5 Costs to Consider Before Adopting a Dog

Adopting a dog is a great way to make a difference, but not everyone is up to the challenge.

During the holidays, dozens open their hearts and homes to shelter dogs only to return them a few months later.

Not only is this extremely traumatic for the animal, it can be avoided by knowing what you’re getting into before you adopt.

That’s why we’ve prepared the ultimate guide to paying for your dog’s first year, including a few costs that might surprise you.

Read on to figure out if you can afford to give man’s best friend a good home this holiday.

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Personal Finance & More

When “Rewards” Credit Cards Are a Bad Idea

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We've all seen the clever "1-2-3" Visa commercials or oohed and ahhed over the beautiful Chase Sapphire cards. Despite their allure, they're not for everyone says Alexa Mason over at Money Ning. Fantastic, money-saving deals aside, they can cause problems if you're not a responsible credit card user to begin with. Here are three signs you might fall into that category.

  1. You … | Read More |

Owning a House is Awesome Except for When It’s Not

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We've heard before on this blog how home-ownership can be more like an expensive DIY project than an investment. Well, Kelly Phillips Erb has become the latest to confirm those suspicions with her article from Forbes, "11 Reasons Why I Never Want To Own A House Again." While Phillips Erb recollects lot of fond … | Read More |

Pumpkin Carving 101: Stencils, Guides, & Money Saving Tips

carving pumpkins

It's that time of the year again. You know, when you get a craving for pumpkin everything! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and, of course, jack-o'-lanterns! Carving pumpkins is one of the best parts of fall. Though you can't put a price on fun, it's worth saving a little money. Fortunately, we've done the work for you. Read on for designs, tips, and sneaky ways to save this Halloween! … | Read More |

Get 15 Days of Frugal Living Money Hacks!

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Problem: you want your daily dose of frugal living advice, but you don't always have time to wade through all the bad content and find it. PROBLEM OVER! This week CheckAdvantage is starting our 15 Days of Personal Finance Tips delivered to you via our social media. Not only will you find our extremely pinnable, shareable tip of the day, you'll get a link to an excellent article you may have missed the first time around. Disagree with something we say? Let us know. We here at CheckAdvantage … | Read More |

Figure Out Your Retirement Plan by the End of 2013

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Fall has always been a time for getting stuff done. Whether it's raking leaves, cooking up all that leftover summer zucchini, or weatherizing your house, there's something about the brisk air that lends itself to productivity. Isn't it time you applied that save ethic to your retirement plan? Joe Udo from DailyFinance has lots of good advice for cleaning up your finance before the end of 2013. After all, it's never too early to plan for your future. Here are a few of the things he … | Read More |

Why Your Hatred of Millennials is Monstrously Unfair

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Millennials have been getting a lot of crap in the past few months for, oh I don't know, existing as far as I can tell.

We've been called lazy, narcissistic, techno-obsessed, and responsible for destroying all institutions and also the housing market. Before I go any further, let's get a couple of things straight: … | Read More |

6 Types of Tippers–What Your Tipping Habits Say About You

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Should I tip? How much should I tip? Does that waitress hate me? Why does she hate me!? Questions like this have dogged patrons of restaurants, bars, and salons for years. Some even suggest outlawing tipping because it's an inconsistent way of compensating workers. Many have already covered issues like how much you should tip, like this awesome video from | Read More |

10 Things You Didn’t Know Are Cheaper in September

cheaper in fall

If you want to be a frugal mastermind, knowing the ins and outs of saving money is essential. Whether it's getting a swimming suit in the middle of winter or snow shovels in dead July, buying things in the off-season is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It's important to catch these products while inventory is high and demand is low. Figuring out what fits that bill isn't always so straightforward. As the leaves turn and autumn creeps across the landscape, here are 10 things you can … | Read More |

Improve Your Productivity By Sleeping on a Hammock

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It may sound crazy, stupid, or downright silly, but changing your sleep position may be the key to getting more done! Not only are you less productive if you don't sleep well, costs from insomnia are nearly $14 billion a year, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sarah Winfrey from Wise Bread recently published | Read More |

Are Life’s Little Pleasures A Waste of Time?

