‘The Hangover’ Actor Justin Bartha Lists Canyon Hideaway

Justin Bartha of “The Hangover,” has put his home in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles on the market for $1.375 million.

The 1,416-square-foot Spanish bungalow may be small but it has plenty of space for relaxing, with a hot tub, swimming pool and open patio.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom canyon retreat has vaulted ceilings, a dining room, living room and family room, with floors of hardwood and Spanish tile throughout. It comes complete with central heat and air conditioning, a covered porch and garage.

Built in 1934, the home sits on a 7,500-square-foot lot with lush landscaping, fruit trees and gardens.

Bartha added new cedar closets and a built-out master closet, but kept true to the original character.

Originally from West Bloomfield, MI, Bartha played the character Doug in the three “Hangover” movies. He is also known for roles in “National Treasure” and “The New Normal.”

Listing agent is Jackie Smith of Hilton & Hyland.

Source: realtor.com

What Can You Use Student Loans For?

To attend college these days, many students take out student loans. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to afford the hefty price tag of tuition and other expenses.

According to U.S. News & World Report, among the college graduates from the class of 2020 who took out student loans, the average amount borrowed was $29,927. In 2010, that number was $24,937 — a difference of about $5,000.

Student loans are meant to be used to pay for your education and related expenses so that you can earn a college degree. Even if you have access to student loan money, it doesn’t mean you should use it on general living expenses. By learning the answer to, “What can you use a student loan for?” you will make better use of your money and ensure you’re in a more stable financial situation post-graduation.

Recommended: I Didn’t Get Enough Financial Aid: Now What?

5 Things You Can Use Your Student Loans to Pay For

Here are five things you can spend your student loan funds on.

1. Your Tuition and Fees

Of course, the first thing your student loans are intended to cover is your college tuition and fees. The average college tuition and fees for a private institution in 2021-2022 is $38,185, while the average for a public, out-of-state school is $22,698 and $10,338 for a public, in-state institution.

2. Books and Supplies

Beyond tuition and fees, student loans can be used to purchase your textbooks and supplies, such as a laptop, notebooks and pens, and a backpack. Keep in mind that you may be able to save money by purchasing used textbooks online or at your campus bookstore. Hard copy textbooks cost, on average, between $80 and $150; you may be able to find used ones for a fraction of the price. Some students may find that renting textbooks may also be a cost-saving option.

Recommended: How to Pay for College Textbooks

3. Housing Costs

Your student loans can be used to pay for your housing costs, whether you live in a dormitory or off-campus. If you do live off-campus, you can also put your loans towards paying for related expenses like your utilities bill. Compare the costs of on-campus vs. off-campus housing, and consider getting a roommate to help you cover the costs of living off-campus.

4. Transportation

If you have a car on campus or you need to take public transportation to get to school, work, or your internships, then you can use your student loans to pay for those costs. Even if you have a car, you may want to consider leaving it at home when you go away to school, because gas, maintenance, and a parking pass could end up costing much more than using public transportation and your school’s shuttle, which should be free.

5. Food

What else can you use student loans for? Food would qualify as a valid expense, whether you’re cooking meals at home or you’ve signed up for a meal plan. This doesn’t mean you should eat out at fancy restaurants all the time just because the money is there. Instead, you could save by cooking at home, splitting food costs with a roommate, and asking if local establishments have discounts for college students.

Recommended: How to Get Out of Student Loan Debt: 6 Options

5 Things Your Student Loans Should Not Cover

Now that you know what student loans can be used for, you’re likely wondering what they should not be used for as well. Here are five expenses that cannot be covered with funds from your student loans.

1. Entertainment

While you love to do things like go to the movies and concerts and bowling, you should not use your student loans to pay for your entertainment. Your campus likely offers plenty of free and low-cost entertainment like sports games and movie nights, so pursue those opportunities instead.

2. A Vacation

College is draining, and you deserve a vacation from the stress every once in a while. However, if you can’t afford to go on spring break or another type of trip, then you should put it off at this time. It’s never a good idea to use your student loans to cover these expenses.

3. Gym Membership

You may have belonged to a gym at home before you went to college, and you still want to keep up your membership there. You can, as long as you don’t use your student loans to cover it. Many colleges and universities have a gym or fitness center on campus that is available to students and included in the cost of tuition.

4. A New Car

Even if you need a new car, student loans cannot be used to buy a new set of wheels. Consider taking public transportation instead of buying a modest used car when you save up enough money.

5. Extra Food Costs

While you and your roommates may love pizza, it’s not a good idea to use your student loan money to cover that cost. You also shouldn’t take your family out to eat or dine out too much with that borrowed money. Stick to eating at home or in the dining hall, and only going out to eat every once in a while with your own money.

Student Loan Spending Rules

The federal code that applies to the misuse of student loan money is clear. Any person who “knowingly and willfully” misapplied funds could face a fine or imprisonment.

Your student loan refund — what’s left after your scholarships, grants, and loans are applied toward tuition, campus housing, fees, and other direct charges — isn’t money that’s meant to be spent willy-nilly. It’s meant for education-related expenses.

