Weekend reads: the T-Mobile hack and beating ATM fees
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What has you most concerned this week? What to do about the T-Mobile hack? Battling all-time-high ATM fees? The fact that you don't know how to use Excel to manage your budget? We've gathered the best takes on all of it from across the Internet. And if money really has you worried, we'll point you toward some TED Talks that will help you get you in the minimalist mindset. Plus your first look at Reddit's new news site and the latest Planet Money episode tackling high healthcare costs.
It’s crazy how much we pay to access our own money, isn’t it? Now that ATM fees are at an all time high, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting a good deal on your banking. If you’re in the market for a new checking account, check out this list of things to look out for. From signup bonuses to a decent website to free ATMs (yay!) there are a lot of ways to get the most out of wherever you decide to put your money.
Being frugal is more than just about spending habits. It’s a way of life. Some people find a lot of joy in figuring out where to cut spending, what life hacks will let them get the most out of time, and how to find the best deals on certain items. But others can’t be bothered with it all even though it could save you a boatload of money. If you’re in that second category, get ready to have your world rocked (or at least gently shaken) with inspiration from not one, not two, not three, but eight TED Talk videos to start you down the path toward minimalism. You might not be jumping into a tiny house yet, but these will get you thinking about what changes you can make to your financial picture.
There are about a thousand ways you can start a budget. The most important thing is that you have a budget at all, of course, but it’s nice to have options, whether it’s a mobile app, a website, or when you write on the back of a napkin whenever you spend money (just kidding, don’t do that one). Nothing beats a relatively low-tech spreadsheet, except for the fact that spreadsheets are terrible and complicated and difficult to use. But never fear! These 11 Excel tips will leave you saying "VLOOKUP" and "pivot tables" like a pro soon enough. Just another weapon in your budgeting arsenal.
In an Internet full of time-sucking rabbit holes, Reddit is one of the most time-suckiest. You can lose yourself for hours clicking on links to stories and content. Or, you can visit one of a hundred other sites who get their leads from popular Reddit threads. Now you can solve both of those problems – get the top stories without ever leaving Reddit – with Upvoted, Reddit’s own editorial effort. The Reddit team will trawl their own subreddits for popular content and repackages it in an easy-to-read story format.
Planet Money is, hands down, one of the best podcasts out there. Don’t be fooled by its name; it’s less about money and more about society, culture, technology, history, and every other topic under the sun. This episode poses an interesting question: why do we just begrudgingly accept the price of medical procedures when we’ll move heaven and hell to find the best deal on everything else we pay for? One company is trying to change that by actually paying people to shop around for cheaper prices. Seems strange, but cutting someone a check in exchange for saving their insurance company potentially thousands of dollars turns out to be good business sense. Could it change the way we look at healthcare prices? Maybe, but for now it at least makes for a very interesting podcast.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a major corporation had a huge security breach and the personal data of its customers ended up in the hands of some nasty people. You might get whiplash from the sense of deja vu, but we’re not talking about Target or Home Depot (or Trump hotels or Scottrade or Patreon or…) but the T-Mobile hack, as customer information was taken during a data breach at credit bureau Experian. It seems like we hear one of these stories every few weeks, and there might be a reason they happen so frequently – there’s no real punishment against the companies that don’t take the proper steps to ensure security. The New Yorker isn’t confident that this will change any time soon, so get off the grid and sharpen your bartering skills, I guess.
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