Here’s All You Need to Know About Unlimited Chuck E. Cheese Games

Chuck-e-cheese stands outside of a vehicle after a reopening of a Check E Cheese store.
Contributor Jenna Limbach writes on financial literacy and lifestyle topics for The Penny Hoarder from her home base in Utah. Stephanie Bolling is a former staff writer.

Thinking of having a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese? The Ultimate Fun and Mega Fun party options both come with 2 hours of all you can play for each child.
To keep patrons safe, Chuck E. Cheese has COVID-19 protocols implemented during birthday parties and some aspects of playtime. There are hand sanitizing stations, regular sanitizing of surfaces and touchless pay options, as well as the touchless Play Passes and bands.
You’d think taking the little ones to a pizza and games place like Chuck E. Cheese would bring some distraction-induced reprieve. But alas, they’re coming at you every five minutes for more tokens.
Just think: Your kids might wear themselves out for less than . Might.

How Chuck E. Cheese All You Can Play Works

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If you do a traditional party at Chuck E. Cheese but want social distancing, you can book a VIP party on Saturdays at 8 a.m. or Sundays at 9 a.m.
If you have to cancel a party due to COVID, you can transfer your party deposit to a new date within one year of the canceled date or use it for a to-go party pack.

  • $1 Play Pass
  • $3 Play Pass with coil wristband
  • $7.99 Rechargeable Play Band with $5 worth of game play included

Ready to stop worrying about money?
Some games might still dispense paper tickets, but Chuck E. Cheese has transitioned to e-tickets that are automatically saved to Play Passes. Once kids are done playing, they can redeem their e-tickets at the counter for prizes.
Behold the All You Can Play game option (aka the savior of parental sanity), at participating Chuck E. Cheese locations nationwide.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
For birthday parties, you can find an option that works for you based on state or local guidelines, or even do a Party Pack at home through delivery or carryout. If you choose an at-home option, you’ll still get play points and e-tickets to use on your next visit.

Pro Tip
If you find yourself frequently going to Chuck E. Cheese to keep the kids happy, check out their rewards program.

Chuck E. Cheese and COVID-19 Safety

Privacy Policy
Check that All You Can Play is available at your Chuck E. Cheese location before you go.
The allowed number of party guests and Chuck E. appearances will vary by state and local guidelines. If local guidelines don’t allow for Chuck E. to be there in person, he’ll attend virtually on video monitors.
Not today, children.
Currently, unlimited game time comes in 30-minute increments starting at with any Chuck E. Cheese deals purchase and is good any day of the week. Save even more if you go on All You Can Play Wednesday. Mention the promotion at time of purchase and you’ll get an hour of unlimited play for .99.
Kids and families attend the Chuck E. Cheese Baton Rouge, La. Signature Grand Reopening on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 in Baton Rouge, LA. Tyler Kaufman/AP Images for CEC Entertainment
Kids like to touch everything, and at a restaurant like Chuck E. Cheese those instincts run free.

Chuck E. Cheese Rewards

For one flat fee, kiddos can play unlimited games without exception for a selected amount of time.
When you download the app and sign-up, you’ll receive 500 free e-tickets. You’ll get 250 e-tickets on your sign-up anniversary and a birthday surprise for your birthday and half-birthday. Refer a friend and you’ll get one free personal pizza when they sign up.

  • For 50 points, you’ll get 15 minutes of play time, an order of Unicorn Churros or 500 e-tickets.
  • At 100 points, you receive 30 minutes of play time, one personal 1-topping pizza or 1,000 e-tickets.
  • For 200 points, you can earn 60 minutes of play time, one large 1-topping pizza or 2,000 e-tickets.

Kids can use Play Passes or Play Bands, which allow them to load time or points with a tap. Play Passes come in three tiers:
Before your next trip, you can also reload time and points onto Play Passes and Play Bands online. <!–

–>

Being a parent is expensive. And exhausting.

3 Ways to Restore your Financial Footing

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

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2020 has been a year like no other. Whether you’ve experienced a job loss or a loss of financial stability, there’s one thing to always remember: you do have the ability to restore your financial footing. Here are 3 steps on how to bounce back.

1. Create a Plan

It’s self-assessment time! In order to create a plan of recovery that actually works, you have to know what you’re wanting to recover from. Identify two to three areas of focus and commit to those areas only. Remember, as you complete one goal – you can always adopt a new goal. The key here is to build a momentum that fuels you to keep working on your plan. A lot of people tend to take on too much, creating feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion. To avoid this from happening, limit your focus, generate positive feelings about your plan and how it’s going to work in your favor. For example, if you want to focus on rebuilding your emergency savings, you shouldn’t concern yourself with saving for a newer car at this time.

Make sure your goals are cohesive and not in competition with one another. Conflicting goals not only deter you but also distract you. Keep in mind that creating a plan that you feel confident about doesn’t happen in one day. If you notice an increased amount of frustration, take a step back and get back at it once you feel more refreshed to continue. While you want to set some timelines centered around crushing your goals, you don’t want to set unrealistic timeframes. Remember you should feel empowered after creating a plan for your finances.

