Gaming Apps: Time Killers And Thrillers

Fortnite (Android)Blonde male fortnight character
If you’re an erstwhile arcade aficionado, you’ll love Fortnite. The wildly popular game is equipped with arcade-like aesthetics and unveils new weapons, challenges and game modes each week. Plus, you can pick up a game you started on your mobile device and continue it on your desktop computer for non-stop fun.

Knight Brawl (Apple)Knight Brawl logo, cartoon warrior getting bonked on his helmeted head with a mace
This one is for the secret medieval hero inside you. Use your weapons and shields to fight opponents and boast about your big wins to other players while in the game’s characters’ inn. Aside from the basic battles, the app also offers super-challenging missions for the diehard knights out there.

Kazarma (Android)kazarma logo
Are you ready for an out-of-this-world adventure? Prepare for takeoff! This game will really take you places as you zoom along Kazarma, an ancient bridge connecting all human colonies within the galaxy. Ward off aliens with your neon zapper, and enjoy a new game each time with the app’s procedurally generated levels. You’ll only need your thumb to play Kazarma, making it a perfect choice for mobile devices.

Shadowgun Legends (Apple)futuristic warrior faces off with giant deadly robot
With super-sophisticated visuals and a first-person perspective, Shadowgun Legends is a top-rated app for good reason. Navigate the game easily with both thumbs, and get drawn into a fast-paced world of danger and intrigue. It’s a perfect adventure for the braver soul.

Beach Buggy Racing 2 (Android)Beach Buggy cartoon character
Travel back in time to a world of dinosaurs, gigantic sea creatures, fire-breathing dragons and dinky old wagons. Your dilapidated vehicle is your lifeline, and you’ll need to find shortcuts, use power-ups, blast your enemies to the heavens and maintain top speed so you reach the checkered flag before your opponents. Beware: This game is addictive!

Asphalt 8: Airborne (Android)rendering of a yellow and black supercar
Asphalt 8: Airborne, gives a slight nod toward realism with true-to-life locations, and will have you devouring miles of road at dizzying speed. A thrilling racing game, this app lets you blast through volcanoes, soar into the air and blaze through rocket launch sites as you make a mad dash for the finish line.

PinOut! (Apple)glowing chrome pinball in a futuristic grid environment
Get ready for some old-fashioned fun! PinOut is what happens when iconic arcade gaming meets 21st century visuals. It’s pinball reinvented, with extra challenges forcing you to find the most efficient way to the next table, grab some dots and beat a ticking timer before your game is up. With incredible graphics and sound effects, PinOut is your ticket to a nostalgic trip back to the ’90s.

One Tap Rally (Android)Rendering of a blue & green rally car on a dirt track
With a single finger, you can join the race of a lifetime! One Tap Rally lets you steer, brake and own that racetrack until you beat your opponents to move up to the next level. Mix speed and strategy in this beauty of a racer, perfect for your mobile device.
With so many free apps to choose from, it’s a world of nonstop fun and adventure in gaming land!

Your Turn:
What’s your favorite gaming app? Tell us about it in the comments!

Learn More:
macworld.co.uk
techjury.net
cnet.com
techjury.net

AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out Of Money Or Breaking A Hip

Coverof AgeProof, hourglass with title superimposed in frontHealth and wealth: They’re the most basic, and yet often the most elusive, of human desires. After all, it wouldn’t help you to be sitting on millions of dollars if you were to be too weak to get out of bed. Similarly, if you were perfectly healthy but struggling with mountains of debt, you’d be far too stressed to enjoy your health.

In AgeProof, financial guru Jean Chatzky teams up with Dr. Michael Roizen to show you how you can use the same strategies to achieve and maintain both financial wellness and physical health.

The primary principle that’s threaded throughout the book is to strike a perfect balance between inflow and outflow. In practical terms, this means that, just like you don’t want to consume more calories than you burn off, you wouldn’t want to spend more money than you earn. While this is basic common sense, Chatzky and Roizen offer scientifically proven ways that readers can implement this approach and improve their behavior to benefit both their physical and financial wellness. They show readers how to beat the systems that are designed to make us fail, by automating decisions and limiting choices in the face of overconsumption and debt.

