Sally Jones

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

Smart Home Protocols: Zigbee vs Z-Wave vs Insteon vs X10 vs KNX vs Bluetooth

Person interacting with smart home devices from phone (caption: Smart Home Protocols)

Want to automate all of your home’s lights, appliances and other devices but not sure where to start? Turning your house into a smart home takes some planning, and the first thing you want to consider is which smart home protocol you’ll use. A smart home protocol, also called a home automation protocol, is the unique language devices use to communicate with one another. These communication signals trigger desired actions, i.e. adjusting your thermostat or turning your lights on or off…

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Vivint Car Guard Review: Not Just Car Security

Woman holding phone and car guard (caption: Vivint Car Guard Review)

Vivint is a home security company that has some of the best home automation features on the market. In early  2019, Vivint launched its unique Car Guard product that can not only monitor your car’s security but also track its location and alert you to your car’s mechanical needs. Is Car Guard reliable? And is it worth the high price tag?…

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August Smart Lock Review: No Need For Keys

August Smart Lock on door (caption: August Smart Lock Review)

Home smart locks help eliminate security woes about multiple house keys falling into the wrong hands. August Home carries some of the most popular smart locks on the market, but do they work as promised? And what added security and home automation features do they offer?… 

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Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors For Cars

Person holding C02 detector in hand (caption: Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors For Cars)

In 2017, Ford warned owners of certain Explorer SUV models that carbon monoxide (CO) could be leaking into their vehicles’ cabins. The danger is that CO is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause serious impairment in drivers and even death. The company took charge of righting the problem, but for many people, this issue highlighted a safety concern most of us probably never even consider with our cars. Is your vehicle leaking CO? It’s worth your safety (and that of your passengers) to find out by investing in a reliable vehicle carbon monoxide detector…

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Best Investment Advice Websites: Motley Fool vs Zacks vs Morningstar vs Seeking Alpha & More

Computer Screen With Financial Charts (Caption: Best Investment Advice Websites)

Investing your money wisely takes a great deal of ongoing research. And with hundreds of financial websites at your fingertips, where do you start? If you’re a serious investor, free advice only goes but so far. We’ve chosen some of the best investment advice websites that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, so you can instead focus on investing your hard-earned dollars…

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Guardzilla Review: Reliable Low-Cost Cameras?

Guardzilla cameras (caption: Guardzilla Review)

Guardzilla’s lineup of stand-alone WiFi security cameras includes 3 indoor and 3 outdoor/indoor cameras, each offering a wide variety of features. There’s a lot to choose from to fit your home or business needs. But how do Guardzilla’s cameras stand up against other trustworthy security products?…

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Motley Fool Review: Is Their Stock Advisor Worth It?

Person looking at stocks on smartphone (caption: Motley Fool Review)

If you’re into DIY stock investing, you’ve likely heard of The Motley Fool. This company offers many services related to personal investing and financial planning, but here we’re focusing on its most popular product, The Motley Fool Stock Advisor. Is Stock Advisor worth the cost? Or are you better off going elsewhere?…

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What Is The Best Home Security System For Pet Owners?

Woman on floor with dog (caption: Best Home Security System For Pet Owners)

Indoor motion sensors are the biggest concern for pet owners looking for a pet-friendly security system. If you don’t want to sacrifice this important home security feature, you still have some great options. We’ve spent a lot of time researching equipment offered by all the top companies and have narrowed down the best systems for pet owners…

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Universal vs Whole Life Insurance: What Are The Differences?

Calculator and insurance rates on paper (caption: Universal vs Whole Life Insurance)

With so many types of life insurance available, how do you know which one is best for your budget and your long-term financial needs? Two of the most popular options are whole life insurance and universal life insurance. These two types of life insurance share some features, but there are some important differences you need to know…

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