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Smile Internet Bank

Posted on: September 13, 2006 I Written By

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There aren’t many people that love the internet more than I do. It is absolutely the way to do almost everything in this world. There is an application for computers in almost everything.

Today I happened across a bank called Smile Internet bank. I’m all for internet banking. However, I’m not sure how I could trust a bank called Smile Internet Bank. Their logo is pink for crying out loud. Take a look:
Smile Bank Logo

When you go to check out online banking with Smile you’ll see the following statement in their introduction:

A bank that’s open, ethical and genuinely modern.

Maybe I don’t understand this bank, but the banks that I deal with are ethical and open. I’m not sure what genuine means. If it means they tell me the terms of our agreement and live by them then I think they are genuine. I guess I’m just not understanding how this online “ethical” bank works. Can someone enlighten me? Even the copy on their website makes me suspect to send any money there.

I do however believe in online banking. It’s one of the best ways to get a large return on your savings. Well, at least much larger than a regular bank.

Wp-cache Plugin for WordPress

Posted on: I Written By

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For all of those reading my blog that use WordPress you must start using the Wp-cache plugin immediately. I know that it isn’t the simplest install in the whole world, but it really significantly affects how much bandwidth you use. Sometimes it does cause me a little heartache when I’m reading my comments, but I think the dramatically less use of bandwidth is worth it. Start using it today!!

Points and Fees like Closing Costs in Mortgages

Posted on: I Written By

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I’ve been doing some more research on mortgages. There is so much to learn about mortgages. I think the real key is to find one of the many mortgage brokers there are out there. There are also a lot of good websites out there that share a lot of good information.

For example, I was looking at points and fees (like closing costs) to see how that affects your mortgage payment. In order to understand what it means to purchase points there is a good mortgage caluclator that shows you the impact that purchasing points will have. Here’s an example output:
Without Points With Points
Amount Financed $200,000.00 $198,000.00
Monthly Payment $1,248.39 $1,167.15

Monthly Payment Savings $81.25
Points Value $2,000.00
Monthly Investment Savings $8.33
True Monthly Savings $72.91
Break Even 2 Yrs 4 Mts

Basically with just one point purchased you are able to save $81.25 a month. Now, realize that this one point is going to cost you $2000. So, it even tells you the break even point is 2 years and 4 months. If you plan to sell before that time frame then you definitely don’t want to buy points. However, if you are staying there longer then you should probably look into purchasing points if you have the money.

Closing costs have almost become a null issue these days. They are the bargaining chip that most people offer. Also, in the end almost any mortgage will just roll the closing costs into your loan. Think about this. If you are trying to reach the holy grail of 20% down on your mortgage (so you don’t have to pay insurance), then you better take 20% and add in the closing costs to the amount of money you’ll need to purchase a home. Otherwise, you might be up a creak without a home.

Revisiting Amazon’s Grocery Offering

Posted on: I Written By

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I had read a while back that Amazon had started a beta program where they sold groceries online. Since it had just started I decided to give it some time. Today I went back to see what had changed. Well, honestly not much. They still are a bulk provider of food. Which is not a bad thing. However, most of the groceries that I looked at were overpriced.

For example, Mac and Cheese is one my favorite foods. Cost $1 a box on Amazon. It’s less than that at the local store. In fact, I can get Mac and Cheese shapes for the same price.

I also still can’t get buy all the supposedly healthy organic crap they sell. I’m not against them selling that if people are willing to pay for overpriced goods. However, can you please separate it from things that I enjoy and want to buy. It’s not discrimination, it’s classification.