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Sep 21, 2020 When shopping around for the right savings account, it’s important to know what you want from the account. It’s also important to know how your options stack up against the competition. Are you currently earning below the average savings account interest rate? Are there other accounts out there that would allow you to earn more on interest? Here are the average interest rates on savings accounts, as well as some accounts that outpace the average. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 Saving for retirement is important for people of all ages, with a 401(k) being a particularly popular option. However, this standard account type may not always be enough. That's where an individual retirement account, or IRA, comes in. IRAs let you save for retirement without going through your employer. Furthermore, an IRA CD lets you lock in a CD-style interest rate in the form of a term-based retirement account. IRAs, 401(k)s and IRA CDs are three options to save for retirement, but there are many other possibilities on the market. Speak with a financial advisor to learn more. Read More...

Feb 07, 2019 When it comes to saving your money, you have a number of account options. You might first think of a simple savings account that allows your money to grow according to a set interest rate. You also have the options of choosing a money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). A money market account is like a mix of a savings account and a checking account. A CD on the other hand, doesn’t offer much flexibility in accessing your money with set term and withdrawal limits. Read More...

Feb 24, 2020 In banking, as in life, being wealthy has its perks. Banks want the business of  high-net-worth individuals, so they're not going to make them wait on hold for the next available customer representative - or stand in a line with the hoi polloi. Instead, the rich get private bank services, which include investment help from a financial advisor. Whether you expect to be a millionaire someday or just want to steal some of their strategies, here's a look at some of the banking habits of the rich and ultra-rich. Read More...

Mar 05, 2019 A college degree is pricey and getting increasingly expensive: From 2006 to 2016, the cost of college tuition and fees increased by 63%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That may leave would-be undergraduates with sticker shock that deters them from matriculating. But forgoing a college education can limit your earning potential. From 1979 to 2017, real incomes for men with just a high school degree dropped by 18% while incomes for women in the same group rose, but only by 5%. Your best bet is to find a college education that won’t break your savings account. Public schools typically offer some of the most bang for your buck. Below, we rank the best states for higher education. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 When browsing a bank’s account options, you’ve probably come across certificates of deposit, or CDs. These are time sensitive accounts that grow your initial deposit for a given amount of time, depending on your preferences. In these CDs, your money grows according to a set interest rate at the time of account opening. This rate is set by the issuing bank and can fluctuate with the interest rate economy. A market-linked CD, however, works a little differently. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 You've probably heard of an emergency fund, but do you have one?  Most of the financially savvy people in this world have gotten good at budgeting for the every day predictable expenses.  But what about the leaky roof that finally caves in and needs to be replaced?  Or the old car that completely dies on you? Read More...

Sep 16, 2020 Unions can be a great way for workers to gain power in the workplace and make sure they are treated and compensated fairly. Overall, union participation rates in the U.S. are down: In 2018 the rate was 10.5%, while in 1983 it was 20.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Still, there are some places where unions are stronger than others. That’s why SmartAsset decided to crunch the numbers and find the states with the strongest unions. Read More...

Sep 15, 2020 Between 2015 and 2019, the total American workforce grew by about 8.7 million workers, with 4.4. million women and 4.3 million men securing employment. Though female and male workers joined the workforce at almost equal rates, certain jobs have seen huge increases in female employment specifically, allowing for further opportunities for women to more easily cover their expenses and meet their savings goals. Read More...

Sep 10, 2020 In 2018, the median monthly rent for a studio was $891 while the median rent for a one-bedroom rental was $911. This means that the average renter living alone in America spends upwards of $10,600 every year on rent, even when living in a studio. While that annual rent is high and unaffordable for many individuals, rent prices and cost of living are lower in some cities than others, making living alone a more attainable reality. Read More...

Sep 01, 2020 The days of the strict 40-hour workweek, with weekends and evenings spent relaxing, are a distant memory for many people. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from 2019, more than 10 million Americans work at least 60 hours per week. And for those lucky enough to have a job amid the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place rules have kept many working from home, a fact that has reduced the separation between the office and home-life. In fact, recent data from NordVPN shows Americans are working three hours more per day during coronavirus lockdowns than before. Though the constant connectivity and persistent Zoom meetings may exacerbate exhaustion as workers grind to build up their savings, there are a whole host of factors that are fatiguing the workforce. With all that in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities where worker burnout is most likely. Read More...

Sep 01, 2020 If you’re able to do so, biking can be a great way to get around. Besides the physical benefits, this mode of transportation is great for the environment and generally requires you to have less of your money set aside for commuting costs. Some cities, though, are much better for biking than others in terms of safety, costs and accessibility. That’s why SmartAsset decided to switch gears and find out which cities are best for cyclists. Read More...

Aug 27, 2020 According to a recent poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education, nearly nine in 10 Americans say COVID-19 has triggered stress on their personal finances. Money - or lack thereof - creates anxiety-inducing burdens for individuals and families even in normal times. But this is especially true now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, whose attendant economic fallout has included soaring unemployment. Some cities, though, see their residents under more strain than others, so SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities under the most financial stress. Read More...

