Betterment Interview With CEO Jon Stein

jon stein bettermentYou may have seen ads around this blog before.  In fact, I have one up on my sidebar right now.  Betterment is one of the few companies that I support and recommend all my readers to utilize in their total financial portfolio.

I was approached a while back to interview Jon Stein and took the opportunity to do just that!  I had the chance to ask some deeper questions than usual.  Jon Stein was a pleasure to interview and I love his passion for helping average Americans!  But first, here’s a short snapshot of his background from

Jon is the Chief Executive Officer of Betterment, which he co-founded in 2007. Prior to creating Betterment, Jon spent his career developing better financial products, platforms, and investment strategies for international banks, brokers and other financial institutions.

At First Manhattan Consulting Group, he counseled a number of the world’s most prominent financial institutions on issues ranging from product design to strategies to mitigate the risks inherent in their products. Jon is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Series 7 and 24 Registered Securities Representative, and a graduate of Harvard University (Economics) and Columbia Business School.

He has appeared on NBC, Bloomberg, and Fox and quoted in the New York Times, CNNMoney, and Investment News. His interests lie at the intersection of behavior, psychology, and economics. What excites him most about his work is making everyday activities and products more efficient, accessible, and easy to use.

Hopefully this Betterment interview gives you some more insight as to what Betterment is about and how their services can benefit you and your retirement goals.  Sit back and enjoy the following interview!

Hi Jon, thanks for this opportunity to interview you! I’m a huge supporter of what you’re doing over at  But first, tell us your quick background story. How did you get to where you are today?

At Harvard, I studied psychology and economics. So I’ve always been passionate about helping people make smart decisions with their money.

When I graduated, I had a little cash and I wanted to invest it. My first purchase? Enron. I knew better, and still I didn’t follow the best teachings of modern finance â“ diversifying, re-balancing, indexing.

Then, I spent years working as a consultant for big banks, and found that typical financial products were optimized for corporate profits, not for real people’s goals. Friends would ask me, What should I do with my money?❠Seeing no good answers, and knowing that Wall Street was not looking out for the average individual investor, I felt I had to create a better way.


What is the history of How did it start and what has the journey looked like up to this point?

In 2007, I left my cushy banking job and enrolled in the MBA program at Columbia. I knew I wanted to start a company â“ Betterment â“ I had the name already â“ but the details were still taking shape.

In August 2008, I brought in a few great colleagues who were experienced in financial services, technology, and law. So began our 2-year journey through regulators and technology. We actually finished our site a day before we launched to the public â“ it was down to the wire. We officially launched at Tech Crunch Disrupt in May 2010, where we were voted Best New York Start-Up.

Through my education and in working with large financial institutions, I learned a few things, one of which was that I was no smarter than thousands of others looking at the market, and I didn’t have better information. I was best off applying the concept of Modern Portfolio Theory â“ that there’s no better portfolio to own than the market portfolio â“ than trying to beat the market. So the principles of Betterment were in place long before we had a product.


What is the vision for Betterment?

Betterment’s vision is to make smarter investing accessible to hard-working, busy people like you and me â“ to make Wall Street work for the rest of us.


What is the structure of Betterment and why do you recommend it to the average American?

Betterment is smart investing made easy. We blend the simplicity of an online bank account with the higher long-term returns associated with investing in stocks and bonds. You can quickly and easily transfer money from your checking account by linking it to Betterment electronically. There are no minimum balances, no transaction fees, no holding periods, and no hidden costs. You’ll just pay a low annual management fee of 0.3% â“ 0.9% of your average balance.

As far as your portfolio, you’ll be invested in a blend of stock and bond Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). With stocks, you’re invested in index funds that are chosen to reflect the U.S. economy as well as some select markets around the worldâ”it’s like owning a little piece of every company in America and then some. Your bond investment is made up of U.S. Treasury bond ETFs that are backed by the U.S. Government. You get to choose a blend that gives you the broadly diversified portfolio that’s right for you. We’ll also automatically rebalance the allocation you set in order to maximize your returns.

