16 Things You Should Do To Save Money In June
In today's world, it's more important than ever to prepare for your financial future.
And one of the easiest ways to add to your nest-egg is to simply cut expenses and save more of your hard earned money.
We often forget some of the golden rules to saving that our parents taught us. Here's a quick list of things you can do to save on bills in 2021. No matter your circumstance, there's something here that everyone can use like cutting down your mortgage bill, save on utilities, get more for your money at the grocery store, and even get samples of popular products.
1. For Pete's Sake, Quit Smoking
This might make some people upset to hear, but it's time to quit smoking. Not only is it hazardous to your health, but it's costing you and your family a fortune. Smoking one pack per day costs over $2,000 per year!
There are plenty of techniques to quit smoking, but it all comes down to your dedication to cut the habit. Come up with a plan and have family and friends keep you accountable!
2. Install CFLs or LED Lights Where You Can
New lighting technology has really come a long ways. Now although they do cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED bulbs can last for years without having to replace them. You don’t even need to replace every bulb in the house at once. Even swapping just your four or five most-used light bulbs can save you $45 or more a year!
CFL vs. LED
CFLs, which use a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last for years, are the next cheapest option after traditional bulbs. But they also have some drawbacks: They take a while to warm up to full brightness, and they also contain a small amount of mercury.
Meanwhile, LEDs are more expensive. However, they’re getting cheaper all the time, and they are easily the best lighting option available: They light up instantly, are efficient as CFLs, produce a warm glow without getting hot to the touch, and can last for decades.
3. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
It's easier than ever to rack up monthly subscription bills since many products and services nowadays offer monthly plans. But the problem with those is that you sign up and forget. Or you get "cancel remorse" and keep subscriptions that you really don't use.
Go through your bank and credit card statements and review your subscriptions immediately!
4. Make A Grocery List
You ever go to the grocery store when you're hungry and find yourself checking out with way more than you intended? We call this "Hunger Shopping" and it's quite dangerous to your wallet!
Before going to get groceries, make a list of groceries that you need for the upcoming week. That way, you only buy what you're intending to use and the amount that will get thrown away from being expired is kept to a minimal.
5. Buy in Bulk
One of the easiest things you can do to instantly start saving money is to buy in bulk! Retailers often give a MUCH better deal on products such as paper towel, toilet paper, detergent, etc if you buy in bulk.
This might seem like an obvious one, but we often forget how much money we waste by not buying in bulk.
6. Use This Debt Payoff Plan
Here’s what credit card companies don’t want you to know...and what thousands of consumers are quickly learning about paying off their debt:
If you owe more than $15,000 in credit card debt, this proven debt relief program may reduce the amount you owe. Consumers could resolve their debts with absolutely no loan required and pay it off at a rapid pace. If you’ve struggled to pay your credit card debt, act now before your debt balloons further.
7. Take Full Advantage Of These Tax Deductions
Owning a home can be very lucrative. Seriously, owning a home can not only give you a heaper monthly payment than renting but in many cases, the tax benefits make the decision a no-brainer.
Here are a few of the larger deductions that you need to be sure to take:
Interest you pay on your mortgage: If you own a home and don’t have a mortgage greater than $750,000, you can deduct the interest you pay on the loan. This is one of the biggest benefits to owning a home versus renting–as you could get massive deductions at tax time. The limit used to be $1 million, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) reduced the limit and made some clarifications on deducting interest from a home equity line of credit.
Property taxes: Another awesome benefit to owning a home is the ability to deduct your property taxes. Before TCJA, the rules were a little more flexible and you were able to deduct the entirety of your property taxes. Now things have a changed a bit. Under the new law, you can deduct up to $10,000. The deduction for state and local income taxes was combined with the deduction for state and local property taxes, too.
