Dave Ramsey JUST Launched His Gazelle Debit Card

Dave Ramsey has been saying for years that you need to use a debit card instead of a credit card. And finally, Ramsey Solutions decided to actually do something about it.

Tada! The Gazelle Debit card.

Here’s the video version for those who may be less interested in a blog-style post!

The Gazelle debit card: created by Ramsey Solutions, designed for you.

I’ve been a part of the testing phase for this card and I have been so excited to share it with you all. Let me show you why this debit card is great for the every day consumer and what features make this debit card stand out a bit more for Ramsey fans. Let’s get into it.

First off, you get one of the sweetest looking debit cards I’ve seen with a cool graphic of a gazelle. This, of course, is a callback to Dave’s encouragement of people in debt to pay off that debt like they’re a gazelle trying to outrun a cheetah.

Gazelle Debit Insurances

This is a world Mastercard, meaning it has some extra features over a normal Mastercard, specifically with the insurances. Quick disclaimer: there’s a lot of small text associated with card warranties whether you’re talking debit card or credit cards. So I have linked right here the Mastercard benefits guide straight from Ramsey Solutions. In it you can see the more detailed response about what is covered by these insurances, but I’ll give you a quick overview here.

World Mastercard comes with 

  • Purchase assurance – which covers if an item you purchased with your Gazelle card is damaged or stolen in the first 90 days after the purchase.
  • Satisfaction guaranteed – which will provide a refund of up to $250 in the event that you aren’t satisfied with a purchase in the first 60 days but the store won’t accept a return. 
  • Extended warranties – which doubles your warranty’s length, in some cases up to 8 years.

I’m really glad that Ramsey Solutions designed the Gazelle debit card around a World Mastercard because the insurance aspect is one of the biggest complaints when it comes to using a debit card over a credit card. This, at least, resolves some of those concerns you may have with the Gazelle debit card. You’ve got guarantees from Mastercard that your purchases will be covered, as long as they fit into certain guidelines.

Gazelle Cashback

Another one of the reasons people use credit cards over debit cards is the cashback. Gazelle does have cashback, though I’ll admit, it’s nothing crazy. Particularly because it is only for certain merchants. And you have to ensure you activate the cashback that you want before you use the card.

So I don’t personally use door dash but I know a lot of people do. Well, Gazelle does have 10% cashback from door dash, but you have to activate it before using it. Another thing is, it’s not unlimited cashback. It will max out at $5 of cashback for door dash before the offer expires at the end of this month.

Other offers have higher and lower cashback maxes depending on the store. Just keep in mind, you’re going to have to go to the offers area of the app and scroll through to activate anything you want to activate before you use your debit card.

Gazelle is definitely not the debit card for you if you’re looking to max out your cashback benefits. But that’s okay. They charge nothing for this debit card, which means you’re not losing out on anything.

Integration with EveryDollar

And now one of the standout features of the Gazelle debit card: integration with with Ramsey’s popular budgeting app, EveryDollar. I’ve been using EveryDollar with my wife for over 5 years now. It’s what’s kept us on track with our finances and what’s kept us on the same page financially from the beginning of our marriage.

But what we’ve had to do is keep updating EveryDollar with every purchase we’ve made. Yes, we’ve connected it to our bank before so it can import transaction and we can drag and drop into the specific budgeted categories.

But my biggest problem with this in the past is it takes a couple days to get those transactions imported. Sometimes making it hard to remember what category a transaction should be put into. With Gazelle, it imports the transaction more quickly at least according to their tests of importing transactions from Gazelle vs another bank 

Here’s my problem with this: It’s still only available if you have a premium subscription with Everydollar. Which will cost you $80 per year.

Here’s how I wish this could be handled. Ideally, since Ramsey solutions is in control of both their EveryDollar app and their Gazelle app, It would be sweet if you just connected the apps for free. You don’t have to connect to a bank so they don’t have to pass on that fee to you. And then when a transaction would be made with the gazelle card, Everydollar would update as fast as the gazelle app would show the new transaction.

