According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, a typical American family spends annually $3,971 on groceries, $2,468 on gas, and $2,787 on food away from home. Using credit cards that give back 3% cash back on gas, 6% cash back on groceries and 2% on everything else, you can easily save an extra $1,094.86 a year. Personally, I also use PenFed Visa to get 5% cash back on gas and Citi Double Cash to get 2% cashback on everything else. As Jason Steele said: “If you’re already spending this money on everyday purchases, there’s no reason not to save an extra thousand dollars a year.” (wisebread.com)
Julie Shea on The Spectator warns consumers to beware of free advice from banks and Wall Street as they are there to purely make profit. “When we are in these warm, welcoming banks we forget the mammoth towers on Bay Street housing these corporations that make hundreds of millions in profits and pay their CEOs tens of millions of dollars. Profit is their bottom line. When advisers are compensated to sell and not paid a fee to provide advice, people can sometimes be sold things that don’t necessarily fit into their overall plan or that they don’t even understand… The moral of this story is that the compensation structure of our financial services industry, which pays advisers to sell and not to give advice, creates an unavoidable bias. Consumers need to take time to educate themselves and get second opinions so they can determine whether the free advice that they are receiving is worth the price they are paying.” (thespec.com)
As mentioned before, best paid jobs with no experience needed are out there. Here’s another one: Garbage workers making $100,000 annually. Both Noel Molina and Tony Sanka were high-school dropouts. Molina made $112,000 last year as a garbage truck driver and Sankar made $100,000 as a helper, riding on the back of the truck. By starting at an entry level and working hard at the graveyard shift, they outearn many people with a college degree. In fact, the waste industry offers long-term job security for working class folks with health care coverage and a 401(k) retirement account. (cnn.com)
As outstanding student loan debt in the United States rose to $1.3 trillion and the class of 2015 was the most indebted ever with the average of over $35,000 for 70% of graduates, free college degrees in Europe become an option for many families. Katie Lobosco writes on CNN Money: “There are at least 44 schools across Europe where Americans can earn their bachelor’s degree for free, according to Jennifer Viemont, the founder of an advising service called Beyond The States. All public colleges in Germany, Iceland, Norway and Finland are free for residents and international students. And some private schools in the European Union don’t charge for tuition either. Many are going out of their way to attract foreigners by offering programs taught entirely in English. When they do charge for tuition, the bill is paltry compared to the U.S. The average cost of tuition in U.S. is currently $9,410 at public colleges and $32,405 at private colleges, while a majority of programs in Europe charge less than $2,225 a year.” (cnn.com)
Consumer Reports just released their ranking for Best Cars of 2016 with extensive data to back it up. The ranking is based on performance, reliability, owner satisfaction and safety.
- Best Subcompact Car: Honda Fit
- Best Compact Car: Subaru Impreza
- Best Midsized Car: Toyota Camry
- Best Small SUV: Subaru Forester
- Best Luxury SUV: Lexus RX
- Best Large Car: Chevrolet Impala
- Best Pickup Truck: Ford F-150
- Best Minivan: Toyota Sienna
The New Yorker has a long article detailing the life story of Peter Adeney, the Man behind Mr. Money Mustache, who retired in 2005 at age thirty. He is, by his own reckoning, a wealthy man, without want, but he and his wife Simi, who have one child, spend an average of just twenty-four thousand dollars a year.
Adeney presents thrift as liberation rather than as deprivation. Living a certain way is his life’s work. His goals, he says, are as follow:
- To make you rich so you can retire early
- To make you happy so you can properly enjoy your early retirement
- To save the whole Human Race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its habitat.
The blog Mr. Money Mustache, which he started five years ago, is currently one of the top blogs on the list of Top Personal Finance Blogs. His blog is now earning around $400,000 a year and he plans to donate the money away some day.
