Scholarship Giveaway

As I continue on my journey of achieving my masters degree, is offering a scholarship giveaway that I have created this post as my submission for consideration.

For those who’ve been visiting my page for some time will know, saving money was born out of necessity for me. Seven years ago, I found myself homeless, pregnant, jobless and struggling to feed my family. From that experience, I learned how to maximize my purchases, budget, and share my tips with others who also wanted to save.


Couponing can seem overwhelming. There is so much information available, it is difficult to know where to start. Planning is key. Mapping out meals for grocery shopping will help keep your shopping list in check, and prevent overspending on food that you may not eat. Utilizing grocery store circulars can help determine the type of meals you will want to prepare. If ground beef is on sale, maybe a meatloaf that will provide leftovers for lunches. There are websites available that can also help with food planning like
There are many websites for grocery store coupons available, and also print coupons in the newspaper. With the advent of everyone having a mobile phone, there are now mobile coupons available for both retail and grocery store purchases. Apps like Ibotta, Shopkick, and, can help reduce grocery costs. Retail coupon apps like, CartWheel, and SavingsCatcher can help prevent over spending for your everyday items.

The number one consideration to always keep in mind is planning and preparation. Whenever a purchase is to be made, research is important to ensure you aren’t overpaying for an item. Online shopping sites like can help with online shopping discounts and rebates back on purchases. Any search engine can also be a great tool for searching for lower prices on an item you may be looking for. There are also countless websites and blogs like that can help investigate savings both in stores and online. These communities can also connect you with other people who also want to save and be frugal. Getting the information word of mouth is sometimes the fastest way to be aware of the latest promotion or savings opportunity.

Subscription services can also provide deep discounts for everyday items you may buy regularly. can be as low as $3.00 a month for razor blades. also has monthly subscription services for everyday items like toilet paper or shampoo. Some of these items can even be delivered the same day.

Overall, regardless of the savings method you use planning and budgeting are the key. Impulse spending can be dangerous and should be kept to a minimum, or set a planned amount accordingly as “blow” money. Setting a spending goal and working within your means will provide a less stressful experience. If your juggling work, school, home life and personal time, these skills will become crucial to your well being. There are great courses available to help with financial planning and budgeting like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. This course was extremely helpful for me in getting on track with spending. I started out using the envelope system and operated only with cash. It taught me how to stay within my means, even when emergencies came up.

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Discounted eBooks for a Limited Time {4/26}

The following ebooks are discounted for a limited time, some only through today.

Discounted Price $1.99

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s
Discounted Price: $1.99

The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age
Discounted Price: $1.99

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean
Discounted Price $1.99

Deliver Us from Evil
Discounted Price: $.99

One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life
Discounted Price: $1.99

Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids
Discounted Price: $1.99

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If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download this free application which will allow you to read Kindle books on your PC. You can read this ebook on an assortment of other devices as well. Just download the appropriate application from the Amazon site.
Amazon prices change frequently. Please check the price before you hit “Buy”. 

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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Free eBooks {4/26}

The following ebooks are free right now at Amazon. Click on the title below the image to read more about the book:

Subscribe to The Prudent Reader
to get updates delivered daily to your inbox.
{enter your email address at the top of the page}

If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download this free application which will allow you to read Kindle books on your PC. You can read this ebook on an assortment of other devices as well. Just download the appropriate application from the Amazon site.
Amazon prices change frequently. Please check the price before you hit “Buy”. 
If the “Kindle Price” is $0.00, the ebook is free. If it states “Prime Members $0.00 Read it for free”, the price has gone up and the ebook is no longer free. 
(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Thanks, Prudent Reader!

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Summer Reading Tradition: Gift from the Sea

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea is the one book that I read each summer. The beach theme and thought-provoking prose combine for a perfect beach read.

Here are some other favorites from the author:

And a memoir by her daughter:

by Reeve Lindbergh

(I love the convenience of shopping online and I think you will too. The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Thanks, Prudent Reader!

