As we continue to define investment terms, we come to technology stocks and emerging markets. Each of these terms is similar in that they define a type of stock that could be important to your portfolio, but each term is also different from the other. Let's take a look at what each entails.

Technology Stocks

Many single parents may find themselves starting a first career later in life than others. 'Cause, let's face it, juggling raising children on your own with working, going to school, cleaning, getting dinner on the table and keeping your sanity in check can be a huge feat that can take many years to complete.

When you're looking for a home, there are standard real estate listings like single family homes and condos. Then there are your non-standard listings. The ones that can seem like a mega-deal...or a killer trap. One such non-standard listing is a home on leased land, and this type of home purchase can come with some perks and some dangers. Let's take a look at this type of real estate investment a little more closely.

What is a Leased Land Home?

Independence Day is one of our nation's greatest holidays. There's just something about fireworks, hot dogs, hamburgers and bomb pops that brings out our pride in the USA, a collective pride and patriotism that spreads across parades, air shows, firework celebrations and even the lowest key family grill outs. It's hard to resist the call to patriotism when kids are sporting flag face paintings and scrunchy patriotic top hats, when ten-foot tall Uncle Sams roam the parade route, when family and friends gather to celebrate our nation's birthday.

With Independence Day just around the corner, you may be wondering what you can bring to a potluck cookout. And of course, with our busy lives, we all want to prepare something that is quick, simple and patriotic. Enter the flag-themed dessert pizza! It's quick, easy, somewhat frugal and impressively themed. Oh, and it tastes pretty darned good. With all it's got going for it, this dessert is sure to be a hit. So here's all you need to know to make and decorate a patriotic dessert pizza:


2 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

As we continue to look into the specific challenges that single parents face, we come to the topic of family finances when you're the sole provider. And I've got to admit, it's tough. Single parents must find childcare and provide for their family, many times without any assistance. That can be rough...but thankfully it is possible. Let's take a look.

My husband and I enjoy a near-gourmet meal once in a great while. Yes, I said near-gourmet; in our part of the Midwest, the closest five-star restaurant is three hours away. This leaves us with the option of either dining at the three- to four-star restaurants in our area or making the long three hour trek to Chicago. For us, staying home makes much more sense...and it's so much easier on the pocketbook.

I grew up poor. No cable television. No home internet. No new (or even late model) cars. No dishwasher. No pets. My mom raised us simply, and quite honestly, we never wanted much.

Over the years, though, I have become accustomed to certain privileges. I now cannot live without my internet. I love my late model Ford. I like cable TV, and the dishwasher is a must in my home. My pets are now a huge joy in my life that I couldn't live without.

I am a victim of lifestyle creep.

How Lifestyle Creep Occurs

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that my twin girls turned six this year. To mark the occasion, we had not one but two parties: a friends’ party and a party for the family. And because I’m crazy, I made (yes, made, not bought) two separate cakes. Now, I’m not much of a baker, and I’m not known in my social circle as a crafty-type individual. But even I have to say both cakes turned out pretty good. So, without further adieu, here’s a post about creating your own chocolate barrel cake so that you, too, can win friends and influence people.

As we continue our Investment Definitions series, we come to a term that may be thrown about quite casually. But when you're first beginning to learn about investments, even one of the most-used terms can trip you up. For that reason, we'll cover the Rate of Return in detail.

What is the Rate of Return?