Shopping en-US The 5 Best Bicycle Helmets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bicycle-helmets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="family biking" title="family biking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bicycling is a widely enjoyed activity that carries a multitude of health benefits along with being a very environmentally friendly means of transport. However, riding a bicycle also requires wearing the proper safety equipment to ensure that the rider is well protected when accidents happen. A bicycle helmet is an especially crucial accessory that all bicyclists should have on that'll decrease their risk of severe head injuries.</p> <p>While choosing a good bicycle helmet may seem easy enough, there are actually many important elements to consider. We here at Wise Bread have done the research for you, and we're happy to present our top five list of the best bicycle helmets you can buy.</p> <h2>What Is a Bicycle Helmet?</h2> <p>A bicycle helmet is a safety device worn on the head that's designed to protect the user from severe head injuries in cases when the user falls off of a bicycle as well as to eliminate interference in the user's peripheral vision when riding a bicycle. The most ideal bicycle helmets come with a lightweight design, good ventilation, and a comfortable fit.</p> <p>Bicycle helmets come in a wide variety of different designs, with some models specifically tailored to fit female riders and children. It is very important for bicyclists to wear a bicycle helmet while riding for their own personal safety. Certain U.S. states and international countries have established laws making it illegal to not wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bike.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bicycle Helmets</h2> <h3>Giro Aeon
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005QY7Y86&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4VMBUOVLPWVE2R6U"><img width="200" height="165" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>An ideal option for devoted bicyclists, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005QY7Y86&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4VMBUOVLPWVE2R6U">Giro Aeon</a> is a Consumer Search top pick that provides an incredibly comfortable and lightweight bicycle helmet that looks just as good as it feels. One of the Aeon's most popular features is its innovative Roc Loc 5 fit system that comes with a micro-adjusting dial and a three-position bracket. Together, they let you easily adjust the helmet's tightness and vertical position with just one hand while you're riding for the most satisfying fit.</p> <p>Thanks to a one-piece exoskeleton design that merges an impact-absorbing EPS inner lining with a polycarbonate outer shell, the Aeon is capable of providing excellent protection without being a burden to wear. This helmet also incorporates a special WindTunnel ventilation system into its design that optimally channels cool air over the user's head and forces hot air out to prevent overheating.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005QY7Y86&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4VMBUOVLPWVE2R6U"><em>Currently $186.98 for a medium size on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Specialized Echelon II
</h3> <p><a href=""><img width="200" height="124" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href="">Specialized Echelon II</a> bicycle helmet delivers a worthy update to the original Echelon, which was a Consumer Reports top pick, that will surely please riders who want an advanced bicycle helmet with a more affordable price tag. Don't let the Echelon II's sleek, lightweight design fool you; this helmet is equipped with a composite matrix internal reinforcement structure that effectively protects your head during accidents along with providing larger air vents for more efficient cooling.</p> <p>The Echelon II also comes with a micro-adjustable dial and four different height options that you can easily adjust while riding. A Tri-Fix web splitter makes adjusting the helmet's side straps wonderfully simple, and reflective decals are incorporated into the helmet's design to ensure optimal visibility during nighttime rides.</p> <p><a href=""><em>Currently $65.00 on Specialized's official website</em></a></p> <h3>Giro Skyla
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062CSL8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSA64742ECV2M3ME"><img width="200" height="155" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Another Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062CSL8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSA64742ECV2M3ME">Giro Skyla</a> is a bicycle helmet made just for female riders that offers outstanding protection and comfort along with a terrific female-oriented design. Like many of Giro's quality helmets, the Skyla is comprised of an in-molded construction that combines an inner foam liner with an outer polycarbonate shell complete with 20 air vents that allows the helmet to be very protective as well as lightweight and breathable.</p> <p>Not only does it come with an Acu Dial fit system that lets riders adjust the helmet's fit while riding with just a single hand, many female users appreciate how the Skyla's dial system is placed slightly lower on the helmet to provide room for the ponytails of longer-haired riders without obstructing access to the dial itself. Users also praise the Skyla for being especially adept at fitting smaller heads comfortably.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062CSL8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSA64742ECV2M3ME"><em>Currently $35.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Bontrager Solstice Youth</h3> <p><a href=""><img width="200" height="148" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>As both a Consumer Reports and a Consumer Search top pick, the <a href="">Bontrager Solstice Youth</a> bicycle helmet is an excellent choice for young bicyclists that delivers superb protection along with a number of kid-friendly features. The Solstice Youth has received top scores from both experts and consumers alike in the safety department, thanks to its sturdy in-molded shell design that ensures the child's head is very well protected from any impact.</p> <p>It also manages to be lightweight and well ventilated and can accommodate long haired children as well. With the built-in Micro-Manager fit system, this helmet can fit any head size snugly and comfortably with a simple turn of the dial. To further appeal to child riders, the Solstice Youth comes in a number of fun colors that'll certainly appeal to their tastes.</p> <p><a href=""><em>Currently $44.99 on Bontrager's official website</em></a></p> <h3>Giro Indicator
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Z9H1VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KBZCS5WHZP3UW2XE"><img width="200" height="157" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>For casual bicyclists who want a good quality bicycle helmet, the Consumer Search recommended <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Z9H1VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KBZCS5WHZP3UW2XE">Giro Indicator</a> bicycle helmet is a standout choice that's both fairly low-cost and high in value. Although it comes in only one universal size, the Indicator is effectively constructed with a lightweight in-molded hardbody and a Acu Dial fit system to provide optimal protection while maintaining the most comfortable fit that you can easily adjust.</p> <p>While the helmet's 20 air vents allow for great ventilation for rides on hot days, some users like how the helmet can also accommodate additional headgear underneath it for added insulation on colder days. This durable and versatile helmet is available in a variety of sleek designs and colors that goes well with your sporty lifestyle.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Z9H1VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KBZCS5WHZP3UW2XE"><em>Currently $39.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best bicycle helmets. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bicycle Helmets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bicycle helmets buying guide product reviews Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:00:05 +0000 William Tran 1150191 at 5 Things That Seem Like Savvy Buys But Are Actually Terrible Splurges <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-that-seem-like-savvy-buys-but-are-actually-terrible-splurges" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="gym employee" title="gym employee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have an instance in which we thought we were making a smart purchase, but ended up paying unintended consequences. It's so tempting to take up an almost-too-good-to-be-true offer, but here are five purchases that sounds savvy but are actually terrible splurges. (See also: <a href="">6 Things That Seem Like Spurges But Are Actually Savvy Buys</a>)</p> <h2>1. Interest-Free Credit for a Limited Time</h2> <p>Many merchants offer no interest loans for a period of time for big ticket items like TVs and appliances.</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: You get the item on credit, but then pay it off entirely before the interest kicks in? You're getting the cake and eating it, too. You're beating the system!</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: Many people use the &quot;no-interest&quot; lure not only as a temporary excuse for an <a href="">impulse purchase</a>, but also for postponing paying the bill. Also, too often buyers don't already have the money saved up before making the purchase on credit. It becomes a race against time to pay it off before interest adds up &ndash;&ndash; a race many lose in the end.</p> <h2>2. Life Insurance for a Child</h2> <p>This is particularly morbid, but insurers sell parents life insurance policies to indemnify them against the death of their children &mdash; primarily as a way to offset potential funeral costs.</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: Maybe your child will be the next Disney superstar, or the world's youngest astronaut. You've got to prepare for that, right? If anything, God forbid, happens, you <a href="">want to be prepared</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: The possibility of the unthinkable happening is <a href="">not very likely</a>. Let's face it, fear is the engine that drives the insurance industry. Sometimes we fall for the false security of unnecessary insurance. If you are not rolling in disposable income, put your money in a mutual fund to save for your child's college education instead of insurance premiums.