And Now for the Good News: Six Upbeat Money Trends of 2012

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Between the elections, the fiscal cliff, and the endless battles over taxes, expenditures, and budget issues both big and small, 2012 has been a difficult year. But, amid all the sound and fury, there have also been promising developments on the financial front. As we close out the year, here's a look at a few of our favorite money stories of 2012.




Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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komansentz

I get around the western part of the country and from what I have seen he must be talking about the south coast. Or maybe all those predictions are not going to happen and we'll just collapse into another recession because of excessive spending and higher taxes.

December 26 2012 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

I get around the eastern part of the country and from what I have seen he must be talking about the west coast.

December 25 2012 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
grassyno

yeah, and don't forget another four years of Mr. Tax hike and entitlement Queen Obama. $6 trillion in new debt his last four years, and we're expected to top $20 TRILLION by the time he's finally out of office. Credit nations are not fooled: They know an unsustainable trend when they see it, and Obama's refusal to reign in spending during the fiscal cliff talks means more of the same for the next term. So don't be surprised when our credit rating drops yet again, and we pay even MORE in interest.

December 25 2012 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rlakefield

I find it disturbing that our " higher educated society " spends time evaluating what bunch of elected criminals sold us out the least or the most. These people who once ran making promises are the same people once elected lined the pockets of all thier freinds special interests with our money and without or permision! 16 Trillion dollars in debt should be a crime punished by death because it is equal to the murder of the United States and its people. We have elected the prisoners to run the prison and expect change. I hope the country is pleased with the last election because we are only a breif moment away from being Greece or any other failed country. So now after we spent billions on higher education and brain washing we scratch our heads wondering what happened and who did it instead of learning from what others did wrong in history and avoiding these same mistakes. For anyone thinks we are on any path to recovery I have a bridge for sale linking New York and New Jersey that I would like to sell you as a solid investment. Let us first try to show some level of intellegence with all this BS, never spend more than you make and you will owe nothing to no one! No matter what level of math you passed or cheated your way through school it still only requires addition adn subtraction to determine if you are in the black or goingin the red, after all americans built this country before they knew how to spell education never mind college. I remind all that no matter what these thieves and criminals like to tell you in Washington , it will never be them that will solve this problem of our failed nation, that burden will lie at the feet of the american people so wise up ...... sink or swim the choice is ours. IT IS GOING TO BE A LONG FOUR YEARS !!!!!

December 25 2012 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rlakefield's comment
Tom

Very well stated, I also have a very bad feeling about the next 3 to 4 years. I think that unemployment is probably at the low end right now and could double in the near future. I hope and pray that I am wrong but I can see it coming.

December 25 2012 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tomtopnotch

Im a self employed contractor for 19 years..The numbers are a lie like every other lie this adminstration uses to twist a positive light to there agenda. Is there construction work? Yes but mostly storm damge work that never pays true value. Insurance companys pay a fraction of the rebuild and then the cheapest price wins the bid. Unlike other areas of business, many contractors dont know their true costs so its not like everyone earns 30% profit and now in a tough economy then earn 10. Instead its every walk of life legal or illegal playing contractor at day labor cost. Real contractors have seen multiple price increases and heavier regulations that make them less desirable with bids. In the mean time there is no safety net and the illegal get all kinds of assistance. And no they are not tracked by unemployement figuires. Its a joke. Same rates as it was when I started 20 yrs back. Democrats are clueless because they are heavily unionized and get regular work, pensions and cost of living increases. But they will kick back and bailout their brothers on our dime..

December 25 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mastercommentor

Bruce Watson, take your NON STOP LYING somewhere else please! you deserve a LUMP of coal for XMAS!

December 25 2012 at 11:42 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
lucktoday

I don't care what people say about housing, and gas prices. I don't think the true inflation is being reported. I have no kids at home any more and pay more and more for grocries each week. My wife was in real estate, self employed making OK money for a couple of years. She isn't counted in the unemployment figures.

December 25 2012 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
wyount

"Are you better off now than you were one month ago?"
Forgot about the years unemployment was over 8% did you?
No matter how many ways HuffPost spins it, any gains in disposable income (+.6%?) will head right out the window in January as Obama gets his Christmas wish of fiscal cliff -- higher income taxes on everyone (Bush's gift to the government in 2003, until Congress spent $8 T more than we took in sine), ObamaCare taxes, and 157 additional fees and taxes (by Exe Order). And I'll bet the drones here will sout hallelujah and blame the Tea Party, Conservatives, abd Bush in that order. (Just a reminder: gas $1.65/gal and unemployment 4% before Reid and Pelosi becames the leaders in Congress (2006).

We can't fix the problem until the problem is correctly identified. And that is outrageous spending by Dems/Obama day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Unfortunately, Obama wants the "problem," which is his pathway to "radically transforming America." He is succeeding, and, taken in by his fake smile and "seductive coolness" half of America is too dumb to realize what he is doing.

December 25 2012 at 10:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

To John: In order to qualify for unemployement benefits, you have to be laid-off, not resign or be fired.
The US economy is a disaster. Every fifth house is in foreclosure. Businesses that are still struggling to get by have stacks of applications, many, many of them have simply closed. Our greatest iconic brands like Twinkies, etc. are dis-appearing. Over 95% of the US population buys regular staples - food, clothing, in Wal Mart or dollar stores, and even then with WiC or food stamps. People don't want goods fom China, they don't have a choice.
Oil prices are not down because of more efficient drilling, people are riding bikes, deadly scooters, or walking. They can't buy gas.

December 25 2012 at 9:55 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
mastercommentor

alfredschrader , BULL!! thats not only the case, I have seen people FIRED, AND RESIGNED, and they did qualify for UC and rec'd it until benefits where exhausted, there will always be EXCEPTIONS to what you think.!

December 25 2012 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mastercommentor's comment
Tom

Then they got fired for no reason of their own and if they resigned they would of had to prove harassment of some sort. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous

December 25 2012 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
John

I am a framing contractor and can not find employees but the unemployment line is full. ????
I have always noticed that most people that can not find a job are the ones that suck off the government year after year.
The work is out there if you really want it.
I guess the Obama voters would rather do drugs and wait for Obama to spread the wealth to them some more.
What a joke.,
Please remember who creates jobs : Businesses and people making over 250,000 a year.
There are leaders and followers. If you are a follower then quit complaining

December 25 2012 at 5:40 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John's comment
jdrabe

all the illegals went back home, better wages and benefits there, so no wonder yopu are having trouble finding cheap help

December 25 2012 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply