🚨 Understanding Taxes & Earthquakes

Are you worried about getting a raise because it might bump you into a tax bracket that will wipe out your income? Fortunately, it doesn't work like that.

It's tax season, and if you make the brave choice to follow politics you've maybe heard that U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others are promoting a 70% tax on income. I've had a few folks ask how this works, and this very visual video from VOX shows that 70% is a tax only on the very top earners' very top earnings.

Add your income to this interactive graph to see how you're taxed.

Interested in lowering your taxes? Talk to your accountant and ensuring that you're submitting all the deductions you can qualify for, thus lowering your taxable income.

💳 Hot tip: Learn how to build your credit score.
You may need a loan one day, and you'll want a high credit score to get a good rate. Not to worry – there may be some easy things you can do right now to increase it. This Wirecutter article gives you a breakdown on how that score is built, how it differs from a credit report, and how you can work to increase your number. (Note: Wirecutter also has credit card advertisements. Be careful about opening credit cards to raise your credit score, as that’s one sure way to pile up debt.)

Also, it’s scary that all humans are just numbers now.


💻To Do Today: Open a high yield savings account.
Regular savings accounts are great for banks, who loan your money to homeowners or businesses at 5% interest or more. But they are garbage for you, because you probably only earn pennies on the money you've saved.

A high yield savings account, on the other hand, will net you up to five times more than a regular savings account, and it's just as secure. Find one that is accessible, safe (FDIC insured), and comes with a good rate. Then move your emergency fund there, or, if you don't have one yet, try depositing $100 each month.


🚨 Something Fun: The Big One.
It’s a solid podcast about an unstable world from KPCC, the best public radio station in LA (sorry KCRW). The Big One follows the story of a survivor in downtown LA after a massive earthquake hits the city. The earthquake is fictional, but the emergency tips and expert interviews are real. It’s engaging, informative and...frightening. It’s already made me reevaluate my emergency kit (not to be confused with an emergency fund). 

How about something less fear-inducing? LAist, part of KPCC, had a great article recently on why we see Shun Yun billboards everywhere all the time, always. Included: Wonderful memes. 

Dylan Snowden