bank accounts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11675/all en-US How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/a_broken_red_heart_over_two_us_hundred_dollar_bills.jpg" alt="A broken red heart over two US hundred dollar bills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Marriage is not always &quot;till death do us part.&quot; Time, unforeseen events, individual decisions, and emotional disconnect can lead couples to make the hard decision to separate or divorce.</p> <p>Divorce proceedings cost an average $10,000 to $15,000, according to GOBankingRates. That's due largely to lawyers' fees. It's vital that individuals minimize additional financial fallout. The last thing you need is another financial blow due to negligence, malice, or misunderstanding.</p> <h2>1. Research your state's divorce and separation laws</h2> <p>Divorce and legal separation laws in the United States are decided on a state level. That means the first step to financial security is finding out when you stop being liable for debts incurred by your spouse.</p> <p>In Pennsylvania, for example, a debt and assets cut off date is known as the &quot;Date of Separation.&quot; That date is either considered the day the divorce complaint is filed or the day that the decision is made to separate (either moving out of the house or into a separate bedroom). In other states like New Jersey, liability for your spouse's debt doesn't stop until the divorce is actually finalized.</p> <p>Couples can also, depending on the state, opt for a legal separation. Legal separation is a lot like a divorce, but the couple remains married, which allows them to file taxes together and remain on their spouse's health insurance. It could be a solid stopgap if you're unsure if a divorce is the right answer.</p> <h2>2. Plan ahead</h2> <p>Individuals who are separated or divorced might want to begin to track and document all potential assets. That means taking pictures of evidence, hunting down legal documents, and familiarizing yourself with your joint and individual financial portfolios.</p> <p>Spouses often utilize temporary separations as a means to collect evidence before officially filing for divorce. It might be best to assume your spouse is already considering what needs to be done to come out ahead if a divorce is imminent. If you don't divorce, you'll at least have a better sense of your financial footing.</p> <p>If you suspect the divorce might get ugly, you should also consider keeping important documents in a safety deposit box and having important mail sent to a PO Box. This will cut the risk of anyone stealing or destroying important documents during divorce proceedings.</p> <h2>3. Immediately protect your credit and finances</h2> <p>Separation and divorce leave an individual's finances and credit score in jeopardy. An estranged party, who might or might not be feeling charitable, still has control over your financial health. Now might be the time to start separating yourself.</p> <p>Here are a few tips to protect yourself:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Create new car insurance policies that aren't tied to the other party (this protects you from the financial fallout of potential accidents or tickets).</p> </li> <li> <p>Ensure rental or homeowners insurance is in your name.</p> </li> <li> <p>Shut down joint bank accounts.</p> </li> <li> <p>Tell all lenders and companies that expect payments that you are going through separation or divorce proceedings. Give them updated contact information in case payments are late.</p> </li> <li> <p>Check to see if any loans or credit card payments can be frozen until the divorce proceedings are finalized.</p> </li> <li> <p>Ensure all loan, credit card, insurance, and utility payments under your name are paid, even if you agreed your spouse would pay that particular bill.</p> </li> <li> <p>Once the division of assets has been agreed upon legally or verbally, you can begin closing the accounts by selling off assets, refinancing loans, removing one party from the loan, or switching credit card debt to a new card.</p> </li> <li> <p>Request a credit report and look for accounts that need to be canceled or updated. You want to identify joint accounts or accounts where the other party is an authorized user. Credit reports are the easiest way to ensure you don't miss one.</p> </li> <li> <p>Change all passwords to your accounts.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Negotiate support</h2> <p>Separation can be a long, arduous, and expensive task. Individuals in the middle of divorce or legal separation proceedings can appeal in the courts to be granted temporary relief also known as &quot;pendente lite.&quot; The temporary support, if granted, could lead to the primary bread winner providing temporary alimony, child support, and household payments.</p> <p>If the support isn't granted, you might be able to petition the courts to have the other party financially responsible for part or all of the debt incurred while separated.</p> <p>Divorcing or separating parties can also negotiate whether alimony payments are tax deductible.</p> <p>Tax deductible alimony payments grant the individual who pays the ability to deduct the payment from their taxes and ensures the individual who receives the payments must file the support as income. (Taxable alimony should not be tied to any children or the IRS might not consider it an alimony payment.)</p> <p>In some cases, it might be better to make the payments nontax deductible. This is more common if one spouse is in a higher tax bracket.</p> <p>Separation and divorce can be a financially perilous time. Don't forget, as you implement protective safeguards, to look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-a-failed-marriage-lead-to-business-failure" target="_blank">protecting your business from financial ruin</a> as well.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Protect%2520Yourself%2520Financially%2520During%2520a%2520Divorce%2520or%2520Separation.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20Financially%20During%20a%20Divorce%20or%20Separation"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20Financially%20During%20a%20Divorce%20or%20Separation.jpg" alt="How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">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/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</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/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</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-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</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/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</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-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance alimony assets bank accounts child support divorce laws legal fees marriage protecting relationships separation taxes Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1977386 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bank_teller_636202058.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways her credit union is changing for the better" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us understand the advantages offered by banking with credit unions, including better interest rates and customer service compared to their major bank peers. But even the savviest among us can learn new tricks, and to that end, CO-OP&rsquo;s 2017 THINK Conference highlighted some of the critical ways in which the credit union industry is changing &mdash; for the better. We also caught up with financial experts like Jean Chatzky and Bobbi Rebell at the conference, where they shared some key insights into the types of transformations you might be seeing soon at your local credit union.</p> <h2>It's instituting mobile apps</h2> <p>You might&rsquo;ve already noticed your local credit union instituting new technologies, such as mobile apps enabling remote deposits and mobile payments. This is part of an industrywide push to provide more customer-centric solutions utilizing the latest in mobile technologies. Expect more additions to mobile offerings in a bid to make your experience more efficient.</p> <h2>It's going digital to be more agile</h2> <p>Financial expert, author, and TV host Bobbi Rebell noted that, in addition to instituting mobile apps, credit unions are taking additional steps to create a digital-first platform for customers. But unlike big banks, which have a history of older, legacy customer platforms, credit unions are smaller and more agile, enabling them to build customer-focused digital experiences from the ground up.</p> <p>&ldquo;Digital transformation isn&rsquo;t just about implementing digital experiences here and there,&rdquo; says Rebell, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really about rethinking the entire customer experience so that digital technologies improve their overall experience.&rdquo;</p> <h2>It's promoting more women</h2> <p>Samantha Paxson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Co-Op Financial Services, notes that this lean, agile mentality not only enables credit unions to provide better customer service, but it also allows more women into leadership ranks.</p> <p>&ldquo;Credit unions are one of the few areas of the financial industry where women are represented in significant percentages in leadership. That&rsquo;s because key elements of female leadership &mdash; such as empathy and strong communication skills &mdash; are essential to the success of credit unions in the community.&rdquo;</p> <h2>It's staying true to your community</h2> <p>One of the personal finance world&rsquo;s biggest luminaries, Jean Chatzky of <em>Today Show</em> fame, was on hand to help host the THINK Conference, noting the importance of credit unions to the lives of so many people in communities across the country. And perhaps that&rsquo;s one of the biggest take-aways here: mobile apps, new digital platforms, and other innovations you can expect from your credit union are all designed to get closer to your needs. Credit unions aren&rsquo;t losing their local focus, nor will their digital innovations present a less human experience for their customers. Unlike other segments of the financial industry, credit unions are trying hard to stay true to their roots: you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janet-alvarez">Janet Alvarez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">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/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions</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/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a 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/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360: A Competitive Banking Option</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking bank accounts banking banks credit unions local credit union saving money Mon, 22 May 2017 22:06:53 +0000 Janet Alvarez 1952546 at http://www.wisebread.com You've Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here's Why http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_514781336.jpg" alt="Woman learning she&#039;s been saving money all wrong" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your savings account is not as big as you'd like it to be, it turns out that you're not alone. Americans are notoriously bad at saving for retirement &mdash; and one in three have nothing saved for retirement at all.</p> <p>While Social Security may still factor into your savings, it's not enough to cover the cost of retirement, let alone the other expenses you're trying to save for before even reaching retirement.</p> <p>But don't let the statistics get you down. There are some easy ways to change your savings habits. You'll be surprised by how quickly little tweaks can make a big difference in your accounts.</p> <h2>1. Wrong: An All or Nothing Attitude to Saving</h2> <p>When you come up with a savings plan, you may be tempted to cut out <em>all </em>of your discretionary expenditures. On paper, this looks reasonable enough. You can eliminate all of your nonessential costs and put that money right into your savings account. Perfect, right? However, an all or nothing approach is going to set you up for failure down the road.</p> <p>Just as with dieting, if the adjustments you make are not sustainable, you're not going to make real change in the long run. Instead, you're likely to get frustrated and give up altogether. When you deny yourself any and all expenses, whether it's getting a coffee at your favorite cafe or going out for drinks with friends, you're likely to feel deprived. Plus, this mentality doesn't allow for you to slip up or make exceptions.</p> <h3>Right: Be Reasonable</h3> <p>It's better to consistently save a dollar every day and be successful at it than to aim to save $100 a week, realize that's impossible, and then give up. Set a goal that is realistic and stick to it. Write down your plan and check in consistently to see how you are doing.</p> <p>The name of the game is moderation. Your savings isn't all or nothing. Don't get discouraged if you slip up. If you spend more on Wednesday, spend less on Thursday, but keep it realistic. Take another look at your budget and see if you can make up for the slip somewhere else.</p> <h2>2. Wrong: Cutting Out Activities or Socializing</h2> <p>You may think an easy way to save money is by cutting out activities entirely. Since there can be a hefty price tag that comes along with social activities, like going out for drinks or other entertainment, you may conclude that cutting out socializing completely is another way to save. However, these strategies are going to leave you feeling isolated and lacking the supportive environment you need to achieve your savings goals.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today?ref=seealso">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></p> <h3>Right: Find Inexpensive Ways to Keep in Touch</h3> <p>Instead of cutting out social activities entirely, why not find free or inexpensive alternatives?</p> <p>Rather than meeting friends at a pricey restaurant, invite them over for a home-cooked meal or a pot luck. Plan a game or movie night, or look up free events in your town to attend together.</p> <p>Exercise is also a great, inexpensive way to spend time with friends. Organize a game of Frisbee or flag football, or go for a run with friends. Do it often enough, and you could save on an expensive gym membership, too.</p> <p>In fact, your friends can be great allies in your fitness and savings endeavors. You don't have to choose between your relationships and your budget. Let your friends and family know what your goals are and ask them to help you stay on track. That way they can be a support system, instead of a roadblock.</p> <h2>3. Wrong: Focusing All of Your Attention on Cutting Costs</h2> <p>It seems foolproof to focus on decreasing your expenses so that you can save more money. But rather than putting all your energy into cutting your expenses to the bone, spend some of that energy <em>earning </em>extra income.</p> <p>If you're spending too much time calculating your budget, you'll end up feeling too limited. Your mindset will always be &quot;I don't have enough.&quot;</p> <p>The budget mindset is restrictive &mdash; and taxing on your stores of energy. Maintaining discipline is hard. Instead, use that energy to help you earn more money to put toward your savings goals.</p> <h3>Right: Work More, Spend Less</h3> <p>Taking on a second job can make a huge difference to your savings account, mostly because you're earning more &mdash; and, hopefully, saving more.</p> <p>Plus, since you're spending more time at work, you'll have less time to spend on frivolous things &mdash; or to worry about sticking to your budget.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year?ref=seealso2">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</a></p> <h2>4. Wrong: You Never Carry Cash, So You Don't Spend It</h2> <p>You may be under the impression that if you don't have cash with you, you will automatically spend less money. However, if you're mindlessly putting little expenditures on your credit or debit card, you're actually much less likely to be keeping track of how you are spending money.</p> <p>Cash can be your best friend when you're trying to save money, especially for those of us who are a bit less disciplined and aware of our spending habits.</p> <h3>Right: Use Cash and Cards Wisely</h3> <p>Allocate yourself a daily budget and leave home with that amount of cash in your wallet. This makes money feel real in a way that mindlessly swiping your card can't. It can help you to stay accountable to yourself. Once you run out of cash for the day, you are done spending.</p> <p>Of course, using a credit card does still hold advantages for people with more self control. You may want to consider applying for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">best rewards credit card</a> for your lifestyle, and then strategically using that card so you can earn points or miles on your purchases. Plus, you'll have a digital record of your expenses to look back on at the end of the month and see how you did. You can set up email or phone alerts, too, to help remind you of just how much you're spending on a daily basis.</p> <h2>5. Wrong: Ignoring Budgeting or Not Making a Budget at All</h2> <p>Unfortunately, saving doesn't just happen without making a real, concerted effort. It is crucial to your success that you have a concrete plan in place to make sure you're spending where you need to and saving where you can. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h3>Right: Make a Comprehensive Budget</h3> <p>Make a clear and realistic plan. Write it down and revise it every month or so to check if you're staying on track. After paying your expenses for the month, put the rest of your money into savings. It may be a small amount at first, but you can increase it later, once your new habits have settled in.</p> <p>Even if you're just saving a little bit, if you're committed to putting it away every month, it will add up &mdash; and faster than you expect.</p> <h2>6. Wrong: Setting up a Traditional Savings Account at Your Local Bank</h2> <p>Traditional savings accounts do not offer the interest rates they used to. If you're keeping all of your money in a regular savings account, you're basically giving away money that you could be earning in interest.</p> <h3>Right: Open an Online Account</h3> <p>By <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates?ref=internal">moving your savings to an online account</a>, you can earn 1%&ndash;2%. That's not much, but it's more than a traditional bank and enough to add a few additional dollars a year to your savings, depending on how much money you have in your account. Other options, like CDs, pay a bit more interest, but don't offer easy access to your funds.</p> <p>Decide how much you want to put into your savings account, and set up an automatic transfer so you're committed to saving that money every month.</p> <p>Saving money doesn't have to be a drudge, and the good news is that a few small changes can make a big difference. You may even find that you are quickly becoming the exception to the discouraging savings trends nationwide.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyouve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYouve%20Been%20Saving%20Money%20All%20Wrong.%20Heres%20Why.jpg&amp;description=Youve%20Been%20Saving%20Money%20All%20Wrong.%20Heres%20Why" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Youve%20Been%20Saving%20Money%20All%20Wrong.%20Heres%20Why.jpg" alt="You've Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here's Why" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">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/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</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-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</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-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bank accounts budgeting cash cutting costs expenses Mistakes saving money savings accounts Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:30:28 +0000 Nick Wharton 1853984 at http://www.wisebread.com Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy_piggy_bank_33365082.jpg" alt="Boy reaching money goals faster with naming trick" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I used to feel crushed by my to-do list. I could never complete all the tasks on the list according to my (unrealistic) schedule, so I always felt like a loser. Even when I did complete all the tasks on my daily list, I never felt the sense of accomplishment that I hoped for.</p> <h2>What Would Han Solo Do?</h2> <p>While researching a better way to manage my list, I stumbled across the concept of <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Effective-Action-Plan">action plans</a>. According to project managers who specialize in getting things done, to-do lists aren't particularly useful for a variety of reasons. Action plans lead to success. Learning to action plan was going to revolutionize my schedule!</p> <p>But then I got sidetracked, so I never got around to actually formulating an action plan. But it didn't matter. Just renaming my daily list of chores &quot;Plan of Action&quot; instead of &quot;To Do&quot; made me feel so much better about myself. I became more productive because I'd freed my brain from worry and made more space for creative thinking. Who writes to-do lists? Chumps, obviously. Who writes action plans? The architects of D-Day. The United Nations. Han Solo.</p> <p>Did Han Solo consult his to-do list before he shot first? No. He did not.</p> <h2>Is My Home Equity Line of Credit Half Full or Half Empty?