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    This Guy Had a Crippling $26K in Credit Card Debt. Here’s How He’s Paying It Down

    This Guy Had a Crippling $26K in Credit Card Debt. Here’s How He’s Paying It Down

    On a Saturday night this past January, Nick and his girlfriend Leigh cozied up next to her fireplace and commenced a solemn “credit-card-cutting ceremony.”

    Between the duo rested a stack of plastic cards and a bottle of Champagne leftover from New Year’s.

    As Nick (who asked that we omit his last name) cut each card, his girlfriend offered words of encouragement — how one day he’d be able to buy a house, invest money, give back.

    For Nick, 27, these financial goals have felt far out of reach.

    At 18, he was roped into opening his first credit card. Over the years, he spiraled into about $26,500 worth of debt.

    “I felt like I was drowning,” he says. “I was able to make monthly payments, but every time I did, the majority of the payments were going to interest charges.”

    Hoping to fix the problem, he attempted to consolidate his debt. But each time, he was denied a loan. Until he read about Upstart, a lending platform founded by former Google employees that offers what it calls “smarter loans” through partnership with participating banks.

    Rather than solely judging borrowers on their credit scores (though it does require a 620 credit score), Upstart’s underwriting model can incorporate factors such as education, area of study and work history to better understand a borrower and their propensity to repay a loan.

    Nick took a shot and applied for an Upstart loan. Within 40 minutes, he was approved. Less than two hours later, Upstart initiated a transfer of funds. His loan funds would be available to him the next business day.

    Cue the ceremonial credit-card cutting — because he vows to never let credit card debt take over his life again.

    How This Guy Plans to Pay off $26K in Credit Card Debt

    The more than $26,000 in debt Nick managed to collect was mostly from his younger, more financially reckless years, when he’d buy the latest and greatest electronics or take vacations and spend too much money.

    “I completely misused [credit cards] and was not financially responsible at all,” he says.

    Within 10 years of opening his first credit card, he owed six creditors a lot of money. His total monthly minimum payments hovered around $800. Much of that went toward interest and fees.

    For example, one card called for a $160 minimum payment, but only $65 of that went toward the principal.

    “How crazy is that?” he says. “I felt as if I was going nowhere, simply spinning my wheels in the mud, truly not able to make any momentum.”

    He’d attempted to refinance with several lenders, hoping a loan with a lower interest rate would help him gain some traction. But each time he applied, he was denied.

    Then he read about Upstart on The Penny Hoarder. It was the story we told about Kelsey Buxton, who found herself in a similar situation, with about $22,000 in credit card debt. Because Nick related all too well, he felt like he had a chance.

    He applied for the loan, and the process moved forward quickly. He rattles off email timestamps:

    • Upstart sends confirmation that it received his application at 11:53 a.m. Jan. 8.
    • At 12:33 p.m. that same day, an email indicating his loan approval popped into his inbox.
    • Then, at 2:10 p.m. — only a few hours later — Upstart let him know it had initiated the transfer of funds into his account.
    • When he woke up Jan. 9, sure enough, the loan was in his account, and he immediately began making payments toward his credit cards.

    “It was such a relief — like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” he says.

    This new loan meant Nick could go from paying a minimum of $800 a month to a minimum of $667, thanks to the difference in interest. With his credit cards, he was paying up to 24% in interest. His new loan boasted a 19% interest rate.

    Rather than blowing that extra $133 a month, though, he  puts it toward his five-year loan, which means he’ll be able to pay the loan off in about three and a half years — at most. His job also allows for overtime, so he plans to put some extra time in and put any additional income toward the loan.

    “Truly, my goal is to have this loan paid off at around two and a half years,” he says. “I think I am on my way!”

    Additionally, he has vowed to never slip into credit card debt again. That’s helped by cutting up all his cards — except one he keeps locked in a safe, only for emergencies.

    Upstart Loans Review: He Has Renewed Hope

    Nick says he can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    He is able to more aggressively pay off his credit card debt through his Upstart loan, and his credit score through Experian has increased from 630 to 742. He suspects it’ll only continue to increase as he pays his debt down.

