Guide to Small Business Checking Accounts

woman at computer

Small business owners have unique needs when it comes to their checking accounts. Here is a simple guide to understanding what features you need when it comes to small business checking accounts and exactly what you don't.

Getting started

The first step is to think about what you will need the account for. Paying lots of vendors by check daily? Make sure you don't get locked into an account with per-check fees. Unsure if you even want one? It's tempting as a sole proprietor to keep it simple, but most experts advise that even the smallest business keep lanes between personal and business money. Separate accounts is the first step toward doing that. It also makes paying your taxes a lot easier.

Here's what you should expect as a minimum level of service from a bank that wants your (small) business:<

Continue reading...
More about...Banking

How to Build a Savings Nest Egg (Even While Broke)

A mountain climber

Living paycheck to paycheck is never easy, but it doesn't have to mean you can't save for the future. Everyone needs a savings nest egg or emergency fund.

The solution is to get prepared now, no matter what it takes. (And know that you aren't alone! One study by the Federal Reserve found that most Americans have $400 or less in cash savings.)

Continue reading...
More about...Uncategorized

How Not to Overspend

Photo of beach and pier

Technology has given consumers unprecedented access to shopping opportunities -- you can shop, literally, morning, noon and night. From your phone or tablet. Debit, credit, store cards, gift cards...the list is endless.

There probably has never been a tougher time to resist the temptation to overspend. A few impulsive clicks and your carefully crafted monthly budget is kaput.

Continue reading...
More about...Uncategorized

529 plans vs. prepaid 529 plans

Baby in graduation gown, holding a diploma for an article on 529 plans

Saving for college is daunting enough, but as any parent of college-age kids can tell you, you also need to learn a whole new vocabulary -- FAFSA, 529 plans, Coverdell accounts.

It can be a lot to process. One common question is the difference between a 529 plan and a 529 "prepaid" plan. While pre-paid plans aren't nearly as common as they used to be, it's important to know the difference. Here's all that you need to know:

Continue reading...
More about...Administration

Creative Ways To Reduce Student-Loan Debt

Each time tuition rises, students become more dependent upon loan programs to pay for school.

But the long-term consequences of those decisions means students and graduates will spend years working to get rid of the financial strain associated with student-loan debt. 

Time.com put it best: "This year, more than two-thirds of college graduates graduated with debt, and their average debt at graduation was about $35,000, tripling in two decades."<

Continue reading...
More about...Debt

Review: Goldman Sachs Bank

Photo illustration of money growing

Switching banks can be a giant pain, something to schedule in between taxes and a root canal. That's why some of us stick with a bank long after the relationship has stopped working in our favor. In an effort to help you explore and compare banking options, we'll be presenting unbiased reviews in this space as often as we can. You can be part of the conversation, too: Do you love your bank? Hate it? Which bank or credit union should we review next? Let us know in the comments or reach us directly at [email protected].

The name Goldman Sachs isn't usually associated with everyday banking for the 99%, but that may be changing. GE Capital is now Goldman Sachs Bank, also known as GS Bank or GSB. Here's what you need to know:

What is Goldman Sachs Bank?

It is a new consumer online banking initiative from the long-established investment banking behemoth Goldman Sachs & Co. Having acquired the online banking platform of GE Capital, along with that bank's $16 billion in deposits, GSB makes this offer to potential customers: Deposit your money in an FDIC-insured online savings account or certificate of deposit at GS Bank and appreciate the perks of no minimum deposit and no transaction fees.

Continue reading...
More about...Banking

7 rules for growing slow (but sustainable) wealth

couple doing finances on computer

You can grow -- and sustain -- wealth if you have nothing right now.

Many will argue that fortunes can be made overnight; while that may hold very true in some cases, the majority of those who have made it will tell you it did indeed take a great deal of time coupled with some correct financial choices. For me, wealth did not come solely from entrepreneurship or financial risk, but rather it came as a result of diversifying my investments all while growing my equity leverage and identifying the right opportunities early on.

Continue reading...
More about...Planning, Investing

No balance transfer fee credit card: Slate® from Chase

[Editorial note: This offer was last updated on July 13, 2016.]

Occasionally, Get Rich Slowly will feature reviews that alert you to new product offerings in which you may be interested. While we haven't covered a specific credit card offer in a while, this afternoon we're alerting you to an offer by Slate® from Chase because you can save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee, a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and a $0 annual fee.

The Slate® from Chase eliminates a major drawback

The Slate® from Chase is one of the first cards we've seen heavily promoted in a long time that allows you to transfer higher-rate balances with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee. Specifically, with the Slate® from Chase card, there is a $0 introductory fee on transfers made within 60 days of account-opening. If you transfer a balance after the first 60 days, the ongoing balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Continue reading...
More about...Credit

Smart ways to save money

coin jar

In January, I started a savings experiment. The experiment was designed to save money for my “emergency cushion” account without feeling the loss from my pocket or budget. I figured I could probably save about $30 to $50 per month — not much, but not peanuts either. In six months, I hoped to save about $250, which would be a smart way to save money.

Last week, a month later than I'd originally intended, I deposited the money into my savings account. Before I did, I counted it up to see how much I'd accumulated. I had $723. Wow! And I'd managed to save all of that without even noticing.

<
Continue reading...
More about...Frugality

The truth about tax deductions

Tax prep costs - How much will it cost to get your taxes done

Nobody likes to pay taxes. And I think we all get a little kick out of finding ways to save on our tax bill. We smile when we find a deduction we'd been missing. Maybe we think it's a great deal because we're sticking it to the man. Maybe the tax deduction tricks us into thinking we're getting a discount on buying something that we want. Or maybe the tax deduction leads us to believe we're making a smart decision. I know I get a little tingle inside when I find a new tax deduction. Don't you?

Are All Tax Deductions Good?

The problem is that saving on taxes usually amounts to spending cash, or worse, signing up for debt. That's right, we're all trying to get rich slowly, and it seems like saving taxes would go hand in hand with this, but when it comes down to it, many tax deductions are really a drain on our cash flow or emergency fund. Many tax deductions can increase risk and even can put us a little bit further behind the eight ball. All in the name of saving taxes.

Continue reading...
More about...Taxes