This is how I envision a perfect relationship between EveryDollar and Gazelle.

And of course I speak with no experience in cyber or banking security so I don’t know how difficult that would be

I just think Gazelle would be even more practical and stand-out in it’s features if it could connect to Everydollar for free

And provide transaction information almost instantaneously 

*WALL*

And speaking of budgeting with my wife, 

Very few debit cards I have reviewed on this channel offer joint accounts for spouses

And while Gazelle is also missing this, they will have it soon 

They mention on their website that they’re working on that feature

And I have full confidence they’ll accomplish it because Dave Ramsey frequently talks about the importance of having joint accounts with a spouse 

Soon, my wife Bailey should be able to get her own debit card and use it with our joint account, 

Which really will make it much simpler for us to track our finances

*CORNER*

Now Gazelle has no monthly fees and no minimum balance

So while the cashback isn’t anything insane, it is a free account

So it’s hard to argue 

In addition, the Gazelle card has access to 32k+ free ATMs for your usage

It’s FDIC insured up to $250k

And it’s got fast direct deposit so you get paid up to 2 days early

Plus, it has no overdraft. 

Now this isn’t overdraft protection

It is literally no overdraft

So if you don’t have enough money in your account 

The gazelle card just won’t process a transaction 

Because above all else, Ramsey Solutions isn’t going to let you spend money you don’t have through their debit card

No overdraft may be a turn off to some people and that’s fine

But I think it’s a great feature to keep the brand of Ramsey Solutions consistent with what they teach

*WALL* 

Gazelle has just gotten out of the Beta testing phase so It’s only going to get better as the team ads more features

Like I would love to see a virtual debit card added to the app

But if you want to check it out, hit the link in the description down below

Otherwise, check out this video next for my breakdown of the best rewards debit cards available right now

How to Never Overpay on Contractors Again

The Roof

When we bought our house, it hadn’t been lived in for 3 years. The roof was in horrible shape. Soft spots under the shingles and more horrifyingly, moss all over the north side of the roof. So we started looking into replacing the roof as the first big step in fixing up our fixer upper. 

The first salesman that came over walked around, took measurements and pictures, then proceeded to sit down and give us an hour-and-a-half long presentation about how good their roofing product was. At the end, he revealed the magic roof number: $25k. I literally almost laughed out loud. To make it even better, he pushed several times to put it on a payment plan!

For my readers more interested in the spoken word, here’s the video that accompanies this blog post!
The Plumbing

Fast forward 3 months. We had a serious back up in our main sewer pipe going out to the septic tank. When we would flush the toilet, water would spew out of the washer drainage pipe downstairs. We needed a quick solution.

First company that came out informed us that the enormous and beautiful maple tree outside of our house was reaching its lovely roots into our old, cast iron sewer pipe. Their short term fix required a long term solution costing more than $10,400.

I specifically remember telling the sales guy we didn’t want to sign today. When he asked when to follow up and I requested a week, he said, “Well, to be honest, your pipes probably won’t last that long. I’m giving them 2 days until they clog up again.”

The HVAC

Fast forward another 14 months and our furnace kicks the bucket. The first company we have come out quotes us a low- to middle-of-the-road furnace and it would cost us $7300. It wasn’t even energy star! The sales guy was doing everything he could to get us to sign that night.

How We Resolved Each Problem

Getting back to the roof, we had a bunch of companies give us quotes. Most were about $10k for a new shingle roof. We decided to install a metal roof ourselves for only $8k.

With plumbing, we had another reputable company come out and quote us $2900 for the same solution. And our old pipe was good for another 2 months before we had it fixed, not the two days the first company speculated.

With the furnace, the second company gave us a quote for a better furnace for $5300. And thanks to them, I’m now writing this post in a warm house.

The Dangers of Tunnel Vision When Getting Quotes

We’ve been taught tunnel vision is dangerous for our thinking. The Oxford dictionary defines it like this:

“The tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view.”

