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Fewer Americans are Opening Bank Accounts

A shocking number of people are not opening bank accounts these days. They say flat out that they do not need a fancy institution to hold onto their money for them. Instead, they’d rather invest their money other places and keep a store of cash under the mattress in the bedroom.

A lot of the trouble comes from being unable to afford the demands of today’s banks. Opening and funding a bank account is more expensive than ever before.

Some families simply can’t afford the financial burden of claiming a spot in the vaults of a major bank. They don’t make enough money to justify that kind of investment.

Minimum Balance Requirement Banks also demand a minimum balance be kept within the account at all times, meaning that you are instantly penalized if you do not meet those requirements. For some families, they are just earning enough to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, they can’t afford to not have access to some of the funds at the bottom of the barrel.

Overdraft Fees, should a family forget their balance and overdraft, they are penalized $35 on average for the overdraft protection. True they managed to walk out with whatever they were purchasing, but often times, they would rather be without that purchase instead of with it and 35 extra dollars in the hole.

Many American families are turning away from the notion of a bank account because the rates are getting unaffordable. Instead, they are finding alternative ways to cash, save and spend their hard earned dollars. Prepaid plans, cash checking and payday loans are just a few of the ways they are managing. And they are doing it without the culturally pressured bank account. Guess what? They are doing just fine.

Why We Should All Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Making a Difference for the Animals You Love

We all want to do our part to make a difference in the world, but deciding on the right path can be a difficult decision. One of the most rewarding decisions you can make is to volunteer at the local animal shelter.

If you are an animal lover, and you want a chance to give back to the animals you love, then spending an hour or two every week at the animal shelter will be just the right thing for you.

It will give you a great opportunity to spend time with the animals you love, with the added benefit of giving them your love.

Deciding to volunteer at the animal shelter is a big decision, and you should definitely think it through carefully before you make the choice. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of working at an animal shelter to help you make the best decision.

Becoming a Part of Something Important

Often our lives become overrun with boring and unimportant things, but when we have the chance to help others, our lives can gain important meaning.

When you volunteer at an animal shelter, you are helping out in a place that really needs your help.

If you want to help make a difference in the world and help the animals you love, working in an animal shelter is the thing you need to become part of something amazing.

You Can Make Friends with Man’s Best Friend

There is something special about the relationship between animals and the people who care for them. As a volunteer at a local animal shelter, you will have the chance to build a bond with an animal that you will love.

If you aren’t sure that you are ready for a pet, but sure you want to do something for animals, this can be your opportunity to share a bond that will make your decision much simpler.

Building Friendships with Those You May Have Never Met Otherwise

Volunteering at an animal shelter will give you the unique opportunity to make friends with likeminded people.

If you are looking for a chance to expand your network and make new friends, the animal shelter is the right place to go. Working with a group of people who love animals like you is the perfect chance to find new friends who are involved in their communities and who come from many backgrounds and career paths.

Discovering Skills You Never Knew You Had

Whatever field you are working in, the opportunity to work with animals at the animal shelter may be a great chance for you to discover skills you didn’t know you had.

At the animal shelter, you will require many skills that you may not require in the other parts of your life. You may discover that you have a whole other skill set that will fulfill you and add a level of happiness to your daily life that you wouldn’t otherwise experience.

Discovering new skills and abilities is always a beneficial experience, and it can help you to be more successful in the other areas of your life.

Spending Time with the Animals You Love

There is something special about making contact with a great animal. It can brighten up your day and lift your spirits to make the rest of your time much more enjoyable. Spending time with and taking care of the animals can be very therapeutic and a great stress reliever.

If you are looking for an outlet that will allow you to feel happy and experience the world in a more interesting way, a bit of volunteering at the animal shelter may be just the thing to do the trick.

Now is the time to begin volunteering and to experience the great things that come along with it. Keep reading the Check City blog for more great posts to improve your life!

5 Great Emergency Kit Items to Keep in Your Car

Keeping Safety Equipment in Your Car

When you start a long road trip, it is important that you keep some necessary safety items in your car to avoid any harmful situations that can get both you and your car into deep trouble. Take the time you need to develop a system so you always have these safety items in your car. Here is a great checklist of some items to keep in your car for an emergency kit.

First Aid Kit

One of the most important safety items you need to keep in your car is a first aid kit. When you’re on long road trips and find yourself in the middle of nowhere and in need of some basic medical equipment, you’ll be thankful that you packed everything you need in your first aid kit.

Your first aid kit should include this basic medical equipment, but it should also be packed with food, water, a blanket, and a flashlight. If your situation proves direr, you’ll have some basic necessities to sustain yourself until you are found and rescued. A first aid kit is very important for your car emergency kit checklist.

Car Tools

Another basic necessity that you need is tools for your car if anything goes wrong with it. For example, if you have a flat tire and need to change it yourself, you should have a spare tire available. As the process of changing your tire is incredibly messy, you’ll want to keep a towel and some wet wipes in your safety kit as well.

If your car won’t start, you need jumper cables to restart the engine. Some drivers feel safer driving with a few flares and reflectors to set up in case they break down on the side of the road.

Remember that if your tires are starting to deflate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to replace them. You may need to just re-inflate them. Keep a tire pressure gauge and tire inflator in your safety kit and you’ll be able to fix deflated tires without entirely replacing them.

Something to Break the Window

While it may sound unlikely that there will come a time that you need to break your window in order to get out of your car, it is possible. If your car gets caught in a flood or if you drive into a lake, the pressure will prevent you from being able to open your door and the electric windows won’t work either. By using a hammer to break your window, you’ll be able to swim away from your car and to the rescue.

Tire Chains in the Snow

When driving in locations of ice and heavy snow, you’ll want as much traction as you can possibly get. It’s hard to drive anywhere in the snow, let alone up and down hills. Without chains on your tires, you won’t get the traction you need and you can easily find yourself in precarious situations, such as sliding into mountains or other cars. You can avoid these situations if you’re properly prepared with the right tire chains.

With extremely heavy snow, you’ll need something to shovel it away as well. Keep a shovel in your trunk to ensure that you’ll be able to get the snow away from your car and off the roads that you need to drive on.

Communication

If any of these situations happens to you while you’re driving, the first precaution you should take is calling the authorities. Whether it’s a car service, the police or your dad, you’ll need a form of communication in your car. Usually this is a cell phone.

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