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7 Important Reasons Why You Should Buy Life Insurance Today

No one wants to think about death. It’s a difficult subject to discuss, and most people will want to avoid the subject altogether. However, death is a natural part of life. It is not often that people know when they are going to die, and because it is a mystery, it is something we don’t plan for. Unfortunately, it is something we must plan for. While we may not know when it is going to happen, it is important to have plans in place in case the worst should happen. This is where life insurance comes in. Life Insurance is an agreement between a person and an insurance company where, if the insured person dies, the money will be paid to a beneficiary (someone who would receive the money, like a spouse or family member). Life Insurance is not a policy most people think to have, but they should. With so many options available for life insurance, you can find a policy that works for you, regardless of your situation. If you are still unsure about life insurance, or even if you’ve never thought about it - here are 7 reasons you should buy life insurance.   It’s One Less Thing for Your Loved Ones to Worry About             In the unfortunate case that you die, you will be leaving behind loved ones. They will be dealing with a lot, and the last thing they should be worried about is money. Life Insurance guarantees that your loved ones will receive money in the event of your death. This is especially important if you had a job and that income was supporting your family. Now, even without that income, life insurance will help them financially.   It Can Pay Off Debt             Unfortunately, debt doesn’t go away in death. If you leave behind any debt, life insurance can significantly reduce or even pay off the debt so your loved ones will not have to worry about it. Between funeral expenses and planning for the future, you don’t want your loved ones to have to be dealing with the added level of stress that comes with paying off debt.   It Creates Cash Value for You               There are two types of life insurance – term life insurance and whole life insurance. Term life insurance is only active for a specific timeframe (months, year, etc.). Whole life insurance stays in place until you cancel the policy. Whole life insurance also builds up cash value, and you can withdraw from this cash if needed. This way, you can have an emergency fund of cash you can pull from in emergencies (that do not involve your death).   It Can Come at a Discount             Odds are the insurance company you already work with for car or home insurance also offers life insurance. Combining your insurance options (like [...]

2021-05-24T19:27:16-07:00By |

6 Smart Ways to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Have you ever felt like, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get ahead of everything? It feels like, no matter what you do, you are always struggling to keep up. This has never been truer than these pandemic times that we are currently living in. With people either losing jobs, being furloughed, or having their salaries reduced, everyone has been affected financially in some way. And yet, we still need to buy things to survive. Whether you have been using credit cards to buy things here and there, or you experienced a major unexpected bill (medical, home repair, etc.), most people are dealing with some sort of credit card debt now. What if there was a way to eliminate that credit card debt, so you could keep the money you earned instead of just using it to make a dent in your debt? Whatever your situation is, we want to share 6 ways to easily eliminate your credit card debt.   Cut and Budget             Before you do anything, you must commit to not increasing your credit card debt by much (if at all).  Find out how much you owe on each card, and plan to stop paying with a credit card. You won’t be able to ever catch up on debt if you keep adding to it (or pay a little but charge a lot). Once you’ve decided to stop using your cards, the next thing is to budget. Figure out the essential spending – food and bills. Everything else can and should wait until you are in a better place financially.   Transfer Balances to a 0% Credit Card             Credit card interest, where a “penalty” fee is added to the total amount you owe (based on how much it is) is one of the quickest ways your debt can increase. There are 0% interest credit cards available to anyone with a good credit score (around 700 or higher). You can transfer your balance to a 0% card and not have any interest added to it if the balance is paid in full by the end of the introductory period (around a year). If you have good credit and a good plan to pay off your debt, transferring the debt to this one card is a great way to get rid of your debt without it increasing. This is also known as “debt consolidation”, where, instead of paying off multiple credit cards with different balances, you are making one payment for one debt. If you have a good plan in place (and use the other ways mentioned in this article), debt consolidation is an effective way to eliminate your debt.   Pay Your Minimum Payment Twice             When dealing with credit cards, people usually pay the minimum amount and hope for the best. Like we previously mentioned, just paying the minimum is not going to [...]