AgeProof is written in easy-to-understand language without any of the eye-glazing jargon that is common in most personal finance books. The upbeat tone and practical ideas sprinkled throughout its pages make AgeProof a quick, enjoyable book for readers of any age or stage in life.

Chatzky and Roizen believe our health and our wealth are intimately connected. They claim the sooner we acknowledge this link and learn how to manage both aspects of our lives in the most optimal way possible, the sooner we’ll be on the path toward a life of true financial wellness and physical health.

Some readers complain that AgeProof, while packed with actionable tips, does not break any new ground and simply recycles stale theories and strategies. However, most readers find AgeProof to be an enlightening and useful guide for those seeking a way to maintain their wealth and health throughout their life.

Your Turn:
Do you believe there is a clear link between our physical health and financial wellness, as theorized in AgeProof? Share your take with us in the comments.

Learn More:
Goodreads.com
Amazon.com
thebalance.com

Distraction-Blocker Apps

Do you find your daily to-do list is no match for the distractions of the internet? Are you constantly pushing off tasks so you can check your Facebook page or see what’s new on Pinterest for the 10th time this hour? If this describes you, consider a distraction-blocker app. These apps are the mobile age’s way of fighting back. Or, as Cold Turkey, a leading app of this kind cheekily says, “Meet your match, Zuckerberg!”

We’ve done the research for you, dishing you the details on three of the most popular distraction-blocker apps on the market.

We’ve given you the info on how to choose the one that suits you best, and stop (okay, pause) your internet addiction today!

Cold Turkey logo, cartoon turkey on grey/blue background

Cold Turkey

This top-rated app is a favorite for people looking to reclaim their free time as their own. As its name implies, the app makes it easy to quit wasting time on apps and websites by allowing you to stop frequenting them-cold turkey. For complete control, have a friend set your passwords.

Cold Turkey offers a free “Basic” version with limited features as well as a “Pro” version for a one-time fee of $29.

Best features
Cold Turkey’s blocking features are highly customizable. You can choose to block specific apps and websites, or even block the entire internet-or your entire computer! If you need limited online access for your work, such as access to Google Docs, just white-list the sites you need. Set your own blocking schedule in advance so your work or study hours are always distraction-free. Best of all, once you start a block, there’s no turning back. If going cold turkey is too intense for you, you can build timed breaks into your preset blocks.

Cold Turkey will also track your internet usage and let you know exactly how much time you’re wasting on Instagram or YouTube each day so you know better which sites and apps to block.

Glaring glitches
While the paid version offers an excellent array of features, users find the free version of Cold Turkey to be severely limited. You won’t be able to block apps or specific web pages without paying the subscription price. The free version can also be difficult to uninstall.

FocusMe logo, stylized clock at two o'clock with hour hand that forms a dynamic pointerFocusMe
FocusMe offers features similar to those found on Cold Turkey; however, FocusMe offers even more customization and harder-to-break controls.

Best Features
Users love FocusMe’s extremely detailed customization options. The app lets you block specific programs, block keyword phrases in internet searches and schedule breaks with reminders into your time blocks. Create your schedule, and it will automatically kick into gear when you boot up your computer; there’s no need to open the app to turn on the block. Once a block has started, you can’t turn it off, even if you restart your computer.

There’s no cheating with FocusMe!
This app is great for students looking to boost their grades. It even offers a special discount for the cash-strapped student to make it more affordable.
Users are also quick to highlight the incredible customer service FocusMe offers. Emailed inquiries are answered promptly and company reps are super-helpful.

Glaring Glitches
Some users complain that, while FocusMe offers an impressive array of customizable options, it can be difficult to learn your way around the app. Setup and installation can also take up a large chunk of time.