And unfortunately, many sales people are taught to take advantage of tunnel vision. Think about each of these three upgrades we had to make to our house. Each salesman was at our home, had our full attention, presented a solution, and had no other competing salesmen in the house vying for our money.

Meanwhile, all we could see was the problem at hand, sometimes even putting us in somewhat of a dire situation. I mean seriously, we couldn’t flush our toilet without it throwing disgusting water all over our basement.

When each salesman presented us a quote, it was really easy to get caught up in the fact that if we signed on the line, our problem would be resolved. 

That’s tunnel vision.

How to Approach Your Next Quote

Here’s the theme across these stories:

  1. I seem to always request a quote from the most expensive companies first.
  1. Each of these three companies had an expensive solution and was presented by a pushy salesman.
  1. In each circumstance, I got multiple quotes—the later quotes providing the same solution for much less cash.

So much less cash, even if we hired out the roof, we would have saved $24,500 across the three fixes by going with the latter quotes. That’s a freaking car!

Listen, I’m not saying every situation is able to be handled this way. Sometimes, you’re broken down in Chicago because of a flat tire and you just have to buy tires from the closest shop. Time and convenience are obviously factors at times.

But don’t allow people to pressure you because in the vast majority of cases, getting a second and third quote will provide you with some options—many times better than the first.

Now if you’re a sales person, I’m not saying you’re bad to try to make the sale. I get it, you gotta feed your families too. But for every pushy sales person giving me the first expensive quote, there was another sales person giving us the space we need to make an informed decision.

So next time you’re in a decision position regarding a large expense, take a minute, breath, and don’t be afraid to tell people involved you need to check out other options and quotes. Honestly, what I’ve learned from this is not only do I need to get multiple quotes, I need to go into every quote and say at the beginning, “Hey, I know you’d like to sell this to me today but I don’t make these decisions day of, so just help me understand what my options are and we’ll follow up later.”

You’ll save a lot of money with this simple trick.

Need Help?

Are you overwhelmed by debt and feel like there’s no way out? Feeling intimidated by budgeting?

I can help! I’m a financial coach trained by Ramsey Solutions to guide people in their financial lives. Set up a free consultation below and I’ll listen to your situation and guide you on the right steps forward. There’s no commitment.

Point Rewards Debit Card Review (Best Debit 2021)

Recently, my wife, Bailey, and I got a new debit card and I’ve been really impressed so far. It’s called the Point Debit Card and it’s different than any other debit card I’ve ever had because it provides more benefits and protections than any other debit card I’ve had. Let me break it down!

Why Not Just Use a Credit Card?

According to Nerd Wallet, the average American household has $6741 in credit card debt from month to month. So, as a financial coach, I want people to avoid using credit cards! Many people use cash back, points, and purchasing insurance as a reason to use credit cards. Well, the Point Debit Card resolves those issues while protecting you from the exorbitant interest of credit card companies.

Point Benefits

The Point Card provides a lot of cash back benefits. You get 5% back on certain subscriptions, 3% back on delivery and ride share services, promotional points and bonuses for certain brands (recently one was 10% back on Amazon), and an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases. In addition, it provides insurance for phones, lost/damaged items, trip cancellations, and car rentals (score!) when all are purchased with the Point Card.

The card can be added to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay (which I love the ease of using these virtual cards). And it is FDIC insured up to $250k.

Point Downsides

The Point Card does have an annual $49 fee. But based on the company’s estimates, the average person would save $1230 per year with the Point Card which easily covers the fee. I understand the $49 fee because it is a rewards card. There are a lot of benefits through it and those benefits come at a cost. Since credit card companies offer benefits because they are able to make that money back from interest paid on revolving debt, the Point Card fee is completely reasonable to me.

The Point Card also does not have the ability to add a spouse to your account yet. So, if you want your spouse to have this card, they have to get their own account (and pay another $49 fee, boooooo).

