So you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Would you rather work your dream job or a job that offers financial security? How important is it that your job actually uses your master’s degree? College was a struggle for me. As a student with a learning disability, I struggled and school took longer. When I graduated with my master’s of arts in 2008, the economy collapsed, and we went into survival mode. We are struggling to stay on a budget with three kids. With increasing prices for basics, we find ourselves back in that space of struggle, overdraft and panic. We’ve tried using budgeting apps and find them confusing or hard to keep up with.
You have two part-time jobs. But two part-time jobs often don’t add up to one full-time job in terms of compensation. You may not qualify for benefits like health insurance or a company 401(k) match when you’re not a full-time employee. Career advancement can also be hard when you’re a part-timer. That’s not to mention the brain drain that often comes with working two jobs.
Taking a hard look at your current jobs is going to be difficult. You finally found your dream job after a decade of struggles. You made significant sacrifices to earn your master’s degree, and you’re still paying for your education.
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Keep in mind that most people aren’t working their dream jobs. That doesn’t mean they don’t pursue their passions. It’s entirely possible to work a full-time job because it offers good pay and benefits, and then do what you love on the side. There are countless 9-to-5ers whose true passion is blogging, podcasting, volunteer work or playing in a band. Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected] or chat with her in The Penny Hoarder Community. Source: thepennyhoarder.com
If you earned your master’s in a discipline like arts or social work, you may need to accept that a better-paying job may not take advantage of your degree. That’s not to say you’ll never use the skills you acquired from your education. But you may need to shift gears and look for jobs that don’t require your specific degree.
For example, you might have separate envelopes for groceries, clothing, gas and pet expenses. You put the amount of cash you’ve budgeted for each category in the envelope. If you run out of cash for that envelope, you’re done spending in that category for the month. Only in a true emergency do you turn to your debit or credit card.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
People don’t go broke from buying grocery store eggs and name-brand toothpaste. What you have isn’t a spending problem. You clearly have an income problem — meaning you aren’t bringing in enough income to pay for basic expenses and save for the future. We have done everything we can to survive: We got our grocery budget down by eating a lot of rice and lentils, by getting eggs from a friend and milk from a local farmer. We use free apps and the library for streaming apps. We make our own toothpaste. We are thrift store champs for clothing. -J.
There’s so much you’ve done right here. You’ve found creative ways to be frugal, while still providing for your family. You own a home. You’re making progress on your student loan. Now it’s time to take stock of how to maximize your income, even if that means your passion won’t be your full-time job.
There’s only so much you can cut from your variable expenses, i.e., the ones like groceries, clothing and entertainment that you have some control over on a daily basis. Your fixed expenses, like housing, transportation and student loans, tend to eat up a much bigger chunk of your budget, and they’re a lot harder to cut.
You don’t say what subject you earned your master’s degree in. But it sounds like it’s not in a particularly lucrative field.
But… I want savings. I want a future. I want to know I can one day retire. So, how do I do that? How do I get started? Related Posts As you figure out your long-term career path, you still need to get a handle on managing your day-to-day expenses. Since budgeting apps aren’t working for you, I’d suggest something called the cash envelope method. Essentially, you keep paying bills like your mortgage and student loans as usual, but you withdraw cash for your variable expenses. Then you label an envelope with each budget category.
After 10 years of struggle, I FINALLY found my dream job, which is part time. Now I have a second job that uses my master’s degree, but it’s only 10 hours a week. With family help, we were able to buy a house. With two jobs, I am finally able to start paying on student loans and not defer them.
Most Americans must file their federal tax returns for the 2021 tax year by April 18, 2022. Note that we say “most Americans.” Taxpayers in two states have until April 19 to submit their 1040s to the IRS. Victims of certain natural disaster also get more time to file, with varying dates depending on when the disaster hit.
In any case, if for some reason you can’t file your federal tax return on time, it’s relatively easy to get an automatic six-month extension to October 17, 2022, by filing Form 4868 or making an electronic tax payment. But you must act by the original due date for your return, whether that’s April 18, April 19, or some other date.
Keep in mind, however, that an extension to file doesn’t extend the time to pay your tax. If you don’t pay up by the original due date, you’ll owe interest on the unpaid tax. You could also be hit with additional penalties for filing and paying late.
Why Are Taxes Due April 18 Instead of April 15 This Year?
As most people know, Tax Day is usually on April 15, unless it falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case it’s pushed back to the next available business day. April 15 is on a Friday this year, so the weekend rule doesn’t apply. However, Emancipation Day is being observed in the District of Columbia on April 15. The holiday honors the end of slavery in Washington, D.C. Since April 15 is a legal holiday in D.C., the IRS can’t require tax returns be filed that day. The next business day is April 18 – so that becomes Tax Day in 2022 for most people.
Tax Filing Deadline for Maine and Massachusetts Residents
Residents of Maine and Massachusetts get an extra day – until April 19 – to file their federal income tax return. Why? Because Patriots’ Day, an official holiday in Maine and Massachusetts that commemorates Revolutionary War battles, falls on April 18 this year. So, for the same reason Tax Day is moved from April 15 to April 18 for most people (i.e., a local holiday), the IRS can’t set the tax filing and payment due date on April 18 for taxpayers in those two states. As a result, the deadline is shifted to the next business day for Maine and Massachusetts residents, which is April 19.
Natural Disaster Victims Get Tax Filing and Payment Extensions
If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declares a disaster area following a natural disaster, the IRS usually jumps in with tax relief for the disaster victims in the form of tax filing and payment extensions. In the case of certain recent natural disasters, the April 18 (or April 19) tax filing and payment deadline has been extended for individuals and businesses residing or located in the disaster area.
So far, victims of the following natural disasters have been granted extensions that push back this year’s federal personal income tax filing and payment deadline:
Additional extensions may be announced later that impact this year’s tax return filing due date.
State Tax Return Due Dates
Don’t forget about your state tax return. Most states synch their income tax return deadline with the federal tax due date – but there are some states that have different deadlines. Check with the state tax agency where you live to find out when your state tax return is due.
Residents and business in Washington State impacted by the flooding and mudslides beginning November 13, 2021, now have until March 15, 2022, to file and pay certain federal taxes. The IRS extended the deadlines after parts of the state were declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The tax relief applies to residents and businesses in Clallam, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties who were affected by the flooding and mudslides. This includes victims who reside or have a business in the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, and Quileute Tribe.
Various federal tax filing and payment due dates for individuals and businesses from November 13 to March 14 will be shifted to March 15. This includes the quarterly estimated tax payments that are due on January 18, 2022.
The tax relief also applies to the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on January 31, 2022. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due from November 13 to November 28 will also be waived if the deposits were made by November 29, 2021.
Victims of the flooding and mudslides in Washington don’t have to contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.
The IRS will also waive fees for obtaining copies of previously filed tax returns for taxpayers affected by the storms and flooding. When requesting copies of a tax return or a tax return transcript, write “Washington Flooding and Mudslides” in bold letters at the top of Form 4506 (copy of return) or Form 4506-T (transcript) and send it to the IRS.
In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside Washington, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the state. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live in another state need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.
Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2021 return that you will file this year), or the return for the prior year. This means that taxpayers can, if they choose, file an amended return to claim these losses on their 2020 return. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number (DR-4635-WA) on any return claiming a loss. It’s also a good idea for affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on an amended 2020 return to put the Disaster Designation (“Washington Flooding and Mudslides”) in bold letters at the top of the form. See IRS Publication 547 for details.
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Homeownership is the American dream, right? We spend years â sometimes decades â saving up enough money for a down payment for our first home and mark it as a major milestone in our lives.
But sorry to rain on your parade â just the down payment isnât enough.
Sure, youâll get the keys and have takeout on top of a box marked âfront hall closetâ on your first night, but then what? You need to fill it. You need to protect it. And you definitely need to be saving up for all the leaks, breaks and âoh, sugars!â that come with that property deed.
So How Much Do You Need?
If youâre starting from scratch, the interior designer rule of thumb is to spend between 10% and 50% of the homeâs value on new furniture, appliances and decor. A totally empty $300,000 house might run up a $30,000 bill. It might be less if appliances are included, youâre bringing furniture with you, or youâre a good thrifter. It could cost more if you have expensive taste.
The average homeowners insurance in the US on that same $300,000 home is about $1,200 per year. Itâs higher in places like Texas and Florida (hello, hurricane season) and lower out west in Utah and Idaho. Natural catastrophes, the cost of rebuilding your home and even your credit score can affect the cost of your premium.
