Digital Cash Can Aid Marital Money Management

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You may be happy with your honey, but the happiest of couples can argue over money.
Financial issues are one of the most cited causes of conflicts in a marriage, and financial problems, including debt and disagreement about money management, are among the top issues in divorce as well.
Merging your life, including your financial life, with someone else’s can be challenging, but setting up a solid financial plan early in marriage can help preserve harmony and nip money conflicts in the bud. Data from Ameriprise Financial show that at least one-third of couples disagree about money at least once a month on topics including savings and discretionary spending.
Fortunately, today’s technology offers new options to help couples navigate shared and individual finances. More American couples now maintain separate bank accounts instead of, or in addition to, joint accounts, and the latest banking apps offer flexibility, security, and ease of use. MovoCash is one example of a digital payment card platform that offers consumers with a variety of financial life hacks as alternatives to traditional banking services. Anyone in the U.S. can open an FDIC-insured MOVO card account that is easy to use and doesn’t require gold-plated credit.
MOVO’s easy design offers a simple financial strategy for couples: each partner can open a separate account for immediate spending needs and personal discretionary purchases, and the couple also can maintain a joint account for major expenses such as savings, bills, and home expenses. Purchases and payments can be made quickly and directly from a phone.
In addition, funds can be transferred instantly between MOVO accounts, and the system allows for direct deposits to manage incoming paychecks and outgoing payments. The MOVO card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, so that cuts down on the use of credit cards and the potential debt of credit-card bills. The app helps users track transactions and monitor balances, making it easier to avoid overspending and stick to financial goals while leaving room for each partner’s pleasure purchases.
For more information about MOVO’s mobile banking options, visit https://movo.cash.
Are you married with MOVO? Contact support@movo.cash and tell us how you use it, and you have a chance to be featured in a future article.

Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Mattress

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A mattress is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. You spend approximately one-third of your life in bed and how well you sleep can affect your health and well-being. But shopping for a mattress can be confusing for even the wisest consumers. Here are seven mistakes to avoid when you’re ready to shop for a mattress that will help you get the best night’s sleep possible:
1. Buying too small. Especially if you’re sharing a bed, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. A healthy person moves 40 to 60 times a night and makes lots of full-body turns. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion. A full-size mattress, for instance, only gives each partner about the same width as a crib!
2. Being too shy to try. When you shop, wear shoes you can easily slip off and comfortable clothes so you can lie down for a solid five to 10 minutes in your preferred sleep position. Finding a mattress that feels right is a personal choice. Taking the time to truly experience whether the mattress feels good to you is well worth it.
3. Confusing firmness with support. Gone are the days when a mattress had to be hard to provide adequate support. Look for a mattress that allows your spine to maintain its natural alignment while you’re lying down. A supportive mattress can have various types of upper-layer comfort, from very soft to not-so-soft.
4. Not reading reviews or getting referrals. Furniture stores, department stores, sleep specialty shops and online e-tailers all sell mattresses. Ask friends and family for referrals.
5. Trying to comparison shop. Model names vary from store to store, and many retailers offer certain models exclusively, so comparison shopping can be frustrating.
6. Forgetting to ask about return policies. Particularly if you buy a mattress online, you won’t have the chance to try it out, so read the reviews, carefully check return and shipping policies – and be certain there’s good customer support should a problem arise.
7. Assuming the foam is certified. Check to be sure your mattress contains conventional or memory foam that has been certified by the not-for-profit CertiPUR-US certification program. That’s your assurance that the foam meets rigorous standards for content, emissions and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.
The organization’s website has a directory of participating companies and brands at www.certipur.us.
A little prep work before you start mattress shopping will go a long way in helping you rest easy – in every sense of the word.