The amount of financial aid a student receives is based largely on each academic institution’s calculated “cost of attendance,” which may include factors like your financial need and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your cost of attendance minus your EFC generally helps determine how much need-based aid you’re eligible for. Eligibility for non-need-based financial aid is determined by subtracting all of the aid you’ve already received from your cost of attendance.

Starting for the 2024-2025 school year, the EFC will be replaced with the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI will work similarly to the EFC though there will be some important changes such as adjustments in Pell Grant eligibility.

Additionally, when you took out a student loan, you probably signed a promissory note that outlined what you’re supposed to be spending your loan money on. Those restrictions may vary depending on what kind of loan you received — federal or private, subsidized or unsubsidized. If the restrictions weren’t clear, it’s not a bad idea to ask your lender, “What can I use my student loan for?”

If you’re interested in adjusting loan terms or securing a new interest rate, you could consider refinancing your student loans with SoFi. Refinancing can allow qualifying borrowers to secure a lower interest rate or preferable terms, which could potentially save them money over the long run. Refinancing federal loans eliminates them from all federal borrower benefits and protections, inducing deferment options and the ability to pursue public service loan forgiveness, so it’s not the right choice for all borrowers.

The Takeaway

Student loans can be used to pay for qualifying educational expenses like tuition and fees, room and board, and supplies like books, pens, a laptop, and a backpack. Expenses like entertainment, vacations, cars, and fancy dinners cannot generally be paid for using student loans.

If you have student loans and are interested in securing a new — potentially lower — interest rate, consider refinancing.

There are no fees to refinance a student loan with SoFi and potential borrowers can find out if they pre-qualify, and at what rates, in just a few minutes.

Learn more about student loan refinancing with SoFi.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SOSL18266

Source: sofi.com

23 Ideas for Cheap Christmas Decorations

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, but you live in an area that doesn’t get any snow, you can use spray snow to make your winter wonderland dreams come true. You can spray artificial snow on your windows to create a frosted look or spray your front door wreath to make it appear to be covered with snowflakes. A can of spray snow costs less than on Amazon.
Dress up your dining table to bring out the joy of the holiday season. Drape your table with a red, green or white tablecloth and fill a vase or tray with seasonal elements, such as pine cones, holly leaves, cranberries, sprigs of pine needles, jingle bells, candy canes or candles.
Get the Penny Hoarder Daily

23 Ideas for Cheap Christmas Decorations

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

1. Wall Christmas Trees

Turn empty flower pots into outdoor Christmas decor with just a little paint. You’ll need at least three pots of varying sizes. Paint them white if you want to create a snowman out of your flower pots or green to make a flower pot Christmas tree. Once dried, stack the pots on top of each other upside down and paint additional embellishments, like a face and buttons on your snowman or ornaments and tinsel on your Christmas tree.

2. Get an Artificial Christmas Tree

You can buy boxes of candy canes for cheap at grocery stores or dollar stores around this time of the year. Fill candy dishes full of these red and white striped treats to go on your tablescape, coffee table or end tables. Or hang one or two candy canes on your Christmas tree in place of buying more pricy ornaments.

A woman decorates a tiny Christmas tree.
Getty Images

3. Get a Tiny Tree

The weather’s getting colder. The days are getting shorter. Before you know it, Christmas will be here.

4. Garland

Transform your doors into the biggest presents ever by covering them in wrapping paper. You can use wrapping paper to decorate your interior doors as well as your front door. Add ribbon or a big bow for extra embellishment.

5. DIY Ornaments

Talk about easy Christmas decorations that make your home merry. You can also stack your wrapped present props in an empty corner, by the base of your staircase or on your front porch.

6. Twinkling Lights

Rather than buying an advent calendar this year, make your own. This post from Country Living has several ideas. Come up with whatever little treat, token or message you want to open each day.

7. Window Stickers

Whether you use a kit or make your own gingerbread from scratch, a gingerbread house is a fun holiday project that can double as Christmas decor. Just know it probably won’t last long — so consider this a temporary decoration!

8. Candles

Bundling up on a snowy day to go to the Christmas tree farm and chop down the perfect tree may be a sweet holiday outing, but you’ll get more bang for your buck by opting for an artificial Christmas tree. Now, artificial trees can get pricy themselves, depending on what size and type you choose. However, you can reuse the tree for years to come, rather than having to put it out to the curb when the new year rolls around.

A front door is wrapped in wrapping paper.
Getty Images

9. Decorate Your Doors

Candles are a simple and low-cost way to add a bit of Christmas spirit to a room. You can create a tablescape with red, green, white or gold candles — or set them on the mantle or a wide window ledge. Set battery-operated votive candles inside Mason jars painted in holiday colors for a flame-free decor option.

10. Bells Around Door Knobs

This winter craft doubles as a cheap Christmas decoration. You may be able to make it with items you already have at home: white tube socks, rice, buttons, pins and a scrap of fabric. This post from Darkroom and Dearly tells you exactly how to create them.

11. Decorate With Ribbon

Instead of buying an expensive 7-foot tree, you can save money by getting a much smaller tree that’ll fit on your tabletop. In addition to spending less on the tree, you’ll save on the amount of lights and ornaments you’ll need to decorate it.

