Spring is a common time when people start buying new homes, or simply moving to new apartments across town. Moving by itself is an incredibly stressful time, and no one needs to add additional financial stress into the mix. Moving tends to be expensive, transporting things across town (or further) and getting everything settled can put a major dent in an established monthly budget. Once you get to your new place, it’s likely that the layout of the furniture won’t be the same, and you’ll need to figure out how to best fit everything in while very likely buying some new furniture to make everything work.
When you’re starting the moving process and getting settled into your new place, don’t let the expenses get out of control. Here are some tips to help prevent the new nest instinct from taking over and ruining your savings and budgeting progress.
1. Walk The New Space To See How Things Will Fit
Take some time to walk through your new home, make and record some measurements and roughly plan where things will go. Doing so will allow you to declutter the things that you either don’t need or simply won’t fit in the new space. There’s no sense moving something that you’ll just end up getting rid of shortly after. This preparation will allow you to save money by potentially renting a smaller, less expensive moving truck.
2. Wait To Buy New Things Until You’ve Lived There For A While
While it’s tempting to go to your favorite furniture store and buy everything you think you’ll need in your new home, I’d highly suggest waiting until you’ve lived there for a few weeks. Unless something is absolutely essential, you will benefit from waiting and seeing what things you actually need. This gives you the opportunity to find the small quirks and needs of that specific home and you won’t waste money buying things before you know you need them.
3. Take Your Time And Acquire Unique or Interesting Pieces
Just like number two, if you’re willing to wait a little bit and acquire things more slowly, you’re more able to find interesting and unique pieces of furniture to bring into your space. These pieces will add more character to your home, and really bring it to life. If you’re the DIY type, you can make some custom solutions that will perfectly fit the space you have. Even if it’s repurposing and upcycling an antique piece by painting or refinishing it, it’s guaranteed to be cheaper and likely more durable than something from a local superstore.
4. Remember That White Space Is Perfectly Fine
Especially if the space you’re moving into is bigger than your previous home, remember that you don’t need to fill up every corner of every room. It’s okay to leave big open spaces in your new living quarters, for a clean, uncluttered look. If you don’t feel the need to fill in all the space, you’ll save a ton of money on potential furniture and decorative purchases along the way. Focus on fewer, more meaningful purchases and you’re good to go.
5. Don’t Buy Everything Right Away
When visiting the homes of parents and other folks that have lived in their homes for a long time, it’s easy to feel like that level of furnishing is expected. Don’t go into debt immediately buying furniture for your new place! The reality is that most people have had years (sometimes decades) to furnish their home and have done it over a very long period of time. Relieve yourself of the pressure to have a perfectly decked out home and feel free to leave some rooms open, undecorated, or even unused if you want. It’s your space, and you get to choose exactly how you use it.
If you follow these tips, you’ll significantly cut the cost of moving into a new home whether it’s an apartment, a house, or anything in between. While you might feel pressure to get everything set up right away, take your time and make everything work to your advantage.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has cut another tie to Southern California. His five-bedroom home in Encino, CA, sold for $2,746,000 in early November. It originally went on the market in February 2020, with a list price of $3.2 million.
Puig wound up taking a 14% discount off his initial asking price and basically broke even on the $2.65 million he paid in 2017.
The gated estate was marketed as being owned by a professional athlete and suitable “for the discerning buyer that demands privacy.”
Located close to Highway 101 and Ventura Boulevard, the luxe, 5,279-square-foot home is within walking distance of restaurants and shops.
The living room on the large main floor has a lovely fireplace and a formal dining room, both of which have large windows with ample natural light.
The main level of the home includes a guest suite and office, and for entertaining guests in the warm California sun, there’s a beautiful interior courtyard.
The chef’s kitchen is elaborate and includes all stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinetry, an eight-burner Wolf range with double ovens, three dishwashers, and an oversized island. For additional storage, there’s a walk-in pantry.
The second floor includes a lavish master suite that has a tray ceiling, sitting area, fireplace, and a private terrace overlooking the backyard. The luxurious master bathroom area includes two walk-in closets.
Just outside is a covered patio with a grill, refrigerator, and sink. The backyard is a beautiful retreat with well-maintained landscaping and has a large swimming pool and hot tub.
Watch: Major League Baseball Wife Julianna Zobrist Talks How to Be a Moving MVP
According to a report in Variety, Puig purchased the property in 2017 for $2.65 million.
