checking http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3775/all en-US Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/atm-withdrawal-479705383-small.jpg" alt="atm withdrawal" title="atm withdrawal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average checking account has about <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/average-checking-account-has-30-fees-2013-08-08">30 different fees</a>.</p> <p>So it's not a surprise that many Americans are considering dropping their banks and choosing a credit union instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank?ref=seealso">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a>)</p> <p>However, a total switch may not be necessary if you're able to significantly lower your banking and finance fees. Here are six fees that you really don't have to pay.</p> <h2>1. ATM Fees</h2> <p>Some ATM usage fees are just outrageous. For example, using a non-Bank of America debit or credit card for a withdrawal, transfer, or balance inquiry at a Bank of America ATM has a <a href="https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/resources/personal-schedule-fees.go">$2.50 fee per transaction in the U.S</a>., and $5.00 in a foreign country. The same fees are applicable when you use a Bank of America debit or credit card at an ATM outside their network.</p> <p>Here are some strategies to avoid paying ATM fees:</p> <ul> <li>Know what ATM networks belong to your network. Most banks have a page that details this information on their websites. Bookmark it on your desktop and smartphone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use cashback. Several retailers, such as CVS and Safeway, allow you to get cash back when using your debit card to process payment. If your bank doesn't charge you fees for using your credit card (more on the next point), then you can take out money without any charges.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Look for banks that reimburse other bank fees. For example, USAA Bank <a href="https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/no_fee_checking_main?akredirect=true">refunds up to $15 in other banks' ATM usage fees</a> each month. Also, Ally Bank <a href="http://www.ally.com/resources/pdf/bank/ally-bank-straight-talk-product-guide.pdf">reimburses all other bank's ATM fees nationwide</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Checking Account Fees</h2> <p>Most banks charge between <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/08/23/3-bank-fees-you-should-never-pay.aspx">$10 and $20 every month</a> to maintain a checking account with them. That add ups to $100 to $240 per year in unnecessary banking fees! Follow these tactics to avoid checking account fees.</p> <ul> <li>Meet the monthly minimum or average balance requirements for your account. This amount varies per bank so make sure to check with yours.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find out if your bank waives checking account fees by signing up for direct deposit. Even if your bank doesn't waive the fees, this service helps you to meet the minimum balance requirements more easily.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Open a checking account with a credit union. Virtually all credit unions don't charge fees for checking accounts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do your homework. Certain banks waive checking account fees to special demographics, such as <a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/checking/college/">university students</a>, <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/checking/banks-target-seniors-free-checking.aspx">senior citizens</a>, or <a href="https://www.chase.com/online/military/military-personal.htm">current armed forces service members and veterans</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Overdraft Fees</h2> <p><a href="http://time.com/money/3070815/overdraft-fees-banks-save-money/">About $31 billion</a> are paid every year in overdraft fees around the country. In theory, overdraft fees are there to protect you when your checking account or credit card hs $300 and you decide to make a purchase for $320. The problem is that financial institutions and lenders are selectively choosing when to charge overdraft fees, which range from $25 to $35.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you have a credit cards balance of $30. Throughout the day, you spend $5 in breakfast, $15 in lunch, and $20 in dinner. If the fees were to be charged chronologically, you would only pay one overdraft fee. Unfortunately, some credit card companies selectively charge the fees so that you get dinged with the fee more than once. Suddenly, you are on the hook for up to $70 in overdraft fees.</p> <p>To make matters worse, while <a href="http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201407_cfpb_report_data-point_overdrafts.pdf">70% of checking account holders incur no overdrafts per year</a>, about 82% of checking accounts are hit with up to three overdraft charges per year. The conclusion? Do not sign up for any service labeled &quot;overdraft.&quot; Don't become part of the 8.3% of Americans that overdraft more than 10 times per year and opt out this service.</p> <h2>4. Fancy Checks</h2> <p>Do you really need to spend between $21.95 to $56.85 (before applicable taxes, shipping charges, and extras) for <a href="http://www.bradfordexchangechecks.com/products/1800538001-The-Little-Mermaid-Personal-Checks.html">Little Mermaid checks</a>? No, you don't.</p> <p>Generally, ordering a check through your own bank is not a good idea. For example, ordering <a href="http://www.samsclubchecks.com/line.aspx?lineid=212">personal checks at Sam's Club</a> starts at $8.70, while ordering checks through your bank often starts at $20. The only time to order checks through your bank is when they are free, such as when opening a new account.</p> <h2>5. Credit Reports</h2> <p>You don't need to pay for a credit report. Ever.