As for emergency savings, the rule of thumb is three to six monthsâ worth of living expenses â definitely on the higher end, if youâre a homeowner. Realtor.com suggests 1 to 3% of your home value, so $3,000 to $9,000 stashed away for when your dog decides to eat through a wall.
It sounds like a lot. And make no mistake; itâs definitely a big part of your home-owning investment â but itâs attainable with the right knowledge and savings tools. Here are a few ways to boost your savings and lower your home-owning costs.
1. Make Your Sure Credit Score is in Tip-Top Shape
You probably remember this from when you were buying your home â the better your credit score, the better your mortgageâs interest rate. The same is true for homeowners insurance and credit card interest rates (this is important to think about if you open a store card to spread out furniture payments).
The good news? A free website called Credit Sesame makes it easy to put your credit score on track to reach your goals and keep your loan payments low. We even talked to one guy, James Cooper, of Atlanta, who used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** He says they showed him exactly what to do â he was even able to open his first credit card.
What could adding 300 points to your score mean for your goals? It could easily save you thousands of dollars over the life of a car loan or mortgage.
Within 90 seconds, Credit Sesame will give you access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. Youâll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
Make sure your plans donât get sidelined by bad credit. Sign up for free (it only takes about 90 seconds) and see how much you could improve your score.
2. See if Youâre Wasting Money on Homeowners Insurance
If youâre a homeowner, you probably have home insurance, but you hardly ever think about it. Thatâs good â it means you havenât needed to use it. But it also means you donât know if youâre being overcharged for it.
Itâs easy to find out, though. An insurance marketplace called Policygenius can look for discounts or even a cheaper policy for you. And your new policy could be similar to the one you already have â just cheaper.Â Seriously. They have saved people an average of $455 a year, compared to their previous policies.
The best part? They do all the heavy lifting. Theyâll move you over to your new policy for free. Theyâll even do all the paperwork. (Youâre allowed to cancel your insurance policy at any time, and your company should issue you a refund.)
It takes just a few minutes to answer some quick questions and see how much money you could save. And donât worry: Policygenius doesnât sell your info to spammers.
3. Cut Your Other Bills to Save For More Furniture
Furnishing a house is expensive. You donât even realize how much money youâll need until you start pricing it all out at the store â a couch, a coffee table, a few lamps, a bookshelf, a couple side tables, an armchair or two, things to put on your bookshelf and on the wallâ¦ and thatâs just in your living room!
One easy way to come up with this money is by cutting your costs and saving the difference. For example, when was the last time you checked car insurance rates?
You should shop your options every six months or so â it could save you some serious money.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and your age, and itâll show you your options.
Using Insure.com, people have saved an average of $489 a year.
Yup. That could be $500 towards a dining room set just for taking a few minutes to look at your options.
4. Have a Safe Place to Save Your Emergency Fund â and Grow it 16x Faster
Youâve probably heard the best way to grow your money is to stick it in a savings account and leave it there for, well, ever. Thatâs bad advice when it comes to building and protecting an emergency fund.
You should be looking for a place to safely stash it away â but still earn money. Under your mattress or in a safe will get you nothing. And a typical savings account wonât do you much better. (Ahem, 0.06% is nothing these days.)
But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account. Thatâs 16x more helpful when you need $9,000 earmarked for future, inevitable, home repairs.
Not too shabby!
Enter your email address here to get a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you confirm your email, securely link your bank account so they can start helping you get extra cash. Your money is FDIC insured and they use a military-grade encryption which is nerd talk for âthis is totally safe.â
Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder and a homeowner who has used these tips to save money herself.Â
***Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
I am trying to buy as many rental properties as possible because of the great returns they provide. I am also trying to help other investors discover the fantastic world of investing in long-term rentals through my blog. However, I run into a lot of feedback from people who are worried about how risky it is to invest in rental properties. I hear: “my friend went broke investing in real estate” or “my parents had a rental and it was a money pit up until the day they were forced to sell it.” There are many horror stories involving real estate, but I have no doubt whatsoever long-term rentals are a great investment if you do your homework and buy properties right. Most of those horror stories come from people who did not do their homework, turned a personal residence into a rental out of necessity, or were hoping for appreciation. What are the real risks of rental properties and how can you mitigate these risks?
What are the main risks of investing in rental properties?
There are real risks with investing in rental properties. Many people felt the wrath of these risks in the last housing crash. Housing values plummeted and in some areas rents plummeted as well. Interestingly enough, not every area saw lower rental rates. Some areas saw rents increase because there were so many more renters (people who lost their houses) and the demand pushed rents up.
The investors who were hurt the most in the housing crash were those who were breaking even on their properties or losing money each month and hoping prices would increase to make money. When the bottom dropped out, they now had a property that was losing money each month and was worth less than they had bought it for. Many investors allowed these homes to go into foreclosure because they didn’t think they were worth keeping.
Other risks come from rentals when people buy a property and do not have enough cash to maintain the property or hold it when it is vacant. Most banks will require a certain amount of reserves when you get a loan on an investment property. But as soon as the property is purchased there is nothing stopping the owners from spending that reserve money. When you own a rental there will be times when the tenants move out, there can be evictions, and rarely a tenant can destroy a property. We see these situations occur quite often because people love to see drama but for the most part our tenants take care of our rentals and are awesome.
Why invest in rentals with these risks?
Rental properties have made me a ton of money over the last decade. Prices have increased significantly, which is great, but the properties also make money every month, and I always get a great deal on everything I buy which means I build equity on day one. There are many ways to mitigate the risks of rentals and the money I have made from my properties more than makes the risks worth it!
A lot of people will assume that when you are investing in large value assets like real estate and there can be huge returns, that the risk must be through the roof. There are types of real estate that can be very risky. We flip houses as well, and that is a much riskier venture than owning rental properties in my opinion. Development can also be much riskier but again come with huge rewards as well.
I also was an REO broker during the housing crash and I talked to many investors who lost homes. I was able to see why they lost their homes, what they could have done differently, and what happened after they lost their homes. For the most part, they bought houses that did not cash flow or make money every month and when things went bad they lost the motivation to keep paying into them. Losing the houses was also not the end of the world for these investors. Many of them had put little money down thanks to the crazy lending that was happening prior to that last crash. They were also able to keep those houses for quite a while after they stopped making payments. Many investors kept collecting rent during this time period which may or may not have been legal, but it did happen.
Many of those investors got right back in the real estate game after recovering and invested the right way with cash flow!
How can you mitigate the risk from rentals?
Buy below market value
One key to a low-risk rental strategy or any successful real estate strategy is to buy property below market value. Buying a property below market enables you to create instant equity, increase your net worth, and protects against a downturn in the market. One of the investors who was hurt badly during the crash was buying brand new houses and turning them into rentals. The houses were in great shape, but he paid full retail value for them.
When I buy rentals I want to pay at least 20% less than they are worth after considering any repairs are needed. For example:
A home needs $20,000 in repairs and will be worth $200,000 after those repairs. I want to pay $140,000 or less for that property ($200,000 x .80 – $20k). If I am flipping houses, I need to get an even better deal!
I also usually put about 20% down when I buy rentals which means after the property is repaired I have a loan around $110,000 and a property worth $200,000. Even if prices lost 30%, which is about how much they dropped across the county I am fine.
I consider cash flow the most important factor in my long-term rental strategy. I want every property to make money each month after paying all expenses. Finding these properties that are also a great deal is not easy, but if you want to change your life with massive returns, it is not easy! When I invest I look for a return of 15% cash on cash. That means I make 15% on the money I have invested into the property. These are very high returns and not everyone needs to make this much but it is what I shoot for.
When you have cash flow coming in every month, it does not matter if values decrease because you do not need to sell the property. While it is true that rents can decrease and lower your cash flow, that is very rare and was even very rare in the last housing crash. There were some areas like Florida and Arizona that were massively overbuilt that saw lower rents, but the nation as a whole barely saw any drop.
My cash flow calculator can help you figure the real income on rentals.
Type of property
The older the property, the better the chance of a major repair needing to be done. I have enough cash flow coming in to account for major repairs, but homes over 100 years old can have issues come up that could wipe out all equity. It is rare, but a foundation or structural problem can make a property uninhabitable and cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. By purchasing newer properties, I lessen the chances of running into repairs that could wipe out my profit for a year or even two.