Aug 25, 2020 Earlier this spring, SmartAsset decided to take a closer look at where people had responded to the 2020 Census the most. Since the publication of our original study in May, the Census Bureau moved up its extended deadline for completing the decennial count, causing some concern that many households could go uncounted. The 2020 Census was originally scheduled to end on October 31, 2020 - six months after the deadline in a typical Census year - to accommodate changes due to COVID-19. However, it will now conclude an entire month early, on September 30. Accurate counts are important to ensure proper representation in Congress and fair allocation of 1.50 trillion in federal money this year. Read More...

Aug 21, 2020 With many small businesses struggling to maintain their  financial reserves during COVID-19, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo were the U.S. lenders that originated the highest number of  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Between the first week of April and the end of June 2020, the three banks originated more than 789,600 PPP loans of the total 4.8 million that were distributed. Bank of America took the lead, originating almost 334,700 PPP loans in that time, or roughly 7% of the total number apportioned. Though those banks were the most popular according to the number of PPP loans originated nationally, other lenders took the top spot in different states around the country. Read More...

Aug 12, 2020 Given that so many Americans were stuck indoors and without access to gyms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, those looking to burn some of those quarantine calories and stay healthy may look to running as a premier way to get some exercise. Road races may be less abundant, but those hankering to pound the pavement can maintain social distance measures through distance running. Of course, runners can incur a range of expenses – from buying new shoes to signing up for gym memberships and even purchasing a treadmill. So even as you mind your fitness, it's important to watch your wallet too. But living in an area well-suited to running can help mitigate these costs and enable you to save more actively. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed factors such as the frequency of races, concentration of gyms, affordability and walkability to determine the best cities for runners nationwide. Read More...

Aug 11, 2020 As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have had trouble covering expenses - especially rent - in recent months. According to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council, less than 88% of apartment households made a full or partial July rent payment as of the 13 th of the month. Though this marks an increase relative to April 2020, it is roughly three percentage points lower than one year earlier. In July 2019, 90.1% of rent payments were made by the 13 th of the month. Read More...

Aug 06, 2020 The ongoing coronavirus crisis has impacted nearly all facets of life, and one of the most difficult challenges for Americans to deal with has been the disruption to the job market, a fact that can jeopardize their hard-earned savings. While the national unemployment rate was still a substantial 11.1% in June 2020, this percentage marks a decline from previous months as people across the U.S. look for ways to adjust to the new normal and ways to stay employed. Some parts of the U.S., though, have a better chance of offering job prospects in this environment. SmartAsset analyzed data from various sources to find the metro areas in the country with the best career opportunities in the COVID-19 downturn. Read More...

Jul 29, 2020 They say the good old hockey game is the best game you can name, and for some cities across the U.S., that is clearly true. Since the 2005-2006 National Hockey League (NHL) season - which came directly after a labor dispute cancelled an entire season for the league - revenue has more than doubled, from $2.27 billion to $5.09 billion for the 2018-19 season, according to Statista data. And though the current NHL season was postponed when the COVID-19 pandemic began, puck fans can look forward to an expanded postseason tournament currently set to begin within a quarantine bubble on August 1, 2020. But hockey is more than just the NHL. Fans in cities across the country have minor league and college teams that they support fervently, with enough diehards socking away their savings to buy tickets and fill home stadiums to the brim. Keeping in mind many levels of competitive hockey, in addition to a host of local lifestyle metrics, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the best hockey towns in America. Read More...

Jul 28, 2020 According to 2018 Census Bureau data, approximately two of every 10 owner-occupied housing units in the U.S. is a one-person household. That means more than 17 million units fall under this category. These are singles who have chosen to buy a house or apartment instead of renting. Covering initial expenses like closing costs and a down payment - not to mention saving up for future costs like mortgage payments and insurance - can be difficult for a multi-person household, let alone just an individual. But there are some cities in which single homeowners are increasingly choosing to buy. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out where. Read More...

Jul 22, 2020 Community college is a great option for any number of high school graduates in America. Whether you require more experience to be accepted to a four-year college, want an associate’s degree in a specific skill or hope to save money on tuition, community college is a viable option for higher education. Not all community colleges are of equal quality, though, so SmartAsset decided to find the best community colleges in America. Read More...

Jul 17, 2020 Many economists have theorized about what the shape of the COVID-19 recession - in other words, the possibilities for recovery - will be. Some individuals are still holding out hope for a “V-shaped” recession where the economy will rebound as quickly as it declined, which would in turn allow many to begin to repair the dents suffered to their reserves. Given the current circumstances, however, the odds that such an optimistic forecast will become reality have decreased. As infection rates spike throughout the country, local governments may decide to reimplement business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. One way to visualize the recession’s shape thus far is to examine consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for roughly 68% of U.S. GDP, and thus drastically impacts the length and severity of a recession. In this study, SmartAsset took a closer look at consumer spending in the U.S. during COVID-19. Read More...

Jul 16, 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that there are about 33.6 million families in the U.S. with children under the age of 18. In 2018, at least one parent was employed in almost 91% of those family households. Among the smaller subset of married-couple families with children, about 97% had at least one working parent and 63% had two working parents. Although job insecurity and shifting ways of life and work are a new reality for many households across America due to the spread of COVID-19, there are essential workers and others whose offices have opened up who must report to work and also make sure their children are taken care of.  Read More...

