minimum wage http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9456/all en-US Here's How the Election Could Impact Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-election-could-impact-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-the-election-could-impact-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/voter_pins_money_72870711.jpg" alt="Learning how the election will impact your wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's Clinton versus Trump, and the topic is money &mdash; because, more than anything else, that's what's on the minds of American voters. All told, 44% of Americans say the economy is their <a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/07/26/72715cnnorc.pdf?iid=EL">top campaign issue</a>. Read on for our roundup of how either candidate's presidency would impact your dollars and cents.</p> <h2>Donald Trump</h2> <p>First up, the presumptive Republican nominee and his ideas about taxes, wages, and more.</p> <h3>Taxes</h3> <p>Trump proposes a systemwide overhaul of the U.S. tax code aimed at simplifying it to the point where it would &quot;<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/11/news/companies/donald-trump-hr-block-tax-code/">put H&amp;R Block right out of business</a>.&quot; In addition to his pledge to make the tax filing process more intuitive for Americans, Trump has also said that he believes the wealthiest Americans should <a href="http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Trump-close-hedge-fund-tax-loophole-6511995.php">pay higher taxes</a>.</p> <p>&quot;If you make $200 million a year and you pay 10%, you're paying very little relatively to somebody that's making $50,000 a year and has to hire H&amp;R Block because it's so complicated,&quot; Trump said during a Republican presidential debate last year. &quot;I know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no taxes, and I think it's unfair.&quot;</p> <p>Under Trump's plan, federal income taxes would be eliminated for Americans who earn less than $25,000 and married couples that earn less than $50,000.</p> <p>Corporations and the wealthy would pay a decreased corporate tax rate (15% rather than the current 35% rate). The highest income tax rate would drop down to 25% from 39.6%.</p> <p>Despite these cuts, Trump has said that his plan would ultimately raise taxes on the wealthy. That would be achieved, he said, through proposed measures such as the elimination of a hedge fund tax loophole and a one-time 10% tax on money brought back into the U.S. by corporations currently holding funds overseas.</p> <h3>Jobs</h3> <p>Trump has vowed to grow the economy, namely by bringing back jobs he says the U.S. has lost to countries including Japan, China, and Mexico. Tariffs on foreign goods and negotiating better trade deals are the two main ways Trump has said he would accomplish this goal.</p> <p>When it comes to bringing home foreign jobs, Trump has specifically criticized Apple's China-based manufacturing. If elected, he has said he would force the tech company to &quot;start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.&quot;</p> <p>As a billionaire real estate developer, Trump has already directly <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/03/news/economy/donald-trump-jobs-created/">created about 34,000 jobs</a>, according to an analysis by CNNMoney.</p> <h3>Minimum Wage</h3> <p>Reversing a previous position, Trump has said he would <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/05/news/economy/candidates-minimum-wage/">raise the federal minimum wage</a> from its current rate of $7.25 an hour. He has not, however, revealed by how much.</p> <h3>Social Security</h3> <p>Trump pledges to <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/03/15/primary-elections-ohio-florida/">leave Social Security</a> &quot;the way it is,&quot; a position that has been called impractical by analysts. The reserve fund will be depleted soon after 2030, upon which, if the law is not changed, monthly benefits will have to be slashed by 21%, experts say. There is one change that he would make, however. Trump has said he would raise the age at which Americans are eligible to begin receiving Social Security benefits to 70. Trump has said that he would not support cutting benefits to those who already receive them.</p> <h3>Health Insurance</h3> <p>Trump has said that he would <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/02/politics/donald-trump-health-care-plan/">ax the Affordable Care Act</a>, also known as Obamacare, and replace it with his own medical care reform system, the details of which are fuzzy. Trump's plan would, however, allow the sale of health insurance across state borders and make health insurance premium payments for individuals fully tax deductible.</p> <h2>Hillary Clinton</h2> <p>Secretary Clinton's plans differ from Mr. Trump's, of course, especially in the areas of taxes and health care.