Two in Five American Adults Do Not Have $400 Cash Foran Emergency: Fed Survey

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Americans have a sense of financial security today that they didn’t have five years ago (it is amazing what happens when America has someone in office who actually cares about this country). Despite this, saving money continues to be a difficulty for many.

In Japan, they save too much. In America, we spend too much.

The Federal Reserve released its Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2017 on Tuesday.

A pitiful state

According to it, approximately two out of five American adults admitted that if they had to meet any sudden expense for $400 then, they would most likely be unable to afford it, or would have to sell something or borrow the money to meet the expense.

So many Americans remain clueless. These types of people are mainly in California and New York, most likely considering the situation their states are in.

In addition and moreover, less than 40% of the working adults believed that their current saving methodology was adequate to secure them for their retirement years. One quarter of them, have zero savings for retirement.

Get a plan together

Referring to the findings of the report, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, pointed out that millions of Americans needed to urgently develop a saving habit before things got out of hand.

The survey on financial safety, carried out in November and December had a sample size of 12,000 persons from across the country.

The first such survey was conducted in 2013 and the rapid economic growth that America has witnessed since then is a key reason for its general optimistic outlook. This was well after the Patriots started to cheat and after the Frank/Greenspan recession tore into the economy.

Nearly 74% of the persons who participated in the survey confirmed that in 2017 they were financially OK or comfortable. In 2016, the same response was given by 70% and in 2013, the number was 63%.

Still not getting it?

Despite comfortable earnings, savings can be difficult. This is especially true of households operating on a tight budget. Loans—including credit cards, educational costs, etc.—can bear down upon a person’s leverage to save money.

For others, lack of a saving habit is the problem. Taking out savings and retirement fund allocations through direct debit before your paycheck reaches your checking account can solve this problem.

Money Can Indeed Buy Happiness Up to a Point: Study

Written by Benjamin Roussey

The Nature Human Behavior journal recently published a study based on a Gallup World Poll that surveyed above 1.7 million person form 164 countries. They researched the purchasing power in the US.

Dollars and answers about life and wellbeing to carry out the survey. They discovered that the definition of happiness was different for different income levels.  

The ideal income point—where you are happy with your achievements with respect to your goals and the achievements of others—was $95,000. $60,000 to $75,000 was the world average income at which you would be emotionally satisfied. And with Americans having to pay less taxes and those regulations going away, more Americans are reaching their income goals.

The “happiness point” varied from country to country. For the US it was $105,000. Income earned beyond the wellbeing threshold led to reduction in satisfaction and well-being.

Relationship between money and happiness

Andrew T. Jebb, the lead author of the study, explained that the correlation between happiness and money are more in the poor than among wealthy. When income grows from $10,000 to $30,000, the perceived happiness is greater than when income jumps from $100,000 vs. $130,000.

The reason why income beyond a limit does not translate into happiness is unclear. Jebb points out that it could be because income is more important for basic needs. Beyond that, social factors take over.

He also suggests that beyond a level the cost of making money—travel, number of hours of work, stress etc.—weigh in reducing the gains.

Components of the happiness equation

Money is not the only thing causing happiness (less people watched Han Solo in 2018 – perhaps that is why so many people are happy). A 2004 study published in the Psychological Bulletin inferred that marital happiness outweighed job and health satisfaction when it came to being satisfied in life.

A higher income will also make you happier but in the long term other factors may also play a role in the equation. Well, anyone could easily be happier if they don’t live in a violent liberal ghetto city like most of Chicago, most of Detroit, Oakland, Baltimore, and most of LA, for instance. That is just common sense. Just watch the show The Wire!

4 Money Habits We Should All Keep

Written by Dominique Bancey

Set a major financial goal. Making goals for your finances is one of the best things you could do. Whether it be an amount you wish to reach at the end of a week, month, or year, it will allow you to save without even thinking about it.

Budget. Budget. Budget. Growing up you probably always heard your parents talking about budgets, and even though you may have overlooked it, you need to pay attention to budgets. Making a budget at the beginning of each month will ensure that you do not spend more than you need to.

