savings accounts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10302/all en-US Online Savings Account Face-Off: Ally Bank vs Capital One 360 http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-133898315.jpg" alt="piggy banks" title="piggy banks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="206" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most personal finance experts &mdash; including Dave Ramsey, Ramit Sethi, and Suze Orman &mdash; talk about the importance of saving money. Whether it's for an emergency fund in case you lose your job, or you're saving for a specific purchase so that you don't get into debt &mdash; a savings account will definitely keep you out of trouble.</p> <p>But with the myriad banks that exist today, it can be a daunting task to find one that has a savings account that meets your needs.</p> <p>Luckily, you don't have to compare the features offered from every single bank. Two of the most well-known banks today are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/10839262" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'contenttext', 'bank_ally']);">Ally Bank</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/10839261" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'contenttext', 'bank_capone360']);">Capital One 360</a>. So I'm going to weigh the pros and cons of each of their savings accounts.</p> <h2>Interest Rate</h2> <p>Ally Bank's rate is currently 0.86 percent. Capital One 360's rate is currently <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11665596" target="_top"><script src="https://home.capitalone360.com/js/accounttype.js"></script> <script>document.write(type_3000_apy);</script></a> percent<img src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-11665596" width="1" height="1" border="0"/>. Since both of these rates are so low right now, it doesn't make a huge difference in making your money grow.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Ally Bank</p> <h2>Compounding Frequency</h2> <p>This refers to how often your money grows and earns interest. The interest you earn is reinvested in your account, which gives you even more interest in the future. In other words, you earn interest on your interest.</p> <p>So the more often your interest compounds, the more money you'll make.</p> <p>With Ally Bank, your interest is compounded every day. With Capital One 360, your interest is compounded on a monthly basis.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Ally Bank</p> <h2>Bonus Sign-up Offers</h2> <p>Sometimes, banks will offer you a bonus to entice you to open up for an account. Capital One 360 often offers sign up bonuses during <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-black-friday-sale-get-100-when-you-open-an-account">special sales</a>. (Right now there aren't any promotions.) Ally Bank doesn't offer a bonus at this time, either.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Capital One 360 (if you can catch one of their promotions)</p> <h2>Sub-Savings Accounts</h2> <p>Saving for the specific things you want &mdash; such as a vacation to Hawaii, Christmas gifts, or a new outfit &mdash; will help you stay focused on your goals. Having sub-savings accounts at the same bank lets you do this easily.</p> <p>Both banks allow you to open sub-savings accounts, and even name them after the things you're saving for.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Tie</p> <h2>Fees</h2> <p>Nowadays, there's no need to open an account with a bank that charges fees just to hold and use your money. Luckily, both banks come with zero monthly maintenance fees, and no minimum balance requirements.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Tie</p> <h2>Depositing Checks</h2> <p>Since both bank accounts are online accounts, do you wonder what you'd do if you received a paper check? How would you deposit it?</p> <p>Well, the good news is that both banks allow you to conveniently deposit a check from anywhere, using either a smartphone app, or by scanning it through your computer.</p> <p>What if you prefer mailing your checks instead? Both banks will also let you mail your checks for deposit. But Ally Bank provides postage-paid envelopes, so that you can mail them for free.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Ally Bank</p> <h2>Accessing Your Money After You're Gone</h2> <p>Lastly, if you're going to open an account, you'll want to be sure that your loved ones are able to get to your money easily if anything happens to you.</p> <p>Payable on Death accounts let you do this without any hassle. Ally Bank offers this benefit with their accounts, but Capital One 360 doesn't.</p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Ally Bank</p> <h2>My Thoughts and Recommendation</h2> <p>The thing I like best about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/10839261" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'contenttext', 'bank_capone360']);">Capital One 360's account</a> is the sign-up bonus. And the thing I really love about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/10839262" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'contenttext', 'bank_ally']);">Ally Bank's account</a> is the Payable on Death feature.</p> <p>But honestly? You can't go wrong with either.</p> <p><em>Which online savings account do you like best?</em></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/10839261" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'applytext', 'bank_capone360']);">Click here to apply at Capital One 360</a></strong></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darren-wu">Darren Wu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-up-to-500-bonus-from-capital-one-360-savings">Earn Up to $500 Bonus from Capital One 360 Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking ally bank bank reviews capital one 360 savings accounts Wed, 13 Nov 2013 09:48:04 +0000 Darren Wu 1083926 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Your Teen Needs (or Doesn’t Need) in a Bank Account http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-teen-needs-or-doesn-t-need-in-a-bank-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-your-teen-needs-or-doesn-t-need-in-a-bank-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teen-5247562-small.jpg" alt="teen" title="teen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teens taught to save from an early age may gain an advantage over kids with no parental direction concerning finances. How you handle your money matters will have a <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T065-C000-S001-teach-kids-the-value-of-money.html">strong impact on your child's view of money</a> and the values they hold into adulthood. While many people across the county are still struggling to put away cash from each paycheck they receive, teens that learn healthy financial habits will likely struggle less with their money management. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-payday-helping-your-teen-understand-money">Helping Your Teen Understand Money</a>)</p> <p>In addition to prioritizing savings, teens also should start learning the basic fundamentals of personal money management such as being responsible for balancing their checkbook and paying any financial responsibilities on time. As a teen's financial responsibilities increase, they will need to establish a savings account and a checking account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards">Top 5 Prepaid Debit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Here are 5 things every teen needs in a bank account.</p> <h2>1. Money, Money, and More Money</h2> <p>Opening a bank account with or for your teen isn't enough to teach a savings lesson. Parents would be wise to sit down with their child and talk about the benefits of savings and the best methods for hanging on to their cash.</p> <p>Ideally, establishing a <em>must-follow</em> rule of savings, such as 10% of all money they earn or receive, will help a teen get into the habit of heading to the bank first rather than the mall. The savings account should never be touched for any purpose so it can be allowed to grow and earn interest for long-term financial stability. Checking accounts will need to have sufficient amounts of cash for checks written. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-from-a-financially-savvy-teen">Advice From a Financially Savvy Teen</a>)</p> <h2>2. More Benefits Than Fees</h2> <p>Banks have been <a href="http://www.consumersdigest.com/special-reports/license-to-steal">capitalizing on the many fees</a> they are creating to keep making huge profits. When it comes to a new account for teens, it is best to shop around at different banks rather than just head to your preferred branch. Your teen should have a bank account that doesn&rsquo;t charge a ton of excessive fees for administration or transactions. Be sure to review the associated fees with your teenager.</p> <h2>3. Avoid Flashy Incentives</h2> <p>There is still a lot of competition in the banking industry, so it is important for teens to understand what makes an account suitable for them. Banks often offer incentives that seem great on the surface but could leave the customer dissatisfied with the other account terms. Teach your teen to look past the <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/100774142">free stuff and focus on the bank's conditions</a>, fees, and limitations. They should find a bank that offers low-cost or free accounts that do not limit transactions including at the ATM and through checking accounts.Take time to read the fine print with your teenager and if you don't understand the terms, visit with the bank's manager for an explanation.</p> <h2>4. Accessible Banking</h2> <p>There is a good mix of brick and mortar banks and online banks offering great deals on bank accounts. However, some online banks or smaller institutions are not as accessible as a teen needs them to be. If they plan to use an ATM card for withdrawals or need to make cash deposits, they will need to be able to access a bank in person. Consider the accessibility of both the bank and its ATM locations when helping teens make a decision. If you anticipate in-person visits to the bank to cash or deposit checks, an online bank may not make as much sense as opting for a bank with a local branch.</p> <h2>5. Seek Out Banks With Educational Resources</h2> <p>Since your teen is just entering the world of personal finance, finding a bank that also offers free resources for financial education is a wise move. Many of the major banks offer online tools and guides for learning the basics of money. As parents can find it difficult to get lessons across to their kids, online tutorials can help close the gap in learning. Phone apps and other technologies offered by banks can be a very effective teaching tool for today's teens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-money-tools-and-toys-for-every-age-group">Money Tools and Toys for Every Age Group</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Wells Fargo offers <a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/checking/teen/">Teen Checking (SM)</a> that include parents in alert messages and account management.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bank of America offers a lot of free information on their <a href="https://www.bankofamerica.com/student-banking/solutions-for-students.go">Student Bank Accounts and Solutions</a> page.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Chase also offers a <a href="https://www.chase.com/checking/student-checking">High School Checking Accounts</a> program for teens to help them manage their money.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you set up a savings or checking account for your teen (or younger child)? Has it been educational?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-teen-needs-or-doesn-t-need-in-a-bank-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-unions-vs-banks-whats-the-difference">Credit Unions vs. Banks: What&#039;s the Difference?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charged-with-an-overdraft-fee-get-your-money-back">Charged With an Overdraft Fee? Get Your Money Back!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking banks checking accounts savings accounts teen saving Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:36:07 +0000 Tisha Tolar 986755 at http://www.wisebread.com Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank? http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-4063970-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When many of us think of Discover, we think of credit cards (including the new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers">Discover it card</a>). However, Discover offers standard banking services as well as credit cards. In fact, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1534621&amp;fot=1072&amp;foc=1">Discover Bank</a> features competitive yields on savings products and some loan products.</p> <p>Discover markets is its savings account as &quot;over 5X the National Savings Average,&quot; although the yields aren't the highest available. But they are high enough to justify considering an account with Discover Bank.</p> <h2>A Little History Behind Discover Bank</h2> <p>The Discover card was launched in 1986, but the bank is a more recent invention. The company likes to push that fact that the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index has ranked Discover (the card) #1 in customer loyalty for 17 years in a row.</p> <p>Discover Bank cropped up during the boom in online banking that occurred a few years ago. The online aspect provides Discover with the ability to offer savings products to consumers, in addition to credit cards.</p> <p>For the first quarter of 2013, Bankrate gave Discover Bank its 5-Star Safe &amp; Sound rating. Even though Discover Bank is FDIC-insured, many consumers still like to see that their bank has good health.</p> <h2>Features and Benefits of Discover Bank</h2> <p>As you might expect, Discover offers credit cards, including the Discover it card, a version of the Discover it for students, and business credit card options. All of these credit cards are considered reasonably competitive and offer access to Discover's cash back program. In addition to the well-known credit card offerings, Discover Bank offers a range of savings products, as well as three loan products.</p> <p><strong>Online Savings</strong></p> <p>As of June 2015, Discover Bank offers <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1534621&amp;fot=1072&amp;foc=1">0.95% APY on its online savings account</a>. This is one of the highest yields you'll find out there. There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. However, you do need $500 to open an online savings account.</p> <p><strong>Money Market Account</strong></p> <p>Discover Bank also offers a <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.393621&amp;fot=1072&amp;foc=1">money market account</a>. As of this writing, the APY on a money market account is 0.75% on deposits of between $2,500 and $99,999. Balances of over $100,000 pay a yield of 0.80%. You need $2,500 to open a money market account, and there is a $10 fee for months in which your average daily balance dips below $2,500. You can access funds via check, debit card, or online. However, this is still considered a savings account, so you are limited to six withdrawals a month.</p> <p><strong>CDs</strong></p> <p>Discover Bank offers competitive CD rates, with a <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.393635&amp;fot=1072&amp;foc=1">one-year CD at 1.00%</a> as of this writing. If you are willing to lock up the money for a longer period of time, the rates are above 1%. You need a minimum of $2,500 to open a CD account. There are also renewal options that make it easy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-cd-laddering">to build CD ladders</a> and renew your CD when the term is up.</p> <p><strong>Retirement</strong></p> <p>You can include your retirement planning with Discover Bank. Discover Bank can help you rollover your 401(k) to an IRA, or to transfer your IRA. You can also include CDs in an IRA, and Discover Bank can help you do that, too. Although Discover Bank touts its IRA CD, the reality is that the virtually the same APYs are offered, and you don't get any truly special perks; you just hold the CD account in an IRA.</p> <p><strong>Loan Products</strong></p> <p>You can choose from three different types of loans with Discover Bank:</p> <ol> <li>Mortgages</li> <li>Student Loans</li> <li>Personal Loans</li> </ol> <p>Discover Bank touts its personal loan as one that can be used to consolidate debt as well as to finance larger purchases. There are also a variety of student loans to choose from, including those intended for graduate students as well as undergraduate students. It's even possible to get a bar exam loan designed to help law students pay for prep and the cost of the exam.</p> <p><strong>Mobile Banking</strong></p> <p>Discover Bank offers a mobile banking app that makes it easy to access your account from anywhere. You can manage your account from your mobile app, including taking a look at how much interest each account has earned. The mobile banking app from Discover also includes remote deposit. This is a convenient feature that many banks are adopting. It's also possible for you to schedule your bill payments using this app. There is a handy ATM locator that can help you access your money in the &quot;real world&quot; &mdash; no matter where you are.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that Discover is compatible with Google Wallet, so you can add your credit card information to your digital wallet without too much trouble.</p> <h2>Educational Resources and Customer Service</h2> <p>You will find a number of educational resources on the Discover Bank website. There is a retirement planning center, as well as a number of helpful articles on financial management. You can also find an extensive help center that features FAQs related to various products and services. You can find contact information as well, including online contact, phone contact, and even snail mail contact information. Discover claims that it offers 24/7 assistance, so you can call anytime.</p> <h2>ShopDiscover</h2> <p>Discover offers its own shopping portal, which you can access from the Discover Bank website. If you have a credit card, you can get &quot;super-charged&quot; cash back at more than 200 retailers. For frequent shoppers, this can be a way to build up cash back even faster.</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Discover Bank isn't particularly outstanding when it comes to online banking, but it is a solid choice. On savings products, you receive yields that are considered top tier. You can also get access to a different loan products that provide you with a range of options.</p> <p>Hard-core rate chasers will probably find Discover Bank a bit tame. However, if you are looking for a reliable online bank with easy-to-use features and a mobile app, Discover Bank is a reasonably good choice.</p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22914403&amp;fot=1085&amp;foc=1">Click here to apply now.</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360: A Competitive Banking Option</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money">Zen and the Art of Hiding Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking banking CD credit cards IRA online bank savings accounts Fri, 02 Aug 2013 10:36:38 +0000 Miranda Marquit 980983 at http://www.wisebread.com Save More by Avoiding Multiple Bank Accounts http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-by-avoiding-multiple-bank-accounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-more-by-avoiding-multiple-bank-accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-4562214-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to save more? Keep it simple.</p> <p>Conventional wisdom holds that people should spread savings across different accounts, and the typical American has multiple checking and savings and other types of financial accounts. However, they're more likely to save more with just one savings account, according to a new study by a University of Kansas researcher. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money" target="_blank">Zen and the Art of Hiding Money</a>)</p> <p>People save more if they have just one account compared to multiple checking and savings accounts, according to Kansas University assistant professor Promothesh Chatterjee.</p> <p>&quot;Nowadays, the average American has multiple liquid accounts, typically a combination of checking and savings accounts,&quot; he said in a <a href="http://www.news.ku.edu/2013/04/17/trying-save-more-consolidate-your-bank-accounts-researcher-says" target="_blank">press release</a>. &quot;But our research finds this is the wrong strategy to encourage saving. We find that individuals are more likely to save if they have only one primary account, rather than many accounts.&quot;</p> <h2>Banking Implications</h2> <p>His research has implications for accepted banking practices and national policies. Banks frequently offer several accounts to new clients, but the findings argue against that practice.</p> <p>Americans save next to nothing &mdash; the current national savings rate is estimated at 5%. And the inability to save cuts across income and educational levels.</p> <p>&quot;Given that context, this type of research is important to lots of people,&quot; Chatterjee said.</p> <p>Why does having several accounts encourage people to save less?</p> <blockquote><p>Utilizing work on motivated reasoning and fuzzy-trace theory, we suggest that multiple accounts engender fuzzy gist representations, making it easier for people to generate justifications to support their desired spending decisions. However, a single account reduces the latitude for distortion and hinders generation of justifications to support desirable spending decisions.