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Checking Account

Jul 23, 2019 Sometimes you’ll need to transfer money from one bank account to another. Perhaps you’re paying some for the monthly rent or maybe you want to move your money from an old account into a  high-interest savings account. Regardless, you have a few ways to move the funds. You may not even have to leave the comfort of your home to do it. Like most things today, there are more digital options than ever. Here’s a look at ways to transfer money from one bank account to another and which method is best for your situation. Read More...

Dec 14, 2018 Investing in certificate of deposit ( CD) accounts provides you with several benefits. But as with anything in the investing world, you face some risk. So you have to weigh the CD pros and cons before you decide to open a CD account. This article will objectively examine those CD pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. But first, let’s examine what CDs actually are. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 Maintaining a healthy savings habit is critical to financial wellness. Unfortunately, many Americans lack basic emergency funds. One easy way to build one is by opening a savings account. The best savings accounts will offer high interest rates, zero monthly service fees and low or no minimum balance requirements. This article will guide you through the process of opening a savings account, step by step. So read on and get ready to start saving. Read More...

Oct 18, 2018 Most of us know that a savings account is a smart place to store money. Savings accounts have higher interest rates than checking accounts and, as such, help us earn more without sacrificing liquidity. And although they yield lower returns than most other investments, they are much lower risk. Yet even though savings accounts are part of most Americans’ financial plans, many of us don’t understand how the interest rates they offer work. Understanding this key element of your savings account is important to help ensure you’re making the most of your earnings. Read More...

Oct 18, 2018 The American Dream of homeownership and financial independence is a hallmark of middle-class life. Indeed, working hard defines this cohort’s pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps sensibility. But earning and saving up enough money to afford a down payment comfortably and reduce financial stress is getting increasingly difficult. With inequality on the rise in America, the middle class is getting squeezed on both sides. That has made many Americans in this demographic wonder how much money they can really save and whether they will be prepared come retirement. Some states, however, are better for the middle class than others. Below we look at metrics related to income, homeownership and taxes to find the… Read More...

Oct 17, 2018 Finding the perfect city is difficult. You know you want to live somewhere with plentiful high-paying jobs. But you also want to balance a good job with affordable housing. That ideal scenario will allow you to boost your savings and set you on a clear path for financial independence. But there are other important considerations at play. Many Americans desire to live somewhere walkable where the threat of crime is low. Below we look at these and other factors to rank the most livable cities in America. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 As Americans pay more for medical costs, many seek new ways to save in case of emergencies. Some may not even know they have access to health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs). But smart consumers who are prudent about their physical and financial health would do well to consider the HSA vs. HRA decision. So which one should you get? The answer depends on your individual needs. But we will explore each in detail. We’ll also analyze the pros and cons of each. Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 Good Friday marks the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and many of those observing will be fasting and engaging in religious ceremonies. Some may also be asking, are banks open on Good Friday? The answer is, most likely. Good Friday precedes Easter as a major holiday in the Christian faith. However, the government doesn’t observe it as a Federal Holiday. And it’s not typically recognized as a bank holiday. But that doesn’t mean every single bank in the U.S. will be open on Good Friday. Read on to learn more. Read More...

Oct 11, 2018 Are the robots going to steal your job or just free you up to tackle other needs at work? It's a consideration that puts fear in the heart of the typical American employee. You see, on the positive side, labor-saving devices make workers more productive. And having more productive workers typically means goods cost less, a fact that allows consumers to build up their  savings accounts. But amid that increasing productivity, labor-saving devices cause labor market upheaval, which has both positive and negative externalities. Read More...

Oct 10, 2019 In a world where Americans are saving less and less, it helps to have something to motivate you to sock away some money for an emergency fund. A high-yield savings account can do that. As the name implies, these options pay you interest rates that rank well above those of traditional savings accounts. And the best savings accounts don’t require you to pay monthly fees or even keep a minimum balance. Some also provide very easy access to your funds via an ATM debit card. But what exactly is a high-yield savings account? Read on to learn all about these products and how they can help you improve your finances. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Health savings accounts ( HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) both help people save for future medical expenses. These accounts also offer distinct tax benefits. But when deciding which one is really best for you, it's important put them side by side and ponder the HSA vs. FSA match-up. Ultimately, your choice depends on your specific healthcare needs. Each account tends to benefit a different type of saver. So read on to learn all about the HSA vs. FSA comparison and which one's attributes and rules best suit you. Read More...

Oct 12, 2018 Each year, the IRS sets maximum contribution limits for health savings accounts ( HSA). The HSA maximum contribution for 2018 increased from 2017, and it will climb again 2019. But under certain circumstances, you can breach these limits without penalty. However, there are certain HSA contribution rules you should follow to avoid consequences. This article will explain those rules, contribution limits and more. Read More...

Oct 09, 2018 Between trade group meetings and professional development confabs, the American workforce attends a whole lot of conferences. According to the most recent data from forecasting company Oxford Economics, there are 1.9 million conventions, trade shows and meetings in the U.S. each year with a total of 251 million attendees. All that economic activity is a boon for cities that can make themselves alluring spots to host conferences. In particular, attractive cities are those that offer attendees affordable accommodations and entertainment while not crushing their  savings. Ideal locations also include those that allow easy transport from the airport so attendees can preserve their budgets and maximize their networking time. Below we combine these and other factors to rank the best cities… Read More...

Oct 08, 2018 Money market accounts tend to generate interest rates that climb well above those of even the best savings accounts. They also offer additional benefits. For example, several banks link money market accounts to debit cards. You can use these to make unlimited withdrawals at ATMs without worrying about federal limitations. And the best money market accounts have no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements or a minimum opening deposit. But how does a money market account work? Read on to learn all about money market accounts and where you can find the best ones. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Considering moving your health savings account (HSA) funds from one provider to another? Luckily for you, the HSA rollover process isn't as difficult as you may think. The IRS allows you to fund a new HSA account from another HSA account, an individual retirement account (IRA), and even a 401(k) if you know a few tricks. This article will cover each process step-by-step. It will also explain the IRS rules in plain English, so you can enjoy all the tax benefits without worrying about penalties. Read More...

Oct 01, 2018 Closing your bank account may seem simple at first glance. However, there are a number of steps to follow and actions to take to close your account properly. Following the correct process will help you avoid unnecessary charges, fees and complications. We’ll walk you through the process from beginning to end and provide tips of what to look out for along the way. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 A health savings account (HSA) allows you to invest for future medical expenses, while enjoying special tax breaks. Your contributions reduce your taxable income and your money grows tax free. Your withdrawals are also tax-free as long as you use the money on qualified medical expenses. We’ll explain how to open an HSA and how you can make the most out of your savings. We can also connect you with a financial advisor, who can help you make the right financial decisions around healthcare expenses. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 If you’re shopping around for health insurance, you’re probably getting sick from the alphabet soup of plan names you’re taking in. What is an HSA? What about HDHP? Pondering the HSA vs. PPO decision alone may be giving you a headache. But don’t pay to see a doctor just yet. This article will explain in plain English the difference between a health savings account (HSA) and a preferred provider organization (PPO). We’ll also explore the pros and cons of each to help you make the best healthcare decision for you. Read More...

Sep 25, 2018 Minor league teams are a beloved tradition in many baseball towns across America. They offer fans many advantages that the major leagues can’t compete with. First off, minor league games are affordable, meaning attendees can keep more money in their savings accounts. Secondly, minor league games are mostly a local affair offering fans a more intimate, community experience. Below, with all that in mind, SmartAsset takes on the challenge of ranking the best minor league baseball towns in America. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 If you want to open a bank account, you no longer need to visit a branch in person. With digital banking becoming more common, you can open and manage everything from saving accounts to mortgages, through online banking. In fact, there are now online banks that don’t have physical locations outside of their ATMs. But you can likely open a bank account online even if you’re working with a small, local bank or credit union. Here’s a look at the information you'll need to open a bank account online. Read More...

