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Feb 06, 2020 The employment of computer and information technology workers is projected to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028, adding almost 550,000 new jobs, according to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many of these jobs are expected to be well-paying. In May 2018, the median annual salary for computer and information technology occupations was close to $90,000. However, employment opportunities and pay in tech jobs still tend to favor men. Women make up about 26% of the tech workforce nationally and, on average, are paid only 83% of what men are paid in the industry. This affects all of their money matters, such as their ability to  save a sufficient amount while also covering their various expenses. Read More...

Mar 02, 2021 About three in four Americans receive a tax refund each year, and the average amount returned with those refunds is around $3,000, according to IRS data. This means that for many Americans, their tax refund is the largest single check they will receive all year, substantially affecting the trajectory of how they use or  save their money before the next tax day. Though often anxiously awaited, tax refunds come with a major cost. Read More...

Jan 27, 2020 One way voters demonstrate their support for political candidates is by making campaign contributions, something Americans have increasingly done over the last few decades. According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans giving money to a political candidate doubled from 6% to 12% between 1992 and 2016. That means more Americans are allocating parts of their paychecks or using some of their  savings to back the candidates they think will do the best job. It's a way for voters to put their money with their mouth is and take an active stand in the political process, something that is top of mind during an election year. Read More...

Jan 23, 2020 Commuting takes up a lot of time as well as money - money that could be put towards other financial goals like saving up for a trip, car or house. With Americans already spending so much of their time at work, it’s no surprise that those who commute to the workplace might wish to close the distance a little bit. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 As people age, their spending and saving patterns change. Major life events like buying a home, getting married or having kids may impact not only the rate at which people save, but also how they allocate the money that they do spend. Generational cohorts have also demonstrated differences in their financial priorities. For instance, a report from the Urban Institute found that in 2018, millennial homeownership rates were approximately eight percentage points lower than the homeownership rates of Generation Xers and baby boomers when they were the same age (21 to 37 years old). Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 In 2018, young adults with at least a bachelor’s degree had an impressive employment rate of 86%, compared to just 72% for their counterparts with a mere high school diploma. After all, a higher level of education can mean more job prospects and the opportunity to build strong savings. Unfortunately, not all kinds of jobs are always in as much demand as others. That’s why SmartAsset crunched the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to find out which sectors most need more workers with higher-education qualifications. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 It’s difficult to pursue your passions and manage your various commitments given the time that they require, especially if they are not directly linked to your job. In an ideal world, though, you earn enough to  sock away sufficient savings to enjoy your leisure activities without logging excessive hours at the office or on a punishing commute. Not all cities allow professionals to strike a happy medium, so SmartAsset decided to take a look at the cities with the best work-life balance. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 The average U.S. worker travels about 27.1 minutes to work and spends $2,600 annually on commuting costs, according to 2018 Census Bureau estimates and the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index. Working from home represents an opportunity for workers to save both time and money while additionally allowing greater flexibility for working parents. Read More...

Dec 16, 2019 As we head into the new year, many of us are taking stock of what we accomplished in the past year and considering what goals we’d like to set for the coming one. Establishing a more consistent fitness routine may be on the list for some people, though it can sometimes burn more of our savings than our calories. That’s why SmartAsset examined the data to find the most affordable fitness-friendly places for the upcoming year. Read More...

Dec 20, 2019 Whether you're a birth parent or an adoptive one,  having children is costly. Given the variety of expenses prospective adoptive parents face, they must consider whether they have the  savings to handle the costs of the process. One of the biggest factors that determines how much it costs to adopt a child is the type of adoption. Adoption is generally categorized into three broad groups: private domestic adoptions, international adoptions and foster care adoptions. Below, we take a closer look at the three types of adoption considering national and state trends and average costs for each. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below. Read More...

Dec 11, 2019 The stress of credit card debt is often felt the most at the end of the year, since Americans tend to put more on the plastic during the holiday shopping season. In fact, data from Experian shows that credit card debt has peaked in the fourth quarter for the past eight years. While playing Santa can make credit card statements more intimidating if you don’t have enough saved up as the year comes to a close, credit card debt afflicts Americans year-round. Read More...

Dec 12, 2019 According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, in 2018, approximately 82% of all beer in the U.S. was domestically produced. While that may indicate that beer is widely available across the country, not all drinkers will agree it’s worth using their  savings to buy another round in every city. That’s why SmartAsset took a look at the best cities for beer drinkers around the country. Read More...

Nov 21, 2019 Like home prices, rent varies month to month in many cities. Rent is often higher in summer months than in winter ones, as more than 40% of all moves take place during the four months from May through August, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. College students returning for classes, recent graduates starting jobs in new cities and families moving before the start of the school year may all contribute to the high summer demand. But rather than haggling with a landlord when rents are seasonally more expensive, it’s possible for renters to use the calendar to their advantage. With all this in mind, SmartAsset uncovered where renters could save more money by strategically picking when to move. Read More...

Nov 12, 2019 Rent affordability is largely dependent on income. Guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommend that households not spend more than 30% of their monthly gross income on housing-related expenses, including rent and utilities, to comfortably afford other necessities like food and healthcare. But fluctuations in rent as a percentage of income can greatly affect individuals' adherence to that rule and their ability to save. Read More...

Nov 14, 2019 The median household income in the U.S. was $61,937 in 2018, according to Census Bureau data. But what kind of life that income affords you depends on many factors, including your spending and saving habits as well as the cost of living in the place you call home. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in the country to live on an income of $60,000. Read More...

Nov 07, 2019 Because the cost of living tends to correlate with population size, mid-sized cities are often more affordable alternatives to large cities and potentially offer better opportunities to save and invest. Your salary can go a lot further when your costs are lower, so people who use a  cost-of-living calculator to compare expenses between cities may gravitate away from major metropolises. Read More...

Oct 31, 2019 The number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has increased in recent years, which could be encouraging news for other women who are still building up the resources to start new ventures. According to data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, there were more than 1.1 million women-owned businesses in the 50 largest metro areas in 2016, up 2.8% from the year prior. However, as a percentage of total businesses, the representation of female-owned businesses remains low. In 2016, women owned only 20% of all employer businesses nationwide. Given that low percentage of women-owned businesses, SmartAsset looked at some of the best places for female entrepreneurs in this study in order to determine where women-owned businesses may be more likely to survive and grow. Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 Whether you’re taking someone out for the first time or enjoying a well-earned night on the town with your partner of a decade, it’s important to be able to enjoy a nice date night. It is even better when you have plenty of options for where to go and know a night with your special someone isn’t going to break the bank. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in the country for budget-friendly dating. Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 Unions can be effective tools for collective bargaining. They represent workers in negotiations with management to uphold workers’ rights, including fair wages. According to a 2018 report on full-time workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonunion workers earned just 82% of the median weekly amount that union member workers earned. Being able to make a fair wage is necessary in order to budget properly and build up your  savings account. But the power of unions in the U.S. varies significantly across different locations. Some states are union hotbeds, where organized labor is a major player in business and politics. In other states, unions don’t hold as much sway. SmartAsset decided to see where unions are the strongest. Read More...