2021-05-24T18:53:42-07:00By |

6 Genius Ways to Save Money While Renovating A Home

Now that you’re home more often due to our crazy times – have you noticed how much repair your home needs? Whether it’s minor chips in the wall, old and damaged flooring, or outdated fixtures that are long past their prime – spending more time at home means finding more things wrong with your home. When you are spending almost all of your time in the same place, you get inspired to fix everything. You may think that, since you’re spending more time at home, you might as well make your house look as nice as possible. You deserve a home you are proud of, and sometimes that may mean changing it up. In this scenario, we’re not talking about caulking some of the baseboards or just painting over some scuff marks – we are talking about renovating a home – a project that will cost a significant amount, take some time, and involve lots of little tasks. As we mentioned earlier, you deserve to have a home you are proud of, but that doesn’t mean you should go broke doing it. Renovating a house costs money, but it doesn’t have to cost as much money if you do it right.   Here are 6 ways to save money while renovating a home. Create a Budget             As with any large project, you have to start by knowing what you are working with in terms of money. You may want to get your entire home and re-build from the ashes, but what you can afford may not line up with that. Make a list of everything you want to do in your home, and then create a budget with how much you are willing to spend on the entire project or break it up by category (“We are willing to spend up to $X for the kitchen”). Starting with a specific amount of money helps guide every decision in your renovation to ensure your home looks good and your bank account doesn’t look empty. In addition to money, the next thing you need to properly plan a budget is priority. You may not be able to afford to do everything at once, and that’s ok. Prioritize the major/main things you want to do first, and focus your budget and energy on those. After you’ve completed those tasks, you can reevaluate the time, money, and need for other possible renovations.   Do It Yourself (Or Get It Ready)             Some things are best left to the professionals, like plumbing. There are other projects, like installing a backsplash or re-carpeting a room, that you can do yourself. There are many resources you can use to learn how to do certain home projects… Books at your local library or hardware store Weekend workshops focused on specific projects at stores like Lowes or Home Depot YouTube There are contractors and professionals with their channels on YouTube who share tips [...]

2021-05-21T00:15:58-07:00By |

6 Tips to Reduce Stress and Save Money When You Move

Life never slows down. Whether you’re enjoying a new opportunity or living in the middle of a pandemic, there is always something going on. One thing you may be experiencing is moving. Maybe you are moving due to financial reasons, or you are just trying to live differently. Either way, moving can be a stressful experience, both physically and financially. Just the thought of moving makes you think of hundreds of different decisions that need to be made – do you do it yourself or hire someone, if you do it yourself - do you have to buy moving equipment, and so on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed before you even pack your first box. Fortunately, we are going to share some tips to help make your move as smooth as it can be financially. Here are 6 ways to reduce stress and save money when you move.   Sell Your Stuff             It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in your current house – when you move, you always figure out how much stuff you lived with (and wonder how you had any space, to begin with). Before you begin to move, the first way you can save money is by making some money. There are tons of apps out there like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, and Decluttr where you can sell your stuff and make a quick buck. You’ll be able to make some money, have less stuff to move, and feel good that your unwanted stuff is benefitting someone else.   Change Your Address Before You Move             On, once you sign up for a new address and mail-forwarding, you’ll receive lots of coupons in the mail. They could be anywhere from discounts on moving services to stores you may need to buy new stuff from. You’ll most likely use the services you get coupons for anyway, so why not save some money in the process?   Don’t Buy Boxes             Boxes are critical to an easy move, but they can be pricey to purchase. Instead of buying boxes – check around your local area for any unwanted boxes. Maybe you can ask your neighborhood or social media for any unwanted moving boxes (there is always someone around who just got done moving and has a lot of boxes they don’t need). Ask your local stores (liquor, department, or grocery stores are safe bets) if they have any to use or use an app like Freecycle to locate unwanted boxes for free. As we mentioned before – you will be shocked at how much stuff you’ll need to move, so using free boxes is a great way to save money.   Try the Move Yourself (or Make the Process Easier)             Moving services can save you time and energy, but they aren’t cheap. If you’re able, move everything yourself (with some help [...]

