We recently got out of a dinosaur plan that my family and I had. There were 4 of us on the plan sharing only 4 GB of Data which was then slowed dramatically if we went over. We were paying an astronomical amount too and not getting much in return. I was hesitant to switch carriers because I had been with the same company for 16 years with the same phone number. It had obviously been a while since I shopped around. So glad I did.
We found a plan that gave us much more data, we got to keep our phone numbers, our phones, and had the same coverage. I have no idea why we didn’t do it sooner. The best part, we saved a ton of money and actually got more.
If you’ve been considering switching to save money but hoping for more you gotta check out this offer from Verizon Wireless.
Visible by Verizon Wireless offers unlimited data for as low as $25/mo. This is huge. With the way things are now, people are relying on their phones for teleconferences, virtual visits, and more.
Not only could you get a better deal but 5G is included too. If you’ve been thinking about switching I’d definitely check this out. Don’t be like us and suffer through years of high payments with nothing in return. I’m so so glad we switched.
This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission when you check out the links
This year, I bought a few different products that I kept seeing ads for. I’ll be honest, most of them I was pleasantly surprised with. All of these products I bought with my own money (they are not comped products). I figured if I kept seeing the ad on Facebook and Instagram then maybe other people have been curious too.
The first product I wanted to feature, was one of the first products I bought this year via a facebook ad. I kept seeing the ad, I liked the idea, when I saw the price I thought, what the heck I’ll give it a try. It also came at a time where we had just gotten through having a hard time finding hand soap during the pandemic. Not knowing if it would happen again and always needing a supply of hand soap on hand, I thought this might be a good way to stock up.
Gelo is hand soap with a unique approach. Biodegradable pods you can use to refill your hand soap bottles (or one of theirs) using just water. The scent choices were choices I liked. I also released I was spending anywhere between $1-$3 on bottles of soap at the store and throwing them away when they were done. Yo! I keep hand soap in the kitchen, downstairs bathroom, upstairs bathroom, and the laundry room!
Gelo products reduce the amount of waste of regular disposable hand soaps. If you have a reusable soap pump at home, you can even use the one year already have.
I did an instagram reel so you can get an idea of how it works:
The Gelo refill pods are made with plant based materials: shea, oat, and essential oils. Their pods are completely made up of biodegradable materials including the pod film. There are no sulfates, parabens, or fillers. When you order the refill bag it has enough for 4 refills. So I can literally refill all the soap dispensers I used in my house with one bag. Instead of throwing out 4 soap dispensers I’m only throwing out one bag.
They offer foaming hand soap or gel hand soap options for your preference or for the type of soap dispenser you already have at home. So one of my fave parts? It’s super affordable. I ordered two starter kits for our bathrooms a couple months ago and I’m just now getting to where I needed to order refills. So I ordered a starter kit for our kitchen and 2 more refill bags. $21 shipped and I have enough to refill 12 times. Even with shipping that breaks down to only $1.75/bottle!
Now I’m not an affiliate, ambassador, or anything else with them but I do have a referral link (that anyone can get when you order). It will save you $2 off your first order and give me 10% off my next order. Just go through my Gelo referral link here.
If you like this post let me know if you’d like to see more of them in the comments.
I have 4 kids. My oldest of which is heading to college in the fall. It’s been a whirlwind experience trying to navigate the whole application process for college and for scholarships. Even though he’s already been accepted and we put money down already we’re still having to take more steps that need completed before he actually starts. Guys he has new student orientation on the 19th! He still has to do some kinds of counseling session in regard to his student loans he qualified for. The whole pandemic thing made this process a little weirder too.
When I thought of the whole scholarship process I thought of it as filling out scholarship application after scholarship application hoping to get just one. Don’t get me wrong, there still plenty you can apply for on your own but the one he got was already applied for when we filled out the FAFSA. Let me explain.
Every year before starting college until college is finished you need to fill out the FAFSA. It’s important to fill it out completely and honestly. This helps schools make decisions on awarding scholarships and financial aid (among other things).
My son actually got a decent yearly scholarship from his college thanks to the FAFSA. As long as he keeps his GPA decent he’ll have the scholarship all 4 years.
My son’s high school also had their own form to fill out for scholarships specific to his school and the area. Colleges will sometimes offers scholarship awards to high school graduates for specific majors too. This was one form to fill out to determine scholarships for many.
In both of these scenarios only one form was needed to throw his name in the hat for many scholarship opportunities. These are the two major things to do . But, it doesn’t have to stop there. You can seek out and apply for individual scholarships as well. There are scholarship specific to majors, hobbies, religion, heritage, geographic area and more.
The David Ebrahimzadeh scholarship, for example, is a scholarship to recognize students seeking a degree in real estate! They’re accepting applications now. So don’t discount your career path in regard to scholarship opportunities.
Also local businesses, clubs, and even your own workplace may offer scholarships. My son applied for a scholarship through my husband’s place of work.
This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.
A good friend of mine is an insurance agent. She happened to mention one day about using whole life insurance to help pay for college. My ears perked up. Wait, what? I can use whole life insurance to help pay for college. But why would I used that instead of loans, 529 plan, or any of the other options out there? Turns out there’s a few reasons. I was eager to learn more and thought maybe my readers would like to know more too. So, I asked her to write up this article. I’m so glad she did.
