- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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No one likes to find out they’ve gotten a bad deal or been taken advantage of by a con artist. Even worse is the feeling that maybe you could’ve done something to prevent it. While not all consumer pitfalls are avoidable, a few simple rules can help you steer clear of scams and help you get the most for your money.

1. Always read paperwork carefully before you sign it. Take the time to read contracts and other paperwork thoroughly. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Make sure all written documents match what you’ve been promised. And once you sign, be sure to get a final copy for your records.

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From fresh vegetables to homespun yarn offered at local markets

As part of the Venture Local Franklin (VLF) initiative, Macon County News is teaming up with VLF to highlight local businesses throughout Franklin. Each week, MCN will select locally owned and operated businesses in a different industry ranging from retail to tourism, to manufacturing. It is our goal at MCN to work with VLF to encourage residents to shop locally and utilize the resources Franklin has to offer. To learn more about VLF, visit the VLF facebook page or join the group for their next community hang out at Livingston's Bar and Grill on June 28 at 5:30 p.m.

With the “Go Green” movement making waves throughout the country, it is becoming more and more popular to make a shift to more natural, healthy ways of living.

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Budgets are like diets: No single approach works for everyone; overly complicated plans rarely work for long; and sometimes it takes a few tries before you get it right.

One common stumbling block is thinking of budgets as punishment rather than a means to achieve your life’s goals. Say you dream of buying a house: A budget shouldn't serve as a constant reminder that you can't afford a down payment; but rather, as a tool to help identify where the money goes each month so you can adjust spending – and saving – accordingly.

If you’re new to budgeting or you haven't been successful in the past, start slowly. First, for a few months write down every cent you spend: mortgage/rent, utilities, food, gas, medical copayments, birthday presents, credit card interest, allowances – the works. Don’t forget annual expenses like insurance and income tax. It sounds tedious, but I guarantee you'll be amazed by the bottom line.

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Outdoor activities and entertainment a draw for visitors

Tourism is arguably the largest industry within Macon County. From lodging to hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) to kayaking down the Little Tennessee to gem mining in one of the dozens of mines in Franklin, a large portion of Macon County's economy is directly attributed to tourism.

Nearly a dozen resources are available for tourists to learn about the area and help plan their visit to Macon County. From government boards like Franklin's Tourism Development Authority or the county's Tourism Development Commission to local resources like Franklin's Chamber of Commerce, or the Smoky Mountain Host Visitor Center, or locally owned businesses geared toward helping to plan your next vacation in the mountains like Stay and Play in the Smokies.

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published: 10/18/2013
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