Glenn Carter writes: “This series of posts teaches seniors and retirees how to leverage the digital tools available to them to live more economically and independently. The key focus of this article is income supplementation and independent living through the sharing economy… So what is the sharing economy exactly? The sharing economy is about how we capitalize on abundance. Specifically, the sharing economy is composed of hundreds of online platforms that enable people to turn otherwise unproductive assets into income producers. This include homes, cars, hobbies, pets, spare space, parking spots, clothes, consumer items, and much more.” So join in the sharing economy and earn some income during retirement. (thecasualcapitalist.com)
Forbes Contributor Mike Patton explains that the reasons behind do-it-yourself investors routinely sabotage their investment success are due to two common biases. “Two of the most powerful emotions we experience are fear and greed. When an individual invests in the stock market and stock prices decline, at some point the pain becomes too much to bear and fear begins to dominate. This investor may believe that things will only get worse and that the near term will resemble what has happened most recently. In short, they become convinced that stocks will continue to decline and decide to sell everything, thus escaping further pain. This is called the ‘recency bias’ and is quite common… The second bias is the ‘bandwagon effect.’ Many investors have a subconscious, but strong tendency to follow the crowd. If everyone is doing it, it must be right.” Hopefully Investors who manage their own portfolio can learn these two common biases and avoid making the costly mistake. (forbes.com)
Personal finance bloggers often explain that one of the easiest way to save money is to minimize the cost of cellphone plan and device. Now there’s a trend for digitally weary users to switch back to simple phone. Daniel Thomas writes on Financial Times: “In January, British actor Eddie Redmayne made headlines around the world as he became the latest in a growing band of smartphone refuseniks. ‘It was a reaction against being glued permanently to my iPhone during waking hours,’ he explained, turning instead to an old-fashioned dumb phone handset that could only make and take calls. He is not alone. There is a small but busy market for phones that are simple and cheap at a time when smartphones are becoming ever more complex and expensive.” (ft.com)
Millennial Lauren Martin writes: “I don’t have any savings, but I also don’t have any wants. I don’t know about you, but I like to enjoy my life. I like to go out to eat, buy clothes I don’t need and spend money with friends on memorable nights out. This goes back to a piece of advice a very successful friend gave me: Don’t save money. Make more money.” This is simply a very bad advice on many levels that can set a dangerous mindset for young people. If you are in early 20’s and saddled with credit card debts and student loan debts, avoid this bad advice to not save money in your 20’s. In fact when you are young that’s the best time to start saving and investing to take advantage of compounding interest. Moreover, start saving early let you prepare for financial emergencies later in life. (elitedaily.com)
Business Insider reports that Chinese companies have been buying up American businesses at a record rate and it’s freaking lawmakers out. “To date, there have been 102 Chinese outbound mergers-and-acquisitions deals announced this year, amounting to $81.6 billion in value, according to Dealogic. That’s up from 72 deals worth $11 billion in the same period last year. And they’re not expected to let up anytime soon.” (businessinsider.com)
It’s not a surprise that a bit of planning can save you a lot of money when it comes to buying throughout the year. Lifehacker has a comprehensive, up-to-date guide on the best times to buy everything this year. Certain things are always cheaper at certain times such as holiday airfare during September or Television during December. Whether you’re buying airfare, dining out, shopping online, or buying anything else, there is often a “best time to buy.” (lifehacker.com)
The Practical Saver writes: “A lot of people go on with their lives not knowing how to manage money. As a result, they tend to bury themselves in debt and not save for their future. As a parent, I like my kid to grow as a responsible person especially when it comes to handling money. A lot of people may argue that kids won’t understand the concept behind the proper handle of money but I would argue for the opposite.” Here are some ways to teach your kids about money: Be a good model, teach kids about math then money, talk about money, give them allowance and allow them to spend. (thepracticalsaver.com)
Do you consider yourself “rich” if you have a million dollar net worth? If someone makes over $100,000 per year is she rich? Or wealthy means that you have paid off your mortgage and have enough money in investment accounts to retire early? So what does it meant to be rich? Amy Livingston at Money Crashers says: “The truth is, we don’t all know what “rich” means, because it means different things to different people. And if becoming wealthy is one of your personal financial goals, it’s important to think about exactly what wealth means to you. You need to have a clear idea of what your dream of wealth looks like – what kind of rich person you want to be – before you can come up with a plan to make that dream a reality.” Livingston explores what it means to be rich in different nuances: Wealth as income, wealth as net worth, wealth as lifestyle and wealth as life satisfaction. (moneycrashers.com)
Erik Carter, a Forbes contributor, says you can save up to $286 per month by 6 easy ways. “If saving is so important, why do so many people neglect to save enough? I suspect one of the main reasons is that we tend to view saving the same way we see dieting: as a form of deprivation. Another reason is that we think that small savings just won’t make much of a difference. Fortunately, there are relatively painless ways to save more that could make a huge difference.” He goes into details how you can save money on insurance, cell phone, fitness, cable TV, checking accounts and other bills. (forbes.com)