In New York and New Jersey, more than one out of every 25 workers has a commute of 90 minutes or more. The Census Bureau released its report on commuting yesterday, and the New York Times picked up the story.
The chart to the right shows the top commutation times by state, and inside the report you can find more interesting statistics.
My commute is 60 to 70 minutes in the morning but usually less at night since I often stay at the office late, especially towards the beginning and end of each month. In fact, I left at about 8:00 last night.
Here’s a New York fact: Among the 10 counties with the highest average commuting times, the highest percentages of extreme commuters [with drive times over 90 minutes] were found in the New York City metro area: Richmond, N.Y. (11.8 percent); Orange, N.Y. (10.0 percent); Queens, N.Y. (7.1 percent); Bronx, N.Y. (6.9 percent); Nassau, N.Y., (6.6 percent); and Kings, N.Y. (5.0).
What about shortest commutes? Worker bees in Corpus Christi, Texas commute an average of 16.1 minutes.
Gothamist answers this question:
My parents are always bugging me about renting an apartment in New York City, saying I am throwing money out the window by renting and that I should buy a place[...] They’ve offered to help me with a down payment, but is it really a good idea?
Janine Papp answers the question and takes a Wall Street Journal article into account. She goes as far as to suggest that people should wait until they have the money for the down payment rather than accept help from others. I wouldn’t mind hearing readers’ opinions on that topic.
When a credit card company with which you have a card sends a letter in a thin envelope, it’s best to read it. Likely, the company is notifying you of changes within the terms of the agreement. (The thicker envelopes are usually new card offers and unless it’s a great deal, it’s best to shred that junk mail.) According to an article from The Motley Fool, two credit issues are set to change their terms.
Bank of America and Wachovia (one of my credit card issuers and my checking bank) are raising their minimum monthly payment from 2% to 4% of the balance. People who have budgeted $150 per month for paying off these credit cards will now have to budget $300 per month to avoid fees.
With credit card interest rates as high as they are, it’s best to stay away from carrying a balance. I use my credit card to pay for almost all of my expenses, but I pay the entire balance off every month. On top of that, my card offers a cash-back rebate which is paid to me by check; in fact, I should shortly be receiving a $200 check for purchases over the last nine months or so.
Following up on the topic of 401(k) loans, which was discussed here, there is a new article on CNN Money by Walter Updegrave. This article compares a scenario for two options: borrowing $40,000 through a 401(k) loan and borrowing the same amount through a home equity line of credit. Assuming the two options are available to an individual in need, one comes out better when exercising the home equity line option.
Here’s their calculation:
Read the full article →