In 2015, he bought an estate in Sherman Oaks, CA, for $1.8 million.
According to property records, Puig currently owns three other properties. Two are located in Miami-Dade County: A six-bedroom home he purchased in 2012 for $1.5 million, and another brand-new home purchased in early 2018 for an undisclosed price.
Puig’s third home is located in Avondale, AZ. He purchased that four-bedroom desert home in early 2017 for $295,000.
Puig, 30, didn’t play at all in the truncated 2020 MLB season. In 2019, he split his time between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians after starring with the Dodgers for six seasons.
A native of Cuba, he was the runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named an All-Star in 2014. He’s currently a free agent.
Puig was represented by Felicia G. Morris with Searchlight Realty.
New York City apartment tenants are more than $1 billion in debt from missed rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey measuring the depth of the rent crisis brought on by Covid-19.
The debt figure is the most recent indicator that unemployment benefits and federal stimulus packages have so far been inadequate to alleviate the growing financial burden of missed rent payments across thousands of city households. Both landlord and tenant advocacy groups have lobbied heavily for more government rental assistance during the pandemic.
The survey, conducted by the Community Housing Improvement Program, a landlord trade group, focused on New York buildings subject to the city’s rent-regulation laws. These apartments account for about half of the city’s total rental apartments. Tallying responses from landlords, the group estimated that as many as 185,000 households living in these apartments are more than two months behind on rent, with an average debt of more than $6,000.
Jay Martin, executive director of CHIP, said rent debt from the rest of New York’s apartment inventory is probably the same or greater, meaning the total debt New York City renters are carrying is likely more than $2 billion.
“It’s not an insurmountable amount,” Mr. Martin said. “The numbers tell us that, probably, if we could get an additional billion or two dollars in the city, we could probably pay off every single renter’s arrears in the entire city of New York over the last year of the crisis.”
The Covid-19 relief package passed by Congress in December included $1.3 billion in pandemic rental assistance for New York state. It is still unclear how much of that will be made available for New York City, however, or how difficult it will be for tenants to meet eligibility requirements for the funds. State and city housing agencies are expected to roll out their distribution plans for the assistance in the coming weeks.
Housing advocates worry that if eligibility guidelines are too strict, much of the money will sit unused as tenant debts grow deeper. Nationally, about $300 million in federal rental assistance from the spring was still unspent as of December. And in New York, only $40 million of the state’s $100 million in pledged rental assistance had been spent as of the same month, leading Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, to sign an executive order expanding eligibility.
“It was structured in such a narrow way that it was hard for people to apply and so many were deemed ineligible” said Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Congress, an affordable-housing group focused on budget issues. “How the state and city target the [new] program is going to be really important.”
During the pandemic, most New York renters behind on payments have been saved from evictions by a combination of federal and state laws. In December, Mr. Cuomo extended New York’s eviction moratorium until May 2021. Some landlords, meanwhile, have fallen behind on their mortgages and other obligations, as rent collections reduce to a trickle and replacing nonpaying tenants with ones that can pay isn’t an option.
Asking rents for New York apartments have decreased in many neighborhoods during the pandemic, yet rents are still high by national standards. In New York City, the median one-bedroom-apartment rental price is $2,350, according to listings website Zumper.
Once eviction protections do expire, it could mean a surge in new evictions and other litigation, if rent debts persist.
“The court is not a perfect system but it is the only system we have to adjudicate any relief for tenants [and] any relief for property owners,” CHIP’s Mr. Martin said.
With no monthly fees, unlimited refunds for ATM charges and a focus on digital banking, Novo business checking is a great option for small-business owners on the go. Novo offers its own integrated invoicing tool as well as direct integration with top business tools, making it ideal for streamlining financial processes and managing multiple accounts in one place.
While Novo Bank has a strong online focus, it cannot accommodate cash deposits, an essential feature of business banking. Many competitors, on the other hand, offer the ability to deposit cash with an online-based business checking account.
Novo business checking is best for small-business owners who:
Prefer to manage their finances online and do not need to deposit cash on a regular basis.
Want to be able to use any ATM in the U.S. or internationally without worrying about fees.
Want to connect their business checking account to financial tools they already use.
Pros & Cons
No monthly fees or minimum balance requirement.
Unlimited fee-free transactions, no ACH transfer fees and no incoming wire fees.
Refunds on all ATM fees worldwide.