</h2> <p>Currently, my husband and I are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-why-i-need-to-find-31k-this-year">paying down a $15,000 loan</a> that we had to take out to replace the outgoing sewer line of our house. Plumbing is pretty much the least sexy way to spend money on home repair.</p> <p>Other than our home mortgages, this loan is, by far, our largest debt. And, I hate debt. Debt makes me feel unsafe and without choices. The lack of control attached to this debt specifically ticks me off. It's not like we had a choice in the matter. We didn't accrue this debt by doing something fun like taking a vacation we couldn't afford. We have this loan because our sewer line broke and we had to fix it.</p> <p>Since a simple name change made my to-do list feel more manageable, I wondered if renaming the sewer loan would make me feel less angry about paying down this debt.</p> <h2>First World Pooping</h2> <p>&quot;Oh, you're the one with the funny account names,&quot; says the bank teller as she completes my deposit. The HELOC that I had to take out to pay for the sewer line is now named &quot;First World Pooping.&quot;</p> <p>In my hours of grumpy rumination about how much I hate the sewer line loan, I had come to two realizations:</p> <ul> <li>About 60% of the world's population doesn't have indoor plumbing or even adequate sanitation. I have $15,000 in debt because my husband and I made the choice to repair our sewer line, instead of letting raw sewage drain into the dirt under our house. Six out of 10 people on the planet <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/22/_60_percent_of_the_world_population_still_without_toilets.html">can't choose to have a working toilet</a>.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Although $15,000 is a huge chunk of change for me, 80% of the world's population&nbsp;<a href="http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats">lives on less than $10 per day</a>, so just my ability to get an emergency loan for $15,000 puts me in the uppermost strata of wealth on the planet.</li> </ul> <p>In other words, my $15,000 sewer repair is a First World Problem. I may not like the cost of my choice, but I have enough financial control over my life that I can enjoy the privilege of flushing the toilet with drinking water.</p> <p>Paying down the sewer loan each month still gives me no pleasure, but I no longer resent this debt like I used to. By renaming the loan &quot;First World Pooping&quot; I get a monthly reminder to practice gratitude for my comfortable, First World life.</p> <h2>Motivated Savings</h2> <p>In addition to renaming my loans, I have renamed all my bank accounts to help me meet my financial goals. I am more inspired to put money into my &quot;OMG Retire Early!&quot; account than I ever was when it was just named &quot;Retirement.&quot; Socking away cash in my &quot;Escape Plan&quot; is somehow more fun than topping off my &quot;Emergency Fund.&quot; Who has emergency funds? People who are worried about future plumbing problems. Who has an &quot;Escape Plan?&quot; Han Solo.</p> <p>My account formerly known as &quot;Savings&quot; has been repeatedly renamed with the location of my next vacation. Every time I open up my bank records I get a positive push to save more money.</p> <h2>Obsessive Compulsive Labeling</h2> <p>I know this will come as a complete shock to anyone who reads this, but I have OCD. When I mentioned to my OCD support group that relabeling chores had a positive effect on my productivity, worldview, and bank account, I discovered that this brain hack is actually a fairly common <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201301/cognitive-restructuring">Cognitive Behavioral Therapy</a> exercise that is used to treat a variety of common psychological problems. I don't know if renaming every chore will cure my OCD, but it has made reaching financial goals a little easier.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">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/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</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-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</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/9-online-forums-thatll-help-you-reach-your-financial-goals">9 Online Forums That&#039;ll Help You Reach Your Financial Goals</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/where-to-find-emergency-funds-when-you-dont-have-an-emergency-fund">Where to Find Emergency Funds When You Don&#039;t Have an Emergency Fund</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/8-personal-finance-resolutions-anyone-can-master">8 Personal Finance Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Organization bank accounts banking budgeting debt fun inspiration loans motivation renaming saving money Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Max Wong 1821541 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/husband_wife_high_five_91622835.jpg" alt="Woman putting her spouse on a budget without ruining marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The quickest way to sour a marriage is to nag your spouse about money and try to control every cent they spend. However, keeping mum about your finances can lead you and your spouse into a lot of debt or overall poor finances. Here are ways to get your spouse on a budget, without ruining your marriage.</p> <h2>Counseling Is Okay!</h2> <p>Many couples make the mistake in thinking that marriage counseling is only for marriages that are in trouble. However, counseling can be a helpful tool even when your marriage is healthy. Having a mediator help you navigate financial woes can even be desirable, so that both you and your spouse feel like they are heard.</p> <p>To seek out counseling for your finances within marriage, you can talk with a financial adviser that has your best interest in mind, a marriage and family therapist, a pastor, or even an older couple who you consider wise and financially stable. It might seem embarrassing to reach out for help, but it could be the wisest step to keeping your marriage and finances strong.</p> <h2>Set Up Budget Dates</h2> <p>Just as you would set up regular date nights, set up monthly budget dates. Treat your spouse to their favorite coffee drink and discuss the numbers for the month, as well as goals for the next month.</p> <p>Budget dates should not be a time where you point the finger. It should be a time for mutual discussion and growth. Depending on which financial area your spouse is in charge of, ask for their feedback. For example, if your spouse does the grocery shopping, did they feel like they had enough money that month or was it too tight? If your spouse is requesting more money for the grocery budget, you can decide together what to cut to accommodate.</p> <p>Sometimes it is a good idea to invite your children to these meetings, especially if they are older than 10. Kids need to see the &quot;why&quot; behind the reasons they can't go to camp all summer long or get everything they want. Also, allowing your kids see and experience how you budget successfully only sets them up for budgeting success later on.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married?ref=seealso">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></p> <h2>Find What Inspires Them</h2> <p>Sometimes it can be hard to scrimp and sacrifice just for the sake of saving money. We all need a purpose to have the motivation to work at something. Whether it's for the dream vacation or just finally being able to live debt-free, find the goals that both of you want to achieve and set the budget that will make it happen. Show that if you both tighten up your spending and stay the course, the reward will be waiting at the finish line.</p> <h2>Keep Things Fun</h2> <p>Find ways to lighten things up and make staying on budget fun, so it doesn't get tedious or simply boring. You don't have to wait until you've saved enough for the dream vacation to enjoy a reward for your hard work. Add milestones along the way that allow the two of you to celebrate. Turn it into a game to see who can find the best deals or other challenges that keep both of you interested. Don't forget about creative ways to make extra money, too. Perhaps you two can do something together that will earn extra cash.</p> <h2>Practical Tips to Get Your Spouse on a Budget</h2> <p>So far, the marriage budgeting tips have been about the mentality behind savings. Once you get your spouse on board with your budget, then use these practical tips to stay successful.</p> <ul> <li>Budget for you and your spouse to have &quot;mad money&quot; each month. This can be $25 or $500, depending on your budget. However, this money can be spent however your spouse wants. This allows both of you to spend on yourselves without guilt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use an easy-to-use budgeting app that connects to your accounts and syncs with each of your phones. Encourage your spouse to look at it and track spending daily.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have savings taken out automatically. If you wait until the end of the month to put money into savings, you might find you end up short each month. Make savings a priority or take advantage of debit cards that round up purchases and deposit the extra into your savings account.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Stop using credit cards if they are too hard to control. Taking them away for a few months can help you get back on track.</li> </ul> <h2>Separate Accounts</h2> <p>Separate accounts can be useful for managing expenses and ensuring there's no opportunity to overdraw for a budget. If you split the financial responsibilities of a household, it makes sense to manage your own accounts for your assigned budgets. Just make sure there's accountability and transparency.</p> <p>Marriage is hard, and budgeting is just as difficult. Put them both together, and you could have a recipe for disaster. It's important to be open and honest so that you don't end up in a financial disaster.</p> <p><em>How do you and your spouse stay on a budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</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-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage">6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage</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/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</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-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other">How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other</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-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Family agreements bank accounts compromise counseling marriage paying bills relationships spending spouse teamwork Tue, 09 Aug 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1767118 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_travel_selfie_58375086.jpg" alt="Man making money moves during his gap year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents and soon-to-be college students are giving the gap year a second look after the White House announced that Malia Obama will be taking one <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/us/politics/malia-obama-to-attend-harvard-but-not-until-2017.html?