Now that April is over, it is time to focus on the next month with some great May 2018 freebies for all to enjoy.
May has many great holidays, including Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. As a result, there are many opportunities to get some free food and other things. Take advantage of the May 2018 freebies.
Here are 5 examples of May 2018 freebies that you need to get:
1. Free Comic Book Day — Saturday, May 5
This might be the greatest day of the year for comic book fans. Every year for the first Saturday of May, comic book stores hold major family-friendly festivities. Many stories welcome comic book creators to greet loyal fans. And of course, there are plenty of free comic books to give away to fans. Check out a comic book store near you that is participating in 2018.
2. Free Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream — Tuesday, May 8
If you’re on a diet, you can make May 8 your cheat day. Haagen-Dazs is giving out a free ice cream cone at participating locations across the United States. It is during the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday. And remember to use the hashtag #HDFreeConeDay.
3. Free Garden Tours — Friday, May 11
May 11, 2018 is National Public Gardens Day. The public is invited to visit national public gardens for free. The event is a great way to kick off Mother’s Day weekend. It is also used to build awareness about the importance of community gardening.
4. Free Weinerschnitzel Food — Sunday, May 13
This one is just for moms — because they deserve so much for all they do. Weinerschnitzel is giving away on Mother’s Day a free meal that includes a chili cheese dog, small fries and a small soda to moms. All that’s required is that you have to show proof of “Mom-bership” to get the free Mother’s Day feast.
5. Free Frozen Yogurt for Moms — Sunday, May 13
The mom appreciation continues all throughout Mother’s Day. TCBY is giving out a free 6 oz frozen yogurt to Moms on May 13. In addition, tag a mom in a social media photo with the hashtag #TCBYMOMents for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Moms everywhere will surely enjoy the free frozen yogurt.
With the amount of college debt soaring in the United States, it only makes sense to seek out student loan help from professionals. Unfortunately, some of the student loan debt advice is not good.
It’s only natural to get some student loan debt help, but be careful where you get it from. There are some myths and rumors floating around out there, with cases of people being told that they don’t have to actually pay back their student loans.
Don’t believe everything you read out there. Check with a professional before you make changes to your college debt. Here are 5 examples of student loan help that is just wrong:
1. You Only Need To Make Monthly Minimum Payments
Many people are satisfied with only making their monthly minimum payments, but this is not a viable strategy. Unless there is a penalty, your goal should be to pay off your student loans as soon as possible. Paying off your student loan early means that you won’t have to pay anymore interest (even if it is low and tax deductible). Additionally, paying it off early means that you will have more time to invest your money so that it can grow.
2. You Don’t Have To Actually Pay Your Student Loans
People seeking student loan help might discover that they can avoid paying their debt by deferring it. In fact, more than 3,000 people default on their students loans every day for various reasons. There are numerous repercussions when you don’t pay your loan. First, your credit score will likely drop and you could end up with major legal problems. More importantly, you will not be eligible for student loan forgiveness programs. Also, any loan that is not subsidized by the government will have interest that continues to accumulate.
3. You Shouldn’t Invest In A 529 Plan
529 plans are great way to pay for upcoming college expenses, and thus lowering your need for student loans, because of the tax benefits. However, some people don’t save in a 529 plan because they are afraid that it might diminish their potential federal aid. What most people don’t realize is that if the 529 plan is owned by the parents, it will only impact about 5 percent of financial loan eligibility. In short, more money in a 529 plan means that you will have to borrow less money for college.
4. You Should Get More Student Loans Because You Want To Improve Your Credit Score
There are cases of people who might take out more student loans than what they actually need just to improve their credit score. The problem with this is that the amount of student loans does not impact the credit score. In fact, making timely loan payments has a bigger impact on credit score. Also, it should be noted that a credit score is not the most important financial number.
5. You Should Turn To Credit Cards For Student Loan Help
As a way to get rid of student loan debt, some people might be told to pay off the loans with a credit card and then just pay the credit card off as time goes on. This is a pretty silly move. Interest rates on student loans are low and interest rates on credit cards are high. For the sake of student loan help, please don’t use your credit cards.
