This woman wants to help you save money this Christmas, and beyond

(CNN)What to do when you’re a single mom with a one-year old and a lot of financial burden? Write a blog about being more savvy about money, of course, and then a book too.

Lagos-based Arese Ugwu, who blogs about finances at, said she’s combined her love of the TV show “Sex and the City” with her business acumen from her days working in financial services to write entertaining but practical advice in her book called The Smart Money Woman.
After Ugwu’s marriage ended, she realized she wasn’t saving and investing enough. “So I’m thinking, if I work in financial services and I earn money and it’s hard to save, then what about others?” She noticed a massive gap in the educational financial market in Nigeria, and decided to write her book.
    “It’s Sex and the City but in a very African context,” said Ugwu, whose book tells the story of five Nigerian women and how they go through their journey to financial freedom.


    Your bank statement should reflect your values

    When you look at your bank statement at the end of each month, what does it say about you? If you’re spending over half your income on going out to restaurants and shopping, maybe it’s time to sit back and rethink your priorities, suggests Ugwu.
    “In Nigeria, we have a huge amount of people who look like they have a lot of money, but they have no financial cushion. They have no assets. They look like Kim Kardashian but they don’t have her assets.”

    Rethink 2017

    The new year is a particularly good time to rethink your financial situation.
    Think now about how to make money in 2017, says Ugwu. After a tumultuous year for Nigeria’s economy, Ugwu says to look beyond borders. “I think Nigerians need to think about other income streams for next year, and ask ‘What is your vision for 2017?'”
    Find ways to earn foreign currencies, for example, by tapping into the huge African market, suggests Ugwu. Selling your goods abroad can be lucrative. “Find other income streams that don’t rely on our currency.”

    Just say no to spending

    The simplest way to avoid debt is just to shun spending altogether, advises Ugwu.
    Christmas, and all holidays, should be a time of sharing and spending time with family, advises Ugwu. “That doesn’t always mean you have to spend money,” says Ugwu.
    “Focus on experiences instead of things,” she says.

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    4 Things About Planned Parenthood That Your Facebook Friends Keep Ignoring

    Its true. Nothing shows your ignorant Facebook friends true colors better than a national (or international) tragedy. You go through this every time. An unarmed black teenager is shot, Facebook friend says he deserved it because he was probably a thug, unfriend. A public place full of innocent civilians is shot up and another Facebook friend wants to make statuses arguing how the gunman was misunderstood and doesnt deserve to be called a terrorist or a bad person, unfriend. #AllLivesMatter posts, nuff said, unfriend.

    Ill admit, I havent had to go through the Facebook purge of friends who share different opinions (or who state completely false facts) because I did a serious purge of people from my small hometown in Indiana as soon as I dutty wined across my high school graduation stage (Im kidding, I cant dance, but I did do a serious Facebook purge).

    But then I went to college and added an entirely new batch of people with views different from my own. While I have let a few go here and there, I always promised myself Id message them first and try to have an open and frank conversation about why they feel the way they feel before I just delete them passive aggressively. This is because a lot of the time, when you have a conversation one on one instead of attacking publicly, you get to root of a persons beliefs a lot faster than you would leaving snarky comments on their posts that you clearly disagree with. Ill admit, Ive let a few rude comments slip through the cracks, but for the most part, this new method of communicating with love (or at least respect) first has worked a lot better for me.

    It wasnt until the Colorado Shooting at Planned Parenthood that I felt like there was so much ignorance on my Facebook newsfeed, that I had to do a purge. But, I took a few deep breathes, turned off Adeles new album (which may or may not have had something to do with the way I was feeling) and decided to create the list below instead.

    From what Ive seen on social media, a lot of people who arent standing with Planned Parenthood are doing so for three reasons: 1) they consider themselves a Christian, 2) Planned Parenthood only performs abortions for mothers too lazy (seriously someone said that) to take care of their child to be and 3) because supporting Planned Parenthood means supporting that feminist bullshit. Got it.

