Apart from the familial ties that I was born into, my relationship with Wells Fargo may have been one of the longest-standing of my life. Since I was 11 years old, I’ve had a savings account with the bank, linked to my parents’ finances. I don’t remember how old I was when I opened my first checking account, but I assume I was in high school. When I moved to New York three years ago, I set up my first credit card in a Wells Fargo branch office and felt very adult and also concerned about the streak of fiscal irresponsibility the new plastic might unleash in me. What company I banked with felt as inevitable as the family I was born into and the state in which I grew up. Putting my Wells card down on the table at dinner, I often felt a bizarre affection for how it identified me as a Californian. But despite that sentimentality, Wells and I have parted ways. The decision was mine, and the idea to make it began to percolate earlier this year, as allegations of the … [Read more...] about How To Pull Your Money Out Of A Big Bank (It’s Not That Hard, I Just Did It)
How lazy people make money
Corinne, 29, works for a branding communications firm in New York and is terrible at saving money. She’s always felt guilty about it, but assumed that she’d get her act together at some point — namely, the next time she gets a raise or a promotion. But now she’s 30 and, despite making significantly more money than she did in her early 20s, she still can’t manage to stop blowing her paychecks on rent, food, travel, clothes, workout classes, and all the other fun (and expensive) things to buy and do in New York. She’s generally responsible in other areas of her life — and knows she has to be more disciplined. How can she get ahold of her finances when she has no self-control? Structured money habits don’t come easily to many people. Just like you, Corinne, I find spending infinitely more fun than saving, and I need as much help as I can get to counteract my impulses. That’s where automating comes in: By pushing financial decisions off … [Read more...] about How Can I Save Money When I Have No Self-Control?
As Mitt Romney flirted with the idea of a third presidential run in January, the former Massachusetts governor called for a new war on poverty in America. Romney’s remarks, which briefly got both parties talking about the issue, were surprising not only because he had drawn flak during his 2012 campaign for claiming that he was “not concerned about the very poor,” but also because American political discourse has always focused more on the frustrations of the middle class than the struggles of the least fortunate.One reason politicians target their appeals to people in the middle of the socioeconomic scale is pragmatic: They are more likely to vote than those at the bottom. But it’s also because poverty is a particularly intractable and confounding problem. As a culture, we’re not sure how to explain who ends up in poverty—whether they’re disadvantaged by the system, lazy, or just unlucky. In fact, we can’t even agree on what poverty … [Read more...] about Who’s poor? Depends how you measure it
Nearly 30 years ago, when just 15 percent of Americans had a computer, and even fewer had internet access, Thomas Parkinson set up a rack of modems on a Crate and Barrel wine rack and started accepting orders for the internet’s first grocery-delivery company, Peapod, which he founded with his brother Andrew.Back then, ordering groceries online was complicated—most customers had dial-up, and Peapod’s web graphics were so rudimentary that customers couldn’t see images of what they were buying. Delivery was complicated, too: The Parkinsons drove to grocery stores in the Chicago area, bought what customers had ordered, and then delivered the goods from the backseat of their beat-up Honda Civic. When people wanted to stock up on certain goods—strawberry yogurt or bottles of Diet Coke—the Parkinsons would deplete whole sections of local grocery stores.Peapod is still around today. But convincing customers to order groceries online is still nearly as … [Read more...] about Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives. It was 1998. The Spice Girls were thriving. Titanic was in theaters. Harry Potter was new. And thanks to Limited Too being the coolest retailer for 10-year-old girls, I was developing an addiction to clothes. Limited Too was my safe haven. The graphic tees. The glitter camisoles. The flower-embroidered overalls. Whatever was trendy, whatever was new, I had to own it. As the years went on, my obsession with Limited Too faded, but my need to have new clothing remained. I remember in 7th grade, my social studies teacher asked me if I wore a new shirt every day. Later on in high school, my mom would yell at me for not wearing things in my closet. “That shirt is two years old,” I would tell … [Read more...] about Is Rent the Runway’s unlimited clothing subscription worth your money?