Monthly Archives: February 2017

Should Economics Departments Make Earning Their Major Harder?

Why would a department want to make their major harder to obtain? While it sounds a little backwards, making it harder to earn a degree in economics not only helps the reputation of your school, it helps the reputation of your department. Think about the psychology between reputation and academic rigor: Ivy League schools are extremely hard to get into, but their courses aren’t necessarily harder (if they’re harder at all) than anywhere else. Since most people don’t know the second part, many believe an Ivy League graduate has some sort of mythical power in their field. The ugly truth: Half of the time, it’s just brand loyalty.

Continue reading

Getting the Most Out of Your Credit Cards

How are you using your credit cards? Do they sit in your wallet, longing to see the sunlight? Or are you getting the most out of the benefits that come with them? A lot of people claim they have a credit card to “build credit” or “in case of an emergency,” but these are often fringe benefits to having them. What exactly are you missing out on?

Choosing the Right Cards

First, you should figure out what constitutes the “right card” for you. It depends on what you like, to be honest. Does it come with perks like cashback or other kinds of rewards? There are a lot of credit cards that have perks like the Target REDCard, where you get 5 percent off every purchase, or the Chevron Visa Card, which offers a slew of discounts on gasoline. You should research all of the options available to you and see if you can find a credit card offered by stores and locations you frequent.

Continue reading

How Much is Enough to Have in Your Checking Account?

Recently, I wrote an article about how much is really enough to have in our savings accounts. After thinking about it, I thought to myself, “How much should we have in our checking accounts?” After talking with some people about it, it’s become apparent to me that many people think it should be similar to the minimuim they keep for their savings account.

If you read my last article, you know that your minimum savings should be equal to all of your living expenses plus necessity expenses for each month that it usually takes you to find another job. This is a bit much to require yourself to have in your checking account as well. If you can do it, more power to you. For the rest of us, the idea revolves around purchasing power.

Continue reading

How Much is Enough When You're Saving Money?

Now that tax season is upon us, I’d like to ask you something: If you’re able to, do you currently have a plan for saving money? Whether or not you do, have you ever considered how much you should have in your savings account? There’s the 50/30/20 rule for budgeting as well as the 10% rule for retirement, but we’re not talking about methods for saving money. Instead of thinking how to save it, I want to get you thinking more about how much you should save.

Continue reading