Sep 20, 2018 Around 2010 at the tail end of the Great Recession, the Census Bureau estimated that Americans 16 years old or older had an unemployment rate of nearly 11%. As of 2016, that figure stood at 5.8%. But while the economic downturn touched everyone, it did not affect everyone the same. Since then, some places have seen remarkable recovery in poverty rates and unemployment rates. Consequently, residents where things are on the up and up are less likely to be housing-cost burdened and are able to afford to put some money away into savings accounts. Below, we look at these trends to find the places where the quality of life is improving the most. Read More...

Sep 19, 2018 Renters in America’s largest cities are no strangers to roommates. As rent costs have risen so has the need for renters to group together to save on housing costs. But while rooming with a friend or an associate certainly has its financial benefits, it also comes with a loss of privacy and comfort that can be hard to value. Below, we take a stab at answering one side of that equation to find the places where having a roommate saves you the most money. Read More...

Sep 18, 2018 It seems we always end up with a stack of paper documents lying around. This is still true even with the major shift to mobile and online banking. But how long do we really need to keep those bank statements for? The short answer: you can usually dispose of your bank statements within a year. Sometimes, though, you’ll need to keep them for much longer for tax reasons. Let's  take a look at why you should save some paper documents and how long it makes sense to keep them for. Read More...

Sep 17, 2018 A CD ladder can prove to be a handy savings tool. This is especially true for those who need some extra structure and discipline when it comes to savings. Certificates of deposit, or CDs, come in various term lengths. Once you make your initial deposit, you cannot access the money in the account until the end of the account’s term, also known as its maturity date. A CD ladder means you're socking money away in CDs of various maturity dates. This structure prevents you from dipping into your savings unnecessarily but also allows you more access to your cash at different intervals. Read More...

Oct 30, 2018 Have you ever rushed to the bank to make an important deposit or withdrawal only to find the lights off and the doors locked? Only then do you realize the bank is closed due to a holiday. There are 10 holidays, listed below, that you’ll need to remember if you want to avoid this kind of mix-up. Luckily, there are still ways you can access your money from your checking and savings accounts on these holidays. Read More...

Sep 13, 2018 Across the country, teachers are having a tough time making ends meet. Earlier this year, teachers in states like West Virginia and Oklahoma went on strike and won concessions for themselves and the schools where they teach. All told, teachers in eight states went on strike this year with differing results. But while going on strike and emerging victorious on some hot-button issues is something for teachers to celebrate, they probably would have preferred to have prevented the situations from getting so bleak. In contrast to those dire scenarios, pay for teachers and school funding are on the rise in some parts of the country. This means teachers in those areas have disposable income to save and don’t need to strike to earn it. Read More...

Sep 13, 2018 Capital cities in the United States share many of the same characteristics. Housing the state and local city bureaucracy, capital cities often times have stronger economies than other cities in the state. The best state capitals also tend to have strong local histories that broaden the local cultural offerings for residents. With that increased interest can come some problems, however. Many state capitals suffer from rising housing costs that leave residents unable to build their savings. That hurts the overall quality of life.  Read More...

Aug 23, 2018 According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average American household has an after-tax income of $64,175 and spends $57,311 per year. That leaves the average American household with a savings rate around 10.7%. But across the country, there are large disparities in savings rates. Some metro areas combine high-paying jobs with affordable housing, allowing households to fill their savings accounts. Other metro areas suffer from stagnant wage growth and bloated housing costs that hamper local residents’ ability to save. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Most drivers probably have a few candidates in mind when they picture the worst drivers in the country. Often it's drivers from a neighboring state invading their lane, but some states carry a nationwide bad-driving reputation. So while it is perhaps fun to joke about the bad road etiquette of certain motorists, bad accidents and negligent driving are no laughing matter. From serious injury to car repairs draining savings accounts, living somewhere with bad drivers can have a serious negative impact on your life. Read More...

Sep 04, 2018 The minimum wage has become a hot topic of debate in the U.S. The fight for $15 has become a popular rallying cry for advocates of a higher minimum wage. And many cities have answered the call, especially those with the highest costs of living. In fact, some cities like Seattle and Belmont, California have gone a step further by planning to extending their minimum wage past $15 per hour. In doing so, they hope to improve the fortune of minimum wage workers'  saving accounts. However, with costs of living rising in step with minimum wage increases, the places with the highest nominal minimum wage may not have the highest real minimum wage. Below we look at the cities with the highest and lowest real minimum wage. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 How much is higher education worth? Judging by Census Bureau data quite a bit. The average associate's degree holder earns 18% more than the average high school diploma holder. In dollar terms, that’s a difference of $5,400 per year. And while $5,400 may not seem like a life-changing amount, over time $5,400 per year can mean extra money in your savings account which can then be invested, either on your own or with a  financial advisor. With the costs of four-year colleges rising, affordable community colleges are becoming increasingly attractive. But not every community… Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 If you're looking for the best bank account to meet your needs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are all going to be excellent options. But how are you supposed to pick a winner? We make it easier with exhaustive comparison of America's three largest banking institutions. Read on as you make the Bank of America vs. Chase vs. Wells Fargo decision. Read More...

Jul 18, 2018 Picking the right bank to work with is an integral part of managing your financial life. Two of the largest banks in the country, U.S. Bank and Bank of America, are both excellent options if you prioritize accessibility. Whether you choose to open a checking account with U.S. Bank or with Bank of America, you will find impressive variety and breadth in account options along with a list of other perks. With nearly 7,000 FDIC-insured commercial banks in America, narrowing the decision down to U.S. Bank vs. Bank of America already puts you ahead. But the two corporations have several key similarities and differences, and it's best to know how they measure up before making the leap to choose one.  Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 One piece of advice every good financial advisor gives to customers is to build an emergency fund. An emergency fund allows you to weather any unforeseen emergencies, whether you lose your job, require an extended hospital stay or total your car. If you have the right-sized emergency fund, you can get through those emergencies without having to take out costly loans which will hurt your savings account in the future. Read More...

Jul 13, 2018 Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp, better known as U.S. Bank, are ranked third and seventh as biggest banks in America, so if you're looking for prestige and confidence in opening a reliable checking account, you can't go wrong either way. But, of course, if you're looking to understand the nuanced differences between the two big banks, we've got you covered. Here is a definitive guide to the U.S. Bank vs. Wells Fargo decision so you can choose which is better for your personal financial situation. Read More...

Nov 29, 2018 When you're deciding whether to open a savings account with Chase or Capital One, you should look at the rates and perks each offers and whether they'll meet your financial needs. Both Chase and Capital One are two large banks that offer you widespread access to your money. They additionally offer extensive ATM accessibility and convenient mobile apps, but the prices at which their primary products are provided aren't entirely the same. Below, we take a closer look at the accounts, rates and fees each of the banks offer and how they differ. Read More...

Dec 21, 2018 Millions of Americans attend state fairs across the country every year. From rides and concerts to games and fried food, there's something for everyone at a state fair. And with rising costs of living, state fairs are one of the few entertainment options which the majority of Americans can afford without breaking into their savings accounts. However state fairs vary widely by location. Some state fairs last for weeks and are attended by large chunks of the state's population. Others are only a few days and go by almost unnoticed by the state’s residents. Read More...

Jul 11, 2018 Both PNC and Chase Bank offer a long list of banking products that can be conveniently accessed across the nation. Whether it's checking and savings accounts, or branches, ATMs and mobile apps, both banks provide users access to relatively similar products. However, the details of those products are different at each institution. Below, we take a closer look at the accounts, rates and services provided by PNC vs. Chase Bank to help you choose the bank that’s best for you. Read More...