Tax incentives for energy-efficient upgrades: While most of the tax incentives for making energy-efficient upgrades to your home have gone away, there are still a couple worth noting. You can still claim tax deductions on solar energy–both for electric and water heating equipment, through 2021. The longer you wait, though, the less money you’ll get back. Here’s the percentage of equipment you can deduct, based on time of installation:
Between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019 – 30% of the expenditures are eligible for the credit
Between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 – 26%
Between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021 – 22%
8. Use Government Rebates To Get Solar Panels And Slash Your Energy Bills
Warning: Do not pay your next energy bill until you read this...
This is the 1 simple truth your power company doesn't want you to know. There is a new policy in 2021 that qualifies homeowners who live in specific zip codes to be eligible for $1,000's of Government funding to install solar panels. Has your power company told you that? Of course not. They hope homeowners don't learn about this brilliant way to reduce your energy bill tremendously!
When homeowners check whether they qualify many are shocked that subsidies and rebates can cover a lot of the costs associated with installation so it greatly reduces the amount you'll have to pay. Many may qualify for $0 down! Soon, you could be on your way to significantly reducing your electric bill in a matter of weeks.
Smart homeowners are setting out to do their own research and determine whether this new program lives up to its reputations. Over and over again, many are reporting back on their findings, with the most exciting part being that they are now able to save $1,000s a year on their own energy bill.
9. Want a Patio? Consider Concrete Over Pavers
Building a patio can add great value to your home, as well as creating enjoyable outdoor living space for you and your family. But patios can come at a great cost.
When we decided to add a patio to our home, we looked at the different surface options carefully. Although many landscapers would recommend pavers over concrete because of their durability over time, we decided that the cost savings was more important to us. We personally love the clean look of concrete as well.
Now one thing to remember with concrete is that it WILL crack eventually. But if you have a good concrete crew, it should be prepped right where the cracks are minimal. So we expect to see cracks, but are hopeful that it will be minimal.
Here's an easy money-saving tip: Grill in the summertime! When you use your stove or oven to cook, it creates a lot of heat. And in the summertime, it can make your air conditioner work extra hard. If you're not much of a griller, consider cooking meals in a crockpot.
11. Childproof Your Outlets Even If You Don't Have Kids
If you have an older home, the exterior walls may be poorly insulated. And when you have poorly insulated walls, the holes that your outlets are in can be areas where the outside cold/heat can enter your home.
A simple solution to this is to install child-proof outlet plugs in any unused outlet on an exterior wall. This will close the gaps and reduce the amount of air that can leak through.
12. Give Your Air Conditioner Some Space
Just like we need to breathe, your air conditioner needs space where it's getting air easily. Many AC units are surrounded by shrubs that can restrict the airflow it needs to run efficiently. Take a few minutes this weekend and do the following:
Trim up any bushes that are are touching the unit so there is at least 1 foot of clearance
Clean up the ground for any loose debris or leaves
If the outside of the unit has a lot of debris clogging it up, consider having a professional service and clean it out
13. Quit Buying Expensive Coffee
Yes, we all love a tasty Starbucks latte every now and then. But buying coffee from your favorite barista everyday adds up quick!
Let's do the math... $5 per latte 5 days a week is $25 a week. That's $100 per month just for coffee!
If you brew your own coffee at home, the cost is around 30 cents a cup. Now if you're all about convenience, consider a Keurig Coffeemaker. The cost per cup will go up to around 60 cents but it's still MUCH cheaper than buying from a coffee shop and is super convenient.
14. New Auto Insurance Policy
Here’s what auto insurance companies don’t want you to know...and what thousands of consumers are quickly learning about their current auto insurance plan:
If you're paying more than $63 per month for auto insurance, this auto insurance comparison tool can help you check to see if you're overpaying in a few minutes. This is something every driver should be doing every 6 months or so to ensure that they are getting the best deal.
Insurance companies are always competing to win your business, but if you turn a blind eye and keep the same policy in place for a long period of time, your rates might have increased. By checking rates, drivers saved an average of $531 per year with a new policy.
So do yourself a favor and do a quick comparison by filling out a short form (about 4 minutes). This is a fast way you can start saving on your auto bills.
