Budgeting With Quicken

Budgeting With Quicken

On the first day of the year, I sat down at my computer and began to put our family budget on the computer. I promised myself I would do that one day and when our new computer came with the necessary software on it, I could find no more excuses. I was a little intimidated but I soon got the hang of it and have come to really like keeping my budget on the computer. If you are considering using budgeting software, read on and maybe your decision will be made a bit easier. As I mentioned, my computer came with the Quicken software. It also came with Microsoft Money. I knew nothing about either one of these programs so I took some time to explore them both. After playing in each program for a while, I decided Quicken seemd a little more like what I was looking for and I liked the way it was set up. The one drawback I found was not having an instruction manual since the software came with the computer. To help with this problem, I began copying the Help Menus as I used them. This way, I could put all of them into a Quicken file and easily refer to them whenever necessary. I also found some articles on using Quicken at www.stretcher.com. You can find all of the articles if you go to the author index and look up Karen Jones. These articles gave me some great ideas for additonal ways to use the Quicken software as well as some tips that I didn’t find in the Help Menus.

Aside from being able to put numbers into the computer and have them “magically” calculated for me, I also like being able to show a transfer of money between my accounts with the click of a button. I am still figuring out all of the features available for tracking investments, but I can tell you that I am looking forward to using the internet and Quicken to instantly update my investments. However, the best part about using budgeting software is being able to create reports that show me where my money has gone and what my monthly/yearly budget looks like.

If you decide to keep your budget on your computer, I must pass on this very important advice. Back-up all of your work! I failed to do this and then had to start all over on our accounts and budget after the hard drive blew up in our computer. Although it was a lesson I learned the hard way, I’m grateful I learned it in February and not in November.

Investing Small Amounts of Money

Most of the people I know, myself included, don’t have thousands of extra dollars hanging around just waiting to be invested. Much of what I have read about investing is aimed at people who have a substantial amount of money to invest. However, limited investing funds should not prevent you from investing. I have come across some great opportunities for investing smaller amounts of money. One valuable resource I have found that is good for both big and small investors is the American Association of Individual Investors. This associaton can help you become informed on topics of your choice and provide you with the help you may need to get started investing. Membership includes numerous benefits, including the AAII Journal, stock reports, and a year-end tax strategy guide. You can find out more about this terrific resource through their website at www.aaii.com.

A great way to purchase stocks with small amounts of money is through Dividend Reinvestment Plans, or DRIPs. You enroll in a plan by first purchasing a single stock in the company you have chosen (many, many companies offer these plans) and then completing the appropriate forms for enrollment. Once you are enrolled, you can make monthly fractional stock purchases with as little as $10, although this amount varies by company. Your dividends, as the name of the plan suggests, will be automatically reinvested for you. After time, your small monthly purchases and your reinvested dividends can add up to a substantial investment. One way to go about becoming enrolled in a plan such as this is through the service provided by Temper of the Times Communications Inc. For a small fee, they will purchase the initial stock for the company you have chosen and complete the paperwork on your behalf to get you into the company’s DRIP. I have used their service and was pleased with the results. It takes 2 or 3 months for the entire process to be completed. You can find out more about this service at the Temper of the Times website, www.moneypaper.com.

Money market funds are another option for investing smaller amounts of money, especially if you are interested in building up your emergency savings fund. A money market fund is a more liquid investment than stocks and earns a better interest rate than the savings account your bank probably offers. Bankrate offers a list of money market funds and compares their different features. You can find them at www.bankrate.com

Teaching Young Children to Manage Money

Teaching Young Children to Manage Money

It’s never too early to begin teaching your children how to manage money responsibly. After all, it is a skill some still struggle to master even as adults. There are some fun things you can do with your preschool-age children to help them become money smart.

One of the obvious things you can do is to give your child an allowance. There are a lot of different opinions about when and how to do this. I think a child is ready for an allowance as soon as she shows an interest in money and how it works. For this reason, my daughter started getting her allowance at about age 3 1/2. I give her one dollar for each year of her life, so she began by getting $3 per week. When she gets her allowance, one-third of it goes into a spending jar (which can be spent immediately), one-third of it goes into a short-term savings jar (to be saved for larger purchases), and one-third of it goes into a long-term savings jar (to be put in the bank). This has worked well and my daughter has been able to see her money add up and plan some of her own purchases. I recently heard this system explained with a giving jar (to be given to charity or other gifts) instead of a long-term savings jar.

