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Otterwize Otterwize is a personal financial literacy platform for millennials. What you otter know about personal finance.
Personal financial literacy platform for millennials. What you otter know about personal finance.

05/17/2019

CLEAN UP ON AISLE 7! Last night at my local Stop & Shop supermarket, I met Marty, a $40,000 robot (at least that’s what the guy at the deli counter said it cost). Marty’s job is to go up and down the aisles to detect spills and other hazards. According to local news reports, the supermarket chain has released nearly 500 Martys in stores. Marty is 7-feet tall and has googly eyes. One customer on line at the checkout counter said that if Marty prevents one lawsuit a year, he earns his keep. What do you think? Would you spend millions on hundreds of Martys to detect spills at your stores? Are there any other Marty sightings out there? Does your supermarket have any robots (human or otherwise)? 🤖 🤖 🤖

Chart courtesy of Visual Capitalist. According to “How Equities Can Reduce Longevity Risk,” the problem of longevity...
05/16/2019

Chart courtesy of Visual Capitalist. According to “How Equities Can Reduce Longevity Risk,” the problem of longevity risk (the risk of outliving your retirement savings) is not limited to seniors. “Millennials rate cash as their favorite long-term investment. In the U.S., 41% of those aged 18-29 have no retirement savings.” https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-equities-can-reduce-longevity-risk/ Check out this infographic and article about equity weighting as one possible way to address longevity risk.

All this for $20? Nothing even looks misshapen from #misfitsmarket. Being #ecoconscious and saving money at the same tim...
05/15/2019

All this for $20? Nothing even looks misshapen from #misfitsmarket. Being #ecoconscious and saving money at the same time? Totally sold. Check out these subscription box services for “ugly” fruits and vegetables that can’t be sold in supermarkets: Misfits Market Hungry Harvest Imperfect

FOMO is a waste of energy and a waste of money. Do your own thing for your own reasons on your own schedule. #nofomo
05/14/2019

FOMO is a waste of energy and a waste of money. Do your own thing for your own reasons on your own schedule. #nofomo

Lunch for two adults: $5. Falafel for protein, toasted sprout bread for croutons. Trader Joe’s is Eric’s spirit anim...
05/13/2019

Lunch for two adults: $5. Falafel for protein, toasted sprout bread for croutons. Trader Joe’s is Eric’s spirit animal.

Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t splurge now and then. #eatalynyc
05/13/2019

Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t splurge now and then. #eatalynyc

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!
05/12/2019

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

The average income before taxes in 2017 was $73,573, a 1.5% decrease compared to the previous year. So incomes went down...
05/11/2019

The average income before taxes in 2017 was $73,573, a 1.5% decrease compared to the previous year. So incomes went down 1.5% while spending on entertainment went up 10%. That’s entertainment! The full BLS stats can be found at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.htm.

According to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017 - May 2018: “Four in...
05/09/2019

According to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017 - May 2018: “Four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.” Setting aside money in an emergency fund will help you manage unexpected expenses or interruptions in your income. (A reasonable target would be enough to cover at least 6-9+ months of expenses, but your specific financial situation may require a different amount.) Rainy days happen. Bring a financial umbrella.

Chart courtesy of  Visual Capitalist (by TitleMax). “[I]t’s estimated that 57 million people in the U.S. now partici...
05/08/2019

Chart courtesy of Visual Capitalist (by TitleMax). “[I]t’s estimated that 57 million people in the U.S. now participate in the gig economy each year in some shape or form.” (“The 150 Apps that Power the Gig Economy” https://www.visualcapitalist.com/150-apps-power-gig-economy/) Do you use any of these apps for a side hustle, full-time, or as a customer? Let us know in the comments.

There are 17 states that require personal finance education in high school. Do you think your finances or financial habi...
05/07/2019

There are 17 states that require personal finance education in high school. Do you think your finances or financial habits would be different today if you had been taught basic financial literacy concepts in high school? Do you think that personal finance should be taught in high school? How about middle school? Let us know in the comments. (Don’t worry, this won’t be on the test.) Happy Teacher Appreciation Day (and Week) to all the teachers out there.

