Posts Tagged 'Economy'

The Lottery Explained By Math

The Mega Millions jackpot is approaching record levels. At the time of this posting the jackpot is currently $636 million. I am currently involved in two lottery pools here at Churchill and would absolutely love to be instantly wealthy from sheer dumb luck. But even though I currently have a stake in about 100 sets of numbers, I’m well aware of the odds. Gizmodo has a good list of things that are more likely to happen than winning the grand prize tonight. Among the highlights are:

Houston Astros Winning the 2014 World Series: 200-to-1
Bowling a Perfect 300: 11,500-to-1
Dating a Supermodel: 88,000-to-1
Getting Struck by Lightning: 576,000-to-1
Being Canonized: 20,000,000-to-1

Business Insider also has a great article concerning the math behind the lottery. I won’t bore you with the various regression analyses but I’ll share some of their conclusions.

1. The takes are incredibly high if you take the lump-sum jackpot. All of it is taxed as earned income so just in federal income tax you’ll be paying 39.5 percent of your winnings straight to the federal government. Taking the money as a 30 year annuity will significantly reduce your tax burden if you win, as will moving to a state without an income tax.

2. According to their math it only makes sense to buy in when the jackpot exceeds $380 million.

3. Try to play in smaller state lotteries that don’t get much press. The odds of winning those are much higher (though still ridiculously low.)

Don’t spend too much money on lottery tickets though. For the most part you’re only buying a daydream and you can do that for free. Just remember putting $20 into a retirement vehicle like a 401(k) or IRA will yield you far more money in the future than hoping for the best with the Mega Millions.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

There’s About $1 Billion Worth of Unredeemed Gift Cards in America

I never liked getting store gift cards as a present. The intent is certainly nice. The person giving it to you usually has no idea what you actually want and they’re giving you some money towards something you can get for yourself. This is what annoys me though. Many gift cards have expiration dates and restrict you to buying from a certain store. If that store has what you really want then that’s fine but what if it doesn’t? What do you do then? Gift cards are incredibly easy to re-gift and you could always sell it off on a site like Cardpool for some actual cash.

There are some people who absolutely love gift cards and those are the stores that sell them. Why is that? There is a good chance that a customer with a gift card will either spend more than the entire value of the gift card on their trip or they’ll spend less than the card’s value. Either way the store makes more money than if the customer was paying the total sticker price of their purchases. Also every year about one percent of the total balances on gift cards go unredeemed. Considering that about over $100 billion worth of gift cards are sold each year, that comes out to about $1 billion in pure profit retailers get every year. I’m not against businesses making money but I hate seeing stories of consumers wasting money. If you’re considering buying someone a gift card for Christmas this year, just give them some cold hard cash instead. It may seem a bit more impersonal but the recipient has way more options on what they can do with it and it will be more appreciated.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

Video Games Have Surpassed Hollywood

For the past decade we have been in the middle of a sea change in how we get our entertainment. Gone are the days of the 1980s when television and movies are the heavy hitters in screen-based entertainment. As computer hardware has improved video games have become more and more entertaining and life-like. The other thing that’s come with that is cold hard cash. The biggest video game publishers now bring in tens of billions of dollars per year and they money the industry is making is now eclipsing Hollywood. I think that this infographic I found really drives this point home. Compared to a Hollywood movie, video games usually cost less to make, sell for much more money per unit, and entertain us for a much longer period of time.

