Junior Writer

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month.

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, which is a more general term for a decline in mental capacity severe enough to to interfere with a person’s everyday life. It’s a progressive disease that gradually worsens over several years, and while there are treatments available to delay and lessen symptoms for a time, there is currently no cure.

The emotional, physical and mental effects of Alzheimer’s, along with other diseases that affect memory and brain function, are difficult for everyone involved. Add in the financial implications of long-term care, medication, therapies and appointments, and the financial strain can make an already overwhelming diagnosis that much more devastating.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Thankfully, several organizations offer free and low-cost resources to people affected by Alzheimer's or another form of dementia.

We’ve compiled some resources that will help you find free and low-cost resources for both patients and caregivers.

Free Screenings

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides free, confidential memory screenings administered by qualified professionals across the U.S. You can find a testing site near you  that offers free memory screenings.

If you’re not sure if you should be screened, these questions may help you decide. You can also download and take this free Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE), but you should take your completed form to a qualified healthcare professional for a follow-up.

Resources for Individuals Who Have Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association’s website is a good place to go for initial resources. There, you’ll find links to a lot of helpful articles and videos, including everything from a “What to Expect” section to a free “Taking Action” workbook.

Here, you’ll find resources including a free telephone helpline, links to local and online support groups and free online education courses.

You can also search for free and low-cost services in your community.

Resources for Caregivers

Here you’ll find information and free, online educational materials to help you better understand your role as a caregiver. You can also search for local and online support groups and message boards so you can connect with people who have faced with similar circumstances.

You’ll also find resources that explain different care options, and can connect you to them, because no one person should have to face the entirety of the caregiving experience alone. There’s also an eldercare locator that can help you find programs in your area.

At the National Institute on Aging, you’ll find resources for relieving stress and anxiety, as well as information on coping with the emotional changes and the modified grieving processes that go along with a dementia diagnosis.

Financial Help

If you’re in need of financial help to allay some of the mounting costs of long-term care, Paying for Senior Care has resources for understanding, planning for and lowering long-term care costs. The site covers everything from home modifications to veterans’ benefits.

The Caregiver Center breaks down several financial aid options available to you, including government assistance programs and retirement benefits. This website offers information on Medicare and Medicaid, along with info on the limitations and benefits of different types of insurance and health care coverage.

This free, downloadable educational program provides information on legal and financial planning for those who are in the early stages of the disease.

Finally, this website will help you find your local Area Agency on Aging. AAAs receive federal funding under the Older American Act with supplementation through state and local revenues. Each AAA provides a collection of services including insurance counseling, transportation assistance, caregiver support and information and referrals.

The Alzheimer’s Association is working to inspire action in an effort to find a cure -- but for those already affected by this disease in any way, now is the time to seek out emotional, mental, physical and financial support.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Airport parking is notoriously pricy.

And that rental car you pick up once you reach your destination? Well, that’s no small expense either.

But frequent (and infrequent) flyers, rejoice: A company called TravelCar wants to add a bit of money back into your vacation budget by eliminating those expensive parking fees and putting your car to work for you.

How to Make Your Car Earn Its Keep

The idea behind this innovative peer-to-peer car-sharing service is threefold:

If you agree to let your car be rented out to other travelers while you’re on vacation, you’ll not only score free airport parking for the entirety of your trip, but you could also earn a profit by the time you return.

If you’d prefer not to have another vacationer rent your car, you can park in the TravelCar lot and pay a fee that’s significantly lower than most traditional airport parking services.

And travelers who want to rent a car through TravelCar can book a rental for up to 70% less than the fees conventional rental car companies charge.

How the Car-Sharing Platform Works

To be rented out to other travelers while you’re away on your own vacation, your car will have to meet a few requirements: It must be less than 10 years old, have less than 100,000 miles on the odometer and be registered in the U.S.

You’ll earn money for every mile your car is driven while you’re away and will be reimbursed after pickup at the end of your trip. If for some reason your car is not rented out during your trip, you still take advantage of TravelCar’s free parking program.

If you’re nervous about letting someone drive your baby car while you’re not around, don’t be: Your car is safeguarded from theft and physical damage by $1 million in liability insurance.

Luxury vehicles — in this case, anything valued over $40,000 — are not eligible to be rented out through TravelCar’s rental program, but you could still nab some pretty cheap airport parking.

Coming Soon To An Airport Near You

The Paris-based company, which already operates in 400 locations in 25 countries, launched its first U.S. offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City earlier this year. The company has plans for a rapid expansion throughout the U.S., and has already opened additional branches in several cities across the country, including Chicago and Orlando, Florida.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Uber is introducing a new feature that could mean bigger earnings for its drivers going forward.

Soon, drivers with the popular ride-hailing service will be able to earn an additional $2 per ride when they pick up teenagers who book through a new “teen accounts” feature within the app.

Uber began piloting the program in Seattle, Phoenix and Columbus on June 20. If all goes well, will hopefully be rolling the feature out to the rest of the U.S. later this year.

How Uber’s New Teen Accounts Work

Technically, Uber’s rules state riders must be at least 18 years old to use an Uber account. However, the new feature is linked to parents’ accounts through a “family profile.”

After downloading the app, parents can go to “settings” and select the family profile option. An invitation to download the app and join the family profile can be sent to the teens (age 13-17), who will then be able to book and coordinate their own rides. Those rides will be billed using the payment method associated with the parents’ main account.

The base fare for teen account rides will be $2 more than a regular ride with Uber.

Parents are Always in Control

Parents will be notified when a new teen account trip is booked, and will be able to see the driver’s profile, including their name, photo and vehicle details. They’ll also be able to contact the driver directly if necessary.

Ride updates will be sent to parents’ phones throughout each trip, and a live map feature will allow them to follow along in real time.

