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5 Signs You May Need to Switch Banks

According to a 2014 survey by banking and payments technology firm FIS, 77 percent of customers worldwide are unhappy with their bank’s overall performance. Safety and security appear to be primary concerns among those polled, followed by transparency issues when it comes to pricing and fees. If you’re less than enthused about how well your financial institution is working for you, you may want to pursue other options. Here are five signs it may be time to switch banks. Compromised Security If your bank isn’t covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), consider it a red flag. This organization is responsible for regulating the banking industry and covers deposits for checking and savings accounts as well as most money market deposits. Without FDIC coverage, your cash isn’t insured – which means you could lose it. Too Many Fees While all banks charge fees for certain products and services, many…

5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Overspending

Between all the gift-giving, travel, parties, and big family dinners, overspending during the holidays is a common phenomenon. However, going into the red can make “the most wonderful time of year” downright stressful. Here are five tips for saving money between now and January. Make a Budget and Stick to It Have a lot of friends and relatives to shop for? Before you hit the mall or the “Buy Now” button, make a list with an exact dollar amount that you can afford to spend on each person. And because most of us tend to buy a little something for ourselves while shopping for others, factor a gift for yourself into your budget. If the gifts you planned on buying are marked down, great. But resist the urge to buy extra presents just because they’re on sale. Bonus: Set up holiday savings account now for next year. Parting with $100…

The Financial Case for Gratitude

Thanksgiving gives us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all the gifts we’re blessed with: health, family, food on the table, a career, a home…the list goes on and on. But what you may not realize is that being thankful can actually make a positive impact on your financial situation. When it comes to our finances, many of us have a tendency to “compare and despair” – meaning we obsess about what we don’t have, and beat up on ourselves for not having as much as our family members, neighbors or friends. But a daily practice of being thankful for all you do have has been proven to stave off overspending and help you save. Here are four ways that adopting an attitude of gratitude can help you build wealth. You’ll Stop Comparing Yourself to the Joneses or the Kardashians It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking…

Seven Deadly Debts

While the very act of borrowing money can be a risky business in and of itself, not all debt is created equal. Certain credit decisions – which we call debt traps – are more likely to lead to a downward spiral of indebtedness than others. The good news is that most borrowing mistakes are preventable, and having an understanding of them will help you get closer to living debt-free. Here are seven of the most common debt traps people fall into – and how to avoid them. Overspending on a New Home Most financial advisers suggest spending less than 30 percent of your gross income on housing expenses. When buying a new home, putting 20 percent down is a good way to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). And don’t forget to factor in closing fees, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and the cost of decorating and remodeling. If you…

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