Americans have begun to express a growing dissatisfaction with traditional banks. In just the last three months of 2011, more than 600,000 people abandoned their bank to go with an alternative option, such as an online bank. If you’re currently dissatisfied with your bank, consider CIT Bank. It offers both high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposits.
By David Bakke
By Jason Van Steenwyk
These days, many American families have a bewildering array of financial accounts. Between checking and savings accounts, credit card accounts, insurance companies, money market accounts, IRA accounts, mutual funds, and a Section 529 plan, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Just checking your balance once a month with so many different companies can be a very time-consuming process.
Personal Capital seeks to streamline that process. Billing itself as an “aggregator,” the site helps you tame the many-headed beast. At the same time, the site purports to give you access to unbiased advice from its network of personal financial planners. So now that you can get a handle on all your different financial accounts, theoretically you’ll know what to do with them.
By Melissa Batai
If you tell experienced moms that you plan to potty train your child in one day, you may get reactions that range from a chuckle to a patronizing look that seems to say, “Now, now dear, we all wish we could have potty trained our children in one day, but that just isn’t possible.”
However, using a book, “Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day” by Teri Crane, I was able to potty train my oldest child in one day. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. Potty training your child in one day is possible. Crane uses a two-fold approach for success.
By Lainie Petersen
If you’re planning on buying a computer, dining at a restaurant, or hiring a contractor, you’re also probably planning to check out online reviews of the various options beforehand. While this can be a great way of verifying the quality or legitimacy of a product or service, some sites (and the reviews they contain) are better and more accurate than others. It’s important to think critically about the reviews you read – don’t let your excitement about making a purchase compromise your ability to make good decisions.
One of the best ways to save money is to reduce your monthly bills. However, researching and investigating the many different discounts and pricing plans for services such as Internet, TV, gas, and electricity can be a time-consuming project.
To save time as well as money, consider utilizing the website WhiteFence. It can help you compare service providers in your area for deals on utility and home services, and it can show you how much you may save by downgrading services or switching providers.
By David Bakke
In today’s tough economic times, getting a loan from a bank is much more difficult than it once was. And if you happen to have a less-than-stellar credit score, you may find yourself out of luck.
If you find yourself in such a situation, Borro may be able to help. The website offers short-term collateral loans against a wide array of high-end valuables. There’s no credit check involved, and you can receive money within 24 hours or less.
However, this is an extremely expensive method to get cash. If you have other options, pursue those first. But if you’re out of options, Borro is worth checking out.
By Jason Van Steenwyk
Wealthfront is an online financial advisory firm that provides a low-cost way for people to diversify their investments among a variety of asset classes according to the precepts of modern portfolio theory, a concept pioneered by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Harry Markowitz. Markowitz showed mathematically that by combining multiple asset classes into a single portfolio, investors could achieve better performance with less risk than a mere arithmetic analysis would suggest.
Modern portfolio theory, or MPT, has since become the guiding light for many institutional investors and individual portfolios alike.
By David Bakke
An increasing amount of people are buying cars via the Internet, sight unseen beyond digital photographs. In fact, Craigslist and eBay Motors have both experienced recent rises in auto sales. If you’re considering an out-of-state auto purchase or would like peace of mind on a local sale, consider a pre-purchase inspection. While most sellers are honest, some simply are not – and others may not even know the condition of the car they want to sell you.
If you’re concerned about the condition of a vehicle you wish to purchase, Lemon Squad may be just what you need. The company offers a variety of different inspection packages for both automobiles and RVs.
By David Bakke
When you consider that the biggest purchase most people make in their lives is a home, it makes perfect sense to invest extra money in a home inspection and home insurance. Despite the somewhat high cost, it is crucial to protect your investment.
Next to a home, an automobile is the second-biggest purchase you are likely to make in your life, and just like a home purchase, it’s important to make sure you get what you pay for and protect your investment. So if you’re looking for an extended warranty or a pre-purchase car inspection, consider CARCHEX.
By Jason Steele
Every airline credit card offers frequent flyer miles for dollars spent. What makes a travel rewards credit card stand out, however, is the number of miles offered and the non-mileage perks granted to cardholders. Extra bonus miles can add up, especially if you are among the consumers who put most of your expenses on a reward card – you may find yourself taking an extra trip or two each year.
Presently, the Chase United MileagePlus Club Card offers some of the best benefits of any airline card, including generous mileage rewards.
By Kandice Bridges
When my husband and I first got married, we moved into a two-bedroom apartment packed full of wedding gifts, my law school textbooks, and too many clothes. We decided the apartment was too cramped, so we purchased a 1,400-square-foot condo. Next came our first house, with three bedrooms and 2,250 square feet.
Two kids later, we moved into a four-bedroom, 3,100-square-foot home that we quickly filled up with more stuff. We eventually decided it was too much, so we purged half of everything we owned, including the house. We downsized and moved into a 2,600-square-foot home, but within a few years were again suffocating under the weight of all of our stuff. The paper, the clothes, the books, the toys – everything. Why did we keep doing this?
If you have money to invest, but can’t commit to long-term investment vehicles such as a 401k plan or Roth IRA, a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit could meet your needs. Each is a viable option if you’re seeking a conservative investment that won’t tie up your money for a long period of time.
American Express Personal Savings is one banking services company that offers both accounts, and may make sense particularly if you already have an existing Amex account, or if you’re seeking an account without a minimum deposit requirement.
By David Bakke
Finding quality dental care can be a difficult task, and many people forgo trips to the dentist entirely. In fact, half of all Americans do not receive regular oral health care. However, if you are among those who avoid dental care for reasons pertaining to cost and inconvenience, DentalPlans.com may help you return to the dentist.
By Jacqueline Curtis
Remember back in the Dark Ages when people actually had to leave their homes to rent a movie? Before we were able to stream films and TV shows online, video rental outlets were extremely common – but so were late fees. Digital streaming media services have eliminated the risk of such fees, and have exploded in popularity. Many available services are inexpensive, simple, and extremely convenient.
Of course, though they share many common benefits and characteristics, you may still wonder what the differences are between each service. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime all advertise a huge selection of streaming movies and shows – but which gives you the best bang for your buck?
When it comes to managing your money, verifying your credit card and debit card statements is an important part of the process. But how many of us really do this on a consistent basis? I know I don’t. Sure, I look through my statements, but if I see a charge that I don’t specifically remember, rarely do I do the research to verify it.
If you’re like me, BillGuard is worth checking out. It monitors all of your registered credit and debit cards for hidden charges, billing errors, and outright fraud. And the best part about it is that it’s 100% free.