    Nick feels thankful for Upstart — and that it took a chance on him.

    His less than perfect credit score didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of taking strides to get his finances in order. Instead, Upstart’s technology analyzed other factors, like his job history in public service and his education, an associate degree.

    “It has shown a light at the end of a dark, treacherous, financially disappointing [tunnel],” he says. “I finally feel like I’m moving forward.”

    As soon as Nick pays off his credit cards, he wants to purchase a house.

    “Upstart has provided me the opportunity to dream about my future without lingering credit card debt.”

    How to Apply for an Upstart Loan

    We send a genuine thank you to Nick, who emailed us about a week after his loan approval to share his story.

    “I really want to be able to give others hope, like I was given,” he says. “I thought I was never going to be able to get out of debt.”

    If you’re curious, you can get a free quote from Upstart within minutes. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score.

    Simply navigate to Upstart and select your goal. Do you want to pay off credit card debt like Nick did? Tackle student loans? Pay for personal expenses, like medical bills or rent?

    You’ll enter some basic information on the rate check form: how much you wish to borrow ($1,000 to $50,000), your name, address, highest level of education and primary source of income.

    There are no prepayment penalties, so you can take strides to pay your loan ahead of time, like Nick.

    Learn more about Upstart and secure a free quote all online.

    This story is a reflection of one individual’s experience and doesn’t necessarily reflect the experience of all applicants.

    Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. If an Upstart loan has renewed your financial hope, she’d love to hear from you.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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    4 Great Self Care Online Classes You Should Take (Plus Thousands of Other Classes to Up Your Game)

    4 Great Self Care Online Classes You Should Take (Plus Thousands of Other Classes to Up Your Game)

    The following is a sponsored partnership with Skillshare. All opinions are 100% my own.

    It’s funny, when you’re younger, I feel like you’ll do anything to rush through school and not be learning all the time. I still vividly remember being in college and there being an older person in one of my classes. Everyone asked him “why are you taking this class if you’re not trying to get a degree?”

    No one could understand and we all thought he was crazy. He then replied that when you get older, that you will enjoy learning new things. I still remember that like it was yesterday, and now I completely understand it now. I am always wanting to learn new things now, and it’s always a joy to do.

    Recently, I learned about Skillshare and I am so excited to share it with you all. Skillshare is an online learning community for designers, photographers, marketers, entrepreneurs, really anyone! They have more than 18,000 classes in the broad categories of creative, business, technology, and lifestyle.

    And, it’s affordable.

    So, when I heard about Skillshare, I was super excited to check it out since they have such a wide range of classes.

    You can receive a special offer of 2 months of Skillshare for $0.99 by clicking this link. After that, their Premium Membership begins at just around $8 a month for unlimited access to learning.

    Yes, just $0.99!

    Today, I want to go over 4 different self care classes that they have.

    Self care is so important, and it’s something I just started focusing on. It can greatly improve you, your mood, and your outlook on life.

    1. Improve your morning routine for a better start to your day.

    How you begin your day can greatly impact the rest of your day. This class is wonderful because it can help you to start your day with a great routine.

    Now, if you’re like me, you probably never really spent too much time thinking about how little things may impact your day. After taking this class, I learned an insane amount (including some great tips around shifting your mindset) that will help me to greatly improve for the future.

    Class: How To Create An Awesome Morning Routine: 10 Ways To Start An Amazing Day

     

    2. Enhance your productivity

    In today’s world, there are so many distractions. This class can help you to improve your productivity so that you are moving in the right direction. You’ll learn how to:

    • Identify your needs, goals, and progress
    • Manage stress
    • Built healthier habits

    And more!

    Class: Self Care for Productivity: Creating an Action Plan for Wellness at Work

     

    3. Learn self motivation tips

    To reach your goals, you will have to learn how to stay motivated. While it’s easy to watch an inspirational video or read about other motivated folks, this course will actually teach you 10 actionable tips so that you can get motivated to reach success.

