The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea won’t be all fun and games. Countless dreams are on the line, not to mention billions of dollars and national pride. Plus, after finishing fourth in the gold-medal count in 2014, Team USA is seeking Winter Olympics payback, armed with the largest squad in the history of the Winter Games.
But medal envy isn’t the only holdover from 2014. Russia and global conflict are still big themes four years after the Olympic community left Sochi’s seaside slopes. The simmering political soap opera between Russia and the United States has gotten hotter. Russia will not be formally represented in PyeongChang due to a massive doping scandal. And security is once again a major concern, considering the host’s hostile northern neighbor. So let’s just hope NBCUniversal’s record 2,400+ hours of coverage showcase nothing but good sportsmanship and fair competition.
Lovesick shoppers shell out more than $19 billion in Cupid’s name each year. That makes Valentine’s Day the third-largest consumer holiday in the U.S. But love might not be the only motivator. Roughly 45% of people expect their Valentine to spend at least $50 on a gift, according to WalletHub’s 2018 Valentine’s Day Survey. And 4 in 10 people would break up with their significant other if he or she spent irresponsibly. So fear is a factor, too.
But whether you love or loath his holiday, there’s no denying St. Valentine’s impact on our wallets. So in the hopes of helping people embrace their loving feelings without hurting their finances, WalletHub examined V-Day from all angles.
The Minnesota cold may take some getting used to, but Super Bowl LII (52) will feature plenty of familiar faces and traditions. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are making their second straight run at the Lombardi Trophy in their eighth appearance in the big game since 2002. Millions of people will tune in on television, as usual. And we’ll again consume more than a billion chicken wings while watching hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of commercials with a bit of football mixed in.
Lurking behind the standard hoopla, however, are an unusual setting, an upstart and an unanswered question. The Twin Cities are hosting for just the second time, in the sixth Super Bowl held in a cold-weather locale. The Philadelphia Eagles are set to make just their third Super Bowl appearance, in search of their first victory, after losing efforts in 1980 and 2004. And everyone wants to know whether the birds from the City of Brotherly Love will fly high enough to turn Patriots into prey or wind up winded in crunch time once again.
American Express (a WalletHub partner) is a venerable brand, known for customer service and as a status symbol. So it’s understandable that you’d be interested in the company’s cards. But thinking you want an Amex is a far cry from knowing you’ve found the best card for your needs. Please note, American Express is a WalletHub partner.
The first of the year brings both the promise of new beginnings and the burden of self-improvement. Fueled by the nostalgia of the holidays and armed with a year’s worth of regrets, some 45% of Americans decide to make New Year’s resolutions each January, according to research from the University of Scranton. They are, it seems, taken by the spirit that led Benjamin Franklin to advise: “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”
Foresight leads to preparedness, and being prepared really pays off when it comes to personal finance. So to get you ready for the months to come, WalletHub’s editors surveyed more than a dozen economics experts, analyzed big-bank projections and Federal Reserve forecasts, and produced a list of financial predictions for 2018.
Federal Reserve rate hikes can send shockwaves through stock markets and put many people to sleep. But just because the nitty-gritty of the country’s fiscal policy isn’t exciting to most does not mean we’re unaffected.
For one thing, the Fed’s four rate hikes since Dec. 2015 have cost credit card users an extra $6 billion in interest in 2017. That figure will swell by $1.46 billion in 2018 if the Fed raises its target rate again in December, as expected. WalletHub also conducted a nationally representative survey to gauge public sentiment about Fed rate hikes. And while most people still have some homework to do, we’ve got no shortage of opinions.
Countries all around the world have their own unique New Year’s traditions. Many places feature customary cuisine, such as lentils (Brazil and Italy), suckling pig (Austria) and grapes (Spain). Others get a bit more creative. The Danish, for example, smash broken china on friends’ front doors, supposedly in a sign of affection. But you obviously don’t need to go global to learn a lot about New Year’s.
We have plenty of customs right here at home, from watching a giant crystal-covered ball drop in Time’s Square and drinking sparkling spirits at midnight to eating black-eyed peas and making resolutions on Jan. 1. But there’s still a lot to learn about even the most famous New Year’s traditions. For instance, did you know that the Time’s Square ball weighs nearly six tons, or that 360 million glasses of sparkling wine are consumed in the U.S. each New Year’s Eve? The fact that New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year for celebratory gunfire may come as a surprise, too.
Missed your chance to save on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Don’t worry. December has more great deals in store for you. WalletHub kept a close eye on them all year to help you get ahead of the lines and find exactly what you’re looking for — at bargain prices.
Below, we’ve listed 10 special offers handpicked by WalletHub, followed by the most heavily discounted items in December versus the rest of the year. If you’re in the market for a laptop, this month is the time to buy one.
Roughly 675,000 Americans have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS since the epidemic began in the early 1980s. Yet after peaking around 50,000 in 1995, the annual death toll has declined by nearly 90%. In a nutshell, the billions of dollars that taxpayers, corporations and individual philanthropists have contributed to the battle against AIDS over the years are paying off. But the fight is far from over.
AIDS still claims far too many lives. And HIV is still far too costly, increasing the average patient’s health care costs by roughly 120% and draining billions from the U.S. economy each year. So to help build awareness for this important cause, WalletHub put together an infographic filled with HIV/AIDS factoids and consulted a panel of experts about the disease’s various costs. You can find everything below.
Settlers of the Plymouth Colony and their Wampanoag tribe predecessors kicked off a grand tradition way back in 1621. And for that we should all be thankful, if for nothing else than a day off from work and school. But the Thanksgiving we celebrate today is a lot different than that first festival in honor of a particularly bountiful harvest.
