SuperRare Review – One-of-a-Kind Digital NFT & Blockchain Artworks

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SuperRare is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace founded by John Crain in 2018 and built on the Ethereum blockchain. SuperRare has become one of the top 10 NFT marketplaces based on all-time sales volume, according to Statista. 

SuperRare isn’t like most other NFT platforms you’ll find online. Although all marketplaces claim to focus on crypto art, many of the digital assets they sell are highly pixelated, computer-generated works that would have never passed as art before the NFT boom. 

That’s not the case with SuperRare. The platform is centered around the artistic value of NFTs and doesn’t offer access to any collections of multiple similar pieces. All NFTs you’ll find on the platform are truly one-of-a-kind digital artworks. 

Key Features of SuperRare

When you sign up for SuperRare, you’ll have access to several features. Some of the most appealing to NFT enthusiasts include:

Straightforward Pricing

SuperRare’s fee structure is simple. There are two transaction fees charged:

  1. The Buyer Fee. The buyer will always pay a 3% buyer fee when making a purchase on the platform. 
  2. Primary Sale Fee. The first sale of an NFT is known as the primary sale. The platform retains 15% of the sale price on all primary sales, leaving 85% of the sale price for the artist. Keep in mind that this fee is only charged on primary sales. You won’t pay fees on secondary sales if you’re the seller.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the platform’s fees aren’t the only fees you’ll pay when buying or selling NFTs. Blockchains have their own fees, known as gas fees, that are dictated by the demand on the blockchain at the time of the sale. On the Ethereum network, where SuperRare is built, gas prices can be as low as a few bucks but have been as high as hundreds of dollars in ETH.

The best way to make sure you pay the lowest gas fees possible is to time your trades when the market is less active. There’s less demand on the blockchain at night or early in the morning. So, there’s less demand on the blockchain during these times. As such, making NFT transactions during these times could give you significant savings on gas fees. 

Built on the Ethereum Blockchain

Although Bitcoin may be the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum is the most actively developed blockchain. Blockchains are decentralized systems that store data in smart contracts, making it possible to validate transactions and verify ownership. 

As with any technology, there’s a major benefit to using the most actively developed options. SuperRare runs on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning the NFT exchange is built on a blockchain that’s proven itself to be reliable, secure, and accessible. 

Buy Art That Isn’t Listed for Sale

SuperRare’s website displays some digital artworks for sale and others that don’t seem to be. However, everything’s for sale for the right price, and the platform makes it possible to make an offer, even when assets aren’t “listed” for sale. 

If you find a digital item that’s a must-have for your art collection on the SuperRare platform and it’s not listed for sale, simply use the offer feature. The offer you make will be sent to the verified owner of the piece. The owner then decides whether to take your offer, reject it, or make a counteroffer. 

Compatible with Four Cryptocurrency Wallet Providers

Crypto collectibles must be stored securely in a crypto wallet. The NFT marketplace is compatible with four of the most popular crypto wallets. 

The supported wallet brands include MetaMask, FortMatic/Magic, Crypto.com Wallet, and Argent. 

Focused on Art

If you’re an art enthusiast, the fact that the platform is actually focused on art is a major draw. All NFT providers call non-fungible tokens digital art. But let’s be frank here, a majority of images that are minted as NFTs would never have been considered art in the past. Suddenly, a pixelated image of a punk or one of endless iterations of cartoon apes can be claimed to be artwork worth real money.

There’s a chance for that fad to fade, but real art will always have value. 

The SuperRare platform is where some of the top artists sell their single-edition works. You’ll find the same genres of art you’d expect to see in art galleries and museums. Some of the most popular on the website include realism, photography, and animations. 

No matter what type of crypto art you’re looking for, there’s a great chance the platform has something that’s appealing to your visual sensibilities. 

Automatic Royalties on Secondary Sales

If you’re a collector who buys an NFT, you can resell or relist it as a secondary sale to another buyer. The original creator of the NFT often receives a royalty on this secondary transaction.

Although most NFT platforms offer the option to earn royalties on secondary sales, the option is automatic with SuperRare. Artists automatically earn a fixed 10% royalty on all sales of their art in the secondary market. 


Advantages of SuperRare

The platform is one of the top 10 NFT marketplaces online today, offering a long list of advantages to collectors, artists, and enthusiasts. Some of the biggest advantages of the platform include:

  • Artists Automatically Earn Royalties. Traditional artists usually only make money off of the first sale of original works. As a crypto artist, you’ll automatically earn a 10% royalty on all secondary market sales when using SuperRare.  
  • Built on Ethereum. The Ethereum blockchain is the most popular and most actively developed blockchain in the world. Because SuperRare is built on the leading blockchain, you can expect reliability and stability as you transact. 
  • Own Unique Art. You won’t find copies or collections of pieces that look the same on the platform. All art you come across will be single-run productions designed for individual sale. You can rest assured the art you buy on the platform is unique. 
  • Sellers Don’t Pay Fees on Secondary Transactions. The 3% transaction fee is only charged to the buyer. That means you can resell your NFTs without owing a cut to the platform.

Disadvantages of SuperRare

There are plenty of reasons to consider signing up for SuperRare, but there are also a few drawbacks. The most important to consider are:

  • Gas Fees. Etherium provides reliability and security, but gas fees can be very high during peak demand periods. If you’re an artist or a seller, you pay gas fees when you mint NFTs and when you accept an offer from a buyer. If you’re a buyer, you pay gas fees when you buy fixed-price NFTs.
  • Only Accepts ETH Payments. Most NFT marketplaces accept a wide range of cryptocurrency payments, and some accept fiat-money payments like credit cards and debit cards. Unfortunately, SuperRare only accepts ether (ETH) — the native coin of the Ethereum blockchain — as a payment method. 
  • High Transaction Fee. The 3% transaction fee is high compared to popular NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible, which only charge 2.5% transaction fees.  
  • No Custom Royalty Settings. You’ll always earn a 10% royalty on secondary sales of your art through the platform. However, other marketplaces allow you to customize your royalty, with some caps as high as 50%. 

How SuperRare Stacks Up

OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace in the world, so it’s SuperRare’s biggest competitor. Here’s how the two compare:

SuperRare OpenSea
Pay Gas Fees When Minting? Yes No; gas fees are paid only when the NFT sells. 
Payment Methods Ether (ETH) Credit cards, debit cards, and more than 150 different cryptocurrencies. 
Who Pays Transaction Fees? Buyer Seller
Types of NFTs Sold Only single-edition digital artworks.  All kinds of NFTs. 

Final Word

The digital art industry is booming, and many expect it to continue on an upward trajectory. It’s not surprising if you want to get involved. However, SuperRare isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. 

The platform is best for you if you’re an artist who produces one-off digital works or a photographer who’s looking for a simple way to bring your work to a mass audience. It’s also a great option if you’re an art collector who wants to find something truly unique. 

If you’re more interested in collections like CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties, and Bored Apes, popular options like OpenSea are your best bet. 

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Editorial Note:
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Joshua Rodriguez has worked in the finance and investing industry for more than a decade. In 2012, he decided he was ready to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race. By 2013, he became his own boss and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Joshua enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with up and comers to help enrich the financial lives of the masses rather than fuel the ongoing economic divide. When he’s not writing, helping up and comers in the freelance industry, and making his own investments and wise financial decisions, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife, son, daughter, and eight large breed dogs. See what Joshua is up to by following his Twitter or contact him through his website, CNA Finance.

Source: moneycrashers.com

7 Ways to Score Free Dental for Seniors on Medicare

Affording dental work can be tough if you’re an older American on Medicare.

That’s because Original Medicare — which covers a majority of beneficiaries — doesn’t include routine dental care.

Congress is considering whether to add dental coverage to Medicare as part of a $3.5 trillion social spending package — but progress has been slow.

For now, older adults are mostly on the hook when it comes to paying for their own oral health care.

Here are seven ways to get free or reduced dental care. We’ll also explain what limited dental benefits Medicare coverage provides, along with other options like private insurers and Medicaid.

7 Places to Get Cheap or Free Dental Care for Seniors

Medicare beneficiaries who use dental services spent an average of $874 a year out-of-pocket, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

That’s a lot of money, especially if you’re on a fixed income.

