My Experience with E-LOAN Online Saving

I received my first statement on my E-LOAN saving account that I opened 2 weeks ago, which has the highest APY of 5.50% for a online saving account . A few comments about what I like, based on my experience switching from HSBC (and ING preveriously):

  • The opening process is quick and clean, and unlike HSBC, no need to wait couple weeks for confirmations.
  • The login process is easier. You create your own username, as opposed to HSBC’s use of account number, which means you most likely save it in a file somewhere and then copy and paste, which doesn’t make it any safer in my humble opinion.
  • The interface is cleaner, more please to the eyes :) From a web design perspective.
  • Transaction from external checking account is quicker, unlike HSBC that takes 3+ days.
  • And of course, 5.50% vs. 5.05% APY

So far, I’m pleased with E-LOAN. However, we’ll have to pay attention if they will change the rate in the near future.

Other choices for online savings account, besides E-LOAN, HSBC, and ING with decent rate are:

Having saving!

Originally posted 2006-11-01 23:14:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

We Own Things? Things Own Us?

I saw a commercial on TV tonight advertising storage and warehouse space. It begins with a lady entering her garage from the house but her car is not in her plain sight, instead… you guessed it! She sees a crap load of household utilities, furnitures, etc. Simply a load of crap. She then beeps the car with the unlock remote, and it shows the car completely buried under all the junks. Since it is a storage commercial, it inescapably concludes with her showing a happy face as she is loading them junks into a rented storage.

You know what I think when I see that?

I see the result and disaster created from materialism. It reminds me of an old saying that goes something like the things we own end up owning us. How true!

Remember I talked about the nice and uplifting feeling from my Memorial weekend clean-up? It did take me awhile to learn and realize. I used to think maybe keeping those things around, there will be use for them somday, just MAYBE. But then I have come to learn that having all those things creates clutters that annoy and stress me out unconsciously. Why? I would attribute it to the loss of space, which leads to the feeling of being confined and closed in. On top of that, I have to figure out what to do with a lot of these items! Often time all the items we keep just do not have a real purpose and do nothing but take up space beyond the initial excitement after the purchase.

So we have to figure out what to do with them. Or they could just be around taking up living space. On top of that, we need to repair and maintain both items that get used and those that don’t. As all these tasks cost us time and effort, we are becoming the servants of materials. Materials that we made the choice to buy.

Thus, here are the few things I propose for us to do:

  • Throw out or sell (craigslist/ebay/amazon…) unused, unnecessary items in the house – first step to fixing cluttered status quo. Do with cleaning.
  • Consistently keep our space clean and organized – again, this keeps the mind clear and thus allows for thinking clearly.
  • Have discipline when making purchases – understand if the item is needed, if it has its usage in daily living, and/or if it will be frequently used. If you must buy, buy things that offer lasting, long-term happiness, comfort, or higher standard of living.
  • Keep it simple – do we really need all these furnitures, fancy electronics, Persian rugs, gadgets after all?
  • Find peace and happiness within self – do not fall for “retail therapy” to fulfill these two purposes. Ask yourself, “Does it really make me happy long-term if I buy this?” or if it will just be a few seconds of joy right after purchasing, which begs the question if it’s worth it for dropping all those cash. Lasting peace and happiness are only to be found within.

Not only will these tips save you money from unnecessary expense. You won’t have to pay for these storage space too. Yay! Either way, it doesn’t hurt for you to think about the points above when you want to buy something.

On a last thought, I really wonder how in the world can someone accumulate so much stuff as to run out of space? Wouldn’t they realize how much space is left, then either clean up or control what more they buy? Oh well…

Originally posted 2007-06-20 11:35:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Partner/Rivalry on Quest of Personal Finance

Okay, I’ve been studying too long and want to take a break and scribble something on my blog. I have been reading many personal finance blogs lately, and I came across a post from Make Love, Not Debt:

A few weeks ago I was out having a few drinks with few coworkers during happy hour. One of my coworkers (CW1) noted that in a few weeks he will have been at the company for six months. Another coworker (CW2) remaked that he was then eligible to participate in the company retirement plan. Both of these coworkers are my age, maybe a little younger. The conversation went a little like this…

CW1: Hey, I’ll be at the company for six months in a few weeks!