So far, Point doesn’t have the ability to add a beneficiary to the account. When I contacted them about it, they assured me that if anything happened, they would work with the surviving family member(s) to allow them access to the account. I’m really hoping they make this easy to add soon because I don’t like knowing Bailey isn’t on the account.

Using the Point Card in Real Life

I’ve been using this card for about 3 weeks now and I’m a fan. Aside from the annual fee and the lack of beneficiary addition, it’s been an incredibly positive experience.

Bailey doesn’t have a physical card but that hasn’t been much of an issue. I downloaded the app on her phone so she’s able to access the account just like me. She’s also able to use the card through Apple Pay with both her iPhone and Apple Watch when at a location that accepts that.

The ease of setting up the account was simple, the card and app are incredibly clean and kinda modern. I like the modern look with the neon green a lot (there are other colors available.

The card was sent out very quickly which gives me confidence that if I needed to lock my account, I could get a new card on short notice. And the customer service has been prompt in their reply when I send in a question.

Within the past couple weeks, I’ve received emails of promotions that they are doing. One of which is “streaks” where over a 10 day period, there are 5 straight days of purchases totaling $100-$200 depending on the promotion. And if accomplished, $30 of points is added to the account.

This isn’t a problem for us because of regular everyday purchases like gas, groceries, etc. However, you do have to be careful with the promotions because of the temptation to buy things you don’t need just to get the points. This is a danger!

But overall, I’ve been really impressed with the company and the card. And I love the fact that it’s debit and forces you to live within your means. Because America needs that.

Get Your Own Plus 10k Free Points

If you want to sign up yourself, I would recommend it! If you use my referral link, you and I could receive $100 in bonus points, putting you $51 ahead after the $49 fee. I’m not recommending this because it has a referral bonus. I’m doing it because I love the card. Check it out right here.

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links within this post are affiliate links which means I get a kick back on any purchase or signup you make. This doesn’t cost anything extra to you and is merely a way to support my blog.

8 Ways to Save Hundreds Per Month on Everyday Expenses

With all of the blog posts I’ve written about paying off debt, saving and investing, I wanted to give you some practical ways to reduce your expenses now.

Like right after reading this blog post.

There are some incredibly simple things that you can do in your everyday life to save money! Here are 8 of them. Let’s get into this list.

1. Buy generic

For some this may be obvious. But seriously, generic brand will save you. According to a Business Insider article, it’s estimated that generic brand items cost about 25% less than name-brand items. That means your $400 grocery budget might drop to $300 with careful shopping.

Along this same line, make a list before going to the grocery store. Instead of walking down the isles and throwing into your cart whatever looks good, planning out meals will give you a specific list of groceries you need. Stick to that, and avoid the isles that may cause particular temptation.

I’m looking at you chocolate milk.

Savings: $100 per month

2. Get a new quote on insurance

Find an insurance broker. They’ll get you the best quote for your needs across all insurance companies. And they’ll check the prices every year so that you are getting the best price for your stage of life!

According to NerdWallet, you could save up to $100 on the insurance for your car insurance per month.

Along these same lines, check what you might save with a higher deductible policy. If you can afford it and increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 makes sense, it might save you even more.

Savings: $100 per month

3. Cut the cable

Don’t literally cut it! Just call up your cable company and tell them they can have their hundreds of channels. You’ll entertain yourself with the 8th item on this list!

Or you can stick to just a streaming service or two. It’ll likely save you between $50 – $100 per month

Savings: $50 per month

4. Buy less (or no) coffee out

Quit buying coffee out and make your own 20 cent iced coffee at home. You might save $1k or $2k per year if you’re a Starbucks regular.

Of course, I write this script as I’m at Tim Hortons drinking a coffee. But in my defense, it cost $0.30 with the coupon I used. And I make coffee every morning at home!

Let’s be conservative and say you save $600 per year on coffee.

Savings: $50 per month

5. Buy used

Last year, Bailey and I purchased used patio pavers for 50% of their original price. And I just bought a used iPad Pro online for 35% off its original price.