Online banking with unlimited invoicing and bill pay, which includes the option to send paper checks for free.
Integration with top business tools like QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe and Shopify.
Access discounts on business software and services through your account.
Can’t deposit cash.
Can’t send domestic or international wires (international wires available through TransferWise integration, however.)
No recurring payments available with bill pay.
$27 fees for insufficient funds/uncollected funds returned.
Novo business checking at a glance
Minimum opening deposit requirement:
How Novo business checking works
Novo is a mobile business banking platform that allows you to open a business checking account and manage your finances online. Novo Bank is completely digital, with no physical branch locations, and deposit account services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, Novo’s partner bank. Each account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $250,000 through Middlesex Federal Savings.
You can apply for Novo business checking by creating an account and submitting an application through the Novo website. You will need to provide information about yourself, your business and any additional business owners, as well as personal identification and legal business documents.
To be eligible for a business checking account from Novo Bank, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have a U.S.-based business. You’ll also need to provide a valid U.S. mailing address, Social Security number and mobile phone number.
Once you’ve submitted your application, Novo will review it and reach out directly if it requires additional information or documentation. Generally, you’ll receive a decision within two to three business days. After you’ve been approved by Novo, you’ll be able to fund your account, log in to online banking using the username and password you created during the application process and download the Novo mobile app for iOS or Android.
You’ll also be able to integrate your account with business tools you already use; Novo offers direct integrations with QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, TransferWise, Shopify, Zapier and Slack.
If you opted to receive a Novo business debit card when completing your application, your card will be delivered to your designated mailing address. Although you can only have one debit card per user with the Novo business checking account, you can use the mobile app to ask to add multiple users to your account and then order debit cards for those users. Added users will have full account access, including the ability to transfer and withdraw funds.
Where Novo business checking stands out
Fee-free: Novo Bank’s business checking account has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, no transaction fees and no incoming wire fees. In addition, there are no fees for incoming or outgoing ACH transfers, stop payments, debit card replacements or paper statements.
Novo business checking also includes free mobile check deposit, free bill pay with physical checks (which are mailed out from the mobile app) and free bank checks. The only instances in which you’ll face fees with Novo are insufficient funds and uncollected funds returned, both of which will incur a $27 fee.
Free ATM access: Novo does not offer fee-free ATM access through a specific partner network, unlike most online business checking account competitors. Instead, Novo allows you to use any ATM in the U.S. or abroad, without charging you any fees. Additionally, Novo will reimburse all fees that you face from those banks for using their ATMs, depositing the refund directly into your account at the end of each month.
Online and mobile banking: Novo business checking is designed to make it easy for small-business owners to manage their finances regardless of location, focusing on mobile tools to avoid the hassle of visiting a physical bank. With the included online and mobile banking features, you can deposit checks, make payments, send money and even mail paper checks for payment.
In addition, you can perform transfers, track your account activity and contact Novo customer service for support. Plus, with the Novo Reserves budgeting tool, you can set aside funds within your checking account to budget for different types of expenses.
Invoicing: A particularly useful tool for freelancers and contractors, Novo’s integrated invoicing feature allows you to create, send and manage an unlimited number of invoices directly within your checking account. You can accept payments by ACH transfer, or — if you’re using the Novo Stripe integration — you can accept payments through your Stripe account. Invoicing is available through the Novo web app, but is not yet supported by the iOS or Android mobile app.
Integrations with business tools: Novo offers direct account integration with QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, Shopify, TransferWise, Zapier and Slack. You can also connect your Novo business checking account to Square, PayPal and Wave, even though Novo doesn’t currently offer direct integration with these tools. Additionally, you have the option to connect Novo to Venmo, as well as Apple or Google Pay.
Although some online business checking account competitors offer proprietary financial tools or add-ons, Novo stands out with the ability to seamlessly connect to popular tools many small-business owners already use.
Discounts on software and services: Through the Novo Bank perks program, you can access discounts on certain business software and services with your checking account. Novo partners with providers including Stripe, QuickBooks, Gusto, Google, HubSpot and others to offer savings opportunities for account holders. For example, Novo account holders can access a 30% discount on all new GoDaddy purchases, as well as $150 in Snapchat ads credits.
Where Novo business checking falls short
Can’t deposit cash: Novo business checking cannot accommodate traditional cash deposits. If you have cash that you’d like to deposit, instead of simply depositing it at an ATM, you’ll have to purchase a money order and then use Novo’s mobile check deposit feature to deposit the check into your account.
