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Does Money Really Buy Happiness? 10 Things Money Can’t Buy


It’s the age-old question. Does money buy happiness? Some studies have shown that if spent the right way, money can in fact buy happiness, but the notion that having more money leads to more happiness is not always the case. Don’t get us wrong, having to stress until payday definitely doesn’t contribute to someone’s happiness. Money may be the answer to happiness related to materialistic things or less stress because of financial stability, but there are certain things in life that money can’t buy. Here is a list of 10 things that are very valued, yet no amount of money can buy them.


Money will definitely bring friends, but true and loyal friendships can’t be bought. A good friend can at times be a life necessity. There through the good times and the bad times, an honest, trusting relationship with someone is something to cherish and hold on to.

“ A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still gently allows you to grow.”

–William Shakespeare

work ethic

Being a hard and diligent worker will not only set you on the path to moving up that corporate ladder, but it is also a major reputation builder. Those with a good work ethic are respected and trusted by their peers. It’s a very valuable asset in life and shows true character in a person.

“Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

–Thomas Edison


All you need is love. Love is one of the most powerful and strong emotions that contribute to ones happiness. To love and to be loved is not just something that is wanted by individuals but is needed by all.

“Love cures people, both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”

– Dr. Karl Menninger


You can spend thousands on a college education at one the most prestigious schools, but when it comes to real-world experiences you can’t pay a dime for it. You have to put yourself in situations to gain relevant and real life experience. Wisdom is attained by succeeding and failing throughout life, which is exactly what gaining experience is all about.

“ The only source of knowledge is experience.”

– Albert Einstein

peace of mind

Some things in life are beyond our control and being able to cope with unexpected downfalls and not letting them affect our mental state negatively is having peace of mind. Peace of mind gives us freedom from stress and greatly contributes to our overall happiness.

“Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”

–Christian D. Larson


Heard of the saying, “time is money?” Well once its gone, you can’t buy it back. Time is a valuable thing because everyday that passes is one less day you have on this earth. What you chose to do with your time contributes tremendously to being a happy or unhappy person.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” –William Penn


It’s all about perspective. Positivity can go a long way to creating a happy state of mind and it’s not something you can just pick up at the grocery store. Being a positive person not only spreads good vibes to your peers, but also contributes to lowering your stress level.

“ We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

– Abraham Lincoln


A good reputation is gained by your actions not by your bank account. Though you may get a reputation because you have money, having a good reputation comes down to a person’s character and how their interactions on a daily basis affect others negatively or positively.

“Its takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

–Benjamin Franklin


Don’t get a talent confused with a skill. You can pay to learn a skill, but a talent is something that comes naturally. Talents come in many forms, and everyone’s talents are not the same, which makes them a thing of value. How you use your talents can greatly define your happiness.

“Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; Doing what is impossible with talent is genius.”

–Henri Frederic Amiel


Putting in the time and effort and successfully completing a goal or task is one of the best feelings in the world. Unfortunately you can’t bottle that feeling and sell it. It takes good old-fashioned work to create the satisfying feeling of finishing something.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started. “

–David Allen


Small Changes that will Make You a Happier Person


True happiness-Is it not what everyone in life is after? If you view happiness as something that some just naturally have and others do not, then you are looking at this emotion completely wrong. Happiness is a feeling that needs to be nurtured. Everyone deserves to have it, yet you have to make a concise decision to strive for it. Though there are those individuals who are just naturally happier, attaining a greater sense of this emotion and achieving the title of “a happy person” can be done with these simple changes in your life.

Do what you love, love what you do

Is the only thing getting you through the day the anticipation of payday? Make sure the line of work you’re in matches up with things you enjoy doing. If you enjoy math, work in finances. If you’re a people person and enjoy helping others, work in retail or as a customer service rep. You want to be able to look forward to the activities you do everyday and not be counting down the hours till it’s over.

Smile often

Multiple studies have shown that just the act of smiling, whether it be sincere or not, can actually cause one to feel happier. Try to occasionally smile while driving to work everyday and see if your mood is improved.

