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The latest news from Life

older | 1 | .... | 1657 | 1658 | (Page 1659) | 1660 | 1661 | .... | 2006 | newer

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    donald trump

    President Donald Trump is no stranger to Twitter. He's been a prolific tweeter since 2009 and attracted attention for using the platform to lob insults at former President Barack Obama, suggest global warming was a hoax created by the Chinese, and criticize his detractors.

    While Trump's life has changed significantly since he became president, his Twitter habits haven't.

    Now, he uses it to announce new policies, slam his critics, complain about the Russia investigation, promote business for himself and his supporters, and everything in between. Most recently, he's taken to Twitter to pressure lawmakers to cave to his demands for a border wall and increased border security.

    The website socialbearing.com analyzes the engagement reach of each Trump tweet and according to its data, 9 tweets stood out above the rest in 2018.

    Here are the 9 most engaged Trump tweets of 2018:

    SEE ALSO: From 'very stable genius' to 'very legal & very cool': Here are 32 very real things Trump tweeted in 2018

    DON'T MISS: The most disparaging nicknames Trump used for his political enemies and former allies in 2018

    Trump's most engaged tweet of 2018 is one where he wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

     



    The Donald Trump-Kanye West bromance was one of the more bizarre stories of 2018, and Trump's Twitter engagement reflected that. In April, Trump tweeted his thanks to the rapper when West wrote that "you don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him."

     



    "They just didn't get it, but they do now!" Trump proudly proclaimed in a July tweet that also featured a video montage of public figures and pundits saying he would not win the 2016 election.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    mobile banking with a credit card

    • Many online banks offer checking accounts with lower ongoing costs and better rates than you'd find at a traditional "brick-and-mortar" bank.
    • Some online banks even offer a sign-up bonus for consumers who open a new checking account and meet certain requirements.
    • Make sure to compare accounts in terms of their benefits, fees, and functions before you sign up.

    If you're in the market for a new checking account because your current one has let you down, you may be inclined to sign up with another bank down the street. You're already familiar with the company and you may even drive by one of their branches every day, so why not choose a local bank for your checking and savings needs?

    There's nothing wrong with that, but you may want to cast a wider net when comparing checking account options. Thanks to the internet, it's easier than ever to research different banks to see how they stack up in terms of their amenities and account holder perks. You may even find that an online bank suits your needs better than the bank down the street.

    Online account offers from our partners:

    Why should you bank online?

    Online banking is just as safe as traditional banking since your deposits are FDIC-insured. Plus, many online banks can offer checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts at a lower cost than their competitors. Without brick-and-mortar buildings to care for, they can afford to offer higher interest rates than you can find elsewhere as well.

    Plus, online banks may offer more online banking options than traditional banks, including a web-based interface that allows you to monitor your account, send payments, and balance your monthly budget.

    It may seem weird to switch to an online bank — especially at first, but you can rest assured that your money is safe and secure. Most online banks also offer online chat and phone-based customer service reps that can help you any time of the day or night. While this may not feel the same as heading to your local branch when you have a question, you will ultimately get the help you need.

    5 steps to find the bests online checking account

    If you're ready to consider an online bank for your checking needs, it's important to compare each offer at face value. Here are the five steps you should take as you compare online checking accounts to find the best option for your checking needs.

    Consider bonus offers

    As you compare online checking accounts, you'll probably notice that quite a few banks offer sign-up bonuses when you open an account. These bonus offers can be rather lucrative provided you are able to meet the requirements to qualify.

    For example, one bank may offer a $200 bonus for people who open a new checking account and make at least one qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more within 60 days. Another bank might offer $300 when someone opens a new account and receives direct deposits of $2,500 or more within the first 60 days.

    Look at ongoing interest rates

    While an initial signup bonus is always intriguing, you will also want to consider your new account's interest rate if you plan to keep large sums of money in the account. While many banks save their best interest rates for savings accounts instead of checking accounts, it's possible to find online banks with a decent rate of return.

    As an example online bank accounts routinely offer annual percentage yields (APY) of 1.25%–2.02% or even more. 

    If you have a lot of money saved up, also keep in mind that you could stash some of your cash in an online savings account while keeping the rest in checking. 

    Compare fees

    Once you've compared sign-up bonuses and interest rates, you'll want to dive a little deeper to learn about any banking fees. While many online banks offer checking accounts with no fees, you'll still want to find out about any fees for paper checks, account maintenance fees, or ATM access.

    If a bank does offer a network of free ATMs, you should also check to see how many are available and whether any are located close to where you live. Alternatively, you'll want to make sure ATM fees for out-of-network access are waived or reimbursed.

    Finally, make sure any checking or savings account you're considering doesn't have any minimum balance requirements that would preclude you from receiving your sign-up bonus or the maximum APY they offer.

    Look at all the perks

    When it comes to online checking accounts, you should also make sure they offer the amenities and functionality your lifestyle requires. Generally speaking, you should look for an online checking account that offers 24/7 online account management, free online banking, free online bill pay, and mobile deposits at the very least.

    Find out how difficult (or easy) it is for you to transfer money into or out of your new account, and whether the bank has a mobile app. Hint: Most online banks do!

    Choose a checking account with the right combination of functionality and benefits

    Once you've taken a closer look at the online checking accounts available, it's time to select an option that offers the benefits and abilities you require. While there are many factors to consider, you should choose an account with low ongoing costs and a selection of tools that make banking easier over all.

    While you may feel more comfortable with a bank you already know and trust, it's probably time to ditch your local bank in favor of an online bank with better rates and more perks. Some online banks may be smaller and less recognizable, but their advantages are hard to deny.

    Online account offers from our partners:

    Click here for all of our personal finance coverage.

    SEE ALSO: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Digit app

    • The personal-finance app Digit saves money automatically for you.
    • For a monthly fee of $2.99, you get free bank-transfer notifications, a 1% annual bonus, and low-balance protection.
    • Here, author Jackie Lam details how she saved more than $20,000 with Digit in nearly three years.

    While many of us know full well that we should be saving our money, it can be easy to reach zero — or darn close to it — by the month's end. After all, there are bills to pay, food to put on the table, and other financial obligations that get in the way of saving up for emergencies, vacations, or holiday spending.

    But what about squirreling away your hard-earned cash without having to think about it?

    That's where Digit comes in. As a money-app junkie, I've checked out my fair share of apps to help me with my finances. And the one that tops my list to help save money is Digit.

    The company charges users $2.99 a month, a relatively small fee that features many potential benefits. Since I signed up for the app in March 2016, I've easily saved over $20,000 with it.

    Here's how the Digit app has helped me save:

    How Digit works

    Digit is a super-easy, no-brainer way to stash away cash. When you sign up, all you need to do is link your Digit account to your checking account. From there, Digit handles the rest. It uses algorithms to learn about your spending patterns, and about how much you can reasonably save. These algorithms are primarily influenced by your checking-account balance, upcoming income, upcoming bills, and recent spending. It saves money for you when you can afford to, and hits the "pause" button when you can't.

    Because Digit keeps your money socked away in a separate account, I conveniently forget I have that money stashed away. This "set-it-and-forget-it" approach prevents me from being tempted to tap into my Digit account. Plus, because it generally takes a few days to transfer funds back into your account, I use it for only big-ticket items and emergencies.

    The handful of times I have pulled money from my savings were to help me pay a credit-card balance, to take a trip, and to buy a new laptop when mine broke down while traveling.  

    How much you can expect to save

    Your savings will depend on a number of variables, including how much money you keep in your checking account and what your spending and saving patterns are. According to Digit's website, the average user sees an average of two to three transfers per week. The company has said its average savings transfer is $18, but can be anywhere from $5 to $30. If you're saving $10 a week, that's $520 a year.

    How did I manage to save over $20,000 in three years' time? While you can set up a savings schedule or manually transfer funds into different goals, I saved entirely through Digit's auto-saving feature.

    How much I saved depended on how much of a cushion I had in my linked account. As a freelancer, my income fluctuates. And I saved anywhere from $40 to $3,500 in a single point. But on average, I was able to save roughly $600 a month through the app.

    It helped me stay on top of my spending

    digit app

    Another one of Digit's features that I love is the daily texts I receive from it. These let me know how much money is in my bank account. Plus, the app sends me friendly "heads up" texts when money is being transferred among my bank accounts and notifications of recent transactions. I can also keep tabs on my savings, see when a check has cleared, and create new personal goals through the app.

    Read more:11 financial experts reveal their favorite money apps

    Saving for specific goals

    Like any solid money-management app, Digit allows you to set up different money goals. Predesigned goals include saving for an emergency cushion, crushing credit-card debt, paying off student loans, setting up a travel fund, or splurging on gifts guilt-free. You can also come up with your own savings goals. To up the fun factor, you can assign an emoji to each goal.

    I've set up a few goals, such as traveling to a wedding in Florida (used the "bunny" emoji) and traveling to a work conference (assigned the "ghost" emoji). But I've generally socked everything away in a "Rainy Day Fund," which is Digit's default account. I wanted to use Digit as a general savings fund. I've made withdrawals for trips, to help with my down payment for a new car, to get through the holidays, and to add a cushion to my checking account.

    Noteworthy features

    digit app

    Besides setting your savings on autopilot and providing a separate account to safely stow your money away for important money goals, here are some of my favorite features of the app:

    • Annual bonus: Digit throws in a 1% annual bonus, which is paid out quarterly at 0.25%. So let's say you have $4,000 in your account. Doing basic math, $4,000 multiplied by 1% and divided by four equals $10. That's enough to cover an annual subscription to Digit, and then some.
    • Low-balance protection: Digit's low-balance protection helps you avoid running dangerously low on funds in your checking account and having to pay a hefty overdraft fee. If you turn on this nifty feature, you can then set an amount for how much money you want to keep in your bank.

    If your checking falls below that amount, Digit will automatically transfer some cash from your Rainy Day Fund to top it off. For instance, let's say you set that number at $200, and your balance falls to $150. Digit will then send $50 to your checking account.

    A few downsides

    • Information on the app is limited. You can check how much you have saved, your transactions from the last month, the balance amount in your linked checking account, and the countdown to your next bonus. For everything else, such as your savings journal (aka transactions history) and statements, you'll need to log on from a computer.
    • You might get an overdraft. While Digit does its best to prevent this, the peril of microtransfer apps or any banking feature that rounds up your transactions is that you may overdraft. The good news is that Digit does reimburse up to two overdraft fees caused by its auto-saving feature.
    • If you change your linked account, you have to transfer all your funds. If you decide to change your linked checking account, you'll need to go through the hassle of transferring all your funds into that linked account, link the new account, then transfer the funds manually through your new account. You can also have a check issued to you. The good news? You'll only need to go through the rigmarole once.

    SEE ALSO: 5 signs you're probably not part of the middle class

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Tim Cook's estimated net worth is $625 million — here's how he makes and spends his money


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    border wall map full border

    • The US government is currently shut down because President Donald Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and Congress won't fund it.
    • Of the 1,933 miles along the border, 1,279 miles is unfenced.
    • Most of the barrier that currently exists, and that the Trump administration has built, isn't the high concrete wall Trump talked about on the campaign trail, and instead resembles a fence.

    From western California to eastern Texas, across four US states and 24 counties, the 1,933-mile US-Mexico border criss-crosses arid desert, rugged mountains, and winding rivers.

    For 654 of those miles, fencing separates the two countries from each other.

    The 7.3 million people who live in the border counties on each side of the line have watched for years as security grew tighter and illegal crossings tapered off.

    In just the last 12 years, the US government built the barriers, deployed troops, and started using advanced surveillance technology — all in an effort to tame and control some of the wildest and remotest land in the United States.

    Today, in an effort to make good on campaign promises to "build that wall," President Donald Trump has refused to back down on his demand that Congress allocate $5 billion for the project, plunging the government into a days-long shutdown after Senate Democrats refused to back a spending bill with the wall funding.

    Democrats, who take back the House of Representatives in January, have long opposed Trump's wall and placed the blame for the shutdown on Trump.

    The shutdown comes amid controversy over US immigration and border policies, after two young migrant children died in Border Patrol custody this month.

    The deaths also come on the heels of outrage over the Trump administration's family separation policy over the summer, which split thousands of children from their parents.

    With public outrage has growing toward the government's immigration policies, it's worth taking a look at the complexity of the borderlands to understand the daunting task of securing them.

    From the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east, here's what the entire US-Mexico border looks like.

    SEE ALSO: The 8-year-old migrant boy who died on Christmas Eve was held in US custody for nearly a week — against Border Patrol's own rules

    DON'T MISS: The Trump administration just released new photos of 'the president's border wall' — and it looks more like a fence

    California has stood more defiantly than any other state against Trump's immigration agenda and his long-promised wall. Yet the Golden State's southern boundary is one of the most thoroughly fortified along the entire US-Mexico border.

    Source: Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and OpenStreetMap contributors



    Roughly 105 miles of the 140-mile border California shares with Mexico are walled off by pedestrian fencing or vehicle barriers, beginning on the west coast with a tall, metal fence that juts into the Pacific Ocean.

    Source: GAO analysis of Customs and Border Protection data



    Though some Trump critics have seized upon his deployment of the National Guard in California, the San Diego coastline already hosts around 55 guardsman who assist in "counterdrug missions" and conduct surveillance support.

    Source: USA Today



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Nordstrom

    After Christmas, many retailers have huge sales with close-to Black Friday pricing. Instead of heading to the brick-and-mortar locations in order to find deals, there are plenty available online — so you can stay curled up in your pajamas eating Christmas dinner leftovers.

    Below, you'll find a list of stores with the best post-holiday sales on the internet including sites like AmazonNordstrom, Target, and more.