12. Wrap Empty Boxes

Dress up your windows with seasonal decals. You can find window stickers of snowflakes, ornaments, gingerbread men and more at the dollar store, craft store and major retailers like Walmart or Amazon. If stored properly, you can even reuse them for next year.

13. Holiday Cards Display

An easy way to light up the outside of your house without needing yards of string lights and a ladder is to use a light projector. You can buy one on Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart and similar retailers for under .

14. Make your Own Advent Calendar

Privacy Policy

A boy eats a gingerbread house he made.
Getty Images

15. Gingerbread House

Deck the halls without wrecking your finances. Here are 23 festive ideas for cheap Christmas decorations.

16. Display Your Kids’ Holiday Artwork

A flat Christmas tree hung on the wall is a great space saver and money saver. You can make wall Christmas trees out of a string of lights, garland, a large piece of felt or even Washi tape. Check out this article from Apartment Therapy for ideas. It looks festive with or without a tree topper!

17. Create a Holiday Tablescape

Make your home not only look but sound festive by tying jingle bells to some red or green ribbon and then wrapping them around your door knobs. Whenever someone opens a door, the kiddos in the house will be looking over their shoulders to see if Santa’s coming.

18. Sock Snowmen

While you’re out shopping for gifts, it can be very tempting to add a bunch of holiday decorations to your cart to help get your home looking merry and bright. But the cost of Christmas decorations often gets overlooked when making your holiday budget — and you end up spending way more than you thought you would.

A person decorates their Christmas tree with candy canes.
Getty Images

19. Candy Canes

To avoid that post-holiday regret, consider these low-budget suggestions for decorating for Christmas.

21. Fake Snow in Windows

Forget the store-bought ornaments, and pick up your hot glue gun. Create wonderful holiday memories while crafting ornaments you can hang on your tree or use as decor around the house. See this Good Housekeeping post for over 75 ideas for DIY Christmas ornaments.

22. Flower Pot Decorations

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

23. Light Projector

A string of lights can really spread holiday cheer. To save money, opt for shorter strings of light to cover smaller areas — such as a window or mantle piece, rather than along your gutters or around a 7 foot tree. You can also use a string of lights on a blank stretch of wall in the shape of a star or to spell out “Merry Christmas” in cursive.
You can use ribbon for more than just wrapping presents. Take some thick ribbon in Christmas colors like red, green or gold and use it to make bows to hang on your Christmas tree, your mantle and even on door knobs or drawer pulls. Tie them around a glass vase with a candle inside for a simple Christmas centerpiece. <!–

–>




Garland is a low-budget Christmas decoration that instantly adds holiday spirit to a room. In addition to stringing garland around your Christmas tree, you can hang strings of garland above your mantle, over your doorways, around your window frames or wrapped around the banister of your staircase. Instead of buying your garland, you can make your own using natural elements like dried citrus and pine cones, construction paper, popcorn or cheap ball ornaments.

The Best Places to Live in South Carolina in 2022

With its variety of beach towns and laid-back atmosphere throughout the state, there are a lot of cities considered the best places to live in South Carolina.

There are big plantation homes and tons of American history throughout the state, not to mention the unique culture of the Lowcountry. All combined, South Carolina is really like no other place in the U.S.

From outdoor fun to delicious, local eats and all the activities in between, living in South Carolina is an experience worth having. Here are 13 of the best places to live in South Carolina.

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

  • Population: 137,566
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,479
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,224
  • Median home price: $280,000
  • Median household income: $68, 438
  • Walk score: 63/100

With so much history packed into one town, Charleston is a great place to call home. As the starting point for the Civil War, you can explore Fort Sumter and take in a major turning point in our country’s own story.

When you’re ready to dip into the modern amenities of the city, there’s no shortage of enticing eats, preserved architecture and culture to enjoy. It’s the perfect mix of a city and a coastal town with so much to do right outside your door and so many beaches just minutes away.

Clemson, SC

Clemson, SC

  • Population: 17,501
  • 1-BR median rent: n/a
  • 2-BR median rent: $590
  • Median home price: $257,500
  • Median household income: $43,568
  • Walk score: 34/100

Of course, the biggest draw to this particular city is Clemson University. There’s plenty of student housing around this prestigious school. And, although Clemson gets billed as a college town, the city and school have a positive, intertwined community.

Leaving the draw of campus and all that football, introduces you to all the rest Clemson has to offer, including the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, the Brooks Center for Performing Arts and even the South Carolina Botanical Gardens.

Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC

  • Population: 131,674
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,067
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,103
  • Median home price: $200,000
  • Median household income: $47,286
  • Walk score: 35/100

Another college town, Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina. The campus stretches across the city, and tailgate culture is huge, everywhere. You’re most likely a football fan, to some degree, if you call this city home.

In addition to being Gamecock central, Columbia is also the state capital, bringing in a diverse population — that’s not all college students — to make the city run. It’s one of the best places to live in South Carolina because of its varied population and professional opportunities. There’s also plenty of fun things to do.

