November 10, 2017

DirectTV Now + Ebates = Make $6 and Get a FREE Month of TV

DirectTV Now has a discount right now for $25 off of their normal $35 monthly subscription.   This makes the cost just $10.     Ebates  has $16 cash back for DirecTV now.   

If you combine the two deals you can get a free month of TV and make $6.   

$10 for the service with $16 cash back nets $6.

The deal is for new customers and negates the 7 day free trial.   But its better than 7 days anyway as you end up getting a full month for free.
Its a "limited time offer" but I don't see anything about when it expires exactly.   However this deal is for their birthday of the service so I expect it won't last too long.


Here is the fine print on the DirecTV now offer:

$25 Off First Month: Enter promo code BDAY2017 at checkout to receive $25 off the price of the first month of any DIRECTV NOW package (premium add-ons optional). Second month will be at full price, and renews monthly (min. $35/mo.), charged to your payment method on file until you cancel. Limit 1 code per customer. New subscribers only. Not combinable with any free trial or certain other offers/discounts/credits. GENERAL: Compatible device & browser req’d. U.S. only (excludes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Pricing, channels, features, and terms subject to change & may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Cancellation: View, modify or cancel at any time at directvnow.com. Once canceled you can access DIRECTV NOW through the remaining monthly period. No refunds or credits for any partial-month periods or unwatched content. Limit 2 concurrent streams per account. Programming subject to blackout restrictions. Taxes may apply.


Standard Ebates blurb: To get cash back from Ebates you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates.  

-- This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

September 18, 2017

How Many Bedrooms Do Homes Have?


Most homes in America have two or three bedrooms.       What are the exact figures?   The American Housing Survey has data on the number of bedrooms in homes.     The data below is for 2015.

Here's a chart showing the distribution:


And a table with the raw #'s

None 924
1 12,912
2 29,915
3 48,122
4 or more 26,417

--

September 7, 2017

FREE 8x8 Photobook at Shutterfly (s/h $8 )

Shutterfly is offering one free 8 x 8 hardcover photo book, with $8 shipping cost.  

Use promo code : 1FREEBOOK


Promo details from Shutterfly's site :

One free 8x8 hard cover photo book*
Promo code: 1FREEBOOK
*Offer expires September 12, 2017 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free 20-standard page 8x8 hard photo cover photo book through shutterfly.com, our mobile-friendly site, Shutterfly Photo Story for iPad app or Shutterfly mobile app (upgrade option not available on the mobile app). Promo can only be redeemed once per account and/or billing address. Limit one product or order discount code and one shipping code per order. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Other cover types, additional pages, StorytellingTM styles, etc may be added to the current book for an additional fee. Or apply the current price of a 20-standard page 8x8 hard photo cover photo book (after taking into account any current discounts on shutterfly.com) toward the purchase of a larger photo book. Not valid on 6x6, 7x9 or 8x8 soft cover photo books, PrintFix, Groovebook, prepaid plans, other products and prior purchases. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with select offers or credits. Not valid for resale. We reserve the right to modify or replace any part of these terms and conditions without notice.

--

August 7, 2017

12% Cash Back at 300+ stores at Ebates Today

Ebates is having a 'member appreciation day' with a 12% cash back rate at a wide variety of stores.

Handful of the stores with the 12% rate are :

Dell
Petco
Coach
Shoes.com
Nike
Macy's
Overstock.com


And many other various retailers.

Looks like a 1 day promotion.


Standard Ebates blurb: To get cash back from Ebates you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates.  


--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

July 19, 2017

Review of PlayStation Vue

I've been toying with the idea of using a Over The Top (OTT) cable TV service.    Our cable bill keeps going up and up and up.   I call them periodically to argue myself a discount but I'm having less success with that tactic lately.   At the same time, there have been a boom in OTT providers.   Sling TV, Hulu TV, Youtube TV, DirectTV Now and Playstation Vue are the five current major players.  

I started a 5 day free trial with Playstation Vue to check out the service and see how well it would work.  Here are my thoughts.