2021-05-24T14:03:59-07:00By |

4 Tips for Having A Beautiful Wedding on A Budget

Your wedding day will be one of – if not, the – most important and memorable days of your life. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming about it since you were small, or now that you’ve found “The One,” it’s all you have been thinking about. Either way, or something else, now that you’ve decided to get hitched, it is time to plan for the big day. If money were no object, your every wedding wish would be doable. You’d have all details done to perfection…no matter the price tag. It would be television-worthy, and your guests would be wowed. Can you still have such a special affair if you’re on a budget? Of course, it is possible, especially when you spend strategically without feeling like you’ve skimped. I love a good deal as much as a lavish wedding. That’s why these four ideas are the perfect combination for any couple who’d rather save their dough for down the road rather than go broke on the “I dos.”   On-Point Attire             Brides and grooms tend to go overboard on wedding attire. But there is no need for designer dresses and Oscars-style tuxes. There are plenty of options out there that are far less expensive and still look like a million bucks. Seek out samples rather than a brand new item. The discounts are dramatic, and you’ll get the look you’ve been after. Consider wearing family heirlooms (i.e., perhaps your mother’s wedding gown) which not only save money but have an emotional component too. Shop off-season and seek out sales, and think of stores that aren’t necessarily tailored for weddings exclusively. You can find wedding-appropriate attire online, at the mall, or even on Etsy. * You can also rent your wedding dress, tux, and even bridesmaid/groomsmen attire. You’ll be able to choose something outside your budget because the rental fee will be far less than purchasing a new piece to own. See more money-saving rental ideas below. With a little searching, you’ll find something classy that you’ll feel comfortable in. You don’t have to break the bank to be beautiful.   DIY Décor             Couples spend a fortune on invitations, flowers, centerpieces, place cards, take-home gifts, and so on. Things add up in a snap, and before long, you’ve blown your budget…and then some. The crafty types can do projects to prep for the wedding, with their own artistry and personal touches. Get supplies at the store and make it a hands-on experience. It’s a nice way to see how well you work alongside your soon-to-be spouse too. If you’re not particularly talented in this area, check out instructional YouTube videos or find some friends and family members willing to help out. You can work this angle for food too, making your wedding a homemade feast. Prepare large portions at home to heat up at the venue. Make it buffet-style so everyone can sample each DIY dish. [...]

2021-05-11T15:55:18-07:00By |

6 Smart Ways to Set Yourself Up for Early Retirement

Did you know the age for retirement is 67 years old? Can you imagine working until you’re 67 years old? Of course, you may have a job you love and want to work at until you physically (or mentally) are not able to. Maybe you just love staying busy, so you see yourself working at a job, any job, for as long as you can. Maybe you just don’t plan that far ahead, so you’re not worried about it. What if you could start habits now that would give you a chance to retire earlier than when you are 67 years old? We’re not talking retire at 64 or 63 – we are talking about retiring when you’re in your 50s, and maybe earlier. The thought of being able to retire early, where you are living comfortably without having to work, is exciting. More important, it is possible, if you start doing these things now.   Think About Your Future Self             People are notoriously bad at planning for retirement. It is difficult to imagine yourself so far into the future because there is so much going on in the present. Before you start doing anything, you must understand that who you are 20 years from now is just the present you x 7,300 days. How many times have you said, “I wish I would have done this earlier?” You need to set your future self up for success, and that means making every decision with that in mind. You don’t need to go too extreme and struggle now just for the sake of it, but you must evaluate how the money you have now is going to help you in the future.   Set Your Goals Now and Work Backwards             After you’ve changed your thinking to keep the “future you” in mind, the next thing is to create a goal for when you want to retire. Once you decide whatever that age is, you can work backward and determine how much you need to be saving to reach that goal.   Start Today with Saving Automatically             Start saving money immediately. Don’t save too much (you still need money to live today) but automate a percentage of your paycheck to go into a savings account. It could be 10%, it could be 20% - whatever you can live without for right now and still live comfortably. Once you automate the process (where it goes into your savings without you having to manually do it), you’ll get used to not relying on that money, and it will teach you to manage the money you have and let the savings build up. This could be done whether you are in a job that has a 401(k) or not.   Contribute the Max to Your 401(k)             If you’re in a job that has a 401(k), [...]