Fort Mill, SC

Fort Mill, SC

  • Population: 22,284
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,425
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,692
  • Median home price: $410,000
  • Median household income: $91,061
  • Walk score: 19/100

A charming historic district and proximity to Charlotte, NC make Fort Mill an appealing way to stay close to the city without actually living in it. Fort Mill offers miles of hiking and biking trails along its own greenway, plenty of golf and all the dining and shopping you could want.

One of the fastest-growing communities in the area, Fort Mill is drawing in families and young professionals alike — anyone who wants the combination of activity and natural beauty wrapped up in a carefully laid out town.

Greenville, SC

Greenville, SC

  • Population: 70,635
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,284
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,445
  • Median home price: $280,000
  • Median household income: $56,609
  • Walk score: 39/100

Known as an artsy city, neighborhoods in Greenville provide an eclectic mix of locations. Combining small-town charm and more urban amenities, you’ll find plenty of galleries, public festivals and events to satisfy your creative side.

Greenville is also perfectly placed for nature lovers to get a dose of outdoor beauty. Situated right in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, scenic hikes are less than an hour away. For a closer touch of nature, Falls Park lures residents in with its waterfalls and suspension bridge.

Hilton Head, SC

Hilton Head, SC

  • Population: 39,861
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,162
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,600
  • Median home price: $395,000
  • Median household income: $84,575
  • Walk score: 16/100

While you may consider Hilton Head more of a vacation spot than a living destination, the island offers something for everyone. Beautiful beaches, world-class golf, shopping, restaurants and even nightlife are all here. But, it’s not all resorts in this slice of the Lowcountry. There are plenty of communities that provide that homey feel.

Another draw of Hilton Head is its location. The island is one of the best places to live in South Carolina because of its proximity to both Savannah, GA, and Charleston. You can set yourself up for a more picturesque home life while taking advantage of big-city opportunities.

Lexington, SC

Lexington, SC

  • Population: 22,157
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,255
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,420
  • Median home price: $208,000
  • Median household income: $72,996
  • Walk score: 16/100

The historic and modern mix perfectly together in Lexington. Its historical claim to fame is the home to one of the first battles in the Revolutionary War. Another part of the city’s history revolves around commerce, and Lexington’s Old Mill stands as a symbol of the area’s commitment to small businesses.

Shopping around here means supporting locals and long-standing, family-owned shops. Its history and commerce are all in one, packaged in a quaint, suburban environment that continues to draw in young professionals and families.

Mauldin, SC

Mauldin, SC

  • Population: 25,409
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,378
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,333
  • Median home price: $249,200
  • Median household income: $67,860
  • Walk score: 28/100

A suburb of Greenville, Mauldin provides that safe, suburban feel without taking you too far away from a bustling city center. With access to everything the big city has to offer, staying close to home also provides ample opportunities for natural beauty and activity.

The 400-acre Lake Conestee Nature Park is not only a natural habitat for lots of local wildlife, but it’s also a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts. And, it’s only five minutes from the center of town. You also can’t skip over the food in Mauldin when talking about the amenities of the town. You’ll find delicious Lowcountry cooking and plenty of great local restaurants.

Mount Pleasant, SC

Mount Pleasant, SC

  • Population: 91,684
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,525
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,783
  • Median home price: $555,500
  • Median household income: $103,232
  • Walk score: 29/100

As a South Carolina town with literally everything you could ever want, Mount Pleasant is a popular choice to call home. It’s quiet and picturesque, with strong community vibes and a variety of residents. It’s a town that caters to its population with great restaurants, shops and thriving nightlife.

Another laid-back coastal town that has it all, you’re also close to so much that makes South Carolina great. Sullivan’s Island is only a short car ride away, and Isle of Palms isn’t too far, either. On top of that, you’re less than three miles from Charleston. It’s the perfect, middle spot to enjoy everything the entire area offers.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

  • Population: 34,695
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,314
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,400
  • Median home price: $250,000
  • Median household income: $43,200
  • Walk score: 23/100

Known primarily as a vacation destination that can get a little rowdy, Myrtle Beach has a lot to offer once you step away from the tourist traps and move past the amusement parks and high-rise hotels.

Taking up 60 miles of coastline, Myrtle Beach is a resort town, with all the typical amenities, and that presents a lot of opportunity both for job-seekers and entrepreneurs. There’s also the climate to consider when thinking of Myrtle as one of the best places to live in South Carolina — it’s fantastic. Mild weather and the lulling sounds of the ocean attract families, young professionals and empty-nesters to call this place home.

Rock Hill, SC

Rock Hill, SC

  • Population: 75,048
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,132
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,320
  • Median home price: $277,000
  • Median household income: $50,444
  • Walk score: 32/100

A thriving art scene gives the downtown area of Rock Hill its own signature. Named the state’s first cultural district, this area is full of galleries, museums, theaters and art studios. Not only that, but you’ll find the streets peppered with murals and sculptures from local artists.

Not an arts town alone, Rock Hill also has 31 parks, including Cherry Park and its 68 acres of hiking trails and landscaped walkways. Boyd Hill is another option with a disc golf course, picnic areas and even an outdoor swimming pool.