</p> <p>Under federal law, you can get a free credit report through <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> every 12 months. This report includes all your credit history from the three main reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.</p> <p>It is a smart habit to order your free credit report every year so that you can go through it to find any inconsistencies. If you do find any issues, you can <a href="https://www.ai.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation/home.action">create an online dispute</a>. Notice that you only need to notify one reporting agency because it will notify the other two for you.</p> <h2>6. Extra 0.25% to 1.00% in Loan Interest</h2> <p>Several financial institutions are willing to knock off from 0.25% to 1.00% of your interest rate if you set up an automatic monthly payment from your checking account. While this is not strictly a fee, the effect of this policy is to charge account-holders who do not opt for automatic payments a fee.</p> <ul> <li>Get up to <a href="https://www.fiscal.org/new-and-used-auto-loans.html#auto-loan-discounts">1.00% off from the APR of your auto loan</a> at the Fiscal Credit Union.</li> <li>Receive a <a href="http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloandiscounts.phtml">0.25% to 0.50% interest rate reduction</a> from your student loans.</li> </ul> <p>Make sure to double check with your bank if they offer rate discounts for automatic monthly payments.</p> <p><em>What are other banking and finance fees that you don't really have to pay?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-credit-union-is-changing-for-the-better">4 Ways Your Credit Union Is Changing — for the Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking banking checking credit cards fees savings Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1199895 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mobile-banking-160857206-small.jpg" alt="mobile banking" title="mobile banking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you've heard a story like this: An entirely ordinary &mdash; and often reclusive &mdash; elderly person passes away, revealing the millions of dollars they have stashed away in their modest homes.<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/09/7-million-in-gold-discovered-in-dead-mans-home/"> One Nevada man died to reveal a fortune</a>, including gold bars and coins, worth more than $7 million. His bank account was found to be holding a meager $200.</p> <p>In an age when there are so very many options for saving, investing, and managing our money, the notion that people still really do put cash under their mattresses is a bit hard to imagine. Then again, if you've been faced with the task of deciding where to keep your savings, you've probably discovered it isn't an easy one, precisely because there are so many choices.</p> <p>So where can you keep your money safe but still earn a decent return? Here are some key options.</p> <h2>Savings Accounts</h2> <p>They're simple, they're convenient, they're easy to find and they're perfectly safe in terms of protecting your principal investment. Because there is so much competition, you can also find a decent interest rate if you shop around. Just be sure to choose an account with no fees. Who wants to pay to save? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-savings-account-interest-rates-are-so-low?ref=seealso">Why Savings Account Interest Rates Are So Low</a>)</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who prioritize liquidity (the ability to withdraw your money whenever you want it without restrictions) above all other conveniences. If you're looking to save for shorter term goals, or for an emergency fund, a savings account is a great option.</p> <h2>Money Market Accounts</h2> <p>This type of savings account tends to provide higher returns than a typical savings account, but that also has more restrictions on withdrawals and minimum deposits. Some money market accounts even allow some check-writing privileges. These accounts are risk free in terms of losing your initial deposit and, like a simple savings account, are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which protects your deposits against bank failure.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who value safety and are willing to forego some convenience and accessibility for higher rates of return.</p> <h2>High-Yield Checking Accounts</h2> <p>Many checking accounts charge a monthly fee, but some checking accounts, often called &quot;high yield checking accounts,&quot; actually offer pretty solid interest rates instead. These accounts are typically offered by local credit unions and online banks and, as of July 2014, some offered interest rates as high as 5% &mdash; although there are quite a few caveats to scoring that kind of return. You can run a search of these types of accounts and what they offer at <a href="https://www.checkingfinder.com/">CheckingFinder</a>.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who seek safety, reasonably good liquidity and don't mind jumping through a few hoops for a higher return.</p> <h2>Certificates of Deposit</h2> <p>A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a sort of IOU from a bank in which the bank agrees to pay back the amount you deposited plus a specific amount of interest within a certain time frame. For example, if you buy a $1,000 CD with a 5% interest rate, you'll be owed $105 when the CD matures. Generally, you can't withdraw this money before the CD's maturity date without incurring a penalty. However, CDs are very low risk and generally provide higher returns than a savings or money market account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-cd-laddering?ref=seealso">The Basics of CD Laddering</a>)</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who are seeking a long-term savings vehicle and don't expect to need to access their savings immediately.