Multifamily and commercial real estate can also carry more risk. Those types of properties are more complicated and have fewer buyers. I also buy multifamily and commercial properties but I am very careful what I buy and understand there will most likely be way more costs and exposure if the market changes.
If you buy properties that need a ton of work that can add to the risk as well. On my flips and rentals, the worst deals I have done were properties that needed massive remodels. It takes so much time, so many resources, and there is so much that can go wrong. It can also be risky trying to do all of that work yourself!
One of the most important things to have when investing in real estate is cash! If you buy rentals or flips that can be expensive at times. It is very important to set aside cash to take care of the problems that might come up. When I figure my cash flow I set aside money for vacancies and repairs. You need to have cash set aside in case something goes wrong and this is one of the biggest mistakes landlords make is not having cash around.
Ironically, getting a loan allows investors to have more cash in many cases. Paying down the mortgage early or trying to pay it off with all your extra cash can leave you in a bad situation. If you do pay a property off and need to access that money in an emergency it can be hard to get to without selling.
Another way to have problems with your rentals is to manage them poorly. Many people have no idea how to manage a rental but decide they can do it on their own. They choose a bad tenant after not screening them, then never check on the property, and are surprised when it gets trashed. If you are going to manage rentals on your own you have to take the time to learn how to manage them. You have to screen tenants, and keep tabs on the properties!
If you don’t want to manage them yourself, you can hire a property manager as well. It takes time to find a good property manager and this is where it takes from work from the landlord as well. Again, no one said owning rentals was easy, but there are many ways to make them a great investment if you are willing to put in the work.
Liability and damage
Another risk that comes with rental properties is natural disasters or liability from accidents. People can get hurt and can sue tenants or tornados can wipe your property off the earth. Both instances are rare, but they happen. To mitigate the liability side you can put your properties in an LLC or make sure you have the property insurance coverage like a landlord and umbrella policy. With these policies, if you have a tenant destroy property or need to be evicted, they can help cover those costs as well! Putting a property in an LLC can help with getting sued but is not foolproof.
It is important to make sure your insurance agent knows you are using the property as a rental so you have the right coverage. It might be cheaper to leave homeowners insurance on the property if you used to live there but that can cause problems down the road.
Risks that are tough to mitigate
There are some cases where a landlord does everything right but still has a massive loss. These are rare but can happen and just about any investment or simply living life comes with risks.
Meth or drug house: If someone is cooking meth or using meth in your house it can cause damage that insurance will not cover. You may have to make major repairs depending on how bad it is. These risks can be alleviated by good tenant screening and checking on the properties often. It is not always the case, but many drug houses we see have cameras all over. That can be a sign to check the house out more if you see cameras on your rental.
Floods: Not all floods are covered by insurance. You often need an additional rider or flood coverage. If you are in a flood zone the lender will require the additional coverage but if you pay cash or use private money you may not be required to have it. There is also the risk of a flood outside a flood zone. If the property has a risk of flooding it is important to talk to your insurance agent about additional coverage.
Why does everyone say rentals are risky?
I won’t tell you it is impossible to lose money investing in long-term rentals. It can easily happen if you don’t have a plan, have reserves, or are impatient. It is not easy to buy properties below market value with great cash flow. If it were easy investing in long-term rentals, everyone would be investing in real estate.
The reason so many people think rentals are risky is that they hear anecdotal stories. Stories are good for entertainment and drama but they don’t give the entire picture. “my cousins, aunts, friend, lost all their money when their rental was trashed!” They failed to tell us the person self-managed a property they used to live in from 4 states away and never once talked to the tenant in 3 years. Then they were surprised it was trashed. There are all kinds of stories but usually, you can find one of the main reasons above for why people lose money on rentals. Overall, real estate is one of the best ways to build wealth!
Don’t be scared to invest in rental properties
There are many people who have gotten rich and retired early by investing in long-term rentals. There is a lot of opportunity and many advantages to investing in real estate. Just because you can have some great rewards does not mean there is a massive risk. Some risk? Yes of course and the less you pay attention to your investment the riskier it will get!
You may have heard that in November 2021, inflation reached the highest rate in 30 years, but what does that mean, and how does it impact you? Let’s start with the basics.
Inflation is an economic phenomenon where the value of goods and services in an economy increases over time. Have you ever heard someone talking about how, back in the ’60s, you could get a Coke for a nickel? The reason why a soda now costs $2 is because of inflation—the relative value of money has gone down compared to the price of goods.
In general, there are two main types of inflation that economists care about. In this post, we’ll explain those two causes, explain factors that influence inflation, explore ways experts suggest we counteract inflation, and what you can do about it. But first, we’ll dive into the current causes of inflation and how they’re impacting your current buying power.
4 Main Causes of Inflation in Our Current Economy
In the last few months, you may have noticed that prices have been rising on everything from grocery items to gas, with consumer prices up 6.8% compared to this time last year. That’s the power of inflation. But what’s currently causing inflation and this undesirable strain on your wallet?
With respect to the current economy, there are a few causes of inflation:
1. Increase in the Money Supply:
An increase in the money supply is meant to help stimulate the economy by helping to put more money in the hands of consumers. While this might sound like a positive shift, it can actually have negative influences on the economy, like contributing to inflation.
The Federal Reserve has printed trillions of dollars over the last two years, which has contributed to the devaluation of U.S. currency and the high inflation rate we’re currently experiencing—and is being speculated to continue.
Not only that, but the money supply has increased faster than the rate of production, which contributes to shortages. And, with more money in circulation, consumers have more to spend—which in turn is spurring greater consumer demand.
However, with demand outpacing production, there are many shortages across the country.
2. Supply Chain Disruption:
Whether you’re in the grocery store or waiting for something to ship from overseas, you’ve likely been having a hard time getting ahold of certain goods in recent months. There are a few factors that are playing into this current issue.
First, during the height of the pandemic, many companies decreased output because consumers weren’t spending. However, they are now and companies have been trying to play catch up.
Pair that with the shortages in an all-around shortage of supplies to make certain goods, and it’s become a compounding issue.
And we haven’t even gotten to the traffic jams at the various ports throughout the country that have led to a massive amount of goods being stuck for long periods of time, sometimes months. With goods stuck at these ports and unable to be unloaded, it means that many shelves will continue to sit empty.
3. Overnment-Sponsored Unemployment:
In response to the spike in job losses we saw in 2020, there were increases and expansions to existing unemployment programs both on the state and federal level. While this may have helped get many people back on their feet, with many people unwilling to go back to work for previous wages—combined with concerns over health and safety—we’re now seeing long-term impacts that are affecting the current inflation.
The gist of the issue is that government-sponsored unemployment benefits pay workers not to work, which causes a shortage of workers. Ultimately, this leads to businesses having to raise wages above the unemployment benefits.
As such, businesses are having to pivot and restructure their approach to compensation and employment. While some businesses will be able to adapt to the demand for higher wages in order to ensure they have the staff they need to support their operations, many small businesses will not.
4. Poor Government Policies:
Bad government policies can impact inflation—most specific to our current circumstances are those regarding fossil fuels. If you have a car, you’ve likely seen gas prices rising over the last year.
While these policies need to be addressed, this isn’t a quick fix. U.S. oil production and refining have been down this year due to several causes including Hurricane Ida, which impacted oil supply. Pair that with oil-exporting countries not providing enough, and there are supply constraints on both sides of the equation.
With supply constraints and the current increase in demand for gasoline, prices don’t look to be coming back down in the near future.
Now that we have a better idea of what factors are contributing to inflation most recently, let’s take a look at inflation causes through a more generalized lens.
What Are the General Causes of Inflation?
It’s important to take the time to dive deeper into inflation as a whole so you can better understand how and why inflation occurs and how that plays into the economic impact consumers experience.
There are two broad, general causes of inflation. Each is also its own type of inflation and requires its own unique response from policymakers. The two main causes of inflation are:
Demand-pull inflation: Demand-pull inflation occurs in a strong economy. Incomes are increasing, people are being paid more, more people are at work, and they are demanding more goods and services. This decreases the total number of goods and services available—more people can afford the limited supply of existing goods and services. This, in turn, raises prices. In general, some demand-pull inflation is a sign of a functioning economy, as people are working and earning enough money to demand everything that’s produced.
Cost-push inflation: Cost-push inflation is caused by an increase in the cost of goods due to causes on the supply end. For example, if the costs of raw materials go up significantly, and businesses cannot keep up production of manufactured goods, this causes the manufactured goods sold at the market to be more expensive. Natural disasters, pandemics, and rising oil prices may all result in cost-push inflation, for example. Many different economic conditions can result in cost-push inflation, and it’s something policymakers may worry about, as cost-push inflation can be difficult to rein in.
