How to Make Your Own Money Flower Bouquet in 8 Easy Steps (in 20 Minutes!)

We all love money and the more money we have the better. Those that say that “money can’t buy happiness” are right, but though you can’t literally buy happiness with money, you can buy time and convenience.

That additional time has been directly linked to improving your overall well-being that can improve one’s general happiness.

Are you looking for a special gift for that money-lover in your circle? Look no further than the homemade money bouquet. A money bouquet is basically dozens bills of paper money that are arranged to resemble a bouquet of flower. So instead of giving the traditional dozen roses for a loved (that will end up wilting in a week), you can choose to use that $39.99 on something exactly as valuable.

You can take that $50 and break up into single dollars and a few five dollar bills to create your own money rose. Don’t have enough money for a money bouquet You might have cash out your coins, work an extra couple hours at work, or trying your luck at a real money casino. click here to learn more.

Okay now you have some duckets in your hand, so let’s talk about how best to arrange your money bouquet.

How to Make Your Own Money Bouquet

Now that you have your dollar bills (in multiple denominations) in hand, here’s how you can create your own money bouquet. First you need to think about the bouquet you want to create. Once you have an idea, here’s the six items and materials that are required:

  • Dollar Bills
  • Stems (wood, or other)
  • Tissue paper
  • Tape
  • Fresh or fake flowers
  • Rubber band

Instructions For Creating Money Bouquet At Home

  1. Set your flowers into a vase or similar (fresh flowers are always nicer).
  2. Create your money flowers. These can be simple cones or something more elaborate. Whatever you choose, tape the edges so that they don’t open up.
  3. Tape the money flower to the stem. Best to have an opening at the bottom of the flower so it can fit nicely onto the stem.
  4. Once you’ve finished creating the money flowers and taping them into place on the stems, add them to the flowers in your vase from step one.
  5. Arrange the money flowers with the real flowers
  6. Take them out of the vase
  7. Put a rubber band or two around the bottom of the stems
  8. Take your bouquet and wrap it into the tissue paper.

And boom! Just like that you have a basic bouquet of flowers. If you already have these materials (and money!) laying around the house, you can create a money bouquet in 20-25 minutes and it only costs a little more than the actual banknotes used. Here’s a great video on how to make your money bouquet.

If you want to make your money bouquet extra nice, you can spruce it up using these items:

  • Leaves or Greenery (can be fake)
  • Floral foam
  • Ribbon or other decorations
  1. Include some fresh or fake greenery
  2. Create more elaborate flowers with the dollar bills
  3. Include decorations
  4. Using the ribbon, tie a bow around the bouquet.

And that’s it. Depending on how detailed you want to be, you can create your own money bouquet in as short as 20 minutes (assuming you have all the requisite materials). It can take up to a couple hours if you’re making more elaborate flowers. And remember money can buy you happiness, indirectly.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that when people spend money on time-saving services such as a house cleaner, lawn care or grocery delivery, it can make them feel a little happier. By comparison, money spent on material purchases — aka things — does not boost positive emotions the way we might expect.

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The 5 Best Blackjack Dealer Costumes in Time For Halloween (or Casino Theme Party)

You and your friends love getting together and heading to the local casino; spending hours on the reservation sitting down at the poker table, playing the slots, putting some cash down on roulette and getting free drinks. All that’s great fun, but what you all really enjoy is parking yourself down and getting comfortable at the Blackjack tables.

You can’t even count how many hours you’ve spent elbow-to-elbow with your buddies trying to get as close to 21 as possible. Now that September is coming to a close, it’s time to think about Halloween (or perhaps it’s a casino themed party) and you’re set on some form of casino theme costume.

Be a Real (Fake) Blackjack Dealer 

So what better, more-appropriate costume than dressing up as a blackjack dealer? You know all the nuances and motions and phrases that blackjack dealers do, so it shouldn’t be hard to get into character. Even if you’re not familiar with the twenty one card game, you can still be a Blackjack dealer, though you would definitely need to learn how to play blackjack online so you can be as convincing as possible.

Blackjack on the surface isn’t hard really: it’s adding up your cards in an attempt to get to 21 without going over (busting) and having your total be more than the dealer’s hand. Of course there’s nuances, but that, some basic blackjack vocabulary, and the right costume is all you need.

The Best Blackjack Dealer Costumes

Depending on how authentic you want to seem, you may have to get your education and vernacular elsewhere, but we got you on the blackjack dealer costume. We’ve scoured the net, Amazon, Party City, Etsy and Pinterest to find the best and most-convincing costumes for you to consider.

 

1. Blackjack Dealer Sequin Vest 

This leisure silk jacquard waistcoat may not actually be silk, but we love this one the best because for $30, you get 5 pieces including the vest (available in multiple colors), cufflinks, bow tie, neck tie, and cuffs. Just add shirt underneath (or not).

