Dec 23, 20162016 was quite a year. To help you regroup and prepare for 2017, we've rounded up the top 10 personal finance reads of this year, on topics ranging from the safest cities in the country to monetizing your social media following. Check out our list of the top 10 personal finance reads of 2016.
Dec 22, 2016You may have heard the term "fintech" but not really known what it meant. Not to worry. What do you get when you combine "financial" and "technology"? Fintech. It's a term that's generally applied to start-ups that are using technology to change the way people and businesses approach finance. Read on to learn more.
Nov 06, 2017Many of us get caught up in the chaos of planning parties, buying gifts and visiting friends and relatives during the months of November and December. It’s easy to forget that the holidays are also about helping others. If you're not sure how you can give back, we've listed some simple ways to volunteer and donate during the holiday season.
Dec 05, 2016The holidays are always a busy season for charities around the world. Many people save their giving for the end of the year, or make charitable contributions in lieu of buying holiday presents. If you're in the market for charity ideas for holiday giving, check out the list below. There's not a dud charity in the bunch.
Nov 30, 2016There have been 70 total NBA championships since the league's inception and 44 of those have been won by the same four teams - the Celtics, the Lakers, the Bulls and Spurs. The Boston Celtics alone have won a mind-boggling 17 championships. This lack of parity is something of a curiosity as the current draft system rewards the worst teams in the league with the highest draft picks. Yet year after year, it's often the same handful of teams contending for the title.
Nov 08, 2016You hear a lot about income inequality in the U.S. (particularly in election years), but there's a wealth gap in this country that some analysts say is even more concerning than the income gap. Let's take a look at the wealth gap and why it's an important tool for understanding Americans' financial lives.
Nov 04, 2016Our incomes, the money we receive as compensation for the paid work we do, varies according to several factors. The type of job we do, the amount of training and experience we have, the resources of our employers and the extent to which we negotiate our salary can all affect our income. But so can factors like race and gender. Let's take a closer look at the income gap in America.
Nov 03, 2016Baseball may be America’s pastime but football, and the NFL in particular, is the most popular sport in America today. Last season the NFL made over $13 billion in revenue and 111.9 million people tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 this past February. But what makes football truly special is the passion of the fans. NFL fans are famous for braving bad weather and outrageous beer prices in the hopes of cheering their team to victory. We at SmartAsset thought it would be interesting to measure the fan experience in order to determine which NFL teams have the most die-hard fans.
Oct 11, 2016Looking back at 2005, it's amazing to see how much the world has changed. Facebook was still in its infancy, iPhones didn't yet exist and dial-up was still clinging to a dominant market share of the internet industry. In light of the seismic shift in how we interact with technology (and each other), we at SmartAsset were curious about whether the ways in which Americans use their time may have changed over the past decade.
Oct 10, 2016Elections tend to focus on a number of social and economic concerns. One topic that has come up time and time again over the years is the issue of voter fraud. While some people believe it has the ability to negatively affect elections, others dismiss it as a mere myth. If you're not sure which side to believe, we'll explain what voter fraud is and why some say it's a real problem.
Oct 07, 2016Do you recycle in your home or office? How about when you're out on the street or in a park? The recycling rate in the U.S. is around 34% and has been for years. The country has struggled to reach recycling rates seen in other developed countries. For a detailed look at the issue, let's examine some of the pros and cons of recycling.
Sep 19, 2016Maybe you're stuck on a business trip that happened to fall on voting day. Or maybe you're a college student who doesn't have time to go home and vote. The good news is that even if you can't make it to your designated polling place, you can still cast your vote by mailing in an absentee ballot. Here's a breakdown of how absentee voting works and how it benefits voters.
Aug 26, 2016When you go to the polls to vote for a president every four years, you're participating in an indirect vote. Why indirect? Because of the electoral college. Some say the electoral college is key to maintaining what's good about U.S. politics, while others want to abolish the institution. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the electoral college.
Dec 29, 2015If you follow politics you might have noticed the phrase "means tested." It's used to describe certain government programs and benefits, but what does it mean? The short answer is that "means tested" programs are only available to those whose incomes (a.k.a "means") are judged sufficiently low. In other words, a wealthy person wouldn't be able to access means-tested benefits. Here's why that's controversial.
Oct 06, 2015With Hillary Clinton running for the office of the president for a second time, it's a good idea to learn more about her past, her stance on the issues and her potential in the election. No matter what side of the political fence you find yourself on - or how you feel about income tax rates or gun control - knowing more about all of the candidates will make you a more informed citizen and voter. We've got everything you need to know about Hillary Clinton below.
Oct 06, 2015Whenever someone mentions Donald Trump, a couple things probably come to mind. His name might elicit images of his famous hair or the sound of his voice repeating, “You’re fired!” That is, of course, his catchphrase from the reality TV hit "The Apprentice." But now Trump is hoping you'll think of him as a presidential candidate and he has already gained a lot of support in the 2016 race. Read on to find out more about Trump, his life and his political views.
Apr 15, 2015By almost any measure, income inequality in the United States has grown steadily over the past few decades. According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, between 1979 and 2012 the top 1% saw incomes rise over 200%, while everyone else saw income growth of just 18.7%. Those are certainly dramatic figures, but what do they mean for the lives—and paychecks—of actual income earners? To answer that question, SmartAsset developed an alternate measure of income inequality, based on the money earned by workers at the top and the bottom of the income ladder.
Feb 12, 2015It's nearly impossible to have a discussion about the economy or politics without someone mentioning the national debt. There are billboards and websites that feature endlessly advancing numbers to show the growing total and every once in a while a lot is spoken of the debt ceiling. But what exactly is the national debt and what does it mean to the average person? The short answer is, the national debt is the accumulated difference between what the government takes in and what it spends. In simple household terms, the national debt is the amount of money we have borrowed to keep the lights on.
Aug 06, 2015Over the past five years, thanks to advances in data storage and computer processing, our capacity to make use of the massive quantities of data we produce each day has erupted. Today, government and industry are just starting to explore the new world of information that has opened up since the turn of the millennium, a world that’s been assigned a misleadingly simple name: Big Data.
Jan 13, 2015In the United States, flu season typically stretches from November to April, peaking in January or February. Each year, somewhere between 5% and 20% of the population will come down with influenza, and around 200,000 people will be hospitalized because of the virus.
Jan 09, 2015According to the Self Storage Association, a trade organization for the self storage industry, total rentable self storage space in the US hit 2.3 billion square feet as of the end of 2013. That's over three times the size of the island of Manhattan, aka the place SmartAsset calls home. What's behind the success of this booming industry, and how much is it costing us?
Jan 02, 2015We've all observed at some point that the cost of everything is going up. Most of us have either said or been told, "When I was a kid you could buy a loaf of bread for…" followed by a price that seem incomprehensibly low by current standards. Everyone knows prices go up because of inflation, and we shake our heads and curse it as though it's something tangible that we can sit down and talk some sense into. The reality, however, is that raising prices is what inflation does, but it says nothing about what it is, what causes it or even how it's measured.
Jan 15, 2016Every year it’s the same story: the holidays arrive, the weather gets ugly and thousands of Americans find themselves stuck in airport terminals across the country, waiting for flights that are delayed or canceled. At some airports, over ten percent of all flights suffer significant delays during the holiday season, and in 2013, over a third of flights departing from major airports in November and December were delayed to some degree.
Jan 02, 2015Tourism is a major industry in many cities, sometimes to the chagrin of the locals. But as annoying as tourists can be to deal with in person, they also are usually willing to spend their money. SmartAsset wanted to explore the effects of tourism on the twenty largest cities in the United States, to see which of them might benefit the most from their visitors.
Dec 18, 2014With Germany's victory this past Sunday, the World Cup ended. Instead of suffer silently in withdrawal, we have decided to obsess just a little more. We want to look back at the triumphs and defeats of both favorite and underdog teams in the tournament.
