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The Oscars Go on Without a Host + How to Be Fashionable Without Going Broke

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For the first time in 30 years, the 91st Academy Awards aka The Oscars proceeded without a host — This was following months of controversy involving Kevin Hart and old tweets. The award for best picture went to therace-relations film “Green Book,” and the top acting prizes went to Olivia Colman in “The Favourite” and Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” But the real prize went to Billy Porter who stole the show with his stylish attire.

Billy Porter on the Oscars Red Carpet in a Christian Siriano Tuxedo Dress

Well, I’m sure he paid a pretty penny for this but If you love to rock the latest styles and want to learn ways to look fab without going broke – you’re in luck. We want to share seven options to consider that are big on style, but not on price.

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” – Coco Channel

1. Trendy DIY Ideas

Making your own fashion trends is one of the best ways to express your personal style. Here are four fashion trends that are hitting the streets that you can make on your own:

  • Rope Belt: One of the latest trends to hit the runway this fall is the rope belt, which can be made easily for a low price. Simply find a few ropes or fabric (perhaps of different colors) and tie them around your waist for a bohemian feel. You could try using curtain ties or use fabric from old clothes– don’t be scared to get creative and make it your own!
  • Pendant Necklace: Want to wear a new pendant necklace? Buy the pendant online and then swap it out on one of your nice chains for a whole new necklace at a fraction of the cost.
  • Skinny Scarf: Another new trend to hit the runway is the skinny scarf. This can be made easily from an old shirt or fabric.
  • Artsy Tights: Want to remix your tights? Paint a trendy new design or saying on them with fabric paint or glitter.

2. Remix your outfits with a pop of color

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your wardrobe this season without breaking the bank is to add a pop of color. Look for accessories like wrap scarves, statement necklaces, and tights to give new life to older looks.

3. Out with the old

Have you ever heard the rule – if you haven’t worn it in six months – it’s time to let it go? It’s not the easiest task, but once you get rid of things that aren’t working for you, you’ll make room for some new items. Once you decide on what to part with, consider donating or selling your clothes.

Another trend that’s popping up is to host your own swap party. Invite your friends over and ask them all to bring a few items that they want to trade so everyone can get a few new to you pieces while having a girl’s night in.

4. Rent the runway

Have you got an upcoming special event? Why not rent your outfit instead! Assume that there will be pictures posted of you in your stellar look all over Instagram and Facebook, so you probably won’t want to wear the same outfit twice anyways. There are a bunch of websites that allow you to rent top name brand clothing and accessories.

5. Let the discounts come to you

Love a great deal? Then sign up for loyalty programs at your favorite retailers and get special savings sent directly to your email, text or mailbox. Some stores even allow you to combine those extra savings with sale rack items. Score!

6. Think outside the box (store)

Outlet and consignment stores can help you afford some stellar threads from top name brands at a fraction of the cost.

7. Time is money

Want to make sure your wardrobe will stand the test of time? Only buy a couple of trendy items of the moment, so you don’t have to start from scratch next year. A great way to build your wardrobe staples is to opt for neutral tones like black, gray and khaki that can go with everything.

Tell us how you look cool saving money in the comments below!

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)

T-Mobile’s Dream of Telecommunications Domination Is Almost Complete + How to Create Mental Toughness While Pursuing Your Dreams

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T-Mobile received verbal approval from the Federal Communications Commission for its $26 billion deal to buy Sprint but still awaits the blessing of the Justice Department. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he’ll back the merger based on concessions by the third- and fourth-largest U.S. telecommunications companies, which include pledges to invest in new wireless broadband service in rural areas and to sell Sprint’s prepaid cellphone brand. While the FCC is expected to make a formal announcement within weeks, the Justice Dept. has yet to weigh out antitrust concerns.

Dream chasing isn’t for the faint at heart. It can take years before one sees the financial payoff of what was once an idea. T-Mobile is probably patient on the outside, but internal it is jumping for joy. It took them a few years to get to this point, but I’m sure they will be relieved at the fruits of their patients.

When building a business, your goal has to be more than money, or you will ultimately fail. Your drive has to be based on principle, change, and something greater than yourself. Here is how to stay mentally tough while pursuing your dreams.

Personal Development. The road to success is paved with character and growth. Personal development is one of the key drivers that sustain you on the path of your dreams. Trustworthiness, keeping your word, and dependability are imperative to any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician or painter, lawyer or doctor, these traits and non-negotiable and forever transferable to success.

Take Breaks. To get there, you must rest one mile at a time. The grind is overrated. Reflecting on how far you’ve come energizes you for the road ahead. Burnout is a danger to your accomplishments and leads to a failure by default.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Steve Jobs popularized this quote from an ad in The Whole Earth Catalog. It read Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. We come to a point when we are happy with a level of progress and think we’ve learned everything. Accepting the truth that we never stop growing, and there is no limit to our success gives us the ability to keep going. To continue, you must never settle. You must always seek new ways of fixing things and solving problems. Discover new opportunities and be open to learning more.

