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9 Ways to Support Small Businesses Without Breaking the Bank

We all have our favorite small businesses, including our go-to date night restaurant and favorite thrift store. These places serve more than great food and looks — they build jobs in the community, put children through school, and are the realization of your neighbor’s dream. 

These stores are built on hard work and love, and supply some of the best quality products you can find. Small businesses are a great sign of a thriving economy, but they’re also the first to suffer from economic downturns, like 2020’s COVID-19 recession. This is why it’s more important than ever to find ways to support your community’s businesses.

There are many reasons why small business success is vital. Not just for the economy but for our communities. That’s why Small Business Saturday (November 28) is one of our favorite times of the year, and why we collected these ways you can support small businesses without breaking the bank (or leaving the house!).

Shop Small Businesses

Shopping small is the easiest way to support community businesses and clear your holiday list. Shopping locally doesn’t have to drain your wallet, either.

Small businesses generate 44% of U.S. economic activity.

1. Skip the Hallmark Card and Support a Local Artist

Cards are a classic gift for any and all celebrations. They’re small, affordable, and easy to personalize. This year skip the grocery store and see what artists you can support while still getting beautiful and unique gifts for your family and friends. 

Most cities will have galleries, boutiques, and even tourist shops that display locally printed and designed cards to choose from. If you don’t have a shop near you, you can browse thousands of creators on Etsy to find the perfect design for each of your loved ones. 

2. Send Gift Cards

Gift cards are perfect for acquaintances, long-distance giving, and little acts of kindness every now and then. Instead of collecting Amazon and Starbucks cards, see what your local spots have to offer. 

Most restaurants and stores offer a gift card option, and you don’t have to waste the plastic! Send your gift via email to anyone, anywhere. So go ahead and thank your first mentor for their glowing reference with a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. 

3. Shop Throughout the Year

It’s true that handmade products can get pricey, but you’re ultimately paying for quality. If you’re already pinching pennies for the holiday season, start thinking about next year. Buying gifts for loved ones as you find them throughout the year is the best way to collect beautiful gifts without using credit. Plus, small businesses can use the boost year-round. 

Show Support From Home

Mockup showing someone fill in an instagram story template with favorite shops.

Download button for instagram story template.

Most of us have a budget that prevents us from buying a new wardrobe every month and eating out every weekday, so it just isn’t feasible to buy from all of our favorite local artisans all of the time. That doesn’t mean you don’t love them, you’ll just have to get creative to show your support from home. 

4. Share Your Favorite Products

When you do buy something new, take a photo! Sharing your favorite finds online and tagging the store is a great way to promote their products and quality to your friends and family. Even if you’re not buying, sharing a wishlist or their newest product could earn them another sale or new followers. 

I think people forget that their voice has influence, whether they are a huge celebrity or a humble stay at home mom. It’s amazing just what one post can do for small business.” — Autumn Grant, The Kind Poppy

5. Write a Review

You should let the world know when you find a shop you love. From Google and Yelp to a company Facebook page, leave a review to let others know they’re in good hands. Positive reviews are some of the best tools businesses have to convert sales. 

These types [local] of businesses live and die by word of mouth. Their reviews are everything to them. Now that everyone can look up the average rating of a business or service, it’s vital for businesses to collect positive, honest reviews.” — Dan Bailey, WikiLawn Lawn Care

If you do leave reviews, detailed thoughts and photos perform the best. These give the consumer plenty of information and help your review seem authentic. Plus, reviews can help platforms like Etsy and Google know the business is valued. 

6. Refer a Friend

Tell your friends when you find a new shop or service and share the love. Your friends trust you and likely have a lot of shared interests, so this word of mouth is a great way for businesses to earn customers. 

A referral is the single best compliment to a business owner. Trust me.” — Brian Robben, Robben Media

If you have friends and family from out of town you may also want to keep your favorite businesses in mind for when they visit. Keep a list of local restaurants, cafes, services, and shops that they can’t get anywhere else and take your friends on a local tour. 

Keep in Touch

Businesses have more ways than ever to keep you in the know, so make sure you’re subscribed to keep in touch! Newsletters and social media are a good way to keep your local faves and their promotional offers top of mind. 

Mockup showing someone filling in their wishlist on instagram.

Download button for holiday wishlist instagram template.

7. Sign-up For Newsletters

Most businesses send regular emails to notify you and other customers of their store details and deals. Newsletters are great ways to find coupons, sales, and new items you’ll adore. Just subscribing isn’t enough, though. Make sure you actually read their news and whitelist the email so you never miss a thing. 

