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The Ultimate Black Friday Strategy Guide

In this article you’ll find an in-depth strategy guide for how to tackle your Black Friday shopping this year. Not only that but we’ve provided a guide at the bottom of this article that links to all the Black Friday ads you want (from Target ads to GameStop ads) and their store hours on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday.

The Most Useful Black Friday Shopping Tips

black friday shopping

Tip 1: Hire a Babysitter

Bringing small children along with you to shop on Black Friday isn’t a great idea. Generally they’ll be too young to enjoy the crowds and long waits in line. In fact, they’ll probably hate it and keep you from being out as long as you could be without them. They’ll just get tired, hungry, and bored so keeping the kids safe at home with a spouse or babysitter is better.

Tip 2: Make a Budget

The very first thing you’ll want to do when planning your Black Friday strategy is figure out your budget. This is important so that you stay in control of your finances and not blow all your money on Black Friday. A budget will let you know how much you’re allowed to spend.

Tip 3: Check Out the Ads

Do some pre-shopping preparation by researching what you want to buy now. You can check out the prices of things you want by looking through Black Friday ads beforehand. Make a list of the things you want from each catalogue. Include in your list the price of each item, where they can be purchased, and whether they can be purchased online. This will give you a kind of master shopping list so you can see all of your options.

Tip 4: Prioritize Your Shopping List

Don’t buy everything on your master shopping list. Instead, number the items on your list from most to least important. That way you can match your final shopping list to the budget you made in the first step. Planning your Black Friday shopping trip to this extent can also help you not impulse buy the whole store.

Tip 5: Make Black Friday Shopping a Bonding Experience

There’s no reason shopping on Black Friday can’t be a fun bonding experience with you and your fellow shopping lovers. Make an event out of it by preparing together and using all that line waiting to talk with and bond with your shopping buddies. You can also make the experience a fun time to bond by going out to eat a victory meal once all your shopping is done!

Tip 6: Plan Your Shopping Trips

Actually schedule and plan your shopping trip. Make a shared schedule with everyone you’re shopping with and mark down what order you plan on visiting each store. That way you won’t be left debating where you should go first when you get in the car to start your Black Friday trip. Instead you’ll already have it all figured out.

Tip 7: Skip the Doorbusters

Instead of going Black Friday shopping when everyone else is out flooding the roads and the stores, feel free to go shopping way earlier or way later than everyone else! If you go after the bustle you may not find as many things still in stock, but your overall shopping experience will be much calmer.

black friday shopping tips

Tip 8: Don’t Forget to Shop Online

Don’t forget that you can shop online too. In fact, you can find a lot of Black Friday deals that are exclusive to the stores website now, meaning you have to purchase some things online to get the Black Friday deal. There’s also the matter of stores and roads becoming extremely overcrowded every Black Frida, so if you can find what you want online instead, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and help keep the stores and roads less congested.

Tip 9: Don’t Miss the Deals Around Black Friday

A lot of stores now have Black Friday deals that happen before and after the actual day. In some cases you might even be able to skip shopping on Friday to go to those sales instead. When planning you trip and checking out the deals around Black Friday, don’t miss the sales going on before and after Black Friday too.

Tip 10: Don’t Use a Cart

Don’t use a cart if you can. It’ll just take up space in the already crowded aisles and keep you from being speedy as you maneuver through the store. That being said, if you’re buying something heavy or big, don’t hurt yourself by trying to carry it.

Tip 11: Dress for the Occasion

Make sure you dress right for Black Friday shopping. It is going to be cold outside, but warm inside the busy stores. You are also going to be on your feet a lot and possibly need to carry a lot of shopping bags around. Keep all of these factors in mind when you choose your Black Friday battle outfit. Wear shoes that have thick insoles (like your running shoes) so your feet will have adequate support for standing in line for a long time. Wear warm, long sleeve clothes for if you need to wait outside before stores open, but don’t wear anything too bulky or too warm since you’ll also be waiting in long lines inside hot, overpopulated stores as well. Wearing long sleeves with a vest or medium sized jacket should give you the right blend. Try to not carry a purse while Black Friday shopping since you want to travel light. Instead carry a small, pocket-friendly wallet, or a smaller purse so you can travel light.

Tip 12: Check the Deals are Worth It

Make sure the prices are actually a worthwhile deal before you go through all the trouble to get them. Sometimes similar deals come up later in the year when shopping isn’t so crazy. It’s also a good idea to know the original price of the item so you can see if you’re actually saving all that much.

Tip 13: Bring Your Own Shopping Bags

By bringing your own shopping bags you can help out the environment a little, and also make your life easier. With your own shopping bags you can carry around the items you want to purchase more easily while you finish shopping and wait in those long lines. But carrying a bag will leave you with a lot more mobility in the store then a cart will.

Tip 14: Form Teams

Make teams so that you can divide and conquer your Black Friday shopping goals. You can send your teams to different stores so you can all finish the shopping a lot faster than if you all had to go to each store together.

Tip 15: Do in Store Pick Up

Take advantage of the in store pick up feature when you can. Even on Black Friday some store will still let you buy online and pick up in the store. Then you can possibly avoid some lines!

Tip 16: Be Mindful of Your Funds

Make sure you keep track of your funds and how much you’re spending at each store. For instance, if you’re paying in cash, keep in mind how much cash you have so you don’t suddenly find yourself short once you finally make it to the cashier. If you’re paying with a card then make sure you know how much is on it so you don’t end up with any overdraft fees.

Tip 17: Bring Snacks!

