All Articles Tagged "research"
Research conducted by Ohio State University economics professor Lucia Dunn and Sarah Jiany from Capital One Financial found that adults in their late 20s and early 30s have more credit card debt than their parents and grandparents did when they were the same age. On average, young credit card holders have $5,689 more debt than their mom and dad, and $8,156 more than grandma and grandpa.
Using readily available data from 1997 to 2009, the researchers were also able to deduce that these young people are taking longer to pay back this debt, running the risk that they will head into old age with these lingering balances.
“If what we found continues to hold true, we may have more elderly people with substantial financial problems in the future,” Dunn tells Reuters. “Credit is more readily available now, and there have been changes in interest rates and less stigma attached to having credit card debt, which may all make younger people today more willing to go into debt,” she continued.
We reported late last year on the fears expressed by some that they’ll never be able to retire because of their freewheeling spending ways as young people. Once again, this brings home the important point that you must live within your means. Quick everyday tips for doing just that:
-Use cash. When the cash is gone, the spending is over. And watching your money pass out of your hand makes you want to hold on to it a little more tightly.
-Budget for savings. A budget should include ways in which you are putting money to the side continuously. That includes money for retirement (a 401K or Roth IRA, for example) and money that you can spend in the event of an emergency. If you’re thinking about making a big purchase, you might consider another account (or even a coffee can) in which you put cash to the side for that special expenditure.
-Remember that small purchases add up. Chances are, you aren’t going to fancy restaurants on the regular. Or buying expensive clothes every time you go to the mall. But all those smaller purchases are hitting your wallet as well. If you’re hitting happy hour three times a week, that could be upwards of $100 right there. Twice monthly trips to H&M or Target? We all know how much stuff we think we “need” when we go into those shops. Think twice. Say no. Say it out loud even… who cares of other shoppers think you’re crazy? Reflect upon all the other, much better stuff you could be buying.
According to a recent study published in the UK’s Daily Mail, our lady friends across the pond think their guys should spend half a week’s wages on their Christmas present. Business Insider did a little math and determined that the average British man makes about $49,415 annually, which works out to a $475 gift. However, the ladies would really love to have designer duds under the tree, like a pair of Louboutins, which far exceeds the $475 baseline that the ladies have set.
The guys are a little more frugal. They only expect gifts that cost one-third of a woman’s weekly salary, which adds up to about $250.
ShopperTrak says holiday spending is expected to increase 2.5 percent over last year, a decrease from the projected 3.3 percent. For many, the fiscal cliff talks, the tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary and in Oregon, and Hurricane Sandy put a damper on holiday shopping plans. And, the Denver Post reports, Bankrate.com says one-third of Americans have cut their spending in the last month because of the stalled fiscal cliff talks.
But putting aside all of the current events reasons for not spending a ton of money on holiday gifts, there are the personal finance reasons. The designer clothing that the polled ladies are looking for are splurge items. We asked the Double Saving Divas about the items we can splurge on at this special time of year during yesterday’s Facebook chat. “[I]f you can’t afford it you should never splurge on it. It’s not worth the headache or heartaches. If you can’t afford a vacation and you put it on credit…..once you return after having a good time you really can’t enjoy it because you will have the bills hanging over your head. Stay focused and smart!” was their response.
Chances are, the majority of the ladies polled don’t really have anyplace special to wear a pair of Louboutins (although one could argue that you can wear your hot heels to the supermarket if you love them enough). It’s been a tough year, and we all really want to indulge, but we should be choosy. Asking your significant other to spend half their paycheck on your gift is a little much. We know ladies, we spend a lot of money throughout the year to make the house cozy and stylish, to prepare good meals, to look good and smell nice. And your boyfriend or hubby should reward that; a bouquet of flowers, a new tie, or an evening out should be a part of life throughout the year.
Since it’s the holidays and we’re feeling generous, we’ll say that you should think of something decadent that you really want, drop not-so-subtle hints to your man that it’s on your wish list, and put a little money aside to help make it happen. Maybe even charge it with a plan for paying it back quickly. But make sure it’s the thing that you want most. This should be a special something that you don’t regret for one moment having spent a chunk of cash. Personally, we love to travel, and the tourist experience is worth every penny. Maybe you love to cook and a fancy kitchen gadget is the thing that, each time you use it, will be a special gift that keeps on giving.
But the most important thing is to not go crazy. We all deserve something nice every once in a while. But if it puts you in the red, it’s not nice.
Business Insider reports on a new book, coming soon to a seller near you – Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger– that concerns itself, in part, with this idea of “social currency.” Usually a phrase heard in marketing, Wikipedia has this definition:
Social currency is a common term that can be understood as the entirety of actual and potential resources which arise from the presence in social networks and communities, may they be digital or offline.
The story cites a Harvard study that found people are more likely to take a job where they make $50,000 rather than a job that would earn them $100,000. In the first instance, the respondents would be making twice as much as their hypothetical colleagues; in the second, they’d be making half as much as the imaginary people they work with.
“They preferred to do better than others, even if it meant getting less for themselves,” the article says.
