Popular 2021 Home Upgrades — and How to Pay for Them

Staying at home during the pandemic has changed the way homeowners renovate, but not always in ways you might expect.

You could assume, for example, that homeowners are desperate for privacy and therefore adding more walls.

But interior designer Max Humphrey says rumors of the open floor plan’s death, which bubble up every year, are exaggerated.

“I think middle America still loves their open floor plans,” says Humphrey, who is based in Portland, Oregon. “Designers are talking about how open floor plans are over, but believe me, they’re not.”

Instead, homeowners are creating spaces they’d want to visit if they didn’t live there. Home kitchens have replaced restaurants, and your favorite outdoor bar is now your patio.

Many homeowners paid for their upgrades with savings last year, according to NerdWallet’s 2020 Home Improvement Report. Indeed, if the economic impact of the pandemic hasn’t hit your own finances, cash is the cheapest way to cover home renovations.

But there are also affordable financing options, including cash-out refinancing and personal loans, for those who don’t have or want to use savings.

Here are projects interior designers expect to see more of as the pandemic stretches into 2021, plus financing options to make them a reality.

Whole house renovations

Stephanie Sullivan is busier now than at any time since she became a full-time interior designer in 2014.

Her clients are seeing again the things in their homes they wanted to change when they bought the house but stayed busy enough over the years to ignore.

“It’s amazing how we don’t notice stuff until we’re stuck at home going, ‘hmm, really,’” she says. “So they’ve been walking past it for years, and now everybody’s home and they’re going, ‘Wait, I can’t do this.’”

A homeowner asking her to redesign the entire house is common these days, says Sullivan, who is based in Austin, Texas.

She says multiple clients in the last year have said, “I just need you to start at the front door.”

Fully remodeling most or all of the rooms in your house is likely an expensive endeavor.

If your project is $50,000 or more, certified financial planner Sarah Ponder recommends a cash-out refinance, which involves replacing your existing mortgage with a larger one and using the extra money to renovate.

Cash-out refinance is a good option only if you have enough home equity to match the project cost and if you get a low interest rate — a real possibility given today’s low mortgage rates, says Ponder, whose company, Real Estate Wealth Planning, is based near Austin.

It’ll take patience, too. The refinance process used to take about a month, Ponder says, but lately, it can take two or three months.

Room conversions

Another common request Sullivan says she receives from homeowners: Turn a master bathroom into an at-home spa.

“Since they can’t go to the spa, they’re creating spa retreats in their bathrooms,” she says.

They’re redoing their kitchens as places to connect with family, she says, but they also want their own getaway, even if it’s just upstairs.

Homeowners are also transforming basements and spare rooms into home offices and study rooms, or gyms and playrooms, Humphrey says.

He says his clients are looking for ways to sprawl out.

For midsized projects like one- or two-room renovations, refinancing your mortgage may not be worth the time and effort.

San Antonio-based CFP Tess Downing says a personal loan could work for projects around $20,000. These loans don’t use your home as collateral, and qualifying is based on your creditworthiness and finances. Good credit and little existing debt are must-haves to get a low rate.

Consumers who qualified for a personal loan in 2020 with excellent credit (720 or higher FICO) typically were approved for rates between 10.7% and 12.5%, according to NerdWallet marketplace data.

DIY projects

There are also affordable ways to get a fresh look in your home on a budget.

Replacing light fixtures can make a big difference, says Humphrey, and first-timers can get help from YouTube.

“It’s things that you notice every day, you know, that’s the light in your house,” he says. “Even as a renter, I would swap light fixtures.”

Homeowners can also add a roll of stick-on wallpaper, he says, or a fresh coat of paint. Even new towels, lightbulbs and bedsheets can change the look of a room.

If the cost of your project is below $10,000, a zero-interest credit could be a good pick, Ponder says. If you can pay the balance during the card’s promotional period (often 12 to 18 months) you’ll finish your project interest-free.

More traditional credit cards and store rewards cards can also help you cover purchases on these projects, especially if you have a card with a hardware or furniture store. Be sure you can pay the balance in full each month to avoid interest.

Resale considerations

It’s probably not worth your time and money to go all-out renovating a home you’re going to sell in a couple of years because you won’t make that money back, Humphrey says.

He cautions his clients against overpersonalizing a home they don’t plan to stay in long-term.

“I don’t love to think about resale when I’m designing for somebody, but the pandemic isn’t going to be forever,” he says. “So I do encourage people to think a little bit about resale.”

But for as long as home remains a restaurant, spa, gym, school and office, go ahead and make some changes you can afford just because they make you happy.

Source: nerdwallet.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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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.


Source: sofi.com

What to Bring to College—The Ultimate Packing List

After the stress of submitting college applications and waiting for the results, an exciting task for preparing for college comes next: packing.

Of course, figuring out what to bring to college can cause some angst, but it’s also a liberating beginning to a brand-new chapter. Preparing for this new experience doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Here is a breakdown of things that college freshmen should plan on bringing with them.

School Supplies

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only necessary supplies are a laptop and phone. Additional supplies can help students manage their college courses.

Writing information down can help you remember it better , and it can be less distracting having school information in a physical planner, away from all those social media apps.

When it comes to taking notes, some professors don’t want everyone on their computers during class, and some don’t mind. It’s a good idea to have a notebook for each class just in case, along with pens, pencils, and highlighters.

