impulse buys http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10870/all en-US 5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You? http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopaholic_overspending.jpg" alt="Shopaholic overspending" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Plenty of us overspend each month. Some of us overspend so much and so regularly that we end up with overwhelming credit card bills, missed loan payments, and black marks on our credit reports.</p> <p>One of the keys to gaining control over unhealthy spending habits is to recognize why you spend too much. There are different types of overspenders, and they break their budgets each month for different reasons. Recognizing those reasons can be the first step in fighting back against your bad financial habits.</p> <h2>A growing problem</h2> <p>The numbers from Northwestern Mutual's 2017 Planning and Progress Study show that many U.S. residents have a spending problem. According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of U.S. consumers are struggling with debt, owing an average $37,000 &mdash; not counting their mortgage payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget</a>)</p> <p>The survey found that, after paying for necessities such as housing, food, and transportation, Americans spend about 40 percent of what&rsquo;s left every month on discretionary expenses like travel, hobbies, and entertainment; they spend only an average 33 percent on paying off debt.</p> <p>What type of overspender are you? The odds are that you&rsquo;ll recognize yourself as one of the following.</p> <h2>1. The compulsive spender</h2> <p>Do you find yourself buying a new fitness tracker just because you've had a bad day at work? Does an argument with your spouse send you fleeing to the clothing store? You might be a compulsive shopper, one who overspends as a way to tamp down unwanted negative feelings. You might not even use the items you buy &mdash; just spending money on them is enough to provide you with temporary emotional relief.</p> <h2>2. The deal shopper</h2> <p>Do you find it impossible to turn away from a deal, even if you don't need the items that are on sale? Then you might be a compulsive bargain hunter. There's nothing wrong with looking for deals when you are shopping. But you shouldn't buy items if you don't need them, no matter how low their prices are.</p> <h2>3. Keeping up with the Joneses (or anyone else)</h2> <p>Did you buy that expensive car not because you needed it, but because you thought it would look good in your driveway? Then you might be obsessed with &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor?ref=internal" target="_blank">keeping up with</a>&quot; your neighbors, family members, or friends. For you, spending too much is all about maintaining the right image. You want everyone else to know how well you are doing. Unfortunately, it's expensive to keep up with everyone else. Spending too much just to bolster your image can leave you with loads of debt.</p> <h2>4. The secret shopper</h2> <p>Maybe you&rsquo;ve taken out a new credit card without telling your spouse. Or maybe you purchase expensive gadgets and electronics and hide them in the back of your closet. This type of overspending can result in serious trust issues in your relationships, and could ruin friendships or marriages. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</a>)</p> <h2>5. The extravagant gift giver</h2> <p>Do you think buying your friends or family members new toys, expensive restaurant meals, and high-end wines will make them like you more? Do you routinely overspend just so you can give the best presents each holiday season? Then you might be overspending as a way to get others to like you. This, of course, doesn&rsquo;t work: People won&rsquo;t like you any more or less no matter how much you spend on them.</p> <h2>Breaking the cycle</h2> <p>How do you beat your overspending habits? The first step is to create a household budget listing how much money you earn each month, and how much you can afford to spend. Once you&rsquo;ve done this, you&rsquo;ll at least know when you are overspending on individual budget items.</p> <p>Next, it&rsquo;s important to recognize <em>why</em> you overspend. Does it make you feel powerful and in control? Does it make you feel wealthier than you are? Does it make up for a day of headaches and stress at work?</p> <p>Once you know what triggers your overspending, you can watch for those familiar urges. Instead of mindlessly overspending, you can replace the temptation to use shopping as a de-stressor by adopting other coping mechanisms, such as exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques that won&rsquo;t break the bank.</p> <p>You might even seek professional help &mdash; not just from a financial adviser, but from a therapist who can help you identify and control the triggers that lead to your overspending.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Types%2520of%2520Overspenders%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520Which%2520One%2520Are%2520You-.jpg&amp;description=5%20Types%20of%20Overspenders%20%20Which%20One%20Are%20You%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Types%20of%20Overspenders%20%E2%80%94%20Which%20One%20Are%20You-.jpg" alt="5 Types of Overspenders &mdash; Which One Are You?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-you-have-a-serious-spending-addiction">7 Signs You Have a Serious Spending Addiction</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse">6 Ways to Avoid Buyer&#039;s Remorse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-bad-at-money-and-how-to-fix-it-asap">8 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Money — And How to Fix It ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping bad habits budgeting compulsive impulse buys keeping up with the joneses overspending Secrets shopaholic wasting money Tue, 27 Jun 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1971188 at http://www.wisebread.com Boost Your Savings by Making Your Money Harder to Spend http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/protect_your_saving.jpg" alt="Protect your saving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I left for my freshman year of college, I brought the graduation gift money I'd received with me. It was about $1,000, and I was carrying it in cash, intending to open a checking account. The cash never made it to the bank, however.</p> <p>It wasn't stolen, nor did I lose it. In fact, I tucked the envelope of twenties away in a secure location in my dorm room &mdash; but I neglected to protect the money from myself.</p> <p>From trips to the coffee shop to late night pizza delivery, I let that money flow through my fingers without paying any attention to where it was going or how quickly I was spending it. By the time I finally decided to open an account, there was less than $100 left.</p> <p>My experience is hardly unique. Most people have a similar story of squandering money because it was too easy to access the cash.</p> <p>The trick to being more careful with money is finding ways to make it harder to spend. If I had placed that cash in a checking account as soon as I got to campus, I would have had to walk to the ATM to make my unnecessary purchases &mdash; which would have been more than enough to prevent most of my spending.</p> <p>These days, simply depositing cash in the bank is not enough to make money harder to spend. The availability of mobile banking, debit and credit cards, and one-click online shopping makes money even easier to spend than it was when I was a first-year college student. That's why it is so important to productively reduce access to your money. Here are five ways you can protect your money from your own worst spending impulses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-bizarre-ways-to-stay-on-budget-that-actually-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Bizarre Ways to Stay on Budget (That Actually Work)</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop carrying credit or debit cards</h2> <p>Going out sans credit or debit card can feel weirder than going about your day naked, but it can be a very effective way to curb your spending. On most days, you probably don't actually need to have a card with you &mdash; it's just there in case you need it. Unfortunately, we then often &quot;need&quot; to stop for lunch, or in a favorite store, or meet everyone after work for happy hour rather than save the card for a legitimate need.</p> <p>To make sure you are covered in case you need to fill up your tank on the way to work, or you encounter another true spending need, get in the habit of carrying $20 or so while leaving your plastic at home. This helps limit your ability to buy things while still giving you access to a little money in case you need it.</p> <h2>2. Move your savings to another bank</h2> <p>Trying to build an emergency fund or reach another savings goal can be difficult if access to your money is too easy. Having a savings account linked to your checking account in the same bank can often be too much of a temptation. It's so easy to dip into that savings account whenever your checking account is running dry or there is an incredible sale.