Aug 05, 2015There are many reasons to choose a city to live in, but most of them revolve around our basic needs: employment, cultural stimulation and education. But sooner or later, we all need healthcare, whether it’s a routine doctor’s visit or a trip to the emergency room.
Nov 07, 2017If you watch the news reports on the economy or business and finance, you have likely heard the acronym GDP, but do you know what it means?
Dec 18, 2014If it’s a nice place to visit, you may not want to live there - or vice-versa. SmartAsset has compared the percent growth in tourism and population in America’s twenty largest cities from 2009 and 2013 - or from the Great Recession and its aftermath.
Dec 18, 2014The story of people heading west to seek fame and fortune to LA, the city of glitz and glamour, has taken a noticeable detour down south. A recent study of 2013 feature film production by FilmLA shows California no longer has a monopoly on movie magic.
Jan 02, 2015There's a scene in Mr. Mom where Michael Keaton's character Jack Butler is having a heated discussion with his wife about the fact that he's gained a few pounds and his brain is like oatmeal. The conversation ends with Jack heading downstairs to sleep on the "fat" couch, "if he can get through the door". While the movie is meant to be a comical take on what happens when running the house and raising the kids falls to Dad, it's become a reality for more fathers than ever.
Jan 02, 2015Jason Steele is a freelance writer who specializes in credit cards and travel rewards. He has been featured in USA Today, Time and many publications for his expertise. Steele took the time to answer some of SmartAsset's questions:
Jun 30, 2014In recent days there has been some praise and much criticism over coffee giant Starbucks' plans to help their employees complete their college degrees. The company says 70 percent of its employees (partners) are students or aspiring students. It has introduced the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. Starting this fall both full- and part-time employees can finish their bachelor's degree online and get full tuition reimbursement. It is through a partnership with Arizona State University. Freshmen and sophomores can apply for scholarships to help them begin their college quest. They are not required to stay at Starbucks after they complete their degree.
Jan 02, 2015The number of people shopping online is at an all-time high. While the rest of the retail economy is still dragging in its recovery from our economic crash, the online retail market continues to grow at a rapid pace. Not only is online shopping gaining momentum, but mail order businesses have expanded in the retail sector as well. Does this mean online retail might one day edge out the traditional in-store shopping experience? As the online market grows, and the ease and convenience of shopping online has more appeal to a greater audience, online shopping may one day take over the retail market.
Jun 30, 2014Once every four years, in the height of the summer, the whole world turns its gaze to a single nation for the defining championship of the most popular sport on the planet. The FIFA World Cup (of soccer, football, or whatever you care to call it) has long been a cultural institution and the governing body estimates that half of the people in the entire world will have watched at least some portion of the tournament.
Jan 02, 2015Planning a summer road trip or vacation? National parks can be a big draw. But some are gaining in popularity while others are seeing fewer visitors. SmartAsset wanted to find out the current most and least popular parks.
Dec 08, 2014More people want to live in the south and west. At least that's the news out of a recent government report on the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.
Jan 13, 2017Once upon a time, chocolate was unheard of across most of the world. From the 1800s BCE to the 16th century CE or so, it was exclusively consumed by a small group of people - Aztec nobles in what is now Mexico. Nowadays, $20.6 billion worth of chocolate is sold in the United States each year alone, and the worldwide market is projected to approach $100 billion annually in two years. And indeed, Americans love their chocolate fix, as they have for decades. But the ways we’re getting our dose of chocolate are becoming more diverse.
Dec 23, 2014It's no secret that student loan debt in the U.S. has reached epic proportions. According to the most recent statistics from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), federal student loan debt alone is hovering at just over $1 trillion. With the job market continuing to recover, many graduates have found themselves struggling to keep up with staggering payments. The CFPB estimates that more than 7 million borrowers who owe either federal or private loans are currently in default.