The coolest thing about our structure is that we are both a broker/dealer and a registered investment advisor. Because of this we can provide people with sound financial recommendations and the tools to implement those recommendations all in one platform. In just a few clicks of the mouse, your assets can be broadly diversified and invested toward your long term goals. And each of your goals can have a different plan. You set the timeline and asset allocation for each, and we advise you on how much to invest to make your goals reality. Whether you are investing for retirement or saving for a house â“ or both â“ we have you covered.

The other awesome thing is how efficient our platform is, since it’s all automated and built on the latest technologies. We pass the savings on to customers.

It’s the best way to invest â“ the highest risk-adjusted returns for the lowest cost. You save a bundle versus paying brokers to do all this stuff for you, and you don’t pay some guy in a suit to give you so-called advice.❠You invest in a smart way with tens of thousands of people like you. What could be better?


What are the choices for a typical investor?  Can you give us a brief synopsis of how a typical investor would go about starting an account and getting started?

Starting an account at Betterment could not be simpler (or faster). All you do is link your checking account, set your asset allocation using a slider, and then relax and let your money grow. There is no minimum balance and no paperwork to fill out. In about 5 minutes you can start your journey to become a better investor.


Is there any catch❠in terms of fees or trading costs?

At Betterment there are no transaction or trading costs and no hidden fees. All you pay is a low annual management fee of 0.3% to 0.9%, depending on your balance. For a balance like $100,000, the annual fee is $750, which is far less than folks pay for in-person advisory solutions, and all the execution is included.


For the readers out there, what type of protection do you provide investors in terms of insurance?

Betterment is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, and Betterment Securities is a broker-dealer regulated by FINRA and the SEC. The securities in your account are protected up to $500,000 by SIPC. Betterment is simple and transparent. Your money is invested in well-established funds, chosen for their good management, efficiency, and long track records.


What mistakes do you see investors make and how does Betterment help investors avoid these mistakes?

Some common mistakes that come to mind are buying when the market is low and selling when it’s high, remembering our winners and forgetting our losers, and failing to adhere to good investment practices like re-balancing and dollar cost averaging.

Through our platform, we encourage our customers to invest for the long term. Accounts are based on goals and we ask for specific time lines to those goals. By focusing on long term investing, we steer customers away from trying to beat the market and from those irrational daily impulses. In addition we automatically re-balance all customer portfolios every quarter or any time an asset allocation moves 5% away from its target. And finally, we offer automatic deposit which allows customers to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging. By making automated, regular contributions to your Betterment account, you avoid costly and common timing mistakes.


Say, I open an account and start investing with Betterment. How do I adjust my asset allocation or is this automated?

Adjusting your asset allocation is extremely simple. Within your account you will find an asset allocation slider. You move the slider between stocks (more risk) and bonds (less risk). We encourage you to set the allocation you desire to start, and then sit back and relax. Frequent asset allocation changes typically don’t lead to higher returns. We regularly check to make sure your allocation stays on target, and automatically re-balance quarterly as well as any time it strays more than 5% away from that target.


With many people on I-phones and android devices, is Betterment integrated electronically to make balance adjustments or receive notifications?

We have an iphone app so you can do all the cool things you do on the computer right from your mobile device. You can add and withdraw money, set your asset allocation, and check your account activity right in the palm of your hand.


I’ve heard you use the saying social finance.❠What do you mean by that and what does it mean to investors?

At Betterment we are a community of savers invested in the broad stock market together. We provide tools such as peer comparisons to help each other make the right choices. You’ll be able to see for yourself how others like you (in your same age bracket, earning the same income, and with the same gender) are investing so you can compare and learn as you go. So if you aren’t alreadyâ”you’ll soon be an investing wiz.


Does Betterment offer training and education resources?

