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Photo: Cris Faga/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In an era of financial-services innovation, money remains one of the great stressors in our lives.

By the numbers: 5% of Americans with checking accounts rack up more than 50% of all the country's overdraft and bounced-check fees. It's a $35 billion income stream for the banks, even after Dodd-Frank. Needless to say, those 5% of Americans are precisely the people who can least afford to pay dozens of fees per year at an average cost of $35 apiece.

According to a new report from Nonfiction:

  • 41% of Americans who earn over $200,000 a year have cried because they didn’t have enough money.
  • In an age of social media, almost everybody feels status anxiety — the pressure to present to the world a false view of how effortless and carefree their lives are.
  • The result is costly embarrassment. One respondent gave up a job opportunity rather than admit that they needed help with the bus fare to get to the interview.
  • We're desperate for help with knowing if we're being paid fairly. For example, 70% of women feel that they are not paid what they deserve, but have no access to salary evaluation services.
  • We also need help with budgeting and saving.

The financial-services industry does a dreadful job of addressing these problems, and the problems are getting worse.

  • Millennials are 40% more likely to overdraw their checking accounts if they use mobile payments, according to a new financial literacy report from the TIAA Institute.
  • Mobile payment users were also more likely to make withdrawals from their retirement savings accounts and engage in high-cost borrowing activity.
  • Existing budgeting tools don't help. Millennials who use their mobile devices to track their spending are 25% more likely to overdraw their checking account.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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