    So apparently because I do stand with Planned Parenthood I am not a Christian (false), Ive probably had an abortion (false) and as a feminist I spew feminist bullshit all day long (okay I talk about feminism A LOT, but none of it is bullshit to me).

    Instead of messaging these slew of people one by one, I figured this would be more effective and possibly reach even more people. I want to start by saying that everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how much I agree or disagree with it. However, I also believe that there are few things worse than a completely uneducated opinion. So let me help some of you out:

    1. The shooting in Colorado Springs is not the only act of violence Planned Parenthood workers and patrons have experienced. One woman shared her experiences of working at Planned Parenthood in Kansas and they are disturbing. While some choose to just write statuses on Facebook and share right wing articles or bible versus, others are taking their hate and lack of knowledge to a new level by attacking Planned Parenthood centers and harming innocent people.

    2. Only three percent of Planned Parents services include abortions, however, it is unclear how much revenue abortions bring in for the clinics. I understand why those who do not stand with Planned Parenthood are upset by this statistic, but it is a fact. While we dont know how much revenue Planned Parenthood gets from abortions, we cant assume workers are walking up to pregnant women on the street urging them to get an abortion just to make money.

    3. Being pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. Pro-choice is the belief that it is the womans right, not the mans nor the governments, or the family’s, right to choose what happens to an unborn child. Pro-choice includes the right for a woman to put her baby up for adoption and also the right for her to change her mind on said adoption and keep the baby before it is born.

    4. Lastly, just because your cousins boyfriends ex step mom had an abortion and regretted it does not mean that 1) every woman having an abortion will regret it and 2) that you even have the right to share that story with 1,000 of your ~closest~ Facebook friends. Its rude, none of their business and truly none of yours either.

    So there you have it. To my Facebook friends and others out there who may disagree with every line of this, I just have one thing left to say to you: knowledge is power and reading is fundamental.

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    Kanye West Listed North & Saint As Creative Consultants On The Life Of Pablo!

    That’s one way to make sure you make money.

    Kanye West‘s latest album The Life of Pablo may have been more artsy than we’re used to, but we now know who’s to blame for the musical departure.

    That’s because Yeezy finally released the full credits for the Tidal exclusive and North West and Saint West both got named as Creative Consultants for all their hard work.

    Related: Kanye West May Already Be Campaigning For 2020!

    Kim Kardashian West, on the other hand, must have not offered much inspiration seeing as she was left off the credits all together!

    At least North’s crying vocals were featured on Ultralight Beam… what did Saint do to get a shout out?

    He wasn’t even born when Kanye started the album! LOLz!!!

    Would U ever give your hypothetical two-year-old and two-month-old credit for something you worked on??

    BTW, we hear Tyga is already trying to get North to produce his next single…

    [Image via Kanye West/Instagram.]

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    How to use OfferVault and Affiliate Marketing to Your Advantage – Edgy Labs (blog)

    Edgy Labs (blog)

    How to use OfferVault and Affiliate Marketing to Your Advantage
    Edgy Labs (blog)
    Popular blogger and founder of ShoutMeLoud, Harsh Agrawal, publishes each month how much his blog makes. He reported earnings of $52,434 USD for the month of July 2017. Out of this amount, affiliate income brought in $39,787. This translates into 75% …

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    Live practice updates from Dallas Cowboys training camp: August 17, 2017 – Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Live practice updates from Dallas Cowboys training camp: August 17, 2017
    Blogging The Boys (blog)
    Join us for our world famous live Twitter feed and our magnificent comments section as we keep track of what's going on at practice today. by One.Cool.Customer@OCC44 Aug 17, 2017, 12:30pm CDT. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

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    See why a group of corporate giants want your empty cans and bottles.

    In case you haven’t noticed, recyclables are kinda badass.

    From our curbsides, theyre launched into an odyssey of tumbles and churns along miles of conveyor belt.