You can save a lot of interest and pay your mortgage off sooner if you switch from one monthly payment to two bi-weekly ...
05/05/2019

You can save a lot of interest and pay your mortgage off sooner if you switch from one monthly payment to two bi-weekly payments (of half the monthly amount every two weeks). Instead of making 12 full payments per year, you’d be making 26 half-payments per year. This equates to 13 full monthly payments, so you would in essence be making one extra monthly payment every year. Do the math with your own numbers to figure out how much interest you could save by switching to bi-weekly payments.

Time is a limited resource. Spend it wizely.
05/03/2019

Time is a limited resource. Spend it wizely.

Starting to save for retirement when you are young gives you more time for compounding to take effect. Don’t wait just...
05/02/2019

Starting to save for retirement when you are young gives you more time for compounding to take effect. Don’t wait just because retirement seems like it is a long way off. Your future is coming faster than you think.

Time to check in with your goals for 2019. Did you plan to pay down debt? Save money? Invest? Increase your income or fi...
05/01/2019

Time to check in with your goals for 2019. Did you plan to pay down debt? Save money? Invest? Increase your income or find a new job? How are you doing? What steps do you need to do to get (or stay) on track? #resolutions #timeflies #goalsetting #financialgoals #moneygoals #personalfinance #debtfreegoals #debtfreecommunity #debtfree #debtfreeliving #dfc #savingsgoals #savinggoals #savingmoney #sidehustle #selfimprovement #selfassessment #financialindependence #financialfreedom #itsmay #passageoftime

Find the right balance in all areas, including your finances: spending/frugality; risk/stability; stocks/bonds; work/lif...
04/30/2019

Find the right balance in all areas, including your finances: spending/frugality; risk/stability; stocks/bonds; work/life, etc. Too much of one thing, at the expense of another, can push your stress level and your finances off track. Keep your “balance” sheet in balance.

Think for yourself. Don’t be influenced by what others are doing. The whole culture of influencers is arguably counter...
04/29/2019

Think for yourself. Don’t be influenced by what others are doing. The whole culture of influencers is arguably counter-productive. It’s fine to know what other people are thinking and doing, but it’s better to do your own thing for your own reasons. Diversity of thought requires original thinking. Even when it comes to your finances, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. You have to do what works best for you. #citizenm

It’s a lot easier to reach your goals if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. Aim high but make the targets ac...
04/28/2019

It’s a lot easier to reach your goals if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. Aim high but make the targets achievable and identifiable. Don’t forget the S.M.A.R.T. goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bounded.

Sometimes the solution to a problem just requires a different way of looking at the problem itself. Reframing the questi...
04/27/2019

Sometimes the solution to a problem just requires a different way of looking at the problem itself. Reframing the question can lead to creative solutions and original ideas. This can work with money issues as well as with other topics. (For example, how to save more money can become how to bring in extra income.) If you look for answers in a different way, that silver lining to every cloud might turn into a scoop of ice cream.

Not all superheroes wear capes. Look in the mirror. You have superpowers that you might not have ever discovered before....
04/26/2019

Not all superheroes wear capes. Look in the mirror. You have superpowers that you might not have ever discovered before. Find them and use them.

Infographic from: “How Much Data is Generated Each Day?” -- courtesy of Visual Capitalist (from Raconteur). The firs...
04/25/2019

Infographic from: “How Much Data is Generated Each Day?” -- courtesy of Visual Capitalist (from Raconteur). The first chart is a close-up showing the names of the units of measurement for enormous amounts of data. Have you heard of those? Exabytes? Zettabytes? Yottabytes? (A yottabyte is one septillion bytes! That’s a lot of zeroes.) Data is everywhere in today’s world, so we might as well know the terms used to measure it. The second image shows the massive amount of data generated every day. “[T]he entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020. If this number is correct, it will mean there are 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.” https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-much-data-is-generated-each-day/ (I have to wonder why the zettabyte doesn’t come after the yottabyte, so that the terms would be--in order--exabyte, yottabyte, zettabyte, as in XYZ. Any theories?)