Bring a snack! Keep yourself energized and fueled so that your Black Friday shopping experience can be a positive one. Having snacks can help your team stay positive too.

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Ads

black friday store hours

Check out the Best Buy Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: opens at 5:00pm

Friday 29: closes at 1:00am. The doors open again at 8:00am.

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): opens at 5:00pm until 1:00am the next morning

Check out the Target Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: opens at 5:00pm

Friday 29: closes at 1:00am. The doors open again at 7:00am.

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): open from 5:00pm until 1:00am the next morning.

Check out the Walmart Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: opens at 6:00pm

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): opens at 6:00pm

Check out the Amazon Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: all day online

Friday 29: all day online

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): all day online

Check out the Kohls Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: open from 5:00pm to 12:00am (midnight)

Friday 29: open from 8:00am to 12:00am (midnight)

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): open from 5:00pm to 12:00am (midnight)

Check out the Home Depot Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Friday 29: opens at 6:00am

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): closed all day

Check out the Costco Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Friday 29: opens at 9:00am

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): closed all day

Check out the GameStop Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: open from 3:00pm to 10:00pm

Friday 29: Opens at 7:00am

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): open from 3:00pm to 10:00pm

 
Black Friday is a fun and exciting time. There are so many important deals that you can take advantage of, and with a personal loan you can make sure you have enough funds to get all the Black Friday discounts you need. But while you do your shopping this year remember that it’s still the season of giving and gratitude, so be kind to your fellow shoppers.


READ MORE

Use these tips to get even more deals this Black Friday, “Find the Best Black Friday Sales with These 5 Tips.”

Read about what to do AFTER Black Friday shopping, “The Aftermath of Black Friday.”


How to Have a Successful YouTube Channel

how to have a successful youtube channel

For those with the dream to create their own video content, these are the steps you can follow to give your YouTube channel the best chance:

  1. Pick a Niche
  2. Know Your Audience
  3. Make Goals
  4. Create an Online Presence
  5. Create Your Brand
  6. Start Creating!

One of the major keys to success in any endeavor is planning. The same principal applies when creating your own YouTube channel. The most successful YouTube channels do well because they have a level of consistency, planning, and marketing to help them do as well as they can.

You may already be a creative guru, ready to add some great video content to the vlogging universe, but if you don’t go through the process correctly, you’ll miss the key elements of a good YouTube channel.

Follow these tips to make your YouTube channel as professional as it can be.

Step 1: Pick a Niche

You should start by knowing what kind of content you want to create. Being a part of a clearly defined and understood genre or niche will help your audience understand you and what your channel is all about. This will also help you find examples of other channels in your genre that are doing well and learn from their success.

youtube video genres

YouTube Genres

Here is a list of some of the most common YouTube channel genres:

  • Gaming
  • Lifehacks
  • Gossip
  • News
  • Top # lists
  • Fail compilations
  • Food
  • Art
  • Product unwrapping and opening
  • How-to demonstrations
  • Animals
  • Spoofs
  • Online education course
  • Hauls

Step 2: Know Your Audience

Just as you need to understand your niche and subject matter, you also need to understand your audience. In order to make successful videos you need to know who you are reaching and what they are all about. A thorough understanding of who you want watching your videos will help you better know how to cater your videos to their wants and interests.

Learning about the demographics that use YouTube can also be helpful in shaping the content you create. For example, here’s some statistics about YouTube users:

  • 90% are 18 to 44 years old
  • 80% are 45 to 64 years old
  • Over 50% are 65 years or older
  • YouTube is equally popular among males and females

 
youtube demographics
 

Step 3: Make Goals

You need to make long and short term goals, not only for your channel, but for you and your brand. One benefit of making goals for your channel is that they will give your channel purpose. Having a clear sense of purpose will be felt by your audience and foster your long-term success.

So make goals about how often you want to post, or how many followers you want to get in 3 months. The goals you can make are endless, and they will help you form better plans on how to grow your audience.

Step 4: Create an Online Presence

Your fans will want to find and follow you everywhere online so create accounts across all the major social media platforms. Then you can also post your videos on social media! Having an Instagram connected with your channel can also help you snag viewers from other platforms, not just people browsing YouTube.

You will also want to make sure that each of your profile pages has links to all your other accounts so that your followers can find you easily. You can also utilize social media automation tools that will post your content across all your platforms for you.

Which platforms you want will depend on the nature and purpose of your content and brand, but here are some of the key platforms you will want to look into having along with your YouTube channel:

online presence

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Your own official website
Do Some Online Spring Cleaning

When creating an online presence you’ll want to first clean up the online presence you already have. You don’t want anything you already have online to conflict with the brand you are trying to represent and the audience trust you are trying to gain.

Make sure you don’t have anything out on the web that you wouldn’t want members of your audience to find or that doesn’t align with the image and reputation you want your brand to foster.

Interact With Your Audience

Engage on social media! Respond to comments when appropriate and stay connected to your audience. You want to keep in the loop about what your audience does and doesn’t like, and about what’s popular and trending.

But don’t just interact with your audience, interact with other creators in your niche as well. Network with your fellow creators, because you never know what kind of opportunities may arise from supporting a fellow YouTuber. You can even collaborate with other YouTubers and make videos together to combine audiences!

Step 4: Create Your Brand

Branding is an important aspect of marketing. It is your symbol and how your audience recognizes you across mediums. It also sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

When creating your brand you will want to brainstorm about what makes you unique, how you want to be perceived, and what kinds of things you want your audience to think of and feel when they see your brand. Below are some of the key aspects of creating your brand you will want to do for your channel:

logo design

Make a Logo

There are many tools out there now to help you create your own logo. Here are a few you can try out:

Make a Video Intro

Successful YouTubers usually start their video with a short 8-12 second long intro that often features your logo.