It is important for Millennials to avoid financial stress, especially with all of the money problems that could happen in your 20s. When I look back at my 20s, I made a lot of stupid money mistakes.
You might wonder why smart people make big money mistakes, especially in their 20s. I can only speak from experience, but I believe that sometimes young people may not be aware about these important personal finance issues.
There are two reasons why I created a list of the biggest money problems from my 20s. First, it is a therapeutic way to reflect on all of the mistakes that I made so that I can correct them in the future. This list was also created to warn people in their 20s about personal finance pitfalls.
Here are 7 of my biggest mistakes in my 20s that led to some big money problems. If only I knew more about personal finance when I was younger.
1. Living In My Parents’ Home For Too Long
Moving back home after college (especially in the middle of a recession) was a smart, fiscal plan. This allowed me to focus on securing a full-time job and paying off my student loans without having to worry about basic living expenses. But, I ended up living at home for too many years before moving out. One study found that five years is the max time that someone should live at home after college, otherwise it can be really unhealthy. It is difficult to focus on being fiscally responsible if your parents are taking care of everything for a long time.
2. Settling For Part-Time Jobs
After graduating during the middle of a recession, the job market was very bleak and I had to settle for part-time jobs that paid half of what I deserved. At first, I didn’t mind doing this because I had some friends who were working unpaid internships, and I saw it as a way to get some experience. The problem was that I ended up settling for part-time jobs for a period of time. Looking back, I wish I could have been more proactive into searching for a full-time job because I missed out on a lot of potential income.
3. Not Paying Off My Student Loans Sooner
Although I paid off my student loans before I turned 30, I wish I paid them off sooner. Student loans are among the worst money problems for Millennials. Paying off your student debt early means that you will have less debt and you free up more money for investments. Had I pay off my loans earlier, I would have reaped the benefits.
4. Taking Out A Car Loan…On A Used Car
A car loan can be bad enough because you are paying debt on something that is decreasing in value. But I — stupidly — took out a loan for a used car. It was one of the worst financial mistakes I ever made, and it was the cause of numerous money problems. Long-term car loans are bad for your finances, especially for a used car.
5. Not Saving For Retirement Earlier
I did not start saving for retirement until my late 20s. I deeply regret not taking advantage of saving for retirement in an IRA a few years earlier, especially when the stock market made some nice gains. One study found that missing out on three years of saving for retirement in your 20s could cost you $140,000 in retirement. A lot of money problems can be solved by that investment.
6. Settling For High Costs And Not Shopping Around
Whether it’s with insurance or food, I hardly shopped around for a better price when I was in my 20s. Instead, I just settled for whatever I could find, even if it was more expensive. Shopping around is the key to saving money. After all, why pay $50 a month more for the same insurance?
7. Not Budgeting At All Can Lead To Money Problems
Looking back at my 20s, I wish that I budgeted. Whether it is zero based budgeting or program budgeting, I could have really used these tactics to save money. Had I budgeted in my early-to-mid 20s, I would have saved more money and avoided a lot of money problems. Typically, people who budget their money correctly are able to find more savings. People in their 20s should use budgeting methods to identify monthly savings.
The stock market correction 2018 has a lot of investors acting nervous, especially Millennial investors. After all, Millennials have some experience with stock market correction history, having witnessed the crash of 2008.
The market downturn this year has not been as bad as 2008, but it is bad enough to make some investors cringe. In fact, Millennial investment is still lagging behind other generations. Millennials are afraid of the market correction 2018. Some believe that stocks are simply too risky. In fact, an analysis from Nerd Wallet found that Millennials who avoid the stock market could miss out on $3.3 million in lost retirement savings.
Some Millennials might be wary of taking advice from older professionals. James Schramm, of Schramm Financial Group, is both a Millennial and a financial advisor. He offers a unique perspective than most other financial professionals.
Timing The Stock Market
Schramm says that any downturn is perfectly normal.
