Japan’s machinery orders weaken as trade war hits spending plans

Japan’s machinery orders fell in January at the fastest pace in four months as the U.S.-China tariff war hit global trade, knocking demand from the country’s auto and telecommunications equipment manufacturing sectors lower.


Reuters: Arts

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New Zealand February Overall Credit Card Spending Rises 0.1%

Overall credit card spending in New Zealand added a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in February, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday – in line with expectations following the 2.0 percent gain in January.
RTT – Economic News

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Trump budget to propose slashing domestic spending, boosting defense

The House Democratic majority intends to ignore the president’s proposals, but they lay out the White House vision ahead of spending fights later this year.
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Japan Household Spending Jumps 2.0% On Year In January

The average of household spending in Japan was up a discontinuity-adjusted 2.0 percent on year in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 296,345 yen.
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Japan Household Spending Climbs 0.3% In November

The average of household spending in Japan was up 0.3 percent on year in November, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 281,041 yen.
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My Spending Has Put Me in Serious Debt. Should I Consolidate?

Dear J.J.,

That “I can’t stop spending” feeling isn’t just some kind of personal weakness. It’s a widely studied psychological phenomenon.

Behavioral economists have figured out that various forms of payment have different “pain” levels. Pain of payment is worst when you pay with cash, because you can see and feel the bills leaving your wallet and entering someone else’s register. There’s a little bit less pain when you use a debit card and the money leaves your checking account immediately.

But credit? Paying with a credit card is just about painless. Not only are zero dollars leaving your account at the time you acquire an item or service, but you also have the option of putting off that payment for weeks, months, years, forever. Just as much as we love instant gratification, we love procrastinating.  

So when you see a credit limit that you have not maxed out, you see a big green light. Go! Do not slow down. Spend it until it’s gone. The pain hides until it’s time to pay the tab.

You need a big change to get out of the cycle. You need to plot out every dollar of that debt and how you’re going to pay it off. Taking a personal loan to consolidate your credit card debt only works if:

  1. The interest rate is lower than all your other debt.
  2. You take out a loan for the exact amount you need to cover your current debt — and not a penny more.

You need to create a financial no-temptation zone. It’s time to call in an accountability partner. This is someone you trust and can talk to about money — a friend, a colleague, a cousin. Someone who will scold you gently if you get off track and cheer you on when you hit small goals along the path to paying off your debt. They’ll make sure your payoff plans are bold but reasonable. They’ll help shoulder the pain of paying off your debt and remind your brain of the intangible, but important, pleasure of having less debt.

This will take years, and I don’t mean just paying off your debt. I mean rewiring your brain to live within your means. It’s something even the most financially savvy of people struggle to overcome. It’s easier to spend money than ever before, especially money that is not truly yours to spend. Paying it back will feel distinctly un-fun.

But if you can envision a debt-free future and the ease it will bring to your life — your accountability partner should help get you pumped up for this — you’ll start to see those debt payments as steps toward financial freedom.

Have a tricky money question? Write to Dear Penny and you might see your question answered in an upcoming column.

Lisa Rowan is a personal finance expert and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Dear Penny.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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4 Ways to Deal if You Want to Be Debt-Free but Your Partner Keeps Spending

When you get married or combine finances with someone, you may think that tackling debt will be easier than doing it on your own.

Then you find out your partner has no intention of paying off debt or being involved with finances.

Cool.

But if this is you, don’t worry. Just because the love of your life isn’t driven to get rid of debt right now, it doesn’t mean they never will be.

I admit that I wasn’t on board with paying off debt when my then-fiance “suggested” it to me.

I came from a background where we always had money to pay the bills but never enough for anything else. So when I was finally making my own money, I wanted to use it to live, not to pay my $ 52,000 of student loan debt.

But many people overcome their aversions to paying off debt and end up being just as motivated as their significant other.

Here are some tips for bridging that gap.

4 Strategies for When Your Partner Doesn’t Care About Being Debt-Free

These tips may not speed up the journey, but they are the best way to get to freedom from debt if you don’t want to sleep on the couch the whole way.

