Overcharge Fees and Other Penalties May Cause You to Fall Into Debt to Your Own Bank Account
by Kevin Schneider on September 29, 2011
Bank of America has just announced plans to charge $5 every month you use your debit card. While the service had previously been free, it is important to pay attention to your bank statements so that you aren’t taken advantage of. Wells Fargo, Chase, and other major banks have all begun adding new fees to previously free services, making sure you know about them can save you a lot of cash.
There are a few reasons why large banks have begun to charge for free services. Since the housing bubble burst, the Department of Justice has pressed charges for mismanaging their mortgages and other alleged crimes. Federal regulations have also come into place which are designed to protect consumers. One of these keeps banks from charging your largest transaction first.
Think about this: You have $300 in the bank. You buy a $50 shirt, a cup of coffee, lunch, and later you forget about your previous purchases and buy a $300 television. In the past, banks would have charged you for the TV first, that way you get charged a $35 overdraft fee for the TV and all the previous purchases as well. It’s the difference between paying $35 and $140. Thankfully, this practice is now illegal, but banks have begun trying to recoup the money they used to get through this practice in other ways.
It is important that you pay attention to these changes, as they can cost you money when you’re not looking. For example, Bank of America now charges $7 for a checking account unless you deposit at least $1000 in it per month. If you don’t pay attention to the mail you receive, and use your debit card too, that could add up to $144 in fees per year that you can’t account for.
If you find yourself lost amid the rules in regulations, be sure to contact financial advisers for help. While asking your bank should be a good idea too, it may be best to try a neutral third party. A bank may not be lying when they tell you something, but that doesn’t mean you will learn about the options best for you, and not just the ones best for the bank.
When you have immediate financial difficulties, perhaps from overdraft fees or other hidden charges. Getting a cash advance can help you pay them off before they escalate into a mountain of a problem. With a cash advance, you can be sure to avoid any hidden charges. Federal law requires all lenders to provide you with all information before you ever have to sign anything.
Improving Speed and Efficiency Can Keep You Working Fast and Save You Money Further Down the Line
by Kevin Schneider on September 28, 2011
A recent survey claimed that users of Internet Explorer 6 were statistically lower in IQ than people using other browsers. While that survey was proved to be a hoax, it nonetheless shed light on the growing problem of people using outdated software and hardware, albeit a bit crudely. In any case, if you are using software, browser or otherwise, which is out of date, you may be putting yourself at risk technologically and financially.
When you leave your computer unprotected, it makes it easier for viruses and other types of malware to infiltrate your hard drive. Not all of these will be apparent immediately either, you may find that simply downloading the latest virus definitions for your anti-virus software will lead to faster performance as well.
Apart from viruses though, some people are simply using antiquated hardware. Sometimes there is nothing you can do except buy a new computer. It is important to understand that in many cases, viruses and their ilk may not be the reason why your Internet appears so slow. Web pages are constantly evolving; more information is being downloaded per site you visit than ever before. An old computer may not work very well on new sites.
Fixing these kinds of problems may be as simple as checking for updates, or it could mean that you need to buy new programs, upgrade your hardware, or just by a whole new computer. It is difficult to suggest purchasing something which could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. However, the investment may be worth it in the long run. Having a faster computer means working faster, which means you can make more money over time and be less stressed by the amount effort you need to make some cash.
Normally, getting a payday loan in order to make a purchase is not a wise decision. However, when you use a cash advance to buy something like a new computer, you are making an investment in your future.
Before you rush out to Best Buy, though, be sure you can afford it. No investment is helpful if it puts you in an obscene amount of debt. Weigh all the factors, including financing fees, interest rates, and how long it will take you to pay off a loan, before borrowing any money.
Save Paper, Save Money, and Save on Stress When You Switch Over to a Paperless Life
by Kevin Schneider on September 27, 2011
If you are like most people, you probably don’t pay too much attention to what arrives in the mail. If you’re skeptical of this, take a look at the ongoing budget struggles of the Postal Service and the possible closure of branches or elimination of Saturday deliveries. If you still use snail mail as your primary means of posting and receiving correspondence, you may be missing out on chances to save money in a number of ways.
First off, every major bank offers online banking options. By using this you can receive your bank statements through your inbox as soon as they are available, and can check your current balance at any time. How does this save you money? It makes it easier to avoid incurring expensive overdraft fees for one. One of the most common reasons people get payday loans is because they can’t make any headway on overdraft charges.
Another reason people get cash advances is because they have late bills. Most online bank accounts allow you to schedule automatic bill payments. This will take out specified amounts and transfer them to, for example, your electric company to make sure your bills are paid on time.
Many jobs will allow you to elect to have your paycheck directly deposited in your bank account. This gives you instant access to your money as soon as you’ve earned it. Using this option can keep you from missing payments.
All of these options help keep your personal financial situation from stressing you out. It’s a well-known fact that high levels of stress can adversely affect not only your work and home life, but your overall health and happiness as well. By utilizing some of the modern conveniences available online, you can help your financial stress to minimum.