    Whether you're looking for something to spend Christmas cash and gift cards on or you're shopping for a belated gift, this is where you'll want to look.

    Here are the top 10 end-of-year sales we're shopping:

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best end-of-year deals online, below:

    To potentially save more, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    SEE ALSO: Nordstrom's huge Half Yearly Sale is officially on — here's what to buy

    Amazon:

    • Save big on Amazon devices and tech from top brands like Bose, Sony, Sonos, and more. Shop amazon.com.

    Best Buy:

    • Save up to 40% on clearance and open-box items until January 12. Shop bestbuy.com.

    Dell:

    • Save up to $300 on clearance and overstock computers. Shop dell.com.

    JBL:

    • Save up to 60% on speakers, headphones, and more audio devices and accessories. Shop jbl.com.

    Microsoft:

    • Save up to 65% on digital download XBOX games. Shop microsoft.com.


    Avocado:

    • Now through January 7, save $15o on any Avocado Green Mattress or Avocado Vegan Mattress using the code "HOLIDAY150" at checkout. Verified military, educators, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, doctors, and nurses are all eligible to receive an additional discount of $50. Save $150 on reclaimed wood bed frames using the code "BED150" at checkout. Get two free pillows with a mattress purchase using the promo code "2FREEPILLOWS" at checkout. Shop avocadogreenmattress.com.

    Bear:

    • Save $125 on orders over $500 with promo code “NYS125” or save $225 on orders over $1,200 with promo code “NYS225” at checkout. Plus, get two free Cloud Pillows. Shop bearmattress.com.

    Brooklyn Bedding:

    • Save 25% on mattresses using the promo code "WINTER25" at checkout until January 1. Shop brooklynbedding.com.

    Casper:

    • Take 10% off mattress orders when you use the promo code “2019” at checkout until January 1. Shop casper.com.

    Dreamcloud:

    Eight Sleep:

    • Take $100 off smart mattresses and get two free pillows with your order. Shop eightsleep.com.

    Helix:

    • Save $100 when you spend $600+, $150 when you spend $1,250+, and $200 when you spend $1,750+ with codes “NEWYEAR100”, “NEWYEAR150”, and “NEWYEAR200”, respectively. Shop helixsleep.com.

    Leesa:

    • Save $150 on a Leesa or $225 on a Sapira, plus get a free pillow ($75 value) for the New Year. BI readers can save an extra $10 with code “BUSINESSINSIDER”. Shop leesa.com.


    Alpha Industries:

    Andrew Marc:

    • Save an extra 20% with the promo code "DOYOU" until January 1. Shopandrewmarc.com.

    Ann Taylor

    • Get 60% off sale styles and 40% off full price items using the promo code "REFRESH" until January 9. Shop anntaylor.com.

    AYR:

    • Get 20% off final sale items with the promo code "BUTTERBEER" at checkout. Shop ayr.com.

    Backcountry:

    Ban.do:

    • Save 20% sitewide until December 28. Shop bando.com.

    Brooks Brothers:

    Clarks:

    • Save an extra 20% on select sale styles with code "SAVE20" at checkout. Shop clarksusa.com.

    Club Monaco: 

    • Take an extra 30% off sale styles for a total of up 60% savings. Shop clubmonaco.com.

    Coach:

    Cole Haan:

    • Save an extra 40% on sale styles with the promo code “SAVE” at checkout until January 2. Shop colehaan.com.

    Columbia Sportswear:

    • Save up to 50% on select styles until February 28. Shop columbia.com.

    Dagne Dover:

    Everlane:

    EyeBuyDirect:

    • Save up to 50% on over 700 glasses styles until December 31. Shop eyebuydirect.com.

    Fossil:

    • Save up to 50% on sale styles until January 27. Shop fossil.com.

    Frank and Oak:

    • Save 26% sitewide with the program "BOXING26" at checkout from December 26-27. Shop frankandoak.com.

    Frilly:

    GREATS:

    • Save 50% or more on select styles while supplies last. Shop greats.com.

    Happy Socks:

    HATCH:

    J.Crew:

    • Save an extra 50% on sale styles with code "BIGGERSALE" at checkout. Shop jcrew.com.

    JCPenney:

    • Take up to 70% off sitewide, plus get an extra 25% off orders of $100+ or an extra 20% off orders under $100 with code "SALE4". Also, get free shipping on orders over $49. Shop jcpenney.com.

    Jomashop:

    Levi's:

    • Save an extra 30% sitewide using the promo code "WINTER30" at checkout. Shop levi.com.

    Linjer:

    • Save up to 25% in-stock watches sitewide. Shoplinjer.co.

    L.L.Bean:

    • Until January 3, save an extra 25% on sale styles. Shop llbean.com.

    Mackage:

    • Save up to 50% on select styles from December 26-27. Shop mackage.com.

    Macy’s:

    • Save up to 70% off clothes, home goods, jewelry, and more. Plus take an extra 20% off select departments with the promo code “JOY” at checkout. Shop macys.com.  

    Madewell:

    • Save an extra 40% on sale styles using the promo code "GOBIG" at checkout. Shop madewell.com.

    MeUndies:

    • Save up to 30% on Packs, plus save 15% on onesies with promo code "ONESIE15" at checkout. Shop meundies.com.

    MVMT:

    • Save 20% on watches and sunglasses with the promo code "MVMT20" at checkout. Shop mvmtwatches.com.

    Need Supply Co.:

    Nike:

    • Save an extra 25% on select styles with the promo code "SAVE25" at checkout until January 25. Shop nike.com.

    Nordstrom:

    Nordstrom Rack:

    Ramy Brook:

    Reebok:

    • Save 30% sale styles with the promo code "LASTCALL" at checkout. Shop reebok.com.

    REI: 

    • Save up to 50% off on outdoor apparel and gear. Shop rei.com

    Rhone:

    • Save an extra 10% on surplus items using the promo code "UNBOX10" at checkout. Shop rhone.com.

    Richer Poorer:

    Scotch & Soda:

    SCOTTeVEST:

    • Save 30% on most items with code "HAPPY2019" now through January 3. Shop scottevest.com.

    Senreve:

    • Get a free limited-edition bracelet pouch with purchases of $500 or more, starting December 26. Shop senreve.com.

    Shoes.com:

    • Save 25% sitewide with code "BYE2018". Shop shoes.com.

    Shopbop:

    Skagen:

    • Save up to 60% on select styles until January 14. Shop skagen.com.

    Soia & Kyo:

    • Save up to 50% on select styles from December 26-27. Shop soiakyo.com.

    Soludos:

    • Save 30% on select styles with the promo code "HAPPYSHOEYEAR" at checkout. Shop soludos.com.

    STATE Bags:

    • On December 26 only, save 26% with code "XMAS26" at checkout. Shop statebags.com.

    Sweaty Betty:

    Theory:

    Timberland:

    Timex:

    United By Blue:

    • Save 30% on all apparel with the promo code "TREATYOURSELF" at checkout. Shop unitedbyblue.com.

