Author

Robert Wren Gordon

Browsing

What is a High-Yield Savings Account?

It’s already late February, so hopefully, by now, you’ve already received your annual bonus. Or perhaps that tax refund direct deposit might be hitting your checking account in the next few weeks. In any case,  if you have (or will soon have) a few spare bucks lying around, our latest post on What is a High-Yield Savings Account is for you!

What is a high-yield savings account?

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the FDIC, the average savings account currently has an annual percentage yield, or APY, of 0.09 per cent. In other words, let’s say you deposited $100 into an average savings account at an average bank on the first business day of 2019. If you leave those $100 alone throughout the current year and make no new deposits to the savings account, by the end of the first business day of 2020, your account would (or should) have a balance of US$100.09.

Needless to say, 9¢ isn’t much to show for a year, especially after considering that around $8,000,000,000,000 (no, that’s not a typo, that’s $8 trillion) are currently invested in savings-type accounts around the country.

As opposed to average, 9¢-or-less savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts pay more interest, thus generating a higher yield for you. High-yield savings accounts, including the account options that we explore below, tend to be offered primarily by online banks due in part to the simple fact that these banks simply spend less than brick-and-mortar institutions (e.g. no branches, fewer employees, etc.).

Five Stellar High-Yield Savings Accounts

Understanding What is a High-Yield Savings Account would be much better if you go through our list. To help you get a bit more than 9¢/year on your savings, we’ve put together a list of five high-yield savings accounts, each of which offers an APY of at least 23 times the national average. If you don’t already have one of these accounts, it’s time to rethink how you manage your personal savings!

Ally Bank

Do you have Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account?

If you answered no to this question, we strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with Ally Bank’s website. Ally’s Online Savings Account is honestly one of the industry’s most competitive products, offering an APY of 2.20 per cent, which is more than 24 times the national average. Also, unlike many of its competitors, Ally has no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. On top of this, Ally offers all the standard benefits that you might expect from a brick-and-mortar bank, including checking accounts, online banking and an app with mobile check deposit, which is probably why Americans poured nearly $13 billion worth of new deposits into Ally in 2018.

American Express

Thought Amex was just about nice credit cards and traveller’s cheques?
Wrong.

For over 10 years, practically any adult resident in the U.S. has been eligible to apply for American Express’s Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account.

The Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account offers a 2.10 per cent APY and is easy to open. No fees, no minimum balance requirements and the account can be opened for free (although any account not funded within 60 days will be closed).

While the Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account is not accessible through the Amex app, online banking is available and the account can be linked to an American Express card in online banking, proving for a seamless experience for Amex cardholders.

CIBC

Canada has given us a lot over the years, from Peter Jennings and Alan Thicke to The Weeknd and, more recently, the CIBC Agility™ Online Savings Account.

The Agility™ Online Savings Account brings real meaning to Justin Bieber’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to The town,” offering a whopping 2.39 per cent APY—over 26.5 times the national average!

The Agility™ Online Savings Account also comes with great perks, such as direct deposit, no maintenance fees, no minimum daily balance, and access to the CIBC US Mobile Banking App.
Unfortunately, though, the best things in life aren’t free and a $1,000 deposit is required to open this account so you might end up waiting until after your tax refund comes through to get started with this one. Fortunately, after the account has been opened there’s no need to keep your $1,000 with CIBC; you only need to maintain a balance of 1¢ to earn the 2.39 per cent APY.

Marcus

If you thought that Goldman Sachs only counts high-net-worth individuals among its clients, you’re wrong.

Well, sort of.

Marcus, an offshoot of Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, counts high-yield savings accounts and personal loans among its offerings. It is one of the names to remeber when wondering about What is a High-Yield Savings Account? Marcus’s Online Savings Account offers an APY of 2.25 percent—there’s no minimum deposit to open an account and the account has no maintenance fees. $100 in Marcus’s Online Savings Account would earn $2.25, or exactly 25 times the national average, over the course of a year. There’s one downside to Marcus though—you’re stuck tracking your finances from your bulky, old desktop or from your heavy laptop, as there’s no snazzy app to track your savings from the convenience of your smartphone!