</p> <p>For many people, just making it <em>slightly </em>more difficult to access savings can be enough to stop this behavior. For instance, you can move your savings account to a different bank and establish a link between the two banks. While it's possible to move money between accounts in different banks, it generally takes two to three business days for the money to transfer, which can be inconvenient enough to foil your spending impulses.</p> <h2>3. Put your money in a restrictive savings vehicle</h2> <p>For some people, the inconvenience of separate banking institutions is not quite enough to stop them from accessing their savings when they shouldn't. Restrictive savings vehicles &mdash; accounts or assets that penalize you for early access &mdash; can be a great way to protect your money from yourself in that case.</p> <p>Depending on your time frame, there are a couple of different types of savings vehicles you might choose.</p> <h3>Certificate of deposit (CD)</h3> <p>This is a savings vehicle that requires you to commit to keeping your money in the account for a set period of time. If you withdraw the funds earlier, then you will be penalized. You can generally expect to pay three-to-six months' worth of accrued interest if you access the money early, although some CDs also take a percentage of the principal.</p> <h3>Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs)</h3> <p>Traditional IRAs offer tax advantages, which means there are penalties for dipping into them before you reach age 59 &frac12;. Specifically, you will have to pay taxes on both the distribution, as well as 10 percent of the amount of the distribution, to Uncle Sam.</p> <h2>4. Enlist an accountability partner</h2> <p>While it's pretty easy to break a promise to yourself, it's harder to break one you have made to another person. One method of making your money harder to spend is to enlist a friend or loved one as your accountability partner, to whom you will set up a credit card or bank statement alert. Many banks offer automated alert systems that will email or text you when your available credit dips below a certain amount or when a large transaction clears.</p> <p>This information is useful to the cardholder, but it can be a great way to keep you from spending money if you send that information to your accountability partner. Knowing that your partner will immediately know that you have broken your promise can be enough to keep you from whipping out your wallet.</p> <h2>5. Remove your payment information from online retailers</h2> <p>It is far too easy to buy something without really thinking about it when online retailers &quot;helpfully&quot; store our credit card or bank information for us. The minor inconvenience of having to get up and find your wallet is generally enough time for you to reconsider your purchase.</p> <p>When you can go from not knowing an item exists, to coveting it, to buying it in under 30 seconds, having just a little bit of time for a gut check on whether or not you need this purchase is crucial. Because if you want to buy something, but getting up to find your wallet doesn't feel worth it, then it's probably not a great use of your money.</p> <h2>Save your money from yourself</h2> <p>You are not the same person at every hour of the day. You contain multitudes, and often your goals and your impulses cause you to contradict yourself. Making your money harder to spend will ensure that the high-roller part of yourself doesn't bankrupt the saver part of yourself. You'll thank yourself later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-saving25-place-to-look-for-spare-change">Forget Saving...25 Places to Look for Spare Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance accountability banking cash impulse buys online shopping overspending protecting money saving money Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1965738 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Stop Making These Impulse Buys Now http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-stop-making-these-impulse-buys-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-stop-making-these-impulse-buys-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_buying_candy_16290309.jpg" alt="Woman trying to stop making impulse buys now" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on impulse buys to watch out for, holiday gifts that you can buy during Black Friday, and time management tools that you already have at home.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/how-to-save-money/10-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-making-right-now/71513">10 Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Making Right Now</a> &mdash; It's easy to buy something you don't need when there's a SALE sign next to it. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/1106/Nine-holiday-gifts-you-can-buy-during-Black-Friday">Nine holiday gifts you can buy during Black Friday</a> &mdash; Keep an eye out for these gift-worthy products during Black Friday. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.theorderexpert.com/time-management-tools-find-home/">7 Time Management Tools You Can Find in Your Home</a> &mdash; The sleep function on a radio alarm clock or TV can help you track &mdash; or limit &mdash; the time you spend on your devices. [The Order Expert]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Starbucks-Veterans-Day-2016-42675957">How Starbucks is Honoring Our Nation's Heroes This Veteran's Day (and How You Can, Too!)</a> &mdash; On November 11, veterans, active duty military, and any military spouse can go to Starbucks and received a free tall coffee. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.allstate.com/5-ways-to-preserve-your-digital-photos-injs/">5 Ways to Preserve Your Digital Photos</a> &mdash; You can save copies of your favorite images on an external hard drive. For another layer of protection, keep the hard drive in a fireproof safe.&nbsp; [The Allstate Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/college-surplus-sales/">5 Items You Can Get for Incredibly Cheap at College Surplus Sales</a> &mdash; Fans of thrift shops will love college surplus stores, where you&rsquo;ll find great deals on furniture, computers and hardware, and even sports equipment. [Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com/2016/11/05/10-reasons-why-you-can-cut-the-cable-cord-now/">10 Reasons Why You Can Cut the Cable Cord Now</a> &mdash; Over 100 cable channels are available through streaming apps. [Your Smart Money Moves]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/18667/sell-your-clothes.html">3 Ways to Turn Your Closet into Cash</a> &ndash; You&rsquo;ll likely get the best returns when you sell your gently used or never worn clothing through a local consignment store. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="https://www.lupgrade.com/5-ways-break-addiction-to-multitasking/">5 Ways To Break The Addiction To Multitasking</a> &mdash; Turn off email notifications. Constant updates will only distract you from the task at hand. [Life Upgrade]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2016/11/06/2-quick-exercises-to-quiet-the-negative-self-talk-in-your-head/">2 Quick Exercises to Quiet the Negative Self-Talk in Your Head</a> &mdash; As soon as a negative thought crosses your mind, write it down and get it out of your head. Figure out what the trigger was and write that down, too. [Marc &amp; Angel Hack Life]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-stop-making-these-impulse-buys-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs">Save More and Spend Less by Increasing Your &quot;Mental Transaction Costs&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse">6 Ways to Avoid Buyer&#039;s Remorse</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips impulse buys Wed, 09 Nov 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1829420 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cake_37433622.jpg" alt="Woman resisting impulse buys we need to stop falling for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An impulse buy is just how it sounds. It's a purchase that we haven't really thought through, and instead follow the direction of our &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-lizard-brain-derail-your-finances">lizard brains</a>.&quot; We don't ponder the pros and cons of the purchase, or even think about what it is we're actually buying. We simply grab it, pay for it, and enjoy it. But these little impulse buys can really add up to some serious money every month. And just by alerting yourself to the biggest offenders, you may actually think twice next time you're about to grab one, and save yourself a nice chunk of change every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>1. Magazines</h2> <p>You're standing in line at the checkout, you've loaded up the conveyor belt, and now you're playing the waiting game. That's when you notice some of the outrageous or tempting headlines on the magazines in the rack, and pick one up. Before you know it, you're sucked in, you've plopped the magazine on the conveyor, and you've just spent $5 on something you were not planning to buy. That, in itself, is bad enough. But magazines fresh off the rack are way more expensive than a magazine subscription. These days, you can pick up a subscription to most of the big magazine titles for between $5-$10 per year! Not only that, but almost everything you read in the magazine is available online, through your phone, tablet, or computer. It's a complete waste of money.