</p> <h3>Taxes</h3> <p>Clinton's economic plan aims to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/14/us/politics/hillary-clinton-offers-her-vision-of-a-fairness-economy-to-close-the-income-gap.html">close the wealth gap</a>, in part by raising taxes for the rich while encouraging the private sector to raise middle-class wages. Specifically, she has said she would close corporate loopholes, including those used by hedge funders to avoid paying millions in income taxes, in an attempt to reign in Wall Street.</p> <p>&quot;We must raise incomes for hardworking Americans so they can afford a middle-class life,&quot; she said at a campaign event last year where she debuted her economic recovery strategy. &quot;That will be my mission from the first day I'm president to the last.&quot;</p> <p>Under Clinton's plan, low and middle-class Americans would pay lower taxes &mdash; just how much lower, she hasn't yet revealed. Meanwhile, wealthy Americans would pay more.</p> <p>Analysts estimate that Clinton's plan would, on average, raise taxes for the top 1% of Americans by <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/03/pf/taxes/hillary-clinton-taxes/">more than $78,000</a>, reducing their after-tax income by 5%. Individuals with adjusted gross incomes topping $1 million would pay a minimum of 30% of their income in taxes.</p> <p>Experts say that while lower and middle-income Americans would pay less, most won't pay very much less.</p> <p>Overall, Clinton's plan is closer to the status quo than the plans proposed by Trump or any other major candidate.</p> <h3>Jobs</h3> <p>Clinton's plan for job growth includes measures that would incentivize corporations to invest in employees. It would also eliminate tax benefits to companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries. Companies that move their headquarters overseas would be hit with an exit tax.</p> <p>&quot;I'm not interested in condemning whole categories of businesses or the entire private sector,&quot; she has said. &quot;But I do want to send a clear message to every boardroom and every executive suite: If you desert America, you'll pay a price.&quot;</p> <p>Clinton has also pledged to expand overtime benefits and promote equal pay for women while also advancing fair scheduling, paid leave, and earned sick days.</p> <h3>Minimum Wage</h3> <p>Clinton has said she supports a <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/04/18/hillary_clinton_explains_her_position_on_a_15_minimum_wage.html">federal minimum wage increase</a> to $15 from the current rate of $7.25 an hour. She has also said that she supports a $12 federal minimum wage, with the caveat that states should feel encouraged to go higher, especially in cities and suburbs with high living costs. It's unclear which proposal she prefers.</p> <h3>Social Security</h3> <p>To preserve the quickly depleting Social Security reserve fund, Clinton's plan calls on the rich to contribute more via income tax. She opposes any benefits cuts and has said she would not raise the retirement age. Clinton has also said that she would expand Social Security to groups she says are <a href="https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/social-security-and-medicare/">treated unfairly by the system</a>, including widows and caretakers who have taken time off from work for the benefit of children, aging parents, or ailing family members.</p> <h3>Health Insurance</h3> <p>Clinton has embraced the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, while acknowledging that there are improvements she would like to make to the current system. Namely, she has said that she would like to <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-hillary-clinton-reveals-her-plan-obamacare-20160223-column.html">add a public option</a>, make health coverage accessible to even more people &mdash; including undocumented immigrants &mdash; and cut its cost.</p> <p><em>Will the candidates' positions on bread and butter issues affect your choice this fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-election-could-impact-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-biggest-ways-procrastination-hurts-your-finances">7 Biggest Ways Procrastination Hurts Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-reasons-2016-needs-to-be-over-asap">7 Financial Reasons 2016 Needs to Be Over ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bushs-economic-stimulus-package-what-will-you-get-back">Bush&#039;s economic stimulus package; What will you get back?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-social-security-just-a-grand-ponzi-scheme">Is Social Security Just A Grand Ponzi Scheme?