How Dwolla Works to Free Online Users From Fees

Electronic payment network Dwolla eliminates fees charged by credit card networks.

In the last few months, I’ve had many a bone to pick with PayPal, which I consider eBay’s monetary equivalent of the Death Star from “Star Wars.” Whenever someone sends me money for an item I sell on eBay, PayPal sees good to take 2.9 percent on the total sale, plus 30 cents per transaction. […]

Variable Income: How to Manage Money When you Don’t Earn a Steady Paycheck

Budgeting for unsteady income: Put money you earn into a reserve account, then transfer money as you need it into a spending account.

We all like to wake up in the morning knowing there’s enough money for breakfast and this month’s electric bill — not to mention those whopping student loans. For meeting these everyday financial obligations, nothing beats a regular paycheck. But what if you don’t have one? Maybe you’re working odd jobs while searching for a […]

Banking on Tap (Literally): How Smartphone Apps for Mobile Banking Stack Up

Mobile banking is getting better with smarter smartphone apps from leading banks.

Lou Carlozo is new to Money Under 30. Based in Chicago, Lou is a personal finance contributor for Reuters Money, a columnist with, and a former managing editor at AOL’s This is his first post. Welcome, Lou. -Ed. *** Hours before writing this story, I accomplished a techie first in my banking life — one […]

How to Open an International Bank Account

My first job outside the United States was in London. I worked for a travel company in Maine with international locations, so when an opportunity came up for me to hop the pond, I grabbed it. After making the move, the most important detail I had to deal with wasn’t where to live or how […]

Understanding Overdraft Protection and Fees

At one point or another, it’s happened to nearly all of us: For one reason or another, we spent more than our available checking account balance. And most likely, we wound up paying an overdraft fee for the privilege. In years prior to the day I “smartened up” financially, I probably gave my credit union […]

Should You Use a Mortgage Broker or a Bank Loan Officer?

Shopping for a mortgage can be intimidating. There are thousands of mortgage lenders and hundreds of ways lenders can tweak home loans to distort their real costs. You’re also facing the excitement of buying a new home and you may feel vulnerable as lenders nit-pick your credit report. It’s understandable that many home buyers get […]

Finance 101: How Do Banks Make Money?

Have you ever wondered why your checking account is free? Obviously, it’s not because your bank is feeling charitable. Big banks make big money. The kind of money that leads to the obscene Wall Street bonuses we so often hear about. But banks make money even when they’re not involved in Wall Street’s multinational investment […]

Why Checks Will Disappear

How often do you write a paper check? A few times a month? Less? Debit cards, online bill-pay, direct deposit, and electronic checking accounts are making the paper check more and more obsolete. And soon, checks will vanish completely. In Britain, banks are expected to vote today to eliminate paper checks by 2018. Ireland and […]

A Case for Local Banks and Credit Unions

I have been trying to convince my wife to switch her checking account away from Bank of America; I’m not a fan. Recently, on my post on leading financial iPhone apps, two readers asked why. Although there are pros and cons to banking both with large “megabanks” and local banks and credit unions, I’m a […]