</p> <h2>U.S Savings Bonds</h2> <p>If you can afford to keep your money tied up for at least a year, U.S. savings bonds might be another option to consider. These super-safe investments are sold and backed by the U.S. government and they tend to provide competitive interest rates. As an added bonus, interest on government bonds (unlike corporate bonds) is accrued monthly and compounded semi-annually, helping your investment grow a bit faster. You may also get tax deferral or exemption benefits on the proceeds of government bonds.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>If you're seeking safety and plan to keep your money invested for between one and five years, government bonds may be a good bet for you.</p> <h2>Pay Down Debt</h2> <p>We often think of savings as money that we save, but you could also think of it as money that you spend to save you money. If you have a lot of debt that you're trying to pay off, it's probably best to save up an emergency fund and then put the rest of any money available for saving toward your debt. If you consider that some credit cards have interest rates of 20% or more, paying down your balance actually has a pretty great financial return.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who have what's called &quot;revolving debt,&quot; or debt that you aren't able to pay off at the end of the month and continues to compound interest charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a>.)</p> <h2>Pay Down Your Mortgage</h2> <p>Just as paying off your credit card or line of credit can provide a return in the form saved interest expenses, so can paying down your mortgage. Plus, if you consider that a home is one of the most valuable assets many people own, paying into that asset can act as a bit of a savings account you can cash in when you downsize later in life.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Anyone with a mortgage &mdash; as long as you have other essential savings bases covered, such as an emergency fund and retirement savings.</p> <h2>Real Estate</h2> <p>Not everyone is a fan of watching the number of digits in their bank balance grow; some people prefer to invest in something concrete, and that often means investing in real estate. Yes, the real estate market in the United States has had some serious lows in recent years, but over the long term, <a href="https://www.ncreif.org/property-index-returns.aspx">real estate has proved to have reasonable growth</a>.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who like concrete investments, who can handle some long-term risks, and who aren't interested in liquidity at all. Seriously &mdash; it can take months, or years, to sell a property.</p> <h2>Your Workplace Retirement Program</h2> <p>If you have a workplace retirement program, use it. It's as simple as that. Not only will contributions to a retirement plan such as a 401(k) reduce your taxable income, but your investment will also go to work immediately to help ensure that your golden years really are golden. Plus, any employer contribution represents free money, so at least contribute enough to your plan to maximize your employer's matching program.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Anyone who has access to one, particularly if your employer matches some of your contributions.</p> <h2>An IRA</h2> <p>Most types of IRAs are investment vehicles that allow you to save money and defer paying taxes on that money until you retire. The benefit of this arrangement is that savings can grow faster without the headwind taxes represent. It is also assumed that people's income will be lower when they're no longer working, putting them into a lower tax bracket and allowing them to withdraw their funds at a lower tax rate when they retire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-a-retirement-account-whats-available-and-what-s-best-for-you?ref=seealso">Choosing a Retirement Account</a>)</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>IRAs are suitable for most investors, but there are many different types with different rules and benefits. Therefore, it's best to do some research or consult with a retirement planner to help you decide what kind of IRA might work best for you.</p> <h2>A Flexible Spending Account</h2> <p>Medical and other health related costs add up very quickly. That's why some employers offer what are called flexible spending accounts, or FSAs. In an FSA, your employer will deduct pre-tax income from your paycheck and set it aside for you to use on qualifying health expenditures that aren't covered by your regular health insurance plan. Often, you get to decide how much you contribute up to a certain limit. FSAs are a good bet because they ensure you have some money set aside for unexpected medical expenses. Because they're funded with pre-tax income, they can also significantly reduce your income tax bill.</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>Those who are concerned about medical expenditures, have health problems or have a number of dependents on their health plan.</p> <h2>Educational Savings Account</h2> <p>If you have children, an education savings account (read: college fund) may be a great place to park your cash. You can contribute up to $2,000 per year, and interest is accumulated tax free. The only caveat to avoiding taxes is that your child has to use the money by the age of 30 for qualifying educational purposes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-not-to-save-for-your-childs-college-fund?ref=seealso">3 Reasons Not Save For Your Kid's College Education</a>)</p> <h3>Who It's Best For</h3> <p>People with kids, especially if they're bound for the Ivy League &ndash; you're going to need all the money you can get!</p> <p><em>Do you have a great savings vehicle I missed? Let me know where you're keeping your savings in the comments.