Here are a few tips and tricks to save big on oral health.

1. The Dental Lifeline Network

This program by the American Dental Association offers free, comprehensive dental treatment to specific groups, including people ages 65 and older.

You can use this tool on the Dental Lifeline Network website to learn about the specific program details in your state.

Heads up: Due to long wait lists, several states and counties are no longer accepting new applications for the Dental Lifeline Network program. When we did a quick search, states like Texas, California and Kentucky weren’t accepting new applications.

2. Community Health Clinics

Federally funded community health clinics provide reduced-cost or free dental care services to people with low incomes.

Many operate on a sliding scale system while others offer flexible payment plans.

Wait lists can be long, so it’s important to reach out to your local clinic early.

Follow this link to find the nearest community health clinic near you.

3. Dental Schools

Some dental schools offer low-cost cleanings and other routine care to members of the community.

Most of these teaching facilities have clinics that give dentists-in-training an opportunity to practice their skills while providing care at a reduced cost.

You can search for a program in your area by visiting the American Dental Association website.

There’s no guarantee that a dental program in your area currently offers free or reduced dental care. You’ll need to contact each program individually to see what’s available.

When you call, make sure to ask about any fees up front.

4. NeedyMeds.com

This website offers a comprehensive list of dental offices with sliding scale payment options, community health center locations and dental school clinics.

It does a great job breaking down requirements and eligibility (if any) for services in your area, and provides contact information for each service.

Just enter your zip code into this search tool to get started.

5. Talk With Your Dentist

It might be difficult to ask for help, but being honest with your dentist about your financial situation can help.

Your dentist may be able to offer a less expensive treatment, help you set up a payment plan or provide a sliding scale payment option.

Ask if you can receive a discount for referring a friend. Or, see if it’s possible to knock off a few bucks in exchange for a positive online review of the dentist office.

6. Sign Up for a Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans aren’t dental insurance, but they may still be able to save you money.

Here’s how it works.

With a dental savings plan, you pay an annual fee, then get a 10% to 60% discount on most dental services such as exams, cleanings, fillings, root canals and crowns.

The plan contracts with dentists who agree to reduce their fees, then you pay the participating dentist directly using your discount.

You’ll still pay out of pocket for those services, but the idea is that you won’t pay as much as you would without the plan.

But let’s be clear: Dental discount plans aren’t free. The average cost for plans in Orlando, Florida, for example, ranged between $135 to $170 a year.

You can visit DentalPlans to find a plan in your area.

7. Shop Around

Dentists can charge widely different prices for the same exact procedure.

When you’re paying out of pocket, it pays to shop around.

You can find average prices in your area by using FAIR Health, a national nonprofit organization. The site lets you search by specific procedures, so you get the average cost for a root canal or teeth cleanings in your area.

Armed with knowledge, call around to different dentist offices for quotes. Ask about senior discounts.

You can also look for discounted dental care on sites like Groupon.

A quick search on Groupon for dental services in Houston, Texas, showed numerous x-ray, exam and cleaning packages for $25 to $50. One office even offered $700 toward dental implants for just $40!

If you live in a high cost-of-living area, driving to a less expensive area is another smart way to save money.

A senior citizen laughs as a dentist shows him dentures.
Getty Images

Does Medicare Cover Dental Care?

Yes and no.

Original Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for routine dental, vision or hearing benefits.

Original Medicare will only cover dental work if it’s deemed medically necessary, i.e. you were hospitalized after a traumatic injury that also affected your jaw, teeth or mouth.

Here are the other dental services covered by Medicare Part B:

  • Dental services that are critical to a larger procedure like facial reconstruction after an accident.
  • Tooth extraction that is needed to prepare for radiation treatment.
  • Oral exams that are done to prepare for a kidney transplant or heart valve replacement.

So if you’re looking for standard dental care like teeth cleaning, X-rays, fillings, extractions, dentures and more — the cost comes out of your pocket.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurance companies. They must provide the same basic coverage as Original Medicare, but plans may offer additional benefits, such as dental.

About 94% of private Medicare Advantage plans provide some dental coverage, but the amount of coverage varies by plan.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly all Medicare Advantage plans that include dental offer coverage for oral exams, cleanings and x-rays.

But benefits for more advanced dental work like root canals, implants and dentures can carry substantial copays, depending on the plan.

Medicare Advantage plans almost always impose restrictions, including annual dollar caps and how often you can get certain benefits, such as dental implants.

The average annual limit on dental benefits among Medicare Advantage plans that offer more extensive benefits was about $1,300 in 2021, according to KFF.

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to check the plan’s summary of benefits or evidence of coverage to see exactly what dental work is covered. It can vary widely from plan to plan.

Other Dental Insurance for Seniors

About half of all Medicare beneficiaries — 47% — did not have any form of dental coverage in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Besides Medicare Advantage plans, other sources of dental coverage for seniors include Medicaid and private plans, such as employer-sponsored retiree plans and individually purchased dental plans.

Private Dental Insurance for Seniors

A standalone dental policy for people 65 and older is typically $20 to $50 a month, according to AARP. These dental insurance policies usually come with an annual deductible of $50 to $100.

Dental insurance plans usually cover checkups and cleanings 100% but you will probably owe 20% to 50% for other services, such as tooth extractions or dentures.

The devil is in the details with private dental plans: It’s important to shop around and carefully compare benefits to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind about private dental insurance plans:

  • You can’t enroll in a dental plan through the federal ACA Marketplace if you’re already enrolled in Medicare.
  • ​​Private dental policies usually don’t charge higher monthly premiums if you’re over 65 or in poor health.
  • An insurance company may require you to undergo a waiting period before you can get expensive procedures.
  • Some plans won’t cover pre-existing dental conditions you had before enrolling in coverage.
  • You may be restricted to an in-network dentist, so check to see if your dentist is on the list.

Medicaid

About one in five Medicare beneficiaries is also enrolled in Medicaid, sometimes referred to as being “dual enrolled.”

Medicare usually pays as your primary insurance when you’re dual enrolled. But if you need dental work done or even a yearly cleaning, consulting your Medicaid handbook is a smart move.

If you meet Medicaid low income requirements in your state, you may be able to receive free or low-cost dental care for certain procedures and services.

But it’s not a guarantee. While most states provide at least some emergency dental services, only 36 states and Washington, D.C. offer limited or comprehensive dental benefits for adults, according to the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP).

Even if your state Medicaid program includes dental, it may not pay out much. Of the 36 states with routine dental care coverage, only 23 states offer an annual expenditure cap of $1,000 or more.

Adult Medicaid recipients in Arkansas, for example, only receive up to $500 of dental services a year. So if you need a $3,000 root canal and you’re dual enrolled with Original Medicare, you can expect to pay $2,500 out of pocket in that state.

According to Medicaid’s national website, “States have flexibility to determine what dental benefits are provided…There are no minimum requirements for adult dental coverage.”

To find the Medicare office contact information for your state, click here.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

A Complete Renter’s Guide To Understanding Your Apartment Lease Agreement

Here’s an overview of the types of lease agreements and important terms to understand before signing on the dotted line.

Renting your first place with a roommate or paying rent on your own for the first time means you need to submit a rental application to rent a residential property. Once a landlord accepts your rental application, you’ll review and sign an apartment lease agreement.

Understanding the terms of a rental lease agreement is important for both the landlord and tenant. Legally binding contracts are not something a property owner or property management company takes lightly.

It’s important for both the tenant and property manager to understand what’s included in an apartment lease agreement before it’s signed.

The lease agreement also protects both parties since the terms can’t change once it gets signed. The landlord can’t change the monthly rent amount or add a pet fee if the lease doesn’t include a pet policy.

What is a rental lease agreement?

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the landlord and tenant for a particular piece of real estate. It outlines the rules agreed upon by both the landlord and the tenant in clear lease terms. The lease agreement includes important details, including the type of real estate, monthly rent amount and the lease term.

A security deposit is part of lease agreements, even in a month-to-month lease agreement. Sometimes, house rules include a pet policy not allowing pets or no smoking allowed in the unit or on the real estate property. These house rules should be in the lease agreement so there are no misunderstandings.