    Photo by U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons.

    In the end, they emerge anew, transformed from crushed empty vessel to resilient post-consumer material. (A smart choice for the eco-conscious manufacturer!)

    It’s magical, I know.

    Sadly, recycling is not the fate of the majority of our blue bin soldiers.

    Two-thirds of our recyclables here in the U.S. never make that final turn in the loop. Instead, they meet early graves in earth, sea, and even air if theyre incinerated.

    Image via OpenClipArt (altered).

    Its not for a lack of demand. Companies are fiending for green manufacturing alternatives.

    Big companies … hoping to burnish their environmental credentials, cant get their hands on enough of it, wrote The New York Times.

    The problem is we’re not equipped to feed the beast. We need more advanced recycling infrastructure, but how do we pay for it?

    Enter: Corporate America.

    In 2014, Ron Gonen, New York’s former deputy recycling czar, started the Closed Loop Fund, a $100 million venture capital sorry, social impact fund with its eyes on the green. Two greens, actually: sustainability and money.

    The investors are a roster of companies we wouldn’t usually deem friends of the Earth, including, among others, Walmart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Keurig, and Goldman Sachs.

    Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait … now corporations want to make money cleaning the messes they create?”

    The answer is yes. Yes they do. (That’s capitalism for ya.)

    But it doesn’t appear to be as vulturous an endeavor as we might imagine.

    Gross. Image by J.J./Wikimedia Commons (altered).

    Their game plan includes zero interest loans to cities and below market loans to private companies that want to build and modernize recycling facilities. That doesn’t sound so bad assuming they’re not playing gotcha! with the fine print.

    Their goal is simple: They want to prove recycling can be profitable.

    Closed Loop Fund is investing in projects with the potential to divert massive tonnage of waste from landfills.

    Their pilot investment was in a Baltimore-based facility that’s getting harder-to-recycle plastics ready to sell in post-consumer plastics markets.

    Photo by Kristian Bjornard/Flickr.

    They’re also funding upgrades to dated recycling plants in Ohio and Iowa, converting them into more efficient single-stream systems.

    Gonen told The New York Times they’re also looking to invest in a company that would turn mixed glass into paving and building materials.

    Can we increase recycling without making wealthy corporations even wealthier?

    Yup. And we needn’t look any further than the largest investor of all: the government.

    If private companies want to invest in recycling, they should be our guests. But protecting the environment is really all our responsibility. As voters and taxpayers, we should expect more public investments, too.

    And it should start with a national recycling mandate which, believe it or not, does not currently exist.

    Recycling rates have stagnated in recent years. But we can change that by making it a national priority and giving everyone the means to do it.

    It might cost us on the front end, but hey consider it an investment.

    To learn more about how modern recycling facilities work (which is fascinating, by the way), check out this animated video by

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    9 clever ways to save money on books – First Coast News

    First Coast News

    9 clever ways to save money on books
    First Coast News
    Use these tips to save money as you cobble together your summer reading list. … If you're a book blogger, you may want to consider signing up for a blog tour — when authors go from blog to blog to promote their books or organize a mass posting by

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    Live practice updates from Dallas Cowboys training camp: August 16, 2017 – Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Live practice updates from Dallas Cowboys training camp: August 16, 2017
    Blogging The Boys (blog)
    Join us for our world famous live Twitter feed and our magnificent comments section as we keep track of what's going on at practice today. by One.Cool.Customer@OCC44 Aug 16, 2017, 5:30pm CDT. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

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    Milky Way no longer visible to one third of humanity, light pollution atlas shows

    Scientists describe cultural loss of unprecedented magnitude as global atlas reveals extent of light pollution in the worlds skies

    It has inspired astronomers, artists, musicians and poets but the Milky Way could become a distant memory for much of humanity, a new global atlas of light pollution suggests.

    The study reveals that 60% of Europeans and almost 80% of North Americans cannot see the glowing band of our galaxy because of the effects of artificial lighting, while it is imperceptible to the entire populations of Singapore, Kuwait and Malta.