15. Veterans Get a Massive Discount at Lowes
All active military and veterans are entitled to get a 10% discount on all in-store purchases at Lowe's.
To make it even better, Lowe's extends this offer to their spouses! Need new tools? How about new appliances? Lowe's carries a variety of things, so take advantage of this incredible discount!
16. Born Before 1986? Get $3,600/year Off Your Mortgage With The Federal Reserve Bank's Lucrative Rate "Push Down" Initiative
Banks Don't Want Homeowners Knowing This
Still unknown to many is a brilliant mortgage plan called the Rate and Term Option (RaTO) that could benefit millions of Americans and reduce their payments by as much as $3,600 per year! You could bet the banks aren't too thrilled about losing all that profit and might secretly hope homeowners don't find out before the rules change.
So while the banks happily wait for interest rates to skyrocket, experts are making a nationwide push and urging homeowners to take advantage. This program currently exists as of 2021, but the rules could change soon. But the good news is that once you're in, you're in. If lowering your monthly payments or paying off your mortgage faster sounds good to you, it's vital you act now and see if you could qualify for RaTO or a better rate in today's marketplace.
Florida family hopeful after missing grandmother's mementos found in condo rubble
A photo of 92-year-old Hilda Noriega with her late husband and baby and birthday cards given by her prayer-group friends just two weeks ago were found by her family among the heaps of rubble and twisted metal that was once the south wing of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida, north of Miami Beach.
"There was a message in the mess of all this," her grandson Mike Noriega, 36, said. "It means not to give up hope. To have faith."
Noriega and his father rushed to the scene of the disaster after news spread that part of the building had inexplicably collapsed in the predawn hours of Thursday morning.
Hilda Noriega lived on the sixth floor of the 12-story building and was among 156 people who remained unaccounted for as rescuers search relentlessly through the debris for signs of life. Her son, Carlos Noriega, police chief of nearby North Bay Village, is among the searchers.
By Saturday evening, officials had raised the death toll to five people, four of whom were identified as Stacie Dawn Fang, 54; Antonio Lozano, 83, and Gladys Lozano, 79; and Manuel LaFont, 54.
He described her as "the youngest 92-year-old I know ... 92 going on 62."
Her daughter-in-law Sally Noriega called her "just one of those people who from the first time she met a person she instantly loved that person, and that person instantly loved her."
Noriega had lived in the building for more than 20 years but after her husband died six years ago she decided to sell the condo and had planned to move in with fam
"She wanted to spend more time with her family and grandchildren," Sally Noriega said.
Two people who were at a briefing for the families on Saturday said on condition of anonymity that some families who were frustrated with the slow pace of recovery efforts had demanded they be allowed to go to the scene and attempt a collective shout — an attempt as much to find survivors as a cathartic farewell to those who had died.
"Our top priority continues to be search-and-rescue and saving any lives that we can," Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in Saturday evening press briefing.
No official cause of the collapse has been given, but a 2018 engineering report said the building, which was built in 1981, had "major structural damage" to a concrete slab below its pool deck that needed extensive repairs.
But Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett late Saturday said a city official had led a cursory review of the nearby Champlain Towers North and Champlain Towers East buildings but "didn’t find anything out of the ordinary."
FLORIDA GOV. DESANTIS: MIAMI SISTER BUILDING OF COLLAPSED CONDO MAY HAVE TO BE EVACUATED
Mike Noriega said he spoke to his grandmother the day before the collapse.
Cece Telfer, champion transgender hurdler, ruled ineligible for US Olympic trials
Cece Telfer, a transgender woman who won an NCAA Division II championship in 2019, was ruled ineligible Wednesday to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials.
USA Track and Field (USATF) said in a statement Telfer failed to meet the World Athletic requirements to be eligible for trials. She had initially been on the list for Friday’s opening heats but an updated list Wednesday did not include her name.
World Athletics’ guidelines, released in 2019, stated that female athletes’ testosterone levels were at 5 nanomoles per liter or more were barred from events between distances of 400 meters and a mile. Telfer was readying to compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at Olympic trials.