Verbal agreements are difficult to enforce. Anything discussed should be in the final rental or lease agreement. A verbal agreement is useless if one of the parties forgets what they said or flat out denies it.

If a landlord doesn’t offer aan apartment lease agreement, a tenant could ask for one.

Read your rental lease agreement and know what it means.

Read your rental lease agreement and know what it means.

Types of leases in a rental agreement

There are many lease agreements available when someone rents a property.

Most fixed-term lease agreements include a lease period of 12 months. A month-to-month rental lease agreement is not uncommon. Each rental lease agreement includes how much rent the tenant pays each month and when the monthly rent amount is due. It also notes the security deposit amount, whether there’s a pet deposit and the lease end date.

It also includes other details, such as who is responsible for utilities, property maintenance, property repairs and whether parking is available as part of the real estate to those who pay rent or if it’s included in the monthly rent.

Legal terms, monthly rent details and other things in an apartment lease agreement

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract. Take the time to read it so you know what you’re renting, what you can do on the property and what you can’t.

While many are standard agreements, each rental agreement should outline, for example, how much advance notice you need to provide should the lease end date need to change or what the pet policy is for the rental properties.

Governing law refers to the state laws that govern the lease. In most cities, standard residential leases are governed by and construed in accordance with state laws.

It’s important to review the rental lease agreement closely as it outlines what is considered normal wear and tear.

For example, if a tenant decides to paint the whole apartment or remove blinds and put in curtains and there’s no written consent as part of the lease terms, the security deposit may not be returned if the rental property manager needs to pay to have the unit repainted or add blinds.

What each section means in a sample lease

Lease agreements are pretty standard but it’s good to note what each should include. Here are what each section means in a sample lease.

Property details

The rental lease agreement should include basic facts about the rental property. Each agreement includes the address, landlord or property manager’s name and contact information. It notes when the lease begins and ends, the monthly rent amount and what the monthly rent includes, such as appliances and parking.

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Payments, deposits, lease termination, late fees

In addition to how much rent is expected every month, the lease agreement should make it clear when each month’s rent is due by and what, if any, late fees can be expected if you pay rent late. If you have a roommate, what might happen should one of you need to end the lease early?

Does the lease agreement note you’ll need to provide the first month’s rent and last month’s rent and a security deposit?

If a security deposit is due upon the signing of the lease, how is it handled upon lease termination? What’s considered normal wear and tear and what will be covered by a security deposit?

How much advance notice does a tenant need to give a landlord of their intent not to renew a lease once the lease expires or once the landlord lets the tenant know the monthly rent amount will increase? It should note the monthly rental rate does not increase during the fixed period of the lease.

Resigning or breaking your lease

Life happens, a new job opportunity in another city presents itself or something happens in which you need to break your lease. There are things your landlord will appreciate as part of a good landlord-tenant relationship.

It’s a good idea to review the details of the agreement, including what kind of advance notice you must give. There could be many reasons why you may have to break your lease. It’s important to know what’s at stake if you have to break a lease. You could lose your security deposit and your last month’s rent. You could also be responsible for finding someone to sublet your apartment or need to pay each month’s rent until your lease ends.

Include everything in writing to save time and money

Renting a new apartment can be a fun experience. Knowing the terms of your new home by reviewing the lease agreement can save both time and headaches in the short and long term. Having this legally binding agreement can help avoid misunderstandings, too.

Source: rent.com

Your Complete Guide On How Much to Tip Wedding Vendors

Weddings are complicated ventures whether you are booking the vendors yourself or working with a wedding planner. Expensive, too. And what if we told you that an extra $1,000 is needed for tips.

That’s right, tips. It’s smart to budget a little something extra for the makeup artist that made the bride sparkle and the florist who got the groom’s mother to smile for the first time the whole day.

“Tipping is becoming increasingly common and while it may seem uncomfortable for some couples and families,” writes wedding planner Nicole McCann of Exhale Events on her blog, “and how much to give is a valid question.”

But how much and who should get a tip? This wedding tipping guide will help you figure out how much to budget long before the big day.

Should You Even Tip Wedding Vendors?

Not all wedding vendors get tipped, but most of them do. Some of the workers, like parking attendants, hair and makeup, reception staff, and the band or DJ depend on tips. According to wedding site The Knot, even conservative tipping can impact your wedding budget. You should also set aside at least $800 for gratuities.

Need to shave the budget for your wedding? Check out 90 ways to save on a wedding according to the pros. 

Tipping Wedding Vendors Tips

It’s easier in the long run to build gratuities into your wedding budget planning, so there are no surprises at the end. In this guide will tell you:

  • Who should get tipped
  • How much to tip
  • Who is optional to tip
  • Who you don’t have to worry about tipping at all

And just so you aren’t awkwardly thrusting money in someone’s hand at the wrong time, we let you know when you should fork over the money.

When you or your planner are working on contracts, clarify whether gratuities or a service fee for each wedding vendor are already built into the cost. Don’t assume the service charge is an employee tip.

You (or the people who keep offering to help) can write thank you notes for each vendor with the tips already included before the wedding. Then you just pick a trusted friend or relative to hand them out at the end of the reception.

You don’t have to tip the owner of a large, established business, but you might be tipping their staff. For small business owners, it is okay to tip, since they might be a one person operation.

We are here to take the worry about how much to tip wedding vendors away. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

How to Tip

Put going to the bank and getting cash a few days before the wedding on the to-do list. Cash tips can be put in envelopes and pre-labeled with the intended recipient’s name. Pick a responsible friend or relative to be in charge of handing them out at the end of each facet of the wedding (rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception).

We note below that some of tipping your wedding vendor can happen both before and after the wedding.

How Much to Tip Wedding Vendors

Some vendors can be tipped the day of the event and some can receive their gratuity in the mail or via credit card when you settle the bill.

Florist: $50-$100

Flowers are an integral part of the wedding and reception. Florists often guide you through the whole decision process. Florists may not expect a tip, but it is common to give them $50 to $100, depending on how elaborate your flower arrangements are. You can mail the florist a thank you note with the check or cash.

You should definitely tip the florist delivery people, $10 to $20 each, depending on how complicated the set up is for them. Tip them at the time of the delivery.

Stationer: No tip

You do not have to tip the stationer, but a thank you card or nice review on the website is a nice gesture.

Set Up and Delivery Staff: $5-$10

People delivering and setting up tables, chairs, tents, flowers, cakes, etc. should be tipped $5 to $10 each, depending on how complicated their tasks are. The wedding planner or coordinator can be responsible for giving them their tips.

A wedding officiant weds two grooms.
Getty Images

Wedding Officiant: $50-$100

Tipping the wedding officiant depends on whether it is a religious service or secular. It also depends on if they are voluntary or hired. If your ceremony takes place in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious institution, you make a donation to the institution.

If there is already a fee for using the religious institution, you can still tip the wedding officiant between $50-100. You would lean toward the higher amount if you had premarital counseling or other special services.

If you hired the wedding officiant, then you can tip between 15-20% of the fee up to $75, if they have provided exceptional service.

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Up to 15% of the Bill

There is a difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner. Wedding planners help you achieve your wedding vision from the beginning (and are a big help in understanding tipping wedding vendors). They help set the wedding budget, negotiate contracts with vendors, and oversee the whole project.

A coordinator is responsible for the logistics of the rehearsal, ceremony, and reception. You would plan your wedding, and the coordinator would start working with you a month or so before the date through the wedding reception to ensure everything goes smoothly.

If the wedding has gone amazingly well, it is nice gift to give the coordinator 10-15% of the bill after the wedding or honeymoon.

Ceremony Musicians: Up to 15% of the Bill

Plan on tipping the ceremony musicians either 10-15% of their fee or $10 to $15 per musician at the end of the ceremony. Have a trusted person hand them cash envelopes.

Valet/Parking Attendants: $1-$2 Per Vehicle

Usually tips for the parking attendants are covered for guests. Estimate a $1 to $2 tip per vehicle at both the wedding and the reception, if they are in different locations. If there are different workers at each venue, it’s easiest to give a cash tip to the lead valet to split up. You should let guests know that tips are taken care of already.

