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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 120)

These Four Candidates Are Scrambling to Make the Cut for the Next Democratic Debate

With the deadline to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debates looming just two weeks away, candidates on the bubble are mounting some of their final offensives, urgently seeking supporters who can help them make the cut.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has poured more than $1 million into advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire. Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, bought a local ad in Bedminster, N.J., where President Trump is vacationing this week. And Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has urged her supporters to try to improve their chances of being selected for online polls.

They and other lower-tier candidates are desperately searching for voters who can propel them to 2 percent support in qualifying polls, one of the Democratic National Committee’s requirements for the next set of debates, scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13 in Houston. The threshold for the June and July debates was merely 1 percent.

[Andrew Yang became the ninth Democrat to qualify for the September debates.]

Meanwhile, Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund investor turned impeachment activist, has spent millions of dollars flooding the internet with ads that have helped him catch up to his rivals after entering the race in July. On Tuesday his campaign announced that he had crossed the other threshold for qualification by collecting donations from more than 130,000 people.

The collective scramble to earn a spot on the stage next month underscores the importance the campaigns are placing on the next debates. Those who secure a lectern will have another opportunity to speak to a national audience, but those who miss out will face louder calls to withdraw as Democrats grow anxious for the field to narrow.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158710440_5651bd92-2c86-446f-a0a8-b5f4c96391d7-articleLarge These Four Candidates Are Scrambling to Make the Cut for the Next Democratic Debate Steyer, Thomas F Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising Online Advertising Gillibrand, Kirsten E Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Castro, Julian

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand began an advertising campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire over the weekend.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

“This is the brave new world of D.N.C. debate qualification standards,” said Jim Hobart, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm. “Democratic presidential candidates are clearly going to do whatever they can to qualify for these debates, whether that’s spending millions of dollars on television ads or encouraging donors to sign up for these online polls.”

A New York Times analysis of polling and donation data shows that nine of the 24 Democratic candidates have already qualified for the next debates by collecting donations from at least 130,000 people and reaching 2 percent support in four qualifying polls. The deadline to meet those standards is Aug. 28.

Mr. Castro, Ms. Gabbard, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Steyer are all within striking distance. Mr. Castro and Mr. Steyer need only one more qualifying poll; Ms. Gabbard needs three more; and Ms. Gillibrand needs about 30,000 more donors as well as three more qualifying polls.

None of the other candidates except former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado have hit 2 percent in any qualifying polls, and Mr. Hickenlooper had only about 14,000 individual donors as of June 30. The Times reported this week that he was considering dropping out of the race.

[These three cities are key for 2020 Democrats. They’re not in Iowa or New Hampshire.]

The campaigns are not necessarily seeing a return on their investment as they hunt for new donors; many are asking for $1 contributions. But the size of the donations does not matter for debate qualification, only the number of individual contributors. That has skewed campaigns’ strategies and encouraged them to create advertising they hope will go viral.

Mr. Castro’s new advertisement is set to appear Wednesday on Fox News in Bedminster, where Mr. Trump is staying at his golf course. In the ad, Mr. Castro speaks directly to the president, ticking off Mr. Trump’s words and actions that he says “stoked the fire of racists” and inspired the mass shooting that killed 22 people in El Paso this month.

“Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family,” Mr. Castro says in the ad. “Words have consequences.”

Mr. Castro’s campaign said it spent $2,775 to run the ad a few times on Wednesday. His team said the ad was meant to send a message to Mr. Trump, who watches Fox News regularly, but campaign officials also expected it would resonate with voters.

Ms. Gillibrand’s new 30-second ad, titled “Imagine,” paints her as “a leader driven by compassion, brave enough to take on the impossible, who looks beyond herself to do what’s best for us.” Her campaign said the ad spending was intended in part to “bolster the campaign’s efforts to qualify for the fall debates.”

Ms. Gillibrand’s campaign had more than $8 million on hand at the end of June, and her aides have said that the 24 hours after the July debate were her strongest of the campaign in terms of bringing in new online donors and contributions.