If you’re planning on having a video channel then you probably know what video editors and creators you like the most, but here are some sites you can use to create your video intro:

Step 5: Start Creating!

create videos
 

Make Your Content and Marketing Plans

Make a schedule for when you post so that you post on a regular, consistent schedule that your audience can expect. Many platforms will have ways for you to schedule when your posts go out.

Create, Edit, Optimize

You’ll want to create good, high quality content that will be successful with your viewers. It may also be helpful to create 2 weeks worth of content before your first post so that you can stay a week ahead of your posting schedule.

Analyze and Improve

Keep an eye on your analytics to see how you are doing, what might be getting more or less likes, and improve your content accordingly.

Remember Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Make use of keywords and hashtags so that your content does well on search engines and reaches those who are looking for content like yours.

 

YouTubers can make money from their channels, but those who are actually successful at this are often branching out and making money in other ways as well. Their YouTube channel is often just one part of their larger brand.

But regardless, it is amazing to live in a world where personal branding and creativity can allow so many a livelihood doing what they love. And if you need help starting your YouTube channel business, you can always take out a Check City personal loan to help get you started.


READ MORE

Figure out how much you can expect to make as a YouTuber, “How Much Do YouTubers Make?.”

Learn some of the basics about making a new channel, “Create a New Channel.”

Find some more helpful tips, “How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel for Your Business.”


80 Best Halloween Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts



halloween media list

October is a great time to get into some chilling Halloween media. There are movies and TV shows you can watch, suspenseful books you can read, and spooky podcasts you can listen to. This article is a Halloween media master list to help you decide what to watch, read, or listen to this Halloween.

If you need some creative Halloween snacks you can check out Food Network’s Halloween section on their website and make your monstrous media night complete! Tell us what your favorite Halloween Movie, TV Show or Podcast is in the comments section below!

Just don’t get TOO spooked this Halloween—viewer and listener discretion is advised!

Scary Movies

halloween movies

Horror films are a strong tradition for older audiences during the dark, cold Halloween nights. But kids often want to watch something special for Halloween too! So we included some kid Halloween movie ideas in this list as well.

Halloween Movies for Kids

1. Hotel Transylvania
2. Hocus Pocus
3. Halloweentown
4. Casper
5. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
6. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween
7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Halloween Movies on Netflix

8. Coraline
9. Goosebumps
10. Candyman
11. 1922: Based on the Novella by Stephen King
12. Little Witch: The Halloween Horror Story
13. Insidious
14. The Conjuring

Halloween Movies on Amazon Prime

15. I, Frankenstein
16. Sweeney Todd
17. Corpse Bride
18. Haunted
19. Lost Creek
20. The Legend of Halloween Jack
21. The Uninvited
22. The Witching
23. Halloween Horror Tales
24. The Woman in Black

Halloween Movies on Hulu

Hulu really likes to make an event out of Halloween. They have what they call Huluween, which is a category you can choose when browsing Hulu for what to watch.

25. Little Monsters
26. Uncanny Annie
27. Pure
28. School Spirit
29. Culture Shock
30. They Come Knocking
31. All That We Destroy
32. Tree House
33. Down

The “Halloween” Movie Series in Order

The Halloween franchise is a long series of movies starring Nick Castle as the infamous Michael Myers. But because there are so many movies in the series it can be confusing which movie goes in which order.

Below is the answer to all your questions about the Halloween movie series order:

  1. Halloween (1978), directed by John Carpenter
  2. Halloween II (1981), directed by Rick Rosenthal
  3. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
  4. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), directed by Dwight H. Little
  5. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard
  6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), directed by Joe Chappelle
  7. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), directed by Steve Miner
  8. Halloween: Resurrection (2002), directed by Rick Rosenthal
  9. Halloween (2007), directed by Rob Zombie
  10. Halloween II (2009), directed by Rob Zombie
  11. Halloween (2018), directed by David Gordon Green
  12. Halloween Kills (2020), directed by David Gordon Green
  13. Halloween Ends (2021), directed by David Gordon Green

Spooky TV Shows

halloween tv

Many shows will have a TV special for holidays like Halloween, but some TV series will dedicate the entire show to the spooky feelings of the Halloween season. These Halloween-themed TV shows make great binging material for those who want more than a movie to watch.

Halloween TV Shows on Netflix

34. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
35. Charmed (the original 1998 series, and the newer 2018 version)
36. Stranger Things
37. Castlevania
38. Haunted
39. Penny Dreadful
40. Dexter
41. Van Helsing
42. Glitch
43. A Series of Unfortunate Events
44. The Haunting of Hill House

Halloween Anime on Netflix

45. Devilman
46. Death Note
47. Soul Eater

Halloween TV Shows on Amazon Prime

48. Lore
49. Fringe
50. Addams Family
51. Sabrina: The Teenage Witch
52. Haunted

Halloween TV Shows on Hulu

53. Light as a Feather
54. Castle Rock
55. Dimension 404
56. 11.22.63
57. Freakish
58. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Suspenseful Books

halloween books

Don’t forget amidst all your haunted media consumption this year to include a few books as well. The freedom your imagination has to embellish scary stories from literature will leave you with chills until late November.

59. The Shining

By Stephen King

Kindle: $8.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible trial!

60. Suspicious Minds

By Gwenda Bond

Kindle: $12.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible trial!