Chauffeur: Up to 20% of the Bill

Review the contracts from transportation companies to see if gratuities or a service fee is already included. If it isn’t included, or if the limo driver was fabulous, 15-20% of the total bill is perfect. Remember, they have a long day too, from the beginning of the wedding to possibly the end of the reception. Tip them after the final ride.

The same rule goes if you have hired a party bus for everyone. Check to see if there are service charges included. If not, tip 15-20%, and of course, always give more for great service.

Venue Coordinator/Catering Manager: $100-$200

Often the venue coordinator or catering manager does a lot of the things a wedding planner or coordinator would be doing, for much less money. Usually they are tipped, but as always, check your contract to see if a service fee is already included. Plan on $100 to $200, at the end of the reception or mailed later.

Catering Staff: Up to 20% of Bill

Check your contract to see what, if any, gratuities are included. If none, then tip 15-20% of the final bill. If the wait staff did a great job, then you can throw in another $5 to $10 even if there is already a service fee.

Bartender: Up to 20% of Bill

Bartenders might already be covered in the catering contract or by a drink fee, so check before tipping them. You can tip 10-20% of the bar bill for them to split at the end of the night if there isn’t a built-in gratuity. If you have a cash bar, let them put a tip jar out, but still tip.

Wedding DJ: Up to 15% of Bill

A wedding DJ is another small business owner that it is okay to tip. Plan on 10-15% of the bill, with the higher amount if they’ve emceed all night.

Wedding Musicians: $10 to $15 Per Musician

This is similar to the ceremony musicians, either a flat 10-15% of their fee or $10 to $15  per musician, at the end of the reception.

A wedding photographer shows a bride and groom their photos.
Getty Images

Photographer and Videographer: Up to $100

Wedding vendor tipping suggests you don’t tip owners, just their employees. If your photographer has an assistant and they have given great service, then tip the assistant $50.

Wedding photographers get tipped too, $50 to $100 if you are happy, Send the tip when you have gotten all of your photos.

Wedding Cake Baker: Up to 15% of Bill

The wedding cake is one of the most memorable parts of the reception. Tipping the cake baker isn’t expected but it is pretty common. You would tip them 10-15% of the final bill. You can send them a card after the wedding with the tip.

Hair and Makeup: Up to 20% of Bill

You will probably see both the hair and makeup artist at least twice. Once is for the trial run and then again for the wedding. You tip 15-20% each time: when you visit the hair salon and on the wedding day.

If your wedding hairstylist is doing the whole wedding party, and you are paying for it, you still tip about 20% of the total bill.

It is the same procedure with the makeup artist. For your trial run and wedding you tip 15-20% each time.

What About the Rehearsal Dinner?

Gratuities will likely be included in the overall bill, but of course you can always throw more in if expectations are exceeded. Guests should bring some cash for tips if they are ordering at the bar.

If the dinner was catered or a pretty grand affair, you might want to tip the banquet manager for making it go smoothly, about 15% at the end of the night

Other Ways to Thank People

Not all wedding vendors expect a tip, but you might still want to thank them for making the day so special. You can tip the business owners with a thank you card, small gift, or gift basket.

Posting positive reviews or sharing photos from your wedding for them to use for their marketing materials are other ways. Just because these wedding pros own businesses doesn’t mean they don’t love a thoughtful gesture.

The Penny Hoarder contributor JoEllen Schilke writes on lifestyle and culture topics. She is the former owner of a coffee shop in St.Petersburg, Florida, and has hosted an arts show on WMNF community radio for nearly 30 years.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Edgewonk Review – The Best Online Trading Journal?

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Edgewonk is an online trading journal designed to help active traders track and analyze their trading performance to find ways to optimize their trading plans. Using the service helps to make you a better trader. The platform makes plenty of tools available to visualize your improvements over time. 

Unlike most trading journal services, there’s no free lunch at Edgewonk. You’ll have to pay $169 per year if you want access to the tool. The big question is, “Is the service worth the price?” Read on to find out. 

Key Features of Edgewonk

Edgewonk is specifically designed for active traders like day traders and swing traders. The platform comes with a plethora of features that make tracking, managing, and analyzing your trading activity a breeze. There are also some nifty features that will help test your new and improved strategies before throwing your hard-earned money into the ring. 

Here are some of the most exciting features you’ll find on the platform:

Easy Data Imports

Inputting trading data in a journal can be a cumbersome process if you’re an active trader, but you won’t have to with Edgewonk. The journal supports trading platforms and broker imports from 16 popular providers. Some supported brokers and platforms include TD Ameritrade, thinkorswim, MetaTraders 4 and 5, NinjaTraders 7 and 8, and TradeStation. A full list of supported brokers and platforms is available on the company’s website.

If you’re not working with one of the supported brokers, there’s another option. Many brokers and platforms let you export your trading data to Excel, and Edgewonk supports Excel imports. Simply export your data from your broker or platform to an Excel file and then import it into Edgewonk. 

Trade Analytics

Keeping a trading journal is the first part of improving your trading performance. The next part is reviewing and analyzing the data you’ve kept in your journal. 

Edgewonk’s interactive trade analysis tool is up to the job. The tool makes it easy to dissect and compare your trading data. 

For example, say you’re interested in finding out how much of a role holding times play in your returns. Are shorter-term or longer-term trades producing better results? Simply filter your trades by time frame and you’ll end up with a color-coded table that will make it easy to see which trades work out best for you. 

There are several other metrics you can use when analyzing and comparing your performance as well. Some include trade setups, trade exits, and stop-loss settings. 

For example, you may find that you’re making late exits, leading to reduced returns. In this case, the trade analytics can alert you to the fact that your returns could be improved by adjusting your strategy to make your exits earlier. 

Emotional Analytics

This is something we haven’t found with any other digital trading journal we’ve reviewed, and we’ve reviewed a ton of them! It’s easy to make bad decisions while you trade if you let your emotions get involved in the process, but few tools actually focus on trader emotions. 

That’s where Edgewonk is different. 

The platform offers three emotional analytics tools to help you learn to curb the emotional cues that may be making you a less profitable trader:

  • Tiltmeter. Quickly spot when you’ve broken your trading rules in your trade data so you can make changes to stay on track when those types of events happen again. 
  • Discipline-Efficiency. Track your discipline in sticking to your trading rules with this easy-to-read graph that shows how often you deviate from your strategy over time. 
  • Trade Comments. Tag your trades with comments about how you can improve your process when emotional cues arise. 

Trade Management Optimization

The Trade Management Optimizer digs through your data to see if you’re managing your trades in the best way possible. If not, it will provide tips and hints that will help you improve your trade management style. 

For example, the tool may analyze your trades and find that you’re setting your take-profit orders too far from the current price, causing them to go unexecuted and leading to losses. In this case, the journal will show charts and provide data on where your take-profit orders should be placed to improve your chances of profitability. 

Backtester

As you review your trading activity, you’ll likely make changes to your trading strategy. When you do, you won’t have to risk your money to test it out because Edgewonk comes with a backtester that shows you how your new strategy would have performed in the past. 

Trade Simulator

The trade simulator is another way to test your trading strategy as it evolves. The simulator is a virtual environment based on real-time, real-life market data. You use virtual money to test your strategy in the simulator. 

Use the trading simulator to see how your new strategy works in real-time under real market conditions. If your strategy produces a loss, no harm no foul. Go back to the drawing board and make a few changes. If your strategy proves to be a winner, you’re ready to use it in the live trading environment. 

Entry & Exit Optimization

Trade entries and exits are the points at which you enter new trades and close open trades. The difference between entry and exit prices creates your profit and losses. So, you’ll want to optimize your entry and exit strategy as much as possible. 

The entry and exit optimization tool at Edgewonk helps you optimize trade timing and lets you know what types of orders you should place when making trades. The platform even tells you where the optimal execution prices on stop-loss and limit orders might be. 

Milestone Challenges

There are several aspects to the trading process, and changing them all at once is difficult if not impossible. Edgewonk offers milestone challenges to help you focus on one area of your trading strategy at a time, creating a more effective way to improve your trading behavior over time. 

Small adjustments to your trading style lead to the completion of Edgewonk milestones. Once one milestone is complete, you’ve adjusted your behavior and you’re ready to start focusing on improvements in another area. 


