Bank Fees - Kicking You While You Are Down

Miscellaneous, Budgeting No Comments »

America is a funny place to be. As long as you have high balances at the bank, no problem. As soon as you hit a snare though - watch out. Most banks are large chains with policies and rules, and they are totally unwilling to work with their customers. This normally results in excessive fees, which further your financial problems. I have even had one situation where the bank processed several checks on the same day, and a deposit, and the order of their processing was structured in such a way that they were able to justify charging an overdraft fee.

Situation 1 - Dishonorable Check and Deposit Processing

The situation outlined above actually happened to me. There were 3 checks that I had written, with quite varying amounts, that all hit the bank on the same day. I also had a deposit that processed on that same day. Now, the dates on the checks did not match up with the order they were processed in. I thought that banks would process checks in the order they were received, and if they were received at the same time, that they would process them in order by the date they were written. However, what I found was that the bank processed the checks in order from largest amount to smallest amount. Furthermore, they processed the checks before they processed the deposit. The net result for me was that I ran negative for part of the day, and then came back into the positive at the end of the day. What was my reward? You guessed it, an overdraft fee.

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List of Cheap Entertainment

Miscellaneous, Budgeting 1 Comment »

I want this one to be short and sweet, so I want to give you some ideas for very low cost or free ideas for your weekend entertainment. So here goes:

  • Going for a walk at the local park. My wife and I love this idea because it is absolutely free, and the scenery is beautiful.
  • Going camping. Once you make the initial investment to get the tent, bed rolls, mobile kitchen, maybe some hunting and fishing gear, you are in for a very affordable trip. Just hit spots like your local lake or park and setup your camp spot.
  • Fishing or Hunting. Again, after a little bit of initial expense, this is a very low cost method of entertainment.
  • Watching a Movie. You can find movies at groceries stores and even fast food restaurants in a vending machine that can be rented for just one dollar.
  • Grilling Dinner. This is one of my favorites. Some chicken, steak, pork loin, ribs, etc and some great seasoning, and you have yourself a meal fit for kings.
  • Going Swimming. A fun and very cheap way to get some exercise or just relax.
  • Sand or Beach Volley Ball. Many public parks have a sand pit for just such an occasion. Just get a volley ball and have fun.
  • Tennis. Again, your local public park will probably have a tennis court. All you need is a couple of rackets and a tube of tennis balls, and there you go.
  • Basketball. The easiest. A basketball and some good running shoes and you are ready for action.
  • Online Games. Websites like candystand.com offer free, fun games to play.
  • Puzzles. One of our favorites. Puzzles are cheap and can offer a great chance for a couple to work together to solve, and provide a good time for fellowship.
  • Card Games. This is another cheap, fun one. Our favorites are hearts and spades, the vicious heart wrenching card games are close to our ‘heart’.
  • Video Games. Game systems like the Nintendo Wii offer some fantastic lifelike action without the hassle of a bunch of different equipment and having to make the drive.
  • Working out. Not one of personal favorites, however there are many people that find it quite relaxing and fun to go the gym and exercise.
  • Board Games. Classics like Monopoly, Life, and Trivial Pursuit are fan favorites.

These are just a few great games and entertainment you can do on a shoe string budget. I hope I was of help here, and if you have some of your own great ideas, please list them below in the comments section.


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