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How is your financial relationship?

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We think of love on Valentine’s Day; should we also think of money?

Connecting with a partner on a financial level is as important as an emotional one. According to Divorce.com, financial problems are the number one reason that marriages fail. With that in mind, maybe financial goals are some of the most loving things you can discuss.

According to thebalance.com, planning ahead can build a strong financial foundation for your relationship. Here are the recommended steps to create that plan:
Step 1: Define Success – It is impossible to be successful if you have not defined what success means. Talk to your partner to determine exactly what you both want out of your financial relationship.

Do you want to be debt free? According to a TDAmeritrade survey, 39 percent of Americans say that is success.


How about having a financial reserve for education or retirement? In the same TD Ameritrade survey, 29 percent thought that was success.

Once you know the goal, it is easier to budget knowing how you want your future and current financial situation to look.

Step 2: Align your Priorities – If one person is concerned with having fun and living in-the-now then it might not match with a partner that wants to pay down debt and plan for the future.

But you might share some values, like saving for education or retirement. Find those values you both share and work together. No matter what your spending and saving habits are you can agree to save during the year for something you both want: a vacation or a car, for example.

Step 3: Agree on how to accomplish your goals.
Be flexible and be committed. You might try a separate bank account to accommodate your savings or target a credit card for a Zero balance.

Step 4: Make it fun.
Plan some milestones into your financial relationship and when you reach them, have a celebration.

You could plan a night out to dinner, a picnic, or a short jaunt to a local festival.

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4 apps to help prevent isolation

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Are you looking for ways to keep in touch with loved ones or meet new people? Here are four applications (available for Android and iOS) that will help you connect with others and avoid feeling isolated.

1. Rave
Use this app to watch movies, TV shows, and videos in sync with friends and family members. It also allows you to send text or voice messages if you want to comment about what’s happening on screen. Rave is compatible with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.

2. Smala
This app makes it easy to share photos and exchange messages with loved ones no matter where you are. It also features kid-friendly activities like drawing and writing that allow you to be creative together. Use the app to create a digital album filled with family memories you can take with you anywhere.

3. Tandem
If you want to practice speaking another language, this app will pair you up with a native speaker who’s interested in learning your language. Send text and voice messages, and make phone or video calls to practice your conversation skills, improve your accent and learn about your respective cultures.



4. Bunch
This app makes it easy to host a virtual family game night. Choose from the selection of multiplayer games included on the app or play one that’s already downloaded on your device. From drawing to racing to trivia, there’s something for everyone. The best part is, you get to see everyone’s face over video chat while you play.

If you need help installing these apps on one of your devices, ask a loved one or a staff member at your seniors’ residence for assistance.

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3 ways kids can brush up on their skills before school starts

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If your children’s reading and math skills tend to get a little rusty over the summer, they’re not alone. Here are three ways to help kids refresh their memory and start the new school year with confidence.

1. Review their notes. While not the most exciting assignment, flipping through notes and worksheets from the previous school year can be an effective way to remind kids of what they learned. Pay close attention to concepts they struggled with.

2. Test their knowledge online. There are numerous kid-friendly websites that feature games and exercises to help young students refresh their memory in subjects like math, history, and science. Exploring these websites may get your kids excited about learning again.

3. Stock up on books. If your children haven’t done much reading during the summer, get them back into the habit by heading to your local library or bookstore. From novels to biographies and comics to non-fiction books, there’s something for every interest.



Additionally, there are plenty of ways to review your children’s knowledge in your daily life. For example, put their math and reading skills to the test in the kitchen by following a recipe. Remember, learning is more enjoyable for kids when they’re having fun.

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Recreational activities: Take advantage of the courses available in our area

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Engagement in recreational courses and activities has changed as a result of the pandemic. Some have made a comeback while others have been canceled. This fall, consider celebrating the back-to-school season by resuming your favorite activities.

Discover the available options
Whatever public health regulations are in place, you should be able to find a course that allows you or your children to reconnect with an existing passion or explore a new one. Start by learning about the different activities that are available in your area. Possibilities may include:

• Yoga
• Music
• Swimming
• Ballet
• Hockey
• Gymnastics
• Fencing
• Cooking

Check with your municipality, local schools, and regional clubs to see what they recommend. In addition to delivering courses in person, some activities may be offered virtually.


