The UK is running a trade surplus. No, really, I am not joking. This is from the ONS’s latest trade statistics release:

The UK total trade surplus, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, increased £3.8 billion to £7.7 billion in the three months to August 2020, as exports grew by £21.4 billion and imports grew by a lesser £17.5 billion

It’s the first time the UK has run a trade surplus since the late 1990s:

And if you were thinking this was because of the lockdown, you would be wrong. The UK has been running a trade surplus since the beginning of 2020:

Admittedly, the trade surplus widened under the lockdown. But the UK economy reopened to some degree from June to August – and yet the trade surplus continues to widen.

This is no doubt music to the ears of balance of payments obsessives. Could the UK at

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a group of people sitting at a table: You can assign a value to some of your time. Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

© Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
You can assign a value to some of your time. Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

  • Ashley Whillans is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School and a leading scholar in time and happiness. The following is an excerpt from her book, “Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life.”
  • In it, she shares how individuals of all ages, educations, and incomes typically choose money when it comes to the tradeoff between money and time.
  • When we do this, Whillans explains we give up things that can benefit us in the long run, including happiness, time, and efficiency. 
  • She reminds us to savor daily experiences, outsource for things we don’t like to do, take vacations, socialize, and take care of ourselves to better value our time as a resource. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The income equivalent of happiness gains, I like to

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Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Having a smart savings plan can keep you steady even when times are changing, like they are right now.

Angela Moore, a financial planner, financial educator, and founder and co-owner of Modern Money Advisor, has some smart advice for saving in uncertain times. Her top tip? Automate your finances as much as possible.

“By automating it, you’re doing everything you need to do without even thinking twice,” Moore said.

Create separate spending accounts for monthly costs

If you look at your bank balance and see $1,000 sitting there, you might think it’s a good time to make a big purchase. But you’re probably forgetting about the regular expenses that will

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When saving for a house, set aside some money for repairs that will inevitably pop up after you move in.

If you’re saving for your first home, there’s no shortage of advice out there — some of it questionable, even if you do have an avocado toast habit. Still, it’s true that your down payment may be the biggest check you ever write.

But once you move in, it’s also true that the cash tends to just keep flying out of your bank account like that money-with-wings emoji. If you drain your savings on closing day, you’ll have to delay furnishings or repairs, to say nothing of less-pressing cosmetic changes.

A sizable cash cushion makes the cost of owning a home more manageable. But even if you lack that cushion, it helps to at least know what to expect and what else you may need

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Dear Dave,

I’m having a hard time saving money. Do you have any practical advice for saving when you have an average income?


Dear Nikki,

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that people only start saving money when they learn healthy money habits—like living on a written, monthly budget—and let their future needs become more important than their current wants. What I’m saying here is it will only happen when you make saving a priority. 

Everything doesn’t have to magically line up before you start saving, and there are plenty of easy, practical ways to save money and breathe a little extra air into your finances. The biggest one is by saying goodbye to debt. Monthly payments are the biggest drain I can think of when it comes to saving money, because debt robs you of your income. 

Most people are shocked when they realize how

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By Tracy Rucinski and David Shepardson

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Airlines

said on Wednesday it was “one step closer” to saving thousands of jobs after pilot union leaders voted to approve a tentative deal with the company, while American Airlines

launched a fresh plea to Washington for more industry aid.

U.S. airlines, battling a severe crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are in a final sprint before $25 billion in federal assistance for airlines’ payroll expires this month.

They have asked for a six-month extension to protect jobs through March, even as they try to strike deals with employees to minimize thousands of job cuts on Oct. 1 without fresh aid.

The leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association that represents United’s 13,000 pilots voted in favor of a deal that would protect some 2,850 jobs until June 2021, paving the path for a full vote by union members that

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Social Security won’t cover all of your bills in retirement. You can expect those benefits to replace about 40% of your job-related income if you’re an average earner, but most seniors need a lot more money than that to keep up with their bills in retirement. That’s where personal savings come in, whether in the form of an IRA or 401(k). But new data from Transamerica reveals that the among today’s retirees who made an effort to save independently, the median age they started at was 40. And that means a lot of seniors lost out on a key opportunity to amass wealth for their later years.

The importance of starting early

When it comes to growing wealth for retirement, the greatest weapon we have at our disposal is time. Savings housed in an IRA or 401(k) plan don’t just sit there and do nothing; they get invested (or at

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South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown measures, some of the strictest in the world, have earned praise from groups including the World Health Organization [WHO] for saving lives – but at the same time, recent data could prove some analysts’ claims that its economy has been largely “destroyed.”

The country’s statistician-general announced this week the gross domestic product [GDP] has slumped 51% in the second quarter of this year. Investment specialist Andrew Lapping quoted South Africa’s National Treasury as predicting up to 7 million could lose their jobs, out of a formal workforce of just over 10 million.

So many have lost their jobs that Johannesburg’s normally clogged highways now see mostly free-flowing traffic, even during rush hour.

A salesman for one of the largest car auction showrooms, now full to the brim with vehicles for sale, told Fox News they have stopped taking luxury vehicles from desperate owners “because few have

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to Business NZ, over 97% of New Zealand firms employ only 20
or fewer staff. One of the political myths about such firms
is that they’re forever groaning under the yoke of
excessive regulation, with the dead weight of compliance all
but snuffing out the spirit of enterprise. A myth, right?
And not only because New Zealand is regularly rated as the
easiest place in the world to do business. In Australia,
there any number of compliance requirements – from payroll
taxes to GST exemptions – not faced by business

Regardless, the myth got
another outing yesterday
, after Labour unveiled the
latest phase of its small business support programme. The
key elements included:

Interest-free loans more
widely available, zero-interest period

Tighter regulation of merchant
service fees charged to retailers

More support
for digital transformation of SMEs


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The coronavirus has upended countless jobs, schools and bank accounts. But while undoubtedly more people are struggling than not, those who are still working may have seen their expenses actually drop due to canceled travel, limited dining options and more time at home.

If you’ve managed to end up with extra money during the pandemic, here’s how to take advantage of those savings.


2020 has served as a stark reminder that unexpected things can happen, and when they do, it’s a good idea to be prepared.

“We say if you have a steady job, your contingency fund should be three to six months of expenses,” says Tara Unverzagt, certified financial planner and founder of South Bay Financial Partners in Torrance, California. “I would bulk it up even more because of uncertainty. I’ve never known anyone to be upset because they had too

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