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Survey Finds 2 Out of 3 Millennials Don’t Have a Credit Card

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

A new poll is adding to a growing body of evidence about millennials and credit cards. In short: They don’t like them. According to a new survey from Bankrate (a publisher that writes about personal finance and loan rates), only 33 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 have a credit card, about the same rate as was reported in the company’s 2014 survey

The poll only questioned about 1000 Americans, but other companies, such as the mobile bankers at Chime, have found similar numbers in recent years, so there’s plenty of data to suggest that the research isn't an anomaly. 

It wasn't really a decision that I made, but growing up I was warned of the risks of having a credit card and advised to put off getting one as long as possible,” one 25-year-old told Bankrate. It’s true that credit card debt is a major issue for people in the U.S.—the average household carries almost $16,000 in credit card debt according to figures from last year. But having a credit card and being in debt aren’t the same thing, even if it’s easier to keep yourself from overspending if you don’t have the option of credit.

While credit cards do have some potential pitfalls, they're good to have when used responsibly, and can be a vital tool for a healthy financial life. For example, like it or not, you need credit history for things like housing (even if you’re not planning to buy, landlords often check renters’ credit scores), insurance, getting a loan, and more. 

The key is to have a credit card, but never let your balance run over from month-to-month. Pay it off every single month (or, if you’re super worried about overspending, you can even pay off each transaction as you go) so you don’t get hit with interest. In turn, you’ll establish good credit, earn credit card points—which, if you don’t carry a balance, are basically free money—and become eligible for better interest rates for when you do need to take out a loan. Plus, many credit cards come with extras like supplemental insurance for travel cancelations, rental car collisions, and even broken cell phones.

In other words, you might as well reap as many benefits as you can out this pillar of modern spending. Just make sure to do your research to find the card that fits your lifestyle and budget, and don't forget to read the fine print

[h/t Glamour]

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These Are the Top 25 U.S. Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living
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Coastal cities like New York and San Francisco bustle with excitement, but residents pay plenty of hard-earned cash to enjoy perks like Central Park and world-class museums—and to pay their sky-high rents. If you’d rather have a full bank account than a hipster ZIP code, consider setting down roots in America’s most affordable region: the Midwest.

Niche, a data analysis company, has ranked the 25 cities with the lowest cost of living across the United States—and the top 10 are all located in America’s heartland. Their selections were based on factors including access to affordable housing, food and fuel costs, and median tax rates, all of which were gleaned from U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Indiana was the most-represented state in the list’s top 10 section, with Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend nabbing the first three spots. The remaining cities were mid-sized metropolitan areas in Kansas, Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois, all of which offer urban conveniences at a fraction of the cost of their coastal counterparts. After that, other cities in the mix included municipalities in Texas, Michigan, Alabama, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Check out Niche's top 25 list below, and visit their website to view their methodology.

1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
2. Evansville, Indiana
3. South Bend, Indiana
4. Topeka, Kansas
5. Toledo, Ohio
6. Wichita, Kansas
7. Akron, Ohio
8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Davenport, Iowa
10. Springfield, Illinois
11. Rochester, Minnesota
12. Dayton, Ohio
13. Springfield, Missouri
14. Wichita Falls, Texas
15. Kansas City, Kansas
16. Odessa, Texas
17. Cleveland, Ohio
18. Indianapolis, Indiana
19. Abilene, Texas
20. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
21. Montgomery, Alabama
22. Lansing, Michigan
23. Des Moines, Iowa
24. Brownsville, Texas
25. Warren, Michigan

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Switzerland Flushes $1.8 Million in Gold Down the Sewer Every Year
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Switzerland has some pretty valuable sewer systems. As Bloomberg reports, scientists have discovered around $1.8 million worth of gold in the country's wastewater, along with $1.7 million worth of silver.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology examined sewage sludge and effluents, or discharged liquid waste, from 64 water treatment plants and major Swiss rivers. They did this to assess the concentrations of various trace elements, which are "increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors," the scientists explained in a press statement. "While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater."

The study, which was recently published online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed that around 94 pounds of gold makes its way through Switzerland's sewage system each year, along with 6600 pounds of silver and high concentrations of rare metals like gadolinium and niobium. For the most part, these metals don't harm the environment, researchers say.

With gold and silver quite literally flowing through their sewers, is there any way that Switzerland could turn their wastewater into wealth? Scientists are skeptical: "The recovery of metals from wastewater or sludge is scarcely worthwhile at present, either financially or in terms of the amounts which could be extracted," the release explains.

However, in the southern canton of Ticino, which is home to several gold refineries, the "concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile," they conclude.

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches, and mountains, but it's also home to major gold refineries. On average, around 70 percent of the world's gold passes through Switzerland every year—and judging from the looks of it, much of it goes down the drain. As for the sewer silver, it's a byproduct of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, which is a cornerstone of Switzerland's economy.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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