Money·5 min read

Skimm Money: May Jobs, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap, and a Money Check-in

Woman looking at crypto wallet
Michele Rosenthal
June 4, 2021

Hey there.

Happy unofficial start to summer and the official start of Pride month. Wall Street is celebrating with a new LGBTQ+ themed exchange-traded fund.

Headlines, Skimm'd 

  • Promising May jobs report. The US added 559,000 jobs last month – better than the big miss in April, but more than 100,000 fewer than economists were expecting. Aaand still about 7.6 million short of pre-pandemic levels. Bright side: the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8%, the lowest since March 2020.

  • It's been 100 years. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden commemorated the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the 1921 destruction of Black Wall Street by a violent white mob. He spoke about how his admin plans to narrow the racial wealth gap by enforcing and improving fair housing laws to help Black families build generational wealth. Left unsaid: any promises on student loan forgiveness or reparations.

  • Price check. This week, a ransomware attack caused the world's largest meatpacker to shut down its US plants – affecting at least 20% of US beef production. With the cost of meat already on the rise due to pandemic-related disruptions, this latest attack could cause another spike in prices. What else has higher price tags these days? Coffee and ride-sharing.

News to Wallet 

Wallets and Coins

What Big Government Spending Means for Your Wallet

Last week, Biden sent Congress a $6 trillion (yes, with a T) budget proposal for the next fiscal year. The goal: invest in infrastructure, education, and fighting climate change. The potential result: the highest sustained levels of federal spending since WWII. We Skimm'd how to prep your budget if Uncle Sam increases his.

Make Good (Money) Choices

If it's been a minute since you saw a good drama...

Watch the latest meme stocks reboot. Fueled again by hype from Redditors and other amateur investors, AMC's share price jumped more than 120% on Wednesday to an all-time high above $72. And caused trading to halt four times. Other meme stocks like Bed Bath & Beyond, GameStop, and BlackBerry also gave big performances. Hot take: before you get invested in this thriller, make sure it fits into your own big picture. Buying any stock when it's hot – then trying to guess when the price will drop – is risky. And can cost you.

If you've been working on a money resolution...

Make time for a mid-year check-in. Whether it was paying down debt, saving more money or investing, review your progress to see if you're on track to hit your goal on time. If you're not, it's okay. Adjust and keep going. Maybe that means setting a more realistic plan or refocusing on reaching mini milestones instead of one big one. Last step: set up a new time to revisit your goal in a few months.

If you're thinking about a summer vacation…

Keep your options open. As more Americans get vaxxed and the world continues opening up, airfares are climbing to pre-pandemic levels. Flying into smaller airports (read: outside of major cities) could help keep costs down. And flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday is typically cheaper. But heads up: change fees are a thing again for some types of tickets. Oh, and don't forget to double-check local travel restrictions before booking. Because no one wants to spend vacation in quarantine.

Asking for a Friend

Tori Dunlap
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Sarah Wolfe

Q: What does it take to save $100,000 by age 25?

Tori Dunlap: I used the budgeting method I teach in my workshops called the 3-Bucket Budget, which hinges on automating your savings first and balancing saving and spending.

Curbing emotional spending was another huge factor. Money is psychological, and so many of our purchases happen because we're feeling a certain emotion. By checking yourself before you buy something, you can determine if this is a mindful purchase or not...You're able to make your money work for you and ensure that you're spending your hard-earned money on things that bring you joy…Mine are travel, eating out, and plant babies.

Read the rest of our Q&A with Tori, founder of Her First $100K, about how she side-hustled, negotiated, and invested her way to a six-figure net worth.

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