Also, there is no free version of FocusMe, and the cost of a subscription at $6.99 a month (or $2.50 per month if you commit to a full year) is a bit on the pricey side. You can also sign up for life by paying a one-time fee of $119.

Small green carton sapling sprouting in fertile soil over a green to yellow gradient backgroundForest
If you need visual motivation to keep you focused, this is the app for you. Forest takes the classic distraction-blocker app and turns it into a game with its unique interface and graphic design. The app isn’t free, but at $1.99, it’s extremely affordable.

Best Features
Every time you open the Forest app, you start planting a virtual tree. The tree will continue growing until you leave the app or complete your block. Once your timer is up, you’ll have a fully grown tree. The app will store a virtual forest of every tree you plant, serving as a great visual reminder of all the time you spend away from your phone. Become an expert “Forester,” by planting an entire forest!

This innovative app works by motivating the user to keep the Forest app open on their device. Once it’s open, all apps are blocked unless they have been white-listed by the user. While the user’s tree is growing, the app encourages the user to leave their phone alone and go do something productive, like catch up with family or get back to work.

Earn virtual coins for every tree you plant within the app and then spend them on real trees: Forest partners with Trees for the Future, an authentic tree-planting organization. To date, 535,815 trees have been planted through this unique arrangement. Instead of wasting time online, you can help make the world a more beautiful place.

Glaring Glitches
The app’s unique approach to distraction blocking is also its greatest disadvantage because it offers very little customization. There’s no way to plan built-in breaks, create a weekly schedule or even set a password for your block.

How they stack up

AppFree VersionStudent DiscountHigh CustomizationVisual Motivation
Cold TurkeyYesNoYesNo
FocusMeNoYesYesNo
ForestNoNoNoYes

Your Turn:
What’s your favorite distraction-blocker app? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Learn More:
focusme.com
alternativeto.net
cisdem.com
commonsenemedia.org
forestapp.cc

Everything Is Figureoutable By Marie Forleo

book cover of Everything is Figureoutable with text in front of author Marie ForleDreaming up big goals is easy; it’s finding a way to achieve them that can sometimes feel impossible. Maybe you decided this is the year you kick that addiction, double your contributions to your retirement account or finally pull yourself out of debt. Whatever your big dreams may be, Marie Forleo’s new book Everything is Figureoutable will show you how to make them happen.

Forleo describes her mom as a woman with the tenacity of a bulldog and the language of a truck driver. The author’s chief philosophy, and the primary principle of her book, is centered on the wise words her mom shared with her, “Nothing in life is that complicated. You can do whatever you set your mind to if you just roll up your sleeves, get in there, and do it. Everything is figureoutable.”

Forleo’s book shows readers how to achieve any goal, whether they want to launch a business; get their finances under control; leave a dead-end job or learn how to tap dance. With her trademark blend of candor and wit, the award-winning TV host, entrepreneur and public speaker breaks through the barriers that hold us back and inspires readers with the overpowering message that they can achieve anything they dream up. All it takes, she claims, is retraining your brain for ultimate productivity and achievement.

Forleo draws on real-life anecdotes from guests on her podcast and show, MarieTV, to highlight the success rate of her theory. She also backs up her claims with academic research and surveys that are sprinkled throughout the book.
Everything is Figureoutable is a quick, engaging read that may just change your life. Readers will discover:

  • A simple practice that can make you 42% more likely to achieve your goals.
  • How to overcome a lack of time and money.
  • What to do if you’re multi-passionate.
  • How to handle criticism, haters and imposter syndrome.
  • How to differentiate between fear and intuition.
  • A fail-proof test to guide you in making the right decisions, especially in high-stakes situations.

One point of criticism readers have with Everything is Figureoutable is Forleo’s broad promise that her book and philosophy can help people move past any problem, including mental health issues. These readers claim that issues like depression, addiction and trauma, require the help of professionals trained in the mental health field. At the very least, they believe Marie should have made mention of seeking professional help under such circumstances, in addition to following her philosophy.