2. Remain Patient

We live in a microwaveable world. There are so many things that we can easily acquire with the click of a button on our laptops or one tap on our phones. Drive-thrus are everywhere and quick convenience has become something embedded into our daily lives. As much as we’d all like our finances to operate on this same wave, it doesn’t – and never will. Most times the current state of our finances didn’t happen overnight, so in theory, we shouldn’t expect our recovery process to operate any differently.

Remember what it was like to learn how to ride a bike? Training wheels were the first step to get you acclimated with balancing yourself and learning how to steer. Once the training wheels were off, you probably quickly learned there were no reinforcements to ease the fall between you and the concrete. Many bumps, bruises, cry sessions, and attempts later.. you finally learned how to ride a bike with no assistance. What a euphoric feeling! As adults, we can experience that same level of contentment once you understand that patience and commitment will always pave the way to our desired level of financial freedom.

3. Commit to Temporary Sacrifices

Adulthood will throw some curveballs that send us into a frenzied state when we’re faced with something less than desirable. Anytime the word sacrifice is mentioned, many abandon their goals quickly, simply because they do not want to temporarily go without something for a greater good. However, sacrifice at any level is unavoidable. Everything that you currently have was acquired because of your commitment to sacrifice and your financial journey is no different. There are many ways to re-establish your finances that can be used at any time – not just in a situation of recouping.

For example, meal prepping versus spending a large amount of money on takeout can cut costs. Committing to limiting your entertainment budget can also be very impactful. Taking a break from attending all family or friend outings can put you right back on track. For those that prefer a more aggressive approach, picking up a part-time job or setting ‘no spend’ months also prove themselves to be very useful. You shouldn’t feel like it’s a punishment and instead set it up as a healthy challenge. Don’t want to do this alone? Rally your family and friends to see who can save the most money in a set amount of time. Create an environment that allows you to achieve your goals and re-establish yourself financially.

Which one of the methods mentioned can you commit to on a quest towards restoring your financial footing?

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Marsha Barnes

Marsha Barnes is a finance guru with over 20 years of experience dedicates her efforts to empower women worldwide to become financially thriving. Financial competency and literacy are a passion of Marsha’s, providing practical information for clients increasing their overall confidence in their personal finances. More from Marsha Barnes

Source: mint.intuit.com

Walt Disney (DIS) Earnings Expected to Surge as Theme Parks Pop

First-quarter earnings season keeps rolling on. Headlining this week’s earnings calendar will be entertainment giant Walt Disney (DIS, $110.71), oil name Occidental Petroleum (OXY, $62.97) and buy now, pay later company Affirm Holdings (AFRM, $25.04).

Through April 29, the percentage of S&P 500 companies reporting higher-than-expected earnings per share (80%) is above the five-year average (77%). However, the magnitude of the earnings beats (3.4%) is below the five-year average (8.9%), according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet.

At the sector level, Butters says industrials and consumer staples have had the highest percentage of earnings beats at 91% and 89%, respectively. At the low end, real estate  and consumer discretionary have the smallest amount of companies reporting earnings above estimates at 63% apiece.

Can Earnings Give Walt Disney Stock a Boost?

Walt Disney will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings results after the May 11 close.

It has been a rough stretch for the Dow Jones stock, which is off more than 28% for the year-to-date, but another well-received earnings report could give DIS a boost.

In February, shares popped more than 3% after the company reported higher-than-expected earnings, revenue and Disney+ subscriptions.

Disney’s streaming service will be in focus this time around too, especially after Netflix (NFLX) stock sold off sharply when its latest earnings report showed the company’s first quarterly subscriber loss since 2011. However, unlike NFLX, Walt Disney “can monetize content through a variety of other channels, like merchandise and theme park revenue,” says David Trainer, CEO of Nashville-based investment research firm New Constructs.

And in addition to direct-to-consumer subscriber growth across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, which will help DIS stock outperform its peers, BofA Global Research analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich says the company’s theme parks are on the upswing. 

“Despite achieving near record results in its fiscal first quarter, international visitors still represent a minimal percentage of total attendance, hotel room occupancy remains well below peak levels as all hotels have not been reopened yet, cruise ship capacity remains below pre-pandemic peaks and parks are still operating below peak capacity levels,” Reif writes in a note to clients. “These should all be additional tailwinds over the next 18-24 months.”

As for Disney’s fiscal second quarter, consensus estimates are for earnings per share (EPS) of $1.06, up 34.2% year-over-year (YoY) and revenue of $18.8 billion (+20.1% YoY).

Occidental Petroleum Earnings in Focus After Big Buffett Buy

Occidental Petroleum has been in the limelight in recent weeks following news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) increased its stake in the energy stock. 

OXY first became a member of the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio in 2019, but the holding company more recently bought 91 million shares amid Buffett’s big spending spree.

The integrated oil and gas company will once again be in the spotlight when it unveils its first-quarter earnings results after Tuesday’s close.

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

OXY ended 2021 in a strong position, returning to profitability on an annual basis after two years of losses and recording its highest free cash flow – or the money available after a company has met its financial obligations – ever.

The company no longer resembles the debt-ridden firm of fiscal 2020 following its “record-shattering fiscal 2021,” says Raymond James analyst John Freeman (Strong Buy). 

