A replacement for cash – 7 things not to do with your refund – Top 30 cities: How much does it cost to rent an apartment?

A replacement for cash

This is going to replace cash? – Today, many Millennials are using Venmo. This mobile app used to allow people to pay one another is growing in popularity. Large financial institutions are taking notice and are trying to get in the game. Later this year, banks will be coming out with their own such app. Be on the lookout for Zelle. The intention is to have a mobile and online money-transfer network which will allow any customer of nearly every U.S. bank to send money to another customer of any other bank using only a phone number or email address.

7 things not to do with your refund

What are you doing with your tax refund? – The average return is about $3,000. Are you investing the money? Paying down debt? Splurging on something? A dream vacation? A new 65-inch TV? Here are 7 things not to do with your refund.

SALE! SALE! SALE!

SALE! 40% off – Did I get your attention? Almost half the women in America surveyed indicated that they won’t even enter a store unless there isn’t a discount of 41% or more advertised.

Home prices up 5.7%

Home prices are up – The 20-city composite S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 5.7% gain in home prices y/y in January, versus the Bloomberg expectation of a 5.6% increase. Month-over-month (m/m), home prices were up 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis for January, topping forecasts calling for a 0.7% gain.

New York is still the top dog

Image credit: Denis Messié

How much it costs to rent a 1-bedroom in 30 major cities around the worldIt’s no surprise that rents in New York and San Francisco are high, but are they higher than other cities around the world? Yup, they are ranked #1 and #2.

Not just yet

Amazon cashier-less stores not opening just yet – I recently mentioned that Amazon Go – the company’s new grocery chain — has no cashiers. The stores have been open in test mode, only serving company employees for now. It planned to open soon, but that seems to have hit a slight glitch.

How to speed cargo shipments for less

Drones as big as 747s delivering packages? – I have been envisioning and dreading the crow-sized drones flying all over my neighborhood delivering packages. This fear and anxiety will likely be a reality sooner than we think, but could there be larger delivery options coming our way? Drones the size of commercial jet airliners? Well, no, not really, but there are plans in the works to lower shipping costs and maximize the time it takes to ship cargo with hybrid boat/airplane-like delivery devices. Just keep them out of my neighborhood please.

Consumer Reports Recommendations

Looking for headphones? Consumer reports has a report on headphones costing under $100. Their top option is a pair from Panasonic… The model is the RP-TCM… and they are selling for less than $15 on Amazon.

Recently, Apple announced that they are releasing a new line of tablets with the 9-inch model selling for just $329 – the lowest price Apple has ever charged. Consumer Reports has a new report out on the best tablets under $300. Their top recommendation is by ASUS. It is selling for under $200 at Amazon.

They also compared tax software. If you haven’t started your taxes yet, what are you waiting for? You have about three weeks left.

A different idea

Yesterday, I wrote about opportunities to set up little houses on your property to help the homeless situation. Would giving the people who on the brink of becoming homeless $1,000 help them stay off the streets? Researchers at Notre Dame seem to think so. Their 2016 study found that giving the near-homeless roughly $1,000 in “emergency cash” substantially reduced the chances they would end up on the street — over both the short and long term.

New cable cutting

Comcast is planning to rebrand and expand a streaming video option for broadband subscribers who do not want to pay for a traditional cable package. The service, dubbed Xfinity Instant TV, will be priced as low as $15 a month to roughly $40 a month, sources told Reuters. Comcast will include major broadcast networks as well as add-on options.

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