In the past few decades, there has been an explosion of craft breweries opening up nationwide. More choices are available to beer drinkers, who are increasingly turning away from the traditional brand names.
Small brewery explosion over last year
The number of micro-brewers in the United States has been steadily growing for years, but the last 18 months have been one of the largest periods of growth in living memory. According to NPR, about 150 craft breweries have opened their doors this year, and even more are on the way.
More small brewing operations are opening now than ever. The Brewers Association, a [...]
Starting early next year, Bank of America — the nation’s largest lender — will begin charging a $5 monthly fee for debit card users. The bank says the new fees are to offset revenue lost due to new regulations that limit the amount they can charge merchants per transaction. Other banks are expected to follow.
Applies to most depositors
The fees will be waived if the card is used only at an ATM or if the cardholder has a mortgage with BofA and owes at least $20,000. Most will pay $60 a year, which will be charged on top of any existing [...]
Raising children is a heavy burden financially. Many costs associated with raising children are increasing, including the cost of child care.
Necessary part of being a modern parent
For many parents, paying for childcare is just part of the cost of raising children. Since 1985, about one-quarter of children 4 or younger who have employed parents have been enrolled in some sort of center-based child care, according to Childstats.gov. As of 2007, 55.3 percent of all children 3 to 6 who aren’t enrolled in kindergarten were enrolled in a child care center.
In other words, there is a good chance that more than [...]
Best Buy, the largest consumer electronics retailer in the world, is combating revenue losses by increasing its online presence for the holiday season. The electronics giant also plans to cut temporary hiring by half. The move is disappointing for the unemployed hoping for seasonal work. In the midst of these losses, the retailer is spending unprecedented amounts on lobbying.
Increased online presence
In order to combat its fifth straight quarterly drop, The Richfield, Minn.-based retailer is stepping up efforts to lure shoppers by bolstering its online presence.
“We’re moving our messaging to (the Internet), where we know our consumers are,” said company CEO [...]
As the past few years have made it harder for people to justify making large purchases on credit cards, stores have been starting to bring back layaway. Paying for things on the installment plan has become more popular, as Walmart and other retailers are prominently featuring their layaway plans.
Walmart rolls back its roll back on installment plans
In 2006, according to USA Today, Walmart announced that there would no longer be any layaway plans available in its stores, with the exception of its fine jewelry. As the recession wore on, the people of Walmart clamored for the return of the layaway [...]
On Sept. 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged a woman in Washington State with conducting a Ponzi scheme. The charges say she took more than $1 million from investors for a payday loan business. However, no criminal charges have been filed, and the woman denies intent to fraud.
Civil complaint filed
The civil complaint, filed in federal district court in Spokane, Wash., claims that Doris E. “Dee” Nelson of Colbert, Wash., raised $135 million from 650 investors in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the Little Loan Shoppe, a payday loan business. The money was raised between 1999 and [...]
A free checking account used to be a common convenience that banks extended to customers. However, the banking crisis has led many to abandon the practice. Here’s a closer look at why free checking is quickly becoming extinct.
Banks becoming less user-friendly
It wasn’t long ago that free checking was expected when you signed up for an account at your local bank. According to Bankrate, things have definitely changed. A recent survey found that only 45 percent of non-interest checking accounts are free now, which is down from 65 percent just one year ago and 76 percent in 2009. Many checking accounts [...]
A study was recently released that asserts the cost of health insurance is going up. Health insurance benefits were found to cost the average family more than $15,000 per year.
Cost of insurance growing faster than wages
A study has just been released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, part of the Kaiser Permanente health care consortium, that found the cost of health insurance was climbing faster than wages, according to the Financial Times. The cost of health care coverage increased by 9 percent from 2010 to 2011, whereas wages increased by only 2 percent.
The cost of insuring a family rose to $15,073 [...]
President Obama’s deficit reduction plan would allow debt collectors to call the cell phones of people who are late on government-backed loans. These loans include most mortgages, back taxes and federal student loans. Currently, debt collectors are only allowed to call landline home telephones.
