My Adventures At FinCon ’13 – Upping Your Game Through Professional Development

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You want a better, more fulfilling career, right?

For some people that’s a whole lot more like a new job, better pay, appreciation… you get the picture.

For others they just want to make sure they are giving their job everything they can so they can be the best at what they do.  And by job I don’t mean you have to be working for someone else, this could very well be your own business.  (Though really, you are always working for someone else – the customer).

Who doesn’t want more in their career then, right?

But how do you get it?  Not by sitting back and hoping it just happens.  And let’s face the grim truth — if you aren’t getting better at what you do there’s someone out there that is.  You have to always keep learning.  Excelsior!

You need to up your game.

Go out and learn what you can about your field.  Improve those skills that will help you do your job better.

Develop yourself professionally.

This can mean a lot of things.  Maybe you take an advanced class in Excel.  Perhaps you join Toastmasters so you can do better presentations.  It could mean poring through the latest periodicals in your field.

Another option is attending professional conferences.  This is what I did Oct. 17-20.

FinCon ’13 – Where Bloggers and Personal Finance Meet

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All About Free Online Checking Accounts – Why Pay More Fees Than You Have To

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Don’t you hate it when you look at your checking account and see less money there because of fees you were charged?

And isn’t it annoying when you look at the requirements of checking accounts of many traditional/brick and mortar banks?  (Are you checking the requirements?  Gotta ask.)

They say they have free checking but you have to fulfill a maze of requirements: have a direct deposit with them, have an account balance of at least X for the month, stay under Y transactions… It’s hard to keep up!

blank_checkSo what options are out there?  Free online checking accounts!

As technology and the internet have grown, companies have stepped up and recreated the wheel, so to speak.  A number of banks have introduced free online checking accounts that are easy to use and full of features.

And because these companies are online and don’t have to manage physical bank locations, they can offer their customers more benefits such as higher interest rates, cash back rewards, and free services like bill pay – all nice bonuses in addition to a free online checking account.

Are you not with me yet?  Fine.  Understand that there are many checking accounts out there that are chock full of serpentine fees just waiting to suck your hard-earned money out.

These Are some Common Checking Account Fees You Want to Avoid

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What is Renter’s Insurance and Why You Need It

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While most people know how important it is to have homeowner’s insurance, many never stop to consider whether renters also need to protect themselves.  (Quick hint: They do!)

Many tenants assume that they don’t need renter’s insurance because any hazards will be covered by their landlord’s insurance—after all, they’re the ones who own the property, right?

Nope.

The landlord’s insurance will cover only what the landlord owns, and that will be limited to the land and the physical structures on it.  Anything inside the building that you own will be excluded by the landlord’s insurance company.

Somewhere in the stack of papers that you signed along with your lease, you would probably find something that says that it’s your responsibility to insure your property, but you either didn’t know or didn’t want to spend the money.

But guess what, you need to have renter’s insurance.

What is Renter’s Insurance?

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Do You Know What All Your Investments Are? – Personal Capital Review

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It’s tough keeping track of all of your money and investing accounts.

There’s your savings, checking, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, 529 plans, investing accounts, 401(k) plans… it can go on and on.  If you’re lucky some of those accounts are with the same company so you can see a few of your accounts in one place.  But odds are you’re still going to need to jump around to get a complete picture of your finances.

It’s not impossible to track everything, for sure, but it can be a pain switching between accounts to see exactly what you are invested in for which account.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had one place that can give you a snapshot of your money?

And then wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get a better idea of your allocations to better make sure you are diversified  in the right places?  Oh, and if you could see what your fund fees were costing you in one spot that would be nice too, right?

Some objective financial advice based on your accounts would be a sweet thing to have access to as well, wouldn’t it?

Enter Personal Capital.

Personal Capital describes itself as “Your Next Generation Financial Advisor”, and it may be just that.

Not only does the application allow you to combine your various financial accounts in one place, but it also provides expert, personal investment management with low fees.

How Personal Capital Makes Your Life Easier

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Your Guide to Balance Transfer Credit Cards and The Best 0% Offers

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I was drowning in debt.

I managed to finally get my head on straight and start to really take care of my finances.  This after I already dug a hole with thousands in credit card debt.

I tried to do the right thing and pay off more than my minimum balance and tried to pay my cards (yes, more than one) on time every month.

I was living paycheck-to-paycheck in NYC in a small studio apartment.  Even though the place was small it took up a nice chunk of my monthly income.  I remember writing out those checks to the different credit card companies (this was before paying online was so easily available).

The beginning of the month would come and I’d pay my rent.  Then I’d get to the card bills.  I paid what I could over the minimum, with enough to still eat some kind of food, but it was killing me.  I was paying so much every month to my credit card bills but I was barely, if at all, putting a dent in my debt (my debt was earning some nice interest against me for the card companies).

Keep in mind I take full responsibility for my debt.  I made the purchases and dug the hole all by myself.

So I kept at it.  As my credit improved I started to see offers in the mail for credit cards.  One of them had a 0% balance transfer interest rate.  I applied and transferred over a balance.
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PerkStreet Financial Online Checking is Shutting Down (What Happens to My Money?)

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It’s a sad time for online checking.  PerkStreet Financial will be closing its doors for good on September 26th, 2013.

“Who is PerkStreet,” you might ask?

PerkStreet was (look I’m already using them in the past tense) an online bank that provided online checking accounts with fair fees.  And they weren’t just checking either.  They tried to make checking online rewarding for their customer by giving cash back and rewards when you used your PerkStreet debit card for purchases.

Many people loved PerkStreet as an alternative to credit cards.  It’s easy to rack up charges that are too big to pay off in full with a credit card (for some people).  With a debit card you can only spend what is in your account.  Using PerkStreet for purchases kept people accountable to their money — they couldn’t spend what they didn’t have.

Another aspect many loved with PerkStreet was their fees, or lack of.

They were part of an ATM network that had over 42k locations so it was pretty easy to find an ATM so you wouldn’t get hit with fees for being stuck with an out-of-network ATM.  They also offered up online checking with no monthly fees and no minimums to open an account.

PerkStreet was a breath of fresh air in an age where brick and mortar banks have been slowly taking more out of customer’s pockets with different fees.

But no more.

If PerkStreet is So Great Why Are They Closing?

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Review: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Are you looking for an incredible travel rewards credit card that allows you to earn free nights at high-end hotels and resorts AND can be used towards airline miles programs?

How about a card that, besides rewards, comes with additional travel benefits, purchase protections, and more?

Then look no further than the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

Starpoint® Rewards Program

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