However, readers who enjoy mental equilibrium are finding the book to be incredibly inspiring and life-altering. As Forleo says about Everything is Figureoutable, “It’s more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a philosophy of relentless optimism. A mindset. A mantra. A conviction. Most important, it’s about to make you unstoppable.”

Your Turn:
Do you agree with Forleo’s premise that everything is truly figureoutable? Why, or why not? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Learn More:
booksamillion.com
goodreads.com
amazon.com

The Ultimate Guide To Your First College Laptop

Young man sitting on floor holding laptop in front of him.Your laptop will be your new BFF in college. This is where you’ll store your notes, record important lectures, outline your study schedule and write up your term papers. But, with such a wide variety of laptops on the market, the choice can be overwhelming and confusing.

Check out our comprehensive guide for laptop-shopping before deciding which one is right for you.

1. Choose your platform
You have three primary choices when it comes to choosing an Operating System (OS) for your laptop.

  • Microsoft’s Windows
    Widows offers a flexible OS that is featured in notebooks that cost as little as $150 and in upgraded models that retail for as much as several thousands of dollars. Windows digital assistant, Cortana, is a powerful tool that can help you navigate your computer and search the web for relevant information, and its stylus is super-versatile, too.
  • Apple’s Mac OS High Sierra
    Similar to Windows, Apple’s OS offers what many users consider to be a simpler interface. Mac users have digital assistant Siri, and can use Apple Pay to manage their finances. If you’ve got an Apple Watch, you’ll be able to unlock your laptop with a flick of your wrist.
  • Google’s Chrome OS
    You’ll findGoogle’s Chrome OS on cheaper Chromebooks, like the Samsung Chromebook 3. Chromebooks are extremely portable, but with the Chrome browser serving as the laptop’s primary app, it’s essentially a tablet with slightly more functionality.

2. Choose your specs
Make sure your computer is equipped with the tools you need:

  • RAM
    Look for a laptop with a minimum of 4GB, or even 8GB if you can swing it financially.
  • CPU
    The brains of your computer will determine its processing power. You’ll find a broad range of CPUs in laptops and notebooks. Your best bet for a budget laptop that still performs well is to get one using an Intel Core i5 CPU or its equivalents, like the AMD Ryzen Mobile. More powerful CPUs can really hike up the price, and those that are cheaper usually aren’t worth the money you’ll save.
  • Display
    If you can afford it, choose a laptop with a minimum of 1920×1080 pixels, or full HD. Most cheaper laptops only offer 1366×768, but it’s usually worthwhile to pay extra for a sharper image and a larger capacity for content on the screen.
  • Touch screen
    Touch screens are standard in all two-in-one models, but if you’re purchasing an ordinary laptop, a touch screen will decrease your battery life without offering many benefits.

3. Choose a price range
These days, you can pick up a laptop for as little as $150-but those are usually web-centric Chromebooks that offer very little storage and have weak processors that won’t meet your needs as a college student.

Here’s what you can expect to find in various price ranges:

  • $350 to $600
    You can find a very decent laptop for less than $600, complete with 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 CPU. At this price range though, you’ll likely be missing out on the longer battery life and HD display.
  • $600-$900
    Once you break the $600 mark, you’ll have your choice of upgrades, such as metal finishes and sharper, higher-pixel displays.
  • $900+
    If you’re ready to pay anything near the $1,000 mark for a laptop, expect to see lightweight computers that deliver a faster, more powerful processor and a super-sharp display.

4. Choose a battery life
Here’s where you need to determine exactly how you will be using your laptop. If it’s mainly going to serve as a desktop computer that’s carried around only occasionally, you can afford to choose a cheaper computer with a short-life battery. But, if you’re like most college students who wind up lugging their laptops around everywhere like a third arm, aim for a battery life that offers a minimum of 7 hours of untethered power.

Your laptop might be the most important tool you use in school. Spend some time choosing the one that’s right for you so it serves you well throughout your years in college.