Health benefits
Whether you play a sport or take an art class, there are many benefits to practicing the activities you love. In addition to improving your health, doing so promotes mental well-being, improves cognition, reduces stress, and increases self-confidence.

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Managing your finances during a pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the financial well-being of households across the country. While some people lost their jobs, others received wage increases. If you need advice on how to get out of debt or want to invest your money wisely, several professionals can help you manage your finances.

Debt help
A certified credit counselor can assess your financial situation and provide personalized advice to help you get out of debt. However, if you need to file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it’s advisable to work with a bankruptcy attorney. In addition to helping you file the necessary paperwork, this professional will represent you at court hearings and creditor meetings to look out for your best interests.

Financial planning
A financial planner can provide you with a complete picture of your assets and help you evaluate your investment options. Consequently, they can guide you toward a financially stable life and assist you in developing a plan to reach your goals.

However, it’s important to specifically work with a certified financial planner (CFP), as these professionals are the most qualified. Only they have the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to provide you with sound financial planning strategies and solutions.


In addition, depending on your needs, it may be a good idea to get assistance from a registered investment adviser, portfolio manager, or broker. Just make sure you do your research. If you require help managing your cash flow or saving for your retirement, it’s important to choose the right professional for the job.

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How to identify fake companies online

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A cheap hoodie or fancy party dress may look like a bargain. But if you don’t recognize the company, look up the domain.

A domain is the name of the website, like: ThisIsADomain.com.

Domains are purchased from various online companies, and they are hosted by other companies. They have an IP address, which is a series of numbers that indicate a specific server.

Go to: https://whois.domaintools.com and type in the domain name. You will get a full internet profile of the business.


Look for these hints:

1. IP history. – If you see that thousands of IP changes on one domain, beware. It may be normal for a legitimate business to have dozens or even hundreds IP addresses over a decade. But it isn’t normal to have thousands over a year.

2. The domain was created within the past year, and it expires in a year. – Legitimate businesses will probably have an old creation date or at least a long-term expiration date. Legitimate businesses protect themselves by buying the domain for decades.

3. The registry is private. – Some legitimate businesses have private registrars. But legitimate businesses are not usually completely anonymous. You should see a legitimate address for information technology at a minimum. Scam businesses often register with a proxy company, but not all proxy registrations are frauds.

4. IP location is Shopify. – Many completely legitimate businesses have a Shopify address, but according to Time, Shopify has been much abused by scammers.

5. Review the “About Us” section.  – That should have a company address, but likely won’t. If it is a short sentence, google it. If you find many websites using the same phrasing, beware.

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6 jobs for people who prefer to work alone

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If you’re self-motivated and prefer working alone, here are six jobs you may want to consider.

1. Private investigator. Although private investigators regularly have to meet with clients, they spend most of their time alone doing research from their office or following people from a distance.

2. Artist or craftsperson. Creating art usually involves spending a lot of time alone in a studio or sitting at a computer. For example, art restoration, sculpting, illustration, graphic design, and making ceramics are all excellent pursuits for people who value their alone time.

3. Truck driver. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, driving across the country delivering goods as a truck driver may be the job for you. However, you have to be OK with sitting still for hours on end.


4. Gardener or landscaper. If you dream about working outdoors and answering primarily to yourself, becoming a groundskeeper or landscaper could be an ideal fit.

5. Editor or translator. If you’re fluent in one or more languages, you could work as a freelancer and take on translation and editing jobs from the comfort of your own home.

6. Video game tester. If you enjoy playing video games and have a keen eye for detail, this job could be right for you.

Whether you’re an introvert or simply prefer working in a calm, quiet environment where you can focus, there are plenty of career possibilities that may be right for you.

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Upcoming Events

Aug
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9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 2 @ 9:00 am – Aug 6 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
3
Tue
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 3 @ 9:00 am – Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
4
Wed
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 4 @ 9:00 am – Aug 8 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
5
Thu
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 5 @ 9:00 am – Aug 9 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
6
Fri
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 6 @ 9:00 am – Aug 10 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
7
Sat
9:00 am Waggin’ For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Waggin’ For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Aug 7 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Waggin' For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Our Annual Dragon Boat race is back and better this ever, because we’ve got some special friends joining us! Our race teams, made of local community and business groups, will be racing and raising that[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm – Aug 8 @ 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log House to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer or ranger dons historic clothing and cooks delicious dishes using[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area – behind Mount Bleak. Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion Lab[...]