Year: 2022

Consumers spending more money as conditions improve

As the personal financial situations of Americans continued to build momentum, consumer spending surged in July. However, just because more people are spending money with bad credit history, doesn’t mean you should adopt financial habits that aren’t cohesive with your budget. Falling behind on your monthly expenses can lead to trouble and force you to utilize a signature loan to keep your financial footing.

According to a report from the Department of Commerce, overall retail sales rose 0.8 percent in July. While this may not seem like a notable change, it was the sharpest increase experienced in the past five months.

This could be an indicator that Americans are gaining confidence in their financial standings after remaining frugal during the first half of 2012. Meanwhile, the more money consumers inject into the economy, the quicker it might rebound in the latter half of the year.

Additionally, this could also cause many companies to expand payrolls to help handle the influx of activity.

Consumers spending more money as conditions improveBusinesses added an estimated 163,000 jobs in March, which was the biggest employment gain experienced since January, according to the Department of Labor. If consumers continue to spend money, this rate could remain consistent through the remainder of the year.

Although the money Americans spend could help bolster the overall economy, this doesn’t mean you have to engage in wasteful spending. Wasting money on small purchases here and there may not seem like very much individually, but add these expenses up, and they could reveal major leaks in your budget.

Where Do Consumers Waste Money?

Gasoline is one major expense that many Americans waste money on. Specifically, some car owners convince themselves that their vehicles require higher-grade fuel. Unless you own a luxury vehicle, regular should do just fine.

Meanwhile, another wasteful spending habit among drivers is changing their oil too soon. In the past, it was recommended to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles. However, advancements in engine technology and the introduction of synthetic oil has expanded this to between 5,000 and 7,000 miles, according to Kiplinger.

This distance can vary depending on a vehicle’s make, model and age, so read the manual or consult a mechanic to know when you should take it in for servicing.

Unhealthy Habits

Many people have vices, but some are much more expensive than others. For example, smoking cigarettes is damaging to both your health and wallet.

Not only are the short-term implications of this habitat damaging, but it could result in higher health insurance costs and medical bills later on in life. According to the MIT Press, the various expenses of smoking can add up to more than $100,000 during a person’s lifetime.

Brand Names Versus Generic

The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, instead for reaching for a brand name product, see if there is a comparable generic brand of similar qualify. These items are often much more affordable than their counterparts.

One of the biggest price differences between generic and brand name products can be found among pharmaceuticals. The cost of prescription drugs can be a burden on any budget. Next time you get a prescription, ask your pharmacist or doctor if there is a generic alternative that could help you save money without sacrificing your wellbeing.…

Some Lenders Helping With Student Debt Burden

To help college graduates handle crushing student debt levels, many lenders are now offering services to help young Americans handle loan repayments. In today’s job market, many college graduates are finding it difficult to find employment and pay off these debts. However, if you find a job, but still need some extra financial assistance in an emergency, you may be able to utilize a payday loan until your next paycheck arrives.

According to student loan lender Williams Mie, the average young American is now on the hook for $23,300 worth of student debt, CNBC reports. Meanwhile an estimated 10 percent of students owe more than $54,000.

These debt levels have surged nearly 500 percent during the past 15 years. To complicate the situation, tightened lending standards have made it harder to qualify for these lines of credit. Meanwhile, young Americans who have any missteps in their early stages of repayment may experience swifter consequences than in the past.

One of the biggest obstacles making it difficult for college-bound students to qualify for loans is a lack of credit history. However, according to the news source, this is only half the battle. Even those consumers who qualify for student loans, managing their debt afterward has proved to be a larger issue.

To curb this issue, Experian has teamed up with Consumer Action, the Jump$tart Coalition and other financial institutions and nonprofits to give students the needed skills to manage their debt.

Specifically, many families are being urged to consider federal student loans, rather than those from private lenders. These options are often more affordable and come with lower interest rates.

Additionally, to attract more borrowers, certain private lenders now offer incentive programs to make student loan repayments more affordable. For example, Wells Fargo may reduce interest rates if a student graduates or is consistent with their payments.

However, even if it gets more affordable to pay back student debt in the near future, you should still formulate a sound repayment plan that fits your financial lifestyle.

Reduce The Burden Of Student Debt

To stay on top of your student loan payments, consider enrolling in automatic transactions. This could make your life much easier. If a payment is late, or you forget to make one altogether, this could have a negative impact on your overall credit score.

By enrolling in automatic payments, you may be able to qualify for a slightly lower interest rate. Since payment is guaranteed, your lender could consider you less of a risk, according to Real Simple.

This perk is available through most federal programs and certain private lenders. A quick phone call or email to the company could save you a considerable amount of money over the lifespan of the loan.