8. Follow and Interact With Their Social Channels

Social media is another easy way to stay in the know; it can also organically promote a business. When you follow a business, platforms learn more about who else may be interested in their offers. Stay active and like and comment on their posts, too, to increase their visibility and trust with other shoppers. 

9. Swing By the Shop

Ultimately, the best way to support a business is to stop by and visit. You never know when something will catch your eye, and it’s a great way to share your find with friends. You may also get the chance to talk with the owner and learn more about the business while sharing your support. 

Drop a note to them of encouragement. Tell them why you love them and what they mean to you and the community…We’ve been absolutely floored when people have taken time out of their day to write us a note, telling us how much they like us/our product.” — Meaghan Tomas, Pinch Spice Market

No matter the product or service, small business owners will appreciate hearing that you love their shop and can benefit from your support. Tag a friend, buy a gift card, or write a review to help your favorite stores without busting your budget
Infographic of tips on how to support small businesses.

Sources: Small Business Administration | G1ve 

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Looking for Delivery App Jobs? We Compared the Top Apps

Delivery jobs are no longer limited to the Post Office and the boxy Pullman Brown trucks of UPS.

Thousands of delivery gigs, which stem from a plethora of on-demand delivery apps, are available nationwide. Delivery services have been booming during the pandemic, creating a surge in demand for delivery workers. The vast majority of delivery app jobs are categorized as 1099, which means the workers are independent contractors.

Requirements are overall very low. In many cases, all you need to start earning are a valid driver’s license and a functioning car with proper auto insurance.

But the reality of delivery work is tough. In addition to the work itself, apps glitch, customers stiff on tips and cars deteriorate. Pay can vary based on a number of factors outside of your control. And, depending on location, you may earn less than minimum wage.

Despite the downsides, many drivers love the work and find delivery apps a flexible source of extra money in the short-term. Each app works a little differently. We analyzed the top ones, looking at wages, frequency of pay, job and vehicle requirements, dress code, driver reviews and more to help you choose the best delivery app for your next side gig.

Delivery App Jobs

Here are the top contenders for package-delivery gigs. Generally speaking, these delivery jobs require larger vehicles because of the potential size of some orders. Some heavy lifting may be required.

Amazon Flex

Package delivery is the latest in a long list of industries the e-commerce giant has upended. Currently, delivery gigs with Amazon Flex are among the highest paying, as the company guarantees hourly wages between $15 and $19 depending on your area. Through efficiency and good tips, it’s possible to earn more.

Flex requires you to sign up for shifts, aka “blocks,” for most deliveries. Blocks typically run four hours at a time, unless the shift is specifically for Prime Now packages. Those blocks are shorter.

Insured four-door sedans or SUVs are required for most Flex packages. For Prime Now blocks, smaller cars are allowed. To apply, you must be at least 21 years old. No dress code or special materials are required to start delivering.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.3 out of 5.

Dispatch

New to the scene, Dispatch is an on-demand package delivery app marketed toward businesses. The service is currently available in 50 major cities and metropolitan areas and continues to expand.

According to Glassdoor reviews, drivers report earning between $14 and $16 an hour. Dispatch pays weekly through an app called Stripe, provides supplemental auto insurance and reimburses tolls along the delivery route.

You must be at least 23 years old to qualify. Your vehicle just needs to be in “fair condition.” Once accepted, Dispatch will send you a branded badge and hat that are required during deliveries.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.

Postmates

Postmates is well known for food delivery, but most store-bought goods and packages are fair game too.

All models of cars are welcomed as long as they’re insured. You can also deliver on a bicycle if you prefer. Wages vary based on location, demand and quantity of deliveries per hour. Several drivers reported earning between $9 and $14 on Glassdoor. Hourly rates aren’t guaranteed by Postmates, but there is a base pay per order, and tips go 100% to the drivers.

Postmates is available in more than 400 cities. The company doesn’t provide supplemental auto insurance and doesn’t require any dress code.

You must be at least 18 years old to apply.

Uber has completed its acquisition of Postmates. For now, nothing changes for couriers, but Uber may announce how the acquisition will affect its gig workers in early 2021.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.4 out of 5.

Food Delivery App Jobs

Many well-known delivery apps specialize in food delivery. Here’s how they work.