Start exercising

It has been proven that daily physical activity lowers the risk of depression and anxiety. And don’t think that you now have to get a gym membership and become a fitness junkie. Just simply taking a light jog or walk for 10 minutes a day is all it takes to improve ones happiness and health.

Get adequate sleep

No matter how much you love your job and the people you work with, if you’re tired throughout the day it’s going to affect your mood. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night will dramatically increase your chances of being happy. That’s 7 to 9 hours ofgood sleep as well. To help fall into a deep sleep, try to avoid using any mobile devices like tablets or smartphones 30 minutes before hitting the sack.

Spend time with the ones you love

Life is short, so spend it with the ones you love. Love is a strong emotion that is directly intertwined with happiness. Make a conscious effort to start spending more quality time with friends and family.

Get some fresh air

Staying cooped up all day is bound to make anyone go crazy eventually. And with television and the use of smart phones and other devices, you might not even realize how much of your free time is actually spent indoors. Spending more time outside and being exposed to healthy amounts of sunlight has been scientifically proven to trigger endorphins that create the feeling of happiness. Try taking your lunch breaks outside if possible and sitting on a porch or balcony when relaxing after a hard days work. Taking a hike on your day off is another excellent idea, which encompasses both exercise and being outdoors.

Summer Activities

Easy and Fun Activities to Entertain Your Kids this Summer


Summer is here, and school is out. If you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad your parental duties have just increased substantially. Your title this summer, “The Entertainer.” You can expect your bright-eyed children to be standing at the end of your bed every morning just waiting to be entertained. Yes, you have the option to occasionally loan your kids to the grandparents for the day, but it’s a long summer and your going to need to get creative to survive. To help lessen the stress of keeping your kids engaged, we have created a list of the easiest summer time activities to try with your little ones. Stay strong parents and remember that August is just around the corner.

  • Let your kids write and illustrate their own storybook. And if you really want to commit to this project, create a DIY hardcover book by following the instructions on
  • Campout in your back yard. Set up a campfire and tent or just use your grill to roast hotdogs and marshmallows.
  • Take a walk in your neighborhood or on a nature trail and make a collage of the items you find during the journey.
  • Teach your kids about the art of making money by setting up a lemonade stand.
  • Buy a water balloon kit at Dollar General or Wal-Mart and have a water balloon fight.
  • Make paper boats and then have kids race them in a kiddie pool. Have them use straws to blow the boats to the other side of the pool.
  • Find a sidewalk, get some colored chalk, and let your kids go to town creating a sidewalk mural.
  • Have kids search for unique rocks and then paint them to create rock pets.
  • Create your own Olympics in the backyard with races, hurdles and relays.
  • Make DIY bubbles that are more resilient to popping. Mix 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin to make huge bubbles that will be harder to pop.
  • Set up an alphabetical scavenger hunt at the park or even in your house where kids have to find one item for every letter in the alphabet.
  • Get some old cardboard boxes and duct tape together and make a castle fort in the backyard.
  • Participate in a local free kid’s workshop. Stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot host kids workshops during the summer and have multiple entertaining hands on activities for them to do.
  • Buy some washable tempera paint and let your kids have a paint war (outside of course). To wash paint off, let them play in the sprinkler for a while.
  • Have a game day where you let your kids be creative and create there own board game.

Tips and Tricks for a Profitable Summer Yard Sale


So you’ve already attempted the whole yard sale thing before and failed miserably. The goal of extra cash while de-cluttering your home ended in a trip to goodwill while barely making any money. A yard sale can be a lot of work and if you go about it the wrong way you can end up with a whole lot of wasted efforts. Done right, and you end up with extra cash in your pocket and less left over items to get rid of. Follow the tips below and you’re sure to have a prosperous summer yard sale.


