Money·4 min read

Skimm Money: Forgot your password?

iPhone with photos of current events
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Jan 15, 2021

A second impeachment. More vaccine rollout updates. And threats of violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. What a time to be checking your news alerts. While you focus on watching history-making moments on live TV every other day, we've got your money news covered here.

Headlines, Skimm’d

  • Biden on the money. Here's a taste of what's in the President-elect's new $1.9T economic relief plan: $1,400 direct payments, $400 in extra weekly unemployment benefits, a $15 hourly federal minimum wage, and 14 weeks of paid leave for caregivers. TBD if it’ll pass. But with Dems in control of Congress, there's a chance.

  • Shots for everyone (over 65). That’s what the Trump admin recommended this week to speed up vaccine distribution. One expert estimates a faster rollout could mean an $800B boost for the economy.

  • Big businesses, big money moves. A growing list of companies including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Marriott International have pulled political contributions to protest last week’s Capitol riot. Hallmark even asked for a refund from Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Roger Marshall (R-KS).

  • Crypto investors might've taken password security too far. Fresh Bitcoin highs and lows had people desperately trying (and failing) to access their digital wallets. The one con of not making 'yourdogsname123' your go-to.

  • December deficit: red all over. The gov’s budget was in the hole a record $143.6B last month compared to $13B in December 2019. More spending may help get the US through the pandemic. But some worry it could lead to higher inflation and taxes later.

Make Good (Money) Choices

If you already KonMari’d your closet…

Do it for your wallet next. Think: cutting high-fee credit cards and tossing financial docs like pay stubs more than a year old. Then take that decluttering energy and think about becoming a financial minimalist. Hint: it can spark savings.

If it feels like January 44th...

Double-check your cal. It’s exactly three months till Tax Day. And time to make a 2020 folder for tax docs you start receiving soon. Like a W-2 from your employer and 1099s for things like bank interest, investment dividends, and side gig income. Stay organized while you get ready to file your return. Also look for last-minute ways to save. Example: you have until April 15 to make 2020 IRA contributions and potentially lower your tax bill.

If you're looking for a new job…

Get some career inspo. The pandemic has changed the way we work. And what jobs and industries are hiring. So you might be thinking it's time for something different for you, too. LinkedIn says roles in sales, finance (mortgage and loan experts), healthcare (nurses, pharmacy techs, dental assistants), workplace diversity, and more are on the rise.

If saving more is your #1 money goal...

Phone a friend who's on the same page. A new Bankrate survey found just 39% of Americans could easily cover a surprise $1,000 bill. Scientists say partnering with someone else who's working toward similar goals can help you stay accountable and on track. More Bill Nye-approved ways to save money here.

Thing to Know

Economic indicator. A thermometer for the country's financial health. Experts look at a lot of different stats to determine how the economy's doing and what it might do next. Including unemployment, GDP, inflation, and sometimes stocks. In the past, some argued that good times for the stock market = good times for the economy. Not so much recently. Stocks managed to hit record highs throughout the past year, despite…*gestures to all this.* One reason: the market’s behavior is often based on how investors feel about the future. But there's more to the economy than investors and public companies. That's why stocks can climb even when the economy drags.

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