S.L. Carroll

S.L. Carroll

I have a Masters Degree in Human Resources Development, A Bachelor s Degree in Aviation, a Computer Science minor, and I am taking a creative writing class at Butler University. I have self published one thriller novel, and I am currently working on two others as well as a Memoir.
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  • Could My Heavy Periods Be Ovarian Cancer?
    In 2009, I visited my OBGYN for a thermal ablation for heavy periods. I walked away with an appointment for an ovarian cancer test, and the fear that my life was over.
  • First Person: What Is Debt Consolidation?
    Debt consolidation is a great way to consolidate bills and focus on paying them off, but which debt consolidation technique is right for you?
  • First Person: Budgeting With Multiple Bank Accounts
    Do you know how to accurately budget using multiple bank accounts. If you designate a use for each bank account, you can effectively control your expenses and prevent yourself from overspending. I like to use four accounts to budget my money.
  • First Person: When Can I Retire?
    I dream of the day when I can retire, but like most people, I'm apprehensive. I don't know that I'll be able to retire, and I don't know that I'll be in good health when I retire. Still, I'd like to have an age estimate and a goal for retirement.
  • First Person: Finding Affordable Appliances
    Appliances have gotten incredibly expensive over the last few years. I couldn't find a refrigerator below $550, a gas stove below $600 or a range hood below $200. It was discouraging until I started thinking outside the box.
  • First Person: What Happens During an IRS Wage Garnishment?
    An IRS wage garnishment is a very serious matter. Unlike most wage garnishments, the IRS is not limited to a percentage of income. The IRS can take all of the taxpayers income above a certain dollar amount.
  • First Person: Calculating Accurate Homeowners Insurance
    calculating accurate homeowner insurance needs requires walking around your home and adding up the costs of all your appliances, furniture, jewelry, clothing and miscellaneous items. It also requires determining the rebuild cost of your home.
  • First Person: Financial Items to Consider Before Going into Business for Yourself
    Many people underestimate the hard work and financial sacrifices involved in starting their own businesses. Individuals considering owning their own business should step back and calculate their finances and operational expenses prior to opening.
  • First Person: IRS Payment Plan vs. IRS Tax Settlement
    Many people are afraid of the IRS, but the IRS is only scary if you refuse to communicate with the government agency. Failure to communicate can lead to IRS wage garnishments and tax levies against bank accounts and personal property.
  • First Person: The Cost of Moving From an Apartment Into a House
    Moving into a house is exciting. There are no more communal living rules, no sharing walls and no more worrying about walking loudly on the floors. However, owning a home also comes with property taxes, lawn care and maintenance costs.
  • First Person: Switching from Renters to Homeowners Insurance
    Switching from renters insurance to homeowners insurance can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be if you calculate the minimum amount of coverage you need to withstand a catastrophic event.
  • First Person: The Pittfalls of Homeowners Insurance
    what does your homeowners insurance cover? Is it enough? My deductible is $1,000, and I can replace quite a bit on and inside my home for $1,000. That means that my insurance will not cover small and medium sized events.
  • First Person: Repairing Vs. Replacing Appliances
    the decision to replace or repair major appliances can be a difficult one. Replacing means peace of mind and no problems for years. Repairing saves significant money and solves the immediate problem. I opted to repair my hot water heater and furnace.
  • Life Interrupted: 5 to 9 Inches of Snow Expected Wednesday in Indianapolis
    With five to nine inches of snow expected in Indianapolis, the final steps of my move have been delayed until Friday.
  • First Person: Heating and Energy Assistance for the Poor
    Gas and electric companies offer flexible payment plans, budgeting, energy kits and information on EAP and charitable organizations so that individuals and families can pay their energy bills.
  • First Person: Negotiating a Free House
    If finding an affordable house is harrowing, finding a free house is nearly impossible, but that's exactly what I needed to do by November 30th. It was an impossible task, but I managed it through skillful negotiations.
  • Understanding SEO Optimization
    SEO is important for webpages and articles written for the web. The proper use of SEO can result in higher search engine rankings, more visitors and potentially more income.
  • First Person: Debt Consolidation Companies vs. Debt Consolidation Loans
    Many people do not understand the difference between debt consolidation loans and debt consolidation companies.
  • First Person: Ending the Debt Cycle
    Debt is the American way of life. We go into debt for our educations, cars and homes, and we don't stop to think about how all this debt will impact our future lives. For me, I was more than $70,000 in debt before I realized I had to change.
  • First Person: Creating a Budget on Sporadic Income
    Creating a budget with uncertain income is difficult at best. it requires figuring out daily minimums and planning for worse case scenarios.