</em></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%2F12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Places%2520to%2520Keep%2520Your%2520Money%2520Safe%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520And%2520Growing.jpg&amp;description=12%20Places%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Money%20Safe%20%E2%80%94%20And%20Growing"></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/u5180/12%20Places%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Money%20Safe%20%E2%80%94%20And%20Growing.jpg" alt="12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe &mdash; And Growing" 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/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-introduction-to-high-yield-reward-checking-accounts">An Introduction to High Yield Reward Checking Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</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/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start">This Is Why You Can&#039;t Postpone Planning for Your Retirement (And How to Start)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking banking checking investing IRA money market safe investments saving Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:00:22 +0000 Tara Struyk 1180824 at http://www.wisebread.com An Introduction to High Yield Reward Checking Accounts http://www.wisebread.com/an-introduction-to-high-yield-reward-checking-accounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/an-introduction-to-high-yield-reward-checking-accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2545363497_75ed5a7b77_z.jpg" alt="coins" title="coins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><hints id="hah_hints"></hints>Reward checking accounts are currently some of the highest yielding accounts available at FDIC and NCUA&nbsp;member banks. These accounts currently have yields of up to 6% and that is much higher than yields of 2% to 3% paid by CDs and savings accounts. Here is a quick introduction to what they are and how you can take advantage of these accounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">7 Banks Still Offering Free Checking and Great Interest Rates</a>)</p> <p>Rewards checking accounts are basically checking accounts that give a reward interest rate when a customer fulfills a set of requirements every month. Generally the customer has to get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards" title="5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards">debit card</a> from the bank and make 8 to 20 debit card purchases per month. Some banks also require that the customer set up direct deposit and electronic banking. Additionally, there may be a deposit limit for each account. If the customer does not meet the bank's rules for a month then the interest would not be paid out. Generally these accounts do not have a monthly fee and the interest rates can be changed by the bank at any time since they are liquid accounts.</p> <p>The great thing about these accounts is that they are insured and your money is more liquid than money in a CD. They also have high yields, but fulfilling the debit card requirements for getting the yields may be cumbersome. Some people have strategies such as buying $1.00 of gas at a time until the number required is fullfilled, but this can be time consuming. Also, if the customer forgets to do this in any months then the yield is forfeit. The banks basically count on the customers to not fulfill their rules in order to profit. You really have to see if the extra few percentage points in interest is worth the extra work. For example, if you only have $1,000 in the account and the yield is 3% higher than your normal savings account, then you would only earn $30 more a year for the extra debit card purchases you have to make and that may not be worthwhile. However, if you have $50,000 in the account you would earn $1,500 more a year, and that may be worth considering.</p> <p>Many of the highest yielding reward checking accounts are offered by small regional banks and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-and-drawbacks-of-credit-unions" title="The Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Unions">credit unions</a>. A good list of these banks is here at <a href="http://www.highyieldcheckingdeals.com/">High Yield Checking Deals</a>. Most of these banks only take local customers, but <a href="http://www.highyieldcheckingdeals.com/2008/03/high-yield-reward-checking-by-states.html">some banks offer nationwide accounts</a>. As of today the highest yielding reward checking account is at United FCU. This is a credit union <a href="http://www.unitedfcu.com/Interest_Plus_601_Checking_353.html">paying 6.01% on its reward checking account</a> and it operates in parts of Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, and North Carolina.&nbsp;</p> <p>As with any financial account or product, you should always read the fine print before taking the plunge. Each bank has its own rules on who qualifies for their yields on the reward checking accounts and you must be very diligent to make sure that you qualify for the reward every month. Also you should check for any account fees and minimum balances and also make sure that the bank or credit union you are doing business with is FDIC or NCUA insured. This type of account may not be right for everyone, but it could be great for those who have a good chunk of cash and want a safe high yield account that could also be used as a checking account.