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The latest money-saving trend taking over is the "no-spend month," which encourages TikTok users to cut out all non-essential purchases for a set period. The no-spend rulesThe "no-spend" challenge can last for a week, a month or even a full year. On its face, "the no-buy challenge is as much pragmatic as it is symbolic," according to Gregory Stoller, a professor at Boston University's Questrom School of Business. "The potential complication with the no-buy challenge is to what extent people are willing to honor their commitment," Stoller said. Rather than hop on the latest extreme fad, "it comes back to setting a budget and setting expectations," Rossman said.
Persons: Gregory Stoller, Ted Rossman, Stoller, Rossman, Paul Hoffman Organizations: Boston University's Questrom School of Business, Finance, Bankrate, CNBC
Although many Americans know much money they would need in their emergency fund to feel comfortable, reaching that goal is easier said than done. Nearly 90% of Americans agree with the traditional rule of thumb: Save enough money to cover at least three months of expenses, according to Bankrate's "2024 Annual Emergency Savings Report." And many feel like they would need about double that amount. A little over 60% of Americans say they'd need enough money saved to cover six months of expenses or more, per the report. Regardless, in reality, most respondents fall short, according to the report, and wouldn't be able to cover a $1,000 emergency expense using their savings.
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"Once you've hit the mid 700's you're good. If you run a $5,000 balance on a credit card with a $10,000 limit, for instance, your ratio is 50%. To boost your score, credit experts recommend keeping your ratio under 30%, and ideally as low as 10%. That might mean cutting back on spending, asking your credit card company to raise your limit or opening a new credit card — as long as it won't encourage you to spend more. Add more good information to your credit historyEven if you have blemishes on your credit history, "you can offset them by filling up your report with good things," says Rossman.
Persons: you've, Ted Rossman, it's, Rod Griffin, Griffin, AnnualCreditReport.com, You'd, Rossman Organizations: Bankrate, Experian, CNBC
"Consumers need to understand that the cavalry isn't coming anytime soon, so the best thing you can do is take things into your own hands when it comes to lowering credit card interest rates," said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. But that hasn't deterred credit card issuers from offering generous terms on balance transfer cards, Rossman said. But right now, it's kind of a Goldilocks environment for credit card issuers." It's also an ideal time for consumers to take advantage of all the options credit card issuers are offering. A balance transfer credit card moves your outstanding debt from one or more credit cards onto a new card, typically with a lower interest rate.
Persons: Matt Schulz, Michele Raneri, APRs aren't, Schulz, Ted Rossman, Rossman, It's Organizations: Federal Reserve, TransUnion, CNBC, Finance, Treasury Department, Federal Reserve Bank of New Locations: U.S, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Just about 41 miles north of Dallas lies Celina, a small North Texas town that is America's fastest-growing city. Downtown Celina, Texas. Their metamorphosis into sprawling suburban metropolises has been greatly influenced by the ongoing expansion of the North Texas Tollway, which has increased accessibility to the previously remote cities. AdvertisementNew businesses are moving into the cityWith more people living in the city, Celina's economy is also growing as local businesses and services benefit from increased demand. However, Joe Monaco, director of marketing and communications for the city of Celina, told BI that there were "countless volunteers who came out."
Persons: There's, Katy, Ryan Tubbs, Celina, Celina Alcynna Lloyd, Taylor Morrison, Toll, Tubbs, Bankrate, Casas, Aaron Graham, Graham, They're, Tracy Miller, Celina —, Miller, Alcynna Lloyd, , Sandy Lewis, It's, Celina ., Joe Monaco Organizations: Business, Downtown, Houston, homebuying, North Texas Tollway, Tollway, North Texas Tollway Authority, Celina, Highland Homes, Texans, Homes, Olympic, JC, Real, Group, Mustang, Highland, Little Elm, Troubadour, Celina's, Centurion American Development Group, Dallas, WFAA Locations: Dallas, Celina, North Texas, Collin County, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia , Illinois, Missouri, Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Downtown Celina , Texas, Celina Texas, United States, Austin, Celina , New Braunfels, Prosper, Frisco, Plano, Frisco ., Highland, Celina —, Wilson Creek, Cambridge, East Coasts, New York
About 40 miles north of downtown Dallas lies America's fastest-growing city: Celina, Texas. Highland Homes, which specializes in luxury homes within master-planned communities, has built several neighborhoods in Celina since 2020. Downtown Celina, Texas. New businesses are moving into the cityWith more people living in the city, Celina's economy is also growing as local businesses and services benefit from increased demand. However, Joe Monaco, director of marketing and communications for the city of Celina, told BI that there were "countless volunteers who came out."