    Overall, the Milky Way is no longer visible to more than one third of the worlds population.

    Lead author Fabio Falchi from the Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute in Italy said the situation was a cultural loss of unprecedented magnitude.

    Chris Elvidge of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a co-author of the study, added that the times he has seen the Milky Way have been magical experiences.

    Through our technology weve cut off that possibility for large numbers of people for multiple generations now, he said. Weve lost something – but how do we place value on it?

    Described by John Milton as a broad and ample road whose dust is gold, and pavement stars, the Milky Way is so obscured by the effects of modern lighting that it is no longer visible to 77% of the UK population, with the galaxy masked from view across nearly 14% of the country, including regions stretching from London to Liverpool and Leeds.

    Further afield, areas around the cities of Hong Kong, Beijing and a large stretch of the East Coast of America are among those where a glimpse of the galactic band is out of the question – a situation also found across much of Qatar, the Netherlands and Israel. In Belgium, it cannot be seen in 51% of the country.

    Humanity has enveloped our planet in a luminous fog that prevents most of Earths population from having the opportunity to observe our galaxy, the authors write.

    The bright areas on the map show where the glow from artificial lighting blots out the stars and constellations. Photograph: University of Colorado/PA

    Published in the journal Science Advances by an international team of scientists, the research is based on data collected from space by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, together with computer models of sky luminescence and professional and citizen science measurements of sky brightness taken from the ground.

    The resulting global atlas reveals that large swaths of humanity experience light pollution, including more than 99% of people living in the US and the European Union. People living near Paris would have to travel 900km to areas as such central Scotland, Corsica or central Spain to find a region with night skies almost unpolluted by light, the authors add.

    By contrast, Central African Republic and Madagascar are among the countries least affected by light pollution, with nearly the entirety of Greenland boasting pristine skies.

    Until the advent of night-time lighting became really prominent in the 19th and 20th centuries, everybody would have been familiar with the Milky Way, said Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, who was not involved in the study. We see it in mythology about the sky, in all cultures around the world. It is one of the obvious components of the sky along with the stars, the planets and the moon.

    When light from our streetlamps, homes and illuminations is thrown up into the sky it bounces off particles and moisture droplets in the atmosphere and is scattered, resulting in artificial sky glow – one of the key factors contributing to light pollution. The upshot is that spectacles like the Milky Way can become obscured from view.

    The night sky is part of our natural heritage. It is beautiful, it is awe-inspiring and being able to see it is a way for us to connect to the wider universe and understand our place in the natural world, said Kukula. If we lose that it is a shame because we have lost that direct connection with something much bigger than us and something that is very beautiful.

    The situation could become worse. According to the new study, if all sodium lights are replaced with cool white LED lighting, artificial sky brightness seen across Europe could more than double as a result of the increase in blue-light emission.

    And it isnt only our view of the night sky that is affected by light pollution. There are also biological consequences, not only on birds and insects and mammals, but also even on humans, said Elvidge, pointing out that the light pollution can disrupt the natural behaviour of animals and has raised a number of human health concerns.

    It isnt all doom and gloom. Despite the Milky Way being masked from view in many cities across the UK there are still regions of the country where it is possible to get a good view of the night sky. There are various dark sky parks and reserves in the UK which have been internationally certified by the International Dark Sky Association to have low levels of light pollution – places like Galloway Forest Park, said Kukula, adding that various online tools can help to direct stargazers to the right part of the sky.

    But the authors of the new study say more needs to be done to tackle the issue of light pollution. Among possible measures, says Elvidge, are the use of more shielded street lighting, motion-activated lights and cut-off times for illuminating buildings.

    Kukula agrees, It will reduce our electricity bills, it will reduce our carbon footprint, it wont affect the lighting that we have on the streets, he said. And it will allow us to see more of the wonders of the night sky.