➢ Keep track of your net worth. Hearing ‘net worth’ is usually associated with businesses or even celebrities. However, it is not that difficult to calculate your own net worth. You can do so by summing up all your assets then subtracting your liabilities. By doing so on a schedule (every 3-6 months), you will ensure that you are sticking to the budgets you make each month.

Make a payment to your credit card every week. Usually, most persons tend to make payments to their credit card at the end of every month. However, it would be better to pay it at the end of each week. This will make sure that you do not spend money that should be contributed towards it, on something else.
➢ Keep a journal of what you spend for the month. It is good to build up a good money habit. Impulse spending each month leads to a bad money habit. Having a journal will ensure that you make regular payments each month.

Keep receipts. Always ask for a receipt whenever you make a purchase.

You do not necessarily have to keep them for a long period of time, but you could copy them into your journal so that you can keep track of exact spending habits.

Forming a good money habit is not easy, but following these tips (and more), could make it easier. Try these tips and build up your habits.

Until next time.

These Two Women Dominated in Finance

Written by Dominique Bancey

Finance and business is known to be a male-dominated field so even if there were women who could do better jobs than some of the men in the top positions, more than likely the men would still be promoted more than the women (unfortunate, right?). However, there are some women who have been able to make a name for themselves in the finance world. These women are known to be outstanding investors. Maybe we, not just women but men too, could all learn a lesson or two from them.

1. Muriel Siebert, Brokerage Founder.

A surprise to many, but Muriel never graduated from college (so how did she succeed?).She received entry-level research positions in finance, until eventually she made partner and went on to build the brokerage firm Muriel Siebert & Co. in 1967. When trying to get her firm registered with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), she hit a speedbump. Many of the men denied her and would not sponsor her applicated. But even through going through all this, she held on and her firm became the first woman-owned member of the NYSE. Even now, it is still the only national, woman-owned brokerage on the exchange. She passed away on August 24, 2013, but one important lesson to learn from her, is perseverance.

2. Geraldine Weiss, Investment Advisor.

Believe it or not, she was one of the first women to make it in this industry. She taught herself investing by reading books, eavesdropping on her parents’ conversation and studying Business and Finance in college. However, even with her qualifications, no investment firm would even look at her because this was a man’s world. At the age of 40, she began her own investment newsletter. She began signing her letters as ‘G. Weiss’ to avoid gender discrimination. In the mid-1970s (about 10 years later), she finally revealed who she was. She sent out her newsletter, Investment Quality Trends, for 37 years until she retired in 2003. The newsletter is still in operation and adheres to Weiss’ strategy.

No matter your gender, when in the finance industry, perseverance is an important key to remember. If you’re currently struggling, remind yourself of these women and never give up.

Until next time.

This One Mistake Could Be Costing You Major Money

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Now most of us know that it’s important to have good credit. But do we know why it is so important? Your credit score is a representation of your financial health (how timely you are with your payments, how much debt you have) and essentially shows a lender how risky you are as a borrower.

That means with a lower credit score, lenders see you as higher risk. They then charge you higher interest because they see you as more likely to default and not be able to pay them back. Having a low credit score can be costing you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in interest on loans, mortgages and credit cards.

So what can you do to improve your credit score? Check out some of the surprisingly simple methods below:

1. The first step is to know your credit score, and make sure it’s accurate. You have 3 different credit reports, one through Equifax, one through Experian and one with TransUnion. Especially with the recent breach in Equifax’s system, it’s good to stay on top of your score and make sure there is no inaccurate or suspicious activity. You can check your score once a year with the above bureaus, so a good piece of advice is to check with one every four months, so you can stay on top of your report.

2. Spend less than 30% of your credit card limit. If you’re using more than that, creditors see this as you stretching your means. If your limit is relatively low and you feel your spending is under control but you’re still hitting the 30% ceiling, call into your bank and see if they’ll raise your credit card limit. Easy fix.

3. Don’t open new credit cards or credit lines if you don’t have to. Opening a lot of new lines of credit within a short period of time is a signal you might be strapped for cash, and that can raise a red flag for creditors.