Dec 21, 2017As the last traces of the long and brutal winter disappear across the country and the weekends start to get warmer and sunnier, people of a certain mindset - let’s call them history nerds - start to get the idea to recreate centuries past, even if only for a few days and only within the confines of a local park or field. Yes, late spring and summer are prime renaissance fair season, when organizations like the Society for Creative Anachronism put on reenactments of royal courts, jousts, feasting, bards’ performances, and other aspects of medieval life for the entertainment of all and sundry… often at a cost of upwards of $10,000.
Jan 02, 2015
The long and difficult winter that much of the United States faced is gone, and with its departure comes warmer weather, the promise of renewal, and, of course, baseball season. Both idealistic views on America’s pastime and cynical notions of performance-enhancing drug scandal aside, the fact is that millions across the country will be taking themselves and their families, friends, and coworkers out to the ball park this year. Last season, 74 million pro baseball tickets were sold in the United States, which means one for every 4.3 people in the entire country.
Jan 02, 2015
Cinco de Mayo, celebrated on May 5 (as the name suggests), commemorates the Battle of Puebla, Mexico when 2,000 poorly equipped Mexican soldiers crushed 6,000 of the well-armed invading French army. However, Cinco de Mayo is not a major national holiday in Mexico, which reserves its big celebrations for Independence Day on September 16, but is extremely popular in the US. Americans toast that ragtag Mexican army using margaritas and Corona beers with a wedge of lime. This year, however, Cinco de Mayo drinks may lose some of their zest due to a shortage of limes.
May 03, 2016They’re as much of a holiday obligation as a card, a fancy dinner, or a phone call, de rigeur for certain people in our lives, as well as the go-to gesture for congratulations or apologies. And they constitute an industry that commands close to $34.3 billion in yearly revenue. Not bad for plant reproductive systems. But do you really need to buy your mother flowers on this Mother's Day?
Nov 12, 2017SmartAsset is now available in the palm of your hand! We are excited to announce the launch of our free mobile app. Starting this week, you can get the SmartAsset app for your iPhone or Android. The free app will prove the same instant, accurate and personalized answers to complex financial questions optimized for your mobile device.
Dec 21, 2017Ilse Blansert rearranges her stick-straight brown hair so that it’s out of her face and puts on a couple dabs of makeup to even out her pale complexion. Satisfied after checking her appearance in her webcam’s display, she gingerly attaches her microphones to her blouse lapels, careful not to let her fingertips touch the sensitive inputs. She gauges the sound levels that the microphones are picking up with a nearly silent “Testing-one-two-three.” Then, a sphinx-like smile on her face, she begins to whisper.
Aug 13, 2015Thousands of fans attending in person, as well as millions more watching at home, strike up a cheer as the teams make their entrances for the playoff match. There’s been a bitter rivalry between the two sides for years that has come to the forefront all season. They line up and take their places, the referees vigilant for cheating in such an important and hotly-contested game, and then the battle begins, the teams battering each other in a beautifully-executed offensive and defensive back and forth for sixty tense minutes. And when the winners are crowned, they rise from their computers.
Dec 22, 2016It's been a long, hard, snowy winter for much of America. Many people are relieved and excited to welcome the warmer weather of spring. But there are some people, and some businesses, who will miss the winter weather.
Mar 31, 2014Over the last several years, the U.S. Postal Service has been on a financial losing streak. Despite measures to increase revenue and improve productivity, the agency still reported a net loss of $5 billion for the 2013 fiscal year. That brings total net losses to a whopping $27 billion since 2011.
Jan 02, 2015Since February 1, 2014 the U.S. Department of State has issued ten travel alerts or warnings due to civil unrest. Among the countries are Thailand, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. Such countries are not common spring break travel destinations. However, one country has remained under a warning that is one of the most popular spring break spots: Mexico.
