high interest savings http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3101/all en-US The Slow Bleed: Plugging Your Financial Leaks http://www.wisebread.com/the-slow-bleed-plugging-your-financial-leaks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-slow-bleed-plugging-your-financial-leaks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6736154311_9a0a3a44ba_b.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Financial woes can come quickly from big events like a foreclosure, loss of a job, or health problems. These misfortunes, though painful, make a certain amount of sense. Clearly A caused B and led to C &mdash; however just or unjust A, B, or C may seem. But at other times, our finances suffer death by a thousand cuts. Harder to pinpoint, we can&rsquo;t make ends meet or get ahead. We work, pay our bills, and live modest lives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-plan-better-than-an-emergency-fund">Emergency&nbsp;Plan:&nbsp;Better Than an&nbsp;Emergency&nbsp;Fund</a>)</p> <p>Still, something is amiss. Somewhere in the complex system of our financial lives, resources are being drained dollar by dollar. If your otherwise healthy relationship with money still leaves you coming up short, maybe you have a secret financial slow-bleed. Here are six of the most common causes.</p> <h3>1. Interest on Consumer Debt</h3> <p>Interest is more like a gusher than a slow bleed. I mention it only because paying interest is so accepted and expected that we often don&rsquo;t realize how much it can drain our wealth. Paying interest on everything from cars to cheeseburgers is insidious, and if left unchecked, it saps our resources and demands more and more of our budgets. What are you paying interest on? Were they wants or needs? Are the items appreciating in value, or depreciating?</p> <h3>2. Service Charges and Late Fees</h3> <p>We live in a world that&rsquo;s bent on collecting your nickels and dimes. It happens when we pay a bill over the phone and incur a convenience fee, when we return a DVD and pay a late fee, when we need to speak to a customer service representative and get charged a service fee, or when we bounce a check and have to cover an overdraft fee. Unnecessary fees bleed our cash and though some are unavoidable, others aren&rsquo;t. Defend your dimes and dollars and wage war on all fees that are within your control.</p> <h3>3. Lazy Money</h3> <p>Interest lost is income lost. Take a look at your savings accounts, and your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k">401(k) and IRA investments</a>. Do you know what your average rate of return is? Is your money working as hard for you as you worked for it? Being mindful of your personal comfort level with risk, explore ways to boost the return on your money.</p> <h3>4. Contracts</h3> <p>Consumers have more power than they realize, and there are ways to score better deals on cable, cell phone plans, and other services if you&rsquo;re courageous enough to push the envelope a little. Make a few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">calls to your service providers</a> and let them know you&rsquo;re shopping around for a better deal. You&rsquo;ll be surprised how quickly those air-tight contracts get a bit more breathing room.</p> <h3>5. Membership Dues</h3> <p>Unused health club memberships are the monthly equivalent to using an exercise bike as a coat rack. We join a gym (usually around January 1 of any given year) with the best of intentions. Then we start the long journey of forking over $60 a month until we come to our senses and somehow manage to wriggle out of the contract. Do you have a membership that you&rsquo;re paying for and don&rsquo;t use? Add up how much it&rsquo;s costing you per year (include interest if you don&rsquo;t pay off your credit card every month). Explore selling your membership, renegotiating your dues, or paying a penalty to get out of the contract.</p> <h3>6. Hyper-Insurance and High Insurance Deductibles</h3> <p>Ignore this section if you&rsquo;re accident prone or driving a brand-new Ferrari. Otherwise, consider this &mdash; as a product, insurance was originally designed to save folks from financial hardship and ruin. But over the past 15-20 years we&rsquo;ve begun insuring our coffee makers, cell phones, and TVs. I call this phenomenon &ldquo;hyper-insurance.&rdquo; Granted, I&rsquo;m not intimately aware of your financial situation, but I doubt that a TV tragedy is going to land you on the streets. Why are we insuring every electronic bauble we own? Is the risk/expense ratio really that compelling?</p> <p>Similarly, folks are deathly afraid of the high-deductible <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">auto insurance policy</a>. We gladly pay more for low deductible policies and effectively buy insurance on our insurance. I know accidents can happen at any time, but take a realistic look at your driving record and accident history. Could you bump up the deductible and still be solvent in the unlikely event of a fender-bender? If so, it might be worth upping the deductible and lowering your monthly insurance bill.</p> <p>When we focus our attention on the tiny leaks in our financial lives, we acknowledge one important truth &mdash; little things add up. Fees, dues, usurious interest rates, silly insurance products &mdash; they&rsquo;re all born in a boardroom and survive only by our willingness to pay. Let&rsquo;s agree to plug the leaks, bandage the slow-bleed, and save some serious cash.</p> <p><em>Have you identified leaks in your budget? What did you do to plug them?