4. And last but not least, pay your bills on time! Being responsible with your payments and making your payments on time is always a good thing. Consistently paying your bills in a timely manner over the years is the solid foundation for good credit.

3 Easy Ways to Become a Millionaire by Retirement

Written by Salina Jivani

If you’re in your twenties or thirties, probably one of the last thoughts in your mind is retirement. But what if someone told you that if you do make it a thought right this very moment, retirement can mean at least a million dollars in your nest egg? If that sounds unreal, read on…because it’s not. Do these three simple things and that million dollars will be a reality when it comes time for you to chuck those chains to your 9 to 5 and retire.


Try automatic deposits

When you don’t see it, you won’t miss it. The best way to save is to have money direct deposited into a separate savings account every pay period. This way, you don’t have to worry about saving after the fact—it’s already made a normal part of your financial routine.


Make more, save more

The amount you put toward savings should increase as your pay increases. The more you make, the more you should put toward your savings account. The easiest way to manage this is by calculating what percentage of your income you’re currently saving, and maintain that percentage with each pay increase you receive.


Take advantage of your company’s 401K match program

Many companies offer a 401K match program, matching up to a certain percentage of whatever you invest every period in your own 401K. Take advantage of this “free money,” and if you can afford it, capitalize on this benefit by contributing the maximum amount your company matches.


Remember, the early bird catches the worm. And if you want to see yourself off to a healthy, timely retirement, starting now is the wisest choice you can make.

8 Ways to Help You Become a Millionaire

Written by Ariel Wallace

Here’s a helpful article that so many could only dream about ! Let’s face the facts there aren’t so many “Rags from Riches” stories, but there is hope alongside helpful hints to produce millionaire qualities. Focus more on the aspects of money rather than spending it. Learn how to make revenue and keep producing it. You don’t have to always land a dead end job that can sometimes lead to you to nowhere. Instead change the way you think. Train yourself to adapt to more informative ideas on wealth. Study the Forbes List and get intuned with Wall street. The world is playground if you take a chance and go outside.

1. Follow The Money:

Get engaged in seminars. A well known seminar is” Rich Dad, Poor Dad founded by Robert Kiyosaki. Another engaging way to learn how to establish your empire and stay afloat.

2 .Don’t Showoff, Show up!

You don’t have always look like money to have money! Even though it wouldn’t hurt your image there’s more important things to worry about. Do not let having less in your current situation discourage you, show up with the Will Power within you.
3. Save to Invest

If you are a Business minded person, you may want to think about putting money to the side to invest in your own business. A simple business account could make the difference.

4. Avoid Debt that doesn’t pay you

If you’re the type of person that loves to help everyone you may want to reconsider helping everyone you know. It’s like having a full pitcher of lemonade, the more you pour out the less you have.

5.Treat Money like A Jealous Wife

We all love money! So let’s treat our money like a very special insecure person. Learn not to be so wasteful, become more conservative. your money is your lifestyle what you eat, where you sleep, and what you wear.

6.Money doesn’t sleep… neither should you

You should always have a grand scheme of plans how to earn more income. Money doesn’t have a curfew and neither should you.

7.Poor makes no sense

We all heard the saying “You have not because you ask not” you are the only one that can change the situation. Being a Hard worker can quickly change the situation.

8.Get a millionaire mentor

What can be better than shadowing a millionaire? They have already lived out everything. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. The best experience yet.

5 Survival Strategies for Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Written by Salina Jivani

If there’s one thing most people dread, it’s checking the mail. Not only do you find an onslaught of senseless solicitations, inviting you to purchase timeshares, plots on a deserted mountain or stamps at the lowest prices ever, but you’re also inundated with cringe-worthy piles of bills. And while bills are an expected, routine part of life we unfortunately can’t escape, they can be particularly daunting to those of us whose paychecks are already stretched precariously thin. If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, here are a few tips that could help you save some cents, and perhaps start a nest egg for emergency funds in case you ever need them.