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mccain-or-obama-who-ll-be-better-for-your-wallet">McCain or Obama? Who’ll be better for your wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 2016 election donald trump Economy hillary clinton jobs minimum wage presidential election social security taxes united states Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1738698 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_seeing_money_000087743301.jpg" alt="Man learning ways greed is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Greed is a particularly ugly sin. While there are positive characteristics of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/seven-deadly-sins" target="_blank">pride, or even envy</a>, it's almost impossible to use greed in any way that isn't an insult. It conjures images of fat cat CEOs hoarding millions, while their workers earn minimum wage. But although Ebenezer Scrooge and his ilk are portrayed as misers with serious money, greed can sometimes make you poor. Here are six examples of the way greed can eat away at your pot of gold.</p> <h2>1. Wanting It All</h2> <p>Not content with their lot in life, some people look at all those things they could have that make life even better. Or so they think, anyway. The latest smartphone. The upgraded car. The bigger house. The 80 inch flat screen TV. The huge deck. The patio. The yacht. Sadly, all those expenses have to be paid, and it can lead to crippling credit card debt, loans that cannot be paid back, and the eventual loss of everything to pay back creditors. As Tyler Durden famously said in Fight Club, &quot;the things you own end up owning you.&quot; So, be very wary of greed. Happiness from those items is fleeting anyway.</p> <h2>2. Living to Excess</h2> <p>More wine. More beer. More junk food. More everything! When greed manifests as the intense and selfish desire for food and drink, it can lead to a plethora of health problems. And as we all know, health care can be very expensive in the USA. Overeating, leading to obesity, is responsible for as much as $210 billion in healthcare costs in the United States. An obese adult spends 42% more on healthcare than someone with a healthy weight, and obesity can lead to many other illnesses.</p> <p>Then there's greed that turns to alcoholism, or drug abuse. While there are definitely other factors involved, including depression and other mental health issues, greed can contribute to a whole host of health problems from drug abuse. Recovery can be costly. And then there are the other problems stemming from an excessive lifestyle, including time taken off work, a lack of drive or motivation, and the sheer expense of maintaining that kind of diet.</p> <h2>3. Breaking the Law</h2> <p>Greed can make people do some strange things, which leads to committing unlawful acts. This does not mean they go out and rob banks, or scam people out of their savings online. It's more that they see an opportunity to make a lot of money for doing something they believe is harmless, albeit illegal. And then, they get caught, and face a prison sentence and a career in ruins.</p> <p>One example is Scott London, a once successful audit partner at a huge accounting firm. He was earning $900,000 a year, but it appears that wasn't enough. London decided to start selling sensitive information about some of his clients to a friend. This is known as insider trading, and it's against the law. Although he made just $70,000 from the deals (a lot for most of us, but for him, a drop in the bucket), he was caught by the FBI and sentenced to 14 months in prison.</p> <p>However, for others, it may be something smaller that leads to the poor house. Cheating on taxes, even just for a few bucks, is a federal offense. And shoplifting as little as three belts, or a couple of jerseys, has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/23-petty-crimes-prison-life-without-parole">landed people in prison for life</a>.</p> <h2>4. Avoiding Generosity</h2> <p>There is a misnomer that every rich person is greedy, and every poor person is not. This is actually not true, and financial guru Robert Kiyosaki has devoted a <a href="http://investmentwatchblog.com/robert-kiyosaki-forget-the-rich-the-poor-are-the-greedy-ones/">one-hour radio show</a> on this subject that is well worth listening to. The basic idea is this: Having a generous spirit, and giving back to the world, will pay dividends. Investing in people, and in projects that have real potential, will reap rewards. On the other hand, hoarding your possessions, never giving to charity, and stockpiling wealth is not a positive way to manage money. Being generous, and doing good, can build much greater wealth than saving every penny and watching it grow a few percent a year in a bank account.