Check the specific course requirements as well. The syllabus for each class should be available early enough to read through and see if the professor lists any required materials. If you’re taking a math class, for example, a specific type of calculator may be required.

Depending on how many books students have to lug around campus, they may want to invest in a nice backpack or messenger-style bag. The most suitable bag will also depend on students’ schedule, how long they’re on campus, and how many classes they have in a row.

It might be good to wait to choose this item after you’ve selected your courses and can see what each day is going to require.

Shower Supplies

Students who choose to live in the dorms will need to bring shower supplies with them. Sharing a bathroom is going to be another adjustment in starting college. There are a few must-haves for a comfortable experience.

Shower shoes are one of these musts. A cheap pair of flip-flops will do the trick. These are shoes that are worn only while taking a shower. What’s the deal? They help to prevent athlete’s foot, a fungal infection that can result from public showers. Just make sure to rinse and dry off the shoes after each use.

A shower caddy is another essential. Most students will likely be walking from the dorm room to the shower, so they’ll have to bring all shower supplies with them. A portable container makes this much easier.

The caddy will have room for your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and so on, and some of them also come with hangers, so they could potentially be hung up in the shower. In choosing a shower caddy, look for one that is waterproof and has holes in it so it doesn’t fill up with water.

Last, don’t forget the towels. At home, there’s always a stack of clean towels ready to be used. This won’t be the case in the dorms.

In addition to towels, it might be handy to have a robe that can be thrown on while walking from the dorm room to the bathroom and back.


Hopefully, students already have a solid array of clothes to choose from. If they’re moving out of state for college, they definitely should check what the weather will be like all year in their new home. If students are used to living in a place where the weather doesn’t change much, they’ll have to add clothing to their wardrobe that’s appropriate for each season.

Dressing for college is more fun than high school for many because there isn’t a dress code. This is a great time for students to explore how they like to express themselves through clothing.

Some college students opt to be comfortable, rocking sweatpants to lectures. Others who are looking to make a good impression on professors—or romantic interests—may dress accordingly.

Don’t Forget Shoes

College campuses are much bigger than most high schools, so investing in a good pair of walking shoes is important. Classes may end up being a solid 15- to 20-minute walk away from each other.

It’ll take a toll on a student’s mood and physical comfort if they try to handle that walk in heels, unsupported sandals, or ill-fitting shoes.

Shoes take up a lot of space while packing, so trying to bring just the necessary pairs is wise. If your college is in a state that will experience cold or snowy winters, make sure to invest in some warm boots.

Bedding and Room Necessities

What else do students need to bring to a college dorm? Most dorm rooms will come with a bed but not sheets. Pack a couple of sets of sheets and a nice comforter. Some college students also recommend bringing a mattress pad and backrest pillow because you may spend more time in that bed than expected.

here’s a dorm room essentials list to figure out what else to bring. It’s vital to look into the school’s list of restricted items so you know what you should not bring to college. The college may also list the furnishings that come with the room. Check out your school’s website first so you don’t buy something that’s already there.

It can also be helpful for students to contact their roommates ahead of time and see if they’re planning to bring anything that could be shared.

It’s not a bad idea to pack on the light side. Most things you need can be ordered online anyway, so that way students won’t waste money.

Planning how to make the most of the small space provided in a college dorm is going to be great practice for when students are ready to move into apartments.

The Takeaway

The packing list has been made and the shopping trip planned, so what’s next? Paying for everything. There are a lot of options for financing the entire college experience, and students can try to get help from more than one avenue if they need to.

Students seeking financial aid should look into scholarships and grants and then federal aid. If federal student loans do not cover the full need, or if a student is not eligible for federal aid, private loans may be an option.

Private loans are issued by private financial institutions. A co-signer is often necessary. Look for loans that don’t have origination fees and offer extra services like co-signer release and hardship deferment.

To learn more, here is a guide to private student loans. Be aware that all the aid given cannot add up to more than the cost of attendance.

Families that decide that a private loan could be useful can see what SoFi has to offer. SoFi private student loans come with competitive rates, flexible repayment options, and no origination fees, no late fees, and no insufficient-funds fees.

Interested in a SoFi Private Student Loan? Check your rate with ease.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


Source: sofi.com

Expert Homebuying Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

According to buyer protection laws in most states, sellers are required to report any findings in home inspections to subsequent buyers. In other words, if an inspector finds something wrong with the house, the seller will have to deal with it one way or another— either with you, or the next buyer should you choose to drop out of the deal.
When trying to woo your seller in a competitive market, it helps to make a generous earnest money deposit. An earnest money deposit is a good-faith deposit requested by the seller when you enter into a contract to buy the house and typically run anywhere from 1% to 3% of the sale price of the home.
This might sound crazy, but making a good impression on your new neighbors can actually make a difference when it comes time for a seller to review offers.