Jul 10, 2018 TD Bank and Chase are two large financial institutions that provide an extensive range of products both through online services and numerous branches. If you're looking to put your hard-earned paycheck into a savings account at TD Bank or Chase, it's important to first understand what the two banks offer and how they differ. Read on to learn more about how the accounts, fees and rates for each vary. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 When it comes to choosing a bank, TD Bank and Wells Fargo are two excellent picks. Both boast competitive benefits and accessibility. But before you choose to open a checking account or  savings account with either bank, it's best to compare TD Bank vs. Wells Fargo side by side on a number of factors. Read on below to see which bank would best fit your needs. Read More...

Sep 05, 2018 Citibank and Chase Bank are two of the biggest names in the banking industry today. Both financial institutions provide easy access with online and mobile banking, plus thousands of branches and ATMs domestically and abroad. These banks also offer a variety of products from a simple savings account to an IRA CD. If you’re unsure about how these banks differ or which you should choose, we’ve highlighted some of the key features that distinguish the two. Read More...

Jun 27, 2018 JPMorgan Chase is the largest and most powerful bank in America, holding nearly $3 trillion in assets. Its unlikely competitor, U.S. Bancorp, takes seventh place. But bigger doesn't always mean better when it comes to where you're looking to open an account. Both U.S. Bank and Chase Bank offer a long list of perks and benefits, but it's important to find out which one best suits your needs. Here, we uncover the pros and cons of banking at giant Chase versus with consumer-oriented U.S. Bank. Read More...

Jan 18, 2019 Online banks offer some of the best interest rates in the industry. They also tend to raise a few eyebrows. In most cases, they’re just like any other bank only without physical branch locations. Entirely online, Ally Bank fits this description, with competitive rates and around-the-clock support. Still, many wonder: Is Ally Bank safe? Read on to learn how Ally Bank works, what makes it a safe place to store your cash and how to decide if you should make the switch. Read More...

Sep 17, 2018 Credit card debt can destroy anyone’s finances if it is mishandled. According to data from TransUnion, the average credit card debt holder had $5,644 worth of credit card debt. While that number may not seem like a ton of debt, paying it off can be difficult due to high interest rates. Long-term credit card debt can not only hurt your credit score, it can also stop you from building your savings account. Read More...

Jun 21, 2018 Finding the best bank in America to fit your specific needs is crucial for building a solid foundation in your financial life. But with dozens of different banks operating in the U.S., how can you know which one is best suited for you? The answer is to compare each bank on the metrics that matter most: account options, fees and interest rates. Below you'll find a comprehensive side-by-side analysis of TD Bank vs. Bank of America so you can make a smart, informed decision about where you should consider opening an account. Read More...

Jun 18, 2018 A checking account provides a great tool for money management, keeping your money both safe and easily accessible. However, many banks and credit unions charge a fee to own a checking account. These fees generally range from $4 to $20 although they can reach higher depending on your bank and account type. This is in addition to other bank fees for transactions like wire transfers and overdrafts. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Having a savings account is incredibly important to your financial health. It keeps your money safe and grows your savings according to set interest rates. Typically, you can have a savings account alongside your checking account for automatic transfers and overdraft protection. But there’s also another type of account that works like a hybrid of savings and checking accounts. This is the money market account, which earns at favorable interest rates and can include an ATM card. In this guide, we'll break down the difference between a money market account vs. a savings account. Read More...

May 10, 2018 Whether you'll be making a number of international money transfers or it's a one-time transaction, it's important to know the best ways to send money internationally. Maybe you need to put down a deposit for a vacation rental, send money to family living abroad or make a foreign purchase. Whatever the case, you have several options for sending money internationally. From Western Union to your bank, the post office or online services, it's important to compare fees, transfer minimums and currency exchange rates before sending money. Read More...

Sep 20, 2019 When choosing whether to open a bank account with Ally Bank or Capital One, it really comes down to whether you want access to physical branches when you bank. Ally Bank is an entirely online operation, limiting you to its website and mobile app. Capital One also offers those convenient features, but with the added benefit of brick-and-mortar branches throughout the country. Below, we take a closer look at each bank and what they can offer. Read More...

May 08, 2018 When it comes to accessing your various bank accounts, ATMs offer a big convenience. This is especially true when you bank with an institution that offers thousands of ATMs all over the world. According to data from the World Bank, there were around 47 ATMs per 100,000 adults in the world in 2016. Despite their geographic convenience, using an ATM can actually cost money, depending on your bank and the ATM you use. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 There are special banking opportunities for those who have served our country in the military, are currently serving or for the families of these individuals. Two such options are Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA Bank. Below, we look at who qualifies for each institution, their account offerings, fees, rates and more, to help you find the right bank for you. Read More...

May 03, 2018 Despite the ease it provides, paying in cash isn't always the most secure form of payment. Instead, you may be asked to pay with a money order. You can get a money order almost anywhere, like banks, post offices and even Walmart. After that, it's as easy as filling out the order, keeping the receipt and handing it over to the person you're paying. Let's take a closer look at the process of filling out a money order. Read More...

Jun 11, 2018 The main plus of having a bank account with a big bank is the widespread access you have to your money. Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America provide their customers with thousands of ATMs and branches throughout the country. Both banks also offer a range of bank accounts, from a simple savings account to IRA CDs. But which bank is better? Read on to find out more about each bank and their fees, rates and more. Read More...

Jun 06, 2018 Opening a checking account, whether a personal or business checking account, is a relatively easy process as long as you're prepared with the right information. It becomes even easier when you know what to expect. To open a checking account, you can head over to your bank or credit union of choice. Even better, you can open an account online from the comfort of your own home. This option has become increasingly popular among financial institutions. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 At some point, you may end up receiving money in the form of a check. This could be your paycheck, your tax refund or a personal check from a friend. Unlike cash, you can't turn around and spend the check on a purchase immediately. However, no matter where the check comes from, cashing it is an easy process. This gives you more immediate access to cash than depositing the check. Read on to learn how and where to cash a check. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Traveling abroad can be expensive. Besides renewing your passport, booking your flight and arranging accommodations, you have to pay for transportation, food and all those incredible experiences you left home for. Even if you have reliable credit cards or a debit card tied to your checking account, you’ll probably have to exchange currency at some point during your trip. Rule of thumb says you should always have at least $50 worth of local currency on hand. In that case, you'll need to know where to get that cash without losing too much to fees. Read More...

Apr 02, 2018 Few things are more frustrating than trying to get in touch with your bank when something has gone wrong with your checking account or savings account. But when handling bank account-related problems, whether it's an issue like identity theft or something as simple as needing to change account information, some banks handle their customers' requests better than others. Below we look at the banks with the best customer service records when it comes to handling bank account disputes. Read More...

Mar 16, 2018 Many of us have experienced that heart-sinking moment when you get to the ATM or cash register only to discover you don't have your debit card. Perhaps you dropped it in the parking lot or someone snagged it from your wallet. Either way, your missing debit card could pose some problems like missed rent payments and fraudulent charges. There's no need to panic, though. Follow these steps to ensure your finances stay safe. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 It can be hard to start a search for a new bank. Nowadays, there are so many banks to choose from, with online banks adding their names to the ranks of big banks. But if online banking isn’t for you, let’s take a look at two of the biggest names in the financial industry: Chase vs. Wells Fargo. Read More...

Mar 12, 2018 Money market accounts offer a unique way to save and spend your money. They act as a mix of a savings account and a checking account. This means you can earn interest on your money market account balance and easily access those funds with a debit card and/or checks. Of course as with your savings accounts, you’ll probably want to maximize your savings with the highest money market rates. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Whether you’re new to banking or looking to switch banks, you’re probably familiar with Chase and Bank of America. These are two of the biggest names in the banking industry. Each has similar product offerings, from a simple checking account to rewards-earning credit cards. Plus, as big banks, each has thousands of branches and ATMs across the country for your convenience. So, should you choose Chase or Bank of America? Read More...