    Uniqlo:

    • Shop deals on down, flannel, HEATTECH products and more, plus free shipping on all orders. Shop uniqlo.com.

    Warby Parker:

    • Shop four classic styles in an exclusive color, only available on Cyber Monday, starting at $95. Shop warbyparker.com.

    Zappos:

    • Get big savings on footwear and apparel. Shop zappos.com.

    Zenni Optical:



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Backcountry

    The new year is almost here, and if your resolution is to be more active, you'll need the right equipment. Fortunately, you can save up to 35% on outdoor apparel and accessories at Backcountry's "Happy New Gear Sale."

    The sale runs through January 1 and includes hundreds of deals on everything from winter coats that will keep warm on a hike, to three-person tents to pack for your next camping trip.

    To save you time, we looked through all the sale items and rounded up the 20 best deals we could find. Consider this cheat sheet a great jumping off point before exploring the parts of the sale that interest you the most.

    Shop Backcountry's "Happy New Gear Sale" here.

    SEE ALSO: 90+ of the best end-of-year sales on the internet — from fashion to electronics to bedding

    Marmot Minimalist Jacket (men's)

    $132.27 (originally $188.95) [You save $66.68]



    Columbia Bugaboo II Pant

    $69.76 (originally $98.99) [You save $29.23]



    Stoic Maroon Bells Flannel Shirt

    $19.97 (originally $39.95) [You save $19.98]



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    0

    You can only read so many books in your lifetime, and since you'd probably like to enjoy the time you spend reading, you don’t want to waste time on a bad book. 

    That’s why letting tens of thousands of voracious readers do the heavy lifting for you sounds so ideal. They read the thousands of pages, dissect the characters and plots, and then rank each title to determine which is most unforgettable. Then, they tell you. You buy it, and chances are, you love it. 

    Every year, that's basically what you'll find in Book of the Month's "Best of the Year" lists. Tens of thousands of avid readers choose from 20 spectacular titles — an already pared down list from those curated by experts and celebrity judges throughout the year — to crown one Best of the Year. It's the crowd favorite amongst bookworms, and its excellence wins it a $10,000 prize. 

    In 2018, that most unmissable book is "Circe" by Madeline Miller. If you're even tangentially interested in new splashes in the literary community, this won't surprise you. "Circe" is a fleshed-out, contemporary reimagination of a Greek myth, as told through one of the most infamous female figures in the "Odyssey".  It's fast-moving, deceptively complex, and crafted with the masterful storytelling for which Miller is making a name. It was also selected by two team members, including myself, as one of the best books the Insider Picks team read in 2018

    Book of the Month is a book club that's best-known for putting American literary classics like "Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" on the map. BOTM announces five book selections each month chosen by experts and celebrity guest judges passionate about books, and subscribers can choose which book they'd like to receive in hardcover that month. It's been around since 1926, and it has a particularly celebrated eye for cherry-picking promising debuts from the pack. "Circe" is not an exception.

    Plus, BOTM members get each monthly book for just $14.99 — and they can choose additional titles that month for just $9.99 each. Those prices are often lower than what you'd find in the bookstore or on Amazon.

    Below are the 20 nominees considered for Best Book of the Year:

    • "The Air You Breathe" by Frances de Pontes Peebles
    • "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones
    • "The Astonishing Color of After" by Emily X.R. Pan
    • "The Broken Girls" by Simone St. James
    • "Circe" by Madeline Miller
    • "The City of Brass" by S.A. Chakraborty
    • "The Clockmaker's Daughter" by Kate Morton
    • "Ghosted" by Rosie Walsh
    • "The Girl Who Smiled Beads" by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
    • "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah
    • "How to Walk Away" by Katherine Center
    • "The Kiss Quotient" by Helen Hoang
    • "The Last Time I Lied" by Riley Sager
    • "The Mars Room" by Rachel Kushner
    • "Nine Perfect Strangers" by Liane Moriarty
    • "Small Country" by Gaël Faye
    • "Spinning Silver" by Naomi Novik
    • "Then She Was Gone" by Lisa Jewell
    • "Unsheltered" by Barbara Kingsolver
    • "The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn

    Find more information on each of the nominees here, and sign up for your first month of Book of the Month to select your January books here

    SEE ALSO: The 29 best books we read in 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Indonesia tsunami

    • A tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption hit the two most-populous Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra on December 22.
    • The waves killed more than 400 people and injured more than 1,400.
    • This one was thought to have occurred after the Anak Krakatau volcanic island erupted and partially collapsed into the sea, sending waves in the Sunda Strait — up to 10 feet — without warning.
    • Here are nine organizations that are helping assist people affected by the tsunami.

    A tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption hit the two most populous Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra on December 22. The wave left over 400 dead and more than 1,400 injured.

    The tsunami was the second to hit the country this year. This one was thought to have occurred after the Anak Krakatau volcanic island erupted and partially collapsed into the sea sending waves in the Sunda Strait — up to 10 feet — without warning.

    SEE ALSO: Indonesia asks people to avoid coast near erupting volcano

    Oxfam

    Oxfam is raising money to support local partners with "critical aid, helping to provide clean water, build toilets, and distribute hygiene kits that include blankets and soap," according to the organization's website. Oxfam was rated 3 out of 4 stars from the website Charity Navigator.

    Source: The New York Times



    Catholic Relief Services

    Catholic Relief Services is working to bring disaster relief to those in West Java and Sumatra. They have a 4 out of 4 rating from Charity Navigator

    Source: Fast Company



    Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières)

    Doctors Without Borders— which has a 4 out of 4 star rating from Charity Navigator — has three teams in the area. Two teams are supporting health centers in the Pandeglang district; a third team is mobile traveling to those who cannot make it to health centers.

    Source: Fast Company

     



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    Costco Business Center

    • Shoppers love Costco for its low prices, bulk products, and, of course, free samples. 
    • Costco memberships come with many perks. But the store can be time-consuming to shop at, and it's hard to know when you're getting the best deals.
    • Here are ways to save time and money while shopping at Costco. 

    Shoppers love Costco for its low prices, bulk products, and, of course, free samples. 

    The membership-based warehouse store can be an overwhelming maze of discounts and deals. The retailer charges $60 annually for a basic membership and $120 for an executive membership.  

    Costco memberships come with many perks, including cheap gas, vacation deals, and discounts on prescription medication. The store also offers plenty of savings opportunities on top of its already low prices, like coupons and "warehouse savings." 

    Even though Costco offers a lot of great deals, it can be tricky to weed through them to find the best ones. Plus, Costco is known for its massive lines and hectic shopping experience. 

    Some tricks to know include looking at the price tags to see if a markdown is final, splitting bulk deals with friends or family, and heading to the center of the store to find the best deals. 

    Here are more ways to save time and money while shopping at Costco: 

    SEE ALSO: We compared Amazon and Costco prices to see which company offers better deals. Here's the verdict.

    Make a beeline to the center of the store.