2. Blackjack Dealer Sequin Vest Costume 

The best costume is a combination of standing out and affordability. This shiny sequin vest will get you started. All you have to add is a white shirt underneath and standard bowtie. And it comes in multiple colors. All for approximately $30.

3. Playing Card Queen Women’s Halloween Costume

Who needs to be so straightforward? Let’s hit ’em over the head, get a little weird, and have a little fun. Be a playing card that’s also a dealer. Kind of like a cannibal dressed a human being or something like that. Pair this with a visor and ask them if they want to “hit” or “stay?”

4. Casino Dealer or Old School Gangster Costume 

What sucks about Halloween is that you spend all that time and money for what can be worn once. After that? It goes into a box somewhere maaaaaaaybee being resurrected four years later. Well this set allows you to use it a couple times – what’s the difference between a Blackjack dealer and a gangster from the 1920’s? A gun?

Not sure, but you get the point – there’s a lot of overlap going on. Check out this multipiece set that includes suspenders, a bow tie, pocket watch,  armband, garter, tie clip, cane and even a fake mustache.

5. Suspenders for Blackjack Dealer Costume (1PC)

Don’t want to invest in something too elaborate; you want to keep it simple and cheap? Here’s simple suspenders you can wear over a white or black shirt and most everyone will get the vibe you’re trying to give off.

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The Zelle ‘Pay Yourself’ Scam: Don’t Fall For These Fake Bank of America Texts (With Examples)

It’s never been easier to send money with people you know and trust. No matter where you are, your time zone, or what you’re paying for, you can pay for something or pay someone back.

Venmo feels like the most-popular instant pay app, but Zelle may have already overtaken the popular instant transfer app. All of those, including PayPal and CashApp, are used to send and receive money with friends and family members. And whenever there’s money involved, there will always be those that want to steal that money.

Bank of America Zelle Scam

There are several different Zelle scams happening right now. The one we’ll talk about today is the one associated with Bank of America where a text message purported to come from Bank of America requesting you send money using Zelle®to anyone, including yourself. If you get this type of message, it’s a huge red flag.

Watch this educational video from Bank of America to spot a zelle scam.

 

While Bank of America may send you a text to validate unusual activity, we will never contact you t or to share a code to resolve fraud. If you receive a request like this, it is likely a scammer trying to trick you.

A couple examples of the BOA fraud text message:

BoaFreeMsg: Bank of America Fraud: Did you attempt Zelle transaction $1000.00? Reply YES or NO. Case 9156203 To Opt Out reply STOP

Free Msg- Bank of America Fraud Alert- Did You Attempt A Zelle Transaction For The Amount of $1500? Reply YES or NO or 1 To Decline Fraud Alerts

Here are the details of the “pay yourself” scam

  • You receive a text message that looks like a fraud alert from your bank about unusual activity. The text may look something like “Did you make a purchase of $100.00 at ABC merchant?”.
  • If you respond to the text, you have now engaged the scammer and will receive a call from a number that appears to be from a bank.
  • They’ll appear to be a representative from a bank and will offer to help stop the alleged fraud by asking you to send money to yourself with Zelle.
  • The scammer will ask you for a one-time code you just received from a bank.
  • If you give them the code, they will use it to enroll their bank account with Zelle using your email or phone number.
  • The scammer now has the ability to receive your money into their account.

What you can do to help stay protected

  • Don’t trust caller ID — it’s not always who it says it is.
  • Don’t share codes based on a call you receive.
  • Don’t be pressured to act immediately.

Visit Bank of America’s Security Center

  • Red flags for common scams
  • Details about trending scams
  • Ways to avoid being scammed

 

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Here’s 5 things we begrudgingly like about PayPal

We’re not a big fan of PayPal. The finance tech firm that provides a platform for processing payments online has often taken advantage of their early start in the online payment processing game.

Founded back in the late 1990s, when it was known as Confinity, but it has since become the biggest company of its type in the world.

It effectively acts as an intermediary service between the buyer and his or her bank, enabling them to withdraw or add money online when buying or selling. However, people can also keep money in their PayPal accounts to use for transactions, rather than their bank accounts.

Over the past 20 years, PayPal has become one of the top sites for financial transactions across much of the world. Here we will look at some of the fantastic things it can help you to do.

Buy and Bid on eBay

Conducting financial transactions on any site using PayPal is safe as it heavily encrypts all user data and employs multi-stage authentication. It is particularly secure to use eBay though, as this e-commerce giant owns PayPal.

That means that people using PayPal to bid for items listed on eBay, or just purchase them directly, can benefit from far greater buyer protection than the average user. Plus, in the unlikely event that there is a problem, they can access eBay’s clear complaint resolution procedures.