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-slow-bleed-plugging-your-financial-leaks">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/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</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/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks">Common Money-Saving Mistakes That Can Cost Big Bucks</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/25-painless-ways-to-save-50-this-year">25 Painless Ways to Save $50 This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">6 Free Debt Management Tools</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Banking cancelling contracts credit card debt high interest savings lower bills Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:24:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 937781 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Things I Don't Want to Regret Once I Retire... http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-i-dont-want-to-regret-once-i-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-things-i-dont-want-to-regret-once-i-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/to do list_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="267" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I met with an elderly couple today in their home to execute some planning documents. While neither of them ever had jobs as professionals and neither inherited any money from family members, they have amassed quite a respectable sum of money as they continue to progress through the Golden Years. The lesson that they passed on to me today in our short meeting was that you have to proceed through life without regret, and live each moment so that you will not later look back with regret.</p> <p>After meeting with the couple, I returned to my office and put together a list of 25 ideas, goals, etc. that I want to look back on when I reach retirement age, and say that I fully accomplished or successfully practiced each of these 25 goals. So without further ado, here is part one of my list, with part two coming tomorrow night when I return home from class (feel free to add to my list or share your thoughts in the comments):</p> <p><strong>1. Start Saving Money Now, and Continue to Save Money Forever. </strong>One of my major problems before I discovered the world of personal finance is that I would pay everyone, but I would never pay myself. I had no problem sending the cable, car insurance and energy bills each month, but I always forgot to pay myself, i.e. save. Now I&#39;ve opened a high-interest savings account, and plan on saving even more as my income continues to grow. </p> <p><strong>2. Stop and Think About Prospective Purchases for at Least 30 Seconds. </strong>I&#39;m an impulse buyer, I always have been. This might be the &quot;typical male shopper&quot; shining through, but when I see something I want, I typically convince myself that I can afford to purchase it. This is especially easy when buying gifts for those I love. I&#39;ve taken to thinking about purchases before I make them in the stores, or if online, I like to leave the website I am about to buy from and do some research to confirm the utility of the product or search for a better deal.</p> <p><strong>3. Make and Stick to a Budget. </strong>This is difficult enough for myself and the fiancee now, with no children and relatively little worries beyond our lovable dog. However, I anticipate budgeting will become even more complicated and necessary as our family grows, which is why I&#39;ve taken such a strong liking to the <a href="http://youneedabudget.com/" target="_blank">You Need A Budget system</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Max-Out Your Retirement Plans Annually.</strong> This is the first year I&#39;ve committed to maxing out the plans my employer offers, but I haven&#39;t even graduated law school yet, so I think there&#39;s time here. What I do know is that I would horribly regret not electing to max out these plans 40 years from now.</p> <p><strong>5. You Own Banks, Not The Other Way Around.</strong> I&#39;m essentially lending banks my money every time I make a deposit. There&#39;s no reason the banks shouldn&#39;t be paying me interest in the same manner they expect to earn interest. I&#39;ve committed to only doing business with banks that offer competitive rates (although I&#39;m not trolling for the best rates) and offer great customer service.</p> <p><strong>6. Carpool More. </strong>I feel this could be a great way to not only save on expenses and help the environment, but also become closer with those I work/go to school/spend time with. Therefore, carpooling becomes a win-win-win situation.</p> <p><strong>7. Dryclean Less. </strong>If I told you the amount I spend at the drycleaner each week, you would probably be sick. There&#39;s not a lot of chatter around the PF blogs regarding the high cost of drycleaning, but it is one of my biggest monthly expenses. I&#39;m currently in the market for a professional-grade steamer for my suits/pants/shirts and hope this will trim large amounts from my monthly bill.</p> <p><strong>8. Purchase Quality Blankets. </strong>Living in Upstate New York, I pay gobs of money to heat my home through the long winter. As I have not yet decided on the electric fireplace as a supplement to our energy-efficient, but still overpriced furnace, we are using blankets more so we can keep the heat lower (although it is buzzing furiously right now). Plus, the blankets allow for more snuggling!</p> <p><strong>9. Volunteer More Often. </strong>This is a personal-maintenance issue for me. I grew up volunteering in my church, and now I&#39;m using some of my skills to give back through <a href="http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=107626,00.html" target="_blank">VITA</a> by helping prepare tax returns for low-income individuals and families.</p> <p><strong>10. Never Pay Retail Price. </strong>I like to haggle with people, but that&#39;s just in my nature (thank you Law School!) Plus, there&#39;s nothing better then feeling like you beat the system, and got a great bargain. I&#39;ve been getting better at not accepting &quot;we can&#39;t go any lower&quot; for an answer, and also being willing to push the envelope as far as necessary to get the best deal. When push comes to shove, it&#39;s all about not being &quot;sold&quot; on a product or service when you are negotiating for it, and being able to walk away if the price is not agreeable.