    The flashy displays in the front of the store may be fun, but they're likely more expensive. Head to the center of the store to find some of the best deals. 



    Keep an eye out for the "star."

    If an item has an asterisk on the price tag, it will not be restocked. Make sure to buy it while you can. 



    Split bulk items with friends or family.

    Buying in bulk offers major savings, but you may not have the storage space for everything. If you split bulk items, you and a friend can both see major savings, without being weighed down by having more than you need. 



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    Mustang Turbo Convertible

    • Ford and Chevy both offer entry-level versions of their iconic muscle cars.
    • The Mustang has a 310-horsepower EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the Camaro has a smaller 275-horsepower motor, also turbocharged.
    • The Mustang was the clear winner in this contest.

    Ford and Chevy have for decades been locked in a battle for muscle-car supremacy.

    The Mustang arrived in 1965, the Camaro in '67. The fight hasn't let up since.

    Both automakers offer big, powerful versions of their flagship muscle cars. But they also know that not everybody wants a massive V8 engine, which is what makes a muscle car a muscle car. So they offer less stonking versions of the 'Stang and the mullet mobile, each with a turbocharged powerplant.

    OK, they aren't really true muscle cars — they're more like mini muscles. But they're lots of fun, and given advancements in technology, they're not at all underpowered or unimpressive, even if they ultimately aren't as rewarding as proper muscle cars.

    We tried the turbo Camaro last year. In 2018, we jumped behind the wheel of the turbo Mustang. Here's how it all went down.

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    First up is the Camaro.



    The Camaro was Chevy's 1960s response to the Mustang. Here's a rude 1968 model.



    Danielle Muoio, a former transportation reporter for Business Insider, checked out the turbo Camaro in 2017.

    Read the review »



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    harry reid shutdown

    • The government shutdown is now in its sixth day.
    • This is the 21st time the federal government has had a funding lapse since the modern budgeting process began.
    • Most of those times the shutdown has been short and not involved employees being sent home, but that has changed in recent years.

    As lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on Thursday, the partial shutdown of the federal government is still ongoing.

    President Donald Trump's sudden reversal on a bipartisan funding extension before the Christmas holiday forced a sizeable portion — but not all — of the government into a partial shutdown on Saturday.

    Read more:Here's what the government shutdown means for federal agencies and employees»

    This is 21st time since the modern budget process began with the Budget Act of 1974 that the federal government has entered a shutdown or had a funding lapse.

    On average, the 20 previous shutdowns lasted eight days, though they have been longer in recent decades. The six shutdowns since 1990 have lasted nine days on average, and removing the short, nine-hour funding lapse caused by Sen. Rand Paul in February, recent shutdowns have averaged 11 days. The longest shutdown in history, lasting 21 days, came in 1995-1996.

    Most of these shutdowns weren't severe, with 11 of the 20 lasting five days or fewer, and seven lasting three days or fewer. By making it to day six, the current shutdown is now tied for the 10th longest of the modern era.

    While the current shutdown is shorter than some of the extended shutdowns, it also bears one big difference. Most of these shutdowns did not affect federal employees. Around 380,000 federal employees are now on furlough, meaning they do not report to work or get paid. In 11 of the previous shutdowns, employees were not placed on furlough.

    Sending employees home has become more frequent in recent shutdowns, with furloughs occurring during five of the last six funding lapses.

    Another newer wrinkle is the fact that this is just the second shutdown during which employees were placed on furlough while one party controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, the other being the three-day shutdown in January.

    Trump is the only president to furlough employees while his party controlled both chambers of Congress, the only one to achieve that dubious feat multiple times, and is second in total shutdowns for a president whose party controls chambers of Congress. Jimmy Carter presided over five shutdowns while Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, none of which resulted in furloughs.

    The latest shutdown also moved Trump into third place with three total funding lapses during his presidency, behind Carter's five and Ronald Reagan's eight.

    2018 also becomes just the second year of the modern era to have three funding lapses, tying 1977.

    Here's a breakdown of all the previous shutdowns:

    Government Shutdowns

    SEE ALSO: Here's what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Turn by turn

    • Many vehicles are now equipped with GPS navigation systems that use digital maps, rendered in infotainment screens.
    • Recently, I tested a $52,000 Cadillac XT4 crossover SUV that lacked this feature. Instead, it had an older system, called "Turn-by-Turn."
    • I've always been a fan if Turn-by-Turn, and on the XT4, I found that I preferred it over the more familiar systems. 

    We've gotten so used to GPS navigation system on smartphones and in vehicles that at Business Insider, when we encounter a car that doesn't have a mapping setup, it can be sort of disorienting (pardon the pun).

    Every so often, this happens on a mass-market vehicle. It almost never happens with a luxury car. And even when we think we might not have GPS mapping, we've been known to push buttons and dig around in an infotainment system in the vain hope that we might find some colorful digital coordinates.

    That quest was familiar when I recently sampled the all-new 2019 Cadillac XT4, a compact crossover SUV from the luxury brand. My test car, which priced at about $52,000, did not include a $1,500 optional technology package that would have added mapping (along with some other features). 

    The XT4 was rather superb, but in at least one respect it was a throwback for me: instead of mapped directions, with that familiar colored line to follow on a route, it showcased turn-by-turn navigation accessed through General Motors' good old OnStar system. 

    How did turn-by-turn compare with the more "modern" systems? Read on to find out.

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    GPS mapping has become quite sophisticated in the digital age. Here we have Audi's MMI with Virtual Cockpit, a Google Maps-powered system that can render landscapes and destinations in great detail.



    And of course, everyone is familiar with GPS mapping software and displays from smartphones.



    The Cadillac XT4 is a new crossover from the luxury brand.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    TheInsider Picksteam writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.

    Cole Haan

    1. Save an extra 40% on sale styles at Cole Haan

    In celebration of the New Year, Cole Haan just added a bunch of new markdowns to its sale section and there's a pair of shoes for everyone. Now through January 2, you can save an extra 40% on sale styles using the promo code "SAVE" at checkout. Whether you're shopping for comfortable winter hikers, dress shoes, or sneakers, you'll find them here. 

    Shop the Cole Haan sale now.

    GUEST_dbdcd266 1cdf 4fca 9f66 ed8f7456ebae

    2. Save up to 50% on clearance items at Target

    Now that Christmas has passed, Target is having a huge clearance sale. Right now, you can save up to 50% on select clothes, shoes, toys, tech, holiday decor, home goods, and more. Now is a great time to buy something with your Christmas cash or grab a slightly belated gift before these great sales get too picked over.

    Shop the Target sale now.

    brooklinen luxury bedding sheet

    3. Save 10% on orders over $150 at Brooklinen

    Brooklinen is one of our favorite bedding startups because of their super premium quality and fairly priced products. In just four years, the brand has gained immense popularity. Now, the brand is celebrating the holidays with a rare discount. Right now, you can save 10% on orders over $150 with the promo code "HOLIDAY10" at checkout. (Editor's note: These sheets come with the personal endorsement of many of the Insider Picks staff.)

