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Barnes & Noble: Gone by New Year’s?

Barnes & Noble: Gone by New Year’s?

If anyone gives you a Barnes & Noble gift card, be sure to cash it in by the end of the year.

This may be the last year that Barnes & Noble bookstores remain open.

It's bad news for people who love books. It's worse news for the next generation of readers, who may never experience buying a book in a bookstore.

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How to start savings

How to start savings

Many people live paycheck to paycheck. This means that there is no savings and most of the previous check is gone before the next check is received. The goal of most should be to save as much as possible for a rainy day. However, saving eludes most people because folks buy today and figure out how to pay for it later. Unfortunately later comes faster than many expected. Understanding how to start the saving process is the first step to establishing and growing savings.

Create a budget

The first step is to create a budget. The budget will help identify all of the bills that have to be paid monthly and the associated income available to do so. Determine if there is enough income to pay the bills with anything left over. Then evaluate the bills and expenses to see if there are any that can be eliminated immediately and not have an ongoing expense. If so, eliminate those bills. Now calculate what we have left over that can be earmarked for savings or debt reduction.

After documenting your income and expenses, evaluate to see if there are any places where the income can be increased or the expenses decreased. Be sure to include all of the little purchases as well including coffee, gas and fast food. This allows you to fully identify where every cent is spent in order to ascertain the potential cutbacks.

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5 rules for becoming an intellectual maverick

5 rules for becoming an intellectual maverick

No matter how well our lives may be going, many of us seem to be at our wit's end when it comes to attaining that next level of success, but there is a solution to this challenge, says world-traveling entrepreneur Julian Pencilliah.

Whether we want to improve our relationships, spiritual development, emotional well-being, health or monetary ambitions, we so often find that we're our own greatest enemies, says Pencilliah, author of "The Jetstream of Success," (www.thejetstreamofsuccess.com).

"You see it time and time again – individuals rise out of the most devastating circumstances and transform their lives into greatness," he says. "If you're in a place where you feel that life's closing in on you, and you have a pressing urgency to transform your misfortune into a positive opportunity, then you must embrace the fact that realizing your potential is a process."

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An interest in lending

An interest in lending

Like most consumers, you have probably paid interest on a loan, whether it was a credit card, student loan, auto loan, or home mortgage. As an investor, it might be advantageous to be on the other side of the lending equation by purchasing bonds.

When you invest in a bond, you are loaning money to the bond issuer in exchange for the issuer's promise to repay the principal on the specified maturity date, plus the interest, which is usually paid every six months. Bond maturities typically range from 30 days to 30 years. Bonds with longer maturities generally pay higher interest rates than do similar bonds with shorter maturities.

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Animator’s dream morphs into a business in motion

Animator’s dream morphs into a business in motion

He was just a kid, much like any other kid growing up in Memphis – except for a couple of things. Chris O'Conner was being raised by a single father, Donald O'Conner. Yes, that Don O'Conner. The director of Memphis' own Watoto De Afrika Performing Arts Academy.

Watoto De Afrika (Swahili for "Children of Africa") created the perfect backdrop for Chris O'Conner growing up to even think that the Memphis was due its first animation studio.

"I always knew I could never be a 9-to-5 guy," he said. "If I was on someone else's job, I would always want to do things my way. Prodigi Arts is what I've wanted to do my whole life. When I was a kid, I loved comic books and cartoons. I loved the art of storytelling."

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  • Written by Dr. Sybill C. Mitchell

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: The business of landscaping

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: The business of landscaping

The beautiful May flowers nurtured by April showers are usually accompanied by overgrown grass and weeds. With very little upfront investment, a lucrative business can be created for landscaping residential and commercial properties.

Many men have flashbacks of their younger days when their parents demanded they mow the lawn. Equipped with little more than a push mower and a rake, the teens went to work on the lawn. The more industrious teens became entrepreneurs, mowing more than just their parent's home. They made contact with the neighbors and began their summer jobs tending to the lawns in the neighborhood.

With a standard of expertise above the norm, lawn care now is a thriving business. Whether the business is independently started as a sole proprietorship or a franchise is purchased, there is money to be made in the industry. The benefit of an independently started business is that the profits are not shared and the entrepreneur is free to make his or her own rules. The benefit of a franchised business is that most of the documents needed to begin the business have already been created by the franchisor. Depending on the geographic region, marketing may also be included in the monthly fees.

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How to make sure a helping hand doesn’t make you go broke

How to make sure a helping hand doesn’t make you go broke

When a university failed recently to award Marlon D. Cousin's nephew thousands of dollars in anticipated financial aid, the managing partner of an Atlanta-based recruiting firm was happy to step in and close the financial gap.

In fact, he had set aside a fund for such family emergencies, especially those that pertain to education. And he advises other individuals and families in the process of building wealth to do the same. It's especially important at a time when jobs in the African-American community are sparse and financial needs high.

"I have an emergency investment account that is funded by one of my businesses," said Cousin, managing partner of The Marquin Group. "If something happens, it's there for that. If you prefer to set aside a certain amount for emergencies instead of setting up a fund, you could set aside up to 10 percent of your wealth. But you do need to set parameters. Do you use the money to get your brother out of jail? I don't know. The fund isn't set up for that, but it's really real-life stuff."

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