Spartanburg, SC

Spartanburg, SC

  • Population: 37,399
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,140
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,217
  • Median home price: $205,000
  • Median household income: $40,053
  • Walk score: 29/100

If South Carolina is calling to you for its mountain views, you’ll want to check out Spartanburg. With its small-town feel and neighborly vibe, living here still reminds you that you’re in the south but without the beach-front scenery the majority of the state provides.

A revitalized downtown is representative of the quick pace at which the city has grown over the last few years, and you’ll find diversity in job opportunities and living options as a result.

Tega Cay, SC

Tega Cay, SC

Source: Facebook.com/TegaCayCity
  • Population: 11,335
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,330
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,600
  • Median home price: $460,000
  • Median household income: $130,918
  • Walk score: 16/100

Another suburb of Charlotte, Tega Cay is a close-knit, lakeside community that fits most people’s ideal of small-town living. A family-friendly place, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops, as well as water sports on the lake.

Residents of Tega Cay also value the safety of the city. It’s the kind of place where kids are always out riding bikes and the community pool fills up with eager swimmers each summer. It’s almost like the suburban town you’d find in a movie.

Find an apartment for rent in South Carolina

Whether you want city living, ocean waves or even mountain tops, apartments for rent in South Carolina can provide the perfect view. With locations that accommodate any pace of life, alongside some delicious, fresh seafood, you’ll quickly see why there are so many places in the state people call the best.

The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of October 2021.
Median home prices are from Redfin as of October 2021.
Population and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. This data herein does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

Comments

comments

Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Choose a Credit Card, the Right Way (Step by Step)

Credit card issuers often extend credit line increases to account holders who keep their card usage low and make monthly payments consistently.
Did you get approved? Congratulations! Be sure to take care of your new account by keeping your usage no more than 30% of your credit limit — if you do that, you may qualify for a line increase down the road.

1. See Where Your Credit Score Stands

With secured cards, you pay for credit. You put up a security deposit, usually at least 0, and then a credit card issuer extends you the same amount in credit. This route lets you prove you’re worthy of more credit, and the lender has nothing to lose if you don’t pay your bill.
Your score doesn’t have to be perfect to land a good credit card. But you’ll at least need a score in the good range to qualify for the top credit cards with the most sought-after perks.

Don’t Stop at Checking Your Score

It’s another possible tiebreaker. Welcome offers are perks you get just for signing up. It could be a statement credit worth hundreds or dollars, or enough miles to pay for a domestic flight. Read through your options.
If you aren’t approved, you should receive a written explanation in an email within a few business days or by mail, within a couple of weeks.
Get the Penny Hoarder Daily

Don’t Be Discouraged by a Poor Score

Use balance-transfer credit cards to pay off other credit card debt faster or to pay off a big purchase before the card’s normal balance-transfer rates and other fees kick in.
In case you ever need to get your hands on some cash in a hurry, and you don’t have enough on hand, you’ll need to know how much your credit card will charge you for borrowing cash. These are usually comparable to ATM fees, but some can be much more expensive.
The interest rates may be higher than average, and the credit lines may be modest, but cards intended to help build credit give account holders the opportunity to prove their creditworthiness.

2. Determine the Type of Card You Want

You can earn miles to pay for airfare when you use airline rewards credit cards. You can get cash back on dining out with a dining card, or on gas with a gas card, and so on. You’ll need a score that’s at least in the fair-to-good range to qualify for this type of card.

Credit-Building Cards

This maintenance fee is charged every 12 months on many credit cards, but not every credit card will have one. They can range from about to well over 0. However, you’ll come across many card offers that don’t include an annual fee for a set amount of time or include no fee at all.
Don’t abandon the idea of a credit card if your score is fair or even poor. A secured credit card could serve as the bridge needed to get you from being denied to approved.
Like to travel? Want peace of mind when you do? Be sure to review any potential card’s foreign transaction fee. It’s sort of like a cash-advance fee or ATM charge for making purchases in another country, and they can quickly pile up if you aren’t careful.

Low-Interest Cards

After you’ve learned how to choose a credit card, reviewed your credit report and selected a few finalists, it’s time to apply for a credit card.
Keep in mind: applying for credit cards requires a hard inquiry into your credit report, which could cause your credit rating to take a mild or moderate temporary hit.

Balance-Transfer Cards

There are credit cards for every type of financial situation. While the number of credit cards out there may seem overwhelming and hard to count, they all broadly fall into five categories: credit-building, low-interest, balance-transfer, rewards and business.
Once you’ve figured out which type of credit card you want, and you know what you might qualify for, it’s time to compare your top choices head-to-head. And to do that, you’ll need to compare these key credit card features:

Rewards Cards

These cards offer low-interest rates and may not charge you an annual fee, but only for an introductory period that’s usually 12 to 48 months long.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com

3. Compare the Best Matches

Who doesn’t love to rack up loyalty points or earn cash rewards? A rewards credit card can help you do just that.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

Use a reputable site like Credit Sesame to review options and apply, or go to the credit card on the company’s website. If you’re approved, you should get a response in a few minutes to a few hours.

Balance-Transfer Fees

Typically requiring a credit score in the good-to-excellent range, low-interest cards are great for the long haul.

