Surveys suggest we're spending carefully -- and that many of this year's tokens of affection will be handmade, partly to save money.
This year, 70% of of us plan to make something rather than buying it, according to the Capital One Holiday Survey. Among the most popular do-it-yourself holiday items, 43% of those surveyed would be making holiday baked goods, 42% would be preparing holiday meals, and 18% would be creating some of their own holiday decorations.
In addition, the Chase Freedom lifestyle index survey also showed a dramatic increase in year-over-year spending within the craft store category. These purchases were up 91%, suggesting a strong interest in creating home decorations and other do-it-yourself projects. The Chase Freedom lifestyle index survey is a quarterly barometer of consumer trends based on aggregated Chase Freedom cardholder spending data.
Penn State is among the schools that fared well in U.S. News & World Report's inaugural rankings.
This post comes from Devon Haynie at partner site U.S. News & World Report.
Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill was implemented in August 2009, colleges and universities have experienced an influx of veterans and their family members eager to use the expanded educational benefits.
At least 773,000 veterans and their loved ones have taken advantage of the bill, which provides tuition and housing assistance to eligible veterans and their family members, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
As more veterans return to school, they are looking for high-quality colleges and universities that fit their needs. To help them in their search, U.S. News has launched its inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans rankings.
The 234 schools in the new list scored well in terms of graduation rate, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality measured in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges.
What is the online currency worth? At the moment, it's valued at $340 -- but its value is strictly limited to what someone will pay for it.
This post comes from Henry Blodget at partner site BusinessInsider.
This is not surprising.
Earlier this spring, when Bitcoin was in the middle of its last price spike, I "raised my Bitcoin target" to $400.
This was an inside joke -- I don't have a Bitcoin target. But I was getting at a more profound point. $400 is a perfectly reasonable target for Bitcoin. As is $1,000. As is $10,000 or $100,000 or $1 million.
And as is $0.01.
This is because Bitcoin has no inherent value. It's adherents refer to it as a "store of value," but Bitcoin is only a "store of value" because, right now, its price keeps going up. Unlike gold or dollars or other things that have widely accepted utility, Bitcoin's price is determined entirely by what someone else is willing to pay for it. Right now, because Bitcoin's price is going up, and Bitcoin is in relatively short supply, people are willing to pay $340 for it. And the ever-increasing demand for Bitcoin will keep driving the price up until people don't want to buy or hold it anymore.
Lots of free meals and other food are available for active-duty military and veterans on Nov. 11.
This post comes from Karla Bowsher at partner site Money Talks News.
Here is what's available for military members and those who've served. A valid military ID or proof of service is required to take advantage of these deals.
A new report finds that in many states, a year of college at a public school is cheaper than a year of infant child care.
This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.
At least teenagers can get scholarships. Babies? Not so much. In many states, child care costs more than college or a place to live, CNNMoney says.
It took a look at a new report from nonprofit Child Care Aware of America, which found that for about two-thirds of the country, average child care costs are higher than annual tuition and fees at a four-year public college in the state.
"Center-based infant care for one child was greater than median rent payments in nearly half of the states, while fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) exceeded rent in all 50 states," CNNMoney adds.
Costs vary widely, however. "Center-based care for a 4-year-old hit a high of $12,355 in Massachusetts and a low of $4,312 in Mississippi," CNNMoney says. One reason for higher prices is stricter government standards for care. Massachusetts requires one teacher per three infants, compared with a 1-to-5 ratio in Mississippi.
As it turns out, money can make you happier. It's all in what you do with it.
This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site Money Talks News.
While I abhor the empty-headed entitlement of the statement, I have to say that its underpinnings are true. I've been broke and I've made a decent salary. Guess which is better?
Sales are up, and fewer vehicles are being sent to the junkyard. That could mean good news if you're in the market for a used car.
This post comes from Christine DiGangi at Credit.com.
In the second quarter this year, the number of cars and light trucks on the road reached its highest point since the third quarter of 2008: 247.9 million, according to Experian Automotive.
The average age of those vehicles is 10.9 years, a year older than it was four years ago, and when it comes to the kinds of cars out there, General Motors had the highest share, at 26.6 percent, followed by Ford (18.9 percent), Toyota (12.6 percent) and Chrysler (12.5 percent).
Vehicle sales dropped during the recession but have recently surged. That, combined with fewer vehicles being scrapped in the second quarter, contributed to the number of older cars on the road.
What This Means for Shoppers
Key financial tasks -- one every 3 months -- can help keep your finances on track. Here's what to do and when to do it.
For many people, managing their finances feels like an overwhelming task. Our lives are incredibly busy as it is, and folks in my line of work tend to throw around acronyms and jargon until too many people just throw their hands up in despair. It all can seem so overwhelming and some of us simply never get started.
Fear not. It really doesn’t have to be that way. There are four simple things you can do over the course of the year to get on the road to financial responsibility. These things don’t take very long and can help you make some sense of your finances, stay on track for your financial goals (whether you just want to pay the bills, get rid of debt or even save for a major purchase, like a house or a car) and avoid problems -- or at least deal with them early, when they’re easier to resolve.
So mark your calendars now for 2014, and use these simple steps to get and stay on track with your finances year after year. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.
|Tags:||billsbudgetingcreditcredit reportsCredit.comfinancial planningholiday spendinginsurancespendingtaxes|
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.