“Leverage, which stood at around 4.8x at year-end 2020 – nearly double the Raymond James large-cap average – is estimated to fall below 1x by year-end 2022. The company, who remains completely unhedged in fiscal 2022, stands to generate a whopping $12.3 billion in free cash flow on our estimates of production of around 1.6 millions of barrels of oil equivalent per day (in-line with Street),” Freeman adds.

Underscoring this financial strength, analysts, on average, are expecting OXY to report earnings of $2.03 per share in Q1 versus a per-share loss of 15 cents in the year-ago period. Revenue is projected to jump 47.3% to $8.1 billion.

Affirm Selloff Creates Opportunity, Says Analyst

Affirm Holdings has not been immune to broad-market troubles in 2022, with shares down more than 75% for the year-to-date.

The reaction to the buy now, pay later (BNPL) stock’s mid-February earnings report – where AFRM shares slid nearly 21% the day after the results were released – only exacerbated these headwinds.

“AFRM has been pressured since reporting fiscal second-quarter results,” says Truist Securities analyst Andrew Jeffrey. This, according to Jeffrey, is due to a general multiple contraction, liquidity concerns and the perception of rising competition. 

However, the analyst, who has a Buy rating on AFRM stock, isn’t worried. While the recent selloff creates an opportunity, “rising BNPL demand, driven by changing consumer demographics and tastes, creates opportunity for several providers.” And secular demand for BNPL “will outpace any cyclical headwinds.”

So what’s in store for Affirm’s fiscal third-quarter earnings report, due out after Thursday’s close?

Consensus estimates are for the company to record a per-share loss of 53 cents for the three-month period, an improvement over the $1.06 per-share loss it reported in the year-ago period. Revenue, meanwhile, is expected to climb 73.6% YoY to $344.0 million.

Source: kiplinger.com

Walt Disney (DIS) Earnings Expected to Surge as Theme Parks Pop

First-quarter earnings season keeps rolling on. Headlining this week’s earnings calendar will be entertainment giant Walt Disney (DIS, $110.71), oil name Occidental Petroleum (OXY, $62.97) and buy now, pay later company Affirm Holdings (AFRM, $25.04).

Through April 29, the percentage of S&P 500 companies reporting higher-than-expected earnings per share (80%) is above the five-year average (77%). However, the magnitude of the earnings beats (3.4%) is below the five-year average (8.9%), according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet.

At the sector level, Butters says industrials and consumer staples have had the highest percentage of earnings beats at 91% and 89%, respectively. At the low end, real estate  and consumer discretionary have the smallest amount of companies reporting earnings above estimates at 63% apiece.

Can Earnings Give Walt Disney Stock a Boost?

Walt Disney will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings results after the May 11 close.

It has been a rough stretch for the Dow Jones stock, which is off more than 28% for the year-to-date, but another well-received earnings report could give DIS a boost.

In February, shares popped more than 3% after the company reported higher-than-expected earnings, revenue and Disney+ subscriptions.

Disney’s streaming service will be in focus this time around too, especially after Netflix (NFLX) stock sold off sharply when its latest earnings report showed the company’s first quarterly subscriber loss since 2011. However, unlike NFLX, Walt Disney “can monetize content through a variety of other channels, like merchandise and theme park revenue,” says David Trainer, CEO of Nashville-based investment research firm New Constructs.

And in addition to direct-to-consumer subscriber growth across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, which will help DIS stock outperform its peers, BofA Global Research analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich says the company’s theme parks are on the upswing. 

“Despite achieving near record results in its fiscal first quarter, international visitors still represent a minimal percentage of total attendance, hotel room occupancy remains well below peak levels as all hotels have not been reopened yet, cruise ship capacity remains below pre-pandemic peaks and parks are still operating below peak capacity levels,” Reif writes in a note to clients. “These should all be additional tailwinds over the next 18-24 months.”

As for Disney’s fiscal second quarter, consensus estimates are for earnings per share (EPS) of $1.06, up 34.2% year-over-year (YoY) and revenue of $18.8 billion (+20.1% YoY).

Occidental Petroleum Earnings in Focus After Big Buffett Buy

Occidental Petroleum has been in the limelight in recent weeks following news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) increased its stake in the energy stock. 

OXY first became a member of the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio in 2019, but the holding company more recently bought 91 million shares amid Buffett’s big spending spree.

The integrated oil and gas company will once again be in the spotlight when it unveils its first-quarter earnings results after Tuesday’s close.

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

OXY ended 2021 in a strong position, returning to profitability on an annual basis after two years of losses and recording its highest free cash flow – or the money available after a company has met its financial obligations – ever.

The company no longer resembles the debt-ridden firm of fiscal 2020 following its “record-shattering fiscal 2021,” says Raymond James analyst John Freeman (Strong Buy). 

“Leverage, which stood at around 4.8x at year-end 2020 – nearly double the Raymond James large-cap average – is estimated to fall below 1x by year-end 2022. The company, who remains completely unhedged in fiscal 2022, stands to generate a whopping $12.3 billion in free cash flow on our estimates of production of around 1.6 millions of barrels of oil equivalent per day (in-line with Street),” Freeman adds.

Underscoring this financial strength, analysts, on average, are expecting OXY to report earnings of $2.03 per share in Q1 versus a per-share loss of 15 cents in the year-ago period. Revenue is projected to jump 47.3% to $8.1 billion.