I tested Vue on my Playstation 3 console and on my Android phone.   It generally worked well on both devices.   The interface and guide worked pretty well in general.  

On the PS3 I did run into some major lags and random buffering.   However, I should qualify that and detail the actual amount of lag that I saw.    One time while browsing around the interface in PS3 it kind of hung for about 30 seconds.    I remember some other misc. hangs and delays but nothing more significant than that 30 second pause.    I also put the service to a critical test by watching the entire first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 off the DVR / on demand function.   During the entire show I recall it pausing for a few times for a fraction of a second in apparent buffering.   Most of the problems I ran into on the PS3 were in the browsing interface or in the guide and not while watching a program.     Its also possible that the issues I saw on PS3 could be because my console is old or running a little hot and not specific to the Vue software.     Or the problems could have been internet related too, its always hard to tell.    I do use that same PS3 to watch Netflix regularly and I never see problems with Netflix that aren't the fault of the network.

I did not see any problems with the interface in my Android phone.   However performance may vary based on the specific phone and if you have an underpowered, or older phone it may not work quite as well.   I don't have a high end phone but its only about a year old and not underpowered.     Its possible my issues in the PS3 were device specific then.  

I've heard that ESPN does not allow DVR recording of their live content on services like Playstation Vue or Sling.   I haven't confirmed it but I'm guessing this applies to the other OTT providers as well.
This detail throws a major wrench into my plan to investigate OTT as a possible TV alternative to my cable service.     However it seems you can use Playon to record ESPN directly from the ESPN site using your service credentials.   So this might work as a workaround to record games off ESPN.

Overall I did like the Vue service.    I'd give it a thumbs up with the minor qualification of some delays or lag on the PS3.

--

June 27, 2017

No, Most Americans Aren't Totally Broke


Over on The Simple Dollar someone asked about an article on CNN with the headline of "6 in 10 Americans don't have $500 in savings"     The QA exchange on that was someone asking if that is real and Trent saying he believes it.

I don't believe that 60% of Americans don't have $500.

It seems that we're told by the press over and over that most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck or don't have $1000 or $500 or $X in the bank or similar things.    I've generally accepted this in stride as most people probably do.

But here's the big problem with that claim.    Its based on a survey from Bankrate that asked people how they'd handle an emergency bill.   But I can't find any real details on how the question was asked.   If they just asked "how would you pay for a $500 -1000 emergency expense?" and the answers were just a list of items like savings, credit card, cut spending, etc. then you'll get some wrong results there.   I personally would use a credit card and I'd answer that way.   The article then assumes (wrongly) that I don't have $500 in savings.   But I use credit cards for most everything to get my bonus points.

Survey of Consumer Finances of 2013 has a lot of data on personal finances.    They say specifically how many people have checking and savings accounts and what the mean and median balances are.   93.2% of people have accounts and the median balance was $4100.   That means that 46% of people have over $4100.   This specific data directly refused the idea that 60% (6 in 10) of people don't have $500 in savings.

I'm sure that there are is an unfortunately high amount of people in the nation who don't have $500 available.    But its not 60%.


--

June 22, 2017

10% CashBack for Walmart at Ebates

Ebates currently has 10% cashback on purchases at Walmart.

Good way to get an extra 10% off of whatever you buy at Walmart.

I think this is just a daily double cashback deal so it may be gone by tomorrow.


Standard Ebates blurb: To get cash back from Ebates you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates.  


--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

June 21, 2017

Gold Investments Have Done Poorly Lately

Around the recession we heard a lot about gold as an investment.   I'm not hearing that much about it lately.

Here's why:

click for full size, source: Yahoo Finance
Gold has lost over 20% of its value in the past 5 years while the stock market is up over 75% in that same time.

If you'd bought gold almost anytime in the past 8 years you'd be losing money on it versus simply putting your money in a bank account.    If you'd bought gold between 1995 and 2005 you'd have been lucky to beat a savings account.      If you were lucky you bought sometime before 2005 and sold around 2010.   This isn't the kind of pattern for an investment that you'd want.  It takes extreme luck to do any better than beating a simple bank account.