Sell what you don’t need

Everyone’s got junk. Just look around and you’re likely to see items like electronics, goods, even used clothes that you can sell someplace for some extra cash. Of course, electronic gadgets pay a pretty penny if you list them through channels like eBay or Craigslist. Don’t underestimate the value or salability of anything; as they say, one person’s junk is another’s treasure.

Do a side gig

Sometimes a full time job just doesn’t cut it. Luckily, you’ve got tons of other options out there that can help you earn some extra cash and stretch your budget wider. Consider jobs as a driver for Uber or Lyft, a pet sitter, a baby sitter, a tutor or other alternatives that speak to your interests and can help shoulder the burden of a few extra bills.

Eat in

One of the pricey parts of most people’s days is the money spent on food. A good meal could be anywhere from $5 – $10, which could total up to over $100 a week if you’re eating out at least twice a day. Hit the grocery store or a farmers market (where produce is less costly) and make your meals at home. Packing a brown bag lunch will not only save you costs, but will also prove more nutritional in the long run.

Consider a roommate

Probably the largest bill most people pay every month is their mortgage or rent. If you’ve got some extra space, it’s not a bad idea to consider renting out or subleasing (check your contract first!). Doing so can help you slash your payments in half, affording you more leeway with other financial obligations. Be sure to have your renter sign a lease agreement and collect the right forms of ID so that everything is official and on paper.


Uncover great deals and save money by couponing! The Sunday paper is filled with coupons often totaling over $35, easily, and the paper itself costs only $2! Use even a few coupons and you’ll recoup that money in no time, while filling your cart with name brand goods that can often be purchased even cheaper than generic brands. Plus, if done right, couponing can yield great returns for your money, affording you pricey goods, such as toiletries and household items, for much cheaper than if you were to buy them on a whim.

With a firm strategy and a monthly budget firmly in place, you can conquer even the smallest paycheck and stretch it far. Make sure you take your budgeting seriously and then stick to it—and you’ll be sure to make the most of every dollar and cent.

3 Spectacular Reward Credit Cards for People Who Have Thin Budgets

Written by Salina Jivani

We all love a little bang for our buck, right? Especially when it comes to earning rewards on credit cards? But it’s discouraging when those credit cards only reward people who spend a ton of money. Because, let’s be honest, most of us are on a budget here. And while $6,000 a month might not put a dent in Warren Buffet’s bank account, that’s way more than most of us spend, or can afford to spend, in a billing cycle to see the light of reward points.

How exactly do reward points or rewards cash work?

Most cards review your spend in a specific category (say the amount you spent on travel, groceries, gas or retail) during a billing cycle and give you a percentage of that spend back in either reward points or cash back. You can then use these points or cash in several ways, depending on what the credit card’s program offers. For example, it might give you the option to redeem your earnings in the form of a gift card or a check or, if you have a travel rewards card, you might be reimbursed for flights or hotel stays.

Say, for instance, your card gives you 3% back for groceries you charge on the card, and you spend $300 on groceries one month, you would have earned $9 for just that billing period—$9 you otherwise wouldn’t have! Plus, most cards give you different returns for different categories of spend. So while you earn 3% for groceries, you might earn an additional 2% for gas charges. Meaning your reward dollars will add up quickly!

But what if you’re on a tight budget and don’t have the luxury of spending hundreds of dollars a month to reap true rewards? Don’t worry, someone’s already thought about that.

Here are three cards designed for people on a limited budget, but who want to earn a decent amount of rewards for their spend.

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature

While many cards dictate what categories of spend you’ll earn rewards for, with the US Bank Cash + Visa Signature card, you get to select two categories of your choice that will receive the card’s highest tiered reward of 5% cash back, for a maximum reward of $2,000 per quarter. Purchases for groceries, gas or restaurants receive 2% back and the rest of your purchases will receive 1% back.

The card has no annual fee and a 0% APR introductory rate on balance transfers for the first year.

Barclaycard Cash Forward World Mastercard

If you’re looking for unlimited reward, this card’s for you. You’ll get 1.5% back for every purchase, plus an additional 5% when you decide to redeem your cashback earnings.