    Generations to come will never see that beauty

    Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE . Photograph: Richard Saker for the Observer

    We are here on planet Earth but we live in a huge cosmos, and its one of the things that links us to our position in the universe. And so it is wonderful to see it. I think by looking up at the stars we have endeavoured to do so many things, weve sent probes to Pluto and beyond, and if we lose contact with that I think we lose some of our ability to dream and to aspire. It starts with the Milky Way but where will it end?

    I spent a wonderful six months working at a telescope in Chile, at the Gemini telescope, and there we could actually see [the Milky Way] – it did look like a path across the sky. It has inspired songs, it has inspired people to great endeavours and so I think the more light pollution there is the more we miss out on that, and the generations to come will never see that beauty.

    Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist and presenter of the Sky at Night

    I am perhaps more inspired by the Milky Way than any artist who has ever lived

    For me the Milky Way has been an unfailing source of inspiration and wonder, as basic component of my identity as the fact that I live on Earth in our Solar System.

    I have been a passionate evangelist for the galaxy, and am perhaps more inspired by the Milky Way than any artist who has ever lived.

    I deplore the barriers we have erected that block the view for most of Earths people. Nothing can clear the mind, elevate the soul, or inspire curiosity more than the Milky Way.

    Jon Lomberg, artist and principal artistic collaborator of astronomer Carl Sagan

    Its important that its not just astronomers who care about this

    Martin Rees, the astronomer royal. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

    The night sky is the most universally-shared part of our environment. Its been gazed and wondered at, throughout history, by people in all parts of the world. Its indeed a sad deprivation that many young people have never seen a clear starry sky. And its important that its not just astronomers who care about this.

    Im not an ornithologist, but Id feel deprived if songbirds disappeared from my garden. Likewise, there would surely be widespread sadness if light pollution screened out our celestial environment from ever more of us.

    Lord Martin Rees, astronomer royal

    The Milky Way is our link to the Other

    Ben Miller, comedian and author of The Aliens Are Coming! Photograph: Jim Ashcroft/ Dan Clifton/ Abigail Adams/BBC

    The Milky Way is our link to the Other: to the lost civilisations out there in the galaxy, so far away and so profligate that they appear not as stars, but as a single brush stroke of watery light. When we lose the Milky Way, we sever the umbilical cord that connects us to the wider universe.

    Ben Miller, actor, comedian and author

    We, in our ceaseless dash to make money and cover the world with concrete, have lost this priceless treasure

    Former guitarist of Queen, Brian May. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

    Its not just the Milky Way [people] cant see. Who in the 21st Century has ever seen the Zodiacal Light – that beautiful cone of dusty light that can even outshine the Milky Way, a thrill to see if you are lucky enough to have dark skies where you live. And probably about 10,000 stars that the three Wise Men on their way to Bethlehem would have been able to see are all invisible to us in the cities, where we are swamped by mainly unnecessary stray light. From my roof in Kensington on a clear night I can see roughly 30 stars – its a tragedy, really. Along with all the other excesses of what we call civilisation, our first-hand awareness of the cosmos has been forgotten.

    We are so fortunate to be living on a planet that gives us a view, not only of our own Solar System companions: the planets, comets, etc – but also of countless stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Because of this weve been able make the foundations of cosmology, discovering the very nature of the vast universe around us. From our position out on a spiral arm of the Galaxy, we see both inwards towards the centre of the Galaxy and outwards towards its edge. The billions of stars in the Galactic plane show up as a milky light which has enchanted people from the dawn of history. But we, in our ceaseless dash to make money and cover the world with concrete, have lost this priceless treasure. Along with almost all our wildlife, our contact with Nature, and our humanity.

    Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist of Queen

    We should act to protect our ability to enjoy the universe

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    Why Snap would lowball its IPO valuation

    The short answer for why Snap lowballed its initial valuation for its initial public offeringis that it probably wont be that low for long.