Jul 22, 2020 Though efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus across the U.S. have squeezed many local economies and the bank accounts of their residents, college towns are among the most vulnerable. They are confronting potentially major losses in population and revenue if students do not return to campus. Even in towns where schools have decided to allow students back in the fall, there may continue to be dampened demand for typical collegiate expenditures such as eating out and attending sports games. Read More...

Jul 10, 2020 The job market is constantly changing. Jobs in a certain field and geographic area may be abundant one decade only to experience a sharp decline the next. This can be because of many factors, including migration patterns and technological advances, that eliminate positions and industries from parts of the country. That can make it more difficult for workers to earn and save money. With those shifts in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the fastest-disappearing job in each state. Read More...

Jul 13, 2020 According to Census Bureau data from 2018, there are approximately 5.43 million full-time working women in the U.S. earning at least $100,000. The opportunity to attain higher salaries affects not only their ability to spend and budget in the short term, but also achieve other financial goals like investing in property and saving for retirement. That’s why SmartAsset wanted to find out where in the country the most women are earning six figures. Read More...

Jun 29, 2020 According to wedding-focused website The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $33,900. There are some cities, though, where you still can have the wedding of your dreams for much less, which might free up funds towards other financial goals, like a new home or retirement savings. Read More...

Jun 29, 2020 Only 55% of non-retired American adults have money in a defined contribution plan such as an IRA or 401(k), according to 2019 data collected by the Federal Reserve. With the coronavirus pandemic upending many aspects of Americans’ lives, saving for retirement may have taken a backseat, even for those individuals who were previously saving. Job losses and unforeseen expenses may lead to the reshuffling of financial priorities - with individuals prioritizing short-term needs over long-term financial goals. Read More...

Jun 26, 2020 Many states and localities that enacted shelter-in-place orders with the onset of the coronavirus crisis are now carefully implementing phased plans to reopen. With air travel not as available or carefree an option as before the pandemic, Americans are looking for safety on the road as their summer plans take shape. But staying safe while roadtripping, which can prevent significant dents in your savings, also depends on where you're driving. That’s why SmartAsset decided to analyze the data to find the states with the worst drivers. Read More...

Jun 24, 2020 While women in the U.S. seeking financial and social equality still face many challenges, certain conditions have improved in recent years. That’s why SmartAsset wanted to take a look at where U.S. women are the most successful, considering factors including education, earnings and business ownership. Read More...

Jun 18, 2020 The gender unemployment gap is defined as the difference between female and male unemployment rates. A “positive” gap indicates that female unemployment is higher than male unemployment while a “negative” gap indicates the opposite. Though the gender unemployment gap was positive for much of the 20 th century, the gap closed as employment opportunities for women expanded in the second half, in turn allowing for more opportunities to spend and save. Since the 1980s, the gap has been virtually nonexistent, with the exception of recessions. Read More...

Jun 16, 2020 Coronavirus has hit America’s senior population especially hard in terms of health, but the pandemic has also highlighted issues that some people 65-and-older already face with regard to their finances. Balancing medical bills on top of basic expenses for food and shelter - in addition to making sure one has enough retirement savings - can be a challenge. That’s why SmartAsset decided to take a look at where in the U.S. seniors are most and least financially secure. Read More...

Jun 23, 2020 According to a 2018 Gallup report, approximately four in 10 Americans would choose to live in a town, a small city or a suburb of a small city as opposed to big cities and rural areas. As Americans look for places that fit their lifestyle while allowing them to sock away savings, some small cities - defined as having at least 65,000 residents but fewer than 100,000 - have similar amenities to bigger cities while still offering the community feel that small towns do. Small cities may be additionally appealing in light of the coronavirus crisis, as there may be more access to parks and outdoor spaces in places with lower population densities. Read More...

Jun 05, 2020 The U.S. unemployment rate rose nationally by 11.2 percentage points between February 2020 and April 2020, from 3.5% to 14.7%. While unemployment has risen throughout the country, compromising job security and savings for so many, some places have seen much larger spikes over that two-months period. SmartAsset looked at the metro areas where unemployment has increased the most during COVID-19. Read More...

May 28, 2020 The tech industry is one of the most lucrative in the U.S. Though the COVID-19 crisis has cost the industry jobs just like virtually every industry, going into tech remains the goal of many young people, especially those with degrees in hard sciences. Though many people associate tech work with Silicon Valley, there are actually copious jobs in tech throughout the country that can help workers build up their emergency and retirement savings. SmartAsset analyzed the data to uncover the metro areas in America that are the best places to work in tech. Read More...

May 21, 2020 May 21, 2020 – The Treasury Department and the IRS announced that this week they would begin sending roughly 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) - otherwise known as stimulus checks - via a prepaid debit card instead of a paper check. This money is part of the Coronavirus Relief, Aid and Economic Security ( CARES Act) to help Americans weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More...

May 19, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted the budgets of not only individuals, but also states. State revenues have declined due to delays in income tax collections along with decreases in revenue brought in from sales tax. Meanwhile, state expenses are rising as unemployment claims have spiked. Because of these changes and the growing mismatch between revenues and expenses, many states have revised their 2020 fiscal projections to reflect potential budget shortfalls. Though some states may receive aid from the federal government to cover deficits, many may still need to dip into reserve accounts, commonly referred to as rainy day funds. Read More...

