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Warner Bros Cleans up Their Image + How to Clean up Your Summer-Time Finances

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ReutersWarn

Warner Bros. appointed its first woman CEO and chair to replace a male studio executive who resigned amid allegations of an improper relationship with an actress. Ann Sarnoff, president of BBC Studios Americas, will take the reins as the studio prepares to launch a streaming service after its acquisition by AT&T, as part of the $108.7 billion Time Warner deal. Warner Bros. is on a mission to clean up and tune up its image, but how do you apply that to your finances? Especially during the summer?

You’re most likely looking forward to a nice break, but summer is also a great time to tune up your finances. Here are five financial “to-dos” everyone should consider in preparation for a smooth and stress-free fall.

1. Review Your Spending Habits

Even with the ability to check bank account balances at any time, many of us forget to review where our money is actually going. People think that as long as they have a positive balance, they’re good to go. But taking the time to examine each of your transactions provides important “mental moments” that can remind you of how much you are spending and on what. It can be pretty humbling to see all those trips to fast-food restaurants or late-night takeout orders in writing. Add up a list of all those things that you really could have done without and imagine how that money would help you pay for next semester’s books or build up your emergency fund.

2. Get in a Saving State of Mind

Many college students think that there is no way to save while in school, but it’s really more about the psychological and emotional hurdles that lead to overspending. Next time you are at the beach or taking a walk in the park, think about two or three mottos that will help you to visualize a more positive financial state of mind, such as “I don’t need things to make me happy” or “I have enough right now.” Place reminders of these sayings on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror to serve as daily reminders that you are working toward longer-term goals that may require a little more sacrificing right now.

3. Set Some Personal Rules of Thumb

Let’s face it, we all like to shop or treat ourselves once in a while, and it is important to have fun and enjoy some of the money you may be earning over the summer. However, it can easily get out of hand if you are not careful. In a recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ad Council, over 50 percent of millennials admitted that they were impulse shoppers, meaning they make unplanned purchases of $30 or more on a daily or weekly basis even though they ranked saving as their top financial goal! One way to help avoid these impulses is to set some personal rules of thumb. These “rules” of course will vary depending on how your income, current living expenses, and family circumstances. Here are a few examples:

  • Never spend more than $30 a week on going out with friends this summer
  • Never pay more than $40 for a pair of shoes
  • Bike to work at least 3 times a week to save money
  • Only purchase things you really need and only if they are marked at least 50% off the original price

Again, write them down and display them somewhere; you will see them every day. Or set them up as reminders on your calendar or another mobile app.

4. Make a Spending Plan

While it may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, you will thank yourself later on if you set up a budget for next semester before it begins. You can use the information you obtained when you reviewed your spending earlier to estimate what your monthly expenses are likely to be, with an eye on keeping those things you really don’t need to a minimum. You’ll also want to add up all of your expected income, including summer earnings, expected financial aid and other support (i.e., from your parents) and compare that to your expenses. Use a spreadsheet or budget worksheet such as the ones provided by CollegeInColorado.com or Mint.com to help you balance your budget.

5. Increase Your Competitive “Net Worth”

You should also be thinking about ways to increase your chances of landing that dream job after you graduate. If you are not doing an internship this summer, be sure to research opportunities for next year. Many internship programs have application deadlines that are earlier than you might think, so check with your school’s career counseling center for advice. Take time to either create or update your resume (and LinkedIn page) and include any relevant skills and abilities you may be developing no matter what job you currently have such as teambuilding, problem-solving or customer/client relations. Also, make a list of your job supervisors, college advisors, and professors who you think would be good job references for you. Be sure to include their titles, contact information, name of the course or job and appropriate dates, and save it on your computer for future reference.

While summer is a time to relax and refresh, reserve some time for these important financial “5s” and you’ll be way ahead of the game for next year.

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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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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