Another way to help your preschooler learn about money is to let her earn some extra money, perhaps even above and beyond any allowance. Even young children can do this on occassion by performing extra chores or helping to pet sit for a neighbor who is gone, for example. You could even devise a list of extra chores and what each will pay. This money can then be added to your child’s savings jar.

When your child has some money in her possession, the next logical step is to set up a simple budget/savings plan. If you use the savings jar, you can help your child make a list of the things she wants to purchase with her money. Then help her prioritize this list so she can see what she is saving for. You can even cut out a picture of the item and tape it to the savings jar as a visual reminder. As your child sees more things she wants, help her add them to her wish list and reprioritize the list. With young children it is probably a good idea to aim for purchases that can be made after saving for only 3 to 6 weeks, so as not to lose their interest.

Banking and Finance Guide to Trinidad & Tobago: Banking, Business Information on Trinidad and Tobago

Banking and Finance Guide to Trinidad & Tobago: Banking, Business Information on Trinidad and Tobago

Whether it is business travel to Trinidad or a Tobago vacation Trinidad and Tobago has various and numerous financial centers and services to accommodate every traveler. The Trinidad economy is the most durable in the Caribbean driven by the island’s continually blossoming industrial and energy sector and Tobago’s steady tourism industry. From shopping to business startups Trinidad economy makes it simple and possible.

Banking and Finance

Trinidad and Tobago has four banking service centers, which are First Citizens Bank, Republic Bank, Royal Bank of Trinidad & Tobago and Scotiabank. Divisions of all four service centers are conveniently located in the heart of the city of Port-of-Spain while others can be found in other towns and cities on the island. These centers are equipped with fast service ATMs within banks and debit and credit card machines at most stores, restaurants and any business where monetary transactions are conducted.

While the US dollar is the popular currency on the island and can be used at some hotels, restaurants and even sidewalk vendors in place of the local TT$ all financial banking institution do trade other currencies. The other currencies traded are the Canadian dollar, Pound Sterling, Barbados Dollar, Eastern Caribbean Dollar, German Mark, and Euro Dollar. In addition to US currency travelers cheques and international credit cards are accepted nationwide.

Currency exchange is also available at other financial institutions such as Unit Trust Corporation, Fx trader companies and Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. Unlike some Latin American/Caribbean countries there is no black market exchange on foreign dollars. US currency can be traded in stores and restaurants at a rate of TT$6 to US$1. The exchange in banks and other financial institutions usually floats at TT$6.18 to US$1. It is always more profitable to exchange currency in the banks. There are also US$ ABM at the Piarco airport and other limited locations that allows the withdrawal of US currency

Finance and Business Investment

Trinidad and Tobago are members of a number of free trade agreements that allows for ease of exporting and importing for businesses. As a result of this no exchange controls and total foreign ownership of companies Trinidad and Tobago has the largest direct foreign investment per capita in the Caribbean. Some of the free trade agreements are Cotonou, The Caribbean Basin Initiative and CARIBCAN.

Tobago’s incentive is on the real estate front whereby non-citizens are allowed to own a maximum of five acres of land for commercial use. Both Trinidad and Tobago are home to foreign hotel chains such as The Hilton Hotel, The Hyatt Regency, The Mariott Hotel and Holiday Inn. Tobago’s lush unaffected landscape and Trinidad aggressive business center make the twin island the perfect business investment opportunity.

Hidden History: Could Massive Banking Failure Be Planned?

Hidden History: Could Massive Banking Failure Be Planned?

In 1982 G. Edward Griffin interviewed an ailing Norman Dodd, who among his many qualifications, had served as a banking expert during the Great Depression, and would later be hired to investigate US educational trusts. A man of distinguished education, his testimony unlocks many secrets governing the unseen dealings of certain influential factions within the US market.

Mr. Dodd gave an impressive account of the hidden history involved in the American banking system that proved to be shocking. Once again we are informed by credible sources that things are not as they seem, and history might prove to be quite different had the public not been deceived.