May 13, 2020 April 1, 2020 marked the original self-response deadline of the 24 th Census in the U.S. As mandated by the constitution, the decennial count determines how many congressional seats each state gets, and this year will help inform the distribution of $1.50 trillion in federal funding. Beyond this, data collected by the Census is used regularly within public and private sectors. For instance, Medicare and Medicaid programs rely on the data to allocate funds across communities, while here at SmartAsset we use Census data to provide many free calculators to Americans and help them make smart financial decisions. Read More...

May 13, 2020 Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its anxiously awaited April 2020 Employment Report, perhaps the first comprehensive look beyond jobless claims on how coronavirus and the attendant economic shutdowns have affected unemployment in America. The report paints an alarming picture. Between February 2020 and April 2020, nonfarm private employment fell by more than 20 million positions, and the unemployment rate jumped from 3.5% to 14.7% - a figure that exceeds the maximum unemployment rate during the Great Recession. Read More...

May 11, 2020 Finding a roommate to split your rent is a surefire way to save money, which is welcome consolation for the dirty dishes that pile up in your sink. Of course, the real estate market landscape is currently in flux due to the spread of COVID-19, but as people reshuffle their lives and housing arrangements, they may not score the coronavirus deals they expect. Though rental listings website Zumper notes the rental market has seen slowdowns in Google search volumes for apartments and apartment listings due to the increasing number of Americans sheltering in place, prices are still rising. The national average for one-bedroom rent increased 0.2% in March 2020 from the previous month, while the national average for two-bedroom rent increased 0.6% over that period; prices are up year-over-year as well. Since the current state of the world makes economizing of the essence, SmartAsset uncovered where having a roommate can save you the most. Read More...

May 07, 2020 May 7, 2020 – Many of the country’s largest for-profit insurance companies are now offering discounts to customers affected by the coronavirus. UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. health insurer by membership, joined Cigna and Humana as the latest company to follow this trend. UnitedHealth Group said in a statement today that it will be providing more than $1.50 billion in initial assistance to its UnitedHealthcare customers, “as many people have been unable to access routine or planned care due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Read More...

May 07, 2020 Passed on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided Americans with one-time economic impact payments, commonly referred to as stimulus checks. Under the bill, individuals and families are eligible for either a full or reduced benefit based on their adjusted gross income (AGI). There have been many questions surrounding the stimulus checks, including who is eligible, when payments will be received, how Americans will spend the money and if there may be a second round. Read More...

May 06, 2020 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual amount spent on food in 2018 per household was $7,923, with almost $4,500 allocated for food at home and almost $3,500 for food away from home. Furthermore, spending on food increased 2.50% from the year prior. Because food makes up such a large and growing portion of expenditures across American households, the ability to afford nourishment without compromising hard-earned savings is also an important concern for many Americans, especially with the economic uncertainty brought by the recent coronavirus crisis. Read More...

May 04, 2020 On March 20 of this year, the IRS announced that as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 tax deadline would be moved from the typical filing date of April 15 to July 15. Following the federal government’s lead, many states also extended their tax deadlines, meaning that the majority of Americans could wait to file both their federal and state individual income taxes without penalty. Some Americans may have opted to file earlier to receive their refunds more expeditiously to stay afloat during these challenging times. But in light of the postponed tax deadline, just how many Americans have delayed completing their taxes? Read More...

Apr 29, 2020 During the 2008 Great Recession, well-known startups like WhatsApp, Venmo and Slack were founded. In the face of an impending COVID-19 recession, some optimists have looked to these successful startups as hope that a third 21 st century economic downturn may spur entrepreneurial innovation and resourcefulness. However, for many, a recession can be a daunting time to launch a business, which often puts hard-earned savings on the line. Additionally, the particulars of the COVID-19 pandemic - such as easy transmission of the infection and social distancing measures - may further lead aspiring business owners to put their plans on hold. Read More...

Apr 28, 2020 Housing is one of the biggest stressors for many Americans across the country, since it often constitutes the majority of a household’s expenses. Housing costs have become increasingly burdensome due to the coronavirus crisis, which has impaired so many people’s ability to cover mortgage payments, let alone sock away money into their savings. In light of these factors, SmartAsset analyzed the data to see where homeowners in the U.S. are the most and least severely housing cost-burdened. Read More...

Apr 25, 2020 Has government coronavirus relief money ended up in the hands of those who need it least? The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided forgivable loans to small businesses to cover their payroll costs if they didn’t layoff workers or cut  salaries, served as a central component of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March. While businesses quickly snatched up the $349 billion allocated to the program, a new small business stimulus bill signed into law on Friday resumed the program. But controversy has erupted as details emerge about the businesses that received the first wave of PPP loans. Read More...

Apr 20, 2020 Since mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic has intensified, there have been four straight record weeks for jobless claims filed in the U.S. – a fact that increases economic uncertainty and makes it difficult for Americans to save adequately. For the week ending March 21, 2020, 3.31 million Americans filed for unemployment, followed by 6.87 million and 6.62 million the two subsequent weeks. Last Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that another 5.25 million individuals filed for unemployment for the week ending April 11, 2020, bringing the four-week moving average to 5.51 million claims per week. In total, more than 22 million Americans filed for unemployment between mid-March and mid-April, though state and local labor forces have been affected to varying degrees. Read More...