Anyone buying on eBay will come across the PayPal payment option along the way and it is not even necessary to have a PayPal account to exploit it.

Play at Online Casinos

Online casino is a very exciting form of gaming that lets you play fast spinning slots or tense, tactical games of poker for real money. However the fact that cash is part of the game means that you need to be able to deposit money in your casino account and be able to withdraw any you happen to win.

PayPal lets you do both of these things very easily and quickly. It is such a recognized name that almost all casinos have it as one of their deposit and withdrawal choices.

That ranges from new ones with enticing welcome bonuses to no deposit bonus ones and mobile casinos. The sheer number can make it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, but a site like Time2play ranks the best PayPal online casinos to help you steer clear of the bad ones.

Carry Out Transactions Internationally

As the largest online payment processor in the world, PayPal is available in almost every country around the globe. The full directory of nations that accept it is too long to possibly list here, as it comes to over 200.

Those that do not tend to be located in heavily restricted places like the Middle East or North Korea. These are unlikely to be used for many online transactions, so PayPal lets you buy and sell internationally or send money to family or friends in other parts of the world.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Many major retail brands partner with PayPal to provide discounts for people who buy from them using it. They include Nike, Walmart and Barnes & Noble and the shopping.paypal.com page lists the current discounts that are available.

Being able to buy things you want for less money is definitely one of the top reasons for choosing PayPal.

Complete Transactions on the go

PayPal is available as a mobile phone app, via the iTunes Store. That means that it can be added to your mobile if you have an iPhone.

Therefore, if you are out of the house browsing online on your phone and you see something you want to buy, you can carry out the transaction right away. Equally, bills can be paid during breaks at work using the PayPal iPhone app.

The Benefits of Using PayPal

So there are lots of things that you can do using PayPal, but what are the specific benefits of this payment processor?

Security

We all know that putting our bank details online when buying can be a risky business; but PayPal eliminates most of that risk. It is heavily centralized and deploys cutting edge data encryption making it almost impossible for cyber criminals to get at your information.

Low cost

Paypal has been known to charge and raise their already ridiculous fees on international payments. but one argument that fans argue in favor of PayPal is that their fees for transactions can be lower than many rival payment processors. Account creation is entirely free and US customers pay very little in transaction costs. E-commerce business users pay 2.7% for each sale, which again is pretty reasonable.

Payment flexibility

If you are using a credit card to pay for something, there is always the chance that you will not have enough credit left and the card gets declined. PayPal will allow a customer to link more than one credit or debit card to their account, as well as multiple bank accounts.

That means you will have several payment options easy to hand when you need to complete a purchase out in the real world. This will potentially save you a whole lot of embarrassment and annoyance.

This combination of benefits is why PayPal has remained the top e-wallet payment processor for such a long time.

Setting up a PayPal account is simple and free, after which sending and receiving payments will be quick and easy. If you have several debit or credit cards, these can all be added to your account so you will never be caught without cash.

Video Games vs. Online Casinos in USA: The battle for your free time

 

At the moment, the online gambling and video gaming industries are thriving. These sectors produce billions of dollars in income for the service providers who support them. The evident explanation for the gaming industry’s exponential growth is its rapid adaption of innovation.

Since the 1970s, video games have got ingrained in popular culture, and this type of entertainment has seen several drastic modifications. The transition of video games from consoles and PCs to the internet and smartphones is a revolution. At the same time, online gambling was established on the internet. It has been less than 26 years since the first online casino was founded, but this business has made rapid growth.

The internet gaming business has grown at a breakneck pace. The US online gambling industry was worth USD 2,178.29 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a 17.34 percent compound annual growth rate by 2026. The first online casino was launched in 1995, and less than two decades later, more than 2,000 sites are earning an estimated $21 billion in revenue.

We began playing video games in the 1970s. Arcade games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders popularized the notion back then. But, nowadays, the ultimate draw for the contemporary gamer is the multiplayer online experience.

Both of these areas of gaming have several similarities and distinctions. We’re going to keep you updated on their continuing conflict here.

Excitement and Psychology

Whether it’s online gambling or video gaming, these activities affect the gamers’ psychological well-being. Many people claim that video games are more adrenaline-pumping and exciting than online gambling games; but, when real money is involved, online gambling games can capture your attention and enthusiasm too. If players do not exercise self-control, they may develop an addiction to several game formats. Both modes of gameplay are comparable in this instance. 

Social Interaction

The advent of ubiquitous online usage signaled a sea shift in the video gaming industry, as it enabled players to interact with one another regardless of their geographical location. Numerous blockbuster games and gaming systems include player interaction. In terms of online gambling, some of the greatest bingo sites have a chatroom option that allows players to talk with one another while playing the game. Additionally, live casino games and poker tournaments include a channel for communication. However, gamers may not utilize this chatroom option while playing slots, craps, keno, or online pokies at FanDuel blackjack casino.

