Everyone has seen better financial days.
Thanks to COVID-19 there have been non-stop budget cuts and mass layoffs, and a lot of people are starting to feel the financial pressure. While full-time remote work is hard to find, there are plenty of fast, extra ways to make a buck. If you're strapped for cash, here are a few easy ways to make some money.
One of the easiest ways to make some fast cash from home is by taking online surveys. Brands, research groups, politicians, almost anyone with a need for public opinion will likely have some type of quick survey online. Sure, it won't make you rich, but any extra pocket change in a financial crisis is nice.
Chances are you've had an urge to deep clean your apartment, but what should you do with all the extra clutter you wanna get rid of? Sell it, of course! From LetGo to eBay and Craigslist, there are plenty of ways to sell your stuff and make good money doing it. If the goods are quality, it's best to go for eBay. Their auctioning system means you have a better shot of walking away with more than you bargained for. No matter what you're trying to sell, chances are there's an app that can help.
Become a Neighborhood Dog Walker
With schools and daycares closed across the nation, chances are parents will do anything to get a break from their dogs nagging. Offer to walk your neighbor's dog for an affordable rate a few times a week, or maybe even walk a couple of pooches in the neighborhood. Spending some quality time with pets can help improve your mental health, and not to mention it's a safe way (as far as we know) to make a relatively decent income.
Sign up For Uber Eats, Instacart, or Door Dash
With people afraid to go to the supermarket, delivery services are in extremely high demand. It's easy to become a delivery driver, and given the current climate, you can probably make some okay money. Not to mention it's good karma, as even the cheapest meal delivery services can make someone's day a little bit easier.
Become a Freelancer
Thanks to the internet there are a ton of ways to do some remote freelance work. Regardless of your skillset, chances are there are plenty of people looking for someone like you. UpWork, VirtualVocations, and Fiverr are always updating their sites with new opportunities. If those sites don't offer anything for you, Craigslist and Facebook also offer freelance opportunities.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.