2021-05-24T19:08:03-07:00By |

5 Tools to Deal with Medical Debt

In 2019, CNBC reported that 137 million Americans were struggling with medical debt. Whether it is due to an unexpected injury, a recurring illness, or simply dealing with healthcare costs as we live longer and experience more problems, medical debt is a common struggle we face as a society. And these numbers don’t include any COVID-19 statistics. With so many people struggling to pay medical bills they either can barely afford or not afford at all, the need for relief and options to handle this challenge can be felt everywhere. We want to share 5 tools to help you deal with medical debt you face so you can work towards a healthy future, both physically and financially.   Make Sure the Charges Are Accurate             Medical practice and billing are important parts of care, but each is managed by humans, and humans can make mistakes. Incorrect medical coding can lead people to be stuck with charges that were either entered by mistake or stuck with charges for services they did not receive at all. Whenever you or a loved one receives medical treatment, you need to ensure you are being billed properly for the services provided. After the care has ended (surgery, hospital stay, etc.) – request an itemized bill detailing a breakdown of every charge with the reason and exact fee. Since so many people are in and out of care every day, medical billing errors can happen. Review every medical bill you receive to make sure it is accurate and contact the medical billing department for that provider (hospital, doctor’s office, etc.) and dispute any incorrect charges. Disputing any incorrect charges can alter your bill either by a small or large amount, but anything will be helpful. If you don’t find any errors, at least you know you what amount you owe and can now focus on paying it off.   Ask for Discounts             Medical billing is notorious for being delayed/backed up due to so many bills being processed at one time, and the medical facilities want to get their bills completed quickly. Ask the provider (don’t say “if” – assume you can get a discount regardless) what kind of discount you can get if you pay everything off within a certain amount of time (like 30 or 45 days). Some providers will offer discounts if you agree to get it paid off quickly (sometimes 10% or more). It never hurts to ask. If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating with the provider, there are professionals you can hire to review your medical bills and negotiate with the provider on your behalf. Keep in mind, this is a service that costs money as well.   Create a Payment Plan             Seeing the amount, you owe as one large number can be overwhelming and stressful. Just like a large project at work or home – don’t think about the [...]

2021-05-20T22:22:49-07:00By |

5 Reasons Why Financial Spring Cleaning Should Always Be in Season

Financial spring cleaning is an important part of being fiscally fit, but don’t limit yourself to clearing the financial clutter during a specific season: Financial spring cleaning should always be in season, keeping you focused on your short-term and long-term money goals.   Less Paperwork, Less Stress Letting paperwork pile up can lead to clutter and stress. Consider cleaning out the clutter. When possible, move to paperless financial statements and store digital versions of your statements in an encrypted folder, which makes them easy to search in the future. Set up a filing system that allows you to store your papers as they come in. That way, you won’t have to sort through them all later. Create a folder for tax receipts and other important documents. Irreplaceable documents should be placed in a fireproof document safe. Once you have a system in place, it’s also less stressful to manage your documents and your finances. You’ll spend less time with paperwork, and feel better for it.   Stay on Top of Things Periodically review your statements and documents to keep track of your financial picture. Review your latest policy papers and note changes in coverage, and make sure beneficiary information is up to date. Stay connected to your situation. If you need to change beneficiaries, or if you need additional coverage, you can take care of matters before it’s too late.   Protect Against Offline and Online Theft Regularly review your account statements to protect against offline and online theft. Because you are more organized, it’s a simple matter to compare your records with your account statements. If you notice something out of place — a fraudulent charge or an account that isn’t yours — you can report it early and limit the damage. At least once a quarter, review your important papers and take stock of your valuable items. Checking these items can help you make sure nothing has been stolen. If you work with a money manager, periodic reviews help you ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of. You can also double-check your insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage. If you’ve made some valuable purchases for your home, or if you have upgraded your car, you want to make sure that those increases in value are covered under your insurance policies, just in case those items are stolen.   Identify Holes in Your Insurance Coverage In addition to your homeowners and car insurance, periodically review your other insurance policies to ensure you are adequately covered. Insurance is meant to protect your assets. Holes in your coverage can be costly when the unexpected happens. From health insurance to disability protection to liability coverage, make sure you are prepared for any potential costs. You also can protect your family’s financial future by reviewing your life insurance coverage. When you receive a raise, consider increasing your life insurance to cover the increase in your salary.   Monitor Your Credit Because your credit is basically your financial reputation, [...]

