Posts Tagged ‘household’

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….

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…

Renters Finally Turning Toward Homeownership

Posted on May 04, 2017 by Laura Lam

The homeownership rate has been on the decline ever since the peak of the housing bubble a decade ago.  However, last month, the Census Department said American home ownership was 63.6% in the first quarter, down a bit from the fourth quarter of 2016, but up from a year ago, which is economists’ preferred way to gauge the data. According to Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin, the number of owner-occupied households rose more quickly than renter households for the first time since 2006. The number of new owner households was up 850,000, compared to a 365,000 increase in the number of…

Subprime Student Loans Resemble Pre-Crisis Mortgage Loans

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Laura Lam

Millions of U.S. parents have taken out loans from the government to help their children pay for college … now a crushing bill is coming due.  Hundreds of thousands have tumbled into delinquency and default. In the process, many have delayed retirement, put off health expenses and lost portions of Social Security checks and tax refunds to their lender, the federal government. Student loans made through parents come from an Education Department program called Parent Plus, which has loans outstanding to more than 3 million Americans. These loan applications ask almost nothing about its borrowers’ incomes, existing debts, savings, credit…

Average Retirement Savings is Inadequate

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Laura Lam

Most American families, even those close to retirement, have little or no retirement savings.  Not surprisingly, younger families have less stashed away. According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the mean retirement savings of a family between 32 and 37 years old is $31,644. But that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Since so many families have zero savings and since super-savers can pull up the average, the median savings, or those at the 50th percentile, may be a better gauge. The median for families between 32 and 37 is a scant $480. How big should your nest egg be in your 30s?…

Retirees Will Influence Future Consumer Spending

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

Major demographic shifts over the next decade will have a dramatic affect on U.S. consumer spending – which in turn will influence the overall economy, specific industry sectors and individual stocks, according to a new report.  Population growth will be uneven, favoring the South and West as retirees migrate to the Sunbelt in search of warm climates and lower taxes.  This shift in population could affect public sector spending and municipal bond markets. The Conference Board report, “The Impact of Demographic Trends on Consumer Spending,” examines the size and age distribution of the future population, how spending patterns will change…

What to Buy in March

Posted on March 10, 2017 by Laura Lam

The weather in March may be variable, but retailers stick to a seasonal schedule no matter what – and that means savings for smart consumers. March is the time to hit end-of-season sales, fill the larder, and prep for warmer weather. Many February deals may still be in effect – but with much smaller selections.  Also, don’t expect to find deals on many big-ticket items.  Here are this month’s steals and deals from Cheapism. Buy: Valentine’s Day Chocolate – While the last half of February saw a decent selection of discounted chocolate after Valentine’s Day, the treats still on the shelves in March will…

Housing Confidence Reaches All-Time High

Posted on March 08, 2017 by Laura Lam

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)  increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, a new all-time high. The report found that 5 of the 6 components that comprise the HPSI were up, and 3 hit record highs. The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy rose 11 percentage points, while the net share who believe that now is a good time to sell rose 7 percentage points. Consumers also demonstrated greater confidence about not losing their jobs, with the net share rising 9 percentage points. “The latest post-election surge…

What to Buy in February

Posted on February 03, 2017 by Laura Lam

When considering what to buy in February, remember that winter is half over and retailers want to clear out seasonal merchandise. Presidents Day also falls in February, giving many people a 3-day weekend and extra time to shop.  This combination offers consumers a month filled with deals galore.  Here are February’s steals and deals, according to Cheapism.com. Electronics – With Black Friday and Christmas long past, retailers are eager to sell leftover electronics to make room for new gadgets. January’s Consumer Electronics Show and Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 5 this year) spur deals on TVs, home theater systems, and other components….