Make sure your presence is known. Put up multiple signs around your neighborhood that can be clearly read and are not too flashy. All that needs to be advertised is the address and time. And so everyone knows ahead of time, place signs 2 to 3 days prior to the event. It also helps to place an ad in the local newspaper, as well as letting neighbors know via a post on a group/community Facebook page.


Make it easy for your customers to shop. Some maybe looking for a specific item, so make sure everything is visible and no one has to rummage through a pile of stuff. Group items in categories like toys, kitchen items, and furniture. When it comes to clothing, have everything hanging if possible and arranged by size.


Think about a retail store and how much work goes into displaying the products. Looks matter, and If you’re selling clothes that look dirty and wrinkled, there is a good chance they will be passed over by shoppers. Clean all items prior to the sale to make them shine like new, and for clothes make sure they are washed and ironed. Furniture needs to be arranged as it would be in an actual room. An example would be to layout a rug underneath a couch or other furniture for sale. Playing soothing music in the background also will add to the ambiance of your yard sale boutique and give shoppers a better experience.


You can expect to be confronted by hagglers trying to get you to sell an item for practically nothing. Don’t give in. Have prices clearly mark on each item, and make sure all items are not overpriced. Bargain hunters will be less likely to ask you to sell an item at a lower price if it is already a great deal. And remember, part of the goal for your yard sale is to de-clutter, so getting rid of an items for less than you paid for it shouldn’t be an issue. For bigger items like furniture, make large price signs so shoppers aren’t searching for that small, hidden price tag.


Timing is everything. You can have some great items that you are practically giving away, but if the time frame is off then you won’t be selling anything. Go ahead and cut weekdays out. The chances that people will want to come shop after a full day of work is very slim. Friday evening is the optimum time to start a yard sale. Not only will you attract those who are starting their weekend, but it’s also a great time for retirees. Though we recommend running your sale Friday to Sunday, if you’re planning a one-day sale make sure it’s Sunday. Most people will be running errands on their Saturday off, so a Sunday will probably end up being a much more profitable day. Start early and end late. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm is a good timeframe to ensure all who planned to come get a chance to.


Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank


We know the struggle is real. You have great intentions of eating healthy, but the convenience and price of fast food reels you in every time. And let’s face it; a greasy hamburger is a lot more satisfying than a kale salad. Positives aside, eating that McDonalds burger and fries isn’t getting you any closer to a healthier you. Price can be a big contributing factor to losing the battle against fast food, as many healthier food options are actually more expensive. To help guide you toward budget friendly, healthier eating, we have compiled a list of money saving tips.

Meal plan

So this is the part where convenience goes out the window (sorry). Eating healthy needs to be looked at as part of your lifestyle, which means you have to be dedicated to preparing your meals instead of racing through a drive-thru window. Planning your meals ahead of time makes budgeting a lot easier as you have more control over what you’re spending per meal. Plan to make foods like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries, which stretch more expensive items like meat into more portions.

Buy in season

Not only are the prices for fruits and vegetables cheaper when bought in season, but also fresher, adding to a better taste. An issue of concern with buying fruits and vegetables for a lot of shoppers is that the items will ruin. If you think that you won’t be using certain fruits or vegetables right away, buy ones that aren’t fully ripened yet. You can also freeze any leftover fruits and use them later for a smoothie.

Cut out the snacks

We don’t mean all snacks, just those unhealthy vending machine snacks that catch your eye between lunch and dinner. Sodas and sugar filled treats not only are extremely unhealthy for you, they also add up in cost. Instead, try making your own healthy snacks. Items like nuts and yogurt are great to hold you over till the next meal and are super cheap when buying in bulk.

Bulk buy

It’s going to hit your bank account hard at first, but in the long run you will spend less on groceries leading to savings. Items like chicken, steak or fish, as well as large bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables will almost always be cheaper to buy in bulk. Even if you don’t think you’ll use them all in a week’s time, you can always freeze these items and use for the next week.