She has spent heavily since then. Over the past month, her campaign spent $1 million on Facebook ads, according to data from the company, second only to Mr. Steyer’s campaign during that period.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard has been urging her supporters to take part in polls that could help her meet the qualification threshold. CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Mr. Steyer’s team has said he plans to spend at least $100 million on the race. His campaign has already spent about $3 million advertising on Facebook and $820,000 on Google, according to data from those companies.

In the seven-day period ending on Sunday, he spent $1.1 million on Facebook, roughly five times as much as the second highest-spending Democratic candidate in that period, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. On Sunday alone, Mr. Steyer spent about $140,000 on Facebook — more than what many candidates, including Senator Kamala Harris of California and former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas, spent on the platform in the past month.

Mr. Steyer has also spent about $6.5 million on television advertising since he hit the trail, according to Medium Buying, a Republican media buying agency.

A spokesman for Mr. Steyer’s campaign declined to comment on its spending and the amount of money it had raised in contributions. But other campaigns took note that Mr. Steyer had reached the donor threshold so quickly.

“The D.N.C. donor requirement may have been added with the right intentions, but there’s no doubt that it’s created a situation in which billionaires can buy their way onto the debate stage,” Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana said in a statement on Tuesday. “We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grass-roots support.”

Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund investor, has spent millions of dollars flooding the internet with ads.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Ms. Gabbard — who left the campaign trail this week to report for a two-week training exercise with the National Guard — is in need of better polling results. In an effort to improve those prospects, her team sent an email to supporters this month imploring them to “take the time to answer if you receive a call from a pollster or are presented with an online poll.”

The email also listed “ways you can increase your chances of being selected for a debate-qualifying poll.” It encouraged supporters to fill out surveys from the online polling firms Survey Monkey and YouGov in an effort to be selected for their presidential primary polls.

Doug Rivers, YouGov’s chief scientist, said in an email that he and his team were aware of messages like the one sent by the Gabbard campaign. But he said the company’s systems made it extremely unlikely that a newly registered respondent would be surveyed in a qualifying poll. Even then, he said, there would be too few new panelists to skew the results.

A spokeswoman for Survey Monkey said it randomly selects its respondents and prevents those selected from responding multiple times.

Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Germany and China Hit Hard by Trade War, New Data Indicates

Westlake Legal Group 14germanecon1-promo-facebookJumbo-v3 Germany and China Hit Hard by Trade War, New Data Indicates United States Trump, Donald J Merkel, Angela International Trade and World Market Gross Domestic Product Germany China

FRANKFURT — In ominous signs of the damage being done by the trade war between China and the United States, data released on Wednesday indicated that the German economy is hurtling toward recession and that growth at Chinese factories is slowing at a pace not seen in almost two decades.

Germany’s economy shrank 0.1 percent from April through June and it has been treading water for the past year, the government’s official statistics agency said. Deutsche Bank analysts predicted that the economy would continue to shrink in the current quarter, meeting the technical definition of a recession.

In China, factory output in July fell to its slowest pace in 17 years, according to government data. Although the Chinese economy posted trade figures that were stronger than expected last week, the industrial output figure was another sign that China’s overall growth rate continues to slow under the weight of Beijing’s trade war with the United States and the country’s debt problems.

It is not surprising that China and Germany are stumbling under the weight of the trade pressures. China is the world’s largest exporter of goods and services, just ahead of the United States, and Germany is No. 3. Both have been countries hit directly by President Trump’s tariffs, and more broadly by the disruption to the global economy that the trade conflict has caused.

Still, the fresh data helped drive down stock prices around Europe. The main stock indexes in Frankfurt, Paris and London were all down 1 percent or more in midday trading.

In the United States, the S&P 500 dropped more than 1.5 percent in early trading. Yields on United States government bonds also fell, a signal that investors were lowering their expectations for growth. Bond yields, which drop as prices rise, have been tumbling since a recent escalation of the conflict pushed investors seeking a safe haven toward government bonds.

