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Banking Deals – Weekly Roundup

Get the best value from your money, literally. This New Year, why don’t you shop around for the best bank, the best broker, or the best financial institution? Now is the time to change the way you save, invest, or complete everyday transactions. The amount of money you can “earn” by simply choosing the right medium to save, spend, or invest is significant.

For example, if you actively use credit cards, why don’t you choose a company that provides air miles, big discounts, or 0% interest rates? It is easy to do it. Likewise, why would you want to keep your money in an account with 1% interest earnings when you can find a bank that will give you 4-5% for it? If you’re tired of getting the short end of the stick, do something about it. The list below gives you some clue about things to keep an eye for if you want to get a good deal.

Rate Nerd uploaded a new post “Best Checking Accounts to Start 2010”. It is a very helpful post because it enables consumers to pick and choose among competitive offers in the market. Some of the checking accounts even offer up to 5.01% API for checking accounts. Check out the featured offers listed on the blog to get a feel of what your decision should be like this New Year.

Deal Maven @ Bankaholics posted an article titled “Get a Good Rate and A Free HDTV.” This offer is available from Irwin Union Bank. The amount of money you earn depends on a large part, on where you live. The Irwin Bank website will ask you to enter your zip code to know the rate for your location. The lowest rate is 1.90 API. Want a bonus? The bank also lets you get a 22-inch Sharp LCD TV. But the catch is you need to have $20,000 for investment.

Brian O’ Connell @ Main Street featured a weekly roundup on his blog on the post titled “Banking Deals of the Week: Jan 6”. He commented that while banks have a wait-and-see attitude, their interest rate deals don’t look as attractive as it could have been.

Erase Debt from Your Life in the New Year

Debt is a common problem in America. Every middleclass family has one form of debt or another and a significant part of their monthly income goes into repayment. Having debt may be inevitable, maybe even beneficial at times. However, there are cases when debt becomes unmanageable. If you are knee-deep in debt, it’s time to take action.

Every little bit goes a long way. Take note that every penny you save is a penny that will help you get out of the debt trap. Below are some tips that will point you to the right direction:

Keep Track of Your Spending – this is a very sensible thing to do. But it is sometimes still amazing how many people fail in this task. Money can be gone so easily that you won’t even notice it unless you keep track on what goes out. Try to keep a cash notebook or use an online application tool like Mint.com to be aware of your spending pattern.

Make a Budget – every self-respecting financial expert will tell you to develop a budget to have any hope of controlling spending. After observing your pattern for several weeks, it is possible to develop a realistic and effective budget. Go for the balanced money formula which states that you keep 50 percent for your needs, 20 percent to saving, and the rest to lifestyle spending.

Earn Money from Your Money – if you have some leftover money from the bank, it is a good idea to invest it in high-yielding financial mediums. It enables you to create money from your savings. Some popular options today include rewards checking account, online savings account, and certain types of special deposit account.

Look for Possible Discounts – people have a tendency to keep paying what is charged to them. This is not always recommended. It is actually possible to ask for discounts, reduced rates, or freebies from the companies you deal with. For example, some banks are amiable to giving you a lower fee provided that you can give a good reason (other bank offers). Meanwhile, look at your insurance options as well. There is a lot of savings that can be derived from that.

Lessons Investors Should Know from 2009

A lot of realizations have been made over the past year. The recession has opened investors’ eyes to the previously hidden dangers of investing in big banks and betting big. This year, everyone is hoping to start on a clean slate on the right foot. But getting a good start takes more work than simply wishing on it. For starters, it might be a good idea to look back on 2009 to avoid the same pitfalls in the future.

Stop Being Gullible

Everyone looks to major financial analysts for predictions and guidance. Relying solely on them or basing important decisions based on their forecast can costs you a lot of money if you bet wrong though. Merrill Lynch, with no idea what is going on behind the scenes, reported that “The global economy will continue to grow with no sign of significant cyclical slowdown.” This statement was released on June 8th, 2007. A few months later, Lehman Brothers went down.

Right now, analysts are predicting a 10-20 percent rally for 2010. The risk is for you to take if you still want to rely on them.

Look at the Hard Facts

Most investors rely on the S&P 500, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq to get a feel of the US market. Naturally, these indexes are critical but it may sometimes help to take some time to look at the DJ US Total Stock Market Index. From its low in March to October 15, 2009, this index gained 4415 points. After that, it inched up to a mere 183 points. This movement has a significant effect on investors’ psyche.

Bailouts – Its Implication in the Future

While the government bailout was seen as a necessity, its consequences will have a long lasting effect on almost every investor’s finances. Savvy investors can still make a lot of money by spotting opportunities. But for the most part, they will lose because of over pessimism or simply bad timing.

Financial Resolutions You Should Start in 2010

New Year…it is the time for fresh starts and a clean slate. At the back of everyone’s mind, they are wishing for this New Year to be better. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular. Whether you have a list of 10 or 100 resolutions though, it cannot be denied that it is difficult to keep them. Old habits die hard. But with a bit of help, you can be nudged along in the right direction.

As this is a financial blog, we will deal with mostly financial resolutions people make for the New Year. Compiled below is a list of blogs that talks about good financial resolutions, tools that will help you keep it, predictions about 2010 and how you can get ready for it.

Miranda from All Business asks readers, “What are Your Financial New Year Resolutions?” and she proceeded to name three of hers. It includes refinancing her house because the interest rates on her 15-year mortgage are below 5 percent. Other resolutions are opening a health savings account as well as a retirement account for her husband.

Jay MacDonald from Credit Cards wrote his predictions in the post titled “Personal Finance Predictions for 2010.” Basically, he first outlined what happened during the past year. For example, he commented that it has been dominated by three “R”s namely recession, reform, and relief. In the New Year, consumer behavior will radically change and a new kind of frugality will be ushered in.

Technology plays a big part in everyone’s life today. And being able to choose the right application can even help you financial. The Marketing Vox website featured an article titled “Apps for Financial New Year’s Resolutions.” Among the recommended tools include apps for saving and job hunting. Hopefully, by using these tools, users will be able to accomplish their aims.

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