</p> <h2>2. Candy</h2> <p>Oh, those pesky supermarket designers are devious. They know just how to get you dipping into your purse or wallet, and candy is a classic example. Even if you're not tempted by chocolate or sugary snacks, kids are. And the &quot;nag factor&quot; is enough to make most parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles, cave in. You will also see special offers on candy in the checkout line, such as BOGO free, or BOGO half off. You may also see &quot;Buy 2, Get 1 Free.&quot; These offers are designed to push you from a maybe to a &quot;well heck, I don't want to miss out on that kind of a deal!&quot; And before you know it, you've added a bunch of extra calories, and expenses, onto your grocery haul.</p> <h2>3. Cold Drinks</h2> <p>Have you noticed that mini-refrigerators have been popping up at checkouts with increasing regularity? From stores like Walmart and Target, to Goodwill, Ross, and Best Buy, as you wait in line, you will be staring into ice-cold beverage heaven. For some reason, many of us are preprogrammed to just naturally grab a drink after we've been shopping, but those drinks are more expensive as singles than as part of a pack &mdash; a pack you can find just a few aisles away. Plus, you need to ask yourself, &quot;Are you really that thirsty?&quot; Many stores have drinking fountains, so grab some free water before dropping $2-$4 on a drink you probably don't need.</p> <h2>4. Lip Balm</h2> <p>Raise your hand: How many of you have more than three or four lip balms at home (and yes, I'm putting my hand up, too). It may be more common in places with a drier climate, like Colorado or Arizona, but for some reason, the lure of the fresh, hermetically sealed lip balm is as tempting as candy and soda. And at the same time, we seem to forget how many we already have at home in the junk drawer or nightstand.</p> <h2>5. Batteries</h2> <p>&quot;Batteries Not Included&quot; is a phrase that has been burned into the memory of anyone that has ever given a present to an eager child. They open it up, press the buttons, and nothing happens. That's when you realize it takes eight size &quot;C&quot; batteries and all the stores are closed. Due to that conditioning, batteries are strategically placed near checkouts in grocery stores, warehouse stores, and electronics outlets. &quot;Don't forget your batteries&quot; ticks away in your head, and you grab a pack of each variety&hellip;. just in case. They join their unopened brothers and sisters on the shelf in the garage. One day, hopefully before they run out of juice, they'll get used.</p> <h2>6. Gum or Mints</h2> <p>Another classic impulse purchase is the tin of mints or packs of gum. They're placed at eye-level, right as you're plunking down your purchases for the cashier. No one likes a whiff of bad breath, so a tin of extra strong mints and a pack of spearmint gum will do the trick. They're only a few bucks, after all. You can put them in the glove compartment, and hope you'll have a reason to use the 60 sticks of gum that are already in there.</p> <h2>7. Coffee</h2> <p>What is the deal with coffee these days? It's like you can't walk 10 feet without bumping into a store selling the latest organic, dark roasted, pumpkin-spice-flavored cup of joe. Let's be honest though. Somewhere along the line, we were all convinced that paying $6-$7 for coffee was reasonable, even though we can all make perfectly good coffee at home for a tenth of the price. The smell of coffee, and the incredible flavors that go into it, is often hard to resist. There are Starbucks stores inside grocery stores, just near the exit, and one whiff is enough to get most people diving into their pockets for a quick pick-me-up.</p> <h2>8. Fast Food</h2> <p>Just like coffee stores, fast food brands have been setting up shop in grocery stores and retail outlets around the country. For instance, you can find both Subway and McDonald's inside Walmart, and they do an incredible amount of business. Some people say that you should never do your shopping on an empty stomach, and grabbing a quick burger before hitting the aisles seems like a good idea. Or, as you leave the store, the scent of grilled beef and fresh bread breaks down your willpower in seconds. Before you know it, you're munching on a burger in the car, despite having a week's supply of food in the trunk.</p> <h2>9. Energy Shots</h2> <p>These pesky critters have been popping up around the checkouts for the last few years. It used to be just one brand (Five Hour Energy), but now there are dozens of different brands on the scene. Gas stations and supermarkets are not exactly fun places to be, and if you're in one for long enough, or you're having one of those days, a little shot of energy seems like a great idea. &quot;I'm tired&hellip;oh, energy in a bottle. I'll take one!&quot; These shots can cost $2-$3 each, and the effects they have vary from person-to-person. You may get an insane energy buzz, or barely a twitch. Either way, it's an expensive little impulse.</p> <h2>10. Protein Bars</h2> <p>Protein. Protein. Gotta have your protein. These protein-packed bars are big business, and can be found in various places, including the vitamins and supplements aisles. That is a bit bizarre, because although they do contain a big chunk of protein, they also contain a list of ingredients that would give a healthy eater nightmares: <a href="http://www.prevention.com/food/bad-energy-bar-ingredients">high-fructose corn syrup, inulin</a>, agave syrup, sugar alcohols, and fractionated palm kernel oil are just a few horrors lurking in them. But due to our increasingly hectic lifestyles, these have become a quick &quot;grab-and-go&quot; meal replacement. No time for lunch? A protein bar will do. Actually, it won't. It's an expensive mistake, and it can lead to sugar crashes and diarrhea.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-ask-before-buying-refurbished-appliances">4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Appliances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-stock-up-on-school-supplies">6 Genius Ways to Stock Up on School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping candy gum impulse buys junk food saving money shopping shopping hacks shopping tips willpower Thu, 03 Nov 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1825862 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditate_work_67249941.jpg" alt="Woman becoming money master through meditation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Could you save and earn more money simply by learning to be calmer and more mindful?</p> <p>Regular meditation is known to have a variety of potential health benefits. But it could play a big role in boosting your finances, due to its emphasis on self-control, patience, and minimalism.</p> <p>If you're looking to get your financial house in order, consider taking up a regular meditation practice and see if it helps. Here are some ways it might make a difference.</p> <h2>1. You'll Learn to Wait Things Out When Investing</h2> <p>When investing for retirement, it's best to take a very long-term approach. This means not concerning yourself with the everyday movements of the markets, and remaining patient even during volatile times. Meditation can help you focus on your goals, rather than make investment decisions based on emotion or a single, nonrecurring event.</p> <h2>2. You'll Be Mindful About Spending</h2> <p>How many times have you put something in the grocery cart without checking the price or even thinking about whether you truly need the item? When you practice mindfulness, you'll take the time to consider each act, and will be able to stop yourself before making an unnecessary purchase.</p> <p>Meditation could also make you less vulnerable to marketing. Rick Heller, an author who leads weekly meditations at Harvard, writes that, &quot;Unless we learn to be mindful, we'll be <a href="http://thehumanist.com/magazine/july-august-2011/features/slowing-down-the-consumer-treadmill">at the mercy of advertisers</a> who crank up the consumer treadmill to run faster and faster.&quot;</p> <h2>3. You'll Learn to Live With Less</h2> <p>One of the key goals of meditation is to free yourself from attachment to material goods. When you practice mindfulness, you are living &quot;in the moment&quot; rather than concerning yourself with wants or needs. There are many people who use mindfulness and meditation as part of their &quot;minimalist&quot; approach to living with few material possessions. Writers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who call themselves &quot;The Minimalists,&quot; argue that &quot;we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You'll Be Less Impulsive</h2> <p>Perhaps you once booked a trip to the Bahamas on the spot because of an overwhelming urge to get away. Or maybe you bought a new car from the first dealer you met simply because you got tired of taking your old car in for repairs. Meditation can help you learn to think through your decision making, rather than acting on impulse. And that, in turn, can save you money by staving off unnecessary on-the-fly purchases.