The troubles of Germany and China are a bad omen for the rest of the world, because of the outsize roles the countries play in global commerce.

Automobiles, Germany’s biggest export product, are a prime example of the collateral damage being done by the broader trade war. The German carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW all earn at least a third of their revenue in China, where auto sales have been slipping after years of explosive growth. One major factor in the slide is the barrage of trade threats that have unsettled Chinese consumers, discouraging them from buying big-ticket goods.

Germany’s economic performance was the worst of any eurozone country during the second quarter, separate data from the European Union statistics agency indicated.

That is an embarrassment for Germany, which has long lectured other countries on how to manage their economies. The slumping growth will probably increase calls for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to increase spending to stimulate the economy.

“Today’s G.D.P. report definitely marks the end of a golden decade for the German economy,” Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany, said in a note to clients. “The pressure on the German government to act will increase.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

ICE offices, workers hit by wave of violence and threats: ‘We know where all your children live’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071936684001_6071934925001-vs ICE offices, workers hit by wave of violence and threats: ‘We know where all your children live’ fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 875cc7c7-f166-5e56-b72e-5accafbba05a

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workers are facing a rapidly escalating series of threats, including protesters menacing their children and shots being fired at their offices, amid a rising tide of anti-ICE rhetoric from the left fueled by congressional Democrats, media voices and presidential hopefuls.

Footage published Tuesday by Breitbart News shows protesters in Florida from groups such as Never Again Action and Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward County threatening workers and former employees of the GEO Group, a private contractor used by ICE.

TOM HOMAN: ICE, BORDER PATROL ARE TARGETS FOR LEFT-WING EXTREMISTS: WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE FROM DEMS?

One protester threatened the family of GEO Group’s former general counsel, John Bulfin.

“We know where all your children live throughout the country … John Bulfin you have kids in [bleeped out], you have kids in [bleeped out],” the protester yelled. “We know everything about you and you won’t just be seeing us here.”

“We know where you sleep at night,” another protester shouted. “We know what kind of dog food you buy your dogs.”

“We’re not actually joking,” the protester said before shouting the location of where Bulfin lives. “John Bulfin you go to [bleeped out], you go to church on [bleeped out], you live on [bleeped out] the road. We are not joking.”

Another can be heard yelling: “When immigrant bodies are under attack, what do we do?”

“Fight back,” other protesters responded.

Breitbart reports that the footage was taken a day before shots were fired early Tuesday at an ICE office and GEO Group office in San Antonio, Texas, in what the FBI has called a “targeted attack.”

The shooting occurred around 3 a.m. at an ICE building where two floors house administrative and executive offices, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The outlet reported another shooting occurred at a separate facility where an ICE contractor is located.

“All of the shots that we have found are on the floors where ICE had offices,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs said. “This is no question a very targeted attack. It’s not a secret facility, you can go online, it’s [the address is] out there. So they did some research, they knew what floors ICE was on, they knew what buildings they were and they hit those.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting Director Ken Cuccinelli tweeted out pictures of the bullet holes.

The incidents are the latest escalation in anti-ICE sentiment that has shifted from calls to abolish the agency and claims that it is “caging children” to threats and violence within the space of a year.

Last month, a man was killed by Washington state authorities when he threw incendiary devices at both an immigration center and nearby propane tanks. In Colorado, protesters demonstrating outside an ICE facility replaced the American flag with the Mexican flag. Also last month, protesters were arrested after trying to storm an ICE building in Washington, D.C.

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday that people need to tone down “dangerous” rhetoric that demonizes ICE officials.

FBI INVESTIGATING SHOOTING AT ICE OFFICE IN SAN ANTONIO AS ‘TARGETED ATTACK’

“The environment where we’re demonizing our law enforcement for doing their jobs and enforcing the law on the books is concerning,” he said. “It can be dangerous and it can result in people taking action that are not supported by facts that are not in response to anything inappropriate that the men and women of ICE are doing and we’ve got to tone that down.”