Thanks to the whistle blowers, who inform us and investigative journalists such as Mr. Griffin, we are privileged to get an insight into the true events that influenced history. There are many threats ongoing to the Republic of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson warned us long ago to remain ever vigilant.

In 1929 contrary to assurances made by the Federal Reserve that the American monetary system would be more stabile, a financial disaster began. As the earth shaking implications of bank failures and investor’s fortunes evaporating thanks to massive stock value collapses, Norman Dodd served as a junior banking officer.

Curiously, Dodd found himself confronted by important figures in his banking organization, who asked him for his opinion about that had just happened. Mr. Dodd, although intimidated by his lack of experience to make such a comment on the situation, finally replied that there was something that his superiors did not know about banking, and that they better find out.

A Deadly Flaw In The System ?

After his candid comment, Dodd was asked to undertake a research expedition to find out just what it was that indeed, his employers did not know about banking. Dodd would have to take a leave of his present duties in order to pursue an investigation that would take 2 ½ years for him to conclude.

At a meeting with his superiors at the New York bank where he worked, he later presented his findings as to just what events had led to the financial chaos of the time. Mr. Dodd time and again had been confronted by the reality of unsound banking practices and the fallacy of fractional banking that used extended credit and debt as a tool to of claiming equity when, in fact, there was no liquidity( cash assets) in the vaults at all.

A Telling Admission

Norman was informed by his superiors at Morgan Bank, the most prominent men in the industry, that the American banking system would never operate on sound principles again. The United States in the aftermath of World War I had been encumbered in institutionalized conflicts of interest that could never be resolved. It took a year for Dodd to wrap his mind around the startling revelations he had been exposed to. It was then that he decided to resign.

Unable To Rationalize A Mystery

Resignation did not seem to be in the cards for Norman Dodd at that moment, as the President of the Bank, Mr. Cochran informed him that the directors of Morgan Bank had been so impressed with Norman Dodd’s report that they could not forget about it. Therefore, Dodd was offered an opportunity to reorganize the banking operation. Norman was anxious to jump at the chance at age 33, he considered it to be a prime prospect.

However, after being assigned to the task for the next 6 weeks, that nothing changed, and every time he enquired further, Dodd was placated and told to go to play tennis and golf on his time off, and look forward to receiving a better salary as a vice president in the near future as well as a generous pension as time wore on.

For a year he sat with his feet on his desk (figuratively speaking), and then decided he could not accept it. Norman Dodd had other ideas. He could not continue to passively occupy his position when he could not agree with the way the country was being run.


Once again he resigned, and this time for good. However, seeking employment in another banking institution proved futile. Norman Dodd found that he had been black listed and could not find another job in the entire country. For the first time since his graduation from Yale University, He found himself out of a job as a result of sticking to his principles.

The Truth May Set You Free But It May Also Complicate Your Life

It seems that sometimes an individual who makes a conscientious effort to remain a patriot to the righteous cause of his country finds adversity instead of acceptance. Norman Dodd would be relegated to finding work among various investment institutions as a consultant and fund manager as time went on. Inevitably his path would cross that of other like minded individuals who disapproved of the unseen changes being forced upon the US.

Once again though, Mr. Dodd would be presented with a chance to exercise his influence in exposing, yet another missing puzzle in the fog of suppressed history.

We will discuss that next time. Has this story been told before? Yes. And it needs to be told again and again until all Americans young and old know the truth!

Australia Bank Internet: Top Online Banking Service in Australia

Australia Bank Internet: Top Online Banking Service in Australia

The leading Australia bank on the Internet is NetBank, which belongs to the Commonwealth Bank Group. It provides a 100% security guarantee to the customers. It means that the safety of your money with NetBank is 100% guaranteed. In the event of an online banking fraud which leads to unauthorized withdrawal of funds from your bank account, NetBank will cover the complete loss. The convenience and safety that NetBank offers makes it an unparalleled Internet Bank in Australia. It makes online banking easy and very accessible for the customers who can manage almost their entire everyday banking needs from the comfort of their own home or office.

Review your Australia Bank Account on the Internet

With a bank account in Australia with NetBank, you can review your latest account balance on the Internet. All the banking transactions that you may have conducted in the past two years, whether related to your savings accounts, personal loans, credit cards, home loans, transaction accounts and Mortgage Interest Saver accounts can be reviewed online with this Internet banking facility.

