online banking http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4480/all en-US The Pros and Cons of Autopay http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-autopay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-pros-and-cons-of-autopay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paying_bills_000036066542.jpg" alt="Woman learning the pros and cons of autopay" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Autopay is a powerful tool that enables automatic withdrawals from your bank account to pay bills &mdash; you don&rsquo;t even need to look at them anymore! But autopay can save or cost you money, depending on how you use it. Consider these pros and cons of autopay.</p> <h2>Pros of Autopay</h2> <p>Wise Bread writers often advise readers to take advantage of autopay &mdash; and for plenty of good reasons.</p> <h3>1. No Late Payments</h3> <p>When you turn on autopay for a bill, you will never have a late payment on that bill again &mdash; unless your bank account has insufficient funds, of course. That&rsquo;s huge, because even one late payment can result in a <a href="http://blog.equifax.com/credit/can-one-late-payment-affect-my-credit-score/">drop of your credit score</a>, making it more difficult and expensive to borrow money. Autopay helps protect your credit rating by removing the risk of late payments.</p> <h3>2. No Late Fees</h3> <p>If your payment arrives even a day late, this can cost you $25 or more in late payment fees. Additionally, your <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/price-of-late-payments-700-annually/">interest rate can be increased</a>, which can cost hundreds of dollars per year. With autopay, you will never need to pay late fees, since your payment will never be late.</p> <h3>3. No Postage Expense</h3> <p>You will never need to put a stamp on an envelope to mail in a payment. Your payment will come out of your account electronically, with no need for postage. Why pay 49 cents for a stamp when you can sign up for autopay for free or use electronic bill payment?</p> <h3>4. No Checks to Write</h3> <p>Since autopay uses electronic funds transfer, you will not need to write checks, either. I used to write about 20 checks every month to pay bills. Now, with autopay and electronic bill payment, I almost never write checks anymore.</p> <h3>5. Save Time</h3> <p>Saving time is probably the biggest advantage of autopay. You don&rsquo;t need to find time to sit down and pay your bills &mdash; the bills will get paid without any time or effort required. I haven&rsquo;t manually paid my electric bill for over four years.</p> <h2>Cons of Autopay</h2> <p>Despite the convenience, autopay is not without its risks.</p> <h3>6. Lose Touch With Your Bills</h3> <p>If you have bills on autopay, it is easier to lose touch with how much you owe, or how much you are paying. This is especially important when you&rsquo;re able to make extra payments and pay down debt such as student loans, credit cards, or mortgages faster. The missed cost savings from not following your balances closely can be significant. Avoid this blunder by making a point of checking balances regularly.</p> <h3>7. Unexpected Fees</h3> <p>With automatic payments, you may not actually review your bill before the payment is made. This means you may not notice hidden fees, increases in interest rates, or other changes or mistakes. Again, regularly reviewing your bill side-steps this concern.</p> <h3>8. Bills for Unused Subscriptions</h3> <p>It is easy to sign up for autopay for magazines, cable TV packages, satellite radio, health club memberships, and other subscription services &mdash; &nbsp;but then forget to unsubscribe if you stop using them. This can result in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">a lot of wasted money</a>.</p> <h3>9. Remaining Manual Payment Bills Get Lost</h3> <p>If most of your bills are on autopay, it is easier for the few bills that you do pay manually to get lost in the shuffle. I have a few bills that I pay using electronic billpayer that are not automatic, and I sometimes set these aside until I get around to them. I have come close to missing due dates on these a few times. The solution: &ldquo;Automate&rdquo; the payment of manual bills, too, by setting payment reminders in your calendar.</p> <p>Autopay is a phenomenal convenience, but over-relying on automation can cause you to miss important details, and potentially overpay in the process. Set reminders to look at your statements regularly in order to get the maximum cost savings and benefits from autopay.</p> <p><em>Are you pro- or anti-autopay?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr. Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-autopay">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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-your-credit-score-may-improve-soon">4 Reasons Your Credit Score May Improve Soon</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-ways-technology-can-streamline-financial-management">8 Ways Technology Can Streamline Financial Management</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-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</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-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance automatic payment autopay online banking paying bills Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:00:37 +0000 Dr. Penny Pincher 1615580 at http://www.wisebread.com These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money" 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_tablet_000057613006.jpg" alt="Woman using top 5 apps for organizing personal finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Organizing your personal finances is the first step toward solid budgeting and savings habits. Fortunately, there are plenty of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs">free apps</a> that can help keep your finances and bills organized, right from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.</p> <p>With the right app, you can keep track of where your money is going, maintain a steady budget every month, and make sure your bills are paid on time. Best of all, these apps are free, so it will cost you nothing to get your financial life on track.</p> <h2>1. Mint</h2> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a> is a popular personal finance app that is easy to use and understand, and offers a complete picture of your financial life. It can show your cashflow in real time, so you know exactly how much you have and how much you owe. It will help you keep track of spending, create budgets, monitor your accounts, receive bill reminders, and even get your free credit score. You can also set spending limits for different categories and Mint will alert you if you are coming close to your limit. There is no easier way to track your checking and saving accounts, credit cards, and other debt and credit accounts in one central location.</p> <p>Mint can also give you customized suggestions on ways to reduce fees, cut spending, and save even more money every month. The more financial and personal information you enter, the more accurate analysis and recommendations it can make. The app offers cross-platform syncing and during tax time, services like <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10457938-1438730350000">TurboTax</a> can even download your financial information directly from Mint to save you time.</p> <h2>2. Personal Capital</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.216060&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;foc2=582907" rel="nofollow">Personal Capital</a> can give you a complete view of your assets, liabilities, and investment holdings. In fact, Macworld named this the best free finance tracking app available. Similar to Mint, this award-winning finance app can help you track your spending, create budgets, and also includes your investments. You can even pair with an adviser to create a personalized portfolio plan through the app. Personal Capital is ideal for anyone who currently invests, wants to invest more, or wants to include retirement planning. It takes less than a minute to sign up and can help you get control of your finances for good..</p> <h2>3. Goodbudget Budget Planner</h2> <p><a href="https://goodbudget.com/">Goodbudget</a> (formerly EEBA, the Easy Envelope Budget Aid) is frequently recommended online because it makes it easier than ever to actually stick to a budget. The app can help you create a budget, save for expenses, and make sure you're meeting your goals. There are also charts available to help you visualize your spending. The cloud sync-enabled app allows you to share your budgets with other people in your household so that everyone is on the same page. Your transactions will also be instantly synced thanks to the cloud.