In an op-ed for Fox News Wednesday, Former ICE Director Thomas Homan said that he had to deal with death threats when he was in charge of the agency and had to receive round-the-clock armed protection for weeks.

He also noted increasingly heated rhetoric from elected Democrats and presidential hopefuls about the work ICE does.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“In addition to the threats of violence, we see elected officials at the local, state and national level calling the Border Patrol, ICE and anyone that enforces our immigration law Nazis, racists, and obscene names,” he wrote.

He also asked where the outrage was from Democrats, who recently have partly blamed President Trump for creating anti-immigrant sentiment that encouraged the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

“Here’s the bottom line: Hate is hate, terrorism is terrorism, and murder is murder. Politicians who condemn attacks on themselves and institutions and policies they support have an obligation to condemn such attacks on their opponents just as vigorously.”

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071936684001_6071934925001-vs ICE offices, workers hit by wave of violence and threats: ‘We know where all your children live’ fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 875cc7c7-f166-5e56-b72e-5accafbba05a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071936684001_6071934925001-vs ICE offices, workers hit by wave of violence and threats: ‘We know where all your children live’ fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 875cc7c7-f166-5e56-b72e-5accafbba05a

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Boy’s rare disease took 5 years to diagnose, family says

Westlake Legal Group 7ec95975-pediatric_istock Boy's rare disease took 5 years to diagnose, family says fox-news/health/medical-research/transplants fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health/digestive-health fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 755b532d-cf36-5c18-a396-8889c86cb4fa

A 6-year-old boy’s family is pinning their hope on a bone marrow transplant as a possible cure for a disease so rare that it took five years for doctors to find a diagnosis for him. Cohen Bramlee, the youngest of his family’s five siblings, first landed in the hospital at 4 months old, according to PEOPLE.

DOG IN TEXAS DIES FROM TOXIC ALGAE FOUND IN RIVER, OWNER CLAIMS: ‘I BLAME MYSELF’

His puzzling symptoms included food intolerance that would sometimes send his body into shock and required him to receive his meals and nutrients entirely through a central line catheter. He spent much of his young life in and out of the hospital, but doctors couldn’t nail down the underlying cause until researchers at the Undiagnosed Diseases Network at Duke University got a hold of his case. They determined that Cohen had a variance in an immune system gene, which was confirmed by Dr. Stella Davies at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to be the cause of his ailments, PEOPLE reported.

From there, his medical team determined that a bone marrow transplant may be the cure he needs. Two of Cohen’s siblings were found to be matches for a bone marrow transplant, with 16-year-old Todd Christopher chosen as the donor.

TENNESSEE COUPLE’S METH ADDICTION, RECOVERY PHOTOS GO VIRAL: ‘IT GETS BETTER’

“It was the first time that we really had hope that this was going to have a cure,” Carrie Bramlee, Cohen’s mother, told PEOPLE. “He’s been very sick and we came close to losing him several times, so now knowing that there is a chance for him to not only be healthier but be cured is unimaginable.”

The family has kept their supporters updated through the “Super Cohen’s Crusade” Facebook page, which includes snapshots of his everyday life. He is currently making his way through a pre-bone marrow transplant bucket list which includes a visit to Build-A-Bear and a fishing trip. According to the page, the transplant is tentatively scheduled for the second week of September.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Our superhero might be medically fragile but make no mistake about it, he is a strong, brave and an amazing little guy that brings so much joy to all who know him,” a blog post on the page reads. “We are blessed to call him our son. I pray his strength inspires all who hear his story!”

Westlake Legal Group 7ec95975-pediatric_istock Boy's rare disease took 5 years to diagnose, family says fox-news/health/medical-research/transplants fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health/digestive-health fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 755b532d-cf36-5c18-a396-8889c86cb4fa   Westlake Legal Group 7ec95975-pediatric_istock Boy's rare disease took 5 years to diagnose, family says fox-news/health/medical-research/transplants fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health/digestive-health fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 755b532d-cf36-5c18-a396-8889c86cb4fa

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, survey shows

Katie Brockman , The Motley Fool Published 10:00 a.m. ET Aug. 14, 2019

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, survey shows
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, survey shows

The way you spend your first few paychecks could set a pattern for years to come. Here’s how to make the most of your hard-earned dollars. USA TODAY

Even if you’re struggling financially, you can still find ways to save for the future.