We’ll go into more detail below about the typical causes of cost-push and demand-pull inflation. For more about inflation, check out the definition of inflation and our free inflation calculator here.
Causes of Demand-Pull Inflation
Demand-pull inflation happens whenever there’s an increase in the amount of goods and services that people want to purchase. Some of the most common causes of demand-pull inflation include:
Economic growth: As economies grow, and people have more money, they feel more confident in their ability to buy goods and services. This causes the costs of goods and services to increase, as a greater number of people can now afford a larger amount of scarce products.
The expectation of inflation: Sometimes, if enough people, especially large companies, expect inflation to come, they increase their prices in anticipation of coming inflation. This expectation itself then causes its own inflation.
Government spending: Some people believe that excessive government spending may cause inflation. For example, enhanced social benefits programs that supply people with the money they need to purchase essential goods they need to live may slightly increase consumer purchasing power. Additionally, some monetary policies, like printing more money to fund spending, may also contribute to inflation.
Increased demand for exports: When the demand for exports increases, this creates a complicated situation where the currencies involved in the exchange may both experience some inflation.
Causes of Cost-Push Inflation
Cost-push inflation occurs whenever the supply end of the production chain experiences cost increases. That includes situations like:
Raw material costs: Sometimes, the price for raw materials increases. For example, there may be a shortage of a certain type of metal that a computer manufacturer needs to produce computer chips. This will increase the cost of the consumer item, the computer, as the company will likely have to spend more money to obtain the metal they need. Increased prices for oil are another common example—when gas is more expensive, companies have to pay more to ship their products around, so they raise their prices.
Labor costs increase: If the price of labor goes up, the cost of the goods the labor is used to produce is likely to go up as well. For example, if workers are being underpaid, goods and services may have artificially low prices. Then, if workers organize for a fair or living wage, and the cost of labor goes up, goods and services may begin to cost more than the artificially suppressed price, causing inflation.
Unforeseen production obstacles: The goods and services we buy often have parts from all over the world, and require massive amounts of travel to arrive at our local stores. If there’s a drought in a country that supplies a certain crop to an American manufacturer, or a hurricane near an important port, or a pandemic that makes it dangerous for workers to labor in close proximity to each other, companies may face steep increases in the cost of production.
In addition to these two broad types of inflation, there are also many factors that can influence inflation. We’ll go over those next.
Factors That Can Influence Inflation
When policymakers and other experts are concerned about inflation, the following are some of the most common factors that they monitor:
Cost of production
If the cost of production increases, it’s likely that companies will also increase the cost of goods and services. As noted above, this is one of the causes of cost-push inflation.
Prices of goods
When the prices of goods go up (whether because of cost-push or demand-pull inflation), this is a sign that general inflation across the economy may be looming.
Demand for goods
If the demand for goods is increasing—for example, because there is low unemployment—it’s likely that the cost for goods will increase too, at least before production can catch up. That may spur some inflation.
Skilled labor availability
The availability of skilled labor is another potential cause of inflation. If labor necessary to produce certain products is scarce, then it’s likely the cost of those products will increase.
New technologies often cause disruptions to sectors of the economy. Depending on the way this goes, it may increase demand for certain products, may increase supply, or may increase costs somewhere along the supply chain. All of these factors can affect inflation.
Current money supply
The amount of money currently in circulation can also have an effect on the state of inflation. When there is more money in the economy, it may make the relative value of a unit of currency (like $1) go down. This is why some economists believe that printing more money to pay for government spending could result in inflation.
Counteracting the Effects of Inflation
A little bit of inflation is normal in most economies, but rapid inflation can be detrimental to society, as people can no longer afford many of the goods and services that they rely on. This leads many economists and policy analysts to wonder what inflation’s causes are, and how its adverse effects can be stopped.
The ways that governments can counteract the effects of inflation vary depending on the type of inflation that’s occurring, and the factors that are causing it. Economists are also not in agreement about the best ways to approach inflation. It’s an area that still needs a lot more study.
That’s not particularly helpful when you’re facing high rates of inflation in the present moment. However, that doesn’t mean you’re a sitting duck completely at the mercy of the economy.
As an individual, there are steps you can take to ensure that your money isn’t being adversely affected by inflation:
Invest when you can. Money sitting in a savings account is, because of inflation, slowly losing purchasing power. If you start investing in the stock market, bonds, or other high-yield options, you can offset the effects of inflation (while also incurring other risks). Investing in property, like a home, can also be an effective way to offset inflation, as property often appreciates in value over time.
Ask for a raise. If you haven’t received a raise in months or years, it’s possible that your real rate of pay has decreased. That’s because, as inflation goes up, your monthly paycheck may not go as far. Working for and asking for raises to meet inflation is one way you can offset its effects.
Organize your workplace. If you and your coworkers have not received raises, it may be time to think about workplace organizing. By banding together with your coworkers and committing to deny your labor until your wages are increased, you can secure a higher wage and offset the effects of inflation.
According to the Joint Economic Committee, prices are increasing at a faster pace right now than they have in decades, which is increasing concerns over inflation. While there’s no real emergency, now’s as good a time as any to take proactive measures.
Plan for the Future with Mint
If you’re curious how your income, debts, investment tracking, and more are stacking up against inflation, there’s one way to keep track: Mint. The Mint app lets you plan for your future by aggregating all your different financial info into one convenient place. Sign up now and download the app for free today and get a bird’s eye view of your finances, so you can plan for whatever the future holds, inflation or not!
Sources: NPR | U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | Joint Economic Committee
Remember how we talked about the importance of committing because of later temptations? Here’s where that comes into play.
By automating your payments, you’ll be less tempted to reduce the amount when your minimum payment goes down — sort of an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality.
And don’t limit yourself to credit card offers. Using a personal loan to pay off multiple cards has the same effect.
Before you reach the end of a zero-interest period, start looking for other offers that allow you to transfer your balance so you can avoid getting socked with the new higher interest rate on your old card.
What Is the Debt Lasso Method?
Auten and Schneider should know: They started their own debt lasso journey with ,000 in credit card debt. After years of poor financial choices, the couple was sitting on the floor of their basement apartment when they realized that their debt would never allow them to buy a house or enjoy life the way their friends were.
Who Should Use the Debt Lasso?
Decide on an amount greater than your total minimum monthly payments that you can reliably put toward your debt every month.
So if you have ,000 in credit card debt and your gross income (before taxes and other deductions are taken out) is ,000, you’re a good candidate for the debt lasso. But if you have ,000 in credit card debt with the same salary, you may want to seek other assistance to help you pay off your credit card debt.
We’ll look at all the pieces, but let’s first decide if the debt lasso method can help you.
And if you’re wondering when you’ll reach the end of your debt lasso, they include a calculator on debtlasso.com to help you figure out how long it will take to pay off credit cards based on your interest rates and debt amounts.
Stop using your credit cards. No exceptions.
How the Debt Lasso Method Works
To determine if the debt lasso method is right for you, start by adding up how much you owe in credit card debt. Then compare that total debt to your annual income. If your debt is less than half of your income, the debt lasso method could work for you.
After you’ve paid down a portion of your balance, your credit card company tells you that your new minimum payment is only . Yay! But that doesn’t mean you now have to spend — you should continue paying 0 each month, sending even more money toward your principal balance.
Saving your cash for now will let you build an emergency fund in case you do lose income. And if it turns out that you end up with an extra nest egg, consider it a bonus payment as you return to the debt lasso method.
Start with the easy wins by paying off any credit cards that have low enough balances to knock out in less than six months.
You can still benefit from the lasso method by negotiating a lower interest rate with your current credit card company or transferring the balance to a card with a substantially lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying.
But if you have a less-than-stellar credit score, those offers may be tough to come by. Don’t give up.
Remember that you’ve committed to not using your credit cards (see Step #1). So hold onto the ones you’ve paid off. Why?
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Developed by David Auten and John Schneider, also known as the Debt Free Guys, the debt lasso method involves corralling your high-interest debt into a low-interest one so you can pay down the principal balance more quickly — and for less money.
You may have multiple credit cards, but we’ll keep the example simple with one card: When you began your debt lasso journey, your minimum monthly payment was , so you committed to paying 0 on your credit card — 0 extra each month.
Time to saddle up.
