Merry Christmas from Interesting Money!

No matter who you are, where you are, or what your lot is in life, I wish you a heartfelt Merry Christmas from Interesting Money!

My hope is that you are able to devote time to friends, family, and other loved ones this time of year. This past year has been rough financially, and I know that my own meager portfolio is down much more than I care to consider.

Still, none of that is important right now. Happiness is not measured in net worth, but instead, in friendship, love, and memories.

My wife and I are sharing Christmas with only each other this year, since we live quite far from any relatives. That’s our tree in the picture? Like it? It’s our living, economical Christmas tree. :-)

Yep, there are a few presents under it, all shipped in from the in-laws. Due to our status as poor grad students, my wife and I agreed months ago that we were not buying any presents for each other. Instead, we will likely curl up together on the couch with a blanket and some hot chocolate. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier.

Best wishes, warm greetings, and Happy Holidays!

Sigh. Fed Cuts Rate to Almost Zero Percent

As expected, the Fed cut its key lending rate to almost 0% today. Apparently, it’s in a variable range between 0% and 0.25%. Wow.

I suppose the only good news here is that the Fed really has no more room to slash rates. All it can really do now is pump billions/trillions of dollars into the money supply.

The bad news is that we can expect banks to start slashing their savings rates accordingly. I’m updating the rate Wiki right now with some recent drops that I missed a few days ago, but I expect more to fall soon, perhaps starting with ING and WaMu/Chase.

Hold on to your pocketbooks, folks.

WTDirect Winter Bonus Blast – Savings Account Cash Bonus ($50-250)

(Rates may be out-dated. Please see the Current APY Wiki for updates)

WTDirect is offering up to $250 bonus for new customers who open a savings account. Here’s a link to the promo page:

Winter Bonus Blast Promo

More details

  • OPEN a new account — use promotion code WTG3DNC
  • LINK an existing bank account to your new WTDirect account during the application process.
  • FUND your new WTDirect account by initiating an online transfer by 12/22/08.
  • EARN your bonus — calculated by determining the average balance from 1/1/09 – 2/28/09.
    During that time, you will have 100% access to your funds.
  • RECEIVE your cash bonus in mid-March. It will be deposited directly to your WTDirect account.

WTDirect currently pays 3.06% APY on accounts with a $10,000 balance or greater. For poor people like myself, scraping together 10k is a mighty hurdle. For balances that fall below 10k, they only pay a paltry 0.5% APY.

Fortunately, there is no minimum balance required to open the account. WTDirect grants a 60-day window – ALL funds earn the top rate for the first 60 days. After that, the rate drops to 0.5% unless you’ve met the required 10k. For more information, see their FAQ page.

Other information

WTDirect routing number – 052173464

Type of credit inquiry – soft

Number of allowed linked accounts – unlimited

If you can muster at least 10k, this is an easy opportunity to earn $50 or more. In this crappy economy, any extra cash is welcome!

Thanks to reader “Bill” for notifying me of the bonus offer.