Teens will not have access to UberPOOL or UberTAXI vehicles, so they’ll never share a ride with a stranger.

Additionally, only experienced drivers with consistently high ratings will be eligible to pick up teens through this new program, which should give parents some peace of mind.

The Bigger Picture

The feature is part of Uber’s “180 Days of Change” campaign, a new project that aims to put more control and a greater earning potential into drivers’ hands.

For the next six months, Uber will change the driver experience in response to requests from Uber drivers across the U.S.

Along with the new teen accounts, the first phase of this initiative brought about several long-awaited features such as in-app tipping and paid waiting times.

What this initiative will look like moving forward remains to be seen, but it seems to be headed in the right direction!

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The people have spoken, and Uber is finally responding.

After years of Uber drivers demanding asking for a tipping platform within the Uber app, the ride-hailing company has announced plans to roll out a tipping feature.

The tipping feature is already available in Houston, Minneapolis and Seattle. Over the next few weeks, Uber will add more cities to the list, aiming to make tipping available to all U.S. drivers by the end of July 2017.

Why Include an Uber Tipping Feature Now?

After some recent shake-ups in the company, Uber launched a new campaign called “180 Days of Change” earlier this week, promising to make some serious improvements over the next several months.

The first issue the company plans to tackle? Driver earnings.

Previously, Uber refused to include a tipping option within the app, insisting that foregoing tipping made for a “hassle-free” experience for drivers and riders alike.

However, drivers with the popular ride-hailing app have been vocal about what they feel is missed earning potential. Earlier this year, over 11,000 drivers in New York City signed a petition asking city officials to force Uber to include a tipping option.

Although it has always said drivers are welcome to accept cash tips, the company has stood firm in its decision not to offer a tipping function, saying tipping may create a bias, particularly within the driver/rider review function on the app.

The company also noted a tipping system could incentivize drivers to spend more time in areas of town where tips may be higher, thereby narrowing the company’s reach.

How a tipping feature will affect drivers’ earnings and the overall functionality of the ride-hailing system remains to be seen, but the reaction from drivers seems entirely positive.

Harry Campbell, who runs the popular blog Rideshare Guy, wrote, “I've always been frustrated by Uber's lack of empathy toward drivers, and although this won't shift the perception overnight, it is a big step in the right direction.”

Along with the new tipping feature, Uber has also announced a few smaller changes, such as shortening the fee cancellation period and a paid wait time which starts two minutes after arriving at a rider’s pickup location. Drivers will also be able to cash out earnings and tips at any time -- no waiting for a certain amount to accrue.

All we can say is props to Uber for listening to its users, taking responsibility and formulating a plan to better the overall experience for riders and drivers.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Editor's Note: This position is now filled. 

Are you a tech-minded person?

Do you love solving problems?

Are you so patient that you don’t bat an eye when your grandmother asks you to help her learn how to use her new smartphone (for the tenth time in two weeks)?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then I have just one more for you:

Are you ready to start earning a paycheck from the comfort of your own home?

If you shouted a resounding “YES” at your computer screen just now (don’t worry, I heard you), then we’ve got a job opportunity for you.

Apply for These Work-From-Home Jobs With Staples

Staples, the office supplies retailer, is looking to hire part-time Tech Services Agents to work from home.  

Tech Services Agents at Staples are responsible for providing technical support, operational direction and training content for associates at retail locations, call center locations and throughout various other sectors within the company.

You’ll perform diagnostics, set up PCs, remove viruses and provide data services. You’ll also communicate using phone, email, chat or help-desk tickets while maintaining thorough and accurate notes about your services and processes.

You should have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and should have a minimum of two years of experience providing technical support. You should also possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.

As far as equipment requirements for this position, you’ll simply need stable internet access and a home landline. A smartphone is also preferred, but is not entirely necessary.

We’ve reached out to the company to learn more about pay, benefits and specifics about scheduling, and we’ll update this post as soon as we hear back.

In the meantime, to learn more about this position and apply to become a Tech Services Agent at Staples, visit the original job listing here.

If you’re eager to learn about more work-from-home opportunities like this one, be sure to like our Jobs page on Facebook. We post awesome work-from-home opportunities there whenever we find them!

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Board game sales have steadily risen over the past several years.

So much so, in fact, that board game giant Hasbro is actually going to begin offering a (not inexpensive) board game subscription service.

But wait -- didn’t we leave board games behind in childhood? Why are they so popular with adults these days?

While there are a lot of theories about why this is the case (yay, something millennials aren’t murdering!), the one that came up most often was as simple as togetherness.

In a world being taken over by screens, smart phones and digital platforms, people (particularly the aforementioned millennials) are craving more face-to-face interaction.

And since you can’t just make a bunch of people sit in a room and stare at each other (too much face-to-face interaction), you have to have something in the middle for everyone to bond over, laugh over and drink wine over -- so you whip out the board games.

(Side note: by the end of this post, the term “board game” is going to sound like gibberish.)

The Case for Board Game Nights

If you’re not on board (get it?) with the idea of board game nights (adults playing board games… without children present?!), I urge you to reconsider.

First of all, board games are a relatively inexpensive way to bring people together. Instead of taking the whole family to the movies or dropping big bucks at a bar with your friends, invest in a couple of good board games and set up weekly game nights.

You’ll save money by staying in and making food at home, and you’ll actually enjoy each other’s company in an environment that allows you to hear each other talk (because apparently human interaction is the new black).

Board game nights are also a chance not to leave your house, put on your comfiest sweatpants and drink lots of wine, all while letting your overly-competitive flag fly as you decimate your friends -- but that’s, uh, beside the point.

Either way, board game nights are a great, inexpensive way to bring everyone together, so it’s about time you hosted your own.