    Shop the Brooklinen sale now.

    Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

    4. Save up to 50% at Nordstrom

    Nordstrom waited until after the holidays to start its Half Yearly Sale, but it was definitely worth the wait. Now through January 2, you can save up to 50% on clothes and accessories for men, women, and kids, as well as home and beauty products. It's hard not to find something you'll like, so head over to Nordstrom to check out the deals.

    Shop the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale now.

    Nordstrom Rack

    5. Save an extra 25% on clearance at Nordstrom Rack

    In addition to Nordstrom's huge Half Yearly sale, the retailers discount store, Nordstrom Rack, is having a sale of its own. Right now you can save an extra 25% on already reduced clearance items bringing total savings up to 75%. The sale includes clothes, shoes, accessories and more from all of your favorite brands.

    Shop the Nordstrom Rack sale now

    Indochino

    6. Save up to 70% on custom suits at Indochino

    A good suit should be tailored to your body, never just purchased off a rack. Indochino is leading the way in made-to-order custom suits online. Right now, the brand is having a huge year end sale with up to 70% off everything. Use the promo code "BLOWOUT" at checkout to save. If you're getting dressed up for New Year's Eve or shopping for suits to wear in the office, this is a great deal you shouldn't pass up.

    Shop the Indochino sale now.

    Allen Edmonds

    7. Save up 50% on dress shoes at Allen Edmonds

    Founded in 1922, Allen Edmonds is one of the most experienced companies in the menswear and footwear space. As a result, the brand makes some of the highest quality goods you can buy. To celebrate the New Year, you can save up to 50% huge selection of dress shoes, boots, and sneakers. And when you spend $50, you'll get free shipping. When taken care of, these shoes can last well over a decade thanks to their sturdy construction and quality materials.

    Shop the Allen Edmonds clearance sale now.

    5c127df0a6df154f71557bc8 960 720

    8.Save $20 on the Fire TV Stick 4K and all-new Echo Dot Bundle

    The Echo Dot and Fire Stick are two of Amazon's most popular products for creating an interactive smart home and entertainment system. With the use of Alexa, you can easily watch movies, listen to music, order pizza, check the weather, and so much more. Right now, you can save $20 by bundling the two items together on Amazon.

    Fire TV Stick 4K and Gen 3 Echo Dot Bundle, $79.98 (Originally $99.98)[You save $35]

    Bear Mattress

    9. Save up to $225 on a Bear Hybrid Mattress

    As one of our favorite mattress startups, Bear revolutionized the way we sleep by creating a mattress that supports every body type and sleeping style. Today, you can save $125 on orders over $500 with promo code "NYS125" or save $225 on orders over $1,200 with promo code "NYS225" at checkout. Plus, get a free Cloud Pillow.

    Shop the Bear Hybrid Mattress in Queen, King, and California King sizes now.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The reason some men can't grow full beards, according to a dermatologist


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    wildlife photos of the year   young photog pipe owls india

    Marsel van Oosten slipped and stumbled over logs, struggling to lug his camera gear through the verdant mountain forests of China. Undeterred, he pressed on, finally capturing a stunning photo of a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys, an eye-catching shot that would win him £10,000.

    Breathtaking photos of the natural world can bring attention to endangered species, highlight important environmental issues, or simply fascinate us as they reveal the world's bizarre and beautiful creatures.

    Each year, the Natural History Museum in London crowns one lucky camera-holder Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The 2018 prize brings van Oosten international recognition, along with the pile of cash. (Judges also award a Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year who's under the age of 18.)

    Other images that made the list of winners and finalists this year depict a mother gorilla mourning her dead babe, owls that found refuge in a rusty urban spot, and a Caribbean flamingo behind the steering wheel of a car.

    Take a look at these stunning photos of the world's most fantastic beasts from the 2018 contest.

    SEE ALSO: The most mind-blowing, life-altering scientific discoveries of 2018

    Van Oosten, the grand-prize winner, is a professional nature photographer from the Netherlands who runs a photography tour business with his wife. He nabbed this photo of a "golden couple" in the Qinling Mountains of China.

    Less than 4,000 golden snub-nosed monkeys remain in the snowy mountains of west-central China. Human settlement, as well as logging and hunting, have pushed the furry, blue-nosed creatures towards the brink of extinction. 

    "Many have been pushed into high-altitude isolation, where they leap across branches, traverse icy rivers, and weather long winters at nearly 10,000 feet, shielded by that coveted coat," according to National Geographic

    Van Oosten had a tough time keeping up with the monkeys as they hopped from tree to tree, but after some slips and stumbles, he captured this shot of a pair resting. 



    Underwater photographer Tony Wu was tickled to meet this Asian sheepshead wrasse off the coast of Japan's Sado Island. The fish's forehead reveals the "burning desire of a male in love," he said.

    This Asian sheepshead wrasse uses its bulbous red forehead to attract females. If there aren't enough men around, older female wrasse can also turn into males. They grow testicles, show off their big pink foreheads, and act aggressive.  

    "This," Wu said, "is the face of a fish looking for love."

    The image was highly commended in the contest, and the underwater photographer hopes his work inspires others to appreciate and protect the world's oceans.



    French photographer Greg Lecoeur found this frogfish surrounded by plastic bits in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

    Lecoeur's image was also highly commended.

    Normally, the fish thrives in Sargassum seaweed habitats, where it stalks and captures prey. But with plastic now covering the world's oceans in a "seventh continent" of trash, those traditional hunting methods aren't always possible.

    More than 90% of the world's plastic never gets recycled, and instead ends up in landfills or out in nature. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    LOL Surprise

    • Amazon announced a "record-breaking" holiday season with more items ordered than ever before.
    • One of its best-selling toys of the season was the LOL Surprise collection of dolls, specifically the Glam Glitter series.
    • Amazon also said Lego sets, Nerf guns, and children's art materials were top sellers.

    LOL Surprise — Amazon had a good holiday season.

    Amazon announced a "record-breaking" holiday season on Wednesday, noting more items ordered than ever before. Part of its success came from the toys customers ordered as gifts during November and December.

    One of the top gifts, as highlighted near the top of the press release, was the LOL Surprise collection of dolls, specifically the Glam Glitter series. The dolls have become quite the sensation.

    They were also a top seller over Thanksgiving weekend, and have sold $4 billion worldwide as of October. LOL Surprise accounted for seven of the top 10 toys in the United States in October and was the top toy, according to NPD Group analysis.

    Read more:A doll with a bizarre name has become the biggest toy of the holiday season by taking over YouTube with unboxing videos

    "LOL is the biggest thing that we have ever done," Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, which makes the dolls, told Business Insider in an interview in November. "It's the cuteness, it's the mystery, all the attention to detail that we put in the product ... the combination of all of this has made this a major phenomenon."

    Other top toys included a Lego set, a Nerf gun, and children's art materials.