Late Fees

Check your credit history to see what accounts are impacting your score — and to make sure there are no errors hurting your credit profile. If there is a mistake, you can dispute it and potentially have your score corrected.

Rewards

While you should always aim to pay your credit card bill on time, it’s still important to know how much dirt you’ll get shoveled with if you fall behind on payments. Beware, and don’t get buried in debt.

Sign-Up Bonuses

They offer highly competitive interest rates, potentially saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars when compared to cards with higher interest rates.

Annual Fees

These include the secured credit card mentioned above, as well as those intended for students and individuals who, for better or worse, haven’t established their credit yet.

Cash-Advance Fees

This is the amount of interest you’ll pay on any balance on your card. The average APR in 2021 is around 16%, though rates could be as low as half of that figure or double (as high as 36%), depending on your credit profile.

Reporting

Not every credit card will report your on-time payment to the three major credit bureaus.

Foreign-Transaction Fees

With enough on-time payments, you could get a credit limit and eventually be pre-approved for standard credit cards (more on secured credit cards in the next section).

4. Apply for Your New Credit Card

Ready to stop worrying about money?
Privacy Policy
Even if there are no mistakes on your report, you may find opportunities to improve your credit score with a service like Credit Sesame.
When choosing a credit card, you want one that suits your needs.
It’s a good idea for everyone to see what’s on their credit report. If your score isn’t in the excellent range, you’ll certainly need to make sure it’s accurate. <!–

–>


It can feel overwhelming at first, but it gets easier once you take a look at your credit profile to get a bird’s-eye view of your current financial situation.  Here, we’ll help you learn how to choose a credit card — we’ll highlight the key features to look out for, so you can find a credit card that feels like it was tailored to you.

30 Colorado Springs Facts That Only Real Locals Know are True

The Springs: Views of the Rocky Mountains, training grounds for Olympic hopefuls and a meteorologist’s heaven.

Colorado Springs is known for its natural beauty. Being surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains and fairyland-like names of natural destinations (Garden of the Gods Park and Cave of the Winds Mountain Park), it’s no wonder people want to live here. But what’s it really like to live in Colorado Springs?

Residents of every town will tell you — there are things here that only the locals understand. We’re going to shed some light on some fascinating Colorado Springs facts that will help you get to know the personality of the city you’re considering moving to. We might even share some juicy Colorado Springs secrets, too!

30 interesting Colorado Springs facts only residents know about

1. Nikola Tesla built his Experimental Station in this city back in 1899. Some dispute the location but the alleged location of his lab is in what is now known as Memorial Park. Residents of the city weren’t crazy about his experiments as they caused power surges throughout the city. He was even sued in 1904 by his landlord for unpaid debts and the lab was eventually torn down.

2. Bear sightings happen but, contrary to popular belief, bear attacks are rare. Over the past century, there have only been five fatal bear attacks. While even one fatality is too much in our book, most residents of Colorado Springs are cautious, though not fearful, of a bear attack.

Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorade

Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorade

3. Locals don’t always hike on the most famous trails in the area, like Garden of the Gods Park. While this area and others are drop-dead gorgeous, they’re often inundated with tourists. Not only is it hard to find a place to park but you don’t get the peace and quiet that most hikers enjoy while trying to be at one with nature. Locals tend to hike in non-touristy areas like Section 16 of the Black Forest north of Colorado Springs. This is a square-shaped loop that’s available to hikers and horseback riders but not to motorized vehicles.

4. The most heavily armed man in the United States lives in Colorado Springs. Mel Bernstein (a.k.a. The Dragon Man), a Vietnam vet from Brooklyn, runs a shooting range, motorbike track and a paintball course on his compound. He also owns and operates one of the most complete military museums, not just in the U.S. but in the world.

5. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is home to the largest herd of reticulated giraffes in the entire country. The reticulated giraffe species — also known as the Somali giraffe — is native to the Horn of Africa. There are around 8,500 living in the wild. More than 200 have been born in this zoo.

Giraffe at Colorado Springs Zoo

Giraffe at Colorado Springs Zoo

6. Poet Katharine Lee Bates spent a summer teaching at Colorado College in 1893. Why is this interesting? It’s because Ms. Bates was so inspired by a trip to Pikes Peak that she penned what would later become the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.”

7. The Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa is home to a luxurious spa, two bars and a fine dining restaurant. The truly interesting feature of this destination is that it once was a stock exchange for local mining companies in the early-1900s, called The Mining Exchange.

8. Famed fashion designer Ralph Lauren owns a home near Colorado Springs, as well as over 15,000 acres of property. His luxurious, fully staffed home is his “July home.” Yes, he only lives there one month out of the year.

9. Ruth Etting, a famed singer and actress in the 1920s and 1930s, called Colorado Springs her home. The “Shine On, Harvest Moon” singer and her husband owned an eight-acre farm just outside of the city and at one point even owned/operated a restaurant. They’re both interred at the Shrine of Remembrance Mausoleum.

10. In 1918, the Frank Lewis-Dale Jones Gang struck the city and had multiple shootouts with officers. Though some went on the run, eventually every member of the gang was either arrested or killed between September 13 and November 20.

