Think You’re Too Broke to Date? You’re Not Alone

If, like 30% of millennials, you believe you’re too broke to date, we have a few suggestions for you. 

It appears that searching for a soul mate just got a little tougher, at least for some millennials. According to dating app Match, 33% of young singles believe that their financial situation is getting in the way of dating. What’s more, 20% don’t even think they should be dating at all until they achieve a particular income level.

Why is money getting in the way of dating?

Singles managed to find a way to court during global wars, depressions, political upheavals, and pandemics. What’s different about today, and why do a third of young singles believe that earning more money would make a difference?

The great recession may have played a role in the way millennials feel about finding their soul mates. For a large swath of millennials, the recession set the stage for their early adulthood. In 2008 alone, 2.6 million jobs were lost, and the total number of unemployed surpassed 11 million.

Into this dreary economic picture emerged fresh-faced millennials, 40% of whom held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016. But being the most educated generation yet did not help them get a job. For example, only 44% of law school students who graduated between 2009 and 2017 said they had a good job waiting for them.

In fact, millennials of all education levels were impacted by the recession. For the 60% without a degree, jobs in farming and manufacturing had dried up. It was more difficult to start a business due to tight credit, and there were fewer opportunities for apprenticeships. A generation earlier, it had been blue-collar jobs that kept the economy humming, but now those jobs were scarce.

And with full-time employment hard to come by, many have been pushed to take part-time jobs. According to a study on underemployment by The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), in 2018, 11.1% of young college graduates were underemployed, up from 9.4% in 2007 and 6.9% in 2000.

The term underemployed includes graduates who are unemployed as well as those who could only find part-time jobs. Other research puts the total unemployment rate for millennials (with or without a degree) at over 12%, which is much higher than the national average.

Employment is not the only area where millennials are struggling. They are also a lot more reliant on their parents. A study by The Ascent found that 63% of millennials still depended on their folks financially to some extent. And no fewer than 33% of 25–29 year-olds still live with their parents or grandparents, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly three times more than in the 1970s. It makes sense that young people might want the stability of their own apartment before finding that special someone.

All in all, many young adults are working hard just to find jobs and get homes, which pushes dating down the agenda. Millennials have become the largest generation, outnumbering baby boomers by 11 million. That means more competition for everything they do, from landing a job to dating.

The high cost of dating

In 2018, the average cost of a date — including two dinners, one bottle of wine, and two movie tickets — was $102.32. That number does not include other costs, like gasoline. For a millennial buried in student loan debt or struggling to find a job that supports them, $102.32 per date may feel excessive.

Fortunately, there are other ways to get to know someone without breaking the bank. If you really want to get out there but feel stuck financially, here are some ways to make it happen:

  • Check out local museums. Some offer free or discounted ticket days. It’s a great way to show a potential love interest that you’re cultured.
  • Have a pool day at your neighborhood swimming hole.
  • Get friends together and enjoy a bonfire and s’mores.
  • Attend a lecture or book reading (it’s much more interesting than it sounds and can spark a great conversation).
  • Tour a cool business. Wineries, breweries, chocolatiers, and bakeries often offer tours that also allow you to sample the goods.

Get your finances in order

Whether you are struggling to find a job or keen to pay down your debt before you get into a relationship, there’s plenty of things you can do right now to become financially stable. According to research by The Ascent, 70.7% of people identified setting financial goals as a desired trait in a romantic partner, so perhaps that would be a good way to start.

These four steps are an easy way to begin:

  • Find a consistent source of income. If you’re unable to land a full-time job, look for two part-time jobs that allow you to use your talents while getting your financial house in order.
  • Create a budget. Our research showed that 70.4% of people value a partner who follows a budget. Even if your bills are few and your income is low, a budget allows you to fully understand your monthly expenses and set savings and debt repayment goals.
  • Build up your credit score. You don’t need to earn a lot of money to have a high credit score. Make sure you pay bills on time and try not to spend more than you can pay off each month to keep your credit utilization ratio low.
  • Save up an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses. That way if your car breaks down or you need to do some unexpected house repairs, you’ll be able to pay for them without going into debt.

