When I first started this blog, I was also discovering other web features. The one I've used most so far is Google Reader. This is a cool (and free!) organizational tool that lets me collect, via RSS feeds, all the blogs and websites I read into one location. I just sign into my Google account and voila, interesting updates tailored to me (and by me). It's also the source of most of the articles that I feature here.
I read several interesting articles today, learning that I don't know squat about tea (yet!) and that Patrick Rothfuss' annual Worldbuilders fundraiser has restarted (great cause + cool swag = awesomeness). My blog following is a little eclectic, but centered on a lot of the themes I use here: books, authors, tea, history, economics, and personal finance.
So it should come as no surprise that it was this Freakonomics article that captured my attention this morning. It discusses an interesting idea about using incentives to encourage savings. Using some quick Google research, the current savings rate in the US is anywhere from a negative number to about 4%, depending on what you count as "savings". It always surprises me how little financial preparation many people have; the article's note about half of Americans not being able to access $2,000 in 30 days is pretty jarring. Speaking from experience, our financial planning and savings have been fundamental to our success in the last year, in which I have been unable to find a job commensurate with my skills and education. I can't imagine going through these months with no savings account, knowing that any unexpected financial burden would drive us further in debt.
The best aspect of articles like that one? It reminds me that even when money is tight that we took the right steps. It's good to keep it all in perspective. What finance statistics and factoids surprise you?