Obviously you have to be careful with the kinds of products you choose to purchase used/new, but it will save you a ton of cash, especially on large ticket items.

Like cars! Or houses! We bought our house very used. Like 190 years used.

There’s no way to tell what an average amount you could save per month is. Let’s go unbelievably conservative.

Savings: $25 per month.

6. Refinance your house

Rates have been real low for a while now. It’s a great time to refinance your mortgage!

If you haven’t heard of these low rates yet, you probably have been living under a rock. In which case, this might not apply to you since your rock is probably paid for. Just a guess. Either way, refinancing your mortgage could save you $100 or 200 per month pretty easily depending on what your principal and rate is.

Savings: $100 per month

7. Reducing your thermostat temperature

According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your energy bills by pulling your thermostat temperature back 7-10 degrees per 8 hour period of the day. So if you’re at work, boom, turn it back and you’ve got an extra $10 per month if your bill is normally $100.

Savings $10 per month

8. Go to the library

Rent books, audiobooks, movies and other things at the library. It’s free unless you’re one of those people who doesn’t turn their book in for 47 years!

Savings: Let’s just say $10 per month.

Let’s Add Up the Savings

What’s the tally? $445 per month.

And you can put that all towards savings or debt depending on your situation!

Obviously these aren’t perfect numbers. Everyone’s situation is different. But these nine items really can save you a lot of cash. Not a lot individually but it sure adds up.

What’s something you cut recently and is saving you some money? I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!

Need Help What Expenses You Can Cut?

Are you overwhelmed by debt and feel like there’s no way out? Feeling intimidated by budgeting?

I can help! I’m a financial coach trained by Ramsey Solutions to guide people in their financial lives. Set up a free consultation below and I’ll listen to your situation and guide you on the right steps forward. There’s no commitment.

Why Your Money Keeps Disappearing (Parkinson’s Law)

Have you ever looked at your bank account and asked yourself “Oh my word, where did my money go?” Have you ever been given a project with a deadline, then used that whole time to complete the project? These two circumstances are connected by a phenomenon called Parkinson’s Law and it applies to anything from time management to personal finance. 

Parkinson’s Law on Campus

When I was in college, I remember approaching the final for my class of Thermodynamics. Our professor told us we would have 1 hour 15 minutes to complete our test. The test started, and I began pounding out the problems.  

I was pacing myself well for the amount of time given, ensuring that I got to each problem before we had to turn in our tests. 

5 more minutes, 4 more minutes, 3 more minutes,

Not a perfect test but I felt like I would do okay. However, 1 hour and 15 minutes came and went and our professor didn’t make us turn them in. He just kept letting us work. In fact, for the next 30 minutes, he let us continue working on our tests. So I went back to problems I wasn’t so sure about, checking other answers until we had to turn them in. 

This is a real life example of Parkinson’s law. 

Let’s Get a Definition, Please

Indirectly started by Cyril Parkinson, a British author from the 1950’s, Parkinson’s law is defined as this:

If we go back to my example, you can see exactly how it’s true. I was originally given an hour and 15 minutes to complete my final for Thermodynamics. But, when given an extra 30 minutes, I filled that time with reworking problems and checking my test.

And this applies directly to your personal finances. Except, we’ll start a new law for this. We’ll call it Parkinson’s Modified Law for Personal Finance

The Results

This is what causes you wonder who’s been draining your bank account when you aren’t looking. Spending filled the space where your budget did not. If money isn’t designated for specific uses, it will be used but maybe not for the things you’d like them to be used for when you look back. 

To be clear, Parkinson’s modified law of personal finance doesn’t apply to everyone the same. Some people are just natural savers and do not need to worry about spending money unnecessarily. 

But for the vast majority of people, I believe that Parkinson’s law will kick in when they are least expecting it. And by budgeting, it will help control the law by minimizing unnecessary spending. 

