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Dear Penny: Should We Use Our Emergency Savings to Pay for a New Roof?

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Dear Unicorn,

It isn’t often that I get to mediate when two unicorns disagree. So here goes.

I’m with you about when you should spend emergency savings. Ideally, you only use your rainy-day fund for expenses that are necessary, unexpected and urgent. Yes, it’s necessary to replace the roof at some point, but it’s definitely not unexpected or particularly urgent, at least as you describe it. 

Of course, this would be a different situation if, say, the roof was already caving in, or it were in such bad shape that it could put your safety or belongings at risk.

But with the average new roof costing $7,753, according to Home Advisor, you could expect the replacement to eat up about a quarter of your emergency savings — money that’s supposed to be there for something catastrophic, like an illness or a job loss. 

Without knowing your monthly expenses, I can’t say whether that would leave you with sufficient reserves. But keep in mind that financial planners typically recommend that you have enough savings to cover at least three to six months’ worth of expenses for emergencies.

So does that mean the tie is officially broken? Well, not exactly.

In a perfect world — as in, the land inhabited by financial unicorns — you wouldn’t take out a loan or refinance to pay for an expense you know is coming. You’d estimate how much time you have and work a line item into your monthly budget to save up for it. 

So, for example, if you plan to replace your roof in two years, you could each start putting $150 to $200 per month in a separate savings account, known as a sinking fund, designated for a new roof.

But if you need to replace the roof before you can save for it, I vote for leaving your emergency funds intact and financing the cost. 

Because your credit score is, as you put it, a beautiful 836, you could probably qualify for a personal loan at just 5% or 6% interest. You mentioned the option of refinancing, but I’d advise against that. Considering that when you refinance, closing costs typically add up to 2% to 4% of your total mortgage, a loan would likely be a better way to pay for this expense.

A final thought: If you’re truly committed to keeping your finances separate, this could be a situation where you don’t really need a tiebreaker. You could simply agree that you’re each responsible for paying for half of the roof. So if the roof will cost $8,000, you could take out a $4,000 loan, while he withdraws $4,000 from his emergency fund.

But I don’t think this will be necessary. You are both financial unicorns, after all, so I think you can work out a single solution — and maybe use this as an opportunity to have a larger conversation about your philosophies surrounding money.

Ultimately, though, this is a problem where you have plenty of decent options. Better yet, you’re planning plenty in advance for this inevitable expense. That makes you a financial unicorn in Dear Penny’s eyes.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and the voice behind Dear Penny. Send your questions about budgeting to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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Finance

Best NRE FD Rates 2020 : All You Need To Know

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Non-Resident External or NRE Account can be a Savings, Recurring or Fixed Deposit Account where NRIs can deposit their foreign currencies which gets remitted to an Indian Account. An NRE account is held in Indian Rupees and is completely tax-free. In this article, we will discuss how you can select the best NRE FD and give you the best NRE FD rates in different banks in India.

NRIs cannot open a regular account that is designed for Indian Residents as per the guidelines by Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and this can attract huge penalties if breached. Also, no interest is earned if the account is closed within a year.

Benefits of an NRE FD Account

An NRE FD Account holder has the following benefits –

  • Both principal and interest earned are tax-free in India
  • Principal and interest earned are freely repatriable to account holder’s country of residence
  • High-Interest Rate
  • Can be opened jointly with other Non-Resident Indian(s)
  • Offers flexible tenures that may range from 1 year to 10 years

Best NRE FD Rates

Below is a table that compares NRE Account FD Rates across all the banks along with the tenures mentioned.