Start a garden

It’s a lot easier than you might think to grow your own food, and the savings are big for this one. If you’re going to eat healthy, fruits and vegetables are a must for your diet, so you can expect to spend money on these items. So let’s break it down. The average cost for a pound of organic tomatoes is $4.00. The cost to buy a potted tomato plant at Home Depot that will produce 8 pounds of tomatoes costs $4.98. Yep, that’s a lot of savings. And don’t think you need a back yard to have a garden. You can find multiple tutorials online on how to create window vegetable gardens for those living in an apartment or condo.

Grilled Food

10 Unique Foods to Grill for the Best Cookout on the Block


For most Memorial Day cookouts it can be expected that two items will always be present. Hamburgers and hotdogs – the staple food used for grilling. Don’t get us wrong, we love some juicy burgers and mustard drenched hotdogs, but what if you kicked it up a notch this year and got creative with your cookout. To help you throw the most memorable Memorial Day cookout ever, we have created a list of foods you might not have considered to throw on the grill. Enjoy.

Ice Cream

Grill something that easily melts if not in the freezer? That’s right, simply scoop out your favorite ice cream into medium sized balls, coat them with a mixture of egg batter and coconut shavings, and place in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours. Once frozen throw them on the grill for one to two minutes and BAM! Grilled ice cream.


It’s a burger’s favorite companion, just without the deep fryer. Cut up potato slices into wedges and mix in a bowl with olive oil and seasoning. Grill each side 5 to 10 minutes and they’re ready to be served. If you’re looking for a more health conscience version, try using sweet potatoes.


Bring a little Italian flare to the cookout by grilling pizza. Buy some pre-made pizza dough, coat it with olive oil and place it on the grill. Take off the grill once you see grill marks, and add desired toppings to the grilled side of the dough. Place pizza back on the grill for two to three minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble.


This is a simple one. Just mix up your favorite meatball recipe and put uncooked meatball on the grill for about 7 minutes. Meatballs should be brown with a crispy shell. Enjoy in pasta or on a sub.


Ditch the apron and put on a sombrero. Brush tortillas with olive oil and place on the grill. Place toppings on the tortilla and cover grill. In about 7 minutes you will be ready to remove and fold over for the perfect Quesadilla.


Is there ever a reason not to add Avocado to a meal? When it comes to grilling simply cut in half (the skin stays on), take out the seed, and coat with olive oil. Place the cut side down on the grill and let cook for about 5 minutes. Fill with salsa or cheese and enjoy.


Have no fear, the bacon is here. But if you do fear the mess of frying bacon then grilling it is your key to a grease-free clean up. And since it won’t be sitting in it’s own fat, it will be a healthier version. Cook each slice of bacon for five to six minutes on medium-high heat, crumble it up and add it to your hotdog.


Grilled fruit as a dessert, now that sounds just peachy! Cut peach in half , leaving the skin on and removing the seed. Place peach on the grill, skin side up, for about four minutes or until peach is softened and charred. Pair it with some ice cream and you’ve got the perfect grilled dessert.

Banana Split

While we’re on this grilled fruit and ice cream thing, let’s just add the most famous ice cream and fruit combo, the banana split. Take a ripe and firm banana and cut lengthwise with the peel still on. Grill cut-side down for 2-3 minutes, and then remove from heat. Remove the peel and add all the good stuff (ice cream, nuts, chocolate syrup, etc.).


Nothing kicks off the beginning of summer better than a good slice of watermelon. Cover with olive oil and grill each side for three minutes. Sprinkle with salt or sugar and add some lemon juice for a non-traditional version of everyone’s favorite summer snack.

Certified Image

Top Paying Jobs that Only Require a Certification



Education is the key to success, and at Advance Financial we take great pride in our community involvement with numerous education programs throughout TN. Learning a specific skill or trade can better oneself, and a lot of times lead to a higher paycheck. Though getting a college degree may be a requirement for some jobs, there are also many career opportunities that only require a certification. Schooling to get one of these certifications can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to complete. Below we have compiled a list of the top paying jobs that only require a certification.