Advantages of Edgewonk Trading Journal

Edgewonk is much more than your average trading journal. The platform’s features are geared toward simplifying trade analytics, checking emotions at the door, and setting and achieving your goals. Some of the biggest advantages to the platform are:

  • Emotional Tools. Emotions in investing can devastate your returns, but there aren’t enough tools online to help you learn how to manage them. Edgewonk paid close attention to this aspect of trading, providing three different tools to help traders improve in this area. 
  • Tracks Several Financial Assets. The trading journal supports stocks, forex, futures, contracts for difference (CFDs), commodities, and crypto assets.  
  • Trade Chart Book. Take advantage of the Trade Chart Book tool to organize your trading screenshots. 
  • Track Your Performance. See your winning and losing trades over time at a glance to see how your performance has improved. The platform also makes it easy to visualize your win rate improvements over time. 
  • Organize Your Trades by Time. Trading sessions can be broken into daily, weekly, or monthly time periods, showing you how you’ve improved over different lengths of time. 
  • Backtester. Backtesting isn’t provided by most trading journals, and it’s a welcome feature at Edgewonk. 

Disadvantages of Edgewonk Trading Journal

There are plenty of advantages to signing up for Edgewonk, but there are a few drawbacks to consider too. The most significant include:

  • No Free Membership Plan. Most trading journals offer a limited free membership plan, but that’s not available here. You’ll have to pay for a membership if you want access to the company’s tools.  
  • Data Takes a While. It will likely take weeks, if not months, to compile enough data to start finding meaningful trends in your trading activity to be able to act upon it. 
  • Trading Risks. Trading is a high-risk concept and Edgewonk is all about actively trading. The company’s website and services are designed to make trading simpler and more effective but may insinuate that trading is easier than it is for those considering getting involved.  

How Edgewonk Stacks Up

TradesViz is one of Edgewonk’s biggest competitors. Here’s how the two trading journals compare:

Edgewonk TradesViz
Price $169 Free — no paid plans 
Backtesting Available Yes No
Emotional Analytics Tools Yes No
Trade Management & Risk Optimization Yes Yes

Final Word

Is the Edgewonk service worth the price? We can give you a definitive yes. Whether you’re day trading or swing trading, just starting out or a professional trader, there’s quite a bit to benefit from with an Edgewonk membership. 

The service’s cost of $169 per year works out to just over $14 per month. The unique emotional evaluation tools on the platform are worth that price by themselves. 

Sure, there are free trading journal options online, but most are limited and none compare well to Edgewonk. If you’re looking for one of the best trading journals online — one that can analyze your data and point you in the right direction, help you set and track milestones, and ultimately improve your trading performance — you’ve found it with Edgewonk. 

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GME is so 2021. Fine art is forever. And its 5-year returns are a heck of a lot better than this week’s meme stock. Invest in something real. Invest with Masterworks.

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Editorial Note:
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Joshua Rodriguez has worked in the finance and investing industry for more than a decade. In 2012, he decided he was ready to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race. By 2013, he became his own boss and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Joshua enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with up and comers to help enrich the financial lives of the masses rather than fuel the ongoing economic divide. When he’s not writing, helping up and comers in the freelance industry, and making his own investments and wise financial decisions, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife, son, daughter, and eight large breed dogs. See what Joshua is up to by following his Twitter or contact him through his website, CNA Finance.

Source: moneycrashers.com

3 Instances When a Landlord Can Legally Break a Rental Lease

Read this to understand when you can legally break a lease agreement.

Even before the pandemic, landlords filed 3.6 million eviction cases on average in the U.S. each year. The process is emotional and difficult for everyone involved, but there are circumstances for which you as a landlord will have to break a lease agreement early.

If you’ve got a month-to-month lease agreement, either party can terminate at any time with proper notification, at a minimum of 30 days. But if you’ve got a fixed-term lease agreement with a tenant, such as a one-year lease, you can’t break the lease mid-way through on a whim.

When can you legally terminate a lease agreement early?

Breaking a lease agreement with cause

You’ve got a lease agreement that’s legally binding that the tenant signed before moving in. If that tenant violates the lease agreement by having an unapproved roommate, unauthorized pet, unpaid rent, has caused major damage or conducted illegal activities, you have every right to terminate their lease “with cause.”

In this instance, you would send your tenant a “cure or quit” notice. Either they “cure” the problem by paying rent owed, for example, or they “quit” the property. You can even send an “unconditional” quit notice if the issue at hand isn’t cured. For example, if the tenant alters or damages part of the property without your consent and there’s no way to fix the problem. Check your state laws on these types of lease terminations.

Eviction notice.

Eviction notice.

Can a landlord break a lease agreement without cause?

You can do so but you must include the reasons for this kind of early termination in the tenant’s lease agreement. If it’s not in the agreement, you can’t just force a tenant out on a whim.

Add a clause to your lease agreement that allows you to break a lease with 30- or 60-days’ notice so the tenant has time to find another place to live. Work with an attorney to make sure the language is accurate. Be upfront and clear in your language and point it out to the tenant at signing. There’s no reason to hide your intentions. If you know well in advance that you may have to break the lease, sign a month-to-month lease.

Reasons to break the lease early

There are certain circumstances under which you can break a lease, including:

1. You want to sell the property

You can sell whenever you want, but you must have a clause in the lease agreement in order to terminate the lease legally. Lease contracts will transfer along with the property and the new owner has to abide by them. Some buyers want properties that are already tenanted.

Decide if you want the tenants on the property during the sales process or if you want them out before putting the property on the market. Also, check whether your state requires you to offer existing tenants the first right of refusal.

You want to keep your tenants happy if they’re staying on the premises. And they do have some legal rights, including 24-hour notice of showings, the right to stay during a showing and the transfer of their security deposit to the new owner once the property sells.

Lay hardwood floors

Lay hardwood floors

2. You need to renovate the property

As a landlord, you must keep your property safe and habitable. If you need full access to the property in order to renovate and remodel to keep your property in good condition, you can terminate a lease. If the upgrades are going to cause health and safety issues, you can terminate a lease early. Again, you must have a clause in the lease agreement in order to terminate the lease legally.

3. You need to move into the rental space

If you’re renting out a house, for example, and you need to move back in, you can legally terminate the lease early.

How to terminate a lease

There are a few steps you must follow to legally end a lease to avoid a tenant possibly filing a claim in court.

Send a notice to the tenant letting them know that you’re terminating their lease. Check your state laws on how to write and deliver this termination notice. There are specific requirements for doing this.

Depending on the reasons you’re giving this notice, it may state the tenant’s transgression and warn them that they must vacate the property or face eviction. Or, you might give the tenant a few days to act on fixing whatever they did wrong, e.g., find a new home for their unauthorized pet or pay any rent owed. Again, check your state laws.

If the tenant doesn’t comply with the notice, you may have to file an eviction lawsuit.

Make sure it

Make sure it

When a landlord is not allowed to break the lease early

The bottom line is if you haven’t included a clause in your lease that you may terminate the lease early, you can’t just go ahead and do so. And your state may have a list of circumstances under which you’re restricted from ending a lease early. For example, there are usually rules around breaking the lease on a rent-controlled apartment.

You may just have to wait

Nobody likes the eviction process, and you don’t want to end up in court. But sometimes, you must remove a tenant. If it’s possible, your best bet is to wait until lease renewal time and not renew the lease. Depending on your state laws, you may need to give 30- to 60-days’ notice on non-renewal.

If you didn’t have an early termination clause in your lease agreement, but you need your tenant to move out, you can pay them, a.k.a., offering cash for keys. You give a tenant enough money to cover their moving costs and a deposit on another place they might rent.

Always be open and communicative with your tenants for the best outcome. In all cases, if you’re a property manager or landlord and you need to break a lease agreement, check your state laws and get an attorney’s input.

Source: rent.com

How To Start a Wedding DJ Business in 9 Essential Steps

Want to hone your DJ skills? Or maybe show them off?

Wedding DJs are in high demand these days.

Industry experts expect 2022 to be the busiest wedding season in 40 years, thanks to lockdown romances and postponed ceremonies during the pandemic.

A wedding DJ is the focal point of great wedding receptions. They set the mood, engage with the crowd and keep the couple happy.

