đź’° Make your holiday bonus count

Dec 20, 2023

Hello from the first issue of our Thursday Wrapped Newsletter! We’re so excited to bring you a more engaging and digestible format for our newsletter, now in your inboxes twice a week. On Thursdays we take a peak into the business and financial world, bringing you stories and insights that will help you spend, save, and grow your money better. 

This week we’re delving into why you’re still not saving any money even though you just got a raise, how to push through this year’s busiest travel season, and why your snacks just don’t taste as good anymore, all while supercharging your money, one step at a time!

- Milan


How To Make Your Raise Count 

According to a report by LendingClub, 62% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck: no savings, no investing, no money maintenance. If you’re a part of this group, you can take comfort in knowing that even Americans making $100,000 (more than 50% of them, in fact) are also a part of this statistic. 

You may have noticed that even after a bonus or a raise, you’re still stuck for money at the end of the month. Experts have found a few reasons for this. One major explanation is that Americans haven’t been able to keep up with the rising costs of living and simply don’t have enough money to support themselves. 

But putting aside the external factors, two things happen when you get a raise:

  1. The additional income makes you want to treat yourself, so you start spending a little more, and eventually, those spending habits become permanent.
  2. Because you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re forgoing everyday essentials like going to the dentist or changing the oil in your car regularly. 

This means that living paycheck to paycheck can make you extremely vulnerable to sudden expenses like car repairs, medical expenses, or other emergencies.

Being conscious about your money while tracking and budgeting your expenses could help. If you got a raise this year, start by implementing the 50/30/20 rule where you allocate 50% of your income to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to savings. For more handy tips on how to manage your money, download our free Top 15 Hacks at milansingh.co/hacks

The Snacks Aren’t Snackin’ 

Far too often these days, we’ve caught ourselves thinking about how things just aren’t the same anymore, like the taste of our favorite childhood snacks. And if you’ve been feeling the same way, we’re here to tell you that it’s not all in your head.

We’ve spoken about #shrinkflation in this newsletter before but the latest letdown in the market is “skimpflation” or “flavorflation” where brands are using cheaper ingredients to cut down on costs and maintain their profit margins. More and more consumers are noticing and talking about their chocolate-chip-cookie-less experiences which have made treating ourselves less tasty and less satisfying. In fact, recipes and formulas are changing so much that some ice creams don’t even qualify as ice cream anymore, they’re just “frozen dairy desserts”. Ick. 

Unfortunately, the issue is marketwide and there’s not much we can do about it. At the end of the day, brands have a choice between changing recipes to cut down on costs or passing on the additional cost to consumers, which some call a lose-lose situation. What’s your take on it? Would you pay $1 more for your favorite snack or take a 10% reduction in its flavor? Let us know by replying to this email!

Holiday Travellers Beware 

In the first five months of 2023, more than 26,000 formal complaints were filed against U.S. airlines, more than twice as much as in 2022. This holiday season is anticipated to be a busy one so if you’re traveling, be sure to take extra precautions to make sure your plans aren’t interrupted. 

With travel quickly bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels yet airlines remaining understaffed, airport mess-ups have gotten out of hand. The industry is making some progress: there’s been a significant reduction in flight cancellations in 2023, but this hasn’t satiated consumer demands. Delays are still skyrocketing, alongside misplaced luggage, higher chances of getting bumped, and just a messy travel experience overall. 

So if you’re traveling this holiday season, here are our top tips:

  1. Just like your dad when he’s traveling, get to the airport with hours to spare. Arriving early will prevent you from getting bumped off the plane.
  2. Leave a buffer between travel days and important events. Don’t pick a flight on Christmas eve and expect things to run smoothly. Always prepare for the worst so you won’t miss out on anything.

If something does go wrong with your flight, like an airline bump or damaged luggage, check out the U.S. Department of Transportation website to find out how you can get compensated or reimbursed.


“I Don’t Need A Budget”

Budgeting is the most important money practice you can have, especially in high-spend seasons like the holidays. We know reaching for an additional gift for your favorite person may feel like the right thing to do but do you really want to start the new year broke again?

A budget is essential to understanding and managing your finances effectively, helping you allocate money to your priorities and avoid unnecessary debt. It gives you control over your money and lets you make informed choices about how to use it. A budget is not about restrictions; it's about making your money work for you and helping you achieve the things that matter most to you.

Plan for your financial future and start the new year off on the right foot with our easy-to-use budget planner at milansingh.co/budget-planner


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