    Class: Terrific Self Motivation Tips: 10 amazing ideas to motivate yourself Into A High Performing Machine

     

    4. Mindfulness for relaxation

    Lately, I’ve been spending a lot more time just trying to relax and re-energize, so this class is perfect for me. This is especially so because I am working on lowering my blood pressure.

    This quick class will teach you how to relax your mind and body, teach you why mindfulness is important, and then it will also guide you through a meditation.

    Class: Mindfulness Meditation for Relaxation 1: Relax and Re-energize, Quickly and Easily!

    If you’re interested in taking any of these classes (or the thousands of others they have), you can receive a special offer of 2 months of Skillshare for $0.99 by clicking this link.

    Some other Skillshare classes that I found that bloggers or business owners may be interested in include:

    I’m definitely going to be taking the DSLR class mentioned above, as I’ve been wanting to learn how to use my camera lately but haven’t actually dedicated any time towards learning the process.

    There are also some great travel-related classes as well such as:

    As you can see, there is a wide variety of classes that you can take. If you want to learn how to do something new and take up a new skill, there are professional teachers within Skillshare who have online classes ready to teach you.

    What’s great about Skillshare is that everyone can take a class, try a project, or even teach a class themselves.

    And, as you can see from above, they have great teachers. You aren’t learning from just some random person, the people above are all experts in their fields.

    After browsing through Skillshare and looking at the many, many different courses that are available, I definitely know that I will be taking some of their courses. It’s a great way to learn a new skill, and it’s super affordable.

    I’m all for learning new things, growing, and investing in yourself, and I think Skillshare is a great way to do that.

    You can receive a special offer of 2 months of Skillshare for $0.99 by clicking this link.

    Enjoy!

    The post 4 Great Self Care Online Classes You Should Take (Plus Thousands of Other Classes to Up Your Game) appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

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    13 Sites that Pay You Fast for Doing Almost Nothing in 2018

    13 Sites that Pay You Fast for Doing Almost Nothing in 2018

     

    In this video, you will learn about 13 sites that pay you fast for doing almost nothing in 2018.

    All you have to do is watch videos, take surveys, and maybe type a little bit to make decent money online these days.

    Enjoy the video and let me know what you think in the comments below!

     

    Brands, resources, and examples mentioned:

    Bonus: If you like those sites, you’ll love these free apps

    • FeaturePoints – Get paid to try free apps, play games, take surveys, and watch videos. Get free points with this code: E7KRRE
    • Swagbucks – Get paid to watch videos, browse the internet, shop online, and take surveys.
    • Ibotta – Get paid to scan your grocery store and other retail receipts.
    • InboxDollars – Get paid to check you email, surf the web, take surveys, watch videos, play games, and try special offers.
    • Ebates – Get paid to shop online.

     

     

     

    This might also help:

     

     

     

    Related content you might also enjoy

     

     

     

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    This Study Says Maintaining a Home Costs $2,000/Year. Here’s How to Save

    This Study Says Maintaining a Home Costs $2,000/Year. Here’s How to Save

    I’ve been a renter my entire adult life, but lately I’ve been itching to buy my first home.

    When I bring the topic up with fellow renting friends, I’m always hit with the same argument.

    If you’re renting and something goes wrong, you can just call your landlord to fix it.

    Though all renters aren’t immune to home maintenance costs, homeowners particularly feel the pain.

    Bankrate recently did a survey on home service costs. It found the average homeowner spends about $2,000 a year on home maintenance costs.

    While some home service charges are pretty essential (like paying for trash and recycling collection at an average of $55 a month), others are more of an added convenience. Homeowners spend an average of $285 a month on housekeeping services and $144 a month on landscaping service, according to Bankrate.

    Paying someone to do services you could do on your own might make you happier, but if that’s not in your budget, don’t sweat.

    Reduce Your Home-Maintenance Costs

    Instead of dropping hundreds a month on maid service, tackle the tasks yourself.

    Don’t splurge on tons of cleaning products. Make your own with simple ingredients, or get creative with items you may have around the house. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with denture cleanser and dryer sheets.

