Personal Finance News https://personalfinancenews.com Latest News About Personal Finance Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:22:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 https://i1.wp.com/personalfinancenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/TwitterProfile.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Personal Finance News https://personalfinancenews.com 32 32 105313590 Get Your Finances On Track With These Three Tips https://personalfinancenews.com/tips-to-get-your-finances-on-track/ https://personalfinancenews.com/tips-to-get-your-finances-on-track/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:22:35 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5129 Thirty four percent of American adults have zero savings. Surprising? Actually it is not considering that half of American families have no savings for retirement at all. Americans continue to rely on debt in their everyday lives. The result is that majority of them go through their lives being unable to repay that debt; with […]

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Thirty four percent of American adults have zero savings. Surprising? Actually it is not considering that half of American families have no savings for retirement at all. Americans continue to rely on debt in their everyday lives. The result is that majority of them go through their lives being unable to repay that debt; with 73 percent of Americans dying with an average debt of $61,554. The year started off with the total credit card debt hitting $1.02 trillion and credit strategists have called for Americans to focus on reducing their credit card debt.

With APR rates at an average 19 percent, savings have taken a hit. If you are one of the many Americans looking to increase your savings, there are many small adjustments you can easily incorporate into your everyday habits. Here are three simple ways to bulk up your savings.

Embrace Homemade

The DIY trend continues to gain popularity amongst consumers and it certainly has its reasons. Adopting a homemade attitude to several parts of your daily lives can save you small amounts in each category. It may seem minimal in isolation but at the end of the month, you can surprised at the total shaved off.

Batch cooking and meal prep is often a popular choice for Americans looking to live a health conscious lifestyle. However another effect of embracing home cooked meals: it can save upto $2,000 a year. Those small daily purchases add up to a sizeable amount. So while that $1.50 daily cup of coffee weekdays may not seem a lot; over the course of a week you are looking at a savings of $7.50.

Homemade meals do not have to be boring or bland either. With many online resources such as recipes, you can easily make delicious healthy lunches and sweet tooth treats.

DIY does not apply to just your meals but can also extend to other areas including homemade gifts and getting crafty with your home and car repairs yourself. Basic maintenance tasks such as oil changing and testing of your tyre pressures can easily be done yourself, saving you a pretty penny annually. By learning the basics of car maintenance, you not only save money but you are also better prepared in event of a breakdown.

Consider The Cash Envelope System

If you are struggling to get out of debt, one of the first things to do is look at your spending and where your money is going. The cash envelope system can help you get your finances in shape and allows you to achieve those savings goals while actually seeing how your cash is spent daily or weekly.

Every month, money is allocated into your various envelopes such as mortgage and groceries. The principle behind it is that you stick to using your allocated cash and when it has finished, you would have to wait until the next replenishment date. The envelope system is a great addition after creating a budget and allows you to identify how to best spend your money. Bonus point; your access to credit cards are limited which avoids your debt increasing further.

Think About It

Fifty four percent of Americans spend over $100 on impulse buys. Afterwards, 52 percent of women and 46 percent of men regretted their purchases. Instant gratification is a common mistake amongst shoppers especially those with credit cards in hand. By taking a few days (up to 30 days) to mull over the purchase, you can find often that you will change your mind about wanting the item. The end result is money saved on another impulse buy.

So get started on increasing your retirement savings and knocking down those credit card debts. With these three simple tricks, it is easier than ever.

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Warren Buffett Predicts “Bad Ending” for Cryptocurrencies https://personalfinancenews.com/warren-buffett-predicts-bad-ending-for-cryptocurrencies/ https://personalfinancenews.com/warren-buffett-predicts-bad-ending-for-cryptocurrencies/#respond Sun, 14 Jan 2018 16:16:24 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5125 With cryptocurrencies still in the news, tumbling 10 percent to 20 percent in recent days thanks in part to a change in calculating how the coins are valued, the debate rages on as to whether bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin are, in fact, money. The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, said on CNBC […]

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With cryptocurrencies still in the news, tumbling 10 percent to 20 percent in recent days thanks in part to a change in calculating how the coins are valued, the debate rages on as to whether bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin are, in fact, money.

The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, said on CNBC that the speculation in bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, “will have a bad ending.”

CNBC senior analyst Ron Insana writes:

I am predisposed to view them as just speculative tokens in a cryptocurrency bubble that has inflated more quickly than any other in financial market history. Admittedly I’m green with envy for failing to foresee the explosive rally in the price of bitcoin when it was first brought to my attention several years ago. Having said that, there are many things I find quite ironic about how bitcoin and other “cryptos” are described. First, they are largely denominated, or discussed, in U.S. dollar terms.