Our website provides a wealth of information about investing and why we’ve chosen the Betterment portfolio. If you aren’t familiar with ETFs, you can access our FAQ and get all of the information you need. Or perhaps you are an active investor who wants a little bit more knowledge about our portfolio. You can find a downloadable prospectus for each fund right on the website. Most importantly, we are always available to take customer calls and emails. We have a devoted customer service team, and we make sure that everyone at Betterment interfaces with our customers. If you have a question about your account, you might end up chatting directly with me!


What type of growth have you seen with Betterment and where do you see Betterment 10 years from now?

I am so happy with the growth Betterment has experienced thus far. We have more and more customers every day, and in just 6 months we have tripled the size of our team and quadrupled the size of our customer base! In 10 years I hope to see Betterment providing ideal investing solutions for tens of millions of people like you and me.


Jon, thank you so much for your time!  To end this interview, I have one last question for you.  What one piece of advice would you give my readers to be successful with their investments and retire without money worries?

Thank YOU, Jon. It’s a pleasure. The one piece of advice I can give your readers is to start now. Did you know that if you start saving for retirement when you are 25 instead of 35 you could end up with twice as much money?

It is important to focus on the long term, and if you want to maximize your investment returns and retire with cushion, invest in a diversified, liquid portfolio. Set it and forget it, and you will see your money grow.


Want to find out more?

I’m sure you’re super interested in what Betterment has to offer.  Who knows, you may even be starting the journey of saving for retirement and don’t know where to invest?  Betterment is the place to go if you’re feeling lost.  In fact, they are offering a $25 signup bonus right now just for singing up!  you can click the banner below to go straight to the bonus!

If you’d like to know more on their services, I wrote a review a while back explaining a little more in depth about what Betterment provides.  You can access that interview here.

Photo by TCDisrupt

Yakezie Roundup #10

Welcome to the tenth weekend roundup at Free Money Wisdom!  I have some great updates and some awesome links to share with you.  I hope you’ve had a wonderful week.  I had a very busy work week and barely had time to work on this website!

So, I’m going about my normal day on Friday and hot the gym like usual.  Well, during my post-lift cardio session, I had a “light-bulb” experience.  These experiences are not rare by the way.  I swear some of my best ides come to me during cardio sessions lol.

Anyways, I was thinking about the one thing that would make this blog great.  Not just great, but truly great.  Then it hit me.  I have seriously been slacking on providing you, the reader with quality personal content.  By that, I mean that I have neglected my posting and have had one too many guest posts.  Part of this is laziness on my part.  Or maybe I’ve been too busy and haven’t managed my time very well…  Either or, I have failed in terms of my content.

I’m going to focus my energy going forward on my writing.  Not link building, not socializing, and not wasting my time.  Writing is going to be my focus.  I have so many life experiences to share with you so I’m pumped about that!  Even better though, these life experiences can teach you how to manage your money in a God glorifying, wise way.  It’s a win win.  I’m also thrilled to get to know more of you better.  If you’re reading this, feel free to email me and ask me questions or just email me to make a new friend.  I want to be known for my “open door” policy and keeping the conversation going.  You excited or what!

Now, onto the weekend roundup!  I found some really solid articles from the Yakezie network this past week and couldn’t help but include them.  I learned a lot from these articles and I’m sure you will too.  Happy reading:


Top posts of the week!

Do you respect your money? over at Money Mamba

Saving for a down payment over at Money is the Root

Student Loan Debt Clock over at the Family CEO

How to embrace a sustainable living lifestyle over at Prairie EcoThrifter

Frugal Eats over at Bucksome Boomer

American Express Gold Card annual fee waived over at My Journey to Millions

Do you ever lose track of the big picture? over at the Financial Blogger

How much do I need to save for retirement? over at Frugal Zeitgeist

Super Simple Spinach Salmon Enchiladas! over at the Saved Quarter

How to set up a financial contingency plan over at Not Made of Money


Links to my staff writing, please share on your social networks!

Money as a relationship builder over at Gen X Finance

Make extra money with yard sales over at Debt Free Adventure

Co-signing: What does the Bible say? over at Christian PF

Rebates are a sham and I hate them over at Free From Broke


Carnivals yayyyy!

