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What Happened To My Precious Pandora?

As I pulled up my favorite Pandora station, Red Hot Chili Peppers, I anxiously awaited the install of some cool track like Scar Tissue or Give It Away.    Instead I was greeted with a movie trailer-like 30-second ad followed by a plumbing ad followed by a ‘what’s your favorite sandwich’ Panera ad.   A song later, I got hit with another ad and then followed up by yet another.   The frustration seeped quickly through my blood as all I wanted to do was listen to a few tunes of my favorite rock band.   It dawned on me recently that new technology launched through apps or a website is really exciting when it is unencumbered by the fact that eventually it will need to make money.   Think about these examples below. FACEBOOK– Facebook is still one of the most widely used social mediums that exist today.  However, like all technology machines built for growth it inevitably needed to produce a profit.    It ...

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Think Before You Click The Button

My Your Smart Money Moves Column has an underlying theme of always trying to get you to think.  While often it’s about money saving opportunities or financial planning strategies, I’ll throw in a different article here and there to make you consider what is going on in life.   One of the bigger worries I have for most of you, with the increasing amount of purchases you make through the internet, is catching the dreaded disease ‘clickyitis’. (Wouldn’t it be cool if I made the slang dictionary in a few years with this one?   Clickyitis is the trap that retailers get you into by clicking in a Pavlovian type response to the very buttons they want you to click without even knowing you are spending more money.   How does this happen? Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com) –  Now, when you register a domain with Go Daddy, they first automatically fill the extra $7.99 box (in the middle by the way) instead of the ...

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5 Ways To Enjoy Atlanta In The Fall On The Cheap

Fall is my favorite season of the year.   I’ve lived in many different cities, but fall in Atlanta is something magical.   Give me a day like this past Sunday where its 75 degrees, with a slight breeze, and blue skies, and the rest of the problems in the world just melt away for an afternoon.   The big question to ask yourself on days like this is, “What is the best way to spend my lazy Sunday?”   Well, if your wallet is tight like most, here are five ideas on how to enjoy the fall in the Atlanta without racking up a huge bill. Hit one of Georgia’s state parks–   Amicalola Falls State Park is a wonderful way to spend a day when the skies are clear blue.  At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast.  If you have the time and energy, there is even an 8.5 mile trail to Springer Mountain.  If you head ...

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Three Apps That Are Downright Creepy

In the decade where we have seen the proliferation of the ‘app’, not all apps are turning out to be useful.   When I have conversations with people about their smart phone apps, it quickly dawns on me that most people have downloaded hundreds of apps only to really use a half dozen or so on a regular basis.   Some apps are really cool and can help you become more productive while others are simply downright creepy.   Here are three that you might want to be on the lookout for when you are out and about on the town. SCENETAP (www.scenetap.com)- Scenetap is an app that will help you avoid the dreaded bar hopping from joint to joint only to realize that the bar isn’t full, or instead, its full of a crowd you don’t want to hang out with on a Saturday night.   This app can tell you how crowded a bar is in terms of its capacity, the male ...

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Let Me Tell You How It Was When I Was A Kid

Remember.  Remember how thoroughly annoyed you got when your parents sat you down for that tongue lashing telling you about how spectacular your life is today compared to how it was when they were growing up.  Remember how you rolled your eyes with this incredulous look on your face when you scoffed at how your parent’s lives resembled Stone Age living compared to your posh life today.   Remember how eating out for your parents meant sitting on the picnic table in the backyard and now you actually get to eat out a McDonald’s.   I never wanted to be that guy, but I feel like Mr. Anderson from the matrix when subconsciously I hear the sounds of the train on the train track screaming inevitability. I’ve told myself for years that I would never pull that ‘let me tell you how it was’ trick on my children.   Well, that must mean it’s David Copperfield time because here are my rants about ...

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The Year Of Two Black Fridays?

Every calendar year, the two major holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah confront us for planning our gift giving and family gatherings.    Usually, these holidays fall fairly close together in the month of December, as retailers get ready for the biggest part of the shopping year. However, just like the infrequency of total solar eclipses, sometimes the calendars don’t fall on the same cycles and Hanukkah can begin in the month of November.    This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Wednesday, November 27th with the first full day of Hanukkah on Thanksgiving.  The last time that happened was 1918. So, what does this mean Black Friday shoppers? For followers of Judaism, Hanukkah is an extended holiday lasting 8 nights.   The modern tradition for gift giving is to partake in a new gift each and every night.   This means as soon as Halloween costumes have been put back in the closet or thrown away in the trash, followers of Judaism will ...

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Here’s Why Your Friends Are Going Broke

Most of the time when we talk about personal finance, topics including credit card debt, savings, investments, insurance, and coupons creep into the discussion.   Since nobody wears their net worth pinned to their chest, we truly have no inkling what our neighbors real personal financial situation is at any given point and time.   What I promise you to be true is that what appears to be an ocean of success around you is merely nothing more than a mirage of many people living on an obligatory basis to pay their bills.   Your friends will never tell you they are drowning in quicksand, but people around you are going broke every day and here are the reasons why. EGO– Your ego is something that can make you stronger or become an insurmountable obstacle to achieving success.  Remember, your ego is the part of your mind that contains memory.  It is ultimately what shapes your planning and your reality.   When it comes ...

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He who hestitates…SAVES! Why it’s always worth the wait.

By: Genna Jenkin The Your Smart Money Moves Mom Hello, my name is Genna and I am a sales-a-holic.  I am in recovery, but everyday is a struggle.  I believe my addiction is congenital as I come from a long line of bargain boasters and I am hoping it doesn’t present itself in any of my children.  You know the types, they share legendary tales of high-end purchases made for next to nothing, often on items they didn’t really need. Our current culture totally feeds into this type of mentality.  We are constantly bombarded by flash sales, daily deals and reality television showing us all of the ways we can beat the system and get what we want (and more) for a rock-bottom price.  This, combined with wanting to provide our kids with all the things we didn’t have can make for a financial nightmare. The operative word  here is “want”.   We have all heard the much debated argument of ...

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OTP: ‘Sip Wine’ In Milton Offers Four Money Saving Deals

Eat Well. Save Money. Come Back Hungry.  As we bring you more and more money saving deals in our financial bites column, we’ll be looking several times per month to give you deals at restaurants inside and outside the perimeter so you can make the most of your hard earned money.   Sip Wine, which is currently located in downtown Crabapple in Milton, GA, offers a huge selection of wine, tapas, and even has a full spread of the nitrous oxide machines to test out (with a pre-paid wine card) to taste a sip, half glass, or full glass of over 20 different wines. When I ate here last week, I discovered that Sip (we hear that they may open new locations in Cumming and in Toco Hills as well) offers four daily deals that you may want to take advantage of if you live in the North Atlanta suburbs: Sunday– 12 and under Kids Eat Free – they even have ...

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Why Lyft Has Won My Heart

During the Labor Day holiday I was in San Francisco visiting some friends who live in the city (Market and 8th if you’re familiar). I typically like to drive everywhere but, if you’ve ever been to San Francisco a parking spot is a rarity. So, I decided to try something new and download the Lyft app. I’ve heard a lot about ride share programs before online and have seen the ads, but I had no idea how they worked until now. Here’s how you can get a ‘Lyft’: You download the Lyft app on your iPhone or Google Android Set Up your Lyft Profile with your name, a picture of your choosing, and credit card info After you’ve set up your profile you’re ready to request a ‘Lyft’. When you’re ready you can do so by simply clicking a button on your phone. In the app, it’ll show you how far your nearest Lyft driver is. After you push the button to ...

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