Recommend responding in a 275-word response. Check it for spelling/punctuation and develop the draft in a word document. You can use your own experience to reflect. Review the following articles and describe how they relate.
Review the following articles and describe how they relate to the circular flow of income and expenditure. Describe some of the most popular imports Americans purchase and list where they come from.
10 Financial resolutions for 2021 and how to fulfill them By Liz Hund (Chapter 5)
With the right plan in place, you can stick to your financial resolutions and end 2021 in a better place than you started. Here are 10 resolutions to make, along with tips on how to keep them.
Refinance your loans
While the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on many parts of life this past year, it has also prompted record low mortgage rates, making this a prime time to refinance and lower your monthly payments. As for student loan refinancing, federal student loans are in forbearance until Jan. 31, meaning interest is suspended and payments are not required. However, this does not apply to private student loans and you may want to consider refinancing these types of loans to lock in lower rates.
Pay down credit card debt
If you have credit card debt, consider making it a goal to pay it off. There are a few approaches you can take, but two common strategies are:
Paying off your highest debt first (the debt avalanche method)
Paying off your smallest amount of debt first (the debt snowball method).
If you’re struggling with payments, consider credit counseling, a low-interest balance transfer, a personal loan or even debt settlement.
Automate your savings
One of the easiest ways to build your savings is automating your contributions. Most employers allow you to divide your paycheck into different accounts. If not, you can likely set up automatic transfers with your bank.
Start an emergency fund
In general, experts recommend saving three to six months of living expenses. Start by opening a separate and dedicated high-yield savings account. After that, consider these four tips:
Evaluate your spending and look for areas where you can save.
Set a savings goal.
Set up automatic contributions.
Increase contributions over time.
Boost retirement savings
Saving for retirement is one of the most important aspects of sound financial planning.
“Use 2021 to boost or maximize contributions to 401(k)s or HSAs, plot out holistic retirement goals and, no matter your age or life stage, take meaningful steps to boost your financial wellness,” says Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America.
If your employer offers a 401(k) match, be sure you’re contributing enough to get the full match since it’s essentially free money. Also look at where your money is being invested. Many experts recommend investing in a diverse portfolio of assets to reduce your risk but still achieve attractive returns.
Don’t limit your investing to retirement contributions. If you already have an emergency savings account, consider setting up another account to invest for goals with specific time horizons, like early retirement or saving for a house.
If you’re just getting started, you may want to look into a robo-adviser, which will do the investing for you after taking your risk tolerance and ideal earnings into consideration.
Improve your credit score
Your credit score plays a critical role in determining whether you get financial services you need. It can influence your car insurance rates in some states, as well as how much you pay in interest when you get a loan.
Visit annualcreditreport.com (Links to an external site.) to get a free copy of your credit report. You’re typically able to access only one free report a year, but it’s been increased to once a month until April 2021 as a result of COVID-19.
Paying all bills on time and in full and lowering your credit utilization ratio will increase your credit score. Consider taking advantage of score-boosting programs, like ExperianBoost, and don’t apply for new accounts too often.
Cook more meals at home
This may be something you’ve already begun to do with many restaurants around the U.S. being limited to takeout.
Keep it going into 2021. You can make it fun (and easy) with meal subscriiption services that deliver perfectly measured ingredients straight to your door.
On the other hand, if you’ve turned to takeout during this time, give cooking a try and see how much you save. Put those savings toward debt or your emergency fund.
Update your beneficiaries
Have you experienced a life-changing situation recently? If you have, your beneficiaries might be out of date.
This includes your retirement and bank accounts, insurance policy and other financial accounts to make sure your beneficiaries are accurate.
Adding a beneficiary to your accounts is critical to ensure your assets will go to the person you intended them to. Additionally, it’s important to note that beneficiaries trump wills, so make sure the two documents are aligned in their directives.
Diversify your income
“People are realizing that self-employment is not inherently more risky than traditional employment because there’s built-in income diversification when you have multiple clients or customers,” says Laura Gariepy, business coach and founder of Before You Go Freelance, a blog that offers advice for aspiring freelancers.
There’s a variety of ways you can diversify your revenue streams. Freelance work is great for those who have a specific skill to offer others.
There are also less technical side hustles, like dog walking. If you have a bit more money to front, consider investing in rental properties.
Inflation Reports Throw Curve Ball for Fed Rate Hike Ambition
By Jon C. Ogg June 14, 2017
On a day when the Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates, investors, economists and business owners might wonder what lower inflation readings will do to the decision-making of Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The news flow out of Washington, D.C., is dominated by the shooting of Republican Representative Steve Scalise and several other people, but the Fed’s rate hike decision remains on the docket this Wednesday.
Inflation is up from a year ago, but it is not quite where the Federal Reserve wants it to be to justify a normalization from the current low-rate environment. We have now seen weaker readings in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI) for May.
The Department of Labor reported that consumer prices were down by 0.1% on the month-over-month headline reading for May. That is down from a gain of 0.2% in April and is worse than the 0.0% consensus estimate from Bloomberg. The core CPI, excluding food and energy, was up by just 0.1% in May, worse than the 0.2% consensus estimate but matching a 0.1% reading from April.
Where inflation remains closer to the Fed’s 2.0% to 2.5% target range is on the year-over-year readings. The CPI was up 1.9% on the annualized reading for May, under the 2.0% consensus estimate and under the 2.2% reading from April. Core CPI, again without food and energy, was up just 1.7% in May versus the prior year. That is lower than the 1.8% consensus estimate and was under the 1.9% annualized reading from April.
Overall, costs are weaker than Yellen and the Federal Reserve desire and are just not holding up to the 2.0% to 2.5% target range. Housing prices were up only 0.2%, the cost of medical care was flat, and communication costs remain weak as telecom carriers are doing endless discounting to lure customers away from each other. Apparel costs were down by 0.8% and transportation costs were down 1.4%. Energy prices were down 2.7%, and the cost of gasoline has chased oil lower with a drop of more than 6% at the pump.
In Tuesday morning’s report, the monthly PPI was flat, rather than the consensus gain of 0.1% that was expected. That was also down from a 0.5% monthly gain in April. The monthly core PPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.3%, a tad above the 0.2% called for by Bloomberg but less than the 0.4% gain in April.
Annualized producer price data was up 2.1% in May on the headline and core readings from May of 2016.
Wednesday’s economic data are not so catastrophic as to would block Yellen and the FOMC from doing what they want with a rate hike. That being said, inflation and growth readings had been stronger in the first months of 2017 than they are coming on now, and that makes the normalization of interest rates and an argument about how to unwind the Fed’s $4.6 trillion balance sheet a tad more tricky for the remainder of 2017.
The last look on the CME FedWatch Tool had a 93.5% chance of a federal funds rate hike set for Wednesday, June 14. On June 9 that was closer to a 99% probability.
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