While most folks are out shopping for their holiday gifts, many of them will be taking out their credit cards to pay for them, which means they are likely adding to their already huge credit card debt, which will cost them big time.
According to NerdWallet's 2018 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, U.S. consumers have racked up $13.51 trillion in total debt, with the average household with debt owing about $135,768, which includes mortgages.
Of that debt, credit card debt can be the most costly to pay off. The study finds that total U.S. revolving credit card debt is about $420 billion, with the average households with credit card debt having a balance of about $6,929. And what’s worse, U.S. households with credit card debt will pay $1,141 a year in interest alone, and that number's likely to go up.
So why are so many people in debt these days? Well, the report notes that while incomes are going up, the cost of things are going up even faster. While the median income of Americans has grown 22%, the cost of living has increased about 17%. Plus, things like medical costs have increased 33% over the last year. And even frivolous things like the cost of ordering in or going out to eat, has gone up 17% since 2008. And who wants to give that up.
If you’re not lucky enough to have the holidays come to you, you’re probably stuck traveling at this insanely busy time. Going home for the holidays is wonderful, but getting there? Not so much. So take some time to plan ahead to make your trip as stress-free as possible so you’re not a Grinch by the time you arrive. These travel tips can help your travel plans go smoothly this year.
- Don't fly on Christmas - Save yourself some stress and don’t fly on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, if you can help it. The further you get from the holiday, the cheaper your tickets will be and the easier your travel will be.
- Be wary of super cheap tickets - Definitely read the fine print before you buy that ultra cheap ticket so you know the details, like how many stops there are and how long in between each one.
- Lean on Twitter - When dealing with airports, Twitter can help. These days, most airlines are really responsive on Twitter and you may even get help faster there than over the phone.
- Look into alternative airports - Do your research to find out if there’s a smaller airport nearby that could save you money, just make sure the cab ride won’t cost you $200 to get where you’re going.
- Pack light - We get it, you want to look your best at your holiday gatherings, but you’re better off trying to fit everything into a carry-on. Wear your bulkiest sweater and coat on the plane to save space in your bag and when you’re running to catch your flight, you’ll be glad you packed light.
- Ship your gifts - Don’t try to pack your presents in your luggage, just ship them before you go and that’s one less thing to worry about.
- Leave a lot of extra time for mishaps & delays - With all the extra people on the roads, the trains, and trying to navigate the airport, it’s going to take longer to get everywhere during the holidays. So save your sanity and arrive early, leave extra time, and bring a book along so you have something to do while you wait, because you know you’ll have to.
- Bring a portable charger - A battery powered charger could be a life-saver while you’re dealing with travel delays, so treat yourself to an early gift if you don’t already have one.
We know that using some things every single day gets them dirty and that’s why we change and launder our undies and activewear after each use. But did you ever stop to think about your hair accessories and when the last time you cleaned them was? Hair ties and hair bands can have all kinds of gross germs on them and since we touch them with our hands all the time, we’re touching that nastiness too.
“Many fabrics absorb sweat and bacteria throughout the day, including hair ties and hair bands,” dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian explains, “especially during workouts.”
The upside is that unless the items are coming into contact with the skin regularly, like a headband rubbing your forehead with sweat and bacteria, they’re not a big problem for skin. And the fix is really easy: just wash the dang things, people. Dr. Nazarian advises a daily cleaning, especially after every workout. She says basic soap and water will do the trick and you can even put the hair ties inside a pocket of your clothing before you do laundry and let the machine do the work for you. It’s simple and effective and you can’t beat that.
Source: Women's Health
While hot new restaurants are opening all the time, and folks will always enjoy a good night out, a new survey finds that more and more Americans are preferring to eat at home these days.
A poll by Peapod finds that 77% of Americans say they’d rather eat a homemade meal than go out to dinner, with 44% of folks, and 59% of Millennials, saying they are making a resolution to cook more in 2019, with 40% of people planning to order less take out next year.
So, what is spawning everyone to stay home and eat? Well, for 77% saving money is their top priority, while another 51% want to eat healthier. What’s more, 41% of people say cooking at home gives them more quality time with their family.
For those who do plan to cook at home, making healthier foods seems to be one of the biggest trends, with 53% of people planning to cook healthier meals next year, 52% planning to use more fresh ingredients, and 51% planning to eat fewer processed foods. And a lot of folks are exploring cutting back on meat, with 48% saying they already go meatless at least once a week, although females are more likely to say that then males (52% vs. 44%).
Source: Market Watch