Financially Speaking, The Best Time To Be Alive Was During The Great Compression
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Financially speaking, the best time and place to live was in the U.S. in the late 1940s–1960s. This time period was riddled with other issues (i.e. racism, sexism, etc.), but it had at least one thing right: the income equality in the United States was higher than at any other point in world history. Directly following the Great Depression, this chunk of time is aptly referred to as the Great Compression. Must've been nice. Things are a whole lot different now.
The Zero-Sum Budget Has You Spend All Your Money
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What if you could save money while spending your entire budget each month? Before you dismiss this concept as wildly counterproductive, hear us out. The Zero-Sum Budget keeps you accountable because every penny you make is allocated for a specific purpose. Read the following steps to help get your finances back on track.The first order of business: determine how much money you make each month by figuring out how many paychecks you receive and how much you'll earn post-tax. After you determine your earnings, start planning what you'll spend. Here's the key: don't calculate what you'll spend this month—allocate this month's money for what you'll need next month. List out all of your fixed bills, including rent payments, utility estimates, and groceries. Don't forget to include smaller expenditures such as gym fees or larger bills like student loan payments. Then, it's time to compare and contrast. Once you deduct your bills from your earnings, you can allocate the leftover funds for miscellaneous categories, such as an emergency fund and a long-term savings fund, a vacation fund, and money for fun things such as dining out and going to the movies.
Friendships Are Crucial, Especially At Work
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Having an office lunch buddy or post-work happy-hour partner in crime is fun, but it's also proven to be truly important. Studies have shown these friends can actually boost your productivity at work and make you a happier employee.In Tom Rath's 2006 book Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without, the author explains this idea: "When we asked people if they would rather have a best friend at work or a 10% pay raise, having a friend clearly won." Rath heads Gallup Organization's worldwide Workplace Research and Leadership Consulting practice, and in surveys of more than 5 million workers found that not only are "people with at least three close friends 96% more likely to be extremely satisfied with their lives," but it also doubles their salary satisfaction. As USA Today explains, "people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their job. They get more done in less time. They also have fewer accidents, have more engaged customers and are more likely to innovate and share new ideas."
The Framing Effect Shows How Word Choice Affects Your Decisions
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Here's a thought experiment: imagine you have just been given $50. You can either gamble that money and see what you get with it, or choose to not gamble and instead lose $30 of it. Which would you choose? What if, instead, your options were to gamble or to keep $20? In a 2006 study in the journal Science, 61.6% of participants chose to gamble with the money if the other option was to lose $30, but only 42.9% of people chose to gamble if the other option was to keep $20. That is, of course, despite the fact that the second option in both scenarios leaves the participant with $20. This shows the power of the framing effect: setting up a question in a way that makes someone think about losing something will make them come to a different decision than if the question made them think about keeping something.
You'll Likely Be Happier If You Choose Time Over Money
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It's a classic debate: Time or money? Money or time? Though the two aren't quite interchangeable, it may seem like you can't have one if you have the other. So, which should you choose? According to research, you should choose time over money if you like being happy. (But wouldn't it be easier if we could all just have both?) In a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science in May 2016, the majority of the participants favored having more money over more time. However, choosing more time was associated with overall higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. But, you may be thinking, what if the people who chose time over money already had plenty of money? The research controlled for existing levels of available time and money. While the value of money is easy to quantify, the value of time is a little trickier, which may make it more difficult to value. So, which would you choose? Watch the videos below for more about the relationship between time and money.