Toasters to Interest Rates

Toasters to Interest Rates

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"It's very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old fashioned way because I'll tell you what, no computer is safe." Donald J. Trump, December 30, 2016, Mar-A-Lago, Florida

Donald Trump announced last weekend that he favored returning to the past – turning off the computer, writing it down and having a courier deliver it.  I’m sure, he would also favor markets no longer driven by algorithms and millisecond transactions, returning instead exclusively to floor agents and floor trading. 

In fact, following all this to its natural conclusion, Trump might also champion banks, once again, offering toasters to those who would open new accounts.

Any of this would be a hard sell today.  Trump is going to discover quickly that there is no turning the clock back.  He will be surprised, once he leaves Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago, that the world has changed dramatically.  Typewriters and fountain pens are hard to find: couriers are few and far between and toasters as incentives have gone the way of prizes in Cracker Jack boxes.

That said, he might be on to something here.  One could imagine, with interest rates finally on the rise and increased attention now on safety in very volatile markets, that banks might want to ADD toasters again to their menu of options.  Who knows?  It worked once, and with Trump as the champion, it might just work again.

Explore the most comprehensive database of bank rates to find the best rate here.


Competition For Your Money Finally Picks Up

Competition For Your Money Finally Picks Up

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Following the Fed's movement of the Fed Funds rate to 50 basis points last week, we are finally seeing competition for your hard earned cash. Here are a couple of neat offers that caught our eye.

Here are some neat offers that have just come to market that may indicate that the long period of low interest rates may be ending, and competition among banks for your money may be picking up.

Savings Bonus – Up to $200 from CIT Bank

CIT Bank is offering depositors up to a $200 bonus for funding a savings account with new money between now and the end of 2016.  You can learn more about this offer here.  BestCashCow finds this offer particularly attractive as discussed in this article, especially as CIT Bank always has outstanding customer reviews.

CD – 11-Month No Penalty CD from Ally Bank

Ally Bank is offering depositors an 11-Month No Penalty CD paying 1.25%.  The rate is not particularly compelling as we have seen 1-year CDs paying 1.25% and over for some time now (see the best one year CDs here).   What is attractive about this offer, however, is that the CD can be terminated without penalty at any point following six days of opening.  Quite simply, there is no reason not to move your cash on deposit in an Ally savings account to their 11-Month No Penalty CD, even if you think you might need to access the cash over the next 11 months.

Online 2-Year CD Rates Cross 1.50% and Credit Union 5-Year CD Rates Cross 2.50%

A handful of online banks have begun to offer 2-Year CD rates over 1.50% (see the banks and rates here).    More than a handful of federal credit unions are now offering CD Rates over 2.50% (the credit unions which you can access may vary according to where you live, see the 5-year credit union rates where you live here).   BestCashCow does not currently recommend locking into CDs that are longer than 1-year in duration as we anticipate dramatically higher rates in 2017.   It is nonetheless very encouraging to see banks begin to offer compensation for time deposits that have been better than anything we have recorded in over a year.


How to Create A Budget

How to Create A Budget

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Do you know how much money is coming in and going out of your paycheck each month? The best way to gather this information is by creating a budget. This will let you know where you spend your money. You’ll also discover where you can cut back on your expenses, which can help you save money. This article explains how to create a budget and make that budget work for your needs.

Write Down Your Goals

The first thing you need to do is write down your goals. These are goals that you have for your personal finances, which might include paying off your credit cards, becoming free from debt, and starting up a savings account. This is the first step since is helps you track your progress.

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Record Your Purchases

When you record your purchases, you need to record everything, even those little purchases, which you barely think about. While you may not think they’re a big deal, these little purchases can become an issue then you add them up.  A group of little purchases can equal the same amount of money as a big purchase.

When you have too many little purchases, you will find your money disappearing faster than you can track it. So, whenever you go out, at least for the first few weeks, you should record every purchase you make and this will help you see where your money is going.

Create Spending Categories

In order to determine where your money is going, you need to do a little organizing. Some basic categories listed in budgets include utilities, food, debts, work-related expenses and fixed expenses.

You can include categories for things that are important to you. This includes things like car insurance, birthdays, life insurance, and savings. Keep one category open for fun money that can be used for special occasions and just having fun.

Hold a Meeting About Finances

If you have a spouse or other household members, you will need to hold a meeting with them to discuss the budget. Talk it over. You can come up with a plan for your budget, compromising and negotiating until you find something that works for both of you.

When you work with your spouse, you’re more likely to keep on the budget. Then you’ll both be on the same page. Each person needs to be willing to work together and give a little to get the best results.

Schedule Time to Make the Budget

Create a budget can take some patience and work. Make sure you have some free time to get the work done. This budget needs to be something you can live with long-term. Keep some wiggle room in your budget in case of an emergency.

Take the time to make a budget that allows you to live within your means. If you have to make too many sacrifices then you may find it difficult to live within your budget.

Tweak the Budget

The budget you create may not always remain the same. You are not going to be in the same financial situation next year or five years from now. That’s why you should periodically take a chance to look at a budget.

In order to see if there are things that you can change, look at what you need to meet your needs and which items can be eliminated. While you want to make changes to your budget, you don’t want to tweak your budget too often.