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Banking

EverBank® is consistently in the top tiers for rate offerings on online savings accounts. Their static rate has them in the top ten of my rate list, and if you include their promotional rate they are number two for the first year of deposits depending on the balance. The rates used by Everbank are tiered and a mildly irritating to understand. I have tried to list the rates as accurately as I understand them, all rates are as of 07/10/2009 and are subject to change at any time.

Products

Yield Pledge Money Market Account

Features:

  • Minimum $1,500 to open an account
  • Minimum $5,000 to Avoid a monthly fee of $8.95
  • Guaranteed top 5% of rates

Rate: 3.01% Introductory Rate (up to first $50k)

First Year APY:

  • Up to $50k – 2.15%
  • Above $50k – 1.83%

Non Promotional APY:

  • 1.85% as of 07/10/2009
Yield Pledge CD

Features:

  • Guaranteed top 5% of rates when CD is opened
  • No teaser/introductory rate.

Rates(APY):

  • 6 Mnth – 1.60%
  • 1 Year – 2.00%
  • 3 Year – 2.35%
  • 5 Year – 3.10%
FreeNet Checking Account

Features:

  • Reimbursed up to $6 per month for ATM Fees
  • Visa Checkcard
  • Unlimited check writing
  • No Monthly Fees & No Minimum Balance requirements

Rate: 3.01% Introductory Rate

First Year APY:

  • $50k-$99,999.99 – 1.96%
  • $25k-$49,999.99 – 1.58%
  • $10k-$24,999.99 – 1.54%
  • Under $10k – 1.52%

Non Promotional APY:

  • Over $100k -1.85%
  • $50k-$99,999.99 – 1.60%
  • $25k-$49,999.99 – 1.10%
  • $10k-$24,999.99 – 1.05%
  • Under $10k – 1.02%

Your EverBank account is FDIC insured under certificate number 34775 and unlike some of the other online banks, this is a true online bank and not just an arm of a brick and mortar institution. While their rates are moderately confusing you could still wind up ahead. If you are interested in obtaining more information stop by Everbank‘s site

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torndollarAfter much discussion my wife and I have decided to go our separate ways. She has been unhappy with my increasingly frugal nature just as I have been unhappy with her increasingly flippant spending of money.

Our solution is not what it sounds like.

We have decided to eliminate all discretionary spending from our main bank account. We are going to use our main joint checking account for necessary purchases like groceries, and bills. We will use our separate accounts for everything else, haircuts, trips to the nail salon, domain name purchases, forays into peer to peer lending, eating out, etc etc. You get the idea.

It is not that she is spending excessively it is just that she is spending more than I thought was needed. The way we have arranged it, we will get a set amount, $200.00 each, every two weeks. That money is for everything outside of regular expenses. For instance: she wants some new furniture for the bathroom, I want to build a garden. Neither of these are “necessary” expenses and therefore we will fund them from our separate accounts. Same goes for dinners and lunches out one of us will have to pick it up from discretionary funding. We were easily spending close to $400.00 a month eating out, I know not very frugal, but this should reduce that because we will both be more accountable for our funds.

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onbanklogoThe second high yield savings account I opened was with OnBank. They offer a Money Market Savings account as well as “high” interest CD’s. Their rates were once competitive but have since fallen below 1%, the Money Market Account runs .75% and they are offering 1.95% for 60 month CD’s as of 04/05/2009.

About the Bank

OnBank is a division of the Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, founded in 1856 and headquartered in Buffalo, New York. They have been FDIC Insured since July 1, 1934 (FDIC Cert 588). If you have deposits with M&T Bank those balances would be added to your OnBank balance as far as FDIC insurance is concerned.

Sign Up

Sign up was on par with other online savings accounts. It was easier than iGoBanking’s sign up process, however, not as easy as the process for ING. They require you to validate information from your credit report, as well as do the standard bank account verification and then you are in. One oddity was they require you to include a number in your username. I don’t know what that is intended to prevent.

The Interface

interface

I really like their interface, it is clean and easy to follow, with left side navigation allowing you to view account activity, statements, download account activity, manage categories, and create reports. Additionally they provide quick access to external transfers.  Some of the features are more related to checking accounts than a savings account so you probably wouldn’t need them.

Transfers

OnBank has a $50,000 per transaction limit on transfers, and you cannot perform more than 6 debits from the account per month, no more than 3 of those can be via ACH from another instituition. I have had no problems linking my other online savings accounts to this account and have actually used it as a mid point in a transfer or two so I didn’t have to wait to verify deposits.

Conclusions

OnBank flew under the radar for the most part when they opened and did not get a lot of publicity when their rates were competitive.  Now that the bottom has fallen out of their rates I have pulled out as you can tell from the balance in the screen shot. If their rates come back up I may consider moving my funds back, they offer a solid interface and the easiest account linking I have found.

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Using GNUCash to Manage Your Personal Finances – Part 3

February 27, 2009

This is Part 3 of a 3 part series on GNUCash. In Part 1 we discussed installing GNUCash in Windows, setting up your initial accounts, and importing data from your bank. Part 2 covered setting up investment accounts and configuring the update services, Today we will discuss other tips, tricks, and hacks to get the […]

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Review – ING Direct Savings Account

February 24, 2009

I recently signed up for an ING Direct savings account with a $25 sign-up bonus. My main reason for picking ING was the ability to easily create sub accounts within the system. I plan to use this account for at least two savings goals and want to be able to track them separately. About the […]

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