Monday Night Finance- Volume 106

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Apparently, You Can Buy a House on Amazon. Should You?

Buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do as an adult. Not only will you commit yourself to a purchase that is more than your annual income, but you’ll also likely be paying it off for 30 or more years. On top of that, shopping for a home is full of tradeoffs. Do you want to be close to the office? Or do you want to have a fenced in backyard for your dog? Do you choose the house with an ugly kitchen or bigger bedrooms? And on top of all that, the 2020’s has intense competition for homes with multiple people bidding on these same flawed houses. In a world where Amazon can get toothpaste to your house before bedtime, wouldn’t it be nice if they could just ship you a house too? I was surprised to find out that yes, Amazon does indeed sell houses.

If someone said, “You can own a home for under $20,000,” what would your first thought be? As tempting as it may be to say, “Sign me up,” there’s a lot to consider. You can purchase a house of this caliber on Amazon. One YouTuber’s viral video highlighted this homeownership method, and it sounds much easier in theory than it is in execution.

~Amanda Hoyer, Wealth of Geeks

This article by Amanda Hoyer explores the rising trend of purchasing tiny folding homes via Amazon as an affordable alternative to traditional homeownership. Highlighting the allure of such homes, especially among Millennials and Gen Z grappling with inflation and student debt, the article delves into the financial and lifestyle appeal of tiny homes, which can cost under $20,000. However, Hoyer outlines significant drawbacks, including potential legal issues, the necessity of water and sewage connections, the complexities of electrical wiring, and zoning regulations, urging readers to weigh these against the benefits carefully. The tone of the article is informative and cautionary, aiming to provide a comprehensive view of both the possibilities and challenges that come with investing in a tiny home from Amazon. If you’ve ever thought about buying one of these kits, you should definitely check out this article!

Cheap Easter Basket Ideas

Easter will soon be here. While many people are looking forward to celebrating the holiday, many parents may be dreading providing a special Easter memory for their children… especially if finances are tight. However, it is important to remember that gifts can have more meaning than just their cash value. And that you don’t need to compare your basket to perfect ones you might find on Pinterest or Instagram. Fortunately, Jennifer Derrick’s article “Cheap Easter Basket Ideas” comes as a beacon of hope, offering a plethora of innovative and affordable ways to fill Easter baskets with joy, not just items.

For the night owl in your life, a Rain Boot Easter Basket provides a whimsical and practical twist. Fill a colorful rain boot with favorite treats and small gifts, turning it into a delightful surprise that also serves as a useful item long after Easter has passed.

~Jennifer Derrick, Budgets made easy

This article by Jennifer Derrick provides a wealth of budget-friendly tips for creating delightful Easter baskets that won’t strain your finances. Emphasizing creativity over cost, Derrick suggests using unconventional containers found in thrift stores and filling them with homemade treats and crafts, catering to both older children and younger family members with personalized items. From DIY decorations to selecting baskets based on hobbies and interests, the article is brimming with suggestions for making Easter special without the high expense. Derrick especially highlights the importance of adding personal touches to make more meaningful experiences and gifts. The article is both encouraging and practical, steering readers towards thoughtful celebration rather than extravagant spending. If you’re working on stretching your Easter budget, you should check out the article for a reminder that memorable holidays can be achieved through imagination and a little effort, rather than a hefty price tag.

How to Pay Less Tax on Your Stock Market Profits

There is nothing better than the feeling of making money without working. Seeing big wins in the stock market can be an excellent mood booster… until you realize that now you’ll have to pay taxes on those capital gains. While the government is always going to take their fair share, there are numerous strategies to minimize the amount of taxes you’ll have to pay on your capital gains. Dave Heistein’s article, “How to Pay Less Tax on Your Stock Market Profits,” dives deep into this topic, offering clear, actionable advice for investors at all levels.

When you invest using a tax-deferred retirement account, you won’t pay taxes on the money you put in immediately. Plus, the profits you make from these investments grow without being taxed until you take the money out, usually when you’re older and possibly in a lower tax bracket. On other hand, Roth retirement accounts use after-tax dollars. However, the earnings grow tax free. ~Dave Heistein

~Dave Heistein

Dave Heistein’s article “How to Pay Less Tax on Your Stock Market Profits” serves as an insightful guide for investors looking to minimize taxes on their investment gains. Heistein simplifies the complexities of capital gains tax, distinguishing between short-term and long-term gains, and emphasizes the advantages of holding stocks for more than a year to benefit from lower tax rates. He advocates for the strategic use of tax-advantaged accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs, and introduces tax loss harvesting as a method to offset gains with losses, carefully navigating the “wash sale” rule. Moreover, Heistein stresses the importance of timing stock sales to align with individual income levels and tax brackets, and underscores the tax-saving potential of maximizing retirement account contributions. His tone is educational and empowering, aiming to demystify the tax implications of stock investments and encourage smarter, more tax-efficient investing strategies.