    Here's Amazon's best-selling toys of the holiday season:

    SEE ALSO: Amazon reveals its best-selling gadgets of the holiday season as smart home tech takes over gift-giving

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Ocean Spray harvests 220 billion cranberries a year


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    fancy vivid blue diamond ring

    • Christie's Auction House sold $69.2 million worth of precious jewels in a single night in New York City.
    • A whopping $18.3 million of that — about 26% — came from a blue diamond ring by Bulgari.
    • The December 5 auction also included jewels by Suzanne Belperron, René Boivin, Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels.
    • The night followed last month's record-breaking sale of a 19-carat pink diamond for $50 million to jeweler Harry Winston in Geneva.

     

    Christie's Auction House sold a stunning $69,225,750 worth of precious jewelry in a single night in New York City.

    A huge chunk of that — about 26% — came from the sale of one rectangular blue diamond ring by Bulgari, which went for $18.3 million. The December 5 auction also included pieces by Suzanne Belperron, René Boivin, Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels.

    As astronomical as this sale may seem, it pales in comparison to Christie's biggest ever single-night jewel sale: $115.9 million for a collection of Elizabeth Taylor's jewels in December 2011. It did, however, surpass the past two years. At last year's December auction, Christie's sold $62.5 million of jewelry, and $51.2 million in 2016.

    Read more: Christie's sold a 19-carat pink diamond for a record-breaking $50 million

    Daphne Lingon, Head of Jewelry, Christie's Americas, said the auction house has seen some particularly exceptional sales this year.

    "Over this auction season, we have witnessed the blockbuster sales of The Winston Pink Legacy in Geneva, which set a new price per carat for a pink diamond, and The Peacock Necklace in Hong Kong, which established the record for a Kashmir sapphire necklace," Lingon said. "The excitement and prices achieved in our New York sale tonight, including the exceptional price achieved for the sensational Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring by Bulgari and the world auction record realized for Suzanne Belperron, mark a perfect ending to our successful year of global jewelry auctions."

    Here's a look at 10 of the most expensive jewels Christie's sold on December 5, ranked from least to most expensive.

    SEE ALSO: Christie's sold a 19-carat pink diamond for a record-breaking $50 million

    DON'T MISS: $90 million painting sale makes David Hockney the world's most expensive living artist

    A 6.28 carat cushion-cut Belle Époque Kashmir sapphire ring of 6.28 sold for $936,500.

    Source: Christie's



    A rectangular-cut D color diamond ring of 18.77 carats by Carvin French also went for $936,500.

    Source: Christie's



    A cushion-cut fancy vivid green diamond ring of 3.01 carats sold for $972,500.

    Source: Christie's



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ice cream

    • Whole Foods has revealed the top 10 trends that will shape how we eat and drink in 2019. 
    • Trends include Pacific Rim-inspired flavors, new types of icy treats, and fat-filled ingredients. 
    • Here are the top 10 food-trend predictions for next year. 

    As 2018 comes to a close, the food and beverage industry is wondering what comes next. 

    On Wednesday, Whole Foods released its list of the trends it expects to dominate in 2019. More than a dozen buyers and experts collaborated to predict what new trends will dictate what we eat.

    This year, new flavors are on the horizon, drawing inspiration from things as disparate as the Pacific Rim and the blossoming legal marijuana industry. 

    Here are the top 10 food-trend predictions for 2019: 

    SEE ALSO: Millennials are killing countless industries — but the Fed says it's mostly just because they're poor

    Pacific Rim-inspired flavors

    The grocer says that flavors from Asia, Oceania, and the western coasts of South America are on the rise. Whole Foods name checks guava, dragon fruit, Filipino sausage longganisa, dried shrimp, cuttlefish, and shrimp paste as a few ingredients to keep an eye out for. 



    Shelf-stable probiotics

    Probiotics have been on the rise for a while, in the form of fermented kimchi and various pickled foods. Now, wellness-focused brands, cleaning products, and beauty brands are trying to cash in on the trend. 



    Phat fats

    Whole Foods cites "keto, paleo, grain-free, and even 'pegan' (paleo + vegan) diets" as helping to get people to add more fat to their diets. 

    "New integrations of fat sources — like keto-friendly nutrition bars crafted with MCT oil powder, coconut butter-filled chocolates, snacks affectionately called 'fat bombs' and a new wave of ready-to-drink vegan coffee beverages inspired by butter coffees — are busting on the scene allowing consumers to get their fat fill with convenient treats," the grocer says. 

    Read more:10 of the best keto meal options at popular chain restaurants



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    4

    • DJ Khaled's waterfront Miami home has been listed for $7.99 million.
    • The waterfront mansion has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an enormous sneaker closet.
    • The home is flush with luxury amenities, including a boat lift, an elevator, a wine cellar, and an outdoor entertaining area.

    DJ Khaled's home is the stuff of sneaker-lovers' dreams — and it's now on the market.

    The Miami villa is listed at $7.99 million by Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby's International Realty.

    DJ Khaled, 43, is a DJ and producer. He also, as Business Insider's Angela Johnson previously reported, launched a luxury furniture line called We The Best Home in September; the line includes lots of "leather, gold, and high-end features."

    A similar attention to detail — and appreciation for the shinier things in life — can be seen throughout his home.

    Read more:A new report reveals the 17 most popular housing markets for the world's richest people, and a notoriously expensive city is missing from the list

    According to a new report from Knight Frank, Miami is one of the world's most popular housing markets for the world's richest people. It's a growing market in which many of the top real estate sales come from penthouses in residential developments. Khaled's house now joins the likes of a $68 million penthouse, which could shatter the state's record, as some of the Miami area's glitzy real estate offerings.

    Here's a look inside the mansion:

    SEE ALSO: Tour the most expensive zip code in Florida — the mysterious members-only island where millionaires pay $250,000 for access

    READ MORE: Here's what the most expensive house for sale in every US state looks like

    According to The Wall Street Journal, the home sits on a half-acre of property on Dumbfoundling Bay in Aventura, about 20 miles north of Miami.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal, Google Maps



    The home is located in an ultra-exclusive gated community ...

    Source: Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty



    ... and has unobstructed views of the bay and city, according to Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby's International Realty.

    Source: Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    39142956_2325883470787639_1835493993803153408_o

    • ClassPass is offering a free month-long trial— double their standard trial period offer.
    • With the trial, you can go to up to six boutique fitness classes in January for $0. 
    • It's the perfect way to jump-start that New Year's resolution.
    • Find out how ClassPass works below.

    ClassPass is a relatively inexpensive way to drop into boutique fitness classes in your area without any commitment or membership. You pay a monthly ClassPass fee and get credits, and you use those credits to sign up online for classes that pique your interest: boxing, yoga, cycling, weight training, martial arts, pilates, and a seemingly never-ending list of others.

    And, since budget-friendly options can often mean second-rate options, it’s nice to know ClassPass typically features top-tier studios, including a majority of the fitness classes you’ve likely heard of or have actually been meaning to try.

    Right now, ClassPass is offering a free month-long trial for the new year.