How to Host Your Own Board Game Night

To host a good board game night, you’ll need three things: a good board game, cheap wine and cheaper food.

(Having cheap wine means you can drink more of it, and having cheap food makes the cheapness of the wine less noticeable. This is strategy, people. You’re going to need a lot of strategy during board game night, because board games demand strategy.)

But let’s break this down.

The Game

First, you’re going to want to pick your board game.

You’ve got the classics (like Monopoly and Scrabble), the nostalgia-inducers (like Clue and Sorry!), and the new wave (like The Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride).

Now, while you can find some of the classics and nostalgia-inducers for cheap online, in thrift stores (just check to be sure all the pieces are there) or at the back of the closet at your mom’s house, those trendy, newly minted games -- the ones your friends actually want to play -- can be a little pricy.

Before you go drop a whole paycheck on a base game and four extension packs, ask around to see if anyone you know has a version you can borrow. Also, keep in mind that many libraries lend board games, so be sure to check with your local branch!

If you can’t get ahold of one, but you’re really set on getting the hippest of the hip new board games, you may have to bite the bullet and consider it an investment.

When you think about it (but not too hard, these are all pretty, um, hypothetical numbers), spending $40 on a board game that will bring you and your friends years of entertainment and bonding through friendly competition isn’t so bad when compared to achieving that same level of bonding at a bar -- an exercise which will require at least three dozen separate nights out with bar tabs totaling in the hundreds.

See? Game night suddenly seems like the cheap way out.

The Drink

Luckily, we here at The Penny Hoarder have both a taste for fine(ish) wine and a taste for saving money.

We’ve sipped ‘em, swirled ‘em, tasted ‘em and tested ‘em, and every cork we’ve popped and (believe it or not) can we’ve cracked has brought us here: to board game night preparations.

Pick up a few bottles of the infamous Two Buck Chuck (or, better yet, guilt your friends into bringing it by exclaiming loudly about subtly mentioning the price of board games these days).

The key here is to provide enough wine that everyone will actually get into the game and have a good time, but not so much that things get heated and someone flips the table and storms out when you manage to settle all of Catan first. (I’m just guessing here, I’ve never actually settled Catan myself.)

Either way, wine will be an important factor in getting people to return to board game night enough times to make the whole using-your-whole-fun-money-budget-on-a-board-game thing worth it.

The Food

As far as food goes, you’re limited only by your imagination. This is board game night, not Thanksgiving with your Nana -- there are no rules at board game night. Except for the ones included on the back of the game box, but those don’t apply in the kitchen.

If you’re feeling chef-like, you could try throwing together some of these party snacks. These are technically Super Bowl party snacks, but board game night is just as big of a deal if not more so.

If you can’t be bothered to cook because you need time to psych yourself up for board game night, you could have your friends pitch in for pizza or ask everyone to bring a dish -- potluck style.

And just like that, with three easily procured elements (look, we’ve done 80% of the legwork for you!) you’re ready to host your first board game night.

And while it might be confusing at first -- this resurgence of board game culture that you thought you left behind in 1989 -- your friends will eventually thank you for not making them spend another weekend trading hard-earned money for overpriced drinks.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Adding these links helps us keep the lights on in The Penny Hoarder HQ, which makes it a lot easier to play shuffleboard after a long day of deal-seeking!

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys cheap wine, cheaper food and long walks on the (Monopoly) boardwalk.

Traveling in your kid-free early adulthood was easy and relatively inexpensive.

You could book a last-minute, discounted flight to anywhere, overstuff a single carry-on backpack with “necessities” like books and take off. You’d figure out where you’d sleep and eat later -- all you had to do was pick up and go.

But all these years -- and a couple of kids -- later, traveling is a whole different ball game. A whole different ball game broadcast on an entirely different TV station in a totally different universe.

Now, you plan your trip meticulously to make sure that work schedules, school schedules and, well, life schedules all line up perfectly. You book flights and hotels months in advance (no more $10 hostel stays for you), and you’re suddenly responsible for procuring more substantial daily sustenance than a single soggy street hotdog and a pack of peanut butter crackers can provide.

10 Tips to Help You Save Money When Traveling With Kids

Traveling with kids is expensive and more than a little stressful. It’s costs double (or more) to fly, eat, sleep, sightsee -- and everything in between now that you’re sharing your world -- and your travels through it -- with tiny people.

But there are some tricks you can use to make traveling with kids cost just a little less (and even be a really great experience) while keeping your sanity intact.

1. Learn How to Pack for Every Member of the Family

Learning how to pack efficiently will save you money in more ways than one: fewer bags means paying less in baggage fees, and making sure to have everything you need before you reach your destination means you aren’t stuck purchasing a $12 bottle of sunscreen at an overpriced beach shop.

Recently, Tampa Mama visited The Penny Hoarder HQ to share her best tips and tricks for packing for the whole family. Check them out!

2. ...And Don’t Forget the Carry-On

The quickest way for a vacation -- and a budget -- to go south? Delayed luggage.

Make sure you pack enough necessities in your carry-on (toothbrushes, extra diapers and a full change of clothes for each person) that you won’t have to go out and buy them if your luggage is delayed for some reason.

Also, be sure to pack any favorite toys or blankets in the carry-on -- nothing’s worse than dropping an extra $25 on expedited shipping to get that replacement blankie STAT.

3. To Check, or Not to Check

Babies come with a lot of gear, but those baby-gear makers don’t seem to have any respect for narrow airplane aisles or mad dashes between terminals on a particularly brief layover.

In the moment, you’ll be tempted to strap that child to you with duct tape (just kidding, maybe use a wrap or a carrier) and ditch the car seat -- but don’t.

Your kid has to ride in something when you get to your destination, and renting a car seat with your rental car can run as much as $15 per day per car seat (with a maximum cap of $70 per seat). If you have two car-seat-sized kids on a four-day trip, that could mean paying as much as $120.