Your Turn:
Did you recently purchase a laptop for college? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Learn More:
laptopmag.com
techradar.com
pcmag.com

Note-Taking Apps

You aren’t seriously still scribbling your to-do list on plain paper, are you? Get with the times and choose one of these popular note-taking apps to help you do the job. Your scrawls will never be the same.

EverNote logo, stylized elephant head on white backgroundEvernote
Stop misplacing your to-do lists by moving all your notes to the cloud with Evernote. This note-taking app is a favorite among 200 million users worldwide, thanks to its impressive array of features.

Evernote’s incredible versatility appeals to all kinds of note takers. If you’re the fastidious type, you’ll love Evernote’s notebooks, which allow you to group your thoughts into 250 self-divided categories. You’ll also rejoice in the tagging feature, which lets you sort notes, crosslink them and insert your own checklists and tables into your notes.

Are you more of a verbal sort? Get your thoughts on file using Evernote’s audio recording feature, which is available for both desktop and mobile.

If your note-taking involves lots of research, use the app’s web clipper to attach any link.

Evernote makes collaboration easy, with the option to share notebooks via email and a handy chat feature for live communication.

Evernote has three different plan options. The Basic plan is free, but places bandwidth limits on monthly uploads and can be insufficient for some users. Subscriptions to paid plans start at $3.99/month and go up to $7.99/month, with significant savings offered for a full year’s commitment.

Best Features: While Evernote has many distinctive features, the software really shines with its notebooks and note tags, making organizing your thoughts a breeze. Another nifty feature, called optical character recognition (OCR), sets Evernote apart by allowing you to search for text in both your written notes and inside of images.

Glaring Glitches: Evernote features fall short by lacking a built-in video note capability. There’s also a monthly bandwidth limit of 60MB of uploads a month on the free version and a 250 cap on the number of notebooks you can open on the app. Another downfall is the lack of an ink-to-text conversion feature.

Evernote is a somewhat clunky piece of software with lots going on. New users will need to invest a good chunk of time learning their way around the app before they can start creating, saving and sharing notes.

 

OneNote logo File folder icon with N on purple backgroundOneNote
Microsoft’s contribution to the world of note-taking tools comes close to Evernote’s versatility and convenience, even topping it in some areas.

The app allows you to create and store text notes, voice notes, pictures and more. Unlike Evernote, OneNote includes a video note feature. You can also create as many notebooks as you’d like—or at least until you run out of storage space. OneNote integrates seamlessly with most voice-recognition software, so you can speak and let the app transcribe your notes for you. You can even have the app change “ink” notes, such as a handwritten note or even an entire whiteboard of notes, into plain text.

Like Evernote, OneNote allows you to clip web pages using a browser add-on tool for assistance in compiling research. Unlike Evernote, though, the app also allows almost unlimited flexibility when creating your notes, including rich formatting options and the ability to add diagrams, scribbles and more. You can also share notes directly from the application, choosing to share them via email or by creating links.

Best Features: Unless you want to pair the software with Microsoft’s Office 365, OneNote is completely free. As another plus, OneNote allows you to organize your notes in any way you’d like, exactly as you’d be able to do with an actual paper notebook.

Glaring Glitches: OneNote’s biggest shortcoming is its lack of at-rest encryption for consumer accounts. This means that anyone who gains access to the cloud server can access your notes without an encryption key. This can be worrisome for anyone who’d rather keep their private notes private.

Some users also complain about OneNote’s basic functionality, claiming it constantly crashes, does not sync properly and consequently causes users to lose their precious notes.

 

Google Keep logo, white lightbulb on goldenrod fieldGoogle Keep
Google’s digital notebook, Google Keep, is miles behind Evernote and OneNote in available features, but it still deserves recognition for what it is: a completely free note-taking tool that does its job well.

You won’t find a plethora of formatting tools and organizational features, like notebooks, on Google Keep, but the app offers unlimited notes that won’t eat up your Google Drive space. The notes themselves do have a 20,000-character limit, which comes to approximately 4,000 words. There’s also no ink-to-text conversion capability.

