Finder Money Newsletter: Nov. 30, 2022
🔎 Americans to spend $3.2 billion on unwanted gifts
Roughly 138 million Americans will receive gifts they don’t actually want this holiday season. Does that scratchy sweater from great aunt Betty come to mind?
It should, as 49% of these ugly duckling presents are clothing and accessories, while 29% are household items and 24% are cosmetics and fragrances.
The average cost of unwanted items? $60 … which equates to roughly $8.3 billion across the US.
Score 100,000 bonus miles ✈️
A popular US airline is offering big sign-up bonuses – up to 100,000 miles – right now. That’s enough to fly to Europe first class. For realz.
Each card also comes with loooads of other perks, like lounge access, rewards and more.
Gen Z is running up debt 💸
90-day delinquency rates with 18 to 29-year-olds rose to over 6% from Q3 of 2021 to 2022, compared to 3.7% overall, according to data from the New York Federal Bank.
It’s not exactly a head-scratcher why – prices are up over 8% due to inflation, and turmoil in the economy usually affects young folks more than old, says Entrepreneur Mag.
Times are tough. And with interest rates rising and a recession looming, now’s the time to start paying down debt. A balance transfer credit card can help kick-start your goals with 0% APR.
⭐ See balance transfer credit cards
Gift ideas that could snag insurance discounts
Gadgets and gizmos that protect your assets could help bring down your insurance premiums for next year.
- Auto. Dashcams and other driver aids, like telematics.
- Home. Security systems and smart protection, like leak and fire alarms.
Talk to your agent to inquire about discounts. Not happy with your provider? We can help you find a better one.
Is JP Morgan getting into crypto?
Yep. The trademark for J.P. Morgan Wallet was approved last week, meaning the nation’s largest bank will soon enable customers to transfer virtual currencies. It’s a tight swerve from 2017, when CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin a “fraud”, and even said he’d fire anyone at JPMorgan found to be trading digital currency.
⚠️We’re here to remind you that it’s always better to own your crypto directly, as opposed to keeping it on an exchange (AKA a virtual wallet), where it could be lost if the company goes under.
Best crypto savings accounts 💰
Finder’s data team and crypto experts scored participating cryptocurrency trading platforms on a comprehensive list of 55 criteria and these are the winners.
Do you make more than a Macy’s Elf? 🎄
Starting earlier this month, most companies in NYC were required to include salary ranges in their job postings. A Macy’s Elf, who is required to stay in costume all day, makes $15 an hour, says the New York Times.
A side gig, whether it involves jingle bells or not, can help you prepare for the upcoming recession.
Americans will spend an average of $362 each on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, shelling out an estimated $51 billion total, according to Finder’s survey.
75% of Gen Zers plan to hit the sales, compared to 63% of Millennials, 45% of Gen Xers and 38% of Baby Boomers.
Just 46% of those in the West plan to shop the day after Turkey Day, compared to 51% in the Midwest, 56% in the South and 59% in the Northeast.
Is Black Friday worth it?
Earn rewards on your Black Friday shopping
We love making credit cards work in our favor. Here are three ways to reap the benefits:
- Collect a bonus. Many credit cards offer bonuses during the introductory period, often $100 or more, when you hit a minimum threshold.
- Earn cashback. If you aren’t earning cashback or points then you’re not using a credit card to its true potential. Get up to 5% back with the Chase Freedom Flex, or compare other cards to find the best for you.
- Use a store-brand credit card. Target, Walmart and Amazon both offer up to 5% back. Best Buy, Apple and Costco also have great perks.
Black Friday deal 🔥 (11/23 to 11/29)
Get a gift card worth up to $300 when you switch to Visible by Verizon and buy a select device. Terms apply.
We love that its plans include 4G and 5G LTE coverage, plus a hotspot. There’s 24/7 chat support and no annual contract.
📅 Reminder: Use your HSA
The deadline to use the money in a flexible savings account is Dec. 31 for most accounts. However, some employers give you a little leeway into the next year, so be sure to check on that before popping the champagne.
Earn 10% back in crypto on gas
Sad at the pump? Earn 10% in rewards on Bitcoin, Etherum and over 60+ other cryptos immediately, with every gas purchase (up to $200 monthly). Plus, it’s offering 3% back on dining, 2% back on groceries and 1% back on everything else. Learn more.
Could a HELOC be your financial safety net?
Home equity lines of credit involve borrowing money against the value of your home. Americans took out $66 billion in HELOcs throughout Q2 – a 40% increase compared to a year before, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The best HELOCs offer competitive rates, low fees and flexible repayment options. We found lenders with introductory rates as low as 0.99%.
Best stock trading platforms: Finder Awards 2022
Our data team crunched 1,400 data points across 40 brokers to find the best for beginners, long-term investing and more.
4 in 10 Americans have $0 saved
With inflation at a 40-year high, 47% of Americans will be spending less on Christmas gifts in 2022, says a personal finance report from Dave Ramsey. Just 45% of Americans have $1,000 or more in savings – which means many of us are unprepared for emergency expenses.
84% of Americans are concerned about how a recession would impact their household. We get it. Saving a little bit from every paycheck is one of the most powerful ways to prepare – a handy dandy app can help you set it and forget it (until you need it).
See high APY savings accounts
🔎 Should you be worried about layoffs?
