4 Ways to Avoid Overdrawing Your Account

by Andrew Schreiber 10. December 2014

Where does all the money go?

Overdrawing your account can be a common occurrence for some and it can be a rare occasion for others. Either way, the hefty fine that goes along with it is enough to make you want to avoid the incident altogether. Here are a few tips to mitigate the risk of overdrawing your account.

1) Use Mobile Banking

Using mobile banking is a great way to always know the current balance in your account. It's a great solution that practically anyone with any type of phone can use. If you have an old school flip phone, you can use text banking. This is a great way to find out your balance quickly before making a purchase. Those that have smartphones have the ability to download bank apps, and some banks offer Mobile Browsers as an alternative if they do not have an app for your specific device.

2) Use a Credit Card

Credit cards are good product for customers that are more financially responsible. Instead of having to worry about each and every transaction in a given month, you only need to make one payment a month. This is definitely something that should be used by individuals who are cognizant of what they spend. Those who have a shopping problem or don’t feel comfortable managing a monthly budget probably shouldn’t use this tactic.

3) Get Online Alerts

Most banks offer alerts through their online banking service. You can receive an email and/or text message for any activity you define. For example, you can set it up so you receive an alert if your balance falls below $100. This is a great way to notify yourself that you are getting close to overdrawing your account.

4) Store Extra Cash

This is a good tactic for those who still balance a checkbook, which fewer and fewer people are doing these days. You put additional cash in your account and try to forget it's there. That way, in case you accidentally think you overdraw your account, that buffer cash will cover it. If you track your balances electronically, you may not find this approach to be as beneficial.

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The Scary Cost of Halloween

by Andrew Schreiber 25. October 2013

HalloweenFall is upon us and so is the holiday of Halloween. Costumes are not the only thing to be frightened of this holiday but also the cost that is associated with the holiday. According to a survey done by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly 158 million people will celebrate Halloween this year. People will celebrate the holiday in many ways, including attending Halloween parties and haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treating. It is safe to say that Halloween is no longer celebrated one night a year.

We’ve all known that Halloween is a big business holiday for candy companies, but it has grown beyond that. This year it is estimated that over $2 billion will be spent on candy. Costume companies will also be happy to know that an estimated total of $2.6 billion will be spent on Halloween costumes in 2013. Costumes are not limited to children. Adults will spend $1.22 billion on costumes for themselves and $330 million on costumes for pets. Halloween decorations account for $1.96 billion that people will spend this time of the year. This holiday is gradually becoming one of the more expensive holidays for consumers.

Another industry that is sharing in the Halloween spirit is beer companies. We are seeing more and more seasonally flavored beers being offered by companies. You have to serve your guests something when they show up to your Halloween party - why not serve a beer that fits the theme? This is an interesting way to capitalize off the celebration of Halloween.

Americans will spend an estimated $6.9 billion total on Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation (excluding cost of seasonal beer). Whether you have kids that are trick-or-treating or you plan on attending a Halloween party, this holiday is becoming a bigger deal on your finances.

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6 Things to Do in Baltimore to Cool Off

by Andrew Schreiber 19. July 2013

With this treacherous heat wave sweeping over Baltimore, everyone is looking for ways to cool off. If you’re tired of sitting in your house in front of the fan, here are some fun things to do in Baltimore to stay cool:

1) Devour a Snowball

One of the best ways to cool off during this current heat wave is to treat yourself to a delicious snowball. I feel sorry for people outside of the Baltimore area who have to live through their hot summers without the option to head down the street to a local snowball stand. Stands have all kinds of flavors, from watermelon to cotton candy, egg custard to root beer – you can even have your snowball topped with marshmallow. There’s bound to be a flavor for everyone! Check out this list of top snowball stands in Baltimore to find one near you.

Fresh Oranges

2) Enjoy an Orange Crush

Those of us who are of age and need a refreshing drink to help us through the heat should consider cooling off with one of Baltimore’s famous orange crushes. Fresh squeezed orange crushes are readily available at bars and restaurant throughout Baltimore. Be careful though – they are so refreshing that after relaxing for an hour or so, you may realize that you’ve already had 3 and might be feeling a little buzzed. If you’re not a fan of orange think about trying another flavor such as grapefruit or watermelon.

3) Wander the Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is one of the coolest places (and I’m not just talking temperature) to visit in the summer. Step inside this iconic Baltimore landmark and you’ll find yourself surrounded by huge water tanks and some of the deadliest creatures of the sea. If you’re coming to avoid the summer heat, you might want to skip over the rainforest exhibit.

4) Visit a Museum

The city of Baltimore is filled with history and culture. One of the best and “coolest” ways to surround yourself with history and culture is to visit one of the many Baltimore museums. A museum is a great, air conditioned change of pace on these hot summer days. There are museums in Baltimore for everyone’s interests, not just the history buffs.

Baltimore Museum of Industry

To list a few:

Walters Art Museum
Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Tattoo Museum
Sports Legends Museum
Baltimore Museum of Industry

5) Go See a Movie

Visiting a movie theater on a hot summer day is a perfect way to cool off. Overall, movie theaters are a dime a dozen, but if you’re looking for a more unique experience, Baltimore won’t let you down. Try Landmark Theatre in Harbor East, equipped with a full bar, for a fun and modern experience. If you’re of the more classical style, I recommend checking out the Charles Theater to catch the latest flick and cool off for a few hours.

6) Challenge Your Friends in Duckpin Bowling

Another great way to cool off is to go bowling. Any type of bowling will do the trick, but if you want to do it in true Baltimore fashion, you’ll go duckpin bowling. It’s a great way for a group to spend an evening out of the heat. There are a variety of duckpin bowling options available around Baltimore, including Patterson Bowling Center and Stoneleigh Lanes.

If all else fails, just wait an hour, because it seems like that's how quickly this Baltimore weather can change dramatically. So when we're NOT in the middle of a heat wave, be sure to check out these fun FREE things to do outdoors in Baltimore.

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