Persons: Katy, Ryan Tubbs, Celina, Prosper, Alcynna Lloyd, Taylor Morrison, Toll, Bankrate, Casas, Aaron Graham, Graham, wasn't, Redfin, They're, Tracy Miller, Celina — it's, Miller, Tubbs, Dallas —, Sandy Lewis, It's, Joe Monaco Organizations: America's, Business, Houston, North Texas Tollway, Tollway, North Texas Tollway Authority, Celina, Highland Homes, Texans, Olympic, JC, Real, Group, Highland, Dallas, Troubadour, Development Group, WFAA Locations: downtown Dallas, Celina , Texas, Celina, Collin County, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia , Illinois, Missouri, Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Celina Texas, United States, Austin, Dallas, Celina , New Braunfels, North Texas, Frisco, Plano, Frisco ., Prosper, Highland, Celina ., Mustang, Cambridge, Wilson, Celina's, East Coasts, New York, Little Elm , Texas
Still, back in the US, he recognized the argument that low-paid workers in the service industry have traditionally relied on tips to earn a living wage. Ozeki never ordered food for deliveryBut he said that recent increases in the minimum wage have changed the landscape — at least in certain states. AdvertisementIn California, for example, the minimum wage for fast-food workers rose by law this year from $16 to $20 an hour. "The current minimum wage at a fast food place is higher than my starting salary 15 years ago," Ozeki said. Have you seen your tips dip recently as a service industry worker?
Persons: , Ken, Ted Rossman, Rossman, jridley@businessinsider.com Organizations: Service, Business, Franciscan Locations: Japan, California
Despite all the good news, there’s one giant, inescapable reason why people don’t feel like the economy is as good as it actually is. Shelter costs — which include rent and an estimated cost of homeownership — were up 5.4% from a year ago. There are some early signs that the housing market is becoming a bit less stuck. At the same time, the one-two punch of inflation and high borrowing costs have discouraged first-time buyers, reducing competition for houses. Of course, as Powell noted in his speech Wednesday, it may take “years” for housing inflation to normalize.
Persons: CNN Business ’, We’re, supercore, doesn’t, , , , Jay Parsons, Jerome Powell, It’s, Orphe Divounguy, Zillow, ” Divounguy, Powell, There’s, Douglas Duncan, Fannie Mae Organizations: CNN Business, New York CNN, Locations: New York, Madera, Texas
"But at places like sit-down restaurants, hair salons, barber shops or getting food delivered, tipping is customary." Just 67% of adults in Bankrate's survey say they always tip at restaurants. "So if you're not tipping in those scenarios, you're really taking money out of the server's pocket." When it comes to those who cut your hair and deliver your food, you should just about always tip, etiquette experts say. In other words, if you asked for a service and out-and-out didn't receive it, you're OK reducing or withholding a tip, etiquette pros say.
Persons: they're, Ted Rossman, Thomas Farley, Mister Manners, Farley, Elaine Swann, Diane Gottsman, Gottsman Organizations: Swann School of, CNBC, Protocol, of Texas Locations: Bankrate,
Experts say the "hidden costs" of owning a home, especially repairs and maintenance, can come as a shock for homeowners. Based on that calculation, Bankrate estimated, annual maintenance costs in some of the states with the highest home prices — like California, Hawaii and Massachusetts — can go over $26,000 annually. Keep your 'critical eye' as a homeownerOnce you become a homeowner, it will be important to keep up with routine maintenance in your house. To avoid surprises, try to regularly inspect your home and look for spots or corners that may need to be fixed. While homeowners are "the most critical" of a house when they're buying, they often don't keep the "critical eye" after moving in, said Hicks.