Veterans and Medicare: Myths Debunked

(NewsUSA) – For military veterans with Medicare and their caregivers, the Annual Election Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans is a critical time. You’ll want to assess that your health care coverage to ensure you select the best possible health plan to cover your doctor visits, medical equipment, medications and other needs, within your budget in the coming year. To help you with this process, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, let’s set the record straight on four common misperceptions about veterans and Medicare.Myth #1: My health coverage is covered by the VA, so I don’t need Medicare.Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may be a good supplement to VA benefits as it may help ensure that there aren’t any gaps in your health-care coverage. Medicare and VA health-care benefits are separate and do not work together. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, it may provide Medicare-eligible veterans with additional services and location options, as well as prescription-drug coverage.Myth #2: All parts of Medicare are the same.Medicare options vary. For example, Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient hospital and skilled nursing-home care, limited home health services and hospice. Medicare Part B helps cover services from doctors and other health-care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, as well as many preventative services. With Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, all the benefits under Part A and B are covered through a private insurer, such as Humana, which may also include additional benefits such as fitness center memberships, a nurse advice hotline, and dental, hearing and vision coverage. Finally, Medicare Part D helps cover prescription drugs.Myth #3: There is no way to save money on health-care plans.There are ways to save money when choosing a Medicare plan, such as considering the total value of the Medicare plan you select along with your health, medical and budget needs for the coming year.Myth #4: I’m on my own.Licensed insurance agents with Medicare expertise can help you select the coverage that best meets your needs. Let them know if you’re eligible for VA health care or a TRICARE for Life member, and if your spouse is eligible for CHAMPVA health care, as those details will help determine the best options for you.Use helpful online resources and call centers to make a confident decision for next year.For more information about Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, or visit www.Medicare.gov or www.HumanaMedicare.com.Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS organization and stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana Medicare plan depends on contract renewal. Y0040_GHHKBK2EN_C 

Making the Transition from House to Home

(NewsUSA) – Whether talking new construction or refreshing an existing space, if you’re looking to transform that "roof over your head" into a warm and flourishing home, the experts say it’s all in the details. It’s the architectural elements – specifically those crafted from natural materials, such as cypress – that transition a house into an extraordinary home.So, take it from these pros, and let the metamorphosis begin."When it comes to creating a warm and welcoming aesthetic in a home, there’s nothing quite like cypress," says Mark Tuck of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org."Its distinctive beauty and extreme versatility make cypress a unique material, one that can be used to create striking, architectural details." Take it from the top From the simple charm of tongue-and-groove to the intricate depth of coffered ceilings, today’s savvy interior designers are using wood to add visual interest to otherwise flat, dull ceilings. Topping the list is Charlotte, North Carolina-based designer Vicki Payne Donatelli, who frequently relies on cypress when adding decorative ceilings to her high-end-home designs."I’ve worked with cypress many times and love its aesthetic and practical qualities," Payne Donatelli says. "For ceiling treatments, I tend to pair cypress planks with structural cypress beams. And whether talking about great rooms, kitchens, or bedrooms, a cypress ceiling can have a dramatic effect on the look of a room. The result is always stunning." Take a look around A fresh coat of paint may be a quick and easy fix for lackluster walls. However, the latest design trends are pulling out all the stops with an elegant, yet comforting approach to your living spaces. For award-winning home builder Stephen Ellis of MGB Fine Custom Homes in Sarasota, Florida, the buzzword is "shiplap." And according to Ellis, "Adding a shiplap cypress wall can create a beautiful backdrop and focal point in any room."In my experience building luxury homes, owners are increasingly asking for horizontal shiplap paneling with a nickel-sized gap between the boards. And when it comes to selecting which wood to use, I typically recommend cypress, because with its rich texture and grain pattern, it offers one of the most elegant looks."Remember, it’s all in the details. So, take note of what the experts like when it comes to selecting a finish for interior cypress woodwork."Some homeowners choose to be bold with paint, while others prefer the subtlety of stain," Payne Donatelli says. "Because cypress accepts stains so swell, in my projects I tend to suggest using a mix of light and dark stains. In that way, you highlight cypress’ honey-like hues, plus introduce some complementary color. It’s an approach that can really enhance a space."Ellis agrees and adds, "I like that cypress can take on so many different tones, but my preference is to apply a wax finish over the wood, and let cypress’ natural beauty shine through."To make the transition from house to home, and for a closer look at the warmth, beauty and versatility of cypress, visit the photo gallery at www.CypressInfo.org. And let the metamorphosis begin. 