Consolidate Your School Loans

Consolidating your student loans can also be a smart move. By rolling multiple loan balances into one, you will only have to deal with one interest rate and one monthly payment. However, this may only be an option on government student loans.…

Coping With The Rising Cost Of Child Care

The cost of child care has surged during recent years. In fact, in many states it’s now more expensive than rent. If you ever find yourself in a financial hole trying to balance parenting and work, you may be able to use a payday loan advance for some relief.

According to Child Care Aware of America, the average cost of infant care increased 2 percent during the course of 2022, FinExperts reports. As a result, child care is the largest expense for many households.

On a state-by-state basis, the most expensive area for infant child care was Massachusetts at $15,000 per year, the report said. In contrast, the most affordable was Mississippi, at an annual expense of $4,600.

Meanwhile, the average cost of providing child care for a four-year old increased 4 percent during the same period. Massachusetts was still the most expensive state for this type of care at $11,700 per year. Conversely, it cost households in Mississippi just $3,900.

“Child care costs have become a bigger burden for parents since the economy turned,” Child Care Aware interim director Ollie Smith told the news source. “When you talk about the cost being $15,000 a year, people just cannot afford to pay that now.”

During the course of 2022, an estimated 11 million children under the age of five were in child care. This has forced many families to cut back spending in other areas, such as food and gasoline, so their children have a place to go while they are at work.

This has caused many parents to opt for unlicensed child care centers to save. However, since these businesses aren’t held to stringent health and safety standards, this decision could potentially put a child’s well-being at risk.

Use Tax Credits To Save On Child Care

Although you want what’s best for your children, the cost of child care could prevent this natural instinct. However, according to Smart Money, there may be a few ways to adjust your budget to free up some extra funds to put toward child care.

Even if you aren’t feeling the financial burden of child care, you may be able to reach out to the government for assistance. The Child and Dependent Care Credit allows parents to claim money on their taxes. This varies depending on how many children you have.

While this could yield a hefty tax return, make sure to put these funds to good use, rather than wasting the money on frivolous expenses.

Ask About Employer Discounts

To help cope with the rising cost of child care, certain employers now team up with child care centers to give their employees relief. While this may not be available at every company, contact your human resources department to see if they have any perks to help. Even if they only subsidize the expense, every little bit helps.

Share The Financial Burden With Friends

An increasingly popular option to save on child care costs is to team up with another family. By doing this, you could hire a babysitter or nanny to watch two children rather than one at half the cost.

Finding an individual that can meet the needs and fit the schedules of two different families may take some finagling, but your patience could pay off.…

Consumers More Confident In Financial Future

As the economy slowly builds momentum, a greater number of Americans are feeling more secure about their financial positions. If you feel your situation has improved during the past few months, but still find yourself falling behind on your monthly expenses, you may be able to utilize a signature loan to stay out of more damaging debt.

The Country Financial Security Index edged 0.8 points higher in March to an overall mark of 65.9. While this was only a marginal change, it was an improvement from February when the confidence level declined 1.1 points.

Meanwhile, a growing number of Americans are also gaining confidence in their long-term financial goals. For example, 61 percent of respondents said they feel they now have enough financial resources to pay their children’s college tuition. In addition, 58 percent claim they will be able to retire comfortably, even though retirees are now spending much longer out of the workforce than in the past.

Young Adults Gain More Financial Confidence

Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were found to be the most financially optimistic age group, the report said. Specifically, 49 percent of respondents in this demographic are positive about their financial future. This was a 15-point increase from last month and six points higher than the next closest age group.

No matter your age, it’s important to have a financial plan that fits your lifestyle. If you have been putting off saving, starting sooner, rather than latter, could contribute to your financial success.

How To Save Money

Saving money is sometimes easier said than done. However, there are a number of major changes you can make to your financial lifestyle, such as opening a high-yield savings account that can help, but there are other minor measures you can take to get the ball rolling.

Cook At Home

Although going out to restaurants can be a fun experience, if you do it too often, you could spread your budget too thin. Having a busy work schedule can make this more difficult. However, try to cook dinner at home at least once per week and slowly increase the frequency over time.

Additionally, rather than paying to eat lunch every day at work, cooking dinner at home and taking your leftovers to the office can also free up a ton of extra cash to put into savings.

Pay Your Bills On Time

You may have a number of different monthly expenses you need to keep track of. However, after a while this can start to be a lot to remember.

For some peace of mind, enroll in automatic payments. Not only can this simplify your life, it could prevent you from having to pay any late fees. While one late fee here and there may not kill you, if you make it a habit, these added costs could leave you in a serious financial hole.…

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