  • First Person: Landing a Job When You're Unemployed Longer Than 6 Months? It's Possible
    Finding a job can be hard work if you've been unemployed for an extended amount of time. However, there are things you can do to improve your odds of finding a job and receiving a job offer.
  • First Person: Am I Middle Class?
    The politicians seem to think middle class is $250,000 a year. To me, $250,000 is wealthy, so what is middle class? Middle class is a personal gauge of wealth based entirely on income versus expenses for each individual and family.
  • First Person: Setting Up an IRS Payment Plan
    Dealing with the IRS is never fun, but I found the experience to be very easy and hassle-free. I needed to set up a payment plan with the IRS for back taxes, and I was successful.
  • First Person: No Christmas Budget? No Problem
    For the last several years I have had no budget for Christmas, but this hasn't been a problem. I've still been able to spend time with my family and provide them with a few well thought out gifts.
  • First Person: Full Auto Insurance Coverage and Older Cars
    Full coverage car insurance is a great idea for used cars even though is goes against traditional car insurance advice. Car insurance and insurance in general is for replacing items that you can't replace out of your own pocket.
  • First Person: The Pitfalls of Working From Home
    Working from home means no bosses and coworkers interrupting. You can work in your pajamas and make more money than you've ever seen in your life. While that may be true, working from home is one giant, income limiting, distraction.
  • First Person: How Does Debt Settlement Work?
    Debt settlement is not hard to use, but it does take some careful planning. Debt amounts, savings amounts and taxes must all be taken into consideration.
  • First Person: Help! I Can’t Afford My Lease
    Leases are designed to only cost a maximum of 36 percent of an individual's or family's income. Unfortunately, lay-offs, pay cuts and downsizing can quickly push that percentage to 50 percent or higher.
  • First Person: When Is it Time to Apply for Food Stamps?
    Many Americans adamantly refuse to apply for food stamps and government assistance. However, there are times when government assistance can mean the difference between eating and going hungry for days.
  • First Person: How to Apply for Food Stamps
    Applying for food stamps isn't hard, but it is lengthy and time consuming. I recently helped my mom apply for food stamps, and the entire process took three weeks and numerous phone calls to the FSSA office.
  • First Person: Maintaining a Sole Proprietorship Without Going Broke
    The first few years of any business are always the worst, and it's been no different in my case. When I went into business for myself, my income was cut in half. It meant that I had to watch my income and expenses very closely in order to pay all my bills
  • First Person: I Paid Off My Old Bills Using Debt Settlement
    Paying off old bills using debt settlement isn't hard, but it does take some preparation. I had to save all the money I was going to use prior to using the debt payment option.
  • First Person: Creating My Complete Budget
    Creating a complete budget involves more than just subtracting bills from income. It involves budget for gas, food, fast food, savings accounts and retirement accounts as well as sudden expenses.
  • First Person: Getting the Deposit Back on a Rental
    Getting a deposit back can be a worry filled adventure in minor repairs and major cleaning, but it doesn't have to be. All it takes is some preplanning and regular cleaning while your in the apartment.
  • First Person: I Moved Into an Income Assisted Apartment Complex
    Qualifying for an income assisted apartment complex isn't hard. They are not Section 8, and there's no government forms to fill out. However, you do have to supply all your financial information and agree to certain rules.
  • First Person: Finding Rental Apartments for Less Than $500
    Finding an affordable apartment at or below $500 a month is a task, but it is not impossible. IT simply takes foresight, planning and time, which is why it's a good idea to start looking very early.
  • First Person: How I Cut the Cord and Watch TV for Free
    Free TV is not a thing of the past, but it does require having patience and a willingness to forgo watching some shoes entirely. For the shows that are free, it can mean waiting anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days for a new episode, but it is worth it.
  • First Person: Eating Healthy on $30 a Week
    Eating healthy does not have to cost a lot, but it does take preplanning and preportioning to do it correctly and not go hungry.
  • First Person: The Reality of Renting in an Income Assisted Apartment Complex
    Income assisted living complexes are designed to help poor families who do not qualify or do not want to qualify for Section 8 housing. They are typically located in good areas, and the complex rules are strictly enforced.
  • First Person: The Problem With Renting an Income Adjusted Apartment
    Income controlled apartment complexes come with a set of rules that makes it impossible to get ahead. While they are touted as being affordable, those at the top tier are overcharged and the rent is never readjusted according to income.
