I had recently been looking for new bank accounts as my current bank (Santander) had stopped offering their bonus checking account and they also were no longer offering the high yield savings account that I had (the interest rate was a whopping 1%, but still better than most places). I stumbled upon a TD Bank sign up bonus where if you had a direct deposit of over $2500, you would get a bonus of $300 in your account. There were also no fees as long as you kept a minimum balance of $2500, so it seemed like the perfect time to open a new account. Checks were free with this account and the online interface seemed easy enough to use, and they did have a bill pay service.
Does it seem like new IRS scams are coming out faster than they stop them? Every year it seems we go through the same pattern around tax season of telemarketers trying to scam people while posing as the IRS. To make things even more ridiculous, the IRS is going to employ several private debt collectors next year. Already sound like a bad idea? It seems like they are opening a huge door for scammers to say that they are an authorized collection agency. In my opinion this does not add up at all, and seems like it introduce more headaches than the benefits of any additional revenue that may be recovered. There’s also the fact that these firms will need to paid, so wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to hire more employees at the IRS for this purpose?
With all the recent news about Wells Fargo opening fraudulent accounts in customer’s names that did not even request it, I figured that this would be a timely post. Over 5000 employees were accused in this case, and several whistle blowers have said they were fired when trying to report the practice. It’s important to choose the bank that is right for your situation, one that will make you money – not take your money. It seems there was a systematic failure at Wells Fargo to prevent these issues from happening, and we want to prevent this from happening to ourselves. I’m going to be sharing some advice on how to choose the bank that is right for you while trying to avoid that same situation.
When I started my career after graduating college, I had heard of the terms 401k, IRA, Roth IRA, pension, etc but had no idea how they worked or what exactly all those acronyms stood for. With this post I’m hoping to explain and clear up any confusion around one type of account: the 401k. The 401k is named for the subsection of the Internal Revenue Code that it was written in, very creative right? A 401k is a retirement savings plan that is offered by employers to their employees. While an IRA (individual retirement account) is set up by the person, this is an account that will have to be opened through your employer. Around 80% of all full-time workers in the United States have access to a 401k plan, so it’s important to understand how to use this account to save money towards your retirement.
I was recently reading an article on Time that said nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. That means that almost 66% of people failed the test – I couldn’t believe it! Basic financial literacy? I have a little more faith in our intelligence than that, so I decided to find the actual test itself and take it myself. The test and corresponding survey were done by the FINRA Foundation which self regulates financial markets in the United States. There was some good news from the survey, showing that the amount of people having no difficulty covering their monthly expenses had increased as well as the amount of people who had emergency funds. It also showed that more than half of people who use credit cards pay the balance off each month – the highest percentage since the survey began!