    Make your kitchen shine with this step-by-step guide to cleaning kitchen appliances. See this post for other house-cleaning hacks.

    Save on landscaping costs with these tips to maintaining your yard on a budget. Or just turn your yard into an edible garden, and you won’t have to pay someone to mow it.

    Lacking handyman skills? This post shares resources that’ll help you learn DIY home-repair skills at no cost — like free workshops hosted by Home Depot.

    Prepare for the Unexpected

    Even if you’re cutting costs by doing home projects on your own, you may still encounter situations that require paying for a professional.

    Kevin Mahoney, CEO of financial advice firm Illumint, told Bankrate he recommends homeowners put money into a savings account to use for home maintenance expenses. Mahoney said he sets aside $100 to $200 a month to fund unexpected repairs or wear-and-tear maintenance services.

    That way when something comes up, the money is already available to cover it. Smart advice.

    Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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    What’s In A Home Insurance Policy: Know The Details Before Your House Burns Down

    What’s In A Home Insurance Policy: Know The Details Before Your House Burns Down

    Sam asked me to write this post after we lost our home overnight to the Tubb’s Fire in Northern California. We were living a good doctor’s life. A $1.2 million dollar home with a killer sunset view. Life was good, but with my mortgage and student debt I was still quite stressed. The kind that affected me not only internally, but also externally. Affecting both work and relationship with my wife.

    Crazy to think that stress and a mortgage can be that powerful, but it was. In fact, I would walk around my home and think about how we had about 1,000 square foot of home more than we needed. It was 3,300 square foot and I determined that 2,000 to 2,500 square foot were a much better fit for us.

    But here we sat, 11 months after buying a big home without many financially reasonable options. Then overnight… POOF! It all went up in a flash. We were lucky. Someone knocked on our door at 2 am waking us up. We left with our lives and health, although not much more. Others were not as fortunate and I have seen and felt the impact of those losses in our community. So I write this post knowing how lucky we are. And I am thankful for that.

    Interesting points from EJ’s guest post:

    1. Why being a homeowner may be better than being a renter when disaster strikes
    2. How home insurance can make you much wealthier
    3. Know exactly what is covered under your home insurance plan
    4. Itemize everything in a spreadsheet and a picture catalog
    5. It may be better to have a complete loss rather than partial damage

    Breaking Down A Home Insurance Policy

    Our home before the fire

    Here’s a home insurance primer on what is important when purchasing a policy. We lost our home, but by being well insured we are covered for not only our possessions and rebuilding, but also for our rental.

    After the fires, both home prices (for sale) and rental prices sky rocketed. Classic market supply and demand with a steroid boost of large amounts of insurance money. So not really classic market supply and demand.

    That is why Loss of Use Coverage is so important and the first thing we talk about today.

    Coverage D: Loss of use and rental

    Renters Get Squeezed

    In the land of fire and mass chaos, owning is way better than renting (seems counterintuitive, but true). I talked to many people who are renters who have been evicted since the fire. The landlords asked their tenants to leave so that either the landlord or one of their family/friends who lost a home can move in. 

    This puts the tenants in a bad position because now they are stuck in a town with a housing shortage and now a high price point. They have no choice, either pay more for a similar rental in town or move further out of town. Plus, unlike those who are insured and lost their home, tenants being evicted have no insurance to help them through this. Lose lose.

    Many Owners With Insurance Came Out Fine

    For owners it is better, but it is only as good as the home owners insurance purchased. I am well insured. My insurance pays for my rental up to two years because the Tubb’s Fire was a Federally declared disaster. If it was just a run of the mill house fire, I would still be covered for 1 year. There is no monetary limit to my rental. Insurance covers an equivalent rental to my home.

    So I was able to get a nice rental and not worry about the monthly rent. I will potentially be living in my rental until October 2019. While insurance is paying a lot for my rental, it still is not as much as one friend who has insurance paying $34K a month…yup, $34,000 a month. On the other end is one of my friends, who has a maximum cap of $14,000 for her rental. That means that her insurance will only pay a total of $14,000 for the entire 2 years. Ouch.