Although this may not be problematic if you need to deposit cash once in a while, it’s less than ideal if your business needs to deposit cash on any regular basis. In comparison, many other online-based business checking accounts offer the ability to deposit cash through their partner ATM networks.
No recurring payments with bill pay: Novo allows you to pay bills, fee-free, with ACH transfers and mailed checks. Additionally, although you cannot send domestic or international wires using Novo business checking, you can send international wires using the TransferWise integration (with associated fees). Regardless of the method of the payment, however, Novo Bank’s business checking account does not offer recurring payments, a common feature included with online bill pay.
You can save your payee’s information within your Novo account for future payments, but you can’t set payments to automatically send — meaning you’ll need to actively monitor your bills and initiate payments before their due dates.
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Whether you plan to spend your retirement sitting on the front porch or traveling the world, one thing’s for sure: You’re going to need money. In fact, you’re going to need enough savings and/or income to keep you alive and well potentially for decades.
But exactly how much is that?
There’s no one answer to this most critical of questions, because how much you’ll need depends on various factors, from where you live to how you live. But while there’s no definite answer, there are ways to home in on the number you should shoot for based on your personal situation.
In this week’s “Money!” podcast, we’re going to give you some tools to help you find your number.
As usual, my co-host will be financial journalist Miranda Marquit. And joining us this week is special guest Len Penzo of LenPenzo.com. Len’s an engineer who’s mastered the math. Proof? He’s about to retire at age 57.
Sit back, relax and listen to this week’s “Money!” podcast:
Not familiar with podcasts?
A podcast is basically a radio show you can listen to anytime, either by downloading it to your smartphone or other device, or by listening online.
They’re totally free. They can be any length (ours are typically about a half-hour), feature any number of people and cover any topic you can possibly think of. You can listen at home, in the car, while jogging or, if you’re like me, when riding your bike.
You can listen to our latest podcasts here or download them to your phone from any number of places, including Apple, Spotify, RadioPublic, Stitcher and RSS.
If you haven’t listened to a podcast yet, give it a try, then subscribe to ours. You’ll be glad you did!
Want more information? Check out these resources:
I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and I have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
New Northwestern Mutual Research Finds 20% of People Plan to Retire Later than Expected, and 10% Plan to Retire Earlier
MILWAUKEE, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the retirement timeline for 30% of Americans, according to research from Northwestern Mutual’s 2020 Planning & Progress Study. The study finds that 20% of U.S. adults age 18+ plan to delay retirement beyond what they expected, while 10% plan to accelerate their timelines and retire earlier than anticipated.
Millennials are the most likely generation to move up their planned retirement date, with nearly one in six (15%) saying they would accelerate their plans. This compares to less than one in 10 among Gen Z (8%), Gen X (6%) and Boomers (4%). Meanwhile, Gen X (25%) is the most likely generation to say the pandemic has caused them to push back their planned retirement date, followed by Gen Z (22%), Millennials (19%), and Boomers (14%).
When asked what age people expect to retire, Millennials indicated the earliest target date, nearly seven and a half years younger than Baby Boomers:
Gen Z – 62.5
Millennials – 61.3
Gen X – 63.2
Boomers – 68.8
“These numbers illustrate what may be a distinct difference in the way generations view retirement,” says Christian Mitchell, executive vice president & chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual. “Millennials appear to prioritize retirement earlier on, whereas other generations may be quicker to extend their retirement timelines outward. Much of this depends on individual circumstances, of course, but it also underscores that a long-term financial plan has to factor in the unexpected and be nimble enough to adjust course.”
Retirement Obstacles The study finds that the greatest obstacles to financial security in retirement have flip-flopped during the pandemic. Before COVID-19 began to spread widely, lack of savings (42%) was the top obstacle followed by healthcare costs (38%) and the economy (34%). Now it is the economy (49%) followed by lack of savings (33%) and healthcare costs (32%).
Findings also reveal that people are relying heavily on Social Security as a funding source during retirement but don’t have great faith it will actually be there when they need it. Social Security ranked as the top source of retirement funding, accounting for an average of 27% of Americans’ overall retirement funding. But one-fifth (20%) of people believe it is not at all likely Social Security will be there when they’re ready to use it.