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Recommended Reading: Lilly Pulizer

Learn more about the woman behind the designs with these resources:

Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend

From Amazon:
The real story behind a very private American fashion icon—Lilly Pulitzer
Today, Lilly Pulitzer’s iconic brand of clean-cut, vibrantly printed clothes called “”Lillys”” can be spotted everywhere. What began decades ago as a snob uniform in Palm Beach became a general fashion craze and, later, an American classic. In contrast to the high visibility of her brand, Lilly Pulitzer has largely kept her tumultuous personal story to herself. Bursting forth into glossy fame from a protected low-key world of great wealth and high society, through heartbreaks, treacheries, scandals, and losses, her life, told in detail here for the first time, is every bit as colorful and exciting as her designs.

From Amazon:
More than just the woman who created the fashion empire that bears her name, Lilly Pulitzer exemplifies an attitude, a casual sort of elegance, a style called “affluence at ease.” Lilly and her clothing wholeheartedly embrace color — she made famous the pink and green combination — and her love of vibrant hues and bold prints led the New York Times to recently call her “a major force in prep resort wear for forty years.”

 (Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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Productivity Habits: The Essential Reading List

We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

by Gretchin Rubin

Also Recommended:

      (Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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Spectorsoft Announces Splunk Enterprise Connector to Deter and Detect Insider Threats Within Big Data Environments

VERO BEACH, FL — October 7, 2014 — SpectorSoft, a leader in the user activity monitoring and analysis market, today announced a connector for Splunk Enterprise from Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), the leading software platform for real-time operational intelligence with more than 7,900 customers, including more than half of the Fortune 100. The new connector enables Spector 360 to deliver user activity data and alerts to Splunk implementations so IT security operations teams can rapidly detect and deter insider threats including security breaches, data theft and fraud. Joint customers gain greater visibility into potential insider threats with rapid correlation of computer and network activity data with employee activity data within the Splunk console.

This is especially crucial now, because insider threats are on the rise. Our recent SpectorSoft 2014 Insider Threat Survey revealed that approximately 65 percent of IT respondents reported they had experienced an insider attack, but with an estimated 75 percent of all insider crimes going unnoticed, a large majority of organizations likely have been affected. Insider threats are notoriously difficult to detect, but Spector 360 helps Splunk users identify the subtle human behavioral patterns that indicate improper use of authorized access—from phrases used in email to the moving of IP to a personal cloud—and initiate further investigation or immediate action. Spector 360 brings visibility into user actions performed within applications, behind encryption or on cloud-based solutions.

Spector 360 empowers IT security teams to detect insider threat activity because it flows detected indicators to Splunk as event alerts. If an alert warrants a closer look, Splunk adminstrators can quickly review activity in context by checking the Spector 360 database for details on user or group activity and then take appropriate action.

“Insider threats are not easy to detect, as they involve individuals that have been granted proper access but use that access improperly. By including user activity data and alerts from Spector 360 in Splunk implementations, our customers can reduce the risk of security breaches, data theft and Fraud,” said Mike Tierney, COO of SpectorSoft. “This adds a dimension of analysis that enables data from computer and network activity to be correlated with employee activity data, providing a level of insight that is unprecendented in the industry and ultimately protects a company‘s valuable assets.”

The Spector 360 connector for Splunk Enterprise is generally available and can be downloaded here:

SpectorSoft is a Level 3 sponsor of the Fifth Annual Splunk Worldwide Users’ Conference .conf2014 being held October 6–9 at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. .conf2014 features more than 150 sessions, including more than 70 customer presentations and is expected to attract more than 4,000 IT and business professionals. SpectorSoft will be in booth A3.

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SpectorSoft Announces FREE Disk Monitoring Software

VERO BEACH, FLSept. 24, 2014 — SpectorSoft™, a leader in the user activity monitoring and analysis market, today announced availability of SpectorSoft FREE Disk Monitor™, a set of capabilities formerly only available for purchase within the proven SpectorSoft Server Manager software product. SpectorSoft FREE Disk Monitor provides small IT teams a convenient dashboard for monitoring disk space and ensuring resource availability across all their network storage resources. The software comprises a comprehensive set of disk monitoring and file utilization features not found in other free products.