BiteSquad

BiteSquad was one of the few gig apps that hired its workers as W-2 employees, but that practice ended in February 2020 after Waitr bought out the company and transitioned its delivery drivers to independent-contractor status.

As a BiteSquad driver, you’ll be required to wear a branded hat and shirt on the job. BiteSquad supplies your clothing, but you’ll need to purchase a hot bag.

Because of the strict dress code and shift-based work, delivering for other apps while scheduled with BiteSquad isn’t realistic. Delivery jobs are available in 14 states. All you’ll need are an insured, reliable vehicle and a clean driving record.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.4 out of 5.

DoorDash

Overall, Dasher requirements are low. The minimum age is 18, and you can deliver with any properly insured vehicle. There’s no dress code, and the company provides a hot bag for free. Payment is on a weekly basis, or you can access your funds early through Fast Pay for a fee.

DoorDash is available in all 50 states.

Recently, the company has undergone some major changes. As of September 2019, all Dashers (DoorDash drivers) receive 100% of their tips, plus an increase in their base-pay per order. DoorDash also acquired food-delivery company Caviar and has been combining the services. Through the DoorDash app, drivers can choose orders through either Caviar or DoorDash. The driver app for Caviar no longer exists and is now channeled through the Dasher app.

In August 2020, DoorDash announced its offering grocery-delivery services in a handful of major cities in the Midwest and along the West Coast — adding to the ways Dashers can earn.

Glassdoor review: 3.7 out of 5.

GrubHub

GrubHub operates in more than 4,000 cities. Depending on the location, the company guarantees hourly wages. Drivers tend to earn around $12 to $15 an hour, and they get to keep 100% of their tips. GrubHub pays weekly.

Wages can be accessed early through Grubhub Instant Cash Out and a partnership with Chase Bank. If you have a Chase bank account, the early cash-out service is free, otherwise it’s 50 cents per transaction.

Auto insurance and a reliable vehicle are required, and drivers must be 19 or older. There’s no dress code. While the company recommends its drivers use a hot bag for deliveries, it doesn’t provide one.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.

Uber Eats

You only need to be the legal driving age of your state, plus one year of driving experience, to deliver for Uber Eats.

A two- or four-door vehicle that’s 20 years old or newer is required, as is auto insurance. Uber provides additional coverage with a $1,000 deductible. And in some regions, scooters and bicycles are accepted.

You’ll earn around $10 to $15 an hour and get to keep all of your tips. Payment comes automatically every week, or you can pay a fee to access your earnings early with Instant Pay. You’ll need a hot bag for deliveries, but the company doesn’t provide one.

A notable perk: Drivers can switch between Uber and Uber Eats on the same app.

Uber Eats operates in all 50 states.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.9 out of 5.

Grocery Delivery App Jobs

Delivering groceries can be a little more time consuming and laborious than delivering food or packages. Typically, these gigs involve an extra step: shopping for the items. You’ll also need to be able to lift and carry heavy loads.

But the extra effort could pay off through better tips.

Instacart

Instacart offers part-time W-2 jobs as well as independent delivery gigs.

The part-time positions don’t have a delivery component, they’re in-store only. In-store shoppers work in partner grocery stores, readying orders for delivery.

Full-service shoppers are independent contractors who, depending on the order, shop as well. Full-service shoppers report earning between $10 and $14 an hour and keep all their tips. Instacart pays weekly.

To become a full-service shopper, you’ll need a reliable vehicle with auto insurance. Instacart doesn’t provide additional insurance coverage or insulated bags. No dress code is required.

Gigs are available in all 50 states.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.3 out of 5.

Shipt

To start delivering with Shipt, you’ll need to be 18 or older and drive an insured vehicle that’s from 1997 or later. You can expect to earn $10 to $16, depending on location, and you’ll pocket all of your tips.

Shipt pays every week via direct deposit, but you can’t access your funds before then.

A branded Shipt shirt is the only uniform requirement, which the company provides for free. Reusable grocery and insulated bags are on you, though.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.

GoPuff

GoPuff is a new general-store delivery service that currently operates in more than 500 cities in 38 states. In most locations, services are available 24/7, which means the delivery gigs are too.

There’s no shopping involved because the goods come from local GoPuff warehouses that aren’t customer-facing. Warehouse employees schedule your shifts and prepare orders for you.

You must be at least 21 years old and have an insured vehicle (any model) to deliver for GoPuff. Drivers typically earn $10 to $14 an hour and keep 100% of their tips. GoPuff guarantees an hourly minimum wage that varies by location.