AAA offers one free car seat rental per car rental through Hertz, but keep in mind that there’s no way to guarantee safety -- or availability -- when renting a car seat.

Instead, most airlines allow you to check one car seat and one stroller per kid for free. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons on flying with car seats, along with some important safety info.

4. iPads Save Lives (Also Your Money and Sanity)

Don’t empty your wallet for in-flight Wi-Fi and movies. Instead, download movies, shows and games onto whatever devices you have handy, make sure they’re fully charged and then (important) don’t forget the chargers.

And if you’re really not into the whole kids-with-devices thing, check out this list of keep-a-kid-entertained perks that these airlines hand out for free.

5. Snacks on a Plane

Food is the silent budget killer when it comes to vacations. Instead of dropping big bucks on airport food and plane meals, pack enough snacks to hold the family over for the entire flight -- and during those prolonged airport hangs.

Dry snacks, such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and chips are allowed in your carry-on. (Pro tip: You can even bring full meals if you can fit them in your bag -- they just can’t contain liquids over the usual 3.4 oz.)

Have a few refillable water bottles handy so that you can fill them up after you pass through security. You can also carry on juice, formula, baby food and breast milk in “reasonable quantities.”

Read the TSA’s full list of carry-on food rules, and then read the agency’s guide to making it through security with kids and their gear.

6. Time is Money

Peak season for travel (peak = pricy) is during school breaks. And while I know it’s not ideal to pull your kids out of school for a few days in the middle of the year, if you’re looking for cheaper airfare and off-season attractions pricing, try to be flexible with your travel dates.

7. Decide How You’re Getting There

While a road trip is almost always less expensive than airfare for the family, it’s not always the most convenient (or even realistic) option.

An early morning or overnight flight is often less expensive, and, with any luck, your kids will sleep through a good portion of it. If you’re looking for even bigger savings, check out the infrequent flyer’s guide to getting the cheapest flights and learn how to get the most out of your frequent flyer miles.

(Bonus: Did you know that your kids can collect frequent flyer miles, too? There are even family frequent flyer accounts that will let you collect them all in one place! Here’s some info to get you started.)

8. Plan Accordingly (But Don’t Limit Your Trip)

Don’t blow your entire vacation budget for the next five years on one trip to Disney World just because you feel like you have to. (Although if you’re set on going the theme park route, check out these tips for saving money along the way.)

Not every family vacation has to be kid-centric from here on out. Pick a destination that you’ll love to explore and then do a little extra research before you leave, making note of any nearby attractions that the kids will enjoy.

Every city has free parks, and most have fun things like children’s museums and splash pads -- just be sure to take advantage of child pricing and kids-get-in-free days!

9. Book a Kid-Friendly Place to Stay

Hotel stays with kids are usually both expensive and impractical because, unless you’re shelling out for a suite, a single hotel room turns into a silent prison after the kids’ bedtime.

Look, it’s one thing no longer to be able to enjoy a foreign city’s night life, but it’s another thing entirely to have to learn to communicate in Morse code solely by blinking for fear of waking up a fussy and overly-exhausted baby.

Instead of spending the hours between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. refusing to so much as flush the toilet, opt for a roomier (and cheaper) Airbnb.

You can even select “family friendly” under the amenities filter when you go to book, which will often return houses and apartments that already have toys and games handy.

Another bonus? If you secure a place with a kitchen, you can save even more by picking up ingredients and cooking your own meals.

10. Get Outdoors

The great outdoors is always free -- or at least pretty cheap.

Instead of paying for another structured, generic tour, get out and explore nature. Activities like hiking, biking and canoeing can all be family-friendly and are inexpensive ways to see parts of your destination that you’d never encounter on a sightseeing bus ride.

And sure, it might not be wise to take your kid on a Class 5 whitewater rafting expedition (please don’t), but pushing them a little on a long hike to a hidden waterfall will pay off when they get to spend the day exploring and playing in the water.

All of a sudden, it’s the best vacation ever -- for you and for them -- and it didn’t cost an extra cent.

Enjoy Your Trip

So, sure, traveling with kids is a bit more of a hassle (on both you and your wallet) than your post-college backpacking trek through Europe.

But, with enough preparation and the right attitude (read: adjust your expectations), vacations can be fun -- and totally doable -- once again.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Last month, we brought you news that Google would soon be launching Google for Jobs, a tool that allows you to search jobs across the entirety of the internet in one move.

Well, soon is now -- and Google for Jobs is officially up and running.

(The tool is currently rolling out, but may take a few days to show up on your phone or computer. Here in The Penny Hoarder HQ, it’s a 50/50 split -- for some of us, it works just fine, but for others, the function doesn’t even show up yet! If you don’t see it right away, give it time and check back later.)

How to Use Google for Jobs

Now since I know you’re eager to start your new and improved job hunt, we’ll get right to the “how” and put a pin in the “why” for a minute.

To use Google for Jobs, you simply type a job query into the regular ol’ Google search bar -- you don’t even have to go to a special site.

You can type in something as broad as “writing jobs” or as specific as “Red Lobster jobs” and a widget will pop up with all the relevant job openings. You’ll then see options for narrowing your search, including date posted, company type, category and location. You can also narrow down the list by job type, including filters for full-time, part-time, internships and contract work.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search results, you can even set a job alert to deliver instant, daily or weekly alerts about new jobs to your email inbox.

When you find a job that interests you, click through and you’ll be taken to a “job overview” page. There, you’ll find a copy of the job listing along with helpful information like your potential commute time, reviews about the company from sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, as well as links to the company’s website and the original job listing.

To apply for a job, you have to go to the original job listing. Google is not involved in the application process at all, as Google for Jobs is simply a search tool, not a platform on which jobs are actually listed.