</p> <h2>5. Gambling Away Everything</h2> <p>You know the stories. You've seen the movies. Gambling can bring people great wealth in just a few seconds. But, for the vast majority, it's a losing proposition. Couple gambling with greed, and you have a recipe for tragedy just waiting to happen. Every year, millions of people try and get lucky, and for most, it's just a flutter. Win or lose, they walk away. But 2% of people who gamble get seriously addicted, and greed takes over. A win becomes an adrenaline rush. They want more. And more. They want to see the dollar signs multiply. Before they know what's happened, they have lost everything trying to win back the money they once had.</p> <h2>6. Finally&hellip; the Impact of Corporate Greed</h2> <p>Sadly, it's not personal greed, but corporate greed that is having an impact on our wallets. And in some instances, it keeps people in poverty. From the greedy politicians who take cash to vote against the public interest, to the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, America has a serious greed problem. Many of us feel it a little, here and there. But for some, it's the cause of great hardships.</p> <p>One recent example comes from Wendy's. After the recent minimum wage hike, and plans to raise it to $15/hour, the fast food giant responded with automated self-service kiosks. &quot;We continue to look at initiatives and how we work to offset any impacts of future wage inflation through technology initiatives, whether that's customer self-order kiosks, whether that's automating more in the back of the house in the restaurant,&quot; said CTO Todd Penegor (who was&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.salary.com/Todd-A-Penegor-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-WENDY-S-CO.html">compensated over $3 million</a> in 2014). The moral of this story &mdash; demand a living wage and you're out of a job.</p> <p>The defenders of this say that these jobs are entry-level, but with so many manufacturing jobs going elsewhere, and the employment of low-wage workers who do it &quot;cash in hand,&quot; it's getting harder and harder to find a decent paying job that doesn't require an education and a ton of experience; something many people never had the chance to get.</p> <p>Of course, the massive financial meltdown in 2008 was also caused by massive greed, and that impacted millions of homeowners and led to bankruptcies. It's safe to say that even if you are the least greedy person on the planet, you will still be affected by greed in your day-to-day life.</p> <p><em>Has greed cost you? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-42-ways-the-7-deadly-sins-are-keeping-you-poor">Flashback Friday: 42 Ways the 7 Deadly Sins Are Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-wrath-is-keeping-you-poor">5 Ways Wrath Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living charity excess gambling greed healthcare illegal losing money minimum wage poor seven deadly sins sins Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1722968 at http://www.wisebread.com America Is On a Roll: 5 Economic Predictions for 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_business_career_000022805836.jpg" alt="Child making economic predictions for America for 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The past year was a good year for the American economy, and many positive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-back-4-economic-predictions-for-2015">economic predictions</a> came true. Signs seem to indicate that 2016 will be another good one, as the U.S. will continue to outperform its peers, with GDP growth ranging from 2.1% to 4%, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.</p> <p>Here is an updated look at the economic outlook for the U.S. in 2016 &mdash; including several reasons why our nation is on a roll.</p> <h2>1. Oil Continues to Be Cheap</h2> <p>Gasoline is one of the cheaper buys of 2015 that will likely continue to be affordable throughout 2016. As many economists lower their forecasts for average oil prices next year, U.S. consumers will continue to have more room in their monthly budgets.</p> <p>The U.S. Energy Information Administration currently predicts an average retail price (including taxes) of <a href="http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/">$2.06 per gallon</a> for regular grade gasoline and of $2.52 per gallon for diesel fuel for January, 2016. Lower gas prices also have a positive trickle-down effect on several industries, including the airline and retail sectors. Expect several stocks in those sectors to do well.</p> <h2>2. American Debt Is Smaller</h2> <p>The current average U.S. household credit card debt is down from the high levels of the 2007&ndash;2009 recession. For example, the average debt per U.S. household was $7,421 in 2014, down from $8,832 in 2008.</p> <p>These lower debt levels allow the average consumer to bridge a cash crunch when needed. With more consumers reaching a FICO score of 800 (19.9%) and fewer ones scoring below 550, there is strong evidence that Americans are getting better at handling debt.