Increased reliance on cell phones
The administration believes the move is a necessary one in light of the increasing reliance on cell phones. The provision reads:
“The Administration … proposes … facilitating contact of delinquent debtors who are most readily reached on their cell phones. This provision is expected to provide substantial increases in collections particularly as an increasing [...]
According to MSNBC, in 2007 most Americans were against higher taxes for the rich because they hoped to be there one day themselves. That all changed with the great recession. Now most Americans believe the goal is unattainable in their lifetime.
Poll shows confidence low
A recent poll from the AP and CNBC showed that 79 percent of Americans think it is unlikely they will reach the $1 million mark in the next decade. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said it is “extremely” or “very difficult” to become a millionaire in the current U.S. economy.
Number of millionaires on the rise
But the fact [...]
Despite the many financial services firms engaged in legal and ethical practices, there are a lot of scams. The classic sign of a financial service scam is demanding payment up front.
It is too good to be true
There is an old maxim stating that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” A scam artist promises financial services to cure any ill, only demanding a large payment up front. The victims find out months later that nothing has been done and they have been bilked of that initial payment.
Money for nothing
One scam is the promise of lowering a [...]
The global financial crisis continues to boil in Europe, where the dour economic status of Greece threatens to pull other nations’ economies down into the abyss. BBC News reports that there may be a life raft, however. A eurozone recovery plan is in the works between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Greece that could spell relief — for Greece, for the eurozone and, by extension, the United States.
More Grecian write-offs and bailouts
According to the BBC, the IMF plan for Grecian relief is expected to involve clearing away as much as 50 percent of Greece’s government debt. In addition, the [...]
A recent study by Moebs Services revealed that consumers are still paying billions per year in overdraft fees. Poorer banking customers are more likely to incur overdrafts, which are becoming a prime target of banking regulations.
Bulk of overdrafts levied against poor consumers
Though financial reforms have taken a slight backseat to political wrangling over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the CFPB’s prime targets is still a rampant problem.
According to Daily Finance, overdraft fees are still being charged to consumers as fast as they can be added to accounts. A recent study by Moebs Services found that the amount of [...]
Many cell phone service providers have announced plans to do away with unlimited data plans in lieu of tiered plans, which are tailored more toward individual usage. Some in the blogosphere are outraged, believing that the tiered plans will cost them more. Some experts, however, are standing up for the tiered system. But no matter what the case, there are many things you can do to save money and still carry the Internet in your pocket.
Standing up for tiered pricing
Technology blogger Anson Alex believes that a tiered data plan can be economically more sensible than an unlimited plan. In his [...]
In spite of the murky economy, holiday shopping will be up slightly this year, according to an annual report. But there will be fewer bodies in the stores. Meanwhile, the retail industry, concerned about its future growth, is getting politically active.
Holiday season 20 percent of sales
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the retail sector accounts for about 25 percent of all jobs in the U.S. The holiday season accounts for about 20 percent of the average retailer’s annual income. The November-December shopping season can make the difference between profit and loss for the year.
The retail industry as a whole was seeing fewer [...]
It seems that, no matter what the prediction for the nation’s economic future, predicting the future may be a recession-proof industry. Psychics are thriving with an infux of a new clientele: businessmen.
‘Healer and psychic medium’
Penelope is a single-named “hands-on healer and psychic medium” based in New York. She charges up to $125 an hour for her divined advice. According to Daily Finance, she has seen a marked increase in businessmen clientele.
‘Nobody really knows what’s going to happen’
“You’re not going to your mortgage broker or your banker or your investment person for guidance because nobody really knows what’s going to happen,” [...]
Believe it or not, two smart things to invest in are a good mattress and a flu shot. Sleep deprivation and influenza are two common ailments that cause trillions of dollars to go down the drain.
One flu over the cuckoo’s nest
A study prepared by the Walgreen’s corporation, according to Daily Finance, recently found that up to 100 million work days and 32 million school days were lost to influenza last year. Walgreen’s estimates $7 billion in lost wages due to people getting the flu. Eighty percent of people in the study reported going to work with flu-like symptoms. Employers paid [...]