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4 Unusual Ways to Use Your Life Insurance

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Life insurance can feel overly complicated to many people. To compensate for that feeling, it’s often viewed as little more than a grownup expense procured with the hope that a significant length of time will pass before it’s used, since common wisdom assumes a life insurance policy’s sole purpose is a practical, pre-determined payout after death.

It’s something the one whose name it is in will personally never see, and really, the whole prospect of your loved ones dealing with it after you’re gone is such a bummer, most of us would rather not to consider it at all. While this somewhat morbid and overly basic understanding of life insurance bears some relationship to the truth, it certainly isn’t the only way in which a life insurance policy can be used. If you’re curious about the ways in which you might be able to utilize your life insurance policy other than as a strict payout upon death, here are four options you should know about.

1. Fund Bequests

Because a life insurance policy can also function as a cash stand-in for an asset, a fund bequest is a great way to use your policy. It can help you solve problems of liquidity when you’re concerned about issues of fairness as they relate to property and cash among your heirs after your death. For example, say you have a property that is valued more highly than the savings you have, and only one of your children is interested in keeping it in his family. By getting a life insurance policy that’s equal to the value of the property, upon the settlement of the will, the child who wants the property and the one who does not can both be given the same amount of inheritance. A life insurance policy used in this way is all about investing for the future, and Alliance Financial Life Insurance can help you.

2. Maximize Your Pension

For people who find themselves in a position where they are using a pension or savings in a way that differs from the ways in which they had originally anticipated, a life insurance policy can provide something of a buffer. Say medical bills or other unexpected expenses force you to take out a reverse mortgage or second mortgage in order to make ends meet. By paying into a life insurance policy every month in addition to the mortgage, you can maintain your home’s value for your children while still ensuring you have a place to live. Also, if a pension ceases upon death and leaves a surviving spouse without an adequate income, a life insurance policy can be a buffer against that end. Of course, the earlier you start paying into it, the more money the surviving spouse will get.

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3. Pay for College

If you’ve chosen to fund a whole life policy well enough, you can put it toward a relative’s college expenses. While a college fund or 529 is a better choice — whole life insurance policies, if used early, will be pricey in terms of fees and administrative expenses — the skyrocketing expenses of college may leave you with little choice. One advantage of using the policy in this way is that financial aid programs won’t take a life insurance policy into consideration when calculating grants and other benefits. Of course, you can also give the maximum annual tax-free gift to children or grandchildren in anticipation of college as well. If you’re nervous you won’t provide enough for their full education in the time you have left, simply insure yourself for the total amount, and on your death, you can provide what’s still needed.

4. Transfer It

While there are some tricky rules in relation to the CRA, one great way to avoid estate taxes that may be levied against your life insurance is to transfer the policy to someone else. That way, upon your death, you can pass the payout on to your heirs income, tax-free and estate tax-free. In a nutshell, so long as you aren’t listed as the policy owner upon your death, the policy won’t be viewed by as part of your estate. You can also accomplish the same end by placing the policy in an irrevocable trust.

It’s true that life insurance can feel like a tricky business — matters of death and taxes often are. However, by getting creative, you can actually enjoy a wealth of benefits that go far beyond the straightforward payout of just cash upon death.

Save Money Shopping Online With These Sites


The summer is winding down and the kids are heading back to school.  Might be your little kids, big kids, college kids or even you heading back into the classroom as a teacher or student yourself.   Maybe, you don’t have school shopping in mind, but need to stock up on products for your home, or just for your personal use.   Regardless of why you might be shopping, I wanted to share some great sites for you to save money, or even get rock bottom deals.. like FREE!!

Keep more money in your pocket by shopping with these great merchants.  You will find most of these are affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting me :)

SnagShout  –  AMZReviewTrader  –  EliteDealClub   ~ These are where Amazon sellers promote products they are looking to get honest reviews on.  Get products at huge discounts, or even free.. in exchange for reviewing them on Amazon.

TopCashBack –  BeFrugal  –  Ebates  – Mr Rebates ~ A few sites for shopping online and earning cash back as well as finding coupons and deals.

Swagbucks ~  A fun way to earn points when you search, take surveys, or shop online.  Turn the points into gift cards or merchandise.

Mojosavings ~  Great coupon resource.