Affirm Selloff Creates Opportunity, Says Analyst

Affirm Holdings has not been immune to broad-market troubles in 2022, with shares down more than 75% for the year-to-date.

The reaction to the buy now, pay later (BNPL) stock’s mid-February earnings report – where AFRM shares slid nearly 21% the day after the results were released – only exacerbated these headwinds.

“AFRM has been pressured since reporting fiscal second-quarter results,” says Truist Securities analyst Andrew Jeffrey. This, according to Jeffrey, is due to a general multiple contraction, liquidity concerns and the perception of rising competition. 

However, the analyst, who has a Buy rating on AFRM stock, isn’t worried. While the recent selloff creates an opportunity, “rising BNPL demand, driven by changing consumer demographics and tastes, creates opportunity for several providers.” And secular demand for BNPL “will outpace any cyclical headwinds.”

So what’s in store for Affirm’s fiscal third-quarter earnings report, due out after Thursday’s close?

Consensus estimates are for the company to record a per-share loss of 53 cents for the three-month period, an improvement over the $1.06 per-share loss it reported in the year-ago period. Revenue, meanwhile, is expected to climb 73.6% YoY to $344.0 million.

Source: kiplinger.com

The Best College Towns in California

From ocean-side towns to urban and metro cities, California has hundreds of college towns for students and residents alike to select from and call home. Check out our report card to learn what California college towns have to offer.

California is home to more than 700 public and private universities and community colleges. That means the Golden State has a variety of great California college towns.

So, what are some of the best college towns in California and what makes them so desirable? We’ve done our homework and put together a report card of the best California college towns to live in. Extra credit — people other than students can live in these areas, too!

10 best California college towns

Whether you’re a freshman just starting school or looking to relocate with your family, these college towns in California offer something for just about everyone.

1. Los Angeles

UCLA in los angeles

UCLA in los angeles

You may not immediately think of Los Angeles as a college town, but the city is home to 63 colleges. Some of the most well-known schools include the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC) and Loyola Marymount College. These are just some of the great schools with diverse student populations.

In addition to having several colleges to choose from, there’s so much life in the city of L.A. What’s not to love about living in Los Angeles? You’ll have access to world-class entertainment, countless restaurants and bars, great shopping and hundreds of outdoor parks. L.A. is the center of entertainment so you might even spot a celebrity walking the sunny streets of L.A.

People love L.A. for the year-round, mild climate. There are great hiking trails — like Runyon Canyon Loop or Griffith Park Trails — and outdoor parks to enjoy. Also, you’re also close to beaches like Santa Monica or Long Beach.

Los Angeles is a city that gives you a little bit of everything. You have access to one of the largest cities in the world so you can get your fix of city life while also escaping to the beach or trails. There are many neighborhoods and apartments in Los Angeles, so college students and other renters have plenty of options when looking for their next home.

Renters can expect to pay between $2,700 and $3,600 for a one or two-bedroom apartment.

2. Palo Alto

palo alto, a california college town

palo alto, a california college town

While not technically an Ivy League school, Stanford University is a prestigious, private school that’s comparable to an Ivy League. Located near the city of Palo Alto, Stanford itself is actually the town in Santa Clara county. Home to roughly 16,000 students, Stanford is one of California’s best college towns. Living here, you’ll enjoy mild weather and have access to a variety of great outdoor activities. This entire area is known as the “birthplace of Silicon Valley,” so you’ll be surrounded by tech and innovation.

When you’re living in Palo Alto, you’ll want to check out some of the sights like Hoover Tower or Cantor Arts Center. You can also enjoy the Palo Alto Baylands Natural Preserve. Once you’ve settled into Palo Alto and hit the major spots, ease into hikes, explore the neighborhoods and walk around Stanford Campus on your evening walks. You’ll be a local in no time.

The neighborhoods are beautiful and the climate is great but the rent is steep. Students and renters living near Stanford in Palo Alto will enjoy a great college town but should know that rent here is much higher compared to other cities in California. For instance, rent ranges between $3,700 and $4,300 depending on the size of the apartment. However, if you’re the next Steve Jobs and are ready to change the world with your tech start-up, this is the college town to live in.

3. Riverside

riverside, a california college town

riverside, a california college town

Riverside is home to UC – Riverside, a college that’s part of the 10 University of California schools. With roughly 21,500 students attending each year, this is a great school for students in the Palm Desert area of California. Riverside is one of the best college towns in California for its diverse student population, dedicated researchers and abundance of activities for students and their families.

People like living in the city of Riverside as it’s a vibrant community with mountains, deserts and coastal areas close by. It’s less expensive compared to other Southern California cities, yet you get the perks of California with the rolling hills and close access to beaches in this city.

Riverside is home to the citrus industry, so if you like navel oranges, you’re in luck. If that’s not your thing, don’t worry. Riverside is a sprawling urban area within 60 miles of L.A. Students and residents alike will enjoy the lower cost of living in this city while still having access to everything that makes sunny California great.

The cost of rent averages $1,800 for a one-bedroom apartment and approximately $2,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

4. Berkeley

berkeley, california

berkeley, california

The college town of Berkeley seems to have it all — a diverse population, great bars and restaurants, a thriving nightlife, great schools from Kindergarten on up, dedicated students and a variety of housing options. Renters are within close proximity to the University of California, Berkeley campus, which is a public land grant university.

People like Cal Berkeley for the diverse higher education programs offered. From liberal arts education to STEM-based degrees, the school offers it all. Renters in Berkeley will love this college town that has a healthy blend of student-related activities near campus and a thriving city apart from the college itself.

Ranked one of the healthiest cities in the nation, Berkeley has great food, fun shops and restaurants and a vibrant live music scene. There are plenty of bike-friendly trails so you can cycle yourself from place to place. It’s a liberal, easy-going area that residents love to call home.

Rent ranges anywhere from $1,850 to $5,100 but rent has decreased by 22 percent overall year-over-year in this college town.

5. Orange

orange california

orange california

Chapman University is in the city of Orange, California. This is a small, private school in a college town located only 15 miles from the beach. The school itself has approximately 10,000 students enrolled but the city of Orange has 139,000 residents. If you live in this California college town, you’ll live near a school dedicated to liberal arts (they’re famous for their film school!) while also getting to enjoy a bigger city atmosphere.

Ninety-two percent of students live on campus during their first year, so as a student, you’re sure to make friends with your dorm buddies. However, if you move off campus you’ll have plenty of rental options and will love living in this vibrant Southern California beach city.

Whether or not you’re a student, residents alike can meander through Hart’s Park or catch a ball game at Angels Stadium. All public schools are highly rated, so it’s a great city for families to settle down. You’ll have access to great parks and the neighborhoods are family-friendly. A lot of young families and professionals settle down here as there are good job prospects, relatively affordable cost of living and easy access to fun things to do.

Rent averages $2,100 to $2,400 for studios, one-bedrooms or two-bedroom apartments.

6. Malibu

malibu, california

malibu, california

Pepperdine is a very small, private university with 9,000 students enrolled annually. Malibu itself is fairly small when compared to other California towns, with 13,000 residents. Pepperdine is a great college town because of the proximity to amenities in Malibu and the tight-knit community on campus. The Pepperdine student community is strong and students can live on or near campus and participate in a variety of student-led activities.

Outside of the campus itself, the city of Malibu is a glamorous Southern California city known for its beaches, amazing climate and frequent celebrity sightings. If you’re a renter looking for a mix of student life nearby and picturesque California glam, Malibu is the college town for you.

Keep in mind that Malibu is as expensive as it is glamorous. Rent is between $4,900 and $5,500 a month. While you’ll pay a pretty penny to live here, residents all love it. There are ample beaches to enjoy, safe neighborhoods with low crime rates and an amazing school system.

7. San Francisco

san francisco, ca

san francisco, ca

The University of San Fransisco is one of the colleges located in this famous tech city. Students and renters will enjoy calling San Francisco their college town while having access to campus life, too. San Fran is known for its liberal and diverse population and the university prides itself on its commitment to inclusiveness, equality and social justice.

Other benefits of living in this college town are your access to the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the amazing downtown scene. You’ll enjoy cooler weather and more foggy days but also have sunny days to enjoy the outdoors. This big college town offers everything from outdoor adventures to downtown life.

San Fran residents love this area. You have a metro downtown with amazing restaurants and shops. There’s access to world-class destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge. You can enjoy an afternoon at Golden Gate Park and then head to the city for dinner that night.

San Fransisco is one of the most expensive cities in the world, though, so keep that in mind before deciding to settle in this California college town. You should plan to budget anywhere from $3,400 to $4,500 to live in the Bay Area.

8. Santa Barbara

santa barbara, a college town in california

santa barbara, a college town in california

Located on the coast, UC Santa Barbara is a college town in — drumroll please — Santa Barbara, CA! The school itself has nearly 24,000 students enrolled each year, making it a large public school in the state. It’s one of the top-rated universities in the country and has produced several Nobel Prize winners.

Not only is it a great college, but the city of Santa Barbara is also top-notch. Renters will enjoy amazing beaches, breathtaking cliff-side views, endless trails and walking paths and good weather almost all year long.

People living in Santa Barbara talk about the sense of community they feel living here. You’ll enjoy a close-knit community in one of the most gorgeous beach-side cities in California. Rent ranges from $2,400 to $3,200 in Santa Barbara.

9. San Diego

san diego, california

san diego, california

San Diego State University is a public university located in San Diego. The school population is large with more than 35,000 students. Living in this college town near campus, you’ll be surrounded by students who are eager to learn and cheer on the basketball team, the Aztecs. Another college located in this city is the University of San Diego.

Living in San Diego comes with perks, too. You’ll be located near the beach and can visit the famous San Diego Zoo. If that’s not your thing, you can enjoy great seafood, try a new coffee shop or go whale watching, hiking or biking. Renters can expect to pay between $2,300 and $3,400 in rent, but prices may vary for on-campus housing. San Diego is one of the best places to live in California.

10. Claremont

homes in claremont, california

homes in claremont, california

Claremont is a great California college town and is home to Pomona College, a small, liberal arts college. With a small student body of 2,000 students, residents of Claremont can live close to the college campus without having the overwhelming number of students that other state schools have.