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-introduction-to-high-yield-reward-checking-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/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates">10 Countries Where Banks Pay Crazy Interest Rates</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/money-to-start-your-business-without-banks-or-saving">Money to start your business--without banks or saving</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/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</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/easy-savings-in-2007">Easy savings in 2007</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking checking saving Wed, 12 Aug 2009 20:00:03 +0000 Xin Lu 3492 at http://www.wisebread.com FREE 2GB iPod Shuffle from Compass Bank http://www.wisebread.com/free-2gb-ipod-shuffle-from-compass-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-2gb-ipod-shuffle-from-compass-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Picture 2.png" alt="Shuffle" title="Shuffle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Key Bank clearly did very well from their iPod promotion, because Compass Bank is now running almost the exact same deal. With Compass though it's a very cool 2GB iPod Shuffle, and it's free to new customers.</p> <p>There are a few stipulations (aren't there always?) but they're reasonable. Here's the lowdown on the deal:</p> <p><strong>Update: MOST IMPORTANT (thanks Bloggrrl): </strong></p> <p class="bodyDisclosure">You must register <strong>BEFORE </strong>opening a <strong>Compass Build-to-Order Free Checking Account</strong> online. <strong>To ensure timely delivery of email to your inbox, please add <a href="mailto:getgift@compassbank.com">getgift@compassbank.com</a> to your trusted email senders list</strong>.)</p> <ul> <li>It's for NEW Compass Bank customers only</li> <li>You need to open the Compass Build-To-Order FREE Checking</li> <li>You must not have received any promo gifts from Compass in the last 12 months</li> <li>You have to be over 18 (19 in Alabama)</li> <li>You need to make a $25 deposit (which you can always get back later)</li> <li>You have to <a href="https://www.compassbank.com/special/200805/ipod_mypoints/claim/index.jsp">apply for your Shuffle</a> within 30 days of opening the account</li> <li>You pay for shipping ($9.95)</li> <li>Only for residents of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas.</li> <li>Offer available <strong>online only through 06/30/2008. So, hurry!<br /> </strong></li> </ul> <p><img width="500" height="171" title="offer" alt="offer" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_3_5.png" /></p> <p>You can read the full details of the deal <a href="https://www.compassbank.com/special/200805/ipod_mypoints/terms.html">here</a> , but trust me when I say I did it a few years ago with Key Bank and it was well worth it. I got the Nano for a $50 deposit and it's been terrific. Brand new, not a refurb, quickly shipped to me and the checking account is great. And as I have a Compass Bank free checking account, too, I can also tell you I'm very happy with that one.</p> <p>May the music be with you.</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/free-2gb-ipod-shuffle-from-compass-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-copy-of-what-to-expect-the-first-year-book">FREE copy of &quot;What To Expect The First Year&quot; book.</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/free-movie-rental-from-hollywood-video">Free movie rental from Hollywood Video</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/give-a-dog-six-bones-free">Give a dog SIX bones...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/free-food-for-diabetics">FREE food for diabetics</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/throw-a-house-party-for-free">Throw a House Party for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Freebies bank checking compass bank deal free ipod shuffle Thu, 05 Jun 2008 22:02:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2151 at http://www.wisebread.com Money Metaphors (You wouldn't punch a kitten, would you?) http://www.wisebread.com/money-metaphors-you-wouldnt-punch-a-kitten-would-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/money-metaphors-you-wouldnt-punch-a-kitten-would-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kitten_money.jpg" alt="money cat" title="money cat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="196" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My boyfriend and I occasionally (at least weekly) argue over money. I like to spend it, he likes to save it. We have fundamentally different ways of looking at money. He carefully researches purchases and buys high quality goods. I like to buy the first thing that catches my eye. He spends money when he has some extra to burn on things he needs, I spend money to make myself feel better, regardless of whether I have the actual cash to blow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/relationships-and-money-two-sides-of-the-same-coin" title="Relationships and Money: Two Sides of the Same Coin">Relationships and Money: Two Sides of the Same Coin</a>)</p> <h2>That's My Money!</h2> <p>Not that long ago, my boyfriend said something that really threw me for a loop. I was defending my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-year-new-spending-habits" title="New Year, New Spending Habits">spending habits</a>, which aren't easily defensible, and we ended up arguing over something like a dental bill. It wasn't for much, but it was something I forgot to pay. And I was hit with a late fee. And then another late fee.</p> <p>And I, as usual, casually brushed the fees aside with one of those &quot;It's JUST money&quot; type of comments that so infuriates the beau. If I accrue late fees, I pay them. Money, to me, is often something to just be tossed at problems. I don't look at my receipts after buying groceries. I don't worry about being charged too much, since I figure that carefully studying my receipts makes me look petty. In fact, this is an attitude that gets me nowhere. I don't protect my money.</p> <p>&quot;You don't protect your money!&quot; my boyfriend exclaimed, clearly exasperated and in need of a drink.</p> <p>&quot;Protect? It's not an infant. It's money.