11. Colorado Springs was once a haven for people trying to recover from tuberculosis, including famed Doc Holliday. Doctors thought the natural mineral waters, mountain air and dry climate would cure the disease. While it did not cure tuberculosis, it did help with recovery.

12. If you’re a fan of boating, hiking and fishing, visit Crystal Creek Reservoir, which has over three miles of shoreline. But shhh…it’s a Colorado Springs secret. Most visitors head to Pikes Peak, which means you’ll get to enjoy your activities here without having to deal with a crowd.

Waterfall in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Waterfall in Colorado Springs, Colorado

13. Locals are proud of the Broadmoor Seven Falls because it’s the only waterfall in the state to earn a spot on National Geographic’s list of must-see international waterfalls. Be aware: Getting to the falls’ hiking trails requires a 224-stair climb.

14. “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was set in Colorado Springs. However, the show was not filmed on location in Colorado. Instead, the filmmakers shot it in Agoura Hills, California.

15. The overall cost of living in Colorado Springs is higher than the U.S. average — except for food. You can definitely save some money on food. And isn’t that the most important thing? It is if you’re a foodie — and who isn’t these days?

16. If you don’t want people to know you’re new to the area or a tourist, refer to this city as “The Springs.”

17. Despite the city’s close proximity to Denver (only 70.9 miles away), locals never root for Denver sports teams. They’re diehard Colorado Springs sports team fans.

18. Residents of Colorado Springs are some of the healthiest in the country. It’s no wonder when the great outdoors is beckoning. Thankfully, if you’re looking for apartments in Colorado Springs, you won’t be at a loss to find ones near some of the best hiking and outdoor activities in the city.

19. Don’t try to travel on I-25 on Air Force Falcons game days or graduation days. On these days, the Thunderbirds fly overhead. It’s an awesome sight and one everyone should witness. And one that everyone does — while sitting (not actually driving) on I-25, where you’ll get a great view of the event.

Pioneer museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Pioneer museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado

20. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a vehicle, it’s most likely going to be a bike, not a car. The city has over 100 miles of bike lanes, 120 miles of paved bike paths and over 60 miles of mountain biking trails. The Springs also has multiple bike-share/bike-rental options.

21. Colorado Springs is dog-friendly with numerous dog parks throughout the city — at least nine of which are off-leash parks.

22. At the base of Pikes Peak, you’ll find The North Pole – Santa’s Workshop, a Christmas-themed amusement park founded in 1956. The Park has panoramic views of the city and more than two dozen rides. And, of course, you get to meet the jolly big man himself!

23. The Cave of the Winds is definitely a tourist hot spot. It’s still enjoyed by local adventure-seekers who enjoy a ride called the Terror-Dactyl, which drops riders off a 200-foot cliff into Williams Canyon, 150-feet of which is a freefall that reaches speeds of 100 miles per hour. If you’re not one for free-falling terror, try the Bat-a-Pult – a fun zip-line ride that takes you across the canyon in a much less terrifying manner.

24. If you love laser tag, you’ll love Battlefield Colorado. It’s the only outdoor laser tag course in the state — and it takes up an entire block. The company offers military simulation technology, as well as sniper rifle-type lasers that shoot up to 1,000 feet. You’ll also have access to the laser tag equivalent of rapid-fire submachine guns and 50-caliber mounted guns.

25. The Garden of the Gods is a natural landmark at the foot of Pikes Peak. It’s a gorgeous place to visit and is a natural tourist destination due to the massive red rock formations. However, there’s another reason to visit this landmark: dinosaurs. Well, one, to be precise. Back in 1878, a Colorado College professor found a dinosaur bone (a skull to be exact), which was later (in 2008) identified as the only known Theiophytalia kerri in the world.

26. Olympic hopefuls often travel to The Springs in order to train. The U.S. Olympic Training Center is home to the U.S. Olympic Committee (and has been since 1978). The committee chose Colorado Springs as their training destination because of the high elevation, which many believe improves the effectiveness of an athletes’ training. The Training Center offers tours, allowing visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with elite athletes.

27. Colorado Springs is heaven for meteorologists. Weather around the front range of the Rocky Mountains is extremely chaotic, with exhilaratingly dramatic weather changes happening frequently. Scientists from all over the world come here to study the weather, including the intense, sometimes violent, winds.

28. The Antlers Hotel has had many incarnations over the years. First built in 1883, the hotel boasted Turkish baths and music rooms. Unfortunately, the original hotel burned down. In 1901, the owner wanted the hotel rebuilt, this time with Italian Renaissance architectural details. The hotel was bigger (with over 200 rooms) and more impressive. It was host to prestigious personages, including Theodore Roosevelt. In the 1960s, the hotel was demolished and rebuilt in the name of modernization.

29. Colorado Springs has a castle. It was built in 1896 as the personal home for a Catholic priest. Then, it was a sanitarium for patients with serious chronic illnesses. The castle is now a museum. It’s also haunted. Employees and guests regularly witness paranormal activities and apparitions.