Faith. Steve Jobs also mentioned faith throughout his journey. Believing so deeply in an idea that you make it come to life. Belief takes ideas and materializes them; and when you realize you can actually make something come to life, the sky becomes your launching pad, not the limit.

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The Daily Digm (News)

Retail Wars Are Getting Real Competitive + How to Stay Competitive in the Marketplace

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Walmart has announced plans to offer next-day delivery on about 220,000 of its “most frequently purchased” online items, after rival Amazon promised free one-day delivery for Prime members. The retail giant says the offering, which applies to orders over $35, will reach about 75% of the U.S. by the end of the year. The more limited inventory makes Walmart’s offer more of a competitor to Target’s Restock than Amazon, says TechCrunch. But retailers need to get a better handle on their inventory and demand for fast delivery before making such moves, execs and analysts told The Wall Street Journal.

Competition is fierce no matter what the genre is and as it relates to these entrepreneurial streets, you have to make sure that you are staying ahead of the competition so you won’t get Walmart’d by your Amazon… So what can you do? Luckily, Marketing Donut has come up with Ten ways to keep ahead of the competition:

  1. Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they are offering, and what their unique selling point (USP) is. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.
  2. Know your customers. Customer expectations can change dramatically when economic conditions are unstable. Find out what matters to your customers now – is it lower prices, more flexible or premium service, the latest products? Revise your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.
  3. Differentiate. It’s essential to give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than a rival. Your USP should tap into what customers want, and it should be clear and obvious – no-one should have to ask what makes you different.
  4. Step up your marketing. Improve your market positioning statement. Make more effort to tell people who you are, what you sell, and why they should buy from you. It doesn’t have to be expensive; marketing can range from posters in your window and leaflet drops through to viral campaigns on social media.
  5. Update your image. Simple steps such as painting the front of your premises can make your business look more modern and inviting. But also look at business cards, social media presences, your website, branded packaging, clothing and so on. Does your image reflect your USP?
  6. Look after your existing customers. They will be your competitors’ target market. Provide better customer service by being more responsive to their needs and expectations. If feasible, consider offering low-cost extras such as improved credit terms, discounts or loyalty schemes – remember, it’s cheaper and easier to keep customers than to find new ones.
  7. Target new markets. Selling into a greater number of markets can increase your customer base and spread your risk. Consider whether you can sell online or overseas, for example. Are there groups you’ve never targeted before who might be interested in your offer? Remember the benefits of market segmentation and don’t waste time marketing to people who won’t be interested.
  8. Expand your offer. What related products or services might your customers be interested in? You might even consider diversifying into another area – many bars and restaurants have successfully offered business networking events, for example.
  9. Be the best employer. Skilled, motivated staff underpin vibrant, growing businesses. But attracting them means more than paying a competitive wage – people are often more impressed by a good working atmosphere and benefits such as flexible working and structured career development.
  10. Look to the future. Businesses that plan for growth are more successful than those that are happy to stay still. Keep up with developments in your sector, follow consumer trends, invest in new technology and – crucially – have a clear idea of where you want to be in one, three and five years’ time.
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The Daily Digm (News)

Negotiating Better Pay May Be Getting Easier + How to Easily Stay Ahead of the Game

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Salaries were once a taboo thing to discuss. Yet, with unemployment at a five-decade low and the gig economy requiring people to compare salaries, attitudes are shifting in the conversation, according to The New York Times. Keeping salary information secret favors managers who want to pay people less, say experts. More information about salaries may benefit workers, giving them wider room to negotiate better pay.

This is great news for those who in the past have been cheated out of a fair wage because they didn’t understand how to play the negotiation game. But it doesn’t only take negotiation to get top dollar; there are other tricks to the trade. Here are four ways anyone could use to get ahead of the career game:

  1. Know Your Strengths and Capitalize off of Them. Don’t try to be something you’re not or learn new tricks overnight. Stay in your lane and become stronger. The stronger you become, the more value you will have in the workforce.
  2. It’s Never Too Late to Intern or Volunteer. As adults, these can be such humbling terms, but it can still get your foot in the door. Just look at Chris Gardner. Not only did he become wealthy, but his rise to riches also led to a movie based starring Will Smith & Jayden Smith
  3. Building Your Connections. Who you know is just as if not more important than what you learn. Being authentically connected to others in your field of interest can open up a world of opportunities. One rule of thumb is never settled or compromise for relationships but do, however, seek to build solid ones.
  4. Create Your Own Platform. Don’t underestimate your ability to build an empire. Many successful entrepreneurs and professionals created their own jobs. Combine all of the above and consider investing them in your own enterprise.
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