Dental Assistant

Median Hourly Pay: $16.66

The time period required to become a certified dental assistant is relatively low being a nine to eleven month academic program through a community college, vocational school, technical institutes, or dental school. Dental assistance job duties include preparing patients for treatments, teeth cleanings, sterilizing instruments and assisting the dentist during procedures.

Pharmacy Technician

Median Hourly Pay: $13.02

Certified pharmacy technicians work directly with pharmacists to administer prescriptions. Job duties include measuring drug amounts, labeling of pills, and ensuring all necessary customer data is entered into reporting systems accurately. Technicians also answer over-the-counter drug questions as well as answer phone calls pertaining to prescription drug questions. The schooling required to become a Pharmacy Technician takes around 3 months to complete.

Electrical Technician

Median Hourly Wage: $20.82

Electrical technicians install, repair, and maintain electrical equipment in residential households as well as businesses. Most vocational schools offer a certificate program that can be completed in a matter of months. Technicians must have a vast knowledge of federal and state regulations as well as stay up-to-date on all safety practices. Functions of the job include calibrating, troubleshooting, inspecting, cleaning, and modifying electrical equipment. Most electrical technicians work in a factory or production-type environment.


Median Hourly Pay: $13.63

Phlebotomists collect blood, urine, and other samples, and prepare them to be sent for analysis. Depending on the program, getting certified can take 4 to 8 months of schooling. Being able to read and follow careful directions is very important for this profession, as it is a Phlebotomist’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of patients’ test results. Having prior data entry experience and having a basic knowledge of medical software are added bonuses being that a patient’s information must be entered manually following proper protocol.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Median Hourly Wage: $18.82

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) are responsible for a broad range of nursing tasks and patient-care. Having good communications skills are a must for this job due to the amount of inter-actions nurses have with patients and their families. Organization and being able to multitask is another key skill one must possess to fulfill the role of a Licensed Practical Nurse. It usually takes 12 months to complete the certificate program to become an LPN.

Transportation Security Officer

Median Hourly Wage: $15.45

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) generally hires Transportation Security Officers. Prerequisites for this job are a high school diploma or a GED as well as being a United States citizen and at least 18 years of age. No prior experience is required for this role, as the TSA trains all their employees extensively. In this position, one must be able to identify illegal and hazardous materials during bag screenings while also monitoring people to determine if additional screening is necessary. Good communication skills are a plus as well due to the amount of interactions officers have with travelers. The training program to get your certification is typically one month and begins right after being hired by the TSA.

Crowded Beach In United States

Best Places to Go this Memorial Day Weekend

Crowded Beach In United States

Since 1971, the last Monday in May has been recognized as Memorial Day, a federal holiday to remember those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Most people end up getting a 3-day weekend because of the holiday, which in turn means a lot of traveling. According to AAA Travel, last year 37.2 million Americans took a trip 50 miles or more for Memorial Day weekend. 37.2 million travelers means a lot of traffic and crowds to fight, and that stress is not something you want to be part of your 3-day vacation.

To help you in your quest for a crowd-free Memorial weekend we have compiled a list of the best places to go to lessen the stress of planning a trip. And if price is another stressor, we can help there as well. Advance Financial can get you the money you need fast with our FLEX Loan. Even if you’re planning your trip last minute, we are open 24/7 so you can come in or go online anytime.

Colonial Beach, Virginia

If it’s the beach you want, you’re going to have to accept a couple extra people to be crowding around you on the sand. Colonial Beach will still have an influx of vacationers grabbing a spot on the sandy shoreline, but it won’t be nearly as bad as some of the more popular destinations like Myrtle Beach or Destin.

 Buffalo National River, Arkansas

So you’ve decided that the beach is just too much of a gamble, but you still need to be close to a body of water. The Buffalo River is your ticket to low crowd relaxing while floating on an inner tube. The River flows freely for 135 miles and is a combination of fast-flowing rapids and quiet pool.