</p> <h2>5. You Won't Shop or Eat to Reduce Stress</h2> <p>For many of us, spending money can be a stress reliever. We like the rush of endorphins when we find a new electronic gizmo, vintage comic book, or pair of shoes. We treat ourselves to a dinner out because we've had a tough week. Through meditation, we can train ourselves to find deeper joy through other means and become less dependent on these small &mdash; and short-lived &mdash; rushes of pleasure.</p> <h2>6. You Won't Panic When Things Go Wrong</h2> <p>There will be times when your finances will take a hit for one reason or another. Maybe you're facing a job loss, or a big medical bill. Perhaps your car broke down and is in need of expensive repairs. When events like these happen, it's always important to avoid making the problem worse.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-cut-millennials-some-slack-about-their-money">10 Reasons to Cut Millennials Some Slack About Their Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle impulse buys investing living with less meditation mindfulness saving spending stress Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1798864 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let "Lizard Brain" Derail Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-lizard-brain-derail-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-lizard-brain-derail-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green_lizard_grass_19865568.jpg" alt="Preventing lizard brain from derailing your finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to your personal finances, you're in the driver's seat, right?</p> <p>So how come &mdash; sometimes &mdash; that &quot;quick trip&quot; to the mall can end up a daylong spending extravaganza? Why is it that occasionally, the tiny tingle of desire becomes a thunderous nagging, and you're suddenly the proud owner of some shoes (or a car, or a state of the art bit of tech) that you can't really afford? Or why, when the market wobbles, do you cash in your investment chips &mdash; even though you signed up for the long term?</p> <p>Meet your lizard brain.</p> <h2>What Is the Lizard Brain?</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.crystalinks.com/reptilianbrain.html">lizard brain</a> &mdash; which is also known as our reptilian brain or chimp brain &mdash; is the oldest and least evolved part of our human brain. Sitting near the spinal cord, this tiny clump of cells is similar to what you might find between the ears of a lizard (or a fish, for that matter). While the rest of the human brain moved on, this crucial little powerhouse drives our most basic (and primitive) needs. It is what we have to thank for our desires to survive, reproduce, hoard, and dominate.</p> <p>And if it sounds like we don't have a need for such base motivations these days, then think again. The lizard brain is what drives fight or flight &mdash; a crucial physical mechanism at times even today.</p> <p>The problem, really, is that the lizard brain struggles with identifying some of our more modern struggles. And because it developed to save our lives, it is also able to override the more rational and logical areas of the mind. It is hard wired to take control, especially when we feel under pressure, stressed, or emotional.</p> <h2>Feel Compelled to Eat That Pint of Ice Cream? Blame Your Lizard Brain</h2> <p>You might recognize the interventions of the lizard brain in yourself. Think of the times that you are seized by an overwhelming impulse to do something, and it happens so quickly your logical head has not processed the decision. That &quot;heart over head&quot; type of brain hijack is initiated by the lizard brain. Maybe you feel a compulsion to eat the contents of the snack cupboard, have another sneaky drink, spill your juicy gossip, or splurge on something out of your budget. If you know you shouldn't do it, but go ahead anyway (and perhaps later regret it), then that's the lizard brain.</p> <p>The lizard brain is not fundamentally bad. In fact, for millions of years it has done a great job of keeping us alive and out of trouble. But when it comes to your cash, it can be the personal finance saboteur sat right in your own mind.</p> <h2>Personal Finance and the Lizard Brain</h2> <p>There are some ways that your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich?ref=internal">mind can make you rich</a>. And then there are some that can make you substantially poorer.</p> <p>Even those most sophisticated of money minds can suffer. The last economic crises have proved rich fodder for psychologists watching the way the human brains of traders and investors react to sudden changes in the market. Overall, the answer seems to be that they <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/5c528240-c3a7-11e0-8d51-00144feabdc0.html">do not act rationally</a>, preferring short term horizons and certainty, despite investing being a long term game.</p> <p>One reason for this is the pleasure/pain principle. We tend to worry more about the pain of losing money, than we celebrate the success of winning an equivalent amount of money. Therefore stress kicks in at the prospect of losing out, and we allow the lizard brain to take over. A series of knee jerk reactions kicks in, and before you know it, your rational decision making is out of the window.</p> <p>On a more individual level, the lizard brain can cause us to act on impulses without the calming influence of rational thought. So if you have a compulsive spending problem, or get swept along by the moment and find yourself picking up far more at the mall than you intended, then the lizard brain might be to blame.</p> <h2>Reining In Your Lizard Brain</h2> <p>Your lizard brain might not always be your best friend, but it is one of the things that is keeping us alive. Even if we no longer have to dodge passing saber tooth tigers, or high-tail it away from a rampaging mammoth, that fight or flight mechanism gets us out of trouble today, too.</p> <p>But stopping the lizard brain from accidentally getting us into trouble is an ongoing process. Understanding the situations in which we make impulsive financial decisions is a starting point. Simply by noticing the impulse, you have the time to more rationally assess the decision you're about to make. And stopping just a moment &mdash; however brief &mdash; to understand your basic impulses might be enough to prevent you from making a poor decision.</p> <p>You can't live without your lizard brain, so better to start making friends with it. Acknowledging the tendency to act on impulse might be enough to bring it in line and make sure you're not being hijacked by your own little personal finance saboteur.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Does stress cause you to make financial decisions driven by impulse rather than logical assessment? How do you keep your lizard brain in check?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-lizard-brain-derail-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-you-have-a-serious-spending-addiction">7 Signs You Have a Serious Spending Addiction</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend">Boost Your Savings by Making Your Money Harder to Spend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-to-cut-yourself-some-slack-following-a-financial-setback">4 Reasons to Cut Yourself Some Slack Following a Financial Setback</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance fight or flight impulse buys lizard brain overspending psychology self control Splurging Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:01:03 +0000 Claire Millard 1746054 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Shopping Habits to Nix Before You Turn 30 http://www.wisebread.com/5-shopping-habits-to-nix-before-you-turn-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-shopping-habits-to-nix-before-you-turn-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bags_000051645128.jpg" alt="Woman learning shopping habits to nix before turning 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once you're in your 30s, people will expect you to have smarter shopping habits. Not only is it wiser to spend your money responsibly, but once you hit the big three-oh, you will need to focus your savings efforts towards retirement and buying a home.</p> <p>Ditch these five bad shopping habits before you leave your 20s, and you will find that it is much easier to save money and hit your financial goals later in life.</p> <h2>1. You Buy What You Want</h2> <p>As an adult, it is time to realize that there are going to be many things that you <em>want </em>to buy. However, it is important to buy things you truly <em>need </em>rather than everything on your wish list. For example, you need groceries &mdash; but you do not need that tray of sushi or bottle of cold-pressed juice. Cutting out frivolous spending on whims and splurges will drastically change your finances.</p> <p>This is not to say there is never room for splurges. Instead, budget a set amount of money each month that can be spent however you wish.</p> <h2>2. You Use Credit Cards Wrong</h2> <p>Credit cards can be helpful in your finances. However, if you are just pulling out your credit card every time you make a purchase, you are more likely to overspend and put yourself in a situation where you're living paycheck to paycheck. Using credit cards wisely is the key.