Apr 16, 2020 Amid health and economic upheaval from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for an emergency fund has become increasingly pronounced. Though conventional wisdom advises having three to six months’ worth of expenses saved up, the uncertain timeline of the coronavirus crisis highlights the importance of having a full six months' worth socked away. But what does that six-month budget even look like for individuals and families? widely by place. The numbers vary widely by place. Read More...

Apr 14, 2020 Almost 97% of all businesses in the U.S. have fewer than 500 employees. These small businesses are particularly imperiled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis. To combat the challenges resulting from wide-spread closures and shelter-in-place orders, the U.S. government has implemented myriad coronavirus small business relief measures. SmartAsset endeavored to locate where small businesses may be most beleaguered and thus in need of this help. Read More...

Apr 09, 2020 Graduating from college is a major milestone, signaling the start of a new phase of life. Though many college seniors have seen their final semester on campus derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they will still emerge into post-college with the same hopes and dreams that generations of students before them have held. For many graduates, the first few years after graduation could substantially affect the ability to buy a home or save adequately for retirement. Choosing where to live is not a decision to take lightly, which is why SmartAsset crunched the numbers and found the top 10 cities for new college grads. Read More...

Apr 08, 2020 Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have continued to rise in recent weeks, in turn causing federal, state and local governments to urge their constituents to stay home and practice social distancing. Many companies, in turn, have implemented ongoing work-from-home policies that allow employees to keep socking away their earnings in their savings during this uncertain moment. But the shift to remote work has been uneven, highlighting the disparity between those who can seamlessly continue business as usual from their laptops at the kitchen counter and those unable to perform their job functions from afar. Read More...

Apr 03, 2020 President Donald Trump recently signed into law the historic COVID-19 stimulus package worth around $2 trillion. It sets aside $250 billion for direct payments to individuals and families to help them deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Read More...

Apr 07, 2020 Banks are loosening up their policies to help cash-strapped customers weather the economic side effects of the coronavirus crisis. In particular, many banks are lowering or temporarily eliminating their fees and account minimums. As you explore what financial institutions are doing to help Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may also be advantageous to explore the possibility of getting hands-on guidance from a financial advisor to take care of your investments through volatile markets. Read More...

Mar 31, 2020 Last Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 21, 2020. This was the highest historical number of new claims in a week, almost five times the previous record high. Long-term unemployment, especially during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, will make it difficult for many Americans to save money adequately. Read More...

Mar 27, 2020 In a survey of economists conducted by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business at the beginning of March 2020, more than half of participants expected COVID-19 to cause a major recession. Since then, increasing numbers of economists and policy makers have predicted that coronavirus will lead to a recession, defined as a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. In fact, one of the most dire estimates came out on Friday, March 20, with Goldman Sachs predicting that the U.S. GDP will shrink by 24% in the second quarter of 2020. That decline would be two and half times larger than any previous quarterly decline, critically affecting everyday Americans’ ability to manage expenses and save for their futures. Read More...

Mar 26, 2020 About 7.31 million Americans were employed in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations in 2018, an increase of 7.48% from 2014, when there were 6.80 million STEM workers. Those who are interested in joining this growing industry may have further opportunities to find jobs and save enough, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an uptick in most STEM occupations over the next decade. According to BLS predictions, there will be 8.05 million STEM workers in 2028. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 Despite the aging of the American workforce, with adults 65 and older twice as likely to be working now compared to 1985, Census data shows that one in four workers in 2018 was still younger than the age of 30. Entering the workforce at a younger age can be advantageous, since it means there’s more time to save up for goals such as homeownership and retirement. It is important to note, however, that young workers have flocked to some cities more than others. In this study, SmartAsset examined the cities with the youngest workforces. Read More...

Mar 17, 2020 According to data from advocacy groups like Equal Pay Today as well as government institutions such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women earn only around 80 cents for every dollar that men do. And that’s not including further disparity when considering race and ethnicity. Not only does this hinder women’s ability to further their careers and cover immediate expenses such as food or housing, but it also adversely affects their ability to save adequately for their retirement as well. There are some cities, though, where women’s pay is better than others, and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to figure out where those are. Read More...

Mar 10, 2020 With online and mobile banking increasing in popularity, physical banks have struggled to keep their doors open. Over the past five years, the number of branch locations in America declined by 7%. Though digital banking services may allow for easier service for some customers as they deposit checks into their savings, bank branch locations continue to be an important resource for others. In a recent Federal Reserve report, researchers note that the shift to digital banking channels is occurring more gradually for older individuals, those with lower incomes or fewer years of formal education and inhabitants of rural communities. Additionally, for all customers, even those who mostly use digital bank services, branches continue to be the dominant channel when applying for new products. According to Deloitte survey results, 65% of Americans prefer branches when applying for a mortgage, and 58% prefer one when opening a checking account. Read More...

