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Friday Faves: 6 Days Until Christmas

Happy Friday Loves. We’re in full holiday swing at the TK/BF household.  What better way to spend the holidays than with lots and lots of festive pics.  From all of us here at Blonde & Balanced to everyone reading this blog HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

No matter what you’re celebrating this year I just want to say THANK YOU for reading B&B over the last year.  Happy Hannukah, Merry Chrismukah, Happy Festivus and Merry Christmas.  Cheers to 2015!

Enjoy these great personal finance posts:

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds – You’re Engaged, now what?

Caviar & Quarters – Manage your money without a budget!

Fat Guy Skinny Wallet – Weighing the Costs of Getting an MBA

Red Debted Stepchild – 4 Things I Wouldn’t Do to Save Money

Kylie Ofiu – How to make more money

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial RuinIsn’t that the perfect name for a book?! I thought so and so did the author (and my fellow finance friend) Valerie Rind.  There is nothing more in the world that I hate than people who want things handed to them.  I’ve worked for everything my entire life and I just can’t stand, a.k.a. I’m so jealous of, people who don’t do the same.   Rich kids, gold diggers and housewives are all at the top of my “Get a Life” list.

You think your money story is bad…

You know what they say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but in this particular situation you definitely should!  It’s true that we don’t know the things people have gone through in their lives that have made them the way they are today.  I for example learned about money the hard way, meaning I learned from my mistakes.  I can really relate to the stories in Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads because I was a naive girl who mismanaged her money and ended up in debt.

I don’t want to spoil it for you because you should definitely buy the book but I’ll give you a little sneak preview.  Pick up a copy of Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads and you’ll read personal stories like “The lying is worse than the spending” and “Because she’s my sister”.   If you’ve ever had a personal finance mishap then you will appreciate all the horror stories of marrying into debt and co-signing for losers.

In light of just finishing this hilarious yet shockingly real book I’ve decided to share some of my own personal finance stories with you.  So here we go:

Family steals money too

I have a cousin who I love.  He’s a fun guy to be around and BF really likes hanging out with him, but he’s not the most financially stable 27 year old.  Keep that in mind as you continue reading.  I bought tickets to an NBA game  and surprised BF with them last Christmas.  Long story short we couldn’t make it because BF had a prior engagement.  I offered to sell the tickets to my cousin because he’s a huge basketball fan.  The agreement was my cousin would pay full price for the tickets and as soon as I received the payment I would ship them overnight and absorb the costs. My cousin agreed.

Four days before the big game my cousin told me he didn’t have the full amount but would send me some money now and pay me the balance within the next week.  I immediately had a bad feeling, I mean my gut was telling me not to send the tickets because although my cousin is lots of fun he’s not really the most responsible or reliable guy in our family.  I didn’t want to go through with the deal because I knew I would come out on the losing end of this deal.  I wasn’t really in a financial position to lose $240 right after the holidays.

Where’s the trust between family and money?

Fast forward after a day of inner discussions,  a voice inside my head was saying “Just send the tickets, he’s family. ”  I kept asking myself “What would your Dad do?”  “What would your Dad say if he found out I didn’t trust family?’  I didn’t want my Dad to be disappointed or ashamed of me so I sent the tickets.  My cousin went to the game and surprise, surprise a year later I still haven’t seen any of the money.

What’s the moral of my story?  Don’t trust family when it comes to money.   Also don’t let other people influence your decisions, especially when it comes to money.

You can buy a copy of Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads here on Amazon.

Some of the Most Unusual Branded Online Slots Games

Slot machines are one of the most popular forms of gambling. Offering masses of variety, many online slot machines feature images, music and sound effects based on anything from films and TV shows to celebrities and iconic brands. Themed video slot games often seem to have a rather arbitrary connection with the film or TV show that they’re based on. Nevertheless, lots of effort and money are spent on the presentation of these games, and the user experience they provide. So why have themed games at all?