Providing protection to your loved ones is primarily what whole life insurance is known for, but gone are the days when it’s used solely for the death benefit. One surprising way that life insurance can be used is to pay for higher education costs, specifically as an alternative to using a 529 plan. If you’re unfamiliar with what a 529 plan is, it’s a tax-advantaged investment vehicle in the U.S. designed to encourage saving for future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. However, there are several disadvantages to a 529 plan. They vary from state to state and balances in a 529 plan may reduce your beneficiary’s ability to receive financial aid. Also, in the event that your beneficiary doesn’t want to pursue higher education, the earnings may be subject to income tax plus a 10% penalty tax.
A whole life insurance policy can help you accomplish your college savings goals similar to a 529 plan and for some, an insurance policy may actually be a more suitable option because of the additional benefits, added flexibility, and guarantees not tied to the market. However, it’s best to use this option when the child is young, that way your policy can build up enough cash value to properly cover college expenses. You can also use what’s called an optional Paid-Up Additions (PUA) rider to significantly add to the early build-up of cash values in your policy. While the two have similar contribution, accumulation, and distribution tax features, there are some differences between the two that might make whole life insurance a more suitable option for you:
Income tax-free college loans. You can use the accumulated cash value in your whole life policy to take out tax-free loans to help pay for college expenses without having to worry whether they’re qualified education expenses or not. If the time comes and your child decides not to pursue higher education, you could use this money for other things. For instance, you could use this money to help them purchase a vehicle, pay for living expenses if they choose to go out on their own, or pay for travel expenses so they could see the world.
Get guarantees without market volatility. A 529 plan likely has funds tied to market returns. While that can allow your college fund to grow over time, a down market could have the opposite effect. Imagine a downward spiraling market right before your child starts college. That would be a disaster. Alternatively, a whole life insurance policy provides you with guaranteed premiums along with a death benefit should the unthinkable happen and an accumulated cash value that won’t decrease based on the financial market performance.
Have options in case of disability. What if you became disabled while trying to build up savings for college education? No worries. With whole life, you have an optional waiver of premium rider to guarantee your college funding goals stay on track.
Benefit from savings that may not affect financial aid considerations. Unfortunately, a 529 plan is considered an asset by FAFSA. However, FAFSA financial aid guidelines currently don’t count your life insurance policy’s cash value as an asset, which means you could qualify for a higher level of aid. (Note: Some colleges do view life insurance as an asset in determining financial aid).
Fund an education should the unthinkable happen. Life insurance provides an income tax-free benefit to your named beneficiary, which could in turn fund an education if they wished.
However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. If you could afford it, a whole life policy could simply be used as a solution that supplements funds alongside your 529 plan contributions. If the grandparents are highly involved in your child’s life, you could even consider asking them if they’d like to start a 529 plan for your child (as currently 529 plans owned by grandparents or third parties generally do not affect financial aid of beneficiaries under the current guidelines), while you start a whole life insurance policy. I encourage you to compare the two and talk to a financial professional to see if using whole life insurance is the right college savings solution for you.
If you’re ready to start with whole life insurance, get in touch with my friend Angie Bailey.
*Disclosure: This article is not intended to provide investment, insurance, or tax advice. Please consult your own tax advisors regarding the comparative tax benefits of 529 plans, as well as the potential taxation of distributions from both 529 plans and whole life insurance policies
With COVID-19 comes a lot of new problems. Some we adjust to, some are temporary. I’ll never understand how scammers can do what they do to innocent people. Which is why I wanted to pass on this information I received from The National Consumer League (NCL).
Washington, DC–The National Consumers League (NCL) has issued a warning today for consumers about a reported increase in scams by con artists posing as utility company representatives who are threatening to shut off subscribers’ power service if they don’t make an immediate payment.
The anatomy of the scam is highly consistent: a consumer receives a call from someone claiming to be with the electric utility company. The caller warns the consumer that their power is about to be shut off over an unpaid bill. The only way to avoid this is to pay up immediately, typically via wire transfer, gift card, or some other difficult-to-stop payment method. So what can we, as consumers do?
Such a call can be very scary—particularly for those who may need electricity to power medical devices or run their small business. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers are having trouble keeping up with their bills, which may make them even more vulnerable to this scam. And even for consumers who are confident they’ve paid their bill, the impending threat of a shut-off at the height of summer heat can cause a panic.
To avoid becoming a victim, consumers should:
Not panic. According to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, electric utilities in all 50 states have placed moratoriums on disconnections during the COVID-19 crisis, either voluntarily or in response to government orders. If someone contacts you claiming that they’re about to shut-off your electricity, it’s a scam.
Contact the power company. A utility will never initiate a disconnection without contacting you via the mail first. If you received a call from someone claiming they’re about to turn off your power, hang up and contact your electric company. Their toll-free phone number and website address is typically listed on your electric bill.
Beware of unusual payment methods. Anyone who asks you to pay an overdue electric or other utility bill via wire transfer, gift card, bank-to-bank transfer, bitcoin, or any other unusual payment method is almost certainly trying to scam you.
Not give out personal information. Utility imposters may offer to connect their victims to federal assistance programs or payment plans to help pay their overdue bills. They just need to “verify” the victim’s information. In reality, these scammers are trying to gather the information they need to steal your identity. If you suspect something is amiss, hang up and call your utility company directly.
NCL asks consumers to share their stories by filing a complaint at Fraud.org via its secure online complaint form. Complaints are shared with NCL’s network of nearly 200 law enforcement and consumer protection agency partners who can and do put fraudsters behind bars.
Scammers like these are everywhere. Knowledge is power. Please share this information with friends and family.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneering consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.
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