USATF said it "strongly supports inclusivity and providing a clear path to participation in the sport for all, while also maintaining competitive fairness."
"If CeCe meets the conditions for transgender athlete participation in the future, we wholeheartedly back her participation in international events as a member of Team USATF."
USATF said it was notified last week Telfer did not meet the conditions.
LAUREL HUBBARD FINDS SUPPORT FROM NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, OLYMPIC OPPONENT AFTER MAKING HISTORY
David McFarland, Telfer’s manager, told the Associated Press his client would respect the decision of the USATF and World Athletics.
"CeCe has turned her focus towards the future and is continuing to train," he said. "She will compete on the national -- and world -- stage again soon.
According to World Athletics’ rules, an athlete must stay below the threshold for 12 months. The organization said transgender female athletes can lower their testosterone level using an oral contraceptive pill, hormone therapy pills or having surgery to remove their testicles.
Telfer won an NCAA title in 2019 as a member of the Franklin Pierce University. She had previously competed for the men’s team, took time off, then competed for the women’s
"I love what I'm doing and I'm getting to live my truth and live my authentic life. I believe that this is my way of being the change that I want to see in the world. And I live by that every single day," she said in a blog post for Women’s Health last week.
Telfer told OutSports in 2019 she had no extra benefit in her races by being transgender. She said her height and the distance between hurdles were part of the disadvantages she faced. She said hormone suppression isn’t helping her either.
"So it’s crazy! I’m the crazy one, to be the weakest female, the weakest link in the chain, to be competing against the top ones. I should be fingered as the stupid one, for wanting to do that in the first place," she added.
The embattled school board of Virginia’s Loudoun County cut off public comments during a fiery meeting Tuesday as residents traded barbs over new transgender policy proposals.
The meeting followed weeks of protests from district parents who oppose some of the measures, which they have criticized as potential left-wing indoctrination and a violation of parental rights.
The policies affect transgender student rights, privacy and restroom accommodations and would require Loudoun County Public Schools employees to use students’ preferred names or pronouns. An official school board vote on the proposal is not expected until at least Aug. 10.
But it has become a hot-button issue in the district, where 259 residents signed up to speak during the public comment session Tuesday and people lined up at the doors early to get seats in the packed auditorium.
After the recess, board chair Brenda Sheridan said members had voted unanimously to end public comment if the room erupted again.
"The board is here to hear from everyone," she said. "We started our meeting early because we knew we would have a large crowd and we had a large agenda. We ask again that you respect each other, and everyone is allowed to speak."
Residents approached the podium to weigh in on both sides of the transgender proposal – but others brought up several other high-profile incidents in the community.
Multiple parents asked the district to drop its appeal of a court order to reinstate teacher Tanner Cross, who was suspended after speaking out publicly against the proposal. They argued that fighting the judge is a waste of taxpayers' money and doomed to fail.
The large number of conservative parents in the room began singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" as board members filed out.
At least two people were arrested as parents cut off from speaking before the board remained in the room to deliver their prepared remarks to others in the crowd. One of them refused to leave until everyone had an opportunity to speak, and deputies told him that he would be arrested for trespassing if he refused to follow their orders to vacate the room.
A second adult male was acting disorderly and displayed aggressive behavior towards another attendee," the spokesperson said. "A deputy intervened and the subject continued to be disorderly with the deputy. LCSO Deputies attempted to take him into custody and he physically resisted arrest. The subject was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest."
Parents with the group Fight For Schools, which is working to recall a number of school board members, rallied against the proposal Monday night and again before and during the meeting Tuesday.
Ian Prior, a spokesman for the group and father of two Loudoun students who is also a former Justice Department official, said during the Monday rally that the Loudoun County School Board is refusing to give parents a seat at the table when it comes to how their kids are educated on controversial topics, including transgender issues and critical race theory.