Get a Pre-Approval Letter

Larissa Runkle is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
Another way to win over your seller (and prevail in any bidding wars) is by keeping your contingencies to a minimum.
“In a really aggressive seller’s market, a home buyer who has to sell a current property should do so before placing an offer on another home,” said Jason Gelios of Community Choice Realty. “Don’t always assume that the seller will take the highest price. Other conveniences can play a factor in gaining the seller’s attention, especially things like faster closing times and less restrictions.”
In order to be competitive in a hot seller’s market, you will need to line up your financing in advance.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Be Friendly With Neighbors

Let’s say the listing price on your dream home is 0,000 and you’re able to put down a 6% down payment. That leaves you with a mortgage of roughly 1,000. For a 30-year fixed mortgage at an interest rate of 3%, that translates into ,269 monthly payments. Now let’s say you decide to bid a little higher on the home and offer ,000 over asking price. This would only bump up your monthly payment (assuming you qualify for that low interest rate) by .
Contingencies are the contractual stipulations buyers and sellers must meet before the deal can close. Unsurprisingly, sellers don’t like to have too many of them to deal with. Contingencies can include such things as requesting a seller to make certain repairs, getting a home inspection, or even the fact that you’ll need to sell your old house before being able to buy the new one.
If that sounds fast, it is. But by the time we submitted our offer, the seller already had three others. This is where it helps to have a great real estate agent on your side.

Submit an Offer Quickly

I was in this exact position last fall. Here are seven key takeaways from my experience buying in a seller’s market.
While my partner and I didn’t make the highest offer on our house, we did have the fewest contingencies — mainly, we didn’t ask too much of our seller in the way of repairs, or have another house to sell in order to afford the new one.
After you’ve seen a house, and decided you love it, be prepared to submit an offer quickly— as in, ASAP.
Buying a house is a big decision, but it can feel especially overwhelming to place an offer on a home less than 24 hours after seeing it for the first time. Plus you’re under pressure to outbid several other buyers — or risk losing the house.
“It’s important to understand that the strength of financing is a key consideration a seller takes into account when selecting an offer,” said real estate developer Bill Samuel.

Minimize Your Contingencies (Within Reason)

Work with your real estate agent to determine how many other offers the seller already has (or expects to get) and then be prepared to draft something up that day. In our case, we toured our home for the very first time at 11 a.m. on a Monday — it came on the market the evening before — and made an offer by 4 p.m. that same day.
Work with your real estate agent to find out what matters most to the seller — is it money, closing quickly, something else entirely? Then make sure your offer addresses their needs.
“Having a realtor who can get your offer submitted quickly is crucial,” said Erik Wright, owner of New Horizon Home Buyers. “You want to get your offer in front of the seller first, and make it strong. Purchase price is the obvious factor and in a competitive market, houses often go for over asking price. However, a strong offer has several factors and it depends on what’s most important to the seller.”
Wait. Why would anyone make an offer that’s above asking price? Because the competition did it first, and in a hot seller’s market, offering above asking price is often what it takes to even be considered.
In a hot seller’s market, you’ve got to be ready to move fast. Often this is more of a change in mindset than anything else. When my partner and I first started looking at homes, we considered ourselves casual buyers — that is, until our dream home came on the market late one Sunday night. From there, things moved quickly. We saw the home, made an offer, were under contract by morning, and spent the next month and a half going through the process of closing on the house.
Besides all the usual suspects, like saving up for a down payment and improving your credit score, you’ll also want to get a pre-approval letter from your bank. It states that a bank would approve you for a mortgage of a certain amount, and acts as a guarantee to the seller that you can actually afford to buy their house.

Make a Generous Earnest Money Deposit

This is where it helps to know your budget up front.
When deciding how much of an earnest money deposit to include in your offer, keep in mind that whatever amount you give comes off the price of the home (and is returned to you if the deal falls through). In other words, there’s no reason to be cheap. If you can, go slightly above the seller’s requested deposit amount. Even if it’s just a little more than what they’re asking, that gesture of good faith might just be what gets you the house.

A row of houses on a cul de sac in a suburban neighborhood.
Getty Images

Offer Above Asking Price

Since you’ll likely be visiting the home at least once before making an offer, be prepared to talk to any neighbors you might run into. In close-knit neighborhoods, or ones where people share resources (like an HOA), sellers might care a bit more about the type of person they sell the house to.
If you’re serious about finding your dream home in the next few months, the best thing you can do is know what you want from the outset, and get your ducks in a row to make a compelling offer when you find it. Maybe this means making a list of your must-haves in a house, and working to improve your credit score. It might also mean reaching out to a real estate agent before you need one, and getting that pre-approval letter in place.
No seller wants to risk accepting an offer that might fall through. Aand since pre-approval letters can take some time to get, have one ready before you find your dream house.

Lace Up Your Running Shoes

Upping your offer may not break the bank as much as you’re fearing. “With interest rates so low these days, offering more than what the seller is asking may not make a drastic difference in your overall monthly payments,” real estate agent Pavel Khaykin of Pavel Buys Houses said.
All that said, there are certain contingencies you should never forgo, and a home inspection is one of them. Getting your home inspected is hugely important, since inspectors will often find things even the sellers weren’t aware of. No matter how much you love a house, don’t be afraid of exercising your right to an inspection.
Although inventory is low, new houses come on the market all the time.
If you happen to meet a neighbor when visiting the home, introduce yourself and make a good impression. You never know how much their opinion of you might factor into any final decisions.
While these circumstances might sound extraordinary, they’re not. With housing inventory nationwide at an all time-low — down 22% from last year according to the National Association of Realtors — it’s no wonder buyers are competing for the same few houses.

8 Free Sleep Apps for a Blissful Night’s Rest

Whether it’s fear of getting sick, worry for a loved one’s health, job anxiety, the stress of juggling parenting and career in a pandemic, or all of the above, sky-high stress seems to be the new normal.

While free sleep apps won’t solve your big-picture problems, they could help you fall asleep faster, so you can tackle life’s stressors feeling refreshed. Here are the best ones we’ve found.

