9 Things To Look For When Choosing A Bank

We have been really lucky in that we’ve used the same bank for over a decade.  Both my wife and I used the same bank before we were married.  Once we combined finances, it was a pretty easy choice.  But, what if you need to choose a bank?  Whether you’re looking at opening your first account, or looking to move, the choices are many.  So what are some things to look for when choosing a bank?

Read on.

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Bank

Many people think that banks are a dime a dozen.  After all, what could be different?  Well, as it turns out, there’s an awful lot that could be different.  Every bank should provide the same basic services in handling your money and making it available, but how they go about this is what separates one bank from another.  A bank that is a perfect fit for one person may not work for another.  It’s extremely important to have a list of things to look for when choosing a bank.  Here a few things to get you started.

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How One Local Brick and Mortar Store Is Keeping Up With The Times

The apparent death of the brick and mortar store is well documented.  And, with pretty good reason.  At least once per week, we see another big name store closing up shop.  Toys R Us.  Payless Shoe Source.  Gymboree.  These are just a few of those that hop right out at me without even looking anything up!  And I know there are tons more.

However, not all brick and mortar stores are content to sit back and let online businesses take them away.  I am pleased to mention one such experience.

New Running Shoes

I run about 10 miles per week.  Lately, I’ve noticed that my shoes have started to feel a bit worn.  They have around 500 miles, which is honestly around the top end for running shoes.  My shoes are pretty sturdy, so that is actually about right.

running shoes
Does a brick and mortar store compare to online options for new running shoes?

I had bought my last pair at a local store called Hanson’s Running Shop. They specialize in shoes and gear for runners.  I had a great experience and they found me a pair of shoes that offered extra support.  This is important to me given that I’m prone to plantar fasciitis

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Comparing Annual Household Expenses

I thought it would be interesting to look at our annual household expenses between 2017 and 2018. I wanted to see what changed. Did we spend more? What about less?

I didn’t look at every expense item, but focused on some that stood out. In the end, I picked twelve items that I’ve tracked spending on, and looked at how they stacked up between 2017 and 2018.

Some of the results surprised me. Others I expected.

Increase In Annual Household Expenses

Out of the twelve items I tracked, seven saw an increase in annual household expenses.

Some of our annual household expenses went up, but others offset our total spending.


Netflix raised their rates from $9.99 to $10.99 so we saw an increase in our costs. Minor, but from a percentage standpoint, it’s at least interesting.

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Aligning Actions And Goals To Drive Success

When you set goals for yourself, you are looking to improve something, right?  Chances are this is the case for most goals.  This can apply to personal goals, financial goals, or any type.  So why is it that so many goals fail?  Surely we have good intentions.  I believe that it’s because we don’t back those goals with actions.  If you spend time aligning actions and goals, I’m convinced you’ll be more successful at reaching said goals.

The Importance Of Goals

I think that having goals is the key to a productive life.  Goals are important in many key areas of your life.

  • Work
  • Home
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Money

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The Importance Of A Qualified Real Estate Agent

Our neighbors across the street are selling their house. I’m not sure what it is about this house, but nobody ever stays long. Actually, the sellers have probably been there the longest. It seems that whoever moves there gets taken away by a new job within a few years. Seeing the For Sale sign go up in their yard was bittersweet. While we aren’t close friends with them, they are good neighbors. Good neighbors are important. So is, as I’m sure they are learning, a good real estate agent.

for sale sign

My One And Only Real Estate Agent

I’ve owned two different houses in my life. For both of them, I used the same agent. His name was Pat. My condo was a bachelor pad that I purchased in 1999. I sold it in 2007 as we were getting married. Twelve years later, we’re still here.

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Five Ways To Make More Money

Everyone wants to make more money. Often times we look around and see other people doing well, and we want more for ourselves. This is natural. But how do we make more money? Here are a few quick ideas. These are not guaranteed to work, but if you don’t try, there’s no opportunity for success

Ask For A Raise

If you have been at your job for awhile, and haven’t gotten a raise, why not ask? The worst your boss can say is no, right?

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2019 Goals – February Check In

For 2019,  I set twelve goals that I could track.  This year I set goals that were numbers based.   I can track their completion, and see how I’m trending throughout the year.  With two months in the books, I am happy to say that I’m sticking with my goals.  I’m pretty excited about the progress I’m making.  I know I won’t hit every goal, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

I think it’s important to hold myself accountable for goals, so here is my monthly check-in.

goal journey

February Around Our Household

  • Snow Days, Snow Days, and More Snow Days.  Our kids school district cancelled school all the time, it seemed.  We had snow.  There was the polar vortex.  Plus, we had ice.  It seemed like they were home more than they were at school.
  • Mini-Vacation.  On top of all the snow days, the kids had their mid-winter break.  We continued our tradition of going to the Great Wolf Lodge water park.  You can read about our experience here.

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Spring Forward And Change The Smoke Alarm Battery

Believe it or not, spring is coming.  At least according to the calendar.  We’ve had a pretty snowy and cold few weeks here in Michigan.  It certainly doesn’t feel like spring is on the way.  But, it is!  One way you can tell is that the ‘spring forward’ clock change is just around the corner.  With that means something else for many people: It’s time to change the smoke alarm battery!

Spring Forward

In Michigan, I love setting the clocks ahead for the spring forward change.  We get an extra hour of daylight in the evening.  Yes, we lose an hour in the morning, but within a few weeks, the sun will rise early again as we keep adding daylight until June.

Spring is when we change out the batteries in the smoke alarms and other alarms around the house.

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