“A correction of 10 percent or more happens on average once a year and the last one happened roughly two years ago,” he told Money Selfie. “So we were ‘over due’ for a correction.”
Schramm advises his clients to focus on long term trends and economic outlooks instead of timing corrections.
What’s Behind The Market Correction 2018?
According to Schramm, tariffs and potential trade conflicts are the main factors behind the stock market correction 2018.
“While most economist believe tariffs are bad for the economy, which I would agree, the trade war that is beginning with the U.S. and China right now will have minimal impact on our economy,” Schramm told Money Selfie. “The correction has been an overreaction to trade policy as our U.S. fundamentals are on solid ground.”
Schramm also points to positive economic signs like low unemployment, new jobs every month, and rising wages. He also says that the manufacturing and real estate sectors continue to improve as well.
“While this trade war isn’t good for the economy, in the end this is more of a tiny blip on the radar,” he told Money Selfie. “But, the market is reeling back because we have needed some ‘bad’ news for a while to pull the reigns back on a ever growing stock market since Trump has been in office.”
The Best Advice For Millennials Investors: Focus On Long-Term Objectives
Millennial investors have a long time until they reach retirement. Schramm says that young investors can afford to ride out market corrections.
“Use corrections as opportunities to re-balance your portfolio, sell some of your safer investments, and reinvest in stocks now that the stock market is on a 10 percent discount,” Schramm told Money Selfie. “Most people say they want to buy low and sell high, but few do because they let their emotions get in the way. Use market pull backs to do so.”
Special thanks to HelpaReporter.com for this article.
In order to discuss the implications of tax refunds, let’s say you just loaned money to a person who offered to pay back both the principal and the interest within a year. Sounds pretty good, right? What would happen if that person paid back only the principal but not the interest. That wouldn’t be fair at all.
Well that’s exactly what happens when you get giant tax refunds every spring.
You’ve essentially overpaid the government what you owed in taxes. In other words, you allowed the U.S. government to borrow your money. One year later, they paid you back in principal only. That’s the problem with tax refunds.
My Case: A $2,000 Tax Refund
Before discussing larger implications about taxes and finances, I first want to discuss my tax situation because it might be relevant to you.
I just received a tax refund of roughly $2,000. In other, I overpaid my taxes by $2,000 last year.
The reasons that I received this tax break are actually pretty common, which is I why wanted to discuss it. On the one hand, I paid taxes through my work payroll like millions of Americans. However, I also paid quarterly estimate taxes because of side gigs that I do. In addition, I received a sizable tax break via contributions to my health savings account. The result was that tax refund.
While it is good that I didn’t owe $2,000 to the government, it isn’t good that I received so much money back.
Tax Refunds Are Not Gifts
Most Americans think of tax refunds as gifts, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The IRS essentially held your money hostage for the past year and they now paying you back.
The average tax refund in 2018 was over $3,000. That means that the average tax paying American who got a refund lost an average of $250 every month to the government. Can you imagine if you got paid an extra $250 per month? I bet that would really help out.
“Your goal is not to get a tax refund,” said financial broadcaster Dave Ramsey. “All that means is that you’ve been overpaying all year, so you’ve got a savings account with the IRS at 0 percent.”
The Alternative To Tax Refunds
What would you do if you kept the $3,000 instead of overpaying your taxes? Well, you could take a step closer to financial freedom.
First, you could pay off your debt. This includes both principle and interest.
Second, you could start an emergency savings fund, if you don’t have one already. You emergency savings fund should be at a minimum three to six months worth of expenses.
Finally, you could have also used that money to either invest or save for retirement. 2017 was an incredible year with the stock market, and you could have made a better return if you had the $3,000 with you.
First, it is OK to get a tax refund that will cover the cost of getting your taxes done and filed. But beyond that, you really don’t want to get any tax refunds at all.
If you pay taxes through your employer, you should contact them. Evaluate your W-4 and consider changing your withholding for your paycheck. If you pay quarterly taxes for self employed income, then maybe pay a different amount in the future. Either way, speak to your accountant today so that you won’t have to loan the government $3,000 a year. Make sure you also check out the IRS tax refund schedule 2018.