1. White Noise

White noise free sleep apps are must-haves for travel, when you need a consistent noise to block out the sounds of other hotel guests, city noises, etc. The ‘lite’ version does the trick with free sleep sounds and nature sounds. For $4.99, you get 50 sounds plus the ability to create your own track that includes binaural beats, aka different frequencies that cue your brain to relax.

Find White Noise in the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon.

2. Relax and Sleep Well Hypnosis

Hypnosis usually costs several hundred dollars, but you’ll pay $0 for this hypnotherapy sleep app with four recordings of meditation and hypnosis. Additional hypnosis tracks are available as app purchases for $2.99 apiece. This one made Healthline’s 2019 list of the best sleep apps, so if you’re skeptical of hypnosis, their stamp of approval may persuade you to download hypnotherapy sleep apps.

Find Relax and Sleep Well Hypnosis in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

3. Headspace

Headspace’s guided meditation app is the perfect way to wind down for bed: Andy’s soothing British accent will lull you into a state of total relaxation where it seems like nothing could ever go wrong. While it’s $60 a year, Headspace often makes the best sleep apps lists. Students can pay $9.99 for annual access, and Netflix subscribers can watch the Headspace series for no extra cost. Each episode focuses on one style of meditation, so by the time you finish the season you’ll have a whole arsenal of relaxation techniques to try before bed.

Sign up for a free trial of Headspace or watch on Netflix.

4. Deep Sleep With AJ

Deep Sleep With AJ is a cheaper alternative to Headspace, with a one-time cost of $2.99 and similarly dreamy Scottish accent. Developed by a mindfulness expert and therapist, the sleep app includes mindfulness and inspirational talks, bedtime relaxation techniques to help you wake up feeling refreshed, meditations for anxiety and panic attacks and more. You can cue up meditations to repeat a set number of times, so it ideally plays through until you’ve caught those Zs.

Find Deep Sleep With AJ on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

5. Relax Melodies

Combining relaxing sounds, free sleep stories and guided meditation for sleep, lucid dreaming, or relief from medical conditions like tinnitus (ringing in the ears that often gets worse before bed), free sleep app Relax Melodies has thousands of fans. It comes with 52 sounds including white noise, nature sounds, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response, or that warm tingle associated with sounds like whispers) and binaural beats. Premium sounds are available as app purchases for $4.99.

Find Relax Melodies on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

6. Nothing Much Happens

Think of free podcast Nothing Much Happens as adult sleep stories designed to help you relax into a peaceful slumber. As the title suggests, the stories are fairly low-stakes. Podcast host Kathryn is a meditation and yoga teacher, so think of this as an extended savasana where it’s actually awesome if you end up snoring after five minutes.

Find Nothing Much Happens on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

7. Endel

Perfect for the multitasker, Endel offers “personalized soundscapes” for relaxation, better sleep and better focus. The app pulls data from your environment (like weather, location or time of day), then moderates sounds to match your mood: focus music for daytime work and chill sounds to help you sleep. The app comes with a 7-day free trial, after which point you’ll need to buy a subscription ($5.99 per month or $49.99 per year, at present) or use the free, browser-based version.

Find Endel in the Apple App Store, Google Play, or on Twitch.

8. Rise: Sleep & Energy Tracker

For those wanting a scientific approach to a good night’s sleep, the Rise sleep tracker app is worth checking out. It’s free to download with membership upgrades as app purchases beginning at $6.99 per month. Unlike sleep-tracking apps which just gauge your sleep cycle, Rise looks at “sleep debt”– aka how much sleep you should get but don’t. The sleep app works backward from your sleep debt numbers, drawing from sleep data and health information to help you improve sleep quality and quantity. Rise fans include pro sports teams and Fortune 500 leaders who find the price worth it to sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.

Find Rise in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Most people experience sleep problems for a range of underlying causes, thus it can be helpful to have multiple free sleep apps on your phone. Armed with nature sounds, bedtime stories, guided meditation, science-backed sleep habits and hypnosis for life’s most pressing worries, you can stop counting sheep and cue up what’s mostly likely to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Lindsey Danis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

How to find the right neighborhood

Finding the right house starts with finding the right neighborhood. After all, location is everything. However, evaluating a neighborhood can be tough, particularly if you’re moving to an unfamiliar area. Here are a few tips to help you in your search.

Consider everything

When you’re just starting out, don’t eliminate anything right away. A neighborhood you heard one bad rumor about, or that you’ve only ever buzzed past, may actually be a delightful place to live. Look at all your options with fresh eyes, so that you can make a truly unbiased decision.

Remember what’s important

Just as with home buying, choosing a neighborhood comes down to what you can and can’t live without. Research local schools, average house prices and planned developments. Consider things like traffic noise, proximity of shops and parks, and how close you need to be to work. As you think about all these criteria and more, make a list of your must-haves. If you’re on the fence about a location, use your list to help you decide.

Ask around

Once you’ve found some neighborhoods you like, it’s time for a visit. Try going for a walk in the area, eating at a local restaurant and talking to local business owners as well as potential neighbors. You may even want to rent for a while to really get a feel for things.

In-person visits are the best way to observe things like safety, cleanliness and friendliness. So make sure you take a good look around to be sure it’s the right location for you.