This book is the first official Stranger Things novel! It’s a prequel to the Netflix original Stranger Things TV series.

61. Annihilation: Book One of the Southern Reach Trilogy

By Jeff VanderMeer

Kindle: $9.94

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

62. Fake Like Me

By Barbara Bourland

Kindle: $14.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

63. The Invited

By Jennifer McMahon

Kindle: $12.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

Creepy Audiobooks

halloween books

Looking to hear some great ghost stories? Audiobooks are a great way to listen to the eerie voices of narrators recounting ghostly tales while you and your friends listen in the dark or around a campfire.

64. Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley

Narrated by Dan Stevens

Kindle: $0.50

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

65. Dracula

By Bram Stoker

Narrated by David Suchet and Tom Hiddleston

Kindle: FREE!

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

66. The Haunting of Hill House

Narrated by Bernadette Dunne

Kindle: $14.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

67. Interview with a Vampire

By Anne Rice

Narrated by Simon Vance

Kindle: $7.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

68. Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders

Narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Julianne Moore, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally, Bill Hader, Don Cheadle, and over 150 other voice actors

Kindle: $13.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

69. The Handmaid’s Tale

By Margaret Atwood

Narrated by Claire Danes

Kindle: FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

Eerie Podcasts

halloween podcasts

These horror podcasts are all available on Google Play Music so that whether you have an Android or an iPhone you can listen to all these podcasts. There are podcasts here that talk about the supernatural and the strange, and then there are others that talk about the real life horrors of true crime.

70. Cabinet of Curiosities

By iHeartRadio and Aaron Mahnke

71. Lore

By Aaron Mahnke

72. Unobscured

By iHeartRadio and Aaron Mahnke

73. Listen with the Lights On

By WAMC

74. Pretty Scary

By Unpops Podcast Network

75. My Favorite Murder

By Exactly Right

76. Unexplained Mysteries

By Parcast Network

77. The Strange and Unusual Podcasts

By Alyson Horrocks

78. Hollywood and Crime

By Wondery

79. This Podcast is Haunted

By Jen Vos and Cate Reed

80. Welcome to Night Vale

By Night Vale Presents

 

One of the funnest parts of the Halloween season is getting into some spooky media! Use this master list of scary, Halloween movies and more to kick start your Halloween media binge this year or to pick a movie for a scary movie night with your friends. If you need any financial help getting your monster movie night together, check out Check City’s payday loans.


READ MORE

Use this article to help set up your movie night, “5 Ingenious Movie Night Ideas for Your Movie Themed Party.”

Save money going to the theater to see new scary movies this year by using MoviePass, “Save Money With MoviePass.”


Let us know your favorite Halloween-themed books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts by commenting below!

Comments:

How to Start a Fundraiser

fundraiser ideas

Maybe you need to make money for your organization, for a club to function, or for a charity to give away. We are surrounded by causes all the time, each one just as valuable to our time and efforts as the next. There are a lot of ways we can do our part for the causes closest to us, and having a fundraiser is one of those ways.

  1. Pick a Cause
  2. Pick an Event
  3. Set Goals and Plan Logistics
  4. Advertise
  5. Give a Formal Thanks

1. Pick a Cause

First you’ll want to decide on a cause and define a clear purpose for the fundraiser. You can’t save the world all at once but you can put forth a concentrated effort on one topic and really make a change. Then you can find an organization that aligns with your purpose. You can find organizations worthy of your help in your local community or nationally.

To find some national charity organizations you can visit GuideStar.org. You can sometimes contact national or local charity groups in order to get their help, affiliation, or expertise on how to run a fundraiser for a certain cause. It’s also a good idea to find a reputable organization to give the proceeds of your fundraiser, as they may have better resources for how to use it effectively.

2. Pick an Event

more fundraiser ideas
 

Nothing makes people want to spend money more like making an event out of it. But you’ll want to determine the best type of event to make people aware of your cause while getting donations at the same time. Some events may be more appropriate for a cause than others. Either way, you’ll want to make sure the event is fun and engaging for the participants.

Fundraiser Ideas:
  • Car wash
  • Host a party and sell tickets
  • Marathon
  • Sell something:
    • food
    • seasonal buys, like chocolates and flowers for valentine’s day
    • tickets to a party, concert, talent show, movie night, or other event
    • raffle tickets for prizes
    • sport, tournament, competition
    • auction
    • yard sale
  • Carnival or fair with games and contests
  • Put on an event for kids, like a scavenger hunt
  • Offer lessons, like a cooking class

3. Set Goals and Plan Logistics

make plans
 

Your fundraiser is going to need a detailed plan with goals. You’ll need a budget for how much money you can afford to spend on the fundraiser event or endeavors. You want as much of the proceeds as possible to go to the charity, and not toward the event. One way to help pay for your fundraiser is to get companies and stores to make donations. For instance, if you are having a talent show for your fundraiser, you could speak with the owner of the venue to see if they’ll let you use the space for free as their donation toward your cause.

If you need funding to put on your fundraising event, then you can also visit Check City for a personal loan to help get your charity event rolling.

You’ll also need to plan your event, decide the date and time, book the venue, set things up, get any licenses you may need, decide how you’ll receive donations, and make any other decisions and plans necessary. You’ll need to get the necessary supplies together as well. For instance, if you’re having a marathon you’ll need to mark the path, bring water, cups, and snacks.

How to Organize Fundraiser Money
  • Open a bank account
  • Create a GoFundMe account
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Cards

Above all else, make sure that everyone at the event knows how to make their donations. Make an announcement explaining how to donate at the beginning and end of the event, and place the information to donate in a visible place.