</p> <h2>3. Millennials Are Buying Homes</h2> <p>Improving credit scores are allowing more Americans to have access to financing.</p> <p>Pundits love to focus on stereotypes when talking about the Millennial generation. But many are missing out on the fact that Millennials are dominating the housing market in several U.S. cities.</p> <p>During the first half of 2015, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/the-cities-where-millennials-are-taking-over-the-housing-market">60% of home buyers</a> using a mortgage in Des Moines, Iowa were ages 25 to 34. Other cities where Millennials have the highest share of mortgages are Provo, Utah (49%), Baton Rouge, Louisiana (47%), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (47%), and Grand Rapids, Michigan (46%).</p> <p>While 70% of Millennial college graduates are borrowing to pay for their education, they are still able to purchase homes due to two reasons:</p> <p>First, recipients of a four-year degree make an <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/millennials_report.pdf">estimated $570,000 more</a> in lifetime earnings than those who only have a high school diploma, and even recipients of a two-year degree make an estimated $170,000 more. Second, having at least a four-year degree increases the probability of homeownership, no matter the size of your student debt. For example, the probability of homeownership for recipients of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees are <a href="http://www.zillow.com/blog/student-debt-effect-homeownership-182547/">61% and 66%</a>, respectively.</p> <p>As more Millennials are taking out more mortgages, they appear to be very responsible with their monthly payments. The percentage of the U.S. population with delinquency of at least 90 days <a href="http://www.fico.com/en/blogs/risk-compliance/us-credit-quality-continues-climb-will-level/">dropped from 6.4%</a> in April 2014 to 5.1% in April 2015. This can also partly explain the improving FICO score levels.</p> <p>Millennial home purchasing is a sign of improving economic conditions, and starts off a chain reaction of positive effects. For example, a home may need renovations, so a homeowner hires a contractor &mdash; or a kitchen needs more energy efficient appliances, so a buyer visits an electronics store. As Millennials spend, the broader economy benefits.</p> <h2>4. Wages Continue to Increase</h2> <p>In 2015, several American cities enjoyed <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">higher minimum wages</a>, and there will be many more in 2016.</p> <p>Here are some cities and states with scheduled minimum wage bumps for next year:</p> <ul> <li>Berkeley, California: $12.53 per hour in October 1, 2016 (currently $11.00 per hour)</li> <li>Connecticut: $9.60 per hour in January 1, 2016 (currently $9.15 per hour)</li> <li>District of Columbia: $11.50 per hour in July 1, 2015 (currently $10.50 per hour)</li> <li>Honolulu, Hawaii: $8.50 per hour in January 1, 2016 (currently $7.75 per hour)</li> <li>San Francisco, California: $13.00 per hour in July 1, 2016 (currently $12.25 per hour)</li> <li>Vermont: $9.60 per hour in January 1, 2016 (currently $9.15 per hour)</li> </ul> <p>In Vermont, a full-time worker making the minimum wage would make $19,032 in 2015 and $19,968 in 2016, assuming no overtime and excluding other income, such as tips. That has the strong potential of improving the living conditions of workers who depend on the minimum wage to make a living.</p> <h2>5. U.S. Interest Rates Will (Finally!) Go Up</h2> <p>2015 was supposed to be the year that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates.</p> <p>However, as Yogi Berra once said, &quot;It ain't over, 'til it's over.&quot; Consumer prices <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf">increased in October 2015</a> after two straight months of declines. Add the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against other currencies and a jobless rate that is consistent with full employment to a moderate inflation increase, and you get a very likely chance that the U.S. Federal Reserve could finally increase interest rates this December 16, 2015.</p> <p>In the event that Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, decides to hold on off to an interest rate hike, there's a slim chance that she will delay liftoff beyond early 2016.</p> <p><em>Do you expect 2016 to be better for the economy &mdash; and your pocketbook?