IN THIS ISSUE: Debt setters, job scams, and roommate rules|
Whoa, what a feeling...
US hit its debt ceiling
What will Congress do?
IOU-S-AWhat happened: Last Thursday, the US reached its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling—the max amount of money the federal government can borrow. Now Congress must vote to either raise the debt ceiling so they can borrow more, or suspend the ceiling, which would table the discussion for a future negotiation. Either way, striking a deal could be tough.
Here's why: Congress is divided, with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate. Republicans might try to use the debt-ceiling debate to negotiate spending cuts—something Democrats will likely oppose.1
What it means for you: Without a debt-ceiling decision, the US might not be able to pay its bills by June. Not good. If that happens, the government might have to prioritize which bills it pays (such as Social Security, unemployment benefits, or national defense expenses), which can unsettle financial markets and impact Americans’ wallets. An outright default on Treasury-bond payments (not being able to pay interest on the debt) could unleash even greater turmoil in the markets and economy. Prep your money for tough times with
these 6 tips.
Hire liarWhat happened: Unemployed tech workers are being targeted with fake job offers, The Wall Street Journal reports.2 Millennials and Gen Z workers might be especially at risk: Younger workers reported losing money on job scams at more than 5 times the rate of older adults, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).3
Here’s why: Mass tech layoffs continue to make headlines recently, so scammers know where to find a vast pool of potential victims.
|What it means for you: Job searching? Watch for red flags. Hints an opportunity may not be legit:|
If you lost money on a job scam,
report it to the FTC and your
state’s attorney general’s office.
If you shared personal info that might open you up to identity theft, you can request a recovery plan from the FTC. In the meantime, try these
ways to help protect yourself.
The recruiter or interviewer asks for sensitive personal information, such as passport or Social Security numbers.
They ask for financial info, such as bank account numbers.
They require you to shell out money for things like equipment or job-related training, with promises of reimbursement.
Care crisisWhat happened: Over 600 rural hospitals—nearly 30% of those in the US—are at risk of closing in the near future, according to a study by the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.4
Here’s why: The pandemic strained hospitals’ finances, and most pandemic-era federal aid ended last month. Also to blame: nurse shortages, higher labor costs, supply chain issues, and more patients seeking outpatient treatment like urgent care.5
What it means for you: When farm and ranch workers can’t get health care, food shortages can hit the rest of the country.6 Plus, 1 in every 12 rural jobs is in a hospital, and that many job losses can devastate rural economies.7
If you live in a rural area, check your hospital’s limitations (e.g., blood shortages and long wait times) before you ever need to go. And see what kind of emergency insurance coverage you have, especially if you changed carriers recently, so you know your options.
Check your checksGet paid every other week? There are 2 months out of the year that you could get 3 paychecks instead of the usual 2. If your first paycheck of 2023 came January 6, an extra paycheck will hit your bank account in March and September. If you first got paid on January 13, watch for those extra checks in June and December. Here are 5 ways to
make the most of that cash.
Try the newly redesigned Fidelity Mobile® app
Deposit checks, pay bills, track spending, trade stocks, and more with our award-winning app.8 Download the app, then use your existing Fidelity login or open an account to get started.9
LiquidityWhat it means: How easily you can convert an asset to cash. Your house? Low liquidity. A savings account? High liquidity. Think: If you can quickly make it rain, it’s liquid.
Why it matters: Liquidity could shape where you stash cash for different goals. If retirement is far off, less-accessible
could work. With an emergency fund, you never know when you’ll need that money so consider keeping it handy—aka liquid—such as in a
I’m moving in with a friend. How do we deal with money—so we stay friends?Join the club. More millennials are
with roommates to ease high housing costs.10 Stay friendly by scheduling a money meeting, ideally before anyone unpacks boxes. Discuss:
Put your decisions in writing (find a free roommate agreement template online), and sign it with your new roomie. Schedule time once a month to talk through issues before they bubble up, and refer back to your agreement when in doubt.
How you’ll split monthly bills, such as rent (even steven, or does the person with the bigger room pay more?), utilities, internet, and streaming services.
How you’ll handle rate increases and if someone wants to dump or replace a service.
Who submits payments for each bill, when and how the other person sends their portion, and what the consequences are for being late.
Ground rules around other shared costs, such as groceries (is it a free-for-all in the fridge or you only eat what you paid for?), cleaning supplies, and household repairs.