How to Protect Yourself from a Home Improvement Scam

July 31, 2018

From a small task like new sod, to a major job like a finished basement, home improvement projects can become a nightmare if you fall victim to a scam. Even the savviest consumers can get taken for a ride if they don’t know how to spot the red flags. So before you commit to any kind of home remodel or upgrade, make sure you know how to protect yourself from…


How the Merger of Marriott and SPG Programs Will Affect Member Rewards

July 27, 2018

Marriott International bought Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide almost two years ago, but they’re just getting around to integrating the two hotel chains’ popular loyalty programs in August. Whether you’re a loyal Marriott lodger, you’re sitting on a mountain of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points, or if you’ve dabbled in both programs over the years, you may be wondering how this change is going to affect you. Don’t worry. The…


5 Smart Money Moves Your Kids Can Make Over Summer Vacation

July 26, 2018

Summer vacation when you’re a kid means endless days of bike riding, swimming, playing video games, and fighting over who gets the last purple Popsicle in the freezer. It’s not nearly as idyllic for Mom and Dad. Not only do parents need to line up (and pay for) alternate child care for the kids during the summer months, but they also have to worry about Junior and Sis spending their…


9 Essential Personal Finance Skills to Teach Your Kid Before They Move Out

July 18, 2018

Your child is on the verge of moving out and living on their own. Are they prepared? Arming them with the right personal finance knowledge will give them a strong foundation to go and achieve many of their life goals. If their understanding of personal finance is lacking, they could begin their independent life on the wrong foot (and they may even come back home). Consider these ways that you…


How to Prepare for Unpaid Maternity Leave

July 12, 2018

Back in 2008, when my husband and I were newlyweds just starting to think about having children, I was still working as a high school English teacher. Another teacher in my department had a baby that year, and I was horrified to discover that our school district did not offer paid maternity leave. Instead, my friend had to save up all her sick days and personal days to equal the…


6 Ways to Stay Focused in an Open Office

July 3, 2018

Believe it or not, open office layouts were created with good intentions. The idea behind the open floor plan is to encourage collaboration and teamwork among employees, rather than having walls that literally divide people. The design also helps companies save on the amount of office space needed to accommodate everyone. Individual offices take up much more space, and therefore cost companies more money to rent and fill. While some…


5 Destinations in Mexico That Are Safer Than Playa Del Carmen and Cancun

July 2, 2018

Despite its decades-long history of trouble and violence, Mexico has remained a popular vacation destination. One of the main reasons is that tourist hubs like Playa Del Carmen and Cancun have largely been protected from the worst of the unrest. Recently, this has started to change and there have been gruesome and shocking incidents occurring in areas once thought unaffected. A bomb recently detonated on a passenger ferry from Playa…


How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions by the End of Summer

June 25, 2018

As another school year goes into the history books, and summer vacation is in full swing, there is an elephant in the room. What about all those goals you wanted to achieve back in January? Since close to half of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned after a month, there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten yours by now. That’s not to say your goals weren’t grand. According to a YouGov poll,…


How to Stop Those Annoying Robocalls

June 14, 2018

Your phone rings, the number on the screen starts with your local area code. Of course you’re going to pick up. What if it’s the school nurse calling about your children? What if it’s your dentist’s office calling to reschedule an appointment? Then you pick up and a recording tells you that you’ve won a free cruise to Alaska or that you owe money to the IRS. Yes, you’ve been…


Surge in New-Home Sales Signals Reviving Housing Market

May 1, 2018

Gregory Bull, APBy MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON — U.S. sales of new homes rebounded in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. The increase added to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent. The gain brought the level higher than February’s pace of 411,000, though below January’s 445,000 —…