If the dollar is archaic, as the crypto-enthusiasts believe, why not speak only in crypto-terms…? Because the dollar remains the reserve currency of the globe. Its usage remains widespread, accounts for roughly 65 percent of all global economic transactions.

It’s much easier to buy and sell dollars, stocks or commodities than it is to trade bitcoin and its brethren. The conversion of one crypto to another is relatively easy on these embryonic exchanges. But getting your digital wealth converted into cold hard cash is more problematic… And while the growth has been impressive, it remains very difficult to walk into any establishment and exchange a digital token for goods or services.

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Walmart Raises Hourly Wage to $11 After Tax Reform https://personalfinancenews.com/walmart-raises-hourly-wage-to-11-after-tax-reform/ https://personalfinancenews.com/walmart-raises-hourly-wage-to-11-after-tax-reform/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:01:26 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5122 Walmart Stores Inc., the largest private U.S. employer, plan to raise its starting hourly wage to $11 and to give bonuses to employees to stay competitive in a tightening labor market. Taking advantage of the recently passed tax reform that lower the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, Walmart passes on the riches to its […]

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Walmart Stores Inc., the largest private U.S. employer, plan to raise its starting hourly wage to $11 and to give bonuses to employees to stay competitive in a tightening labor market.

Taking advantage of the recently passed tax reform that lower the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, Walmart passes on the riches to its employees to improve its image amid pressure to bolster minimum wages.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in the statement.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer has more than 1 million U.S. hourly employees. Many of them will be benefited from the $11 minimum hourly wage. The wage increase takes effect in February and will cost $300 million on top of wage hikes that were already planned.

Walmart said the one-time bonuses is based on seniority and will cost the company $400 million Employees who have worked for at least 20 years will get the full $1,000.

The company is also boosting its paid maternity leave policy for full-time hourly workers to 10 weeks and increasing its paid paternity leave policy to six weeks.

Walmart would also offer financial help to employees who are seeking to adopt children.

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37% of Gen X Say They Won’t Be Able to Afford to Retire https://personalfinancenews.com/37-of-gen-x-say-they-wont-be-able-to-afford-to-retire/ https://personalfinancenews.com/37-of-gen-x-say-they-wont-be-able-to-afford-to-retire/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:58:49 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5117 Adam Shell reported for USA Today: Add Gen Xers to the long list of Americans who fear they won’t have a sizable enough nest egg to retire. Nearly four out of 10 (37%) of Generation X — those born between 1965 and the late 1970s — say they would like to stop working for good […]

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Adam Shell reported for USA Today:

Add Gen Xers to the long list of Americans who fear they won’t have a sizable enough nest egg to retire.

Nearly four out of 10 (37%) of Generation X — those born between 1965 and the late 1970s — say they would like to stop working for good and “fully retire” someday, “but will not be able to afford to,” a new survey from TD Ameritrade, an online broker based in Omaha, found.

Other gloomy Gen X retirement findings:

  • 43% say “they are behind” in their savings.
  • Half (49%) are “worried about running out of money” once they leave the workforce.
  • Nearly two out of 10 (17%) say they “aren’t saving or investing for anything.”
  • Only a third expect to be “very secure” in retirement — vs. nearly half of Baby Boomers.

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Credit Card Debt Hits New Record https://personalfinancenews.com/credit-card-debt-hits-new-record/ https://personalfinancenews.com/credit-card-debt-hits-new-record/#respond Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:39:26 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5115 Americans credit card debt has just hit a disturbing record of $1.02 trillion according to the federal reserve. USA Today reported: Americans’ outstanding credit card debt hit a new record in November, highlighting a more confident U.S. consumer but also flashing a warning signal of potential trouble down the road. Revolving credit, mostly credit cards, […]

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Americans credit card debt has just hit a disturbing record of $1.02 trillion according to the federal reserve. USA Today reported:

Americans’ outstanding credit card debt hit a new record in November, highlighting a more confident U.S. consumer but also flashing a warning signal of potential trouble down the road.

Revolving credit, mostly credit cards, increased by $11.2 billion to $1.023 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That nudged the figure past the $1.021 trillion highwater mark reached in April 2008, just before the housing and credit bubbles burst. Over the past year, revolving credit has surged by $55.1 billion, or 5.7%, according to the Fed and Contingent Macro Research.

“It’s a potential early warning sign but not a financial stability issue” for the broader economy, UBS Credit Strategist Stephen Caprio says.

“People should make 2018 the year they focus on knocking down their credit card debt,” says Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com. With the Federal Reserve continuing to raise interest rates, “that credit card debt is going to grow faster and faster,” siphoning off money Americans should be putting aside for retirement,” Schulz said.

“It’s really important that folks knock down that credit card debt when times are good.”

