Money·4 min read

Skimm Money: Crypto, Low Birth Rates, and Equal Pay for Moms

Woman checking calendar
Michele Rosenthal
May 7, 2021

Hey. It's been a big week for money news. See: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hinting at (then backtracking on) raising interest rates. And the Paycheck Protection Program running out of funds four weeks early. Oh, and there's still a global chip shortage that's hurting auto sales. Here's your Skimm on what else went down.

Headlines, Skimm'd 

  • Jobs didn't spring into action. In April, the US only added 266,000 jobs of the 1 million economists predicted, the slowest rise since January and a potential sign that the road to recovery isn’t a smooth one. The good news: claims for unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic low last week.

  • All eyes on crypto in the center of the ring. Soon, hundreds of US banks will reportedly let customers buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin in existing accounts. In other cryptocurrency news, Dogecoin and Ether both surged to new highs this week. Making the founder of the latter the world's youngest crypto billionaire at age 27.

  • What to expect when fewer people are expecting. Recent CDC data shows the number of births in the US fell 4% in 2020 – the lowest birth rate since 1979. We Skimm'd what that means for your wallet here. Hint: it's not great for the economy.

  • The worst Mother's Day gift: a pay gap. May 5 marked Mother's Equal Pay Day, aka how far into 2021 moms needed to work, on average, to earn what dads did in 2020. That's an extra 125 days. One money expert says women can help close the gap by learning to "think like a breadwinner."

Make Good (Money) Choices 

If your to-do list stays long...

Skimm'r moms feel you. In a recent survey, 56% told us they handle the majority of household tasks, and 70% repeatedly felt exhaustion in the past six months. One way to shorten the list: hand off a few (or more) to-dos to someone else. Like your partner. Or kids. Or even hired help. It may not save you money, but getting back time (and sanity) could be the best return on investment. Get more ideas for outsourcing here. (PS: these tips were written with moms in mind, but they can work for anyone.)

If you heard taxes might be going up…

You probably don't have to worry. President Joe Biden has proposed a number of tax hikes to cover his latest spending plans (think: nearly $6 trillion total on stimulus, infrastructure, and families). But those increases would mainly impact the country's top earners. Example: one analysis found that less than 3% of Americans will pay more if Biden increases the capital gains tax rate. We broke down the possible tax changes and how they could affect your wallet here.

If you want to help India amid its COVID-19 crisis

Donate what you can. Since March, the country's cases have skyrocketed from under 20,000 to over 400,000 daily and overwhelmed the health care system. Your dollars can go toward oxygen tanks, PPE, medical expenses, and more. But first, make sure any charity you give to is legit. (Psst...celebs like Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Mindy Kaling suggest donating to GiveIndia and Feeding from Far. Other ideas: CARE India and Vibha.)

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