Archive for August, 2014

Labor Day 2014: By the Numbers

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Saldutti

Labor Day weekend is considered the symbolic end-of-summer and the start of the back-to-school season.  So how much will Americans spend this weekend? How much will we be paying for gas?  Check out the numbers behind Labor Day Weekend.  Here are a few facts about the holiday.

Bringing Up Baby: The New Price of Parenting

Posted on August 27, 2014 by Saldutti

A child born in 2013 will cost a middle-income American family an average of $245,340 until he or she becomes an adult, with families living in the Northeast taking on a greater burden, according to a recent report. Those costs — food, housing, childcare and education — rose 1.8% over the previous year, the Agriculture Department’s new “Expenditures on Children and Families” report said. As in the past, families in the urban Northeast will spend more than families in the urban South and rural parts of the U.S., or roughly $282,480.  When adjusting for projected inflation, the report found that…

The First-Time Homebuyer Blues

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Saldutti

Already beset by stagnant wages, growing student debt and competition from investors who are snapping up listings, those looking to purchase moderately priced houses must also provide more cash up front. The median down payment for the cheapest 25% of properties sold in 2013 was $9,480 compared with $6,037 in 2007, the last year of the previous economic expansion, according to data from 25 of the largest metro areas compiled by brokerage firm Redfin Corp. The higher bar is a symptom of still-tight credit that is crowding out first-time buyers even as interest rates remain near historical lows. Younger adults,…

Improve Your Credit Score in 5 Minutes Flat

Posted on August 23, 2014 by Saldutti

If you are looking to buy a car, rent an apartment or take out a loan, you need to make sure that your credit score is at it’s best. While it takes seven years for most derogatory items on your credit report to be removed, there are a few things you can do to raise your credit score sooner.  SimpleThriftyLiving.com outlines these 3 easy steps: 1. Pay off your credit card balance – This is the easiest way to improve your credit score quickly. One of the major factors of your credit score is how you are using your credit….

Car Buyers Are Struggling to Make Payments

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Saldutti

The repo man is getting very busy as a growing number of car and truck owners are struggling to make their monthly auto loan payments. Experian, which analyses millions of auto loans, said that the percentage of those loans that were delinquent or ended up in default with the vehicle being repossessed surged in the second quarter of this year. The rate of repossessions jumped 70.2% in the second quarter, with much of that increase coming from finance companies not run by automakers, banks or credit unions. Even with that rise, the percentage of auto loans that end in default…

What is $100 Really Worth?

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Saldutti

Alright, so people living in rural Tennessee generally don’t have too much to hold over the heads of New Yorkers. But when it comes to how far their money goes, people in the supposed “flyover” states have a heck of a lot more going for them than people in those snobby urban hubs. According to an analysis conducted by The Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy think tank in Washington DC, the buying power of $100 varies by as much as 25% throughout the United States. The worst bang for your buck in the country: The nation’s capital, Washington, DC…

Americans Are Flat-Out Broke

Posted on August 19, 2014 by Saldutti

Despite improvement in certain areas of the economy, the Great Recession never truly ended for millions of Americans. Households across the nation are still trying to overcome a sluggish labor market, stagnant wages, and rising living costs. Making matters worse, the struggle does not appear to be ending anytime soon. According to a new report from the central bank, 25% of American households say their families are “just getting by” financially, and another 13% are “finding it difficult to get by.” Compared to five years earlier, 34% feel like they are worse off today, while the same number feel about…

The Best (and Worst) States for Car Ownership

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Saldutti

The Midwest has one quality that Americans are sure to love: It’s home to some of the least expensive states for drivers. Several Midwestern states ranked among the cheapest in the country, according to Bankrate’s 2014 car cost study. Bankrate analyzed the cost of gasoline, repairs and insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Labor and parts data were provided by CarMD.com, while gas spending was calculated with statistics from GasBuddy.com and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Insurance costs were compiled from National Association of Insurance Commissioners statistics. Here in the Garden State, the high price tag…

There's an App For That …

Posted on August 14, 2014 by Saldutti

How’s your bank balance? Could be better? You’re not alone. Only 1 in 4 Americans surveyed by Bankrate.com in June 2014 said they had an adequate emergency fund (enough savings to cover 6 months of expenses in a crisis such as job loss or a medical issue). More than 25% had no “rainy day” savings at all. The most direct way to sock away more money each month is to spend less. Cutting down on expenses starts with a prescription that allows you to get a clear picture of exactly how you’re doling out those dollars. This doesn’t mean carrying…