</p> <p>A smart way to use your credit card is to write down all of your purchases as if you were balancing a checkbook. For example, if you want to use your credit card for groceries, utilities, gas, and dining out, then set a budget for each one. Then you add all those budgets together, and every time you swipe your card, you deduct the cost from your total budget &mdash; either in a small notebook or on your phone's notepad. It might look like this:</p> <p>$850</p> <p>-$75 for electric bill (2/19)</p> <p>__________________</p> <p>$625</p> <p>-$5.50 for fast food (2/23)</p> <p>__________________</p> <p>$619.50</p> <p>Once you reach $0, stop using your credit card and pay off your balance. This allows you to benefit from the convenience of a credit card, without going into debt.</p> <p>Also if you plan on using a credit card for majority of your spending, then you need to get a card that will give you a decent amount of return. Consider using a credit card that comes with an annual fee, because those cards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">usually come with better rewards</a>.</p> <h2>3. You Don't Pay Attention to Your Budget</h2> <p>Financial experts are quick to push the idea of budgeting on others as a simple way to be in control of your finances. The truth is that budgeting is harder to stick with than it sounds. To stay committed to your budget, try establishing budget ranges rather than a set number. For example, budgeting $350&ndash;$425 per month on groceries allows for natural fluctuations, such as a good sale or having guests over for dinner.</p> <h2>4. You Emotional Shop</h2> <p>Feeling sad? Go shopping. Excited about a new job offer? Go shopping. Have nothing else to do on a Saturday? That's right, go shopping. As silly as this sounds, many people allow their feelings and mood to dictate when they go shopping. Shopping when you are stressed, bored, excited, or depressed are all easy ways to overspend and buy items you do not need and will not use.</p> <p>This is where it is important to stick with a budget, and to evaluate what you are buying. Perhaps you are in Target, and you see a really cute dress. Before putting it in your cart, ask yourself if it is in your budget. Do you really need it? Do you have anything else like it at home? Realize when emotions are dictating your shopping habits and overrule them with logic. The best trick to try is walking away from a purchase for a day or two. If you still want the item later and it fits in your budget and needs, then go buy it.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Shop With the Future in Mind</h2> <p>As you enter your 30s, you should consider the future for each major purchase. For example, if you are planning on having children in the next two to three years, perhaps a small car is not the wisest decision. The same principle goes for buying houses, furniture, and more.</p> <p>You should even consider the future with minor purchases. It can be as simple as paper towels going on a sale. Since it is predictable that you will use paper towels in the near and distant future, you should buy several months' worth rather than just one package. Remember to exercise balance when it comes to bulk buying, though. You will need paper towels for the rest of your life, but that does not mean you should buy a whole a year's worth!</p> <p><em>Which shopping habit do you think is the most important to leave behind once you hit your 30s?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-shopping-habits-to-nix-before-you-turn-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-millennials-are-better-with-money-than-you-are">7 Ways Millennials Are Better With Money Than You Are</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs">Save More and Spend Less by Increasing Your &quot;Mental Transaction Costs&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping 20s 30s budgets emotional spending impulse buys millennials spending habits Tue, 22 Mar 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1672234 at http://www.wisebread.com Save More and Spend Less by Increasing Your "Mental Transaction Costs" http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_thinking_money_000059288966.jpg" alt="Man saving more by increasing mental transaction costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You like to start each morning with a fresh latte from your local coffee shop. It's your daily indulgence, and you're more than happy to spend $4 a day for this little ritual.</p> <p>But then each autumn, everyone and her Aunt Marge suddenly goes crazy for that seasonal Gourd Spice Latte. Instead of zooming in and out with your morning cuppa like you do the rest of the year, you are stuck waiting in a long line of GSL enthusiasts. So, every fall when GSL fever takes over your neighborhood, you skip your morning latte and make do with the stale coffee in the breakroom at work.</p> <p>Your annual avoidance of your favorite coffee shop is the effect of mental transaction costs on consumer behavior.</p> <h2>What Are &quot;Transaction Costs?&quot;</h2> <p>According to economic theory, <em>transaction costs</em> are the various costs associated with making a purchase. We tend to only think of cost in terms of money, like the $4 you shell out for that latte each morning. But there are additional mental transaction costs that we often forget to account for, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Time Costs: The coffee lover who is unwilling to stand and wait in a long line.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search and Information Costs: The work you do shopping around for the best price, or determining the best product to suit your needs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bargaining Costs: The effort to come to an agreement, as home and car buyers often have to do.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Policing and Enforcement Costs: Making certain the other party adheres to the terms of your contract. (Anyone who has ever bought a lemon has experienced these costs.)</li> </ul> <p>Retailers and marketers are well aware of these mental transaction costs and they work hard to remove them from your shopping experience. Within the industry, removing these inconveniences is referred to as &quot;reducing friction.&quot;</p> <p>However, mental transaction costs are a good thing for frugal consumers. The more friction you experience, the less likely you are to buy. Since retailers are always looking for new and inventive ways of reducing friction, it is up to you to increase mental transaction costs for yourself so that you do not find yourself making impulse purchases. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Carry Cash</h2> <p>There is an excellent reason why so many personal finance experts (including yours truly) <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-we-spend-more-when-we-pay-with-credit-cards">recommend that you carry cash</a> rather than rely on plastic for purchases. Credit card purchases have very little &quot;friction,&quot; since you do not have to feel the pain of actual money leaving your wallet. Even the act of having to double-check that you have enough cash on hand to pay can be a sufficient transaction cost. It's a bit of a hassle to count out the bills and empty your pockets for change. It can seem easier to just go without whatever you were thinking of buying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso">12 Habits of Highly Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>2. Make It a Pain to Get Out Your Credit Card</h2> <p>You have probably heard the old-fashioned advice to freeze your credit card in a block of ice in order to make it impossible to make an impulse purchase. This is actually an astute (if extreme) method of increasing your transaction costs. If you realize you have get out a hair dryer to access your credit card, you will probably decide to forgo the purchase.</p> <p>A less radical way of achieving the same results would be to keep your cards in your wallet, but use a rubber band to wrap a folded piece of paper around them on which you write the following questions:</p> <ul> <li>Do I need to buy this?</li> <li>Do I need to buy it now?</li> <li>Will purchasing this item help me reach my goals?</li> <li>What else could I do with the money I spend?</li> </ul> <p>Not only will these questions help you think through each purchase, but the simple transaction cost of unfolding the paper from around your cards can be enough of a pain in the neck to keep your buying in check.</p> <h2>3. Turn Off One-Click Purchasing</h2> <p>One of the biggest recent innovations in reducing friction was the creation of &quot;one-click&quot; purchasing. You are bound to overspend when you can go from coveting an item to purchasing it with a single click. Having to get up to get your wallet and enter in your credit card information can provide you with enough of a mental transaction cost to keep you on the straight and narrow.</p> <p>Additionally, you might consider deleting your account information on any shopping sites. Typing in your mailing address every single time you are on your favorite Internet retail site sounds like <em>no fun</em> (for good reason) &mdash; but shouldn't spending money you can't afford be something less than fun?</p> <h2>4. Say No to e-Tailer Memberships</h2> <p>Retailers know that the word &quot;free&quot; breaks our brains. That's because we tend to ignore all other transaction costs when something costs us nothing. This explains the free shipping trap, which causes normally rational human beings to spend more on items they don't want in order to avoid paying for a shipping fee on the only items they do want.