What’s So Special About Google for Jobs, Though?

So here’s the “why,” as promised: Google simply wants to make jobs more accessible to more people, and to better connect job seekers to employers by making job listings of every type more visible.

The tool pulls job listings from almost all of the leading online job boards, including sites like Glassdoor and CareerBuilder, along with any jobs frequently found solely on a company’s homepage, like serving and retail jobs.

This means you no longer have to keep tabs on four different job sites or spend your day digging through each restaurant chain’s individual website. Instead, jobs of every type will be visible in one place, through one search.

Google is also seeking to eradicate the issue of double-posted job listings and the inclusion of  unclear or minimal job details. If the tool finds a job with multiple postings, it will link to the one with the most complete information included in the hopes that it will entice sites to share the most pertinent and helpful details going forward.

And no, Google won’t use your search history to present you with jobs it thinks you might like. Nick Zakrasek, the product manager in charge of Google for Jobs, joked that just because you like to go fishing, that doesn’t mean you’re looking for a job on a fishing boat.

The point of the tool is a broader range of job listings that can be narrowed down to a finer point, so you’ll see just about every relevant job listing the internet has to offer, all in one move, all in one place.

And with that, Google just changed the job hunting game.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The idea of a universal basic income, or UBI, has been gaining popularity over the last few years.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, you can learn more about it here. But the gist of it is that everyone in a society receives a guaranteed income to cover the costs of needs such as shelter and food.

While it’s been toyed with in various countries around the world, it’s never been implemented in the U.S. (Alaska’s “dividend” program is the closest thing to a UBI America has seen.)

But recently, Hawaii state representatives unanimously passed a bill to explore the possibility of introducing a UBI into the Hawaiian economy.

Hawaii May be First State to Adopt Universal Basic Income

State Rep. Chris Lee, who first heard about the concept of UBIs on Reddit, proposed the bill, titled House Concurrent Resolution 89. His concern, he said, is that automation will make jobs in service industry-heavy Hawaii increasingly rare.

The cost of living in Hawaii is higher than in any other state in the U.S., and if already low-paying service jobs disappear, Hawaii’s already immense homelessness crisis may surge. The UBI would hopefully alleviate that problem.

Hawaii’s Next Steps

Both houses in the State Legislature passed the bill, which will assemble a working group comprised of people from various areas of public life.

The group will assess the state’s potential problems regarding automation and the service industry and submit studies on UBIs for the State Legislature to consider.

We’ll keep an eye on this situation as it develops and be back with updates on Hawaii’s decision to explore offering its residents a UBI.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s not sure what she’d do with the security provided by a UBI, but she’s got a few ideas.

Ask anyone with a work-from-home job and they’ll tell you: it’s pretty rad to be able to earn an income from the comfort of your own home (and in your “please, don’t look at me” sweats, no less).

And when you come across awesome work-from-home jobs with companies whose products you use and love -- well, that’s just the cherry atop the proverbial sundae.

Right now, Ipsy and Warby Parker are looking to fill work-from-home roles -- read on to see if these positions are right for you!

2 Companies Filling Work-From-Home Jobs Right Now

These two awesome companies are hiring people to work from home, so apply today!

1. Customer Care Representative at Ipsy

Ipsy (the beauty-box company behind your fave monthly subscription, Glam Bag) is looking for Customer Care Representatives to work from home in four states: California, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

You’ll respond to customer queries and questions in a professional and positive manner, recommend solutions to their issues and share relevant insights into company processes to ensure a heightened overall customer experience.

You should be perceptive and empathetic, and should be able to adapt your tone and your problem-solving approach to fit a variety of challenges and situations. You should be consistent and innovative, as well as able to take control and responsibility when working through issues with customers.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience, including one to three years in a customer-centric industry, strong computer skills and exceptional verbal and written communication abilities. You must be willing to work one weekend shift per week.

Details about pay and benefits are not listed, but we’ve reached out to the company and will update this post when we hear back.

Apply for this job.

2. Customer Experience Advisor at Warby Parker

Warby Parker is an online eyeglass store that allows customers to test-drive frames through its home try-on program.

The company is currently looking for a part-time Customer Experience Advisor to work from home.

You’ll assist customers via email, helping them throughout the ordering process with everything from styling advice to basic order completion inquiries. You’ll also process orders and will work to maintain customer relationships while channeling queries to the appropriate teams.

You should be a creative problem solver and an expert communicator, and should take ownership and pride in your work (being a fan of the brand is a must!).

You should be able to work at least 15 hours per week, and should be based near the Nashville area as you’ll need to be at the Nashville office for two three-day training periods.

We’ve reached out to the company to inquire about pay and benefits and will update this post when we find out more information.

Apply for this job.

If you’re looking for a good work-from-home job, but you aren’t based in the required cities mentioned here, be sure to like our Jobs page on Facebook! We post awesome work-from-home jobs there whenever we find them.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

There are plenty of reasons to sell your unwanted stuff.

You might be moving into a tiny home or moving on after a nasty breakup -- or you might just want to purge after reading that copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” your mom sent after her visit last month (subtle).

Or maybe you really just need the extra cash this week.

Whatever your motivation for selling all the weird stuff lurking in the back of your closet, you’re going to want to make as much money as you possibly can off each item (because who doesn’t like money?).

And while some apps or websites are better than others for selling certain items, there’s one seller’s principle that can mean the difference between making a dollar and making, well, many dollars:

It’s all about timing.

That’s right -- in the same way that there’s a best time to buy, there’s also a best time to sell your unwanted or unused stuff.

An item that sells for pennies in the springtime may sell for $10 in November. If you can wait a few months to get rid of something, you’ll make a significantly bigger chunk of change at the time when the demand is highest.