2021-05-14T17:49:04-07:00By |

6 Ways to Build Residual Income Today

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have two full-time jobs, purely for the benefit of having two full-time salaries? Unfortunately, we only have 24 hours in the day, and it would be nice to sleep at least some of those hours. Even though working around the clock is not an option, it would be great to somehow get a passive/side income (also known as “residual income”). It would give us a reason to not spend so much time watching T.V. or doing other unproductive activities. While there are hundreds of ways you can build residual income, we want to focus on ways that require the least amount of effort and knowledge to get started. We understand you probably have enough going on without trying to create a whole second career for yourself. Here are 6 ways to build residual income in your spare time.   Sell Your Stuff               As we mentioned before it is easier than ever to sell your stuff. You can take it to a physical store or sell it online - there are many options for getting rid of your stuff and getting paid at the same time. Clothes, unused (but still good) electronics, or random housewares you never got around to using – there is a market for everything for stuff that you don’t want (but someone else could benefit from).   Start a YouTube Channel             Gone are the days that you need a high-tech setup to shoot video and put it out there for the world to see. Now, anyone with a camera (even if it’s just on their phone) can shoot a video and post it on the internet for the world to see. A YouTube channel can generate income for you by getting sponsorship deals and advertising revenue (depending on how popular your channel is). One quick tip for building a successful YouTube Channel – solve problems for other people based on your experience and skills. It could be giving recruiting advice for jobseekers or tips on how to run a small business effectively. The internet is full of people searching for ways to solve their problems, so start solving your problems so you can build your brand and your income.   Invest in Rental Properties             This method involves considerably more effort and knowledge than the first two, but it can also pay a lot more consistently. Buying a rental property is now easier than ever. Sites like RealtyMogul allow you to commit an initial sum of money towards the property, and when the property is fully funded, you become an official owner and can start earning a profit on the rental amount. Sites like RealtyMogul make it easy to get started. Owning real estate used to involve lots of effort and required lots of knowledge to do well. Now, these sites set you up for success so [...]

2021-05-24T18:17:18-07:00By |

4 Smart Tips for Raising Your Credit Score Fast

Do you know what your credit score is? More importantly, do you know how you can raise your credit score? Your credit score is a quick indicator to lenders (banks, credit card companies, etc.) that shows how you have managed your money in the past – if you’ve paid your bills on time, if you’ve maxed out your allowed budget, and so on. Previously, we shared what a credit score is and all the factors that determine how high or low it can be for you. Now that you know what a credit score is and why it is important, the next step is understanding how you can increase your credit score to improve the overall health of your finances (and your reputation to potential lenders). In today’s challenging times, many people are having trouble managing money. Maybe your job was furloughed, maybe you took a pay cut, or maybe you lost your job entirely. Stress and uncertainty have become the norm, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot build towards a positive future. In this article, we want to share 4 tips on how to raise your credit score and get to a better place mentally and financially.   Ask for A Credit Increase             The quickest and simplest way to improve your credit score is by asking your credit card company for an increase in your credit limit. This is because one factor that goes into calculating credit scores is credit utilization (how much you owe vs. how much you have left in your limit). For Example: If a credit card has a limit of $5,000, and you owe $2,500, then your credit utilization is 50% (2,500 is 50% of 5,000). If you raise your credit limit to, say, $9,000, then your credit utilization changes from 50% to 28%. This means you are using less of the credit you have available to you, which makes your financial health look better to potential lenders. The important thing to remember is that, just because you increase your limit, that doesn’t mean you can spend more. Keeping your credit utilization low will raise your credit score because it shows you are not maxing out all the credit available to you, which can create a negative perception of you to others.   Keep Old Credit Cards Open             Whenever you think about trying to raise your credit score, one of the first thoughts is to close any credit cards you don’t use anymore and don’t owe anything on. This is a mistake because those open credit cards are helping you. Even though you don’t owe anything on them, they count towards your total credit utilization (like what we discussed in the previous section). If you have a credit card that has a $0 balance and a $3,000 limit, then that $3,000 counts towards your total credit utilization. These cards can also be an “easy win” because you [...]