When you have a seemingly endless list of bills to pay and financial responsibilities to take care of, it can be tough to make sure there’s enough money to go around.

The average American is struggling to make ends meet each month, with 59% of U.S. adults saying they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab. Furthermore, nearly half of survey participants say they carry credit card debt and struggle to keep up with the payments.

If you’re having a hard enough time paying the bills and putting food on the table without racking up debt, saving for the future is probably the last thing on your mind. Only 38% of people have an emergency fund, according to Charles Schwab, and one in five Americans don’t have a dime saved for retirement, according to a survey from Northwestern Mutual.

Money tips: 42% of parents admit they weren’t financially ready to have a child

Having a baby?: Here are 5 ways to prepare for parental leave

However, although many people are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to save, there’s one mistake you could be making that’s hurting your financial health.

Think you have nothing to save? That may not be the case

Despite the fact that the majority of Americans say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, the average person spends $483 per month on non-essential expenses, Charles Schwab found.

It’s easy to let your spending get out of hand, especially if you’re not tracking your expenses to see where your money goes. It may feel as if you’re stretching every dollar and can’t afford to set any money aside in your retirement fund or savings account, but you’re probably spending more than you think on things you don’t need.

To get a clearer picture of exactly how much you’re spending each month and what you’re spending money on, start tracking your expenses and create a budget. These days, it’s easier than ever to track your spending, and there are several apps that will do it for you.

Once you have a list of all your expenses, the next step is to categorize them by importance. Break these costs down by whether they’re truly necessary and whether you have the ability to lower them. Some costs, like your phone bill, might be necessary, but you may be able to shop around to find a better deal and save some money each month. Other costs, like your mortgage, aren’t as flexible.

When it comes to non-essential costs, be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to spend. If you can’t live without your morning latte or takeout once or twice a week, that’s OK – you don’t have to completely eliminate it from your budget. In fact, sometimes it’s beneficial to splurge every so often, because then you’re more likely to stick to your budget. If you slash everything but the bare necessities, you may give up after a few weeks and go back to your old frivolous ways. At the same time, if you’re struggling to pay your essential expenses because you’re spending too much on non-essential costs, you need to make some cuts somewhere.

How to save more money on a tight budget

If you’ve already trimmed the fat from your budget and you’re still struggling to come up with enough cash to pay your bills and save for the future, you need to take more drastic measures.

First, figure out your biggest challenge when it comes to saving more money. Is it because you don’t have enough cash to pay all your essential bills and still sock away savings? If that’s the case, see if it’s possible to pick up a side hustle, and put that extra cash toward your savings. Not everyone can simply find another job, but sometimes something as simple as walking dogs in your neighborhood or selling your used clothing online can help you earn a few hundred dollars per month – which goes a long way when you invest it for the future.

On the other hand, if your struggle is keeping your spending in check so you don’t go overboard on unnecessary costs, try to come up with a way to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes, that’s as simple as setting spending limits for each category of your budget. If you’re using an app to track your spending, you can set limits for yourself and see how much you have left to spend in each category every time you log in.

Also, if your goal is to save more for the future, make saving a category within your budget. If you treat saving as another bill you have to pay, you’ll be forced to save at least a little each month. Even if you can’t save much right now, it’s good to get into the habit of regularly stashing some money away. See if you can automate your savings every month.

Setting money aside for the future isn’t the most exciting way to spend your paycheck, but it is crucial if you want to save for retirement and prepare for any unexpected expenses that will inevitably arise. It may seem like an impossible task to save more if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but with a few sacrifices and strategic spending techniques, it’s easier than you may think.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

Offer from the Motley Fool: The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after.