1. Slow Down and Rethink Your Approach

If the fact that your partner doesn’t want to think about finances frustrates you, sit down, take a deep breath and think about why.

A lot of people have negative emotions and experiences tied to money.

Talking about finances can be a trigger for someone whose parents fought about money. If someone never had enough money for small pleasures growing up, they might go into defense mode if you tell them you want to stop spending money and sell their stuff.

And the thought of debt itself can be a heavy mental burden, especially when life is throwing more problems into the mix. It takes time, persistence and understanding to find out what the root of your partner’s hesitation is and how to work through it.

2. Talk About the Future

Couple holding hands

My husband knows that I’m a goal-driven person, so he asked me what my goals for the future were. He got me thinking about how freedom from debt could help me achieve my goals faster.

Make sure your partner’s goals and wants are heard. Share your own wants, and talk about how your goals and your partner’s goals can work together. Your partner may not have concrete goals right now, but they surely have something they want. Maybe they want to travel, buy a boat, stay at home with kids or pursue a passion.

Anything they want to do in the future is going to have a financial component. And once you’ve identified it, you’ll be able to sit down and talk about that. But as with the first recommendation, take it slowly.

3. Plan a Road Trip

If your partner will no longer listen to you about finances, don’t force it.

They still need to hear it, just not from you. That’s where podcasts and audiobooks can come in for the assist. And there’s no better way to have your partner’s uninterrupted ear than playing them in the car.

That’s how Budgets Made Easy creator Ashley Patrick was able to get her husband on board.

“I attempted budget meetings, but he wasn’t interested,” Ashley said. “He was content letting me handle it all. The biggest thing that fully got him on board was playing Dave Ramsey podcasts in the car. Especially when I did it on a long road trip. Hours of Dave Ramsey helped change his mindset.”

She and her husband paid off $ 45,000 in 17 months, and Ashley now provides financial coaching through Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey Solutions.

4. Be an Example They’ll Want to Follow

While you’re waiting for your partner to join the team, make sure they know what the game looks like.

You can continue to budget, pay off debt and be wise with your spending even if your partner isn’t. Sometimes they just need to see that it can be done.

As you do this, take into consideration what they value and want. Maybe you think Topgolf is a waste of money, but your husband loves going once a month. Put it in the budget to show him that the process is only as restrictive as you make it.

At the end of the day, being debt-free isn’t the goal: having financial freedom is. And if you want your partner to be part of that, it might take some patience and perseverance. But it’s worth it — not just financially — to get on the same page and head in the same direction with your goals.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She was reluctant at first, but once she got on board, she and her husband paid off $ 78,000 of debt in two years. See more of her story and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @modernfrugality.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Ryan Says Trump Will Not Sign Senate’s Short-Term Spending Bill

Increasing the risk of a partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump is purportedly unwilling to sign a short-term spending bill approved by the Senate. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters about Trump’s refusal to sign the bill on Thursday after a White House meeting between the president and House Republicans.
RTT – Top Story

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McConnell Introduces Short-Term Government Spending Bill

With a partial government shutdown looming, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., has introduced another short-term government spending bill. McConnell said the continuing resolution introduced on Wednesday would “provide the resources necessary to continue normal operations through February 8th.”
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How a Staycation Cut our Travel Spending by $1,500

My partner Nick and I love to travel, so we prioritize vacations in our budget. But when we felt like we needed an unplanned vacation earlier this year and saw that we were just on track to hit our vacation-saving goals — a trip out West in 2019 and a European adventure in 2020 — we had to improvise.

For months, Nick had been renovating the house we bought earlier this year and managing his own small business. I’d been juggling a full-time job and my own freelance writing gig.

It was so tempting to book a $ 2,000 trip to Myrtle Beach.

We both needed a break. And we had the money elsewhere in savings, just not earmarked for a trip.

But instead, we agreed to save the $ 2,000 and allow ourselves $ 500 for five days at home — a staycation to explore our hometown (Dayton, Ohio), ease our stress and just enjoy one another.

Sure, a few days at the beach would have recharged us brilliantly. But when you have other savings goals — be they paying off student loan debt, putting a down payment on a house or even just funding a more extravagant vacation down the road — a staycation can work miracles.