A paid alcohol-delivery training course is required in some areas.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.2 out of 5.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

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9 Reasons to Quit Drinking and the Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is a popular pastime for many Americans. A 2019 study cited by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found that approximately 70% of Americans reported drinking at some point in the previous year. About 55% of Americans reported drinking at some point in the past month.

Alcohol use has many benefits, both real and perceived. It’s a social lubricant, an enjoyable taste experience, and may even have health benefits when consumed in moderation.

But alcohol use also has a darker side. It’s a major cause of preventable death and long-term health problems like heart disease and liver disease, a drag on productivity (notwithstanding the trope of the “high-functioning alcoholic”), and an expensive habit to boot. Indeed, many of the drawbacks of alcohol abuse (or even regular use) have financial components, whether directly tied to the cost of alcohol or not.

Are alcohol’s financial and health downsides serious enough to swear off the stuff altogether? Are the benefits of giving up alcohol worth the hit to your social life or personal sense of well-being?

That’s a difficult question to answer in the abstract. If neither you nor your loved ones are concerned by your drinking habits, quitting likely isn’t a top priority for you — and that’s probably fine. However, if you suspect your alcohol use is a drag on your finances, personal relationships, or work life — or you worry it may become a problem in the future — you might be ready to explore the benefits of giving up alcohol.

Reasons to Voluntarily Stop Drinking: Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol

In the United States, one “standard drink” is equivalent to 12 ounces of 5% alcohol by volume (ABV) beer, 5 ounces of 12% ABV wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40% ABV), according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That’s a standard-sized can or bottle of beer, glass of wine, or shot of spirits, respectively.

High-ABV beer, fortified wine, and intermediate-strength liqueurs require special calculations based on proof and drink size. The NIAA’s Rethinking Drinking portal has a useful drink serving calculator that incorporates some nonstandard drink types.

According to the CDC, the generally accepted “moderate” drinking rate is no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Binge drinking is defined as four drinks or more on a single occasion for women and five drinks or more on a single occasion for men. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men, regardless of the number of distinct occasions.

Generally speaking, public health authorities frown on any alcohol use at all. For example, the CDC counsels individuals who don’t currently drink to continue abstaining. In other words: If you don’t drink, don’t start.

If you do drink alcohol, consider quitting or cutting back. In the shorter term, doing so could reduce your risk of health and safety hazards associated with alcohol addiction or excessive alcohol consumption (such as motor vehicle accidents and alcohol withdrawal) and alleviate consumption-related financial strain. In the long run, abstaining or drinking in moderation could have significant benefits for your finances, relationships, and health.

1. It’s a Direct Financial Drain

Anyone who’s been surprised by a hefty bar tab knows that alcohol is expensive.

In big cities, a single pint of craft beer sets you back $8 to $10, and a fancy mixed drink runs anywhere from $12 to $16. That’s $40 to $80 per week for those who consume five drinks per week, not accounting for indirect costs like hailing a taxi or rideshare to get home safely. And these are midrange bar and restaurant prices; you can expect to pay even more at high-end establishments.

Drinking at home is cheaper, to be fair, but replacing alcoholic beverages with nonalcoholic drinks is even better. For inspiration, read up on popular mocktail recipes (Town & Country Magazine has a great list) or learn how to make kombucha at home.

2. It’s a Net Negative for Your Long-Term Health

According to the NIAAA, alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, after tobacco and the combined effects of poor diet and physical inactivity. A separate NIAAA study found alcohol mentioned over 70,000 death certificates in 2017 — 2.6% of all U.S. deaths that year.

Alcohol-related causes of death include:

  • Cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure
  • Certain types of cancer correlated with alcohol use
  • Serious mental health issues (including alcohol use disorder itself) leading to increased risk of death

Though moderate alcohol use does have modest ameliorative effects, according to Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the adverse effects of heavier drinking far outweigh any health benefits. If your goal is to do right by your body over the long haul, abstaining is the best course of action.

3. It’s a Significant Cause of Traumatic Injury and Death

Alcohol is bad for your long-term health, but it’s even worse for your short-term well-being. For example, the CDC reports that 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016 — 28% of all U.S. traffic-related deaths that year and 17% of all traffic deaths among children ages 14 and under.

And the consequences of impaired driving extend beyond the tragedy of fatal crashes. Impaired driving is a very costly problem, accounting for about $43 billion in total costs as of 2010.