Almost 15,000 employees at Meta and Lyft were laid off this month, and Amazon recently announced plans to let go of nearly 10,000 employees. Does that mean you should be worried about your job?
Not necessarily. While the tech industry has been suffering, it’s largely due to decreases in digital ad revenue, and the overall labor market remains strong, reports Business Insider. But the “Great Resignation” is probably over, as fear of a recession shifts power back to the employer.
Prob time to stop cracking jokes about quitting. And start growing that emergency fund, just in case.
Earn up to 3.83% APY
3 in 10 Americans making changes to investing portfolio
Of those who’ve made changes, 35% did so in response to the stock market – and only 41% said they were confident about their decisions, according to a Wealth Watch survey from New York Life.
If you aren’t currently investing, consider opening an account. In a bear market like this one, stocks can be relatively cheap to buy (especially tech – Tesla dropped 22% in the last 6 months, for example).
Inflation’s on the table for Thanksgiving
If you spend the same amount of money as in 2019, WaPo says you’ll get:
- 24% less turkey
- 21% less butter
- 18% fewer potatoes
- 18% fewer biscuits or rolls
We’re crying into our plates. A grocery rewards credit card will make it hurt a little less.
Get up to 6% cash back on groceries
Airlines issue more than $600 in refunds
Thanks to the US Transportation Department, airlines are offering refunds for flights that were “canceled, significantly delayed or otherwise altered substantially,” reports The New York Times. Additionally, it slapped Frontier, Air India and with fines totaling $7 million – all part of transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg’s plan to hold the industry more accountable.
✈️ Many travel credit cards come with insurance for canceled flights
What the heck is happening with crypto?
“In the wake of FTX’s implosion, many in crypto are unfortunately learning the hard way that the crypto you leave in the custody of an exchange is nothing more than an IOU for that crypto,” says industry expert Frank Corva.
“Until you move the private keys for your crypto into a noncustodial wallet, you don’t technically own the asset. The safest noncustodial wallets on the market today are hardware wallets.”
👀 The promise of Bitcoin
Should you buy or rent?
Paying rent each month can feel like throwing away your money. But it’s not always better to invest in property. Here’s how to decide what’s best for you.
🔎A financial winter is coming. Here’s how to prepare.
As midterm results roll in, all eyes are on the future of our economy. 26% of people think a Democrat-led House and Senate will make the markets more volatile, while only 21% think a Republican-led congress would do the same. 33% are unsure. 🤷♀️
Regardless of who wins the house, a recession will likely hit the United States in late 2023 or early 2024 – so you have about a year to prepare.
Why? The Fed has been hiking interest rates at an unprecedented pace in 2022 to help fight inflation. Unfortunately, that usually results in a weaker stock market and widespread unemployment, AKA a recession. But two major factors are causing a lag time:
- Americans having roughly $1.5 trillion in additional savings leftover from the pandemic
- A strong labor market
Simply put, it’ll take time for the tables to turn. But you should get ready now.
Beef up your emergency savings
Recessions are notorious for layoffs. While the common rule-of-thumb for emergency savings is 3-6 months of living expenses, experts are suggesting increasing that amount to 12 months, if you can.
One way to increase your savings is by sticking to a budget. Cash-stuffing, the discipline of only spending the money you have in your wallet – and stashing the rest – is one strategy that could help.
💙 We love the 3.83% APY savings account at UFB Direct – that’s over 23X higher than the national average.
Make a dent in your debt
When the Fed hikes interest rates, credit card companies hike APRs – which means you’re paying more in interest than you were, say, six months ago. And it’s likely to get worse.
A balance transfer credit card can be a great tool to start hacking away at your balance. Most offer 0% APR for at least a year.
Rebalance your investing portfolio (and consider bonds!)
Historically, the best industries to invest in during a recession are those with unwavering demand. That includes:
It’s also a phenomenal time to invest in bonds. Dividends pay monthly, which could help cushion your budget in case you lose your job. Short-term T-bills are also extremely sexy right now, offering returns of about 4%. Learn more.
⭐ Related: We crunched 1,400 data points across 40 brokers to find the very best stock trading platforms of 2022.
Befriend your HSA
48% of Millennials and Gen Z’ers with the option to contribute to an HSA are choosing to do so, says data from the Charles Schwab 2022 401(k) fund. Their motivation? To start saving for healthcare costs in retirement.
You don’t have to pay taxes on HSA contributions, which is pretty awesome. And if you’re part of the 49% of Americans who can’t afford an unexpected $1,000 medical bill, an HSA could be a boone in case of an emergency.
Turkey shortage. We’re squawking.
Americans are expected to spend $151 million more on turkeys in 2022 than in 2021, due to inflation, along with increased costs for farmers – food, fuel, you name it. There was also a killer avian flu that wiped out over 6 million turkeys, causing a shortage.
🔎 The Fed just hiked rates. Buckle up!
The Fed just raised interest rates another 0.75 points.
Powell (the Fed head) said he’d rather over-tighten than under-tighten when it comes to future policy. While this means inflation should slow, the stock market likely has a bumpy road ahead.
Probably not a great time to invest in riskier assets like tech and crypto. But a high-APY savings account is your new best friend, as interest rates should continue to rise. Also keep an eye on CDs.
UM, WHAT? 8% cashback on gas
PNC’s doubling its regular 4% cashback on gas for people who open a Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card. The promo is good for up to $8,000 and only lasts a year. Might be worth it, since there’s no annual fee.
