Weekend Reads: Personal finance skills, MealPass, and NBA science
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In this week's Weekend Reads: everything you need to know to become a personal finance master, whether or not an app can help you with the never ending difficulty of finding cheap, delicious lunches, and yet another way that professional athletes are better than you.
Isn’t it nice when someone can break down complex topics into easy-to-understand points? Personal finance is an ever-constant struggle, especially when bills keep coming in and the stock market keeps going up and down. Like, pick a direction and stick with it, NASDAQ! There never seems to be any time to just catch your breath and learn. Luckily, Wise Bread has 12 skills you should master if you want to get the most out of your money. Budgeting, negotiating, investing, preparing your own food (or maybe signing up for MealPass? We’ll get to that.), and more definitely take some work to master, but if you have the basics you’ll find yourself with a lot more cash in your wallet – or, preferably, in an IRA or index fund. Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to money, and these 12 skills are as good a place to begin as any.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch but there are cheap lunches (hypothetically) and there’s been debate in the PolicyGenius office about MealPass is the answer to finding them. We’ve already got a few fans of ClassPass, the gym subscription service, so food subscription must be even better, right? But we’re still on the fence about it, and it looks like we’re not the only one. Cheap lunches are good, but prefixed menus and tight order and pickup windows sort of dull the experience. That, plus the price of MealPass has already increased from $100 a month to $119 (not a surprise if you look at ClassPass’ price hikes). We’re not giving up on you quite yet, MealPass, but there’s still some work to really win us over. Might we suggest adding The City Bakery to your offerings?
If you’re a fan of basketball, you know that Steph Curry is one of the greatest players in the game today, making ridiculous shots that would make NBA Jam characters jealous. What makes him so good? Professional athletes are obviously physical specimens, but it turns out their brains are better than yours, too. They’re already stronger, faster, and richer than most other people, so why not? Curry and other greats are able to perceive, process, and make decisions on information more quickly and efficiently than us normal folks. Curry goes through information-processing training just as much as he hits the gym, so it’s just another thing to be impressed by while you're watching a game. Next time your kid says she wants to be a professional athlete, make sure you tell her she’ll need to "process multiple information sources within a dynamic 3-dimensional environment and react in a timely manner." Kids love that.
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