Financial Literacy

April is financial literacy month. When thinking about finances one key factor is interest rates on money that is borrowed. Almost everyone in the United States will borrow money for an expenditure, and knowing what type of interest rate the loan is subject to is important. The two main types of interest rates are simple and compound. An explanation of these types of loans as they are traditionally used are as follow: On a simple interest loan the borrower pays interest only on the amount borrowed. On a compound interest loan the borrower pays interest on the amount borrowed plus …

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Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Mark Cuban

Blockchain technology has been described as the future by some people. This technology is basically a decentralized encrypted database that is shared across multiple computers and cannot be copied. The information is public so anything that is changed (blocks) is modified in receiving order and recorded in public. Each block contains all information of past and future entries, and they are date stamped. The blockchain consists of a secure ledger and the network enabling changes. The blockchain is “controlled” by those who have access to the network. For cryptocurrencies everyone involved in the cryptocurrency market has access to the blockchain …

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Lawn Equipment Maintenance

Spring is arriving and plants are growing. That means it will soon be time to mow your lawn, trim your hedges, etc. So before you take dusty pieces of equipment out of storage and start working you should perform maintenance on them unless you are hiring someone else to do the work with their tools. One of the first things to determine before working on equipment is the initial condition of it. If the equipment is old then you should consider replacing it with something new. If an expensive part needs to be replaced to make the equipment functional then …

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March Holidays

March is a time when spring officially arrives and the daylight hours get longer. Although not a true “holiday”, Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday March 11th . This moving forward of the clocks one hour on that day and lasting until November provides more opportunities for outside activities in the evening before it gets dark and chances to enjoy more daylight during the holidays. Although some people do not like the time change, most will enjoy long spring and summer days. One of the fun holidays in March takes place on Saturday March 17th, and that is Saint Patrick’s Day. …

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Asian Beef and BBQ Stir Fry

March is here, and it is time to try something different. In the last couple of months we have provided dessert ideas, plus a chicken and a potato recipe. For this month we will look at a dish with a Asian twist that allows you to use your barbecue grill. Here is the recipe: Time: 25 mins Effort: Easy Serves: 2 Ingredients 2 steaks (preferably lean) approx. 3/4 ” thick 1/4 cup each: Hoisin Sauce and Soy Sauce 2 tbsp cane sugar 3 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp sesame oil 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp toasted …

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Preparing to File Your Tax Returns

The deadline to file tax returns this year is April 17, 2018 unless an extension is filed which, when accepted, will provide an additional six months to get them completed. So what is the big deal about filing tax returns? If the information you need to provide is minimal, you are claiming the standard deduction, you do not own a business, and you do not have unusual income, or expenditures then your tax returns should be easy to file. The more your situation differs from the things stated in the last sentence the more complex they will be to prepare. …

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Internet of Things

The internet of things is a term used to describe how objects are connected to the internet that normally would not be connected. Computers and phones are expected to be connected to the internet, but other things like refrigerators, speakers, thermostats, etc. have not been expected to connect until recently. Not only do these everyday devices access the internet, they also transmit and receive data which helps make life easier. The Nest Learning Thermostat ™ is energy certified, connected to the internet and claims to save energy. Energy savings are cost savings for the homeowner and positive for the environment. …

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Lawn & Landscape in February

With winter still in full force, working in your yard (or at least thinking about it) may seem like a questionable decision. However, even though most grass is dormant it will not be long until grass is growing as spring arrives. February is the right time to put pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn if you want to control weeds. One of the first decisions to make concerning herbicide is whether you should do it yourself, or pay someone else to do it? Before making the decision consider getting cost estimates for someone else to treat your lawn. Many companies offer …

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Delectable Desserts

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. Although you may want to go out to a fancy restaurant with your significant other, you may also choose to finish your meal with a homemade dessert at home. So for this month I am sharing a couple of dessert recipes that could make you a star. Cheesecake with Blueberry Glaze Time: 5 hours (1 hour prep, 4 hours chilling) Effort: Easy Serves: 8 Ingredients 3 pkgs of cream cheese (about 8 ozs each) at room temperature 1 cup plain yogurt 1/2 cup heavy cream 3 eggs 3/4 cup sugar …

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Valentine’s Fun

Who said Valentine’s celebrations have to follow the same routine every year? I have compiled a list of ten ideas below for you to consider in your quest to impress your date. Alabama Wildlife Center is hosting their 2018 Wild About Chocolate event at The Harbert Center on Saturday February 10th from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Enjoy appetizers, beverages and of course chocolate while at the same time helping a good cause. World Of Wheels – The O’Reilly Auto Parts Custom Auto Show takes place from Friday February 9th through Sunday February 11th at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. …

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