Rainy days happen, so you need to save for them and have funds that are easily accessible. A reasonable target to keep i...
04/24/2019

Rainy days happen, so you need to save for them and have funds that are easily accessible. A reasonable target to keep in an emergency fund would be enough to cover at least 6-9+ months of expenses (but your specific situation may require a larger or smaller amount).

Charts courtesy of Visual Capitalist (from howmuch.net and data from HSH.com). Home prices rose last year in 49 out of 5...
04/23/2019

Charts courtesy of Visual Capitalist (from howmuch.net and data from HSH.com). Home prices rose last year in 49 out of 50 metro areas, and mortgage rates hit a 7-year high. Many home buyers in California had an even tougher time, as their state took the first 4 spots in the top 10 most expensive metro areas—see table, lower right. The New York metro area ranked 6th on that chart (but FYI those figures include all 5 boroughs plus Newark, Jersey City, and other nearby counties). Check out “Mapped: The Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Metro Areas” at https://www.visualcapitalist.com/3d-map-salary-buy-home-50-u-s-metro-areas/.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. What’s good for the planet can be good for your wallet as well. Using less/buying l...
04/22/2019

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. What’s good for the planet can be good for your wallet as well. Using less/buying less not only saves you money but also consumes fewer resources needed to produce, package, and ship products. Go green. #eathday2019

If you think you can’t accomplish something, you’ll prove yourself right. Confidence can’t guarantee results, but ...
04/21/2019

If you think you can’t accomplish something, you’ll prove yourself right. Confidence can’t guarantee results, but self-doubt will derail you every time.

The writing’s on the wall. Live below your means. If you spend more than you earn, you’ll have nothing left but debt...
04/20/2019

The writing’s on the wall. Live below your means. If you spend more than you earn, you’ll have nothing left but debt.

What is the typical percentage increase in your rent from year to year? 3%? 5%? 6%?  Does your lease have a cap on rent ...
04/19/2019

What is the typical percentage increase in your rent from year to year? 3%? 5%? 6%? Does your lease have a cap on rent increases or is the lease silent on that issue? Are these numbers sustainable if rents continue to outpace inflation? (Clockwise from top: Goldfish; Red Ruffled Lemur; Snow Owl. Looking ahead to Earth Day on April 22 and celebrating biodiversity.)

Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Successful people don’t ...
04/18/2019

Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Successful people don’t give up; they learn from their mistakes and move forward. Life is never a straight line. Be persistent. (Photo of Great Blue Heron on Galápagos Islands. Looking ahead to Earth Day 2019 on April 22.)

As the saying goes, money can’t buy happiness, but being broke can’t either.
04/17/2019

As the saying goes, money can’t buy happiness, but being broke can’t either.

Thinking of Paris.
04/16/2019

Thinking of Paris.

Have you filed yet? If you’re expecting a refund, do you know what you’re going to do with those funds? Pay off debt...
04/15/2019

Have you filed yet? If you’re expecting a refund, do you know what you’re going to do with those funds? Pay off debt? Put towards saving or investing? Some other worthwhile goal? Hopefully this tax season hasn’t been too taxing for you.

Small, imperceptible changes repeated over time can have a huge effect on your bottom line. Packing lunch for work inste...
04/14/2019

Small, imperceptible changes repeated over time can have a huge effect on your bottom line. Packing lunch for work instead of buying lunch everyday, ordering water instead of over-priced drinks at restaurants, increasing retirement savings by a small percentage once or twice a year, automating your savings . . . the list can go on. Think about small changes you can make that you won’t feel in the short term but that can have a huge effect over time.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. This will use up fewer resources and save you money as well. That’s a win/win: gree...
04/12/2019

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. This will use up fewer resources and save you money as well. That’s a win/win: green living and more green in your pocket.