</p> <h2>4. Quicken</h2> <p><a href="http://www.quicken.com/stay-connected-your-money">Quicken</a> is one of the most comprehensive tools for personal finance management. It can provide a complete picture of all your accounts by helping you track your spending habits, set a budget, get bill reminders, find your free credit score, and even save receipts. It is easy to use, set up, and link to all your financial accounts. You can connect the app to your Quicken desktop software and it also automatically syncs data from your computer to your phone to your tablet, so you can have a complete grasp of your financial accounts, no matter where you are. The app also offers convenient spending graphs so you can see where you are spending and where you could be saving.</p> <h2>5. Spending Tracker</h2> <p>What better way to track your spending and budget than with a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spending-tracker/id548615579?mt=8">Spending Tracker</a>? The app is user-friendly and easy to set up. You can easily record expenses and income, pull reports on spending, view interactive bar and pie charts, and more. You can also set a fixed budget amount make sure you are remaining under budget every month.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite apps and online tools to help organize your personal finances? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet</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-one-touch-approach-to-managing-household-finances">A One Touch Approach To Managing Household Finances</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/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</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/money-management-in-5-minutes-a-day">Money Management in 5 Minutes a Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization Technology finance apps money management online banking paying bills savings habits Tue, 15 Sep 2015 13:00:19 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1555449 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing You http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_bills_000039190056.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways her savings account is costing her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A savings account is an essential tool of money management. It'll enable you to save for emergencies and financial goals, and you might even get a little bit of interest income along the way. But not all savings accounts are the same. Some are extra-stingy on interest. Some have high fees. And some are just terrible all around.</p> <p>Here's a look at some ways your savings account may actually be making your financial situation worse, and how to find the best savings account for you.</p> <h2>1. Terrible Interest Rates</h2> <p>No bank has high rates these days. But some are offering practically no interest at all. Don't hesitate to shop around for higher rates; it's still possible to get rates higher than 1%, especially on the Internet. Online savings accounts such as Discover Bank&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review?ref=internal">CapitalOne360</a> offer some of the best rates around, so look there first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso">5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fees</h2> <p>Many banks charge fees for a wide range of things, from low balances and overdrafts, to frequent deposits or withdrawals. You might even get dinged if you want a paper statement, or want to use an ATM from another bank. If your bank seems to be bleeding you dry with fees, find a different place to put your money. Many online savings accounts offer no fees or minimums.</p> <h2>3. You're Putting Too Much Into It</h2> <p>Let's be clear: There's nothing wrong with saving. We love saving! But if you are placing virtually every dollar of surplus cash in a normal savings account, you're hurting your future self financially. That's because it's also important to put as much money as you can retirement accounts, such as your 401(k) or Roth IRA. Putting some money in stocks and other investments will lead to higher returns and more cash in the long run, and these accounts have great tax advantages. Even taxable brokerage accounts are fine if you're investing in things that generate a higher return than your savings account.</p> <h2>4. A Lack of Sub-Accounts</h2> <p>A savings account is good, but when it's just a pile of money without a designated purpose, it's not as effective as it could be in helping you reach your goals. If you have the ability to open sub-accounts for specific purposes, such as a new car, home repairs, or vacation, you'll find that it's much easier to be disciplined. If you have an account labeled &quot;new car fund,&quot; for example, you'll be less tempted to dip into that account until absolutely necessary. Many online savings accounts offer sub-accounts free of charge, so take advantage of them if you can.</p> <h2>5. The Online Security Stinks</h2> <p>It seems like every day, we're hearing about a company suffering from a major data breach, potentially placing customers' personal and financial information at risk. Credit card users are often the most vulnerable, but be aware if your bank has also had issues protecting the information of account holders. Be sure you're comfortable with the security measures in place to prevent criminals from logging in to your accounts. Loyalty to a bank isn't going to mean much if you spend thousands of dollars getting a case of identity theft resolved.</p> <h2>6. Poor Access to Good CDs</h2> <p>CDs offer terms of varying lengths; the longer the term, the better the rate. But not all banks allow you to easily move cash from a savings account to CDs. And many that do offer them don't have a great selection. When researching a savings account, also research the CD offerings from the same bank.</p> <h2>7. A Dearth of Online and Mobile Services</h2> <p>In this day and age, you need a bank that allows you to save and manage your money in the same way you live your life. This means having access to online banking and mobile apps that let you check balances, pay bills, and move money around when necessary. It means mobile check cashing. It may even mean the ability to make payments to other people from your account, when necessary. If you are still relying on visits to physical banks and monthly paper statements, you're wasting time and money.</p> <h2>8. It's Not Even Your Account</h2> <p>Imagine having an account in which a bank takes your money and places it in its own savings account. Imagine having to ask the bank to transfer money back to you when you need it. Seems absurd, right? But that's exactly what happens if you sign on with the online banking service known as Digit. The service is designed to move money from your checking account to savings when money is available, theoretically encouraging people to save. But the customer doesn't actually own the savings account, and worst of all, Digit offers absolutely no interest to customers, but it makes money by generating interest on your savings. Get it? Me neither. Stay away from banks and services like this one.</p> <p><em>How is your savings account holding you back?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-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/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing">Score $240 a Year Doing This One Thing</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Find a New Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking CDs fees interest online banking savings accounts Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:00:17 +0000 Tim Lemke 1523215 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tech_skills_000042638902.jpg" alt="Woman with basic tech skills needed for everyday life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2015, people! That means there's no excuse not to learn these 15 basic tech skills that will save you money, time, and embarrassment when talking to more tech-savvy know-it-alls.</p> <h2>1. Use Uber and Lyft</h2> <p>Taxis are expensive, and not every city has a fast and expansive public transit system. That's why <a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> and <a href="https://www.lyft.com/">Lyft</a> are great alternatives, especially when you plan to drink.