💰 Credit vs. DebitSep 18, 2023
Welcome everyone, I’m so excited to be sending you the first edition of my weekly Hack Your Money Newsletter.
This week, rent is going down and insurance is going up, but we’re solving both those problems. We’re weighing the pros and cons of using debit vs. credit for your purchases and why you really need to start paying attention to internet scams that are on the rise.
Here’s to supercharging your money, one step at a time. Enjoy!
IN THE STOCKS
- S&P 500 4,450.25 (-0.38%)
- NASDAQ 13,708.12 (-0.62%)
- Dow Jones 34,616.72 (-0.15%)
*Stock data as of closing on September 15th.
MILAN’S HACK OF THE DAY
Using Debit vs. Credit
We’re starting with the basics this week so we can give your finances a nice little deep clean. A gold star to anyone who can answer this question: when do you make purchases on debit and when do you use credit?
We strongly advise you to always swipe your credit card, no matter the purchase. This is the fastest way to build credit so you can make bigger purchases later on, like a house or car. Just be sure to always pay your bill in full at the end of each month. That means you have to stay disciplined; never spend more than you can afford to pay off every month.
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN
We can’t believe we’re still explaining this one but a bunch of people recently lost $691,000 when they clicked a malicious phishing link that hackers posted to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin's X account. The post promised followers free NFTs and swiped their accounts instead.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. We’re tired of saying this but please be wary of malicious links, messages, and scam accounts. It happens to the best of us.
IN THE KNOW
Why Rent Rose But You Can Calm Down
The Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI) announced that rent has risen by 3.3% this August. But you can breathe a sigh of relief because year-on-year growth is coming all the way down. This continues a solid 18-month downturn since rent hit an all-time high in February 2022.
Whether you’re looking to renew your contract or move to a new apartment, always remember to do these three things.
- Before signing your lease, always be sure to take a final walkthrough of the apartment and inspect the entire space for any pre-existing damages. Be sure to take pictures of the existing damages as proof for when you terminate your contract and need your security deposit back.
- Next, if you’re ever given a month’s rent-free, or any other kind of discount, pro-rate the amount towards your lease term. This way, your monthly rent will be lowered and you’ll actually be saving a couple hundred dollars on your total rent for the year.
- Finally, when ending your lease, always bring up your forwarding address so your landlord can return your security deposit.
These 3 things will save you a lot of time and money, especially if you move around a lot. Happy renting!
Americans are Richer, but Also, Not Really?
In the first quarter, total household wealth in America was measured at $70.4 trillion, a record high. Homeowners are also enjoying an appreciating real estate market and stocks are (more or less) soaring. So why are we still second-guessing avocados at the supermarket?
It might have something to do with inflation. And lots and lots of babies. America’s growing population means household wealth is spread out across more mouths to feed. Tightening credit lines and a 7.6% unemployment rate aren’t helping.
We really are living in unprecedented times and an emergency fund is necessary now more than ever. How to build one, you ask? Learn all the deets in my Top 15 Hacks guidebook. Download it for free at milansingh.co/hacks
Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because of What?
Car insurance companies across America have increased their prices by 19% compared to last August, the highest annual jump recorded in 47 years. And the reason for it is like something out of a sci-fi novel set in the year 2024. Oh, wait.
Talk of the town is that climate change is causing insurance prices to soar, especially in Florida, where extreme weather has increased the odds of property damage. This has pushed annual insurance covers in the state to an average of $3,183 a year, the highest across the U.S. Insurance providers also blame inflation, supply chain costs, increasing repair costs, and “riskier driving behavior” for the surprising rise. But we may have one more trick in the hat for you.
There are 4 types of discounts you can get to lower your car insurance:
- The Good Driver Discount that you can claim if you have a clean record
- A discount for full-time students with high GPAs
- A Full Pay Discount if you pay for your policy in full at purchase
- A 10% discount if you take the Defensive Driver Course
MONEY MYTH OF THE DAY
Carry a Balance on Your Credit Card to Build Credit
Our Hack of the Day probably brought up some questions. Multinational data analytics and consumer credit reporting company, Experian confirmed that this is, in fact, a myth. Be sure to pay off your bill in full so you aren’t surprised by interest, fees, or when you’re unable to pay the full amount. If you do have to carry a balance, I recommend keeping it under 10% utilization meaning if you have a limit of $1000, don’t carry a balance over $100.
VIDEOS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK
Here are the top videos you loved the most this week: