How to Increase Your Personal Savings

Increasing your personal savings is a process that can only occur over time. Just like starting off your savings, increasing your direct deposit can be scary; however, it is one of the steadier ways to increase your personal savings. If you’ve been struggling with finding different ways to increase your personal savings, we are here to help. Here are six (6) ways you can increase your personal savings with little to minimal effort.

1. Be Realistic

One of the main reasons why plans to save fail is because they are not realistic. Give yourself realistic goals that you can meet. A simple way to make goals more realistic is to split them into smaller goals. To learn how to do this, keep reading.

2. Have Specific Goals

You must have a specific goal in mind. Goals help you stay focused and consistent. A great goal-setting system would be this;

  • Split your main goal into smaller time-specific goals.
  • Give your goals names
  • Place your goals somewhere you can see them regularly.
  • If you can, incorporate weekly saving goals into your system.

If you are unsure on how to go about what a savings goal should be, a great goal is to have an emergency fund. Emergency funds should be at least 6 months worth of spending money. This will include your rent, your car bills, other utilities, and expenses you have regularly. An emergency fund is a necessary back-up plan to have. Once you complete your first emergency fund then you can make two, three, or even four-year emergency funds. This will give you a steady goal to follow while you brainstorm some other goals you might be interested in. Other savings goals include purchasing a home, a car, saving up for a trip, or even starting a retirement plan.

3. Use a Savings App

Savings applications are very beneficial because they can be automated and you can easily check how far or close you are to your savings goals.

4. Budgeting to Save Extra Cash

This might seem like an easy task, but in most cases, it isn’t. When you get serious about increasing your personal savings, certain sacrifices must be made. To figure out how much extra cash you have, you need to make a budget. It can take you a month or two to understand your budget. For that time period, you’ll need to record every single expense you have. The recurring expenses are most likely necessities; the extra expenses are where you will place most of your focus. Figure out the expenses that can be avoided, and then place the extra cash in your personal savings.

5. Have Automated Savings

When you get paid, there should be a fixed amount of money always going into your personal savings account.

6. Invest

Investing is one way to make passive income with your savings. If you have a low-risk tolerance, then opt for mutual funds, but if you have a higher risk tolerance, you can dabble in the larger stock market.

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Online Money Making Business’ Ideas

The internet offers a plethora of opportunities that were unimaginable only a few decades ago. Almost every business has some form of an online presence. This is important for several reasons.

  1. You have a wider range of potential customers
  2. You have the opportunity to develop a brand
  3. A solid online presence is often a way for customers to be assured of your credibility.
  4. Running an online business costs significantly less than running a physical in-person business.

Online businesses are the future, and if you’re wondering what services or business you could have online, here are some online money making business ideas.

  1. Current Business – The best place to start is with the business you already have or the service you already offer. There’s absolutely no need to go looking for online money making business ideas when you already have one. The best part of already having a business is that you have a clientele—the number doesn’t necessarily matter. This gives you more credibility because you have genuine testimonials from people who have patronized you. Polish your current business, and give it an online presence. Start with Instagram and Facebook accounts.
  1. Selling Clothes Online – Selling clothes online is one of the easiest online money making business ideas. If you’re a beginner, start with old (but still in good condition) clothes that you no longer wear. Platforms like Depop, Etsy, eBay, Poshmark, and ThredUp are great sites to sell clothes on. Once you have a bigger budget, you can go to your local thrift store to get more clothes that you can sell.
  1. Ad Management – Adverts are all over the internet; however, they are very poorly managed. Ad management entails understanding how adverts work, how they’re viewed, and where they are viewed. You can teach companies how to optimize their paid adverts on the internet.
  1. Copywriting and SEO Writing – Copywriting and SEO writing are two rapidly growing industries. All companies with content on the internet need copywriters and SEO writers to get their products on the front page. SEO means search engine optimization. Therefore, SEO writing is carefully constructed writing that places highly searched optimized words in articles in a way that won’t trigger Google’s spam filter. This may take a while to learn, but it is an extremely profitable business. There are classes on Masterclass and Coursera that teach SEO writing and copywriting. Sites where you can offer copywriting services are Fiverr and Upwork.
  1. Business Education/Coaching – If you’re a well-seasoned business professional, then this is the business for you. Business education or business coaching is an extremely lucrative industry. If you have the skill and the experience, you can succeed in the industry. All you need to do is pick a niche or a particular business and focus on educating the business owners in that industry. If you’re just starting, you might need to offer your services for free or significantly lower prices; however, once you build up a clientele, the only way is up.

