Banking

Personal Finance 101: What Is a Debit Card?

A debit card looks like a credit card — and functions like one at the cash register — but acts as a direct link to your bank account. When you pay for something with a debit card, the money for that transaction comes directly out of your checking or savings account, but you’re spared the …

What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account?

If you’re wondering how to open a bank account, take heart: It’s a fairly painless process if you know what you need, what kind of account you want, and what kind of obstacles you could face along the way. And if you’re still on the fence about whether you need a bank account, we’ll tackle …

The Best High-Interest Savings Accounts Online

If the low yields on savings accounts at your brick-and-mortar bank have you searching for other options, you’ll be pleased to know there are still plenty of high-interest savings accounts online. While the interest from your savings won’t be funding your retirement, it can still add up, particularly on higher balances. The Simple Dollar has …

Categories: Banking, Technology

How to Earn Free Money with a Bank Bonus

As Forbes contributor Jeffrey Dorfman wrote earlier this year, there are plenty of reasons for experts to believe the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low – including our growing national debt and our economy’s reluctance to grow despite years of ultra-low rates. So while interest rates must go up eventually, experts say it could be …

Categories: Banking

How to Find the Best CD Rates in 2015

Are you searching for the best CD rates? If you’re frustrated with savings accounts’ low interest rates but are wary of high-risk investment strategies, you’ve probably identified Certificates of Deposit as an ideal middle ground. Your money will be safe and you’ll receive a better return than a savings account would offer, though the best …

Where to Find a Second-Chance Checking Account

Second-chance checking accounts are exactly what they sound like: another chance for you to use a checking account responsibly, even if a bank closed one of your accounts in the past because you mismanaged it. Considering how difficult it can be to pay bills without a checking account, these special accounts are a chance to …

Categories: Banking

Best Apps to Send Money

If you’ve ever wasted your breath on the phrase, “The check is in the mail,” now’s the time to stop: Several apps allow you to make simple mobile payments instead. These apps streamline the mobile payment process, often requiring only the email address or mobile phone number of the recipient. They may also be the …

Categories: Banking, Technology

Can You Get a Free Business Checking Account?

If your small business is closely watching a tight bottom line, you’ll be happy to know that free business checking accounts are out there, whether you’d prefer to bank online or at a real brick-and-mortar branch in your area. However, to find them, you may need to do some digging — free business checking is …

Categories: Banking, Small Business

Ally Bank Review

As traditional banks struggle with customer frustration over hidden fees and insultingly low interest rates, Ally Bank has positioned itself as the antidote to these problems. By and large, it has succeeded, becoming one of the best all-around options for online banking today and The Simple Dollar’s pick for the best all-around savings account for …

Categories: Banking, Technology

How to Find the Best Savings Account in 2015

Looking for places to grow your money without much risk is difficult these days, but finding the best savings account might be a good place to start. Although your money will be safe there, the average American is hardly capitalizing getting rich on rates today. According to CNN Money, the average savings account last year …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Best Banks in 2015

If you’re searching for the best bank, you have a dizzying number of choices. The growth of online and mobile banking means there are more ways than ever to do your banking on your own time and terms — not your bank’s. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, FDIC-insured banks lost about 4.8% of …

Categories: Banking

Money Management 101: Why You Should Track Your Spending

Do you ever wonder why you run out of money by the end of the month? Do you earn plenty but still live paycheck to paycheck? Do you ever look at your savings and think you could be doing better? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone. In fact, a …

What Is FDIC Insurance?

FDIC insurance protects customer bank deposits in the event of a bank failure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the independent government agency that runs the program, was set up in 1933 to restore faith in the financial system during the Great Depression. After all, when you entrust your life’s savings to a bank, you expect …

Categories: Banking, Insurance

Why Americans Aren’t Ready for an Emergency

Let’s talk about our saving skills for a minute, America. Because it seems that while we’re improving, we have yet to master the skill of setting aside appropriate amounts of money for a rainy day. Instead, we’re consumed with instant gratification and keeping up with the Joneses. We want the latest iPad, spring vacations every …

Categories: Banking, Money, Saving Money

Three Apps for America’s Money Management Woes

Americans, as a whole, are not very good at managing their finances. And it seems the biggest challenge — for those of us not among the country’s wealthiest citizens, anyway — is paying our bills. There’s a number of problems surrounding our bill-paying habits, including not paying the bills on time, incurring late fees, letting some bills …

Categories: Banking, Technology

Joint Finances: Why I Share My Money With My Husband

When I met my husband in 2004, he was sharing an apartment with two roommates and I was a poor student with a low-wage job and not much else. The fact that I almost owned my biggest asset — my car — was balanced out by the fact that my husband (then boyfriend) carried around …

Can Cash-Back Rewards Beat Your Savings Account?

Are you tired of earning less than 1% on your savings? You’re not alone. With interest rates hovering near record lows for the past few years, the average savings account in the U.S. is currently bringing in around 0.17% APY, according to GoBankingRate data. In other words, most people are earning next to nothing on their liquid savings. And you …

How to Find the Best Free Checking Account in 2015

The Internet has made it easy for banks to offer a free checking account to almost anyone who qualifies. Fortunately, the government mandates that a checking account can’t be marketed as “free” if the consumer could potentially be charged a maintenance or activity fee. So what does “free” actually entail? The term “free” is debatable …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

How ‘Letting Your Money Work for You’ Really Works

Let your money work for you. All of us have heard that saying at some point, but what does it really mean? For some of us, the idea of compound interest makes natural sense. If you put away money for a long time, it’s going to grow slowly at first, but over time it will …

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