Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 essential money tips for Generation X. Also in the news: Sales tax holidays, the best ways to send money to your college student, and why Americans are more financially content.

5 Essential Money Tips for Generation X
The clock is ticking towards 50.

Sales Tax Holidays Save Shoppers Money on Back-to-School
Find out if your state has one.

Best Ways to Send Money to Your College Student
Don’t pay excessive fees.

Americans are more financially content than they’ve been in a decade

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

siblingsToday’s top story: How your taxes have changed if you’re recently divorced. Also in the news: What every LGBT taxpayer needs to know, financial goals every GenXer should have, and five tools to get your budget in order.

Here’s How Your Taxes Changed If You Just Got Divorced
It’s a different tax world.

Every LGBT Taxpayer Needs to Read This
Marriage equality hasn’t made filing taxes any easier.

7 Financial Goals Every GenXer Should Have
Welcome to middle age!

5 tools to get your budget in order
And how to stick to it.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

401k-planToday’s top story: How Generation X can get back on track for retirement. Also in the news: What financially successful people do differently, how to save on your next water heater, and why your daily routine could be costing you big bucks.

How Generation X Can Get Back on Track for Retirement
Before it’s too late.

12 Things Financially Successful People Do Differently
Never too late to start.

How to Save When You Buy Your Next Water Heater
Better for the environment and your wallet.

5 Habits That Are Costing You Big Money
What does your daily routine cost you?

8 Times When It’s OK to Ding Your Credit Score
But only 8!

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

downloadToday’s top story: How a secured credit card could help you build your credit. Also in the news: Generations X and Y race to prepare for retirement, how to handle your debt when you’ve lost your job, and an identity theft reveals how he empties your bank account.

The Best Secured Credit Cards in America
How to build or improve your credit.

Gen X Vs. Gen Y: How Retirement Ready Is Each Generation?
Which generation is best prepared for retirement?

What to Do About Debt When You’ve Lost Your Job
You cannot ignore it.

An Identity Thief Explains the Art of Emptying Your Bank Account
It’s shockingly easy.

4 phone calls that can save you a ton of money
Savings are just a phone call away.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How Generation X should plan for retirement. Also in the news: Factors that affect your Social Security benefits, five things that can ruin your tax refund, and important financial steps widows and widowers need to take.

Retirement planning steps for Generation X
Time’s running out.

3 Factors That Affect Your Social Security Benefits
How to plan ahead.

5 things that can kill a tax refund
Don’t get caught off guard.

8 Important Financial Steps for Widows and Widowers to Take
Important steps to take during a difficult time.

Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA: Which Is Right for You?
The pros and cons of each retirement plan.

Why millennials aren’t saving

DrowningSavings rates for adults under 35 plunged from 5 percent in 2009 to a negative 2 percent, according to Moody’s Analytics, and the consequences are potentially huge. Here’s how a Wall Street Journal writer put it:

“A lack of savings increases the vulnerability of young workers in the postrecession economy, leaving many without a financial cushion for unexpected expenses, raising the difficulty of job transitions and leaving them further away from goals like eventual homeownership—let alone retirement….Those who don’t save are unlikely to be wealthy in the future, meaning American angst over wealth inequality seems poised to persist if most millennials are unable to save or choose not to.”

Unfortunately, the two “real people” quoted in the story both have college educations and decent jobs. The first has credit card debt (a synonym for “frivolous spending”) and would rather spend on “her social life and travel” while the second finds investments “too complicated.” These two reinforce the narrative that the only reason people don’t save is because they don’t want to.

In reality, most people under 35 don’t have a college degree. They have a higher unemployment rate than their elders and much smaller incomes–the median for households headed by someone under 35 was $35,300 in 2013, down from $37,600 in 2010. As the WSJ article notes, wages for those 35 and under have fallen 9 percent, in inflation-adjusted terms, since 1995.

(Millennials, by the way, also don’t have much credit card debt. In the 2010 survey, the latest for which age breakdowns are available, fewer than 40 percent of under-35 households carried credit card balances, and the median amount owed was $1,600.)

Saving on small incomes is, of course, possible–and essential if you ever hope to get ahead. But any discussion of savings among the young should acknowledge how much harder it is to do in an era of falling incomes. Today’s millennials have it tougher than Generation X did at their age, and way, way tougher than the Baby Boomers. It may comfort older, wealthier Americans to imagine the younger generation is just more frivolous. But that does a disservice to millennials, and to our understanding of the real causes of wealth inequality.

 

 

 

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The retirement mistakes being made by Generation X. Also in the news: Why you shouldn’t use your debit card at a bar, committing to a budget, and how to avoid overspending triggers.

7 Retirement Mistakes Gen X Is Making
Timing is everything

4 Reasons Not to Use Your Debit Card at a Bar
How to avoid an identity theft hangover.

How to Actually Commit to a Budget: 7 Tips for Success
Tips for sticking to it.

Common Overspending Triggers that Can Wreck Your Budget
And how to avoid them.

What not to buy over Labor Day weekend
Not all sales are equal.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

CollegeWhy Generation X needs to accept the inevitable, coping with a layoff, and how the key to financial prosperity could be inside a funeral home.

Survey: Gen X seriously short on life insurance
Note to Gen Xers: You’re not getting any younger.

3 Ways You May Be Throwing Money Away Without Realizing It
Hands off that retirement account.

What to Do if You Just Got Laid Off
What you need to do once the panic subsides.

4 Tips to Help 30-Somethings Save for a Rainy Day
In every life, a little rain must fall.

10 Unusual Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well
What cruise ship entertainers, hot dog vendors, and morticians have in common.