Battlestar Galactica is an internationally famous long-running show – but it’s not for the faint hearted. Set in a violent and conflicted post-apocalyptic society, Battlestar Galactica explores the darker and more menacing aspects of human psychology. It might not the most obvious theme to choose for an online slot game, but it just might work.

Tomb Raider began life as a game, but very different kind of game. Instead of fighting off wild animals and crooks, in the slot game you’re just up against Lady Luck.

Hellboy’s perhaps the least likely choice. The niche comic book spawned a couple of film adaptations, but its quirky sensibilities make it an unusual candidate for a slot game – though no doubt it’s popular among the comic book’s fans.

The Lord of the Rings is possibly among the most unexpected choices for a slot game, as the book’s epic scope and focus on slow-burning plots and themes isn’t an obvious fit for a gambling game.. The game, however, is based on Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, famed for epic special effects, and appealing to an adult fantasy and adventure audience.

Anyone who enjoyed the suspense of the original Jurassic Park film will get a kick out of the hugely popular themed slot game. The original film was a master class in cinematic tension, dragging audiences to the edge of their seats and cementing its place in popular culture.

So Why Themed Games?

Research increasingly shows that there’s no “slot gamer stereotype”. It really does take all sorts. To keep such a huge audience engaged, players must be offered the chance to express their individual personality and preferences.

Incorporating diverse themes into the unrelated medium of a slot game is also a way for developers to add uniqueness and showcase their ingenuity by creating new features and bonuses that reflect the experience of the original film, series or character the game takes inspiration from.

Themed games can be pitched to a specific audience. If you’re a fan of Jurassic Park, the chances are you’ll get hooked on the extra tension deliberately built on the video slot game. Hellboy fans will be immediately drawn to the glowing red interface of the slot game. In the same way, the extra features and game dynamics of the Tomb Raider and Lord of the Rings slot games are tailored to appeal to adventure-junkies.

This is a good thing! Themed games are a lot of fun. Far from being gimmicky spin-offs aimed at novice slot gamers, there are plenty of extra features and bonuses to keep even the most experienced players on their toes. If you want to play some for yourself, you can play online casino slots at Euro Palace, including a few of the titles mentioned in this article.

Written by Gareth Monet.

Get The Cash You Need From An Annuity Company

It’s a story that happens over and over again. A person gets into a financial bind due to the accumulation of debt, the loss of a job, or an illness or injury that results in expensive medical bills. They need money fast but have limited means of coming up with additional money as quickly as they need it. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of options in the direct lending market for quick infusions of large amounts of cash to handle financial issues.

An Annuity Company Can Solve Your Problem

One of the options used the most often to solve this problem is selling an annuity to an annuity company. There is nothing wrong with the practice of selling your annuity or structured settlement in exchange for an immediate lump sum of cash. You are receiving the money you would have been receiving over time in a single lump sum, minus a percentage that the annuity company will keep as its fee for its services. Any U.S. based annuity company can provide you with the cash that you need to escape your financial bind.

A Website Full Of Information

One of the best indicators of a good annuity company for selling your annuity is a comprehensive website that is loaded with information about the annuity business. This information should include the terminology used and their definitions, the way the business operates, and the cost of the service. The information should also include good info about the various types of hurdles that you may encounter throughout the process, which will depend on the state where the payment is being sent and the type of annuity being sold. After you review the information on the website, you should feel like you have a good grasp of how the company operates and should feel confident about making an informed decision on whether the company is the right company for you.

A Stellar Reputation

Another good indicator of a great annuity company is a stellar reputation online. The widespread use of the internet has made it very easy for previous customers of a business to post their opinions of the business and their business practices for anyone to find. While no business is perfect all of the time, you will want to choose a business that has more positive information posted than negative information. To find the information you are looking for easily, type “review” and the name of the company into the search bar of your favorite search engine. With a few minutes of searching, you should be able to tell whether the company keeps its promises or cons innocent people out of their money.