Are women worse at managing money than men?

For decades, men would bring home the bacon while women would balance the budget.    A strange arrangement, allowing women to control the money that they don’t make, but this has been the traditional role for many years.

But now that women are paid equally (more or less), you might expect these roles to change, or at least be reexamined, and that is exactly what Smith College and Time Magazine did. Continue reading

Best Personal Finance Apps

There are plenty of reasons to initially resist technology.  It can be difficult to adapt to and might even slow you down.  Quite frankly, change can be scary and who really wants to digress from the comfortable to the foreign?

But after the adjustment period ends, it’s not uncommon to realize that quite a bit of technology actually makes our lives easier.  Sure, what have robots done for us lately other than provide entertainment in movies and make us afraid of a robot invasion? Continue reading

Latin America and Europe: Apples and Oranges

It might be a vast oversimplification to say that the entire world is in an economic crisis, but this statement is frighteningly close to accurate.  Every day news publications report on the failing economies of multiple countries all over the world that are being forced to adopt severe austerity measures in an attempt to recover.

There certainly are countries whose economies are not only surviving but flourishing.  But those countries are few and far between.  An economy is no longer limited to the country that it once belonged to.  Now there is one global economy.  This means that the instability (or stability) of one country affects everyone that it does business with.  Eventually, one country’s problems will upset other countries. Continue reading

The State of the Payday Loan Industry

A lot has been made of the payday loan industry and its abuses. Certainly there have been some lenders who have taken advantage of consumers. The government and indeed the industry itself have worked hard to impose punishment on those lenders or otherwise enticed them to change their ways. But the payday loan industry has emerged as a popular target for politicians who need an enemy to pursue in an effort to win votes.

So why payday loans? Generally it’s the perceived high interest rates. And yes, they are high. But so is the risk the lender takes by lending the money. It would be fairer to redefine the charges as fees, rather than turn them into APR’S (annual percentage rates) when the term of the loan is in fact less than a month. Continue reading

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How do you measure an economic recovery?

There are many metrics used to measure the size and success of an economy, and just as many metrics available to measure economic recovery.  But the most important to the general public and the unit of measurement that receives the most publicity is job growth.

Every month the government releases a report detailing how many new jobs have been created that month  and compares that figure to the previous month to measure immediate change and to the number of jobs created that same month but one year prior to compare change in the long term.

But how are jobs created?  What do these numbers depend on?  And what needs to happen for these numbers to grow? Continue reading