</p> <h2>3. Credit Monitoring Services</h2> <p>You've seen the ads on late night TV or heard them on talk radio &mdash; savvy thieves are scooping up the details of your identity and using those details to make credit purchases or take out big loans, which ultimately harms your credit rating. Scary!</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: Services like IdentityGaurd can help track your score, find fraudulent activity, alert you of &quot;identity theft,&quot; and offer insurance on any losses &ndash;&ndash; it's a one-stop shop so that you don't have to worry about any of these problems again!</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: Here comes the fear factor once again. <a href="">Credit monitoring services</a> are very expensive and are another way to reap money from people afraid of fraud. Your financial institution already protects you against fraud and will pay back any lost funds. You would lose a lot more money paying for these services than you could ever have potentially lost in a fraud incident. Instead, make it a habit to monitor your credit yourself. (See also: <a href="">How to Get a Truly Free Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>4. Cable TV</h2> <p>With hundreds of channels to choose from, plus plenty of premium movie channels, of course cable TV is worth the cost!</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: Television is so much cheaper than going to the movies or other outside entertainment. What's another $10-20 per month on the premium channels? They keep me at home not spending more money!</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: We are rapidly moving past the cable TV model. With Netflix, <a href="">Chromecast</a>, Hulu Plus and other products and services, you can cut the cord entirely and subsist on internet alone for <a href="">nearly anything you watch</a>. Netflix costs as low as $7.99 per month for streaming-only service, whereas the average cable bill is $86 (<a href="">which has tripled</a> in the past 10 years). Binge-watching is more fun anyway.</p> <h2>5. Gym Memberships</h2> <p>A gym membership seems like a good way to get motivated to work out more often &mdash; after all, you're surrounded by like-minded people, and you wouldn't want to waste your money by not taking advantage of the gym's resources, would you?</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: It's time to invest in you, for once. Finally, you can commit to getting healthier in an environment with fewer distractions. What's another $20 per month for access to unlimited classes and all that expensive equipment?</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: You start out strong, but eventually it becomes another thing to do. In the end, you don't need <a href="">money to work out</a>; you just need your body and gravity (and <a href="">maybe a milk jug</a>). However, this doesn't mean to invest in a home gym either! A compact weight set will do, when you are ready for them. Plus, working out al fresco is more pleasurable, with fresh air, and vitamin D from the sun.</p> <p><em>Can you think of any other savvy buys that are actually gigantic money wastes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Things That Seem Like Savvy Buys But Are Actually Terrible Splurges" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amanda Meadows</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping dumb buys spending splurges wasting money Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1188677 at 12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="good restaurant service" title="good restaurant service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Columbus, Ohio, my favorite spot was a little place called The Blue Danube, familiarly known as &quot;The Dube.&quot; In addition to the usual inexpensive bar fare, the menu there offered the <a href="">Dube Dinner Deluxe</a> which paired a bottle of Dom Perignon with a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (made with Roquefort cheese) at a cost of $185.</p> <p>Though I always regarded the Dube Dinner Deluxe as more of a joke than anything else, I've since come to realize that including it on the menu was a savvy marketing strategy on the part of the bar's owners.</p> <p>Due to a cognitive bias known as <a href="">anchoring</a>, diners are more likely to buy mid-priced items when the menu highlights a very expensive meal. Just the existence of a high-priced item is enough to make the other prices on the menu seem reasonable in comparison. &quot;Menu engineers&quot; (and yes, that's a real profession) actually describe these very high priced items as &quot;<a href="">decoys</a>,&quot; since they're only there to soften the sticker shock of other offerings. (See also: <a href="">13 Overpriced Restaurant Items</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, restaurants have a pretty good handle on behavioral psychology &mdash; which is why you often end up leaving with a fuller belly and a lighter wallet than you intended. Here are 12 of the sneakiest tricks that restaurants use to get you spend more.</p> <h2>Menu Presentation</h2> <p>A well-designed menu is the single greatest asset for a restaurant's bottom line, as it can help to steer customers to the items the restaurant most wants to sell. That's why you'll find nearly all restaurants have many or all of the following features on their menus.</p> <h3>1. Visual Highlights</h3> <p>If you have ever wondered why some menu items are placed in a text box or otherwise bolded, it's because the restaurant wants to draw your attention to the item. Often, the boxed-off menu item is something that is a major profit-maker for the restaurant &mdash; like chicken wings, for example. Wings cost the restaurant pennies, so the more they sell, the more they profit.</p> <p>In addition, menu designers recognize that most people's eyes are drawn to the <a href="">top right-hand corner</a>, so that is where the big money-maker dishes are often placed. You may have noticed this if you've ever searched in vain for a simple burger on a menu. Burgers and sandwiches and the like don't tend be super profitable in some restaurants, so they are often confined to &quot;menu Siberia,&quot; where you'll have to read through the pricier items before finding them.</p> <p>Finally, photographs of food tend to be powerful motivators, which is why restaurants will place photographs of only some of their menu items. The ones appearing in photographs are the most profitable dishes.</p> <p>Even in high-end restaurants, where photos on the menu are considered a little déclassé, you will often find line drawings or other visual representations of the big money makers.</p> <h3>2. Offering Two Portion Sizes</h3> <p>I often order salads when I dine out, and I have noticed that salads are usually offered in two sizes. This practice is called &quot;bracketing,&quot; and it's a no-win for the customer. Most customers will order the smaller/cheaper portion, thinking that the lower price is a better deal. But the menu does not specify how much smaller the cheaper portion will be, and in general the restaurant is actually hoping you'll buy the smaller size. If you do splurge on the larger salad, often the size difference will be made up in inexpensive lettuce.</p> <h3>3. Feeling Like Family</h3> <p>Diners tend to like seeing the <a href="">names of mothers, grandmothers, uncles, and other relatives</a> on their menus. That's why you'll see something listed as &quot;Bubbie's Chicken Soup&quot; or &quot;Uncle Doug's Famous Burgers&quot; rather than simply chicken noodle soup or &frac14; pound burgers.</p> <h3>4. Brand Name Recognition</h3> <p>Going along with that, menu designers have discovered that using <a href="">brand names helps boost sales</a>. For instance, T.G.I. Friday's offers Jack Daniel's sauce, and many restaurants make sure to specify that their juice is from Minute Maid. The name recognition is enough to help sell the food.</p> <h3>5. Descriptive Language</h3> <p>A study by Cornell University revealed that foods described in a more flowery or beautiful way were more appealing and popular with diners than the same items presented more plainly. For instance, the study would either label a dessert as &quot;New York Style Cheesecake with Godiva Chocolate Sauce&quot; or simply as &quot;Cheesecake.&quot; The results showed that diners chose the more descriptive menu items <a href="">27% more often</a> than the more plainly labeled items.</p> <p>Restaurants will often use this effect to highlight a profitable dish &mdash; while using much plainer description on a less profitable menu item placed nearby.</p> <h3>6. Price Shenanigans</h3> <p>One of the things you won't find in almost any menu, from a formal foodie haven down to Mom's Diner, is a dollar sign. Omitting the symbol from the price seems to be enough to spur diners to spend significantly more, according to another Cornell study.</p> <p>In addition, you'll notice something funny about the numbers on menus. You will rarely see any prices ending in a 9. For instance, a dessert will be listed as $4.95 <a href="">rather than $4.99</a>. Apparently, numbers ending in 5 seem &quot;friendlier,&quot; while numbers ending with 9 connote value, but not necessarily quality.</p> <p>Many restaurants will leave off the cents entirely, listing their dishes as a clean and simple number. All of these gambits make prices abstract, which makes spending feel less threatening and painful.</p> <h3>7. Price Placement</h3> <p>Many menus will avoid listing prices in a column, since that will make it much simpler to compare prices between meals. Instead, many restaurants will bury each item's price beneath the description.</p> <p>Even if prices are listed across from the dishes, restaurants generally do not print leader dots between the dish name and the price. It's harder to scan across to the price without those dots, meaning you're more likely to focus on the dish.</p> <h2>Service</h2> <p>The menu is not the only way restaurants try to manipulate your spending. Your friendly server is also in on it.</p> <h3>8. Introducing Themselves by Name</h3> <p>When your server introduces himself as Todd and claims he'll be &quot;taking care of you this evening,&quot; he's not just being friendly. Studies have shown that <a href="">restaurant tipping is higher when servers introduce themselves</a> because the interaction feels more personal.