</p> <h2>2. Make a Basic Website</h2> <p>You never know when you might need to have your own website, and if you're a freelancer, it's a must. With platforms like <a href="http://squarespace.com/">Squarespace</a> and <a href="http://wix.com/">Wix</a>, it's never been easier (or cheaper) to make your own website.</p> <h2>3. Set-Up Online Banking</h2> <p>Are you still going to the bank to check balances and move money around? That's insane. It's about time you enrolled in online banking at your institution. It's as easy as going to your bank's website, clicking on &quot;online banking,&quot; and following the instructions.</p> <h2>4. Update Your Facebook Privacy Settings</h2> <p>Don't want just anyone to see your private posts? It's time to learn how to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/">edit your privacy settings</a> on social networks, especially Facebook.</p> <h2>5. Transfer Money Instantly</h2> <p>At this point, Western Union and other traditional money wire companies are useless. Every bank offers transfers within their banking app, and it's instant when transferring within the same bank. Failing that, <a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/mobile-apps">PayPal's new app</a> is simpler than ever.</p> <h2>6. Operate Bluetooth Accessories</h2> <p>Want to use all the cool new speakers, keyboards, mouses, headphones, and more? You will need to master the Bluetooth connection. Here's how to do it for <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/add-a-bluetooth-enabled-device-to-your-computer">Windows</a>, <a href="https://support.apple.com/kb/PH13704?locale=en_US">Mac</a>, <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/get-the-most-out-of-bluetooth-on-an-android-device/">Android</a>, and <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201205">iPhone</a>.</p> <h2>7. Edit a Smartphone Photo</h2> <p>Are you one of those people who uploads your photos sideways or too dark? There's no excuse! Most mobile phones allow for you to crop, rotate, adjust brightness or contrast, and more, all with a couple finger taps. Want to get creative? Try some cool photo editing apps.</p> <h2>8. Comparison Shop With Barcodes</h2> <p>Out shopping and want to check prices elsewhere? A great cheat is to use the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&amp;docId=1000645111">Amazon app</a>, which uses your phone's camera to scan barcodes. It will show you the same product and its Amazon price. <a href="http://www.google.com/shopping">Google Shopping</a> is also helpful when on a computer.</p> <h2>9. Crowdsource Information</h2> <p>Learn the art of the ask. Sometimes you don't have the time or enough prior knowledge of something to Google it, and that's when asking your friends comes in. Being able to ask your social network for their expertise is clutch in this modern age.</p> <h2>10. Invest Your Own Money</h2> <p>Why hire someone to take over your money management when you can day trade and manage your investments online? If you're putting off saving for retirement, it has never been easier to start. Learn more about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000">how to start saving</a>.</p> <h2>11. Upgrade Your Email</h2> <p>Email is still a very important part of work and personal communication, but issues like cluttered inboxes, unsynced calendars, non-replies, and copious newsletters make email frustrating. There are plenty of extremely useful email plug-ins to increase your productivity!</p> <h2>12. Google Better</h2> <p>Everyone knows about using quotes and the plus and minus while searching, but did you know about the tip calculator? What about reverse image search? Polish your Google prowess with these <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Things-You-Can-Do-Google-35330843#photo-35330843">key search hacks</a> to get the results you're looking for.</p> <h2>13. Use Siri</h2> <p>&quot;Siri&quot; (or &quot;Cortana,&quot; or &quot;Google&quot;) as a tool can seem silly and time consuming, so many people don't use her. However, there are some instances in which she's indispensable, such as sending text messages and making calls in the car. There are tons of other <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/13-cool-things-siri-can-do-for-you-2014-8?op=1">cool things Siri can do</a>, too.</p> <h2>14. Use GPS Apps</h2> <p>If you're still printing out maps before you leave the house, it's time to stop. GPS has come a long way. (Remember those old Garmin GPS machines you had to buy back in the 00s that worked poorly?) <a href="https://maps.google.com/">Google Maps</a> is the best, but <a href="https://www.waze.com/">Waze</a> is excellent for those looking to snake their way out of traffic or avoid highways. You can save locations, pre-plan trips, and add new locations with voice-control while driving.</p> <h2>15. Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi</h2> <p>You don't need an IT person to fix your Wi-Fi. Computers have made it extra easy to troubleshoot a connection. Check your laptop's network settings and <a href="http://www.computershopper.com/feature/ten-fast-fixes-for-wi-fi-problems">troubleshoot your Wi-Fi</a> on your own. When all else fails, you can always reset your router! Another hack: many smartphones can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Simply go to your phone's general settings, to networks, then tap &quot;use as hotspot&quot; and follow the password directions.</p> <p><em>What modern life skill do you think everyone should master?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">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/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</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-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone Apps</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/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</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-apps-for-business-owners-on-the-go">5 Apps for Business Owners on the Go</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology apps email life skills online banking smartphones social networks Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:00:21 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1392289 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Use an Online Bank? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-an-online-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-an-online-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online-banking-78424624-small.jpg" alt="online bank" title="online bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We have more banking options today than ever before. If you don't like traditional banks, you can opt for a credit union. While most banks give allow you to manage your money online, many people are attracted by the rates and convenience of purely online banks, like Ally and Everbank.</p> <p><strong>Do you use an online bank?</strong> What were your reasons for choosing an online bank &mdash; or for using a bank (or credit union) with physical locations? Are you happy with your bank?</p> <p>Tell us whether you use an online bank and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa140/" class="rafl" id="rc-79857dfa140">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, October 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 6th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you use an online bank and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <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/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-an-online-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-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/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to 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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</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/ask-the-readers-is-valentines-day-too-commercial-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Is Valentine&#039;s Day Too Commercial? (Chance to win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers online banking Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222770 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons to Love Your Bank http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/consultant-4757388-small.jpg" alt="banker" title="banker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one likes banks these days. The media is telling us that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-manipulate-your-transactions-may-charge-you-1750-overdraft-fee">they are charging more fees</a> and are to blame for the financial crisis. But the reality is that now is the time to love your bank more than ever.