The Right Time to Sell to Make the Most Money

If you’re not dying to get rid of something, try hanging onto it for a few months, so you can sell it when the time is right.

The general rule of thumb is to list an item a month or two before it’s seasonally necessary -- although there are a few exceptions.  

To help you figure out when to sell, the folks over at OfferUp gave us some insider intel on the best times to list all your unwanted stuff -- and we’ve added a few of our own to the pot, as well!

January

New Year’s resolution: Make money.

Workout Gear

[caption id="attachment_59154" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Halfpoint/Getty Images[/caption]

In January, everybody’s looking for workout equipment to help them achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Sell it now, because by July, everyone else will be trying to get rid of theirs. (Never mind the fact that you’re selling yours because you, too, had high aspirations once.)

Textbooks

Textbooks are in high demand twice a year, at the beginning of each school semester. Sell your old textbooks in early January to make sure you get the most bucks for your books.

February

February isn’t a very good month for selling, but there are a couple of thematic items that are actually in high demand as last minute gifts.

Jewelry

[caption id="attachment_59155" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] wundervisuals/Getty Images[/caption]

While jewelry doesn’t hold its value very well, if you find yourself with extra shiny, pretty things on hand, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day will be one of your better chances at making a buck or two. (The other is around the winter holidays, but we’ll get there.)

Lingerie

Obviously we’re not talking about previously worn pieces, but if you have some gifted sets with the tags still on that you’ll never wear, now is the time to sell!

March

March on over to the bank with fistfuls of cash.

Wedding Gear

[caption id="attachment_59158" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Hreni/Getty Images[/caption]

While full-blown wedding season isn’t until June, March is a good time to start listing everything wedding related, from old bridesmaid dresses to leftover table centerpieces. These will continue to sell through June, but you’ll want to capitalize on the fact that people plan weddings, so they’ll be buying a little early.

Warm Weather Clothes

As the last of the winter chill lingers, people get restless and start dreaming about shopping around for shorts, tanks and swimsuits. Now is the time to start listing warm weather clothes!

April

Spring cleaning can mean extra cash in your pockets!

Prom Dresses

People start to search for prom dresses online during the month of April, as most proms take place toward the end of May and beginning of June. List them now to give your old dresses a life beyond the dark recesses of your closet!

Bicycles

[caption id="attachment_59160" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] DragonImages/Getty Images[/caption]

At this point, people are ready to get outside and get moving. Now is the best time of year to sell a bike, as the weather warms up and biking to work actually sounds like a pleasant experience to some people.

Workout Gear (Again)

If you have any workout gear that didn’t sell (or if you were on of those people who had the best intentions and actually bought some for yourself) back in January, now is your second chance to sell anything you may still have on hand. In the spring, people are suddenly hyper-aware that swimsuit season is coming up, which means workout gear and clothing are in high demand once again.

May

Everything is growing -- including your wallet.

Luggage

[caption id="attachment_59162" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Pilin_Petunyia/Getty Images[/caption]

Got extra luggage sitting around that needs a new adventure buddy? Now is a good time to list it as people are planning their summer vacations.

Vacation Items

Along the same lines, May is also the best time to sell various other vacation items such as plug adapters (for international travel), beach toys or camping gear.

June

There’s no Summer Break when it comes to earning money!

Summer Fun

[caption id="attachment_59163" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] piola666/Getty Images[/caption]

As we head into the summer months, people will be looking for outdoor fun -- things like lawn chairs, water toys and swimsuits will sell well in June!

July

Your bank account is looking hot (just like this weather)!

Baby Gear

[caption id="attachment_59164" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] AleksandarNakic/Getty Images[/caption]

More babies are born in July and August than any other months of the year, so it makes sense that people are looking for baby gear, like strollers and cribs. The exception to this rule is baby clothes. Because babies grow so quickly and often unpredictably, baby clothes sell better in the season they are most current. No parent wants to buy a snowsuit in June only to find that by December, their kid has outpaced the growth charts.

Back-to-School Items

Anything school or dorm related will sell well now as people start to think about back-to-school shopping. List dorm accessories, backpacks, kids school clothing and anything else that you regularly see on those “back-to-school” lists.

August

Back to school, back to earning that cash!

Textbooks

[caption id="attachment_59165" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] PeopleImages/Getty Images[/caption]

Again, textbooks will sell well at the beginning of the semester after college students have signed up for all their classes.

September

Time to start storing up those pennies for winter.

Furniture and Homegoods

[caption id="attachment_59166" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Oralleff/Getty Images[/caption]

Moving season begins as early as May and peaks in September before dropping off dramatically in the fall. In September, people are looking for furniture, home decor, and small kitchen appliances and tools to outfit their new digs.

Halloween Outfits and Decorations

Also in September, people start planning their Halloween costumes and parties. List these things now to take advantage of the planners!

October

Scary Halloween costume idea: An empty wallet.

Cold Weather Clothes

[caption id="attachment_59122" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Sell your stuff ArminStautBerlin/Getty Images[/caption]

The temperature is dropping, so now is the time to sell your jeans, sweaters, jackets and boots.

Kids snow gear, including snowsuits, boots, hats and gloves, will also start to sell and will peak into the winter months.

November

There’s a lot to be thankful for -- including the extra cash you’ll be making this month!

Holiday Decorations

[caption id="attachment_59190" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] kenlh/Getty Images[/caption]

List decorations for the winter holidays at the beginning of November. The minute the Halloween decorations come down, people are anxious to start spreading that holiday cheer.

Holiday Gifts

If you have toys still in the packaging, clothes with the tags on (especially big brands), unopened cosmetics and gently used electronics, list them in November when people are starting their holiday shopping.

December

Empty storage closet = full wallet.

