Finance

IRS Warning – Don’t Take the Bait! | What to Know About Cyber Phishing

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Tax season has arrived, and cyber criminals are hanging out the “Gone Phishing” signs. “Phishing” scams prey on a broad group of victims with the intention of snagging just a few. Criminals pose as familiar, trusted individuals in order to obtain sensitive information that can be used to file fraudulent tax returns. When a specific group of victims is targeted – such as tax professionals – the scam is known as “spear phishing”. A spear phishing attack begins with an innocent-looking email. The criminal usually baits the hook by using a familiar phrase in the subject line, such as “Tax...
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home expenses

Quick Tips on How to Create a Household Budget

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Home improvement projects can go mile a minute. It seems like there's always something more to do. Our list of home expenses grows and grows; and before we know it, the amounts add up to more than we expected. Is there a better way to prepare for all of these costs? The answer, is actually yes. There are easier ways to reserve for home improvement, as well as routine maintenance fees. In this article, we share our favorite ways to budget for home expenses. So, if you own a home, listen up, we've got all the tips you need to...
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holiday travel

Mega Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

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Every year millions and millions of people travel away from home for the holidays. Although accidents, theft, and injury are not the itinerary, those events still happen. We’re here to provide a few holiday travel tips to keep you safer and more aware. Know where to go Our first tip for safe holiday travel includes knowing where to go. It means having a solid route and detour plan. For example, if your voyage includes driving, you should familiarize yourself with the highways you will be using. If you need to check into an airport, view their gate map online before...
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How Long Should You Keep Financial Records?

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We're in the last quarter of the year and it's time to think about taxes and paperwork. The biggest question that pops up every year is: How long should you keep financial records? There's always the concern that we will throw away important documents before their time, or that some type of discrepancy will be found. Let's dive right in and answer this question once and for all. There is a three-year minimum According to the IRS, there is a three-year minimum for all financial records. This includes things like bank statements, paycheck stubs, and investment worksheets. Here's a detailed...
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Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Your Guide to the Best Shopping

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The shopping wars are about to begin, and Black Friday 2017 may prove to be epic in scale. According to a recent survey conducted by RetailMeNot, consumer spending will average an increase of 47% over the same weekend in 2016. Consumers are expected to spend an average of $743 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s an increase of $238 over last year’s spending. It is predicted that 7 out of 10 holiday shoppers will make a purchase during Thanksgiving weekend. As the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday, so named because sales on that one day...
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7 Solid Tips to Make Your Small Business Grow

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There comes a time when we want to take our businesses to the next level. The problem is, we’re not exactly sure how. If you've dug your feet into the ground and started your own venture, but still look for ways to make your small business grow, we've got you covered. Here are 7 solid tips to get noticed and make the best of your resources. Take advantage of social media Above all, consider the amount of people you have free access to on social media. Millions of users log on every day and spend countless hours scrolling through Facebook,...
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Budget Decorating: Go High-End Without Going Broke

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Let's face it, you've stared at the internet for hours, drooling over how much you want to have a Houzz worthy crib. You desire to let your inner interior designer shine, but don't know how. Whether it's your first home, or you're looking to upgrade your living space; there are 4 key ways to go high-end without going broke. Read more to learn about budget decorating and its perks. Start with high-quality furniture. This is the most influential suggestion in regards to budget decorating. Think of your furniture as an investment. You're going to have to put stock into timeless, long-lasting pieces. Instead of buying cheap, but poorly...
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Email Scams – What to Do When It Happens to You

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Falling for an email scam – known as phishing – can happen to even the most vigilant Web user. Cyber criminals continue to up the ante with ever more sophisticated scams, so it’s not really a question of IF it will happen to you, but rather WHEN it will happen, and HOW you will respond to the threat. Follow these steps to help protect your online interactions. Change Passwords If you have provided any personal information or passwords in response to a phishing scam change ALL your passwords immediately. This includes email accounts, online accounts, bank accounts and debit card...
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Store Credit Cards vs Branded Credit Cards: The Facts You Need to Make the Right Decisions

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“Would you like to receive an additional 20% off today?” If you’ve ever shopped at a retailer with an in-house credit card this is a familiar refrain. The smiling cashier informs you that if you open a credit account you can receive an amazing discount off your purchases that day. It’s an enticing offer, especially if you are making a high dollar purchase. How do you decide if opening a new credit line is worth the immediate discount? Understanding the benefits and detriments of different types of credit cards will make you a savvy consumer. Foremost, please realize that any...
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Protect Yourself from Scams

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We see it in the news every week – some unsuspecting grandmother tries to withdraw money from an imposter ATM, and instead of getting cash, she loses her life savings as scammers clean out her bank account. “That would never happen to me!” you think – until you become the victim of a “faceless” crime. You won’t even know it is happening until it’s too late. As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the schemes of those who seek to steal your hard earned savings. A little awareness now can save you a whole lot of time, money and aggravation...
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