But canceling Hulu Plus made me think about my other subscriptions, and whether I needed to go through and cancel them as well. After all, one of the often-cited Human Tips for Personal Finance is “Cancel your subscriptions, you money-dribbling subscriber pants!”
I’m actually very good at saving, when I have more money than I need for basic living expenses. This is a bit like saying “I’m actually very good at eating balanced meals when someone cooks them and puts them down in front of me.” But I think it was easier for me to spend my “life savings” on a crazy idea because I had already, previously, seen all of my hard-earned money spend down to nearly zero.
Let us know if you have questions about your IRA, your 401(K), or the ACA (aka Obamacare).
Because the question is so well-covered, I want to change it up just a little bit. It’s not always about spending to enjoy life now; it’s about spending to invest in the people who will make up your future.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, Americans—feeling on edge and overly cautious, coupled with an inability to take out loans to buy houses and cars due to tightened lending practices by bailed out banks—began to save. Moody’s, which provides economic related data and research shows that more Americans began saving as a whole since the financial crisis, but if you break down the savings data into demographics, you’ll find stark differences in who’s actually doing the saving:
• Americans 55 and older have a savings rate of 13 percent • Those ages 45 to 54 have a savings rate of 6 percent • Gen X-ers ages 35 to 44 have a savings rate of 3 percent • Millennials. Those under 35 have a savings rate of negative 2 percent.
Negative 2 percent!
Yes, according to Moody’s and The Wall Street Journal, young Americans as a whole are burning through their earnings and going deeper into debt.
No coin in U.S. history has ever been worth less than a penny is today.
There are a lot of good reasons to save money, but becoming wealthy isn’t one of them.
You need 10-12 cloth diapers ($180) just to get through a regular Monday — and that assumes you are then going to wash and dry the whole load to get it ready for Tuesday, and you will never do that, that’s insane. So really you need more like 25 ($250) at least, plus the liners, which are still necessary to keep the diapers from turning into a swamp.
In 2012, Consumer Reports estimated that new parents will spend $2,500+ dealing with the aftereffects of one baby’s digestion. Because everything made by Proctor and Gamble is an environmental scourge, you can instead, if you like, spend $3,500+ on eco-friendly alternatives. (It’s not easy being green.)
As it turns out, you can’t merely wave your hand in a languorous way and say, “Be a dear and invest it in low-cost index funds won’t you, Philip? There’s a good chap.” I mean, for one thing, who is Philip, is he the butler? And if so how does he have access to the accounts?
It’s time to check in on our debt payments and savings goals again. If you’re joining us for the first time, you can read about our decision to publicly keep track of our debt here.