Graphics

The producers of video games invest millions of dollars and countless hours in producing the game’s visuals. Graphics are critical to the players’ involvement. The innovative technology transforms the gaming phenomena into a tangible and intuitive experience. On the other hand, gambling games are designed to give a fair, seamless, and competent gaming experience; hence, visuals are not a primary consideration. It’s not to say that internet casinos are not concerned with graphics. Slots, video poker, and pokies are all designed with high-quality images in mind; however, video gaming triumphs in this category.

Incentives

When it comes to rewarding and incentivizing players, online gambling is unmatched. While welcome bonuses are undoubtedly significant benefits for players, jackpots and a high payout percentage are also attractive. All reputable online gambling companies disclose how much money players have earned in different games with payout ratios. Until the beginning of eSports, this aspect was missing from video games. At eSports events, participants compete against one another for a share of the prize pool. However, not all video gamers are eligible to engage in eSports, which is why online gambling is a winner in this case.

Costs

Both video games and online gambling are not free. All recent console and PC releases need a one-time purchase charge. There is no additional fee if gamers do not select any in-purchase options. By contrast, gambling applications for PCs and smartphones are free to download. To play real money games, players must make a deposit. The cost is the money wagered by players to participate in the games. Players may increase their funds if they earn a profit while playing. If a player’s primary objective is to have fun, there is the option of free demo games.

Conclusively, when we have to choose one thing over another, it gets a bit tricky. Video games and online casinos are quite popular among gamers, and both fulfill a variety of needs. We may assume that, rather than being competitors, they are comparable with a few key distinctions. They are mutually beneficial. The true winners here are the players since they are the ones who benefit from the interdependence of the game formats.

 

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Here’s 5 easy tactics to start paying down your debt fast

Debt is challenging to have, especially if you have high-interest debt. You may find it is intimidating to view your credit card statement each month, especially if you feel you aren’t making much progress toward the principal. The good news is there are a few ways to become more debt-free.

Consider a Loan

If much of your debt is from high-interest loans, it’s a good idea to consider consolidating it to a lower interest loan. That way, the dollars you put toward the loan will be going toward the principal, not just the interest. Taking out a personal loan from a private lender allows you to pay off the balance on your credit cards so you can get out of high-interest debt sooner.

Bringing in More Income

Of course, getting a higher paying job or working more hours isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially since it requires hard work. Still, even if working a second job or side hustle long-term isn’t sustainable for you, it can be a short-term solution while you are paying off debt. Getting a raise at work is one way of increasing income, especially if you have not recently met with your boss or had a review.

Speak about your work performance and ask what you can be working on to get a higher salary at some point. A side gig allows you to work as much or little as you want when you want to. That includes cleaning houses, walking dogs, doing freelance writing, or even taking part in market research online. The trick is to make sure all this extra income goes straight toward your debt and that you are not spending it.

Cutting out extra spending

If you are spending too much money, you may find there is not enough left at the end of the month to meet your obligations. Review small, regular transactions, such as subscriptions or regular dining out, and think about whether or not you really need these things. Consider cutting corners where you can, such as purchasing store brands instead of name brands.

Encourage yourself to make these sometimes-difficult changes by telling yourself it is only for a short period of time, until you are able to get out of debt. This can be a good way to measure personal growth because you will have tangible results to support your efforts. Subscription services are always happy to have you resubscribe, and you can always go out to eat to celebrate getting out of debt.

Coming up with a reasonable budget

Whether it’s a monthly, weekly or daily budget, knowing where each dollar is going so you can make sure you are living on the bare minimum. With a budget, you will become more financially secure since you will be keeping track of all recurring expenses, such as insurance, rent, utilities, transportation, food, and childcare.

Once you have created these categories, you will see how much extra you can put toward your loans. This should be a realistic budget so you will stick to it. For example, if you don’t allow yourself a realistic dollar amount for food each month, you may find yourself consistently going over budget.

Predicting your future expenses

When you have consistently and accurately budgeting out how much you are spending, you can begin to see a pattern of where your money is going and make adjustments. Maybe it’s cutting out a streaming service (or using a friend’s password), asking your landlord for $25 off your rent, or cooking at home as opposed to going out to eat. It might not have seemed like much when you didn’t have a budget, but after weeks and months of tracking your spending, you know that it adds up over time.

 

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How to play the “Scoop the Money Challenge” spatula game

Recently, my family was planning on hosting my partner’s mom and dad for dinner. Though our families get along great, we knew that dinner and chit-chat wouldn’t fill the 3-4 hours that they would spend together. So we knew we would have to come up with a couple activities to help pass the time (and make it enjoyable for everyone).

We thought about watching a movie but knew that wouldn’t work; everyone had different tastes. We brainstormed a few popular board games, but that would exclude my grandma as she doesn’t speak or read English.