Google Keep is not completely without fun features. You can use the app to create bulleted lists; attach reminders to notes; add “collaborators” to notes and assign them tasks; add images and drawings using a pen tool and label notes to sort them.

You can also utilize the Chrome extension embedded in the app to clip web content; however, you’re limited to clipping select text and images. Google Keep integrates with all of Google Suite, so you can import your notes directly to Google Docs, Sheets and more.

One of the best features you’ll find on Google Keep is the ability to dictate notes and allow the app to transcribe them for you. Since Google’s speech recognition software is considered better than average, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the results than frustrated.

Best Features: The no-frills app is simple and can be learned and operated in just a few minutes.

Glaring Glitches: Since Google Keep’s notes are uber-simplistic, there are almost no formatting options at all.

But most concerning is Google’s notorious lack of security. Since Google’s main revenue stream is advertising, the company’s practices of scraping information from search histories and email content to compile data used for target marketing is fairly common knowledge. While Google has not confessed to doing the same with information stored on Google Keep, it’s not that far of a stretch from its current practices. If this sounds worrying to you, you may want to give Google Keep a miss.

 

How they stack up

App NameGenerous Free VersionVideo NotesInk-to -Text ConversionEasy to LearnSecurity Issues
EvernoteNoNoNoNoNo
OneNoteYesYesYesNoYes
Google KeepYesNoNoYesYes

 

Your Turn:
What’s your favorite note-taking app? Tell us about it in the comments!

 

SOURCES:

https://evernote.com/

https://www.cloudwards.net/evernote-vs-onenote/

https://www.cloudwards.net/evernote-review/

https://www.cloudwards.net/google-keep-review/

https://beebom.com/evernote-alternatives/

https://www.cloudwards.net/onenote-review/

https://www.onenote.com

Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living

Meet the Frugalwoods book coverUnless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few decades, you’ve no doubt absorbed society’s message that you can buy your way to a happier life. From the minute we wake up until our eyes close at bedtime, we’re bombarded with splashy ads and commercials promising us the world—for a price, of course.

Elizabeth and Nate Thames were an archetypical couple of our consumerist world. In 2014, this pair of professionals was holding down high-powered jobs, living in the city and pulling in big bucks. The world was theirs for the taking.

But one day, they decided they’d had enough of that lifestyle. They were sick of wishing away their workdays and desperately counting down until the weekends. They wanted to start living genuinely and enjoying each day to the fullest.

Together, they hatched a plan: They’d sock away as much money as possible to become modern-day homesteaders in rural Vermont. They called themselves “the Frugalwoods,” and as soon as they put their plan into action, starting by saving more than 70 percent of their income, Elizabeth began documenting their progress on the couple’s popular blog. In less than three years, the Thameses had achieved their goal and reached financial independence at the age of 32. They are now living on a 66-acre homestead in Vermont, together with their little girl.

In her book, Meet the Frugalwoods, Elizabeth retells the eye-opening story of how her financially comfortable family disengaged from the race of keeping up with the Joneses and drastically scaled back their spending to live their dream life. The book is a compelling read that will make spenders of any level stop and think about the choices and financial habits that direct their lives.

You don’t need to be harboring a secret dream of quitting your day job and moving to the woods to enjoy this book. Most of us can stand to cut back on our consumerism for living with a bit more frugality. Meet the Frugalwoods encourages readers to examine their possessions and physical comforts, as well as to determine which of those add genuine joy and value to their lives. Only things that are truly valuable to you are worth holding onto. As Elizabeth says, the process of cutting back and bowing out of society’s peer pressure is enormously liberating.

Thousands of readers have found Meet the Frugalwoods to be an inspiring and motivational tale, but many others find it to be preachy and condescending. A widely-voiced complaint is that the couple is still pulling in a handsome salary and cannot comprehend what it means to truly struggle. Nate works from home and earns over $200K a year, while Elizabeth authors their personal finance blog. While it’s admirable that they were able to pull out of the spending trap and now wear second-hand clothing, knowing they have a huge financial cushion to fall back on greatly diminishes their “sacrifice.”