Look at it this way: the national average price of gas is about $3.80 a gallon. If you use 414 gallons of gas per year (the average per capita), you’d spend $1,573 on gas – and PNC would pay you $126 in cash back. 💰
Treasury bills so sexy they broke the internet
Series I Savings Bonds had an annualized interest rate of over 9.6% last month – and so many people rushed to buy them that the government’s website crashed.
It’s what NPR calls a “golden moment” for investors, as rates are usually nowhere near this high. Now, the APY has dropped to $6.89% for bonds issued through April 20, 2023, which is the third-highest rate ever offered.
⭐ Learn why T-bills are so secure
Airline industry booms ✈️
No joke – September was the third-strongest month in the history of United Airlines, and Jet Blue reports that its planes were 3% fuller compared to 2019. The president of Delta Air Lines even called the month “fantastic.”
Much of this is likely due to post-COVID demand. We love to see it!
⭐ Get perks, cash back and rewards when you book
Next week: Her First $100K
I fight the patriarchy by making you rich,” says Tori Dunlap, a money expert who has 2.3 million followers on TikTok.
We’ll be talking to her about her book, Financial Feminist, and how educating people about money can change the world.
Here’s why the cost of car insurance is going up
Car insurance, like everything, is getting pricier, partly because cars are getting more expensive – the average cost of a new vehicle rose 10.8% in August this year compared to last, according to MarketWatch.
Replacement parts cost more too, affected by the breakdown of supply chains during COVID-19. The frequency and severity of car crashes is also on the rise, so insurers are raising rates to cover costs of litigation and damages.
What’s that mean for you? Now could be a good time to get a better rate.
Stock market had strong October
October saw the Dow have its best monthly gains in 45 years, reports CNN. Nasdaq also had a strong October, with gains of 4%, and the S&P 500 rose 8% – a good reminder that the market is pliable, even when all seems doom and gloom.
That said, the Dow is still down 10% compared to last year.
🔎Realtors have “too much empathy.” Enter AI rent hikes …
Who’s ready for some “free” money? 18 US states are sending out checks for inflation relief – and some are being stingier than others.
California’s sending eligible taxpayers up to $1,050. Over three million Virginians will get tax rebates of up to $500 by the end of this month. And residents in Hawaii are getting $300 if they make less than $100K.
9 million Americans may be eligible for unpaid stimulus money 🤑
If you didn’t file a 2021 tax return, keep a close eye on the mail. The IRS started sending a third round of stimulus payments last week, up to $1,400 for individuals and $2,800 for couples. You may also be eligible for expanded tax credits, related to COVID-19 relief. Read more.
The Lone Star State has a rent cartel
Ever wonder what’s been driving up your rent? It might be an algorithm.
Renters filed a lawsuit accusing Texas-based RealPage of peddling software that artificially inflates rent prices. It comes on the heels of ProPublica’s bombshell investigative report into how YieldStar boosts profits for landlords via an algorithm that raises rent prices above the competition.
In one Seattle neighborhood, ProPublica discovered that 10 property managers controlled 70% of apartments – and all of them worked with RealPage.
A developer at RealPage claimed that computer-generated pricing is better because leasing agents have “too much empathy.” RealPage executive Andrew Bowen went even further, praising the software because “very few of us would be willing to actually raise rents double digits within a single month by doing it manually.”
🛑 Student loan forgiveness is on hold
Six Republican-led states have sued the Biden administration. They’re accusing him of overstepping presidential authority, and also claim that the plan could deprive private lenders of business by prompting folks to consolidate their loans into the Federal program. Wah wah.
Meanwhile, the White House is encouraging people to continue applying for relief.
Get up to $100 for your Halloween candy
HealthyWage is paying people $10 per pound of Halloween candy as part of its Cash for Candy program. It’s partnering with Operation Shoebox, an organization that provides care packages and other support for American troops stationed overseas.
🍫 Donate unopened candy to Operation Shoebox on or before November 22 to get the moolah from HealthyWage.
“The American consumer is resilient,” says Bank of America CEO
Aw, shucks. With all this talk of a recession, it’s nice to be complimented for a change.
BoA CEO Brian Moynihan is celebrating consumers after its debit and credit card transactions were up 10% through October. And overall customer spending at American Express jumped 21% year over year.
Overall, consumer spending increased 0.4% in the month of August, a pretty big deal since it accounts for two-thirds of the US economy.
Banks should make nice with cannabis
66% of people think cannabis businesses should be allowed to access banking services like checking accounts and loans in states where it’s legal. That’s according to a recent survey from the American Bankers Association.
Do you think banks should blaze up? Hit reply and let us know.
Related: How to invest in cannabis stocks
Meet the woman disrupting fintech with a female-led company 💁♀️
Nicky Senyard founded Fintel Connect to help fintech companies scale their businesses by connecting them with influencers, publishers and affiliates.
Learn why she chooses to lead an all-female executive team.
🔎 Your paycheck might get bigger with new IRS brackets
Millions of Americans will have fatter paychecks next year. The IRS announced Tuesday that it’s adjusting tax brackets to help account for inflation.
While tax rates haven’t changed, the level of income required for each tax bracket was bumped up by 7%. For instance, the top bracket (37%) increased to $578,125 for single filers and $693,750 for married couples.
