by on Feb 12 2016 - 10 Comments

You just got the news: you've been laid off. These 9 steps will get you back on track to earning money so you can focus on the job search rather than worrying.This post is by our regular contributor, Erin.

You just got the news from your boss: you no longer have a job.

Whether it was a surprise or you had a feeling it was coming, getting laid off is one of the most jolting things that can happen to you.

You went from thinking everything’s okay, you’re getting by, paying all your bills, to not knowing what in the world you should do next.

Take some time off? Freak out? Start contacting your network? Boost your side hustles? Go back to school? Freak out some more?

While panicking is completely normal, we’re providing you with a step-by-step guide you can use to get back on track if you just got laid off so you can stop worrying and start taking action.

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by on Feb 10 2016 - 17 Comments

Make traveling easier by taking these 13 must-have items with you. Perfect for trips of any length!Please welcome our newest writer, Mike Kineman.

Mike grew up in Great Britain and studied Political Science at Indiana Wesleyan University. He recently spent two years teaching English to children in South Korea. In his free time he enjoys hiking, writing, photography, and strong black coffee as often as possible. He is currently living in England where he plans to do an MA in Creative Non-fiction in the fall.

Every year I travel, I inevitably end up doing two things. Firstly, I always end up packing my bag to maximum capacity. Always. The second problem probably creates the first: I’m always scouring the internet for new items to make traveling that little bit easier.

The last couple years I’ve gotten into the whole backpacking thing more so than ever before. One of my favorite parts is that I’m always meeting new people and getting to see how they do the whole traveling thing from the inside.

This last year for instance, I traveled with two of my good friends. One is a successful accountant in his mid-twenties in corporate America. The other is late twenties, an adventure junkie, and an English teacher in South Korea. It’s safe to say that these two had very different approaches to traveling but both of them brought things I ended up purchasing for myself.

This list is a compilation of some of the most recent items I’ve bought as well as some classic essentials that I’ve had from the beginning. Some are more specific to backpackers and others are for general vacation travel.

Either way though, whether you’re into adventure and adrenaline or whether you’re into organization and convenience, there’s something here for you from all corners of the traveling world. These are the things that I never walk out of my door without.

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by on Feb 8 2016 - 13 Comments

The issue of student loan reform has taken center stage for millennials in the 2016 Presidential race. Here's where the candidates stand on student loans.This post is written by our regular contributor, Kristi.

The 2016 Presidential Campaign is in full swing, with the Iowa caucus in the books and the New Hampshire primary taking place tomorrow.

The candidates are everywhere, figuratively and literally, on the news, in the media, and even in social media trying to convince you that they represent the best choice for the next president of the United States.

While tax reform, job creation, immigration, foreign wars, and abortion are still mainstay issues for most of the presidential candidates, a new hot-button issue has emerged that we haven’t really seen as strongly in a presidential contest before.

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by on Feb 5 2016 - 12 Comments

By planning to use an IRA conversion ladder in advance, you’ll avoid that 10% tax, have access to your money, and be able to fund an early retirement.This post is by our regular contributor, Kristi.

People who want to retire early, or, at least, earlier than 59 ½, worry about how they’ll be able to fund their early retirement. After all, there are huge tax disadvantages to withdrawing retirement assets early.

What if I told you that there is a way that you can have your proverbial retirement cake and eat it too?

The IRA conversion ladder method will help you retire early by giving you access to the funds that you need, sooner than 59 ½.

A conversion ladder isn’t an overnight solution, though.

First of all, you need to have money in a traditional IRA. You also will have to plan ahead and be willing to wait for five years before you’re able to access your money.

If you’re willing to wait, five year is a small price to pay for avoiding the 10% early withdrawal tax typical of retirement accounts. By planning to use an IRA conversion ladder in advance, you’ll avoid that 10% tax, have access to your money, and be able to fund an early retirement.

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by on Feb 3 2016 - 17 Comments

Don’t wait until the last minute to find everything you need. Check out this tax checklist to help yourself prepare for taxes.This post is by our regular contributor, Kristi. 

Are you planning on doing your own taxes this year?

You’re in luck; you have a rare few extra days to get everything in order.

Because April 15, 2016, falls on Emancipation Day this year, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, April 18, 2016, is the due date for taxes.

You still have a few months before taxes are officially due, but you’ll want to make you’re completely ready with all of the necessary paperwork before you actually sit down to hash out your taxes with TurboTax or any other tax program.

Don’t wait until the last minute to find everything you need.

Check out this tax checklist to help yourself prepare for taxes. You can even download a free Excel file (see bottom of the post) that has all the items on the list to help you stay organized.

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