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/funding-your-401k-when-youre-in-debt">Funding your 401(k) when you&#039;re in debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-credit-card-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt gas prices housing market interest rates minimum wage u.s. economy Tue, 15 Dec 2015 14:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1619181 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 American Cities With the Highest Minimum Wage http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american_flag_city_000033240984.jpg" alt="Woman in American city with highest minimum wage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With elections coming up next year, it appears that there is at least one issue most of us can agree on: 73% of Americans support <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2014/01/23/most-see-inequality-growing-but-partisans-differ-over-solutions/">raising the federal minimum wage</a> from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour.</p> <p>Given the public support for these initiatives, several cities around the country have successfully increased their own minimum wages. Here are the six U.S. cities with the highest minimum wages in 2015.</p> <h2>1. Oakland, California</h2> <p>If you're looking for the U.S. city with the highest minimum wage, then &quot;Go west, young man!&quot;</p> <p>As of March 2, 2015, Oakland's wage of $12.25 an hour is the highest in the country. Approved by <a href="http://ballotpedia.org/City_of_Oakland_Minimum_Wage_Increase_Initiative,_Measure_FF_(November_2014)">81.77% of eligible voters</a>, this minimum wage increase initiative also provides <a href="http://www.liftupoakland.org/about">paid sick days</a> to an estimated 56,721 private sector workers (37% of all private employees in Oakland) that previously enjoyed no paid sick days.</p> <p>And there's more: Oakland's minimum wage rate is now tied to the cost of living, so it'll continue increasing every year on January 1st in tandem with inflation.</p> <h2>2. San Francisco, California</h2> <p>As of January 1, 2015, the city of San Francisco's minimum wage stands at $11.05 per hour. However, the Golden Gate City is on the road to <a href="http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=411">raising its minimum wage</a> to $15.00 by 2018.</p> <p>A second increase is already scheduled for May 1, 2015, when workers can expect a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour. The third minimum wage raise is set for July 1, 2016, when it becomes $13.00 per hour. Then, San Franciscans can expect a $1 raise every year for the next two years until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2018. After that date, San Francisco's minimum wage will increase every July 1st based on the city's Consumer Price Index.</p> <h2>3. Seattle, Washington</h2> <p>While Washington boasts a <a href="http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#Washington">higher state minimum wage</a> ($9.47 per hour) than California ($9.00), several cities in Washington have scheduled wage increases that are below those of their California counterparts.</p> <p>As of April 1, 2015, the city of Seattle's minimum wage is $11.00 per hour. But there's much more to that number. The current mayor has plans to make <a href="http://murray.seattle.gov/minimumwage/#sthash.TlHE5mje.8vcZBMh9.dpbs">Seattle's minimum wage</a> $15.00 per hour as early as January 1, 2017, and $18.13 per hour by 2025.</p> <h2>4. Berkeley, California</h2> <p>The Golden State really does lead the nation in minimum wage increases.</p> <p>The third Californian city to make this list is Berkeley. Since October 1, 2014 the <a href="http://www.cityofberkeley.info/MWO/">minimum wage in Berkeley</a> has been $10.00 per hour. However, on October 1, 2015 it'll rise to $11.00 per hour and, on October 1, 2016 it will be $12.53 per hour.</p> <p>Any worker who puts in at least two hours per week for an employer within the geographic boundaries of the City of Berkeley is entitled to be paid Berkeley's minimum wage.</p> <h2>5. Santa Fe, New Mexico</h2> <p>In our search of highest minimum wages in the nation, we arrive at the Land of Enchantment. The state's capital, Santa Fe, was already boasting a high minimum wage in March 1, 2014, when city officials increased the wage from $10.51 to $10.66 an hour.</p> <p>Since March 1, 2015, all employers in Santa Fe are required to pay employees, including those who are part-time and temporary workers, a <a href="http://www.santafenm.gov/living_wage_1">minimum hourly wage</a> of $10.84 per hour.</p> <h2>6. Washington, D.C.</h2> <p>On July 1, 2015, <a href="http://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/page_content/attachments/DC%20Minimum%20Wage%20Poster%20-%20English.pdf">Washington, D.C.'s minimum wage</a> will go up by $1 to $10.50 per hour. A year after that, the nation's capital's minimum wage will be $11.50.</p> <p>And beginning July 1, 2017, the city's minimum wage will be indexed in proportion to the area's Consumer Price Index.</p> <p><em>Do you support a higher minimum wage in your city?