Rich people, we’re happy for you.
Incomes over $44,725 will pay 22%, and incomes over $95,375 will pay 24%. The standard deduction also rose by 7% – up to $13,850 for single taxpayers, for example. See all 60 adjustments here.
Baby boomers have 62% of wealth. Millennials? Just 9%. 🤑
Wanna get rich but don’t know how? Well, Bank of America surveyed people with investable assets of over $3 million and discovered that:
- 27% are self-made.
- 52% of their portfolio is devoted to stocks and funds.
- 66% of those aged 21 to 42 have an art collection.
Which means that to join them, you’ll need to start investing.
Student loan relief applications are live
Stop procrastinating – it’s the shortest gov’t application in the history of the world (don’t fact-check that).
Netflix has ads … for days
Netflix will soon launch its ad-supported membership, which costs $6.99 a month (just $3 less than the ad-free version).
If you’re anything like the average Netflix user, you’ll end up sitting through about three days of ads every year. And the money you’d save isn’t even worth what you could make working minimum wage in that same time. Yikes.
Your grandparents are getting a raise 👴👵🏽
Social Security announced an 8.7% COLA (cost-of-living) increase for checks in 2023. That’s good news for grams and gramps, as beneficiaries will be getting over $100 more per month. It was the biggest increase in 41 years, to help ease the strain of inflation.
⭐ Related: Best and worst states to retire.
(Choose New Hampshire. Not Oklahoma.)
Toxic couple alert: Rising interest rates + your credit card debt
To combat inflation, the FED is aiming to raise rates to 4.4% by the end of 2022. That means if your credit card APR was 15% at the start of 2022, it could soon hit 19.4%.
Say you owe $6,569 (the national average). At the higher rate, your yearly interest charge would swell from $985 to $1,274.
You can break up with your credit card debt by using a balance transfer card. Most offer no interest on balance transfers for up to 21 months.
Explore balance transfer credit cards
How eToro is creating a more sustainable social future 🐂
We love to see a woman who identifies as LGBTQ+ running the show, especially in an industry where 81% of executives are men. Lule Demmissie is the US CEO of eToro, an investing platform that scores over 2,700 assets based on their environmental and societal performance.
Check out our interview to learn the investing advice beginners should always stick to, and how women in finance and fintech can advance their careers at rocket speed.
Coming soon: 6% cashback with US Bank
With US Bank’s soon-to-be-released card, you could earn up to $1,500 cashback at select retailers including Amazon, Chewy, Home Depot, Ikea, Target, Walmart and more. We’ll let you know as soon as it drops. 🙌
🔎 How to invest during a recession – even if the market crashes.
Investing in the S&P 500 riiiiiiight before the stock market crashed in 2007 would’ve netted you a return of 8.4% over the past 13 years. And dropping $10K in the same fund at the worst possible time before the recession of 1990-91 would see you walking away with $150K today.
Investing, generally, is a long-term play. So if you can spare the cash, stick to your strategy – even as the talking heads sound alarms.
Best stocks to invest in during a recession
Demand for these industries usually remains strong in a slowing economy.
- Healthcare. Including health insurance, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and facilities like clinics, labs and nursing homes.
- Consumer staples. That’s food, toiletries and beverage companies, like PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, Procter & Gamble and Kroger.
- Utility companies. Look into companies that sell electric energy, gas, water, renewable energy and other utilities.
- Discount stores. That means retailers like Big Lots, Walmart, Dollar General, Costco and Dollar Tree.
Remember: You should only invest during a recession if you have emergency savings stocked up, and if you’re committed for the long haul.
Pumpkflation: Americans to spend $804 million on pumpkins this year 🎃
Good gourd! The data’s ripe:
- Roughly 44% of Americans plan to carve pumpkins this year
- Pumpkins projected to cost 12% more this year than last year ($5.40 each, on average)
- Overall, the National Retail Federation is forecasting Americans to spend $10.6 billion on Halloween in 2022
Unveiled: Application for student loan forgiveness
For now, it’s just a preview. The White House says the actual application will be released later in October. You’ll need to provide your:
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Phone number
Retailers are slashing prices for the holidays, big time
“Supply chain snags are clearing at the same time that demand is slowing,” reports Business Insider. That means companies will be rolling out big sales in the next few months to get rid of excess inventory.
Morgan Stanley predicts we’ll see “aggressive discounting” on items including electronics, toys and computers. No coal for Christmas, this year! (But hopefully some cash back.)
Sleep-deprived? Saaaaame. 😳
Sleep vacations are the travel industry’s response to burnout. Hotels in London, NYC and elsewhere around the world are offering rooms designed specifically to help you catch up on zzzz, with amenities like essential oil diffusers, sleep-inducing meditation recordings and scented pillow mist.
A hotel in Switzerland has even teamed up with a medical clinic so you can get diagnosed with a sleeping disorder while you get away.
Hot topic: The September jobs report
The jobs report last Friday saw fewer jobs added to the economy compared to the last 12 months. Does that mean we’re moving into a recession?
Not necessarily. 263,000 is still a robust number, and “the overall unemployment rate hasn’t been lower than this since the 1960s,” reports the New York Times. All this could simply mean a natural, healthy slowing of the post-pandemic job boom.
Still, some people are worried that wage growth is at dangerous levels, and that this is only the beginning of a more dramatic slowdown. Bear with us?