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/08/14/paycheck-to-paycheck-most-americans-struggle-financially-survey-says/39940123/

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, survey shows

Katie Brockman , The Motley Fool Published 10:00 a.m. ET Aug. 14, 2019

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, survey shows
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, survey shows

The way you spend your first few paychecks could set a pattern for years to come. Here’s how to make the most of your hard-earned dollars. USA TODAY

Even if you’re struggling financially, you can still find ways to save for the future.

When you have a seemingly endless list of bills to pay and financial responsibilities to take care of, it can be tough to make sure there’s enough money to go around.

The average American is struggling to make ends meet each month, with 59% of U.S. adults saying they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab. Furthermore, nearly half of survey participants say they carry credit card debt and struggle to keep up with the payments.

If you’re having a hard enough time paying the bills and putting food on the table without racking up debt, saving for the future is probably the last thing on your mind. Only 38% of people have an emergency fund, according to Charles Schwab, and one in five Americans don’t have a dime saved for retirement, according to a survey from Northwestern Mutual.

Money tips: 42% of parents admit they weren’t financially ready to have a child

Having a baby?: Here are 5 ways to prepare for parental leave

However, although many people are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to save, there’s one mistake you could be making that’s hurting your financial health.

Think you have nothing to save? That may not be the case

Despite the fact that the majority of Americans say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, the average person spends $483 per month on non-essential expenses, Charles Schwab found.

It’s easy to let your spending get out of hand, especially if you’re not tracking your expenses to see where your money goes. It may feel as if you’re stretching every dollar and can’t afford to set any money aside in your retirement fund or savings account, but you’re probably spending more than you think on things you don’t need.

To get a clearer picture of exactly how much you’re spending each month and what you’re spending money on, start tracking your expenses and create a budget. These days, it’s easier than ever to track your spending, and there are several apps that will do it for you.

Once you have a list of all your expenses, the next step is to categorize them by importance. Break these costs down by whether they’re truly necessary and whether you have the ability to lower them. Some costs, like your phone bill, might be necessary, but you may be able to shop around to find a better deal and save some money each month. Other costs, like your mortgage, aren’t as flexible.

When it comes to non-essential costs, be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to spend. If you can’t live without your morning latte or takeout once or twice a week, that’s OK – you don’t have to completely eliminate it from your budget. In fact, sometimes it’s beneficial to splurge every so often, because then you’re more likely to stick to your budget. If you slash everything but the bare necessities, you may give up after a few weeks and go back to your old frivolous ways. At the same time, if you’re struggling to pay your essential expenses because you’re spending too much on non-essential costs, you need to make some cuts somewhere.

How to save more money on a tight budget

If you’ve already trimmed the fat from your budget and you’re still struggling to come up with enough cash to pay your bills and save for the future, you need to take more drastic measures.

First, figure out your biggest challenge when it comes to saving more money. Is it because you don’t have enough cash to pay all your essential bills and still sock away savings? If that’s the case, see if it’s possible to pick up a side hustle, and put that extra cash toward your savings. Not everyone can simply find another job, but sometimes something as simple as walking dogs in your neighborhood or selling your used clothing online can help you earn a few hundred dollars per month – which goes a long way when you invest it for the future.

On the other hand, if your struggle is keeping your spending in check so you don’t go overboard on unnecessary costs, try to come up with a way to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes, that’s as simple as setting spending limits for each category of your budget. If you’re using an app to track your spending, you can set limits for yourself and see how much you have left to spend in each category every time you log in.

Also, if your goal is to save more for the future, make saving a category within your budget. If you treat saving as another bill you have to pay, you’ll be forced to save at least a little each month. Even if you can’t save much right now, it’s good to get into the habit of regularly stashing some money away. See if you can automate your savings every month.

Setting money aside for the future isn’t the most exciting way to spend your paycheck, but it is crucial if you want to save for retirement and prepare for any unexpected expenses that will inevitably arise. It may seem like an impossible task to save more if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but with a few sacrifices and strategic spending techniques, it’s easier than you may think.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

Offer from the Motley Fool: The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after.

