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This Is the Best Time to Order Roses for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, so if you’ve yet to start shopping, there’s a chance you’ll spend more. That’s according to deals site Brad’s Deals, which recently conducted a little experiment to see how the price of a bouquet of a dozen red roses — a classic Valentine’s Day gift in the U.S. — rises over the year.

In tracking the prices of a dozen red roses at five different online florists — ProFlowers, FTD, Teleflora, 1-800-Flowers and FromYouFlowers — every Monday between Jan. 4 and Dec. 26, 2016, Brad’s Deals found they were surprisingly affordable over the summer but also maintained their affordability throughout the year, except for February, naturally. Prices did not include any vases, upgrades, delivery charges or coupons, according to Rebecca Lehman, director of content marketing for Brad’s Deals. Only the base price shown on the website was considered.

In terms of prices, February was the high point, with a bouquet of red stems costing as much as $49.98, according to Brad’s Deals. The lowest price point was $31.58 in August.

Why Are Red Roses So Expensive?

There are a few reasons prices went up, the site says. When demand rises, labor must be hired to harvest the roses, and that requires some coordination. “If there are more flowers to ship, that also means more trucks, more airplanes to carry them off to the florists,” Brad’s Deals writes on its blog. “Who picks up the cost of all that extra labor? You do.”

“We believe that the high-low pattern we found should be close to what consumers can expect: high prices for Valentine’s Day, when demand for a highly perishable, imported product on a single day in the middle of winter drives costs up, and low in the summer when demand is lower, more diffuse, and flowers are available from domestic sources,” Lehmann said.

How to Save on Valentine’s Day 

Based on their research, Brad’s Deals recommends ordering red roses well in advance of Valentine’s Day, around Jan. 15. The cost will only rise as the holiday approaches. Another tip is to have the roses delivered to yourself on Feb. 13 to avoid hefty delivery fees. You can give the bouquet in person the next day.

It also pays to keep your budget in mind when planning for Valentine’s Day. We recommend keeping track of your finances in an app or the old fashioned way with pencil and paper, as well as knowing the difference between wants and needs so you don’t wind up overspending. After all, the last thing you want to do is go over your budget when you’ve got roses to buy. Another helpful way to keep tabs on your finances is by checking your credit. You can view two of your credit scores, with updates every 14 days, on Credit.com. Checking your scores will not harm them in any way.

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

Video: Who Wants To Be A Credit Card Deadbeat? You Do!

MoneyTips

"Deadbeat" is usually a negative term applied to someone who doesn't pay his or her bills. But in this exclusive MoneyTips video, Adam Carroll, Chief Education Officer at National Financial Educators, explains why you want to be a deadbeat in the eyes of the credit card companies. If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers.

Originally Posted at: http://www.moneytips.com/video-who-wants-to-be-a-credit-card-deadbeat-you-do

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Video: Who Wants To Be A Credit Card Deadbeat? You Do!

MoneyTips

"Deadbeat" is usually a negative term applied to someone who doesn't pay his or her bills. But in this exclusive MoneyTips video, Adam Carroll, Chief Education Officer at National Financial Educators, explains why you want to be a deadbeat in the eyes of the credit card companies. If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers.

5 Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2017

This could be the year you decide to stop working for someone else and start your own business. While your individual skills and interests are key to determining what type of venture to pursue, the last thing you want to do is start a business in an industry with a gloomy outlook. Here are five industries with promising futures, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, market research firm IBISWorld and financial information company Sageworks.

1. Health care

As the 75 million baby boomers age, there’s increased demand for health care services. According to an outlook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of the 20 occupations projected to have the highest percent increase in employment by 2024 are in the health industry. Meeting the needs of an aging population creates opportunities for physical therapists, doctors, optometrists and other specialists to open their own practices.

Don’t have the expertise to open that kind of business? Starting a home health aide staffing firm is one idea you could pursue. According to the bureau, employment of home health aides is expected to increase 38% by 2024, and finding employees may be relatively easy since the job doesn’t require a degree.