They make good money, too. Wedding DJs make $1,000 per gig on average, according to WeddingWire, with experienced pros fetching upward of $2,000 or more.

But it takes a lot of hard work and planning to DJ a wedding. To start a successful wedding DJ business, you’ll need seed money for gear, reliable transportation — and great people skills.

How to Start a Wedding DJ Business in 9 Steps

Nick Smith started DJing weddings in southwest Indiana when he was 20 years old. His first set of speakers and audio equipment came from a bar that was going out of business.

Sixteen years later, Smith’s business has booked over 200 weddings.

“It’s a great gig if you love people and music,” he said.

Ready to spin up your own side hustle? Follow these nine steps to start a wedding DJ business.

1. Research and Talk to Other DJs

Before you invest major money into gear and advertising, make sure you’re comfortable with this type of gig.

Talk to other wedding DJs and ask what challenges they faced in the beginning — and how they overcame those hurdles.

If you’re new to DJing in general, it’s a good idea to shadow a professional wedding DJ. Search Google, Yelp or the Knot to find some in your area.

Send a friendly email asking if you can help them out at an event or two because you’re interested in being a wedding DJ.

On the day of the wedding, show up early and stay for the entire event. Observe how the wedding DJ interacts with the crowd and the type of music they play. Take notes.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do they make announcements?
  • What do they do when the dance floor thins out?
  • How do they handle requests?
  • What equipment do they have?

In exchange for the experience, offer to help the other DJ by unloading gear from the car and setting up the speakers.

2. Hone Your Skills

Practice makes perfect. You need to be comfortable behind the booth before you’re ready to book gigs.

Play for family and friends first. You can also book other, smaller events — like birthday parties and company parties — to get your feet wet. Online classes are another way to grow your knowledge base.

Practice playing songs, using a microphone and flowing from one song to another.

If you’re not ready to start your own wedding DJ business quite yet, consider working for a multi-op — a mobile DJ company that employs several disc jockeys.

3. Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is important if you plan to invest time and money into becoming a wedding DJ.

Your business plan should include:

  • Your business name and location
  • Customer demographics and target audience
  • Price points
  • Suppliers for your equipment
  • Initial start-up costs and how long until you’re profitable
  • Competitors

You can use one of these templates from the U.S. Small Business Administration to create a more detailed business plan.

Looking for more tips? Check out these 10 things you should know before you start a business. 

Setting Your Rate

The best way to set your initial rates is by researching prices for wedding DJs in your area, then offering a lower price.

How much you charge also depends on where you live: A wedding DJ in a big city earns more money than a wedding DJ in a small town.

Still, a good starting rate for a novice wedding DJ is roughly $500. You can raise your rates as you gain more experience. According to The Knot’s Real Weddings Study, couples spent an average of $1,400 on a DJ in 2021.

Wedding DJs usually pick one or more of the following pricing structures:

  • Flat fee or hourly rate
  • Packages
  • A la carte services
  • Custom quote

You should also be open to negotiating when you first start out.

Decide What DJ Services to Offer

Smith said offering additional services to clients is one of the best ways to make extra money as a wedding DJ.

“Additional services can really help add value,” Smith said. “You can offer things like uplighting, or doing sound for both the ceremony and the reception.”

Consider add-ons that earn you extra money with minimal effort. For example, some DJs offer photo booth services for guests, but Smith said photo booths are labor intensive to transport and set up.

“Unless you have someone else helping you, you want to keep things simple,” he said.

4. Buy Your DJ Gear

A big hurdle for many new DJs is acquiring equipment. It can cost a couple thousand dollars to purchase all your DJ gear.

“It’s a big cost up front for sure,” Nick said, “but you’ll earn it back quickly with gigs.”

While you don’t need state-of-the-art equipment to be a great wedding DJ, you do need a solid foundation to get started.

Wedding DJ gear checklist:

  • Laptop with at least 6 GB of internal memory and three USB inputs
  • DJ software, like Serato or Traktor
  • PA system (amplifier and speakers)
  • DJ controller / mixer
  • Over-the-ear headphones
  • Cables
  • MP3 music files

On a budget? Smith recommends looking for deals on sites like eBay and Craigslist. Check out sales at your local music store, too.

You could even borrow equipment from a friend or neighborhood church for your first couple gigs.

“You can start with a cheaper set-up, then upgrade it up over time,” Smith said.

You’ll also need to be comfortable setting up and tearing down your own DJ equipment. Figuring out how to efficiently store and transport your gear is also important if you want to be a mobile DJ.

Buy the Music

Buying music is important if you want to run a successful wedding DJ business.

Professionals caution against using streaming services like Spotify or YouTube. It isn’t technically legal and you shouldn’t rely on anything that requires Internet access anyway.

You have several options to legally purchase music for your wedding DJ business:

  • Buy mp3s through Amazon or iTunes/Apple Music.
  • Subscribe to a DJ pool like Promo City. This is a paid service that gives you access to volumes of modern music for download.
  • DJ subscription service like Virtual DJ or Pulselocker.
  • Buy used CDs and rip them to your laptop.

Set aside a little money from each gig to buy more music, and it won’t take long to compile a competitive professional DJ library.

5. Market Yourself

You have the gear. You have a plan. Now it’s time to get some customers.

You’ll need to create a DJ website and social media accounts to attract potential customers. Look at websites for other wedding DJ businesses to get ideas.

At the bare minimum, your website should include:

  • Your rates
  • Where you’re located (and how far you’re willing to travel)
  • A contact email address and phone number
  • What makes you unique from other DJs in the wedding industry
  • Testimonials and positive reviews

You can use a service like Wix or Weebly for free, or hire a professional to design a website for you.

Word of mouth is huge in the wedding business, Smith said. It’s about who you know and who knows you.

“Recommendations are everything,” Smith emphasized.

Give discounts for referrals. Make it easy for the bride and groom to leave glowing reviews about your wedding DJ business on Google and Facebook.

You’ll want to create some business cards and maybe some flyers, too.

Leave a space in your budget for marketing costs. Advertising on sites like The Knot and WeddingWire can really help pull in new customers because couples often visit these sites to find venues and vendors.

6. Meet the Couple for a Consultation

Meet up with the wedding couple several weeks before the event to discuss the playlist.

Ask about their favorite genres and bands, then create a short list of must-have songs, including their pick for the first dance and other important dances.

Perhaps more importantly, get a list of songs they don’t want played. The Chicken Dance, for instance.

“Get an idea of what they’re looking for,” Smith said, “then execute that to the best of your abilities.”

Print a questionnaire for the couple to fill out at the consultation with a timeline of the wedding, names of important people in the wedding party and other key details you should know.

You’ll also want to create contracts you can customize for each couple.

Your business contract should cover things like cancellation fees and damaged equipment policies. Make sure to discuss these policies with clients during the initial consultation.

Finally, prepare to spend several hours communicating back and forth with the couple before the wedding. Smith said he usually spends about 10 hours total preparing for the big day.

Two brides dance at their wedding reception.
Getty Images

7. Create the Playlist

Your goal as a wedding DJ is to create a memorable experience for the couple and keep the party going.

Don’t slide your original deep house remix into the wedding playlist. Remember, focus on the bride and groom — not your personal taste in music.

Play music to match the festivities. Break your songs into different blocks for the ceremony, cocktail hour, introductions, dinner and dance floor.

Each block should have different music to the atmosphere: Classical music at the ceremony, light jazz for the cocktail hour and soulful tunes for dinner, for example.

You can flex more creativity and play new music for the dance floor. But remember: You’re playing for a diverse audience. Don’t be afraid to bust out crowd favorites like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.”

“People are at a wedding to have a good time,” Smith said. “Your job is to play the right music and create a fun atmosphere for everyone.”

8. Be On Time and Professional

You can’t be late to the party when you’re the DJ. Get there early, set up on time and prepare for a late night.

Before the wedding, write out a script of everything you plan to say. Practice pronouncing names. You don’t want to butcher the best man’s last name on stage.

Make sure to bring backup chargers, cables and other necessary gear. Things go wrong, break and run out of battery. Don’t let something unexpected (but easily preventable) ruin your wedding gig.

9. Work the Crowd and Keep the Party Going

Successful wedding DJs set the tone and vibe for the entire reception.