"And that is the ultimate mission here is, it's something that starts here and spreads across the country, where parents get a seat at the table," he said. "Whether it's an association or organization, something where they have some kind of power to shape the future of education in their own towns."
The board meeting comes days after the district confined a Christian student to a small room during schoolwide periods of transgender-themed lessons that his family had objected to based on their faith – and after a court ordered the district to reinstate a suspended phys ed teacher who spoke out against the proposed new transgender policy at a board meeting last month.
LOUDOUN COUNTY ANTI-CRITICAL RACE THEORY RALLY: TEACHER SAYS ‘OUR STUDENT BODY SUFFERS’
Another woman urged several board members, facing a recall effort, to resign and save taxpayers even more money. Others blasted a district official who allegedly made threatening Internet searches on a district smartphone.
Former state Sen. Dick Black, a Republican, excoriated the board over its treatment of Cross and allegations that progressive community members had organized a list of their conservative neighbors to harass and publicly shame. The chamber erupted in cheers, prompting the board to vote 9-0 to end public comment for the rest of the meeting – which led to loud chants of "Shame on you" directed at the board and demands that members resign.
VIRGINIA COUNTY'S LATEST BLOW-UP IS PARENTAL RIGHTS AFTER CHRISTIAN STUDENT PLACED IN TINY ROOM
The first half-dozen speakers were in support of policy proposal 8040, but fireworks erupted when the seventh, who identified herself as the mother of a transgender Loudoun student, was booed after saying "hate" was "dripping from the followers of Jesus in this room" – a swipe at Christian parents in the district who have argued that transgender discussions should be held at home and not in public school.
The board called a 5-minute recess to let things cool off.
Florida man allegedly pulls a gun on Starbucks employee over botched order, but not on just any employee
He just wanted some cream cheese for the bagel.
But when a Florida man allegedly pulled a gun at a Starbucks drive-thru, irate over a botched order, he unwittingly brandished the firearm at the local police chief’s daughter, who was working the counter, according to Miami Gardens authorities.
Chief Delma Noel-Pratt told local media that her 23-year-old daughter was berated with verbal and physical threats before she handed the driver his cream cheese and he drove off."She felt in fear of her life," Noel-Pratt said. "It was upsetting to me to know that someone would go to that extreme not having cream cheese on his bagel."
Separately, she told Local 10 News the incident hit close to home occurring just hours before she delivered remarks at a previously scheduled rally against gun violence.
"Forget about the badge, forget about the title, that’s my child," she told the Miami-based station. "And I thought about, am I going to see her again? Is she OK? Of course, she was upset, she was crying, and so I had to go into mom mode."
Police arrested Omar Wright, 38, on Thursday in connection with the incident on charges that include aggravated assault and armed robbery. He was being held on a $10,000 bond.
He allegedly returned to the drive-thru and screamed at the chief’s daughter, claiming his cream cheese was missing. When she asked whether he’d paid for it, police say he pulled out the gun.
During his first court appearance Friday, he said he did not believe the robbery charge was warranted – although it remains unclear whether or not he had paid for the creamy spread.
Noel-Pratt’s daughter told investigators that while Wright did not point the gun at her, she still feared for her life.
He claimed that he grabbed it because it was falling out of his pocket and denied threatening the clerk, according to the police report.
Biden's list 'could actually entice Russia to increase attacks against all the other entities besides those 16 things'
The Minnesota National Guard activated about 100 soldiers Wednesday to prepare for the possibility of civil unrest in Minneapolis as demonstrations continue over the deputy-involved fatal shooting of Winston Boogie Smith Jr. by a U.S. Marshals task force weeks ago – as well as the most recent death of a woman killed when a man rammed his SUV into a group of protesters blocking an intersection.
Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday afternoon that his office, at the request of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, "gave the Minnesota National Guard a warning order to start preparing to assist local law enforcement should they need help," the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. The Minnesota National Guard has not been given any operational orders, "and as of this time their assistance has not been needed," Fox 9 Minneapolis also reported.
