Wallet, keys, check. Cellphone? Gah! Where did I put that darn thing?
Shopping for a bank but don’t want to get dinged with fees or unfair practices, but not totally sure you know what they all are? Those banks can be darn creative, after all. Here’s a great online guide that takes you step by step through all the practices you should watch out for. Complete the worksheet and you’ll have a good idea of whether you should stash your cash there or not.
It’s hard to keep track of all the extra fees airlines have invented to pad a ticket purchase, especially since they keep introducing new ones; USA TODAY says revenue from added fees have jumped nearly 16% from a year ago. The newspaper reviewed fees from 13 airlines in the U.S. and compiled this handy reference chart of current fee schedules, to make comparison shopping a little bit easier. As expected, Southwest continues to be one of the best values.
Earlier today, Black & Decker and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of 192,000 Black & Decker Random Orbit Sanders after several reports that the plastic disc that holds the sandpaper to the sander can fly off and hurt the hell out of you or anyone around you.
The Department of Transportation has updated its consumer guide to air travel, which provides a quick summary of what to look for when buying a ticket, and what protections you have during travel. It’s also a good starting point when you have an airline-related problem and need more information before deciding what to do next.
Parsons design and technology thesis students came up with a pirate ship board game that has the twin goals of teaching personal finance to kids and not sucking.
The Toshl app lets you swiftly input and track your spending. Just enter a price, tap a tag, and tap save. Blamo, done.
Keeping track of what bills need to be paid when and how much can be a hassle. Here’s how you can use the long-time fave productivity and to-do list management tool “Remember The Milk” to simplify it.
The next time you want to splurge on some big ticket item, you might want to head over to The Real Damage first to see what it’s going to actually cost you in the long run. The free online tool looks at your current balances and interest rates, as well as your monthly payments, and then approximates how much extra you’ll pay in interest on your new purchase before you’re totally debt free.
Maybe I can’t play Plants vs. Zombies while I drive (or maybe I can!*), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of useful apps for the average driver. In its August issue, Consumer Reports reviews a bunch of apps for motorists, both free and paid, that promise to help you remember maintenance dates, get the correct info after an accident, or find your car in a big parking lot.
Mint was the cool kid on the financial website block until it cut its hair and went corporate, but the Intuit-owned service can still roll out some nifty features now and then. The latest is a “goals” dashboard, which takes advantage of our natural tendency to try harder if there’s some way to see immediate feedback. Under your account there’s now a goals tab, where you can activate any of the default choices (“get out of debt,” “take a trip,” “buy a home”) or create your own (“laser hair removal,” “pvc bodysuit”). Then you can link your accounts to that goal, and have a quick visual metric you can use to stay focused.
Hey, you can now look up your credit card contract online. There’s a searchable database over at the Federal Reserve that lets you check them out in both text and PDF form.
If you’re unhappy with the latest Facebook privacy settings but don’t want to kill your account completely, ReadWriteWeb has highlighted two services–both Facebook apps–that might give you back some control. They’re not perfect solutions, though. The Green Safe app scrapes all your data into a stand-alone tab that only your friends can access, but it also means a third-party developer will replace Facebook as your data holder (the app will use your data to serve ads as well). The Give Me My Data app lets you export all of your Facebook content so that you don’t lose anything if you disconnect your profile from Facebook’s pages.
The New York Times has a soul-soothing calculator that lets you know whether you’d be better off renting or buying.
So you’re tired of banking at one of the big, faceless national chains and want to keep your money local? You can try one of the recent sites devoted to the local bank movement, like anewwayforward.org or moveyourmoney.info, or you can follow this Kiplinger columnist’s lead and do it yourself with a little online research.