    First lesson of insurance – make sure you are well insured for not only dwelling and personal property, but also loss of use. This will make your housing situation much better after the loss of your home. Clarify how much coverage you have.

    What Type Of Home Insurance To Get?

    We have determined that being a owner versus a renter at the time of a disaster likely puts you in a better financial situation with insurance, but what insurance should home owners (and renters to some extent) obtain?

    I personally am insured by a large, reputable insurance company who is always on your side. Thus far they have gone by the books and been quite helpful. In fact, by the end of this process I will likely own my land out right, have no mortgage, and have increased my net worth by about $600,000. Granted, I have to replace all of my possessions but that can be done deliberately and slowly. Oh, but I don’t own a home anymore.

    But still, a massive increase in net worth is quite the silver lining from this tragedy. Plus all the stress from owning a massive house with a massive mortgage is now gone.

    Onto the insurance policy

    Insurance coverage is broken down into various coverages.

    • Dwelling: Coverage A: Dwelling
    • Other structures: Coverage B
    • Personal property: Coverage C 
    • Loss of use: Coverage D 
    • Personal liability: Coverage E 
    • Medical pay each person: Coverage F

    The limits for these items are visible on the insurance policy declaration page.

    These are each important, but Coverage A is the most important.

    Coverage A: Dwelling

    This is the most important part of the insurance coverage. Coverage A dictates how much the insurance company pays for rebuilding a home. By law, if I rebuild they have to give me at least my Dwelling maximum to rebuild.

    Extensions

    There are also extensions to this coverage. For instance, I had a 125% coverage extension. This means that they will pay an additional 25% of my maximum if I rebuild. This is an additional $200k for me to rebuild. I even realized after the fact that I could have purchased a “guaranteed replacement cost extension”.

    If I had purchased a guaranteed replacement cost extension, then there would be no question about rebuilding as insurance would cover it all. There are 3 companies I know of that have guaranteed replacement cost: Chubb’s, Nationwide, and AIG. If insured with one of these insurers, it may be worth switching to guaranteed replacement cost.

    The payment

    I thought that insurance will pay out all 100% right off the bat, but unfortunately that is not the case. The insurance company will come up with their own build estimate and from that depreciate the cost of things such as paint, roofs, flooring, etc.

    It is not as bad as it sounds. For instance, in my case they depreciated about 1.5% of the home. Once I rebuild, they will pay the full amount.

    Also remember that this initial payout is a starting/negotiation point. Right now I have received one big check but am coming back to the insurance company with my builders estimates which are higher than what the insurance company estimated. Time to negotiate!

    Coverage A (i.e. dwelling) is the most important part of the insurance coverage. This needs to be enough to rebuild an equivalent home and it is up to you to make sure it is adequate. Generally, increasing the limit leads to only a small increase in the overall annual policy premium.

    Another important part of Coverage A is to be insured for “Replacement Cost.” Some insurances offer “Actual Cash Value.” Actual cash value only pays the depreciated cost of the home, meaning the insurance company will only pay for a 20 year old roof and not the cost of a new roof. The difference in reconstruction costs will be covered by out of the owner’s pocket. Not so good if you ask me.

    With a “replacement cost”policy, the insurance company may depreciate the home for the initial payout, but will pay that actual replacement cost once the item is built or purchased. This can lead to thousands of dollars when rebuilding.

    Coverage B: Other Structures

    Another reason the price point of Coverage A is important is because all of other Coverage limits are set by the Coverage A limit.

    For instance, I am covered for Other Structures via Coverage B. This includes patios, external fireplaces, fences, and the outdoor kitchen. The maximum insurance will pay me for Other Structures is 10% of my Coverage A. So if I have a $1,000,000 Coverage A limit, I get $100,000 for Other Structures. If my Coverage A limit is $500,000, then I only get $50,000 for Coverage B.