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Lower Energy Bills with Improved Efficiency https://personalfinancenews.com/lower-energy-bills-with-improved-efficiency/ https://personalfinancenews.com/lower-energy-bills-with-improved-efficiency/#respond Sun, 07 Jan 2018 14:57:13 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5112 Due to a move towards sustainable energy solutions, 2016 saw American spending on energy bills reach a record low. Despite this, energy costs are still a cause for concern for many cash-strapped Americans. If you are still reliant on coal and gas, you could not only be damaging the environment, but your personal finances also. […]

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Due to a move towards sustainable energy solutions, 2016 saw American spending on energy bills reach a record low. Despite this, energy costs are still a cause for concern for many cash-strapped Americans. If you are still reliant on coal and gas, you could not only be damaging the environment, but your personal finances also. Regardless of which energy source you use, here’s how you can be more efficient and reduce your monthly outgoings.

Automation

You probably already know that you shouldn’t leave lights on when you’re not using them. The problem is, when you’re not using them is exactly the time when you’re not there to check if you’ve left them on. Over the course of the year, forgetfulness can have significant costs.

Overcome this by installing motion sensor lighting. This can be done relatively cheaply and should pay for itself over time. The lights will always be there when you need them, but will switch off the second you leave the room, meaning you get maximum efficiency out of your lighting.

Utilize Nature

This can be a big task and relies on your house being built in the right way. However, there are also small steps you can take. If possible, install large windows and remove objects outside which may be blocking the sunlight.

Air conditioning can contribute to over 50% of your electric bill. When it is too hot, see if opening a window is enough to keep you cool. The same goes with heating. Consider using a log fire instead of electric heating.

Unplug

An item which is plugged in and on standby is using energy, while providing no benefit to you. The vast majority of your electronics do not need to be plugged in all the time. A healthy energy efficient home will only keep the essentials plugged in, while removing everything else.

The one exception is the refrigerator. This will usually be kept running, but should be kept at 39-41 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal efficiency. If you are going on vacation, make sure to unplug the fridge completely.

Switch Energy Supplier

If you have cut out all unnecessary usage of energy and still feel your bill is too high, then you can always switch provider. Search online to see if there are better deals available.

If you are already with the cheapest company, then maybe your energy source is the problem. Consider whether it is possible to switch to renewable sources. The United States government will allow you to deduct 30% of solar panel installation costs from your federal taxes, meaning it is more affordable than you think. Many consumers still believe solar isn’t competitive, but it has dropped in price by 99% since the 1970s and is on its way to become the world’s cheapest energy source.

Reducing your energy bills could be one of the best ways to get your finances in order. With payments made every month, even small savings can make a big difference over time. Embrace automated lights, use nature to your advantage, unplug electronics and don’t be afraid to switch to a new provider or energy source if a cheaper option is available.

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Pope: Don’t Make Money, Career Your Whole Life https://personalfinancenews.com/dont-make-money-career-your-whole-life/ https://personalfinancenews.com/dont-make-money-career-your-whole-life/#respond Sat, 06 Jan 2018 18:39:30 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5109 Pope Francis on Saturday advised against making the pursuit of money, a career or success the basis for one’s whole life, urging in his Epiphany remarks to also resist “inclinations toward arrogance, the thirst for power and for riches.” Frances D’Emilio writes for the Associate Press: During a homily at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, […]

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Pope Francis on Saturday advised against making the pursuit of money, a career or success the basis for one’s whole life, urging in his Epiphany remarks to also resist “inclinations toward arrogance, the thirst for power and for riches.” Frances D’Emilio writes for the Associate Press:

During a homily at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis said people “often make do” with having “health, a little money and a bit of entertainment.” He urged people to help the poor and others in need of assistance, giving freely without expecting anything in return.

Many Christians observe Epiphany to recall the three wise men who followed a star to find the baby Jesus. Francis suggested asking “what star we have chosen to follow in our lives?”

“Some stars may be bright, but do not point the way. So it is with success, money, career, honors and pleasures, when these become our lives,” the pope said, adding that path won’t ensure peace and joy.

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Warren Buffett Shares the Secrets to Wealth in America https://personalfinancenews.com/warren-buffett-shares-the-secrets-to-wealth-in-america/ https://personalfinancenews.com/warren-buffett-shares-the-secrets-to-wealth-in-america/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2018 13:51:00 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5106 Warren Buffett, the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said years of growth lie ahead and he’s confident that America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all. Buffett wrote on Time: I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large […]

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Warren Buffett, the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, said years of growth lie ahead and he’s confident that America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all. Buffett wrote on Time:

I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come.