The search is on for cute Mothers Day gifts. There are many Mothers Day Gifts 2018 to get, but some of them are just really expensive this year. It is no wonder that Americans spent over $23 million last year for the big day.
If you are looking for some low cost — but beautiful — gifts on Mother’s Day, here are the best options. These 9 gifts are under $40 — and some are under $10. Check them out.
1. An Engraved Leatherette Picture Frame For Mom
A beautiful gift for just $14.99? Yes, and it’s perfect for the occasion. This leatherette picture frame says, “love always & forever.” It can hold any 4×6 photo memory of you and your mother.
2. Dipped 24K Gold Rose with Gift Box
Just like your love for your mother, this rose will last forever. It is purple, dipped into 24k gold and comes in a gift box. It is just $37.99 and it is a one of the best personalized Mothers Day gifts out there.
3. A Dozen Roses
Maybe you just want to go for the real thing on Mother’s Day. Starting at $24.99, you can get a dozen roses in various colors. And they come with a free vase to display them in for the big day this May.
4. This Funny Coffee Mug
While almost any coffee mug on Amazon will do, this one is just priceless. It’s a funny reminder that no matter how hard life gets, at least your mother does not have ugly children. This sarcastic 11oz novelty mug is only $14.97 this Mother’s Day 2018.
5. Cafurty New Chic Crystal Charm Mom & Baby Elephants Pendant Necklace
You can never go wrong with a necklace — especially at the low price of just $3.84. This pendant features a mom and baby elephant — which symbolizes your relationship with your mom. It is made out of alloy and comes with a chain.
6. A Linen Throw Pillow
A linen throw pillow is great for Mother’s Day because your mom would love to put this in her house. It says “Best Mommy Ever” on it and it is $8.99. Get a hold of this today and send it to your mom before the big day on May 13th.
Moms deserve to relax on Mother’s Day, and this gift will accomplish that. It is a relaxing blend of woody lavender, sage, eucalyptus and rosemary aromatherapy essential oils. This gift is American made, beautifully packaged and it has numerous wellness benefits. With just a $22.50 price tag, this will be a gift that your mom will cherish.
8. Personalized Mothers Day Gifts Like A Bangle Bracelet
When you get an entrepreneurial itch, it helps to brainstorm the best business ideas and to find one that is easy to start.
Whether you’re looking for easy small business ideas or easy home business ideas, you are bound to come up with a plan that works for you. Starting a business is a great way to achieve financial independence, but they are often difficult to start. And some businesses require a sizable investment in order to begin.
Thankfully, some of the best business ideas are more manageable. There are some companies that you can literally run out of your home and it won’t require a large investment. Plus, some of them are so easy that you can start your company right now.
Here are 13 of the easiest businesses to start:
1. Commercial Or Residential Paper Shredding
Fueled in part by the fear of identity theft, more people are now choosing to shred their important documents than just throw them out. Your business specializes in picking up these papers and then shredding them. All you need is a bin for the papers and a vehicle to pick them up in. You could either buy an industrial shredder to dispose of them or work with someone who already owns one.
2. Resume Writing
Unemployed people understand the importance of hiring an professional resumer writer. Unlike other services that are impersonal or expensive, you could start a company that provides clients with a personal touch. Other than business cards and a computer, you don’t really need anything else to start this business.
3. Visiting Auto Repair Service
If you are already handy with automobiles and you have the tools in your garage, then you might as well start a side business. When someone’s car breaks down and they don’t want to take it to a shop, they will call you and you will head over to their location and fix their car.
4. Professional Organizer
This company is suitable for individuals who are known for their organizational skills. While it sure helps to get the right marketing tools to promote your business, you don’t really need to buy anything else. It is essentially a consultant business where you would visit people’s homes and tell them how they can organize their items efficiently.
5. Social Media Consultant
Continuing on the consultant trend, this type of service is currently in high demand. Many organizations need help with their social media marketing, and they often rely on outside businesses to help in this area. If you are an expert in social media marketing for businesses, then you should consider becoming a consultant.
