/counseling services, especially budgeting assistance and debt counseling, than other consumer segments.”

Methodology

The internet-based study conducted on behalf of MassMutual by Greenwald & Associates from February 28 to March 14, 2017 polled 513 Americans who identified themselves as Hispanic with annual household incomes of between $35,000 and $150,000.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit massmutual.com.

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