</p> <p>Imagine that a security company guarded your house around the clock. If a burglar ever broke in and stole something valuable, like the family silver or your TV, your security company would replace them, no questions asked. You can come and go into your house as you please and even contact the company guarding your house around the clock &mdash; in person, by email, by phone. And sometimes, the company will even pay you for the privilege of guarding your house. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a>)</p> <p>This is similar to what a bank does for your money.</p> <h3>1. Your Bank Keeps Your Money Completely Safe</h3> <p>The nuts and bolts of banks, as the average consumer uses them, is that you give your money to your bank, and your bank protects it. The very best reason to use a bank is that you don't have to worry about your money getting lost or stolen. Keeping it under the mattress is not the best bet. In the unlikely event your bank fails, the government insures your deposits up to $250,000. If you like any other company that provides similar services (insurance, for instance), then you should like your bank.</p> <h3>2. Your Bank Provides Amazing Services</h3> <p>Besides just protecting your money, your bank also provides amazing services. Your bank gives you the ability to pay for something nearly anywhere you want by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-prepaid-debit-card-really-cheaper-and-better-than-a-bank-debit-card">using a debit card</a>. You don't have to carry around cash (and risk it getting lost or stolen). If you need or prefer cash, you can use an ATM to retrieve your money on nearly any street corner. And with ATMs you can even deposit checks, so you don't have to go to the hassle of waiting in line.</p> <p>But let's say you want to talk with a real person about your money. You can go to a bank branch and get personal service. You can sit down with a banker and have them help you customize your accounts. Just today, I walked into a branch of my bank, and within two minutes a banker helped me close a business account that I no longer needed. He was extremely friendly and asked me if there was anything else he could do to help me. Previously a banker set me up with a permanent fee-waiver for my ATM card. That's great service.</p> <p>Your bank likely allows you to transfer money online, get your account balance from anywhere, and track your spending and savings. Depending on the type of account you may even earn interest on the money you keep at your bank. And these are just the basic services your bank likely provides. Every day banks are rolling out more features &mdash; like banking apps &mdash; all for free.</p> <h3>3. You Can Often Get All of a Bank's Services for Free</h3> <p>All of the services I listed above? Many banks will give these services to you for free. Even if your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-sneaky-bank-almost-got-me">account is listed as having a fee</a>, walk into your bank and ask a banker if there is a way to waive it. Often, if you &quot;bundle&quot; services, your bank will waive the monthly charge. For example, see about opening a deposit account, setting up recurring transfers, or enabling direct deposit. Or maybe it's worth refinancing your home with a mortgage from your bank.</p> <h3>4. If You're Paying a Fee, You're Likely Getting Great Side Benefits</h3> <p>If you are paying a fee on your account, you are likely getting some additional benefits. Some fee checking accounts pay interest, provide free checks, or give you a cash rebate for the amount spent on your debit card. (If you're paying a fee and aren't getting any benefits, ask how to get a fee waiver or see point six below.)</p> <h3>5. Banks Are Subject to More and More Governmental Scrutiny</h3> <p>Every day, banks become subject to more and more governmental scrutiny. Some of these regulations may be warranted, but for the most part they are harming the community bank down your street. (That's the bank where not only will they be more likely to know your name, but you're most likely to get a loan if you want to start a business.) And these regulations are costing banks money to comply with. But banks are still passing very few of these costs onto the average consumer. And that's another great reason to love your bank.</p> <h3>6. You Can Change Banks</h3> <p>If you don't love your bank, you should switch. It's that simple. Every other bank wants you as a customer and you should make the most of that situation. If you don't feel that your bank is giving you the services and support you need, find another bank. Consider an online-only bank or the community bank down the street. There are thousands of banks. Think of the services you need, and find a bank that meets your criteria. If you were trusting the safety and security of your home to a company, you'd spend some time ensuring that it's the best fit for you. Do the same with your money and find a bank that you love.</p> <p><em>What's great about your bank?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-things-your-teen-needs-or-doesn-t-need-in-a-bank-account">5 Things Your Teen Needs (or Doesn’t Need) in a Bank Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing 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/new-tools-for-the-unbanked">New Tools for the Unbanked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paper-checks-going-goinggone">Paper Checks: Going, Going...Gone?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking banks checking accounts debit cards online banking savings accounts Mon, 27 May 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 973807 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Set Up Automatic Payments http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_at_computer_0.jpg" alt="Man smiling at computer" title="Man smiling at computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Using automatic payments allows you to pay your bills on auto-pilot. You don't have to sit down and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paper-checks-going-goinggone">write out checks</a> to mail to your creditors each month, and you don't even have to log into your various online accounts to pay your bills online, either. When set up correctly, automatic payments will simply pay your bills at the frequency you indicate, with no further action required on your part. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-shrink-your-bills-every-year">6 Tips to Shrink Your Bills Every&nbsp;Year</a>)</p> <p>There are two basic methods for setting up automatic payments: through your own bank or through each individual creditor's website. Here is what you need to know.</p> <h3>Automatic Payment Options Through a Bank's Online Bill Pay</h3> <p>Most every bank offers online bill pay. This allows account holders to send money from their checking or savings accounts to whoever they want, at whatever frequency they want. Some banks physically print checks and mail them to your creditors, while others will transfer money electronically.</p> <p>You can set up your automatic payments by logging in to your bank's bill pay website, setting up a new payee, and entering the account number of the creditor or utility you want to pay in the appropriate fields. Most banks allow you to set up recurring payment frequencies &mdash; which means you can schedule your credit card payments, for example, to send each month before they're due and not have to worry about sending the payment on time. Some banks will not allow you to create recurring payments, in which case you will still need to sit down at the computer every time you need to make a payment.</p> <p>The benefit of using a bank's online bill pay service over individual creditors' websites is that you can log in to one account and view all your scheduled payments in one place rather than logging in to multiple accounts.</p> <p>If your current bank does not have automatic payments or doesn't allow you to set up recurring payments, then you can use a service like <a href="http://www.mybanktracker.com/">MyBankTracker.com</a> to compare banks and find checking and savings accounts that do offer online bill pay services.