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Fuzzy Savings</h2> <p>In other words, people with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts" target="_blank">more accounts lack a clear idea</a> of how much they have saved and use that muddled picture to rationalize their spending decisions. We feel good about ourselves over the long-term when we save, but we feel good right away when we spend, which prompts us to find justifications to spend.</p> <p>Simply put, if you have different savings accounts, it's easy to convince yourself that you have a ton of savings. If you have it all in one place, you can plainly see what you have &mdash; or don't have.</p> <p>Those who are opposed to consolidating accounts, according to the research, can at least try using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-budgeting-pocketsmith-helps-you-forecast" target="_blank">software programs that add up different accounts</a>, allowing users to see the total in one place.</p> <p>His research used four separate studies with a total of 566 participants who had the opportunity to earn, spend, and save money. The results were published in the May 2013 issue of the journal &quot;Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.&quot;</p> <p>The students participating in the study earned money for doing tasks on a computer, and then had chances to buy items, such as university T-shirts, notebooks, and a computer mouse, or add money to their savings, according to a <a href="http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/fewer-bank-accounts-may-result-in-more-savings/" target="_blank">New York Times story</a> on the research. Those who kept earnings in a single account saved more than those with multiple accounts. The issue was not their mathematical abilities, but rather their motivation, Chatterjee said.</p> <h2>Targeted Accounts for Saving?</h2> <p>Others disagree and argue that using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system" target="_blank">targeted savings accounts</a> is the best way to accumulate savings.</p> <p>Different savings accounts &mdash; for example for emergencies, a new car, and a vacation &mdash; offer a motivational tool for saving for specific goals, writes one proponent of <a href="http://business.time.com/2011/08/23/use-targeted-saving-to-achieve-your-goals" target="_blank">targeted savings accounts</a>, J.D. Roth, founder of website Get Rich Slowly and author of &quot;Your Money: The Missing Manual.&quot;</p> <p>When savings are combined, it's easy to lose track of how much you've saved for each goal and use money for one goal to pay for another use, he says, adding that online savings accounts offer higher yields and let customers split their funds into subaccounts and even name them.</p> <p><em>Do you use multiple accounts to manage your savings or just one? What works best for you in terms of reaching your savings goals?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-by-avoiding-multiple-bank-accounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy Are Your Bank Accounts?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving">4 Quirky Ways to Spend Less and Kick-Start Saving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/38-ways-to-save-money-without-trying-much">38 Ways to Save Money Without Trying (Much)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bank-based-small-dollar-loans-an-alternative-to-payday-loans">Bank-Based Small-Dollar Loans: An Alternative to Payday Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Budgeting Financial News bank accounts saving strategies savings accounts Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Michael Kling 977910 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons to Love Your Bank http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/consultant-4757388-small.jpg" alt="banker" title="banker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one likes banks these days. The media is telling us that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-manipulate-your-transactions-may-charge-you-1750-overdraft-fee">they are charging more fees</a> and are to blame for the financial crisis. But the reality is that now is the time to love your bank more than ever.</p> <p>Imagine that a security company guarded your house around the clock. If a burglar ever broke in and stole something valuable, like the family silver or your TV, your security company would replace them, no questions asked. You can come and go into your house as you please and even contact the company guarding your house around the clock &mdash; in person, by email, by phone. And sometimes, the company will even pay you for the privilege of guarding your house. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a>)</p> <p>This is similar to what a bank does for your money.</p> <h3>1. Your Bank Keeps Your Money Completely Safe</h3> <p>The nuts and bolts of banks, as the average consumer uses them, is that you give your money to your bank, and your bank protects it. The very best reason to use a bank is that you don't have to worry about your money getting lost or stolen. Keeping it under the mattress is not the best bet. In the unlikely event your bank fails, the government insures your deposits up to $250,000. If you like any other company that provides similar services (insurance, for instance), then you should like your bank.</p> <h3>2. Your Bank Provides Amazing Services</h3> <p>Besides just protecting your money, your bank also provides amazing services. Your bank gives you the ability to pay for something nearly anywhere you want by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-prepaid-debit-card-really-cheaper-and-better-than-a-bank-debit-card">using a debit card</a>. You don't have to carry around cash (and risk it getting lost or stolen). If you need or prefer cash, you can use an ATM to retrieve your money on nearly any street corner. And with ATMs you can even deposit checks, so you don't have to go to the hassle of waiting in line.</p> <p>But let's say you want to talk with a real person about your money. You can go to a bank branch and get personal service. You can sit down with a banker and have them help you customize your accounts. Just today, I walked into a branch of my bank, and within two minutes a banker helped me close a business account that I no longer needed. He was extremely friendly and asked me if there was anything else he could do to help me. Previously a banker set me up with a permanent fee-waiver for my ATM card. That's great service.</p> <p>Your bank likely allows you to transfer money online, get your account balance from anywhere, and track your spending and savings. Depending on the type of account you may even earn interest on the money you keep at your bank. And these are just the basic services your bank likely provides. Every day banks are rolling out more features &mdash; like banking apps &mdash; all for free.</p> <h3>3. You Can Often Get All of a Bank's Services for Free</h3> <p>All of the services I listed above? Many banks will give these services to you for free. Even if your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-sneaky-bank-almost-got-me">account is listed as having a fee</a>, walk into your bank and ask a banker if there is a way to waive it. Often, if you &quot;bundle&quot; services, your bank will waive the monthly charge. For example, see about opening a deposit account, setting up recurring transfers, or enabling direct deposit. Or maybe it's worth refinancing your home with a mortgage from your bank.</p> <h3>4. If You're Paying a Fee, You're Likely Getting Great Side Benefits</h3> <p>If you are paying a fee on your account, you are likely getting some additional benefits. Some fee checking accounts pay interest, provide free checks, or give you a cash rebate for the amount spent on your debit card. (If you're paying a fee and aren't getting any benefits, ask how to get a fee waiver or see point six below.)</p> <h3>5. Banks Are Subject to More and More Governmental Scrutiny</h3> <p>Every day, banks become subject to more and more governmental scrutiny. Some of these regulations may be warranted, but for the most part they are harming the community bank down your street. (That's the bank where not only will they be more likely to know your name, but you're most likely to get a loan if you want to start a business.) And these regulations are costing banks money to comply with. But banks are still passing very few of these costs onto the average consumer. And that's another great reason to love your bank.</p> <h3>6. You Can Change Banks</h3> <p>If you don't love your bank, you should switch. It's that simple. Every other bank wants you as a customer and you should make the most of that situation. If you don't feel that your bank is giving you the services and support you need, find another bank. Consider an online-only bank or the community bank down the street. There are thousands of banks. Think of the services you need, and find a bank that meets your criteria. If you were trusting the safety and security of your home to a company, you'd spend some time ensuring that it's the best fit for you. Do the same with your money and find a bank that you love.</p> <p><em>What's great about your bank?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-teen-needs-or-doesn-t-need-in-a-bank-account">5 Things Your Teen Needs (or Doesn’t Need) in a Bank Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paper-checks-going-goinggone">Paper Checks: Going, Going...Gone?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-tools-for-the-unbanked">New Tools for the Unbanked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking banks checking accounts debit cards online banking savings accounts Mon, 27 May 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 973807 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2378592059_1285049505_z_0.jpg" alt="found money in an unexpected place" title="found money in an unexpected place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can make money by saving money, apart from interest, dividends, and investment earnings. These methods deliver bonuses in ways you may not have recognized as getting paid to save. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts">The 5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h3>1. Claim the Saver's Credit</h3> <p>This money comes from the federal government via the IRS. Through the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p590/ch05.html" target="_blank">Retirement Savings Contributions Credit</a> (aka Saver's Credit), you can get up to $1,000 (or $2,000 if married filing jointly) if you contribute to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-a-retirement-account-whats-available-and-what-s-best-for-you" target="_blank">qualified retirement account</a> and meet certain requirements, which most notably include income limits.</p> <p>You can't make more than $28,750 in modified adjusted gross income ($43,125 if head of household or $57,500 if married filing jointly) to be eligible. At those income levels, you may not have a lot of extra cash to sock away for retirement, but if you do save, you'll get a nice bonus. Use <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8880.pdf" target="_blank">Form 8880</a> to calculate and claim your credit.