Name of the Bank Tenure
1 year 2 years 3 years 5 years
SBI 5.70% 5.70% 5.70% 5.70%
HDFC BANK 6.15% 6.15% 6.25% 6.15%
ICICI BANK 5.80% 5.80% 6.00% 6.00%
PNB 5.80% 5.80% 5.80% 5.80%
AXIS BANK 6.55% 6.65% 6.50% 6.50%
CANARA BANK 5.85% 5.85% 5.80% 5.80%
KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK 5.90% 5.90% 5.90% 5.50%
BANK OF BARODA 5.90% 5.90% 5.90% 6.15%
BANK OF INDIA 6.30% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25%
IDBI BANK 5.95% 5.85% 5.90% 6.10%
UNION BANK OF INDIA 6.75% 6.40% 6.40% 6.45%
FEDERAL BANK 6.15% 6.15% 6.25% 6.25%
INDUSIND BANK 6.65% 6.75% 6.75% 6.65%
YES BANK 7.25% 7.25% 7.25% 7.25%
CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA 5.70% 5.70% 5.70% 5.70%
INDIAN BANK 5.90% 5.80% 5.80% 5.80%
HSBC BANK 4.50% 5.00% 5.25% NA
CITIBANK 4.25% 4.25% 4.25% 4.50%
INDIAN OVERSEAS BANK 6.25% 6.30% 6.20% 6.20%
PUNJAB AND SIND BANK 5.85% 5.85% 5.85% 5.85%
UCO BANK 6.10% 6.10% 6.10% 6.05%
UNITED BANK OF INDIA 6.50% 6.25% 6.25% 6.00%
ORIENTAL BANK OF COMMERCE 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25%
DBS BANK 5.75% 5.75% 5.75% 5.75%

* IndusInd Bank provides this interest rate for 61 months and above. 

Small Finance Bank FD Rates

Our government has licensed some companies to operate as financial institutions, small finance banks for example. Though not a scheduled commercial bank, these institutes are very niche in operations Fixed deposit is one of the services offered by Small Finance Banks. Down below are some small finance banks that provide the best interest rates for an NRE FD Account.

Small Finance Bank Tenure/ FD Interest Rates
1 year 2 years 3 years 5 years
AU Small Finance Bank 7.00% 7.50% 7.77% 7.50%
ESAF Small Finance Bank 8.00% 7.75% 7.30% 7.30%
Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited 7.75% 7.45% 7.55% 6.75%
Suryodaya Small Finance Bank 8.00% 8.00% 8.25% 9.00%

Conclusion

We see that it is very tough to choose from, especially when each is better on its own. But there are certain factors you must keep in mind while going forward such as interest rate and a trustworthy long-term relationship with the bank. Also, you must check if the account can be operated from the country you live in right now. Some major banks have branches in countries like the USA, UK, and the Middle East.

The post Best NRE FD Rates 2020 : All You Need To Know appeared first on Compare & Apply Loans & Credit Cards in India- Paisabazaar.com.



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Coronavirus Stimulus Check 2020 [how much you’ll get & who qualifies]

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(The following is a transcription from a video I recorded. Please excuse any typos or errors.)

Quick little update for you.

The Senate and the White House reached an agreement on this big stimulus bill, the Trump coronavirus stimulus check for 2020.

Let me share with you who will be eligible, how much you will get, what the qualifications are, and when you can expect to receive the stimulus check from the U.S. government.

And so if you haven’t heard about this, it’s pretty cool because you’re probably going to be getting a nice fat check from the government.

Here are the details that you need to know.

It is expected to be up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, which is pretty fun.

These amounts are based off of your 2018 tax returns if you haven’t filed 2019 tax returns yet.

Taking Your Income Level Into Consideration

And according to this article from the Los Angeles Times, the amount received will decline gradually beginning with individuals who make $75,000 a year or married couples who make $150,000 total each year.

Individuals making $99,000, or above or couples making $198,000, or above would receive no check.

Which looks like this:

And here is another helpful breakdown of how big your stimulus check will likely be:

When will you get your check?

Stimulus Check Timeframe

The fun thing about is they’re expected to be shipping within the next few weeks.

So that’s really cool. And you don’t normally see the government move this fast on things, but the stock market’s been doing fantastic the last two days as a result of the expectation of this thing coming through.

While I’m not really excited about the long term effects of the government giving away all this money, I know a lot of people who will be excited to get a little bit of cash in their pocket.

So that’s the latest update for the Trump coronavirus stimulus check for 2020!

Let us know in the comments below what you plan to do with this Trump stimulus check that you will hopefully be receiving soon!



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The Best Interest Rates for April 2020

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Finding the best interest rates is a lot easier today than it was even a few years ago. Here at Dough Roller, we track rates on everything from checking and savings accounts to mortgages to CDs. It occurred to me, however, that there was no one single page on the site where you could find the top rate for each type of account. So we created this page, updated monthly, to track the highest (or lowest) rates available.


