How to Protect Your Finances Using Phone Apps

A crisis is no time to wonder if your car payment is due.

But whether it’s a medical emergency, a job loss, a natural disaster or… let’s face it, some crisis we haven’t even imagined yet, it’s easy enough to lose track of the other priorities in our life — and that can add to our financial woes.

Staying in control of your finances is essential, particularly during a crisis. An overdraft fee here, a late payment there and suddenly your initial problem is compounded by a financial hit that can haunt you for years.

If knowledge is power, then setting yourself up to have all your financial information on hand could be the difference between a one-time disaster and a lasting financial catastrophe.

One way to start protecting your money: Use the digital apps for your banks and lenders.

How to Use Phone Apps to Protect Your Finances

Downloading apps from your various financial institutions can help you during a crisis, but only if you have access to everything you need. Here’s how to make it happen in 15 minutes.

1. Create a Comprehensive List

Start by compiling a list of monthly, quarterly and annual bills — and the companies to which you send payments. Don’t trust your analog brain to remember all of them.

Instead, take a few minutes to review your budget or your bank and credit card statements from the previous year to jog your memory on regular but non-monthly expenses, like your vehicle registration renewal or credit card membership fees.

Also list your banks and all of your credit cards — even the ones you don’t regularly use. In a crisis, you may need access to a credit line you don’t typically tap, and you’ll want to have that account information handy.

2. Download the Official Apps

Whether it’s your student loan servicer or your mortgage lender, using the company’s official app offers the benefit of providing you more immediate access to your information and to assistance during a crisis.

Most lenders have added easy-access buttons that let you apply for relief plans if you’re struggling to pay your bills. That small convenience saves you the step of searching the company’s website for a customer service number.

Pro Tip

Create logins and new passwords when you download the apps, keeping the info in a secure place. And don’t reuse passwords to mitigate the damage if a thief gains access to one of your accounts.

By downloading the app, you’ll also have easy access to your account information. That can be helpful if a crisis puts you in the hospital unexpectedly or forces you to evacuate suddenly and you need to contact a lender.

Saving those few minutes of stress by keeping the information handy could mean the difference between connecting with financial hardship assistance and letting bills go unpaid. Doing the latter could wreck your finances for long after the disaster passes.

3. Use App Features to Protect Your Money

If you haven’t set up automatic payments for monthly expenses like your mortgage and cell phone bill, do it before the next catastrophe hits. During an emergency, you don’t want the electricity turned off just because you forgot what day it is.

Additionally, you can set up spending alerts and limits for your bank accounts and credit cards, helping you avoid those nasty overdraft fees.

Pro Tip

If you’re trying to maintain social distancing guidelines, use the check deposit feature available on most bank and credit union apps to avoid visiting a physical location.

Review the apps for other features that you may not have considered, like the ability to check your credit score. If you check your score on a regular basis and it suddenly drops unexpectedly, you can track down the problem quickly.

Most major credit card apps also allow you to lock the account and replace your card if it’s lost or stolen amid the chaos of your current situation.

You may not be able to prevent a crisis, but you can control how you prepare for one so you and your money can survive intact.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 – thewonderforest.com

If you run a small business on Etsy, it’s a good idea to be on top of Etsy shopping trends and best-selling products, to give your business the best chance of being successful on the platform! Use this round-up of 15 profitable handmade products you can sell on Etsy to brainstorm new ideas for listings and inspire your creativity.

Don’t forget to stay on trend with clear, bright product photos, and saturate your listings with lots of lovely keywords that shoppers are using!

Profitable Handmade Products for the Home

Mushroom Cushion

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Mushroom cushion by Save Our Planet Clothes

Inspired by the popular cottagecore aesthetic, mushrooms are a charming motif that is popping up all over Etsy at the moment. Etsy has reported a 758% year-on-year increase in searches for “mushroom cushions” and cushion cases, but all forms of mushroom home décor are proving popular with shoppers. Take advantage of this trend by selling your own sewn mushroom-themed pillow covers!

Wavy Candle

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Wavy candle by LOFT The Label

Unique and wiggly shapes are also showing up all over trending home décor. Specifically, there has been a 28,858% increase in searches for “wavy candles”. Can you create some fun, uniquely shaped candles? Or apply these fun wavy shapes to other product ideas to take advantage of this trend.

Bird Feeder

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Bird feeder by Suburban Woodcraft

Following the impacts of being at home, and people wanting to spend more time outside with loved ones, shoppers are searching to build lovely outdoor spaces in their gardens. Specifically, 247% more searches for “bird feeder” have been reported so far this year. Why not try crafting your own unique bird feeder to sell on Etsy?