Even experts agree. Nick Hatter, an accredited life coach in the U.K., told me about what happens in our brains when we create positive staycation memories.

“A staycation enables you to create positive neuro-associations between your home and fun, relaxation and unwinding,” Hatter says. “Often, we are so busy with other things that we don’t take time to enjoy ourselves in our homes. By taking a staycation, we can begin to change what feelings and interpretations we associate with our home.”

Not only do staycations allow us to create these positive neuro-associations with our homes and communities, but they also eliminate much of the stress associated with regular vacations. There is no need to book flights (and deal with airports), pack your bags or find a dog sitter. You’ll also eliminate many of the financial stresses of a vacation by sleeping in your own bed and skipping the flights and rental cars.

Are you working with a limited vacation budget? Plan a staycation instead. Here’s what we did with our $ 500 staycation budget.

Day 1: First Dates

A big dish of ice cream.

On the first day of our staycation, Nick and I re-entered the honeymoon phase of dating and combined a few first-date activities into one fun day. Together, we saw a movie at the theater (we went early enough so that I wouldn’t fall asleep), played a couple rounds of mini golf, went bowling and enjoyed several scoops of ice cream.

Nick has celiac disease, so it is challenging for him to dine out without getting sick from gluten cross-contamination. We know of a few gluten-free restaurants in the area, but they are somewhat pricy, which added to our expenses.

Total cost for the day: $ 115

Day 2: Kayaking and Hiking

two men sit in their kayaks on a lake.

Nick and I like to enjoy the outdoors together, so we woke up early for day two of our staycation to kayak down a nearby river that we hadn’t yet explored. Because we had bought our own kayaks when we lived by a large lake in Tennessee, there was no cost other than a bottle of sunscreen. Even if you don’t own equipment, you can typically rent kayaks, canoes or rafts at low rates along any sizable river.

After a quick lunch at home, we grabbed our dogs (a greyhound-Weimaraner mix and a Great Dane) and headed out for an eight-mile hike. Again, no cost.

Though we were exhausted by the time we got home, we spent $ 20 on groceries and baked a delicious (and gluten-free) meal of salmon, rice and veggies in our own kitchen.

Total cost for the day: $ 20

Day 3: Day in Bed

After kayaking and hiking for an entire day, Nick and I were exhausted. We spent the third day of our staycation really emphasizing the staying part. Other than trips to the bathroom (or to let the dogs out to do the same) and the kitchen to grab food, we spent most of the day in bed watching movies, playing video games and reconnecting. If you are feeling drained from your daily life, this is the task I most recommend for your staycation.

Nick and I are antsy by nature, so in the late afternoon, we left our bed to go antiquing, but we returned quickly, made another $ 20 dinner and got back in bed.

Total cost for the day: $ 20

Day 4: Art Museum and Cooking Class

For our fourth day vacationing at home, Nick and I went out in search of culture in our hometown. We grabbed lunch at a cafe, toured a local art museum and finished things off with a special gluten-free cooking class, which was admittedly pricey — but hey, at least it included dinner.

Total cost for the day: $ 140

Day 5: Water Park and Laser Tag

Though we had greatly enjoyed our staycation, we still wanted a taste of the beach. So we left our city and drove half an hour to a water park with towering slides, a lazy river and, my favorite: beers on a makeshift beach, complete with reggae music. On the way home, we even squeezed in another extreme activity: laser tag. (For the record: I won.)

We dined out one last time and reminisced about how we’d spent the last five days.

Total cost for the day: $ 170

A man and two dogs stand on the shore of a lake.

Our total cost for the whole five-day staycation came in under our budget: $ 465. That meant we were even less off track for our big upcoming vacations than we’d planned, and we returned to chaotic life feeling relaxed and refreshed… albeit a little sunburnt.

