American’s Finances Are Changing During The Pandemic

If you have read just about any financial report even pre-COVID-19 then you know there were already a good chunk of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. But this pandemic has cause increased financial stress for many areas of business and many households.

In a survey completed by Clever Real Estate on April 28, they surveyed 1000 homeowners and 1000 renters. Here are some highlight and noteworthy statistics from their April COVID-19 Financial Report

  • 64% of renters are concerned about being able to pay rent in the coming months
  • Home buyers were 5.5x more likely to put their buying plans on hold for the foreseeable future in April compared to March
  • 33% of homeowners are concerned about their ability to pay their mortgage in the coming months
  • 40% of respondents said they were receiving unemployment benefits because of job loss or other reason. More than half of those said it’s not enough to cover their expenses.
  • More than 25% of people that were planning to sell their homes have put off that decision due to the pandemic. This is a sharp increase from only 3.5% in March.
  • More than 50% of Americans are concerned about feeding their families

The report is worth checking out to get a better idea of American’s financial situation. If you’re planning on buying or selling a home soon these statistis could be some valuable resources for bargaining.

Yet another issue is those who are self-employed. Those that are self employed aren’t able to get unemployment benefits. I talked to one small business owner who did get access to some of the resources our state was offering for small businesses but it’s not enough. He actually said “I’ll put myself in a lot of debt before I let my business fail” This has led him to try new avenues for his business that could be new services for the future. In a way, I think the businesses that do find new ways to offer their services legally are the ones that will survey and perhaps even prosper.

Yet another small business owner I talked to owns food stands and makes their living by traveling to fairs, community events, etc With so many being canceled their income is gone. This has led many to get more creative with setting up locally, taking orders locally, and more.

Sadly, with many businesses having to close all together during the pandemic and others working at a small capacity, job availability is not always there. Even as many states and counties enter re-opening phases, business are expected to follow social distancing guidelines and run at a reduced capacity. With businesses running at only 50% capacity some small business owners are saying it’s hard to make a profit.

There are small business loans available and self employed loans for those determined to keep their business going during the pandemic. Be sure to shop around though to get the best rates.

Check your state resources for self employed and small business assistance as well. Pennsylvania did have an option for each category.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.

What Is A Gold IRA?

One of the most important steps that people need to take to protect their financial health is to save for retirement. While there are lots of options that people can use to save for retirement, one example is called an Individual Retirement Account, also known as an IRA. Some of the most common IRA examples that people know include Roth IRAs and regular IRAs. One commonly overlooked option is a gold IRA. This is an important retirement savings vehicle that people should know.

What Is this IRA?

Also called a precious metals IRA, this is an Individual Retirement Account that uses gold and other approved precious metals as a way to benefit the retirement savings of the account holder. Like other IRA options, there are rules regarding how and when someone can withdraw assets from the IRA. In contrast to a regular IRA, which holds papers and other virtual assets, a precious metal IRA holds bars and bullion coins. This is a self-directed IRA, meaning that it is run by the account holder instead of a third-party. Furthermore, this type of IRA also allows the account holder to have access to more diverse investments.

What Can Be Held in this IRA?

If someone has a precious metals IRA, there are four separate items that can be held in this account. They include gold, platinum, palladium, and silver. These items must be held in an IRS-approved bar or coin form. Without a doubt gold is the most common item purchased, leading to the name of this account.

Why Does Someone Have a Precious Metals IRA?

The main reason why someone might want to have a precious metals IRA is that this can be used as a hedge against inflation, helping people manage their risk. Over time, the value of paper money is going to drop due to inflation. For example, the price of a gallon of milk today is far greater than it was fifty years ago. This is largely due to inflation. While paper money loses value over time, precious metals do not. For this reason, this type of IRA can be a valuable asset for those looking to save for retirement.

Use an IRA to Save for Retirement

A precious metals IRA can be a key retirement vehicle. It is critical for everyone to plan for the future. This means taking care of their financial health using an IRA. 

Easing Financial Burden Tips

If you have been pondering making changes in your life or lifestyle so you can be more financially free or be able to become your own boss, then here are three ideas for how to increase your freedom in life. When you are more financially free and/or your own boss, you will discover more overall freedom and satisfaction in your everyday life.