Mar 05, 2020 The Great Recession, which began in 2007 and extended into the early 2010s, wreaked havoc on the global economy at large and the finances of individual Americans alike. When the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 10.1% in October 2009, many Americans struggled to make their mortgage payments and save money. What's more, government spending on social safety net initiatives like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rose by almost a third from 2007 to 2010. Though the U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 3.5% and the Dow roared toward 30,000 in early 2020 after a decade-long bull market, there are signs of economic vulnerability: At the end of February, the Dow had its worst week since 2008. The economy could crash again, but not every city is equally equipped to weather the next downturn. Read More...

Mar 03, 2020 According to 2018 Census data, women make about 80% of what men make nationwide. The average full-time female worker earned $42,295, while the average full-time male worker earned $52,144. Though this gender pay gap suggests differences in compensation between men and women and their ability to save, it does not distinguish between two distinct metrics: pay discrepancies between men and women who have the same job and differences in promotion rates between men and women. That is, the gender pay gap may partially be a result of the fact that men are promoted more often than women and, in turn, earn more in higher-level positions. Read More...

Feb 25, 2020 Affording home payments is a struggle many homeowners face, especially in a large city with high living costs. Questions of budgeting and saving come into play, as well as how much additional debt - from the likes of car loans and credit card bills - a homeowner can comfortably afford. To budget housing costs appropriately, it's important to understand what your financial picture as a homeowner could look like from month to month. That’s why SmartAsset decided to examine how much you’d need to make in order to afford home payments in different cities across the country. Read More...

Feb 25, 2020 A conference can be a great break from your daily workplace grind. You often get to go to a new city, meet other people in your field and learn new skills. Even though professional development is the goal for many of these events, smart budgeting is critical to keep in mind, as you’ll want to be able to enjoy your time without overspending. On the flip side, if you’re an organizer of one of these events, affordable accommodations and travel time are key factors that contribute to boosting the number of attendees. So finding the right city to host a conference might be a little harder than it seems. That’s why SmartAsset analyzed data across the country to find the best cities for conferences. Read More...

Feb 25, 2020 Because getting a higher education is important in many professional fields, it can drastically change a worker’s earning potential and therefore his or her ability to save. According to 2017 statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median weekly salary for someone with a bachelor's degree was $1,173, while it was only $800 for a person with just a high school diploma. Going to college isn’t cheap, of course. There are some states, though, where it is more affordable than others and offers a greater ROI. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 Since household formation often alters spending patterns, one of the best ways to isolate differences in spending between the sexes is by comparing singles. As millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are less likely to have formed families relative to older generations, they provide an interesting lens to understand how men and women spend and save money. Do single millennial men and women spend and save differently? SmartAsset gathered data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey to take a closer look. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 Pew Research Center found that in 2017 more U.S. households were headed by renters than at any point since 1965. Considering the fact that rent is a major expense for many people - more than half of household income in some of the country’s largest cities - workers might find themselves clocking extra hours to pay their landlords and build their  savings. Of course, it can take more work hours to cover rental costs in some cities compared to others. Read More...

Feb 06, 2020 The employment of computer and information technology workers is projected to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028, adding almost 550,000 new jobs, according to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many of these jobs are expected to be well-paying. In May 2018, the median annual salary for computer and information technology occupations was close to $90,000. However, employment opportunities and pay in tech jobs still tend to favor men. Women make up about 26% of the tech workforce nationally and, on average, are paid only 83% of what men are paid in the industry. This affects all of their money matters, such as their ability to  save a sufficient amount while also covering their various expenses. Read More...

Jan 30, 2020 About three in four Americans receive a tax refund each year, and the average amount returned with those refunds is around $3,000, according to IRS data. This means that for many Americans, their tax refund is the largest single check they will receive all year, substantially affecting the trajectory of how they use or  save their money before the next tax day. Though often anxiously awaited, tax refunds come with a major cost. Read More...

Jan 27, 2020 One way voters demonstrate their support for political candidates is by making campaign contributions, something Americans have increasingly done over the last few decades. According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans giving money to a political candidate doubled from 6% to 12% between 1992 and 2016. That means more Americans are allocating parts of their paychecks or using some of their  savings to back the candidates they think will do the best job. It's a way for voters to put their money with their mouth is and take an active stand in the political process, something that is top of mind during an election year. Read More...

Jan 23, 2020 Commuting takes up a lot of time as well as money - money that could be put towards other financial goals like saving up for a trip, car or house. With Americans already spending so much of their time at work, it’s no surprise that those who commute to the workplace might wish to close the distance a little bit. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 As people age, their spending and saving patterns change. Major life events like buying a home, getting married or having kids may impact not only the rate at which people save, but also how they allocate the money that they do spend. Generational cohorts have also demonstrated differences in their financial priorities. For instance, a report from the Urban Institute found that in 2018, millennial homeownership rates were approximately eight percentage points lower than the homeownership rates of Generation Xers and baby boomers when they were the same age (21 to 37 years old). Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 In 2018, young adults with at least a bachelor’s degree had an impressive employment rate of 86%, compared to just 72% for their counterparts with a mere high school diploma. After all, a higher level of education can mean more job prospects and the opportunity to build strong savings. Unfortunately, not all kinds of jobs are always in as much demand as others. That’s why SmartAsset crunched the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to find out which sectors most need more workers with higher-education qualifications. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 It’s difficult to pursue your passions and manage your various commitments given the time that they require, especially if they are not directly linked to your job. In an ideal world, though, you earn enough to  sock away sufficient savings to enjoy your leisure activities without logging excessive hours at the office or on a punishing commute. Not all cities allow professionals to strike a happy medium, so SmartAsset decided to take a look at the cities with the best work-life balance. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 The average U.S. worker travels about 27.1 minutes to work and spends $2,600 annually on commuting costs, according to 2018 Census Bureau estimates and the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index. Working from home represents an opportunity for workers to save both time and money while additionally allowing greater flexibility for working parents. Read More...

Dec 16, 2019 As we head into the new year, many of us are taking stock of what we accomplished in the past year and considering what goals we’d like to set for the coming one. Establishing a more consistent fitness routine may be on the list for some people, though it can sometimes burn more of our savings than our calories. That’s why SmartAsset examined the data to find the most affordable fitness-friendly places for the upcoming year. Read More...

Dec 20, 2019 Whether you're a birth parent or an adoptive one,  having children is costly. Given the variety of expenses prospective adoptive parents face, they must consider whether they have the  savings to handle the costs of the process. One of the biggest factors that determines how much it costs to adopt a child is the type of adoption. Adoption is generally categorized into three broad groups: private domestic adoptions, international adoptions and foster care adoptions. Below, we take a closer look at the three types of adoption considering national and state trends and average costs for each. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below. Read More...

Dec 11, 2019 The stress of credit card debt is often felt the most at the end of the year, since Americans tend to put more on the plastic during the holiday shopping season. In fact, data from Experian shows that credit card debt has peaked in the fourth quarter for the past eight years. While playing Santa can make credit card statements more intimidating if you don’t have enough saved up as the year comes to a close, credit card debt afflicts Americans year-round. Read More...

Dec 12, 2019 According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, in 2018, approximately 82% of all beer in the U.S. was domestically produced. While that may indicate that beer is widely available across the country, not all drinkers will agree it’s worth using their  savings to buy another round in every city. That’s why SmartAsset took a look at the best cities for beer drinkers around the country. Read More...

Nov 21, 2019 Like home prices, rent varies month to month in many cities. Rent is often higher in summer months than in winter ones, as more than 40% of all moves take place during the four months from May through August, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. College students returning for classes, recent graduates starting jobs in new cities and families moving before the start of the school year may all contribute to the high summer demand. But rather than haggling with a landlord when rents are seasonally more expensive, it’s possible for renters to use the calendar to their advantage. With all this in mind, SmartAsset uncovered where renters could save more money by strategically picking when to move. Read More...

Nov 12, 2019 Rent affordability is largely dependent on income. Guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommend that households not spend more than 30% of their monthly gross income on housing-related expenses, including rent and utilities, to comfortably afford other necessities like food and healthcare. But fluctuations in rent as a percentage of income can greatly affect individuals' adherence to that rule and their ability to save. Read More...

Nov 14, 2019 The median household income in the U.S. was $61,937 in 2018, according to Census Bureau data. But what kind of life that income affords you depends on many factors, including your spending and saving habits as well as the cost of living in the place you call home. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in the country to live on an income of $60,000. Read More...

Nov 07, 2019 Because the cost of living tends to correlate with population size, mid-sized cities are often more affordable alternatives to large cities and potentially offer better opportunities to save and invest. Your salary can go a lot further when your costs are lower, so people who use a  cost-of-living calculator to compare expenses between cities may gravitate away from major metropolises. Read More...

Oct 31, 2019 The number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has increased in recent years, which could be encouraging news for other women who are still building up the resources to start new ventures. According to data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, there were more than 1.1 million women-owned businesses in the 50 largest metro areas in 2016, up 2.8% from the year prior. However, as a percentage of total businesses, the representation of female-owned businesses remains low. In 2016, women owned only 20% of all employer businesses nationwide. Given that low percentage of women-owned businesses, SmartAsset looked at some of the best places for female entrepreneurs in this study in order to determine where women-owned businesses may be more likely to survive and grow. Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 Whether you’re taking someone out for the first time or enjoying a well-earned night on the town with your partner of a decade, it’s important to be able to enjoy a nice date night. It is even better when you have plenty of options for where to go and know a night with your special someone isn’t going to break the bank. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in the country for budget-friendly dating. Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 Unions can be effective tools for collective bargaining. They represent workers in negotiations with management to uphold workers’ rights, including fair wages. According to a 2018 report on full-time workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonunion workers earned just 82% of the median weekly amount that union member workers earned. Being able to make a fair wage is necessary in order to budget properly and build up your  savings account. But the power of unions in the U.S. varies significantly across different locations. Some states are union hotbeds, where organized labor is a major player in business and politics. In other states, unions don’t hold as much sway. SmartAsset decided to see where unions are the strongest. Read More...

Oct 23, 2019 Every two years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases employment projections for more than 800 detailed occupations, with its most recent projections spanning from 2018 to 2028. Solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians top the list. The BLS projects employment growth of 63.3% and 56.9% for the occupations, respectively. Due to their relatively small number of employees, however, these high projections do not amount to many new jobs. Fewer than 7,000 workers are expected to join the ranks of solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians by 2028. Meanwhile, the number of personal care aides is expected to grow by 36.4%, which translates to an increase of 881,000 workers in the next decade. Those employment opportunities can give workers the ability to save up in their retirement accounts. Read More...

