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Saving

Savings Interest Rates May Go Down Soon

by Luke Landes

It’s the biggest cliffhanger since Colin Baker literally hung off a cliff to end a truly bad episode of Doctor Who. On August 8, the Fed will meet and decide whether to raise interest rates. Traders think there’s a 76 percent chance the fed will pause the rate hikes, for at least the time being. I ... Continue reading this article…

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Living Through a Heat Wave: Cooling Your House

by Luke Landes

As the temperature has been upwards of 305 kelvin lately, I’ve been sweating in my apartment even while the air conditioner pumps and while wearing less clothing than what is socially acceptable in public. Hence, my electricity bill has shot up from the $40s to the $70s, with the next bill expected to be $90. ... Continue reading this article…

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Finding Extra Money

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has a feature this month about finding extra money or “hidden assets” as they call it. I’m not going to do a whole series on these suggestions, but I will simply summarize and add a few thoughts. 1. Cash in old savings bonds. If they’ve matured, you have money that’s not earning any ... Continue reading this article…

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The 5.0% APY Threshold: The New Hotness

by Luke Landes

If your savings account isn’t providing you 5.0 percent or more at this point, you can consider it old and busted. A few banks have raised their interest rates on “online” savings accounts lately, so take a look at the latest chart. Emigrant Direct moved to 5.15 percent today, but you may have problems accessing their new ... Continue reading this article…

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Mail Check: Some “Goodies” Arrived for Me

by Luke Landes

I’ve been away from my apartment for almost a week, so I had a few goodies waiting for me upon my arrival home yesterday. I received a letter from Emigrant Direct with my activation code for their new website to be launched next Monday. Also, they included a notice that they will be raising their ... Continue reading this article…

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Update: Moving Savings From ING Direct to HSBC Direct

by Luke Landes

After our discussion yesterday, I took the plunge and signed up for an account with HSBC Direct, taking advantage of their $25 Best Buy Gift Card Promotion. (I would have preferred cash, but I can make the gift card work for me.) Thanks to Dus10 for letting me know about the promo. HSBC verifies ownership ... Continue reading this article…

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Thinking About Moving Savings From ING Direct to HSBC Direct?

by Luke Landes

ING Direct has served me well for a long time. For a few years, their interest rates were the highest available, and their sign-up and referral bonuses simply added to the gains. I used all available referral bonuses in 2005, so I no longer have these to distribute. Also, their interest rates have been sagging ... Continue reading this article…

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My Nest Egg Score

by Luke Landes

I broke down and took the A.G. Edwards Nest Egg Score estimation thing. I’m doing better than average for my age group (18-35), so I’m satisfied. The mini-quiz asked a few questions about my living status and my investing and savings habits, and presented these suggestions: * Continue to manage debt. * Maximize your retirement ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Moves Up From Last to Still Last

by Luke Landes

ING Direct raised the interest rate the bank offers on its savings accounts, resulting in a 4.35 percent APY. This is good news, hot on the heels of the Fed’s raising of interest rates yesterday. Millions of people will benefit from ING Direct’s move, as this particular bank is one of the most popular for “online ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Paid for Changing Your Flights

by Luke Landes

I’ve heard stories about people receiving various perks from airlines in return for giving up their seats on overcrowded flights. I never attempted this myself, but now I know there is a method to perk offerings, I may try to work the system if I find myself on a tight flight. Here are the tricks ... Continue reading this article…

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After Graduation: Choices, Plans and Risks, Part 3

by Luke Landes

David Bach, the author of The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner (the latter of which I reviewed earlier this year), also writes a column on Yahoo Finance. Recently he presented five tips for college graduates just beginning their path to financial security. This follows Part 1 and Part 2. Here is the fourth ... Continue reading this article…

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Does This Number Impress You?

by Luke Landes

$400,000. Do you consider someone with a net worth of $400,000 rich? Well-off? Comfortable? Would you set a lifetime goal for yourself at $400,000? Actually, a net worth of $400,000 sets you well above the median net worth in this country, and in the world, to say the least. But these statistics don’t matter… what ... Continue reading this article…

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Increasing My Savings, An Experiment, and Extra Income

by Luke Landes

I initiated a new recurring bank account transfer from my Wachovia checking account (my basic operating account) to my ING Direct savings account. As I can’t schedule a daily recurring transfer of $5, I added a weekly $35 transfer. Hopefully this will force me to tighten up my spending a little bit and provide me ... Continue reading this article…

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Several Banks Increase Their Savings Rates

by Luke Landes

In the last few weeks, several banks increased the interest offered on their savings accounts. On Friday, I updated the chart. Feel free to let me know if you hear of any updates before I get to them. There were increases to CitiBank, GMAC, Emigrant Direct, and Capital One. More details are here.

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Money Stats for Twentysomethings

by Luke Landes

A feature on MSN Money looks at finances of people in their twenties. The feature includes statistics such as median net worth, median income, percentage owning homes, etc. with which you can compare yourself if you happen to be in this particular demographic. At age 29, I was doing well compared to these averages, but ... Continue reading this article…

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Get More From Your Money

by Luke Landes

There have been some changes for high-yield “internet” savings accounts, typically unavailable directly in a brick-and-mortar bank and only available through online applications. Presidential Bank is now leading the pack with a 4.87 percent APY for the first $35,000 of your balance. Unfortunately, this account requires a minimum balance of $5,000. CitiBank eSavings is not far ... Continue reading this article…

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Online Savings Accounts in the New York Times

by Luke Landes

The New York Times catches on to what bloggers have been talking about for years: online savings accounts earn more interest and are overall much better than the paltry traditional savings account. ING Direct led the newest initiatives in the United States in 2000, when it introduced the Orange account, and until recently it had ... Continue reading this article…

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GMAC Online Savings Account

by Luke Landes

Flatbeer asked me: GMAC raised the interest rate to 4.75 percent ($500 min). I checked the general FAQ and you can now download account info into Quicken & Money. With electronic transfers, downloadable account info, checks, AND a VISA check card, I would think that most people would choose this option for an online money market ... Continue reading this article…

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Raising Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Everyone is affected by raising interest rates, but different people are affected in different ways. CNN Money describes how a typical American (homeowner, spender, etc.) is affected by interest rates. Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money; the prices paid by institutions trickle down to the consumer. So if you’re in the market ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Raises Rate

by Luke Landes

ING Direct is now offering 4.0 percent APY on their savings account. The table of high checking and savings account rates has been updated, and ING is still on the bottom.

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