5 Simple Tips for Saving Big on Back to School Expenses

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Save BIG on back to school expenses with these simple tips!!

School is starting really soon (or has already started!) and that means there are probably a number of different things you need to purchase — from school supplies to clothes for your kids for fall and winter to electronics and more.

Here are five simple tips to help you save big on those back to school expenses…

5 Ways to Save Big on Back to School Expenses

1. Create a Budget.

You knew I was going to say this first, didn’t you? But it’s imperative to start by knowing how much you have to spend.

Without a budget, you won’t have parameters for what you have to work with and there’s a good chance money will just slip through your fingers like sand.

I always recommend that you consider using a cash budget. Why? Because this gives you instant self-discipline: when the money’s gone, the money’s gone!

If you don’t really have any money to work with at all, is there something you could sell to drum up some extra cash? Could you cash in some of your points on Swagbucks for gift cards you could use toward school supplies? Could you sell last year’s wardrobe that your child outgrew to fund this year’s wardrobe?

Also, consider having a swap meet with your friends to swap school supplies and clothes. Bring what you don’t need/no longer use and swap it with others.

5 Ways to Save Big on Back to School Expenses

2. Identify Needs vs. Wants.

Once you’ve determined your budget, then you need to take a hard look at what you can realistically afford in that budget. If money is especially tight, focus on the most important items first.

If your child desperately needs new shoes because the only ones they have are two sizes too small, that’s a high priority. Start with what is a true need versus just a “would be nice to have” first.

This is a great conversation to have with your children to help them understand what a need is and what a want is. It’s not wrong to spend money on wants, but help your child learn how to prioritize needs first. This is a valuable lesson for them to understand and grasp at an early age and will benefit them all their life.

5 Ways to Save Big on Back to School Expenses

3. Compare Prices

Use an app like Flipp (it’s free to download!) to price compare all of the best deals at local stores in your area. Then, either hit the store with the most deals or, stop at Walmart and price-match all the best deals at your local stores.

To do this, just check the ads, make a list of local prices, take these to Walmart, and tell your cashier what local prices you’re price-matching on the items you’re purchasing. Walmart’s corporate coupon policy says you don’t need an ad in order to price-match, however, I usually bring the ads with me in case there’s any issue or confusion about what the price is. Flipp makes it really easy to price-match at Walmart because you can have all of the ads right at your fingertips!

5 Ways to Save Big on Back to School Expenses

4. Buy Used.

Thrift stores, yard sales, consignment sales, and online sites such as ThredUp can be a treasure trove of bargains on back to school clothes for kids. You have to dig, but if you are patient, you can find incredible deals.

One of my favorite ways to find good deals at thrift stores is to go on the dollar days. Not all thrift stores have them, but it’s definitely worth checking into to see if your local thrift stores offer fill a bag for $5 or $1 days. Also, sign up for your thrift store’s email list to be notified of when they are having special offers and sales.

We’ve gotten amazing deals at consignment sales over the years, too. If you have extra time and energy, you can volunteer or sell at a consignment sale and you’ll usually be able to get first dibs on the deals — and possibly better pricing, too.

I’d highly recommend reading this article on how to stockpile clothes by shopping at yard sales. If you want to be even more strategic, check out this article on How to Shop Yard Sales for Free.

For more suggestions on how to maximize your consignment sale shopping experience, check out this article on Saving and Making Money With Consignment Sales and this article on How Selling on Consignment Works For Me.

5 Ways to Save Big on Back to School Expenses

5. Buy Extras.

When looking at the back-to-school sales, don’t just buy what’s on the required list from your local school. Buy extras of things such as glue, crayons, paper, notebooks, markers and other items you use on a regular basis around your home.

These sales are a great opportunity to stock up on office and craft supplies we use on a regular basis—all at the cheapest prices you’ll be able to get all year.

In addition, because many teachers have to pay for some of their classroom supplies out of pocket, how about buying extras of the great deals and donating them to your children’s’ classroom or purchasing them for a local family who is struggling financially?

How do YOU save on back to school supplies?

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This post is underwritten by Flipp — an app that brings all of the weekly sales fliers from your local stores to the digital age in a dynamic and personalized way, and aggregates all your favorite circulars onto one digital device for access anywhere, anytime.

