In this week’s Financial Friday Round-Up, you can read about the where the housing market is heading, how to survive working from home, a caterpillar that could help our plastic crisis, and an investigation into whether a $1,000 iPhone is truly a “want” or a “need.”
Anyone tuning into our LiSA Initiative webinars will recognize that one of the most important steps to budgeting is to learn how to differentiate between your “wants” and “needs.” Some of the decisions are harder than others—your iPhone, for example. On the one hand, it’s essential for working efficiently. On the other, it’s certainly pricey. Lucky for us, Alyssa Fischer vowed to get the definitive answer for an entertaining piece in Money this week.
It was very kind of Brian Barrett at Wired to put together a survival guide for those of us not used to the cabin fever and easy distractions that one can encounter when working from home. In the face of COVID-19 and a rise in telecommuting, this piece comes at an essential time for anyone looking to keep up their productivity at home.
A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research recently found that “among high-ability female students, being assigned a female professor leads to substantial increases in the probability of working in a STEM occupation and the probability of receiving a STEM master’s degree,” providing further evidence to the importance of female role models. While the paper itself is behind a paywall, you can read the study’s summary and conclusion using the link above.
This week’s episode of Your Money’s Worth, a financial podcast from Kiplinger’s, hosts Sandy Block and Ryan Ermey talked to Zillow economist Jeff Tucker to discuss what the housing market has in store for 2020, as well as investing strategies amid market panic and tips for saving at the pump.
In science news, researchers have made an exciting discovery for our environmental future: a caterpillar that loves to munch on plastic, a lot of which takes the form of non-biodegradable waste we’ve struggled to get rid of for half a century. While these caterpillars won’t save us from plastic pollution entirely, examining how this species digests this synthetic material is an exciting step toward learning how we can dispose of plastics without resorting to landfills.
Check out our other Financial Friday Round-Up posts for more great reads!