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Cash Back Credit Cards Save You Money

Prepaid card offered by Green Dot Corporation,...

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I can’t express how much this is important in an economy where times are tough, but why people haven’t been capitalizing on this earlier is beyond me. I’ve actually had a Discover Card since college and it’s never failed to provide me with all sorts of goodies that were just added benefit since I already used the card anyways.
Here’s the really great thing about it all. Cash back rewards cards are entirely useful because if you pay bills with your credit cards, then you automatically get some money back. Be it 1% or more, it’s still money that you earn because you went the extra mile to pump it through a credit line first before applying your check book on it.
Now, the only reason this would SAVE you money is if you reduce your balance to zero every month. And if you do, reap the rewards since you can sometimes even double or triple your earnings with gift cards to restaurants that you would eat at anyways, or splurge on buying a little something for yourself with money that you’ve accumulated from “paying bills”.
Really, the biggest harm in all of this is if you don’t pay off your cards in a timely fashion. But if you’re financially sound and don’t go charging outside your limits, this small boon really helps out in the hardest of times.

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The In Crowd

simplyyummy.jpg Met with Lucy this morning at SimplyYummy and we were talking about Winston-Salem and Merchant’s Mirror. Great independent coffee house in Reynolda Village. I personally think that their website doesn’t do their service or decorating any justice. What can I say… it was WAY more cool when you’re there.
There’s something about service here that speaks wonders when they take your order and serve you and you know they must be doing it on a trust level with their customers since they ask you what you had when you finally leave and pay at the register. On top of that, it was hustling and bustling for a Friday which tells me that at least there seems to be decent local support for this local business.
Basically, the goal of the meeting was really to find out what there was to do from a community and networking standpoint and where I could go with my business in this local area. Who knew that I would actually meet Doug Grimes – an ex-RJR executive that Lucy knows, Bowman Gray IV, and Scott Kimsey (whom I know from my BNI group).
The entire event reminded me of the small town barber shop where you got the stories, the networking and everything else there because it was just the place where people felt comfortable. Who knew that everyone congregated at this coffee shop!?!
Definitely am happy that Lucy introduced me to this place and will definitely be back there for the atmosphere. It was simply wonderful at SimplyYummy.

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Movie Review: Lakeview Terrace

Okay. This movie definitely wasn’t for kids. At all. Ever. Seriously now… while it was rated PG-13, I wouldn’t have brought any of my young cousins to see this based on the implications and too much reference to things they really shouldn’t be dealing with in one single viewing.
That aside? Samuel L Jackson plays the a**hole racist cop very nicely. In fact, I think the fact that he doesn’t tone it down a little made the movie a little too dramatic. It was done very well from his angle but I felt that he took it to the extreme a bit. Could have been an issue with the script than actor, but that’s the way it was played out. Some of the critique of this movie has been that it plays well for the first hour, but it was almost overkill at the end. Which was exactly what I also had in mind when I saw the film.
Lakeview Terrace was creatively done and you do actually get a feel for why the tension is there and how it came to be. So there isn’t unfounded hate towards interracial couples but a forever unanswered question by Turner (Jackson) that causes the behavior. I believe that it was actually a well thought out movie outside of the drug and sex references alongside the overkill. Of course, better that then a monotonous boring thing that captures your attention for about ten minutes. This film definitely had me going the entire time.

Local governments need to focus on what they are to the market

Official logo of Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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I was recently at a Forsyth County TDA meeting along with Lucy and Jon.
Being that I’ve been in doing community things in Greensboro for years, and was starting my venture into Winston-Salem’s community work, I found that there were a few things that were somewhat off.
In one of the exercises, we were to describe Forsyth County in one word. As an “outsider” but resident of the Triad nonetheless, I found that many people were throwing out words that fit better with other Triad areas than within. For instance, Greensboro really is better suited for family life mainly due to the difference in culture and downtowns. Even the nonprofit worlds from both cities vastly differ. And in the world of business? You want to differentiate yourself by playing your strengths, not playing the general field.
To me? Winston-Salem offers a lot more business type opportunities. Their retail district at one time was one of the largest in the state, and I’m sure that the Hanes Mall area is still one of the most trafficked. By no means is it my favorite (Shops at Friendly would definitely rank the highest there) but Winston-Salem offers a lot in that realm. Also, the push for both WinstonNet and the loans for 4th Street are amazing. That’s definitely a push to make downtown a nicer food arena.
By contrast, Greensboro’s community pushed for a park within their downtown. They were the first to bring a new ballpark to the downtown area through foundation help. There were talks about making the Greenway better. All in all, the focuses were more on the living standards than business.
Here, each city has entirely different focuses based on their constituents and what they drive. So when people were throwing out the words and emotions tied to what they believed what this area entailed, I mentally had to sigh a bit. It’s not that it was wrong. In fact, the words probably do touch certain people in those fashions. But if ICF names you one of the top seven “intelligent communities” in the world of 2008, somehow I doubt your strength is in family building.
In that sense? Focus the marketing on what you are to others and less on what you want to be to others.

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