RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

8 Ways to Save on Bank Costs

September 2, 2015 2:48 am

Did you know the majority of Americans spend more money on milk than they do on banking? According to a recent American Bankers Association (ABA) survey, nearly three-quarters of bank customers spend $3 or less in monthly banking fees, and approximately 60 percent pay nothing at all for banking services.

“We’ve seen tremendous innovations to bank services over the last decade that have allowed our customers to bank in the way that is most convenient for them and at little or no cost,” says ABA Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Counsel, Consumer Protection and payments Nessa Feddis. “Today’s consumers have become adept at using the many options that may allow them to bank for free, whether it’s maintaining a minimum balance, opting for direct deposit or using ATMs owned by their bank.”

To cut banking costs, the ABA recommends bank customers do the following:

• Utilize free checking and savings accounts. Many banks still offer them, especially if you maintain a minimum balance. Shop your own bank first.

• Utilize direct deposit. Many checking accounts are free when you use direct deposit.

• Keep a minimum balance. Consider keeping a small amount to pad your account. This helps to avoid monthly fees and accidental overdrafts.

• Take advantage of college partnerships with banks. College students may find special checking account deals at banks with which their college has a partnership.

• Keep multiple accounts at your bank. Many banks seek the entire customer relationship and may offer free service if you maintain both checking and savings accounts with them.

• Use your bank’s ATMs and reduce the use of foreign ATMs. Avoid fees by using ATMs owned by or affiliated with your bank. If you must use an ATM not affiliated with your bank, take out larger withdrawals to avoid having to go back multiple times. Consider the cash-back option at the grocery store.

• Don’t spend more money than you have. Keep track of transactions and account balances to avoid overdraft fees, which is easier to do with features such as mobile banking apps.

• Sign up for email or text alerts. Ask for an automatic alert when your balance falls below a certain level.

Source: ABA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Gardeners: Don't Fear Fall Frost

September 2, 2015 2:48 am

(BPT) - As summer winds down and frost threatens, even avid gardeners may be tempted to pack up their trowels and call it a season. You may think it's better to leave the victory garden gracefully than risk the disappointment of watching crops wither in chilly temperatures. But fear of frost and failure don't have to stop you from enjoying a fruitful fall garden. With the right plant choices and a few tricks, producing a hefty harvest can be easy.

Frost occurs when temperatures drop enough to condense and freeze the moisture in the air. In fall, when air temperatures sink, it's common to find frost layering the ground, leaves and crops. Frost may occur frequently in the fall before the ground really becomes frozen. This is known as a hard freeze.

While a hard freeze generally heralds the end of the growing season and frost can harm warm weather crops like oranges, some veggies actually do very well - and taste better - when nipped by frost. By stocking your fall garden with frost-loving varieties, you can ensure your garden remains victorious and bountiful right up to the first hard freeze. Not sure when the hard freeze will occur in your region? Check out the USDA’s Freeze Map.

When you consider the many advantages of fall gardening, frost shouldn't be feared. Cooler temperatures mean you'll have a more comfortable experience while working in the garden, and you'll have fewer insect pests and weeds to deal with.

To start, clear out the remnants of summer plantings and debris and get the ground ready for fall favorites like spinach, cabbage, collards and kale. These hearty, leafy vegetables actually like the chill weather and can stand up to some frost. Certain root veggies, such as radishes and turnips, also do well in cooler temperatures.

When planning your fall garden, time is of the essence. Start with well-established, vigorous plants, which not only see faster growth, but ensure strength during unexpected or extreme temperature variations. Remember to choose short-season varieties that will produce quicker in fall's shorter growing season.

Even though your fall vegetables might be able to handle the cold, you may want an extra layer of protection for unseasonably cool nights. Choose a location for your garden that gets plenty of sun, especially in the morning when you'll want plants to quickly shake off overnight chill. Planting in a raised bed also helps insulate plants and their tender roots from ground freezes. Container gardens are also great for fall; when a severe frost or hard freeze threatens, you can bring plants inside overnight for protection.

Sometimes you may want to cover plants against extreme cold. One option is a cold frame. Typically constructed of wood and glass or plastic, the frame sits over plants like a portable mini greenhouse. You can build your own - an online search will yield plenty of how-to plans - or purchase a prefabricated one. For less severe situations, simply turning a pot or bucket upside down over tender young plants can be enough to shield them from cold.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: