💰 Say goodbye to hidden feesOct 22, 2023
The financial world this week has more good news than usual; traffic is getting greener, grocery shopping could get cheaper, alongside your concert tickets, and you may finally have new leverage to work from home.
Which tips are your favorite and what more would you like to read more of? We’re eager to hear from you so drop us a reply on this email!
IN THE STOCKS
- S&P 500 4,224.16 (-1.26%)
- NASDAQ 12,983.81 (-1.53%)
- Dow Jones 33,127.28 (-0.86%)
*Stock data as of closing on 20th October.
MILAN’S HACK OF THE DAY
Switch To Private Label
Good news for all of us looking to shave a few dollars off our shopping bills: private labels are expanding.
Private labeling is when a company produces goods under its own brand name but outsources the manufacturing process to a third-party company. Costco’s Kirkland outsources their coffee manufacturing process to Starbucks, batteries to Duracell, and diapers to Huggies. They are then able to offer high-quality products that are often similar to, or even better than, name-brand competitors, while still maintaining lower prices.
Store brand sales now make up 20.6% of the total spend on groceries in the U.S., helping companies like Wegmans expand their private label product range to a whopping 17,000 items. So the next time you’re shopping and need to make the (not so) tough decision between name-brand and store brand remember, it's the same product, just at different price points.
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN
Could Girl Math Have Graver Repercussions?
Social media’s hottest hashtag, #girlmath, brought up a lot of quirky spending habits and questionable money theories that many people across the world could relate to. But with the theories getting more and more bizarre, is it time for us to stop and think if we’re taking it a little too far?
According to wealth advisor turned financial-content specialist Zoe Burt, “..the hashtag plays into a damaging stereotype that women are bad at math. We've got evidence of female mathematicians solving some of the world's greatest problems, yet #girlmath perpetuates the belief women just aren't mathsy.”
Regardless of whether the trend is toxic or not, the media we consume every day sculpts our mindset. And if you’re trying to get ahead of your finances, enough videos on #girlmath could sidetrack your progress. Our two cents? Choose to consume media that will help you learn, grow, and succeed.
IN THE KNOW
Project Green Light: The Solution To Pollution 😶🌫️
Google recently announced that they will be expanding Project Green Light to more cities across the globe. The initiative was launched in 2021 and has seen great results in the dozen cities that hosted the pilot project. It is now set to become an easily scalable solution to pollution, traffic, and probably road rage.
So how exactly does it work? Google Research found that idling vehicles at traffic lights contribute to pollution 29 times more than moving vehicles on open roads. Because of this, keeping traffic congestion to a minimum is in the best interest of the planet, your pocket, and your patience.
Using AI and Google’s decades of information gathering, Project Green Light uses Google Maps to study intersections, measure traffic trends, and develop recommendations for each city. Cities can then integrate the information into already existing infrastructure. The idea is that soon, commuters will begin to see waves of green lights leading them home, instead of having to idle in traffic.
Time to convince your mayor to bring Green Light home? We think so too.
California Will Soon Be Junk-Fees Free 🎉
A few weeks ago, we spoke about the pitfalls of hidden fees on airfare, concert tickets, and everyday purchases. It looks like someone heard us because Gov. Gavin Newsom, recently signed Senate Bill 478 which is going to save us all a lot of frustration.
The law, which will be effective from July 1, 2024, will ban “offering a price for a good or service that does not include all mandatory fees or charges other than taxes or fees imposed by a government on the transaction.” This means we can say goodbye to convenience fees, resort fees, handling fees, or any other made-up fees that take us by surprise at check out.
While this might not bring down prices of many things, since businesses are still allowed to display prices inclusive of these fees, price comparisons and matching will be much easier now. Looking for more ways to save and manage your money? Check out my Top 15 Hacks that will give your finances the reset they need at milansingh.co/hacks
How Much Does It Cost To Go To Work? 😳
For years now, employees have been debating the need to work in an office, as opposed to staying in their pajama bottoms for a WFH. New research from Owl Labs weighs in favor of the latter.
On average, hybrid workers spend $51 when working from the office (as opposed to $36 when working from home) on meals, parking, and the commute. The cost only increases the harder you look at it when you factor in pet care, time spent on the commute, and the effort taken to be nice to people you don’t really like (lol).
Unfortunately, companies across the board are making employees come back to the office, whether they like it or not. But now since you have a rough estimate of your daily costs, maybe you, alongside 29% of hybrid and remote workers, can ask for a raise to make up for it.
Do you prefer working from the office or from home? Hit reply to this email and let us know!
Losing Faith In Luxury 🛍️
We’ve been long-time advocates of not buying luxury goods and the market finally seems to be catching up. This month, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, LVMH, announced that sales of their fashion and leather goods category had only grown by 9% as opposed to 20% from the first half of this year.
While pandemic and post-pandemic spending surges saw a bigger demand for luxury goods, causing brands to hike their prices by 8x more than the annual average, the wider market is seeing consumers now lean more towards experiences than luxury goods like diamonds and designerwear.
Projected sales for luxury goods are expected to move into the trillions by 2027 but are expected to slow down overall. With newsletters like this and a wealth of information at their fingertips, customers are getting way too smart to fall prey to the power of marketing. Should we say, you’re welcome?
MONEY MYTH OF THE DAY
“Investing Is Only For The Rich”
Investing is NOT only for the rich. This myth can prevent people from building wealth and achieving their financial goals. Here's why it’s not true:
- Accessible to All: Investing is open to individuals at all income levels. Whether you have a small or substantial amount of money to spare, there are investment options suitable for you. The key is to get started and leverage the power of compounding over time.
- Diverse Opportunities: Investment options are diverse, from stocks and bonds to mutual funds and real estate. Many of these options allow you to begin with a minimal initial investment. Online brokerage platforms and investment apps have made it more accessible and cost-effective for people to enter the world of investing.
- Education and Consistency: Financial education is pivotal in making informed investment decisions, regardless of your financial situation. Understanding the basics and managing risk is crucial. Implementing strategies like dollar-cost averaging, where you invest a fixed amount at regular intervals, can help mitigate market volatility and grow your wealth over time. In short, investing is a path to financial growth available to everyone willing to learn, start early, and remain consistent.
It's important for individuals at all income levels to consider investing as a means to build wealth and achieve their financial goals. Wondering where to start? Our Beginner's Guide To The Stock Market could help. Get it here.
VIDEOS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK
Here are the top videos you loved the most this week. Which one was your favorite?