These are five online money making business ideas for you to consider. If you’re interested in online money making business ideas but not the part about having your own business, you can try the following ideas:

  1. Filling out online surveys
  2. Freelancing
  3. Investments
  4. Cashback credit cards
  5. Virtual assistant jobs
  6. Online trading
  7. Publishing ebooks
  8. Starting a website
  9. Tutoring
  10. Start a YouTube channel
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‘Where Does the Unemployment Money Come From?’

Unemployment money or more accurately unemployment benefits/unemployment payment/unemployment insurance/unemployment compensation is routinely scheduled payments given to unemployed people by authorized bodies such as governments.  If you’ve ever wondered where does the unemployment money come from, then this is the article for you.

In the United States of America, unemployment money comes from several places. It comes from a compulsory insurance system that is financed through a partnership between the federal and state governments. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax which demands that 6 percent of the first $7,000 of protected workers’ earnings is one of the sources of unemployment benefits. It is also financed by the federal fund, unemployment insurance taxes that differ from state to state, and general payroll taxes.

The first instance of unemployment money can be traced to the National Insurance Act of 1911 in the United Kingdom. It was introduced by H. H. Asquith of the Liberal party government. They introduced it to counter the rapidly growing popularity of the Labour Party among the United Kingdom’s working-class population. When it was first introduced, the opportunity was only available to people who were already earning wages during illness and unemployment. Those who did not already earn wages did not qualify for unemployment benefits. In the UK, the idea of unemployment benefits had mixed reactions. Communists argued that it would divide and prevent the working class from starting revolutions while others agreed that although it had many disadvantages, it was necessary. The unemployment benefits scheme was first funded through the collection of a fixed amount from taxpayers, employers, and their workers. When it was first introduced, the benefits were restricted to more dangerous industries such as shipbuilding. If a worker was unemployed for more than one week, the worker could apply to receive 7 shillings a week for up to fifteen weeks uninterrupted.

In the United States, unemployment benefits are available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the United States Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The eligibility requirements and payments vary from state to state. However, eligible workers can get as much as $783 in Massachusetts per week and as low as $235 in Mississippi. To be eligible for unemployment money, you have to meet the requirements of your state. As earlier stated, they vary; however, there are general rules set in place. They are:

  1. If you quit your job voluntarily you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
  1. If you were fired from your job due to misconduct, then you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Misconduct in this case applies to actions happening inside and outside your place of work.
  1. To be eligible for unemployment benefits you must be temporarily unemployed and your unemployment must not be as a result of your actions.

In the US, there is no waiting period. Some countries have a waiting period of up to seven days; however, the United States doesn’t have one. The rates of participation are very different in states; however, estimates have shown that less than 30% of Americans who are unemployed (who are also still searching for work) receive unemployment benefits. In the 72 countries that offer unemployment money, there is something called a PBD. PBD means potential benefit duration, and it is the maximum amount of time eligible people can consistently receive unemployment benefits. In the United States, the PBD is six months.

We hope this article has answered your question on where the unemployment money comes from and more.

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How to Sell Clothing for Money

In today’s day and age, it is important to have multiple streams of income. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly shown us that things can change very quickly. A lot of people lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. All around the world, unemployment rates are at a new high. Although countries around the world have started to recover, economy experts estimate that the world will need at least two to three years to return to its pre-pandemic economic status.

Selling products or services online is one of the simplest ways to begin making money. The process itself is easy; however, it can be hard to distinguish yourself from the rest. This is where hard work comes in. If you’ve ever been interested in having multiple streams of income, this article is for you. Have you ever considered selling clothes or wondered how to sell clothing for money? We’ll walk you through the process and provide many free online resources you can utilize for your benefit.

How to Sell Clothing for Money

Step 1 – The first step is to acquire clothes. Now, there are several ways you can go about doing this. The easiest way is to go through your clothes and select the pieces you’ve outgrown or lost interest in. You’ll be surprised how easily you can sell vintage clothing pieces online. If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting off getting clothes from your clothes. This won’t cost you any money. If you have a larger budget or if you’re interested in making this an actual business, visit your local thrift store. Salvation Army, Charity shops, Goodwill, and Savers are all amazing places to get cheap and good quality clothing pieces you can sell for higher prices.

Step 2 – The next step would be to consider customization. There are a lot of people selling clothes online. To succeed, you have to bring something new and fresh to the table. Consider customizing some of the clothes you sell. Perhaps spelling out a customer’s name with studs or sewing flower prints onto a plain tee. These are all ways you can spice up the pieces you want to sell.

Step 3 – Find a platform. This is where hard work and perseverance are needed. It will take a while for your online shop to gain traffic, which is why you need to try out several platforms. Some platforms where you can sell clothing include ThredUp, Poshmark, Depop, Etsy, eBay, and even Instagram. Advertise your shops across all your social media accounts, and use relevant hashtags to gain traffic. If you’re good at sewing, you can offer cheaper versions of really sought after pieces.

Step 4 – If you’re a beginner, stick to only selling to customers who live nearby or in the same state as you. This is because shipping can be overwhelming and confusing; therefore, it is important that you understand it properly before delving into long-distance shipping.

Step 5 – The final and perhaps most important step is to stay consistent and persistent. Keep trying. If you work hard and have quality products, you will inevitably succeed.

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What President Trump’s Payroll Tax Holiday Means to Your 2020 Tax Refund

On the 8th of August 2020, President Trump signed an executive memorandum that directed the Treasury Secretary to commence a payroll tax holiday. The title being used in headlines is quite misleading because it is not a holiday but rather a deferral. The actual title of the memorandum makes this clear. The memorandum is titled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster.”  Just like the stimulus check, the payroll tax deferral is a way to ease the economic effects of the global pandemic on the workers. Even though unemployment has dropped to 8.4%, it is nowhere near the 3.5% of February. With that being said let’s get into the details of the payroll tax holiday.

The payroll tax deferral only applies to Americans making less than $104,000 a year, and it deferred four months of taxes (September-December 2020) to January-April 2021. This is just as stressful as it sounds. The tax holiday simply means you’re going to have to pay double the amount from January to April 2021. This means the social security tax percentage will go from 6.2% to 12.4%. The payroll tax holiday is essentially a zero-interest loan (without accounting for inflation).

This memorandum has drawn a lot of criticism because although the President signed it, there are no laws or guidelines that stop employers from continuing to deduct tax from the employees. Employers argue that they would still have to pay said amount even if the employee quits before January 2021. It is also important to note that for most low-wage workers, the tax holiday holds less appeal in the face of the looming payment dates in 2021. Many people would prefer the payroll taxes continue to be removed regularly as opposed to having double the amount removed in the first four months of 2021.

Even though the memorandum directed the Treasury Secretary to explore ways to forgive the taxes of the tax deferral, there have been no bills or legislation to support or discuss this. The memorandum still clearly states that deferred taxes must be paid:

“An Affected Taxpayer must withhold and pay the total Applicable Taxes that the Affected Taxpayer deferred under this notice ratably from wages and compensation paid between January 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, or interest, penalties, and additions to tax will begin to accrue on May 1, 2021, with respect to any unpaid Applicable Taxes.”

Now you may be wondering what the payroll tax holiday means for your 2020 tax refund. Well, we’re not too sure what’s going to happen. The IRS usually starts accepting tax refund forms by February, and the deferred payroll tax will be paid from January to April.

There is a chance your tax refunds may be lower if you file early. The details aren’t clear yet because the IRS has not released a statement addressing this. We can only assume that tax refunds will be affected by the payroll tax holiday. Perhaps the deferred tax payroll payments will result in a higher 2022 tax refund.

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How to Save Money by Living Off the Grid in a Tiny House

Tiny Houses are the new rave. Videos on them get millions of views on YouTube, and pictures get thousands of likes. It’s easy to see why they’re so fascinating. They look small on the outside, yet livable on the inside. Tiny Houses confront our understanding of minimalism and what we truly need to survive. With that being said, tiny houses are not for everyone. They have quite an expensive initial cost, and some people simply don’t like living in small spaces.

If you’re a fan of tiny houses but get claustrophobic or emotionally attached to items, then a tiny house is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you really like the aesthetic of tiny houses, have a minimalist approach to life, and don’t mind tiny spaces, then perhaps the tiny house lifestyle is for you. It all depends though. Be sure to do a lot of research before making a decision this big.

There are many benefits to living in a tiny house. Some tiny houses can be driven around. It’s cheaper. You can live closer to nature, and it can be a sort of refresh button on your life. With that being said, here’s how to save money by living off the grid in a Tiny House.

1. Find a trailer park

A major problem with tiny houses is finding where to build or park your house. Buying land is expensive and often complicated. Trailer parks are a great alternative to buying a plot or two of land. Trailer parks are temporary or permanent living areas for trailers and sometimes tiny mobile homes. They are low cost; however, not all trailer parks accept tiny houses. Living in a trailer park will save you hundreds of dollars that you could’ve spent on rent.

2. No mortgage

By living in a tiny house, you escape the trap of mortgages. Mortgages can be confusing and downright malicious, especially if you’re dealing with fraudulent lenders. Living in a tiny house saves you the stress as well as the cost of a mortgage.

3. Reduced utility maintenance

Maintenance drops immensely when you move into a tiny house because there is simply less to maintain. In a tiny house, you have less utilities like roofs, extensive plumbing, and other maintenance expenses that add up in a traditional house.

4. It helps you curb your spending

Smaller space means less space to hoard things. Sometimes we purchase things we don’t need because they’re on sale or they look exciting to have. Living in a tiny house will help you curb your spending because there simply isn’t any space to hoard unnecessary items.

5. Reduced bills

In a tiny house, you don’t have to worry about bills the same way a traditional homeowner would. Electricity bills reduce, and it’s the same with water bills. For those who live in apartments prior to moving to a tiny house, you don’t have to worry about paying for parking or any building maintenance.

Tiny houses are a great way to curb materialism, get closer to nature and save some money.

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How to Save for Your Retirement

To some, retirement feels like a far-fetched notion that is simply none of their business. This is a dangerous mindset to have. Retirement is real, and unless you own a company, you’re probably going to have to retire. Ignoring the idea of retirement does not make it go away, so it’s about time you start planning for it.

It is true that the earlier you start the better; however, there are some tips that can give you a jump start regardless of whether you start early or not. Without further ado, here’s how to save for your retirement.

1. Time

How you save for your retirement is completely reliant on how far away your retirement is. If you’re just entering the workforce, then your plan is a lot different than someone who has 10 years till retirement. The general idea behind this is to encourage young people to invest in stocks and take more risks. Stocks really add up after a long time (minimum 10 years). If you’re older, you might not be able to wait 10 years for your stocks to gain lots of profit.

For those sorts of people, you should be purchasing in low-risk investments. These are investments that are steady. They don’t fall too hard, but they also don’t rise too hard. Once you’re in your 50’s you should place your funds in low-risk investments so that you’re safe. If things were to turn south, you may not have enough time to prepare another retirement fund. Another reason why this idea is so widespread is because of inflation. If you have 30-35 years till retirement and you place your funds in low-risk investments, they will hardly bring in any value. Yes, the amount will increase, but it may not be able to overcome the problem of inflation. So you may save for 30 years, but due to inflation, the value of the money stays the same.

Bottom line is if you’re younger, try medium or high-risk investments. If you’re 10 years away from retirement, opt for low-risk investments.

2. 401(k)

401(k) is defined as “an employer-sponsored defined-contribution pension account defined in subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. Employee funding comes directly off their paycheck and may be matched by the employer.” Many smaller employers do not offer 401(k)’s, but if your employer does, you should definitely take it. The amount you can save changes every year, and you can keep track of that here. There are other plans like 403(b) and 457 plans that are offered for government employees and non-profit employees. Be sure to ask if your company offers any sort of retirement saving plans.

3. I.R.A.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), 403(b), or any sort of retirement plan, then you should try out an I.R.A. This is an individual retirement account that you can use to save and earn funds for your retirement. I.R.A.’s have special tax benefits which make it very good for saving.

These are three ways you can start saving for your retirement. Remember,

  1. Low-risk investments!
  2. 401(k)!
  3. I.R.A. where you can deposit ten percent of your monthly salary or more.

The key is to start small so you don’t get overwhelmed.

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