_r=1">before attending Harvard in 2017</a>. Also popularized by England's Prince Harry, who famously took time out for ranching in Australia and volunteer work in Africa in 2004, the gap year is a break between high school and the start of a person's higher education (or between college and graduate school).</p> <p>Most often, the gap year is used by young people as an opportunity to see the world, explore new cultures, immerse themselves in a nonacademic pursuit, work a job or internship, or volunteer for a cause. The goal is to gain valuable life experience before delving deeper into academics, trade school, military service &mdash; wherever your next step in life takes you.</p> <p>Of course, a year of self-exploration doesn't come free. Read on for our student guide to prepping finances for a gap year.</p> <h2>1. Start Saving a Year Out</h2> <p>How much a gap year will cost depends on how you plan to use it. So, map out your yearlong plan, estimating how much money you'll need. Of course, plans change. And that's okay. All you really need is a good estimate to get you motivated to start saving.</p> <h2>2. Open a Gap Year Bank Account</h2> <p>Now that you've got a savings goal, open up a separate bank account to house your gap year fund drive. To make your big funding goal seem more achievable, break it down into smaller, more manageable monthly and weekly goals. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Next, devise a plan for reaching these mini-fundraising goals. Will you cut down on weekend spending? Will you get a part-time job or pick up extra hours at your existing gig? Whatever you decide, be sure to hold yourself accountable.</p> <h2>3. Apply for a Grant or Scholarship</h2> <p>There are plenty of grants and scholarships out there created specifically to ease the financial burden of enrichment programming and travel during the gap year. If you have interest in visiting the Middle East, for example, a grant from Unofficial Ambassadors' <a href="http://unofficialambassadors.com/our-programs/aua-mosaic-scholarship/">Mosaic Grants Program</a> can make the experience more affordable. If you have demonstrated leadership in tackling issues aimed at protecting the environment, the <a href="http://www.broweryouthawards.org/">Brower Youth Awards</a>, which is an initiative by Earth Island Institute, divvies out $3,000 scholarships to young people each year.</p> <p>Be sure to also check out any opportunities offered by your prospective university or college as well as local organizations in your area. In Humboldt County, California, for example, there's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.americangap.org/humboldtscholarship.php">generous annual scholarship</a> that offers up to $6,000 to gap year students who are seeking participation in a program accredited by the American Gap Association. Schools including Tufts University and the University of North Carolina have financial aid programs for gap year students, as well.</p> <h2>4. Give Creative Fundraising a Shot</h2> <p>There are so many ways to rake in extra cash. Just ask the twin teens from England who used their gap year to cultivate a loyal following on a YouTube channel that has earned them <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/9544479/YouTube-videos-funded-our-gap-year-travels.html">tons of money in advertising</a>, which funded their year of travel. Other ideas: Launch a crowdfunding campaign or host an event &mdash; battle of the bands, pool party, theatrical performance &mdash; to which you sell tickets that will cover your expenses.</p> <h2>5. Invest in Traveler's Insurance</h2> <p>If you plan to travel abroad during your gap year, organizations such as <a href="https://www.internationalsos.com/">International SOS</a> offer top-notch insurance policies that can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars should something go wrong. Let's hope you never need it. Truth be told, most of the time traveler's insurance does end up being a waste of money. But should you ever need to cover the cost of inconveniences such as a last-minute trip cancellation, emergency medical evacuation, or lost luggage, you'll be more than glad that you have it.</p> <p>Of all the expenses to skimp on while traveling abroad, don't let insurance be one of them. After you choose a plan, be sure to do your research so that you know exactly what it covers &mdash; and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>6. Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Bank's ATM Fees</h2> <p>Commit to memory the occasions on which your bank will hit you with an ATM fee. Then be sure to avoid them. While a few dollars here and there might not seem like much, over time they can really add up. Just as there's no reason to throw money out the window, there's no reason to not educate yourself on your bank's ATM fee policies.</p> <h2>7. Devise a Strategy for Accessing Day-to-Day Funds Abroad</h2> <p>Despite fees, ATMs are still the best bet for accessing money abroad. If your travels are set to land you in a major international airport, you'll likely get the best rate by withdrawing cash in the local currency from an ATM upon arrival to your destination city. While it can be comforting to travel with some local currency already in your pocket, having that convenience will cost you. You'll have to fork over a commission fee to exchange money at a bank or ATM in the U.S.</p> <p>However, if you'll be flying into a smaller airport, there may not be any ATMs &mdash; or at least not any properly functioning ones &mdash; when you get there. In this case, it's best to travel with about $100 in the local currency so that you can pay for immediate expenses, such as food and transportation, without hassle. Once you journey outside the airport, you can find an ATM and withdraw more local money at a better rate.</p> <h2>8. Reapply for FAFSA</h2> <p>Students who qualify for federal financial aid before deferring college for a year must reapply the next year by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. So long as the finances of the student's family don't change in a major way, the student will likely receive the same financial aid package. Also, students who have secured a scholarship from their university can sometimes negotiate to have the aid held for them until their delayed matriculation. So if you have a university or college-funded scholarship, be sure to inquire about how you can go about receiving the award after your gap year.</p> <p><em>Did you &mdash; or will you &mdash; take a gap year? What'd you do? How did you prepare your finances before you left?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">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/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</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-things-financial-aid-might-not-cover">6 Things Financial Aid Might Not Cover</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/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</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/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</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/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel atm fees bank accounts college financial aid gap year scholarships self exploration students traveling abroad Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1735468 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Live Bank-Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-bank-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-live-bank-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wallet_cash_000090076819.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to live bank-free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bounced checks. Confusing marketing. Unexplained fees. These issues and more contributed to a 5% increase in the number of <a href="http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201604_cfpb_consumer-response-annual-report-2015.pdf">complaints filed against banks</a> last year by checking and savings account holders. Alas, many consider the woes of banking a necessary evil. But others are reacting by taking their money matters into their own hands. Case in point: One in 12 Americans doesn't have a bank account, a trend that experts say is <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/12/pf/fdic-bank-accounts/">on the rise</a>. How do they do it?</p> <h2>1. Use a Prepaid Debit Card to Make Everyday Purchases</h2> <p>It's detached from any bank account, you can conveniently add or withdraw money from it at the ATM, and you can use it to make purchases, online and in person, wherever traditional debit cards are accepted. Perhaps now you see why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=banking">prepaid debit cards</a> have become so popular, particularly among Americans without banking accounts. Use your prepaid card like you would any debit card. It's ideal for everyday purchases. And in some cases, employers can deposit your wages to a prepaid card account.</p> <p>Bonus: Since you can only spend up to the amount of money that's on the card, there's no risk of getting hit with an overdraft fee. You simply can't spend more than you've got loaded onto the card.</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Bills With Non-Bank Money Orders</h2> <p>When the prepaid debit card fails you, money orders offer the next best &mdash; and secure &mdash; means of bill payment. A money order lets you send money just like a personal check and typically costs less than a dollar per transaction. And, like a check, this prepaid payment method can be tracked and canceled if stolen. You can also receive funds via money order. And since it's prepaid, there's no need to have a checking account to use one.</p> <h2>3. Avoid Money Wiring Services</h2> <p>Simply put, it's expensive. The average fee for an incoming domestic wire at the 10 largest credit unions is almost $5, compared to $15 at banks &mdash; while outgoing domestic wire transfers cost more than $17, compared to about $26 at banks.</p> <h2>4. Sign Up for PayPal to Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Payments</h2> <p>Popular among those who have ditched the bank, PayPal allows its users to make quick and easy payments to businesses, colleagues, and friends through its online account system. PayPal also lets registered users opt for &quot;bill me later,&quot; an option that delays payment &mdash; much like a credit card.</p> <h2>5. Get a Fire-Proof Safe</h2> <p>While you can load all of your funds onto prepaid debit cards, chances are that you're going to have some extra cash you'll want to stow away. Without a bank to keep watch over your hard-earned cash, you'll be smart to invest in a fire-proof safe. Install your safe in a secure location within your home. That means somewhere out of plain sight. Share the lock combination only with those who absolutely need to know it. And don't advertise how much money you keep inside of it.