'How To Money' Talks Interest Rates, Tax Day, & The Future Of Cities

On this episode of How To Money, Joel and Matt debate the headlines over whether or not cities are dead thanks to Covid-19. They also get into credit card interest rates; though nearly every other type of interest payment is lower than usual right now – for example, mortgage rates are about to hit historic lows of around 3% in some places – credit card interest rates are still sky-high. But first, quick reminder that Tax Day is July 15 this year, so be sure to file your taxes and contribute to your Roth IRAs if possible. Since that money is “use it or lose it,” they recommend contributing as close to the maximum $6,000 as you can “if you’re a baller!”

While the pandemic put a pause on a lot of debt payments, credit card interest wasn’t one of them. If you’re able to pay off your full balance every month, that doesn’t matter, but if you’re like a majority of borrowers, you’re probably carrying a balance over each month and contributing to the $100 billion in profits banks make from late fees and interest payments instead of actually paying down your debt. If this sounds familiar, the guys suggest looking into transferring your balance to a new card with a better interest rate. Sometimes there’s a fee involved, but the long-term savings are worth it. You can also research other cards’ interest rates and call your lender to ask for a comparable rate. If your credit score is in good standing and you’ve done your research, you should have a strong argument. 

Then they get into the thinkpieces that have started appearing lately predicting that Covid-19 will be the death of cities. Neither of the guys are sure about this one. Though people may be more eager to move out of the city right now in favor of more wide-open spaces in the suburbs or rural areas, that doesn’t mean that will hold true in the long term. One of the most difficult things about coronavirus is how many unknowns accompany it: How it gets spread, how the disease works in our bodies, and what the future impacts will be. More people may be willing to live in the country or suburbs if they can work from home permanently, but just as many people may be chomping at the bit to return to a bustling city life. All we know for sure is that a lot of things will change – we just don’t know what that change will look like. But, as Joel points out, if we’re constantly swayed by all the various predictions out there, we’ll be paralyzed with indecision. We should “look to our own personal goals” about what we want our lives to look like, and “let that be our guide.” Listen to the episode for more on battling interest rates, how to help your local food bank, and what the future might look like, on How To Money.

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