4. It Impairs Decision-Making

It’s no secret that alcohol impairs decision-making. One or two drinks might not lead to a dangerously bone-headed move, but excessive drinking certainly can.

As a younger person, I made plenty of questionable choices after a night of social drinking, including some with direct financial consequences. Perhaps you can say the same. The surest way to avoid making alcohol-driven choices you’ll later come to regret is not to drink at all.

5. It’s Not Pleasant the Next Day

If you’ve ever overindulged, you know firsthand just how unpleasant the morning after a night of heavy drinking can be: pounding headache, dry mouth, sour stomach, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, chills, dizzy spells, you name it.

In severe cases, a hangover may necessitate medical consultation or treatment for complications like dehydration or alcohol poisoning — a direct cost that’s likely to be higher for victims without health insurance.

6. It May Put You in Legal Jeopardy

Not all alcohol-driven bad decisions are created equal. Some, such as buying a round of drinks for the table on a low bank account, have manageable, temporary consequences.

Others are far more serious. One of the most consequential decisions you can make while impaired is to get behind the wheel of a car. Even if you don’t get into a serious accident, the costs of driving under the influence are impossible to ignore. In 2013, the FBI reported approximately 1.17 million drunk driving arrests.

Drunk driving arrests are expensive. A Nolo survey pegged the average cost of a first-offense drunk driving arrest at approximately $6,500 and nearly $11,000 when accounting for lost wages. Arrestees often miss work for court appearances and other case-related matters, and many employment contracts list a drunk driving arrest as cause for suspension or termination.

7. It May Adversely Impact Relationships

Research from the University at Buffalo reports that couples who drink heavily or unevenly (one partner drinks regularly while the other abstains) face multiple potential issues. These couples may experience:

  • Lower marital satisfaction
  • Higher rates of domestic abuse
  • Higher rates of divorce and marriage counseling
  • Higher rates of negative interaction and lower rates of positive interaction
  • Financial strain related to poor money management, job loss or unstable employment, and other factors

These issues are particularly pronounced when one partner is a problem drinker and the other is a moderate drinker or alcohol-free entirely. In the worst cases, they may culminate in divorce, which can be costly.

8. It May Lead to Dependency and Associated Costs

CDC data suggests that the vast majority (9 in 10) of adults who drink too much alcohol (occasional binge drinkers) are not dependent on alcohol per se.

However, 1 in 30 American adults – more than 3% of the population – is alcohol dependent. If you have a history of alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, or other dependency disorders in your family, you may be at elevated risk for alcohol dependency.

If you suspect alcohol dependency, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about your options, including whether you should abstain altogether or seek inpatient or outpatient treatment. According to figures collected by WebMD, either option carries significant cost: $3,000 to $10,000 for a 30-day course of intensive outpatient treatment and $5,000 to $80,000 for longer inpatient stays. However, the financial cost is far outweighed by the benefits to your physical health, mental health, relationships, and career.

9. It’s Bad for Productivity and Career Advancement

Several studies cited in “Alcohol, Work and Productivity,” a major paper by the Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum, suggest that moderate and heavy alcohol use negatively affect productivity at work and school. One cited study found that “delaying drinking onset by one year increased schooling by 0.47 years for men and 0.36 years for women” in the United States. Others found a connection between drinking and poor educational outcomes.

An occasional drink probably won’t derail your career or cripple your lifetime earning potential. But it’s worth pondering the effects of regular or heavy drinking on your productivity and performance in the workplace.


Is Moderation Better? Potential Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Moderate alcohol use does have benefits. Some are supported by peer-reviewed medical research; others are anecdotal. It’s up to you whether they outweigh the potential consequences.

It May Be Good for Cardiovascular Health

Moderate alcohol use is correlated with higher levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which helps protect against cardiovascular disease.

According to Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, more than 100 scientific studies showed that moderate drinking reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The observed effect ranges from 25% to 40% above the baseline — a substantial reduction. Studies suggest that continued moderate alcohol use is indicated even after acute cardiovascular events.

It May Prevent Ischemic Stroke

The same studies cited above show a significant inverse association between moderate alcohol use and risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke. Like a heart attack caused by one or more blocked coronary arteries, ischemic stroke occurs when one or more blocked blood vessels prevent oxygen from reaching parts of the brain. Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of disability and death in older adults.

