Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Shopper upset about an online purchase
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It’s hard to beat having things delivered straight to your door — even when you’re not stuck at home due to a pandemic.

Amazon has made it easy for anyone to order just about anything and have it delivered to their doorstep. But just because you can purchase something on Amazon, it doesn’t mean you should.

Following are some purchases that we don’t think you should ever make on Amazon — and our reasons why.

1. Kirkland-branded items

Costco's Kirkland Signature brand of organic creamy almond butter
David Tonelson / Shutterstock.com

When you buy Kirkland-branded products on Amazon, you are buying from a third-party reseller, as Costco doesn’t sell its private-label products on Amazon. Costco says on its website that “Costco.com will not be liable for merchandise once it has been signed for and approved by the third party facility.”

Additionally, because Kirkland products on Amazon have gone through a third-party reseller, it’s possible that some of those products could be counterfeit or expired. A 2019 Quartz analysis also found that Kirkland products tend to be more expensive on Amazon.

If you have a Costco close to you, consider shopping there. Many items are also available to order on Costco.com and can be shipped to your home.

Even if you don’t have a membership, you still can shop at warehouses if you pay with a Costco gift card and shop online if you pay a surcharge, as we detail in “7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership.”

2. Add-on items you don’t need

Amazon boxes seen piled up on a doorstep
Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock.com

Amazon offers what it calls “add-on items” — items that are low-priced but only available for purchase if your order totals $25.

While many of the add-on items are great deals, you will end up spending money to save money — which is never a good idea — if you buy an add-on item you don’t need.

Stick to buying add-on items that are already on your shopping list and avoid buying ones that simply looked good at the time.

3. Trader Joe’s products

R.A. Walker Photography / Shutterstock.com

Trader Joe’s items sold on Amazon can come with a high markup compared with buying in a store. They are sold by third-party sellers who may list damaged, expired or even counterfeit products.

A Trader Joe’s representative told Refinery 29 in 2019, “We do not authorize the reselling of our products and cannot stand behind the quality, safety or value of any Trader Joe’s product sold outside of our store.”

For more TJ’s shopping guidance, check out “15 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s.”

4. Paper towels

Couple using paper towels
LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

It’s easy to assume that household items such as paper towels are cheaper on Amazon. However, Money Talks News managing editor Karla Bowsher has a different take:

“Every single time I’ve compared per-square-foot prices, Costco’s Kirkland paper towels have been cheaper than even Amazon’s own brands of paper towels (Presto and Solimo). That was even the case on Prime Day.”

You might also find cheaper paper towels at stores like Walmart. So, compare prices before pulling out your credit card.

5. Ikea products

monticello / Shutterstock.com

Since Ikea locations can be out of the way, it’s tempting to order their products online via Amazon. But Ikea no longer sells products online via Amazon, so everything you see on Amazon comes from third-party sellers.

Ikea offers many of its items online. You’ll pay at least $5 for shipping, but you’ll know that what you are getting is a new and genuine Ikea item.

6. Off-brand accessories for Apple devices

think4photop / Shutterstock.com

Acessories for Apple devices are not cheap, so it’s tempting to hop on Amazon and search for off-brand versions. But knock-off chargers, for example, can damage your iPhone’s motherboard — which isn’t easily or cheaply repaired.

Vice explains:

“The Geniuses at the Apple won’t be able to help, either — they can’t make repairs to the motherboard. So if you don’t want to be stuck buying a new phone, you’ll have to go to an independent repair shop that offers microsoldering services. They’re the only ones who will be able to revive a mangled motherboard. Of course, it’s much easier to just avoid knock-off chargers in the first place.”

7. Almost anything else that is cheaper elsewhere

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Don’t assume that Amazon has the best price on everything. At least comparison-shop at other online retailers before clicking the “buy” button.

Amazon’s prices also fluctuate, so something may be cheaper one day and more expensive the next. But free tools like CamelCamelCamel can tell you how the price for a certain item has fluctuated over time, which gives you a sense of whether Amazon’s current price is good.

To learn about other tools like CamelCamelCamel, check out “7 Free Tools for Saving More Money on Amazon.”