</p> <h3>9. Upselling</h3> <p>Servers are trained to ask you if you'd like to add to your meal during every step of the ordering process. For instance, when you order a cocktail, your server might offer you a choice of brands of liquor &mdash; letting you know that the restaurant carries both Bombay and Beefeaters gin, for instance. What the server does not tell you is that there is also a perfectly good and inexpensive gin that the bartender would have used had you not specified either Bombay or Beefeaters.</p> <h3>10. Listing Specials Verbally</h3> <p>In addition to upselling, servers are also trained to rattle off the day's specials &mdash; from the appetizers to the soups to the entrees to the desserts &mdash; off the top of their heads. This practice provides you with a mouth watering description of the foods that the restaurant is hoping to sell, but it does not give you the price point for each special. Many diners are too embarrassed to ask about the prices of specials, meaning they are surprised when the bill comes.</p> <h3>11. Beverage Timing</h3> <p>You've probably noticed that good servers get your beverage from the bar very quickly after you place your order. That's partially because if the timing is right, you'll run out of your drink either before your entrée arrives or in the middle of your meal &mdash; which will often mean you ask for a refill. If you're drinking a bottle of wine, you might find that your server is Johnny-on-the-spot with refills, since you might be persuaded to purchase another bottle if the first one is empty before your plate is.</p> <h3>12. The Midas Touch</h3> <p>Waitresses in particular are known for being very friendly and even lightly touching diners on the shoulder or hand. That's partially because studies have shown that both men and women tend to tip significantly more when their waitresses touch them in a friendly way. Researchers have dubbed this the <a href="">Midas Touch</a>.</p> <p>This Midas Touch <a href="">does not extend to male servers</a>, however. Diners are more likely to see that kind of touch as creepy rather than friendly or nurturing when it comes from a waiter rather than a waitress.</p> <h2>Limiting Your Restaurant Spending</h2> <p>Unfortunately, the restaurants hold most of the cards when you decide to treat yourself to a meal out. Since you are there to enjoy yourself, it can be very difficult to attempt to counteract the psychological tricks since doing so will likely negatively affect your enjoyment.</p> <p>The best way to deal with these issues is to plan ahead. Bring cash so you cannot spend more than you brought. Check out the menu online and decide what you will order before you arrive. Make sure you ask questions of your server if you're not sure of prices or options. And plan to savor your food and drink, since it will help you be more satisfied and lessen the possibility of over-ordering and overeating.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any other tricks of the restaurant trade? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping dining out psychology restaurants spending tricks Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1189022 at The 5 Best Heart-Rate Monitors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-heart-rate-monitors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman runner" title="woman runner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Beyond exercise and a good diet, maintaining a healthy active lifestyle also means knowing as much as you can about your body, especially your heart. Having a good heart-rate monitor with you while you perform physical exercises can help you effectively train at the appropriate intensity level while also ensuring that your heart rate stays within a safe range.</p> <p>A wide variety of heart-rate monitor models are available, each with their own unique features that are ideally suited for certain needs. Wise Bread is here to help find the best one for you with our top five list.</p> <h2>What Is a Heart-Rate Monitor?</h2> <p>A heart-rate monitor is an electronic monitoring device that utilizes built-in pulse sensors to let you measure your heart rate in real time as well as to record the data for long-term analysis. A heart-rate monitor is comprised of two parts: a chest strap transmitter that measures your physical heart beat and a wrist receiver that displays the information to the user.</p> <p>Newer models of heart-rate monitors can also transmit their data over to smartphones via downloadable apps. Strapless heart-rate monitors are also available if you find that wearing a chest strap is too uncomfortable.</p> <h2>Best 5 Heart-Rate Monitors</h2> <h3>Timex Ironman Race Trainer</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HFF6L6Z7QDCI5N6O"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HFF6L6Z7QDCI5N6O">Timex Ironman Race Trainer</a> provides a terrific choice for a heart-rate monitor that comes with a number of helpful functions that can benefit both casual and professional athletes alike. This Consumer Search top pick has been lauded for its accurate and reliable heart-rate tracking along with its five preset heart rate target zones and one customizable one that's effective in letting users know when to pick up or slow down their workout.</p> <p>Users also say that both the chest strap and the water-resistant wristwatch are very comfortable to wear. Other notable features include a 50-lap chronograph function that can average your heart rate per lap, five interval timers, and the ability to save data from the last 10 workouts.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HFF6L6Z7QDCI5N6O"><em>Currently $82.08 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polar FT60
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F0PVNK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TKBHAWARY26I4XIH"><img width="180" height="167" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Another Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F0PVNK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TKBHAWARY26I4XIH">Polar FT60</a> heart-rate monitor comes packed with a number of advanced features that make it the ideal choice for serious athletes. Doing more than just simple heart-rate monitoring, its most exclusive feature is its STAR Training program that lets the FT60 create customized workouts personalized to your fitness needs as well as weekly goals for training times and calorie intake.</p> <p>The FT60 comes with a built-in 5-minute fitness test that allows you to keep track of your weekly weight changes, and it can also store up to 100 files in its easily accessible training history. Not only is it comfortable and easy to use, the chest strap transmitter uses a specialized signal code to ensure interference-free communication with the wristwatch.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F0PVNK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TKBHAWARY26I4XIH"><em>Currently $110.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polar H7
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007S088F4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=76CVUWZSJHF4QW22"><img width="180" height="87" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007S088F4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=76CVUWZSJHF4QW22">Polar H7</a> heart-rate monitor is a Consumer Reports top pick that utilizes the newest technology to give you a hassle-free way of monitoring your heart rate. Unlike most heart-rate monitors, the H7 is only comprised of a Bluetooth-compatible chest strap. Rather than sending data over to a wristwatch device, the H7 pairs its chest strap transmitter with your smartphone via Bluetooth and then displays your heart rate and workout data through a compatible fitness app.</p> <p>It can even sync with gym equipment that comes with compatible Polar heart rate technology to give you a hands-free method of measurement. Overall, the H7 minimizes on the amount of equipment you have to manage and the time it takes to set everything up, so that you can just focus on having an effective workout.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007S088F4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=76CVUWZSJHF4QW22"><em>Currently $53.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>MIO Alpha
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJ6HLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4372L7VTXYDP4AK4"><img width="180" height="189" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>If you're not a fan of chest straps, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJ6HLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4372L7VTXYDP4AK4">MIO Alpha</a> is definitely the most ideal heart-rate monitor for you. The Alpha sports watch contains two light beams and an electro-optical cell that are used to detect your pulse signal, which is then calculated through advanced algorithms to accurately determine your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. It can even continuously measure your heart rate while running at top speeds of 14 mph with great accuracy.</p> <p>In addition, the Alpha allows you to easily set your target heart rate zones and lets you review your exercise data right after your workout, including total workout time, average heart rate, and how long you were working at peak levels. You can also sync the data with a variety of popular fitness apps on your smartphone using a Bluetooth connection.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJ6HLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4372L7VTXYDP4AK4"><em>Currently $198.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polar FT1</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003HT88JQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5YMIIMBMTVZ4ZBN"><img width="180" height="192" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>With a top recommendation from Consumer Search, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003HT88JQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5YMIIMBMTVZ4ZBN">Polar FT1</a> manages to deliver a quality-filled heart-rate monitor that comes at a very affordable price. Many users say that the FT1 more than makes up for its lack of high-end features with its simple one-button operation and accurate heart-rate tracking. It also allows users to set custom heart rate zones and can alert you when you sway from those zones, which is an uncommon feature in low-end heart-rate monitors.</p> <p>Users also approve of the FT1's large wristwatch display that provides easy-to-read stats with great clarity. A common feature in the Polar line of heart-rate monitors that also comes with the FT1 is the specially coded chest strap transmitter which ensures an uninterrupted transmission of data to your specific wristwatch.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003HT88JQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5YMIIMBMTVZ4ZBN"><em>Currently $41.56 on Amazon
