The table of savings and checking account interest rates has been updated to include some moves by Presidential, UFB Direct, and Virtual Bank.
Last week people were sounding the warning alarm for $5 gas at the pump. I didn’t echo the thought here because at the time on the surface it seemed somewhat reactionary. But some people are still claiaming we could shortly reach that… maybe.
Compare these two CNN articles. First, Rita could equal $5 gas, written September 22. Opening sentences:
Remember when gas spiked to $3-plus a gallon after Hurricane Katrina? By this time next week, that could seem like the good old days. Weather and energy experts say that as bad as Hurricane Katrina hit the nation’s supply of gasoline, Hurricane Rita could be worse.
Now here is a more recent article (September 28, today), in which Gerri Willis offers 5 tips for saving gas. The first few sentences:
Remember when gas spiked to $3-plus a gallon after Hurricane Katrina? By this time next week, that could seem like the good old days. Weather and energy experts say that as bad as Hurricane Katrina hit the nation’s supply of gasoline, Hurricane Rita could be worse. Analysts are predicting Rita’s aftermath could catapult gas prices to $4, even $5 a gallon.
Perhaps energy experts will come out once a week, every week, to declare that by “this time next week” we’ll see $5 gas. At some point, they will be correct.
Predictions aside, Gerri’s article does offer five tips as promised:
* Save from the start. Buy smart. At the very least, know the how your new car is rated in terms of gas mileage.
* Be high maintenance. Clean out the trunk, check air pressure in the tires, and keep your air filters clean.
* Find a buddy. Carpooling is a great solution for those who can give up some flexibility.
* Compare prices from home. Shop around for the best (lowest priced) stations on your route.
* Show us the deduction. Don’t forget the reimbursement rate for September through December 2005 is now 48.5 cents per mile. When I volunteer over the weekends this fall, I’m only getting 30 cents per mile in excess of 200 miles per day — a minimum I rarely reach. I suppose that’s why they call it volunteering.
A little tidbit gurus like to throw around is the first part of the phrase in the title of this entry. The second part is the sound Seth Green uttered as the voice of the character Chris Griffin in the new episode of Family Guy that was on earlier tonight.
“It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend.” Surely those who preach this phrase use an example of two people in the same position earning the same amount, having the same path to the current point in their careers. One spends more money than the other. The one who saves more builds wealth faster. Sure, that’s pretty straightforward.
But just like every other bite-sized nugget of “wisdom,” the credo just doesn’t hold up under real life circumstances. Take two frugal people in the same type of job. One is an event planner (and manager of that department) for a non-profit organization, the other is an event planner (and manager of that department) for a corporation. Let’s say they both have a decently frugal lifestyle and have expenses totalling $20,000 in the particular year we’re evaluating.
Our non-profit manager is making $40,000 during that year. Our corporate manager is bringing home $80,000. With the same conservative expenses, who is coming out on top, by leaps and bounds over time?
Our favorite phrase is often used in conjunction with the goal of becoming a “millionaire.” The fact remains that the individual with the highest net income at the end of the year, regardless of gross income or gross expenses, given the same opportunities for investment, is going to reach the goal first. Therefore, these two categories — income and expense — must be weighted equally. If you still believe that level of income is secondary to level of expense, someone has been trying to sell you something, and they have succeeded.
If you’ve ever wanted a good idea of how much money various people in New York City make, New York Magazine has conducted an extensive survey.
We’ve compiled a voluminous and eccentric list of hundreds of New Yorkers’ salaries, from the hedge-funder who pulled down more than a billion last year to the Chinese-food deliveryman making four figures (plus tips). There’s Calvin Klein and a guy who sells knockoffs on the street, a cantor and an imam, a first-year assistant district attorney and Sam Waterston, an honorary veteran of the D.A.’s office.
Many people didn’t want to talk about this kind of personal information, but the magazine did have a method of estimating — educated guessing — that could be considered accurate enough for this type of story. The numbers also don’t include perks, just base salary.
Here are some highlights:
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