Oct 23, 2019 Every two years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases employment projections for more than 800 detailed occupations, with its most recent projections spanning from 2018 to 2028. Solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians top the list. The BLS projects employment growth of 63.3% and 56.9% for the occupations, respectively. Due to their relatively small number of employees, however, these high projections do not amount to many new jobs. Fewer than 7,000 workers are expected to join the ranks of solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians by 2028. Meanwhile, the number of personal care aides is expected to grow by 36.4%, which translates to an increase of 881,000 workers in the next decade. Those employment opportunities can give workers the ability to save up in their retirement accounts. Read More...

Nov 04, 2019 Following mortgage debt, student loan debt is the second-largest form of U.S. consumer debt, growing substantially over recent years and negatively affecting Americans’ ability to save enough. According to data from Experian, student loan debt reached an all-time high of $1.4 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 116% from 10 years prior. In fact, the average American with student loan debt had $35,359 in student loan debt. Read More...

Oct 01, 2019 About two-thirds of the jobs outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018 do not require workers to have a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Though pay is generally correlated with education level and the majority of those jobs have average annual salaries below $50,000, some jobs that require only an associate’s degree or less actually pay pretty well. As a result, they can allow workers to meet their savings goals more quickly. Read More...

Oct 01, 2019 Bills pile up and debt accumulates, causing the pressure of financial concerns to grow. While there are certainly ways to get out ahead of these struggles - saving carefully, using a budget or making smart investments - sometimes things happen that make financial stress inevitable, even for the most careful planners. Some cities, though, are more financially stressed than others, so SmartAsset analyzed data to find which cities in America have the most financial stress. Read More...

Oct 07, 2019 According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 3.9 million births were registered in the U.S. in 2017, with millennial women accounting 80% of them. The average age of mothers at first birth was 26.8, and especially for those millennial mothers at the start of their careers, where they choose to start a family can have a substantial influence on their ability to have a safe pregnancy and birth while also building their  savings afterward. Read More...

Sep 24, 2019 While Major League Baseball is what you are most likely to see on television, baseball fans in cities across the country flock to the ballpark to watch the stars of tomorrow hone their craft in Minor League Baseball. These games are less expensive and less crowded than the average Major League game, so they are more accessible to the average family. With that in mind, SmartAsset analyzed the data for the sixth consecutive year to find the best minor league baseball towns in America. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 The pay gap remains a very real struggle for women around the U.S. The latest number from the American Association of University Women estimates that, on average, women earn around 80% of what their male counterparts earn in the workforce. This, in turn, significantly hurts their ability to save enough to meet their financial goals. There are some cities, though, where that gender pay gap is less than in others - and some where it may have started wide but is rapidly narrowing. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 More and more people are getting into the business world through their own startups. Many of the companies you interact with on an everyday basis - Uber, Airbnb, even Apple - began as startups, often with just a few employees. While the stereotype may be that all startups are in either the Bay Area or New York City, they’re actually all over the country. Some cities, though, are more affordable for startups than others, and knowing which ones they are can help you avoid dipping too much into your savings to fund your venture at its outset. SmartAsset analyzed data from 80 cities across the country to determine where it is most affordable to found a startup. Read More...

Sep 11, 2019 In 2014, there were almost 32 million workers in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 34, and over five years, this number rose to more than 35 million, an increase of about 10%. Of those 35 million, about 13 million had a bachelor’s or advanced degree, or 16% more than workers who did in 2014. The 16% growth in educated young professionals varies by industry and occupation. Some industries and occupations have seen growth of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree that far outpaces 16% - growth that potentially allows much more flexibility in these professionals’ ability to save enough to meet their financial goals - while others have seen decreases in the number of educated young professionals working the field or job. Read More...

Sep 10, 2019 In 2017, the U.S. spent $3.50 trillion - more than $10,000 per person - on healthcare, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As a percentage of U.S. GDP, healthcare made up 17.10%. This is greater on a per capita basis and as a percentage of GDP than any other country. Read More...

Jul 24, 2020 State capitals aren’t always the biggest cities in their state, but they’re among the most important. Not only are they central hubs for government offices and homes for notable landmarks, but they may also offer employment opportunities and other cultural features that make them attractive for longtime residents and potential newcomers alike. Some state capitals, though, are better places than others for people to lay down roots and build their savings. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed data for all 50 state capitals to find the ones where you can expect to live the best life. Read More...

Aug 20, 2019 Foodies typically flock to large cities given the availability of many different cuisines and dining options. But are larger cities always the best places for them? In this study, we compiled some of the best cities for food lovers by examining the most important factors foodies look at when considering whether their culinary explorations are worth the money they’re dishing out. Read More...

Aug 13, 2019 Women constitute nearly half of the workforce in the U.S. According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 46.9% of total workers are women, a figure that stayed constant from 2014 data. Despite the fact that the overall percentage remained unchanged over that time period, certain jobs and occupations in particular have seen significant growth for women, which in turn positively impacts their ability to save. These occupations include not only previously male-dominated jobs, but also other jobs for which the occupation overall is growing. Read More...

Aug 07, 2019 The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines those who pay more than 30% of their income on rent as housing cost-burdened. Generally known as the 30% rule, this HUD guideline has long been a rule of thumb for household budgeting. As rising rents continue to outpace increases in median incomes in most cities, having a roommate can be a great way to decrease the amount of  income you spend on rent, and in turn boost your savings. Sharing your home with a roommate is often less expensive than living alone as the cost split between two individuals for a two-bedroom apartment is generally less than the cost of a one-bedroom apartment. Read More...

Aug 06, 2019 An estimated 47% of jobs in the U.S. are vulnerable to automation, according to a 2013 paper written at Oxford University by researchers Carl B. Frey and Michael A. Osborne. Depending on the mix of knowledge, skills and abilities an occupation requires as well as the variety of tasks it involves, certain jobs will be more susceptible to automation than others, which could hurt workers’ potential to save enough to support themselves. According to the researchers' findings, some popular occupations most vulnerable to automation include tax preparers, real estate brokers, cashiers and secretaries and administrative assistants. All four of those occupations have over a 95% chance of computerization according to their findings. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 Over the past 10 years, average tuition and fees at private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. rose by $7,390, or almost 26%, according to College Board. Given the rising costs of attending a four-year university, many students consider public two-year colleges as an alternative. While the cost of attending community college has also risen, community colleges continue to offer many students a more affordable and flexible option that helps them save money. For the 2018-2019 school year, the average tuition and fees for public two-year college in the U.S. was $3,660. By comparison, the average tuition and fees for private nonprofit four-year colleges in 2018-2019 was $35,830. Students at community colleges can also explore the possibility of transferring to a four-year university. Read More...