With Flipp, busy parents have seamless access to their favorite weekly ad fliers from their favorite retailers  – and all the savings of each weekly circular right in their fingertips – without lugging around paper or cutting coupons! mail.google.com

What sets Flipp apart from other circular apps is that users can search by retailer (local groceries, larger big-box stores), or search for specific items (backpacks, notebooks, clothes, cereal), or even search for a specific savings amount, and they can create shopping lists to start the shopping experience beforehand or in the store right on their digital device.

With Flipp’s new shopping list feature, shoppers can quickly find the best deals for their weekly essentials. Once they’re in the store, users can easily check off items from their list – built right into the app! – to ensure they pick up everything they need (and also stick to their list!).

Download Flipp on iTunes or Google Play.

Source: moneysavingmom.com

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, what does it say when yours is falling apart? Outdated fixtures, old appliances, or a dysfunctional layout might have you daydreaming about a full kitchen renovation—but how much will it cost to remodel your kitchen?

Before you begin your kitchen remodel, you might want to consider why you’re remodeling, how much work it will require, when you’ll schedule the renovations, and how you’re going to pay for it all, not to mention the obvious: if, ultimately, it will add value to your home.

Why Should I Remodel My Kitchen?

Zillow Housing Aspirations Report , 76 percent of Americans said they’d prefer to spend on upgrading their home rather than using the money as a down payment for a new home.

Homeowners remodel for different reasons, but it’s important to consider the cost, have discussions with your spouse or partner around the kitchen table, and evaluate what the average return on the kitchen remodel will be before diving into plans or spending a large portion of your overall home renovation budget.

Do you plan to live in your place a few more years and enjoy your new kitchen, or strategically upgrade for a more appealing home sale in the near future? The answer will probably influence where and how you spend money on your kitchen.

What is the Average Return on a Kitchen Remodel?

The truth is you may have a difficult time recouping the total cost of a kitchen remodel in a home sale. When it comes to making money off of a kitchen remodel, the best bang for your buck may be less costly but visually impactful minor renovations: things like replacing the fronts of cabinets, upgrading countertops, replacing fixtures like faucets or lights, repainting, or putting in new flooring.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report 2020 , the national average return on investment (ROI) for that work is approximately 78%. An upscale remodel, on the other hand, yields a 53.9 percent ROI on average.

If you’re looking at a kitchen renovation solely to add value to your home in a sale, you might want to consider other upgrades that are higher in return and lower in cost, as well. In a Zillow survey , 58 percent of buyers said having their preferred style of kitchen was “extremely or very important to their home-buying decision.” Thus, if you’re considering selling your home in the near future, small, strategic updates instead of a full-blown kitchen remodel could potentially help the sale of the home.

How Much Should I Spend on a Kitchen Remodel?

The budget for your remodel will vary widely based on the amount of work you want done and the quality and cost of the materials you choose. On average, homeowners spend between around $22,000 for a minor kitchen remodel up to $116,000 for an upscale kitchen remodel. With such a wide range to consider, it might be wise to think about what your budget is before calling in contractors.

Consider what overall changes you want to make to your space. Will the kitchen remodel be a simple update of appliances, or do you want to change the entire layout and design?

Once you have an idea of what you want in mind, consider how to budget for it. What items or updates are must-haves in your kitchen remodel? What could be removed if the tally for your overall kitchen renovation ends up being too pricey? A prioritized list of updates or changes with the estimated cost for each project attached can be a helpful guide when trying to stay on budget within a certain price range.

Deciding how much you want to spend on your remodel is entirely up to you. If you’re looking for guidelines, HGTV recommends spending between 6 and 10 percent of the value of your home to get the best ROI.

But even the best planned budgets might go awry, so including a line item in your budget for unexpected expenses can help down the line. Use our Home Improvement Cost Calculator to get an idea of how much your kitchen remodel will cost.

Where Can I Cut Costs Remodeling My Kitchen?

If you’re trying to keep costs down on your kitchen remodel, keep in mind that certain design choices are likely to drive the budget up. In a full-scale kitchen remodel, new kitchen cabinets are typically the biggest expense, generally accounting for 20 to 40 percent of the project budget. If you’re looking to cut expenses in your kitchen remodel, you might consider trying to refinish or reface your existing cabinets, as well as adding new hardware for a more modern look.