</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best heart-rate monitors. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Heart-Rate Monitors" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide heart rate monitors product reviews Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:00:03 +0000 William Tran 1149089 at Best Money Tips: Questions to Consider Before Overspending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-questions-to-consider-before-overspending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman tired from shopping" title="woman tired from shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on questions to consider before overspending, saving on back to school shopping, and cost cutting tips for drivers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">8 Questions to Consider Before Overspending</a> &mdash; Before you overspend, ask yourself what would happen if you didn't make the purchase. [Bobby Finance]</p> <p><a href="">How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping</a> &mdash; To save money on back to school shopping, don't be afraid to go used and create a list you can stick to. [Debt Roundup]</p> <p><a href="">5 Cost Cutting Tips for Drivers</a> &mdash; Avoiding accidents and driving smarter can help cut the costs associated with your car. [Your Personal Finance Pro]</p> <p><a href="">The 411 of Balancing a Checkbook</a> &mdash; When it comes to balancing your checkbook, make sure to record all transactions. [Tayne Your Debt]</p> <p><a href="">Maintaining Your Network Is More Important Than Saving Money</a> &mdash; Sometimes it's a good idea to spend a little extra money to maintain your network because your network can help you find new jobs! [Cashville Skyline]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Retirement Account Rollover Options</a> &mdash; Did you know Roth IRAs can only be rolled over into another Roth IRA? [McClain Lovejoy]</p> <p><a href="">An Easy Way to Figure Out When to Delegate Tasks</a> &mdash; If someone else can do a task 70% as well as you can, it's ok to delegate that task to the other person. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Look After the Pennies &mdash; The Five Richest People In The World</a> &mdash; The richest man in the world is Carlos Slim from Mexico. [Stumble Forward]</p> <p><a href="">Smartphones: As Important as Deodorant?</a> &mdash; Nine out of ten people think their smartphones are as important as deodorant and toothbrushes. [Surviving and Thriving]</p> <p><a href="">10 Social Media Tools That Make Everything Easier!</a> &mdash; Buffer and Pocket are just a couple social media tools that can make your life easier. [Chris Ducker]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Questions to Consider Before Overspending" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips overspending questions shopping spending Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1186297 at Get Fashion Trends on the Cheap With Wantable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-fashion-trends-on-the-cheap-with-wantable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="jewelry shopping" title="jewelry shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love trying out the latest in fashion and beauty &mdash; <em>and</em> getting them at a discount &mdash; then <a href="">Wantable</a> may be just your thing.</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>The Milwaukie-based company Wantable matches you with a number of boutique accessories, full-size makeup products, or designer intimates at $40 a box (or $36 a box for a monthly subscription). The contents of the box will be a surprise, but the stylists at Wantable will use a quiz to make sure you love the products you get.</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>The style quiz is fairly detailed and extremely easy to use. You're presented with a number of style options, and all you need to do is move a slider up to &quot;Love&quot; if you love it, &quot;Dislike&quot; if you don't, or just leave it at &quot;Like&quot; if you don't feel too strongly either way. Here's a quick summary of my selections for the <a href="">accessories box</a>:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Hair Accessories</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Bracelets, Scarves, Gold Tone, Multi Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Glam, Rings, Watches, Sunglasses</li> </ul> <p>Let's take a look at what I got!</p> <h3>Addy Headband</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I've always liked the idea of headbands. They're pretty much the only kind of hair accessory that has a fighting chance of staying in my hair, especially since I started wearing my hair short a few years ago. But even then, trying to find a one that works with my abnormally large head has been an exercise in frustration and discarded dreams (for a neat and low maintenance 'do). If a headband is tight enough to not slip at the slightest turn of my head, the pressure is likely to cause enough discomfort that I tear it off before the day is out.</p> <p>The wired headband changed <em>everything</em>.</p> <p>I've seen them around but was always too skeptical to carry through with a purchase. Well, joke's on me! They're actually quite wonderful. The one that Wantable sent me is in basic black-and-white stripes &mdash; super easy to match with anything in my closet. But beyond the aesthetics, I love the functionality. The wire molded to my head comfortably, despite its weird shape and size, and once I secured the headband with a twist (you can also knot or loop!), it stayed put no matter how much I flipped, swung, or bounced my head.</p> <p>Plus, it's a really cute look!</p> <p><em>Retail value: $11</em></p> <h3>Sandy Bracelet</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>You know what I have realized since doing these Wantable reviews? I am a sucker for gold tone and pastels, together. I've been getting a lot of this combination lately, and I LOVE it. I use these pieces to dress up a casual outfit or dress down a fancier ensemble, thereby making my wardrobe even more versatile than it was!</p> <p>Speaking of versatile, check out the Sandy bracelet above. It's a simple gold chain intertwined with sections of pink, white, and green cord. You can wrap it around your wrist to wear as a bracelet, or unwind and drape it around your neck &mdash; on its own or as a layered piece. I'm certain this will become another one of my go-to accessories. My only complaint is that the ends of the colored cords jut out slightly, giving the otherwise beautiful bracelet an unfinished look upon close inspection &mdash; plus, it irritates my skin when it lands just so. Still, I count this piece as a win.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $26</em></p> <h3>Aubrey Necklace</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Besides gold-and-pastel jewelry, Wantable also likes sending me chunky statement necklaces made with many different materials. This time, they are beads, cords, and stones in shades of blue, plus another component that I haven't seen much of in my Wantable goods: gunmetal chain!</p> <p>Here's another piece that can be dressed up or down, which I like. I also like the details: interwoven cord and chain, stone insets at unexpected angles, the twin clusters of rhinestones attached to the blue gems &mdash; like sparkling pom-poms. However, I did notice that one of the long blue beads was chipped at the center &mdash;not a deal-breaker, just unfortunate for a piece this pretty.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $42</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I would be very hesitant to spend $79 on these three pieces. I might wish that I could, but with my budget? Ha! No. But if I could get them all at just a smidge over half-price? Yes. Oh yes.</p> <p>The Sandy bracelet-necklace and the Aubrey necklace-necklace are gorgeous pieces (very minor flaws notwithstanding), but it is the Addy headband that underscores (for me, at least) the value of a service like Wantable. Sure, you can shop for accessories yourself and buy only the items you like, but with Wantable, you get to try products that are just outside your comfort zone &mdash; without being <em>too</em> out there. You can take the time to try something different, right in your home. If you regularly spend $40 on accessories anyway, a <a href="">Wantable box</a> may be just the thing to help you save money and experiment with your style.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Get Fashion Trends on the Cheap With Wantable" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style Wantable Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:00:16 +0000 Amy Lu 1160903 at 5 Smart Ways to Save on Back-to-School Clothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-clothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="mother baby shopping" title="mother baby shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I say it every year, but the summer raced by at lightning speed. It's already mid-August, and many of us are diving deep into back-to-school mode. One of the most important parts of getting ready? Dressing the part. But refreshing your fall wardrobe &mdash; whether you're heading into the classroom or not &mdash; doesn't need to cost a fortune. In fact, it doesn't need to cost anything at all! (Related: <a href="">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe On the Cheap</a>)</p> <p>Here are some tips that will get you looking smart without spending foolishly.</p> <h2>1. Take Stock</h2> <p>Before trekking to the store, it's important you gain a solid understanding of the clothes that already live in your dresser drawers. Take a couple hours to dump all your clothing items onto your bed and to go through them. Try each piece on to see what fits both your body and lifestyle. Divide into three piles: keep, toss/donate, and on-the-fence. Place the keep and on-the-fence clothes back into your closet and proceed with the next tips. (You can always repeat again with those clothes you're not sure about.)