So they made a two-part commitment — which you’ll also need to do if you want to use the debt lasso method:
You cannot successfully use the debt lasso method unless you’re willing to commit.
Automating your minimum monthly payments for all but your lassoed credit card will allow you to focus on paying off one debt at a time. But automating your payments can do even more to help.
But if you fall somewhere in between, the lasso could help you pay off debt in a shorter amount of time and with less interest.
Compared to the average rate on credit cards, which was 17.13% in the third quarter of 2021, personal loans offered a better deal at 9.39%, according to the Federal Reserve.
If the debt avalanche and snowball methods leave you feeling a bit cold when you think of all the interest you’ll end up paying, consider the debt lasso method.
This is no time to put your debt payment strategy out to pasture. Monitoring your accounts is an important last step, as those credit card rates can run wild if left unattended.
Each time you pay off one credit card, put your money toward paying off the next highest balance.
“That was our particular rock-bottom moment, realizing that here we were in this financial and literal hole,” Schneider said.
Although opening new accounts could temporarily hurt your credit score, Auten and Schneider emphasized that the long-term benefits of paying off debt faster can help counteract that effect. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder who is fully committed to corny puns. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.
“If you do get an offer and then you end up not being able to make your payments, then you could get stuck with an interest rate that’s 25 to 30%,” Auten said.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
Although it may be tempting to pay every dime toward your debt, don’t drain your emergency fund when practicing the debt lasso method.
The early victory not only offers a psychological benefit but also helps your credit score.
If you’ve read about other debt payoff methods, you might be wondering if the lasso method is just a balance transfer. Auten and Schneider get that question a lot.
Ready to wrangle in that credit card debt?
Maintaining those credit lines will decrease your credit utilization, which accounts for approximately 30% of your credit score. And the higher your credit score, the better position you’ll be in when you’re ready to lasso.
Want to learn more? Auten and Schneider told us all about the debt lasso, including who it can help the most — and who shouldn’t use it.
Credit card agreements often include a clause in the fine print that allows them to raise your interest rates if you miss a payment during the zero-interest offer period. Some will even sneak in the right to recoup any money you saved previously during the promotional period at the new interest rate.
The takeaway lesson: Read the fine print.
Who Should NOT Use the Debt Lasso Method — For Now
A word of warning: If you’re in an industry where you could be furloughed or laid off suddenly, you should probably hold your horses — and your cash.
If you have a good or excellent credit score, finding a zero-interest offer where you can transfer your highest interest credit card debt should be your goal.
Committing to the process is essential, Auten and Schneider said, as it will help you later when you may be tempted to stray off course.
If you still have additional higher interest balances, prioritize paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate first.
You also might not benefit from taking up the lasso if you can realistically pay off your credit card debt in six months, since the associated fees (typically 3% to 5% of the amount being transferred) could cost you more than you’d save by taking advantage of a lower interest rate.
“The reality is that a central piece of the process is doing some sort of consolidation — whether that’s a balance transfer to a zero-interest credit card or a low-interest loan,” Auten said. “But a lot of people forget those first two pieces and the last two pieces.”
A card that doesn’t have a balance means you have more available credit, thus helping improve your credit score. And a higher credit score will help you get approved for another zero-interest credit card.
Putting all of the extra money toward your card with the highest interest rate will help you pay the least amount of interest over time. And that’s where the last step becomes crucial.
Related Posts Whichever offer you take, transfer or pay off as many balances as you can using your lower interest rate. Ready to ride off into the debt-free sunset? Whoa there, pard’ner. Remember: You have to follow each step.
“To get you from 20% to 25% down to a 9% to 15% — that’s a great first step,” Schneider said.
But true personal shoppers are more likely to purchase clothing and accessories than groceries. A personal shopper often finds items and then sends photos and descriptions to the person who hired them to get approval.
A security guard who does not carry a weapon serves as a presence to discourage inappropriate behavior. While many large businesses like Target or Wal-Mart hire security personnel from a service, small employers such as charitable or service organizations are likely to hire someone who is reliable and gives the appearance of authority.
You are more likely to work on an hourly wage determined by your experience and amount of work you are required to perform. There are also job firms that provide virtual assistants; you can sign on with them and accept work as it is offered to you. School bus drivers can earn up to per hour. They have regular hours with the opportunity to earn extra for field trips or outings. Some states require a specific license (a Commercial Drivers License, or CDL, for example) or require you to pass a test to qualify.
Hourly pay for security guards without weapons training is likely to be between and . Night-time security guards are likely to make more than daytime ones.
Plan on some up-front costs, such as a portable bar (if the host doesn’t have one) and basic bar tools. The host is expected to supply the alcohol and mixers. And to protect against possible liability you might want to consider an annual liability policy.
18 Part-time Jobs for Retirees
Many small or civic organizations cannot afford, nor do they truly need, a full-time bookkeeper or accounting service. They are not in it for the money. Often, they are charitable or non-profit organizations. But they need occasional bookkeeping, often with an eye towards tax advantages.
Recent news reports indicate there are many job openings for school bus drivers.
There are no actual nanny or babysitter licenses or certifications in the United States, but many families require that nannies be bonded, which is a guarantee of service. It is a protection against someone failing to show up for work; one such failure forfeits the bond and that area of work is no longer available to that nanny.
1. Substitute Teaching
If you can memorize lots of cocktail recipes, if you have an outgoing personality and a steady hand, and if you’re willing to cut people off if needed, this could be a fit for you. Your best bet might be starting out tending bar for people you know and then building a network of referrals.
Some high-end clothing stores offer personal shopper services as well. These positions might be a little less “personal,” as they might be a one-day relationship. But the concept is the same.
Security guards who carry weapons require special training and weapons licensing, and is an entirely different job pursuit, perhaps not as well-suited to a retirement job.
Many people reach so-called retirement age and are in no way done with being productive. Many continue in freelance jobs and part-time gigs, whether in a brick-and mortar setting, from home, or even outdoors.
2. School Support
A part-time bookkeeper job often requires simple financial recordkeeping or upkeep of other financial records. Part-time bookkeepers are usually former accountants or have experience as a bookkeeper. They may be asked to track invoices, but most companies use financial services for paychecks.
You have a good head for numbers. You are in charge of your own finances, and you perhaps worked in an accounting role at a previous job.
While “retirement income’’ or “retirement job” might seem like oxymorons, they are a more reasonable pursuit today than in years past due to advancing life expectancies and improved health among older citizens.
Depending on the particulars of the job, a commercial driver’s license might be required. Different states have different laws regarding licensing for shuttle bus drivers. A different license might be required if the bus holds a certain number of people or is a particular weight. Your state motor vehicle website will tell you what’s required in your state, and any potential employer will know, too. Freelance bartending doesn’t require bartending school and can earn you good money working at large events or small, private parties. Hourly pay for freelance bartenders can be anywhere from to even before tips.
4. School Bus Driver
According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for a freelance writer is a bit over , but you are often paid by assignment or by word, so the pay varies. If you have knowledge in certain topics like science and medicine, the pay can be higher.
As of this writing, Ziprecruiter showed more than 34,000 virtual assistant jobs, suggesting that a virtual assistant could make up to ,000 a year, depending on the work required.
Pay is often dependent on the age of the players and the competitive level of the organization, but officials are likely to make at least per game. At higher levels where certification is required, you can earn 0 per game.
5. Shuttle Bus Driver
There are dozens of different types of shuttle bus driver jobs. Most hotels have shuttles to and from airports. Senior citizen homes, churches and community centers often offer shuttles to shopping areas or grocery stores. Hourly pay for shuttle bus drivers can average above per hour, and that’s not including tips from satisfied riders. Like school bus drivers, shuttle bus drivers have regular hours. Source: thepennyhoarder.com
6. Conducting Tours
Most of the examples here require your physical presence on-site, but there are remote jobs, too, such as virtual assistant and customer service work that can be done from the comfort of your home.
Child care might be a bit of a political football these days, but rarely has it been more necessary. Single parents or two-parent families that require or want two incomes are likely to need child care, and that could take the form of a nanny or frequent babysitter.
These positions can be part- or full-time, and they pay well. So if you plan to collect Social Security benefits, make sure to check how your wage impacts your benefits.
Many seasonal jobs are defined by the weather, which is defined by the time of year and the climate where you live. Seasonal jobs are popular, never go out of style (except when the season changes), and can actually be a fun job to look forward to.