Jul 22, 2019 For most of us, sending bills and receiving paychecks by mail are things of the past. We shop online, enroll in direct deposit, pay our bills, and file taxes online. If you have ever wondered what facilitates all these digital transactions, you've probably heard or read about three little letters with a big job: ACH, which stands for Automated Clearing House. Here's what you need to know about the ACH system. Read More...

Jul 08, 2019 There are lots of jobs available in America right now. Unemployment is low, and many companies are looking to hire good people. Where, though, are the sectors that are growing and looking for more people to fill companies’ ranks? And how does the area of the country you live in impact what occupations you should explore if you’re considering changing careers or finding a new job that can better help you build your savings? For the third year in a row, SmartAsset has found the fastest-growing job in each state, so you can know what jobs are hot in your home state, or where you might need to move if you have a particular set of skills. Read More...

Jun 23, 2020 Driving gives many Americans expanded access and mobility where they might otherwise have had limited options. But along with the freedom to roam around comes the responsibility of being a prudent driver, not only in terms of personal safety but financial protection as well. Whether it’s a serious accident that results in medical or car repair expenses or a traffic violation fine, mishaps on the road can put a dent in your savings account. That's all the more likely when your neighbors have higher rates of speeding and driving under the influence. To help you become aware of where these negative driving patterns are the most prevalent, SmartAsset took another look at which states have the worst drivers. Read More...

Jun 19, 2019 When buying nourishing food, it’s also important to sustain healthy budgeting and savings habits. Of course, how much you’ll spend on what you eat depends largely on where you live. Food has varying costs in different markets based on a lot of different factors, including the cost of shipping food to that location, the overall cost of living and the local economy. Knowing how much food costs in your area is key to determining your budget and how much you put in your savings account, as you have to balance the cost of food with other costs like housing, transportation and leisure activities, all while making sure not to spend above your means. Read More...

Jun 14, 2019 Lots of young people need to find a roommate to help pay their rent, but many of them dream of being able to locate an affordable home that is just theirs and that allows them to sock away more money in a savings account. There are some cities, though, where it is easier than in others to rent a place all on your own. Factors like average income, average rent cost and the availability of smaller apartments can create a situation that is either conducive to renting alone or difficult for solo renters who would be better served seeking out a roommate. Below, we consider these and some other factors to find the cities where renters are best able to live alone. Read More...

May 30, 2019 Building your professional life can be difficult, but it’s the best way to make sure you and those you care for can make enough to put money away in savings as well as afford to live the life you want. Certain cities are better than others for career opportunities. Opportunity, however, does not only depend on the number of jobs. Housing costs, median income and support networks all factor into determining which cities are best for those people looking to grow or even start their careers. Read More...

May 29, 2019 Nothing screams “Americana” quite like a summer afternoon spent at the state fair. The sounds of laughing children and braying livestock. The sights of carnival rides and butter sculptures. The signature scent, a combination of sunscreen, funnel cakes and animal manure, wafting through the grounds. Which states, though, have the best state fairs - the ones where you and your family will best be able to enjoy on a budget and create memories to last a lifetime, all without having to dip into your savings? Read More...

May 31, 2019 There’s a big world out there, and a lot of people want to see as much of it as possible through travel. Unfortunately, most people can only spend so much of their savings on jet-setting. As a result, finding places to take a vacation on a budget is important. To that end, SmartAsset researched the most affordable vacation destinations in America. We found places that were economical not only for traveling with a family of four but also as an individual. Below, we rank the most affordable travel destinations in the U.S. Read More...

May 21, 2019 The U.S. is the 19 th-happiest country in the world, according to the 2019 World Happiness Report that the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the UN released. Though this is a one-spot drop since last year, there are still plenty of places to find happiness in America. We looked within the U.S. to determine which counties are the happiest. Money, of course, doesn’t buy happiness, so those places gracing the top 10 don’t necessarily have the residents with the largest savings accounts. Rather, these places stand out due to a number of factors related to physical and financial health as well as family stability. Read More...

May 15, 2019 Nearly one-third of all U.S. households pay more than 30% of their incomes for housing, according to a 2018 study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. And approximately half of renter households – about 11 million – bear a severe burden from housing costs, which means they’re paying 50% or more of their income on housing. About 7.5 million American homeowners experience similar difficulties that can stifle their ability to build up their savings accounts. Furthermore, low-income and minority households are more likely to be cost-burdened by housing. And while housing takes up a major chunk of most people’s budgets, there are some cities where the amount is more disproportionate than others. With this in mind, SmartAsset took a look at the most and least severely housing cost-burdened cities in the U.S. Read More...

May 09, 2019 The ease and affordability of mobility are important factors to weigh when you’re considering where you want to live. Whether you move from place to place in a car of your own, via public transportation or by bicycle or futuristic scooter, transportation is likely a critical part of daily life. How much you spend on your transportation, though, largely depends on where you live. Budgeting is important in order to sock away extra money in your savings account, so knowing how much you can expect to spend on getting the places you need to go - especially if you expect a lengthy commute - is key for calculating your expenses. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 Moving to a new home can be a difficult undertaking, even though it might bring your life a much-needed change, especially when you have significant financial costs to consider. As you look to make intelligent decision that can help boost the balance in your savings account, it’s important to do your research before you eliminate any possible locales. After all, trends might indicate that certain places are more popular for your demographic than you might think and thus conducive to your lifestyle. For instance, the rich and the retired aren’t the only groups moving to Florida. From 2015 to 2016, the Sunshine State actually saw a significant net inflow of 10,266 upper-middle-class people as well, which makes it the top destination for individuals with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000. Read More...

May 08, 2019 To buy or to rent? It’s a tough question. And though buying a home can seem a more feasible undertaking with a partner to help cover the down payment and mortgage, American singles in certain cities are more commonly opting to buy instead of rent. Rather than throw away rent money to a landlord, singles with enough in their savings accounts are embracing homeownership and the benefits of building up their home equity. Below, we rank the most popular cities where singles are choosing to buy over rent. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 Buying a home requires just as much care as any other significant investment. If being a first-time homebuyer is a part of your American dream, it’s important to choose a home that fits your budget based on your savings at the same time that it meets your other lifestyle needs. First-time homebuyers might find the home-buying process especially daunting, but there are many programs out there to help make it easier. And location, of course, is a crucial factor. Local market conditions, such as how stable the housing market is, can sometimes make all the difference. To help you get a better sense of where to start looking, SmartAsset created this list of the best cities for first-time homebuyers. Read More...

Apr 30, 2019 Small towns have their charm and big cities offer great opportunities, but what if you’re looking for something in between? Unlike a large metropolis, a small city tends to have a more affordable cost of living, making it easier to build your savings for a house or retirement. It’s also possible to find a great quality of life without completely sacrificing job opportunities, as you might have to do in an even smaller town. To shine a light on these great locales, SmartAsset created this list of the most livable small cities in the U.S. Read More...

