David Bakke David started his own personal finance blog, YourFinances101, in June of 2009 and published his first book on ways to save more and spend less called "Don't Be A Mule..." Since then he has been a regular contributor for Money Crashers. He lives just outside Atlanta, GA and most all of his free time is taken up by his amazing three year old son, Nicholas.
I recently decided to check out the website PerkStreet Financial, an online bank which offers a lot of things that you really won’t find anywhere else.
In this day and age, there are a wide variety of places that you can put your money, including a huge number of online banks. PerkStreet does a great job of setting themselves apart from most other online banking websites.
Features and Benefits
PerkStreet offers a checking account which is pretty much free. Here are the high points of what it has to offer:
The strain of a monthly car payment on your finances can be a considerable one. Personally, I had “Life Without A Car Payment” for many years until 2007, when I got married and purchased a new car for my wife. That one got paid off late last year, so now I have the luxury of not having to deal with any car payments once again. The question is whether I’ll be forced back into car payments should I want to buy another car down the road. This is the topic I want to explore in this post.
For those of you that smoke, I would imagine that you are well aware of all of the health risks involved. Your chances for contracting lung cancer go way up, your chances for heart disease go up, your skin ages at a faster rate, and on and on. Yet, there are still many of us out there that still choose to smoke cigarettes.?If the health risks involved with smoking are not enough to make you quit, maybe the financial costs involved might be. Actually, I am not even here to try to get you to quit smoking. More importantly, I am just here to try to show you how much money you could save yourself if you did.
For some time now, those of us leading a “frugal” life have been getting a bad rap. Basically, getting a bad rap from the non-frugal bunch. We’re “cheap”, we’re wasting our time, life is too short to do some of the things that we do, and a lot of times, people just don’t understand why frugal people are frugal. Well, we will now attempt to solve the grand mystery! In all actuality, the real reasons behind why frugal people are frugal are quite elementary. Check out the article 5 Dead Simple Reasons Why People Are Frugal over at Wise Bread. I couldn’t agree more with their reasoning. For the non-frugal group, take a quick look at it, you might just learn something.
I recently took some time to review the website Netflix.com. I would imagine that most of you have heard of it before. Personally, I am not a huge movie watcher, but after reviewing the site, I can certainly say that if I were, that Netflix would probably be my first choice.
There’s a reason why Netflix has become so popular in a short amount of time. Its prices are great and the movie selection is even better. Their intelligent algorithms that pick movies based on your movie interests and how you rated other similar movies is very accurate and helpful. Plus, they’re coming up with new ways to instantly watch their movies all the time.
If you are not already participating in an employer-based 401K program, you should really consider doing so. It is one of the best savings/investment vehicles out there, because it invests your money before taxes are taken out. Briefly, if you are in a 401K, you choose to have a percentage of each paycheck taken out that you do not pay taxes on that is then invested in funds chosen by you (but you ARE taxed upon taking the funds out). Many times, your employer will even “match” the funds in which you invest to a certain percentage. We recommend that you invest in a Roth IRA if your employer doesn’t offer a match for your 401k, because we think it’s be better for you to be taxed now, instead of when you’re in retirement (especially if you’re fund has grown over your lifetime). But if your company has a great 401k plan with a match and you’re contributing to it, you need to have some quality knowledge when it comes to picking the right investment mix for your 401k. Here are some tips on choosing your investments:
So school lets out for the summer and my family did what I’m sure a lot of families did…we went on vacation! Maybe it was to a touristy travel spot or maybe to visit friends and family, but we got out of town. The kids loved it and we loved the break and the relaxation.
However, once we returned home a somewhat grim reality began to set in. How do you entertain the kids for the rest of the summer? Your vacation is what, one, maybe two weeks? Well, the long hot summer is usually about three months long. And, as I’m sure any parent can attest, children (especially smaller ones) are not the greatest at entertaining themselves.
As I was doing a little research for this article that I’ve been wanting to write about, I never knew that the term “financial triage” was a real term and had an actual definition. I had always thought it was coined by people in the debt management field. I think it has something to do with hospital patients and their ability to pay their bills. Regardless, I‘d like to discuss with you my own version of financial triage, including when it should be performed and how to do it the right way.
I just finished reviewing the identity theft solutions product TrustedID. They offer practical identity theft solutions to protect individuals, families, and businesses. They also offer the industry’s most comprehensive protection regarding your personal information. What I immediately liked about TrustedID is the word “proactivity.” So many other sites out there that either claim to offer protection or claim to monitor your credit only do so in an “after the fact” sense. Meaning, they don’t do much about preventing identity theft, they can only help you once it’s already occurred. TrustedID offers more and that’s a big reason they are highly-touted and have received some great reviews. The website offers three basic products:
When it comes to medical expenses, you probably think that there aren’t too many ways that you can save money. Other than choosing the best and most efficient health care program for you and your family, what can you really do? Well, I recently had a few unexpected trips to the doctor’s office and I came up with three simple ways that one can save on medical expenses. Personally, I do one of these very well and two of them I don’t do well at all. The ones that I don’t do well have cost me significant amounts of money in the recent past.
So you’re about to go on your summer vacation and you’ve decided to visit a tourist destination that you’ve never been to before. You want to have a good time but you also don’t want to have to break the bank to do it. So the question is: How do you find cheap entertainment while visiting somewhere you’ve never been before? It’s a safe bet that all of the “mainstream” attractions are going to be expensive. So, rather than blowing all your money on all of these things, why not mix in a little budget entertainment?
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the coupon/deals site CouponCactus.com. They offer coupons to over 3,700 stores, helping you save money every time you shop online. Additionally, they have a cash back feature which allows you to get additional savings back in cash for all purchases made through their site.
Before I begin, I just want to say that I am no stranger to online shopping. In another business endeavor of mine, I do a great deal of online shopping. There are a wealth of so-called “coupon sites” out there. I am here to tell you that Coupon Cactus seems to be head and shoulders above the rest.
The word “de-clutter” is all over the place. I’m not even sure it was a word until recently. “De-clutter” your house. Get rid of all your junk. “De-clutter” your life. Live more simply. And the beat goes on. Then I began to think. What if that concept were applied to our “financial house”? Isn’t it just as important to get rid of all your financial “crap” as well? The more bank accounts, credit cards, and bills you have, the more complicated your finances get, and you begin to lose track of it all. Once you do this, you’ll start finding yourself missing payments, paying late charges, paying for interest on credit cards, and getting frustrated VERY quickly.
In a continuing series, what I am trying to do with the Five Minute Money Manager is to show you ways that you can impact your personal economy by taking up very little time. Most can be done in five minutes or less. A great deal of them involve changing our behaviors, and a behavior that is very near and dear to a lot of us is…driving aggressively.
When it comes to student loans, the landscape has certainly changed. Lenders who used to be major players in the game have disappeared, and the rules governing consolidation aren’t the same anymore. Is consolidation right for you? The answer may not be as easy as it seems, but hopefully we can help you navigate those waters. The average student loan debt in this country is right around $23,000, and only about 19% of 2009 college graduates are employed at their time of graduation.
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