  • First Person: The Costs of Moving Into a New Apartment
    Moving out of an apartment and moving into a new apartment is quite expensive. It will cost me $1,520 to move into a cheaper and larger apartment than I currently rent.
  • First Person: Safely Paying Debt Collection Agencies
    Paying old debts is a great idea to quickly raise a credit score and to get the bill out of the back of my mind, but I know that I have to do it safely so that I am not scammed and not charged more than the agreed upon payment.
  • First Person: Saving Money When Exiting a Rental
    Moving out of a rental apartment can be just as expensive if not more expensive than moving in. This is because apartment complexes love to charge for everything from trash removal to window cleaning and replacing carpets, but those fees can be avoided.
  • How I Lowered My Internet Bill by $60 a Year
    when I realized my internet bill had increased from $35 to $38, I immediately called my internet service provider. I had not authorized an increase in my monthly bill or a change in services.
  • Getting a Divorce was Expensive but Not Emotionally Devastating
    No one wants to get a divorce, but in my case, there was no other solution. My spouse was cheating on me, refusing to fulfill his marital duties and spending all the money.
  • First Person: How I Combat High Pressure Sales Tactics
    High pressure sales people are more than annoying, they can cost you more money in the checkout line. In order to combat their tactics, I research what I want to buy, set a price range, refuse all upgrades and service plans, and I check my receipt.
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  • First Person: My Long-Term Debt Elimination Strategy
    Paying off student loans and other debt can be a nightmare especially if you don't make enough money to cover your bills in the first place. I have a long term plan to pay off my student loans in 15 years instead of 30.
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  • First Person: Preparing Financially for a Layoff
    When it comes to getting laid off, there are signs that it is going to happen. The company suddenly has no work, there are no hours available, and you suddenly find yourself at home with very small paychecks. When that happens, it's time to act.
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  • First Person: Starting a Business While on Unemployment
    Starting a small business while on unemployment is risky. The individual trying it risks losing their unemployment benefits and getting their benefits reduced by the amount of side income they bring in, but it can be done.
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  • My Date with a Wild-Eyed Auctioneer Wannabe
    I once went on a date with a man who was either in training to be an auctioneer or who had gone on way too many speed dates. either way, I was glad when the date ended, and I could be free of his rapid fire questions.
  • First Person: Negotiating a Debt Settlement
    Negotiating a debt settlement is easy if you take the time to pre-plan the transactions. I like to save the money ahead of time, call the financial institution, negotiate a pay-off price and pay the debt in one large transaction.
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  • What is it About Energy Savings Americans Don’t Like?
    Saving energy is great. It helps the planet and saves on emissions. However, it is incredibly unattractive to most Americans. In order for Americans to jump on the bandwagon, energy efficiency needs to come with some real money savings.
  • First Person: What Happens When a Debt Collector Calls?
    Debt collectors are out to collect old debts using whatever tactics they can to ensure they intimidate you enough to pay the bill right then. The trick is to keep a level head and your information to yourself while you collect information on the bill.
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  • First Person: The Pitfalls of Debt Settlement
    Debt settlement is a great way to pay off old debts cheaply, but it comes with a couple major drawbacks. In order to get the best debt settlement, I had to have the money up front, I had to agree to pay over the phone, and I received a huge tax bill.
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  • John Edwards Is a Sinner, not a Criminal
    John Edwards was acquitted of illegally using campaign money to fund and hide his mistress and illegitimate child while he campaigned to become president of the U.S.
  • First Person: The True Cost of Cell Phone Insurance
    Cell phone insurance sounds like a great idea. It will replace your phone if it gets lost or broken, but I found that the cost of the insurance plus the fees can be more than the phone is worth.
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  • Romney Wins Texas but Focus is on Trump
    Mitt Romney cleared the 1,144 delegate hurdle on Tuesday night, but he wasn't even in Texas. Instead of addressing his Texas supporters in person, he was in Las Vegas with Donald Trump.
  • First Person: The True Cost of Having a Roommate
    Taking on a roommate to save money may sound like a great idea, but in my experience it hasn't saved me as much money as I thought it would, and in some cases it's actually cost me more money than living by myself.
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  • First Person: The True Cost of Health Insurance
    I am one of the millions of people that elects not to have medical coverage. I visit a doctor about three times a year at an average cost of $200 per visit. With medications, I only spend about $750 a year on medical care.
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  • Anonymous Posters: Sen. O'Mara Wants Your Names and Addresses
    Imagine never being able to post anonymously to the internet again without providing sensitive personal information. That's exactly what bill S6779-2011 would do if it were passed.