Jan 02, 2015Wall Street bigwig Bernie Madoff became infamous about five years ago when a fraudulent securities operation he was running collapsed and cost his investors, including hospitals and charities, $17.3 billion. While Madoff’s crime may have been the largest-ever scam of its type, he certainly didn’t invent the method–he ran a Ponzi scheme, named for 1920s swindler Charles Ponzi. Nor was the Madoff scandal by any means the greatest damage a single individual has ever done to an economy - while those billions were a relatively small share of the $14.2 trillion GDP of the United States in 2008, other crises set off by one person ruined whole countries for years. Here are the stories of Ponzi and three others who brought down economies by sheer force of will.
Jan 13, 2017If you drove through any small town main street in America a decade ago, you may have been shocked by what you would have seen. Thriving, bustling downtowns were replaced by boarded up buildings and resembled ghost towns. I witnessed the changes first hand in the small town I grew up in.
Nov 18, 2015The number of fortunes created in one day totaled an estimated $34.7 billion as Twitter opened for trading last November. Chances are if you’re reading this you are not among the newly minted multi-millionaires and billionaires who founded or invested heavily in the micro-blogging company. Even those who saw their net worth soar, will have to wait a 180 days before seeing any cash. We're now more than halfway there. As we get nearer to that date in early May, we must start to look at how this new wealth will affect San Francisco real estate.
Feb 24, 2016This article is written by Kristin Tablang. Winning an Oscar is a big deal—there’s no doubt about that. It’s pretty much considered the same as adding a magnificent plume to an actor’s otherwise drab cap. Immortalized in the form of a foot-tall knight poised atop a film reel, gallantly gripping a sword, the prized trophy is bestowed solely upon Hollywood’s crème de la crème: film industry fellows who are recognized for their unparalleled skill and talent. But as much as we’d all like to think Hollywood’s finest stars rightfully command the highest salaries in the acting industry, these days, that’s just not the case.
Dec 30, 2014Social media has been around for a number of years now and only continues to grow. Through websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube people are exploring new ways to communicate and engage with others. Unfortunately, many businesses are falling behind in their social media marketing strategy. This has led to a number of social media gaffes by companies.
Jan 02, 2015Don’t let the rainbow fool you. This picture was taken after the apocalypse. But these people apparently had all the necessary provisions and survived. You can too for the bargain price of $137,000. That's how much it will cost you to properly prepare for the end of days including where you will live and how you will feed your family. So you may want to add an apocalypse fund to your list of financial goals.
Nov 07, 2017When Pinterest launched in 2010, it seemed like the perfect site for home cooks and craft junkies like myself. Pinterest started out as invitation only. I carefully watched my inbox for the coveted invitation to arrive, while I watched my blogger friends luckily enough to score the first invites buzz about how much they loved it.
Dec 29, 2014In 2012 four burglaries were committed every minute of every day, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. That's a grand total of 2,103,787 in one year. Residential fires happen at a rate of about 1 every minute. Statistics like these are used to drive the multi-billion dollar home security industry.
Dec 29, 2014The Dow Jones recently reached a record high, topping out 16,000 for the first time in its 117-year history and the surging stock market is paying off big, not only for investors but for CEOs as well. The total payout for the top 10 earners was a record $4.7 billion in 2012 and there's speculation that even bigger paydays are yet to come.
Jan 02, 2015After my own experience with the Isabel Marant Pour H&M collaboration (I got one full outfit in my shopping bag before the site kicked me off and was able to get all my desired items aside from a black dress in the end), it brought me back to the vast collaborations over the past few years - namely, Karl Lagerfeld for H&M, Missoni for Target, Marni for H&M, 3.1 Philip Lim for Target, Alexander Wang for Uniqlo.
Dec 29, 2014For those of us subject to the whim of Mother Nature’s winter wrath, satisfying the craving for constant contact with our touchscreen tech used to mean making a choice: either seek warmer conditions for a quick check-in with our digital life, or forge ahead with a gloveless hand operating in cold conditions. For many, it was hardly ever a choice, and our fingers suffered for it.