</p> <p><em>Are you bank-free? How do you manage it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-bank-free">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/9-common-mistakes-youre-making-with-your-checking-account">9 Common Mistakes You&#039;re Making With Your Checking 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/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</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/10-reasons-why-bank-vaults-are-much-more-interesting-than-you-thought">10 Reasons Why Bank Vaults Are Much More Interesting Than You Thought</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/5-sales-strategies-your-bank-uses-to-make-money">5 Sales Strategies Your Bank Uses to Make 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/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking atms bank accounts bank-free money orders paypal prepaid debit cards safes wire transfers Thu, 19 May 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1712217 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000048727382.jpg" alt="Couple using bank account to boost their travel rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The far-reaching airline perks of credit cards are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards">well-documented</a>, but what about those who choose to go the Dave Ramsey route and live credit-free? Good news: it's still possible to rack up rewards the old-fashioned way. Here's how to accumulate the most mileage using your bank account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Sign Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Fly High With a Miles-Earning Checking Account</h2> <p>Although the number of debit cards that offer airline miles has dwindled due to the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/durbin-amendment-explained/">Durbin Amendment</a>, there are still some worthwhile offerings to consider. One such card is the <a href="https://www.ufbdirect.com/personal-banking/checking/airline-rewards-checking#Overview">UFB Direct Airline Rewards Checking</a> account, which awards one mile for every two dollars spent in point-of-sale debit transactions made with the card. There's also a one-time bonus of 1,000 miles after making a direct deposit of $1,000. Currently, the only airline affiliated with the program is American Airlines, but UFB Direct says they may be adding more airlines in the future.</p> <p>BankDirect is another online bank that offers perks with American Airlines. For opening a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/programs/aadvantage.aspx">Mileage Checking with Interest</a> account, you'll receive 1,000 AAdvantage miles; once it's open, you can keep earning miles with recurring direct deposits (six consecutive monthly deposits of $2,000+ must be made to earn 10,000 miles). Pay at least three bills online each month (totaling $500 or more), and you'll score another 5,000 AAdvantage Miles. Plus, you'll also receive up to 100 miles per every $1,000 stored in your account based on the average monthly balance. The caveat? You'll pay a $12 monthly fee, and the &quot;interest&quot; paid is just .01%.</p> <p>Craving savings the &quot;Mahalo&quot; way? Sign up for the <a href="https://www.boh.com/personal/banking-products/debit-cards/bankoh-hawaiian-airlines-visa-check-card.asp">Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa Check Card</a>, available only to Bank of Hawaii checking account holders. You'll earn one mile for every two dollars spent on qualifying purchases; plus, you can get up to 10 more HawaiianMiles for every dollar spent at participating <a href="https://partners.hawaiianairlines.com/pages/rewards/shopListing.aspx">&quot;Cardholder Exclusive&quot; partners</a> (most of which are Hawaii-based businesses, but there are also a few national companies like Hartmann and 1-800-Flowers). FYI: cardholders can only earn a maximum of 1,000 miles every month, and there's also a $3 monthly fee to consider.</p> <p>Here's an ongoing promotion to keep a hawkeye out for: The Citibank airline bonuses offered about once a year. (Tip: set a Google alert so you don't miss out on the special promotion code!) In the past, this promotion has awarded 30,000 AAdvantage miles for Citigold accounts; 15,000 AAdvantage miles for Citibank accounts; and 5,000 AAdvantage miles for basic banking accounts. Typically, to snag the bonus, one must open one of these accounts and then make a minimum debit card purchase of $125&ndash;$750, as well as set up at least one online bill payment for two months in a row.</p> <h2>Earn Airline ROI With a Miles-Earning CD or Money Market Account</h2> <p>Along with the checking account mentioned above, BankDirect also offers American Airlines rewards for those who purchase a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/products/cdmileage.aspx">Mileage Certificate of Deposit</a>. The longer the term, the better &mdash; since the two-year CD awards up to 1,000 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 invested, while the one-year and six-month CDs offer 500 and 250 miles for each $1,000 invested, respectively. A few things to know: there's a minimum opening balance of $10,000, and the interest rate is .10% on all three offers.</p> <p>They also offer a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/products/moneymarketmileage.aspx">Mileage Money Market Account</a>, on which the interest rate is .05% for accounts of more than $500. Account holders can snag 50 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 of their average daily balance each month; once your account hits $50,000, you'll get 25 AAdvantage miles with the same setup. You'll also get a bonus of 1,000 miles just for opening the account.</p> <h2>Invest Your Way Into the Friendly Skies</h2> <p>Planning on making a somewhat sizable investment? You might want to consider signing up with Fidelity Investments &mdash; or simply adding to your existing Fidelity account &mdash; to get more bang for your hard-earned bucks. Here's how to earn miles with <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/united">United MileagePlus</a>, <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/delta">Delta SkyMiles</a>, or <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/aa">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> with a non-retirement brokerage account (either new or existing): add at least $25,000 and you'll get 15,000 miles; $50,000+ and get 25,000 miles; or $100,000+ and get 50,000 miles. Be aware that the money must stay in your account for at least six months, or the mileage bonus may be withdrawn. Also, all money must be deposited within 60 days of signing up for the promotion.</p> <p>And, as always, it's important to weigh your objectives before signing up for any of these offers. After all, if you'd rather earn ample interest than rack up airline miles, it might be wiser to shop around for snazzier rates with accounts that <em>don't</em> offer flight incentives. But for those already considering one of these bank accounts and/or are trying to milk miles the credit-free way, these options just might be the (round-trip) ticket.</p> <p><em>Are you earning airline miles from your checking account?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jen-jones-donatelli">Jen Jones Donatelli</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">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/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire</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/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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/airline-credit-card-or-flexible-rewards-card-whats-the-best-way-to-earn-a-free-flight">Airline Credit Card or Flexible Rewards Card: What&#039;s the Best Way to Earn a Free Flight?</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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines bank accounts miles rewards Thu, 21 May 2015 23:00:09 +0000 Jen Jones Donatelli 1430841 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Are Joint Bank Accounts a Good Idea? http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-are-joint-bank-accounts-a-good-idea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-are-joint-bank-accounts-a-good-idea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-dv1693016.jpg" alt="couple paying bills" title="couple paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on if joint bank accounts are a good idea, winter travel deals, and stocks for 2014.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/joint-checking-and-savings-accounts/">Love &amp; Money: Are Joint Bank Accounts a Good Idea?</a> &mdash; Joint bank accounts may be a good idea because double the income means double the savings. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Winter-Travel-Deals-32635684">5 Winter Travel Deals to Check Out</a> &mdash; Be sure to check out travel deals to Vancouver and Dallas. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T052-S003-24-stocks-for-2014/index.html">24 Stocks for 2014</a> &mdash; Coca-Cola and Salesforce.com are just a couple of Kiplinger's top stock picks for 2014. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/limited-time-cable-offer.html">How to Fight a Price Hike When Your Limited-Time Cable Offer Is Ending</a> &mdash; To fight a price hike when your limited time offer is ending, look for another offer before yours runs out. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.mint.com/trends/the-10-cheapest-pets-to-own-0413/">The 10 Cheapest Pets to Own</a> &mdash; Want a household pet on a limited budget? Consider getting a guinea pig or a goldfish. [MintLife Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/11/25/tired-of-loaning-money-to-friends-and-family-heres-how-to-stop/">The 3 Golden Rules of Loaning to Friends and Family</a> &mdash; The number one golden rule of loaning money to friends and family is to always say no. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.takeasmartstep.com/how-to-remove-money-fear/">How to Remove Money Fear</a> &mdash; To get over your money fears, learn to accept that you are scared and every new encounter brings fear with it. [Take a Smart Step]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/online-shopping-tips-and-tricks/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyQandA+%28Money+Q%26A%29">H</a><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/save-money-with-coupons-holiday-season/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyQandA+%28Money+Q%26A%29">ow You Can Save a Ton Of Money With Coupons This Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Save money with coupons this holiday season by utilizing coupon websites to get the best deals. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/strange-ways-to-make-money/">14 Truly Strange Ways to Make Money Online &amp; Offline</a> &mdash; Did you know you can make money renting out your time to be a friend to someone in need? [MoneyPantry]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/13-reasons-to-host-an-exchange-student-in-your-home">13 Reasons to Host an Exchange Student in Your Home</a> &mdash; By hosting an exchange student in your home, you can grow globally and share your culture. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-are-joint-bank-accounts-a-good-idea">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/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</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-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</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/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy Are Your Bank Accounts?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bank accounts best money tips joint bank accounts Mon, 02 Dec 2013 10:30:54 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1098791 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="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-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/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</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/is-bitcoin-still-a-thing">Is Bitcoin Still a Thing?</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 Get Ready to Manage Your Bank (and Other Cash) Accounts http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-to-manage-your-bank-and-other-cash-accounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-ready-to-manage-your-bank-and-other-cash-accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3328859140_6e8fce77b4_z.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of the last five years, there's been no reason to pay much attention to how you stored your cash &mdash; it doesn't earn enough interest to worry about. That's about to change. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a>)</p> <p>Back in the 1980s, it made a big difference where you held your money. Bank interest rates were capped at below the rate of inflation. The money market fund was invented to get around that, meaning that finally, ordinary people (not just the wealthy) could get a market rate of interest on their short-term cash.</p> <p>Interest rates were high enough that it made a real difference. For much of the first half of the 1980s, it was possible to get 11% on your cash &mdash; about double what you could get in a savings account, and infinitely more than you could get on a checking account (because banks weren't allowed to pay interest on checking).</p> <p>With rates that high, people found it worth their while to do quite a bit of micromanaging of their money. They'd rush to get any new cash earning interest at the earliest opportunity. They'd shift any spare cash into their money market fund even if they knew they'd move it to their checking account in just a few days. They'd delay paying their bills until the last possible moment.</p> <p>At 11%, a $1,000 deposit is going to earn $2.12 every week. Multiply that (and compound it!) over the course of a year, and pretty soon you're talking real money.</p> <p>Before, people kept liquidity balances mostly for convenience. If you had some money sitting in your checking account, it meant you could pay bills when they came, rather than having to wait until you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">got your paycheck</a>.</p> <p>After, liquidity balances were a profit center.</p> <p>That's good in a sense. (Profit!) But it was also yet another thing that had to be managed. It could be very unhandy if you were caught suddenly needing your money while it was in the midst of being moved.</p> <p>With interest rates so low, we've been able to just ignore this.</p> <p>That's what I've been doing. I mentioned a couple years ago about how the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-sneaky-bank-almost-got-me">sneaky bank almost got me</a> when they increased minimum balances. Without really giving it much thought, I just boosted the amount I kept in my account. That's been fine so far. The extra interest I could have earned by making sure that money earned a top rate is just a few dollars a year. But once rates start to go up, it's going to be a different story.</p> <p>Enjoy the luxury of just keeping cash anywhere that's handy &mdash; checking account, savings account, money market account, and money market fund &mdash; without monitoring rates. Pretty soon you'll have another thing you'll need to manage.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-to-manage-your-bank-and-other-cash-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-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</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/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps">Switch to a Better Bank in 5 Easy Steps</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/5-ways-to-live-bank-free">5 Ways to Live Bank-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking bank accounts cash management checking accounts money market funds Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:48:38 +0000 Philip Brewer 969828 at http://www.wisebread.com ChexSystems: What It Is, and How It Can Make It Difficult for You to Open a Bank Account http://www.wisebread.com/chexsystems-what-it-is-and-how-it-can-make-it-difficult-for-you-to-open-a-bank-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chexsystems-what-it-is-and-how-it-can-make-it-difficult-for-you-to-open-a-bank-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2415343592_b1e6630d9c_z.jpg" alt="credit reports" title="credit reports" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="https://www.consumerdebit.com/consumerinfo/us/en/index.htm">ChexSystems</a> provides financial institutions with information about how responsible you are with your bank account, and derogatory entries on your report can cause denial of applications for bank accounts and other banking products and services. A 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, called the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, provides a free copy of your ChexSystems report every year. This allows you to keep tabs on the information banks report to ChexSystems to ensure it&rsquo;s accurate. If the information is erroneous, you can file a dispute to have the entry removed from your file. However, if it is correct, the item will remain on your report for five years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score">10 Surprising Ways to Negatively&nbsp;Affect Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>Ordering Your Report</h2> <p>You can order your annual free report online, over the phone, or by mail.</p> <p><strong>To Order Online</strong></p> <p>Visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.consumerdebit.com/">ChexSystems consumer website</a>, and select &ldquo;FACTA Free Report&quot; from the menu at the top of the page. You&rsquo;ll need to include your name, any previous names or aliases, your Social Security number, date of birth, driver&rsquo;s license number and state, phone number, and your current and previous addresses for the past five years.</p> <p><strong>To Order by Phone</strong></p> <p>Contact the ChexSystems consumer relations department at 1-800-428-9623. You&rsquo;ll be leaving a voicemail message, so speak slowly and clearly so the worker who reviews your request can accurately dictate your information from the recording.</p> <p><strong>To Order by Mail</strong></p> <p>Download, print, and complete the ChexSystems report order form to mail or fax your request.</p> <p>However you order your report, you will usually receive it within 10 to 14 days of ChexSystems receiving your request.</p> <h2>The ChexSystems Consumer Score</h2> <p>ChexSystems uses a scoring system similar to the other big three credit agencies&rsquo; that provides banks with a snapshot of your account riskiness. This figure is called the ChexSystems Consumer Score, and it ranges from 100 to 899.</p> <p>Although the annual report is free, you will have to pay to receive your consumer score from ChexSystems. Download, print, and complete the score order form and mail it along with the $10.50 fee. You will receive your Consumer Score within 10 to 14 days.</p> <h2>Reviewing Your Report</h2> <p>Once your report arrives, examine it carefully for mistakes.</p> <ul> <li>Your name and current address will appear at the top, along with the consumer ID number ChexSystems assigned you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Next is the personal information ChexSystems has on file for you. It will include your date of birth, previous names and aliases, and your current and previous addresses.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Information about any identity theft is in the next section, followed by information about any security freezes that restrict access to your report.</li> </ul> <p>If there is detrimental information in your Chex System file, it will appear in the &ldquo;Reported Information&rdquo; and &ldquo;Retail Information&rdquo; sections.</p> <ul> <li><b>Reported Information</b> provides information about bounced checks, overdrafts, insufficient fund activity, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-annoying-bank-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them">debts owed for fees</a>, or account overdraws and the bank that reported the data.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><b>Retail Information</b> gives details about checks that were not honored at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-you-shouldnt-buy-at-the-grocery-store">grocery stores</a> and other retailers. If you do not have information in either of these sections, your name is free and clear on ChexSystems.</li> </ul> <h2>Disputing Incorrect Information</h2> <p>Initiate a dispute if you believe any of the information on your report is inaccurate.</p> <ul> <li>Download, print, and fill out the Request for Reinvestigation form with the personal information you provided in your original request, and include the Consumer ID number you received.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Provide the name of the bank that furnished the information, the account number, and the date listed on the erroneous information. Include a description of the mistake and the correct information, as applicable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sign the bottom of the form.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you have paperwork or other evidence, include copies in the envelope along with the dispute form.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make a copy of the dispute form for your records and mail the original to ChexSystems Inc., Consumer Relations Department.