</p> <p>The &quot;easy&quot; way to avoid that trap is to upgrade your membership (for a fee), and avoid all shipping costs. Except that spending $99 per year for Amazon Prime (for instance) means the retailer not only gets your membership fee (which costs them nothing to receive, since there is no merchandise or shipping involved), but you also lose the shipping deterrent that often keeps you from making unnecessary purchases. You also lose the motivation to comparison shop, since you have already sunk money into the Amazon membership.</p> <p>It's a better idea to skip memberships altogether to increase your mental transaction costs. That will force you to consider each purchase on its own merits. And considering the fact that Amazon has just raised its <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/22/amazon-raises-its-free-shipping-minimum-to-49-for-non-prime-members/">free shipping minimum purchase to $49</a> for non-Prime members, it's that much more likely that you will either plan purchases more carefully, or skip things that are non-essential.</p> <h2>5. Enlist an Accountability Buddy</h2> <p>Another classic piece of personal finance advice is to discuss any purchase over a certain dollar amount with your spouse. This allows for both transparency and compromise in a marriage &mdash; but it also seriously increases mental transaction costs.</p> <p>For instance, when the Girl Scouts come knocking and I am the only one home, I would be sorely tempted to hand over $100 in exchange for <em>all</em> the Samoas and Thin Mints. But if my husband and I had previously agreed to discuss all purchases ahead of time, then I would be facing mental transaction costs &mdash; either call him at work, which he would probably not appreciate, or own up to the illicit purchase after the fact, which he would also probably not appreciate. That would put a serious damper on my cookie enthusiasm.</p> <p>Making an agreement with your spouse or a friend that you will each discuss purchases ahead of time will provide you with a layer of hassle that will make impulse purchases seem much less alluring.</p> <p><em>Do you use any of these or other mental transaction costs to help you live frugally?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse">6 Ways to Avoid Buyer&#039;s Remorse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping buying power impulse buys mental hacks overspending retailers transaction costs Tue, 15 Mar 2016 10:00:25 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1668456 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Avoid Buyer's Remorse http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shocked_receipt_000053193026.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to avoid buyer&#039;s remorse" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nothing worse than buying something that felt good at the time, but ends up being just a useless symbol of regret. The next time you feel a splurge coming on, try these six ways to avoid buyer's remorse. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a>)</p> <h2>1. Research Your Purchases Thoroughly</h2> <p>Everyone knows they should research, but do we always? Comparison shopping can be as easy as taking time to read reviews during your lunch break, or making a list of pros and cons about whether or not to make that purchase.</p> <p>Looking for more ways to comparison shop? Two great websites to help you out are <a href="http://thewirecutter.com/">The Wirecutter</a> and <a href="http://thesweethome.com/">The Sweethome</a>. They compare everyday items, from linens to computers, in such detail that you can't help but start applying the same exhaustive analysis to every product you buy.</p> <h2>2. Don't Shop as Therapy</h2> <p>Are you the type to shop at Trader Joe's hungry? Do you wander into Bed, Bath, &amp; Beyond after a stressful day at work? One of the worst things you can do for your budget, time, and well-being is to shop angry, stressed, or tired.</p> <p>Stop yourself and ask yourself: <em>Why do I feel the compulsion to buy something right now?</em> I recommend trying the super popular <a href="http://philome.la/jace_harr/you-feel-like-shit-an-interactive-self-care-guide/play">self care click-through guide</a>, which might help you explore the reasons behind therapy shopping behaviors.</p> <h2>3. Pay Your Bills First</h2> <p>A great exercise to ground yourself and think practically before making a purchase is actively thinking about your budget and expenses. Try activating the part of your brain that manages money by sorting through or paying your bills first. That way, you are more likely to view a purchase more pragmatically and get what you can both afford get the most use.</p> <h2>4. Buy What You Can Use Now</h2> <p>Always trying to buy the best of the best item in its category? That may be misguided. The Journal of Consumer Research found that people like high quality in the long term, but convenience in the short term. This leads to faulty mental accounting when buying products intended for future use.</p> <p>For example, someone buying image editing software to use later might buy a program with too many advanced features. Because that person is unlikely to use all those features (we tend to overestimate how much we are able to learn in the future), they are more likely to regret the purchase. Had they bought a program they could use now with their current skill level, they would have been happier with the purchase.</p> <h2>5. Shop Better</h2> <p>Sometimes we just can't see a product's faults online, especially in the case of clothing and housewares. That said, some people have trouble managing impulses when shopping in stores. It's hard to resist buying something just because it's on sale, or because the salesperson says it's almost sold out.</p> <p>Pick up an item, feel it, test it. In <a href="http://amzn.to/1Po3PM3">The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up</a><em>, </em>organization expert Marie Kondo insists that we hold an item and inspect it carefully. If it doesn't spark joy, don't buy it. If you're not feeling it, forget it. Just as well, if an item you already own doesn't spark joy, toss it or give it away and you won't be bummed out with regret every time you see it!</p> <h2>6. Know When to Wait</h2> <p>Don't let impulse buy temptation get the better of you. When looking at electronics or other big ticket purchases, early adopters tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to features. You're always better off holding onto what you have and waiting to pounce on the second or third generation.</p> <p>If you're deeply considering a &quot;limited time offer,&quot; enter a reminder on your calendar to notify you on the last day the offer is available. If you are still interested when that notification pops up on your screen, then it was meant to be!</p> <p><em>How do you avoid buyer's remorse?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you">5 Types of Overspenders — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-and-spend-less-by-increasing-your-mental-transaction-costs">Save More and Spend Less by Increasing Your &quot;Mental Transaction Costs&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-you-have-a-serious-spending-addiction">7 Signs You Have a Serious Spending Addiction</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-purchases-youll-never-regret">25 Purchases You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buyer's remorse impulse buys overspending regrets wasting money Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:19:00 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1646411 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times to Avoid Debit or Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-avoid-debit-or-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-to-avoid-debit-or-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000048733408.jpg" alt="Friends shopping and avoiding debit and credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Paying with debit or credit cards is fast, convenient, and easy. Despite the arguments for debit and credit cards, however &mdash; some of which are totally valid &mdash; there are instances when cash is the better option. What are they? Check out six of them here, and share some of your own suggestions in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. When the Impulse-Buying Pangs Hit</h2> <p>One of the worst times for using your debit or credit card is when making small, insignificant purchases like food items, or basically anything from a convenient or quick-stop shop, like a CVS, Walgreens, or Rite-Aid. Those places have all the makings of impulse-buy overload, and you generally don't <em>need</em> whatever it is you're purchasing. The problem is those small expenses add up quickly &mdash; and they're hard to keep track of. Do it too often and you're in for a big surprise when the bill comes and, as a result, in danger of negatively affecting your budget.</p> <p>Kelsa Dickey, a Tempe, Arizona-based financial counselor, specializes in teaching budgeting, debt-reduction strategies, cash flow planning, and more, and she wholly advocates against this practice.