Be friendly, energetic and don’t forget to smile!

It’s not all about the music, though: You’ll be in charge of making announcements, calling for special dances and fielding song requests from (often intoxicated) guests.

You’ll need to communicate with other vendors at the wedding, too. You don’t want to start playing music for a special dance, for example, without the photographers and videographers in place.

Be observant, flexible and keep the party going.

It’s a lot to manage but pulling off your first successful gig can be the start of a rewarding and lucrative wedding DJ business.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

TradeBench Review – Free Trading Journal to Improve Your Investing

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

TradeBench is a totally free online trading journal and risk management tool. All features are unlocked for all users and there are no paid plans. 

How does TradeBench get away with offering its services for free? By working with sponsors and asking its users to click an ad from time to time — a small price to pay for a tool that has the potential to make you a more successful trader. 

Wondering if TradeBench is right for you? Read on to learn about its features and benefits.


Key Features of TradeBench

TradeBench is marketed as a trading journal, which is a great tool in its own right. 

TradeBench offers far more than simple journaling functionality though. These are the most important features of its platform.

Automatic Trading Journal

The most profitable traders generally keep a trading journal and look back on it regularly in an effort to find pieces of their strategies that can be improved upon.  But keeping a journal manually can be a cumbersome task, especially for beginners. 

TradeBench’s automatic trading journal helps solve this problem. 

The platform connects to your brokerage account, automatically journalling trade data every time a trade is closed. The service captures data like entry price, exit price, profit, and setup — giving you the ability to review and learn from your recent trading activity. 

TradeBench’s trade journal feature allows you to generate reports with customizable parameters. That makes it easy to pinpoint the data you’re looking for and focus on the areas of your trading strategy that could use improvement. TradeBench lays out data in user-friendly, color-coded graphs that make it easier to understand what you’re looking at. 

Supported Assets

TradeBench supports stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.

It also supports contracts for differences (CFDs). A CFD buyer agrees to pay the seller the difference between the current value of an asset and the value of the asset upon expiration. If the value of the asset falls, the seller pays the difference to the buyer. 

Risk & Money Management

Trading in financial markets is risky business, so traders must take active steps to mitigate the risk of loss. As a TradeBench user, you can input your risk parameters into the platform and use the proprietary risk management tools to determine:

  • Maximum Risk Exposure. The platform can outline entry points and exit points so that you understand the maximum risk exposure you have with each trade. 
  • Position Sizing. TradeBench generates statistics-driven pointers on position sizing relevant to your risk tolerance and portfolio size for each trade. 
  • Diversification Needs. Finally, TradeBench provides tools for better diversification while actively trading. 

Trade Planning

Planning is important in any process, especially when it comes to trading in financial markets. 

Fortunately for its users, TradeBench makes trade planning a breeze. The platform uses algorithms to produce a trade plan summary that outlines the potential profit or loss and risk-to-reward ratios to help you better understand where your entry points and exit points should be. 

TradeBench also provides trade planning checklists that automatically include several areas of interest you need to pay attention to when making a trade. 

You can customize these checklists to better fit your trading strategy and use them as market screeners. For example, if you’re only interested in stocks trading with a minimum volume and a maximum price, you can type those parameters into the checklist and search the market for opportunities that meet them.  

Open Trades Dashboard

TradeBench isn’t just for tracking data from previous trades and planning future trades. The platform can also track your open trades in real-time so that you can see how your portfolio is doing and make changes as necessary. 

The Open Trades Dashboard features a “what if scenario” tool as well. This tool creates calculations based on open trades and potential exit points to help you determine when the best time to exit your position might be. 

No matter if you’re trading long or short or have a single or multiple entries, the Open Trades Dashboard at TradeBench has the tools and functionality you need to improve your live trading activities. 

Potential Trade Comparison Tools

As you trade, there will be times when you find yourself stuck at a fork in the road between two or more trades, unsure of which trade to execute for the best results. 

For example, you might think ABC stock will break out to the upside and quickly gain value. However, if it fails to break out of its trading range, you know that it could fall dramatically. TradeBench has a tool that makes it a breeze to compare these options before you enter trades. 

TradeBench outlines the data from the trade comparisons in a color-coded table. That makes it easy to quickly spot the trades that are likely to be the biggest winners and losers while avoiding more detailed technical analysis on trades likely to be duds. 

Trading Simulator

Trading simulators are beneficial to beginners and experts alike, and TradeBench comes with a trading simulator that’s like nothing else on the market. Once you connect the TradeBench simulator to your brokerage, it mimics the features, available assets, and available trade types you’ll find in the brokerage’s live trading environment. 

If you’re a beginner, you can use TradeBench’s simulator to ensure that you understand the trading process and have a strategy that works before risking your hard-earned money on live trades. If you’re an expert, you can use the simulator to test new strategies and ideas with less real-world risk. 

P&L Charts

TradeBench makes it easy to quickly gauge your market performance with profit and loss (P&L) charts. The charts outline your entry cost, your exit price, and the profit or loss generated. For each trade, it shows this information in dollar amounts and in percentages.


Is TradeBench a Scam?

There’s quite a bit of chatter online about a potential TradeBench scam. We dug into the scam and found that TradeBench, the company that owns the TradeBench.com website, is a legitimate service that’s geared towards helping beginners and experts alike become more successful in financial markets for free. 

However, there was a website found at TradeBench.Digital that was scamming traders out of their hard-earned money. Thankfully, TradeBench.Digital doesn’t exist anymore, but the scam left a stain on the TradeBench brand that may wrongfully deter some users from this robust trading tool. 


Advantages of TradeBench

There are several advantages to taking advantage of the services offered by TradeBench. Some of the most significant perks to membership include:

  • Automatically Track Stock, Forex, CFD, and Crypto Trades. Stock traders, forex traders, and cryptocurrency traders can all benefit from using the TradeBench platform, unlike many other trade journaling services that generally focus their services on a smaller group of assets, especially for free users.  
  • Everything’s Free. You might be asked to click an advertiser’s link or read an email from time to time, but TradeBench will never ask for your credit card number. All features are free, and there are no paid plans on the platform. 
  • Risk Management Tools. Risk management is crucial to the trading process. Traders who don’t employ risk management strategies can end up with exorbitant losses. The risk and money management tools on TradeBench go above and beyond the norm, showing that the company has a keen interest in its users’ success. 
  • Interactive Charts. TradeBench offers a wide range of interactive charts and technical indicators to help you find the best trade setups.  
  • Track Open Trades. Market conditions can change rapidly, which makes tracking multiple open trades difficult. The platform’s Open Trade Dashboard makes tracking multiple positions a breeze with charts, graphs, and tools that help you plan profitable exits. 

Disadvantages of TradeBench

There aren’t many disadvantages to speak of when it comes to TradeBench. While some users may find it annoying to click an ad from time to time, the vast majority would likely rather click a few ads than shell out hard-earned cash for the service. 

  • Centered Around Trading. The only real drawback to the service is that it’s focused on trading, a high-risk process. Nonetheless, while the service is geared toward the active trader, long-term investors will also benefit greatly from some of the features available, especially the automated trading journal. 
  • Unrelated Scam Dinged TradeBench’s Reputation. For some time, TradeBench.Digital ran a scam called TradeBench. While TradeBench.com is a legitimate service that had nothing to do with the scam, the fact that a scam shared a name with the company dinged its reputation. 

How TradeBench Stacks Up

One of TradeBench’s biggest competitors is TraderSync. Check out the table below to see how the two compare:

TradeBench TraderSync
Price TradeBench is always free for all features.  Pro. $29.95 per month Premium. $49.95 per month Elite. $79.95 per month13% discount when billed annually 
Risk Management & Trade Setup Tools Yes Yes
Trading Simulator Yes Yes
Share Trade Data Share your trading journal with a single person or group of people.  Share customized trading reports with your mentor or followers. 

Final Word

TradeBench is a phenomenal tool that gives traders an edge on the competition. Beginners and experts alike can use the automated trading journal, risk and money management tools, and trade planning and research tools to become more successful traders. 

While the TradeBench tool has the potential to increase your profitability, it’s not a silver bullet. It’s important to remember that trading is a short-term, speculative process that always comes with a higher level of risk than long-term investing based on well-researched fundamentals. 

