#BeResponsible Giveaway: This Friday All Orders Will Include “Silver Sprinkles”

Cupcake pinkAny and all orders will receive a bonus this Friday as our fairy-warehouse mothers sprinkle some extra silver into every order! Don’t miss out on some bonus metal – it’s easy to earn! Just add promo code: SILVERSPRINKLES

Our 2016 theme – #BeResponsible – is empowering customers and readers everywhere to become financially responsible and successful. The month of January started with creating a winning budget for the year, and next month we will explore the benefits and strategies on building a Grade A network. Please join us and share what you’ve learned along the way to us at support@anthemvault.com or on our Facebook pages!

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Mobile Phones: What Every Budget Conscious Person Needs to Know

IMG_4829Like most Americans, I find myself tethered to my phone 24/7. It is without a doubt the most important tech tool I possess. So as you can probably imagine, I’ve always  been very careful to prevent any sort of lapse in payment.

Well, an unfortunate scenario occurred three months ago, or so I thought. My mobile service was disconnected because I was no longer able to come up with the $190 monthly payment. The good news is that I eventually paid the bill and had it restored.

Here’s what I discovered as a result of this experience. I was being charged for way more mobile data than I could possibly ever need. So I made a visit to my phone carrier retail store and reduced my data package to one gigabyte. The savings:  $90 per month.

My new monthly bill was therefore reduced to $100 plus tax and fees. Sounds more reasonable, huh? Well, not really when you consider the fact that I found myself now paying for what amounted to a phone number and 1GB of data. So I am now pondering the unthinkable: cancelling both my cell number and data plan.

Why would I do such a crazy thing when one could argue that 1GB of data is woefully inefficient? The simple answer – I have little need for a pricey data plan given the abundance of low or no-cost Wi-Fi available at public locations or via a mobile hotspot.Keep reading…

A Brave Step for Browsers

Internet1The viability of free content is becoming a hot topic, but in discussions on internet advertising, privacy issues often tend to surface as well. I have written a few articles discussing paywalls and adblockers and the tolls they have taken on the internet in recent years. In answer to privacy concerns, Brendan Eich, known for his work on JavaScript and Mozilla, is working on a new browser called Brave, which replaces targeted ads with anonymous ones.

Brave will be connected to its own private cloud which will host anonymous ads. The browser works by first blocking targeted ads and tracking, then replacing all of the ad spots with anonymous untargeted ads. Revenue for ads will be divided between publishers and users, after Brave takes a cut. The browser’s choice of ads will be based on information pooled from all users instead of targeting each individual.

The problem Eich is trying to address with Brave has to do with choice. In the current system of targeted ads, decisions are made for the users by browsers and websites, and those decisions are guided by the interests of content publishers in pushing as many ads and getting as many click-throughs as possible. Brave’s is an interesting route to take, and one that hasn’t been explored by other browsers yet, at least to my knowledge. Read More…

The Lebenskϋnstler Lifestyle

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“I put my talent into my work, but my genius into my life.”

Oscar Wilde

Some of my friends characterize me as a dictionary fanatic, an opinion that was recently reinforced when I became intrigued by a new word I stumbled across: Lebenskϋnstler.

The word evokes an archetype that to this day continues to have an influence on the German ethos, particularly as it relates to Berlin culture and nightlife. It connotes a person who, though not actually an artist, pursues life with the same zeal as a passionate artist, making life magical in myriad ways, putting a positive spin on everything and taking delight in the little things that others overlook. Such a person could best be described as a Life Artist.

This echoes today’s evolving millennial mindset; one where ripe opportunities are recognized and seized in an attempt to make the most out of our lives. It’s a life course that’s deliberate, yet fraught with profound risk. For these folks, it’s the deep path of life that holds importance, rather than a static destination.

Lebenskϋnstlers are fiercely independent, individualists who see themselves as architects of their own freedom. In this way, they reflect the core values of Hank Reardon, the hero highlighted in Ayn Rand’s perennial best-selling book, Atlas Shrugged. They care little about their next deal or the Big Win. Instead, only the present moment matters, and how they can create meaning right now.

These individuals are also susceptible to what I affectionately call Career Polyamory. Instead of being faithful to one career, they have dalliances with multiple jobs, designed to meet their psychic needs and/or pay the bills. They are the proverbial freelancers who – in contrarian fashion – abhor rules, bosses, suits, small talk and even formal offices.Keep reading…

China: Separating the Signal from the Noise

ChinaTo say the least, global financial markets are off to a bad start in the New Year. Given all of the headlines surrounding China, we thought we would give a market recap and try to untangle recent events, sorting out the clamor from the meaningful developments.

What’s Up With China?

The facts are easy to see. The Shanghai composite is now down almost 16%, only a few trading days into the New Year. Even the large-cap CSI 300 index is down 15%, signaling big outflows from China’s equity markets.

Chinese regulators tried to arrest the fall by implementing ‘circuit breakers’, similar to what is built in to American markets, where trading is halted for a time if stocks fall more than a certain percentage, and then closed for the rest of the day if they fall even more after reopening. The idea is to make everyone take a break and cool off in times of extreme volatility.

Chinese markets have been blowing up these circuit breakers. On January 4, markets lost 7%, triggering the circuit breaker and closing the market for the day. Then on Thursday, January 7, Chinese markets opened sharply lower in the first few minutes. The 5% drop triggered a 15-minute halt, but when trading resumed, the slide resumed as well, again triggering the 7% loss and market close for the day. Thursday’s trading day lasted only 29 minutes.  Read More…

Check Your Spending With These Two Questions

question road signWe have all been there. We vow to cut back on spending and save a certain amount of money, only to buy a few big ticket items that we vainly try to rationalize. The purchase might even have made sense at the time, but when we review our finances, our savings goals are far out of sight! Here are two simple questions to ask yourself – before you make a big ticket purchase.

1: Do I Need It?

It seems obvious: don’t buy things you don’t need! Of course, this is also the hardest question to ask and to answer honestly. A new car? If your current one is doing fine, and you just wanted that new car smell and extra features, then no. A new TV? Already have one, I just wanted the latest high-resolution screen.

If you answer ‘No’ to the first question, then the process is already over. Move on and try to forget about it. But you might be asking, “So I can never buy anything I don’t need because it isn’t financially the most prudent thing to do? Haven’t you ever heard of something called enjoying life?

Read More…