Source: century21.com

6 Best Live TV Streaming Services of 2021

After a long day at work, you probably just want to come home, settle into some comfy clothes, and catch up on your favorite shows without any fuss. But between network outages, rising cable company costs, and frustrating satellite dish issues every time there’s a storm, traditional TV service can be more stressful than relaxing.

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s an easier, better alternative, there is: TV livestreaming services.

With the popularity of on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, some people have forgotten about live TV altogether. But if you’ve been hesitant about cord-cutting because you want to be able to watch a live sports game or flip through the channels on a whim, livestreaming services like Sling TV and Philo can scratch that itch.

Livestreaming services bring your favorite shows to you in real time, just like traditional TV — but without the high monthly bills. Once you’ve decided to cut the cord, the only thing left is to choose the livestreaming service that meets your needs.

Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Right for You?

The sheer variety of livestreaming options is a TV lover’s dream come true. However, trying to choose among them can seem more like a nightmare. Of course, you could just sign up for every available service — but the cost would quickly add up to far more than you’d pay for cable.

To get the most for your money when shopping for a livestreaming service, think about what types of shows you want to watch the most. Then compare different services based on the types of content they offer and which streaming devices you can use to watch. Based on these details, you can choose the service or services that give you the best bang for your buck.

1. Sling TV

Sling TV offers streamers an experience very much like a slimmed-down version of cable TV. It provides various channels, including sports networks, country- and language-specific channels, and plenty of traditional cable channels, such as A&E, Disney, Bravo, ESPN, and the Food Network.

Sling’s simple-to-use interface and Cloud DVR capabilities make it an appealing choice for customers looking for an easy, inexpensive live TV option.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

Sling offers two basic plans. The company bills Sling Orange, which costs $30 per month, as a good choice for families and sports fans. It provides 33 channels, including all ESPN networks, Disney, and Nick Jr. With this plan, you can only watch one stream at a time.

Also $30 per month, Sling Blue offers a selection of 45 channels geared more toward news and entertainment. Its offerings include NatGeo, SyFy, Fox News, and MSNBC. This plan allows you to watch up to three simultaneous streams on different devices.

You can access some channels on both plans, such as HGTV, AMC, CNN, TNT, Lifetime, BET, and BBC America. However, if you want all the available channels from both Orange and Blue, you can sign up for both services at once. The Orange + Blue package allows you to watch up to four simultaneous streams. It also comes with a free month of Showtime, Starz, and Epix.

Sling also offers numerous add-ons for $5 to $10 extra per month. Options include Spanish and other foreign-language TV programming, sports, news, movies, lifestyle programming, kids’ programming, and outdoor pursuits. You can also add individual premium channels such as Showtime for $3 to $10 per month.

All Sling packages include 10 hours per month of free cloud DVR. That means you can store up to 10 hours of programming at a time in the cloud (online) to watch later.

Sling also provides access to a library of thousands of movies and TV shows on demand. One extra perk is Sling Watch Party, which lets you video chat with up to three friends or family members as you watch the same show from your own homes.

What’s Missing

None of Sling’s packages includes ABC, Animal Planet, CBS, MLB Network, MTV, Nickelodeon, PBS, or VH1. HBO also isn’t available, even as an add-on. Sling Orange doesn’t include Bravo, Fox, FS1, FX, MSNBC, NBC, or USA Network, while Sling Blue doesn’t have the Disney Channel or ESPN.

Another limitation of Sling TV is that, while you can store shows in your cloud DVR, you can’t download them for offline viewing. That means if the Internet goes down, you lose access to your TV service as well.

Compatible Devices

The Sling app works on computers and mobile devices running iOS, Android, Fire, Chrome, and Windows 10. It’s also compatible with most dedicated streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. If you don’t have a streaming device already, you can get a free AirTV Mini when you prepay for a two-month Sling TV subscription.

You can also view Sling content on Xbox One and some LG and Samsung smart TVs. And if you pair any of these devices with an HD antenna, you can watch all your local channels at no extra cost.

When to Choose It

Sling TV is the best option for those who want to save the most cash on their TV services but also want to keep major networks like ESPN, Fox, and NBC.

Sling is also a sound choice if you like to watch on the go using your mobile device. However, it’s worth noting you can only stream Sling Orange on one device, so if you have a family or a multiperson home and prefer the ability to stream on multiple devices at once, look into one of the other plans.

2. Hulu + Live TV

Hulu is a well-established name among on-demand streaming services, and they’ve recently added a live TV option to their spread. This new service, Hulu + Live TV, bundles livestreams with Hulu’s existing on-demand service.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

For $55 per month, Hulu + Live TV gives you ad-supported access to over 65 live and on-demand channels. Its channel lineup includes ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, CNN, HGTV, the Cartoon Network, and the Disney Channel as well as local channels available in your area. There’s also an ad-free version of the service available for $61 per month.

In addition to the live channels, subscribers also gain full access to the thousands of shows and movies in the Hulu streaming library. If you don’t want this on-demand content, you can subscribe only to Live TV, but that only saves you $1 per month.

You can customize your Hulu + Live TV service with a variety of add-ons. For instance, premium channels such as Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax are available for $9 to $15 extra per month. You can also expand your choice of channels with the Entertainment add-on ($8 per month), which provides additional news, entertainment, and lifestyle programming, or the Spanish add-on ($5 per month), which gives you a selection of popular Spanish-language channels.

