Here’s a fast, easy tip for making more money the next time you decide to hold a garage or yard sale – get paid by phone!

You know those credit card readers you find at restaurants and retail outlets? You can get one that attaches to your phone and allows you to accept plastic!

Find out how simple it is to get one for FREE at squareup.com!

In a census year like 2020, con artists pull out a scam they can only run once every 10 years – the Census Scam.

If you receive a phone call or email from someone claiming to be a census worked asking for you to provide your social security number as part of the 2020 Census, beware!

Census workers will not ask for social security numbers, nor would they ever threaten you with jail if you refuse to provide it. Ditto with attempts to “raise money” during the census.

When choosing a credit card, here are some things to consider:

If you use your card for everyday purchases like gas & groceries: Use one of those cashback/rewards cards.

If you have big credit card balances: Take advantage of those 0% introductory card offers or balance transfer. A word of caution, make sure you can pay off the balance of your transfer before the introductory period ends because that balance will be accruing deferred interest you’ll have to pay off in full if you don’t clear the balance in the required time period. Also, destroy or lock up the cards you are transferring the balances from – no sense running them up again while you’re still trying to pay down your previous balance.

Online passwords have become a way o life. The question is – how can you can you create strong passwords that are easy for you to remember, but hard to hack?

Here’s what the experts say:

  1. Make them long – Most hackers use software that can generate millions of combinations of letter and numbers. Experts recommend creating sentences of 20 characters or more that mean something you, but would be meaningless to others. Then, add numbers, capital letters or special symbols to the end.
  2. Change them regularly – Here the people know say once a year should be sufficient.
  3. Don’t get stuck on one password – Try to vary your passwords. That way if you do get hacked at one site, you aren’t jeopardizing your information at others sites
  4. Don’t store them on your computer – Write them down and store someplace secure in your home or use a super-secure cloud site, also password protected for your list.

Selling the homestead and planning to downsize?

The real estate website Zillow analyzed data from over 32,000 homes and discovered that certain colors on the walls of individual rooms could actually increase the value of your home.

For instance:

  • A kitchen painted a soft blue-grey increased the home’s value $1,809.
  • A powder blue or periwinkle bathroom increased the value $5,400
  • A Cerulean or cadet blue bedroom realized an $1,856 increase in value!

Have fun painting this weekend

Want to save some money? Here’s a way that’s worked for others.

You know those streaming services for TV and even satellite radio? When they shift you onto their regular, much more expensive plan, call them and tell them you want to cancel because it’s too expensive.

Most likely they will work with you and offer you a lower rate.

We know someone who does this every year with their satellite radio provider and has wound up paying only a fraction of what their rate is supposed to be. Try it. You have nothing to lose and you could wind up saving a bundle!

As technology gives us more and more options, it turns out that more features do not always equate to consumer satisfaction.

Studies have shown that when purchasing hi-tech devices like smartphones and smart TVs, consumers overestimate the likelihood that they will use all the extra features that come with their latest gadget.

What’s more, those who pick models with fewer features are more likely to report they are satisfied with their choices. Those who opt for all the bells and whistles are often less satisfied!

The other advantages is that less features often mean a lower price tag as well!

Fixing up your home? You might want to tell your insurance company about it.

8 of the 10 largest home insurers offer little-publicized discounts for certain renovations or upgrades.

Go to BankRate.com and type in "home insurance discounts" for more information.

Did you know a will dosn't have to be a long, complicated process? And you defintely should have one! Dying without one can leave your estate in chaos.


The internet comes to rescure again. You can create your own will at FreeWill - no fee, online will writing service. Other low-cost alternatibves can be...

  • LegalZoom ($69-$149)
  • Rocket Lawyer ($40/month ,e,bership)
  • Quicken WillMaker Plus (Do-it-yourself software $80)

It’s that time of year again. Many of us will be traveling from our “regular” homes to spend the winter in warmer states like Florida or Arizona.

Be careful. Law enforcement warns that you may at risk at home and away.

Before you leave: Make sure you have one of or more timers set for the lights in your winter home. Also, recruit a friend or family member who’s staying put to check your house periodically to make sure the driveway is shoveled and to pick up any “penny shopper” type newspapers that aren’t held or forwarded by the post office.

When you arrive: If possible, confine all your purchases to a single credit card. That will make it easier to monitor to ensure that no one you encounter during your winter stay has stolen your card number and is making unauthorized purchases or using that card to open other accounts under your name.

Many of us do a year-end review of our finances.

Don't overlook shopping around for banks. If your bank is charging you for checking or paying barely any interest on your savings, it may be time to shop around. Many community banks and credit unions offer free checking and online banks often have better interest rates on savings accounts, frequently with no minimum blanace.

So it pays $$$ to shop around!

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