Home sharing is becoming more expensive than a hotel stay as greedy homeowners slip in exorbitant cleaning fees and service fees. At the same hotels are migrating to the gig economy for cleaning services an apps for room service from local restaurants, according to Bankcenter and CardBuzz.
Home Sharing & Travel
A few years ago, Adalberto Martín began to see some troubling changes at work. As a veteran member of the room service staff at Marriott’s W Hotel in downtown San Francisco, he was an expert in delivering carefully assembled trays of food and drink to hungry guests. But the number of orders had sharply decreased. What was once 50 glasses of orange juice every morning had dwindled to 10, and Mr. Martín’s tip income fell accordingly. The gig economy is being used to replace skilled hotel workers with less skilled.
Juan Herrera, a graduate student from San Diego, was searching the Airbnb booking site for a place to rent in Los Angeles for New Year’s Eve when he was surprised to see that several extra fees were added to the nightly rate, pushing the total cost of the trip out of his price range. In addition to the nightly rates of $100 to $120 for a private room, nearly every place he considered renting charged a “service fee” of about 13% of the pretax rate and a one-time “cleaning fee” of about $45. It prompted him to instead book a comparably priced hotel room and has prompted Congress to consider the “Hotel Advertising Transparency Act .”
Travel Leaders Group found, for the third year in a row, Alaska cruises earned the top spot as the most booked domestic vacation in 2019, with Orlando not too far behind. Las Vegas, New York City and Honolulu rounded out the Top 5. Internationally, Caribbean cruises and Cancun, Mexico, respectively, maintained the top two spots, while Italy jumped from fifth to third place. European river cruises and Mediterranean cruises were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Financial Goals & Anxiety
Dealing with debt is foremost on the minds of many Americans and understandably so. According to a recent survey conducted by Nationwide and ENGINE, 44% of Americans feel stressed and 36% feel overwhelmed when thinking about their debt. Many are left wondering, “Is there a way we can get rid of our debt without completely changing the way we live today?”
A Capital One survey found 71% of Americans are optimistic they’ll achieve their financial milestones by 2030. When thinking about goals and resolutions in general, financial goals were the most thought about (30%) ahead of health goals (20%), life goals (17%), and family goals (17%). Financial milestones for the new decade varied from going debt free (56%) to buying a house (51%), showing that people are thinking ahead and want to use the new decade to start planning for their future.
Giving birth in Finland will set you back a little less than $60. But in the U.S., the average new mother with insurance will pay more than $4,500 for her labor and delivery. Vaginal deliveries, the researchers found, cost women an average of about $4,314 out of pocket in 2015, up from $2,910 in 2008.
The SECURE Act — or the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement — offers small business owners some additional tax incentives for starting a retirement plan and seeks to make it less costly to do so. Financial services firms would be allowed to offer new multiple employer 401(k) plans to unrelated small companies with unrelated businesses. Under the new law, savers who are currently in their 50s and 60s wouldn’t be required to take a minimum distribution from retirement savings until they hit age 72.
BP Card Adds Octane Booster
BP has rolled a new consumer loyalty program, called BPme Rewards to participating BP and Amoco retail stations nationwide. Exclusively available in the BPme app, consumers are now able to complete their fueling transaction directly through a mobile device, so they can avoid swiping a credit card or using the pin pad. The app also combines all fuel rewards into a single place so it’s easy to track, receive additional savings, and automatically apply rewards to purchases.