4. Advertise

Before your fundraiser takes place you’ll want to advertise for it. First, figure out who your audience is. Who is also concerned about this issue and will want to take part in your fundraiser? If you are selling items or hosting a certain kind of event, what demographic and age groups are going to be most interested? Target these kinds of people in your advertising.

  • Print
  • Social media
  • Online website/events
  • Fliers to pass out
  • Ask ppl to announce the event
  • Start an event on Facebook
How to Start a Fundraiser on Facebook

First, you’ll want to visit Facebook’s Fundraiser Page.

Second, you can either choose:

  • raise money for a nonprofit
  • or a personal cause, like raising money for a friend’s surgery.

Finally, you’ll set your fundraising goals and start sharing and posting about your fundraiser to start getting donations!

You can also explore the Fundraiser page what all is going on in the Facebook fundraising world and see what other people are doing.

How to Start a Birthday Fundraiser on Facebook

  1. log into Facebook
  2. on the left-side toolbar, under Explore, click on Fundraisers
  3. from here you’ll choose a charity
  4. set your goals and time limit
  5. invite people to participate in your fundraiser
  6. post about your fundraiser, mention that this is what you decided to do for your birthday, and if you want, briefly outline why this fundraiser is important to you
  7. make sure you thank everyone who donated

5. Give a Formal Thanks

thank you notes
 

It’s important you thank everyone involved in the fundraiser. It’s a good idea to take a moment during the activities to thank everyone, as well as send out a gesture of thanks after the activity is over. You can send out thank you notes, post a thank you announcement on your website or Facebook event, or you can send out a trinket, or small gift of some kind to show your gratitude for their help in your fundraiser.

Make sure you don’t forget to thank:

  • everyone involved in making the event possible
  • the organization involved in the charity you chose
  • everyone who participated and donated

 

Supporting a worthy cause is a beautiful thing, and anyone can make one happen! All you have to do is know how to put on a fundraiser and contact the right people for help.

Some people have even found that after putting on their first fundraiser it turns into an annual event that their community looks forward to every year! So not only can a good fundraiser do a lot of good in your community and in the world around us, but it can also bring your community closer together.


READ MORE

Learn some more tips about “How to Set up a Fundraising Event.”

Read about the benefits of charities by reading, “Charity Gives Back More Than It Takes.”


Amazon Daily Deals!

amazon daily deals shopping

There are lots of great deals you can take advantage of every single day, with Amazon’s Daily Deals! You won’t believe some of the great things you can find. Every Tuesday we highlight some of our favorite Amazon Daily Deal buys. Here are some of our top picks from today:

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

Running Pouch

 
running belt shopping
 

Current Sale Price: $9.97
Originally: $24.99
You Save: $15.02! (60% off)

With fall underway, it’s a good time to take advantage of the cool weather and get running outdoors again. Bundle up and use this running belt to hold your keys, phone, and whatever else you may need on your run. It comes in black, has two pockets, and a sleek, thin design that makes it easy to forget about while you can focus on the run.

Telescope

 
telescope amazon deals
 

Current Sale Price: $59.49
Originally: $72.99
You Save: $13.50! (18% off)

The cool autumn sky is also a great time to do some star gazing. Make your star gazing even more amazing with a powerful telescope. The TELMU telescope is adjustable, portable, and even has a phone adaptor that you can use with any phone. It also comes with its own basket so you can easily take it anywhere to best see the stars.

AbergBest Digital Camera

 
digital camera sale
 

Current Sale Price: $40.99
Originally: $26.12
You Save: $14.87! (36% off)

Phones are taking better and better photos with each new model that comes out, but having a digital camera just for all your snapshots can still be useful. You can take more photos without having to worry about taking up space on your phone, so if you like to take a lot of photos, this is a good buy. It’s an HD digital camera, does video and comes in black, blue, red, and pink. It’s a sleek small design too, so it’s easy to take and use anywhere.

Rove Dashboard Camera

 
dash cam sale
 

Current Sale Price: $74.97
Originally: $299.99
You Save: $225.02! (75% off)

Another camera deal today! This might be the best Amazon deal today, saving you the most money in this one purchase. This dashboard camera comes with a wide angle, and night vision. It also has useful built in WiFi and GPS technology. It can also start recording video if it detects any kind of impact.
Use this dashboard camera to help keep you and your loved ones safe while on the road.

Eyelash and Brow Growth Serum

 
eyelash serum sale
 

Current Sale Price: $26.99
Originally: $44.99
You Save: $18.00! (40% off)

This serum is by ESSY Naturals and is irritation free. It’ll give you longer, thicker, and stronger lashes in just 3 to 4 weeks. The serum is made of ginseng root and Egyptian blue water lily. It comes in a mascara-like container and has a little brush on the end of the wand for easy application. Remember that this beauty product is normally $45, so now is the best time to buy up on your eyelash serum, and try out this beauty care fad for yourself.

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 
fish oil deal
 

Current Sale Price: $13.49
Originally: $24.99
You Save: $11.50! (46% off)

Omega 3 fish oil has a lot of health benefits. It helps you have a healthier heart, brain, joints, skin, hair, and can even boost your mood. These vitamins from MAV Nutrition are soft gel, lemon flavored pills for easy swallowing. It comes with 120 pills with a total of 3,600 milligrams of fish oil. Take advantage of this sale on some essential vitamins and see what healthy changes it can make for you!