Festival of Frugality #298

Yakezie Carnival

Canadian Finance Carnival #55

Totally Money Carnival

Carnival of Personal Finance #238


Yakezie Roundup #8

I survived the great blackout in San Diego!  If you haven’t heard about the recent electricity blackout, you can check out more about it here.  People say it was a historic moment for the West coast.  I have to agree with that statement!

I was driving back from some errands for work when it happened.  I’m cruising through downtown San Diego and all of a sudden all the street lights were killed.  Not even flashing, like they were all out completely!  No big deal, I thought.  I kept driving and driving and at this point I was pretty far away from downtown and the street lights were still out.  When I finally got to work some of my coworkers told me what happened.  They said the major grid in San Diego was killed and over a million people were without power!

As it turned out, it wasn’t just us here in San Diego.  I guess parts of Mexico and Arizona lost power also.  When we’ve lost power in the past it’s taken quite a few hours to get it back.  I had a sinking feeling in my stomach and knew that it would be at least a day before the power came back on.

It was a surreal experience going home.  All gas stations closed, restaurants clearing out their food, and every retail store without lights.  I ended up driving around that night and was shocked at the quietness and lack of electricity around San Diego.

Later that night, I heard that Target was open so I thought I would go and check it out.  You would not believe the long lines and what people were buying.  I swear there was a line that wrapped around the store and people had carts full of candles and dry foods.  It was shocking.  It also reminded me that Americans are terrible about disaster preparedness.

As a lesson, I’ll be starting my own emergency preparedness kit and writing an article on it in the near future.  It’s an important topic that everyone should be familiar with.

Now, what would a blackout be without some of my favorite links of the week!  As usual, here are my top ten favorite articles of the week from around the Yakezie community.  Enjoy!

Bowling leagues are dang expensive over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

5 simple ways to take advantage of low interest credit cards over at Faithful With a Few

9 things to do when you retire over at Free from Broke

Is cash still king? I’m starting to have my doubts over at Life and my Finances

Leaving kids at home when school shopping? over at Everyday Tips and Thoughts

Pros and cons of cashback credit cards over at Live Real, Now

Homework spaces and places over at The Centsible Life

Rich people are going to hell over at Punch Debt in the Face

I bet against america.  I’m not patriotic? over at Darwin’s Money

Katy Perry and personal finance: maxing out those credit cards over at Squirrelers


It’s been a busy week and have had friends and family visit me here in San Diego, so it’s been quiet on the staff writing front.  Here are the few I wrote this week:

Wedding budgets: slash expenses with these 5 tips over at Christian PF Review over at Deliver Away Debt


Carnivals I was featured in this week-

Festival of Frugality #296

Totally Money Carnival #36

Best of Money Carnival #120

Carnival of Wealth Fall Edition

Yakezie Carnival 9/11 Edition

Carnival of Financial Planning #198

Yakezie Weekend Roundup #7

It’s that time again, another weekend  roundup of the best posts of the week.  It was a busy week and got a lot done on this blog.  I’m excited to see the constant growth.  I can’t believe that almost 8 months has gone by!

If you are reading this, thank you for your support and readership.  This blog would be nowhere without people like YOU.  If you haven’t yet, go grab my free 7-day e-course on tips for retiring a millionaire.  The competition for $50 is still going so don’t miss out on this free cash opportunity!

It’s been beautiful weather here in San Diego and I keep praising God for it!  Speaking of good weather, I really need to hit the beach soon, it’s been a while 🙂

Without further a-do, here are the top ten articles from this past week!

Making more than my husband and we are loving it! over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

New Jersey activates price gouging laws in reaction to hurricane Irene over at Faithful with a Few

The reasons to build wealth over at Buy Like Buffett

All advice is not created equal over at Thousandaire

Understanding marginal propensity to consume over at Faith and Finance

Compensation for nurses: hourly wages verses salaried over at Dr. Dean

Money saving international travel tips over at Money Help for Christians

Your options if employment cuts you over at Money Green Life

Transportation alternatives for one car families over at Free From Broke

I like it but I don’t know why over at Wealth Informatics


As always, I staff write for quite a few websites, here they are.  Don’t forget to +1 and Tweet these articles!