</li> </ul> <p>The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires reporting agencies to investigate and respond to disputes within 30 days of receiving them, so send the form by certified mail and request a return receipt to receive notification of the exact day ChexSystems receives it. If ChexSystems cannot verify the disputed information after 30 days, it must change the entry to reflect the information you provided or delete the entry.</p> <p>To keep your good name and account history out of ChexSystems, make sure you always have enough money in the bank to cover outstanding checks, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">automatic withdrawals</a>, and electric funds transfer payments. If you do run into trouble, make a deposit as soon as possible to cover the overdraft and any fees. Opting-in to your bank or credit union&rsquo;s overdraft protection program will also help you avoid a ChexSystems hit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-treadwell">Lauren Treadwell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chexsystems-what-it-is-and-how-it-can-make-it-difficult-for-you-to-open-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/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</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/citimortage-told-me-to-default-on-my-loan-if-i-want-their-help">CitiMortgage Told Me to Default on My Loan</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/5-ways-to-live-bank-free">5 Ways to Live Bank-Free</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/12-annoying-bank-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them">12 Annoying Bank Fees and How to Avoid Them</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/5-dangers-of-mobile-banking-and-how-to-avoid-them">5 Dangers of Mobile Banking — And How to Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Consumer Affairs bank accounts ChexSystems credit reports Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:00:32 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 959670 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Annoying Bank Fees and How to Avoid Them http://www.wisebread.com/12-annoying-bank-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-annoying-bank-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-using-atm-iStock_000014150981Small.jpg" alt="woman using atm" title="woman using atm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In recent years, we&rsquo;ve seen a lot about the <a title="How to Lower the Cost of Banking" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-lower-the-cost-of-banking">rising costs associated with banking</a>. Looking for ways to increase profits, banks are turning to fees at an increasing rate. Indeed, fees represent one of the major sources of revenue for many banks, and a recent <a href="http://www.money-rates.com/research-center/bank-fees/">survey from MoneyRates.com</a> points out that fees are in fact on the rise.</p> <p>Some fees, such as overdraft fees, are obvious, while others might be a bit sneaky. In any case, it&rsquo;s important to pay attention to the terms and conditions of your account, and check your statements and communications from your bank for information about fees.</p> <p>If you have any questions about fees related to your account, speak with a teller or other bank representative. In the meantime, though, keep an eye out for these 12 annoying bank fees, and do your best to avoid them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-bank-fees">Avoid Bank Fees</a>)</p> <h2>1. Overdraft Fee</h2> <p>This fee is charged when the bank clears a transaction even if there isn&rsquo;t enough money in your account. According to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/02/bank-accounts/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a>, the average bank overdraft fee is approaching $35.</p> <p>You can decline overdraft services and avoid the steep fee, but that means your debit card transaction will be denied. Another option is to link your checking account to a savings account or a line of credit. Money is automatically transferred into your checking account to cover the overdraft. There is often a fee for this transaction, too (usually $5 plus interest charges on a line of credit), but it&rsquo;s much smaller than paying an overdraft fee.</p> <p>Of course, the best defense is to track your spending and make sure you have enough money in your account.</p> <h2>2. Nonsufficient Funds Fee</h2> <p>When you have a &ldquo;bounced&rdquo; check, this can result in a nonsufficient funds fee. Before the check clears, you have enough money in your account for other transactions to go through. However, once your check clears, all of a sudden that money is gone. Not only does your check bounce, being sent back to you without being paid, but you have to pay a nonsufficient funds fee of as much as $35 or more.</p> <p>In many cases, it depends on the order your transactions are processed. Some banks don&rsquo;t process all your transactions until the end of the day, and they might order them by type, chunking checks together, and chunking debit transactions together. If you have $100, write a check for $60, and have three debit transactions for $30 apiece, the order matters. If the bank settles debit card transactions first (total of $90), you will have one fee when the check clears. However, if the bank starts with the check, you will end up with three nonsufficient fund fees.</p> <p>Once again, your best defense is to carefully track your spending so that you avoid going beyond your available funds.</p> <h2>3. Service Fee</h2> <p>These are fees that are charged monthly or annually, and are charged simply because you have an account. These fees can be charged on checking accounts and on savings accounts. Consumer Reports says that the average fee is right around $10 a month.</p> <p>Some banks make it less obvious by charging an annual fee instead of a monthly fee. Realize that the fee will be taken out of your account automatically, &mdash; and that it could potentially trigger an overdraft.</p> <p>Avoid service fees by looking for <a title="7 Banks Still Offering Free Checking" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">banks that offer free checking</a> or by finding out if you can have your service fees waived by meeting certain conditions, like maintaining a minimum balance, or engaging in a certain number of transactions.</p> <h2>4. Returned Deposit Fee</h2> <p>This is one of the most depressing fees charged by some banks. This is a fee that is charged when a check someone <i>writes you</i> bounces. When such a check is returned, the money you <i>thought</i> you had (and might have already spent) is taken back out of your account. And then you might be charged between $15 and $25 &mdash; or more &mdash; on top of it for someone else&rsquo;s mistake.</p> <p>If you want to avoid these fees, you will have to accept cash, money orders, or cashier&rsquo;s checks. For long-distance business transactions, you can use a service like PayPal to ensure that the money is already there before you deposit it in your account.</p> <h2>5. Minimum Balance Fee</h2> <p>Some accounts require that you maintain a minimum balance. This is especially common for interest-bearing checking accounts, money market accounts, and some savings accounts. However, you can find a minimum balance requirement with any account.</p> <p>When opening your account, ask the teller for the specifics on the minimum balance requirements. Find out how the fee is figured. There are three main possibilities:</p> <ul> <li><b>Average monthly balance</b>. Your average balance for the month is figured, and if the average is less than the minimum, you are charged a fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><b>End of the month</b>. In some cases, the bank just looks at your balance on the last day of the month, and if you have the minimum, you aren&rsquo;t charged a fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><b>Balance drops below the minimum</b>. The most stringent policies will charge you a fee if your balance drops below the minimum at any time during the month, even if it is only for a day.</li> </ul> <p>Avoid this fee by maintaining the minimum balance, or by switching to an account without minimum balance requirements.</p> <h2>6. Account Closing Fee</h2> <p>Believe it or not, some banks charge you a fee when you decide to close the account. This fee is often right around $25. Some banks charge a fee no matter how long you have had the account. Other banks won&rsquo;t charge you the fee if you wait a certain period of time before closing the account, often 90 days.</p> <p>Ask the bank teller how soon you can close the account without incurring a fee. Wait that period of time before you close the account. If the bank will charge a fee regardless, you just happen to be out of luck (and $25).</p> <h2>7. Inactivity Fee</h2> <p>Some consumers might try to avoid an account closing fee by just leaving the account open and not closing it. Unfortunately, this won&rsquo;t work if the bank charges inactivity fees. If you don&rsquo;t use your debit card or have a deposit made for a certain period of time, your account can be labeled inactive &mdash; and the fees can start coming out, usually to the tune of between $5 and $15 a month.</p> <p>Find out whether or not the bank charges an inactivity fee, and then make sure you perform the minimum transaction requirements in order to avoid it.</p> <h2>8. Lost Debit Card Fee</h2> <p>If you lose your debit card, you may have to pay between $5 and $10 for its replacement. If you want that debit card rushed to you, it could cost an extra $20 to $25. Keep track of your debit card, and, if you lose it, use other means of payment while you wait for a new one.</p> <h2>9. Online Bill Pay</h2> <p>Using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">online bill pay</a> can be a rather convenient way to take care of your bills. However, some banks view it as a way to make a little extra money off your desire to make things easy. Consumer Reports points out that it costs almost $7 per month, on average, for customers to use online bill pay. Some banks offer this service for free, so shop around.</p> <h2>10. Paper Statement Fee</h2> <p>This is a rather small fee, relatively speaking, but it can start to become annoying over time &mdash; getting a paper statement usually costs $1 or $2 a month. Look at your bank statement carefully for this fee. If you are being charged for your paper statements, switch to paperless. Your bank account &mdash; and the environment &mdash; will thank you.</p> <h2>11. Foreign Transaction Fee</h2> <p>Many banks tack a foreign transaction fee onto your purchases when you use a debit card or credit card issued by the bank. This fee is often 3% of the purchase price. Sometimes, this fee is charged even if you make a purchase online from someone in another country and a currency conversion has to take place.</p> <p>Some banks, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-credit-card-applications">Capital One</a> and Chase, don&rsquo;t charge these fees on several of their credit cards. Double check your options to see if you can avoid this fee.