Latest Buzz

Retirement contributions?

Kim Bartell
Should I continue to contribute to my retirement plan weekly?Read More...
Very much agree with @Michael Metzger that making systematic retirement contributions you don't have to think about is essential in the long term. I only advise changing these contributions right now if you're worried about your short-term needs!Read More...
Yes. It's best to have systematic contributions where you do not need to think about it. Your spending budget can then be carved around the net take home payRead More...
Last Reply By Dear Penny · First Unread Post

Finances and Extra streams of income

What bills should I delay if some business are offering those services? Also, are there any services I can do as a part time gig while I’m working from home?Read More...
Hey @Leon ! If you can afford to pay at least the minimum for your bills, try to do that, even if the lender or service provider is being lenient. Even if they're being lenient about late payments and reporting to the credit bureaus, that's money that you'll still be paying back at some point. If you can't afford the minimums, focus on staying healthy and housed. That means groceries and prescriptions get top priority. Staying on top of your housing payments should also take priority, even...Read More...
Last Reply By Dear Penny · First Unread Post

4 simple Ideas for side income - the helpful version

Forum: Make Money
Elon Must Save
I know there are plenty of youtube videos and blogs on passive or side income but I wanted to condense it here. From my experience, most of these videos or blogs are pretty unhelpful for two reasons. 1. they tell you things like, download this app and make $50 a year, (not enough money to make a difference) or 2. they list the obvious ones like go drive for Uber or Lyft. Great idea I would have never thought of that on my own. This is my shortlist of four effective ways I have found that you...Read More...
Thank you, @Dear Penny , for your support! Some of us will likely have a negative impact to their credit scores during this time due to taking more debt or not paying off balances. Do you think it's likely or unlikely that lenders will become more lenient in terms of requirements related to credit scores for lower interest rates? (Not referring to super high-risk scores - understand that those would be subject to the same policies.)Read More...
Thanks for your question, Theodora! I can't predict what lenders will do, but I can predict that A LOT of people aren't going to be able to pay all of their bills, or their credit card balances are going to creep up. And when this passes, lenders are going to want to lend money and give credit cards to the same people again, especially those people who paid their bills faithfully until this crisis hit. Think about how many people were able to buy houses again within a few years of losing...Read More...
Last Reply By Dear Penny · First Unread Post

How long do you keep paper records?

Forum: Taxes
Jobelle Collie
I’m keeping three years of paid bills. Anything that seems important to proof of purchase, insurance claims, I keep those longer. If I have my bank statements, do I need to keep the carbon checks?Read More...
I keep each months budget, bills paid, important letters in plastic bags labeled with month/year. I keep each year in one box. I have 20+ years of these boxes. So I went through the oldest and culled out power bills, water bills, normal monthly bills. Shredded them. Then went through what was left. Tax documents, receipts for things I still own, those I moved into a file cabinet. Now there are only three full years of all budgets/bills in 3 boxes. These will be easier to move, once my new...Read More...
I keep our personal paperwork for 7 years but it seems like from reading the comments that 3 is sufficient.Read More...
Last Reply By Jobelle Collie · First Unread Post

401k strategies

Ken Lyons
Many have seen their 401k's dropping. I know it's a long-term investment but should we react and move more of the money out of stocks or is it just too late to make changes. What if it drops even more?Read More...
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage buy low, sell high. And of course, you’d be doing the exact opposite of that if you moved money out of stocks… and yet, every single one of us feels tempted to do that right now. So the general advice from several financial planners and advisers I spoke to last week is: Don’t change your stock allocations right now. People who have no choice but to sell some of their investments should sell bonds, rather than stocks, so that the stocks have time to recover.Read More...
Last Reply By Dear Penny · First Unread Post