Hidden value of work over at Debt Free Adventure

It might be time to break up with your bank over at Bible Money Matters

Real estate investing for beginners over at PT Money

Indiana Jones guide to personal finance over at ChristianPF

10 ways to simplify your finances over at GenX Finance

Honeymoon spots on the cheap over at Free From Broke


I was featured in some blog carnivals this week again

Canadian Finance Carnival #51

Carnival of Wealth, ephemeral edition

Festival of Frugality #295


Weekend note from JonDon’t let up.  When you feel like everyone around you is  splurging  and spending money that is the perfect time to sit back and resist the temptation!  I know it’s hard but don’t give in.  Be different, be goal oriented.  Have a good week everyone!

Yakezie Roundup #6

lassoAnother great week has gone by, where oh where does the time go!  It seriously feels like my days aren’t long enough.  Or maybe I’m just bad at time management haha.

This was a frugal week for me.  I boosted my emergency fund back to where it was a couple months ago with the help of earnings from this blog!  Yes, if you didn’t know by now, I do make a nice side income from writing articles for Free Money Wisdom.  If you had asked me 6 months ago if I would make money with a site, I would have laughed at you!

In other news, I’ve been going back and forth about buying a long board.  Considering they’re around 200 bucks, it’s pretty steep for my wallet!  Luckily, I found out that there is a shop here in San Diego that rents long boards per hour.  How cool is that!  Realistically, I’m not going to take my board out very often anyways, renting just makes more sense for me right now.

OK, now for this week’s links!  Here are ten of my favorite Yakezie member articles, enjoy:

Investing in your marriage over at Money Help for Christians

Lending Club: how I select my investments over at Beating Broke

What to do with savings now over at Wealth Pilgrim

How much money do I need to retire? over at Canadian Finance Blog

Are you frugal at the expense of enjoying life? over at Mom’s Plan

Performing the study and work balancing act over at The College Investor

Budgeting according to your salary over at Frugal Zeitgeist

Blogging at the local arabica coffee house over at Money Reasons

Dividend yielding stocks – I learn something new every day over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

What is piercing the corporate veil? over at Financial Samurai


As always, I like to showcase my staff writing.  If you have a chance to read them, that would be great!  Here they are:

4 financial fantasies to avoid over at Christian PF

Real estate investing for beginners over at PTMoney

What you can’t hold in an IRA over at Free from Broke


I submit to multiple blog carnivals each week and had the pleasure of being accepted into a couple of them.  Check them out and be sure to read articles from other sites!

33rd Totally Money Carnival over at Parenting Family Money

Best of Money Carnival 117 over at Pastor Personal Finance




Yakezie Weekend Roundup #4

Man, what a week!  Sorry if you haven’t heard from me or seen me around.  My girlfriend has been in town I’ve been super busy!  It was a great week full of beaches, Hollywood, and relaxing with friends.  I need more weeks like this…

So, I did manage to read some excellent article during the week, so here is my weekend roundup with some of the finest reads!

In other news, I’m launching a free giveaway tomorrow for my latest e-course “How to Retire a Millionaire.”  Keep your eyes peeled, it’s coming tomorrow morning!

Here are some of my favorite articles this week:

Best cash back credit cards over at Free Money Finance

How to build an emergency fund over at Canadian Finance

Going Green on a budget over at Prairie EcoThrifter

Where to get free stuff over at Wealth Informatics

It’s our anniversary again over at KNS Financial

Go green, reuse household items and save money over at Sustainable Life Blog

Not your parent’s money book review over at The Amateur Financier

You have no freaking idea, do you? over at Control your Cash

Homeowners Insurance Rates Increase?  over at Ultimate Money Blog

Negotiating with your spouse over at Car Negotiation Coach


My staff writing pieces for other websites:

TradeMonster Review over at Money Crashers

Disappearing Middle Class over at Debt Free Adventure

Saying no is not always easy over at Christian Personal Finance

6 Mutual Funds to Hedge Against Inflation over at GenX Finance


Carnivals I was featured in this week:

Totally Money Carnival  #33 over at Free From Broke


What’s next?

