How To Money

How To Money

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How to Money 8/27

Happy waiter serving food to group of friends in a pub.

Photo: Drazen Zigic / iStock / Getty Images

Joel covered a lot this week, so here's a quick outline of what you need to know to get yourself on your way to financial happiness:

People are becoming very upset over restaurant fees. Some restaurants will add these fees at the end of the bill instead of increasing the price of food items. They're often labeled as "Mandatory Service Charges" and it's never clear if those charges go to the servers or not. Diners in Los Angeles and Chicago have even made Google Sheets listing all the restaurants using these systems.

So what should you do if you're at a restaurant and you see one of these service fees on your bill? You can always bring it up to someone. In a polite way you can say that it isn't cool that the restaurant is charging these fees on the back end. If they don't remove the charge and/or rude, then vote with your dollar and don't return to that restaurant.

Do you have unused gift cards? If you do, then you're not alone because it turns out that 47% of US adults have unused gift cards in their possession. If you have some unused gift cards, you can always go to a site like to get some money back. And if you're in California, companies are legally required to give you cash for gift cards if there is $10 or less on the card.

Outlandish Headline of the Week: "Stop contributing to IRAs and 401(k)s". Even though this is an outlandish headline, the argument they make, does make sense. They aren't arguing for you to not invest in retirement, they're arguing for you to not invest in Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. Go for the Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s. For most people, this is great advice! You have to be strategic because of the tax consequences, but it's something that the average person should do.

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