8. Fresh produce

nd3000 / Shutterstock.com

If you order your food through Amazon Fresh — Amazon’s grocery delivery and pickup service — the quality of fresh produce can vary. You are relying on a shopper to select produce for you, so you may not get what you want.

When you go to a local store, on the other hand, you can pick out your own produce, ensuring you get the best size and quality for the price.

9. Anything with reviews you didn’t vet

fizkes / Shutterstock.com

You find what seems like a great product at an even better price and all the reviews are glowing. That’s an automatic buy, right? Not necessarily. Amazon has had issues with fake reviews in the past — as CNET reported in 2019, for example — so you might not want to take Amazon reviews at face value.

Fortunately, free tools like Fakespot and ReviewMeta can help by giving you an idea of how authentic reviews of a particular item are.

10. Designer items sold by third parties

Nejron Photo / Shutterstock.com

While some designers sell their products through Amazon, many of the listings you will find are from third parties. So, it’s important to scrutinize each listing to ensure that the item you’re buying is sold by the company or an authorized reseller.

When buying through a third-party seller that is not an authorized reseller, there is no way to verify that what you’re getting is authentic.

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

Source: moneytalksnews.com

The Best Places to Live in Nevada in 2021

Nevada is typically thought of as a hot, dry desert with Las Vegas being the main reason people visit or choose to live there. But the state offers so much more!

The best places to live in Nevada include many family-friendly cities, some of which are close to beautiful lakes and stunning mountains. There are places for boating, hiking and even winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding.

On the financial side of things, it’s one of the few states that doesn’t have personal income tax! So take a look and explore the best places to live in Nevada.

Boulder City, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

Boulder City is small, family-friendly and pretty safe—which is very different from the larger, more famous city of Las Vegas that lies only 30 minutes away.

It has small-town vibes and a very tight-knit community, making it an attractive place for young families wanting the fun and excitement of Las Vegas without living in such a vast, bustling city.

Plus, you’ve got Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam nearby for outdoor recreation.

Find apartments for rent in Boulder City
Buy a house in Boulder City

Carson City, NV.

Nevada’s state capital, Carson City, is fairly unique to most other cities in Nevada, with it being close to anything you might enjoy, be it outdoor recreation or big city lights.

Because it lies much further north than Las Vegas, its weather isn’t always hot and dry. You can enjoy all four unique seasons, including some snow in winter.

You’re also less than an hour away from the beautiful shores and mountains of Lake Tahoe, where summer swimming and boating are popular and winter skiing is available.

Plus, there’s Reno nearby in case you want to explore a Vegas-like city that’s not quite so large.

Carson City itself still has great restaurants in its downtown area and is family-friendly. Even with all of this great stuff, it’s still one of the least-crowded cities in America.

Find apartments for rent in Carson City
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Fallon, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

Because it’s fairly quiet and mellow, Fallon draws in both young families and retirees who are looking to live life at a slower pace. This has given the town the nickname of the “Oasis of Nevada.” There are also many military families due to the naval base nearby.

It’s a great place for those that are adventurous and enjoy exploring since it’s within two hours of Lake Tahoe, the Nevada state capital of Carson City and Reno’s bright lights.

Plus, there are plenty of community events and festivals throughout the year for locals (and visitors) to attend.

Find apartments for rent in Fallon
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Henderson, NV.

As part of the greater Las Vegas city, Henderson is big city living, but in the suburbs. It’s less than a 30-minute drive to get to the strip, with many of Las Vegas’ great restaurants and shopping spots located even closer.

Henderson is very focused on building a safe community and bringing people together, so there are lots of great events and activities going on. One of the most popular is a downtown art festival, where many local artists and art-lovers gather each month to support each other.

Find apartments for rent in Henderson
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Las Vegas, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

One of the most well-known cities in the world, Las Vegas draws in a diverse crowd of tourists and residents alike.

There’s never a dull moment and something for everyone is easily found at every corner. Restaurants, shows, shopping and even major league sports are all part of Vegas.

Because it’s a large city, it’s divided up into neighborhoods, some of which give residents a “big city” feel and others that are a little bit quieter and calm.

Plus, the location is ideal —in just a few hours, you can find yourself at the beaches near Los Angeles or the mountains of Utah.

Find apartments for rent in Las Vegas
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Laughlin, NV.