Sure, we still eat turkey, potatoes and pumpkin. And we continue to use the occasion to reflect on the things we cherish most, such as friends and family. But a pair of additional F’s – football and Friday – has become just as important to some. The NFL’s three-game Thanksgiving slate earned more than 83 million combined viewers last year, and we spent more than $10 billion on Black Friday shopping – on top of the billions we spent preparing for Thanksgiving itself. So if it isn’t tryptophan that puts you to sleep this Thanksgiving, it might be 12 hours of pigskin or an early wake-up call for a day of deal hunting.
Diabetes costs the U.S. economy over $245 billion per year, making it the country’s most expensive disease. But the damage obviously extends well beyond dollars and cents. It’s the 3rd most deadly disease in the U.S., claiming over 80,000 lives per year and becoming a daily concern for millions more.
Yet the roughly 9 in 10 Americans who don’t have diabetes probably don’t understand the full extent of the struggle, either. The same can also be said of the nearly 1 in 4 people with diabetes who don’t know they have it.
Each October, brisk autumn days at the ballpark begin to give way to hot-stove winters, and America’s national pastime adds another season to the record books with a World Series. It’s been that way since 1903. Sure, some things have changed. Everyone’s a lot richer. Games are played under the lights, often into the early hours of the morning. And TV cameras are pitching all the action, plus a lot of ads, to viewers worldwide. But the bases are still 90 feet apart. The pitcher’ mound is still 60 feet, six inches away from home plate. And there’s no shortage of intrigue and excitement surrounding this year’s matchup, as the Los Angeles Dodgers square off against the Houston Astros in the 113th World Series.
So as we wait for the boys of summer to play ball in the Fall Classic, why not take a closer look at everything that makes the World Series such a special event? WalletHub crunched the numbers to find the most interesting facts and figures related to this year’s Series, which you can check out below, followed by an Ask the Experts discussion with picks and commentary on the business of baseball.
It’s the spookiest time of the year, when superstition runs rampant and treats always come with the potential for a trick. But like with anything else, the more you know about Halloween, the less scary it seems. Did you know, for example, that ringing doorbells and lighting candles are thought to ward away witches, ghosts and evil spirits? Or, how frightening can haunted houses really be when charities operate 80% of them?
Even if you’re not prone to spooking, there’s always something interesting to learn about Halloween. For instance, the mere fact that 16% of people plan to put costumes on pets and 62% of parents admit to stealing candy from their kids tells us a lot. And that’s just the beginning. To ease your fears and help you gain a new appreciation for this hallowed holiday, WalletHub explored Halloween from all angles.
As a licensed private investigator and a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, I’m naturally well aware of identity theft and the various other crimes that accompany it. But I’m perhaps even better acquainted with these matters because I was actually a victim before I dedicated my professional life to helping others protect themselves from fraud.
Save the “ta-tas.” Stand up to cancer. However you want to say it, we need to do it. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes in the U.S. And the disease robs us of more than 40,000 daughters, wives and mothers every year.
Fortunately, things are improving, as illustrated by a five-year survival rate that has surpassed 90%. But breast cancer still takes quite a toll on us, in all aspects of the word. Financially, a breast cancer diagnosis equates to nearly $20,000 in extra health care costs each year. Lost productivity also robs the economy of billions. And that’s one reason why we’re spending millions in search of a cure.
Love coffee? In honor of National Coffee Day on Sept. 29, WalletHub compiled a list of coffee retailers offering special discounts and other promotions to their customers during the holiday and other days of the week.
Some of the deals include a free medium cup of joe with the purchase of a medium or larger hot coffee at participating Dunkin' Donuts locations; one free any-size coffee at participating Krispy Kreme locations; and 20 percent off all pods and bagged coffee at Keurig.com. Find out exactly what specials are brewing at each store below.
From barrels brimming with beer and boots made for drinking to Bavarian pretzels and pork knuckles, Oktoberfest has it all. That’s why this centuries-old celebration brings more than five million partiers to Munich for a couple weeks each October. Yet only about 2% of the crowd typically hails from the U.S. And it’s little wonder why, considering the trip would cost the average American roughly $5,000, according to WalletHub estimates.
But much like it’s always five o’clock somewhere, you don’t need to visit the original Oktoberfest to feel the vibe. Many cities host their own festivals – most notably, Cincinnati and San Francisco. Even more local watering holes throw themed parties. Or maybe you just want to get festive at home. No matter what, we’ve got all the information you need to actually understand what you’re prost-ing to. Enjoy (responsibly)!
The release of each new iPhone model is a big-money occasion. Not just for Apple, the world's largest company by market capitalization and a new Warren Buffet favorite. But also for consumers, who will reportedly be asked to shell out up to $1,400 for the new device at a time when credit card debt is approaching record highs. The key, it seems, is that credit scores are at lofty historical levels, too. In other words, installment plans and other financing arrangements will help the iPhone remain as popular as ever into its second decade.
But how much do consumers really know about the connection between their credit scores and monthly cell phone bills? Do we care more about our phones than our credit scores? And just how excited are we about the iPhone's 10th anniversary model?
Labor Day is an occasion marked by contradictions. Despite honoring the fight for workers’ rights, it’s a day off for most. Even though it represents the unofficial end of summer, it’s still among Americans’ favorite holidays. And while it isn’t known shopping, we still spend a lot on Labor Day weekend fun.
To get a better sense of what Labor Day means to American consumers as well as how we plan to celebrate this year and how we’re going to pay for it all, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey on the subject. The survey was done online from Aug. 7 to Aug. 14. You can check out the results below.