Jewelry

[caption id="attachment_59191" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Darunechka/Getty Images[/caption]

Jewelry also sells well in December (especially engagement rings, if you happen to have one that’s no longer in use). You can also sell your used jewelry directly to a site like I Do, Now I Don’t if you’re looking to make some extra cash to get you through the holiday season.

Exceptions to The Rules

There are a few exceptions to this list, however. Some items sell well during multiple seasons (or even year ‘round!) and some will sell better with a little strategic thinking.

Cars

[caption id="attachment_59192" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Geber86/Getty Images[/caption]

Sports cars and convertibles will sell better (and possibly for a bit more money) in the sunny spring and early summer months. Trucks and SUVs (especially those with four-wheel drive) will sell better in the icy fall and winter months.

Large Appliances

Large appliances like refrigerators, stoves and washing machines will sell well throughout the year. Appliances break all the time, and no one is waiting for a certain time of year to purchase a replacement dishwasher!

Seasonal Recreational Items

For seasonal “toys” like skis, kayaks, roller blades and golf clubs (or any other items with only a brief annual window of enjoyment), list them for sale one to two months before the season begins.

Movies and Video Games

You can sell your video games and movies to Decluttr to make a few bucks any time of year, but if you want to try selling your video games and DVDs directly, try to list them strategically for sale one to two months before a movie’s sequel premieres or the newest version of a game hits shelves. People will want to catch up on the last installment before getting their hands on the newest movie or game.

Other Seasonal and Holiday Items

For all the smaller seasonal and holiday items, like Easter baskets or Fourth of July decorations, begin listing them four to six weeks ahead of time.

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure (and Financial Freedom)

Now that you know the right time to sell everything from snow suits to golf clubs, you can start getting rid of that extra junk that’s just taking up space in your home.

Stick to the schedule, save the cash and who knows -- after a year you could be well on your way to saving your first $1,000!

Disclosure: Our friends stopped inviting us over because we were always digging for loose change between their couch cushions. We use affiliate links instead so we still get invited to a few parties.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Graduation is scary. The real world is scary.

And getting a job? In your chosen career field? That pays a livable wage? Right out of the gate? Well now -- that’s a whole new level of terrifying.

Luckily, there are some steps you can (and absolutely should) take while you’re still in college to up your chances of landing your dream job post-graduation.

To find out what those steps are, I spoke to Dr. Jamie Chilton, a career consultant at the University of South Florida who specializes in the College of Engineering and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, and to Peter Thorsett, the Communications and Marketing Officer for the Career Services Office.

Freshman Year

Your first year at college is a whirlwind of new friends, football games and remembering to call your mom once in awhile.

But there are steps you should be taking even now that will help you land a sweet job at the end of your college career.

1. Go to Career Services...Yesterday

[caption id="attachment_58541" align="alignnone" width="1200"]How to find a job after college Chris Hanks, a senior, left, talks with Jamie Chilton, a USF career consultant with the College of Engineering, at Career Services at USF. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Your career isn’t a destination -- it’s a journey. At least, that’s how Dr. Chilton explained it to me.

“Your career path is happening now,” she said. “Getting a job is an ongoing process from the moment you step on campus.”

Make Career Services your first stop after moving into your dorm. The advisors have resources available to help you make a plan for the next four years, and, according to Chilton and Thorsett, there’s no such thing as “too early” when it comes to preparing for your career.

That said, your first year on campus should also be a time of “career exploration,” as Dr. Chilton calls it. Take this time to explore things that excite you and make sure you’re on a career track you’re happy with.

Important: don’t skip the visit to Career Services just because you’re a liberal arts major with an undefined career path. While the technical majors have structured programs that will land them in the career services office for frequent check-ins, the arts majors usually have to make a conscious effort to plan their futures -- so don’t think that just because you’re on a winding career path you can’t use career services. You can, and you should!

2. Join Professional Organizations and Clubs

[caption id="attachment_58542" align="alignnone" width="1200"] A student skateboards around the USF campus. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

If you can sort through the overwhelming insanity that is the organization and club recruitment fair, you’ll find some really awesome groups full of like-minded people that will help move you along your chosen career path.

You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a finance club or a journalism club, and most schools even offer college-level chapters of professional organizations.  

Once you join a group that’s in line with your goals, pursue a leadership position, advised Dr. Chilton. Aside from picking up great real-world experience in people- and project-management, having a title like “Chapter President” will give you an extra boost on your resume. “There’s always a new level of competition that’s being created in the technical field,” she noted, so that extra bit of experience may be the thing that sets you apart later on.

Sophomore Year

Your second year will seem pretty lax -- your class load shouldn’t be too heavy, and you’ll be comfortably in the college groove. But that doesn’t mean you should be lax about your future career!

3. Find an Internship (or Two or Three!)

[caption id="attachment_58540" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Rosena Siffort, a graduate assistant and intern for USF career services, works inside the Suit-A-Bull store at USF. Siffort oversees the store schedule, maintains inventory and manages employees. She said her internship with career services helped her learn management skills. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Now’s the time to start the search for internship opportunities. And yes, you do want to start looking as early as your sophomore year (or maybe even the summer before it starts).

It used to be that having one internship on your resume was enough to get you in the door at most companies, but that’s no longer the case.

According to Dr. Chilton, having two internships under your belt is the new norm -- the minimum students should be aiming for.

But having three internships? That’s what makes you competitive. “The students that I see that are taking six months or longer [after graduation] to find their first job are the ones that have had no internships,” Dr. Chilton noted.

Plus, more and more companies are offering paid internships -- so if you’re looking for a little work to help with tuition, why not skip flipping burgers and go straight into your career field?

If you can’t find an internship that meets your needs, however, we’ve got some ideas on what to do to ensure you’re not falling behind your peers.