Sometimes deals and sales are the way that we get things we really need. You may especially depend on sales when you’re in college, or just starting out on your own, or in a new place. So when you find something you really need on sale, and payday is just a couple days too late, that can be really frustrating. Luckily Check City can help you out with a quick and easy Payday Loan so that you can take advantage of important deals regardless of when your payday comes.
 
Share with us what deals you snagged today by using the hashtags #amazondailydeals #checkcity

How Much Do YouTubers Make?

How much do youtubers make?

Have you ever wondered how YouTubers can afford to spend all that time making viral videos? Becoming a successful YouTube star may not be as easy as it sounds, but it is possible.

YouTube has taken over the vlogging scene with full-force, creating a growing arena of self-employed, money-making vloggers. It’s easy to see why using YouTube’s platform has become such a lucrative business for some.

For instance, YouTube has become the second largest search engine in the entire world, and one of the most visited sites on the web. It has been estimated that all of us together spend a billion hours a day watching YouTube videos, and over 400 hours worth of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. YouTube has become such a giant generator of content that it has even developed its own list of genres, or “niches.”
youtube video genres

YouTube Genres:

  • Gaming
  • Lifehacks
  • Gossip
  • News
  • Top [#] lists
  • Fail compilations
  • Food
  • Art
  • Product unwrapping and opening
  • How-to demonstrations
  • Animals
  • Spoofs
  • Online education course
  • Hauls

 

Facts about Earning on YouTube

To start off our understanding of how much YouTube stars can and do make, let’s take a look at some cold hard facts. The following are some lists of the top most successful YouTubers in the year 2015, 2017, and 2018 along with how much they earned that year:
 
youtube earnings chart
 
Needless to say, these are some impressive numbers. A lot of people would love to make these kinds of figures each year while being working from the comfort of their own home doing something they love. So how does it work? How do people make money on YouTube?

How YouTubers Make Money

There are many ways that YouTubers make money, and it’s often because they’re branching out, partnering with others, and creating a brand for themselves that goes beyond their YouTube channel alone. Below is a list of some of the most common ways YouTubers are making money:

1. Ads

There are 2 kinds of ads: Cost Per Thousand (CPM) ads pay you per thousand views and Cost Per Click (CPC) ads pay you each time someone clicks on the ad on your channel.

Your money goes to your AdSense account. You can direct deposit your earnings out of your AdSense account when there’s more than $100 in it.

2. Merchandizing

Many YouTubers end up making their own products like makeup, clothes, t-shirts, fan gear, and many others.

3. YouTube Partner Programs

When you are part of a YouTube Partner Program you can get paid for views and ads on your page. You can also access a large variety of content creation tools and get an opportunity to win prizes based on the number of views you have.

But you have to qualify for the program:

  • Your YouTube channel needs to reach 4,000 watched hours and 1,000 subscribers in the past 12 months.
  • You can apply for the membership anytime, but to get the top rated partner programs, you should have accumulated 15k of watched hours over the last 3 months.
4. Affiliate marketing

YouTubers can get paid to reference or recommend a product or service to their viewers. Online shopping sites will pay YouTubers a commission for any traffic or sales they get from the YouTuber referring viewers to their product.

They usually get paid based on how many people click the link to the product and how many people actually buy the product through that link. This can be done by a YouTuber in any of the following ways:

  • A video unboxing the product you are trying to sell
  • A video in which you recommend the product or service
  • A video reviewing the product
  • Links to the product in the video’s description
5. Sponsorships

A brand will sometimes pay YouTubers to create a video specifically about their product. Sometimes the brand will sponsor the entire YouTube channel and then the YouTuber has to use, recommend, or mention the product in every video. Sponsorships aren’t easy to get, and usually only come to YouTubers who have already made a name for themselves.

YouTubers can charge their sponsors anywhere from $10 to $50 per 1,000 views. So if the video hits 1 million views, then the YouTuber makes anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 for that one video.

6. Crowdfunding or Patronage

Patreon is currently one of the most popular examples that online entrepreneurs like YouTubers use to make money off their craft.

By becoming a patron on patreon fans can get extra perks like extra content, behind the scenes footage, bloopers, and more.

7. Live engagements

Depending on what your YouTube channel is about you can also get paid to do live events, like speaking.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Become a YouTube Star?

youtube stars
 
You may be thinking at this point about quitting your job and starting a YouTube channel of your own, but there are some cons to online self-employment. Yes, some YouTubers can make a lot of money from their branding and their channel, but MOST YouTubers don’t.

To put it in perspective, 90% of all YouTube views only go to a small 3% of YouTubers. Also, 97% of all aspiring YouTubers don’t make it across the U.S. poverty line ($12,140) with their YouTube channel earnings. Even if you do manage to make it to the top 3%, you’re looking at making an average of $16,800 a year, which is not very much.

Below are some other cons to remember before putting all your hopes on the success of a YouTube channel:

  • Advertisers don’t always pay very well.
  • Not all sponsorships are paid. Some come in the form of free goods or services instead.
  • YouTube takes 45% of what advertisers pay you.
  • Many YouTubers are a part of an agency or multi-channel network, and these partners will take a cut of your earnings too.
  • Personal costs for equipment or anything else you might need for your videos.
  • It takes a lot of your personal time to create quality content that will do well.

 
YouTubers can make money from their channels, but those who are actually successful at this are often branching out and making money in other ways as well. Their YouTube channel is often just one part of their larger brand. If you’re an aspiring YouTube star and need help with funds to get started, you can take advantage of the Check City Personal Loan and expand your brand as well. Isn’t it amazing that we live in a world where personal branding and creativity can allow so many a livelihood doing what they love?