</p> <h3>Automatic Payment Options Through Your Creditors' Websites</h3> <p>The other option you have for setting up automatic payments is through each of your creditor's and utility account's websites. Most credit card companies and utilities have online account management systems that allow account holders to log in and schedule payments. Many also offer options for setting up recurring payments &mdash; for example, you can set up most credit card accounts to pull money from your bank account each week, biweekly, or monthly.</p> <p>Many utility companies allow you to set up automatic payments that will pull your payment from your bank account when it's due without any further action from you to make sure it gets paid on time.</p> <h3>Automatic Payment Pitfalls to Watch Out For</h3> <p>With all of the benefits offered through automatic payments, there are some pitfalls and potential problems to watch out for. The biggest pitfall people sometimes experience with automatic payments is a little mistake that can add up to hundreds of dollars. Let's say you set all of your accounts to get paid automatically, but then have an unexpected change in your income. If your income fluctuates, or a paycheck isn't deposited on time for any reason, you may find yourself with a bank account balance that isn't high enough to cover all of your automatic payments. This results in overdrafts that can quickly add up. If you had not been using automatic payments, a change in your income or delayed deposit isn't as big of a deal, since you could just hold off making your bill payment until the deposit clears.</p> <p>If you are using your bank's online bill pay feature, make sure you know whether or not there is a fee for this service. Some banks offer online bill pay through savings accounts or checking accounts for free, while others charge a monthly service fee for access. Most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">online banks</a> offer online bill payment for free.</p> <p>When you use an individual creditor's website for automatic payments, sometimes there is a limit to how many payments will be made automatically before you need to log back into your account and schedule more. Thus, you might set everything up to make your payments on time and then realize three months later your automatic payments have stopped. Since you had been expecting your payments to get sent automatically, there's a good chance everything will be late before you realize the automatic payments ceased. Double check each of your creditor's and utilities' websites for details on the frequency of payments, and if you have accounts that only allow you to schedule a limited amount of payments at a time before you need to set it up again, make sure you mark it on your calendar or set an alert on your phone so you remember to log in and set it up again.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing 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/paper-checks-going-goinggone">Paper Checks: Going, Going...Gone?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-safeguard-against-bank-bullying">6 Simple Ways to Safeguard Against Bank Bullying</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-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking automatic payments online banking online bill pay Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:36:34 +0000 Debbie Dragon 781939 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Use Online Banking? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-online-banking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-online-banking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000010829645Small-1.jpg" alt="Do You Use Online Banking?" title="Do You Use Online Banking?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-online-banking#comment-512207"><em>windkey</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-online-banking#comment-512304"><em>Verl</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-online-banking#comment-512240"><em>jenn</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Technology makes it possible to do almost everything online. From ordering groceries to buying books to paying your bills, you can rely on the Internet for almost anything. While most people have switched over to online banking, there are still people out there who opt to continue getting bank statements in the mail.</p> <!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p><b>Do you use online banking?</b><span style="font-weight: normal;"> Why or why not?</span></p> <!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p>Tell us if you use online banking and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, October 24th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 24th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you use online banking and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <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/ask-the-readers-do-you-use-online-banking">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/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to 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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</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/ask-the-readers-is-valentines-day-too-commercial-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Is Valentine&#039;s Day Too Commercial? (Chance to win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers banking online banking Tue, 18 Oct 2011 10:36:16 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 750919 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online bank.jpg" alt="online savings accounts" title="online savings accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Opening an online savings account is a fairly simple process that offers a number of benefits, from a higher interest rate to convenient access options. But before you switch banks or open an account with the first online bank you find, there are a few things you should consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a>)</p> <h2>1. Interest Rates</h2> <p>Online savings accounts often have higher interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This is because they have lower operating expenses and can pass on the savings to their account holders.</p> <p>When a local bank advertises high-interest savings accounts, customers usually have to meet certain criteria for eligibility &mdash; such as providing a larger initial deposit, maintaining a minimum balance, keeping additional bank accounts with the bank, or limiting transactions in or out of the high-yield savings account.</p> <p>When considering online savings accounts, make sure to compare interest rates and choose a bank offering the highest rate with the lowest requirements or fees.</p> <h2>2. Policies for Deposits and Withdrawals</h2> <p>If you have never used an online bank before, you may be wondering how you make deposits or withdrawals. While each internet bank may have its own policies, the basic functions are similar.</p> <p><strong>Deposits</strong></p> <p>You can mail checks made out to you with a deposit slip, although this can take a while to process. You have the option of setting up direct deposit from your employer to have all or part of each paycheck deposited into your online savings account. Most online banks also allow you to &ldquo;link&rdquo; your account to other bank accounts you maintain, such as a checking account with your local bank. If the bank you are considering allows linked accounts, you can set up money transfers from one account to the other. Some online banks contract with brick-and-mortar banks and can accept deposits at certain ATMs.</p> <p><strong>Withdrawals</strong></p> <p>Online savings accounts will provide you with an ATM card to access money. You can visit an ATM and withdraw cash, or you can use the ATM card like a credit card and the money will be deducted from your savings account. If you link other bank accounts with your online savings account, you can transfer money out of your savings and into the bank account of your choice.</p> <p>As you compare various online banks in search of an online savings account, make sure you take a look at how to deposit and access your money. If you want to transfer money between accounts, verify that the bank you are considering allows linking. If you're perfectly happy to perform all deposits and withdrawals via ATM cards, make sure they allow that option.