Don’t put off finding love just because you aren’t where you want to be financially. There are plenty of affordable ways to date, and you need to get finances in order, no matter what your romantic status is.

Savings account rates are skyrocketing — Earn 23x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts can earn you more than 23x the national average savings account rate.

 

 

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Three Months Of Salary For An Engagement Ring? How About Go F*ck Yourself?

Here’s a re-post from one of my readers…

Felt it was worth sharing.

Engagement rings have become my cause de guerre. I’m thirty and well over half of my closest friends are either engaged or married, so these puppies seem to smack me in the face on Instagram every week now. Sure, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. Notting Hill, No Strings Attached, You’ve Got Mail, When Marry Met Sally, the first 70 minutes of La La Land… if TV Guide magazine tells me any of these movies will be on TBS superstation, my night is booked. But when it comes to engagement rings, my mouth fills with acrid bile.

Engagement rings are a massive industry. Some people blame DeBeers; I blame women. Dangerous words in these delicate times, I know. But at some point, we need to realize that women are capable of being terrible people, just like men. That’s equality. That’s progress. To illustrate this thesis, we look to Instagram.

As wedding ring/engagement photos have proliferated across my Instagram feed, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: many women post a photo of the ring and write “he did such a good job!” It’s a deflection, a humble downplay, like posting a shredded bikini pic while pretending to eat a hot dog with a caption like “empty calories, full stomach, can’t lose!” It’s meant to throw us off the scent of what it really is: a vagina-measuring contest. Because what’s really happening here is that she’s posting a photo of a commodity, the price of which we immediately start to estimate. And by we, I mostly mean other women, because they know the ring market.

An olive branch: if women just owned what they were doing with these posts, I’d applaud them for it. Remember ’90s hip hop videos, where rappers would flex in backwards football jerseys as a strobe light hit their $60,000 Jesus piece, triggering epileptic fits for unmedicated children? It was a flex, and they relished it. You didn’t see Diddy brandishing his new spinning Sprewell pendant with a disclaimer like “my friend bought me this, and he knows me so well! Thanks dude!” Today, similarly, these ladies are flexing their new ice on Instagram; but they couch it with deferential words to their buyer fiancé. I would have nothing but respect for a ring post with a caption like “Look at the size of this fucking thing! He spent more than I thought he would!”

But that would be too obvious. That would violate the weird, unspoken decorum of ringstagramming. Thus, we’re left with these thinly-veiled humblebrags that credit some hapless fellow who simply brandished six credit cards and held his breath. Not only do these dudes probably not give a shit about credit, they’re not worthy of it! When it comes to rings, you know who actually did a good job? Sam and Frodo. The ’72 Dolphins. The Motorola Razr. Heidi Fleiss. The Undertaker. Barnum and Bailey. These are first ballot ring HOFers; not your Dave.

I have a family ring from my late grandmother. As a family, we believe in heirlooms and preserving memories. Also, my grandmother was a powerful wizard who learned the dark art of splitting her soul, a portion of which lives on in the horcrux I plan to give my lady someday. The ring is beautiful, too. It’s a far nicer ring than I could buy right now from Zales or Adam Sandler.

Still, I can’t help but wonder how an Instagram post of this ring will be received. Do I somehow love her less because I didn’t spend three months of my salary on it? Do I need to buy her something to supplement the ring, to emphasize this promise?

Maybe. Or maybe I’ll take the money I saved on a ring and put it towards something nice for myself. After all, I saved. I was fiscally responsible. Dare I say… I did such a good job.

 

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How to Save the Most Money at Bars, According to Bartenders

Did those cocktails from last night leave a few extra, unexpected digits on your credit card?

