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How much time does the average American spend managing their money?

It’s Friday, my money nerds, and that means five more fantastic money stories here at Apex. Know of something we should share with a wider audience? Send it in!

How much time does the average American spend managing their money? [The Ascent] — “On average, Americans spend less than two minutes a day managing their household finances. In 2018, those that spent time on their finances spent an average of six hours and 35 minutes more per month than they did in 2016. The average American spends over 85 hours a month watching TV — almost 100 times as much time as they spend on their household finances. When it comes to finances, people’s good intentions aren’t matched by their actions.” Related reading: The state of U.S. financial capability from FINRA.

The ‘churners’ who risk debt to burn through credit cards and rack up points. [Mel Magazine] — “On the surface, opening cards to get as many signing bonuses as possible sounds easy enough. But it doesn’t take long to become very complex, depending on how intensely you want to get into it. ‘It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme,’ Keyes clarifies. ‘That said, if you put in the time and effort, it can be very lucrative, and there are some people who go the extra mile to really maximize and get as much as possible.'” This is an excellent introduction to an interesting subject.

We have the tools and technology to work less and live better. [Aeon] — “So if today’s advanced economies have reached (or even exceeded) the point of productivity that Keynes predicted, why are 30- to 40-hour weeks still standard in the workplace? And why doesn’t it feel like much has changed? This is a question about both human nature – our ever-increasing expectations of a good life – as well as how work is structured across societies.”

The worst financial mistake a car-buyer can make. [Edmunds] — “While getting a good deal is important, it does not guarantee immunity from making the costliest financial mistake: purchasing the wrong vehicle and selling it soon afterward to buy another new vehicle. Edmunds transaction data suggests that people make a hasty change with surprising regularity.

Inside the lives of planner addicts, the cult of women with beautiful to-do lists. [CNN Money] — “The Planner community is an analog version of the ‘hustle porn’ and social media posturing driving this debate. Planner Addicts are women, mostly, who spend entire afternoons charting out their weeks, often down to the hour. They color code activities by level of importance, and put little stickers, or draw little cartoons, next to what they’re most psyched about (mundane things like coffee cups, shopping bags, and birthday cakes). They write bubble letter words of affirmation in the margins, like TAKE CONTROL and YOU GOT THIS.”

To wrap up this week, here’s a pop quiz: Which planet is closest to Earth? Sorry. You’re wrong. (And surprisingly enough, this same planet is closest to all other planets. My brain hurts…)

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