Top 25 Careers, Building a Wall, Flights to Europe, and Big Macs

1: Are you wasting money?

There are so many ways to waste money. People spend money unnecessarily on many things. One of the easiest unnecessary expenses would be bank fees and credit card fees. The typical household pays a total of $43 in monthly bank and credit card fees, according to a study published by professors from the University of California, Davis, and Dartmouth College. If you switched to institutions that charged no fees and instead invested that $43 a month for the next 20 years, it could grow to more than $22,000, assuming a hypothetical compound annual growth rate of 7%.

2: Credit card debt

Speaking of credit card debt. The average balance, for those who carry a balance, has increased to $16,061. That’s as on the end of the third quarter of 2016. Unfortunately, debt is a way of life for Americans, with overall U.S. household debt increasing by 11% in the past decade. If you have credit card debt, it may not be completely your fault. The rise in the cost of living has outpaced income growth over the past 13 years. Median household income has grown 28% since 2003, but expenses have outpaced it significantly. Medical costs increased by 57% and food and beverage prices by 36% in that same span. That’s not to say that you can now justify having credit card debt and continue to let it grow. Do everything you can to pay it off as quickly as you can.

3: Career

Every January, Glassdoor publishes its list of the best jobs of the year. If you have been reading this website for a while, you probably already know that I am a big proponent of STEM degrees, for those planning on attending college. While most of the careers on this list are STEM related, not all of them are! There are several other careers on the list. However, for the second year in a row, the top spot goes to data scientist. “This report reinforces that the best jobs are highly-skilled and are staying ahead of the growing trend toward workplace automation,” Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, tells Business Insider. He explains that the skills helping workers stay ahead of automation are creativity, judgment, and flexibility.

4: I really thought it was a metaphor

During an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security, President Trump plans to sign an executive order to direct federal funds to be shifted toward the building of a wall on the southern border that became a signature promise of his campaign.

Infographic: The Economics of Trump's Mexico Wall | Statista
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5: Fly to Europe for under $500!

OK, call me spoiled, but if I was to fly to Europe or Australia from Los Angeles, I would want to fly in a class above coach. It’s a 13 hour flight. You understand. However, if you are flying from the east coast of the USA to Europe, you could fly for under $500. How? Set price alerts. Travel writer Sarah Schmalbruch explains how she did it and which travel website she used. A quick search informed her that a round-trip flight flying out of JFK in NYC and into either Orly or Charles de Gaulle in Paris would cost just about $500. Pretty cool!

6: When your loved ones voted the other way

Did you vote for Clinton? Did you vote for Trump? Do you know anyone who voted the other way? The New York Times video below looks at two instances of a parent voting one way and their offspring voting the other way.

 

7: How can I save more money?

Question: I have a job. I need to pay for house/food/clothes etc.. I also want to buy a car so I can move around independently. How can I save money and how can I assure that when I get retired I have enough to live well?

Answer: Saving money should be a priority. All your expenses should revolve around this. When establishing a budget and determining how much you can spend, you should first carve off 10% to 15% of your wages.

If you earn $50K / year, then you need to carve off $5,000 to $7,500 and invest that money for your future. You would then have to figure out how to live on the rest.

The more you save and invest, and even more importantly, the earlier you start, the more money you will have when you retire.

A 30-year old who saves $5,000 a year and invests that money in an S&P 500 account (which historically has returned 9.70% including dividends) will have $1.3 million when they retire at 65 years of age.

If they started saving and investing $5,000 a year when they were 25, they would have over $2.0 million when they reach their 65th birthday.

The earlier you start, the more you have. Presumably, you will receive salary increases each year. If you increase your savings rate with each raise, you will (obviously) have more money when you retire.

The key is to ignore what your friends and family are spending money on. Many people feel that they have to keep up with their friends’ spending habits. If your friends buy a $50,000 car, you don’t have to. If your friends buy a $750,000 house, you don’t have to. Try to live below your means and save as much as you can. That’s the key.

(originally published on Quora)

8: Two all beef patties…

You know the jingle. You know what’s next: special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion, on a sesame seed bun. Now, McDonald’s is giving away jars of its  special sauce! McDonald’s is making bottles of its famous Big Mac sauce available in the US for the first time. The fast-food chain will be offering 10,000 bottles of the sauce at restaurants nationwide and through its social media accounts today, starting January 26.

9: Six prerequisites for buying a house

Whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, once you find a house that feels like home, you’ll want to buy it as soon as possible. However, it’s not quite that simple. Many financial issues will determine whether you’ll be able to purchase the house, as well as the terms of your mortgage. Knowing this information in advance will help you make better decisions and will make your mortgage approval process go smoothly and quickly. These six prerequisites are necessary when you are considering buying a house. Check ’em out.

10: How long should I keep records?

Have you ever wondered why people park their cars in their driveways instead of in their garages? It’s likely because they have too much stuff. There’s a lot of stuff that you can probably don’t need anymore and that you can get rid off. Do you have boxes of old tax returns? Do you know how many years you should keep your tax returns? Here’s what the IRS suggests:

Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

Period of Limitations that apply to income tax returns:

  1. Keep records for 3 years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to you.
  2. Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return.
  3. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.
  4. Keep records for 6 years if you do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return.
  5. Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return.
  6. Keep records indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return.
  7. Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.

11: Chart of the day

Infographic: Most Important Trading Partners of the United States | Statista
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