Halloween Décor

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Halloween Print by Honey Plum Paper Co.

Halloween is just round the corner, and shoppers are already thinking about it! There has been a 59% increase in searches for “Halloween outdoor décor” as well as an increase in “Halloween items”. Think prints, bunting, and spooky candle holders.

Profitable Handmade Products to Wear

Matching Sets

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Matching set by Baby Decore Boutique

What’s cuter than mini and Mom matching? Pick out colourful prints and match an outfit for Mom and an outfit for baby, and tap into the 86% increase in searches for “matching sets” on Etsy. Alternatively, think about creating matching sets for siblings, pets and their owners, or bridal parties.

Regency Gowns

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Dress by Lela Silk

Channelling their inner Bridgerton Regency vibes, shoppers have been all over this romantic trend. Add a modern twist with embroidery and cottagecore details. Etsy has reported a 2,164% increase in searches for “Regency gowns”. If you have the ability to sew, consider making this your niche!

Striped Shirts

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Striped shirt by Art Disco

Bold, colourful and patterned clothing is in! 54% more shoppers have been looking for “striped shirts” on Etsy, while there has been a noticeable increase in retro, floral and checkerboard designs on shirts, dresses and jumpsuits.

Floral Mask

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Mask by Modern Masquerade

With many people still choosing to wear masks or in a place where they are mandated, they are still hugely popular on Etsy at the moment. Floral designs seem to be most profitable, with 45,598 searches for “floral face masks” on Etsy in the first three months of this year. Designs featuring sunflowers are especially prominent.

Personalized Apron

A great idea for a gift, Etsy has seen a 108% increase in searches for “personalized aprons” on the platform. Can you add your own special twist or design to make yours stand out?

Profitable Handmade Products for Children

Ceramic Kits

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Photo by The Pottery Tree Gifts

A fun and practical project for the whole family to get involved in, “ceramic kits” have seen a 140% increase in searches. Offer a from scratch project, or create a product like a mug or trinket dish with all the kit needed to paint a beautiful design.

Halloween DIY Kits

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Pumpkin crochet kit by Little Conkers

In a similar vein, shoppers are looking for fun Halloween DIY kits and handmade art projects, as proved by a 1,368% increase in searches. Kid-friendly crafts and paint-by-numbers style kits will attract families who want to keep the kids busy on the weekend!

Custom Stickers

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Sticker by Werka Co

Ideal for decorating diaries and school planners, stickers are always a popular product, especially those aimed at kids. While there has been a 92% increase in searches for “custom sticker”, you can also tap into searches for “sticker packs”, “vinyl sticker” and “cute sticker”.

Birthday Banners

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Birthday banner by Hooray Days

People are constantly looking for fun ways to make birthdays special for young children. Beautiful decorations can add that magical touch to their big day! Etsy has reported a 68% increase in searches for “birthday banners”.

Initial Notebooks

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Initial Notebook by Masons Jars

Did someone say back to school? All kinds of stationery and school supplies are flying off the shelves at the moment, but Etsy has noticed a 116% increase in searches for “initial notebooks” – showing a common trend of shoppers searching for unique and personalised twists on a popular product.

Plus…Profitable Handmade Products: Gift Ideas for Men

15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021 15 Super Profitable Handmade Products You Can Sell in 2021
Leather Cord Organizer by Minustudio.co

Etsy has noticed an increase in male shoppers on their platform, creating a gap in the market for gift ideas that appeal to men. Think birthdays, groom’s parties, and anniversaries. Tap into the 75% increase in searches for “best men gifts” with practical products like keyrings, mugs and prints.

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Source: thewonderforest.com

Fall into Fall: 5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

Pumpkins, cozy sweaters, and falling leaves. Fall is almost here (the first official day is September 22nd), but you still have time to prepare for the new season in a big way.

Fall into Fall: 5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Fall image 1

Here are four ways to get your home ready for the fall.

Fall into Fall: 5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Fall image 2

1. Clean your gutters:Hire someone to clean out you clogged gutters or do it yourself. Watch Lowe’s video and read their articleto learn how to clean your gutters.

2. Fix any drafts: Check your windows and doors for any drafts. Hire someone to fix any problems or fix it yourself. This Old House has tips for fixing drafts without breaking a budget.

3. Buy a rake or leaf blower: Have all the necessary leaf removal tools on hand before the leaves start to fall. Get ready to jump into piles of leaves!

4. Clean the fireplace: Have the fireplace inspected to make sure it’s safe to use when the temperature starts to drop.

Now that you’re done, sit back, relax, and enjoy a hot cup of tea and your favorite pumpkin flavored pastry.

Source: century21.com