I really like this quote from John Maxwell, the well known leadership teacher: 

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went” 

John C Maxwell

If you’re tired of wondering where your money is going, start up a budget. It can be simple. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be perfect. And I show you exactly how to do set up your first budget right here in this video.

Need Help Starting a Budget?

Are you overwhelmed by debt and feel like there’s no way out? Feeling intimidated by budgeting?

I can help! I’m a financial coach trained by Ramsey Solutions to guide people in their financial lives. Set up a free consultation below and I’ll listen to your situation and guide you on the right steps forward. There’s no commitment.

Dividend Stocks Explained

In the last several years, the internet has been inundated with articles and videos about passive income. Many promising wealth through scammy and sketchy means.

Unlike those, we’re going to cover one of the simplest forms of building passive income there is: dividend investing.

First, let’s break down investing into two categories. There are stocks that have dividends and stocks that don’t. Dividend stocks pay you a percentage of annual earnings based on the amount of stock that you own in a specific company. This is in addition to the growth in value of the stocks. Other companies do not provide dividend earnings.

Apple’s Dividends

Apple, one of my favorite companies much to the chagrin of my engineering coworkers, pays out a dividend of 0.61% annually according to Google’s most recent dividend yield stat.

If you go to their investing information on their website, you can see exactly how much they paid out per quarter to their shareholders. Anywhere from $0.77 to $0.82 per quarter per share in 2020. At least until they did the four to one stock split in August. So overall, you could expect to receive $2.62 in dividend payout last year per share you owned of apple.

That’s in addition to the 81% increase in stock price that Apple saw in 2020! Obviously, not every year is like 2020 was for Apple. But, the benefit of dividends is that you might get paid regardless of the status of the stock market. It’s not a guarantee but there’s a greater chance of still getting paid if the stock drops.

Dividends in Downturns

Through the 2008 crisis, Apple wasn’t paying dividends to their shareholders. Walmart on the other hand, has increased their annual dividend yield for their shareholders since 1974. Very impressive.

Benefits of Stock Dividend Companies

The benefits of stock dividend companies are a couple fold. For one, as I mentioned before, you can get return from the company from not only dividends but also growth of the stock price.

Two, companies that pay dividends to their shareholders tend to be a bit more conservative in how they run the business. If they promise a specific dividend yield, they must maintain large cash reserves in order to pay their shareholders annually or quarterly.

Also, because they must pay their shareholders, fiscal responsibility must be taken seriously to ensure decisions made don’t risk promised dividends. Which means, dividend stocks tend to be for large companies that are fairly predictable in their growth.

What You Can Do With Earned Dividends

There are a couple things you can do when you are paid dividends. You can receive the dividends in cash and use it as you so choose. Or you can reinvest it into the company.

US News and World Report said this,

A recent study by Hartford Funds illustrates the important role dividends play in the S&P 500’s returns. From 1970 through 2019, 78% of the total return of the index can be attributed to reinvested dividends and the power of compounding.

According to the study, $10,000 invested in the S&P 500 in 1970 – with dividends reinvested – would have grown to $1,636,370 by 2019. When disregarding dividends and only considering price appreciation, the $10,000 initial investment in the index increases to just $350,144.

US News and World Report

Clearly reinvesting dividends can have a huge impact on your wealth!

How to Invest in Dividend Stocks

Now, I have good news. Yes, you can invest into stock dividend companies through any brokerage like Robinhood. I don’t tend to invest in single stocks because of their volatility. But you can also reap the benefits of dividends by investing in broader range mutual funds or ETFs. I found this out in an incredibly pleasant way last December.

I was checking out my 401k to see what the growth was that month and lo and behold, it had listed within the growth: Dividends and Interest – $914. This was dividends AND interest, so it included the interest earned by the bonds within my blended portfolio. But regardless, that gave a nice boost to the 401k!

Conclusion

Dividends can provide a huge benefit to your investing. I want others to understand how crazy dividends can be in the wealth building equation. So I’ll pass this question onto you: Are you invested in any dividend stocks or were you even aware of these?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!