The standard Hulu + Live TV service allows two simultaneous streams and includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. However, you can expand these capabilities with add-ons. Enhanced Cloud DVR ($10 per month) gives you an additional 150 hours of cloud DVR storage. It also allows you to skip over ads in your recordings and stream them anywhere on any supported device.

The Unlimited Screens add-on ($10 per month) allows you to watch on an unlimited number of screens at home and up to three screens at once while on the go. You can add the Enhanced Cloud and Unlimited Screens add-ons as a combo for $15 per month.

What’s Missing

The Hulu channel lineup varies by area. Depending on where you live, you might be unable to get AMC, BBC America, BET, Comedy Central, MLB Network, MTV, NBA TV, NFL Network, Nickelodeon, PBS, or VH1.

Additionally, the basic service excludes the Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, DIY Network, Science, any premium channels, or any Spanish-language channels. While you can get these extras through add-ons, it starts to get pricey pretty quickly. And you can’t skip commercials unless you purchase the ad-free package, which adds another $6 to the cost.

In the past, there have been many complaints about Hulu’s terrible interface, which many users found confusing and hard to navigate. In May 2020, Hulu rolled out an updated interface intended to make navigation and show discovery easier. According to Mashable, the new interface is an improvement, but the format for individual show pages is still a mess.

Compatible Devices

Hulu + Live TV runs on all major streaming devices, including Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, and some Roku and Roku stick models. It also works on Android, iOS, and Fire mobile devices, and you can view it through a Web browser on PC and Mac computers. Other supported devices include the Echo Show smart speaker, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and certain LG and Samsung smart TV models.

When to Choose It

If you already have a Hulu account and enjoy their digital library, upgrading to Hulu + Live TV for your live content could be a good value. Hulu + Live TV is also worthwhile for cord-cutters who don’t want to miss out on broadcast television. In addition to their original content, Hulu allows you to stream current shows from ABC, Fox, and NBC, older shows from CBS, and the entire “Seinfeld” collection.

However, if what you really want is a lighter version of cable TV, Sling TV offers that experience for less money.

3. AT&T TV Now

AT&T used to offer two livestreaming services. One, known as AT&T Watch TV, is no longer open as a stand-alone plan to new subscribers. (Existing customers and those who have a qualifying AT&T Unlimited plan can still use the service.) The other, formerly known as DirecTV Now, has been reborn as AT&T TV Now.

AT&T TV Now offers the widest selection of packages in the live TV market, with prices ranging from $55 to $183 per month. Reviewers like its intuitive interface, which will remind many users of traditional cable TV. However, one of the original DirecTV Now’s biggest selling points — the inclusion of HBO with every plan — is no longer a feature, making its value a bit questionable.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

The introductory AT&T TV Now plan, called Plus, offers 50 channels for $55 per month. It covers the basics for both kids and adults with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox,  CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BET, Comedy Central, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Hallmark, MTV, Nickelodeon, and VH1.

Premium movie channels — including HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz — are available as add-ons for $5 to $15 extra. You can also add Spanish-language or international programming.

For $80 per month, you can get the 60-plus-channel Max package. It includes Cinemax and HBO Max, with other premium channels available as add-ons for $5 to $11 per month. It also adds more sports coverage, such as the Olympic Channel, Tennis Channel, and Golf Channel on NBC.

Other packages offer more specialized content. For instance, Optimo Mas ($86 per month) has 90 channels with added Spanish-language programming. The top-of-the-line Premier package ($183 per month) has more than 140 channels, including all the premium movie channels.

Plus, Max, and most other plans available on AT&T TV Now come with 500 hours of cloud DVR storage. You can store a show on the cloud for up to 90 days. These plans also allow up to three simultaneous streams on different devices.

What’s Missing

You can get premium content on AT&T TV Now, but you’ll pay a hefty price for it. To get A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Discovery, HGTV, History, and Lifetime, you must choose one of the higher-end packages, such as the 65-plus-channel Entertainment plan ($93 per month). And PBS isn’t available on any plan.

For extra sports content like the MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network, you need the 105-plus-channel Xtra plan ($124 per month). And some sports channels, like NFL Network and NFL Red Zone, aren’t available on any plan.

Compatible Devices

You can stream AT&T TV Now on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast streaming devices. It also works with Samsung smart TVs from 2017 or later. For watching on the go, it’s compatible with Apple and Android mobile devices but not Fire or Windows. You can watch on the Web using the Chrome browser (version 58 or later) or Safari (version 10 or later).

When to Choose It

All AT&T TV Now plans, including the basic Plus plan, include some channels that aren’t available on either Sling or Hulu + Live TV, such as Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1. For those who want premium movie content, the Max plan offers two premium channels and more cloud DVR storage than Hulu + Live TV.

However, for those who just want the widest variety of content at the best price, other options offer subscribers more bang for their buck.

4. YouTube TV

Don’t confuse YouTube TV with the original YouTube, a free forum where users can share their own videos. It still exists, but the newer YouTube TV is a completely different service with different content and features.

It offers a robust assortment of channels, up to six accounts on a plan, and unlimited cloud DVR storage — a rare feature among livestreaming services. And according to PCMag, both the TV interface and the DVR features are easy to use.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

YouTube TV currently offers only one package. For $65 per month, it provides access to over 85 channels. Its channel lineup includes AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, the Food Network, Fox News, FS1, HGTV, MSNBC, the NFL Network, Nickelodeon, and TNT along with the basic network TV channels — ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS. Many of these networks also offer on-demand access to recent episodes of shows. Additionally, it provides access to local stations that vary by area.