It May Prevent or Mitigate Type 2 Diabetes

Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol use can forestall the onset of type 2 diabetes, a costly chronic condition caused by insulin resistance. A 2005 meta-analysis published in Diabetes Care found the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced by 30% for moderate alcohol consumers compared with nondrinkers.

It’s a Social Lubricant (in Proper Context)

In the proper context, alcohol is a social lubricant – a boon for introverts and a salve for awkward encounters.

Perhaps you’re dreading a work-sponsored happy hour, a first date, or a holiday dinner filled with cringe-worthy uncle stories. Whatever the occasion, a drink or two can help.

The challenge lies in not using alcohol as a crutch. This is a fine line to walk for many.


Final Word

American attitudes around intoxicating substances continue to evolve. Millennials and Gen Zers are drinking less than older generational cohorts did, according to a 2019 feature by The Atlantic. They’re also finding more palatable alcohol alternatives, such as nonalcoholic craft beer, high-end nonalcoholic wine, and spirit alternatives for mocktails.

This embrace of moderation coincides with an apparent countertrend: rapidly liberalizing attitudes toward cannabis (marijuana). More than a dozen states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, turbocharging a “green rush” into cannabis stocks and derivative investments.

Perhaps it’s best not to read too much into these trends. If the occasional drink or (legal) edible improves your well-being with no ill effects on your finances, career, or relationships, it would appear to be a habit worth keeping. But it’s also important to listen to what your body, bank account, and — perhaps most importantly — loved ones are telling you. Should you decide to significantly reduce your consumption or stop drinking entirely, there’s a well-worn path for you to follow.

Source: moneycrashers.com

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The Best Neighborhoods in Tampa

Tampa residents thoroughly enjoy the laid-back Florida lifestyle, while having access to all the amenities a large city offers.

Tampa is by far one of the finest cities in Florida, and its neighborhoods are some of the best in the state.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the history of Ybor City or are looking for easy access to Tampa’s nightlife, there are many fantastic areas to call home.

Here are our 10 favorite Tampa neighborhoods.

bayshore beautiful tampa fl

If you’re looking for a Tampa neighborhood with great schools, consider moving to Bayshore Beautiful. This liberal-leaning community boasts plenty of coffee shops, parks and restaurants for residents to enjoy. It’s a highly walkable district with low crime rates. It is also one of the quietest neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay area.

What makes Bayshore Beautiful even more desirable are its waterfront views and Riverwalk. You can expect to see people biking, walking, jogging and enjoying the Tampa Bay sunset.

channel district tampa fl

The entire Channel District has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It even made the list of the top five Tampa neighborhoods where rent is increasing the most. This highly coveted area is full of condos with panoramic views and local hotspots like Victory Coffee and the District Tavern.

Channel District residents also appreciate being within walking distance of Sparkman Wharf, the Florida Aquarium and Amalie Arena. With all these amenities at your doorstep, it’s easy to see why the Channel District is one of Tampa’s hottest areas.

downtown tampa fl

If you’re looking for an urban community with lots of high-rises, condos and access to first-rate theaters and museums, Downtown Tampa is the place for you. Downtown residents will enjoy having easy access to the city’s business district and major highways.

In addition, there are several dining and shopping options located nearby, and the city’s nighttime hotspots are only a quick taxi ride away.

harbour island tampa

Although it’s technically a part of Downtown Tampa, Harbour Island truly is a community of its own. Living in this neighborhood is a status symbol by many, and the rental prices reflect that.

Harbour Island has a very low crime rate with access to good schools, which is a strong draw for many residents. Additionally, the Riverwalk area is minutes away.

hyde park tampa fl

Tampa’s Hyde Park is an excellent choice for renters looking for a charming place to settle down. This historic area of the city is next to Tampa Bay and attracts young professionals and families alike.

One of the most popular attractions in the neighborhood is Hyde Park Village, which has restaurants, boutiques, bars and specialty stores.

new tampa fl

As you might expect, New Tampa is one of the newest communities in Tampa. Close to the University of South Florida, this increasingly popular area of town is a great place to raise a family.

Its easy access to several corporate headquarters also makes this neighborhood popular with professionals. But that popularity comes at a cost, as prices have steadily increased over the past year.

seminole heights tampa

Source: Rent.com / Avenue Lofts

North of Downtown Tampa is Seminole Heights, a historic district that honors its roots while maintaining a cool, suburban feel. You’ll find plenty of local bars and restaurants, along with a countless number of antique and second-hand stores.