However, lots of readers find it truly inspiring that a couple who can afford to live large has managed to untangle themselves from the web of consumerism that ensnares most of society.

You may not want to live as frugally as the Thames family, but by reading their story and incorporating some of its lessons into your own life, you, too, can learn to lead a simpler and more meaningful life.

Your Turn:
Do you think it is possible to be truly happy and fulfilled while living a life of excessive consumerism? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

SOURCES:

https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/best-personal-finance-books-to-read

https://www.amazon.com/Meet-Frugalwoods-Achieving-Financial-Independence/dp/0062668137

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35068719-meet-the-frugalwoods

Six Figures Under – Dig Out From Your Mounting Debts

Six Figures Under personal finance made publicWhen Stephanie and her husband found themselves looking at a six-figure student loan debt load in 2009, they didn’t know how to start freeing themselves. Their small family’s budget was just barely making it to the end of each month. How would they possibly pay off such an overwhelming amount of debt?

Fast forward to the end of 2016 and that huge, monstrous debt was completely gone.

How did they do it?
On her blog, Six Figures Under (SixFiguresUnder.com), Stephanie shares her family’s ongoing story, detailing the steps she’s taken and the changes she’s made in her family’s lifestyle for paying down their debt while continuing to live financially responsibly. She is brutally honest about her struggles and successes, sharing the mistakes she’s made along the way and the triumphs she’s celebrated. She also offers readers complete transparency into her family’s finances, posting actual numbers about the income her family earns, their fixed expenses, investments and the way they choose to spend their money on non-fixed expenses.

But Six Figures Under is not just about Stephanie’s story. Stop by the blog and you’ll find a large community of active followers joining in on a mission to pay down their debts and live a more financially conscious life.

For 2019, Six Figures Under is on a Debt Smash-athon charge. The blog’s community is invited to share the amounts of debt they’ve paid down each month. The numbers are then tallied and posted on the blog with the big wins singled out with special mentions. In March 2019, the Six Figures Under community paid down a total of $149,866.53 of debt, invested $31,202.12 toward retirement and put away $39,151.21 for big savings goals. The feeling of togetherness motivates members to boost their efforts in paying off their debts.

There’s more than numbers to Six Figures Under. Check out the blog for the following categories and topics:

  • Frugal Living Ideas – Here, you’ll find tips and tricks for saving money on everything from family road trips to grocery bills. Posts are always engaging and packed with actionable tips you can apply to your own life today.
  • Budgeting and Finance –  The blog advocates living on last month’s income—and shows readers how to live this way, plus creating a manageable and realistic monthly budget.
  • Debt – Read up on tips for increasing your debt payments and common mistakes people make when handling their debt.
  • Ideas for Increasing Income – These posts cover a broad range of money-making ideas, from running a killer yard sale to starting a thriving business on Etsy.

Members of the blog get friendly monthly reminders inviting them to share their progress with the rest of the community, as well as frugal living tips and ideas delivered directly to their inbox.

The Six Figures Under blog is an inspirational, friendly place that is packed with money management tips and strategies for doubling down on your debt payments. Check it out today and join the debt-smashing fun!

Your Turn:
Do you have a target date for paying down all debt? Or are you just chipping away at it, month by month? Share your debt-paying strategy with us in the comments.


SOURCES:

https://www.sixfiguresunder.com/

https://www.sixfiguresunder.com/our-story/

http://www.barebudgetguy.com/six-figures-under/

https://www.sixfiguresunder.com/family-budget-update-march-2019/

Cash Money Life Blog Review

Cash money Life logoThe internet is saturated with blogs and sites about anything and everything under the sun. Among the dozens of blogs devoted to personal finance, Cash Money Life (cashmoneylife.com) stands out as a reliable and factual source of information and advice. As featured in top-tier media sites like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and MainStreet.com, Cash Money Life offers readers an easy and efficient way to get the inside scoop on anything money-related without the distraction of complex interfaces and confusing designs.