</p> <h2>2. Sell the Old</h2> <p>And before throwing away or donating discarded clothing, try hitting up your local consignment shops. You can even sell your stuff (for free!) online with sites like <a href="">thredUP</a>. Keep in mind that most stores prefer name brand clothes in good condition (no stains, rips, pilling, etc.) that are within a few fashion seasons of the current date. Then pocket the money you earn to put toward new duds. Many stores will give you more credit versus cash if you choose to shop with your earnings there.</p> <h2>3. Think Thrifty</h2> <p>That's right! While you're at the consignment store, take a look around. Chances are you might discover a few pieces you love that are like-new and won't end up costing you a dime. Thrift stores like GoodWill and Salvation Army are other good places to browse, you'll just want to inspect these pieces more carefully for signs of wear. Historically, I've found great deals in these types of places, especially on children's clothing, since kids outgrow shirts and pants so quickly, they hardly get a chance to lose that gently worn look. (Related: <a href="">6 Back-to-School Items You Should Always Buy at the Thrift Store</a>)</p> <h2>4. Add Accessories</h2> <p>Before racing to the retail stores, consider if more clothes are really what you need. Sometimes <a href="">having fewer options</a> means that dressing takes less time and energy in the mornings, meaning you go about your day with less hassle. You may also get better overall use out of a smaller wardrobe because you won't forget about anything in the depths of your closet. If you think this idea applies to you, shop around for a few key accessories &mdash; belts, scarves, hats, jewelry &mdash; that can transform otherwise plain outfits into sheer style. (Related: <a href="">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <h2>5. Shop Sales</h2> <p>Don't pile into the car without a plan if you want good deals on a new wardrobe. Take some time to check your local paper, TV advertisements, and store websites for any promotions or coupons. And don't forget to check those social media accounts, as some major shops post coupon codes only for their loyal fans to enjoy. Chances are, there's a sale upcoming, and you'll be kicking yourself if you pay full price only to find whatever you bought is 40% off days later. Once you purchase, be sure to protect your investment by <a href="">washing your clothing less often</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your best methods for saving big on back-to-school clothing? Please share in comments</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Smart Ways to Save on Back-to-School Clothing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping back-to-school clothes clothing fashion thrift stores Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1185371 at Best Money Tips: Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-steps-to-grocery-savings-without-double-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on grocery savings without double coupons, things that annoy hiring managers, and coming to grips with paying your rent on time.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">6 Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons</a> &mdash; You can save at the grocery store without double coupons by comparing what you purchase and tracking sale prices. [Pocket Your Dollars]</p> <p><a href="">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a> &mdash; Being too persistant can really annoy hiring managers. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Coming to Grips With Paying Your Rent On Time</a> &mdash; To make sure you pay your rent on time, budget rent as a priority and make cut backs where possible. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="">5 Times It's Worth Booking a Hotel While Backpacking</a> &mdash; If you are backpacking and become concerned about your safety, it is probably worth it to book a hotel. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="">How to Dress Cheaply for the Rest of Summer</a> &mdash; Rocking cotton and linen and remembering that dresses are your friend can help you dress cheaply for the rest of summer. [The Shop My Closet Project]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">10 Things We Need to Fix to Slow Down the March of Identity Theft</a> &mdash; In order to slow down identity theft, consumer apathy and security must be dealt with. [Credit Sesame Blog]</p> <p><a href="">Ready to Do What You Love and Find Your Ideal Career?</a> &mdash; Teaching yourself something new and establishing a side hustle can help you find your ideal career. [Common Sense Millennial]</p> <p><a href="">Are You Driving a Lemon?</a> &mdash; If your car is a lemon, contact the manufacturer as well as the dealer to report any problems with your car. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">6 Tips on How to Act on the Sidelines of Your Child&rsquo;s Sporting Event</a> &mdash; It is important to be positive and not yell at the coach when attending your child's sporting event. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">New Law Mandates In-State Tuition for Vets Studying at All Public Colleges Starting Next Year</a> &mdash; Starting next year, vets will pay in state tuition fees at all colleges, even if they attend college in another state. [Bargaineering]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping best money tips coupons Food grocery market supermarket Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1185498 at Best Money Tips: Smart Ways to Save on Clothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-save-on-clothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman shopping" title="woman shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on smart ways to save on clothing, getting your dream job, and tips for successful investing.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Smart Ways to Save on Clothing</a> &mdash; Save money on clothing by stocking up off-season and participating in loyalty programs. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="">A 6 Step Guide to Getting Your Dream Job</a> &mdash; To get your dream job, search job postings and find out what skills you need. [The Me Project]</p> <p><a href="">8 Tips for Successful Investing. Number 5 Is a Must.</a> &mdash; When trying to invest successfully, surround yourself with other investors and be consistent. [The Frugal Feminista]</p> <p><a href="">Top Ten Financial Mistakes</a> &mdash; Not having healthcare and having a high debt to income ratio are two major financial mistakes. [Financially Blonde]</p> <p><a href="">Top 5 Important Tax and Investment Documents to Keep</a> &mdash; It is important to keep income tax returns and bank statements. [Investor Junkie]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">5 Growing Careers for Work-at-Home Moms</a> &mdash; Work-at-home moms can expect to see a rise in social media manager positions. [1099 Mom]</p> <p><a href="">7 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself</a> &mdash; The next time you have a dripping faucet, try fixing it on your own! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Some Nasty Financial Surprises Shouldn't Be &quot;Surprises&quot; at All</a> &mdash; Did you know you can expect to spend 1%-3% of the cost of your home on maintenance and repairs? [Frugal Confessions]</p> <p><a href="">How to Effortlessly Increase Your Supermarket Savings</a> &mdash; Reducing your garbage can help you increase your supermarket savings. [Object Wealth]</p> <p><a href="">The 5 Best Infant Car Seats</a> &mdash; If you are in the market for a new car seat, check out the Combi Shuttle. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Smart Ways to Save on Clothing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips clothes clothing save shopping Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1183821 at The 5 Best Door Locks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-door-locks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="door lock" title="door lock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most people would agree that one of the things they think is most important is the security of their home. But while it's nearly impossible to stop someone that is determined to break into your home, smart steps can be taken in order reduce the likelihood and possibility that someone will. Deadbolt locks are amongst the most common form of door locks, and a good deadbolt can go a long way to keeping would-be robbers out of your home.</p> <h2>What Is a Door Lock?</h2> <p>Door locks come in many different forms, but most locks covered in this article will be in the form of a deadbolt lock. A deadbolt is defined as a locking mechanism where the bolt is incapable of moving without turning the lock cylinder. There is a lot of jargon to learn when it comes to picking out a new deadbolt lock. Single cylinder deadlocks accept a key at one end and are operated by a thumb turn on the other, typically interior, end. In terms of security, industry rankings, known as ANSI Grades, range from 1-3, with 1 being most secure.</p> <h2>Best 5 Door Locks</h2> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004T3KFYA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VWCMXW5S3X4NQXN4"><img width="180" height="150" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Baldwin 380 Single Cylinder Round Deadbolt</h3> <p>This <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004T3KFYA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VWCMXW5S3X4NQXN4">Baldwin single cylinder deadbolt lock</a> features a solid brass deadbolt latch whose security rating is rated at ANSI Grade 2. The polished brass finish gives the deadbolt a nice classic look that complements a wide range of doorknob sets. Users appreciate the quality of the deadbolt as well as how easy it is to install.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004T3KFYA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VWCMXW5S3X4NQXN4"><em>Currently $34.50 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EF8KFKS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2B2RJL3M3GBHCSE5"><img width="180" height="154" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Medeco Single Cylinder Maxum Deadbolt Lock</h3> <p>Well-recommended by Consumer Reports, this <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EF8KFKS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2B2RJL3M3GBHCSE5">Medeco single cylinder deadbolt</a> features a top ANSI Grade 1 security rating. When it comes to the security provided by deadbolts, the largest critique is their inability to protect against drilling and prying break-ins. This Medeco deadbolt sets itself apart from the competition by having anti-drilling and anti-prying features.