10 to 12 weeks ; however, note that’s simply an expectation. The reality could be very different, and the time of year will also come into play.

The Takeaway

A recent kitchen remodel can be a big selling point for potential buyers if you intend to sell your house in the next few years. Renovating your kitchen also can be a way to add functionality to a home you plan to live in for years to come.

When beginning the process of plotting out your kitchen remodel, set a budget and prioritize what facets are most important to you. Look at the average return on a kitchen remodel investment and also consider how much of the work you potentially can attempt yourself versus what you’ll need to hire a contractor to do.

While cabinet finishes, new appliances, and fresh countertops can be exciting, setting aside a budget often is not. If it looks like your ambitions could outspend your budget, you might consider taking out a personal loan.

Personal loans from SoFi have low interest rates available for those who qualify, and offer fixed monthly payments. These 100% fee-free unsecured loans might be just the recipe to getting your perfect kitchen.

Find out more about using a SoFi personal loan to update your kitchen.


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483: Survive the Next Stock Market Crash with Real Estate Investment Tips from Kathy Fettke

Will you make it through the next stock market crash unscathed? Today’s guest, Kathy Fettke, explains how you can survive and thrive when the stock market bubble bursts by making smart real estate investments. Kathy reveals how to identify real estate opportunities and why some of the best real estate investments are in places traditional investors overlook. Kathy also offers advice on making money with rental properties, including how to avoid the rental pitfalls that could cost you everything. Listen in as Pat Hiban gets the answers to real estate investors’ most pressing questions in the latest Real Estate Rockstars podcast!

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7 Best Personal Finance Books to Read of All Time

Most Americans today are woefully lacking in financial literacy. A 2018 study by the FINRA Foundation found that only one in three Americans could correctly answer at least four out of five questions about simple financial concepts like compound interest and inflation. And our lack of knowledge is hurting us. In a 2019 survey by The National Financial Educators Council, 1,500 Americans said their poor financial fitness had cost them an average of $1,230 in the past year.

One way to improve your financial literacy is to read up on the subject. At your local library or bookstore, there are hundreds of books on all aspects of dealing with money, from basic budgeting to early retirement.

Best Personal Finance Books

Of course, there’s no way you could read every single personal finance book on the market. Fortunately, you don’t need to. Most books on a particular financial topic cover pretty much the same ground. There are several books on money that offer a broad, all-around primer on personal finance and money management. They’re the perfect way for financial newbies to learn the basics of earning, saving, investing, and developing smart money habits.

1. “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

In the 1920s, George S. Clason wrote a series of informational pamphlets for banks and insurance companies to hand out to their customers. But he didn’t simply lay out facts like a textbook. Clason illustrated financial principles through parables — specifically, short stories set in ancient Babylon. The stories were such a hit in 1926 that they were bound together and published as a book.

This classic text remains popular with 21st-century readers because it presents sound financial wisdom in a clear, compelling way. It emphasizes principles like living within your means, saving for retirement, and avoiding risky investments and get-rich-quick schemes.

Because this older book is no longer under copyright, you can read the full text for free online at the Internet Archive. But if you prefer a bound copy, you can buy it from Amazon or Bookshop.

2. “The Index Card” by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack

If you want a more modern, straightforward approach to personal finance, check out “The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.” It boils down the basics of money management to 10 simple rules short enough to fit on a 4-by-6-inch index card.

The idea grew out of a 2013 interview of Olen in which Pollack offhandedly commented that the best financial advice could fit on an index card. It prompted a flood of requests for such a card and eventually inspired the two to turn the idea into a book.

Pollack and Olen focus on common-sense rules, such as “strive to save 10 to 20% of your income” and “pay your credit card balance in full every month.” Each of these principles gets its own chapter. But they’re also laid out in a list you can copy onto an index card for easy reference. This book is an excellent choice for beginners and anyone who likes easily digestible advice that’s easy to remember.

3. “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach

Of David Bach’s 12 books on personal finance, 11 have been national bestsellers, and two — including “The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich” — have hit the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list. In this volume, he outlines a plan not to get rich fast but to get rich slowly and surely over your lifetime.

