Here are three of the week's top pieces of work and financial advice, gathered from around the web:
Stop 'just checking in'
There are "three deadly words" everyone hates to read in a work email, said Laura Belgray at Money — "Just checking in." Too many of us use that phrase to soften the real message: "Don't ignore me. I need an answer already!" But it can often backfire and make you look like a "passive-aggressive nag." If you need to give someone a reminder, consider a different phrase that's direct without being chastising, such as "I'm floating this back to the top of the inbox." Then "offer an easy answer, an out, or an alternative." If someone has failed to get back to you about an in-person meeting, for example, consider asking to set up a phone call instead. Make the alternative as simple and specific as possible. For instance, "If I don't hear back this week, I'll assume it's a pass for now."
Costly store credit cards
Next time a cashier tries to sell you on a store credit card, you might want to politely say no, said Jacob Passy at MarketWatch. Nearly 90 percent of Americans with annual incomes of $100,000 or more have had a store card, compared with 75 percent of the general population. And 58 percent of those high earners regret ever getting one. There's a lot not to like about store cards: The average annual interest rate is nearly 25 percent, 8 points higher than for other cards. Rates on cobranded store cards — those with a Visa or Mastercard logo, for example — have a slightly lower average APR of 23.2 percent. The fine print can also be deceptive: Some store cards suggest they are zero interest but charge consumers interest retroactively "if they carry a balance at the end of the introductory offer period."
Knowing your co-workers' pay
Many employees want to know how much their colleagues earn, said Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic, but most are uncomfortable asking. Two economists tried to quantify that interest by asking 750 employees at a bank in Asia how much they'd be willing to pay to learn about co-workers' salaries. The median response was $13, which suggests a large number of employees weren't curious. "But some cared a lot." The average of the top half of responses was $369, and some said they'd pay more than $1,000. And when researchers asked how much the workers would pay to keep their salary private, a pattern emerged: "The higher someone thought his or her salary was relative to others', the more money that person was willing to pay to prevent the salary from being shared."