4. Network!

Start putting your name and face out there. Go out of your way to meet with professors, other students, university alumni, your parents’ friends, that one dude you exchanged pleasantries with in the Starbucks line -- anyone who may be able to pass your name along when the time is right. Attend career fairs, and start collecting business cards from everyone you meet.

Create a LinkedIn account to keep track of the contacts you’re making. Not everyone will be a potential employer, but everyone will know someone who knows someone who might be.

Also, remember all those organizations you joined in your freshman year? Smart move. Dr. Chilton explained that employers go directly to student organizations when they’re looking for new talent. Which, she points out, is a direct link to help you jumpstart that networking process.

And if there’s a company or employer that you’d like to connect with but haven’t had a chance to, Dr. Chilton recommends taking the initiative yourself when it comes to networking.

Organize a site visit or invite that employer to come talk to your class, and you’re suddenly on their radar as an organized go-getter who takes an interest in their field.

Junior Year

Junior year is said to be the most difficult: classes have kicked up a notch and it’s no longer acceptable to just coast through to the weekend -- or to graduation.

5. Create a Website, Blog or Online Portfolio

Regardless of your major or chosen career path, take the time to create a personal website or blog -- a platform on which to voice your opinions, delve deeper into your areas of interest, and showcase your portfolio.

If you’re in web, tech, writing, design or a related field, your website may even act as a portfolio all on its own.

For everyone else, it simply shows employers that you have the initiative to explore your field, a rounded understanding of online platforms, and some basic literacy (you’d be surprised how far that last one will take you in impressing employers).  

6. Considering Graduate School? Start the Process Now

[caption id="attachment_58552" align="alignnone" width="1200"]How to find a job after college USF graduate student Amman Ali talks about an internship with Diane Mellon, coordinator for cooperative education at USF Career Services. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

If you’re thinking about going to graduate school, junior year is the time to start planning. Applications are generally due in the fall semester of your senior year, so you’ll want to get started sooner rather than later.

In addition to studying for the GRE and researching graduate programs, you should develop a personal research project, or at least a concentrated area of interest.

During the admissions  interview process you’ll be asked time and time again about your passion projects, and it helps to have a developed focus to talk about.

Senior Year

Cue the tears. Or, I mean, um, cue the impassioned drive to finish strong and take the “real” world by storm.

7. Take Advantage of Every Resource

[caption id="attachment_58556" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Students walk on the USF campus. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Take advantage of every resource your college is offering you: sit in on seminars, attend job fairs, and take advantage of career events like your future depends on it -- because, well, it sort of does.

Seminars can teach you more about your chosen industry in three days than a class can teach you over an entire semester.  And since seminars are led by speakers and panels made up of experts in the field, they’re also great for helping you broaden your network.

Job fairs are a grab-bag opportunity to explore different companies, meet possible employers and do some recon on the companies that are currently hiring.

Outside of job fairs, Career Services offers a ton of other events to help you make connections and prepare for your future career. For example, the Office of Career Services at USF hosts an event called “Careers and Coffee” where students can casually mingle with potential employers and mentors over a cup of coffee without even having to leave campus.

Some universities allow you to use alumni career services for free for a few months (or even forever) after you graduate, but why wait? The job market is competitive, and you’ll want to be as far ahead of the game as possible -- so take advantage of these resources while you’re still on campus.

8. Learn How to Interview

According to Chilton and Thorsett, you should begin interviewing seriously with companies six to nine months before graduation.

Take advantage of career services’ mock job interviews. Practice answering common interview questions in a neutral setting, and learn how to present yourself to potential employers, sans all the pressure that comes with a high stakes interview with your dream company.

Dr. Chilton encourages students to begin practicing their interview skills early and often. If you wait, she points out, it may be too late when you realize that you have unprofessional habits you don’t have time to work out. Plus, you’ll start to learn how to read employers -- and more importantly, how they’re reading you.

Thorsett notes that you should take every interview opportunity you’re presented with, especially early on, because employers are going to cut a student a lot more slack than a college graduate when you’re fumbling your way through an interview.

Also, remember that the interview process doesn’t stop there: make sure you’re up to date on the entire process -- from submitting your resume all the way through to accepting an offer and negotiating a contract.

9. Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

[caption id="attachment_58544" align="alignnone" width="1200"]How to find a job after college Ben Sullivan, a psychology major, relaxes in the shade at USF. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

In today’s society, you are who your social media says you are -- so make sure that your online persona isn’t sabotaging your job hunt.

According to a 2016 survey published by CareerBuilder.com, 60% of hiring managers use social networking sites to screen potential candidates.

And why wouldn’t they? We put so much of ourselves out there for the world to see -- it’s only fair that employers use these platforms as an additional tool on their end to determine who would be the best fit for their company.

10. Prep Your Resume

At this point, you should already have a working resume -- but take it down to Career Services to be looked over with a critical eye. Then, take the time to polish up your LinkedIn profile -- remove those high school gigs, update your skills and experience and add your newest connections.

This is also the time to start asking for letters of recommendation and collecting contact information from anyone who might serve as a professional reference for you later on. When a potential employer asks for a few names and numbers, you can hand over some trusted resources without having to scrounge around (but always ask permission first!).

Finally, work on curating a professional portfolio. It should include a good selection of your best work from your classes and internships, and should provide a hiring manager with a good grasp of your skills range and areas of interest.

Get Ready to Graduate!

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the week before graduation to accomplish everything on this list (yep, people actually try that). Your career path begins during your freshman year -- not after graduation.

“I do get really concerned for those students who, right before graduation, come to see me,” Dr. Chilton said as we finished our talk.

Her advice? You should do one good thing for your career each week, even if it’s just 10 minutes at a time. That way, when graduation rolls around, you’ll be ready to take on the working world.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.