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/08/14/paycheck-to-paycheck-most-americans-struggle-financially-survey-says/39940123/

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Recession Fears Hit Wall Street Following Poor Economic Data From China, Germany

Westlake Legal Group 5d5411502200003100f583cc Recession Fears Hit Wall Street Following Poor Economic Data From China, Germany

Aug 14 (Reuters) – Wall Street was set to open sharply lower on Wednesday, as poor economic data from China and Germany put the focus back on the impact of a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war which is pushing some major economies towards the brink of recession.

The outlook for Germany’s export reliant economy was also grim and Chinese industrial output growth cooled to a more than 17-year low, adding to headwinds for U.S. multinationals that rely on global demand.

The U.S. bond market showed red flags, with two-year Treasury yields rising above those for 10-year paper for the first time since 2007, pointing to the risk of recession.

Wall Street’s main indexes surged more than 1.5% on Tuesday after Washington delayed the introduction of tariffs on some Chinese consumer goods.

“It’s almost as if global investors either don’t buy the tariff delay as a sign of real progress in the U.S.-China trade war or have been too consumed by further evidence of global economic weakness to care,” BMO Capital Markets strategist Stephen Gallo said.

At 8:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 361 points, or 1.37%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 39.25 points, or 1.34% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 119 points, or 1.54%.

Banks were among the losers in trading before the bell, with Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorganChase & Co, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo & Co and Morgan Stanley down between 2.3% and 3.1%.

Shares of Apple Inc were down 2.3% after boosting markets a day earlier with a 4% rise.

Chipmakers were also trading lower, with Micron TechnologyInc, Broadcom Inc and Nvidia Corp down more than 2%.

Macy’s Inc tumbled 12.9% after the department store operator cut its full-year profit forecast as it discounted heavily to clear excess spring season inventory.

Rivals Target Corp and Nordstrom Inc slipped between 3.8% and 4.5%.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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Stocks Slide as Bond Market Signals Rising Concern About Growth

Westlake Legal Group 14Markets-facebookJumbo Stocks Slide as Bond Market Signals Rising Concern About Growth United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Dow Jones Stock Average Customs (Tariff) Banking and Financial Institutions

Stocks dropped on Wednesday, as the bond market signaled rising concern about the economy and data from Germany showed the country could be veering toward a recession.

The German government reported that its economy shrank in the three months ending in June. The largest economy in the eurozone, Germany has become particularly vulnerable to the trade war playing out between the United States and China because of its dependence on manufacturing and exports. A second quarter of decline would mean Germany is technically in a recession.

[Read more about how Germany is heading toward a recession.]

The news sent shares in major European markets lower. The main stock indexes in Frankfurt, Paris and London were all down 1 percent or more in midday trading. The S&P 500 dropped more than 1.5 percent in early trading.

Yields on United States government bonds also fell, signaling downgraded expectations for growth. The bond yields, which move lower as prices rise, have been tumbling ever since the trade dispute suddenly escalated in recent weeksand investors turned to the government bond market in search of a safe haven.

On Wednesday, the decline left yields on 10-year bonds below those on two-year bonds, in what’s known as an inversion of the yield curve. The yield curve is the bond market’s most reliable indicator of a recession, having preceded every economic decline in the United States of the last 60 years.

[Read more about the intensifying recession warning in the bond market.]

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Dow, stocks drop in early trading as recession worries intensify, bond market raises red flag

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Dow, stocks drop in early trading as recession worries intensify, bond market raises red flag
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Dow, stocks drop in early trading as recession worries intensify, bond market raises red flag

After 19 years covering the stock market for USA TODAY, Adam Shell gives his best advice on how to successfully invest in the market. USA TODAY

Stocks tumbled in early trading Wednesday after economic indicators from Germany and China renewed recession fears.