Create Budgets

While you may not relish the thought of building a household budget, it can be quite simple and freeing to see where your money is going each month. The only way to get a complete picture of your cash flow and ability to save money is to design a budget that captures your absolute required spending and what is discretionary spending. What may be elusive to many people is the fact most wealthy people live well below their means. It may be very tempting with each raise or promotion to increase your standard of living, but it is much wiser to increase your financial freedom by paying down debt, increasing savings and utilizing more income for yourself through investments or building a side business.

Eliminate Debt

One important way to help build financial freedom is to eliminate any and all personal debt within your household. While this can be daunting, the truth is there are many ways to whittle away at your debt load. One method is the debt snowball method where you apply as much money as you possibly can to the smallest debt and once that is paid off you add that payment amount to the next biggest debt in addition to its regular payment until you are applying bigger and bigger amounts to each debt. Being able to live debt-free is extremely freeing financially and mentally.

Build a Successful Business

There is nothing easy about building a successful business. However, if you have a passion and vision in mind to meet a need in society and can grow your own business from it, you can find great freedom and excitement for building a lifetime of income and wealth. Some of the important pieces of starting a business is to research and identify the need and market, to write up a successful business plan and to secure funding for startup costs. Often times consulting with a credit improvement company with credit solutions NJ can help you secure the most funding for the least amount of money.  

While finding financial freedom and a lifestyle where you are your own boss may take time, the rewards once achieved are endless. Start now by creating a workable household budget, paying down personal debt and creating a successful business where you are your own boss.

Create Images For Your Needs with DesignCap

As a blogger and social media influencer, I used design websites and software fairly often. There is one in particular I had been using for years which will remain nameless. One day I decided to cute expenses and got rid of that website. Then I realized how much I used it. When I decided to sign up again they raised the prices. I felt like I had no choice though. Having no graphic design knowledge, I needed simple. Then I came across DesignCap.

DesignCap is very affordable even offering a free option. The top tier account is DesignCap Plus and it’s still more affordable than that other site I was using.

Design cap is not just for header images and social media headers though. They offer templates for infographics, business cards, invitations, reports, brochures, and more! Making this a great tool for businesses and entrepreneurs to use too. Create images for your needs. Pull from DesignCaps stock photos or your own.

Here is just one example of the eye-catching templates on DesignCap:

Brochure template front
brochure template back

DesignCap is easy to use and requires no graphic design experience. You can use one of the templates or create your own designs. Add in your own business pictures, change words, fonts, sizes, whatever you want.

DesignCap is localized to 7 different languages including: English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, French, Chinese.

The site was so easy to use. They offered more options for images, icons, colors, and fonts than the old site I was using. I created the header images for this post in a matter of minutes. It was so easy, no stress or frustration. I encourage you to try it out today.

Visit to create an account.

I was gifted the DesignCap Plus account to try it out all the features for this post. No other compensation has been received.

Why The Swiss Make The Best Watches

When you think of reliable and high-quality products, the term Swiss-made might come to mind. Swiss-made watches are dubbed as such under the law. These watches have to meet certain specifications. One of these specifications is that the mechanics behind the watch have Swiss origins. The other three include movement being encased within Switzerland and that the manufacturer has a final inspection in the borders of Switzerland. So, why buy a Swiss watch? First, they are considered to be superior to other watches.

The Luxury of Alpina

When it comes to Swiss watches, Alpina watches are a luxury sports brand. They create a revolutionary sports watch that you can find at My Gift Stop. Designed specifically for the active sportsman, an Alpina watch is great for diving, climbing, flying and other extreme sports. If you’re someone who likes to hit the water on a sailing mission, then this is the choice watch. Not only is it accurate, but it can withstand a sportsman’s lifestyle.

The Benefits of a Swiss Watch

When it comes to world-renowned watches, Switzerland is known for its top quality and famous watches. In fact, in Switzerland, watchmaking is a craft that stays in the family throughout generations. There’s a lot of pride in watchmaking, which is part of why the watches are so high quality. In addition, there are a few more reasons that Swiss watches are among the best:

  • Many Swiss watches use handmade metal gears
  • You can use Swiss watches for a lifetime or several
  • They are stronger and more resistant to corrosives
  • They are scratch resistant and often have faces made from sapphire crystal

If you’re looking for a watch that can withstand the test of time and your active lifestyle, then a watch from Switzerland makes sense.

Switzerland is well renowned for its high-quality products, particularly their watches. When you want a watch that will last through your active lifestyle and that you can show off, you should always choose Swiss made.