YouTube TV doesn’t offer any upgraded packages, but it does offer a few add-ons. For an extra $10 per month apiece, you can purchase additional premium channels, including HBO Max, Showtime,  Starz, and Epix. For $3 per month, you can get the Sports Plus add-on, which includes extra sports channels, such as NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, and Stadium.

You can also use YouTube TV to watch any video available on regular YouTube. Many of these videos are ad-supported, but you can avoid the ads with a YouTube Premium subscription, which costs an additional $12 per month.

A subscription to YouTube TV includes up to six individual accounts per household, each with its own personalized watching recommendations and live guide. Users can stream up to three shows simultaneously. One major perk of YouTube TV is its unlimited cloud DVR storage. Each account has its own library, and you can store shows for up to nine months.

What’s Missing

The channel lineup for YouTube TV varies by location. Depending on where you live, it may not include A&E, History, or Lifetime. Premium movie channels and NFL RedZone are available only as add-ons.

Additionally, there are a few places in the United States where YouTube TV isn’t available at all. However, over 99.5% of U.S. households can use it. Enter your zip code on the YouTube TV website to see if it’s available in your area and which channels it includes.

Live TV programming on YouTube TV comes directly from content creators, many of whom include ads in their programming. Most of the ad revenue goes to support the creators of the videos. You can’t fast-forward through these ads while watching a livestream, but you can when watching a stored show on cloud DVR. Also, if you pause while watching a show, you can fast-forward until you catch up with the live version.

Compatible Devices

You can stream YouTube TV to a standard TV set using a Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Xbox One. It also runs on select smart TVs from Roku, Vizio, Samsung, and LG and on any Android TV, AirPlay for Apple TV, or Google Smart Display.

For on-the-go viewing, YouTube TV is available as an app for mobile devices running Android L or later and iOS 11 or later. You can also watch directly on the Web at tv.youtube.com. This site works best in the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.

When to Choose It

YouTube TV offers just about everything you’d expect from a cable or satellite TV subscription at a lower monthly price. It’s an appealing choice for cord-cutters who want access to all their favorite cable TV shows in one simple package.

However, it’s pricier than many other TV livestreaming services, so it’s only worth the cost if you really need its full array of channels and features.

5. FuboTV

FuboTV started as a service that livestreamed soccer, which is called “futbol” in Spanish. Over the years, it has expanded to include more than 100 live channels with a heavy focus on sports. It has numerous sports channels as well as news, entertainment, and lifestyle content.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

Fubo offers a choice of three packages. Its basic Family service ($65 per month) offers 118 channels. The channel lineup includes ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, A&E, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, Comedy Central, the Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark, Lifetime, and Nickelodeon. It also comes with plenty of sports channels, including ESPN, CBS Sports, and the NFL Network.

This package provides up to three simultaneous streams and 250 hours of cloud DVR space. You can test it out for seven days free before paying.

Upgrading to the Elite plan ($80 per month) gets you an additional 46 sports and entertainment channels. It includes the DIY Network, MTV, Nicktoons, Logo, Stadium, and NBA TV. With this package, you get up to five simultaneous streams and 1,000 hours of cloud DVR.

The Fubo Latino package offers only 32 channels for $30 per month. It focuses on Spanish-language content, with channels like NatGeo Mundo, Univision, Galavision, and Zona Futbol. It also provides 250 hours of cloud DVR, but it allows only two streams at once.

With any of these packages, you can get add-ons to expand your capabilities. For instance, adding Family Share ($6 per month) to the Fubo Latino plan boosts your simultaneous streams to three, and Family Share Max ($10 per month) increases them to five. With Cloud DVR 1000 ($17 per month), you can bump up your cloud DVR space on the Family or Latino plan to 1,000 hours. You can also add premium channels such as Showtime and AMC Premiere and various packages of additional foreign-language, entertainment, or sports channels for between $5 and $20 per month.

What’s Missing

None of Fubo’s packages include NFL RedZone. You can only get it by purchasing the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone add-on for $11 extra per month. BET is also unavailable with any of the packages, although BETHer and BETSoul come with the Elite plan and the Fubo Extra add-on ($6 per month). HBO and Starz aren’t available on FuboTV, even as add-ons.

Also, unlike many TV livestreaming services, FuboTV doesn’t offer any on-demand content. However, its generous cloud DVR allotment means you can easily save the game to catch later if you can’t watch it live.

Compatible Devices

Fubo runs on all the major streaming devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast. You can also watch on certain Samsung smart TVs, Xbox One, and iOS and Android devices with the Fubo app. On a computer, you can watch online using the Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari browsers.

When to Choose It

For hardcore sports fans, FuboTV offers access to all the sports you want for less than the price of a cable TV package with extra sports content. However, if sports aren’t your primary interest, FuboTV’s high cost makes it a poor value.

6. Philo

If you just want the basics at a reasonable price, Philo TV is definitely worth a look. This inexpensive, no-contract service offers both live and on-demand content, simultaneous streaming, and unlimited DVR. Its channel lineup isn’t as substantial as most, but it’s hard to beat for the price.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

Philo TV has just one basic plan: 63 channels for $20 per month. It focuses primarily on entertainment and lifestyle channels like A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, the Cooking Channel, Discovery, Hallmark, HGTV, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, and VH1.

