If you’re debating whether or not to cut the odd cousin or two from your wedding invite list, you now have a solid financial justification. A new study claims that the cost of weddings is at a five-year high even though the number of invited guests is shrinking. [More]
The Internet has brought an amazing array of merchandise into our lives and onto our doorsteps. However, being able to order a crate of hamburger-shaped cookies from Japan or a complete DVD box set of “Friends” episodes at 3 A.M. during a spell of insomnia isn’t always a good thing. Especially when you’re trying to eliminate debt and/or cut down on spending. [More]
If you’ve lived on a tight budget for a while because you’ve been out of work or gone back to school, it’s a little bewildering to start drawing paychecks from a new job. You may feel rich, but your wealth will be determined by your budget rather than your income.
When we were feeling good about spending this year, man, we were feeling good. But those spend-happy habits when the economy was on the uptick or when a sweet deal landed in your inbox should be shed when the ball drops on 2012.
Even though they haven’t been making any additional money for the past three months, consumer spending ticked up 0.6% in September. Are people spending more because they feel that the low interest rates they get from the bank make it less valuable to save?
Athletic skill and financial acumen don’t always come in the same package, which is why many successful pro athletes run out of money once their fat paychecks stop rolling in.
Those of us who consider ourselves poor are probably overlooking key budget items that sap money away on a monthly basis, keeping us away from important goals that seem unreachable.
National average inflation rates can rise or fall, but the only number that makes a difference in your life is one that’s hidden from you unless you do some legwork to uncover it. Tracking and categorizing your purchases over time allows you to get a handle on how your budget and priorities evolve over time in relation to the fluctuating market.
Although the prevalence of online account access makes financial software tracking less crucial now than it was, say, a decade ago, a detailed record of your spending is still key to maintaining a budget.
Jeff Yeager, Wise Bread blogger and author, has just published a new book titled The Cheapskate Next Door, where he interviews over 300 self-described cheapskates to find out what makes them tick. In an interview over at Daily Finance, he says that for most of his subjects, the choice to live frugal lifestyles wasn’t primarily about money.
The next time you want to splurge on some big ticket item, you might want to head over to The Real Damage first to see what it’s going to actually cost you in the long run. The free online tool looks at your current balances and interest rates, as well as your monthly payments, and then approximates how much extra you’ll pay in interest on your new purchase before you’re totally debt free.
Illinois credit rating sucks, which is unfortunate for the Sucker State, because it needs to borrow millions of dollars to pay its bills. This means that the state is paying a premium for the loans, which are going to be used to improve roads, bridges and schools. As a product of Illinois’ public schools, I can honestly say that the $900 million in new bonds it is issuing will not be enough. Whether this is because we are too poorly educated to figure out how much money is actually needed, or because it really isn’t, no one can say.
As a nation, we saved more of our paychecks last month than any time since last September–nearly 4% of income went unspent. That worries economists, because it means we’re not spending at a high enough rate to support an economic recovery. But as the Washington Post notes, since unemployment remains high and most of the recent wage growth came from the government, consumers aren’t exactly comfortable with buying something shiny and new just because it’s on sale.
Target’s first quarter profits were up and things are looking better for the retailer’s troubled credit card division. The secret to their success? Consumers are buying more “discretionary merchandise,” which is retailer speak for ” various bullsh*t like video games and cheap designer clothes that you don’t technically need to survive.”
Back in the early days of the recession, circa 2008, people were nervous about the future, and decided to start saving more of their money instead of just spending it. That brought personal savings rates up to over 5% by last year. But after hearing for months that the recession is over, consumers are apparently starting to believe it — especially when numbers show the economy growing by 3.2%. Savings rates are down to about 2.7%, and consumer spending is up by 0.6% as of March. Unfortunately, incomes are only up 0.3%, so plenty of people may be helping the economy grow by spending more than they earn. Thanks, guys!
Adam Baker at Get Rich Slowly suggests you’ll be able to better stick to a budget if you pick one non-essential hobby or interest instead of cutting them all out. The key to figuring out whether or not it’s something worth “wasting” money on is to identify any hidden benefits, and then to make sure there aren’t hidden drawbacks.