Living in Claremont you’ll have a suburban feel and are friendly with your neighbors, but L.A. is only 35 miles away so you have quick access to a big city, too. Claremont is great for parks, fine arts and food. Rent ranges from $1,600 to $1,900 for one and two-bedroom apartments.

Living near a college town

Like all things, living near a college town has its pros and cons. Pros include lots of housing options, a younger population of eager students, several restaurants and bars and a thriving nightlife. Depending on your perspective, cons can include too many young students and party-goers and potentially worn-down housing from college students residing in them.

However, we can all agree that living in California near a college town, you’ll enjoy the perks of California weather, good food, friendly people and a variety of housing options that fit your needs and budget.

Source: rent.com

The Cheapest Neighborhoods in New Orleans for Renters in 2022

The French Quarter is great and all, but these neighborhoods won’t break the bank.

New Orleans is an exciting place to live. A major tourist destination, you can probably guess which neighborhood is the most expensive — but where are the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans and what makes them special?

Check out the cheapest neighborhoods and apartments in New Orleans.

What is the average rent in New Orleans?

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New Orleans is $2,311.

The 10 most affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans

Gorgeous and varying styles of architecture, rich culture and location are all major amenities of NOLA’s least expensive neighborhoods.

Though a few of these neighborhoods are completely new to non-residents, the neighborhoods below are some of the most distinct and historical in the city.

10. Medical District

Medical District

Medical District

SOURCE: RENT.COM/CANAL
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,861
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.06%

The Medical District is in the heart of NOLA. Galleries and museums are a short distance away for culture-lovers, and some of the best restaurants in town are in this neighborhood.

The Medical District is where the Tulane University Medical School, School of Public Health and Louisiana State University are all located. There are various other medical institutions in the neighborhood, too, making it ideal for medical students, staff and professionals.

The Medical District has condos and high rises, but gorgeous brick buildings, as well. Many have beautiful detailing and quirky features that give the area a refreshing personality.

Lured by the fantastic location, you’ll find more than those who work in the medical industry in the area, however. Located within walking distance of the French Quarter, Superdome and Smoothie King Center, apartments in the Medical District are near the best nightlife and events.

9. Central Business District

Central Business District, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Central Business District, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/FOUR WINDS NOLA
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,848
  • Rent change since 2021: -0.58%

Central Business District is the city’s “Downtown,” as this is the area where glass skyscrapers and office buildings are. That being said, the Central Business District (CBD) does have its share of architecture from the 19th century that’s well-preserved.

There are endless options for entertainment in CBD, matching the energetic and exciting vibe of the neighborhood. For kids, the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the Audubon Insectarium are instant favorites. Adults can enjoy Broadway shows and concerts hosted at the Saenger, while Orpheum provides more innovative and unique performances.

If there’s one thing it’s impossible to do in the Central Business District, it’s to eat at every restaurant. Foodies might give it a try, but the sheer amount of delicious eateries on one block is staggering.

Perfect for high-energy families, professionals and kids, Central Business District apartments are close to everything you need.

8. Faubourg Lafayette

Faubourg Lafayette

Faubourg Lafayette

SOURCE: RENT.COM/THE MUSES APARTMENT HOMES
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,592
  • Rent change since 2021: N/A

If you’re looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood with tons of amenities, look no further. Centrally located, Faubourg Lafayette connects to some of the most popular neighborhoods, has accessible public transit and is only a 10-minute walk to the Superdome.

One of the great African American neighborhoods in the city, the Ashe Cultural Arts Center is a great place to learn about the arts of the African diaspora. Along St. Charles Avenue, you’ll find some of the most delicious Mexican, Southern and seafood dishes.

Non-profits and cultural arts are revitalizing the neighborhood, drawing young professionals and families to its lively streets. With all the interest and development this neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the hippest places to live in the area, but for now, apartments in Faubourg Lafayette are still some of the most affordable.

7. Central City

Central City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Central City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/1643 JOSEPHINE
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,592
  • Rent change since 2021: N/A

Located smack in the middle of the Central Business District and Garden Districts, when you live in Central City, you can do just about everything on foot.

The neighborhood is a hodgepodge of architecture, though seemingly odd is actually Central City’s rich history on full display. You’ll find shotgun homes — built for an influx of migrant workers — in every direction, architectural gems next to vacant lots and 20th-century apartments in Central City.

Oretha Castle Haley Blvd is a major area of the neighborhood and is where the Central City Festival takes place. It also has some of the best restaurants and cafés to visit, not to mention the art centers and museums. As more investment returns into the neighborhood, the growth will continue to attract new people.

It’s no surprise if you haven’t heard of Central City — many tourists haven’t — but that hasn’t stopped this neighborhood, and the interest in it, from continuing to thrive.

6. Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

SOURCE: RENT.COM/DELANEAUX
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,485
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.91%

Famous for Magazine Street, the Lower Garden District is known for having a million things to do. Whether you’re hanging out at the trendiest new bar or taking in an art exhibit, the options are endless.

Despite the number of boutiques, restaurants and shops located in the Lower Garden District, it’s a neighborhood above all else. This historic area is an eclectic community that features some of the best architecture New Orleans has to offer. From mansions to condos and townhouses, there’s something for families, professionals, couples and everyone else.