    Normally these prices are set by expectations the underwriters and executives can divine from their conversations with Wall Street. Its essentially a matching game how does Snap and its underwriters figure out where to price the stock in such a way that it doesnt leave too much money on the table for those involved in the IPO, and also ensures the stock has a healthy pop on its first day of trading. Price it too low, and you wont get paid as much as you might. Too high, and its an optics issue and the IPO ends up looking unsuccessful.

    A price range for Snaps IPO leaked late last night, which could settle its valuation close to its previous financing round. In the scope of the financials it released (and demonstrating its very large burn rate) in its public IPO filing, it would make sense to keep things conservative. But in the end this is a calculated decisionto leak a lowballed number to gauge broader interest, and these numbers inevitably go up. This, for the most part, is just the way things are played on Wall Street headed into an IPO.

    Some quick mechanical points: One range would value the company between $16.2 billion and $18.5 billion based on the total outstanding shares after the offering. Another calculation, including options and stock conversions, places the range between $19.5 billion and $22.5 billion. Either way, both of these place the company within close shooting distance to its previous valuation, with the company raising up to $3.2 billion at the higher end of the price range. Snaps underwriters also have an option to purchase an additional 30 million shares.

    A lot of people are going to draw similarities between Snaps upcoming IPO next month and the Facebook IPO. As the last major ad-driven social IPO and one of the biggest Snap is going to be compared to Facebooks business. Snap has huge costs of revenue, though its business is very young. And to make things more direct, Facebook is increasingly copying its tactics and products in order to head off Snap potentially locking in an audience that would otherwise grow into using Facebook.

    (Another note from Axios Dan Primack: The Facebook IPO was also hit with a glitch on the Nasdaq, which could further complicate the comparison)

    Snap does need a successful IPO. It does need the price to go up people want to make money, and it doesnt want to be seen as a failure like the Facebook IPO. Thats going to woo additional interest in the company as a longbet, with potentially a similar outcome to Facebook as it grows its otherwise young business into an advertising juggernaut with additional revenue streams beyond advertising. For now, Facebook is a mainstay advertising, and while Snap is growing very quickly, its young business needs to be proven as a consistent ad buy that would go next to Facebook and traditional media.

    But in reality, this is not whollyabout being trendy or making some kind of public statement about betting on thelong term for its business. Snap made it very clear that it is playing the long game beyond just an ad-driven business. It says its a camera company, and its trying to diversify with things like Spectacles and gunning for content and areas that it thinks Facebook just might not be able to access.

    Part of the reason the Facebook IPO was so rocky was that it was also an introduction to investing for a lot of first-time investorsinterested in consumer tech. Facebooks IPO in some ways on its own was unprecedented it was one of the biggest well-known names that seemed to have a good business and good user growth going public.Things, obviously, did not go well, and the lessons have likely been learned.

    Like Facebook, Snaps IPO is unprecedented in some ways. This IPO is also for non-voting stock, which makes this a special case. It will be a completely different class of demand for the shares when you buy in, you basically get nothing except the hope and prayer of a dividend and some long-term yield. Evanmay have beenstrong-armed into being conservative, but because the nature of this IPO is so unusual, it would be a very bold (and borderline irresponsible) move tostart at the top end under assumptions of what investors are seeking. That would be in relation towhether doing direct comparables, next year revenue projection multiples or similar effects.

    Another possibility of the price being lower could be related totherisk and uncertainty associated with it being an offering of non-voting shares, and not necessarilybecause of actual demand for the stock. There have not been any major techIPOs in a long time (Snaps is the largest since Alibaba in 2014, which was an entirely different story). So theres probablya lot of money sitting around,waiting to be allocated.

    At the end of the daythis is just how the game is played.Snap is going on its road show, where it will make its pitch to investors as to why they should buy the stock. As these meetings continue, expectations get closer and closer to reality, and Snap will continue to tweak that price range until it lands on what they think is going to yield the optimal outcome. Basically, expect this to change in the near future.

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