Scoop the Money Challenge

One language my mom and grandma definitely understand is money.

We remembered we recently came across several videos on Instagram and Tik Tok of Asian families playing a game that blindfolded the player as they attempted to scoop up money with a spatula. Also referred to as the #sandokchallenge (or sandok pera) and the “Christmas spatula” game, it seemed to be a big hit during the Christmas holiday with a lot of videos popping up around the 2021 holidays.

We were a little apprehensive whether our family would enjoy the game or not, but after my mom’s first attempt, we knew this would be a fun game we could easily play several rounds.

Scoop the Money Game Rules

We didn’t look up any rules of the game when we proposed the game; thinking it was an easy enough concept. Place a bunch of bills on a table, hand the blindfolded player a spatula and plate and give them 30 seconds to buff up their retirement account. However as we played the game, we realized there needed to be some game rules so that everyone had the same chances. Here’s five rules we came up with:

  1. Time limit: We found that 30 seconds was the right amount of time for the player to get some money but also a short enough duration that puts pressure on them to act quickly.
  2. Plate: The plate must be held up at chest level. This not only forces the player to focus on balancing the plate but also doesn’t allow for them to help scoop up money using the plate.
  3. Keep score: We kept score of how much each player scooped up” every round. That way we could put the money that was won back into the pile so everyone had the same chance.
  4. Money: We thought it was fun to put a handful of different denominations into the pile, not just single one dollar bills. After some thought, we thought a good mix would be 100 one-dollar bills, 4 tens, 2 twenties, and 1 fifty-dollar bill for a total of $250.
  5. Scramble: After the player puts on the blindfold, scramble up the money in front of them so that it’s completely random
  6. Everyone antes: This is optional, but we thought that for future games each player that plays contributes $25 to the pot (bringing their contributions in singles).
  7. Add twists: Some twists that could make the game even more interesting would be adding custom stickers to some dollar bills that say things like
  • Bankrupt – where they lose all the money they picked up.
  • +10 seconds  – the user gets an additional 10 seconds to pick up more money that round.
  • Monopoly money – adding some fake money (that counts for nothing) gives the pile much more variety

You wouldn’t want to add too many of these as you want them to only appear once every while e.g. not every round.

Is the spatula money game worth the… money?

After everyone had two turns playing (there were seven of us), we doled out the the winnings to our family members according to the scorecard. So not only was the game fun, but profitable for those that played it. The game definitely costs more than a $25 board game to play. For future games, we’ll ask everyone to contribute (see rule #5 above).

But what was worth more than the money won during the challenge was how much our families talked about the game the next couple days (including laughing at the videos we took). All in all, we’re so satisfied with how the #moneyscooping game turned out.  There was so much genuine laughing, joy, and excitement and we’ll be playing it again during future holidays and gatherings. Not to be corny, but that’s priceless.

If you won, but don’t want to take the money from grandma social security, you can take your pile of winnings and make a dollar bill bouquet you can gift back to nana. She’ll be so happy she won’t have to eat cat food next month.

 

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What are NFTs and should I be investing in them?

If you’ve been browsing the internet trends in 2021 you might have noticed the term NFTs being tossed around left and right. A lot of people seem to be going crazy about it, and it also looks pretty expensive.

So, you might wonder what exactly are NFTs and if you are already missing out on giant monetary potential. No worries, here we will give an explanation on NFTs and why some of them are worth so much. We’ll talk about the pros and cons, and provide you with enough information to decide if you should be buying these digital goodies.

What are NFTs?

NTF stands for a non-fungible token, and what it basically means is that the token is not interchangeable. In economics, we have currency like $1, $5, or $10 and these are all interchangeable, you can change 5 one-dollar bills for one five-dollar bill. NFT means it has a unique value on its own, like a painting of the Mona Lisa. Meaning if you can produce a near-perfect replica it still wouldn’t have the same value.

These NFTs are used for digital goods and allow people to own the assets like the first tweet ever made, a video of James LeBron dunking, or the original Grumpy Cat meme. This does not necessarily prevent people from copying or altering the original, but you can still hold the rights for the first and the original version of the content made. It might look strange to older generations but for digital natives, this seems to be a growing trend and there is a lot of money going around for buying and selling NFTs.

NFTs and Cryptocurrencies

You might have also seen that NFTs are being compared to cryptocurrencies, and there is truth to that. They basically both works on blockchain technology, and the whole NFT trend started as a blockchain collectible game. Here you could breed cats and each cat was unique in its own way, much like digital art. By using blockchain an owner of a particular NFT has a confirmation that he is indeed the owner, as it’s confirmed on multiple ledgers, much like the ownership of cryptocurrencies.