  • Facebook IPO: More Banker Mismanagement
    With Facebook's ridiculous IPO, but banks are under scrutiny again. When will banks learn? After three years of increased regulatory control, big banks are still making huge mistakes with their investor's money.
  • Dharun Ravi Receives 30 Days to Spite Lawyer's Shortcomings
    Dharun Ravi's lawyers tripped over themselves during Ravi's sentencing hearing. Steven Altman couldn't construct a coherent sentence, and Philip Nettl begged for leniency on the grounds that he had never defended anyone against bias charges before.
  • First Person: How Much Home Can I Afford?
    Before I buy a house, I want to know exactly how much house I can afford, and if that amount is something my bank will give me a mortgage for. For my bank, that means I have to be able to afford a house that's listed for more than $50,000.
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  • Renouncing U.S. Citizenship? Uncle Sam Still Wants Your Money
    If Sen. Chuck Schumer gets his way, the U.S. will be able to tax ex-citizens. That is completely ludicrous. It is gross abuse of government power, and completely against the founding concepts of the U.S.
  • First Person: I Will Not Consolidate My Debt
    I will never consolidate my debt. It costs too much. The monthly payments are too high, and the risk for mistakes is too high. I'd rather negotiate with my creditor and the bill collectors myself.
  • First Person: Budgeting for Small Business Expenses
    In order to budget for my business expenses, I have to plan ahead. Sometimes I have to plan more than a year ahead especially when it comes to affording my website and domain name. I do that by budgeting for all my business expenses by the day.
  • First Person: Retirement Savings on a Limited Income
    I started saving for my retirement slowly. I've never had thousands of dollars to put into a retirement account, so I began with a $100 CD that required a $50 deposit every month until it matured.
  • First Person: How Much Do I Need in My Emergency Fund?
    It's important for me to keep an adequate amount of money in my emergency fund. For me that means having six months worth of bills, food, gas, essentials, car repairs, and medical expenses sitting in an account.
  • More Big Bank Mismanagement: JPMorgan Loses $2 Billion in April
    JPMorgan lost $2 billion due to the financial mistakes Bruno Iksil. While the loss may be attributed to one trader's bad judgment, the implications are far wider. How many more banks have individual traders in charge of massive amounts of money?
  • The 30 Minute Workout: Great for Strength and Endurance
    I have been doing the "30 Minute Workout" at my gym for the last six months. It has improved my overall strength, endurance and mental well-being. I am now stronger than I have been in the last 10 years.
  • Indiana Says Yes and No to Republicans
    On Tuesday, Indiana decided that Mitt Romney was in for the Presidential nomination and Sen. Dick Lugar was out of the Senate. It sends a strong message to Republicans that Indiana will vote for what's best for Indiana.
  • Gay Marriage Steals Economy's Political Thunder
    Gay marriage has been thrust into the spotlight again. Vice President Joe Biden supports it while North Carolina banned it.
  • First Person: How Much Rent Can I Afford?
    When I calculate how much rent I can afford, I use my net income instead of my gross income. By using my net income, I am assured that I can afford my apartment for the entire length of the lease, and I'm not taking into consideration money I never see.
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  • First Person: I’ll Never Take Out Another Loan
    I am terrible about making loan payments. If it's a credit card, I am highly tempted to never pay it. If it's a car loan, I run the risk of the car becoming undrivable before I pay off the loan. For those reasons, I will never take out another loan.
  • First Person: The Hidden Costs of Having a Low Credit Score
    Having a low credit score isn't all bad. It makes identity theft seem like a joke. Who'd want to steal the identity of a person with bad credit. However, it does cost money to have a low credit score. It costs more in apartment and utility deposits.
  • First Person: Low Overhead Keeps My Startup Afloat
    I've been working for myself for a little over a year, and I don't see any reason to go back into the traditional workforce, but I've made some sacrifices in order to ensure my business is a success.
  • First Person: Making Sure I Get My Apartment Deposit Back
    When I signed the lease for my apartment, they provided a list of cleaning and repair fees for when I moved out of my apartment. If my apartment needed one of everything on the list, I'd receive a bill for over $2,000.
  • Posting Bin Laden’s Last Words Is a Security Threat in the Making
    The U.S. Army's West Point Combating Terrorism Center website plans to release Bin Laden's last words. That is a terrible idea. Not only does it allow everyone in the U.S. to view them, but it allows the remaining al-Qaeda members to view them.
  • Gingrich Drops Out; Why? Math and Money
    Gingrich is ending his presidential campaign Wednesday. That means that Romney will likely be the Republican nominee and up against Obama for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Fee’d and Billed to Death – Not Me
    I am completely against paying for more than I have to on everything. If I don't absolutely need to pay for something, I don't. This means I don't pay bank fees, TV fees, pizza delivery fees, or news fees. IN my opinion, that is just wasted money.