    Their standard offer is typically two weeks. You can take up to six classes during your free month, and you can cancel your membership whenever. If you don’t cancel, though, you’ll be auto-enrolled in a monthly membership.

    Screen Shot 2018 12 27 at 12.11.19 PM

    Here’s how ClassPass typically works:

    1. After your free trial, you pay a monthly membership fee that’s based on your city and how many classes you want to take each month. For reference, the lowest tier membership starts at $15, though you should expect to pay something closer to $59 (the rate in cities like Minneapolis) to $79 (the rate in New York City) per month for five to eight classes. That works out to be about $7-$12 per class in Minneapolis or $10-$16 in New York.
    2. Use the app or online site to book yourself in one of the thousands of participating fitness classes in your area. Every class has a different credit value, and you can book in advance or last-minute—even up to five minutes before it starts when you use the mobile app.
    3. Add more credits anytime if you use yours up.

    The perks are plentiful. You pay as much as 50% less per month for multiple specialized fitness classes (for comparison, a single class can normally run for $30), you can get class recommendations and read reviews so you know what’s good before you try it, and you can stream workouts from home if you’re not up to leaving the house. You don’t have to buy class packs or commit to a membership that penalizes you if you decide in February that you’re really not interested in getting into fitness in 2019.

    Plus, the versatility means working out can actually be fun and engaging — and you can rope friends into trying out new classes with you, in the hopes that you’ll discover you actually love something like martial arts but just never knew it. And if you’re traveling, you can switch your account location and use ClassPass wherever you are (given you're in one of the 80 participating cities). 

    The risks you run, depending on the city, are popular classes booking up quickly, falling in love with a high-credit class, needing to buy more credits because you exercised too much that month (is this really a bad thing, though?), or paying for a month and never using the credits. If you end the month with a bunch of unused credits, you can use them on the considerably higher credit spa treatments ClassPass also offers. Otherwise, up to 10 credits roll over each month. And if you love a workout spot that isn’t listed, submit it as a recommendation to ClassPass.

    You can go to most studios an unlimited times per month (or per “cycle”), though it’s possible more credits will be charged if you go often, in which case you’ll see a message explaining the change.

    Overall, ClassPass is ideal for relatively inexpensive access to variety and top fitness classes. But, with a month to try it, you don’t have much to lose. If you’re thinking about trying it, now is a good time. 

    Sign up for your free month-long trial of ClassPass here

    SEE ALSO: 90+ of the best end-of-year sales on the internet — from big-box retailers to your favorite small startups

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    betty draper grocery store

    • It may be harder than ever to maintain a healthy weight, according to a Harvard researcher who has studied people's diets for decades.
    • The best way to avoid gaining weight in the long run may be to pick a healthy diet you can stick to and eat a little less.
    • You may need to rethink your relationship with fat, cut down on sugar, and ramp up your intake of vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

    Nutritionists agree that it is getting harder and harder for people to maintain a healthy weight — and that's not all your fault.

    "There is so much great-tasting food, and it's abundant and in your face all the time," Dr. Meir Stampfer, an epidemiologist and nutrition expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote in a recent blog post over the summer. "To me it's kind of a miracle that people aren't even heavier than they are."

    Stampfer, who has pioneered many long-term, top-notch health studies, said the easiest way to get people to lose weight is to simply limit how much they eat every day.

    "But for free-living people that's really hard," he said.

    Average portions in the US have ballooned as much as 138% over the past five decades, and sugar is hiding in everything we eat, including bagels, salads, and almost every low-fat product out there.

    Sara Seidelmann, a cardiologist and nutrition researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, sees the issue in a similar way.

    "There's absolutely nothing more important for our health than what we eat each and every day," she previously told Business Insider.

    Here are some of the best tips for how to slim down for the long term, from Stampfer and Seidelmann:

    beans salad plant-based diet healthy food

    Healthy eating isn't necessarily low-carb

    Seidelmann recently published a study involving more than 447,000 people around the world. The results indicated that people who ate too many or too few carbs didn't live as long as those in the middle who ate a moderate amount.

    Her team's data suggests people should focus on putting whole, healthy foods on their plate, like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans.

    Even though some veggies and beans may be considered "high-carb," eating them is associated with a longer life than low-carb diets that push people to eat large quantities of meat and animal products.

    Focus on choosing healthy fats

    "Eating fat doesn't make you fat," Stampfer said. That sound advice has been backed up by study after study after study.

    "Eating healthy fats helps people control their weight better than diets than exclude them," he added.

    Fatty foods have more energy gram per gram than carbs or proteins, and they can also help keep you full and satisfied until your next meal.

    Some of the best plant-based sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, walnuts, and chia seeds. Even oatmeal has a potent dose of fat, making it a great way to fuel up in the morning.

    Eat 'just a little bit' less

    Though incorporating movement into your day can yield immense benefits for your brain and body, nutritionists agree that the surefire way to control your weight is to properly gauge (and perhaps reduce) how much food you're putting in your mouth.

    Eating less and forgoing food for an occasional fast may even help you live longer, some studies suggest. A group of Silicon Valley biohackers has even committed to skipping one meal per day, a version of the "intermittent fasting" craze that eliminates about a third of a day's calories.

    But we're not suggesting that anyone starve themself. Just remember that a standard serving of whole-grain bread is one slice, a slice of meat should fit in an imaginary checkbook, and your cut of cheese should be about the size of four dice.

    As Stampfer put it, "adopt a healthy diet, and eat just a little bit less."

    Don't discount strength training

    Your brain and your heart are some of the biggest calorie-burning machines in your resting body. But muscles can help keep your metabolism going all day, which means incorporating strength training into your fitness routine can be a great way to maintain a healthy weight. And the benefits don't end there.

    "Muscle building can not only bring up your body's metabolic rate but also brings its own distinct health benefits that are often not as well appreciated as those associated with aerobic activity," Stampfer said.

    Those benefits include improving mental health, fighting off depression, and even reversing some of the physical effects of aging. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests doing strength training two or three times each week.

    You don't need a wide or colorful variety of foods — just find the healthy ones you like

    Many principles of healthy eating that you may have learned as a kid are being debunked.

    One such idea is that everyone should try to eat a varied, colorful "pyramid" of foods. Instead, the American Heart Association now suggests focusing on getting enough plants, protein, and healthy fats into your diet and not worrying as much about a diverse array of ingredients.

    That's partially because recent studiessuggest that people with the most varied, colorful diets tend to eat more food of all kinds, including processed foods. That can wind up meaning they have less healthy, whole foods on their plates and bigger waistlines as a result.

    "It’s OK if your diet is not very diverse if you're focusing on healthy foods and trying to minimize consumption of unhealthy foods," the University of Texas epidemiologist Marcia Otto told The New York Times.

    SEE ALSO: Scientists who studied the diets of more than 447,000 people around the world are zeroing in on the ideal dose of carbs for a long life

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The time of day you eat is just as important as what you eat — a nutritionist explains


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