The key to Bach’s system is setting up an automatic investment plan through which you invest just a few dollars every single day. He explains how to redirect a few dollars per day into investments by looking for what he calls your personal “latte factor” — small regular expenses that add up. By “paying yourself first” and making your plan automatic, he argues, you can build wealth steadily, even if you don’t earn a high income.

4. “Women & Money” by Suze Orman

Numerous studies show that women handle money differently from men. Some of these differences are healthy. Women tend to be more cost-conscious shoppers, save more of our income, and be more cautious about debt.

However, women also have weak points where money is concerned. Women generally earn less and are more timid about investing in the stock market. Put that together with the fact that women often take time out of careers to raise children full-time, and it all adds up to lots of women lagging behind men on the road to financial freedom.

Financial guru Suze Orman wants to change that. In “Women & Money,” she talks frankly about how problems like fear and embarrassment can hold women of all ages back where money is concerned. Then she shows how to tackle these problems head-on and achieve your financial goals. From buying a car to investing for retirement, taking out student loans to making money decisions with a spouse, Orman covers everything women need to know about money but are too often afraid to ask.

5. “Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry

When it comes to money, the millennial generation faces a different set of challenges than older folks. Compared to earlier generations, they’re burdened with higher student loan debt, lower incomes, and less job stability. As a result, many millenials struggle to build a secure financial foundation.

In “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together,” financial expert Erin Lowry offers advice specifically for Generation Y. Lowry goes beyond the basics of budgeting and investing to explore the psychological side of money. She helps readers understand their relationship with money and how it can help or hurt them. She discusses ways to handle tricky situations such as splitting a check with a group of friends and talks about how to get “financially naked” with a partner and talk honestly together about money.

To appeal to the younger set, Lowry peppers the text with amusing stories and hashtags like #GYFLT — get your financial life together. She also gives the chapters whimsical titles, including “Is Money a Tinder Date or Marriage Material?” and “Paying Rent to your ’Rents.” Yet wrapped in the humor is vital information about paying off debt, buying a home, and saving for retirement. In a New York magazine roundup of personal finance books, financial expert Farnoosh Torabi says Lowry’s book perfectly “captures the financial zeitgeist of this generation.”

6. “You Are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero

Most financial guides tackle the nuts and bolts of handling money, like saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt. Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth” takes a different approach. She focuses on the ability to make money as largely a matter of attitude. With cheeky humor, she explains how to break the mental habits that can hold you back and helps you learn to recognize and seize opportunities.

A Business Insider review of this book concedes that it’s a bit short on “actionable financial advice.” You won’t find concrete tips here on starting a business, building an emergency fund, or choosing a financial advisor. What this book offers instead is a good, solid kick in the pants. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do — change careers, start a business, travel the world — but doubt and fear have held you back, this is the book you need.

7. “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi

When you see a book called “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” you might expect it to contain some kind of get-rich-quick scheme that promises — but can’t deliver — big bucks with minimal effort. Fortunately, Ramit Sethi’s classic work is more than that. Instead, it provides a crash course in handling your money and building wealth.

“I Will Teach You To Be Rich” covers every aspect of your financial life. In 13 chapters, Sethi explains how to:

What reviewers love about Sethi’s program is the way it takes the effort out of money management. He breaks down financial planning into simple steps that are easy to put into action. His style can come across as harsh at times, with stinging criticism of “crybabies” and “victim culture.” But the message behind it — that your financial future is in your hands — is valuable and empowering.


Final Word

The books on this list provide a solid grounding in the basics. However, there’s lots more to explore beyond that. Once you understand the essentials, you can seek out other books to help you dive into the details of specific topics. There are books to help you get out of debt, books on investing, books on home buying, and books on how to achieve financial independence.

As you search for new finance books, examine them carefully to ensure they’re useful and reliable sources. Look at the authors’ histories and credentials to see what makes them qualified to advise others on financial matters. Are they finance professionals, journalists, or people writing from personal experience? Learning about the authors helps you avoid falling for bogus investment advice and get-rich-quick schemes that have no real results to back them up.

Also, because one of the keys to gaining wealth is to keep a lid on your spending, it makes sense to pick up the books you want as cheaply as possible. Along with your local library, check out secondhand bookstores, online sellers, and book swaps to save money on books.