Traders instead poured into safer investments, triggering a dire sign in the bond market: The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below the yield on the two-year. That hasn’t happened since 2007 and, historically, an inverted yield curve signals an economic slowdown is coming.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 355 points, or 1.35%, to 25,925, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 39 points, or 1.33%, to 2,887.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 130 points, or 1.62%, to 7,887.

The key downward driver in markets on Wednesday was news that Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, contracted 0.1% in the second quarter of the year from the previous three-month period as global trade conflicts combined with troubles in the auto industry.

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Figures overnight also showed how China is suffering from the trade conflict with the United States. Chinese factory output, retail spending and investment weakened in July, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy faces downward pressure on growth.

Factory output rose 4.8% over a year earlier, a marked decline from June’s 6.3%. Retail sales growth slowed to 7.6% from the previous month’s 9.8%. Investment in real estate and other fixed assets also weakened.

On Tuesday, stocks had one of their better days recently after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it would delay the tariffs on some products, including popular consumer goods, until Dec. 15. A few other products were removed altogether, including certain types of fish and baby seats.

“The relief rally inspired by the Trump administration delaying tariffs on some Chinese imports was short lived,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index. “Blink and you missed it.”

Contributing: Associated Press

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In 2018, stocks were the most popular investment, at least, according to Fox Business. Buzz 60’s Chandra Lanier has the story. Buzz60

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/08/14/dow-stocks-fall-recession-fears-renewed-yield-curve-inverts/2006689001/

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Robot priest added to 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Japan: ‘It will grow in wisdom’

Westlake Legal Group android-Kannon Robot priest added to 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Japan: 'It will grow in wisdom' fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/world/religion/buddhism fox-news/world/religion fox-news/tech/technologies/robots fox news fnc/tech fnc Caleb Parke article 01380a95-881c-5d7b-b0f7-7cec5b42b6f4

A 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, is using a $1 million humanoid to reach a younger generation, but foreigners are repulsed by it.

The Kodaji Temple, in a partnership with the robotics team at Osaka University, unveiled “Mindar” earlier this year. The robot is a 6-foot tall android, made of silicon and aluminum and modeled after Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy who preaches what is called the “Heart Sutra” in Japanese, with English and Chinese translations projected on a screen for tourists.

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“Artificial intelligence has developed to such an extent we thought it logical for the Buddha to transform into a robot,” Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the temple, told AFP. “Obviously a machine doesn’t have a soul, but Buddhist faith isn’t about believing in God. It’s about following Buddha’s path, so it doesn’t matter whether it is represented by a machine, a scrap of iron or a tree.”

Goto, a self-proclaimed “fuddy-duddy” priest, believes the robot will help reach the younger generation to help overcome pain and ease suffering, the goal of the Buddhist religion.

“It is here to save anyone who seeks help,” Goto added. “Modern society brings other kinds of stress, but the goal hasn’t really changed for over 2,000 years.”

After months of temple worship with the robot, Osaka University polled people about their experience and many Japanese adherents expressed a positive interaction.

“I felt a warmth you wouldn’t feel from a regular machine,” one of them said.

MORE ON FAITH

Another temple goer added: “At first it felt a little unnatural, but the android was easy to follow. It made me think deeply about right and wrong.”

Foreigners, however, have been repulsed by it.

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“It could be the influence of the Bible, but Westerners have compared it to Frankenstein’s monster,” Goto added. “Japanese people don’t possess any prejudices against robots. We were brought up on comics where robots are our friends. Westerners think differently.”

Westlake Legal Group android-Kannon Robot priest added to 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Japan: 'It will grow in wisdom' fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/world/religion/buddhism fox-news/world/religion fox-news/tech/technologies/robots fox news fnc/tech fnc Caleb Parke article 01380a95-881c-5d7b-b0f7-7cec5b42b6f4   Westlake Legal Group android-Kannon Robot priest added to 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Japan: 'It will grow in wisdom' fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/world/religion/buddhism fox-news/world/religion fox-news/tech/technologies/robots fox news fnc/tech fnc Caleb Parke article 01380a95-881c-5d7b-b0f7-7cec5b42b6f4

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