(And, uh, maybe those drinks merrily offered to your friends — hey, put it on my tab! — didn’t help.)

Navigating the cost of going out, whether to a sophisticated cocktail bar or your favorite dive down the street, isn’t as easy as it might seem.

This is especially true if you’re ultimately trying to have fun and not think about finances, and if you’re not seasoned at figuring out the maze of a drinks menu, which somehow always looks a little fuzzier as the night rolls on.

To see if it’s possible to save money on one of most people’s biggest expenses (without swearing off drinking altogether, which is always an option), we talked to those who know best: bartenders themselves. Here, they share their own tips and strategies for going out — without going over-budget.

Well, well, well.

“Happy hour of course is the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind, but there are other ways to find good deals,” says Meredith Hayman, cocktail director at R6 Distillery in El Segundo, California, who’s also worked behind the bar in the Los Angeles area for over 13 years.

“Check out the well offerings [also known as house or rail liquors because they’re the go-to spirits used by staff],” she says. “Every bar offers these and they are typically around $10 and often what they use in their cocktails anyway. Talk to them and ask what’s in their well.”

Be honest, and servers will frequently be honest in return about which well options are worthwhile or not — and when you land on a promising option, you can request it in a standard cocktail.

Happy hour doesn’t have to be so obvious.

Happy hour mostly exists to lure in new customers and increase foot traffic during off-peak hours with large-volume orders. It has advantages (the discounts!) and disadvantages (the crowds!), but one perk is the ability to squeeze a few dollars off more experimental items.

“There are some interesting takes on [happy hour], especially in wine bars, where they use reduced pricing as a means to have their guests try different grape varietals and move out of their comfort zones, which I am all for,” says Frank Caiafa, beverage director at The Stayton Room at New York City’s Lexington Hotel. This can also apply to new tap beers or a house cocktail the head bartender is tweaking. If you’re willing to try something new, resist going to your default order and read the list from top to bottom.

Fall back on the shot-and-beer specials — or the wine bottle list.

“In more divey spots, where I am wary that I will get a good cocktail, a shot and beer can go a long way,” Hayman advises. Otherwise known as boilermakers, these supreme deals deliver exactly what’s listed and pack an alcoholic punch. They may or may not be advertised, but just ask your bartender to see what’s available.

Also “check out the wine bottle list,” Hayman adds, especially if you’re a discerning wine fan at a place with a decent list. “Don’t be scared. You can get a bottle for $40, and that is four drinks right there.” It’s not always easy, but estimating what you might drink at the beginning of the night — and what your drinking partner’s plan is, too — can save you both some money.

Go with draft beer…

Draft beer, or beer delivered directly from the keg, is the prize of any brew fan. It also makes the most monetary sense. “Choose draft when you can. There’s less overhead for the bar and the brewery,” Hayman advises, so the quality is higher for the price. “You also get a better beer, since it’s been dispensed from the tap. Think tap soda over bottled soda.”

…but don’t limit yourself anywhere on the menu.

If the draft list is sparse, look into all the offerings including canned and bottled beers (especially the former, which cost less to produce and can present amazing deals) to find something you think you’ll love.

The same goes for spirits. You may find that the standard liquor pour and that premium brand you’ve wanted to try are only separated by a few dollars.

Remember that you’re allowed to ask questions.

A nice cocktail bar is more expensive than a sports bar, and that’s by design. In a high-end establishment, especially in a city with a high cost of living, “be prepared to spend $13 to $18 a cocktail,” says Hayman.

But there’s a bonus: “You tend to get an expert along with it. Here you find the cocktails geeks, the hospitality experts, the ones that make this their career, their focus, their purpose,” Hayman says. “There is no question they can’t answer and you leave feeling that the cost was well worth it.” And while it’s not reflected that way in your checking account, isn’t it true a cocktail you adore at least feels less expensive?

About that infamous “buyback.”

