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March 2009 - Posts - Yankee 2.0
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Yankee 2.0

March 2009 - Posts

  • Slow banking?

     Last night, 60 Minutes had a segment about how insecure the information is that we send across the Internet. The segment suggested that 30% of all computers in the US are infected with "malware" designed to steal our personal information.

    I love technology, and feel it has made my life easier in many ways. I was an early adopter of online banking (I've been paying bills online for more than 10 years now), and loved saving the cost of a stamp to pay my bills. When I was in a tight economic spot, I also liked being able to pay my bills at the last minute when I needed to.

    But now, at least for now, I'm pretty okay financially (who knows what tomorrow holds for any of us), and I definitely have a much different approach to paying bills.

    So I'm thinking of getting rid of online banking in the interest of security. I have never been the subject of identity theft (thank goodness), and my office computer is a mac (less prone to viruses), but I have certainly used wi-fi and multiple computers to check my balances, and I even have used online banking on my cellphone.

    The story really scared me. For the moment, I have decided to take the remote banking application off of my cellphone, and to use only my office computer (a Mac desktop with firewall and a wired DSL connection) to access my bank accounts. But I am definitely considering going back to an all-paper banking system. It seems in many ways like a step back, but if it keeps my little earnings safe, it would be worth it.

    I also set up an online-only savings account last year (currently earning 2.15% as opposed to my local bank's passbook rate of .05%).  I have always felt wary about this account, even though it is FDIC insured, it just seems so remote and anonymous. I'm now considering closing it and moving the little money I've saved in it to my more tangible passbook account.

    Does anyone out there have ideas or experiences they'd like to share about "slow banking"?  

  • Handling cash, slowing down

    One of the things wise money people always say is "Always use cash." It's harder for us to part with an actual dollar bill than it is to swipe our debit or credit cards. I've found this to be very true, and have been able to stick with my $200 per week (or less, when broke) cash allowance for just over a year now. (Okay, maybe I've had a few off-budget splurges, but they haven't been purchased using credit).  I go to the bank each Friday and take out $200.00 When it's gone, it's gone, and whatever is left over goes into my passbook savings account.

    My bank has lots of options for moving money around electronically, and while I do take advantage of online bill payments (saving lots of stamps and paper), I prefer to walk up to the teller window and take my weekly draw (and put in my weekly savings) in person. It's kind of old-fashioned, but I think it is good for me to slow down and make the cash-handling process very intentional. 

     When I was a little kid, I thought that each penny, quarter, or dollar I put in the bank went into a special box that was just mine, and that when I withdrew money it would be the same coin or bill. Going up to the teller puts me in mind of those simpler days, and makes me appreciate even more the value of each dollar I earn, spend, or save.

    Posted Mar 06 2009, 09:39 AM by Anne Cross with 1 comment(s)
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