‘My mum’s advice saved me from lockdown anxiety’

Laveta Brigham

My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here, Lexy Oliver from Cheshire takes us through a week in her life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lexy is 27 and lives in Cuddington, Cheshire, with her husband Jonny, also 27, and their cat Bobby. She is the fifth generation to work in her family business, a delicatessen owned by her father. Jonny works as a data scientist for a holiday lettings agency. Lexy says there are no better staff discounts than good food and holidays!

The Covid-19 situation has certainly had an impact on their finances over the last few months. Lexy was furloughed for 10 weeks, and Jonny has just returned to work having been on furlough since April. During lockdown, when neither of them were in work, they were down over £1,000 a month in

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Facebook Debuts Paid Online Events, Swipes at Apple for Fees

Laveta Brigham

Facebook will now let individuals, businesses and other organizations make money from events held on the platform, the company announced Friday.

True to its name, Paid Online Events allows accountholders to charge for event tickets or registrations for online events held on Facebook. According to vice president Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, the feature was developed as a way of helping small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged sectors like retail, restaurants and in-person events.

“We’ve been testing this product for a while and now it is available to Pages in the U.S. and in 19 other countries,” she said in a press conference call held Friday. “So starting today, businesses creators, educators, media publishers can all start earning money from online events to help grow their business, connect with our community and reach new audiences all over the world.”

Using Facebook Pages, where accountholders can

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Social Security Recipients Get More Time to Request Extra $500 Stimulus Check

Laveta Brigham

The IRS is giving seniors who receive Social Security retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Railroad Retirement (RR) benefits another chance to claim an additional $500-per-child stimulus check if they didn’t already receive the extra payment.

If they’re otherwise eligible for a stimulus check, seniors who receive these federal benefits, but didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, should have automatically received a $1,200 stimulus payment earlier this year. However, if they have (or care for) dependent children 16 years old or younger, they had to go online and use the IRS’s “Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here” tool to get the extra $500 per child that’s allowed under the CARES Act.

The catch is that they had to use the tool by noon Eastern time on April 22 to have the additional amount included in their stimulus check payment – and the IRS gave them less than

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Demand for virtual sex work is skyrocketing in quarantine, but some some workers have struggled to adapt

Laveta Brigham

  • Demand for virtual sex services has skyrocketed since the coronavirus pandemic began.

  • And for some people who are newly unemployed, selling nude photos and videos online has become a part of the quarantine routine.

  • We spoke to three people in the sex industry, including one who makes as much as $17,000 a month posting photos online.

  • View more episodes of Business Insider Weekly on Facebook.

Some sex workers are reimagining their business for a world where meeting clients in person is risky.

Even as many US states and countries have emerged from coronavirus-related, demand for virtual sex services is skyrocketing.

But for some people who are newly unemployed, selling naked photos and videos online has become a part of the quarantine routine.

One 24-year-old woman, who uses the pseudonym Harper Heart, has monetized nude photos of herself on the subscription service OnlyFans and other platforms. Users can only see Heart’s

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Facebook joins attack on Apple over App Store commission

Laveta Brigham

Facebook on Friday joined the attack on Apple’s operation of its App Store after the iPhone maker refused to forgo its commission on live online events hosted on the social network that allow people to make money during the pandemic.

The comments from Facebook come in the wake of a blockbuster lawsuit from video game sensation Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday which accused Apple of abusing its monopoly position in its online marketplace.

Facebook said it would not collect any fees from paid online events that educators, entertainers, or others can host due to a fresh addition to the platform, but that Apple declined to back off from its standard share of transactions which are handled through the App Store.

“We asked Apple to reduce its 30 percent App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19,”  

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The Capital Letter: Week of August 10

Laveta Brigham

Another week has passed with, it seems, little in the way of material progress towards the next stimulus package, and it remains unclear how much of the relief measures contained in the four executive actions signed by President Trump on August 8 will actually take effect — and when. In particular, the $400-a-week supplement to unemployment insurance (to replace the $600 in the earlier stimulus provisions) may well turn out to be $300, as the final $100 is meant to come from the states, which are not exactly flush with cash at the moment. Additionally, as CNBC noted, if a state already pays $100 a week to a recipient of unemployment benefits, it can count that aid as its “match” and won’t have to pay out any additional funds.  All in all, with the country effectively being subjected to an unprecedented and enforced social experiment— an experiment that is

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Shoppers Are Buying Online More Than Ever, But Customer Retention Is at Its Lowest

Laveta Brigham

Brands have been able to acquire customers at higher rates during the pandemic than in previous months, according to a new survey by customer experience platform Blaze. But retaining these shoppers for long-term success is a separate challenge, one that brands are failing: The report found that customer retention dropped to just 3% by month three.

As shoppers have flocked to new purchasing channels on desktop and mobile, many brands and retailers have been able to capitalize on this new market. Data from Q2 of this year shows a 60% increase in customer acquisition from Q1 across e-commerce, with mobile securing an even higher 62% increase. This reflects other studies from the pandemic showing that mobile sales have been growing significantly throughout this period.

Part of this acquisition can be attributed to consumers looking for new digital options, due to the closure of brick-and-mortar and the absence of an online

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How to get your finances in shape in just 1 month

Laveta Brigham

Keeping tabs on your finances can be much easier said than done. With thousands of personal finance blogs, books and experts out there with sometimes conflicting advice, it can be hard to make sense of what you really should do.

We’re bringing it back to the very basics. If you set aside just 30 minutes each week for the next month, your finances will be in better shape than they are today. Knowledge is the ultimate power when it comes to managing your money. Here’s how to do it in a few short weeks.

Week 1: Take your financial health vitals

There are so many different components to your financial health. Think of it like a well visit to your doctor — you need to get your temperature and blood pressure taken before you can troubleshoot the big stuff. The same rule applies to your money.

This first week, get

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Mortgage rates spike in response to new fee, but deals are still around

Laveta Brigham

Mortgage rates have taken off ever since lenders found out Wednesday night that they’ll be charged a new fee on most refinance loans.

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have skyrocketed and are above 3% for the first time in months, according to Mortgage News Daily.

“Mortgage lenders don’t like surprises, and they don’t like suddenly being forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars they hadn’t budgeted for,” says Matthew Graham, MND’s chief operating officer. “When that happens, they are going to raise rates to offset the newfound losses. And that’s exactly what they did.”

But one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders is offering a 30-year loan with rates as low as 1.999%, so deals are still out there. You just need to know how to find them.

What’s happened to mortgage rates?

Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock

It was just last week that 30-year mortgage rates dropped

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Gordon Ramsay Is Now Roasting Amateur Chefs on TikTok: ‘Keep the Dishes Coming’

Laveta Brigham

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Gordon Ramsay has found a new platform where he can skewer home cooks on social media.

The celebrity chef, 53, has made a hobby out of hurling his trademark harsh critiques at people documenting their dishes and recipes online, roasting food disasters on Twitter and Instagram. And now, TikTok is no longer safe!

Earlier this month, Ramsay shared some delectably vicious reactions to a TikTok user who showed followers had to “turn cheap steak into wagyu.”

“What’s he doing? … What?” says Ramsay into the camera, as a split-screen shows the TikTok user grind up the beef and form it into makeshift cuts of steak after mixing in gelatin.

“No! Not a bag,” he reacts when they place the patties into a pouch and cook them sous vide style before placing them on the grill for finishing touches. “That looks like my granddad’s colostomy bag. Oh my

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