Most school districts have lenient requirements for substitute teachers, often requiring just a bachelor’s degree with no teaching experience.
Craigslist or neighborhood job sites are great ways to search for these positions, but your best bet is to work with your personal network. Let people know that you would be willing to work as a nanny or frequent babysitter, and, with the proper recommendation, you could have a very gratifying retirement job.
7. Patient Advocate
The job of a patient advocate is to assist someone who is struggling to cope with the healthcare system. A patient advocate deals with paperwork and appointments, and communicates with healthcare providers to get information on diagnosis, treatment and followup procedures.
As such, typical hourly pay is as a call center representative. Personal shoppers who go after groceries or staples are likely to make typical hourly pay of to . Those who work for a service are likely on a wage or salary determined by the service rather than by the client.
Being a patient advocate does not require any particular educational degree, but it is possible to become certified in this role.
8. Child Care Provider
The job is likely to include more than just driving, however. You may be asked to supervise students on the bus, and you may be called upon to discipline rowdy students or those who are making the trip unsafe. A tolerance for children of all ages is probably an important requirement.
If you have an advance degree, you may also qualify to be an adjunct instructor at a community college or four-year university. Kent McDill is a veteran journalist who has specialized in personal finance topics since 2013. He is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Virtual assistants are independent contractors who offer business services virtually. Those services can include website management, website design, marketing assistance, social media postings, blog writing, email correspondence or any number of clerical duties that can be carried out with a computer and phone. This kind of work is often well-suited to flexible hours.
For between and an hour, you can earn money pet-sitting in a home or, if the pet happens to be a dog, you can walk the animal. Pet-sitting is a good job for retirees who want to work outdoors without a lot of physical requirements other than being able to walk while pulling or being pulled.
While there are occasional situations where someone needs a one-off writing assignment, freelance writer jobs often offer consistent, if sporadic, work. A retiree who can write could have a client for years. Check out this Penny Hoarder article on 18 places hiring freelance writers.
Looking for a fun part-time side gig? Here’s how you can earn money visiting theme parks as a Disney nanny.
9. Virtual Assistant
Any task that can be done virtually via computer is likely to be requested by a virtual assistant. Firms would rather pay a freelancer than an employee to do the work.
Pet sitter/walker is also a good line of work to get into because one job can lead to another. Pet owners tend to concentrate around each other, and they will give recommendations to other pet owners about a reliable person who can watch Fido or Fluffy while they are on vacation.
Ski resorts in the winter and water parks in the summer are two great examples of places that require seasonal employees. It is not necessary to be a ski instructor or a lifeguard, either. These places require assistance in areas outside of their main purpose: security, transportation, customer service. Even the National Park Service hires seasonal temps.
Businesses, organizations and sites that host tours come in many shapes and sizes, from historical sites to museums, from outdoor walking tours to behind-the-scene workplace tours. They can be an everyday part of a business or scheduled by appointment. What they all have in common? A tour leader.
The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home Jobs Portal makes the remote-job hunt easy. Our journalists scour the web for the best gigs, vet the companies and aggregate the latest listings in one place. Nannies are likely to make an hour on average. Babysitter earnings vary widely by affluence of the neighborhood. Check out The Penny Hoarder’s tips on how to get paid up to an hour babysitting.
While high-level programs require officials to get licensed or certified, lower-level and youth group programs require just a basic knowledge of the rules. Look around your community for sports leagues in need of umpires or referees.
A babysitter sits in a home with a child or children. A nanny is responsible for getting children to day care or other activities; they are a substitute parent in many cases.
11. Umpire and Referee
If you are going to house-sit the animal, you will likely get paid more for also keeping an eye on the property while the owner is away.
Substitute teachers have never been more valuable than today. Covid has increased the chances that a teacher might be out of the classroom either awaiting test results or recuperating. When that happens, their students need someone to teach — and that could be you.
Although freelance writers no longer provide articles — it’s called content now — freelance writing is a gig that can offer the freedom to accept the assignments you want. There are firms that will connect freelance writers to people or companies in need of blogs, resumes, cover letters, marketing content and more.
This is a good job for retirees who do not mind a bit of boredom.
12. Pet Sitter and Dog Walker
If you are interested in online tutoring, there are many good paying gigs out there. Match your skills to the openings.
So let’s get to work, shall we?
To be successful, you need to be ready to deal with a room full of 20 or so children of varying ages. But it could pay off. School districts in Chicago, for example, pay as much as 0 a day for a full day of work.
This is a classic retirement job that gets you out of the house, allows you to have contact with neighbors, and lets you provide security and safety with another set of adult eyes on the children.
13. Freelance Writer
These jobs require knowledge about the subject and the ability to tell a good story — often while walking backwards.
Competitive sports programs need officials for their games. Baseball, basketball, soccer and football all have leagues at various ages that need officiating. Depending on where you live, the work can be constant. If you get certified for multiple sports, you can work all weekend long and often during the week.
Some stores hold hiring events in October to fill these positions, but they often continue searching for employees throughout the final three months of the year.
14. Call Center Worker
Most schools are always looking for crossing guards, recess supervisors and other positions. A call to your local elementary, middle or high school could lead you to a good retirement job that would fit your schedule. Even better is searching online for jobs at your school district. This will give you a range of what’s out there.
Who even knows what “retired’’ means anymore?
This is a perfect retirement job if you have a sports background and the ability to withstand criticism.
15. Freelance Bartender
Another idea for animal lovers is pet transporting. If you’ve got a reliable set of wheels and like to drive, getting pets from here to there from owners, maybe be the side gig for you.
Taking classes in CPR or other emergency response techniques, which offer certifications upon completion, can improve your chances of being hired.
Is it the shopping or the buying that you enjoy? If it’s the shopping, then you might consider becoming someone’s personal shopper.
16. Personal Shopper
As much as this is a remote job, it is definitely a people-person retirement job. You are likely to be talking to someone who is upset or unhappy, and you are the first line of communication for the company you are representing. You need to be capable of being friendly and helpful in the face of unpleasant conversation.
Tour guide is one of those jobs that, when you see someone doing it, you think, “Well, I could do that too!”
To be a personal grocery shopper, you probably need only have been in a grocery store from time to time. To be a high-end personal shopper, a knowledge of the fashion industry and current fashions is going to get you better clients.
Remember when you had a summer job as a teenager or a part-time job during your winter break from college? The same logic can work when you’re thinking about some extra retirement income.
The job title describes the job. You are given a shopping list and the means to make the purchase, and you chase after the items.
The responsibilities of a security guard depend on the needs of the company being guarded. There may be requirements that go beyond just being a presence, but the differences depend on the needs of the company.
As you browse these possible jobs for retirees, keep in mind one warning: If you are collecting Social Security, you can only earn a certain amount each month before your benefits are reduced.
Got what it takes to be a mystery shopper? We’ve rounded up four companies that are hiring retail sleuths.
17. Security Guard
There are hundreds of tutoring companies in the U.S. who work with kids of all ages to enhance their school education or prepare for college entrance exams. If you sign up with one, they’ll match you with work and you won’t need to market yourself as a tutor.
You might have left the career you had in the 40-hour-a-week workforce. But now you don’t exactly want to be glued to your couch watching puppy videos. You want to be active, you want to work, and you want to make a little money to support your fun retirement plans.
Also included in seasonal work are holiday positions during the months of October-December. On-site customer service, truck unloading, shelving of new goods, and custodial services are among the positions for which big box stores are likely to need employees. For example in 2021, we tallied more than 1 million seasonal jobs at national retailers and delivery services.
The average salary for a part-time bookkeeper is around per hour.
This could be a dream job for someone who knows the topic well and likes to retell stories about history, natural science or architecture (among many other possibilities).
18. Seasonal Worker
The hourly pay for these companies ranges from about to . Requirements often are limited to a bachelor’s degree, although exam-prep work might require a recent ACT or SAT test score, or might require you to retake the exam for verbal or math instruction.
Tour guides make an average base salary of per hour. Plus, they are often offered tips by tour participants.
Certainly, many people already have personal shoppers and don’t know it. When they contact a grocery store and provide an itemized list of goods they want, someone does the “shopping,” and the items are then delivered.
If this appeals to you, don’t overlook a special area of knowledge you’ve developed during all those years in the workplace. Know a lot about the manufacturing industry? Maybe you’re just the person to lead tours at a cheese factory.
Writing skills rarely diminish, but the requirements for writing change over time. A knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is going to open more doors. Many jobs that use job search websites like Indeed ask for candidates to take a writing test, but many of those are simple grammar or proofreading tests.
