Three things I learned about finances this past week:
When you are investing, maxing out your ROTH IRA, or paying extra on your mortgage, it is better to pay at the beginning of the year in one large lump sum than to pay a little bit throughout the year. You will actually get a better return and be sure to invest all that you intend to. And imagine if you had that money in a high yield money market account while saving up for that large lump sum? You could put all that earnings in interest toward the principal too! :) Did not make sense to me at first either, but there are sites out there that explain it better than I can. It also gets the power of compound interest working for you immediately.
There are a LOT of banks out there (online and otherwise) that give out GREAT rates for savings accounts. Right now, our bank is giving 0.8& BUT ING Direct is giving out 3.2, and Zion's Bank is giving out 3.8. I have learned that it is OK to shop around for a bank that can provide a better interest rate and earn you MORE money on your money!
I have also learned that when you are shopping around, not to just go with the best rate. A lot of the best rate banks also come with a LOT of problems. ING Direct is investing in a company which is a little iffy and loves to close your account with no notice until a week later (google it). The one with the highest interest rate was very difficult to get into and they kept opening a closed account because someone tried to cash an old check. It pays not only to shop rates, but find out what other people are saying about the bank you are about to entrust with your money.
Three links to help you with your finances:
Pay extra principal in lump sum to save There are other sites out there (other than this link) with similar articles about investing and paying large lumps at the beginning of the year into those too.
HT: CFO: Chief Family Officer
Good, Better, Best Money Saving Ideas
Personal Finance Videos There is one from Dave Ramsey on there as well as a really good series by Warren Buffet.
Three financial links for articles I have read recently:
7 Things Men Wish Women Knew About Money - this is good stuff ladies.
Quality Early Retirement Resources has a great list of books which I have just put on our to read list.
A Dollar Saved Is Two Dollars Earned