    Coverage C: Personal Property

    Coverage C or Personal Property coverage is the amount given for all of the items lost. T-shirts, speakers, kitchen appliances…all that stuff we accumulate over a life time. Another way to think of it is that if I took my home and turned it upside down, anything that falls out is paid for by Coverage C.

    Getting the insurance company to pay Coverage C can be a bit painful. While they paid a portion of the money up front, I. Had to itemize everything in my home to receive full payment. From underwear to Q-tips. Rugs, couches, and stuffed animals. We spent approximately 75 to 100 hours to itemize every single item.

    This was probably the most painful part of the process. We had lost  our home and now had to revisit each item again for the insurance company. This was accompanied by a 3 hour recorded interview. Brutal. Please take pictures and itemize all your belongings in a spreadsheet before you need to. 

    The insurance company will take the list and depreciate it based on age and condition. They will pay out the depreciated cost. Again make sure you are insured for “Replacement Cost” and not “Actual Cash Value”. If you have “Replacement cost” coverage you can submit receipts as you buy items for the insurance company to pay the difference.

    Side note, to be able to claim casualty losses in my 2017 taxes, I had to itemize. For the IRS I can deduct the difference between my depreciated value of items and what insurance paid me for these items. Unfortunately with the 2018 tax overhaul I believe this deduction goes away in the future.

    Once again, Coverage A (Dwelling) limit dictates the Coverage C limit. For us it was 60% of our Coverage A limit and I think that is fairly standard.

    Other coverages

    There are also other coverages that come with good insurance.  We had coverage for Debris Removal (10% of Coverage A), Landscaping (5% of Coverage A), and Building Code Upgrade (20% of Coverage A).

    There is also coverage for Personal Liability (Coverage E) and Medical Pay for Each Person (Coverage F), and these limits can be adjusted as needed.

    Deductible Cost

    I am actually surprised as to how cheap good insurance is. My insurance cost approximately $1,300 annually with a $1,500 deductible. After this experience I would happily pay $2,000 annually for a higher coverage amount. Nothing is worse then being underinsured after loosing a home. Insurance has by far been the best return on investment I have ever made.

    Fire coverage?

    Finally it is worth noting that I did not have additional insurance. I had my regular old home insurance and it covered all of the loss. This is not like an earthquake or flood that needs an additionally purchased insurance policy.

    My policy covered the fire whether it was a natural disaster or a house fire. Some of the additional protections I received were due to this being a Federally declared disaster and living in a consumer protection state like California. But no, I did not need fire insurance.

    This is good, because I would never have thought to ask separately for it. In fact, when I went to bed at 1 AM I saw a red glow over the hill and did not even realize it was a fire.

    If there is going to be a fire though, in many ways it is best to have a complete loss like we did. Total destruction so that the insurance company can not argue about what is salvageable.

    My neighbor was not so lucky. His home is standing between 2 burnt homes. He had a lot of smoke damage and is house is not habitable currently. He is fighting tooth and nail with the insurance company about his coverage. The insurance company is arguing everything should be cleaned. He has  two young kids and is arguing that the home needs to be stripped to the studs.

    It is brutal to hear his stories of the back and forth discussions he is having. Not a fight I want to have. He did loose everything, but because his home is still standing receives much less support. I am moving forward while he is still arguing with insurance.

    Our home after the fire

    Home Insurance Is A Life Saver

    It pays to be well insured. I will not claim I knew much about property insurance when I bought my home. In fact, my insurance broker set this policy up for me and has been working with me throughout the claims process. I never even read the entire policy before this. I was by no means an expert, but now have a lot of first hand experience.

    This is what I recommend:

    1. Call the insurance company and ask for a copy of the full policy. This document should be 50 to 70 pages long.
    2. Make sure to have an adequate Coverage A (Dwelling) limit. This is the coverage that will dictate all of the other coverages. It should be high enough to cover rebuilding a equivalent home.
    3. Purchase “Replacement Cost” insurance and not “Actual Cash Value” for both Coverage A (Dwelling) and Coverage C (Personal Property).
    4. Consider an extension for the Coverage A limit. My extension was for 125%, but other’s have 150%, 175%, or even guaranteed replacement cost. It is worth the small increase in annual cost if ever needed.
    5. Jump through the hoops that the insurance company lays out. I am impressed by my insurance company thus far. As long as I am doing what they ask, they have been quick and reasonable with payments.

