I don’t know about you, but lately when I go to the supermarket I have a tough time digesting the prices.
While U.S. food prices dipped slightly in December, they increased by 5.8 percent in 2023, according to the USDA. And it’s not just food that is more expensive: detergent, soap, toothpaste, Kleenexand other household products are also on the rise.
No wonder Costco is seeing sales surge for its consumable categories like fresh food and sundries along with in-house brand Kirkland Signature, as persistent inflation and higher borrowing costs pinch wallets.
Car insurance 101: Your college kid may be eligible for a discount. REUTERS/Koh Gui Qing
If you are a proud parent whose child has grown up and gone off to college, stop reading this and call your auto insurer. Ask what major discounts you qualify for with your kid away for most of the year.
The cost of car insurance coverage averages $2,014 a year, a 2023 survey by financial services provider Bankrate shows. But add a 16-year-old driver along with two adults, and that shoots up to $4,392 a year – or $2,378 more.
So call your insurer: I just did it and saved $600.
US pause to LNG approvals may have little impact on Europe’s gas market.Natural gas prices rose after the Biden administration paused approvals for future LNG export projects, potentially restricting supplies to Europe.
Bouncing back from a layoff
Is the job market cooling? REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
Despite a bullish U.S. stock market and strong economy, workers are getting axed in mass layoffs.
Full disclosure: I know what it is like to be laid off – I worked at Businessweek magazine during the financial crash of 2008, and I was subsequently let go amid an acquisition. My marriage was on the rocks, and my whole world turned upside down in an instant. Severance kept me afloat financially, and, luckily, I found a job at Reuters pretty quickly. In hindsight, I probably needed a bigger emergency fund, though.
What really would have helped me is “Bounce Back,” a new book by money coach Lynnette Khalfani-Cox that deals with downsizing and other life-changing issues such as debt, disability, death of a loved one and other unexpected disasters.
My image of retirement involves dogs. Lots of dogs. And beaches. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The new year brought some new math for anyone running their retirement-planning numbers.
Social Security checks are a bit higher this month, thanks to the annual cost-of-living adjustment, but higher Medicare Part B premiums will take a bite out of the increase. Meanwhile, new protections from high prescription drug out-of-pocket costs are in place, along with some new rules governing required minimum distributions from retirement accounts.
And we have reached a milestone on the age when you can claim your full Social Security benefit.
Are you looking to hire a college consultant? Do you need pet insurance? Send your money questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll tap my extensive source network and braintrust for expert advice.
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