You’ll find Laughlin nestled right on the Nevada-Arizona border, near the banks of the Colorado River.

It offers adventurous desert living, where off-roading is a favorite pastime and it’s warm and sunny, making it perfect for anyone that enjoys swimming frequently in the Colorado River.

You’ll always meet new people in Laughlin as its economy thrives on tourism — it’s full of casinos and resorts that bring in new crowds every day of the year.

Find apartments for rent in Laughlin
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North Vegas, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

North Las Vegas is the happy medium for anyone wanting to feel like they live in the hustle and bustle of Vegas, but without feeling like they’re in the overcrowded streets of downtown and the Strip.

It’s been experiencing a revitalization and the city has been recently focusing on improving safety, entertainment and diversity in the area.

You’ve still got the Strip and main city nearby, plus endless restaurants and shopping, but at the end of the day, you don’t have to deal with constant traffic and tourists walking everywhere. It’s not too close, yet not too far away!

Find apartments for rent in North Las Vegas
Buy a house in North Las Vegas

Reno, NV.

The “biggest little city in the world” is one that’s full of surprises. Reno is typically known for gambling and casinos, but it actually has many great ski resorts for winter sports. But it’s not just winter that makes it exciting—it’s less than an hour to Lake Tahoe, so expect exciting and fun summers.

Reno has one of the best bar scenes, most of which are open 24-hours. And because it has so much room to grow, many large businesses are building offices in the area, further stabilizing the already-stable economy.

Find apartments for rent in Reno
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Sparks, NV, one of the best places to live in nevada

If you’re a fan of Reno, then you’ll probably also like Sparks, which is a small town that’s basically a suburb of Reno. It’s close to all of the excitement that the bigger city offers with a relaxed vibe.

And with the growth of Reno’s business sector, Sparks is seeing a lot more development to accommodate the increasing number of jobs and residents in the area.

There’s a pretty diverse age group, with everyone from college students, young professionals, families and retirees mingling throughout the city.

Find apartments for rent in Sparks
Buy a house in Sparks

Sun Valley, NV.

As yet another town near Reno, Sun Valley is also seeing much growth but is still more rural than the main city center and Sparks. Many of its residents actually like that there are very few stores and restaurants in the area, as it keeps it quiet and not many random tourists end up wandering through.

Because of its lack of city recreation, there are many community events that provide opportunities to get to know your neighbors and interact with the other locals. It’s full of humble, eccentric people that are always welcoming to newcomers and outsiders.

Find apartments for rent in Sun Valley
Buy a house in Sun Valley

Find your own best place to live in Nevada

Las Vegas isn’t the only place to live in Nevada, especially if you’re looking for a little less of the “big city.”

There are plenty of other cities and suburbs that give you everything you could imagine. From community events to all-year outdoor recreation — you only need to open your mind up to the possibilities of Nevada.

Source: rent.com

Stock Market Today: Investors Head for Safety Amid Another Selloff

Stocks stumbled for the second consecutive day Tuesday, and they did so again amid a fairly slow drip of news.

Both domestically and globally, a pickup in COVID-19 cases is fostering worries about the size and pace of the economic recovery, though at the same time, the world’s number of vaccinated continue to grow.

“Stocks are dropping again today with no clear catalysts. Markets are a little stretched at this point, so we may see stocks take a small step back here and there. That’s normal, and we’d expect any dip to be bought quickly,” says Callie Cox, senior investment strategist for Ally Invest, who points out that recent action has come amid low trading volume. “As long as volume stays low and news is quiet, we may see this wandering market continue to search for direction.”

When investors were buying, they were choosing safety: Utilities (+1.3%) and real estate (+1.1%) topped all other sectors Tuesday.

But the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.8% to 33,821. The Dow was led lower by the likes of Nike (NKE, -4.2%) which was downgraded on concerns over boycotts in China, and Boeing (BA, -4.1%), which dropped after CEO David Calhoun said its dividend likely won’t be returning in the short term.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% to 4,134, and the Nasdaq Composite declined by 0.9% to 13,786.