@finderusa September jobs report just dropped. Here’s three things you should know. #jobs #unemployment #personalfinance #finance #economics ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
Should YOU switch to an online bank?
Due to lower overhead costs, online banks typically have fewer – or zero – fees, and higher APYs. Plus, most provide access to an ATM network for free.
Need another reason to look at a digital bank account? Traditional banks have an average savings APY of just 0.16%. Online banks: 2% APY or higher. It’s your money.
🔎 The IRS owes $3.7 billion in unpaid stimulus money.
As the global economy teeters on the brink of recession, we’re over here battening the hatches of our finances – finding the best ways to earn interest and even looking for silver linings. Join us?
🕵️♀️Does the IRS owe you $$$?
In the irony of all ironies, the IRS was audited. Reportedly, it failed to send stimulus money to 4.1 million households, totaling $3.7 billion, as part of COVID-19 relief.
If you have a child and make less than $75K a year (single) or $150K a year (joint), you should’ve been eligible for the expanded tax credit. Start by filing your 2021 taxes (it’s not too late!) to receive the money you’re owed.
🌲💳Plant a tree every time you swipe a card
Internet bank Aspiration is on CNBC’s list of top eco-friendly debit and credit cards. While big banks pay millions a year to fuel oil drilling and fossil fuels, Aspiration donates money to nonprofits committed to doing the earth good.
Not only does Aspiration offer to plant a tree every time you make a purchase (to help offset carbon emissions), you can get up to 10% cash back when you spend money at select eco-conscious companies.
Learn more about Aspiration
🔥 Treasury bills are hot, hot, hot
The interest on a one-year treasury bill is 4.1% right now, compared to 0.7% last year, says data from Bloomberg. T-bills aren’t as sexy as, say, the stock market, but the return is fixed, meaning you aren’t rolling the dice on your cash. And you don’t have to pay tax on the interest earned.
You can buy a t-bill from TreasuryDirect.gov or an independent bank, broker or dealer.
Another way to put your money to work is to open a certificate of deposit (CD). Lock-in rates as high as 4.25% – 25X higher than the average savings account.
🏠 📉 US home prices take a Great Recession-like tumble
The demand for homes is cooling, and with the Fed raising rates to combat inflation, home prices are dropping at a clip not seen since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy of 2008. Median home prices dropped 1.05% from June to July, and 0.98% from July to August.
While that may seem good for prospective buyers, homes are still much more expensive now than they were a year ago (12% higher in Aug. 2022 compared to Aug. 2021). And higher interest rates mean mortgages are costlier, too.
If you’re in the market for a house, it’s more important than ever to calculate how much you can afford before shopping around.
7 silver linings of a recession
We love a high-APY savings account (thanks to higher interest rates) and are hoping that home prices finally come down to reasonable levels. The dollar is very strong, which means your travel budget will go farther internationally. And your old car may be worth more $$$ at trade-in, since used car and truck prices recently jumped 7.8%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
4-day workweek pilot in UK proves successful
39 out of the 41 companies testing a shorter week reported that employee productivity stayed the same or increased, compared to a five-day week. Six companies actually noticed an improvement! We love to see it 💃
Kim Kardashian fined $1.26 million for crypto oopsie
Why was Kim fined for touting crypto, while Matt Damon and Larry David seemingly got away with it? (Throwback to some cringey Superbowl ads…)
She posted on IG about EthereumMax, a specific coin, which the SEC ruled is a security – and therefore subject to a stricter set of rules than crypto in general. The business tycoon and reality TV star was paid $250,000 to write the post, back in 2021. In addition to the fine, she’s banned from promoting cryptocurrency for the next three years. Ouch.
UN warns of potential global recession
tl;dr: As the dollar strengthens, currency in developing nations weakens.
World leaders are calling on the Fed (AKA chairman Jerome Powell), to implement a more pragmatic mix of policy measures as developing economies, particularly in Asia, reel from recent rate hikes in the US. So far, rate hikes have cut an estimated $360 billion income from developing nations, CNBC reports.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse teeters on the brink.
🔎 Does Capital One owe you $25,000?
Last week, the Fed announced it’s raising rates by another 75 basis points to combat inflation.
What’s that mean for the little people (AKA us)?
The APR on your credit cards will probably go up and mortgages will get pricier. The one bright spot is that higher rates are good for your nest egg — the national average rate for a savings account jumped from 0.06% in January to 0.17% this month.
High APY savings accounts are on🔥
I want money. And more of it.
If you can relate, it’s time to get serious about a high APY savings account. You can earn hundreds per year in interest (legit) — plus, many accounts these days have zero fees.
Take the UFB Elite Savings account, with 2.85% APY. If you deposit $1,000 today and contribute $100 monthly for five years, you’d earn $585 in interest — and your grand total would be about $7,585.29.
Sure, a high APY savings account won’t transform your situation overnight. But it’s one step closer to the financial security we all crave.
💿 Also check out CDs 💿
Certificates of deposits, available at banks and credit unions, have APYs of up to 3.65%. The catch? Your money’s locked in for the term length — usually three, five or ten years.
Personal loans are pretty cheap right no
While mortgage rates are rising, rates for personal loans are falling. From August 29 to Sept 23, the rate for a three-year loan fell 10.04%.