Savvy Marketers Scrap Ads for Stories

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Marketing a product or service to consumers is arguably a subtle art form – especially these days.
Which is why pop-up and banner ads are now akin to the dinosaur age.
In fact, if you asked the average consumer to recall a banner ad from the last website they visited, don’t expect much. Why? Banner ads are notoriously tuned out by consumers because they don’t engage their attention and emotions.
In addition, it’s much easier now for consumers to avoid these ads with blockers and DVRs.
What does capture consumers’ attention? A good story.
And savvy marketers are exploring new ways to use storytelling to attract and hold consumers’ interest and influence their behavior.
This is more than a hunch. Science supports the power of emotions and stories to engage an audience.
With this in mind, Pressboard, an online content marketing platform, believes that stories are the most powerful way for brands to communicate with consumers.
When an individual hears, reads, or views a story, for example, it prompts an emotional connection. The brain releases oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone associated with, among other things, sex and childbirth, that promotes a feeling of bonding and connection. Psychological research suggests that stories can influence an individual’s actions and inspire them to make choices and change a behavior in response to a story.
Underscoring this concept, Pressboard launched an experimental website, titled iwantmorecats.com, that offered users the chance to see pictures and videos of cats instead of banner ads. Not surprisingly, it proved popular, according to Pressboard CEO and co-founder Jerrid Grimm.
“Our not-so-secret goal is to help all companies market themselves through stories and in doing so, slowly rid the world of banner ads,” says Grimm in an interview with Adweek.
“People just don’t like ads, not advertisers, not publishers and definitely not consumers,” he notes.
Meaningful content beats banner ads for communicating with consumers, according to Pressboard.
To this end, companies such as Pressboard provide a platform to link brands with media publishers and track what stories resonate.
Some tips for smart storytelling include:
* Engaging emotions with a personal story, such as a triumph over adversity;
* Developing a relationship with your audience by highlighting real people in your content, whether that’s employees or customers;
* Using visuals that support the story and catch the reader’s eye;
* Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open with your audience, making your brand more relatable;
* Influencing public opinion of your brand by sharing the story on social media where discussion can happen.
In the end, changing behavior is the Holy Grail for marketers; but equally important is the ability to forge emotional connections with readers.
In this way, marketing companies can create a connection with their audience and turn them from interested parties to lifelong customers, in a way that no banner ad can match.
For more information about harnessing the power of stories to make a brand memorable, visit pressboardmedia.com.

Americans Are Flossing in the Strangest Placea

(NewsUSA) – Where have you flossed other than your bathroom? If you’re like nearly 40 percent of Americans, the answer is… in a car.How about on a date? Seven percent admitted to flossing on a date. Another six percent said on an airplane, and then there was the five percent who said in a work meeting.While experts agree that even some flossing – no matter where – beats none at all, the survey by Atomik Research for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) illustrates a bit of a dichotomy: Only seven percent of Americans name flossing as most important to their personal care routines when it comes to perfecting their smiles, revealing that adults can be better educated about healthy smiles and gums."Healthy gums are the foundation of a great smile," said Steven R. Daniel, DDS, president of the AAP and a practicing periodontist in Murfreesboro, Tenn. "Taking care of your gums means more than just flossing when there’s popcorn stuck in your teeth or when you’re killing time in traffic. It also requires integrating diligent at-home care into your personal care routine and regular visits to a periodontist to ensure your mouth is healthy and free of periodontal disease."So when it comes to our personal care routines, how much of a priority do we place on flossing?Among those surveyed who said they do floss, only 23 percent rated it the single most important part of their personal care routine, as opposed to:* Brushing their hair (48 percent)* Applying moisturizer (38 percent)* Shaving (32 percent)* Cleaning their ears (25 percent)The good news is periodontal disease is preventable and actually reversible by rethinking your oral health regimen. Follow the advice of periodontists – dentistry’s experts in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease – by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and having an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation. Taking these steps will soon give you that strong smile we all crave.Visit Gumblr.org for more information, including articles and quizzes, and to find a periodontist near you who can create a personalized plan to help support a life-long commitment to healthy gums. 

