Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

The Cost of Attending a Wedding in 2017

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

Wedding season is upon us.  According to theKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 rose to an all-time high of $35,329.  But modern weddings aren’t just ultra-expensive for the happy couple, they’re actually a serious, wallet-emptying affair for guests as well. According to the Knot’s 2016 Wedding Guest Study, the average bridesmaid/groomsman spent just over $1,500 last year, while wedding guests spent $888.  Here’s a breakdown of the costs: Average bridesmaid and groomsmen spend per wedding: $1,154 Wedding gift spend: $177 Wedding attire: $207 Wedding travel: $342 Wedding accommodations: $293 Average wedding guest spend per wedding total: $888…

Homeowner Equity On the Rise

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

Homeowner equity increased significantly in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Q1 2017 home equity analysis from CoreLogic.  Homeowners with a mortgage, about 63% of all homeowners, saw their equity increase by 11.2% for a total of $766.4 billion since the first quarter last year. The average homeowner gained about $13,400 in equity over the last year. The total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased 3% from the fourth quarter to 3.1 million homes, or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. This is a drop of 24% from 4.1 million homes in the first quarter last year….

Is the New Household Debt Record Cause for Concern?

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

Last month, the New York Federal Reserve reported that household debt across the nation has hit a dubious milestone in the first quarter: It surpassed the peak debt level of 2008 at $12.7 trillion. Household debt — including mortgages, auto and student loans, and credit cards — rose $149 billion compared with the last quarter of 2016, with nearly all the gain coming from mortgages. Reaching the peak raises questions about whether the backdrop exists again for another financial meltdown.  But the data show the current structure of debt is substantially different from 2008. According to a research officer at…

73% of Americans Have Financial Regrets

Posted on June 06, 2017 by Laura Lam

Nearly 3-in-4 U.S. adults have financial regrets, according to a new Bankrate.com report. The most common is not saving for retirement early enough, followed by not saving enough for emergency expenses and taking on too much credit card debt. Taking on too much student loan debt is fourth, however, it tops the list among older millennials (27-36 year-olds). Fifth overall is not saving enough for your children’s education and sixth is buying more house than you could afford. Baby Boomers are the most likely to regret not saving for retirement earlier; remorse over this issue grows steadily from age 18-62. It’s…

What to Buy in June

Posted on June 02, 2017 by Laura Lam

Warm weather, wedding season, and hurricane season all bring discounts in June. Consumers will also find continuing sales on some items that were good deals in May. Here’s a look at the best things to buy this month from Cheapism.com. Tropical Vacation – June signals the onset of hurricane season and sweltering temperatures in the Caribbean. For travelers willing to take their chances with the weather, this is the perfect time to scoop up deals on cruises and tropical vacation packages, especially for last-minute bookings. Alaskan Cruise – Mid-June marks the end of the off-season for travel to Alaska, a popular summer…

Household Debt Hits New Record

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Laura Lam

Household debt is topping its 2008 peak prior to the housing crash. Total household debt has risen to $12.73 trillion in the first quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last week. However, Americans are handling their debt—mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and other forms of borrowing – much better, the report shows.  Americans were delinquent on 4.8% of total debt in the first quarter. For comparison, at the end of 2009, 11.9% of consumers were delinquent on their debt by at least 30 days. The increase in household debt may indicate that more Americans are confident about…

American Households Spend 53% of Its Income On These Expenses

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

If there’s one fairly steady theme over the past couple of decades, it’s that consumers are saving less of their income and their household budgets are being pushed to the limit.  According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s February data, the personal saving rating in America was a paltry 5.6%. Comparatively, U.S. workers were socking away more than 12% of their paycheck 50 years ago.  At the same time, a number of household expenses have largely outpaced the inflation rate and wage growth. These include healthcare costs, college expenses, and in recent years housing costs, since home prices have…

What to Buy in May

Posted on May 05, 2017 by Laura Lam

As warm weather moves in and the school year winds down, May is the time to prepare for summer celebrations. Stock up for graduation parties and Memorial Day barbecues with deals on household goods and entertaining essentials, among other bargains.  Here are this month’s steals and deals from Cheapism.com. Kitchenware – Cookware and small kitchen appliances are promoted heavily in May as retailers target college graduation and wedding season. Wrap up a set of pots and pans for a grad’s first apartment, or shower newlyweds with kitchenware that will last for years. For more discounts, keep an eye out for…

Home Equity Loans on the Rise

Posted on April 11, 2017 by Laura Lam

Mortgage lenders, along with borrowers, are starting to welcome home equity lines of credit back into the market after the loan product began to disappear in the wake of the financial crisis.  Given their growing prominence in the market, a new report from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin provides a current pulse on the health of the product by looking at delinquencies.  The report looked at both closed-end loans and open-end loans, since home equity loans fall into both categories. Bankrate explains that there are two types of home equity loans: term, or closed-end loans, and lines of credit, open-end loans.  A home equity…

What to Buy in April

Posted on April 07, 2017 by Laura Lam

It’s officially spring, and retailers are preparing for warm weather and hotter sales. In April consumers will find deals on everything from travel to jewelry, as well as a few winter leftovers.  Although the selection of last season’s goods will be even slimmer than it was in March, prices may be deeply discounted.  Don’t be tempted by shiny new grills or bright new summer styles as better prices will be offered after the start of the season.  Here are this month’s steals and deals, from Cheapism.com. Car Accessories/Parts – April is National Car Care Month, so auto parts stores and service…