Living In The Modern Era
Living in the modern era, we are fortunate enough to experience the rise of many advancements. New forms of technology, medicine, and science give many people hope for the future. However, the average American might not feel so hopeful when it comes to finances. When a group of American adults were recently surveyed, the Federal Reserve reported that four out of ten said they would struggle to pay for an unexpected expense of $400 or more. This unfortunate revelation suggests that we no longer live in an age where saving a percentage of income for emergencies is a viable option.
We all have different financial priorities, and whether it’s family, school, medicine, or anything else, it’s vital to have a financial strategy in place. Even in dire situations, it’s not usually recommended that you access money locked up in fallback methods like CDs or taxable accounts, as that may trigger taxes and penalties. Now more than ever, it’s important to create a realistic budget as part of your strategy so you can track household expenses. A budget that is tight on the purse strings yet flexible enough to allow you to treat yourself day every now and then can help you find ways to save for retirement and emergencies. If you’d like to learn more, please give us a call.
In the meantime, you may want to consider supplemental income. There are several ways you may be able to earn extra income, which you can dedicate to a savings goal or a special purchase without depleting your savings.
Now that summer is in full swing, renting out your house while on vacation, or a spare bedroom for the season if you’re comfortable, is an increasingly popular option for padding your wallet. In some scenarios, homeowners aren’t required to report rental income on their federal income taxes if they rent out their primary residence for no more than 14 days a year. As this isn’t the case with every homeowner, consult with one of our tax professionals regarding your personal situation.
If you are looking to downsize, you could capitalize on that cost reduction with selling unnecessary items. There is a seemingly unending list of websites allowing your “trash” to become someone else’s “treasure” — all without having to lug your things outside in the summer heat for a yard sale. Apps like “Letgo” and “OfferUp” can be found on iPhones and Android devices where you can upload almost any item to sell, and even Facebook has a feature called “Marketplace” where you can do the same thing, and yes – all of those options are free. If you’re tried those already and aren’t yielding the desired results, try:
- Amazon: Sell just about anything
- eBay: Sell just about anything
- BookFinder: Books and textbooks
- ThredUp: Clothes and accessories
- Decluttr: DVDs, CDs, video games, cellphones and other tech products
- Gazelle: Electronics
- RubyLane: Vintage, antique and collectible items
- NearlyNewlyWed: Wedding dresses and accessories
If you only need extra cash every now and then, consider setting your own schedule as an Uber or Lyft driver. If you are a creative person, you could sell personalized items and artwork on Etsy, or offer services like yard work and housecleaning on Fiverr. While those options may not immediately feed your emergency savings account, they are attractive alternatives for cash that you can do in your spare time while still working a full-time job.
For those that find themselves in a serious situation, such as if falling ill with finances being eaten by medical bills, consider GoFundMe. In the last near decade, over 50 million people contributed more than $5 billion to GoFundMe campaigns, one-third of which went to medical fundraisers. Monetary campaigns up to $100,000 can be raised from a combination of friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers willing to help. GoFundMe’s platform allows donors to learn the recipient’s story and how their dollars help make a difference, and you would be shocked how much a little adds up to a lot.
Whether you’re feeling okay about finances right now but want to make a safeguard, or you’re feeling the pressure with your bank, allow one of our financial representatives in new hope pa to help. We are here to assist you with whatever situation you may find yourself in. Give us a call or send us an email today, and we’ll try and make your tomorrow a little better.
1 Matthew Boesler. Bloomberg. May 23, 2019. “Almost 40% of Americans Would Struggle to Cover a $400 Emergency.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-23/almost-40-of-americans-would-struggle-to-cover-a-400-emergency. Accessed July 15, 2019.
2 Sebastian Obando. Forbes. June 14, 2019. “How to Create an Emergency Fund.” https://www.forbes.com/advisor/sebastian-obando/2019/06/04/how-to-create-an-emergency-fund/. Accessed July 15, 2019.
3 Darla Mercado. CNBC. May 15, 2019. “Don’t forget these tax breaks if you’re renting out your home this summer.” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/15/grab-these-tax-breaks-if-youre-renting-out-your-home-this-summer.html. Accessed July 15, 2019.
4 Leslie Truex. The Balance Small Business. April 26, 2019. “8 Fast and Easy Ways to Make Extra Money from Home.” https://www.thebalancesmb.com/make-extra-money-from-home-4053256. Accessed July 15, 2019.
5 Ridester.com. Jan. 22, 2019. “Uber vs Lyft: A Comprehensive Comparison.” https://www.ridester.com/uber-vs-lyft/. Accessed July 15, 2019.
6 Jeffrey Young. Huffington Post. June 10, 2019. “Life And Debt: Stories From Inside America’s GoFundMe Health Care System.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gofundme-health-care-system_n_5ced9785e4b0ae6710584b27. Accessed July 15, 2019.
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