03.03.12

Ignore Freebies Given Just for Signing Up for Financial Accounts (62/365)

Let’s say you’re running a bank. You need to get some new customers signed up for checking and savings accounts so that you have more

03.02.12

If You Have an Unexpected Windfall, Put It in a CD (61/365)

When I wrote 365 Ways to Live Cheap in 2007, a person could easily find a bank CD that offered a 6% return. All you

03.01.12

Automatically Build an Emergency Fund (60/365)

Whenever I’m asked for a single piece of financial advice for someone, I usually offer up “spend less than you earn.” When they inevitably ask

02.29.12

Contribute Regularly to That Retirement Account (59/365)

If you’ve been following the advice of the last few days, you should have a retirement plan in place. Now comes the hard part: contributing

02.28.12

Use a Simple Method to Choose Investment Options (58/365)

When people sit down with their retirement advisor to sign up for their 401(k) or other retirement plan, they often think it’s just a matter

02.27.12

Open Up a 401(k) or 403(b) Now (57/365)

This tip is directed at everyone who has a job where a 401(k)/403(b)/other individual retirement savings plan is available, but you’ve not yet signed up

02.26.12

If You Overdraft for the First Time, Ask for the Fee to Be Waived (56/365)

Whenever I encounter a fee that I don’t feel I should have been charged, I will call and find out the details of that charge

02.25.12

Balance Your Checkbook as Often as Possible (55/365)

You should always know what your checking account balance is. Let me repeat that. You should always know what your checking account balance is. That

02.24.12

Learn How to Use Online Banking (54/365)

When I wrote 365 Ways to Live Cheap in 2007, online banking was a feature that was far from standard, yet well on its way

02.23.12

Opt Out of Courtesy Overdraft Protection (53/365)

A lot of banks offer what they call “courtesy overdraft protection.” On the surface it seems like a good program. After all, they do cover

02.22.12

If You Can’t Get These Features, Start Shopping for a New Bank (52/365)

Over the last few days, we’ve talked about several features your bank should have: compatible hours, few (or no) fees, solid interest, and a large

02.21.12

Make Sure the Bank’s Hours Match Yours (51/365)

The bank my parents use keeps some rather unusual hours. A few times recently, I’ve been visiting my parents and wished to accompany them to

02.20.12

Don’t Tolerate These Four Fees (50/365)

One of the surest signs that it’s time to switch to a new bank comes when you examine your monthly statement and see a lot

02.19.12

Get a Savings Account that Offers Better Interest (49/365)

Yesterday, I talked about the value of getting a (small) interest rate on your checking account. A similar tactic applies for savings accounts. Getting a

02.18.12

Get a Checking Account That Offers Interest (48/365)

Interest rates are a funny thing. While interest is always a good thing to earn, predicting the exact rate you’ll get is far from an

02.17.12

Get a Bank Card with a Very Large Fee-Free ATM Network (47/365)

For the last few weeks, we’ve been focusing on how to save money on transportation. Now, we’re going to start looking at another potential money

02.16.12

Plan Ahead for a Car Replacement (46/365)

When Sarah replaced her first car (an old Toyota Celica) with her second car (a Mercury Sable of about 1999 vintage), she was financially unprepared

02.15.12

Pay for Car Repairs with a Credit Card (45/365)

The usual personal finance advice tells people to avoid credit cards like the plague. The reason for that is quite straightforward. Credit cards make it