When gas prices rise, people who do a lot of driving feel it in their wallets. It hurts a lot. What if you could lessen the pain of fluctuations and put together a tiny nest egg in the process? That’s the idea behind the $4 Gas Savings Club.
Smartphones have changed modern life, from our inability to disconnect from our jobs to making commutes more fun to making it possible to order items online from inside a store. There are some applications of smart technology, though, that are just plain stupid. Like the Porkfolio, an Internet-enabled piggy bank. [More]
Retirement, for many American workers, is so far off in the future and so far behind other, more immediate priorities that their savings are, well, nonexistent. In an age where employer pensions are vanishing every day and Social Security may not provide all the income a retiree needs, individual savings are key to making it through the golden years. Though many folks have 401(k) or IRA accounts, many more don’t.
Have trouble saving money? Here’s a deceptively simple plan to boost your savings. Shift as much of your everyday spending to cash as possible. Choose one denomination that you receive back in change and never spend it. Deposit the accumulated bills in the bank instead. [More]
Is there a box of cash stuffed behind the freezer-burned chicken in your freezer to cover your butt in case of an emergency, or even better, money set aside in your savings in case you need it? Almost half of all Americans — 49% — don’t have enough emergency savings to cover three months of expenses, says new research.
Every year around this time, people tend to engage in bragging contests about how big their tax refunds are. These folks are oblivious to the fact that savvier planning would have let them keep their money rather than giving it to the government in a tax-free loan.
If you need to step away from your career for a while to stay at home with your kids or care for an elderly or incapacitated loved one, your automatic systems for saving for retirement will probably shut down. In order to make sure you don’t jeopardize your nest egg, you’ll need to make adjustments to account for your decreased savings power.
Personal finance experts crow on and on about how crucial it is to save up a reserve fund to help you survive a job loss or financial disaster. Deciding exactly how much to set aside, however, is a matter of philosophies and resources.
You don’t need to be a financial genius to realize that lottery tickets are a poor investment. Players plunk down a little bit of money in exchange for short-lived, long shot dreams of wealth. While indulging the urge to buy a ticket won’t kill most budgets, the regular, compulsive act of gambling needed funds on all-but-unwinnable bets is something different.
If you want to start saving but know you lack the discipline to stash money away, you’ll need to come up with ways to trick yourself into getting into the mood. An ongoing game of mental solitaire could end up being quite profitable.
If you find yourself in tight financial times, your instinct will probably be to hunt around for ways to cut spending. While it’s tough to make sweeping changes that will result in major savings, you can feel better about yourself by culling together little ways to save here and there.
Considering how “high-yield” savings accounts used to give returns of 4-5%, reader Phil thinks it’s a bit disingenuous for banks to continue marketing them as such when the rates are only 1%. He sent in a picture of a recent piece of junk mail he got from American Express to illustrate.
Wouldn’t it be really cool if your checking account disclosure form looked like this nice one-pager the Pew Research Group mocked up? Naw, just kidding. We know you love reading paragraphs of tiny text that have the important clauses buried in the middle of longer sentences. Playing a scavenger hunt to find out what fees you have to pay is part of the fun of having a checking account!
If you had to fork over $1,000 right now, would you be able to do so without borrowing money or using your credit card? If so, then a new survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling says you’re in the minority.
You would almost think that high-yield checking was dead from the massive pullback over the past few years from previous leaders like HSBC, ING Direct and Smartypig, but it’s possible to find banks offering checking accounts still offering rates as high as 4% and even 6%, as long as you follow the new, stricter, rules.
New freshman entering college this Fall should take the time right now to get their banking account set up if they don’t have one already. Consumerist Commentary rounds up the best student checking accounts and compares their benefits and fees. The good news is that the best of the crop have no fees, or fees waived if you can meet some pretty easy requirements.
It’s one thing to realize you should be saving money in order to strive for a particular financial goal or solidify your long-term future, but it’s another to generate the discipline to actually leave yourself with enough funds left over to put away.
A recent study found that a record number of people (around 28%) with 401(k) retirement funds had loans (averaging $7,860) outstanding on them in 2010, meaning that these same folks will not have as much money set aside when it does come time to retire. That’s why a pair of Senators have introduced legislation that would make it more difficult for people to tap their 401(k)s.