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ICYMI #2 → Target’s Rising Wages; Student Loan Forgiveness Updates; and a $1.50 Costco Combo

October 5, 2022

Illustration of ICYMI

Welcome back for another edition of ICYMI: A weekly-ish roundup of finance-related news that matters for you and your money.

🧑‍🎓 All (student debt) is not forgiven

If you were positively impacted by the student loan forgiveness plan announced by the Biden administration in August, you may need to re-read the details. In an update released at the end of last week, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) or Perkins loans held by private lenders no longer qualify. However, there are a few complexities involved. So be sure to check out the Federal Student Aid site to see if any of your student loan forgiveness eligibility is affected. 

Pro tip: When it comes to variables that are outside your control – like interest rates, student loan forgiveness, and inflation to name a few –  control what you can. Then, plan for the rest. If your plans have now changed with this news, take a moment to reassess. See how it will impact your immediate and long-term financial plans. From there, make the best next move for you and your money. And, as always, when in doubt – reach out to a financial expert.  

🏥 The cost to grow your family is growing

If you’ve recently welcomed a new baby to the family, you know that it’s a joyful – but pricey – milestone. According to data collected by CBS News, “New Jersey has the highest average price for hospital births: $29,048. That's almost twice the national average.”

Pro tip: Whether you’re planning ahead for a new bundle of joy, a wedding, or the trip of a lifetime, preparation is key. From researching your insurance to starting a savings plan, knowing your options is vital to making important life events have as little financial stress as possible. 

✌️Let’s all take a few minutes to breathe

With all of the chaos in the world these days, money is just one of many stressors on the list. We get it. It’s overwhelming. But we’re all about helping you use money as a tool for happiness. And that means taking control of what’s in your power to affect. One thing you can control is your outlook. That’s why we created a guided program of financial mindfulness exercises created by a team of scientists. It’s meant to help you take on life’s difficulties with confidence, presence, focus, and hope.

🎯 Target sets a new standard for minimum wages

Minimum wage has been a hot topic as inflation continues to make any boost in pay relative to your constantly increasing expenses. Target is the latest to announce an increase in their starting wage range from $15 to $24. That is a stark contrast to the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr. If you’re looking for states with the highest minimum wages – according to Statista, the District of Columbia had the highest minimum wage at $15.20/hr followed by California at $15.00/hr.

Pro tip: Consider all the factors. While it’s easy to see glaring discrepancies in wages across different locations, other factors like cost of living and taxes also impact the money in your pocket at the end of the day. So when considering your options, be sure to add up all the variables of importance for you and your unique situation. 

🌭 Lunch for $1.50? Yes, please!

With the price of gas, groceries, housing, school supplies – ok, pretty much everything – going up, it’s nice to know that we can count on some things to stay the same. Costco’s CFO announced this week that the nostalgic $1.50 price of their hot dog and soda combo may stay the same “forever” potentially. While it’s not a 100% guarantee, we’ll take our little, delicious wins wherever we can get them.

Pro tip: Celebrate the small things, and maybe treat yourself to a Costco combo this weekend. 

Data featured is as of October 4, 2022