Sign up for Kiplinger’s FREE Investing Weekly e-letter for stock, ETF and mutual fund recommendations, and other investing advice.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • Apple (AAPL, -1.3%) declined despite announcing a number of new products and updates Tuesday. The company unveiled more powerful iPads and thinner iMacs, both using M1 chips; a tile-like item tracker called AirTags, an updated Apple TV+ box and more.
  • International Business Machines (IBM, +3.8%) gained after the company reported its first quarter of revenue growth in more than a year and beat earnings expectations.
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, +2.3%) beat top- and bottom-line estimates; meanwhile, the European Union said that while J&J’s COVID-19 does appear to be linked to blood clot risks, its benefits outweigh those risks.
  • The Russell 2000 dropped 2.0% to 2,188.
  • U.S. crude oil futures dropped 76 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $62.67 per barrel.
  • Gold futures added $7.90, or 0.5% to settle at $1,777.30 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) jumped another 8.2%, following a strong advance Monday, to reach 18.71.
  • Bitcoin prices recovered a little, up 1.0% to $56,650. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • Netflix (NFLX) was off by more than 11% in early after-hours trading after a wide miss on first-quarter global subscriber numbers. Specifically, global paid net subscriber additions of 3.98 million were well below the 6.2 million expected. The company did beat revenue and earnings projections.
stock chart for 042021stock chart for 042021

4/20: A Buzzkill for Cannabis Investors

You might not have been aware, but today was a holiday for some: 4/20 is a date widely celebrated by marijuana aficionados … and increasingly, investors.

As it happened, weed stocks admittedly wilted under the spotlight today, despite yesterday’s House passage of a bill that would let banks provide services to the industry in states that have legalized marijuana use. The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS), for instance, declined 3.2%.

However, many marijuana plays are still sitting on strong returns year-to-date, and several drivers still point to big long-term potential.

“With more states considering legalizing cannabis, combined with the future uptick in sales from states such as New York and New Jersey that have recently legalized recreational cannabis, I expect that cannabis sales will continue to experience strong growth,” says Jason Wilson, cannabis and banking expert at ETF Managers Group, the issuer of the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ, -4.5%). “In the longer term, as the cannabis industry continues to mature, I would expect to see the strongest sales growth in derivative products, such as cannabis-infused beverages.”

If you’re feeling “canna-curious,” start out by learning which red flags you should be watching for in this emerging industry.

If you feel you’re ready to go, consider this list of 10 marijuana picks – complete with traditional stocks, but also real estate investment trusts (REITs), special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and even a couple funds for those interested in a more diversified approach.

Kyle Woodley was long BA and MSOS as of this writing.

Source: kiplinger.com

Eviction Process: What to Do If You Receive an Eviction Notice

Follow these steps if you receive an eviction notice.

The eviction process is stressful. But losing your home isn’t inevitable. It’s possible to delay or prevent eviction. Help is available — you just have to know where to look. And you need to act fast.

What to do after receiving an eviction notice depends on your lease, your state and even your ZIP code. Knowing and defending your rights, working proactively with your landlord or property manager and accessing local, state and federal resources can keep you in your home.

What is an eviction?

“Eviction is a legal process that may be undertaken to remove a tenant from a rental property,” explains a definition on LegalDictionary.net. “The majority of evictions are the result of a tenant’s failure to pay rent, or the tenant’s frequent violation of the terms of the lease or rental agreement. Regardless of the purpose of the eviction, the landlord must follow a process specified by the law.”

Legal grounds for eviction

Landlords and property managers must follow particular steps and a certain order during the eviction process. They’re required to document every step so the eviction will hold up in a court of law.

Landlords must have a legal reason to evict a tenant. Legal grounds for eviction include:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Incomplete rent payments
  • Criminal activity
  • Committing an act of domestic violence
  • Not abiding by community health and safety standards
  • Not vacating a property when the lease is up
  • Violating the term of the lease by subletting (or subleasing)
  • Housing an unauthorized tenant who doesn’t appear on the lease
  • Keeping an unauthorized pet not specified on the lease
  • Causing significant damage to the property

eviction notice

How long does the eviction process take?

The eviction process varies from state to state. Check the eviction process in your state.

The Eviction Lab provides an overview of eviction rates across the country. The site’s Eviction Tracking System also details the weekly eviction rates in 27 U.S. cities and five states and lists if a state eviction moratorium is in place.

How does the eviction process work?

The eviction process is specific to your state. But the key steps are similar across the country.