Source: moneycrashers.com

5 Unique Ways College Entrepreneurs Can Earn a Great Side Income

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As demand increased, Chappell and Finfrock compared their class schedules and came up with a set work schedule. They take orders throughout the week, but bake only on Monday and Wednesday, and weekends if needed. Customers pick up their own orders from a box outside their house.

Early Risers Sourdough Bread Business

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
“I sit down and cut all the pieces and put them in a stack. Then if I get two shirts sewn per day it doesn’t end up being a ton of work at once,” she said.
They used their savings to buy ingredients and a few pans, then landed a big order. A friend’s father ordered 50 loaves to give to his employees at a technology consulting business.
Chappell and her dad made a few loaves over the summer while she was home in Atlanta, then she and Finfrock worked on perfecting it.

Two girls photograph freshly baked bread they made.
Finfrock, left, and Chappell have sold 308 loaves of homemade sourdough bread since they started Early Risers Sourdough in October 2020. Photo courtesy of Julia Finfrock

The uniform design allows for more mass production because she has focused work sessions for cutting and others for sewing.
The company’s “Lift and Tell” program encourages “outgoing students interested in marketing” to spread the word about the moving services available year-round by handing out flyers or posting on social media. These marketers make per referral, capped at ,000.
Though Knack is based on one-on-one help, tutors may lead small group sessions. In these cases, their rate goes up 50% for two students, 80% for three and 100% for four. For example, if a tutor makes an hour for one student, they make an hour for two, an hour for three and an hour for four.
“We really had to think about what people were willing to pay and consider how much time it took to make and the cost of our ingredients,” Finfrock said.
At first, she charged each for the shirts, but they sold out in minutes. She raised the price to and they sell well.
“My grandmother taught me how to sew on my Barbie sewing machine probably when I was 7,” Trout recalled. “Then in eighth grade I nannied for a family in return for sewing lessons from the mom.”

JannyTans Spray Tans

“We kept reading about it and changing things and eventually we perfected it,” said Chappell. “We kept trying different amounts of salt. And we had to get the temperature of the oven right. We had to get it brown enough without burning the outside but cook it through.”
College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving also hires college students as well as other people who can lift 50 pounds. According to Indeed.com, the pay ranges from .63 per hour for a manager on duty to .73 per hour for a higher-level consultant.
Then the quarantine and a realization about textile waste changed her business model.
Sarah Chappell and Julia Finfrock have sold 308 loaves of homemade sourdough bread since they started Early Risers Sourdough in October 2020. What started as a distraction borne out of the pandemic surge in sourdough popularity has become a thriving business for the two seniors and roommates at Vanderbilt University.

A college student stands with her sunless spray tan kit in her backyard.
Skidmore, 21, a senior at Vanderbilt University, made extra money by selling sunless spray tans for $15 to friends. Skidmore was photographed at her family’s St. Petersburg, Fla., home with the machine and popup tent she uses. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

There is a learning curve. (Remember the mistakes Ross Geller made on “Friends” when they asked if he got his spray tan on the sun?)
So she started buying clothes made of fabric with interesting designs that she could cut and use as “raw” fabric. She used a pattern for a sleeveless shirt with four different pieces that could be cut from various clothing articles she bought. Now she could buy something that was priced really low because maybe it had a stain, or wasn’t stylish, yet it still supplied fabric for individual pieces of the shirts.
An estimated 11 million tons of textiles ending up in landfills each year, plenty of it from unsold thrift store clothing.

Knack Tutoring 

But traditional jobs have become scarcer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are five less obvious ways college entrepreneurs are earning money, gaining experience and setting themselves up for impressive resumes.
She’d been working as a lifeguard at the university pool when it was shut down in August because of COVID-19. Then she remembered having met someone with a spray tanning business, who shared the secrets of the trade.
So, with an average of 10 to 20 tans a week at each, she’s making 0 to 0 weekly minus the cost of the solution. Skidmore created an Instagram for her business, JannyTans, and taught herself about spray tanning.
“It was a lot of trial and error,” Finfrock said.

