Money Minute: Price of Beer Hops Up; Google Loses EU Battle

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The cost of increasingly popular craft beers could be hopping higher.

If you're a beer aficionado, you know the name India Pale Ale -- a particular type of hop favored by craft brewers. And while overall beer sales are flat, demand for craft brews has been strong. And that means the price of this particular type of hop is in short supply, and the price for it is soaring. By the way, did you know that this is American Craft Beer Week? And here's a bit of beer trivia for you: Washington state is the leading grower of hops.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%It might be easier to keep your name "off the grid" following a court ruling against Google (GOOG). The European Union's top court has ruled that individuals can ask the company to remove certain links to news articles containing their name. Obviously, this could disrupt Google's entire business model -- depending upon how it's enforced. The ruling also applies to other search engines. The cause has become known as the "right to be forgotten."

Consumers in the U.S. don't think housing prices will increase by very much this year. A monthly survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds the expectation is for an increase of just 3.8 percent this year. That expectation has come down every month this year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently expressed concern that housing activity was "flattening out" -- due partly to the high number of people who remain concerned about their job prospects. And millennials -- the young adults who should be the first-time homebuyers that spark the market -- continue to rent instead of buy, which is keeping price in check.

Here on Wall Street, both the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose to all-time highs Monday. The Dow gained 112 points, the S&P 500 rose 18, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied 72 points.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL, is apparently pretty popular with fans. His St. Louis Rams team jersey is the second-best seller among the 256 college players drafted last week. Number one is quarterback Johnny Manziel, known as "Johnny Football," and he had a two day head-start on Sam.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

7 Simple Habits to Save a Pretty Penny (or $100)
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Money Minute: Price of Beer Hops Up; Google Loses EU Battle
Have you ever heard of the 30-day rule? As a frugal guy, this is one of my favorite rules in spending. If you’re about to spend any more than $20 on something that is unnecessary, don’t. Instead, put the item down and wait 30 days to buy it. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save by not making unnecessary frivolous purchases.
I literally mean freeze your credit cards. It seems a bit extreme, but think of it this way. The average credit card comes with a 13 percent or higher interest rate. By simply not using credit cards as often, you’ll save a ton. So, get a plastic sandwich bag and put your credit cards in it. Fill it with water, zip it up and throw it in the freezer. Without easy access to those tempting pieces of plastic, you probably won’t use them as much. However, they’ll still be around -- in an emergency, you can retrieve them from the ice.
Have you ever looked around your house, seen a few items and thought, “I could have made that!” You probably could have. The only thing is, you didn’t. Instead you paid for it. From now on, before you buy something you think you can make on your own, give it a shot. I saved a little over a hundred bucks about two weeks ago. I needed a new bird cage for my fiancé’s doves. Instead of buying a cage for $200, I made one that was far bigger for less than $80.
Did you know that a clean air filter in your car can lead to 7 percent more fuel efficiency? That means at current gas prices, with a clean air filter, you’ll save about $100 a year, if you drive the average 10,000 miles.
How often on the way home from the office do you want to stop for a convenient quick meal? You’ve had a long day, and it feels justified. But it costs much more than a home-cooked meal. The answer is your slow cooker. Use it to prepare your meal in the morning on days you know will be rough. This way, you can skip the fast food and rush home to an already ready home-cooked meal.

Do you pay a maintenance fee for your bank account? Why? Tons of banks offer checking and savings accounts without them. Look to your local credit union or even switch to an online bank. When comparing your options, also look at the interest you can earn. Currently, I get about 3 percent on checking and about 3.4 percent on savings, but who knows what kind of great deals you can find?

I’ve had tons of options to sign up for customer rewards programs and I was just too busy. So, I didn’t sign up. Then one day, I realized that I was paying for rewards I wasn’t getting. The cost of the rewards obviously trickles down to the end consumer. So, if the end consumer doesn’t take part, he or she loses money in the process. Since I’ve signed up for every reward program around me, I’ve saved at least 20 or 30 bucks a month in rewards.

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