Apr 24, 2019 If you’re looking to raise a family, the city you call home can affect many parts of your life. It potentially impacts the jobs available to you, how much you earn, how much it costs to live comfortably and how easy it is to build savings. Other factors like local schools and population also play a large role. We at SmartAsset understand that choosing where you and your family live is a big decision, and that’s why we created this list. Using data across 12 states in 10 metrics, we ventured to find the best places in the Midwest to raise a family. Read More...

Apr 23, 2019 In about 62% of two-parent households, both parents work, according to 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up about 1% from the previous year. Not only are more parents working, but Census data also shows that men and women across the country worked more in 2017 than in 2016. It’s also not much of a surprise that more parents are working. Housing costs, childcare and the overall cost of living continue to rise while incomes have seen less growth. So if you want to make ends meet now while also achieving big goals like buying a home and socking away money in a savings account, you’ll need to work more. Considering multiple factors, we created this list of the best cities in the U.S. for working parents. Read More...

Apr 17, 2019 Once you’ve put in the work to get a degree, you’ve got a big decision ahead of you: Where to start your career? For those who have the ability to relocate, choosing the right city can make a big difference. Some likely considerations are the cost of living and the strength of the job market. After all, you need to save enough to help you pay off those student loans. You probably also want to live in a place with people your age and things to do. We considered all of these factors and more to create this list of the best cities for new college grads. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Bonds and certificates of deposit (CD) are generally safe investments with little to no risk of reducing your principal. However, they have particular features that may suit different kinds of investors. The bonds vs. CDs choice takes some consideration depending on your risk tolerance and liquidity needs. Read More...

Apr 10, 2019 The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that women earn approximately 80% of what men do. Though the work to achieve pay gap equity is far from finished, it’s important to recognize the areas in which women in the workforce are making progress now in order to build upon these achievements in the future. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that the unemployment rate for women (age 20 and older) was 3.40% in early 2019, which is the lowest unemployment rate for this demographic since 2000. The number of female business owners nationally has also grown more than 22% in the past five years. The more successful women are in places with favorable economic conditions for them, the more likely they are to tuck away money in a savings account for the future. To get a better idea of where women are finding the most success, we decided to dig deeper into the data. Read More...

Apr 03, 2019 Running is an accessible sport that allows you stay active while saving some money. Of course, one of the biggest requirements for runners is the space to run. That could mean open space, like parks and trails, but it could also mean a gym. If you’re a runner it’s also nice to have a supportive community. In addition, many cities have road races and races for charity. We considered all of this and more to find the best cities in the U.S. for runners. Read More...

Apr 02, 2019 Different places attract particular residents due to a variety of factors such as job opportunities, climate or lifestyle. Though an ultimate constraint is the cost of a home, some markets seem to draw more high-earning homebuyers than others.  For instance, Zillow estimates that the median home value in San Francisco is approximately $1.37 million (as of February 2019). That would require not only enough savings to afford a down payment, but also a large enough income to cover the high monthly mortgage payments. In the following study, we look at data on the highest earners to find the places where they're buying homes. Read More...

Mar 27, 2019 The majority of American adults are coffee drinkers. According to research from the National Coffee Association in 2018, 64% of Americans 18 or older said they drank a cup of coffee the day before. And cravings for a java boost are on the rise: Google data shows that interest in coffee in the U.S. is up 43% over the past five years. But if you are passionate about your caffeine intake, you may find that this relatively expensive beverage negatively impacts savings. Depending on where you live, though, it is possible to find high-quality coffee at a home-brewed price. Below, we rank the best cities for coffee fanatics. Read More...

Mar 21, 2019 It costs more than $233,000 to raise a child through age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Given that high cost, you want to know that you’re living in a place that is conducive to your family’s happiness and success. In this study, we looked at almost a dozen factors, including childcare costs and  housing affordability, to find the best cities on the West Coast for families. Read More...

Mar 20, 2019 The current gender wage gap in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sits at slightly less than 82%. That means the average working woman earns 82% of what the average working man earns, which hurts not only women’s ability to earn but also their ability to save. That number is up 20 percentage points since 1979, though still far from ideal. According to data from the BLS, there was almost no progress in gender pay parity from 2005 to 2017.And when you look at occupation-specific data, the numbers can be even worse. Below, we dig into the occupation data to rank the occupations with the largest and smallest gender pay gap. Read More...

Mar 19, 2019 Even though many people picture the high cost of living when they think of America’s biggest cities, the housing markets in these areas actually vary quite a bit. Part of that range comes from particular local factors such as property taxes. It is helpful to be aware of a city’s reputation as expensive or affordable, but in order to make the step from renter to homeowner in a responsible fashion, it's a good idea to have a plan. To help people make the most of their savings, below we model the salary needed to afford the average home in America’s largest cities. Read More...

Mar 14, 2019 Tax season can be a celebratory time for Americans who are owed a refund. But while the focus is often on those who have overpaid, it’s important to note that a significant number of people don’t pay enough. Americans who owe taxes are especially vulnerable if they cannot cover their tax bill with what’s in their savings account. Below, we analyze IRS data to find the states with the largest tax bills. Read More...

Mar 13, 2019 Hockey may not be the most popular sport in America, but it enjoys a strong fan base. Its following is also growing: Since we last did this study, the National Hockey League has even added a new team, the Golden Knights in Las Vegas. That's the first new team to join the NHL in nearly two decades. Fans also go wild for the other professional leagues in the U.S. and for Division I college hockey. Attending hockey games can naturally take a bite out of your hard-earned savings, but that's worth it for the residents of some places. To see where hockey enjoys the most support from its fans, we created this list of the best hockey towns in the U.S. Read More...

Apr 09, 2019 The American housing market has changed significantly since the post-recession economy of the early 2010s. Zillow estimates the median home in the U.S. is worth $225,300, up from $148,000 in January of 2012. That is a gain of more than 52% in just seven years. If you do want to take advantage of this seller's market and maximize your savings, it’s important to know not only national trends, but what is happening in local markets as well. Read More...

Mar 20, 2019 A second home can be a cherished retreat but also a savvy investment. Buying another residence in a booming housing market in particular can help diversify your holdings and introduce another way for your assets to increase in value. And if you’re renting out the property, you can enjoy an extra revenue stream to boost your savings. But if you’re looking for a secondary home market in which to invest, you probably want to know which ones are most popular. Below, we look at data to rank the hottest secondary home markets in America. Read More...

Feb 28, 2019 The total cost of raising a child through age 17 is nearly $234,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s a whopping price tag for your bundle of joy. And the expense of having a family explains, in part, the downturn in the American fertility rate and why the average American woman now has just 1.8 children, a figure far below “replacement level.” But especially in the Northeast, which is checkered with pricey cities, it’s possible for parents to be strategic about where they settle to make sure they’re saving ample money and getting more bang for their buck from the local school system. Of course, some locales more than others are conducive to raising a family given their abundant employment opportunities, low housing costs and investment in children’s education. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 It can at times feel daunting to buy a home. In many cities, home prices are rising and pushing Americans increasingly further from their homeownership dreams. The difficulty of buying a home starts long before you decide to become a homeowner, though. Closing costs and down payments mean people may need to spend years saving for a home before they can sign the deed. For people trying to thread the needle between a smart homeownership decision, a secure retirement and ample general savings, it's important to develop a holistic financial plan. Below, we explore the relationship between time, savings and upfront costs of homeownership to understand the scope of the difficulty young Americans face in buying a home. Read More...

