money·3 min read

Skimm Money: Credit tips, Staycation Ideas, and Making Smarter Money Moves

Green Wallet
May 28, 2021

Hey. Ready to check out for the long weekend? Same. So let's get right into what the money world is talking about this week. 

Headlines, Skimm’d 

  • A fork in the road. Yesterday, Senate Republicans unveiled a $928 billion counteroffer to President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan. What's in it: funding to improve roads, bridges, airports, waterways, and broadband. What's not: the "human infrastructure" provisions (like child care and green energy investments) and corporate tax hikes from Biden's plan, which is part of a much larger budget proposal he’s reportedly sending to Congress today.

  • Amazon’s got trust issues. The e-commerce giant was sued by DC's attorney general this week for allegedly stifling competition and keeping prices high. It’s the most recent in a series of antitrust lawsuits against big tech companies. What do they mean for your wallet? We Skimm’d it for you.

  • Crypto miners are digging Ethereum. And reportedly made a record $1.93 billion in revenue in the first three weeks of May. Psst...cryptocurrency mining = the process of creating new coins and keeping track of who owns what on a public ledger called blockchain. It needs a lot of energy to keep it going. And Iran’s feeling the result.

Make Good (Money) Choices

If you’re staying local for the long weekend…

Be a tourist in your hometown. Groupon, HotelTonight, and Tripadvisor can help you find last-minute deals or resident discounts for hotels near you. For extra savings, book a stay that includes free breakfast. And consider using credit card points or rewards. Then fill up your itinerary with low-cost activities. Think: hitting the beach or visiting a national park or museum that offers free or cheaper admission for locals.

If money’s got you psyched out…

Rethink it. Because your biases could be to blame. Like present bias (when you’d rather take a smaller reward now than wait for a bigger reward later). Or loss aversion (when you feel more pain from a loss than joy from a win). A new study found that these mental biases are connected to not-so-great financial stats. Like lower checking and retirement account balances and lower credit scores. Want to learn more about why you make certain money decisions and how to be smarter about them? Watch a recording of our SkimmU course on the psychology of money.

If you want to boost your credit score…

Ask for a credit limit increase. Now that pandemic-era lending standards are beginning to loosen up, credit card companies are feeling more generous. So you could score a ‘yes’ to your request. And a higher limit could lower your credit utilization ratio, aka how much debt you have compared to your total available credit. Which could increase your credit score. But don't mistake more credit for more room to spend. This strategy only works if you keep your balance low.

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