</p> <h3>2. Win Prizes and Rewards for Saving Money</h3> <p>You can earn rewards and may be able to win prizes by tracking your savings with a couple of online services.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.saveup.com/" target="_blank">SaveUp</a> helps you to monitor savings and debt payoff, and gives you the opportunity to play for prizes that range from a $100 gift card to a $2 million jackpot. The site also dispenses rewards in the form of promotional offers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.smartypig.com/" target="_blank">SmartyPig</a> gives you a place to save money for specific purposes such as a summer trip to the beach or new flooring for your house. When you have accumulated the dollars, you can redeem your savings by 1) transferring money to your checking account, 2) loading money to a prepaid debit card, or 3) receiving a gift card from certain retailers. While option #1 doesn't give you extra cash, you'll get 1% more if you take your savings on the debit card and a bonus of up to 11% if you choose a gift card.</li> </ul> <h3>3. Earn Bonuses for Setting Aside Money in Savings Accounts</h3> <p>Many banks and credit unions have cash incentives for customers who commit to saving. For example, BBVA Compass matches a percentage of transfers from a checking account to a savings account; you can earn up to $250 per year through the <a href="http://www.bbvacompass.com/buildmysavings/" target="_blank">Build My Savings program</a>. Bank of America also contributes up to $250 through its <a href="http://www.bankofamerica.com/promos/jump/ktc_coinjar/index.cfm?&amp;statecheck=NC" target="_blank">Keep the Change program</a>.&nbsp;Citizens Bank has a <a href="http://www.citizensbank.com/savings-and-cds/college-saver.aspx" target="_blank">CollegeSaver savings account</a> that gives a one-time $1,000 bonus when your child reaches 18 if you make minimum monthly deposits.</p> <h3>4. Get Cash for Opening and Funding an Investment Account</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-online-brokers-for-investing-newbies-and-beyond" target="_blank">Brokerage firms</a> offer incentives for opening and funding an investment account. To get rewards, you typically have to make a hefty deposit. For example, to earn $200, you'll need to put $50,000 in a new account with <a href="http://content.schwab.com/web/retail/public/cashbonusandtradesira/" target="_blank">Charles Schwab</a> (but you can earn $100 on a deposit of just $10,000 if you are an <a href="http://content.schwab.com/m/schwab_aarp/" target="_blank">AARP member</a>).</p> <p>However, your bank, credit union, or other financial institution may offer more accessible deals. For example, <a href="http://www.sharebuilder.com/sharebuilder/special-offers.aspx" target="_blank">ShareBuilder</a> is offering a $50 bonus to open and fund an IRA with $5,000.</p> <h3>5. Snag Your Company's Match</h3> <p>You can make extra money courtesy of your employer if you contribute to a qualified retirement plan and your employer matches contributions. Review plan documents to verify that a match is available. Set aside the percentage of your pay that harvests the maximum payout from your employer.</p> <h3>6. Take Tax Deductions</h3> <p>The federal government and most state governments give you a bonus (in the form or lower taxes) for your contributions to traditional retirement accounts (such as traditional 401ks or IRAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).</p> <p>There are restrictions for tax deductions, generally based on earnings and the amount of deductible for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-health-insurance-plans" target="_blank">high-deductible health plan</a> linked to the HSA. But if you qualify for tax deductions and put money in these accounts, you can lower your tax liability and increase your cash inflow, either from a larger refund or smaller tax payment.</p> <p>Even though interest rates are low and rewards for saving are often small (even in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-high-yield-cds" target="_blank">high-yield CD</a>) or uncertain in investment accounts, there are ways to get cash bonuses that boost your bottom line.</p> <p><em>How have you made money by saving money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents">Retirement for Stay-at-Home Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-a-good-interest-rate-in-a-low-rate-environment">How to Earn a Good Interest Rate in a Low-Rate Environment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">Online Savings Account Face-Off: Ally Bank vs Capital One 360</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Investment Organization college savings plans retirement accounts savings accounts savings rewards Wed, 06 Mar 2013 11:36:33 +0000 Julie Rains 968036 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Great Investments for First-Timers http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-investments-for-first-timers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-great-investments-for-first-timers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1367358075_9c473e32fd_z.jpg" alt="woman and piggy bank" title="woman and piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re young or not so young, if you haven&rsquo;t put any of the money you earn into some type of investment yet, chances are you&rsquo;re pretty intimidated by the whole thing. I&rsquo;ve been there, and I can appreciate how confusing investing seems. But if you actually peek behind all the stock tickers and complicated commentary on CNBC, what you&rsquo;ll find is that a lot of investments are pretty simple. And, although it takes a little work to learn and understand these investments, they're totally worth it. Not only is investing a much better way to make the most of your money (compared to, say, stockpiling it in a zero-interest account or, worse yet, just spending it all), but understanding the world of money is the best way to put yourself in control of your finances.</p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t started investing, don&rsquo;t worry &mdash; it&rsquo;s never too late. Here are seven simple, suitable investments for first-timers to help you get started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investing-101-5-essential-steps">Investing 101: 5 Essential Steps</a>)</p> <h2>1. High-Interest Savings Accounts</h2> <p>The term &ldquo;high&rdquo; is definitely relative in this kind of interest-rate environment, but this type of savings account will offer a higher rate than most other bank accounts and can be a good place for a brand-new investor to start. That&rsquo;s because in order to be a regular investor, you must first become a regular saver. Shop around at local banks and credit unions for the highest interest rate possible, and start making regular contributions to your new savings account. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">Once you have some money saved</a>, you can look at building a more complicated &mdash; and higher earning &mdash; portfolio.</p> <h2>2. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)</h2> <p>CDs are savings certificates in which money is deposited for a certain amount of time (usually between three months and five years) in exchange for interest, which is paid when the CD matures. CDs generally have higher interest rates than savings accounts, but once you put the money in, you can&rsquo;t take it out until the investment matures (at least not without paying a penalty or losing the interest you would have earned). Generally, the longer the CD&rsquo;s term, the higher the interest rate. The interest on these babies is guaranteed by the institution that provides them, which makes them a simple, stress-free way to give your money a little boost.</p> <h2>3. Money Market Accounts</h2> <p>A money market account is offered by banks and credit unions. It&rsquo;s a lot like a regular savings account, except that it pays somewhat higher interest and may also have a minimum balance requirement of between $1,000 and $5,000. You can even write checks from a money market account, although the number of withdrawals allowed per month will be very limited. Money market accounts are very safe, but it is still possible to lose money here. Because many money market accounts will charge a fee for going under the minimum balance or over the maximum number of allowable transactions, it is important to manage this type of account carefully.</p> <h2>4. Mutual Funds</h2> <p>A mutual fund is a pooled investment that many investors buy into together. This allows investors with more limited means to invest in a group of different stocks, bonds, and other investments, providing instant diversification (otherwise known as not putting all your eggs in the same basket). Mutual funds can also add some level of management expertise, because the investments are often chosen by a portfolio manager. But while mutual funds are very simple to use, investors should be on the lookout for high fees, often known as management expense ratios (MERs). When looking for a mutual fund, consider buying a low-fee fund that tracks an index &mdash; that&rsquo;s the kind of performance many large mutual funds deliver anyway.</p> <h2>5. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)</h2> <p>One of the drawbacks of mutual funds is that they can&rsquo;t be traded quickly &mdash; and investors will often incur fees when they try. An <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-duel-etfs-vs-mutual-funds">ETF, much like a mutual fund</a>, is a combination of many different investment assets. However, ETFs are traded on the stock market like stocks, allowing shareholders to respond to changes in the market more easily. ETFs also tend to have lower fees than mutual funds (although they will be subject to trading fees every time they&rsquo;re bought and sold). Most ETFs aim to match the returns of a market index (like the S&amp;P 500), but watch out for more complex investments like inverse ETFs and leveraged ETFs. These investments carry significant risk, and should be avoided by all but the most experienced investors.</p> <h2>6. Stocks</h2> <p>OK, you got me. Stocks aren&rsquo;t the simplest investment out there, but they aren&rsquo;t rocket science either. The thing is, the only thing that will really ever prepare you to invest in stocks is to invest in stocks. Just do it slowly, and take the time to learn as you go. There are many low-cost brokers available now that make trading relatively inexpensive. When you can afford to put a little bit of money toward investing, give it a shot. Yes, it&rsquo;s possible you&rsquo;ll lose it, but if you can come to understand why &mdash; and eventually apply that knowledge to future stock picks &mdash; that&rsquo;ll be a valuable investment in itself.