Coupon Surfer ~  Print coupons for your in store shopping.

PriceGrabber ~  Find great deals and low prices.

Fat Wallet ~  Save with coupons and deals.

Yipit  ~ Find great deals in your city or a city close to you.

Groupon ~  Find great deals in your city or a city close to you.

ThredUp  ~  Buy used clothing for low prices, or sell your clothing and make some money.

Gazelle ~  You can sell your old cell phones for money.  Or, if you are looking for a new / used phone you can buy them here cheaper than in stores.


No matter how you shop, there is just no reason to pay full price for stuff anymore.   Joining mailing lists at shopping sites will usually give a discount code for your first visit as well.  With a little time spent, you can for sure save some money.



5 Great Ways to Make Money From Home


That seems to be the big question these days.   I am asked by many of my family and friends because they all see that I work from home and want to know how I can manage to stay home, make money, and enjoy life.  Well, I say, it isn’t as hard as one would think.   Just takes a little determination, and maybe some dedication and anyone can do it.   Now, some might make more than others, but regardless, pretty much everyone can make money on some level, from home.

Here are 5 Great Ways to Make Money from Home

1) Shopping online using sites like Top CashBackEbates or BeFrugal.    These sites are great!  You use their links to get to the online store you want to shop with and earn a % of your total back.    I have managed to rack up about $1000 in a years time of shopping for things we need and use daily.  My husband is always laughing at me because he will talk about something that he needs and I always say.. wait.. let me see how much we can earn buying it online.  You also earn by referring others to the site.  Depending on your love of shopping, or need for shopping from home you can really earn some serious cash back.

2) If you are a blogger, have a website, are on Facebook or Twitter or any other social network you can earn money by joining affiliate programs.  There are many websites that offer an affiliate program.  Being an affiliate means when you share your link, and someone clicks that link to make a purchase you earn a commission on what they spend.  Being a blogger, I use affiliate links often.  It is a nice way to bring in a bit of extra income.   You can join sites like, LinkShare, ShareaSale and many others.    You can also join Izea and make money by doing campaigns with them.  I do pretty good with them since I have all my social networks connected.  Mostly paid tweets, but they all add up.  Being a blogger and having a good social network following gives me the opportunity to earn with many networks.

3) Joining a Direct Sales company and working from home sharing your love for products.  There are many companies out there to choose from.  You can sell anything from beauty, health, household, clothing, and more.  I am a rep for a few, and love sharing my favorite products with others.   I chose Young Living as my main focus, but what’s right for me might not be right for you.  You can always check out for a great list of companies to check into.

4) Take survey’s.  There are many companies out there who pay for surveys, or you can build up points that can be used for products or gift cards.   Places like or are great to earn a little something extra.

5) Get paid to do what you normally do online.. search!   Swagbucks is a great way to earn money doing what you are going to do.   I use it for searching, and shopping, and also do some surveys on there as well.  I always rack up my points and turn them in for Amazon gift cards, because I shop on Amazon a lot.   This helps me because many times I don’t even think about it when I am searching online, and all of a sudden I realize that I am earning while searching.   Pretty cool!

Do you use any of these?  Or, do you have ones I haven’t mentioned here ?  Want to see some more great ideas for making money from home?  Check out The Penny Hoarder’s post on The 12 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in 2015 .  There are so many ways a person can make money, from just a little, to a lot.  Don’t pass up any chance you have, we all love money right ?  Share your ways to make extra money from home.

Cents-ible Advice about Money from Warren Buffet

Cents-ible Advice about Money from Warren Buffet


Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of over $62 billion, is not known for his lavish lifestyle. Instead, he lives in the same home he bought in Nebraska in 1958 (worth $31,500 back then and $700,000 in today’s dollars) and has been known for his habit of using public transportation. Although he’s richer than any of us could possibly imagine, his frugal habits and sayings are worth listening to:


“We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.”

This simple quote is similar to the ‘journey vs. destination’ debate, just with a financial twist. Whether it’s working at a job we love, starting a side business selling items you created yourself or volunteering for a charitable event, we should enjoy what we’re doing in the moment rather than focusing solely on what we’ll get paid and how we’ll spend it after the ‘process’ is over.


“It is better to hang out with people better than you … you’ll drift in that direction.”

