Hope for your financial life and beyond

The Most Romantic Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day While Saving Money

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so that means answering the question, “What to do for my significant other?” Should you bother with chocolates and candy hearts? Or should you be more sophisticated with a dinner reservation at a fancy restaurant and tickets to the ballet? Maybe you’d opt to surprise your loved one with a romantic trip or get them that expensive gift he or she has been fantasizing about.

Valentine's Day It seems that no matter how you choose to spend Valentine’s Day you will probably be spending some money. Last year Valentine’s Day spending broke records, reaching about $19 billion in America alone. To most people in love, this figure seems to make sense. After all, if you want to show someone you care, there is no better way to do it than with material goods, right?

Actually, love doesn’t depend on exclusive restaurants and diamond jewelry. You absolutely can foster romance without depleting your emergency savings.

Valentine’s Day Tips to Save Money

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Saving Up For Retirement – What Are Your Basic Options?

If you have finally decided to get on the right track to retirement, good for you. Better late than never, after all. There are a lot of people who have retirement accounts, as well as they should. However, there are far too many people who are either too lazy, too ignorant or don’t have the right retirement planning tools to get their accounts started.

There are many different retirement options open to you, the most useful being the IRA or individual retirement account. This is the account that offers the most control over your retirement funds and it is definitely something everyone should invest in.

The 401k Retirement Plan

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Decorating Your Christmas Tree Doesn’t Have To Hurt Your Pocket

I was out shopping the other day for some festive autumn items to decorate the house for fall/Halloween and guess what I ran into? I turned the corner of an aisle and ran smack dab into Christmas stuff. Yes, the wrapping paper and decorations are already starting to hit the shelves.

kid in front of christmas treeOne of the mainstays of any home during the Christmas holidays is of course the Christmas tree. I have fond memories of Christmas and the giving that surrounds the season. It meant so much to my family growing up, seeing all the love and laughter shared around the Christmas tree as we exchanged gifts.

I will say a nicely decorated Christmas tree adds to the festive nature of the season. And of course trimming the tree is also the perfect opportunity to get the family together and share some quality time. Our kids love the opportunity to put all the decorations on the tree, meticulously placing them so they are spread around just right.

However, it can also get a little bit costly at a time when you’re pinching pennies for those last minute presents. Luckily, there are a few handy hints and tips to get your tree looking fabulous for less, letting you focus your budget on putting more things under the tree instead of on it!

Cost Effective Ways to Trim a Tree

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Research-Based or Practice-Based Nursing Doctoral Degree: Which is Right for You?

There’s no doubt that earning an advanced degree of any sort can benefit your career — and the field of nursing is no different. While many nurses opt to earn specialized master’s degrees, a smaller number choose to seek a terminal degree, or doctorate in nursing.

nursingPart of the reason for the dearth of nursing doctoral candidates is confusion about which type of degree to earn. Nursing doctorates fall into one of two categories: Research-based or practice-based. While both have similarities, in the sense that the overall earning potential is about the same (average annual salary for a nurse with a terminal degree hovers around $90,000) and the number of opportunities available for each is the same, the two degrees are actually quite different.

An Alphabet Soup of Credentials

The first major difference between nursing doctoral degree programs is the type of degree that the program leads to: DNP or Ph.D. A program that leads to a DNP, or Doctor of Nursing Practice, is a practice-based program, designed to prepare nurses to serve as nurse leaders or in administration or management. There’s also a growing push to require nurse practitioners, who currently can practice with a master’s degree, to seek DNP degrees to ensure quality care.

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Psychological Tricks That Will Get You a Raise

Get a Raise IOf all of the potentially awkward conversations that one can have at work, asking for a raise ranks only slightly behind firing someone in terms of discomfort. No one likes going to their boss and asking for more money. If the conversation goes well, it’s great. If it doesn’t, or if your boss can’t (or won’t) increase your pay, then the disappointment often comes with a side of embarrassment and resentment.

Many experts have advice on how to ask for a raise successfully, and much of it is good. You need evidence that you deserve a pay increase, such as testimonials and outlines of successful projects. Demonstrating in quantitative terms how much you’ve grown and improved is a good idea. And of course, you need to do your homework to ensure that what you’re asking for is in line with the going rate for your position, industry, and region.

Still, there is always a chance that your boss is going to turn you down. That’s why you need to be prepared to use psychology to improve your chances of getting a raise.

The Psychology of the Workplace

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8 Amazing Christian Leaders

For those in the Christian faith it can be difficult to wade through the hundreds of pastors uploading new sermons to YouTube every day. How do you have the time to consume all the information that is being published?

a cross by the oceanMore importantly, how do you know which ones are preaching the true word of God? Which can you trust to be consistent with their message and create real value for your spiritual future?

While there are many great leaders doing incredible work for God, here are 8 quality names to keep your eye on.

1. Rick Warren

Rick Warren is one of the most famous names in the Christian world today. Not only does he lead a “megachurch” in California and have more than a million followers on Twitter, but he also has authored several best-selling books, including his best-known work The Purpose Driven Life.

2. T.D. Jakes

T.D. Jakes is known for his passion across all denominations. In fact, his church of 30,000 is entirely non-denominational, allowing members of all different codes and creeds to come together and worship the Lord in harmony.

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The Fastest Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Value

couple looking at a home to buyWith real estate prices not being where they once were, it’s normal for homeowners who are preparing to sell to be thinking of different types of things that they can do in order to improve their home’s value. However, taking on major renovations can be stressful and in some cases, won’t even increase the value of the home enough in order to really net a profit when it’s time to sell.

By starting early with small and fast projects, you’ll easily be able to improve your home’s value for the best results possible.

Investing in Landscaping

If you have a green thumb, it’s easy to improve your curb appeal on your own. To make this an even faster process, consider hiring a professional landscaper. Landscaping should not be too costly and will drastically enhance the outside appearance of your home and property.

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