Saint Louis, Missouri

Memorial Weekend for Saint Louis means the local residents are fleeing to the southern shores, making it the perfect time to visit. The city is filled with tons of entertainment where you won’t have to wait in lines. From theme parks to live music shows, the city has lots of options to choose from to ensure your Memorial Weekend will be memorable.

New York, New York

Memorial weekend is one of the calmest times of the year for New York. Locals are rushing to get out to the beaches, which leaves the city a lot less crowded. New York also has a lower rate of tourist during this time due to the weather and people wanting to kick off their summer close to the beach.


Yep that’s right, stay home. If you live anywhere that a beach is not present then the crowds are likely to be low. Even just going an hour away to a closer city with more to offer can be an option. There are loads of things to do in your own neck of the woods, you just got to get out and explore. An essential tool for a staycation is an app like Living Social to help make all your activity possibilities a little more visible.

Photo Credit:Liz Lawley

Happy Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day on a Budget


Saturday, February 14th, as most everyone knows, is Valentine’s Day. A day of love. A day of expensive flowers and dinners and cards and jewelry. But what about people who are on a budget. Their day shouldn’t be ruined just because their pockets aren’t lined with cash.

Here are some ideas to stretch your Valentine’s Day dollar.

  • Give your love a single red rose. Instead of buying a dozen red roses (which on Saturday will cost you double what they would normally cost) just get one beautiful red rose.
  • Buy him/her their favorite chocolate. Pick out something they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves instead of an expensive box of chocolates.
  • Spend time together. Watch a movie, take a walk, just sit and talk. The time you spend with that special someone will mean more than any overpriced stuffed animal you could buy.
  • Cook at home. Don’t spend an arm and a leg (not to mention trying to get reservations) on a meal out. Eat in. Prepare your partner’s favorite food or dessert or get a special bottle of wine.
  • Stargaze. Drive out to the country away from the lights of the city and stargaze. Talk about romantic!
  • Write your special someone a love letter. There’s nothing sweeter than saying I love you in a poem or make your own card.

These are just a few ideas for an inexpensive way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Use your imagination. You’ll be surprised just how romantic you can be, if you just put a little thought into it.

Remember, as always, we’re here to help. If you do need extra cash for the holiday, come in to one of our 24/7 locations or visit us online. We want everyone to have a great Valentine’s Day, no matter how you choose to celebrate.

Photo Credit: Andrea Schunert


Baby, It’s Cold Outside!


One of the most special things about the winter holidays are the lights. Isn’t is lovely riding down the dark streets and seeing the warm glow of twinkling lights in windows of homes and spread over the lawns with such great care? But the holidays have passed and the gray of January is once again upon us. And here in Nashville this week, as well as across the country, IT’S COLD.

If your house is like most, there are areas where it feels like the Snow Miser is standing next to you. But there are things you can do to help stay warm and toasty this winter. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Use thick curtains to keep in the heat. Take advantage of the sun while it’s shining to bring in some natural heat. But at night, close the curtains and keep the heat in. Also, if you don’t want to spend the money on thick curtains, old sheets and blankets can be used.
  • Use area rugs. Does your floor feel like the frozen tundra? Rugs help to keep those tootsies warm. House shoes are also helpful.
  • If you’re inside (and especially if you’re outside), wear extra layers. Keep a sweater handy to wear around the house. Layers always help keep you warm. And hey, if you get too warm, you can always take a layer off.
  • Use the oven. Of course you shouldn’t try to heat your house with the oven, but after you’re finished baking, open the oven door to let the heat into the room.
  • Keep a blanket or throw on the sofa. If you’re sitting still, you’re probably more chilly than if you’re moving around. Always have a throw handy to “throw” over your legs while watching your favorite program on the tube.
  • Sip on a hot beverage. Warm up with a nice, hot cup of tea (or toddy if you’re so inclined).

Staying warm isn’t always easy and keeping the heat on is crucial during the frigid days ahead. If we can help with any of your financial needs, please visit one of our area stores. We’re always here to help, 24/7/365.

Photo Credit: Ryan Stahle