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress">5 Low Key Jobs for People Who Hate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-learn-about-the-company-before-your-job-interview">5 Things You Must Learn About the Company Before Your Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers">10 High-Paying Careers With Low Educational Barriers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-secrets-of-long-distance-job-hunting">10 Secrets of Long-Distance Job Hunting</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting american cities earnings employment income minimum wage Mon, 04 May 2015 09:01:59 +0000 Damian Davila 1407751 at http://www.wisebread.com What's a Fair Relationship Between Salary and Rent? http://www.wisebread.com/whats-a-fair-relationship-between-salary-and-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/whats-a-fair-relationship-between-salary-and-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/decaying-building.jpg" alt="Decrepit house" title="Decrepit House" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can a minimum-wage worker in your state afford to rent an apartment? Does the answer to that question say anything about us as a people? Should you care? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-decent-standard-of-living">A Decent Standard of Living</a>)</p> <p>Pretty quickly after I started writing for Wise Bread, I discovered that writing about a &quot;decent standard of living&quot; is really hard. There is no luxury so frivolous that there aren&rsquo;t people out there who consider it a necessity, and there is no necessity so essential that there aren&rsquo;t people ready to point out that a billion poor people around the world manage to get by without it.</p> <p>With that in mind, I found this map (from the <a href="http://nlihc.org/">National Low Income Housing Coalition</a>&lsquo;s report <a href="http://nlihc.org/oor/2012">Out of Reach 2012</a>) pretty interesting:</p> <p>&nbsp;<img width="605" height="453" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/2012-OOR-Min-Wage-Map.png" /></p> <p>It shows the number of hours of minimum-wage work it takes to pay the monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.</p> <p>Their statement here is that there&rsquo;s nowhere in the country where a minimum wage worker can afford to live. If you go by the rule of thumb that it&rsquo;s reasonable to spend about 30% of your income on rent, and you figure that there are 21 working days in an average month, then you&rsquo;d calculate that it&rsquo;s reasonable to spend 50 hours a month earning your rent. But there's no state where that's possible. The cheapest states (West Virginia and Arkansas) take 63 hours of minimum wage work to pay for a two-bedroom apartment.</p> <p>To my mind, the whole notion is a bit odd. For how long has it been reasonable &mdash; not just <em>reasonable</em>, but presumptively true &mdash; that every worker needs his or her own two-bedroom apartment?</p> <p>Let's try an alternative perspective. Let's instead suppose it&rsquo;s reasonable that poor folks shouldn&rsquo;t expect to be able to make ends meet without a roommate. In that case, it would be reasonable for rent to run as high as 100 hours a month, with two workers sharing the cost.</p> <p>Accept that as a standard &mdash; poor folks have to have roommates &mdash; and the implication of the map seems much more reasonable. It&rsquo;s still too expensive to live a few places &mdash; the Northeast corridor, California, and Florida &mdash; but everywhere else 100 hours of minimum-wage work will rent you an apartment.</p> <p>Of course, having a roommate is only one way to afford decent housing. An even cheaper option might be to rent a room in someone else's house. Or to rent a one-bedroom or an efficiency apartment.</p> <p>In fact, there's a lot of complexity, once you dig a little deeper. The whole idea of &quot;fair market rent&quot; buries a lot of variation in the costs of individual units. If you can find a cheaper apartment that meets your needs &mdash; and you only need to find one &mdash; it doesn't really matter what other units go for. (The <a href="https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD">Department of Housing and Urban Development</a> calculates the fair market rent numbers used. It might be worth mentioning that my wife and I &mdash; and I presume, most of our neighbors in our apartment complex &mdash; are paying almost 25% under the fair market rent for our area.)</p> <p>Underlying all this are a lot of implications about social organization. If one minimum-wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment, then one worker with a spouse can afford to start a family, and the non-working spouse can stay home and take care of the child. At the lower end of the income spectrum, that's been tough to arrange for many years now &mdash; in large part because it isn't &quot;decent&quot; to live at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-high-high-standard-of-living-1">the standard of living that a single wage-earner can afford</a>.