</p> <p>&quot;If you use a credit card for day-to-day spending, it's very easy to not pay attention to how much is going on there and accidentally overspend,&quot; she says. &quot;I would avoid using credit cards in those situations. If you ever get your bill at the end of the month and you kind of gasp when you see the total, I'm looking at you!&quot;</p> <h2>2. When Making Major Purchases, Like a Car</h2> <p>It can be tempting to make a major purchase, like a car, with your credit card, especially if you have a card that offers perks, like reward points. The downside to this logic, however, is that the massive sum of a major purchase also comes with equally sizable interest and late fees. If you don't have the funds to pay off the balance immediately, putting this purchase on a credit card is not a good idea. Instead, opt for a traditional loan (with a reasonable interest rate) or pay in cash if you have it to avoid additional fees, altogether.</p> <h2>3. When Dealing With Cash-Equivalent Transactions</h2> <p>I've seen it time and again at the casino: When a player runs out of money, they hand their credit card to the dealer or visit the cashier for a cash advance from their credit card so they can continue making donations to the establishment. And that's bad news for multiple reasons. First, if you've resorted to this financial low, you've obviously run out of spendable cash. Second, these transactions aren't cheap. Third, you have a gambling problem &mdash; but that's neither here nor there in this post.</p> <p>Robert Harrow, analyst for personal-finance research site ValuePenguin and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post's Financial Education section, explains further.</p> <p>&quot;No one should be using a credit card to pay for lottery tickets, gambling chips, cashiers checks, or anything that might be flagged as a 'cash equivalent transaction,'&quot; he says. &quot;Banks categorize these purchases as cash advances, which means higher than normal interest rates, and extra fees come attached.&quot;</p> <h2>4. When You Have the Opportunity to Haggle</h2> <p>When visiting yard sales, flea markets, farmers' markets, and other mom-and-pop-type setups, using cash can work to your advantage. For starters, many of the vendors at these places don't have the ability to accept credit or debit cards &mdash; though that's increasingly changing with the availability of mobile-swiping devices. Yet that convenience still doesn't provide them with cash-in-hand, which makes your pocket full of Washingtons and Lincolns much more attractive. And because they get the money immediately, these folks are much more apt to make a deal on the spot, lest you walk away. Personally, I think it's the best part about these events &mdash; so long as both parties are walking away satisfied (in other words, don't try to rip anybody off).</p> <h2>5. When You're Trying to Help the &quot;Little Guys&quot;</h2> <p>It you like shopping local or otherwise want to help the little guys &mdash; i.e. the service industry or anybody who works for tips &mdash; your best bet is to do it with cash. In some instances when paying for services on your credit or debit card, the individual service provider may not receive that money right away, as some places pay out tips weekly.</p> <p>Additionally, some financial establishments charge the general service providers about 3% of the total transaction haul, which is sometimes passed on to the individual &mdash; which, by the way, hardly seems fair; if you do this to your employees, you should be ashamed of yourself. In any case, to avoid these scenarios, cash is best. Using cash also helps put money in the individual's pocket right then and there, which, if they're living paycheck to paycheck, can be helpful for life's necessary expenses, like gas, food, and other items.</p> <h2>6. When You Know You Can't Afford it Right Now</h2> <p>A lot of people believe that credit cards, especially, are for the sole purpose of making purchases that you can't otherwise afford, like when you have little to no discretionary funds. That's a flawed logic. In emergencies, that's true, but there are times when we convince ourselves that we need something (that we totally don't) and reach for the credit card to pay for it. Read this carefully: If you can't afford something that you can absolutely live without, <em>you don't need it</em>. If you don't have the cash to back it up, put it out of your mind until you get back on track.</p> <h2>7. When You're Unsure About the Safety of Your Personal Information</h2> <p>There are plenty of financial experts who will tell you that you should never use a debit or credit card online, at restaurants, in convenience stores, and other places because you're at risk of having your financial information compromised&hellip; but I'm not one of them.</p> <p>While their stance on the issue is not inaccurate &mdash; security breaches happen all the time &mdash; I find it rather infeasible to live in today's world without using plastic at least some of the time. Those risks are ones that I'm willing to take, so long as I'm vigilant about using only secure sites, never giving my credit card number over the phone (this is a <em>very </em>important tip to remember), and banking at an institution that will back me up if my information is compromised. Thus, this suggestion is a relative one: If you don't feel comfortable using your credit or debit card someplace, trust your instincts; you're probably not wrong. In these cases, use cash.</p> <p>Don't, however, get that cash from the ATM in an establishment you're already weary about; that doesn't protect you any better from potential fraudulent activity. Personally, I try to only make a withdrawal at my or another reputable bank's ATMs opposed to random machines.</p> <p><em>When do you avoid whipping out the plastic?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-avoid-debit-or-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-cash-for-these-11-things">Never Use Cash for These 11 Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-spend-more-with-cash-or-credit">Do You Spend More with Cash or Credit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Credit Cards cash debit impulse buys paying shopping spending Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1506038 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_outside_aldi.jpg" alt="Man outside Aldi" title="Man outside Aldi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since the price of groceries has been steadily rising and my only local grocery store went bankrupt, I have been trying <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">better food budgeting</a> with a monthly trip to Aldi for the essentials. My grandmother was always a big proponent of Aldi, but that was back in the day before the retail chain really stepped up their game.</p> <p>As a frequent Aldi shopper, I have discovered that the years have been kind, and the store has really become an asset to our small area where unemployment rates are high and dollar stores are seeing more business than ever. If you have never shopped at an Aldi, I want to provide you some incentive by listing the things I love about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-groceries-with-discount-grocery-stores">discount store</a> and its offerings, as well as a few minor complaints about the store I frequent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From&nbsp;Aldi</a>)</p> <h3>Six Great Reasons to Shop at Aldi</h3> <p>The discount grocery chain has really come a long way over the years. As a frequent shopper, I have taste-tested many of the Aldi-brand products and can say that most are just as good or even better than their name-brand counterparts. Here are six of the top reasons you should consider shopping at the Aldi store near you (if you are lucky enough to have one).</p> <p><strong>Tasty Stuff</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;ll be the first to admit I previously tended to shop brand-name because I was picky about how generic products tasted in comparison. The good news is that the items I now buy at Aldi taste just as good, and even better, than the more-expensive brand-name counterparts. I address the items I do not like in the next section, but overall I find that I prefer the Aldi brand to other brands. The caramel-filled ice cream cones are to die for, and I can&rsquo;t buy them anywhere else!</p> <p><strong>Good, Small Selection <br /> </strong></p> <p>While it is true you don&rsquo;t have a whole lot of choices when you shop Aldi, I find that the variety of items you can get at Aldi is great. I think I actually like not having to choose spaghetti sauces from 42 different companies. Aldi sells one brand of sauce but in a variety of flavors. I especially like the frozen section, which often features different products, so I get to see new items every time I go. I know I can always get my staples, but I also get to look forward to what&rsquo;s new.</p> <p><strong>Great Prices</strong></p> <p>I did a relatively informal price comparison between the local Walmart and Aldi. I can get two times the amount of stuff at Aldi at the same price I could from Walmart, and three times as much stuff when compared to the local grocery store chains. We have left Aldi with an overflowing cart full of stuff for just under $200, which I know I can never do at any other store. I think the best example of the savings potential lies in the Aldi cereal aisle. Even my two tween girls who are obsessed with brand names and image largely prefer the $1.99 box of Aldi brand cereal to the $4.99 name brand box in the grocery store. Most of the popular cereal types are available under the Aldi brand, and I can buy five boxes at Aldi compared to one or two boxes from the grocery store. No one in our household can taste the difference.