Your Take 
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Your Take: What Have You Been Putting Off?

You never need more than one checking account. I have two and for the last year or two, as I’ve moved slowly towards simplifying our finances, closing the second checking account has always been on my “To Do” list but has never been scratched off. I’ve closed plenty of online savings accounts, like HSBC Direct and FNBO Direct, but not this checking account because it’ll require me to go into a branch.

What has it cost me? There are a few hundred dollars in the account, let’s say it’s around $500, and if you assume 2% interest (high yield savings accounts have been at most 2% in the last two years), it has cost me around twenty dollars. Twenty bucks isn’t a ton of money but I’d rather have it in my pocket than the bank’s!

What have you been putting off? Maybe it’s getting your emergency fund off the ground or rolling over a 401(k) into an IRA or perhaps it’s just setting up a CD ladder… but there has to be something, money-related, that you’ve been putting off for one reason or another?


 Banking 
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How to Close an FNBO Direct Account

A couple weeks ago I closed my HSBC Direct account and today I closed my FNBO Direct account. As was the case with HSBC Direct, I’m not closing the account because I don’t like FNBO Direct or the online savings account itself. I’m trying to simplify our financial lives, post-marriage, and we have far too many financial accounts. Part of it is because you take two adults and make them one financial unit and part of it is because as a personal finance blogger, I open a lot of accounts so that I can provide a first-hand opinion of them.

Now that we’re in the simplification phase of our lives, something has to give and unfortunately it’ll be FNBO Direct today. I do have to say, the customer service lines were very fast and I appreciated talking to someone in Omaha (the “O” in FNBO). It’s nice to see a business provides jobs locally, especially in our economic environment.

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 Investing 
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Best High Yield Savings Accounts Rates

These days, the best way to help your savings grow is by saving it in an online high-yield savings account. With interest rates as low as they are, you simply can’t get anything by putting it in your neighborhood bank. Online banks, with lower overhead, are still the best place to earn a much higher yield with absolutely no risk. After years of managing this list manually, we’re now happy to offer up this table that is updated daily with the highest rates you can find anywhere. The table is powered by Bankrate, an industry leader, and hundreds of banks are surveyed each time to ensure that the highest rates are displayed. Lastly, all of the banks on this list are FDIC insured so you know your money is 100% protected.

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 Banking 
33
comments

How to Close an HSBC Online Savings Account

In another move to simplify my personal finances, I closed my HSBC online savings account today. At the current interest rate of 1.45% APY, it was in the bottom half of the online banks listed on my high yield savings account rates table; simply not worth keeping around anymore.

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 Personal Finance 
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How to Hard Reset Your Financial Life

We have twelve bank accounts.

You read that correctly, we have twelve accounts.

Ally Bank, FNBO Direct, ING Direct, HSBC Direct, Bank of America, M&T Bank, … the list goes on.

We also have a dozen credit cards. Citi, Discover, Capital One, … again, the list goes on.

We have so many accounts because we’ve slowly acquired them over the course of the last ten years. Our financial network map is an intricated mess despite our best efforts to simplify our personal finances.

That’s why we need to hit the reset button on our financial life.

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 Banking 
32
comments

Bank CD Rates

How much money do you have sitting in a savings account? $500? $1,000?

Do you have plans for that money? If not, it should be in a certificate of deposit at your bank. If your bank doesn’t offer good CD rates, then you should open a CD with an online bank and take advantage of their better interest rates. If you don’t think you have enough money, you’re wrong. You can open a CD at an online bank with a single dollar.

One dollar.

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 Personal Finance 
12
comments

Bank Services More Important Than Interest Rate

A few weeks ago I asked for your opinion of the best high yield savings account and the one thing I learned something very interesting. With interest rates as low as they are, with many banks offering less than 2%, it’s the other services and amenities that dictate which bank you’ll work with.

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 Banking 
83
comments

Top Online Banks: Savings or Checking Accounts

The key to finding the best online savings account at the best online bank comes down to interest rates. The bells and whistles are nice but ultimately it’s about the money and the bank with the highest interest rates will win. That’s why we’ve included a table of the best interest savings account rates followed by a review of some of the more popular online banks. The best online bank for you may depend on a lot of factors outside of the interest rate, which is why minimum balances, fee, and other details are included in the table. One thing is clear, online savings accounts always pay more than a regular brick and mortar.

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