Nov 12, 2017My college graduation looms in the near future. I'm still trying to figure out what come next. Many of my classmates are looking to continue their education. I have friends headed to law, medical, veterinary and business school for masters and beyond. Many of them hope advanced degrees will lead to higher pay and a better career.
Jan 02, 2015They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - but they also say one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. According to a new study from the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council, 25-34 year olds base their financial decisions on friends, not elders. More than three fourths of young adults say their financial habits are dictated by their peers. The source seems to be peer pressure. Millennials are pressured to keep up with their friends' lifestyles from housing and clothing to restaurants and gadgets.
Dec 30, 2014The TV may have killed the radio star, but it looks like the tortilla killed the burger (and hot dog) bun. Mexican-inspired menus are conquering the American food-scape, and it's quite profitable.
Dec 29, 2014Bitcoins have been making headlines lately, most recently when a UK man threw out a hard drive containing approximately $9 million worth of the digital cash. In certain arenas, the bitcoin is being hailed as the currency of the future. But many people are still in the dark over what exactly it is. If you're having trouble wrapping your head around the concept of the bitcoin, here's a breakdown of what you need to know.
Dec 29, 2014The two things we all have in common are that we are somebody's child and that all our parents managed to have at least one or two things they told us repeatedly that made us crazy. I'm no exception. My father was and at 87 continues to be an endless fount of annoying aphorisms.
Jan 02, 2015Landing an internship can be excited an important part of moving forward on your career path. If you get lucky, you might even be able to get a paid internship. Yes, it may sound too good to be true, but those coveted spots are out there. Getting experience in the field is important, but so is eating and paying your bills.
Dec 23, 2014Americans who took out a home equity line of credit during the housing bubble may soon be in for an unpleasant surprise. As many of these loans approach their 10-year anniversary, borrowers will be expected to start paying back the principal as well as the interest which means they may see a significant hike in their monthly payments. This could potentially create a major problem for lenders if homeowners end up defaulting on their second mortgage loans.
Dec 29, 2014We have all been there… That panic you feel on Christmas Eve when you realize that you forgot just one gift. Even worse, when you get a gift from someone that you barely know and certainly didn't expect something from. I have experienced both of these situations on more than one occasion.
Jan 02, 2015Netflix, ShoeDazzle, Citrus Lane, Petflow, Birchbox. It seems that subscription services are popping up everywhere these days. And it makes sense. These companies sell you something once and the revenue doesn't stop. It's also easy to see the appeal of these services: monthly surprises in a curated box of stuff. Whether the 'stuff' is shoes, TV and movie streaming, baby products, pet food, make-up, clothing, or any other product for that matter, it's nice to get things sent to you!
Dec 29, 2014Around this time last year, lawmakers were scrambling to avoid the fiscal cliff and now it's the so-called "dairy cliff" that Congress is grappling with. Without the passage of a new farm bill by the end of the year, milk prices could double to around $8 a gallon.
Dec 21, 2017The U.S. job market is continuing to improve, with the unemployment rate declining in November according to the most recent employment report. Approximately 203,000 jobs were added last month, which was 18,000 more than originally predicted. While the jobs report paints an encouraging picture of the economy's recovery, the data suggests that it still has a long way to go. Here's a breakdown of the most important things to take away from the November jobs report.
Dec 29, 2014We are in the midst of the holiday shopping season. There are lots of options out there but you want something really good for those on your nice list! SmartAsset is here to help put a smile on the face of the tech lovers in your life.
Jan 02, 2015I know there are some of you clutching your wine bottles as you read this and still others planning a run to the liquor store to stock up your wine cellars (or basement refrigerators). The news of the wine shortage comes as we head into the holiday season when some of us like to come home and relax with a glass (or two) of wine. It’s one of those things you take for granted. Like water and sunlight, you think that wine is always going to be there for you. But what happens when the world can't produce enough of it to keep up with our insatiable thirst?
