Blog Directory Martinspiration

Conjuring up fresh frights

September 19, 2017

Writing regularly about real estate, health care, technology, finances, pets and jobs throughout the year is fun and stimulating, certainly. But this time of the calendar brings me extra excitement, because I get to promote Halloween-themed events and topics, too - such as the upcoming season of Midnight Terror Haunted House, located near my neck of the woods in the south 'burbs of Chicago.

Read my latest article about this annual fright fan favorite and how it plans to freshen up the fear for 2017 by clicking here.

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Put the focus on fun to improve your savings habits

September 12, 2017

Squirrels stockpile nuts for a good reason—they want to be prepared when resources are scarce. Therein lies an acorn of truth that humans can take to heart: saving now can pay off later.

Problem is, building a nest egg is hard work. That's because we often don't have many dollars left after paying our bills. And poor habits like impulsive spending, living beyond our means, and not keeping track of our money can quickly exhaust our finances. The solution? Set realistic savings goals and stay disciplined. And don't be afraid to sometimes spend money on things you like to do, too, which can build good saving skills.

For tips on how to set fun savings goals, read my newest article for USAA Stories, available here.

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Why buying a home near your favorite grocery store matters

September 3, 2017

Buyers need to think about many factors before purchasing a home. These include price, neighborhood amenities, area schools and commute time.

New data suggests that nearness to your preferred food store should also be pondered. Shopping convenience is one perk. But a bigger one is the effect that grocer can have on your home’s value. This nearby store may affect your flipping or renting prospects, too.

Learn more about why choosing a residence in close proximity to your preferred food store can have a big impact by reading my latest story for The Mortgage Reports, available here.

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Why lottery playing is thirsty work

August 21, 2017

Gas, tobacco and cold beverages may be what gets customers in the door at convenience stores. But don’t discount good old-fashioned luck in the form of lottery scratch-off and computer-generated tickets. They represent a consistent revenue stream for convenience operators, generating about $8,000 in sales weekly and 9% of total convenience sales. And with Powerball jackpots hitting record highs lately, the c-store is likely to remain a popular destination for luck seekers.

Read my latest story for CSP Magazine, available here, on what store shoppers also purchase when they play the lottery at 7-Eleven, Kwik Trip, Sheetz, Circle K and other convenience stores.

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Is your child ready to enter the mobile age?

August 8, 2017

She’s mastered the tablet without too many tantrums. He gets his homework done before turning on the game console. But is your son or daughter ready for a mobile phone? Since the dawn of the smartphone era, it’s become an age-old question—literally.

Learn more about what the experts recommend by reading my latest Costco Connection magazine article, "The great smartphone debate," available here.

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Playtime for Polly

August 1, 2017

Few things warm bird lovers’ hearts more than seeing their winged companions busy at play. But avian amusements only go so far in a cage lacking bird-friendly baubles, trinkets and toys. That's why it's important to hang, clip and place fun stuff inside the bird's home. Read about some of the latest pet bird toys in my newest monthly column for Pet Age magazine by clicking here.

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