PNC Bank

Have you heard of PNC Bank?

If yes, then this account probably won’t be to0 helpful to you, as PNC’s High Yield Savings account is only available to residents of the 31 states (excluding the District of Columbia) where PNC currently does not have a brick-and-mortar branch.

But, if you live in one of those 31 primarily western states, then you’re eligible for PNC’s impressive 2.35 per cent APY. Plus, as the only major brick-and-mortar bank on this list, PNC offers a lot of perks that the other banks mentioned above don’t, including a full suite of personal financial products, such as credit cards and checking accounts, which can be easily integrated with your High Yield Savings account through PNC’s online and mobile banking offerings.

Like the other accounts, there are no maintenance fees associated with the High Yield Savings account and no minimum daily balance requirement. You can open the account for free and can earn the 2.35 per cent APY on balances above $1; however, the High Yield Savings account is a six-month commitment, as closing the account within six months will entail a $25 penalty.

5 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling

Have you packed your bags yet? With 2019 well underway, studies show that the average Millennial is likely to embark upon five trips this year and might even go on at least one of those trips thanks to the help of a travel agentOur blog post on 5 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling will help you manage your travels effectively.

In light of these travel trends, we’ve decided to share a few useful tips for saving cash while you’re off searching for the perfect backdrop for your vacation Insta Story.

Here are some low key 5 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling that you can consider :

1. Low-cost destinations

We have that friend (or those friends) who spent months planning what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. Time off was requested, and airfare and accommodation were paid for months in advance and that friend (or those friends) boarded the flight with a detailed itinerary chock full of excursions and sights to see.

Unfortunately, after the trip, you didn’t see many photos and only ended up hearing stories about how awfully expensive your friend’s destination was. While many people are quite conscious regarding the prices of airfare and accommodation, too many travellers fail to account for potential on-the-ground costs until arriving at their destination.

To keep your wallet from bleeding too much cash while on the road,  planning trips to low-cost destinations is one of the most considerable 5 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling. For example, you really want to visit Florida and are planning on spending five days in Miami. But, do you really want to visit Miami? Are you looking for beaches, nightlife, and warm weather? If so, why not consider visiting Tampa, a few hundred miles north of Miami on Florida’s Gulf Coast? Consumer and restaurant prices are 11 and 13 per cent lower, respectively, than in Miami and visitors to the Tampa area can enjoy the sands of Clearwater Beach during the day and dance the night away in Ybor City or Soho at a place like MacDinton’s.

Planning on travelling internationally? Why not hold off on the Paris trip and opt for Prague instead? Consumer and restaurant prices in Paris are 75 and 121 per cent, respectively, higher than those of Prague. (Those are not typos.) Interested? United Airlines is launching a seasonal direct flight to Prague from Newark on June 6, 2019, and American Airlines and Delta Air Lines already have seasonal offerings from Philadelphia and New York, respectively. (Prague is also easily accessible via connections in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, and Paris.)

2. Avoid tourist traps

Perhaps this article’s most cliché advice, but still relevant nonetheless. If you’re going to New York, why spend all your time shuttling between Midtown, Meatpacking, FiDi, and the westernmost neighbourhoods of Brooklyn? Instead of hanging out at unnecessarily expensive restaurants along and around Fifth Avenue, why not try out local favourite The Halal Guys? And in lieu of spending an entire day (or afternoon) at Central Park, why not head up to Washington Heights and visit The Cloisters?

3. Use those perks

Everyone knows that active and retired military personnel, as well as many government employees, are able to take advantage of a host of discounts throughout the country. You too might be able to benefit from similar discounts and competitive pricing on car rentals and at certain stores and restaurants. How? If you work for a medium-sized or large organization, it might be worth checking in with your human resources or benefits department. Thousands of companies across the country have negotiated special rates at hotels, car rental agencies, attractions and elsewhere. And while some of these perks may be restricted to company travel, others can be used by employees at any time, so it never hurts to ask! It is one of the most lucrative 5 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling.

