Businesses You Can Start for Under $1,000

Laveta Brigham

If you’re trying to figure out how to start a business without a big infusion of cash from angel investors or your own savings, don’t despair. There are plenty of cheap businesses you can start that can turn into thriving enterprises.

In fact, you can get a business up and running for less than $1,000. If you’re looking to begin a business without a hefty investment, keep reading to find out how these entrepreneurs turned their business ideas into reality on shoestring budgets.

Last updated Oct. 18, 2019

Blog

  • Initial Investment: $3 a month

Blogging can be the best business to start with little money. Some bloggers actually launch their websites for $0.

Kelan and Brittany Kline started their blog, The Savvy Couple, in 2016 for less than $3 a month. “That cost covered our domain name and hosting at the time,” Kelan said. “From there, we grew our blog

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Is looting covered by insurance? Depends on the business

Laveta Brigham

Sean Wotherspoon spent Saturday night in his Los Angeles home, watching live as his businesses were destroyed.

He watched as security-camera feeds showed people shattering the plate glass windows of his Round Two store on Melrose Avenue and walking out with more than $250,000 worth of high-end street wear. He saw them make off with about as much inventory from his vintage store next door. He watched as the Round Two location on the other side of the country in Richmond, Va., was hollowed out by fire.

“I’ve been robbed before, but nothing like this,” Wotherspoon said.

Protests over the police killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd continued in cities across the country Sunday night, and thousands of Angelenos took to the streets to voice their outrage at the apparent impunity of police who kill or brutalize black Americans.

Looting has accompanied some of the protests. Among the first businesses

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Meet Skin Medicinals, an Online Platform That Aims to Make Customized Topical Prescriptions More Affordable

Laveta Brigham

Picture this scenario: Your dermatologist prescribes you a generic topical cream, maybe for acne, eczema, or just purely skin-brightening purposes. Yet when you show up to the pharmacy to fill said prescription, instead of costing $15 or so, the pharmacist tells you it’s going to be around $1,000. Yes, just for one tube of cream and yes, even with your insurance. Or, maybe you’re able to fill it with the $35 co-pay on your insurance plan, but the pharmacy still bills your insurance company $1,000, which may cause future co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses to increase exponentially.

For a plethora of reasons, the cost of generic, basic dermatological medications keep soaring. This is precisely what prompted Dhaval Bhanusali, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, to create Skin Medicinals, an online platform that sells medications for common skin conditions and concerns, like rosacea and scarring, for under $60.

“It is

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voices of America’s unemployment crisis

Laveta Brigham

<span>Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA</span>
Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

The coronavirus pandemic has wrought destruction on US workers at a scale and speed that is almost unfathomable. 

It was only in February that Donald Trump was touting an unemployment level of 3.5%, a 50-year low. The unemployment rate dropped on Friday to 13.3% – but is still at its highest level since the 1980s – and many economists fear the real figure is far higher.

In just four months 42 million people have filed for unemployment insurance, more people than the population of Canada.

Such huge numbers can numb reality – a reality that will cause suffering and hardship for millions of people for years to come. Trump claimed victory after the latest jobs report and Republicans are pressing for lockdowns to be eased further, threatening a further spike in coronavirus cases. A new round of stimulus cash for struggling people and businesses now looks more

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How to stage a good video meeting? Put on a show

Laveta Brigham

T.J. Leonard likes to kick off every Monday morning with an all-hands meeting, to keep his 100-plus employees of the Storyblocks video production assistance company up to date on the latest. 

And even when everyone’s working at home, the show must go on. 

Keeping people focused on in-person meetings is hard enough. How does the CEO do it when distractions at home can include easy texting, e-mail checking, Amazon shopping and the like? 

By putting on a production.  

He has an MC. He shows video clips. He has team members do skits. 

Storyblocks CEO TJ Leonard
Storyblocks CEO TJ Leonard

“If I stood in front of the company and delivered a 15 to 30-minute monologue about our vision, we’d have a lot of people tuning out,” he says. “The type of content you can take on is more ambitious than what would you do in person.”