    There you have it. One man’s experience with insurance after a major fire.

    Sam’s note: Hopefully everyone calls their respective home insurance companies this week and asks what their coverage entails. Although it’s terrible to lose a home to a natural disaster, what a silver lining to be $600,000 wealthier thanks to a mandatory home insurance policy that only cost $1,500 a year in premiums. Further, EJ was in his house for less than a year, so the sentimental attachment wasn’t as great compared to someone who had owned their home for 20 years. His story about the night the fire came is a gripping read that will spur you into action.

    A natural disaster destroying my home was always in the back of my mind. Only after I sold my rental house in 2017 did I feel a sense of relief that I was able to get out unscathed since my rental house was in the Marina, an area prone to liquefaction during a large earthquake. It’s very interesting how our minds insulate us from potential disaster risk by making us forget. 

    Related: Reinvestment Ideas After A Big Home Insurance Payout

    The post What’s In A Home Insurance Policy: Know The Details Before Your House Burns Down appeared first on Financial Samurai.

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    Get Your Gallon Tubs of Mayo and $167 in Freebies With This Sam’s Club Deal

    Get Your Gallon Tubs of Mayo and $167 in Freebies With This Sam’s Club Deal

    Party in the club tonight.

    By club, I mean Sam’s Club. By tonight, I mean all year. By party, I mean discount.

    You feel me?

    For a limited time, LivingSocial and Groupon have a $45 deal cocktail that includes a new one-year Sam’s Club Membership, $10 electronic gift card, $25 Vudu credit, free rotisserie chicken, free yeast rolls and free chocolate chunk cookies. Sounds more like a party in my stomach.

    But wait — there’s another $30 option that includes a new one-year Sam’s Club Membership and a $10 electronic gift card.

    Take note that if you buy the $45 option by March 22, you also get an additional $115 in instant savings on various items for 30 days.

    How to Get the Sam’s Club Deals

    If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to sign up for a Groupon or LivingSocial account. The offer is the same on both websites.

    Once you register, select and purchase either the $45 or $30 offer.

    After the purchase is validated, you will receive an email with membership and redemption instructions.

    Once you complete the redemption process, you’ll receive your membership number, which you can use to shop online or in the mobile app. However, you will not get a physical membership card until you visit your local Sam’s Club.

    There is no clear-cut time and day when this deal disappears, but both Groupon and LivingSocial say “Deal Ends 3 Days.” So that would be some time on Feb. 26. I suggest acting sooner rather than later to avoid missing out on this one.

    Who Can Get the Sam’s Club Membership Deal?

    Guess what? You don’t have to party alone. Each offer includes a free membership card for your spouse or another household member. Cheers to that.

    Both deals are for new Sam’s Club members only and are not valid for anyone with a current membership. Also excluded are those who had a Sam’s Club membership that expired Aug. 1, 2017 or later.

    The deal is good at more than 590 Sam’s Clubs locations in the U.S. Puerto Rico clubs are excluded from this deal.

    Don’t Forget About the Fine Print

    With every good deal comes fine print. For this one, you can only buy one deal per account.

    The biggest catch is that your annual membership will automatically renew every year. In addition to an automatic renewal, Sam’s Club will charge you whatever the renewal fee is at that time, not the discounted rate. Currently, this membership costs $45, so if you buy the $30 deal, there’s a good chance you’ll pay at least $15 more at renewal time.

    There’s more fine print to consider before purchasing, but as someone who just bought the $30 deal, I think the overall savings are totally worth it.

    I don’t know about you, but there’s about to be a party in my pantry.

    Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She may or may not throw a party this weekend.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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    Keeping It Well in Austin: The City Will Now Mandate Paid Sick Leave

    Keeping It Well in Austin: The City Will Now Mandate Paid Sick Leave

    Looks like in addition to keeping it weird, Austin is trying to keep it well.