Authored by Ryan Guina, the blog targets a broad audience and brands itself as a personal finance, small business and career journal. The site is updated daily with articles covering a wide spectrum of financial topics, from current events1 to product reviews, tutorials, investment tips and more. You can use the site to search for an auto insurance plan that suits your needs or to explore the stocks that are worth investing in this season. Articles are always written in simple, easy-to-understand language that offers concrete information without talking down to the reader.

Here are some trending articles on Cash Money Life:

  • How to Invest in Small Business
  • Best Auto Insurance Companies
  • Liberty Tax Review—Simplified Tax Filing
  • FreeTaxUSA Review—Step-By-Step Help Filing Your TaxesE-file Review—How the Software Can Streamline Your Taxes

When visiting the site, you can browse through the fresh posts or look up archived evergreen content covering a comprehensive list of financial topics.

Also check out the “Free Money” page, which is a wildly popular spot that is dedicated to sharing information about freebies. The freebies include gimmick-free, complimentary trials, referral bonuses, first-time-customer gift cards and more. Check it out to see what’s free this week!

If you’re looking for a place where you can find clear, practical, and reliable financial information, visit Cash Money Life today.

Your Turn:
What’s your favorite online source for financial information? Tell us all about it in the comments!

SOURCES:

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/top-10-highly-useful-websites-learn-about-personal-finance-for-free.html

https://cashmoneylife.com/blog/

https://cashmoneylife.com/blog/about

Four Apps To Help You Master Your Spring Cleaning

Our Home logo1. OurHome
If your kids are old enough to do their part in making your home spotlessly clean, you need to download this free app. OurHome makes sharing spring cleaning chores easy! You can assign tasks to your kids, set deadlines for when you want jobs done and reward your kids with points once they’ve completed a chore. Let your kids cash in their points for their reward of choice, like a new toy, a trip to an amusement park or even a cost-free privilege, like choosing the family’s dinner menu for a week.

Sync every family member’s device with your OurHome app to unlock its full power. You’ll be able to send messages to your kids, check up on their progress and set helpful chore reminders.

 

Snupps logo2. Snupps
Spring-cleaning your way through your house gives you the perfect opportunity to take stock of everything you own. The Snupps app makes it easy. You can upload pictures of every item in your home, create virtual shelves on the app and organize your stuff by category. Plus, you can make money while spring cleaning by selling any item you don’t need through the app. It’s like selling your stuff in a virtual yard sale!

 

Home Routines logo3. Home Routines
Do you find it overwhelming to keep track of all you need to clean? Home Routines makes it simple! For a one-time $5 fee, you can download the app and start organizing your chores. Create detailed checklists, assign tasks to days of the week and set alerts to remind you what needs to get done. From there, you’ll be able to easily track your progress. And, if you need more motivation, set the in-app timer and try to beat your own goal.

The app divides your cleaning lists into Focus Zones. You can customize this feature by adding rooms and chores to each zone. Then, choose a different zone for each day or have a zone appear only once a month. You can also set the app to remind you to complete specific tasks or clean certain zones at predetermined times. For example, you can have the app remind you to scrub the counters each night, wash the windows every other week and dust your light fixtures once a month.

 

Do! logo4. Do!
If you like to have a good, old-fashioned, paper to-do list, you’ll love this app. Do! gives you the look and feel of a paper list with realistic paper and pen sound effects. You can easily view your list and even download a widget to your device for seeing the day’s tasks at a glance. Use the app’s color-coding system to keep things organized and check off tasks as you go. The app is free with an in-app purchase and just $1.99 for the premium, ad-free version.

Let these super-convenient apps help you make your home shine this spring.

Your Turn:
What’s your favorite spring cleaning app? Tell us about it in the comments!

SOURCES:

https://en.softonic.com/solutions/what-are-the-best-apps-for-spring-cleaning

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/best-apps-to-help-prepare-for-spring-cleaning-2019/

https://www.lifewire.com/best-house-cleaning-apps-4587232