Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Free Financial Aid Resources

Hi All,

Check it out - its that time of year when college applications are due.  And once that happens, college acceptance letters should start rolling in. 

With that in mind students - and their parents - might be well served by visiting the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation website from the New York State government.  Click here to visit the site.

What does the site have you ask? Great question!  Three major sections will help students.  The first major section helps students prepare for college.  There is a section on your 'High School Plan' which will help you determine what to do year-by-year to prepare for college.  There is also a college fair calendar and a section on applying to college step-by-step.

Next is the 'How to Pay' for college.  22 NYS student financial programs are covered, federal financial aid is covered.  Sections on filling out and completing the FAFSA and TAP applications are listed as well.  There are also calculators, estimators and more on this section of the site.

Finally, the last section is called 'Repay' - paying off student loans.  Finally, readers of this blog entry can use this site to find FAFSA completion events in our area - click here to go to the site. 

Enjoy the site - and I hope the applying to college process is quick, painless and successful for you.

Regards,
Stu

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gas Buddy

Hi All,

GasBuddy.com is a group of local websites which offers an online method for users to post and view recent retail gas prices.  Basically users can find the cheapest gas close to wherever they live or are at the moment.

Users can click on the USA National Gas Price Heat Map  to find the gas prices for a particular geographic location.  Users can also click on this link for gas price charts. 

Users can also  search for gas prices by city or zip code.  In addition, users can choose the grade of gasoline they are going to purchase (regular, midgrade, premium and diesel).  Users can also look at gas price charts by clicking on this link as well.

Charts are available for one month, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, 12 month, 18 month, 2 year, 3 year, 4 year, 5 year, 6 year 8 year, 9 year and 10 year time periods.  Quite comprehensive, eh!

But wait...there's more... GasBuddy.com has a trip cost calculator which can be accessed via this link.

Just enter a starting location, the destination location, the type of trip (one-way or round trip), vehicle information (year, make, model, mileage, fuel type and size of gas tank) and click 'calculate' and you'll find out how much your trip to 'Uncle Sam' will cost this coming SuperBowl Sunday...

There is a GasBuddy.com app which can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

The app is available in the Apple App Store, the Google Play store, the Windows Phone Store and for BlackBerry phones. 

Enjoy the site and the cost savings!

Regards,
Stu

Monday, January 25, 2016

Top Free Apps For ios or Android Phones

 Hi All,

A new year means there are apps out there that you might not have seen.  Forthwith - an article and links to the Best Free Apps For Your Phone. These links and recommendations come from PCMag.com

Best Free Android Apps
Circle of 6 - for dangerous situations when you need to quickly get help from your friends...

TextSecure - messages sent to other TextSecure users are encrypted over the air, but the app will also encrypt all of your text messages when they're at rest ono your phone.


Best Free iPhone Apps
Asana - productivity app 

BillGuard - connects you to your online credit card statements and flags merchants who frequently charge consumers for products or services they've either forgotten about or they didn't know they were requesting

Digg - brings you all the news and online content you like to read in one convenient place.

Hope you find some great free apps on the site!

Regards,
Stu

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hi All,

Let it snow... and that's what's going to happen this weekend.  Click on this link - courtesy of the Farmingdale Patch - to see the snow timeline for this weekends' snowfall.

But before that let's make sure we're all safe.  With food, blankets, snacks, batteries for radios/dvd players and the like.  Make sure you're smartphone is charged and your car's gas tank is filled. 

Without further ado, click on these links to help you prepare for the upcoming snowfall this weekend.

Blizzard Safety Tips - Prevent Injury While Shoveling

Blizzard Survival Guide -AccuWeather 

WeatherWizKids - Winter Storm Safety

7 Ways to Stay Safe in a Blizzard

Winter Weather Checklists

Blizzard Checklist - How To Prepare Your Home For the Impending Storm

PSEG Storm Center - Outages

Wunderground.com - Warnings For Southern Nassau County  

Best Foods to Stockpile For an Emergency - RealSimple.com

Best Hot Chocolate Recipes - Food Network 

Hot Chocolate Recipes - AllRecipes.com 

Enjoy the links - and the snow!

Regards,
Stu




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Let's Go shopping

Hi All,

500,000 coupons for 50,000 stores.  Wow.  That sounds too good to be true.  But its not!

Check out RetailMeNot.com - click on this link to visit the site.

So what the heck is the site all about you ask? 

Simple...users can click on a link for coupon codes, product deals, printable coupons and more. 

But wait, there's more....users can click on a search box at the top right part of the site and enter the name of a retailer (Nordstrom, Sears, Sephora, Kohls, JCPenney, Best Buy etc.) or a manufacturer (Nike, Little Tykes, Step 2, OskKosh B'Gosh, Domino's, Claire's, etc.) and up pop coupons.

Users click on a 'Show Coupon Code' box to reveal the code.  Information included in the advertisement include the number of people that used the coupon today, when the coupon expires, details of the coupon. user comments and more.

Users can  choose from a variety of coupon types including coupon codes and online sales.  Further, users can choose from various discount types including BOGO (buy one get one), free shipping, free gift and % off. 

The site also has a bunch of specialty pages for Black Friday Deals, Cyber Monday Deals, Christmas Sales and Free Shipping

Users can click on this link to Join RetailMeNot. In addition, users can use Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter to log on to RetailMeNot.

Users can also get the RetailMeNot mobile app by clicking on this link.

Enjoy the site and the app - here's to saving money!

Regards,
Stu



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Visual Capitalist

Hi All,

Looking for visual content (read: information and data) on business and financial topics?  Look no further than a new website called the Visual Capitalist.

As the Visual Capitalist says on their website, "Visual Capitalist is a new way to discover business opportunities and learn about investment trends.  The site is populated with exclusive infographics from our own design studio and curated visual content from around the web. Visual Capitalist was founded in 2011 under the belief that art, data, and storytelling can be combined in a manner that makes complex issues and processes more digestible. Today, we reach millions of people each year with our unique content."

The site has links to Markets, Technology, Energy, Mining, Green, Money, Politics and Miscellaneous topics. 

Charts and tables on the website are colorful, interactive, timely and very easy to understand.  For a perfect example of a useful chart click on this link entitled Visual Capitalist's 15 Top Infographics For 2015.

The list of the infographics includes a mix of infographics, data visualizations, and charts from 2015.

Enjoy the site!

Regards,
Stu

Friday, January 8, 2016

Password Managers For All Your Devices

Hi All,

A quick summary of an article entitled 'Review: The Best Password Managers for PCs, Macs, and Mobile Devices' from InfoWorld back in June of 2015.  '10 local and cloud-based contenders make passwords stronger and online life easier for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone users.'

Password managers are good ways to securing your online identity.  They also help you increase the strength of your passwords that protect your online accounts by remembering the passwords for you.

Seriously - what are the odds of you remembering a random string of numbers, digits and characters for one account - let alone multiple accounts?  You won't - its that simple.

But wait, there's more...read this article titled, '10 Surprising Cyber Security Facts That May Affect Your Online Safety'.

Read on for the 6 best password managers to help protect you against id theft, online account security and privacy.

You might also want to read this article from NetIQ title, '84 Fascinating & Scary IT Security Statistics'.

In any event, the password managers that are covered in the initial article from InfoWorld include: 
1Password - Agile Bits
Dashlane
KeePass
LastPass
PasswordBox
SplashID Safe

The above links go to each vendors' website - in many cases there are free versions which don't offer the same level of security as the pay version....

Good luck protecting your passwords and staying secure online!

Regards,
Stu