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EF8KFKS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2B2RJL3M3GBHCSE5"><em>Currently $149.50 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NJJ1TY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H6WCPHX3LZJI4X46"><img width="180" height="157" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Schlage Camelot Keypad Accent Lever Door Lock</h3> <p>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NJJ1TY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H6WCPHX3LZJI4X46">Schlage Camelot door lock</a> features an ANSI Grade 2 security rating. Aside from its basic hardware specifications, the keypad system gives it a number of additional electronic features. Firstly, the keypad allows for keyless entry, as well as the ability to program up to 19 unique user codes. Additionally, the flex lock functionality allows the lock to be set automatically after five seconds, or remained unlocked.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NJJ1TY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H6WCPHX3LZJI4X46"><em>Currently $129.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00116ZEMG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ABNQK6DRTCQEH7YI"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Kwikset 985 Double Cylinder Deadbolt</h3> <p>This <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00116ZEMG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ABNQK6DRTCQEH7YI">Kwikset double cylinder deadbolt</a> features an ANSI Grade 1 security rating and a hand-rubbed bronze finish that looks great on any door. If you're looking for even greater levels of security from your deadbolt lock, then a double cylinder deadbolt does a better job than a single cylinder. Double cylinder deadbolts are operated by a key on both sides of the lock.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00116ZEMG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ABNQK6DRTCQEH7YI"><em>Currently $33.74 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0030ZWEME&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5W4BFIUOHT467YIV"><img width="180" height="159" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Schlage B60N619 Deadbolt</h3> <p>This <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0030ZWEME&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5W4BFIUOHT467YIV">single cylinder deadbolt from Schlage</a> is a favorite amongst users. With easy installation, an ANSI Grade 1 security rating and a brushed nickel finish, this Schlage deadbolt is a classic door lock that gets the job done.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0030ZWEME&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5W4BFIUOHT467YIV"><em>Currently $29.92 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best door locks. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Door Locks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide door locks product reviews Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:00:26 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1156979 at The 11 Best and Worst Things to Buy Used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="secondhand bookstore" title="secondhand bookstore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often get what we pay for, and when it comes to certain items, some people wouldn't dare buy used. But while there are risks to buying someone else's trash, not every used item is a terrible buy. (See also: <a href="">31 Reasons to Love Thrift Shopping</a>)</p> <p>From a financial standpoint, some used items are just as good as (if not better than) new ones &mdash; it really depends on what you're looking for. So, before you conclude that new is better or worse, here are 11 of the best and worst things to buy used.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy Used</h2> <p>Save money and get great stuff &mdash; these five things are always best bought used.</p> <h3>1. Books</h3> <p>Between eBay, thrift stores, and free e-book downloads, there's no reason to buy a new book. Unless you plan to re-read your favorite novel over-and-over again, it's pointless to pay full price for a book when you can go online and buy the print for pennies. Thanks to eBay, I've purchased two <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1599637324&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Writer's Markets</a> (both were less than a year old) for under $10, and I've scored other books that normally sell for $15 or $20 for under $5 including free shipping.</p> <h3>2. Houses</h3> <p>I definitely understand the appeal of buying a new construction home. You can design the home to your preference; new homes are typically more energy-efficient; and since everything's new, you don't have to worry about costly maintenance for at least a few years. However, there's a cost to buying new. According to real estate website Trulia, <a href="">new homes costs approximately 20% more than preowned homes</a>. If you're contemplating a new construction home with a price tag of $250,000, you can potentially save $50,000 by purchasing an older property with similar square footage and layout.</p> <h3>3. Cars</h3> <p>Sure, some cars hold their value better than others. But for the most part, new cars depreciate the moment they're driven off the lot. &quot;Drive a new car off the lot and it can lose 20% of its value,&quot; says And if this isn't bad enough, <a href="">most cars lose another 10% in value during the first year</a>. Since depreciation slows down after a car's second year, buying a car that's two or three years old is often a better buy than a brand new model.</p> <h3>4. Jewelry</h3> <p>Diamonds and other precious stones and metals are durable and can last for decades. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to spend thousands on brand new jewelry when you can buy used for less, especially since the <a href="">average retail markup for jewelry is 300%</a>. You're better off going to a pawn shop or another reputable secondhand jewelry retailer.</p> <h3>5. Timeshares</h3> <p>I've sat through a fair share of timeshare presentations, primarily to get free or discount tickets to Disney World and other attractions while vacationing. I've learned two things from these presentations. First, timeshares are crazy expensive. And secondly, you can save money with a resale.</p> <p>A company tried to sell us a timeshare for $20,000, and just as we were about to walk away, the salesperson said, &quot;What if we could get you a foreclosure for $12,000?&quot; It was an $8,000 break for buying a timeshare that was two years old. We didn't purchase, but if I'm ever in the market, resale is the way to go.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy Used</h2> <p>If you're ever tempted to buy any of this stuff used, just walk away.</p> <h3>1. Cribs and Car Seats</h3> <p>Baby supplies are expensive, and if you stumble upon a few finds at a yard sale or thrift store, you might jump at the chance to save money. But while baby clothes and toys are excellent items to buy used, you shouldn't buy car seats or cribs used. Car seats are only meant for one accident, and when you buy used, there's no way to know whether the car seat has been involved in an accident or damaged. You should also pass on used cribs. Between recalls and changing crib safety standards, you may unknowingly buy a crib that isn't safe for your precious one.</p> <p>For example, in June 2011, new standards set by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission <a href="">no longer allowed the manufacturing or selling of drop side cribs</a> in retail stores, yet you might find these cribs at yard sales or second hand stores. The detaching rails have been &quot;associated with at least 32 infant deaths since 2000.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Mattresses</h3> <p>I'm always amazed by the number of people I see picking up used mattresses on the street corner. Between the risk of a bed bug infestation, dust mites, and bacteria, a mattress is something that you should always buy new.</p> <h3>3. Shoes</h3> <p>There are two reasons why you shouldn't buy used shoes. Putting your feet in someone else's shoes can expose you to fungus, which can cause athlete's foot and toenail infections. Since shoes quickly mold to the owner's feet, buying a used pair may not result in the best fit, and this can cause more pain than comfort. Also, wearing improper fitting footwear can trigger problems with the heels, toes, and joints of the feet, which may require costly medical attention.</p> <h3>4. Electronics</h3> <p>I know people who only buy used electronics, such as laptops, televisions, and tablets. To each his own. You might get a device at an incredible price, but there's a chance that the previous owner didn't take care of the item. Between drops and spills, you could end up replacing the item sooner than anticipated or spending money to fix the device. If you buy used, purchase refurbished items through the manufacturer. (See also: <a href="">This Is the Secret to Buying Electronics for Cheap</a>)</p> <h3>5. Used Makeup</h3> <p>Yes, people do sell used make-up. I've witnessed this firsthand at yard sales and estate sales. But regardless of how new or clean makeup appears, or whether the seller &quot;only&quot; applied the item once, lipstick, foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and other beauty products harbor bacteria. Don't put someone else's germs on your face.</p> <h3>6. Swimwear and Underwear</h3> <p>You'd think this was a no-brainer. But given that there's an entire section at Goodwill dedicated to used undergarments and swimwear, someone's buying these items. It doesn't matter whether you wash these garments in hot water, you don't want an item worn close to someone's personal areas to touch you. It's safer to buy new.</p> <p><em>Do you have other items to suggest that are better to buy new or used? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 11 Best and Worst Things to Buy Used" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bargains buying used Thrift shopping used Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1183442 at The 5 Best Fabric Softeners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-fabric-softeners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="doing laundry" title="doing laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Adding fabric softener is a staple part of many people's laundry routine. But with the many different types of fabric softener out there, it's easy to get lost in all of the choices you have. To help you choose which fabric softener is right for your laundry, Wise Bread has compiled a list of the top 5 fabric softeners available right now.