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  • 💸💼 Could the finance bros be … right?

💸💼 Could the finance bros be … right?

Plus: 🚌 Fare free buses are sticking around

It’s Wednesday, Boston.

💌 If you’re single, ready to mingle, and have a really brave friend … We have your Feb. 15 plans on lock. Harpoon Brewery is putting on a “pitch-a-pal” night, where people will “pitch” their single friends to the bar via PowerPoint presentation. Applications for presentations are due tomorrow, so get moving! 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Outdoor dining returns

  • Potholes season came early

  • Vanity plate rejects

Up first…

MONEY MOVES

If you’re not saving, you’re spending

Illustration: Gia Orsino

Ever wondered: ‘Is it really that bad if all my savings are sitting in a checking account?’ TL;DR: Probably. 

We’re back with another installment of Money Moves, our four-part series where local $$$ experts answer your pressing $$$ questions. Last month, we tackled budgeting.

Next up: Savings. 

💸 Even if you have a little income and a lot of debt, saving is crucial. Why? “Life is going to happen,” said Jadyn Bryden, a Boston-based investor at a venture capital firm and personal finance TikToker. When a large, unexpected expense comes up, like dropping a glass of water on your laptop (guilty) or your tire randomly popping on a Boston pothole (which just happened to Bryden), “having savings can help you from having to accrue debt,” she said. If you want to set yourself up for success, having a small cushion to fall back on in those situations “should be your literal No. 1 priority,” she said.

🚨 Step one: Create an emergency fund. Assuming you’ve created your budget and have a set amount of money allocated to savings (check out part one for that), the first bucket to fill is your emergency fund, which should be three to six months of your living expenses, said Kristin Cook, grants and impact manager at Women’s Money Matters. That means three to six times your monthly necessities like rent, car payments, and groceries. Focus your energy on hitting that goal first, and only then should you turn your focus elsewhere (like investing — don’t worry, we’ll get there!).

💰 But don’t let your savings just sit there. May we introduce: The high-yield savings account (HYSA). If your emergency fund is sitting in your checking account or a basic savings account, you’re essentially losing money. An HYSA allows your money to accrue much more interest (a.k.a grow way faster) than in a traditional savings account in exchange for the small price of taking slightly longer (usually one or two days) to access the funds. For Bryden’s part, she only keeps “a very small amount” of savings in her checking account, with the rest of her emergency money in a HYSA. Here’s a tool to find top recommended HYSAs.

🥱 Pro tip: If you can’t touch it, you can’t spend it. The number one hack all of our experts recommended to save without thinking about it is to set up your paychecks so that they deposit directly into your HYSA: “Never seeing that money hit your checking account psychologically helps,” Bryden said.

TOGETHER WITH SAMUELS AND ASSOCIATES 

Be The Fenway’s valentine 💖

🩷⛸️ Looking for a way to spend Valentine’s week that doesn’t involve the typical dinner + movie combo? Head over to The Fenway from Feb. 9-14 as The Rink 401 Park transforms into The Pink Rink — the perfect spot for a date with your valentine or galentines. And on Friday, Feb. 9, don’t miss out on attending  “Skate Kenway'' (because let’s face it, “I’m just Ken” was meant to be experienced on ice). You can even use your ticket afterwards for post-skate discounts at hotspots like Tenderoni’s, Rockwood Music Hall, and more.

QUICK QUESTION

💰 No shame! But, is all of your savings sitting in a regular savings account?

Let us know below!

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

CITY

Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff

🏙️ Outdoor dining season is just around the corner. Which means Boston’s pandemic-era outdoor dining program is officially open for applications. The program allows restaurants to apply for streetside dining from May 1 through October so long as they comply with design requirements and pay a $199 to $399 monthly fee. The city has also streamlined the process for returning applicants whose patio designs were approved last year. But once again, most North End restaurants aren’t invited to the outdoor dining party due to residents’ complaints about trash, traffic, and congestion. However, the city is exploring suggestions for a North End specific program.

🚌 Fare free bus routes are officially here to stay (for now). Mayor Michelle Wu announced that the city’s fare free bus program on routes 23, 28, and 29 is sticking around, at least until March 2026. The news marks an extension of a program that was originally launched in 2022 and slated to end in early 2024. Over half of the riders on the program’s routes are classified as low income, and the program has apparently boosted ridership across the lines and saved 50% of riders money, at an average of $35 a month. 

🕳️ R.I.P. to your car’s suspension. A.k.a., our pothole season might be arriving earlier than usual this year, according to WBUR. Traditionally, in New England, the melting of previously frozen water in cracks under the road brings about the perfect pothole conditions in March, but this year’s unseasonable temperature fluctuations and major rainfall levels mean that we’re already seeing more potholes than usual. Pro tip: Keep your eyes on your tire pressure (and on the road, obviously) to avoid the worst of it.

🏘️ BREAKING: Gen Z probably won't be able to afford a house in Boston. Okay, we might’ve already known that, but a recent study ranked it as one of the worst major cities in the country (No. 88 out of 102) for young people to buy a house based on factors like inventory, unemployment rate, homeownership rate, sales price, and more. Unsurprisingly, the best ranked cities skewed Southern and Midwestern, with Fort Wayne, Indiana taking home the top honors. TBH, the prospect is growing on us.

ONE LAST THING

Vanity plate rejects

Image: Kirkland An/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Which of these vanity plates got denied by the Mass RMV? DILEMA or BIGBUT? Surprisingly, if you choose the latter, you’d be wrong.

Welcome to the world of rejected vanity plate applications. According to a new piece from the Globe, hundreds of Mass. vanity plate applications are rejected every year for reasons that are sometimes obvious, like if they include profanity, or are insulting. But the rules don’t always make sense, as some truly bizarre plates manage to make the cut (see: STINKY, BOTOX, and BIMBO). 

You can dive deeper into the wild world of vanity plate applications (including a fun quiz where you get to guess why the RMV denied certain plates) here.

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🚗 Thanks for reading! Some honorable mentions among odd accepted plates: ITCHY, STOLEN, and GASSY. Hey, if the RMV’s cool with it, so are we.

💜 Special shoutout to today's sponsor, Samuels and Associates, for supporting local journalism and adding some sparkle to the doldrums of Boston winters. 

🥡 The results are in: Looks like Merai is about to get the B-Side Certified treatment. In a landslide vote, 43% of readers wanted our two cents on Brookline’s newest Thai spot.

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].