--

June 16, 2017

500 Amazon Coins ($5 value) for $1 at HumbleBundle


The current E3 digital ticket game bundle on HumbleBundle has 500 Amazon coins included at the $1 purchase level.  500 coins would cost you $4.90 to buy at Amazon so this is basically $5 worth of app purchases.    You can get the bundle for as little as $1.   Of course you can pay more if you want to donate to the charity in question too.    There are some video game items too but it looks like "digital content" or downloadable content more than full games.

Note :  Make sure you've got a good use for Amazon coins.    Their app store doesn't have everything and theres plenty of free alternatives.    Some of the games I like aren't on Amazon at all.  


--

PSA : Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Gotcha To Watch For

I've been rotating through new credit cards to get sign up bonuses for a while now.   I've been targeting the best cash bonuses or at least cash/ travel bonuses.   Over all this has worked great for me and I netted over $2000 in various rewards in 2015.  

Unfortunately I just struck out with a Capital One Venture card.    Annoyingly it was my mistake that lost the bonus but I think its a slight trap anyone could fall into.     I signed up for the card in January of this year.    The sign up deal is that you get 40,000 bonus miles when  "once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months".    OK thats easy enough and I've done this kind of spending deal on several cards before.   But no.

Make sure you figure out when the clock starts and what the exact time period is to meet a sign up bonus.

Some cards start the period on the day you sign up for the card.


Today I added up the spending on my first 3 monthly statements and I'm a bit over the minimum required $3,000 at about $3,025.   So I should get the bonus right?   No.    The clock for the bonus spending requirement started the day that I applied for the card.   The clock did not start when I got the card.   The clock didn't start when the statement periods started either.      I spent my $3000+ in the first three statements and missed the deadline by two weeks.    So that is annoying.  Lesson learned.    At least I can do is pass on the heads up to maybe help someone else from finding the problem.


--

June 13, 2017

$5 per Month Cell Phone Service from Speedtalk


Speedtalk has a $5 monthly plan for cell phone service.   You can get their preloaded SIM at Amazon for $5 plus $4 shipping.

The service level includes 250 minutes OR 250 text or 250MB data per month.   So its pretty limited, but for $5 its a pretty decent offering for light users.

You can also get 12 months of service from Speedtalk for $60 at Amazon with free shipping.    That works out to $5 per month and the shipping is free.  However it does NOT have rollover so the monthly allotment is use-it-or-lose-it.

Speedtalk is a reseller that uses the T-mobile network.   I haven't used them myself.



-- This article contains a referral link which will pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

June 6, 2017

Effective Federal Funds Rate for 60+ Years (1954 to 2017)


The St. Louis Fed's FRED database has historical info on the federal funds rate

Wiki says that "In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis."

Here's the graphic - click the picture for a full size version:

(source St. Louis Fed )

Seemed to me the trend was gradually going up and then peaking around 1980 then going down.   I used Excel to plot a (polynomial) trend line :



-

June 1, 2017

How much Does High School Quality Matter In College? Lots.

I've no doubt that the quality of your high school matters in preparing you for college.   But how much does it typically matter?     I went searching for studies that looked at it and I found : the report Can You Leave High School Behind?  (link to PDF)   It looked at data from University of Texas Austin students.  

In Texas they've had a program where the top 10% of all high schools are admitted to UT automatically.    This means they get a good distribution of students from high schools of varying quality.   And it gives them a lot of data about >25 thousand students who came from varying quality high schools and then went to UT.    Looking at the grades in UT for those kids they can see what the correlation is between high school quality metrics and college performance.

In short:    If you go to a good or bad high school does it reflect in your college GPA?

The answer is YES.   Definitely.

Here's a excerpt from the study that illustrates :

"As an example, we estimate a predicted GPA for a simulated student with high school characteristics from two different campuses – one of the highest-ranked and one of the lowest-ranked high schools in the Houston area. Our simulated student is female, Hispanic, age 18, and has a mother with a high school diploma, family income between $20,000-40,000, and $1,000 in unmet financial need. Graduating from the high-performing high school, this student’s estimated freshman year GPA 3.21. Graduating 23 from the low performing high school, her estimated GPA is only 2.30 – a difference of over 1.6 standard deviations."

