Obama's 2nd term: Where the Women are(n't)

(Photo credit: White House)In early January, the Obama administration released a photo (seen above, taken on or about December 29th) showing the President and some of his top aides gathered inside the Oval Office during a meeting about the fiscal cliff negotiations....more

The Joy of being a Business Mentor

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Highlights from Inc. Magazine's Inaugural Women's Summit in NYC (12/1/11)

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@mallikachopra Thxso much for the RT's! Was great to see you at the #incwomen Summit in NYC-thx ...more

Calm Before the Storm (Hurricane Irene): 3 Step Emergency Financial Checklist

Many East Coast residents, specifically those in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and several other surrouding areas, are being warned about the need to prepare for the onslaught of Hurricane Irene.In this day and age considering the fact that so many of us rely so heavily on fail-safe electronic systems in order to conduct numerous aspects of our daily lives, when faced with the prospect of such a potentially large-scale storm such as Hurricane Irene, we need to make sure that we are financially prepared to ride out the storm until systems return to their normal capacity....more

Cheat Sheet: Quickly Calculate How Long it Takes to Double Your Money

The process of getting a firm grasp on one's finances can be overwhelming, for sure, but there are numerous convenient tools that can be used to make quick calculations and one such tool is the Rule of 72.The Rule of 72 is a mathematical shortcut which you can use to quickly calculate roughly how long it will take for your money to double (not taking into account inflation or taxes) assuming you start with a fixed amount of principal at a fixed annual interest rate and don't add a penny to it.Here's how it works:...more
@Pawngo Thank you so much for your positive feedback about the post. Love knowing that you ...more

Knowledge is Power: 5 Steps You Can Take to Raise Your Credit Score

Let's face it - we live and participate in a society which makes judgments about us based on our creditworthiness and by that I'm referring specifically to the FICO score (developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation), the most widely used scoring model which ranks consumers by how likely they are to repay debt. The FICO score (ranging from 300-850) is used to assess risk in numerous capacities, such as when we are looking to borrow money, get insurance, apply for a job, and so on. ...more

Travel to Paris on a Budget? Oui, bien sur! (Yes, of course)

 Image Credit: Lili RahmatiWhen it comes to international travel, Paris is consistently mentioned as the top desination (or amongst the top) favored amongst global travelers. Paris means different things to different people as each visitor extracts meaning and value from their own unique experiences in this great city.Paris is a source of constant artistic inspiration for me given that I've found my creative passion through the pursuit of black & white fine art film photography.  When I need to recharge and renew given the demands of running my core business, my vacation plans always include a stop in this amazing city. Each visit to Paris reveals something to me artistically which had gone unnoticed the time before. Having spent many days and weeks at a time exploring its splendor on foot hoping to capture those special moments on film, I've established an intimate relationship with the city so much so that I feel increasingly at home during each of my visits.As I have learned first-hand through my own experiences traveling to Paris (and across Europe), despite the strength of the Euro compared with the dollar, it is absolutely possible to enjoy Paris without breaking the bank. One need not stay at Hotel de Crillon nor dine at Le Cinq to experience the magic and charm that Paris has to offer. As long as you do a bit of planning, keep an open attitude and maintain a sense of adventure, you can enjoy every moment of your time in Paris while traveling on a budget. GETTING THERE: Many travelers flock to Europe during the summer as a result of their children's summer break from school. If you don't have these constrants and can be flexible with your travel schedule, try to travel either in the Spring or the Fall. Not only is the weather much better, the cities aren't nearly as crowded, and the airfares are much more reasonable as both of these seasons are considered to be "low season" as far as travel to Paris is concerned. Also, when booking international airfare, do your research via the aggregator sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, others) as well as with the airlines directly. Often you'll find very attractive deals offered exclusively by the airlines long before that flight inventory is released to the aggregator sites so it can pay to be patient and to shop around. Yapta is a great tool to use since it enables you to monitor price fluctuations in your desired itinerary via instant email notifications once prices have fallen to your desired price level. The site also has deals in place with specific airlines which have agreed to refund customers if the price of the flight falls below what they've already paid. You can usually get the best discounts on international travel if you book at least 21 to 60 days in advance - the early bird definitely gets the airline discount worm.STAYING THERE:Hotels and B&B's are an obvious choice but if you're more of a self-sufficient and adventurous traveler seeking to have a more authentic experience in Paris, apartment rental is the way to go. The best deals are to be had with at least a week's stay, which when compared with the nightly rate at the most moderate level hotel, usually come out way ahead. The best web resources are those inside France though they're published exclusively in French so if you aren't able to read, speak, or write French fluenty, this might not be the best option for you. No need to fear as there are numerous English-language options. VRBO is probably the most popular and most reputable of the English-language sites and the best part about using it is that you deal directly with the owner of the vacation home with respect to availability, price, security deposit, amenities, etc. Each Parisian vacation rental property will be managed differently but usually the rate will include WiFi, free international calling, bedding, bath & kitchen supplies as well as a cleaning (at least 1 time during the week but more depending on the specific conract/property). Imagine walking down to the local boulangerie & fromagerie and coming back to your own apartment each morning to enjoy your breakfast or cook in your own kitchen just as a local Parisian would do. You'll never be able to replicate that experience when you stay in a hotel, no matter how luxurious it might be....more
Just go to Paris, not until you have enough Budget.!more

5 Steps for Using an Egg Timer to Improve your Financial Health

If you find yourself feeling totally overwhelmed when it comes to the thought of organizing your personal finances, then fear no more because this post is being written just for you....more