6. Pet Grooming/Sitting/Walking
Animal lovers who need a side gig should strongly consider starting their own pet services business. You might need to buy some supplies to groom the pets, but it is otherwise an easy company to start. Not everyone likes pets, but if you like them, then this is a company that you should consider. If your are services a good and at a fair price, your company will take off.
7. Commercial Or Residential Computer Repair Service
Computer repair requires some skills. But, if you are already skilled in this area, then you can start your own computer repair business overnight. Market yourself to both residential and commercial clients. You could get a store or an office space for clients, but you could easily start the business in your own home.
8. Grass Cutting
Most people despise cutting grass, which is why they often high someone to do it. If you already have the equipment and experience cutting your own grass, you could translate that into your own grass cutting company. You can start small — with your neighbors — and then work your way up.
Thanks in part to modern technology, anyone can shoot or edit a video. But, with a small investment for the right equipment, you can start a professional video company. You’ll be hired for weddings, corporate events and other occasions. If you have the skillset, you can easily build this company from the ground up.
10. Personal Trainer
People who want to get in shape — and those in particular who have disposable income — often high a personal trainer. If you are skilled when it comes to fitness, you should start your own personal training company. All you need to do is market your business, and the rest will take care of itself.
Yoga is a one of the biggest trends out there in health and wellness. If you have experience in yoga, you can start your own company. You can either rent space or hold classes in your home. If you are good at this, your yoga business will take off.
12. Moving Supplies Business
The average American will move 11 times in their lifetime. They will need plenty of moving supplies over the years. Starting a moving supplies business is one of the best business ideas on the planet. Once you purchase the supplies, you can sell out of your home or online.
13. Makeup Artist As One of The Best Business Ideas
The beauty industry is growing, which is why it makes sense to launch a makeup artist business. If you already have the supplies and experience, all you need to do is find the clients. And you don’t need to open a physical location to run your company. It is one of the best business ideas out there.
If you’re the type of person who likes visiting new places, then you really should consider looking at traveling careers.
There are many jobs out there that offer little to no traveling requirements for staff. But then there are those select few jobs that list traveling as a requirement and as a perk because the company will pay for it. After all, it is part of the job. And in some cases, when you’re searching for a few of the top part time jobs near me, they include traveling.
So what are the best jobs for travel lovers? Well, here’s a list of 7 of the most popular options:
1. Truck Driver
It might not be the most glamorous job out there, but at least you get to travel all across the United States. But the best part about becoming a truck driver is that it is really easy to find a job. There is a growing truck driver shortage in the U.S., and the result is that the position is in high demand. There are a lot of pros and cons about being in this field, but at least you’ll always find work.
2. Flight Attendant
Source: Austrian Airlines/Wikimedia Commons
Airlines pay flight attendants a salary that is higher than the national average. There are also numerous perks that come with the position — including the opportunity to travel the entire world. It is a surprisingly good job to have.
3. Athletic Scout
This is the perfect position for people who like both traveling and sports. Colleges and professional sports teams pay scouts to travel to see potential young players. They play a major role in the recruitment process on both the collegiate and professional sports levels. And if you have a background in sports, this might be the perfect position for you.
4. Travel Agents
Travel agents do not magically get into that field over night. It takes a lot of research to be a good travel agent. And the best type of research is to actually travel to popular vacation spots in person. That way, the travel agents can personally recommend vacation options to their clients. And the largest travel firms pay their agents to travel.
In order to capture the best photos possible, the top photographers travel to the best locations. After all, they have to sell their photos to make a living, and traveling allows them to capture the best moments. There are some companies that also high staff photographers to travel the country so that they can photograph specific events, places or people.
6. Event Coordinator
Companies that run traveling concerts, expos, and festivals across the nation typically hire the same group of people to manage all of them. As a result, these event coordinators are paid to travel around the nation to run them. This a great job for people who like event planning. And it is fun to travel around the country for this position, but hopefully you like talking to vendors.