Due to its popular bar and restaurant scene and its location near the University of South Florida, rent prices in Seminole Heights have increased dramatically in recent years.

tampa palms tampa fl

Tampa Palms is an excellent option for future Tampa residents who are looking for decent schools and a politically moderate area of town. This enclave has a suburban/urban feel and attracts young professionals and young families alike.

Tampa Palms is highly walkable and known for being a dog-friendly community. Additionally, the neighborhood has a number of local bars and restaurants for residents to choose from. This community also is close to the University of South Florida and its nearby attractions.

university square tampa fl

If you’re looking for a liberal, family-friendly area of Tampa to settle down in, University Square is a great choice. University Square schools are above average, the neighborhood is known for its safety and the entire area has a good suburban/urban mix. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops and parks, and it’s incredibly close to Busch Gardens and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Convenient to the University of South Florida, this area is also quite popular with students and professors. Furthermore, University Square is near some of the best hospitals in Central Florida.

ybor heights tampa fl

Source: Rent.com / The Warehouse Lofts

Located on the northwest side of Ybor City, Ybor Heights residents enjoy the lifestyle and amenities found in a dense, suburban area. There are plenty of local parks, coffee shops, bars and restaurants and the famous Ybor City Historic District is within walking distance.

Ybor Heights has a good mix of renters and homeowners and is one of the city’s more diverse areas. This young, liberal neighborhood is perfect for renters who can appreciate history while enjoying the famous nightlife. And, although Ybor Heights typically caters to young professionals, the above-average schools make this area attractive to young families, as well.

Find the best neighborhood for you

If you’re thinking about moving to Central Florida, you can’t go wrong by choosing Tampa. The city has amusement parks, world-class universities and hospitals, and some of the best year-round weather in the country. Hopefully, this guide to the best Tampa neighborhoods will help you decide which community is right for you.

Source: rent.com

10 Things to Know About Living in Salt Lake City

When you think of big cities, Los Angeles, Chicago or New York likely come to mind. Salt Lake City — the capital of Utah — isn’t the most frequently talked about “big city” in the country. That being said, it is up and coming and has a lot to offer those who are considering making the move.

While Utah is a predominantly conservative state with a strong religious culture, it offers a wide mix of neighborhoods. The charming neighborhoods scattered throughout the city are full of boutiques, small businesses and appealing restaurants that will make you want to eat out every meal.

Salt Lake City also has many schools — elementary through college and university — for people who are looking for a great education for their children or themselves. The city is also becoming more popular thanks to Silicon Slopes, the tech hub just south of the city center. The cost of living in Salt Lake City is relatively inexpensive when compared to larger cities, too.

There are always pros and cons when moving to a new city. Here are 10 things to know about living in Salt Lake City before you make your decision about moving to the Beehive State.

1. The weather can change quickly

Salt Lake City experiences all four seasons. People who live here often joke that the weather changes every 20 minutes. It can be freezing and snowing in the morning and then hot by noon. Some of the ski resorts have even been open on the Fourth of July! People can ski in the morning and spend the afternoon soaking by the pool.

Each season offers something truly fantastic for residents of Salt Lake. The winters are filled with crisp, white snow and brisk air. Fall is perfect for light jacket weather, and the changing leaves are spectacular in every canyon. Spring welcomes a much-needed break from the cold with perfect temperatures and beautiful blooming flowers. The summer comes all at once, hot and blistering making you long for the cold winter days. But no matter the season, S.L.C. is always beautiful.

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2. It’s cheaper than other big cities

Compared to large, metro cities across the nation, the cost of living in Salt Lake is relatively inexpensive. The average rate for rent of a one-bedroom apartment dropped 11 percent between 2019 and 2020. Here’s a quick look at 2020 apartment costs in S.L.C.:

  • Studio apartment: $1,129
  • One-bedroom apartment: $1,245
  • Two-bedroom apartment: $1,565

Other utilities and expenses, such as food, gas and groceries, are all reasonably priced in Salt Lake City, too.

3. It’s not all Mormon (but there is a lot)

To understand the culture of Salt Lake City and Utah, you have to know a little about its history. In the year 1847, a group of Mormon pioneers trekked to Utah pulling wagons and handcarts and settled in the valley. For the next several decades, many more wagons full of Mormons followed as they escaped religious persecution back East. Because of this, the majority of residents in Utah are Mormon or have a family history rooted to the LDS church.