So they modeled that an specific student would end up with a 0.9 GPA difference if they'd' gone to a good high school versus a bad high school.  

Thats a pretty big swing.    I'd consider a 3.2 GPA in college a success and a mere 2.3 GPA to be a failure or at least a pretty mediocre performance.

Of course the study is just looking at averages.    A kid from the worst high school could go on to ace college and win a Nobel prize and a kid from the very bestest high school could flunk out of college and end up a homeless drug addict.    But on average... the quality of high school is reflected in the average grades of the students who go on to college.

--

May 16, 2017

Money Can't Buy You Feelings of Worthlessness, Hopelessness and Sadness

Money cant buy happiness they say?     Well poverty can buy you feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and sadness all or most of the time.    I'll take the cash instead please.

I've made this point before and again and again.    But I will go ahead and keep making it.

The report How Are Income and Wealth Linked to Health and Longevity? from the Urban Institute had the figure below :

(Source : Urban Institute, click image for full size)



Clearly all rich people aren't happy and all poor people aren't sad.    But it is just one more data point that there is clear correlation between happiness and money.   Now note that I'm using the word correlation there.    Its an important detail.     Its possible at least in some cases that the feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or sadness caused the poverty.

If you really truly think money doesn't make you happy then I implore you to make the world a better place and give all your money to a poor person.
--

May 12, 2017

Cell Phone and 12 Month Service for $50 = Under $5 / month


Right now you can get a Tracfone LG Rebel phone plus 12 months of service for just $49.99 via ebay

Thats a great deal and works out to $4.17 per month for the 12 months.    

It is limited service with 1200 minutes, 1200 text and 1200MB of data.   The phone is pretty low spec too so don't expect to play high end games or anything.      But you can't beat this price for a phone and 12 months of service.

I used Tracfone myself for a year or two and it worked perfectly fine for me.

I heard about this at Fatwallet.


--
I'm receiving no commissions on this.

May 11, 2017

Should I Buy a Telsa Solar Roof?

Tesla just started taking orders on their Solar Roof today.   Is it a good deal as promised?

You can get details on the solar roof along with a quote on the price for your house at the Tesla Solar Roof website.    Plugging in the numbers there myself for our house I get :

Cost of roof  = $45,100
Tax cred = -$10,700
Value of Energy = $27,400
Net cost over 30 years $7000

They make it look good that way.    But what you're really doing is spending $34,400 today to get $27,400 energy over 30 years.   Thats not so good of a deal.

But theres more.     My state and local utility also offer incentives that combined would cut another $8800 off the price.   That gets the net cost of front down to $25,600.    This is a much better deal but I still don't want to spend $25,600 today for $27,400 spread over 30 years.

Really a Solar Roof is going to be best if you're already looking at the cost of replacing a warn out old roof.   Our own home has a very new roof.    So it doesn't make sense to tear off a perfectly good roof to put on a Solar Roof.    We do have a rental property that we replaced the roof on not too long ago for about $7200.    If you figure in the cost of that $7200 roof then going with a Solar Roof instead starts to make more sense.   Youre not looking at spending $25,600 today for $27,400 over 30 years.  Instead you're looking at spending $7200 for a regular asphalt tile roof or getting the Solar Roof for $25,600 along with $27,400 in energy.   Thats really a cost of $18,400 for the energy.   Now you're getting closer.   But its still not really worth it.