Also, before you shoot that e-mail off to H.R., don’t forget to take a peek inside your purse or wallet. Why? Are your credit and debit cards working for you? Money magazine recently ran a feature on some of the M.V.P.s of the points game. More and more people are strategically opening credit cards and using the associated benefits and rewards to get discounts or upgrades on travel and accommodation expenses. It’s never too late to start turning routine expenses on groceries and gas into a Caribbean cruise or staycation!

4. “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

Okay, you might not be a fan of that Premier League side or of its melancholy anthem, but, if you’re pinching pennies, think twice next time before travelling alone. Travelling with others can lead to substantial cost savings, especially on accommodation and ground transportation at your destination.

5. Timing is everything

The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that Sunday and Wednesday are far better days of the week to buy air tickets than is Friday. Similarly, the ideal time to purchase tickets for your next Eurotrip is just under six months before departure.

Having mentioned Europe, do you really want to visit Europe in the summer along with every other tourist from the world over? One of the most considerable 5 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling is planning your trips around low seasons. In Europe (notwithstanding Alpine ski resorts), you’ll save time at many attractions during the winter months (time = money). Similarly, prices can be 50 per cent lower at hotels and resorts in the Caribbean during that region’s off-season, which runs between April and December.

Relevant Links

1. General Resources
Expedia
Hotwire
KAYAK
Priceline.com
TripAdvisor

2. Airfare
Google Flights
Hopper
Skyscanner

3. Bus/Train
Peter Pan
Wanderu

4. Accommodation
Airbnb
CouchSurfing
HomeAway
Hotels.com
HotelTonight

5. Food
Eater
Foodspotting
TheFork
Yelp

6. Trips & Excursions
Headout
Time Out
Viator.com

Side Hustling: A Beginner’s Guide for Millennials

Ever been tempted by the thought of earning spare cash on the side? Odds are, if you’re under 40 and happen to be a millennial, then you probably have wondered about side hustling. News outlets like CNBC and the Washington Examiner and even credit reporting agency Experian are picking up on this growing trend. So, if you’re not already a side hustler, how do you get into the gig economy? Or, if you already have a side hustler and are looking to expand, what do you do and where do you go? If the answers to these questions interest you, take this post as mini-roadmap for how to get started.

Pros & Cons

First things first. It’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of starting a side gig. While young people hustle more than mom and dad and grandma and grandpa did, the gig economy isn’t for everyone.

Let’s talk about the benefits. Millennials are the most well-travelled generation in human history. With many people spending in the ballpark of $1,000 on a given trip (including transportation, accommodation, and incidentals), side hustling can help fund vacations and other leisure activities. Side gigs are also a way to reengage with hobbies during time away from the office. A great example of this would be the accountant who uses her event planning business to get out of the house and connect with neighbours and community members.

Now for the downsides. Ideally, you shouldn’t rely on income from a side gig as it’s not guaranteed to be consistent. Side hustling also requires excellent time management. If you already struggle to manage your time and have unpredictable work hours, participating in the gig economy can add unnecessary stress to your life. Additionally, don’t forget about the family. If it’s already hard to find enough time for family, picking up a side hustle probably won’t change that. (That is, unless you involve your family in your side hustle. Ever thought of asking the kids to help make arts and crafts to sell online? It’s also never too late to start the family landscaping business.

Skill Set

Identifying your marketable skills is key to successfully picking up a side hustle. If you’re looking to jump into the gig economy or expand within it, it’s worth spending some time reflecting on the skills that you have on offer. What do you like? What are you passionate about? The gig economy favours those with easily transferable skills. Can you code? Do you like tutoring? Think about work you can do from the comfort of your own home or within your community without having to commute long distances.

