Coming down with March Madness before the Big Dance may sound like an excuse to skip prom, but it actually describes our nationwide obsession with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This 68-team basketball bonanza has been known to crown a Cinderella or two, produce at least one shining moment a year, and turn millions of Americans into illegal gamblers. It’s that good.
It’s also a big business both on and off the court, making millionaires out of coaches, conference commissioners and NCAA executives but very few players. Tournament time takes a toll on fans’ wallets, too, and not just in terms of the millions we lose in bracket pools each year. The average single-game ticket costs about $258, for one thing. Around 19 percent more beer is sold to keep up with cheering fans. And there’s the potential for some workplace conflict, since distracted employees cost businesses about $13.3 billion per year.
Whether you see it as a civic duty, a necessary evil or cause for a few choice expletives, it’s no surprise that most of us dislike tax time. From the expense and hassle of the process to questions of fairness and fears of basic math, there are many reasons for our April angst.
But just how much do we dislike taxes and tax collectors? And what would we do to get out of paying?
Credit cards offer plenty of perks, from rewards on every purchase to 0% APRs. But credit cards can also get us into trouble if we aren’t careful. Reducing debt and adopting sustainable spending habits are particularly important, so WalletHub decided to see how consumers are approaching those tasks.
We performed a nationally representative survey online. You can find the complete results in the infographic below, along with some key takeaways from WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Debt Study.
St. Patrick’s Day has the potential to be quite expensive, with lots of corn beef, cabbage, Guinness and green clothing on Americans’ shopping lists. But the costs associated with celebrating Ireland’s primary patron saint don’t end there, especially for those who act immaturely.
Despite its religious undertones, St. Patrick’s Day often results in some light bruising for folks whose dress doesn’t express the Emerald Isle’s characteristic hue. It also ranks among the year’s most popular drinking occasions. And the good times are too often ruined by drunk driving, which can have a devastating impact on lives in general and wallets in particular.
It costs an average of $358 million to run for president of the United States, according to WalletHub’s analysis of financial disclosures and campaign spending data from candidates in 2016 and 2020. Winning is even more expensive, too. Former president Obama’s campaign and his affiliates invested $1.14 billion in his 2012 reelection, for example. President Trump and his affiliates spent approximately $439 million en route to victory in 2016. And candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2020 shelled out more than $726 million so far.
It’s actually fair to wonder where money isn’t an issue in the 2020 race, or politics in general. Who wants to be president of the United States has turned into a game of who’s not a millionaire, who’s taking money from billionaires, which billionaire can buy love at the ballot box, and how many trillions of dollars in policy promises it takes to spark a movement. Ties to credit cards, investment banking, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have even made cameos thus far.
Americans are known for being big spenders…sometimes, too big. With an average household credit card balance of more than $8,700, many people now cannot keep up with the payments on their debt. In a nationally representative survey conducted by WalletHub, over 18 percent of respondents said they believe they will miss at least one credit card due date in 2020. That works out to about 46 million Americans.
Missing a credit card payment can start a chain reaction of negative events. First off, there are late fees of up to $29 for a first offence and $40 for another within six months. In addition, cardholders not already carrying a balance between months will lose their grace period, and interest will start accruing immediately on both new purchases and the unpaid balance. There might also be a high penalty APR on new purchases, depending on the issuer, and this rate can be applied to all balances after the cardholder is 60-days past-due on payment. Lastly, if the credit card issuer reports a late payment to the credit bureaus after it’s 30 days late, it will cause damage to the cardholder’s credit score. This can lead to higher costs and fewer borrowing opportunities in the future.
For many people, Mardi Gras is all about the three B’s: beads, booze and the Big Easy. But this multi-week carnival, which runs from Epiphany through Fat Tuesday every year, isn’t confined to New Orleans or the tawdry pursuits of partygoers.
Mardi Gras actually has a Christian foundation, dating back to 17th century Europe, as a time for festivities before the fasting and sacrifice of Lent. It was first celebrated in the United States in what is now Mobile, Ala. And it has become an economic force, generating more than $1 billion for the New Orleans and Mobile areas each year.
Lovesick shoppers shell out more than $27.4 billion in Cupid’s name each year. That makes Valentine’s Day the second-priciest holiday on the calendar for U.S. consumers. But love might not be the only motivator. Roughly 31% of people expect their Valentine to spend at least $50 on a gift, according to WalletHub’s 2020 Valentine’s Day Survey. More than 4 in 10 people would also break up with their significant other if he or she spent irresponsibly. So fear is a factor, too.
