"Workin' nine to five. What a way to make a livin.'" Dolly Parton. And with last week's Jobs Report showing that unemployment has reached three-year lows, that's something more people have been able to do lately. Read on to learn more about what's happening in the labor market...and with home loan rates.
- The Fed's Beige Book will be released on Wednesday. This is a report on economic conditions from the 12 Federal Reserve District Banks around the country.
- Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday. Last week's number fell by 15,000 to 372,000 and the report signaled that the labor market could be turning the corner to greener pastures.
- Retail Sales will be released on Thursday and will be closely watched by both investors and traders. Last week, it was reported that retailers saw better-than-expected revenues for same-store sales in December, but the numbers were achieved by big discounts. Sales on Black Friday were robust, but fell off in the ensuing weeks during December. So the markets will be watching closely for the final numbers this week.
- The first look on Consumer Sentiment for January will be released on Friday.
Making It Happen, Part 2
In last week's View article, we focused on 5 steps to achieving your New Year's Resolutions. Those steps included: setting realistic goals, making a simple plan for each goal, announcing your goals, tracking and celebrating your progress, and avoiding the urge to give up if you have a setback.
Luckily, you're not on your own to work through those steps. That's because there are a number of social media websites and smart phone applications designed to help you.
Obviously, popular apps like Facebook and Twitter can help you announce your goals, hold yourself accountable, and receive supportive feedback from friends and family members. But there are a number of additional resources that you may not know about.
Here are just 5 social media sites and apps that can help you set your New Year's resolutions…and stay on track!
3. Toodledo. This is a businessperson's dream app. You've no doubt seen a To-Do list before…but this app kicks it up a notch! Not only does it help you easily organize your tasks and set alarms, but it also allows you to collaborate with other people and establish sub-tasks to work towards your goal in small steps! Plus, Toodledo can be used on your mobile phone, in your email, on your calendar, and even integrated directly into your web browser. So you can stay on track from anywhere…and at any time.
5. GymPact. This is similar to stickK in that you put money on the line…but it's different in that you can also earn some money. You start by making a commitment that you will go to the gym a certain number of times per week (don't worry, you can change your pact any week). You also set the monetary stakes that you'll pay if you don't meet your commitment. Then, you simply use the GymPact iPhone app to check in when you go to the gym. When you meet your weekly goal, you'll be rewarded with real cash, funded by the people who didn't work out! The more days you commit, the more cash you earn. The only downside is that you need an iPhone (or an iPod Touch and a gym with Wi-Fi) to participate, since apps for other systems aren't available.
And, if your New Year resolutions involve any financial or housing matters that I can help with, please call or email today. I'll be happy to help out in any way that I can.