Giving Tuesday

It’s that time of year again where we start to stress about all the gifts we need to buy people. We start to get consumed with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and who has the best deals on the Apple Watch (I had to resist from buying one because even though I think they look funny, they are so convenient).

Enter Giving Tuesday. This is a day where we can acknowledge those less fortunate than us and spread some holiday cheer. It’s a great reminder of what the holidays are all about.

Here are some of my favorite causes you can donate to this year:

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - Purple Stride

Instead of just donating money sign up to do a walk for Pancreatic Cancer. This is an interactive fundraising effort that helps fund further research. I personally have two peers whose father’s died from pancreatic cancer this year. Therefore, I hold this cause close to my heart.

St. Jude

This is always one of my favorites this time of year. By donating you can help fund the treatment of children with cancer. I personally have seen the positive effects that St. Judes can have on a family trying to support their child with cancer.

Humane Society

If animals are your thing then the Humane society is a great place to donate

Who doesn’t love animals?

These are just my top 3 favorite spots to donate this year. Feel free to comment and let me know of other causes that you value.

Happy Holidays!

Online Purchases Tax

I will be the first to tell you that I am OBSESSED with Amazon. I do not care that they are increasing the cost of my Prime membership because I get packages at least once a week. Living in a city it is sometimes easier to just order something and have it show up at my door a couple of days later, then to go to the store and lug it across the city. 

As well, I have little patience for malls these days and tend to just order clothes online and return them as necessary. I feel like in this day and age many people can relate to these activities. 

What you need to know is...

Last week the Supreme Court made a ruling that allows states to collect sales tax from online purchases. Before if you bought a product from a company without a physical location in a state with sales tax you could order items online and not have to pay tax. However, a lot of the companies shipping these products are located in places with sales tax, which made an unfair advantage for the ones not having to charge sales tax. This will take more regulation and oversight which will make the change slow but inevitable. 

This may negatively affect businesses like Amazon where people were searching for sellers that did not charge tax in order to get big ticket items at a discount. For cheap products the sales tax should only make a small difference. How is this affecting Amazon? Their share price is down 2% already today, Monday June 25th, upon the news of this decision. We can probably expect a rebound of their stock price after the dust has settled. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

Disney is buying Fox and CVS is buying Aetna and what does this all mean?! Why does one company decided to buy another? Most times one company will buy another because it makes the most sense for their business.  A lot of times they believe that by combining two businesses they will do one of two things:

  1. Create Cost Efficiencies. Meaning that by combining the two they may be able to use the same machines or people and create the same product or more and that overall this will be cheaper
  2. Grow their business. A lot of times one company wants to grow to remain competitive and instead of creating their own new division of the company will just acquire one. 

Obviously there are other reasons why companies may merge but these are some big reasons.

Why do you care? When two companies merge it can affect the economy. That is why the government will regulate it. They do not want a company to get too big and have the ability to "overcharge" for their products. 

And THAT is your fun Finance fact of the day. What Mergers and Acquisitions have you heard about lately??

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Overalls and Faux Leather