Whether you love or loath his holiday, there’s no denying St. Valentine’s impact on our wallets. With that in mind, WalletHub examined V-Day from all angles to help people embrace their loving feelings without hurting their finances. At the very least, seeing what people do (or don’t do) in the name of love should make the day a bit more enjoyable.
Whether you love it or loath it, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day is a big deal. We spend billions of dollars on the occasion each year. And there’s a lot riding on what we do (or don’t do) in Cupid’s name on February 14, to the extent that it could affect whether some people wind up filing joint or individual tax returns come April.
To learn more about exactly how consumers are approaching Valentine’s Day 2020, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative online survey. We asked about everything from what people plan to buy and how much they plan to spend to financial turnoffs and how money problems affect relationships. You can check out the complete results in the infographic below.
To help you get psyched for Hollywood’s biggest night, WalletHub did our homework on everything from box office sales and Rotten Tomatoes ratings for the Best Picture nominees to the price of awards-season lobbying. You can find all of these awesome Oscars fun facts in the infographic below. That’s followed by a Q&A on the state of the film industry with a panel of entertainment experts. Enjoy the show!
The holiday shopping season is over now, and many Americans are seeing the impact on their credit card bills and bank statements. During the holidays, people often make a lot of large purchases, and sometimes max out their cards in order to do so. In a nationally representative survey conducted by WalletHub, 36 percent of respondents say they worry about maxing out their card with a large purchase.
That’s certainly a legitimate concern, considering Americans’ tendency to rack up credit card debt. After all, we started 2019 with over $1 trillion in total credit card debt. And while people with high incomes and stable employment may have no trouble putting large purchases on a credit card, reaping rewards, and paying them off quickly, it’s a different story for Americans with less stable incomes. When it comes to non-essential large purchases, they may be better off saving up and paying in cash. “If they don’t pay bills monthly and carry a balance with a high interest rate, relying on cash is a good discipline,” says David Laibson, a professor of economics at Harvard University.
Super Bowl LIV (54) will crown either the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers as champions of the National Football League’s 100th season. The backdrop and timing – Miami Gardens, Florida at the turn of the decade and the NFL’s century mark – are more than fitting, too. Serious long-term threats face both the game of football and the Miami metro area – namely, head injuries and rising sea levels. But for now, the party is still going strong in South Florida, and the NFL’s ratings are rebounding.
One reason this year’s Super Bowl figures to draw a lot of interest is that it features exciting young talent at marquee positions. The starting quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers, accounted for 56 total touchdowns during the regular season and are a combined 52 years old (last year’s winning QB, Tom Brady, is 42). Mahomes, who became a household name with an MVP season in 2018, is also steadily becoming a household face by co-starring in a series of commercials for State Farm, among other endorsement deals.
Just because the holidays have come and gone does not mean the holiday shopping season is over. Its final act is actually just beginning.
Many people have unwanted gifts they’d like to return, which can lead to more shopping plus a fair amount of frustration. We also have holiday debt to deal with and financial resolutions we’re trying to stick to.
Roughly 80% of Americans plan to make New Year’s resolutions for 2020, according to a new WalletHub survey. This time of year, it seems we are 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.”
We all have our fair share of vices and room for improvement, especially when it comes to money. So it’s unsurprising that financially-themed resolutions are among the most popular made each new year. In fact, nearly 4 in 10 people plan to make a financial resolution for 2020, and money trails only health in resolution popularity.
WalletHub conducted a nationally representative poll of nearly 500 people in the U.S. to see what types of resolutions folks are making for 2020, especially in terms of personal finance. We also asked about people’s motivations for making resolutions, their expectations of success and much more. This survey took place from December 2 to December 6, 2019. You can find the complete results in the following infographic.
The #1 financial resolution for men is to save more, while women are focused on paying off debt.
WalletHub’s Top 10 New Year’s Financial Resolutions for 2020 start with 1) Repay 20% of your credit card debt and 2) Add one month’s pay to your emergency fund.
7 in 10 people admit they’ve cheated on a New Year’s resolution before.
Conservatives are 2.5X more likely than Liberals to think it is NOT ok to adjust your New Year’s Resolution later in the year.
Millennials are twice as likely as baby boomers to break a resolution due to laziness.
Full Details Overall
What type of New Year’s resolution are you most likely to make? (select all that apply)
Habitual (biting nails, being late, etc.)
What type of New Year’s resolution are you least likely to keep? (select all that apply)
Habitual (biting nails, being late, etc.)