The new meetings require more preparation than in

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Pandemic car buying: Consumer strategies for the age of COVID-19 and beyond

Laveta Brigham

To buy a car, you need money. To have money, you need a job, unless you’re cruising on investments. So for many of the 40 million unemployed Americans — only the most recent, crushing count — happy talk about buying a car is bound to chafe. 

But while the pandemic is kneecapping new-car sales, which are expected to fall about 27 percent to just 12.5 million units in 2020, tens of millions of Americans will still buy a car this year. Used cars have generated 40 million to 45 million retail sales in recent years, dwarfing sales of new models. 

So whether it’s industry rah-rah or not, the pandemic has automakers and dealers pulling out all the stops to lure shoppers back. While it’s a buyer’s market, consumers need good advice to navigate it without tripping themselves up — including by falling for screaming “deals” that aren’t what they’re cracked

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Borrowed time: Climate change threatens U.S. mortgage market

Laveta Brigham

A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper in February concluded that homes in flood plains are overvalued by $34 billion because homebuyers don’t fully price in the high risk of climate-related disasters.

“There are some systemic risks here which need to be considered and evaluated — and right now,” said former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “U.S. financial regulators are much further behind in that regard.”

And that risk is growing. Homebuilding and mortgage originations in floodplains have risen steadily over the years even as the number of flood insurance policies has fallen, according to data provided to POLITICO by First Street Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to determine the probability of flooding for every U.S. home.

Between 2006 and 2018, nearly 600,000 houses were built in 100-year floodplains, bringing the total to 4.1 million homes. In that same time period, 300,000 mortgages were added to homes in floodplains,

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Life Insurance Application Procedures Changing Amid the Pandemic

Laveta Brigham

While life insurance coverage is still widely available amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some insurers are adjusting certain processes to accommodate the new norms created by social distancing.

Life insurance applicants have traditionally been required to pass a physical exam to get a policy. However, the need for social distancing due to the pandemic has led some insurers to begin offering significant levels of coverage without an exam. That was one of the findings of a recent conversation ValuePenguin had with two life insurance brokers from The Robinson Financial Group, a financial services company based in Skokie, Ill.

That sentiment was underscored by a recent survey by LIMRA, a membership group for insurance and financial services organizations. LIMRA found that insurers were implementing ways to do business while cutting down on face-to-face interactions throughout the entire underwriting process.

Implementing new procedures

With COVID-19 sickening millions of people across the globe and

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39 Careless Ways Retirees Waste Money

Laveta Brigham

You’ve worked hard all your life, so you deserve to enjoy yourself in retirement. However, when you live on a fixed income, it’s important to keep track of where every dollar is going and not spend money carelessly. I spoke to financial experts and business leaders to find out the most common ways retirees waste money — so you know what not to do and can make better decisions that enable your retirement savings to last well into your golden years.

A financial advisor can be a great asset when it comes to retirement planning, but make sure you’re not paying them higher fees than you need to be.

“Investment fees can run 1-2% of your assets. For retirees with a million dollars invested that’s $10-20k a year,” said speaker, writer, teacher and financial coach Jillian Johnsrud. “If you’re only getting an hour check-in per year, that’s an expensive phone … Read More

How the Pandemic Alters Americans’ Financial Habits

Laveta Brigham

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown millions of Americans into chaos, negatively affecting financial well-being alongside physical and mental health. As unemployment rates soar and money insecurities abound, a new NerdWallet survey finds almost half of Americans (48%) are indeed feeling less confident about their personal finances due to COVID-19.

In a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted online by The Harris Poll, we asked Americans how COVID-19 is affecting their finances — including spending and saving habits, feelings about homebuying and investing, and money plans for the end of the pandemic.

Key findings

  • Income impact: Close to 7 in 10 Americans (69%) say their household income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, including 80% each of millennials (ages 24-39) and Gen Zers (ages 18-23).
  • Stimulus saving: More than one-third of Americans (36%) plan to use/have used their stimulus check to save and/or invest; the
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