There are plenty of ways to bring in some extra money to augment pension, social security, or other retirement funds. We’ve rounded up 18 ideas for good jobs for retirees that offer part-time opportunities, flexible hours, or both.
Just to be clear, we are talking about taking calls from customers, not making calls. A call center representative answers incoming calls from customers or potential customers and either answers questions or sends the caller to someone else who can answer. Advocates might also be asked to work with insurance companies to understand coverage and costs. Many are asked to help a client obtain assistance with financial or legal issues. The range of duties can be as varied as the patient’s needs.
Maybe it was an unexpected dental procedure, or a tax bill you didnât plan for, or a car repair that came out of nowhere.
Whatever the reason, if you need money quickly, a personal loan can deliver it.
As you shop for a personal loan to solve your short-term problem, look for loan terms that wonât hurt your long-term financial life.
7 Best Personal Loans & Lenders for 2020
Online lending has opened a new world of personal loan options.Â
Not that long ago we had just a couple of legitimate choices:
Your Local Bank or Credit Union: You can usually borrow money at a decent fixed interest rate at your neighborhood bank or credit union. The downside: Youâd need to make an appointment or at least spend an hour or two on the phone.
A Credit Card: Itâs hard to beat the convenience of a credit card, but the interest rates, late fees, and over-the-limit charges can make this option too volatile.
We still have these two options, and sometimes they can get the job done. But we also have scores of online lenders that compete to give you installment loans with more competitive interest rates. You can also finalize loans and receive money more quickly online.
Here are some of the best personal loan choices:
Credible Personal Loans
Iâm starting here because Credible isnât a lender. Itâs a way to connect with and compare a variety of lenders, including several from lower on this list. To start the process, youâll submit Credibleâs initial application which generates up to six loan offers.
This initial process will run a soft check of your credit score which shouldnât hurt your score the way a hard check can. If you like one of the offers, you can complete the next steps to apply for the loan which will, of course, result in a hard credit check.
Pros & Cons of Credible Personal Loans
An efficient way to compare loan offers
Fast and easy application process
Many quality participating lenders
Not for people with credit scores below 640
Could result in unwanted phone calls from lenders
LendingClub Personal Loans
I was an early fan of LendingClub back in 2007, and I still recommend this trailblazer in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market.
Rather than using bank funds, P2P lenders finance your loan with money from investors. Youâll still have to go through an application process, but LendingClub has opened new doors to people who donât want to borrow from a bank.
Loan Amount: LendingClubâs maximum loan amount is $40,000. You can repay the money in terms ranging from three to five years.Â
Costs: Interest rates typically range from 7 to 36 percent depending on your qualifications. The higher your qualifications, the lower your rate.
LendingClub continues to evolve. It now has debt consolidation loans and allows for co-signers which lets more people borrow.
Pros & Cons of LendingClub Personal Loans
Credit scores of 600 can get approval
New co-sign option lets more people borrow
Debt consolidation loans available
No prepayment fee
Loan origination fees (1% of loan)
Check processing fee ($7)
Payoff Personal Loans
As the name indicates, Payoff Personal Loans specializes in debt consolidation, helping you pay off other debts. You can potentially save money by having fewer loans and paying a lower interest rate.
The payoff isnât a good option for people with shaky credit, though.Â
Youâd need a score of 650 to 660 — and a few years of credit history on your report — to get approval at a decent interest rate. So donât wait until youâve already fallen behind on your other debts to consolidate with Payoff.
Loan Amounts: Eligible borrowers can get up to $35,000 to pay off other lenders such as credit cards, auto loans, or other personal loans.
Interest Rates: Loans range from about 6 to 25 percent depending on your borrowing credentials.
Pros & Cons of Payoff Personal Loans
No late or check processing fees
No prepayment penalty
See interest rate without a hard credit check
Not for people with shaky credit
A loan origination fee of 2% to 5%
Applicants with rocky credit histories appreciate PersonalLoans.com because the site lends to people with credit scores as low as 580.
Loan Amount: You could borrow up to $35,000 on a six-year (72-month) payback plan through PersonalLoans.com. Spreading money across six years can lead to lower monthly payments.
Interest Rates: This sounds like a friendly situation, but remember youâll pay higher interest — up to 36 percent — if you have a lower credit score, and the interest can increase your monthly loan payment significantly.
Pros & Cons of PersonalLoans.com
Available to credit scores 580+
Easy-to-use online application
Up to 72-month term loans
Access money within a day
Wide range of interest rates (5.9%-35.99%)
Uses a third-party lender
Prosper Personal Loans
Many borrowers like the way Prosper Personal Loans gives them a platform to share why they need to borrow money. This opportunity comes during the application process to this P2P lender. You can use this platform to appeal directly to the investors who would be funding your loan.
Of course, the numbers will tell their story, too: Youâd need at least a 640 credit score to get funding, and Prosperâs rates range from 6.9 to 35.99 percent APR.
Loan Amount: If you qualify, you could borrow up to $40,000 with payments spread over three to five years.
Interest Rates: Prosper also offers a wide range of rates, from 6.9 to 35.99 percent.
Pros & Cons of Prosper Personal Loans
Soft credit check to see terms
No prepayment penalties
Fast and efficient service
Higher interest for lower credit scores
Origination fee can reach 5%
Late fee is steep ($15 or 5% of payment, whichever is higher)
SoFi Personal Loans
SoFi has become a standard in student loan consolidation, but the lender also has personal, unsecured loans for non-academic borrowing.
SoFi stands out because the lender does not focus exclusively on an applicantâs credit score. This can be misleading because youâd still need a 680 or higher to get a loan.
But SoFi will not deny a loan if you have a short credit history as many lenders do. Instead, this P2P lender will consider your career and earning potential. In this way, SoFi can be a good fit for young professionals starting new careers.
SoFi calls its borrowers âmembersâ and hosts social gatherings in major cities for members which can lead to networking opportunities.
Loan Amounts: SoFi will lend up to $100,000 which is significantly higher than most online lenders.
Interest Rates: SoFiâs rates range from 5.75 to about 17 percent.
Pros & Cons of SoFi Personal Loans
Larger loan amounts (up to $100,000)
Good for someone with a short or thin credit history
Flexibility to change due dates
No loan origination fee
Funding can take up to 7 business days
680 or higher credit score required
LendingTree Personal Loans
I started this list with Credible, an aggregator, and Iâll conclude it with a nod to another aggregator.Â LendingTree helped establish one-stop shopping for loans back in 1998, and the service has continued to lead the industry.
Like Credible, LendingTree turns one application into loan offers from a variety of lenders. Youâll still need to assess each offer on its own merits, but LendingTree can save you a lot of legwork.
Pros & Cons of LendingTree Personal Loans
Efficient way to shop
Trusted leader in the field
Can send too many loan solicitationsÂ
Other Personal Loan Options to Consider
My list of best personal loan providers above includes most well-known lenders. Youâve probably heard of most of them already.
Below Iâm including a list of lesser-known options that have gotten my attention for various reasons. Most of these are loan matching services with P2P funding sources.
AmOne has been around 20 years and has about a million customers. I like the companyâs versatility. It can handle all sorts of borrowing needs, including personal loans.
Amounts: Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000.
Interest rates: Youâll find a wide range, but highly qualified borrowers should get competitive rates.Â
Fiona provides another loan-matching service similar to Credible or LendingTree. The service hasnât been around long, but itâs growing quickly by partnering with a lot of the lenders on this list.
Fiona works quickly — many applicants have funds within a business day.
Yet another loan shopping service, Monevo stands out because of its speed and its high loan amounts. You could borrow $100,000 through the site.
I like the siteâs simplicity and its large volume of partnering lenders which means a wider variety of borrowers can benefit.
Federal Trust partners with Fiona, which I listed above, to match loan shoppers with potential lenders.Â
You could borrow up to $100,000, and with such a wide variety of lenders in their network, Federal Trust can find competitive rates for eligible borrowers.
I also like Federal Trustâs option of a seven-year installment loan for someone who needs to keep loan payments as low as possible.
Will A Personal Loan Work For You?
Yes, personal loans can help get you out of a tough financial spot. But theyâll also cost you money for months or years, depending on how long you need to pay back the loan.Â
It goes without saying: You should always look for the lowest, fixed interest rates when borrowing.Â
Here are some other ways to save money when you borrow:
Look for Shorter-Term Loans: Monthly payments will be higher with shorter-term loans, but youâll pay less money over the life of the loan. If you can afford the higher payments, go with a shorter-term loan.