Lower Garden District is also great if you love the outdoors. Coliseum Square, a park known for its beautifully preserved and vast amount of green space, is at the center of the city.

A neighborhood that’s full of culture, interesting neighbors and spellbinding old streets, architectural gems aren’t the only thing you’re sure to find here.

5. Mid-City

Mid-City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Mid-City, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/AMERICAN CAN APARTMENTS
  • Average 2-BR rent: $2,254
  • Rent change since 2021: -5.03%

Not only is Mid-City one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans, but it’s also one of the coolest, too. Without as many tourist attractions as other areas, Mid-City’s economic livelihood relies heavily on local clientele, giving the neighborhood a unique identity.

Mid-City, once the swampy back part of town, now attracts younger people with its diversity, an array of bars and restaurants and quirky local feel. Residents live in historic homes, many of which still have cypress cabinetry and other original architectural features.

Public transit goes throughout the neighborhood, connecting to Uptown and Gentilly, as well as the Canal Street streetcar. Centrally located, when you live in Mid-City, you’re only 10–15 minutes away from everything in New Orleans.

With quick access to outdoor recreational spaces and major commercial corridors that attract residents throughout the city, apartments in Mid-City provide a fusion of spacious Uptown living and the urban vibes of downtown.

4. Fairgrounds

The Esplanade at City Park

The Esplanade at City Park

SOURCE: RENT.COM/THE ESPLANADE AT CITY PARK
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,831
  • Rent change since 2021: +3.6%

Fairgrounds is famous to tourists for the Fair Grounds Race Course — the namesake of the neighborhood — and the New Orleans Jazz Festival, but only true NOLA locals know how much it has to offer.

Predominantly a residential neighborhood, Fairgrounds oozes with the laid-back NOLA charm its long been known for, yet, surprisingly, bursts with life. Residents living in Fairgrounds apartments enjoy easy access to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as a central location within the city.

Bordered by the waterway, Bayou St. John, residents have access to a variety of outdoor activities along the bayou, as well as many local bars, restaurants and boutiques to explore. Designed for travel, the neighborhood’s streets are pedestrian- and biker-friendly, making a day out in the neighborhood fun and easy.

As one of the cheapest places to live in New Orleans, you’ll get much more from this area than you imagined.

3. Gert Town

Gert Town, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Gert Town, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

SOURCE: RENT.COM/PARKWAY APARTMENTS
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,788
  • Rent change since 2021: -1.11%

Often overlooked, Gert Town is a diverse slice of New Orleans quietly tucked away near the heart of the city. A blend of urban and academia, Gert Town is home to the sprawling campus of Xavier University and the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. As more and more people have found their way to one of the most affordable neighborhoods in New Orleans, the secret has gotten out.

The neighborhood is now going through its own Renaissance of sorts, with developers adding new retailers, homes and apartments in Gert Town. The old Blue Plate building is now filled with artist lofts, and specialty businesses — including a craft brewery, wine shop and chocolatier that now call Gert Town home.

In addition to the converted industrial buildings and new shopping, renters get to enjoy some of the most delicious and diverse bakeries and restaurants, too. As the community continues to steadily redevelop and reengage the community, Gert Town’s hidden treasures will soon be city favorites.

2. Algiers

Algiers

Algiers

SOURCE: RENT.COM/RIVERVIEW VILLA
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,292
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.31%

Algiers is a tight-knit community with a suburban feel — perfect for those who enjoy a slower pace and knowing their neighbors’ names. Sitting on the Mississippi River’s West Bank, this historical neighborhood is the second oldest in the city and one of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Residents enjoy walking or biking the levee paths and taking in the gorgeous sunsets along the river, but residents can also head to the Lakewood Golf Course or Park Timbers for tennis.

While walkability isn’t its strong suit, renters living in Algiers have larger apartments and yards, stylish architecture and are only a ferry ride from the French Quarter, where all the action in the city takes place. Thanks to strong interest, the neighborhood is developing quickly with restaurants, cafés, bars and grocery stores popping up.

One of the cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans, apartments in Algiers offer similar amenities and quality of living found in Uptown but with an unmatched community appeal.

1. Old Aurora

Old Aurora, the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans.

Old Aurora, the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans.

Source: Rent.com/Forest Isle Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,292
  • Rent change since 2021: +1.31%

There’s getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and then there’s Old Aurora. Tucked further inland on the other side of the Mississippi River, Old Aurora is not the fastest commute to the French Quarter’s nightlife, but the residents that call this neighborhood home like it that way.

It’s easy to forget you’re in the Big Easy when you walk Old Aurora. With streets lined with oak trees, friendly neighbors and the distinct sound of quiet, the neighbors love it for its residential feel, diverse population, good schools and safety. Old Aurora is ideal for retirees, couples and raising kids.

Compared to other neighborhoods, apartments in Old Aurora are more spacious and come with a smaller price tag. Along with some of the most affordable rent prices, you’ll also have brilliant views of NOLA’s skyline and river-front shopping, outdoor activities and nightlife.

The most expensive neighborhood in New Orleans

NOLA’s crown jewel, the French Quarter, is world-famous for intoxicating tourists with its alluring charm and picturesque streets. For residents living in the center of the action, however, the French Quarter is about convenience.