</p> <p>But if you don't get too hung up on what's decent, and instead go for what works for you, a whole lot of options open up. As I said, you only need to find one apartment that's affordable. You can eat a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">healthy diet that's frugal</a>. There are a million ways to spend less on transportation, clothing, fuel, education, health care, and all the other necessities of life, and produce a standard of living that would have been considered superb by almost everyone who has ever lived &mdash; as long as you don't get too hung up on what <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-poor-folks-have-better-crap-than-you">other people consider necessary</a>.</p> <p>I'm glad people are talking about issues of fairness related to the cost of living and how it relates to the minimum wage, and I&nbsp;rather like this group's contribution to the discussion. But I'm also glad I'm living large on a small budget.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-a-fair-relationship-between-salary-and-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-decent-standard-of-living">A decent standard of living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-cheated-us-out-of-our-amazing-future">Who Cheated Us Out of Our Amazing Future?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/borrowing-renting-substituting-and-doing-without">Borrowing, renting, substituting, and doing without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-federal-minimum-wage-increases-this-week-are-you-getting-a-pay-raise">The Federal Minimum Wage Increases This Week - Are You Getting a Pay Raise?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance minimum wage rent standard of living Tue, 04 Dec 2012 10:36:45 +0000 Philip Brewer 955733 at http://www.wisebread.com The Federal Minimum Wage Increases This Week - Are You Getting a Pay Raise? http://www.wisebread.com/the-federal-minimum-wage-increases-this-week-are-you-getting-a-pay-raise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-federal-minimum-wage-increases-this-week-are-you-getting-a-pay-raise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/firstpaycheck.jpg" alt="My first paycheck" title="My First Paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="227" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On July 24th, 2008, the Federal minimum wage in The United States will i<a href="http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/flsa/">ncrease from $5.85 per hour to $6.55 per hour </a> in accordance to the 2007 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is a 70 cent or approximately 12% increase from last year. Are You getting a pay raise?</p> <p>I am guessing that for most people the answer is &quot;no&quot; because many businesses already pay more than the Federal Minimum Wage to compete for workers. Additionally, more than 20 states have their own minimum wage laws that give workers higher minimum wages than the Federal rate. For example, in California the <a href="http://www.dir.ca.gov/Iwc/MinimumWageHistory.htm" target="_blank">minimum wage is already $8.00 per hour this year</a> . </p> <p>Some have argued that a raise in minimum wage would hurt small businesses, but according to <a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/2/prweb506201.htm">a survey conducted last year</a> , only 3 percent of the small businesses they surveyed paid their workers only the Federal minimum wage, and 6 percent paid only the state minimum wage. The remaining 91%, of small businesses already pay their workers more than the minimum wage so there is not much for them to worry about. </p> <p>Next year the Federal minimum wage will rise again to $7.25 and stop there until there is more legislation. Some states already index their minimum wage increases to inflation and adjust it annually so the next increase also may not have too much of an impact on businesses that already pay above the minimum wage. </p> <p>As always, you should know your rights as a worker no matter where you work. If you earn close to the minimum wage, then you should check your state&#39;s labor laws for the most updated minimum wage rates. If the law says that you are supposed to receive an increase in pay then you should make sure that you are paid the right amount on the effective date. If applicable, your workplace should also display a new poster informing you of the new minimum wage rates.</p> <p><em>Are you getting a pay raise due to this law?  Will it help you significantly in this economically challenging year? </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-federal-minimum-wage-increases-this-week-are-you-getting-a-pay-raise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Consumer Affairs laws minimum wage money pay Tue, 22 Jul 2008 05:40:05 +0000 Xin Lu 2255 at http://www.wisebread.com