Setting a Budget This Year

Are you one of the many people who set New Year’s resolutions each year, only to find that you’ve strayed away from that goal by the end of January?

If you’ve resolved to setting a budget this year, here are three things you MUST do in order to achieve your budget goals for the year…

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We have more tips and articles for you when it comes to setting a budget and coping with the Boston area Economy by looking at that section under the Boston Real Estate Categories to your right.

And don’t forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining to setting a budget, the Boston area economy, or the economy in general. Find us there as well.

 

December Deals and Duds

As the year is winding down, some December deals are starting to heat up. But not everything is a bargain. Some things you should definitely avoid buying in December, and some things, depending on when you buy during the month, can be a real bargain…

We have more tips for you at the link to your right under Boston Real Estate Categories. And don’t forget, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Mayor Announces Initiative to Help Boston Homeless

The rate for Boston homeless individuals has dropped by 23 percent.Mayor Thomas M. Menino has released a detailed plan to help house Boston homeless individuals and offer them the support they need to succeed.

“Bringing Boston Home,” the City’s new plan, is the result of a four-year process during which members of the Leadership Council met regularly to discuss challenges still facing the homeless community, and set forth measurable outcomes to be achieved by the close of the three-year plan.

Mayor Menino said, “We are going to help our most challenged and medically frail homeless off the street; make sure that the mentally ill, ex-offenders, and youth don’t unnecessarily wind up in shelter, and help families in subsidized housing keep their homes, even when unexpected circumstances make it hard to pay rent.”

Since 2009, the rate for Boston homeless individuals has dropped by 23 percent. Compared to other cities across the country, Boston has a relatively small population without shelter, as about 3 percent of homeless persons go unsheltered.

Seven Steps for Helping Boston Homeless

Bringing Boston Home has seven steps, starting with helping Boston’s street homeless and ending with discharging some to homes rather than shelters. The plan also has built in support systems so that someone is making sure these individuals are taking their medication and looking for employment.

The total cost of the Boston homeless plan is estimated at $7.3 million. The city already has $2.4 million in existing resources and the other $4.9 million will come from re-prioritizing existing resources and from new fundraising efforts from public and private entities.

The goal of the plan is to reduce the number of persistently unsheltered Boston homeless by 50 percent by the end of Fiscal Year 2014. It also seeks to reduce the number of long-term homeless in Boston’s shelters by 50 percent, and to reduce their average length of stay by 25 percent.

Declining Federal resources means it will be much harder for the City to produce housing for the Boston homeless at the historic rates of the last 20 years. The plan calls for the City to maintain homeless housing production rates as close as possible to historic production rates, creating 225 units though Fiscal Year 2016.

Boston Area Jobs Produce Top Pay

The Boston area may be among the more expensive places to live in the U.S., but workers are paid well for what they do here.

Boston area jobs produce top payAccording to an American City Business Journals analysis of U.S. salary data, Boston ranks fifth nationally among major U.S. metros in average pay. The city’s average salary of $58,350 is roughly 27 percent higher than the U.S. average of $45,790 and is topped only by a handful of metro areas.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces annual wage estimates for 22 major employment sectors and more than 800 individual occupations. In newly released 2012 figures for the Boston area market (officially known as the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH, metropolitan area), here are the 22 major sectors (ranked by average annual pay) in the Boston area.

Each sector and occupation is followed by its six-digit BLS code in brackets. All sector and occupation titles are the bureau’s official designations.

Top 22 Boston Area Occupations by Pay

1. Management Occupations [11-0000], $127,160
2. Legal Occupations [23-0000], $111,990
3. Computer and Mathematical Occupations [15-0000], $92,210
4. Architecture and Engineering Occupations [17-0000], $85,470
5. Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations [29-0000], $81,840
6. Business and Financial Operations Occupations [13-0000], $79,310
7. Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations [19-0000], $78,550
8. Education, Training, and Library Occupations [25-0000], $60,240
9. Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations [27-0000], $59,990
10. Construction and Extraction Occupations [47-0000], $57,720
11. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations [49-0000], $51,620
12. Protective Service Occupations [33-0000], $50,090
13. Sales and Related Occupations [41-0000], $47,970
14. Community and Social Service Occupations [21-0000], $46,440
15. Office and Administrative Support Occupations [43-0000], $40,500
16. Production Occupations [51-0000], $38,550
17. Transportation and Material Moving Occupations [53-0000], $35,950
18. Healthcare Support Occupations [31-0000], $33,240
19. Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations [37-0000], $32,300
20. Personal Care and Service Occupations [39-0000], $29,870
21. Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations [45-0000], $29,540
22. Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations [35-0000], $25,690

Other Massachusetts cities other than the Boston area also ranked high in the national list of the 104 best-paying metros in the country. At No. 18, Worcester also bested the national average with a mean salary of $49,630, as did Springfield, ranked 28, with an average of $46,620.

Learn more about the Boston area economy.

Massachusetts Jobless Rate Falls – Car Thefts Drop

Massachusetts jobless rate fallsThe Massachusetts jobless rate dropped to 6.5 percent in February and the office of Labor and Workforce Development says the state has now regained all the jobs lost during the recession.

Last month’s Massachusetts jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point from January and initial estimates showed a gain of 500 jobs in February.

Officials also released revised estimates from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that 19,800 jobs were created in Massachusetts in January, about 2,800 more than initially estimated.

Because of the revised numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state says there are now 3,318,500 jobs in Massachusetts, compared to 3,304,300 in April 2008.

The state’s unemployment rate remains more than a full point below the national rate, which fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February.

More positive news for the state: Car thefts in Massachusetts have dropped by 88 percent since the mid-1970s, when the state had the dubious distinction of being the country’s car theft capital.

Insurance experts and law enforcement officials credit the dramatic drop to antitheft features, from transponder keys and immobilizing devices and vehicle tracking systems, and to vigorous enforcement by police.

The Boston Globe reports that there were 1,575 reports of stolen vehicles in Boston last year, compared with 28,000 in 1975. In Massachusetts, car thefts have dropped every year since 2001.

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