The thing that would really make a Solar Roof worth while is comparing it to a more expensive roof.   When I replaced that rental roof we got traditional asphalt shingles as you see on the majority of roofs (at least around here).     However the Solar Roof is a higher quality glass material.   Its more comparable to glass tile roofs or slate shingles.    Those higher quality materials cost a lot more.   Using those materials would cost 2-3 times as much as the asphalt roof.   If you're now comparing a solar roof to a roof that is $10,000 to $20,000 then thats a different equation.     Bloomberg has a graphic comparing roof costs in their article Tesla’s Solar Roof Pricing Is Cheap Enough to Catch Fire

The situation where it makes sense then is replacing a worn out old roof with a new higher end material roof.    If the net cost of a Solar Roof is $25,600 and the comparable alternative is a $20,000 slate roof then you're really looking at spending $5,600 more to get the solar power.   That solar power adds up to $27,400 over 30 years.   The power savings starts at about $600/yr.    The net present value of the 30 years worth of power is over $13,000.     So you're spending $5,600 more net to get the solar power saving $600 a year with a total value of $13,00.    Now that makes sense.

So while I would not run out tear off my perfectly good roof tomorrow for a Solar Roof, it could very well be worth getting one if you have an old roof that needs replacement and you were looking to use higher end materials.

One last point to make is that the Solar Roof has a "infinity warranty".   They warranty it forever the life of the house.   So you won't have to replace the roof out of pocket.    Now I'm not sure how much thats really worth, I didn't look at the details.   But that certainly does add value over traditional roof materials which need replacement.     But a cheapo asphalt shingle roof should last 30 years and a nice slate roof should last 50 to 200 years.   Slate roofs may as well be "forever" as far as most of us would plan.   But the lifetime warranty isn't nothing.

Bottom line:   Tesla Solar Roofs can be a good financial choice in the right situation.   If you're looking at replacing an old roof with a higher end roof it can be a good deal.   It all depends on the specifics.

--

May 8, 2017

15% Rebate Promotion at Ebates this Week

For their "birthday week", Ebates is running a promotion this week with 15% rebates for 200+ stores.
A few example stores :
Petco
Kohls
Macy's
Staples
JCPenney




Standard Ebates blurb: To get cash back from Ebates you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates.  

--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

April 25, 2017

Mass Transit Usage By State

Have you been yearning to find out how Delaware ranked in usage of mass transit versus the other states?    I know you have.   I used a couple data sources to figure the number of annual trips in mass transit taken per capita for each state.    Spoiler alert:  Delaware is #22.

I got the annual trips per state off of Table 4-4: Urban Transit Ridership by State and Transit Mode: 2013 at Dot.gov.     I then divided by the population of each state for 2013 found at Enchanted Learning.com


Here is the list alphabetically by state :

State Annual trips per capita Rank
Alabama 1.6 49
Alaska 6.9 32
Arizona 15.1 18
Arkansas 2.0 46
California 37.4 7
Colorado 20.8 13
Connecticut 12.5 20
Delaware 12.1 22
District of Columbia 639.9 1
Florida 14.6 19
Georgia 16.1 16
Hawaii 52.0 5
Idaho 1.7 48
Illinois 52.3 4
Indiana 5.3 34
Iowa 7.4 31
Kansas 2.6 42
Kentucky 6.2 33
Louisiana 8.3 28
Maine 4.1 38
Maryland 24.2 12
Massachusetts 63.5 3
Michigan 10.0 25
Minnesota 19.1 15
Mississippi 0.7 51
Missouri 11.3 23
Montana 2.4 43
Nebraska 3.5 39
Nevada 26.7 11
New Hampshire 2.9 41
New Jersey 44.0 6
New Mexico 7.9 29
New York 201.9 2
North Carolina 7.4 30
North Dakota 3.5 40
Ohio 9.7 26
Oklahoma 2.0 45
Oregon 31.7 10
Pennsylvania 36.1 8
Rhode Island 19.5 14
South Carolina 2.4 44
South Dakota 1.8 47
Tennessee 4.8 35
Texas 11.0 24
Utah 16.1 17
Vermont 4.4 37
Virginia 8.9 27
Washington 34.9 9
West Virginia 4.6 36
Wisconsin 12.3 21
Wyoming 0.8 50

Here is the sorted list with the highest usage level on down :