However, cryptocurrencies have their own system of value and they are interchangeable. Some of them even have higher utility as businesses accept them as a payment method. Nowadays they are often used in online casinos as you can fund a real money account via bitcoin. British players who play at fast withdrawal casino in UK can both make a deposit and withdraw money fast using cryptos. So, these instant payout platforms are what increase utility and value by extension of digital currencies.

Problems with NFTs

So far this looks like it’s another hobby for the rich. It’s basically an act of randomly assigning monetary value to things on the internet. As a result, you don’t know whether you’ll get your money’s worth by investing. People who buy it do so because they want to own that thing not necessarily re-sell it. Given how it’s mostly a thing of prestige you would have to gauge whether you’ll have a big customer base for a specific NFT before you purchase it if you wish to resell it.

Another problem is power consumption. Mainly that so long as we continue to fuel this trend we are likely saying that we are okay with all the power it takes to maintain it. Right now blockchain requires massive computing power and that creates issues. To put this into perspective bitcoin uses 240 kilowatt-hours of electricity per transaction, which means the whole network is using as much power as the whole nation of Serbia. Given all the eco-friendly initiatives this might grow into a bigger problem unless they make necessary adjustments on the supply side.

Finally, this is just another trend so it’s hard to say how things will play out. It’s likely that it’s just another bubble that will burst in a few years like dot-com. On the other hand, the fear of missing out is real, and for all, you know you are losing money by ignoring the trend.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this was all insightful enough for you to decide whether to start buying NFTs or not. If you decide to do so, stick to the things you know and that you strongly believe will have value in a certain community. This way you might not mind if you only end up owning something you genuinely love.

Ebony Smithson Alexander is a professional writer who works as a content strategist. She covers topics related to the iGaming industry, gaming, and tech. Leslie loves to explore new gambling platforms, play League of Legends and organize poker nights with her close friends and co-workers.

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How small businesses can save on taxes with Biden’s COVID-19 relief programs

The COVID-19 crisis has hit many US small businesses hard, but with an estimated $5 trillion being set aside for financial relief schemes, no one has to struggle through the coming months alone.

Under Joe Biden’s leadership, the government stimulus programs have focused on tax breaks for the year 2021, but there are other sources of funding that can deliver additional support when it’s needed. Along with these smaller county resources, five federal schemes are open to small businesses across the US. Not all companies will be eligible for every scheme, so take the time to review what you’ve spent over the lockdown period and find out whether you can make a claim.

The carryback of losses scheme

A tax benefit born as part of the Cares Act, this scheme is aimed at companies that made a loss in 2018, 2019 or 2020. It represents a huge change in standard tax rules and is a one-time-only offer allowing employers to carry back losses they have experienced. Essentially, companies that have previously paid tax can use their losses to reduce the amount they owe in 2021 and many could be due money back. Businesses that have recorded a loss in any of the qualifying years should act fast to be included in the refunding process. Once a corporate return is filed, it could be around six weeks until the funds are released. To maintain a beneficial tax rate in future, speak to the experts at Capital Preservation Services. They assist employers with financial planning and suggest legal tax strategies to significantly lower your annual bill.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act tax relief

Recently amended as part of the Tax Relief Act of 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives small to medium-sized businesses another way of recouping losses related to COVID-19. This tax credit is designed to cover the costs of employee sick pay and family leave when it has been taken as a result of the pandemic. The refund matches exactly what employers were obliged to pay out to comply with the initial FFCRA. Staff were able to take up to 80 hours of paid time off to care for others, or themselves. Business owners can claim a rebate on their payroll tax return depending on what they had to payout. This credit is available until September 2021, although compliance with the FFCRA is voluntary.

Continuation of Health Coverage tax credit

Created as part of many new stimulus plans, COBRA or the Continuation of Health Coverage is a federal law that provides employers with tax credits for the health plans of their employees. Currently, employers must enroll staff in their corporate plan when they have lost their health plan or a group health plan because of a reduction in their working hours or losing their job. This is to ensure people still have access to healthcare insurance when they are no longer working due to COVID-19. Employers will be able to claim during the six months between April and September 2021, assuming they support previous employees by covering their health insurance premiums. Business owners can find out more and claim by speaking with their designated COBRA administrators.

Work Opportunity tax credit provisions

Just like choosing when to invest cash, choosing when to invest in new employees is a big step. However, as the economy moves into a more stable position, a new tax credit delivered to companies that are hiring is being extended until 2025. The Work Opportunity tax credit provides a credit on the tax of employers who hire a person who was on welfare or unemployed for over six months or is a veteran.