7. ESL Teacher For Traveling Careers
If you like teaching English to people who are just learning the language, then this job is perfect for you. Companies will pay you to travel to another nation to teach people how to speak English. This opportunity is great for people who are passionate about teaching and who like to visit foreign countries.
March came and went away, which means it is time to see the best April 2018 freebies this spring.
It is sometimes difficult to locate and plan for free things, but thankfully there are some really good gems in April. There’s a great mix of free food and other perks that are sure to bring joy to your spring.
Here are 5 of the best April 2018 freebies:
1. Free Cone At Ben & Jerry’s — April 10
April 10, 2018 is Free Cone Day, and Ben & Jerry’s shops will be giving out free cones to customers. Sign up online, learn where you can get your free cone, and share a photo of your free cone on Instagram with the hashtag #FreeConeDay.
2. Free Mentos Now Mints At Stop & Shop — Until April 12
If you go to Stop & Shop, then you’ll want to get your hands on some free mints. From now until April 12, you can get some free Mentos Now mints. Just grab this coupon here and you’ll be able to get your free mints.
3. Free Health Screenings at Sam’s Club — April 14
If you have membership at Sam’s Club, then you might want to take advantage of the free health screenings on Saturday, April 14. You will be checked for high blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, and hearing. This screening could be beneficial for your health.
4. Free Entry To National Parks — April 21
America is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the world. On April 21, admission will be free to all national parks in the nation. This is in celebration of National Park Week, which will feature all types of events for the public.
5. Free Pretzels on National Pretzel Day — April 26
National Pretzel Day is the final Thursday of April 2018. And every year, you can get free pretzels at participating Auntie Anne’s Pretzelmaker, and other retailers that sell pretzels like them.
Although there is some agreement over budgeting with emergency money in mind, most experts can’t agree about where to stash their go-to fund.
In case of emergencies, it is highly recommended that you keep an emergency savings fund of three to six (or more) months worth of expenses. This stash of emergency cash will help in case you lose you job, have an unexpected expensive medical bill, need to get a new car, or even an emergency tooth extraction no money.
Most financial experts agree that you need this fund, but there is a debate about where it should go.
Wherever the money goes, it should be accessible, secure, and it should get a return that overcomes inflation (a 2-3 percent return annually would be a good start). In this article, we are going to judge different options on a scale of 1 to 5 using these important factors.
Here are 7 options for where your emergency money should be stored:
1. Under Your Mattress (Or Anywhere At Home)
Getting a Return: 0/5
The good news with having your emergency cash under your mattress is that you will always have it readily available to you. The bad news is — unless you have a state-of-the-art security system — you could lose everything. And forget about any return.
2. Checking Account
Getting a Return: 0/5
Most checking accounts are readily accessible via a bank or an ATM. You are also FDIC insured up to $250,000. And although a few banks do provide some interest to their checking accounts, most of them do not. As a result, you will miss out on returns.
3. Savings Account For Emergency Money
Getting a Return: 3/5
Savings accounts have all of the advantages of a checking account, plus they do provide some — albeit a small — return. The average savings account offers an interest rate of just 0.06 percent annually. You could get into a high-yield savings account that offers about 1.5 percent annually, but it is still less than the cost of inflation. And you will owe taxes.
4. Certificates of Deposit
Getting a Return: 4/5
Although there are a few no-penalty CDs on the market, the rest will charge you if you want to get your money before the end of the term. If you can keep your money in the CD during the entire term, then you could walk away with a decent return of up to 2.65 percent annually.
5. Money Markets
Getting a Return: 3/5
Money Markets offer returns that are better than traditional savings accounts and about the same as high-yield savings account. With a money markets account, accessibility might be the problem. You get checks and a debit card, but you can only use them three times per month on average.
6. Savings Bonds
Getting a Return: 3/5
You might be able to get a decent return of about 2 to 3 percent depending on which bond you have and for how long you have it. But these at not that liquid and they aren’t even FDIC insured.
Getting a Return: 5/5
Stocks are a great investment and they can get you a fantastic annual return over the course of several years. But, they probably shouldn’t be used for emergency money because you could lose everything.