READ MORE
Watch the Check City YouTube Channel!

Visit the Influencer Marketing Hub to see how much different YouTube stars made in 2015.

Visit the G2 Learning Hub to see their figures for how much different YouTube stars made in 2017.

Read Forbes’ article “Highest-Paid YouTube Stars 2018: Markiplier, Jake Paul, PewDiePie And More” to see how much different YouTube stars made in 2018.

Read the article “How Much Do YouTubers Make? (A Lot!)” to learn more about how YouTubers are making money.

How to Tell if a Site is Secure

secure sites

Today we do a lot of our business and shopping online, which is why Internet security has become such a giant industry. But before you go putting your financial or contact information into a website, you want to make sure the website is secure. Even if a website is reputable, if they aren’t taking the proper precautions their site could be susceptible to malware and affect your computer and the security of your personal information. When you put sensitive information online you want to first make sure the website is safe. You can easily check that a site is secure by following the tips below.

What are the Online Dangers?

Online scammers ultimately want your bank information, your credit card numbers, your passwords, and other personal information like your social security number. They want this information either to use your accounts, or to steal your identity. The following practices are the main ways online scammers try and get your private information.

Phishing

Phishing is when scammers try to pose as legitimate sites or organizations by using fraudulent websites in order to get your information. You can often tell if something is actually a phishing scam when their offers are too good to be true, if they’re pressuring you to rush into something, or if they try and get you to click on hyperlinks or attachments. Sometimes Phishers will even use fake websites that look very similar to the original website to trick people. Spam filters are a great way to protect yourself from phishing emails. Your browser also has settings to prevent you from accidentally going onto fraudulent sites in the first place. You’ll want to keep these kinds of settings on at all times to ensure safe browsing online.

Spread Malware

The term malware actually stands for malicious software that is meant to access or damage your computer. The best way to protect yourself against infecting your devise with malware and viruses is to be careful what you click on, and use an antivirus program on your computer to sweep for such attacks.

Spam

Spam generally refers to constant emails, sent to mass amounts of people who did not subscribe or ask for those emails. They are unsolicited and come en mass, which is a problem because you didn’t ask for this barrage of useless emails in your inbox, and you now suddenly have a lot of them. Spam emails happen when sites make you log in, make a payment, or enter in your email. Spam used to just be an annoyance, but has grown into a criminal business. Spam’s purpose can be for advertising, or for spreading malware by trying to get recipients to click on links and attachments.

How are Secure Sites Made Secure?

Https

When a website has https:// at the beginning of the web address, it means that site is secured using an SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates secure all of your data as it is passed from your browser to the website’s server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process.

Website Validation

Website validation is important, because today we have rules and regulations that sites need to live up to in order to prove they’re real. You also want your website to be validated because then search engines, like google, will work correctly alongside your site so that people can successfully find you on their browser of choice. Everyone’s browser will be able to interpret the site and display it correctly on their screen. Website validation comes from meeting the standards set by the W3C Organization and passing CSS and HTML validations.
Domain Validation (DV) is the lowest form of website validation and only gives ownership of the domain name.
Extended Validation (EV) is the highest level of website validation and with this the beginning of the address bar will have a lock icon and sometimes a green bar to show it is secure.

They Keep Your Information Safe

Using a digital security certificate is important for any site. The sites listed below are technology companies that work to provide digital security for a websites. It is from these types of companies that reputable sites will gain their website’s validation and other programs that constantly sweep their site for malware. By using these digital security companies you can be assured your information is going to be kept safe and private on that website.

  • Digicert
  • McAfee SECURE
  • BBB Accreditation

How to Stay Safe Online

  • Don’t click on links and attachments from sources you are unfamiliar with.
  • Look for a site’s physical address and phone number.
  • Check that there are return and shipping policies listed for shopping.
  • Be wary if the prices are too low or the offers are too good to be true.
  • Look for a privacy statement somewhere on the site.
  • Change your passwords every so often and don’t use the same password for everything.
  • Look for a site’s certificates and accreditation (BBB). You will often find this type of information at the bottom of the webpage.
  • Use an antivirus program on your computer to block malicious malware.

Safe lenders:

If you are shopping for loans, you should know that there are a number of characteristics of a safe lender that you can watch out for.

They are a Direct Lender

The best payday loans come from direct lenders. Check City is a direct lender, so when you get loans from Check City, the only people you deal with are our people. You want to use a direct lender because your payday loans should be as simple as possible, and indirect lenders add the hassle and insecurity of dealing with third parties.
The Problem with Indirect Lenders

  • Using indirect lenders is more expensive because they have to go through the extra process of finding direct lenders for you to borrow from.
  • Indirect lenders have more risks for the customer because there are more variables and institutions involved in your loan, application, and information.
  • Indirect lenders are less likely to care about your loans and fixing problems for you because you aren’t borrowing directly from them.
  • It is more difficult to become long-term members with indirect lenders, because essentially, they are only an unnecessary go-between. But with direct lenders like Check City, you can go to the same trusted place your whole life for ALL your loan needs.
They are a State Licensed Lender

Here at Check City we are serious about having a working relationship with the states in which we reside. That is why we have chosen to be a state licensed lender as opposed to being an offshores lender or tribal model lender. Going through this trouble is the final way to make sure you know we are a responsible, safe, and secure place for you to do your loan business. Because Check City is a state licensed lender you can have peace of mind knowing that we are doing everything right by the state in which you reside.

They Have Customer Credentials

If a site or a lender is reputable and safe to use, then they will have real customers and organizations affiliated with them.