</p> <h2>3. FDIC Insurance</h2> <p>Before opening an online savings account, you want to make sure the bank you're considering is legitimate and FDIC insured. Check the bank's website for the &ldquo;About Us&rdquo; page and see where the bank has its main office or headquarters, and look for information about FDIC insurance coverage. You should see the FDIC logo or the phrases &ldquo;FDIC Insured&rdquo; or &ldquo;Member FDIC&rdquo; right on the bank's website.</p> <p>Finally, to verify that the bank is legitimate, you can check the <a href="http://www2.fdic.gov/idasp/main_bankfind.asp">FDIC's Bank Find database</a> for details on the bank you are considering. If the bank is in fact insured, you'll see the insurance certificate number and can open an account with confidence. If there are banks that claim they are members of the FDIC but do not appear in the Bank Find database, contact the FDIC immediately so the bank can be investigated for potential fraud.</p> <h2>4. ATM Access and Fees</h2> <p>Since the primary method of instantly accessing money in an online savings account is through ATMs, you will want to take a look at which ATMs you're allowed to use and how much the bank charges for each transaction you make. Some online banks even give you rebates when you use ATMs that charge fees, which can really add up to big savings if you use the machines frequently.</p> <p>Considering each of these aspects when opening an online savings account will ensure you get an account best suited to your needs. Verifying FDIC insurance will protect you against bank failures, and comparing interest rates as well as various bank fees will help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-lower-the-cost-of-banking">lower your cost of banking</a> and maximize your savings.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing 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/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">How to Set Up Automatic Payments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing">Score $240 a Year Doing This One Thing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/online-savings-account-face-off-ally-bank-vs-capital-one-360">Online Savings Account Face-Off: Ally Bank vs Capital One 360</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking FDIC online banking savings accounts Wed, 13 Apr 2011 10:24:08 +0000 Debbie Dragon 523310 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Technology Can Streamline Financial Management http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-technology-can-streamline-financial-management <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-technology-can-streamline-financial-management" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006694376Small.jpg" alt="Computer with money" title="Computer with money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="222" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are so many financial tools we take for granted today that weren't possible just 10 short years ago. Here are a few features many people use daily that, if you haven't tried yet, you should.</p> <h3>1. Bill Pay</h3> <p>I still remember my mom showing me how she paid her bills by writing a check, putting it in an envelope, adding a stamp, and mailing it off. These days, you can have all this done for you with a few clicks online. If you really want to save time, you can even have everything automatically deducted from your account. There's no mess, and you're saving yourself from buying all those stamps too.</p> <h3>2. Receipt Storage and Tracking</h3> <p>If you are a business that needs to keep track of your receipts, then it's time to scan everything with a receipt scanner and store it online with a service such as <a href="http://evernote.com">Evernote</a>. It's much more organized, it saves a ton of space, and in the event that you need to access the information, you can actually find something!</p> <h3>3. Online Savings Accounts</h3> <p>When even the bank employees secretly tell you that they use online savings accounts instead of using their own bank's saving products, you know you should follow. Yields are terrible everywhere, but it doesn't mean you should accept a rate of 0.11% when you can get 10 times the interest online!</p> <h3>4. Direct Deposit</h3> <p>I take comfort in knowing that almost everybody in the United States receives pay through direct deposit, but if you still haven't switched for whatever reason, please do. You can even get your company to deposit it into a savings account, earning you more precious interest while you have money sitting there.</p> <h3>5. Up-to-Date Financial Pictures</h3> <p>Most people know that they can get up-to-the second account balances these days, but few people actually them to manage their finances. There should not be any reason for people to overdraft their accounts or spend too much on their credit cards. Use your access, and you will find that many of the careless fees that you regularly accumulate will magically go away.</p> <h3>6. Financial Management Anytime</h3> <p>All right, I'm not advocating that you should do everything late at night. But if you are one of those people who always remembers items on your to-do list at the worst times (while driving, at work, when out with friends, late at night, etc.), then you absolutely need to try using new technology to your advantage. Whether it's asset allocation, logging your expenses, or looking for online coupons, you can do it anywhere, anytime. Even with investment decisions, you can plan your strategy in advance and have the computer schedule the whole execution without your supervision. No more excuses.</p> <h3>7. Researching Products, Services, and Ideas</h3> <p>Before you make any decisions these days, the standard procedure should be to research online and see what others have said. This works with deciding on a financial planner, a brokerage account, or even an investment strategy. Chances are good that after you read a bunch of reviews on other people's experiences, you will get a much better feel of which direction to take.</p> <h3>8. Reading About Common Investor Mistakes</h3> <p>With the increased exposure to free information, we can better deal with our emotions when it comes to investing. After the 99th time of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-common-investing-mistakes">hearing about people paying through the nose</a> with load funds, I'm sure anyone will start look for low-cost alternatives.</p> <p>Technology can be a curse, but it also opens doors for you to radically improve and streamline money matters,&nbsp;saving you a ton of time and helping you make, save, and keep more money.</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/8-ways-technology-can-streamline-financial-management">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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-yourself-first-what-it-means-and-how-to-do-it">Pay Yourself First: What It Means, and How to Do It</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/unauthorized-video-game-hack-may-net-consumers-up-to-35-0">Unauthorized Video Game Hack May Net Consumers Up to $35</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-pros-and-cons-of-autopay">The Pros and Cons of Autopay</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/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology direct deposit online banking online savings accounts receipts Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:36:32 +0000 David Ning 479728 at http://www.wisebread.com Paper Checks: Going, Going...Gone? http://www.wisebread.com/paper-checks-going-goinggone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paper-checks-going-goinggone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6583248723_e41da89351_z.jpg" alt="writing check" title="writing check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many Americans still retain a checking account for the purpose of writing actual paper checks. Consumers continue to use paper checks out of habit, convenience, security, or having no other option with a vendor. But there are big changes on the horizon that may cancel the use of personal checks or paper checks in general. Are you ready to go paperless? (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-still-write-paper-checks">Why I Still Write Paper Checks</a>)</p> <h2>Who&rsquo;s Changing and Why?</h2> <p>Many creditors, lenders, utility services, and even federal and state government agencies are shying away from issuing or receiving paper checks. For instance, those who receive child support payments now do so through a debit card and direct deposits. Banks and other vendors are offering incentives for customers to go electronic. Paper statements and paper checks are becoming a thing of the past.