Mar 26, 2019 Tech jobs are particularly desirable, because they pay well, show long-term signs of growth and are less vulnerable to automation. But women have faced systemic difficulties in getting these jobs. And even when women do find jobs in the tech world, they earn 84% of what men in tech do, according to Census Bureau data, and thus have less opportunity to  save. This is true at the national level, but there are some cities where parity between men and women in tech is less of a concern.  Read More...

Feb 22, 2019 Rising rents present a major challenge for non-homeowning city dwellers nationwide. Since 1983, the cost of housing for urban renters has risen more than 324%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. In the meantime, average workers in the largest cities have struggled to keep up as they fill their savings accounts with their earnings, only to see that money go to their landlords. Below, we track this phenomenon by measuring the hours of work needed to pay rent in the largest 25 cities. Read More...

Feb 22, 2019 If buying a home is hard for the average working American, it can be even more difficult for the average working woman. The average full-time working woman earns just 81% of what the average full-time working man does, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For the average full-time working woman, then, hitting financial goals like homeownership means coming up with ways to bridge that 19% gap and have enough cash on hand in a savings account to make a down payment. Of course, in some cities compared to others, women have an easier time rising above financial challenges to buy homes. Read More...

Feb 22, 2019 For bachelor's degree holders, nabbing a high-paying job often hinges on finding out which sectors of the economy most need educated workers. Identifying the right roles where employers are clamoring to hire them allows those with this undergraduate degree to snag a gig that offers a robust paycheck and helps build their  savings accounts. Below, we analyze Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to find the most in-demand jobs for bachelor's degree holders. Read More...

Feb 22, 2019 Record high home values, stagnating incomes, the largest economic downturn in a century and record levels of student debt are just a few examples of the roadblocks between millennials and homeownership. All these factors have manifested in millennials' inability to sock away enough cash in their savings accounts for a down payment and the historically low homeownership rates for their age group. And yet, many millennials in particular parts of the country are defying the economic trends and becoming homeowners. Below, we find out where millennials are buying homes. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Americans have greater than $800 billion in outstanding credit card debt, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve. What's more, roughly 8% of credit card debt is delinquent by 90 days or more. If you're someone saddled by debt and trying to avoid those lofty interest rates by paying it off, moving somewhere affordable with high-paying jobs is a great strategy. That allows you to accumulate money in your  savings account so you can easily pay off any charges you rack up. Below, we rank the best places to get out of debt. Read More...

Feb 22, 2019 Beachfront property in warm locales is not exactly in large supply, so it can be difficult to find an affordable home where you and your family can winter. For the past few years, though, SmartAsset has endeavored to uncover beach towns where the average American can afford to become a homeowner without depleting his or her savings account. Read More...

Dec 13, 2019 A healthy work-life balance is something most professionals in the U.S. highly value. In fact, 53% of employees say that a job conducive to a greater work-life balance and improved personal well-being is "very important," according to Gallup's State of the American Workplace 2017 report. Of course, certain places around the country are better than others at helping you achieve a happy equilibrium. Living in cities with burdensome commutes and the expectation that people work long hours puts a ton of stress on the "life" part of the work-life balance. On the other hand, some cities with high unemployment rates simply make it more difficult for people to achieve their career ambitions and boost the "work" part of the equation.  Read More...

Jan 08, 2019 Many cities have a reputation for being filled with a particular type of professional.  Picturing New York City, for instance, some people may conjure up an image of Wall Street with its highly paid financiers. San Francisco, on the other hand, is known for its programmers. Washington, D.C. is the city of political scientists, of course, while in Los Angeles, you can’t walk down a city block without running into an actor. At least, those are our common assumptions. These matters may be fun to ponder, but they're not as trivial as they might seem. For people looking to make a move or a career switch, it's imperative, for the health of their  savings accounts, that they know what jobs really are most common in their new city. Read More...

Jan 07, 2019 Labor Day is an American holiday that celebrates workers and the labor movement. Observed on the first Monday of September, it also (unofficially) marks the end of summer. To most, Labor Day means a three-day weekend of fun in the sun, barbecues, and special sales at retail stores. But if you want to visit a bank branch that day, you're out of luck: Banks are closed on Labor Day. If you need to conduct banking business, you will need to find another way to do it, or wait until doors open gain on Tuesday. Read More...

Dec 12, 2019 The benefits of working from home are manifold -- but especially helpful when it comes to your mental state and finances. After all, a commute can be stressful and pricey if you're guzzling gas while sitting in traffic. What's more, eating at home is usually cheaper than the standard takeout fare you might find around the office. And even working remotely in general -- from your local coffee shop, for instance -- can leave you with more time to accomplish your tasks without wasting time in transit to work. But despite its many benefits, the telecommuting revolution has yet to take hold in America: Only 8 million workers, or 5.2% of all employees 16 and older, work from home full-time, according to Census Bureau data. So if you do want to establish yourself as someone who works from home, you need to live in a city with an established work from home culture. Below, we look at a slew of factors to rank the best cities to work from home. Read More...

Jan 03, 2019 Each new year, Americans tell themselves they're going to make changes to improve their lives. According to a recent YouGov poll, the top three lifestyle adjustments Americans want to make are eating healthier, exercising more and saving more money. Of course, resolutions take commitment. It's easy to say you're going to sock more money away in your savings account by eating out less, but how often does this happen in practice? Getting better about how you manage your money takes discipline, and the residents of certain locales are better than others when it comes to ridding themselves of bad habits and giving their financial lives a boost. To identify and rank those particular places where Americans are improving their finances the most, we examined data on five factors. Read More...

Jan 02, 2019 When families are looking to move to a new area, they often consider the affordability of a new city, their new commutes and the quality of local schools. But one factor they can overlook is safety. More than just being crime-free, a safe city also has careful drivers and clean air. While danger can take an emotional and physical toll, a lack of safety can affect your savings account too. A bad accident or damage to your property can leave families tightening their budgetsRead More...

Dec 24, 2018 While there's a lot you can do at an ATM or through a mobile banking app, there are times when you need to visit an actual bank branch. So what time does the bank close? In the past, all bank branches used to close at 3 p.m. Now, banks are extending their hours to make themselves more accessible, though hours are still limited on weekends. Here's a general guideline for what time banks tend to open and close. Read More...

