Author Archives: Aaron

About Aaron

Aaron is the owner of Add-Vodka.com and other personal finance websites. He is a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance writing and editing. Find out more about his work at AaronCrowe.net or follow him on Twitter.

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bank feesThis post on avoiding bank fees is by Ryan Bonaparte, who has written for Add-Vodka before about common financial mistakes that young adults make. Ryan is a long-time writer and author, delving into topics including personal finance, technology, and career pursuits. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and fiercely independent cat.

In the financial journey to building wealth, there are many pitfalls to watch out for, but none as insidious as fees charged by banks for standard services.

Fees can erode any earnings that you may have accrued from investments, and in some cases faster than poor spending decisions. At least with a shopping spree, you get something in return. With bank fees, you might as well be setting your money ablaze.

Bank fees to avoid

Although by law in the United States, all fees are required to be shared with consumers when they sign up for an account, it’s still very easy to pay out lots of money before you realize how much bad habits can eat away at your hard-earned money.

Here are some types of common bank fees to look out for:

ATM Fees

Even though more and more transactions occur via credit cards or mobile payments, sometimes cash is necessary. There are stores that only take cash, and many people find using the envelope method of budgeting (stocking envelopes with cash at the beginning of the month) as a great way to manage their finances.

But taking out your own money should never cost you money. To avoid bank fees, either use an account at a bank in your area or an internet bank that reimburses bank fees. ...continue reading

credit scoreIf you’ve got a good or excellent credit score and pay your bills on time and keep your credit balances low, then maintaining that score can seem like a headache.

A credit score can be used in ways other than in determining what interest rate you’ll pay on a loan. It can also be used by employers, landlords and utility companies — with your permission — to determine if you should work, live or be allowed to sign up for electric service without a deposit.

Small credit score drop is fine

But not all of those look at your credit score as much as you might think. There are some times when it can be OK to let your credit score drop by a few points.

For example, if you don’t plan on applying for credit in the next six months or so because you’ve already got a car and house, then a small drop in your credit score shouldn’t hurt you. You still want to keep your credit in good standing, but there is some wiggle room.

Your credit history can be more important in non-lending situations than your credit score. ...continue reading

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Money never stays put. A simple glance at the world’s financial markets shows money always in motion. This is true of large economies, but it’s also true of individual bank accounts.

If you have any money at all, it doesn’t stand still. There are several ways this happens. If you want to get in control of your money, and your future wealth, it’s important to appreciate the way money moves and evolves. Without this knowledge, it’s hard to understand how your wealth will change over time.

Money Gets Stolen

Fraud is becoming ever more common in the personal finance space. Even if you haven’t had your own money stolen through fraud, you almost certainly know someone who has.

Between credit card schemes, data breaches, and the ongoing PPI scandal, it’s easy to lose money simply because someone else found a clever way to steal it. To keep this from happening to you, it’s important to: use credit cards (much easier to recover money stolen through fraud than with debit cards), contact Canary Claims - PPI claims company (if you have been victim of the PPI scandal), and never to put delicate personal information in places where it could easily be stolen (like in your primary email). ...continue reading