Bourbon Street is iconic for its music venues, bars and nightlife in general. It’s also home to elite fine dining establishments that keep tourists packing the neighborhood’s streets.

The rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the French Quarter is $3,242 with a 5.91 percent increase in rent over the past year.

If you’ve fallen in love with this neighborhood and want to live here, finding parking may drive you crazy, but you can reach some pretty amazing places by foot or bike.

Find an affordable neighborhood for your next apartment

Affordable, stylish apartments for rent in New Orleans are easy to find once you know where to look. The cheapest neighborhoods in New Orleans offer great amenities, walkability and history that only add to the city’s already welcoming atmosphere.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of January 2022. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

5 Popular Investing Trends of 2022

Heading into 2022, many investors had a brighter outlook on the U.S. economy and financial markets. Both staged impressive rebounds in 2021 after Covid-19 quarantine measures triggered wild volatility. Vaccine breakthroughs and stimulus checks further stoked optimism that the finances of many businesses and individuals were on the mend.

However, rising inflation, higher interest rates, and geopolitical conflict have been several headwinds getting in the way of continued economic and financial market growth in 2022. Year-to-date, the benchmark S&P 500 Index is down about 7% through April 20, 2022, after rising nearly 27% in 2021.

Nonetheless, there are opportunities in some areas of the financial markets for investors looking beyond Covid-19. Here’s a look at five popular investment trends for 2022.

1. Looking Beyond Covid-19

Some of the success stories in the stock market in 2020 and 2021 were companies that benefited from coronavirus-related stay-at-home measures, like entertainment streaming businesses, video conferencing services, and at-home workout companies. But many companies in these sectors are losing their luster as the country reopens; investors are looking for other opportunities as the world returns to normal.

Investors have wagered that airline, cruise line, travel website operators, and other transportation stocks will benefit now that most Covid-19 restrictions are in the rearview mirror. While these sectors, like the rest of the economy, may be hindered by rising interest rates and inflation, many investors still see them poised to grow because of pent-up demand.

2. ESG Investing Movement

Financial advisors often tell clients to take their emotions out of investing. However, a new breed of ethically-minded investors has become increasingly interested in putting their money where their values are in recent years.

This strategy is known as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. A Bloomberg study estimated that ESG investments may hit $41 trillion globally by the end of this year and $50 trillion by 2025, a third of global assets under management.

In early 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine set off global protests and pronouncements against the unprovoked conflict. Many American companies followed by pulling their business operations out of Russia and issuing statements on their commitment to Ukrainian democracy. This development is just one example of companies looking beyond the bottom line in their business decisions. Moreover, shareholder advocacy groups are applying pressure on some companies to back their pledges with transparency on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.

3. Web 3.0

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were among the most discussed investments in 2021, with wild swings in prices as investors put money into these digital assets. The prices of crypto assets cooled off in the early portion of 2022, but they are still in the front of the minds of a lot of investors.

Because of the success and attention paid to crypto over the past several years, investors are looking to put money into related investments: companies involved in what is known as Web 3.0, or the next phase of the internet. Web 3.0 companies include those involved with blockchain technology, decentralized finance (DeFi), the metaverse, and artificial intelligence.

4. Commodities Markets

After years of muted returns, commodity prices rebounded in 2021. Investors wagered that recovering economies would lead to more construction, energy usage, and food consumption. Tight supplies also boosted these markets.

Moving into 2022, the attention paid to the commodities market has only intensified, especially with the geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine and Russia affecting critical commodities like oil, natural gas, and wheat. Prices of these key commodities have spiked as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict constrains supplies.

Rising prices of agriculture, lumber, and industrial and precious metals have sparked a debate about whether commodities are going through a new supercycle. A supercycle is a sustained period, usually about a decade, where commodities trade above long-term price trends.

Recommended: Commodities Trading Guide for Beginners

Give your money a chance to grow.

Trade stocks, ETFs, and crypto – or start an IRA.

5. Hot Housing Market

The housing market will continue to be an area of focus for investors, policymakers, and potential homebuyers in 2022. During 2020 and 2021, rock-bottom mortgage rates, a shortage of housing supply, and homebuyers looking to purchase larger houses to accommodate working from home led to houses selling quickly and at high prices. Additionally, investors and real estate investment trusts (REITs) bought an increasing share of homes on the market.

During the first quarter of 2022, mortgage rates are rising at a record pace, with the average 30-year mortgage nearing 5% for the first time since 2018. Analysts are looking to see if rising mortgage rates will cool the hot housing market or if buyers will continue to purchase homes.

Recommended: Pros & Cons of Investing in REITs

The Takeaway

Putting hard-earned dollars into any investment — whether it’s trendy or traditional — can be daunting. Investors should be aware that, while momentum can feed investment fads for long periods, some market trends can become vulnerable because of frothy valuations and turn on a dime.

However, if investors still want to try their hand at choosing popular investment trends themselves, SoFi’s Active Investing platform makes it easy by making it easy to track their picks of stocks, ETFs and fractional shares. Investors can also make trades without incurring management fees from SoFi Invest®.

Open an Active Investing account with SoFi today.


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The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
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Source: sofi.com