I have stuff cluttering my apartment, my office, my parent’s house, and my thoughts due to nostalgia. It has a negative effect on my productivity and happiness, but what about my wallet?

I know it affects my income due to reduced productivity so I’m working on de-cluttering, but I can tell you exactly what one particular piece of nostalgia has cost me in the last six months: $19. What was it? A savings account. More specifically, my very first savings account. My parents opened it for me at First Vermont Bank and it’s followed me through quite a few mergers and acquisitions since.

Unfortunately, earlier this year it dropped below the $250 minimum when I got into a pinch. I never even realized it had ever acquired a minimum balance. I immediately called my bank, they refunded the fee, and I transferred enough money in to bring it back up above the minimum.

A few months later, I again had to let it drop below the minimum and I haven’t been able to restore it since so had been paying $4 a month in fees. What’s worse? That savings account only had a 0.01% APR, so even trying to keep it at the minimum was only earning me 2¢ a month. I obviously had not been following my own advice.

So, on Monday I closed the account and transferred the remaining $35 into a savings account currently earning 1.3% APR. Had I done this months ago I would’ve not only saved the $19 in fees, but also would have earned higher interest on the larger sum. Better late than never, but stupid nonetheless.

Comedian Louis C.K., on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, discussing how things have changed during his lifetime:

And then, if you wanted money you had to go in the bank for… when it was open for, like, three hours… you had to stand in line, write yourself a check like an idiot, and then, when you ran out of money, you would just go, “Oh, well, I can’t do anymore things now.”

Now our, “Crappiest generation of spoiled idiots,” just continues to borrow when we’re out of money. I catch myself putting stuff on my credit card all the time because I (1) didn’t get cash out, (2) am waiting for payday, or (3) really can’t afford it at all.

BTW – Can anyone help me find a higher quality, more official link to this clip?

[Via Leo Babauta]

A wonderfully arranged 11 minute animation giving an even broader overview of the credit crisis than the FRONTLINE documentary.

Note: He got slammed with a $6K hosting bill over the weekend due to it’s popularity, so buy a shirt to help him pay the bills.

Update: Embedded the entire video from Vimeo instead of the two-parter from YouTube, for your viewing pleasure.

[Via Daring Fireball]

Excellent overview of how and why the financial meltdown evolved and what was done to try to keep in in check. Very well written and directed as well.

[Via Jason Fried]

SmartyPig is for people who want to save for specific goals. […] Just tell us what you’re saving for, how much you want to save and when you want to reach your goal, and we’ll suggest an automatic monthly deposit you’ll make from your existing checking or saving account until you reach your goal.

An interesting and probably very helpful concept. It’s got a higher interest rate (3.9% APY at the time of writing) than my ING Direct Orange Savings account which just—understandably—dropped from 3.0% APY to 2.75% APY.

The downside: you won’t be earning as much interest as you would if you kept all your savings together. However, the fact that others can contribute to your goals and that you’re looking at “goals” as opposed to account numbers are probably significant benefits.

Of course, it’s FDIC insured.