</p> <p><strong>11. Prepare for Roadblocks. </strong>The first step to prepare for emergencies is to save for emergencies. This is why I&#39;ve been frequently trying to stash money in our Emergency Savings account. Only once I&#39;ve created/maintained/replenished this buffer will we truly be on the road to financial freedom.</p> <p><strong>12. Live on Less Than You Earn. </strong>This is difficult because the fiancee and I are both in grad school, and the earnings are not that great. However, through modifying our expectations and expenses, we&#39;ve managed to live pretty comfortably and still be able to afford to plan for parts of our upcoming wedding without plunging ourselves into mountains of debt (with the exception of our growing student loans). Living on less than we earn will become increasingly important as we will both work in professional settings and likely face the peer-pressures that accompany higher-paying jobs, including wardrobe updates, fancy cars, big houses, etc. As long as we can continue to live on less than we make, I believe the long-term payoff will be enormous. </p> <p>That&#39;s all for Part One! I look forward to reading all of your comments and hope you will tune in tomorrow for Part Two... </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anthony-marrone">Anthony Marrone</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-i-dont-want-to-regret-once-i-retire">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-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</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/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</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/a-lot-of-people-dont-understand-what-money-really-is-do-you">A Lot of People Don&#039;t Understand What Money Really Is — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-money-is-easy-if-you-set-the-right-goals">Saving Money Is Easy If You Set the Right Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/borrowing-renting-substituting-and-doing-without">Borrowing, renting, substituting, and doing without</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance blankets deals goals high interest savings negotiate retirement planning volunteer you need a budget Tue, 22 Jan 2008 04:12:10 +0000 Anthony Marrone 1658 at http://www.wisebread.com Get $25 FREE for opening a savings account with 5.05% interest. - UPDATED http://www.wisebread.com/get-25-free-for-opening-a-savings-account-with-5-05-interest <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/676091_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="fat piggy bank" title="fat piggy bank" width="225" height="300" /></p> <p>PLEASE NOTE: Since writing this article, I&#39;ve been less than overwhelmed by the support from E*Trade. After initially being told by a customer service rep that my $25 would indeed be given to me (and the good folks of Wisebread), I was recently sent en email saying I would only get it if I provide evidence of the postmark on the date of the offer I was sent. Who keeps old envelopes? Not me. So, although the account itself is a good deal, you won;t get the $25 at all. I apologise to all. Read o, but ignore the $25 deal (unless it resurfaces). What a shame E*Trade. I&#39;ve been a customer only a few days and I already plan on moving over to <strong>HSBC savings, with a 6% interest rate. </strong> </p> <p><strong>[Original article follows]</strong></p> <p>5.05%. That&#39;s <strong>6 times more</strong> than what you&#39;re most likley getting from your regular savings account, which averages around 0.84%. <strike>And they&#39;re paying you $25 to make you more money!</strike> I love America. </p> <p>I saw a financial advisor recently and he told me about the E*trade savings account. In fact, he told me I&#39;d be a fool not to get one. So, I looked it up. He was totally on the money (sorry, bad pun). The E*trade Financial savings account is legitimate and seriously cool. I&#39;ve just opened my <a href="https://us.etrade.com/e/t/jumppage/viewjumppage?PageName=CSA25&amp;tb=3997&amp;WT.mc_id=3997">Complete Savings Account</a> , and here&#39;s what did it for me:</p> <ul> <li><strike>A free $25 bonus for opening my account before April 30th 3007</strike></li> <li>NO minimum balance (my Compass account has a minimum of $500)</li> <li>NO account fees. That&#39;s zero. Zip. Nada.</li> <li>FREE quick transfer - withdraw or deposit funds quickly from any institution, anytime.</li> <li>FDI-insurance to at least $100,000</li> </ul> <p>I can&#39;t think of a quicker, easier way to make a little extra cash right now and over the next 12 months. Sure, you can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds. But if you&#39;re into the no risk game and just want to make one small step toward earning a lot more for your money, this is a sure thing. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-25-free-for-opening-a-savings-account-with-5-05-interest">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/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</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/behind-the-times-i-learn-about-keep-the-change">Behind the Times - I learn about Keep the Change</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/beware-the-small-print-of-high-interest-savings-accounts">Beware the Small Print of High Interest Savings Accounts</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/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</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/investments-worth-making-with-50-or-less">Investments Worth Making With $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment bank account cash bonus e*trade free money high interest savings interest make money savings savings account Tue, 03 Apr 2007 03:53:32 +0000 Paul Michael 441 at http://www.wisebread.com