Infographic excerpts, courtesy of Visual Capitalist (from TechJury) “Visualizing the AI Revolution in One Infographic....
04/10/2019

Infographic excerpts, courtesy of Visual Capitalist (from TechJury) “Visualizing the AI Revolution in One Infographic.” Check out this fascinating infographic for details on the Timeline of AI (from 1943 onward); Types of AI; Examples of AI Technology; AI By the Numbers (38% of US jobs could be at risk by 2030 due to AI); Top 10 Companies and Countries in the AI Race (no, Google is not at #1); The Impact of AI on Various Industries; and The Future of AI. (https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ai-revolution-infographic/)

Ideas can be found in many places, including in the palm of your hand. When you are brainstorming for new ideas or ways ...
04/09/2019

Ideas can be found in many places, including in the palm of your hand. When you are brainstorming for new ideas or ways to problem solve, don’t forget to include things that might be right in front of you. The answers are sometimes simpler than you think.

The cost of money can mean more than just interest rate. What do you have to give up in order to earn money? Should you ...
04/08/2019

The cost of money can mean more than just interest rate. What do you have to give up in order to earn money? Should you stay at a job that pays well but makes you unhappy? Does the answer depend upon whether you have reached financial independence?

Strut your stuff, show your true colors, and don’t let anyone ruffle your feathers. Be confident in everything you do ...
04/07/2019

Strut your stuff, show your true colors, and don’t let anyone ruffle your feathers. Be confident in everything you do (including managing your finances). PS: There is no color editing in these photos (true colors...).

Time passes quickly. Spend it wizely. And when it comes to saving for your future, start as early as possible. Compoundi...
04/06/2019

Time passes quickly. Spend it wizely. And when it comes to saving for your future, start as early as possible. Compounding needs time to kick in and take off.

Are you moving forward, moving backward, or standing still? This question applies just as well to money matters as it do...
04/05/2019

Are you moving forward, moving backward, or standing still? This question applies just as well to money matters as it does to other parts of your life (your career, relationships, fitness/weight, knowledge, projects, happiness, etc.). As to money issues, check in with your finances to see where you are and how you’re doing. Looking at your budget and net worth from month-to-month can help you assess whether you’re on the right path or whether you need to make changes to reach your goals. You can’t know what steps to take if you don’t know where you are standing.

If you don’t believe that time flies, consider the fact that 2019 is already more than 1/4 over. Take steps today to p...
04/04/2019

If you don’t believe that time flies, consider the fact that 2019 is already more than 1/4 over. Take steps today to plan for your retirement. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time you have for compounding to take effect. Make your future a priority.

Chart courtesy of Visual Capitalist. Check out this fascinating infographic about the top 20 U.S. internet giants from 1...
04/03/2019

Chart courtesy of Visual Capitalist. Check out this fascinating infographic about the top 20 U.S. internet giants from 1998-2018. The lines between columns show which companies made it to the top-20 ranking in the next 5-year time frame and where they ended up on the list. (Rankings are based on unique visitors/viewers. See “The 20 Internet Giants That Rule the Web” https://www.visualcapitalist.com/20-internet-giants-rule-web/.)

April is Financial Literacy Month. If you’re doing some spring cleaning, it’s also a good time to get your finances ...
04/02/2019

April is Financial Literacy Month. If you’re doing some spring cleaning, it’s also a good time to get your finances organized. You can start with our “10-Step Financial Fitness Workout” (https://otterwize.com/start-here/). #financialliteracymonth

Have you heard the news? No more saving money. Surpass the Joneses. Spend everything you have. YOLO. Happy April Fool’...
04/01/2019

Have you heard the news? No more saving money. Surpass the Joneses. Spend everything you have. YOLO. Happy April Fool’s Day! #aprilfools

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