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Well, maybe it's time you start thinking of it as an infant.&quot;</p> <p>He could see my wrinkling my nose, mentally picturing changing my money's diapers. &quot;Ok, then, how about a puppy? Or a teeny weeny wittle kitty? Remember when the cat was small, like 4 weeks old?&quot;</p> <p>My heart melted, recalling the times when our cat was too tiny and delicate to shred the curtains or torment the dogs or knock vases off of shelves.</p> <p>&quot;Yes. She was just this little orphaned baby kitty....&quot; my voice veered off into dangerously high-pitched territory as I pictured her teeny little claws and pink nose, and the way she would try to meow but ended up sort of hissing instead.</p> <p>&quot;Well, think of your money like that. Whenever you go to spend something, imagine that you are handing someone our kitten. And think about what the results are going to be. When you just casually lay your money down without thinking about it, you are putting the kitten at risk.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;You mean, when I get hit with a late fee, it's like someone punching our kitten?&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Ok, that's just sick.&quot; He walked out, and I found him 20 minutes later, curled up on the couch with a purring cat on his lap, both of their eyes directed at an episode of The Sopranos. They both turned to glare at me as I walked in. No doubt the cat had been filled in on abuse-by-proxy and was already planning which of my shoes she would leave her next hairball in.</p> <p>Alright, kitten-punching is a little sick. But it was powerful for me, because I hate the idea of animals being mistreated (so much so that I refused to finish watching The Brothers Grimm, an already awful movie that stupidly features a cheap, obnoxious &quot;tragic gag&quot; in which a small white Persian kitten is chopped to pieces). In fact, I once got angry at a friend who had a virtual pet, one of those Japanese toy-devices that has a digital puppy on the screen. My friend thought it was hilarious that if you &quot;kicked&quot; the &quot;puppy&quot;, it would &quot;squeal&quot;. I wouldn't talk to her for about a week after that.</p> <p>So I've got issues. But let's say that I can turn those issues to work in my favor. If I really manage to equate my money, emotionally, with something that I find dear and worthy of protection, I might be able to force myself to treat my money with the respect it deserves, thereby giving myself the kind of financial security that I deserve (and need).</p> <h2>Save Me!</h2> <p>I don't have a lot of money in savings, even though I know I should. I haven't become adept at saving money yet. Better than I used to be, but still not <strong>good</strong>.</p> <p>But there was a brief period a year or so ago, when I saw the light when it came to the benefits of saving. And it was a bright light indeed.</p> <p>You already know that <a href="http://www.money-rates.com/savings.htm">you earn interest</a> on the money in your savings account. You probably know that you should shop around for an account, be it savings or money market, or whatever, that gives you a good interest rate. But I never appreciated with this meant until I saw the results.</p> <p>Last March, I was in the process of buying a home. Not being the saving type, I was using my inheritance from my grandmother, along with a loan from my parents, to put the necessary money down on the house. The money had all been transferred into my savings account, and it sat there for a while as we signed papers and secured inspections and fretted over the neighborhood (too close to the freeway? safe to walk at night? etc.).</p> <p>It was only a while later, when I was in the process of transferring the down payment from my savings to my checking account, that I noticed the interest that I was earning on it. I generally earn about $0.11 per year on my savings account. I'm not going into detail about how much was in there, but it was a really good sum. And I don't even remember how much interest I was earning, but I know that it was enough to pay for lunch every day for a month and then some.</p> <p>And that's with a not-so-high interest rate at a not-so-incredible bank. I wish I had put it into my credit union, because I probably could have had dinner every night for a month with THAT interest rate.</p> <p>So, with savings, I have to think of the money I put in there as my lunch program. The phrase &quot;make your money work for you&quot; doesn't mean that much to me, but the thought <em>that I end up with a free lunch everyday</em> <strong>does</strong> mean something to me.</p> <p>It's with that in mind that I've started squirreling away a bit of money. Nothing to brag about at this time, but I'm glad I'm doing it. And while my interest rate is nothing to crow about, it's nice to see the money ad up like that. Whenever I feel like I'd rather take the money out and, say, buy dog sweaters or something, I remember that that money can earn me a free lunch, and carelessly spending it is like punching my kitten.</p> <p>Odd as it may sound, that helps.</p> <p><img width="431" height="310" alt=" " src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/tinykitten_0.jpg" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-metaphors-you-wouldnt-punch-a-kitten-would-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</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-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage">8 Signs You&#039;re Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</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-times-cash-is-not-king">8 Times Cash Is Not King</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/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Extra Commentary checking down payment interest kitten money mortgage protect savings account spending Wed, 11 Apr 2007 03:49:24 +0000 Andrea Karim 485 at http://www.wisebread.com