MN National Guard tweeted Wednesday afternoon that approximately 100 soldiers from the 257th Military Police Company have been activated "at the request of the city of Minneapolis for potential support to civil unrest within the city." A follow-up tweet added, "While the Soldiers are not currently in Minneapolis, they are standing by and prepared to respond if their presence is needed."
If Guardsmen are brought into Minneapolis, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo requested that those soldiers be assigned to teams with law enforcement officers and concentrate on property protection details and static traffic posts, according to the city of Minneapolis.
DRIVER WHO PLOWED INTO MINNEAPOLIS PROTESTERS THOUGHT HE WAS JESUS HEADED TO SUPER BOWL: REPORT
In a letter addressed to the governor earlier Wednesday, Frey said city and state officers have maintained communication "about the ongoing peaceful protests and potential civil unrest around the recent officer-involved shooting of Winston Smith in Minneapolis."
"It is my request that the state make Minnesota National Guard assets available to assist in ensuring calm and order throughout the city, without immediately being deployed," the mayor wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Tribune. He added that "preparedness is essential."
The city has asked for National Guard assistance at least five times since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, according to the Tribune.
The latest request comes as protesters and city officials compete for control of the intersection of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue in Uptown. City crews have repeatedly cleared the area, and each time protesters have moved back in after police left. Organizers want the area to remain closed to traffic as has occurred at the site of Floyd’s death downtown by Cup Foods that has come to be known as George Floyd Square. Late Sunday, a woman, identified by media outlets as 31-year-old Deona Marie Knajdek Erickson, was killed after a man rammed his SUV into a group of protesters and their vehicles parked to block off the nearby intersection of West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South.
The driver, 35-year-old Nicholas D. Kraus, was charged with second-degree unpremeditated murder by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office on Wednesday. He had been in custody since early Monday and police said protesters initially pulled him out of his vehicle and beat him.
His motive remains unclear, though Minneapolis police said alcohol and drugs may have been contributing factors. A search warrant also said Kraus admitted to being the driver but gave illogical and irrelevant answers to other questions, including telling police his name was Jesus Christ and Tim Burton, that he had been a carpenter for 2,000 years, and that he wanted to get his children to the Super Bowl.
The document, obtained by KARE, said security camera footage showed no brake lights as Kraus approached the intersection. Kraus has five convictions for driving while impaired dating back to a 2007 incident, according to online court records. Court records also show his driver's license was canceled in 2013 because he was found to be "inimical to public safety."
Meanwhile, new documents filed in Hennepin County District Court earlier this week provide more details into the circumstances of the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Smith in the top level of a parking ramp in the Uptown area of Minneapolis on June 3. State investigators have said there is no body-camera, dash-camera or surveillance footage that captured the incident unfold.
Search warrant affidavits obtained by the Tribune said 14 cartridge casings from police firearms were found outside of the car and six cartridge casings from another gun were found inside the vehicle.
One document said a Smith and Wesson M&P 380 pistol was recovered from the driver's side of the vehicle. Six casings matching the pistol were found inside the vehicle: Two from the driver's seat, one from the floor, two from the center console and one from the front passenger area.
Those details contrast with what attorneys representing a woman who was inside the vehicle with Smith at the time of the shooting said. She claimed she never saw Smith with a gun and never saw a gun inside the vehicle at any time, the Tribune reported.
A parents furious after graduation speaker's 'incendiary' warning on racism and white supremacy
The president of the student government introduced her, noting that she campaigned for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and that her father, Esam Omeish, was a "leader and board member of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center" – the namesake of a mosque attended by two 9/11 hijackers in 2001, and the radical imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, and Nidal Hasan, the 2009 Fort Hood shooter.
"I think it's important for your viewers to know that Abrar Omeish’s comments here are incendiary comments are not the first example of divisive and anti-Semitic rhetoric," Fairfax County Parent Gary Aiken told "Fox & Friends First" on Tuesday
Aiken said that several weeks ago, Omeish posted "vile anti-Semitic tweets on her social accounts," which were linked to her official "non-partisan Fairfax County school board page."
