2015 US Open By The Numbers

2014-US-Open-by-the-numbers-BadgeIt’s that time of year again, with kids headed back to school and the violent grunts of the world’s best tennis players set to join the Big Apple’s city symphony as play in the US Open commences Aug. 31. To get you ready for 14 days of tennis bliss, WalletHub put together the following report which explores the tournament’s financial impact, the economics of professional tennis and fun facts related to this year’s event.

After all, there’s no shortage of storylines – financial and otherwise – underpinning the 135th iteration of America’s Grand Slam. Most notable, of course, is Serena Williams’ quest to sweep the season’s majors, tie Steffi Graf’s career Grand Slam record and take home her share of the largest purse in professional tennis. In addition to this intrigue, the tournament should also help New Yorkers take their minds off the stock market’s woes thanks to its $750 million economic impact on the metro area.

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The 2015 Brickyard 400 By The Numbers

brickyard-400-imageHeld on the hallowed, brick-laden ground of Indianapolis Motor Speedway each July, the Brickyard 400 has long been one of NASCAR’s most-watched races. It’s an event with cherished traditions, like the post-race kissing of the bricks, and a healthy dose of intrigue – with Jeff Gordon gunning for his sixth Brickyard crown this year and Jimmie Johnson looking for his fifth in a decade.

And while there have been no fatalities during the Brickyard’s 20-year history – compared to 18 during the Indy 500 race – risk is an ever-present companion when you’re traveling at speeds in excess of 180 mph. This is exemplified by the fact that the average driver spends roughly $150,000 on life insurance each year. It seems the event’s $8.4+ million purse is enough to warrant the danger for these dare-devils of the track.

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Why Is Movie Theater Popcorn So Expensive?

Why Does Movie Popcorn Cost So Much

The pricing of movie theater snacks isn’t just a function of a captive audience. To better understand why popcorn at movie theaters costs so much these days, it helps to remember back 40 years to the summer of 1975 and the release of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws.” Aside from being a great film that largely established the summer blockbuster, it also changed the film distribution industry in other ways.

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2015’s Best Wedding Blogs

Best Wedding Blogs

While certainly joyous occasions, weddings also come at a great expense. The average wedding costs around $31,200, all things considered – an increase of 16% since 2010, despite guest lists shrinking 4%. Reports have also shown that 53% of couples spend 10-plus hours each week planning their weddings, while brides contribute an average of 36 complete days to the same task. On the other hand, hiring a wedding planner will cost you roughly 15% of your total budget.

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How To Travel The World & Change It At The Same Time

How to travel the world change it at the same time

We are now more connected than ever, and travel has become more accessible and affordable for many. Enhancements in technology allow us to reach someone on the other side of the globe in seconds and advances in air travel allow us to travel to destinations that only explorers could reach in earlier times.

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The 2015 Indianapolis 500 By The Numbers

Indy 500 by the Numbers

The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most quintessentially American events on the annual sporting calendar, converging 300K visitors to the city’s storied Motor Speedway and gluing million pairs of eyeballs to television sets globally. We watch for many reasons. Many invariably tune in for the potential excitement of fiery wrecks and pit crew brawls. But then there are others who root for favorite driver or are mesmerized by the poetry of pit stops and the sheer engineering brilliance fueling cars that reach an excess of 225 mph.

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2015’s Best Investing Blogs

Best Investing Blogs

The investing world is one of the most thoroughly researched fields in the U.S. economy, with professional analysts, corporate insiders, individual investors, academics and influential bloggers all sharing their two cents (at the very least) about this grand game that has been compared to everything from “watching paint dry” to a “new weapon that destroys people but leaves buildings standing.” In fact, Amazon.com lists more than 20,000 investing books for sale.

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2015’s Mayweather vs. Pacquiao By The Numbers

Mayweather-vs-Pacquiao-By-The-Numberst-BadgeIt has been dubbed The Fight of The Century, and while the name is clearly characteristic of the sweet science’s inherent hyperbole, fight fans have indeed been waiting for a bout between these pound-for-pound titans – generally regarded as the best boxers in the world – for most of the new millennium. But, derailed by contractual stand-offs regarding revenue distribution and drug testing and marked by allegations of avoidance and cheating, the bout everyone wanted to see seemed as if it would never be.

Miraculously, however, the two fighters have come together in the twilights of their careers after successfully negotiating prior roadblocks. Perhaps the two are being motivated by unpaid tax obligations or their lavish spending habits (see below). Or maybe each knew in their heart that the bell would ring for this fight before they hung up the hand wraps and gloves.

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2015’s Tax Day By The Numbers

Tax-Day-By-The-Numbers-BadgeApril 15 is one of those dates that’s simply synonymous with a particular event, representing Tax Day like Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 do Christmas and New Year’s, respectively. The glaring difference is that we approach this IRS holiday with foreboding – images of audits and unpaid liabilities dancing in our heads rather than sugar-plums. Such concerns, embedded in our DNA since Revolutionary times, are also well-justified – considering that we collectively fork over $3.1 trillion to Uncle Sam each year and spend 6.1 billion hours making sure our payments are proper.

The U.S. tax landscape has also changed a great deal in recent years, with returns becoming predominantly electronic, the IRS budget shrinking and the tax code swelling to 5-times the number of words in the Bible. With that in mind, we decided to take a closer look at what the contemporary U.S. taxpayer faces each April, highlighting the most interesting statistics related to how we prepare, pay and process taxes. We also interviewed a panel of leading experts on matters relating to both tax policy and practicality, and you can check out their insights below.