This quote can apply to nearly every aspect of life, but it’s particularly relevant when it comes to money. The distinction here is not comparing yourself to those who are richer than you (“keeping up with the Joneses” mentality) but rather those who live more frugally than you. These people exemplify the possibility of living happily on a budget and hanging out with other frugally-minded people will encourage you to live more frugally as well.


“We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow’s obligations.” 

Strangers have no obligation to us and relying on potential help from someone you don’t know very well could jeopardize your financial situation. In this quote, Buffet is all about self-sufficiency – a term that perfectly describes frugal-minded folks. Do what you can with the tools you have available to you instead of getting into a never-ending cycle of asking others for help.


“If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need.”

It seems that we consumers are simply prone to getting ourselves into debt and there’s no worse way to take on debt than accumulating things you never needed. Rather than making impulse purchases and/or acquiring material possessions deemed ‘non-necessary’ for your living situation, keep to a strict budget (never shop without a list and don’t buy anything that’s not on it), stretch your dollars by finding coupons in local ad publications or through SumoCoupon, and save up for items on your “want” list incrementally instead of buying them now and figuring out how to pay for them later.


“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.”

Money can bring out the worst and the best in us, depending on the person. Despite having a personal net worth that’s higher than some countries’ entire national incomes, Warren Buffet is still a humble man living a relatively frugal lifestyle. The same should go for all of us; whether we’re super rich or dirt poor, how we treat others around us will always be more noticeable than the figures in our bank accounts.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Online Gaming

Online gaming has been around for years and is constantly developing as technology improves.

But what do you know about online gaming? Read on for some interesting facts.

1. Online Gaming Started 40 years Ago

Online Gaming began in the seventies on a distributed computer network called the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) before the internet was created.

2. It Can Be a Nice Little Earner

Playing games over the internet can be a great way of boosting your income.

Sign up to one of the many casino or bingo websites to be in with a chance of winning guaranteed cash prizes.

3. Reduces Stress

Gaming is a fun hobby, which can help you relax – especially when you are feeling stressed.

A game usually demands most of your attention, which gives you the chance to escape the pressures of everyday life. This can lift your mood as well as making you feel happier as you unwind.

4. Improve Your Multi-Tasking Skills

Most games need you to focus on more than one thing at a time, such as moving your fingers over a keyboard or console pad while concentrating on what is happening on-screen.

This, inevitably, will increase your ability to multi-task.

5. Decision-Making Improved

Nearly all games are fast-paced and require you to be able to make quick decisions, whether you’re on a casino website playing for real money or taking part in an action video game.

The more you play, the more confident you will become in making decisions – a skill which you can transfer over to real life scenarios.

6. Cheats Can Be Dangerous

Some of you would consider searching for ‘cheats’ on the internet for the solution to completing a level or task – but this is risky.

Why? Downloading any type of ‘cheat’ which promises to help you could actually contain viruses or spyware, so be careful.

7. Not Everyone Wants To Be Your Friend

While online gaming is associated with socialising and making new friends from all over the globe – some people like to ruin it for others.

This type of player is a ‘griefer’ who enjoys being a nuisance by singling out others in online gaming communities to make their game-play less than enjoyable.

8. You Might Snack Less

Online gamers tend not to overeat because they are too distracted and focused on the game they are playing to think about snacking.

You could consume fewer calories without realizing.

9. Enjoy Teamwork

Playing as part of a team in an online game will teach you how to co-operate with others if you want to succeed in your game.

You will also find out who has certain skills and abilities necessary for particular roles. This is another transferable skill in which you can use in everyday situations.

10. Better Your Technology Skills

When playing online games, you are improving your ability to use technology without even knowing it.

We live in an age where it is necessary to be computer literate, and if playing online games can help aid your basic skills and knowledge – great!

Getting Your Small Business Known

Marketing a small business is no easy task, particularly when you are new to your market. Much of business promotion boils down to getting the word out about who you are and what you do. While marketing itself has been reduced to something of a fine art in terms of the techniques and results that can be generated, at its broadest level simply letting people know you exist should help increase your potential to sell.