Dec 12, 2019 Just six years ago, the Census Bureau estimated there were only 880 breweries in America. But the craft beer revolution took off: By 2016, the Census Bureau pegged that number at 2,802, 2,605 of which belonged to the microbrewery category. In fact, nearly one in four U.S. counties can boast having a beer brewery within its borders. That all creates a healthy buzz for local economies. Those microbreweries employ 55,000 workers nationally and are responsible for an annual payroll of around $2.6 billion, some of which employees can sock away in their  savings accounts. But for drinkers, who value variety and palatable prices, not all beer hubs are created equal. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 The new year is a time to reflect on which aspects of our lives we can most improve. For many people, that may mean a remorseful peak into their savings account or a regretful pinch of the waistline. Statistically speaking, losing weight or eating healthier tends to dominate surveys of Americans' new year’s resolutions -- and for good reason: nearly 40% of U.S. adults were obese in 2016, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). For many who dream of a healthier lifestyle, though, it may be that their environments may be holding them back. In certain places, it's easier and cheaper to stay in shape. Read More...

Feb 13, 2019 Certificates of deposit, or CDs, offer a reliable and structured approach to savings. A CD has a set term length. Once you make your initial deposit, you can’t touch that money until the term ends. This allows your money to grow undisturbed, and you usually get a higher rate in exchange for the decreased liquidity. But when shopping around for a CD, how do you know what rates to look for?  Read More...

Oct 12, 2021 Every month, your bank prepares a document for you showing all of of your transactions for the past month. This is called a bank statement. It's important to review your bank statement regularly - in part to ensure there aren't any transactions you don't recognize, which could mean fraud. Let's break down how to get your bank statements, either online or through the mail. Your bank account is only one part of your finance. Consider working with a financial advisor to put together a financial plan for other financial needs and goals.  Read More...

Mar 05, 2019 Online-only bank accounts are increasingly popular. They tend to offer better interest rates than typical banks because they don't have to pay the costs of having brick-and-mortar locations. Two popular online banks in the U.S. are Ally Bank and Barclays Bank. If you're thinking of opening an account with one of these banks, here's how they compare. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Money market accounts work like a mix between a savings and a checking account. They come with the potential to earn higher interest rates, but may also let you write checks. Luckily, these accounts are FDIC-insured, which keeps your money safe in the event of a bank failure. Read More...

Dec 04, 2018 Certificates of deposit (CDs) offer a great, more structured way to save. CDs are timed deposits with set terms that typically vary from a couple of months to 10 years. After you make your initial deposit, you can’t access your funds until the term ends. In exchange for this lack of access to your funds, you get a higher interest rate, and  CD rates tend to outpace those on savings accounts. Some savers might wonder, though, if the differing nature of these deposit accounts makes CDs less safe than savings accounts. Read More...

Dec 04, 2018 The fear of skyrocketing rents can consume the thoughts of Americans who don't own their homes. Despite an improving economy and low unemployment rates, rent increases continue to chip away at earnings. And when residents are forced to devote ever-increasing portions of their paychecks to rent, the scenario not only impacts their ability to pad their savings accounts but also lowers their demand for other goods, hurting the city’s economy by extension. Read More...

Oct 12, 2021 Mobile banking apps have come a long way. Once upon a time, features like mobile check deposit were considered cutting edge. Now, consumers have come to expect that kind of functionality, along with seamless money transfers, bill pay, ATM locators and more. Today, some apps will even let you track accounts from different financial institutions. Others offer built-in financial wellness and budgeting platforms. Some turn your mobile device into a digital wallet. If mobile offerings are a deciding factor for you in choosing a bank, we've assembled this list of the 10 best banking apps in 2021. Your banking account is just one component of your financial plan. Working with a financial advisor could help you reach other financial goals.  Read More...

Jan 15, 2019 One of the best ways to save for future medical costs is to invest in a health savings account (HSA). It provides you with some great tax breaks while also helping you save for future healthcare expenses. These investments could prove vital amid daunting healthcare costs you may face as you get older. In fact, a recent Fidelity study found a 65-year-old couple would need $275,000 to cover health-related expenses in retirement. You can open an HSA at most banks and financial institutions. But not all are created equal. In this article, we explore the best HSAs around. We’ll cover fees, interest rates and more. Read More...

Nov 28, 2018 Feel like you're slogging away at the office with no reprieve in sight? Maybe you're grinding out those long days to show your loyalty to your company and nab a promotion? Sure, some American cities have well-established reputations for their hectic work schedules. In New York or San Francisco, for instance, it's not unusual to hear about 80-hour workweeks. But when a worker clocks in and out of the office doesn't tell the whole story with regard to how much leisure time he or she has available. Workers with extra-long commutes can spend inordinate amounts of time getting to and from the office to start their demanding shifts. What's more, not all workers have a savings stash that allows them to afford a vacation, and some just can't find it in their grueling careers to get a bit of a respite. Long days and little time off are sacrifices that demonstrate workers' devotion to their professional lives. Below, we look at these and other factors to rank the places where workers are most committed to their jobs. Read More...

Oct 15, 2021 Most major banks will be open on Christmas Eve 2018, even though it’s a federal holiday and generally recognized as a bank holiday. Still, some banks do observe Christmas Eve. We’ll discuss which ones will open their doors before Santa lands his sleigh. And don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to access your money for some last-minute gift shopping regardless of whether your bank is opened or closed on Christmas Eve. Read More...

Oct 21, 2020 Though it may seem like an unofficial federal holiday, most banks are actually open on Black Friday. For 2020, you should make sure to check in on local COVID-19 related restrictions to see if physical banking is limited more generally in your municipality. If you want help with banking and finance more generally, consider finding a financial advisor to work with. Read More...

Dec 03, 2018 Choosing a bank to work with is a very important step in your financial life. But with so many options out there, finding the right one can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, you can't go wrong when deciding between TIAA Bank or Ally Bank. Both of these financial services firms offer inexpensive and reliable products as well as rates that can easily compete with even the biggest names in the banking industry. In fact, they offer some of the best savings accounts we've reviewed. This article will help you decide which one to work with. We’ll explore factors like bank account features, fees and rates on savings products. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Even though credit unions are not FDIC-insured, they still enjoy strong protection from the federal government. In fact, a different entity essentially does for credit unions what the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does for banks. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) fund insures up to $250,000 in any account category held that a member holds. So if you open a checking account and an individual retirement account (IRA) at an NCUA-protected credit union, NCUA will cover up to $500,000 of your money. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 These days, more and more people are managing their entire financial lives online. As a result, online banks are competing to offer the best products. Two that stand out today are Axos Bank and Ally Bank. Both are known for their low or non-existent fees as well as rates that stack up well against the competition. But which one is right for you? Below, find out how they compare in terms of their bank account offerings, fees, rates and more. Read More...

Nov 14, 2018 If you’re trying to send money to someone, you may consider just transferring funds to the person's bank account. But many people don’t have bank accounts. In fact, a recent FDIC survey revealed more than 9 million Americans fall into that category. The good news is you have plenty of options to transfer money. We’ll cover some of the cheapest, fastest and easiest ways to send money to someone without a bank account. Read More...

