💰 Say yes to savings this holiday seasonNov 05, 2023
In true Hack Your Money style, we’re kicking off with a spot of bad news just cause the good stuff will feel even better. McDonald’s is about to super-size their prices and a new money trend is sparking debate across the internet, but we’re also giving you a few ways to spend less money this holiday season and bonus tips that will help you get a free hotel upgrade.
This issue is jam-packed with golden nuggets of information that will help you save, invest, and supercharge your money, one step at a time!
IN THE STOCKS
- S&P 500 4,358.34 (0.94%)
- NASDAQ 13,478.28 (1.38%)
- Dow Jones 34,061.32 (0.66%)
*Stock data as of closing on November 3rd.
MILAN’S HACK OF THE DAY
Remove Your Personal Information From Google Searches
When was the last time you Googled your name? Are you able to trace your address, phone number, or email easily? That’s not a good thing.
In our interconnected world, our personal information can sometimes make its way into questionable places. And when data is money, protecting your privacy is so important. For decades now, people’s personal information has unknowingly been available on the internet for anyone to view and use at their discretion. Thankfully, Google is currently beta testing a feature where you will be able to remove your personal information from Google searches.
All you have to do is Google your name, select the vertical three dots next to the site that contains your personal information, and click “Remove result” in the top right corner. Now select “It shows my personal contact info” and fill out your details to submit a request. You can then check your Google Activity to check the status of your request, and Google will get back to you via your listed email in a few days.
Now you must remember that this feature doesn’t remove your data from the site itself but removing your information from Google Searches means that finding it is just a little tougher.
THE MONEY BREAKDOWN
Inflation is when things like the stuff you buy and the services you use get more expensive over time. This means that the money you have today won't buy as much in the future. For example, if a loaf of bread costs $2 today and inflation is 2%, it might cost $2.04 next year. So, your money's value decreases because it can't buy as much as it used to.
Inflation happens because either people want to buy more things than what's available (demand-pull inflation) or because it costs more to make those things (cost-push inflation). In both instances, prices go up.
Inflation has both good and bad sides. On the good side, it can encourage people to spend and invest, which helps the economy grow. On the bad side, it means your money loses value, so you'll need more of it to buy the same things. To hedge yourself against inflation, try these tips:
- Invest in assets that appreciate with time like real estate, gold, or oil
- Invest in stocks of established companies with a history of growth
- Invest in your skills and education to grow alongside the market
For a beginner’s guidebook to the stock market, click here.
IN THE KNOW
Minimum Wage & Fast Food Chains
California is finally increasing its minimum wage to $20 an hour for fast food chains but turns out, this piece of good news isn’t all it's cracked up to be. McDonald’s and Chipotle recently announced that they will be upping their menu prices early next year to counterbalance the minimum wage requirement that’s supposed to kick in by April.
Skyrocketing costs of labor and raw materials have pushed restaurants across the industry to increase prices multiple times this year, driving up food inflation. Dining out costs 6% more this September than it did last year so we can’t help but wonder, will the Fry Attachment Rate finally take a nosedive?
In an earlier issue, we spoke about this economic indicator that depends on people’s ability to afford a side of fries with their burgers. A couple of weeks ago, the Fry Attachment Rate was fine and dandy but we suspect these supersized prices may soon put an end to it.
Does ‘Soft Saving’ Make Sense?
Gen Z has always been the one to grab life by the reins and break free of the traditional constraints that bind them. This is especially seen in Gen Z’s money mindset and their role in leading the latest trend of ‘soft saving’.
A recent study by Intuit found that three out of every four Gen Z would rather have a happy and fulfilling life over a retirement fund in their bank accounts. Especially post-pandemic, people are now spending more on experiences, their mental health, and a more comfortable life.
We get the logic behind the trend; investing in yourself is important and gathering experiences while you’re young is one of the fastest ways to success. But if you’re thinking of skimping out on your savings, at least make sure your financial future is secure. Build an emergency fund and accumulate passive income. Find out how in our free-to-download Top 15 Hacks Guide at milansingh.co/hacks
How To Spend Less This Holiday Season
As plans for the holiday season start stacking up, so do your expenses. Gifts, meals, events, and decor cost a hefty amount every year so it’s important to ensure that your holiday spending doesn’t destroy your long-term financial health.
The good news is that if you tackle this spending season with a plan and some discipline, things could play out much better for you in the new year. So here are our favorite pieces of advice from Forbes that will help you spend less in the coming months.
- Create a budget: Start a holiday fund and allocate a portion of it to each of your expected expenses. Use an app to track this information and make sure you aren’t overspending.
- Use coupons and promo codes: The holidays are always full of great deals wherever you look. Use websites like RetailMeNot and CouponCabin to find the best ones.
- Book your travel early: And we mean like, right now. Holiday travel prices will be going up soon so grab ‘em while they’re cheap!
What’s your #1 money rule during the holidays? Hit reply to this email and let us know!
Fancy An Upgrade?
Speaking of holiday travel, have you seen the prices of hotel stays lately? If you’re all about that ‘soft saving’ life and are about to book your vacation anyway, at least score yourself a cushy room upgrade to stretch your money further.
Requesting an upgrade has become so common that hotels flat-out deny people who ask for one at check-in. Instead, try these tips that could help you vacation a class higher.
- Loyalty can get you far: Airline and hotel loyalty programs could really pay off. Check out programs like World of Hyatt that reward members “upgrade certificates” for spending milestones. Also, be sure to check for credit cards that offer room upgrades the moment your application is approved.
- For special occasions, call ahead: On birthdays, anniversaries, and honeymoons, try calling your hotel and telling them you’re celebrating. More often than not, hotels arrange special treats and room upgrades too.
- Book for the season: High-season bookings at resorts are less likely to get an upgrade. If you’re flying for the holidays, book a business hotel for a better rate and a higher chance of a room upgrade. Always reserve destination resorts for low-season.
- Mind your check-in time: If you check in early in the day, it’s more likely that the hotel is reserving available rooms for last-minute purchases. If you check in late in the evening, the hotel is more willing to upgrade your room ‘cause no one’s using it anyway.
Try out these handy tips for yourself and let us know how they work out for you. Happy vacationing!
MONEY MYTH OF THE DAY
“You Can Never Work Your Way Out Of Poverty”
Though our futures are largely dependent on the hand we are dealt in life and the financial environments we are born into, financial freedom is always a possibility.
There are tons of ways you can gain knowledge on how to make, manage, and invest your money and if done right, you can build yourself out of poverty. Hard work, discipline, and patience are key in this journey but trust us, it’s possible.
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