Dealing with debt

lismox
How best to deal with debt during the coronavirus. Should I continue making larger than the minimum debt payments on my credit cards, or look more to stash cash in a savings account? What does everyone recommend?Read More...
Super question! The answer comes down to: How secure do you think your job/income is right now, and how long could you survive on your savings? Normally, I’d tell you that making more than the minimum payments on your credit cards is a no-brainer. But these are anything but normal times. Coronavirus has taught us just how essential it is to have emergency savings that you can access quickly. So unless you’re extremely confident in your job security and you have six months’ savings or more, I...Read More...
Last Reply By Dear Penny · First Unread Post

Protect your valuables

Has anyone gone around their home and either taken videos or pictures of your possessions? This would be valuable in case of a catastrophic, break-in...Read More...
At least each six months, I make a video of each room, all items. And another of the exterior. I load it to a thumb drive and keep it in a fireproof safe.Read More...
Something I have not done recently but would be well worth it, considering I have quite a bit of stuff purchased to resell. And since I purchased renters insurance, I should be prepared for the worst especially with the things going on in the world these days.Read More...
Last Reply By Jobelle Collie · First Unread Post

Payday loans

Forum: Debt
Natasha Alston
I have multiple payday loans due to a very rough finanacial patch. My payday loans are eating up my paychecks and putting me deeper in debt. How to I pay them off quickly when there is not enough money for anything extra?Read More...
Lending tree.com has way better rates and you can roll all your pd loans into one loan. It's really fast to see if your qualify. Also SoFi - Hope this helps!Read More...
I know everyone is trying to give good advice but the article also asked for words of encouragement. I can’t give you any advice as I am not a financial wizard or anything. But I will tell you to hang in there and try to keep your spirits up. I’ve taken payroll loans before and struggled to repay them. I was lucky that the agency I worked for helped me out. I was honest with them and they paid the loans then took 5% of the amount out of my paychecks until it was paid. Maybe this could help,...Read More...
Last Reply By Elon Must Save · First Unread Post

Surveys

Rick Campbell
You really need to add at least 5X more characters in your reply portion of surveys. You ask how we are changing our strategy due to Covid-19 and then give us one sentence to answer. That is comical, at least 500 to 1000 words minimum on all of those. Can you please correct that going forward please?Read More...
Awesome, thank you, very good and great way to continue the discussion. Kudos to you! Rick CampbellRead More...
Hi @Rick Campbell ! We hear you. Unfortunately, we're limited in terms of the character count for the survey responses. We do want to read your response and comments. Once you submit a survey response, a comments field will open up. You can add more context to your survey response there. You can also begin discussion topics or engage with some of the COVID-19 related topics here in the community. I published one today, for example. Hope this helps. Stay safe (and healthy)!Read More...
Last Reply By Rick Campbell · First Unread Post

Community Announcements 3.13.20

Maryann
Hi everyone! Happy Friday the 13th. :-) Fun fact: did you know there are only two (2) Friday the 13s this year? This month and November. I know there are some anxious feelings about coronavirus. A number of businesses, organizations and schools have cancelled engagements and/or gone fully remote. In fact, I’m writing to you from home as we’ve gone fully remote at The Penny Hoarder HQ. Money is always a concern during times like this and being a financially-minded group, I thought I’d share...Read More...
This is only a suggestion but try to write some things u can do with yr eleven year old without having to invite any people over. Take a drive somewhere that she likes or he likes. Also to teach the kid a sense of gratitude, have them write some things on what they are grateful for then you will get to know how they really feel. Why dont you try to teach them a famous saying that's found in the Bible at Acts 20:35 theres more happiness in giving than im receiving...teach the kid that giving...Read More...
U2, JonRead More...
Last Reply By Arthur Mantzouris · First Unread Post

How to capitalize from the stock market panic right now.