How likely are you to keep a New Year’s resolution?
If you are to make a financial resolution, what would it be?
Pay off debt
Make more money
Improve credit score
Did you make a financial resolution last year?
How long do you expect to keep your New Year’s resolution?
Up to 6 months
Up to 3 months
Less than a month
Up to 9 months
Have you ever cheated on a New Year’s resolution?
Is it ok to adjust your New Year’s Resolution during the year?
If you make a financial resolution, what is most likely to prevent you from keeping it?
Not enough money
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.
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.
With that in mind, WalletHub went hunting for interesting factoids about America’s fourth-favorite holiday, New Year’s Eve/Day, to help people better understand and enjoy the occasion. You can check out our findings on everything from eating, drinking and spending habits to travel plans, midnight prayers, DUIs and hangovers in the infographic below. Make sure to also read the Ask the Experts Q&A that follows to see what our panel thinks about different aspects of it.
$1.1 Billion - Estimated cost of New Year's air travel, with at least 6.7 million people expected to pay an average of $165 for a round-trip ticket.
8 in 10 Americans - Spend less than $200 on New Year's Eve.
45% of Americans plan to celebrate New Year's Eve with family, and only 15% will attend public events or parties.
$758 - Difference in the cost for a couple to enjoy dinner and a show on New Year's Eve in the most expensive (New York) and least expensive (Philadelphia) cities.
360+ Million - Glasses of sparkling wine are drunk each New Year's Eve.
17.1% of emergency room visits on New Year's Eve are drug/alcohol related (most of any holiday).
49,900 – People get hurt in car crashes each New Year’s Eve Holiday.
0.094% – Average BAC on New Year’s Eve, making it the most drunken night of the year.
80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, with 22% of Americans admitting that their 2019 resolutions were the same as their 2018 goals.
Ask the Experts
To gain a deeper understanding of everything that makes New Year’s so special (plus potential pitfalls to watch out for), we posed the following questions to a panel of experts specializing in retail, hospitality, public safety and terrorism. You can check out their bios and responses below.
What tips and tricks do you have for people trying to make a New Year’s resolution they can actually keep?
How can local authorities promote safety and reduce alcohol-related accidents on New Year’s Eve?
WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey of American consumers to see what people are planning to buy this holiday season, how much they’re going to spend, debt and more. You can find the results in the following infographic.
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 nearly 79 million combined viewers last year, and we spent more than $6.2 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.
However you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season, we’ve got you covered. WalletHub took an in-depth look at Thanksgiving’s humble roots and how it has evolved over time in preparing this report. The infographic below is filled with all kinds of Thanksgiving facts, from how much we spend to how much we eat. And the Ask the Experts section that follows features a panel discussion on Thanksgiving money-wasters and dining tips.
$313+: Average spending over the five-day Thanksgiving period.
10 Hrs. 33 Mins.: Length of time the average American male would need to spend on the treadmill to burn the 4,500 calories consumed at the average Thanksgiving meal.
$552+ Million: Estimated amount Americans spend on Thanksgiving turkeys each year, with 46 million turkeys killed for the holiday.
$19 Million: Amount of property loss caused by residential building fires each Thanksgiving.
53%: Share of people celebrating Thanksgiving who are dreading having to talk politics at the dinner table.
Ask the Experts
In search of a deeper understanding of Thanksgiving’s multi-faceted role in modern life, we posed the following questions to a panel of experts in consumer studies, history and economics. You can check out their bios and responses below.
What are the biggest Thanksgiving money-wasters?
What are the most cost-effective days/times to fly around the Thanksgiving holiday?
What are the most cost-effective ways to put on a feast for friends and family without breaking the bank?
Diabetes costs the U.S. economy over $327 billion per year, making it the country’s most expensive disease. But the damage obviously extends well beyond dollars and cents. Diabetes is the 7th most deadly disease in the U.S., claiming over 80,000 lives per year and becoming a daily concern for millions more people.
Yet the roughly 9 in 10 Americans who don’t have diabetes probably don’t understand the full extent of the struggle. The same can be said of the nearly 1 in 4 people with diabetes who don’t know they have it.
To help spread awareness, WalletHub assembled an infographic filled with diabetes facts and statistics. These facts explore the physical and financial impacts of the disease as well as what folks are doing to fight back. We also surveyed a panel of diabetes experts about issues ranging from personal finance to public policy. You can find everything below.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey to gauge people’s opinions about military personal-finance perks and a whole lot more. You can find the complete results in the following infographic.