Archive for October, 2014

By the Numbers: Halloween 2014

Posted on October 31, 2014 by Saldutti

Halloween continues to be one of the fastest-growing consumer holidays, with sales expected to hit $7.4 billion this year.  In fact, Halloween is the fourth most popular holiday that gets consumers to open up their pocketbook—next to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, according to Alliance Data Retail Services.  In a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) Halloween survey, more than 66% of consumers said they will purchase costumes this year – the most in the survey’s 11 year history. To help you get ready for the ghosts, goblins, ninja turtles, and Elsas who are about to invade your front doorstep, here is…

Apps are Changing the Way We Spend Money

Posted on October 30, 2014 by Saldutti

Like corded phones, record players, VCRs, and the Sony Walkman, your grandchildren will one day be amazed by those little plastic things you used to call “credit cards.”  In 2014, we can now pay for an array of items with our smartphones. If you are one of the 70% of Americans who own a smartphone, you have many options when it comes to avoiding big banks, ditching (some) traditional credit usage and even paying back friends. From the $10 you owe your coworker to how to send your rent payment, The DailyWorth found these 5 mobile options that are replacing…

Career Goals Change with Age

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Saldutti

A new poll suggests “salary” remains the most important consideration for many career professionals but, following that, factors change considerably according to age.  The survey, conducted this past July on behalf of Rasmussen College, asked more than 2,000 workers from all age groups and geographic regions to rank the top five factors they consider “most important” in their careers. It grouped respondents into four categories according to age. Ranges included 18-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-plus. “Ability to do what you love” ranked second among millennials (defined here as 18-34-year-olds) and those 55 and older. Whether it’s the increased idealism and…

Millennials Are Right On the Money

Posted on October 28, 2014 by Saldutti

If you’ve done any reading on money and happiness, you know that one way to be happier pops up again and again: Spend your money on experiences rather than things.  The thought behind this is that you get more mileage from a weekend skiing than a new ski hat. You anticipate the trip, make memories during that weekend, and reflect back on it afterwards. For most of us, there’s a lot of happiness to be found in an experience. Apparently, millennials have gotten the message.  A new survey from Eventbrite, a “marketplace for live event experiences,” found that 78% of Gen…

Middle Class Squeeze: 7 Things That Are No Longer Affordable

Posted on October 27, 2014 by Saldutti

During debates and speeches, politicians often bring up the financial burden that’s placed on the middle class. So who, exactly is the “middle class?”  In its discussion of historical middle class societies, The Economist reports, “Their members are neither rich nor poor but somewhere in-between…’Middle-class’ describes an income category but also a set of attitudes…An essential characteristic is the possession of a reasonable amount of discretionary income.” Some argue that the most sensible income amount to attach to the middle class would be the median household income, of around $54,000. Perhaps, anyone who earns between the 25th percentile and 75th…

Half of College Students Consider Dropping Out Due to Debt

Posted on October 24, 2014 by Saldutti

A new report sheds light on just how burdensome student loan debt is.  According to Citizens Financial Group, 49% of college students considered dropping out of school on the heels of high debt levels. Total student loan debt has quickly eclipsed other types of debt, including credit cards in recent years. With the unemployment rate for college graduates still higher than the national average and wages barely keeping up with inflation, paying back student loans becomes all the more difficult.  The survey said the average college student has about $25,000 in debt, but students expect that number to rise to…

What's in Your (Consumer Loan) Wallet?

Posted on October 23, 2014 by Saldutti

A new TransUnion study found that the consumer loan wallet – the composition of loans that people typically carry – has materially changed for both the youngest and oldest segments of the population during the last decade.  (The consumer loan wallet consists of the total of mortgage, auto, card, home equity line of credit, student and all other loan type categories.) The study found that student loans have left the greatest imprint on those consumers ages 20-29, with their share of the consumer wallet nearly tripling in the last nine years. In 2005, student loans made up 12.9% of the total loan…

Sorry, Mr. President – Your Card Has Been Declined

Posted on October 22, 2014 by Saldutti

The Secret Service is charged with watching the president’s back, but who’s watching his wallet?  When his credit card was declined last month while dining in New York, President Obama wondered if he had become a victim of identity theft. “It turned out, I guess I don’t use it enough,” Obama said last week during a speech at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  “They thought there was some fraud going on,” he said while announcing a government plan to tighten security for debit cards that transfer federal benefits like Social Security to millions of Americans.  While at the CFPB headquarters,…

Obama Signs Order to Protect Against Identity Theft

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Saldutti

On Friday, President Obama signed an executive order that calls for increased credit card protection measures for some federal benefits and expense cards distributed by e government. The President also formally endorsed the chip-and-PIN payment system for U.S. cards, a move opposed by many banking and commerce groups. During a speech at the CFPB headquarters in Washington, the President stated “Identity theft is now America’s fastest-growing crime.”  He added that consumers “should be able to buy the things that you need without risking your identity, your credit score or your savings.”  The White House said the government would start distributing…

What a Waste: Top 20 Money-Wasters

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Saldutti

Do you ever stop to think about your daily money-wasters?  Well, you might want to start.  There are so many places in our daily routine where money can be wasted without us knowing it.  Between daily coffee trips and daily deal websites, it’s easy to get carried away with everyday spending. That’s why the folks at DaveRamsey.com came up with this eye-opening list of the top 20 Things Americans Waste Money On. Credit card interest – The only thing more stupid than buying something you can’t afford is buying something you can’t afford at (insert huge interest rate here). You don’t get…