</p> <h2>12. ATM Fee</h2> <p>When you use an ATM, you might be charged a fee. Many banks won&rsquo;t charge you a fee if you have an account with the bank, but it&rsquo;s another story if you use a different bank&rsquo;s ATM. In these cases, you might be charged twice. You&rsquo;ll be charged by your own bank for going out of network, and you&rsquo;ll be charged by the other bank for not being a customer.</p> <p>According to Consumer Reports, the average ATM fee is approaching $3. So, if you withdraw $20 from another bank&rsquo;s ATM, you could be charged $3 by your bank and $3 by the bank that owns the ATM. Your fee amounts to $6 &mdash; that&rsquo;s nearly one-third of the amount you got in the first place!</p> <p>You can avoid ATM fees in some cases by making sure that you have the cash you need before you travel. You can also get cash back when making debit purchases at a store to avoid fees. You can also look for a bank that will refund ATM fees.</p> <p>By carefully shopping around, and even <a title="The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">considering credit unions</a>, it is often possible to reduce the fees that you owe &mdash; or avoid them altogether.</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/12-annoying-bank-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them">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/beating-bank-fee-increases">Beating Bank Fee Increases</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</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/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</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/5-ways-to-live-bank-free">5 Ways to Live Bank-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking bank accounts bank fees Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:36:51 +0000 Miranda Marquit 955800 at http://www.wisebread.com Why I Like Big Banks http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-like-big-banks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-i-like-big-banks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3011221501_19cb9220a9_z.jpg" alt="wells fargo car" title="wells fargo car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the mortgage crisis, housing bubble, bailouts, and record bank profits (and losses), big banks have made people really, really angry. Lots of folks are ditching their major banking institutions for credit unions. But not me. (See also: <a title="Credit Unions vs. Banks: What's the Difference?" href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-unions-vs-banks-whats-the-difference">Credit Unions vs. Banks: What's the Difference?</a>)</p> <p>I love my big bank. Here's why.</p> <h2>Convenience</h2> <p>Big banks have branches and ATMs everywhere. When I moved cross-country I didn't have to open a new bank account because there was a branch already in that city. When I need some cash or have a check to deposit, I can find an ATM close by every time.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Still Local</h2> <p>Even though there are thousands of branches, my branch still has a local feel. For instance, one banker knows me &mdash; even if I only go in once a year. Last year, I opened up a business bank account at my local branch, and when I returned this year, she remembered me. I would have never thought that this would be the case, but banks are inherently local &mdash; it's your neighbors who are working at them, and your neighbors who are visiting that branch.</p> <h2>Customer Service</h2> <p>Big banks aren't necessarily known for their <a title="How to Get What You Want On Customer Service Calls" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">customer service</a>. And truthfully I haven't always had the best of luck with my bank. But the vast majority of the time, the person on the other side of the window, phone, or email has helped me promptly, warmly, and with correct information. (And going back to convenience, it's super convenient to have all these service options available 24 hours a day.) One time, a banker from my local branch called me to tell me about some upcoming fee changes that could occur and to let me know how I could avoid those.</p> <h2>Stability</h2> <p>Big banks are stable. Sure, there's always the possibility that the bank will fail, but such an instance wouldn't go unnoticed. There would be lots of press (and government assistance). I've been a customer of my bank since I was 7, and I'm confident my bank will still be around when I'm 77.</p> <h2>Banking Options</h2> <p>Big banks have a huge number of <a title="7 Banks Still Offering Free Checking and Great Interest Rates" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">banking options</a>. From various types of checking and savings accounts to loans and mortgages, every banking option you would need is under one roof. When you log on to your account, you have a complete picture of your finances (and the ability to contact one customer service number) all in one place. Plus, the bank website and app offer all the features you could ask for, from auto bill-pay to remote deposits. Many small banks can't afford to offer this many features because there isn't enough demand.</p> <h2>Ability to Negotiate</h2> <p>Large banking institutions are often perceived as being difficult to negotiate with, but I've found my big bank to be flexible. Because the bank is bigger, they have greater ability to make adjustments that might temporarily hurt their bottom line in order to keep you as a customer. For instance, I've easily had fees reversed by my bank. And most notably, when I was moving across the country for an internship one summer, I went to my local branch to find out what my options were. The banker told me that they had no branches in that particular city, but he was happy to waive the non-bank-associated-ATM fee from my account. A fee that is still waived to this day.</p> <p>There are lots of reasons to dislike big banks, but I love mine (it happens to be Wells Fargo), and I'm not ditching it anytime soon.</p> <p><em>Do you bank with a big bank? Do you love it or hate it? </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/why-i-like-big-banks">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/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</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/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions">The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions</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/heres-the-difference-between-a-federal-and-non-federal-credit-union">Here&#039;s the Difference Between a Federal and Non-Federal Credit Union</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-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking bank accounts bank or credit union credit unions Mon, 04 Jun 2012 10:36:09 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 932734 at http://www.wisebread.com How Simplifying Your Accounts Can Improve Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/how-simplifying-your-accounts-can-improve-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-simplifying-your-accounts-can-improve-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_Business_Woman_Has_A_Headache_4435942-2.jpg" alt="Upset woman with paperwork" title="Upset woman with paperwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With a sign up bonus here and a positive referral there, it can be easy to amass a small army of financial accounts. But if you start simplifying and closing the accounts you don't use often, the benefits can be substantial. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simplify-budgeting-with-personal-money">Simplify&nbsp;Budgeting With&nbsp;Personal&nbsp;Money</a>)</p> <h3>Keep Better Track of Your Finances</h3> <p>One way to start improving your finances is to look at your habits, but if you have too many accounts, it can be hard to figure out your exact situation. When you have fewer accounts, it's much easier to keep track of the history of your spending and investing habits.</p> <h3>Have the Information Uncle Sam Asks For</h3> <p>Sometimes, the IRS expects you to come up with ancient documents. It's best that you have the documents ready (unless you like paying for penalties you might be able to avoid otherwise), and it's easier to access them when you have fewer accounts.</p> <h3>Minimize the Amount of Cash That's Earning Nothing</h3> <p>You likely have a small bit of cash in every one of your accounts. And it's likely that more accounts you have, the more cash you have earning you nothing. I know even the best online savings accounts are earning you only 1% right now, but that certainly beats the 0% that other accounts might be giving you.</p> <h3>Have More Time</h3> <p>Whether it's looking through statements, trying to remember your password for an account you haven't checked for ages, or simply keeping track of it all, <a href="http://moneyning.com/money-management/">money management</a> can take time out of your precious day. That's time away from productive work, time away from family, and time away for your leisure activities.</p> <h3>Pay Fewer Fees</h3> <p>The fewer accounts you have, the more cash you can put towards each one. This means potentially spending less on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-bank-fees">overdraft fees</a>. Even if you don't have more money in the accounts, just having simpler finances will reduce the chances that you'll forget about little details like moving money around to cover bills and incurring late fees.</p> <h3>Make Planning Easier</h3> <p>When you have more time, less stress, and more money, you will likely be more motivated to actually start planning for your financial future. Of course, it helps that you now have fewer accounts that you need to take into consideration, too, but that's just the icing on the cake.</p> <p><em>How many accounts do you have? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-simplifying-your-accounts-can-improve-your-finances">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/is-bank-of-america-s-5-monthly-debit-card-fee-just-the-beginning">Is Bank of America’s $5 Monthly Debit Card Fee Just the Beginning?</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-best-prepaid-debit-cards">The Best Prepaid Debit Cards</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-ways-to-beat-debit-card-fees">4 Ways to Beat Debit Card Fees</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/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</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/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison">Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: A Comprehensive Comparison</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Credit Cards bank accounts banking fees simplify Wed, 28 Dec 2011 11:24:29 +0000 David Ning 843449 at http://www.wisebread.com