Should an emergency leave you left without any options, getting a cash advance can be a great way to keep yourself from falling into a cycle of debt. Payday loans offer many online payment options like direct deposit and automatic bill pay. These can help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
As the Seasons Change, You Are More Likely to Get Sick
by Kevin Schneider on September 26, 2011
With businesses both small and large making budget cuts to healthcare plans, it is more important than ever to keep yourself healthy. When you are out of the office, you can’t work as efficiently and the entire staff may be slowed down. Plus, if you are not fortunate enough to have paid sick days, time away from work can cost you medical fees and also lost wages. By following a few simple steps at work, you can do your best to stay strong.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most full-time employees in America receive about 8 days of paid sick leave per year. Since you never know when you might have some emergency, avoiding days out of the office for a case of the sniffles is very important.
One of the most common reasons for becoming sick, especially among office workers, may be a poor diet. If a can of energy drink and a cigarette sounds like a balanced breakfast, it may be time to switch up the menu. Eating healthy does not have to stop with morning meals either. Many workers get into trouble because of over-snacking or eating poor snacks throughout the day. Eating sugary foods like chocolate muffins instead of vegetables can rob your body of the nutrients it needs to stay in top form.
Another important part of being healthy is staying active. Working long hours at the office is not the same thing as exercise. If you are sitting in a chair all day, make time for yourself to take a quick jog. If you are lucky enough to live near a gym, you can take a shower and return to work refreshed.
If you can’t get down to the gym, try and move around as often as possible. Walk to a nice place for lunch, for example, instead of driving or try sneaking a few push-ups or jumping jacks when you feel run down. Wearing clothes in which you can move easily can be a big part of this. If you have 3-inch heels or dress shoes, you may end up getting sore toes from walking around by the end of the day. This is a case of fashion over function. If you are uncomfortable moving around in your work clothes, wear more comfortable garments to help you get mobile.
Finally, get some sleep! Seven or eight hours of sleep per night is best. But even if you don’t feel it’s necessary, your body will thank you later. Sleep helps get rid of stress too, another common cause of sick days.
Of course, sometimes you just catch a bug. With high deductibles, many people can’t afford to see a doctor even if they have insurance. If you don’t have the money to see a doctor right now, you may want to get a cash advance. Quick cash to help with medical expenses can help you get back to work tomorrow, not next week. You, and your coworkers, will be better off for it.
When You Need to Save Money You May Need to Make Some Sacrifices
by Kevin Schneider on September 23, 2011
Keeping yourself within your budgetary limits can be really tough. When you have been working all week and the weekend arrives, you want to go out and have fun. Unfortunately, when you’re in debt that might not be much of an option. Instead of going out whenever possible, there are a lot of ways to have a great time without spending any money at all.
According to the online statistics website comScore, people spend more time on Facebook than any other website. The reason for this is simple: There is always something to do. With the CEO Mark Zuckerberg announcing all-new integration with Spotify and Hulu, there are kinds of things that can keep you happy without spending money.
Spotify is a free music service which allows you to listen to just about any song you want as well as share them with friends. Hulu allows you to watch a large library television shows online without paying charges. When you absolutely have to save money, but don’t want to be all alone on a Saturday night, you can still keep in touch with your friends and have conversations about the music and television you’re watching.
Of course, even when you are doing your best to keep your expenses to a minimum, an unexpected disaster can occur. This could be any number of random events which leave you forced to spend a large amount of money: emergency medical bills, car repairs from a fender bender, or simply keeping your utility bills up to date. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that you always have options. A cash advance may be one of them when you will have the money you need soon, but need it now.
In fact, you may be doing great, keeping your finances in order and going out when you feel like it, when disaster forces you to get some quick cash. Be sure you maintain your budget when you have debt to repay. In situations like this, Facebook, Hulu, and Spotify can be just what you need to make sure you have a great time without spending any money. You can still keep in touch with friends while you’re doing it too. In the long run, a couple weekends away from the club or off the beaten path can be a refreshing change of pace, for your finances as well as you.
As the Fall Release Season Gets Underway, Remember to Spend Responsibly
by Kevin Schneider on September 22, 2011
For gamers across the country, summer is a period of draught for new video games. Now that fall has come, new blockbuster titles are being released every week. With this week’s release of the highly anticipated Gears of War 3, you may be hearing the call to start racking up headshots. Since most games carry a $60 price tag, though, be careful what you buy.
According to the regulatory body of the video games industry, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, about 67 percent of households in American play video games. According to the website, “Today’s video games are enjoyed by players all ages and backgrounds and parents are increasingly involved in making sure that the ones their children play are age-appropriate.”
Whether your console of choice is a Wii, Playstation, Xbox, PC or some combination, accessories, games, and subscription service fees can add up quickly. Many people tend to think of their budgets in terms of how much they can spend before hitting zero. As long as there is enough money to eat and pay the bills, the leftovers are part of that month’s disposable income. This is all well and good until life deals you a level 28 disaster spell.
Maybe you have a fender bender and, unlike your video game character, do not have a dragon or chocobo to ride to work. Not keeping money in the bank, especially in a savings account especially reserved for just such emergencies, can leave you unable to purchase the vehicular upgrades you need to get back on the move.
In such instances, you may not have any cheat codes to turn to, no 1-ups waiting around the corner, or a friend online with loose purse strings. Getting quick cash can be difficult, but if you can pay it off in a timely manner, a cash advance may be your best bet.
Payday loans are available online so you can get back to fragging or an impatient guild as soon as possible. Just be sure you calculate your budget before doing so, just as you need to prepare to beat the final boss, you need to make sure you are ready to take on the responsibility of a short-term loan.