The Community Blog

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Five reasons to ride your bike to work

With fuel costs rising, more and more people are discovering the joys of cycling to work. Grab a helmet and maybe a tire inflator and spare tube, and you’re ready to go.Here are the top reasons you should get on two wheels.
It makes you healthier
By cycling to work you’re adding exercise into your routine. How many times have you thought about going to the gym after work, only to have the 5 o’clock torpor set in? On a bike you’re burning calories, reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease,… See More

How to Invest for Baby: Starting from Scratch

Investing money for your child’s future takes a little research and consideration. You want to get the maximum benefit with the least amount of tax deduction. Here are some things to think about to guide you to the best investment.

Figure Out How Much You Want to Invest. Maybe you need a place to put monetary gifts from grandma, grandpa and other family members and friends—that’s a good starting point. My dad playfully tried to encourage me to go to his alma mater by pairing a monetary gift… See More

How to Prepare for Tax Season

The April 15th deadline for filing federal income tax forms is fast approaching. However you plan to complete the task, getting an early start is key to reducing what you owe or maximizing your return and reducing the risk of enduring an audit. Here are important steps you need to take.

List all sources of income

You need more than W2s from full- or part-time jobs. Federal taxes also get assessed on interest earned from banks, investment returns, lottery winnings and income earned from… See More

18 Ways to Save Energy and Water in the Kitchen

Your kitchen appliances consume a significant amount of the electricity and water flowing into your house, but few people recognize this or take steps to reduce wasteful of resources. Your refrigerator and freezer, for instance, run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, contributing just less to your energy bills than your air conditioning and heating units.
Here are 18 simple ways to lower your utility bills by increasing efficiency.

Buy refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, toasters,… See More

Resolve to Redeem Shop Your Way℠ Points

Just three weeks into 2014, 53 percent of Americans who had committed to a New Year’s resolution have already given up, according to a new survey from Sears Holdings.* The survey also found that exercising, eating healthier and losing weight are the top broken resolutions. To help reignite those commitments, Sears and Kmart have introduced “Resolve to Redeem” deals on resolution-reviving products at Shop Your Way members can save even more by redeeming special… See More

6 Habits of People with FICO Scores Over 800

A FICO score over 800 is seen as the Holy Grail in credit circles. Once you reach this level, you qualify for low interest rates and lenders have little hesitation about lending you money. While few people reach this highest level of credit scoring, it isn’t an impossible goal. In fact, there are six things you can do that will boost your scores without fail.
Always make your payments on time
Those with FICO scores over 800 know the importance of paying their bills on time, all the time. You… See More

10 Uncommon Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

Most homeowners and renters are very familiar with the tried and true ways to conserve energy around the house. We all know to shut the lights off in unoccupied rooms, unplug appliances when they’re not in use and only do full loads of dishes and laundry. There are, however, additional steps you can take to lower that escalating energy bill. These 10 suggestions range from simple fixes to more complex modifications.
Block your chimney
Do something about heat’s favorite exit strategy. An unblocked… See More

How to Make Your Furnace More Energy Efficient

Winter heating bills can take a big bite out of your wallet, especially if your furnace isn’t running at peak efficiency. In fact, many homeowners find that heating bills are their largest monthly expense besides rent, mortgage and car payments, so even small gains in ensuring your furnace is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible can pay big dividends.
Follow these tips and take a few minutes to check your furnace and make necessary repairs to get the most out of your furnace and reduce… See More

Save on Your Winter Heating Bill

Because finding ways to save money is more important than ever, picking up tips on how to conserve energy and reduce your home heating and electric bills are invaluable. Here are six ways to put some of the money you currently spend on utilities back into your monthly budget.
Find and plug leaks around doors and windows
Check around every doorway and window in your house for drafts and cold spots. Make sure to inspect the attic and basement. Any place where warm air escapes or cool air enters makes… See More

Create a New Year Budget

If the word “budget” isn’t in your vocabulary, it’s time to understand why you need one. When you begin steps to create a budget, you’ll control your money better and have peace of mind as your savings grows.
Determine your goals
The first step to create a family budget is setting long-term and short-term goals. Be realistic: Short-term goals shouldn’t take longer than a year. As an example, a short-term goal is to pay off a credit card or save for a summer vacation. A long-term goal, such as saving… See More

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