Personal loans can be a boon in an emergency — think medical bills, moving costs, wedding expenses (‘cause love does cost a thing), or vehicle financing. They can also serve as a lower interest line of credit than getting a credit card.
You’ll want to compare APRs, minimum loan amounts, fees and all the fine print before signing the dotted line.
Does Capital One owe you money?
Capital One is dealing with a $190 million class action lawsuit after a data breach in 2019 — and if you’re a Capitol One customer you might be one of the 98 million applicants and cardholders are eligible to file a claim.
Claimants are entitled to collect up to $25,000 in cash for lost time and out-of-pocket expenses, including up to 15 hours of time at a min rate of $25 per hour.
Call 855-604-1811 to see if that’s you. The deadline to file a claim is September 30, 2022.
Allllll the best airlines are not American
It prob won’t shock anyone who has boarded a flight stateside in the last decade, but no US airline cracked the top 10 in Skytrax’s annual World Airline Awards. Or top 15. Or top 20.
In categories close to home — including best in North America and best cabin crew in the USA — Delta stole the show, except best low cost and improved, which went to Southwest.
The top seven airlines in the world are based in the Middle East or Asia/Oceania.
If you’ve been daydreaming about traveling abroad, now’s a good time to do it (the dollar is extremely strong). Use a travel credit card to get big rewards on your flight. ✈️
Cars? Who needs ’em
Quite simply, you don’t — not in these 10 cities. Top-notch public transportation, bike lanes and highly walkable neighborhoods mean you could ditch the average $894 monthly cost of car ownership if you backed your bags and started fresh.
Gas prices are rising again
And speaking of car expenses, gas prices are ticking up again, with the national average cost per gallon this week hitting $3.76 — up from $3.19 the same time last year. And experts predict that it will keep rising as we go into the winter months, due to inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
🚓 See how the cost of gas in your state stacks up
Are we in a recession?
Economists are conflicted. Here’s what we think.
🔎 Bye bye, dream home? 🏠 Mortgage rates are insane rn.
Houses are crazy expensive. Mortgage rates are skyrocketing. Millions of Americans are cutting back on essentials like food. And Buy Now, Pay Later providers are on the hot seat with Congress. At least it’s getting cheaper to eat out than cook at home — relatively speaking.
Mortgage rates hit Great Recession levels
The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rocketed to 6.02% last week – more than double what it was nine months ago. We haven’t seen rates like this since the Great Recession. Eek!
The housing market is in a shambles for a multitude of reasons, including holdover issues from the pandemic, potential new buyers being priced out and the FED raising rates.
All of this means that if you’re in the market for a home, now more than ever you need to search for lenders known for competitive rates, flexible options and lower fees.
37% of Americans say their finances have gotten worse over the past year
Cutting back on spending? Friend, you ain’t alone. Here’s what we learned from PBS NewsHour:
- 54% of Americans have eaten out less
- 40% of Americans have cut back on driving
- 39% have cut back on food or groceries
- 35% have skipped a vacation or changed travel plans
Best credit cards for groceries
Earn 6% cashback (as a statement credit) on groceries from U.S. supermarkets with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The 6% rate applies on up to $6,000, then you’ll earn 1% in this category. So if you spend $400 a month on groceries, that’s $24 in cashback — or $288 a year.
You can also earn a $350 bonus after spending $3,000 in the first six months. There’s an annual fee of $95 — so you’d need to spend at least $1,600 on groceries a year (about $30 a week) to make it worthwhile.
Do you spend more than $30 on groceries each week? Of course you do. I mean, how much does a banana cost these days, $10?
…what if I’m too lazy to cook?
If you’re too lazy/busy to cook (or just don’t want to burn the house down), here’s permission to 👏 Treat 👏 Yo 👏Self.
While the cost of groceries are up12% since the start of the pandemic, the cost of eating out is only up by 5%. There’s your confirmation bias. Bon appetit!
This checking account offers a $2,000 bonus
The Citi Citigold checking account dangles an appetizing two grand as a sign-up bonus. The catch? (There’s aaalways a catch.) You need to maintain a balance of at least $300,000 to be eligible. Sigh. The rich get richer, amirite?
For non-yacht-owning folks like us, the bonuses hover in the hundreds – which is still nothing to sneeze about, as mom likes to say.
Think twice before you Buy Now, Pay Later
“Buy Now, Pay Later has mimicked parts of Big Tech’s surveillance model to harvest and monetize data in ways that banks and credit unions have typically avoided,” says Rohit Chopra, director of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
The CFPB found that this data is often used to incentivize people to buy more, “gamifying” shopping and lending. Not so good for those of us who are already a liiitle too happy tapping “add to cart.”
A couple of the CFPB’s next steps include identifying data practices that need to be curtailed, and making sure that buy now, pay later providers are subject to many of the same regulatory protections already in place for credit cards.
Does Credit Karma owe you money?
Recently, Credit Karma was ordered to pay $3 million to people targeted with false marketing claims about the likelihood of being approved for a credit card. It’s not clear yet how the payments will play out … stay tuned.
Did you know? Only 1.5% of fintech founders are women
🔎 Millennials, brace yourselves: The Great Firing is happening.
Credit card delinquencies are on the rise, Americans are spending billions on bank fees and inflation’s still a thorn in our side. We suggest strategies for catching up on debt and avoiding those hefty fees — plus, see some amazing deals for streaming services to escape reality on the cheap.