The eviction notice

The eviction process begins when a landlord or property manager gives the renter an eviction notice. This is often called a Pay or Quit notice or a Pay or Vacate notice. It serves as a formal, documented warning that a renter violated the lease.

Landlords may post this on the door of a unit. But they usually send it by certified mail so there’s a legal record of the sent and received dates.

This notice tells the renter what they need to do to comply with the lease and avoid eviction. It also lists the number of days permitted before the official eviction notice is filed. The time in between these steps is often just a few days, so it’s important to act immediately.

If you get one of these notices, don’t panic. If you take steps to resolve the issue, your landlord may not file the eviction.

Eviction filing

You must comply with the terms of the lease by the deadline specified in the Pay or Quit Notice. If you don’t, the landlord will file an eviction complaint form to begin the eviction case.

Once a court date is on the books, you’ll receive a summons to court. Both documents will come via delivery by local law enforcement.

Court hearing and judgment

A judge will review documentation in the eviction case. This can include the lease, the payment record and all relevant communication between you and the property owner or landlord.

After reviewing the facts, the judge will issue their ruling. If they find it in your favor, you’ll be allowed to stay in your home.

Even if you win your case, the court case remains part of the public records for up to seven years — just like an eviction. If your next landlord doesn’t read the details of the case, this can negatively influence your background check. That’s why it’s so important to stop the eviction process before it gets to this point, if possible.

If the judge sides with the landlord, you’ll be forced to leave your home. Depending on the rules in your state, unclaimed belongings will be removed through the court process, put in storage or set out on the curb.

Man upset holding an eviction notice.

What to do if you get an eviction notice

It’s normal to feel shocked or overwhelmed by an eviction notice. But since the time between an eviction notice and an eviction filing is short, it’s important to act quickly to stop the process early.

The effort is worth it. An eviction stays on your record for seven years and makes it difficult to rent an apartment in the future. Unpaid rent can damage your credit for years to come. And the stress of eviction has negative physical, mental and emotional effects on the entire household, especially children.

Review the steps below and reach out for help the moment you get an eviction notice or know you’ll be short on the rent. Every step takes time, so pursue multiple resources simultaneously. Don’t wait to hear back from someone before moving down the list.

1. Review your lease

If you’re served with an eviction notice for violating the terms of your lease, review your copy. Make sure any violations you’re accused of are actually listed in the lease.

Paperwork errors can happen. And vague or general language can lead to confusion. If you find an error or wording that’s open to interpretation, contact your landlord for clarification immediately. Document all correspondence.

2. Correct any lease violations

If you’re violating the terms of your lease, change your behavior right away. Unauthorized roommates and pets must find a new place to live immediately. Repair any property damage.

Document your compliance in writing. Supply photos and receipts for repairs. Communicate all positive changes to your property manager or landlord.

3. Make a payment plan

If you’re behind on the rent, create a payment plan and present it to your landlord. This document should tell them why you’re experiencing financial difficulties. It should also give a reasonable repayment schedule.

You can request to delay payments, make smaller payments or ask for rent forgiveness, depending on your financial situation. Stay realistic about what you can afford.

Property managers aren’t obligated to accept your plan. But many would rather have some income and a realistic plan for repayment instead of dealing with the eviction process.

Woman calculating numbers on her laptop.

4. Take advantage of temporary eviction moratoria

If you lost your job during the pandemic (or experienced a loss of income) fill out the CDC Declaration Form and provide a copy to your landlord immediately. The eviction moratorium suspends the eviction process during the COVID-19 public health crisis. This temporary stop to evictions for non-payment of rent extends to June 30, 2021.

This is not a rent forgiveness program. Your rent is still due. But it could buy you some very valuable time to access rent assistance programs and find employment.

Many states are also halting evictions during the pandemic. Regional Housing Legal Services displays temporary state eviction moratoria on an interactive map.

5. Access federal, state and local funding resources

Federal, state and local governments offer emergency rent assistance programs and other resources to help renters secure more affordable housing. You may qualify for more than one program, so reach out to as many as you can, as soon as you can.

The Apartment Guide Eviction Resource Guide lists federal eviction resources. It also helps renters search for service organizations and government programs in their home states. Charitable organizations also offer grants and emergency rent payment assistance.

HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides affordable housing options across the country. Contact a Public Housing Agency (PHA) for rental advice at (800) 569-4287. Or search by state for an agency near you.

Renters who already receive assistance from HUD may qualify for lower rent through income recertification or hardship exemptions. A PHA representative can help you file the correct paperwork.

The NLIHC

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (or NLIHC) maintains a list of emergency rental relief programs by state. It also offers rental assistance.

The CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) features comprehensive advice for renters facing eviction in eight different languages, including Spanish and Tagalog. It includes resources for active duty service members and a list of emergency rental assistance programs across the country.

211

Get help with housing expenses by calling 211 or searching 211.org. Renters can connect with local health and human service agencies, food and clothing banks, shelters and utility assistance programs.

talking to lawyer about eviction notice

6. Know your rights

If you receive an eviction notice, review your tenant’s rights. These vary by state, but there are commonalities. Your eviction is not valid if a landlord has discriminated against you, violated your rights, harassed you or provided a home that is not safe.

Property managers and landlords can’t discriminate against a renter because of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. A landlord can’t evict you because of your marital status, whether or not you have children or the language you speak.

Landlords cannot harass you until you move out or cite personality conflicts as a reason for eviction. They can’t change the locks, throw you out without proper notice or prevent you from entering your home.

Housing law states that tenants have the right to live in clean homes that protect from the elements. They must have working heat, plumbing and electrical systems. Homes should meet all health and housing code standards and be safe and accessible for residents.

7. Contact a fair housing organization

If these rights are violated, call in the experts at your local fair housing agency. These organizations can also help renters facing eviction examine their options. Services and programs vary by state.

“Almost every state has a fair housing organization. And there’s a National Fair Housing Alliance that can help as well,” said Michelle Rydz, executive director of High Plains Fair Housing Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota. “We can help them fill out the paperwork and find money to pay for rent. And we have lawyers that work with us that can help clients when they have a court date.”

8. Get a lawyer

Finding a lawyer might sound like an unnecessary cost. But the eviction process moves quickly and the financial consequences of a judgment are dire. Seek council at the first sign of trouble.

“I think that tenants should seek the advice of counsel at the notice stage,” said Emily Benfer, law professor at Wake Forest School of Law and the chair of The American Bar Association’s COVID-19 Task Force Committee on Eviction.

Retaining an attorney can stop an eviction from becoming part of a renter’s permanent record. Attorneys also help more renters win their cases and stay in their homes.

“Nationwide, only 10 percent of tenants are able to secure representation in eviction cases, compared to 90 percent of landlords,” Benfer said, “Where tenants are not represented, the vast majority lose their case.”

A study conducted by The Kansas City Eviction Project found that 72 percent of tenants without legal representation had monetary damages and/or an eviction judgment entered against them. For renters with attorneys, the percentage fell to 56 percent. Benfer’s article cites a study that shows that 84 percent of New York City renters represented by an attorney remained in their homes.

Free and affordable legal resources

Paying for a lawyer is a major concern for people facing eviction. There are resources available for renters on a budget.

The American Bar Association’s FreeLegalHelp.Org connects low-income renters with federally funded legal aid services. It also includes pro bono attorneys who volunteer their services for free.

Search LawHelp.org for legal assistance and free legal aid programs by state and a list of legal resources. Or visit JustShelter.org to find resources listed by state. The site also links to several legal aid organizations across the country.

woman looking at tablet

How to get an apartment after an eviction

It isn’t easy to get an apartment after an eviction. But it can be done. Some basic tips can help you build up your credit and get back on your feet.

  • Rebuild your credit: Work with a credit counselor, consolidate your debt, reduce your expenses and pay all your bills on time.
  • Get a co-signer: Ask someone you trust with good credit to co-sign your lease to help lessen your landlord’s financial risk and share the financial burden.
  • Find a roommate: Move in with friends or family to minimize expenses, pay off debt and save money for a larger deposit
  • Demonstrate your credibility: Dress to impress and be polite. Tell landlords (ideally in writing) about your eviction and provide evidence that it won’t happen again.
  • Show financial responsibility: offer a larger deposit upfront to minimize the landlord’s financial risk. Produce paycheck stubs and reference letters from your employer and demonstrate how you’re rebuilding your credit.