</p> <h2>7. A Retirement Account</h2> <p>If there&rsquo;s any type of investment you should be using, it&rsquo;s a retirement account. Whether it&rsquo;s a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k">401(k), IRA</a>, or 403(b), the best way to ensure you have something set aside for your golden years is to start saving now. If your employer offers some kind of matching, take it. If you get a raise, increase your contributions. Whatever you do, making building that fund a habit. Unlike the other investments on this list, retirement accounts are really just accounts. As such, they can generally include a range of different investment types, many of which are found on this list. In other words, if you want to make the most of your retirement account, you&rsquo;re going to have to know something about investing.</p> <p>Retirement accounts have many different features and benefits &mdash; including tax breaks. You can check out a great overview about the <a href="http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/resource_center/expert_insight/ask_carrie/retirement/which_retirement_account_is_best.html">different kinds of accounts here</a>. This is one area of investing that can get pretty complicated, so it may also be worthwhile to consult with a qualified financial planner.</p> <p>If everything isn&rsquo;t perfectly clear right now, sorry &mdash; that isn&rsquo;t how it works. I&rsquo;ve tried to provide a bit of a head start for new investors in terms of where to look, but when it comes to choosing, buying, and managing those investments, the rest is up to you. After all, it is your money.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-investments-for-first-timers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-quick-ways-to-decide-if-a-company-is-worth-your-investment">4 Quick Ways to Decide if a Company Is Worth Your Investment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investments-worth-making-with-50-or-less">Investments Worth Making With $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents">Retirement for Stay-at-Home Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-invest">How Much Should You Invest?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment beginner investor savings accounts small investments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 10:48:43 +0000 Tara Struyk 955601 at http://www.wisebread.com The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You? http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5857006789_6b6f05eb5f_z.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stashing money into a savings account isn&rsquo;t a whole lot of fun, especially with today&rsquo;s interest rates barely registering a pulse. However, we all need money set aside as an <a href="http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/visitor/2009/jan/level2.htm">emergency fund</a> and for short-term goals, so here are your options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">37 Savings Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>Traditional Savings Account Options</h2> <p>In the past, when most people thought about places to park their savings, they thought about these four options.</p> <p><strong>Basic Savings Account</strong></p> <p>This type of savings account typically requires the least of you &mdash; just a small opening deposit and a low daily balance. In return, of course, it typically <em>gives</em> you the least. For example, Chase is currently paying one one-hundredth of a percent interest no matter what your balance. No, that isn&rsquo;t a typo. On a $1,000 balance, you&rsquo;ll earn a whopping 10 cents after a year.</p> <p><strong>Money Market Account</strong></p> <p>This type of account may require a bit more from you, such as a slightly higher opening deposit and daily balance. In return, it pays slightly higher interest, but we&rsquo;re still talking about super small amounts. Sticking with Chase as an example, its money market account is currently paying five one-hundredths of a percent on balances below $10,000. Sure, that&rsquo;s five times better than its basic savings account, but you&rsquo;ll still only earn 50 cents on your $1,000 after a year.</p> <p><strong>Money Market Fund</strong></p> <p>This is a mutual fund, offered by brokerage companies such as Fidelity and Vanguard. Such funds usually have fairly hefty minimum initial investment requirements, such as $2,500 for Fidelity's Cash Reserves money market fund and $3,000 for Vanguard's Prime money market fund. While money market funds are typically very safe, they do come with some slight risk of loss since they have no FDIC protection.</p> <p>You would think that with a higher opening balance requirement and more risk would come more return, and that has been the case with money market funds in the past. However, today&rsquo;s money market funds are paying pretty much the same as the most basic bank savings accounts. In fact, Fidelity&rsquo;s Cash Reserves money market fund is paying <i>exactly</i> what Chase&rsquo;s basic savings account is paying, so right now there is no advantage to a money market fund.</p> <p><strong>Certificate of Deposit</strong></p> <p>CDs are less liquid than money kept in a savings or money market account since you usually have to opt for at least a one-year term in order to beat the rates offered by savings accounts. If you take the money out before the term is up, most CDs charge a fee equal to a number of months&rsquo; interest. While the interest rates on CDs are <em>a little </em>more favorable than savings accounts right now, they&rsquo;re not <em>much </em>more favorable. Consider a CD only if you truly won&rsquo;t need to access the money before the term is up.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Options for Better Rates</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re intent on earning a little more on your savings, here are some options to consider.</p> <p><strong>Online Banks</strong></p> <p>Their lower cost of doing business is one key reason why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">online banks</a> are able to offer better interest rates. <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/savings/savings-results.aspx?local=false&amp;IRA=false&amp;prods=33&amp;ic_id=CR_searchMMASavingsRates_checking_SeeallMMASavingsproducts">Bankrate.com</a> lists some online banks offering one percent interest with no minimum balance requirement. After a year, a $1,000 balance would earn you a more respectable $10.</p> <p>Most online banks are FDIC insured (but check to be sure), and some offer another key benefit for savers &mdash; the ability to specify goals for your savings. In most cases, you only need one actual account, but you can earmark portions of the money in the account for specific purposes such as an upcoming vacation.</p> <p><strong>Credit Unions</strong></p> <p>Because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-unions-vs-banks-whats-the-difference">credit unions</a> are not-for-profit organizations, they, too, usually offer better rates than brick-and-mortar banks. While membership is often restricted to employees of certain organizations, an increasing number of credit unions are loosening their membership requirements. The <a href="http://www.creditunion.coop/">Credit Union National Association</a> can help you find a credit union near you that you may be able to join.</p> <p><strong>High-Interest Checking Accounts</strong></p> <p>These accounts are all the rage right now since savings account interest rates are in the tank. Just be sure to <a href="http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/visitor/2009/oct/level2.htm">read the fine print</a>. You will probably have to use your debit card a certain number of times each month and maintain a relatively high minimum balance.</p> <p>And here&rsquo;s the main watch-out &mdash; keeping savings in a checking account can defeat the purpose. It&rsquo;s just too easy to spend money sitting in a checking account. It&rsquo;s usually better to keep emergency fund or short-term goal money in a separate savings account.&nbsp;</p> <p>While there isn&rsquo;t much money to be made from your savings these days, keep in mind that the main benefits you need from a savings account are safety and accessibility. At least <em>those</em> benefits are still readily available.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">Banks Still Offering Free Checking and Savings with Great Interest Rates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">Online Savings Account Face-Off: Ally Bank vs Capital One 360</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking CDs money market funds online banks savings accounts Mon, 06 Aug 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Matt Bell 947015 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Saving Money Is a Gift to Your Future Self http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-a-gift-to-your-future-self <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-saving-money-is-a-gift-to-your-future-self" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7241200630_dd705d43ac_z.jpg" alt="gold piggy bank" title="gold piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the 1989 movie &quot;Back to the Future Part II,&quot; former school bully Biff&nbsp;Tannen gets ahold of a sports almanac with 50 years of sports statistics and makes a fortune betting on games he already knows the outcome of.</p> <p>It's the perfect get-rich scheme. Having a time machine, of course, is a big help for Biff.</p> <p>Since getting a time machine and an almanac from the future is unlikely, most of us will have to come up with other ways to give a gift to our future self. Biff already knew who the winner of the next World Series would be, but we don't.</p> <p>One of the best gifts to your future self is saving money now. It can be for far enough in the future to be your retirement &mdash; such as saving with a 401(k) retirement plan &mdash; or as simple as saving money through automatic withdrawals from a checking account to a savings account so you can make some home improvements in a few years. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-of-debt-why">Get Out of Debt? Why?</a>)</p> <p>One problem with saving for the future is that without a time machine, it's hard to see that far ahead and imagine where you'll be in 20 years or so. If you can just barely meet today's expenses, thinking about what you'll need in retirement can be overwhelming. But <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-401K">saving now in a 401(k)</a>, for example, will turn out to be the best gift you can ever give to your future self.</p> <p>Compound returns favor the young the most, since they'll have the most time to earn more money from what they put away for retirement. The &quot;<a href="http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/ruleof72.asp#axzz1voDhQa3N">rule of 72</a>&quot; helps determine how many years it will take to double your money at a given interest rate by dividing the compound return into 72. For example, if you invest $10,000 at 12% interest, divide 12 into 72, and it will take six years to turn that $10,000 into $20,000.