Easy Rinse Reduces Risk of Gum Disease

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – We’ve all been there; that shameful moment when your dental hygenist asks how often you floss, and you most likely reply, “Not often enough,” while he or she clucks disapprovingly and shakes his or her head.
Turns out they know what they’re talking about.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly half of American adults aged 30 years and older (47.2 percent) suffer from some form of gum disease.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the main threats to dental health, but maintaining a healthy mouth goes beyond the benefits of a bright smile.
Gum disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition, and recent studies suggest that gum disease and tooth decay may be associated with an increased risk of other inflammatory conditions, including heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.
The CDC describes common warning signs of gum disease, including bad breath, gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, or tender; pain when chewing; loose or sensitive teeth; receding gums; change in bite; and change in the fit of partial dentures. Additional factors that increase the risk of gum disease include smoking, diabetes, stress, and poor oral hygiene.
That said, most people can improve their dental hygiene and reduce their risk for developing gum disease by following a few simple steps:
– Brush. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Pick a toothbrush style that fits your mouth and feels comfortable, and you will be more likely to use it. If your teeth are sensitive or you want them to be whiter, look around; there’s a toothpaste for that.
– Floss. Floss your teeth once a day. Dental floss is available in a variety of widths and thicknesses, although some people prefer disposable flossers, which are often easier for children to use.
– Rinse. Oral rinses play an important role in a dental health routine. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, but an oral rinse formulated with bacteria-targeting ingredients can help keep gum disease at bay.
Healthy Gums Oral Rinse from TheraBreath contains cetylpyridinium chloride, an ingredient approved by the FDA and clinically proven to kill the germs linked to gum disease.
“Gum disease is more serious than people think. It starts out with just bleeding and sensitive gums, but in its advanced stages, it can cause tooth loss,” says Dr. Harold Katz, founder and chief researcher for TheraBreath.
For more information about keeping your mouth healthy and reducing your risk of gum disease, go to therabreathhealthygums.com.
Healthy Gums Oral Rinse fromTheraBreath is available at Walmart.