2. Marijuana

Good news for those with green thumbs: 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. IBISWorld predicts that industry revenue for medical and recreational marijuana growers will jump 33.5% over the next five years. The retail side of the business is also expected to see sales rise this year, according to the firm.

But for every high, there’s a low. Because the drug remains illegal at the federal level, says Dmitry Diment, a senior industry analyst at IBISWorld, new growth opportunities arise only when regulations are approved by the states. Those at the forefront of medical and recreational marijuana — like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California — offer the best examples of how the industry could evolve, he adds.

3. E-commerce

Personal disposable income is projected to grow by 4% per year from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and as disposable income grows, so does the “quantity and quality of online purchases,” IBISWorld says.

But e-commerce can be an easily saturated market, given low barriers of entry. To increase your online business’s chance of success, focus on your customers — whether through customizable products, timely support or fast delivery of products, IBISWorld industry analyst Madeline LeClair says.

4. Tech

In a similar vein, continued innovation in the tech world means continued opportunities for tech-savvy entrepreneurs. IBISWorld projects a 31% revenue boost for smartphone app developers alone in 2017. Don’t forget about the support side of the industry; Sageworks found that tech consulting and installation services had strong sales growth in 2016.

5. Home and building maintenance

From landscaping to cleaning to pest control, businesses in maintenance industries that service residences and commercial buildings saw a 13% increase in sales in 2016, according to Sageworks. If you gain the right expertise, Sageworks analyst James Noe says, these businesses are easy to start because they have relatively low upfront costs and don’t require large inventory, staff or dedicated office space.

Jackie Zimmermann is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: jzimmermann@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @jackie_zm.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

Mortgage Rates Jan. 17: Steady; Millennials Lean Toward DIY

Thirty- and 15-year fixed mortgage rates saw no change from Friday, while 5/1 ARM rates dropped slightly, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders on Tuesday.

Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Jan. 17 (Change from 1/13) 30-year fixed: 4.30% APR (NC) 15-year fixed: 3.70% APR (NC) 5/1 ARM: 3.82% APR (-0.02) First-time millennial homeowners more DIY-focused

A survey released last week by Better Homes & Gardens revealed that 85% of first-time homeowners between 22 and 39 view homeownership as an important part of the American Dream. But the aspirations of these first-time millennial homeowners come with a practical view on spending money and do-it-yourself projects, according to the survey.

» MORE: Calculate how much house you can afford

“Millennials and millennial ‘firsts’ are paving their own paths in homeownership based on their own budgets, timeline and needs,” Jill Waage, editorial director of digital content and products at Better Homes & Gardens, said in a news release. “These ‘firsts’ are replacing big-budget homes and expensive renovations with patience, frugalness and practicality.”

The survey found that just 50% of “firsts” are willing to “spend top dollar to get exactly the features and quality they want.”

Half of “firsts” said that their current homes required some amount of repair or remodel when they moved in. “Firsts” are more willing to save money and take on DIY projects, with only one in four saying they would first call a professional for repairs, and three of four doing some degree of DIY in the home. Almost 90% of “firsts” are “very or extremely interested in learning about home repair and home improvement projects,” the survey found.

“These first-time millennial homeowners are focused on building equity, not debt,” Waage said. “They are strong believers in being able to afford their dreams as they achieve them and not overstretch themselves.”

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Michael Burge is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: mburge@nerdwallet.com.

Donald Trump's childhood home goes on auction block

A home built by President-elect Donald Trump's father, real estate developer Fred Trump, is set to be auctioned off by Paramount Realty USA on Tuesday. 

>> Read more trending stories  

Donald Trump lived in the house from birth until he was 4 years old.

Michael Davis, a real estate prospector, bought the house last year for just under $1.4 million with the intention of flipping it, The New York Times reported. Now, Paramount is selling the home.

