U.S. Personal Savings Rate

The U.S. personal saving rate stood at 5.7% in July of 2014, a bit higher than its 10-year average of 4.9% and well below the recent five-year high of 10.5% in December 2012. The personal saving rate is the federal government’s estimate of what percent of their incomes U.S. households are saving. But market watchers and economists are mixed on what can be learned from swings in the saving rate.

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Pay Yourself First

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first,” in other words, making the first payment of each month into your savings account.

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Life and Death of a Twenty Dollar Bill

The average $20 bill is in circulation for 7.7 years, according to a report by the Federal Reserve. That’s better than the $10 bill, which has a life span of only 4.2 years, but worse than the $100 bill, which is in circulation for 15.0 years.

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