State Annual trips per capita Rank
District of Columbia 639.9 1
New York 201.9 2
Massachusetts 63.5 3
Illinois 52.3 4
Hawaii 52.0 5
New Jersey 44.0 6
California 37.4 7
Pennsylvania 36.1 8
Washington 34.9 9
Oregon 31.7 10
Nevada 26.7 11
Maryland 24.2 12
Colorado 20.8 13
Rhode Island 19.5 14
Minnesota 19.1 15
Georgia 16.1 16
Utah 16.1 17
Arizona 15.1 18
Florida 14.6 19
Connecticut 12.5 20
Wisconsin 12.3 21
Delaware 12.1 22
Missouri 11.3 23
Texas 11.0 24
Michigan 10.0 25
Ohio 9.7 26
Virginia 8.9 27
Louisiana 8.3 28
New Mexico 7.9 29
North Carolina 7.4 30
Iowa 7.4 31
Alaska 6.9 32
Kentucky 6.2 33
Indiana 5.3 34
Tennessee 4.8 35
West Virginia 4.6 36
Vermont 4.4 37
Maine 4.1 38
Nebraska 3.5 39
North Dakota 3.5 40
New Hampshire 2.9 41
Kansas 2.6 42
Montana 2.4 43
South Carolina 2.4 44
Oklahoma 2.0 45
Arkansas 2.0 46
South Dakota 1.8 47
Idaho 1.7 48
Alabama 1.6 49
Wyoming 0.8 50
Mississippi 0.7 51


I don't see any real surprises here.    Its almost a ranking of highly urban states to mostly rural states.
D.C. and NYC have very high usage rates.    Wyoming and South Dakota do not.


--

April 18, 2017

Millenials Aren't Abandoning Homeownership


Take a look at this chart from the Census.gov site:



Look at that purple line at the bottom plummet at slightly faster rate than some of the other color lines!!!  Kids these days.    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I think the graphic should illustrate that the homeownership trend for young people isn't really much different than the population in general.   People in the 45-54 and 55-64 age groups dropped at just about the same pace as people under 35.  


--

February 28, 2017

Entertainment.com Books for $8.25 After Ebates Cash Back

Entertainment.com has their coupon books for $10 with free shipping.

Ebates is running 17.5% cash back on Entertainment.com.  

So using the Ebates site and buying a book you can get it for $8.25 total after the cash back.

The Entertainment.com site says its a "flash sale" so I don't know how long it will last.


I can't vouch for the quality of the coupon books nowadays and its going to depend on your local market and what you want as far as coupons.    Last time we bought a book we didn't use it but you may get better value out of it.  


Standard Ebates blurb: To get cash back from Ebates you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates.   

--This article does contain referral links which will hopefully pay this site a big commission for purchases made at the sites.

February 17, 2017

Best of Blogs for Week of February 17th

Every Friday afternoon I share some of the more interesting or notable posts that I have seen in the personal finance blogs and other sources for the past week

DQYDJ tells us the What is the Median Income Per State and Who are the One Percent?

--

What Caused Changes in Labor Force Participation 2007-2016


The below information and the graphic are a direct copy/paste off of the Federal Reserve of Atlanta page

The following factors put downward pressure on the labor force participation rate between 2007 and 2016.

Aging of the population: The aging of the population has had a significant effect on the LFP rate. Without the shifting distribution of the population towards older individuals since 2007, the overall labor force participation rate in Q4 2016 would have been 2.1 percentage points higher.
Rising education: Education has become increasingly important in the last couple of decades. Young people are devoting more of their time to schooling instead of the labor market, and older individuals are more likely to return to school to move forward in their careers than in the past. The recession likely amplified these trends as it allowed youth to delay entry into the job market and gave others an opportunity to retool. Rising school attendance explains about 0.9 percentage points of the overall decline between 2007 and 2016.
Health problems: The percent of the population who say they are too sick or disabled to work has been rising for some time, and the rise has been occurring even among young and prime-age individuals. Holding the age distribution of the population fixed at 2007 shares, the increase has contributed 0.6 percentage points to the overall decline in labor force participation.
Shadow labor force: The percent of the population on the margin of the labor force who say they want a job but for some reason are not actively looking for work rose during the recession across all age groups. The contribution of this factor has shrunk over the last couple of years, but still accounts for about 0.4 points of the overall decline between 2007 and 2016.