</p> <p><strong>Online Shopping List</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.aldi.us/index_ENU_HTML.htm">Aldi website</a> offers weekly flyer information concerning its in-store sales. The cool part is you can add merchandise to your shopping list straight from the flyer. You can save a lot of time creating this list and learning about the deals. Simply print the list and take it with you when you shop.</p> <p><strong>More Earth-Friendly</strong></p> <p>If you have not shopped at Aldi, you may be surprised to find you have to bring your own bags and pack up your own goods. We have increased our reusable bag cache and now use those bags for many other things rather than create new waste.</p> <p><strong>No Distractions</strong></p> <p>On a personal level, it helps that Aldi primarily sells food items, with only part of one aisle devoted to miscellaneous items that can range from toys to clothes to exercise equipment. I am better equipped to deal with temptations and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">avoid impulse buys</a> on my Aldi shopping excursions.</p> <h3>Three Not-So-Great Things About Aldi</h3> <p>As with most things in life, with the good comes the bad. There are a few things I find frustrating about the Aldi experience, but nothing so insurmountable that would keep me from shopping there regularly.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bad Produce</strong></p> <p>It is possible this is only relevant in my local store, but I have found time and time again that if I purchase produce from Aldi I will need to use it right away, or it will go bad within a day. We avoid buying produce there and tend to visit the weekly farmers market in our community, so overall it is still a win-win situation.</p> <p><strong>The Un-Tasty Stuff</strong></p> <p>There are a handful of items that I thoroughly dislike from the Aldi brand. Hot dogs are at the top of the list, followed by the refrigerated coffee creamer and the canned soup. There were a few frozen side dishes and entrees that left a bad taste in my mouth too. However, I have done enough taste-testing to know what I like and what I don&rsquo;t. Plus, Aldi offers a double 100% guarantee. If you don&rsquo;t like something, they&rsquo;ll replace the product and give you your money back.</p> <p><strong>The Drive</strong></p> <p>This is more of a personal problem, but it completes my list. I have to drive nearly 35 minutes to get to the nearest Aldi, which is why I only go once a month. It does take extra gas to get there, but I feel it is worth it. The downside to the long drive is that when we run out of stuff, we have to wait until a trip is worthwhile, although in the long run this likely saves me more grocery money each month because it forces me to better plan my shopping list for a month&rsquo;s worth of supplies.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Awesome%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Shop%2520at%2520Aldi.jpg&amp;description=6%20Awesome%20Reasons%20to%20Shop%20at%20Aldi"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Awesome%20Reasons%20to%20Shop%20at%20Aldi.jpg" alt="6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-reasons-to-shop-at-aldi">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-groceries-with-discount-grocery-stores">Save on Groceries with Discount Grocery Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Aldi discount grocery stores family budgets impulse buys online grocery lists Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:24:15 +0000 Tisha Tolar 916315 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 C's to Keep You Frugal While Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/6-cs-to-keep-you-frugal-while-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-cs-to-keep-you-frugal-while-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5898105155_7e39e82a86_z.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We can all relate to going into a store for &ldquo;just a few things&rdquo; and wheeling out a shopping cart loaded to the brim of things you really didn't need but called to you all the same - &ldquo;BUY ME!&rdquo; Each of us may have fallen victim to an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">impulse buy</a> (or many) over their lifetime but fear not &ndash; those stores pay marketing gurus top dollar to make sure you can't resist those buys so it's not entirely your fault. But there are some things you can do to fight back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-really-save-money-when-you-shop">How to Really Save Money When You Shop</a>)</p> <p>When you prepare to go on a shopping trip, there are certain things, 6 in fact, that you should equip yourself with before heading out. By ensuring the following 6 C's are in your wallet, you might stand a better chance of remaining frugal and leaving with only what you have gone in to buy.</p> <p><em><strong>May I present the 6 C's:</strong></em></p> <h2>Cash</h2> <p>One of the easiest ways to overspend is to bring your credit cards to the store with you. Many people get into credit card debt by considering it to be extra income instead of something that needs to be paid off each month. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">Bringing cash</a> with you will limit the amount you can actual spend to what you are able to spend according to your budget. Some will argue about missing out on credit card rewards such as cash back deals but if you are strong enough in your willpower, you can predetermine the amount you can afford to spend and tuck that amount of cash into an envelope at home to ensure you can pay off your credit card debt in full each month. This way you get cash back and still maintain great credit, all the while not going over your spending budget. If you can't be trusted with credit cards, stick with cash.</p> <h2>Concise Shopping List</h2> <p>Never just &ldquo;run in for a few things&rdquo;. Instead, have a plan. Keep a notepad on the refrigerator and add to it throughout the week so you will always know what you need for each trip. Limit your trips to once a week and take the shopping list with you. Stick to buying only what is on the list. This helps you focus on only what you needs, avoid the temptations, and gives you more time to comparison shop for quality and price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-streamlining-your-shopping-list">7 Tips for Streamlining Your Shopping List</a>)</p> <h2>Coupons</h2> <p>In addition to your shopping list, prepare before you leave home by sorting through the coupons relevant to the things on your list. If you have less to struggle with and make a point to bring the coupons you can actually use with you each time, you are more inclined to use them and actually remember to take them with you. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-great-coupon-debate">Coupons aren't as great </a>as they used to be but hey- savings is savings. Get the most out of the time you have spend clipping, sorting and storing each week.</p> <h2>Calculator</h2> <p>If you have never taken a calculator with you to the store, it is likely you've underestimated your shopping total at the register from time to time. Instead of the surprise, you will need to ensure you are staying on or under budget, especially if you plan to pay with cash. Keep tabs on your spending by calculating all of the items you put into your cart. You'll never go over budget in the cashier's line again.</p> <h2>Candy</h2> <p>It's true what they say &ndash; Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You will likely buy way more &ldquo;wants&rdquo; rather than &ldquo;needs&rdquo; to satisfy your rumbling tummy. If you haven't time to grab something before hitting the aisles, make a habit of keeping some candy, gum or even a bottle of water, in your bag to keep your mouth occupied during your shopping excursion.</p> <h2>Children's Picture</h2> <p>For shoppers with kids, keep a picture of their sweet faces in front of your credit card or in the money holder part of your wallet. Let their picture serve as a reminder of why it is important to save (emergencies, college, retirement) money each month. Switching your money priorities can be a strong motivator to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-savings" title="Supermarket Savings Guide">save more</a> and ignore impulsive buys more often.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cs-to-keep-you-frugal-while-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do">7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-by-making-your-money-harder-to-spend">Boost Your Savings by Making Your Money Harder to Spend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-conquer-my-vanity-for-the-sake-of-my-sanity">Can I Conquer My Vanity for the Sake of My Sanity?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance frugality impulse buys saving money shopping shopping lists Thu, 14 May 2009 18:50:58 +0000 Tisha Tolar 3163 at http://www.wisebread.com