brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I recently started looking at credit unions that are interested in serving small businesses, and although a lot of them have pretty exclusive membership requirements, I found out about two that have interesting prerequisites you might find doable. (I only looked up stuff for US residents, sorry.)


  1. If you join the Financial Fitness Association (USD $8 per year), that gives you eligibility to join several credit unions, including First Tech Federal Credit Union. First Tech consistently gets a lot of recommendations on Ask MetaFilter, e.g., "interest-bearing checking accounts with no minimum balance, 2-factor authentication, online banking and bill-pay" and "friendly to foreigners" and "best bank in the world" and "their staff is great, caring, competent, and actually funny, and they're never too busy". I am particularly thinking about First Tech because they are open to serving businesses.

  2. The UNFCU or United Nations Federal Credit Union has various cool features, such as toll-free international numbers, customer service via Skype calls, customer service via secure email or web chat, and ApplePay. One way to get membership eligibility is to become a member of UNA-USA, a nonprofit supporting the goals of the United Nations. That's USD$25 per year for an introductory membership or if you're on a fixed income, and if you're a student 25 years old or younger you can join UNA-USA for free. (The normal rate is USD$40 per year.) I am probably not going to join UNFCU right now because they aren't interested in serving businesses.


There's an ethical argument for joining credit unions but there are also the general financial arguments -- there are often better rates and lower fees for various banking products, including credit cards and mortgages. Thought it was worth mentioning here.
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Hi everyone! How are you? How was your Christmas?

Looking around my reading circle, it seems like most everyone had a pretty horrible, awful, no good year. Mine was actually okay.

Finances and Christmas are a very stressful combination. How to get back on your mental feet after blowing it. )


Now, I'd just like to put a few words in for other blogs. Because finances aren't something we're taught, I'm having to teach myself. I read widely and try to read sceptically. (For instance, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" has some very poor financial advice) But some blogs that I've found that really help me:

Get Rich Slowly. Get Rich Slowly is awesome. It's sensible. The blog author is all about frugal living, sensible investments and life balance.

He is in favour of totally getting rid of your credit cards, though. It's not an approach that works for me, but horses for courses.

The Simple Dollar. Again, common sense. Trent Hamm is a guy who has dug himself out of debt and established an emergency fund. He's got some fantastic ideas (if I ever buy a car, I will be buying one from Craigslist).

He is a proponent of keeping your credit cards, but tends to get a bit frothy at the mouth and all "If you can't keep a credit card and use it sensibly, you've failed at managing your finances!" While I intend to keep my credit card, money is about psychology and people can be different without being wrong.

So go! Read!

As always, comments are valued. How did you survive Christmas? Does the approach above work for you? If it doesn't, why not and what does work for you?

If you've got any other financial blogs you read on a regular basis, I'd love to read them. Link me!

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