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Solar-Powered Panels Are Creating Water out of Air + How to Create a Budget out of Nothing

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We’ve heard of turning something out of nothing but to witness this in real time is amazing! Thanks to technology there are solar-powered panels that create water out of air. These panels pull and condense water vapor from air and are currently supplying a women’s centre in Kenya with 400 liters of clean water per day. The innovative tech, which was donated by US-based Zero Mass Water and cost about $1,500 each, means residents no longer have to make a dangerous five-mile trek to the closest water source. This is an astounding feat, and more things need to be created out of nothing in order to help us enjoy our quality of life.

So how do we create a comfortable life on low resources? The following are budget tips for those on a limited income:

1. Save as much money as you can when you go shopping; make lists, cut coupons, etc. If you can, find stores that sell off-brand items at lower prices. I recently read an article about people who go to stores that sell outdated merchandise for a fraction of what they sold for originally. Even though these items had gone past their “use by”date they were still good to eat. And, if you’re really in a bind try your local food pantry.

2. If possible, join a warehouse type store that allows you to buy in bulk and stock up. I do that myself. I try to go once a month and stock up on toilet paper, meat, frozen foods, etc. I do spend more on that one trip, but throughout the month, I save a lot. Plus, I only have to go out and buy groceries once or twice a month to get fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk.

3. Be honest with yourself and find what things you can cut down on or cut out of your monthly budget altogether. Many of us waste more money during the month then we like to admit Write down all your monthly bills and then take a long, honest look at things you can cut back on. For example, do you eat out or get a coffee every day? If so, that may be something you can cut back on. I don’t think you should cut it out completely since we all need those little perks now and then, but you may be able to cut way back and save a lot of money without too much “hardship.” If you have a car, you can shop around for car insurance. And don’t skimp out on maintenance, even if you have to do it yourself.

4. You can, and should, learn to do more things on your own. Before you pick up the phone to call someone try to find the information yourself. There are many common households and automotive repairs that are very easy to do, and it will cost you a fraction of the money you would pay if you hired someone since the labor is almost always the highest part of the cost.

I hope these budget tips have helped. Let us know in the comments below how else are you balling on a budget

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

Amazon has 30,000 Jobs they Need to Fill + How the Gig Economy is Making it Hard for Them to Fill

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Amazon has more open jobs than ever before. The company is attempting to hire 30,000 permanent employees in the U.S. alone. The jobs are spread out across departments and at locations throughout the country. Filling them is an especially tall order in such a tight labor market, with unemployment hovering near a 50-year low. To get started, the tech and retail giant will hold job fairs on Sept. 17 in six cities: Arlington, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville and Seattle.

Jobs may be so abundant because of the growth of the gig economy that allows people to work where they want doing what they want. Gig economy jobs continue to grow in popularity in the U.S., accounting for at least 5% of the workforce. So how do you fully take advantage? Moneyish.com recently wrote an article titled: The secret to making $115 an hour in the gig economy

In the article they give us 10 best fields for gig workers based on pay and job availability:

Artificial Intelligence – Deep Learning: $115 per hour
Blockchain Architecture: $87 per hour
Robotics: $77 per hour
Ethical Hacking: $66 per hour
Cryptocurrency: $65 per hour
Amazon Web Services Lamda Coding: $51 per
Virtual Reality: $50 per hour
React.JS Developers: $41 per hour
Final Cut Pro Editors: $37 per hour
Instagram Marketing: $31 per hour

The first trend you might notice is that this list is dominated by tech jobs. Gavin Graham, the special projects editor for FitSmallBusiness.com, says this is because these types of jobs lend themselves well to the gig economy and are growing fields that pay well.

So what exactly do people in the no. 1-rated artificial intelligence-deep learning field do? “They help develop “the technology that drives the ability of artificial intelligence to ‘learn’ and adapt,” says Graham. “Jobs in this field include developers who code the underlying algorithms using tools and programming languages, such as MATLAB, Python, Java, C++, Tensorflow, etc..,” he adds.

One possible surprise on the list: Instagram marketing. It lands on the list because job growth has been very rapid, he explains. While many companies have worked on Facebook and Twitter marketing, their Instagram platforms are less developed — and in need of help.

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The Daily Digm (News)

Ariana Grande sues Forever 21 for $10 million + How to Protect Yourself From Those Trying to Steal Your Identity

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In a complaint filed on Monday, megastar Ariana Grande said Forever 21 and Riley Rose misappropriated her name, image, likeness, and music, including employing a “strikingly similar” looking model, in a website and social media campaign early this year.

She said this followed the breakdown of talks for a joint marketing campaign because Forever 21 would not pay enough for “a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature,” whose longer-term endorsements generate millions of dollars in fees.

This is a classic case of identity theft and while we can’t sue identity thieves for $10 million dollars, there are some practical ways that we could put ourselves less in risk. Here are four ways to protect yourself:

1. Change your password – I know it can be annoying to have to change your password or remember a new one, but it is important that you stop hackers dead in their tracks. Change your password regularly and make sure you include a variety of symbols, so hackers have a tough time guessing what it is.

2. Create a different username and password – Instead of using your Facebook login for all sites, create separate usernames and password per site. This way the breach doesn’t come from another third party, and you can better protect your account.

3. Set up two-factor authentication – Add another layer of protection to your account. Two-factor authentication It is a setting in Facebook where you can choose either text message codes or a third-party authentication as your primary security method. This way you know when someone is trying to do something fishy with your account.

4. Delete your personal info – The next time you log onto Facebook, take the time to delete some of the more personal information you have shared to reduce your risk of exposure in future attacks.

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SATs Keeps its Same Scoring Model + A Scoring Model You Better Undertand

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The SATs are changing course following backlash over a plan to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the exam. The original adversity score was made up of ratings for the student’s school and neighborhood environments and was intended to capture the obstacles a student might have overcome. Critics said over-eager parents could use the score to game college admissions. Instead, the College Board will use a different system in an attempt to capture a test taker’s social and economic background. For many SAT scores can make the difference in so many lives but what other score affects your well-being?

Many people are aware of the important role the credit rating plays in their lives. However, understanding what goes into a credit score (the credit score breakdown) might present some difficulty. There are several different methods of scoring, but most lenders and banks rely on the FICO method that has been in existence since the 1980s when it was developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. The three prominent credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) all worked with Fair Isaac to come up with the FICO algorithm.

Your credit score may be any number from 300 to 850. The average American falls at about 690, which is deemed relatively good credit. However, while this score should secure you a loan, it will not get you the very best interest rates on loan. In fact, 300-640 = Bad Credit, 641-680 = Fair Credit, 681-720 = Good Credit, and 721-850 = Excellent Credit. Excellent credit should be the aim.

Following is the credit score breakdown:

Payment History

The biggest chunk of your score (35%) is derived from your payment history. This score is influenced by how well (or not) you pay your bills on time, how many have been sent to collection agencies, bankruptcies, tax liens, etc. Keep in mind that missing a payment is worse than making a late payment and that being late or especially missing a mortgage payment is a bigger blow to your credit score than missing a credit card or utility payment.

Usage Ratio

The amount of debt you have (compared to the amount of credit you have not used) accounts for 30 percent of your score. Try not to max your credit cards out. In fact, it is recommended that you only use 25 to 50 of the credit that is available to you. A way to balance this out is to obtain more lines of credit and not use them. However, you do not want to apply for a bunch of credit cards all at once as this is marked against you. If your credit is in good standing, apply for a reputable card every six months or so and save it for a rainy day.

Length of Credit History

Fifteen percent of your credit score is based on how long you’ve established credit. This is common sense. The longer your credit history, the better your overall score will be. More data about your past leads to a more accurate prediction of your future credit worthiness.

Credit Mix

Having several types of credit will actually boost your score if they are managed well. This counts for 10 percent of the overall rating.

New Credit

As mentioned earlier, opening new credit accounts all at once will negatively affect your score in the short term. It’s also important that you are aware that your score can be lowered for too many “hard inquiries” about your status. A “hard inquiry” is one that you have authorized a lender to perform. If you are inquiring about your own score, this will not count against you.

Understanding what goes into the credit score breakdown is the first step in improving your score and what will allow you to design your score and begin you on the journey to financial freedom.

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