Timothy Moore is an editor, freelance writer and part-time adventurer. His favorite trips have included the Scottish Highlands, the beaches of Mexico, the roller coaster capital of the world, the California coast and, now, his own backyard.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Japan Household Spending Slips 0.3% In October

The average of household spending in Japan was down 0.3 percent on year in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 290,396 yen.
RTT – Economic News

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Congress Passes Stopgap Spending Bill To Avert Government Shutdown

With a potential government shutdown looming, members of Congress voted Thursday to approve a short-term spending bill amid an ongoing disagreement over funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The two-week spending bill extends funding for several government agencies.
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Spending Rehab: 3 Steps To Avoid A Financial Hangover

In an economy like ours—driven by consumer spending and near-ubiquitous advertising designed to get you to spend, and then spend some more—even the most financially disciplined among us can fall prey to overspending. For example, most of us are especially vulnerable during the holiday shopping season, during which many of us spend more money in 30 days than we have in the previous six months combined. To avoid a financial hangover after a serious shopping binge, here’s a plan—let’s call it a spending rehab intervention—to sober up your finances and get your budget back under control.

Spending Rehab Step 1

You have to be woke—more conscious and aware—when it comes to how you are spending your money. Most of us spend money mindlessly, without really considering the impact on our financial health, or even whether we really need or want what we purchase. That’s the very definition of impulse spending.

So, to begin the spending rehab regimen, for one month you’re going to track your spending (which is a good idea to do two to three time a year even if you don’t overspend). Keep a record of every penny you spend, and what you spent it on. Also, note how you made each purchase—with cash, credit card, debit card, personal check, automated payment, whatever. You can track your spending using a pen and small notepad, or your mobile device or computer. Using an app like Spendr might also help. Do whatever works to have a complete record of your spending for one month.

Spending Rehab Step 2

This is where we test your commitment to getting your spending under control: Continue to track your spending for a second month, with one change—no using credit cards. That’s right; you have to go cash only for the entire month. Debit cards are OK, too, since you are just using plastic to spend cash. But no using credit cards or other tools to borrow money to finance expenditures for the entire month.

As with the previous month, keep a record of every penny you spend, and what you spent it on. Use a pen and pad, your mobile device, whatever works to have a complete record of your spending—without using credit cards.

—Be sure to catch Alfred Edmond Jr.’s personal finance podcast: “Your Money, Your Life” sponsored by Prudential. 

For those who have become accustomed to treating their available credit balance as if it were income, this might be the toughest part of spending rehab. Brace yourself for the withdrawal pains of giving up the plastic. If you literally can’t make it through one month without using credit cards, you need emergency intervention. Make an appointment with a qualified credit counselor immediately. You can find one in your area at DebtAdvice.org.

Spending Rehab Step 3

Sit down and look at your spending choices over the two months. How did your spending differ from one month to the next? Have you been too reliant on credit cards, or using them needlessly when you could have used cash and avoided wasting money on paying interest on credit card balances? Where in your budget can you eliminate spending (or at least avoid paying interest and fees), and where can you better apply that money to more beneficial, financially healthy uses—such as paying down debt faster, increasing contributions to your retirement savings, building a stronger cash emergency fund or financing a new money-making venture?

The point of this exercise is to make you more conscious of how you spend, what you buy, and most importantly, why—so you can challenge and change your thinking and adopt a healthier financial lifestyle. To get started, you want to identify and eliminate three kinds of spending—confused spending, compensatory spending, and conspicuous spending—if you are serious about improving and maintaining your financial wellness:

Confused Spending

This is when you make purchases without giving any real consideration to what you are getting for your money—or whether you even really want or need what you are buying. Confused spending almost always results in overspending.

Are you repeatedly surprised when you bounce a check, the ATM gives you a negative balance message or your credit card is declined at a store? That likely means that you are either operating without a spending plan—also known as a budget—or you have one, and are ignoring it, and instead, you are trying to keep track of it all in your head. The result: sloppiness, disorganization—and confused spending.

Compensatory Spending

This is when you spend as a form of self-medication in order to cope with emotional pain or discomfort, such as boredom, feelings of unworthiness, sadness, or repressed anger. The problem with this so-called “retail therapy” is that when you’re done, the bad feelings return, often more intensely, requiring more spending to cope—and leading to shopping addiction.