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The 2015 Masters Tournament By The Numbers

The-2015-Masters-Tournament-By-The-Numbers-BadgeFour. It’s a number deeply representative of the Masters Tournament – one of golf’s quartet of “majors” – and the 2015 iteration in particular. Can Rory McIlroy – the No. 1 player in the world – take home the Green Jacket and in so doing win his third major in a row as well as complete the career Grand Slam? Or perhaps defending champion Bubba Watson will prevail instead, taking ownership of three out of the last four Masters titles. Who knows – maybe one of the four Koreans in the field (or the single player from Japan, Thailand or India) will even become the first Asian Masters champ.

There’s ultimately no shortage of intrigue or interesting statistics tied to the 79th Masters Tournament, held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA. And, from the $9 million purse and the $35 million in expected ticket sales to Georgia’s $5 billion golf economy and the Masters’ $115 million local impact, we’ll break it all down below. Make sure to also check out our Ask The Experts section for tournament predictions and economic insights from a panel of leading experts.

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2015’s March Madness By The Numbers

March-Madness-BadgeCan Kentucky go 40-0? Will a 16 seed finally take down one of the top dogs? Could the likes of North Florida or UC Irvine finally find their glass slipper? There are plenty of intriguing questions that remained to be answered as the 2014-15 NCAA Tournament approaches. And as March Madness grips fans across the country – burning billions of dollars in corporate productivity and inciting an estimated $12 billion in betting globally – plenty of eyeballs will be tuned into the action, perhaps explaining why plenty of sponsors have their wallets open as well.

Indeed, the corporate spectacle of March Madness would seem to belie the amateurism inherent to the event and underscore the disparity between the average student athlete’s annual compensation ($120K in tuition, room and board), and that of big-time college coaches ($5M+) and NBA rookies ($1.9M). The NCAA itself has also raked in billions of dollars in television rights fees, ticket proceeds and merchandise sales, and CBS racks up more than a billion dollars in ad revenue each year. Perhaps that is why calls to pay college athletes are growing louder. At least it’s something to consider as you watch the action this year.

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St. Patrick’s Day By The Numbers

St-Patrick-Day-By-The-NumbersShares in Diageo (DEO) – the London-based owner of Guinness – may be down in recent months, but plenty of us will be raising pints and garbed in green come March 17th. Despite its religious undertones, St. Patrick’s Day ranks among the calendar’s biggest drinking days, when the more than 33 million Irish-Americans and their compatriots around the world combine cocktails and cabbage all in the name of the Emerald Isle.

Unfortunately, these good times are too often ruined by drunk driving incidents – which can have a devastating impact on both your life in general and your wallet in particular. So, in addition to checking out the interesting St. Paddy’s Day stats presented below, make sure to stay safe when celebrating this year. Remember, the cost of a quick Uber ride pales in comparison to that of a DUI or a vehicular manslaughter charge.

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2015’s Best Tax Blogs

Best Tax Blogs

After two weeks of fan voting – running from March 9 to March 23, 2015 – the people have crowned the Best Tax Blog of 2015: the Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney Blog. It was chosen from 50 finalists – selected by WalletHub’s editors out of hundreds of entries – due to its excellent content and impressive popularity.

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Valentine’s Day By The Numbers

Valentine’s Day is the third largest consumer holiday in the United States by amount spent, with the roughly $19 billion we shell out in Cupid’s name each year coming in just behind the $20 billion spent on Mother’s Day and the $602 billion we devote to the winter holidays. So, whether you love or hate this holiday (or if you even think it’s a holiday to begin with), there is no denying the role of St. Valentine on our nation’s economy.

With that in mind and to help people embrace that loving feeling in a manner that’s safe for their wallets, the personal finance website WalletHub prepared the following Valentine’s Day By The Numbers infographic, which showcases participation rates, spending trends and other fascinating tidbits about this romantic day.

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Major League Bullies: Teams Seek Hypocritical Trademark Ruling

Can a Major League Baseball team own the alphabet?  MLB seems to think so, as it has been on a two year mission to block WalletHub’s application for this trademark:WalletHub Logo.  Why would a professional sports league care about the logo of a financial services company, you might ask?

Good question.  The league alleges that WalletHub’s logo could easily be confused with the registered trademarks of the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs.  But aside from the fact that none of their marks look anything like the WalletHub logo(and very few people would associate the Cubs with W’s these days), they’re also registered for clothing and flags while WalletHub’s logo is for financial services – namely, comparing and learning about products such as credit cards, mortgages, savings accounts, car loans, insurance policies, etc.

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Super Bowl XLIX By The Numbers

Super-Bowl-XLIX-By-The-Numbers-2015-BadgeThe Super Bowl is a game of numbers, from the Roman Numerals that denote each contest to the millions of people and billions of dollars that are engrossed in it each year.

Given the societal importance of the Big Game, the emphasis it places on social media, and the fact that it's a global symbol of capitalistic extravagance, it only makes sense for WalletHub – the first social network built from the ground up around personal finance – to audit the figures that make the game tick.

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WalletHub’s 15 for ’15: Financial Resolutions for the New Year

Wallet Hub New Year Resolution

The first of the year always brings with it the promise of new beginnings and the burden of self-improvement. Fueled by the nostalgia of the holidays, armed with a year’s worth of regrets, and unleashed by the ceremonialism and ritual of the calendar’s turn, 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 write that one should, “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”

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Ask the Experts: The Impact of Falling Oil Prices on Your Wallet

Falling Oil Prices

The last time anyone in the U.S. paid less than $2.10 for a gallon of regular gasoline was in May 2009 — until now. Global demand for oil has softened in recent months as production has grown, creating a surplus that has driven down prices across the board. As a result, consumers in many parts of the U.S. — such as the Midwest and Gulf Coast — are even paying less than $2.05, according to GasBuddy.

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