Get Financial Coaching

Are you overwhelmed by debt and feel like there’s no way out? Feeling intimidated by budgeting?

I can help! I’m a financial coach trained by Ramsey Solutions to guide people in their financial lives. Set up a free consultation below and I’ll listen to your situation and guide you on the right steps forward. There’s no commitment.

How to Get a High Income Job With No Degree as an Electrical Lineman

Is it possible to have a high paying job with no degree? Absolutely. In this interview, we look at one job in the trades specifically: being an electrical lineman.

Elias is a lineman for a town in my area and chose to pursue this career because 1) he wasn’t interested in going to college, 2) he wanted to work outside, 3) he knew that electrical lineman was a high income position.

While he was in high school, Elias attended a career center where he learned all things electrical and climbing. From it, he learned how much he loved the field of power and keeping the electricity running to people’s homes.

Elias got hired on at the city where he is currently working having no associate or bachelor’s degrees. He gets on the job training that will take him to the “Journeyman” status as a lineman.

Starting out, he said that pay is about $20 per hour, but after the 4 year apprenticeship, a journeyman’s salary will grow to $40-$50 per hour. With a normal number of hours, that is $82k – $104k per year! And as a lineman, there are countless overtime opportunities as electricity needs to be restored year round due to weather.

Becoming a lineman requires no student loans! Elias said that any training or education that is required is normally paid for by the employer. And most of the learning comes from paid on-the-job training.

Trades are an incredible way to enter the workforce. It means you can make money while gaining experience and doesn’t require the taking out of thousands of dollars of student loans.

Trades cover a multitude of careers: linemen, welders, electricians, plumbers, masons, HVAC technicians etc. If you are a high schooler looking for an incredible way to jumpstart your career, check out a career center or a trade school. It will put you leaps and bounds ahead of your friends who are graduating with $30k – $100k in student loan debt!

Get Financial Coaching

Are you overwhelmed by debt and feel like there’s no way out? Feeling intimidated by budgeting?

I can help! I’m a financial coach trained by Ramsey Solutions to guide people in their financial lives. Set up a free consultation below and I’ll listen to your situation and guide you on the right steps forward. There’s no commitment.

What Banks Don’t Tell You About The Difference Between APR and APY

Imagine a world where banks were fully transparent with you. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there are many tactics banks use to make parts of their business look better than they are. Specifically when it comes to APR and APY.

Well today we’re going to get the difference between APR and APY. I’ll explain to you why banks use one of them for savings interest and one for loans interest in a rather misleading way. Only one letter swapped between the two, but they’re about as different as alcohol is from Gatorade. 

Explanation of APR vs APY

The simple explanation of APR and APY is this: 

APR

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate” and does not consider compounding interest.

APY

APY stands for “Annual Percentage Yield” and takes compounding interest into account.

So how come APR is generally associated with loans and debt while APY is used for savings accounts and CDs (Certificates of Deposit, not compact discs!)? The reason is that, because APY takes compounding interest into account, it will show a higher effective interest rate. 

So, being sneaking like they are, banks use APY to describe savings accounts because it makes you feel better about the interest you’ll be receiving. APR, on the other hand, doesn’t give you the big picture as a borrower of money. 

Example of APR vs. APY

Let’s say Filo the fisherman has a $10,000 loan at 10% APR for his boat. It would appear that $1000 would be paid every year if the amount on the loan did not change. But, if the loan is compounded on a daily basis instead of on an annual basis, the actual annual interest he’d pay would be $1053.

That’s a 10.53% APY vs a 10% APR. 

See how this is misleading?

APY is used for savings because banks want you to see the full amount you’ll be receiving in interest. APR is used for loans and credit cards to show you a misleadingly small interest rate so the debt doesn’t seem as bad. APY is always the more accurate rate to consider. 