While the complexity of disk monitoring has increased during the past few years, so have other business-critical demands on scarce and expensive skilled IT personnel, who are expected to manage all aspects of a fast-changing environment and keep systems running seamlessly. Effective utilization of resources is key in every department within an organization. Ensuring proper management of disk space is critical to a business continuity plan. Running out of disk space can result in a loss of services, unproductive users, and potentially corrupt data. FREE Disk Monitor provides one convenient place to monitor the entire network storage resources.

Product Details

SpectorSoft FREE Disk Monitor tracks disk space and utilization, directory and file sizes, temp file information, and file and folder permissions to protect data and ensure storage availability. A single easy-to-navigate dashboard displays all critical disk resources information, including:

  • Free disk space
  • Utilization
  • Smart predictive failure notifications
  • Directory size
  • Large or temporary files
  • Access permissions
  • File extension breakdown
  • Active or idle files

Users can view disk monitoring information in real time on a dashboard, receive scheduled email notifications, and also post the data to an Intranet web server or write it to a SQL database.

About Server Manager

SpectorSoft Server Manager™ offers server monitoring and event log management scalable for large enterprises or small businesses, while remaining extremely cost-effective. Customers can proactively monitor and manage the performance and traffic on the network, while fulfilling HIPAA, PCI DSS and SOX compliance requirements. The client/server architecture enables users to manage the network and receive desktop notification from any location.

Free Availability

Previously, organizations could only get Disk Monitoring capabilities by purchasing them as part of the SpectorSoft Server Manager product. To get FREE Disk Monitor, users can now download and install a trial of Server Manager that will last for 30 days. Once the trial expires, users enter the license for FREE Disk Monitor to receive unlimited ongoing disk monitoring functionality.

For the latest news and developments on SpectorSoft and the user activity monitoring and analysis software market:

More Disk Monitor Information:

Download/ Free License Request:

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SpectorSoft Survey Reveals Overwhelming Majority of Enterprises Unable to Deter, Detect or Detail Human Behavior Associated With Insider Threats

VERO BEACH, FLA.—August 21, 2014—SpectorSoft, the leading provider of insider threat detection solutions, today announced the results of a survey of 355 IT professionals regarding their experiences with the prevention and detection of insider threats within their organizations. The survey revealed an overwhelming majority of organizations are unable to detect or deter insider threats, leaving them vulnerable to fraud, data breaches and IP theft. Sixty one percent of respondents said they do not have the ability to deter an insider threat. Another 59 percent admitted they do not have the ability to detect an insider threat, while, 75 percent stated that they do not have the ability to detail the human behavioral activities of an insider threat. These last two statistics are surprising since insider threats originate from some type of human criminal behavior.

Even more alarming, 61 percent of respondents do not believe they are adequately prepared to respond to insider threats.
The nature of insider threats—an authorized person misusing his or her authorization—makes it difficult to detect such attacks and protect against them. While the percentage of insider threats has stayed broadly consistent in the last ten years, the total number of such attacks has increased dramatically, resulting in $2.9 trillion in employee fraud losses globally per year. In the U.S. alone, the most recent year on record, organizations suffered $40 billion in losses due to employee theft and fraud—but chances are that even more fraud went undetected.*

Evidence suggests that just 10 percent of employees account for 95 percent of incidents, which indicates that the vast majority of employees are trustworthy. But it’s hard to know who these employees are and how to prevent threats, especially because, according to the 2014 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, “most insider misuse occurs within the boundaries of trust necessary to perform normal duties.”

The Verizon report also laid out interesting statistics related to insider threats. According to the report, some of the top industries facing insider threats are real estate, transportation and manufacturing. However, all industries are at risk if they do not have the proper precautions in place. Insider espionage targeting internal data and trade secrets is becoming a bigger issue, with more and more companies having their sensitive data exposed as a result of not being in a position to deter, detect and detail malicious behavior. Privilege abuse, unapproved hardware/software (BYOD), email misuse and data mishandling are some of the behaviors putting companies at risk, the report concluded.