</p> <p>More important than compounding is how much you save &mdash; not the interest earned but how much of your income is going into a retirement account. The IRS allows up to $17,000 to be contributed to a 401(k) in a year, though people over age 50 can catch up with higher limits. Just by taking an annual raise of 3% and putting it into a retirement account so you don't see the extra money on a paycheck, you can get ahead of the crowd and get close to maxing out your contributions.</p> <p>Most people are saving much less than they think they'll need in retirement. A series of <a href="http://401k-employee-benefits.com/2919-maximum-401k-contribution-over-50">surveys</a> conducted by the <a href="http://www.ebri.org/publications/notes/index.cfm?fa=notesDisp&amp;content_id=5062">Employee Benefits Research Institute</a> found that while 26% of people think they'll need $500,000 to $999,999 in retirement, only 11% had saved more than $250,000. Only a third had saved $50,000 in 2010.</p> <p>Even if the lackluster financial markets are causing your retirement accounts to drop, making regular contributions is still a smart move because you can buy more shares of a mutual fund with your money.</p> <p>Few people want to work in their 70s. But longer lifespans, the housing and stock market crises, and people <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/put-off-saving-for-retirement">saving less for a retirement that seems far off</a> may require more people to work in their golden years. Do your future self a favor &mdash; start saving now. Unless you can find a time machine and a sports almanac from the future, it's the best option you have.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-a-gift-to-your-future-self">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optimize-your-ira-and-401k">Optimize Your IRA and 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">Don&#039;t Despair Over Small Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/funding-your-401k-when-youre-in-debt">Funding your 401(k) when you&#039;re in debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents">Retirement for Stay-at-Home Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/left-a-job-do-a-rollover">Left a job? Do a rollover.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 401(k) savings accounts your future finances Mon, 28 May 2012 10:24:15 +0000 Aaron Crowe 930157 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Quirky Ways to Spend Less and Kick-Start Saving http://www.wisebread.com/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6709439335_04bc5a04f8_z.jpg" alt="man in mid jump" title="man in mid jump" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Starting a savings plan can be fraught with stress and anxiety. People worry about not saving enough, not being consistent, giving in to spending temptations, and not knowing how to invest what they save. The whole enterprise is enough to leave some people stuck in a chronic state of analysis paralysis.</p> <p>For beginners, the best approach is to make saving less work and more experimental. Dip your toes in the water by trying some unorthodox methods of spending less and saving more money. Granted, these ideas might not fully fund that retirement plan or turn your job into just a 9-5 hobby, but they might make saving more fun and pave the way to more serious strategies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-add-50-to-your-pocket">5&nbsp;Easy Ways to Add $50 to&nbsp;Your&nbsp;Pocket</a>)</p> <h3>1. Choose a Denomination</h3> <p>How many quarters pass through our fingers in a year? How many five dollar bills do we touch in a lifetime? What if we decided to eliminate one denomination of currency from our consumer lives and made a silent promise to never spend it? Experiment with how this would work for quarters (no more quarters for vending machines; no more quarters for parking meters; only the nickel slots in Vegas, etc). Save &lsquo;em all in a big Mason jar and count how much money you accumulate each month. Or, go big &mdash; make fives your target. Over time, those Lincolns would surely become synonymous with saving, and pocketing them would become second nature.</p> <h3>2. Impose a Spending Moratorium</h3> <p>I have enough shirts for two men. I have shirts for every season and nearly every occasion. I could, without a moment&rsquo;s discomfort, choose to not buy another shirt for two or three years. Try it yourself &mdash; choose a category of spending and take a month off (or a quarter&hellip;or a year). How much could you save if you abandoned an entire category of spending like footwear or movies at the theater?</p> <h3>3. Decide to Buy Used</h3> <p>Similarly, consider creating or expanding entire categories of things you buy used. Buying second-hand shoes, for example, can sometimes creep people out. But choosing lightly worn, well-cared-for, and clean used shoes can be a real money saver. Try it; you might like the fit. Or consider sourcing eBay, Amazon, your local <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">thrift store</a>, or garage sales for books (the old printed kind) and make the $14.99 new ones a thing of the past. As you score more great deals, expand your categories, and save more.</p> <h3>4. Create Spending Limits for Common Items</h3> <p>We all have certain financial boundaries or thresholds we typically don&rsquo;t cross. I&rsquo;m out of my comfort zone if I pay more than $6,000 for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy">used car</a>, and I get a little shaky if my share of a dinner out exceeds the $15 mark. But how much could we save (and how relatively painless would it be?) if we created hard-and-fast spending limits for things we buy every day? Impose a Monday through Friday lunch limit of $3.50. Decide to never pay more than $20 for a pair of jeans. How much more could we sock away if we adjusted those limits downward every six months? Create a few spending limits and experiment with the lower end of your thresholds. Throttle back.</p> <p>Deciding to spend less and save more doesn&rsquo;t have to be stressful, and you don&rsquo;t have to do it perfectly. Success lies in dedication to the experiment &mdash; seeing what methods work for you, finding out what your spending triggers are, and deciding the best way to turn a few quirky ideas into a full-fledged savings strategy that fits your personality.</p> <p><em>What novel ideas have you had about ways to spend less? Have any of your friends ever responded with &ldquo;You do what?!&rdquo; when they hear about your latest savings strategy?&nbsp;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-by-avoiding-multiple-bank-accounts">Save More by Avoiding Multiple Bank Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/38-ways-to-save-money-without-trying-much">38 Ways to Save Money Without Trying (Much)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">Online Savings Account Face-Off: Ally Bank vs Capital One 360</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Budgeting buying used savings accounts ways to spend less Mon, 26 Mar 2012 09:48:30 +0000 Kentin Waits 913173 at http://www.wisebread.com Women's Saving and Investing: Is Your Money "Girl Money?" http://www.wisebread.com/womens-saving-and-investing-is-your-money-girl-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/womens-saving-and-investing-is-your-money-girl-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/MONEY.jpg" alt="The word &quot;money&quot; spelled out over, well, money." title="Money and Investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in New York and made less than a public school teacher in Idaho, one of my guy friends would often offer to pay for lunch since, as he jokingly put it, I only had &ldquo;girl money.&rdquo; It was the first time I&rsquo;d heard the term, but I never forgot it. I was perplexed. I mean, money was money. What did being a girl have to do with it?</p> <p>A few years later, when I began working in the finance industry, the concept of &ldquo;girl money&rdquo; came up again. Countless capable, intelligent women would insist they &ldquo;knew nothing about money.&rdquo; Professional women earning over six figures a year turned to mush when confronted with mutual fund prospectuses and portfolio illustrations. These were individuals I knew to be smart, successful, and certainly capable of decision making. In some ways, these women still viewed their six figure salaries as &ldquo;girl money&rdquo; &mdash; luckily, most of them cared enough to educate themselves on the best ways to save and invest their cash. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-women-dont-negotiate">Why&nbsp;Women&nbsp;Don't Negotiate</a>)</p> <p>Professional women earn more today than they ever have. Understanding how to save and invest those earnings not only makes financial sense, but helps women become more independent and confident overall. Everyone starts somewhere, and there&rsquo;s often a learning curve. Below are a few tips and ideas on saving and investing to get started on the right path.</p> <h3>Savings: Pay Yourself First</h3> <p>If Cyndi Lauper was right and girls just want to have fun, it&rsquo;s probably going to take some cash to make that fun happen. You work hard for a paycheck, so make yourself a priority in your budget.</p> <ul> <li>Set up a direct deposit from your paycheck to a savings account each pay period, for whatever you can reasonably afford.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Women live longer than men, and therefore need more retirement savings. Contribute to your 401(k) plan at work, especially if your employer offers matching contributions. Freelancers and contractors can contribute to Roth or traditional IRAs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep an emergency savings fund, preferably in an account that earns even a tiny bit of interest. Two to six months of expenses is recommended, depending on your comfort level.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">Pay down credit cards</a> <em>after</em> you&rsquo;ve socked away money in the bank. While it&rsquo;s true the interest rates on credit cards can cost you, without a savings account, you&rsquo;ll be reaching for plastic every time there&rsquo;s an emergency, creating a vicious cycle of debt.</li> </ul> <h3>Investing: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/women-make-investors/story?id=15039090">Research</a> has shown that men and women approach the concept of saving and investing money very differently, in part because they&rsquo;re hardwired to think differently. For women, this works very much in our favor. Men tend to be emotionally driven when it comes to investing and are comfortable with more risk. Women trade less (which equates to fewer trading fees) and tend to be risk averse.</p> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re just starting to invest or want to increase your financial literacy, the following investment tips make sense for female investors.</p> <ul> <li>Don&rsquo;t get intimidated. Everyone starts somewhere. It&rsquo;s okay to not know the difference between stocks, bonds, and mutual funds at first.