Jan 02, 2015The stock market may seem to be at once one of the most confusing financial tools available to consumers and one of the most important. Although thousands invest in the stock market every day, most people use the services of professional investors or consultants to manage their money because of their lack of understanding or basic fear about getting themselves in over their heads while investing independently in the stock market.
Nov 12, 2015Black Friday has traditionally marked the start of the holiday shopping season. In order to get the biggest and best deals, shoppers must trudge out early in the morning to battle the crowds and cold in order to get a jump start on their Christmas shopping. This might seem like an archaic ritual of decades past to some, but there is still a devoted percentage of the population who like sport of shopping early every Friday after Thanksgiving. Lately though, there's been a shift in the way we do our shopping. More and more people are staying home on that infamous Friday and doing their shopping online on another day instead.
Nov 06, 2017The holiday season is upon us. And with it, holiday travel. Whether you have to fly across the state or the country, it's nice to see family but not always fun to get there. Large crowds, inflated ticket prices and tons of Christmas music - it can be a headache. And even worse when see that dreaded word, 'delayed' once you get to the airport. SmartAsset has you covered. Brush up on your passenger rights, and enjoy every bit of that well-deserved time off.
Apr 21, 2016Millions of people fly over the holidays and particularly during the week of the Thanksgiving holiday. If that's one of your Thanksgiving traditions, it's a good idea to prepare yourself for the potential chaos and stress of airports, luggage and the inevitable crying babies. Keep these tips in mind and it'll be easier to keep your cool.
Nov 17, 2017Welcome to SmartAsset's first video blog. I'm AJ Smith, the new managing editor here at SmartAsset. With a decade of journalism experience mainly in television, I'm excited to bring video blogs to the website. We will be using them to help enhance the SmartAsset experience- with interviews, introductions to new products and general tips for making smarter financial decisions.
Nov 07, 2017As the US economy was smarting from the housing crash of 2008, the anticipated “next shoe to drop” was supposed to be in commercial real estate. While foreclosures on individual homes measure in the hundred thousands of dollars, foreclosures in commercial properties such as hotels and shopping malls measure in the millions! Widespread commercial foreclosure would have been another disaster to the US economy.
Dec 24, 2014The Internal Revenue Service is warning of a popular scam targeting U.S. taxpayers. The phone scam is widespread. It's been reported in all fifty states throughout the country aimed at taxpayers and recent immigrants. SmartAsset has the details so you don't become a victim.
Jan 02, 2015The days are now shorter. It's inevitable - winter is coming! Maybe you've already turned the heat on for one or two nights. Or maybe you're trying to tough it out. A big concern for many of us is the increased cost of heating and our electric bills in the colder months. For help, we can look to a perhaps strange source - cities.
Jan 02, 2015We all understand it: Bring Your Own Beverage. Choosing to BYOB to a restaurant – with a beverage license or not - can be a wonderful way to eat out while cutting costs. There’s a reason Zagat added “BYOB” to the “special features” section of their newest editions. Bringing your own beer and wine for a night out is a favorable factor for restaurant-goers. But before you start swigging Three Buck Chuck at the nicest restaurants in town, learn how to BYOB properly.
Dec 24, 2014The latest jobs report is finally out. Despite some dreary predictions from economic experts, the numbers are actually better than expected. According to the report compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added approximately 204,000 jobs in October. That is double the 120,000 that was initially projected. That also makes 44 consecutive months that jobs have been added, suggesting that the economy is maintaining its moderate pace to recovery.
Dec 24, 2014Ever dreamt about giving up your career, leading a laid-back life and spending more time with family and friends doing what you love? Often times, the pressure to succeed financially drives our decisions and our life seems to revolve around our bank account. This doesn't need to be the case, as more Americans are finding out. Many well-educated, intelligent and connected individuals have made a conscious decision to make less, live well under their means and to focus on other aspects of life.
Dec 24, 2014In today's social media landscape, companies are turning more and more to sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to reach out to fans. Nearly all top brands these days actually have dedicated social media teams that are light years ahead of traditional customer service reps in terms of knowledge and efficiency.