Avoid Fees: Even if youâre getting a lower interest rate, be sure the lender isnât compensating by charging high origination fees or punitive late fees that could eclipse your savings on interest.Â
Pay it Off Early: Look for a loan with no prepayment penalty, but even if you would incur a prepayment fee, consider whether this fee would exceed the interest youâd be paying over the life of your loan.Â
Avoid Borrowing: Maybe this isnât the time or place, but as a financial advisor I have to say it: If you can save up an emergency fund, you may be able to avoid borrowing in the first place. I recommend having at least three months of income in reserve. Then you can borrow from yourself in an emergency. Maybe itâs too late to save for the current emergency, but this is something to think about when life gets back under control.
Wherever you borrow — online or at a neighborhood bank — try to look out for your future as well as your present financial situation.
The post Best Personal Loans for 2020 appeared first on Good Financial CentsÂ®.
Saving money helps create a sense of stability and control over your finances, especially as you get older. From being able to invest in your future to spotting the spending habits that eat away at your money every month, there are only benefits to learning practical and easy ways to save your money. Keep reading for some money-saving tips that will turn you into the financially savvy person you want to be, or jump to the section that’s most helpful for you:
1. Create a Budget
The first place to start when trying to learn how to save money is to assess how much you really have and where that money is going. Think about using the 50/30/20 rule to create a budget. The 50/30/20 rule states that 50 percent of your income should go to essentials like rent and food, 20 percent should go toward savings, and 30 percent should go to personal expenses like entertainment.
2. Track Your Spending
You may be surprised about where your money is going. Keep a record of what you spend to see how small expenses take away from your monthly savings. You may not think that coffee every once in a while impacts your ability to save money, but seeing the sum of your purchases may change your mind.
3. Make a Plan
Breaking your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable milestones for the month and year can help you save better. With an understanding of how to properly save money in the short term, you can plan how much you need to be saving to set yourself up for success in the future.
4. Automatically Save Money
If you’re used to manually transferring money into your accounts, you may be forgoing potential money savings altogether. Try having a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited to a savings account to keep you contributing consistently.
5. Use the 30-Day Rule for Saving Money
When you want to make a large purchase, think about it first. Write down what it is and how much it costs, and if after 30 days you still feel it’s necessary, purchase it. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to dip into your savings to make the purchase, you should wait a little longer until you save more money.
6. Consider Accounts and Equities
You should always thoroughly research your options or talk to a professional financial advisor before making any riskier investment moves. You may want to be aware of certain accounts that gain interest on your money through equities that will help you save more money every year. While things like stocks, mutual funds, and certificates of deposit shouldn’t be your only form of savings, they may provide attractive returns on your investment over time.
7. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage
You may find that you can save money over time by changing the rate of your mortgage. Making beneficial adjustments to your mortgage rate, you could have thousands over year over year and put more money back into your pockets every month. Remember to talk to a financial advisor before signing any major financial contracts.
8. Avoid Debt
Pay off your credit cards every month to keep your debt from piling up. If possible, avoid going into debt in the first place by spending within your limits and keeping your credit card at home. Without a large credit card bill to pay off every month, you may be able to start saving money over time for a large purchase you’ve had on your mind.
9. Build an Emergency Fund
Some experts recommend setting aside six months’ worth of living expenses in case of emergencies. Save your money to create a padding that can help you avoid going into debt if you ever lose your job or have to pay unforeseen medical expenses.
10. Create a Savings for Retirement
One of the best savings tips we can give you is to save for your retirement. Some experts recommend saving at least 15 percent of your income each year. Determine how much you’ll need and break that down by decades to make sure you’re hitting your goals over time.
11. Switch to a Cheaper Phone Plan
With the prevalence of Wi-Fi hotspots, the standard smartphone owner today only uses 4.5 gigabytes of data per month on average. Interestingly, most service providers’ cheapest data plan provides more than that. Track how much data you’re actually using and stop paying for services you don’t need, allowing you to save more money every month.
12. Time Major Purchases Around Sale Periods
Because demand fluctuates by the season for certain items, you can time your big buys to rake in the money savings. For example, October, November, and December can be a great time to buy a car because dealerships want to meet end-of-year quotas.
13. Use Coupons for Money Savings
Not just in newspapers and junk ads anymore, coupons are available on company websites and apps, making them a convenient and easy way to save money when shopping. Before you go out shopping, check your phone or computer and increase your savings.
14. Plan Your Groceries
Making a list of what food you’ll need for the week is one of the things you can do to save more money. Keep in mind what meals you can make from the ingredients, and don’t buy anything that isn’t on your list.
Meal planning is another great option that can help you save money and time while making it easier for you to eat healthy. Use Mint’s grocery budget calculator if you need help determining a reasonable budget for your trips to the store.
15. Lower Your Utility Bills
Evaluate whether or not you’re being as conservative as you can with your utilities. Some quick tips to save money on your bills include:
Insulating your windows with bubble wrap
Unplugging appliances you’re not using
Turning the faucet off when done using the sink
16. Share Entertainment
Similar to saving tips like swapping clothes, another one of the small ways to save money is asking your friends to split monthly streaming fees for subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Apple Music.
17. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Many of the exercises you do at the gym can be done at home with a bit of creativity. Some money-saving techniques for those who want to prioritize their health on a budget include:
Watching YouTube tutorials for ideas about home workouts
Going for a run in your neighborhood
Swimming laps at your community pool
18. Carpool to Work or School
One of the easiest ways to save money on commute expenses is by creating a carpool spreadsheet at work to see if anyone lives near you who you can swap rides with. If you have kids, enlisting nearby parents or friends’ parents to help lighten the burden of the school drop-off lines is a great way to save money on gas every month.
19. Buy Used
If you love money-saving deals, local thrift stores and online auction sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace offer everything from clothes to electronics at stellar discounts. You can get slightly used high-quality items at a fraction of the cost of their newer counterparts.
20. Think Twice About Sales
While some stores are great at offering money-saving deals that help keep more dollars in your pocket, there’s no sale that’s going to cost you less than not buying the item at all. When thinking about buying something, ask yourself if you would have bought the item if it were full price, and if the answer is no, skip it.
21. Buy Generic
A great way to save more while shopping is not allowing name-brand medicines and foods to influence you. If you can’t detect any difference in quality, you don’t necessarily need to buy the name brand.
22. Use the 24-Hour Rule for Saving Money
This is similar to the 30-day rule, but designed to help with saving your money on less expensive purchases. Wait a day before buying a small item and you may find you don’t want it after all.
23. Go to the Library
Some people don’t realize that going to the library is a great way to save money if you need something to entertain you. Many offer movies and games in addition to books, as well as free events and readings for kids on a regular basis.
24. Eat In
Eating in is one of the best ways to save money every month. And fortunately for you, if cooking at home isn’t the most appetizing thing in the world, there are plenty of ways to make it fun and appealing, such as:
Cooking new recipes
Setting up a picnic
Simple meal prepping
25. Designate No-Spend Days
Challenge yourself and your family to go one day a week without buying anything, from your morning coffee to a movie ticket. You’ll learn to save better by reducing your spending and becoming more aware of how frequently you make small purchases.
26. Try Envelope Budgeting
Envelope budgeting can help you with saving money by forcing you to work with divided up cash allowances. This method makes you more aware of what you’re spending, and also ensures you don’t spend too much of your money in one area. Mint’s envelope budgeting printables are perfect for those looking to explore this incredibly useful money-saving technique.
27. Take Public Transportation
Try replacing your drive to work one day a week. You’ll be able to get other things done on the bus while saving money on gas and avoiding some wear and tear on your car.
28. Go Outside
Among the smart ways to save money is remembering that the world is your playground. With the great outdoors almost always free for people to use, there’s tons you can do to take up your time. Just think — instead of meeting your friend out for lunch next week, try making your own sandwiches and going on a nice picnic in the park.
29. Use a Budgeting App
Using an app like Mint can help you tremendously with not only saving money, but staying on track with spending goals, expenses, and budgets. This can also be an easy way to stay up to date on how you’re doing and get more familiar with your spending habits.
The key to saving money and budgeting successfully is having patience. You may not become rich overnight, but making an earnest effort to change your unconscious spending habits puts you one step closer to financial freedom. After all, patience is a virtue — and, in this instance, saving it also brings value.