</p> <p>The move to electronic payments and direct deposits essentially all comes down to the cost factor. In order to save money and cut expenses, state and federal agencies especially are making the switch. There is more cooperation between banks and government agencies to keep programs moving forward and organized.</p> <p>While some feel the move is not such a great idea, there are benefits for both sides. Vendors benefit because their overhead is lowered. For consumers, the receipt of child support payments or unemployment benefits is seamless. No more waiting for the mailman or worrying over lost or stolen checks. Payments are now being made via direct deposit onto a debit card issued by the agency responsible for payment. For each payment, cards are reloaded automatically.</p> <h2>What to Watch For</h2> <p>While cost and convenience are certainly pluses to both vendors and consumers, this changes the rules. Without understanding the changes, consumers will likely end up making mistakes that will cost them cash because they didn&rsquo;t know any better. Here are some essential things you need to know about going electronic:</p> <h3>Unexpected Fees</h3> <p>Most governmental agencies do not charge a fee for money being reloaded onto a card. This may be the case now but not always. In the case where you receive a refund or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-rebates-worthy-of-you">rebate</a> from a retail store or other entity, funds issued through a debit/credit card may not be fee-free. You may have to pay fees for each transaction you make or for reloading a card with new funds. There may also be additional fees for use at an ATM or for maintaining an inactive card. Check with the terms and conditions of the card in refund situations. It may be better to ask for a store credit rather than getting stuck with fees and losing your access to the full amount you are owed.</p> <h3>Balance Checks</h3> <p>With some cards you may incur a fee for using your card in any capacity at an ATM, including for a simple balance transfer. Find out if you are going to be charged for balance checks done over the phone or the Internet. If fees are incurred, it would be smart to keep tabs on your expenditures on a piece of paper rather than lose cash to a series of fees. This is also key because if you go over the amount of funds on the card when making a purchase, your card will either be declined or you&rsquo;ll be hit with a pretty significant overdraft fee for each transaction you make over your limit. Not only will you be out of funds, you&rsquo;ll be responsible for paying the overage charges.</p> <h3>Keeping Your Card Safe</h3> <p>While a plastic card may be much more convenient than a paper check, there is still a risk of having it stolen or losing it. A lost card may cost you up to $25 to replace, so make sure you keep your card in a safe place at all times. Not only do you face fees, you&rsquo;ll also lose access to your funds during the processing time.</p> <h3>Online Security</h3> <p>If you are making payments to vendors such as your utility companies, mortgage lenders, or loan providers, be very careful about your online security measures. While most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">banks</a> and legitimate vendors will have established a thoroughly secure system for accepting payments online, you must make sure your own computer is safe. It is not advisable to store passwords online or on your mobile phone because of the potential for identity theft.</p> <h3>Card Rules</h3> <p>Federal assistance programs and refunds issued through debit cards may also come with special use rules that you need to understand. There may be limitations to what you can use the card for, and you need to be prepared to follow such rules. For instance, government programs such as food assistance programs will only allow for certain purchases to be made on the card. You may also only be able to use your card for a certain amount of transactions within a month&rsquo;s time period.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paper-checks-going-goinggone">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/why-i-still-write-paper-checks">Why I Still Write Paper Checks</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-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">How to Set Up Automatic Payments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison">Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: A Comprehensive Comparison</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking debit cards online banking paper checks Fri, 14 Jan 2011 13:00:12 +0000 Tisha Tolar 454928 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Simple Ways to Safeguard Against Bank Bullying http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-safeguard-against-bank-bullying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-ways-to-safeguard-against-bank-bullying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2487507641_54bdda6dd7_z.jpg" alt="chase atm" title="chase atm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reports showed that banks made $38 billion last year, which sounds beyond ridiculous. But there also hasn't been an easier time for us to eliminate all these fees either. Instead of being upset about an overdraft fee, why not just try to <a title="Avoid Bank Fees" href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-bank-fees">avoid the fees</a> all together? After all, not losing money to a corporate giant is even better than making that same amount when you consider taxes and everything. And the joy of using the system against the banks? Priceless. Here are a six suggestions:</p> <h3>Make Everything Electronic</h3> <p>One of the reasons people get dinged with fees is because they try to manage their finances in their heads. All the bills, income, cash flow, charges, budgeting, and savings are done as they come. If you can make everything electronic, where you can schedule all payments via online bill pay (or better yet, pay them as soon as they come in). Then there's a much smaller chance that you will forget and incur late fees. (See also: <a title="How to Set Up Automatic Payments" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">How to Set Up Automatic Payments</a>)</p> <h3>Simplify Your Accounts</h3> <p>Another gotcha is all the accounts that people have. If you have <em>one</em> account where every payment originates, and if that account is also where your paycheck is going, then it's much easier to keep track of. If you want to be even more on top of your finances, try to use the same method to pay all your bills. If you like to use your credit card, then use it to pay all your bills. If you like the online bill pay method, then use that. You might lose out on some credit card rewards if some of your bills don't accept credit cards as a payment method and you have to switch everything to bill pay, but if you can't keep track of your expenses, any benefits from those rewards are lost anyway.</p> <h3>Keep More Money in Your Checking Account</h3> <p>Or to put another way, know how much money you have and don't spend money you don't. No matter how much money you have (or want to keep in that account), you need to be aware of your balance when you make a withdrawal. It sounds obvious, but the only way someone gets charged an overdraft fee is if a withdrawal is made for money they don't have in the account. Many people actually get charged these fees not because they don't have enough money, but because they move too much to other accounts. If this is you, consider that the 1.5% interest you most likely get from that $1,000 in your savings account is only $15 a year, and after taxes, it is even less. Is it really worth the hassle?&nbsp;</p> <h3>Avoid Monthly (or Maintenance) Fees</h3> <p>I truly believe that the reason why banks have so many different types of accounts is to confuse us and make more money. If you are still paying monthly fees for just having an account, you can go to your branch and ask them for ways to eliminate them. It might require a different account or getting your statement electronically. If you are told there is no way to eliminate your fees, just find another bank! (Here are 3 more reasons to switch banks.)