CW2: Yeah dude, you’ll be eligible for our 401k. (but we have a SIMPLE IRA…or am I just being nitpicky?)

CW1: Yeah that’s cool.

Him: Yeah, I was thinking of rolling over my SIMPLE IRA to a Traditional IRA because I don’t like our investment options. I won’t be eligible to do that until May, though.

(blank stares)

CW2: Yeah, my boyfriend works at Morningstar, so he handles all of that stuff for me.

CW1: I don’t have a clue when it comes to that stuff.

CW2: Yeah. You guys watch Battlestar Galactica?

Sigh.

Although I haven’t begun my real professional career YET (being 2 months shy of graduation), I look around my peers, where a majority are older and/or full-time employees, and somehow I feel similar to the author here… Unfortunately I’ve heard more about young people not wanting to contribute to 401k because of how it reduces their paychecks, and NO young people who wants talk about personal finance and investment, etc around me.

As the title suggests, I would love to have a partner or even a rival to help push and/or encourage each other in learning these personal finance matters. But where can I find them? Makes sense? Oh well, it’s so late, I don’t care anymore.

That being said, I’ve been using a lot of excel for a class lately, and for fun I came up with a very rough, simplistic, interactive model to look at the growth of asset/net worth/whatever to put things in perspective a bit, with an initial asset that grows at a constant annual rate along w/ an annual contribution to the asset that grows by a separate constant amount. It actually makes future looks kind of hopeful. :P

excel_future.jpg

Feel free to download the excel file and play with it, modify it. It’d be great if someone comes up with something interesting or a much more realistic model and send it back to me :)

Alright, back to study, ciao.

Originally posted 2006-11-07 04:13:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dealing with heart breaks and disappointment – Detachment, Surrendering, and Letting Go

Last time I talked about not hoping. Couple weeks ago I talked about not limiting yourself with predefined principles. I will tie them together into the topic of detachment, surrendering, and letting go.

There is a pattern of human behavior that has existed for eon. This pattern, this behavior model got built into us, carved into our minds since birth through family, through friends, through commercials, through culture, through society. Everything around us tells us to work hard for what we want, and as part of the package is the expectation of certain beneficial outcome, or perhaps some notable achievement. Sure it feels great when we get what we want. Quite often, we don’t. And when that happens, we get angry, depressed, frustrated, disappointed, worrisome, jealous… naturally.

Or is it? Or is it naturally because that is what we are programmed to think?

Natural or not, that is besides the point. Certainly now, we can agree that there are so much burden that comes with expectation because we are attached to an outcome.

What is expectation? It is none other than a thought of certain outcome. The thought comes from certain aspect of our ego. The certain outcome provides significance and effects that enhance some aspects of our ego. Say you are a father, you expect your wife or children to obey or at least behave in ways that acknowledge your authoritative figure in the family. Say you are a senior, or maybe a genius programmer, you expect yourself to create a new software design that is a breakthrough and will dominate the market share. Say you are a CEO, you expect your decision to bring unprecedented profit for your company. Anyways, you get the point.

It is this expectation, this hope, this thought of wishing for good outcome that causes much suffering. It is the inability to let go of thoughts of a future that is good for yourself — your ego. Selfish? Yes. Attachment is selfish and causes suffering, but detachment is also selfish because you want peace for yourself. Selfish is okay. Just that between being selfish and in pain, and being selfish and in peace, the choice is obvious, eh?

So, on the other side of attachment is detachment which can offer us peace and joy. Yes, accomplishment, achievement, milestones… they offer moments of happiness, excitement, feeling of being proud of yourself, but how long do they last. We know they do not last forever.

People keep on chasing and chasing because they are attached. Along that path, they suffer. They desire endlessly for the next best thing that will fulfill expectations and hopes, which then make them happy. They dread and feel pain when the next best thing never comes. Such is the suffering of attachment.

