Free Checking Options Are Dying

I was listening to NPR yesterday and hear a report about how banks are charging higher fees for basic checking accounts. Free checking is becoming extinct as the big banks need more revenue streams.

Thank goodness you can still find free checking. I myself use ING Direct and Ally, but there are more options if you should check out My Bank Tracker.
MyBankTracker provides a free, easy-to-use website that lets consumers find the best banks, interest rates, peer reviews,  The site fills an industry void by providing a transparent, accurate and consistent source of online banking information.>has added “Bank Deals” to its web portal. Banks can sign up for Bank Deals to have their promotions searchable on the site. Bank Deals gives consumers the additional ability to search for deals based on the most popular and latest promotional offerings.

SmartyPig Launches Race Out of Debt Contest

Smarty Pig going to help one lucky contestant “Race Out of Debt” with a cash prize of $4,951 to put toward his or her credit card bills, holiday gifts, a much-needed vacation or whatever they choose! The process is simple, the reward large, and both new and existing customers are eligible. The contest officially began September 14, 2010, at 10 AM CT and will remain open until September 27, 2010, at 10 AM CT.

On Monday, September 27, 2010, SmartyPig will randomly choose eight finalists. Each finalist will be assigned to a pig on the SmartyPig Farm. These pigs will then race to determine which lucky contestant wins the grand prize. On Tuesday, September 28, 2010, we will post the video of the SmartyPig race and officially announce the “Race Out of Debt” winner!

For more details, read the full post on Smarty Pig’s site.

Take Five: Surviving Divorce, Updating Resume, A New Way To Pay

“Most women are one man away from welfare.”– Gloria Steinem.  It may not be welfare, but the truth is that divorce can create a financial breakdown for many women. Mary Pilon has a great article in the Wall Street Journal about how to minimize the financial burden when a couple divorces.

Need to be more productive? Use a kitchen timer and read this post by Jen Dziura.

Upgrade your Resume is 10 easy steps. The blog, Dumb Little Man, has some good advice.

Last year, I bought my boyfriend a Mophie case for his iPhone and he loves it. Now  I hear that Intuit and Mophie have teamed on a credit card-swiping iPhone accessory called Complete Credit Card Solution that will allow any approved iPhone owner to walk out of an Apple store in as little as 15 minutes with the ability to accept credit card payments.

BTW, I am attending Finovate Fall here in New York City October 4 and 5th.

Bookmark This: Lifehacker’s Personal Finance

Lifehacker has lots of content on how to be more productive,  how to use technology and gadgets and even to how to cook things.  One thing I love about Lifehacker are their posts on personal finance. You can find all of them at

Recent topics include setting up a CD Ladder for savings and curbing impulse purchases.

Listen To Lauren Fairbanks of LifestylerMag Talk About Personal Finance

I love it when my friends collaborate. Amber Marlow Blatt of Hey Brooklyn interview Lauren Fairbanks of LifestylerMag talks about personal finance tips for GenY, going to the free events in the city and using Groupon for teeth cleaning.

Bonus: Geeta Dayal has a great tips for freelancers, artists, and creative types.

Take Five: Nickelwise News April 30

Now is the time to track deductions for next year. Jenn Escalona tells you how.

Lighten your wallet and save money. Use Cardstar app (iPhone, Blackberry) to enter all your loyalty and reward cards.

If you are buying a car soon, then check out True Car which is a new car pricing research site.

Let Ally be one of your allies in the fight to save money.  I just set up a savings account today, and it took only five minutes.

Student loan payment may not be so much of a struggle if you check out the new federal program, IBR (Income-Based Repayment.)