There are lots of times when I choose to write on a topic that I know a lot about and I just bang out an article based completely on my own personal knowledge. They are fun, pretty easy to write, and informative. However, I also sometimes write about topics regarding personal finance that I know nothing about. When I choose to do an article like this, there is significant research and learning that goes into it. Such is the case with this piece on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). I knew nothing about it before the writing of this article, but I did a lot of research and learned a bunch that I’d like to pass on to you. I hope you find it interesting and helpful.
I have recently noticed a few things in my daily life that has led me to believe that our government is doing anything in its power to stick its hand in my pocket and take out more money than ever. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but this economic recession has affected all of us, including governments. Budget shortfalls it seems are daily fodder on our news broadcasts.
The number of online accounting websites out there seems to be increasing by the day. They are popping up all over the place. One that I recently had the chance to take a look at is Outright. Their claim is that with their website you can “free yourself from accounting.” Outright is designed for sole proprietorships and single member LLCs. In layman’s terms, they are designed for the self-employed and small business owners. And, as an owner of two small businesses myself, I can tell you from personal experience the absolute need for something like Outright. And Outright seems to handle it all.
This is the first installment in what will be a continuing series on tips for investing for beginners. I am not an expert, but I think I can shed some light on the topic because it was only a few years ago that I myself was a beginner. Rather than getting discourse from an investment expert who has worked in the field for the last thirty years, I can remember some of the initial questions that I had and hopefully I can answer some of them for you.
Where to Start?
I have been a member of Discover for many years. Recently, while checking out my account on their site, I came across a service that they offer that I never even knew about. It’s called Discover Bank, and its catch phrase pretty much says it all: “A better way to save.” As part of Discover Bank, the service offers rates that are five times the national average for their online savings account.
Online Savings Account
There are so many different options for where to go for our long distance calling that it can get confusing as to which option is really the best. Is your cell phone the cheapest? Your computer? Who knows? Well, Wallet Pop recently did one of their many Savings Experiments to find out What’s The Cheapest Long Distance? Check out the video there as well.
The results may surprise you.
And also, here are a few other articles you may find of interest from our friends out there in the personal finance community.
I recently had a chance to look at EverBank and in particular their Yield Pledge Money Market account. As far as I can tell, it’s one of the best out there. To give you a little background first, EverBank has a long standing history as one of the nation’s most prominent privately held mortgage companies. However, they have evolved into a family of companies now offering innovative banking, lending, and investment products and services. They are based in Jacksonville, Florida. They really pride themselves on innovative approaches to banking. They currently have a little over 500,000 customers.
The Yield Pledge
I have reviewed quite a few banking sites in the recent past and the first thing that struck me about FNBO Direct is that it is about as close to a “one stop shop” for banking that I’ve been able to find. One of their most attractive feature is their 1.1% APR for their online savings account. While this isn’t anything drastically out of the ordinary, you need to also consider all the other great services that they have to offer.
I recently had a dentist’s appointment to have my teeth cleaned. For the most part, I am terrible with keeping up with regular dentist appointments. This was the first time I had been in a few years. Regardless, this latest trip helped me to realize that, yes, you can save money at the dentist’s office. Of course, the first line of defense against saving money on dental visits is to take great care of your teeth. But beyond that, here are 5 more great tips:
1. Choose the Right One
I have never professed to know everything there is to know about money and finances, and I am reminded of that on a fairly regular basis. Recently, I came across the term “umbrella insurance” and realized that I basically knew nothing about it. I had heard of it before but really had no idea what it was, what it covered, and most importantly, not knowing if I should have it. We typically think of buying and paying for insurance as a nuisance until it really comes in need. I know that a lot of people have had horror stories with rejected insurance claims and bad experiences with adjusters and agents, but for the most part, insurance DOES save you from big financial disaster. Umbrella insurance is not a “necessity” when it comes to your portfolio of insurance, but for some people, it might make sense to have it. The following is a synopsis of what I found out:
I have had many conversations with many people in the past who have inquired about how to get out of debt. Most of these people realize that they are in debt and that they do need to do something about it. Realization of the problem and desire for a solution is one of the all-important first steps, but there’s still a lot of work to do. With that said, some people out there don’t even realize that they will be “wallowing” financially for the rest of their lives if they don’t do something. For them, they need to start off by admitting the problem. However, for those that have made the realization, their biggest question is: Where do I start? What do I do first? What’s the best way to get going?
Recently, my wife was involved in a car accident and we were looking back on the entire situation. We have realized that there were quite a few ways that we could have saved ourselves some money. I’d like to recount a bit of my experience and some lessons I learned in the hopes that if you are someday presented with a similar situation, you might be able to keep a little more money in your pocket.
My Quick Story
With the housing market having taken a serious hit in the recent past, I am sure you all know that home values have been plummeting. Well, one thing that did not plummet along with that is the property taxes most people are paying on those homes. The taxes some of us have been paying on our homes have been inaccurate (or unfair) to say the least. Several months after the housing market was in a full-fledged decline, I started seeing a good bit of coverage on this topic. And at the top of the list was what could the average homeowner do about it? About the only remedy is to dispute the property tax assessment on your home.
In the midst of the current housing market crisis, there are a percentage of people out there who have simply decided to walk away from their home mortgage. For some, they had a part in making the decision, and for others it was made for them. The two main reasons people chose to do so are negative equity in the house and job loss, or a combination of both. We also recently recounted what to do when you’re upside down on your mortage in our Help A Reader segment.
Several weeks back, I wrote an article about ten things that I would never buy again. It sparked quite a bit of interest, so since then, I have been motivated to find more things in my current lifestyle that I have stopped spending money on and plan to never buy again.
Feel free to comment on my selections, or add some more of your own. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than when I can learn new tips or ideas from our readers. And be sure to check out the original post as well!