A woman models overalls made. In the other two photos, pants and a long sleeve shirt are shown. All items of clothing were made from thrift store fabrics.
Christie Gillies models an outfit made by Trout, not pictured, founder of PuppyCatCo. Trout makes $700 to $1,500 a month selling pants and sleeveless tops she sews out of fabric from thrift store clothing. Photos courtesy of Ella Trout

PuppyCatCo

Katherine Snow Smith is a freelance reporter and editor in St. Petersburg, Fla., and author of Rules for the Southern Rulebreaker: Missteps and Lessons Learned.
Along with making money while in college, a key part of Knack is the connections it offers for tutors and employers. Businesses that sponsor and supplement the cost of tutoring review tutors for job opportunities. On campuses where there are sponsorships or the university pays for the tutoring (so that it’s free to students), tutors’ rates are set and average an hour. Because Knack has been paid by the university or a sponsor, tutors collect their payment in full.  In cases when tutors set their own rate, Knack collects a fee of 2.9 percent plus .30 per transaction.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
“I got into all of these YouTube videos of people upcycling their clothing during quarantine. It made me think I should start making my products out of thrift store clothes instead of adding more new clothing. It would actually save me money (on supplies) and be better for the environment,” she said.
“I started sewing just for fun during the quarantine because I had so much more time on my hands,” Trout said. “Around that time, it dawned on me that I was not being very environmentally conscious with the T-shirts I was importing for screen printing.” She bought T-shirts made overseas in bulk for .99 each and sold them for and up after screen-printing them by hand.
“We knew we had a guaranteed source of revenue coming in the next few days, so it forced us to use the money we had made so far and buy more supplies,” Finfrock said. They bought proofing baskets to help shape the dough and two more Dutch ovens. The baskets made the bread look and taste better, and boosted sales on campus. Her on-the-job learning has taught her a few things about running her tanning business. Skidmore uses baby wipes to clean up drips and wipe off the solution that sticks to polished nails. A towel is also a must, for clients to stand on while they are in the tent, which comes with the machine. A tan usually lasts about 10 days if clients don’t exfoliate too much.
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At first, Trout bought dresses, shirts and pants then upcycled them by adding patches she designed or drawing original art on the clothes. They sold well on her Instagram, puppycatco, but it was hard to predict costs and the time it would take to create since each product was a new endeavor.
“It’s definitely more reliable to be able to produce more of the same design,” Trout explained. “Every product will be unique because it’s made from different material, but the pattern remains the same.”
Ella Trout, a student at the University of Vermont, makes 0 to ,500 a month selling pants and sleeveless tops she sews out of fabric from thrift store clothing. The 20-year-old college entrepreneur started her business, PuppyCatCo, selling T-shirts she screen-printed with her original designs of dogs and cats a couple years earlier.
Trout has sewn since she was a child.
“We hear tutors saying ‘I was able to pay my rent because of Knack’ and ‘this gave me the flexibility to earn extra money because I have a kid at home or I have another full-time job,’ said Samyr Qureshi, Knack CEO and co-founder. “We’ve also heard students say they wouldn’t have walked across the stage to graduate without their tutor.”

Moving Means Money

Friends doubled as taste testers and declared the bread good enough to sell. So they came up with the name EarlyRisers, started an Instagram account and priced the bread at a loaf.
“It definitely took a little bit of practice. I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials,” Skidmore said.  “My roommates were kind enough to be the first guinea pigs. But they looked a lot better than I thought they were going to look.”
College kids wanting to make extra money can always drive for Uber or deliver food for DoorDash, Grubhub or similar apps. They can also bus tables, wait tables, work in commercial kitchens or provide childcare, of course.
Knack is an app that matches students and tutors within the same college. The tutors have taken the courses students need help in and proven they were successful. Tutors make an average of an hour, and in most cases, that’s paid by the university.
The entrepreneurs recently added new flavors, such as chocolate chip, sundried tomato and basil, rosemary and garlic, that sell for and .
Skidmore ordered the 0 Aura Allure Spray Tan Machine that came with three trial sizes of different toned solutions. Each full-sized bottle of solution is . “Normally I can get about 35 to 40 tans out of one of those bottles,” she said. <!–

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It gives students boxes, then they pack up the contents of their dorm rooms or apartments when they are moving. College Truckers employees take the boxes to a storage unit near campus for up to three months. When the next term starts, the boxes are delivered to wherever the student is living. Pricing is based on the number and size of boxes and starts at a minimum of 5 for about 60 cubic feet of packing and storage space.