</p> <h2>What Is Fabric Softener?</h2> <p>Fabric softener is a conditioner used when cleaning laundry that helps prevent static cling in clothing and make clothing softer. Fabric softener comes in three primary forms: liquid softener, softener (or dryer) sheets, or dryer balls. Each form comes with its own set of pros and cons. Liquid softeners generally leave clothing softer with less static, but are typically more expensive. Softener sheets are easy-to-use and more affordable, but don't do as good of a job as liquid softeners. Finally, dryer balls are also inexpensive as well as eco-friendly because they're reusable.</p> <h2>Best 5 Fabric Softeners</h2> <h3>Bounce Dryer Sheets</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003FULBQ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AMLCZ4K5C56GESDB"><img width="180" height="165" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>These <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003FULBQ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AMLCZ4K5C56GESDB">Bounce dryer sheets</a> are great because of how easy they are to use. Instead of measuring out an amount of liquid, just pull a sheet from the box and lay it on top of your clothes in the dryer. While dryer sheets generally don't perform as well as liquid softeners when it comes to softening and removing static, users still love the affordability and ease-of-use of dryer sheets, especially with Bounce sheets. Bounce dryer sheets come in a number of different scents, as well as an unscented version for those with sensitive skin.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003FULBQ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AMLCZ4K5C56GESDB"><em>Currently $8.99 for a pack of 240 sheets on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Downy Ultra Infusions Liquid Fabric Softener</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UQVEQU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=45ASPXMJSC5KXUI5"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UQVEQU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=45ASPXMJSC5KXUI5">Downy Ultra Infusions liquid fabric softener</a> contains 41 fl. oz. which is enough to soften 48 loads of laundry. Users rave over its pleasant, long-lasting scent as well as its ability to soften and remove static from fresh laundry. The biggest complaint over this fabric softener is its price, since it costs more, but takes care of fewer loads than other fabric softeners.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UQVEQU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=45ASPXMJSC5KXUI5"><em>Currently $11.89 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B88BQW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AQ76XUIIFYALT3QD"><img width="180" height="123" align="right" alt="" src="" />Seventh Generation fabric softener sheets</a> combine the convenience of dryer sheets with the environmental-friendliness of the Seventh Generation brand. These dryer sheets use a plant-derived formula as opposed to traditional softeners which typically use animal products. Users rate this product highly for its ability to soften and remove static, as well as for its lack of chemicals and animal products.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B88BQW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AQ76XUIIFYALT3QD"><em>Currently $9.93 for a 2-pack on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000WPMC04&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FZCVHFY5HN3MGOJG"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>For those that want better fabric softening and static cling removal, while still being friendly to the Earth, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000WPMC04&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FZCVHFY5HN3MGOJG">Seventh Generation natural fabric softener</a> is the right softener to choose. Similar to their dryer sheets, this fabric softener is made from non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients that make it hypoallergenic. Users also agree that this fabric softener is quite effective at softening clothes and removing static.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000WPMC04&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FZCVHFY5HN3MGOJG"><em>Currently $32.79 for a 6-pack on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Smart Sheep 100% Wool Dryer Balls</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GA9P5P0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FPIV7DDS4JWO3L4L"><img width="180" height="173" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Many users agree that these <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GA9P5P0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FPIV7DDS4JWO3L4L">Smart Sheep dryer balls</a> do a great job of making clothes soft and fluffy, as well as reducing static cling between articles of clothing. These dryer balls are also reusable, with the official claim being that they are capable of lasting thousands of loads, making them extremely economical. On top of softening fabric and reducing static, these dryer balls can also greatly reduce the drying time for your clothes.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GA9P5P0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FPIV7DDS4JWO3L4L"><em>Currently $16.95 for a 6-pack on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best fabric softeners. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Fabric Softeners" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide fabric softeners product reviews Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:00:21 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1156980 at Best Money Tips: Saving Money on Back to School Shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-back-to-school-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="mother son shopping" title="mother son shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on tips for saving on back to school shopping, scoring a bigger raise, and the secret to happiness.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Tips for Saving Money on Back to School Shopping</a> &mdash; To save money on back to school shopping, buy backpacks and lunch-boxes on sale the year before. [Stapler Confessions]</p> <p><a href="">Score a Bigger Raise With These 5 Ideas</a> &mdash; If you want to score a bigger raise, bring data to your meeting with your boss and avoid emotional please. [Stacking Benjamins]</p> <p><a href="">The Secret To Happiness&hellip; And Why It Has Nothing to Do With Money</a> &mdash; The decision to be happy is actually the decision to stop being unhappy, so make a conscious effort to choose happiness! [Financial Mentor]</p> <p><a href="">How to Have a Budget Friendly Last Minute Holiday</a> &mdash; Squeeze in one last affordable vacation before summer ends by clearing your browsing history and comparing transportation options. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <p><a href="">10 Important Roth IRA Rules: Number 7 Is a Shocker</a> &mdash; If you want to contribute more than the limit to your Roth IRA, you will be hit with a 6% excise fee. [Young Finances]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Loves Me, Loves Me Not: Four Ways to Organize Your Family Finances</a> &mdash; Having complete separation of accounts is just one way to manage your family finances. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="">What Is the Average Retirement Savings by Age? Are You Falling Behind?</a> &mdash; Did you know that most workers under 35 barely have $6,000 in retirement savings? [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="">Do You Have &quot;Broke&quot; Habits or Wealthy Habits?</a> &mdash; To develop wealthy habits, define your goals and understand your value. [Real Money Answers]</p> <p><a href="">19 Smart Uses for Tea-Tree Essential Oil</a> &mdash; Did you know you can use tea-tree essential oil to kill lice? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">10 Back to School Safety Tips</a> &mdash; It is important to teach your kids stranger danger before they go back to school. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Saving Money on Back to School Shopping" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping back to school best money tips saving school shopping tips Tue, 12 Aug 2014 19:04:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1183109 at 10 Things You Should Do Now to Get Your Finances in Order for the Holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-should-do-now-to-get-your-finances-in-order-for-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="couple paying bills" title="couple paying bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a way, Black Friday has become a sort of ceremonial ribbon cutting for the holiday spending season in America. In reality, the groundwork to spend all that money during November and December can and should be laid during the months leading up to Thanksgiving. To put it succinctly, we should be financially prepared to handle the holidays well in advance of their arrival &mdash; because holiday shopping has a way of taking us by surprise and catching us off guard. (See also: <a href="">How to Avoid Holiday Debt &mdash; Starting Now</a>)</p> <p>We spend more money than we need to (often on things that nobody really wants) simply because we don't have a plan in place for managing our finances during a hectic time of the year. Understandably, we get busy and distracted, sidetracked with all of the travel, work, and family activities.</p> <p>The good news is that you don't need to leave it all to chance, or to the last minute. Get started now with these steps.</p> <h2>1. First and Foremost: Save for Holiday Shopping</h2> <p>Ideally, this is something you started doing last January, putting away $10 to $15 every week or so for holiday spending. If you're just now starting, simply up the amount. Try $25 to $30 once a week until mid-December. By then you'll have roughly $450, which is significant for many households and certainly for individuals buying for other family members. To help you plan your savings strategy even better, try something like Dave Ramsey's <a href="">Christmas budgeting tool</a>.