As a small business owner, it should come as no surprise that the burden of marketing rests on your shoulders. It is your responsibility to drive business, and many owners come to spend the majority of their time following up sales and chasing new prospects. Getting your business known on a budget becomes even more of a challenge, with the easy route of splashing out on a massive ad campaign infeasible. So how can business owners actually start selling without massive resources to promote their business?

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For any business, the promotional side of what they do can be broken down into branding, marketing and sales. Each of these subdivisions is particular and has its own role to play in the broader promotional mix. But if one of these elements is out of balance, your business will find it difficult to find the customers it needs to grow and prosper.

Branding is the first element many businesses start with, in terms of designing and establishing a visual image representative of their business. Broadly, it is a process of wrapping up your image and service in a graphic, or a text-based logo that conveys the right message. Custom promotional stationery is one area where this is directly beneficial, and a stronger brand message presented in this way can help improve the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
In terms of marketing, new businesses simply need to get their name known as far and so they will try to find a promotional calendar (like one of these) or another interesting method of grabbing attention. There is much to be said for targeting your marketing efforts, and promotions that are designed with a particular target or demographic in mind will usually generate better results. But for small businesses without massive budgets to play with, simply raising the profile of your business is a good starting point for getting early sales through the door.

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The sales processes you use in your business will ultimately close the deal. Branding and marketing helps generate the interest, while sales turns prospects into customers. Promoting your business is all good, but unless you can convert those who are interested in what you do into paying customers, all efforts are in vain. A promotional approach that aims to raise the profile of your business while capturing prospects and converting them into sales will be the most effective solution overall.

Getting a small business off the ground takes time, money and strong attention to detail. While you need to raise the profile of what you do among those most likely to buy, sales are where the revenue is actually closed. Only a business that can pull each of these three departments together can expect to grow their reach.


5 Investment Tips for The Average Joe

Investing is a complex task with many possible venues for success. There’s always risk involved with investments, but smart investors know how to limit this and move forward with their strategies. You don’t need a formal education in finance and investing to get major returns when you follow these smart and simple tips.

Understand Your Options

Image via Flickr by George Rex

As you become more familiar with the world of investing, you’ll find dozens of options for diversifying your portfolio. Here are some of the simplest and most common choices.

  • Stocks – A stock entitles you to a share of the company. The stock will rise or fall with the success of the company. This is one of the riskier strategies for investing.
  • Bonds – A company issues bonds to help a them amass startup or operating funds. Unless the company goes bankrupt, you will receive your first investment back along with regular interest payments.
  • Mutual Funds – Mutual funds have a money manager taking care of them so you can take a more hands-off approach. They’re composed of both stocks and bonds.
  • Retirement Accounts – Max out your contributions to retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(K)s before investing in other options. These come with tax benefits and some companies match certain contributions.

Maintain a Diverse Portfolio

This is one of the most common pieces of advice what it comes to investing. A diverse portfolio has many different types of investments. Your account should favor riskier options when you’re young and gradually move over to more stable investments as you age. However, you should have a variety of investments at every stage.

Manage Your Account Online

It’s easier than ever to open and keep up a brokerage account online. This will save you lots of money by allowing you to manage your account remotely from the Internet. You can set up a new account in minutes and sign in to check on it as often as you like.

Use Investment Management Software

Investment management software will help you keep an eye on your portfolio and check all the latest trends and information at a glance. You can choose from web-based tracking tools and software programs. What you choose is less important than the fact that you simply choose something so you have an easy and comprehensive way to keep an eye on your investments.

Educate Yourself about the Market

Once you start investing, it’s a good idea to begin following the stock market. Subscribe to the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. Watch CNN or MSNBC. Stay current with the latest trends. These sources may give you valuable tips that help you decide when to buy or sell and what to invest in. Experts like Fisher Investments have lots of valuable insights to offer. Don’t discount your own intuition, though. Some of the most successful investors made millions simply by making their own observations and following through.

Investing is something that anyone can do. Protect your future and make the most of your money by following these tips and getting involved in the exciting world of investments.

Diamonds: a great way of funding the holiday of a lifetime

Diamonds: a great way of funding the holiday of a lifetime

The evenings are getting lighter and the days warmer (albeit very gradually!), so naturally I’ve started to get excited about summer. Admittedly, this may be a little premature, but one thing’s for sure – now is the perfect time to start planning your next holiday. If you want to have the trip of a lifetime this year, I think it’s worth finding ways you can pull out all the stops.