Keep calm and take action

Eviction isn’t inevitable. By understanding the eviction process, acting quickly and using all your resources, you can hopefully delay or prevent eviction and stay in your home.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional legal or financial advice as they may deem it necessary.

Source: rent.com

Tips to Help You Get Out of Debt Quickly

Getting Out of DebtGetting Out of Debt

Getting out of debt doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps that you can take to get out of debt fast. With the right determination and dedication, you cannot only learn how to conquer your debt but create positive habits that keep you out of debt along the way.

No matter where your finances are or what your circumstance is, getting out of debt can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there are just as many people taking responsibility and control of their debt as there are people getting into debt. Not only that, but they are putting tried and true methods to use to get out of debt in a short period of time.

Are you struggling with a cycle of debt? Follow these simple steps to start eliminating your debt and take control of your finances today.

1. Stop borrowing money.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but a significant number of people fall into the habit of using debt to fund their lifestyle. If you want to get out of debt fast, the first step is avoiding any and all situations that put you in debt. This means no more applying for credit cards, financing furniture, and test driving cars that you can’t afford to pay in cash. Removing the possibility of putting additional strain on your finances will help you focus on your financial responsibilities at hand. Borrowing can also lead to a lower credit score which can make it even more difficult to get out of debt as your interest rates and payments will be much higher.

2. Start an emergency fund.

Most people are surprised that one of the first steps to get out of debt doesn’t have anything to do with making a payment to their creditors. Getting out of debt starts with making smart financial situations. “Why do I need an emergency fund?”, you might be wondering. Well, if an emergency occurs in your life where are you going to get the money to pay for it? In many cases, credit card debt begins as funding for unexpected emergencies. If you are going to get yourself out of debt, you need a safety net in case something goes wrong – emergencies funds give you the buffer you need between you and your debt.

3. Create a realistic budget

Creating a budget around your income and expenses is key to getting out of debt quickly. Having a realistic picture of your finances and what you might be able to manage concerning a payment every month can help you conquer your financial goals. The goal of creating a budget is discovering if you have a surplus (money left over) or deficit (in the negative) based on your income and bills. Over time, you want to increase your surplus to pay down your debt. There are several ways to do this, such as finding a way to earn some extra cash or eliminating unnecessary bills.

4. Get organized.

There are several approaches you can take when paying off your debt. The first is making a list of your debts from smallest to largest and paying off your lowest obligations first. This is an excellent way to start eliminating your debts and reduce the number of payments you are making each month, and therefore simplifying your financial life.

The second method is known as laddering. This method is favorable because it saves you the most money over time. Start by making a list of your debts, beginning with the highest interest rate and ending with your lowest interest rate debt. Paying off your debts with the highest interest rates first makes sense financially because it saves you in costs yet to be incurred.

Regardless of the method of debt repayment you choose, or if you decided to create a systematic hybrid between the two, it’s important to stick to your commitments. Before you know it, your debt will start reducing and you will be one step closer to your financial goals.

Source: creditabsolute.com

Uses for aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is a Penny Hoarder’s BFF when it comes to preserving leftovers. But if you’re just using that handy foil to wrap up day-old food, you’re totally missing out on so many other uses for this extraordinary kitchen standby.

The Many Uses of Aluminum Foil

You might be dating yourself if you are still calling the shiny workhorse “tin foil” though it’s not uncommon to hear that phrase used. Foil was made of tin until after World War II when the stronger and cheaper aluminum became widely used. Now you know. Read on for 10 clever money-saving ideas.

1. Sharpen Scissors

Don’t toss a pair of dull scissors or pay someone else to sharpen them. Sharpen scissors with aluminum foil, says Rachel Timmerman, a Virginia blogger with The Analytical Mommy. Fold a piece of 10-by-10-inch aluminum foil three times. Then, cut the foil about 20 times with the scissors to make them as sharp as the day you bought them.

2. Substitute for Dryer Sheets

Crumble a ball of foil and toss it into your dryer, says Gladys Connelly, technical writer for The HouseWire, a product review site. This works exactly the same as a dryer sheet would, Connelly says. “It eliminates static and fluffs up your clothing,” she says. Spray lavender oil or your favorite scent into the middle of the aluminum sheet before you crumple it to make the foil smell just as good as a dryer sheet, Connelly recommends.