“This is a good reminder that there are always factors to consider that are outside of people’s control such as the economy, healthcare costs and Social Security,” says Mitchell. “That only underscores how important it is to focus on the things you can control such as saving, investing and protecting your assets. A solid financial plan and a trusted advisor can help.”
Working Longer One in five (21%) U.S. adults expect to work past the traditional retirement age of 65. Among those who do, nearly half (45%) say it’s because of necessity and 55% say it’s because of choice.
Taking a closer look at those who plan to work out of necessity, the top reason cited was not having enough saved to retire comfortably at 60%. Other top reasons include:
I do not feel like Social Security will take care of my needs – 58%
I am concerned about rising costs like healthcare – 49%
I had an unexpected situation arise that has cut into my retirement savings – 20%
For those who plan to work past the age of 65 by choice, the top reason cited by nearly half (49%) is that they enjoy their job/career and would like to continue. Other reasons include:
I want additional disposable income – 43%
It is a social outlet that will help me stay active/prevent boredom – 34%
I want to do something that will let me give back to the community – 21%
“While the nature of retirement continues to change, it’s encouraging to see more people working past the age of 65 out of choice and not necessity,” says Mitchell. “Although that may not always be an option for all, having a tailored, diversified strategy with both insurance and investments can allow people to make informed choices regarding a retirement that suits their unique circumstances.”
About The 2020 Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study The 2020 Planning & Progress Study is a research series conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual. This wave included 2,702 American adults aged 18 or older who participated in an online survey between June 26 – July 10, 2020. Results have been weighted to Census targets for education, age/gender, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
About Northwestern Mutual Northwestern Mutual has been helping people and businesses achieve financial security for more than 160 years. Through a holistic planning approach, Northwestern Mutual combines the expertise of its financial professionals with a personalized digital experience and industry-leading products to help its clients plan for what’s most important. With $290.3 billion in total assets, $29.9 billion in revenues, and $1.9 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.6 million people with life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage and advisory services. The company manages more than $161 billion of investments owned by its clients and held or managed through its wealth management and investment services businesses. Northwestern Mutual ranks 102 on the 2020 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2020.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM)(life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (investment brokerage services), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (investment advisory and trust services), a federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company.
SOURCE Northwestern Mutual
For further information: JEAN TOWELL, 1-800-323-7033, firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of us will never find a treasure like the sweater once owned by legendary football coach Vince Lombardi that a Knoxville, Tennessee, couple bought at Goodwill for 58 cents and resold for $43,000.
But, chin up. There’s still plenty of profit to made in the humble objects that surround us every day — even for things people might call garbage.
After three decades of thrift shopping, dumpster diving and reselling, I’ve found and sold some true oddities. Here are 20 surprising things you can sell for extra cash.
Yes, you read that right. Last year at a yard sale, my brother bought a set of used false teeth for $1. He promptly flipped them on eBay for $75.
Buyers for this item fall within two categories: collectors of oddities and folks who simply can’t or won’t pay $900-$1,200 for a new set of chompers.
2. Vintage road maps
Road maps are popular with crafters and collectors of oil and gas memorabilia. Older maps with bold graphics sell particularly well, as do maps from defunct companies like Conoco and Skelly.
Several months ago, I sold 50 road maps — most from the 1950s to 1970’s — on Facebook Marketplace for $20.
3. Ugly Christmas sweaters
Mark your calendars. Each year in November, online sales of ugly Christmas sweaters start to spike.
Companies like Tipsy Elves are cashing in on Americans’ love of goofy garb and making new purposely ugly sweaters. But don’t worry, used sweaters sell great, too, and thrift stores are full of them.
In this category, tackier is better. Christmas-themed sweaters bedazzled with sequins, ornaments, ruffles and garland sell at a premium. Every Christmas season, I sell 10 to 15 ugly sweaters on eBay for about $30 apiece.
4. Sea glass
If you live along a coastline, hit the beach. Surf-tumbled sea glass is a hot commodity among jewelry-makers and craftspeople.
Red, orange, and amber sea glass are particularly prized. Recently on eBay, 11 pieces of red and orange sea glass sold for $170.
5. License plates
That stack of old metal license plates in your garage is worth money. In a cleaning frenzy last summer, I liquidated 25 plates for $30 on Craigslist.
Buyers use license plates to decorate man caves, create art and build cool birdhouses.
Although there’s a market for all metal plates, serious collectors pay a premium for pieces that are older, in good condition and from non-contiguous states (Alaska and Hawaii).
