April 2018 12
HAVING A SAVINGS GOAL IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR
Maryann Akinboyewa, a 24-year-old public relations manager for the Penny Hoarder, started a spending freeze that she hopes will allow her to pay off her student loans. Beginning New Year’s Day, she set a strict budget for herself and vowed to stick with it for 12 months.
She sets aside enough money to pay for necessities, such as utilities, rent, groceries, and student loans. She reserves a small portion for miscellaneous expenses and allows herself $50 a month to pay for meals out. Whatever is left over gets socked away in savings. ‘If it’s not in the budget, I don’t spend money on it,’ she says. Her commitment to the freeze has paid off. In just three months, she has saved a little over $2,000.
Saving a fortune isn’t realistic. However, it is realistic to have $1 million in a retirement account by the age of 65, if you invest a portion of your paycheck in stocks and let the power of compounding interest work some magic.
Given that the median household income is $59,039 — according to the U.S. Census Bureau — it would take about 17 years to amass $1 million if a person earning that much saved every cent of every paycheck.
Costco membership comes with some obvious perks – namely, access to the retail chain and its food court.
But according to dozens of Costco workers who spoke with Business Insider, being a member doesn’t entitle you to do whatever you want.
While Costco made Glassdoor’s list of best places to work in 2017, employees still had several complaints about shoppers’ rude and inconvenient behavior.
Business Insider spoke to more than two dozen Costco employees about the things they want to tell members but can’t. Some of their responses focused on obvious problems, like members being mean and inconsiderate. But some of the tips were more instructive.
Americans spend, on average, $33,391 on their weddings, according to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study. And that’s not even including the amount they spend on an engagement ring. The cost of a wedding depends on a wide variety of factors, including the amount of guests, the ceremony site, the time of year, the decor, and of course, the city that you decide to host the wedding in.
While there’s a current trend in hosting fewer guests, the average cost per guest is increasing, due to couples wanting to create a unique and memorable experience for all those involved, The Knot found.
The tradition of the bride’s family paying for the wedding isn’t rapidly changing. “On average, the bride’s parents contribute 45% (56% for high spenders) of the overall wedding budget; the bride and groom contribute 41% (28% for high spenders); and the groom’s parents contribute 13% (15% for high spenders),” says the study.
In some places across the US, the average wedding cost is much lower than the national average. In New Mexico, for example, the average wedding cost is almost half the national average at $17,584. But some places spend much more.
The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study looked into which cities and regions across Americans are shelling out the most cash for their big day. Click through to see the top 25 places where the average wedding cost is higher than the national average.
THE MONA LISA
Ever heard of it? The answer is most likely yes, considering it is the most famous painting in the world. The criminal, Vincenzo Perugia, was a handyman working at the Louvre, where the painting is displayed.
In 1911, he hid in a closet until the museum closed and then took off with it with two other handymen. It was finally recovered and returned to the Louvre in 1913 after Perugia attempted to sell it to an art dealer in Italy. This painting tops the list of the most expensive things ever stolen with a price tag of at least $2 billion.
Buying used items is one of the top ways to consistently save money. However, not every used item is a good value. In fact, sometimes buying secondhand could endanger your or your family’s well-being, or end up costing you more in the long run.
Some things really are better the second time around. In fact, many used items can be every bit as good as those purchased new. Plus, buying used is almost guaranteed to save you cash.
So, without further ado, following is our list of the top 10 things you should never buy new.
Today, 1% of the U.S. population controls nearly 40% of its wealth. This level of inequality is not the first time wealth has been so unevenly distributed in the United States. During the gilded age, just one Rockefeller or one Vanderbilt controlled wealth equal to a large fraction of the nation’s total GDP.
John D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest man in American history, is estimated to have been worth over one-quarter of a trillion dollars, inflation-adjusted, when he died — which is in a different class than America’s wealthiest today. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren buffet are each worth less than half what Rockefeller was worth.
Rockefeller, who was born and raised in upstate New York, helped shape both the city and the broader state’s history — as did his family. Rockefeller Center is only one small example of the impact Rockefeller had on New York state — those two names are forever linked. This is but one of many examples of the nation’s extremely wealthy becoming a significant part of an area’s identity.
A more recent example is Warren Buffett, who was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett continues to live there in a modest home, and he is an active philanthropist in his state.
While not every state in the country served as the childhood home for one of the nation’s extremely wealthy, every state has borne at least one person or family worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Not all of these richest people are still alive, and many moved out of state never to return. Still, these states can claim they contributed to the start of at least one of America’s financial elite. Reviewing estimates from a variety of sources and adjusting for inflation, 24/7 Wall St. identified the richest person of all time in every state.
A 2017 GOBankingRates survey revealed that more than half of Americans splurge on guilty pleasures. If you frequent the bars on weekends, eat fast food or smoke cigarettes, you’re probably one of these people who drops a lot of dough on expenses that can drain your bank account.
HISTORY’S BIGGEST TAX CHEATS
There’s an old saying that the only two things you can’t avoid are death and taxes, but whoever said that clearly hasn’t been to the Grand Caymans. The reality is that, throughout history, people have found ways — legal and otherwise — to duck taxes.
Whether they hid assets in offshore bank accounts or organized an armed rebellion, some of history’s biggest tax cheats are an eclectic bunch and a reminder that one person’s tax cheat can just as easily be someone else’s revolutionary hero.