Persons: Alex Marrero, " Marrero, expats, Marrero, Angi.com, they're, Angie Hicks, Bankrate.com, Massachusetts —, you've, Jeff Ostrowski, Hicks, Dan Bawden, That's, Bawden, Tom Grill Organizations: Finance, Bankrate.com, CNBC, National Association of Realtors, Legal Eagle Contractors, Co Locations: Coral Springs , Florida, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Bellaire , Texas
The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will leave interest rates unchanged. The central bank projected it would cut interest rates once in 2024, down from an estimate of three in March. For consumers already strained by the high cost of living, there is an added toll from persistently high borrowing costs. The Fed responded with a series of interest rate hikes that took its benchmark rate to the highest level in decades. The spike in interest rates caused most consumer borrowing costs to skyrocket, and now, more Americans are falling behind on their payments.
Persons: Greg McBride, that's Organizations: Federal Reserve, Finance, U.S
Yet, we hardly feel rich." Americans say they'd need to earn $233,000 a year to feel financially secure and $483,000 to feel rich, according to a Bankrate survey conducted in June 2023. For Driver, getting rich isn't only about boosting one's income — it's about reducing one's expenses. To feel "rich," he guessed that he'd need an annual income of about $400,000 to $500,000 a year — more than triple his 2023 earnings. A high income can come with "lifestyle inflation"It's not just high-earning Americans who say they feel far from rich.
Persons: , Driver, they've, hasn't, Christopher Stroup, he's, haven't, he'd, Stroup, Abid Salahi, Salahi Organizations: Service, Business Locations: Pennsylvania, Santa Monica , California, Santa Monica, Cincinnati, Vancouver, Canada
Online high-yield savings accountsThe best bang for your savings can still be had in online high-yield savings accounts at FDIC-insured banks, which yield way more than today’s 0.58% overall average savings rate. As of June 11, the average online savings account rate was 4.40%, according to DepositAccounts.com. If you leave it parked in a regular savings account at 0.5%, you’ll get $50 in interest for a year. As with any savings account, banks can lower the rate they offer — also known as the APY — at any time. Money market accounts and money market fundsMoney market deposit accounts and money market mutual funds are generating yields competitive with the best high-yield savings accounts.
Persons: , , Greg McBride, ” McBride, you’ll, , McBride, , Collin Martin, Martin Organizations: New, New York CNN, Federal Reserve, National Credit Union Share Insurance, Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Treasury, Fed, Schwab Center, Financial Research Locations: New York, Schwab.com, United States
“My homeowners insurance doubled, with no notice – nothing,” said Jennifer Schauer, who bought her home in Novato, California, in 2021. The US homeowners insurance industry lost $101.3 billion last year as severe storms, hurricanes and wildfire did significant damage. Schauer isn’t alone among Californians grappling with high hidden costs of homeownership. By contrast, Kentucky ($11,559), Arkansas ($11,692) and Mississippi ($11,881) had the lowest hidden costs of homeownership, according to Bankrate. Since Covid, the hidden cost of homeownership has climbed most rapidly in three states: Utah (44%), Idaho (39%) and Hawaii (38%).
Persons: we’re, That’s, Bankrate, Jeff Ostrowski, , Jennifer Schauer, Schauer, wasn’t, , Schauer isn’t, it’s, you’ll, ” Ostrowski Organizations: New, New York CNN, CNN, P Global, Federal Reserve Locations: New York, Novato , California, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah, Idaho
That's how much the average "hidden costs" of homeownership will set you back for a median-priced U.S. home worth $436,291, according to a new analysis by Bankrate. Hidden costs include property taxes, homeowners insurance, home maintenance costs, as well as electricity, internet and cable bills, per Bankrate's study. "The [hidden] costs of owning a home are at the same level as buying a used car every year," says Bankrate analyst Jeff Ostrowski. While many online mortgage calculators include property taxes and homeowner insurance as part of a bundled mortgage payment estimate, not all do. As such, at least some of the hidden costs can be overlooked when budgeting for a new home.