    At least that’s what the Austin City Council is attempting to do by being the first city in the southern United States to pass a law requiring private businesses to offer paid sick leave.

    Beginning Oct. 1, 2018, employers with more than five employees must offer workers one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with five or fewer employees will be subject to the same law, but it will not go into effect until Oct. 1, 2020.

    To help protect employers, the law also includes caps on the amount of leave workers can earn: 64 hours for companies with more than 15 employees and 48 hours for companies with 15 or fewer employees.

    Austin joins other cities like Minneapolis, New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C. and eight states — Arizona, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — that guarantee paid sick leave.

    But as the only city in Texas to pass this policy so far, Austin could face the same fate as Milwaukee, which passed a city-level law in 2008 only to have a state law prohibiting mandated paid sick leave override the ordinance. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker argued the city’s paid sick leave policy was a barrier to creating jobs.

    The benefits of having a sick day are not limited to the health benefits of, you know, getting well. It also decreases the spread of germs to co-workers — helpful considering the particularly awful flu season we’ve enjoyed this year — and could be essential to workers living paycheck to paycheck.

    So to the rest of the South, wash your hands and try to stay well, y’all.

    Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s grateful every day to work at a company that offers paid sick leave.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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    A Hilariously Awful Steve Jobs Job Application Shows How Not to Land a Gig

    A Hilariously Awful Steve Jobs Job Application Shows How Not to Land a Gig

    Steve Jobs may have co-founded Apple — a company worth $229 billion now — revolutionized the personal computer and brought you the iPhone, but in 1973, he failed so hard at filling out a job application it’ll make you cringe.

    Yep, just three years before Apple was founded, Jobs was applying for an unknown job and turned in a truly awful application that’s now expected to fetch as much as $50,000 at an auction, according to a report from CNBC.

    Listen, if you want to blow what amounts to nearly the median annual income of a U.S. family on a dusty, old job application, that’s your business. But if you plan to use this particular trainwreck of an application as a template during your job search, we need to have a serious talk.

    See, Steve Jobs may have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams despite this whack resume, but you might not.

    How to Fill Out a Job Application… The Non-Steve-Jobs Way

    First off, there’s no cover letter. You can’t expect to land a job in the tech industry without a solid cover letter.

    A cover letter helps you stand out, and it adds personal flair to your resume and job application. Here are three simple steps to crafting the perfect cover letter.

    And Jobs just left the experience portion in this application blank, which is a big no-no. Sure he was only 18 at the time, but he should have used the section to highlight volunteer work or skills he was developing.

    One of the biggest things that sticks out on the 1973 Jobs application is that he doesn’t leave any way to contact him.

    For his phone number he wrote “none,” and for his address he simply put “reed college” — from which he had dropped out after one semester — and didn’t even include capitalization. Your future employer needs to be able to find you to tell you that you got the job, right?

    And please, please make sure you proofread your resume or application. Under special abilities, Jobs touts that he is from San Francisco near “Hewitt-Packard” (sic).

    Of course, we all know Steve Jobs went on to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. But that doesn’t mean you should take resume-writing or job-application tips from a young Jobs.

    Stick to The Penny Hoarder formula.

    Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He’s an Apple evangelist and means no disrespect to Steve Jobs.

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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    Car Negotiating Secrets for People Who Hate Haggling

    Car Negotiating Secrets for People Who Hate Haggling

    A short stint as a car salesman taught me that dealers are pros who negotiate all day for a living — and they always have the home field advantage. Later, while buying dozens of test vehicles for an automotive website, I was on the other side of negotiations, and experienced the tricks dealers use to…


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    Keep Your Money Safe While You See the World

    Keep Your Money Safe While You See the World

    An overseas adventure can be a lot of fun, but there are potential hazards that travelers should take into account when planning trips. The risks of international travel don’t include just your physical safety; your financial security can easily be jeopardized by scammers and thieves if you aren’t careful. Here are some tips and tricks…


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