Now, APR and APY are applicable to both savings and loans. That’s why your APY shown on your high yield savings account is higher than the interest rate shown on the same account. The “interest rate” shown is the APR. But, in the way APR and APY are used for your average Joe, they really are about as different as alcohol and Gatorade. 

Alcohol vs. Gatorade

While alcohol depletes you of water in your body, Gatorade replenishes the water in your body. Seems important since scientists tell us our bodies are made up of 70% water. 

Well, APR and APY are the same thing. APR depletes your bank account of water (money). APY, replenishes it. The only difference is that if your bank account is only 70% money, you’ve got bigger problems than APR. Okay, it’s not a bulletproof example but it gives you a feel for how these work.

Just think about them like interest rates, one you pay and one you earn. Keep this in mind whenever you are looking at interest rates. Make sure you compare apples to apples, APY to APY. Never make a decision about a loan based on the APR because you’re not getting the full picture!

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How Blockchain Works in Simple Terms

Bitcoin is quite the buzz word right now. Everyone wants a piece of bitcoin. It just keeps growing!

But for the average person, bitcoin doesn’t make sense. How does something that is made up of ones and zeros have any sort of value? What happened to being backed by good old fashioned gold?

To understand this, we have to dig deeper to understand the underlying foundation of digital currency: the blockchain.

Blockchain in Food Safety

Let’s say you’re a farmer who sells chocolate milk from your chocolate cows. Every time you sell your chocolate milk, it gets packaged up in special sealed containers and scanned at your farm.

This initial scan is then recorded at your farm and sent to the distribution center and the grocery stores your precious cargo will pass through.

At the distribution center, the sealed containers are scanned and the location and status is recorded at the center. This information is also sent to the grocery stores and your farm to be recorded as well.

Anything that happens to these containers in transit is recorded and the information sent to the grocery stores, the distribution center, and your farm.

This is the block chain in one of its simplest forms.

The block chain is a set of information that isn’t stored on any one server, but is stored throughout an entire network. In this case, everything that happens to the containers of chocolate milk deliciousness is recorded separately at all three facilities.

Then, God forbid, if anything happens to the milk, the event is able to be located on the transportation timeline. And not only that, but it can be verified by the other facilities by looking at all copies of the block chain. Then, if any copy of the block chain is tampered with, the information can be checked and verified by the other facilities.

Now, let’s say there is a listeria outbreak after many customers have purchased your chocolate milk. Officials can trace back the path of the chocolate milk through transit and find out what happened.

If there is no issues recorded by each containers through transit, they’ll likely show up on your farm and require a thorough cleaning as well as a confiscation of the chocolate milk.

Noooooo!

Now, if instead there was someone that tampered with the containers while on the truck, each container would record this and officials could determine when the contamination occurred.

Or maybe containers were damaged at the distribution center.

If the manager didn’t want the responsibility of lost product, he could hypothetically change the center’s copy of the block chain to show no issues.

And that’s the beauty of the block chain, the damaged containers could be verified by looking at the information recorded at the grocery store and the farm.

The Blockchain in Cryptocurrency

The block chain makes many industries more secure, including the financial space. As I’ve mentioned, the block chain is the foundation of bitcoin.

This blockchain is stored individually on computers across the world that verify transactions of bitcoin. Whenever a bitcoin is transacted, these computers verify it through the network before the transaction can be complete.

When the transaction is complete, it is added as a “block” or a section of a block to the chain of transactions stored on each computer in the network. This reduces the chance of issues arising within the block chain. If any one computer is compromised or there is an issue with the record, it can be corrected by referencing the rest of the computers in the network.

Thus, no one can tamper with the block chain because no single person or company has access to all of the computers in the network.

Another benefit of Bitcoin’s blockchain is that it is completely transparent as a public record. Anyone can access all the information in the blockchain. This isn’t to say people’s personal information is compromised, just that each transaction can be viewed if someone has the desire.

Now you know the basics of blockchain.

So I’m curious: are you comfortable with putting some of your money into Bitcoin after learning a bit more about how it’s run? Do you own any Bitcoin right now?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!

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