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27 Mar 2017

Top 4 Money-Saving Apps of 2017

Type in the word “budget” or “coupon” into the app store, and you’ll be bombarded by hundreds of applications that promise to help you save money.  Here’s the four free apps I think are worth the storage space on your phone. CardValet Already heralded for its account security features, CardValet also allows Bank of the […]

13 Mar 2017

3 Ways Bank of the Ozarks Can Help You Spend Less Than You Earn

Saving money should be simple—all you have to do is spend less than you earn—yet so few of us find it easy to accomplish.  It turns out Bank of the Ozarks has three nifty tools that can help make saving money as easy as it should be. CardValet: Budgeting?  There’s an app for that (and […]

06 Mar 2017

How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identity theft is the second most reported consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, and this has led to a booming industry of paid protection services.  Before you decide to pay extra for this security, consider these tips that can help you protect yourself. Your bank account may already give you identity theft protection.* Bank […]

27 Feb 2017

What Can You Do if You Get Turned Down for a Checking Account?

If you have a history of unpaid overdrafts and forced account closures, you may have difficulty finding a bank that will give you a checking account.  But this doesn’t mean you have to be one of the nearly 9 million Americans who struggle without access to a deposit account. Just like how information is sometimes […]

20 Feb 2017

4 Responsible Uses for a Home Equity Line of Credit

While a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) may not be the best method to fund your vacation to the Bahamas, there are several responsible uses for this source of credit.  My thoughts are to use HELOCs for needs rather than wants. Paying Off High Interest Debt:  You can use a HELOC to pay off credit […]

13 Feb 2017

Buying a TV? Beware of Alternative Financial Services

It’s no coincidence that the official best time of the year to buy a TV begins with Super Bowl week.  My friend recently boasted about his new 70-inch 4k set and my brother-in-law has been posting pictures on Facebook of his 110-inch.  With my generation, the competition to have the best television around has become […]

06 Feb 2017

The Top 5 Must-Have Features When Choosing a Checking Account

In 2016, Deloitte surveyed over 3,000 retail bank consumers to find out what people look for when choosing a checking account.  Here’s the resulting top five must-haves, in order of importance. No monthly fees. Online banking. Branch close to where they live or work. No minimum deposit. Mobile banking. If you’re like me, you looked […]

16 Jan 2017

How to Handle an Unauthorized Debit Card Transaction

Anyone else feel hungover from the Holidays?  Vacation is over.  Decorations need taken down.  Unwanted gifts need returned, and in my case, I never even received one of the gifts I ordered for my kids.  I’ve tried contacting the online retailer via email and phone, and they still haven’t responded. If you have a similar […]

09 Jan 2017

Managing Bill Payment Can Be a Balancing Act

Almost a quarter of Americans don’t pay their bills on time. While many fall behind due to financial hardships, many more have the money to pay on time but don’t. They forget. They procrastinate. They don’t have time. They need to order more checks. Whatever the excuse, it’s not worth the late fees and the […]

02 Jan 2017

Safe Deposit Boxes: Still Useful in a Digital Age

A friend of mine told me safe deposit boxes are only for spies and grandparents.  He jokingly described a mysterious world of fake passports and dead-letter drops, then contrasted it with the ho-hum of stored wills and tax documents.  “Why would I need one?” he said, citing how he lives almost paperless and backs up […]

26 Dec 2016

Lending Terminology: Can You Speak the Lingo?

I was nervous the first time I reached out to a lender in hopes of borrowing money.  So nervous that I tried to do some homework before our meeting, that way I might at least sound like I knew what I was doing.  If you’re like I was and think principal is referring to the […]

19 Dec 2016

Financially Fit Ways to “Spend” Your RMD – Part Two

If you’ve reached age 70½ and have tax-deferred retirement accounts, like a 401(k) or traditional IRA, consider this as a reminder to take your required minimum distribution, commonly referred to as an RMD, before the end of the year.  Failing to do so will result in the IRS imposing a 50%  penalty on the amount […]