Skimm Money: June Jobs, Holiday Sales, and How to Chill

Published on: Jul 2, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round

Happy (almost) 4th of July.

Before you log off for the long weekend, consider getting one more thing done: lending your support to the people who have been impacted by the tragic condo collapse in Surfside, FL.

Headlines, Skimm’d

  • June jobs jump. The US added 850,000 jobs last month – better than expected – and average hourly wages were up 3.6% from a year ago. But there's more work to be done. The US is still down 6.8 million jobs from February 2020.

  • On the road again. AAA forecasts that 43.6 million Americans will travel by car this weekend. But heads up: a shortage of truck drivers has caused some gas stations to temporarily run out of fuel. Download a free app like GasBuddy to fill up with the cheapest gas that's available on your route.

  • Facebook wins this round. A federal court dismissed two antitrust complaints brought against Facebook by the FTC and more than 40 states, due in part to insufficient evidence that the tech giant has a monopoly. The news sent Facebook's market value above $1 trillion for the first time – making it the youngest of only five US companies to reach that milestone.

News to Wallet

Ice Melting
Design: ML Howell, Credit: iStock
How Climate Change Can Affect Your Wallet

The nation’s infrastructure (think: roads, bridges, highways, electric grids) are only built to withstand “normal” temps. Extreme heat – like what some parts of the US have experienced this week – could cause these systems to break down. While lawmakers debate whether a bigger investment in climate change should be part of the latest infrastructure plan, here’s what you can do to keep your wallet cool.

Make Good (Money) Choices

If it feels like payday never comes soon enough...

Go back to basics. Seventy percent of millennials say they live paycheck to paycheck, the most of any generation. If you're feeling pinched, make sure you're using a budgeting style that fits your lifestyle. Like the all-cash diet or the 50/20/30 rule. Also review your income (so you can increase it if you need to), spending (so you can control it), and financial goals. Then adjust as needed. Example: if you had to lean on credit cards to cover bills recently, make clearing that debt a part of your plan. One less payment on your plate = priceless.

If you’re celebrating the 4th with some retail therapy

Skip the buyer's remorse – and a budget hangover – by coming up with a list of smart purchases you actually need. Like a return-to-office wardrobe or a new home appliance (which you might be able to find on deep discount this weekend). If you're shopping IRL, see if buying the floor model could score you extra savings.

If you're in the market for a new car...

Car salesman
Design: ML Howell, Credit: iStock

Do your homework. Especially if you're headed to the dealership this weekend to take advantage of 4th of July sales. By one estimate, the average new car price surpassed $40,000 for the first time in June. Avoid paying more than you have to by arming yourself with info, like the current market value of the car you want, which you can look up on Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. Once it's time to negotiate, make sure you know the "out-the-door" price – aka the total cost of the car including registration fees, taxes, and other add-ons. Targeting a certain monthly payment instead is an easy way to overlook extra costs or end up with an extended loan term that saves you money every month, but keeps you in debt (and paying interest) for longer.

Tips Don’t Lie

Ice, Bowl, Salt
Design: ML Howell, Credit: iStock

No cooler, no sweat. Cool down bottled and canned drinks fast by filling a bowl (or kiddie pool if you're serving more than a few guests) with ice water, then adding a generous amount of salt on top. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, which helps your drinks chill faster. Bottoms up.

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Skimm'd by: Ivana Pino, Casey Bond, and Elyse Steinhaus