"It's unique, and it has intangible value that goes beyond just the physical real estate," Misha Haghani, the principal of Paramount, told The Times. "The value of Trump's name, the value of the president-elect living there as a child, an infant, that value is impossible to define."

>> Photos: Donald Trump's childhood home

According to Paramount, the 2,500-square-foot house features "a brick and stucco exterior and an old world charm interior featuring arched doorways, hardwood floors, five bedrooms, four and a half baths, library, living room with fireplace, formal dining room, basement and more."

The Tudor-style home is located in Jamaica Estates, a neighborhood in Queens, New York. 

Photos: Donald Trump's childhood home

Energy Tax Incentives 101

MoneyTips

You want to be an energy saver, and are interested in going green as much as possible through new energy efficient appliances, home modifications, and perhaps even building a brand new energy-efficient home. Every level of the U.S. government also wants you to be an energy saver, and is willing to back it up with programs and tax incentives that encourage energy-saving efforts. Tax Incentive for Energy Efficiency These tax incentives are not just for individuals. Businesses can also reap tax benefits while helping to save the environment. Applied over a large scale, these credits can save thousands of dollars and make a real difference in your business' bottom line. How do you find these tax-saving programs? The Internal Revenue Service has information for federal tax incentives, such as those in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Also, several clearinghouse websites can help you find the programs that are most relevant to your needs. Energy.gov has a handy search menu that allows you to filter through current programs using eligibility criteria (residential, commercial, agricultural, etc.) or by more narrow savings categories such as heat pumps, lighting systems, and air conditioners. A further filter allows you to narrow your search by state or keyword. For more details, click on any of the programs meeting your search criteria. The site will connect you to a detailed summary of the program, its history and amendments/changes, eligibility and availability requirements, and links to supplementary information. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) contains a state map with links showing all of the available programs in any selected state. Applicable federal tax incentives such as the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit are included in every state's list. As with Energy.gov, you can narrow down the possibilities using filters such as technology, program type, and categories. Clicking on any individual program name leads to a comprehensive project summary. The Energy Star website has a rebate finder that allows you to locate rebates for energy efficient appliances and heating/cooling systems by zip code. However, that is only a small part of what the site offers. Energystar.gov also contains a product finder for products that meet Energy Star standards, ideas for building energy-saving homes and making existing ones more energy efficient, and a separate section to help businesses integrate energy savings into their facilities. The business section contains educational materials to help sell both management and employees on energy efficient products and practices. Do not forget to consult your local government (county, city, or planning entities) for other programs that target local green efforts. Ask for advice whenever you shop around for contractors, as they often have knowledge of local programs that may apply to your situation and how to handle the corresponding paperwork. It is important to read the details on any published tax incentive to verify that the information is still valid, especially for Federal programs. Energy efficiency tax initiatives are constantly changing and often allowed to expire, and then get retroactively reinstated by Congress. There are thirteen energy tax credits that expired at the end of 2016, so this tax season will be the last year you can claim them. Check the DSIRE and Energy.gov websites and with the IRS to see if any credits are available to you. Thanks to these government tax incentives, you can now go green while getting some green. If you are considering new appliances or home improvement projects, please look over your options for tax incentive programs. It is a win-win situation for both you and the environment. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/gchutka

Originally Posted at: http://www.moneytips.com/energy-tax-incentives-101

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Energy Tax Incentives 101

MoneyTips

You want to be an energy saver, and are interested in going green as much as possible through new energy efficient appliances, home modifications, and perhaps even building a brand new energy-efficient home. Every level of the U.S. government also wants you to be an energy saver, and is willing to back it up with programs and tax incentives that encourage energy-saving efforts. Tax Incentive for Energy Efficiency These tax incentives are not just for individuals. Businesses can also reap tax benefits while helping to save the environment. Applied over a large scale, these credits can save thousands of dollars and make a real difference in your business' bottom line. How do you find these tax-saving programs? The Internal Revenue Service has information for federal tax incentives, such as those in the
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