Available add-ons include Epix for $6 per month and Starz for $9 per month. You can try out the service for free for one week before subscribing.

With a Philo account, you can create up to 10 individual profiles and stream content on up to three screens at once. You can also record as many shows as you want on Philo’s cloud storage and keep them for up to 30 days. All you need to get started is a broadband Internet connection, a supported device, an email address or mobile number, and a payment method.

What’s Missing

Philo definitely isn’t the right choice for sports fans. It includes no sports channels, and even the major broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and Fox — aren’t represented here. It’s not a suitable choice for news, either, as it doesn’t include CNN or any other major news network. The only news channels are BBC America and BBC World News.

Compatible Devices

Philo works on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast via Android. You can watch it over the Web on a Mac or PC with Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. There are also apps available for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.

When to Choose It

This service is a solid choice for channel surfers who just want to lie back and be entertained at a bargain price. If you don’t mind the lack of news and sports content, you can get livestreaming cheaper with Philo than with just about any other livestreaming service.

Final Word

There’s no one best TV livestreaming service. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s a question of choosing the right provider for you.

Consider what general type of content interests you most, what specific channels are must-haves, what other features you need, and how much you’re prepared to spend. Then choose the service or services that give you the most of what you want at the best price.

If none of the current services seem right for you, don’t despair. The market for streaming services is an ever-changing one.

Several networks have introduced their own livestreaming services that provide access to their content and nothing else, such as HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock Premium. And existing services often drop off the market — such as PlayStation Vue, which ended in January 2020. So if there isn’t a perfect livestreaming service for you today, there could be one tomorrow.

In the meantime, don’t forget that there are other ways to amuse yourself without cable TV. You can also get your video entertainment from on-demand streaming, old-fashioned DVDs, or network TV with an antenna. Or you could explore other alternatives, such as music, books, computer games, and tabletop games.

Source: moneycrashers.com

7 Products With Price Spikes on Amazon Amid the Pandemic

Angry woman using a laptop
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The coronavirus crisis wasn’s a plague for Amazon’s business in 2020. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth grew 63%, the company’s stock price rose 73%, and people are jumping on the Prime train at a record pace.

Many people are staying home to prevent getting COVID-19 and using Amazon to deliver nearly everything under the sun. But as demand for deliveries has risen, so have the prices of some products, according to a recent report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s Education Fund.

The nonprofit analyzed 15 product categories, looking at the prices of 50 essential products in each category. The products examined were fulfilled by Amazon, a third-party or both.

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund discovered that, of the 750 products it analyzed, prices of 136 at least doubled and 409 increased by more than 20% over the course of 2020.

Following is a look at the seven product categories for which the U.S. PIRG Education Fund found more than half of the product listings increased in price by more than 20%.

Pulse oximeters

pulse oximeter
Click and Photo / Shutterstock.com

Pulse oximeters measure the oxygen level in a person’s blood.

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that 54% of listings for pulse oximeters on Amazon that it examined increased in price by more than 20% in 2020 — and 5% of those listings at least doubled in price.

Hand soaps

Woman washing her hands
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock.com

In 2020, 59% of Amazon listings for this anti-COVID-19 essential increased in price by more than 20%, and 11% of those at least doubled in price, according to the U.S. PIRG Education Fund analysis. The nonprofit also found one instance in which a three-pack of hand soap increased in price from $25.57 to $72.94.

Perhaps not surprisingly, soap is among the pandemic must-haves that Money Talks News cites in “20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling.”

Oral thermometers

Sick woman holding thermometer
Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock.com

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund discovered that 59% of Amazon listings for these fever-detectors that the nonprofit examined increased in price by more than 20% in 2020, and nearly one-quarter at least doubled in price. One thermometer’s price rose from $254.78 to $401.76.

If you want to go different routes in measuring your family’s temperatures, The New York Times’ Wirecutter reviews in-ear and forehead thermometers.

Patio heaters

Patio heater
Pawel Pietraszewski / Shutterstock.com

These handy products greatly enhance outdoor gatherings, and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that 61% of examined Amazon listings for these heaters increased in price by more than 20%, and 45% at least doubled in price in 2020.

If a patio heater isn’t your style, AARP has some ideas to stay warm outside during a time when meeting up indoors can be risky.

Cloth face masks

Woman in a mask shopping for groceries
Paulo Vilela / Shutterstock.com

In 2020, 66% of the Amazon listings for cloth face masks in the U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s analysis increased in price by at least 20%.

Increasingly more health experts are advising people to wear two masks, and Money Talks News breaks down the pros and cons of doubling up in “Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?”

Hand sanitizers

Parent and child use hand sanitizer and face masks at school
1641857584 / Shutterstock.com

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that 77% of the Amazon listings for hand sanitizers that it examined increased in price by more than 20% in 2020, with nearly a quarter of those doubling in price. One hand sanitizer’s price rose from $33.13 to $178.20.

If you want to save some money and DIY your sanitizer, Money Talks News has instructions for making your own.

Disinfectant wipes

Woman using a disinfecting wipe to clean a door handle
FotoHelin / Shutterstock.com

In 2020, 78% of the Amazon listings for disinfectant wipes increased in price by at least 20%, according to the U.S. PIRG Education Fund analysis.

Despite their popularity, wipes are not the only way to kill coronavirus germs. Money Talks News details some cheaper options in “5 Cleaning Products You Should Be Using in 2021.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com