Free Money Wisdom is growing fast, it sure is exciting.  I just wanted to let you know that I will keep up the every other day writing and not slack off.  If you haven’t already, subscribe for my free e-course.  I’m brainstorming ideas for my e-book, any ideas?


Have a great week folks!


photo by dimodi

Yakezie Weekend Roundup #3

weekend roundupWow, it feels like it’s been a crazy week.  Top it off with clouds during the month of August in San Diego, what the heck is up with that!

Things have been exciting around here!  If you haven’t heard, I finally launched my e-course “How to Retire a Millionaire.”  It’s been getting nothing but positive feedback.  Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you can access.  Enter your email on the right!


Anyways, here are some of my favorite reads this week:  

Wandering Earl presents “Death of Random Travel Experiences.”

Squirrelers presents “Revisiting the Rule of 72.”

Canadian Finance Blog presents “How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?”

The CollegeInvestor presents “The Biggest Credit Card Mistakes Young People Make and How You Can Avoid Them.”

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents “Should I Hire a Staff Writer?”

Financial Samurai presents “Improve Productivity an Extra 7 Hours a Week.”

Money Green Life presents “Stock Market Sucks: How to Protect Your 401k During Market Downturn.”

Dr. Dean presents “Dog Food Factoids: Ten You Need to Know.”  

Money Crush presents “Sell High, Buy Low.”  

Everything Finance presents “Does a Credit Rating Downgrade mean an upswing in Rates?”



I don’t just write for Free Money Wisdom, I staff write for some of the most popular personal finance blogs on the internet.  Here are a few of my articles on the other sites:

“Retirement RMD Basics” over at Bible Money Matters

“How to Avoid Buying a Used Car Lemon”  over at Free From Broke

“What Drives Foreign Currency Exchange Markets?” over at Gen X Finance

“Is Saving for Retirement During College Wise?” over at Outlaw Finance


As for blog carnivals, I’ll be focusing more on those these next few months.  Looking forward to another epic week.  God bless and stay safe!

photo by williac

Yakezie Weekend Roundup #2

blog postsWell, it was another fantastic week.  Not only was it a solid week for me at my day job but it was a huge week for Free Money Wisdom.  If you haven’t noticed, there is a new picture on the right sidebar.  It’s my new e-course called “How to Retire a Millionaire: The Only Guide You Will Ever Need!”  It is a completely free e-course pack filled with all the information and tools you need to be financially successful and retire with millions.  I was asked by numerous friends and coworkers to produce something that was all in one spot, so this e-course is it!

Also, there has been a higher number of reader comments and unique views, which I’m thrilled about!  Props goes out to the Yakezie community for making this happen.  Without the members of Yakezie, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  As always, here are blog posts that I really enjoyed reading this week!

“Lean In” over at KrantCents

“Don’t be a fool, focus on school” over at Beating Broke

“NUTS, staying the course” over at Beating the Index

“Amazon Prime review, Is it for you?” over at PF Firewall

“Take advantage of your extended health benefits” over at Young and Thrifty

“5 alternatives to gym memberships” over at Couple Money

“Why many rich people are only fooling themselves” over at Len Penzo Blog

“What would you do?  Tips to make smart money choices” over at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance

“Cancel your newspaper and magazine subscription” over at Retire By 40

“Get $12 off eco friendly lunchboxes at Mamasource” over at Mom’s Plans


I don’t know if you know this but I do a fair amount of guest posting on some big name blogs.  Here are some articles around the web that I wrote!