The “buyback,” or the practice of getting a drink for free from your bartender, is mythical and poorly understood. You should never expect it just because you bought three beers or unloaded your thoughts about the latest season of Succession. But it can feel like a gift for those who do get it — and those people are always good patrons.

“The best way to get a buyback is to smile, be patient, and use your manners. At the end of the day, bartenders are human beings with feelings and emotions,” says Justin Campbell, bar director of The H.Wood Group, which is behind LA spots like Bootsy Bellows and The Nice Guy.

So don’t annoy your bartender by bragging about who you know. Don’t touch the garnish dishes. And don’t be obnoxious. Instead, be an amiable regular, because as Hayman succinctly puts it, “Many places reward you for your loyalty.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Habits That Keep You Broke

It is becoming more and more common for people to complain about their finances openly. It is no longer uncommon to hear your friends, family or acquaintances tell you that they are “too broke” for a specific event or purchase. Admitting that inflation has made life extremely expensive for the common man, there are some habits that tend to keep you broke perpetually. This is a state of being that exists regardless of how much wealth you inherit or how much money you earn that arises from consistently maintaining these financially terrible decisions.

Living Above Your Means

In a world where appearing rich has become more important than being rich, most people tend to live above their means. They manage their extravagant expenses on credit cards and other forms of debt, thus leaving them paying a substantial sum towards interest payments while living in constant worry over meeting bill payments.

You Don’t Track Your Money

If you constantly find yourself wondering where all your money went, then you fall into this category. A common mistake people make is not keeping track of their cash flow. Several apps are now available to help you keep track of this by noting your inflow sources, your outflow sources and presenting you with a composite chart of where your money is spent. It is important to know where you spend more of your money in order to be able to know where you can cut down on your spending.

You Remain Lazy About Your Finances

It is common for people to procrastinate with regard to those activities which do not excite them or which do not require immediate attention. Understanding and working about with your personal finances tends to fall into this category and gets pushed over to a stage in life where you’re in financial pain already or have too little money for savings. Keeping track of your finances on a weekly basis is our recommendation.

You Spend Before You Save

A common saying in the Finance World is “Pay yourself first”. This talks about the importance of your first chunk of income being set aside for savings and emergency cushions and the balance amount being used to pay bills and debt. This helps to keep you afloat in all situations as opposed to the strategy of spending lavishly while saving scarcely and erratically.

You Expect Quick Results

Another common mistake you make is that you’re trying to get rich quick. This leads to getting caught up in quick-money scams or dissolving investments at the slightest of losses. Building wealth takes time, patience and perseverance.

You Live In A Consumer’s Mind-set

Consumer Mentality focuses on extravagant purchases of items such as clothing, accessories, cars, boats, etc. However, focus on such purchases leads away from purchases in appreciating assets such as Real Estate, Commodities, Stocks, ad so on. Constantly focusing on consumer purchases rather than investor purchases leaves you happy in the moment but unhappy in the long run. A balance between the two is required in order to live a happy and financially healthy life.

You Are Trying To Impress The World

Thanks to social media and a consumer mentality, everyone’s trying to one-up their followers on Instagram and Twitter with materialistic purchases. Instead of spending wisely, you’d rather post pictures of the expensive shopping spree you went on or the luxury vacation you took, etc. Focusing on your own money goals is more important than impressing others who in turn are trying to impress you with their posts!

You Rely On Your Credit Card Wrongly

Credit cards give you access to purchases even when you don’t have money in hand. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is using our credit cards to purchase items which we cannot afford. This essentially helps us fall into debt traps and keeps us constantly broke.

You Have No Financial Goals

Setting financial goals is crucial as that is what provides you with incentive to implement your financial plans. Choosing to save over spending requires us to prioritize a future need in lieu of today’s desire. This isn’t an easy choice to stick to but can be made easier by knowing that the money you’re keeping aside is for a new house, higher education, a comfortable retirement, etc.