Nov 04, 2019 Following mortgage debt, student loan debt is the second-largest form of U.S. consumer debt, growing substantially over recent years and negatively affecting Americans’ ability to save enough. According to data from Experian, student loan debt reached an all-time high of $1.4 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 116% from 10 years prior. In fact, the average American with student loan debt had $35,359 in student loan debt. Read More...

Oct 01, 2019 About two-thirds of the jobs outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018 do not require workers to have a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Though pay is generally correlated with education level and the majority of those jobs have average annual salaries below $50,000, some jobs that require only an associate’s degree or less actually pay pretty well. As a result, they can allow workers to meet their savings goals more quickly. Read More...

Oct 01, 2019 Bills pile up and debt accumulates, causing the pressure of financial concerns to grow. While there are certainly ways to get out ahead of these struggles - saving carefully, using a budget or making smart investments - sometimes things happen that make financial stress inevitable, even for the most careful planners. Some cities, though, are more financially stressed than others, so SmartAsset analyzed data to find which cities in America have the most financial stress. Read More...

Oct 07, 2019 According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 3.9 million births were registered in the U.S. in 2017, with millennial women accounting 80% of them. The average age of mothers at first birth was 26.8, and especially for those millennial mothers at the start of their careers, where they choose to start a family can have a substantial influence on their ability to have a safe pregnancy and birth while also building their  savings afterward. Read More...

Sep 24, 2019 While Major League Baseball is what you are most likely to see on television, baseball fans in cities across the country flock to the ballpark to watch the stars of tomorrow hone their craft in Minor League Baseball. These games are less expensive and less crowded than the average Major League game, so they are more accessible to the average family. With that in mind, SmartAsset analyzed the data for the sixth consecutive year to find the best minor league baseball towns in America. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 The pay gap remains a very real struggle for women around the U.S. The latest number from the American Association of University Women estimates that, on average, women earn around 80% of what their male counterparts earn in the workforce. This, in turn, significantly hurts their ability to save enough to meet their financial goals. There are some cities, though, where that gender pay gap is less than in others - and some where it may have started wide but is rapidly narrowing. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 More and more people are getting into the business world through their own startups. Many of the companies you interact with on an everyday basis - Uber, Airbnb, even Apple - began as startups, often with just a few employees. While the stereotype may be that all startups are in either the Bay Area or New York City, they’re actually all over the country. Some cities, though, are more affordable for startups than others, and knowing which ones they are can help you avoid dipping too much into your savings to fund your venture at its outset. SmartAsset analyzed data from 80 cities across the country to determine where it is most affordable to found a startup. Read More...

Sep 11, 2019 In 2014, there were almost 32 million workers in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 34, and over five years, this number rose to more than 35 million, an increase of about 10%. Of those 35 million, about 13 million had a bachelor’s or advanced degree, or 16% more than workers who did in 2014. The 16% growth in educated young professionals varies by industry and occupation. Some industries and occupations have seen growth of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree that far outpaces 16% - growth that potentially allows much more flexibility in these professionals’ ability to save enough to meet their financial goals - while others have seen decreases in the number of educated young professionals working the field or job. Read More...

Sep 10, 2019 In 2017, the U.S. spent $3.50 trillion - more than $10,000 per person - on healthcare, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As a percentage of U.S. GDP, healthcare made up 17.10%. This is greater on a per capita basis and as a percentage of GDP than any other country. Read More...

Jul 24, 2020 State capitals aren’t always the biggest cities in their state, but they’re among the most important. Not only are they central hubs for government offices and homes for notable landmarks, but they may also offer employment opportunities and other cultural features that make them attractive for longtime residents and potential newcomers alike. Some state capitals, though, are better places than others for people to lay down roots and build their savings. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed data for all 50 state capitals to find the ones where you can expect to live the best life. Read More...

Aug 20, 2019 Foodies typically flock to large cities given the availability of many different cuisines and dining options. But are larger cities always the best places for them? In this study, we compiled some of the best cities for food lovers by examining the most important factors foodies look at when considering whether their culinary explorations are worth the money they’re dishing out. Read More...

Aug 13, 2019 Women constitute nearly half of the workforce in the U.S. According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 46.9% of total workers are women, a figure that stayed constant from 2014 data. Despite the fact that the overall percentage remained unchanged over that time period, certain jobs and occupations in particular have seen significant growth for women, which in turn positively impacts their ability to save. These occupations include not only previously male-dominated jobs, but also other jobs for which the occupation overall is growing. Read More...

Aug 07, 2019 The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines those who pay more than 30% of their income on rent as housing cost-burdened. Generally known as the 30% rule, this HUD guideline has long been a rule of thumb for household budgeting. As rising rents continue to outpace increases in median incomes in most cities, having a roommate can be a great way to decrease the amount of  income you spend on rent, and in turn boost your savings. Sharing your home with a roommate is often less expensive than living alone as the cost split between two individuals for a two-bedroom apartment is generally less than the cost of a one-bedroom apartment. Read More...

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