We Are All Winners!!!

we are all winners

We all like good news!

I must say that it has been a pretty awesome last few weeks for Kate and I as well as our friends.  And I don’t mean it because we got to go on an awesome vacation or because we had two Thanksgiving dinners, but because there has been some pretty exciting news in our lives.

No, we’re not having a baby.  I just want to say that before I start getting hysterical calls from my mom.

Actually, our friends En and Em just had their second daughter, baby A. Good job, Em!!! And congratulations to En as well for his contribution.  She couldn’t have done it without you.

Bringing a new member to the family is by far the most amazing thing that could happen, but there were other things that happened to us that were somewhat cool.

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It’s Official – Bars Are Not My Thing

Beers are overpriced

Beers are overpriced

I remember those college days when going out was a bit of a ritual.  I didn’t even start getting ready until 9-9:30 pm because “nobody goes out before 10 pm.”  I never really tried to look too sharp because that wasn’t really my style, but I always tried to look good thinking that maybe that day was the day when I was going to meet someone… or “hook up” with somebody like the youngsters say.  I got a few numbers but that day was never THE day.

Either way, I always had fun when I went out to bars, but I have come to a point in my life where going out to bars is really not my thing.

Boys Night Out

Because all of us are either married with kids, are engaged or in a committed relationship, finding time where all the guys can get together is sometimes difficult without prior planning.  So about a month ago, we decided to plan a boys night out because he hadn’t hung out together in a while.

We settled on this past Friday, which happened to be the day before my brother’s birthday.  It was a great opportunity to hang out and also celebrate my brother’s birthday by going out to dinner in New York and then having some drinks at a bar in Hoboken, NJ.

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Side Hustle Alert! – UserTesting

usertesting

Make Money Online

I write a lot about ways to save money in order to pay off debt.  But that is only on part of the equation.  You can also look for ways to make more money so you can have more disposable income to either save or pay off debt.

I haven’t written much about making money on the side because I don’t usually try to make money on the side myself.  Side hustles take time and effort that I just don’t have.

But don’t worry my young grasshopper.  I found an excellent side hustle that doesn’t take too much time and it’s so easy that even I can do it. Website usability testing with UserTesting.com.

If you are like me and are trying to make money on the side without too much effort then UserTesting.com is for you.

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Giving Feels Good

giving feels good

Give Yourself

We all love receiving things, be it gifts, money, affection, food – you name it, we like it.  You might not believe it, but you know what else feels good? Giving.

When most people think of giving, they think of giving gifts or giving money in the form of donations, but what if you don’t have money to give?  Well, you can give your time.

You can not only give your time to your friends and family but you can also volunteer somewhere and donate your time to your community.

I try to volunteer at the animal shelter every year, and this year Kate told me about a program at work in which volunteers go to middle schools and high school and teach a class about bullying (middle school) or career exploration (high school).

I decided to do the career exploration class because I felt I knew more about the topic and I could help the kids better.

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite Holiday because it is all about giving thanks and spending time with family and loved ones – while eating as much as possible.  There are other good Holidays, but you usually have to buy gifts for people… I’m looking at you Christmas and Hanukkah.

Since Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, I want to take this opportunity and give thanks for a few people.

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Back From Family Vacation

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

I’ve been away so long that I feel the need to say ‘Hello everyone!’  It really hasn’t been that long, only two weeks, but it really feels like a long time.

For those of you who don’t know, I just returned from a family vacation to Italy. This was the first vacation I’ve taken with my entire family in over 15 years and it was pretty awesome.

My brother, my sister, and I – along with our significant others – decided to take my mom to Italy.  My mom has always wanted to go to Europe, but never had the opportunity to go.  So when I saw a Groupon for a trip to Italy, I knew this could be her opportunity.

I mentioned the deal to my brother and sister to see if they wanted to join Kate and I on this trip, and also to see if they wanted to split the cost of our mom’s ticket.  Everybody said that they would go, but my sister said she couldn’t really contribute for my mom’s trip because she’s planning a wedding and she’s already over-budget… Yet another reason why I don’t understand big weddings, but that’s a different discussion.

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How To Improve Your Credit Score

improve your credit score

Improve your credit score

Credit scores measure your credit worthiness, meaning how reliable you are as a borrower.  Credit scores are simply a measure of how good your are at managing debt.

This is an unfortunate system because in essence you have to get into debt to have a good credit score, but this is the reality we live in and we have to deal with the cards that we have been dealt.

Having a good credit score is essential in order to be able to get a home loan or a car loan, and also to be able to get the lowest possible interest rates.

If you have a low credit score, here are some ways you can improve your credit score.

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Why You Should Get Long-Term Care Insurance

long-term care

Ice cream makes everyone happy

Many of us think we’re invincible and that we are going to live forever.  And even though we’re living longer – around 80 years, which is about 30 years longer than people living 100 years ago – that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be healthy all our lives.

We all know having health insurance is a must, but many of us don’t know that health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care.

Long-term care is not medical care, but rather a variety of services which help meet both medical and non-medical needs of people who cannot care for themselves over a long period of time due to a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with basic personal needs of everyday life, such as bathing, dressing, etc.

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If You Rent, Get Renters Insurance

renters insurance

Kitchen Fire

Many people know that having insurance is a good thing.  We all insure our cars in case of accidents or in case they get stolen; we are also all required to get health insurance in case we get sick; and we should all have emergency insurance in the form or an emergency fund.  We also know that if we have a house, we need home owners insurance so we’re financially protected in case something happens to the house.

But the one thing that many people ignore is renters insurance.  Renters, for the most part, don’t think about insurance because the place they are renting is not theirs or they think their belongings are insured through their landlord’s insurance policy.

Landlords have insurance on the apartments, but only for structural damage, not for the things that are inside the apartment, a.k.a. your things.

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October Goals Update

october goals

Ditto

Is it just me or was October the longest month ever?  It seemed as if it was never going to end.  Maybe I just wanted it to be Halloween already, or maybe it is because my November vacation can’t come fast enough.

Another factor that might have an effect on the extra length of October is that I was extremely busy with personal stuff and with work.  The only thing that kept me sane was knowing that vacation was coming soon.  Did I mention vacation soon?

October Goals

As many of you know, I set a few goals for myself this month.  The first one was a fitness challenge where I had to work out at least three times a week. The second goal was a writing challenge in which I had to write at least 500 words a day, every day.

Now, let me start by saying that I accomplished half of my goals.  That is, I was able to complete one of them, but failed miserably on the other.

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