You Don’t Know Basic Finance

No matter how many experts you get on board for help, you must be able to take charge of your money. Knowing the basics of investing, saving and personal finance can make all the difference in your thinking and spending habits.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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13 Things Rich People Don’t Spend Their Money On, While Poor People Are Ready to Take Out Loans for Them

There are things that speak to a person’s financial wealth. Usually, they are things like fur coats, fine jewelry, and expensive watches. Some poor people are ready to save their money for years or even take out loans to be able to buy these things. However, rich people around the world have gradually stopped indicating their social status this way.

We at Bright Side are big supporters of sensible spending and that’s why we want to highlight symbols of wealth that are not trendy anymore. There are still many people who haven’t realized this yet.

1. Gold jewelry

Stylish and wealthy women usually wear a moderate amount of gold jewelry when attending events. In addition, the quality of these items is the biggest priority for them. Some of them even prefer large jewelry.

For those whose financial position is not stable, buying gold is still considered an investment. It is believed that by buying a gold item, you create a stash for rainy days in the form of a gold chain or a ring. That’s why poor girls prefer to wear jewelry with the mantra: “I’m wearing the best of what I have.”

2. Clothes and shoes from expensive brands

Oftentimes, even very wealthy people are indifferent to branded clothing and wear ordinary, mass-market jeans and sweaters that are basic items in their wardrobe and in their everyday life. In one of his interviews, Bill Gates outlined that the watch on his wrist cost $10, despite the fact that he could afford millions of watches from the most famous brands. Instead of shopping, rich people try to explore the other pleasures that life has to offer, like entertainment and travel. This means more to them than a brand new bag.

3. Plastic surgery

Earlier, plastic surgery was pretty popular around the world — everyone wanted to have a perfect body and a flawless face. Rich men would even offer to pay for the transformation of their “chosen ones,” while the girls didn’t mind at all. Today more and more celebrities and wealthy people are against plastic surgery and are promoting having love for one’s body and wrinkles.

Meanwhile, many girls are still ready to cut back on a lot of things in order to save enough money for lip and breast surgeries, as well as other procedures that could help them look young and meet the current understanding of beauty ideals, which are actually fading into the past.

4. Fur coats

Famous designers and their wealthy clients are refusing to wear fur coats, since they believe that it is unethical to wear them. There were cases when animal advocates poured paint on girls who were wearing fur coats. In addition, California state has a law banning the wearing and selling of natural fur.

But fur coats are still considered a luxury item and an indicator of social status for some girls. However, theoretically, they can be easily replaced by frost-resistant down jackets, winter coats, or warm fur coats that are made of artificial fur.

5. Flying in business class

Rational people around the world want to travel modestly, even if they have the financial ability to pay more. For example, the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, believes that flying business class is an unnecessary luxury, that’s why all IKEA employees, despite their level, fly in economy class and stay in inexpensive hotels.

However, many people with a moderate income are ready to overpay for a trip in business class, despite the fact that prices for air tickets continue to rise and business class tickets have seen the highest increases. In fact, thanks to the existence of expensive business class fares, airlines can keep affordable fares for economy class. When we know about this fact, business class flights stop looking so attractive.

6. Home appliances

Wealthy people don’t strive to buy the latest models of home appliances. If the previous model they bought still works perfectly, they see no need to buy a new one. At the same time, this rule is constantly broken by people with an average income — consumer loans are taken out for any household appliances and gadgets.

This also relates to “one-time” home appliances like waffle irons, pancake makers, ice cream makers, and fondue pots, as well as massagers with 15 nozzles. Most often, people use these super devices only one or 2 times, and afterward they just lie on a shelf and “stare” at their owners with dumb reproach for insensibly spent money.

7. A lot of knick-knacks

Successful people try to keep minimalism in their home’s design. Rich people increasingly prefer simplicity in their interiors, so as not to be distracted by household items and so they don’t waste time choosing and buying furniture, or repairing it. It helps them free up time for family, relationships, meeting friends, and work.