Nov 25, 2019 Manufacturing used to be one of the largest industries in America. In 1910, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that nearly one-third of workers worked in manufacturing. Today, that number has shrunk to 8.7%. Many smaller cities that historically relied on these manufacturing jobs have suffered as a result of their decline. But manufacturing in America is probably more robust than you imagine. Many places across the country have growing manufacturing sectors that employ workers in good jobs and enable them to save for their future. Read More...

Oct 25, 2021 If you’ve ever listened to the radio or watched television, chances are you’ve heard a commercial for a bank where a voice at the end says something about being FDIC-insured. If you’ve never stopped to look it up, FDIC stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and it is the federal agency that insures the money that Americans put into their commercial bank accounts. Even if you know that, though, you may still wonder just how much FDIC insurance covers in the event of a bank collapse or other serious problems with the financial system. If you want to maximize your savings, a financial advisor can help you put together a financial plan. Read More...

Nov 13, 2018 The average American family earns about $55,000 per year, according to Census Bureau estimates. Of course, that's probably not enough to get by on in America’s most expensive cities, but there are plenty of places where the average American family’s income is sufficient for a satisfying life. These cities offer long-term financial stability by allowing average households to work and save for their future while providing opportunities for these families to enjoy themselves too. Below, we look at metrics related to all these factors to uncover the best cities to live on a $55,000 salary. Read More...

Nov 29, 2018 There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a bank, including interest rates, fees, customer service and accessibility (both online and in-person). It can be a lot to wrap your head around, so it can help to narrow your decision to two or three banks and then compare the features most important to you. Here's how two of the most popular retail banks,  Wells Fargo and Capital One, stack up where it counts. Read More...

Nov 12, 2018 Most banks are open for business Monday through Saturday. But occasionally you might show up at your bank on a weekday and find that the  bank has been closed all day. Because most banks follow a federal holiday schedule, their branches may be closed for business on that day. There are usually 10 such bank holidays in the U.S. every year. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 A bank transit number, also known as a routing number, helps financial institutions identify where checks and other documents were issued from. They’ve been around for over 100 years, and they help to keep track of and facilitate transactions between customers at different banks. You’ve more than likely had to search for your bank’s transit number. If you’ve ever set up a direct deposit or made a wire transfer, you needed to provide it. Read on to learn what a bank transit number is, how you can find yours and why they come in handy. Read More...

Nov 08, 2018 When it comes to choosing a bank, there are plenty of factors that you should consider, from interest rates to online banking offerings to the availability of physical locations. And the differences between banks are especially pronounced when comparing traditional banks with newer, online-only banks. In this guide, we’ll break down two of the most popular banks in the country: Ally Bank, a popular online bank, and Chase, one of the largest banks in the world. We'll go over the pros and cons of each bank, discuss how the fees measure up and compare the most popular accounts at each. Read More...

Nov 07, 2018 If you’re looking for the highest savings interest rates the industry can offer, you’ll want to turn to an online bank. Without the maintenance costs of physical branches, online banks can offer the most competitive rates - not only on savings accounts, but also on certificates of deposit, money market accounts and even checking accounts. Discover and Ally are two online banks with consistently high rates, and each offers a range of consumer-friendly features and product offerings. Here's how they compare. Read More...

Nov 07, 2018 Renters in America face an uphill battle to create space in their budgets for saving. In fact, the latest Census Bureau data reveals that nearly 10 million renting households spent at least 50% of their income on rent in 2017. But there's good news on the horizon for workers who rent in some cities. With unemployment rates near record lows and earnings starting to rise, some renters are actually finding themselves with more of an opportunity to sock away money. Below, we compare median earnings for full-time employees to average rents to see where rents are becoming more affordable for these workers. Read More...

Nov 06, 2018 If you’ve decided you have no need for physical bank branches, an online bank could be just the thing. With many online banks offering significantly higher interest rates than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, many consumers are making the switch. But which online bank should you choose? Two big names you’ll want to check out first are Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Ally Bank. Here, we look at what each bank offers its customers. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Veterans are an important part of American society in light of their many sacrifices for our safety. They also make up a significant portion of our population: 7.3% of the 251 million Americans 18 and older are vets. But these heroes can face a number of difficulties when reintegrating into civilian life, particularly when it comes to their finances. This makes it important that veterans place themselves in cities where they can thrive, save and plan for their future. Below we look at a slew of factors to find the cities where veterans are thriving professionally. Read More...

Sep 07, 2021 A bank branch is a physical location of a banking corporation, such as Chase, Bank of America or Wells Fargo. These buildings are technically referred to as "brick-and-mortar" branches, and they provide face-to-face service for customers of a bank. Branches customarily feature mortgage officers, financial advisors and other professionals as well, something that modern-day online banking currently cannot deliver. Read on to learn more about bank branches and if you should specifically join a bank that operates them. Read More...

Oct 30, 2018 Can you cash a check at any bank? Some of the best banks will do it for you even if you're not a customer. But your options don’t end their. You can also cash checks at several retailers, grocery stores and even through mobile apps linked to prepaid cards. Read on to learn all about cashing a check at a bank where you don't have an account and elsewhere. Read More...

Oct 30, 2018 Mid-sized cities can offer a good compromise between the unaffordable, congested big cities out there and the smaller, sleepy suburbs. But with so many mid-sized cities across the country, it isn’t easy to tell which are the best options. From cities with a lower cost of living where opportunities to save and invest are abundant, to less affordable cities with nicer amenities, mid-sized cities come in many varieties. Below we look to analyze a number of financial factors to rank the most livable mid-sized cities in the U.S. Read More...

Oct 15, 2021 Simple has announced that it will be closing in 2021. Once the bank is officially closed, customers' accounts will be transferred to Simple's parent company, which is now PNC Bank. For other account recommendations, check out SmartAsset's lists of the best savings accounts, best checking accounts and best CDs. Completely mobile banks are still a fairly new phenomenon in the mainstream banking world. Chime Bank and Simple Bank have already risen to become two of the main players in this youthful industry. Although the two deposit companies share many characteristics, we delve into the subtle differences that could make one of them a better choice for you. A  financial advisor can help you choose a bank and make any other financial decisions you have to navigate. Read More...

Oct 24, 2018 It’s October, the creepiest month of the year, a time when many cities flaunt their ghosts, troubled spirits and haunted houses. But which locale can boast that it's the spookiest in the U.S.? A cursory internet search for the most haunted cities in America retrieves many claimants while leaving any definitive answer a mystery. After all, there are many factors to consider: the number of vacant houses, grave yards and and costume stores that unleash the ghouls upon the streets. Not to mention the financial pasts that are haunting many Americans'  savings accounts today. Read More...

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 best states for the middle class. 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...

Sep 09, 2021 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...

Nov 15, 2021 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. A  financial advisor can also help you create a budget and get the most out of your savings. Read More...

Feb 18, 2020 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...