At its worst, compensatory spending leads to a vicious cycle: You feel bad, whether sad, angry, lonely or just plain bored. You go shopping to feel better—spending money you don’t have on things you have not budgeted for. When the high of getting so-called great deals wears off, you now have shopper’s remorse and guilt, on top of the original bad feelings. What do you do? Unless there is an intervention—more compensatory spending. If this is you, get help; a good place to start is the nonprofit self-help organization Debtors Anonymous.

Conspicuous Spending

This is when you spend in order to buy social status—to try to impress others, “keep up with the Joneses,” or maybe do a little frontin’ for the ‘Gram. If you rock nothing but luxury brands but have horrible credit, this is likely you.

Your friend or neighbor has the new custom kicks or latest smartphone, so you have to have it, too—whether you can afford it or not. This tendency can be exacerbated by engaging social media, where it is easier than ever to see the latest shiny new things that seemingly everyone but you has, including tons of approval in the form of likes, favorites, and shares.

Statistics show that you’re likely racing each other to the poor house. Unfortunately, too many of us spend money we don’t have to buy things we can’t afford, to impress people we don’t know and may not even like. Stay in your lane and live according to what you can afford, not by what others have.

How do you determine affordability? By continuing to monitor your spending, being more organized, sticking to a real spending plan, and otherwise staying woke when it comes to your money. The more diligent, consistent, and conscious you are, the lower the odds that you will relapse into overspending, and the less likely you’ll need another round of spending rehab.

—Be sure to catch Alfred Edmond Jr.’s personal finance podcast: “Your Money, Your Life” sponsored by Prudential. 

 

The post Spending Rehab: 3 Steps To Avoid A Financial Hangover appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Add wireless charging to your old iPhone for $ 17 instead of spending $ 1,000 on an iPhone XS originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 2 Nov 2018 at 08:58:10 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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This Tool Will Tell You if Your Grocery Spending Is Actually Normal

Setting a monthly or weekly food budget can feel like a brain teaser.

How much did you spend last week? Is that normal for you? What did you get for the money? Is that a reasonable amount to spend? Is there a cheaper grocery store you should be going to? Is there room to cut back?

The list of questions to ask yourself can feel endless. And then there’s the work of actually sticking to the budget once it’s set. It can feel easier to just give up on the budget altogether.

But there’s a free resource from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that takes some of the guesswork out of it.

Each month, the department releases an updated breakdown of how much individuals and families should expect to spend on groceries at different budgets.

According to a 2007 report, the numbers provided by the USDA are based on how much people spend at the grocery store and assumes they cook all their meals at home. So your numbers will vary based on how much you eat at restaurants.

Note that while income plays a role in how much people spend on food, the USDA’s budget groups are based on spending habits, not income.

Here’s How Much the Most Frugal Grocery Shoppers Spend

On the low end of the spending spectrum are the “thrifty” and “low-cost” plans.

According to the USDA, the thrifty plan is a benchmark for people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the government program that provides low-income people with money to spend on food. This group represents the 25% of the country that spends the least on food.

The next 25% of the country is represented in the low-cost plan. Here, a single person between age 19 and 50 would be expected to spend between $ 48.20 and $ 55.50 at the grocery store each week.

Alternatively, a family of four — a man, a woman and two children between ages 2 and 5 — would spend around $ 166 each week or $ 719.10 each month.

Here’s How Much Big Spenders Drop On Groceries

The 50% of us who spend the most on groceries fall into the “moderate” and “liberal” categories.

Under the moderate plan, a person between 19 and 50 years old can expect to spend between $ 59.10 and $ 69.50 each week, while the liberal plan allots between $ 75.70 and $ 85.30 for people in the same age group.

Families of four with young children are expected to spend $ 204.90 or $ 253.90 per week for the moderate and liberal plans, respectively.

Overspending on groceries? Here are some tips that will help you stretch your grocery budget further.

Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots now total $752 million: Here’s a spending plan if you win big

While a sudden windfall can seem like an unlimited amount of money, protecting your newfound wealth involves managing how much you spend.
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Japan Household Spending Spikes 2.8% On Year In August

The average of household spending in Japan was up 2.8 percent on year in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 292,481 yen.
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