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What 44 million people are doing to make their financial lives better

Posted July 17

Congratulations! You (and your wallet) made it through Amazon Prime Day.

If you're still recuperating from the shopping hangover, we've got your back. Here's all the money news you need to know:

44 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE A SIDE HUSTLE

Feel like every day you're hustling, hustling? Yeah, you're not alone.

A recent study from Bankrate found that more than 44 million Americans have a side job to make ends meet. The people most likely to have a side hustle are those ages 18 to 26.

But you may want to hold off on selling your Instagram shots on Etsy: Less than 1 in 5 young people with a monthly side gig earn more than $500 per month.

BAD NEWS IF YOU USE VERIZON

The personal data of 6 million customers was leaked online, Verizon confirmed last week.

The security issue, uncovered by research from cybersecurity firm UpGuard, was caused by a misconfigured security setting on a cloud server due to "human error."

The error made customer phone numbers, names, and some PIN codes publicly available online.

Pro tip: Verizon customers should update their PIN codes and not use the same one twice.

8 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO AT WORK

Succeeding at work means more than showing up on time and meeting deadlines. Success is also about knowing what not to do.

Some things to avoid: Complaining constantly, spreading rumors and dressing inappropriately. (Hint: Crop tops are a no-no.)

Perhaps most importantly: Avoid being that person in the office who steals coworkers' food. You know who you are.

Playing by the workplace rules is especially important if you're a Millennial boss.

YES, STUDENT DEBT IS DELAYING HOMEOWNERSHIP

In 2007, 32% of those in their 20s owned a home. Fast forward a decade later and only about 1 in 5 people in their 20s are homeowners.

Student debt can explain up to 35% of the decline, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Not owning a home may not sound like a big deal but delayed homeownership among young people can have ripple effects throughout the economy. Almost half of people between the ages of 23 and 25 are still living with their parents, according to the report. That means they're not buying other things like furniture or appliances.

TIPS FOR BEGINNER INVESTORS

Trading apps have made it easier than ever for recent college grads to start investing without a lot of money.

But before you start to invest, make sure you have your bases covered. Do you have an emergency fund that covers three to six months' worth of expenses? Are your monthly obligations (school loans, anyone?) covered?

Finally, figure out what your investing goals are. That'll help you determine whether to invest your money, how much to invest, and what to invest in.

If you want to be smart about investing your money for the first time, check out the expert advice in this week's Broke No More column.

(Don't know your FICO from your FICA? Here's a cheat sheet for the money terms you're too embarrassed to ask about.)

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