</p> <h3>Schedule Your ATM Withdraws</h3> <p>I would tell you to use your credit card for everything, but as statistics show, most people can't be trusted with one! If you are the cash type, a little planning ahead can help you avoid withdrawing from an ATM that's out of network, incurring charges. Doing so might even help you manage your money better and help you save. But if you are adamant about getting cash anytime and anywhere, why not find one of the checking accounts out there that will refund your ATM fees? ING, Charles Schwab and E*Trade all have one.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Seriously Consider an Online Savings Account</h3> <p>You won't be reducing your fees with this one, but you are probably wasting too much money by having your money sitting in your traditional saving account. If you haven't looked into savings accounts that are available only online, you are missing out on some guaranteed higher interest rates. Here are some of the best high-yield online savings account rates.</p> <p>Smack yourself on the head if you don't add any of these five bank-related items to your to-do list today.</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/6-simple-ways-to-safeguard-against-bank-bullying">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/how-to-set-up-automatic-payments">How to Set Up Automatic Payments</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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-total-checking-and-savings-easy-everyday-banking">Chase Total Checking and Savings: Easy Everyday Banking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking checking account money management online banking overdraft fees Thu, 02 Dec 2010 13:00:10 +0000 David Ning 345349 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mint-iphone-app.png" alt="Mint.com iPhone app" title="Tracking my finances via the Mint.com iPhone app" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="openforum-link"><em>This article is </em><a title="Warning: The Government Mail You Received Might Be a Scam" href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier.html"><em>Wise Bread's contribution</em></a><em> to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>, where ordinary people learn how to make surprising things happen with technology.</em></p> <p>From saving money to staying on budget, technology has made it easier than ever to stay on top of my personal finances. Here are 3 ways technology has helped me save money and time.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Banking, budgeting, and investment tracking always within reach.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/bofa-bloomberg-iphone.png" alt="iPhone apps from Bank of America and Bloomberg" /><br /> <em>iPhone apps from Bank of America and Bloomberg</em></p> <p>Smartphones (and even regular cellphones) puts control of my finances in my pocket.</p> <p>Banking has become much easier since I got my <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/">iPhone</a>. I can check balances, transfer money between accounts, and look for the nearest ATM just by pulling out my phone. Even folks with regular cellphones can check bank balances and/or get low balance alerts via text messages.</p> <p>Budgeting -- really, sticking to a budget -- is now 10 times easier with my iPhone. One of the problems I had with sticking to a budget was keeping track of my spending. At first, I was good about keeping receipts and entering the totals into a spreadsheet at the end of the day. But as the days went by, I got lazier about entering receipts each day. Eventually, I stopped tracking my spending altogether.</p> <p>These days, I can enter amounts I've spent into my phone right away. Even when I didn't have a smartphone, my regular cellphone had a way to store simple notes. This made it easier to keep track of my spending on a day to day basis.</p> <p>Once I started using <a href="http://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a> (and their great iPhone app), the process got even simpler. If I use a debit or credit card, the transaction is added to my Mint account automatically. Even better, Mint does a good job of automatically categorizing expenditures, which makes analyzing my spending at the end of the month easier and more accurate.</p> <p>Finally, keeping track of how my favorite stocks are doing is now a breeze with the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/">Bloomberg</a> iPhone app. I can now easily check my portfolio daily, and make trades as soon as I notice trends or hear interesting news. Rather than waiting until the end of the month to look over statements or meeting with my broker once every quarter, I can now stay on top of my investment portfolio while waiting in line or when I'm having lunch. The iPhone has made me a faster and smarter investor.</p> <h2>2. Crowdsourcing my way to better buying decisions.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/yelp-amazon-iphone-400.jpg" alt="iPhone apps from Yelp and Amazon" /><br /> <em>Making smarter buys with consumer reviews on Yelp and Amazon.</em></p> <p>Between local business review site <a href="http://www.yelp.com/">Yelp</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/">Amazon</a>'s customer reviews, I now buy with a lot more confidence. No more wasting money on restaurants or products that disappoint. Nowadays, I hardly ever walk into a new restaurant before checking out what fellow foodies have to say about the place on Yelp. And I almost never buy something without checking Amazon's user reviews. Thanks for the recommendations, world!</p> <p>By the way, both Amazon and Yelp have iPhone apps so I can look up reviews while standing in front of a new restaurant or walking around a big box store.</p> <h2>3. More data than ever available to consumers.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/zillow-screenshot.gif" alt="Zillow provides real estate info previously only available to real estate agents" /><br /> <em>Zillow provides info previously only available to real estate agents.</em></p> <p>The Internet has been a boon to consumers hungry for information. Not just product reviews, but large scale trending data that helps them make big purchases. I'm looking to buy a home in the next year or so, and I've been a frequent visitor to <a href="http://www.zillow.com/">Zillow</a>. I haven't even contacted a real estate broker yet, but I feel like I already know more about the real estate market in my area than my parents ever did when they were house shopping.</p> <p>Rather than depend on an agent to feed me limited information, I can use Zillow to get a list of all houses on sale in my neighborhood, details about each home (including nearby schools, lots of photos, and a bird's eye view of the neighborhood), and even historical charts of the home and neighborhood's value. Technology has given us home shoppers unparalleled information that was previously only available to professional real estate agents.</p> <p>Once I am ready to make an offer, I can use another site, <a href="http://www.smarthippo.com/">SmartHippo</a>, to shop for mortgages. SmartHippo is Yelp-for-mortgages. Consumers review their lending institutions and even individual agents. Again, leveraging the power of the crowd to make smarter buying decisions!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For more ways to do everyday tasks better, faster, and smarter, check out these great tips from <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/top-10/2009/11/10-great-blogs-for-advancing-your-career.html">10 Great Blogs for Advancing Your Career</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/the-wired-kitchen.html">Building a Wired Kitchen</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/jetset-nearly-effortlessly.html">5 Tips For Jet-setting (Nearly)&nbsp;Effortlessly</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier">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/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</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-sobering-facts-about-the-stock-market">6 Sobering Facts About the Stock Market</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/learn-how-to-invest-with-these-5-stock-market-games">Learn How to Invest With These 5 Stock Market Games</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-6-best-financial-news-sites-for-investors-in-a-hurry">The 6 Best Financial News Sites for Investors in a Hurry</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-things-you-must-immediately-do-after-losing-your-smartphone">8 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Investment Technology iPhone lifescoop mint mortgage online banking stock market Yelp Zillow Tue, 17 Nov 2009 14:00:01 +0000 Greg Go 3829 at http://www.wisebread.com