Finance: No-Penalty CD vs A High-Yield Savings Account

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This post was published on 5/30/2020 and last edited on 6/16/2020.

Click here to skip this post and just read what we ended up opening.

In my previous post I wrote about researching the best CD in the market at present because we were interested in opening up a new one.

However, what we found out during the process of deliberation between Ally and Marcus, was that Marcus also have a High-Yield Savings Account (HYSA) that offers 1.30% APY. Also if you don’t live in California, there are other banks that give much higher APY %’s for their HYSAs. What the heck! So I guess if you live in another state you should look into what’s best for you there.

Anyways, let’s go back to the 1.30% APY that we actually have access to. This is higher than most of the no-penalty CDs!

But there’s also a reason for this: this high APY rate will fluctuate as the Federal Reserve’s interest rates rise or decrease, so you aren’t guaranteed that rate will remain. The Marcus representative I spoke to advised that unfortunately they do not send out emails to notify their customers if the APY rate decreases.

Edit: Turns out this is untrue and they do actually notify customers if their rates change! I literally just received this email:

As such, we had to decide if we should still open up a CD to lock in the APY rate, or if we should just put the investment into a HYSA instead. Also, if we were still going to open up a CD, should we open a 7mo or 11mo one? By this time, I already had my heart set on Marcus by Goldman Sachs, so all of these are related to what they offer. Here’s our thought process:

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Recipe: The Best Chocolate Chip & Walnut Banana Bread

This recipe is actually fool-proof because I am not a baker. And yes, it is the best chocolate chip and walnut banana bread. (Because if your banana bread doesn’t have chocolate chips or walnuts in, what’s even the point amiright?)

I have tried various recipes to varying degrees of success (though Jacky was more than happy to eat all of them, and my neighbours graciously accepted to eat some too haha), but this one I’m writing down so I never forget.

And you, in case you are not a baker either, can benefit too. Ha!

For the first time ever it did not come out all dense and crusty; the bread was so moist and the colour was just perrrfect and the chocolate was all melty and, well, we didn’t take many photos before we dug in.

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Finance: Best No Penalty CD May 2020

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This post was published on 26th May 2020 and edited on 27th May 2020.

The Basics

CD stands for “Certificate of Deposit”, meaning you deposit a sum of money into a bank that must remain in the bank for a fixed term, in order for you to receive a certain percentage of interest on your money. Anyone who has more than $1k just hanging out in their bank account should consider opening up a CD to get a higher interest rate.

…Which is why I looked into it. Our interest savings account is on 0.01% APY whereas your average no-penalty CD is offering 1.00% APY – that’s 100x higher than what I’m getting with my bank right now. (Note: “APY” just means the amount of interest you’ll earn on your money over period of 1yr, compounding annually. It stands for “Annual Percentage Yield”.)

Typically if you withdraw the money early, you will be charged penalties of varying severity depending on the bank. I looked into current CD’s being offered at the highest rates of interest, that will allow you to close it down and take out your money (and interest) after just 7 days, with zero penalties.

Now there are certainly longer-term CDs that offer higher APY’s, but you never know when you’re going to need your money back, and right now the interest rates are very low due to economic instability from COVID, so I do not recommend getting stuck in a long-term CD. This is true especially if you have a larger sum of money to invest, and if you don’t have that much to invest, the extra 0.1-0.3% APY won’t make much of a difference anyway.

But why should you trust me, a random person on the internet? You don’t have to, but I’ve spent hours researching this because I am not super well-versed in all of this investment/financial jargon malarky, and I’ve decided to summarise my key findings in lay-mans terms here to save you time from doing it yourself. I do also have a Business Studies degree from one of the top UK universities, if that helps.

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Fitness: I Tried Chloe Ting’s 2 Week Ab Challenge

Image screenshot: Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred Challenge

Edit: Click here to read my second Chloe Ting challenge experience – 2020 Summer Shred
Click here to read my third Chloe Ting challenge experience – 2019 Flat Belly

This post was completed on 6/8/2020.
Jump to starting numbers.
Jump to mid challenge check-in.
Jump to end results and final thoughts.

Okay, Chloe. I see you. I see all your recommended videos popping up all over my YouTube. And I’ve just seen so. many. success. story. videos (<—!!) and okay I’m convinced. (If you’re only going to look at one, just watch the last one because, honestly, there are just too many.)

It looks like she has a lot of free workout programs but I think the one I’ve been seeing the success stories for, and the one I think I can actually commit to, is her 2 Weeks Shred Challenge (click here for the program).

I really love that she’s put all the videos together in such a convenient format on the page so all you need to do is literally just bookmark the page and click on the videos each day. Plus you know what you’ve signed up for in total workout time and total workout videos so you can plan your day accordingly.

In addition, she has a bunch of tips in the FAQ’s, meal plans and videos of the before/afters on the page to keep you motivated. This girl has thought of everything! I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding her until now. Thanks, YouTube algorithm, for recommending her to me.

I’ve been eating way too much sugar lately so let’s do this… starting tomorrow. Haha. I’ve already worked out for 25min today and I think that’s about as much as I can handle for now.

Here’s the thing: I was actually working out often and even going to the gym for the first time in a decade back in January/February, in preparation for my wedding. I’m really thankful we were able to have our wedding with our friends and family as it took place just a mere couple of weeks before quarantine began.

Unfortunately shortly after all the gyms shut down for quarantine, I also developed some other health problems so I stopped working out entirely, which in turn has probably made my health worse. It’s been a bit of a downward spiral. So my goal for this is simply to get back into shape. As in, get fit again, and I’m hoping this 2-week journey will be the start of regular workouts again.

I won’t be changing my diet and I don’t think I’ll lose any weight, but I do hope to tone back up and lose a few cm’s if possible. As such, I’ll post up my before and after numbers to see if there’s a difference. Not that there’s anything wrong with how I look now (I literally just posted an Instagram Story about how I liked how I looked haha) but it’d still be nice to know in case it helps to encourage you on your fitness journey.

Please check back on my progress and leave me a message to keep me motivated. That’s another reason I’m posting this online — because it’s very likely I’ll get lazy and give up otherwise. Let’s begin!

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Read Bible With Me: 2 Corinthians, ESV

This post was last updated and completed on 6/26/2020.

I’m aiming to upload reading through the entire Bible at some point. Let’s see how that goes. For the time being, thanks for reading with me! The full playlist is here:

Individual chapter videos are below:

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