Nov 22, 2021 Each year, the IRS sets maximum contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs). For 2022, this limit increased slightly from 2021 due to changes in cost of living as was determined by the IRS. There are certain circumstances under which you can breach these limits without penalty, but you need to know the specifics of these rules. If you have questions about using an HSA to pay for medical expenses or save for retirement, consider speaking with a financial advisor. 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 for conferences. Read More...

Sep 09, 2021 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...

Jun 01, 2021 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 of an HSA 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...

Oct 04, 2021 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. HSAs have become more popular in recent years. At the end of January 2021, there was $82.2 billion in 30 million accounts, a 25% jump year-over-year in terms of assets and a 6% jump in total accounts. 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...

Nov 03, 2021                   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 there are a few things you can do before paying out of pocket to see a doctor. For starters, a  financial advisor could help you put a financial plan together to cover future health expenses. And this article will also help you compare key differences between a health savings account (HSA) and a preferred provider organization (PPO), while weighing the pros and cons of each. 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...

Jul 01, 2020 Congress has decreed 10 federal holidays, when all non-essential government offices, including the Federal Reserve, close. Major banks, other banks in the Federal Reserve system and the financial markets close, too. As a result, bank holidays is another name for the federal holidays. Non-bank employers also use these holidays as a guide for when they close, but don't necessarily close for all of them (think Columbus Day). This practice can lead to some confusion over when banks are open. For example, when a holiday falls on Saturday and you have the preceding Friday off, your bank will likely be open on that Friday and close only on the Saturday. Similarly, while many of us get Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve off, banks tend to be open. Read on to know when your bank will be open - and what to do if you need your bank when it is closed. 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...

Jan 14, 2020 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 college offers the same value. 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...

Feb 18, 2020 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...

Jan 14, 2020 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...

Nov 23, 2021 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...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Jul 10, 2020 Traveling abroad can be expensive. Besides renewing your passport, booking your flight and arranging accommodations, you have to pay for transportation, food and any experiences you may want to check out. 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. The rule of thumb is to always have at least $50 worth of local currency on-hand. In turn, you'll need to know where to get that cash without losing too much of your money to fees. Make sure your next trip doesn't affect your long-term financial plans. Talk to a financial advisor today. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 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...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Oct 15, 2021 Simple has announced that it will be closing in 2021. Once the bank is officially closed, customers' accounts will be transferred to Simple's parent company, PNC Bank. For other account recommendations, check out SmartAsset's lists of the best savings accounts, best checking accounts and best CDs. 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 PNC. 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...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Aug 26, 2021 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...

Feb 19, 2020 While most people keep the majority of their money in savings and retirement accounts, it's also important to have cash accessible for everyday expenses. That’s where checking accounts come in. Checking accounts offer easy access to your cash when you need it, whether through a debit card, cash withdrawal or old-fashioned check. Checking accounts are also safe places to keep your money: They are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, meaning you’ll be covered up to $250,000 should a bank get into trouble. In this article we'll discuss what a checking account is, how it differs from a savings account and where you should open one. Read More...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Sep 09, 2021 Offering a higher interest rate than a regular savings account with the accessibility of a checking account, a  money market account is a great place to stash your emergency savings. The hybrid kind of account has been an option since the 1980s wave of banking deregulation. Prior to then, the government limited how much interest banks and credit unions could pay, hindering their ability to compete with less regulated money market mutual funds. Banks wanted to offer a "money market" rate, ergo the name of the account type. Read on for more about how money market accounts work, the pros and cons and our top picks. 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 15, 2020 A credit union is a lot like a bank, but with one big difference. It's not for profit. So it's not taxed. In theory, this allows it to pay higher interest rates to savers and charge lower interest rates to borrowers. Economic experts often refer to credit unions as the financial industry’s best-kept secret. Read on to find out more about how credit unions work and how you can join one. And if you want more guidance what financial institution best fits your financial plan, consider enlisting the help of an experienced financial advisor who can provide a holistic strategy given your personal circumstances. 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...

Feb 18, 2020 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...

Jan 20, 2021 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. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your investing goals. Let's take a look at some of the best ways 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...

Oct 08, 2020 A money order is a printed out piece of paper that represents payment in a certain sum. That piece of paper can then be turned in for the amount of cash it represents. Money orders are more secure than paying in cash, and they aren't tied to a checking account like a personal check, so they can't bounce. Money orders are frequently used for payments like security deposits. Though you can get a money order by yourself from many places, more complicated financial procedures may cause you to seek the help of a financial advisor. Read More...

Jun 05, 2020 If you’ve never opened a bank account before, you’re probably wondering how the process works. Specifically, what kind of qualifications, information and paperwork do you need to have to open an account? Whether you’re opening your first bank account or switching to a new bank, we'll walk through the eligibility rules and required paperwork and information. Whether you're going to a local branch or opening an account online, it's best to go into the process prepared. 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...

Jan 12, 2021 A cashier's check is often requested as payment for big purchases, like the  down payment on a home. This is because a cashier's check is drawn from a bank's account and is therefore as highly regarded as cash. You can't bring a regular personal check to a home closing because the seller will be handing over the deed to the house, leaving no time for the check to clear. For smaller transactions, vendors will often accept a money order, which is another form of guaranteed payment. Before you make any large purchases, be sure your finances are in check. Talk to a financial advisor today. Read More...

Nov 01, 2021 There are multiple ways to send money. In the past, you may 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. Wire transfers are fast, typically done within three days in the U.S., and secure. These institution-to-institution transfers are often used for large amounts of money or to send funds abroad. If you want some help managing your money, a financial advisor can work with you to create a financial plan for your short- and long-term goals.  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...

Jan 08, 2020 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...

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...

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 based on your particular needs. 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...

Jul 17, 2020 Writing checks isn't as common as it used to be. Many of us rely on our credit cards, direct debit and cash to make the payments in our lives. For some people, a monthly rent check is the only check they ever write. But whether you're setting up direct deposit, online bill pay or a money transfer account, you'll still need to know where to find your account number and your bank's routing number. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Sep 07, 2021 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...

Feb 18, 2020 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...

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...

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...

Oct 27, 2021 The consolidation of banks in the U.S. has been a trend over the past 35 years. In fact, in 1985, there were 14,427  banks that were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, in 2018, there were only 4,718. Meanwhile, the number of branches has jumped from 43,790 to 78,014. On one hand, fewer banks mean less competition, which is bad for consumers. But on the other hand, big banks have lower costs, which they can pass on to their customers. In addition, no matter where you live, you can open an online account with a big bank. Below is an overview of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., according to the number of assets they hold. If you have questions about how your banking choices can affect your long-term financial plan, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Feb 11, 2020 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...

Feb 12, 2020 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...

Apr 14, 2020 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. Make sure you have a strong financial plan in place for you and your family. Talk to a financial advisor today. Read More...

Feb 11, 2020 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...

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...

Feb 11, 2020 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 26, 2021 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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