Companies of all kinds are always looking for ways to increase their revenue — and that includes financial institutions. Today, traditional banks are being forced to compete with a constant influx of financial technology (Fintech) companies, and their desperation for new income streams has led them to create unlikely alliances with insurance companies.

Over the last few years, my husband and I have received numerous letters from our credit union offering $1,000 of “free” accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage. We never sent in the consent forms because it seemed rather odd, almost gimmicky, although the paperwork assured us it was a gesture of appreciation to us as loyal credit union members.

Recently I saw a question on Reddit about the legitimacy of these offers, and the varied responses got me thinking and researching on the topic. I found assurance that these offers aren’t usually scams — but I still won’t be signing up. Here are four reasons you might want to pitch these offers, too.
[ continue reading… ]

zero-waste lifestyle
I hardly ever recycled (other than turning in soda bottles and cans for Michigan’s $.10 deposit) growing up, and I shrugged it off as too much of a hassle in early adulthood — especially when I lived in rural areas that didn’t provide curbside recycling pickup. It wasn’t until I moved to Washington a few years ago that recycling truly became a habit for me, and now I can’t imagine not doing it.

Recycling protects the environment for only a small cost to us. It’s a good way to redeem waste, but what if we could create zero waste in the first place?

[ continue reading… ]

2018 resolutions
A recent survey showed that 84% of us have financial goals for 2018, and these five top the list:

  1. Saving money
  2. Paying down debt
  3. Sticking to a budget
  4. Improving credit scores
  5. Increasing retirement savings

How do these line up with your 2018 money goals?

It’s easy to set New Year’s goals, but statistics show that only 8% of us successfully achieve them. A few reasons we don’t reach our financial goals, specifically, are that we tend to set too many goals and fail to create a plan of how we’re going to accomplish them.

If you want to make 2018 different, here’s some MoneyNing advice for moving these top five from goals to lifelong habits:
[ continue reading… ]

money talk taboo
Whether at a family reunion or a business lunch, we all know to avoid topics like politics and religion if we want to stay out of arguments and avoid making people feel uncomfortable. Another taboo topic that can be even more uncomfortable for people to discuss is money – specifically, personal finances.

Americans consider money as one of the hardest topics to talk about with others. In many cases people think personal finance is even harder to talk about than death, politics and religion! Knowing how passionately we tend to feel about the rest of these topics hints at the emotions tied to the money we carry in our wallets and bank accounts.

And talking about money doesn’t get any easier inside our homes either. Although we could discuss the many reasons we have for avoiding money talk with family and close friends, let’s look, instead, at five advantages of talking about it more in both private and public circles:
[ continue reading… ]

save money on babies

The first time I walked into Babies”R”Us when pregnant with my first child, I felt overwhelmed almost to the point of hyperventilating. There were so many products out there — and it felt like every single purchase I made would determine my child’s fate.

Four years and another baby later, it’s clear to me now that baby gear manufacturers and retailers probably want you to be panicked. It’s much easier to sell unnecessary items to frightened and overwhelmed parents, since you’ll be happy to buy any product that will help you feel more in control.

But just like any other purchases, some baby gear is worth the investment, while some will clutter up the nursery until you have a yard sale a decade later.

Here are four baby products worth spending extra money on: [ continue reading… ]

2018 goals
January is a popular month for setting new financial goals for the year. But, as many of us have learned over the years, we’re likely only setting ourselves up for failure during the beginning of the year.

It’s not that we don’t see the need to improve our spending habits, be more consistent with savings, or change our money mindsets. We just underestimate the power of deeply-ingrained habit — and inertia.

There’s no shortage of tips for reaching fitness, financial, and other life goals, but — lingering on that idea of power — here are a few more you might not have encountered before.
[ continue reading… ]