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Consider values-based investing if you&rsquo;re not sure where to start. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investing-with-your-values">Investing With Your Values</a> offers some great tips.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Trust your instincts. If you aren't comfortable with an investment or it seems too risky, hold off until you've done more research. It takes a lot longer to recoup losses from a bad investment than people realize.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask for help. Women in general seem to be much better about this than men, similar to asking for directions. Confused about a particular stock? Have a question about bonds? Consider calling a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for advice. Or better yet, network with contacts to find a CFP who might offer some advice for free.</li> </ul> <p><em>This post is a part of Women's Money Week 2012. For more posts about saving and investing, see </em><a href="http://womensmoneyweek.com"><em>womensmoneyweek.com</em></a><em>. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/erin-c-oneil">Erin C. O&#039;Neil</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/womens-saving-and-investing-is-your-money-girl-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-for-stay-at-home-parents">Retirement for Stay-at-Home Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-a-gift-to-your-future-self">Why Saving Money Is a Gift to Your Future Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-excuses-for-not-saving-money">6 Common Excuses for Not Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-without-goals">How to Save Without Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/review-of-women-empowering-themselves-a-financial-survival-guide">Review of Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Beginning Investor savings accounts women Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:48:26 +0000 Erin C. O'Neil 903364 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Earn a Good Interest Rate in a Low-Rate Environment http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-a-good-interest-rate-in-a-low-rate-environment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-earn-a-good-interest-rate-in-a-low-rate-environment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_African_american_woman_holding_12043496.jpg" alt="Woman holding a piggy bank" title="Woman holding a piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently wrote an article where I explained <a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2011/10/06/the-only-2-financial-rules-you-need-live-by/">two basic financial tips</a> that had helped me stay on track with my finances. It was pretty basic advice, but the email I got from readers was dominated by questions and remarks about my decision to use a 6% interest rate to calculate the potential return on monthly savings of $200. Just how, many people asked, do you propose I get a 6% return? The question underlies a fundamental misunderstanding about a key concept in finance &mdash; average returns. If you&rsquo;re struggling to find a way to earn some interest in this ultra-low interest rate environment, read on to learn why 6% isn&rsquo;t an unreasonable expectation, even now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">7 Banks Still&nbsp;Offering Great Interest Rates</a>)</p> <h3>How Interest Rates Work</h3> <p>Right now, savers are lucky if they can find a savings account that yields more than a 1% return. That&rsquo;s because the interest rate you receive in a savings account is determined by the rates set by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Right now, the benchmark interest rate (which represents the lowest interest rate that investors will accept on non-Treasury securities) is currently at a historic low of .25%. However, between 1971 and 2010, interest rates averaged 6.45%. In fact, in the 1980s, those who bought certificates of deposit got rates as high as 14%!</p> <p>While we&rsquo;re unlikely to see returns like those any time soon, rates fluctuate over time based on a number of factors. And, because the benchmark rate can&rsquo;t fall much lower, it&rsquo;s going to have to head back up at some point. So even if returns are pretty paltry in most low-risk investments right now, this doesn&rsquo;t mean your average rate over time will be anywhere near as low as the returns you're getting right now. However, your odds are even better if you invest that money rather than save it.</p> <h3>Saving Versus Investing</h3> <p>If you understand how averaging works, you can see how your return over many years may be much different from the rate you are currently getting on your savings. However, while a savings account is a must in case short-term financial needs arise, larger amounts of cash should be invested. If you&rsquo;re looking to maximize returns, a savings account isn&rsquo;t the best place to park any funds you don&rsquo;t need to withdraw in the near future. If you&rsquo;re looking to earn more on your money, consider an index fund, mutual fund, or even a well-tended stock portfolio. You could lose money in these types of investments, so if you're not a pro, you should use them sparingly and consult a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-with-a-financial-adviser">financial advisor</a>. However, it's risk that dictates your potential for return; adding just a little to your portfolio can drastically increase your chances of a better return. And, just as in saving, time is a big factor. For example, if you stick that money in an S&amp;P 500 index fund, you have a 55% chance of earning 10% in one year. Keep the money in for 10 years, and your odds are closer to 85%.</p> <h3>The Key to Better Returns</h3> <p>The key for investors and savers is not to worry so much about what the rate is right now, but to set up a habit of saving consistently and keeping that money invested. If people save and invest consistently over time, they will be able to maximize returns and minimize risk. So, just as past performance doesn&rsquo;t indicate future returns, current returns don&rsquo;t dictate your average return over time. When it comes to money, time is one of the most important factors; returns may be poor right now, but if you stay the course, you are likely to get a chance to make up for those low returns down the road.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-a-good-interest-rate-in-a-low-rate-environment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-savings-account-interest-rates-are-so-low">Why Savings Account Interest Rates Are So Low</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">Online Savings Account Face-Off: Ally Bank vs Capital One 360</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Investment interest rates investment growth savings accounts Thu, 03 Nov 2011 10:24:10 +0000 Tara Struyk 770611 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Common Excuses for Not Saving Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-excuses-for-not-saving-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-common-excuses-for-not-saving-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_Young_caucasian_woman_with_emp_13013063-2.jpg" alt="Woman looking in her wallet" title="Woman looking in her wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever settled on a new exercise program, only to get a bad cold a few days in and happily throw yourself on the couch, relieved to have a handy excuse? Excuses must be human nature; I know I usually make them when I'm facing something that&rsquo;s new, that's hard, or that I just don&rsquo;t enjoy. And I&rsquo;ve certainly made excuses when it comes to money. In the years that I&rsquo;ve been writing about personal finance and investing, I&rsquo;ve also heard my fair share of excuses, mostly from readers who don&rsquo;t agree with my advice. The problem is, unlike good financial habits, excuses are easy to come by, even though most of them just don&rsquo;t stand up to reason. Check out some of the ones I&rsquo;ve heard most frequently so far. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h3>Excuse: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t make enough to save money.&rdquo;</h3> <p>This may be true for some people, especially in this economy, but not having any money left at the end of the month doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean you can&rsquo;t afford to save. After all, most people spend money on a number of unnecessary things each month, such as restaurant meals, impulse buys, and cable TV. Finding some money for saving doesn&rsquo;t have to mean voluntarily living in a dark, unheated room without any entertainment or luxuries, but if you&rsquo;ve declared your budget too tight to put money aside before even looking for ways to reduce your spending, you&rsquo;re making an excuse.</p> <h3>Excuse: &ldquo;Interest rates are too low to bother with.&rdquo;</h3> <p>Interest rates are at an all-time low right now, and that does make putting money into a savings account a little, well, disheartening. However, it&rsquo;s likely that many of our grandparents &mdash; and certainly our great-grandparents &mdash; may have gone years without using a bank at all. Now that banks provide a safe place to park your cash, they pay interest in return for holding your money. Interest is a great way to grow your savings, but even if you get almost nothing, at least you have some cash when you need it. Plus, if you&rsquo;re able to put enough away, you can always look into investments with the potential for higher returns, such as stocks and mutual funds.</p> <h3>Excuse: &ldquo;I have too much debt to put money into savings.&rdquo;</h3> <p>If you have a lot of debt, it&rsquo;s important to focus some serious effort into getting rid of it. But that doesn't mean that every bit of money you can spare should go straight to your creditors. In fact, it&rsquo;s more important than ever to save when you&rsquo;re in debt because it can help you avoid digging yourself in deeper. If you don't at least have a small <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a>, you'll be forced to pull out your credit card when unexpected expenses &mdash; such as a car repair &mdash; inevitably arise.</p> <h3>Excuse: &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll catch up later when my salary is higher.&rdquo;</h3> <p>In my experience, quite a number of people actually follow through on devoting money to savings when their salary increases. The problem is, if you wait too long, the time value of money can make it impossible to catch up. Consider this &mdash; if you start putting $1,000 a year into a mutual fund with a 15% average return when you&rsquo;re 25 years old, you will have more than $340,000 in the bank when you turn 55. Start 10 years later, and you&rsquo;ll have to save three times as much per year to even come close to $340,000 &mdash; and you&rsquo;ll still fall short by about $25,000. The bottom line is that if you start saving earlier, you won't have to work nearly as hard as if you put it off.</p> <h3>Excuse: &ldquo;I won&rsquo;t be able to save enough to make a difference.&rdquo;</h3> <p>This is one excuse that often comes up when <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">saving for retirement</a>. With many experts citing figures like a $1 million retirement fund, it&rsquo;s easy to be discouraged. What many people forget, however, is that even a little bit of extra money can make a difference in your standard of living during retirement.&nbsp; If you retire today, you&rsquo;ll get about $1,100 per month from Social Security. Depending on where you live, that&rsquo;ll probably allow you to get by, but you won&rsquo;t be taking any holiday cruises. But what if you were able to save $100,000 for retirement? It&rsquo;s a small sum compared to $1 million, but it could mean an extra $500 per month in income during retirement. That&rsquo;s enough to make life a lot more comfortable. The best part is, it only takes savings of about $1,000 per year, or $83 per month (assuming you save for 35 years at 5% interest) to arrive at that sum.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s an old proverb that says that if you don&rsquo;t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another. When it comes to making changes to how we handle our money, most excuses arise from a desire to avoid rocking the boat, even when a financial shakeup is often just what we need. Excuses, therefore, act as a mental escape route, allowing us to avoid tackling our finances, rather than facing them head on. And there&rsquo;s no good excuse for that.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-excuses-for-not-saving-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund">11 Ways Life Is Amazing With an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-building-an-emergency-fund-always-a-good-idea">Is Building an Emergency Fund Always a Good Idea?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-interest-rates">The Three Interest Rates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-skills-everyone-needs-during-hard-times">9 Financial Skills Everyone Needs During Hard Times</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance emergency fund excuses interest rates savings accounts Tue, 01 Nov 2011 10:00:20 +0000 Tara Struyk 769724 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online%20bank.jpg" alt="online savings accounts" title="online savings accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Opening an online savings account is a fairly simple process that offers a number of benefits, from a higher interest rate to convenient access options. But before you switch banks or open an account with the first online bank you find, there are a few things you should consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a>)</p> <h2>1. Interest Rates</h2> <p>Online savings accounts often have higher interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This is because they have lower operating expenses and can pass on the savings to their account holders.</p> <p>When a local bank advertises high-interest savings accounts, customers usually have to meet certain criteria for eligibility &mdash; such as providing a larger initial deposit, maintaining a minimum balance, keeping additional bank accounts with the bank, or limiting transactions in or out of the high-yield savings account.</p> <p>When considering online savings accounts, make sure to compare interest rates and choose a bank offering the highest rate with the lowest requirements or fees.</p> <h2>2. Policies for Deposits and Withdrawals</h2> <p>If you have never used an online bank before, you may be wondering how you make deposits or withdrawals. While each internet bank may have its own policies, the basic functions are similar.</p> <p><strong>Deposits</strong></p> <p>You can mail checks made out to you with a deposit slip, although this can take a while to process. You have the option of setting up direct deposit from your employer to have all or part of each paycheck deposited into your online savings account. Most online banks also allow you to &ldquo;link&rdquo; your account to other bank accounts you maintain, such as a checking account with your local bank. If the bank you are considering allows linked accounts, you can set up money transfers from one account to the other. Some online banks contract with brick-and-mortar banks and can accept deposits at certain ATMs.</p> <p><strong>Withdrawals</strong></p> <p>Online savings accounts will provide you with an ATM card to access money. You can visit an ATM and withdraw cash, or you can use the ATM card like a credit card and the money will be deducted from your savings account. If you link other bank accounts with your online savings account, you can transfer money out of your savings and into the bank account of your choice.</p> <p>As you compare various online banks in search of an online savings account, make sure you take a look at how to deposit and access your money. If you want to transfer money between accounts, verify that the bank you are considering allows linking. If you're perfectly happy to perform all deposits and withdrawals via ATM cards, make sure they allow that option.</p> <h2>3. FDIC Insurance</h2> <p>Before opening an online savings account, you want to make sure the bank you're considering is legitimate and FDIC insured. Check the bank's website for the &ldquo;About Us&rdquo; page and see where the bank has its main office or headquarters, and look for information about FDIC insurance coverage. You should see the FDIC logo or the phrases &ldquo;FDIC Insured&rdquo; or &ldquo;Member FDIC&rdquo; right on the bank's website.</p> <p>Finally, to verify that the bank is legitimate, you can check the <a href="http://www2.fdic.gov/idasp/main_bankfind.asp">FDIC's Bank Find database</a> for details on the bank you are considering. If the bank is in fact insured, you'll see the insurance certificate number and can open an account with confidence. If there are banks that claim they are members of the FDIC but do not appear in the Bank Find database, contact the FDIC immediately so the bank can be investigated for potential fraud.</p> <h2>4. ATM Access and Fees</h2> <p>Since the primary method of instantly accessing money in an online savings account is through ATMs, you will want to take a look at which ATMs you're allowed to use and how much the bank charges for each transaction you make. Some online banks even give you rebates when you use ATMs that charge fees, which can really add up to big savings if you use the machines frequently.</p> <p>Considering each of these aspects when opening an online savings account will ensure you get an account best suited to your needs. Verifying FDIC insurance will protect you against bank failures, and comparing interest rates as well as various bank fees will help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-lower-the-cost-of-banking">lower your cost of banking</a> and maximize your savings.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">How to Set Up Automatic Payments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bank-based-small-dollar-loans-an-alternative-to-payday-loans">Bank-Based Small-Dollar Loans: An Alternative to Payday Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-for-saving-money">6 Ways to Get Paid for Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking FDIC online banking savings accounts Wed, 13 Apr 2011 10:24:08 +0000 Debbie Dragon 523310 at http://www.wisebread.com Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4393736284_c74f50e6dc_o.jpg" alt="bank options" title="bank options" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="210" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you finally had enough with your bank? With so many changes in the banking industry, it is not unusual for many bank customers to get frustrated or even disheartened to see their money being handled in an unfavorable manner. There are thousands of options available to consumers as to where they can place their money, but there are also many considerations that must be taken into account to find the best bank to meet your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts">financial needs</a>.</p> <p>If you are truly frustrated or even disgusted with the way your current bank is treating you, take a step back and consider the following tips to make sure you are upgrading banks rather than going from one bad apple to another.</p> <h2>What's the Problem?</h2> <p>Digging to the root of your issue with your current bank makes it possible to avoid getting in the same boat with your new bank. Are you unhappy with the rules and restrictions? Does your current bank bleed your account with endless fees? Do you want better rates? By knowing what it is that makes you unhappy in your current bank, you can take the necessary steps to avoid a new bank with the same issues.</p> <h2>Do Your Own Research</h2> <p>The days of banking with one of three banks in your local community are long gone. Today's consumers can choose to bank locally, nationally and online. With so many options, it may become overwhelming deciding which bank is right for you. This doesn't have to be the case.</p> <p>With a little online research on your part, you can narrow your options quickly. You can compare not only banks, but <a href="http://www.depositaccounts.com/checking/">individual accounts</a> as well as money market accounts, CD and IRA rates, making the process quick and easy. When looking at banks and bank accounts side-by-side, you have the opportunity to see where you can make the most money, save the most money, and access your money with ease and convenience.</p> <h2>Make a Clean Break</h2> <p>Once you have decided on a new bank, it is time to make the switch. A few decades ago, that would be as simple as taking your money from one place to the next. However, in this age of technology a few additional steps are required.</p> <p>First you must open your new account. You will need this new account information available to set up direct deposit and automated payments. You will want to stop using your old account, but do not close it just yet. Leave some money in the account to cover any outstanding checks or other scheduled withdrawals. Your old account should remain open until all matters concerning the switch are completed. When you have confirmed all credits and debits are now working from your new account and all outstanding checks have cleared, you can then close you old account.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-teen-needs-or-doesn-t-need-in-a-bank-account">5 Things Your Teen Needs (or Doesn’t Need) in a Bank Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charged-with-an-overdraft-fee-get-your-money-back">Charged With an Overdraft Fee? Get Your Money Back!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Consumer Affairs banking checking accounts consumer tips customer service savings accounts Sat, 09 Oct 2010 16:00:10 +0000 Tisha Tolar 258606 at http://www.wisebread.com