Some years back, people generally agreed with my optimism. Today, however, pollsters find that most Americans are pessimistic about their children’s future. Politicians, business leaders and the press constantly tell us that our economic machine is sputtering. Their evidence: GDP growth of only 2% or so in recent years.

Before we shed tears over that figure, let’s do a little math, recognizing that GDP per capita is what counts. If, for example, the U.S. population were to grow 3% annually while GDP grew 2%, prospects would indeed be bleak for our children.

But that’s not the case. We can be confident that births minus deaths will add no more than 0.5% yearly to America’s population. Immigration is more difficult to predict. I believe 1 million people annually is a reasonable estimate, an influx that will add 0.3% annually to population growth.

In total, therefore, you can expect America’s population to increase about 0.8% a year. Under that assumption, gains of 2% in real GDP–that is, without nominal gains produced by inflation–will annually deliver 1.2% growth in per capita GDP.

This pace no doubt sounds paltry. But over time, it works wonders. In 25 years–a single generation–1.2% annual growth boosts our current $59,000 of GDP per capita to $79,000. This $20,000 increase guarantees a far better life for our children.

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Warren Buffett Just Won a $1 Million Bet With an Index Fund https://personalfinancenews.com/warren-buffett-million-dollar-bet/ https://personalfinancenews.com/warren-buffett-million-dollar-bet/#respond Mon, 01 Jan 2018 15:21:09 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5102 Warren Buffett officially wins his bet that the S&P 500 index fund would beat selected hedge funds over the last 10 years. Fortune reported: In 2007, Warren Buffett bet a million dollars that an index fund would outperform a collection of hedge funds over the course of 10 years. This week he won that bet, […]

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Warren Buffett officially wins his bet that the S&P 500 index fund would beat selected hedge funds over the last 10 years. Fortune reported:

In 2007, Warren Buffett bet a million dollars that an index fund would outperform a collection of hedge funds over the course of 10 years. This week he won that bet, but the big winner in the wager is a charity called Girls Inc.

When he placed the bet a decade ago Buffett said he would hand over any proceeds from the victory to charity. The charity he chose was his local Girls Inc. affiliate, The Wall Street Journal reports. The charity provides after-school care as well as summer programs for girls ages 5 to 18.

Buffett officially “won” the wager on Friday, but said throughout 2017 that he was confident that he would win. Over the course of the bet the S&P 500 index fund returned 7.1% compounded annually, significantly more than the basket of funds selected by an asset manager at Protégé Partners. That basket only returned an average of 2.2%.

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4 Easy Steps for Getting Your Finances in Order for Traveling https://personalfinancenews.com/easy-steps-for-getting-your-finances-in-order-for-traveling/ https://personalfinancenews.com/easy-steps-for-getting-your-finances-in-order-for-traveling/#respond Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:38:24 +0000 https://personalfinancenews.com/?p=5098 Do you daydream about traveling to exotic places? Do your dreams come crashing down when you think about your current financial situation? We don’t think that a lack of funds should ever stand between you and travel. After all, trips to foreign lands are often the most rewarding experiences in life. To help you get […]

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Do you daydream about traveling to exotic places? Do your dreams come crashing down when you think about your current financial situation? We don’t think that a lack of funds should ever stand between you and travel. After all, trips to foreign lands are often the most rewarding experiences in life. To help you get on board with these experiences, we’ve put together a few simple steps for financing your travels.

Create a Budget

The costs of traveling may seem so astronomical that you haven’t even taken the time to look at the actual prices. The first step to figuring out how much your trip will cost is to break it down into its component parts and see how much airfare, accommodations, car rental/public transportation, food, activities, and more will cost you. There are several sites, such as Kayak, that will give you good estimates of how much you can expect to spend.

Set Money Aside in a Sinking Fund

Once you have a good idea of how much your trip will cost, you can start setting money aside for travel by placing it in a sinking fund. This is a savings account in which you squirrel away a specific amount of money from each paycheck to help pay for your upcoming trip. You should avoid touching this money. At first, it may be hard to set aside part of your income in this way, but it gets easier with time. Frequent travelers often have a permanent sinking fund.

Sign Up for Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards are a must for frugal traveling. When you sign up for a quality travel card, you instantly get a huge bonus of several miles. For instance, with the Alaska Airlines card, you get 25,000 miles. This is almost enough to get a free flight. When you are choosing cards, be sure to look for these sign-up bonuses as well as category spending bonuses and low spending minimums. Also, watch out for the annual fees, which are usually unavoidable with these cards.

Cut Costs

There are several ways you can cut costs in your daily living, so you can contribute more to your sinking fund. This includes getting rid of cable, going with a more affordable phone, or selling your car. You can also reduce your travel expenses by taking advantage of the sharing economy.

When you consistently follow the above steps, you will have no problem visiting places throughout the world.

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