Forum: Investment
Elon Must Save
Hi Team, This post is going to be short and straight forward. Because of the panic due to Covid 19 the stock market has plummeted. It recently saw the biggest drop in a single day since 2008. So what to do. The best thing to do is open an investing account. If you have more than $10k then open a Vanguard account and buy the S&P 500 index fund. Its symbol is VOO. If you have less than 10K then sign up for the Robinhood app on iPhone and Android. This is a commission-free platform. Then do...Read More...
Yeah, I would say check out Vanguard they are known for the lowest fees out there for funds. If you are trading stocks and its less than $3000 a day Robinhood is free so I don't pay commissions either because I normally don't make major moves in a single day also you can pay $10 a month and your limit goes way up. Good luck!Read More...
Elon Must Save, 18% is great while managing your own investments, congratulations!! I'm sure I would not be able to attain that return on my own! Just as a comparison, before the market crash last week I was up 22.18% but I have been in the market since the early 1980s. That number fell to 13.32% last Friday at market close. I have always been in the market for the long term and not a day trader or one who reacts quickly to market ups or downs. I've been through a few recessions and major...Read More...
Last Reply By Elon Must Save · First Unread Post

Do You Ask for a Receipt When Donating?

Forum: Taxes
ERoberts
I have done my own taxes for two years now and it's been a painless process. I did, however, make the mistake last year of claiming too many allowances and ended up owing a couple hundred bucks from those larger paychecks. I also moved, and although I was able to sell everything I was looking to get rid of I was wondering about the process of donating those items to Goodwill or Salvation Army and getting a receipt to apply to my taxes instead. Is it worth it to keep those receipts hanging...Read More...
For donations where you get a product like Girl Scout cookies, you must subtract the amount you would normally pay for the same type cookies in the grocery store and can only deduct the amount of the donation over that amount. If you pay $500 for a pair of tickets that normally cost $100, you can only deduct $400 for tax purposes unless you donate the tickets to another legal charity.Read More...
Thanks for the info, I never would have thought a consumable-like GS cookies-are tax deductible!Read More...
Last Reply By dboothe · First Unread Post

Tell Me About Your Easter Expenses

Forum: Budgeting
Elice Max
Hello everyone, We are one month away from Easter and even though there are concerns about the coronavirus – I don’t think many of us are planning to cancel the celebration. So I wanted to do a small study here about what people generally buy at Easter. There is plenty of data on the internet and I have gathered some extremely fascinating Easter statistics myself. Still, I want to know what my Pennyhoarderers will be buying before April 12 so I can get the latest numbers. Here is a simple...Read More...

hello i would like talk to you about making some money

Forum: Make Money
julie olsen
hello my name is julie and i am interested in making some money i am new at this job and probably sould weird sorry i am a little nerviceand exited i have been a stay at home mom and cant wait to make first check or how ever this worlds lol anyways i hope to herer from you so we can chat more about first jobs and moneyRead More...

RE: Working from Home

DIANE BERL
Hi, I've been getting these emails about available jobs via the Penny Hoarder newsletter. I read the job description, then fill out an application. My question: Is anyone else experiencing a "no response" from the companies? Also, how does one follow up with these companies to show that there is interest and not just filling out any application that comes down the pike? Thank you, DianeRead More...
Thanks, Jeremy. I've followed up with the ones I could and still get no response. Hopefully, I will be sucessful with a company that has me doing a second step to employment: a typing test and an internet test.Read More...
No response is typical of any company, not just those that have online jobs. When I was out of work, I send about 20-30 resumes per week and heard back from approximately 5% of them. I got interviews with about 1% of them. Etiquette says you can reach out to them regarding your application if you haven't heard back from after about a week. Good Luck.Read More...
Last Reply By DIANE BERL · First Unread Post