If you haven’t tried your hand as a long-term investor and earned a strong understanding of the mechanics of the stock market, it’s best to avoid trading entirely until you have more experience under your belt. 

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GME is so 2021. Fine art is forever. And its 5-year returns are a heck of a lot better than this week’s meme stock. Invest in something real. Invest with Masterworks.

Editorial Note:
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Joshua Rodriguez has worked in the finance and investing industry for more than a decade. In 2012, he decided he was ready to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race. By 2013, he became his own boss and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Joshua enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with up and comers to help enrich the financial lives of the masses rather than fuel the ongoing economic divide. When he’s not writing, helping up and comers in the freelance industry, and making his own investments and wise financial decisions, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife, son, daughter, and eight large breed dogs. See what Joshua is up to by following his Twitter or contact him through his website, CNA Finance.

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How to Get Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Private school teachers can also qualify for the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation.
You meet the additional requirements, depending on whether you’re new to the profession and what grade level you teach.
The takeaway: You’d better enjoy teaching, because you’re going to have to do it for a while if you want to get your student loans wiped out.

Similar to the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, Public Service Loan Forgiveness has quite a few hoops to jump through. But the good news is that the public service program does not restrict teachers to a specific school or subject matter.
The maximum ,500 award is only awarded to “highly qualified” teachers in special education or secondary mathematics or science. You can receive up to ,000 for other subject areas.
The standard repayment term for federal student loans is 10 years. If you have difficulty making payments, you have four main options within an income driven repayment plan (IDRP) for lowering them that take your income and expenses into account:

Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

This loan forgiveness program should be an obvious, easy choice, with the word “teacher” in the title. But there are some rigid requirements.

1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF)

The Perkins Loan Program ended on Sept. 30, 2017, so if you’re a recent graduate, this forgiveness may not be of much help. But if you have outstanding federal Perkins loans, you can still qualify for cancellation.

Which Loans Are Eligible?

You’ve attained your bachelor’s degree. Submit a completed Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program application. The head of the school(s) where you completed your service will have to complete the certification section, and you’ll need to submit separate applications for each loan servicer.

Pro Tip
The program was created in 2007 by former president George W. Bush to help public service workers, like teachers, get out of student loan debt. But the guidelines were so strict and confusing, few people actually qualified for forgiveness.

Contact your college’s financial aid or alumni office to find out about its forgiveness program options. For state and local programs, check out this directory from the American Federation of Teachers.

Who’s Eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness?

To qualify, you must either teach at a low-income school or teach one of the following subjects:
You have not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary or provisional basis.
As a teacher, your employer matters, but the options are much more plentiful than the restrictive Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. Qualifying employers include federal, state, local or tribal government organizations and not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt.

How Much Can You Get?

You don’t have to teach all five years at the same school, but you’ll need verification from every school you taught at to reach the five-year minimum. You apply for teacher loan forgiveness after you’ve completed the teaching requirement.
Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.

  1. Don’t know which loans you have? Log onto www.studentloans.gov: In the loan information list’s left-hand column, it will identify the type of loan. Or you can call the Department of Education and ask.
  2. Start your AmeriCorps application here.
  3. After completing your AmeriCorps term of service, you are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which can be used to repay qualified federal student loans that includes Direct, Perkins Loans, Federal Consolidated Loans and others listed here.
  4. They say that teaching is a calling. It’s just not typically a calling to money.

If you’re thinking about stacking the Teacher Loan Forgiveness with other forgiveness programs, you’ll be waiting a while. That’s because the forgiveness programs count your service sequentially, not simultaneously.

How to Apply

To apply, contact the school where you obtained the Perkins Loan to learn its specific rules.
And while there are a number of programs specifically designed to help teachers pay off student loans, a word of warning to anyone looking for a quick and easy fix. All of the teacher loan forgiveness programs require you to stick to a strict repayment schedule during a qualifying period when you must remain in the teaching profession.

2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

We cover each of these repayment plans in more detail in this article, but know that these plans aren’t actually forgiveness programs. They’re repayment programs with a forgiveness option at the end. You’ll need to resubmit your income and family size every year to determine eligibility — and the forgiven portion is subject to federal taxes.
Although the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation is specifically designed for teachers, it’s also specifically for Perkins loans.
This award is subject to federal tax in the year each payment is made, making it taxable income.
Even with federally held student loan forbearance extended until Sept. 1, 2022, you shouldn’t ignore your student loan debt. In fact, this could be an opportune time to explore your possibilities before the freeze ends on interest and payments.

Which Loans Are Eligible?

  • Payments on all Direct loans enrolled in Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE) and Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR).
  • Payments made on all Direct loans that were not in PAYE and IBR are temporarily eligible to count toward forgiveness.
  • Perkins and Federal Family Education Loans (also known as FFEL) can qualify if they are consolidated, but previous payments may count though a limited PSLF waiver.

Who’s Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

Privacy Policy
To qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, you need to have one of the following loans:

How to Apply

You don’t need to be a math teacher to realize that the ,000-plus average amount of student loans to get a bachelor’s degree would be tough to pay off on a teacher’s starting salary of ,163.

3. Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

If you are employed as a full-time teacher at a low-income school (you can find the list of eligible schools here) for five complete and consecutive academic years, you’re eligible for the program if at least one of those years was after the 1997-98 school year.
Let’s take a look at the different options for student loan forgiveness. They vary based on the types of loans you have, the amount that’s eligible for forgiveness, the school where you work and even the subject you teach.
Although ,000 to ,500 can put a dent in a debt, if your loans reach into the upper five digits (or six digits) — or you don’t meet the requirements of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program — you do have other options.
AmeriCorps programs place teachers in high-need urban and rural areas across the U.S. The positions are limited-term contracts but come with a full salary and other benefits.

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Foreign Languages
  • Special Education
  • Subject area that is facing a shortage of qualified teachers in your state

School librarians, guidance counselors, and other administrative staff are not considered teachers for the purposes of this loan forgiveness program. 

How to Apply

The highly qualified requirements are as follows:

4. AmeriCorps

That means you can use both the teacher loan forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness to wipe out federal loans, for instance, but not for the same period of teaching service. So after working five years to qualify for the teacher loan forgiveness, you’ll need to tack on another 120 monthly payments to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Considering a recent study found that 55% of teachers say they plan to leave the profession earlier than they originally planned — and teaching in low-income districts can be extra challenging — you might be better off applying for just the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program if you’re looking to have a large amount of debt forgiven.
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But if you owe a smaller amount, help from the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program could help put a dent in your debt.

How to Apply

The availability of teacher loan forgiveness programs at the state and local level depends on where you live. If you’re struggling with student debt, you might be able to find a sympathetic ear at your alma mater or state agency.

5. State- and School- Forgiveness Programs

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You can use your award to repay defaulted federal student loans, as long as it qualifies.

How to Apply

That’s 15 years total — so if you graduate from college at 22, you’ll need to commit to teaching until you’re at least 37 years old. And there’s no guarantee you’ll receive forgiveness.

6. Income Driven Repayment Plans

This one isn’t specific to teachers, but it’s certainly applicable here.
If you are eligible, up to 100% of your loan may be canceled in increments for years of teaching service.

  • Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
  • Pay as You Earn (PAYE)
  • Revised Pay as You Earn (RPAYE)

In 2021, the Department of Education announced an overhaul of the PSLF program, allowing previously non-qualifying payments to be counted toward forgiveness, and in some cases wiping out student loan balances.

An overview of a teacher teaching elementary school students.
Getty Images

Can You Stack Forgiveness Programs? Sort of.

If you’re employed by a government or non-profit, you’re eligible to qualify for loan forgiveness after 120 payments — that’s 10 years for you non-math teachers. You’ll need verification for each year of qualification.
You must have a full-time job in the public sector, and you’ll need 120 qualifying, non-consecutive loan payments (that’s 10 years worth).
You’ve received full state certification as a teacher.
Almost every state has at least one type of student loan forgiveness program that’s designed for those in public service fields.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
If you’re in default on a loan, you are not eligible for forgiveness unless you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the defaulted loan. <!–

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Login to the Federal Student Aid site and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness tool to determine whether you, your loan and your employer qualify, as well as to fill out the form.