We can't stand when that happens...
*Market indexes are the value of certain stocks which represent the overall stock market. Learn more here.*
S&P 500 (Standard’s & Poor 500): Made up of the 500 most widely-traded stocks in the U.S. -23.90 (-0.82%).
Recently investors have been buying up stocks like crazy, but Thursday they showed they can still drop it like it’s hott, selling off stocks right and left. The Nasdaq, a market index high in technology stocks, had it's biggest single-day drop since late June.
IN THE NEWS:
Amazon gets a bad rap for hiring robots over humans and not paying their employees well. But this week they announced a company wide minimum wage of $15 per hour, starting Nov 1st. Has the competitive retail giant gone soft? Hardly. The zon was facing political pressure, including a recent “Stop Bad Employers” act (nicknamed the “Stop Bezos" act) which would require large companies to pay extra taxes for any employees on food stamps or other public benefits. Also in the fine print - Bezos pulled back stock options and other benefits from employees as part of the deal. Even with benefits cutbacks, many of Amazon’s 350k workers will come out ahead with the new deal. Cheers, Amazoners!
Meanwhile, your employer might be sneaking in a benefits cut of their own. Kaiser Health News reported this week that employers are asking employees to cover a bigger slice of health insurance costs than ever before. With annual premiums for employee portions of a family plan reaching $20,000 per year, that’s a pretty big hit. Coverage for singles isn’t looking much better, climbing 8 times as fast as wages over the last decade. G-U-L-P. Rising prices for drugs and hospital procedures are driving the increase. When open enrollment comes around, it might be worth reading those benefits materials to see how your employer is handling the price hike.
MONEY TRICKS ANYONE CAN TRY:
*Do you have money tricks to add to the pile? Drop us a line.*
Fine Print Tip: Not all fine print is bad. When it comes to credit cards, sometimes that’s where all the good stuff is. We all know cards can offer cash-back and points, but did you know many offer free rental car insurance, flight insurance, and will even waive certain fees? Some have concierge numbers to help you book flights, get concert (or sports) tickets, and give you access to exclusive restaurants. So before you book that next vacation (we’re already jealous) make sure to read the fine print of your credit card. And don’t forget to send us photos.
DEFINITION OF THE DAY
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The rate your credit card company charges you when you don’t pay the full balance off on your credit card.
Let’s say you owe $1000 for your September credit card bill, and you only pay $500 off. In October, your credit card company will want that remaining $500, plus a little extra. How much extra? Your APR multiplied by how much you owe. That means the lower your APR, and the more you pay off right away, the better.
Do you know what’s worse than watching friends travel the world while you’re stuck at a day job? Hearing that they did it for free on credit card rewards. If you’ve been wallflowering it up and wondering what you’re missing out on, wonder no more! Today we initiate you (and us!) into the finer points of choosing the right credit card with a few simple questions:
Why do you want a credit card? There are a few good reasons to get a credit card. One is to improve your credit score, which can happen if you consistently make credit card payments on time and don’t rack up debt. Another is to earn rewards like airline miles or cash back. A third one is to manage big payments that you don’t have cash for up front. Keep in mind your goal when you are sorting through card offers.
Will you regularly pay your balance off on time? Maybe you’re Johnny on the spot and you always pay off your entire credit card balance on time. Kudos! You might be able to afford a high APR. But, let’s be honest, most of us have times when we can’t pay off our full balance. When that happens it’s called “carrying a balance” on your card. If this sounds like something you would do/have done/currently are doing (we’re not here to judge) you want a card with a lower APR so that you don’t pay an arm and a leg in interest.
What other charges are involved? In addition to paying off your balance and any interest you owe, there are some other charges involved with credit cards. One biggie is a charge if you miss your minimum payment, the small amount you’re required to pay from your balance each month. Some cards also charge you yearly for the privilege of using them (ex-clu-sive!). Others charge if you spend more than your credit limit, or if you use them overseas. Look for these charges when you’re applying for a new card.
What if my credit card application gets rejected? Suck it up, buttercup! Jk. This is fixable. Different cards have different standards for your credit score. Next week we’ll take a peek at how you can improve your credit score, but for now know that if you get a card and consistently pay your payments on time, it will help you get a flashier card in the future.
*This section is not sponsored by any third parties. These are our pure, honest opinions on what we think is easy and works best!*
Eager to shop around for your new credit card? Our friends at NerdWallet put together a great guide so you can compare cards side by side. Happy shopping, friends! And please, spend responsibly.