And you know the story of our lives?

When we are young, we are to study hard in school and expect good grades. When that happens, the parents and children feel good about themselves. However, that does not last, which leads to the next thing…

When we finish one level of school, we expect to get in a better higher-level school — star high school and Ivy League univeristy — because of the previous diligence and good grades. When that happens, the parents and children are happy and excited again. However, that will not last either, which leads to the next thing…

When we finally finished studying hard in the academia and received the degrees, we are expected, again, to study hard to “win” interviews in order to land a wonderful or a “dream” job. Once that happens, we feel proud and excited again. But darn it, that does not last very long either, which leads to the next thing…

Now that we have a stable job/career, we are expected to get in a relationship (or already into one). Sometimes we expect to get “swept off our feet” by meeting one person, which could be cool. Either way, when things go well in the relationship, we are happy and we feel bliss, but certainly that does not last forever because no relationship sails smoothly always. There will be conflicts along the way. That leads to the next thing…

Ok, this paragraph is not quite a next thing, but if we are not in a relationship or do not care for one, then we expect ourselves to accomplish something, do something extraordinary career-wise probably. It is about either getting rich or famous. When that happens, we again feel the rush of happiness and excitement in life. Unfortunately, that will also be ephemeral. Once those feelings end, we expect ourselves to accomplish something more, to feel happy again, to feel alive again. Meanwhile, we expect ourselves to do this next thing…

Now that we have succeeded, dated enough… or not… we are to pick a person, someone who is perfect or complimentary enough to marry as partner for life. Then we get married. And we are happy and excited because we are finally hitched. But only momentarily, again! And by now, we are all thinking, “When does it end!?!? What’s next? What do we do?” Well, I think at this point, people either get divorced or have kids and get stuck. And the children and parents together start the cycle all over again (just go back a couple paragraphs back…). And at each step, when what is expected does not happen, we suffer.

Of course, there are people and couples who learn the wisdom of living in the moment and live joyfully together for a long long time. Notice I used the word “joyfully”, not “happily” because they are different. Happiness is an emotion that does not last forever. Joy comes from being aware, having peace in order to see things as they are, having the curiosity to observe, and appreciating the wonder and amazing qualities of each moment.

Returning to the topic of suffering caused by attachment and expectation. I am not saying to do nothing with your life. I am not saying that the stuffs that happen in life I describe above are bad.

Well then, what am I saying?

First of all, I think that given this life, we have responsibility to do as much as we can with this life because this is all we have. To do so, we have to master ourselves. Be our own master. But it is quite difficult to be a master of yourself when you are suffering.

The attachment to our hopes and expectations cause most of the suffering in our life. We expect this and we expect that, and we suffer when we do not get this and that. So logically, let us play without attachment. Let us play the game of life with detachment. And doing so allows us to exploit our full potentials.

Surrender yourself to your thoughts and expectations. Be aware and know that they are there. Sure they exist in your head. Just realize that they are there, fully feel what you feel each moment, and then let go. We are only human after all to have thoughts and emotions and desires. And we have learned for years to expect and hope for this and that. Be okay and surrender to your thoughts and emotions, expectations and hopes. They are merely that, and you choose your actions.

On the other hand, please remember to be okay with being happy when you are…

Surrendering and letting go are not passive. Rather, they are not the opposite of giving up because you must allow yourself to be fully aware in each moment in order to see your thoughts and feel the emotions, to sense your mind and body. As such, you make the conscious choice to observe yourself most nakedly, both the good and the bad. Giving up is allowing yourself to be ignorant, to succumb and be dictated by your thoughts and emotions, to not be responsible for yourself.

And perhaps stop doing things out of expectations. Make your own decision. Let go of the outcome. Then you will do your best.

Just be careful not to get attached to the outcomes of detachment, it is another form of attachment that will cause you suffering.

Originally posted 2008-09-03 19:35:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 87 88 89 Next

Subscribe using Email

Get notified of new posts by email.