May 04, 2018 A safety deposit box, also known as a safe deposit box, is an individually locked box held within a larger vault, usually in a bank. The boxes come in a range of sizes and can be rented on an annual basis. People use them to store valuables, documents and other valuable items they want to be kept safe. Read on for more information on how much they cost, where you can rent one and why you might need one. Read More...

Aug 09, 2019 More and more consumers are choosing to go digital when it comes to their banking institution and are selecting online-only banks. Two of the better names out there when it comes to online-only banking are Ally Bank and Simple, the latter of which offers its services through Compass Bank and The Bancorp Bank. If you're wondering which is the right bank for you, read on as we take a deeper dive into these financial offerings, including what bank accounts they offer, their fees and more. Read More...

Mar 08, 2019 When it comes to withdrawing money from an ATM, you are limited to the amount you can withdraw in one day. You're also subject to the amount of money you spend with your debit card each day. All banks impose these limits, both for security and practical reasons. These limits prevent thieves from withdrawing and spending all your money. Plus, banks can only keep a limited amount of cash on hand to distribute. The daily ATM withdrawal and debit purchase limits depend on your bank and the type of account you have. Read More...

May 03, 2018 When it comes to financial health, it isn't just about making more and more money. No matter how much money you're making, you need to be saving a significant chunk of your funds. This comes in handy in case of emergencies or unexpected expenses. It also isn't enough to stash away wads of cash under your mattress, which leaves your money vulnerable to fire or theft. A savings account allows you to not only keep your money safe and insured, but you also get to grow your money according to a financial institution's set interest rates.  Read More...

Sep 28, 2018 For most of us, payday doesn’t involve any actual cash. And keeping cash hidden at home isn’t exactly foolproof (think theft, fire, flood). That’s where checking accounts come in. Checking accounts are safe places to keep your money. Most are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, meaning you’ll be covered up to $250,000 should a bank get into trouble. Keep reading to find out what exactly a checking account is, how it differs from a savings account and where you should open one. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Wire transfers have proven to be a valuable asset for people who need to send money quickly and securely. Whether you're sending money to a relative abroad or closing on a home, wire transfers offer a safe way to send large amounts of money both domestically and internationally. However, because of their value and security, wire transfers tend to come with their own costs. Read More...

Feb 14, 2018 You've probably received a Visa, MasterCard or American Express gift card at some point. Or, you've bought one yourself. Prepaid cards can be found in the checkout line at the gas station or even in your mail as a reward for participating in a phone survey. They're everywhere. But do you know what exactly a prepaid debit card is and how they differ from credit cards? Read More...

Jun 26, 2018 The interest you earn on a savings account is nice, but the accessibility of your funds in a checking account really can’t be beat. Have you ever thought about getting the best of both worlds? Luckily, there are options out there beyond the basics. A money market account offers a little bit of both checking and savings. Read our money market account guide below and allow us to explain how they work and how you can sign up. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Perhaps you've found yourself in a situation (or two) where you needed to send or receive money as soon as possible. Whether it's legal trouble, a large medical bill or an urgent trip, it's not always easy to transfer money in the blink of an eye. However, in today's technology era, moving money across the globe quickly has proven to be a very possible task. This is often done through wire transfers. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Chances are, you're pretty intimate with your checking account. This type of account is typically used for regular spending. You may even move money in and out of it multiple times a day. The best checking accounts are affordable to maintain, earn some interest and provide easy access to your cash when you need it. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 Most of us rely on financial instruments to keep our savings safe, but it can be hard to know if you're saving enough. Evaluating the average savings account balance across the country is a good start. Using data from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, we've broken down the median balance for all households as well as by age and income, so you can see how you fare compared to Americans in recent history.  Read More...

Jan 26, 2018 If you're not entirely sure what a credit union is or what it does, you're not alone. In fact, economic experts often refer to credit unions as the financial industry’s best-kept secrets. Credit unions offer many of the same financial products as banks. However, they don't work in quite the same way. Read on to find out more about how credit unions work and how you can join one. Read More...

Jan 23, 2018 The job market can change quickly. The decline in manufacturing jobs was a focus during the 2016 presidential election and the BLS projects some jobs like data entry keyers will be in serious decline by 2026. To stay ahead of these trends, and to make sure your savings account never runs dry, it’s a good idea to know what jobs are most in demand. Below we rank those jobs looking at which have the best short- and long-term prospects. Read More...

Jun 14, 2019 Lauren Greutman is dedicated to helping others save money. Saving is something that financial coach Greutman struggled with for years. Her inability to save led to $40,000 of debt. But through dedication and simple changes, Greutman and her husband pulled themselves out of debt to reach a point of financial security. Now she shares her knowledge and experiences so that others can avoid the same money mistakes that she made. So if you need help saving money, here's some helpful advice from a former spender. Read More...

Dec 26, 2017 David Bach has spent the past two decades teaching people how to get rich. He isn't trying to pull a fast one though. He says up front that he is not selling get-rich-quick schemes. In fact, his advice isn't much different from that of other financial experts. What makes Bach successful is how he thinks about saving and budgeting. By thinking about them from a different angle that most others, he has found a way to keep people engaged and interested in saving for their futures. Read More...

Jan 16, 2018 One constant in the U.S. economy over the past 40 years has been the ascendency of women in the work place. In 1976 the number of men in the workforce was about 47% higher than the number of women (57.1 million to 38.9 million). By 2016 that number had dropped to almost 14% (84.7 million to 74.4 million). But the gains to women’s employment have not been evenly spread across the country. In some parts of the country you are more likely to see women employed, earning high salaries and spending less on housing than you are in others.  Read More...

Dec 11, 2017 AJ Smith didn't always focus on personal finance. She liked to work and earn money - that was about as far as she planned. But over the course of her career she came to see just how important personal finance is. It touches every part of our lives. She also saw that there wasn't enough good content out there to help people make the tough financial decisions that we all have to make in our lives. Now she works to create educational and engaging content for SmartAsset. Read More...

Nov 16, 2017 People advise you to do what you love. But sometimes doing what you love doesn’t pay your  mortgage bills. Of course, it's possible to combine your interests with a career with solid earning potential. With that in mind, SmartAsset took a look at the occupations with the largest and smallest income growth in the United States.  Read More...

Jan 08, 2018 The 52-Week Money Challenge first got a lot of coverage in 2013 when someone posted it on their Facebook page. Today it's a very popular way for people to build their savings and create good saving habits. It's common around New Year's to help people save during the upcoming year, but you could start it any time throughout the year. So what exactly is this challenge and how can it help you save? Read More...

Feb 12, 2018 The last time you visited your bank or used an ATM, you might have seen a sign that says your deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This insurance is a big part of why people feel safe depositing their money a bank. Even through the Great Recession, consumers had some piece of mind because they knew their money would still be there if the economy struggled. So what exactly is the FDIC and how does it insure your money? Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 The unemployment rate in the U.S. hit 4.2% in September 2017, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the lowest it's been in a decade, since the start of the Great Recession. While a low unemployment rate is important, rising incomes matter more for American families. SmartAsset examined the most recent income data to find the U.S. cities with the fastest-growing incomes. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 You have some money that you want to put in the bank. What type of bank account should you put it in to make sure you get the most bang for your buck? It can get confusing with all the potential options. Should you stick with a savings account? Is it time to start a retirement account? Or should you put your money in a certificate of deposit? Read on as we sort through the different types of bank accounts to help you find the right one for your situation. Read More...

Oct 30, 2017 The holiday season is a time for celebration. And with most celebrations, you usually find yourself opening your wallet again and again. This can put a strain on your budget and put a damper on feeling festive. With the presents, parties and decorations that go along with this time of year, you might find yourself short on cash if you haven't planned ahead. Luckily, there's a way to save. Enter: the Christmas club account. While not as well known as it once was, this holiday savings account helps you stash away money for seasonal celebrations. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 Start with giving yourself a pat on the back. Whether you saved $50,000 by diligently setting aside a portion of your paycheck, or you came into money through an inheritance, you now have a tidy sum to grow. Investing is one of the smartest choices to make when you have money to spare. Of course, with that comes the dilemma of how to invest $50,000. Read More...