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Luxury is ADDICTIVE and MAKES YOU WEAK— the lesson of a recent blog from PF wizard Mr. Money Mustache. Though I first chuckled a little at this extreme declaration (MMM's flair for the dramatic is one reason he's so much fun to read), I soon realized how much truth there is to it. You only have to watch a couple of cable shows about hoarding or Real Housewives of Anything to see how destructive m … | Read More |

Small Business Stories

5 Reasons Your Boss Hates You

bad employee

  A whopping 70 percent of American workers aren't engaged in their workplaces. Or, in layman's terms, they hate their bosses and want to quit. Let's face it, work is tough sometimes. You have to do stuff you don't always want to and the break room STILL smells like popcorn even though that was ages ago. Even so, there comes a time to admit that your boss is a human being and it's possible that you're not an A++ employee. Last week we covered the way managers are | Read More |

4 Things OkCupid Can Teach You About Being an Online Entrepreneur

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Last week, I joined many of my single brethren and turned to online dating in a moment of desperation set up an OkCupid profile. I've got to say that so far it's been pretty good . . . also weird. Like, really, really weird. Why? Because, honestly, it wasn't that different from setting up a LinkedIn or Google+ account. Only instead of listing my college degrees I named various video games I like. (Nerd girl charm FTW!) While promoting yourself for business or romantic purposes have v … | Read More |

Will Groupon and Daily Deals Ruin Your Small Business This Holiday?

groupon small business

What a road it's been for Groupon and LivingSocial. Once hailed as small business champions, such sites have proved disappointing to some store owners. Groupon in particular has faced law suits and near financial oblivion which culminated in the departure of their CEO in February. But despite the bad press, daily deal … | Read More |

6 Ways You Accidentally Make Your Employees Hate You

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Being the boss is a tough gig. While the corner office and the salary may be nice, it doesn't generally come with being well-liked. In fact, 65 percent of U.S. workers say that getting rid of their bosses would make them happier than earning a salary increase. Ouch. Finding that perfect balance between authority and empathy with your underlings can be hard. (Especially if you refer to … | Read More |

Is Getting an App For Your Small Business Worth the Money?

apps

It's clear that any small business without a mobile marketing campaign is behind the times. From 2011-2012, mobile commerce grew from $13.6 billion to $24.8 billion. That's a whopping 81 percent increase! While making your website easily accessible by phone and tablet are no-brainers, is that enough? Or do you need an app for that? Read on to learn if it's worth your money to get an app for your … | Read More |

A Case of the Mondays Might Be Good For Your Web Traffic!

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While Monday might not be your favorite day, it could be the best for your site traffic. One of the biggest challenges in managing your blogs and social media sites and figuring out when to post. Fortunately, Christy Rakoczy from the Intuit Small Business Blog has a great how-to guide for which industries are going to do better on what days. It's got a pretty great day by day guide depending on your industry, but let's start with that most hated of weekdays first. If you're in any of … | Read More |

4 Reasons Your Small Business Should Accept Checks This Holiday Season

holidaychecks

It may only be September, but it's never too early to plan for the 4th quarter shopping blitz. Deciding what forms of payment to accept can make or break your business during the holidays. Checks aren't always the most popular choice because people use them less and some companies have raised concerns about check fraud in recent years. However, they also have advantages cr … | Read More |

Updating Your Home Office on a Budget

home office

Sarah Rivkind writes for the blog Virtual Vocations, a one-stop shop for telecommuters looking for legit jobs. A home office rarely gets the attention it deserves when you’re on tight budget. It’s hard to justify spending money on new décor when rent, food, and utilities drain your wallet. The thing is, when you work from home, your office is the only space you see most of the day. Stark walls can drain your energy and leave you feeling uninspired. Thankfully, you don’t have to spe … | Read More |

How to Do What You Love and Still Make Money

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Sometime in middle school, I decided I wanted to be a writer. This was followed by a decade of realizing it’s really, really hard to make money as a writer and that I should probably be a doctor or lawyer instead. Now I’m out of school and the market for lawyers is oversaturated so WHO WON THAT FIGHT, LAWYERS? (To my lawyer friends, I apologize on behalf of the job market. That sucks. And you know I love you.) … | Read More |

Security Alert!: Is Your Small Business Website Safe from Cyber Attacks?

website security

While we've all seen hackers take down big sites, you probably think yours is too small to worry about. That's where you'd be wrong. Cyber crime doesn't just hurt the big guy. According to a report from cyber security firm McAfee, such crimes cost $140 billion dollars and a half-million jobs every year in the US. Fortunately, there are a multitude of safeguards a … | Read More |