Persons: you'd, Jeff Ostrowski
Many Americans are not willing to leave a tip all the time, and they're becoming less likely to do so. The 2024 survey of US adults conducted from April 29 to May 1 found that 67% percent of those who go to sit-down restaurants always give tips to servers. Thirty-five percent of adults said "tipping culture has gotten out of control," per the Bankrate post. Still, the survey found 78% of Gen Xers and 86% of baby boomers who go to sit-down restaurants always give a tip. AdvertisementAnd younger Americans are less likely to tip at sit-down restaurants.
Persons: Bankrate, Ted Rossman, it's, Xers, culture's, Gen Xers, Gen Zers, millennials, Rossman, that's Organizations: Service, Business, Pew Research Center
"So if you're not tipping in those scenarios, you're really taking money out of the server's pocket." Still, etiquette experts say there are situations where you may feel pressured to tip but are by no means required to. To be clear, the etiquette experts aren't saying to avoid tipping at the counter — merely that it's at your discretion. "It's a nice gesture to offer a tip to a worker who goes above and beyond the service," Swann says. "From an etiquette standpoint, we still tip the servers who are bringing us our food," he says.
Persons: It's, Ted Rossman, There's, Thomas Farley, Mister Manners, Elaine Swann, Swann, they've, Farley Organizations: Newark Airport, Swann School of Protocol . Service Locations: Bankrate, Denver
Before passing on a movie or dinner date, consider that turning down those invitations can "lead to frustration and emotional distress," he said. watch nowThere may be better ways to cut back, Hoffman advised, without sacrificing time with the people close to you. This seems like a good idea "with a relatively low ceiling," according to Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. In this case, if you had $5,000 in a high-yield savings account earning 5%, you would have made roughly $250 in interest in a year. 'Cash stuffing' also forfeits interestAnother envelope method, called "cash stuffing," advocates for dividing up your spending money into envelopes representing your monthly expenses, such as groceries and gas, to stay on budget and out of debt.
Persons: Paul Hoffman, Hoffman, you'll, Matt Schulz, Bankrate.com Organizations: Getty, Federal Reserve, FDIC
With scientists predicting yet another active year for storms, making your home hurricane resistant has become a more valuable precaution. "Already, we are seeing storms move across the country that can bring additional hazards like tornadoes, flooding and hail," he said. A separate forecast from hurricane researchers at Colorado State University predicts an "extremely active" hurricane season in 2024 due to record-warm tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures. If installing new hurricane windows isn't in the budget, shutters are lower-cost options to protect windows and other openings, said Chapman-Henderson. Talk to your insurer about possible discounts Strengthening your home against disasters may help lower your insurance cost.
Persons: Irma, Warren Faidley, Alicia Silverstone, Erik A, Hooks, Phil Klotzbach, Klotzbach, Jeff Ostrowski, Leslie Chapman, Henderson, Jennifer Languell, Chapman, Kin, Melissa Cohn, William Raveis, Bankrate's Ostrowski, Ostrowski, Loretta Worters, Worters, Languell Organizations: Getty, Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, Finance, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hurricanes, Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric, Fluid Dynamics, Climate, Energy Solutions, Swiss, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Federal Alliance, Safe, Safe Homes, Department of Energy, Trifecta, William Raveis Mortgage, Insurance, Institute, Homeowners Locations: Miami , Florida, U.S, windstorms, Florida, In Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, dsireusa.org
Read previewWhen Joshua first earned a $100,000 salary about five years ago, it didn't impact his lifestyle much. "I wasn't able to splurge or to afford luxurious things," the 30-year-old fintech professional, who's based in Georgia, told Business Insider via email. This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Business Insider asked three people who've made over $100,000 a year how becoming a six-figure-earner did — and didn't — change their lives and relationships. For many of these people, a $100,000 salary could, in fact, be life-changing.