Put in other terms, participants preferred to have the social status that comes with making more money than others, rather than the goods that come with making more money, period.
Social status doesn’t only come with money. One only need to listen to the latest chart-topping songs to know that. Kanye and Jay Z don’t just talk about all the stuff that they have that you don’t. They talk about the lifestyle that their fame and fortune affords — going places and doing interesting things (like hanging out in Paris or some other far-off place). The Herald-Sun in Australia reports that “keeping up with the Joneses” these days means exactly that.
“The New Joneses are still middle class but instead of buying the latest kitchen appliance they spend their money on learning a new language, taking an exotic vacation or developing a new skill in craft,” the paper says. “They want fewer objects and more experiences.”
In the online world, that means having more “friends” and followers. The media regularly keeps tabs on the number of millions of people tracking the tweets of Justin Bieber or Rihanna. And Psy, the Korean pop sensation who brought us “Gangnam Style,” toppled the Biebs as the most-watched YouTube video over the Thanksgiving weekend. This, we’re told is significant, even if the Biebs is still winning in actual album sales.
This doesn’t mean that having nice things is totally unimportant. But these two stories suggest that we’re more willing to sacrifice cold-hard, quantifiable dollars for this more undetermined and un-spendable “social currency.” Are you?
Researchers from the University of Winnipeg and the University of Guelph have found that people are quick to get rid of their old, raggedy-looking money and want to hang on tight to the new, crisper dollars.
“The physical appearance of money can alter spending behavior. Consumers tend to infer that worn bills are used and contaminated, whereas crisp bills give them a sense of pride in owning bills that can be spent around others,” write the authors Gabrizio Di Muro and Theodore J. Noseworthy.
The researchers also found that people actually spend more money when the bills show serious signs of wear-and-tear, going so far as to use the older money even when they have the exact amount of new money on-hand. But, when they think people are looking, folks will whip out those new bills faster than you can say “Make it rain.”
Money is money and if you’ve got it, you’re probably pretty happy. But there is a little thrill in getting a fresh dollar, right out of the wrapper. People’s attitudes could also be impacted by parents, who oftentimes tell kids that money is dirty because it passes through so many hands. How many times have you seen a parent try to get a little one to stop putting money in their mouths by saying, “Yucky! Dirty!”? When you manage to get a bill that hasn’t been touched, it almost adds to its value.
Do you have a soft spot for crisp, new dollars?
New research from The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that women are more likely to take a payday loan than men. The organization’s research also finds that African Americans are more likely to take out a payday loan, and those who earn less than $40,000 per year are the prime customers for this sort of financial service.
“The loans are a highly controversial form of credit, as borrowers find fast relief but often struggle for months to repay obligations marketed as lasting only weeks, the report states,” says Black Enterprise.
We’ve reported a few times on payday loans over the past few weeks. As this article points out, some people need this lifeline in tough times. However, others argue that the fees make them a poor option, even in the toughest of times.
For more on theses latest stats, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
With more smartphones, tablets and other digital tools available, shoppers have many ways to research and buy gifts online for the holiday season.
A 2012 holiday survey from research firm Ipsos MediaCT and Google found that 51 percent of consumers plan to research products online and then make the purchase in-store. Additionally, 44 percent said they plan to both research and buy online; 17 percent will visit a store first and then purchase online; and 32 percent said they will research online, check out the physical item in stores, and then go back online to buy. Complicated!
Consumers will also use a variety of devices to do this researching and buying, with 65 percent saying they plan to make purchases on their computer, 10 percent on their tablet, and 16 percent via their smartphone. AdWeek posted an infographic with more data.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) also expects more than half of consumers to shop online for holiday gifts, according to its annual holiday consumer spending report. That survey says 51.8 percent of consumers plan to shop online this year, and the NRF expects that the average consumer will spend $749.51 on gifts, décor, cards, and more for the holidays.
And while shoppers are turning to digital for their needs, retailers are responding. A fall 2012 survey conducted by BIGinsight for Shop.org, a division of the NRF, 61.6 percent of online retailers will introduce their holiday marketing promotions by Halloween, up from 52.9 percent who said the same thing in 2011. Of holiday promotions, free shipping is by far the most popular.
Which of these categories do you fall in? Will you shop online or use your smartphone this holiday season?
Did you know that more than 5.8 million of you do not go to work in an office? That’s the number of people working at home, says new data by the U.S. Census Bureau. The figures are from 2010, the last year calculated, and the results are 4.2 million more people than a decade ago.
Makeda Smith has worked at home most of her career and remembers when it was not a widely-accepted concept. “I initially began working from home 25 years ago. It was not a very popular concept back then and office spaces were perceived as status symbols,” recalls Smith, owner of Jazzmyne Public Relations, a boutique agency. “But as a new agency owner two things were more important to me. One, I wanted to be able to spend more quality time with my daughter who was five years old at the time and two, I needed to streamline my finances. Ironically, people used to say things to me back then, ‘Don’t tell folks you work at home–they won’t take you seriously as a business owner!’”