Explained: The Adrenaline-Driven Rise to GameStop Stock

January 28, 2021 &• 8 min read by Credit.com Comments 0 Comments

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Disclaimer

GameStop, a dying video game retailer, has blown past epic proportions to the point of hitting all-time highs in the stock market.

A few weeks ago, the company (stock trading as ticker: GME) traded around lows of ~$19. As of January 27th, 2021, the GameStop stock has reached an all-time high of $350. That’s a ~1700 percent increase! Currently, GameStop’s market capitalization is $24 billion, previously $500-$700 million.

Before its euphoric rise, GameStop was on a slow demise to bankruptcy, as it faced significant challenges to its business model from the internet. Similar to BlockBuster, people stopped buying video games in-person at retail stores. “Downloads became a thing, and GameStop’s business declined,” says Michael Pachter to BusinessInsider, who covers the video game industry.

Alongside GameStop’s faltering business model, GameStop also ran into issues with its poor business decisions. They embarked on new initiatives, including the acquisition of Spring Mobile in 2013. The company had bet on making money by buying smartphone stores. By 2016, GameStop had owned and operated approximately 1,500 mobile-phone stores under the Spring Mobile name, and in 2018, had sold the whole mobile-phone business.

So how did GameStop rise from the ashes?

Well, A Trading Euphoria Caused By …

An army of traders from the Reddit r/WallStreetBets has been at the center of the GameStop saga. WallStreetBets (WSB), a community of Millennial and GenZ traders, have helped drive a to-the-moon surge of GameStock’s stock price while halting trading multiple times, crashing Reddit, and even forcing the subreddit to go private. With 3.5 million traders following the subreddit, WSB users are known for purchasing extremely risky products, including leveraged ETFs, financial call and put options, as well as shorting equities.

These Reddit users have blown everyone’s expectations out of proportion. No one expected a group of online traders would have a massive effect on the stock market.

Most notably is perhaps the loser of this David and Goliath saga – Citron Research and Melvin Capital. Both of these investment firms took huge bearish bets against the GameStop stock, and even Citron had announced on Twitter that “GameStop buyers at these levels are the suckers at this poker game.” For those of you unfamiliar with stock trading, the two firms had shorted the GameStop stock by borrowing the stock to sell at a given price, with the idea that they will purchase back the stock later.

In this case, assume an individual sells short one share of GME at $19 in their margin account. What happens is they receive $19 from selling the share on the stock market, but they still owe their broker one share of GME. So, in this individual’s ideal scenario, they will want to buy back GME at a lower price to profit on the trade.

But in this trading saga, Reddit users had driven up the price by buying so much. Hence, increasing GME’s stock price. So, the individual holding the short position would have to purchase the stock back at a much higher stock price on the settlement date; thus, losing money.

The Squeeze

Due to the rampant rise in GME’s stock price, Citron Research and Melvin Capital had been taking on significant losses, and with due time, they would eventually have to close their position. Closing their position would squeeze them out of their position. For a short squeeze to happen, the firms’ losses have to be so high that the broker requires more capital to keep the position open. As of January 27th, both firms have closed their positions. Since then, hedge funds Citadel and Point72 have invested $2.75 billion into Melvin Capital.

The Question Still Remains – Why Did r/WallStreetBets Target Melvin Capital and Citron Research?

Greed has been present on Wall Street since the inception of the securities market. During the 2008 financial crisis downturn, banks were giving loans to anyone to make more and more money while selling mortgages to poor credit individuals. Their greed eventually reached a point where many homeowners could not make their mortgage payments causing foreclosures, and eventually, a recession. In the end, the banks received a bailout, and similarly, Melvin Capital received a bailout from other hedge funds.

In this ordeal, the two hedge funds shorting GME had become too greedy as they had driven GME’s share price from $20 to $10 and to $4. There was no means to an end for their greed and their hope for GameStop to go bankrupt. In part, short selling wipes out businesses. Elon Musk has also laid criticism to short-sellers, tweeting “short-sellers are jerks who want us to die.”

So, how does greed tie together with shorting a stock, hedge funds, Reddit users, and a video-game selling retailer?