Oftentimes, the middle class try to fill their houses with various interior details and the latest trendy things. They strive to constantly improve their interior, distracting themselves from the really important immaterial things.

8. A big house

Wealthy people prefer to buy promising real estate, for little money, in order to make a profit when it grows in price. For example, billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in the same modest house that he bought in 1958. His cozy house in Nebraska state only cost him $30,000, today it’s estimated to be worth $650,000.

A Mexican billionaire whose fortune is estimated at $50 billion, also lives in a modest house that was bought long ago and avoids expensive things. Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara clothing store chain, also didn’t let his success infatuate him — he and his wife live in an ordinary house in Spain. A professor at Stanford University, David Cheriton, who owns $1.3 billion in Google shares, once said in his interview, “These people who build houses with 13 bathrooms and so on, there’s something wrong with them.”

The middle class, in contrast, is mainly driven by the saying, “Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and give birth to a son.” That’s why the life of many people starts to center around the construction of a big house, that sometimes doesn’t stop until the kids grow up. It takes a lot of money, time, and energy, while the expenses for maintaining the house itself and its territory take a big part of their income.

9. Luxury cars

Nowadays, wealthy people don’t buy new car brands if their own car is in good condition and meets all their needs. Even Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg, drives a Volkswagen with a manual transmission and says he never cared about “looking” rich.

However, many people around the world use expensive cars to boost their self-esteem and even not having the money to buy or maintain a vehicle like this doesn’t prevent them from getting one. They just take out car loans.

10. An expensive education

Millionaires know that a free education doesn’t differ much from an expensive one, while success in life is obtained by discipline, determination, and perseverance. In addition, nowadays big international companies are ready to hire young people for work, if they have the necessary knowledge. This means that professional experience and real skills are becoming more important than a college diploma.

At the same time, many people believe that if they pay for an education and get a diploma, they are buying a ticket to a successful life. As a result, young people take out huge loans to pay for their education, but after graduation, they have to work outside of their specialty for the next 5-10 years to pay back the loan to the bank, which means they spend the most precious years of their life doing this.

11. Buying lots of toys for their kids

Successful people came to the conclusion that they could harm their children by buying toys in unlimited quantities. Research proves it too: 36 children were offered the chance to play for half an hour with 4 or 16 toys. It was found that the kids from the first group (the ones who had 4 toys) showed more creativity and came up with more interesting ideas using fewer objects. If parents spend time with their kids and pay more attention to them, they will develop faster than if they are simply playing with a lot of toys.

At the same time, most parents admit that their kids are literally snowed under toys: their stuffed toys are so big that they require a separate apartment, their amount of dolls is so big that they could build a doll army, there are so many Legos that it’s possible to build a 2-story house out of them. Kids don’t have time to dream — they have everything and all their wishes come true too quickly. That’s the way parents show their love to their kids and give them the things they themselves didn’t have in their childhood.

12. Training and courses

Personal growth courses are a business, and the coaches there are not interested in the effective development of their clients. Because of this, it is impossible to transform your life drastically with the help of a training session like this. Successful people know that you can only change your life by continuously working on yourself and your goals.

At the same time, these courses have become incredibly popular among people who are planning to become successful. Even though their cost is pretty high, tickets are still sold really quickly. Poor people are often trying to find a magic pill that will change their life for the better. When one pill doesn’t work, they start to seek help from another coach.

13. The beauty sphere

Today, the natural color of nails speaks to privilege and wealth. Successful women prefer a neat, natural nail, in a modest pastel or nude shade that looks nice.

But many girls want to be sure that their manicure is noticeable by everyone around them, which is why they often opt for brighter colors of nail polish, unique designs with rhinestones, and extreme lengths. If the length is not enough, they go for artificial nails. This style is often chosen by middle class women who want to show that they have an idle and relaxed lifestyle.

Which things do you consider a part of your social status and are you not ready to give up?

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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