“Who cares if your 401k is negative?” over at Outlaw Finance

“Using cash is the only way to go!” over at Debt Free Adventure

“How to choose a credit union” over at ChristianPF

“Know your stuff before renting out your home” over at PTMoney

“Prepare for your next financial crisis” over at Generation X Finance

“Playing the retirement catch-up game in your 40’s” over at Free From Broke


I hope you enjoyed this roundup!  Have a wonderful week and God Bless!

photo by  mariareyesmcdavis


A Programmable Thermostat is a Must


When it comes to home cost, energy is one of the biggest concerns for every household. Whether it’s summer or winter, when the monthly bill comes around, we see the overwhelming cost of heating and cooling. Many have moved out of larger homes simply because they couldn’t afford the heating and cooling bills. You don’t have to put all of your belongings into a self storage unit and cram into a smaller home to avoid these high costs.

Thermostat is your solution

There is an easy solution with programmable thermostats. Your utility costs will be reduced to great affect by a simple update like this. Most newer homes come with these updated energy rated thermostat controls already built in, but millions of homes are still using outdated technology that’s incredibly inefficient and costs the average homeowner a small fortune every year.

A fix for  inefficiency

These greener❠systems have been pushed for years now, but people have been slow to adopt them. Part of this reason is because people don’t know how they differ from the older models. The idea behind them is simple: you can set your thermostat to automatically shut off or reduce the temperature while you’re not at home. Most people leave their air conditioning running while they’re away from home so they don’t have to walk into a furnace right when they get home. Then on the other hand, people wait to turn it on until they get home and then the thermostat works twice as hard to cool the house in order to make it comfortable. This is a very inefficient way to moderate the temperature of your home.

When you install one of these devices, you can set it to lower the energy output until about a half hour before you get home so that way you’re not wasting a lot of energy while no one’s there to use it. You don’t have to constantly obsess about your energy usage and you don’t have to worry about manually setting it all the time. This way your thermostat will kick on a half an hour before you wake up and then turn off as you’re leaving. This way you can reduce the energy you’re using and cut the cost of heating and cooling all year around.

Where do I get one?

You can buy one of these devices at any home improvement store and they’ll usually set you back somewhere between 25 and 100 dollars. This is if you’re installing it yourself. If you have someone else do it, it’s going to cost more. With one of these devices installed in your home you can save, depending on how you use it, hundreds of dollars every year. If you’re lowering the thermostat by several degrees, you’re going to save way more. By some estimates, if the average household lowers their heat by just one degree you can reduce the annual heading costs up to five percent.

The programmable thermostat doesn’t save you money just by being installed. You have to use them effectively and utilize their programming features. It’s not complicated at all, and you’ll know how to operate it by reading the very easy to understand manual that it comes with. So if you’re interested in reducing your energy costs, as well as your carbon footprint, then look into getting one of these highly useful tools for those frigid winters and unbearable summers.

photo by andybutkaj

Yakezie Weekend Round-up #1

Well, it was yet another epic week of personal finance articles from my good friends over at Yakezie. In light of the current negotiations with the United States debt limit, I think it’s more important than ever that we take control of our finances, get rid of debt and live a truly American lifestyle.

In other big news, I’m officially a member of the Yakezie network!  This is big news for this blog, it’s been a battle to get down to 200,000 Alexa rating.  Currently I’m sitting at 120,000 and still dropping.  I’d love to see 75,000 by December!  It was a journey full of new relationships and tons of hard work.  Finally completing the Yakezie challenge is what is giving me extra inspiration to keep working on this site and put in even more hours.  To those that helped me get here (you know who), a big THANK YOU!


Here are some epic articles from this past week:

Buy Like Buffet- Semiconductor Penny Stocks

KNS Financial- Giving Wishlist

Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance- Surprising Moving Expenses

Yes, I Am Cheap- Record Wealth Gap

Everyday Tips and Thoughts- Ipod Design – Where is the Variety?

Early Retirement Extreme- Join the Military or Retire Early?

Sweating the Big Stuff- Used Car Buying Tips

Wandering Earl- Terrible Photos of Europe

Young and Thrifty- How a Storage Unit Can Save You Money

Krant Cents- When Did I Get Old?


Here are the carnivals I’ve been featured in recently:

Festival of Frugality #290


Carnival of Wealth