3. Lower Your Heating Bill

If you have cast-iron radiators, you can DIY a heat reflector out of aluminum foil. Tape some heavy-duty aluminum foil to a piece of cardboard with the shiny side up. That’s literally it. Place the heat reflector behind your radiator or under the radiator’s top. The heat waves will naturally bounce from the foil into the room instead of going into the wall behind the radiator.

4. Cover Your Paint Tray

Don’t toss your plastic paint tray after each use. Keep the tray clean by wrapping it in aluminum foil. When you’re done, just pull off the foil and your paint tray will look as good as new, Connelly says.

A woman uses aluminum foil to get gel nail polish off her nails.
Getty Images

5. Remove Gel Nail Polish

You can’t use acetone and a cotton pad to remove gel nail polish. Instead, you’re supposed to soak your nails in acetone. But it would be wasteful to use a bowl of acetone just to remove the polish. So Malaika Desrameaux, a Miami content creator with Self Care Sunday Love, figured out an aluminum foil method. 1. File the tops of your gel nails to get rid of the glossy layer. 2. Soak a cotton ball with acetone and put the cotton ball over your nail. 3. Wrap your nail (with the cotton on top) with a 3-by-5-inch piece of aluminum foil. 4. Repeat on all fingers, and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes. 5. Remove cotton and aluminum foil, and peel off the gel nail polish.

6. Polish Silver

No need for a special polish or even any elbow grease to make Nanny’s heirloom silverware gleam again. Place a sheet of aluminum foil into a pan, add cold water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Put silver into the pan, and leave it for two minutes. Rinse off with water and let it dry. The aluminum causes a molecular reaction, cleaning the silver for you.

7. Clean Jewelry

Similar to the process for polishing silver, you can use aluminum foil to clean jewelry by creating an ion exchange (a molecular reaction with the aluminum). Place aluminum foil in a bowl, and fill the bowl with hot water and 1 tablespoon of bleach-free powdered laundry detergent. Soak jewelry in the solution for one minute, rinse with water and air dry.

8. Battery Replacement

You’re desperate for a battery to fire up the flashlight. Try aluminum foil, says Melanie Musson, a home safety expert with US Insurance Agents. “If your flashlight requires two C batteries but you only have one, you can fill the empty space with compacted foil,” Musson says. It may not be at full strength, but you’ll have a little light to get you by.

9. Garden Buddy

Aluminum foil will miraculously improve your green thumb. Birds are afraid of the shiny foil because of the noise it makes. So tie foil strips around the branches of your fruit trees, you’ll keep the birds from nibbling at the bounty. Same goes for mice and rabbits. These creatures don’t like the feel of the aluminum foil, so placing bits of it on your shrubs serves as a natural deterrent. Bugs bugging you and eating your plants? Nestle foil with soil or stones at the base of plants. Or mix some strips of aluminum foil in with your mulch. In both cases, the foil will keep the moisture in your soil and prevent the weeds from growing while keeping the pests at bay.

10. Custom Cake Pan

Don’t run to the store every time your child wants a cake that looks like something other than a rectangle. Need a dog-shaped pan? A heart pan? Make the shape out of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place your DIY foil creation into a baking pan big enough to accommodate the shape.

11. Grill Cleaner

Don’t bother purchasing pricey grill scrubbers when a rolled up ball of aluminum foil works perfectly well, Connelly says. The foil ball should be large enough – about 3 inches around – to hold comfortably with tongs (remember that the grill is hot). Grab the foil ball with the tongs and swipe back and forth across the grate before it has cooled. Food bits will be easier to remove when the grate is warm. If you already have stubborn burnt food on the grill, then put a piece of aluminum foil on the grate, and close the grill. Turn on the heat and let it run for a few minutes. Then, remove the foil, turn off the heat and try the original cleaning method. It should be easier now because the foil sheet trapped the heat to help loosen any stubborn debris.

12. Ironing

Aluminum foil is a natural heat reflector. So if you place a piece of it under the cover of your ironing board, the aluminum foil will speed up your ironing time.

Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.



Source: thepennyhoarder.com