Monday Night Finance- Volume 71

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Recession Or Not?

If you’ve watched the news lately, there is certainly a lot of talk about “the R word”. It seems like many Americans (and traders on Wall Street) are trying to figure out if we are in a recession. On some level, whether or not we are in a recession is an academic question- whether or not you personally have a job tomorrow doesn’t change if we are officially in a recession. However, in the big picture, recessions affect many aspects of our lives, from the amount of unemployment in the country to affecting the stock prices that make up the majority of Americans retirement accounts. In this article, Big ERN of Early Retirement Now, who used to work for the Federal Reserve gives his in-depth thoughts about whether or not we are in a recession.

Waiting for the NBER to make their decision can be frustrating. Take, for example, the 2001 recession. The NBER didn’t announce the March 2001 recession start until November 2001. The timing is ironic because that month turned out to be the end of the recession. That’s like a pregnancy test where the result is available after the baby is born.

~Big ERN, Early Retirement Now

If you want to know if we are headed into a recession, then this is exactly the deep dive you need. Big ERN presented evidence for and against the facts we are in a recession. In addition, he shares the same graphs that Federal Reserve economists are using to understand the economy. Both the labor market and the industrial production numbers suggest that we are not in or headed into a recession. Additional evidence against a recession can be seen in corporate bonds; right now, companies are not paying a large premium over government bonds, which suggest that investors do not see them as more risky than government bonds because there is little risk of them going out of business. Unfortunately, there are several economic indicators on the flip side- the biggest of which is that the yield curve has inverted. So– what does all this mean? Are we in a recession or not? You’ll need to read the article to get Big ERN’s take.

9 Signs You May Be Living Above Your Means (and What to Do About It)

Unless you are retired, consistently spending more than you earn is a problem. It means that you are either going into debt to fund your current lifestyle, or you are burning through precious savings that you may need in retirement. With a tool like CountAbout, it’s easy to track your income and spending each month to know exactly where you stand. However, if you’ve never used a finance tool like CountAbout before, and if the thought of a budget makes you want to puke, you might want to check out this article by the Vital Dollar.

In this article, we’ll look at some warning signs that may indicate you’re living above your means. If several of these warning signs are evident in your own life, consider making some changes in order to improve your financial situation.

Vital Dollar

So, the most obvious way to tell if you are living above your means is to actually track your spending each month. If you want to give that a try, CountAbout offers a free 45 day trial. However, there are plenty of other indirect ways to tell that you’re living above your means as well. For instance, if you notice your credit card balances increasing, this is a sign that you’re spending more than you’re able to pay off each month. The article also goes into some interesting factors that banks use to determine whether they think you are living above your means. For example, if you spend more than 28% of income on housing (or more than 36% of your income on housing and other debt), you may not receive a loan because the bank is concerned that you will not be able to pay it off. If you’re nervous about whether your spending may be a problem, check out the article for more guidance.

How to Turn 10 Dollars into 100

Remember when ten dollars used to be worth something? Now it takes $10 just to get lunch. If the record inflation of 2022 has been getting you down, you might be looking for ways to make more money. This article by Forrest of Don’t Work Another Day shares twelve different tips to turn $10 into $100.

Turing $10 into $100 is easier than you might think. Between flipping on eBay, starting a blog, or investing, there are many ways to do it. The most important part is getting started and taking action.

Forrest- Don’t Work Another Day

To be fair, many of these tricks to turn $10 into $100 take some time. (If you had a long enough time, even $10 put into a savings account would eventually reach $100). Although returns aren’t guaranteed and it won’t turn into $100 overnight, stocks and real estate both have a long track record of positive returns. While in the past you could not invest small sums of money into these assets, there are now several platforms that allow small investments that could grow into big returns. Outside of investing the $10, you’re going to need to work to turn the $10 into $100. For example, you could find and flip items at a thrift store. If neither of those options sounded like something you’re interested in, check out the article for even more tips.