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Sandra Quadros Bowles

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5 Smart Moves to Make With a Raise

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Aug 21, 2019 8:27:00 AM

Your boss calls you into the office with great news: You've earned a raise, or perhaps you're getting a bonus for all the hard work you've done this year. Now you can buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or replace your old iPhone with the latest iteration.

While the urge to celebrate and reward yourself is understandable, hold onto your wallet and think before spending. Putting your long-term goals ahead of short-term needs can make your money work harder for you in the long run, reduce crippling debt, or boost savings for a rainy day or a sunny retirement.

Here are five things you can do with that raise that'll help you reach your financial goals:

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Topics: Debt, Savings, mortgage, Credit Card, Work, Financial Wellness

8 Financial Steps to Take Before Going Freelance

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Aug 16, 2019 8:23:21 AM

Imagine having a job where you can work in your pajamas and the longest commute you will make all day is from your home office (it’s OK if that’s the couch) to the coffeemaker. More and more Americans are trading in the nine-to-five grind to be their own bosses. Fifty-six million Americans freelance, which is an increase of 3.7 million in the past five years, according to a study released October 2018 by Upwork and Freelancers Union. But is it for you, and more importantly, do you have the wherewithal to make a go at it?

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Topics: Work

5 Ways to Celebrate National Financial Awareness Day

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Aug 13, 2019 10:33:23 PM

The day may not be as well-known as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but Aug. 14 is a milestone day that could change your life. National Financial Awareness Day is celebrated Aug. 14. This date reminds us to be aware of how to build financial stability and to be prepared for our financial future. After all, ignoring your financial situation can be scarier than Halloween. So here’s five pieces of good advice to consider on this Financial Awareness Day. Recognize these sayings? They apply to finances as well:

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Topics: Savings, Investments

Shop for the Holidays This Summer

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Aug 2, 2019 11:59:00 AM

Summer's finally here. The waves are crashing and the AC is blasting. With summer concert bands playing classic hits, fireworks exploding in the skies, and excited kids screeching joyously in splash parks, it's a blissful, if noisy, season. But listen carefully. There’s another sound in the distance. You might not hear it clearly yet, but it’s getting closer by the day.

Sleigh bells.

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Topics: Savings, Budgeting

What to Do When You Lose Your Wallet

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Aug 2, 2019 6:02:00 AM

My day fell apart in front of the iced coffee machine at my neighborhood convenience store. I had pulled out an extra-large cup, filled it with ice cubes, and then mixed the iced coffee and milk in my traditional equal portions. I could practically taste the cold brew, and the long, refreshing gulp that would ward off the already rising morning temperatures. But first I needed money to pay for my treat. And that’s when I realized: I had no money because I had no wallet.

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Topics: Credit Card, security

Where to Do Your Tax-Free Shopping This August

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Aug 1, 2019 9:31:55 AM

Back-to-school shopping becomes a little less taxing this August for consumers in many states. A number of states have approved a sales tax holiday, allowing consumers to purchase certain items without paying the corresponding taxes. This “holiday’’ may not be marked with parties and cards but it's truly worth celebrating for bargain hunters looking to reduce their expenses.

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Topics: Holidays, Taxes

Be Prepared for Changes in Social Security

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Jun 26, 2019 7:43:00 AM

Recent news headlines have many Americans worried, suggesting that in the future, monthly Social Security checks may be smaller than expected. According to a troubling report recently issued by the federal government, Social Security payouts will exceed incoming contributions in 2020. As a result, Social Security's reserve fund will be depleted in 16 years and monthly checks will be smaller than currently scheduled, unless Congress steps in.

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Topics: Retirement, Investments

5 Ways Your Pet Can Save You Money

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Jun 24, 2019 7:29:00 AM

Pet owners know that their companion animals provide priceless comfort and companionship. But did you know you can put a price tag on their value? Your beloved four-legged buddy can be your piggy bank’s best friend. Here’s five ways pets literally enrich our lives:

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Scam Alert: Beware the Pet Adoption Scam

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on Jun 19, 2019 8:21:00 AM

Two simple words capture your eyes...and your heart: “Free puppy.’’ Faster than you can say, “Awww,’’ you're imagining the joy a new friend could add to your household. Those soft, sweet eyes. The wagging tail. The furry friend who'll go on walks or rides with you, or curl up next to you on the couch. Animal lovers can find such imaginings impossible to resist. Unfortunately, scammers know this is not just the way to your heart, but the way to your wallet.

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Topics: Online Banking, scams

How to Provide for Your Pet After Your Death

Posted by Sandra Quadros Bowles on May 28, 2019 6:53:00 AM

Most animal lovers — a whopping 95% of pet owners according to a recent Harris Poll — consider their pets part of the family.

And they dread losing that pet, so much so that pet sympathy cards and even companion animal funeral homes have become big business.

But what happens when the pet outlives its human owners? 

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Topics: Estate Planning, Death

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