Employee Retention tax credits

Employee Retention Credit or ERC encourages business owners to hang on to their team for the duration of the pandemic and can be claimed until December 31st 2021. The tax credit matches up to 70% of wages paid to employees and the maximum that can be claimed for each employee is $28,000, or $7,000 per quarter. The first step toward making a claim is proving your eligibility. These credits are available to companies that have been forced to close entirely or partially, or those which have seen their revenue decline by over 20% in the quarter they are claiming for – compared to the same quarter in 2019. If the amount that can be claimed is larger than the tax owed, the business will be reimbursed in cash.

Small businesses have not been left high and dry by the Biden administration, but if you’ve been affected by the ongoing pandemic, you’ll need to be proactive in seeking help. Many of these tax breaks and cashback schemes have a limited shelf life, so start researching what’s available soon or speak with your tax advisor for more information.

 

 

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Here are a four important items to consider before investing your hard-earned money

If you truly want to create lasting wealth, investing is the way to go. Unfortunately, even parents and schools that are good about teaching skills for personal finance often don’t show you how to do this. No matter if you’re investing in the stock market or mutual funds or currencies or certificate of deposits or permanent life insurance; some of it much more complicated but all it requires research and serious consideration. 

So before you even get started, you need to think long and hard about your resources and the approach you want to take. The four investing points below all need consideration before you move forward on how to best-invest your hard-earned money.

Review Your Financial Situation

First, you need to organize your finances. Investing can be both fun and lucrative, but it might not make sense if you are paying more in interest on debts than you will earn on your investments. The sensible thing in that situation is to pay off the debts first or get lower interest rates on the existing balance. For example, if you are paying off student loans, you can find out in just two minutes if you are eligible for lower rates. This can also cut years off what you owe. You can use the money that you save to put toward investments. You should also have an emergency fund before you start, with enough to cover at least three months of expenses.

Time and Interest

You need to consider how hands-on you want to be. This is a function of how much time and energy you have and how much you want to learn. There’s nothing wrong with approaching investing passively, putting your money in funds and largely allowing it to do its thing. This would be the case with mutual or index funds. You could also have a robo-advisor select a strategy for you. You probably won’t get super-rich taking the passive approach, but you can do very well. On the other hand, if you have the passion to do the research, you could make a huge amount of money if you become more active.

Budget and Risk Tolerance

Whether you have $100, $10,000, or even more, will it affect the kind of investments you can make? There is actually a lot you can do with $100, but some approaches will require larger minimums. Whatever you decide on, it should be money you can afford to lose or at least not have access to for a certain period of time. This is where your risk tolerance comes in. When assessing your appetite for risk, consider your age and your aim as well. If you are older and hoping to boost your retirement savings, you may not want to be too risky because you have less time to recover from setbacks. On the other hand, you also have less time to watch your money grow, so if you’ve got some cash to spare, you may want to throw it to risky prospects and see what sticks.

 

Professional Help

These days, going online makes it easy to get started with needing a professional, especially since you can use a robo-advisor. However, just for peace of mind and to better understand various strategies and the landscape ahead of you, you might feel better if you meet with a professional to discuss your goals. Friends and families may be able to provide recommendations.

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The 7 key benefits of taking out payday loans in Ontario

Sometimes, you may find yourself in need of a loan for personal reasons. For instance, you might want to take a holiday to some amazing places or visit unusual cities worth seeing in your lifetime. Or maybe you suddenly need to have a medical procedure done ASAP, but you lack sufficient funds in your bank account.  Continue reading “The 7 key benefits of taking out payday loans in Ontario”

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How online casino VIP programs are setting trends In business

It’s no secret that customers love special treatment and individual attention. It makes sense that they also like being treated like kings. Gamblers and casino customers are no difference.

Players love to be showered in presents and attention, and as the research by Casino Hex says online casino bonuses are the best thing a player can receive. And VIPs receive them by the dozen all the time, that what makes them come back to the same land-based or online casino venues time and time again.

I’m not saying that casinos started the trend, but they keep it at it’s fullest. They know exactly what to give to their VIP customers and how to create the atmosphere around them to make them come back again and not once. And every company wants this type of success and loyalty.

How profitable are the VIP programs for business in general?

There’s a statement that we like, and it’s “Those who join your VIP program are worth more.” You set a task to push your clients to move from one tier to another one – they will inevitably become more loyal and committed to your company and brand. They will gain more value with every new purchase.

You can benefit from creating a VIP program as your clients can stay with you for a very long time. There’s a high chance to see returning clients – about 45% of VIP customers will make one more purchase. The more they buy, the more they get.

How will your profit increase? Let’s imagine a customer that goes through the VIP tiers and makes some purchases. The frequency of such purchases and the average order value are growing. VIP customers are likely to spend more than average clients. Experts state that you can expect them to bring you more profit up to 5 times.

How do VIP programs influence customers?