Deal of the Day: CIT Bank has a 1.80% APY on their Money Market Account. $100 minimum deposit required and all deposits are FDIC insured up to the $250,000 per depositor maximum.

We focus on those financial institutions that have low fees, great rates, and are typically available anywhere in the U.S. You can find local banks and credit unions that offer comparable rates, but their availability is limited geographically.

Best Interest Rates for November 2019

November 2019 Interest Rates Update: There were a few rate changes over the past month:

  • Betterment Everyday™ Cash Reserve account is at 2.04% APY.
  • Wealthfront Brokerage Cash Account Rate is at 2.07% APY.
  • First Security Bank’s Kasasa Cash account is at 2.51% APY on balances up to $50k; their Kasasa Saver account is at 1.31% APY on balances up to $50k.
  • First Foundation Bank’s Online Savings Account offers 2.40% APY with $1k minimum deposit of new money.
  • BrioDirect is offering a High-Yield Savings account at 2.30% APY with $25 minimum deposit.
  • Vio Bank’s High Yield Online Savings account is at 2.27% APY with $100 minimum opening deposit.
  • Fitness Bank is offering a 2.75% APY savings account rate for balances over $100 when step requirements are met.
  • Prime Alliance Bank is offering a 60-month CD at 2.48% APY and a 48-month CD at 2.38% APY, both with $500 minimum deposit.
  • First National Bank of America is offering a 12-month CD at 2.35% APY and a 60-month CD at 2.55% APY, both with $1k minimum deposit.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate comes in at 3.78%.

With that said, here are some of the best interest rates we’ve found for November 2019:

Best Bank Account Rates

Best Interest Rates Pin 2Savings Accounts: The top savings account rate goes to Vio Bank at 2.27% APY ($100 minimum deposit) (see table below). Several banks come in a close second, including UFB Direct at 2.15% APY , Popular Direct at 2.15% APY ($5k minimum), CIT Savings Account at 2.10% APY ($100 monthly deposit or $25k minimum balance) and BMO Harris Bank Money Market Account at 2.05% APY ($5k minimum). These represent some of the highest rates on a nationally available savings account.

Here’s a comparison table we update daily with current competitive rates:

Best CD Rates: The rates on certificates of deposit vary based on the term. The longer the term, the higher the rate. Keep in mind that penalties may apply if you close the CD before the end of the term. For a 1-year CD, the best rate we could find is from First National Bank of America at 2.35% APY ($1k minimum).

Checking Accounts: Most checking accounts do not pay interest. For online banks, however, you’ll find plenty of options where you can earn some interest on your funds. There are two things to keep in mind. First, many banks offer higher interest rates only if you keep a lot of money in your checking account. Second, the rates are lower than a savings account or CD.

Some top paying checking accounts that we like include FNBO Direct, which currently pays 0.65% APY. For those with at least $15,000 in checking, you can earn 0.60% APY from Ally Bank. I list Ally second because most people don’t keep that much cash in checking, but it’s an option for those who do. These rates are unchanged from previous months.

Bonus: I also keep a running list of popular checking account promotions you can check out.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgages: Listing the “best” mortgage rate is really impossible. Rates change throughout the day, vary by state, and are highly dependent on a number of factors including your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment. That being said, the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is up this month to 3.78% according to Freddie Mac (from 3.64% last month). The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage is up to 3.19% (from 3.16% a month ago).

You can find competitive mortgage and refinance rates at LendingTree or on the table below:

Related: Compare mortgage rates online

Best Credit Card Interest Rates

Credit Cards: The longest 0% introductory period stands at 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. You can find a current list of the best 0% credit card offers here.

If you find better rates on any of the above financial products, please let us know in the comments below.

Note that the above rates were as of October 31, 2019. Rates are subject to change, so please confirm the rates directly with the financial institution.Find the best interest rates on bank accounts, mortgages, and credit cards as of %%currentdate%%. Includes rates on savings and checking accounts, and CDs.

The post The Best Interest Rates for April 2020 appeared first on The Dough Roller.



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