Dec 24, 2014For the average American, landing a job that offers health insurance, vacation pay and a retirement plan would be a huge score. For employees working in the tech and social media sectors, benefits like these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Dec 22, 2016Turkey dinner, family time, pumpkin pie... and work? That's right - the latest in Black Friday sales involves stores opening on Thanksgiving Day. While this shopping event has been starting earlier and earlier, this year several stores are letting customers in early on Thursday, November 28th. Thanksgiving Day.
Jan 02, 201530.7 billion dollars. $30,700,000,000. That's the richest endowment of any U.S. university and it belongs to Harvard. It's no big surprise that Harvard sits at the top of the list for university endowments but $30 billion is pretty astounding. That's $10 billion more than the next highest endowment which belongs to Yale University(again, big surprise).
Dec 22, 2016It's been just over a year since Superstorm Sandy touched down in New York City but the effects are still being felt throughout the region. Most of us were only able to experience the storm through photographs and news reports but it impacted the lives of millions of people. Residents of NYC were left without power, gasoline, subway access and more for days to weeks to months and beyond. Even schools and businesses were closed while the city tried to restore order in the days that followed the storm.
Mar 22, 2016$470 billion dollars. Can you even wrap your head around this planet-sized number?
Jan 02, 2015Organization can help you keep up with your household budget, but what if the person you trust with your investments isn't organized? It could cost you money.
Sep 20, 2016Everyone's talking about weddings. Well, really they're talking about wedding dollars.
Dec 23, 2014Five years after the Great Recession and resulting financial crisis, the economy still has not recovered to the degree that economists and policy makers had hoped. Unemployment is on the decline, the threat of deflation has abated, and the stock market is at all-time highs. Yet Americans are not spending. Consumer spending is the final piece to an economic recovery. Without it, the present recovery has remained tenuous, fueled as much by Federal Reserve action as by true growth.
Dec 23, 2014"Okay, but what are you being on Saturday?" my friend asks as I tell her my genius costume for Thursday, October 31st. No worries, I have already thought of that too! Halloween encompasses more than just one night and definitely more than one costume for most of us these days - but why? Here are the reasons I felt the need to have multiple looks ready for this year's All Hallow's Eve.
Jan 02, 2015Chocolate lovers are getting a fright. The price of your favorite treats could soon skyrocket. A boost in demand paired with bad weather in key cocoa-producing regions is driving up production costs for chocolate manufacturers. That means satisfying your sweet tooth may become more expensive.
Jan 02, 2015If you’re looking to save on monthly entertainment expenses but can’t conceive of cutting streaming subscriptions from your life, you may be in luck.
Dec 22, 2016It's not what you know, it's what you don't know. Increasingly, we are learning just how little Americans know about finances. It's hurting us all.
Dec 23, 2014If you've ever been out to eat with a group of people, you're probably aware that many restaurants have an automatic gratuity policy when it comes to large parties. Now the IRS is planning to change the way that automatic tips are handled and it could have negative tax implications for restaurant employees... and customers!
Dec 23, 2014October 31st was once a holiday for kids. Filled with unlimited amounts of free candy, staying up past bedtime and dressing up as the best superhero or princess, Halloween was right up there with Christmas and birthdays. And let's face it - who doesn't love staying up late, indulging in chocolate, and dressing up as whatever you please? I myself have been scouring the Internet for the best interpretations of Wes Anderson film characters all month long.
Dec 23, 2014A downshift in the nation's economy over the last five years has left many small businesses struggling for survival. But at least one group has seen business thrive. According to a new study from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses is set to double this year over figures from 2002.
Jan 29, 2015Being environmentally friendly has grown into more than just a trend over the past several years. Beyond basic energy-saving steps, consumers are now demanding greener homes. Often they want entire communities with resource efficient, environmentally sound features. Since green properties have an increased value to customers, energy saving buildings are more attractive for buyers, sellers and businesses. If you still aren't convinced, check out some of the best aspects of green living.