Financial news and advice – November 2016

An Irish woman nearly missed out on a lottery jackpot because she couldn’t find the ticket in her purse, and a new study shows that couples who talk finance are happier in their relationships.


Messy purse concealed winning ticket

It’s got to rank among everyone’s worst nightmares: you have a winning lottery ticket, but you don’t realize it until it’s too late to claim the prize. That’s what almost happened to an Irish woman, who nearly missed out on a €139,025 ($205,140) lottery jackpot because the winning ticket was buried at the bottom of her messy purse. “My handbag was bulging and I decided to clear the load,” the woman, who wants to remain anonymous, told reporters. Amidst the clutter were a few lotto tickets, including the National Lottery winner, which she had been carrying around for two weeks completely unaware. “I checked the tickets on the scanner in the shop and ... when I found out how much I won, I was absolutely delighted,” she added.


The couple that pays together stays together

A couple paying their bills over coffee

Partners who discuss their finances at least once a week say they are happier (78%) than those who talk about money less than every few months (50%), according to the second annual TD Bank Love & Money Survey. Joint bank accounts also seem to help: among the three-quarters of couples who share at least one account, 79% say they are happy in their relationships. Similarly, of the 63% of couples who share at least one credit card, 68% are happy.


Retirement funds may expire before they do

Nearly half of Americans have serious concerns that they could outlive their money in retirement, according to a survey for Fifth Third Private Bank. These worries exist despite the fact that nearly half (46%) of respondents take between one and five hours to research, organize and calculate their overall financial picture on an annual basis, and more than one-third (35%) use two or more advisers to help them manage their financial activities.


Mobile pay hits vending machines

No more hunting for change at the pop machine. The Canadian National Vending Alliance, a coalition of the largest vending operators in Canada, will offer mobile payment on all its vending machines across the country. A free app (for iOS and Android) by PayRange lets customers use their smartphones to pay by credit card, debit card or Apple Pay.


Gift cards aren’t for gifts anymore

Millennials are buying more store gift cards, but they’re using them to pay for their own purchases. In a US survey of 3,000 adults for Mercator Advisory Group, nearly three in five 25- to 34-year-olds said they bought retailer-specific cards in the previous year, up from less than half who did so in 2015. As brands introduce more mobile-based apps and offers for customers choosing prepaid options, young adults will continue to use gift cards as a money management tool, the report finds.