Jan 09, 2018 Money management is a tricky subject. For many, the topic's accompanied with a feeling of apprehension. Maybe you've put off saving for retirement for a bit too long. Or, perhaps you’re worried about not having an emergency savings cushion. Whatever your concerns may be, there’s no time like the present to get a handle on your finances. It’s best to get started – as soon as possible – on good financial habits. Luckily, we have 10 money management tips to get you started. Read More...

Oct 25, 2017 Whether it's $14 avocado toasts, $5 lattes or $1,000 iPhone Xs, millennials have become the punchline of many jokes for their alleged profligacy. But is this reputation earned? SmartAsset gathered spending data to analyze millennial money habits. Read on as we discover how single male and female millennials spend their money. Read More...

Jun 26, 2018 Starting early with college savings is a smart choice. With the price of higher education rising each year, the sooner you start, the better chance you’ll have of helping make a dent in those costs. The average private college charged $45,370 for tuition, fees, room and board in 2017, according to the College Board. That's a hefty amount for just one year. Multiply that by four for an undergrad degree, and you can see the impact college can have on finances. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 You might associate joint bank accounts with married couples or couples who live together. While those are common situations when a joint bank account can work, there are a number of other relationships that could benefit from a joint bank account. Joint bank accounts allow two or more people to own the account, assuming equal responsibility. It’s important to know all sides to a joint bank account, though, before signing up. Read More...

Jun 06, 2018 Everyone has an opinion on how you should budget. From experts touting the latest app for online money management to bloggers giving personal perspectives on cash-only lifestyles, you won't find a shortage of advice. You've likely heard of the 50/30/20 budget. First mentioned in Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi's 2005 book "All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan," it's now become mainstream — for good reason. The rule's easy to remember and contains sound financial advice. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 Ever wondered what the key to financial success is? While it's hard to pin down one single key, having a budget plays a part. Having a budget is crucial to taking control of your finances. It helps you take stock of where your money is going. Knowing that, you can then improve your habits to increase your savings and boost your net worth. Of course in order to follow a budget, you need to know how to make a budget. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 You’re probably already familiar with big banks. Banks tend to be huge institutions that stretch nationwide, if not worldwide. Chances are you already have a bank account, too. But what’s up with big banks’ smaller cousins, credit unions? We often hear about credit unions, but the information about them tends to be hazy. So let’s delve more into the credit union and what makes these two financial institutions different. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Money orders provide a secure way of sending and receiving funds. They especially come in handy for sellers when you don't know or trust the buyer. Anyone can request or choose to pay through a money order. In any case, while it's a piece of paper, it would be wise to still treat it like a check or cash. To access the promised funds, you can cash or deposit it. But where can you make those transactions? Read More...

Sep 26, 2017 Money orders offer a relatively inexpensive, secure payment option. You can make a money order payable to a specific person or organization. Plus, the funds are guaranteed by a third party. But who exactly is that third party? Luckily there are a number of convenient places where you can get a money order, not just a bank or credit union. Let's take a look at your options and how to get a money order. Read More...

Mar 26, 2018 If you need to make a payment, but don't want to use cash or a personal check, you're not alone. Sometimes sending cash or checks just doesn't feel secure enough. So what are your options? Nowadays, electronic payments are becoming more widely accepted. But sometimes a seller may ask for a money order instead. What is a money order exactly? Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 If you’ve never opened a bank account before, you’re probably wondering how the process goes. For one, what do you need to open a bank account exactly? Whether you’re a bank account newbie or it’s just been awhile since you opened a new account, we’ve got you covered. It’s better to be prepared with the right information than show up empty-handed and unprepared. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 It wasn't long ago that paying bills or getting a paycheck meant waiting for a check to move through the mail system. Nowadays, many of these payments happen online through an electronic network called the Automated Clearing House or ACH. Trillions of dollars move through the ACH each year. Plus, people are increasingly using this network in place of credit card and debit card payments. But exactly what are ACH payments? Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Whether you want to make or receive a secure payment, it's hard to know the best way to do so. You could go the cash route, but that's risky to send in the mail. Plus, do you really want to be carrying around a huge wad of cash? Instead, you could go with a personal check. But if you're on the receiving end, how do you know the check won't bounce? So what's the solution? Let us tell you all about certified checks. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Say you’re ready to make a down payment on a house. The seller asks you to bring the payment in the form of a cashier’s check. A cashier’s check is a check with guaranteed funds, with money drawn from a bank’s own account. But how exactly does a cashier’s check work? What makes it different from a personal check or a money order? How do you get a cashier's check? Let’s break it down. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 If you owe someone money, there are multiple ways to pay them back. In the past, you might have written a check. But these days, you can transfer money electronically through various payment systems, including apps like PayPal and Venmo. You could also wire money to a checking account. If you're not sure how wire transfers work (and you're wondering, how long does a wire transfer take?), here's everything you need to know. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Many of us have a lot on our plates. Besides our demanding jobs, there may be dishes to wash, children to feed and errands to run. If we have to do something outside of our normal routine, we often wonder how long it'll take. For instance, if you need a new checking or savings account you may wonder, how long does it take to open a bank account? We'll answer that question and explain what to do if a bank denies your request. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 An emergency fund can be a lifesaver if you find yourself in a tight spot. But the amount of savings you have may vary depending on where you park your rainy day fund. While a traditional savings account is more secure than stuffing cash under a mattress, it won't generate as much interest as a certificate of deposit (CD). Here's everything you need to know about using a CD ladder to build an emergency fund. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 Planning to go abroad soon? You'll need to have access to foreign currency. While you could make all your purchases with a credit or debit card, you run the risk of wasting too much money on foreign fees. One way to avoid that is to exchange currency and carry around cash. But sometimes getting access to foreign funds can be expensive. If you're on a mission to save money, here are the cheapest ways to purchase foreign currency. Read More...

Sep 25, 2017 According to the 2013 FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, 7.7% of households in the U.S. were unbanked, meaning that they had no bank account access. A further 20% were underbanked, meaning they have a bank account but still relied on Alternative Financial Services (AFS) like payday loans in the 12 months before being surveyed.  Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 We've all heard of the Federal Reserve System but many of us don't know much about it. The media mentions the Fed every now and then, especially after it's had one of its meetings. But what exactly does the Federal Reserve do and how does it affect us? Let's take a look at a few of its key responsibilities and how its decisions affect the nation's cash flow. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Bank-to-bank transfers allow consumers to move money electronically. Specifically, they allow someone to transfer money from an account with one bank to an account with another institution. If you've never used this service before, it might seem a little confusing. If you need some help understanding how it works, here's what you should know about bank-to-bank transfers. Read More...

Aug 12, 2016 When you start a new job, there's typically a laundry list of things that you have to do during your onboarding process. In addition to meeting your new co-workers and filling out various documents (like the W-4 form and the I-9 form), you'll likely need to set up direct deposit. If you're trying to figure out how to do that, here's what you need to know to get started. Read More...

Mar 11, 2016 You can do just about anything with a smartphone these days and if big banks have anything to say about it, that will soon include getting cash at the ATM. While some smaller banks have already rolled out cardless ATMs, Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo are among the biggest financial institutions to jump on this trend. The updated machines are expected to roll out sometime in 2016 but in the meantime, here's what you need to know to prepare for the change. Read More...

Aug 26, 2019 When you save or invest your money, you expect to earn some sort of return. With deposit accounts like certificates of deposit or savings accounts, banks need a way to measure the return that you can expect. Enter the annual percentage yield (APY). An APY is a percentage that tells you how much you'll earn on an investment, including compound interest, in one year. Read More...

Mar 09, 2016 After a while, hitching rides with friends or waiting for public transit can get old. You may decide you want a car of your own. Cars, of course, can be expensive and looking at different makes and models might leave you feeling frustrated and stressed. Before you give up hope, we'll cover the ways that first-time buyers can save money for a car. Read More...

Feb 09, 2018 If you want to break up with your bank, it's a good idea to pump your breaks before moving over to a credit union. While it's true that credit unions rival banks by charging fewer fees and accommodating their customers' needs, they have their flaws too. Before you officially make the switch, it's a good idea to consider what you could lose by deciding to bank with a credit union. Read More...

Jun 11, 2018 Millennials probably can't imagine banking without their computers or cell phones. Members of older generations, however, might recall a time when they had to visit a branch to access their accounts. To some people, the passbook savings account is a thing of the past. To others, there's still room for it, even in our high-tech society. If you're not quite sure where you stand on the matter, read on to learn more about these savings accounts and why they're still around. Read More...

Feb 18, 2016 Just because two people haven't officially tied the knot doesn't mean they don't have shared expenses and financial goals they want to achieve. So how should unmarried couples handle saving money? Some of the best tips apply to married and unmarried couples alike, but others are specific to the unmarried set. Here's saving 101 for unmarried couples.  Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 Repurchase agreements, or repos, are tools that give investors access to fast cash without requiring them to put too much on the line. They're short-term contracts that can end overnight or last for months at a time. For anyone who's ever wondered what repos are and why they matter, we'll break down their purpose and their role in the money market and our country's monetary system. Read More...

Nov 10, 2017 So you want to visit the Big Apple but you're worried about blowing your budget? With a little planning and savvy you can save money while you're in New York City and still have an unforgettable trip. How much does it take to have an amazing experience in the city that never sleeps? It really depends on your taste, but there are some tried-and-true tips we can share.  Read More...

May 03, 2018 Saving money for retirement or a major purchase can be difficult, especially if you're still paying off student loans, credit card bills and other kinds of debt. If one of your goals for the year is to become a super saver, it might help to start small. Aiming to save $10,000 or $15,000 in a year might seem daunting, but breaking that goal up into chunks can make it easier to attain. And even a small amount of money can really grow over time - a savings calculator can help you see just how much. Once you are ready, we have some tips for how you can start saving money every month. Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 If you're on the hunt for a new checking account or you want to start investing, you might need to set aside time in your schedule to do some research. That's because there are many kinds of banks and financial institutions. By understanding the different types of banks and their functions, you'll have a better sense of why they're important and how they play a role in the economy. If you want a trusted expert to navigate this complicated terrain, head on over to SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool to get paired with a  financial professional who can guide you… Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 It’s time to pay your electric bill. You send in the payment but then you get a notification that you overdrew your account. Now you have to pay an overdraft fee. This is a common fee and if you don’t pay it right away, it can get expensive. (That's the last thing you want if you've just gone through the work to find a high-interest savings account.) Read on to learn more about overdraft fees and how you can avoid them. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 Your credit score matters, especially if you're planning to buy a house or you want access to the lowest loan interest rates. There are three credit bureaus that keep track of consumer credit data. What many people might not know is that there are also companies that collect information about savings and checking accounts. One such reporting agency is called ChexSystems. In case you've never heard of it before, here's everything you need to know about it and why it exists. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 Switching banks might make sense if you're paying too many fees or your savings account interest rate isn't high enough. Comparing checking accounts and opening a new one isn't that difficult, but closing an old account can turn into a headache if you're not careful. Here's what you need to do to make the transition from your old bank to your new one as smooth as possible. Read More...

Jun 06, 2018 Writing checks isn't as common as it used to be. Many of us rely on our credit cards, direct debit and good old cash to make the payments in our lives. For some people, a monthly rent check is the only check they ever write. When you're just starting to use checks or you don't use them very often, it's easy to get confused. Here's our guide to how to find your routing and account numbers on a check. Read More...

Apr 11, 2018 Free checking accounts are few and far between these days and banks are all too happy to tack on extra charges whenever possible. One of the most annoying fees is the one you pay for letting your balance fall below a certain daily or monthly limit. If you want to hang onto that cash instead of handing it over to the bank, here are some easy ways to avoid the fee. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Many Americans use debit cards to pay for food, clothing and everything else under the sun. Research suggests that millennials in particular prefer debit cards over credit cards and more than a third of them don't have any credit cards at all. Even if you already know how debit cards work, there could be some benefits and drawbacks to using them that you aren't aware of. We've got you covered. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 A certificate of deposit (CD) is an example of a low-risk, low-return place to stash your money. CDs are offered by banks and credit unions. Like bonds, they have maturity dates. You buy a CD with a maturity date that is between 28 days and 10 years from the purchase time. If you withdraw the money before that date, you could end up paying some kind of penalty.  Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 Anyone who runs a small business probably knows that managing company finances is not always easy.  Keeping track of the money that's flowing in and out can be challenging and time consuming, particularly if you're self-employed or you're missing an accountant on your team. If this is a dilemma that you've had to wrestle with, it might be time to sign up for a business checking account. Read More...

Jan 09, 2018 There's nothing more awkward than having your debit card declined when you're out to dinner or shopping. But if you've got overdraft protection, you can swipe your card without fear. When your account has this feature, the bank can automatically transfer money from your savings account in exchange for a small fee. You have to sign up for protection, so if you're planning on opening a new checking account, here's what you need to consider before opting in. Read More...

Sep 23, 2015 Banks are both borrowers and lenders. That means they pay interest (on customers' deposits) and collect interest (on mortgages and other loans). The difference between the interest a bank collects and the interest it pays is a big part of how a bank makes money. This is known as net interest income, but it's not the only income source for banks.  Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Checking accounts may look the same on the surface but appearances can be deceiving. When you're on the hunt for a new account, you don't want to make the mistake of just focusing on the fees. Taking a second to check out the details can point you toward the account that offers the most bang for your buck. Here are four benefits that may catch your eye. Read More...

Sep 21, 2015 Finding a completely free checking account can be like searching for a needle in a haystack these days. It seems as though banks are tacking on fees left and right. In fact, one recent study reports that Americans pay about $151 a year in fees for a basic checking account and the cost keeps climbing. If you're engaging in any of these bad banking habits, you could be making things worse. Read More...

Oct 11, 2017 If you don't want to face the inconvenience and potential embarrassment of trying to make a payment that exceeds your account balance, overdraft protection might seem like a perfect solution. The catch is that you'll probably have to pay for overdraft protection, and if you regularly overdraw those fees can really add up.  Read More...

Sep 17, 2015 Everybody likes free money and one of the easiest ways to get your hands on some is by opening up a new checking account. Banks sometimes offer cash bonuses to new customers, but these deals aren't always as sweet as they may seem. In fact, there are a few reasons why saying "no" to one of these freebies may actually be the smartest move. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 In the past, all banking was done in person. You couldn't deposit a check or transfer a payment without visiting a brick-and-mortar bank or an ATM. Technology has transformed every aspect of our lives, including our banking activity. Not only is it possible to monitor your savings and checking accounts online, but it's also possible to control your accounts through your smartphone. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 The differences between checking and savings accounts are important. A checking account is a transactional account. Customers move money in and out of checking accounts, sometimes multiple times a day. A savings account is designed to sit and earn interest. These days, though, you won't earn too much more from a savings account than you would from a checking account.  Read More...

Sep 14, 2015 Identity theft is a very real threat in the banking world and it seems like every time you turn around another security breach is in the news. While there's not much that the average person can do to prevent this kind of cyber crime from happening, there are plenty of ways to keep your information safe. If you're making these mistakes, you could be leaving your account vulnerable to hackers. Read More...

