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Author Archives: Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

Why Forex Trading is so Appealing

forex trading

Forex trading, or the buying and selling of currencies against one another, is sometimes viewed merely as an alternative investment that can be used to diversify a portfolio. Some see it as risky, some see it as tedious, and some even view it as something of a gimmick when compared to ordinary investing methods. The fact remains, however, that the daily volume in forex markets is usually over $5 trillion in circulation. So what makes forex so appealing to so many around the world? More Trading Volume For starters, that same massive volume is appealing to a lot of traders, which makes it something of a self-fulfilling cycle: more traders means more volume, which attracts more traders, and so on. In a high liquidity market, there are more transactions on a daily basis. And with that higher rater of turnover, there’s simply more data available to traders attempting to gauge the directions of their own investments. This isn’t to say the forex market is inherently easier to read and predict than an ordinary stock market, but some certainly like the broad picture painted by massive liquidity. Narrow Focus Despite that liquidity, another aspect of the forex market that’s appealing to ...

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Tricks for Saving Money

saving money while gas is cheap

For years, we had the hardest time saving money. Although there was money coming in, it made the briefest of stops in our checking account and was out the door before we could even register a bump in the account balance. We used debt, busy lifestyles, and the Joneses as excuses and figured it was normal to be living paycheck to paycheck. After deciding to dig in and finally get out of debt, we also learned a few tricks for saving money along the way. Gas is On Sale, Save Up! Perhaps one of the best tricks for saving money right now is based on oil and gas prices being lower than they were two decades ago. Unfortunately, most people will end up spending any money saved at the pump. I have no problem with taking a cheap road trip to cash in on savings, but don’t waste extra dollars on eating out or even worse, buying a brand new gas guzzler just because you can. If I have learned anything during the years since obtaining a driver’s license, it’s that gas prices fluctuate. Everyone loves cheap gas. Then, once prices rise, out come the articles and testimonials about how ...

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Spring Break Trip to Washington D.C.

spring break at Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s been less than a month since our last vacation, but I’m already chomping at the bit to head out of town again. I may have missed my calling. If it were the 80’s all over again, I’d be opening up a travel agency. Luckily, you don’t need a travel agent to take a fantastic and frugal vacation. I just booked a spring break trip to Washington D.C. for less than $500. The Value of Different Points and Miles Programs There are rarely saver level redemptions from the small regional airports that are convenient to us, and we don’t have time or desire to drive to Albuquerque this spring break. Tickets were pricing out at around $800 each from Durango, way more than we wanted to spend. I have been known to hoard points and miles, usually for a blow out trip like our European vacation last summer. Right now, we are sitting on a huge stash of American miles, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend 100,000 of them for two tickets from Durango to DC. Those miles can take us back to Hawaii or Europe. We needed another alternative and decided to use Citi Thank You Points. Those ...

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5 Ways to Take Advantage of a Snow Day

how to spend a snow day

Folks in the South and East Coast are still digging out from a monster winter storm, and winter has already unleashed itself on many other parts of the country. Even if you are fortunate to live in an area that doesn’t get snow, there are always weather systems with potential to keep everyone cooped up indoors. Instead of letting cabin fever take over, here are some great ways to take advantage of a snow day. 1.Enjoy Family or Neighbors We’ve had a couple of big storms here in Southwest Colorado this winter. While we don’t usually have CNN reporting our snow totals, weather can still keep us inside, at least for a day or two, sort of. Since Jim started teaching in 2000, we’ve had a handful of snow days. This year we broke a record with two in a row during the first week of the year. If I’d been scheduled, I would have had to go in to work, but somehow everyone ended up at home. We went cross country skiing around the neighborhood, watched movies, and made soup. Being snowed in is great way to reconnect with family. Why do you think so many babies are born ...

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What Is the Best Way to Pay for Braces?

Orthodontia: the dreaded word every parent hopes will pass them by. One, it’s never fun to do something to your child that is uncomfortable, even if it is for their own good. Two, it takes tons of time to keep up with appointments. Three, it costs a fortune! We are beginning our journey into the world of orthodontics today, and to deal with issue number three; what is the best way to pay for braces? Deciding When to Get Braces If you or your child needs braces, it won’t come as an emergency expense. We’ve known since our daughter’s first dental visit around age three that she would likely need orthodontic treatment. Most orthodontists will start working with kids who are seven years old if their dentist recommends a consult, but the majority of patients we’ve seen at our local office are teenagers. That’s quite a bit of time for parents to prepare. Sure, there are always extra expenses that can and will take money if you let them, but it’s very important to start a “braces” fund if orthodontics will be necessary. In our case, we went in for a consult last year, which was free of charge, and ...

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