Inflation’s slowing — but not as fast as we’d like
It climbed 8.3% year-over-year in August, which is lower than July’s 8.5%. Unfortunately, it’s still higher than we’d hoped.
💡 This personal inflation calculator shows exactly how much more you’re spending
Matt explains the numbers
@finderusa The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that August saw an 8.3% rise in inflation from last year, continuing an incremental deflation trend since July. #inflation #inflation2022 ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul
Credit card delinquencies on the rise
Forget to pay off your credit card? You could be part of the 0.2% increase in overall delinquencies at major US banks this year (1.8% in 2022, compared to 1.6% in 2021).
If you’re behind on payments, or just want to consolidate your debt, a balance transfer credit card can get you back on track.
⭐ A few of our faves offer 0% APR for up to 18 months.
210 regional housing markets at risk of 15%-20% price declines 🔻🏠
Lots of Americans embraced a WFH lifestyle during the pandemic — some even ditched town for greener grass (AKA cheaper homes and lower cost of living), driving prices up and locals out.
In the second quarter of this year, 210 out of the 413 largest regional housing markets were classed as overvalued by Moody’s Analytics and at risk of home price declines of 15% to 20%. (This is up from 183 markets in the first quarter.)
The declines are partly due to elevated mortgage rates forcing down home prices and resetting the housing market. Great for buyers…not so great if you bought property at peak value.
Netflix may be moving away from binge model
We’re all guilty of signing up for a free trial just to binge that show our friends won’t stop talking about. (Then, um, canceling before we have to pay #noregrets)
But the inventor of binge culture, Netflix, wants to put an end to all of this and is reportedly considering a new, weekly cadence for releasing episodes.
While it might be annoying for our hermit tendencies, the silver lining is that you’re less likely to see spoilers before finishing the show.
📺 TV junkie? Peep some deals:
Americans spent $11 billion on overdraft fees last year
You know what’s worse than having no money in your back account? The $30 overdraft fee. (On average!) Additionally, lots of major banks charge maintenance fees, ATM fees and excessive withdrawal fees. I mean, can we catch a friggin break?!
Yes, yes we can. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Millennials taking the brunt of the 🔥”big firing”🔥
Workers born between 1981 and 1996 suffered about 94% of recent layoffs at companies where they made up only 79% of the workforce, reports Insider.
This is because Millennials were most likely to take advantage of The Great Resignation last year, switching their ho-hum jobs for better perks and higher salaries. Now that companies are tightening belts, these employees are, unfortunately, often the first to get axed. 🪓
🔎 Yay! Gas should be cheap for your autumn road trip. 🍁
This week’s money news has us on a teeter-totter. Gas prices are at 11-week lows but are there clouds (literally) on the horizon? Younger Americans will need to squirrel away $3 million if they want to retire comfortably but…you know…at least US employers added 315,000 jobs in August. 🙄
Gas should keep getting cheaper
Woo! The price of gas is in its 11th week of decline, with the US average now $3.76 per gallon — a far cry from the $5 per gallon in July. And prices SHOULD continue to drop, says The Street.
The wild card? A major hurricane. While 2022 has only seen two named hurricanes, if a major storm is to hit the Gulf Coast, gas prices could surge once again. But right now, things are looking good for your leaf-peeping road trip.
Millennials and Gen-Zers need $3 million to retire
Probs time to stop procrastinating on that 401K…
A new report taking inflation into account throws out the old $1 million goalpost. Wealthcare Financial found that, assuming a 20-year retirement, you’ll need at least $3 million saved for a comfy income of $150,000 annually in your golden years.
While $3 million may sound like a boat load, it may not be as far out-of-reach as you think.
A 401K through your employer or an IRA on your own is a great way to get on the right track with your retirement savings. And you can take all of the fuss out of managing your savings by setting up automatic monthly deposits.
See best online investing platforms
“Homes are too freaking expensive” — Millennials and Gen Zers
74% of American adults see owning a home as a fundamental part of the American dream. But houses cost roughly 34% more now than they did in early 2020, reports CNBC. And inflation isn’t helping. 😔
That said, if you want to buy a house, the first step is figuring out how much you can borrow. Lenders consider things like your annual income and credit score before settling on loan terms.
US employers added 315,000 jobs in August
In what seems like a strange set of circumstances, the unemployment rate hit a 6-month high of 3.7% in August, while at the same time US employers added 315,000 jobs.
This means it’s still a job-seekers market out there, as companies compete for labor. But there’s a dark side: Higher salaries for newly hired workers means that businesses need to raise prices in order to pay those workers. And higher prices equals — you guessed it — inflation.
@finderusa Today, the Labor Department announced that August saw an additional 315,000 jobs to the market, bring the unemployment rate slightly above July at 3.7%. Is this a trend of something worse to come? #unemployment #recession #recession2022 #economics #jobs #finder ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
Credit Karma hit with $3 lawsuit
The personal finance giant is being hit with a $3 million dollar penalty for false marketing from February 2018 to April 2021. It claimed that customers were either “pre-approved” or had “90% odds” of being approved for credit.
This promise of pre-approval sees roughly one-third of applicants get their application denied. Not only is this confusing for consumers who assumed they were applying for a sure thing, the application meant a hard credit inquiry, which (coupled with the denied application) could have negative impacts on their credit report.