It’s not a secret that people tend to be better than their friends, relatives, colleagues, and others. VIP programs can give them a better social status. Let’s remember the mid-west Tribal casino, they had too many elite players, so many that the elite status lost its glory and this is how they came up with “above and beyond” status. And who doesn’t want to be on that level? They get the exclusive experience that a more significant part of your clients doesn’t receive. You will let your clients enhance the feeling of self-satisfaction, and it will make them come back to you in the future.

You can create the names for each tier that you have. Your clients will see that their status will change after making some actions and achieving some specific results. You can motivate your clients to achieve new levels and create attractive customer journeys. The upgrade of social status will attract people and stay with your brand for a long time.

What makes an excellent VIP program?

We consider two things to be the most important when creating a VIP program. The first is preventing or overcoming the client’s frustration and the second one is adding the things that will improve customer experience and make them feel engaged. These issues are not complicated to implement in the business processes.

You should prepare your clients to become members of a VIP program. If you run an online business, it can be an email with the information about the VIP program and its benefits. You can grant your current customers with a new status for a while for testing this idea. If you run an offline business, you can offer a VIP parking lot or something like that.

If you organize any events, you can think of comfortable conditions for the kids of your clients. There might be a babysitter that will take care of them. It can be free alcohol for VIP clients or any other perks that will surely make everyone feel pleased.

To improve the experience, you can offer your clients to become members of a community. You should provide some privileges for the member of such a club and remain a high level of services all the time. Your goal is to make people enjoy staying with you, have no problems with making a purchase, and solve all of the issues in no time.

The bottom line for VIPs

As the casino industry proved, creating VIP programs is good for business as it attracts people; you can make them spend more money and come back to you in the future. You can give your clients a new social status, unique privileges, and positive experience while staying with you and your company.

Your product or services can be of high quality, and there should be something more than you can offer. Personal communication, comfortable conditions, self-satisfaction, and great experience, in general, will increase your revenue and turn one-time buyers into regular customers.

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Could gambling be a legitimate alternative to the traditional ways of making money online?

Online gambling is becoming very popular in the last few years due to the ultimate convenience it provides. You can enjoy casino games in your home, on your phone; wherever your comfort zone is. Continue reading “Could gambling be a legitimate alternative to the traditional ways of making money online?”

PayPal sucks, raises foreign currency conversion fees from 3.25% to 3.75%

In the fall of 2019, PayPal increased their currency conversion fees, hiding the new terms in a user agreement update.

Before September, there was a fee on currency conversions, which was 3.25% to 3.75% for cross-currency payments, and 2.5% to 3.75% for simple balance conversions. Continue reading “PayPal sucks, raises foreign currency conversion fees from 3.25% to 3.75%”

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How imposing screen time limitations saves you time, money and your health

Save Money by Limiting Your Screen Time  

“Stop smartphone addiction — limit your screen time”

We hear these words too often in the era of digital technology when smartphones are literally stuck to our hands. Since we can’t help it, time waste issue is apparent. Continue reading “How imposing screen time limitations saves you time, money and your health”

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Counterpoint: 10 reasons why buying a condo or co-op is a good investment (vs. renting)

I’ve read a handful of articles in the last few years around the idea that buying a condo/co-op isn’t a sound investment mostly based on a few rationales that it’s not a true investment; that it’s not liquid and doesn’t pay you money every month. Continue reading “Counterpoint: 10 reasons why buying a condo or co-op is a good investment (vs. renting)”

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Freemium Gaming: What mobile games like Candy Crush and online slots have in common

Source: Candy Crush Saga via Facebook 

Freemium gaming is a fairly recent phenomenon, a way of marketing games that has risen to prominence during the smartphone era. In simple terms, it is a pricing strategy that allows the user to download a game for free. Continue reading “Freemium Gaming: What mobile games like Candy Crush and online slots have in common”

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‘Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino’ is first Vegas casino to cater to Chinese gamblers

Being Chinese-American, I’ve always noticed that family of Chinese friends of the family had an affinity for gambling. Continue reading “‘Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino’ is first Vegas casino to cater to Chinese gamblers”

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The 34 times Jeopardy players have won the most money in one day

With players like James Holzhauer and Austin Rogers lighting up the Jeopardy! scoreboard with their gutty wages and record-setting single-day winnings, we were curious about the which contestants have took home the most money in one day of the popular trivia game show. Continue reading “The 34 times Jeopardy players have won the most money in one day”

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For a limited time, ClassPass offering 20% discount off 10-class plan

For a limited time, ClassPass is offering one of their best long term promotions — a fall sale that dangles 20% off off their standard 10 class plan for six months! Continue reading “For a limited time, ClassPass offering 20% discount off 10-class plan”

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Will Zara have a Labor Day sale this September?

The summer is winding down quickly with the fall coming fast. This year, the last day of summer will be in three weeks — that gets us thinking about warmer fashions and muted color palettes. That gets us thinking about shopping Continue reading “Will Zara have a Labor Day sale this September?”

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