Well, someone on WallStreetBets had noticed these hedge funds had sold short 140% of all shares available. The rule to short-selling is that ALL the shares they borrow MUST be paid back. Realizing these hedge funds had shorted GME by a ridiculous amount, these retail investors on Reddit (ordinary people like you and me) bought every share they could get their hands on. Thus, driving the price up like crazy and perhaps creating an arbitrage opportunity.

>> Learn more about investing in stocks with our investment guide for beginners.

Why?

These hedge funds would eventually HAVE to buy back these shares at whatever price they could purchase. They don’t have a choice. So, these Redditors bought all the GME shares they could buy and drove the prices up to ridiculous prices. Buying back these shares of GME would cost these hedge funds an arm and a leg.

Fast forward to today, January 27th, 2021, WallStreetBets users are creating memes, as well as notable people, including Elon Musk and Chamath Palihapitiya, who have influenced more people to buy GME stock. Hence, destroying these greedy hedge funds in the process.

Additionally, many Redditors felt crude sentiment towards these financial institutions as numerous Reddit posts complained about these institutions’ predatory actions. Even AOC tweeted, “Gotta admit it’s really something to see Wall Streeters with a long history of treating our economy as a casino complain about a message board of posters also treating the market as a casino.”

Notable People’s Influence Behind The GameStop Stock Rally

As it’s been interesting to watch GameStop’s stock rally, there have been notable individuals placing their own opinion. Michael Burry, best known from “The Big Short” as one of the investors who had made money from the 2008 financial crisis, had been holding onto GameStop since 2019. Although he has a 2.4 percent stake in GameStop as of Sept 30, 2020, he has stated, “there should be legal and regulatory repercussions. This is unnatural, insane, and dangerous”.

Contrarian Chamath Palihapitiya has also played a part, as he tweeted his purchase of $125,000 out of the money call options on GameStop.

For those unfamiliar with call options, call options are a financial derivative used to make speculative bets on the rise or fall of stock prices. In this case, Palihapitiya made a speculative bet for the increase of GameStop stock.

Elon Musk, well-known for the tweeting habits that have gotten him in trouble with the SEC, has also taken part in the GameStop rally by tweeting a subtle “Gamestonk!!”

How Does Reddit Feel About This?

Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets have broken all-time traffic records this week as millions of visitors flocked to the subreddit. According to Mashable, r/WallStreetBets received approximately 74 million page views in the past 24 hours. Note, Reddit had 52 million daily active users in October 2020.

One WallStreetBet moderator felt compelled to address the backlash with the narrative that the forum “is disorderly and reckless” and is involved in manipulation. He wrote, “What I think is happening is that you guys are making such an impact that these fat cats are worried that they have to get up and put in work to earn a living.”

Can Regulatory Bodies Do Anything?

The trading activity on GME reminds me of the old pump and dumps that ultimately harmed many traders.  The stock gets hyped up way out of proportion to its actual intrinsic value and essentially benefits the ones who are hyping it.  Will the stock really retain its value over the long haul?  If not, then the people who heard the hype and came late to buy it could suffer. – Eric founder of Mindful Trader

As the trading volatility ensues, regulators are becoming increasingly worried about all the signals this volatility is sending to traders, like TD Ameritrade and Schwab. Both brokerages have restricted certain kinds of trades in GameStop and AMC. TD Ameritrade said there was “an abundance of caution amid unprecedented market conditions and other factors.”

Regulators have been mindful of the action, as William Galvin, Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth, told Barron’s that he was watching the story play out.

Regulators do monitor trading for any signs of market manipulation and what people say about stocks in public forums, according to Amy Lynch, a former SEC regulator. However, merely announcing to people that you are buying a specific stock and telling people they should as well have no legal repercussions.

The End of the GameStop Saga?

Ultimately, the GameStop saga has not run its full course, as trading is still occurring for the crazy stock. But, the two hedge funds that started all of this? They are entirely out. One hedge fund has wholly gone bankrupt, and other hedge funds have funded the other hedge fund. Will we be seeing this hedge fund enact vengeance on these Reddit users? Most likely not.

The takeaway we can all get from this whole ordeal is don’t mess with Reddit users, and perhaps the next generation of Millenials and Gen Z have more impact than we imagined?

This post originally appeared on Your Money Geek 


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Source: credit.com