Dec 20, 2016 Yes, opening an offshore bank account is legal, as long as you follow procedures and declare your accounts to the IRS. The bigger question is whether you should bother opening an offshore account. Of course, if you're living abroad you'll need a foreign bank account for practical reasons, but if you're based stateside, there are pros and cons to going offshore.  Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 When you're just getting started in the real world, your checking account may be the last thing on your mind. After all, you've got to get a job, find a place to live, set up a payment plan for your student loans and figure out this whole budgeting thing first, right? While all of those things are important, pushing your bank account to the back-burner could come back to bite you. If you're a new grad, here are four mistakes you don't want to make when it comes to your checking and savings accounts. Read More...

Apr 02, 2018 Some online-only checking accounts come with perks to offset their lack of brick-and-mortar branches. Depending on your customer service needs, you might be able to make the switch from a traditional bank to an online bank. The more fees you're currently paying on your checking account, the more you stand to gain from making the switch to online-only banking. Read More...

May 03, 2018 If you want to save money for a down payment on a home, your retirement fund or just a rainy day you may be wondering how to trim your expenses. Ultimately, the best way to save money is the one that you can stick with and apply consistently. To get you started, here are our tried and true money-saving tips. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 Signing up for overdraft protection means your debit card won't be declined if you're short on cash. But it comes with a cost. In fact, research suggests that customers who have overdraft protection pay more than $250 a year. Opting out is one way to sidestep fees, but if you're worried that you won't be able to make a purchase in an emergency, there are other ways to avoid paying them. Read More...

Apr 09, 2018 Saving up money for a rainy day can be difficult, especially if it doesn't seem like you're earning very much interest from your bank account. Fortunately, there are several different savings vehicles to choose from. So if you've got a pile of money sitting in a plain old vanilla savings account, there are some alternatives that could yield a better return. Read More...

Jan 09, 2018 You could say that checking accounts are a lot like scoops of ice cream - they come in all different flavors and you don't want to end up with one you don't like. Thanks to the rise in mobile-only banking, free checking is beginning to make somewhat of a comeback. But at the opposite end of the spectrum, you have your choice of premium accounts to sign up for. Read More...

Apr 02, 2018 Mobile-only banks are one of the latest innovations to hit the banking industry as financial institutions adapt to keep up with changing consumer demand. Although the concept is relatively new it's quickly catching on, especially among millennials who seem to overwhelmingly prefer digital banking services. Mobile-only banks like BankMobile, GoBank and Moven combine convenience with lower fees, but there are some trade-offs to consider before moving your money into one of these accounts. Read More...

Nov 17, 2016 If you're tired of handing over money to your bank for overdraft fees each month, you might want to think about opening a checkless checking account. Banks like Bank of America and Citibank offer check-free banking options that come with built-in overdraft protection along with the same features that you'd get with a regular checking account. SmartAsset breaks down the basics of checkless checking, including the biggest pros and cons. Read More...

May 21, 2018 Learning how to properly manage a bank account requires some trial and error and just about everyone makes a mistake at some point. If you've run into trouble in the past with overdrafts or bounced checks or have bad credit, opening a new bank account can be difficult. Second chance checking accounts are designed for people who've made a misstep or two along the way and need a fresh start. Here are some tips for getting approved. Read More...

Nov 02, 2017 If you're fed up with the fees your current bank is charging you, switching to a new one can cut down on the cost. The only problem is that before you head out the door, your old bank could slap you with a few extra charges as a parting gift. Before you get ready to move your accounts, it's important to know what fees could end up getting added on. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 Managing your savings and checking accounts can be a lot easier these days thanks to innovations like online and mobile banking. One of the newest tools that banks are rolling out is mobile deposit, which allows you to add money to your account by taking a picture of it with your smartphone. Read More...

Apr 16, 2018 If you're tired of paying fee after fee at your big bank, a credit union may be your perfect match. Just about anyone can join and beyond offering the basics like savings or checking accounts, they're also an excellent choice if you're looking for a car loan, hoping to get a mortgage or getting started planning for your retirement. Because they're operated on a nonprofit basis, credit unions also offer some extra incentives to their members that may just make you want to say bye bye to your old bank forever. Read More...

Mar 14, 2017 Recently a younger family member mentioned that he had just gotten a new debit card for his checking account because someone had gotten into his account. He said he wasn’t sure how it happened, but someone got access to his checking account information and racked up a number of charges. This was the second time this had happened to him in less than a year. And he's not alone. Read More...

Jan 19, 2015 Real talk: How much money do you keep in your checking account? Too much and you're losing out on potential investment gains. Too little and you risk overdraft fees and a cash-flow emergency. So how much is enough? Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 It’s a new year and it’s filled with possibilities! Most of us make some type of resolution this time of year. Some want to lose a few pounds, while others want to get their finances in check. While it may not be feasible to make more money, you can find ways to trim your budget without giving up things you love. Our family saved over a thousand dollars last year by cutting back on a few things we didn't really need. Here are suggestions that can be done with a few phone calls and can save you thousands of dollars in the new year. Read More...

Dec 19, 2017 The start of the new year means it’s time for many people to make their New Year's resolutions. Maybe you want to improve your physical fitness, sleep more or eat better (especially after all that food during the holidays). This year, we at SmartAsset challenge you consider your financial fitness when you make your New Year's resolutions. Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 Once upon a time, checking accounts were the simplest type of bank account. They were no-frills affairs, designed for keeping your money safe but easily accessible with a check or withdrawal. Now, with all the financial institutions competing for your money, checking accounts have become specialized, each coming with a set of perks that are meant to set it apart from the pack and draw your attention. If you're unsure which one is most suited to your lifestyle, we've broken down a few of the best checking account options out there. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 There's a trend in personal finance that has nothing to do with banks and everything to do with friends helping friends - or even strangers. Have we piqued your curiosity? We'll tell you what it's all about.  Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 When I was in fourth grade, my classmates and I took a trip to the bank to learn some financial basics. While there, we were told that the government promised if anything were to happen to the bank, they would give us back any money we had in it. That lesson has been reinforced over the years by bank ads that include the phrase "FDIC-insured." But who exactly is the FDIC, how much money will they give you back and just how safe is your money? Read More...

Apr 02, 2018 We all know that breaking up is hard to do but sometimes you just have to move on, especially if your bank has started piling on fees or you're not getting the same level of service as you're used to. This is a telling sign that their might be a better bank for you out there. One of the reasons why people stay in bad banking relationships is because of the perceived difficulty of transferring accounts and assets from one place to another but it's actually not as bad as you think. If you're ready to make a clean break, take a look at these tips for leaving your old bank behind. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 When considering where to put one's money for safekeeping, the list of bank and credit union options seems endless. There are small local and regional financial institutions that can be entrusted with your hard-earned cash, of course, but for full service and far-reaching banking, the biggest national banks reign supreme. According to the Federal Reserve, these 10 financial institutions are the biggest banks in the United States by assets held. Below is our top 10 banks in America. Read More...

May 03, 2018 Most people know how to spend money but learning how to save money is an entirely different story. The Federal Reserve puts the personal saving rate at just 4.8% of disposable income, as of May 2014. While the overall saving rate has improved in the post-recession area, Americans for the most part still aren't socking away nearly enough dough. If you've been trying to develop your saving muscle but haven't had much success, these common money blunders may be the reason why. Read More...