The report, Home-Based Workers in the United States: 2010, found that the number of people who worked at home at least one day per week increased from 9.5 million in 1999 to 13.4 million in 2010, up 7 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers. Between 2005 and 2010 the share grew from 7.8 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers, an increase of more than 2 million. In all, 5.8 million or 4.3 percent of the U.S. workforce worked the majority of the week at home in 2010. “Home-based workers increased by 133 percent among state government workers and 88 percent among federal government workers. There was a 67 percent increase in home-based work for employees of private companies,” according to the report.
For Smith, the benefits of working at home more than outweigh the negatives. “You don’t have to get up to battle traffic in the morning, you don’t have to get dressed to go to work and you make your own hours,” she tells us. “And in terms of office politics and interacting with different personalities and people’s mood swings, there are none.”
One downside, says Smith, is the tendency to overwork. “I end up putting in far more than 40 hours a work week. I had to train myself to take ‘me’ time,” she says.
Smith shares her 5 tips on how to work at home successfully:
1) Create an office space in your home. An office space does not have to be an entire room but just an area dedicated to your work.
2) Make daily “to do lists” so you know you are accomplishing your goals and staying on track with work.
3) Be sure to take breaks. Factor in lunch breaks, daily walks, or an exercise class, etc. Sometimes working at home can consume you.
4) Don’t let other people’s perception of your time and workspace adversely influence you. If someone calls to chit-chat because they know you are at home, let them know that just because you are at home, it doesn’t mean you are not working.
5) Celebrate and give thanks daily. Working at home is a true blessing.
It has long been a complaint that there are more liquor stores and alcohol advertising in black neighborhoods. One of the main concerns is the effect this has on children who see these ads. But the exposure isn’t just scattered across communities; it goes directly to them through the media as well. A new study by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that African-American youth are exposed to more alcohol advertisement. The special report, Exposure of African-American Youth to Alcohol Advertising, 2008 and 2009, contained some sobering stats.
Black youth from the ages of 12 through 20 see more advertisements for alcohol in magazines and on radio and TV compared with all youth in that age group. And get this: the ads are mostly in media targeting black readers. Dr. David Jernigan of John Hopkins, who was a researcher for the study, was recently interviewed on the Tom Joyner morning show. He said that publications like Essence, Vibe, Black Enterprise, and other popular black outlets are filled with alcohol advertisements. The study also pointed to alcohol references in rap music. “A recent content analysis of the most popular rap songs from 1998 to 2009 found that from 2002 to 2005, 64 percent of the songs contained alcohol references,” states the report.
Despite this bombardment of advertising, black youths consume the least amount alcohol of all other races. But still the numbers of African-American adolescents drinking are surprisingly high. In fact, alcohol is the most widely used drug among African-American youth.
The study found that “among African-American high school students nearly 65 percent report having had at least a sip of alcohol and an estimated 25 percent report drinking alcohol for the first time before age 13.3.” And, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, about one in three African American high school students are current drinkers, and about 40 percent of those who drink report binge drinking, defined as drinking five drinks or more in a row.
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The very busy people at the Pew Research Center (the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, to be specific in this case) have found a dramatic increase in the number of people who are getting their news from social media, especially among the under-30 set.
About a third of those under the age of 40 saw some sort of news on social media the previous day. Among social media users, about 43 percent, nearly half, said they’d gotten news from their digital activity. Only 11 percent of Americans say they get their news from Twitter, but among those people, about a quarter say they get their news from the digital network and retweet it.
Among black news consumers, about 17 percent of the general population said they were on social media and got a piece the previous day. But among the social media users, 38 percent said they’d gotten their news from the experience.
All of the figures above are double-digit increases from 2010. There’s also a growth in the number of people who are checking things out on their mobile devices, which Poynter says is a major growth vehicle for social media.
The big decline is in print media. In 1991, 56 percent of people said they got their news from a paper. In 2012, it’s down to 29 percent. Radio is also down dramatically, from 54 percent in 1991 to 33 percent this year. And while TV remains popular, the average viewer is getting older.
So readers, where are you getting your news (besides Madame Noire)? Let us know so we can check it out too.
A new study by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance found that African-American college graduates say they are much more serious about reaching financial goals than previous generations.
According to the survey, a large majority (70 percent) of 18-to-34-year-old African American college graduates described themselves as either “disciplined” or “highly disciplined” financial planners. Only 47 percent of those aged 35 and older consider the same. But while young blacks say they are good planners, few of them (only 9 percent) actually have plans in place to financially prepare to live to age 95. Overall, four in 10 African-American college graduates (41 percent) felt financially prepared to live to age 75 while about one in four (27 percent) were prepared to live to age 95. At last check, US life expectancy is about 78 years old for men and women.
And it seems black men are thinking about finances than women, who are focused on lifestyle issues. Male African-American college graduates (52 percent) were more likely to have a financial plan in place to meet their financial goals than women (35 percent). Instead, more women graduates reported having plans in place to meet their spiritual, physical fitness and family life goals. The report states that 58 percent had a plan in place for their spiritual life compared to 43 percent having a plan in place for their financial life.
Do you think young people are more financially responsible than past generations?