</p> <h2>2. Know That Thoughtfulness Is Cheaper</h2> <p>Our tendency to buy gifts at the last minute ends up costing us far more money. Holiday marketing pushes us towards the more expensive items and, unfortunately, they're usually easier to buy. Dad gets new power tools; Mom gets a tablet of some kind; and kids get a new cell phone, computer, or gaming system. Those things are expensive, and despite the fact they're usually enjoyed, you don't always need to spend top dollar on that kind of stuff.</p> <p>Particularly if you're buying for someone in your family, think about keeping it personal. If you take the time to think about what would mean more to someone, you can often avoid the more expensive, conventional gifts.</p> <h2>3. Pay Off as Much Debt as Possible</h2> <p>It can be difficult to manage holiday spending under ideal financial situations, much less when debt is crowding out your cash flow. Make it a priority to pay down your debts now before the holiday season hits.</p> <h2>4. Tighten Your Budget &mdash; Now</h2> <p>The less you spend now, the easier it will be to handle the holiday spending rush when it eventually comes. Consider how much you want to participate in that rush. For example, if you really want to take advantage of Black Friday and do some heavy Christmas shopping in December, avoid store hopping in the months and weeks leading up to those events. Keep your budget tight and make sure you have enough extra cash flow for the budgeting we mentioned in step one.</p> <h2>5. Plan Who You Want to Buy For</h2> <p>Creating a Christmas roster does two things for you. First, it eliminates the risk of impulse buying for people that you weren't initially planning on getting anything for. Second, it gives you a grid by which to divide up the Christmas budget you created in step one. Perhaps you want to spend $75 on each of your children, $50 on your spouse, and so on.</p> <h2>6. Start Buying Gifts Now</h2> <p>If you do some Christmas shopping now and in the months leading up to December, you'll not only avoid some of the inflated holiday prices, but you'll also have less people to shop for during the weeks when the stores are annoyingly busy and overcrowded.</p> <h2>7. Set Aside Some Money for Travel</h2> <p>Putting cash away for travel doesn't mean that it has to cover the entirety of your holiday trip cost. What it should do is offset the cost of fuel, food, and whatever other travel expenses might come up. Try to set aside $30 for every day you plan to be away. It'll be a welcome break for your checking account in the middle of the holiday season.</p> <h2>8. Commit to Not Using a Credit Card</h2> <p>If you've gone through (or committed to going through) step three, don't get back into the habit of using your credit card for the holiday season. It's far too tempting to say, &quot;I'll just use it for Christmas shopping.&quot; Use a debit card or cash. If you must use a credit card, treat it as a debit card and pay the balance down quickly. Who wants to start the new year with that monkey on their back?</p> <h2>9. Track Your Expenses</h2> <p>Use a program like <a href="">Mint</a> to track your spending and see where your money is going now, to help you budget and save, and during the holiday season to help you stay on budget.</p> <h2>10. Buy Decorations Now (If You Need Them)</h2> <p>The secret here is that you can get Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations almost year round. It's just that most people don't start to look for them until the holidays are imminent. That usually means you'll pay more when the season is close. If you can plan ahead and restock your decorations in June or July (the very end of December/start of January is even better), you'll save some money and time in the long run.</p> <h2>The Holidays Are Coming</h2> <p>A little forethought and planning now can help you avoid most of the annual holiday stress &mdash; and financial strain. It's simply a matter of being intentional about your finances with an eye to the future.</p> <p><em>How are you getting your finances in order leading up to the holiday season? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things You Should Do Now to Get Your Finances in Order for the Holidays" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping debt holiday shopping Holidays Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:01:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1181398 at The 5 Best Digital Thermometers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-digital-thermometers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="kid thermometer" title="kid thermometer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since the dawn of time, we've had a need to measure temperatures for varying reasons. Today, thermometers still serve the very important purpose of detecting fever and illness in people, especially in children. Modern digital thermometers are faster, more accurate and consistent, and often feature a number of additional features than traditional analog thermometers.</p> <h2>What Is a Digital Thermometer?</h2> <p>A digital thermometer is a device that can read temperature, and uses electronics to provide a digital display and manipulate that information in other ways. Thermometer types will differ in where they are placed to test for temperature (most thermometers will use the mouth, ear, rectum, forehead, or underarm) as well as what bells-and-whistles they might include.</p> <h2>Best 5 Digital Thermometers</h2> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NIG65C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AFRYK4DRJJFWWBP7"><img width="180" height="134" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>ADC ADTEMP V Digital Thermometer</h3> <p>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NIG65C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AFRYK4DRJJFWWBP7">ADC ADTEMP V</a> Digital Thermometer from the American Diagnostic Corporation is a quick and easy-to-use thermometer for those that want a basic device that will get the job done. The thermometer is suitable for oral, rectal, or underarm use, and users claim that it's capable of providing a reading within about 10 seconds. Top reviews on Amazon also vouch for this thermometer's accuracy.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NIG65C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AFRYK4DRJJFWWBP7"><em>Currently $10.09 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002AHVZU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RBYLRA5WGK7YILK2"><img width="180" height="130" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Vicks Baby Thermometer V934</h3> <p>Rectal thermometers are best suited for children under the age of 3, but are less appropriate for older children and adults. The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002AHVZU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RBYLRA5WGK7YILK2">Vicks Baby Thermometer V934</a> was designed to make taking a child's rectal temperature an easy process for both parents and children.</p> <p>The ComfortFlex probe is short and flexible, minimizing the chance that you can hurt your child. Finally, this thermometer is quick to provide a reading, with most users reporting a return in about 10 seconds.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002AHVZU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RBYLRA5WGK7YILK2"><em>Currently $9.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";qid=1395035924&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Braun+IRT+4520"><img width="180" height="216" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer IRT-4520</h3> <p>Experts aren't always the most enthusiastic when it comes to ear thermometers. They are typically harder to use, as it's often difficult to get the position correct. This, in turn, influences the accuracy of the devices. But the <a href=";qid=1395035924&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Braun+IRT+4520">Braun IRT-4520</a> ear thermometer resolves that problem with an indicator light and sound alert that lets you know when it's in the right position.</p> <p>In addition, its accuracy can be vouched for by professional tests. Finally, it also includes features such as the ability to store up to 8 readings in its memory.</p> <p><a href=";qid=1395035924&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Braun+IRT+4520"><em>Currently $39.88 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004T6G550&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GKG5TSVQKVJISIES"><img width="180" height="237" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Exergen TemporalScanner TAT-2000C</h3> <p>While rectal thermometers are, as a group, more accurate than other thermometers, parents often don't like the invasiveness of them. The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004T6G550&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GKG5TSVQKVJISIES">Exergen TermporalScanner</a> Temporal Artery Thermometer works by swiping its sensor across the forehead, removing that anxiety from people's concerns.</p> <p>This thermometer is capable of a 0.4 second rating and is safe for people of all ages. Users do say that it takes a while to get a hang of the swiping motion required to get a reading, but after a while, it becomes a breeze to use.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004T6G550&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GKG5TSVQKVJISIES"><em>Currently $27.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EP1ZLO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WM2BYTPCFRQ7CSYM"><img width="180" height="229" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Braun Forehead Thermometer</h3> <p>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EP1ZLO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WM2BYTPCFRQ7CSYM">Braun Forehead Thermometer</a> has all of the features that people would look for in a forehead thermometer. Its non-invasive sensor is still extremely accurate and returns a reading in just seconds. Additionally, it includes a number of extra features, such as a color-coded screen for immediate fever detection, and a backlight for use in dim light.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EP1ZLO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WM2BYTPCFRQ7CSYM"><em>Currently $29.88 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best digital thermometers. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Digital Thermometers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide digital thermometers product reviews Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:21:33 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1149625 at