6. Antique eyeglasses
Your great-grandmother’s pair of wire-framed eyeglasses are likely gold-filled, which makes them worth $20-$40. Look for the abbreviation “GF” (gold-filled) preceded by a karat rating.
Gold or not, vintage cat-eye glasses from the 1950s sell well, too. Retro fashionistas will pay $30-$50 for ornate examples.
7. Vintage hotel keychains
Readers of a certain age will remember the plastic diamond-shaped hotel keychains (also called key tags or fobs) from the 1960s and ’70s. Today, they’re a kitschy collectible.
Though collectors pay top dollar for keychains from famous destinations such as The Dunes in Las Vegas, don’t discount roadside dives. Expect each keychain to sell for $5 to $15 on eBay or Etsy.
Large pieces of driftwood are used in landscaping, furniture construction, terrarium design and taxidermy projects. Simple forms fetch $10 to $15, while big, more-interesting shapes can bring $30 and up.
A word of caution: Before collecting driftwood on public land, check with local officials. Many areas prohibit the removal of any natural materials.
9. Antique keys
Usually made of iron or brass, antique keys are in vogue. Designers use these rustic gems to make jewelry, crafters turn them into wind chimes and collectors frame and display them.
Last summer, I sold several antique keys at a yard sale for $3 apiece. Online, buyers will pay $10 to $15 for a single, unique key.
10. Large pine cones
Correction mom and dad: Money does grow on trees.
I have five large pines in my yard, and I’ll occasionally gather and sell the largest pine cones that have dropped to the ground.
Decorators use pine cones as textural accent pieces. Holiday enthusiasts use them in making wreaths and decorating tables. Jumbo cones (9 inches or larger) sell for nearly $9 each on Etsy.
11. Discontinued products
My favorite moisturizer, Complex 15, was recently discontinued. In a desperate attempt to horde every last drop of the stuff, I turned to eBay. To my dismay, tubes of my $8.99 moisturizer currently sell for nearly $100 each!
The lesson? Some products have a wildly devoted fan base.
Before you toss out anything, check prices online.
12. Old coffee cups
Have a cupboard full of coffee cups? Before you declutter, check values.
Certain cups made by Fire-King are hot with collectors. Look especially for pieces made of milk glass (a type of opaque white glass) that feature characters from the Peanuts comic strip. Depending on rarity and condition, some of these cups fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay and Etsy.
Fire-King also manufactured cups made of jadeite, an opaque green glass. Heavier jadeite pieces from Fire-King’s Restaurant Ware line are particularly valuable. A single jadeite mug can sell for $35 to $40.
13. Modern paper currency
Yep, your money is worth money. Modern bills featuring fancy serial numbers can sell for more than face value.
Check your wallet for bills with:
Solid serial numbers: All digits are the same (44444444)
Repeater serial numbers: Digits in the first half of the number repeat in the second half (40014001)
Ladder serial numbers: Every digit is one number higher or lower than the last (23456789)
Serial numbers that are very low (00000110) or very high (99999979)
At the time of this writing, an Etsy seller was asking $49 for a 2006 one-dollar bill featuring a repeater serial number.
14. Old yearbooks
Yearbooks appeal to three audiences:
Celebrity memorabilia collectors scour old yearbooks to find famous names and signatures.
Graduates of a particular school buy yearbooks to reconnect with their history.
Artists of all sorts use yearbooks to source vintage photos and advertisements.
Values vary depending on the year and school. Several months ago, I sold a collection of four not-so-spectacular yearbooks for $18.
Recently, though, a 1953 high school yearbook containing Sandy Koufax’s senior photo sold for $230 on eBay.
15. Rotary phones
Though your grandkids probably have no idea how to use it, that rotary phone packed away in the attic is worth money.
Collectors pay a premium for working phones in bold colors like orange, pink, mint green and blue. A dark blue rotary desk phone recently sold for $180 on eBay.
16. Vintage photos and postcards
Is there a shoebox full of old snapshots and postcards hiding under your bed? It might be worth a few bucks.
Vintage images are used as home decor accent pieces and incorporated into artwork. Postcard collectors (yes, that’s a thing) pay top dollar for antique cards featuring iconic moments in history, famous ocean liners or Halloween imagery. I noticed that a Halloween postcard from 1911 sold recently on eBay for $189.
