bounty paper towels at grocery store

Many of the household supplies that we buy at the store are simply replacements for other things, often sold to us in a slightly altered form and advertised as being more “convenient” than “old fashioned” methods. However, the truth of the matter is that they’re mostly just more expensive and the “convenience” that they offer is minimal, if not nonexistent. If you dig into the reality of many specific household product purchases, there are many smarter ways to get the …

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Several years ago, my wife and I were in a bit of a personal bind. We lived together in what was about the tiniest two-bedroom apartment you can imagine, with a small baby and another one on the way. We were already forced into being pretty creative with arrangements with even one baby in the home, but two? It was pretty clear that we needed a bigger place. We considered a bigger apartment, but there were honestly none available that …

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In the olden days—meaning, before the very late ‘90s — people without perfect vision had two basic choices for dealing with their sight problems: eyeglasses or contact lenses. Both came with benefits and drawbacks, but neither solved the essential problem, allowing the four-eyed among us to function without corrective lenses. Then, Lasik was approved in the United States. By 2011, over 11 million Americans with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurred vision), had laser eye surgery, according to CRST Europe. …

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Do you feel like you’re sending your resume into a black hole? It’s not necessarily because your experience is lacking. You could be the most qualified candidate in the world, but unless you hone your job search strategy during the pre-interview phase, you’re never going to get a chance to talk to a hiring manager. If you’ve been job searching for a while, and your inbox is full of dust bunnies, here are five things you might be doing wrong: …

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Human capital. Financial capital. They’re terms that sound like “business speak,” but when you boil them down, they’re just describing things that most people intuitively understand. For starters, human capital is simply the skill, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual (or population) viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or community. You have certain skills, character attributes, knowledge, and experience, and those are worth a certain amount to your employers and, for that matter, to …

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When the water crisis in Flint, Mich., started to gain national attention, I took notice, as did all concerned citizens. I was horrified at the images of the murky, discolored water coming out of their taps. No one should be subjected to drinking water that can make them ill. While I was confident my own tap water was pristine, I decided to do some investigating anyway. And I didn’t like what I found. Chlorine I was living in Madison, Wis., at the …

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That you can buy stocks online is no surprise — what can’t you buy online anymore? However, knowing you can buy stocks online is different from actually knowing how to do it. Buying stocks the traditional way can be hard enough. That’s why so many people use brokers to buy their stocks for them, and why even more people simply invest in mutual funds. If you’re looking to buy individual stocks online, however, you have plenty of options. Brokerage Accounts We …

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IDEA: Start a personal finance blog. Two Cents? Articles focused on practical stuff, positive, straightforward, earnest. Personal finance is easy to understand but hard to actually do. A friendly voice – do people need a “money friend”? I’m not sure exactly what day The Simple Dollar was “born,” but I can say this: Ten years ago today, I wrote an entry in my personal journal describing the basic idea of launching a personal finance blog which I tentatively called “Two …

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Last week, we discussed how the way you pay (or don’t pay) your bills has the single biggest impact on your FICO and VantageScore credit scores. A close second, however, is how well or poorly you manage your debt. What’s more, the metrics that make up the “debt” category of your credit scores are much more actionable — meaning you can control how well you perform in this category, as long as you follow some basic rules. How Much Does What You Owe Matter? “Debt burden” accounts …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Why Trent isn’t financial advisor 2. SEP-IRA basics 3. Holding onto sold yardsale items 4. Vesting schedule questions 5. Late model used electric car 6. Pressure cooker question 7. Marrying into very wealthy family 8. Super expensive wedding registry 9. Damaged books? 10. Saving old financial statements 11. …

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