Key Inhibitors

In correlation with these statistics, the results of the SpectorSoft survey reveal that organizations are facing a number of obstacles when it comes to dealing with insider threats. The number-one inhibitor cited was a lack of available technology solutions, with 55 percent of respondents choosing that option. Half of the respondents claimed not to have the budget needed to support such initiatives, and about a third of respondents stated that a lack of staffing prevented them from being adequately prepared to respond to insider threats. A lack of internal staff and training was also mentioned as a big challenge (36 percent).

Key Motivators

Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents believe that detecting insider threat behavior is most important to their organization in terms of prevention. Deterring insider threat behavior was cited as the second biggest priority (41 percent), and detailing insider threat human behavior lagged behind at 10 percent. When responding to insider threats, the majority (69 percent) believe a prevention-centered approach is most important, whereas 31 percent believe a detection-centered approach is most important.

“These statistics paint a bleak picture when it comes to securing company data against insider threats,” stated Rob Williams, chief marketing officer at SpectorSoft. “With so many data breaches happening, C-level executives are coming to the realization that their jobs could be on the line if company data isn’t protected. Proper defense must include a comprehensive security solution, and with humans involved, education is just as key. The market is ripe for a new approach to internal security.”

Survey Methodology

Survey respondents were IT security professionals within organizations conducting business in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. The organizations ranged in size from SMBs to enterprises, and respondent job titles ranged from IT to specific security-focused roles.


** Source: 2013 US State of Cybercrime Survey, CSO Magazine, U.S. Secret Service, Software Engineering Institute CERT Program at Carnegie Mellon University and Price Waterhouse Cooper, June 2013.

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Information On Benefits Of Ministry Degrees

You might have been going to church for a long time now and you feel like you want to get more involved in church and ministerial activities. This is the high time you think about acquiring more education on religious activities. By joining a theoretical college, it gives you a better chance to serve God. Gaining more ministerial knowledge enables individuals to have a greater impact on their society. Therefore, ministry degrees are a vital tool in spreading the word. You can enroll in a college that is within your locality.

There are various things that you will get to learn by enrolling for the course. Some of them include wisdom traditions, faith traditions and theological traditions. They also provide you with general knowledge on religious issues, bible study, Christian counseling, development of character and they also emphasize on human responsibility. With the religious degree, an individual gets an entrance to various ministries including biblical applications and personal ministries. They mainly focus on religious systems and beliefs.

There are many advantages of joining such a course. Most of those who join such courses do so for the sake of personal improvement. To such individuals, they take it upon themselves as a calling from God to spread the word. This is a career opportunity. Therefore, one can join the ministries as a full time duty. Some jobs attract salaries which vary according to the job description.

The salary an individual earns mostly depends on various factors like size of the congregation. A church made up of young people and their number is small means that it is still growing; therefore, it requires a part time minister. The salary of such a minister might not be too large so he might need an extra source of income. A large denomination on the other hand will attract a larger salary and other benefits including health benefits because the members are many.

There are a variety of job opportunities for you as a degree holder. If perhaps you do not want to be or do not get a job as a minister in church there are other positions you can work in without having to be a pastor. Other jobs do exist like youth and leadership in church services or choir.

There are other opportunities as a counselor of children mentor. You can also go to institutions such as prisons, hospitals and schools. It is not easy to work as the head pastor with only a degree. For such positions, one has to gain more education. This includes enrolling for a doctorate degree.

As an adult who is already involved in church activities whether as an employee or a volunteer, enrolling for a degree program is recommended. Most churches prefer getting an individual who has a good religious background and not just a degree. Such an individual is more likely to be committed to church activities.

Before you enroll for the course, consider your denomination. Most colleges do not have affiliations with denominations so they just teach on general issues not touching on any specific denomination. Some denominations tend to hire people who have been to institutions affiliated to them.

You can visit for more helpful information about Information On Benefits Of Ministry Degrees.