17. Typewriter keys
Ready to toss that old Smith Corona? Salvage the keys first! Antique manual typewriter keys are repurposed by jewelry-makers, mosaic artists and scrapbookers.
Several months ago, I removed 55 keys from two heavily damaged typewriters from the 1940s. I sold the lot for $35 on Etsy.
What unusual or surprising things have you sold or seen offered for sale? Share in comments below or on our Facebook page.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
Anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure knows the standard advice: Lose weight, exercise more, change your diet.
But it’s likely that relatively few people have heard another suggestion: Make sure you’re treating your aldosteronism.
It turns out that this condition — which results when the adrenal glands produce too much of the hormone aldosterone — is sometimes at the root of high blood pressure.
Researchers at three schools — the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University — believe aldosteronism itself might be a lot more common in the general population than people think. But the researchers say relatively few doctors are testing for the disease.
In a recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers looked at data from military veterans diagnosed with hypertension that was not responding to treatment. They found that over a 17-year period — from 2000 to 2017 — fewer than 2% of patients who should have been evaluated for aldosteronism actually received testing.
Patients were more likely to be tested when evaluated by a specialist, such as a nephrologist or endocrinologist.
In a blog post, Dr. J. Brian Byrd, co-senior author of the study and assistant professor and cardiologist at the Michigan Medicine Frankel Cardiovascular Center, characterizes the findings as frustrating but unsurprising.
“There’s an educational gap there where some physicians may think it’s too complicated to test people for this, or don’t know they should be thinking about testing people. The most important take-home message for clinicians is: if you’re really struggling to control a patient’s blood pressure, consider getting a hypertension expert involved who has special training.”
About 20% of people with uncontrolled hypertension — despite taking three blood pressure medications — might have aldosteronism, Byrd says.
Various treatments are available for aldosteronism, and the right course of management depends on the type diagnosed. Medications often are used as treatment, although surgery is necessary in some cases. According to Byrd:
“The frustrating part is that there are effective treatments for primary aldosteronism. But if no one diagnoses it, it can’t be treated, and it’s also harder to study primary aldosteronism when it’s so rarely diagnosed.”
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When it comes to buying a home or renting, there are many things to consider. While there are tons of resources on the financial implications of both options, I’d like to share my thoughts on buying versus renting from an intentional living and minimalist perspective. The decision to buy or rent is just as much a lifestyle decision as it is a financial one. Ultimately, if the decision to buy is made, a home affordability calculator is a great resource to get started.
Longevity and Flexibility
It’s important to consider how long you’re planning to be in a certain area and how much location flexibility you need when you’re making the decision to buy or rent. When renting, the leases are typically 12 months or less and there may be options to work out a more flexible move-out date with the landlord or management company. If you end up needing to move to a different area, you have more flexibility to do so.
It becomes a lot more complicated if you need to move away from a home you own. You’ll likely need to sell the house or rent it out—options that require more time and resources than if you were renting an apartment. With the amount of investment and time that a house requires, it’s probably best to stay in a location for at least a few years if you’re going to buy.
Think about how you want to spend your time. Similarly, it’s also important to consider how much responsibility you’re willing to take on. During the time I lived in an apartment, I barely changed a light bulb. There were no repairs, no additional investment and no worries.
For the past five years I’ve owned a home, it’s a whole different experience. I spend time cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, buying and fixing appliances and other maintenance activities that you never have to think about when you’re renting. Regular or unexpected repairs can quickly add up to large sums when you own a home. Part of the benefit of renting is that you don’t have to deal with or budget for anything like that.
Another thing to think about is how much customization and control you’d like to have. A home you own can be customized to your exact liking, a rental on the other hand has more limitations. From painting the wall a different color to making bigger changes to your living space, you’ll have greater control if it’s your home. With a rental, any customizations would need to be approved by the owner.
Amenities are another lifestyle consideration when it comes to buying or renting.
Most likely, an apartment will have more amenities than a typical home, such as a workout room, pool, large party room or even a concierge service. Of course, you may have the option of building or adding similar amenities to a home you buy, but it can be pricey and impractical investment. If you want a pool without the cost and maintenance that owning one would require, then renting an apartment with a community pool is the way to go.
From my perspective, whether you buy or rent has a significant impact on your lifestyle, particularly over the long-term. Thinking about what’s important to you and how you want to spend your time will help you determine what best fits your desired lifestyle.