  • Is the Economy Improving or Isn’t It?
    The unemployment rate is currently 8.2 percent and while that's down from 9.1 percent in august, it's still well above the 5 percent we need to indicate a strong economy and jobs market.
  • First Person: How I Get Copies of My Credit Report for Free
    Staying on top of my credit reports and accounts activity helps me keep my credit score in good standing and prevent or catch fraudulent activity, and I get my credit reports for free. There are several ways to get free credit reports.
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  • Romney Won 5 States Tuesday Night, but is He Better Than Obama?
    Romney won all five states Tuesday night, and his speech reflected it. He asked the crowd if we were better off today than three years ago. We are not, but does Romney understand why we are not and how to fix it?
  • First Person: Unemployment Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
    When I first lost my job, I was eager to find a new job, but as the months and years eventually wore on, I realized that I might be better off if I just started my own business.
  • First Person: Inventory Tracking for Retail Expense Control
    Inventory tracking systems are essential for controlling expenses in retail. Too much inventory inflates the inventory dollars and leaves merchandise in the back room. Too little inventory means we can't sell as many as we need because we ran out.
  • First Person: 7 Generic Purchases I Will Not Make
    Buying generic brands can save a lot of money, but there are a few items that I will not buy in generic.
  • Voting Laws: Ensuring Only U.S. Citizens Vote
    Several states have passed voter ID laws since the last presidential election. These laws are designed to ensure that only legal U.S. citizens vote in the elections.
  • George Zimmerman Granted Bail; Is He in Danger?
    In the wake of George Zimmerman being granted bail at $150,000, a photograph of the back of his head was released. Does the photograph lessen the danger for George Zimmerman?
  • First Person: The 3 Tricks Grocery Stores Play on Consumers
    Grocery stores employ various tactics to get shoppers to spend more. They build huge displays. They price in multiples, and they give pennies off for gas, but that doesn't impress me. A lot of times I can find a better deal without buying the deals.
  • First Person: Spring Cleaning on a Budget
    Cleaning my entire apartment isn't expensive. IN fact, I can do it with $7.22. All I need are rags, paper towels, window cleaner, dish soap, scrub pads and bleach. I don't need floor cleaners or special cleaning sprays.
  • First Person: Preparing Financially to Change Jobs
    I take special precautions when I start looking for a new job. I don't quit my old job until I have a new job and a start date. I save my money, and I work harder.
  • First Person: The Financial Pitfalls of Changing Jobs
    Starting a new job can be expensive and financially catastrophic if it goes wrong. It's especially bad when the new employer lies about the position. In my situation, I accepted a permanent job only to find out it was temporary.
  • Women's Rights? It's All About Choices
    Women's rights are always a hot topic. Women should have more rights. Women should have less rights. It's not about more or less rights. It's about choices. Not every woman wants the same thing, but every woman wants choices.
  • Want a U.S. Savings Bond? Use Your Tax Refund
    The IRS has implemented a new savings strategy for tax payers who are slated to receive a refund. Tax payers can now put all or part of their refunds into a U.S. savings bond.
  • Rick Santorum Quits: Who Gets the Votes Now?
    Early Tuesday morning, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. It came on the heels of his daughter's release from the hospital and makes sense for the candidate, but who will get his votes in the primaries to come?
  • First Person: How Unforeseen Expenses Sabotage My Budget
    I run my budget down to the last dollar. I try to predict expenses. I make every effort possible to stick to my budget, but some weeks are just horrendous. This past week, I had to hire a maid, buy a new coffee maker, and get a tetanus shot.
  • First Person: My 3 Financial Truths
    When I graduated college, I thought I could survive on $7.55 an hour. After all, $7.55 an hour is $1,308 a month, and my bills were $1,200 a month. Except, I forgot a few details like taxes and biweekly pay periods.
  • First Person: How I Save Money By Moving
    I find that moving is the best way to lower overall living expenses. My next move will save me $816 a year and give me a larger apartment in a new complex.
  • First Person: My Life Without Credit Cards
    When I was in my early 20s, I had six credit cards and a minimum wage job. In order to survive, I had to learn to not rely on my credit cards and to buy everything in cash. It was a long, hard road, but I survived, and I take those lessons with me.
  • First Person: I'm Still Happy Renting
    I've found that renting is hassle-free and cheap, and while I'd like to own a house, renting is financially cheaper for me.
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