"That desecrates the Holy Land and kills Palestinians. And this caused huge outrage amongst over 250,000 Jewish Americans here in Northern Virginia and it sparked outrage across all political lines and there were calls for her to apologize. She offered no apology. She doubled down on it," Aiken said.
Aiken said it is "absurd" to say that school board members do not represent the school when delivering speeches within "school functions" like a commencement ceremony.
Also, Aiken said that it is "absurd" that no one proofread or pre-approved the incendiary speech. The county school district said in a statement that Omeish's comments were her First Amendment right and that her "personal views … do not reflect the views" of the school board or district.
Meghan Markle's estranged father alleges Oprah Winfrey is profiting off her and 'weakened' Prince Harry
Meghan Markle’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, is speaking out against Oprah Winfrey, who he believes is taking advantage of his daughter and Prince Harry.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have developed a close relationship with the media mogul since they moved to Montecito, Calif. In addition to sitting down with the couple for an explosive tell-all interview in March, Harry, 36, partnered with the 67-year-old for an AppleTV+ series "The Me You Can’t See," which focuses on mental health.
Harry and Markle, 39, have been making a name for themselves since moving to Hollywood by openly and honestly discussing their time in the British royal family. However, speaking on Australia’s "60 Minutes," Thomas alleged that it’s all a calculated effort on Winfrey’s part to profit off of the royal couple.
"For one, I think Oprah Winfrey is playing Harry and Meghan," the former Hollywood lighting director said in a clip from the interview. "I think she’s using them to build her network and build her new shows and I think she’s taking advantage of a very weakened man and getting him to say things that you just shouldn’t be saying on television."
MEGHAN MARKLE’S ESTRANGED FATHER THOMAS BREAKS SILENCE AFTER DUCHESS GIVES BIRTH TO DAUGHTER LILIBET DIANA
Harry and Winfrey partnered for "The Me You Can’t See," which sees him focus on mental health and features interviews with celebrities and everyday people about how they’re working to overcome their individual struggles. The show has also seen Harry get remarkably candid about his own issues, many of which stem from losing his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997 and the royal family’s alleged indifference to his pain.
While Harry has said he hopes to open a conversation about mental health, Thomas, 76, believes that he’s being manipulated by Winfrey so that she can have an easier time "building back" her network.
"I think it’s a setup," he said in his latest interview. "I think she’s patting herself on the back and making a lot of money from this."
He added: "I think Harry is being put in a position where he’s saying things he’ll never be able to take back. That’s a horrible thing."
BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY CONGRATULATE MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY ON BIRTH OF DAUGHTER LILI
Thomas also took issue with the couple’s sit-down interview with Winfrey in which, among other things, Markle criticized the royal family for the way she was treated after marrying Harry in 2018 and subsequently stepping aside from their royal duties last year.
In the interview, Markle discussed her own mental health and how the royals did little to help her with it. She also sent shockwaves when she revealed that conversations were had among family members, though not with Queen Elizabeth II, about how dark her baby’s skin tone would be prior to his birth.
Good Samaritan swept away while trying to rescue doomed Florida father, boy
A Florida man was swept out to sea as he tried to save a father and his toddler son from drowning near a beach just south of Tampa, according to local reports.
“Apollo Beach Hero” Kristoff Murray, 27, has yet to be found after his unsuccessful bid to save the parent and young child, who both drowned Friday, WFLA reported.
Murray’s girlfriend called 911 as the current swept the trio away, police said.
“Couldn’t be more grateful for his heroic actions. Unfortunately, the current was just that strong that he wasn’t able to attempt any rescue efforts either as good and as pure as his intentions were,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said, according to WFLA.
The father and boy, who is believed to have been about 3-years-old, were not identified.
“When you have areas that are clearly marked ‘no swimming’ it’s for a reason,” Chronister said. “I’m asking every parent out there don’t put an infant child near any type of moving or open body of water without having a life jacket on.”