The following factors put upward pressure on the labor force participation rate between 2007 and 2016:

Retirement: A significant factor that has worked against declining participation is that a larger share of older Americans are staying in the labor force than in the past. All else being equal, if those people older than 60 were just as likely to retire in 2016 as they were in 2007, the labor force participation rate would now be about 0.90 percentage point lower.
Family responsibilities: The share of the population who chose not to participate in the labor market because they were taking care of their family declined during the Great Recession—especially among women. This pushed the labor force participation rate of women about 0.55 percentage points higher than it would have been between 2007 and 2010, but this effect has largely dissipated.





--

February 14, 2017

Ebates 14% Promotional Cash back Rate Today


For St. Valentienes day today Ebates has 14% cashback promotion for many stores.

There are 175 merchants on the list with the 14% cashback rate today.

Some notables : 

Sears
Kohl's 
Petco
J. Crew
Dick's Sporting Goods
JCPenney
Rite Aid



Standard Ebates blurb: To get cash back from Ebates you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates.   

--This article does contain referral links which will hopefully pay this site a big commission for purchases made at the sites.

February 9, 2017

Bank CD Interest Rates vs Inflation

Around eight or so years ago I distinctly remember getting paid 4% interest on our simple savings account with Washington Mutual bank.   That was a promotional deal of some sort if I recall right but I didn't have to do anything special to get it.    Now it seems like that kind of interest rate on savings is something of the distant past.     I think we're getting 0.000001% from our bank right now.   Or more or less close to it.   1 cent a month.    With the interest rates we've got right now your savings are not keeping up with inflation.    But is this the norm?     I remember that 4% interest rate not long ago and that should have been able to keep up with inflation.

I couldn't find good history of interest rates for CDs or savings specifically.   But I did find Federal Reserve H.15 tables for interest rates on 3 month commercial paper.  
I got the inflation figures off the BLS site.

For both I'm representing the annual averages of the interest rate and the inflation rate.

Here's a chart showing the interest rate versus inflation for 1997 to 2016:

(click for full size)

You can see there that the rates paid by banks were quite a bit higher in the not too distant past.

For about the past 10 years we've had interest rates that are pretty low and don't keep up for inflation.   But if you look back to the previous 10 years from 1997 to 2006 the opposite was true for many of those years.  

Overall for the 20 year period the annual interest rate averaged 2.4% and the inflation rate averaged 2.2%.

--

January 20, 2017

FREE - 8 Pack Brawny For New TopCashBack members


TopCashBack has a deal right now where you can get a 8 pack of Brawny paper towels at Walmart for $9.97 and then get that $9.97 refunded in cash back.   That nets you a free 8 pack of paper towels.

The deal is only for NEW TopCashBack members.

Follow this link to sign up*

The deal ends tonight.

If you use my link I get a referral, thanks.

--This article contains referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

January 1, 2017

New Versus Used Automobile Sales 1990-2010

I've never bought a new car myself.   I feel like I'm in a minority in that regard but maybe not.   I was curious what % of car sales are new versus used so I did some research.  I found data in Table 1-17 on the National Transportation Statistics page.   They haven't updated the numbers on that table for a few years so it only goes up to 2010.   But its good enough for my purposes and you can see the general trend is fairly consistent over a couple decades.

Most car sales are used cars.   The total number of used cars sold is two or three times the number of new cars sold.      In 2010 there were 36.8 million used cars sold and 14.5 new cars sold or leased.

The value of used cars and new cars sold is roughly the same.  In 2010 we spent $324B on used cars and $311B on new cars.  

New cars average sales price is around triple the average price of a used car sold.    In 2010 the average new car was $26,850 and the average used car was $8,786.

Here's the info in graphics over the period from 1990 to 2010 :




--

Blog Widget by LinkWithin