Your Money in the News – September 9th

This week: 7 reasons to swap credit for cash, millennials and money, cutting edge fintech, 5 good money books

7 Good Reasons to Swap Credit for Cash – The Motley Fool

Running up debt and paying mounds of interest are not aspects of owning a credit card that most companies want to highlight.  Sadly, massive debt has become a resounding echo in our spectrum of awareness. What can we do to solve this problem, or better yet, how can we avoid it in the first place? Simply switching to cash could lend a huge helping hand to many people.

Here are 7 good reasons to consider cash before swiping a credit card:

  1. Credit cards make it easy to accrue debt. Without a disciplined budget in mind, it’s easy to lose track of finances, especially the hefty interest rates that follow.
  2. High fees are a possible outcome of owning a credit card. Some annual fees range from $99-$450. Pro-tip:  In some cases, the fee can be worth it if you end up collecting more than the fee in rewards (think cash back, miles, discounts, etc.)
  3. Interest rates are something to be aware of when considering a credit card. Some companies may charge 25%-30% a year.
  4. Credit cards can run the risk of a lower credit score. Your score could take a hit if you pay a bill or two late. However, using credit cards responsibly can help to avoid such downsides. Paying outstanding loans on time is a great way to build credit.
  5. Stolen identity is an increasing possibility when using credit cards, especially with the influx of tech-savvy thieves.
  6. It’s easier to spend more while using a credit card. The act of physically counting cash allows us to recognize financial balance right away. Abiding by a budget is a bit easier when we have to look at what is in our wallet.
  7. There are credit card alternatives beyond cash.  A debit card can be a viable way to stay attuned to your budget better, as the money is immediately withdrawn from your account with each swipe.

Be aware of both the setbacks and the positive prospects of using credit cards so that you can decide what works best for you and your lifestyle habits.

Know that the power to swipe or simply pay in cash rests in your hands.

Hoot Gives Millennials a New Look for Their Debit Cards – Fortune

The spending habits of millennials are rapidly evolving and in sync with modern times.  Fast, efficient, and app-driven, many are seeking updated ways to regulate their spending habits and more recently, spending devices.

Meet Hoot, the new face of high-tech financial banking. This little gadget behaves just like any other debit card, with a few updates of course.

What Does it Look Like?

Hoot contains several features, most notably a small screen that is tethered by Bluetooth to the owner’s smartphone device along with a companion app.

What Does it Do?

Because of Hoot’s phone/card pairing, people can choose whatever photo they like and it will transpose it onto the card. Think Mastercard meets the Matrix. This AI driven device also contains a button, that when pressed, reveals the user’s bank information, balance, spending habits, and financial advice.

Why a Debit Card?

Surprisingly, many millennials do not use credit cards–63% to be exact.  Rather, some vie for a debit card as their primary payment mechanism due to the general mistrust or misguidance of the banking industry. In fact, many new regulations restrict the marketing of credit cards to young customers.

Ultimately, this high-tech debit card device has landed in the hands of millennials at just the right time. Presenting banking with an elevated, cutting-edge design may inspire younger generations to be a bit more mindful when it comes to finances.

This could become the new normal for our modern day wallets.

5 Great Books to Give Your Finances a Makeover – CNN Money

With so many personal finance books on the market ranging from topics of student loan debt to retirement savings to investing, where does one begin for a good read? If you’re looking for a little DIY personal finance revamp look no further. These 5 books offer wonderful insights and morsels of truth to inspire change and get proactive about your bank account:

  1. Dealing with debt and looking to establish good financial habits? “The Total Money Makeover,” by Dave Ramsey, has got you covered.
  2. “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” by Ramit Sethi, is a no-nonsense guide to budgeting, investments and guilt-free spending.
  3. “The Richest Man in Babylon,” by George S. Clason, was written in 1926, but it withstands the test of time. Simply put, it’s a series of narrative parables on money that still rings true today.
  4. Get a Financial Life,” by Beth Kobliner, is great for those just getting started on their financial journey.  This is a fabulous read for millennials who have a myriad of questions about all things money and what to do with it.
  5. Looking for financial freedom? “The Automatic Millionaire,” by David Bach, teaches through storytelling. In slow and steady steps, this book uncovers the secrets of how many have made their millions.

Whether you are looking for a light read or some serious study material, many of these books offer insights on whatever season of finance you may find yourself in.

Are Millennials Being Given a Bad Rap? Here’s What the Stats Say: – Forbes

Statistically, millennials do not line up with the myth that tags along with their title. Often times, that age group (18-35 years old) conjures up images of adult children still living at home because stifling student debt loans have left them unable to afford their own apartment.

However,  current statistics tell a different story. Let’s take a look at how the financial situation of millennials looks against that of previous generations:

Savings:

14% of Millennials say they do not have savings.

19% of Baby Boomers (53-71) say the same.

25% of Gen-Xers (36-52) say they do not have any savings or investments.

Earnings:

50% of Gen-Xers feel like they have not achieved their top earning goals.

46% of the Baby Boomers feel the same way.

43% of the millennials stated that as well.

Median Income:

$41,850 for Baby Boomers.

$71,875 for the Gen-Xers.

$76,945 for the Millennials.

These statistics prove that Millennials, for all the abuse they take in the media, are a much more put-together generation than they are given credit for.

Moving Abroad with Money in Mind? Here are the Top 30 Most Affordable Countries to Live In – Business Insider

While some move abroad to seek adventures, and others because of love interests, now many people are pulled by the prospects of a lower cost of living.

Below are the top 10 most affordable countries based on a list compiled from the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of town, utilities, commuting, and even the price of a cup of cappuccino.

Some of that stats may be surprising, but take a look at what countries made the cut of most affordable:

  • Vietnam.
  • Columbia.
  • Myanmar.
  • Mexico.
  • Philippines.
  • China.
  • South Korea.
  • Kazakhstan.
  • India.
  • Thailand.

Whether seeking a temporary or more permanent residence, glancing over this list may be helpful when planning your next adventure.


Photo by Aidan Bartos

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