A Simple Test to See If You’re Up to Installing Your Own Roof

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – Think you’re up to tackling the fourth most dangerous job in America? Well, that’s what you’d be doing if you decide to install your own new roof.According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even police officers have less chance of dying on the job than professional roofers do. And yet countless do-it-yourselfers risk life and limb every year to try to save some bucks and/or prove they know their way around a pneumatic nail gun."There’s no better way to meet an orthopedic surgeon – or an undertaker – than by spending an extended amount of time on your roof," cautions PopularMechanics.com. "One small slip or misstep, and it’s a long way down."With that caveat in mind, here are three questions to ask yourself before committing:* Are you comfortable with heights?You may have had a great time going hot-air ballooning with friends, but it’s an entirely different thing being up 40 feet on a roof knowing that – even after you’ve ripped out all the old roofing and checked for damage – you still have to install things like leak barrier and roof deck protection before you can even think about nailing on new shingles.Again, all while 40 feet off the ground.And all while wearing rubber-soled boots to (hopefully) keep you from tripping on a slick spot, safety glasses to (hopefully) keep you from injuring an eye with an errantly hammered nail, and a harness to (hopefully) keep you from plummeting to the ground when working on a steeply pitched roof. * Are you as strong as you think?You’d better hope so because you’ll be lugging what feels like tons of roofing material and equipment up a ladder.The equipment alone includes (but isn’t limited to): an air compressor, a circular saw, a hack saw, an electric drill, a saw horse, a roofing shovel, a claw hammer, a framing hammer, a chisel, and the aforementioned pneumatic nail gun, which has been described as "basically a weapon."And that ladder? Not only will you need to position it exactly right for safety reasons (extending it 36 inches above the landing or roof eave), but there’s a potentially life-or-death reason why it should be made of a particular material."It’s crucial to use a non-conductive ladder made of wood or fiberglass when working near wires to avoid electrocution," advises Jason Joplin, program manager of the GAF Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (CARE). "Far too many roofers have died because they were using metal ladders."* Do you already have the necessary tools?Remember, that was just a partial list you just read. And as Angie’s List says, "If you have to go out and buy a power saw but don’t plan to use it in the future, it’s probably not a good investment."Having second thoughts? GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has made it easy to find the most reputable and adequately insured professionals in your area by searching its website’s GAF Master Elite Contractor database.Oh, and for those wondering, the top three most dangerous jobs are loggers, fishing workers, and aircraft pilots. Cops, incredibly, didn’t even make the top ten. 

How to Defeat A Clog

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News –

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7 Steps to Get Financially Fit in 2018

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As 2017 draws to a close, you may be thinking about next year’s resolutions. While many of us vow to get to the gym, you may want to consider getting fit in your personal finances before 2018 even begins.
Here are seven money moves to make before the clock hits midnight that will start your year on the right foot.
* Declutter and sell: Have an aunt that gives you an ugly sweater every holiday? Consider selling your unwanted clothes, gift cards, electronics, and the like, online. Sites such as Raise, thredUP, and Ebay are great places to sell your unwanted items and earn extra cash.
* Start investing: Investing doesn’t have to be scary. And you can start small (such as taking the extra cash you earned from selling your unwanted items!). The easiest way to start investing is to make sure you are enrolled in your employers’ retirement savings plan. You can also use apps such as Stash, Robinhood, or Acorns to begin.
* Check your credit report: Planning on making any big purchases in 2018? Your credit report contains information about the status of your credit accounts and your bill-paying history. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends checking your report at least once a year, and check again before applying for loans for big purchases such as cars or a home. Keep in mind that if your credit is frozen, you can anticipate a $20-$30 charge to unfreeze your credit so a report can be run.
* Make a plan to ditch your debt: Evaluate all the different loans and any credit card debt that you’ve accrued and consider combining them into a single loan with one easy payment. A loan with LendingClub transfers all your different debts into one place, and with a much lower interest rate.
“Managing one payment is a lot easier,” says Alia Dudum, consumer debt expert for LendingClub.
“With lower interest rates on your debt through loan consolidation, you’re setting 2018 up as your best year yet.”
* Create a budget: Ah, the dreaded “B” word. To avoid taking on even more debt in 2018, make a budget to plan your spending. Think about your net income, allocate 10 percent of your paycheck to your savings, itemize necessary expenses, and then you an use what’s leftover for vacations, shopping, and eating out.
* Take a money minute: Get into the habit of scheduling time to look at your spending and checking in on your financial goals. Put an alert on your calendar to check it once a week. You should also make this a family affair by scheduling meetings with your spouse, parents and children to talk about your financial status and your financial goals.
* Reward yourself: If your downfall is spending and racking up credit card debt, for example, allocate a small amount of money to treat yourself to something small once you have reached a specific financial goal, such as paying off that one credit card, not eating out every day, or sticking to your budget.
LendingClub is a smarter way to take your debt head-on in 2018. For more ideas on how to make 2018 a prosperous year, visit www.lendingclub.com to connect with experts who can help.