Philanthropy 
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Free Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream with Donation – Make A Wish Foundation

Cold Stone CreameryIf you’re a fan of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, fire up your ride because on Thursday, September 24th, you can get a free 3 oz. Make-A-Wish Creation between 5 PM and 8 PM with a donation. If you dare brave the inevitable lines for your 3 oz. treat, you will be richly rewarded for your trouble. (Image shown is not what you’ll get, that’s just a random photo)

Here’s what their microprint says:

FREE 3 oz. Make-A-Wish® Creation™ with a Donation

Donate and receive a 3 oz. sample of Jack’s Creation served out of a ready-to-love pan in a Like It™ Cup. Valid only during published date and time. While supplies last. No substitutions. Limit one per customer. An estimated 85 percent of all donations in September will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit wish.org. ©2009 Cold Stone Creamery, Inc. All rights reserved.

The flavor mix this year is Sweet Cream ice cream mixed with brownie, sprinkles and caramel.

Use their Store Locator to find the nearest location.

(Photo: yanec)


 NEWS 
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Fed Says Recession “Likely” Over, Experts Don’t Believe It

Grays Papaya Recession SpecialOn Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will conclude its two day FOMC meeting and announce what they plan to do with the federal interest rate. Most experts expect the rate to stay at the 0% to 0.25% range the Fed set several months ago. With unemployment near or above double digits in some areas, it would be extremely difficult for the Fed to justify a rate increase at this point.

Last week, Jim asked if you thought the recession was over. In the post, he highlighted Ben Bernanke’s comments about how we were “very likely” seeing the end of the Recession but it doesn’t appear that experts believe him!

In general, the Federal Reserve lowers the target rate when it wants to boost the economy. Lower rates mean businesses can borrow money cheaper. It also means banks offer lower rates on deposit accounts, like CDs and savings accounts. The lower they go, the less incentive we have to save – so we boost the economy be spending more. The 0% – 0.25% target range is about as low as it can go.

We need to wait until Wednesday to see what the Fed announces but experts believe rates won’t increase until next year. If you were hoping for a frothy return to economic prosperity… you might have to wait until next year to pop the bubbly.

Fed not acting like there’s a recovery [CNN Money]


 Credit 
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American Express Credit Card Limit Increase Tutorial

Regularly requesting credit limit increases, if done correctly, can increase your credit score and mitigate the effects of canceling credit cards. This post will explain how to navigate the menus of American Express’ online interface so that you can request a credit limit increase without triggering a hard credit inquiry. I have done this successfully myself several times.

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 Personal Finance 
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Money Lessons from Classic Movies

Movies today can rely on special effects, monster marketing efforts, and a few pretty faces (*cough* Transformers 2 *cough*). In the 80′s and early 90′s, movies had to rely on the story and the acting to achieve success. Out of that era, which coincided with my childhood, come a lot of classic movies that teach powerful lessons about how to deal with your money, how to do approach your career, and how to find success in both.

I thought it would be fun to pick out five lessons from just five movies from that era (one of them is from 2000, but no fancy special effects there!):

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 Your Take 
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Your Take: Is The Recession Over?

Recession BusterEarlier this week, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, said the recession was “very likely over” but that the unemployment rate would likely still go up. There’s a lot of talk about a “jobless” recovery, that is a recovery in which new jobs aren’t created, with the unemployment rate not falling back to the normal 5% for at least another four years. Bernanke specifically said that the recession was likely over from a technical perspective, which is to say that we’ll probably still feel like a recession even if we don’t have two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

So I wanted to know from you – do you think the recession is over? It’s one thing to look at “statistics” and declare victory, it’s another to look people in the eye and tell them that the recession is over.

Personally, I think that you can throw technical out the window because regular people don’t really care. Until people stop being afraid they’ll lose their jobs because of the economy, the recession isn’t going to be over. There have been a lot of positive things about this recession – Americans are repaying debt and saving more, frugality has made a resurgence, and there’s been a greater emphasis on emergency funds.

So… is the recession over?

(Photo: arvindgrover)


 Banking 
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What is a Triple Option CD?

When I read a Bank Deals’s article about a “triple option CD” from Southern State Bank in Arkansas, I was perplexed. I thought I knew what all the various certificate of deposit types were whenever I wrote that Certificate of Deposit Zoo post… but I was wrong.

What is a triple option CD? A triple option CD is a CD that combines the features of a bump up CD with a no-penalty CD. For those enjoying the zoo analogy, the triple option CD is a modern day Chimera. With a triple option you can usually:

  1. Make another deposit into the CD,
  2. Increase your rate once during the original CD’s term,
  3. Withdraw part of the CD under certain circumstances.


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 Career 
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Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

One of the best lessons I ever learned was that it was OK to fail. It is OK to make mistakes. Failure has a wonderful way of teaching you lessons, sometimes very painful lessons, that you can use the next time you tackle a problem. You may not learn the lesson the first time, or the second, or fifth time, but eventually each failure will teach you something you can use later.

How did I learn this? By recognizing one crucial thing – no one starts off being the best at something. All the greats of anything did it through hard work, something you can read about in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and his 10,000 hours idea (that to truly master something you need to spend 10,000 hours on it).

And you know what? The first thousand hours were probably filled with failures.

And the best part about failure is that when you succeed, that’s all anyone will ever remember.


 Investing 
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Best High Yield Savings Accounts Rates

These days, the best way to help your savings grow is by saving it in an online high-yield savings account. With interest rates as low as they are, you simply can’t get anything by putting it in your neighborhood bank. Online banks, with lower overhead, are still the best place to earn a much higher yield with absolutely no risk. After years of managing this list manually, we’re now happy to offer up this table that is updated daily with the highest rates you can find anywhere. The table is powered by Bankrate, an industry leader, and hundreds of banks are surveyed each time to ensure that the highest rates are displayed. Lastly, all of the banks on this list are FDIC insured so you know your money is 100% protected.

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