🔎 Yeesh, are we in a recession or not?! We break down both sides.
The debate is raging among government analysts, private sector professionals and everyday Joe’s about whether or not we’re in a recession. It’s the classic “will they/won’t they”… except this isn’t a rom-com, and our finances are on the line. We sum up the arguments on both sides.
And if you’re sick of reading about inflation and recessions, escape with a $3 movie ticket this weekend.
So — do you think we’re in a recession or not?! Hit reply and drop your thoughts!
- The NYT calculates that GDI adjusted for inflation rose 0.3% in the second quarter.
- The Lane Report says “yes”
- Reuters thinks the underlying data says “no”
Is inflation slowing down?
Frank Corva, senior analyst for digital assets, explains what we can learn from the consumer price index (CPI). Let us know what you think in the comments!
@finderusa Inflation went down from 9.1% in June to 8.5% in July — what does this mean for you? #inflation #inflation2022 #deflation #finder ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
Does a recession mean the end of remote work?
Throwback to the Great Resignation, when employees had the upper hand, leaving mediocre jobs for higher salaries and better perks. Now, with a looming recession, will employers use the instability to claw back one VIP (Very Important Perk): Working from Home?
Maybe not. Business Insider points out that remote work can actually be a pro for workers and bosses. Not only can companies save on rent by letting employees clickety-clack from the kitchen table, they can also hire talent in cheaper areas (i.e. not big cities).
The catch? There may come a time when you have to choose between a raise and that WFH perk. Would you rather have more money in your pocket or the ability to work in your PJs?
$3 movies on national cinema day!
On September 3, chains like AMC and Regal, along with droves of other theaters nationwide, are offering movies at just $3 a pop. It’s to celebrate a return to moviegoing after a looong couple years of staying in. We can taste the butter popcorn already.
(You can spring for a soda, too, with this credit card — it gives ya 4% cash back at the movies!)
1 in 6 US households are behind on energy payments
The cost of electricity is up nearly 15% from 2020 — a stressful prospect for folks already feeling the strain of inflation and COVID-related loss of income. And it’s not likely to get cheaper any time soon.
If you or someone you know is struggling to keep the lights on (AC, too), head to benefits.gov or contact your state government. They can help you get connected with relief.
Credit scores are at an all-time high (but not for everyone)
The national average is currently 716 — firmly in the “good” range, which is remarkable, considering Americans are taking on more debt than last year.
However, disparities still exist for minorities. CNBC reports that young adults in majority-Black communities have a median credit score of 582, for example, a statistic that’s rooted in decades of institutional discrimination.
💡If you want to start rebuilding your credit — which’ll raise your chances of getting approved for a loan — these credit cards are designed to help.
…aaand quick, call the Fed!
🔎 43 million Americans will get at least $10K in student debt relief. Are you one of them?
Today, we’re feeling lighter — $10,000 lighter, to be exact — with the Biden Administration announcing that it’s canceling student loan debt for millions of Americans. We’re also dreaming of dining in Europe, bemoaning the everloving cost of groceries and gaping at how much we should apparently be spending on wedding presents.
Biden administration forgives $10,000 of student loans for most borrowers
Folks who received Pell Grants are eligible for $20,000 of relief.
Are you jumping for joy or worried about the ripple effects of canceling student loan debt? Let us know in the comments!
@finderusa Are you one of the lucky ones that just saw their student loan balance down by $10k? #studentloans #studentloandebt #studentloan #studentloanforgiveness #studentdebt #studentdebtcrisis ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
Euro at lowest level since 2002
Analysts at Morgan Stanley predict the Euro will fall to $0.97 this quarter (compared to about $1.17 this time last year). If you’ve always wanted to go to Europe, now is a budget-friendly time to indulge that wanderlust.
💡And you can make those dollars go further with a travel card with no international transaction fees.
You’re not imagining it, your grocery bill is a helluva lot more.
If you’re still reeling with shock from your last trip to the grocery store, allow us to validate that feeling. Tradingpedia compared the cost of 34 food items at Walmart in 2019 versus today. Here are some of the biggest offenders:
- Sweet onions — 165.15% increase
- Milk — 150.72% increase
- Eggs — 127.27% increase
- Heinz tomato ketchup — 41.71% increase
- Freshness Guaranteed Boneless Chicken Breasts — 31.29% increase
- Bananas — 27.78% increase
One of the best ways we know to ease the pain (aside from screaming into a pillow) is using a credit card with rewards on groceries — a favorite from Amex offers 6% cash back, for example.
Are you a cheap wedding guest?
Emily Forrest, the director of communications at wedding registry and retailer Zola, recently told U.S. News that budget-conscious folks should be spending about $80-$100 per wedding gift. For a 100-person wedding, that’s about $10K in swag ($5K if it’s all couples or your friends are on the cheap side).
👌Life hack: Put a ring on it! Forrest says that if you’ve got a friend who’s willing to drop $250 on dinner and a bottle of wine, they should be giving gifts worth around a grand. #justsaying
— Sponsored by Revenued —
Looking for a biz card with access to capital?The Revenued Business Card Visa is a business rewards card that also offers a flexible spending line.
- Earn 3% cash back on all purchases.
- Get a $500 statement credit after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Apply now without a hard credit check. It’s worth considering especially if you have a less-than-optimal credit score.
✅ Read our expert review