To use a personal example, I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies in theaters, paid about $24 to see them, and was blown away on the journey they too me on for the roughly 10 hours those movies lasted. I paid $60 for Skyrim and spent about 250 hours of my life exploring that incredible fantasy-themed world and doing generally whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Guess which gave me far more for my money? The 21st century is upon us and more and more of us are now taking a more active role in our own entertainment. If you don’t believe that just follow the money.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

Ten Best Cities For Recent College Graduates

There are plenty of people who are fresh out of college today many of whom face a difficult job market. That being said, there are certain parts of the country where it is easier to be a fresh grad than others. Nerdwallet recently put together a list of what they feel are the top ten cities in America to be a recent college graduate. The factors that they consider are conventional measures like the availability of jobs in the local economy, the city’s population of people ages 18-24, the median rent for an apartment, the city’s walk score. They also consider more unusual measures like the number of bars per capita, the cost of a 12 inch pizza at Pizza Hut, and the price of a six-pack of Heineken. What follows is their top ten list:

10. San Francisco, CA
9. Chicago, IL
8. Austin, TX
7. Columbus, OH
6. Washington, DC
5. Philadelphia, PA
4. Baltimore, MD
3. Denver, CO
2. Seattle, WA
1. Boston, MA


The many sights of Boston

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

10 Best Cities for Finding Employment

In need of a new job? Forbes.com has listed the 10 Best Cities for Employment. These cities were chosen by Adecco Staffing US, a Human Resources firm. They have the fullest employment, according to the Department of Labor, as well as internal data around job growth and demand. They then determined which areas in the US are the best for finding a job.

  1. Bethesda, MD
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Jacksonville, FL.
  4. Grand Rapids, MI
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Seattle, WA.
  7. Phoenix, AZ
  8. New York, NY
  9. Richmond, VA
  10. Oklahoma City, OK

livable_cities_bethesda_maryland

Bethesda, MD

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information

5 Housing Markets on the Way Up

MSN.com features a new list analyzed and compiled by Housing Predictor of 5 housing markets on the way up. With home prices continuing to fall, now could be the best time for you to snatch a great deal and make a profitable investment in one of these desirable markets. Projected to provide double-digit gains in the next 5 years, these areas are known to have growing job prospects and a stronger economic environment than other areas looked at in comparison. This list is certainly worth taking a look at if you are in the market to invest in a new home.

Here is a  look at the 5 that made the list:

  1. Miami, Florida
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Los Altos, California
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Medford, Oregon

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of: MSN.com

 
 
 
 
 
 

Living on the Cheap: Forbes Cheapest Places to Live

With more and more Americans watching their wallets in today’s unsettling economic environment, Forbes’ “America’s 100 Cheapest Places to Live” couldn’t have come at a better time. With a wide-range of locales making the list, an eclectic blend of growing cities, suburban landscapes, and rural-based towns, people looking to relocate are provided with a diverse list to choose from.

The positive aspect to lists like this one is that it gives us hope that there are still areas in the United States where the cost of living is not so overwhelming. However, a list like this can be misleading, especially as many areas in the United States are still dealing with economic struggle. While there are cities on this list that are safe bets to a cheaper way of living, some of these cities still do not have a large supply of jobs for those moving in. Also, rates of pay are far less than what some may be used to in areas, such as from the Washington, D.C. and New York metropolitan areas.

This brings up an important point when discussing living on the cheap. In the twenty-first century many Americans have become accustomed to living on higher salaries and therefore have become used to a higher cost of living. As Americans are losing their jobs and receiving cuts in pay and general everyday costs are still high, we have to tailor our spending to reflect these changes. So while the cost of living is undeniably too high in some areas of the United States, we cannot forget that wherever we go, the only way that American population can live “cheaply” is by moving onto another standard of living.

Read the complete list of Forbes’ America’s Cheapest Places to Live

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

White House reports stimulus plan saved/created 650,000 jobs

According to a report release by the White House today, President Obama’s economic stimulus plan has saved or created 650,000 jobs so far and is on track to the president’s goal of 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010.  The White House credits the $787 billion stimulus plan, Cash for Clunkers program and the 1st Time Home Buyers rebate with helping the economy grow after four straight losing quarters. The government has created www.recovery.gov where users can view stimulus spending information and data.

According to http://www.recovery.gov, the top states by jobs created or saved are Colorado with 4695, Washington with 2909 and California with 2260.  Click here to view the complete list.

Looking for short term apartment rentals in Colorado, Washington or California, Churchill can help.