Set up Mobile Phone and Email Alerts

With an Internet bank account in Australia with NetBank you can monitor your account balances with alerts on your mobile phone and email address. You can also receive reminders and notifications for your credit card payments. If you have term deposits with the bank, you can receive deposit maturity reminders as well.

Pay your Bills with Internet Banking

The most extensive bill payment service in Internet Banking in Australia is offered by NetBank. You can use Internet banking to pay your bills to more than 14,000 organizations within Australia. The unique BPAY service allows you to view your bills and pay online. You can also view your past bills and schedule your future bill payments as required.

Online Funds Transfer with Australia Bank Internet

You can use your Internet bank account to move funds to interlinked Commonwealth bank accounts, including personal loans, home loans, credit card accounts and savings accounts. Transfers are also possible to a few unlinked Commonwealth bank accounts. This service also enables transfers to selected Australian financial institutions and also international transfers. Multiple transfers are also enabled from a single Internet page.

Value Added Online Services

Your NetBank Internet bank account in Australia allows you to enhance or reduce your payment limits on your own. These changes can be effected in real time under urgent conditions. For example, if you have to make a payment for an investment in stocks, you can do it immediately online by increasing your payment limit. The account allows you to order check books, stop personal checks, set up autopay to avoid late payment charges on your bills, change your cash withdrawal limits on your credit card, and opt for added online security through NetCode whenever you are shopping on the Internet.

Banking Careers and Jobs Information: What Bank Employees Do

Banking Careers and Jobs Information: What Bank Employees Do

Whenever there is a branch, there is the potential for a career in banking. Some of these jobs include accountancy, financial services and commercial banking. Apparently, careers in banking and financial institutions offer jobs that are on the money. Even with improvements in electronic banking, branches are not disappearing. Banks are necessary to any country’s economy, especially in terms of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

People who work in banking do a wide range of tasks and duties. Like some other industry like the information technology, banking is dynamic and therefore changes are inevitable. The banking sector is usually the first to profit from new technologies.

Work in banking can be divided into two categories: employees working in the head office and those who work in the frontline. Head office staff usually work behind the scenes, while frontline employees deal with customers that include management and branch employees.

Roles of Head Office Staff

  • Advice management
  • Analyze competitors and set pricing
  • Prepare marketing strategies
  • Meet with third-party companies
  • Manage staff
  • Prepare and manage budgets
  • Devise strategies
  • Develop new products
  • Set interest rates for products
  • Conduct financial analysis
  • Assess investment risks
  • Oversee project management
  • Develop systems and programs
  • Forecast economic indicators
  • Develop managed funds
  • Conduct training workshops
  • Maintain online services

Roles and Tasks of Frontline Staff

  • Manage staff
  • Train and mentor or coach staff
  • Advice on products and services
  • Advice on investment
  • Drive sales targets
  • Serve customers
  • Sell products and services
  • Sell home loans
  • Perform teller duties
  • Open accounts
  • Build relationships
  • Perform administrative tasks

The banking and insurance industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in career opportunities. Many banking professionals are employed by top banking corporations. Other job opportunities can also be found in financial institutions including credit unions, building societies and other regional banks that operate head offices, processing and call centers all around the country.

General Characteristics of a Good Banking Employee

What makes a good banker? Some traits of a person who makes it to the banking and financial services include the following:

  • Perceptive and good with people
  • Builds relationships
  • Responsive to customer needs
  • Flexible as need arises at work
  • Disciplined
  • Good attention to detail
  • Pedantic and solid in integrity
  • Vision and drive
  • Good analytical and numeracy skills
  • Good spoken and written communication skills
  • All-round business skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Understanding of processes and systems

Banking and Financial Jobs on the Money

Working in banking is challenging and rewarding. Some of these job opportunities in the bank and financial institutions include accountancy jobs, banking services, financial services jobs, commercial banking and other graduate banking jobs.

To get ahead, a potential banking employee is expected to work hard and be able to cope in a constantly changing environment. Banks and financial institutions are in tight competition in an environment that can change dramatically on any given day, either with new government regulations or a new product being introduced by a competitor. In return, good workers are usually rewarded with a higher salary and rapid internal career progression.