30. California wasn’t the only state that witnessed a gold rush. Colorado had its fair share of gold miners, too. And visitors today can experience what mining life is like by visiting the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, which descends over 1,000 feet into the Cripple Creek mountains. The mine is basically the height of the Empire State Building.

How you can learn about even more Colorado Springs facts

Learning about a new city is fascinating. Some people are so intrigued by the secrets they learn that they even decide to move to that city! Is that how you feel about Colorado Springs? If so, as a resident of Colorado Springs, you’ll get the inside scoop on some of the best-kept secrets and surprising features of this gorgeous, popular Colorado city.

Source: rent.com

8 Commonly Inherited Items Worth Almost Nothing

Disappointed Man
Damir Khabirov / Shutterstock.com

Inheriting a houseful of items usually comes at the end of a long and emotional journey. In these moments, the treasures passed down to us take on a whole new meaning and value.

Sadly though, many things we inherit have limited resale value. In my 20-year career as a professional reseller, I’ve seen people struggle to let go of items for a tiny fraction of what they were once worth.

Still, having a clear view of the resale market can make liquidating an estate easier. It helps set expectations and allows friends and family to focus on high-demand, high-worth pieces.

With that in mind (and with the understanding that every market is different), here are some commonly inherited items worth almost nothing:

1. Silver-plated flatware

Dee Dalasio / Shutterstock.com

Though beautiful, silver-plated flatware sets are a tough sell. Buyers don’t want to spend time polishing the silver before and after large family meals.

Individual forks and spoons usually sell for a dollar or two in antique shops. Primary buyers for these pieces are jewelry makers and crafters who turn the ornate handles into cuff bracelets, rings and keychains.

Pro tip: Look up how to distinguish silver plate from sterling silver. Sterling has a market all its own, and full flatware sets contain enough silver to be valuable by weight alone.

For more tips, check out “The Smart Way to Sell the Family Silver for Cash.”

2. Large pieces of furniture

maramorosz / Shutterstock.com

In the estate liquidation business, wooden hutches, sideboards and formal dining room sets are collectively referred to as “big browns.” Notoriously difficult to sell, these large pieces can linger for years in consignment stores.

More mobile than previous generations, young buyers simply don’t want hulking pieces of furniture. Instead, they favor small-scale furnishings that are easy to move and multifunctional.

But sellers, take heart! Antique wardrobes are one important exception to this rule. Wardrobes are popular among apartment and condo dwellers with limited closet space. Other buyers repurpose them as entertainment and gaming centers.

3. Formal sets of china

Set of china dishware
Kondor83 / Shutterstock.com

Lifestyles change. Though it may be tough to admit, there’s a very limited market for grandma’s prized wedding china.

Today’s homeowner doesn’t entertain the same way our parents and grandparents did. Gatherings tend to be smaller and less formal. As a result, a single set of neutral dinnerware is preferred over five-piece place settings with a matching gravy boat and teapot.

4. Mass-produced collectibles

collectible figurine
Ugis Riba / Shutterstock.com

Items made to be collectible seldom hold their value long term. Tastes change, collectors pass away and hot markets cool off. Here are some of the most common collectibles that are worth almost nothing today:

  • Souvenir thimbles
  • Souvenir miniature spoons
  • Commemorative plates
  • Beanie Babies
  • Hummel figurines
  • Precious Moments figurines
  • Longaberger baskets

5. Avon perfume bottles

vintage Avon perfume bottle
Moonavie / Shutterstock.com

While technically a collectible, vintage Avon bottles deserve a category all their own. The sheer volume of figural cologne bottles sold by the company means that most households have at least a few laying around.

But the market stinks (pun intended) for vintage Avon. With the exception of its 32-piece chess set (which can sell for as much as $279.99 on eBay), the majority of Avon bottles aren’t worth anything.

6. Many types of crystal

Supermop / Shutterstock.com

A quick review of completed eBay listings shows that most lead crystal just doesn’t sell. Blame it on a shift in taste and lifestyle. Like silver, crystal requires hand-washing and meticulous cleaning to keep pieces looking their best.

But before you donate your grandparents’ prized crystal collection, check the labels. Crystal pieces by these makers are bucking the trend and selling well:

  • Baccarat
  • Hofbauer
  • Kosta Boda
  • Lalique

7. Most books

sebra / Shutterstock.com

At the last estate sale I attended, books were priced at $2 per box (and the boxes were big). Expect to get similar prices for inherited books unless they fall into one of these categories:

  • First edition: Depending on the popularity of the book and author, first-printings may be more valuable. Unsure about a book? Here’s how to identify a first edition.
  • Author-signed: Again, depending on the popularity of the book, signed copies may carry more value.
  • Decorative: Leather-bound and antique books with decorative covers sell well. Homeowners and interior designers use them as accent pieces.

8. Contemporary holiday decorations

Christmas decor
Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock.com

Though the price of new holiday decorations goes up every year, the market is miserly for used items. Expect to sell inherited artificial trees, ornaments and yard decor pieces for slightly more than a lump of coal.

One bright spot: There’s a strong collectors’ market for antique Christmas and Halloween items. In 2020, I bought an old papier-mache Halloween lantern for $9. Within days, I sold it to a collector for $235.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com