Persons: , Joshua, doesn't, What's, who've, Cole H, Mattes, it's, ALICE, Maksim Sonin, — he's, he's Organizations: Service, Business, New York Fed, New, Fed, eBay, Monarch Media, United, Stanford University Locations: Georgia, California
A little over 40% of Americans would consider themselves financially successful if they were able to clear their debt, according to a recent Bankrate survey. That number includes mortgage debt, car loans, student loan debt and credit card debt. "Not all debt needs to be paid off as soon as possible," she tells CNBC Make It. For each debt, include the name of your lender, your outstanding balance, the minimum payment, any due dates and the interest rate. And the interest rate for federal student loans ranges from 5.5% to 8.05%, per the Department of Education.
Persons: isn't, Avani Ramnani, Francis, Ramnani, Matt Schulz, Louis Organizations: New York Federal Reserve, Francis Financial, CNBC, Federal Reserve Bank of St, of Education
Gen Zs are set to make the biggest splash this summer, with surveys showing they are upping their vacation plans and spending more than older travelers. The survey of more than 2,000 Americans showed Gen Zs are planning to travel for longer periods and to take more expensive vacations at higher rates too. But how Gen Zs — often defined as those born between 1997 and 2012 — plan to fund their travels differs from other age groups too. Roeschke also noted that Gen Zs will spend time finding ways to trim travel costs, rather than canceling or postponing their trips. Using debt to finance summer tripsStill, 42% of Gen Zs and 47% of millennials say they plan to use debt to finance their summer trips, according to a survey by the financial services company Bankrate.
Persons: Gen Zs, Gens Z, Zs, millennials, Gen Xers, Zs —, Lindsey Roeschke, Zers, Roeschke, Ted Rossman, Rossman Organizations: Bank of America, CNBC Locations: United Kingdom, India, Germany, China
Zero-down mortgages are making a comeback
  + stars: | 2024-05-30 | by ( Matt Egan | ) edition.cnn.com   time to read: +8 min
That massive roadblock is being removed by a new zero-percent down mortgage program launched two weeks ago by one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. ‘Demand has been huge’These mortgages are only open to first-time homebuyers and those making no more than 80% of the area’s median income. That’s because in order to refinance at a lower rate, the homeowner would need to fully pay off that second mortgage. For instance, Bank of America launched a zero-down payment mortgage program in 2022 for first-time homebuyers in certain Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. “These mortgages are going to be ticking time bombs – just like subprime mortgages –unless home prices continue to increase very substantially,” Kelleher said.
Persons: Mat Ishbia, homebuyers, Christian Petersen, refinances, UWM, ” Alex Elezaj, they’d, , Patricia McCoy, McCoy, won’t, Bankrate, , Anneliese Lederer, ” Lederer, ” Dennis Kelleher, ” Kelleher, Jonathan Adams, ” UWM, Elezaj, , ” Elezaj, ” It’s, “ We’re, Greg McBride, Adams, ” Adams Organizations: CNN, United Wholesale Mortgage, Phoenix Suns NBA, Phoenix Suns, NBA, Oklahoma City, Footprint Center, Boston College Law School, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve, Bank of America, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Responsible, Better, Saint Joseph’s University, Bankrate, , Wall Street Locations: Phoenix , Arizona
If you paid late once and there's a high chance you will pay late again in the near future because of a financial issue, let the lender know, said Schulz. "It's one thing to go to the lender every other month and say, 'Hey, I was late with this, can you waive that?' If you made a one-time mistake, you can reach out to your lender and ask to have that late payment scrubbed from your credit report, experts say. "Your credit report is just a collection of a bunch of data points representing how good you are paying debts back," Schulz said. If lenders begin to "cherry pick" what goes on in the report, the data becomes unreliable, and it doesn't help lenders make decisions.
Persons: it's, Greg McBride, Schulz, McBride, " Schulz
Share Share Article via Facebook Share Article via Twitter Share Article via LinkedIn Share Article via EmailMore than 40% of Gen Zs say they plan to go into debt to fund their summer tripsSome 42% of Gen Zs and 47% of millennials say they plan to use debt to finance their summer trips, according to an April report from Bankrate.
Persons: Gen Zs Locations: Bankrate
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