Still, need some help on side hustling? Think of some of the extracurriculars that you participated in during high school or college. Were you a member of the photography club? Did you write or edit for the school newspaper? Do you have a car and like driving? Were you ever a lifeguard or swim instructor? Each of these questions reflects upon a skill. The popularity of some of the iTunes Store’s and the Play Store’s top apps, including Instagram as well as dating apps like Bumble and Tinder underscores an increasing demand for high-quality photos. Websites across the country and English learners around the world are constantly looking for talented writers and editors. Ridesharing apps like Juno, Lyft and Uber highlight the demand for safe and trustworthy drivers throughout the country. Separately, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the private swim school industry is booming.

Geographic Location

It doesn’t matter whether you’re based in an urban, rural, or suburban setting, there’s a way for you to participate in the gig economy and get your side hustling going. That said, in all honesty, launching a side hustle is much easier in a major city like Chicago, New York or San Francisco. Why? Well, let’s consider a tutor. We’ll say you aced the S.A.T. back in high school and are considering using that 1500+ score to start tutoring high school students after work and during the weekends (that is after football season ends). Given the sheer population density of major cities, you’re far more likely to find a few clients to get started with living within close proximity to one another. Trying the same hustle in a smaller city might not be as beneficial, as you might need to spend considerable time commuting to meet with clients.

On the flip side, a strong background in coding or web design might allow you to work from anywhere. Writing for websites and editing articles and papers could be perfect for someone in a rural area. Similarly, dedicating spare time to giving swimming lessons or becoming the (paid) neighbourhood handyman are excellent options for people in suburban communities.

Finding Opportunities

Now that you’ve considered your individual skill set and reflected on what kinds of gigs make the most sense in your environment, it’s time to start searching. But where do you go? And how do you find opportunities?

Let’s split this point into two subpoints—active and passive searching.

Search engines like Google are great places to start actively searching for opportunities. A simple Google search for “Houston tutor” yields over 5,000 results. For those with strong backgrounds in standardized testing or who have a knack for general subjects such as math or English, over a dozen tutoring companies are listed in the first few pages of the Google search results. Likewise, a Google News search for “lifeguard swim instructor” linked to 1,260 jobs posted on the Swimswam.com website, some of which are only part-time.

Did you go to college? Odds are your university has a career centre with information on a variety of openings for current students, alumni, and perhaps even non-graduates. And while your college’s job board might not be as easily searchable or as visually appealing as LinkedIn or The Ladders, keep in mind that university-affiliated job boards usually boast far higher response rates from potential employers and clients than more general websites.

Now let’s think about passive searching on side hustling. Allow the side hustle to find you. How? Well, have you thought about developing a personal website? Even if you don’t have web design skills, you can allow Wix to build a website for you (it’s free to get started). Websites are a great platform for passively advertising your skills and expertise. Building out a proper LinkedIn profile can also give you a boost in the passive job search. It’s not uncommon nowadays to be contacted directly from someone on LinkedIn regarding a possible opportunity—every day you go without a fully complete LinkedIn profile is a missed chance.

Reputation

To wrap things up, the most important thing to remember about side hustling is that your clients and partners are gold. Word-of-mouth remains one of the best referral systems worldwide. While things might start off slowly, building a solid rapport with one client can provide you with the leads necessary to turning an inconsistent side hustle into a stable, secondary source of income.

Relevant Links

1. Coding/Web Development
How to Get Your First Freelance Coding Client
How you can land a coding job with very little experience
Top 14 Job Boards to Find Web Dev Work & Coding Gigs

2. Event Planning
How to Start a Career in Event Planning
How to Start an Event Planning Business
Why So Many Event Planners Prefer the Freelance Lifestyle

3. Photography
9 Best Tips to Become a Successful Freelance Photographer
How to Be a Freelance Photographer • Travel the World • What No One Tells You
What Is Freelance Photography: How It Works and Why You Should Consider It

4. Ride Sharing
Juno
Lyft
Uber

5. Tutoring
22 Best Online Tutoring Jobs for Teachers & College Students
Preply
VIPKID