That being said, there are still plenty of other religions in the state. Salt Lake City is an ever-changing place with hip, up-and-coming liberal areas, such as Sugar House and nearby resorts like Park City. The city has also recently been named one of the best places for millennials in the country.

Conservative or not, there’s a spot for you in Salt Lake City.

4. There’s a real food scene

Green Jell-O may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the food in Salt Lake City. However, Salt Lake City boasts a diverse restaurant scene. You can find anything from Mexican food to French bakeries to authentic Japanese food within a block from each other.

Restaurants like Sapa in downtown Salt Lake put a modern twist on Japanese favorites. If you’re in the mood for a café where you can sit down, drink coffee and pretend you’re in Paris, try Eva’s Bakery located on Main Street in the heart of the city. Their pastries never disappoint. Or, try the nationally acclaimed Mexican restaurant Red Iguana.

Utah also has food that can’t be found anywhere else, such as fry sauce. The delicious blend of ketchup and mayo is the perfect fry accessory and will leave you wondering why you can’t find it elsewhere.

5. “The best snow on earth”

When driving through S.L.C., you’ll probably stumble upon a license plate that reads “The Best Snow on Earth.” That’s because, among other things, Utah is known for its incredible mountains and ski resorts. Every year, the mountains get an abundance of powdery snow. According to Ski Utah, the Utah Cottonwood Canyons are one of the snowiest places on earth. The weather and climate in Utah create the perfect powder that makes your skis glide down the mountain flawlessly.

One of the best things about skiing in Utah is that the resorts are all relatively close to Salt Lake City, and there are a lot to choose from. Places like Deer Valley Ski Resort bring in people from all over the world — this was one of the ski resorts that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Although this particular resort doesn’t allow snowboarders, there are plenty of other resorts that do, like Brighton. Ski season can last anywhere from November to late April and sometimes even longer. If you like outdoor activities in the winter, you’ll love living in Salt Lake City.

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6. The mountains are also great in the summer

When people aren’t skiing the mountains, they’re hiking them as Salt Lake City is close to a lot of trails — give or take 30 minutes from the city center to the top of the canyon and trailheads. There are moderate trails, such as Neffs Canyon, that are dog friendly to more difficult trails like Mount Olympus. These trails make for a great way to spend your spring afternoon. Hike in the morning and watch the sunrise — or midday and take a second to enjoy the view.

7. The sports scene is underrated

Utah’s sports scene includes some professional teams, several minor league outfits and colleges to support. In the heart of downtown Salt Lake City is the Jazz — the state’s NBA team. Catch a game during the season and watch stars like Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in action.

If basketball isn’t your thing, check out a soccer match and cheer on Real Salt Lake. Other sports teams native to Utah are the baseball team, The Bees, and the hockey team, The Grizzlies. You can also check out a rivalry game between BYU and Utah during college football season. No matter your sport of choice, you can enjoy a hot dog and churro and cheer on your sports team.

8. Transportation and traffic isn’t that bad … usually

Traffic in Salt Lake is moderate. There are, of course, areas that see heavier traffic, especially if you’re heading southbound out of S.L.C., but on the whole, it’s not that bad. The streets in Salt Lake feel massive compared to other cities around the world. When Salt Lake was built, the roads had to be big enough that a wagon being pulled by ox could make a full U-turn. The city’s grid-like roads enable drivers to get around the city without confusion.

9. The air quality is surprisingly not great

One of the major cons of living in Salt Lake City is air quality. According to IQAir, S.L.C. has some of the worst air quality in the country. Part of the reason is its location in a valley that traps the pollution, making it difficult to cycle in new, clean air. Winter is the worst season for air pollution in the city, but the pollution fluctuates year-round.

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10. The city is full of must-see places

Living in Salt Lake City gives you the advantage to see all that the state has to offer. In the winter, no matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, the Temple Square Christmas lights are a must-see. They bring to life the twinkle and magic that is the holiday season.

Park City is also a beautiful place to escape from the city during the winter. During the Sundance Film Festival, you might even spot a celebrity or 10. Southern Utah is also a must-visit. Utah has five national parks within a three- to four-hour drive from the city center — places like Zion, Bryce Canyon and Moab offer breathtaking views and scenery that just can’t be duplicated.

Living in Salt Lake City

There are so many pros to picking Salt Lake City as your place of residence. From all the outdoor activities to the diverse food scene, there’s something for everyone in Salt Lake City. You’ll enjoy the four seasons, the people and the opportunities that are present for everyone here.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in November 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

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