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So you decided to try and save money this year, great resolution! There are tons of ways to save a couple of bucks here and there that don't have a huge impact on your life but will definitely help your wallet. Here are some of the best ways to commit to saving money this year!

Get a Budgeting App

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First thing to figure out is where your money is going. If you find yourself surprised by an unexpectedly low bank account then download a budgeting app. It'll help you keep track of what you're spending and keep you honest about where your money is really going. They can help you set budgets and warn you when you're about to go over so you will never be surprised by an overdrawn account again.

Learn to Cook

@simonmigaj

Going out to eat costs so much money! Restaurant prices are increasing and it's easy to get swept up in the convenience while losing big bucks. If you already like to, or know how to, cook but don't have the time then consider finding some make ahead or quick recipes to become your go-tos. If you don't know how to cook then consider getting a meal subscription box. They can be the same price as going out to eat, depending on your restaurant choices, but they also teach you the valuable skill of learning how to make something yourself. Even if you swap one take out order for a simple meal at home every once in a while you can end up a richer person this 2018.

Make Your Own Coffee

@dsmacinnes

Even if it's just one day a week you can save so much money by making your coffee yourself. Again it's the convenience that gets you but if you get yourself a good thermos and make your coffee before you go you could be saving serious dollars. It's not as exciting sure, and you don't have to never have starbucks again but even little changes can make a big difference for your wallet.

Go to the Gym or End Your Membership

@ricardo2coach

If you are going to the gym, great keep on doing that! Your emotional and physical health should be one of the things you allocate funds towards. Added bonus, see if your health insurance has a fitness incentive! A lot of health plans will give you money back if you go to the gym a certain amount of times in a year. To see more about that check it out here. If you aren't going to the gym, just cancel your membership! You can still work out at home with tons of online videos, or just take an occasional class. Don't funnel your money into something you aren't using.

Host Some Nights In

@mdisc

Going out can be super fun but also super expensive. If you find yourself spending too much money at the bars then consider inviting some of your friends over for a night in! Have a movie night, set up some board games, go a throwback night with some red cups and ping pong balls, or break out the big guns with a pajama party! It's so much fun to have some more lowkey nights with your friends where the beer and food are cheap, but the company is still amazing.

So here's to finding the best money saving tips you can and keeping your resolutions this 2018, no matter what the world tries to throw at you!

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.