Apr 11, 2018 Checking accounts come in a variety of flavors. Some are plain vanilla and others tutti-frutti, or bare-bones versus fully loaded. Regardless of which metaphor you choose, the plethora of choices can be confusing and costly. There is no point in paying for what you don’t want or need; and few things can be more expensive than not having the features that match your needs. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Finding a good deal on a checking or savings account is becoming more difficult with banks charging higher fees. Over the last few years, online banking has become a popular alternative to brick-and-mortar banks but it's not right for everyone. If you're thinking about moving your accounts, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of trading in your traditional bank for a virtual banking experience. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 If you've got a checking account or savings account, chances are you've gotten hit with a fee at some point. For banks, fees equal increased revenue but for consumers they're simply a nuisance. Before you hand over another penny to your bank, here's what you need to know to avoid racking up unnecessary fees. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 What is a savings account? By definition, the purpose of having a savings account is to give you a safe place to park your cash. Depending on your needs, you could use a savings account to start your emergency fund, save for your dream vacation or build up a down payment for your first home. There are a few different types of savings accounts to choose from but finding the right one doesn't have to be difficult.  Read More...

Dec 20, 2016 It's never too early to start teaching your kids good financial habits and the teen years are a great time to introduce them to the basics. Setting your teenager up with a bank account of their own is an important first step in building smart money management skills. While you could go with a traditional checking or savings there are plenty of banks that offer accounts specifically for middle and high school students. If you're shopping around for a teen bank account here are some tips for finding the right fit. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 Where you bank can have a significant impact on your finances, especially when it comes to things like interest rates and fees. Switching can be a major headache but it may be worth it if you can get a better deal somewhere else. If you're on the fence about whether you should make the move, here are a few signs that may be time to bail on your current bank. Read More...

Jul 29, 2015 If you’re like most people you have had the same checking account for years and maybe even decades. Perhaps it's the only one you've ever had. The fact of the matter is most people open a checking account at the same time they get their first job and stick with it through thick and thin. The problem with that is that the checking account you opened in high school or college may have been adequate then but probably falls short of the mark now. Read More...

Sep 28, 2018 Getting married means joining your life with someone else's and for many couples, it can take some time to work out all the kinks. One of the most important things that needs to be addressed once you tie the knot is how you plan to manage your household finances. If you're used to keeping your bills and income separate, it can be challenging to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. A joint bank account may (or may not) be a good option to manage finances. Read More...

Jan 09, 2018 Managing your checking account seems easy enough. Money goes in, money comes out and as long as you're in the black at the end of the month you're fine, right? Not necessarily. Even though it's pretty straightforward, plenty of people still struggle with keeping their accounts in order. Oftentimes, the result is that you end up shelling out your hard-earned cash to cover fees that could have been avoided. Here are some dos and don'ts that can help you make the most of your checking account. Read More...

Jun 11, 2018 Finding the best bank for your needs can be a little bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Even though all look the same on the surface, you're bound to uncover some major differences when you take a closer look. If you're on the hunt for a new place to stash your hard-earned dollars, here are some things you'll want to include on your must-have list. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 When it comes to your money, your first priority should be to make sure it's safe. You could stuff your cash in your mattress or bury it in the yard but keeping it on deposit at a bank or credit union is the more secure option. Unless you work in finance, it can be difficult to understand all the ins and outs of banking. There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding banks and their services and it's easy to be misled by false information. We've taken the time to debunk some of the biggest myths to help make managing your finances as stress-free as possible. Read More...

May 03, 2018 If your savings account isn't as healthy as you'd like it to be, you may need to rethink your savings strategy. While some people are natural savers, others have to work a little harder to build up the habit. Sometimes beefing up your bank account means tricking yourself into stashing your extra cash. (And that cash can really start to add up - a savings calculator can show you how.) If you're ready to up your savings game, here are a few creative ways to keep more money in your pocket. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 When it comes to managing your money, a checking account and a savings account are two of the most basic financial tools. One of each is usually sufficient if you're single but things can get complicated when you merge your money with a spouse or significant other. If you're juggling multiple bank accounts, here are a few tips to help you decide which ones you need to keep. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Ideally, your Thanksgiving holiday should be about family, food and fun. Avoiding controversial topics is usually a good plan. But if you must bring up money as you're passing the turkey, there is a right way to do it. Whether someone owes you big money or you need some financial help, we have some tips for keeping it civil. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 Most Americans are remarkably polite people and it's costing us dearly! Sure, we'll argue over sports or politics and if you're from New York, a parking spot. But when it comes to money all too often we just shrug our shoulders and pony up and walk away shaking our heads feeling taken advantage of. The practice of haggling is older even than money.  In those early days, direct trade of commodities required negotiation to determine the comparative value of items like a goat and a knife. Haggling was social and benefited the buyer and seller equally. Read More...

Jan 18, 2019 If you're looking to build your emergency fund or stash away some extra cash for that big screen TV you've had your eye on, a savings account is a logical choice. While traditional savings accounts don't carry the same level of risk as other savings vehicles they also don't offer the same type of return. In today's economic climate, interest rates for savings accounts are at historic lows which means you'll need to shop around to find the best deal. We've put together a list of banks that are offering the best rates right now, along with a few useful tips to help you choose the right account. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 Summer is winding down and millions of students across the country are headed off to college for the first time. If you haven't done it already, opening a student bank account should be the at the top of your freshman financial to-do list. Understanding the basics of how these student accounts work can help you make the best choice when it comes to deciding where to put your money. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 Going to the bank has always been a chore. On most days, it’s just another bullet on a list of errands to hurriedly run in a day. Now, however, some banks are transforming into more than just a necessary evil to become places that are, well, cool. In an effort to draw people away from banking solely online or via smartphones, banks across the country have been luring customers in by offering services that make their locations a place where you actually want to be. Here are the banks with the best perks. Read More...

Apr 02, 2018 You may not be aware of it, but one obvious drain on your cash flows that’s hiding in plain sight are banking fees. You know, those pesky monthly “maintenance charges” or minimum balance “penalties” your bank assesses to you when you’re not paying attention. Well, they add up. So if you’re looking to clean up your personal finances, make sure you take a look at your checking account to make sure you have the best bank for your needs. Read More...

Jun 22, 2018 ATM fees, some might say, are a necessary evil. They are not regulated by the federal government, meaning consumers can quickly rack up fees from their checking accounts if they're not careful. However, some banks are notoriously greedy when it comes to ATM fees.  So we ranked some of America's most popular banks based on their ATM experience. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 Is your bank closing your local branch? Don't be surprised at what is now becoming a common occurrence. Presumably, the economy is a factor in driving banks to shutter branches to save some money. This leaves you with a big question: If your bank closes your local branch, what do you do - do you find a new bank to keep your checking account, or remain with your current financial institution?The answer depends largely upon how you bank and whether a new or newly merged bank is setting up shop in your local branch's former location. Read More...

Oct 22, 2015 Brick-and-mortar institutions face stiff competition as more and more people turn to mobile-only and online platforms to meet their banking needs. To keep clients, traditional banks are using some nontraditional tactics, like leveraging social media. Check out some of the banks that rely heavily on social platforms to create a better experience for their customers. Read More...

Oct 27, 2015 The good old paper check has somewhat fallen by the wayside now that we have plastic, online payment and direct debit to help us pay our bills. If you’re not in the habit of writing checks, you may not know what to do when the time comes. Here’s our guide to writing a check in six easy steps. Read More...

Nov 11, 2015 If you're the victim of credit card fraud, the most your bank can charge you is $50, and that's only if the physical card is lost or stolen, as opposed to just the number. But debit card fraud comes with the potential for more liability. If you wait too long before noticing or reporting the fraud, your bank could hold you liable for all the fraudulent charges. That's why it's important to follow these five tips to prevent debit card fraud. Read More...

Feb 02, 2016 Banks happily profit off of the fees they charge their customers. But for consumers and business owners, they can be a major source of frustration. Luckily, many sneaky bank fees - like overdraft fees - can be waived with the right approach. Check out seven tips that’ll help you convince your bank to drop their charges. Read More...

Mar 09, 2016 Not everyone who wants a new bank account can actually get one. That’s because banks tend to avoid opening new accounts for people who pose too much of a risk. So if you’re on the hunt for a new savings or checking account, read on for seven reasons why a bank might turn you away. Read More...

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