holiday apps
Mobile apps have become a convenient way for us to shop online without being tied to a desktop. In fact, shopping on mobile has become so popular that Adobe Analytics predicts that 54% of the holiday purchases will be made from a mobile phone or tablet.

As more people shift their cyber shopping to mobile, phishing scams are shifting their focus to mobile as well. There are numerous ways to protect personal information on your smartphone, but all these security measures are useless if you’re opening the door wide for scammers to get past them. How? Through fake shopping apps.

Back in September, Google Play had a scourge of 50 rogue apps termed doppelgangers because of how they closely mimicked popular sites. Before they were caught, the apps received 4.2 million downloads from unsuspecting mobile users. To illustrate how innocent they appeared, one of them was titled “Lovely Wallpaper.”

Although Google has identified the malware used to make the group of apps and heightened the security measures that protect its Play store, scammers will continue to target us where we’re most vulnerable: our love of convenience and our love of shopping. As we enter the holiday shopping season, here are some helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of fake shopping apps.
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year end finances
The holiday season always brings lots of excitement, from parties and family time to opening presents on Christmas Day. While we’re all pretty much consumed with the festivities of the season, it’s also important to remember that the new year is right around the corner.

Amongst all the many things you have to think about, your finances will probably be a big part of your upcoming year. Everyone has goals they want to accomplish and you want to make sure that your finances are able to support you on the way.

As you enjoy the last few weeks of the year, start to think about what you need to do to set yourself up for a better new year financially. Let’s take a look at your financial wrap-up for the year end:
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Based on a consumer survey, Black Friday weekend spending is predicted to increase by 47%, with the average consumer planning to spend around $743 on this biggest weekend in retail. As big as this event still is, many of us have shifted our focus to online shopping, preferring to catch Cyber Monday or Cyber Week deals from the comfort of home. This is especially true among the younger generation — about 60% plan to shop online and spread their purchases out rather than binge shop (which also makes it easier to plan shopping into the budget).

Cyber Monday, which started in 2005, isn’t the only cyber shopping holiday on the retail calendar, though. Green Monday, the second Monday in December, is quickly becoming a key last-chance opportunity for shoppers to snag great deals online in time for the big day.

The highest online sales day in December, Green Monday raked in $1.621 billion in sales in 2016. Coined by eBay in 2007, the term gets its “green” from the color of cash, similar to how Black Friday represents being “in the black” of profitable numbers rather than “in the red” of debt.
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save money on a gym membership
It’s that time of the year again! With all the excitement, festivities, and of course food, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is the gym. Most of us intend on eating to our heart’s content this holiday season and waiting until January to deal with the aftermath. While that’s definitely a common approach, it might be worthwhile to start planning ahead now to get the best deals at the gym.

Once the new year arrives, people seem to turn to “get into shape” mode, which means hitting the gym. You definitely see the best deals at the end and beginning of the year so it’s best to be proactive and start thinking about the expense now. Here are some tips to get the best deals at the gym this new year:

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perfectionism
I used to think that perfectionism could only be a positive trait. After all, it comes with a drive to achieve many things, and to do so with a high level of excellence. When it comes to academics or athletics, perfectionism can set you apart from the crowd; in the workplace, perfectionism impresses the boss and earns promotions.

But, as with any mostly-good trait, there are downsides to perfectionism — all of which stem from the reality that, in an imperfect world, it’s impossible to achieve (and therefore crazy to expect) absolute perfection in any area of life.

In academics, athletics, and careers, perfectionism can lead to self-created stress and burnout or procrastination and immobilization, not to mention what it can do to personal and professional relationships. The same dangers of perfectionism apply to the way we handle personal finances and other assets, as well.

Taking responsibility of your finances and seeking “perfection” is a noble mindset, but it can also lead to wasted money, lost earnings, and lost value. Here’s how.
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how to ask for a raise
When it comes to the workplace, one thing employees always seem hesitant to do is ask for a raise. And it’s understandable, as such a conversation can be very awkward and uncomfortable. Especially if you’re the type that doesn’t like confrontation, this is one conversation you might be pushing off. You really should fight that fear and stop hesitating though.

Yes, asking for a raise can be very awkward, but only if you make it that way. As an employee, you should feel entitled and empowered to speak to your manager about your goals and expectations. If you feel like you aren’t being paid enough, you have every right to ask for more money… as long as you can support your claim. Here are some tips to successfully get that raise:
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