Does it get better than that?

Well, actually, yes it does. As a signup bonus, you’ll receive an additional $100 when you spend $500 in the first three months.

The Barclaycard Cash Forward World Mastercard has no annual fees and also a 0% APR introductory rate for the first 15 months.

Chase Freedom

For people who don’t have a high amount of card spend, the Chase Freedom card might be just right for you. Once you successfully sign up for this card, you’ll automatically receive a $150 sign up bonus, given you spend $500 on your card within the first three months. If you have an authorized user on your card and they make a purchase, any purchase, within that first three month period, you’ll receive an additional $25 in rewards.

Additionally, you’ll have a chance to rack up more rewards when you make purchases in specific categories of spend, which rotate every quarter. So for example, one quarter you might earn rewards for card charges in the categories of restaurants and department stores. The next quarter you might earn rewards when you spend in the categories of home improvement and ground transportation, etc. You’ll receive a set 5% cash back anytime you spend in the allocated categories. The maximum you can earn in a quarter for categories that fall in the 5% cash back bracket is $1500. All other purchases you make that don’t fall into the specified quarterly categories will earn 1% cashback.

The Chase Freedom card has no annual fees and also a 0% APR introductory rate for the first 15 months.

Remember that earning cash rewards on credit cards is a privilege that’s extended only to those who are responsible with their money and credit. If you have outstanding debt on your credit, make sure you manage that debt to get approved for and reap the benefits of these credit cards. Aside from scraping up some extra cash, you’ll gain the added benefit of being able to better afford luxuries later on in life.

3 Spectacular Credit Cards for People with Crummy Credit

Written  by Salina Jivani

You’re scoping out homes, cars, maybe even furniture. If you’ve got great or decent credit, these purchases probably don’t require a second thought. But the big, fat ugly C word can be quite a deterrent for those who are credit challenged. Unfortunately, bad credit can cost you great opportunities or even steep interest rates for things you dream of one day owning. But, luckily there is a silver lining to your credit woes.

A few credit card companies have programs designed specifically for not so great credit—and they’ve got some good benefits to boot. If you’ve got shoddy credit and are looking to either rebuild it, get access to quick cash or at least benefit from the perks of a good credit card, give one of these three candidates a try:

Milestone® Gold MasterCard®

The Milestone® Gold MasterCard® is a great unsecured credit card, meaning you don’t have to hand over a security deposit. (With a secured card, if you put a $100 as a security deposit, you’ll be able to use only $100 on your card, whereas with an unsecured credit card, you can spend whatever credit limit the credit card company approves you for.)

The good news is that this card is easy to qualify for if you’ve got bad credit, has a simple and quick qualification process and doesn’t post as a hard inquiry on your credit when you apply.

The cherry on top: previous bankruptcies are usually acceptable, given that you’re currently responsible with your finances.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® Credit Card

This credit card boasts a less-than-60-second approval process and is a solid choice for those who are looking to repair their credit because it reports to all three credit bureaus. Plus, it offers a flexible payment date to make sure you’re able to comfortably and timely make your card payments. Do this repeatedly and consistently and you’ll increase your credit score in the long run. And if you make several payments on time, you’ll be able to successfully request a credit limit increase—which equals more purchasing power!

The cherry on top: Earn 1% cashback on your gas and grocery purchases (terms apply).

Total VISA® Unsecured Credit Card

One of the last-ditch efforts for people who need a credit card in a hurry but have not-so-great credit. The bad news is there’s no rewards or cashback to be earned, but on the plus side, at least you have access to quick cash. Also, since it’s a Visa, it’s accepted worldwide and at many retailers across the nation. The card does report to all three major credit bureaus, so you’ll have a shot at improving your credit score if you make consistent, timely payments.

The cherry on top: Approval is often quick, if not instantaneous.

With credit cards comes responsibility, so do make every attempt to make your payments on time and remember that although not paying your credit card bills on time or in full might seem insignificant in light of other bills that pile up, it can have long-term, adverse effects on your credit—and your standard of living.