December in Review

Ally Bank - December in Review

Ally Bank’s Straight Talk blog helps you make the most of your money. But sometimes money can lead to awkward situations.

To help you handle those, this month Ally served up the exclusive new series, “Financial Etiquette with Randy Cohen.”  In these videos, the former New York Times “Ethicist” coaches you on how to handle tricky – but common – money-related situations. Whether you’re wondering if you can “re-gift” or need a response when someone asks you to donate to their charities or borrow your weekend home, Randy had you covered.

Plus, as always, Straight Talk gave you the news and advice you need to make your money work harder for you. Some highlights from this month:

The Dos and Don’ts of Planning a Vacation: You’ve done all the saving. Now how do you make sure your money goes far when planning your vacation? We showed you the money-wise way to plan your getaway.

Savings Talk: American Savings Trends Over the Past 50 Years: Sometimes, Americans can have trouble saving. Why is that and what do people need to think about when it comes to putting money away? Savings expert Andrea Woroch gave us the answers.

Why Don’t Americans Take More Vacation Time? [INFOGRAPHIC] Despite studies that found a relationship between vacations and increased workplace productivity, a significant number of Americans are neglecting to take all their vacation days. This Ally infographic paints a picture of why workers aren’t taking more time off.

Should You be Filing Quarterly Taxes? if you’re a freelancer, small business owner or self-employed, you may be required to pay quarterly estimated taxes. We showed you how to figure out how much you’ll owe.

Elsewhere across the web, other sites also offered helpful primers on personal finance, including:

Career Lessons from Gen Y: For those who could use a survival manual in the new economy, MONEY® magazine suggested following the examples set by Generation Y. Born after 1981, this group constantly learns new skills, expects to switch careers, prefers to work for companies that serve society, and trusts their elders.

Planwise Makes it Easier to Plan Out Your Financial Goals: If you’ve ever wondered how a sudden major expense or a drastic income shift will affect your finances, Mashable had a web app for you. Called Planwise, the app helps users visualize how financial events can impact your bank account.

The Eye-Opening Costs of America’s Insomnia: More Americans are seeking help for sleep related conditions like sleep apnea, MarketWatch said. Our lack of sleep, the site says, is costing over $60 billion in lost productivity.

Wean Your Teen Off the Bank of Mom and Dad: The Wall Street Journal explained why teaching your kids the value of earning and saving right away will pay great dividends later on.

Did the December holidays affect your savings? What did you learn from Ally’s Straight Talk blog?

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