  • Check City has been in business since 1986 and in this time, we have helped hundreds of thousands of people meet their financial needs.
  • Check City also has a Shopper Approved rating of 4.8 out of 5, in a pool of more than 31,000 ratings.

It isn’t hard to figure out whether a site is secure or not. All you have to do is know what makes a site secure in the first place, and look for those signs on each site you visit, especially if you’re going to do any shopping or other business on that site.


READ MORE
Read about how cell phone apps can help you secure your phone in, “Cell Phone Security Apps and Other Ways to Lock Down Your Phone.”


FEATURE IMAGE BY NIKITA KACHANOVSKY
OTHER IMAGES BY DANIEL KORPAI

Getting Great Deals on Airfare

Airfare is one of the things that we buy that is notorious for fluctuating in price. Any number of considerations go into determining how much a ticket will cost, making it so that one persons fare can be different than another’s. It can be a confusing and intimidating thing to process. the other consideration which is always taken seriously into account is the expense of flying to a destination.

Flying can cost a lot per ticket, which makes it inaccessible to some. Therefore, getting good deals is something that everyone can appreciate when it comes to this experience. Getting good deals on air fare is very possible, and simply requires a bit of research and applied knowledge in order to get good results.

One of the best ways to get deals is to monitor flights that are going to be going to your desired destination, and stay up to date by the minute over the Internet. As flights fill and change and get shifted around, the prices of seats will too. You can look on official websites and travel websites alike in order to monitor a situation and to make your purchase when the prices dip down low.

Another good way to get good deals is top set up a rewards program on a credit card. Most major credit card companies allow purchases on cards to accrue points towards miles which can be traveled via airplane. Saving up these miles over time is a great way to passively save on the cost of trips in the future.

One can also monitor social media sites in order to look for deals being announced via the official feeds of the airlines they are traveling on. When it all comes down to it, saving on flights is a matter of being able to look at information and make purchases when the time is right.

Using Social Media to Save

Social media is not only a great resource that can connect you with people and the things that you like. It also is a great way to find out about the products you want to buy, as well as how to save on them. Following companies on social media sites is a great way to be able to save.

In order to connect with their target demographics, companies will often run specials and promotions on their product through their social media accounts. It is a simple trade off, because the point of their efforts is to get more attention and more interested people looking at what they are doing. All individuals have to do is follow them on their accounts, and they will be eligible for the special offers that are being put forward.

For the company, getting better numbers and getting people talking about their products and services is the ultimate goal of these efforts. As such, special offers and promotions are an investment being made in drawing in more consumers. It also is a good thing for both the business and the consumer alike because social media sites will instantly transmit the information to those that are following.

There are no delays, and there is no need to hope for people to stumble across the offer. It is focused and direct, essentially becoming an immediate offer of a deal or information. The advertising capacity of social media also allows the companies to target their ads directly to those whoa re going to be interested, further amplifying their potential revenue.

When it all comes down to it, the relationship between consumer, business,and social media is one that is beneficial for all parties. You can grab some great deals and get great information by following the organizations that interest you on social media sites!

Follow Check City Social Media accounts for prizes, cash and financial services tips!

SOPA and The Internet Blackouts

Yesterday marked a unique day when it comes to the history and direction of the Internet, as there was mass shutdown and protests with regards to SOPA and PIPA. For those of you who don’t know what SOPA and PIPA are, we recommend reading this little overview. Put simply,  if these controversial bills pass, it would change the nature of the Internet as we know it. SOPA and PIPA are measures which would allow the government to punish and restrict copyright violation in ways previously unheard of, which would theoretically curtail much of the illicit activity on the Internet.

Major websites shut down or protest the bills, raising awareness and shutting off common resources which most of us take for granted. Of special note are sites Reddit, Wikipedia, and WordPress- all Internet giants in their own right. Indeed, the inability to access Wikipedia alone will be of major inconvenience to many people and will likely raise a huge amount of awareness. The opposition of major players such as Google to the bills passing is adding to the furor being felt in the online communities. Some of the primary concerns which have been raised by these groups include the difficulties involved with moderating such a wide field, the international impact of US laws on the matter, and the severe punishments which would accompany copyright violation.

It is important to understand that along with the restrictions and changes which would be implemented with SOPA and PIPA, the backlash of the Internet community as a whole is also going to be an element that will change up how online interactions will go. Online fringe groups have already vowed to disrupt the web and to set up their own “dark” connections to each other in order to circumvent these possible measures. Such threats are made with weight and gravitas, especially given the ruthless way that online fringe groups successfully hacked and disrupted many major services and websites last year.

Put simply, the struggle to influence the direction of the Internet is a war, and it is one that will likely have big ramifications in the following months. Should SOPA and PIPA pass, it would be wise for users and site owners alike to tighten their security in order to prevent possible backlash. When it all comes down to it, the actions being taken today will likely be reflected and amplified in the future, as the government attempts to lock down the Internet and enforce copyright on behalf of interested parties.

Indeed, such efforts in the future could easily interrupt services such as money transfers and insurance coverage to clients in need. Disruption of the web by disgruntled parties also would interfere with banking, payday loans, and other important financial services, causing real world damage.

No matter what your perspective on the matter is, there can be no denying that yesterday was a special one, and is one that will set a lot of precedent for the way that the web will be directed in the future. As everyone relies on the Internet for every type of service now, such changes stand to completely change online interactions and the rules of conduct which govern common use.

What are your thoughts on SOPA and PIPA and the future of the Internet? Share away in our comments section!

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