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What Would You Do With $30 Million Dollars? Revisiting Brewster’s Millions with Melissa

by Melissa Batai on June 18, 2013

Remember Brewster’s Millions? In that movie, Richard Pryor plays Brewster who must spend $30 million in 30 days to inherit $300 million. The rules are that at the end of 30 days, he can have no assets from the money, and he’s only allowed to give 5% to charity and spend 5% gambling. He can tell no one why he is spending the money.

Many of us may daydream about what we would do if we won the lottery, but the hard part of Brewster’s challenge is that he can have no assets. What is not completely clear is if you can buy assets for others, since he does shower his friends with clothing and jewelry. If I had to blow through $30 million in 30 days, there are several ways I would spend it. (Let’s just ignore the fact that $30 million in 1985’s dollars is now the equivalent of $64.5 million in 2012 dollars, according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator.)

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Cost of Living Does Make a Difference: Is Switching Worthwhile?

by Melissa Batai on January 02, 2013

BudgetThere is something about city living that just can’t be beat. There is ease of transportation, plenty of cultural events, job opportunities. The list can go on. There are definite benefits to living in a big city, but sometimes the biggest cities have the highest cost of living. While some people believe that the salaries in a big city make up for the high cost of living, many would disagree.

Sure, you often make more money when you live in a place with a higher cost of living, but the bump in salary is often not enough to make up for the high cost of living.

If you live in an area with a high cost of living and having trouble getting ahead or making ends meet, you may want to consider moving to a different city or a suburban location where the cost of living is substantially lower. Your dollars can work harder, and you can get ahead financially more easily, even if you are making less money.

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Going Bald? How to Improve Your Confidence & Financials

by Melissa Batai on December 27, 2012

Bald EagleDonald Trump is famous for his business prowess, but maybe even more so for his infamous comb over. In a society that values youth and attractiveness, noticing you are beginning to lose your hair can be emotionally difficult. According to Today Health, “Male pattern baldness affects 40 million men in the U.S., and a quarter of them start going bald by age 30.” Knowing you are not alone often doesn’t make you feel any better.

If you are losing your hair, you have four choices: comb it over, wear a toupee, buy Rogaine, or shave it off.

Surprisingly, only one of those choices is best for your financial bottom line.

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6 In Demand Careers for the Next 10 Years

by Melissa Batai on December 26, 2012

Job ListingsLooking to head back to college or just beginning your college journey? Maybe you are interested in changing careers. If you are trying to decide what course of study to pursue or what field might be good for you, there are two things you should consider: Baby Boomers and business.

Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964, and they are currently between ages 66 and 48. They are aging and need a variety of services. Because they make up such a large portion of our population, jobs that service them are in demand. Here are a few that may be directly related to aging Baby Boomers:

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6 Ways to Increase Your Tips as a Waiter, Waitress or Server

by Melissa Batai on December 19, 2012

Busy RestaurantBeing a waiter or waitress is hard work! I know because I used to be one. The job can be especially hard on the weekends when people are waiting for seats and your tables are sometimes double or triple seated (meaning two or three different tables are sat in your section at the same time). Double or triple seating means all the tables will want to order at the same time and their food will be ready at the same time.

The one benefit of the job is that your shift goes by quickly, and if you can earn some good tips, well, that is another bonus.

As a server, you likely make minimum wage or below, so those tips are important. Here are some strategies to increase the tips you make:

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Frugal Gift Giving: Trading Your Skills, Talents, and Time

by Melissa Batai on December 18, 2012

Wrapped GiftsShopping for holiday gifts for your family, friends, children’s teachers, service providers, and neighbors can leave you and your wallet exhausted. Do you really know everyone on your gift giving list well enough to buy them a thoughtful present? Most likely the answer is no, so you probably resort to giving cash. If you would like to keep your Benjamins in your wallet where they belong, there is another way you could approach gift giving this year.

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5 Financial Lessons to Teach Your Kids Before College

by Melissa Batai on December 17, 2012

Arizona State UniversityToo often kids head off to college and take out the maximum amount they are eligible for in student loans, rent a nice apartment, and have fun going out with friends with little regard to the amount of money they spend. They may rationalize that they will only be college students once, and now is the time to have fun. However, that fun can rapidly come to a halt when they attend the financial aid exit seminar before graduation and realize just how much those student loans will affect their lives once they graduate.

If you have high school students and haven’t taught them financial lessons pertaining to college, now is the time to sit them down for a discussion. (Even if you have been teaching them financial lessons all along, reviewing what they know is a good idea.) Here are some topics you may want to tackle with them:

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Do You Know What Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Covers?

by Melissa Batai on December 12, 2012

Homeowners InsuranceDo you know what your homeowners insurance policy covers? If your house was damaged or destroyed, do you know how much you would get to rebuild?

If you don’t know, you are not alone. According to U.S. News, “Almost half of all homeowners” in a recent MetLife survey “didn’t know how much insurance coverage they had for the contents of their home, and 1 in 3 didn’t know how much their home was insured for.”

Ignorance is not bliss in this case. In fact, it can be quite costly.

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