This week’s Community Announcements 3.6.20

Maryann
Hi everyone! ...and just like that, we’re in March! I was thinking this morning about things that make March unique. For me, when I think of March, I think of March Madness, the start of spring, daylight savings, and… what else? “You know it’s March when…” comment down below and tell us what March means for you. I’ll be honest with you all — I’m mostly excited about the possibility of warmer weather! There’s been a lot of chatter here in Florida and across the nation about coronavirus.Read More...
March has brought some much needed warmer (but still chilly) weather here in Fargo, ND. It makes me really look forward to Spring. My Dad's birthday and my wife's birthday are both in March so it tends to be a happy month for me. I have not really changed anything financially due to the virus, I personally believe that while it is a serious issue, some people are overreacting to it a bit. I have been away from the community the past couple of weeks as I have been trying to get accustomed to...Read More...
You know it's march when.... you see the blue sky peeking out and its not overcast all the time! March signals that there is light at the end of the tunnel and winter is nearing it's end. And we will see the sun! And I start thinking about what flowers and veggies I will be planting.Read More...
Last Reply By Moore Income · First Unread Post

Emergency fund

Forum: Save Money
Bena Elloheem
I have found the best way to save a little cash is to impose a 10% sales tax on yourself or every time you buy something with cash put your 1dollar bills away. Not spending the ones adds up rather fastRead More...
My wife and I have been trying for children for over a year now. I've heard of In-Vitro Fertilization and the expense of it, as there are numerous advertisements on television and in magazines. However, I never really thought that could be a situation that I might deal with. Now that it has become a discussion, I have done much research on the matter, and have, indeed, learned of the overwhelming costs that can be incurred. As a financial planner working with those at transitional life...Read More...
@redcatcec I appreciate your response and assume and respect your decision to adopt children. Fortunately at the moment, we don't have to make either decision, as we are not giving up just yet. However, because this is a financial forum, I wanted to present my research to the group so that they can obtain knowledge of the financial options available. I have thought about writing on the financial strategies and benefits of adoption, as well. Recently, with the new SECURE Act that just passed,...Read More...
This is a subject near and dear to many on a sensitive issue, IVF, people become so obsessed over having their own baby that nothing else matters in the whole wide world. The expense and sacrifice to have the experience of birthing a baby through this method is astronomical, let alone 1 baby or multiples. There are many, many children out there who need you and want to have loving caring parents, a father and a mother to raise them. Please consider adoption. Ask your self is your DNA really...Read More...
Last Reply By Michael Metzger · First Unread Post

School Loan Forgiveness

Forum: Debt
I went to college at the age of 40 to get my degree and I went part time so it took me longer than normal. I racked up alot of school debt and have been paying it off. I am now 65 and and retired. I checked into loan forgiveness but am not sure I would be eligible. I worked 37 years for the Federal Government. I only have a little over 9,000 left to pay but with other bills it is hard making ends meet. My loans are through Navient. Has anyone else gotten their loans forgiven?Read More...
I have not, but am in the process of the PSLF program. I would not think you are eligible because you are not working now, however, it never hurts to check. However, income based payments should be very helpful to you. I would apply for that program. I think you should call and speak with someone and explain you situation and ask how they can help. Congratulations on paying off the bulk of your loans! Its a big deal. School can be so very expensive.Read More...
Last Reply By KellyFromKeene · First Unread Post

Meal Ideas for 11 Year Old’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Forum: Budgeting
Elice Max
My son’s 11th birthday is coming up and I am thinking about inviting around 15-20 people including neighbors and his friends. I usually order Happy Meals from McDonald's but this year, I have decided to cook at home to save some money. I am thinking of ham and cheese sandwiches and pudding for dessert. Do you have any other interesting suggestions?Read More...

How to boost my credit?

Forum: Credit
T'Ianna Moore
I have credit, not necessarily good, but I have some. How do I raise my credit score?Read More...
You might take a look at Experian Boost, which can increase your credit score. Also, I have accounts with Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. But I don't know if these latter two can increase your score or not.Read More...
First thing is to pay off or resolve any adverse issues on your credit report. If you don't have any and just want to build credit, then the most viable option is a credit card. There are hundreds out there and just about everyone can get one, although lower credit scores may have to get a secured one (pay a deposit of $200 to get a $200 credit line). Use it for something you already have money set aside for, such as gas or groceries, then pay it off with that money. But, it's a slow...Read More...
Last Reply By lismox · First Unread Post
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