One option that’s come to my attention recently is securing a short-term loan against your diamond jewellery. Loans like this – which are usually called personal asset loans – typically run for around six months and can be applied for online through companies like borro.

At first, this might sound like quite a complex way to get hold of some extra funds for your holiday, but it’s actually pretty simple. Plus, it means that you can use the money in any way you like, such as:

• Increasing the duration of your holiday from a couple of weeks to a full month
• Staying in more luxurious accommodation
• Giving yourself more spending money so you can really make the most of your trip

Here’s a rundown of how taking out a loan against your diamonds works.

1) Application

As mentioned above, you can apply for personal asset loans online. The only information you’ll need to give at this point is your name, address, contact details and a brief description of your piece of jewellery, alongside how much you believe it to be worth. Someone will then get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.

2) Valuation

Provided your jewellery sounds suitable for securing a loan (i.e. it’s made from either platinum or gold and bears a hallmark), a valuation will be arranged. If you choose a company like borro, an expert will be on-hand to conduct a thorough valuation, which will be based on factors like:

• Current gold prices
• The quality of the metal
• The color, cut and clarity of the diamonds, and any other gemstones in the piece

3) Offer of contract

Presuming your diamonds are deemed suitable to secure a loan against, you’ll then be offered a loan – usually up to 70 per cent of the jewellery’s resale price. Typically, your loan, as well as any interest accrued, will need to be paid back within six months.

4) Accepting the contact

Provided you accept the terms of the contract, you can receive your money within as little as 24 hours. Just as a quick note, if you think that the contract isn’t for you, there is no fee to pay if you decide to turn it down.

5) Spending!

Once you’ve got the money, it’s yours to spend entirely as you please (unlike some bank loans, which can place restraints on what you use the funds for). If you’re planning the holiday of a lifetime, I recommend something like a round-the-world cruise, a few months in Australia or, if you’re going on honeymoon, a romantic month in the Maldives – but of course, the choice is entirely yours!

6) Repayment

You’ll arrange a repayment plan with your lender, but you won’t incur any extra fees if you decide you’d like to pay the sum back a little early – which is good news if you like being ultra-organized!

Of course, you’re probably wondering what happens if you can’t pay the loan back. In that situation, your diamond jewellery will be sold to cover your debt, as well as any extra costs your provider might face – like auction fees. If there’s any surplus money, this will be returned to you.

Applying for your first credit card: A quick Q&A

Applying for your first credit card: A quick Q&A
If you’re thinking about making a credit card application online, you might be wondering where to start. Banking terms can be difficult to understand, not to mention the wide range of products available, but this list of frequently asked questions and answers should help you out.
What is credit?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that credit involves borrowing money with the agreement to pay it back at a later date. If you don’t make transactions on time, you could end up with a poor credit score and this could make it difficult to get a loan, credit card, or mortgage in the future. While lending decisions are based on a number of factors, it’s important to stick to the conditions of the contract as closely as possible. If you don’t think you can manage this, it’s not worth looking for extra funds.
What can I use a credit card for?
While you can purchase almost anything with your credit card, many people will use them to pay for significant purchases – such as a new car or home improvements – over a longer period of time. This means you don’t have to fork out a lot of cash all at once and can incorporate regular payments into your monthly budget. It’s worth noting, however, that spending limits are often capped (particularly for those who have never taken out a credit card before), so always read the small print.
What’s a rewards card?
If you’ve been doing your research, you may have already come across a wide range of rewards cards. With these, you can earn points every time you spend and redeem them against an array of deals and discount. Football credit cards, for instance, are ideal for fans of the beautiful game, as they give you access to special merchandise as well as exciting days out. Many banking groups will also make a contribution to your club whenever you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.
What is a low interest rate card?
Credit cards can come in very useful, but if you pay anything less than the full amount of your statement, you will usually be charged. While fees differ between providers, it’s good to choose a low interest rate credit card, as this will give you more financial security if you do fall behind with your payments. Many banking groups also offer 0 per cent on purchases and balance transfers for promotional period, so it’s definitely wise to compare and contrast deals.
Applying for your first credit card might seem daunting at first, but it’s simple enough – as long as you know the facts.

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