2021-05-11T16:09:27-07:00By |

New Fields to Pursue After Losing Your Job Due to the Pandemic

After losing your job, it can be easy to feel distraught and wonder what to do next. Losing your job during the Covid-19 pandemic is another event entirely and can make these feelings exponentially more potent. Despite this, take solace in the fact that you are not alone. As covered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 10 million workers in July alone reported being out of work directly due to their employers business being affected by Covid-19. Clearly, the disruption caused by the pandemic has been widespread. However, there are still paths available to employees currently looking for work that will survive long into the future. Whether it’s a surprise to you or not, technology is changing how work is performed. From the skills required of employees to the job tasks themselves, nothing will be the same in a few years. Therefore, recovering your career after losing your job due to the pandemic may involve pursuing a tech-based field.   Look Into Coding When it comes to the fields and skills that will be incredibly important in the future of work, coding dominates everything. While closely related to programming, which has been around for decades, coding has emerged as a skill of its own in just the last decade. This important skill has been changing the way work is performed and is responsible for a lot of the automation seen in industries today. As mentioned, there are a number of tech jobs that use coding as the base skill which can be pursued via a coding bootcamp. This quick and cheap alternative to traditional college education is capable of giving anyone the skills needed to launch a career with this skill in a matter of months. Coding is an example of a skill that will be a staple of work for decades and, as the number of computers and smartphones increase, will only become exponentially more important as the years go on. Getting a little more specific, you may be wondering where to possibly begin and with which language. Business Insider covered a study that found Python and Javascript were two of the most popular languages, so that would be a good starting place for anyone.   Consider Becoming a Data Scientist If learning how to code at an intense level doesn’t seem like something you could do, consider instead becoming a data scientist. This important field is responsible for taking the large amounts of data gathered by a given company and sorting through the information to turn it into meaningful data that executives can use to make business decisions. Although this field used to require a master’s degree to enter, popular data science bootcamps have become more common and can teach anyone the skills they need to land a job in this field. Landing a career in this field may be as easy as enrolling in an online program offered in your area. Data science is one of those tech fields that doesn’t [...]

2021-04-07T19:44:22-07:00By |


“Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you.”   We all have dreams, don’t we? Dreams of being the most successful person at work. Dreams of being a thriving entrepreneur. Dreams of writing that book that you always wanted to. But then something comes in between and those dreams are tucked away in the garage of our lives for that one day in the future.   Why do you have to wait for that one day? Why do we have to tuck our dreams away? Why have you settled 5-13 years on a job you're not happy at? Deep down, you know this is not what you want out of your life, even though it may be convenient financially. You know exactly what you want to do, you know how you want to live your life, but something is holding you back.   Is it the little voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough? Is it the negative judgment from concerned friends and family? Do you realize that these little voices can chip away at your self-confidence? Yes, they could fatally corrode your confidence. Well, today I want you to recapture your passion and confidence for your dreams. Do you know that your dream matters? Do you know that your dream will serve a purpose on earth?  Do you know that your dream will help someone in life?   Your dream should not be cast down or put on hold. If it is friends, families, and acquaintances that are advising you not to follow your dream and are unknowingly holding you back, then don’t share your thoughts with them. That simple. Yes, it is great to have feedback, but only if it is going to encourage and develop you, not demolish your confidence. If you really believe in your dream, ask the experts for directions and rational suggestions, not concerned friends and family members that don’t know all the facts.    Your dream is non-negotiable!! That's right say it with me, "NON-NEGOTIABLE!"  This means you refuse to negatively discuss your dream or even change it. Let me say it this way, "What you dreamt to do, no one or anything should be able to negatively discuss it or change it. It's Non-Negotiable!" -Lyoshi Esters   Here are some Non-Negotiable tips for you:   Eliminate Negative Self-Talk – This Is Non-Negotiable! Negative self-talk limits you, increases stress, and hurts your self-concept. Here’s a tip, as you notice yourself saying something negative in your mind, you can stop your thought mid-stream by saying to yourself “Stop.” Saying this aloud will be more powerful, and having to say it aloud will make you more aware of how many times you are stopping negative thoughts, and where. Replace it with positive affirmations like: I ENJOY THE VARIETY OF LIFE, I SEE AND VALUE MY UNIQUENESS, I AM EASY ON MYSELF, I GO FOR THAT WHICH MAKES [...]

2021-04-02T17:46:33-07:00By |